Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Yes, we have no Socks

There are NO socks on my needles. Empty. I decided I was sick of socks at Christmas time & will knit for ME for a while longer! I've bought a new book of patterns to sample!

I went off to the Fibres West show at the Abbotsford Ag-Rec on Friday to see what new & wonderful items were available. I have to report that I had fun, yakked with a lot of people I only see at Fibre events, shared my Fuji apple with the llamas & generally enjoyed myself. I did not enjoy getting to or leaving the event though!! I used the Google directions to get there & Google has NOT been updated in the last year or two & failed to include the changes to the new Mt Lehman interchange. I ended up miles away from where my directions said I should be - but thanx to Karen & her handy dandy mapbook, I made it to the Show on time! All the usual vendors were there as well as a few that I'd only heard about but never seen in the flesh. I fell in love with Arelia's "PAUA" colorway & had to have a bag of the stuff to play with!!
I have to admit though
, I was expecting more Farmers & more small Artisans in the mix. Although it's nice to have all that STUFF all together in one place for my shopping pleasure & I'm pleased to say I took advantage of some of it - I would like to see more of the little guys you never hear about unless they advertise in the Guild newsletter or the local paper. I'd really like to see some of the local fleeces for sale at these events!! Having said that, I slobbered over handpainted rovings in PURPLES & GREYS at Knitopia. I found bags of sock yarns to dye for & looked at every book in every vendor's display. I spent too much money - like I NEED more fibre . . .

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Just a little horsetrading

So I broke part of the body of my car during the nasty weather over Christmas & New Year's. Just to add
insult to injury , it happened one Wednesday nite, in the dark & driving rain while on the way to knit with the girls. I guess the snow plow lifted a big piece of the blacktop with the snow & left a HUGE pothole that spanned the entire lane of the main road. I hit the thing with an awful bang & discovered the break in the body the next day. I guess someone else had broken it some time ago & had it fixed with Bondo because the bracket is broken at the part that bends. My fall into the pothole broke the repair & left the nose swinging free of the fender. Over time, it just got worse as the plastic nose warped away from the headlights as it bounced in the breeze. So before applying duct tape around the fender, through the wheelwell & under the hood, I decided to consult with the fellas at Lordco to see if there was some industrial strength glue or velcro or something to hold the two peices together. Someone suggested I go to a sheetmetal shop & get a bracket made. Apparently I can get a Z bracket or an L bracket made & then I just screw the ends to opposing parts. A customer suggested I try the Fender Shop just down the road. Apparently they have whole nose replacement peices for a couple of hundred dollars. Well, why not???

So I find the Fender Shop on a little side street a half block long between old broken down houses. I see rac
ks & racks of fenders, hear the noise of someone working but can't find a door into the joint. Lucky for me there's a phone number on the sign & I eventually find a nice man who examines my damage. Car's too old he says so you'll have to find someone to make a bracket but it won't be pretty. Who cares, says I, this is a work vehicle & I don't give a damn what it looks like as long as it's safe, sound & runs properly. Hold on he says, I may have a solution. He comes back with a cordless drill & a handful of screws. He drills two holes in the fender & screws two 4" wood screws through the plastic side nose & into the metal inner fender. There he says, nice & neat, if it comes loose, just put a couple more screws into it. He wouldn't take payment unless I wanted to knit a wild scarf for his 12 year old. Sold, said I & the scarf is already on the needles . . . .

And that's the Moss Stitch Blazer under the wild scarf in progress. I tried to take a picture with it on but I couldn't get enough of it into the picture in the mirror with the flash going off. So You'll just have to believe me when I say I wore it yesterday. And I'll wear it tonite when I go knitting. And I may wear it on Friday when I go to the Fibres West in Abbotsford too.

So as soon as I finish the wild scarf - I'm going to get busy with something in the Purple Marble yarn. I tried swatching the pattern for the red Kimono on the front of the Knit Kimono book & I really like the pattern!! I want this one for summer so I want something warmish but still light & cool. The Marble really produces an open pattern so I'm wondering if it might not be a better option than the Indigo Noragi pattern . . . . decisions, decisions . . . .

Monday, March 16, 2009

And What Happened Yesterday??

Did anyone else notice the weird weather yesterday?? I left home in the drizzly early morning hours to open the shop for my Sunday morning customer only to have it turn to snow. By lunch, I was making the food run in white-out conditions! And then the sun came out around 2:00 to dry it all up. I had coffee in the sunshine around 3:30 only to see the hail falling on either side of the shaft of sunlight. Two hours later, it was half rain & half snow before the big winds came up & blew the rain sideways . . . What a day! Someone mentioned they'd actually seen snow in April as a child back in the 50s but other than that, we're usually enjoying early summer this time of year. I want to plant my patio pots!!!

