Monday, January 29, 2007
The Rogue Rogue Cables
Well. It is apparently not a good weekend for cables. Cara over at January One has had a crisis on her Central Park Hoodie, in a very similar fashion to me. (ie a cable a million miles down that you REALLY don't want to rip out to!) Reading that motivated me to look at some actual Rogues to see how it's supposed to look. And guess what I figured out?

Both sides are wrong. Great. But not, of course, wrong in the same way. Oh no! That would be too easy.

Here's a closeup (not a very good one - sorry) of one of the side pretzel cables.

Rogue mistake 1

This is the line of the cable on this side.

Rogue closeup 1

Here's the other side.

Rogue mistake 2

And this is the line of this cable.

Rogue closeup 2

Not at all the same. I have NO idea how I managed that, but there we are. So now the question is, what do I do?

I have to confess, I'm leaning towards "nothing." It's not like it's in a very noticeable place, and it's not like it looks COMPLETELY terrible. Does it? I don't think it does. If anyone is looking that closely at my hip we have bigger problems. But mostly, I'm not convinced I know how to fix it, and at this point I reeeeeally don't want to rip it out. (That is just not an option.)

Still, I feel like a moron. An irritated moron. One day, I will knit a flawless cabled sweater. But that day is not today.

Maybe Central Park. But let's not jump to conclusions.


To knit.
I have been working all weekend on Rogue, because I'm a terrible person who's ignoring the socks I'm supposed to be working on. I'm making excellent headway on Rogue - I'm on row 53 of the body chart, which is actually a little deceptive because you repeat 6 rows of the chart multiple times (I threw in one extra because I like my sweaters long), so I've actually knit much more than that.

Much to my chagrin, I found a mistake in one of my cables, right back at the beginning, and after despairing over it for a few minutes, have decided to leave it. (If I were as popular as the Yarn Harlot, somebody would have noticed the mistake in one of the earlier pictures and pointed it out. Alas.) I figure it adds character, and it's pretty minor in the grand scheme of things, although annoying since it means the two sides don't quite match. I know I could drop down to fix it, but we're talking dropping 90 or so rows of cables. No thanks. I tried overstitching it to make it look better, but I just don't really get how to do that, so unless someone can explain it to me, I'll leave it. It's down around the bottom - I won't be able to see it when I'm wearing it!

Anyway, after excellent progress despite having to work yesterday (dinner at my in-laws on Friday gave me lots of knitting time while I watched Barnyard with Jamie's cousin, and yesterday I hung out with various people over at the International House of Party, and got yet more knitting done), Rogue is now closing in on dividing for the front and back, which is encouraging progress. I was planning to knit it exclusively for the next few days until the body gets finished, but then I looked at the weather forecast for this week. (This was a moment of forethought that is highly unusual for me, I should note.) It is supposed to be really cold by Thursday and Friday - lows in the minus 20s. Brr. And when it was freezing earlier this week, I was cursing myself for not finishing my thrum mittens yet.

So! Eight more rows before I hit the thumb on the second mitten - encouraging progress that leads me to optimistically believe I can finish by Thursday despite working every day this week. (I volunteered for more hours because my desire to have lots of spending money in Disneyland outweighed my desire for lots of knitting time. There are few things I like more than knitting, but Disneyland is one of them. Two months this week until we leave! Eeee!)

Anyway, the mittens are now at the top of the list, but they won't take long. (HOW did I not know about how excellent mittens are to knit before now? They're so fast and cozy and nice! More mittens are in my future - hopefully more thrummed ones for my mother.) Once they're done, Rogue and my sockpal sock will go back to sharing time, with occasional forays into the baby blanket. (I think I will try to knit one strip a day.) The Mountain Peaks is on hold for now, partly because it's not exactly shawl weather, but also because I think it'll be excellent airplane knitting so I'm saving it for my trip. (I'm flying alone both ways due to the world's most complicated vacation set-up between the four of us, so I plan to spend the entire flight there knitting and listening to Disneyland music to get hyped up, and the entire flight back knitting and listening to Disneyland music to depress myself. Do I know how to party or what? And the complicated vacation set up involves multiple cities, three different arrival dates and two different departure dates with Jamie and me taking different flights home despite leaving the same day. It's ridiculous, I know, but we will all be in the same place for approximately 48 hours. I'm there the longest, though. Woo!)

