Wednesday, November 30, 2011

work-in-progress Wednesday

Plan B

According to Plan A, I was to finish this secret Christmas knitting project today in order to pass the leftover yarn to a coworker for her secret Christmas knitting project. But perhaps it was somewhat unreasonable to estimate that I could knit a round every three minutes for 8-9 hours across two days while still eating, sleeping and holding down a full-time job? Unreasonable? Or delusional?

This morning - with an estimated 5 hours of knitting time left - it was time to go to Plan B. I still want to pass off the leftover yarn today, so the new plan involves calculating and rewinding the amount of yarn I need to complete my project with the help of a calculator and a kitchen scale. Now that five hours of knitting time can be spread across the next week or two. Much better!

Getting myself in over my head is pretty typical on my part. That's me - the queen of underestimation. I can't count how many times Gavin has had to rescue me from my grandiose plans. Not much chance he'd help me with the knitting, but he did suggest Plan B and for that I'm grateful. To hear him tell it, there was something in our vows about promising to listen to him and do as he says. Nope, don't remember that!

As always, check out the blog list at Tami's Amis. Maybe there are some crafters who are organized and on schedule with their Christmas crafting?!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011


It is with regret that we announce that today's blog post is cancelled. Recent developments dictate that the author of this blog must keep her head down and keep knitting in order to complete the secret project by end of day tomorrow.

Speculation and projecture about uses for the leftover yarn halted quite suddenly yesterday when my coworker Linda exclaimed that she'd like a couple of these knit for her girls for Christmas. Could I direct her to the pattern so that she could make arrangements with her mother-in-law? Yes, I can and not only that, I have the yarn for her too! Linda works Mondays and Wednesdays with us, so ideally I'd like to hand off the leftover yarn tomorrow at the end of the work day.

Is this realistic? Well that's another question, isn't it? I calculate that there's about 8 hours of knitting left for me. If I concentrate exclusively on this project, and if I have the opportunity to knit a few hours at work each day, and if I knit a couple hours this evening, then yes, it's possible. And failing that, I could move to emergency measures: setting the alarm to get up a few hours early tomorrow morning to knit. Hopefully it doesn't come to that!

Monday, November 28, 2011

Year of Projects - Denmark Post 04

Knitting on the Road: Canada • Canal du Midi • Conwy • Dalarna  Denmark • Friday Harbor • Hiiumaa • Huron Mountain • New England • The Road to Oslo • Santa Fe • Spey Valley • Christmas in Tallinn • Traveler's Stockings • Uinta Cabin • Unst • Whitby 

Progress on my Denmark sock has been slow and steady. Depending on how my work day goes, I may be able to finish this first sock today. And then get started on the second sock before I entirely forget the mods I made to the heel now that I've added two repeats to the sock to accommodate the smaller than recommended needles and the finer than recommended sock yarn.

There has been lots of progress on my secret Christmas knitting project. You'll have to take my word for it though, because to look at those massive balls of yarn that never seem to get any smaller, you'd think there was no progress at all. They've become quite the topic of conversation around these parts; mostly we've been bouncing ideas around about what to do with the million yards that are likely to be leftover once the secret project is done. Please don't forget that it's a secret - the intended recipient reads this blog and the comments. If you know what it is, please don't let the cat out of the bag!

Once my Denmark socks are done I plan to have a good look at the rest of the patterns in the book Knitting on the Road to see if there are a couple suitable for gift giving. If so, they'll move to the front of the queue. There's very little time left until Christmas and I think I'd better focus on that deadline ahead of everything else.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

it starts today

Shhhh! It's a secret!

My Christmas knitting, that is, it starts today. My first project is a secret project. Many knitters out there may recognize this particular pattern but please don't tell. The intended recipient reads this blog and all the comments and I want it to be a surprise! And if you know the pattern you may be surprised that I've started it at this late date, but not to worry, I'm already almost a quarter of the way.

