Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Did I die ?- Nope

I have not died. But my son is getting married in 10 days not counting the day and I have been very busy. Just not busy knitting. I will be back once the festivities have concluded. This is all very exciting. So many little things to do.

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Did you Die?

Nope but Blogspot thought I did. I could not log on, it kept saying my ID did not exist. AGHHHH!!!! Modern technology at its best.

So I have some things I want to add to my blog and will be doing so over the weekend assuming that Blogspot will let me.

I have finished a pair of socks and have started another pair. Photos later. I am gearing up for the Lace Knit Along at London Wul starting the first Wednesday in May and I am hoping for good weather so that I can go up to the Farm and sit in at the Sock Walkers knitting group this coming Wednesday.

I have been very busy reading some things that interest me and I have been planning some things. This past Thursday was my birthday and so keeping a tradition, I did not go to work that day. I have not worked on my birthday for years. I always try to have the time saved to take it off. It is the one personal day of the year that I treat as a holiday, a celebration of me. It was most refreshing to have the day off and I did absolutely nothing that was even remotely associated with that big bad four letter word - WORK. I used the day to rejuvenate and to focus on me and what I want to accomplish in the coming year. At 54, I figure I need to take advantage of every minute, make sure I am being the best I can be and try to move toward my retirement in a mindful way.

Enough of the philosophical Ann for today. I am heading to the pool for my swim and then back here to take photos of my knitting and post them later today or tomorrow.

The sun is shining and the weather is warm and I really believe that spring is here. YaHooooooo!!!!!

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Where the heck have you been?

I've been sick and life got in the way. I have the monster of all monster sinus infections. I sat for 7 hours in my local outpatients department to find out that my own diagnosis was bang on and then after leaving over $100 at the local legalized drug dealing establishment, I came home and was totally miserable for many hours more. I am still at home and for the moment feeling not so bad so long as I don't move my head too quickly or bend over. If I do that, I am rewarded with excruciating pain and pressure. It feels like my eyes are resting on my cheeks and my nose is like 3 sizes bigger than normal. So long story short I was miserable but as of this minute, I think I will survive (that's a threat). But I am not going to work just yet. The doctor ordered rest and far be it from me to disagree with him.

On the knitting front, I have come to an epiphany of sorts. I HATE MY JAYWALKERS!!!!! I love the pattern, I love Grumperina - the pattern designer. I love the Jaywalkers that others have knit for example Line(pronounced Lynn) just finished one recently . However I can't seem to get mine to fit my feet nor can I get them to look like a sock that I would even want to wear. I have tried twice to persuade them to comply but it appears to be futile (note the intended Borg reference). I have knit tons of socks in my life. My husband loves my "dress" socks and my Dad covets my "work" socks and I have a friend who positively begs me to knit socks for her and pays me good money to do so but these Jaywalkers have defeated me. They will be going to the frog pond I think.

In the mean time, while the painkillers are working (for about the first hour or so after taking it), I have started another pair of socks. This time I am using some Opal handpainted Rosehip yarn that a friend picked up for me in Halifax last year.

I am just using the pattern I have in my head but I am doing them a bit differently. I started with the standard 2X2 knit/purl ribbing over 80 stitches and then changed to knit 6 purl 2. Then every six rows I do a a purl row. I like the way they are turning out and the elasticity that the modified ribbing is providing is really nice.

One day I hope to give Jaywalkers a try again. But for now I am going to put this pattern on hold. They will be unraveled this afternoon for sure.

I am going to be participating in a Lace Knit Along that Heidi of London Wul Farm will be hosting starting on May 2nd. You can get the details by clicking here. This KAL is based on the Ab/Fab patterns in Victorian Lace Today by Jane Sowerby.

AND if you purchase your book and yarn from Heidi, you will get a 15% discount on both. I did just that and now all that remains is to chose a pattern. I might want to exchange the color of the yarn I have chosen.

It is Merino Lace by Skacel in a lovely red (red does not photograph well - it is more of a blue red as opposed to an orange red). However I might want to exchange the colour if Heidi will oblige, I think I may want to go with something more pastel for spring and summer.

For me, it is necessary to pay attention to the finished size of the shawl or scarf because I am a "woman of size". So a stole for example that would probably wrap around the average person a couple of times might just barely cover my shoulders and arms with very little left for drape and effect. For example the cover shawl would probably fall between my waist and hip rather than below the hip level as shown. Plus I don't want to choose something too complicated for my first item from this book. I think I want to get my feet wet first before jumping in up to my neck.

I have narrowed it done to these 2.

This is the Victoria Shawl. It is rated at an Intermediate Lace level. It is 32 inches by 82 inches which will give me the drape needed while accommodating my size. Its knit on 4.5 mm needles and it looks fairly uncomplicated to me. The charts appear to be fairly easy to read.

And this is the Myrtle Leaf Shawl. Tanya is doing this one right now but found an error in the pattern and posted the correction on her blog. This one measures out at 21 inches by 76 inches. I would probably want to make mine a bit wider and a bit longer.

But I don't want to go messing around with the pattern too much for my first go, so it looks like the Victorian Shawl is the winner.

In the meantime I think I will drop by the Wul Farm on Wednesday evening (if I am feeling well enough) just to connect with some knitters. Heidi invites knitters to the shop on the second and third Wednesday of every month. I don't have anyone living near me who is as fanatical about knitting and yarn as I am let alone even remotely interested in it. Dropping in on the group will be a nice change of pace for me.

That is enough computer fun for one day, my headache seems to be coming back and I think a nap is in order. Then more meds and maybe a bit of knitting or frogging or both.

Monday, February 26, 2007

What do you mean - They don't fit? - an update

Well they just don't fit, that is all there is to it. The Jaywalker fabric, because of the way it is knit, is not very flexible. There is little to no ease in the fabric at all. And I knit quite tightly. So, silly me, having turned the heel and finishing the gusset, I decided to try one on. Well I managed to get my toes in the cuff to about half way down but there way no way in this lifetime that my feet ( they are ugly chubby things) would ever fit all the way into these very soft socks. Why I didn't try them on sooner is beyond me but I didn't and so I am paying the price. I generally don't swatch for socks. I have knit so many that I usually know what to expect with this weight yarn (it's Austermann Step) and my 2mm Addi Turbos .

So to the Frog Pond they went. And after rewinding the wool, I set up another pair. This time I am using 2.5 mm and I am using the pattern for larger Jaywalkers .

I have cast on 100 stitches, have the ribbing done and I am just starting the pattern so we will see if this does the trick. I am definitely going to try them on sooner this time. I will keep you posted.

Did you make that?

I most certainly did make this. This is a photo of my first little skein of "wheel spun yarn" and I am so proud of myself. It is spun from fibre from one of Heidi Wulfraat's little sheepies.

The little ball is an example of a single. It's what results from the initial spinning process. The skein is 2 singles plied together to make a stronger and more serviceable yarn. I found the rolag that Heidi gave us to spin was very soft and left my fingers soft with lanolin but not in any way greasy or uncomfortable. The yarn in my little skein is much softer than Briggs and Little 100% wool for example. I would definitely spin and knit with this wool again and again. I can see my husband and father wearing socks and mitts from this fibre and enjoying them as very wearable garments. There is definitely spinning wheel acquisition in my near future. Heid and I will have to have a nice long chat, after which I will give her money and she will give me a wheel. Ahhh commerce, gotta love it.

Now anyone who knows me knows I am not a religious or spiritual person but I do believe that we experience things from other times and other existences. I know, get out the straight jacket but that is just the way I see my place in this world. Part of the journey I guess. So it did not feel in any way weird that I got choked up when I sat down to the wheel. It was something I understood on some level and I embraced it with joy. I was almost relieved sitting there looking at the wheel and I felt sort of like one feels when they come home from a long trip. I know that sounds absolutely crazy but that is what I felt. It was a déjà vu moment and that is all there is to it. The moment I put my feet on the treadles and began spinning the wheel, I felt so comfortable and so relaxed. It was what I knew how to do and what I felt in the center of myself as being part of who I am.

The spinning was so satisfying and felt so familiar and I caught on really quickly. When I learned to spin with the drop spindle it felt always like I was doing something backwards; I was never truly comfortable with the process. Once I sat at the wheel however, I somehow realized that drop spindling felt that way because wheel spinning was what I had known all along. My first little skein of yarn was declared perfectly balanced by Heidi. She told me she was very impressed with it. Well so am I. You can teach an old dog new tricks but it helps if you knew the trick before and just needed to be reminded.