Once Rogue is done, I plan to buy some Cascade 220 to make the Central Park Hoodie. After chasing around to several yarn stores, I got my hands on a copy of the KnitScene that had the pattern, and it looks like just what I wanted in a cardigan. (Please don't talk to me about my obvious cabled sweater problem. I am aware of it. After that I want a boring plain v-neck sweater with no cables in sight, I promise.) I decided to do Central Park over A Cardigan for Arwen, because I think it's more my style. (Erin agreed - she was very patient about looking at pictures of both to decide which would be better. I have very tolerant friends. And might I add, two other people were knitting last night at IHOP, so the conversion is gradually occurring.)

And of course, there is the endless parade of babies to knit for. The next one after this current log cabin isn't due until April, but it's going to sneak up on me. The yarn for that is in the mail - I think it'll be another hoodie, since that was fast and cute.

I like this idea of having one of each type of thing on the go. Once I finish my sock pal socks, I'll cast on Rachel's socks. Once I finish Rogue, I'll start in on Central Park. Once I finish this log cabin, I'll start another baby blanket. Once I finish the mittens, I'll cast on a baby sweater. (Small and mindless - seems like a good category!) And once I finish Mountain Peaks (which seems like never in my mind right now, because it's such a big project), I'll either hit the Reversible Rib Shawl, for which I already have the KidSilk Haze (mmm), or the Sea Silk shawl with the Sea Silk I just ordered.

Oh, sure. Totally manageable.

How did I think my knitting list would get any better after the Christmas knitting was done? Good grief.

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Friday, January 26, 2007
Emergency FO
So my friend Karen is, as those who know her are all too aware, kind of prone to medical bad luck. (It's apparently contagious, as her husband is having a rough go of things too.) She always get the weird things, has the weird injuries, goes for the obscure over the usual. Last week, she had the misfortune to break her wrist. (This isn't particularly weird, just bad luck.) She managed to fracture the bone that takes the longest to heal, so she's stuck in a cast for a while. Unfortunately, Karen is also always freezing, so the fact that none of her mittens fit was a cause for concern.

So she's lucky she knows me, isn't she?

She called me last week and asked if I could make a mitten that would go over her cast. I looked at the cast (photos of it are on her blog up there), and since her thumb is cast part way up and therefore immobile, I figured there was no point in giving it a separate thumb. Since the cast covers the rest of her arm, it didn't need to be terrible long, so in the end, what I came up with is essentially an oversized baby mitten. So now Karen will have warm fingers and also won't be able to scratch her face with her super long baby fingernails! So that's a relief.

We went to Calgary last weekend and my friends very tolerantly came to the yarn store with me. (Yay! That's a sign of good friends, when they'll go to the yarn store with you even if they don't knit. Jana is just starting to knit but she's not at the point yet where she gets enthused about yarn store field trips. Give me time!) While we were there, I spotted two baskets of Cascade Fixation, which I immediately realised was perfect. First of all, it's not wool, which Karen is allergic to. (Of course she is.) Secondly, the stretchiness would be great for a cast mitten because we need it to go over the large and inflexible cast but then stay on. So I figured it was perfect.

I sent Karen over to pick out a colour. After rummaging around for a while, she came up with the exact same colourway that I used for her socks. (Broadripples. I am quite impressed that my eye for her taste is so precise!) Conveniently, I had some leftover from them so I didn't need to buy any more. I also bought some DPNs, which I rarely knit with but kind of like for mittens. They're Crystal Palace Bamboo and they are REALLY freaking nice.

Here it is! I finished it earlier this evening while watching Veronica Mars with Jamie. (Incidentally, it's a good thing that show is so good, because it's the only thing that gets Jamie away from World of Warcraft.)

Cast Mitten 1

I tried it on, but it looks ridiculous and kind of phallic on me. (My hand is in a fist.)

Cast Mitten 3

I'm hoping that it'll work. This is 11 inches around and Karen's cast is 13 inches, so that seems like a good amount of ease for it to stay on fairly snugly. It's quite grippy yarn, and the cast is quite grippy too, so I'm optimistic. I'll hopefully get a picture when I try it on her. It also needs a good name. Castitten? Castmitt? Brokitten? FractureMitt? Splintten? I don't know. I'm open to ideas. (It's too bad nobody would ever need one for more than a few months, because it's an idea that I think could do quite well up here. It sucks to be mittenless in the mornings when it's cold and the sun isn't up yet.)

