Saturday, October 30, 2004


Nothing too exciting, but I did snap a few pictures of what I've been doing, knitting-wise lately.

First, the dreaded Dale Pluto Coat...
Here are the sleeves with the looped cuffs. They look rather like gauntlets, don't they. In fact, they are quite lovely to touch. When I have been LIP (looping in public), strangers have approached me to fondle the cuffs. It has a strange persian lamb quality to it, sort of like the cuffs on granny's melton coats.

And here is the lower edge. Note the wine glass. This trim is driving me to drink. Honestly, the more I loop on it, the more there is to do. Before I started the loop trim, I entertained a fantasy of creating a different collar for the coat, more reminiscent of a granny's persian lamb trim collar and less like the little stand-up mandarin type collar shown on the pattern. I now realize the folly of my dreams.

Oh, and here are some of the bits and pieces of my Flower Power Bags. (note eldest child peeking behind the knitted bits) I might try to felt the straps tonight to get an idea of how they will behave.

I'm using a different yarn for some of the straps. I have used almost exclusively Cascade 220 for these bags, but it isn't that readily available in Canada (except through a couple mail-order businesses) and it can be a bit pricey for felting. So, I found this at Wal-Mart (yeah, yeah, I know, Wal-Mart is single-handedly bringing down the standard of living for North America, but I needed feltable yarn cheap!)

This is a Bernat product, very inexpensive and it claims to be 100% Merino Wool suitable for, nay designed for, felting. We shall see.

A couple notes about Bernat's Lana:

- I suspect that it is a trial marketing effort, because it has very limited distribution and isn't even mentioned on the otherwise verbose Bernat website. I did snag a couple skeins figuring that it may not be continued past its initial shipment.

- It is available only in the dreaded Eaton's men's department colours of the 1970's: cream, french blue, navy, camel, brown, grey, and black. Even those banal colour names imply greater vivacity than the actual product shades deliver. Hence the reason I am only going to consider sourcing the black yarn from Bernat. (additional grouse...even the black isn't a nice as the Cascade black...not as deep, more ash, less rich...Ok, done colour bashing Bernat)

Oh, and when I'm finished the Flower Power Bags that I'm completing to order, I'm going to do a little experiment with some Noro oddballs that I have lying around. My concern with using Noro Kureyon as the base for the Flower Power Bag is that it won't felt up to a sufficiently thick fabric. Unlike the other yarns I've used for these bags, the colour variations in the Noro won't allow me to use a double strand and preserve the striping. I will experiment with different needle sizes (I usually use a 6.5 mm for felting Kureyon) and see what happens. Since I usually line the bags, I might try a fusible (possibly double sided) interface on the inside of the bag to give the Kureyon a little more "umph".

Well, that's about it for knitting news. I'll try to remember to snap some photos of my adorable urchins before they head out for trick or treating tomorrow!

Wednesday, October 27, 2004

A small update and a Finished Object!

Another Noro bag, this one headed to San Francisco! Forgive the lousy photography, the camera battery died after one proof!(My silly bedspread doesn't help either!)

Other than that, I am working feverishly to complete a half dozen Flower Power Bags for recently received orders. Don't know if I'm getting good at making them yet, but I'm getting faster.

I worked on the Dale Pluto Coat for more than 6 hours over the weekend and have a nice, but small chunk of looping along the bottom to show for it. (I estimate that I'm a quarter done) I'm waiting for the camera battery to recharge, so that picture will have to wait until tomorrow!

Wednesday, October 20, 2004

Where to start??

Forgive this disjointed post, but things have been so busy and so sad and happy at the same time, that I'm sure that I won't be able to describe everything succinctly.

First, thank you for the expressions of sympathy over my mother-in-law's passing. It has been a very difficult time for my hubby and his family, as I'm sure you can imagine. The initial shock of losing his mother is wearing off and the grieving and straightening out of affairs is just beginning.

Next, some HAPPY news! A guardian angel has stepped forward with the rest of the funds needed to sponsor Gillian's service dog!! Can you imagine! Five thousand dollars from total strangers touched by Gillian's plight. I get all weepy just thinking about how kind this gift is.

The donation came from Arthur's Juices

Arthur's Juices has a history of putting at least 10% of their profits back into the community, concentrating particularly on charities and initiatives that enrich the lives of children in our global community.

Thank you so much! There will never be anything but Arthur's Juices in our fridge from now on!!

The owners of Arthur's Juices learned about Guardian for Gillian while watching Haley's "Speaker's Corner" presentation.

