Wednesday, February 27, 2008

On the Needles

The Grey Amusement, as I'm calling it for want of a better name, is coming along nicely. Since I'm knitting it without a pattern, it has a very organic look to it and lots of imperfections, but what the heck. For example, I knit a big diamond pattern in the middle made up of little diamonds, surrounded by a garter stitch border that's quite a bit wider at one end of the triangle than the other. It's long enough now to keep me warm while I'm working on it. Sometimes it feels almost too heavy to knit and I switch to the Weaver's Mini.

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The Weaver's Mini is coming along slowly but surely. Anonymous asked in the comments "What's the mini-shawl for? Is it a cozy for a doll or a lamp or a bottle of wine?" I looked back at that post and laughed. It does look like a tiny shawl lying on a chair, doesn't it? I can picture a bunch of those little dolls made out of bottles, dressed up in mini shawls and having a gab about their knitting. There's scope for fun there. They could wear swatches and have different personalities. Hmm...

I must say I have no idea why the pattern has the word "mini" in the name. I fully intend to knit this baby until it comes right down to my waist or as close as I can get before I run out of yarn. Then I'll track down a complimentary yarn and knit on a lacy edging all around. I'm thinking of a darker shade of the same colour in a similar weight yarn.

Meanwhile, I knit a third Star Tam from Homespun, Handknit. I really like this one. I used some kind of variegated yarn from Cloverleaf Farms for the top and some leftover dark blue Ultra Alpaca for the rim. Knit on 3.5 mm (4US) following the pattern exactly. It should fit a smaller head, which is what I was aiming for. It's drying now...

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Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Distraction? Or Focus?

I needed something that I could work on while listening and talking. It had to be a project that would help me focus and keep me from fidgeting. It's a terrible thing, but often, if my hands aren't occupied my mind wanders and I don't hear what's said to me. Does this happen to you?

I used to knit plain socks in these situations. It worked for me for several years, but now I can't seem to motivate myself to knit socks unless I'm out somewhere or in the car. Even then, but I'll get back to it. I love wearing those handknitted socks!

I'm very excited about a project that I started on the weekend. I ran into Rabyll at our last Ravelry meetup and she had a lovely shawl with her. Rabyll pointed me to The Weaver's Wool Mini Shawl from Knitlist. Rather than do it in garter stitch as the pattern calls for, I added the simple allover pattern that Rabyll had used - seed rib check (Barbara Walker's 2nd treasury, page 11). Here's how it's looking...



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Monday, February 18, 2008

Grey amusements

The Yarn Harlot's pal Denny admonishes us never to knit anything colourless or grey in Toronto in March. Well, I'm not in Toronto and it's not March although I did grow up in Toronto and mid February is close enough. Here on the south side of Lake Ontario the weather is equally grey and miserable, now with a stiff wind from the east, now from the west. Now rain, now snow, now ice. I don't think I ever wanted winter to end as much as I do this year. I usually chirp on in an irritating way about how much I love winter right through to Saint Paddy's day. This year, I'm giving up early.

Anyway, here's my contribution to the general greyness. It doesn't have a name yet. It's meant as a smallish blanket or throw to warm the gambs while knitting on the couch.

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I'm having fun making this up as I go along. It started with 9 lines of a pattern jotted down in my notebook - the bottom half of a diamond, as it turned out. I added another 9 lines to complete the top of the diamond and cast on provisionally to knit a border in what are essentially stocking stitch diamonds.

After about 3 inches of this, I began to regret that my decision to purl on the wrong side of my diamonds. Alas,I didn't have the the heart to rip it - you know what mohair can be like - tangle, tangle. And so I decided it was time for a bit of variation in the center - polka dot style holes with center pattern to come.

Materials: I've started with 7 skeins of a Russian yarn, Orlis Alpa Fine grey (50% Alpaca and 50% wool) and 4 skeins of Be Sweet Extra Fine Mohair in dark grey. Let's see how far I'll get.

I can't say enough about this Be Sweet Mohair. It adds warmth and a lovely halo to the fabric and creating more perspective somehow. I will try to take a better close-up.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Winter, dark, grey winter shrouded the whole land...and then came a parcel from my pal Mityka!

The first Ravelry scarf exchange began last year and I joined it. I had never participated in a knitting exchange before. It was very much like the pen pals we used to get when we were kids. Someone is assigned to you and you write them a letter and get a letter back. Except in this case it involved a scarf (and other goodies) and you knit for one person while another person knits for you. And what knitting it is. Well.

I knit for Mikkers and Mityka knit for me. You can read about what I knit for Mikkers on her blog, here.

Now let me know you how Mityka has spoiled me. I am completely overwhelmed by her thoughtfulness and generosity! What a beautiful scarf and what lovely necklace, bracelet and shawl pin! And she has made all these beautiful things and on top of that, she also sent a box of Hungarian chocolates. She is very talented, don't you think? Here's the scarf she sent with the pin...

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The colours match perfectly with so many things that I have knit recently, witness...

The pin and necklace look very nice on my Orenburg triangle:

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...and on the Bubble Bath shawl as well...
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Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Oh yeah, here's what we did during the holidays...

Seems like an age ago, but over the Xmas holidays I drove up to Montreal to visit my daughter who had all this and more decorating her living room:

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Which led to lots of this:

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And eventually this:

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and much later this:

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and this little ditty:
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We used it to wrap up presents. The technique is called Nuno felting. We did not know what we were doing but I found a reference to someone's detailed instructions on the web. The link was dead so I put it into the indispensable Wayback Machine and recovered them. Our efforts met with moderate success but we had tons of fun.

After all that, more things seem to have popped up on the web! Here's a helpful video on YouTube done by an enterprising Texan gal! Oooops. Well, we still have a lot of leftover fleece...