Knitting and a Movie

This is yet another knitting blog

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

A Trip to the Library

I've been wanting to post photos, but it's been hectic. This weekend was B's birthday, and the newly-11-year-old wanted Duck L'Orange. So of course I asked my mother-in-law for her recipe. (She is a couple of thousand miles away, and I still feel like she has a big influence on my cooking, I find myself a better cook for things I have learned from her. Everyone should work on cooking their wedding party food with their mother-in-law. ;)) It was rather time consuming, but it came out fabulous (as her recipes always do). Then I spent a lot of the weekend working, oh and we finished watching the very last episode of Buffy, which is sort of sad...now what? (OK, I'm way behind on my TV watching, when did that show end?)

Anyway, since I don't have photos, I wanted to do book reviews from my recent library trip.

Mason-Dixon Knitting
I have to admit, I didn't get the hype on this book. Then I borrowed it from the library. What is so great about it is it's a great inspiration for creative ideas. I might make nothing from the book, but it gave me so many ideas for other related projects. And I think a lot of the time that's what I want from a knitting book... just a source for good ideas. Plus it's really entertaining to read.

Romantic Home Sewing
This isn't a knitting book, but it's again a great source for creative ideas. There are a lot of cute sewing projects in this. I definitely want to get me a copy of this. And there is a great felted pencil holder thing (which is supposed to be done with a prefelted sweater) which gives me an idea for a knitted felted project. Stay tuned...

The Mitten Book AKA The Swedish Mitten Book AKA Gottlandska Stickmonster
This is such a fabulous out-of-print book, and if anyone finds it for me at a reasonable price I will be forever indebted (in English or the original Swedish, or any other Scandanavian language... heck, I'd probably take it in Japanese if someone found it). Just after getting it from the library, it was on ebay, but sold for too much for my wallet.

It's basically just a series of charts for pretty colourwork mittens, and some basic mittens instructions. The mitten swap mittens I am making take the pattern from there, it's called Lingonberry.

Monday, January 22, 2007

First FO of 2007

First FO of 2007: Cable Rib baby socks.

I really like this yarn, it has a funny story to it. It is Brown Sheep Wildfoote sock yarn in Elderberry (Brown Sheep Wildfoote yarn is a perfect sub for Lorna's Laces, by the way). When I knit my very first socks, they were striped, it was a pattern for striped socks. I was kind of a new knitter, and had to go by the pattern. So when I bought yarn to make more socks, I was convinced they had to be striped. I bought some Brown Sheep Wildfoote yarn in turquoise, and one in a colour called Elderberry, which was more light purple, pink, and turquoise (not the jewel tones this yarn has). Last year I wanted to make Jaywalkers, and didn't have enough of the Brown Sheep yarn, so I tried looking for a second skein. Someone told me she had it, so I bought it from her. I was shocked to find out that it was a completely different colour than the one I had. But I decided to keep it, rather than asking her to give me my money back or something, it wasn't her fault they changed the colour. So it has been sitting around, and I thought, well this is a perfect colour for baby socks (I personally like fun rich colours for that sort of thing). And now I have decrease my stash by 19 grams. It isn't much, but it's a start.

(Oh yeah, the candlestick in the background was one of our wedding gifts.)

And I have some really exciting news, I am working on a very old, non-knitting UFO, along the same theme as the socks. I have been working on being certified to teach childbirth preparation classes for YEARS. Well, it has been one of those things I haven't had much time to work on, it seems like things keep coming up. Anyway, I was all done with everything, but my final exam. But that had to be a closed book test with a proctor and I had to set it up, and the more time went by the more worried I was about studying for the test... anyway, I decided that this was the year to finish this off. (Yes, I have a professional job, but this was something I just wanted to do, both to make extra money and because I just feel inspired to.) I talked to someone at the certification organisation, and they don't do a closed book test anymore, they do an open book test, so I can do it at my own pace and if I need to refresh in one area, it's OK. This was so exciting to find out, the thing I had been putting off so long, it's not so scary after all! And today the test arrived in the mail... so I am not sure how long it is going to take me, but I plan on trying to work on it at least every week so I can get this thing FINISHED!!

