Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Downloading update ...

Remember when I said that it seemed Barb and I had managed to switch brains?  And showed my overflowing knitting bag as proof positive?   I still swear that we have switched brains ... but my regular tendencies are attempting to manifest themselves.  THIS is my knitting bag this week:
 So let's see what projects we have stashed in there for my attention:
 That's the Noro sideways knit vest.  No progress, but it did escape being frogged.  It was close, I have to say.  I thought about working a Baby Surprise Jacket out of the Noro Silk Garden Lite.  Upon a closer look, however, I decided that I like it.  Enough to keep it around.
 I've started and made great progress on Baby Panda Boi's little outfit.  The back is done completely, and I'm almost at the armholes for the front.  I am enchanted with the yarn -- Sugar Rush from Queensland.  It feels so soft and silky that I'm envious of the little grandbaby for whom it is being knitted.

And then there's the Mother's Day wool from my daughter and hubby -- it has decided it wants to grow up and become this vest:
 Note that the pattern and the wool are in the same knitting bag.  The needles are, alas, currently in use in Baby Panda's project.  Must finish.  Quickly!

And instead of WIP (works in progress), I seem to have PIW (projects in waiting)!  Turns out that the Kertzer Bamboo is actually a full skein, albeit a slightly disheveled one.  I've got a full skein of coral at home and the combination will be absolutely beautiful.  All in good time.  All in good time. 
 And then there's the Cascade Cherub.  Still hasn't told me what it wants to be when it grows up ... still waiting for inspiration.  I figure the Mother's Day wool is outshouting it right now.  
And that's my knitting bag this week.

What's that you say?  I'm missing a project from last week's round-up.  Really?  I am? 
That's because I'm wearing it!  This is Painted Desert, colour no. 09.  I used three full balls and about 20g of the fourth ball.  (What a shame.  I'll have to knit up a set of fingerless mitts with the left-overs!)  The pattern is called "Renae" from Ella Rae's booklet #104 and it is a beauty.  I followed the pattern pretty much as written, which is why it is short.  Apparently all the girls wear them this short, with the top showing underneath. I'm not totally certain that the sweater is the right size for me -- it may be on the small side.  but I have to say that the wool was delightful to work with.  Absolutely.  It's such a shame that I have left-overs!

So there's my bag for the week.  What's in yours?

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Brain transfer complete.

When we were off in Michigan to see my son be awarded his Master's Degree, we received a frantic phone call telling us that Lizzie-kitty was ill.  She was, too.  She was so ill that I considered having her put to sleep.  Doug persuaded me that she deserved to have blood work, and so we tried.  The vet wasn't able to get enough to do a complete blood work (she IS a fierce wild beast after all), but she was able to check the important things.  We also gave her an appetite stimulant.  And then she started eating.  And feeling better.  I'd say that she's fully recovered, in fact. 

 Enough recovered that she was totally miffed at the bad weather we had for Mother's Day.  She'd venture out, and then dash back in shaking her paws in disgust.

In other news, the joke around here is that Barb and I share a brain.  Enough sharing that we are able to finish each other's sentences ... and even start them in unison.  Lately Barb has decided that she is going to carry only one project in her bag, and be monogamous until that project is finished.  It's working for her, actually.

I think the non-monogamous part of her brain transferred to me.  Because THIS is my knitting bag:
Whatever happened to the one-project-at-a-time thing?  Or even the one-project-for-the-store-and-one-project-for-me thing?  Because clearly I have misplaced that thought.

Firstly, we have a store project made from our new yarn called Painted Desert.  It's a heavier lace-weight yarn and it's beautiful.  I'm working on a little cardigan from Ella Rae; unfortunately I've not been able to find the book to link to. 
I've got the back and two fronts, and most of one sleeve.  Really, I'm so close I can taste the end coming.  But I've been distracted.   By this: 
 This is a sideways knitted vest that I'm working in Noro Silk Garden Lite and Rowan Calmer (discontinued, unfortunately).  I'm working a Fibonbacci sequence in addition to the garter stitch rib pattern.  Eeeek!   And then there are these socks -- 
These are Slipstream from Knitty.com, and I'm knitting them in one of our signature sock yarns.  Barb THOUGHT these were for Carrie for Christmas; the joke's on her!  Happy birthday, Barb!

