Saturday, September 16, 2006

Saturday Morning

With any luck, next week I'll be able to post a proper Saturday sky photo. Until then, check out this Whistler webcam for live footage of my sky!

Friday, September 15, 2006

Roll Call

This seems to be the present trend in blogland, and I couldn't resist, in spite of the fact that doing it without pictures is ever so slightly lame. Disturbingly, I can only access a stripped down version of Blogger at present - none of the icons for preview, photo loading, links, etc. Always something........ and only 20 more days until the desktop arrives.

So, enough whining, and on to The List:

1) On the needles, and almost finished (after only 2 days!): a funky recycled sari silk vest. This was an "it's getting chilly sooner than I thought and most of my clothes are still in Saskatchewan" sort of project. I bought the silk a couple of years ago on ebay because I loved the colours (blues and greens - what else?) and the concept. Never mind that it is horrifically overspun and takes the "thick and thin" thing to a whole new level - I HAD to use it, and it HAD to become a garment. I paired it with a no nonsense Briggs and Little worsted weight wool and knitted it in plain stockinette on big needles. There was a small crisis of confidence halfway through, but having just knitted the shoulder seams together, it does not look like fun fur after all, and I think it is going to be perfect. The last step now is to add ribbing at the borders in doubled wool alone on slightly smaller needles, to keep everything tidy.

2) Taking a little break while waiting for #1: The navy and white striped cotton sweater (which deserves a much better name). Will also come in very handy for the aforementioned chilly weather.

3) Swatching: An ornate, bright white, heavy Aran pullover, slated to be chic outerwear for fall. I bought the wool for this two years ago, and now that I am finally getting around to it, I see that bright white designer Arans are everywhere this fall. So much for being ahead of the curve. Presently I am lying awake nights fitfully rearranging cables and knotwork, waiting for the perfect original central design to gel. (Because if I'm going to reaggravate my carpal tunnel syndrome by endlessly cabling heavy wool, it had better be in the service of something truly show-stopping.)

4) Swatched, designed, not yet begun: the Stormy Sky scarf - a FI design in handpainted laceweight silk and Jaegerspun Zephyr at 11 stitches to the inch on size 0 needles. Yes, it is quite possible that I am stark raving mad, or will be in short order.

5) Reposing in a giant black garbage bag in a corner of the bedroom: eleventeen hundred balls of Lopi for Guinevere's Aran doggy sweater.

6) In the stash, not begun: sweaters for DS and DD, knitted dolls (for Christmas), a knitted Gromit, many many socks, a Shetland Tea Shawl from A Gathering of Lace, and...... other stuff, much of it for Christmas.

And last, but not least, now that I have at least a rudimentary studio set up , I'm back to pushing the limits of silver. I have a botanical collection in the works with lifelike crocheted flowers and knitted leaves that I'm very excited about. Hopefully the gallery in town will be equally enthusiastic.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Yippee, yahoo, and um.... Hallelujah! (The Cable Guy Came)

At LAST! Turns out they had misfiled the application. Now all I need is for Canada Post to deliver the box containing my camera software, and I shall have near-normalcy. (Aside from being apart from my beloved DH for the next three weeks, still doing without most of our belongings, etc.)

It has been cool and cloudy over the last few days - fall damp is in the air, and the leaves are turning with startling rapidity. Cloudy here is nothing like the dreary overcast one gets in flatter locales. The clouds play with the mountains, pooling thick and fluffy in the valleys while the peaks bask in the sun, then swirling up the slopes to turn peach and crimson themselves. Gentle drizzle casts a mystical soft focus over the forest, and the ravens and crows make black mischief across the treetops. Yesterday we had a prolonged thunderstorm and heavy rain, and woke this morning to snow 3/4 of the way down the mountain. On the prairies, early snow would just be depressing, but up here it highlights the ski runs in tantalizing fashion.

The bears are in the valley, filling up on the last juicy berries. This morning, as Liam and I walked back from the bus stop, an enormous black bear lumbered onto the path just behind us, looking supremely unconcerned with our existence, and ambled off in the opposite direction. Despite knowing that the Whistler bears follow a "mind your own business and I'll mind mine" pattern of behaviour, it still takes a little getting used to, especially with kids in tow.

It has felt odd and uncomfortable to do so little blog reading lately - I have tried to skim through my list to make sure not to miss any momentous events, but between the cost and the three year old on my lap.... Blogging already borders on the egocentric (then again, doesn't any form of published writing?), but talking without listening seems to cross that line. Things should get back to normal now, and I am immensely grateful to the kind folks who have continued to read and comment despite the lack of reciprocity.

There has been knitting: I am 3/4 of the way up one of the rather snug stripy sweater sleeves. This has been (exactly as I intended it to be) a very instructive design. It is fascinating to me how complex the issue of measurements and fit can be. It sounds so simple - grab a tape measure and decide how big around you are. It would be just that easy if we were made of wood, but we have squishy bits, bits that flex, relax, expand and contract, not to mention the whole business of body image and wishful thinking.

For this sweater I took several gauge measurements off the swatch, something I have yet to read about anywhere (though it is entirely possible I've missed it). I was looking to get a handle on the issues of ease and sagging, since knitwear does not remain in its perfectly blocked configuration once worn. I was also experimenting with the notion that negative ease could overcome the saggy tendencies of cotton. I tried out various degrees of stretch - maximal (for bending and bloating) and the "sweet spot" in between where the fabric would lie snugly against the body without distorting the pattern.

The body, as I mentioned earlier, turned out exactly as intended, but I am not entirely sure about the sleeves. In static form, they have the same degree of snugness as the body, but a couple of factors could make them overly snug. Firstly, arms move more than the torso, and with that movement, they expand (particularly since, despite the moving-induced layoff, I appear to have retained a decent set of biceps and deltoids). Secondly, X% of ease translates to several inches around the hips, but very little around an arm. So.... we'll see. It certainly wouldn't be the end of the world to reknit a sleeve.

Rob is mailing the camera software from Moose Jaw today, so hopefully I will soon return to real-time photo posting.

Monday, September 11, 2006

STILL no cable

Because apparently, this is the busy season, what with all the winter staff moving in to town. So this will be Hi and Bye today, because apparently the internet cafe does not have the hardware to download the floppy on which I saved a lovely and thoughtful post this morning at my (not yet online) laptop. Perhaps I have to bring the plug-in floppy drive along. Always something to learn.

In any case, since I have a very ancy 3 year old on my lap, I was lucky to get this much written.

Wonder if I can bribe the cable guy...............