Monday, July 31, 2006

Well, after trying the toes up sock method using two different increase styles I've decided that I hate doing multiple increases in tiny, tight stitches on teeny weeny needles. The Queen Kahuna book is back on the shelf and I'm back to making socks top down. I knit to avoid that kind of frustration.

Saturday, July 29, 2006

Summertime and the Living Is Easy

Here are some update knitting pictures. The top one is a sock using the handpainted merino wool that I ordered from Britain with the fuzzy mohair/silk blend. The two colors complement each other very well. The middle pic is the Philosopher's Wool sweater. The last one is the newest Socks That Rock club wool that came in the mail last week. The color is Peaseblossom and I think it's my favorite. It looks like my sweet peas in full bloom. I'm using a baby cable rib.

I've also started a pair of toes-up socks using Queen Kahuna's book. I wanted to learn Fair Isle and Queen Kahuna's methods this summer so I've started a lot of projects. It drives Dan crazy and he ribs me about having the talent but not the endurance to finish things. I keep telling him it's all about the process right now.

Up until today we've had a ridiculously hot July. It sounds like everyone in the northern hemisphere has. Today it's actually a bit chilly but they're forecasting hot again tomorrow.

Summer is lazy-wonderful! Dan parks himself in front of the TV. I knit with the iPod in my ears so that I don't have to listen to all of the nonsense on TV that he's watching. I subscribed to and have been downloading books and podcasts in addition to music. I've really been enjoying Fanny Flagg's latest "Can't Wait To Get To Heaven". She has such a gift for storytelling and she reads it in her southern accent. I really love all of her books. She's definitely one of my favorites and I'm always excited by a new book of hers.

The stores have back-to-school stuff out already. How depressing! Costco actually has Hallowe'en stuff and we even saw a Christmas tree on display there yesterday. I'm not ready to shift gears to thinking about school yet.

Friday, July 21, 2006

Philospher's Wool sweater

It took me a few tries but I have the Philosopher's Wool sweater started with this sleeve. This is the first time I've done Fair Isle and I was on a learning curve to knit with both hands but it's worth it as the Philosopher's Wool technique weaves in all of the yarns on the back as you go. The wool is minimally processed so my hands get nice and soft from the lanolin. I also have to pick out bits of vegetable matter which, for some reason, I find kind of cool. Connecting with the farm from my living room, I guess. This is definitely not a portable project though as all of the colors pretty much have to be handy and I have to concentrate to read the graph. The upside is that it goes much faster than socks on itty-bitty needles!

Friday, July 14, 2006

Happy Birthday Katie!

This picture just had to be shared! Wednesday was my niece Katie's sixth birthday. My sister Darcie took this picture of Granny giving her an enthusiastic kiss! Granny is Katie's great-grandmother Elsie who is 93 years young. She has lost both of her legs but, as you can see, she has maintained her vigorous upper body strength.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

A Vow

I reluctantly returned the pretty little spinning wheel to Golden Willow Natural Fibers yesterday. I was talking to Sharon about teaching the students about clothing production in pioneer times and she offered to lend the wheel to me to take to school when I need it. Sharon is just one of those wonderful people who are passionate about fiber and willing to help people who are also passionate. She is truly a gem! I can't recommend her more highly! A group of knitters meets there on Saturdays at 11:00 a.m. so there is always support if needed. Mar Craig, who I've known for a long time through teacher education and K-9 Stubblejumpers dog clug, is an accomplished knitter (who knew?) and she popped into the shop when I was there. Mar has also offered unqualified help if needed. It's so much fun to find a group of knitting enthusiasts on my home turf! I never dreamed that my plan to start knitting last fall would evolve into this much passion.

Passion is a relative term, I guess. I'm starting to think a better word would be obsession. Make that an expensive obsession. I bought a Philosopher's Wool Fair Isle cardigan kit while returning the wheel. It's in beautiful heathered pastels - definitely my colors. I couldn't get Blogger to load the scanned picture of the cardigan so I'll have to send you to the Philosopher's Wool website for it instead. Now I need to learn to knit in the Continental way so I can do the stranded colors more efficiently.

I am now making a personal vow. I. Will. Not. Buy. Any. More. Wool. (At least until I finish using some of the enormous stash that I have accumulated in a short time.) There, it's in writing on the internet.

Sunday, July 02, 2006

Schoo-ools out for sum-MER! I am a free woman for two months.

Happy belated birthday Canada! Anyone who wants to re-affirm their Canadian-ness or learn about our wonderful country go to Yarn Harlot's Canada Day post. I enjoyed all of the comments too. Definitely worth a read for this one.

Here is the first Pink Mist sock made with Socks That Rock mixed with Kid Mohair. I like it but it's a little snug. I suspect that it will block fine but I'm using it as the model for sock #2 so I don't want to mess with it until I'm done the pair.

This pretty little spinning wheel was very kindly lent to me by Sharon at Golden Willow Natural Fiber. I'm not sure how I didn't know about this place until a couple of weeks ago. She has an amazing little store filled with wonderful yarns, clothing, spinning, and weaving equipment and supplies! Sharon gave me a spinning lesson and sent the wheel home with me for a week to see if I liked it. It took me a while to get the hang of it and I wanted to drop-kick the thing a couple of times but I finally did it! The resulting yarn is not pretty. It reminds me of the kids' first attempts at knitting this spring but it is definitely yarn. Unfortunately my career in spinning is not to be. My allergies have flared after both sessions I spent with the wool. I don't think that I'm allergic to wool but I know I have grass allergies so even though the roving looks clean, it is likely the culprit. Sharon won't have seen the last of me, however. Walking into her shop is better than setting me loose in a candy store. Now that I won't be buying a wheel I can spend money on yarns instead! (Shh, don't tell Dan I said that at the start of summer when neither of us has a paycheque coming until the end of September.)