Tuesday, November 22, 2005


I love getting packages! First, I ordered this yarn from kpixie with the help of a gift certificate from my great secret pal! I'm thinking of making an Hourglass Sweater with this.

peace fleece

Then, I got this package from my favourite boy in the whole world!


I actually bought most of the movies from him (he had doubles) but he added surprises to make it that much more fun.

Monday, November 21, 2005

sitting pretty

coffee table art

1. I can't do a post without pictures lately, so when Hello wouldn't cooperate yesterday, I just didn't post (especially since I'd taken pictures especially to post).

2. I lose track of time easily. Whole days fly by without my realizing. This is my excuse for why I didn't stop in to either of the spinning workshops at the Ottawa Valley Weavers' and Spinners' Guild these past two weekends (Hi Daisy!) I'm not good enough to be willing to spin for a full day, but I really should have gone just to see what good spinning looks like.

3. I have been knitting away on the baby sweater, and surprise! Someone I know is pregnant! I'm curious to find out the gender. Maybe I have some kind of sixth sense?

baby sweater with sleeves attached

The pattern is interesting, although I'd make a few changes next time (like joining the sleeves before doing the raglan decreases instead of after)

4. So, I don't like winding yarn by hand. In fact, I sort of hate it, which is why my chair has been out of commission for almost two weeks.

winding by hand

Often in a situation like this, I'd ask Daisy (hi again!) to bring her swift and ball winder to knitting night, but she hasn't been coming and the coffee shop has been really busy the last few times. Anyway, I think I'm ready to spoil myself (although not until after Christmas). Any recommendations for brands/types?

5. I have been swatching. (This is mostly for my information, so if you're not interested, you can stop reading now.) First, there is Debbie Bliss Alpaca Silk on size 6. I get 25 stitches and 26 rows to 4". Then, the wool mohair Duet from Rhinebeck on size 7.

Monday, November 14, 2005


Has anyone else heard about this? It's a 101/1001 blog, where one must define 101 goals and then try to achieve them in 1001 days. It sounds interesting, and I was trying to decide if I wanted to try it too. The problems are that 1) my goals are often big and undefined and 2) I'm not necessarily ready to talk about them on the internets. I suppose it would be a helpful goal setting tool (since they are easier to achieve if they are more defined rather than less), but I would also want to have control over who could read it. Is there a way to do that?

In knitting news, I've come to a conclusion. Samus is too big.

(And don't I look dorky when I try to take pictures of myself? I never know what to do with my hands)
Or at least its much larger than it was before washing. The length is nice, but it goes halfway around me again widthwise. The arms are good to the elbow, but I can almost fit football pads in the shoulder area. I think its a combination of a large gauge change during washing and my slightly unrealistic expectations about the pattern. I knew that it wouldn't be fitted. But falling off me is a bit much. However, I've just measured it and my sweater is actually smaller than the schematic says it should be. I'm going with my initial impression that it needs a belt and two belt loops along with the zipper, and it should be good.

Sunday, November 13, 2005

Sunday pm malaise

It's Sunday afternoon again. Tomorrow will be a little rough. It's been almost like a four day weekend for me, as I had (easy) training on Thursday to transition into the long weekend.

Well, even without a new project, I found something to work on this week.

baby sweater

I'm knitting this from some random nylon yarn from the huge stash of baby yarn and patterns I inherited from my grandmother on 3.25 mm needles (from my secret pal!). I don't have anyone in mind for this, I just needed something to work on. I have finished both sleeves to the point where the join the body for the raglan shaping. Now I'm working on the lace panel around the bottom of the cardigan. I'm having problems because I'm not really a conscientious knitter a lot of the time (see lace detail). I've had to fudge one row to make things line up, and I now need to frog almost two rows to do another fudge. Things aren't lining up because I somehow have two extra stitches.

I have knit a pair of fuzzy feet, which will be felted soon. I need to figure out how they fit once felted so I can make any changes needed to pairs that I will actually give away.

fuzzy feet

I have also been Kool-aid dying my Knitpicks Colour Your Own.

kool aid
The top skein was dyed with 1 package each cherry, strawberry and orange. I used my Deep Dutch skillet and heated the water to warm, and used warm dye solution in a measuring cup with spout and poured over the surface.

The bottom skein is 2 packages strawberry kiwi and 1 package orange. I used a similar dyeing technique except the dye solution was refigerated prior to pouring. The dye didn't disperse as much as compared to a warm solution, leaving more lighter and white areas.

Friday, November 11, 2005

Stash revelation

NY Yarn purchase

I bought this yarn on my trip to NY in early September, and am just showing it off now. From left to right: a Cascade Magnum (colour unkwnown, can't find the ball band right now) from Purl, 12 balls of Debbie Bliss Alpaca Silk (colours 26009, 26004, & 26002) and a skein of hand dyed kid mohair Expressions from Kaalund Yarns, both from the Yarn Co

I'm trying to decide what to do with the alpaca silk... any ideas?

