Fall Clean-up

A lot has been happening lately so blogging kind of got shoved to the wayside. My digital camera had a stroke and has to be repaired, so the next few entries will be unfortunately light on the home photos.

BadgerDan took most of the last two weeks off so we’ve taken the time to do some work around the apartment and do a bit of a “clean sweep”.

In the past week alone:

  • 4 loads to the local Goodwill
  • 1 load to the local Habitat for Humanity Re-Store
  • 1 load to the local Recycling Centre
  • 1 load of scrap lumber to the local dump (2 trips – it was closed the first time)
  • Built and installed closet shelving in office
  • Built and installed counter/shelf in kitchen
  • Re-organized bathroom, bookshelves, closets, yarn storage, needlework storage, shoe storage and pottery collection
  • Put up new curtains in living room
  • Lots of home cooking

I can’t believe how many hidden cat toys we found!

The trips to the Recycling Centre and the dump really drove home to me how much waste North Americans create. I wasn’t shocked so much as dismayed. If we all just looked at items in a slightly more creative way, I believe that most of what I saw on the rubbish heap could have been repaired or made into something useful for another family. Newer, faster, cheaper doesn’t always mean better. Just because we don’t use it anymore doesn’t mean someone else couldn’t. I’ve always been a crafter and a thrift store junkie so maybe my view is different from most, but darn it – when will we learn?

On the knitting front:

Completed the Autumn Shawl, now known as the Lughnasadh Shawl. This is me hiding behind the shawl – photo taken by the lovely Fiona. I am thrilled with how it came out – blocked out a dream!

Autumn Shawl

Completed 3 swatch dishcloths for the Arctic Lace KAL.

Arctic Lace Dishcloths

These will probably be future gifts with some handmade organic soaps.

Completed up to Row 158 of Clue 3 for the Halloween Mystery Shawl and hope to have it completed before Halloween. The picture shows the shawl completed to the end of Clue 2.

Halloween Shawl - Clue 2 Complete

With all the lace knitting that I’ve been motoring on lately, my Carpal Tunnel Syndrome has flared up so I’m really having to take breaks between rows.

I completed the back of the Minimalist Cardigan. I think the push to finish this is what triggered my CTS. No picture as this is when my camera bought it.

The mate to Danny’s Fancy Sock is underway and completed to mid-leg. This is the Gentleman’s Fancy Sock pattern from Knitting Vintage Socks by Nancy Bush. It is done in ONline Supersocke 100 Sierra Color, #890.

Danny's Fancy Socks
Yesterday, I cast on for my Fleece Artist Garter Stitch Jacket and can’t believe that I goofed it up. The instructions as written are mistakenly for stockingette stitch on swing needles. In my trying to be clever, my way of making it garter stitch turned into alternating 2 row stockingette/reverse stockingette. You ever try to rip back mohair? Ain’t gonna happen. It will be fine as long as I stay in pattern. Sometimes the easiest things throw you for a loop – grrrrr! This is what it will hopefully look something like when I’m done.

Garter Stitch Jacket

I’ve joined a few MORE new lace KAL groups.

The Mystic Waters KAL starts on Wednesday and as my yarn for this project is on order, I am forced to wait to begin. This is a good thing as I want to finish my Halloween Shawl first. The yarn (Lisa Souza “Wild Things” laceweight) should be here in a couple of weeks. This KAL is for a triangular shawl in 8 parts which should be much more manageable than 5.

Spring Shawl Suprice (read “Surprise”) and Secret of Bad Nauheim (sequel to Secret of Crysopolis) don’t start until next year so I can play a bit of catch up on other projects.

I also finished Going Gently earlier this week – I highly recommend it, a lovely book.
As Samhain gets closer, I get busier so blogging may continue to be sporadic, but I’ll try to keep up.

TTFN.

Published in: on October 21, 2007 at 3:14 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Catching up

This Thanksgiving holiday weekend was a bit of a whirlwind for BadgerDan and I this year.