Also on my Christmas knitting list are the fingerless mitts I mentioned the other day. As soon as my replacement credit card arrives I'll download the pattern and get started. There was a problem with my credit card when I was in California so the old one was cancelled and now I'm waiting for new. Hopefully in the next couple of days!

Now back to my quiet weekend around the house. The first load of laundry is on the go, grocery shopping is next and then errands. With a December birthday, I'd better get my new license plate stickers this weekend as well. And then knit, knit, knit - I've got miles of stockinette to go!

Friday, November 25, 2011

peace and quiet

such a variety of cards!

For the first time in three weeks we awoke to an empty and quiet house, and how nice is that? It's been great having guests and our vacation was great, but it sure is nice to be home and back to our usual routines. I expect that there'll be more consistent knitting and blogging in the days ahead. Is it too late to start Christmas knitting?

Gavin and I both agreed to keep this weekend free for relaxing and catching up on household chores. There is an odd assortment of groceries in the kitchen to munch through - fancy cheeses, crackers and breads, dips and condiments. Sounds like we'll be grazing instead of eating proper meals for a few days.

There's also a most interesting assortment of wedding wishes cards decorating our dining room - from exotic Chinese cards and envelopes, to traditional pastel and foil-stamped North American cards, with a liberal sprinkling of hand-made cards. On my to-do list this weekend is organizing photos and thank you notes for friends and family who put the "special" in our "special day" two weeks ago. Has it been two weeks already? I guess the honeymoon is over and we're old married folk now!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

work-in-progress Wednesday

finally, progress!

This Denmark sock has been on my needles for a long time it seems to me - almost a month exactly. And although I've been working on it quite often it didn't feel like I was making much progress until now. Yesterday I started the heel flap and sock progress usually accelerates when the heel turn has been completed. At least that's what I usually find.

Now's the time to finally put a name on these socks. Once completed they're going to be part of my Christmas gift knitting. When I cast on I had a name in mind but a couple of weeks ago that friend dropped a not-so-subtle hint that she'd like some fingerless mitts instead. Okay-dokey, but where will these socks find a home? That's what I need to decide in the next day or two, in time to tailor the foot length to the intended recipient.

Tosh Sock in "Cove"
Also in the next couple of days I need to make a tentative list of Christmas knitting. And with about a month left, it'd better be short. I guess I'd better cast on some fingerless mitts soon. I've got the yarn and I've decided on the pattern, but first there's a pair of socks to finish!

It's Work-in-Progress Wednesday over at Tami's Amis. Click the link to have a look at what everyone else has been up to. Almost certainly there's a lot more Christmas crafting being done!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Year of Projects - Denmark Post 03

purple everywhere

Knitting on the Road: Canada • Canal du Midi • Conwy • Dalarna  Denmark • Friday Harbor • Hiiumaa • Huron Mountain • New England • The Road to Oslo • Santa Fe • Spey Valley • Christmas in Tallinn • Traveler's Stockings • Uinta Cabin • Unst • Whitby 

Today's blog post is being brought to you by the colour purple. At least at the moment it feels like I'm surrounded by purple. My Denmark sock is still at the same point it was two weeks ago - out-of-town guests, the wedding and then the honeymoon all got in the way of knitting progress, in a good way. But I've got a pair and a half of mitts knit in purple Cascade 220 superwash so knitting wasn't halted altogether. Most of the plain stockinette mitt was knit at LAX and on the plane yesterday. As well, Santa Monica did provide opportunities for stash enhancement thanks to stores like Wildfiber and Compatto Yarn Salon: I came home with two skeins of Wollmeise, as well as a skein each of Madeline Tosh and Pagewood Farms MCN sock yarn.

We flew back into Toronto late last night so this morning has been all about laundry and getting ready for the work week ahead. I did take a few minutes to weave in the ends on the three completed mitts because, with four ends per mitt, the photo would have been altogether too messy otherwise. My plan for the rest of the day is to finish the laundry, make up the beds with clean sheets, dash out to do a quick grocery shop and finish the second mitt.