The Moss Stitch Blazer is done except for sewing the cuffs. The side seams are done, the sleeves are sewed together & it fits. I just decided at the last minute to add ribbed cuffs to the sleeves - I like a snug wrist. I'm so happy to be wearing this sweater. I love the raspberry wool & I have tons of it left to knit another sweater!!
As I said before, I've been eyeballing that purple Marble yarn for the next project while knitting the Moss Stitch Blazer. I really think I'm going to do that Noragi Kimono in the purple. It's fast & loose enough for a summer evening wrap - I like the textured yoke & sleeve detail too. Marble is light & washable so it's perfect to drag along anywhere. Yup, I think it's next.

Gad, with all the production going on around here, I may have to get my sewing machine out too. I've fallen in love with the baseball style tee shirt - I've purchased several over the years, even buying one in BROWN which is not a color I normally wear!!! But it's a rosy brown so I'm getting away with it. I think it would even translate into a knitted sweater if I worked at it. I was thinking just the other day that the Bernat Baby yarn would work nicely. Bernat makes a lavender Baby yarn that's a great color on me. It's a slightly rippled yarn which gives it a nice textured look when swatched, it's light & machine wash/dryable. Perfect for a casual knit tee or baseball shirt!! I know, I know, it's acrylic . . . . but it's light!! Good color!! And cheap!! Great for work!! No dye lot!! All of which makes it perfect to experiment with. Really.

The Mother socks are languishing on my favorite skewer needles. I've lost my sock motivation somewhere. I'm not sure if its the color of the yarn or that I've just run out of steam or what. I'm tired of socks. I'm tired of knitting for other people. I can't even get the motivation going for the blue Frankensocks. Maybe it's the knowledge that those size 13 WWWW's are waiting to be knitted that's sucking my motivation away.

Monday, March 09, 2009

Data Entry Hell

It's THAT time of year again! I love it & I hate it. Oh, I love it because the money actually DOES flow in nicely but I have to work my ass off to get it. I finished 13 tax returns on Friday & managed to walk exactly 877 steps all day according to my pedometer. I didn't have time to walk anywhere except to the tea pot in the kitchen & the throne down the hall. Even the cat was disgusted with me. I'm not counting all the work still in boxes & in piles in my office that I haven't had time to get to yet. One thing about it, I'll have money in my bank account & less to pay on the old plastic card when I'm done . . . . .

I tried on the Moss Stitch Blazer this evening. Both arms are just to the elbow & getting longer by the minute - it's gonna be a tough call as to whether I can wear it to the Fibres West dooooo on Saturday. Hopefully I will but that depends on how much knitting time I get between now & then. Nothing like the seat-of-your-pants planning, eh?? I'm going to really enjoy it when it's done though because I love the color & with this weather, even I deserve a good wool jacket! I woke up to blowing snow this morning with -6 windchill, went to work around noon in blazing sunshine & came home in an icy wind with more falling snow!! We used to have spring & wear shorts this time of year!!!!

Got myself a new job today. A client lost her big dark brown St Bernard suddenly this week. He'd been her constant companion since she came to this country & she's devastated. She managed to save a big bag of hair from all the brushing over the last couple of years & wants me to spin it up & knit her some socks. Sigh . . . . Of course I said yes. I'm thinking I can card Nic's hair with some of Arvik's offerings & maybe throw in some silk or mohair for strength. I told her she might be better off with mitts & a hat or scarf but she wants socks. I'll see how much I get - maybe a small shawl to snuggle up in would fit the bill too. Just because Nic was a pretty special pooch.

Friday, March 06, 2009


The Ex just called to tell me he's been in a house fire. Oh shit! That's the retirement fund! I asked if he was okay & he says it's the house NEXT DOOR that burned down. Oh, the PARTY HOUSE?? I ask. Yup, he says. Apparently it caught fire last nite & set the side of his garage on fire. He slept thru the whole thing until the neighbor across the street came & got him out of bed at 3:00AM. But the PARTY HOUSE is gone. Free at last, Free at last! The neighbors are holding a Street Party as soon as the fire crew leave!

According to the Ex, the Fire Department thinks it's Arson. The Neighbors aren't surprised. The house has been red tagged for years but somehow the oriental Management has put on a roof, vinyl siding, remodeled the interior, turned the power on & rented it out to a succession of druggies & party animals who disrupt the neighborhood in the wee hours. The neighbors raise hell with the city, Hydro cuts off the power & the City red tags the house. The Management rips off the tags & rents it out again to even worse people. The fire has removed the problem & left a nice building lot. No one was sorry to see it go.

The Ex intends to sic his insurance company onto the property owner's insurance company for damages. He was so afraid of that house burning down that he put metal roofing on everything & 8' high metal cladding on the fence between his garage & house next door. The city gave him shit for the metal cladded fence & he refused to take it down. The Fire Department says the metal cladding saved the house & garage.
The sky is blue & the grass is froze

And here we go again!! Not a cloud to be seen in that brilliant blue sky & they say snow is on the way for the weekend - I bloody hope not! I have to work all weekend. All I know is that its cold out there baby & my wool sweater isn't finished yet!

