Wednesday, January 31, 2007

That waffle knit sweater

Oh I am truly in a state of lust now- the new Knitty surprise is up- and I am in serious "wanna have it" mode for that sweater!

Isn't it purty??? Now I have 3 skeins of Silk Stream (Fleece Artist 50% wool, 30% silk, 20% nylon) (yeah, I was insane and totally spoiled myself) (see the purple Manos sweater from yesterday). It is in the Sangria colourway (orange and fuchsia and red-oh my!) It is a heavier weight mind you- but I can deal with that. I got it from Robyn at Red Bird Knits ( ) Robyn is truly wonderful to buy from- have you seen her birthday special? 10% off and free shipping for your birthday.

Becky from Florida (she is Knitting Interrupted-see the side bar) has set up a Thermal KAL- loosely called a KAL because it is not as formal as that by a long shot. If you are interested, go and sign in! Now to determine size- I have a ahem- bigger boobage area than the butt- so if I go for a fit on the top, the bottom will flap. Fit on the bottom, x rated on the top. Hmm-what a decision. Probably make a gusset in the armpit to increase the top without making a wreck of the pattern. If you want to know how to do that- go and see the sweater I designed in "Big Girl Knits"-the Whichway Funnel Neck. I am pretty proud of that sweater, by the way. I do wonder if anyone has made it, though. to go and crunch some numbers.......

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Hey-a third finished object!

I'm on a roll here!!!!!!! This is the purple Manos sweater. I started out with a pattern from Simply Knit 2-and decided the best part was the inverted pleats. I used about 11 skeins of Manos del Uruguay-in the mottled purple colourway (can't remember the number) and wooden heart buttons from Mission Falls (the source is Cindy Longlade-her ebay name is nana_cindy and she is totally awesome to deal with). I love love LOVE this sweater. I wanted something girly and flirty to wear with a shirt that has some ruffles at the front and on the cuffs-loose, big ruffles- very girly. And I have black velvet jeans to complete the ensemble.

Here are the modifications.......

The sleeves are set in a modified raglan-measure about 2 1/2 inches of normal shoulder line from the neck-and that is where your raglan will start. The sleeve has raglan shaping, and then the top 12 stitches, instead of coming to a point, has a bit of a gather- (slip 1, k2 tog., psso) across the 12 stitches.

I kept the 6 inverted pleats across the back- I just lengthened the body. Really girly.

The front is quite different-I centred an inverted pleat on each front and then worked a princess seam to the waist, and then knit an inch or two, then increased again (a total of 10 stitches decreased and then increased) I can work that many, because my hip measurement is about a full size and a bit smaller than my bust measurement.

And the collar-bigger, wider (I increased 2 stitches per right side row after the first two inches) Then I used a picot cast off.

What do you think??????

Edited later: I also should add that I used the inverted pleat at the top of each wrist, and made the sleeves just a tad too long. If I hate the length, I plan on adding a casing of sock yarn inside each wrist, and running some elastic through the casings. That way I can slide the sleeve up a bit if I need to. I am NOT taking that sleeve off and redoing- I fought long and hard to get that shaping right!

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

This kidlet of mine......

She is 8. And can be as sweet as they come, as well as wear the devil ears and the forked tail (Lord help us all when puberty hits) Anyhow, she comes home from school and tells me that her teacher read her writing, and thought it was pretty good. And what did I think? So I asked to see what it was all about. She said that she was supposed to write a thing about what you wear on a cold day and what you might do out in the snow. Okay-sounds kinda staid, but let's have a look.

And this is what she wrote.......

Snow Breeze

When it snows. the wolf pups howl. When the wind whistles in the tree top, I watch the birds fly off. They land on the bittersweet, eating the sweet berries of red. When I walk, my feet crunch in the snow below me.

It is now the month of January. When I go sledding, I come home to a warm cup of hot cocoa. Cars zoom here and there on slush covered roads.

I put on my warm jacket, mittens, hat and snow pants and go outside. I make a snowman with big, bright eyes. I will build a snow wall around him. The day darkens. It is getting late. I go inside and take my wet clothes off.

That night, I have a dream, a nice, quiet and heavenly dream of snowflakes around me! The next morning, I wake up and look out the window. It has snowed like in my dream.

Winter is all around me!

That is exactly how she wrote it, except for those "comma things" (she wanted me to put them in).
I sometimes wonder where she came from, and how I happened to get so lucky.

Friday, January 19, 2007

My class, or how I spend my days........

