Thursday, May 28, 2009

Thursdays Are For Knit Group - And Tonight A Movie

A dull, rainy, foggy day but lots of bright colours at knit group today.

Nicki - with a smile that says " I really hate it when you take my picture, but will be a good sport about it" - is making the Whisper Cardigan in a lovely red Merino and Silk.

She's making this to go over a little summer dress. It should be perfect, Nicki. As is your wonderful 'pie are square' shawl, done in Alpaca.

Ingrid is making another dress. With Koigu - of course. Sandy B appears to be trying to get away from it. I can understand you wanting to be beyond the reach of that yarn, Sandy. Koigu can be catching.
Sadly, Ingrid is unhappy with this dye lot and is changing skeins every two rows, cutting the yarn to do so. That means lots of ends.
I forced Sandy B to wear her latest creation. A sweater - or part thereof - for her newest grand son, just three weeks old.
Lovely, soft, gender-neutral colours, Sandy.

Doreen C is wearing one of my summer tops from the Great Sweater Give-Away last fall. It looks better on Doreen, than it ever looked on me. If I could understand why that is, I might be able
to improve my personal, fashion sense. That top was a work of mathematical genius, if I do say so myself. Knit from side to side, I had to mathematically calculate the appropriate width of each stripe in order to get a good-looking line down the centre front. The green side is a mirror image of the white side. Or vice versa.

Doreen seems to be very happy wearing it. Or perhaps that's the almost-completed state of her hat that makes her so happy.

The other Doreen is showing off last week's scarf to Nicki and Wilma.

And I took two great pictures of Gail and Wilma's projects but somehow, my camera was set to a different speed and you two appear to be running in the photo. They have gone into the reject pile.

If you look closely at the picture of Doreen C wearing the new-to-her top, you will see my long-time friend Donna in the background. Donna and her hubby are visiting for a few days and even though she doesn't knit or crochet she let me drag her along to knit group. Another good sport.

And, with no Survivor, we have treated ourselves to a movie. New In Town with Renee Zellweger. A glass of red wine and a movie. A perfect combo for a rainy foggy night.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Cat Bordhi Was In Town

Well, in town if you count a two hour drive as being 'in town'. And who wouldn't to see one of our most famous knitting gurus? I missed her, but Isa, Carolyn and Kat attended and were suitably star struck. As Carolyn said " Only a knitter would understand."

I understand that Sally Melville is speaking in Peterborough, this Thursday night. For me, that's a three hour drive. But, maybe...

Or maybe I should stay home and work on Nimbus. Two sleeves and the back are done, and the left front is almost finished.
Such a quick knit. The stitches are forming perfectly which suggests it might be one of those rare knits that doesn't require much blocking. I'll know soon. I love the colour and if it fits, it will be a double 'yippee' when it's done.

When it's done, it will be on to 'Hey Teach'. A great summer sweater and - a rare change for me - I think it will be finished before the end of the season.

So, if anyone asks, my story is - I stayed home from Cat Bordhi to get a head start on my summer knitting. My story and I'm sticking to it. Right.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Family Reunion

Sunday was our family reunion. We've been having this annual get-together for many years now.

It is hosted by 'Aunt Doris'. My - older-than-Dad- (who turns 89 next month) Aunt. She still lives in the 6 bedroom farm house - a grand place to host 38 people - that she moved into as a young bride. We were blessed with wonderful weather. I leave you with a few pictures of how we spent the day.

The hostess

The rest of us

Some of the kids, trying to get the kites in the air.

12 year-old grand daughter, Sarah,driving the quad.

Friday, May 22, 2009

The Push Is On

The 'Pushy Jacket' has been waiting as patiently in my queue as a Push can do. Sounds a bit like Dr. Suess, but it's just that Pushy Jacket.

