Friday, February 13, 2009

There WERE 9 projects going.

Last time we chatted, there were 9 projects on the go. Yes, 9 projects. Me of the one-at-a-time mentality. It does stretch one's mind, trying to figure out which project to work on next. At the store, there's no problem. I just switch every day and so the Mosiac Tee and the Reversible Vest progress nicely. The alpaca mitten will just have to wait until I finish these two, and THEN it'll get to come out to play. Same for the Great American Aran Afghan.

At home? Well, that's an entirely different story. Carrie's afghan is so large it can only be knitted on at home. Doug's hat? Well ... there's just not a whole lotta love there right at the moment, so it is kind of shoved down to the bottom of the bag. Besides, we weren't home much last weekend. Driving to and from Orangeville, and then Doug and I took a day trip.

So what DID I knit on in the car? Just this:

My neighbours are expecting a bouncing baby girl in early March. Since he sometimes plows out the end of the driveway, it seems only fitting that I make a little something for the new arrival. This will be a hooded sweater from a very old McCalls baby magazine. 8 hours of driving time equals 5 inches of fabric. In my defense, this is a knit-one-below pattern. If it had been straight ribbing, it would've been 10 inches long. Or more. (That's what I keep telling myself, anyway.) Another half an inch and I get to work the armhole shapings!

Aside from the 4 hours for the Orangeville trip, where did Doug and I go? We headed off on Sunday morning (OK. It was 11:30 so technically it WAS still morning!) to Dorset. The goal was to have a ski at the Leslie Frost Centre. Perhaps the conditions would be ski-able, perhaps not. If not, we'd have had a nice scenic drive. Fortunately for us, the conditions were passable. (This means that although the trails were somewhat icy, they weren't completely glazed. And there was a skim of fresh snow.) The most exciting news of all is that I actually skied the BEAR TRAIL! 8.1 kilometres of trail altogether! And a warm-up hut to which I'd never been! And new hills to challenge! The even MORE EXCITING NEWS--I successfully skied down two hills that I'd never conquered before! YIPPEE! YAHOO!

A note to folks who hate winter -- Doug and I are doing our snow dance every night now so that I can go ski again at the Frost Centre! Just don't you be doing your sun dance until I get one more ski! Please!

Monday is generally a day off for me and the store is closed. This week, however, Carrie had to be at school at the unholy hour of 8:00 am for an Improv rehearsal. After dropping her off, I went back to the shop and cleaned. 3 hours worth. The behind the counter area looks amazing and well organized. Of course, the challenge will be to keep it that way.

Monday evening saw me off to the Uxbridge Library to teach a class on knitting socks. Of course, if you are teaching how to knit socks, one must have a pair of socks on needles for demonstration purposes. Really! It is a necessity!

Which means that I was forced to start another pair of socks. Forced, I say. No choice in the matter whatsoever. Well, a choice of whether to use Magic Loop or double-pointed needles. Since the majority of my students were using DPNs, I decided to use them too.

The yarn is Briggs & Little sock yarn which I hand-dyed many moons ago. Now that I've started, I'm way curious to see how the pattern works out!

Stay tuned -- Let's see if I can manage to stop adding new projects! (Hmmm ... the new Crofter yarn from Sirdar is pretty insistent ...)

Saturday, February 07, 2009

HOW many projects do I have going?!

Way back last November, I made a list of the projects I had on the go, and was astounded to discover that I was up to 14 projects. Yes, 14. And then I finished two of them so was down to 12. That felt pretty good, I must say. So since then, I have been dutifully crossing off finished projects. My list was looking pretty darned good. I thought. And then I finished a couple of projects ...

I'm going to blame my forgetfulness on the vagaries of pre-menopausal hormones. (There's GOT to be SOME advantages to aging, right?) Several Many projects apparently had not been added to the list as they were started. Admittedly they were store projects, and I seem to always have socks on the needles. Do socks count? As stash, sock yarn doesn't count so it does stand to reason that sock projects shouldn't count. Right? (she asks hopefully!)

In any event, my list of on-going projects currently is at 9. The black alpaca mittens from last November, the Great American Aran Afghan also from last November, a mosaic tee-top from the Summer '08 Interweave Knits newly added, the Knit 1 Below reversible vest from the Winter '08 Knitters also newly added, the Misti Alpaca/Silk shawl which only needs blocking (Carol, get BUSY!), Carrie's afghan which still needs another pattern repeat to make her happy, a baby gift for my neighbour's new arrival (the husband sometimes plows out the end of our driveway), creation of a pattern for a baby afghan for the store--this was on the list back in November, and newly resurrected on the list--Doug's accursed wool hat. That's 9.

But I DID finish these:

These are the Celtic Braid Socks (pattern #157) from Cabin Fever. I have wanted to knit these puppies for several years. In fact, one of my friends saw the pattern and acquired it and has knit three or four pairs (that I know of) since I first fell in love. Now, I HAVE knit them! I used approximately 75g of wool, which was half the requirement stated on the pattern. And yet the socks are plenty big, so I just don't know how accurate either the ball bands were, or the pattern. The wool is identified as Bouqet sock & Sweater, presumably purchased from Eatons many eons ago. I got it at a yard sale so I really have no idea as to the provenance.

I must admit that the cable panel gave me fits. I guess I've gotten so accustomed to knitting brainless socks that actually having to count rows was a fair shock to my poor hormone-befuddled brain. (That's my story and I'm stickin' to it!) In any event, I did get the socks finished, reasonably accurately, and I'm quite pleased with them.

Will I reknit the pattern? Yeah, I think I will. While it did cause me some angst, the outcome was well worth it. (As evidenced by Doug looking longingly at the socks and hoping that he will find them in HIS Christmas stocking next December!)

Another project recently finished is the Eyelets Squared Vest from June '07 Knit 'n Style. I used Filati Fantasia Carezza from Diamond Yarns -- 5 skeins to be exact -- and achieved gauge on the 5.5mm needles specified in the directions.

This was a fun project to knit and the instructions were reasonably clear. The most difficult part of the whole shebang was in getting the second tier of blocks lined up over the first after the horizontal eyelet row. I finally used stitch markers and viola! Everything worked beautifully. I'm kind of wondering about making another vest in a different colour ... this would be a marvelous summer top. Of course, the vest must live in the store as a sample for a few months (isn't it amazing how store samples seem to magically fit someone in my family?!), but by then it'll be summer and just in time for wearing!

In other news ... Tanglefoot has announced that 2009 will be their last year. This means that our previous 2-hour rule* has been expanded to a 3-hour rule. Tonight after closing the shop at 5:00 pm, we'll be driving to Orangeville to see the guys (and gal) perform. Gotta see them every opportunity we can, doncha know. Not doing anything tonight at 8:00? Come on down to Orangeville! The show will be fantastic!

The last bit of extremely exciting news (for me and my household anyway) is that Google Maps actually can pinpoint the location of Never Enough Wool -- and has a little flag to mark the spot! Carrie was bouncing off the ceilings as she told about this miraculous discover. Considering that my bedroom has multiple slopes in it, this was ... um ... rather exciting at 11:00 pm. (Picture a pinball game and she's the little bouncing ball ...)

Hope to see lots of folks at the Tanglefoot concert tonight. In the meantime, I'm off to see if I can finish another project or two off my list -- before starting a new one!

*2-Hour Rule: If Tanglefoot is playing in a venue to which we can drive in 2 hours or less from home, we attend.