Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Bits and Pieces...

Cuz that's what I'm working on now.

BTW...I tried to post pictures, but Blogger isn't up to the task right now. I'll try again later today.

The pieces are completed for Ellery's raglan zippered cardigan, but I need a clear head and good light to attempt seaming them together. The boucle makes a nice, thick fabric, but it's like sewing a muppet together...forget mattress seams!

So, in the meantime, I'm...

Working on a replacement cell-phone holder for moi. (The old one had an unfortunate encounter with a child's ice cream cone and since I was never that fond of it in the first place, it seemed like a good excuse to replace it. This one is made out of a scrap ball of Lang Cabana, a vicose, cotton, nylon and linen blend that is surprisingly soft to the touch. The colour is grey-beige with small flecks of dull teal. Note the children's glue bottle as a stand-in for the phone during the stitching process!

I'm also swatching some Lion Brand Micro-Spun (black) and Cascade Fixation for a hat. A friend's little boy has alopecia and he recently started kindergarten. He is being teased quite a bit about his lack of hair and so I'm trying to come up with an acceptable hat. It has to be quite soft, as his head is bare and yet not be too warm as the hat is to be worn indoors as well as out. Washability is another desirable quality in a hat for a 5 year old boy.

So far, I'm thinking about a close-fitting cap, sort of like those favoured by skateboarders. I think that Micro-Spun in a 1X1 or 2X2 rib or stockingette Fixation should hug the head snuggly enough. BTW, don't worry, I'll replace the Fixation swatch with a more masculine colour for the real hat!

Hey, parents/caregivers of 5 year old boys, suggestions for kid-cool styles and colours would be appreciated! I'm asking my daughters' friends, but I'm just getting a lot of shrugs and "whatevers".

Finally, I'm swatching Cinxia from the current Knitty. Again, you can't see much detail from the photo, but I've swatched stockingette and the twisted stitch pattern in two sizes of needles.

So, lots of little stuff and new starts...maybe some finished objects by the end of the week. Ta for now!

Thursday, September 22, 2005

Doesn't look like it, but a knitting-related picture.

Warm, humid and overcast.

Per Sandy's knitting blog, that is the weather just east of Toronto today. Fingers crossed that I'm picked to win that luscious Lorna's Laces yarn!

Enough daydreaming about what to do with my imagined winnings, back to here and now.

I'm starting the right front of Ellery's zippered cardigan. I have completed the back, both sleeves and the left front, so the end is near! Better start looking for a zipper. I shouldn't say this yet, but it doesn't look like I'm going to be nearly as close on the yarn requirements as I initially thought. Probably just skittish after running short on Clare's Circus Coat.

Monday, September 19, 2005

What sound does a frog make? Rippit, rippit...

Yup, I gave up.

I was hoping to make Theresa from Debbie Bliss' Junior Knits book using some Butterfly 10 that I had lying around. I achieved gauge with the suggested needles, knit about 6 inches of the back and the bottom flipped up. The bottom edge is 3 rows of garter stitch.

I tried decreasing the needle size for the garter rows at the beginning, but it happened again.

Larger gauge garter row is on top, smaller on the bottom. Big improvement, no?

Anyway, I'm still convinced that Theresa can be made out of the Butterfly 10 yarn. I might try some more swatches and see if adding a couple more rows of garter has any effect.

If that doesn't work, I might be able to substitute a few rows of moss stitch for the garter rows?

Other than that, I'm kinda lost. Applied I-cord might be my only hope. It might make a nice finish to the bottom of the sweater and I could use it to replace the ribbon tie.

I suppose I could stitch the cast-on edge of the garter row under slightly, like a hem.

Any thoughts or suggestions?

Thanks in advance!

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

I'm Back!....Did ya miss me?

Back after a few days in Las Vegas...strangely enough the house hadn't caught on fire, the kids were clean, safe and well-fed and domestic life as I know it continued on in my absence. Whodathunk it?

This morning, for the first time in a few days, I was awakened by the pitter-patter of smallish feet. "Didja get my backpack?"...Target backpacks were the promised "when I get home present for the girls". Nice to be missed.

Anyway, I spent three glorious days eating too much, drinking too much and stuffing too many US$ into one-armed bandits. A fabulous break from reality! I did have one late morning to kill when my husband was forced to make an appearance at the conference that financed part of our little field trip. So, what did I do??

A leisurely breakfast spent drinking coffee and reading my book ..."Republic of Love" by Carol Shields, followed by a quick trip to Wooly Wonders!