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Just Right Yarn
My in-laws sent us assorted candy when they sent our Christmas gifts from Iceland (chocolate-covered licorice, Opal, and so on). Friday night we dumped the remaining candy into a bowl to have in front of the television. Saturday noonish we were grabbing licorice whips out of the bowl and I noticed that the chocolate covered licorice was all gone. Ingi figured B grabbed it in the morning. So later on we sat down to watch TV and I said, "What is the dog EATING?" (She was crunching and crunching like she was eating a bone, only there was no bone.) I looked at the floor and front of her and realised she had stolen the rest of the Opal (it's kind of a hard candy that gets kind of chewy when you suck on it) out of the bowl, and was chewing and chewing, I think the candy was sticking to her teeth. Now, I know that dogs aren't supposed to eat candy, and I guess we learned our lesson to not leave tempting candy where dogs can reach, but the sight of her chewing on that Opal was the funniest thing.

Anyway, I did some swatching and testing and swatching.... I decided the original 2 colours wouldn't work together (actually, they look better in the photo, but they are too close in value and the green doesn't really stand out very well).

And I also figured out from my test swatch that in this pattern I really use a lot more of the background colour than the pattern colour. (I was going to bore everyone with the maths but I decided not to, basically I knit a swatch in pattern then ripped it out and measured the 2 yarns). SO... I bought a new purple on sale at the LYS, since they didn't have that green, and I should have enough green to use it as the pattern colour. (The green yarn is Jamieson & Smith Shetland wool yarn, which can be ordered direct, and the purple is Jamieson (different brand) Shetland Spindrift, which is generally a ripoff unless one can find it on sale.)

We also got a really fun surprise in the mail Saturday: The new Shins album.

Yes, it's VINYL. If you order it on vinyl, they will give you a download code to get it as MP3s. Which is just fine with us, then we can listen to it in the car if we want. There is something really fun and cool to get a vinyl record still. And yes, it DOES still sound better than CD, isn't that funny. Oh, and what makes it even cooler, is the release date isn't even until Tuesday.

And the other fun surprise... we were really hungry when we were out shopping today and decided to check out this new Shish Kebab house nearby. We figured it would be sort of like a glorified takeout place, and were surprised to find it was actually a kind of fancy expensive restaurant. But it was SO GOOD... totally worth it. And now we want to try out Afghan cooking, the spices were just so great. I recommend this place, and I guess they have a restaurant in California too.

Friday, January 19, 2007

Goldilocks and the Mitten Yarn

So I am participating in a mitten game/swap/whatever you want to call it where I am making mittens for someone and someone is making hand-things (mittens, gloves, wristwarmers, whatever) for me. I know the pattern I want to use, so I went to find yarn in my stash that might work.

This combination is really pretty, but the yarn is too thick, and there won't be enough pattern repeats to be pretty:

So out went that choice. Then I found this yarn, which would be really lovely:

The problem is the green is 30 g and I think I need around 50 g according to the pattern (well, it's a pretty loosely written pattern, but I don't really know) and I don't even know what colour number it is, so I doubt I can get more like that. Which is a shame because it's a really lovely colour.

So where is the yarn that's just right? Not really sure, I will probably run out to the store this weekend to find something. If I can match that green I might do that, just use one dye lot on each mitten. I am thinking that Shetland jumperweight yarn is the right weight though, so I will do a gauge swatch with a different set of colours altogether. (I guess I can do a gauge swatch and then rip it out to try and calculate roughly how much yarn it will use.)

If you notice in the above pictures, we finally got some snow last night. It's just the right amount of snow, it's enough to look pretty, but it warmed up enough that the roads are clear.

Album of the week: Camera Obscura: Let's Get Out of this Country. It's fun, it almost has a 60's girl band sound to it in places.

