Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Dolce vita


It is a lovely sunny day here in Lochaber Ouest. A perfect
-13 celcius with a hint of wind chill. I love the sun when it melts my rain barrels...

On my way to the bergerie at lunch to feed the herd I found some charming traces of a recent visitor...I could not help but assign these tracks to a lovely fairy since upon inspection those tracks appeared in the snow as if the creature has landed from the air and disappeared much the same way...fresh snow does not lie my friends. We've got fairies!! The wee folk will be extremely pleased.

Wise old Koonie knows everything...

doesn't she look grand basking in the midday sun.

Voici the scratching pole...The sheep, in this case Mimosa have a tendency to get quite itchy in warmer winter days. I will not categorically rule out ticks or fleas however I know they are clean and just plain old itchy. I make a habit of petting them and admiring their crimp which send them each into a state of bliss where they kneel at my feet and hope the massaging will last forever. I suspect the sudden rubbing on this beam when I am present is an indicator to me that they miss my attention very much. My sheep have a penchant for having their ears rubbed with their eyes closed. Try it sometime!

There is a little knitting going on. I have given my wrap a redo and am quite pleased with the new cast-on edge. It is a quick garter stitch on 5.5mm and promises to be oh so elegant except for the shedding of mohair...which does not sit well with my black car coat...ahem.
Here is the ruffled edge spread out I see why I need 400 grams!! Below is the ruffle in all its glory next to the Knit Picks catalogue a.k.a. "mail-order crack" which gave me a chuckle earlier today, thanks to Susan!

Friday, February 22, 2008

Warm and fuzzy

I have decided upon a short row ruffled edge wrap... Vogue Knitting Winter 2006/07 # 13. This is my new travel knitting since my socks are finished and waiting a bath and blocking for their picture day. I won't post a picture from the magazine of my current project much to my chagrin because I have read in an old issue in Vogue that due to copyright rules and regulations, posting a picture of a page in the magazine is a big no no. (Oops cause I did it just the other day). I sent them an email asking them to please confirm this and explain what the big deal is anyway. hiccup. I am waiting the two weeks they said it would take them to answer my query. Okay dokey. I'll keep you posted.

Typically, like every star crossed lover there are the little things that one overlooks in the beginning. Little things that will likely cause an argument some day down the road... And so, I have had this 'core' yarn for a few years now. I have swatched it many times and have noticed this yarn does not like to be casted on. This time is no exception. Perhaps it is why it is still stashed.

I have the simple and charming 18 row pattern repeat in my head now but am seriously considering a frogging. My knitted cast on looks kinda pretty but it might ruin the look of my wrap when I cast off and get a whole different edge on the opposite end. It breaks my heart. It is like a really cool guy with a nasty mother...

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

The best game you can name

Well it's about time, eh? I am 35 years old and I finally get to see a feakin' hockey game. I brought my sock. Turned out that my sock had special powers. Not only is the wool in the team colours but they kicked butt. 8 to 0 while I was there and then after I left the visiting team scored one goal...I think it is because the sock left the arena but I have no proof. I had lots of fun and would go back again should my HD invite me.

I haven't been home much... So my travelling knitting is coming along nicely. We had a fabulous Knitting Guild meeting on Monday. I did the show and tell thing with my new Aran Cardigan. Gosh, it was so sweet of all the ladies that came up to me to compliment my Everest... Aw Gee...thank you lovely knitting ladies!!
Sally Melville was visiting and gave us a really inspirational talk about her ideas and designs. Unfortunately I could not take any of her workshops this time but rumour has it she is moving to Ottawa...Squwee! The best part of course is the display of her sweaters and vests. Ooh La La. Whom can sleep after seeing so many beautiful knits? I simply adore the Knitting Guild meetings. Thank God the weather was permissive. Everyone is working on something divine and it is so much fun when you recognize a pattern etc. Lots of good ideas floating around. I also attended the Stitch Doctor session. Wow! I learned so much in 20 minutes. I will not miss another session ever again. I am in awe of these talented ladies that have so much information and so adept at sharing and teaching.