My other WIPs were slightly neglected so I could finish this quickly, since it's a time sensitive project. (If I'm going to go to the trouble to knit it, I want maximum usage out of it, since it'll become essentially useless once the cast comes off unless someone has a very small and oval shaped head.) However, I'm making some good headway on Rogue

Rogue side cable January 25

which I continue to love a ridiculous amount. I attached the kangaroo pocket today

Rogue Kangaroo Pocket January 25

so now that isn't flapping around bugging me. The whole thing is getting pretty long!

Rogue Full View January 25

(For the three of you knitters out there who haven't knit Rogue, it's got a turned hem at the bottom, so that ribbing doesn't actually count towards the length. It is, however, a very nice turned hem if I do say so myself.)

I put the Log Cabin onto two needles yesterday so I could see how the size is coming. It's getting there, but I've got a loooong way to go. I'm not sure what the best strategy for this is going to be. We'll see how it goes. I figure I'm about a quarter of the way to where I'd like it to be.

Log Cabin January 24

And here's my sock pal's sock, all snuggled up with his friend Rogue! Aw. Isn't that sweet? Clearly they've resolved their differences. Although I wouldn't be surprised if I came out tomorrow morning to find a pile of frogged yarn and a Rogue trying to look innocent. Maybe one of them better sleep in the knitting basket.

Sock Pal January 25

It's going slowly but surely and looks great. I estimate needing another six stripes before I split for the heel flap.

Busy busy! It's a good thing I had a good knitting day, because although most of my day was actually kind of pleasant, I had an embarrassing and painful incident earlier. Erin and I were at the mall after our delightful evening of wedding dress shopping (it's fun going with someone who's the sample size, because she can try anything!) and having dinner, and I fell off my shoe.

Yeah. You read that right. Fell off my shoe. You see, I wear clogs, because they have excellent support and make my ankle not hurt (in fact, after two years in clogs almost exclusively, I no longer have pain in my Achilles Tendon! This is a major life improvement). Unfortunately, the nature of clogs is that they're highly inflexible and quite tall. So this evening, I lost my balance and my ankle turned in my shoe. This is not the first time it's happened - I quite often sort of tip over off my shoe. (This makes me sound like the least coordinated person ever. Which I'm not, I swear.) But today was the first time that this caused me to totally bite it.

I pretty much collapsed on the mall floor, which caused some alarm to Erin (who didn't see what happened until I was inexplicably on the floor) and the nice person in the store we were walking past. It took me a minute to collect myself - my leg essentially buckled under me and my other leg crashed into my foot and the very hard shoe while I hit the ground with my leg and elbow, which was a barrel of laughs - but nothing was broken and I picked myself up. Erin very nicely didn't laugh at me at all and was quite concerned. I was mostly feeling kind of dumb.

But now my stupid leg REALLY hurts. The leg that didn't collapse is actually the one that's really hurting - I think it hit the floor first. I've been icing it and stuff, but it hurts like hell. And now the ankle that turned itself is really starting to throb, so both legs are sore and stiff, and I'm going to be hobbling around having to explain that I fell off my shoe.

Great. Quick, somebody invent me a good story for what I did.

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Monday, January 22, 2007
Dear Rogue, I love you
Please don't think that just because I'm seeing other projects, I don't love you as much. I do! You're my favourite project ever! (At least, I'm pretty sure you are, but I'm not going to think too hard about that because that's pretty much a never ending spiral of "no, wait, I think I love THIS best!") Look at how much progress I made on you this weekend! I didn't knit anything else for two days straight. I can prove it!

Here's where you were on Thursday.

Rogue Side Cable 2

Here's where you are today.

Rogue Other Side Cable

See? You're almost ready to join up with your pockety friend! Only a few more rows. And as mentioned in that previous entry, you're not a small sweater. I'm not a small person. A Rogue for me has more than 200 stitches in a round. It's not like these are fast little nothing rounds I'm accomplishing here. The fact that you're nearing the pocket join is really quite impressive.

Rogue Full View January 22

(Uh, actually, speaking of that, since I memorized this part of the cable so easily, I sort of stopped keeping such good track of where we are. I'm hoping you can help me out there, Rogue. You're easy to count, right? Sure. Let's go with that.)

Anyway, despite what it might look like, you're still my favourite. Try not to get too worked up about this.

Sock Pal sock

I know. It's a sock. I said I needed a break from socks. I said I knit too many socks and was really excited about knitting a sweater for a change. I wrote that whole entry about how it was too cold for anything but a nice cozy sweater. I know. I'm a tease.

