Knitwit's Rambles

My attempt to actually have a knitting blog, and to update it regularly. We'll see how well that works.

Saturday, December 30, 2006

Holiday Wrap-Up

Well, Christmas is over and it's official: I didn't get Dad's socks done in time. Oh well. He doesn't mind, so I don't, really. At least I've got most of the way up the leg on one and finished the toe on the other, and now I can actually work on them at home in front of him, so it shouldn't take too long.

Hopefully it won't, too, as I still have the yarn I bought in Toronto to dive into and start knitting with. First up, the Blood and Bruises socks, for reasons too geeky to mention. I also have Lisa Souza yarn on the way; just got the email the other day.

Also, as of December 19th--in only four days--knitters around the world were able to double the amount raised for Knitters Without Borders. That's over $120,000 in four days, for a total of (at elast count) $248,000! (though suddenly it strikes me to wonder if that's in Canadian $$ or American--or a combination of both because people reported without stating which it was). And that's what it was up to by the emails Stephanie had received on the 19th, who knows where it is now. Go knitters!

The afghan continues to be seamed, and I'd post a photo if I wasn't feeling lazy/sick of looking at it at the moment. Must work on it over the weekend.

I'm also coming down with a cold, thanks to no sleep over Christmas, and one of my aunts being ill, so off I go to medicate!

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Monday, December 25, 2006


Saturday, December 23, 2006

Well, it's less than 36 hours before the presents get opened, and...I'm pretty much screwed. Grandma's Feather and Fan socks are finished at least, but not even the first sock of my Dad's pair are done yet. About a week ago I was going to blog about how I was nearly done the second of my grandmother's socks, so at least I'd have another pair of needles to start my Dad's second sock and wasn't too worried.

At least that's what I was planning before I went to hold the second Grandma sock up against the first to see how much longer the cuff needed to be and saw that the foot wasn't the same length.

By about half an inch.


Needless to say I spent the fifteen minutes remaining before my shift started ripping back to just before I started the heel. So yup, it's pretty much confirmed now that dad's getting...well, hopefully one completed sock and the toe of the other in his stocking. At least that's not the main gift for him.

At the moment, Christmas knitting is all I'm working on, and all I've been for the last few weeks. For Grandma's socks, I'm using some Regia Canadian Colours that I had in my stash. Can't remember the number and the ball band is long gone, but it's a light blue/light yellow-green/dark blue/dark teal-ish colourway. They knit up pretty fast, considering the amount of time I've been able to devote to them, and the feather and fan pattern is a good one to stave off boredom.

For Dad's socks, I'm doing a plain worksock: off-white toes, heels and cuff, tweedy charcoal grey for the foot and leg, in a 4x2 rib. No need for really fancy work as I'm not sure he'd wear it if I did. Serviceable socks seemed a better idea, particularly as he'll ask for worksocks on his Christmas list, something my brother and I always tease him about.

Other than those, I'm trying to out together the afghan created by the girls in my knitting group at the library. Of course I had to take the complicated way of doing it (creating black sashing inbetween the squares, like a quilt), so it's going slowly.

Somehow over the last couple years I've always ended up doing Christmas knitting, though every year I've thought that I wouldn't. I'm not one of those people that has to make a knitted gift for everyone--particularly not one for everyone for the same holiday. I don't get the whole "I have to make something for everyone!" mentality, as I know that not everyone will want or appreciate a knitted item for Christmas; but then I think I can understand it if your family is the sort to compare gifts and keep score in the "they-got-something-handmade-so-why-didn't-I?" kind of way, in which case the pressure on the knitter is coming more from without than within.

My family isn't like that, and I usually try to focus more on what's the perfect thing for each person, rather than money value or handmade-versus-bought (though I try and spend approximately the same on my main family members).

Anyway, as I said I've decided I wasn't going to knit anything for anyone in the last couple years, but then Mom asks or grandma keeps hinting that she wants socks, or I decide "hey, it might be nice to amke this small thing for ____" and there you have it: Christmas knitting.

And speaking of giving, for those that don't listen to the podcast, Miss Violet of Lime and Violet is having some medical problems, which she can't even get diagnosed until she's found $1000 to pay for the testing. To help, Lisa Souza has created a special colourway called "Violet's Pink Ribbon", with part of the proceeds going to Miss Vi's medical fund. Any money raised over the amount needed will be donated to a related charity of Miss Vi's choosing.

Or to spread some more Christmas cheer, the Knitters Without Borders campaign, hosted by the Yarn Harlot, is back in full swing as well. I'm hoping to contribute this time, once the next credit card billing period comes along.

