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November 2004
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January 2005

Posts from December 2004

Just call me Bob

My office is very cold.  So cold, that when people enter this wing of the building they say "Holy! It's freezing up here!".  So cold that most of us wear scarves and sweaters when we work.  So cold that I'm taking an idea from Bob Cratchit and making some handwarmers.  (I always have an image of him with fingerless gloves hovering over a piece of coal).

The pattern is Sacred and Profane mittens from KnitWit--I'm not going to bother with the pop tops since I can't type with mittens on.  The yarn is Noro Kureyon in colour 124 (from the stash)--and I think they're looking groovy.


And, since I'm no Scrooge, I donated to Oxfam's Tsunami relief fund, and if you can, you should help out too.  I'm feeling very fortunate to live in the West*, where even if we were similarly struck, we would have the resources to rebuild and avoid disease and many years of heart-wrenching after effects.  I can have Koigu Kersti for mittens some other time.

*I just saw on the Oxfam site that the Canadian government will match Canadian's donations to aid agencies dollar for dollar.  That's the kind of response I expect from my government, and every dollar you give means two dollars to help out.

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.)


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).

Gifts for Knitters

Now that our lovely Christmas is over and we're cleaning up the boxes and tripping over the toys, it's time to get back to some serious knitting.  Luckily and rather inadvertantly, Craig gave Stephanie's gifts for knitters #24: Time.

He went to his parents' house to pick up the kids and I spent time finishing his scarf. 


Now I'm going to start something quick and easy for me using some Colinette Tagliatelli in Neptune I've had in the stash since last year.  I'm in a cozy mood and this yarn is full of squooshy goodness.  The pattern is a compilation of things from the Tagiatelli book because I don't like any one sweater in particular and, well, the pictures are so crappy I'm not sure what I'll end up with anyway.  The body is going to be from this one, the collar this one and it'll have long sleeves like this one

Since it's knit on 9mm needles the almost-instant gratification will be nice after the scarf.  And since we got a ton of DVD's from Santa I want something easy to knit while I laze in front of the tv.

Little diversions

Now that Butterfly is finished (and thanks for all the kind words) I decided to knit a few little things.  First is a scarf for Craig in Jaegar silk in Midnight that someone kindly gifted me.  It's a neat stitch called twin rib that I like because it looks like regular ribbing but doesn't pull in like regular ribbing.  I only have two skeins of this precious stuff, so I need to be thrifty. 


The scarf used to be my travelling project but now it's too long.  It is a boring knit really--a repetitive pattern with fingering weight yarn--but it's no more yardage or stitches than a pair of socks so I should be done soon.  Craig's neck is cold and he's bugging me for it. 

And, I needed another travelling project so I started some socks.  I wasn't part of the sock swap (but if there's another one sign me up) but all those socks had me in the stash. 


I'm using Fleece Artist sock yarn that Amy gave me as a grad present (I love how knitters give the gift of yarn).  The pattern is the Retro Rib from the latest IK--except mine are toe-up with garter stitch toes and heels.  I love this sock yarn and these socks are definitely for me.

Finally, I finished my first Nordic Mitten.  I love it.  The thumb is a tad short so I'm going to try reblocking because I don't want to rip it back--the yarn splits a lot and it's almost impossible to pick up the stitches again (I know because it took two tries to get the thumb decreases right). 

First_nordic_mitt First_nordic_mitt_back

Fearing "second mitten syndrome" I started the other one but am stuck in corrugated rib wasteland (some people have sleeve island, this is my knitting purgatory).  But once that's done I get to play with the lovely pattern and watch it emerge.  I could get into these small colourwork patterns since the commitment isn't as big as--let's say--colourwork classic...  Which I knit one pattern repeat on this weekend, but which hasn't changed much since my last post about it.  I want to sweat the small stuff first.

Early Christmas Present

We haven't been very festive since for nearly a week we've been the "house of influenza".  Both Craig and I even had a touch of it, despite getting flu shots.  (Thank goodness we got the shots or we'd feel like we got hit by a bus right about now.)

