Monday, April 27, 2009

Wheeeeeeze . . .

Yeah, it's tax return HELL around here. Season of blooming trees & paper dust. Just call me Sneezy, Snuffly or
Hack. And knitting with Briggs & Little yarn doesn't help, neither!! Oh, yeah, I've come to love the Heritage yarn I'm using - the Anniversary Blue is really nice & seems to look great on just about everyone - but it puts fibres into the air as you knit!!! And it's dusty too. I never realized that before, but if you sit in a ray of sunshine & knit with it, you'd be shocked at the STUFF you send into the air! Another good reason to spin your own yarn, I guess. But who really has the time to spin everything you want to knit??? Not me. Not in this life unless I win the Lotto or get back 30 years . . . .

So, I'm working on a nice plain cardigan in stockinet with garter borders, from the bottom up in one piece, to the arm
holes. In the B&L. I haven't decided whether it will get a hood or just a big collar yet but there's lots of time for that. In case you haven't noticed, the evenings are still COLD! And I had FROST on my car Sunday morning! The frost won't be around once this sweater is done but I'm knitting it anyway! The goal is to have a Just Hanging Around sweater that can be thrown on to go for coffee or to pick up a plant. Since I drive, I want something warm but flexible. This is the last picture I took for the record. I really need a project to take with me when the Techie Boys haul me out for coffee most evenings. So, this morning when I laid the Sweater-in-Progress on the couch to take it's picture for posterity - I'm about 2/3 of the way to the armholes - the nasty orange cat pounced on the nice new bed & got there before I even snapped the pic!! Yes, I have one of the sweater with the orange blur as she pounced!!! And now it looks like my chip reader has died & I have transferred my last picture for now. Drat.

I finished the blue Frankensocks. I do swear that wild socks knit faster!! And Frankensocks knit up the fastest of all. I think it has something to do with the whole adventure. I made these ones long socks instead of the usual short summer socks. I think I was just having too much fun designing them as I went. Hopefully, the recipient-to-be will not be too anal to wear them since they ARE related but are a little more like cousins than brothers although they are mostly blue as requested. Lucky for me, I took this picture yesterday when the chip reader felt like transfering the picture!!

Arvik is really on the needles.
But, you can't just pick up a couple extra ball
s of yarn at the local shop when you're spinning your own! I have to dig out the fleeces, spin up several ounces, skein it, wash it & only then can I knit up the balance of the sweater. But, I will finish it this summer when It gets warm enough outside to dry the skeins & the paperwork is mostly gone. Right now, I just want dumb knitting. As of this report, Arvik has both sleeves finished to just above the cuff & the body is almost long enough . . . I'm still contemplating using those neat Ladybug buttons I got at Walmart last year too.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

The Gang Goes to Cache Creek

I looked in the mirror the other day & wondered how I got to be 58. It all happened so fast. So before I died of old age, I gave myself a birthday present & ran off to Cache Creek for the weekend in the middle of TAX SEASON! My Techie bud came & fed the cat & scooped the litter box a couple times a day while I laid about, got fed three times a day & did nothing but be totally immersed in fibre. Gail drove while Karen & I got to knit, nap or watch the scenery! We stopped along the way to have a bag lunch at a picnic spot in the Canyon & they surprised me with a felted Denise needle bag, a bottle of wine for my collection & a muffin with a candle that refused to stay lit!!! Did I say it was WINDY out there??? Not bad eh?? We laughed & laughed till the wind blew us back into the truck & out of there.

Karen & I got to room together again & Gail was off with Lynne, our travelling Socklady who comes in from the back of beyond just to spin & hang out. Although the wind was still blowing, the weather was bright & sunny which gave us a wonderful view of the bluffs on the southeast side of the big meeting room. With warm days & cold nights, we were content to stay indoors & some people were spinning in pyjamas shortly after supper. I didn't even get dressed till noon on Sunday!!!

I managed to finish spinning the superwash sock roving I bought over a y
ear ago! And I also spun up quite a bit of the bossy neon pink roving that I bought to go with it. Although I spun that neon pink finely, it was not fine enough to use it with the pink/blue/purple sock roving. When I twist the two together, the bossy neon pink takes over. Since I have a lot of it, I'm going to try spinning it a lot finer & see if it makes a difference. If it still takes over, it will be combined with something else that needs some brightening - who knows, it may wind up with some Romney roving I have tucked away in a box.

