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February 2010

Posts from January 2010

In case you were wondering about the bathroom...

We're still working on it.

It's 90% done.  We're showering and I've had a bath.  (I'm not giving you the good pictures until the big reveal!)



I have very nice storage cabinets that hold tonnes of stuff (and I got rid of lots in the process of storing and moving it all--extra bonus)



 We have a sink to brush our teeth in, but no mirror. The floor and toilet are in (and that brought much rejoicing).  


 The walls are even painted and there are lights.


But man, those last little bits that make it all look finished are killing us.

Today windows and trim are being painted.  


And the door is being modified.  The room got a bit smaller (which is good for the structural integrity of the room and had to be done) which meant the door didn't fit in the opening.  It was something we didn't foresee at the beginning or we would have ripped out the frame then.  So now, the frame is ripped out, the door is narrower and we're putting the pieces together again.


Minor setback.

The vanity and sink are in.  They are pretty.  And almost perfect.  By almost I mean that the standard marble counter I ordered is not big enough because the stupid-sales-person who ordered this for us at the Home Depot failed to mention that the rather expensive solid maple decorative but not required side pieces added 1 3/4 inches to the 36" cabinet.  So the cabinet is now 37 3/4 inches with a 37 inch counter.  

Right now we're living with it (we positioned the counter to make it work) and not using the side piece that you could only see when you're in the tub.  I'm leaving that battle for another day.  Which means we'll put the one side piece in the basement, hang a towel bar on that side and never speak of it again.

And since it was all special ordered and arrived in June, we're eating this one.  But that whole "You can do it, We can help" thing at Home Depot feels like some serious bullshit.  No way I'd order my kitchen cupboards there after this.  But that's the 2012 reno...

I feel like we're *this* close to finishing but that *this* is going to take forever.  It's just a "two steps back" kind of day today, but we are in the home stretch.  Back to paint the window frame.

On Yarn Diets and Stash Busting

Last year I decided to try *very* hard to knit from my stash.  I have a nice stash full of pretty yarns, many of which I wanted to knit <<cough>> Bohus <<cough>>.

Here's what I bought last year: 

That doesn't include Rhinebeck, but I don't include that in my fast.  Fibre festivals and retreats are special; like your birthday cake on a food diet.
The weird thing is that I also immediately knit up those yarns and most of my handspun.  I'm starting to think that I have a solid record of using what I buy almost immediately, but not using what I buy just to have or because it's a good deal. 
I really like the whole process of finding a project I love, getting the yarn and starting rather than looking at my stash and hoping pretty yarn X will work out. 

This is happening with my current WIP from stash--a cabled cardi using grey Jo Sharp Aran tweed.  The yarn is lovely, but I'm not sure it's the right yarn for the project.  I think the sweater will be too casual for what I want.  So it'll be a fine sweater, but might not fill a wardrobe hole (which is generally stuff I can wear to work). 

You see, I stashed most of my yarn when I worked at home, so my tastes have changed and my wardrobe demands have changed.  I can only have so many aran weight tweed sweaters for the few hours I'm not in office clothes. (I work in a semi-casual environment, but also work with a lot of people who wear suits; so I aim to dress for that audience rather than what many at my University wear.)  
Does this mean a de-stashing sale?  I'm considering it.  And I'll be sure to let you know.  Then I'll keep the money in my paypal account so when that perfect thing comes up I'll be ready for it! 

For now, my current economic situation, adequate stash and minimal knitting time mean that I'm going to keep knitting from my stash and using my handspun (note to self: need to get spinning from your very nice fibre stash).  But I'm also more willing to give things away to friends, make trades and live with less yarn.  From what I can tell there are still lots of sheep and sikworms on this planet.

Hansel for Haiti

Just wanted to let you know that until January 31, 100% of the sales of my Hansel mitten pattern will be donated to Medicin Sans Frontieres (I'll even eat the paypal fees to donate the full $5). 

Hansel Mittens

If you're not on Ravelry, email me (link on the right) and I'll make the arrangements.

I don't sell a lot of patterns, so I'll top up the donations to an amount that I think is suitable.  Haiti needs a lot of help. 

A few more FO's

I seem to be on a roll...

First Beaumont in Dream in Color Starry.  



This was really fun to knit and I confess I am really tickled by the bits of silver in the starry yarn. Usually sparkly=scary Christmas Red Heart but the mix of Dream in Color prettiness and the shiny stuff is perfect.  



I want to make some coordinating mittens but can't find a pattern that suits me.  I'm considering designing my own.

