Saturday, February 28, 2009

knitters unite!

I just heard about this effort to raise much-needed money for the Australian Red Cross - you've been hearing in the news about the terrible bush fires in Victoria - many people are affected, many people have lost their homes, and many people have been seriously injured or lost their lives. Schools are closed, firefighters have been called in from as far away as New Zealand, and next week is looking windy and hot, which is bad news.

Serendipity, a knitting blogger, is keeping a tally of donations by knitters to the Australian Red Cross. She has organized an amazing raffle for anyone donating 10 Australian dollars - (which is just over $6 US) - and if the cause weren't enough, the prizes are unbelievable. There is Wollmeise, Posh yarn, kits, gift certificates, an amazing array of donated goodies from the crafting community. It's a small donation, and we can all help make a difference. So check it out, and just give a little if you can - and check out your stash for your next knitting project rather than buying more yarn.*

Serendipity's blog

*I'll confess - I fell down pretty hard yesterday on the yarn and fiber field trip I mentioned previously on my blog - I ran into a huge Fleece Artist sale and was powerless to resist - but it was worth it. And possibly had something to do with why I was so fast to again get out my credit card when I read Knit Nutt's blog post - how can I justify spending money on more yarn if I can't give a little to a worthy cause? Just saying.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

WIPs update - socks / sweater / swatches

February Lady sweater is still on the verge of being totally finished, I swatched this week for the Honeycomb vest from Knitty using some Bartlett Yarns Shetland Sport I picked up at the sheepy wool festival last summer, and my pink and gray sock continues to crawl along. The metal 0 dpns hurt my fingers after a few rows so I'm trying to do a little, walk away, and then come back to it. Pictures soon. Downloading pictures now...

Honeycomb swatch:
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A reasonably well fitting sock:
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Even though it's a first sock (again), st st gets a little old, so I've added a little slipped stitch easy mirrored cable up the center back - this is the beginning of it:

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(It's a little clearer in the small pic size)

Today there is a fun field trip planned and there may be some yarn and fiber involved - some friends from my department and I are planning to take advantage of one of our remaining days of reading week (aka spring break - and yet there's snow on the ground?) and do a little cruise inland to visit a couple of crafty shops. Avonport Discount Fabrics and Gaspereau Valley Fibres are on the list. I'll have to remember my camera! The sun is supposed to shine a bit and roads should be clear. I have proposed that we meet for a greasy spoon breakfast first. It's important to not get distracted by a hungry tummy when there is yarn to be fondled.

a little action

A couple of weeks ago my dear friend SubliminalRabbit passed along a lovely little award to me, and I'm finally going to pass it along to some other bloggers who I follow and admire! I've just had a look around and found lots of people who've gotten this 'award' in the past two months but I'm not sure how it started. So here is the text that accompanies it, though I'm not sure where it originated:

"These blogs are exceedingly charming. These kind bloggers aim to find and be friends. They are not interested in self-aggrandizement. Our hope is that when the ribbons of these prizes are cut, even more friendships are propagated. Please give more attention to these writers. Deliver this award to eight bloggers who must choose eight more and include this cleverly-written text into the body of their award.”

I can't help but recognize SubliminalRabbit as a true friend and Beigeberry as well - both fabulous knitters. Ladysaphira is also an inspiration, with her spinning and designing abilities. I never fail to check on Stitchywitch aka Green Apples, who churns out more knitting in a month than I do in a year - and it all looks incredible! L33t Kn1tx0r is a clever momma with beautiful kids and a wonderful ability to adapt patterns and yarns to her needs. Cmeknit is a blogger who has really similar tastes to my own - in colors, yarns and patterns, so I always enjoy seeing what she is up to, and she turns projects out very quickly as well! Knit Nutt is a cheerful soul who always makes me smile with her optimism and happy knitting projects, especially with bright colors! Last but not least, I find that the ADD Knitter is well worth checking in on. There's an inspiring hat show going on over there at the moment! And even though I've come up with eight so far, I'll go ahead and throw one more out there, since SubliminalRabbit put me in her list, and that probably means I should not include her in the original eight. So finally we have Rose-Kim Knits - her weekly "Thursdays are for what the hell is this?" posts are snort-worthy. I'm sure I've forgotten someone great. So pass this happy goodness along!