Wednesday, November 09, 2005


So, my secret pal wanted to see what I did with the yarn in my last package. I made a scarf (don't mind the messy hair - actually, that's another wardrobe question I have. I'm growing my hair out, and I'm finding it difficult. Is the current in between style work appropriate? Know that I never style it in any way.)

secret pal yarn in action

Right now its a garter stitch scarf knit on the long edge, knit on a combination of 11s and 15s, with a couple of rows of double wrapped stitches. I think I may redo it to make the fabric looser to show off the ribbony quality of the yarn better. If I make it significantly shorter next time, I will join the short ends to make a drapey shoulder wrap.


samus done

sleeve detail

In other news, I have finished and blocked Samus! This was actually a quick knit, but the finishing took me ages (well, a couple of weeks, anyway). Now I have to find an appropriately sized zipper and ribbon to do the final finishing. Actually, the sweater ended up being a little bigger than I expected (I guess I could have made the small) so I think it needs two belt loops and a belt too. That might get done before the zipper installation.

Things I learned from this pattern:

1. Applied i-cord is not my favourite edging, although the blocking helped out some of the unevenness. I also should have used fewer rows around the cuff, as it flares out a little from the cable.

2. I would pick up a few fewer stiches around the bottom cable, because there are two bumps at the hip area, which isn't flattering to many.

3. As much as I appreciated the lack of side seams, I hated seaming the sleeves into the arm scyes when the shoulder and underarm seams were already sewn. It's six of one and half a dozen of another, though, so that won't really affect future sweater choices. Maybe next time I can try picking up stitches around the arm scye and knit know from there.

4. The Knitpicks Wool of the Andes is lovely and soft, although not quite next to the skin soft. It did bleed a lot on the first was, but the colour didn't fade.

Sunday, November 06, 2005

let down

So, I finished Samus. After working on it for over a month, I finally sat down to work out the seaming and the finishing last night, and gave it a bath this morning. Does anyone else get this sense of let down at the end of a project? I've been at a loss all day as to what to do, since I didn't have another project waiting. I mean, I always have 5 or 6 little projects to work on, but that's not quite the same thing.

So, I've been scouting out new projects. I like the Hourglass sweater from Last Minute Knitted Gifts, and the Jacket as seen on Claudia's blog. I've started looking for a copy of Rowan #27, and some yarn that goes well... But really, I should be using up some of my stash... but really, nothing is grabbing my attention right now.

Saturday, November 05, 2005


Apparently I mostly speak general American English, even though I'm not (American, I mean). They had a couple of questions I couldn't answer, so I guess there are some differences between Canadians and Americans

Your Linguistic Profile:

65% General American English

15% Yankee

5% Midwestern

5% Upper Midwestern

0% Dixie

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

sigh (of relief)

I feel much better now. I had a really good day. First training ended early so some of my classmates and I had a really good dinner at par-fyum, a bistro on the Gatineau side of the river. The food was amazing! I've decided that its worthwhile to pay a little more and go out less often to really enjoy the food. My favourite was the creme brulee trio. (I would put the accents in, but I can't figure it out right now...) They were tiny but delicious, in ginger, vanilla and citron. Then, just to avoid work for a little longer, we went for a drive in Gatineau Park. It was my first time heading out there, which reinforced for me that I need access to a car. I don't want one full time, but I've lived here a year and haven't seen any of the surrounding area. I'm thinking about looking into one of those car sharing things. I think virtucar has a drop off spot near my house.

After work, we had knit group. There were about 12 people tonight. I only talked to a few people because I have difficulty hearing in large groups, but I did get to have more in depth discussions with a few people. It was nice just to get out and be around others. I also made some progress on my fuzzy feet! I did the heel and the gusset decreases on the first foot in forest green Patons Classic Merino. It's a good thing these things are a fast knit, as I'm really slow when I'm chatting.

For any Ottawa located knitters/spinners, the Ottawa Valley Weavers and Spinners Guild Annual Exhibition and Sale, "Feel Your Fibre", will take place at the Glebe Community Centre (175 Third Ave.), November 4 (4 to 8 pm), 5 (10 - 4 pm) , and 6th (10 - 4 pm).

Tuesday, November 01, 2005


This is all a bit 'woe is me,' so if you're not interested, come back another day. I'm currently fighting with the seaming of the sleeves to the armholes of samus, so I expect it to be done soon. And I have socks, scarves, and fuzzy feet in production too.

I'm feeling a bit like I'm disappearing. I moved to Ottawa a year ago, and I just haven't found my groove here yet. I know people at work and at knitting group, but I haven't really found a group of people I'd call friends. I recently realised that I went a whole month without talking to anyone from the group of people I hung out with during training last year (and we all work in the same building now), and not one of them really noticed. And as much as I love hanging out and chatting with the ladies at the knitting group, I don't think they would really notice if I stopped showing up either. And if no one would notice if you were not there, aren't you already partly invisible?

Not that this is anyone's fault but my own (and even that is somewhat arguable). I know that I'm the one new to the area, and that sometimes really building a community takes time. It just makes me a little sad when I realize I've spent (almost) the whole weekend in my apartment because I didn't really have any reason to go out.

Anyway things aren't that bad, as I'm easily able to entertain myself most of the time. And there are things to do when I make the effort to go out. There's another meeting of the knitting group tomorrow, and there will apparently be new purchases to see.