Friday, December 24, 2010

From Us To You

Thanks you to all my readers for your faithfulness to my blog all through the year.

Wishing you a Merry Christmas, while visions of yarn and exciting new projects dance in you heads.

Doreen and Wilma are not in these pictures as I forgot to bring out the camera until after they had gone home.

The sweater's done. The felted hat almost. Modelled shots in the new year.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Still At It

Having been upbraided by an 'anonymous' commenter that sounded awfully like Peter, the recipient of the dark, grey, plain sweater, for spoiling his Christmas surprise by blogging about the sweater, I give you a shot that only a knitter could figure out.

Knitters know what this means. It means Almost There! I think I will make it.

I have decided however, to test my blood pressure pills, - what good are they if they don't work under pressure - by starting another Bucket Hat. In my extended family we have a $10 gift exchange. Each person buys a $10 gift for a person like themselves. I, being an adult female buy a gift for an adult female. The gifts are all piled on the table and gifts are selected as names are drawn.

Then we fight over them. Well, fight is too strong a word, but we allow the gift to be 'stolen' three times. It's great fun. Good after dinner entertainment, doesn't cost anyone much and keeps us thinking all year of what we might like to give. Except me. I just decided after finishing a hat for Dorothy that I want to give a bucket hat. So bring on those pills!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Decorating The Hat

Look what arrived in my email box yesterday afternoon. Knitting daily sent a free pattern for the perfect flower to adorn Dorothy's hat. How lucky is that? I can't wait to try this flower.

However, with knitting time at a premium, considering I still have a sweater and a pair of Fisherman's mittens to finish before Friday, in the case of Dorothy's hat, the dollar store worked better. A Christmas bauble - reduced to 42 cents! - nothing too good for Dorothy:) - a bag of craft feathers and look at the result!

Dorothy will be the best 'hatted' Red Hatter.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Dorothy's Red Hat

Despite the hours spent knitting Peter's sweater on the weekend, I did manage to finish Dorothy's red hat.
It was so much fun to knit. An easy-to-follow pattern and a quick knit. A perfect antidote to the monotonous, dark grey, plain, stockinet sweater requested by Peter.

The hat is delightful and will be even more so if I can find a chunky purple decoration for the side. This is Bonnie Marie Burns pattern - Felted Bucket Hat, knit 100% according to pattern with red Rejuvenation yarn. Felting time was 10 minutes. I love it. Thanks for the inspiration, Sharon.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Red It Is

Copying is something I do well. Once having seen Sharon's MIL's Red Hat Society red hat, I came home and ordered Bonnie Marie Burns pattern for the Felted Bucket Hat.

Using a ball of bright red Rejuvenation, I started the hat at knit group yesterday. It is a quick knit and in between bites of goodies, I managed to do this.
This hat is not for me - red is so not my colour. This hat is for Dorothy. Fun loving Dorothy of the bright and cheerful socks. I will see her on the 27th . Hopefully the hat will be done and decorated with some very creative purple ornament by that time. Suggestions?

Have a great weekend everyone.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Thursdays Are For Knit Gorup And My Survivor Review

Last week was our Christmas celebration. This week - well, two celebrations are twice as good - so Christmas goodies it was.
Cookies, chatter and knitting. A great afternoon.

Sandy B was home for the holidays from Florida. She has joined a knitting group down south and brought with her some wonderful Florida knitting. The beginnings of a sock -yarn, mitred square blanket
and a lovely linen vest/wrap thing.
Very haute couture Sandy.

Nicki modelled a wonderful hat, knit by Gloria. We all want that pattern.

Sharon had a request from hubby Bob for his third!! pair of felted clogs. Pre-felted, they look rather funny. We hope to see them in their felted state, Sharon.

Marlene made two fun hats. Lilac in colour, they almost went home with our lilac queen - Ingrid.

Doreen, ever the charitable knitter, had several of these little bags for her Sunday School class.
She fills them with goodies and trinkets for the girls. They will love them, Doreen.

Joanne came with three finished pairs of her wonderful mittens. Admired here by Ingrid.
One more knitting Thursday this year, then the library is closed for a week. We will all have withdrawal!

On to Survivor. Again last night I was at the Cantata practise. But arrived home to see the vote. I'm not surprised. No one would want to face the jury against that contestant. Fred tells me they had their family visits. Late in the season as Sunday night is the finale. Survivor finale is such a great knitting night.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Free At Last

I saw something this morning I haven't seen for over a week. The sun! I think the storm is over.

Over enough that I intend to go to work this morning. Or at least intend to attempt to go. Fred is blowing the driveway as I write and has cautioned me to take extra warm clothes, the phone, food and a candle. Routine emergency items for winter travelling in our parts. Despite road conditions and weather, I am determined to go to work today.

It is the day of our Christmas luncheon. All the knitters who participated in KALs at the store throughout the fall are coming - or at least were invited to come - for lunch and show & tell today. Who would miss that?

