Wednesday, September 29, 2004

Here a swatch, there a swatch ...

... everywhere a swatch, swatch. Ole MacDonald had a swatch, e eye, e eye, oh! On the left - Confetti and on the right - Opal. Who's that in the middle, you ask? That, my friends, is Mr. Troll. He is my puppies' fave toy. Posted by Hello

Never mind the sock swatches, have you folks read Yarn Harlot today? If not, get thee over to her blog toute suite. Go see the beautiful, stupendous, not-to-be missed thrummed mittens. Go. Now.

Tuesday, September 28, 2004

Fringeless Loretta

Here she is, fresh from the needles. Once the fringe is installed, I will model it. Don't hold your breath though. I don't foresee a fringing party any earlier than the weekend. Do you like the v pattern? I'm very pleased with it. Truth be told, I'm astounded at the way something made on a circular needle could turn out v-shaped like that. (Oh stop snickering, I'm just a newbie knitter, after all. Cut me some slack, eh!) Posted by Hello

Thank you all for your support and empathy on my encounter with the knit gods. I'm still in hiding from them, so the yarn and needles for the "you know what" shawl are hidden away. For my next trick, I'll swatch some sock yarn. ( ... do you think I'm kidding ....?)

By the way, I've got a shout out for someone.

"Good Morning Dorothy! Nice to see you are up and around. Did you get your blog made last night? Boy that coffee smells good. Enjoy your day!"

Monday, September 27, 2004

The Knit Gods are Angry

Posted by Hello

Sigh. The Flower Basket Shawl has been ripped from the needles. I got myself into a real mess, starting with an incorrect number of stitches for the pattern and ending with an even more incorrect number of stitches, a knot and some funky twisted stitches in the middle of a tinked back row. Of course, I was working without a life line (just 3 more rows to finish a pattern repeat, then I was going to put in a life line. Sigh.) Whatever I did to deserve this, I'm sorry.

Will do my time in purgatory by continuing to knit the (seemingly) endless Loretta Lynn poncho or the kindergarten level French Market Bag. When the Gods' attention is diverted I will try the FBS again. As you are my witnesses - that is my solemn vow.

Did you say Advent Calendar? As in Christmas?

Good Day folks. We are coming to you live from Mrs R.'s quilt studio (oh alright, "quilt studio" may be overstating it. More like her spare bedroom that's being used for quilting and other stuff).

Q. Mrs R, Mrs R, rumour has it that you're working on a small quilt for the local Christmas fundraiser for the IWK Grace Children's Hospital. What can you tell us about this?

A. Ahem, is this my best side (turns head left) or is this (turns head right). Which is better?

Q. Mrs R., this is radio, not T.V.

A. Right, yes, well, ahem.

Q. The quilt, Mrs R.?

A. (Drawing herself up proudly) Yes, I worked on that project this weekend at a Bee meeting. Look at the photo, I have many more finished squares now than the last time we talked.

Q. Um, is that it? Is that all you've done in the last, oh I don't know, call it three weeks. Is that it?

A. (Bristling slightly) Yes, it is HAND PIECED. (so there, muttered under breath). Must not rush a true artiste. I am making progress ...

Q. Well, I suppose. Progress at the speed of chilled molasses, that is.

A. Your point?

Q. Christmas is LESS THAN 3 MONTHS AWAY! By the way, when is this quilt due?

A. Why, is it pregnant? (ha, ha, ha, ha!.. ha, ha....)

Q. (muttering quietly... wait till I get my hands on that assignment editor ... sending me out to this idiot ... oy) Mrs R., what is the deadline for submission?

A. Oh, well, November 15, of course..... Oh dear. I get your point. Must get back to work, thank you so much for coming, good bye now!

Posted by Hello

Sunday, September 26, 2004

FMB and FBS (say what?)

Here we have the French Market Bag at about 3/4 done. This project is great to take along in the car to knit while a passenger and to work on while chatting on the phone. Yes, I speak on this from personal experience. In case you are wondering, the darker yarn will be used for the handles.

