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Sunday, August 29, 2010

The Summer Finishes...

Now that they are officially above board, they spend all their time in the back window.
hangin in the back window
Cats. Sigh.

I managed to finish 2 projects since I last posted:
3 year bootie

These booties took me almost 3 years to make.

Okay - truth be told, the knitting part took a weekend, crocheting the first 2 button loops took about 5 minutes, and then there was a 30+ month interval between that and me crocheting the last 2 button loops and sewing on the buttons. I am able to rationalize the time out because they were definitely boy colours, and the babies born in the interval form whom I would knit something were either girls, or were unknown genders and thus required gender neutral colours. (I realize that that excuse does not apply to the rest of my long list of UFO's.Oh well. )But now the wife of one of The Gambler's fencing coaches is expecting a boy. So I had the incentive to finish them.

I also finished knitting my Honest Tee:
pre-try on

In this case, it's just the knitting that is finished. I am still going to have to weave in ends, block it, and sew it up. I had toyed with the idea of knitting it in the round, but since this yarn apparently stretches after washing, I decided the seams might minimize bagging.

And even though one of the benefits of knitting in the round is being able to try the garment on as you work it, it's possible to do it with pieced garments:
Honest Tee try on

I created temporary seams with T-pins that my Secret Pal so brilliantly gifted to me:
t-pins are great!

The shoulder was "seamed" by alternating front and back stitches on the needle:
faux shoulder seam

There were 2 key learning points to doing the temporary seams:
1) Insert the pins with the points facing upward if you are going to pull the garment on over your head. This minimizes the likelihood that the pins will jab into you.
2) It is best to leave a bit of a gap below the underarm join, because if the pin sticks into the armhole proper, your armpit is going to get stuck.

Now my goal is to get it to wearable state by Labour Day.
Labour Day 2010, that is.

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Wednesday, August 25, 2010

What's more fun than 6 inches of 3x2 ribbing?

7 inches of 3x2 ribbing!

Front and back ribbing

Someone on Ravelry had commented that this top was a bit short. So for reasons that are still not clear to me, I decided to add an extra inch to the ribbing. [This is after knitting 6 inches of the ribbing with 3 mm needles before admitting to myself that negative ease is not a good idea in the waist area.]. I decided to take a break from knitting the front to work on the ribbing for the back, and I am finding it incredibly tedious. I think that the eyelet section in the front at least broke it up a bit.

I have also added some length to the non-ribbed section of the top, and I suspect that I will be adding some length to the section above the armholes. This is another reason to start working on the back before finishing the front - if I catch up to the front, I can try it on before I cast off for the neckline. I find it somewhat ironic that I won't be putting the front and back onto the same circular needle until after the armhole shaping begins rather than knitting it all in one piece.


Tuesday, August 24, 2010


We got a notice in the mail today from Toronto Animal Services. At first I thought they were referring to the occupant of our carport,

but then realized that they meant our contraband cats.

Greedo had no idea how they knew about him.

Somerset thought that maybe she could just blend into her surroundings. Given the amount of cat hair on our furniture, it's surprising that she wasn't successful.


Saturday, August 14, 2010

Look Ma! It's a rectangle!

I am finally knitting something other than a 12cm x12cm square:

Honest Seas

I am calling this project "Honest Tee"; according to the SWTC website, this colourway is "Honesty" (because apparently Rowan does not hold the patent on using yarn colourways names that give you no clue as to the actual colour) Pattern is Emerald Seas.

Speaking of patterns: I came across this pattern while cruising the Ravelry pattern browser today. A whole sweater of corrugated ribbing! And it will use up sock yarn!

Maybe I'll name that project George...


Friday, August 13, 2010

My garage went condo

As I was getting some stuff out of the car today, I realized that I was sharing the carport:

Moving is a bitch

Loft Living

Rocky had probably been taking a nap in the overhang above the door, and was rudely awakened when the automatic opener kicked into action.

I wasn't able to get my camera out of my purse in time to catch the various "La la la...Nothing to see here...I am just going to streeetch over towards the other rafter...These aren't the droids you are looking for" contortions. They are nimble little bastards; which is good, because I have this thing about wildlife landing in front of me.


Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Oh Bee-have

lavendar 1

lavendar 2

Instead of a front lawn, we have a rock garden with some perennials and shrubs.

coneflowers 2

coneflowers 1


Tuesday, August 10, 2010

The Eyes have it

Chicago Sightseeing:

Eye on you

Our summer "holiday" in Chicago involved a me attending a 5 day review course. The only way to make it through lectures that went from 7 until 5:30 was to bring some knitting. (By the way - did you know that if the atmospheric humidity is >70%, your sweat cannot evaporate? That was one little factoid I picked up during the course that I am quite enthralled with given that I don't think I will ever get used to humid Southern Ontario summers. Although I firmly believe that the statement "It's a dry cold, so it's not so bad" is complete and utter bullshit when the temperature is below -20C, it is waaaay easier to tolerate heat when the humidity is low)

gedifra vest
This vest is from a Gedifra booklet. I probably could have finished this before the end of the flight home if I hadn't ended up frogging several sections a few times. Since I forgot to bring a cable needle with me, I ended up using various other implements; first a swizzle stick, then a pen, and finally a crochet hook. (Cabling without a needle wasn't feasible because I often had to put my knitting down to take notes). What's the fun of knitting if you don't repurpose non-knitting items from time to time?

Gedifra Vest (complete with head!)

Although the pattern is written for worsted weight yarn, I used Cotanani that I picked up at Passionknit on clearance this June. It claims to be DK weight, but which seemed much plumper to me, and I was able to get gauge without it being too loose.

gedifra vest back

I am on a bit of a vest/tank kick right now - for a few reasons:
1. With the hot humid weather we have been having, it just seems wrong to knit something with long sleeves. Even if the weather will be different by the time I finish it.
2. I have acquired a collection of yarns in amounts less than that required to knit a full adult garment, but more than what would be needed for a hat or mittens.
2.1 Even though the amount might be perfect for a scarf, I do not like knitting scarves because they seem to take forever and for a huge percentage of the project they do not appear to get any longer no matter how much you knit.
2.2 Even though the amount might be perfect for a baby/small child garment, I knit very few baby/child garments because I am selfish most of the yarns I have are too nice high maintenance, plus I usually buy vibrant/dark colours.
3. Along with a long torso which requires extra knitting, I also have long arms, which require even more extra knitting. Vests and tanks have no arms.
4. I usually wear a lab coat at work, and a sweater in anything other than a very fine yarn is usually a bit too warm underneath. However, a vest is perfect, especially during the spring and fall when the air conditioning is turned up too high.

This weekend after I finished sewing up the vest, I knit several swatches with 2 different yarns: Yin (clearance quantity) and Kiwi laceweight (which turned out to be a true laceweight, thus not an appropriate sub for Rowan 4 ply). I started on a Green Gable, but realized that in order to get gauge, the fabric would be too loose for my liking, so I instead am reswatching for Emerald Seas(because I was keen enough to swatch in the round for Green Gable, so now I need to swatch flat!).
The Kiwi is going to be used for Arbor (with the yarn doubled up). In this case, I swatched flat, but now need to swatch in the lace pattern.

Hmmmm...perhaps it would be more accurate to say that I am on a swatch kick right now. I am just cranking out those little 12cm x12 cm squares.

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