I bothered the ever-patient and gracious Barbara for an obscene length of time, chatting about books, needles and of course yarn.

And only a couple things followed me home

A tweedy Cascade 220...

which just might be tweaked into Cinxia from the current Knitty

and a Chibi, but not a pink one

Friday, September 09, 2005

Viva Las Vegas!

I'm tagging along on a business trip with DH! Four days and three nights, but it's taking a small army to replace me on the homefront! (I should feel special, I guess)

Anyway, DH's conference is in Las Vegas, so after having read numerous instructive posts on the subject I'm going to be assessing the feasibility of transporting knitting needles on planes - first hand. Wish me luck...I'm a nervous flyer since forever, so if I don't have some knitting to distract me, it could be a very long, uncomfortable flight, particularly for those unlucky enough to be seated near me.

I've put together my little on-board knitting kit, complete with a copy of Transport Canada's list of prohibited and acceptable in-cabin items (knitting needles shown clearly to be acceptable), innocent looking 3.75mm bamboo needles and the pattern for this...

It's Theresa from Debbie Bliss' Junior Knits book.

I'm making it with Butterfly Super 10 cotton, in part because of the expense/impracticality of cashmere for kids and in part because I have a lot of Butterfly on hand in quantities suitable for kids sweaters. (still nibbling away at my stash)

There are only two yarn stores in Las Vegas and I only have one day where I won't be travelling with DH (who is a pretty good sport about my yarn habit, but shouldn't be antagonized unnecessarily with browsing trips to yarneries...) so, I may or may not have souvenirs to post when I return...

Have a great weekend!

Saturday, September 03, 2005

Joseph(ine)'s Coat of Many Colours...a preview

My, it certainly is bright isn't it!

It's finished, sewn together, ends darned in...and I'm just blocking it a bit to see what it looks like on Clare. The pattern calls for patch pockets, which I may add later. My fear is that a long sweater coat made from a fairly soft mohair blend yarn will get stretched out of shape in less than a week if I give a six year old pockets to jam her fists into! Kids pockets are usually a cache of horrors anyway.

It needs three large buttons for the bodice, which Clare and I will pick out this weekend. The pattern calls for a minimal neckband rather than a collar, but I'm thinking it looks a little bare. I have enough yarn left over to make a little collar and probably the patch pockets if required.

If Lion Brand made Lion Boucle in a compatible solid colour (the solid pink is the closest, but it's much more yellow toned than the fuschia in "Sprinkles"), I'd be tempted to knit a contrasting collar and patch pockets. Of course then I'd probably knit the matching hat and bag as well and no good can come of that much boucle on a small child.

Progress continues on Elle's zippered hoodie and so I'm planning my next project so as not to run out of things to knit! I do "owe" a couple of baby blankets. I'm not looking for anything as adventurous as the Alphabet Baby Blanket, but I'd like to do something a bit more interesting to knit than the Wavy Kelly Baby Blanket or the Big Bad Baby Blanket.

Debbie Bliss has a Snowflake and Heart Blanket in her Cotton Knits for All Seasons Book. I might swatch that up with some stash yarn, using contrasting stitches rather than two colours. (I like the elegance of mono-chromatic baby blankets and from my vantage point as a laundry-challenged mom, it is easier to wash a single colour cotton item than a white/colour one.)

As an aside, I recently purchased two Debbie Bliss books, second-hand. "Cotton Knits for All Seasons" and "Bright Knits for Kids". As much as I like Ms. Bliss' work, I hadn't intended to purchase these books. I had borrowed them from the local public library and slung my book bag over a kitchen chair before heading out to the library to return them. With all 3 of the kids persuing separate agendas, our departure was delayed for a few hours and when I reached the library I realized that Gillian had deposited the remains of a lime Creamsicle into the bag. (We've been working on putting things in the garbage when we are finished with them...the skill hasn't yet been perfected, obviously!) Anyway, my brief stint as a teenaged librarian taught me that melted ice cream is just about the worst substance you can get on books. It's wet, sticky, sweet, attracts insects and encourages mould short, you can't salvage an ice creamed library book. So, I fessed up to my local librarian and paid the replacement value of the items.

Really, for the number of books, CDs and videos that I borrow each year for my family, my late fees and replacement charges still make the library an excellent value. It's just that if Gilly had to force me to buy some more knitting books, I might have picked that Rowan Juniors issue or the Nancy Wiseman "Finishing Techniques" volume! Maybe next time...

Good thing she is cute as a button...or I think I might perch her on my Blue Box next Recycling Day!