Tuesday, June 26, 2012

In Front of the Tube

While I was watching Dick Proenneke build his log cabin in 'One Man's Wilderness' for the 14th time on PBS last night - I love that show by the way!!! - I was trying out the pattern for the 10 Stitch Blanket. Yeah, I was supposed to be working on the Poncho Pullover from Cabin Fever but I misplaced the pattern & had to do something in front of the tube! Apparently no one, including me, wants to crochet or sew All Those Squares into blankets. I don't mind knitting or crocheting but GAD, I hate the sewing together!!!

I thought maybe, it might be faster to just do something else with them. Like the 10 Stitch Blanket. I mean, how tough could it be - it's only 10 stitches, right???!! Well - I'm not sure I like the damned thing at this moment. It's only 10 stitches but the corners are made with short rows. Those nasty l
ittle wrap & turn short rows which aren't exactly like the ones I learned to do for my sock heels. These ones leave holes if you aren't careful, mine don't. I lost count several times while watching Dick make perfect notched logs, wooden hinges & burl bowls. This was supposed to be simple, mindless knitting but I'm having problems with it!
I think I'll try the short row method I use on socks - just knit to the stitch before, turn, slip the fi
rst stitch & purl back. When taking them up, knit to the stitch before, pick up the loop at the base of the next stitch & knit together with the stitch before. No holes. Easy. Easy to see, easy to do. Simple. And I don't like the way the damned pattern says to pick up the stitches on the side to join the pieces together neither! Maybe I should just re-design the whole thing . . . .

Sunday, June 24, 2012

A Whole Lot of Nothing Going On

I traded an unused coffee maker for a shredder today! I had two 12 cup coffee makers. A friend also gave me a one-cup coffee maker. Today, I traded one of the 12 cuppers for a shredder. I have a light weight shredder that sits on the top of a "Bag Buddy" with a clear leaf bag underneath but it can only take two or three pages at a time & craps out after a few minutes because it overheats. My new one will take lots of pages, turns them into confetti & goes until the bottom fills up! Progress! Since I drink tea & try to work in a home office, a second shredder makes more sense than another big coffee maker . . .

Gad, the sun is actually p
eaking out! I know it's supposed to be summer & the ferns seems to agree, but it also seems to rain more than it shines lately. My motorcycle students were drowned last weekend & most of the week as well. This Saturday's class was surprised by sunshine until around 4:30 when the weather alarm on my desktop turned RED & started flashing a Storm Warning. The sky had suddenly turned black & we could hear the distant thunder. I packed up the office & ran out the door to avoid getting caught in the downpour on the way home but the students were already getting soaked as they threw on rain gear once more. Just another soggy Summer Saturday. The Fraser River is overflowing it's banks, people are being flooded out & we need more water like a Fish needs a Crochet hook! My little house by the banks of the Fraser is safe & sound in all this flooding this year because Translink(our transportation/road authority) has - in it's wisdom - been building a new Perimeter Road Freeway from the deep water port to our south along the River to it's new Toll Bridge. There's an 8' high dyke with the road on top from the Port to the bridge. Thank you for something effective at last, Translink!!

But, seriously, I'm beginning to wonder
if I should bother with Summer knitting at all. Most of the time I'm in wool socks, long pants & a sweater. So, I went back to work on my Poncho Pullove
r. It's the Cabin Fever sweater I chose to knit in the assorted collection of Blue skeins of Briggs & Little Wool I bought on sale at Knitopia in White Rock. It's knit from the top down with increases down the front, back & arms to make the poncho shape. And I'm ready to divide it for body & arms. I made it a little larger than I actually need because I intent to soak it in the washing machine & toss it into the dryer to FULL it a bit. I don't want to shrink it but just 'finish' it enough to keep it flexible but keep the wind from blowing through. I did up a large swatch & threw it in the dryer with some other stuff for a few minutes to see what would happen. I loved the fabric that came out!! So I'm going to throw in the whole sweater when the time comes . . . . If the worst happens, well, I can always use another knitting bag.

No new socks on the needles right now since I've also been trying to knit that Indian Vest for my Ex. The back it now almost to the armholes - can't do any more until I measure it on him & take a couple of other measurements. My hands can sure use the break. In the meantime, I have to admit I've been trying to see if I can somehow make the stretch lace pink socks that Linda sent in the goody box work. I picked up all the stitches & have been wondering if I can pick one sock back to give me enough yarn to finish both toes. The completed foot is quite long & very stretchy. Since toes don't need patterns, I think it might work out just fine. I just have to TINK not FROG to keep the pattern intact! So much better than knitting from scratch!!!

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Is it almost over???

