Wednesday, October 17, 2007

My Dog Ate My Homework

Well actually, she broke my ball winder. Frankly I'd have rather she ate my homework. She cracked the handle right off. As it broke right at its base and it's a stressed spot I don't think repairing it is an option. Hubby doesn't either and he's always right when he says unfixable. So, does anyone have any advice to offer on whether or not I can just get one of the big ball ball winders? I've been thinking about getting one for a while now for larger yardages but I don't know whether they work for say a single sock's worth of yarn (for those companies that are still doing 50gr skeins for example) or if they end up making balls/cakes that collapse too soon.

I was thinking either the Royal jumbo or the Strauch or maybe even this fancy one from Nancy's KnitKnacks which does seem that it will - eventually at least - address the smaller core option, but which is considerably more expensive. Any advice? The one that got broken was the basic blue and white plastic Royal ball winder, do I need to replace it in addition to the larger ball winder or can I just use a larger ball winder all the time?

Thanks for any advice.

The Forest Canopy Shawl continues to grow but I am not sure it will be able to grow fast enough. My Auntie got bad news about the success of her latest treatment so I am now definitely racing against a depressing clock. I'm halfway through the 7th repeat of the body pattern. I have no idea how close to done that makes me. No picture because Blogger hates me. I've been trying to upload the photos for this entry for almost 24 hours. It let me put in the one below just now but not the one for the shawl. Sigh.

So picture it bigger in your mind's eye and help me ponder. I think since I'm using thinner yarn I'll have to do more repeats of the body pattern than the 10 called for with fingering yarn. But I am not too sure how many. Anybody used a heavy-ish laceweight for this shawl and have a suggestion for how many more?

The chair has progressed more as well but it doesn't really look much different. See:
No really, that's more. Those top corners were flapping loose in the last post. Plus now there's webbing and burlap on the outside back and sides. That you have to trust me on though. Because, Blogger hates me.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Status Report

I was gonna call this post Progress Report but then I realized there really isn't that much progress to report. So we'll settle for status.

I know, I'll show you the chair. You haven't seen the chair in a while. It does show progress since last time you saw it. Some of it even occurred this month.
If I'm lucky, in another month, I might have a chair I can sit in.

Then there's the simple socks. They are still only a sock and a third.
Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sport using Wendy's Toe up Sportweight sock pattern.

Then there's the August RSC socks which have one cuff finished and wet blocked. But that might be where they were last time for all I can remember.
August RSC first sock cuff. I'm doomed. They're mailing another kit soon.

And finally there's the Forest Canopy Shawl for my "Auntie". It ought to be at least a full set of repeats further along but I keep losing track of where I am (because I will insist on trying to watch tv at the same time) and having to tink back.
Forest Canopy Shawl being knit in Handmaiden 2-ply Cashmere in Marine.

It may not be very far along but at least it looks pretty, even after being knit twice.

Sunday, October 7, 2007

Time flies

First of all, thank you, everyone, for your concern about my Mum. It's very sweet of you to worry. She's fine. She always was fine. She's been a bit more time consuming lately is all. She has some toe issues that meant she had to have a procedure done before she can get the toe problem fixed. And that necessitated multiple trips to multiple doctors and a couple of days in the hospital. She wasn't really in any danger or even really all that uncomfortable at any time.
But she's not very good at being a patient patient, so in addition to all the ferrying about to doctors and hospitals, she also had to be entertained out of being certain she was going to die due to the hospital staff or someone making a mistake and so on. Mum can be, um, something sometimes. Anyway, she was able to come home yesterday afternoon and doesn't need much attention today so I can finally get this blog post up I hope. But soon she'll get to have the toes fixed and then I'll have to do more Mum care afterward so I'll probably disappear again for a couple of weeks soon. I really am trying to do better about regular blogging though. And of course getting in more knitting to accomodate that.

Confession time: I'm basically a lazy person in some areas. Pretty much all of my relaxation time errs on the lazy side as far as actually making an effort goes. But I'm also dreadfully curious. I love to learn things. So things I can learn incidentally I'll learn and then do. But if I actually have to hunt much for the info - I often won't do it until I need to.

Having been shamed by Sheepish Annie into actually looking poking one of the buttons on the post window (now that's lazy isn't it), I can now insert booming announcer voice here Control Time Itself! So from now on the post dates should reflect reality, not my laziness.

