February 2008


Where does the time go? The last time I blogged, I was working on mittens for my daughter. As it turns out, they were too big, so I had to frog a bit and start again. Then, they were put on hold, so that I could knit my father a scarf for his birthday.

When you’re thinking of knitting a man’s scarf, what pattern do you think of? I immediately thought of Brooklyn Tweed’s Striped Noro Scarf. It took me a while to locate the same colours, but I managed. Due to the fact that I couldn’t view the colours in person, I wanted to get the tried and true combo.

 

Dad's Noro Scarf

 

If you want the specs for this scarf, I refer you to Brooklyn Tweed’s blog. My version was done the same way. I only made one modification. I used 43 stitches in total (including selvage). So, I ended up with a wider scarf, at 6.5 inches.

 

Dad's Noro Scarf

 

The only thing I should add, is that there were numerous times when the contrast between colours was negligible. I didn’t fuss around too much, with this problem. I was in a hurry to be finished. I just cut out a section of colour, from one ball of yarn, until I reached a colour with more contrast. There was still plenty of yardage left for a six foot long scarf. I was slightly worried about the scratchiness of the yarn. However, blocking softened the yarn significantly.

 

Dad's Noro Scarf Dad's Noro Scarf

 

The 1 X 1 rib gives the appearance of stockinette stitch. However, the edges don’t curl, and the result is a lovely, thick, reversible, flat fabric. Also, the wool/kid mohair/silk yarn content will ensure that my father is nice and warm. I hope he will like this belated birthday present. It’s ready just in time for his month long cruise around New Zealand, then off to Florida. Something tells me he won’t need a scarf. Timing is everything!!! sigh.

Last weekend, we went on a mini family vacation to Moncton, NB. The kids had a great time at an indoor amusement park. Unfortunately, that evening numerous boys’ hockey teams stayed at our hotel. The door slamming, yelling, and running up and down the hallway went on until midnight. My kids normally go to bed at 7:30pm. They couldn’t get to sleep with the noise, so it was not a happy night. The rabble-rousers also completely took over the pool and waterslide. That pool was the reason we wanted to stay there in the first place, and we were disappointed. Anyway, luckily the amusement park made up for it. The next day, I went to a sale at the London-Wul yarn shop. That’s where I got to play! I might have purchased a few things. They were all on sale!

 

Purchases

 

Kelly walked into the shop just after I did. I haven’t seen her in a long time, so it was nice to see her again. If you happen to see a photo of me on her blog, please keep in mind that I had no sleep. I was fried, and had no ambition to do my hair. 🙂 She introduced me to Deb, another knitblogger! Yay!

When I left London-Wul, I went to the new Moncton location of Cricket Cove. I might have purchased a few more things.

 

Purchases

 

This bamboo yarn looks wonderful. It’s also machine washable! I thought it might be a good yarn substitution in Debbie Bliss patterns. As I was leaving the shop, Kelly and Deb turned up again! It turns out that Deb was on a mission for the exact yarn that I bought. She wanted pink, and I guess I took almost the whole pink supply. Oops.

Well, I’ve been hunkered down with my knitting for the past couple of days. We had an ice storm, and as it has been extremely cold ever since, the ice has remained. I ventured out at one point, and promptly slid on the driveway, with feet flying. I put some sand on the driveway, went inside, and haven’t stuck my nose out since.

One of the reasons I went out, in the first place, was to take some photos. Our poor little birch trees are so laden with ice; they’re drooping to the ground. The ice though, is like glittering diamonds. The photos I took don’t do justice to the beauty of it. This is a photo heavy post though, because I just can’t help myself.

This was taken just after the storm, and as you can see, the storm clouds were still lurking.

 

Ice Storm

 

This was taken from my dining room toy room window.

 

Ice Storm

 

See the poor trees?

 

Ice Storm

 

….and some more photos….

 

Ice Storm

 

Ice Storm

 

Ice Storm

 

Believe it or not, that’s not all of the pictures. I actually did narrow it down. Here’s a question for any tech savvy people out there, does the fact that my photos are hosted on Flickr help someone to view a photo heavy blog post? Sorry, to anyone with a dial up connection.

