Snow day Swatches

I am sitting here, trying to finish up an essay that is due at noon, getting very distracted by yarn. But such is the way when you have discovered a new project! I have found the perfect pattern for the yarn that will be arriving soon from ebay. I didn't even have to look for it, it just fell onto my desktop, in the form of the Knitty Surprise. It is Thermal, and it is perfect. I am going to knit it at a bit of a tighter gauge than suggested, I think. I swatched with some of the existing yarn that I have of the same brand. I'm going to knit it with the dark blue/burgundy in the cuffs and collar, and then have the light blue/purple as the main body. With the excitement of a new project comes ... Swatching! The bottom more red part was knit with 3mm, and the top with 2.5mm. I'm going for the 2.5mm. I was tempted to just cast on the ribbing with 2.75 since I have a needle in that size, but I've decided to do this right and actually wait.

While I wait for the yarn to arrive, I'm going to try and finish up as many little projects as possible. Today is the second of Catarina's mittens, and the toe of Grandpa's sock, which is actually giving me some trouble when it really shouldn't be so hard. I also have a bunch of pairs of socks in the bottom of a bin that are missing various toes, in a similarly rediculous manner. I should finish those as well. I am portering tonight, so I may start on Grandma's socks, or work on Kim's sweater. Either way, I will have some of my WIP's and must do's out of the way before the yarn even arrives.

Has anyone in Toronto noticed that it has snowed almost every single day for the past two weeks? It just won't stop! I love that everyday it snows in a different way. Yesterday morning was huge fluffy flakes, right now it's barely snowing at all, just a flake or two every once in a while.

Ack! I have a class in half an hour. Must write conclusion to essay and get dressed!


Yarn figures

I was invited, very last minute, to a party on Friday. The party was excellent, despite me knowing almost no one there, but I think that I got to know those few people just a little better, which is fine by me. Right before the neighbour came by to tell us to quiet down, we had rolled the carpet back and were dancing up a storm in the living room. My odd act of the evening was sitting on the landing of the stairs to the basement and reading the entirety of The Forgetting Room, by Nick Bantock, who is one of my favourite artists/book producers. He's not really an author, it's just that the work he creates is inseparable from the words that accompany it. I'll wax poetic about Nick Bantock another day, this post is about yarn.

Since parties downtown mean late nights, I sleep at my parents. Since my parents live downtown, that means at least a day downtown. Which means that I can go yarn shopping. Before going back to campus I stopped by Lettuce Knit, mainly to see if they had a copy of the current issue of Interweave, which they didn't.
I did not, however, leave empty handed. I was accosted by two lovely skeins of Lorna's Laces, in Iris Garden and Chocolate. They are destined to be Endpaper-ish mittens for my darlingest Claire, who's birthday is in a few weeks. She more that hinted that she needed mittens to go with her brown and pink scarf and jacket.

The bag of yarn there is 9 balls of .... something. I know it's wool, I know its sockweight, but there's no brand. I bought it off ebay. I have no idea what I'm going to do with it. I could knit socks, but the colours go with each other so well, it seems like a waste to separate them. I'll think of something eventually.

I also just bought 10 balls of a light blue and purple sockweight off ebay on the weekend. Very excited. I'm looking for a sweater pattern, but nothing I can find is good with a gauge that small. I think I'm going to have to start designing it myself. Sad thing is that I was really looking forward to knitting a sweater from a pattern. Once again, I'll figure something out.

In what I'm actually knitting, this is the minisweater for my ex-roommate. I'm almost done the increases. I would link to the pattern, but unfortunately Glampyre's site is doing all manner of wierd things right now, so it would be pointless. Suffice to say that I am very glad that I copied this pattern out when I knit it last year. The yarn is a cone that Kim found at Romni's. It is the scratchiest thing I have ever knit with. Only garden quality twine is worse. The fabric isn't that bad, but my god does it feel awful sliding through my fingers.

