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August 2005

Posts from July 2005

Safety Gear

I've been recruited into demo/construction work up here at the cottage.  After dropping a piece of paneling on my toe, I decided I should probably get on the proper gear to avoid further injury.  I mean I wouldn't knit without all the right tools, so why should this be any different.

Boots1

And, like any good knitter knows, the socks one wears with her steel-toed boots are very important.

Boots

Take that, Bob The Builder.


Sock backlog

I've been cleaning up the blog and keeping things neat, so I thought I should show off my socks.  I finished the Jungle Stripe ones in the beginning of July.  They're nothing fancy, but I like them.

Jungle_socks

I also started socks while in San Francisco because knitting Madli's Shawl was just too complicated for knitting on the go.  I'm using Brainy Lady's pattern but I reduced the number of stitches.  This led to a couple of problems.  I mess up the cable placement so the instep ribbing is narrower than it should be.  And, I didn't consider how the cables would make the socks narrower, so they're a bit too small.  The first sock is too short too--that's because I was anxious to get to the toe shaping. 

Brainy_socks

I haven't decided if these are going to be for me (if I make them a bit longer than I need them, maybe that'll compensate for the width) or if I'll find a narrow-footed friend with smaller feet than me to give them to. 


Loafing

I haven't had an evening like this since I moved.  The kids were in bed, I left the dishes in the sink, grabbed a beer and a new project and plonked myself down in front of the tv and got to it.

A kiddiekami and Clueless--the perfect combination.  This is classic no-brainer knitting.  I figured out the sizing for the body (I'll get to the armhole shaping when I need to), casted on and away I went.  Here's my progress so far:

Kiddiekami

I'm using reclaimed yarn from the abandoned Grace.  I think it's called Kelly by King. 

Today I'm supposed to be cleaning off my desk so I can take the next few days off.  Except I want to start my time off today.  I'm not sure why I'm so anxious to be on holiday since the first task is to finish painting the dining and living room.  We did one wall in the dining room so we could put up our wall unit and then just let it slide.  It's particularly bad because another wall is partially painted (well, it's the wall we used to get the rest of the paint off the roller before we washed them).  It's got to be done.  Right after I drink my tea and knit a bit more.


A solution!

Thank you thank you thank you thank you for all that good nupp advice, but the big winner is Kimmen because it was easy and worked the best.  Here's what she learned from Catherine on the AK list:

Those pXtog/kXtog bobbles or nupps can be done more easily as psso's and you'll get a result identical to actually trying to knit or purl
them together .

To purl X together: Slip X-1 stitches purlwise. P1. Pass the X-1 stitches over. Snug the yarn in case executing the stitch left slack in the work. (e.g., for p5tog, slip 4 sts purlwise, p1, pass the 4 sts over)

To knit X together: K1. Put this stitch back on the LH needle. Pass X minus 1 stitches over the knitted stitch, i.e., take the second stitch on the left needle and pass it from left to right over the knitted stitch, slipping it off the end of the needle. Repeat.
Return the finished stitch to the RH needle. Snug the yarn in case executing the stitch left slack in the work. (e.g., for k5tog: k1, return this stitch to the LH needle, pass 4 sts over, return the finished stitch to the RH needle)

This method produces a very neat, reliable bobble/nupp and doesn't take any longer than manhandling a p7tog or using a crochet hook. If
nothing else, it's less nerve-wracking ;)

And she's right.  It's easy and makes a really nice looking nupp (if you're into that sort of thing).

Here's some pictures of my little bit of progress, in daylight even.

Madli_better

Madli4

Even though I'm liking the knitting I have to put it down for a bit and start on a Kiddie-Cami for Emma.  Any long time readers may recall that I modified Bonne Marie's Chic-Kami pattern a while back.  Well Emma has worn this thing to death and while she'll have me squeeze her into it and wear it, I think it's a wee bit too small.  I'll re-size the pattern again and get started so she can wear it this year.  But I'm making it a tad big (mostly long because she's a skinny bean) so we'll get a few years out of this one too.


Bootees!

Maeve_bootees1

These ones are for Baby Maeve, born just two days ago.  They won't fit her for a while, but it's hardly bootee wearing weather anyway.

I used Koigu PPPM and Fleece Artist Sock leftovers and another pattern from Zoe Mellor's book.  These ones are less fiddly and I can see them being an oft-used bootee pattern. 

They were fun to knit, especially because I worked on them at the Naked Sheep during the Beaches Jazz Festival.  Nothing like being in a yarn shop knitting and listening to live music.


Been reading

I've been working evenings (and days) this week so there isn't much to report on the knitting front.  I do want to thank everyone for the tips on nupps.  I think I've found something that works and when I have time to give it a try I'll report back.  That may not be until Friday since tomorrow I'm off for a day-trip to Ottawa to meet with some partner agencies involved in my research.  It's going to be a long work day, no yarn shop visiting or anything.  Though my boss does want to pop over to the National Gallery for a quick visit.