I'm also keen to get a move on with these Denmark socks. There's a skein of Wollmeise in lovely variegated greys that I can't wait to get on the needles. Maybe for Spey Valley socks?

Saturday, November 19, 2011

finishing up

washed up

We fly back later today so this morning is all about tidying up and finishing up. A first pair of Maplewood mitts is done; well, the knitting of them is done, but there are a number of ends to be woven in. Darning needles were not on the approved items list for carry-on luggage so that'll have to wait until I'm home. For such a simple pattern of knits and purls, the effect is quite striking. I'm going to cast on another to knit on the plane, after all, with a five and a half hour flight ahead of me plus all the usual waiting around at the airport I figure I should be able to just about knit another pair.

finished up
Yesterday was very cloudy all day. In fact, for most of the afternoon the skies were threatening rain but we got away without that. No point in sightseeing so we rented bikes for the day and worked our way south through Marina Del Ray and Hermosa Beach. It's mile after mile of wide open beaches and endless skies. I think I could bike that every day!

Later in the afternoon we had planned to rent Segways but by the time we were back in Santa Monica we were too late -  the minimum rental is two hours and the rental shops were only open another hour. So we wandered around the pier where I found a souvenir in one of the shops: this little shark tealight (or t-lite if you prefer how it's spelled on the tag).  He's got quite a mouthful of teeth and quite piercing eyes so I had to have him. Now, where can I jam him into my suitcase?

Friday, November 18, 2011

Maplewood Mitts

Maplewood Mitts

Bubba Gump Shrimp Co.
A fog has rolled in and it's the weirdest thing. Can't see a thing more than 15 feet away! It was clear in the morning yesterday and then about 10am the fog started and it never burned off. Our plans to rent a car to drive north on the Pacific Coast Highway has been shelved. No sights to be seen in this kind of fog.

Lots of time to knit while Gavin surfs, so I've made good progress on these Maplewood mitts. The pattern has a garter stitch cuff but after knitting it as written I decided I didn't like the looseness of it, so I've reknit with a ribbed cuff. Nothing worse than those cold winter drafts up your sleeves! This really is a travel knitting project. The airline only allows plastic needles in carry-on luggage which left me scrambling for a pattern using 4mm needles and some leftover yarn in my stash. Here we go: mitts in Cascade Superwash Wool. A nice little trellis pattern on the back of the hand, and it knits up very quickly and easily.

Posing with my mitts is this new little Chanchito - three legged clay pigs like this are thought to bring good luck. How cute, and there is no trouble fitting this little guy somewhere in my carry-on bag! He can nestle in the Wollmeise on the way back to Canada.

Dinner at Bubba Gump Shrimp Co was a big hit. Gavin devoured a bucket of shrimp and between each he looked up and said "This is the best shrimp I've ever had" ... "Really, the best."

Thursday, November 17, 2011

yarn crawl

Madeline Tosh and Pagewood Farms

Yesterday Gavin rented a board and a wetsuit from ZJ's Board house with a plan to catch as many waves as he could, leaving me free to do whatever I pleased. Perfect opportunity for a yarn crawl!

I googled and decided on two shops that I wanted to see - Compatto Yarn Salon and Wild Fiber - both well reviewed. And then I studied the system map for the Big Blue Bus to figure out my route. Turns out that the No2 bus stops almost at the doorstep of my motel and drives pretty much directly to Compatto on Wilshire Blvd.

The reviews did mention that the store associates were friendly, but that seems to be something of an understatement. Add more descriptors like welcoming, enthusiastic, happy, helpful, attentive and you start to get the picture. For instance, a young woman walked in with a page torn from a magazine showing a cowl she liked. The store associate confirmed that she wanted to knit it, showed her the appropriate bulky yarns to choose from, helped her select the correct needles, and then reverse engineered the pattern for her. They had a lovely selection of yarn, but I focussed on sock yarns that you don't see in Canada - Madeline Tosh and Pagewood Farms are both local to the southern California area.

