Saturday, October 14, 2006

Misty Mountain Morning

There's all sorts of good things going on at our little abode: my wallet turned up, along with DD's homework folder - What Kind Of A Mother loses her daughter's homework??? - they were both stowed in the same "safe" basket, which apparently migrated and burrowed under a stack of clothing during the chaos of the unpack. Also, we can now eat at the dining room table, cook in the kitchen, and sit four abreast on the couch.

AND - for the first time since August, I have live Saturday Sky technology. At the moment it involves downloading the camera to the desktop, formatting, saving to floppy, sticking the floppy in the laptop (which has the internet connection), uploading the photo to Flickr (because the wysiwig version of Blogger can't run on the ancient laptop), and inserting the Flickr code in the post - but I Can Do It - and it doesn't cost me $11 and an hour of my life.

So, without further ado, I present A Misty Mountain Morning:

Saturday Sky

Some folks call the gray drizzle depressing - I choose to see it as perfect sweater weather.

Friday, October 13, 2006

Two Stranded, One Handed

I normally knit two stranded colour work holding one yarn in each hand, picking with the left and throwing with the right, but having heard tantalizing rumors of knitters who hold both yarns in one hand, I thought I'd give that a go for this project. As usual, I forged ahead and came up with a method that worked for me - I have no idea if this is "right". I find the continental style considerably more efficient, so I simply tensioned both yarns in the left hand, extracting them alternately with my index finger:

red yarn

gray yarn

It works well. So well, in fact, that I would love to be able to use the technique in all stranded colour work, but there's a little snag. Knitting with one strand leaves a bit of slack in the unknitted strand - this is quite manageable when the pattern is only 2 stitches long, and the colours are being consumed at equal rates, but it seems to me that longer carries and more complex patterns would require constant retensioning of the yarns, which would reduce efficiency considerably.

I'd love to hear from anyone out there who has another one handed method, or could suggest ways around the differential tension issue.


The house? The good news - I can cook, and there is now space on the couch to squish 2 adults eating at the coffee table. The bad news - my wallet is MIA. Nobody has used the credit cards, so I'm holding out hope that it was knocked off its "safe place" and got buried in debris, but I'm a titch stressed nonetheless.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

The Simple Life

There's not much knitting going on for the next couple of days (actually, I plan to work on DD's cardigan when I sit down for breaks, but that's about it) and here's why:

Before the truck:

After the truck:


There's not a square inch of clear surface at the moment, and the kids' room remains packed to the roof, although Basil clearly considers that advantageous:

We'll get there. In spite of the huge task ahead, it is a tremendous relief to be done with the business of other people traipsing through our space, handling our stuff (not always carefully), commenting (how small the space is, how much work we have ahead of us - Duh! - how much fabric and yarn there is, etc. etc.). As an intensely private introvert, I find this intrusiveness to be one of the hardest parts of moving.


Thanks for all the encouragement on the cardigan. To answer Netter's question, DD loves the way it looks - which I suppose is really all that matters. She has the good fortune to have a complexion which looks smashing in brilliant reds and oranges, so I am confident it will look great on her. It also occured to me, while walking through the Village early this morning (sans camera), that the cardigan reflects the current fall colours almost exactly - the brilliant reds, orange and yellow, a touch of green and the intense blue sky. I'll have to get a photo in the next day or two - perhaps this wasn't such a crazy idea, after all.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Comfort Zone

Well, it's all in - all 9000 lbs of it. Wall to wall, floor to ceiling throughout the living room and the kids' bedroom, plus a huge chunk of the common storage area downstairs. I'll post photos later in the week - the unpackers come today, which should also be an adventure, since there's nowhere to set anything. Nevertheless, it is a warm fuzzy to have our stuff at last - the bed with the firm mattress, my beloved stove with the accurately calibrated oven temperature (I burned a lot of stuff last month) - it's starting to feel like home rather than playing house.

In spite of all the disruption, I did have the foresight to take some knitting photos before the Day Of Many Boxes. I've been frantically knitting up a warm cardigan for DD, since the mornings are getting frosty, but not yet frosty enough for a winter jacket - and I've managed to do it from the existing stash.

Some time ago, in an effort to expand my colour sense beyond my favorites (analagous blues and blue-greens, neutrals, blue-and-neutral), I pulled out my copy of ColorWorks by Deb Menz and picked a hexad scheme - essentially six hues evenly spaced around the wheel. I weighted the selection towards the warm side, and ordered some Wool of the Andes from KnitPicks:

KP yarn

I was a little disappointed in some of the colours, which were flatter and less attractive than they had seemed on the monitor, and I found the contrasts so jarring.... it went to the bottom of the heap for some time. However, it was also the only really suitable yarn in the stash for a hardwearing child's cardigan, and to my relief, DD was highly enthusiastic about the colour scheme.

I wanted to tone down the effect as much as possible, so I alternated the highly saturated with the flatter colours:

yarn snips lined up

And put the whole thing on a background of charcoal gray (from my seemingly never-ending stash of Briggs and Little Regal - not the softest stuff, but the KP yarn is fluffy enough to compensate):

up to armholes

I am still ambivalent about it - it's so far out of my comfort zone, but I think I have successfully dodged the potential for garishness. It is knitted in the round, with a steek up the front for the zipper, and the 2 stitch stranded pattern means the carries are just long enough to make an extremely warm fabric, but not so long as to snag with hard wear. It's also very quick to knit.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Find My Happy Place

I was managing a blissfully ignorant state of optimism about today - right up until the movers popped in yesterday for a brief reccy of the apartment. I've come to take DH's doom and gloom pronouncements of "it'll never fit" with a grain of salt, because year after year he says that about what I want to take with us for holidays (mostly kid stuff), and year after year I'm right and he's wrong because I am A Good and Resourceful Packer. But when the seasoned professional stood in the middle of our living room just shaking his head.... They arrive in 2 hours time. I'll let you know how it went tomorrow, IF they don't bury my laptop.

Meanwhile, I'm going to my happy place:

on a rose

Monday, October 09, 2006


There's a lot of thankfulness going on in our home these days, and this being Canadian Thanksgiving, I thought I'd share a bit of it with you. Here, in no particular order (and by no means a complete list), are some snippets of gratitude:

Rob. Who came home last week, ending an exceptionally stressful month of single-parenting. Although we were all tremendously pleased to see him, no one was more jubilant than Winnie:
Rob and winnie
Let's just say she wasn't a top priority for attention during that month.

Bunny rabbits. At one point, when DD and I were locked in a death spiral of increasingly outrageous behaviour followed by increasingly outraged responses, I paused to take stock and decided that a "just because" bit of positivity was needed. Taking a cue from Lee Ann, I pulled out my sample pack of Andean Silk (KnitPicks, impulse buy at half price this spring) and stayed up late one night making this:
Which created the desired response:
bunny and rabbit
She sidled up to me the next day to say, "Mom, I really appreciate you going to all the work to make such a nice bunny for me."

Getting up every morning and throwing open the blinds to see an everchanging version of this:
7 October 2006
(Also gazing upon said view from the hot tub and pool just down the hall from us, knitting on the patio on sunny afternoons, working at my bench... you get the idea.)

Looking forward to winter for the first time in nearly a decade:

But most of all - my family - healthy, whole, and together: