Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Cross-Over Cardis Require a Lot of Knitting...

It feels like I've been knitting on 'Mary' (the cross-over cardi) forever. I know it hasn't actually been that long but I feel that I should be at least starting the sleeves at this point and yet, I'm not. The back is completed and I'm about 2/3rds up the second side of the front. Apologies for the poor photo - I was rushing off to work this morning so threw the fronts on the first place they would fit. Anyhow, I was doing some figuring on the weekend whilst sulking over not having completed the front and discovered that the repeats up to where the side shaping start (just below the needle on the side in progress) require approx. 5600 stitches so armed with that knowledge and the fact that I'm constantly switching from knit to purl stitches, I've decided that I'm more than happy with my progress so far. It's not so bad. It's that darned stretchy rib that makes it looks much smaller than it is and defeats my sense of accomplishment!

Also started on what I'm calling the campfire socks last week. We tend to have a lot of backyard campfires in the summer and I needed a project that I didn't mind getting "smokey" so chose a 100% wool brown heather to work on a pair of heavy woolen socks for Brad. As you can see I made HUGE progress on our first campfire night completing a whopping 9 rows or so before Otis ran away from home and we had to send out a search party. He has NEVER done this so we were freaking out looking for him. We found him about 20 mins later "feasting" - I won't bother to say on what. Trust me, you don't want to know...suffice it to say that it was not the freshest of dinners.

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

The Long Weekend...

Ah, the long weekend...weather was wet and horrible but who cares - I had 8 knitting/crafting friends come over on Sat. for an afternoon of knitting, a potluck, a pitcher of Cosmopolitans, and some crappy 80s/90s movies. Brad was away so we took full advantage and camped out in the living room. I was going to make a big deal of asking everyone if it was ok to post their pics but realized today that noone had looked at the camera anyhow so here are the tops of several heads. (Projects in the pic are a pink "shoelace" yarn scarf and a neopolitan icecream baby blanket. Both very cute.)

As you can see everyone was deep in concentration the second the camera came out. They all look so serious, don't they? Don't be fooled...
(Projects in the pic are a blue/green french market bag being knitted up by Michelle, a hand embroidered throw which was absolutely gorgeous, a teddy bear cross-stitch so cute! and a pair of slippers - first one was finished by day's end.)

Max came over to play with Otis and he even gave knitting a go...had some trouble handling the second needle though. He may turn out to be better at crochet.

So what was I working on through all of this?? Most of the day I worked on 'Mary' although after the second Cosmo, I had to take a break for fear of what might happen - finished up the back on Sunday.

This is by far the stretchiest thing that I have ever knitted...I was far too lazy to block it yesterday so I just held it out to demonstrate - pretty crazy, huh?

I don't know how I thought it would be but I was surprised at just how stretchy the rib was - I think it will make a for a really great fit over a cami.

Monday, May 16, 2005

Things I've Been Doing Instead of Knitting...

First things first...the mellow yellow socks are complete and their mellowy, yellowy fluffy goodness brings a big smile to my feet.

Now...you might ask, it's been more than a week since your last post. What on earth have you been doing all this time? Well, sadly, there has not been any other knittng progress to mention. I've been:

1. Wishing I was knitting while I painted ceiling tiles (try to never do this).
2. Wishing I was knitting while I ran a 5k for the Brain Tumour Foundation of Canada.
3. Wishing I was knitting while I painted dark colored trim.
4. Wishing I was knitting while I painted bright red walls.
5. Wishing I was knitting while I spent hours at the mall with house guests.
6. Wishing I was knitting while I cleaned my house in preparation for house guests.
7. Wishing I was knitting while I painted ceiling tiles (second coat - almost as bad as the first).

But tonight is SnB so there will be no wishing tonight. I'll be knitting bay-bee!! That's right...I'll be knitting swatches all night - woohoo! Ah, crap. Oh well, at least tomorrow I will know what I'm going to knit next and what size needles I'll need to use...that is some sort of progress, right?

Thursday, May 05, 2005

Workin' It!

Well, all the worrying was for naught. Clapotis is finished and I've got tons of yarn left - certainly enough for a small scarf and I didn't remove a repeat (thank goodness cause it would have been too short if I had)!

Anyhow, most of these pics were taken at work this morning - oh yeah, baby - I'm wearing it. I finished up the knitting last night and only had 2 ends to weave in - how cool is that - I wish I could buy all my yarn in 600m hanks. It needed to be blocked but dried super fast - perfect attire for our freezing office. I may make one in every shade of the rainbow so I can wear a Clapotis everyday!! Anyhow, here are the pics.

First, we've got the home shot taken by Brad - he always manages to make me look like a cow. Well, maybe not like a cow but he adds at least 10 pounds even when I try to do the sideways skinny illusion stance. The man is a master.

Now, some shots from the office...this is how I've been wearing it (not like the first shot).

And this is my over the shoulder glamour puss shot...um...yeah...sure it is. Glamour puss...right.

So, since it was only 9:30PM when Clapotis went to the blocking board last night, I couldn't help casting something on. Mellow Yellow socks!! These are so soft and fuzzy and knit up amazingly quick on 5mm needles at least until I got to this point and now the pattern is confusing and sucky so wish me luck tonight... The yarn and pattern are from Fleece Artist - I'm using a double strand of MO and Bluefaced Leicester in Mellow Yellow.

Wednesday, May 04, 2005

A First!