But look at the colours, Rogue!

Sock Pal sock with flash 1

That is a seriously good looking sock. It's so bright! So cheery! Such a nice contrast to your sensible but unexciting beigeness! Look at how it's striping so perfectly!

Sock Pal sock with flash 2

I'm not abandoning you entirely, Rogue. Just sharing you a little with your little socky friend here. I have a deadline! There is a pal with cold feet waiting for some delightful green socks. I have a duty to uphold. Don't worry, you'll get finished. I can promise that even more so now that I put you onto some extra needles and tried you on and discovered you fit perfectly. Perfectly! See? We're meant to be together. Your turned hem even flips itself up, just like it's supposed to. This isn't anything meaningful, Rogue. I'm not even keeping them! It's just a temporary thing.

Don't be mad. I still love you. How could I not? Look how pretty you are!

Rogue Zoomed Out Side Cable View January 22

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Friday, January 19, 2007
WIPs on Parade
I totally got out of the habit of taking pictures of works in progress during the Christmas Knitting Mania, because I knew I wouldn't be posting them until they were finished. However, given the nature of the current WIPs, it will be a long drought without pictures if I keep forgetting to do photo shoots. (Do you like how I say that like before the Christmas knitting I took WIP photos all the time? I just flipped through my archives and the only WIP photos are of the sock's cultural tour. Geez, I suck.)

Fortunately, I remembered this evening, and whipped out my new blanket, perfect for photo shoots. As I mentioned, I seem to be burgundy obsessed at the moment, so the nice light blue blanket that my in-laws bought us for Christmas will be excellent for photos of projects. I finally got around to putting the really good lamp next to my knitting chair (there is space thanks to the tidying now), so I hve reasonable light. I know you should take knitting photos in natural light, but we get very little light in our house (which has its advantages and disadvantages), and it's cold and snowy out, and I don't want to dump my knitting in the snow. So this will have to do. It's a pretty bright light, so it will do the job for now. Better solutions will be pursued.

After my surprisingly successful monogamy around Christmas, I've gone back to my usual slutty knitting. It's nice having so many things, actually - I have something different for every mood.

First up is the beginning of my beautiful, beautiful Mountain Peaks Shawl, pattern here. This pattern is fantastic. The only lace I've done is Branching Out and Pomatomus, yet I am following the charts with almost no trouble. (of course, I'm only on chart one!) Even better, when I was reading over the pattern in advance (!), I was confused about one thing emailed Miriam, and got a fast and helpful reply. Awesome! Two thumbs up for this pattern so far. We'll see how I do when I get to the short rows.

This is the silk that Beth bought me for Christmas. It is very subtly variegated, which just makes the lace look like the sun is shining on it. Glorious! It is so shimmery.

Mountain Peaks 1

Mountain Peaks 2

It's more burgundy and pink than it looks in those pictures - a great colour for me. I'm hoping it will go with the dress I'll have for Erin's wedding.

That's right! Erin is getting married! Ashley proposed on her birthday (January 3rd), and they're getting married next summer. (For those of you who don't pay much attention to these things, Erin was my roommate before I got married, and she was the greatest roommate ever. We had a blast. Imagine my delight when she moved into the basement suite in our house last year! So now she's my downstairs neighbour, and she was also a bridesmaid in my wedding.) Not only that, but she asked me to be her maid of honour! Whee! She's leaning towards burgundy for dresses, so I'm hoping I can wear this. (Because let's be honest here, my lifestyle does not really offer up too many opportunities to wear silk shawls.)

As previously mentioned, I have, after wanting it for well over a year, picked up Rogue. Flush with my success on Samus, I decided I was up to the task, and once I printed off the (awesome and well written) pattern, I felt pretty confident about it.

Here's its progress so far.

Rogue Full View 2

It's in Bartlett 2-ply yarn, which is very sheepy and full of lanolin, which means my hands are way less dry than usual. (This is clearly an excellent winter knit for Edmonton.) It's a bit scratchy, but when I washed my swatch (!) in wool wash, it got very cozy, so I think it'll be perfect. It's exactly the oatmeal-y colour I wanted.

I finished the kangaroo pocket at Stitch n Bitch the other night, which looks great. (It's a little wonky in the photo because the needles are in behind it.

Rogue Kangaroo Pocket

I was a bit nervous about the closed cables (it says ADVANCED cable skils on the pattern, and I hate to presume about my own skills), but so far so good.

