Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Forgive me father, it's been a month since my last confession blog entry

Just a little flashback to my catholic school upbringing there. I shudder just thinking about it.

I knew when I started this blog that I would probably never write more than once a week, but I never thought I'd let a whole month go by. No excuses for it really; I just don't seem to have much to say these days.

However, since I've had a couple of emails asking if everything was alright, I thought I'd better let you know that I'm still around. Thanks to those who asked!

There has been a bit of knitting going on:

Christmas present socks for my boss. My preferred garter rib pattern.

Although the blanket, hat and socks had been done for well over a month, I finally knit a matching sweater for this set. I used the pattern for the Tulips Baby Cardigan as a starting point. Once I had gone a few rows after the sleeve stitches are left on hold, I joined the two front parts together and kept going in the round so that I got a pull-over instead of a cardigan. I just crocheted around the neck opening. My kind of sweater: no sewing up!

I started another blanket which is still at the same stage since I abandoned it for some Christmas knitting. I'll finish this one during my Christmas vacation.

That's all folks.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

On the Mend

I'm on week three of a bad chest cold that just won't quit. I am finally feeling somewhat better. At least the coughing has abated enough so that I can get some sleep. My voice still comes and goes - at times it sounds like a cross between Donald Duck and Kathleen Turner (or, for French films lovers - Catherine Deneuve)!

Although I didn't pick up my knitting for a whole week, I still managed to finish one pair of socks and start a couple of other items.

These are Stansfield 196 from More Sensational Knitted Socks. Yarn is Dream In Color Smooshy, colour Wisteria.

I started these Garter Rib socks in Lorna's Shepherd Socks, colour Black Watch. I am very annoyed with the second sock. The yarn for the first sock behaved as expected, giving me stripes. The second sock is coming out in "blobs". I have already frogged it and rewound the skein so I could start from the other end - just in case that was better, but to no avail.

I started a feather and fan scarf. Yarn is from Wooly Wonka Fibers. I made socks out of this yarn a little while ago. I liked the colour so much I ordered more yarn for this scarf. This one will be for me.

And finally, an item from last year. I knit this Icarus shawl as a retirement gift. I had taken photos before giving it away, but I managed to lose them. A couple of weeks ago I received an email from the happy retiree and she was nice enough to send along a couple of pictures.

Isn't this an interesting way of wearing a shawl?

That's all folks.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

I Love Mondays ... at least until the end of 2007

Due to bad recordkeeping on my part and an earlier miscommunication from our payroll person, I discovered a couple of weeks ago, to my surprise, that I still had nine vacation days left! Since vacation days cannot be carried over to the next year, I decided to take off every Monday until the end of the year.

Yesterday was my second such Monday off and I am thoroughly enjoying the long weekends ... although I don't want to think about how difficult it will be to go back to regular weeks in January.

I'm afraid there isn't much else going on but, as usual, there are socks:

Cloverleaf Eyelet from More Sensational Knitted Socks in Dream In Color Smooshy. Color is "Petal Showers".

Bordello Socks (pattern on ball band) in Fleece Artist Sea Wool. Not sure what the colorway is ... there was no name anywhere on any of the tags.

This is pretty much the same pattern as Jaywalker socks except that there is garter stitch instead of ribbing at the top of the leg. It is just as unstretchy as the Jaywalker, but as the recipient has very slender feet and legs, I am sure it will fit properly (she says hopefully).

For those of you who think I only ever knit socks ... I started a scarf!

Yarn is one of my all time favourites: Jo Sharp Silkroad DK Tweed. Colour "Berry". Inspired by the Irish Walking Scarf pattern, but I have added some smaller cables on either side of the centre one. The small cables are crossed every fourth row and the larger one every eighth. I am about half way through.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Déjà vu

These socks - my first completed Christmas present for this year - were a lovely knit. This was my first time with Dream In Color Smooshy yarn and I am so very happy that I have four more skeins of it waiting in the sock-to-be drawer. The name Smooshy says it all and the lovely non-pooling colour (Beach Fog) is a joy to behold.

I've used this stitch pattern before (Cross-Hatch from More Sensational Knitted Socks) and it is definitely a favourite.

I was finishing up the second sock while watching the movie Groundhog Day on TV yesterday morning. I love this movie. I own the DVD, but I always watch it whenever it comes on the tube. I was knitting along merily and was sure I could time the end of the sock with the end of the movie - this appealed to me for some reason.

