Monday, December 10, 2007

A disappearing trick

Well for a few days at least anyway, Exam time again.
These feel really important this time. I will be half way through this course if I pass all this term. I think there is still lots more to do after those, but right now, half way. It will be good, and I think I really have to screw up the final to fail.

Lots of knitting and weaving going on.
Christmas stuff mainly.

1 table runner for mom, second on loom went to guild shop.
3 woven scarfs, one for Sisters chap.
2 headbands one for niece other for Katherine
1 scarf for sister, the fiddlesticks florence, almost finished, although I have now missed the deadline for guarenteed delivery to Britain for Christmas.
Hat and mitts for Elizabeth, mitts done, hat, all the yarn is spun up, and hat is about 33%

Buying, lots, heehee, of course. I tried the silk garden light in a woven scarf with a black weft and it came out awesome.
I finally got me a cone of colourmart cashmere/silk, yes I was a colourmart virgin. Feels good to have passed that now, boy, great service and a wonderful product.
I bought an ebay item, a Burda magazine, that should be here soon.
One of the nicest things though has been a skein of Naturally one ply angora wool, I made two headbands from it, and it is divine, I see lots more of it in my future.

Hopefully I can insert some photo's soon, but my mind is all a tiz with studying, and trying to sort out photo's right now is not appealing to me.

So I will be back after Thursday with piccies.


Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Back at it.

After the brief hiatus from knitting last week, I got right back on that horse and started finishing things again.

Veil of Isis is finished, and stunning. I was going to go for an extra repeat and make it bigger, but decided to see how the 5 repeats would work out. I blocked her, and she is a bit small, but I think I could block her a bit more, but then the shawl will be very fine, hopefully I can find a nice balance.
This was a great knit, and I reckon I may well knit this again, Andea the designer is very talented.

Also finished is the Whisper scarf. Katherine likes to get in on all the photos opportunities.

I am very close to finishing a weaving project that has been on loom way too long. A table runner for my mother, and a spare to go for sale in the guild shop.

The guild is making progress finally with a website, which we have, but there hasn't been any activity on it for a long time. Hopefully we can get things running smoothly soon, and talk of a spinners blog for the guild has come up, it could be interesting.

Not sure how much actual knitting I can do today, my arms are killing me after playing a little to forcefully (maybe thats excitedly) on a thing that the girls are getting for Christmas, I had to test it out....... It's great fun, and I think I will enjoy it as much as the kids will, maybe even more, I already have tons of items picked out to go with it.

I ran into a fellow raveller in my LYS two weeks ago, things are getting weird here, she is also Kathleen, her one of her two daughters is Elizabeth, and her birthday is two days before mine. There is another Raveller from our town that has a birthday right in between me and Kathleen.

Ron is progressing on the log cabin pretty quickly, the roof is almost complete, and he plans to have the wood stove in this weekend.
I drove out there last week, it's pretty amazing what he has done.

So of course I get motivated each weekend to work on the braided rug, I gotta tell you, this thing could be addictive, it's beautiful in a way I had never appreciated before, and the possibilities are endless. While I can't see me ever actually making any of the cords needed for the braiding as it is sewing, if I were ever come across another great stash of the wool again, I would snatch it up. The rug itself is stunning, a lovely rug to stand on too.
My actual braiding and joining may well be far from perfect, and I fear will need some resewing pretty quickly, but the rug hides a lot of my flaws.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

I don't know what happened.

None of the pictures are enlarging on my last post, I am unsure what happened.

I will try again.

See now that one worked.
I see now what I did, dingbat, it must have been a fevered mind I was working on.

Sickness has passed through our house, and I think we are all back up on our feet again today, although it was a very rough few days, and the knitting needles are stone cold.

This blog post by Kate made my heart sink. There are a few of us around here that have that very fear I think, and this is the main reason I decided not to go with the one ply silk for the WRS.

