• Spring Mittens

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    Blog: Well, well, well.  Here we are again, yet another project on the go before the sweater has been finished.

    Blogger: Ya, I…

    Blog: Ya nothing.  There is a certain expectation here.  Some people are process knitters.  They tune in to see your pictures, or tune in to learn how to do certain knitting techniques.  Others… they knit for the finished object, and they come here, hoping to be inspired by your finished objects.

    Blogger: But the arm warmers!  I…

    Blog: The ARM WARMERS?  You call that a finished object? You used scrap yarn to make them.  You didn’t even take any good pictures.  That’s like saying a dish cloth is a finished object.

    Blogger: Woa… don’t you think that’s being a bit harsh on wash cloth knitters?

    Blog: We’re talking about you here.

    Blogger (speaking from the pelvic floor now): No.  I don’t think we are.  I don’t think we’re talking about blog readers either.  In fact, your comments felt pretty critical and uninspiring.

    Blogger grabs blog by the face, pulls at his cables a little…

    Blog (struggling): Hey!  Watch what you’re…

    SNAP! Blog’s mask rips in two to reveal none other than…

    Blogger: I thought you sounded an awful lot like my ego.  Git.

    Ego exits stage left  with tail between legs.

    As I was saying.  This week, I began my first colour work mittens.  My first stranded colour work ever! I’m working from the pattern Andalus Mittens by Heather Desserud.  For yarn I’m using Blue Moon Fiber Arts: Socks that Rock lightweight colourways Pond Scum (green) and Juniper (purple).

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    I feel like they are a little big (which might leave some room for a liner?) which is my own fault because I didn’t get gauge, but the needles fault for me not having small enough dpns… do they make .5mm? Thankfully they are not so big that one would have to rip them back.  I did rip back a little bit… and man, ripping back colourwork is not that fun!

    I got to the thumb hole last night and am getting pretty comfortable with diligently following a pattern while knitting with two hands.  (Video to come?)

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    And in case you are wondering about the sweater… I finished the first sleeve :)  And I am now almost done the second one.  I have decided to rip the body back and keep going with the stockinette until my hips.  Having the garter stitch start at my waist looks a little frumpy, if a stick bug can look frumpy.

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    OOOOooh… and for inspiration, I’ve been watching The Nest Cam. A beautiful hummingbird nesting in California.

  • FO Friday: Warm Arms

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    Well,  here I am.  I am being very efficient by writing the blog post while my camera battery is charging and then stealthily inserting pictures after.  This way, I can be sewing by noon and maybe have time to drop into Dressew this afternoon.

    I had to eat my breakfast first, as I mentioned, because the camera battery was dead and I had to go and find the charger anyway.  Once I got away from the internet, I realized just how hungry I was… especially when I started to do the hunger dance when I couldn’t put my hand on the battery charger immediately.  Finally, I got into the kitchen, found my oatmeal snotty because I had left in on the burner, even though the burner was off.  Damnit. I hate snotty oatmeal.  Then, to top it all off, the roasted pecans had attached to one of them… this.

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    That’s right, not one, but TWO little pieces of shell.  Snotty oatmeal with pecan shells.  My favourite. (For the proper perfect oatmeal recipe, I direct you to our sadly neglected family blog….)

    Getting back to our sheep, I finished my arm warmers yesterday night. (Did you know that in French this is an actual way of saying ‘getting back on topic’? Retournons a nos moutons. Ya. Such a cool language.)

    Noro Striped Arm Warmers

    The darning in took two episodes of Ghost Whisperer.  Speaking of which, I realized that an important detail that I often forget to reveal is what I am watching or listening to when I knit a particular garment. I almost always remember the circumstances in which I knit when I fondle finished objects so, I try and pick literature that inspires the garment. Not to mention that the ultimate cozy is listening to an audiobook drinking tea and knitting at the same time – its a total orgasm of my senses.  For example, the shawl I knit for Sarah’s Wedding… I mostly knit while listening to Jane Eyre, and a Jane Austin novel.  The abandoned Milkweed, I was listening to The Secret Life of Bees for the second time.  I finished the book, but not the shawl.