The pattern calls for a gauge of 12 stitches over four inches - quite a bulky yarn. In my stash I had some green Cascade Eco Yarn which claims a gauge of 14 stitches. But just looking at it - well, looking at it closely after the clerk at Beehive Woolshop in Victoria B.C., last spring, pointed it out to me - I knew it would never work out to 14 stitches. It was too fine and the fabric would be too loose to be pleasing at 14 stitches.

But knit with a second yarn, it could probably achieve the gauge required for Nimbus. The rainy, windy day that Colleeen didn't have any aran-weight cotton in stock, I purchased some Luxury Soft 4 Ply Cotton by Sirdar, in colour 670 - Kiwi, to knit with the Eco yarn.
The perfect choice. Both the colour and the gauge are just what I wanted. And the quick-knit bulky yarn is perfect, speed therapy. A nice antidote to the slow, Slinky Ribs, knit in DK weight, that I just finished. It will be fun - and a first for me - to put up a FO on ravelry that was started and completed in the same month.
Here are two sleeves and most of the back - knit in the last couple of evenings.

And as a point of reference -
Where's the Church?

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Thursdays Are For Knit Group - But Survivor's Over Until Fall

Survivor first today. JT was the obvious choice for winner, but it isn't often that the nice guy wins. I did feel sorry for Stephen that he didn't get even one vote. And Coach has a girlfriend. Who 'wodda' thunk?

Today at knit group, Sandy B treated us to a wonderful display of her sister's knitted, felted bags. How glorious they are. She must be a very creative girl, Sandy. Apparently, the bags are available for purchase at the Muskoka Market.

Bags by Sue Mitchell.

Bonnie knit a great sweater in self striping yarn.That sure saves lots of work.

Gail is working on a hooded sweater.
Which grand child gets this one, Gail?

Sharon spent her weekend making another beaded button.
That's a remarkable amount of patience, Sharon.

Doreen has started another striped scarf. She doesn't look too happy with the yarn choice, does she?
She tells me that her family thinks she should smile more. In fact, Doreen is a jolly, happy person. It just doesn't show in the photos.

The topic of conversation at our end of the table was WWKIP day. Coming up soon - June 13th. We don't know yet what we will do, but ideas are being tossed around and when the decision has been made, I'll let you know. Wherever we are, come join us.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

The Title?? - Your Choice

Many bloggers, I know, select the title for their post after writing the post. Kind of like naming the baby after it's born -a chance to see if it feels right.

But for me, the title seems to come the minute I sit down to post. Usually, it is the first thing I type. But not today. Today, I'm stumped. So, choose a title of your liking. But first you need to know the story.

The Saturday of Mothers' Day weekend was a miserable-weather day here. It was cold - much too cold to call itself May - and it was raining. The rain, fluctuating from torrential to drizzly, didn't let up all day. To make matters worse, there was wind. Lots of it. Gusts and gusts of it.

The thought of a claustrophobia-inducing day spent in the house, in May!! almost sent me to the pharmacy for drugs. I decided to do what any desperate housewife would do - go to the mall.

But, I live in Thornbury- in the Georgian Triangle - not far from Collingwood - near the Blue Mountain ski hills. The nearest mall of any size is in Owen Sound - a half hour away. That, I'm sure makes Thornbury a waste land to some of you.

But, a trip to the mall in Owen Sound, means a trip to Riverside Yarns. It's not in the mall, but it is in the 'Sound'. Close enough. On my last visit, Colleen had mentioned that she was expecting a shipment of aran-weight cotton. Yarn perfect for Hey Teach, a sweater working it's way to the top of my queue. So, carrying my umbrella, off I went.

From the van to the mall and back again, through the rain and the wind, then downtown to Riverside Yarns. There were so many other crazy-avoiding shoppers out and about that day, that I was forced to park a block away. Raising the umbrella, I started to sprint for the store, only to be stopped, in all that wind and rain, by a red light. To say that I was a wind-tossed, rain-drenched wreck when I opened the door to Riverside Yarns, would be a gross understatement. My fine, thin hair was plastered against my face. My clothes were soaked. I wasn't fit to be seen in public.

