Thursday, March 30, 2006

Spring Forward

Coming up to the best weekend in the year: Daylight Savings Time kicks in between Saturday and Sunday, PLUS we're still tipping toward the sun and therefore getting another two minutes(ish) of daylight every day. More daylight hours are A Good Thing, when one's slow-and-steady progress on the sock is more slow than steady. Check it out: It's not racing along, this little sock, but I'm into the magic loop groove and will make some real progress once my pesky work is done for the week. Oh, and what you see dangling from the sock? Kind of like a greyhound at rest? My first Addi Turbo. [Turbos? Plurals really get me sometimes. I'm still smarting from the time I referred to the Borgs on Star Trek and was hooted out of the room.] Anyway, right, these needles. Might as well cash in the RRSPs now...the join alone brings me close to tears. Of joy.

Speaking of spending all the dough on needles, the two candidates for the Mountain Peaks Shawl arrived this week, and they seem quite pointy, which was the whole idea. I'm going to pull out the eight rows I've done and start again on April 1 so that I can be in the contest and so that I can try one of Eunny's cast-on methods.

Want to see the sole of the sock? Oh go on. Have a look.

Sunday, March 26, 2006

Sockapaloooza Learning Swerve

If learning fiddly new things helps build brain synapses, I've made my quota for the week just by starting my Sockapaloooza sox. Look at this small wonder:
Here we have a Turkish Cast-On (I learned it from a Meg Swansen article in Vogue, but this tutorial is extremely clear, and online) and my first foray into the mystical Magic Loop and my first toe-up sock. Now I'm going to go breathe into a paper bag.

As pleased as I am with all this new learnin', I think I'll pull this first try out and start again. I have some weird gaps on the sides of the toe, which are either because my ML technique is clumsy or because my M1s aren't quite right. I can never remember which direction to lift the bar from and whether to knit into the front or back of the resulting loop. Must go look it up. And I might go back to Romni and get a longer circular needle, because I think this would be more comfortable with larger magic loops. Soon I'll own nineteen versions of 2.25mm sock needles.

I'm so excited about these sox! I want to get some momentum going on them...but I'm supposed to be reading up on a potential new client, so I have to put them aside for a bit. This week is jam packed with work, almost all of it revenue-generating: good for my needle habit.

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Hooray! Here is my 600+ yards of alchemy "haiku" in forest waltz, posed artistically next to a framed picture of my home mountains...Mts. Peter and Paul, in the Desert Jewel, aka Kamloops B.C. Here in Hogtown, mountains are scarce, but I grew up on hills and love them, even when I'm at the bottom and it's 38 degrees celsius. Well, maybe not LOVE them. But I do love the colours in this yarn, and I can't wait for the new sticks to arrive in the mail, so I can get started properly on the Mountain Peaks shawl.

In other news, I returned the 13 skeins of lamb's pride bulky that was scheduled to become Teva Durham's cabled riding jacket. The v-neck corrugated asymmetrical pullover taught me that this yarn -- while lovely -- sheds too much and wouldn't show the cables to the degree I would want. Hmph. Anywho, I now have a whopping credit at Romni, even after I bought some proper sock needles. Tomorrow, post-work and pre-houseguests, I'll get going on the sox.

Tonight I went out for a drink with my thesis supervisor, who wants me to come in on April 19 and talk to his class about Things You Can Do with a Ph.D. (other than being a professor) and we had a fine time catching up and swapping gossip. He was all cut up that I'd been cruelly dumped in January, but I explained that I was over it 99.9 percent and besides was now a media darling. He may or may not have bought it, but it's 99.9 percent the truth. Then I raced around the corner for dinner with my lovely friend Sarah, who has had one hell of a few months but is now back on track with her boyfriend and has adopted a dog -- a GoldenDoodle called Finn...which was one of the names that my parents considered for Riley, Ace of Dogs. Though now he's SUCH a Riley. She (Sarah) is doing extremely well and wants me to do A Reading at her wedding, date/place/time TBA.