I did manage to add a couple mor
e rows to the Moss Stitch Blazer last nite but that's about it. I planned to go knitting with the Gals at Knitopia but I got sidetracked by two small businesses who both needed payrolls done NOW - all the bosses are going to Vegas for the weekend!! Is there a special on???? And then the Techie boys wanted to have coffee & talk business so I didn't get much done. It IS tax time after all . . . .

I did swat
ch the pattern for the Indigo Noragi jacket in the Knit Kimono book. I used the purple Marble yarn for it & I'm thinking it's a winner!! Yeah, yeah, I could've taken a better picture but I have several different patterns on the same big swatch so it isn't as clear as it should be!! I just have to work out the numbers - the jacket is 45" wide & I'm a hellova lot wider! Since the construction is pretty basic, I think I shouldn't have much a of a problem. The only thing to remember in this pattern is which direction your stitches are pointing! It first curves to the left & then back to the right over a 12 stitch pattern & it's easy to forget which way you're going if you don't pay attention. I do like the texture though & it's no harder than the double moss stitch. I know, I know - I shouldn't be swatching for anything until the Moss Stitch Blazer is finished but I'm excited to use the purple Marble yarn that's been looking at me since last April when I bought it to knit myself something nice.

I can't believe it's been sitting there for a whole year - but then, last year was a rollercoaster, emotionally & financially! So this year, I'm trying to get things DONE. For me.

Another one of the KNIT KIMONO patterns I really like is the one on the front - the Komon. It's done in an open knit pattern that looks like crochet. The shape is simple so it should be simple to enlarge - I believe its the old 45" wide again.

And I have a really good excuse for planning the next project so soon - I've been watching the Healthy Brain series on Public TV. One of the ways to keep your brain healthy, the good doctor says, is to work on projects that keep it flexible & learning new things. Jigsaw puzzles, card games, lace knitting, logic problems, painting & bird watching for example, all involve healthy brain activities. The brain has to forge new pathways & remain elastic in order to do such things. The fine doctor who's presenting the program says you should always be planning the next project to keep your brain active. So I'm keeping my brain healthy by swatching for the next sweater . . . . . that's my story & I'm sticking to it!!

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Knitting Diary . . .

So the sno
w's gone, the weather hasn't exactly improved & what am I doing with myself??? Well, besides data entry & shuffling paper, I've been knitting. Yup, knitting. The fronts are done, connected at the shoulders to the back & the collar back is sewed together for my Moss Stitch Blazer. I decided it was too much work to sew the sides together & then sew in sleeves so I just picked up stitches around the armhole - quite a few LESS than the pattern calls for I might add - & intend to knit them to the cuff - much easier in my estimation. I'm knitting them flat & will sew the sides all the way from the cuff to the hem in one fell swoop. One of the problems with the Moss Stitch Blazer is that its basically a rectangle with little shaping. The shoulders are too wide - you only cast off 6 stitches for the armhole!!!! & there's too much fabric at the top of the sleeve. So, I was kind of redesigning it as I went along. When I knit the next incarnation, I'll deepen the armholes & narrow the shoulders because I really do like this sweater. And I'll be wearing this one to the Fibres West shopping spree er show.

I've been wondering what to do with all that Briggs & Little Anniversary Twist yarn I bought with the intention of knitting a second Wonderful Wallaby for my former BT. The price was so good that I bought a LOT!! Could this be another
case of the Boyfriend Sweater Curse??? Heh, I was only THINKING about it!! LOL Anyway, I bought enough to knit at least one more big adult & maybe a small kid's version as well. And that got me thinking . . . . I love the Wallaby & would really like a hoodie for myself but the design seems only to enhance my broad expanse of Boob & Belly. So maybe the answer is to do a zip hoodie or add some vertical interest. I have to think about it - don't want cables - maybe the answer is to do a seed or moss stitch border up the front . . . .

And then, there's the wonderful variegated purple Marble yarn I bought for myself - it would make a nice Kimono style sweater for the summer - I bought the KNIT KIMONO book & have fallen in love with a couple of the designs.
My Favorite is the Indigo Noragi which is knit in four pieces - a yoke, a lower back & two fronts. The yoke is textured & folds to become the
sleeves & the top of the back & front. The fronts & lower back are simple stockinette. I love the simplicity of it's shape.
Another one I love is the Komon which is pictured on the front - this is the reason I bought the book!!! The simple open lace pattern really appeals to me as a summer sweater.
The pattern in the Fan Kimono is wonderful too but I'd have to make the sleeves a lot smaller for it to be functional in my world. Good thing it's knit in one piece so they can easily be adjusted!!
My final favorite is the Water & Sky kimono. It has a more western style to the shape & a lovely variegated or textured yarn such as the Marble might work with this one nicely.
Since I only have to knit socks for a couple of peo
ple right now & I'm also committed to children's sweaters for charity, I think this year I'll just knit mostly for me for a change.