Puffed Stitch Obsession

November 30, 2010

 I’ve been having a really good time with the Shroom Hat pattern recently, and have been working on modifying it to make it work a bit better with 1 skein of Big Merino.  I think I’ve got my formula down now to get a bit more flop out of the top of the hat.  What I like about it is the nice broad brim that can be worn higher on your head, or pulled down over your ears on colder days.  If I don’t have my ears covered, they freeze really easily since they’ve almost been frostbitten so many times.  The Big Merino is so nice and soft, and fluffy really.  It will pill, but in a way that will make the hat warmer and more wind resistant.  That is my story anyhow.  I had originally bought the 4 matching skeins of green yarn to make myself a hat scarf combo, with the idea of using the puffed stitch in the scarf.  It’s easy to convert to flat knitting, and makes a nice thick scarf.  From the back it just looks like ribbing.  I started with the smaller 5 mm needles and did 4 rows of ribbing to hold the end in, then went up to the 8 mm needles for the main body.  One ball of yarn made the scarf 30 inches long, it is 5 repeats across, with 1 stitch selvages at either side, always knit.  Normally I aim for a 60 inch scarf, but I’d like this one to go around my neck twice, which is a style I’m seeing in a lot of ads lately.  I plan to put fringe at each end, because that is super cool.  I’m making the scarf first, as I know I just need to reserve 1 ball of yarn for the hat, therefore I have 3 skeins I can put into the scarf to make it any length I feel like, and as much fringe as I want.  Oh the joy!  And on 8 mm needles, it’s coming along quickly.

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Saskatchewan Adventures

November 28, 2010

 A big road trip like my boss and I made last week is always an adventure, but this week the adventure was more of the snowy, icy, I sure hope we don’t end up in the ditch like that guy adventure.  The good news however is that we drove around safely, made it to all of our meetings (mostly) on time, and my boss was happy with all the progress we made.  I’m also pretty sure I didn’t manage to annoy him, or piss him off too badly which is good considering the hours in the car together, and the four business meetings a day we participated in. 

It snowed every day, and the temperatures were down close to -20 oC until it warmed up on Friday.  Christmas is in the air however, and seeing all the old fashioned decorations up already and covered in snow made it easier to believe.

On Thursday we finished our business meetings, had a late lunch/dinner, and my boss made the decision that we could stay in Saskatoon for the evening, heading back to Calgary the next day.  I was happy about this as driving late into the night, through the new snow that was falling, plus the icy conditions would have made for a very tiring drive.  But since we were done so early, and since we were so close(everything in Saskatoon is relatively close since it’s a small place) to the yarn store, could we perhaps stop by for a quick visit?  It worked, and off we went to find the store which is tucked into an older Saskatoon neighbourhood.  I didn’t have a huge urge to visit the yarn store in Regina, but the Wool Emporium is special. 

 They have lots of “regular” yarn and products, but they have special stuff, local stuff that you can only find here from the small farms that dot Saskatchewan and Alberta.  Alpaca yarn so black that you can see blue in it, greys, brown so deep, brown almost orange in tone, and so many variations thereupon.  My promise to my boss of “just ten minutes” made me a focused shopper, and this cream/brown blend was irresistible.  I can’t find a link to Jubilee Alpaca, which seems to be a local company that consolidates fibre from various farms into their yarn.  It doesn’t seem to be one specific farm.  But since the shipment was recent, I had a huge variety to choose from.  It was hard, very hard.  This creamy colour is going to  make a beautiful sweater, soft and warm, and neutral enough to match many outfits.  I’m actually considering remaking one of my sweaters that my Grandmother made, which I wear all the time.  Its getting a bit ratty, but its the perfect length, fit, colour, and design.  We went back to our hotel, I was high on yarn fumes, and I merrily knit away the evening!