Now, here’s a Ravelry story for you. Remember the animal baby blanket I knit a while ago? Well, I noticed, in Ravelry, that someone in Texas is knitting the same blanket, in the same substitute yarn that I used. She is using different colours, and I’m so intrigued to see how it comes out. I decided to tell her so. I sent her a message using “Rav mail”. She responded by noting that I live in New Brunswick, Canada, and she is originally from xoxox City, NB. “My goodness”, I wrote back, “I’m living on the outskirts of that city! What is your name, perhaps you went to school with a member of my family?” She mentioned her name, which rang a bell, but I couldn’t put my finger on why. I emailed all of my siblings. They knew the last name right away. Her family lives two doors down from my parents!!! I live in a small town folks; this is crazy weird. Do things like that happen just to freak me out?

Oh, and I finished the mittens! Here they are.

 

Herringbone Mittens

 

  • Pattern: Herringbone Mittens
  • Source: Elliphantom’s Blog. The pattern is a free pdf file here.
  • Materials: Strange combo of acrylic stash yarn and Nashua Creative Focus Superwash
  • Needles: 3.75 mm and 4.5 mm circular. Magic Loop!
  • Modification: I knit the cuffs slightly longer than called for in the pattern.

That photo was a bit blurry, so here’s another one…mitten with icy twigs. See how that works? I get to sneak in another ice photo.

 

Herringbone Mittens

 

I really recommend this mitten pattern. It’s fun to knit, it whips along, and the pattern is free! I mentioned that this pair is being given to our local shelter, but I have another pair on the needles for my daughter. I’d better get back to it!

Thanks everyone, for your comments on my last pair of socks. I was very happy to get them finished! Lately, I’ve been working on this:

 

Magic Looping

 

It’s going to be a mitten. The pair is to be given to our local shelter, and I’ve finished one mitten already. It may seem late to do this, as we are supposed to have an early spring. Ha! Ha! However, it sure didn’t feel like spring today! Every weekday morning I wait for the school bus with my daughter. This morning was freeeeeezing! I was so relieved when the bus approached, and it wasn’t a moment too soon.

You may see from the photo that I’m using the magic loop method to knit these mittens. I never really had the inclination to learn this method. In fact, I’ve often wondered what compels people to learn it. Now I know. I looked into my supply of dpns and realized that I didn’t have the sizes I needed. Plan number two was to use two circular needles. However, looking at my Options needles set…which has one of every size, I quickly realized that two of the same size was not an option. (Unfortunately, that bad pun was intended). I knew that Magic Loop was very much the same as using two circs, so I grudgingly taught myself to do it.

I know that some of my local knitting friends are somewhat interested in learning these techniques. I have some books that were helpful. However, these videos are what did it for me. Scroll down the page and the videos are in the “Small Diameter Circular Knitting” section.

All of that said, Magic Looping is not for Loopy Knitter. I don’t like the loops getting in the way, and always bending in the wrong direction. There are many people who will disagree with me. Many people love Magic Looping. I’m not one of them. I do like knitting with two circular needles though! That is my preference. However, I’m sure that lack of equipment will compel me to Magic Loop again sometime in the future. Honestly, it’s easy to learn, not hard to execute…I just prefer two circular needles.

Okay, so moving on, look at this…

 

Manos del Uruguay

 

In the words of Bob and Doug MacKenzie, “Beauty eh?”. Okay, I’m showing my age there. I purchased this yarn on sale at my LYS. It’s Manos del Uruguay, colour #109. I grabbed the remaining two skeins in the store, but I could use another one. If any of my local knitting buddies purchased this colourway, please keep me in mind if you decide you don’t need it. I know, that’s not likely to happen though!

Sales…I love sales. I also bought some yarn to make these:

 

Squares for Thom's afghan

 

If you’re a member of Ravelry, you may know that the Ravelry creator/code monkey, Casey, has a father named Thom, who was in a very bad accident. Thom broke his two ankles, an elbow and a wrist. His recovery will take a very long time. There is an international Ravelry effort underway, to make an afghan for Thom. These two squares were my contribution, and they were sent on to a regional assembler. It has been rather fun to take part, in this small way.