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    To inspire the Noro Striped Arm Warmers, aside from the aforementioned show, I listened to the first few stories in Runaway by Alice Munro (you can only listen to so many short stories before you begin to think like a short story, which can be tragic.) There is something about striped arm warmers that screamed rebellion and independence to me – two beautiful themes in Runaway.

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    I also found myself so engrossed in the story line for the 4th season that I didn’t want to go to bed and thus continued right onto my sweater sleeve.

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    Proof that with the right circumstances we can overcome any form of knitters block!

  • Darn It!

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    Wow.  These went fast!

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    I’m not an overly speedy knitter.  I think maybe I just spent way more time knitting  yesterday than I spent doing anything else. (Can you tell it’s raining and dark here?  The light in that photo is completely unnatural.  Yuck.)

    You see… I have the house to myself this weekend.  That means that I don’t really  make food that doesn’t start with stir and end with fry.  I only clean up when I need to use a dish (I make sure I keep using the same dishes over and over again).  I watch old episodes of Ghost Whisperer and other than that I’m pretty much just knitting, sewing, weaving.  Honestly, if I could find my darning needle, I probably wouldn’t even be posting right now, but I can’t, so I am.  I am also avoiding other things, like any sort of physical exertion or discipline. And trying not to notice that when I talk… nobody is here to listen.  Le sigh.

    Yup.  Just me and my arm warmers. Now… where is that darn darning needle?

  • Wrist Warmers

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    I’ve been knitting this sweater.  I got the yarn a long time ago, inspired to make this sweater, but ended up deciding that the neck was too high. So the yarn just sat there.  Finally, I found the Garter Yoke Cardi started well before Brazil. And here I am, stuck at the sleeve.

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    I don’t know if I dislike the twisted up ball of a sweater hanging off my needles while knitting a sleeve, or seeming more.  I have been knitting away, but it seems to go so slowly… knitting, knitting, knitting, untwist.

    So, I started a pair of wrist warmers.

    Noro Striped Arm Warmers

    I’ve never knit a pair of wrist warmers.

    But the socks… as I was knitting them, and sticking them on my hands as we do… begged to be wrist warmers.  Luckily there was yarn left over.

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    Voila, le debut… wrist warmers kind of fly off the needles.  No untwisting… just knitting.

    Maybe I won’t need sleeves on my sweater if I have these fabulous wrist warmers… or maybe that is crossing the ‘number of hand knit garments to be worn at the same time’ limit.  The other day I wore three and no one commented… and if the colours compliment each other…

  • Forever warped

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    Wow.  I started this simple weaving project because I was craving a little bit of that back and forth sound that comes from the shuttle skimming across the warp strings.  I ripped out a circular shawl that I began as a healing shawl when I went to Brazil (it was just ugly.  It looked like a doily that used to be on our table when I was a kid… I realize that it might be hard to get away from that with a circular shawl.) Anyway, I ripped out the shawl, and started planning for a nice plain-weave shawl double woven, about 6 feet long and 25″ wide.

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    Then, halfway through the warping process (I generally alternate the yarn with the apropriate amount of heddles as I warp, which keeps threading easier) I realized that I didn’t have near enough heddles.  Not 20 short, but over 100 short.  And really I was only going to be using a little over half of the width of the loom!  So, I ordered new heddles, which quickly arrived from Shuttleworks in Alberta (I needed them to come ASAP – BC is lacking in heddle stock apparently)  Ordered them Thursday before last and they came last Monday.  So, slowly, slowly, I have been threading the heddles.  It takes forever that way (336 warp threads -why do I love lace yarn so much?) but I am saving my body from the pain I normally have after doing a threading marathon.

