Saturday, February 27, 2010

Don't try this at home, kids.

Some people are born with all the courage.

Me?  I had trouble watching it and not hurling in abject terror.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Why? Because I'm a dummy.

I did a stupid thing, yesterday.  I did a very stupid thing.

I started looking through the Vesey's catalogue.

Now, I realize that looking through a plant and seed catalog doesn't seem like a dumb thing to do, but I beg to differ.  I offer this to you as proof:

This was taken a week and a half ago.  It has snowed since then.

And this?

This photo was taken in 2007.  IN APRIL.  Do you see any leaves (green ones on the trees, I mean)?  No?  That's because we still have snow in April (see that white stuff in the ditch over there, to the right of our driveway???)!!!

Is this proof enough of my utter ridiculousness?  I have at LEAST 2 1/2 more months to wait until I can even THINK of gardening.  But I'm reading the catalogs now.  Because I am a sucker for punishment.

I was totally fine with winter.  I was even marveling at how mild and enjoyable it has been.  I've gone skiing at least four times in the past month.  I've been happy to see the sun and enjoy my dogs' reactions to the new snow. 

But that has all changed.  I opened the catalog and my new-found acceptance of this season has flown out the window.

I want this.  Now.

Monday, February 22, 2010

People, you're killing me.

I mean, seriously.  How cute is THIS?

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Also, new pants

Oops, forgot something.  I finished a pair of pin-striped brown pants yesterday, too.

Photos were taken, steps were documented, tutorial is being conceived.

New sweater... as yet un-designed

So, as I mentioned, I have started a new sweater.  This is my third (yes, THIRD) attempt to knit something with this yarn that will satisfy my very specific sweater-requirements.  Here is my list of criteria:

  1. It must be flattering.  This is important.  It may be warm, it may be a nice colour, but if it makes me look like a school bus, I won't wear it.  Or rather, I WILL wear it, until I see a photo of myself wearing it, after which I will spend 2 days crying and swear off wearing said garment ever again.  So, it must not make me look like a school bus.  That leaves out anything too drapey, loose, shapeless, boatneck-y, short, boobsy (you know, busy around the boobie area - I don't need any additional attention in that particular vicinity), or otherwise weird.  Also, as I am short-waisted and have no neck, no turtlenecks are allowed (although for some strange reason, cowl-necks often work on me...go figure).
  2. It must be a cardigan.  I am not a fan of pullovers, though I have recently found several patterns on Ravelry that are making me reconsider my stance on that particular issue.  Maybe the next one...
  3. It has to be unique and interesting.   This is me, we're talking about.  I don't do "normal" or "average".  I wear bright orange pants, for Pete's sake.
  4. It has to be a top-down raglan.  I have a limited amount of yarn.  It is an aran weight, superwash merino yarn in a colour I love and there is no more of it.  I bought approx. 1400 yards of it and once it's gone, it's gone.  That's why I'm doing a top-down sweater.  That way, if I start to run out, I can make the sleeves 3/4 and the world will keep turning.  If I do bottom-up, I have no way of knowing whether or not I'll have enough to finish.
  5. It has to be seamless.  I am not big on sewing together sweater parts.  I'll do it if I have to, but I need this sweater in a practical way (I'm cold, dammit!) and if I have to seam it up, I will procrastinate and it will still be sitting in its bag next Christmas.  Speed is a factor here.
You can see why I'm on attempt #3, right?  The first attempt was the Minimalist Cardigan, which I finished (seaming and all) before coming to the conclusion that it made me look like a school bus (see note #1 above).  I should have read more of the comments on Ravelry - all the *ahem* "larger" ladies said the same thing.  I'm not very big (size 10), but I ain't tall (5'-2") and I am very (VERY) short-waisted (combine that with a couple of 34DD's and you'll know why that's an issue).  Tops are a little tricky for me to get right.  My second attempt was actually very nice, but not seamless and I got halfway done with the back panel when I decided that it just wasn't going to be right for this time around.

So, here's where I'm at:


 So far, so good.  Keep your fingers crossed.

In other knitting new, ever since I finished my new cowl, I was on the fence as to whether or not it was long enough.  It's a thick stitch pattern (cozy...yum), but that made it a bit stiff and it tended to let in a draft.  I loved it, but I thought it might benefit from a little souping up.  This is what I started with yesterday (those two balls were my leftovers):


This was taken the day I finished it:
And this is it, today (just short of twice as long):



BOOYAH, BABY!  I loves it.

Incidentally, do you have any idea how difficult it is to take a self-portrait in the mirror?  Dude, it's really not easy.  Also, how gross is my mirror?  Sorry about that.  I'd love to say that I've just been too busy to clean, but I somehow found several hours to knit yesterday, so that excuse won't float.

