Monthly Archives: February 2013

It Begins!

I love getting packages at work. When I order yarn from Knit Picks, I have it come to me at work because there’s always someone there to receive it. And our mail carrier is a knitter! When my order arrived, Sylvia was as interested in seeing what I’d ordered as my co-workers and I were.

Fifteen balls of City Tweed HW (heavy worsted) in the Habanero colourway arrived, along with two books. I’ve already knitted up a swatch; oh, this stuff is nice knitted up! Both John and I have already been feeling up the swatch. Now, the process of deciding what John’s new sweater is going to look like begins. I’ll be doing some reading as to recommended styles for his body shape and he’s been given orders to go through a book of men’s sweaters to see what kind of details he’d like.

tools

Already, he’s decided against a v-neck and I’ve nixxed drop shoulders, modified drop shoulders and raglan sleeve shaping. None of those sleeve treatments would do him any favours. He’s somewhat of a pear shape, with his shoulders narrower than his hips. Personally, I like set-in sleeves on him; they seem to give his shoulders a little more definition.

It could take longer to come up with a design than it will to knit this sweater!

Coincidentally, I’ve also started a spring/summer cardi for myself in a similar colour. This will be the Lowtide cardi; the yarn is Knit Picks Gloss fingering weight in Habanero. I really like this colour and it fits in with most of my wardrobe quite well. This will be perfect over a tank top or short sleeved tshirt… or even as a vest over a long sleeved tshirt.

Lowtide1

I think I’ve got my mojo back!

Categories: Blogging, Knitting | Tags: , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Done!

It didn’t take long to finish John’s socks. They are now off the needles and in his sock drawer. And he is one happy man.

worksocks2

 

I still have a whole ball of the black yarn and most of a ball of the grey yarn so I think I’ll cast on immediately for another pair of socks for him. That should hold me until my KnitPicks order arrives.

Categories: Blogging, Knitting, Socks | Tags: , , | 4 Comments

Socks for Himself

There is a part of me that is just itching to start something new. The yarn for John’s new sweater has been ordered but, still, my fingers are itchy for a new challenge NOW! I shall just have to contain myself, I know. By next weekend, for sure, his yarn will be here and I’ll be knee deep in sweater designs and swatches!

In the meantime, I’ve unearthed a small project that should have  been done months ago… literally! Apparently, I started these socks last June! If you’re interested, you can read about them on the old blog.

worksocks

They’ve been hiding in a basket in the spare room, with the heel flap almost done. As you can see, though, they’re nearing completion now and, with John’s work season coming up soon, he’ll have a brand new pair of work socks. He’s been going through his socks so quickly lately that I’ll never keep up. I should probably have at least one pair of socks on the needles for him at all times! This is not to say he wears through them quickly; it’s just that I haven’t made him a lot of socks in the last couple of years. He wears them almost exclusively and the ones he’s going through now were knitted up to five years ago. That’s not bad, really.

This pair, like some of the other work socks I’ve made him, are knitted with Sirdar Country Style DK. The yarn is 45% acrylic, 40% nylon and 15% wool. It’s a pretty hard wearing yarn for work socks and John really likes the feel of these on his feet. I’m knitting the socks on 3.0 mm needles, not really using a pattern. I’ve made these so many times now that all I need to know is the stitch count required and how long to make the heel flap and the foot. In his case, if I’m knitting DK weight socks, I cast on 56 stitches; if I’m knitting fingering weight socks, I cast on 72 stitches. The heel flap for John’s socks is always 3″ and his foot is exactly that… 12″, so I start the toe shaping at 10″. That’s all I need to know.

Now I need to get off the computer and finish these socks. By tomorrow, John may well be wearing these!

Categories: Blogging, Knitting, Socks, Uncategorized | Tags: , , | 3 Comments

Fuzzy Feet

First of all, thank you all for your kind thoughts. I’m doing much better; there’s still a little tenderness but it’s definitely subsiding. This is a good thing!

I managed to take the time yesterday to finish John’s slippers. Just as I was weaving in the last of the ends, Mike stopped by. I love showing friends what these slippers look like before felting. Mike was duly impressed. He was even more impressed when I threw them into the washing machine, felting them while  he was here.

Our tiles are 13" square, just for sizing reference

Our tiles are 13″ square, just for sizing reference

By the time the slippers came out of the washer, Mike was completely blown away! Now, he’s begging for a pair!

In the past, I’ve done these slippers predominantly in Paton’s Classic Wool, a nice smooth wool. This time, as I wrote before, I used wool I had in my stash. I had no real idea how the combination would felt (I did know it would felt, though). Well, the slippers got fuzzy! Very fuzzy!

Fuzzy!!

Fuzzy!!

While I was processing the photos for the blog, John peeked over my shoulder and commented that they look like they should have eyes!

fuzzy feet3

Categories: Blogging, Finished, Knitting, Slippers | Tags: , , | 3 Comments

Well, That Was a Week

Thankfully, this week is just about over. Not that I want to go back to work (I love my job but it IS a job); I’m just happy the past week is… well… past.