It seems we have snow- the soft, clumpy, sticks on the trees, Christmas Eve kind of snow-today. (and mud for Christmas) My students (Grade 7) were all out in snowpants making snow angels in the yard. Gotta love a group of kids who are so comfortable and secure in their own skins that they will forgo the usual "cool" in order to kick back and have fun.
We also made a geodesic dome today, in class, out of 5 newspapers and a bunch of tape. It is about 3 meters across, maybe 2 and a half high. (yeah yeah- pictures. I know)
I have a pretty cool class this year.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

This is the hat I made (and please- don't ask for a pattern- I designed this one as I knit it- and stopped when it looked like a hat!) My SP9-who has since revealed herself as the lovely Trish from The Tangled Arts ( sent me 2 skeins of Elann Highland Peruvian wool. Pretty nice stuff. So I made a hat. Bear decided to get in on the modelling-you can see the giant poodle paws. After I made it, my husband was looking at it and asked if it was for him. Of course I said it was (although it matched my green coat) so now I need to make another hat for myself. Instead of doing i-cord ties-I edged it in i-cord-I did a twisted cord. I kinda like them there twisted cords.
I just found out that a neighbour (who borrowed our cam corder) taped over all of the baby pictures we had of Annie-he just picked a tape out of the case and used it-and we now have lots of pictures of his kids playing, and none of Annie as a baby and Bouf as a pup.
I am so sad.

Sunday, January 14, 2007

A Doggie Question...

My Bear is such a big sweetie. I often have to go and put my feet up after supper for a half hour or so (gotta ice my knee) and, when Bouf was around, this was his time to come and snuggle. I really missed that after he passed. And Bear, well, he was uncomfortable getting up on the bed (I guess his last owners were adamant about Bear being on the floor). So I have been coaxing him, telling him that is our special time, and this past week, he has decided it is okay to come up and snuggle! He first checks Sean, to make sure (I guess) that he is busy and doesn't notice him slipping into the bedroom. Then Bear gets up beside me, and gives me a little snuffle. The sweetest thing is that he always has to have a paw over my leg, or his nose up against me if he is going to have a snooze. So he clearly has decided to like having company! When we go over to Mom's (she lives 5 minutes away), he gets all excited at the prospect of seeing Elmo (my mom's cantankerous ShiTzu) (he was also a rescued dog). Bear tries his darnedest to get Elmo to play with him, but with limited success. My husband and I both work, so Bear has to spend time on his own. He very much likes other dogs. So-here is the question-does anyone have experience with a rescued dog (who has had some abuse/neglect along the way) and getting him his own dog? I know, sounds odd-but I wondered about getting another dog, so Bear has a companion. Would Bear see it as a replacement for him, and withdraw? Or would he likely find this a good thing? Any experience out there with this stuff????????
I have been knitting, as well. The cashmere scarf is almost done. I have a lovely, lovely Secret Pal (SP9) who sends me beautiful things. She sent me some Elann yarn(Peruvian wool) in rust and green. So I designed and knit a hat-quite cute, if I do say so myself. I will take pictures when all the ends are sewn in. And I went over to Old Navy yesterday-the stuff was really picked over, so I didn't find the sizes I wanted, but I did find a ski jacket for Bear for 9 bucks! (Yeah, pictures to follow) We tried it out on his walk last night-it's a hit!

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

this and that and something clever to be said

This- a quiz, here- - courtesy of "Always Casting On". I got 91%- the felting question was a tricky one.

That- is what happens when you are bored and have a ton of things that you are supposed to be doing (Little Lola - I think - by Schaeffer Yarns).
Oh- and that "something clever" ? I lied about that.
PS- My apologies to the knitting crowd- I got home too late from school to go-sorry. Please include me next time!!!!!!

Sunday, January 07, 2007

Ya know that great feeling you all are having?

The one where you are counting down the minutes left before school starts and takes your wee little darlings away, every day, 5 days a week? You know that great feeling. Well, I am on the other side of the desk.
Gonna wear a black armband tomorrow.
All day.

Friday, January 05, 2007

First Project of 2007!

But first of all- a picture of the back drop I painted for the school's Winter Concert. Initially, the principal wanted me to make a backdrop with penguins all over it. I talked her out of it, because 1) the landscape around penguins is pretty bleak- no trees or anything and 2) I would have to make the penguins about 4 feet tall to match the size of the backdrop, and at that point, they would look like sort of scary little children. So she let me do my own thing. So I did some Northern Lights and some typical "north of Kingston" landscape. She was happy.
And the BGPH (aka Big Giant Poodle Head) (aka Bear) (aka Forest)-he loves the snow. Or rather, LOVED it- now we have a deluge of rain. And I know it has been raining all night- three of my neighbours have their sump pumps on maximum (luckily, we are dry) (for now) (well, except for that leak in the hot water heater)(just started this week)(gotta do something about that).