Oh, and here is a piece of advice from last night: Don't try to make rice pudding from Uncle Ben's Converted Rice. I have no idea what it was converted to, Catholicism? But you need to use the heathen rice. This rice has something very weird about it, it never gets nice and soft in the pudding like it's supposed to. So we had chewy rice pudding for supper.

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Felted Bag Dilemma

So I am working on this felted bag with leftover lopi. (The pattern is based on Brown Bag in Knitty.) I figured I had enough light blue left to knit the bottom in the medium blue, the top in the light blue, and the part that folds down in the medium blue. I figured wrong. I have a little more medium blue, and then the darker blue and grey that are in the photo (oh and white and black, but I figured it would be one of these colours.) What I am thinking is if I knit a band with a design in it now, then it doesn't look like just a random stripe but something planned. I was going to put some flowers or snowflakes on the flap part anyway, so maybe I will do a band of those and then some on the flap.

So.

Do I knit the rest of the body of the bag in the medium blue (with some kind of design on it), and then the flap part in maybe the darker blue? Or would the grey look better? Or any other ideas?

Monday, January 08, 2007

Some Conclusions

Green tea is really good.

A Chinese guy that I work with gave me some Buddha King Iron Buddha green tea, he said it was fresh so it has to be used quickly. Look at those leaves! I have been drinking a lot of this amazing tea and trying to drink less coffee.

Knitting Selbu socks before a second cup of morning coffee is a bad idea.

After frogging several rows during commuter knitting, I decided these socks are NOT a good project to work on on the bus. So I decided to use up some lopi leftovers and work on a felted bag. (I'll post about that a bit next time.) I am not going to join some destash effort like Fra, but I like her idea of weighing what you use up. So I don't really do resolutions, but I think I will try to use up some odds and ends this year. So here are some knitting goals for me for this year:
    Use up some stash leftovers
    Finish and block those 2 shawls already!
    Revisit that purple lace sweater that I picked back up last summer
    Hopefully knit the Poetry in Stitches cardigan that I have the yarn for (can you believe what prevented this is winding yarn into balls? Ugh!)

And one more conclusion, sans picture.
Boys should not spraypaint Pinewood Derby cars in the basement.

BLECH!

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Search Engine Fun

So I wanted to make some insulated curtains for my kitchen and downstairs bath, because there is no heat in that room and those are some old, single-pane windows? Any tips? Google is no help.....

Knitting Year in Review

I've seen a lot of these lists in blogland, although mine seems comparatively pathetically short.
FO's for 2006:
1 pair wristwarmers
2 lopapeysur
2 baby sweaters
1 pair baby jeans
1 baby hat
1 pair Selbu baby socks
1 pair mittens
1 man's hat
1 headband
2 pairs socks
1 facecloth

Started but not finished projects for 2006:
Hlfskk (needs blocking, if only I could find those pins!)
Litla Hyrna Huldu (needs more crocheting)
Glampyre's Bulky Cable sweater
1 scarf (just needs fringe, isn't that sad)
Rowan Plaid Lightning sweater
(and some other older UFOs....)

The good news is working on this post reminded me about Ingi's scarf so I finished it last night. Now I have to figure out what happened to the rustproof pins I bought when getting wedding paraphenelia, I put them someplace when I was cleaning and can't remember where.

And another fun thing from last year... I wanted one of those cool expensive sock-knitting bags, but of course I don't have money for this. I found these overalls:


And made me a sock project bag:


The only problem is B was playing with my sewing machine and managed to lose my bobbin holder (I know what it's called because I looked it up in the sewing machine book). The 3 of us tore apart my whole sewing area, and that thing is just GONE! So now I can't make handles for my bag until it turns up, there is no way I am sewing that silk stuff by hand. I would like to try making another bag, but line it this time, I should have done it, but I was too excited for the bag prototype. I was originally going to make a nicer one for a Christmas gift swap, but the non-functional sewing machine thing thwarted me there.


Hope everyone had a happy new year celebration and happy 2007!