I'm finished the body of a small pink cotton cardi for my friend Ilana's new baby, Thea -- this weekend, I need to make sleeves and a hood and put it all together.

And so to bed.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Don't Buy Cheap Tools.

Small setback on the sox for my pal. I bought a couple sets of Pony Pearl sock needles (pins, more like) and they are Craposaurus Rex. I cast on that nice Koigu the other night and made it through 1.5 rounds before giving up, with a lot of hmmphing. The needles are all bendy and have weird blunt tips and seem too short. Miserable little things.

My Dad carries a small notebook EVERYWHERE with him (and therefore must have pockets in all his shirts, including T-shirts) -- very handy, that notebook, for lists and websites and important numbers and getting rid of one's gum -- and when he and Mum were here in September on a Renovate-Erin's-Apartment working holiday, he showed me the inside cover of his current notebook, where he'd written: Don't buy cheap tools. I nodded and agreed but then when I get in front of a wall of knitting needles my ingrained cheapness shouts What? Fifteen bucks for one set of sticks? And I choose the six dollar beauties, which are now expensive skewers for BLTs. And I never make or eat those.

Instead, I cast on for a new lace project. I've joined the Mountain Lace Knitalong and am making Mim's Mountain Peaks Shawl out of Alchemy "Haiku" (40 silk/60 mohair) in "Forest Waltz." It's a little bit vareigated -- greens and browns -- but I think the lace will show up well. I'd show you, but Blogger is being pettish about accepting pictures.

So. Laceweight. Pretty skinny stuff, you know. And speaking of tools, my darling Denise interchangeables aren't going to cut it with this stuff (though they're not cheap tools and I adore them for almost everything else). I leapt onto the InterWeb and ordered two new circs that should have very very pointy ends (according to a discussion Wendy had during her Summer of Lace).

The net net is that I have heaps of yarn and none of the right sticks! Must get back to work to pay for all the ones that will be coming in the mail.

Sunday, March 19, 2006

Ssssssssocks: plural!

I am all set to get going on my Sockapaloooza socks: the practice pair is fini! Here you see them relaxing with The Magazine That I'm In: this week's Canadian Business. And I even talked about the Knitting Olympics in the interview...spreading the purly word at every turn. These socks aren't beauties -- one of them has a ladder wide enough to climb -- but they're cheerful, they're finished, and the yarn was free. Plus, they're twins. Check it out.

These socks and the Teva Durham V-neck were on hiatus during the Olympics...I think I said last month that I'd work them in betw
een bouts of Kiri knitting: uh, didn't exactly happen. Reminds me of when I moved to Kingston in 1994 and thought that I'd be dashing off to Montreal, Toronto, Ottawa -- New York, probably -- on weekends. You know, packing up my school books and a couple of smashing outfits and leaping on the train... But I didn't factor in 1) being broke 2) having eleventy-teen thousand pages of reading every week -- I think I figured grad school would be mostly fancy coffees and nodding thoughtfully in seminars -- so weekend junkets were scarce. But what the heck...Kingston had charms of its own, including two or three places to eat the Biggest Pieces of Cheesecake ever.

Anywho, back to socks: I'm now ready to get the Sockapaloooza show on the road, and will commence swatching tonight in front of (I hope) a detective show. Here's my yarn! I love it, and hope my pal will, too. Koigu KPPPM, variegated, mostly oranges and yellows:
I'm thinking I'll try Wendy's toe-up sock for my sock pal: it makes the most sense to me (why graft if you can avoid it) and I can get maximum length out of these yarn cakes. Plus, I can do the foot part in stockinette and put off the decision about patterns for the leg...I've looked at heaps of patterns and can't decide, but I want to get moving. May 2nd is coming up fast!

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Runway Ready...or Michelin Man?

