Tuesday, June 26, 2007


Usually, when I get packages at work, they are not exciting. They are software updates, manuals, or regulation packages. Friday was a wonderful, super, awesome exception.

I got Sea Silk!

A couple of weeks ago, I talked about Kirsty of So Many Yarns and her fundraising efforts for Leukemia and Lymphoma. As part of these efforts, Kirsty was giving away yummy, yummy yarn. I won the Sea Silk in a melon colourway, as well this wonderful stuff.

This is Artyarns Silk Rhapsody - a blend of silk and mohair in lovely, perfect sherbet colours.

And finally, three skeins of Kaliedoscope cotton and wool blend in Belize colourway.

I squealed like a little girl when I ripped open the colourful package, and then proceeded to thoroughly freak out my coworkers when I insisted they feel the yarn. And that may have gotten worse when I chose to drape the skeins within arms' reach on my desk so that I could admire them and pet them occasionally during the afternoon.

Thanks so much to Kirsty - this is a great treat, and I will spend many lovely days thinking of how to make this yarn into beautiful things.

And now for some more pictures, just because.

Silk Rhapsody and Blue, Blue Sky

Kaleidoscope Close Up

Sea Silk Close orange

Friday, June 22, 2007

Emergency Knitting Measures

Last weekend, I was invited to a baby shower. Apparently, my e-vite didn’t come through when it should have. The shower is tomorrow. Can’t attend a baby shower with no handknits! Luckily, I have a baby kimono all ready. It was originally intended for another baby, but s/he won’t be making an appearance until September, and I was planning on making a couple more of these, so this one will be gifted tomorrow. I like how it turned out – very cute, cuddly, and easy to knit up. I just need to do a bit of finishing and it’s ready to wear.

Knit up in TLC Cotton Plus, pattern is the Heartbreakingly Cute Baby Kimono from Mason Dixon Knitting.

I decided to make some booties to go with the kimono to round out the gift. First I tried this pattern on the right.

I do not like this bootie. It’s enormous, and square. It looks like it’s for a baby robot. Or Frankenstein’s monster’s baby. So then I tried one of the free Interweave ‘Better Than Booties’ baby socks.

Got this one done, liked it, and then I realized I didn’t have nearly enough yarn for the second. Okay. Screw the booties.
Finally, I made up the Umbilical Cord hat from Stitch ‘N Bitch.

Perfect. And quick. Which is especially important since I have two other projects with looming deadlines. And they are just not cooperating with me properly.
Quite impudent, they are.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

First Socks

Last weekend, I finally did it. I finished my first pair of socks. And they match, and they fit my feet, and they're lovely colours.

Toe Up Feather and Fan Socks

I can't claim that they're perfect, but that would be no fun, anyway.

Toe Up Feather and Fan Socks

I had a lot of fun making these. They were relatively quick, I got to learn new things, and I finally feel that I'm fairly competant knitting in the round on dpns. They've also opened up a whole new section of the LYS to me - the sock yarn. I may have wandered down to Linda's Craftique on Saturday and make a couple of aquisitions.

stash 006

stash 005

Of course, by then I was already carrying around my next sock.

Jaywalker in progress

Yes. The new obsession is developing nicely.

Saturday, June 16, 2007


Last Friday, a short but violent storm swept through Toronto. Lots of branches were left littering the streets, and, sadly, there was an arboreal casualty.

My boss and I were standing in my office, and saw the wind throwing about leaves, bits of paper and dust. Then a large, heavy-bottomed garbage can skidded past the window. A moment later, a coworker rushed in and asked, "Did you see that?"

"Yeah, the big garbage can? That was crazy!"

"No. Not the garbage can - the tree!"
Tree 1
That's the bus shelter on the right, there - just to give you an idea of scale.

From another window, coworkers saw a bunch of people waiting at the bus stop suddenly gasp with surprise and run away. The large, lovely maple tree that for so long had sheltered the public transit riders suddenly turned on them and tried to squash them.
Poor Tree2

We were surprised to see just how shallow the roots had been.
Jen in hole

This week, a cleanup crew came and chopped up and hauled away all the dead, dry branches. Then they tipped the tree back over into its hole.


Interesting fix.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Another Reveller for Ravelry

I was thoroughly geeked-out and very fan-girl when I got home and opened my email on Monday. I got my Ravelry invite! This thing is as fun and interesting as promised, and my addiction is developing nicely.

I'm loving that this is the organisational tool I never knew I wished I had. I'm having fun going back through old blog entries and picture files. I've done a lot more knitting than I thought I had. And now I get to have all the pictures and pattern and yarn details in one place. And I can see everyone else who knitted that same thing, and how they chose to change it and make it their own. Another favourite feature is the needle inventory. I keep buying the same sizes because - I don't know - I like the number 4.5?

