Thursday, September 28, 2006
I’m off to Toronto for a night, returning late tomorrow night. IDEX (the Interior Designers Exhibition) is on in Toronto this week and students are highly encouraged to go. A couple of classmates and I went last year and really enjoyed ourselves. We’re going again this year but spending the night with the relatives of one of my friends so that we don’t have to drive 8+ hours in one day. It should be a great girls road trip. We head off today after class.
Unfortunately, I will be in the city of amazing yarn stores and likely won’t have time to darken the door of any! Very sad. On the drive down and back however, I’m planning on getting some knitting done so hope to have an increased section of my mystery project to show you when I return. The Noro Kureyon in my knitting basket is beckoning but I’m trying to ignore it until I’ve made great inroads in my mystery project.
I sent off block number two for Annette’s Blanket to Samantha this week. Congratulations by the way, Samantha! It looks as though your 72 block goal is almost realised!
I know, I'm a bad blogger today - no pictures! But really. Is it about the pictures or the knitting?
Sunday, September 24, 2006
Look what arrived in the mail this week?!? This photo shows the colours reasonably well. The yarn has lots of pinks and purples, as well as red and blue. I can’t wait to get it on the needles and see how the colours knit out. The sad thing is I received this parcel on Tuesday and will not have time to get it on needles until next weekend at least! I have two assignments and one mid-term exam this week so my time is really at a premium. Especially when I really want to get my mystery project done. It’s really silly that that sleeve isn’t finished yet. After that stage, I get to learn how to – wait for it – make button bands! Don’t anyone say they’re hard (I’ve heard rumours). I’m planning on becoming the button band queen. I did that with French knots in cross stitch. Someone told me they were hard and I practised and practised and now really enjoy making them. So much so that I once put over 80 of them on a cross-stitched Christmas tree skirt that a friend made because she hated making French knots.
Speaking of lack of time, Samantha’s square is finished! Apparently I can pull off an 8" X 8" square in Mission Falls pretty quickly. Here it is in its washed and blocked form and ready to be mailed. Hmm. My stitches don’t look perfectly straight. Hopefully that’s okay.
I might get to the post office today. I have several errands to run (Home Depot for sand paper for rendering, art supply store, groceries, etc) so I’m hoping the post office will be one of my stops.
To be a true Canadian for a minute – what is it with this weather? I walked Para this morning in capris and a T-shirt and was sweating! It was 20 degrees with 87% humidity when I went out (I notice both the temperature and humidity have dropped since). It’s also blowing quite hard. On Monday and Tuesday, it was cold enough to put flannel sheets on the bed!
Happy second day of fall, by the way! My favourite season. My favourite colour is orange so the fact that fall is my favourite season isn’t really a surprise, is it?
I have a question for you. I have been reading about 'Secret Pal 9'. It looks like fun but I'm still deciding if I should join or not. Any suggestions from the blogosphere?
Tuesday, September 19, 2006
I did it! I made it to the knitting guild meeting. I knew one person from my LYS so didn’t feel too shy and the knitters seemed to be a friendly bunch. It was very warm here in Ottawa last night and the venue was VERY hot and steamy with about 60 women, needles all clacking away. However, this meant that it was also warm enough to make knitting uncomfortable (you know, when your hands sweat and the yarn just won’t slide between your fingers?).
One very nice guild member lady assisted me in my quest for an explanation of the SSK stitch from my lace scarf pattern. I’m hoping to be able to try out this newly established knowledge on the project in the near future and before I forget it. Thank you very much to the lady whose name I didn’t catch!
At the guild meeting I learned that Debbie Bliss will be coming to Ottawa in October! UNFORTUNATELY, Patty will be in school. Patty is too much of a nerd to skip a morning class, even for Debbie Bliss. Patty may come to regret this decision…
And here’s the square for Annette’s blanket that I was working on at the guild meeting. Not bad for 2 hours of work! I’m estimating 4 more rows to the finish line. Happily, Samantha has already received square number one.
My drafting table is prepared for another night of drafting, sweet drafting. I am also pleased to announce that the rendered picture I mentioned a little while ago is now complete and number two is drawn, photocopied (we do the drawing on vellum, which is transparent, and then copy onto paper) and ready to be rendered as well. You’d never believe it but I'm being bugged when I render! Pesky little fruit flies LOVE the scent of my rendering markers! They drive me crazy when they’re dive-bombing me as I’m trying to work. Luckily, Lee Valley came to the rescue with their fruit fly traps. A friend and I have bought a box each as we’re both having the same problem. This must be a bad year; usually the fruit fly season is over by now.
