Hooray!

Cozy_2

It's done!

I love it.  It's squooshy and soft and fits me perfectly.

Cozy4

It's tough to see all the cool texture and colours inside.  But it snowed so much this weekend I can't open my balcony door to pop outside (and it's a wee bit chilly for a photo shoot!)

When it comes to the collar, turns out third time's a charm.  I decided to go with a 2X2 rib.  Using a 6mm needle (down from the 9mm I used for the body) I picked up 44 stitches (which was what seemed right) and worked decreases similar to Banff.  I kept trying it on because I was a tad worried I wouldn't be able to get it over my head.  It's a tight squeeze (and a hair ruiner) but I love how it looks on.  I'm nicely sealed against the cold (which would have been perfect for all the tobagganing we did this weekend) and it stands up perfectly.

The only real snag was the stitching up.  Tagliatelli is stretchy.  I pulled too tightly a few times and when I went to put it on, I snapped the yarn at the armhole.  That was scary, but easily repaired. 

I love the yarn so much I want more (mmmm Summer Berries), but I'm not sure what I would do with it.  I think the texture and colour looks best with a plain shape...maybe a retro-prep-styled cardi? 

Actually, that's my next project--retro-prep in lavendar Rowanspun DK.  I want to start ZigZag, but I really need a cardigan in my wardrobe.  And I have Colourwork Classic on the needles and I like to keep my challenging projects to one at a time.

Off to get some tea and snuggle on the couch with my new sweater and some reading I need to catch up on.

Neo-Luddite

Yep, I'm thinking of packing it all in and moving to the bush to grow my own food and deny technology.

Well not really. 

But I have had it with devices this week.  First the still unresolved wireless phone stuff and now our desktop is getting all snarky.  I won't get into the details but I'll tell you that's how I spent a good portion of this morning and all of this evening.  No knitting because we've been working on fixing some OS problems.  Good thing we have a laptop too because I would have had no idea how to make the desktop better without googling for all the error codes that came up. 

It now *seems* to be better but the worst part is not knowing why we had problems in the first place.  I'll be backing up all my important stuff tomorrow (I have back ups of many things, but I got behind now that I have a laptop and a computer at work).

I did get to spend the afternoon at the Aveda Academy getting a cut and colour.  I got a hip, happening stylist and colourist so I'm much happier with the short, blush copper (some fancy Aveda name for brown) with carmel highlights results.  No pictures tonight though because all the computer work has made me look terrible. 

As for the Tagliatelli sweater, it lays forlornly, blocking.  I figured out how I want to do the neck thanks to Mandy.  I'm going to do a funnel neck similar to the one on Jenna's Banff.  I want to do it in stockinette but I'm worried about it rolling too much so I might just do it in a wide rib.  And I want to do it this weekend.  Tomorrow night I'm stitch'n and bitch'n with my pals--so socks are on the menu because there'll be booze in my coffee.

All the pieces

I love this yarn.  Not only is it fast to knit (two sleeves done since Sunday fast) but it is beautiful to look at, nice to knit and really squooshy. 

The patterns for this yarn...they ain't so great (well they might be except the photos and lack of schematics make it difficult to assess the patterns).  That's why I'm making my own.  With all the colour and texture that's inherent to this wool tape, not much is needed--just a basic sweater with set in sleeves.  I did follow what was laid out in the Tagliatelli book and worked the pieces without ribbed or garter edges and I'm liking how things are turning out.

Cozy_all_the_pieces

However, I'm still stuck on the neck.  I would like some sort of turtle neck because I hate having a cold neck in the winter wind.  I don't want it to roll or be a cowl or something huge.  So my next shot at this will be a collar in stockinet with a few rows of garter before the bindoff to keep it from rolling.  That, or a 3X3 or really wide rib.  I'm also flipping through my pattern library for ideas.  Good thing I still have to block it--I obviously have no idea what I want to do with the neck.

***

And I still don't have my cell phone back on.  Craig got so frustrated with Bell he took a sledge hammer to his.  Seriously. He works in a factory setting and after his last dealings with them, hung up, went to the back and beat the crap out of his phone. 

You should also know that the CRTC does not deal with this aspect of telecommunications but did give me the number for Bell's Executive Office of Customer Relations (1-866-317-3382).  I left a message (interesting how they don't directly answer calls, though their greeting acknowledged that if I was calling that I wasn't getting anywhere with Customer "Service"-- and we'll see what happens.  I just want to square up the bill and my credit rating before I dump their service and take a sledge hammer to my handset (I need a new one anyway, but this will feel soooooooooo good.)

Six

It's been a busy weekend.  Friday my little baby Emma turned SIX.  I'm still having a hard time processing this fact.  She certainly acts like a little girl and looks like a little girl, but I still see her as my baby.  I bet this gets worse as we get older...

