Friday, 28 February 2014

More New Fabrics...

I've got to stay away from printed cottons... I am weak, WEAK  in their presence...

I always see great prints that I want, and can visualize pajama pants for me, or others. Some I buy because the price was right, and others I buy because, well, they're perfect. (those ones tend to be very expensive pajama pants...)

Like these:


and these:

and these:

and especially these:

I mean, really? CURLING AND MAPLE LEAVES, PEOPLE! (These are the rather expensive pajama pants, but they are mine! And yes, they are already made up and worn...)
Top to bottom - the rainbow paw prints are for a cottage neighbour - her kids both have a pair, so she deserves some. She has two wonderful dogs that she adores, so the paw prints seemed appropriate. These were also full priced goods - it's a good thing I like her...
Then the blue hydrangeas - bought because they were so pretty (and on sale...) I have any number of people this will be perfect for, for either birthday or Christmas, so they won't go to waste...
All of the above were bought at the Quilt Store, where we have our Wednesday night Knit Night. I get a great discount there on Knit Night, so it makes it a bit better price wise, and the quality is the best.
Then the two shades of cocktails - blue for me, red for my best friend (she of the Burberry socks...) We always do a girls weekend at her cottage in June, so what better hostess gift to give her while we are sitting around sipping cocktails? Bought at Fabricland during one of their member's 40% off sales.
I seriously have enough printed cotton to make pajama pants for almost everyone I know...


Wednesday, 26 February 2014

I feel like the Dos Equis guy...

You know the beer commercials for Dos Equis with The Most Interesting Man in the World? Here's my take on him:





Sorry for the crappy iPhone pictures - I was at the cottage and in a hurry...

While I do give away a ton of socks, I do keep some for myself (even though I rarely wear socks). And I always keep the loudest, most colourful, it seems.
Soon, some great stripey ones will be joining the herd...

Monday, 24 February 2014

Olympics

I did not compete in the Knitting Olympics or Ravellenic Games or whatever else is out there. I can be a bit ornery when anyone (including myself!) sets arbitrary deadlines on my pleasurable pastime. I did knit my way through the Olympics - I spent a great deal of time watching them, as I love the Olympics.
I watched them at home and work, and even in some non-traditional places - while a passenger in the car, I watched the Canadian Women win Olympic Gold (I love my iPhone...). I also watched the Canadian Men's game against the USA while grocery shopping (I had no choice, I had to go, and the game was on!) I was like the Pied Piper - one guy noticed my phone near the produce, and kept following me, asking what was going on. By the time I got to the checkout, there were about 6 people nearby!

It's no secret I am a proud Canadian, and I was proud of every Canadian Olympian - athlete, coach, trainer or other support, including families and friends. It makes me happy to see that Maple Leaf! Surprisingly, I'm not much of a hockey fan. If it's not my family, I only watch Olympic Hockey - no NHL for me. And I am glad the Olympics are done before March Madness starts up. 
But during the Olympics I watch ALL sports, even figure skating, that, while I absolutely believe they are high level athletes, I don't believe it belongs in the Olympics - whose credo is Higher, Faster, Stronger. Plus, the judging corruption that is rampant in figure skating leaves a bad taste in my mouth. But I watch it. And I'm proud of the Team, Patrick Chan and Virtue and Moir. I even watch double luge, which I still think is the strangest thing out there. How badly do you want an Olympic medal to agree to be the bottom guy on a sled hurtling down an icy track?
Of course, I am proud of the curlers! Team Jennifer Jones and Team Brad Jacobs - they made Winnipeg, Sault Ste. Marie and all of Canada proud!

I've made great progress on my husband's sweater - I even did a fitting on him, and it's perfect so far. I got an idea of how long he wants it, and the sleeve length that is needed. He reiterated again how he wants it plain. Yes dear, taupe and plain, I get it. How we get along so well is a mystery to so many people...

I am going to add my touch to it, though. He wants pockets - biggish pockets. "Big enough to hold things", he said "not just for show". Easy - I'm going to do patch pockets - pick up stitches on the front and knit them, then sew down the edges. But these pockets, while they will still be taupe, will be cabled - nice thick cables to add some interest.