Saturday was the last Newmarket Farmer’s Market day of the year and we managed to pick up (among other things) some wonderful locally harvested apples, fresh-pressed wild blueberry-apple cider, home-baked pies (for below) and some of the best Kettle Corn I have ever tasted.

That night, we were invited by some friends in Toronto to a pig roast (on a spit and everything).  Not normally our cup of tea, but since it was this particular set of friends we figured that we had better go or else no one would get fed.  DH usually does the BBQing at these get-togethers and true to form, they had the meat too high on the spit (in the rain – no less) so it wasn’t cooking.  5 hours later, DH had rescued the pig (and the chicken for us who don’t like pork, which was getting charred). I swear, he was covered in mud from the yard and smelled like a sausage by the end of the night.  I had forgotten my camera at home (oops!) so no photos this time, but if you react the same way that I did when I saw the poor beast – you’ll thank me.

We both had to work Sunday, so we were on the road home at 4am so that BadgerDan could clean up at home and still make his 8am start in Barrie.  Needless to say, caffiene is a wonderful thing.

After a busy afternoon at the shop and a sushi dinner (thanks, Hon!),  I worked on the second Shooting Sock and finally finished the grafting the toe at around 1am.

Shooting Socks - Completed

This is the “Gentleman’s Shooting Stockings in Fluted Pattern” from Knitting Vintage Socks by Nancy Bush and was the August-September pattern for the KVS KAL. I lengthened the leg by 2 inches so that the calf shaping hit me in the right spot.  I do like a pair of kneesocks, but when you make them on 2mm needles with 4-ply fingering wool – they take a wee while to knit.

Shooting Socks - pair

Deciding that I had to finish the pair before I would be allowed to work on the new clues for my Mystery KALs as incentive, I’m still quite surprised that it took me as long to complete as it did.

My family Thanksgiving get-together was on Monday and it was wonderful that we all were able to be there. BadgerDan usually works holidays (when industrial plants are shut down, he gets called in to do big jobs) so a long weekend is a bit of a novelty for us.  Factor in that my sister lives 4-5 hrs away in Ottawa and my parents and brother live 2 hrs away in Milton, you can begin to understand why we tend to only see each other about 4 times a year.

This is also the first family meal we’ve had together where I’ve been on a gluten-free diet (long story – not now).  Thankfully, it wasn’t that hard to alter the menu.  Mom used cornstarch for the gravy instead of flour, kept one side of the turkey “stuffing-free”, and we had one of my favorite childhood desserts – homemade lemon pudding and bananas topped with meringue (yum!)

I managed to finish Clue 4 on my Autumn Mystery Shawl today:

Autumn Shawl - clue 4

One more clue and it’s done! This shawl has been a joy to work on and has been my reward for a week of plodding along on the Shooting Sock and Halloween Shawl. I can hardly wait to see it completed and blocked out.

I have a lace repair to do for a client and Stitch & Bitch tomorrow night (Minimalist Cardigan), so I’m going to hold off doing Clue 2 of the Halloween Mystery Shawl until Thursday and tonight possibly whip up that lace swatch (read “dishcloth”) I’ve been meaning to do for my Arctic Lace KAL.

Maybe I can catch up on my sleep while I’m at it!

TTFN

Published in: on October 9, 2007 at 7:57 pm  Leave a Comment  
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2007 – A Lace Odyssey

Thursday already – where did the week go? Oh yeah, lace knitting. It took me three days, but I finally finished Clue 1 of the Halloween Mystery Shawl.

Halloween Mystery Shawl - Clue 1

That was one hefty chunk of some complicated lace knitting. And it’s only one of 4 big lace projects I have on the needles right now.

There’s my Tessa Shawl which I started last summer:

Tessa Shawl Border

It’s a faroese style shawl that is knit from the border up. I’ve picked up the 500 odd stitches and have started work on the body, but got a little distracted with this:

My Swan Lake Scarf (aka Mystery Stole 3)

Swan Lake Scarf

I’m working the symmetrical version with centre insert and am on Clue 2 of the 2nd side at this point.

