Sunday, July 23, 2006


I am officially on vacation! Whew. I have been working at least 45-50 hour weeks for a long time now and I need a break. I am leaving the city to go visit my mom in Saskatchewan for a week. I'll get to see my nephews and nieces. I haven't seen them since Christmas so I'm pretty excited about that. Apparently my nieces have my week planned out for me (swimming! more swimming!!) so it should be fun.

Before I leave, I have some progress to show on the Blue (un-named) project:

I just noticed that my tension was a little wonky up at the top there and has somehow evened out as I got further down. I seem to have difficulty keeping even when working with mercerized cotton. I feel like I need just a little "grab" in the yarn to keep a really even tension. hmm...

Now, before you think I've become a focused, single-project knitter, I'll show you distraction #1:

This is a mesh beach bag out of Bernat Handcrafter cotton. I started to make the Kitchen Sink bag from Knitty but about 2 inches into the body I realized it was turning out much bigger than I wanted. I plan to give this to Niece #1 (sister to the girly-girl) as a very late birthday present (along with a Klutz Origami book!) and didn't want it to be too overly wide. So, I frogged the original and cast on a smaller number of stitches. The original has these really cool basket weave sections that are very sturdy, but I was frustrated to the point of throwing it down in a fit having some difficulties with them so I am just using plain stocking stitch for those sections.

Distraction #2:

I had a sudden urge to do something with some of the beads I've collected. I have no idea if I did this "right", nor do I particularly care! It's exactly what I wanted. I have a feeling this could turn into a new obsession thing...

Distraction #3:
While at Michael's today (distraction in itself) to get some extra origami paper for Niece #1, I wandered to the ever diminishing yarn area. I didn't buy yarn (!!!) but I did notice this on sale for $1 each in the needlework section:

I never did finish the Perdita I started, as I couldn't bring myself to restring the beads onto the second skein. Two 10m skeins for a project requiring at least 20m won't do when there are beads involved (which is the excuse I am sticking with). These are the right length for the project, which should save some tears.


So, now I will go and pack. I've given much more thought to what knitting etc. to bring than to clothes. I plan to be in the town swimming pool at least once a day with the kids and the rest of the time, I'm on vacation! I don't need to worry about what to wear!

See you in a week!

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Blue. Happy Blue

Even though I have not tried this on, and even though I am not very far into the project, so far this:

is exactly what I was planning. It makes me happy. I smile when I see it. I hope it doesn't break my heart.

*Thank you all for all the really positive comments! Knitters (and knit-blog-readers) are the nicest people!
**Yes, thanking you here may be my cop-out for not getting around to thanking you individually.
***I'm a bad blogger/blog commenter/blog comment returner.

Sunday, July 16, 2006

self discipline part 2: Reward

Pattern: Side Tie Vest from Spring/Summer 2006 Vogue Knitting
Yarn: Recycled from one of my Mom's sweaters (she gave it to me so that I could recycle it). I'm not sure what the fibre content is, but I sort of remember seeing was cotton, ramie (?) and some acrylic on the tag.
-I added about 4 inches in length in the body as the pattern called for 11 inches from hem to underarm. (That would put the hem at about my belly button i.e. 3 inches above the waist band on my pants)
-I omitted most of the decreases for the upper portion (the pattern tapers quite a bit to skinny straps) so that the straps were more like a regular tank top.
-The pattern calls for casting on 11teen million stitches and knitting a few rows for the ties, which seemed a bit annoying to me, so I did icord for the ties instead.

While I was seaming this up, I started to think that maybe this was a bit of a miss. I wasn't sure I would like it after all. But, now that it's done, I do like it after all. So: Success.

So, now that I have practiced self discipline in finishing the project I was on, I can get started* on the blue project:

This pic is about the most accurate representation of the color so far. It seems a bit hard to photograph.

*Okay, fine. I cast on last night when I bound off the last piece for the vest but I didn't knit on it until I was done seaming the vest. I may have knit a few rows between seaming and doing the collar on the vest. Fine. I knit a bunch of rows before I did the collar and then a couple more before the icord.

Saturday, July 15, 2006

self discipline

On the left you see the back, one front and half of a front for the Side Tie Vest from the Summer 06 Vogue Knitting. It's a pretty quick knit, so one would think I should just finish it before moving on. Well, one would think that, but then that would demonstrate that "one" doesn't know me very well.

While knitting the 17 million rows of boring stockinng stitch for this vest I have been mentally moving on and thinking about the next project. I keep coming back (mentally) to the blue Butterfly Super 10 you see above there.

If you are a really really dedicated reader of this blog (and, really, who isn't?) you may recognize that yarn from a brief appearance as a cabled tank top. Well, due to stupidity poor planning on my part, I had decided to knit the cabled tank in the round. I didn't think about the fact that this would create a LOT of purling. Now, I don't really care for purling. I don't really know why, but I just don't. So, the massive amounts of purling and boredom having the will to knit sucked out of me the fact that I didn't like the way the cables were coming out in the mercerized cotton had led me to put this tank down for a while.

