March was a very variable month. It started out with two yellow stripes (10 – 14.9 degrees Celsius), dropped to Dublin green on the 6th (only 2.6 deg) and rose to a lovely long period of orange at the end (15 – 19.9). The 31st was a max of 19.6 though on my back deck, where I was basking in my swimsuit, I think it was more like 25.
April 1, 2013
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March 6, 2013
These cute little fingerless mitts were a couple of evenings of fun knitting. They are for my step-nephew’s girlfriend (work that one out)! She posted a couple of owl pictures to Facebook last week and I found out she loves owls. I looked up the date of her birthday – it’s in May so the lightbulb went on in my brain and I found one of those numerous patterns on Ravelry that are using a simple cable pattern to create an owl.
As I didn’t have any suitable chunky yarn, I used two strands of the Brava Worsted – this pattern is for an alpaca yarn and strangely mentions no gauge – I ended up getting about 3.5 sts to the inch and the mitts fit me so hopefully they will fit E too.
March 4, 2013
This is a great project for keeping up your interest. And when else do you get to make loads of yarn overs in a random design and even drop stitches on purpose? Most of the dropped stitches run down to yarn overs, so there’s a limit to their freedom but there is one that has no such limit.
I took another knitter’s advice and lengthened it a bit in the quiet part between two crazy parts. If you go to my Ravelry project page you’ll see I needed to make a few course corrections so if you plan on knitting this scarf prepare to use your brain a little and not just follow along blindly. As it is so random, as the spider’s web starts to unravel, you don’t have to follow exactly, but make sure that the dropped stitches are above a yarn over a few rows below if you want them to stay in control.
It is rather fun to start out with four strands and #6 needles, later dropping to three, then two, then one, at the same time moving up to #8s, then 10.5, then 13. I am at the two strand, #10.5s at present, and will have to move on to some old straight needles for the last part as my Harmony Interchangeables only go up to 11.
I hope my friend, for whom this scarf is intended, loves the artiness of it – she is after all an artist, and loves my handmade creations, and may be tickled pink to be the owner of something so unique.
February 28, 2013
It’s October in March! This project will probably take up all of March. I’m knitting it very carefully as there are four strands of the Knitpicks Comfy Fingering and many stitch crossings for the spider’s legs in this first part. As you can see I have already put in two lifelines.
October is for Spinners
Edited to add:
There is a glaring error in my project which I only realized was there after working 40 rows! The first five rows should be seed stitch, to match the side edges, not ribbing. It will have to stay like that as I am not ripping out all that work!
February 26, 2013
I started an Elizabeth Zimmermann Tomten baby jacket a couple of days ago because I was expecting my Knitpicks order to take another week. But guess what! It arrived today!
I was able to finish this hat tonight…and now I can cast on for the October is for Spinners scarf.
Specs: pattern Iona, yarn Knitpicks Brava Worsted in Dove Heather, needles size 9US
I think if I’d gone down a needle size I would have managed to finish it with one ball but it is very soft and comfortable and will go well with my grey coat.
February 23, 2013
And welcome to the weekend. Isn’t it a wonderful Saturday morning! Can you tell I’m sitting here with my first cup of Yorkshire tea in three weeks?
The cleanse is over and I’m happy that I stuck with it with very few transgressions. Don’t know whether I lost any weight but my jeans feel more comfortable. I enjoyed a good hike with a friend and our boys yesterday afternoon – now that most of the snow has melted it’s time to up the activity level and get more calories burned for Spring.
Last night I thought I’d try out a new stitch, brioche. It looks so beautiful. If you take a look at projects on Ravelry that use two colour brioche, they are impressive, and I wanted to know how to do it. I found a tutorial online and gave it a go. I had worked four rows of it when I found a dropped stitch. Well, this is one pattern where picking up a stitch and rescuing it is seemingly impossible because brioche is made from lots of slipped stitches and yarn overs. Realising I wouldn’t be able to save it, and that I wouldn’t be making any large projects with this stitch that requires so much attention, I pulled it out and told myself that that was another lesson learned!
I still haven’t come up with a small project to knit to tide me over until the Knitpicks order arrives.
Well, I was gobsmacked just now, though I don’t know why. My 20 year old has always been a gold medal-winning messmaker and just now he shook a large salsa container, not realising that the lid wasn’t on properly. Salsa shot out all over the dining table. I saw him do something about it but knew I should put down the iPad and check the situation. It was not good. He used a pale blue dry towel to scrape up the salsa and had put it in the laundry basket including lumps. There were two bamboo placemats in the basket too, and we never machine wash those – they can easily be rinsed off under the tap. I also noticed he hadn’t wiped the dining table properly or checked the carpet under his chair. Why oh why does he have to be so slapdash? He had already sat down to continue eating so I know he thought his cleanup job was adequate. I’m glad I caught it all before it dried on and soaked in. I sometimes tell him that I’ll know when he’s “grown up” when he starts being more conscientious about things like this (I know from forums on Ravelry that some people never learn to be a Noticer Of Things That Need To Be Done – how frustrating for the people who live with them).
Time to make a meal plan and shopping list as it’s grocery day. Have a great weekend.
February 21, 2013
Heh heh, one day I’m going to type a bunch of words on this iPad and leave the autocorrected stuff in, just for laughs. Is funny to see what auto ore st tanks I should be saying. I mean, what autocorrect thinks I should be saying.