Posted by Hello

The Flower Basket shawl is coming along nicely. I've finished two more repeats of the lower baskets. No need to post a photo at this point. I'm finding the yarn a bit sticky on the wooden needles, so its slow going. (Do you like the way I lay the blame on the "tool" rather than the operator? Pretty slick eh? That, ladies and germs, is an acquired skill. Tee Hee )

Did I ever tell you I'm fond of acronyms? Does it show?

Saturday, September 25, 2004

Back to Regular Programming

Ladies and Gentlemen, thank you for your patience. We now return to regularly scheduled programming....

Whew!!! What a week that was. I survived without a meltdown. Big plans for the weekend, to wit, knitting, blogging, yardwork, quilting and sleeping. Can't beat that!

I promised a photo of SP3 goodies. Here you see the Lambs Pride wool/mohair in Chianti, my fave colour of all. How did she know that is my fave colour? Easy, my SP3 has ESP! That is the only reasonable explanation. The package also contained much chocolate goodness, including M&M's and Reisen. Said chocolate was devoured by moi, forthwith upon receipt. (You didn't expect me to save it for the photo op, did you? Get real!)

Posted by Hello

Last week I also received a wonderful Random Act of Kindness (RAOK) from none other than GinnFizz. Thank you Ma'am! This Confetti sock yarn will be put to good use for me to learn sock construction. Maybe in time for Christmas .... (If any of my family members read this, don't hold your breath. I do not, repeat, do not, plan to knit socks for all of you, or even for any of you. Do not, I repeat, do not, expect socks under your trees.)

Posted by Hello

You may recall my earlier post about the new LYS, called Tangled Skeins. Here is another photo. I've spent more than my fair share of time browsing through the books and magazines and fondling the yarns there. 'tis a lovely spot.

Posted by Hello

Mom-in-law, if you're reading this, I'm serious about the socks.

Tuesday, September 21, 2004

Timing is Everything

For my Secret Pal, with my sincere thanks:

Ellie Posted by Hello

A little background: I'm in SecretPals3. A knitter has been assigned to spoil me with friendly wishes and goodies until December, when his/her identity will be revealed. Meanwhile, I have been assigned a different knitter to spoil at will and try to keep my identity a secret until December. I don't blog about my spoilee, so as not to spoil the surprise.

The person who is spoiling me is very, very good at it! She/he was worried that my parcel hadn't arrived when expected, but it did arrive today, and just at the perfect time. I had a stressful long day, and was an exhausted puppy driving home. Checked the mail and lo and behold, a parcel from my SecretPal. What an instant pick-me-up! So, what was in the parcel, you ask? Not so fast cowboys and cowgirls. I'll tell/show you tomorrow. (Oh the power...) Actually, truth be told, I'm just too darn tired to take photos and load them up tonight.

Monday, September 20, 2004

Grocery Stores can be dangerous

So there I was, running through the grocery store on a quick errand when I spotted the magazine rack. Veered off to take a look at knitting and quilting mags. Picked this up. Leafed through it ... heart started pounding ... gasps of delight ... there are four, count 'em, four patterns I absolutely must make someday. Plus, two of those Nordic, multi coloured insanely intricate sweaters that only the most accomplished of knitting goddessess (like Yarn Harlot) could even hope to make. Had to buy the magazine. Of course I did. Add grocery store to the list of places to feed my knitting obsession. Dangerous on the wallet though. Posted by Hello

Sunday, September 19, 2004

Knitless Sunday

No knitting done today folks. Too busy getting ready for next week, which promises to be the week from H*E*double toothpicks. By the way, I forgot to mention a goody for the quilters among you. My quilt guild (the Mayflower in Nova Scotia) has its own blog now! Really! Yours truly created it, and took a bunch of photos at show and tell last week. Go on over and take a look ... I dare ya! Posted by Hello

Saturday, September 18, 2004

Repeat After Me

Upper flower baskets are done! Yippee! Here is the Flower Basket Shawl, using flexi needles. Now all I have to do is 7 repeats of the lower flower baskets. Easy peasy. (Actually, it is easy if I can sit in a quiet corner and follow the chart very, very, very, carefully. O.K., so its not so easy as knitting, say, a booga bag. But oh me oh my, it is going to be nice, don't you think?) I love the colours of this yarn. I even like the way it looks wound into a ball. It's almost too pretty to knit! Posted by Hello

Hmm, this photography leaves a lot to be desired. Note to self: next time, center the darn thing!