    I have 6 groups of 60 threads to thread, which means that I am a little over half way through.  Here I thought I would whip this shawl off and wear it for the Gathering the Women International Women’s Day Celebration in Victoria tomorrow.  Hah.  Or, I will maybe be done 3/4 of the threading.  Sigh.

    I’ll post again when I get to the double weaving.  Never tried it, should be an adventure.

    Forever warped

    Maven

  • Knitting Olympics 2010 – Noro Knee Highs

    1

    Alright, so I am a couple of days late with photos… I just kept forgetting!  But I’m here now!

    The socks knit up really fast.  So fast, in fact, that I think that I could have taken on something a little more difficult.  However,  I finished them.  I darned in all of the ends…

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    … it is quite remarkable actually, just how many ends there are to striped socks. I finished the first sock completely before I left for my spa day with the girls and the second one while I relaxed after my full body scrub (soft as a baby’s bum, I am!).  Here are some photos taken in the spa (lighting is bad).

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    One thing I noticed as I knit away on these socks and watched the olympics out my living room window (well, not really, but you get the point), was that these olympicss really brought Canada together as a country.  I even felt the need to catch the final men’s hockey game…  it was beyond me to hold myself back!  In fact, before we went into the spa, we sat and watched them win GOLD!  Oh thank God… remember what happened when the Canucks didn’t win the Cup?  ooooohhhh… pain.  I digress.

    Here’s a photo taken during the closing ceremony to prove that I was indeed wearing them and not knitting them after the cauldron was extinguished.  See those cute boots there?  I had just gotten the heel re-affixed a couple of weeks before and then on this trip the heel broke on the other shoe!  ARG!

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    Figured it was time to splurge and get myself some John Fluevogs.  Oh baby.

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    I found that they looked pretty darn hot with the socks. As did my husband who at this moment said that he was trying to work and could I please stop putting my boot up on the table.  Hot socks, check.  Hot boots to match, check.  Shiny gold Knitting Olympics medal, check.

    Knitting Olympics Gold Medal

    PS: it was both inspiring and exciting to see all of your (Yarn Harlot, Melistress, Bookworm, Wise Hilda, Dances with Wool)  blogs and olympic knitting feats, they updates kept me focused and created a true sense of a global knitting matrix…  thanks for that!

  • Sock(s)

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    Hi.  I’m checking in at 2:12 pm to let you know that I have passed the heel of the second sock. In fact, I may even be two stripes past the heal on the second sock.  I haven’t tried it on though, I’m afraid to have to rip back again.

    Did I mention I am not very good with heels unless I am following a pattern specifically?  Especially toe up heels.  I figure a couple more pairs of socks, and I’ll have the science of the situation figured out.  I hope so anyway.

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    I love how the colourway goes with the rose the hubster gave me for valentines day!

    So, to finish…  I figure I need to finish the knitting part of the socks by Saturday night and then I can finish the sewing in of the ends on Sunday while I’m at the Spa with the Gaias. I know, what about the closing ceremonies?  Couple of answers to that: I don’t have a tv.  I don’t really want to sit in a bar and watch them.  We’ll see what happens.  There might be a tv where we are going… I’m letting the divine will inspire the day. I will definitely be performing a one woman fashion show after dinner.  Photos to come!

  • Halfway questions

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    Today is halfway, or at least that is second hand information from the Yarn Harlot’s blog post.  Am I halfway?  Well, I could be.  I could stop here.

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    I could bind off now, and have this be the top of my sock.  I have completed a couple of inches of ribbing and decreased for the upper calf.  But do I want knee highs, or thigh highs?

    I am a thigh high person.  I like to wear skirts.  Long ones, but skirts nonetheless.  And to be honest there is nothing I find sexier than thigh high socks hidden under skirts. I typically where knee high wool socks, because they don’t come in thigh high length. Thus, the hubster has expressed that practically ‘ you would wear the knee highs more often’.  But how do I know this is an honest answer, or that he doesn’t just want me to stop shaking him by the shoulders moping about the house, glancing backwards at the sock and saying ‘do I keep knitting?’

