Thursday, December 20, 2007

Xmas knitting

I think I'm the only person who has a problem using Ravelry. Don't get me wrong, I love browsing through it, deciding on fantasy new projects. I just never seem to be able to keep up with all the stuff I knit. Not that I knit very fast, it's just that it seems an impossibility to me to keep the batteries charged in the camera, take photos, and sort it all out before sending pressies to the designated recipients, all the while juggling everything else that life throws at me.

So, I've actually done tons of knitting that has never graced Ravelry. This month I've knitted seven hats, a pair of socks, four lace bookmarks and a pair of fingerless gloves (sort of). None of which have had a public airing.

My New Years resolution is to write a LOT more and do more on Ravelry, because I really enjoy it, despite my lower than low profile.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007


Unfortunately, the knitting frenzy has met with my great enemy - not actually fitting.
I was in a diligent mood when I started the Two Tone Shrug from Fitted Knits, so I used the called for yarn (I usually substitute cheaper stuff). I even did a gauge swatch, and got R to measure between my shoulders. The warning flags should have been raised when his measurements meant that I was knitting the second biggest size. I rationalized it to myself be saying that I have broad shoulders. Nope. Not that broad. I knitted something that is (conservatively) 3 sizes too big for me.

I really like it though, so after Xmas I really intend to re-knit it.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Knitting frenzy

As per usual, the Xmas rush has begun in earnest. All of my family's birthdays are in December or early January, and they all live back in the Old Country, so I end up running around at the end of Nov/beginning of Dec failing to send the presents I've panic bought for them.

To make matters worse this time, it's my sister's 40th birthday the week before Xmas. I've decided to knit her a shawl. Unfortunately I have a few things to finish off first. So I'm in a knitting frenzy, and I don't see much light on the horizon.

But first, a finished thing. My finished baby sweater. I know there are people who would argue that it's just a waste to put Koigu on a four-month old, but how could they resist such amazing colours? A. looks amazing in it too!

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Of Pumpkins and Witches

I haven't ever thought about the connection between what I'm knitting and the state of mind I'm in before, but the events of this past weekend made it obvious to me that it's all more interconnected than I'm aware of.

Saturday morning was beautiful here. Bright and sunny, and not too hot because of a rather stiff breeze from the southwest. We all got up and out nice and early to the park where F was taking part in his first soccer practice. It was all very cute. I hung out under a tree with A, while F learned about dribbling, and more importantly, how to conduct a victory dance after a goal.

Feeling flushed with success at our ability to enjoy a weekend day without too much stress, I suggested we head off to the pumpkin patch we'd seen out in the country about a month earlier. True to form, once we'd made the decision to go, the day started to unravel.

A started to bawl inconsolably in the car, and I kept making my arm go numb by twisting round to shush her. We arrived at the pumpkin place and F said, "Oh, it's a field of pumpkins." We still haven't figured out what he thought a pumpkin patch was, but it must have been super-duper by listening to the tone of disappointment in his voice.

We got out the car and headed to the barn to look at all the stuff for sale. After a brief tour, during which time F began to work up another head of enthusiasm, having decided that a field of pumpkins wasn't too boring after all, we headed out back where there was a corn maze and other things that a three-year old might enjoy.

PHUTT!! That's the sound the corn cannon was making. Now, if you're from where I'm from, pumpkin patches and their attendant activities are WAY outside your frame of reference. Which is kind of unfortunate, given that F has never been a fan of loud(ish) noises. We usually prepare him beforehand when we think something is going to be outside his volume comfort zone, but,heck, what do I know about corn cannons and the like, so no preparation took place this time.

At this point the afternoon took on comedic proportions. F took off running across the fields like a plague of hell-bats were after him. R had to sprint to catch him up. I could hear the yowling back at the barn, "IT'S TOO LOUD!! IT"S TOO LOUD!!" Each time the corn cannon went off, F would scream (which was much louder than the noise he was upset about in the first place). R had to carry him back to the car, but F was wearing a baseball cap, and after a particularly terrifying PHUTT! he buried his face into R's neck and managed to jab the bill of the cap straight into R's right eye. Thinking I was going to diffuse the situation, I offered to get F a snow cone. When I brought it back to him, I realized I'd been given change for a five instead of a ten. No receipt. So not really worth arguing the toss about it. Feeling a bit miffed, I put the snow cone down on the picnic table we'd got. For the first time in ten minutes, F stopped wailing, and I saw the glimmer of a smile. PHUTT! "AAAAAAAAAAAHHHH!!". Snow cone goes everywhere. At this point we cut our losses and left.

We managed to buy one pumpkin. And some Indian corn. When we got home, F asked in a small quiet voice, "Where will you and Daddy get your pumpkins?". I replied, "Maybe we'll go back again next weekend, we'll probably have a better time another day".

