Monthly Archives: May 2008

Finished but not Forgotten

Back in February when we were on our eleventy-billionth (numbers are approximate) snowfall of the season, I clung to bright and colourful knits. Casting on for something Fair Isle was just good prescriptive knitting at the time, never mind fun. But the Venezia pullover ended up taking top priority and so Glowing got pushed to the side, not to be finished until the end of April. I’ll have to wait until next fall and winter to take full advantage of this FO.

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Pattern: ‘Glowing’, by Fiona Ellis in Inspired Fair Isle Knits
Yarn: Mission Falls 1824 Wool, MC ‘Raspberry’, and several other CC colours. All yarn is to specification from the book, with the exception of the pale green shade – I substituted in the slightly cooler ‘Thyme’ shade instead of the ‘Pistachio’ which is a little more in the bright yellow area of green. I like the overall effect.
Needles: 5.5mm for the fair isle sections, 4.5mm for the plain stockinette.
Mods: I had to up-size the needles on the fair isle to get closer to gauge, and actually I think in the end I still came out sliiiiiiightly more snug on gauge than the pattern. The final product does fit, though, and I’m happy with that.

The major modification that I made was to add an extra row between the raglan decreases for several of the decreases, to add a bit more room in the shoulders. My row gauge was a bit too snug on the stockinette and I needed to make sure my arms and shoulders would still fit. This worked out well.

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I’m pretty much in love with Mission Falls 1824 wool, after this project. There will be more sweaters with this in the future. It feels glorious to knit with, and the colours are so rich. I put it through the washer and dryer (YAY superwash), and you’d never know. Not a pill in sight. It is, however, a yarn that rewards swatching – stockinette does grow a little bit after it is washed and dried. I admit I was pretty much banking on this happening because my pre-wash gauge was more tight than it needed to be. (But the stranded sections did need to be closer to pattern gauge to start – colourwork does not stretch as much as plain stockinette).

The stranded sections really fly by on this, and are the most fun to work on. Usually I don’t mind stockinette because it’s mindless, but it was a long push to get the yoke finished once the body and sleeves were all done. I was glad to get to the hood – which is actually a decently functional hood, it covers my head when pulled up, and doesn’t come loose like the decorative hoods on so many other knits. Of course, that could also just be because I have a lot of curly hair to stuff under there…

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I must thank Steph for taking the photographs, and letting me finally put this FO up for the record. Since a hooded wool pullover isn’t quite what I need for summer, though, this will be taking up residence as a shop sample at the Purple Purl, until I can reclaim it again for the winter.

Have a great Tuesday!

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Tempus fugit

Thank you all so much for the congratulations comments on my last post, it was very heart-warming to read them. Hoo boy, though, time sure does fly when you’re trying very hard to do nothing. The last week has been pretty busy for someone who was supposedly going to take time off. People to see, houses and cats to house-sit and cat-sit, knitting to do, parties to throw…

I had an absolutely fabulous time at the Purple Purl on Friday night, where Jennifer and Miko were so generous to let me stage a party in celebration of my future non-graduate-student life. I am starting to wonder if Jennifer and Miko are in fact, too generous and nice to be real. Possibly they are secretly working on a plan to take over the world and none of us realize it on account of their overwhelming appearance of niceness.

It was a great night. So many people brought me little gifts which was a wonderful surprise (YAY YARN), and I have to showcase one of them from Kate, who is quickly revealing herself to be a top dyer in disguise:

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I gave her my last 2 skeins of Knit Picks ‘Bare’ superwash/nylon sock yarn as they had been sitting stashed for at least a year untouched, to be returned to me in dyed form in exchange for her getting to keep the dyes I’d also had stashed and untouched for that long. She obliged me with a 3rd skein for fun, a canary yellow which would normally be far outside of my habitual colour palette, but which is just soft enough to work. Or at the very least pretty enough to stare at and pet for a while. Awesome job with these colours, K.

I also had people write down their possible answers to the question “what should I do now that I’ve finished my Phd?” There were many fine responses (knitting while lying on a beach, saving the world through craft and social justice, run off and join the circus, open a cupcake shop…) but I must give props to Ladylungdoc‘s winning answer: “Knit a CN Tower cozy, out of handspun, because you can.”

My work is cut out for me. Next post – finally I have some Finished Object pictures to share for the ‘Glowing’ pullover, only a month late!

Thank you again to everyone who helped me celebrate the next phase of my life, both in person and online. Let’s all meet again for tea and marshmallow squares at the Purl.

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Onwards

Long time no blog. I’m going to rectify that starting this week!

