Friday, November 28, 2008

Tragedy and Comedy

If I could figure out how to paste those theatrical images of comedy and tragedy into my post, that is what you would see today. Instead, I have my own pictures. One will make you shed tears of knitterly tragedy. The other will make you laugh.

You might remember my 'not-so-naughty' Easy Peasy Wrap. The black slinky one. As I knit it, I began to feel a bit guilty -my daughter-in-law had asked me for a black wrap about a year ago. Here I was making one for someone else when I still hadn't done one for my DIL. So after the first black wrap was done, I started one for Kim. Last night I finished it. Or so I thought.

And were are you headed with this you might ask. Towards comedy or tragedy? Take a look at the pictures and you will know.

Here is the wrap laid out on the blocking board, ready to be pinned and blocked. Looks OK so far, doesn't it?

Well, take a look at the other end.

What the heck happened here? I can only guess. And my guess is - either when I stuffed it into my knitting bag to go to knit group, or took it out of my knitting bag when at knit group - some stitches fell off the needle. Easy enough to happen as it is very loose and lacey. Obviously I didn't notice the dropped stitches and carried on. How clueless one would have to be to not notice all those dropped stitches, I cringe to think about.

Anyway, whatever the reason for my 'wrap tragedy', I don't feel at this point, that I have many options. If I were to rip out the short rows, and pick up from the last, long row, the yarn I ripped out would be garbage - too short to knit the longer rows. But after knitting two black wraps, I am now on my last 'yarn legs', so to speak and lack sufficient yarn to re-do all those short rows.

SO - I think my only option is to sew across the longer part with a close, tight, zig zag stitch. Then, cut off the excess and use the cut-off yarn to make fringe. Hoping of course, through piles of knitterly denial, that the zig zag will hold the stitches and that the fringe will hide the zig zag. I shall let you know.

To balance this tragedy, I will let you laugh at my husband. Last weekend, when I went to Toronto, Fred decided to stay home. What does he do when you're away, you might ask. Well, many and varied things. But last weekend, he did laundry.

I have no idea why the pose. And I have no idea why anyone would want to bleach their plaid flannel work shirt. Fred's answer? " To brighten it up." Aah, yes Of course.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Thursdays Are For Knit Group And Survivor

Wow! The knitters at knit group have taken to the Easy Peasy scarf/wrap with passion. Take a look.
Wilma is wearing her lovely brown wrap. I still say - "Those are my colours, Wilma."
She reports three compliments and a request for the pattern the first time she wore the wrap. Not bad!

Here is the second one she made- more scarf like, this one.
And she is working on number three.

Joann who didn't start until after last week's meeting, is now sporting this great wrap.
That is my favourite colour combination, Joann. Black and caramel.

Doreen, who previously only knit on Thursdays shows off her second wrap
The other Doreen has finished a real Hollywood-style fashion wrap. One that's long enough to go from front to back a couple of times in true Elizabeth Taylor style. It's beautiful.
And today we had a newcomer - Megan.
She's never heard of the Easy Peasy Wrap and instead worked on a hat. Made with her own hand spun. She spun sequins into the yarn! Gorgeous! I think we're going to like Megan. She's a raveler and you can find her here.

This Easy Peasy Wrap project has been extremely satisfying for me. I told the group about the wraps and how to make them. They took it from there and ran with it. They scheduled a 'yarn' day. Everyone brought yarn to share, and everyone helped each other with colour selection. Within a week, several had completed their first wrap. Knitters are knitting more - and more creatively than before. They are playing more with colour than before. They are having LOTS of fun. It brings a smile to my face and a warm feeling to my knitterly heart.

And now time for Survivor. If it was up to me, I'd get rid of Crystal. She's lazy people! Get rid of her.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008


Knitters love to knit. We knit as we watch TV, while in airplanes, standing in line, waiting for appointments, as passengers in a car and just about anywhere we have a spare moment to bring out the needles. Fanatical some say.

And we knit under duress. While the kids are crying, the phone is ringing, the pot boils over. But my friend, Shirl, takes the gold medal for fanatical knitting under duress.

Shirl is the friend I visited last spring in B.C. She lives in Fanny Bay and was my partner in the yarn shop crawl.

While her hubby was off on a hunting trip this fall, she tripped and fell - over the cat no less - and broke her wrist.

Does that stop Shirl from knitting? No way!
Her hubby sent me this picture the other day, saying it was a photo of a recent 'Fanny Bay Knitting Club' meeting. All members present.

And look who Shirl the fanatical normal knitter allows to join her while she knits. The 'cat-that-broke-her-wrist'. The cat does have a name, but I call him 'Pathetic."

Hope your wrist heals fast, Shirl.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

My Romni Wools

The batteries are charged, the yarn fondled, the report ready.

The Romni Wools purchases.

First - two balls of Mohair Royal
A Lana Gatto product, the fibre content is . 80% Mohair, 20% Nylon. It knits at 41 stitches to 4 inches with a #2 needle. You are thinking - "What the heck? You haven't even mustered the stamina to finish Loden, with a much bigger gauge that that."