Rogue Side Cable 1

I am loving knitting this. The pattern is SO good, and it's a great mix of mindless and attention requiring. Two thumbs up! My knitting is very satisfying at the moment, can you tell?

My log cabin baby blanket is also coming along well. I'm using Trillian's technique to avoid some of the picking up, so it's scrunched up in this photo because it's all on one big circular. (I love interchangeables.) The colours are also so bright that they really don't photograph well.

Log Cabin

I really like how the Crayon is looking in the log cabin style, and it's so nice and soft without being too heavy. Excellent for babies - I will definitely be ordering more of this.

Log Cabin Closeup

And, finally, my thrum mittens. It's been a bit neglected this week (so many projects to choose from means some get neglected), but one is done and the other is in progress. This is a Fleece Artist Thrum Kit. Highly recommended - it's SO soft.


Finished Thrum Mitten

And inside!


My mother was so impressed with this that she actually sort of hinted that she'd like a pair! That's totally unheard of for her. By the time I'd get a chance it'll be spring (curse you, spring babies!) but I'll hopefully be able to make her a pair for her birthday in November. (Somebody remind me in September when the babies have settled down a bit, ok? And nobody get pregnant for the next few months so I can have a lull.) She'd never heard of thrums before but apparently her hands get really cold, so it seems like the least I can do.

I have a few other things in the immediate queue - I promised a few things to people, and since poor Karen broke her hand she made a very pitiful request for a mitten that will go over her cast, which seems like a manageable project that will drastically improve her life until the cast comes off, especially once it gets colder. I'll have to figure out the best way to do it once I see the shape of the cast tomorrow. We're going to Calgary tomorrow (woohoo!), so we'll hit the yarn stores and find some nice non-wool yarn to make her some broken hand mittens.

Isn't that selfless of me? Going to the yarn store to buy yarn for my poor broken-handed friend? I know. I am a giver. Mmm, Calgary yarn stores.

Now the question is, what knitting to pack? Hmm. Decisions decisions. Unfortunately, due to broken hand I'm driving, so I won't be able to knit with my snazzy new headlamp. Poo. Still, I'm sure there will be knitting time. Maybe I'd better just pack everything.

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Tuesday, January 16, 2007
The last time I got my haircut was May of 2005. I hate getting haircuts for several reasons. Firstly, I'm cheap. I'd rather spend haircut money on yarn. Secondly, my hairdresser moved to Toronto, and he was awesome. I am still mad that he moved. Thirdly, I am incredibly lazy about my hair, and most of the time it's easier to just leave it long.

But it reached that critical tipping point where it was getting stupidly tangled, so I decided I needed a haircut. I also wrote a really good haircut into my novel in November and it made me want to cut my hair. (Yes, I know I'm weird.)

Anyway, my sister has been harassing the hell out of me for photos (I think I liked it better when she pretended she didn't read my blog - now she's even commenting on it, for god's sake!), so here they are. Apparently this is blog on demand now.

Before photos, taken when Jamie was already asleep in my rather grubby bathroom mirror. Apparently I have found the thing I won't wake him up for. Trying on a sock at 2am? No problem. Taking "before" photos of my hair? No. Huh. Good to know. (Although I suppose it's a factor that I could take the photos myself, even if they are crappy. You get the idea about my hair, right?)

Hair Before Front

The front. Note the general untidiness. It's not that I had bad hair - my hair is, fortunately, quite nice without any effort on my part. It was just kind of boring.

Hair Before Back

The back. Note very random and uneven wave. This is the general state of affairs - my hair has quite a nice wave, but a very random one. Also, admire our nerdy shower curtain with words all over it.

After! Note the super nerdy Star Wars poster in the background. This was taken in the computer room, which is a very nerdy room. I am standing in front of the yarn stash bins.

Hair After Front

It's a terrible picture of me, but my hair looks good.

Here's the back. Note the lovely spirally waves!

Hair After Back

My hairdresser (she also did my hair for my wedding, so she wasn't totally random) was great - this took less than an hour including washing and drying. She also grasped my requirements very quickly and definitely accomplished all of them. (Low maintenance, not poofy, must go in a ponytail, better defined waves.) Thumbs up to my new haircut!


Saturday, January 13, 2007
More FOs!
And this time they aren't even Christmas presents! That's right, both of these are 2007 FOs, although the socks were started back in December.

