Thursday, May 22, 2008

Finished Objects -- and it feels good!

Since I've started feeling better, I decided it was time to get my knitting baskets cleaned up. After all, at last count I had something like 6 (it MAY have been 7) projects on needles.

So I finished up the Patons top-down sweater. I put the finishing touches on the summer entrelac top. Life was good.

But there were still a lot of projects in the baskets, especially at the shop. So I took a deep breath, and dived in.

Look! It's the ubiquitous Clapotis!
This was knit in Atacama from Araucania Yarns, colourway no. 503. (I see that the manufacturer has reworked their colourway numbers. Dang, I hate when they do that! I think it is PT4 that I used.) I love the purples. This shawl was originally intended to be a gift for a friend who loves purple, but the daughter changed her mind about gifting it. And abandoned the project! I couldn't stand the thought of this being left lonely, cold and lost in the bottom of a closet somewhere, so I finished it. Besides, in my drug-induced haze in March and April, this was a good project on which to knit. Not a whole lot of thinking involved, which was a good thing.

I have a very nice customer at the shop who fell in love with the Austermann Step, colourway number 18. She purchased the ball and attempted a lacey scarf. Unfortunately, the wool was too fine for her fingers to work with.

She refused to bring the wool back for credit, although she was willing to bring it back for me to play with. So I knit up a scarf for her to enjoy, and filled it with good wishes.

Good thing, too, since she had recently tumbled down a flight of stairs and torn loose the ligaments and tendons in one foot.

The stitch pattern is a simple Fishtail Lace, with two garter stitches on each side. I've linked to a scarf pattern, but only to illustrate the stitch details. I just knit this one without a pattern at all. I used a 4.5mm needle and 42 stitches and knit until I was mostly out of wool.

So you may be asking yourself, what remains in the knitting basket? I am still working on Arabesque in lace-weight merino, on the Great American Aran Afghan in Patons Canadiana, as well as a new project -- KnitNet's Cream Tee in a lovely green cotton. No photos of this one, though, since I am still not certain I have enough to finish. Trips to the frog pond are better left undocumented ... (The pattern was published in the 2006 Pattern-A-Day calendar on June 5.)

Carrie has returned from her art trip to New York and is now fully immersed in the race to the end of the school year. She had fun, saw lots of museums, saw Hairspray, did some shopping, and some sightseeing. The trip included a visit to Ground Zero, which she reports is a construction site now, and she is pleased to report that there will be a memorial garden to commemorate the folks who died on that sunny September day.

And even more exciting? Progress in the bathroom. I am waiting just a wee, tiny bit longer to show you all the photos, though, because I am still savoring them. Tee hee!


Thursday, May 15, 2008

What's this?!

If you had happened to stop by my shop today, you would have seen this largish pile of yarn ends. Just laying there, looking mussed and tousled.

"What's this?" You might have asked. After all, it's been a while since you would have seen me working on anything in these colours. Well, until this last week, that is.

The answer? It is the ends that were snipped off of this--a sweater knit from the Patons Upside
Downers booklet. What makes this sweater truly unique and interesting is the fact that I knit it using donated bulky wool and appropriate sized needles, using the directions for the child size 2 sweater.

Yes, you did read that correctly.

This is a child's size 2 pattern, knit with bulky wool and 6.5mm needles. Gauge worked out to 3.5 stitches per inch, giving me an adult's medium sweater as the finished product.

The truly great news is that I managed to consume a fair amount of stash yarn in this sweater. Of course, I did run out of the white main colour with the bottom ribbing and sleeves left. A double strand of Patons Classic Merino was the perfect substitution both in colour and weight, though, so no harm done.

The sweater will be donated to the Mitten Tree project at my local church. This is a collection of warm clothing that is sent to a reservation in upper northern Ontario, where there is much need for this type of item. I hope that it is enjoyed in the wearing as much as it was in the knitting.

The daughter has gone to New York with the Visual Arts department at the high school. She will be visiting various art museums, doing some shopping (of course!) and seeing Hair Spray, returning home on Monday evening. This means that Doug and I will be child-free and foot-loose for this long Victoria Day weekend! We are contemplating wild and crazy plans, such as seeing the newest Chronicles of Narnia movie.

Such wild and crazy plans, eh?

And what else is new and exciting? How about a self-designed entrelac top knit in Butterfly
Super 10? The pattern is in the process of being written and test knit, and quite possibly submitted for publication, so keep your eyes on this site for updates!

Thursday, May 01, 2008

Fun at the Knitter's Frolic

Saturday, April 26, was the Big Day. My friend, Barb, and I ventured down to Toronto to partake of the delights of the Knitter's Frolic at the Japanese Cultural Centre. As always, it was a delightful day.

Barb and I agreed that we would go around the entire show before we bought anything. Yeah, right. We've all heard that one before. I CAN say, however, that Barb had the first falling down. She claims it is my fault--that I shouldn't have left her alone with the wool fumes. All I can say is this: at our ages, one would think that one of us could visit the facilities by herself and leave the other one to behave herself.

Turns out that I have a major weakness for sock yarns. As if I didn't already know that ... in any event, when sock yarns are available at better-than-wholesale-prices, one should indulge. Especially if the offspring enjoyed receiving hand-knit socks for Christmas last year. I scored one ball of Regia--that's the yellowish one in the upper left corner. (Sorry about the German site.) Then there are three balls of Super Soxx from Lang & Co. Followed by three balls of wool from Lana Grossa. I can feel a little bit of difference in the wools just by handling them, but I suspect they will all knit up in a very satisfactory manner. (Sorry about the lack of links for Super Soxx and Lana Grossa. Just not having a good internet day.)

Having satisfied the sock cravings of the offspring and spouse, I continued to browse. Until I found --
Socks That Rock in the colourway called Calico from Blue Moon Fiber Arts. I've heard about this yarn, but never knit with it. So I decided that I should rectify that oversight.

The coup de grace was the Arequipa from Estelle. This is 65% superwash wool, 20% alpaca and 15% nylon. All I can say is this: It feels heavenly. I'm going to make toe-up socks for myself out of this ... toes-up so that I can use every last little bit available. After I spend more time fondling -- I mean -- petting the wool.

(Doug is jealous as he thinks this wool should become HIS socks. I am sticking with my original intention to make socks for ME from this. He can learn to knit his own socks and get his own special wool!)

So much for being the mature one, eh?