Monday, August 31, 2009

'Tis The Season

Five jars of Pickled Beets, 9 jars of Dilled Beans, 6 jars of Peach Jam, 3 loaves of homemade bread.

Aaaaah. What a great day.

Friday, August 28, 2009

What Kind Of Service Can I Expect??

Finally, the 'good- gas-station-service' topper is done. The topper I had hoped to wear as travel attire for our trip home - finished just ten days too late.

Would it have generated better gas-station service? My knitting jury is still out on this topper. It is from Creative Knitting - the summer issue. It looks lovely in the picture.

But on me???
Kind of 'yeck'.

Why do I say 'yeck'? The yarn, DK weight as called for, Super 10 cotton, seems much too heavy for the design.
The swing shape doesn't flatter me.
Mine doesn't 'swing' much. Which maybe is a good thing since the style doesn't flatter.
The sleeves are 'way' too wide and revealing.

If you look great in wide, gaping sleeves and swing style tops and chose to make this sweater, my suggestion would be a fine, lace-weight or sock-weight yarn, knit on whatever needles give the correct gauge. Extend the sleeves to 3/4 length and wear over a cami in the cooler months.

Mine? Well, I will block it and see if it improves any. But at the moment, I'm disappointed and not going out for gas any time soon.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Thursdays Are For Knit Group

Routine has returned. Today being Thursday, meant --KNIT GROUP TODAY!!!

But you may have heard about the tornado that passed our way last Thursday.
It flooded the Meaford library forcing the knit group to scramble to find a meeting place. Fortunately, Isabel at our LYS generously offered her back room/kitchen/workshop until the library re-opens.

Gail was back with this great sweater for her granddaughter. I love the little 'skirt' at the bottom.

And pensive Wilma was wearing her Teal top,

as she knit this sweater

from this magazine (The one that Wilma 'made' me buy earlier this summer)
in a wonderful shade of red

for her daughter. Lovely, Wilma.

The only thing that would make this 'routine' Thursday better would be Survivor. When does it start?

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Chilly Weather

The temperature isn't very warm today. It reminds me of 'summer 2009' in Hearst.

The summer when I wore ( as Peter, the picture taker, said) "Hearst summer wear - two inches of exposed skin."

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Life Interferes

Life at the trailer provides me with lots of knitting time. My output is always greatly enhanced while up north.

This summer, I knit one complete sweater,

three hats

and 90% of this summer topper.
Since coming home, the summer topper has moved up to 92% completion. Life interferes; weekend visitors, jam making, hiking, laundry. Household chores, ad infinitum.

I am going to make myself a cup of tea and get out the needles and strive for a 100% complete topper by the weekend. I think I can, I think I can, I think I can .....

Monday, August 24, 2009

Hearst Leftovers

While in Hearst, I visited a few times with my new-as-of-last-year, knitting friend, Ruby.
This is the photo from 2008, as sadly I didn't think to snap a new one. But she brought me the latest issue of Vogue again. Gotta love being friends with a shop owner.

Look what Ruby has done with her shop sign.
Unique among yarn shop signs, I would think.

The first time Ruby and I got together, I was knitting this.
A week or so later, when we met for lunch, I wore it.
It's amazing how cold, damp, trailer days ramp up my knitting production.

Friday, August 21, 2009

A Great Gift

All my adult life, I have been interested in canning and preserving food. I wonder, sometimes, if I am part pioneer. The Mennonite lifestyle has always appealed to me, however, some of my friends laugh heartily when they try to think of me living such a life.

For years, in my suburban home, with young and not-so-young children running around, I canned and jammed my way through each summer and fall. (For me, the year has five seasons -the normal four, of course, plus canning season.) And now I have an adult son who does the same. Look at what he gifted us with as we prepared to leave Hearst.

Other than the wild blueberries which are local to Hearst, all the other fruits in these jams were grown and picked in Southern Ontario then trucked to the grocery store in Hearst. We drove them back South with us making them very well-travelled jams. A great gift. Thanks, Char.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Travel Attire -- Travel Knitting

Sadly, my anticipated travel attire
became instead, my travel knitting.

It happened Sunday night. At 10:30 pm. I was tired, my hands were becoming sore and I was ready for bed. But before I called it quits for the night, I decided to read ahead a bit in the pattern to see what tomorrow's knitting would entail.

Next was an increase row and then the pattern read "Continue in pattern for seven inches." Another increase row and and then the pattern read " Continue in pattern for three inches."

Ten more inches of knitting!!! A do-able feat if the next two days could be dedicated to knitting. But not so do-able when Monday we would be babysitting James and Tuesday packing to come home.

The good news was that I didn't need to spend any time deciding what my travel knitting would be. The bad news of course was the worry about good gas station service.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Dismal to Delightful

Weather forecasting is not an accurate science. But when the weatherman predicted, early on in our vacation, that the weather would be dismal, he was right on.

