Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Coming Soon - To A Trailer Far Away

It's a start.

I have started to gather yarn and patterns (Notice all the EZ books) for this summer's trailer knitting.

We don't leave until mid-July, so it might seem as if I'm rushing things a bit. But this weekend, the three grand kids arrive and will stay with us until we head up to the trailer.

is also coming for a few of those days. Four kids in the house will leave very little time for pattern pondering. Best to get it done now.

This stay - 11 days - is the longest the kids have ever been away from home. To fend off home-sickness, Fred and I have planned many activities. Ontario Place, the ROM, the beach, mini-golf, picnics, hiking and hopefully,for grandma, an occasional nap movie.

Don't even count on seeing much knitting from me while the kids are here. Most days, I can hardly wait until they go to bed, so I can do the same.

Again this year my trailer-knitting plan is smaller pieces. Hats, mitts and slippers. Maybe a sweater for each of the grand kids, but nothing that takes concentration. Swimming, boating and bar b queing are too distracting for complicated patterns. Regardless of what I pack, though, I will be missing something. That's Murphy's special law for travelling knitters. Thank goodness, I discovered
Ruby and her Napa Auto Parts And Yarn Store.

Between Ruby and Elizabeth Zimmermann, I should be OK.

Monday, June 29, 2009

No Detention Yet

Hey, Teach! is back on track and I haven't had to stay after school yet.

The right front is at the head of the class.
First in the class to be finished and the work worthy of an 'A', I think.

The left front remains in the corner wearing the dunce cap.
Still naughty for giving me grief. But, I feel that I do now, know how to handle the situation. I will deal with it once the back is finished.

And while the back is not at the head of the class,

it is certainly moving along at a 'C+' worthy speed. Just better than average, but fast enough to not incur the teacher's wrath.

While most are doing the happy dance that school is out, I'm pleased to be still on speaking terms with the 'Teach'. As with most scholastic things, perseverance and persistence pay off.
Hey, Teach! I'm working towards an 'A' on this one.

Friday, June 26, 2009

The Power Of Children

Since early Monday morning, when the hardware store opened, Fred has been outside playing I mean working, in his dog house I mean, shed.

Peter was up last Sunday for Fathers' Day. While touring the garden, our artist son suggested that some 'picture frames' made from lattice work with ferns planted in front of them would look great 'planted' in a few spots around the outside of the deck to hide it's underbelly.
Since we have a second outdoor sitting area at ground level in front of our raised deck, we had been trying to come up with an idea for something that would distract from the underside of the deck while enjoying that lower patio. Peter's idea was a very creative solution.

But I am glad it was Peter that made the suggestion, as the frames are done and being stained as I type. Five days from suggestion to gestation!! I'm sure you might know of what I speak when I say that my suggestions sometimes languish. Peter's are done, pronto.

This afternoon, it has been suggested that we go plant shopping. Ahhh - the power of children. Peter, when can you come again?

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Thursdays Are For Knit Group

If you weren't accustomed to a Thursdays Are For Knit Group title, I would have titled today's post Should I or Shouldn't I?

You see, I have been debating, ever since arriving home from knit group, whether or not to post today. We had - - last day of school, every one's at the beach, Doreen's in England, Nicki's working, Jo Ann has workmen at the house, Wilma has family flying in from the west - - and who knows what else happening today. Meaning that we only had four knitters at knit group. We have two ladies from Community Living who enjoy coming out to knit and they are most faithful. Other than them, today it was just Sharon and me. That's it. The two ladies from CL departed early, so that left the two of us.

With so little knitting to admire, I don't have much in the way of pictures for you. Sharon is still knitting the alpaca baby sweater
and I had so much time to fiddle with the camera, I even took a picture of the 'halo' on the yarn.
Now, that's something you don't see a picture of very often and you can give thanks for that.

All of this tells you something about me that I try to keep under wraps. I am quite a boring person. I need the stimulus of other knitters to make my life interesting. So I am thankful for knit group and hope the knitters return from their summer hiatus right now! soon.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009


You all know that I was anxious to finish Nimbus because I wanted to start some summer knitting. Summers are short here in Canada and if I wanted to have any summer FOs, I needed to get started.

First up on the needles is Hey, Teach! from Knitty Summer /08 issue. Turning to my most trusted source of 'real knitters' advice - ravelry - I found that 1227 ravelers had made this project. To a one, they claim it to be a 'fast knit'. Perfect! Starting with the left front, I knit quickly through the stockinet section and thought "Hey, yea. They're right. This is fast."