Since the last post with actual knitting content, I have learned again that "Never mock the Knitting Goddess" is a maxim to follow. Friday the 21st, just after I announced that Saturday the 22nd was still summer, I logged off the computer and began my second sock's toe. And to the immediate, sudden, accompaniment of thunder and raindrops I proceeded to knit, tink, knit, tink, knit, rip, give up. And Saturday morning? Rain. Not a lot, but enough to announce quite loudly that Fall was here already.

I know when I'm licked so other than getting that darned sock toe on the needles properly and a bit of the foot started so I could take it for a simple project on Mum ferrying errands during the week, I did not bother with trying to finish the socks before Autumn officially began. Less than a week later, of course, as happens every year around here, after a few days of Fall, Summer came back. And the sock is now 2/3 of the way through the foot section thanks to all those hour waits for doctor visits. No photo. It looks exactly like the other one so far.

I've also finished up the baby hat from DD's hand-dyed. It is a hat for a girl so the yarn being girly is fine and I went with a fairly girly look to the hat too. I was making the pattern up as I went along so it took forever to do. It's a top down hat with only two ends to weave in and no extra holes (only the ones I did as YO increases to echo the lacesque edging) with an unvented edging of my own.
Baby hat, pattern by me, yarn by DD, modeled by "Fluffy".

I am still inordinately proud of myself for figuring out how to pull all that off. I followed some advice from Ruth and did the edging so that it striped opposite the hat itself. So it is a knit on edging rather than a ruffle continued off the ribbing which was my first thought. If it's not obvious that is a flower on the top. I think the yarn looks great. I'm very impressed with how my DD's dyeing came out.
The hat held up by its stuffing of yarn cakes shows the dyeing off a bit better I think. I'm so proud of my little girl.

The room aide has already been given the hat (and says she likes it) even though she is supposedly six weeks away. If that's right, she's gonna be having a big baby if you ask me. But maybe it's just that she's a lovely thin thing normally. Unlike, say, me before I got preggers. My daughter is now working on some baby booties with the remains of the hat yarn. If there really is another 6 weeks and I nag a lot to remind her to work on them she might actually get those done in time too.

But the big thing (and I mean really big thing) that has delayed me from the more regular blogging I had intended to do is that I have been going through my stash. My immense stash. My "much bigger than I thought because the yardage summation cell on the spreadsheet was only summing about a third of my entered yarn" stash. And the entered yarn still isn't all of my yarn unfortunately. So I have been culling. And culling. And culling. But it's hard because I've never bought stuff I don't like. And apparently I like a lot of stuff. I'm trying to be good though since I have a good cause for the yarns I am giving away. I currently have 5 bags ready to go be donated to teachers looking for supplies to start knitting clubs in their schools.

And yet there is still more to go through. Plus I'm a little worried I might have more hiding in other places. I just know it's going to be horribly embarrassing to actually list it all on Ravelry. I think I might have more yarn than some small yarn shops. I'm hoping that I'm just over-reacting though. But this sort of image makes me a bit nervous...
"It turned inside out, then it EXPLODED?!?!?!?!?!"

Good thing I have help right?
The copper matches me best, let's keep that one.

Wednesday, October 3, 2007


My apologies for taking so long to post the winner for my little contest. I've been having to spend a bit more time lately taking care of my Mum so didn't manage to organize myself properly. Since I took so long and I only had three entries I decided to award a couple of additional prizes. I used a random number generator (a dice if you're curious) to distribute the prizes.

AlisonH has won the initial prize of the copy of Victorian Lace Today with the skein of Handmaiden SeaSilk in Nova Scotia to make something from the book with:

Elizabeth (who didn't give me a blog link) has won a 400 yard skein of Jade Sapphire 100% Chinese Cashmere in color 01 (mainly purples and greens) which should make a nice shawlette:

BJ has won a 500 yard skein of fingering weight Ruby Sapphire yarn which also should make a nice shawlette (or a pair of socks if you're a sock knitter, BJ):

I'll be e-mailing for snail mail addresses shortly. BJ, if you're reading this, blogger didn't give me your e-mail address so you need to e-mail me at raspberry "you know the drill" gmail etc.