Next stop - one crosstown bus and then the No7 EB - at Wild Fiber. Good thing they have lots of chairs - I nearly fell over when I spotted two whole shelves of Wollmeise.  I've never seen that in person!

You may wonder why I stopped at two skeins in each shop. Nothing to do with self-control I'm afraid. It's just that we're travelling with carry-on luggage only and I didn't think I could fit anymore than that!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011


the famous sign
We spent the day yesterday seeing the sights. We were driven through Beverly Hills where the homes of various celebrities were pointed out - Dionne Warwick lives here, Sammy Davis Jr lived there, John Candy lived there for a while, Alex Trebek lives way up there, Die Hard was filmed there, Sisterhood at that Church, Janis Joplin OD'ed in that hotel, River Phoenix passed away in front of the Viper Club there, the Doors where the house band and were discovered there, and so on and so on.

Graumann's Chinese Theatre
First stop? Rodeo Drive. At the bottom of the street is the Wilshire Hotel where much of the movie Pretty Woman was set. Very posh. And we walked up and down Rodeo Drive, but didn't dare venture into the shops. Some were by appointment only. One gallery had a Picasso hanging just steps from the front door. The real thing! YIKES! Even the advertising was fancier - the street pole banners were decorated with Swarovski crystals. And then the cars that were parked here and there! Ferraris, Bentleys, a Bugatti, lots of fancy things!

Next we went down Sunset Blvd to the Kodak Theatre, Graumann's Chinese Theatre and the walk of Fame. This part all disappointed as far as I was concerned. These places all look so much larger and grander on TV! From the walkway behind the Kodak Theatre we got another glimpse of the Hollywood sign.

shopping anyone?
After walking around for a while and reading star after star on the sidewalk, we reboarded the tourbus to continue to Mulholland Drive. Had it not been so hazy and smoggy, the view of downtown LA from the Santa Monica Mountains would have been spectacular. A pretty enviable view nonetheless. From the lookout on Mulholland Drive we could also see the Griffith's Observatory and the Hollywood Bowl. It's weird being in LA - seems like every building is famous for something. All the street names sound familiar, because we've seen them in movies,  in song lyrics and on television. I can't even look at a sign for Santa Monica Boulevard without thinking of Sheryl Crow.

The traffic is really something to be seen. There is construction everywhere - apparently many highways are being widened to add HOV lanes. I didn't envy the driver at all. One more thing? If you own a Toyota dealership in LA you must be making out like a bandit. Seems like every third or fourth car is a Pruis!

Dinner last night at the Galley  - Santa Monica's oldest restaurant. The dining room and bar are lmost entirely lit by string after string of mini Christmas lights, which is odd and quite disconcerting at first. But we soon settled in and became altogether too comfortable. I worked through several Steam Ales from Anchor Brewing in San Francisco and enjoyed the whole dinner thoroughly.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

in the saddle

slather the SPF60
LAB tested !

Day two of our holidays was spent on bikes. We were up early to rent bikes at one of the many Perry's Beach Cafes along the South Bay Bicycle Trail. The 22 mile trail along the beaches was one of our  "must-do"s. Fortunately I slathered up with sunscreen before starting out - I'd have been crispy by the end of day otherwise. And fortunately I also brought along some after sun, since even SPF60 wasn't enough for a full day in the sun on my face and neck. I know, I know! The instructions DO say to reapply often, but sunscreen on your face and neck is just so ick.

To the north we followed the trail through the Annenberg community and Pacific Palisades all the way to Will Rogers State Park. The bluffs along the coast are awesome - but with all the Tsunami warning signs and rock slide warning signs I'm not sure I'd be prepared to invest in those properties. To the south we followed the trail through Santa Monica and Venice Beach to the Fishing Pier. We couldn't figure out the rest, but we've done our research and plan to go again for another half day to see the rest to Marina Del Rey and points further south.