Before I get to the "business" of the day, Brad sent me the cutest quote this morning:

"Know Yourself. Don't accept your dog's admiration as conclusive evidence that you are wonderful." -- Ann Landers

I had never heard this one before and laughed for about 5 mins. So then I got to thinking about the the cat equivalent of this quote. Maybe something like this?

"Know Yourself. Don't accept your cat's disdain as conclusive evidence that you are NOT wonderful."???

Anyway - The lovely Anna tagged little ole me today! This is a first and boy did she pick the right topic - books!!

Warning #1: I can go on and on and on about books.
Warning #2: There is no knitting related content in this post but Clapotis will be finished tonight so expect stylish pictures tomorrow!
Warning #3: Don't say I didn't warn you.

1)Total number of books in your house:
Hmmm...far too many to count...somewhere in the hundreds I suppose. I've been an avid reader far longer than I've been an avid knitter. :-) I majored in English Lit. at University so have some large tomes from those days along with everything else I've accumulated over the last 10 years or so. I don't mind parting with books that aren't special to me - I've sent out a number of them through bookcrossing.com (very neat site/concept) but the majority of them do stay with me.

2)The last book you bought was:
I was at the bookstore last Thursday and came home with Isaac's Storm by Erik Larson and The Iliad.

What possessed me to buy the Iliad? Not sure...I was walking by, saw it there and realized that I've never read it in full. So I compared a few translations and went home with the one that appealed to me most - it's the "epic story of Troy" for anyone who is wondering.

I've been looking for Isaac's Storm ever since I read Devil in the White City by Erik Larson - I really enjoy his writing style. The man does years of research about an event and then writes an historically accurate account of what happened. You'd think (at least I thought) that that sort of thing would be a bit dry but he pulls it off without seeming textbookish whatsoever. Isaac's Storm recreates the worst natural disaster in US history - a hurricane that wiped "6000 souls and the town of Galveston off the map" - through the telegrams, letters and reports of Isaac Cline - a meteorologist of the day. Sounds like an interesting story to me... Also, the day before this I put through an online order for 2 knitting books: The Twisted Sisters Sock Workbook by Lynne Vogel and Vintage Knits by Sarah Dallas. Fun!

3)What was the last book you read before reading this?
The last book I read was The Robber Bride by Margaret Atwood. I'm a big Margaret Atwood fan and had never read this particular novel. It was not my favorite but pretty good. I'm currently reading My Sister's Keeper by Jodi Picoult - it's our bookclub pick for this month (about 8 of us get together once a month to discuss a book) - it's quite good so far - about a 13 year old girl who was conceived to be a donor to her older sister who has a rare form of leukemia. It's very captivating and a bit heart rending at times - I hear the ending is going to be difficult to read. Should be plenty to discuss...

4)Write down 5 (or 6) books you often read or that mean a lot to you.
In no particular order:

1. Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad - I must have read this novel a dozen times over the course of my undergrad. It is short but brimming with imagery. I've dissected it over and over again and always seem to find something new. "The horror, the horror!"

2. Devil in the White City by Erik Larson - the full title is actually Devil in the White City: Murder, Magic, and Madness At the Fair That Changed America. How cool is that? This book was excellently written and I finished it feeling much smarter than when I began.
It is set in 1890s Chicago and follows the lives of 2 men: Daniel Burnham (architect of the 1893 Chicago World's Fair) and H.H. Holmes (one of America's first serial killers who used the circumstances of the Fair to his advantage). You will learn a lot reading this book and it carries an interesting cast of characters including some young, later-famed architects of the US (you'll recognize the names).
One interesting factoid that I was not aware of was that the very first Ferris Wheel was unveiled at the Chicago World's Fair in answer to the Eiffel Tower which was the highlight of the 1889 World's Fair in Paris. It seems odd in this day and age to compare a common Ferris Wheel to the Eiffel Tower but I guess it being the first one would have been QUITE a scene and it was apparently VERY large.

3. Alias Grace by Margaret Atwood was another book that I could read again and again. It is a fictional account of the life of Grace Marks who in 1843 was convicted for her part in the murder of her employers (at age 16). It's very well written and not as dark as you would imagine from my description - gives a good glimpse into society of the time. Also by Margaret Atwood on my could read over and over list are: Oryx and Crake (her latest), and The Handmaid's Tale (The Blind Assassin is excellent too!).

4. Ishmael by Daniel Quinn is in the category of life changing novels. It offers a whole new perspective on the issues facing humanity like overpopulation, pollution...etc.

I think I've gone on long enough with this now... :-)

5. Oh wait! One more - Testament by Nino Ricci - I just read this book last year and it was really worth the time - it is an alternate version of the life of Christ or at least a view of him as an everyday person living out his life not the Bible version of things - it was very appealing.

6. And one more. Lest you should think that I don't read anything fun (I just realized the list is relatively heavy with 2 books involving murders(!)). How about The Barrytown Trilogy by Roddy Doyle? It's actually 3 novels: The Committments, The Snapper and The Van. I was literally laughing out loud at the Rabbitte family antics. Reminds me of some folks I know! :-)

If you've made it to this point and are still awake, it's OVER and I did warn you!

5)Who are you going to pass this onto and why?
I will be passing this on to Crafter's Addiction, Knitting on an Island, Domestically Challenged if they don't already have it. Anyhow, these girls seem like interesting folks and I'm curious to see what they like to read. Sorry guys... :-) I'm curious about what Knitting Wench is reading too but I believe she's got a sore wrist so I won't trouble here with any more typing that blogging already takes!!