I was pretty pleased with myself when I finished the grafting of the toe along with the rolling of the movie credits. I basked in the glory of the finished sock for a few minutes before hoisting myself off the couch to go unite the just completed sock with its mate. I am holding both socks up by the cuffs, smoothing them together to admire my handiwork when, instead of perfectly twinned socks, I am horrified to see that the second sock is longer than the first! It seems I had done 10 repeats of the pattern on the instep instead of the 9 done on the first sock.

So I spent the next hour and a bit undoing and refinishing sock number 2 ... my own little Groundhog Hour!

This pair, also finished last week, is done with Wooly Wonka BFL Superwash in the Wasatch colour way. I like this colour so much that I ordered more of the yarn to make myself a scarf.

Stitch pattern is "Stems", again from More Sensational Knitted Socks. A very nice stitch which would be much better suited to a plain coloured yarn, but it nevertheless gives the sock a great texture.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

What's Red and Blue ... ?

These red socks were completed a couple of weeks ago, but since they hadn't yet arrived at destination, I didn't want to spoil the surprise. Now that Grace has received them, it is safe to post a photo.

Pattern stitch is from More Sensational Knitted Socks. Which pattern stitch is it? Your guess is as good as mine. The book is at home and I'm posting this from the office - so I can't check it. Yarn is Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sock in the Red Rover colorway.

The blue socks were knit for my son's birthday - the first pair I've knit for him. He loves them and they fit perfectly. Pattern stitch is Garter Rib from Sensational Knitted Socks.

I've been pretty good on the "stash improvement" project since I cleaned out and organized my closet last month. However, I just knew this restraint was too good to last. Here are this week's additions to the tightly knit (!) stash family:

Some Kauni, in the "EJ" colorway. I'm blaming Bets for this purchase ... why should I take full responsibility? She placed a big order with Astrid's Dutch Obsessions and blogged about it. Who am I to pass up the opportunity of a never-used before online buying source and the fun of receiving a package from the Netherlands? By the way, the yarn is lovely, but I think the best part of receiving this parcel was the little extra addition of a piece of Dutch spice cake ... was that ever yummy!

I'm not sure what the Kauni will become yet, but more than likely a shawl or stole.

Four skeins of Dream In Color Smooshy - all destined to become Christmas presents for family members.

I've been spending a lot of time at Ravelry. That place is brilliant, but sucks all the knitting time out of what is left of my day once I am done with work!

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Happy 24th Sweetie!

My baby is 24 years old today. How did that happen?

He won't let me post current photos, so I thought I'd be self-indulgent and share a few pictures showing some of what he did (and still does) best:



and charming everyone with his smile

He has grown into a lovely man - caring, generous and with a great sense of humour. Every mother should be so blessed.

Love ya babe!

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Plan B

I knit just a few rows on the stole last weekend and came to the sad realization that it was just not going to get done in time for birthday giving. I'm not throwing in the towel, but I'm just not in the right mood for it at the moment. It will either be a Christmas gift ... or a Groundhog Day gift (this woman celebrates everything!).

Accordingly, Plan B was called upon: Orange socks. Once again from More Sensational Knitted Socks. Stitch pattern is Hourglass Eyelets. Yarn is from Jayne's shop - wonderfully soft and squishy superwash merino.

While I was knitting these, I kept being reminded of the early years of the Montreal Expos baseball and one of my favourite players, Rusty Staub - known in Montreal as Le Grand Orange. I'm not that much of a baseball fan now, but those were the good old days (I can't believe I'm using that phrase) of the very small Jarry Park where you were practically sitting on the field with the team.

That was 1969. Sheesh, I'm feeling old.

In other news: I finally got my Ravelry invitation!!
Code name: EterKnitty.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Back in the Saddle Again

I'm back at work after 10 days off and, not surprisingly, I really don't want to be here. On the positive side though, for the first time in many years I have not come back to a disaster area. I work as a secretary in a large law firm. When we take vacation, we are replaced with a "floater" (or, as I like to call them, guest secretaries). I have not had great luck with floaters in the past. There is one from many years ago who was so disastrous that even my boss remembers him (yea, it was a guy) and I've threatened to take an extra long vacation and bring him back on occasions when said boss is driving me crazy.

My vacation time was uneventful as I didn't venture far from home. It was just nice and relaxing.

I did get some knitting done.

In the déja vu department, here are, finally, completed socks. If they look familiar it is because I have knit this same yarn at least twice before.