Also in my knitting bag is the absolutely terrific Mother's Day gift from my daughter and hubby --

This yarn is merino, cashmere and silk, and is a one-of-a-kind hand-dye run.  Two skeins!  800 meters!   It's going to grow up to be the vest that's on the cover of Knitwear Spring/Summer 2013.   I can't cast on until I finish the Painted Desert project, because that's where the necessary needles are.

I'm also carrying around some yarn that we brought in to sample -- Cherub by Cascade Yarns.  It's a delightful yarn and knits beautifully, according to Barb.  However, we'd have to stop carrying the Sirdar Snuggly DK, and the colour range from Sirdar is wider than from Cascade.  In the meantime, I have these 6 balls to use up.
 Remember when I announced the impending arrival of a grandbaby?  This gives me the perfect excuse to knit up a sample in the Sugar Rush from Queensland.   The pattern is actually for a different bamboo yarn, but the gauge and feel is identical so I'm going for it.  Since the grandbaby will live in Virginia, I'm thinking that I'll make a six-month size.  This will be a beautiful late fall outfit for Baby Panda.
I also agreed to knit up a touque for an advertising salesman.  Just a basic ribbed hat in some really nice wool.  Even though the season for wool hats is past,  he still wants the hat.  Nice!
Barb finished her bamboo top and discovered that she needed just a wee, tiny bit of yarn from skein #4.  Rather than add to her ever-growing project list, I told her she could gift the skein to me and I'd mix it with some coral bamboo that I've got (same yarn, different colour) and make a pair of striped socks.  Saves her another spot on her queue.  
Whew.  As much fun as this is, I am being told that I need to finish Barb's birthday socks.  See you later!

Friday, May 03, 2013

Ahem. A little of this, a little of that ...

Ahem.  I'm really not certain just where all those days have gone.  It really feels like yesterday that we celebrated the new year.  And here it is, May 3.  Almost May 4th, in fact.

There have been a lot of things happening around my house.  First of all, I knit this:
This is a baby blanket.  The pattern is called "Traditional Shetland Shawl" and is an old photocopied pattern that I had found here at the house.  I always liked the design, and was waiting for a reason to knit a baby blanket.  (For the record, I used 6.5 balls of Baby Lanett and a 3.5mm needle to knit this up.)  "A red baby blanket?" you ask.  Well, yes.  You see, my daughter-in-law is from Hong Kong, and where she comes from this is the colour of baby blanket you knit.  Red for good luck. 

Yes, this means that my son and daughter-in-law are making me a grandma this summer!  I'm so excited!  They are calling the little one "Baby Boi Panda" right now, so when Doug and I went to Costco recently, guess what I found! 
Border crossings being what they are these days, we didn't actually purchase this giant panda.  But we did think about it! 

In other news, I was forced to miss this year's Knitter's Frolic.  It seems Western Michigan University had other plans for me that day.  What plans might those be?  Well ...
My middle child completed his Master's Degree in guidance counseling!  Since he figures this is the only Master's Degree he will be getting, I couldn't miss the occasion.  I figure it was worth skipping the Frolic for!  I even managed to squeeze in a visit with my three brothers and their families while I was in Michigan!

And then we hurried back home because
Carrie had an awards ceremony Monday night.  She was awarded a 2013 Gordon Cressy Student Leadership Award!  Yes, my daughter is finishing up her Bachelor's Degree (double major no less) this year.  Her future plans include a six-month (paid) internship at the University of Toronto in the Student Leadership & Development office.  Right now, she is thrilled to be done with school -- no more readings, papers to write, or exams!  Hip-hip-hooray!

In other news, my friend Barb has been teased endlessly about the size of her project queue.  I thought I'd help her out -- show everyone my stash.  Because I thought I had lots and lots.
Seriously -- that is a LOT of stash.  5 large bins, plus overflow into boxes and such.  Even Barb's son was impressed! 
Turns out that I don't have nearly as much as I thought.  Barb had me sorted and stowed in two hours.  I was embarrassed when I saw the stack.  After sorting it out, however, I'm feeling pretty comfortable.  What I have is a lot of single balls, leftovers from completed projects.  We managed to toss together enough yarns for a Log Cabin afghan, a cardigan, a couple of shawls ... All in all, not nearly as impressive or large as I thought.  Whew.  Didn't make Barb feel much better.  So I thought about it ... and decided

When I grow up, I want to have a stash like Barb's!