Archive for November, 2012

November Red. It’s Mao!

November 18, 2012

Finished up the Aim True socks, wore them today and they feel great.

I had a lot of yarn left over, I should have knitted longer cuffs!  I keep forgetting I have small feet, so I don’t usually need to worry about not having enough yarn for two socks when knitting cuff down.   Hm.

Now I can focus on this year’s red scarf for the Red Scarf Project.  It should be mailed off in about two weeks to arrive in time.  (Why do I always wait until the last minute?  Never fails.)

Former years:

This year I found a pattern and queued it early.  Mao’s Little Red Scarf, designed by Shana Kreikemeier.  It’s presented as a man’s scarf, yet in all the project pictures I’ve seen it’s being worn by women, so I guess I can reasonably put it in the unisex category!  I dug through my stash, and found the same yarn I’ve used before, Mondial Merino Plus.

It’s a really simple and easy to memorize pattern, and has a great look and texture.  I started out following the pattern, cast on 35 stitches and knitted away, then after I had enough rows measured the width.  The Project accepts scarves between 5-8 inches in width.  And this one was… 9 inches wide.

Oops.  I really should swatch.  So off the needles it came, to the sound of kidlet wailing “Noooooo!”, and I cast on again minus one pattern repeat.  This time it’s 7 inches.

Looks interesting, and the yarn is thick and soft.  It should be a quick knit, and then I can turn to some knitted gifts for the holidays next month.  The cat-beast has been insisting on curling up in my lap whenever I sit down to knit lately, I will as usual have to wash the scarf thoroughly before sending it, in case it’s given to someone with allergies.  Kitteh would undoubtedly make a slight change in the name of the scarf:

(Cats for world domination?)

On a totally different note.  Yes, my country is at war.  So far, here in the north we are safe, but many of my friends are under fire in their own homes, or have dear ones being called up to serve.  We are glued to the news, and spend hours debating and discussing all the aspects of developments, in gatherings and through a myriad of social media.  While I may well bring up many points here in future posts, for today I needed my blog to be a short escape.

Say a prayer for peace.

Nature or Nurture?

November 11, 2012

A friend just posted on facebook the question “Is being a smart-ass a matter of nature or nurture?”

To which I promptly replied:  “Yes.”

I come from a long line of smart-asses.  (If I ever write a novel, that will be the opening line.)  Or, as my father so eloquently put it,  educated donkeys.

Which naturally brings me to yarn and knitting.  (You’re following me, right?)

My gorgeous October package of the  Smart-Ass Knitters World Domination Club has arrived.  In all its glory.

The two smaller skeins are DK merino superwash, in the colourways Monster Mash and Violet Ending, for the knitting of the Nerwin & Batmeanie pattern by Heather Sebastian.  Hence the purple eyes by Clara as the swag.  Who is Nerwin/Batmeanie, you ask?  From the pattern:

Look for him/them soon in my projects.  And check out Heather’s blog, Joey’s House!!

The mystery skein on top is the most luscious Twisty Tweed Sock (superwash merino) in the colourway  Grrr….Argh (Mutant Enemy).   This is a new base for Indigodragonfly, and I can’t wait to knit with it!

So it was a purple-y perfect package.

The August package has at long last been settled into my library/stash as well.

The club yarn, on the right,  is MCN lace, in the colourway When Life Gives You Lemmings, Duck! with the accompanying shawl pattern Jagged Edge, by Meghan Jackson.  (Lots more patterns on her site!)

You can either follow the pattern for a symmetric edge, or roll a die (thoughtfully provided) to create a unique border that follows no rules.   She understands the souls of smart-asses…

The mystery skein is MCN worsted in the colourway No Gilligan Is An Island, absolutely beautiful!  I don’t often knit with worsted weight, except in cotton, so pattern-choosing for this will be fun.

The necklace is a knitting bauble by Erin Lynch of Bella’s Bazaar (Jewellery to entice the eye and fuel the spirit).  Yes, that’s a snippet of a knitting pattern to be worn.

 

The Pearl Tower cowl is completed and subsequently rescued from kidlet who tried to abscond with it due to the colder weather now visiting us.  The heavier yarn made for a slightly denser fabric than the original pattern,  but I love the way  it came out.

It’s soft and warm, with a lovely drape.  I’m very glad I bought this yarn. And there’s quite a bit left…  Mitts, perhaps?  (Gah, I no longer like using that word…piffle.)

Now back to knitting the socks (nurture), it’s sock weather again (nature).

