Thursday, August 30, 2007

Shawl We?

Sock yarn for shawls rocks. Just my opinion but here's why I say this. I am not a genteel Regency waif, I am more of a modern roue. As a consequence, the nylon in this sock yarn made for a wonderful wear. I did not arrive home with horrid wrinkles on the back from sitting in the car, it did not stretch while wearing and then settle around the bottom of the armpit neccessiating frequent yanks back over the clavicle, it did stretch nicely over curvey parts but when I took it off I did not have 2 marked cups pressed into the front panels. All of this is bad news for the Black Bunny laceweight feather and fan shawl, it doesn't have this give. But having looked at some other versions of the F&F shawl on Ravelry it will someday be pulled from hibernation.
The suble and lovely yarn is Dream in Color Smooshy. November Muse colourway purchased from The Loopy Ewe. One Skein with less than 3 metres left over. There was not enough yarn left to crochet the little flower that the pattern uses to hold the shawl closed, but I didn't love that feature anyway.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Taking the knits into the world.

Spotted in the wild is the Modified Ribwarmer. As part of the program to introduce handknits into the naturalised environment I took the Ribwarmer to Niagara Falls. (American Side) We spent a peaceful morning watching tourists, breathing in rejuevenating negative ions, and knitting. When it started to become crowded and litter-y it was relaxing to toodle down the road listening to podcasts. I especially enjoyed Carpe Lanam. (And I'm not just saying that because one of my essays was on the show once). I am very impressed with how professional some of the podcasts sound now, but without losing that Cafe feeling.

The stitchmarkers were made with coilless pins, available from Patternworks, Knitpicks, or at a Big Box store that starts with W. (I never actually seen them at a LYS). The hardest part was finding number beads. I finally met with success at Michael's Craft store. It was part of a cute kit to make necklaces for stuffed animals. So a devoted mother could make stitch markers and then give the rest of the beads to the wee ones for their craft day. After threading the beads on I put a tiny crimp into the backside of the pin so that the beads would stay on the pin when it was unclasped. Simple and fun.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007


I actually finished this back in June, uploaded the image, and then never posted it. It was one of those things I cast on during my break at home, and finished up before I left the assignment. It's just a little machine washable baby cardi for co-worker. Knit all in one piece with a pick up cardigan edging.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Whatcha Doin'?

First there's a little Space Alien...

Seriously, can you name that object?

Then there's a way to count rows and reps.
And some words to mark the pattern by.

Monday, August 20, 2007

The View from this side of the Mask.

Let me start by saying: Do Not send hate mail. The following is controversial, it is My opinion, and I'm not saying you have to agree.

The subject is obesity, fluffiness, plus-size, whatever we want to call it. More precisely it is about what it does to our health. It is not however, about heart disease, diabetes, or Syndrome X. It's about something simpler than that.

We had a young (33 year old) lady come to the ER. She was out with her boyfriend doing stuff in town, she started to have chest pain, he drove her to the ER. He chose the ER because she's never sick and has no known health problems so it scared him when she got sick. By the time he got there (less than 12 minutes from her first complaint), she had stopped breathing. The crew ran out, snatched her up, and found Cardiac Arrest. Due to her body size 300+ pounds they were unable to successfully defibrillate her. Despite multiple attempts at multiple joules.

Now this is no slacker hospital. They have one of the best heart programs in the country. So they rushed her to the Cardiac Cath lab in an attempt to dissolve the clot that had caused coronary attack. They bypassed CT because she was too heavy for the table.

They get her to Cath, and are initally unable to insert the catheter because of the size of her apron (that little part of the belly that starts as jelly, becomes a pooch, and eventually folds over to a fat roll.) By having one person hold up her belly, the doctor was able to make the incision and insert the wire. Here we were defeated again, because of her size, the radiation was insufficient to adequately image what they needed to see. If they turned it up they risked burning her tissue and causing irreversible damage.

At this point, defeat had to be accepted. She had gone too long without circulation.

With all the fabulous technology available we were unable to save this young, vibrant, pretty lady. And she left a boyfriend who has to go to the daycare and explain it to her 2 children.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Off the needles and in the suitcase.