This is my progress so far on the thigh-highs. Both are at the knee. I knit four and a half stripes yesterday, hopefully get as many done today. I have this idea to wear them to my day of rock on Saturday, but I'm thinking that that is definitely not going to happen. I might be able to get one done, but not both.



I was going to name my post Hundred-versarry, but I decided that Centennial sounded a bit more sophisticated. But I do like the sound of Hundred-versarry. It's just so self explanatory. This is after all, my one hundredth post.

Tuesday was a fairly brutal day here chez Leelee. After an entire weekend of late nights due to parties, and early mornings due to the routine that is sleeping at my parents place, I was really ready to just sleep in. But Monday was an early class, and so was Tuesday. I don't mind 8:30 am classes, just not on Mondays. I'm on various commitees in my building, so I didn't end up going to bed until 1am, then I woke up at 6:30 am to get downtown by 9. This is what campus looks like at 7:30 in the morning in the winter. Pretty much dead. The street lights are still on for heaven's sake!

I did get downtown for my field trip to Art Metropole on time. It is a really cool little shop at 788 King St. West, in one of the old industrial like buildings. It sells conceptual artist books, which I had never really heard about before I started my class, Creative and Critical Fictions. We are going to be creating our own artist books, starting in class next week and I'm really excited at what working with books as a medium can open up.

As I was leaving, on my way to visit Mira, I came across this lone red mitten sitting in the snow. If you know who it's pair is, it might still be there! I was verily tempted to take it home with me, and ... well I don't know what I would have done with it. Created something or other. Since I had no plans for it, I left it where it was, just in case it's owner remembered that it had been lost and came looking for it.

After my quick visit with Mira, I started on my way home, walking along Queen St. I had walked past the Knit Cafe on my way over, but as it was still early, it had been closed. I found this out the hard way as there were people sitting inside, and I confusedly pulled at the door. One of the women came over and opened it, which was when it finally occured to me that it wasn't as late as I thought it was. So on my way back I popped in, mostly to see if they had the past issue of Interweave. They don't carry magazines, so the answer was no, but they do have Lambs Pride in Fuschia, so I picked up a skein. Now I can finish the scarf/mitten/hat thing I'm working on, as Romni is out of that colour at present. I'm pretty sure that I'm going to need another ball, but I can wait and get my 10% student discount to finish the scarf. I actually have already finished the hat, but have yet to actually take a picture of it. I might wait until the mittens are done, and then it would really be pretty.

My thigh high stockings are at the knee on one, and mid calf on the other. I should have these done for reading week at the latest, certainly by Montreal if something becomes seriously distracting. Which it might, as I have been promising my ex-roommate Kim a minisweater since I made mine last year, and I have been seriously procrastinating about it. If I could just start the damn thing, I know that I could finish it in no time.


Rocking Socks

I'm getting kind of scared at how fast these things are going along. To be honest, they are the only thing that I have knit in the past few days. But still. I may have them done for my day of Rock, February 3rd. However, whether or not I want to actually wear these out and about in February is yet to be decided. I think I'm going to have to find a more comfortable garter to wear with them the one I have is a touch to small. It does the trick, but it will suck majorly if I want to rock out in any way. Kensington market, here I come!

I was looking through my Gathering of Lace, as I had planned to do one of the shawls from it with yarn I bought during the Big Boxing Day Sale at Romni's. The problem is that I couldn't find a colour of yarn that I liked in laceweight, so I bought 1,120m of sockweight. Problem is that the pattern calls for 3,280m. Wrong yardage and wrong weight means that I think I'll just make socks with the stuff I bought. I could make some really rocking thigh-highs with those, maybe with some sort of pattern? Moral of the story, I need some laceweight. Maybe I can find some at Lettuce Knit. I'm going to go yarn shopping with my mom tomorrow, and I think that she would really like Lettuce Knit. I could even get my new garter at the same time!


Curse you Blogger!