These blue socks were first knit as toe-up back in May. I failed to be satisfied with my casting off and ripped them back. I tried them again as Monkey socks in July (I knit only one sock then) and wasn't happy with that either and I ripped it back again. I was tired of seeing the yarn sitting on my shelf, taunting me, so it became just plain socks. Fortunately, Jayne's lovely yarn doesn't need any fancy stitches to enhance its beauty.

This pink yarn (again, from Jayne's) also started life as Monkey socks - one sock knit on 2.5mm needles was too big and the second sock knit on 2.25mm needles was too tight. This stitch pattern (the name of which escapes me at the moment) from More Sensational Knitted Socks, knit on 2.5mm, turned out perfectly. (Why am I hearing echoes of Goldilocks and the Three Bears?)

I finished the baby blanket. Every time I knit this I tell myself I will never knit another one - I hate knitting the border (it seems endless) and sewing it on - but when it is done I am always so happy with the result that I keep coming back to this pattern when I need a baby gift.

I also knit up a hat and socks to go along with it. I will also knit a sweater.

I am still trying to get the orange stole done. It didn't look good to have it completed in time for the giftee's birthday, but I have a bit of a reprieve as she is away on vacation for the next two weeks, giving me an extra week. I have to admit that this project just isn't calling my name - so, just in case, I started some socks for her ... always nice to have a Plan B!

Monday, August 20, 2007

The Best Laid Plans ...

I took a couple of days off from work last week. I had planned on finishing the main part of the birthday stole with a view to have the border done by the end of the month (in time for the giftee's birthday party).

It now looks like my new target date will be giftee's actual birthday in mid-September as I never even picked up the stole all weekend long.

I have been in cleaning and organizing mode. Since such mood doesn't strike me very often, I have learned to just go with it when it does.

My stash had been ... em ... stashed ... in different areas of my very small apartment - some still in a stack of Elann white boxes, some in my clothes closet (to the point where there was no longer room for any clothes) and more in bags stuffed here and there. I'd had enough of having to dig through various locations to find what I wanted, so I decided that the stash had to be centralized. I have a linen closet which held not linens, but a variety of craft and sewing supplies and my sewing machine. I haven't done crafts in over five years and the only sewing I ever do anymore is hemming pants - which I have been doing by hand because hauling the machine out of the closet and setting it up is too much of a pain.

So, it was clean-up time. All the crafting supplies were unceremoniously discarded (it was more than time ... all of my glues and paints had totally dried up) and the sewing paraphernalia was culled to an acceptable minimum.

My sewing machine has been set up on my desk since it is no longer used as a computer desk (the desktop PC having been replaced by a laptop a few months ago). The machine has been joined by my knitting books - all in easy reach.

I had to clean the machine's insides first, but it is now in working order and I've already hemmed two pairs of pants.

All my yarn has now been relocated to the linen closet:

See the bottom part ... more yarn in two space bags. I didn't have the nerve to inflate them to see what was in there!

Most people have a sock drawer.

I now have a sock-to-be drawer:

There was some knitting done during the weekend. I've had a special request for two baby blankets - both babies due in December. I figured I might as well get started.

It is knitting up pretty fast. Hopefully I won't get sidetracked by yet another project calling my name.

Pay It Forward - Part 2

Thanks to Jennifer and Suzann for joining in.

Please email me your mailing address when you have a moment so I can send off your goodies whenever they are ready.

fromheretoeterknitty AT gmail DOT com.

There is still room for one more - leave a comment here or in the original PIF post.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Pay It Forward

I saw mention of this PIF Exchange while catching up with Grace's blog yesterday and thought it was a wonderful idea, but was too late to join there.

Going through the TV listings early this morning, I noticed that the movie is playing on a local channel tonight. "What a coincidence" I thought (the theme from the Twilight Zone playing in my mind).

As I was clicking my way through my usual blog suspects earlier, I found that Bets had issued the call.

OK, I can take a hint. I joined in and now it's my turn.

This is what the PIF Exchange is all about (copied from Bets' blog, which was copied from Grace's blog, which was copied from JenW's blog, get the picture):

"Here is how it works! I’ll send a handmade gift to the first 3 people who leave a comment on my blog requesting to join this PIF exchange! I don’t know what that gift will be yet, and you may not receive it tomorrow or next week…LOL… but you will receive it within 365 days, that’s a promise! The only thing you have to do in return is pay it forward by making the same promise on your blog… No pressure, no hype. The first three people to sign up get a prezzie AND pass on a little kindness."

Any takers?

