Saturday, September 30, 2006

Just in time…

Another finished WIP--the Hanger's scarf all washed and blocked and ready to give to him for his birthday. Along with a few sweet treats and a card with a pug on it because he is crazy about pug dogs. I hope he likes it.

We are heading up to Edmonton this afternoon, the boy is away this weekend and it's a gorgeous day for a drive.

Also, after seeing this, I had to break my no more WIP's vow and swatch for my top down wrap cardigan. What can I say… I am a sucker for an inspirational picture!

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Variations on a Theme…

I am limiting my efforts to finish WIP's to a couple of projects and have been very diligent about NOT STARTING ANY MORE! Although I have bought 1 new book, 2 new patterns and the wool to do one of them.

First there is Sizzle, I am almost done the decreases on the front and it's looking good. It's very fast moving which I like, good ol' stocking stitch all the way.

I am also working on the same scarf--the "Men's Cashmere Scarf" out of Last-Minute Knitted Gifts. I'm calling this variations on a theme--three different scarves for three different men. On the left we have double stranded Blue Sky Alpaca/Silk in Blue 127 for the Hanger--it's almost done, just in time for his birthday. In the middle is Rowan Baby Alpaca DK in 207 Cheviot for my Dad--his birthday is in November. On the right is double stranded Drops Baby Alpaca in 506. the same scarf on different size needles in different widths. Fortunately I like the pattern and the alternating single rib and knit stitches keep it interesting. I find the way the different materials knit up interesting as well. The alpaca/silk is on the largest needles, it has the most clearly defined pattern. The Drops is on the finest needles and as it's got a lovely soft halo, it has the least defined pattern but it's also the softest. I am enjoying all of them. The Hanger is a real guy guy, I think he'll like his heavier weight scarf. The Drops is for my manager, a more metro sort of man. He's seen his and likes that it's soft and thin, not too bulky and will match his black leather jacket to a T. And my Dad's an old sailor of Scottish decent who lives near the ocean--something tells me he'll like his warm, soft but not too fluffy scarf and the oatmeal colour will be nice with his white hair and blue eyes.

I also have to show off my new decorating feature, I picked up this wire basket at work and filled it with balls of yarn, some left overs and some from projects I haven't started yet. I see another "Purl" scarf in there--in shades of red and burnt orange. And one ball of Olive Malibrigo destined for a sweater--the rest is in my wool drawer.

I've decided to attempt my first sweater this fall. The "Top Down Wrap Cardigan"
from Knitting Pure and Simple, that's what the olive malibrigo is for. I've heard nothing but good things about their patterns so I'm looking forward to it. I picked up the pattern for Green Gable as well but it's on the back burner for a while. It seems like spring/summer knitting.

And of course the gratuitous picture of Ginger lolling in wool--doesn't she look happy?

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Curse Be Gone!

I finished not one but 2 things this weekend! Thanks to Gina, I finished my ribbon shell. I wrote a while ago that my seaming SUCKED! Gina stepped up and offered to help me with it. So we met this weekend at the LYS and it was great! She showed me the magic matress stich and it is like magic! I washed and blocked my shell when I got home and am very happy with it. My first ever non-accessory knitting!

I also finished Greenzilla. It's just a scarf, but it's a NICE Scarf and I still love the colours. Now I'm routing through my WIP's to see what else I can finish.

Gina also got me thinking about attempting a top down project. She showed me a lovely cardigan she was making top down and just how neat the whole top down thing is. A while ago I saw this "Green Gable" and immediately started lemming for it but because it was top down on circulars and had sleeves, short sleeves but sleeves none the less, I was a tad leery. I got the pattern today and as soon as I get few a few more WIP's I plan on making it.

Ginger was quite the thing at the LYS, I wasn't sure if they were going to let me take her home or not. She didn't want to leave.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Is there a name for my condition?

I have this horrible disease where I am continuously starting new projects before I finish old projects. There must be a name for it… possibly some kind of program?

I am working on presents for several people right now--all scarves--they are coming along nicely. I am also still working on "Sizzle" (top pic). I screwed up the front and had to frog it but the back is finished. I need some peace and quiet to get the front started and going properly again. Ginger has an obession with my yarn, she especially likes the Alpaca! I'll be happily knitting away and all of a sudden, the yarn isn't pulling freely, I don't even have to look any more. I know she will have crept up beside me and be resting her "tender tush" on MY Baby Alpaca.

I am loving the "Purl" Scarf (bottom pic, top right). It's a very fast knit and only uses one skein/ball of each of the three colours I've chosen. I thought I would need more of the Malabrigo so I have three skeins in olive. I decided that as it is such a fast knit, I will try it again with the same olive Malabrigo but 2 different colours of green mohair (bottom pic, lower left). Kid Merino Fern Mix and GGH Soft Kid 064. The one I am almost finished is destined as a surprise gift. I am also knitting a scarf for "the hanger" (no we are no more serious than we ever were we are best buddies, hang out, have fun and that's it) he's turning 40 at the end of September and it seems like a nice thing to do. I am using the Men's cashmere scarf pattern out of "Last Minute Knitted Gifts" but instead of using Cashmere (way out of my price range), I am using double stranded Blue Sky Alpaca/Silk in Blue 127 on 6.5mm needles. The Hanger has blue eyes and light brown/dark blond hair so it will look very nice. I love the pattern it's masculine and not your usual rib knit. I am making the same scarf on smaller needles with more repeats out of double stranded Drops Baby Alpaca in Heathered Charcoal Grey for my manager at work. He wants a scarf to go with his black leather jacket and "Not something my Grandmother would knit". He's a great guy and he's paying for the yarn. I love the baby Alpaca, I've never used it before but it's amazing--so soft! It'll be a thinner scarf that drapes well and will look neat and tidy, not too bulky. I swatched it on 4.5mm and 5.5 mm needles and liked the 4.5 better but in hindsight, I needed 5 mm (which I didn't have) to get it just right. I can totally understand why Ginger can't stay away from it :-D! I'd love to make my Dad a scarf like it on 5 mm's in a heathered Chocolate brown. All three scarves are pegged as 4-6 (6-8 for me) hour projects so if I finish them, may be that will break my non-finishing curse.

Now that the boy is back and has started junior high--the first thing they are doing in gym is Rugby, how perfect is that! I have my 2 mornings a week on my own again, which I quite enjoy. His trip back east went… oh the heck with it why even try to sugar coat it… it was an unmitigated DISASTER! The boy was having such a horrible time he came home early, not only that but he says he doesn't want to see his Dad or his Step Mom ever again. He doesn't even want to speak to them on the phone. So much for bonding. I think the problem was that the 26-year-old Step Mom was in constant competition with me even though I wasn't there. The clothes I packed were "ugly"… the manners I've taught my son were "all wrong". He picks his clothes, he has decent table manners (or as decent as any 12-1/2-year-old and better than some I've met). She doesn't seem to realize her attitude isn't hurting me, it's hurting him. Plus the girl is a drama queen. When she worked for my X she HAD to be the centre of attention and she still does. The boy said the only fun part of the trip was when they were visiting her parents and she and her Mom went shopping almost every day and left him with his Dad and Grandpa T.