Since I haven't posted in far too long...I will also share that I was at my Spinning Group chez Renée last monday afternoon. (I had to get away from the kids that had a spontaneous holiday from school, O the joy.) Marguerite asked me if I could swatch up a cute little pattern in the last Spin Off magazine winter 2007. A cute little knitted ankletto by Phreadde Davis on page 46-47. Very smart looking accessory but the written instructions left much to be desired. I should fire off an email... I had to work at it but I got it to cooperate and here is my sample for next Monday. I guess I will be teaching some knitting to the group. Yum! Renée bought a really cool book. I decided I must acquire it too. New Pathways for Sock Knitters book one by Cat Bordhi. She asked me to take it home (twist my rubber arm) and do some samples. I admit I am having lots of fun.
Last weekend, my girls and I took in Winterlude. We had a good time eating beaver tails, poutine, lots of exercise and the highlight was riding the city bus! We also walked and walked and walked some more...that really smarted in the morning but I loved it. Very pleased to live so near the Capital. I miss my days working downtown, sniff. But my sheep and my garden make amends.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Happy Valentine

My son greeted me first thing this morning with a rose... What a lovely way to start the day! I hope your day was just as filled with sunshine and extra love. Je t'aime Gazou!!

Here is Chloé smelling the roses...
Je t'aime Pepper!

Ivy refused to have her picture taken but...
Je t'aime Ivy-Lory!!

I decided to have some special love in the knitting department today. I fetched my 'core' stash ball of silk kid. What better way to knit on Valentine's Day? The swatching led to much inner debate. What will I do with this special yarn? My HD gave me this yarn as a gift. There is more or less 400gms. The years are slipping by because I can't find the pattern. Nothing seems to fit because it is too lovely and one of a kind. I found another lovely cardigan I want to knit in Vogue Knitting today and I fell in love with it. Unfortunately it needs 600gms! I am not brave enough to tempt the knitting gods and tackle just any pattern since frogging is not an option. The mohair is too clingy.

Then, I thought of Henry and how marvelous such a soft fabric would be on my neck but I don't have that length of circular can never have too many knit picks, eh? It has to be a perfect match...the thrill of the pattern coupled with the amount of precious yarn on hand.

Frieda's wool was glaring at me from her ziplock. As I swatch this super fine yarn I wanna slap the spinner whom made it then I was me! For fun, I did the wraps per inch test today and the result was 18 wpi (2ply). I think this is screaming gossamer shawl. My big bright idea of spinning a fine yarn to make a sweater that was more under wear than outter wear is kicking my butt. It is too feminin and willow-the-wispy. I think I will have to spin a thicker single for the next bobbin if I dare make anything for my man. Then again, spinning is slow going these days. Too many people around here needing sustenance. But a lovely sunny Valentine's Day just the same. The school bus seemed to arrive early today of all days...

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

After Everest...

Mes ami(e)s!

How are you? Snowed in? I have been too busy
shovelling, cleaning and studying to be much of an inspiration lately.
I am happily clicking away at these plain socks. They have been a constant companion in my waiting rooms and quiet evenings. I am enjoying basking in the light of my finished Mt. Everest-ish UFO... It feels so good to be 'done' that I kinda wanna stay that way for a week...snicker.

Friday, February 8, 2008

Tassel me

I just finished my new cabled hat.

This pattern is from the Patons book 717 Cool Weather accessories for Shetland Ragg yarn. This time around, I used a chunkier yarn (to match my coat) that actually has wool in it which I much prefer but had a fun time converting the pattern too... I believe I knit this bad boy three times before succeeding. I will rewrite this pattern in my own words because it confuses me unnecessarily. I get many happy comments about this hat when I am out and about with it on my head...I think it would make a good gift for some friends and perhaps my teenager would wear one???

In other knitting related news...last night was knit Night. The lady with the chemical allergies had another reaction and had to leave early and this time she singled me out as the reason she was feeling sick. Geez Louise she has it out for me. Can I really be the only person in Chapters and Starbucks oozing chemicals? The truth is, I took great pains to have a hot shower before the meeting. I don't wear any makeup or ever use lotions. I did not wear my parfum. I did not wear deodorant. The lady sitting next the allergic one admitted after she left that she was in fact wearing parfum and deodorant last night... So why should I take the blame? My husband tried to console me last night but I am still obsessing. It is not funny to be allergic to chemicals. I realize the danger of it and I would never purposely set out to hurt someone. I also understand her frustration in having to leave the group early because she must love it too and naturally she would point a finger on her way out. What is the proper etiquette? I have no idea. If I never go back I will never know if she keeps reacting or not. Maybe she doesn't realize there are chemicals in store bought yarn too. Frankly, I am disappointed that the winds have been sucked out of my sails. Boohiss. Just when I thought things were looking up.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Al denté

