Thursday, August 30, 2007

fifty-six

A parcel arrived in the post today. Just a plane cardboard box with my name and details, and a return address some po. box in Ontario. "It's very strange," I thought, "I'm not expecting anything. I wonder if it's a bomb." Because I'm the type of person that thinks every bit of unexpected post is a bomb. Then another thought struck me, what if it's not a bomb, what if it's worse, what if it's YARN!



Normally, yarn in the post is a very good thing. But I am not expecting any yarn. Did I order yarn and forget that I ordered it? Did I sleep-order-yarn? I do several simple tasks in my sleep like get a glass of water or bake banana bread. I can write essays (some of the best I've done were written this way - but always with pen and paper, never with the computer) in my sleep. I can even carry on a conversation over the telephone in my sleep - so well in fact that quite often the other person doesn't know I'm asleep - and not remember it. But still, I suspect that ordering yarn is far beyond the abilities of my sleep-self.




Good news - It's not yarn. Even better news - It's a teapot!







And what a lovely teapot it is too. My father had ordered me a teapot and I'm simply thrilled with it. There is Earl Grey tea in it now, steeping away while I write this blog. I love tea so much. I think I love it more than I love yarn.



Want more good news? I've found a scarf pattern I like (see above photo) - Montego Bay Scarf by Amy R. Singer in Interweave Knits Summer 2007. I doubt that I'll add a fringe, but I love how simple it is to knit. I also realize that I suck at lace knitting. I've frogged this scarf 5 times before I got it right. I was going to frog the sample from the last post, but Y got a hold of it first and decided to make a flower out of it. She made me cast off and give it to her. I don't mind. It is nice to have something you made created into something beautiful.




Speaking of Y, we walked to the Abkahazi Garden with her housemate. We had tea/lunch at the house and spent a great deal of time looking around the garden. We took photos of everything! It was great!










I tried to take a kinnear shot of the girls.




There is Y doing her customary dance. I think it's becoming a ritual.






Want even more good news? I finished (FINALLY FINISHED) my Monkey socks. Too bad they are not very photogenic. But they are finished and that's what counts.






Oh, and while you are here, check this out. I might just have to participate.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

fifty-five

Yesterday was my last day of work before I go back to University. I do like my job and I especially like my co-workers, but I tell you sometimes, the guests can be a real pain in the @$$. I think, I had just worked too much this summer. Yes, it means that I have more money to spend on fiber, but I tell you here and now, I am very glad to have a few days off before classes start.




So, what shall I do with my time off?




I can knit my Kauni. I'm up to the front neckline at the moment. I hope to have the torso finished and a sleeve started before classes get underway.




I can knit myself a scarf with some yarn I spun. It is silk and wool from my Golden Fleece plyed together. It is so soft!







I had originally planned to knit socks, but once I draped my skein around my neck (I hope I'm not the only one in the world with this habit - but in my defence, I find it the best way to see how the colours will look on me and if I find the yarn scratchy) I realized that this yarn HAS TO become a scarf.







I've started knitting Palette with it, but I'm not certain if I like the pattern. My yarn is much thinner than the recommended yarn so I'm using smaller needles (and thus making a thinner scarf). Also, knitting lace hurts my thumb for some reason.







I think I might rip it out and make a version of the Montego Bay Scarf form Interweave Knits summer 2007. Although I'm not certain that I like the fringe, I love the lace pattern.





I can finish my Monkey socks! I'm almost finished the toe on the last one. It's a fun pattern to knit, but I just couldn't get into it. It's been months since I've started and I'll be glad to be done.





I can spin cobwebs into yarn. Well, it's not actually cobwebs, I don't think spiders make webs this fine. It's my Bamboo-mix fibers I bought from Wooldancer.







I wasn't certain how to get the best balance of textures and colours - if I was going to ply the yarn the normal way, it would be easy; however, I plan to Navajo ply this yarn, so I carded sections together and spun from there.







