Monday, August 24, 2009

I don't know about this sunny and hot business...

Sure, SoCal has the beach and ocean...

And it's got the palm trees and hot hot hot weather...

But all that means for me is a mild sunburn and the need to mainline iced coffee all day.

No, what I'm really excited about is...

Mexican food!

Mmmm...fresh tortillas...tamales...many and varied salsas...

Also, some pretty good seafood. It turns out The Limey has never had clam chowder (until last night, anyway)! How does someone reach his fourth decade without ever having clam chowder?!

But I'm over all this hot weather business, and am really glad that we're off to San Francisco tomorrow. Whew. With any luck, I'll need to actually wear a cardigan at some point in the next few days.

Friday, August 21, 2009

In sunny Santa Barbara

Got my Addi Turbos through two airports with no problems. At Heathrow, the needles were empty, so I figured at most I'd be out the cost of a pair of Addis, but at my layover in Vancouver, they had 8 hours of lace work on them, so I was quite nervous. Security didn't bat an eye, but I did have a fellow passenger say she had wanted to bring knitting but didn't think she could get needles through.

It turns out, for me, about eight hours is what it takes to get to the edging charts of the Aeolian shawl (I'm doing the smaller shoulderette version, without beads). I've just finished the second set of nupps, and you know what? Those bastards don't show up very well for me- they want to appear on the wrong side.

It's nice to see The Limey, and I had a present for him.

Oh That's Punny!
Yarn: Trekking XXL for the main body of the sock, and I think some Paton's Diploma Gold 4-ply for the words
Needles: my usual 2.0mm dpns for the main sock, with the stranded colourwork done on 3.0mm
Pattern: the body of the sock is basically Kate Blackburn's Hareton Socks, with, uh, a modification at the top of the leg

Notes: A visual pun of one of The Limey's favourite cursewords. I don't even know if other people except he and a buddy from grad school use it. It was suggested during the camping trip in March, and it was easy enough to do, so I did it.

The argyle-y pattern of the socks is great; it's all elegant texture. It would be perfect for a pair of fancy dress socks. If you don't put swear words on the cuff, of course. I did some non-obvious modifications of Kate's pattern as well- I did it toe up, with my usual short row heel.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Good plane knitting?

In a valiant, and somewhat successful, attempt at avoiding the huge to-do list, I finished The Limey's socks yesterday. I was saving them for the plane ride. So now I have no plane knitting! Oh noes!

I'm racking my brains here...I like sock knitting because my wooden dpns are less likely to be confiscated by the overly zealous security people, but I have no more sock yarn for The Limey and I don't want to knit socks for me...I want to start a good lace project, but I don't want to risk my Addi lace turbos with the aforementioned security and I have no wooden circulars of appropriate would be a good time to do colourwork, but I don't have a project picked out, and there's no time to get more yarn, so whatever it is has to be do-able with what I have...

I'm going to add "rummage through stash" and "do humongous Ravelry pattern search" to my to-do list.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Make me do chores!

I'm leaving for California in a few days. The Limey's already there, working. I'm going to fly out to Santa Barbara and hang around for a few days while he finishes up work, and then he's going to take a few days off, and we're going up to San Francisco to see my family.

(Despite living just a few hours away, I have spent very little time in southern California; in fact, I think I've only been south of Santa Cruz twice. I'm kinda looking forward to mooching around SB. Mexican food, here I come.)

But, before I leave, I have to get all sorts of crap done. I have to clean the house, set up everything for the person who's going to come in to feed the cat, pack, arrange for a neighbour to keep an eye out, do some laundry...aaargh, a thousand little things. And right now I can't even be arsed to make myself lunch.

Must. Get. Ass. Off. Couch.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

What to knit next?

Last year, The Limey's mother gave me a bunch of the yarn she had left over from the '80s when she used to knit. A lot of it wasn't to my taste, but she had a bag of cream-coloured Wendy Sarto (80% wool / 20% nylon). I instantly wanted to make a long cabled cardigan from it. This was put on hold until a few days ago.