So if you have any disposable cash left, make one more gift, either to the ones I've mentioned or a charity of your choosing. After all, knitters know the joy of giving, with only warm fuzzies as the reward.

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Monday, December 04, 2006

The Sadly Delayed Update, Part 1.

Okay this thing has been languishing in my blogger account as a draft for a good month now, and I really have to get it put up. I had been meaning to post this around the end of Socktoberfest, but as the result of dog-sitting overnight (yeah, my sinuses hated me for that, guess I know one thing I'm allergic to), not getting anywhere enough sleep and working with the public, I got the creeping crud again. Cue feeling like someone had filled my sinuses with Elmer's Glue, and it just would not go away for a couple weeks.

Since then--and in the last couple weeks particularly--I've just been exhausted by work. It's that time of the year that people get sick so I 've been getting a lot of overtime, though the upside is that it'll give me some extra cash for the holidays...and more sock yarn, once my holiday knitting is done. But more on that later. First, housekeeping.

First up, the Boring Socks of Doom. DONE. Finished those a few weeks ago, and was glad to see them gone.

Next: Socktoberfest Shopping! I went into Toronto for the Creative Sewing and Needlework Festival and a yarn crawl on Oct. 22nd, planning to limit myself to two hours at the CSNF as I was going to be meeting up with someone in the Beaches for lunch.

I finished my walkthrough of the CSNF in about thirty minutes without seeing one thing that I really wanted to buy.


I haven't been able to go in the last two years so I don't know if there's been some gradual decline in the number of knitting vendors, but damn, it was disappointing. Not only that, but those few knitting vendors that were there weren't carrying anything I was looking for: precious little sock yarn--mostly of the self-striping variety--no laceweight and no knitting books that sparked my interest. A lot of the vendors I saw were selling kits (which don't really interest me as I'm a) a plus size and b) more likely to make stuff up on my own) and a lot of the others had a great deal of the frou-frou, fluffy crap that I'm not interested in.

Needless to say, I don't think I'll be going next year. I'll consider the $15 admission fee the cost of re-prioritizing my yarn trips (the DKC Knitter's Frolic is now the highlight of my knitting calendar!).

Anyway, went off to the Beaches and met up with my non-knitting friend at the Naked Sheep, which I was glad to finally be able to go to. Nice store, nice selection, and yay, I found Nancy Bush's "Knitting on the Road"! Though I'm not sure it'll become a regular haunt on my knitting trips to Toronto, considering it's fairly far out on the streetcar and a lot of the stuff I'll probably be intending to look for isn't stocked--which is nothing against the store, it just doesn't fit in to my purchasing habits (hell, I hardly go to Romni anymore for the same reason). If I have time, though, I'll make the trip.

Long, comfortable lunch with friend in a pub, then we split up and I went off to Lettuce Knit. This was my first time at the new location, and I love the store--so cozy, and so much good yarn. They had just gotten in a shipment of Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sock! So many colours! It probably took me a good half-hour to decide which of those I wanted alone. I also got my hands on some Trekking XXL, finally, and I found some gorgeous alpaca laceweight that I didn't buy even though I was lusting after it. Next time, and once I finish the Swallowtail Shawl. I also got to pet the resident kitties, which was nice as I still miss my housemate's cat from university. If I hadn't had my arms full and if I'd been sure of an easy reception from the cats I would have picked them up and cuddled them.

Last stop was the Knit Cafe on Queen St. W. and there, I found KOIGU! I must have spent half an hour trying to decide what to get, which was complicated by the fact that I could only find one of each of the colourways that jumped out at me, which is always the way, of course. I did find two skeins of a colourway I really liked, and which turned out to be rather appropriate. Oddly enough, the colours I picked...were exactly the same colours of the bruise I found on my thigh later that night from whacking it with the turnstile at one of the subway stations. I have now dubbed it the "bumps and bruises" colourway (see below), and I'm looking for a texture pattern that, well, fits the theme. Something like what the Lizard Ridge squares look like before they're blocked. Of course I could use Lizard Ridge, but all thos wraps and turns look like they could really be a pain in the ass to do in a sock, and I'm not sure it would keep that texture.

See? The dark blues, the dark reds and purples... They're even more vivid in person, really. Told you I was sad. Of course I could elaborate more about where my brain has gone with connections to that colourway, but then it would only make me sound even MORE sad, so no.

I have more--namely everything I've been doing in the weeks since that trip, but I think I'll have to save that one for another post or I'll really never get this one put up.

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