Monday, February 28, 2005

Please Stand By....

We are experiencing technical difficulties. It is not the fault of your computer but rather the fault of a virus so diabolical in its relentless pursuit of the annihilation of my family....

I digress,

I'm not dead, but close enough. My children have accumulated sufficient sick days from school to qualify for an all expense-paid repeat visit to their current grade classrooms next year...but, we shall overcome.

I shall return.

Friday, February 18, 2005

Fizz, Fuzz, Fluff

Fun fur scarves...

We're having little girls over this weekend, so I made party favours. I've decided that I dislike fuzzy, furry, fluffy yarns like this.

I've finished one sleeve on Clare's top-down sweater with the 12 inch circular needle. It isn't the most comfortable thing to knit with, but I think that it is less cumbersome than using dpns and I don't have to worry about moving my stitches around to prevent those slight irregularities that can occur between the dpn needles. So, a cautious thumbs-up for 12 inch circular Addis!

Next projects...

Another scarf...for a child. Ellery, my oldest lost the last scarf that I made for her, so back to the needles I go. I think that I will try to whip something up quickly with the Lion Brand Jiffy Thick & Quick that was leftover from the muff. It will knit up quickly, can be machine washed (a big plus for anything that goes outside at recess) and it's inexpensive enough that I won't cry if it doesn't find its way home this winter.

A baby blanket...My SIL is expecting and the baby's gender will be a surprise. I think that a nice baby blanket would be a good, safe first knitted gift. I've been perusing Vogue Knitting Baby Blankets 1 and 2 and I'm not sure what to do.

I'm torn between doing something in a lovely wool with intricate designs (a nice, if not heirloom-quality blanket) or to be more practical and create something a bit less fancy that can go in a pram or be gnawed on with abandon. Personally, I always preferred the functional variety when my pups were babies, but would really like this gift to SIL to be special. Any thoughts?

Monday, February 14, 2005

Spun Magazine AND True Confessions

First of all, happy birthday to Spun Magazine!

If you haven't already found it, pop over and take a look! Some fun columns, nifty knitting-related finds and a few patterns (note the contributing designers)for an excellent price...FREE!

Anyway, the lumpy item pictured below is the looped muff that I was working on a few weeks ago. Here are a couple of other views of it.

Here is the little zippered compartment inside

And now for the confession. I have not bonded with my Clapotis. Granted I haven't dedicated much time to it since its completion, we're still up to our eyebrows in sick pups. (Conjunctivitis and gastro-intestinal issues...yeah, I know, too much information) Still, I had expected the attraction to be more immediate.

I think that it may have to do with my choice of yarn. I used Estelle 100% Silk in a gorgeous shade of blue-green. I adore the yarn, but silk isn't a very elastic fibre. I know this fact and yet I somehow expected my finished Clapotis to have more of the curly bounce that the light-weight merino versions have. The silk definitely has more of a "hanging" quality.

I might try Clapotis again and make it a bit smaller and in a light-weight wool blend. But not today.

Thursday, February 10, 2005

Coming Along

Ok, after many forces of nature conspired to erode my knitting time, (have you ever had your cellphone ring in your pediatrician's office, while you are having two of your children checked for tonsillitis and it's your third daughter's school asking you to come pick her up because she too, is sick?...that's what this week has been like) I did manage to complete the knitting portion of Clapotis.

Here it is, in all its glory, sprawled out on my now familiar kitchen island.

(The little things that look like pompoms are the ends of the yarn that were too short to complete a row.) At the end of it, I had a teeny ball of yarn, maybe half the size of a golfball, leftover. So much for my careful arithmetic.

It does need some blocking, so I'm doing a bit of research. I've never blocked silk before and the slubby texture concerns me a bit. Any suggestions would be appreciated.

Oh, and in the "shouldn't be admitting this" category, I'm whipping up some Lion Brand Fun Fur scarves for three little girls who will be visiting us in about a week. Hey, it's fluffy, fuzzy, pink, purple and yellow...everything 6 year old girls love!

Monday, February 07, 2005

I HATE Clapotis!!

I was planning to post a picture of a finished, but unblocked Clapotis today. Planning to...

Clapotis had other ideas. I ran out of yarn. I NEVER (ok, very rarely) run out of yarn. Now, the Clapotis pattern is very forgiving to size alterations, simply add or subract vertical or horizontal repeats. There are no shaping issues. However, this presupposes that you figure out that you will have a yarn shortage while you are in the straight body of the garment. I was not. Ripping back 5 hours of knitting is annoying to say the least. It is also a bit of a trick, as you have to pick up any stitches that you dropped in the post straight section decrease section. Grrrr....

So, no finished photos today.

More knitting 12 inch Addi circulars that I ordered from RedBirdKnits were lost in the mail. I must re-order them.

Not a good week for knitting.

Wednesday, February 02, 2005

Clapotis Update

Ok, here is Clapotis so far...

The end curled up on itself, it is actually pointed! It isn't a difficult knit once you get the hang of it, but after so many tiny projects, like bags and scarves, there seems to be an awful lot of knitting here.

I have dropped a few stitches to create the rung pattern. The yarn that I'm using is Estelle 100% Silk (which passed as cotton to everyone at SNB last night!) and it is fairly rough in texture. Because of this, the dropped stitches don't unravel with the same satisfying zzzzip that pulling on a pair of snagged pantyhose provides. I'm going to have to tease the stitches loose a couple at a time.

Like this...

Oh, and after grousing about stashes and the likelihood of the "length of life (per insurance annuity tables)/sustainable rate of knitting/size of stash" equation equalling anything but an embarrassing mess for our beneficiaries, I did the unthinkable...

They followed me home, they really did. After reading about Paton's Classic Merino on another board yesterday and popping in to Lewiscraft to pick up some art supplies for the pups, I found these two orphans in the remainder bin. C'mon, for $3 it's a sin to leave them behind.

It's alright, I'm in control of my stash, I can stop anytime I want.