Monday, March 31, 2008

Knitting by Candlelight

Thanks, everyone, for the birthday wishes. One fun advantage to being on Facebook, in Ravelry, and part of the blogosphere is all the extra people sending happy birthdays.

On Saturday, I joined in with all the other people around the world who turned off the lights for Earth Hour. Before eight o'clock, I had been sitting in the twilight, knitting and goofing around on the laptop. At five to, (ironically) I had to turn on the lights to run around and find candles and matches.

Bamboo lantern

At first, I sat in the candlelight and kept goofing around on the laptop - running on the battery. But that didn't really feel like I was getting into the spirit of the thing, and so after a few minutes, I shut down and picked up my knitting.

Salt Candle

I had plenty of candles and lanterns, but it was still kind of dark for knitting. Luckily, these are the Pomatomus socks being reknit, so I don't need to see what I'm doing very closely, or check the chart very often.


It was very peaceful, sitting in the quiet, dim light. I ended the evening without turning on any lights, reading by candlelight before falling asleep early. I may have to unplug more often. If nothing else, just to use my candles and lanterns more often.

Friday, March 28, 2008

The Socks that Ravelry Saved

I started these socks a while back. I was heading to Minneapolis for a work meeting, and I knew I'd have lots of plane and airport time. I liked the pattern, and I liked the yarn, but I didn't feel like they were playing well together.

Close Up of a Sock Failure

I set the sock's status to 'hibernating' in my Ravelry projects, stuck the sock itself in an easily-forgotten corner of my stash shelves, and moved on. But a funny thing happened on the way to the frog pond. Somebody 'favourited' the sock. The sight of that little heart in the corner gave me pause, but didn't really change my mind. I still wasn't entirely happy with the yarn/pattern combo, and didn't want to let one random person's click change my decision.

But then someone else favourited it. And then so did another person. (And then someone 'un-favourited', but by then the damage was done.)

So here are the finished Little Pumpkins socks.
Finished Pumpkins

I think I was too hard on them. They've turned out quite nice. And a rarity for my socks that I knit for myself - they fit perfectly!

I screwed up the toes when I forgot what I'd done exactly to finish the first off and made a (bad) guess at how to finish the second. But that's one of those things that will only ever be noticed by me. And only then when I have my shoes off. I can live with it.

Pumpkins Close Up

Pattern: Little Pumpkins Socks (that's a pdf link) by Sabine Ruppert (Sabi on Ravelry).
Yarn: Austermann Step in colourway 12
Mods: Just the toe, which I finished with a bit of Kitchenering, rather than pulling the last stitches together and tying off. (I... I like Kitchener stitch. There! I admitted it!)

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Gifts from Me

Like most of my birthdays, today has been largely uneventful. But full of little pleasures.

I got my new phone in the mail yesterday, and played with it in the car, syncing it up with the voice commands.


I got myself a cute little pair of shoes on sale.

cute shoes

I had a reeeallly good shrimp burrito for dinner.

The 5 inch bamboo needles I bought on eBay finally arrived.

Bamboo Needles

And, thanks in large part to Facebook, I'm sure, (because that's helped me a lot recently!) I had many, many birthday wishes.

The day will round out with a little knitting and a little leftover cheesecake. Not a bad day at all.
Birthday Cheesecake

Sunday, March 02, 2008

Orange Sunday

Today was a good Sunday.

I got up when I woke up sometime before 8 o'clock. I puttered about. (Isn't puttering a lovely, Sunday-ish thing to do? And it's a wonderful, charming word that could have only the meaning that it does.)

I had a Sunday breakfast of eggs and toast. I treated myself to new, yummy shower stuff.

I threw on my favourite, orange hoody and then puttered some more. This time, the puttering included a new project. It's not orange.

This will hopefully be my first sweater.

WIP Left front Nathalie

It's the Natalie coat from Big Girl Knits. Of course, it was only after I started it that I bothered to check the difficulty level - the highest in the book. I'm trying not to be intimidated by the numbers and the different things that all have to happen at the same time. I've done the waist shaping, which was very straightforward - follow these directions - and am now preparing for the short row shaping for the bust, which is not quite so straightforward.

When I couldn't handle being stuck on my couch for another moment, I headed out the door and to the coffee shop on the corner. Walking in, I was instantly seduced by the chocolate orange latte on the poster and soon had one of my own to take to the good, cushy armchair by the fireplace. I settled in with my Little Pumpkins sock and the latest Cast On and was soon joined by an older gentleman and his Macbook and own set of earbuds. (A better blogger would have a picture here.)

As I packed up to leave, the gentleman in the other chair shared with me his sweet knitting memory, that he told me I'd invoked. When he was little, he had the mumps, and so was stuck in bed for quite a long time. His mother taught him to knit to pass the time, and he cast on 16 stitches and just knit and knit and knit. By the time he was well, he had a long, rambling, uneven piece. He said it was a good memory.

I walked home, stopping to pick up some bell peppers and nectarines. It made me smile to see the summer colours in my net bag as I walked past snow drifts and through icy puddles of melt. I came home to my couch and my knitting, and settled in with my latest movie from

And now I'm here, finishing off the evening with a recap, sitting in my pyjamas and warm socks, listening to the distant hum of traffic, and the occasional rumble of a train.

Some days it's easy to be happy.