Saturday, October 29, 2005


I'm sure this will be shocking to most of you, but I think I have one or two idiosyncrasies. Yes. Yes, I do.

For example:
I am compulsively organized at work. Everything is in its place and I have my work surfaces clean and tidy. At home, however, it sort of looks like someone took a yarn store and a book store and dumped half the contents of each into a shaker and then dumped them out into my apartment. Not so neat and tidy. Not that I'm a slob, the dishes are clean and there isn't a bowl of half-petrified Kraft Dinner (Kraft Macaroni and Cheese, for those non-Canadians in the crowd) under the couch. I just am not the most organized person at home. Or, rather, it is all sort of organized, it's just spilling out of it's bounds and over everything else. The fact that a person living alone can consistently lose stuff in her own small apartment is perhaps evidence for this point.

Another example: The fact that there were approximately 4 rounds more ribbing on one of my sleeves drove me crazy (as evidenced by the post last week). But, somehow I am quite happy to live with this:

**ETA: the mis-match striping, not the fact that one sock is finished and one is not. they are both now finished, i just don't have a picture of them finished. That would be quite a feat (sorry. nearly punny there) for me to be able to live with one finished and one unfinished sock. Not to mention slightly painful, what with the needle in there

I knew at the top of the second sock that they weren't going to match, but I didn't want to pull out that much yarn just to get them to the right spot in the sequence. It's only about 1/2 inch off on the second sock. I don't care. Wierd, huh?

The day that I knit the second sock, my feet looked like this

, so I guess a teeny mismatch in the second sock isn't such a big thing.

can they call the cops on me for sweater abuse?

I have this ribby cardi that I made with Bernat Lana. I love it.

However, when I made it, I decided to use snaps. And, seeing as how I like to make things REALLY difficult for myself, I used snaps that were WAY too big and WAY too tough to open/close. This caused a lot of wear on the button bands and I didn't like the way it looked.

(This was the third attempt at installing a closing mechanism for this particular sweater. For more on the fiasco, you can see my post on craftster about it here)

So, a couple of weeks ago I decided to re-work the button bands to accomodate, well, buttons. I picked out the stitching for the backs of the snap bands (I had sewn the button band back over the backs of the snaps, aren't I clever? Don't I make more and more unnecessary work for myself?). Then came the hard part. Not physically, it was easy to do, but mentally and emotionally. I needed to CUT the bands because the snaps were impossible to remove. It is difficult to cut into a sweater that you worked on (and on and on and on) but it was necessary. I wanted a better, stronger, faster... sorry. got carried away.

So I cut. The first side came away with no difficulties. I had a nice, clean selvedge edge. The second side however:

Somehow I managed to (you may want to sit down for this) cut into the sweater itself. Not just the button band. I don't know how I did it. I spent a significant chunk of time after I discovered this just staring at the sweater, thinking maybe I could just will it back into wholeness. I contemplated the lost art of turning-back-time (could you imagine? I would so love to be able to turn back time. So many moments I'd like to have back and have a chance to do over). I used some, er, colorful language. I tried to see if I could smooth it out with my hands.

**I know that last one sounds like an exaggeration. I have been known to do that from time to time. Sadly, it is not. I really did try to see if I could just smooth out the cut bits and move on.

In the end, I fired up the sewing machine and sewed down the first column of stitches that wasn't damaged and mirrored it on the other side. I then used this column as my selvedge edge and picked up stitches down it for the button band. I worked the button bands all the way up the collar too, When I first made the sweater I hadn't done that, but I like the way it looks now.

So, happily, it is all okay now. I like the way the button bands lie (lay? for all my grammar-policing I can't believe that I get this one mixed up.)

I would so love to tell you that Ribby Cardi and I are living happily ever after, but I must confess further abuse.

(If you didn't sit down before when I told you about the cutting, you will want to do so now)

Last weekend, I was throwing clothes in my laundry basket to make the long trek to the laundry room (okay, fine, it's not a long trek. It's just out my apartment door and down 4 steps. I'm trying to make you feel sorry for me). I loaded the machine, not really thinking about the fact that I was throwing in a 100% merino wool sweater. I just didn't think at all.