Wednesday, September 15, 2004

Flower Basket Shawl - Take Two

I started this project with some boring pastel blue sock yarn. No wonder it has been languishing, unloved and unknitted. That sock yarn is outta there! Flower basket is going to get the yarn it deserves - Lucy Neatby hand painted Celestial Merino. Isn't it just yummie. Mmm, mmm. I got this idea from Thanks! Posted by Hello

Sock it to me ...

Guess who is going to learn how to knit socks? Go on, I'll give you three guesses ... the first two don't count. Posted by Hello

Sunday, September 12, 2004

Uh Oh

Remember that I was knitting the French Market Bag in Briggs & Little? Remember that this is a felted bag? Well, guess what! According to my LYS owner, Briggs & Little does not felt. I repeat, Briggs & Little does not felt. eep!

Immediately upon hearing this advice, I stopped knitting with B&L and cast on with Cascade instead. Lesson learned? Swatch, swatch, swatch! Then felt the swatch!

Update: now I've been told that B&L does felt, so I am completely confused (which is easily done, I know). The B&L I'm talking about is 100% wool. It does not say Superwash on the label and does not appear to be treated for washing. The twist of the yarn is very tight. Apparently, the tight twist prevents felting. If any of you can shed light on this mystery I would be very grateful.

Saturday, September 11, 2004

Booga, Loretta, and Mickey

Well, well, well. Say, Mrs. R., isn't this the booga bag you had so much trouble with? Why yes, I believe it is. Look who's laughing now! Booga is quietly blocking, waiting for her I-cord handles to be added so she can have her first outing. Posted by Hello

Here is Loretta at about 3/4 finished. It is hard to tell the shape because the stitches are crowded onto 29 inch needles. Posted by Hello

Mickey had to inspect Loretta for himself. He is a shy cat, so getting a photo is a rare event. Posted by Hello

My Town

May I present, Halifax, Nova Scotia. The boat is the famous Bluenose. Today is a picture perfect Saturday, just like the one shown here Posted by Hello

Thursday, September 9, 2004

Tangled Skeins

Isn't that a lovely sight? It is just one corner full of goodies in the Tangled Skeins, on Portland Street in Dartmouth Nova Scotia. There will be more photos posted in the next few days, as time permits.

Psstt, if any of you have a few hours you don't need, send them my way, o.k.? Thanks! Posted by Hello

Monday, September 6, 2004

Loretta and Dorey

Here is the Loretta Lynn showing the cowl neck and beginning of shoulder shaping.  Posted by Hello

Duchess Dorey stayed still long enough to get a photo. "Isn't she pretty?", asks the beaming puppy mom.  Posted by Hello

Sunday, September 5, 2004

Weekend Progress Report

I finished the booga bag! Yay me! When it is felted I will post a photo. Right now it just looks like a big floppy cylinder of st st.

Not one to rest on my needles, I forthwith cast on for the French Market Bag, seen here. Using navy blue and quoddy blue Briggs & Little 100% wool. $8 whole dollars worth of yarn to make such a lovely item. (That's about $5 for you American readers). Yay me!

Making good progress on the Loretta Lynn poncho for the Poncho Along. Will post a photo tomorrow. I had to frog a couple of rows b/c it took me a while to figure out how to "make one" without making a hole at the same time. I have it down pat now, and the v shaping of the poncho is showing beautifully. Ain't it grand when it all works out? Yay me!

I leave you with a photo of one of my lurking works in progress. This is the first sweater I cast on upon my return to knitting. The yarn is cheap 100% acrylic, the magazine is the new "Creative Knitting". It is a very easy pattern, and works up quickly. I have temporarily abandoned it in favour of gift knitting. Yep, the Booga Bag and French Market bags are destined to be gifts. Posted by Hello

Friday, September 3, 2004

Poncho Photo

This is the Loretta Lynn poncho I'm doing for the Poncho Along.

Posted by Hello

Poncho Details

The Loretta Lynn poncho in this yarn, 75% acrylic and 25% wool. The colours are green, dark brown and variegated. I've got about 4 inches of the cowl done.