I browsed patterns and asked on Ravelry (there are lots of cabled cardigan patterns out there, people) and really liked these patterns:


I'd seen this before, and think it's gorgeous. Look at those cabled bands going all around the front, hem and hood! However, the pattern's more of a guideline, and in one size, so I'll have to do a lot of number crunching to make it fit me and make it shorter.


One of Kim Hargreaves beautifully classic designs. I have to be careful not to let the photography/styling/model influence me, though. I may want to live in a Rowan photo shoot, but that doesn't mean I want the knitwear. Also, for this, I'd have to get the Hargreaves book, since the pattern isn't sold individually. (A kind soul on Ravelry has already offered to lend me her copy, though- the wonders of the interwebs!)

Fireside (Ravelry link):

Isn't it lovely? All that cabley goodness, and it's got front bands that cable right up to and around the collar, like Louhi. Also like Louhi, I'd have to do a bit of number crunching, in this case, to lengthen the cardi.

After a lot of to-ing and fro-ing, I've decided to read through the Louhi pattern and see how easy/hard it will be to re-size. I think it's got a certain something, and it's definitely different...

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Not bad, if I do say so myself

In the last few days, I've managed to get quite a few things done, and put other stuff in order. I'm surprised, because I feel like I've just been surfing the internet and reading teen sci-fi/fantasy books (I'm rediscovering Diana Wynne Jones, at the moment).

1. I got Milkweed done in record time.

2. I sent out the first draft of that Fyberspates pattern. I also scheduled a photoshoot with a friend this weekend to get some pictures for me before I send the FO off to Jen.

3. I downloaded Scribus and played with it to see if I might want to start making my patterns look a bit more professional. It's a very basic desk top publishing program (can't afford InDesign!) but it looks like it will do what I need to lay out patterns and such.

4. I did up the charts for another design, swatched it, realized it didn't work, messed around some more with the charts before deciding that the stitch pattern probably won't do what I need it to do, picked another one, messed around with it a bit and charted that up. I "just" have to swatch it up now.

5. I've decided that I will definitely take a break and do a personal knitting project before I start work in earnest on the next design. I will work on either that dress I've been talking about, or a long cabled, belted jacket, maybe with a hood? Any ideas on patterns for that, by the way?

6. I've also decided that The Limey's socks will be finished up on the plane over to California. It'll be a cool surprise for him, and -let's be honest- by then he'll probably have run out of the clean socks he took with him.

Friday, August 07, 2009

Go me! (Now with new and improved pictures!)

(Got the good camera back from the repair people. I know it's a poor worker who blames her tools, but I really did not get on with the back-up camera. Since I'm not such a hot photographer, I do need all the help I can get from the equipment.)

In a marathon knitting session, I got Milkweed done in less than two days. I really needed a quick satisfying knit, and this hit the spot.

Milkweed Shawlette
Yarn: Jenny Cook Hand-dyed sock yarn; 80% alpaca/20% silk, bought in Hay-on-Wye
Needles: 3.5mm Addis
Pattern: Laura Chau's Milkweed

Notes: Took just over 100g of this yarn- I'm guessing I used around 300m. I was really afraid I was going to have to frog a bit of the Anti-Funk, but luckily had no problems finishing up with the leftovers from that first skein. Finished size about 1 meter wide and 40cm from centre to middle point. I kind of wish I'd managed it to be a little wider, actually, so it would hang lower when worn.

I love this yarn in garter stitch, and it works with this pattern beautifully.

The pattern is clear and easy to follow- I used the charts.

Now, onto pattern writing. While the shawl was blocking, I had a small breakthrough in charting out a pattern idea, so now I'm making myself write up this last pattern before I start swatching on the next.

Monday, August 03, 2009


I finally got around to sending the camera away to be fixed and what happens? I finish knitting that last Fyberspates design.

It took forever. And I'm not sure why, exactly. It's not a difficult knit, and I'd memorized the lace pattern at the very beginning. I'd been holding off doing any other knitting until it was done, so now there's a short list of what-to-do-next:

1. Write up the pattern for the design

2. swatch up another design I've got in my head

3. figure out what I should do about a few swatches/proposals that I have laying around

4. Start Milkweed!

5. Finish the last three inches of The Limey's latest socks (these socks have been languishing since April).