First! The last pair of socks. My brother-in-law got ordained last week, and when we started thinking about what to get for an ordination, we were kind of stumped. We looked at the official Church of England stores in England (seemed like a natural place to look!) but all the fancy stuff was really damn expensive. Like, insanely so. So that plan was quickly abandoned.

Fortunately, I had a brainwave shortly thereafter, and this idea was born!

Cam's socks!

They are socks with a little priest collar on the top. I had some help from the Knitty chat on these, and what I ended up doing (after several attempts) was knitting flat black ribbing for a while, then casting on another 12 stitches or so and joining it in the round. Then I did a hem turning row (reverse stockinette so it folded over nicely), then knit ribbing for several rounds. Except the newly cast on stitches, which I knit in white stockinette. I tacked down the folded over part when I finished the socks, and the collar looked like this when they were done:

Priest Collar Socks

Here is my brother-in-law with his new socks!

Cam with his socks

(Isn't his outfit snazzy? He had the second nicest outfit out of all six people who were being ordained.)

So! Once I finished those I turned my attention to the five impending babies. This sweater was originally going to be for the April baby, but once I finished it I decided it was too warm for the April baby and it got reassigned to the February baby. Whose shower, conveniently, was today.

Mr. Bear in the baby sweater

It's for my friend who's from Zimbabwe, who I've known since I was 13. My family went to Zimbabwe that year, and our dads worked together so we met and hung out several times while we were there. When we were 19, she moved to Edmonton for university. (Her dad did a degree here so she was born in Canada and has Canadian citizenship.) We started hanging out again, periodically, and our lives have been remarkably similar since then. Of course now she's having a baby, so I told her she's on her own for this one. (She tried to convince me otherwise, but then I pointed out that my babysitting skills will be much more useful if I don't have my own kid, and she was swiftly convinced.) We don't see each other often but it's always fun when we do - she's one of those friends that I don't need to see often to have an awesome time with.

Here's Mr. Bear's closeup.

Mr. Bear in the baby sweater

It's the Hooded Sweater from Debbie Bliss's Special Knits, and it's kind of a stupid construction but the sweater is SUPER cute. Especially the little pointy hood.

Mr. Bear in the baby sweater

So cute and elfy!

It's knit in Mission Falls 1824 wool, which is superwash merino and deliciously soft. It was very quick to knit - I finished the actual knitting in about five days, and then just needed an hour or two of seaming. My seaming has definitely improved - the hood in particular looks really nice.

Incidentally, I'm really noticing my prevalent fondness for dark reds. I chose this one because it's a great generic gender colour (and will look super cute on this Zimbabwean baby!), but trying to take photos of it on my...dark red furniture was kind of a challenge. My sister's sweater? Burgundy. The shawl I'm knitting? Burgundy. The Kid Silk Haze I just ordered for my Reversible Rib Shawl? Burgundy.

Good thing I'm knitting my Rogue in Light Sheepy Grey. I clearly need to branch out.
Thursday, January 11, 2007
Good weather for a knitter
It is really, really, really cold. So cold that when I came home for lunch today, I abandoned my jaunty Malabrigo hat and matching Socks that Rock mittens, and dug out my old but thick Wool-Ease hat and scarf set and put my fleece mittens back on. It was kind of depressing, even though I like the Wool-Ease hat because it's enormous so my hair fits inside it. (I hate the feeling of hair smushed down against my neck, especially when it's in a ponytail, so I just fold it up inside my hat.)

It is also cold enough that I've totally abandoned my shawl (what, are you kidding? A shawl is useless for at least four months. To the bottom of the basket with you!), have left the baby sweater with one sleeve left to seam up and sew on (I can't wear it, therefore it is currently useless to me), and am not even looking at the socks I'm supposed to be knitting Rachel. (Sorry, Rachel.)

So what am I knitting? Rogue! That's right, the long put-off sweater is actually on the needles. I was working on the turned hem tonight (k1p1, my least favourite type of knitting in the universe) while Jamie and I were watching Veronica Mars. I was grumbling about the endless rounds of ribbing and expressing my disbelief that somebody in my Stitch n Bitch knit a Rogue for the Knitting Olympics. (16 days!) And then I said, "mind you, she was skinnier. This wouldn't be so bad if I was less fat."

Jamie had the most hilarious confused look on his face. He was quiet for a minute, and then finally piped up. "How would it be easier to knit if you were skinnier?" Clearly he was wondering if my excess flab somehow interfered with my knitting technique somehow. He seemed kind of relieved when I explained that it actually just meant I needed a bigger sweater.