    I could even knit the thigh high, and then scrunch it down ontop of my boot when I didn’t want to hike ‘er all the way up.

    Oh, did I mention that the goddamn Noro people tied a knot in the middle!  And I came to it in the middle of what could be the cuff?  You know the one, the classic “heh, we’ll change balls in the middle here, and not only that but go backwards from the colour progression we ended with, plus, we’ll make the change real sudden like so you can totally tell in the final knitted piece.”  Yes, I did cut off a bunch of the ball to try and make it look right.  Jerks.  So, but continuing, I will be knitting an un colour progression.

    Keep that in mind when giving me your opinions.  I’ll knit away here and see what it looks like.

  • Knitting Olympics

    1

    The Knitting Olympics / 2010 Vancouver Olympic Games have both been points of contention for me, for different reasons of course, but I only got a handle on it today as I was standing in the shower.

    Basically I have two conflicting feelings: one, that the olympics are an amazing time for an individual, a community, a country to see what they are made of.  The motto – higher, faster, stronger – is so beautiful, because it doesn’t say ‘… than the other guy’.  It implies that each individual is responsible for surpassing their own personal best, and each team, each country is responsible for being greater than the sum of their parts.

    The second feeling begins with the fact that I live in Vancouver, I am a middle class, white female with a fairly sporty body.  I have both the money and the physique not only to enjoy the winter games as a spectator (if I so choose) or as a competitor, if I desired that.  Not only are the tickets to the winter games out of reach for the better part of most working class people, but there are a lot of people in Vancouver who have been marginalized by the winter games.  Homeless have been displaced, problems in our society such as the economy have been swept under the carpet because the worlds eyes are on us, and the powers that be would like us to look good.  We would all like to look good, but realistically, we are a normal city with normal problems.

    I hadn’t been able to make up my mind just what I would do about these conflicting issues when the idea of the Knitting Olympics came around.  How can I support an idea, sit and watch the opening ceremonies, when I can’t make up my mind as to what I think?  I don’t want to be saying one thing and doing another.

    To be honest, I still don’t know exactly what to think.  I sway back and forth between my conflicting feelings, crying as we won gold for the first time on our soil, and then stopping to feel the hardship of my fellow canadians who are shoved into the background.  Generally, when I am conflicted, I knit.  So, I’m knitting a pair of socks for the knitting olympics. I realize that sometimes we can’t just pick a side.  I’m a Canadian, and a human being.  I can be excited and torn apart at the same time.  I am proud of the world for trying to put differences aside and come together to be great, even if we have a ways to go all of the rest of the time.

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    I think they are too big.  I think I’m going to have to rip back down to the toe and minus a few increases.  17 days?  We’ll have to see!

  • A Postcard

    2

    I was going to send this while I was in Brazil, I swear.

    The thing is, is that when you are in the middle of a tropical country where the most important thing you have to do in a day is trek the sinfully short 1 block commute to the healing and meditation oasis that is The Casa de Dom Ignacio overlooking this…

    And sometimes this:

    You quickly reorganize your priorities from staring at a computer monitor, to staring across the balcony at this…

    while sucking up every millilitre of healing energy that is abundantly floating through the air.

    You don’t even end up getting a ton of knitting done.  But you are energized to pick up the sticks at home (why at home, and not on the plane?  Because of the rediculous security between the US and Brazil.  What I wanted to say was ‘trust me, I am more dangerous without the knitting needles.’  Thankfully I still had wits about me enough to know that a comment like that would get me more than I bargained for!)

    So really, this ends up being a postcard to Brazil…

    Dear Brazil,

    I miss you, and all of your beauteous summer.  I am glad to be back in the wet and wonderful North West, in fact, the smell of your amazon really made me appreciate the smell of the coniferous forests that I had begun to take for granted.  The papaya trees growing in your ally ways

    inspired me to try the same here, but with kale, and maybe some brussel sprouts.

    Maybe we will meet again,

    With love,

    MK.

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