Saturday, May 31, 2008

'Nother Hat

Time is absolutely flying these days. I'm trying desperately to get Knit Together to bed, and get the May issue rocking, but the fates aren't with me on this one. Currently, I am in need of two designers to interview, so, dear designers out in cyberworld who want to get their work promoted across Canada and into the states, now would be a good time to contact me!

Most of my knitting is currently being done at the 9-5 job on coffee breaks and lunch hours. I finished this variegated hat of Lion Brand Pure Wool this past month. Since then, I've started a Tea Cozy hat, about my sixth, designed by Peggy Holton of Ottawa and featured in Annabelle's Caps, a book of hats that was written to honour the life of Annabelle Dawson, who was a tremendous knitting force and member of the Downtown Knit Collective in Toronto.
At Knitting Guild on Wednesday last, we did tubular cast on. The morning after the meeting, I began a tubular cast on for a circular hat. I did this by working the 'tube' rows back and forth, and just joining after I'd done the row where you pick up the sts from the provisional cast on.
Sleeves in Your Pi is now crawling along. The body is done, and I've got about four repeats of the 16 row edging done. There's much to do at the house-that-soon-won't-be-mine.
To that end, I've got the freezer emptied of its stash: five skeins of B&L Regal, three skeins of aran yarn, and two paper boxes full of spinning fibre. It's defrosting this weekend while I'm up here. My bedroom is now fully empty save for a few bits in the closet -- even the curtains have been stripped in the room. The rec room is almost as barren, with just the computer desk, TV stand, coffee table, credenza and a chair in it. The booth material for CGKnitters got moved this weekend. Bit by bit, it all gets done.
Now. Off to write another piece for Knit Together. Right after I update the website...

Monday, May 19, 2008

SOLD! ow. and a Sleevs in Your Pi Update

SOLD! Already! The listing for my 'Miss Lillian' went live on MLS on May 1 at 4:00 p.m. On the 7th day I had an offer to purchase from the second couple who saw it the previous day! (I knew she was a gem.)

The offer was pretty firm: there was a bit of back-and-forth after the home inspection, but I can say I'm very proud to know that I loved my house so well that an inspector found so little wrong with it. The offer was finalized before the long weekend.

Saturday we had a 'little work day'. Now that the house is sold, the moving can begin in earnest. And it has. The family room and master bedroom furniture were already spoken for, so we drained the waterbed and called the family who wanted the sofa and loveseat. Darling changed the dining room light fixture (for a very pretty, very inexpensive one I bought at Home Hardware) and I began emptying cupboards of all but the barest essentials. Then I scrubbed out four cupboards in the kitchen -- top ones, requiring lots of up-and-down off a chair. ow.

Add to that, numerous trips up and down stairs to set up the drain kit for the waterbed. ow. Then add some rudimentary gardening to tame down one of the perennial gardens. ow. ow.

Yesterday I was too sore to move, so I didn't.

But, there's more 'ow.' Darling and I took a look around the yard today. It all started innocently enough, just popping those leftovers from my old garden into the ground, eh? No biggie. The fresh air got the better of me, however, and, once the pansies and sweet woodruff were in place I decided to move some rocks (rocks!) to border the unsightly bricks that my predecessor 'planted' around the border of a high-profile garden.

Segue: if you ever need a plant for a shady area, sweet woodruff is THE one! It makes a great ground cover, and spreads well once established. The little white flowers are great, and once it matures in the summer time, you can bring cuttings into the house to dry. As the cuttings dry, they smell like freshly mown hay.

Before I moved the rocks, however, I decided that the rock garden outside the office and front door needed a good shake-up. Next thing I knew, the 'mad yard man' that I apparently inherited from my father came out in me: I grabbed the leaf rake and spent a good hour on that bed and the approach to the front door. I filled the wheelbarrow at least seven times with what I raked up and filled the area between the front and back steps 18 inches deep with pine needles and oak leaves. Then I moved the rocks and dug up the bricks. So, now I can't move again. ow. again.

All weekend I've been saying there's a jacuzzi in my future, and tonight had better be the night.

Right now, I want to publicly thank the ancient soul who invented the wheelbarrow! There could have been a lot more 'ow' in this story if that thing hadn't been invented!

Lastly, the Sleeves in your Pi update: I'm rocking along now! By my calculations last night, I shouldn't need the six optional rounds before the edging, which means I've about seven rounds to go before beginning the edging. And I'm still on my second skein of Heritage! Either those sleeves are going to use a lot of yardage, or I've got WAY too much yarn. Cool!

So, now that I can't move (again), I'm going to go give Darling a hand with dinner. For those of you checking in about Knit Together, bear with me. I'm as anxious for it to be in your hands as you are, and it will be along.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Did I mention he can cook, too?