Once again Haley (and Knitomatic), thank you! XOX

Finally, silly news...I have several new orders for bags to support Guardian for Gillian, so I'll be knitting Perfect Pouches and Flower Power Bags for at least a month straight!

I will continue to fundraise for National Service Dogs. While Gillian has met her goal, NSD is a very small, charitable organization that still requires funds and I can't think of anything I'd rather support!

Friday, October 15, 2004

Could be a bit scarce...

Dh's mother passed away unexpectedly yesterday. I know that she was a mother-in-law and all, but she was really ok...(can I say that?) Things will be up in the air for a little while.

But, to leave you with a few pictures...

Can you guess what this is?

Some sort of mutant blossom?

Another view...

It's the beginnings of the looping process for the cuffs on the Dale Pluto Coat!! Yikes it is taking a long time. I'm hoping that I pick up a bit of speed as I go along.

And here are the latest two pouches drying on my board.

BTW, does anyone read this blog?? I'd love a bit of feedback!

Tuesday, October 12, 2004

Not much to update!

With the holiday weekend, visitors and dog-sitting, I didn't get much knitting done. I'm ready to seam the Pluto coat and I did complete (and felt) a couple more pouches, oh, and I completed up to the point of stitching the fuzzy CD player holder from Knitwit! Unfortunately, nothing too photo worthy.

On the other hand, Clare and our weekend guest dog were highly photogenic...

Wednesday, October 06, 2004

The Coat...

Just in case you are reading this Haley, I wanted to show you that I am making a bit of progress on "the coat".

Here is the back/sides and one of the sleeves...

And the other sleeve..

so, now I just have to knit the front bands and collar, seam it together and sew all of the looping!

Well, as depressing as my lack of progress on "the coat"...this is even sadder...

Is there anything more heart-wrenching than a sick pup. Gilly, despite having taken Zithromax for 3 days now (a full course of antibiotic) is still spiking fevers, acting cranky and wincing when swallowing. Like many autistic children, she has a remarkable pain threshold, so when she is hurting, I really worry.

Poor G G ....

Monday, October 04, 2004

Weekend Fun! (Parts were fun...)

Saturday was the big book launch for KnitWit at Lettuce Knit! I not only got to go out after dark, talk to grownups and eat cake without sharing a single bite...but I met all those knitters that I know only through their blogs (and occasional, not stalking or anything like that, email)

I was a bit silly...I bought the book (which is lovely and would make a fabulous present for new knitters) and had it autographed by the designers present! Thanks to Stephannie , Jenna , Amy , Veronik , Natalie , Jillian , Kathy

I did get a teeny bit of my own knitting done...

I'll skip the weekend part about the sick pup (Gillian) and fever/vomiting...

Friday, October 01, 2004

Law of Averages?

Having finally completed a cozy for my cell phone...the cell phone died. The new one (whose selection criterion was simply CHEAP) does not fit the new cozy well. My toast falls butter side down 100% of the time! LOL

Attempting to re-frame this event, I will welcome it as an opportunity to create new cell phone cozies. Since there are so many sizes and shapes of cell phone available now, ranging from tiny to eeny-teeny, I should work on designs that are attractive in smaller sizes.

I have a few scraps of Noro Blossom left over from the Kemp bag. Maybe that will turn into something interesting!

Note Clare holding the needle!

Meantime, I have whipped up another of indigirl's Perfect Pouches ( using a black Lopi that I found at a consignment shop. I am a bit concerned as I seem to have issues with antique Lopi not felting and this one is no exception. I hedged my bet and made the pouch a bit smaller than directed.

Note Clare pinning the pouch!

I did finish lining the green Flower Power bag and tested some of the hemp and mohair squares for feltability. I'm not quite sold yet, so I better try some different guages to be sure.

In other news, I was outside with Gillian and Clare yesterday. Bill, the world's largest Golden Retriever and big Gillian, the lovely teenage girl who owns Bill came by on their walk. Gillian is usually tolerant of big dogs and will touch them fleetingly if you specifically request her to do so.

BUT...Gillian was almost happy to see Bill. While Clare was nuzzling Bill, Gilly let me lead her to him and stroked him without prompting! She didn't try to walk away or turn away from Bill for a good 5 minutes. (Many thanks to big Gillian for her patience with us!)

This is really good news. Gillian is waiting for a service dog and we are trying to acclimatize her to large breed dogs. Her two sisters, Clare especially, can make this a challenge because they are such enthusiastic DOGHOGS! So, it was nice to have Gillian receptive to petting a retriever and not being put off by Clare's more boisterous interaction with Bill. Bill is quite possibly the world's most patient animal.

Anyway, a bit of good, if not knitting-related news!