And what did I buy?? Well, not much really. I had most of the books that were on sale & none of the ones I wanted to see were there. Since I couldn't remember which one I ordered with my credit from Amazon, I was afraid to buy anything in case I was buying the same book again - I'm sure it goes with being 58 . . . . . but I did buy a package of Black Rainbow Glitter from Aurelia. It's so lovely in the sample - totally black with just a shimmer of acid green, yellow, turquoise or silver in there. The glitter they now use is very soft & pliable, thank gawd. I remember some wonderful fibre I bought several years ago with that awful stiff & nasty glitter that has to be picked out!!! I got a small package of Wisteria to try - it's another shade of purple with blue in it that I thought might go with something else I had.

Show & Tell was great fun! We saw a lot of lace shawls & scarves - lace is really
popular!! Wild socks & Tushie Cushies also made an appearance. And tons of funky yarns - our old pal Guddie is always FUNKY!! Not only did she wear a vest of ZIPPERS but she spun up other scrap yarns & fabric into thicker yarn for knitting & weaving. I dragged in my Danish Working Shawl that I made last year. That rotten Socklady gave me the gears about Arvik which is still only HALF finished & I had to confess to everyone!! Bill & Vivienne made it even though Vivienne was very ill. Bill still managed to check out the wheels while Viv was able to spin for a few hours. She was wearing the neatest sweater & I had to go over & check it out. Vivienne knit a simple cardigan out of multicolored handspun in blobs of color but the sleeves were knit in the round in stripes of the same colors. The ribbing was all in striped colors to match. Vivienne reported she still has 4 chemo sessions to go & hopes to continue spinning & knitting thru them all. One of our hostesses, Sheila Kirk, gifted our travelling SockLady Lynne with one of her handspun shawls. I believe it was silk & alpaca - a lot of people knew but kept the secret rather well, I think!

We all got doorprizes of a sheep keychain with wild eyes - I think HE was into the Bailey's - in a keepsake tin! And I got a nice wooly Aries Ram in the Door Prize draw.

Had a good time - the girls report I'm more fun these days now that my stress levels are down. I really don't know what they're talking about!! Even I've noticed that I'm a lot happier these days but I thought that was just MY personal opinion. Apparently I've been rather sour & contankerous for some time! I had no idea that losing 240 pounds of expensive fat would make that much of a difference . . . .

Monday, April 13, 2009

Its all over . . .

The Sockblock is gone. I pulled out the leftover box - well, leftover BOXES & two bags that is - on the week
end & started to knit a pair of "Frankensocks". I dug out all the yarns with blue in them - I have quite a lot of them - & just started knitting! And knitting. And knitting. Last night I turned the heel in one sock & am about to do the same with the other. Now, these are Fraternal socks. I'm just not anal enough to match up yarns on both socks! Some leftovers were only large enough for a narrow stripe on one sock while other bits were large enough to probably do the whole foot but I just knit them all till I grew tired of them & then found another. Some yarns are repeated on both socks but mostly they aren't or at least not in the same place. I love socks.

Update - the heels are turned on both of the Frankensocks! Once I got started, I just couldn't stop! I still say that wild socks knit up faster!

And on the left?? Oh, just a bit of fluffy foolishness 3" wide by 62" long. Bought two balls of yarn to knit something totally useless but fun. Not sure if this will be for a kid or an adult yet but I'm sure it will still be FUN.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Up to my Ass in paper

Lately I've bee
n thinking about the "paperless" office. What a concept! No dust, no shredded bits laying on the floor, no bulging sacks of reject paper. It's an occupational hazard this time of year . . . I'm sure the dust in the air represents a health hazard as well!! When I processed returns in the CRA factory one year, I wondered out loud what kind of toxic hazard it represented in the windowless, crowded, security basement. Amazingly, fans appeared, loading bay doors opened & our persistent coughing & sniffling decreased. Really makes you wonder, doesn't it???
Once upon a ti
me I thought I could save the shreds for something crafty but that fell by the wayside when I got involved with natural fibres! Although I've been following the Damselfly's adventures in knitting with paper yarn - I sure don't have the patience for that! And the paper accumulates. I now have two orange leaf bags of shredded & leftover paper. What to do, oh what to do??? I may just spend part of the summer manufacturing handmade paper or paper mache this year - not as durable as clay but still good for pots & decorative vessels. Yarn & paper together! Hmmmm.

I'm looking forward to blowing the dust off the spinning wheel later this month at the Spring Retreat in Cache Creek, too. I've given myself this trip as a Birthday present - 58 big ones on the 16th!! - even though it's in the middle of the busiest time of the year for me. I NEED a break. I haven't spun anything since last summer! After the Fall from Hell & the subsequent split with the BT, I didn't do anything but knit for a while, instead of making yarn. I bought some lovely wild super wash roving in hot pinks & blues from Knitopia last spring for socks - & spotted that wild neon pink to go with it!!! And, Yeah, that's some of it at the very top on the spinning wheel!!