On the knitting front , an 'anonymous' -sounded just like Peter- commenter yesterday cautioned that if I keep posting updates on 'the' sweater there won't be much of a surprise for him under the tree. Sorry, Pete, Stop reading now. Here's what the storm did.

I'm beginning to doubt the pattern, though and think I might rip and re-knit as per Elizabeth. The pattern calls for 83 stitches at the upper sleeve with a gauge of 5 stitches per inch. That makes the upper sleeve only about 16 inches around. Not very roomy for a muscular guy wanting a 'jacket' sweater. I'm still considering, but don't be surprised if I take it back.

Here's to safe driving on bare roads with sunny skies above.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Weather Watching

Help! I'm stuck and can't get out! Here are my dining room and kitchen windows at 7am this morning.

Once the light came, it looked like this.

That old Farmers Almanac adage about snow being a good insulator? Those of you with ancestors smart enough to avoid the great white north when they got off the boat might have never heard it, but supposedly snow makes a good insulator. What a bunch of hooey! Our hydro went out at 8pm last night, (That was a miracle in itself. With the high winds we had are having, I was surprised we had hydro that long.) and by 8:30 the house, surrounded by GOBS of snow, had cooled. I went to bed.

There was knitting though. Two sleeves, machine knit. One of them has to be ripped. Having knit the body by hand on a 4mm needle, I suspected that a stitch dial setting of either 4 or 4.5 would do. Rather than do a gauge swatch - they lie anyway - I knit one sleeve at each setting.
I think the 4 is the one I like best, so today - since I can't go anywhere - I'll rip and re-knit the second sleeve at stitch dial 4.

Machine knitting really rolls. Here's a better look.

Son Peter emailed, last night, to say Toronto has little to no snow. That's a mere two hours south. Grrrr.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Snowed In

Family and friends have been calling and emailing to ask about our snow. Do we have any yet? Are the roads open? Have we been skiing yet? Well, let's just say OH MY GOSH!!!

December 2nd, it started snowing here and it stopped for a bit of a breather on December 10. In that period we received 124 centimetres. That's 50 inches for those of us that still speak Imperial.

Yesterday it started again. The weatherman predicts another three days and 30 centimetres of snow. It is a good thing that Fred likes - or at least he used to, an overdose can kill any one's enthusiasm - using the snow blower. He has done little else for the last 10 days. Besides the driveway and the sidewalk to the front door, we are the only people I know that must also shovel the deck. We have a hot tub out there and if the snow isn't shovelled, the hot tub is impossible to access. Would Fred care? Nope. He's not a hot tub guy. It's me that likes the hot tub. There are just enough steps to the deck to prevent Fred hauling up the snow blower, so he shovels. During this never-ending snow storm, he almost gets the entire job of driveway, sidewalk and deck finished before it needs doing again.

And no, we haven't been skiing. Although the hills are just twelve minutes from home, we can't get there. "Oh Canada, we stand on guard for thee" An easy job really - who the heck would come here?

It's impossible for me to convey the snow depth without braving the cold to take a measure tape to it, like Londoner Patti Ann did and I have no intentions of doing, but here are a couple of hots.

To say that I've had lots of knitting time, would be an understatement. Good thing, too, as I've promised Number Two Son, Peter, a sweater for Christmas. The storm and the sweater were started the same day. Peter chose Avast from Knitty. 14 of the 16 body inches are finished
and both sleeve cuffs started.
With house-bound hours in front of me today I am going to see if I can get identical gauge on the machine and do the sleeves the quick way.

I knit, Fred shovels. I knit some more, Fred shovels some more. Traditional roles work for me.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Thursdays Are For Knit Group And My Survivor Review

You can't beat the 'festive season' for food. Knit group started today at noon, with lunch at a local eatery. Following quiche, coffee and chocolate, we headed off to the library for knitting.

Sharon not only finished her own felted hat, but last weekend, knit one for her MIL as well. It was knit after hubby admired Sharon's hat and knew just the perfect gift for Mom in Florida. Guess what society Mom belongs to?
That's gorgeous, Sharon. With such inspiration, I've now put your felted hat in my queue!

Look at Sharon modelling her hat. A hat person for sure!

Koigu-wearing Ingrid models one of Gail's scarves. Number three for Gail, if my math is right.
Another knit in my queue. Inspiration at this level, could wear my fingers to the bone.

Bonnie finished one pair of socks and is onto pair number two. Santa's elves have competition here.

Gail, too is knitting socks.
I love these colours. In fact that same yarn has taken up residence in my yarn room.

What are these you might ask. Doreen has knit two sets of them. Called purse or
pocketbook slippers, you sew them together at each end, then button the pointed tops. Small enough to carry in your purse, you never need to have cold feet again. How snow-belt is that?

On to Survivor. Survivor was a wash for me last night. I was asked to narrate the Christmas Cantata at Church and last night was rehearsal night. I arrived home just as the Survivor credits were rolling. Time shifting meant I could watch it at 11. Huh! I saw the muddy challenge, and a bit of the reward before the eyes closed. Good thing Fred could fill me in this morning. The one thing I hoped not to see was the two drop outs, Kelly and Naonka, on the jury. But apparently, the Survivor powers that be allowed them on the jury. Too bad.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Two Fingers, One Hand

One of Fred's fishing mittens is done.
It's a strange looking item - even knowing that's not the middle finger!

