Thursday, August 31, 2006

One Down....

I'm feeling very ahead of the game today. It's still August and I just finished my first Xmas gift. This has never happened before so let's hope the trend continues... Maybe...just maybe...there won't be maniacal and ill-fated last minute knitting in the car on the way to deliver gifts this year. One can always hope...

Trellis enjoying the cool late summer breeze...

Trellis enjoying the view...

Trellis all folded up and patiently waiting for Xmas morning...

Special thanks goes out to my favorite Guernsey Gal and lace-knitter extraordinaire Janine! Not only did she gift me the yarn to complete this project but she also offered sound advice re: using string for blocking instead of tres pricey blocking wires. It works people!! Thanks Janine! By the way, go check out the Mountain Peaks shawl she just completed. Absolutely gorgeous!

Project Specs:
Pattern: Trellis Scarf from IK Spring 2006
Yarn: Knit Picks Alpaca Cloud, 1 skein, color 04 Autumn
Needles: The recommended 3.75mm circ - I may have been able to go down to a 3.5 in retrospect.
Comments: I really enjoyed this project. It was my first time working with laceweight and although the 7 into 5 cluster just about finished me on the first couple of repeats, I've got to say once I got the hang of those, it was smooth sailing. I almost didn't want it to end. The blocking wasn't bad either once I followed Janine's advice. I just threaded a string down both sides and used it to keep the edges from scalloping - a few pins to keep it taut and it worked perfectly.

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Blocking....well, sorta

Why is it that we always think somewhere in the back of our minds that somehow, someway we will succeed where countless others have failed (or at least suffered). That it can't really be as difficult as all that...

Heh - lesson learned. Tonight I tried blocking lace - the real stuff - for the first time. I've blocked many non-lace projects in the past and figured "so I'll use a few extra pins" to avoid any scalloped edges - it'll be fine - I really didn't see what all the fuss could be about.

Tonight - I cried uncle. Tomorrow - I buy blocking wires.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Saffron (Sans Pill Bugs)

Well, Saffron is finally finished up and I decided to forego all embroidery. I tried the pattern-suggested bullion stitch flowers and there was pretty much consensus that they were...well...pretty ugly. Based on some suggestions, I gave tiny lazy daisies a go and decided that they didn't work either. In the end, the sweater is quite busy enough without further embellishment I think and I'm happy with it as is - plus there was a LOT less finishing involved minus the flowers...

Speaking of finishing, I generally cringe when I have to pick up stitches for a neck or button band and then end up with a couple "do-overs" but I've finally smartened up and this time I actually measured the button and neckbands marking with contrasting thread every 2 inches - divide the number of stitches you need to pick up by the number of inches you've got and you know exactly how many stitches should be picked up between each little red thread to avoid sagging or stretching of the band. I'm not sure why I try to wing these things - it really was much less painful to do the planning ahead of time (as I'm sure most of you are already aware).

Project Specs
Pattern: Saffron by Kim Hargreaves from Rowan Mag#25
Yarn: Rowan 4ply cotton in color 'Olive'
Needles: The recommended 2.25mm and 3mm
Comments: I really like the finished cardi and I think I will get a lot of wear out of it year-round over t-shirts and tanks. I added 4cm to the length and could have added even a bit more - this is a very short cardi if you follow the pattern specs. All in all I'm very happy with how this project turned out. There is only one nagging detail about this cardi that is frustrating me and that is the cast on edge - despite being steamed into submission about 5 times now, I see it once again rolled up as I was dashing back and forth from camera timer to model mark. It'll pay for that later...

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

What I Did on my Summer Vacation! (lotsa pics)

I just got back from a week and a half on PEI...sigh. How I wish I was still there. I did a bit of knitting but there are more exciting things to post about today so here's a little taste of what I did on my summer vacation...

1. Wedding Business
My older brother finally married his long time girlfriend at a beautiful outdoor ceremony and I was there all decked out in my bridesmaid regalia. Here is the happy couple looking absolutely gorgeous on their big day:

And here's me and my dad also looking pretty sharp. Dad is on the water everyday as evidenced by the marked difference in our "tans". I look like a ghost next to all these Islanders.

2. Wooly Stuff
Now on to the wooly stuff... We stopped at:

I tried to get some pictures from inside on the factory floor but it was so dark, they fell a lot short of being there.

In this one you can kinda see on the ceiling a system of wheels and belts - these are constantly turning overhead and seem to run most if not all of the machines when the operator pulls a lever.

Looks at all those bobbins spinning at once - can you imagine if it tangled...yikes.

Did I buy something? You betcha! I got a big parcel of yarn for socks/mittens and I also bought a couple of throws in their new brown plaid colorway which I personally think is to die for. They wrap all your purchases in brown paper with string - for some reason I adore that.

3. PEI...I Miss You.
Near the end of the week, we drove along the coast. Otis and I checked out the windmills at North Cape.

He spent a good deal of the week offleash - lucky boy! - but I had a good grip on his leash up here. Dogs just don't seem to grasp the concept of plunging to their deaths. I mean, seriously, how can an animal afraid to step over the central vac hose bounce around without a care in the world inches from a 40 foot sheer drop?? I just don't get it...

Finally, I think this picture speaks for itself. It's a sunrise from our cottage window

We're booked in again for next year...if I can wait that long.