I thought about it in the middle of the wash cycle, but pacified myself with the thought that I had run a cold water wash cycle and it would be okay. Cold water isn't bad for wool sweaters, is it? nah, couldn't be.

Turns out cold water wash in the machine CAN felt a 100% merino wool sweater. Not felted to the point where every fiber is locked together, but felted to the point where it shrunk and the fabric of the sweater feels somewhat felted. The stitches are still defined, but it feels different. It took a lot of pulling to get it back into a wearable size (whew) and I think it will be okay in the end.

(I was going to put up a pic of the sweater post-machine-abuse but it doesn't look that much different in the pics. a grey sweater is a grey sweater...)

I'm just a little concerned that the yarn equivalent of children's services will pay me a suprise visit and see the sweater and take it and all wool-related yarn away from me. I'm trying to be a good yarn owner. Honest.

Monday, October 17, 2005

I never learn

So I made this v-neck sweater (finished a few days ago. didn't tell you I was knitting it. too boring) (comfy, exactly what i wanted, but boring) (okay, you dragged it out of me. i forgot to post about it. i'm really sorry. but honestly, photos of a dark brown stocking stitch v-neck knit in the round, not super-exciting blog reading.)

Okay, so here it is:

So, the "i never learn" portion of today's post is this: I have this strange inability to make sweaters long enough for myself! I measure, I measure while I'm knitting, I hold the sweater up to me, somehow, they are never long enough. While I am knitting, I am aware that this will probably happen again, but still, somehow I don't manage to correct the problem. Partly, I think that I end up just being a little lazy impatient and want to get on with it. So, anyway, this sweater, while it fit perfectly in the arms, was really REALLY short in the body. I'm short-waisted and it came to where my natural waist is (not attractive) so I soaked it and pulled it into, what I hoped would be, the right length. Then I tried it on (above) and it was STILL too short.

So, I did this:

With the help of seventyjillion pins I got the thing into the size/shape I wanted it to be and steam blocked it like it was goin out of style (insert more appropriate/funnier colloquialism here).

Then, it looked like this:

same white t-shirt underneath

Much better. It still could use more length, so when I wash it I'll see what I can do in that regard.

But in keeping with the "I never learn" theme, today at work I noticed this:

I realize there is a strong possibility that I am either:
a. insane
b. really really overly picky compulsive detail oriented
and that I am the ONLY person who will notice/care
but, the ribbing on the sleeves is not the same length!! argh.

(it's not just the picture, I measured)(it's only about 1/2 a centimeter, but STILL)

Pattern: um... There wasn't really a pattern. I used the bottom ribbing and body from Knitty's Leftovers and just winged it for the sleeves and v-neck. Sleeves and body knit in the round (yay for 12" circular needles!) and then joined to do raglan decreases.
Peruvian Highland Wool from
love love love this yarn. inexpensive and nice to work with

Smack Down in 'da' Crib

or, "Teeny Tiny Hoodies in Action"

I finally got to meet my brand new nephews this past weekend! And, the teeny tiny hoodies are EXACTLY the right size for them right now! whew! Good thing I didn't wait to send them...

So, I present to you: The Smack Down

Nicholas (left): Get out of my face! I'm gonna cry and then you'll be in trouble.
Logan (right): Oh yeah? Bring it!

Logan: How you like that?

Nicholas: OH, it is ON!!

(I don't think they were fighting, but it looked really funny!)

I had a nice time visiting with my brother and his wife and the boys. My brother and I educated the boys on how to be a former-Saskatchewan-resident living in Alberta (i.e. ALWAYS cheer for the Riders) and how to yell at the TV and question the coaches' decisions late in the 4th quarter. (seriously, you had the chance to go for the tie and into OT, why WHY would you try for the really long field goal instead??? WHY??)


I didn't remember to get a picture of them with their other knitted things on, but my sister-in-law and brother said that they really like them. It's nice when people are really appreciative when you make things for them!

Later, I'll tell you about the sweater I made myself (stealthily) and why I seem to continually make the same mistakes.