I kept wanting to frog it and do something else with the yarn but I hadn't found something that I really wanted to do with it. I love the color too much to make something I won't really wear that much, but I couldn't find anything that I both wanted to knit and wanted to wear. So, I kept it on the needles, knitting a round here and there. Some strange sense of obligation to the project (?) made me keep it on the needles like I had made a promise to the yarn or something. (It is slightly possible that the whole yarn thing is getting a little out of hand).

Today, while plodding through the first front, I decided to take out the cabled tank again. I looked at it and thought it looked a little wide. So I measured it and... It was a good 2 inches wider than it should have been (4 inches around)!! So...


As I was ripping it out, I had a flash of inspiration (see sketch in above picture). I actually planned it out and wrote out what I plan to do! I'm kind of excited to start.

Which brings me back to the title of this post: Self Discipline. Not my strong suit. I want to put down the Side Tie Vest and get going on the new project but I am using every ounce of self discipline that I have access to in order to finish the project on the needles first. (We will not speak of the many other projects on the needles. They are hidden away in the in progress trunk for a specific reason: denial) We'll see how that goes...

Friday, July 07, 2006

awww... crap.*

*apologies if you are offended by the use of this word (although, frankly, it's very very very mild compared to what I was really thinking)(sorry if that damages your opinion of me)(crap)

Due to a stress-filled week (both work and mostly self-inflicted personal life stress) I wanted to work on something that would occupy my brain but be a quick knit. The bigger projects I'm working on are of no interest to me today for some reason. I wanted something challenging, small, and basically frivolous (although, if you feel very strongly about the necessity and importance of the following project: I did not mean to offend)(can you tell I'm feeling slightly on edge?)(sorry)

The new Knitty was out this week, and although it's a little strange on one hand to have a summer issue of gloves and socks, on the other hand, it's perfect timing for starting Christmas presents really early, or more realistically, giving me something frivolous to knit.

Like Perdita. Pretty, which is not normally something I am all that concerned with; Not overly practical (i.e. frivolous); Small; Challenging (I haven't knit with beads before); and, most importantly, I have the supplies on hand.

I have a divided bead box full of seed beads that I got for ridiculously small amounts of rupees when I was living in Pakistan. They were divided by color and type. I say were, because, after picking out and stringing the beads I needed for the version of Perdita I was going to knit (Bluebell), I did this:

I don't know if you can tell what's going on there. The beads in the square plastic container were all over my floor under my desk. Somehow I managed to NOT close the lid on the divided bead box and managed to step on the box, dumping most of the beads.

(now do you understand why I'm trying not to use non-PG language?)

Now, stepping on an open box of beads is not actually that surprising for me. I am generally extremely clumsy. I currently have no less than five bruises on my legs and arms from hitting them on my desk or on door frames. A friend at work asked (hopefully jokingly) if I was being abused by someone. (I'm not. Honest.) It's amazing that I haven't ever broken any bones or been seriously injured.

I was able to pick up the bulk of the beads with my hands. However, seed beads and carpet make for more swearing than a really really bad drive home on the Deerfoot. I came up with a brilliant solution:

Tape. Thank you Scotch Tape. You saved me bursting into tears as I picked clear (yes. Clear) seed beads from my carpet.

Somehow some of the beads managed to not get mixed up and this, too, prevented much more crying/swearing.

Before the disaster incident with the beads, I did get one and a half repeats of the pattern done:

should I mention now that after I got started I realized that the "skeins" of embroidery thread I had are not standard length? they are 10 yards. I need about 20 yards. I have 2 skeins. this will require joining the thread somehow. this will quite possibly require re-stringing the beads. crap.

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Happy 4th of Canada July Day!!

(I forgot to post on Saturday - Canada Day)(Today is the 4th of July)(Maybe I need to have some coffee or something)

Anyone who wishes they had extra days on their long weekend raise your hand! (MEMEMEMEMEME!!!)

I finally finished knitting the lace cardigan. I don't know why exactly it took me so long. The pieces themselves weren't overly challenging and were quick enough to knit. Interesting with the lace, but easily memorized pattern so it didn't require constant attention to a chart. But still. It took longer than it should have.

I gleefully checked the sleeves before blocking:


I kept track of my rows and made notes of shaping etc. I checked the count. I counted rows in the finished pieces. EXACTLY. THE. SAME.

Apparently I may have been a bit tense and/or hurried when knitting the second sleeve (on top in the picture).

No matter. It's cotton. I can soak and stretch and block to be the same size.



Steamblocking with the iron brought the sleeves very close to the right length. I can just barely feel that one is slightly shorter. I seem to be a bit compulsive about my sleeve length. (shocking. I know.)

I am so pleased with the results of this sweater.
Pattern: FREE from Lana Grossa here
Yarn: recycled XXL men's cotton sweater. If you'll allow me this one moment of gloating: $1.50 (yes. for ALL the yarn. AND there's a LOT more)(a lot)

I wore it at work today and it is perfect for my overly-air conditioned office.
(WHY when it is 30 Celsius outside do we have to have it sitting at 12 Celsius inside??? WHY???)

Now to finish one of many other unfinished projects. My co-worker's wife had their baby boy yesterday. Maybe I should suck it up and get going on that blanket. (that unending blanket)(that blanket that sits currently at 380 stitches around but needs to be at least 500)(maybe i'll wait a while)

hmm... what to knit next... ???