From my knitting class. Honestly if I had known before I paid for the class that it was this pattern Camellia, I would have just bought the pattern. But making it in a class worked too because I am competitive and didn't want to be the person who didn't finish.
It was a quick knit at 2.5 stitches to an inch. I am glad they had a store model to try on. If you go to Stephanie Japel's website you will see she wears it very loose and off the shoulders. To me the whole point is to warm the clavicle. So I ended up making a 42" size so it would have longer sleeves and then drawing in the waist and neckline with single crochet when it was finished. It's very curvy looking on. And because I used Decadence Alpaca it's lofty and warm. (sheds though) In one of those weird personality quirks I realised that with the price of the class and the mag button and yarn, it ran me about $60 and I would never buy a $60 shrug to keep my shoulders warm. But I had the joy of making it. It's made of 5 rectangles and they go together like origami. It is Not a pattern easily adapted to changes.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Summertime Rolls

Finished another pair for the Plunge. Tragically they are flawed, but they're socks and ask me if I care. ;) I do need to stop trying to learn new techiques and make some actual socks that could be given as gifts to others. Except, it's hard to know if they are worthy of socks - besides The Adored One, I mean.

Knit with ZenString Summertime Rolls Serendipity Sport. From The Loopy Ewe. Done on 3.25 mm, toe up using the Rectangular toe, Queen Kahuna Gusset/Heel, and Garter Rib leg.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Cleaning house

Some of you may remember UFO August 2006 where I initially met Chelle. So I was looking around and thought...Wow! What exploded in this place?(better that than 'What died?').

This led to cleaning, which led to organising, which led to realising I'm only here 46 more days. What can I do in 46 days? First I can face what I've got on the needles....

The socks may have to sit, they are lovely stuff in a pocket work, but my fingers are anti-little needles right now.

Then I can prioritise my actions. I want to wear some of this to SOAR (Spin Off Autumn Retreat) and some of this is serious winter gear. Hmmmn.

I treated myself to Harry Potter 5 on the Big Screen. I could have seen it IMAX but I get motion sick and decided not to risk it in 3D. Love Luna's crocheted cardi. Cute Cute Cute.
It was a Long movie. How long.... Cast this on during the previews. Size 8 needles.

This photo is pure braggadocio...See the pretty short row wraps? Of course not, that's why I took this picture!

Friday, August 10, 2007

Someone licked the Red right off my Candy Cane.

Oops, it was me.

Funny how the mind works.
All recent problems aside I generally subscribe to the Life is Good theory. I grew up in an alcoholic bluecollar poor environment. I was one of those kids that not only got free lunch, but was marched to the cafeteria with children of migrant farm workers for breakfast too. (I still adore a hot breakfast, especially if I don't have to cook it.) Finding myself faced at an early age with the option of a State Home or... I ran away. So when I stop to look at the big picture of my life, I'm pretty happy. I have The Adored One, a Pink Collar job, a nice home, a car that starts without prayers, and spoiled dogs. Nifty. Life is Good.

So I'm riding in the car with a lovely young lady (younger than me) to a Knit Night and asking the usual "getting to know" questions. Her and her husband are both Master Degree Psychologists, she's a Professor at a big university and he practises some experimental form that sounds really interesting. She got into Psych because she felt it was the most effective way that she could further "Social Justice". They are house hunting (big price tag houses) and she is talking about this that and the other.

I began to get that queasy feeling in the gut, that inadequate, what do I have to show for my life feeling. No Masters. Small house. No grand designing theme to my life. Not envious, not angry, just inadequate and gauche. That Girl-Not-Invited-to-the-Prom feeling. Did I mention she has thick gorgeous curly hair?

Now, I don't generally read Biographies or Dramas because I don't find other people's bad events to be relaxing. But I do read alot of histories of ethnic groups. Just plain people who lived in tiny houses, faced incredible hardships and still created culture, beauty and love.

What does this have to do with knitting? I'm knitting a lace shawl right now. And while, after it's blocked, it's the yarn overs and the K2tog/SKPs that will be noticed as airy designs, without the plain stitches in between there would be nothing. And in a textured design, all those cables, twists and bumps are stunning, but only because of the smooth stitches that create contrast. In an elaborate colour work design, it's the plain section that rests the eye.

So perhaps it doesn't matter that I don't have a thirst for some scheme, or plans to return to school and change the world, or that I need to buy a roof. Even plain stitches form the fabric of a good life.

Sunday, August 05, 2007

Anyone know any good Superstitions

Involving Praying Mantis? When I went this morning to exercise I found a Praying Mantis on the underside of my doorknob. Poor thing, I didn't have the lights on and found him by grabbing the knob. After I turned on the lights and put him outside where Praying Mantis food lives I wondered if it was a sign that I should stay inside?

After finally accepting the reality of the yarn I was spinning I decided to cast on my Fern & Flower Shawl in millspun.

First I got about 32 rows in Lorna's Shephard Sport in the Gold Hill colourway on Bryspun US 8s. Great yarn but it wasn't the visual I carried in my mind.


I cast on Dream in Color Smooshy in November Muse on Bryspun US 6s. Bought, of course, atTLE More congruent with the mental image.