Friday, October 31, 2008

My First ' meme'

I have been tagged by Isa . for a Random Facts 'meme'. Although Isa says that she is not sure what a 'meme' is, it suits me perfectly. IT"S ALL ABOUT ME, FOLKS!

So here are the rules:

Link to the person who tagged you. Post the following rules on your blog. Write six random things about yourself. Tag six people at the end of your post. Let each person know he or she has been tagged. Let the tagger know when your entry is up -- that is posted.

Here goes, folks.
1. Having never donated blood in my life, I heard on the radio yesterday that I am now too old to do so. Guess you can figure out from that which decade I'm in.

2. I have two sons - one from each side of the brain. Charlie
is a Civil Engineer .He lives in Hearst Ontario and works for Villenueve Construction. He builds roads and bridges and studied such things as 'Soil" and "Concrete".

is an artist. He paints urban landscapes with oil on canvas. He studied such things as art history and sculpting nudes. In Toronto he is represented by the Mira Goddard Gallery

3. I have three beauteous grandchildren.

They all belong to Charlie. We keep waiting for Uncle Peter to get married, but ...

4. All my life I have been interested in fashion design. As a teenager I sewed all my own clothes. When I was about 30 I learned to knit and have been knitting passionately ever since. I don't know where these genes came from. My Mother was the first to tell anyone that she couldn't even sew on a button.

5. The best job I ever had was working at London Yarns. Janet, the store owner was (still is, I'm sure) a wonderful boss. I worked two days per week. Mondays I worked with Patti- Ann who became and remains - despite my moving three hours away from London - a very close and special friend.

6.Last, but not least by any means, I want to mention my wonderful husband of 41 years, Fred.

Although I could write romantic, sappy stuff about him, for sure, I think the best - well the funniest - description of Fred is the one I read on a birthday card. " Honey - you are my best friend, my lover, my soul mate.
And sometimes all three of you p--- me off."
Hee Hee. That's my Fred.

Well, there you have it. And although, this is so much like a chain letter that I cringe as I type this, I am tagging Patrick, Marian, El, Doug, Terri and my token non-Canadian, Lucy


Thursday, October 30, 2008

Thursdays Are For Knit Group And Survivor

Wow! What a day at knit group. Today was 'yarn day''. And sorry for those of you on dial up. This post is FULL of pictures.

Some time ago, the group decided to make Easy Peasy Shawls as a pre-Christmas knit-a-long. The idea was that we each bring from home any yarns that we wanted to donate to the cause. The yarns were for all to share. I arrived early, but the frenzy had already begun.
There were blue yarns
and pink yarns

off white yarns.
and all colours under the rainbow.

There were sparkly yarns and ribbon yarns.

And of course, knitters, anxious to begin.

Sharon helps Sandra with her cast on

Some had a bit of a head start.

But of course there was other knitting done through the week.
Sandy - the other Sandy - has the cutest little baby outfit done in Baby Bamboo

And Sharon finished her lovely scarf.
Sharon says that she has never been much of a scarf wearer. But I think she does it with panache, don't you?
When I asked Sharon for the story behind her scarf, she said. "No story. I just treated myself to silk." And why not.

Now we think we should have a fashion show when all the shawls are done. Great idea.

Time for Survivor and knitting.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Multiple Projects

Remember a while back, I confessed to working on only one project at a time? Partly, I blamed it on my childhood teachings: Mom never let us start a second craft project until the first was done. And partly, I blamed it on my own personal preference: The more difficult the project, the more I thought it likely to never complete it, if it were set aside for a time.

Loden changed all that.

Discouraged with the lack of FOs while working on Loden and needing a warm sweater for fall, I set aside Loden for --
Diagonal Rib

While Diagonal Rib was being blocked - and supposedly done - I started
the little brown topper for the 'dress that called my name'.

Then of course, I decided to
lengthen Diagonal.

I have gone from being a one-project-person to having on the go -Diagonal, Brown Topper, Loden and the beginnings of a
Black Easy Peasy Shawl.

What's that old saying? "A change is a good as a rest". Maybe I'll be a changed knitter from this experience. A multiple-project-person forever.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Crazy For A Challenge

Friday, I wondered if it would be crazy to take apart and re-do Diagonal to add some length. Well, crazy, I am. At least, crazy for a challenge.