Well, the machine knitting issue has been solved for now, with all the work I did today ripped out and reballed. Is that a word! Reskeined, maybe. I haven’t gone the extra mile and ripped out the sleeves and partial back of the Collar closing cardigan – yet. It’s all been stuffed in a bag and left to stew. Next I have to heave the folding table back downstairs and find a small project to knit, as now the only WIPs I have are:
Mystery CAL in coral worsted
Grey cabled hat which is stalled but the yarn is on its way
Temperature scarf which of course is only two rows a day and is not sufficient to maintain a serious knitting habit
I am going to rummage in the basket next to the sofa and see what I can use of my Brava – I only need a small project as there is yarn coming in the mail to knit October is for Spinners. Hang on while I find a link…here you are.
It’s an arty farty scarf, perfect for my artist friend, with a spider knitted into one end, and as you knit the scarf gets thinner and holier as the web unravels. That’s holey, not holy!
I am going to use Knitpicks Comfy Fingering in Whisker, a neutral grey that will suit my friend’s winter wardrobe. A safer bet than a bright or a pastel too. And I definitely didn’t want anything dark that would obscure the spider. Hold on, another link is necessary.
A light colour will be easier on the eyes too. This yarn is 75% Pima cotton and 25% acrylic and for this scarf you start out with four strands, then three, then two, ending with only one strand, at the same time increasing the needle size as you go. I’ve had this pattern in my Ravelry queue for three years, unbelievably, so it’s definitely time to make it.
Well, enough of my rambling, time to bust out some knitting needles.
February 10, 2013
The Year of the Snake. The first time Tai Chi Man and I have been able to celebrate the new year with Taiwanese people who know all the traditions. Great company, great food (ahem, I may have sampled some dumplings made with flour wrappers and a couple of pineapple cakes). One thousand bows – man, that made my back seize up.
And one of the best parts of being out and busy all day is…..coming home, making a huge cup of tea, changing into pjs and vegging out on my couch!
HAPPY NEW YEAR
January 13, 2013
Well, I’ve discovered a couple of ways of reducing the size of the photos on my blog. A quick way is to go to my Media Library and edit each photo, scaling it down. Unfortunately this only works for a while and then I start getting the blue square with the question mark inside it and I have to stop. Another way, though more fussy, is to take the photos from my Media Library one at a time, put them into an email which is set to insert photo attachments as “Small” and then send it myself. I then delete the big picture and re-upload the small one, and then edit the original post to get rid of the big one and put in the small one. Yes, it is slow.
The final way is obviously to just delete the photos, and I have been going through my old posts one month at a time, starting way back in 2008, deleting the occasional post completely, or just photos that I don’t think are necessary to keep.
It is having the desired effect – my blog has gone from 98% full to 96%. So as long as I keep editing the old stuff, and only uploading small picture files, I will stay well under my space limit.
January 1, 2013
New Year’s Day 2013! And we’re all still here, healthy and happy and warm and sheltered. I am very grateful for family, friends, food and….lots of other things beginning with F! Do you like the photo? My dad and mum, my sister and me, one Christmas many moons ago. I don’t think I’ve posted it to my blog before – I think I put it on Facebook, though I may be getting confused!
I put together Thank You letters for my mum and Tai Chi Man’s parents using ComicLife. I usually forget I have that software but every now and again it comes in handy. I picked out some photos from 2012 and filled three pages and printed two copies. It reminded me how eventful a year it’s been. The main memories of 2012 for me are of course going back to the UK twice, the first time for seven weeks when I knew my dad was sick, and the second time for two weeks for his funeral. So many memories, sad and happy and poignant and painful.
I hope that you can look back on 2012 with a peaceful heart and a releasing of any negative feelings. It’s all in the past. Let it go and feel the lightness. Live in the moment while trusting that the future will take care of itself. Don’t worry, be happy, as they say.
Right now, I am happy that I am about to bind off my scrappy blanket because I have reached that impatient stage all of a sudden. I bought a parts organiser cabinet from Canadian Tire (40% off, hooray) and sorted out my buttons and now I want to have fun attaching them to the blanket to “tie” the two layers together. My plan is to use one more colour to knit one more round, then bind off (that will probably take half an hour), close the ends, add a bit of embellishment, and then enjoy being warm underneath it.
We don’t make resolutions around here, but during Tai Chi Man’s days off I did commandeer him to help me change my sewing room into a fitness room. I took down the folding table, propped it against the wall, and cleared and vacuumed the floor. We’ve unfolded the Nordictrack, which has been gathering dust for so many years, and reassembled the weights bench. There’s also a small trampoline (rebounder) in there. So now there’s no excuse to be sedentary on days when it’s too icy outside to walk. If I want to use my sewing machine or knitting machine, I’ll have to set up a temporary workstation somewhere else.
Are you on Pinterest? What a time suck! All those pretty pictures. I was trying to find some inspiration for making things with buttons – ideally a small knitted or crocheted item with buttons sewn on – not much success at finding the perfect project, but I have enjoyed the colourful photos. Haven’t had any luck with Ravelry either. I suppose if I knew what I wanted to make, I could then add buttons to it, whatever the item. Oh well, probably a better idea to bind off the blanket first. Then play with other yarn.
I’m sure I’m not the only one who gets that Monday morning feeling the day after New Year’s. It’s like we’ve had a little break from the normal routine for a week or two and then, pouf, it’s all over and normal service must be resumed. And it’s not like I have to get up early to go to work or anything like that. There have been some homeschooling classes I’ve been thinking of signing the boys up for, though, and this week I will have to start making calls. And soon it will be time for their snowboarding days to start, which they’re itching to do. So I shall throw myself into January with all enthusiasm.
Happy New Year – may the force be with you!