Moving into the lace and despite 1226 of the 1227 ravelers stating that the lace pattern was 'easily memorized' I expected a slow-down. Still, things were going well. Until, that is, I reached the armhole. I cast off the required number of stitches then had absolutely no idea where I was in the lace patteern. I looked at it from the left and from the right. From the top down and from the bottom up. Stumped! And to make matters worse, that was last Thursday morning. Time to get knitting ready to take to knit group.

No problem, I just grabbed another ball of the yarn and started the other front at knit group. The thinking being that I simply hadn't paid enough attention to the lace pattern on the left front. If I simply concentrated more while knitting the right front, it would just happen. A miracle. I would just 'know' where I was in the lace pattern and all would be well. No dummy, me, you've heard me say before.

And all was going well the first time I knit merrily along towards the shoulder - until I noticed a mistake in the lace work, two inches back. Rip.

Back up to the shoulder and I noticed a dropped stitch two inches back - most likely from the previous rip. Rip again.

Ten o'clock last night and I'm back up to the shoulder for the third time. I had just watched Jon and Kate announce to the world that they are separating. This bothers me beyond explanation - it's as if I know these people! (What will the show be called next season?) Then I see it. A mistake, two inches back. This time, I'm taking my MIL's "If you can't see it from a galloping horse, just leave it" advice.

All of which has me wondering how trustworthy those ravelers are. Surely, out of 1227 - 1228 counting me -there must be more than two of us that found the lace work frustrating. I've been tricked.

Monday, June 22, 2009

The Re Visit

I am a fan of television's home decorating shows. In fact, I often tell people that I have a PHD from HGTV. The ones I enjoy most are those that return to the home a few weeks after the renovations have been completed to see how the homeowners are enjoying the changes to their decor.

Sometimes, I look at the unusual furniture placement or the crazy lamp or the many, many accessories and wonder,
despite the always-gushing admiration expressed upon the 'reveal', if the re-design will stand the test of time.

And so, my favourite shows are those that have a post-production visit. I want to see if the new design has stood the test of everyday living or did the homeowners revert to their old style for the sake of sanity or convenience in their daily lives.

The idea of a revisit made me think that perhaps readers would enjoy a revisit to my completed knitting projects. Sure the finished items look good in the photo shoot, but did they stand the test of wear? Or the test of other peoples' reactions? So today's blog revisits two of my recent FOs.

The Easter Topper, 2010 and Slinky Ribs.

I've worn the Easter Topper
a couple of times and would give it an 8 out of 10. The fit is great. It doesn't suffer from baggy armpits as some raglans do and the colour work is lovely - if a bit scratchy from the glittery, metallic yarns. The pattern is, in my eyes, a winner for shaping. If I were to knit this top again, the only change I would make is to put some short-rows across the back neck. Even though the neck is quite open and therefore supposedly not subject to riding up, it does. A bit. But nothing a few short-rows wouldn't solve.

Slinky ribs,
would also get an 8 out of 10. Personally, even though everyone tells me it is not, I still find it a bit small. However, I am blaming the yarn. Described as a DK weight, it was nonetheless a bit fine. A more 'bang on' DK weight would make the sizing perfect. I did take out the hem on Slinky Ribs and add an inch in length. That was an improvement IMO.

There you have it. The revisit. Both garments have received compliments and that is a sure test.

Friday, June 19, 2009

LYS Sale

Have I made you wait long enough? I admit it's pretty rude to tell the world of knitters that I went to a LYS sale but not immediately tell what I bought.

Well, I hope you are not too disappointed. Remember, I didn't know about the sale when I left home. It was only at knit group that it was mentioned. That's the excuse I'm using for buying just two skeins of Super 10 Cotton in a butterscotch colour.
The butterscotch is because I am trying to stay away from greens for awhile. Years ago, I had my colours done and green stood out as being 'MY' colour. But now, having so much green in my wardrobe, I sometimes wonder if I am a woman who knows what looks good on her, or a woman stuck in a rut.

So butterscotch it is. Although, I am not 100% convinced about this particular butterscotch. It seems a bit 'orange' to me. I might exchange it for the next lighter colour in the palette.

The yarn is intended for this
'let's blame Wilma' project.

And then, I treated myself to this book.
I have wanted it for some time and lately, not unlike Marie, I am feeling a desire to return to my knitting roots. The basics. This book has three basic designs - all top down, all raglan sleeved, all 'back-to-your-knitting roots' basics. Instructions are for either DK or Aran weight yarns, so that makes the book a 'two-for-the price-of-one' addition to my knitting library. Once the basics are down pat, the book gives options for dressing them up. Taking them from cottage to couture, so to speak.