Laurie M gave me some great suggestions in the comments, on how to add some length without taking apart the sweater. But the sweater was apart by the time I read her comments. Dang.

So today, another of our wild and windy, cool, fall days and where is Diagonal?

Right on my knitting chair.

Left front lengthened. Right front lengthened. Back - almost lengthened.

After that it will be sewing in the sleeves, and adding button bands. Totally do-able in an 'done before dinner' fashion, right?

I sure hope so. Now the only concern is whether I have enough yarn. I'll keep you posted.

Monday, October 27, 2008

A Record Set

Each Saturday, my site reader sends me a report with the number of blog readers in the past week.

This week, a record was set. 176 readers. Yahoo! A far cry from many of the bogs, I read - cosmicplutoknits; freshislefibers; the soxophoneplayer; teri's knitblog , I am sure, but still a number that pleases me. Thank you dear readers.

Interesting too, is to see where you come from. Some of the cities on the list were Simcoe, Hanover, Toronto, Port Elgin and Tillsonburg ( Hi Dad) Ontario. There's Duncan, BC; Hermitage, Tennessee; Mooresville, North Carolina; Silver Spring, Maryland; Rochester and Bronx New York, and Kellogg, Idaho. Cities in Germany, Latvia that I couldn't even pornounce. Wow!

Interesting too, to see what time of day you read. There are early morning readers, late night readers and Shhhh.... some readers, I am sure, use the boss' time to read the blog. Don't worry, I won't tell.

Again, thank you all.

Friday, October 24, 2008


As promised, modelled shots of Diagonal Rib. Light and colour are pathetically poor - a reflection of my photography skills - well, lack thereof - rather than the sweater.

When I posted a few days ago about not making any changes to the pattern, I forgot one thing. Rather than casting off at the shoulders, I short short-rowed them, then joined the shoulders together with a three needle bind-off . It makes for a much nicer shoulder, IMHO.

It's a lovely sweater. warm and cozy with great detail in the diagonal ribbing, but a little bit short. Hmmmm. I wonder if I should take it apart and lengthen it a bit?

On an normal sweater, with normal ribbing, lengthening is an easy task. Just cut above the ribbing, knit down the extra length, then finish off with new ribbing. But this is not normal ribbing. This is diagonal ribbing. Another story altogether. Instead of cutting the bottom to add a bit of length, this sweater would have to be de-constructed from the top down and length added to the body between the ribbing and the armholes.

It would mean, finding all the ends, I so nicely finished off. Starting with the button bands, then the shoulder seams ,then the sleeve seams. Only once all those pieces had all been 'de-sewn', could I start to rip the body down to the armholes.

Some would say I'm crazy. Some would say, I like a challenge. Over the weekend, I will decided which I am.

Happy Knitting.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Thursdays Are For Knit Group - and Tonight Passchendaele

Knit group normally meets in the upper room -a very sedate, grown-up room - at the library. But today when I arrived, I was told the knitters were in the basement. Maybe we were acting like kids last week, because look where they put us.

Knitters at the kids table.
One nice thing about the kids zone, is we each had a different coloured chair.
Such fun. We might have had a little table and little chairs, but we were still BIG on knitting.

Pat, you are a machine. Two more knitted toys this week.
A great Octopus and a neat doll too.

Joanna is a' knittin' more of her great mittens.

Doreen said the hospital called and asked for some knitting for their bazaar. She thought she had finished her bazaar knitting with the scarves she knit for the Church. The local bazaar committees must know what a great knitter you are, Doreen. Or maybe they know about your big heart. So, the hospital is getting hats. Scarves at the Church, hats at the hospital. A person is pretty well covered at bazaar time around here.

Eve made a lovely 'apple' hat. She is making a dozen of these for the 'Apple Dumpling Gang' We don't know who they are Eve, but they will sure be cute wearing these hats.

And Sandy, picked up a great knitters' tee shirt at the Creative Needlework Festival last week.

Another great day at knit group. And tonight, Fred and I are off to see Paul Gross in his movie Passchendaele. I think seeing Paul Gross in anything, might just be called 'eye candy'. And with our new and improved cable, I can time shift Survivor and watch it when we get home. Yippee! Knitting! Eye Candy! Survivor!. How great is that?