There’s also the Autumn Mystery Shawl KAL and the Arctic Lace KAL that I’ve just joined recently. Not to mention all the lace scarves I want to make for holiday gifts…I must be losing my
mind…(“Dave, what are you doing Dave?”)

I worked all day Tuesday and was actually too tired to knit Tuesday night so I made it a book night:

Going Gently

“Going gently is something Kate Thomas has never been good at. On the eve of her 100th birthday, she reviews her turbulent life from her hospital bed. This is not just an escape from the mad, bad and sad characters around her, but also a search for the truth – about life, death, and which of her three sons murdered her fifth husband.”

I’m thoroughly enjoying this book and highly recommend it.

I picked up a few things this week:

Needles, Markers, MerinoCashmere

A couple of pairs of circs and a WPI tool from KnitPicks, a set of very pretty silver Dangle-Free Stitch Marker (bad photo, sorry) from Hide and Sheep (they will be perfect for lace projects – oh, no, not the lace again!), and found a couple of balls of Mondial Gold Fingering Wt Merino/Cashmere hiding in the back room (40% off!!) at Needles and Knits.

I was also able to bring home my Fleece Artist Garter Stitch Jacket Kit (which was chosen long before Stephanie mentioned it on her blog):

Garter Stitch Jacket Kit

It’s their “Rainforest” Colourway and is actually a lot more green than it looks in the picture.

And my absolute favorite score of the week:

Needle Bag

My new Needle Bag!!!! It holds ALL of my needles (including 14″s) and is fully lined heavy cotton so I can use it as a knitting bag later if I want to. My sock needle roll, pencil case of 8″ DPNs, large accessory bag, and my circs (individual bags within a large Ziploc) all fit beautifully inside and there’s room for more!

The best part – I found it for $1.99 at Value Village. (Yeee!!)

On the sock front, I’m hoping to finish the mate to this Shooting Sock before the weekend when the whole lace rollercoaster starts again.

Shooting Socks

Wish me luck!

Published in: on October 4, 2007 at 7:04 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Two Steps Forward…

This weekend has been full of ups and downs, mis-starts and re-dos.

After realizing that the Tierra Cabled Beret would fit a prize-winning pumpkin, I re-knit it on smaller needles (originally done on 10mm as per pattern – re-knit on 8mm) and am really pleased with the result. Here is the newly “human” sized beret:

Tierra Cabled Beret

A bit more work got done on the Minimalist Cardigan:

Minimalist Cardigan

This is my no-brainer TV knitting at the moment.

And – if it’s the weekend, it means “Lace Knitting”! Clue number 3 for the Autumn Mystery Shawl is done:

Autumn Mystery Shawl

Fleece Artist Merino Sock Yarn in the “Origin” colourway on 4mm needles.

And the Halloween Mystery Shawl KAL has begun on a rather intricate lace and beaded 3/4 Circular Shawl. I cast-on for Clue 1 about 3 times before it started making sense to me. The very talented Renee of Goddess Knits is the brains behind both KALs. All I can say right now is that I’m very impressed with the designs and am anxious to hit Row 50 of the Halloween Shawl for some plain WS rows! Here is the shawl so far (I’m on Row 30).

Halloween Shawl

OrnaghiFilati Merino Oro with 6/0 Gold-Lined Brown Glass Japanese Beads on 3.5mm needles.

I picked up a few things from Unwind on Saturday, where I hung out with Fiona and Angela (Red Corset Designs) for most of the day.

Shelridge Farms Yarn

Some 4mm Brittany DPNs (I see knitted Tams in my future), Pewter Shawl Pin from Perl Grey, and 2 hanks of Shelridge Farms Soft Touch Ultra 3-Ply Handpaint (neutrals are always good to have).

I plan on finishing up some second socks this week so that I may begin to dig into my new handpaints. I have to get a pair of my own design done now that I’ve found the perfect yarn – more to come on this.

Tomi wants his scratches now, so I’d better go…

Tomi's Tummy

Published in: on October 1, 2007 at 12:22 am  Leave a Comment  
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