Tschus! (that's for you Kimberley!)

Friday, October 14, 2005

I'm still here. Honest.

So, you may have noticed that I haven't posted in a while. You're observant like that. It's one of the things I like about you.

What have I been up to? Well, since you asked so nicely, I'll tell you.

I've been working 10 hour days. Then I went to Saskatchewan for Thanksgiving (more on that in a minute). Then I have been working 10 hour days. Knitting (more on that after the more on the Thanksgiving). Oh, and obsessing about whether everyone I know/love in Pakistan is okay. And praying for them and for the relief effort. A little sleeping. More knitting. And most recently, trying to figure out if I should get my hair cut/where I should go for said hair cut/how I should ask for it to be cut/is it worth it to go to a "real" salon or just go to Great Clips and pay only $14 and live with whatever gets done/do I really need it cut or can I live with how annoying it is?

So, I've been busy. Please don't think that I've forgotten about you, though. I haven't forgotten you. Honest.

To prove that I think of you, here is a photo essay that I took SPECIFICALLY with the blog in mind when I was at my mom's at Thanksgiving.

When I arrived in town (Luseland, SK, population: not too big- maybe 600) I noticed that there were a lot of scarecrows out on people's lawns and thought that was kind of funny, but maybe people had started to decorate for halloween or something. Mom told me that there was actually a contest and that she had kind of wished she had one or had made one for her lawn. (You see where this is going, right?)

So, as we went for a drive to see them all and visit my aunt, ideas percolated. We arrived home and went at it.

We gathered our supplies:

This pile of supplies is random things pulled from the scraps in mom's sewing stuff, an old jacket, an old pair of jeans, a blanket, and an old pillow.

We started to stuff the body:

We had decided that our scarecrow would be "retired" and would be lounging in a lawnchair, thus saving ourselves having to figure out a way to make him stand up. So, being that it's farm country, he had to wear a cap. I used a leg from an old pair of pantyhose and stitched through the stuffing to make the face.

I may have gotten slightly carried away at some point around the face...

He looked pretty realistic just lying there on the couch:

We moved him for night, just in case one of us got up and saw him and freaked out.

The next day, with the addition of boots, some corn husks and a cardboard "book" (entitled: "Enjoying Your Retirement: A Scarecrow's Guide") he was set for a long nap on his lawn chair.

When my brother's family arrived for our dinner that afternoon, the kids were so excited about the scarecrow (we hadn't told them we were making it) that they ran around and around on the lawn laughing and screaming. I call that a success.

But now, dear readers, dear friends, I should probably do some work. This post will be my break for the day.

More on knitting news later.

Saturday, October 08, 2005

Thanksgiving and Prayers

I was going to post last night and show you some finished stuff and other stuff in progress, but exhaustion set in and I got sucked into a 2 hour "Three Wishes" (nothing like a good sob while watching good stuff happen to nice people), and, well... it didn't happen.

I'm on my way to Saskatchewan for Thanksgiving. (Perhaps I should explain: Canadian Thanksgiving is in October - I think it's Columbus Day in the States) (by the way, we don't call it "Canadian Thanksgiving")(We call it "Thanksgiving")(while we're on that topic: Americans have this thing called "Canadian Bacon". That's not bacon. We don't call that bacon. We call that "ham" or possibly, depending where you live, "Back Bacon" but most of the time our bacon comes in strips, like it should)

That was possibly the furthest off-topic I have let myself get, EVER. Sorry.

So, I'm on my way to my Mom's for Thanksgiving. It should be crowded. i'll tell you more about it when I get back.

In the meantime, if you are the praying sort, please pray for the people of the Asian Subcontinent, specifically Northern Pakistan, India and Afghanistan. There was a major earthquake this morning and there could be 1000s dead. It was centered not far from where I lived when I lived in Pakistan (in the foothills in the Murree region). I have had word from people at the school, and amazingly there didn't seem to be any damage at the school. However, there was an apartment building collapse in Islamabad, and many of the villages are so remote that it will take time to get to them.

I'll write more when I'm back.