Thursday, May 31, 2007

Babies Always Win

Maybe your theory is that this is because they are so delicious, so adorable.

Personally, I think it is all the crying. (Make it stop! Make it stop! ANYTHING, just make it STOP!)

Either way, I suppose it is the Right Thing To Do.

(That, and, it is probably time to admit that no matter how fast I knitted, I wasn't about to finish St. Brigid before my hats came due . . .)


Most of an Elizabeth Zimmerman "Baby Surprise" jacket, in Rowan's Felted Tweed for Twin No. 1. (Babies who do not see fit to warn me of their arrivals get knitting that requires minimal finishing.)

Not sure what we'll be doing for Twin No. 2. Maybe another "Baby Surprise?" Maybe the February sweater from Knitter's Almanac?

In any event, something without too much seaming . . .

None of which is to say that I've stopped working on Brigid. If I stop, who knows when I'll pick it up again.

So the new plan is -- Hey -- Remember when I said I liked new plans better than old ones? I take it back. I take it back. I take it back. -- The new plan is, although the baby things and the Dulaan hats are the priority, I knit a little on Brigid every day.

At least a row.

At that rate, it could take forever.

But I have a real hard time stopping at just one row. . . .

Sleeve One, Half Done.

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Monday, May 28, 2007


I *just* got word of new babies.

Babies in the FAMILY.


(Yes, another set.)

And they've already ARRIVED.

I had NO IDEA.

The babies are related enough that they really do deserve a welcome gift.

But apparently not related enough for me to hear of it in advance.

Whatever happened to giving a knitter fair warning?

I never did replenish the Strategic Baby Handknits Reserves. There are bibs and burp cloths, but no tiny sweaters. (That'll learn me.)

If I postpone St. Brigid, I could do something for the babies now and still finish the Dulaan hats on time . . .

If I don't postpone St. Brigid, there's no way I'll have something to send them until they're at least a month (probably two) along . . .

What to do?

What to do?

Phase One Complete

Commence Phase Two.


Friday, May 25, 2007


The start of a St. Brigid (Aran Knitting, A. Starmore), in Cascade 220.

Coincidentally, the VERY SAME COLOUR being used by another member of the Slogalong, Tana P., for the VERY SAME PROJECT. (I *am* a copycat!)

Wanna race?


Thursday, May 24, 2007



Haven't finished a hat since that last entry. Probably this is because I realized I actually had *plenty* of time to finish the last 10-ish before this year's Dulaan deadline.

Also, I am a skosh bored with them. (Really? No way!)

I could have pushed through to the end, but really there isn't a big rush, and the knitting is supposed to be about enjoyment (mainly, anyway -- there's also the high drama, adventure and frustration).


When the boredom first crept in, I started knitting 1 mitered square per hat, alternating boring / fun / boring / fun.

And that is what got me through, say, 5 of those last 10 hats.

Then in this last week, I dropped the alternation, just miters, no hats.

And now I'm even a little bored with the miters . . . (How can this be???)

But I'm still not interested in the hats.

So, NEW PLAN! (I love new plans. New plans are so much more exciting than whatever plan I'm executing at the moment.)

As I did with Freya, I am going to concentrate on a new sweater (for me! but not Sadie -- have to work through those color issues first) from start to finish for maybe 10 days (I'm giving myself 2 weekends), see how far I get.

I swatched the night before last, cast on last night.

Pictures once the thing is recognizable. (Yeah, it is one of those "famous" sweaters -- you see it all over the blogosphere. I'd feel like such a copycat, only it is both challenging and super-beautiful, so who gives a flying monkey?)

THEN, finish up the hats quick like a bunny, because by the time I've burned two weekends on this sweater, that shipping deadline will loom.



Thursday, May 17, 2007

Push! Push!

Ten More Hats.

I am nearing the end, but I think there may be Ten More Yet.

I'm sneaking in a miter here and there, but otherwise I've managed to be fairly faithful.

And while part of me thinks I won't know what to do with myself (knitting-wise) once I'm done with the hats, another part of me is very much looking forward to putting the finishing touches on Posy, those Hokusai socks, the garter squares blanket . . . even the Rose Garden hat, with all of its fiddly bits and pieces!

Almost there . . .

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Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Okay, Freaky . . .

So, I had these tomatoes.

Been in the kitchen . . . oh . . . a while.

Some were bad, and I tossed them.

But one looked okay.

Albeit a little different than the norm.

It looked like it might have a dark centre -- which you do get in some tomatoes, but I didn't remember these having dark centres when I bought them -- and there were a couple of bumps on the surface -- which I also didn't remember, but I hadn't been paying all that much attention, and they were "organic," so little defects are to be expected.

Still it looked basically fine, nice even, and I decided to use it up last night before it joined its brothers and bit the dust. Waste not, want not, and all.