Winter Toilet Paper?? Doesn’t flush any differently…

November 10, 2012

Advertisers are so expert at creating a product – or product version – that we never would have thought we needed.  Coming up with twists on things that we use on a regular basis.  Many times all it takes is a change in the packaging. And it usually involves a price increase.

My latest experience with this happened the other day, during my weekly visit to the supermarket.  Big display, and a special sale:  on Winter Edition toilet paper.   Now why in the blue blazes would we want different toilet paper for different seasons??   I haven’t noticed any changes in our needs for this product according to the weather or time of year.

That said, I adore the “winter” package.   This brand always uses puppies in its advertising and packaging, but for winter they have added:

Knitting.

In purple.

(And a scarf for the puppy.)

They even have different patterns on all the different sides of the package.

Now this is the brand I always buy.  It’s good quality.  And the “new edition” was on sale for the release.  And toilet paper was on the shopping list.  So of course I bought it.  And once at home made a new discovery.  The paper itself is always imprinted with puppies.  But for this edition they are purple.

Not that the paper itself is any different that we can tell, except for the purple pooches.   Kidlet does say it smells better, but I almost always buy unscented, and this has a very faint, pleasant perfume, so that’s something she would notice.  There are plenty of scented versions all year round, but not in our house, unless they have a special sale on vanilla scent.

So, winter edition or no,  kudos to the advertising team who came up with a package that is tailor made for me!!  (And if the regular price of the “special edition” goes up after the sale I will not forgive you – I’ll buy something else, despite the fiber arts and purple puppies.  Got it?)

NaBloPoMo No Go

November 2, 2012

It’s November.  I didn’t sign up for NaBloPoMo this year, after doing it for the past couple of years.    Just can’t commit to anything right now.  I’ll still try – kind of – to post almost every day!

Had a glitch with the second Aim True sock.  I managed to drop a stitch that promptly unraveled right down through the middle of the cables.  I succeeded in picking it up, but my repair attempt basically looked like crap, and was more an insult to the pattern than a “feature”.  So I decided to frog it and start over.  I’m now past the point where I frogged, and things are swimming along nicely once again.

Took a brief break from the sock to knit a gift.  I met a new couple at the parent workshop at kidlet’s school.  Their boy has just started at the school this year, doesn’t have many friends, and the parents and I hit it off.  (I’m also helping them a little with translating – they’re still new immigrants here.)  Anyway, on Wednesday night they invited us over for Saturday night dinner.  So Thursday morning I went stash diving and dug out some of the cotton blend  Patons Washed Haze to knit a kitchen towel.  I had no idea of the colour scheme in their house, so I was grateful to find a neutral colour for the towel.  It knit up very quickly – I used the towel pattern by Dishcloth Boutique.

I added one pattern repeat to make it a wee bit longer.  The button, from Tracey Schuh of Interlacements Yarns, is from a Phat Fiber box I managed to snag at some point.

Partner still thinks bringing a knitted housegift is strange, but our new friends loved it, and the wife told me her sister is a dedicated knitter and she would love to learn!   We will definitely have to find some time for that, although with my issues and her work and her four kids, I don’t know exactly when.  Where there’s a will…

Another quick breather from the socks – I cast on today for the Pearl Tower Cowl designed by Mildred Alvarez.  This is her second design inspired by Shanghai – she is planning on publishing an e-book of at least 6 Shanghai designs by the end of 2012.  The pattern is free until the e-book comes out (it will cost $4), but if you knit up this cowl and post the FO in the Cowls group thread on Ravelry by the end of the year, she’ll give you the e-book for free. There is also a picture tutorial on her site for the loop stitch she uses in the cowl.  A note about this designer, she describes herself as a 13-year-old girl who loves to knit, read, and listen to podcasts.  If her first two patterns are any indication, methinks we will see great things from this one!

It looks like an intriguing, quick-to-knit pattern, I decided to use one of the hanks of Tibetan yarn I bought at a tiny crafts shop.  No tags on the yarn, they could only tell me it was 100% wool – no other details, not even yardage.  It’s somewhere between sportweight and DK, very springy twist, and so far very nice to knit with.  The pattern calls for fingerweight, but this looks like it will work just as well.

(The colour is actually much more aqua/greenish, which I have not been able to capture with my camera.  My apologies…)

So today I’m alternating between the cowl and the socks.  With a few other WIPs scattered around on tables so that there is something to knit wherever I sit down.  When I sit down.

Knit On.