In a fit of Autumn spirit, I started another project in a suitably Autumn shade.

On Sunday afternoon, R was hanging out washing to dry. "Come here," he said, "the light's a funny colour. There must be a dust storm in the desert." I looked out the window, and opened it, although I knew what I was going to smell before I did it. "That's smoke, " I said. We got on the internet, and sure enough there was a fire in the county. "I don't like that we can smell it this far away," I said, but R told me not to be silly.

By Monday, when R was turned away from his office in the morning, we knew that things were unusual, even for this fire-prone part of the West. We spent much of Monday glued to the tv and radio getting more and more worried as the fire got closer and closer. We packed the essentials and placed them behind the front door ready for a quick getaway.

Thankfully none of this was needed. The fire hit those to the northeast, with other fires in the southeast and further north yet. We're fine, and so is everyone we know. Many, many other people are not.

Throughout all this tense time, I found that I didn't want to knit the jacket I started on Saturday. I wound up some skeins of Koigu I've had hanging around forever, and I started a February Baby Sweater. It seemed to have just the right combination of mindless knitting, with a bit of mindfulness to mitigate against my anxiety. It took me two days to realise that I was knitting with fire-coloured wool.

The pumpkin patch was right where the fire started. We won't be getting pumpkins there this year. In the grand scheme of things it's a terribly petty thing. I can't believe that so many people have lost so much. The devastation is quite staggering. It reminds me that life can change utterly in an instant and there are times when it can never be the same again.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007


Again, long time, no blog.

Part of the reason is that I've been trying to get my Ravelry account up and running. The other part of the reason is that I've had a few knitting deadlines to reach, which has become infinitely harder since the wee one joined our happy little family.

Anyway here's something...

Kate Gilbert's Peapod jacket from Knitting Daily done in cheapo Plymouth Encore DK (which I've found washes really well) for a friend's one year old.

This was a bit of a Nordic Saga of a knit. I started it when the in-laws were here. I even did a swatch for gauge, which I don't always do. Well, none of the measurements were working out, but instead of starting again, I thought I could fudge my way through it. Which didn't work particularly well, but I've never let that stop me. By the time I put it all together it was some sort of Frankenstein's monster knit. It was at this point that I discovered I was using the wrong needle size. Oops.

So I knit the stupid thing again, and managed to have it finished in time for the birthday party with about two minutes to spare.

It worked out well, so well in fact, that I've now started a third one, this time in Knitpicks Shine, and it's working out pretty nicely.

I'm off to watch Kitchen Nightmares. I love Gordon Ramsey.

Friday, October 5, 2007


My in-laws were here for the entire month of September, which really dented my ability to sneak off and knit/blog. As I explained to my 3 year old, they have 'standards' which means that they would look dimly on my lack of commitment to 24/7 parenting.

And now I've just received my Ravelry invitation, so I've been spending the past few hours messing around with that.

I've got lots of WIPs to blog about, including one that I need to finish for next weekend, so I'll do my best to keep up.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Uptown Boot disaster

I've been knitting the Uptown Boot Socks from IK's Favourite Socks. I've done one, but disaster struck this afternoon with sock 2. Unfortunately, while A and F were bothering me, I thought I was being clever by dealing with them and knitting at the same time. Hah! It turned out I stopped doing the cable pattern on one half of the sock. So ripped back it is.

Baby blanket

Now this, this I enjoyed. A very simple pinwheel pattern, but I used the very nicest expensive cotton from my local (expensive) yarn shop. I finished it off with a nice, nobbly crochet edging, because I figured A would enjoy sucking on it.
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Almost never happened socks

These ones...well, it's a long story. I knitted the first one 2 years ago. I finished number 2 this week. They're destined to be a birthday pressie for my oldest friend. Really cool pattern features. I especially liked the heel and the toe.

Pattern: Embossed Leaves Socks
Yarn: Knitpicks Essentials
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Attrition socks

These socks tried really hard to suck me into a motivation sinkhole. It took me FOREVER to knit them. There's no excuse really. I started them around the campfire when we were on vacation in May, and it took until August to finish number 2.

Pattern: My own basic sock on 64 stitches using the Magic Loop
Yarn: No idea. Some sort of cotton/lycra mix
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Not the best photo in the world

Okay, I admit it. This sucks as a demonstration of my great knitting technique. But the subject, A, was not being very cooperative. Poor lass, she was having a bad day.

Anyway, here are the details:

Pattern: Baby Surprise Jacket, Elizabeth Zimmerman
Yarn: Koigu KPPM
Notes: I used size 3 needles and the end result was teeny-tiny. Too small even for a newborn A. I thought my gauge was correct, but obviously I was mistaken. I loved the pattern, though, and the yarn.
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Monday, August 13, 2007

Just a Test... see if this thing works. I hope I don't forget the log-in and password in the months that it'll be before I post again properly.