And there's that g
orgeous handpainted roving in purples & grey that I got at Knitopia which I intend to take with me to spin. I have fibre I bought years ago that I haven't had time to spin. This summer, I intend to spin a whole lot more of it.

In the meantime, I've started another sweater for myself - in WOOL. Oh
yeah . . . but I have all that Briggs & Little Anniversary yarn I bought to knit hoodies. Since the BT is no longer getting one, I have tons of yarn left over. So, I'd like a hoodie but decided I'd use a cardigan more often. I didn't want ribbing at the bottom like every other sweater either so I thought some side vents would make a nice change. So I made the back & two fronts separate for the first 6 inches with 2 inches of garter edging & 2 inches of garter up the fronts & on each side of the vents. Last nite I put all three pieces on one cable so I could knit the whole thing in one piece to the armholes. I'm carrying the garter up the fronts but have ended it about 3 inches above the two side vents. I'm planning on making the armholes quite deep & doing a Moss stitch on the front yokes. I don't know how it will close yet, I'll think about that when it's done! This is just a Free Form knit at the moment!!

I reported I bought MORE YARN at the Knitopia Garage Sa
le. Well, it was a practical purchase. Honest!! I'm not yet sure what the Eton yarn will become but I have enough to make just about anything. I originally bought 20 balls of the Eton in a light blue to knit a sweater for the BT. He decided he wanted a V-neck sweater instead of the round yoked sweater I'd originally planned so it never got started. Good thing. So I bought a few more balls in the same dye lot and a couple in navy for contrast so I have enough to make something for me. A knit Kimono perhaps???

And I'm seriously thinking of an Adult Surprise Jacket with the Briggs & Little Regal & Heritage I scored for $2 a skein - too good to pass up! I have the pattern & it's easy to knit so I bought all the shades of BLUE - figured I could also use some of the Anniversary yarn with it too. And I want to buy one or two skeins of RED for a surprise touch, LOL! I will be warm for the next winter!!

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Happy April Fools Day!

When I got up this morning, it was snowing. Isn't this supposed to be SPRING?? Flowers, bees, little birds, cut offs & tees??? Not Snow! Is this a global warming joke?? Is David Suzuki having one on us??? It's hard to believe the Global Warming Doomsayers when it's snowing o
n April 1st.

In deference to the temperature, I've started another WOOL sweater. I have tons of the Briggs & Little Anniversary BLUE yarn so I thought I'd might as well knit my
self another sweater. ME ME ME!!!! It's all about ME. Gawd I'm turning into a greedy Domiknitrix lately, aren't I??? I'd like a Wonderful Wallaby but I don't think it would be terribly flattering to my menopausal protruding stomach. I've fallen for a cabled & moss stitched cardigan in the new Arans & Celtics book I bought but I think its a little too fussy for the aforementioned protuberance so I've decided to knit a sweater in the style of the Celtic cardigan with a plain stockinette back, side vents & a cable up the front with a moss stitch yoke. Sounds complicated?? Nahhh . . . . I think the moss stitch will also go up the fronts with a cable on either side - at least thats the current plan. I'll pick up the sleeve stitches & knit them down to the cuff after I finish the body. I'm using garter stitch on the hems, vents & sleeve bottoms.
I was trying out a ca
ble pattern from one of my old Knitter's magazines without success - some of the pattern is missing! But, I believe I can recreate something similar. The cable has a plain & two fancy stitch branches - it's so gorgeous as it marches up the front of an otherwise plain jane sweater!! I think it would be a wonderfully elegant addition to the plain Wallaby!
Soooooo many ideas & so little time . . . . . .

Was looking at the Sock Summit website - I soooooo wish I could go but an elderly cat & finances keep me at home. All I can give is my support, SOB. I suppose I could kill the cat but unless I win
the lottery or someone dies & leaves me money, I'm stuck at home anyway. The best I can do is a weekend Retreat this year. And I suppose the money I save by NOT going will buy a lot of sock yarn. Speaking of socks - I'm down to the toe shaping on the socks that I started in January for my mom. I have no idea why these are taking so long - sock block??? All I know is that I will be soooooo glad to have them finished & off my favorite bamboo skewer needles!!! I have some purple yarn on hold at Knitopia that I want to knit up into Summer Socks for ME.