Absolutely right. A sweater out of Mohair Royal would be madness - at least for me. I intend to make some more of these.
I bought the kit for these socks at Fun Knits on Quadra Island last spring. Knit with one strand of sock yarn held together with one strand of very fine Mohair, they are a quick knit. And the Mohair makes them very warm. Fred's feet are always cold, so I thought he might like a pair of these socks.

Then I bought some of this. A new yarn for me.
Debbie Bliss Donegal Aran Tweed.
The label reads " Made In Kilcar Ireland" Worth the price, just for the label. This yarn I bought to make a scarf and matching hat for my winter coat.

I love this coat. It was hand woven by a Quebec weaver and purchased at the One Of A Kind Show, a few years back. It gathers compliments whenever and wherever I wear it. My 'scarf' ' idea is more neckwarmer than scarf. Something to keep the collar clean and my neck warm, but not detract from the coat itself.

It is hard to believe that I could spend all morning picking out just two yarns. But I wanted the hat & scarf yarn to be perfect. Something a bit elegant - like the coat. Something a bit different - like the coat. Something that would play a good supporting role and compliment the coat, rather than be the star attraction. I think this works.

That's it. Five little balls of yarn. Next time, I might have to forgo the music and the food.

Monday, November 24, 2008

The Toronto Toot

My plans to show you my Romni Wools yarn purhcases have been foiled by dead batteries. So tomorrow will be yarn day. Don't expect to see great quantities of yarn. You can't buy a lot in just a morning. In the mean time, here are some photos of the 'toot' part of the weekend.

These were taken Friday night at dinner. We met at the Rex, one of my family's favourite hangouts as it is central - therefore easy to get to - has music 24/7 and the food is cheap.

Here you see Katie, the birthday girl, in dark glasses.
The glasses were not being worn just for effect. We met for dinner at 7 pm, just hours after Katie had Laser surgery on her eyes to correct her vision problems. Hence the dark glasses. BTW, She loved her 'geek gloves' and wore them the rest of the weekend.

Here is number two son Peter, the artist,
with cousin Chuck, the 'multiple marathoner'.
13 marathons in 12 weeks. Can you say obsessive, compulsive?

Dad, now 88, listening to tales of the 13 marathons.
We had lots of fun. If I lived in Toronto, I wouldn't need a fitness program. Just getting from A to B is a fitness program in itself. It was a 30 minute walk - and those that know me, know that when I say walk, I mean 'fast' - from the B&B to Romni Wools. Then a 20 minute walk to where I was to meet everyone for lunch. Then a 2o minute walk to the Eaton Centre for shopping, and last - thank goodness - a 25 minute walk to the next music venue! Whew!

Lots of fun, food, and great family times. Too bad I couldn't afford to do it every week.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Off To Toronto

Today, I am off to Toronto to have what I call a 'Toronto Toot'.

My two sisters
and my Dad
are coming in from points East and West.

Number two son, Peter, a Torontonian,

will meet up with us, along with another Torontonian, 'marathon maniac', cousin Chuck and his new girlfriend.( Go to and click on "insane asylum"
Hit Ctrl/f to search, and type in oatman)
We will listen to much music - no not that Much Music - just lots of it. We will eat out all weekend, shop and get a taste of the big city life.

Lots of fun. And icing on the Toronto Cake? This yarn store Mecca. I'll be there Saturday morning. All morning. .

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Thursdays Are For Knit Group And Survivor

Are you tired of seeing Easy Peasy Shawls yet? Today at knit group, we saw a few more.

Doreen finished her lovely 'shades of autumn' wrap.
Doreen thought the colours would show up better if she changed colours every OTHER row.
Her wrap turned out less lacy doing it that way, but a gorgeous wrap nonetheless. Oh - and those are 'SO' my colours, Doreen. Just thought I'd let you know.

Wilma knit furiously to finish hers before she left. In the picture, she has about two rows to go.

Nice colours in that one too, Wilma. It suits her perfectly, don't you think? Joanna, who hasn't started an Easy Peasy Wrap yet, is sitting in the background. Let's put a little pressure on her.

Elsie got off to a week-late start and isn't finished yet. I think she's having fun though. gorgeous colours Elsie.

And Bonnie and I were allowed to come out of the 'naughty' corner. I present to you - two classy wraps. One - Fire Engine Red, the other Slinky Black. Did I say Classy'?
Mine is wrap width, Bonnie made hers scarf width.

Now off to watch Survivor. If it was up to me, I'd get rid of Crystal.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Geek Gloves

Katie, my niece, turns 18 tomorrow. Look what came off the needles for her.
What some knitters call wristlets or fingerless mittens, I call 'Geek Gloves'. The hands-free version of mittens for KATIE a person who uses a laptop and 'texts' constantly on the cell phone.

These should work great in class as 'geek gloves' or alternatively as mitten liners when waiting for the street car on a cold day. The pattern came from The Rainey Sisters last Valentines' day. They called them Sweetheart Gloves - see the little hearts?

Mine are knit with stash yarn from Shelridge Farms The pattern, I modified slightly, by not doing the Picot edge at the wrist. Instead, I knit the wrist edging the same as the top edging. This is the second time I have knit these 'geek gloves'. They are a quick and easy knit.