Posted by Hello

Project Secret Pal Inquisition

1.Are you a yarn snob (do you prefer high-end/natural fibers)? Do you avoid Red Heart and Lion Brand? Or is it all the same to you?

Well, I'll take what I can get, but prefer natural fibers. Mind you, my fave yarn right now is a cheap cotton/acrylic blend (50/50) that is knitting up fabulously. Looking forward to trying the Noro silk garden.

2. Do you spin? Crochet?

No spin. No crochet.

3. Do you have any allergies? (smoke, pets, fibers, perfume, etc.)

No allergies.

4. How long have you been knitting?

This time, since August 10, 2004. (I'm serious!!!!) Before that I had knit as a child and as a teen, then sporadically until about 12 years ago. I can't believe I gave up knitting for 12 years. What was I thinking?

5. Do you have an Amazon or other online wish list?

Nope, but I'm gonna look into that right soon.

6. What's your favorite scent? (for candles, bath products etc.)

I like vanilla, and any fruity scent.

7. Do you have a sweet tooth?

Hmm, define "sweet tooth". I only like chocolate of any type and anything that resembles shortbread.

8. What other crafts or Do-It-Yourself things do you like to do?

I quilt, cross stitch, quilt, sew garments, quilt.

9. What kind of music do you like? Can your computer/stereo play MP3s? (if you want to make her a CD)

My computer, my home stereo system and my portable stereo all play MP3, WAV and anything else that gets thrown at them. (Hubby is a consumer electronic gadget freak extraordinaire, as in, he is not allowed in Future Shop unsupervised.)

10. What's your favorite color? Or--do you have a color family/season/palette you prefer?

Purple is my fave, all shades, with reds a close second. My fall/winter wardrobe consists of black pants and black tops, with colourful blazers.

11. What is your family situation? Do you have any pets?

Two dogs, two cats, two finches, and one husband. No children (other than my husband).

12. What are your life dreams? (really stretching it here, I know)

World peace, or at the very least, increased tolerance of each other.

13. What is/are your favorite yarn/s to knit with?

Still experimenting. Looking forward to trying silk blends, cashmere, or mohair. (I know, I know, I have champagne taste on a beer budget).

14. What fibers do you absolutely *not* like?

Haven't run across any yet.

15. What is/are your current knitting obsession/s?


16. What is/are your favorite item/s to knit?

So far, the booga bag.

17. What are you knitting right now?

(Deep breath in ) booga bag, Loretta Lynn poncho, Sitcom jacket, Sonnet sweater, Flower Basket Shawl, striped sweater (exhale).

18. What do you think about ponchos? (this is really a curiousity question for us)

I'm riding the trend baby!

19. Do you prefer straight or circular needles?

No preference. I have a pair of flexies, and love them!

20. How did you learn to knit?

Mommie taught me when I was very little/young. She is Dutch and taught me with a Dutch rhyme.

21. How old is your oldest UFO?

No UFO's, just WIP's.

Bonus Question: what is your favourite saying?

I love deadlines - especially the sound they make as they fly by!

Thursday, September 2, 2004

A shout out to the quilters

Sshhh, don't tell the knitters, but there is some quilting going on too. What you see here is the beginnings of a Christmas Advent calendar. I know it does not look like much right now, does it? Well, stay tuned ...

Posted by Hello

I met Lucy Neatby!

Some weeks ago I phoned up a local knitter to ask about knitting guilds. She told me about KnitCo (the Knitting and Cocoa society). We discovered that we live mere blocks from each other and she offered to travel together to the next meeting. Last night was such a meeting. In the meantime, however, I discovered just who I was chatting with so blithely about KnitCo. It was none other than Lucy Neatby!!! How was I to know that a famous knitwear designer lived up the street from me, and that she would be so wonderfully easy to talk with, and so helpful, and, and, and...

Anyway, we did travel together to the meeting, where I met other knitting enthusiasts and had a lovely time.

Booga Bag Redemption

Hmm, well that looks better! With the help of two lovely knitters (thanks Susan! thanks Lucy!) I picked up around the rectangle again and happily knit ever after. Turns out that tangled mess was just the way it looks until about three inches of bag body are knitted. So I was on the right track after all, just not smart enough to realize it :)

Posted by Hello