Monday, August 13, 2007


I was shopping at my favourite store last week – the local Loonie store (or Dollar store for my American friends) and found some “Chinese Take-Out” boxes in a variety of colours. I thought they would be great packaging for sock gifting and bought 10 different colours. I’m sure I’ll be able to match the socks to each box when needed.

There was only one birthday-themed box:

A former office buddy is having a birthday at the end of this week and she is getting the Raspberry-Mocha socks I finished last week.

There are no photos of the socks featured in my last post on sizing dilemma because I have not finished any of them. I did find some volunteer "sock assessors". I have determined that the blue socks would indeed fit their intended recipient; however, I thought the Monkey sock pattern did not suit the yarn (it was just lost in the dark colour) – so I have yet again ripped that sock back and the yarn has gone back to the stash for a rest. The pink sock knit on the 2.25mm needles was too tight to fit over my volunteer’s average size foot. The sock knit with the 2.5mm needles was fine in the leg, but loose on the foot. I haven’t done anything yet, but I believe they will also be frogged and the socks will not be Monkeys but some kind of ribbed pattern which is more “forgiving”.

There has been some progress on the birthday stole. I ended up going with my original item knit on the smaller Addi lace needles. I have slightly more than half the pattern repeats completed. I am hoping to get the rest of it done this week and then I can start on the border.

I must admit that I really don’t enjoy working with lace weight mohair … and wouldn’t you know it … I have loads of it in my stash!

Stash Improvement Project:

I just can't help myself.

Monday, July 30, 2007

Unfinished Business

(Impeded by Indecision)

Some people have problems making life altering choices. I've had to make quite a few of those in my life, but I don't recall agonizing over any of them. For example, I never hesitated over moving from Montreal to Vancouver, alone with my four year old son (having never before set foot in Vancouver).

Give me a small, seemingly inconsequential, decision to make though and I will ponder for hours on end. Alternatively, I will make the decision quickly and then regret it and go back and try something else.

I have been doing this a lot with my knitting lately.

Back in May, I made a first attempt at knitting toe-up socks. I wasn't crazy about the heel, but I did knit both socks and they sat there, still on the needles, because I could not manage a loose enough cast-off. So last week I decided to rip them out and start again - top down. It was a perfectly good pair of socks. I'm sure if I had tried harder, I could have cast off in an acceptable manner and they could have been gifted or donated. But no, I had to start over.

So I now have one Monkey sock requiring only the toes to be finished.

While I was knitting this sock, I thought it would be too small. I had an office friend try it on (she is the same size as my intended giftee) and she said they were fine. Even though she said this, I kept thinking they should be looser.

I must be out of my mind!

Instead of giving in to my delusion of sock size, I cast on for another Monkey sock, this time in pink. I knit the first sock on 2.5mm needles and kept thinking as I was knitting along that it felt tight. Déjà vu anyone? I abandonned sock number one after finishing the heel and cast on sock number two with 2.75mm needles. I got a bit further on this one, but I think it is too loose. I am now looking for someone to give them a try before I decide which one goes to the frog pond.

Think that was silly? Here's the next one. Remember the birthday stole? I had knit a fair amount already on my Addi lace needles (4mm). Well, I started thinking that maybe the fabric created was not airy enough ... so I started again on slightly larger needles. There is a bit of a difference, but I still can't decide which one I prefer. I spent half an hour fondling each piece on Friday before finally shoving everything back in its bag and berating myself for being so wishy-washy.

A decision must be made soon on this one ... birthday is one month away. Anybody got a coin I could toss?

Monday, July 16, 2007


The hottest week of the summer (so far) in Vancouver has (hopefully) ended. I say "hopefully" because I absolutely hate such heat. We have had a number of days well over 30°C and although it is much cooler outside now, my apartment is still hotter than hell.

Even though the weather last week wasn't quite conducive to knitting, I did manage - with the help of ice packs and fans - to put in a few hours of my favourite activity.

I thought it was appropriate that in this heat I would choose to knit socks in a flaming hot colour. Continuing my Potter-themed sock collection, I joyfully started my "Phoenix" socks with Jayne's wonderful yarn. It is a superwash merino and it is oh so soft!

One sock done, second one started.

I had planned to use the flame chevron stitch from Barbara Walker's Fourth Treasury, but then I found this adaptation of the stitch in a Knitty pattern. The use of YOs instead of M1s makes the pattern stretchier, which I need to fit my fat legs.

I also did a bit of work on the birthday stole. This work was done on my lunch hour at work ... nice air-conditioned office. There is no way I was going to attempt to work with mohair in the heat! The only problem with working on this in the office is that I am always afraid the recipient is going to catch me in the act.