Dismal it has been. Dismal as in grey and overcast - every day. Dismal as in either drizzle or downpour - every day.
That is until the first day of summer. August 12th. Since that time we have had a complete 180' turn in the weather. It has been sunny and 31' - every day. Delightful weather.

Should we be so lucky that this delighful weather continues until we leave for home on August 19th, we will have had one week -seven days - of nice weather this summer.

I often wonder why our ancestors bothered to settle this country.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Travel Attire

If you have been a blog reader since last summer, you will know that I obsess a bit about travel attire. Blame it on Fred. Never a person to be confused with someone who cares about fashion - or even, for that matter, what he looks like (he being the man of the bleached-spotted workers tuxedo) - Fred nonetheless thinks we should dress well for travel.
His theory is that well dressed travellers get better service at gas stations. Yep, that's it.
In our 42 years of marriage, I can't tell you how many times, as Fred has been about to walk out the door on his way to a social event, I have grabbed him by the belt loop and yanked him back into the house for a re-dress. But as I say - slow learner, me. I haven't yet thought to play the 'gas-station card'.
"Darling, when we go to the gala celebration next week, could we stop for gas along the way?"
All this is my way of telling you about my current knitting project. I am knitting my travel attire. Yes travel is planned for next Wednesday - the 19th, but I think I can make it.
I am knitting a pattern from this magazine.
This cotton top. Well rather,

this cotton top.
And such is the effect of a long marriage that I truly believe with this caramel-coloured, lacey, cotton, summer top over a white cami, worn with white capri pants, our gas station service will - as they say in the corporate world - exceed our expectations. Perfect travel attire.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Twin Hats

Early on this summer, seven year old Abi, leaned her chin on the chair where Iwas was knitting and very wistfully and very dreamily told me the story of her long-lost hat.

It was a much-favoured hat with ties under the chin and 'thingies' that covered the ears. And on top there was 'the cutest little' Pom Pom. Abi, very wistfully and very dreamily said " I loved that hat. I don't have it anymore and I miss it."

Well, well, well. How much of a hint does a knitting Grandma need?

Now Abi has a new hat with braids, 'thingies' that cover here ears and a lovely little Pom Pom on top. She loves it.

Problem was, so did her Mom. Once Abi finally took it off , Mom put it on. Abi had to coax to get it back.

Well, well, well. How much of a hint does a knitting Grandma need? So I knit another. Identical but a bit bigger. Twin hats.

Friday, August 7, 2009

The Genius of EZ

The other 'mod' I made to Lady Grey was to use Elizabeth Zimmermann's One Row Button Hole. Again a first for me.

If I wasn't afraid of copyright issues, I would spell out the directions word for word for you. But here, just let me tell you that she does the buttonhole with slipped stitches rather than the normal cast-off stitches. Also, she does a magical twisting of stitches so there are no 'gaps'. And she does it all on one row.

Without doubt, the best buttonhole I've ever made.

You can find it on Page 80 of Knitters Almanac, by the one and only, and in my books highly revered Elizabeth Zimmermann.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

The Gifted Gemmells

My latest sweater - Lady Grey is from the Gemmell sisters book - Button Up Your Top Down.

It's a book, I had long wanted and finally bought, earlier this summer. Lady Grey is my first sweater from the book.

Naturally it's a top down. I have knit many top downs and even designed some. Always, as in the Incredible Custom Fit Raglan Sweater, I start with a number of cast on stitches at the neck, then increase until they meet in the middle of the centre front.

But not Deb Gemme's designs. They start with more neck stitches and then DECREASE as you approach the centre front.

Skeptic that I am, I thought "This will never work." But work it did. Even finished, I can't get my head around that math and how she did it. But it worked and it is the best top down neck line, I have ever done!!

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Lady Grey

My sweater is done. And a great success it is, too. I love it.

Do you like what I did with the sleeves? A 'just-in-case' type of striping. In case I run out of yarn, that is.

Totally from stash, and even from trailer stash - lucky that I brought with me exactly the amount of the right kind of wool that I needed for a sweater. The brown is Belle Valley wool left over from a long ago red and brown plaid vest and the greys are Wooly Harvest yarn from Manitoulin Island.

The pattern , called Casual Classic, is from Button Up Your Top Down by the Gemmell sisters.
What a great pattern. Well written and well constructed.

My 'mods' were few. I didn't cast on all the stitches stated for the underarms. The pattern called for 11 stitches in my size, and although it might have been fine for the body, it made the sleeves seem enormous. Instead, I cast on 5. The only other 'mod' was at the cuffs. The pattern stated to decrease the sleeves down to 44 stitches. That made my cuff too big - Oh to have such dainty wrists as mine - so I decreased down to 36 and they are perfect.

My daughter-in-law just brought me a cup of tea. Lady Grey tea. I think that is a perfect name for my sweater. Lady Grey it is.