He wants pockets, he gets MY pockets...

Friday, 21 February 2014

Bonus post...

Thought I'd show off my manicure of the week...




Red, white and gold - a perfect colour combination this week...

Not an Olympic project

Even though this was cast on during the opening ceremonies, and it's a challenging enough project to rate as a project, it's not an Olympic project. 
I finally found the a boring enough colour of wool for my husband. (He's not one for much colour, although he will wear colour in his hand knit socks...)
It's starting out as the Burnstown Cardigan, but I will be making some adjustments to it. Basically, I wanted a plain top down raglan cardigan with a shawl collar. I'm making the v-neck a little deeper, changing the collar from Linen stitch to anything-but-linen-stitch (I really hate working linen stitch...), and adding pockets.
Working it top down means I can customize the size and fit to m husband as I go, which is good.

I'm using Cascade Eco + wool in taupe and navy. 

It was going to be just taupe, but I had the skein of the navy already, and I'm thinking just a few Fibonacci stripes near the bottom.

The nice thing about this is that it's a nice contrast to the very bright socks I have on the go right now. That, and it's easy knitting which is also nice while watching Olympics and cheering on Canadians.


And man! Have the Canadian athletes given us something to cheer about! I'm pretty upfront about the fact that I'm not a hockey fan. Despite the fact that my brother is, and his kids are all high level players, I've never been a fan - basketball and curling were and are my winter sports...
But every 4 years, I watch Olympic hockey. Even with the overpaid pros playing, there's something about playing for your country that brings out the fangirl in me. And not just hockey - I'm a huge fan of the Olympics in general. Any sport, winter or summer, I watch. Some more than others - sorry to say it, but I don't think figure skating should be an Olympic sport - I agree they are high level athletes, but the sport doesn't adhere to the "higher, faster, stronger" doctrine. Plus, the sport is rife with scandal and corruption...
Anyways, The Canadian Women Curlers and Hockey Players?? What a day yesterday! And I'm watching the men curl right now, and looking forward to the men's' hockey semi final later today.
Plus, a big shout out to every other Canadian athlete that has done us proud, medalist or not (Can we talk, Gilmore Junio?) As well as to every other athlete from every country that has embodied the Olympic spirit in Sochi. I'm a pretty cynical chick in general, but the Olympics can bring a tear to my eye and a catch to my voice just about every day. Even the commercials can do that!
Next week, going back to regular television is going to be a bit of a let down...

Friday, 14 February 2014

Canada Hat

Okay, I have nothing against a good Canadian Toque. They are a necessary winter clothing item, and a real symbol of our country.
I even like the design of this one, that our Olympic team is wearing in Sochi.

But... 
wouldn't it be great if they could actually wear hand knit wool ones? I'd love the Canadian Olympic Committee to actually have a design created, and have Canadian Knitters hand knit the hats for the team, using Canadian wool.

I may have to fire off an email to the COC one of these days...

We are off to the cottage tonight - It's Family Day weekend in Ontario, so we are off on Monday. It's a late leaving time for us today, as the boy has an indoor track meet today, and is not expected home until around 8pm. He'll get home, we'll pile him into the car, and we'll be off. Luckily, our neighbours are already there, and will have out place heated up and waiting for us. It's good to have friends...

Wednesday, 12 February 2014

All my socks should be stripy socks

After knitting with the String Theory Colourworks wool, I'm thinking that all my socks should be stripy ones...
I mean, just look at these!

Aren't they fabulous?
If I like pink more, and my Mom less, I'd have a hard time giving those away...
But the others will be for me, I've decided. I love them both! The witches britches (black, green and cream) is Biscotte & Cie, and the lime, turquoise and black is another String Theory, this time in Sportweight.

I still have the Mano socks on the go, and while I love them, I'd love them more if the colours had striped rather than been random. But they will make a great gift for a friend - they are so soft and luxurious.

But I'm getting slightly obsessed with stripy socks...

Monday, 10 February 2014

Flag waving!!