On Sunday night I wrote a big long post, and was almost done when Blogger decided to crash my browser. It being 2am, and having a class at 8:30am Monday morning, I didn't rewrite it. Hopefully this post will be just as good, if not better.

Actually I'm kind of glad I had to wait, becuase now I can show you this picture! I went to Kingston on Thursday night with my friend Catarina, who goes to Mac, to visit our friends Claire and Kasia. Claire was the recipient of the spectacular modified Jaywalkers, which I promptly forgot to photograph as I meant to. For lunch on Friday we went to the Queen's Pub, or the QP to those in the know. I naturally knit through the majority of the time where I didn't have to be holding a fork, which might get a laugh or a "oh Natalie!" from my friends, but otherwise goes unnoticed. Unless you count the waiter. When he arrived to give us our bills he asked incredulously if I was knitting. I affirmed and he told me that you just don't knit in the QP, and that I may have to leave! He was joking of course, but was clearly very surprised that someone would even consider knitting in their dear establishment. This is my proof of knitting in the pub, with my friend Kasia. The lucky garmet to be created was the second of a pair of socks for my grandpa.
The picture is also an excellent example of my new haircut and colour from about a week ago. All short and suchly goodness. It was just far too long for it's own good.

6 episodes of Grey's Anatomy, a kegger, a hockey game, two London Fog teas, the end of a day old keg, fecking cold weather, meeting old friends and a night out on the town later, the sock was finished. Well sort of. I could have finished. But I really wasn't feeling counting and ripping back stitches on a darkened bus on the way home. But I could have finished. All it needs is the toe. The socks are just plain old stockinette. Completely normal except for the fact that my grandpa has big man feet and they are huge. I got my dad to try the first one on as I knit it so I'm pretty sure that they will fit. In comparison is the sock that I started when I decided not to finish the grey ones. They will be .... Thigh High stockings. Full of strippy goodness. The yarn is Opal something or other, in a brown, gold and coral colours. What is in this picture was all knit on the bus on the way back.

In the 6 hours of class I had this morning I did this, and I'll be ready to start the calf increases very soon. I thought that these would take forever, but they are zipping along pretty quickly.
I really don't like the way that standard toes fit my fairly square feet, so I do most of my socks with a short row toe with a provisional cast on. However, because I had lost my notions box right before I left, I had no way to cut a piece of extra yarn to do the cast on. I did try doing it without, but that just wasn't going to work in the long term.

So I got to thinking. The problem I have with standard toes is that the rate of increase/decrease makes them too pointy. But if I were to increase every row then there would be more stitches faster, they would be less pointy. Guess what! It worked! I now have lovely not pointey toe socks, with a magic loop cast on. While in Kingston we did a gift exchange since we were all to busy to do so over the actuall holidays. This was the best present I received, a Wool Queen Mug from Claire. That girl definentally knows the way to my heart. And my needles. I have to make her a birthday present soon!

On a completely non knitting vein. This is what happens when you combine a bad break-up (not from me, I've been single for ages), a batch of cookie dough only good for eating raw, a box of Kleenex, a bag of chocolate covered almonds and the ulitmate weeper movie ever, The Notebook. Lets just say that there were no good Kleenex left between the five of us by the time we were done.


Notions, where have you gone?

One of three presents down! One and a half to go! The bigger problem right now is not finishing the things, but finding my damn notions box. I keep my scissors, sewing needles and stitch counters in a clear box that used to hold playing cards. I know I had it yesterday, but I can't for the life of me find it today. I hate it when this happens. Maybe I left it in Renee's room. That was the last place I used it. It must be there.

Well Renee is out.... Damn. But I gave Andrea some needles for christmas, so I'll borrow her's for the time being.


Spirals fixed ... ish.

I have decided that what really happened is that the yarn decided to throw a little temper tantrum on me. I ripped back to the end of the heel and switched the rows that some of the slipped stitches were on. Instead of starting to spiral back it just spiraled very. very. slowly. But then just as soon as it had started, things started moving along again just as they always had. We'll just ignore that little bit since I really have no wish to reknit it again. I'm about 5 rows and the ribbing away from finishing these babies....