And here’s a picture of our elderberry (from our backyard!) harvest. SD’s foot, leg and hands make their blogging debut! I picked the berries between class and going to the guild meeting last night and SD bottled (canned if you’re not from Newfoundland) 9 bottles of elderberry jelly for us last night!
If you’re a Monty Python fan, have seen "The Holy Grail" and remember the insult from the French soldiers telling the grail seekers that their ‘mother smelled of elderberries’, you might not want to eat elderberries. Believe it or not, they are delicious. However, it’s when you cook them that you realise how big an insult that soldier was throwing – elderberries REEK when they’re being boiled.
Sunday, September 17, 2006
And I just can’t hide it! And I know, I know, I know…I guess I’m ageing myself when I refer to that song. I’m very excited because I’m going to try and attend my first Ottawa Knitting Guild meeting tomorrow night! I say ‘try’ because I usually do not attend any evening activities when I’m in school and, seeing as I have class tomorrow and who knows what the professors are going to throw at us, I must say ‘try’ so as not to jinx the whole plan. I am working very, very hard today so that my lack of homework tomorrow night won’t hurt too badly on Tuesday.
The meeting starts tomorrow night at 7:30 until ? and I’m eager to get there. It only costs $3 for drop in which really seems reasonable. I don’t want to sign up as a member because I already know that there will be a couple of months when I will not be able to make the meetings. I’ll probably bring block number two of Annette’s blanket and, the way Mission Falls knits up, will likely finish it at the meeting. As you can see, my pattern is not very inventive this time. However, I think the colour is so pretty that the knitting is just the display board.
I’ve also discovered podcasts in a big way. This past week, they helped me get through my drafting homework by providing a knitting backdrop as I slaved away. I’ve mentioned before that drafting scares me. I have two types of hand drafting classes and one computer assisted drafting course so, yes, I spend a great deal of my semester afraid J ! However, I’ve been going through the knitting podcasts in I-Tunes and have been enjoying them as they allow me to knit vicariously. So far I’ve listened to KnitterGail, Knit2BTied, and At the Yarn Shop.
I’m not sure how much blogging I will get done this week but I promise to blog again soon. I must be one of the few knitting bloggers who posts more on weekends than during the week!
Saturday, September 16, 2006
What a week. Whew. Thank goodness it’s the weekend! Have I been working on schoolwork since class ended on Friday? Not really. I did go to the National Gallery for a review of their ‘Acting the Part: Photography as Theatre’ exhibit (this is very school related all ye of little faith) and then did some research at Carleton University’s library. I also drafted for an hour last night before SD, S and ML and I went to see the new ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’ movie at 10:10 PM (I thought it was good – very funny – but a bit long). Due to the late night, I slept in this morning, chatted for a bit during breakfast, went for a run, got cleaned up , picked up groceries and just finished making supper for all of us, plus two more, for tonight. The main part of the meal is in a crock pot/slow cooker and as, we’re not eating until after 7:00 PM, it should be ready without me watching it.
Another thing I did this morning was frog this little number again. You would be impressed with my progress if I didn’t keep tinking and frogging the poor darling. I mean, you’d be seeing at least 4" of really impressive knitting by now. I kept having problems having the pattern work out and knit up about 2" twice before I realized that I’d made a mistake on the first row of seed stitch after finishing the ruffled edge. This meant that the next part of the pattern wouldn’t line up properly. I was quite pleased with myself two days ago when I finally figured it out. As you can see though, it’s off the needles again. Why? Because I can’t seem to carry on a semi-intelligent conversation and knit at the same time. Darn it.
I sent a block off on Thursday. They said 2 – 3 business days, Samantha. Then I thought, why knit just one square? I had such a hoot knitting the last one last weekend. It was fast, I got to have fun ‘designing’ and it was finished in no time. Additionally, one of Samantha’s posts this week was about a woman who had sent five blocks (not that I’m competitive…)! I mean, one block seemed paltry. So, off I traipsed to my LYS on Thursday after going to the post office. I went in for one – I repeat one – ball of super wash and, despite the excellent selection, I was leaving with another ball of Mission Falls. Here it is. Gorgeous colour - #028 Pistachio.
Then the trouble began. Louise at my LYS is a pusher/good sales lady (she knows a fibreholic when she sees one). I went in for one ball (which is a little like going to McDonalds and asking for one french fry but, I digress) and walked out with this. It’s all her fault. Can you blame me?!? Look at it!