Monday, February 23, 2009

FO: Jack-in-the-box mittens

I finished these up on Friday! I have now been using them for a few days, and they're great! The knitting is just dense enough to keep out those pesky gales that are plaguing us on the coast. I don't really mind.

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I'm a big fan of the flip-top mitt. So useful.

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And now I'm trying to finish up my February lady sweater while it's still February!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

do you have two right hands?

I was making good progress last night on mitt number two in this flip-top red wool mitten set, all the way to finishing the thumb shaping and putting thumb sts on scrap yarn.

And then I realized I was still following the directions for the first mitten. The right mitten.

Don't need two right hand mittens! Frog frog rippit.

I picked mitten number two, ripped back to the cuff, up again tonight and started following the left hand mitten shaping instructions. All going well. Until I thought I had forgotten to start crossing the staghorn cable number two and fiddled with the knitting so that the sts crossed properly without tinking back to where the cable should have been crossed. A row or two later and I thought, yeah, I crossed that cable too early and I was right in the first place and.

Tink tink tink. I went back to the proper place, no fiddly shortcuts, and now it's right. I'm only halfway through the thumb increases on mitt number two but at least the increases are coming out on the correct side of the left hand. So I think I'm good from here. I just hate that feeling that I could have had a finished second mitten right now if only I had been paying enough attention. So much for making the best use of my time while listening to speeches on Monday. And before bed last night. And. There is a snowstorm on the way! And I have no new mittens. But I will soon - because next week there are no classes. Knitting time!!

knitting & your memory

Quick post! It's the end of break time during my fantabulous databases class but as I was skimming some RSS feeds I saw this and had to share! :

BBC News : Knitting 'can delay' memory loss.

TV, oddly enough, speeds up memory loss!!

Whowouldathunk. Have a good afternoon!

Monday, February 16, 2009

WIPs: pink socks / red mittens!

Gosh, you'd think it was Valentine's day or something.

This will be quick because I need to relax this evening but I've been meaning to tell you, I started a new pair of socks! (er, two weeks ago-ish?)

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Size 0 dpns, and I've put aside the other toe-up sock after I snapped my needle. The yarn might be cursed, I'm not sure. But this yarn is some that I got half price from Michaels, Paton's Stretch Socks in "sugar".

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And also, last week I started a new pair of mittens!

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That's just the first cuff, same Ella Rae wool as I used for my minimalist cardigan, on size 4 needles. I'm knitting this using the magic loop method. I love the cuff pattern, it's a simple slip/cable ribbing. I've nearly finished the first mitt now but don't have a picture yet. I started the second mitten...yesterday? The pattern is Jack-in-the-box mittens (Ravelry link). It's from Knitting New Mittens and Gloves. So great.

I knew I needed to knit a new pair of mitts when my current pair - flip top gloves I picked up several years ago in Japan and my absolute favorites - developed three holes in about a week in the right-hand gloves. It's like it just suddenly decided to disintegrate. So I'm working on replacing - before winter ends!

Bye for now!

Sunday, February 8, 2009

FO: Spiral Cowl

I finally sewed on a button last night and crocheted a loop to go around it. I used every last scrap of this gorgeous yarn so I am very pleased!

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It can be worn like a cozy hood, so soft!

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After working most of the cowl I cast on again for the second edge and then grafted the edge to the main body of the cowl, rather then guesstimate how much yarn to leave for the second picot edge. It worked great and I only had a few inches of yarn left after I did the button and crocheted loop.

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I really like the picot edging. The button is a special hand-fired ceramic one picked up at some point with CK; it's too heavy for this yarn so I might have to keep an eye out for something lighter.

This is going to be a great piece to keep out the wind walking around Halifax! I'm very happy with the yarn and the pattern was great - except that it should tell you to cast on a multiple of 8 plus one so that you don't need to use a st marker, you can just keep going around and around. If you're thinking of knitting this, you'll see what I mean when you get started.