Sunday, January 15, 2012

They're Called "Wrist"warmers for a Reason...

Day 2 of my progress on the #knitchat knit-a-long: I finished one wristwarmer at my son's hockey practice today, then cast-on the second one this afternoon. Some in the KAL have complaints about the 'curling' so I've taken a photo to show what that looks like:

As you learn, stocking stitch (plain knitting) tends to curl. Garter stitch (knit row/purl row) or ribbing (knit stitches alternated with purl stitches) will lay flat. I'm not overly concerned about the item curling when OFF the needles, but if it affects the way it fits, then I'd have an issue. Certainly some prep rows leading into the cables would help make this lie flat, but the designer may have had a different preference.

Another great thing about knit-a-longs (OR having someone knit a pattern and leave notes before you try it out), are the 'warnings'. Learn from other people's mistakes! This is an 8 row repeating pattern. Some people made the mistake of assuming row 3 & row 7 were the same - they are I kept an eye out when I hit row 7 and understood how people made the error: the difference between row 3 & row 7 happened halfway through the row. Lesson: Read through entire row before starting/assuming.

Another warning issued was the length (or lack thereof). Some made it longer than the pattern called for. I kept with the original pattern (counted it out to 86 rows, then bind off). This is called a WRIST-warmer not a fingerless the fit, is right at my knuckles with most of the knitting down my wrist (fitting nicely into my coat sleeve).

It's a travelling work-week coming up, so I may not finish these until the weekend, but I'm sure to finish this before the end of the "Selfish Knitting Month".

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Saturday, January 14, 2012

Yummy Mummy Knit A Long

January was declared "Selfish Knitting Month", not sure by whom, but a lovely group of tweeps who 'meet' weekly under the hashtag #knitchat decided upon a KAL for selfish knitting - The Yummy Mummy WristWarmers by Linda K.

I cast-on mine today, and already ran into self-made issues.

1) Substituted Jaeger Wool-Silk yarn for the Blue Sky Alpaca yarn called for. BSA requires 2x50g balls, each ball being 133yds - my JWS is 20g balls of 100yds each - this means I'll likely need to make a join on each hand.

2) Using Long-Tail Cast-on - I had too long of a tail, so had to cast-on a 2nd I started knitting realized I cast-on too many (I got lazy & just dropped one hoping it'll be hidden)

3) Sticky Needles - not sure what got onto my 2.75mm needles, but they were sticky so things weren't moving smoothly - had to bring out the microfibre cloth to smooth/clean them down. Not to mention I only had 4 instead of 5 needles (I prefer 5)

4) Started getting ladders (I never get ladders) - originally thought that was due to the 4 vs 5 needles, but it ended up being where I split the 59 stitches - originally split BEFORE the k1tbl that was a sl1 on alternating rows - shifted those over & things seems to be better.
ie split 19, 19, 21 - now split 20, 19, 20

So far, have 20 rows, fits me, looks pretty - just hoping it'll bloom once washed....oh, did I forget to list the fact I didn't swatch??

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Wednesday, May 04, 2011

Why I'm a dedicated fan

Today is Sock Summit Registration Day - and if you are NOT on Twitter - I bring you the joy that has been the last 30 minutes of my life:

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Wednesday, January 26, 2011

The Westshore gets a knit night!

This woman is knitting at a coffee shop; altho...Image via WikipediaWe finally managed it! After teaching beginner and sock knitting classes through Westshore Parks & Recreation, there is a demand for a social knit night out here in the Westshore of Victoria. One of my beginner class knitters is an artist with the Coast Collective in Metchosin, and has asked on our behalf if we could use the classroom on Thursday evenings.

So, starting February 3rd, 2011, Thursday evenings 7:00pm ~8:30pm, we'll be knitting at the Coast Collective 3221 Heatherbell Rd -

Hope to see you there!
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Saturday, November 06, 2010

Japanese Homestay

This weekend we are hosting 2 teenage japanese students through VIEC. Approximately 300 students from the same school travel together for a 'taste of Canadian life' to see if they wish to pursue an English program longer term. As a group they travelled by plane to Vancouver, chartered bus onto BC Ferries then to University Canada West where they had an orientation then were paired up with their host families. We got them home by 7pm, where we made a very quick omelet dinner. They had been travelling for 10 hours, were hungry, but excited, even though the time difference meant it was afternoon tomorrow in Japan!!

I'd say the omelet wasn't one of the student's favourites - I hope I can do better tomorrow! I bought stirfry beef, but didn't have time to make rice tonight, so for a quick dinner I made omelets with cheese and broccoli. I was considering smoothies, bagels and/or cereal for tomorrow...although the Japanese breakfast is considerably different. However, I am supposed to show them what we (as a Canadian family) would normally have...

I learned a couple of things, for instance, Japanese apple juice isn't as strong as it is I mentioned that my husband adds juice to flavour his water and that might be an option to try next time. I learned a Japanese greeting to say AFTER dinner is complete, however, I have no idea how to spell it :)

This is truly a great experience, one student showed me photos of his family and home tonight :) We brought out my husband's old trumpet for the other student to play - he oiled it, but its still a bit 'off' - he likes playing jazz like louie armstrong, etc...he liked looking at the sheet music we had as well.

Plus, our 5 yr old son was as entertaining as ever. The students brought us gifts, a beautiful japanese platter, origami sheets (they made a crane for me and an airplane for my son), as well as some rocket balloons that kept my son running around giggling all the while after dinner.

And, as it was a long day, they are calling it an early night - I guess it's likely a good thing that our clocks go back tonight - gives them an extra hour to adjust :)

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Friday, October 01, 2010

Hand-made Holidays

BATH, UNITED KINGDOM - NOVEMBER 27:  Christmas...Image by Getty Images via @daylifeIn past years, I've done alot of knitting for family gifts, and so saying we're going to do the "Hand-Made Holiday" challenge may not seem like a challenge, but it will be. Our son is just over 5 this year, and asks alot of questions about Santa and his workshop. I think it would be great this year if all the gifts under the tree were hand-made, so he can appreciate the uniqueness of everything AND consider "Santa's elves made this". There's not much time before he'll lose that magic of believing...although if he's anything like his mother (me), he'll believe no matter what :)

So our challenge - is convincing the rest of the family to NOT buy commercial toys, clothing - and instead purchase hand-made. I don't expect the rest of the family to make gifts, but there are certainly plenty of artisans, crafters, holiday craft fairs to purchase unique, one-of-a-kind hand-made items to keep this holiday season traditional and homey.

I'm excited...
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Sunday, September 26, 2010

A Hug Means so Much

I'm currently knitting some purple hats for Period of Purple Crying. It's a project to raise awareness that no baby should ever be shaken.

So, today, while I'm knitting my son looks at the hats and is quite intrigued. I tell him they are hats for new babies born in the hospital. At first he's worried I'm going to the hospital and I let him know that we (a group of my beginner's knitters and I) are dropping them off at a yarn store and they will take them to the hospital.

"So they are gifts to the new babies so they all get a hat when they are born?"

"Yes, just like you got one when you were born"

He then hugs me and thanks me for knitting hats for the babies.

I can't stop smiling :)
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