It’s alpaca. It’s gorgeous. It has superseded the shawl that I showed you in August as a ‘must finish before Christmas’ project. It’s from Misti Alpaca. The pattern I’m using is this one from my LYS – designed by Louise herself (she’s sickeningly creative and a phenomenal knitter to boot). The only problem is that the row of cast on stitches plus the one row of purl stitches that you might be able to see on the needle are as far as I can get without further direction on how to successfully produce an ‘SSK’. Well, there are two problems actually. That little ball makes a WHOLE SCARF for Pete’s sake! It’s thread! I’ve never knit with thread before. I am afraid.
On a less scary note but in keeping with the somewhat scary theme, here’s something that’s been growing in my garden that I’m very proud of. It’s for Halloween.
Congratulations to Elizabeth for ordering the ‘Rainbow Hat’ from Shelridge Farms. I hope you enjoy knitting your three hats as much as I enjoyed making mine. You’re going to need it for your first Vermont winter!
Tuesday, September 12, 2006
Hi again! I wanted to apologize to Elizabeth who commented on the blog on AUGUST 29TH and I ignored her! I missed her comment entirely. I'm so sorry. Elizabeth was asking about my hat posting. It's from Shelridge Farms (for some reason, blogger won't let me hyperlink this. Their address is: www.shelridge.com) and is their 'Rainbow Hat'. I loved knitting it and there is lots of wool in the kit. For example, even though I knit this pattern for adults, I managed to get two adult hats out of their kit with wool still leftover.
So, hopefully you will visit again, Elizabeth, even though I ignored you for so long. You taught me something: how to adjust my settings so that comments are sent to me automagically - thanks for that!
For anyone else out there in the blogosphere, I also think I changed my comments so that you can post a comment to my site without registering with blogger.com (this is for you, Faith!). Someone tell me if that feature now works (you need to be someone NOT registered with blogger). So, go ahead and try to leave me a new comment. Thanks!
Monday, September 11, 2006
Sorry I haven’t written anything since Thursday. I’ve had homework! Here is a sample of something that has taken 22 hours of my life (and that’s just for the rendering! The drawing for this project took another 10 hours and involved drawing up four graphs because the first three didn’t work out). The entire project is 11" X 18" but the whole thing won’t fit on my scanner so this is the ‘abbreviated’ version. And that’s homework for just one course! I have seven in all and homework in each. Despite this, I have been regularly reading (and in most cases lurking) my regular blogs to catch up when I’ve needed a break but I just haven’t found the time to add anything to my own blog. Terrible.
I downloaded April’s Knit2Btied podcast edition 11 after reading Samantha’s blog about Annette’s Blanket. I listened to the podcast on Friday while I was drawing and, by Saturday morning, had decided that I should knit a block for the cause too. Do I have time for such things? Didn’t I say I was only going to work on only three projects between now and Christmas? Did I enjoy myself knitting anyways? YES! I knitted during breaks (like, when I was on the phone, waiting for supper – life is good around here – or just when I was going crazy from rendering).
My homework for tomorrow is now complete so I guess I was able to fit in knitting and homework. I may not be saying that come Wednesday when I have a presentation due and Thursday when I have drafting due (Shiver. I’m am vewy scared of drafting). I also still have homework to do tonight so I can’t stay long.
Anyways, back to the epic, I mean, knitting. I found some leftover superwash Mission Falls merino from my sweater that, no, isn’t completed yet. Thanks for asking though. I figured I had enough for an 8" X 8" block. Then I figured out how many stitches I thought I needed for the block (why start with a swatch I said confidently?) and cast on 35 on 4 mm needles (I’m a very loose knitter). Then I had to decide on a pattern. I didn’t want to knit a simple garter stitch block (that would be just too easy, wouldn’t it?) so decided to make up my own based on one I’d seen in a baby blanket my aunt knitted for her grandson. I started with five stitches of knit stitch, five stitches of purl, knit for 8 rows, then switched the pattern around to give it a checkerboard effect.
On this little square, I learned the following:
- that I should ALWAYS knit a swatch beforehand (duh!),
- how to make live stitches up two sides of the block to make the block 1" larger by adding an accent colour of yarn (yeah me and thank you to Knitting Help!),
- how to do a crochet cast off when I ran out of yarn (thanks Yarn Harlot!),
- how to undo a crochet cast off when I realized it was too darn tight for my purposes,
- how to block,
- how to stress over blocking because the darn square isn’t dry yet and wasn’t drying square enough for me (I washed it yesterday for Pete’s sake!,
- how to pin while blocking,
- how MUCH stocking stitch actually does roll. Hopefully Samantha can deal with this slight ‘ripple’ effect, and
- how to take out my nicely knit accent colour that I’d added because it made the block way too large.