With all that snow outside I decided to once and for all finish stitching my Aran cardigan because I am so sick of saying that. I was even entertaining the thought of feeling sorry for myself what with all those rows of knitting to be handstitched until I took a peek at the Yarn Harlot and her vintage sock...gasp! Somebody should name a darning needle after Stephanie Pearl-McPhee. She is a huge inspiration and she got me motivated.

I didn't presume to get finished stitching today. Not counting chicks until they hatch sort of thing. At one point I was up to my armpits....

The buttons were a reward to break the monotony...

I got out the magazine that inspired this project and remembered that I was lactating when I cast on this Mt. Everest...that little baby boy is almost six...Geez Louise time flies.

There was a rap at the front door and my friend Lynda gave me this thoughtful gift. A
wraps per inch gauge from Ashford. This little thing is used for gauging the wpi (wraps per inch) of your handspun. You count how many times the strand wraps within the inch or half-inch space and that tells you the weight of your yarn. I didn't have one and I am so pleased. Thank you Lynda! And for my blog readers that spin...this is apparently a new gadget you can buy from Ashford if you want one too.

And wouldn't you know it, I must be getting better at this sewing seed stitchness because my Aran cardigan is officially

unblocked al denté! I hope to find someone willing to take a better picture of moi, just for you Pet.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Turn the peat

Salut mes ami(e)s!

Here is Poonie enjoying a sunny spot on the floor late last week. Apparently, she highly recommends this...and look see her ears! snicker. (I had to be extra sneaky to capture the ears).

I finally made it to knit night last Thursday!! Yahoo... I started to knit sweaters 15 years ago and have been wishing a knit night would come my way without me having to clean my living room and ask my HD to keep his pants on. It is really far from my house but on a clear night I will venture forth for wool and knitterly company...not to mention it is held in a book store...decked out with a Starbucks. I brought my Aran cardigan to ask for help. I was very touched by the positive comments about my work. (Merci!) I am finding sewing-up rather hard to do with all the lovely seed stitch. My Lucy Neatby Dvd only teaches sewing-up a stockinette fabric so if anyone out there wants to give me advice I would really appreciate it! I think I will go blind too. Shine a light on me please. All those little nubs start to dance around after an hour or so. The gals helping me agreed that maybe I wasn't doing the best job and I am very willing to rip out so far and have another go with the advice I gleaned around the table.

I was kinda nervous (I don't get out much...never mind with adults!) and look what I did. I unraveled the wrong end and unknit some of the sleeve...bloody hell. So I had to operate before sewing this afternoon. Talking on the phone doesn't help either no matter how much moral support one needs. Believe me, I tried that too. Where is the scotch?
I took a break and made a cake just because I wanted to do something mindless and easy and totally rewarding.

I now live for Thursdays which only makes growing old come faster but I think I will swatch my little heart out this week on Frieda's wool again since my new knit Picks arrived yesterday. Just in time too because I was in a right-foul-mood yesterday. I washed walls to calm down...that is how bad it was. I am basically a sunny positive person but yesterday was one of those come hell or high water days. New needles came to my rescue. My sister and I had an interesting conversation about the money spent on shipping and why didn't I tell her I was ordering so she could share the joy...sorry! It only cost me 7.99$ in shipping and the way I see things...If I was to drive to the LYS I would probably take myself out for dinner and spend at least 8 bucks so que sera sera. I stay home and eat homemade hummus and get lovely parcels in the mail.
Last night was the Spinning & Weavers Guild meeting. I got to gush over the lovely hoodie that Elizabeth W. made from Knitty. When last I spent an afternoon in her spinning class she was knitting this project. She dyed the corriedale roving herself and two-plied it to make this fabulous varigated self-striping yarn. She wore it last night...I am so sorry I had camnesia!

I am still cranking out my latest socks. I am still not thrilled with the colourway but the funky little number is still on the to-do list!