So Rogue is almost finished its turned hem (1.75 rounds of 12 left to knit), which means it's approximately eighty million hours of knitting away from finished, which means it'll be done right when the weather improves. But damn, will I be happy I knit it next year when the weather sucks this bad.

In the shorter term improvement department, I caved into something I've been wanting to do for a while. Flush with the triumph of knitting my first mittens last week, but discouraged by the fact that they aren't quite -30 kind of mittens, I stopped in at the yarn store to buy myself a thrum mitten kit. Fleece Artist, in lovely pinks and burgundys and oranges and blues. I am very excited about it - the roving is so soft I can't wait for my hands to be all snuggled up with it.

Unfortunately, I want to knit them on my 3s. Which are currently in use for the turned hem of Rogue. So I continue to slog away at the ribbing, desperate for thrum mittens to protect me from the evil weather.

Think anyone would notice if my turned hem was only 11 rounds?
Monday, January 08, 2007
It's been a whirlwind weekend and despite the fact that I've actually had several things to blog about, I haven't had time to blog.

That's actually a lie. Our company left at about 4:30, but since then I've pretty much been knitting solidly and barely talking to Jamie. (I need nice quiet time after having company. Fortunately, Jamie was happy to go questing or whatever it is you do in World of Warcraft and note that I don't actually care.) We watched a couple of episodes of Veronica Mars over dinner, at HIS SUGGESTION and my god, the glee I am feeling at having converted not just Erin, who I knew would love the show (and does, and agreed that it's better than Buffy after only 7 episodes, so just wait till it gets really good!), but JAMIE! Jamie doesn't watch TV. Or at least, not in an orderly fashion. He watches quite a lot of tv, actually (more than I realised before we got married), but he watches things like the news, and a lot of sports (his one really stereotypically male behaviour, actually, is his surprising tolerance for virtually any sport. I have seen him watch a snooker tournament.), and random specials on the History Channel, but he only actually watches one show regularly. (That show may or may not be a soap opera that rhymes with Hays of our Chives, and it's totally his guilty secret and is quite hilarious.) Anyway, Erin was up here the other night for the frequently postponed Veronica Mars marathon, and Jamie just happened to be around. And watched. Six straight episodes. (Erin and I made seven but Jamie went to bed before the last one.) Given how much he rolls his eyes about Buffy (despite having watched and thoroughly enjoyed Firefly), I consider this a major victory. Now that I have the DVDs, I have an elaborate plan for converting others. I did this with Firefly too (very effectively - every single one of my friends has now seen the entire series, I think, with a few exceptions here and there), and the advantage of VMars is that it's still on, if difficult to watch here. Here's hoping I can continue to convert!

Uh. I had a point, and this was not it. Oh! Right. Company left at 4:30, and I've been knitting ever since.

There are five impending babies in the next six months. Many people react to news of babies with delight or congratulations or what have you. My reaction to the news of another pregnancy is "oooh, what should I knit?"

I realise this is weird. (Although I'm willing to bet it's the standard knitter's reaction.)

Anyway, I have plans for some of these babies, who are conveniently fairly spaced out, but I don't have the yarn yet for the most impending baby. (It is in the mail, though.) So when my sister-in-law and I went to St. Albert on Friday to check out their yarn store, I picked up some Mission Falls 1824 wool to make a super cute little hoody. (The baby that this sweater is for does not belong to any of the mothers who read this blog, so none of you get too excited, here.) It's the hoody in the Debbie Bliss Special Knits book, if you're so inclined.

My god, why have I been wasting my time with adult sized clothing? Baby sweaters! They rule! I cast this thing on at about 4:30 on Friday, knit for about half an hour before heading out for the night (to a two and a quarter hour ordination, for which a very special FO post is impending), and then yesterday I only had a few hours of knitting time. My father- and stepmother-in-law were in town for the ordination, and stayed with us last night, so I had a strenuous afternoon of pedicures (I have purple toes that match my purple shoes!) and a lengthy dinner took up most of the evening. (It was really freaking good, though. Edmontonians, I recommend Flavours Modern Bistro on Whyte, which we went to on Erin's recommendation.)

