Thursday, February 26, 2009

What was THAT???

I looked out the workroom window yesterday to SNOW. I couldn't believe my eyes! Huge chunks, the size of coffee cups were falling out of the sky. Now I'd heard there was a snow warning for the mountain passes & HIGHER elevations - read North Shore Mountains - but nothing for us in town. Then it started coming down. And here I was, on the weekend, pruning bushes, pulling dead tops & generally grubbing in the ground & thinking about planting pole beans!!! If the fuchsias survived winter in the box against the house, this last blast will surely do them in since I watered the ferns in the dry dry box . . . .

The Wednesday Nite Nitters called back & forth about the snow & in the end, decided to go Knitting anyway since the snow had stopped, the roads were wet & we just damnwell wanted to knit! Three hours later, we came out to snow covered roads - we didn't realize the snow had continued to fall & the smart people left at 9:00! Yeah, I slid around a corner or two, had a small fright at an intersection when someone else couldn't stop & realized the smart people had stayed home!!! Looking out the window this morning isn't an improvement. While it
isn't snowing - YET, the sky is that leaden grey that says "I'm gonna shit all over you" if you venture out. The roads are icy, I have two payrolls to do & I need to head to Langley. I really, really don't want to go out there today.

Still knitting as fast as I can on my Moss Stitch Blazer. Got the second front just about to the armhole decrease. I can see I'll be needing it if this weather keeps up.

I was in the Garn Studio site the other day & they have the Spring & Sum
mer patterns up already. I found a pattern in the Fall collection that I really like though - its Drops 112-28. It's a scoop neck, three quarter sleeve, front button jacket knit in a bulkier yarn - they recommend ICE - which I've never seen! So, the gauge is 11 x 15 to get 4" on 8mm needles. I'll have to swatch it but it may be a candidate for the Marble yarn I already have - see last blog for the swatch. I think the Briggs & Little is too fine as a single & too heavy doubled. But, who knows. If winter hangs around, I may end up with an indian sweater!!

Saturday, February 21, 2009

The sky is blue, the grass is riz . . .

The weather has been maaaavelous lately dahhling! The sky is blue, the sun is out . . . I actually got a bit of a GLOW the other day - you can see it when I take off my sunglasses or bracelet
! I do believe Spring is on the way. 'Bout time, I say. I guess this is as good a time as any to finish a wool sweater . . . .

My Moss Stitch Blazer is actually coming along nicely. I've finished the first front & will be casting on the second one today sometime. And I may just be wearing this item in the next month or two. Since I still have several pairs of socks to knit & tax season has arrived, I can't devote all my time to it. But, I've discovered once again how much I really do like this sweater/jacket/blazer. I think it's one of the few designs in the old Big Knits books that actually looks great, fits well & is easy to make. There's little shaping but since this sweater is designed to roll softly from neck to hem in the front without fastenings, it doesn't matter. I can see where the armholes could be made higher & narrower for a closer fit too. But, all in all, this one's a keeper.

I've even swatched the double Moss stitch in the Briggs & Little yarn I used for the Carpenter Wonderful Wallaby & the wonderful purple Marble yarn. Who knows, I may get ambitious & knit a couple of these. I think the slightly variegated Marble would make a nice summer sweater.

Still plodding along on socks from the Ugly Yarn basket. Funny how they tend to go slower than the ones in exciting or unknown yarn . . . I've almost finished the second pair for my mom who complains about
cold feet. I'm thinking of trying out a pair of toe-up socks for the next pair - oh, just because I'm tired of the same old, same old . . . I was looking thru Knitty & found an article on a Magic Cast-On for Toe-Up Socks by Judy Becker. Looks interesting so I might just try it out. Judy's using this for socks on circs but it should be even easier on 4 DPs!! The Toe-Up sock may be easier for the size 13 ex-husband canal barges I have to cover - at least for the first pair- till I learn how big they actually need to be. It's been many years since I knit him a pair.

And I couldn't help myself. I started playing with the leftover sock yarns I have laying
about the place. I need to make Frankensocks in blues. I have a LOT of blue left overs. I have bags, one plastic bin & a brown box with a lid - full of leftovers! And then there's that bag of single balls . . . so I started playing one day. This is actually Navy & there is blue in this yarn, a wide band of it in a slate color at the very top where the needle is. It's a lot more exciting in person of course but I think I'll dig out all the blues, throw them in one big bag & just knit these socks as the balls come out. I can't wait to see how they turn out in the end.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Trying to knit

I woke up the other morning with my left thumb knuckle swollen, hot & "take your breath away" painful. I spent the day soaking it in hot water whenever possible & wishing for more fingerless gloves - with a stiff barrier around the thumb so it wouldn't get touched!!! Do you KNOW how many times a day you NEED that thumb???? I do. So much for my knitting time!

I decided I need a sweater - NOW! So I dug out Arvik & have been knitting like mad to finish it. Got the sleeves almost long enough & then discovered I don't have enough spun yarn to finish the body! How did that happen???? I guess when I made the sweater a little bigger & put the seed stitch border on it, I forgot that seed stitch takes a lot more yarn than a little garter ribbing. sigh . . . And I'm not happy with the sleeve - which you can't see - that's almost half grey & half black. I think I'll frog it back to the grey & use the black in the body where it won't be such a big block of color. Will Arvik ever get finished - yes. In my lifetime?? Dunno. Maybe I'm trying too hard, maybe I should just make the sleeves shorter & JUST GET IT DONE. Maybe it should have some LACE so it needs less yarn.