Baby’s First Potash Mine

November 25, 2010

This week I’m in Saskatchewan, which is actually kind of fun.  That is if I ignore the freezing temperatures, constantly blowing snow, icy road conditions, and various other signs of an early, long, and especially cold winter that we are now deeply into.  I think when I was visiting Saskatchewan once a month it was wearing on me, but now that I haven’t been here in over 9 months, and I haven’t traveled anywhere in about the same time, going on a road trip is a lot of fun.  So far we’ve done Calgary-Moose  Jaw-Regina-Moose  Jaw-Regina-Esterhazy-Regina-Saskatoon.  That is a lot of driving.  My boss has figured out that I prefer to knit over driving, and I feel a bit bad as he drove all day yesterday, I need to make sure I do my driving shift today!  Driving conditions are dicey to say the least, and we’ve been playing a rousing game of ” spot the vehicles in the ditch”.  As the roads are elevated here, and the ditches are deep, this is not always easy!

We’ve been visiting mostly engineering offices, but yesterday we went out to a potash mine, and got a bit of a tour down to where the water plant is.  So, baby’s first water plant tour!  I think she enjoyed it, even though she seems to be kicking through the meetings, and was asleep through the tour.  It can be hard to concentrate on business meetings when someone is trying to stick her foot out your belly button.  So far none of the people we have visited have mentioned the pregnancy, even those people whom I’ve met before!  Is that normal?  I can’t figure out if its stranger that no one mentions it, or if everyone had mentioned it.  I comfort myself knowing that at least I will be memorable, because not only are there few female sales people, but there are even fewer female sales people with a giant belly in front of her.  The receptionists keep bringing me water, and showing me where the toilet is, which is very good. 

The name of the game today is to go to our meetings, and figure out how to get my boss to go close to the Wool Emporium so that I can have a quick visit with the “Wall of Saskatchewan”.  We have a meeting close by, and there is a sandwich shop in the same plaza, which may work on my unsuspecting boss.  Wish me luck!  Photos that are mostly snow next week!

FO: Lindsay Socks

November 16, 2010

 These have been done for a little while now, but the time of year when it’s difficult to take photos is upon us.  Dark when we leave for work, dark when we leave to go home etc. etc.  The socks are the Lindsay Socks from Cookie A’s first book, and are made from Lisa Souza sock yarn.  It’s not showing up well but they are a mix of light green, blue, and white with dots of colour interspersed.  They fit like a dream, and are very comfortable to wear.  My co-worker caught me coming back in from outside after taking photos of my feet (always hard to explain) and expressed his disbelief that socks with holes could still keep your feet warm.  But as we know a good pair of warm socks keeps the toes happy, even if there are a few vent holes. 

By the way, this is the co-worker that used to help his mother rechart Cowichan look sweaters as a kid to upsize and downsize her pattern.  This is Canada after all, a lot of people knit just to keep warm in the winter, and apparently her sweaters were much in demand.  I have many, many other stories I could tell about this co-worker, but I won’t do it here.  Ask me sometime.  Let’s just say that today, with our at least 1 foot of snow that fell over night, was the first day he didn’t ride his motorcycle to work, he finally admitted defeat and drove his truck.  Which, like a woman he says, quit on him a few blocks from his house as he had ignored her for so long. 

We had an Alberta Clipper last night, and I don’t really know what that means other than we had a big snowfall, and traffic was pretty bad this morning.  The snow that fell compressed very quickly into hard packed ice, and made for some slippery spots.  I was feeling nostalgic for last year when I could just hop on the bus, then the train, and laugh at all the people stuck at traffic, but then Mr. J came back to the house to report that a bus hadn’t shown up in quite awhile.  We ended up driving together to a train stop so that he could get to work, and I went to my Doctor’s appointment.  As always, slow but steady wins the driving game!

A recreation

November 13, 2010

of me in the bathroom this morning discovering my first stretch marks under my belly.  I looked down, lifted the belly up, looked in the mirror and gazed in horror:

Oh the horror.

