Tuesday, 27 February 2007

A photo smorgasbord

First off, look how snowy it is here!! It's absolute madness . . . the roads are icy, the driveway is under all that snow somewhere -- ugh.

We didn't get winter until late this year - but man are we ever getting it! It snows more almost every day.

We're already pining for spring.

Now on to the knitting!

Here is the lace I knit for my downstream SP. I sure hope she's not checking blogs. By the time she gets it, the round will be mostly over -- but still . . .

Isn't it beautiful??

I also made up 'Fetching' for her.

Both are made from Malabrigo, the lace is an adaptation of a pattern for Horseshoe lace.

And this is my fair isle project -- it's in progress, as you can see. I made a few mistakes on it yesterday, so it's no longer perfect. I'm considering frogging it to start over. The mistakes are just adding up. Also, the mittens are too small for me, and I have no one I want to give them too . . . Maybe I'll just make up one and frame it. That counts as art, right??
Mr. Wonderful is going to think I'm crazy.

Sunday, 25 February 2007

Blocking . . . so worth it.

I have to remind myself of that every time I spend a full morning blocking anything. Late last night, I finished the knitting on my downstream pal's projects. She'll be getting a lovely lace stole. It's definitely one of my favourite knits. It's beautiful! Hopefully we'll get some batteries for the damn camera soon!

It's currently being blocked -- long, tedious process, but it will be worth it! It will!

Friday, 23 February 2007

Catching up . .

Wow, I've been sick! We have some catching up to do.

Last weekend (or Why I Don't Get Along With my Mother)

Saturday morning, there I was in Cloth & Clay, my fabulous local yarn store, when my cell phone rang. It was my dad -- after a brief conversation, he tells me he and my mother are headed for a yarn store - spinrite, which is the factory outlet for Bernat, Patons and Phentex. I couldn't be less interested. Conversation ends, and I go back to patting skeins of high end yarns - silk, alpaca, 100% wool . . . phone rings again. This time it's my mother. She insists I go along. Like, seriously insists. After three solid minutes of protesting, I say I'll go along.

My trip to Cloth & Clay ends w
ith a purchase . . of course! Bamboo dpn's, 2 colours of sock yarn for my first ever fair isle project, replacement Lantern Moons to cover the ones I bought that were bent.

Back at home, I tell Mr. Wonderful I have been conned into a day with my parents, and then go out to their car. I bring along my purchases, thinking my mom might just be interested. She begins by SMASHING my Lantern Moons together repeatedly. Then she berates me for buying such expensive needles when I ask her not to do that with my $32 needles. Sigh.

I show her the pattern I plan to cut my fair isle teeth on. She shrugs it off.
At spinrite, I am surrounded by what I deem to be inferior quality yarns. Anything they have that is of value, ie. SWS, is in a terrible colourway.

My mother, of course, is offended. How dare I not be swooning over these acrylic blends? They are so cheap. For my mother, cheap is the end all, be all. She will buy any horrible thing in the world if it's cheap, and she thinks she might be able to use it. She has a closet full of acrylic yarns in varying shades and weights. Until recently, I didn't even know other materials existed! My mother knits up these yarns, and sells the mittens and hats, and novelty yarn scarves for far too much at local craft sales.

I, on the other hand, view my knitting as something sacred. I want to use quality materials. I want to use quality accessories. I want to use rosewood Lantern Moons and Malabrigo to knit lace!! For me, it's a past-time, not a business venture. For me, it's spa-like. There is nothing quite like picking up my $32 dollar needles, admiring them, feeling the way they rest in my grasp. It's satisfying. It's relaxing. It's an experience.

On the way home, my mother informs me that she will be giving me some eyelash yarn (shudder) to knit into scarves for her to sell. I say no thank you. She goes a little crazy - tells me that it's the least I can do for her, as I do not stuff her teddy bears, or make her quilts to sell for far too much at local craft sales. I know that she knows what kind of time goes into any of these things. I'm astonished that she would even try this . . . I tell her, AGAIN, that the stuffing for her teddy bears gives me a headache which lasts for days. I don't even touch the quilt thing. She, of course, makes no effort to understand. After all, as her daughter isn't it my priveledge, nay responsibility, to make her things to sell? And why should I expect compensation in any form?

I tell her that this worked much better when I was a teenager.
I don't knit for hire any more. Not even for my mother. Who is perfectly capable of knitting her own eyelash scarves.

The Sickness
On Wednesday I woke up feeling a little funny. Long story short, I called in sick, and spent the morning in bed and in the bathroom . . . Mr. Wonderful of course is worried -- that I may be pregnant. Unlikely, but I weighed in with the ladies of Knitty. Seems that morning sickness can begin one week after conception. Huh.

Thursday I went to work, but suffered bouts of nausea.
Today, I think, will be the same. I drank a bottle of water this morning that made my stomach churn. Geez.

Guess I'll just hang in there and see what's up . . . might just be a stomach bug -- but there hasn't really been one at work in a few months . . . I'm trying not to be optimistic, but I sure wouldn't mind an addition to the family.

I can do it! I can do fair isle!! Well, it's a little bunchy, but nothing that some ironing, or clever blocking won't fix.
I'm making these:

But in 2 shades of pink. I think they're adorable. They won't fit me -- but they're fun nonetheless! **updated to add my own photo**

And I'm working on a special lace project - no pics. I keep leaving the batteries in the camera, which somehow drains them in hours. This project is for my downstream secret pal in the Knitty Mellow exchange. It's about halfway done. I'll hammer the rest of it out this weekend. Ah knitting, I love it so.

Thursday, 15 February 2007

When I said I knit all the time, I wasn't kidding.