All that said though, my heart breaks for Kate, how painful that must have been to see. I lost a stitch on Princess way back in the beginning, it was almost the undoing of the whole thing, yeah, even with all the yarn, needle angst. I dropped a stitch on the border, and such as mercerized cotton does, it ran like you wouldn't have believed, it was at ten rows down before I caught it. But the damage was done, and it lost all sorts of other little slipped stitches and YO's

So ten times 800+ stitches, in a yarn you hate at this moment in time, on needles that have given you nothing but heartburn, on a shawl you are quickly coming to loath, hmm, rip or tink, big question huh, I don't think I would have been too torn up if the ripping had gone awry.

I did of course rip, not thinking that if one errant stitch can go so bad then the potential for 800 or more was really, really disaster in the making.
However we do know that the story did indeed end well, so the ripping wasn't such a bad judgment call on my part.

Kate's story though has reminded me of something though
My brain needs a few good nudges this past week.

I took the Forest path stole out of it's little bag last week, and was set to start again, and there is was, three broken strands in the yarn two blocks back. Now, this isn't a major issue on the Forest stole, not a biggie at all. But WTF!!!

It's been in a bag, all along, waiting, doing nothing.......

So I ripped, and redid.
Then I got sick, so it went back to it's dark place again. I don't want to knit those blocks any more times than is necessary, so I think I will knit on her again today, just to be sure that all is well.

Anyway, back to the point, where are all these broken threads coming from???
I am utterly stumped. I had two skeins of laceweight do this, like cuts not animal bites, one skein was particularly bad, and now I remember way back, about 4 years, another skein.

The breaks on Forest path were all in a line, three rows, stacked ontop of each other.

I am clearly doing something to cause this, but when I don't touch something for months on end, and it's in a zippy bag, with no holes in it. HOW????

Anyway, final comment for a rambling mind, I received a package the day I was flat on my back completely unable to move, it sat on my bed for a while, Katherine put it there I think, then someone moved it, it got moved a few times, and was finally opened a day later. I knew it was yarn in there, and there was no desire at all to open the box, I think at that moment I should have asked someone to call the coroner, just to see if I was indeed dead.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

So I've been busy!

Is that really an excuse not to post finished Princess pictures?

Ok, so we had a crazy week or so with the MIL in hospital, that definitely qualifies as a valid excuse.
The rest of my excuse basically boils down to FO'S.

And while I have been busily knitting on other things too, this is about the FO's as it shows some actual achievement.

Pants for little David.
A pattern from knitty, Blu, that I was dying to use up the last of my denim yarn on, but even these didn't extend to the last ball, so I have a solitary ball of denim now, waiting patiently to get used up in some cute little project.

They clearly need a little finishing.

As does this, the whisper scarf one.

Upon finishing that I quickly started a new one.
The florence scarf also from Fiddlesticks.
I am using Malabrigo baby merino lace, which is stunning, I fell in love at first touch.

Clearly a bad picture, and to be honest I am not loving knitting this thing already, I had planned to send to Sis for Christmas, but I seriously doubt it will be finished.

I did finally block the Faroese shawl, but bad pictures persist, I will try again later.

I finally finished the mitts for Elizabeth, my handspun from Bluefaced Leicester I got at Etsy. The plan is a hat too.

Noro is nearing completion, I have two more rows of squares ready to be sewn on.

This blankie is going out to the log cabin that Ron is building on our Bush property out in Mosport, Clarington, that is also nearing completion so I will for sure post piccies when that is done.

Also, as part of a guild group we have been braiding rugs, here is mine so far, there is a little bit of bump in it, that I keep thinking I should fix now before I get any further, but I keep going and regretting that move with each bit I sew up.

This is also going to the cabin.

Princess is clearly determined to be a rather prickly thorn in my side forever.
It needs blocking again, that's for sure, less length more height is needed.
And clearly asking a person half your height and well over 1/6th your age to try to take picture's is not the wisest of things to do. Due to darkening days I ran out of people of a decent stature to take daylight pictures outside, and resorted to the shrimp doing the photog's for me. Clearly this is one of my dafter moments.

The end result of half pint taking pictures while trying to balance precariously on a tiny chair is me resembling the Hunchback, and Princess not exactly having her finest of hours, although the poor thing has seen worse.

Good old coathangers.

Clearly lacking considerable brain power today too. I almost forgot to add some blocking pictures.

