Wednesday, October 24, 2012

It's still October, so I'm OK.

Despite my best intentions of doing a blog post every Friday, I seem to have failed miserably.  Except for one thing -- it's STILL October.  So I'm not as far behind as I might have been.  Whew.

I still have plenty of older knits to show off, but today you will be seeing some newer items.  First off, my friend Michelle shaved her head in a fund raising effort for cancer research.  She was beautiful with her hair; without, she's absolutely stunning.  But she often rides her bicycle to work, and I didn't want her to be cold.  So I whipped up this little hat:

 I used one skein of Berroco Vintage Chunky in a dark grey, which was her stated preference.  Starting at the top with 5.0mm needles, I cast on 8 stitches and knit one row.  Second row was a knit one, yarn over all the way around, and then a round of knit all.  I continued increasing until I had the dimension I was after, then continued the yarn overs and compensated by working a knit two together before the yarn over.  Result:  a nice swirl, and a really comfortable hat.  Easy, easy, easy.  And quick!

Next up in this parade of photos is a little baby gift I made for the daughter and son-in-law of some dear friends.  These friends had two daughters, and now one daughter is expecting a boy!  Yippee!  My friends are thrilled to have the opportunity to feature largely in the upbringing of a little boy. 
 The yarn is King Cole Baby yarn, purchased when Lewiscraft closed down their stores.  It really isn't a DK weight, which made it perfect for the pattern.  The pattern is from Naturally, and of course it is at home so I don't have the pattern number.  Suffice to say, it doesn't look much like the picture on the pattern because I omitted the texture on the top of the sweater and just did the cable braid at the bottom.  I used less than one ball of yarn (the King Cole balls are quite large as you recall).  No time to make socks or booties ...

Doug was traveling to Picton to complete a construction job at the friends' house and I had to get things finished and packed.  Wisely, I decided to send the gift wrapped in tissue paper and in a gift bag.  Doug said that the first thing that happened beyond the "hi" greeting was the gift being opened and being properly appreciated.  Thanks, Carol!

Generally I'm not a ruffle girl.  I tend to prefer basic blue jeans and classic sweaters and tops.  But when the early Fall Vogue magazine arrived, I leafed through it and fell in love.  With THIS, if you can believe it!

I used four skeins of Cascade Lana Grande in a purple colour and one skein of Diamond Magic Nights.  (Yes.  Purple.  Do not adjust your colour settings.  I really fell off a cliff with this one!)  The design can be found on page 61 of the magazine.  I found one little mistake in the pattern.  They would have you work the ruffle on the inside of the sweater, and not the outside.  Other than that, it was a great pattern.  Now to find an occasion to wear this oh-so-girly sweater.

In other news and activities for the month of October -- Sue, Barb and I got together for a little fun with wool and dyes.  This month we used wool from a new company and we are thrilled with the results.  The yarn absorbed the dye beautifully and the colours set well. 
 Every time we get together, we try something new.  This month we tried our hands at immersion dying. 
Waiting patiently ... 
 When I saw the experiment working, I have to admit that I jumped up and down and squealed like a pre-teen seeing Justin Bieber on her front lawn.  It was embarrassing!
But look how well the yarn took the dye!  The finished skein is currently sitting on the footstool in front of my knitting chair at home, so I can look at it constantly.  I have yet to wind it into a ball and decide what it wants to be.  Mostly, it wants to be admired.  Must be female wool, eh?

Friday, October 12, 2012

Time waits for no one

Turns out that time waits for no one, even tho we desperately wish it would.  Seems like just yesterday I was a new bride, a new mother ... mother of a kindergarten student, mother of a sixth-grader.  And now, I am the mother of a candidate for graduation from the University of Toronto, Victoria College.

Wednesday night was Charter and Convocation night.*  Doug and I drove down -- by which I mean that I drove, which is really rare these days -- to the University, parked the car and attended the Isabel Bader Theatre.  As is generally the case, the evening was filled with pomp and circumstance.  Plenty of speeches, some notable and some not.  The president of VUSAC -- the Victoria student council -- spoke and his speech was great.  Witty, serious, and short.

And the awards. Vic. College is blessed with a multitutde of good scholars.  The recipients of awards for maintaining an A average in first and second years were honoured from their seats.  The third year students were honoured from stage.   To-wit,

The Romans Family Scholarship is awarded to a  student who maintains an A average and also participates "significantly" in the life of Victoria College.  Carrie was selected from the entire student population of Vic. College to receive this award.

I'm so proud!

Carrie then toured us around campus, where we got to see several buildings which she holds dear to her heart.  The dining hall reminds me so much of Hogwarts it isn't funny.  As did the black scholar gowns.  Hmm.

I was also introduced to several -- make that many -- of Carrie's friends on campus.  She was thrilled to be able to do so.

Thursday afternoon she called me at the store to say "thank you for coming last night."  She recognizes that it's a long drive and required both Doug and I to take time off work.  It was worth it.  Very much so.

To all those folks who claim that it doesn't matter if parents attend events like these, or even less momentous ones like hockey and soccer games, I say "malarkay!  It DOES matter."  And it does.

*Please don't confuse Charter and Convocation Night with Graduation.  Graduation is when one has completed the degree requirements.  Charter and Convocation is simply an awards ceremony, without any degrees.