Oh, remember the "no spending in July" bit? I lasted only 10 days! The heat got to me and I relieved my frustration by letting my fingers do the clicking. Books and yarn should be landing soon. This is why I never make New Year's resolutions.

Monday, July 9, 2007

You got to know when to hold'em,
know when to fold'em ...

Last week I started knitting my friend's birthday shawl - the Persimmon Lace from Victorian Lace Today. I had been unsure about my ability to deal with the border but was eventually convinced that everything would be fine so I thought I'd get going on the "easy part".

Sure, there is patterning on both the right and wrong sides ... but I can deal with that; it is only 70 some odd stitches after all, only three chart repeats per row and there are only 6 rows to the pattern repeat.

I didn't look at the clock, but it took me what seemed like forever to get the first six rows done.

I ordered some of the new Addi lace needles for this. I love them - the points are extra pointy and the cables are flexible. However, they are brass coloured and my yarn is in autumn shades ... I can't see the darn stitches!

By the time I got to the end of the sixth row, I had managed to lose four stitches and I couldn't figure out where they went.

I put everything away and went back to my sock in progress.

The next day I ripped out what I had done (no fun frogging mohair) and started over. This time, I put stitch markers to indicate each repeat on the row and counted the stitches between the markers after I finished each section.

I completed 12 rows that time. I was pretty pleased with myself. I was getting the hang of it. On with the next six rows. But, as careful as I was trying to be, I lost some stitches again. I tried to undo stitch-by-stitch, but all those yarn overs on both the right and wrong sides were doing me in.

[Colourful expletives used and suitable-for-a-two-year-old tantrum produced. Use your imagination ... I won't go into details.]

Time to fold'em. This project has been cancelled.

I was still determined to knit my friend a stole. Yesterday, I went back to the book ... there had to be something in there that I could manage to get done before the end of August.

I settled on the cover item (Melon Stole). I cast on and knit up four repeats in no time at all.

The pattern is simple, simple, simple. I'll probably be bored silly by the time the center panel is done, but it is better than throwing tantrums!

Other Projects

I finished the second sock of this pair.

Another toe-up sock is in the works. I am still looking for a toe-up with a heel that is to my liking. I was going through Sensational Knitted Socks again and realized that she had more than one type of heel for her toe-up socks, so I am trying this one out.

I don't know what possessed me to buy this colour yarn. I decided to use it for this "experimental" sock - if I decide I don't like the way the heel turns out, I will not feel bad about not knitting a second sock or totally abandonning this yarn to the sock yarn blanket project.

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

The Lost (Knitting) Weekend

For those of you who know this movie, no, I didn't drink my weekend away!

It was a long weekend for me - belated Happy Canada Day to my fellow Canadians - and the thought getting me through the day on Friday was "Wow ... three whole days full of knitting!". It had been a slow knitting week ... only 3/4 of a sock done. The weekend plan: finish the first sock on Friday evening, knit the second sock on Saturday and start something new on Sunday (no reason for the rush except that I was already bored with this project and anticipating the next one).


After changing and putting my stuff away, I made a cup of coffee, sat at my kitchen table and, instead of knitting, stared out the window. No mountain view, no sea view ... just a tree and another building.

I was not the only one caught up in the view.

I kept staring. My coffee got cold. I was pulled out of my reverie two hours later when my son came home. Yup, two hours of nothing!

Oh don't worry, I won't go through the boring weekend minute-by-minute. I will say that there was way too much daydreaming and napping going on.

I did manage some mind-enhancing activity - major inroads were made in my current reading material (Rebels of Ireland).

I think I got stymied by the realization that my stash is increasing much too quickly compared to the probability of project completion.

You see, when I'm bored or sad or lonely or ... well, you get the picture ... I shop. This happened a couple of weeks ago and the results started showing up.

This is the yarn I received last week (I'm obsessing over that "Haim on fire" from Jayne. More Potter-themed socks coming ... phoenix flames):

And the books:

I don't think that's all. I still have some stitch markers coming from Jayne (there was no resisting the Gryffindor colours). I couldn't possibly visit Jayne's shop and buy just stitch markers so there is one more skein of yarn coming!

I am now trying to have a "purchase free" July ... no books, no yarn! (Oh, I am NOT counting "the book" on July 21 in that statement). You know, if I stopped buying yarn I could probably afford to retire early.

OK, so the weekend wasn't a total knitting loss - I made my way back to the needles on Monday and finished the first sock and started the second.