This is the cabled work of art I made Mr. Wonderful. Yes, I started it before I had the ring - no we did not fall prey to the fabled 'sweater curse'. I can't say I wasn't apprehensive starting it though. It took me years to complete - there was a lot going on! I had to plan my wedding (not alot of knitting time available when you're planning a wedding) and knit a different cabled work of art for a family member's boyfriend's father . . . it was madness. But it's done, and he says it's super warm - and it looks great . . . except the neck. That sits a little funny. I'll get over it.

To the right, you can see a last minute knit I whipped up for our niece's first birthday. I can't say I love it . . but her mom does, and I suppose that's what matters.

And finally, we have the lovely little dress I knitted up for her as well. This dress was initially started for another baby in our family. I was told not to bother by the mother as she would never put her child in something so 'indecent'. I shelved this for about 4 years due to that comment, but I've been working on clearing out the 'Unfinished' bin in the closet, and this was just begging to be completed. It is absolutely beautiful, and fit our niece perfectly -- even better, I know HER mother appreciates the handknits her kids get! Resultantly, they get a lot of handmade stuff . . . lucky kids!

There's also a red zip cardigan I made for my husband, which needs it's zipper stitched in, and there were 2 hats, and a few scarves as well . . . all completed in the last few months! Seriously - I knit all the time!

Tuesday, 13 February 2007

Starsky is complete - and so am I!

I finished my Starsky on Sunday - completed the belt, and the loops, and had it all finished. I wore it to work today, and got lots of compliments. That feels good, to know you put in all that work, and it looks great to others as well.

Friday, 9 February 2007

1 am knitting

You ever get that, where you're just so excited about something that you can't put it down? Can't go to bed? Can't do whatever it is/was that you're supposed to be doing?

I have it right now.

I fell in love, in absolute bona fide LOVE with Jordana Paige's Starsky - a knit featured for free on knitty.com. I started knitting it a few weeks ago. Right now, I am binding off the collar of this beautiful sweater. I fully hope, nay, expect to wear it on Monday. I think I will be completely devastated if I can't for any reason.

Starsky has been a series of firsts for me. First time I was ever blown off by store reps when trying to purchase yarn - at two separate yarn stores! First time I ever spent that much on any yarn - truth be told, I was just so grateful when the lady was willing to help! First time working with any type of luxury yarn - so worth it! First time working short rows . . didn't do it quite right, but no matter!
Most importantly, first time making something truly beautiful for myself!

Sure, I've knit myself scarves. 2, actually. And I once made myself a sweater. It was an off white raglan pull-over. And over the 5 years it's been around, it's been stretched and stained . . . it was uninspired to begin with, born out of a need for a plain white sweater . . . I'll be glad for this new sweater.

I think every crafter should make things for themselves. Clearly, I have an issue with this. My family and friends have numerous handknits from me -- and I have only one.

I was hoping to add some photos of my knit in progress today, but unfortunately, the camera has killed off the batteries. Good news, pay day is in just a few hours, so I can run out for more in the morning -- provided I ever get to bed. Almost done binding off the collar - excitement resolving to a deep sense of satisfaction . . .

Wednesday, 7 February 2007

A new venture

Well, here I am . . . ready to join the legions of the bloggers.

It seems that more and more, I'm drawn to reading blogs. Somewhere along the line, it occurred to me to start one of my own.

I suppose I should start with an introduction.

First off, I am a woman. That used to mean something, or maybe everything. I am a walking contradiction in terms of my sex -- yes, I am a woman. I do some 'typical' woman things. I cook. I clean the bathroom. I do the laundry. I go to the spa from time to time. I do some very abnormal things for a woman as well . . . I ride a longboard when the roads are dry and clear. I have worked as a paintball referee. I have spoken for and against things I feel strongly about.
I confuse people. Because I am a strong, seemingly independent woman - but then I do something contradictory - I took my husband's name, for example. Because they see me in public dressed in a somewhat fashion forward style, on the cutting edge of certain things, and then when they come to my home, they find me with knitting needles in hand.
I suppose I'm hard to read. I'm a classic woman in some terms, with traditional thoughts and past-times . . . and then in the next breath, I'm a modern woman, with today's ideas.

I'm just being me.

Secondly, I am in my late twenties. Old enough to know who I am and where I want to go. Young enough not to be taken seriously. Desperate to move forward.

Third, I am married. I have been married to Mr. Wonderful for 16 months. I still don't know how to be married, and be myself. I'm working on it. It's new. My mom was a stay at home, who gave up herself to be my dad's wife. I don't want that to be me. I really don't. To be fair, my mom was a pretty entertaining woman herself, until she was involved in a near fatal car accident. I was 9. Her life didn't end, but it was certainly over.

Fourth, I live in a small town. I've always been a big city girl until a few months ago. I wanted a house. Mr. Wonderful wanted his home town, which is much too far away. We compromised. We're quite happy in our little house in our little town. Sometimes I miss the convenience of the city. I never miss the atmosphere of the city. I actually get startled when I hear sirens around here . . .

Fifth, I love to knit. It's virtually all I do. I knit whenever my hands aren't doing something else. I knit at work, watching tv, while on the phone . . . I have knit alot of things. Sometimes I sew. I think all my creative energy goes into knitting and sewing. I also love the internet. I find lots of knitting projects online. Most recently, I happened across knitty.com - this is my new goldmine of info, knitters and projects. I've never known another knitter, aside from immediate family. I'm often approached by non-knitters, who are transfixed by what I can do . . . but I've never had a friendship with another knitter. I love that on knitty, I can talk to other knitters. It's a great resource.

So now you know a bit about me. I hope you'll stop in again.