Saturday, March 10, 2007

I found the coolest thing

While peeking at the finished Dalarna's on a fellow KOTR knitter's blog, I found the coolest meme: Booking through Thursday.

Granted, these days I am more of a wanna-be reader, barely able to keep up with my own real life book club now that I am awash with reading for school. Still, books are such a big part of my life that anything bookish is irresistably attractive to me. How can I resist?

Booking Through Thursday

  1. Do you lend your books to other people? If so, any restrictions?

    All the time. Most of the time, they're books I won't be too distressed to never see again - but I do prefer getting them back. Because my sibs live the next province over, we frequently have books on long-term loan from one another - like, a couple of years. It's common to walk into each other's houses on vacation and retrieve a book from their shelves - "Hey, ya done with this?"

  2. Do you borrow books from other people? (Friends or family—I'm not talking about the public library)

    Yes, often - especially within our very cheap book club, in which we endeavour to circulate a few copies through all the members.

  3. And, most importantly—do the books you lend/borrow get returned to their rightful owners??

    Most of the time - in the last few days I just loaned out one and got back four, though sometimes the balance is the other way around...

Leaving the fair isle behind

Now that the snow is starting to melt in Alberta with somewhat longer breaks till the next snowfall, my thoughts are turning to lace. Apparantly my knitting interests are seasonal, though I didn't deliberately set out to make it that way. But over the winter, my favorite projects have involved some sort of colorwork. Here's a few I was too lazy to update as they were finished:
Maimu's mittens

pattern: Maimu's mittens, from Nancy Bush's "Folk Knitting in Estonia
yarn: Sandnesgarn Tove, sport/dk wook
needles: 2.25 mm Brittany birch - a big mistake - broke two needles in the process. Next time, metal for sticky wool!
knit Jan 21 - Feb 19 with lots of breaks in between.

This picture really is in focus - the pattern doesn't show up as well as I hoped because the brown yarn is a bit heathered, which I didn't really realize till quite a ways into the project. I love these mittens - they're a bit thinner than the Fox and Geese mittens below, but they're perfect for frosty mornings.

Here's the Fox and Geese mittens:

Finished Fox and Geese mittens

I finished these Boxing week - it took a while to get a picture. They turned out biggish (but I have tiny hands) so I flung them in the drier to start with, then after a few weeks of wearing them all floppy, flung them in a hot wash to felt them. They didn't actually felt or shrink that much, because they were knit fairly tightly to start with, but I got enough felting to make them very thick and cozy. They turned out to be perfect Alberta winter mittens.

pattern: Fox and Geese mittens, by Robin Hansen
yarn: Paton's Classic merino
needles: size 4 inox circs

And finally, a stranded beret, mixing and matching motifs from Anna Zilboorg's book.

don't shoot!

I like the underside too - love the white waves on blue:

the underside

Pattern: Beret from 45 Fanciful Hats, by Anna Zoolberg
yarn: Paton's Classic Merino - again, I have loads of the stuff
needles: 4 mm and 5 mm Aero and Inox circs and DPN's

The fit was really too big, unfortunately:
the elusive top of my head

so again, unable to leave well enough alone, I flung it into the washer, where it shrank and felted quite a bit. I like it the size better now, though it definately lost some elasticity. Next time around, smaller needles should do the trick. But probably not till next year. Spring is in the air, and that means lace and short socks. Planning, planning, planning.

Monday, March 05, 2007

Mamluke Socks

Mamluke Socks
Originally uploaded by Sophie_vf.
Susan at the Folk Socks Knitalong did a terrific job getting members revitalized by issuing a February challenge to knit one of the socks that had already been done in the past year, since so many of us had WIP's that were malingering or else missed the sock when it was originally posted. The Mamluke was the KAL selection some time last spring or summer, and I just don't do colorwork when it's hot out. So it was a perfect time to catch up on a sock I'd always meant to try.

Wendy Guernsey is not readily available here and is rather expensive online, but I noticed that a number of other knitters successfully did this sock in standard fingering weight - this is the pair that pushed me over the edge. I liked the effect of slow-striping Trekking in the Iris Garden, so chose a similar slow-striping Fortissima for the main colour for the Mamlukes, and a cream Regia for the pattern colour. I'm pretty happy with how they turned out. It took me four tries to find the right gauge and tension, but once I got that it was a relatively smooth knit.

I replaced the "Allah" pattern bands with an Estonian star and a scroll motif from Anna Zilboorg - a poster on the KAL mentioned that during a workshop, Nancy Bush requested that knitters replace the Allah motif with something else from now on, and that the original socks she copied were likely to have been funeral socks. The scroll still has an eastern feel, I think, and serendipitously, one of the other Egyptian socks in the book has a star similar to the Estonian one, so it seems to work. I forgot to add the little dots in the rightmost sock, so I'll have to duplicate stitch that in, some day. Or not.

I liked the way the heel looks, and it's not uncomfortable, but it seems shallow, and not bendy enough. If I ever knit this again, I would sub in a short row or afterthought heel, but keep the stripes. I liked those.

They really are the same size, at least when stacked on top of another. I'm not sure why the right one looks bigger. Maybe the different colour changes.

Fortissima Colori and Regia
2.75 mm Inox circulars
Mamluke socks from Nancy Bush's Folk Socks
knit in fits and starts throughout February 07

Sunday, March 04, 2007

An actual update, now with time travel

Part of the reason I haven't blogged in so long is that December was primarily given over to Christmas knitting, and I didn't want to give away what I was making for various nieces and nephew (singular). But, now that it's done,it can be shown!

Christmas knitting

Hmmm, it looks like a pitifully small pile considering the time spent on it. It's the felting that makes it look so small!
I cannot say I felt the love that other people seem to for the Fibertrends clogs. Perhaps working in the smaller sizes made it such a pain in the butt, because you needed a 16-20" circular for those, and the combination of the Boye needlemaster cables and the humongous size 13 needles hurt my hands. Maybe doing these in adult sizes are less aggravating. But the outcome is so cute, I don't regret making them, and they were well received.

The booties were a lot more fun to make, and less hard on the hands. I'd definately make them again.

The silk garden beret is actually the Last Minute Purled Beret, from Wendy at the Garter Belt, downsized for a child. The rainbow hat actually started out as a pinwheel blanket, but I soon realized that I would never get a blanket done before the little dude went off to college, thus the quick conversion into a hat.

And the dishcloths were my exercise in learning to throw yarn with my right hand, in case one day I might wish to learn two handed fairisle, which frankly I'm not motivated to do at the moment. I'm perfectly happy at knitting two colours in my left hand, which I've been doing most of this winter.


Mea culpa.

I just realized that people have actually been commenting here at my blog, and I had NO IDEA, because....well, I had no idea I had somehow set blogger to moderate comments. And, I haven't updated in so long that I missed the blogger move and the update to the new system.

So I was completely shocked to update this morning, and find 100 comments waiting to be approved. Um.

Many apologies to all who commented and wondered what kind of dumbass was refusing to accept their comments, never mind acknowledge them. Thank you all for your kind input, and I promise I was not trying to be surly or ignorant. Well, maybe ignorant, but only in a blogger sort of way.

Off to tinker some more with the dashboard. Thanks again!