It's a tough call...I like the neckline, but that sleeve is all Big White Tire Guy. And I won't lie to you: it's a little itchy. But I was impatient to wear it out for Korean food with Sarah and Maya, so say it with me...We Suffer to Be Beautiful. Or to look like a Pine Shadows marshmallow. It's not get-this-off-my-body itchy, and it'll soften up once I give it the Eucalan dunk. The colour is greener and prettier than it looks -- more "pine" and less "mud" -- and the 20% mohair sheds a little but not too much. One thing that's hard to do: get an in-focus shot of this sweater. Here's me trying to boss the camera into holding still:
Look how annoyed I am! I've always been prone to irrational irritation with inanimate objects. Anywho, that's the Teva Durham corrugated asymmetrical V-neck, and today Toronto was -11 degrees, so I can wear it a few times before the winter duds go into storage. On the weekend, when it went up to +17 degrees, I had a panicky moment trying to remember where the heck I'd stashed my spring/summer clothes. I stared wildly into space, trying to imagine my logic last October...and my eyes fell on the big gray Rubbermaid tub behind the printer. But of course! The love I have for this apartment is unconditional though, and I can only blame myself for having too much stuff to cram into its single closet.

Right, moving along then: I'm going to finish the 2nd sock, graft all the toes, and have another FO this week. Then I can get started on my Sock Pal's sox (just wait until you see the yarn) and my next knit-along project and a couple of new baby presents.

Friday, March 10, 2006

Move Along, Nothing to See Here....

Sure, it looks chaotic, but it all makes sense. You don't measure your knitting with your level? Hardware can be a knitter's friend. Teva Durham corrugated v-neck, attempt 1.5: half a sleeve and some seaming from completion.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Inaugural Sock

Check it out: one sock in the sunshine, hangin' in the backyard. It needs its toe grafted, but for that I have to get out the Knitty article and concentrate. It fits reasonably well: maybe a little slouchier than it ought to be, but I'm pleased with it. And its sibling is on the sticks and seeing some action on the subway/streetcar, so I could have TWO of these pups before long. Then I'll need a whole new outfit to coordinate with them.

On Friday, the clever and crafty SM and I are meeting again and going to Lettuce Knit, where I will finally buy the yarn for my Sockapaloooza pal...and maybe something for another shawl. Maybe. A client sent a whopping cheque today, and it's smoldering in my pocket. [Note to self: mustn't spend grocery money on yarn and call it a weight loss initiative.]

Today I met my friend Maya to catch up and do a refresher knitting lesson. She's determined to make a shrug, and she'll be able to do it once she gets more comfortable with the needles and figures out what to do with all those fingers. I was showing her the knit stitch in slow motion and had to think hard about all the small do I keep the needles steady when I'm throwing the yarn? I pinch the needles where they make an "X", of course, but it took me a minute to watch myself and figure it out. Ditto on gripping the yarn with the little finger of my right hand immediately after the throw...that's what keeps the tension from going all loosey goosey, but until today I couldn't have said what I was doing.

Sunday, March 05, 2006

wild and woolly week

It's been a busy few days here at OY, what with house guests (Amy and her latest, in from both Londons) and darting around the city. On Monday I was at a Disruptive Innovation conference, where I heard some dumb presentations but also a couple of good ones -- the best was Bill Ives, who talked about blogging as a knowledge management [aka "filing"] tool. This guy was great -- virtually no jargon and a master of the pause. Plus, his slides didn't make me want to poke him with something sharp. I think I disappointed the friend/mentor who invited me, because I'm still hopeless at networking and avoid talking about My Business. But honestly, I'm so happy not working every single day. It's just fantastic. I imagine I'll have to get busier if I want to buy a house or have a kid, but I'm not looking to do either in the next year. Anyway, it was a day reasonably well spent, and I learned a few new things.

The post-Olympic knitting is aimless: I'm back at work on the Teva Durham corrugated V-neck, and have finished my first practice sock [!] ...outdoor photos tomorrow.

Not much else to report, except this man and his camera in my hallway. He and his henchman made one hell of a mess in the place -- they moved all my piles of stuff out of the shots, and now everything is higgledy-piggledy (that means "a real mess") Details to follow in the next few days!