Gracious Colleen only sympathized with me about the weather and the fact that there was no aran-weight cotton in the store. She suggested she order me some, saying it would arrive in a week. She took my phone number so she could call when the yarn arrived. Not that I doubted her, but, I've heard that story before.

A week easily means ten days in retail. Distributors don't work Saturdays, so no orders go in until Monday. The following Monday was Victoria Day - all stores closed. The week would be, at best, a ten day week, ending yesterday. Did I expect the best? Shame on me, Colleen, for doubting your efficiency, but no, I did not expect 'the best'.

I was out yesterday afternoon when Colleen called. When I arrived home, Fred said Colleen was delivering the yarn to my house!!! She was coming this way to have dinner with a friend and would be glad to deliver my yarn!!!

Here she is in my driveway handing me my sack of yarn.
Now, what title would you put to that story? Good Service? Above And Beyond? Life In A Small Town? It Doesn't Get Any Better? All Of The Above?

That's right, I couldn't decide either. Whatever title you give it, it made my day.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

A Skinny Ribs - Fest

It's done! I present to you -- Skinny Ribs.

If Monday had not been a holiday, you would have had a bit of mirth. Monday morning I had yet to sew in the ends, sew on the buttons and figure out what to do with the excess fabric from my re-configured shoulders. Thanks to Queen Victoria, I was able to get this done before the next (today's) blog posting.

The 'Deets'
Pattern: Skinny Ribs from Wendy Bernard's book Custom Knits.
Yarn: Fanion by Phildar. Purchased last spring at Mad About Ewe in Nanaimo B.C. Just under
four balls used at 137 metres per ball.
Mods: - This sweater is knit top down. The pattern starts with the shoulders, giving instructions to knit them straight across. Me, though, I'm a fan of sloped shoulders and that is how I started mine. Then, you might remember, I got carried away with the mindless knitting and knit the armholes too long.

I repaired that mistake by machine sewing across the shoulders, following my slope line and removing an inch of fabric. The fix created a problem (like plumbing repairs in our house), making the back neck off by an inch. Just to see if it would work, when shortening the armhole, I machine stitched straight across the back from one shoulder to another. With just that one line of stitching, I could see that the extra fabric would turn quite nicely. So, I live-stitched that extra inch of back neck stitches to the back itself, creating a facing of sorts. Seems to be working. The extra inch of shoulder fabric I simply tacked down - built in shoulder pads sort of. They're back in style, aren't they?

What I Learned: Everything on this top is top-down, even the set-in sleeves. Wendy does a great job of leading you through this process. I had, once before, knit set-in sleeves, top-down with quite disastrous results. This time, the process was easy and they look great. Wendy's book is full of wonderful how-to tips on a great range of topics from designing to altering patterns. A wealth of information.

I also learned that I can't read. The pattern is titled SLINKY Ribs. Not Skinny Ribs as I've been describing.

What I'd Do Differently: The top appears a bit 'smallish' on me. (Maybe that's where the Skinny part came in) That could be because of what Marie calls the VNS (Visible Nipple Syndrome) requiring a camisole underneath. Mind you, the picture shows it with a cami, so I should have known. Next time, even though I am a great fan of 'negative ease', I would make a size bigger than my chest size, rather than a size smaller as I did this time. In the mean time, if I am ever so inclined, I could lengthen both the sleeves and the top itself - a benefit of top-down construction - to make it appear a bit less 'smallish'. Maybe some day.

I love the casualness of this top. A new, favourite, jeans top and great for summer wear.

Friday, May 15, 2009

When Does The Week End?

Earlier this week, I promised (Ooh. Strongly worded. Let's say 'hoped for') two finished objects by week's end. One, of course, was the Easter Topper 2010. Check.