I think it is working well so far. The colours are turning out to be far more vibrant than I am use to. The plan for this yarn is another Palette scarf, but I think I'll have to wait and see how it goes. Perhaps if I could find a simpler lace scarf (one with less purling - that's the part that makes my thumb hurt) pattern I will make it into that.







I can spin/knit the fiber I picked up for Christmas gifts. But I have to do it secretly.





I can dig under my bed, find a UFO and finish it. But who am I kidding. I would much rather be knitting my Kauni.





Oh yes, I forgot. I can deep clean my home. I suppose that one is suppose to take priority. But you know how things go.










Also good news: Ravelry is almost mine!



Found you!
You signed up on June 24, 2007
You are #10909 on the list.
475 people are ahead of you in line.
18410 people are behind you in line.
35% of the list has been invited so far

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

fifty-four

Sunday morning I woke with a start, I had over slept my alarm. Checking the time, I realized that I still had an hour before we had to leave, not a lot of time, but enough to drink some coffee and relax a little before my father and I picked up Y and headed out on a road trip.





We decided to drive north. Partly because we thought we might make it to Coombs, but mostly because it's the only direction one can comfortably go for any considerable distance from Victoria without taking a boat or a plane.





The weather cooperated perfectly, wherever we drove, the sky was sunny and warm, but all around us, a Constable sky kept us entertained. We stopped at all the lookouts on the Malahat, just like real tourists.





Once we entered the Cowichan valley, we followed a sign to a Sunday Market. I thought it was going to be a farmer's market, but it was something like a flee market, only better. There were all sorts of different sorts of people and different sorts of goods. Lots of books, hand made items (including some preserves - I would have bought some but I have far too many at home already), and plenty of gardening tools. I bought a crocheted pot scrubber. Outside, there was tractors. My father loves tractors, and I'm quite fond of them myself (especially really old ones), so we had to go have a good look at them.





There is Y doing a little dance. I just love going on road-trips with her.






Finally we arrived at Whipple-tree Junction. I'm curious, how many of you know what a Whipple-tree is without using the aid of Google or other inter-web based searches? Leave a comment, let me know. Be honest. I didn't know what it was before Sunday, but it isn't at all what I expected. I thought it was a kind of knot.





There are a lot of shops closed down at Whipple-tree. I haven't been there for about 10 years, but I remember more shops. The ones that are there now, however, are more than enough for our purposes. There are antique shops, curio shops, furniture shops, a very yummy (albeit, far too busy) restaurant, and there was this sign:





I saw it from a distance. Actually my father pointed it out to me. I was worried that the sign was some sort of antique remnant from the buildings past incarnation. But when I got closer, there was yarn. So much yarn! And there was fiber. Bags and bags of fiber, just overflowing with hand dyed, ready to spin (considerably cheaper than my LYS) divine fiber braids. It was wonderful. It was overwhelming. And as usual, when there are large amounts of yarn or fiber (or both) gathered in one place, I forget to take photographs. Sorry folks. You will just have to go there. It's huge, and it's not huge. There is lots of space, but it's all taken up with yarn so that you have to delicately squeeze past the other shoppers to get from one place to another.





I bought most of my Christmas gifts - although they have to be spun not just knitted (each year this holiday thing gets more and more complex). But they are top-secret, so no photos of these either.





We ate lunch under this buffalo head. It is really big. I don't think that I would like to meet one of these guys late one night on a dark, empty street.





We stopped by Gold Stream park on the way to Y's home where she cooked us a fabulous dinner of Japanese food and duck (yummy, yummy duck).






It was a fantastic day out. Of course, we didn't make it to Coombs, but I don't mind. Perhaps we can make it there another time.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

fifty-three

A very interesting find at a consignment shop this week.




I was zooming past on a city bus, on my way up to the university to have my student card renewed, when out of the corner of my eye, I thought I saw something so extraordinary, I wasn't certain if it was real.


I returned in the afternoon, and yes, I had seen an extraordinary thing. A spinning device - not a wheel exactly - but very interesting all the same.