The book is written by the Gemmell sisters of Cabin Fever. I've long admired this duo, not only for the thought processes behind their no-sew designs but also the wonderful 4 x 6 colour photo they used to glue to the front of every pattern. Digital technology has made their pattern production easier, for sure. The fact that they are not only Canadian but almost local, being from Oriliia, makes me a big fan.

So my goal this week is to study the book, study my ravelry queue and then hike it back to Purrsonally Yours before the sale is over.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Thursdays Are For Knit Group

Things worked out well at knit group today. The library asked us to leave a half hour early as they needed our room for another event. That was a bit disappointing, but as the knitters started to arrive, they announced that the LYS - Purrsonally Yours - was having a sale. 20% off all yarn in the store and a big bin of yarn for 50% off. It couldn't have been a better day to get kicked out early.

But still, we had time to knit and chat.

Ingrid has started another 'design-as-she-knits-it garment.
I love the two natural colours she's using.

Nell has started a baby blanket with leftover stash yarn.
Such bright and cheerful colours. It is Nell, remember, that gives all her knitting and crocheting to a mission in Toronto. Some baby and Mom will love that blanket, Nell.

Sandy B is making this wonderful little sweater for her grand daughter.
With her eyes closed, it appears.

Wilma is knitting a dress for a doll.
Wilma and her husband are celebrating a big anniversary this year and all the kids and grand kids are coming home for a week at the beginning of July. This doll's dress is a gift for a grand daughter.

And that's all. Off to the LYS.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Take Two

The man's home and rested enough that I got him to take pictures of Nimbus. Here it is. Reveal number two.

The full-on frontal view with a good look at those wide, garter stitch button bands. Notice how the sleeve caps rest exactly at my shoulder mark. That's what I'm talkin' about, Baby! Few fit errors bother me more that a set-in sleeve where the top of the sleeve sits either too narrow or too wide for my shoulders. Nimbus is dead on. I like that.

A side view revealing that maybe I should give the front a tug.

And a close up of those 'haute couture' garter stitch bands. Can you tell I like them?

PHEW!! My winter knitting for the winter of /09 is complete. Now on to summer stuff.
Hey, Teach! is number one and on the needles. All ravelry reports say it is a quick knit. I hope so.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Nimbus Is Done

Nimbus is finished - finally.
It was a double header for this one. In fact, some parts were done more than twice.

But done it is and I like it. I have yet to find a great, big, honkin' button and am starting to enjoy the button-less ' Channel' style. Maybe I'll leave it that way.

Pattern: Nimbus by Berrocco
Yarn - Two yarns held together. Cascade Eco Yarn with Sirdar 4 ply Cotton both in shades of green, as you can see
Mods: The first knit of this jacket was knit exactly to pattern, except I added one inch in length to the body. But, still, I found it too short. Shorter than the picture implied. The second time through, I added three inches in length and it is just perfect.
Thoughts: It feels comfortable to wear and very warm. The short sleeves seem somehow contrary to the idea of a warm jacket. Time will tell if that combo bothers me.

The four-inch wide, garter stitch borders are knit at the same time as the jacket. A little 'haute couture' detailing that I like.

On the 'merry widow' home front - Fred arrives home tonight. I hate to hand him the camera the minute he walks through the door to take pictures of me and my Nimbus, so once again, you have my 'short-armed' version.

Monday, June 15, 2009


WWKIP Day, in Meaford, was warm and sunny. Perfect for outdoor knitting. While we weren't great in numbers (there were weddings, kids home from the city, knitters off to the city, soccer games, work....)
we made up for it in spirit.

Poetic Pat was out.
It was great to see her. About a month ago, she got something embedded in her foot from walking barefoot outside and has been struggling with the resulting infection and pain ever since.

We had balloons,
and candy and lots of great conversations with passers by. All of the above, common across the country, I'm sure, as knitters celebrated WWKIP day. But we had something else. And I dare say that no other group had this.
We had police protection. Or maybe it was surveillance -knitters can be a frisky bunch.

Actually the policeman was there to escort a funeral procession through the stop light. He just happened to come a couple of hours early, so guarded our group for the duration.

Meaford is on Georgian Bay and the downtown is a short block from the water. We ate candy, talked to people and knit, outdoors in the sun, to the tune of seagulls overhead. It was great.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Can I Blame Wilma?