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Moving On

With Diagonal Rib done and on the blocking board (Yes it's still there. Not dry yet.)
it is time to move on.

You would be right if you thought I should carry on with Loden Mist.
But you would be wrong if you thought that in fact, that is what I have done.

Instead I have started this little number.
Do you remember the 'dress that called my name'? Well, it occurred to me that if I made a long sleeved topper for it, I could wear it year round.

When the local Stedmans store put yarn on sale, I couldn't resist. Four balls of Patons Brilliant should make this cover-up.
Look at the price. At $1.50 per ball, it's another well-priced project. (How many knitters, not buying expensive yarn, does it take to make a recession? Perhaps, I'll have to do my duty to help out the economy.)

Construction of this topper is interesting. Cast on starts at the bottom edge of the left front. Extra stitches are cast on when the sleeve is reached. Once half the width of the sleeve has been knit, everything is put on hold while the right front is knit. Then all stitches are put on the same needle and the remainder of the sleeves as well as the back is knit. You can see it better from the schematic. If I knew how to put an arrow on my picture, it would point to the bottom left front, where the topper is started.

I have almost all of the stitches cast on for the sleeve at this point.
Except my yarn is actually brown. So far, this seems to be a fast and fun knit.

I will work on Loden though. A bit at a time. And modeled shots of Diagonal when it's dry and has buttons. Right now, I'm moving on.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

It's Done! It's Done!

Diagonal Rib is done.
And just in time too, as today is the first wild and windy late fall day. Perfect wool sweater weather.

In true blogger fashion, here are the specs -- the deets -- the mods.

Pattern: Lopi # 82273 - Diagonal rib Cardigan
Yarn: Alaphoss Lopi. 6 balls exactly for the sweater. A bit of the 7th for the button bands. I purchased the yarn at the KW Knitters Fair on sale for $4 per ball. My first 'nod to the economic crisis' sweater.
Mods: None whatsoever. I knit the 40 inch size exactly as written. (I know. Who the heck am I and what did I do with Brenda.)
My Opinion: This pattern is not for the beginner knitter. It was a classic example of eliminating instructions in order to squish the pattern onto a one page format. The diagonal rib section is 19 pattern rows. 17 of them are spelled out stitch by stitch. But at row 18, instructions ended. That dreaded " Work as established...." . You would think that after 17 rows, it would be committed to memory. But this pattern eluded me completely. With decreases, slants and twisted stitches travelling in opposite directions all happening at once, I had to engage the brain. Especially for the right front. The instructions there said " Work as for left front, reversing patterns and shaping". Ha! Much easier written than done. And twisting those stitches in chunky yarn was murder on the wrists.
Fit: With the first try on, I thought the sweater was too small. The sleeves are only eight and a half inches across the top. Which was what I liked about the sweater. No big floppy sleeves. But I forgot about my big floppy arms. The sweater has now had a nice Eucalan bath and after this blocking hopefully it will be a comfy fit.
Conclusions: I love the colour. Much like the Birch trees in my back yard, don't you think?
I love the rib detail. At the neck
and at the bottom.
Oops!. what happened to that colour?
I love the woolly coziness of it. And it's done!


Monday, October 20, 2008

$300 Would Buy A Lot of Yarn

Fred and I are most definitely not techno junkies. You won't find us standing in line, credit card in hand, waiting to buy the latest techno widget. More likely, you'd find us at home, clinging fiercely to our outdated techno equipment.

We own no I Phones, nor I Pods. No Wiis, nor DS games. Katie, our 17 year old niece, has a new cell phone that provides her with the nutritional information of all the menu items of her favourite restaurants. Our cell phone sends and receives calls. That's it! While Katie's phone is never far from her hand, ours is never out of the dresser drawer until we take a road trip.

But, we do own two TVs. Our 'main' TV is downstairs in the knitting rec room. By our standards, it is large - 27 inches - and new - five years old. Upstairs though, in the living room, where we watch the evening news and occasionally turn on the weather channel, we watch a 21 year old, 13 inch, TV. (You know your TV is old when it's thickness is greater than it's screen size.)

So, lately, I have been campaigning for a less embarrassing TV. At our house, campaigns of a financial nature, such as laying out money for a new TV, can last longer than an American presidential campaign. But when a recent Sears flyer advertised a 32 inch TV for $349, the vote was cast.

