Saturday, April 21, 2007

Whiffs of Spring

(Gerstein library: somewhere in the QD 400s)

A knitting-less post today, because the Brennan cardi is still on the button-band stage and looking much like the last progress pic did, but it's getting there bit by bit. If the weather keeps up like it is I won't get much wear out of it until next year... but who am I kidding, I'm having a hard time complaining. Yesterday there was sun and blue sky and daytime highs of 20 Celsius, and I happily said goodbye to the winter comforter and said hello to capri pants and sandals. Poor sweaters, we hardly knew ye.

I'm jonesing something fierce for some hemp, or hemp blends, though. Maybe when my stash fingers are feeling less itchy and Mr. Visa card is ready to put out again.

The current WIP is still the thesis. Sadly the progress pics of it aren't as pretty:

I think I'll need to head to campus at some point today, but it's much nicer to go in the sunshine, I tell ya what.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Knitting just as fast as I can...

...and still nothing crossed off the WIP list, but I'm a whole lot closer. And I have a few shiny little dishcloths to show for the week:

I have to say, the Elmore-Pisgah cotton is a dream. If it weren't for the &%@$! shipping expense for Canadian orders (which kind of negates the value of the prices, unless you're buying in bulk), I'd be signing up for another batch of it right. now. It's sturdy but soft and happy to touch and hold as you knit. I only ordered one each of the eight colours above, but I wish I'd added in 3 or 4 more, like a nice red to go with the orange, or some kind of purple. So I'll finish out what I've got and dream of a log cabin bathmat for the far-off future.

The Brennan cardi is finally starting to look like a whole sweater. OMG, it's actually working out. The front panels aren't small and shrunken like I thought, and the shawl collar is shaping up a-okay thanks to G's directions. It'll end up being just above knee-length. This pic's a little dark but you can see it all filling in on the right side and the button band's finally helping it lie flat. Only thing left after this is two wee pockets.

On Friday we hung out with Lady O over the Drive premiere, The Italian Job, and some cocktails, and she gifted me with these:

A pair of socks not only knitted but dyed by her own hand. Lookit those stripes! Heckuva dye job. She needs a hand-knit now in thanks but what can I match with the shininess of the hand-dyed?

The rest of the button-band awaits... and some tea. And the thesis, but that's another story.

Easter is all around.

Green Christmas = White Easter? Well, that was the way it worked this year. Sunday morning we woke up and saw something like this, which was more than we could have said about December.

As we filed out after church service I saw this little guy sitting in the chapel to the side. He looks like he's dressed for a different season, you think?

By noon most of the snow was melted. The Easter bunny still arrived in time for a pre-dinner hunt. If you think grownups are any less enthusiastic when it comes to snarfing jelly beans from their competitors you'd be mistaken. (But the bunny had the Good Sense to put the Lindor eggs up high. You know, for the worthy ones.)

Dinner was plenty of feasting and definitely topped Christmas in the dessert area. And a good time was had by all.

I'm still nibbling through my chocolate stash but find the white chocolate Lindor eggs are just as yummy when washed down with tea or a cosmo. Mmmm. Do you suppose there's some still on discount somewhere?

Thursday, April 5, 2007

Getting There

(Outside Hart House. Even a bird's nest in a lamp-post
can be saucied up with a red ribbon.)

So, not two weeks ago, as the city thawed out for spring and rain started to get to work on all the snow and ice that had piled up, Queen's Park was looking like this:

(Squelch.) Today, it's snowing. According to the paper there's an old wives' tale that says if you have a green Christmas, that means a White Easter. So break out the hot chocolate and candy canes I say.

Meanwhile, the Brennan cardigan is finally being seamed and I'm so relieved to actually have something that looks like an almost-whole garment that I'm not even phased over still having to do the button band and collar (in ribbing. Isn't my optimism hilarious?) It's a tall cardigan though, and the seams are long, so it'll be a good few days before I have another chunk of progress to report on it. But I'm happy to be on the home stretch. I'll take this and Icarus with me for the long weekend.

Mean-meanwhile, I've been distracted by shiny things in springtime colours. I'll give you one guess what it is:

Someone stop me from starting a log cabin blanket out of sock yarn. No really.

I wonder how much knitting you'd have to do to burn off the calories in a bag of Easter jelly beans? Inquiring minds want to know.

Monday, April 2, 2007

Can't Nobody Stop The Juice

Oie. It's been 2 weeks since I posted. I've got to pick up the slack here.

Knitting has unfortunately not progressed fast enough for me to cross any of the current WIPs off the list (tripping off the Battlestar Galactica season finale last put a wee crimp in my work ethic), but fortunately far enough that I can see the end will be in sight soon for some of them. Last night I finished the last piece of the Brennan cardi. Tonight I can start seaming the ribbing panels together and block that sucker out before seaming the whole sweater. After that it'll be the home stretch of the button band and collar. Woo baby. Icarus is getting all growed up, too. I'm on the 4th Chart 1 repeat, but I know that 5th one is just going to be a doozy before I get to the feathers. The rows aren't gettin' any shorter, I tell ya hwhut.

In knitting-outreach news, this morning I met with another TA Trainer to go over a project we've both been working on, and after we looked at her knitting. She's a fairly new knitter and has made only scarves so far, because she was scared about doing increases and decreases. We looked at the starter-scarf she'd done with super-bulky acrylic (in nice rainbow-y shades) and 7mm needles (which was making it pretty tight, we decided). I cast on about 15 stitches, knit a couple rows, and then showed her a make-1 increase and a K2tog. Then when she went to try, I witnessed that she was not only a left-handed knitter, but that she was knitting backwards.

Backwards knitting. All by herself. A beginner knitter. I was floored. She'd taught herself from a leaflet for left-handers. Of all the techniques out there, all the things knitting can do, backwards knitting is the thing that truly melts my brain. I marvelled.

The other thing I marvelled at was a momentary super-bulky yarn epiphany. She was using Lion Brand Thick 'n Quick. The squeak of the acrylic on the 7mm made our teeth hurt but oh sweet y'all. It was thick, it was quick, and comforting and soft and satisfying to hold and knit. It made me want to forget all my laceweight dreams, ditch my 2.25mm sock needles, and knit nothing but vests and hats and pullovers on (Lords of Kobol help me) Speed Stix, the thrill was so cheap. I'm blaming the yarn fumes.

I don't have any pics for today (next time!) but since a post without pics is like a cone without ice cream, I have to share this little The Office vid from the mists of YouTube. I'm getting a ridiculous amount of amusement out of it.

Get up, up, on the dance floor, knitters. And take it off like you're home alone.