The other was Skinny Ribs. As of last night, I am one sleeve short of done.

So, the question becomes, "When does the week end?" Friday is the end of my blog week and was, therefore, the original goal. But with Skinny Ribs not done, it is time to alter that goal. (No supervisor was harmed in the delaying of this goal) The goal is now 11pm Sunday night.

Which will work out just great, as Survivor Finale starts at 8pm, giving me three solid hours of knitting time. Lots of time to finish Skinny Ribs. And this bold statement gives you opportunity for Monday-morning mirth, as most likely I will be telling you that my 'May 2 - 4' left me with no knitting time.

Here's hoping your 'May 2 - 4' is full of things like this.

All photos execpt the bottom one taken by Wilma (wearing green) on Tuesday morning's hike.

Thursdays Are For Knit Group And Survivor

We were small in numbers at knit group today. The day was marked by terribly strong winds and early this morning lots of rain. No wonder some stayed home. But those of us that managed to keep tires on the pavement had a good time.

Doreen wants a message sent to the Southampton knitters. Remember the magazine
she stole borrowed the day we visited? She has made good use of it.
Both the top and the hat were patterns from the magazine. Apparently her plan is to make a return visit to give back the magazine. Watch out Southampton.

Sharon spent last Saturday at a Button Beading workshop. 10am to 4pm. What does she have to show for those six hours?
One button.
According to Sharon, not everyone in the class finished their button! Each bead is sewn on by hand with only a couple of beads at a time being strung on the thread. A very time consuming craft.

Look at the size of this piece of entrelac Sharon is knitting. She is using Patons Soy yarn and intends to make a felted bag. Can't wait for the reveal on this one, Sharon.

That scarf Doreen is knitting is lovely. One strand thick yarn alternated with
one strand thin yarn.

Wilma finished the little crocheted jacket. A top-down project.
Another happy grand child coming up. Do you think Wilma likes that colour? The jacket, her shirt and if you could see it, her necklace too, are all the same colour.

On to Survivor. Debbie wants to be third????? Who's kidding who? JT said it best - you can't trust someone who turns so easily. But still coach remains. I thought it revealing that when the 'loved ones' came to visit, Coach's loved one was his assistant coach. The grand finale, Sunday night. Always a good show and lots of knitting time.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Test Results

Several of you took the surprise test and guessed at the building out back.
Anxious, I'm sure you are, to find out if you passed the test. But like any annoying good teacher, I shall drag this out.

Marie guessed barn. But no, Marie, no animals are kept in this building. Although, occasionally, depending on the season, some do visit.

Terri hedged her bets and chose the 'all the above' category including, Church, fire hall and school.

Blogless Vera, said she couldn't distinguish enough of the building to take a guess.

Laurie M and Sandra both guessed a Church. Sandra said it was because the building was big.

Perhaps, I should have offered a few clues. People gather in this building, routinely, twice a week. They are a quiet, well-mannered crowd. Music sometimes emanates from the building. The building is used some seasons more than others.

Yes, it's a Church. Let me tell you, a Church makes a wonderful neighbour. No barking dogs, no nosy or noisy people, no late-night parties. They created a basket ball court in the parking lot and never use it. All our young, visiting athletes have benefited from that. They plow their snow and mow their grass. And never on a Sunday. They're the best neighbours we've ever had.

On the knitting front, I mentioned perhaps two FOs this week. Here you are. No, it's not Skinny Ribs. Last night, after returning from Book Club, (May's selection was Next by Michael Crichton. Not a favourite of mine) I was too tired to tackle anything challenging. Inspired by the two, new, hand-crocheted dishcloths
I purchased at the market yesterday, I did my best to replicate them.
Not quite, but not bad. Passes my test.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

The Skinny On Skinny Ribs

With the 'Easter Topper 2010' safely in the sweater drawer, it's on to new things.
In my case, 'new' reminds me of the song ' Everything Old Is New Again'.

