Wednesday, May 28, 2008

More Halifax!

No, not more about my last trip to Halifax... it turns out I'm going back there on Sunday! I don't expect there to be time for yarn this time around, but given the amounts I brought back last week, that may not be a bad thing.

We had a great Memorial Day weekend, playing lots of D&D, eating pizza and junk food, and visiting with friends who have a 3-month-old baby and a 3-year-old. They are both amazingly cute! Whether one of the people there gave me this cold, or if it was someone in Canada, I'm not sure, but I came back with a sore throat. After trying to do work for 4 hours or so and getting nothing done, I called the office and let them know I'm going to sleep now. So... more knitting content later. I have to go sleep off this cold.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Return from Halifax (picture heavy)

I'm back from Halifax. Lots of work got done, but we also managed to drive out of the city and to one of those rugged, rocky beaches Nova Scotia is famous for. It was beautiful. I could have spent hours just standing there, smelling the ocean air, watching the waves crash against the rocks... and I would have taken pictures of it. If I had thought to take my camera, which I didn't, silly person that I am. Oh, well. It turns out I'm going down there again in less than two weeks. Must remember to bring the camera.

While I was there, I discovered the danger of walking through a shopping mall to get from my hotel to the office. I saw these shoes in a window, and... well. You know. Girl. Shoe store. Shoes happen.

Aren't these the cutest?

I needed new summer sandals anyway, my old pair is falling apart. But being a knitter, I didn't just buy shoes, oh no. How could I refuse the suggestion to go yarn shopping during my lunch break?
Well, let's see how I did.

Exhibit A: Lucy Neatby Merino Dream in a bright, bright orange color. It was sitting in a basket with its less brightly-colored friends, positively begging me to take it home.

Exhibit B: Soft, squooshy Misty Alpaca laceweight, in a gorgeous light burgundy. Oh, it's wonderful. And I already have plans for it. I want it to turn into a Christmas shawl for me to wear during the holidays.

Exhibit C: Two skeins of Manos, in blacks, reds, and other lava-like colors. The color number is 105, but I think it should be called Eerily Beautiful!

Oh, and fiber happened too. Exhibit D: Pretty fiber in purples and burgundies. Let me tell you, it took a lot of self-restraint to pick up only one of these.

The verdict: Yarn diet? Not so much. I'll have to not repeat this in 2 weeks or so, when I'm going back. But this yarn makes me happy. I just wish I could have finished some knitting while I was there. Except I forgot my needles. Yes, you heard me: I finished the first husband sock, kitchenered the toe, forgot my Addis at home. And didn't find out until after yarn shopping. Oops.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

A Generous Gift

It turns out I was the 1000th person to comment on Soo's blog. I love Soo's blog because she cranks out beautiful knits at incredible speed, does amazing colorwork, and knits several pairs of socks in the time it takes me to make a single sock. She's amazing.

She's also an incredibly generous person. I mean, she sent me chocolate. Chocolate with little vintage pictures on it that tastes wonderful. And Kaffe Fasset sock yarn. And Colinette Jitterbug. The yarn is gorgeous, and in colors I would have bought for myself.
All for commenting on her blog, which I visit with great pleasure anyway. Thank you, Soo! I'm a very happy chocolate-eating sock knitter because of you!

Not even Merlin's attempt at Dad Sweater destruction can spoil my mood today. He ran off with the finished sleeve. While I was trying to save that, the sneaky little furbeast snagged the ball of yarn attached to my sleeve in progress. When I'm done with this sweater, I'll have to turn some of this wool/alpaca blend into cat toys, they love it so much.

The first sock for Mr. Batty was almost done. When he tried it on, it was a good inch too short in the toes, so I unraveled the decreases, got started on making it longer, and got distracted by a business wear and knitting-/cook book shopping spree.
I'm really excited about the cook books. I've heard really good things about The Planet of Vegan and Vegan Cupcakes take over the world. I'll make some and let you know how they turn out... but first, I'm headed to Halifax. Tomorrow, I pack, Monday, I catch a plane, and Tuesday, my boss takes me yarn shopping. Yay!

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Love is...

...knitting reverse stockinette stitch sleeves in a size XL (meant to fit a 44" chest). One done, one left to go. As usual, I took a picture of the wrong side of it -- force of habit and all that. As long as I don't make the same mistake while seaming, everything will work out fine. New mantra: The purl side is the right side, the purl side is the right side, the purl side is the right side.

...knitting socks for a men's 10.5 (German men's size 45/46) on US #0/2.0 mm needles. In all fairness, my gauge is a bit larger than usual on 0's, so things are moving along fairly well. I'm loving the way this pattern is working up, it's a very elegant and masculine sock.

...posting loads of pictures of one's cats. Here is Merlin, rudely awakened from his kitty nap by a camera-wielding madwoman. Morgana is currently enjoying the Upstairs Forbidden Zone, otherwise known as my blocking attic, and she won't lie still long enough for fear of being evicted.

And, last but not least:
Love is celebrating gifts passed down from woman to woman. My grandmother taught me to knit, my 'adopted' grandmother, who watched me for 16 years, taught me how to knit socks, and my mother taught me how to work through difficult tasks with ingenuity, determination, and the willingness to keep trying until it works.

Thank you, and a Happy Mother's Day to all!

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Still Here

I just got back from the dentist. After spending the last 4 days in 9+ hour meetings, the last of those with increasing amounts of tooth pain, I have to say that this is an improvement. My mouth already hurts less. I didn't even feel like knitting, it hurt so much. Now I understand what my mother meant when she said all sorts of professions and services were optional, but doctors and dentists were essential.

Saturday, May 03, 2008

Guy Knits

Right now, I'm knitting for the men in my life. My sister has 2 pairs of socks, my mother has a Clapotis, but Mr. Batty and my Dad don't have anything. I'm a little bit ashamed because the Dad Sweater has been on the needles since last April. Yes, folks, it's taken me a year to get this far on a sweater that's mostly stockinette (or rather, reverse stockinette, but let's not split hairs...). So how am I doing with it?
Well, I have about 6" left on the first sleeve. Almost there! A second sleeve, a wash, a block, a seaming session and some ribbing around the neck... and it'll be done.

Mr. Batty is getting a hat and a pair of socks. I have started the socks, a simple twisted stitch pattern from The Knitting Man(ual). It's hard to see in this picture, but it's turning out very well, if I say so myself. After a friendly knittyhead explained to me that k2tog without taking the stitches off the needle, then knitting into the first stitch again refers to the stitch closer to the end of the left needle, that is. I was initially quite unable to figure out if they meant the one on the left (first stitch you slip the needle through on the k2tog) or the first stitch towards the end of the needle. Sometimes, things aren't as straightforward as they seem...

Oh, and about that skein of yarn from my previous post. The color is called Providence. Methinks 'tis Providence brought us together... I want to go back to the store and buy another skein in that colorway so I can knit one up while having another one around the house to look at and pet, because it is perfection. Just a book collector has a first edition of a book, but then keeps a reading copy around for when he actually wants to read the story.
If anyone had asked me what the perfect yarn looks like, I probably would have described something different. Funny how the things that turn out to be "perfect" for us so rarely are what we thought they would be before we found them...