Another reason why there isn't much knitting is because I've been expanding my blog reading a bit.  Since I discovered blogs I have really stayed in the knitting realm, but lately I've happened upon some interesting feminist and academic blogs that I'm enjoying.  My latest favourites are Feministing, I blame the patriarchy and Bitch, Ph.D. (and I'm so wishing I had thought of that title). 

I will say however that I also find them a tad too American for me.  I am sure there are good Canadian blogs written about these topics, but I haven't found them yet.  I don't mean to sound like a xenophobe, but here in Canada we do face a great deal of American cultural imperialism and since there are just more Americans than Canadians it means there are a lot of blogs too.

My biggest problem is that because these are political blogs I feel like an outsider.  There are grand discussions of abortion, supreme court nominations, gay marriage, health care and parental leave and how to secure these rights (many of which are engaging and creative) but I always feel like commenting: "hey, we do most of that pretty well already" which feels smug.  And, it also makes me feel like I'm neglecting my own national history.  How the hell did these institutions come about?  Why here, but not in the US?  And how solid are they?

I plan to pick up a copy of Judy Rebick's Ten Thousand Roses and educate myself more about the feminist movement in this country.  If you know of any good feminist/academic Canadian blogs out there--let me know.


I don't have time to knit, but I do have time to blog

Work, work, work.  I gotta lotta work.

But before it all piled up, I did start Madli's Shawl from the Summer 2004 Interweave Knits.  I'm using a lace-weight merino (thanks Amy!!) which is thinner than what's called for, but the results thus far are pleasing me, so I'm going with it.

My pictures of this project suck however, it demands daylight, not hastily shot and editing photos just before bed.

Madli_2

The colour on this is all wrong, but I had to sacrifice it to show you the texture.  Here's a close up if you like--again showing off my poor photography skills.  Maybe one day I'll read my camera manual.

When I started this in San Francisco I was cooking up a post about how much NUPPS SUCK.  But I've found a way to de-suckify them that I can live with 9 times out of 10.  A nupp is made by k1, yo into the same stitch until you have 7 loops.  Then, you purl 7 tog on the next row.  You have to make the stitch REALLY loose in order to get your needle through the 7 loops and so one of them doesn't break free and make an unsightly pull on your nupp.  There are a lot of frickin nupps in this pattern and while they look good they're rather unpleasant to actually knit.

Oh ya, my solution--using a 2.25mm sock needle to do the p7tog--I almost forgot to tell you in my lather about nupps.  If someone has a better way, for the love of my sanity, let me know.


Cute

Bootees

Yarn: Rowan Cotton Glace and 4 ply Cotton (Thanks Lolly!)

Pattern from Zoe Mellor's 50 Baby Bootees to Knit

Difficulty Rating: Fiddly but fun.

I could get into this baby bootee thing.  These ones were from a friend's new teeny tiny baby (I have never held a child that small--Xander was double the weight at birth--not I'm not kidding).  They should fit her in about a year--and they're the smallest size.  I have two other friends with babies on the way and I'll be trying some more patterns from the book.  Maybe ones that aren't made in 3 pieces.

But now I have to go code data.  I just wanted to whine about it first.


Art Fibers

My tour guide Joy, wisely provided me with the address, hours of operation and directions for Art Fibers, and it was the first place I went when I arrived in San Francisco.

Art_fibers

What I liked the best about this yarn shop, was that I didn't know what to expect.  While all yarn shops are a delight in their own way (even if they're filled with scary patterns and tons of acrylic--you can still pretend it's like a wax museum or a throw-back to the sixties) this one was filled with shelves of yarns that I had never seen before.

Art_fibers_3

I was instantly drawn to this way filled with ribbon and sari silk with all the bright shiny colours.  It was funny that I looked there first, because it's not the yarn I like to knit with.

Art_fibers_1

Another nifty thing about this shop is that there is a swatching area--a circle of chairs, boxes of their yarns and needles--and you're invited to sit and swatch whatever you like to give it a test run.  If you like, a free custom pattern can be made using your measurments and gauge--a very cool service. So of course, I did that for a while and took notes and compared, and had fun with new fibers.  I also learned that this yarn that I was always intrigued with, was a total bitch for me to knit up--better than learning it after it arrives in the mail.  A

The hard part was deciding what to buy.  I already had some Art Fiber yarn in my stash from Jenna, in my usual palette of blues and purples, so I decided to stretch myself and try textures and colours I hadn't used much before.  I decided to do a sampler shawl/scarf with the help of Kira the manager who eased me into a green palette by making me pick all the green yarns that caught my eye and then we added and substracted until we came up with this.

Art_fibers_yarn

If it wasn't so hot I'd be knitting it up now, but there's a lot of brushed silk and furry alpaca in there.  It's definitely a cool weather project.   I do keep pulling it out and looking at it, it's so very pretty.

Now, off to find my air conditioner (it's under a large pile of stuff in the basement).  I'm with Stephanie on this one--sorry Rick, I'll find another way to conserve, it's freakin' hot out.