Nimbus is almost done. Then, it's on to the patiently-waiting, Hey, Teach! The pattern was published in the summer of 2008 and I should be able to get it done in time to wear in the summer of 2009. Just over a year's lapse. Not too tardy. LOL

After Hey, Teach! as I recently emailed my friend, Patti-Ann, there are four sweaters in my queue that I hope to get done before the snow flies. I have the yarn, just need the time.

Then yesterday at knit group, Wilma showed me her copy of this magazine.
Dang, Wilma.

I fell in love with this
and this
and this
both the grand daughter AND the adult version.

and finally and most of all, this.

Leaving knit group, I went directly to the magazine store to buy my own copy. Dang, Wilma.

Maybe I have to rearrange my queue. Historically, knitters could do that, without embarrassment, as other knitters would be none the wiser. But with ravelry, the whole world knows - or at least can see if they want to - my long-suffering, often-changed, minimally-knit queue. I think perhaps, I have knitters ADD. Can I blame Wilma?

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Thursdays Are For Knit Group

Our travellers have returned; Nell from Holland and Jo Ann from Germany.

Nell was visiting her sisters in Holland and apparently they did crafts while they visited. She made these lovely cards
and this cute, card/picture-holding hedge hog.
The hedge hog is a great, grand kid project.

Take an old paperback novel (Nell's sample had a pretty racy cover, so I took my photo of the back. Racy enough.)
Fold the first page in half, towards the spine of the book. Then fold each corner down to make a 90' triangle. Repeat with each page of the book. Once all the pages are folded, cut the front and back covers to match the shape of the pages. Lay the book flat and glue a heavier piece of cardboard to the bottom. (This is where the cover is) Decorate as you wish. Makes a great photo or card holder. Here you see it with a photo of Nell and her two sisters.
You can tell I was fascinated by this little project. But there was also knitting.

Jo Ann had no crafty stories from her three weeks in Germany, but she made us all jealous when she spoke of the warm, sunny weather. She is working on a red scarf
and her fingers were flying so fast, I'm surprised the picture isn't blurred.

Sharon finished the little orange sweater she started last week.

Ingrid is marathon knitting. Another cabled dress, made with Koigu, of course.
Knitting with your eyes closed, Ingrid?

Doreen is making a side-to-side, lacey shrug.
Doreen's daughter lives in England and reads the blog. She told her Mom that everyone at knit group seems to be having so much fun except her. Smile, Doreen.

And just so you know. WWKIP day, Saturday, June 13th, we are knitting in front of the Meaford Library. 1 - 3pm. Take a drive to beautiful Meaford on Georgian Bay and join us. Bring a lawn chair.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Is The Paragraph Dead?

Last Monday, Whistlepeaknits posted on her blog, in list format. She comments about the format, at the closing of the post, saying that apparently paragraphs intimidate her.

Being a lover of lists -
This week's list

and today's list.
I liked the format.

It never occurred to me, though, that 'whistlepeaknits' was on to something; Ahead of her times; leader of the pack; trendsetter, as it were.

Then, sel&poivre wrote in list format. Hmmm, that could be a coincidence. After all, lists are clear, concise and easy to read.

But, Tuesday, when the Queen of all things blogging and knitting posted in list form, I began to suspect the paragraph was dead.

Not to be left behind, I give you my paragraph-free blog.

* All five pieces of Nimbus are finished.

*Only the right front needs to be re-knit. I forgot the buttonhole.

*The collar needs to be knit.

*All pieces need to be blocked.

*All pieces need to sewn together.

*I think my slow progress on the easy-to-knit, bulky-yarn, Nimbus spring jacket is holding back the warm weather. The knitting gods must want me to be able to wear it at least once before the weather warms up. My apologies to all knitters everywhere who are sick of the cold damp spring.

*On the 'merry widow' home front I am down to slovenly behaviour patterns; Dishes not done; bed not made; clothes not picked up. I am turning into my husband.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Contains Mature Content

Today's post is a bad news, good news post.

Saturday morning I helped with the Church garage sale. The day was sunny, but a strong breeze kept the temperature cool. I can only guess that it was that coolness that put me in brain-dead mode when it came to thinking of sun screen. I didn't. I have, I think, the worse sunburn of my life. This is the burned outline of my tank top.

The good news is, though, that Nimbus is moving right along. The back
and two fronts are done.
No, the fat lady hasn't started to sing. And I know 'it ain't over 'til it's over' and 'close only counts in horseshoes and cigars'. But I'm happy. I can feel 'Hey Teach' happening soon.