On spinning, I have almost completed the classes I am taking, and loving it so much, we had a great week two weeks ago with a lot of light bulb moments on everybody's part.

So much sampling, trying out new techniques, great fun, odd results.

Our spinning instructor is having us come up with a final project for our last class on friday, I have of course gone with laceweight. Using the new skills I have acquired, I am washing some beautiful corriedale fleece I got earlier in the year. Flick carding, always preserving the lock, so that I can do a worsted prep and worsted spin.

Not going to badly I think.

And finally, some mohair I received from a guild member, that wasn't in the best of shape, the mohair had been washed once by the person selling it, and clearly needed another wash, which I tried, then let it get bone dry, and tried Laritza's dryer method to remove some of the debris.

It came out good enough that I now want to play with it. I didn't want to screw up the entire lot, so just did half.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Princess is finally finished

Can you believe it!!!

So long in the making, and finally off the needles. A big hole in the knitting basket eagerly awaits a new project.

Finished and unwashed

Lightly pinned out on a 6 by 4 mat.

Edging detail

Even on a 4 X 6 mat it has plenty of give.

Clearly my mental math trying to figure out how many blocks I need to block was way off, so I will be buying more today, then maybe get it blocked out properly tonight.

She still needs another good long soak, all the greying hasn't gone yet, it may be a boil that cleans it all up, thank goodness I used cotton.

I still can't quite get my head around her being finished.

And yet, I have so many more things going on I barely stopped.....

Princess, completed, October 27th 2007, will she lie in peace now for a good number of years?

No way, she will be dragged out for everybody to meet.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Past halfway

Princess is coming along slowly. I have managed to get past the half way point, I would be further if I hadn't been sucked into Ravelry. I think I got lost in there all day Sunday.

On Friday I started two new things, The veil of Isis and one of the Fiddlesticks whisper scarves, I have a bad case of startitis I think....
I had a birthday yesterday, largely uneventful, mostly since I was being a bit of a misery.
On Saturday night some arse broke into my car and stole all my CD's, I am mega pissed at this. All the neighbourhood cars were ransacked, but the gits left my doors wide open.

Then to to my misery Lewis did not pull off the greatest championship victory of all of F1 history. I was major bummed about this too, I feel for the guy, I hope it comes good for him next year.

Anyway, I have too many pretty things on the needles to stay annoyed for too long. I bit the bullet and decided to bead the Isis shawl as well. I am doing it in Skacel Merino laceweight on 2.75 mm needles. It's pretty.

This shawl is addictive, I am considerably further on from this photo but can barely tear myself away from it to take a picture.

I have done a bit more than this on the whisper scarf too, its' a quick knit.

I finally blocked the MS3

And pafuglehale

And then ruined all that lovely pinning by throwing it promptly into a pan of bleachy water.

A light bleaching later and the results are pretty stunning, and apart from one issue, there appears to be no damage to the thread. Strange thing was this one thing though, one thread had been cut twice, this was after the bleaching, I have no idea what happened, or how I will fix it, but it doesn't appear to have been a result of the bleaching.
So when Princess is finished she will get a normal handwash, once I see how things stand with her she might get a soapy boil, if that isn't effective then it will be into bleach.
I have discussed this with Sharon Miller, so feel fairly confident about it.

Pafuglehale was always intended to be a trial run for cleaning Princess, but it's too pretty to just treat like junk, so I will try to fix it, but it's going back in the pot, the edging isn't right, I soon discovered this on blocking.

Anyway, spinning classes are going great, and guess what! My spinning instructor is deep into Shetland lace!!! How cool is that!!!!!!!

She has loaned me a book, Knitting by the fireside, and on the hillside by Linda G Fryer.
It's about the Lace knitting Industry in the Shetlands, now I have looked into buying this book, $800 and up on Yikes!!!

It looks to be interesting, and will carry on reading it tonight, but I have been so desperately trying to finish my Diana Gabaldon book that I started reading again a few weeks ago.

I have a few books coming to me hopefully today, one is the last book of the Outlander series.
One is a Galina Khmeleva book and I forgot what the other was, so hopefully it gets here and my HK package too, I am busting to get that Melanie pattern.

