Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Hat or Toilet Seat Cover

Like many knitters, I was very excited when the Fall 2008 issue of Knitty came out. So many great patterns! But the one that really spoke to me was Morgan. I love that hat!
Around the same time, my LYS got in some of its fall yarn shipment including some Sirdar Tweedie. Yum! I thought: "What a lovely yarn for my new hat. I know that it is a little bit heavier, but since I want a hat of substance, if I can get gauge I should be fine."
After much swatch I thought that I had achieved success! I started knitting... I knit the folded ridge. I measured. I thought: "I'm a little bit off but it probably the needle pulling it out making it measure bigger than it should be. Besides - it isn't that much bigger." I kept knitting. Before I put on the peak, I realized that much as I loved the pattern and the yarn, my hat was looking unmistakably like a knitted toilet seat cover. In a state of denial, I convinced myself that it would be better once I knit the peak... I wasn't completely wrong. I was much better! But it was still very wrong. Take a good look at it. It will never be seen on my head in this form. I looks like something a pimp would wear. It is going to be frogged and re-knit as a different and more suitable hat. (Yes - I am open to suggestions.)

Lessons learned here? Gauge swatches are mischievous liars and you really can't substitute whatever you want no matter how badly you want it to work.

Christmas Knitting

Announcing my first finished handknit Christmas gift! Ta-da!!!

Pywacket socks for my SIL. Note the detail of the lace, how it looks like little pawprints. Yes, she is an animal lover. The yarn is the lovely Trekking yarn that I won earlier this year in (Not-so) Cynical Knitting Gal's contest. They were knit on 2.25mm needles, smaller than I would normally use but considering the lace, I needed something a little bit smaller. Since (Not-so) Cynical Knitting Gal is an animal lover, too, I really hope she'll be pleased with the end product. I was going to knit myself some "coffee" socks, but the yarn told me it was wilder and furrier than coffee... Mouthy yarn...

Friday, October 17, 2008

What Was I Thinking?

This week was a very short week for me. Since Monday was Thanksgiving, it was a holiday and then today I took the day off to teach knitting to some of the kids at the local elementary school. What was I thinking??? Perhaps I wasn't...
Firstly, my hat goes off to any of you out there who are or who have ever been a teacher. After today, I'm pretty sure that you're all very underappreciated.
Now I have kids of my own. Two of them. Boys even! This did not prepare me for what lay in store for me. 11 kids were expected. 12 arrived. No problem - I had prepared an extra bag. 4 boys and 8 girls. Each of them received a bag containing basic knitting instructions, a ball of yarn and a set of needles. I tried to explain to them what was in the bag and why it was there, noting particularly the fact that all the instructions had pictures in case that was easier than reading... Oh - wait - it's so much easier to understand instructions if you actually listen to them! I had not realized previously how very attentive my own children were.
I spent an hour with them and have 4 more sessions with them. The first session went something like this:
Me: "Knitting needles are not weapons. Please do not poke or hit anyone with them. Please do not sword fight with them. If you do this, I will have to take them from you." (Many of them took this as a challenge...) "The first thing that we need to do is learn how to make a slip knot since that is the first step to casting on, which is the start of knitting. Open you booklet to the first page..."
This started a chorus os "I can't do this!" "This is too hard!"
I tried to explain that you should never give up on something before you've even tried it, and that it is okay to make mistakes and to have to try again.
I even had one kid say "My Gran knits and it isn't that hard - you must be doing it wrong." Pardon??? I'm still not sure who should really be more insulted: me or her unknowing Gran!

However, on the bright side, one of the little boys in the group (who happens to be a friend of Younger Son) was very attentive. At the end of the hour, where he had suceeded in starting to cast on his stitches, he asked me if it was okay for him to take his knitting home with him and if it was okay for him to work ahead if he wanted. I could have hugged him! It was just what I needed to hear, rather than the little girl who spent an hour demanding to be allowed to leave for a different group and having been told no, insisting that all my time be spent with her and was baffled when I told her that since I wasn't convinced she was going to come back, that no, she couldn't take it home with her.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Some Clues Are More Co-operative Than Others (aka SOTS iii Progress)

Clue 7 – Clue 7 insisted on being photographed outside. It wanted some fresh air and to feel the warmth of the sunshine… Result? The detail doesn’t show well at all in either photo.
Clue 8 - Clue 8 was “too tired” to do anything other than lie on the couch… No – my rug isn’t really that much more intense than my furniture. It’s the lighting. And the flash of the camera attracts small impish pajama clad people like Younger Son.
I have started Clue 9, but am only a few rows in. Whether or not this stole gets done on time, who the heck knows! But it will be close.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Reality Check

Today is Canadian Thanksgiving and as I write this it is just around noon. So far today I have made the dressing for the turkey, stuffed the turkey and put it on to roast, started the turnip puff, made the blueberry crisp for dessert, washed all the pots and pans, turned on the dishwasher and washed and hung out to dry two loads of laundry. The truth is that I am feeling anything but thankful. Resentful and grouchy would be closer to my current state...

However, if I take a step back and look at my life, I really should be more grateful and thankful. I have two wonderful children, who are both bright and healthy. I myself am healthy. My husband is healthy. Both Mr. Me and myself are gainfully employed with jobs that allow us to afford a beautiful home and some perks that we truthfully take for granted. We live in a democratic country that affords us rights, priveleges and freedoms that many can't even dream of. (A special note to my fellow Canadians, don't forget to vote tomorrow. I don't care how you vote so long as you vote your conscience.) So even though I'm going to go and iron now, I really should be more appreciative, although I'd rather be knitting!

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Secret of the Stole iii Progress

So, I'm still behind, but not nearly as far behind as I was. Technically, since clue 8 only came out yesterday, I'm really only one clue behind right now! I might actually finish this on time... By the way, the further into this pattern I get, the more I love it.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Thank You, Angie!

I'm a little late in getting to acknowledging this, but I was both honoured and humbled when Angie nominated me for this award. Angie was my downstream swap partner for the Spring Fling Coffee Swap and I had a fabulous time getting to know her a bit via e-mail and her blog. I can't imagine not staying in touch with her on some level. When she talks about her younger son in particular, I often smile as he sounds so similar to my younger boy who happens to be the same age!

Here are the rules that go along with the award:
The Rules:The rules for award acceptance are as follows:
1. The winner can put the logo on his/her website/blog.
2. Add a link to the person who gave you this award.
3. Nominate at least 7 other websites/blogs.
4. Provide links of the nominated websites/blogs.
5. Leave a message at each website owner that you´ve nominated.

Now if I'm truthful, the rules are probably part of the reason that I have taken my time in posting about the award.
Firstly, I know that some of the blogs that I would nominate have already been nominated. Secondly, in true Canadian fashion, I have a hard time not acknowledging everyone that I read (we don't want anyone to feel badly about themselves) and that would just take way too long! And finally, in the past I have felt kind of funny when I've either tagged or nominated someone for something and it has gone unacknowledged. Funny that I kind of did the same thing, isn't it? I don't know what other people's motivations might have been, I can only understand my own and believe me when I say that it was all internal weird stuff...

So - I'm going to cheat and not "name names", suffice it to say that if I comment on your blog on any kind of regular or semi-regular basis, you are definitely nominated, but since there are a number of blogs that I just lurk around as well, you're nominated if you read me and I don't know about it! Just leave me a comment, please, so that I can start reading your blogs too!