And my favourite finished thing for 2010 (sure I know it's early, but of the 3 this month, I love this the best). The desiccated brains yarn is plied and washed and gorgeous.


 It came out to about 13wpi so about dk which is much bigger than I had planned for.  I have 914m which should make some sort of garment.  I might add a coordinating collar, cuffs and hem or something. 


 The roving is 80 merino/20 sea silk and is really nice and soft.  It doesn't have the ropiness of some of my earlier handspun and I'm glad to see there's some improvement.



Kim dyed the roving for me (so I wouldn't go insane spinning undyed roving).  Go see her handdyed stuff, it's gorgeous.

One Teen

My dad liked to say we were Zero Teen at 10 and One Teen at get the idea.  Today my eldest, Emma, turned One Teen.

She had a non-stop, stay up almost all night, (loosely) Hogwarts themed slumber party last weekend (Xander was conveniently at cub camp) and tonight we opened some gifts and celebrated with powdered donuts (her request, and the same as last year).  Tomorrow it's sushi dinner for the final celebration.  She's loving all of it.

And why shouldn't she?  Her tenth year was fabulous; full of fun exuberance, new adventures, lots of enthusiasm and all the delights of being a kid.  I only hope eleven is more of the same.

That being said, I do find it hard to believe that 11 years just zoomed by and I almost have one teen living in my house.  Thankfully, she's not rushing to be 15 (even if it feels that way to me sometimes).  

Happy Birthday Emma!  Love you Emmy.

Emma's 11th Birthday and all the others

First FO of 2010!

So it took a little longer than a month.  It was worth the wait.  Anhinga is done.



And I love it.

I was a bit worried that it wasn't going to suit me.  It does have that "is this maternity wear?" part in the front. But I don't feel like that how it looks on me (besides I was ginormous when pregnant).  The fit in the shoulders is perfect and the 42" has just the right amount of ease.


 I used Sublime Aran--wool, silk, cashmere and the yarn is squooshy and very nice.  I would use it again--and will, the leftovers are being commissioned into a chullo for Emma.  I used 13 balls rather than the 15 called for (Sublime seems to be a perfect sub for the Berocco merino).



Here's hoping all my knits of 2010 work out this way.

Sweater in a month?

I was *this* close to having a sweater completed in a month.  Started on December 6th, finished January 6th, but I don't think it's going to happen.

It's a bit of a silly goal, since knitting isn't about producing things in record time, but I hit a nice patch of knitting monogamy and was whipping through Anhinga so quickly I wanted to get. it. done.  Of course, I did meander into spinning over my holiday and did other stuff like skating on the lake at the cottage, so it wasn't like I was completely focussed on this sweater.

IMG_3647 IMG_3663

Sunday I started feeling like I was coming down with something but I worked through the tummy troubles and whipped off the last sleeve.  Yesterday, undaunted by more troubles and lack of sleep from the troubles of the night before, I started on the seaming and picked up the neckline.  Twice (for both things).

Here's the rub about knitting deadlines; you start cutting corners to get. it. done.  Today when I'm home from work (or very soon if I don't start feeling better) I'm going to take a critical eye to this sweater and do it right.  That might mean a bit of re-seaming--some of the seams are meant to be seen so they're a bit tricky, or picking up the neck for a 3rd time, but in the end I'll have a sweater that's nice looking and not just something I threw together.

2009 Fibrey Review

Happy New Year!

Here's my 2009 in review, mostly because I like making those photo mosaics.

Finished Objects: 25 (4 woven, 5 knit from handspun, only 3 adult sweaters--a new low for me)

2009 Fibrey Review

Biggest Accomplishment: Finishing the Grey Mist Bohus (also holding the record for my longest WIP.  That's why it has two photos ;) )

Newest Accomplishment: Learning to spin and buying a wheel.  (I've spun 780 yds of yarn, not including the desiccated brains singles)

Spinning 2009

Plans for 2010:

  1. Improve spinning.  I find it hard to make squooshy yarn (I like the squooshy stuff) and to make the weight I'm aiming for.  I suspect practice makes perfect
  2. Knit, spin and weave from stash.  Last year I wasn't as productive as in the past, however, I also didn't purchase anywhere as much yarn.  I have lots of pretty yarn and I want to use it before I buy more.  I'm not completely rigid in this resolution--I will buy if I go to a festival (since that's part of the fun) and I'm all for trading yarn, but I do want to knit what I have as much as possible.
  3. Learn some new weaving techniques.  Those tabby weave scarves are lovely, but I also know there's more I can do (even with my 2 shaft loom) and it's good to stretch myself.