It has a flyer and bobbin assembly, or mother-of-all (thing that makes twist and winds yarn onto bobbin) attached to an old cast iron sewing machine frame. Now I've seen photos of these before in magazines such as IK or National Geographic. And from what the caption says these are often made for large scale production of hand spun yarn. But I've never seen one in person before.




It came with a nid, a set of carders, lovely spinning books, some unwashed wool and some antique wooden shuttles. If I hadn't already bought my carders, it would have been worth her asking price just for them and the other accessories.


In the end, I didn't buy it. It doesn't work, and it needs a lot of love and attention before I would be happy with it. Besides, it's rather large for my apartment which is already crammed full of fiber and fiber related devices.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

fifty-two

There is something in the world softer than silk, and it's name is Bamboo.


My fibers arrived from Wooldancer yesterday. I ordered a small sample of Soy Silk and Bamboo fibers ofcourse,



and this marvelous roving:



The fiber is hand dyed and made from Bamboo, Tencel and Ingeo (I think that's from corn). I want to spin this to knit a scarf for winter. Problem is, I haven't a clue how best to do this. I was thinking of knitting either Branching Out or Palette, but I don't know how to spin this fiber to get the best colour pattern, or even if I have enough for an entire scarf (I have 82 grams). I suppose I could add the Bamboo and or Soy Silk (25g each) to the mix to make up the difference. But if I did that, how do I make certain it is colourful enough? Not only that, I don't want the scarf to be too thick or heavy. Any thoughts?

Sunday, August 19, 2007

fifty-one

Thank you to the KauniKAL for all your comments. I'll leave the flaw in as is. If knitters seem to think it's quite alright, that's good enough for me. Besides, most of the people in my world aren't knitters anyway, so hopefully they won't think any less of me for having an imperfect sweater.

In other news the Ravelry list is shrinking as quickly as a slug in salt (only with much more elegance). It looks like I'll be in just in time for when classes start!

Found you!
You signed up on June 24, 2007
You are #10909 on the list.
1562 people are ahead of you in line.
15646 people are behind you in line.
34% of the list has been invited so far

I just know this is going to take up all of my time.

Oh, one more thing - is there going to be a KAL for the Tangled Yolk Cardie from the new issue of IK?

Friday, August 17, 2007

fifty

Did no one really notice the mistake in my Kauni or are you just too polite to say? Have a closer look:

You see, I was watching Dr. Who and I was so excited because they were about to fall into the sun, and some alien had taken over the Dr.'s body, and well, I made a mistake (note, it's not in the steeks, that's just where I changed the round and the sts are a little loose there thanks to the stitch markers). But have another look: do you see it?





Thursday, August 16, 2007

forty-nine

WARNING





At the end of this post is a photo which may not be suitable for all viewers. Those of a sensitive nature are best not to look.










It's a really funny photo of some fruit. But some people might not think it's so funny, so if that's you, don't scroll down to the end of this post.












First and foremost, I've got to tell you that the most amazing thing happened to me yesterday. (This is probably the only benefit of not having my regular postilion deliver the mail.) Now brace yourself, but my copy of Interweave Knits Fall 2007 arrived - are you sitting down? - on time! It's amazing. You wanna know what else is amazing? It's all about knitting responsibly. Now I've been ranting, both on this blog and in real life, for ages about the environmental impact of our knitting obsessions, and to be honest, I didn't think that anyone was listening. But I think that maybe they are beginning to pay attention. Lets hope so.


What's more, I am in love with the Tangled Yoke Cardigan. I want to make this sweater and what's more, I want to make the yarn to make this sweater. Am I insane? Possibly. But what I know is that I'll need access to a drum carder - hand carding, though fun, takes forever! See?


















Kauni sweater is coming along nicely at last. Only about half an hour knitting time a day, but I'm almost up to the neck line.










Here is a close up of my steeks. I've only done seven stitches steeks, but I think it's going to be just fine.