Emma_is_6

We had a lovely family dinner at our favourite restaurant, Il Fornello, which was Emma's choice (that girl has excellent taste).  She also chose fresh strawberry sorbet with a candle over cake further demonstrating her refined palate.  That was followed by the traditional present opening.  It was a Hello Kitty birthday--plush, wallet, markers, computer game and underwear--everything a six year old could want*.

Saturday, in lieu of the usual birthday party (which was becoming difficult to execute with Craig out of town and a small apartment and a sheer lack of will on our part or much interest on Emma's) we all went to the Ontario Science Centre for the day.  We liked it enough to subscribe to a two-year membership meaning we can go as often as we like. 

All the merry-making meant little knitting time.  I did make some progress on the second Retro-Rib sock and started the first Cozy Tagliatelli sleeve.  Here's the progress so far:

Cozy_tag

I actually had to frog back 3 times to get the sleeve right since I'm not really using a pattern.  I decided to do the sleeves before the neck because yardage may determine the collar--this stuff goes surprisingly far--5 skeins for a 40" sweater--but I might end up with a crew neck, I can't tell at this point. 

*When I went to get the Hello Kitty link I was floored by all the stuff you can get.  Don't show this site to Emma.  Ever.

Aha!

After knitting a second six inch collar that I didn't like, I figured out the problem: not enough shoulders and too much collar.  So I ripped back and started the necklines again.  The nice thing about big gauge yarn is that this doesn't take too long. 

I'll be finished the front and back again tonight and I can't decide what to do next: the sleeves or another attempt at the collar.  I'm thinking the sleeves because another rejection will drive me nutty.  But having it all done and not getting the neck right would be demoralizing...Maybe I'll work on my mittens instead.

In an effort to de-clutter (and on-going battle when you're 4 to an 800 sq ft place with a basement full of clutter) I posted some yarn in my Help Me Destash photo gallery (top left of the blog).  Let's make a deal!

Scattered

I gave away my Must-Have Cardi to my Mom because it was too small for me (and it was the XL!).  Nothing like having your Mom put on your fav sweater and seeing how it's supposed to look.

I also gave her the Lovely Lavold Vest because I've only worn it once.  Fun to knit, but just not for me.

Both my Aunt and my Memere want Charlotte's Web shawls.  I can't say no to my Memere, and well my Aunt's name is Charlotte, so I have some spring projects now.

My new mittens did the job yesterday, though I found out why my office is so cold.  Seems one of the non-academic staff that shares the wing OPENS HER WINDOW to let in fresh air.  She must be molten or something to not notice how freakin' cold it is.  I will talk to her because while it's nice to have a window, one should not flaunt it, especially in winter.

My cozy Tagliatelli sweater is coming along.  I finished the front and back and have been working on the collar before the sleeves.  The first version in stockinet like this did not work so I'm trying a 2X2 rib turtle neck instead.  How they got the collar in the picture not to roll is beyond me--false advertising I say.

Seeing Brainlady's beautiful new sweater and her previous Kureyon retro prep make me want to just jump in and start one for myself.  I bought the Rowanspun DK last year and I need a new cardigan all the sudden. 

I also need a new hat that covers my ears but does not make me look dorky.  Oh, and time to knit it.  I might try a Kittyville hat, but I'm not sure I can pull it off.  At least not in pink to match my yet to be finished Nordic Mittens. 

I want to start exercising since a) I work in a freakin' athletic centre (our printer overlooks the dance studio) and have a free membership and locker and b) since I stopped biking for the winter I'm noticing my pants are getting a bit tight (not the Must-Have Cardi--that was always a bit too small).  If I want to eat Ben and Jerry's I need to balance it somewhere.  And I like how much better I feel when I get some exercise.

The very strong cup of tea I'm drinking has finally kicked in.  I guess this means I have to get to work now.  I'm failing miserably at my resolution (which conveniently coincided with the New Year) to spend more time working, especially on my own research and article writing and academic job hunting.  Tonight I resolve to get to bed at a decent hour, so I can get up early enough to get going.

She's got balls

Right now, except for the socks, everything I'm working on requires two balls of yarn at once.  Some are two different colours for fair-isle knitting, and the other is the Tagliatelli I'm using for my cozy sweater.  To avoid any unsightly colour pooling with this handpainted yarn, one is advised to alternate between two balls every 4 rows or so. 

None of this is portable knitting.  And, I was going to start ZigZag this week (after finally finding my 4mm Addi in zipped into the slipcover of the loveseat--good thing we spilled chocolate on the couch or I would never have found it--I'm pretty sure one of the kids put it there, but no one is confessing.) But that requires a double strand of Zara--again two balls at once.  Something weird is going on. 

So I think I'll wait until my cozy sweater is done.  Which won't be long--here's the back all done.  (Handpainted yarns defy photography.)

Tagliatelli_back

And the front is well on it's way.  I'm loving this yarn and something speedy suits me just fine for lazy holiday knitting (except that I have to get back to work tomorrow--sigh).

But this made me laugh.  Mostly to hide my fear.  That's some scary-assed knitting I tell you.  It would take more balls than mine to knit something like that (or wear it for that matter).