I did happen across a yarn shop - Yarns Unlimited - but came away empty handed. The yarns were mostly cotton and/or acrylic blends. And almost no sock yarn. I suppose here in the sunny south, wool is not so popular and perhaps not sock knitting either. Oh well, there are still a couple more yarn stores to check, time permitting!

Dinner last night was at the Library Alehouse which is just steps from our motel. We both tried Fat Tire Amber Ale, which is a new fave. I also had Elly's Brown  Ale(yum) and tried a Jamaican Red. Gavin spent his time sampling stouts and milk stouts.

Monday, November 14, 2011

the time difference

Santa Monica Boardwalk

In Toronto it's almost 8am, but here in Santa Monica we're three hours earlier - too early to make much more noise than tapping the keys on a laptop. So, because I couldn't sleep, I decided a blog post was in order.

Amusements on the Pier
Checking in at the airport, clearing security and the flight were all uneventful, and these days that's for the best. We checked in online prior to leaving for the airport and used the self-serve kiosk to finish our check-in - with only cabin luggage we breezed straight in to customs. The food on the flight was remarkable because it wasn't awful and we started to get excited while on the descent to LAX when we could clearly see the Hollywood sign in the hills above the buildings.

Once out of the airport, we were directed to a shuttle bus which dropped us at the City Bus Depot in order to catch the Big Blue Bus to Santa Monica. Anyone else see the episode of Chuck with the takedown on the Big Blue Bus? Our bus trip was not nearly so exciting, thank goodness.

No surprises at the motel either, except that the room is larger than I expected: very clean and bright with WIFI throughout, although ...the toilet seat and lid are a sort of fifties-era blue that is slightly surprising. Situated on Main Street in the historic downtown shopping area, there is traffic noise but that doesn't bother me a bit. I'm a sound sleeper, and I'm happy to trade for the convenience of the location.
dinner at Mariasol

Even as we checked into our hotel it was getting dark. The sunset over the ocean was streaked with red; a perfect evening for a stroll down the Santa Monica boardwalk to the Pier for supper. At a leisurely pace the walk took only 20 minutes. Right at the end of the Pier is Mariasol, a Mexican restaurant, our choice for supper. Handmade corn chips and homemade salsa were the perfect accompaniment to a cold Samuel Adams draught beer. The chefs are not shy with their use of Cilantro and I'm completely okay with that. It really gives the salsa tang! We sat inside in the bar area  - maybe I found the evening chilly because I was a bit overtired? - but we'd like to go back for a lunch on the oceanside patio later in the week.

Once back on Main Street we strolled and window shopped for an hour before returning to the motel. It's got a very trendy Queen Street West kinda vibe, if that makes any sense to the non-Torontonians. One thing is clear, this is going to be a great vacation. Too bad we're only here for a week!

Saturday, November 12, 2011

eat, drink ...

Wij houden van Oranje

 ... and be married. It's official, we're husband and wife. Gavin has even changed his Facebook status, so it must be true. The wedding was lovely and the reception was a lot of fun. Just exactly as we had hoped.

After last night's party, we've spent a quiet day today recovering from overtiredness and hangover. Cards and presents have been opened, rented linens have been returned and the laundry is done. Now, with the hockey game on TV in the background, we're trying to get organized and packed for the honeymoon. Santa Monica, here we come!

Have a great week everyone! I'll post when I can but no promises!

Friday, November 11, 2011

finished object Friday

today's the day

111111 ... Remembrance Day ... and also the day that Gavin and I are making it official. Later today we're exchanging vows in front of family and friends after living together for fourteen years. Earlier this week I finished my Scoop pullover so it's ready to debut this evening. Our main wedding colour is red, exactly this poppy red of the Mission Falls 1824 yarn from my stash. Enough for the entire sweater with three-quarter length sleeves with a couple of balls of yarn left over. One thing though, I think I may duplicate stitch on the inside of the sweater at each side of the yoke to reinforce it - I still think the welts sag more than I'd like when worn.

