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Posts from June 2009

Where's Waldo (and what is he knitting?)

We're on day five of our camping trip. It's rained almost every day for some point but not so much that anyone has contemplated some form of child restraint or drugging. We're here with my knitting buddy Elizabeth and her great teen Alison who is keeping my kids entertained. Between games of where's Waldo under the tarp, I've been getting in some knitting time. The yarn is summer tweed in smoulder, and the pattern is mondo cable by Bonne Marie Burns. (Sorry for no links but I'm doing this on my iPhone. ). I love this pattern; it's very clearly written, top down, and not too challenging for camp. I know the summer tweed is a bigger gauge than called for, but with 4mm needles I squished it down and I like it better a bit tighter anyway. I find summer tweed grows when wet. Even though the sky is getting cloudy we're off to the beach. Classic Canadian summer; you take what you can get.
Where's Waldo (and what is he knitting?)


Me: Did I just hear on the radio that Michael Jackson died?

Craig (checking Iphone): Yes, today.

Me: I wonder what he died of...

Emma: Michael Jackson died?

Me: Yep, not sure what from though.

Emma: It could've been radiation.

Conclusion: I can't knit a sweater in two days (a post from last Tuesday)

Note: I published this last Tuesday and pulled it down when I was told the woman who is getting this sweater actually reads this blog.  Sometimes I forget about things like that!  So I've timed this post to go up while I'm at the shower.

I actually finished this sweater on Sunday--so 5 more days after I thought I would.  So the conclusion is: it takes me 2 weeks to knit a baby sweater.


I have now embarked on the other fun part of spinning; knitting with my handspun.  A knitting buddy's baby shower is coming soon and I got out some of my yarn and started plotting.

It started with a simple hat (which I just realized I forgot to photograph) and then a small ball of leftover yarn.  So I decided I would use it as the accent colour on a baby sweater. 

That was Sunday afternoon and the shower was on Wednesday.

No problem--I'll just make the smallest size. 

But I should choose the main yarn and a pattern first I suppose.

Sunday night, that was done.  The yarn is leftover from my Roam cardi--Briar Rose Fourth of July.  The pattern Tasia's cardigan--a top down, knit in one piece cardi.  My plan was to make it a pullover--no buttons that way.

By Monday bedtime I divided for the sleeves.  And I start thinking this isn't going to work out.

Tuesday afternoon I have a plan (that involves some sleep deprivation) but I'm sure I can get it done.  That I'm plotting at work and haven't really considered how to stop time so I could knit and not get fired was carefully placed to the side of my brain so I wouldn't notice.

Then a tweet came by saying the shower will be postponed for a week.

With the pressure off I could knit and watch the kids' soccer practice, and admire my work.

Knitting with handspun

I'm at the hem of the body now--also orange handspun.  I'll have this done tonight!

Or maybe tomorrow.

Shawl that Jazz

I have been so busy that I forgot to blog about my finished shawl.


It was off the needles about two weeks ago and I've worn it a bunch of times. This is a bad thing because it's a non-lace garter stitch shawl and it's June.


That doesn't mean it's not a great shawl--because it is. 

I went with the extra ruffly-ness and it's just ruffly enough.  This is coming from a woman who looks like a dork in anything ruffly.


The yarn is Briar Rose's Grandma's blessing and it knit up beautifully.  I do wish I had gone up a needles size to 5mm so the shawl was a bit bigger, but since I tend to just wrap them around my neck like a big scarf, I don't mind that much.


A great, easy, pretty project on fabulous yarn.

(And holy crap my yard's a mess)

Hiding in the basement

We've been hiding in the basement, making things pretty.

The toilet area went from this:

 Toilet area (underneath of stairs too)

To this:


The shower area has plumbing:

Shower plumbing

And walls (with a nifty niche to store stuff)


And we have a tiled and grouted floor!

Floor with charcoal grout

Now we're working on tiling the walls. Here's a sneak peek.