Speaking of Ravelry, my sister has just been invited to join. Now, I know I won’t hear from her for quite a while, unless it’s by “Rav Mail”. She will be sucked into the black hole of Ravelry queues and forum posts. Life is good!

I had more to say, but it will have to wait until next time. It’s getting late. I’ll wrap this up with a video of the toque wearing, Canucks, Bob and Doug MacKenzie. I don’t know how I started thinking of them, but I’ve wasted spent my whole evening watching their videos on YouTube. I especially appreciate how they point out the Maritime Provinces in this video.

Good day.

…And I’m back. I thought I should blog something, before people think that something happened to me. All is well. I didn’t mean do be missing in action for so long. I was on a genealogy research bender. I got a lead and couldn’t stop working on it. It’s like solving a mystery. All of my computer time was devoted to tracking down information, and organizing it. Anyway, I do have a finished item to share with you!

 

Healthy Spine Toe-up Socks

 

 

Healthy Spine Toe-up Socks

 

Healthy Spine Toe-up Socks

 

I had to show that third picture.

Conversation with my husband:

Me: “Do I look like I have duck feet in the second picture?”
DH: “No, but your ankles look really wide in the first one.”
Me: “Well, I’m keeping the first one, because the colour is accurate, and you can see the heel.”
DH incredulously: “Are your feet sticking up in the air in that third shot?”
Me: “Yes, it’s hard to take pictures of your own feet.”
DH: (here’s the kicker): “Were you clothed?
Me: (while giving the evil eye): “No, I just thought that while the kids are home with colds, I would lie on the floor, buck n*ckid, and take pictures, in front of the window, of my merino wool clad feet! Just because my feet are in the air, I must be unclothed?? Men!”
DH: “No, I just thought your skin looked blue.”
Me: “Oh. Right.”

Hee hee! I love him! Just to let anyone know, who may be in doubt, yes, I was wearing all of my clothing. (Edited to add: I think he’s just jealous, ’cause he wants my socks.)

 

Healthy Spine Toe-up Socks

The actual colour is not so red.

 

Okie dokie then, moving on…
I’ve been tagged by Alicia for the 7 Random things meme.

“Here are the rules, and they must be posted to your blog. Link to the person’s blog who tagged you. List seven random and/or weird facts about yourself. Tag seven random people at the end of your post and include links to their blogs. Let each person know that they have been tagged by posting a comment on their blog and also so they can look at your blog and not tag the same people all over again!”

Here are my random answers, in random order:

  1. I don’t like filling out forms, and will do almost anything to avoid it.
  2. I wore braces as a teenager.
  3. I once dated the doctor who did Jennifer Love Hewitt’s b**b job enhancement. Once dated. Literally. One date. It just wasn’t meant to be. That was in his med school days. Nice website Pete! 🙂 How’s that for random?
  4. I don’t like the feeling of wearing nail polish.
  5. I sold a pair of underwear to Colin James, and a pair of pants to his guitar player, when I worked at Harry Rosen eons ago. Oooooooo.
  6. I love lobster! Yummy!
  7. I go by my middle name. That was my parents’ idea.

Wait, there’s more! Carol gave me the “You Make My Day” award! That made my day! Thanks so much Carol!

 

You Make My Day

 

Instructions: “Give the award to 10 people whose blogs bring you happiness and inspiration and make you feel happy about blogland. Let them know by posting a comment on their blog so they can pass it on. Beware you may get the award several times.”

So, what I’m going to do is tag 10 people, and they can consider themselves tagged for both the meme, and the award. If you’ve done the meme before, don’t worry about doing it again. Of course, I love all of the biggy blogs, like Brooklyn Tweed, Wendy Knits, Grumperina, and Yarn Harlot, but I think they probably get a number of awards. What I thought I’d do, this time, is concentrate on the blogs of people who live somewhat near me. I have been fortunate to meet a number of these people in person. It has been fun to find out that there are other knitbloggers in my part of the world. Reading their blogs really does make my day! Here they are in no particular order:

  1. Carol, back at you!
  2. Heather
  3. Kelly
  4. CanKnitian
  5. Byrne
  6. Alison
  7. Lesley
  8. Deb
  9. Tanya
  10. Line
  11. Mary

Okay, so I listed eleven blogs, not ten. My bad. Spread the cheer!