Saturday, June 30, 2007

Happy Canada Day!

Long weekend! Squeal!

I'm overwhelmed with possibilities. Sew some new curtains? Start a new knitting project? Finish that painting I started months ago?

After some contemplation, I decided I have far too many hobbies. I'm keeping it simple and spending some hard earned leisure time, knitting on the patio and trying to get some sun on my office-white legs:



What's that beside those pasty gams? I took a little jaunt to my favourite place on earth (namely any thrift store) and made a little yarn score:



Three balls of seemingly identical yarn: two different labels. I'm going with the "majority rules" concept deem it Sesia Nastrolino "lino". Any idea what I can do with 195 metres of linen tape yarn?

In the meantime I've cast on something new. No details (I'm going to try to keep it a quasi-surprise), but let it be known it's recipient is a wee little person who hasn't arrived yet.

Though it seemed impossible with the number of knitting needles kicking around this place, I didn't actually have the right size for this project. An excuse to visit the yarn store! I decided to go for the gold:



Addi lace needles! God bless that German engineering. I let Megan at Lettuce Knit convince me to get the long ones and try out magic loop. Why haven't I tried this before? I really have to try out new techniques more often.

Now, if you'll excuse me I have a date with a barbeque. Happy Canada Day! Go eat a maple donut and have a beer, eh?

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Crisis averted.


I think we're back in the green zone now.


I picked out the hem of my jacket sleeves and managed to salvage enough yarn to finish knitting my collar and have a little left for finishing. Whew! The fact that Nicole had exactly the same yarn left over from knitting her man a sweater is so mind boggling I can't stand it. (The fact that I learned she had said yarn the day after I ripped back the cast on edge? Priceless.) I have never taken apart a cast on edge before. Why didn't anyone tell me it was so tedious and unpleasant!?! Oh right - 'cause I did it before I told anyone about it.

Anyhooz - it's done. Pieces are blocked. Assembly is on the horizon. Given the fact that it's hotter than Brangelina in Toronto today, I think the piecing together of several large sections of Peruvian Highland wool can wait. Cotton shall be cast upon my needles post haste!

But first - check it out! I got yarn-mail!



Sure, it contains some questionable content, but so does Fox and I still watch it.



Never check the Knitty.com "yarn sale spotter" board unless you are willing to part with some cash! I was caught at a moment of weekness ("case of the Mondays" anyone?) and could not resist ordering a sweater's worth of Rowan Cashsoft. It is hearby betrothed this:



(Springtime in Paris from Runway Knits)

Unfortunately, it's going to have to go to the back of the queue. The babies are coming! The babies are coming! I have two preggers friends and they're both getting baby knits weather they like it or not. I realize it won't be much of a surprise given they both occasionally stop by casa de Knitteroo, but pish-posh! I love tiny sweaters!

Friday, June 22, 2007

Knitastrophe

If no one has yet to coin that term: consider it coined.


Yesterday I decided to block the finished pieces of my Phildar swing jacket. I had just the collar and pockets to knit and thought it would be nice to have everything ready to assemble when I cast off that last piece. What a fantastic thought!


(weighted down with a lavender plant - seemed like good knitting mojo)

Then disaster struck.

This is how much collar remains to be knit:




This is how much yarn I have left:



NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOH!


Okay. I shouldn't panic. I must have some more yarn around here someplace, right? I've got loads of yarn! Maybe there's a random skein of this stuff hiding in the bottom of my stash! Let's go stash diving... EUREKA! The swatch! The beautiful gauge swatch! My teeny-tiny security blanket. Friggin' A - I'm saved!

The swatch was ravaged.

I knit the resulting yardage.

I ran out of yarn.

Again.

NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOH!

Okay. Breathe. It's all going to be okay. There are children dying of aids in Africa. There's a terrible war in Iraq. Greenhouse gas emissions are heating up the earth at an alarming rate. You just need more yarn. No big deal. Just go on over to Elann.com. You just placed an order with them and hey - maybe they haven't shipped it yet! They can just toss in that extra skein and you're on your way to a finished sweater, baby! Okay, let's just get that ball band. Colour 402...colour number 402...

NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOH!

No. Colour. 402. What the?

TIME TO PANIC!
Omigod-Omigod-Omigod-Omigod-Omigod-Omigod-Omigod-Omigod-Omigod-Omigod-Omigod-Omigod!
(Flail arms, run in circle)


What's a knitter to do?

Allright, let's think about this. How could this happen? I did all the math. I should have yarn leftover! Why would I run out of yarn if I knit everything the same as the pat... Oh.

I found my missing yarn. The HEM! My yarn is in the hem. The hem that I accidentally knit twice as long as necessary. Whew! Panic dissipating.


I just have to rip back the hem. I will live to see (knit?) another day. I'll start with the sleeves, and if that's not enough (god help me) I'll move on the rest. As much as I hate ripping back, I have do one thing to smile about:



A lifeline. For whatever reason (probably wicked psychic abilities) I threaded some contrasting coloured yarn through the row that marked the end of the hem on all of my jacket pieces.


Seriously guys, I think I'm probably a genius. I'm going to go hug myself now (and call Mensa, they've probably been trying to get a hold of me)

Monday, June 18, 2007

DROPS da bomb

*sigh*

Lots of Phildar madness to go before casting on anew. Sure, the knitting is almost finished, but then there's the finishing. Oh, The finishing! (picture me collapsing dramatically upon a chaise lounge, back of hand to forehead, preferably dressed like Norma Desmond)

In anticipation of casting on 800 new projects when I finish this jacket, I've been doing a lot of pattern surf-age. Have you cuised by Drops/Garnstudio site lately? They've got a preview of sorts for their fall 2007/2008 collection. Holy guacamole! So much fabulousness!