Before I address the titleof this post, I have to mention that I got two more pieces finished for Knit Together today! Goodie! I still have two to do for the February issue, but I got one more done for it, and I got one done for the soon-to-follow (I hope and pray) May issue!

Now, about dinner. Darling is not only quite the naturalist, studying birds and ducks and all, but he's also quite a handyman... he's been working on a carport for his car and my Miss Mac'Ntyre from white pine logs he harvested off a lot he used to own. And he can cook. I must be the luckiest woman on the planet!

On days when I'm glued to the computer trying to make up for lost time due to real estate agents and commuting, he usually makes a nice dinner, and often lunch, too, not to mention those Saturday morning breakfasts. Well, he excelled tonight! He took his mother's recipe for sweet-and-sour spare ribs (which as it happens is the same as my mother's recipe for them) and he tweaked it with some smoky barbecue sauce, a little worcestershire sauce and tabasco. OMG, what a meal! I hope he wrote down what he did so he can do it again!

Back at the carport, he was telling my dad yesterday about squaring off the logs with a chainsaw, and buying a hand adze to smooth them down. Dad says, "I've got an adze up in the garage," and within minutes he pulled down a bona-fide family heirloom adze, sans handle. While Darling and I were out, Dad cleaned and sharpened the old artifact, and we brought it home. By noon today, Darling had carved a handle for it and was practicing.

"pung, pung, pung" I heard from the back stoop. Instantly I recognized this as an ancient noise. I have a theory about ancient noises and modern noises. Our ears can tolerate ancient noises far more easily than modern ones. The low moos of cows, the soft pung, pung, of an adze striking wood and the 'ffp' of the ensuing chips hitting dry leaves, or the quiet squeak of a spinning wheel are each more tolerable, and for longer lengths of time, than the sound of a neighbour's stereo, a far-off chainsaw, or sea-doos out on the bay. Anyway, that's the theory that I have.

At 'coffee break' this morning we sat out in the back yard. It was too cool to sit out front by the water, so we parked a pair of lawn chairs out back in the shelter of the house. I've concluded that there is no bad view around here...currently the trilliums are in full bloom, and even when you're sitting just west of the septic field, you've still got a view.

That wasn't so bad, was it?

In the last post I advised I was a little beyond the armholes of my Sleeves in your Pi sweater...well, after I wrote that, I discovered I had two extra stitches in one of the repeats. Being an experienced knitter, I thought, "No problem, I'll just pull back the section." Well, kids, that doesn't always work.

After two nights and much muttering under my breath, and after several posts on the related knitting lists doing the equivalent of crying in my beer, I decided to resign myself to the 'frog pond.' So, one night after work, when the light was still bright in the living room, I sat down on the floor and started pulling.

It turned out extremely well. I only had to tear back to the waste yarn for the sleeves. There was still a problem before that, but it was just a couple of rounds down, so the experience kicked in and I was able to fix it. The problem was less 'fixable' because of the slanting arrowhead design of that point of the piece.

The recent blocking helped the stitches to keep their shape well: I was able to get all of the stitches picked up before dinner was ready. (at 48 sts per repeat, that's just under 300 sts).

So, now I'm only one row beyond the armholes again, but I still have hair left in my head.

The moral of the story is sometimes ripping back can be more efficient than a 'sectional fix.'

In other news: I've been e-mailing back and forth with our featured designer for the next issue of Knit Together, and after two showings, I got an offer on my house!

Friday, May 2, 2008

In the beginning...

This is it. This is the sweater that started it all. It is my first serious contribution to the knitting world. In one way it is the first sweater I ever completed, and in another way, it is a 30 year old UFO. Allow me to digress...

In 1978 I was a freshly-engaged young woman who was staring down a ten-day stay in hospital. "I'm going to need something to do," I thought. So I decided to take up knitting again. I went to the LYS and bought a nice red case containing every size of Aero needles and enough yarn to make matching sweaters for me and the man I was engaged to. As you can see, I chose a rather complex Norwegian pattern from a current Paton's leaflet of the day.

Seven years and several other projects later I finished his sweater, which he wore on occasion, even though the sleeves were a little short. Then I began the sweater for myself, and that's when this became a, technically this is part of the second sweater I ever attempted, but it is an exact replica of the first one. Oh, and the yarn? It was Paton's, too. Astra, of all things! The yarn for the other pieces of this sweater eventually became a Christmas tree sweater and matching leggings for a baby. It has worked out well for all of us, I think. That colour of red looks awful on me, anyway!

Last post I promised to include a shot of the Sleeves in your Pi sweater I'm working on. Here's how it looked when I blocked the back to measure for the sleeve placement. I'm about 4 cm beyond that point now. Isn't it pretty?
Yesterday was another big day on the old home front. The listing was finalized, and the sign will be up by the time I post this. The end of a 22.5 year era!