Excuse me while I go add a few more pictures. I highly recommend Ravelry, if you don't mind a waiting list. Look me up. I'll be there a lot.

Monday, June 04, 2007

Overdue Mum Update and Some Boring Knitting

First up, a mum update.

She's doing really well. My mum's last chemo treatment was the Wednesday after Mother's Day, a few days before her birthday. We had a little party that weekend to celebrate the end of chemo, and the passing of another birthday - this one that we weren't sure would come at all.

Mum had another CT scan last week, and, in this case, no news is good news. They will only call if they find any problems. No call means that we can assume that all is well. Personally, I don't like this system at all. How long until you can know that you won't get a call? But that's me - Mum is okay with it. And the last CT scan, a couple of months ago, showed that the cancer was almost gone.

Mum's a little disappointed that she's not bouncing back as quickly as she'd hoped. She's still feeling tired and sore, and her fingers are still very sore and swollen, keeping her from doing many things. It seems that I spend most of my time on the phone with her scolding her for doing too much, too soon. Really, is now the only time to clean out the basement and paint the spare bedroom? Really? But overall, she's just happy that the meds are over with for now and she can look forward to putting her rings back on and growing some hair.

And now some knitting content.

There are times when my knitting projects are too boring even for this blog. Such is the case with recent projects.

The most interesting thing on my needles has become a slog. I'm working on a semi-secret blanket project. And, like all blanket projects, as it nears the end, it has evolved from something interesting and different and cute into something large and unwieldy and please-just-let-me-be-finished-already. I will share real photos once it's been gifted, but there's a lot to do before then. I'm going to try very hard to get the knitting part of the gift done over the next couple of days, since we're expecting a couple of rainy, cool days before another wave of hot and sticky weather. A lap full of wool is no fun in such weather.

Another set of needles is carrying a much smaller (and therefore less suffocating) project. I'm working to finish off the second feather and fan sock. I have no pics, but, really - it's the second in a pair, so just look back a couple of posts, and, since all is going fairly well, that's what this one looks like. This one I'm determined to finish off quickly, because there is a ball of a more fun sock yarn sitting on my shelf, calling my name and making fun of the darker, more sombre colours trailing from my dpns.

I've hit a problem that I've never heard anyone else talk about. This makes me worry that I'm doing this 'knitting' thing all wrong. When I use teensy needles, like the 2.5 mm ones I'm using for my socks, I always poke my left index finger over and over, until I get a crack in the skin, and it really, really hurts to continue knitting. It's then that I have to switch over to something on big, chunky needles for day or two. I keep hoping that I'll develop a callous, and stop being such a wuss, but in the meantime, I just pout about it and go back to my blanket.

But the most boring of my projects has been the one with a deadline. My friend Jen is the maid of honour for her friend Nicole. On Saturday, Jen hosted Nicole's bridal shower. A few weeks ago, Jen happened to mention (not so casually at all) that she thought it would be sooo nice if she could give all the guests hand-knitted dishcloths as gifts to take away after the shower. Now, Jen is a good friend, and she is also my cat sitter, which means she dares to go where many, many fear to tread. So I offered to start knitting. Knitting for 21 people. I agreed to give it a shot, with the condition that Jen learn to knit, so that she could help out with a few cloths.
Dishcloths on the Wall
Here are just a few of the dishcloths all done. I did a big chunk of them, but we were worried about not having enough at the last minute, so a few were knit up by Jen's mum and aunt.

Bridal Shower Gifts

We threaded them with ribbon and made them into little bags full of scented soap. I hear they were a big hit.

Bridal Shower Gift

Jen may now have a mild addiction. I have encouraged this with Yarn Harlot books and intend to follow up with some cute baby patterns and fun yarns.

Sunday, June 03, 2007

Knitters Doing Good. Again. Some More.

Kirsty of So Many Yarns is running a half-marathon to raise money for The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. She's looking to reach a goal of $4200, and has already got up to $2500. I had no idea there was such a thing as the leukemia and lymphoma society.

I will definitely be helping to reach that goal. I can't afford much, but, as Stephanie Pearl-McPhee points out, there's nothing like knitters to understand that one small action repeated many times gives big results.

As you probably know, my mum is currently battling lymphoma. You probably don't know that I've lost one dear friend to lymphoma in the past, and my cousin lost her husband to a terribly fast and brutally timed bout of leukemia that left her with a baby only two weeks old. I'm going to continue supporting the Canadian Cancer Society as much as I can, but any chance to encourage more people to get behind the fight, and to spread the word when people are taking big steps in that direction is a good opportunity.

Plus, there's yarn afoot. A chance to be rewarded for just being a good person is rare. Jump on it.