My 'new' knitting project is an old one. I started Skinny Ribs
from this book,
sometime this winter and set it aside for another project. Perhaps Abi's Bolero. Enough time has passed, though, that I don't actually remember why I set it down.

All that's left to complete are the sleeves. Fortunately, before starting them, I thought 'just in case' and tried it on. It looks as if I was a bit carried away on the shoulder to armscye portion. In some settings a top with a neckline below the nipples might be acceptable, but nowhere I go.

It seems deflating to rip out the entire thing - it's knit top down - to shorten the neck depth. I think the sewing machine will do a great job. An inch taken off across the shoulders should do the trick. Then on to the sleeves.

It might just be a two 'FO' week for Brenda. After all that Pushy Jacket is really getting aggressive. Musn't leave her in the queue too long.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Surprise Test

Hopefully these words don't horrify you as much as they might have done in high school, but today is test day. To get an objective opinion, I'm throwing the test out there for any readers to take.

May 11 is test day at our house. It is the anniversary of the first day the Realtor showed us this house. That was 2006 and up to that point, it had been a warm spring; the leaves on the trees were well formed. Fred stood at the patio doors in the dining area, looking through the leaves and asked the Realtor "What is that building back there?"

Each year on May 11, we stand at the patio doors and take the test. We ask ourselves if we can distinguish 'the building'. If not, we know that spring is just as far advanced as it was in /06. But if we can identify the building, we know we are in the middle of a slow spring. Well, perhaps I should say - the slow spring is confirmed, as most likely we already 'know' how cold and wet the weather has been.

But, since we now well know what building is out back, we wonder if our test is confused by our knowledge. (Visions of high school again) We need some objective opinions.

So - Can you tell what that building is? Not our shed or the neighbours shed and camper, but the big building beyond the birch trees. Leave me a comment and let me know.

As to knitting, some wondered about my comment regarding the Easter Topper 2010. I said that the orange and green yarns were stash yarns,
mostly the same gauge as the Super 10 but not all. What I didn't say was that the orange and green are actually many yarns. I changed yarns each row - as in an Easy Peasy Wrap,(scroll down) except the topper is in stockinet stitch, not garter. There are actually about 5 different yarns in each colour block. Some of them are the same gauge as the Super 10 but some are thicker. Using them only occasionally, seems not to have distorted the gauge more than tolerably. The Topper is blocking as I write. I really like it. For sure it passed the test.

Friday, May 8, 2009

It's Done!

Well, if you don't count the loose ends, it's done.

It looks great and it fits too!! A double whammy!! And I didn't have to frog as originally thought. Double Double Whammy!!

I particularly like the waist-shaping darts, Grumperina put in this pattern. They are difficult to see in the green, but if you look closely at the orange section in the upper photo, you can see the dart lines.

Pattern: Picolvi by Grumperina - great pattern. Very easily modified.
Yarn: The off white is Super 10 cotton. One and a bit skeins. The greens and oranges are stash. Mostly the same gauge as the Super 10 but not all.

Modifications: The obvious - sleeves added. I simply knit as per Grumperina's instructions to join under the arm, then knit each sleeve down from there.

No Picot edge. I noted with my first Picolovi " Picot edge nice, but not sure it's worth the effort." I heeded my own advice and used ribbing for the neckline. Several ravelers noted that when sleeves were added, the picot-edged neck pulled down. The ribbing should help with that, I hope.

To give a flatter hem, I used garter stitch rather than repeat the ribbing from the neckline.

I moved the dart lines closer to centre. With my first Picolvi, the dart lines pointed to the pits and not the points, as they were meant to do. Not such a good look.

I added the better part of an inch in the straight-knitting section after the waist decreases. I am long waisted and again I learned from my first Picolvi.

Yippee! It's done. And in time for Easter 2010. Perhaps, tomorrow should be a yarn shopping day.