And last of all. The moment you have been waiting for:






The Peach!






He seems all innocent,






But wait,






What's that?








Ewe, peach p0rn.






I'm also rather annoyed at Blogger - it seems when I add photos the paragraph formatting goes weird. I can't seem to stop it. UG! I don't know what to do.

Monday, August 13, 2007

forty-eight

For a Canadian, my french is pretty poor. I can pretty much read the back of a cereal box or shampoo bottle, but this skill has developed, not out of any noble desire to understand another language, but rather it has developed out of pure laziness - it takes a lot of effort to turn the cereal box around to the other side (aka. the one with the English written on it).

For those of you not from 'The Great White North', all things sold (in the English speaking parts at least) must have both English and French text on them, one side is English, the other French. Which I think is fantastic. Not only does it make us feel more inclusive, but it also gives grocery shopping an international feel.

Even so, I have never learnt French. I speak some Japanese and quite a bit of Spanish, but no French. Yes, we are forced to learn the other official language in school, and that's probably why I never learnt it (I'm not a big fan of our education system in general, but that's a rant for another day).

Now I wish I payed attention in French class - or I should say, I wish I had attended French class. I've found this most amazing blog (Un Fil A La Patte). I think I can muddle through what she says, perhaps my French is better than I though. But what is most important is her WONDERFUL Kauni! I'm completely dazzled with how nice it is. Not to mention, that she has done the steeks the same way that I plan to, and it's worked!

Also, for info on steeks, have a look at See Eunny Knit!

Friday, August 10, 2007

forty-seven

I'm beginning to worry about my postilion (letter-carrier or mailman). The scruffy old fellow (who(m?) I secretly suspect of being a knitter due to the numerous copies of Interweave Knits that fail to make it to my mail-box) seems to have vanished into the either. It's a shame, as apart from knitting related post, the majority of our mail (like bills and such) have finally begun to make it into our box. Yes, I know we live down town and there must certainly be many homes with similar numbers. Yes, I suppose a 3 looks like an 8, I can even accept that a 5 can be mistaken for either 3 or 8. 0's and 1's must look identical, and 6's and 2, well one can hardly tell them apart, I'm sure. But, for the most part, after nine months, we have finally got our scruffy fellow trained up and delivering our mail to, well if not our particular box, at least to the correct building.



This week, we seem to have acquired a new, and apparently invisible (either that or he/she slinks in and out of our building so very quickly - almost as if he/she knows that as soon as one of us sees her/him we will be on him/her like stink on a skunk showing her the difference between 7 and 4) postilion who fails to understand that when we leave misdirected post at the place labeled "misdirected post for post-office, mail-carrier please take with you" spot set up by the post office, that well... the sign applies to the mail-carrier.



With any luck, this is only a temporary set back. Perhaps our regular postilion has taken some vacation time and will be back soon. Knowing the unions around here, that scruffy, yarn coveting, post-man will be back from vacation some time next July. Until then I just have to wait, learn to live with only receiving post twice a week, and hope to any gods out there that my lovely Etsy purchases will make it to me safe and sound.



In the mean time, here is a glance of what's making me so antsy for proper postal delivery:






From Wooldancer Yarn Designs. Ain't they beautiful? This seller has been a real treat to deal with. The multi colour one has lots of different fibers in it, including bamboo, tincel and corn fiber. I have no idea how to spin these fibers, but I look forward to learning.

Check out the link, there are the most divine hand-spun yarns and even this really cool coillar thing (I can't describe it, but you'll know it when you see it).


I'm also still waiting for my Kauni buttons. But they were only shipped on the first from the Far East (Ontario) so they should be along soonish. Believe it or not, mail deliver within Canada can take longer than mail from overseas. I miss British Post and their next day delivery promise.


My place on the Ravelry list:

Found you!
You signed up on June 24, 2007
You are #10909 on the list.
2501 people are ahead of you in line.
13414 people are behind you in line.
34% of the list has been invited so far