Maybe I should have waited until tomorrow to post this birthday surprise. But tomorrow is for knit group. Besides, a first year UofT student has w-a-a-ay cooler things to do than read Auntie's knitting blog, I'm sure.

PS. It was suggested here at the Harris Household that I show you the gloves that Katie made for me several years ago. I think she was about 8 years old.
I guess Katie and I have a history of glove giving.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Oh, The weather Outside Is Frightful ---

But by my stove, it's so delightful. And my house smells s-o-o-o-o good.

For the last 30 years or so, I have made mincemeat for Christmas. It is delicious, decadent. delectable! I always say I could 'eat myself sick' with too much taste testing, while cooking it.

It takes lots of these
and a bit of this.

The Listeria-free kind, I hope. The 50 minutes of boiling should destroy any nasties that might be living there.

It is easy to make and very impressive to guests. If you happen to make a pretty mean pastry to go with it, guests are doubly impressed.

Here is the recipe.
5 Cups Apples -cored and chopped but NOT peeled
Juice and zest of one lemon
2 C White Sugar
1 1/3 Cups Suet
1/2 C Peel
1 C Dried Currants
1 C Seeded ( Lexia) Raisins
1/2 Tsp Nutmeg
1/2 Tsp Cinnamon
1/4 Tsp Cloves
1- 15 oz can Pitted Sour Cherries

Place all ingredients, except cherries, in large pot.

Boil gently for 30 minutes, stirring frequently.

Add Cherries and boil another 20 minutes, stirring frequently.

Let Cool. Store in refrigerator for up to two months. For longer storage, seal in Mason Jars.

Makes two pies, or 24 regular sized tarts or about 48 dainty little tarts.

Number One Son, Charlie, can't find Lexia Raisins in Hearst, so uses any raisins he has on hand. He says his Mincemeat is great too.


Monday, November 17, 2008

Classy Or Naughty

My black 'Easy Peasy' shawl is done.
Blocked first, then take a look.

I.M.H.O. it is not naughty at all, but a very classy piece.

A gift, it will soon be going off to make someone very happy, I hope.
Being so classy, I think it deserves classy treatment.
So, I'll send it 'first class'.

And if the wearer decides to wear it for 'naughty'? Well I'll say - "Dang! I better make me one of those."

Friday, November 14, 2008

The Little Brown Topper

The Little Brown Topper at 10 am
On the blocking board and drying nicely.

The Little Brown Topper at 2pm
Dry and lookin' good.

Except for these.

The Little Brown Topper at 4pm.
'a-top-a' me.

Specs: Pattern Bianca from Berrocco
Yarn: Patons Brilliant. Purchased on a clear-out sale for $1.50 per ball. 5 balls used. My second 'nod-to-the-recession' sweater.
I. M.H.O. A quick, fun, easy pattern to knit. As written, the top is cropped, but easy to lengthen.
The sleeves are none too wide. Patons Brilliant has lots of give, so it's not a problem, but if using a yarn with less give, the sleeves should be widened.

I made it to wear 'a-top' the 'dress that called my name'. I think it will be perfect.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Thursdays Are For Knit Group And Survivor

We had a visitor at knit group today. Sharon's Mother-in-law, Irene, arrived in her lively, red, hand-knit sweater. It looked to me as if it was knit with Patons Brilliant. But when I asked, Irene said she couldn't remember the name of the yarn. She likes to wear this bright sweater on dreary days, she said. To brighten things up. Indeed it does, Irene.

Look how much Pat has accomplished on her 'insanity' sweater. One insanity-producing front.
Finished! Well done, Pat. Oh - that tick will go away in time, I'm sure. The back and sleeves have only a bit of wave action going on, just above the ribbing. Not nearly as insane.

And of course, there were LOTS of Easy Peasy shawls scarves. This is one anxious group of knitters. Most of them stopped knitting when the piece was scarf width. The heck with carrying on for the shawl look. Scarf or shawl, it is a dramatic display of colour!

The first black scarf belongs to Sharon. The one in the middle was in the middle of the table - sorry, I forgot to ask who knit it. The modelled shot is of Pat with her wonderful red scarf.

The big surprise was Sandy. Sandy is the knitter who has been knitting the same project for the last two and a half years. A few stitches every week. But look how much she has done on her Easy Peasy Scarf - in just a week.
Way to go, Sandy. And the colours are gorgeous.

Bonnie and I had side-by-side, corner seats today. Nicki looked over and promptly declared our corner to be the 'naughty' corner. A bit harsh, I think. Fire engine red and slinky black don't necessarily say 'naughty'. In fact, I told Nicki, the feel I'm going for is much more ' classic little black dress' than naughty. She disagreed and stole my camera to let you be the judge.

The 'other' Brenda completed a marvellous scarf. Not an 'Easy Peasy scarf, Brenda calls this one the 'wavy' scarf.
That's one happy knitter, wouldn't you say?

Nell, our generous, charity knitter finished a great little vest with matching hat to go off to the mission.

A lot of knitters. A lot of knitting. A great day.
Now for Survivor. If it was me, I'd get rid of Crystal.