And it's Remembrance Day. Earlier this week I bought a poppy at a neighbourhood store. When I stuffed my $10 bill in the box the teenager at the cash remarked "That's very generous" in a tone which implied that she thought I was overpaying. Really? Considering that Canadian soldiers liberated the Netherlands from Nazi occupation at the end of World War II, it seems like a pittance. My Mom would tell us stories about when the Canadian soldiers arrived, bringing with them gifts of chocolates, sugar and cigarettes. And every year that she was able, she walked in the annual four day Nijmegen March through the RBG in Hamilton. Certainly my family can never repay the sacrifices of the Canadian soldiers and their families.

Have a great day everyone! I know we will. And have a look at Tami's Amis to see all the fabulous finishes.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Things done on Thursday

look familiar?

After I wove in the last end at the thumb of my Susie's Reading Mitts I pulled them on to get ready for the photo. I fell for this pattern based on the main feature photo on the Ravelry pattern details page so with my mitts done, I decided to stage a similar photo. Another little crazy stunt that Gavin helped me out with.

As you can see in my photo - and in the original photo on Ravelry if you're paying attention - the stockinette sleeve of the mitt is quite loose fitting. That's the only thing I'm not keen on. Other than that, I'm really happy with the pattern. Picot edges give a nice finish to the cuffs and the hand openings. A simple eleven row lace pattern that adds visual interest. And the length of the hand and thumb are actually perfect: long enough for warmth but not so long as to impede functionality. No surprise then that my mitts are the five-thousand-and-eighty-third project  made with this pattern as logged by Ravelry. 5083! Wow.

There won't be much time for knitting for the rest of the day. Instead, today needs to be all about sewing. There are four table cloths to complete for tomorrow. I made a start on them yesterday so I should be able to complete these in a few hours. The biggest challenge is finding a large enough work area to spread the fabric for cutting and pinning. With the sewing machine out yesterday I took a minute to sew up a little side project - a neoprene case for my Kobo Vox. A few days ago I spotted a likely looking neoprene pencil case at Dollarama. A quick cut with a rotary cutter to shorten it, a new hem and voilĂ , a Kobo Vox case for $1.25. Now that's crafty!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

WIP Wednesday

almost a pair

Wednesday morning already! Where does the time go? I cast on Susie's Reading Mitts on Monday and the pair is almost done. They're lovely in this dark brown alpaca. I expect these will be my everyday mitts when trekking by train to the subway to the bus to my workplace. Fingerless mitts are very handy when I need to scrounge for a subway token, or search out a train pass to show the inspector, or even to flip the pages on my eBook reader. Yes, they'll definitely be put to good use.

The original intention was to knit these for a friend for Christmas but that plan has changed. These mitts work up too large for her and with all that stockinette the mitts aren't as fitted as I'd like. Yesterday alittlebitsheepish left a comment on my blog in which she recommends a pattern called Swirling Gauntlets which looks very nice, so I'm going to try those next. And maybe, after that, some Glorious Cabled Mitts. Seems like I'm on a fingerless gloves kick at the moment!

Happy Wednesday everyone, and happy birthday Gavin! Have a look at Tami's Amis to see what everyone else is up to!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

a mitt for me

one mitt, mostly

Yesterday morning I cast on the first fingerless mitt from the pattern for Susie's Reading Mitts and by yesterday evening I was binding off the hand. Now that's a quick knit!

I'm knitting with some unlabeled Alpaca purchased at one or another knitting show over the last couple of years. I do recall that it was purchased with mitts in mind, and I think I actually started and frogged a pair that were knitting up too huge. The alpaca yarn is lovely soft and warm - perfect.

The first mitt fits me beautifully; that pretty much guarantees that they'd be way too big for my friend. Too bad, I guess I'll have to keep them for myself. Good thing too, considering I misplaced my own fingerless mitts a couple of weeks ago. My old pair may have been accidentally left in a fitting room in one of the two hundred plus stores in Sherway Gardens, but I can't be sure.