So yesterday I finished the back (in a day! I love baby sweaters! Even better is baby sweaters knit in aran weight on size 8s - none of this fiddly little baby weight stuff on size 1s that my mother does. Although her sweaters are ridiculously gorgeous.), and then today, after going out for breakfast (yum), and then to Best Buy (to Wii-stalk), and then to a movie (Pursuit of Happyness - very good), I was in need of an evening spent knitting. (I didn't knit in the movie, which is unusual for me, because I didn't really have anything movie-appropriate. Memo to self, cast on a sock.)

So I have been knitting for a solid evening now, and the entire back and all the hood is done. I followed the pattern exactly even though it was kind of counterintuitive, and now I'm kind of regretting it. (Why am I binding off the back, then casting on for the hood, then binding off the hood, then seaming the bottom of the hood and the back of the sweater? Why didn't I just pick up stitches, which I like, so as to avoid seaming, which I hate? I don't know. It's a mystery. I didn't have the confidence in my understanding of patterns, especially as this one isn't terribly well described and is accompanied by truly useless photos, but now that I've done all the knitting I see that I was exactly right and I should have done that. I need to have more confidence in my knitting. My mother even complimented me the other day! Was this a parenthetical aside? Oh dear.)

That means only two little wee sleeves are left to go. I was worried about running out of yarn (the Mission Falls yardage is a little shy of the suggested Debbie Bliss Cashmerino), but then I remembered that baby arms, like the rest of a baby, are teeny! And I looked at what I've knit and looked at the sleeve instructions, and I'm totally fine.

And while it is very, very tempting to just do the sleeves right now even though it's 2:32 AM, I am going to be sensible and go to bed (and read my new book), and save the sleeves for my day off tomorrow. And maybe some of my other yarn will arrive tomorrow! And there will be much rejoicing.

And there will be the casting on of a sock, because I'm a little twitchy without one on the needles for the first time since, uh, I learned how to knit socks, I think. And these ones will be for me! For the first time since I figured out how to make socks actually fit human feet! Woohoo!
Thursday, January 04, 2007
I am not a neat person. This is an understatement of epic proportions. And with so many projects on the go over Christmas, the yarn situation got a little out of control. All the leftovers for all the projects were hanging around my knitting chair, along with the patterns, the accessories, and the needles. Never mind all the other crap that I seem to accumulate.

It was pretty out of control. Now, I'm posting these photos to make the transformation more impressive, but for god's sake, don't show my mother.

Before 1

If you click through to that, there are notes on the photo explaining what everything is.

Before 2

I know, I know. I am ashamed.

So today, I decided enough was enough. I spent an hour in there with a garbage bag, my needle cases, and my yarn tub, and I restored order.

After 2

I even put a pillowcase over the basket so that yarn would stop snagging. I've been meaning to do that for, oh, two years?

After 1

Once upon a time the whole table was done with the gold leaf style look, but it's started to peel off. But look, you can see my new headlamp!

After 3

Man, I feel so much better. Except now I have to reorganize my stash, because with all the yarn that was hanging around here safely tucked into one of my bins, it's a little overfull.


If you click through to that, there are notes detailing what's inside.

Anyway, things are feeling a LOT better in my little corner of the living room. So now I can knit the night away guilt free!
The last of the Christmas knitting
Here they are! The last pairs of Christmas socks. I did also give away a felted purse, but I knit it months ago and forgot to take a picture.

Mel's Pirate Socks

Here are Melly's pirate socks! They're knit in Lorna's Laces Black Purl (hence the name), and they're just twisted rib all the way down.

Mel's Pirate Socks 2

They're ankle socks, because I knew Mel didn't like long socks.

Here are Jana's Jaywalkers.

Jana's Jaywalkers

They're knit in cmtigger's Mickey Mouse yarn, which I couldn't resist once I saw it. (Mickey's pants are red, his bow tie is yellow, and he's black, hence the colours.) It took me a couple of starts to get it to fit, and the final version's legs are kind of pooly, but the feet striped REALLY well!

Jana's Mickey Jaywalkers

And here are Karen's Broadripples.
Karen's Broadripples 2

My favourite thing about these is the ripply top. These are knit in the suggested yarn (which NEVER happens!), Cascade Fixation. I think the colourway is Denim.

Karen's Broadripples

Here's all of my Christmas presents (except the bag), lined up and ready to be wrapped on the 23rd. (Look at all the time I had left over!)

All Christmas Knitting

But to get to that state, I had to weave in approximately a million ends. I actually feel like that isn't much of an exaggeration. Here's the aftermath of that:

The Ends