Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Sometimes ...

Many, many years ago my grandfather was a farmer out in Winnipeg. He brought a richness to my life from those experiences. A richness that I do often miss. I remember spending hours and hours with him in the flower gardens, drawing charts so that we would remember where things were, and him letting me choose flowers to plant. He had an earthy wisdom that meant a lot to me. I learned some very valuable lessons; lessons that I strive to pass on to my family and friends.

One saying that he did NOT impart, however, is this: Sometimes you're the windshield and sometimes you're the bug. This little gem came from one of the newer animated movies, and I'm not certain which one. I *think* it was the Bee Movie, but having never seen it I can't be sure. I just know that I heard this line, and it resonated.

What does it mean? Well, sometimes you're the windshield (and life is good):

This is the Spring Flowers Cardigan from the May 2009 Creative Knitting. I used 8 balls of Filati Carezza, colour number 9, and the suggested needles (US 4 & 6). I expect the gauge is a wee bit off -- on the larger size -- but otherwise I'd say the cardigan is a success. One thing I have yet to accomplish is to sew the buttonholes a bit closed as the buttons I selected weren't quite as large as those envisioned by the designer. All in all, this was a fun and delightful romp.

Here we are, once again, the windshield:
This is a basic little hat made with two strands of fun fur and two skeins of Noro Kureyon. The fun fur was Schachenmayr Brazilia Lungo, no. 210, and On-Line Smash, number 0007, held together. The Noro was colour number 211. You might eek by with only one ball of Noro, but the balls seem to be running short of late and the second ball was a necessity. Of course, since I was breaking into a second ball, I lengthened the hat enough to completely cover my ears. Again, a truly delightful outcome.

And sometimes you're the bug (and get splatted all over the windshield):

This is Wavy Baby from the Spring Knitters. The design is flawless; the technique is likewise flawless. Does anyone see the problem? Yeah, I thought so too. The colours are different. Not different colourways, but different in intensity. One ball of yarn has obviously come from the beginning of the dyepot and the second from the end.

So having splatted unceremoniously against the windshield of the Knitting Gods, I will frog this one. My lovely husband feels that this could be salvaged if only I weren't so fussy; that no one will see the front AND back simultaneously, and thus frogging is not warranted. I, however, will KNOW that there is a mismatch on the colours. So a frogging I will go.

The project will be repeated -- I'll be using two rows of the intense colour followed by two rows of the faded colour. The yarn is way too nice to put away, and I like the design and colours. (The yarn, after all, IS Handmaiden Casbah.)

And so ... remember this little gem: Sometimes you're the windshield, and sometimes you're the bug!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Man, this is an interesting summer.

I don't know how things go at your house, but here at Under Construction the last six weeks have been extremely busy. Is there some phrasing to denote something worse than extremely? Because if there is, that's the word I want. Things have just been crazy.

Carrie has finished Grade 12. Watching her apply for university, be accepted for university, audition for the theatre program. These things should have made me feel old. But they didn't. These were just things that she, my baby, needed to do in order to progress to the next phase of her life. They just were things that she did.

The prom, on the other hand, is what brought home to me that she is pretty much grown up. She had her hair done, she donned the great party dress, the red shoes, the gloves. And grew up right in front of my eyes.

She also borrowed my camera to take to the prom with her. There are better shots on the camera at home, but they do make her look very grown up. Extremely grown up. (Sob) She was just a little, wee girl yesterday. I swear it!

In any event, with the camera off at the prom and a slight delay in getting it back, I wasn't really able to get photos of the knitting done in the meantime. But there has been knitting. Most of it is at home, awaiting or being blocked. But there is one piece here at the store:

This is the Betty Salpekar block from the Great American Aran Afghan.

When I started this afghan, I knew there would be difficult squares. In fact, I had heard that some knitters even took a whole month to finish some of the squares. I figured that since I do a lot of knitting at the store, that I'd have plenty of time to finish the squares. Two a month ought to be possible. And it HAS been possible ... right up until this square.

This square is knit in three main pieces: the centre portion, the cabled border, and then stitches picked up for the garter stitch edging. The centre part is a real humdinger. It is complex and challenging ... And when you finally figure out what the heck you are doing, you feel SO accomplished and professional.

The cabled border is a delight to knit. I love watching the corner turns develop. I just couldn't "ooh" and "aah" over it enough. Simply fascinating. This is how the border around the entire afghan will work. And it will be fabulous.

Having finished this square, I now feel confident that i will be able to finish this afghan. Possibly even this year, even though I do have nine more squares to knit. Eight squares will be from the pattern book; the ninth square will be a simple square with garter-stitch borders, and the year and my initials worked in reverse stockinette. At one per month, plus the border ... yeah, it can be done by the end of the year. The question is: Will it?

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

July Dishcloth of the Month


Materials: One ball Bernat Handicrafter cotton; 4.5mm needles

Cast on 42 stitches. Work 6 rows of garter stitch (knit every row). Begin pattern:

Row 1 (right side): Knit 3 stitches, place marker (this is for the garter stitch border); Knit 1 through back loop; *purl 1, knit 2, purl 1, knit 1 through back loop; repeat from * to last three stitches; place marker (for garter stitch border), and knit last three stitches.

Row 2 (wrong side): Knit three stitches, slip marker; Purl 1; *knit 1, purl 2, knit 1, purl 1; repeat from * to last three stitches, slip marker, knit 3.

Row 3: Knit 3 stitches, slip marker; knit 1 through back loop; *purl 4, knit 1 through back loop; repeat from * to last three stitches; slip marker, knit 3.

Row 4: Knit 3 stitches, slip marker; purl 1; *knit 4, purl 1; repeat from * to last three stitches; slip marker, knit 3.

Repeat these four rows until work measures approximately 7 1/2 inches. Work 6 rows of garter stitch. Bind off. Run ends under.