Craig and I are tiling together and it's not too bad; except when we're near the floor.  I've now got a new saw in my repetoire--wet tile saw.  All I need to learn how to use now is a chainsaw (scary) and then there's nothing I can't cut through.

The *Plan*tm is to have the walls and ceiling (since it's 6'5" we need a fully tiled room) done by this weekend and then we can put in the fixtures and we'll be done!

Floor and stairs

The reno, it continues.  Right now work has stopped while Craig works on a paying contract so I'll get you up to speed.

I left off with this:

Hole in my floor

Which necessitated the purchasing and carrying downstairs of this:

600kg of concrete

That's what 600kg of concrete looks like. Poor guy; he was tired that night. Some of it went into making the edges of floor straighter and to define the space that is the bathroom. The plan is to have the tiled floor be at the same level as the rest of the basement concrete to save precious head room--our ceilings sit at about six and a half feet (gotta love 100 year old houses).

Big hole in my floor

While the edge areas were drying some of the walls were framed and the drain plumbing was laid:

5X6' bathroom area

Then it was all covered with more concrete:

Pouring concrete

And you get the next level of floor:


There is another layer that needs to go on to level the floor so everything goes into that drain in the middle and you can see the sink drain at the top right of the photo. The floor is going to happen next week as they had other stuff to do.

Like the stairs.

First a wall was built where we wanted the new opening to be.  This is more structurally sound than having a header tied into the floor joists and makes the stairs feel less like a ladder.


Then they started cutting the wider opening (I'm so glad I wasn't there to see any of it).

 Stair opening cut away

That was where this used to be.


The overhanging floor still needs to be cut away, but it gives you a sense of what was cut out to make a wider opening. Then the old stairs were removed:

IMG_3002 IMG_3005

And just like one of those HGTV shows, new stairs emerge:

New stairs


They're sturdy, straight, 4 inches wider, less steep (the old pitch was 46 degrees and the new pitch is 40ish degrees--you can see the divet in the concrete where the old stairs ended) and each tread is 10 inches wide instead of 8 inches. They feel completely different!  And they look pretty nice too:


I will paint the brick wall and stairs the same colour as the wall above so they blend with the decor. They're made of spruce lumber and I'm not doing anything too fancy because our basement is a basement.  And I've done one stair project already this year!


I have 10 balls of Calmer in a beautiful pool blue in my stash.  I want to knit a summer weather cardigan with it and can't make up my mind about the pattern.  I have been trolling Ravelry for a while now and need you to chime in.  I know Calmer is pricey (this colour was discontinued, so a good deal) but enough of treating this like it's gold.  It's only good yarn if I knit with it!


I'm considering things with a gauge between 22 and 19 sts over 10 cm.  I'm worried the 19 sts will be too loose, but for now I'm considering it.


Ariann by Bonne Marie Burns.  Pretty, a little lacy, raglan sleeves, dressy enough for work.  Tested design (321 projects in Ravelry).


Sandrine.  Another great Bonne Marie pattern.  I really like this one.  But more as a pullover because I don't want to have to button it all the time.  The style is very flattering for me.  But I really wanted a cardi.  Hmm.  I also don't do short sleeves very much without something on top (like a cardi) so this might also go into the "for another yarn" pile.  I *will* make this though.


Loll.  The advantage of this one is that it was made for Calmer.  I rather like the little fringey bits though it looks like they'll be a bitch to knit.


Diminishing Rib.  This was the pattern that made me dig out the Calmer in the first place.  But I have to say, I'm not so hot on it as I look at the finished versions on Ravelry. I would change the neckline and possibly the sleeves which seem to bell our more than in the photo.  I want it to work, but just don't think it will.

Maybe Laura will finish this one.  That's a nice sweater too.  It has very flattering shaping.

Let me know which sweater is Calmer worthy.  But don't suggest a February Lady.  I love it, but it looks terrible on me.