At that price I expected them to sell out quickly, so I set the alarm and placed my order by phone, at 6:15 am on day one of the sale. Delivery would be October 18th, I was told.

October 11th, Sears called. "Due to unprecedented customer demand, and despite their best efforts to satisfy that customer demand... " - the rep was reading a script with a bottom line of 'no TV for Brenda.' What the heck time did the rest of Canada place its orders? For the inconvenience I experienced, Sears was to give me a $25 credit. But Dang!! No cheap TV.

So, this past week, Friday, October 17th to be exact, Fred and I went shopping and purchased a new TV. Cost? $300 more than the unavailable Sears cheapie. Do you know how much yarn that $300 would have bought? Makes me ill to think about it.

By 5pm on the 17th, the TV was hooked up, the box that it had come in was broken down and in the recycle bin and we sat watching our new marvel. So big. Great sound. Wonderful colour definition. Then, the phone rang. It was a Sears recording. Our TV was in! Dang. I bet I won't even get the $25 credit now either.

Friday, October 17, 2008

A FO and Almost a FO

Diagonal Rib is almost done!!! Here are both fronts on the blocking board.

And what is that in between, you ask?

A Sharon's look-alike scarf.
Remember hers with Silk yarn and sequins?
I thought her yarn looked like mine, until I read my label to discover mine is Polyester. But my sequins are just as shiny.

What a quick knit! The night of the long hike -when I was too tired to do any thinking knitting - I knit this in about one hour. The yarn was one of my B.C. purchases. There were only 67 metres on the ball and I knew that. But at $12.99 a ball - for Polyester!!! - I bought only one ball. "It will make something" I thought.

And here is what it made. A cute little scarf. More a necklace than a scarf. But colourful, bright and shiny. I like it. It was simple to make, Cast on 20 stitches. **Knit 6 - 8 rows of garter stitch, then two rows of YO, k2tog. Repeat from ** until (in my case I ran out of yarn) scarf is as long as you like.
And as we speak, the shoulders of Diagonal have been sewn together. A couple more seams, then the button/buttonhole bands and I'll be wearing that Diagonal for crisp fall days.

Yea!! A FO.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Thursdays Are For Knit Group And Survivor

Today, I want to show you what the knitters at knit group didn't knit.

I had been thinking lately, that I should give away my hand-knit sweaters. A closet full of sweaters was stifling my creativity. It was becoming difficult to justify knitting yet another sweater.

A couple of weeks ago, I mentioned the 'give-away' to Sandy who happened to be sitting beside me, at knit group. " Don't do it, don't do it, you'll be sorry," she said. Sandy's a wise woman, so I gave it further thought. In the end, I decided to give away some sweaters.

As knitters, I knew the ladies at knit group would cherish the sweaters, and know how to care for them. I hoped they would want some of them. Those they didn't want, I would take to the local outreach.

But there were no leftovers. Look.

Pat took the striped cardigan. This was my first-ever, self-designed sweater. Made with Manitoulin Wooly Harvest wool and designed using a variation of the Fibonacci striping sequence. I can remember sitting under the apple tree in the back yard of our London home, knitting gauge swatches for that sweater. Yes, plural. Swatches!

Milrea loved the cabled cardigan. She couldn't believe there was a sweater with sleeves the right length to accommodate her long arms. She was thrilled. She said " You have made me very happy, Brenda." Gosh. That made me happy.

Doreen took the little summer top.
This was also self-designed. Knit side-to-side and made with Mission Falls Cotton. I had seen a picture in a magazine of a similar top and thought " I can do that." But let me tell you. It took every bit of mathematical knowledge I had to get those stripes right. A lot of stolen work time went into the math behind those stripes.

Sharon took the Sally Melville funnel neck top. From Sally's book, The Purl Stitch. Or was it The Knit Stitch? Can't remember. Sharon is wearing her lovely Fleece Artist Triangle scarf and the 'Sally' top is sitting in front of her.
Doreen - the other Doreen - took a shrug and a vest. Sorry Doreen, I forgot to take your picture. Doreen's daughter, in England, is getting the shrug.

I am so glad that they all went to knitters I know. Wear them in good health, ladies.