Monday, September 26, 2005

How can it be Monday already?

Where does the time go anyway?

Friday night, I made a wonderful dinner of roast chicken with stuffing, mashed yams and steamed broccoli. Friends stopped in for a visit later and we enjoyed the last of the apple pie. Saturday morning Doug and I had a mountain bike ride, went into Toronto for dinner (at the Buddha Vegetarian, 666 Dundas St. West), and saw two friends perform for the Acoustic Harvest -- Rob Ritchie and Terry Young. Sunday we slept in -- which means the cats actually let us do so -- and then spent the afternoon with more good friends. The evening brought yet another mountain bike ride, followed by a pot of home-made chicken soup which Carrie pronounced to be "delicious!" How much better can it get?

Funny you should ask. Because it does get better! This is the progress on the Lace Aran sweater: Posted by Picasa

Doesn't it look wonderful? Who would have thought that lace could mimic an aran-style pattern? I certainly didn't. And I find myself entranced with all those yarn-overs, slip-knit-passovers and knit-2-togethers. I sit for hours knitting on this, and don't even grumble much when I have to tink. Well, except for the Irish Knots. Knitting four stitches into one, passing three of the new ones over ... doesn't lend itself well to tinking.

And just to prove that I can actually handle two projects on needles at once -- the socks became travel knitting and I finished a small pair for my Dulaan box and started another pair for me!

Thursday, September 22, 2005

An experiment in multi-tasking

I have been working on socks. Lots of socks. Lots and lots of socks, in fact. So many socks that I am dreaming of socks. The good news is that there is no "Second Sock Syndrome" in my home. The tenacity with which I knit socks does lead to an unfortunate side-effect -- an incredible lack of variety in my knitting life.

Now, I know that I have ADD (Attention Deficit Syndrome), and that I consequently do not multi-task well. I also know that having two projects on the go at the same time has traditionally driven me to distraction. Which project to favour with my attention when I have a minute or two to spare? The decision kills me!

In a fit of ambition and an effort to tame the ADD, I have taken a deep breath and jumped right into the multi-project fray. The socks now live in a small travel knitting bag and will land right next to my purse. Whenever I go somewhere outside the house, the socks will go with me. Thus they will not be forgotten, nor will I develop a case of SSS.

But what shall I work on at home? Strange you should ask. Here it is -- my newest ambition:
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Aran Lace, a pattern written by Annie Maloney. The really nice thing about the purchase of this pattern, aside from the beauty of the design, is that a portion of the proceeds go to the Ontario Brain Injury Fund. It's always nice when you can support a good cause in the normal course of your day. The yarn is Stylecraft Special, an acrylic/wool blend sold by Lewiscraft. Normally I would support my LYS, but this yarn was on sale. 800 grams, which should be enough to make the sweater with some leftover for Dulaan projects, all at 30% off. Nice, eh? I've currently completed 12 rows, which is exactly one-half of the largest pattern repeat.

Now ... to see if I can manage two projects on the needles at once. My daughter suspects not.

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Work in Process

It has occurred to me that I don't believe that I've shown a WIP here. Plenty of finished projects, but not a WIP.

So ... here it is! (Coris -- if you are reading this -- stop right here!)

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This is a scarf pattern from the 2005 Pattern-A-Day calendar, the Little Leaf Lace Scarf designated for April 21, 2005. The yarn I'm using is Regia Silk in a lovely grey-blue. Originally purchased for socks, the yarn preferred to become a scarf. I found it to pill a bit, certainly far more quickly than I would want for a pair of socks. Anyone else have the same experience?

Monday, September 12, 2005

A day of my own

While reading the blog of my hero, Stephanie Pearl-McPhee (otherwise known as the Yarn Harlot), I finally took the plunge and made the commitment to attend the Waterloo County Knitters Fair 2005. With the price of gas, my current state of unemployment and hence no income, I had reluctantly decided to pass on the opportunity to fondle yarns. The deciding factor? Stephanie would be attending the fair. Since I had a copy of Stephanie's first book which needed to be autographed for one of my dearest friends, it was a no-brainer. I would attend.

First let me say that the map provided by the municipality of Waterloo was entirely bizarre. The map clearly indicated that I should exit the 401 at Highway 8, drive north until the intersection with Victoria Street and I would be there. Unfortunately, Victoria Street is closed for construction right at the specified intersection. Besides, the mailing address of Bingeman's is Waterloo. Which is why I (oh-so-prudently I thought) had disregarded the signs advising me to exit the 401 at Guelph if I wanted to find my way to Bingeman's. Hmm. Was this a portent?

So I pressed onward, devout in my intentions to visit the Fair. After all, I had crawled out of bed at 8:00 am, driven 2 hours and was free from husband and child. Only a weak-willed knitter would turn back at this point, frustrated by the lack of signage. After figuring out how much gas I had wasted were I to retreat, I finally found my way out of the black hole of despair, and found the fair.

At the fair, I found this:
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I swear these things followed me home. Honest. They just waddled along behind me until we found the car, and what could I do?

I purchased Stephanie's second book titled "The Secret Life of a Knitter." I've managed to read the introduction and two chapters. If you enjoy her blog, buy the book. She's entirely too funny.
I watched a lady get a spindling lesson right at the Gemini Fiber booth, and it looked ... well ... fun, to be precise. So I purchased a book (Hands On Spinning by Lee Raven) as well as a hand-made drop spindle. Of course, if one has acquired the text and the tool, one must also have fiber. That's why I purchased 100g of 100% Merino wool.

Having drooled over the Van Gogh Stole (designed by Anne Russell) at previous shows, I finally took the plunge and purchased a kit as well. And since everyone raves about Opal sock yarn and the colour was too yummy to pass by, I purchased a ball of Opal as well.

Another high note of the day was meeting Michelle. She so graciously displays her photo on her blog and so was easy to recognize. Accompanying her was CurlieGirl. Of course, I did also get to chat with Stephanie for a few minutes. Alas, I left the house without my camera.

Dates to remember -- the 9th Annual Knitter's Frolic (sponsored by the Downtown Knit Collective) will occur on Saturday, April 22, 2006. The Waterloo County Knitters' Fair 2006 will occur on Saturday, September 9, 2006. Be there, or be square!

Tuesday, September 06, 2005


Today was the first day of school across Ontario. My daughter started high school today. Another milestone. And the last of my children to attend high school. Sigh.

But she's still my little girl. At 14 and a half, there's an awful lot of young lady there. She primps in the mirror, she dresses for effect and not comfort. But deep inside, hidden underneath all those layers of young adult ... My baby hides. How do I know?

Well, this is her favorite pillow in the whole world.

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He travels with her everywhere -- except canoe camping in Algonquin Park. And that's only because there was no room in her backpack for him.

Bear is modeling the completed baby blanket. It was made with Dreambaby D.K. from Plymouth Yarns, following a pattern from the Leisure Arts book Beginner's Guide -- Knit Stitches & Easy Projects. I used 6 skeins of yarn.

In other news, Carrie's bedroom renovation project is completed. We had a deadline of Sept. 3 to have it finished because the band, Tanglefoot , was going to be staying with us. Couldn't have the guys sleeping in the living room, ya know? So we finished it, just in the nick of time. And now Carrie has her story wall autographed by the band.