Like this:



and this:



and this:



and my favourite - this!



No, the whole collection is not grey. Why am I attracted to all the designs knit in grey?

These patterns aren't available yet, but you can vote for which patterns you would like to see in the next collection. Go vote!

Sunday, June 17, 2007

7 year stitch

Has it really been a whole week since my last post? The summer shows up and BAM! There goes a whole seven days! Like sands through the hour glass..

You'd think I'd have a lot to report on the knitting front then, wouldn't you? Though the pointy sticks have come out to enjoy the sunshine with me on many occasion, the progress is slow. I've been forcing myself to try to complete the Phildar Swing Jacket before casting on for anything new. Waah! It's so hard! I'm itchin', I tells ya! Why do I torture myself so?

Well, okay, I can't say I've been completely faithful to one project. There's just a little project polygamy going on:



Yup, that's the yarn formerly seen as my sock nemesis:Anastasia. (It doesn't count as a new project if it was frogged and started anew, right?) I'm rockin' this alternating rib thing, and so far - so good.



No yarnover headaches, no every second row pattern nonesense, just some straight up knits and purls. The Anastasia pattern was Rocky Road, and what can I say? I like vanilla.

Oh, and don't forget to check out the Mexican wrestling shindig next Friday at the Embassy! Look ma! My name's in print!:



(So my name's not actually "Miss Muffy". There's no such thing as the Easter Bunny either!)

I think they're hanging El Yarno in the window. Whee!

Sunday, June 10, 2007

El Yarno

GRRRR!



The mask is complete and I have dubbed it, yes, "El Yarno". Silly and juvenile perhaps, but so is grown men wrestling in tights, non?. (Special thanks to my model - there's nothing like sporting knitwear on your face on a hot summer afternoon!)



The Rundown:

PATTERN: My own, based on this hideous vintage balaclava (sorry, I kind of made it up as I went along - I don't know if my notes are intelligible enough to share)

YARN:Leftover stash yarn - mostly cheapo orange cotton (probably Bernat), thrifted pink stuff (cotton blend?) and teal Nature Spun wool (doubled to meet gauge).

NEEDLES: I knit the majority of the mask back and forth on Denise 4.5mm needles, then joined in the round out the crown, switching to Boyle dpns.

NOTES: When I finished the knitting, the eye and mouth holes were very loosey-goosey. The bottom hem was a little wavy-gravy as well (sorry, I'm an incessant rhymer). Solution? Crochet! I single crocheted around every edge, easing in the fullness. It really saved the whole darn thing. I also used my meager crotch-ette-ing (as I like to pronounce it) skills to make a long chain to lace up the back.




All in all, I'm really glad I took this on. I'm the queen of great ideas (or so I like to think) with no follow-through. I really believe that the only way I can accomplish anything is with a little encouragement, and a tight deadline. So what if the knitting isn't perfect? I set out to knit a wrestling mask and dagnabbit - that's what I did.

Wanna check it out in person? The Lucha Libre exhibit will be up any day now at the Embassy Bar. Wanna check out some Mexican Wrestling madness? The Embassy is hosting a Mexican wrestling party on June 22nd - who knows what hijinks will ensue!

Thursday, June 07, 2007

The final countdown


Ding, Dong, the mask is done! Well, okay, it's ALMOST done. I still have to weave in the ends, crochet around the openings, add laces up the back, do something with the neckline and... dammit! I'm totally not finished at all! I even skipped Stitch n' Bitch last night to work on it. Skip Stitch n' Bitch to stay home knitting? I know, sounds wacko, but trust me, I knew what I was doing. This project requires concentration and when you bitch whilst you stitch... mistakes are made. Besides, I couldn't bear to have any input. The construction is sloppy at best.



Newbie intarsia madness, haphazard decreases, worsted cotton mingling with sport weight wool! It ain't pretty. Yet. Whatever. The muggles* won't notice the novice construction.

* My rant on "muggles":

Perhaps it's because I'm a little late to the Yarn Harlot phenomenon, but I somehow missed when the term "muggle" was coined. Oh, I figured out what it meant. A "non-knitter". Definition through context - no probs, Bob. Reading comprehension 101. The problem lay with the root of the word. It wasn't until I dared to use the term "muggle" in the company of a so called "muggle" that I met with embarrassment. It suddenly became obvious that Stephanie Pearl McPhee did not coin this term. J.K. Rowling did.

Wha?

Being one of the three people on the planet who has never read a Harry Potter book, I was unaware that "muggle" actually refers to someone who is not able to perform magic. (Ah! Yarn Harlot - you are hilarious. We all know that knitting is magic!) I suddenly realized that this whole time I had been on the outside of an inside joke that I didn't even know was "inside". (My "muggle" friend? They were left wondering why we were suddenly talking about Harry Potter when we started out talking about knitting.)

I always seem to be the last one to know. For godsakes though, do I really need to read Harry Potter?

Monday, June 04, 2007

Socks not Rocking

*****WARNING*****

The following post is not intended for all audiences. Some scenes contain violence (frogging), nudity (knitting needles) and adult situations (mature decision making). Viewer discretion is advised.



Oh Anastasia sock, why hast thou have forsaken me?



We began as friends. I cast you on, provisionally, with ease. Your short-row toe was lovely, round, aching to be filled with chilly toes. Your foot laughed at it's accompanying chart mocking; "I need no instruction!". Our courtship was a flurry of glorious yarn-overs. We were in love.

And then. We turned. The heel.

What happened Anastasia? We used to be so free and easy! I used to be able to predict your every move! But something changed. You're different now, difficult, impossible to relate to. I give and give and you laugh in my face. I've grown weary of your frequent mistakes. Our relationship has grown toxic. You're no good for me. I know it's hard, but trust me, it's better this way:



I'm sorry Anastasia, but it's over.