Now I just have to figure out what to give my other two friends. Maybe Pasha? And... Damn, something..... Both have got to be from the stash since I have no time to go downtown and get supplies. Crickey!


Spirals gone wrong.

There is something very wrong with this second Jaywalkerish sock. See that yellow bit at the top. Notice how it's not spiraling anymore? It's decided to just .... travel. It's doing something completely different, possibly even, god forbid, changing direction. This wouldn't be so bad if the first sock has done this as well, but the other one is exactly spiraled. Gah! What to do?! I know that the stitch count is right, it was fine before I turned the heel, but and inch after it's done this. Gotta figure out what to do, these need to be gifted this weekend.


Knitting Time

I now have an hour break between two classes that are kind of far from my residence building on Wednesdays, which means that there isn't enough time to walk back and forth. So yesterday I sat in the lobby of the building, listened to Cast On, and turned the heel of my sock. Now it's on the home stretch, and will definentally be ready for gifting next weekend.
During the three free hours of class I had yesterday I knit about 5" of my ribbed scarf. However I will be ripping the whole thing out as it really needs to be on a bigger needle size. I knew that it would need ripping, but I kept knitting anyways. I have another three hours of class today, so hopefully I can get back to the same (ish) point. I also have to stand in some lines to get my transcript, so more knitting there too! How exciting.

During the break I started my mom on a dark blue mohair scarf. It is gorgeous yarn that she got at the Romni Boxing Day Sale. Today I got an email from her that said:

That’s about all . . . Oh and I’m knitting . . .Its addictive. . . I haven’t touched it yet today . . . good thing or I wouldn’t have stopped. I think the mohair is a bit itchy for me so it may be a give away.

She hasn't knit since I was little, and even so she never did a lot of it. The last thing that she made were a pair somewhat awful chenile scarves that she made, a red one for me, and a blue one for her. I'm so glad that I've roped her in, the fun we will have!

Now I'm off to class, and hopefully not explode with all the administrative crap I have to go through today.

ETA: Happy Blogiversary to me! Actually it was yesterday, but I forgot. I hadn't realised that I made this blog the first day I came back to school from the holidays last year.


Welcome 2007

Some say that they way you start the year is the way that the rest of it will be spent. Mostly I think that that is just wishfull thinking for many drunken revelers. However, if this were true, then I believe that I have started this year in a pretty good way. Welcom FO number 1 of the year!

All he needs is eyes and nose, but my black yarn is up in res so that can wait until tomorrow. I haven't decided on a name for him, but I may leave that up to Tim, who will be recieving the little dude the first thing I see him this week. I am vair excited, I hope they get along! He is knit from Bubby in an old knitty issue, in Nature Spun's Grey Heather. Perfecto! I might knit one for myself.

I still need to knit up womb, for my friend Sam. She's getting double stuffie gifted as I also have an almost finished belated birthday octopus to give to her. I can probably finish that tomorrow night before the secret santa happens.

The reason I love knitting stuffies is that they are such a quick knit, and barely take any yarn. They have such spunk and personality, and it doesn't matter if they fit. They are excellent in any size, big or small. They are perfect for gifts too, especially for people my age and under, we loves our stuffies.

I don't know that I'll actually make any resolutions for this year, not because I'm bad at keeping them, but because in a year much can change and I don't know that anything I decide now will be possible in the near or distant future. I will try my hardest to do my school work at least a day or two in advance, instead of 12 hours, and to actually do some of my readings. I will try to explore the artistic footholds I have, as well as to try and find some new ones. I will knit lace this year. I will try to start selling and giving away some of what I make, instead of just sitting around and knitting for myself all the time. I will try to write more. I will try.

I hope everyone's New Years met expectations for everyone. Sorry 'bout the rain.