It seems I’ve had an attack of appendicitis this week. On Tuesday evening, I was in a fair bit of abdominal pain; I stayed home from work on Wednesday so I could catch up on my sleep. Thursday, I went back to work as the pain had subsided quite a bit; it was still there, just not as intense as earlier. One of my co-workers suggested that perhaps I should have had it checked out, just to be on the safe side, so I left work before lunch and went to my doctor’s office.

After checking me out, the doctor thought it might be my appendix and sent me off to the hospital for further tests. This was just after lunch. I was home again by about 5:30 p.m. The ER doctor agreed that it might be my appendix but the blood work came back negative for infection, and as I had no fever, he decided to send me home with a requisition for a pelvic ultrasound on Saturday.

When we walked in the door, after picking up some fried chicken for a quick dinner, the first thing I noticed was a bouquet of gorgeous pink roses on the dining room table! It was Valentine’s Day! The header picture is of those roses. I love my husband!

I showed up for the ultrasound at the scheduled 9:30 a.m. yesterday and the first question I was asked was, “Is your bladder full?” I said no, I’d been given instructions not to eat or drink anything 12 hours in advance of the ultrasound. That, apparently, presented a problem. For a lower abdominal ultrasound, the  bladder should be full to bursting, not empty. I showed her the instructions I’d been given, highlighted in yellow. Someone had given me the wrong instructions.

She phoned the ER and then told me I had to head back down there, I was expected. The doctor there would decide the best course of action.

Everyone in the ER was sympathetic and, in all fairness, they did fast track me… I think. It was still well over two hours before I saw a doctor. He said that, in reality, this screw up might just work in my favour. He examined me, asked a few questions, then scheduled a CT scan.

Once I’d had the scan, it took almost another hour or more to find out that, indeed, it was my appendix and a surgeon had been called and would see me in about half an hour. By this time, it was already after 3:00 p.m. and I’d had nothing to eat or drink since dinner time on Friday. The nurse wouldn’t let me have anything as no one was certain whether or not I’d be having surgery.

Finally, the surgeon and another doctor arrived. More examination ensued; more questions were asked. The two doctors left me alone while they went to consult. When they came back, a few minutes later, the surgeon let me know what was going on. My appendix was, indeed, inflamed but just a little. Because there was no fever, there was probably no infection. He gave me three options.

1. Go home and see if the improvement continued

2. Go home with antibiotics in case there was, indeed, an infection. He, personally didn’t like that option as antibiotics could mask something else that might be going on.

3. Remove the appendix and have done with it.

Seeing as the pain levels had been coming down all week, and seeing as I was hungry and thirsty and the thought of having nothing to eat for even longer wasn’t a pleasing one, I decided to go home. The surgeon concurred.

He did say that if I experienced any change in pain levels to come back right away and to let the triage nurse know that I’d already had a CT scan and seen a surgeon, who is on call all weekend. That would speed things along, apparently.

By the time John arrived to pick me up, it was after 4:00 p.m. I was hungry, tired, and felt desperately in need of a hot bath. Needless to say, no knitting was done all day. Nothing I’d planned came to fruition.

Hopefully, today I’ll be able to get a few things done that I wanted to do yesterday… like mailing the Metalouse shawl!

Categories: Blogging, Just stuff, No Knitting | 6 Comments

One Down, One to Go

I’m pleased to report that one of John’s new slippers is done… completely done and ready for felting.

slipper

Every time I make these, I’m always reminded of the Jolly Green Giant when I get to this point. This slipper is big enough to fit the Jolly Green Giant. If you’re not familiar with this pattern, or with fulling, once done, the slippers will be put into a hot water wash and shrunk on purpose.

They’ll shrink into a thick, felted fabric that’s warm and cozy on the toes.

For those of you who like details, the pattern is FibreTrends Felted Clogs, AC-33, by Bev Galeskas. I’m knitting the slippers on 9.0 mm circular needles using a blend of two yarns. The main yarn is Earth Collection Homestead (a Kertzer yarn), something I still had a couple of skeins of in  my stash. The second yarn is something I was given a number of years ago. It’s like the old White Buffalo Yarn, but thinner. I’ve not made felted slippers with this combination before so it will be educational to get to the felting. And, no, I didn’t do up a sample swatch first… naughty me.

Once they’re completely off the needles (as in second slipper knit), I’ll take pictures before and after the felting (technically, it’s fulling) process. Stay tuned!

Categories: Knitting, Slippers, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , | 2 Comments

And The Winner Is…

First… to keep everything completely open… a screen shot of the names of all those who commented on this blog to date.

shawl draw

As you can see, there are twenty-three names. Then, I went to the website Random.org in order to choose the winner of the Metalouse Shawl.

random1

I input the numbers and asked John to hit the “Generate” button.

And the winner is…

the winner

Joyce, the Metalouse Shawl is yours!

All I need from you is your address so I can send it off to you.

