Thursday, August 31, 2006

Ball Winder To Capacity

To rival the Biggest Ball of Twine somewhere in the middle of the USofA, I thought I would create the biggest ball of Noro Iro. I ripped out the Giganto Clap and thanks to Wonderful Sophie and her Magnificant Ball Winder I was able to avoid a knotty mess. During the knitting of the Giganto Clap, I spit/split-spliced the skeins together so when I was winding it up I didn't notice that the splices weren't coming apart until I got very close to the end. I don't know how, but it all fit. This ball is a total of 360 meters which is 3 skeins. I'm not exactly sure how I'm going to carry it around. It looks like a big hunk of rainbow cheese. Mmmmmmm... cheese.

Birthday Love Continues...

As you can recall, I think birthdays are fantastic! Especially birthdays that are unintentionally draaaaaaaaaawn out. It all started when I arrived at Wednesday Night Knitters and Wendy, who I had helped mostly untangle an incredibly tangled mess of railroad ribbon yarn before she jet-setted off to Scotland for a few weeks, had flowers for me. She said they were a "peace offering" because she didn't forget that she offered me a latte the next knitting night for helping her. Now I really didn't mind helping, even though it was an exhaustive effort. The unfortunate part was that we didn't get the whole thing untangled, but we did have partial success. Anyway, the fact that she offered was good enough for me. I actually had fun trying that tangled puzzle. So Wendy, if you're reading this there is no need for the latte! The flowers are gorgeous (even though I don't have a proper vase -- it's already packed)!

Sandi Purl surprised me with the most beautiful knitted rose (an "American Beauty" no less!) with a vintage knitting needle that lost it's mate as the stem. My camera was being too arty and wouldn't put the whole flower in focus (some day I'll actually read the manual) but on the leaf there is a ladybug charm. OMG!! I looooooove it.

I've found the perfect home for it! I house my straight needles, most of them I inherited from my Grandmother, in an old mason jar and it looks right at home there. (I would have taken a picture but I gave up on the focus thing.) She also gave me a bead bracelet with a little cowboy boot on it. And the first thing I said to her was "yeehaw!" Some may not know, but I grew up in Texas. I didn't take a picture of that either because I was wearing it.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Clapotis: Take II

Thankfully I had a long weekend that involved an airplane and I got lots done on the second Clapotis. The first Clapotis was of epic proportions size-wise and three skeins into it I realized that I wasn't going to have enough yarn to finish if kept at it's size. Already using 3 of the 5 skeins I had purchased, I decided to see how I would feel if I used slightly larger needles and did less increase sections.

This is what I landed with yesterday on my return. I think it will work. The larger one is the 1st attempt and that is using up almost 3 skeins and the smaller one is the 2nd and it is about 1 1/2 skeins. Basically, I am almost at the same place in the pattern as I was on the first.

As for details, I went from size 6mm to 8mm and did only 5 increase sections (as opposed to 8). The large one is 30" wide while the small one is 24" wide. What I really like about using the bigger needles is the detail of the yarn really pops. I felt with using the 6mm needles the stitches were tight and kinda scratchy. Now there is lots of room and the stitches all flow. It's soft now and I can't wait to drape it around me. Can you tell which one is the second try? (It's the one on the left below.)

I've only dropped two stitches on the second one, so I guess I'm a little more than one straight row section behind the first. But I'm very close.

Delayed Birthday Post

Birthdays are so fantastic! And this year was especially awesome, especially in regards to knitting. (Especially!) My special day did kinda sneak up on me and the day itself was largely uneventful, but three things did happen.

First, earlier in the week I found an American Express gift card languishing on my desk that was given to me back in October. With that discovery, I decided that I needed Knitpicks interchangeable needles, Options. I heard so many great things about them that I couldn't help myself. I have a feeling I will love them as the needles themselves seem very well designed and have a nice weight, but I will admit I'm not too crazy about the carry case as it seems very much like an afterthought. (Just assessing the line overall, Knitpicks needs to offer needles smaller than 3.5mm and the cables shorter than 24". But this is all before I even lock the first needle to the cable. More of a review later!)

Second, my mom sent me a gift certificate to The Naked Sheep and it arrived right on my birthday. It was perfect!!

Then, Sophie surprised me with the most awesome gift (in two parts). We meet up for a knitting afternoon at Tango Palace Café and she gave me some of the softest variegated merino wool I've ever felt. It's Malabrigo from Uruguay in colourway Cuarenta (#237). With the yarn, she gave me the Guantlet pattern made famous at Wednesday Night Knitters. Yummy! Then she went on to completely top herself by giving me the most fantastic bag that has plenty of room to carry my knitting around in. It has a classic pin-up beauty saying "I love not camping" on top of a vintage tropical leaf pattern. And it's true. I do love not camping. Squee!

Hmmmmm... now Sophie's birthday is coming right around the corner. I had better start doing somere-conn to find the perfect gift. *Begins tiptoeing around doing best Sherlock Holmes impression*

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

pointy sticks (to poke my eyes out)

To update my post from earlier. I've found a mistake in Orangina, so I must unknit lots. I mean lots. Lots. Lots. I think I've almost reached the mistake. If that truly is the mistake. Tomorrow I will finish unknitting and hopefully have something to knit for the Wednesday night knitters.

It tastes like progress

It's been very quiet on the Canadian front and I think I've worn out my excuse. Do people still want to hear about it?!! Well, I guess whether peeps wanna hear it or not, I'm gonna say it... buying a house takes up a lot of your time and energy; plus it really stresses you (meaning: me) out a lot. Plus being VP Programme of the DKC has really hampered my ability to lounge around and eat bon-bons all day. I have to say this volunteer position is reminding me a lot like work. And it's been almost 11 months since I've worked for The Man. I'm not complaining. I'm having a good time and I like feeling like a responsible adult again, although it can be a little frustrating and time consuming.

I have been trying to combat the day to day activities by spending a least an hour in the evening knitting up a storm. I think I've been doing an ok job. First up, Haidmaiden Sea Silk has been wound into a ball. Wee! Ok, I know that's not much progress but I will take my victories no matter how insignificant they seem. Next I've also done a fair amount of work on Orangina. It is going to be a beautiful garment! Provided I actually do get it done some time this century and it actually fits after all the blood sweat and tears I've put into it. The item I've been focused on the most is the Clapotis! I just started the straight section. I really like this pattern and I'm very happy with my yarn choice. I have dropped two stitches (intentionally!) Unfortunately I've done something wrong and now my stitches are off although my stitch count is correct. I think my problem is here. I believe I will need to let the unknitting begin. Sigh!Very Cherry has not been touched since the last post. Although I am *thinking* about it.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Lack of Posts

I've been terrible at posting lately. I've just had too much to do. What with buying a house and trying to get the DKC's season going... I don't know which way is up. Plus I've been very social. I'm not complaining and I'm thankful I don't have to apologize.

In knitting news, I've bought some beautiful blue/turquoise Handmaiden Sea Silk (70% silk, 30% seacell) to make Lace Wings by Alice Cooley for my very, very good friend, Kyra. I've started my Clapotis out of Noro Iro (75% wool, 25% silk).

And I've restarted Very Cherry, although it's not very photogenic at the moment.