I don't know where the week went, never mind the weekend! It's been busy as hell as usual around here but a couple of things were accomplished. And a couple of things went by the wayside . . . I rescued a couple of beaten up hanging baskets left over from Mother's Day last month. I brought them home, pruned them back, soaked them & eased them into the sunlight. They were finally looking really good when someone snuck up & stole them in the middle of the night on Saturday night. My guess is that they were nicked for the perpetual garage sale at the end of the alley. New seedy looking guys have taken over & street people pushing buggies are suddenly converging on the place. Could it be the 'Free Water' & 'Free Buggy Parking' signs on the fence??

I'm about a third of the way up the back of my Indian Vest for the Ex. Knitting with this heavy wool & large needles has caused my previously injured left wrist to hurt like hell. I thought I was all healed up but apparently I was wrong. I'll have to admit, the Siwash Wool is nice, there's a lot of oils left in the wool so it feels good when knitted up but the process is a killer! I may be crocheting those slippers instead of knitting them.

Haven't dug out the spinning wheel as yet but I've been working on my Poncho Pullover. The weather's been more like January instead of June lately so I thought I might need it!! I'm still working 4 days a week for the Motorcycle School. My replacement was stolen by the Boss! But, we'll have some fun again while the Boss is away on Mondays. I guess I might as well work if there's no sunshine . . . .

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Sunday Again

Here I am pounding on the keyboard in my jammies once again on a sunny Sunday afternoon. Well, sort of sunny that is . . . but not raining like it has been all week, that's for sure!
The poor motorcycle DaySchool students were drowned all week but I'm hoping for a sunny Monday finish to brighten their experience. And mine too, I hope. Again, I'm working the Monday but all is not lost. I've finished the orange & brown Kroy socks!!! Yes, for MY feet! I'm so excited. Since I have no one around to photograph them on my feet - I've tried & they always look stupid upsidedown - I've laid them across my keyboard & you'll just have to imagine them on my tootsies.

And I've even cast on for the Indian Vest for the Ex. Gawd, I'd forgotten how awful it is to knit with BIG yarn & big needles - you get spoiled with 2.5mm needles & THEY'RE big for socks!! I'm using a 6m
m for the ribbing & a 7.5mm for the body! I'm also using the SIWASH carded wool - made in Canada by Spinrite Yarns Ltd. I remember this company from the 70s - I used to buy huge rounds of single or double strand wool by the pound!! The wool is soft & only a little scratchy but turns out to be soft & snuggly when knitted. I have 6, 200 gm rounds of Siwash & several rounds of Cowichan in the same color so I'm sure to get a nice warm vest for his nibs out of this! The color is a little off as usual - it's more of a warm pinky tan instead of this yellowish hue. I was gonna knit it up in one piece to the armholes since I hate to sew things together but it's so heavy that I thought I'd spare my hands & wrists the pain. And sewing the side seams will stop it from stretching as he wears it too. I do want him to like it & wear it.

Tuesday, June 05, 2012

Nose to the Grindstone

Still working 6 days a week & trying to fit everything in my office into Sunday or evenings but I seem to be making some headway. Thank god for filing online although you can't file some forms after midnight!! My little buddy Bryan will be sharing Mondays with me after this week - he'll work them unless his bus supervisor calls him in for work. I can't wait since I could really use the extra day to clean up some of the backlog in the office.

No spinning going on but I broke out the old knitting needles the other day to finish up the project which got shoved into a corner of the car. There's nothing like a new pair of socks to get the juices going again!! TADA - one sock down & one at the heel shaping. In case I didn't mention it, the yarn is Kroy & it knits up a little thicker than most sock yarns so I'm using my bamboo skewer 2.5mm needles made by Moi with a little elbow grease & fine sandpaper! I love these needles because they're extra long - stitches don't fall off in the bag - and they're so delightfully bendable. Yes, bendable but not breakable. Haven't broken one yet although I have another 92 in the package to replace them.

The Cowichan vest is next. My Ex says he isn't as cold these days & seems to be wearing a layer less than usual. But, it won't be long till he's cold again so I thought I'd get it done while I can work with it outside. I'm sure I have enough of the better quality 'Cowichan' wool for his vest but it still sheds a little because it's pretty old. The 'White Buffalo' is really dry & I don't understand how we survived when it was so popular! It sheds huge amounts of little dry fibres into the air as I knit and they make me wheeze! I'm hoping to spend the rest of the summer using up the crappy White Buffalo for slippers for the donation bin. I really like the idea of using it up for nice warm slippers - AND getting it out of MY basement where it takes up a lot of space!!!

Just a little peek at a tasty little sweater I found on Ravelry. It's so simple but I just love the seed stitch design that gives it that pseudo shaping! What a clever idea - so clever that I bought it!! It's name is Shiraz.