Saturday, December 23, 2006

It's Beginning To Look A Lot Like....

If there's a happier place to be this time of year, I'd be hard pressed to think of it!

Wishing you all Peace, Joy, Love, Light and Hope now and in the year to come.

Friday, December 22, 2006

Love the Yarn You're With

Here, modelled on the slopes of our personal patio avalanche zone, is the Andean Silk sample pack sweater. The name, of course, refers to the song - because I would much rather have had a bag full of blues and blue-greens, but with a little determination, managed to come up with something that I like very much and that suits me (which is saying something, as the red/orange spectrum is not friendly to my complexion.)

front sweater

Pattern: my own, worked in one piece to the armscyes, sleeves picked up and worked down in the round. I discovered the concept of short row sleeve caps in Elizabeth Zimmerman's kangaroo pouch sweater, although I believe the idea has been explored by a number of designers. I used woven stitch to blend the stripes, which had the pleasing effect of making the contrasts less jarring.

Yarn: Knitpick's Andean Silk - I purchased the (one of each colour) sample pack on sale a number of months ago, and used 14 different colours in this sweater. Of these, I used almost all the (three) blues, most of the dark purple, and varying amounts of the others. The sweater itself weighs around 420 gms, which would put the actual yardage at a little over 400 yards. Maybe 450, considering the number of ends I wove in and snipped.

Closure: In the end, I opted against buttons, and devised a hammered sterling silver pin:


I am quite pleased with the pin - it's my first go at pin making, and I think I will work up more in future. (It occured to me after the fact that one could quite easily thread stitch markers onto the wiggles, too - decorative and less prone to loss.)

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Fetchingly Last Minute

I am probably the last knitter on the planet to get on board with these, however, last night at supper I was mulling over what to give DD's teacher that I could finish by tonight. I was going to go with jewellery, but then she was kind of "eh" on what I was wearing at the school earlier in the week, so I had a crisis of confidence since I don't really know her all that well. The last thing I need is another looming knitting deadline, but I remembered Charity blogging about Fetching as a quick knit and an ideal teacher gift, so 10 minutes later I had located and printed the pattern, dug out one of my remaining balls of Andean Silk and cast on. (Yes, there is a good reason for the name of my blog.) And this morning, I present:

Pattern: Fetching - Knitty 2006

Yarn: KnitPick's Andean Silk in Olive - 1 ball, with about 5 yards to spare.

Gauge & Needles: I chose to knit these a little small at 22 st / 4 in. on 3.25 mm bamboo dpns. (Also, those were the largest dpns I could find last night - should I even admit that?) I wear size 6 to 61/2 gloves (ladies small) and the recipient is quite petite, so I figure they should work.

They certainly fit me perfectly.

Modifications: Just the bind-off - I replaced the picots with a simple 2 stitch applied I-cord. I'm happy with the effect - smooth, tidy, and comfortable.

Time: 4 hours from start to finish - definitely an authentically last minute project! Also an excellent choice for small amounts of luxury fiber - mine took 91 yards.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Back in the Real World

We are - finally - back online. I fervently hope the repair job was sturdy, since there is another hurricane equivalent coming to the coast in the next 24 hours. Up here in the mountains we just tend to get magnificent snow and a mild breeze, but all of our cabled and wired type services originate down in the storm zone. So if I don't blog for another week, you'll know why.

Where to begin? The happy sweater is finished and I am thrilled with the result, but it deserves a) a post of its own, free of whining about winter storms, and b) to be photographed in daylight. Remains to be seen how much of that will filter through the clouds today, but I will get out the camera as soon as I can.

The show. I realized after reading Rosemary's comment that it might be an idea to actually say where it was, since I have some readers in the Lower Mainland. I had planned to blog the details Friday morning but.... you know. It could have been worse, the power was out to the site of our venue (Function Junction, just south of Whistler Creekside) for all of Friday, and came back on in the absolute nick of time. As far as the show itself, the foot traffic was disappointing (we were competing with 60 cm of fresh powder) but we made a few sales and the feedback was very encouraging, we covered our costs and learned a ton, the kids had a blast at daycare (which they hardly ever get to go to) and Rob and I had a whole weekend of adult conversation just like an actual date. All good.

I gave Rob the job of documenting the weekend in pictures.
That was it. Just the one. (Which pretty much sums up the difference in our respective approaches to photography. I have virtually paralyzed our computer with the number of jpg's stored on the hard drive whereas, if left to his own devices, Rob would still have plenty of room left on the camera card six years after purchase.)

Christmas knitting. Sigh. I think number 2 child will have to wait another year for his proper heirloom stocking. Talk about second sock syndrome. Somehow I managed to cast on 165 stitches, count it three times to ensure it was 144, and knit the plain facing for several hours on 2 mm needles before discovering (last night) that I had 21 too many stitches, and since I had already spent a full couple of days creating the intricate charted design for 144, there was no form of fudging that could save me. And I still have two other gifts to finish by Friday. Not going to happen. Baaaaad mother. (Liam of course, could care less, particularly since his "temporary stocking" is twice the size of his sister's magnificent hand-sewn masterpiece.)

Monday, December 18, 2006

Help! The Sky is Falling!!! (Internet is down for an extended time)

This will be quick, since I am paying rather dearly for access at the moment. A severe winter storm has knocked out Internet access to the entire North Shore area since Thursday night - Shaw and Telus are being worryingly vague, but rumor is that it was a fairly nasty event and could take up to a week more. (Try to imagine the happiness flowing through a world class ski resort that can't take web reservations the week before Christmas.) After begging door to door, I have managed to find a back room in a hotel that is on an alternate system - but it costs rather a lot.

Anyway - Merry Christmas to all, and many apologies to anyone who has emailed me since Thursday night, particularly Lorna to whom I owe money. For anything urgent, try my gmail address: as I will attempt to check it every day or two.