Tuesday, February 17, 2015

A Rush To Finish

It has been a bit of a rush around here  finishing a couple of projects before heading off on our big trip to Hawaii.  Tomorrow we leave, and by last evening, both pieces were finished.  Perfect timing.

I came home last Wednesday from my Ladies With Balls  with an unfinished Entrelac piece.  The knitter had been working on this for over a year and had finally reached the    her   finish line.   But she couldn't remember/figure out how to work the final, casting-off  tier of triangles. 

Me- I'm the 'teacher'  - but do you think I could remember?  It has been quite some time since I have worked Entrelac and with all the other ladies chatting, knitting and asking for assistance, I too, couldn't remember how to work that final tier.  My 'lady' was sure she had made a mistake,  making it impossible to  go forward.  I offered to bring the piece home and work on it in the quiet of my living room. 

There was definitely a mistake. But it was mine.  The scarf must finish the way it began - with Tier One.  My instructions said simply to  work Tiers One and Two until desired length then finish with the Final Tier.  No. No. No.  Work Tiers One and Two finishing with Tier One before working the Final Tier.  Oops. 

Mistake corrected, her piece looks lovely.

Also finished is the Purple wrap I knit for the Epilepsy Sale. 
The fringe needs to be trimmed and the wrap blocked.  But I can't do that for awhile because Fred has stolen my blocking board for his winter pass time.

I do have my knitting packed for the trip but other than plane time I cannot imagine spending Hawaiian evenings knitting.  We'll see.

Monday, February 16, 2015

After All These Years

Son #2, Peter, and his lovely Lady Of Spain came for a weekend visit.  One of the things he wanted to do, while here, was to join his Dad at the weekly 'target shoot'.

Fred belongs to a group that target shoots every Saturday afternoon, January to April. Most of the men are hunters and target shoot to keep their skills honed for next year's hunt.  Fred goes for the camaraderie.  The 4 inch target is 100 metres from where they shoot.  From that distance, Fred says it is a speck.  His aging eyes prevent him from getting a high score. At least,  that's his story and he sticks to it.

I learned years ago, by raising Peter and his brother, Charles, that  you can't keep boys from being boys.  They were raised during the 70s and it was, at least in Canada, an anti-gun era.  Guns  were forbidden in my house.  Toy guns or real - they were not allowed in my house.  Without the mass-produced, plastic variety to play with, my boys, at lunch time,  would bite their peanut butter sandwiches into gun shapes and 'shoot' each other all the way through the meal. So much for my example.

Digression aside, when Peter and Fred were  putting on warm clothing,  getting ready to head out,  Peter thought  he should wear another layer.  He surprised me by digging this oldie from his bag.  It took a bit of head scratching, but eventually I remembered that I had knit him this  sweater  -  the first Cabin Fever sweater I ever knit  -   in 2002.  It was knit with a  Patons chunky weight yarn that I recall having  an iconic Canadian name.  Something like Banff or  Muskoka or North.  Both the yarn and the store where I purchased it - the Hearst Northern Store - no longer exist.  

The sweater is 13 years old.  AND HE STILL WEARS IT!!!!!  Woo Hoo.  What an invitation to keep on knitting.

Home from the shoot - at which Peter scored much higher than weak-eyed Fred -  I snapped this photo.   

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Thursdays Are For Knit Group

Minus 17 Celsius was the temperature on the van thermometer as I drove to knit group today.  Accompanied by high winds and  blowing snow, is it any wonder we were all happy to be inside with our knitting needles?

Doreen seems happy. 
Although she was struggling with the neckline shaping of her sweater
 She also said she hadn't checked her gauge.  Her goal was to use up some yarn  - and  - the sweater will fit someone.

Sharon on the other hand isn't very happy with her yarn.

 She is using Dawn to knit her second Featherweight.  Just the knitting is making this yarn pill.  50% Merino, 50% silk - you wouldn't think!

Sharon is lucky enough to have a new baby in her family.  One who will be warm and toasty in this sweet hat and matching socks.

Because I had been away when Gail showed off her gorgeous American Doll dress, she brought it again today for me to see.

It is so-o-o-o cute.

Not to mention all the other doll clothes she has finished. 

Wilma  was knitting  either out of extreme love or the desire to not have to  knit an entire pair of socks.  Hard to say which might cause a knitter to replace the toes in her husband's socks. 

The very end of the toe had a hole in it.  Get those toenails cut, Hubby!

Lorrie is knitting fingerless mittens with a Valentine's theme. 

Covered in lacey hearts, they will make a lovely gift.

Happy warm times inside the knittng room at Meaford Library today despite the frigid temperatures outside.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Like A Tortoise

Sorry for the mixed, animal references, but like a tortoise, my knitting projects are moving at a snail's pace. For some reason, I too, seem to be moving at a snail's pace.  Perhaps it is the very, very minus temperatures we are experiencing here in central Ontario. Hopefully, winter's last hurrah  before we leap into spring. 

Whatever the reason, here is the progress on both my Project Purple and Patchwork.

About 4 inches I would say.  It is a very long scarf/wrap so needs to be at least eight but better twelve inches I think.   A ways to go.

I did start the back of Patchwork - but a very small start it is.
Just a few rows of bottom ribbing to show for my pre-nap efforts.  This work was knit with the 4.5mm needless from my new Knit Picks set.  That would be the set I had to buy to replace the ones lost in my ''oh-so-dumb- to leave -the-van-unlocked-in Toronto' Christmas car theft.

The front of Patchwork looks lovely though.   

The colours are great and the off-centre placement of the different patches really works for me.  I can knit a sweater in two weeks.  I have done it a few times when competing in Knitting Olympics.  The thought did cross my mind that in the two and a half weeks between retuning from Florida and heading to Hawaii, I could finish Patchwork.  But I failed to take into account the tortoise effect the cold weather has on me.  So glad I didn't join the '12 or 15 in 2015' group on ravelry.

Monday, February 9, 2015

Purple Pretties

On the weekend, I put down my Patchwork sweater to work on some 'purple  pretties'.   There might seem like lots of time before the March 'Purple Day'  set aside to raise money for Epilepsy but Fred and I are off on another vacation.  Most unusual of us for sure, but Sis and her husband asked if we wanted to do a 3 week Hawaiian holiday with them.  Now who could resist that? 
We leave next week  and before I go, I want to make sure all my purple projects are ready for the big day. 

Here you see two hats.
 Both the H2O pattern from Chic Knits.  That now makes 11 of these hats that I have knit. Most of them I gave away to nieces and nephews at Christmas time. These two purple ones will be part of my purple donation.

In front of the hats,
there is the beginning of a purple,  Easy Peasy scarf.  (Use a big needle - I am using 8mm - and cast on 150 stitches.  Knit every row, changing colours every row.  Leave an 8 inch tail at the beginning of each row and  as soon as there are two strands, tie them together to form the fringe.)  Easy Peasy.

You can of course make these scarves as wide or as narrow as you like.  As Elizabeth Zimmermannn would say - "until you run out of yarn or get sick of knitting it."  With that directive in mind, I hope to use up all my purple yarn. 

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Thursdays Are For Knit Group

First day back at knit group after a time away is always special. Today was no exception. It was great fun getting caught up on what everyone has been knitting while I walked the beach in Florida.

Gail has been working on doll and baby clothes. Using up stash she says. But with these tiny things, stash reduction will be slow, Gail.
This one is for a baby, but the one below is even smaller-for a doll.

Wilma knit a gorgeous shawl with Tanis  Fibre Arts  scored from Nan in last year's yarn swap. A lovely piece and Wilma's colour for sure.

Although it did take several knitters to dress her. 
Besides the shawl, Wilma also knit a soft, soft scarf in Alpaca. 

Doreen, who I haven't seen since before Christmas, has a new sweater on the go. Good to see you, Doreen and great sweater. 

Sharon has some bright and cheerful socks on the go. 

 Knit with Koigu, they are a bright antidote to winter, Sharon.
Travel has its good points but not much beats Thursday afternoons at knit group. 

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

The Colour Purple

The Colour Purple - I think there was a movie by that name.  But my purple exists for a different reason.
A friend's grand daughter has Epilepsy.  The Epilepsy society has chosen purple as it representative colour.   Come March, the local chapter is having a day of fund raising and my friend  asked a few of her knitter friends  to knit something purple for the sale. 

This would be a great way to bust stash except ...  in turn, I told a few other friends about  Project Purple and they started giving me purple yarns.  Now I have an exceptionally large stash of purple.  This  cowl will have to be just the first if I am to make a dent in my stash.

Before leaving for Florida.  I knit the cowl with various 'bits and bobs' of purple yarns, edging it with a purple eyelash yarn.

Still the ends to weave in and then it will be ready for the purple pile. 

Monday, February 2, 2015

Patches Is Home

Patches and I are home to temperatures in the minus category and snow versus sand.  Remind me again why I love Canada.  Oh yes.  The blessing in our winters is that the temps and times are good for knitting.

When last I showed you Patches,  I had this much completed.
 All knit in Florida, in the sunshine on the back deck.  Consider it a great gauge swatch.  Because that is what it became.  On my last night down south, I ripped it all out and re-started.  

You see, my gambling  was fallible.  For years, I have used  an easy - and accurate - formula for "what would the gauge be if I doubled this yarn?"  But the yarn for Patches had a range.  I gambled on the higher end, and was wrong.    

For Patches, I am using a box of yarn that Nicki gave me.  One year for Christmas her husband gave her the entire colour range of Knit Picks yarn.  Palette they call it.

Nicki used or kept all the colours that pleased her.  Then one day at knit group, she arrived with a box of autumn colours and plopped them in front of me. 
"Here", she said. "These are your colours."  And just like that,  I was several balls of yarn richer.
The gauge on this yarn is  28-32 stitches over 4 inches.  My formula for doubling has always been that the doubled yarn gauge will be about two-thirds of the stated ball band gauge.  In this case, two thirds of 28  would be roughly 18 and  two thirds of 32 would be roughly  22.

Thinking most likely the higher gauge would be the more accurate, (why, I don't know) I calculated my cast on number accordingly and started knitting.    8 inches later, I thought to check.  Whoee!  I had a giant sweater on the go.  Rip.

Now, using the two thirds theory again but for 28 stitches over 4 inches, plus a few stitches for my hips, I am on track and back to where I was a week ago.  Such is the life of a knitter. No wonder we need long winters.