One thing? All that stockinette means that the wrist area is not very fitted. Once these are done I am going to cast on a pair for my friend but in a different pattern. Suggestions?

Monday, November 7, 2011

done, doing and to do

clicking along

As you can see from the photo, the length of leg knitted has doubled since yesterday, which can only mean one thing: the red sweater is done! Yippee! See you at the end of the week for a finished object Friday.

While working away at this first Denmark sock I've been thinking about how lovely this alpaca yarn is. It'd be perfect for a pair of fingerless mitts! Wait a minute ... didn't my friend Nancy mention that she'd like some fingerless mitts for Christmas? Yes, she did. And now that I think about it I'm pretty there's enough alpaca in various natural shades for mitts. Here's the pattern I'm looking at: Susie's Reading Mitts. Cute, huh? Think I'll give them a whirl.

Today's the first day of my vacation and although there's a road trip planned, I'm pretty sure there'll be lots of time to knit this evening. Happy Monday!

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Year of Projects - Denmark Post 02

the first couple of inches

Knitting on the Road: Canada • Canal du Midi • Conwy • Dalarna  Denmark • Friday Harbor • Hiiumaa • Huron Mountain • New England • The Road to Oslo • Santa Fe • Spey Valley • Christmas in Tallinn • Traveler's Stockings • Uinta Cabin • Unst • Whitby 

I'll confess that there hasn't been much progress on my Denmark sock. After knitting the first sock almost to the heel I decided to rip it out entirely and reknit adding one repeat to each side of the sock to bring the round to 72 stitches. That's a much better number considering I'm knitting this sock with lighter yarn and smaller needles than the pattern suggests.

Things have been too busy around here to get much knitting done. Last week the pressure was on to push through as much work as possible before I started my two week vacation on Friday. Saturday we picked up my brother at the airport - he's flown in for a week-long visit from Fredericton. What little knitting time I've had has been devoted to my red sweater, which I'm happy to report should be completed later today or sometime tomorrow. With the sweater off the needles I should have more time for this sock. And then there's the fact that Christmas is just 48 days away ... better get a move in! Expect a big update next week!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

wip wednesday

shown here in short sleeves

My big red swatch is finally turning into a sweater, and none too soon! I plan to be wearing this sweater for the big event just nine days from now and there's one more sleeve and a couple more inches on the body to knit. Can I finish it by Friday? That might be a bit too optimistic, but we'll see.

This is my third attempt at this sweater, now two sizes smaller than my first attempt, and the fact is I could have gone a size or two smaller still. The yoke is very loose, so much so that I'm contemplating adding a band of elastic around the inside to shore it up. It'd be more flattering if the sweater cinched in at the bottom of the yoke. I suspect that adding the second sleeve will also help to tighten up the yoke.

Despite the aforesaid, I'm pretty happy with this sweater. It's cute and comfy and the yarn is all from my stash. The colour is a perfect cranberry red, which is exactly what I had in mind. Now, time's a-wasting; I'd better get back to knitting and get a move on that second sleeve! To see what everyone else is up to have a look at the list at Tami's Amis.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

new toy

oooooh, shiny!

The last several days have been crazy busy, and there's no sign of the pace letting up. I've been knitting away at the red sweater whenever I find a moment, but my Denmark socks have been pretty much ignored.

Yesterday a shiny new toy arrived by post - my new Kobo Vox eReader. It's marketed as a colour eBook reader. But it's really a low cost colour Android tablet. Sure, it's not as slick or powerful or fast as an iPad, but it's a better size for carrying around and much cheaper. So far ...

  • I've downloaded and read a book
  • I've downloaded and read a newspaper
  • I tried reading the online preview of Interweave Knits, but first I need to install flash
  • I've browsed online on the Ravelry forums
  • I downloaded and played Angry Birds, which is turning out to be a dangerous time suck

Next step? Download knitting patterns, upload photos and figure out how to blog from my tablet. Wheeee, this is so much fun!