My first reaction, as these little green things *sprung out* when I cut my poor tomato open, was approximately:


Only with way more swearing and even a high-pitched girly scream or two.

(Yes. I'm a little "high strung," and am entirely hostage to my imagination. In my defense, the kitchen was not well lit at the time.)

But then the wormy green things stopped writhing, and I decided it was probably safe to approach, no matter how disgusting chopped up green worms might be, and . . .

Not worms.


The tomato seeds sprouted, in situ:


You are too eager, my tomato, my friend!

Harbinger of the apocalypse?

Something to think about.

Also, more hats:

While these may not look any different or more exciting than the last batch, they represent a major milestone: I've fully slogged my way through the multicoloured mohair.

Only the blue remains.

Yee haw.

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Smalt Goes Grey

Apparently, I'm not the only one with this problem:

Plesters, Joyce

A preliminary note on the incidence of discolouration of smalt in oil media

Studies in conservation (1969) 14 pp 62-74

Although smalt, a glass, might be expected to behave as a stable pigment, discolouration of smalt-containing paint layers has been observed. Early references from the literature are cited which mention the discolouration of smalt in oil media. Originally blue layers on paintings have changed into dull grey or greyish-green. Experiments suggest the following factors for this discolouration: low refractive index of the pigment compared with that of oil media; interaction of alkali content or cobalt content with oil and oleo-resinous media; the possibility of similar reactions with resin-or oil-resin varnishes in certain conditions. Discolouration may also occur if smalt is mixed with other pigments, or added as a drier or as an adulterant. A proper understanding of the mechanism of the deterioration would require further research by more sophisticated methods.

Do I seem obsessed?

Monday, May 07, 2007

Not Entirely Happy

I'm still chugging along on the Dulaan hats. Have a few more finished, but completely forgot to snap a picture. So here is a photo of something else entirely:

(I'm told these are "spotted dead nettles.")

I'm sure you can see them (the hats, not the nettles) clearly in your mind's eye -- They look quite like all the others you've seen around here lately.

I've had this idea that perhaps if I can do one a day, they'll be done right quick.

So I told myself I'd do one a day, before doing any other knitting.

Which is why you haven't seen much else around here in the past few weeks.

Of course, having finally revealed to you my hat completion strategy, it is a near certainty that said strategy will immediately collapse.


Another reason the strategy might have collapsed is that the yarn for my new sweater project -- you know, the one that caused the demise of my "no new yarn" resolution -- has arrived.

Ah, yes, you're quick!

I did say "might have."

I'm so disappointed by the colour.

I probably should have seen this coming -- there were hints that I couldn't be completely sure of what I was getting.

On the one hand, the photo of Sadie from last fall's Rowan (No. 40) is clearly blue, blue, blue. (I love this particular shade.)

On the other, Sadie is part of the "Fade to Grey" collection -- "A sophisticated look that blends from the starkness of black to the elegance of pale grey."

Photo says blue; text says grey.


I was a little unsure, and it was impossible to tell what the colour actually was from internet photos.

But then I was convinced!

AS IT TURNS OUT, the name of the colour given in the magazine -- No. 963 "Smart" -- which is a little vague -- must be a typo, because there is no "Smart!"

Colour 963 is "Smalt!" (With an "L.")

And as we all know, "Smalt" is blue, blue, blue.

Except, AS IT TURNS OUT, when it is not.

Sometimes, as I found out three days ago, it is grey.

The sort of grey that could have been "Smart."

But not "Smalt."

(Maybe "Smelt?")

Now, I like grey. I do. I love grey. And I probably need a grey sweater.

So maybe I'll still make Sadie in grey.

But it won't be the sweater I fell in love with.

You see, I have this grey skirt that I *love,* and which I imagined myself wearing with Sadie.

Imagine it with me - me and Sadie and my skirt, doing fabulous things together, in interesting places.

In what you might think would be a brilliant stroke, the "Smalt" yarn is nearly exactly the same grey as the skirt.

But when I imagine me and my skirt and a GREY Sadie doing things together, the things seem just a little less fabulous and the places considerably less interesting.

I think that the problem is too much grey.

Some grey (even quite a deal) is calming and sophistocated.

Unadulterated grey is BLAH.

Which means I must pause to consider.

Do I still make Sadie?

Do I make it in another colour?

"Shipshape," while I know it is also not perfect, is probably closer to what I am looking for. At least it would break up the grey.

Lesson learned for the 452nd time: Seek out a ball of the colour IN PERSON before taking the internet plunge.




(and I have only just thought of this . . . )

Invest in shade cards?

(oooooooo . . . )

Friday, May 04, 2007

Are We There Yet?


Five more hats . . .

Some of us are getting a little bored with this . . .

Some of us remain enigmatic . . .

And some of us are beginning to feel like that poor Mr. Cubbins.

At least there aren't 500 of them.

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