But last night we got it together and put up the tree and decorations and started to feel a bit more Christmasey. 


And I got an early present today from my sweet Emma:

"Mom, I want to learn to knit."

"Really?" I ask non-chalantly--my heart pounding with excitment--she wants to knit!

"Yes, I want to knit."

"Are you sure?" I reply cautiously. "The last time you tried for less than 5 minutes before giving up."

"I'm sure.  Teach me."

So, out came the needles (I tried a 5mm circular instead of straights this time) and some red Canadiana yarn (nice, smooth, easily washed if she does actually make something) and off we went.  We tried to knit like me--continental style--but she couldn't manage it.  This may have been why previous attempts failed.  So, I picked up Amy's Knit Wit book and taught her the right-hand method.  Emma studied the pictures, gave it a try and it worked!!  She knit about 12 rows over 10 stitches (though she took breaks every few rows) and has officially started a scarf for her Curious George. 


Now, I'm not envisioning a future filled with trips to the yarn store as a way to bond with my daughter through her awkward teen years or anything (I mean she is only almost-six and her interests vary greatly from minute to minute).  But I could tell she liked it.  She saw the yarn and needles as something to master.  And that's a good start.

Loving the sweater, hating the hair


Here's the lovely Butterfly.  Nice eh?  Notice my fingers poking out the sleeves?  They're still a bit long, but I couldn't rip any more out or I would lose increases and would have to change the sleeve cap.  In the end, I ripped back to one row after the last sleeve increase and took out two rows in the sleeve cap.  Beware of these sleeves if you attempt this sweater.

Like Claudia I used a frog closure instead of the hook and eye and I'm really happy with it.  There's a close up here  if you would like to see it.  I picked something unshiny and simple (which is hard for these fasteners) because I didn't want to detract from the collar (though with the size of this thing it would be difficult).

I love the collar--here it is from the back.


And here's an outside shot to show off the colours better.  (Here's the part where we get to my hair.  I decided not to cut my head off in this picture so I have a visual reminder of what I was whining about if I ever read my archives.)


I hate my haircut.  I was actually disappointed when I left the salon, but figured I was just getting used to the short hair.  I go to the Aveda Hair School and this is the first bad cut I've received.  But now, two weeks later, after much goop and styling tricks and denial, I realize: I hate my hair.  It makes me look old.  I think my student-stylist did a poor job--there are technical issues and it doesn't suit me.  And it's a bit late to go back (they have a policy on this--I asked).  And there's probably not much that can be fixed that won't involve this turning into a really really short hair cut.

It's not the sassy short cuts I've worn most of my life (the hair you've seen me with is the longest it's been since I was about 12).  So it's not a short-hair phobia thing.  It's a "I traded in a sophisticated graduated bob for an old lady cut" thing.  I want the bob back.  It could happen in less than six months I suppose.  This is all made worse by the fact that I've been housebound with a sick kid (and now two sick kids and a sick husband) and I don't have work or more important thing to fixate on.  It feels a bit better just saying it. 

And I have a fab new sweater and a opening in my WIPs!

A quiz until I shower

Butterfly is done and she's beautiful.  I however am not right now since I haven't had time to sneak into the shower since Xander is still sick at home (but on the mend and likely back to school tomorrow). 

So while you're waiting, you can see what kind of Freaky Mama I am.  I was rather happy with this result and I even answered the questions honestly.  I'll admit a Rosie the Riveter poster is over our dining room table and my Emma's favourite nightshirt has Che Guevera on it.

Activist Mama
You're an agitator! Your kids have grown up on the
front lines of rallies and pickets, and chances
are that you boycott at least one company for
its bad business practices. Your kids are
learning what matters to you and how they can
change what matters to them.

What kind of a freaky mother are you?
brought to you by Quizilla

Fingers emerge

From my sleeves on Butterfly that is.  But alas, it's not finished yet.  I'm fed up with seaming, so I'm weaving in the ends with one sleeve left to sew in.  Why is there nothing good on TV when it's seaming/weaving time.  I need something to break the monotony besides the honking big Caramilk bar beside my knitting chair.