I'm a proud Canadian. And a big fan of the Olympics.
This got me reaching for a Kleenex...

Hayley Wickenheiser, a true champion, leading our team into Fischt Stadium in Sochi. (And really, aren't they GREAT uniforms? - Traditional Hudson's Bay style peacoats...)

And this! 

This got me cheering out loud! Gold and Silver, and from sisters, no less! Way to go Justine Dufour-Lapointe - gold in Womens moguls and her sister Chloe Dufour-Lapointe, silver medalist! It was a great first day, and I look forward to the next two weeks. 

And in case you're wondering, I am NOT doing the Ravellenic Games. I will be knitting through the Olympics, but not for any other reason than the fact that I ALWAYS knit while I watch TV...

Friday, 7 February 2014

Mittens and thumbs

I love knitting mittens. They're easy, quick and useful. 'm usually okay with just about any thumb style - I don't tend to get overly analytical about them - if they feel good on, I'm good with that. (I do enough analysis at work, I don't need it on my personal time...
But... I do like trying out new things, just to see if I like them, and whether or not I will change up my usual. (That's pretty much how I got to where I am with sock knitting. I started with top down, flap and gusset heel, went to a short row heel, went to toe up  (so I could use all the yarn, or not run out), and now use an afterthought heel so I REALLY use all the yarn I can.)
So when I saw Deb Gemmell's method of thumb construction, I had to try it out.

Well.

I'm a convert - it's fantastic. It fits my hand so well, it's like Deb measured me personally. 

Here's a visual of different constructions (and proof that I'm willing to try all kinds...)

There's the standard side gusset - still a great thumb construction:

The afterthought thumb - not my favourite, but handy when you end up turning socks into mittens...

And this one (name? I have no idea...) It's actually not even a thumb increase, and you are actually increasing for the palm. Deb's mittlet pattern was done in chunky yarn, so I had to do a little math to match my DK weight, and it worked perfectly.

I love these mitts. They look great with my black jacket and Aranami scarf.
FInal shot - my husband trying to get my picture, and me being too quick for him...




Wednesday, 5 February 2014

Aranami done

Aranami is done, and it's MINE!



I am so happy with how this turned out - the alpaca and silk and llama is luxurious and soft and warm, and the colours are just what I was hoping for.
If there's anything I would change, it would be the weight - this DK weight is a little heavy for the size of the shawl/scarf.
Although technically a shawl, I"m wearing it as a scarf, bunched up around my neck, with the ends tucked in, because I just look like an idiot in shawls.
While the knitting wad done a while ago, the construction of this scarf makes for a lot of ends...

I had to force myself to sit down and sew these all in. I had really wanted to wear it to Knit Night last week, so that was my goal, and minutes before I left, I clipped the last end.

There was some left overs from 4 of the 5 colours (I did end up buying an extra skein of the black, but I couldn't get any more of the darkest grey. It was tense at the end of that particular run of colour - I finished with about a metre of yarn left over...
BUt there was plenty of the other shades:


Since this yarn was such a joy to work with, I wanted to use up the leftovers - here's a hint...



Monday, 3 February 2014

update

Dog coat was given on Saturday - "well received" would be an understatement! She loved it! And the 17 year old daughter loved it too, even gave me a high five in the stands. I will be seeing them on Wednesday at a school game, and she had promised me pictures of the dog dressed as a basketball, so hopefully it fits. I'll share the pics here once I get them. It was agreed among all the parents there that the boys will have no excuse not to walk the dog, now that she will look like a basketball.


Semester One has ended for the boy, and his first ever final exams have been written. He's already got his marks back, and we're pretty proud of the boy - nothing below an 85% and in the nineties for the other three classes. He knows how to better handle the exam schedule and studying needed now, so has high hopes for semester two.


I'm debating my next large project, so in the meantime, and just knitting socks, and  other small things. I think my husband will finally get his cardigan - I have enough Eco + wool in a suitably boring taupe colour for him.


I finished Aranami, and made mittens to match, but all of this will be much more interesting when I get the pictures from my camera onto the blog...