**Edited to add: I would love to post the pattern I am using for the sweater, but as I mentioned in my last post, I need someone to proof-read it before I do that and NO-ONE HAS STEPPED UP TO THE PLATE!  KNITTERS: you know who you are and most importantly, I know who you are.  I will start assigning homework if someone doesn't put their hand up and take one for the team pretty soon.**

Thursday, February 18, 2010

What? Two posts in one day?

I'm nothing, if not inconsistent.  It's not my fault.  I'm a Cancer.  Not sure what that has to do with it, but it sounded good in my head.

Here, enjoy some photos from last weekend:







I am the worst blogger EVER

OK, maybe not "EVER", but still.  I am such a slacker.  OK, maybe not a "slacker", but definitely not very diligent.

I've been working my arse off.  I know that is a very boring reason for not posting, but it's the truth.  The unvarnished, unavoidable, unexciting truth.

We had a long weekend, last weekend.  I worked.  Then I cooked, cleaned, had a few friends over for a fondue and I went cross-country skiing for a few hours.  That's it.  Lame, lame, lame.  No knitting, no sewing, no drawing, no painting.  Nothing. 

Then I had a snow day yesterday and I worked from home.  At the end of the day, I FINALLY got a chance to do a bit of knitting.  I'm in desperate need of some sweaters, this being winter and all.  I've started a top-down raglan that I'm designing as I go (sorry, I didn't think of taking any photos...but I WILL, I swear).  I have no idea how it will turn out, but it's been really nice to work on, so I don't really care what it looks like.  If it sucks, I will just start over.

That's my lesson to you, today.  If you are knitting something and it sucks, don't get upset.  Just rip it back and start over.  Knitting is fun, you obviously enjoy doing it - otherwise, you wouldn't do it.  In the words of the BFG, am I right or am I left?  If you are going to go to the trouble of knitting something that requires a long time investment, make sure you like it.  And if you don't know that you hate it until you've sewn the ends in, blocked it, and tried it on (or even worn it a time or two), so what?  Take it apart and start over.  Or you could find a recipient for it. 

{I am a selfish knitter, so I would reuse the yarn for myself.  No-one seems to properly appreciate handknits, except other handknitters and exceptionally grateful husbands (just had to throw that in, in case my exceptionally grateful husband reads this and gets all indignant on me).} 

Every new knitting project, be it small or humongous, is a chance to learn and refine your skill.  If you're starting out, don't focus too much on the finished product - see it as a learning process (even if you feel like it's taking your forever to get anywhere).  Perfectionism is all fine and dandy for surgeons and architects, but it has no place in the life of someone learning a new art form.  And yes, knitting is an art form.

I have a favour to ask you:  I've created a new "pattern" and I need someone to proofread it.  Preferably this would be done by someone with some raglan-sweater-knitting experience, but I'll take what I can get.  Any takers?  Send me an email (my address is at the top of the sidebar) and let me know if you're interested in giving me a hand.  The only thing I can offer in exchange is good karma and my undying gratitude (two things that are worth their weight in gold, I tell ya).

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

I have to hurry, or she'll beat me to the punch

**EDITED TO ADD: I've been asked to remove this pattern from the Internet, and I have done so.  Please be sure that you always obtain written permission from the designer before you post modifications online, regardless of whether or not the pattern is free.  My sincerest apologies for any trouble I've caused.**

Wood and I have cooked up yet another little project.  Her daughter's birthday was coming up and she wrote me, asking for some help on how to modify this wonderful little tunic/dress by Tora Froseth (free pattern!) so that she could knit it up in worsted weight yarn.  **Edited to add: the pattern is for the 24 month size, ONLY.  Even I am not crazy enough to translate it in to 4 different sizes!**

I couldn't very well let her disappoint her daughter, could I?  Plus, she was going to use the yarn I sent her during our yarn exchange.  How could I say no, I ask you?  So here it is.

Now, it's not exactly like the original.  It's definitely got a different shape in the shoulders, and the ribbing is smaller, but there's only so much I could do.  I've never done this sort of thing before and until I had it figured out (and had myself a major EUREKA! moment), I didn't actually know that I could do it.  And don't ask me to explain how I did it, because: a) I can't really remember and b) there was algebra involved.

Oh yes, I did just write "algebra" in my blog.  My brain can not get over this fact.

So, you've probably found yourself on this page because she has linked to it (I hope I have managed to put this up before her).  If that's the case, WELCOME!  If you were already visiting, well....all I can say is that I'm sorry for this poor excuse of a post and you'll just have to wait until Wood posts the photos of her finished project, because I can't show you yet.  Sorry!  Suckstobeyou!

I'm cooking up a couple more projects, so I'll be back soon with them.  I just have to get through the next two hellish weeks, first.


Saturday, February 6, 2010


We have our first non-Wood knitter for the Child's Placket Neck Sweater instructions!

Excellent, Katherine!

If any of you are out there, knitting this sucker up, do tell.  I'm curious to see if my tutorials were useful to you.