I don't want to work on Ginny! With Spring coming, it will be too warm to
wear!! the Scheepsjwol Luzerne is a winter yarn. So I dug in the basket & found the Moss Stitch Blazer by Dawn French & Sylvie Soudan that I started eons ago in the Fuchsia Dalesman wool from Birkland Brothers. I bought several skeins each time I went to the store or saw them at the Fibre Fest because it was old stock in colors that couldn't be duplicated. And I bought a LOT of skeins! I found a complete back & two pockets but, I'd never finished the rest. Now, my favorite, ratty old sweater is in the same color & pattern but in acrylic. I've loved it for years & still got compliments until it became so ratty I couldn't wear it in public anymore. I still curl up in that sweater when I'm cold at home. The color in this picture is pretty close to the actual color of the yarn for a change too!!! The cat can't have it until I find something else to wear!!!
So, having made the decision, I cast on for the right front. And I'm knitting as fast as I can. I think this will make a wonderful spring sweater until I can get some more shetland spun up to finish the Arvik sweater.

I even swatched the Briggs & Little Anniversary yarn that I bought for the
Carpenter Sweater in the Moss stitch pattern. I think I really like it as well. I was going to knit myself one the Wonderful Wallaby sweaters but again, the Wallaby is really a winter sweater - especially in the heavy B&L. But, the Moss Stitch Blazer has an open front & can be worn as a jacket & might be okay for spring & fall wear. Have to think about it some more - I still have a LOT of the B&L in the Anniversary Blue yarn. Maybe I'll actually get a couple of sweaters for myself this year!!

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Ta Da . . . .

I got them finished! For some reason my camera hates this sock pattern & refuses to take a picture that doesn't look blurry! I've taken at least 6 pictures of these socks & none of them is terrific! Dunno what the problems is but I'm not taking any more.

I found the nice slatey blue for the toes in the left-overs bag of goodies that will eventually become more Frankensocks. I think it goes rather nicely with the eye watering pattern on these socks. I know you love it Gail, but my camera & I really don't!!

I got 30 pounds of Moose & Bison meat given to me the other day. I had to do a quarterly GST return for a guy who isn't exactly literate but pays me when the work is done. This time he paid me in MEAT. Most of it's steaks so I'm heading out to the Hairdresser to get my permed mop trimmed a litte & I think I'll pay her in Moose steaks . . .

Sunday, February 01, 2009

I spoke too soon!!

I got up this AM to more of the white stuff falling from the sky! Unbelievable! And here I was so sure spring was on the way that I pruned back the clematis the other day & found sprouts on it already.
Why did I prune
the clematis you ask?? Well, the first year I got it, it had been languishing in a plastic bag in the side yard of an elderly couple's yard for several months & trying to bloom. They decided to plant roses where the glorious clematis once lived but couldn't throw it out. No one had come to get it so it got tossed into my van one day when I left it unlocked in the drive. Their son said of course I'd take it. So I pruned it hard & let it come up again. The first year I had blooms the size of bread plates. The second year they were smaller but more numerous. Last year, they were few, spindly & small. So, I pruned it back hard again this year. Hopefully, they will come back strong & beautiful after I toss in a little well rotted manure to keep them happy.

So besides gardening, what's been going on? Well, not much. Tax season is rapidly approaching so I've been filling cartridges, buying paper & clearing out the stuff still on the desk. I've even had a chance to look at the Lap Top I've repossessed. Once. I may fill it with Audio Books & my music when I learn how to operate Vista. And I started a new pair of socks.

My mother, to whom I talk once a month or so now, said her feet are always cold these days. Well, she is 75 this year . . . I decided I should knit her some socks since everyone else around here except the Ex has them . . . . and knowing she likes the darker hues, I bought some extra balls in the discount bin at Knitopia. One of the colors was mostly white with some rusty orange & a little blue in it. A little strange, I thought, but it's in the SALE bin so what the hell! And this is what I got when I started to knit. Kind of interesting, eh?? The orange is a little weird in the mix of light blue, white & a little hint of blueish purple, but I think she'll like it okay. I'm knitting this on my fav handmade - by me - bamboo skewers, in size 2.5mm. Mom needs a looser fit for her big calves & ankles that swell so I've used 72 stitches & I'll use the Queen Kahuna heel of course. I have a blue stripey pair left over from Christmas done on the same needles which should fit my mother & I'll probably knit one more pair before sending them off. Three pairs should keep her warm for a while & give me time to knit a couple of pairs for the Ex in the next few months. HIS socks will be a challenge.

So I've turned the heels on both of the socks for the "Special Someone" socks. Since I'm not absolutely sure of the
size, I'm making them a Ladies Large & they can be thrown into the dryer to shrink them a little if necessary. If there's something good on tv tonite, I'm hoping to have them finished or ready to finish tomorrow. I think they'll get dark blue toes!! It seems that no matter HOW I photograph these socks, they always look a little blurry! Dunno why. Maybe they'll turn out better when I can photograph them OUTSIDE.