And my first structural failure of 2007- My PURSE! I really like this purse- it is a good vinyl, but it looked nice. And it had a failure. Right in the middle of a mall!!!!!!!!!!!!!
And now the project- it isn't finished yet- but it is way cool- Trendsetter Yarns Dali, 100%cashmere, steel grey (this season's "IN" colour). My design- a ruffle on the ends, a big cable up the middle (well, actually two, turned in opposite directions, with a purl stitch up the middle), and 1x1 rib on the edges. It is a commissioned piece-I got the cashmere from the Destash blog-and had thought to make something for me. BUT- grey did very, very little for my colouring. So-the new owner is a strawberry blonde, who dresses impeccably. So- a match.

And now to finish the darn thing. I want to knit on my own stuff, dammit.
Oh- before I forget- the cable pattern came from a new book- "Cables Untangled"- that I got for Christmas. Can you feel the cable love???????MMMMMMMMMMMMMM.

Thursday, January 04, 2007


I kind of have a "love hate" relationship with snow. Big, soft, velevety snowflakes on Christmas Eve=love. Nasty frozen sleet and driving snow as I am fighting my way along a highway=hate. I grew up in an area with LOTS of snow. I mean lots. Like I usually had to wear my Halloween costume over my snowsuit, and usually had to go in 3 or 4 times to dry out (it usually snowed that night). And I am not a big snow sports person (is that even an expression?) I have bad knees-have had them for years (update for those who are new to this blog-I have had many many knee surgeries, and have been off either full time or part time on disability pensions, until this year. I had a total knee replacement in March, and I am not yet 50). So skiing, skating, snowshoeing-all of those things are out. Plus the issues with arthritis-the cold is an aggravator. But there is nothing like watching my daughter come in from making snowpeople, with her cheeks all red and a grin from ear to ear. Or watching the Bear romp in the snow, eating snowballs and laughing with his mouth wide open. Or the incredible satisfaction of a newly shovelled driveway, when the whole street is out after a storm. I am a teacher, and the occasional snow day is really quite a nice treat. (although our Board has a policy that even though it is not safe for the children and the bus drivers to go to school, it is perfectly safe for teachers to go, and it is expected that we get there, or lose a day's pay)(So I wait for the snow plow)(and get there when I think it is safe). Snow for me is the start of dark days, cold weather, and miserable Februarys. But snow is also sparkling cold, fresh air, little kids having fun. I have mixed feelings over it all. (But I am not ready to wear a black arm band on the day of the first snow).

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Lookee what we did on New Year's Day! We all took a flight around the city-in a long "line up"- we went over Kingston, and Wolfe Island-made a special flight over the hospital to say hello to one of our members who is ill.

BY the way- you can hardly see me in this picture-Annie (our daughter) is the kidlet in the bright aqua and maroon jacket. My husband, Sean (the pilot) has his hand on her shoulder. And me- I am the floating head behind Annie. I know- not much of a pic!

I do love to see what people look like- so I challenge all bloggers to post a (good) picture of yourselves up on your blogs. Just to see who we are "talking to" everyday. Leave me a message so I can go and "meet" you.


Monday, January 01, 2007

Pictures to ring in the new year!

First things first-my mother-in-law is a very talented quilter, and we have been getting a quilt or a wall hanging as a Christmas present. But this year? Well, she outdid herself. I will get a better picture when I have this hanging up in my own house, but this is a shot of it when I opened it. This amazing piece is made up of about 1700 tiny squares of grey or white or patterned fabric (each square the size of your little fingernail) that has been put together as a picture-and it is Annie's class picture from Grade Two. When I first opened it, I was looking at it close up, and could not figure out what the heck it was. But a little distance, and voila-the picture cleared. Isn't it amazing????? She said that each square is glued down with a glue stick, and then a fine tulle is put over the top, then quilted. Then a fabric frame is sewn around it. Amazing, really. And I love it.

And next, we have what happens when you mix the Bear with a little bit of snow and a measure of sunshine. He loves to play, this big old puppy of mine.

And he has also learned to pull Annie on her sled-we attached the ropes of the sled to the harness (it is a lovely fur lined harness- we use it to help him sit securely in the car-the seat belt slides through a part of it and then he can be safe)

Doesn't he look like he is having fun? (and no, he didn't do that all afternoon-he mainly ran around, eating snow and dancing). I swear he is a part of the River Dance chorus line!!!!!!!!!
Have a lovely day, all of you. We had planned to go for a flight over the city(our traditional way to welcome in the New Year) and then a chili lunch at the Kingston Flying Club, but I suspect the weather will ground the airplane. We shall have to wait and see!
Happy New Year!