Categories: Blogging, Contest, Knitting | Tags: , | 1 Comment

Happy Valentine’s Day

pink, white and red candied heart sprinkles

Wishing all my old friends (from the original Strings ‘n Things blog) and new friends (from this blog) a very happy Valentine’s Day. May your day be filled with love and good things.

I just wanted to let you know that today is the final day for posting a comment that would get your name included in the draw for the Metalouse (aka Hamburger) shawl.

metalouse4 Tomorrow (Friday), we will draw a name using a random number generator. I haven’t quite decided how to to it in such a way as to make it totally and completely impartial. I’m thinking of asking one of my co-workers (or John) to go to a random number generator website and have her (or him) fill in the numbers without her (or him) seeing my database of names. To keep everything open and above board, I think I’ll take a screen shot of the database so that nothing can change. Sound fair?

Remember, if you’d like in on a chance to win this shawl, just leave a comment anywhere on this blog. You’re automatically entered. But you only have today to enter!

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Decision Made!

ironing board

Today has been spent doing little things… waffles for lunch, blogging (yup, you get two for the price of one today!), a bit of tidying, a bit of shopping, a bit of sewing, and a decision made.

Late yesterday, I decided to go out to FabricLand today to pick up some of the heaviest batting I could find. My ironing board desperately needs a new cover. The one that was on it had a hole and each time I’d iron, I’d snag my iron in it. That is no longer the case!

I had enough of this blue fabric, and still some left over, to make a new ironing board cover. The up side is that it’s so much more cheerful than the old blue/grey cover that was on it.  Ironing might actually be fun now!

All in all, from the moment I left the house to the moment I tied the cover to the ironing board, the cover took me about two hours to make. That included driving to the store, poking around, driving home, tracing the ironing board to make the pattern, to cutting everything out and sewing it up and threading a string through the casing! Not bad at all, I think!

As I alluded to in the title, I’ve also made a decision. I will be ordering the yarn for John’s new sweater but in the meantime I want something else to work on, something that almost qualifies as instant gratification. I know what it will be… something that is almost (but not quite) practical knitting. John desperately… and I do mean desperately… needs a new pair of slippers. I made his slippers in October of 2010… two and a half years ago… almost a year ago, I blogged about the fact that both our slippers had started to wear out (I don’t wear mine anymore because of the holes). I guess it’s about time he gets a new pair, wouldn’t you say?

I’m starting to feel really sorry for him…

ohdear

 

You can also see the holes in the elbows of his sweater. It really does look as if I’m being a neglectful wife, doesn’t it? So, yes, slippers are definitely in order!

felted clogs 4J

 

I’ll just go and cast on now.

Categories: Blogging, Knitting, Sewing | Tags: , , , , | 6 Comments

Stitched!

Yesterday turned out to be quite a productive day! I made a tote bag, and a clutch purse, painted my nails, and then got bored and went to bed early. Oh, and I went for a short walk, something I do intend to do more of once my poor old knee gets better (smacked it on the corner of my desk at work… twice… same knee… hurt like…. well, you know!)

The tote bag was made over two days, actually. On Saturday, I put together the base of the bag and sewed the outer bag to the base. Yesterday, I made the inner liner and put it all together.

I don’t know if it was me (probably was) or the pattern instructions but it didn’t come together easily. The outer bag did but the inner bag certainly gave me some challenges. Even though it was cut to the same size as the outer bag, it was smaller than the outer bag and I had to fiddle with it to get it to fit. Next time (and there will be a next time), I’ll cut the inner and outer bags at the same time. That should guarantee they’ll fit. I’ll also be putting it together in a slightly different order than the author did in the tutorial. All in all, though, I love this bag and it will be living in my purse (which needs cleaning out…. or replacing).

In case you want to make your own pocket tote, you can find the tutorial over at Sew Mama Sew!

Once that was out of the way, I decided to try my hand at another little sewing project I found on Pinterest. This one is a gathered clutch purse. Again, though I like the finished product, it didn’t come out exactly like the pictures on the blog. Was it me or the pattern? Probably me.  I did catch one mistake I made; the lining pieces were to be 5.5 x 9″. When I started piecing everything together, I realized I’d cut the lining pieces 5 x 9″. When you have two pieces of lining that need to be the same size as the outside, two pieces that are 1/2″ short makes your lining 1″ too small. That’s huge! There was also one part of the tutorial that I didn’t quite understand; that resulted in the zipper looking a little different than in the original post.

clutch

 

clutch2

I really like it, though, and I can see myself making a few more of these as gifts. Again, I would probably change the method of making this just a little next time.

With my ever-growing stash of fun fabrics, I can see myself having a lot of fun with fabric choices. Want to make one for yourself? You can find the tutorial over at Noodle-head.com.

Incidentally, I would be remiss if I didn’t remind you that there are only 3 days left until the contest for the shawl closes. Comment on any post on this blog to be entered for your chance to win the Metalouse shawl.

Categories: Blogging, Contest, Finished, Sewing | Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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