Gotta go anyway, running late.


Sunday, October 14, 2007

Can't decide!

Gee there's a surprise.

Knit, spin or weave.

I have spent all night helping the girls to gut their bedroom, and now I want to relax a little, so what do I do, I go to my new toy, Ravelry!

I got my invite yesterday and promptly added some friends and found two more Princess knitters. I haven't added much, or done much, but have had a great deal of fun looking around.

I am slowly approaching the middle of the edging on the Princess, yes, I decided to carry on as I couldn't decide how to safely wash it, mostly because of the bright red (you would think I had never had a red laundry accident) cotton I used for the provisional cast on.

No photo's again today, so much is going on and mid terms are just up ahead so the next week or so is going to be chaotic, mostly because I still have an awful lot or reading to do before I am even to the point the mid terms will cover.

I am approaching brain overload again. I hate this feeling with a passion, nothing gets done, and I feel like crap.

I am taking some spinning classes on friday nights, it's a beginner class, even though I have been spinning for three to four years, I never did take a beginner class, two drop spindle, a linen and a cotton class, but never the basics, so I really need the info being fed into me right now, I just need to find time to do my homework for spinning now.

So if your on Ravelry and want to add me as a friend or whatever, friend is likely the only thing you will do as I haven't added sod all yet,' cept Princess of course, I go by my yahoo name of minihunting, I found Jean, Miss Alice, Jane and Laritza already.

I really did follow the crowd on this one, I wasn't interested until everyone was talking about it, but now I see how valuable a tool this could turn into, and blow wide open the world of knitting!

I think the stats are at 27,000 added now, at 57% of the list. I didn't wait long, and that was 7 or 17 thousand ahead of me, I forget now.

Friday, October 05, 2007

Princess stinks!

Seriously stinky piece of fabric right now, it's not a smell so much as a dusty reek. I have horrific dust allergies, and can sense dust a mile off, but this puppy needs washing, it has been bothering me now for about a month, I am not sure I can carry on with the edging until it is washed.
What a dilemma! Man I had to spell check dilemma, my brain is fried from too much school work!

Monday, October 01, 2007

Lots further forward.

I finished the centre, yay!!! I got so excited that I quickly went onto some of the edging, and got quite far. I meant to post last week about this but everything went kind of crazy as this little girl turned 5 on Thursday.

Anyway, the centre worked out nicely after finishing the last little emblem at the top then the break pattern.

It is so hard to get a great photo conveying the grandness of the shawl that I have taken to using non conventional things as sizing.

At the end of the laurel leaf pattern, Sharon advises that when you break the yarn leave a long tail. I know I did, and I had the sneaking feeling that my tail was shrinking all the way through the centre pick up, only when I got to about 30 rows left did I know that my tail had shrunk, I begin to worry, but then I think I will have enough, but with a few rows left I was going to run out, so attached another piece of cotton just incase.

Once I got to the edging I switched to a circular needle, I may still switch back to the straights as the circular doesn't feel comfortable. These needles have seen a lot of action though, and deserved a break.

So here we have some more edging attached, finally.

Another unconventional shot.

But given that I have large feet you can now see that thing is big.

The edging is actually going pretty quickly, and I managed to get past the laurel leaf onto the centre panel last night, I think I may have done one more last night than is on the picture.

To celebrate the small victories I am having with the Princess now I started another project.
I started it on Saturday night while watching the F1 race from Fuji Japan.
What an numbskull. It was such an exciting race it was all I could do to keep the knitting on the needles.

It's the flower Faroese shawl from Lucy Neatby. This has been on my list of to do's for what seems like forever. I am using 5mm needles and Fiddlesticks country silk.

I thought it was going to be one of those brain killing projects when I first started, it seemed fairly complicated at first, but when you get into it it is fairly straight forward. I think having to figure that out while trying to watch Lewis Hamilton master rain racing just fried my brain.

I almost cast on another project, but couldn't make up my mind, there will be a post about this fight fairly soon I think. The faeroese shawl shouldn't take too long to make and then the battle for the next cast on will commence.