Using both a glove pattern and a mitten pattern I jigged back and forth between the two to get my glitten. The pattern called for worsted weight yarn and mine being closer to aran makes the finished product look wide for it's length. I've been assured the fish won't mind.

Starting with the mitten pattern, I worked the cuff and thumb gusset. At that point, I switched to the glove pattern and made the first finger. With the finger complete, it was back to the mitten pattern to finish off.

Glitten number two to follow soon. In the meantime, take a look at our snow.

It went from this Friday evening
- the first, fun, soft, atmosphere-inspiring snowfall of the season, to this
by Tuesday morning. My laundry window - totally blocked by snow.

Of course, that is nothing compared to my friends back in London. 30 inches have fallen there. Stated by the weatherman and confirmed by my friend and her tape measure.

It gets old fast, doesn't it?

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

James Socks

James socks were out the door when I realized I hadn't given you details. Never too late for details, here they are.

When last I spoke of the socks, I had failed miserably to do a correct heel flap. Instead of the 28 (50%) stitches required, my mis-count gave me only 26. Of course, I didn't count twice, but proceeded to complete the flap. And the heel turn. Or at least I tried to turn the heel. Without the correct number of stitches, it was quite one-sided.

But done now and off to Hearst in the Christmas box, here are the details.

Pattern - Sock 101 from Need A Sock? Using 56 stitches to fit a shoe size 5.

Yarn - Waikiwi in dark green. This yarn is by Naturally from New Zealand and contains 10% Possum Fur.

Ribbing - My favourite. A 2 X 2 rib.

Heel Flap & Turn -Again my favourite. The SL 1, K 1 heel flap with a round - start short rowing at two past centre - heel.

Toes - Round toes. Favourites?? You bet. Decrease every other round until 50% of stitches remain, then decrease every round until 25% remain before grafting.

Mods - With 56 stitches, I was able to put an easy, seven-stitch pattern on the leg of K6, P1. It's great how that seven stitch pattern not only flowed nicely from the 2 X 2 ribbing, but also fit into my 56 stitch sock a perfect eight times. Four for the front of the leg,. Four for the back.

All in all, a favourite pattern,
knit in lovely yarn, for my favourite (and only) grand son.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Knitters 100th

A friend emailed me recently to give me this hot new link. Knitters magazine is celebrating it's 100th issue with a free digital copy.

Take a Gravol before you open it. The digital reading made me queasy. Enjoy.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Socks Done. Box Gone.

James socks are done
and the box has gone.

What a wrapping frenzy, this morning. In order to keep track of gifts for the Hearsters without relying on my memory, nothing had been wrapped. Today was my personal deadline for getting the box to the post office. That meant an early morning rush to wrap the gifts, pack, tape and address the box, then shove Fred out the door, box in hand, in time to meet the 10:30am departure deadline. We made it!

You've heard me say - "I don't knit for others." You've heard me say "I don't do Christmas knitting." Well, 2010 seems to be a year of exceptions to my rule. Look at my Christmas knitting.
Hats with rabbit fur trim for Abi and Sarah. Socks with Possum fur for James. 'Morgan's Cardi for Abi and a pair of felted slippers for anyone they might fit. Nothing hand knit for Mom or Dad. Sorry. There's only so much these hands can do.

Insured and stamped, the box is leaving town as I write. Let's hope the postman delivers faster than I knit.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Thursdays Are For Knit Group And My Survivor Review

A snowy day put all the Meaford knitters in the mood. The wool mood. Who doesn't want to wear hand knit woolies on a day like today?

Bonnie was the first I noticed to be surrounded by lots of wool. She has finished her first and almost her second Churchmouse Ruffled scarf.
Is there another word besides 'cute' to use here?

Then Doreen arrrived wearing lots of wool.
She looks pretty cozy in her great hat paired with her new scarf. This is a Sally Mellville's
'Shape It Scarf' ' from Book 1 - The Knit Stitch. Under the coat she was wearing my vest-

- the one I designed, knit, wore for a few years and which Doreen snatched when I had my 'great, sweater-give-away' last year. It looks good on you, Doreen and I'm glad it has a new home.

Sharon is working on another hat.
This one the Felted Bucket Hat by Bonnie Marie Burns. I think you've got lots of felting to do there, Sharon to make that one fit.

Wilma has been busy knitting this.
We weren't sure how it should be worn since there is not obvious opening for the head. Wilma had to demonstrate.
It's a shrug. The Americo Kayla Shrug to be exact. Wilma has her hands in the sleeves.

And I can't leave you without a look at an Ingrid Koigu piece. This is not new but deserves a look anyway.
Ingrid worries that it makes her look pregnant. Pregnant Grandmothers are not the rarity they once were, but I don't think I'd worry if I were you, Ingrid.

On to Survivor. HA! HA! HA! I knew Naonka was bonkers!