Wednesday Sweater Progress

November 10, 2010

I’ve slowly been growing the green Peace Fleece sweater, and am now working on the yoke!  Which of course means the longest rows of the whole sweater, plus a cable pattern thrown in which means progress has slowed down.  The good news is that since there are no sleeves, I’m in the home stretch now.  The Peace Fleece is knitting up beautifully, and shows the cables very well. 

 I can’t wait to finish up, not only because I love a finished sweater, but because next up is the Tree of Life Aran from Country Weekend Knitting.  (The finished objects on Ravelry for this sweater aren’t very nice, but in my mind it is going to be beautiful, trust me)  I got a whole bunch of Blackstone Tweed just waiting to go.  It’s a lovely dark blue colour, with light blue tweedy bits.  The yarn is a blend of wool, mohair, and Angora and just beautiful.  Believe it or not this was my third colour choice, but the only one they had enough balls of yarn in.  First was a delightful teal, second was a lighter blue, but this third choice is pretty nice as well. 

I’ve been having trouble thinking about what sweaters I want to make in the future, and have chosen this one mainly to make a nice big bulky sweater that will fit over my current shape, and whatever my future shape will be.  If you are like me, and have been mostly the same shape and size for the last 15 years or so, choosing sweaters used to be pretty easy.  I had a bit of a sense of what I liked, what would look good on me, and would know right away what size to make.  But now, I  don’t really know!  I may be one size now, and 5 months from now, a completely different size!  It may not be my former size, but a modified one, larger all over, larger on top, larger on the bottom, I don’t know!  So many factors are going to influence this, how long I get to feed my baby, what will happen when I stop.  It just makes my head spin, and it also means unfortunately that some of my more fitted sweaters, made to fit my previous measurements, may have to stay in the sweater chest awhile longer.  I may have to re-evaluate my sweater queue as I get to know my new shape, and learn which sweaters will enhance it rather than detract from it.  Until I figure it out, the Tree of Life Aran made in a generous size is going to be perfect for keeping me cosy by the fireplace this winter, and next.

It never gets old…

November 8, 2010

Shapeless blob:

Surprise! Becomes a baby jacket:

Now for a bit of sewing, some edging, buttons and it’s ready for a little girl!

New Kid in Town

November 6, 2010

There is a new independent dyer in town, who we know as the lovely Sam.  She has started up an on-line shop, and now has some product over at Make 1 under the name ‘Yummy Yarn Studios“. 

 I couldn’t resist the happy yarn pictured at left, mostly because I think it is going to make an adorable little baby sweater.  I found this garter stitch jacket that should be perfect for a new born.  I can’t wait to try out this pattern, it looks like its going to be good for making multiple sizes by just increasing yarn weight and needle size.  I have a few other odd balls of yarn that may work.  Plus since it looks like and quick, it could be good for making gifts! 

 I had to hide the tag however, since it was making me hungry for ice cream every time.  I think I may change the name in my head to just “blueberries” which is much more healthy.  I’m trying to detox from all that Hallowe’en candy, and the guys at work keep buying donuts which isn’t helping. 

All the best of luck to Sam!

 This little teeny tiny sweater seemed to take a long time to make, but it’s finally done!  Even the little ribbon is all threaded thru, and ready for a tiny baby.  I’m taking a break before making the matching booties and mittens. 

Aside: I can’t really wrap my head around the fact that if all goes well and according to plan, the little wiggly thing in me is going to come out and fit into this little sweater and bonnet.  It still all seems so unbelievable.  Until she arrives, and wears her little outfit, it could still just be indigestion.

I was going to put a light pink ribbon in this ensemble, but when I saw the deeper pink I knew it had to be that one.  Now I just need to get a little onesie to go underneath! 

Next up: a baby surprise jacket is almost 1/2 finished!  I feel like I’m finally making some headway on my long list!

The pattern is from a 1965 Women’s Weekly magazine, and the yarn is Sandnes Lanette superwash.