Whew. Good thing it was only one small square.
The picture of my block above is the original, with the accent colour on the sides. The picture below is of the new and improved finished block.
Luckily for my sanity (but not so much for Annette’s blanket) and my school work, I only had that bit of superwash in the house so I can’t knit two. Sorry, Samantha. However, if you’re reading this and aren’t Samantha, please knit up a block too ASAP and send it to her. Like April said, we can’t have Annette’s family curled up under only 39, 8" X 8" squares now can we (the goal is 72)? And, by the way, how long does it take an 8" X 8" block of merino to dry anyways? I’d like to get my personal creation to Samantha before New Years…
Thursday, September 07, 2006
I've only been in school for 8 days and I'm already whining! My apologies to all of you in blogdom. I really enjoy my school program, I really do. I just find it hard to give up ALL of my free time and most of my sleeping hours when I go back to school. Oh well. Only three more years to go (including this one).
In my continuing efforts to ensure I knit during the school year, I'm posting another picture of my mystery WIP in hopes that you will bug me enough to make me find time to get working on it. I don't want to give too much away but I do want you to know that this project is going through SSS (second sleeve syndrome). It's horrible. I love this project and I love who it's going to go to but I just can't get motivated. Mind you, I also can't get motivated to work on the project currently taped to my drafting table (so, instead, I'm blogging! Bad Patty!) so motivation could be becoming a theme this fall.
In other, more exciting knitting news: Hooray for E-Bay! I found 2 skeins of Noro Big Kureyon in a colour scheme that I liked on E-Bay! Thanks go to Renee though for her generous offer of looking for Kureyon yarn for me at the Knitter's Fair. I've never used E-Bay before so am a little nervous. However, an email told me today that my package has been shipped (from the U.S). The mailbox watch begins. I will keep you posted on further developments (no pun intended!).
I did manage to get up to my LYS tonight for a brief 're-lesson' (that's what it's called when Patty comes to you for the upteenth time wanting to know how to do something you've already taught her several times already) on sewing up my sweater. I really want that sweater finished. I can't tell you the number of times during the week I've thought, gee, I sure wish I had that sweater with me. Or the number of camping trips over the summer when I've thought, gee, I wish I had that sweater finished so I could wear it. Now, there's some motivation for me!
Monday, September 04, 2006
All good things must come to an end and that seems to be the way of this long weekend. We had a lovely trip down to the Adirondack's in our van. This is a picture of our 1988 camper van taken at a lovely campsite in Quebec on the way back from our Newfoundland and Labrador trip this summer.
The trip to the mountains took about 3.25 hours from Kanata to Rollins Pond Campground where we stayed in site # 39. Rollins Pond is about 30 minutes from Lake Placid and we drove out past Lake Placid on Saturday to go hiking. Not much school work got done on Saturday but I did manage to start and finish Yarn Harlot's Secret Life of a Knitter between the Friday evening drive and the time I squeezed it in on Saturday. I was so happy to see this book at the library on Friday - I had been on the waiting list for months! As luck would have it, Knitting Rules was also waiting for me and I'm finding it very hard to resist when I'm supposed to be studying!
It rained off and on on Sunday but stayed dry long enough for me to get one assignment completed out on the picnic table. I was rendering (rendering in 'design speak' means sketching and colouring with markers, pencil crayons, graphite and conté) and the markers are very strong so it was nice to be out in the fresh air while I was using them. The natural light was an added bonus.
To prove my ability to stay committed to school work while camping, here's a picture of me in our camper on Sunday night. I was bundled up (recognize the hat?) while researching for a presentation on Roman architecture due next week. What a good girl!
In knitting news, the yarn store in Lake Placid does not carry Kureyon anymore so I'm still on the hunt for Noro BIG Kureyon. Any suggestions on this predicament, anyone? The lady at the shop said that it might not be being sold anymore. Eek! I know I can use another bulky wool but I really like the variations that Kureyon would give me.
I also managed to get MANY ends sewn into my sweater (see August 25th post) in my continuing efforts to have it move to the FO pile instead of the WIP pile. I really wanted to wear it this weekend as I found it a little chilly. It's really too bad I learned how to splice wool only half way through that sweater. I seemed to have an inordinate number of ends to sew in. Off to do more research and not a stitch knitted this weekend - does sewing in ends count as knitting???