So, last weekend I finished spinning and plying up my third attempt with the drop spindle – I think I’m starting to get the hang of it. Plying has mostly been Very Not Fun, but it’s getting easier. Fleece Artist Merino/Alpaca Sliver, and I turned it into about 90m of something worsted-ish:

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What else, what else…Oh right! Last Thursday I defended my thesis. (For the final time). It went well and overall I’m still a bit bewildered at the thought of being able to put the PhD behind me. I’ve gotten so used to it being there and being not done, you know? So, there will be a bit of wrap-up before I hand it in and then I’d like to chill for a bit before getting back to more job applications and wrestling with publications.

And also I’d like to knit a lot. With drinkies. (Well-wishers please send wine and yarn.) ;)

Catch ya again later on in the week!

[EDIT: If you’re in Toronto, and want to come celebrate with me and a few knitterly friends later this week – send me an email (crazy[dot]knitting[dot]lady[at]gmail[dot]com), and I’ll send you details on when and where! Naturally this invitation does NOT apply to any psycho internet stalkers of course, only regular friendly knitters, heh heh heh.]

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Knitting on

Oh. My. Noro is coming out with a Silk Garden Sock Yarn. I’ve been hemming and hawing over the Noro Kureyon Sock, because while I love the colours I don’t love the texture…and truth be told, Silk Garden is one of my top favourite yarns. Yes please, I would like to cover my feet with some of that.

In tangentially knitting-related news, but also in generally fun and Canadian sort of news, my sister and a friend of ours went on Wednesday afternoon to a taping of The Hour, hosted by George Stroumbolopoulous. We had been led to believe that the guest would be James Orbinski, of Doctors Without Borders/Medecins Sans Frontiers (he helped the organization win the Nobel Peace Prize, and is a phenomenal speaker). Much to our disappointment – and the disappointment of many audience members – he didn’t end up at our taping but had been rescheduled.

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Instead we got Melanie C (formerly of Spice Girls fame – lovely, but not James), and closed-minded jerkface author Mark Steyn. But then as an addition, we got to watch a taping of Ivan Reitman (director, Groundhog Day, Ghostbusters, etc), who was there talking about the anniversary of the state of Israel. He talked about how his mother was held at Auschwitz, and also a bit about his lengthy film career, and about his son Jason (director of Juno, Thank You For Smoking).

After the taping George stuck around for questions and chatter, so we did too. Martha (who also took all of these pictures, thank you so much) insisted I ask George to hold my sock. And turns out he didn’t even blink an eye, required no explanation. He did, unsurprisingly, have some fun with it:

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And then did a normal one. (Boy I wish I’d done some makeup…)

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So that was the trip to ‘The Hour’. It’ll have to be repeated.

This next week has some major stress and distractions coming up for me, so the blog may go a bit quiet. But I’m still alive and still knitting. Have a good weekend everyone!

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Better with catnip

It’s a sad, sad truth that this blog has been greatly lacking in cat content lately, ever since I moved out of Miss Beatrice’s place when her regular humans returned at the beginning of March. Sure, I’ve visited her (and her humans), but it’s just not quite the same. Well, Beatrice’s world got rocked a little bit the last couple of weeks, when two young’uns showed up to join her.

So naturally, I spent a good chunk of my time on Sunday making kitty toys. Borrowed my sister’s copy of Stitch n’ Bitch Nation and sat down with the ‘Catwarming Set’ pattern, and churned out 3 catnip mousies and 3 stripey catnip balls. (All the better for rolling and chasing).

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Hallie showed some reluctance at first but came around once the toys were put in motion.

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I tossed Ramona a mousie and she promptly killed it. Their little i-cord tails, I see, are excellent for biting:

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So all in all a good Sunday’s effort, I think:

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Looking forward to more kitty times. They are always good times.

Tomorrow: reports from the set of The Hour. Sock picture with George? Check.

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Friday

My sister recently acquired a new MacBook. (My envy, let me show you it). We played with the camera’s photostrip feature the other day:

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Fun times. Technology really does make our lives better, doesn’t it? ;)

I’ve got a few knitting-related bloggable things in the works but I think I’ll have to save ‘em for next week. My knitting mojo took a bit of a dive after I ripped the back of ‘Halcyon’ entirely and started over from scratch (this time with a sleeve). I was fretting to myself over the size and wondering if I should have cast on the size 2 inches wider to accommodate more hip ease (what with cables adding more bulk and so forth), and decided to just stop fretting and rip. So I did.

Happy Friday my friends, and have a great weekend!

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