Saturday, October 28, 2006

TTC Knit-A-Long

What a blast. This was so much fun. I am so glad I decided to join. I left my house at 7:15 am and took the bus to Warden Station, the train to Main Street and the bus to Queen Street. It's a good thing I was early because I ended up walking the wrong way on Queen Street. The East team gathered at P.A.M.S. Here we are before we headed off to the Naked Sheep. From left to right it's Jacquie, Michelle, Katherine, Melinda, Lisa, Cristina, Nadia (hiding) and, finally, Christina. Mary Pat (pictured at the right along with Cristina) met us at the Naked Sheep. (If I misspelled any names please forgive me).

The Naked Sheep was amazing. The owner, Lorena, is very sweet and her staff was amazing. Thank you so much for the tape measure. I just love it. I tried to contain myself but I ended up getting one ball of OnLine sock yarn, one ball of Austerman Step, 2 balls of Butterfly 10 multi in a red/black mix, and one ball of a pink/purple mix.

From there we went to Romni Wool. This is the first time I have ever been to Romni. This store is HUGE. I bought 2 balls of Wool Gatto in a maroon colour to go with the forest green I bought at Mary's Yarns, 2 cones of white 2/20 tencel. I am going to have to double this stuff up because it is much finer that I originally realized. But it has a very nice sheen and with over 8,000 yards per pound I will get a lot of knitting done. Finally, I got one ball of Regia cotton sock yarn. I have never seen so many cones in one place as they have in the basement.

A bunch of us went to Second Cup to wait while everyone had their fill of Romni. It's there that I finished my mini-sock. More on that later.

We went to eat at a pub on Queen Street West. I don't know the name of the place. From left to right are Melinda, Carla and Tara. Carla and Tara joined us at Romni Wool. After a nice lunch and some much needed rest for my feet, we headed off to Lettuce Knits. This place was so crowded I was hardly able to get in the store. However, I did manage to find Handmaiden Sea Silk in 3 of the same colourways. This amazed me because I am have been looking for this stuff for the longest time. Romni and Naked Sheep didn't have 3. As luck would have it Lettuce Knits received their shipment of the yarn on Wednesday. This purchase put me over budget but I couldn't pass it up. Oh well, it wasn't too bad and it could have been much worse. Here's a look at all of my purchases.

From Lettuce we all gathered at another pub (don't know the name of this one either). Lots of prizes were handed out. Lisa won for buying the most stuff and Christina was the runner up. Lisa came from farthest for the knit-a-long. She is in from BC. I won a book called Compassionate Knitting for being the second to finish a project - my socks shown above. Other prizes were won but I can't remember the entire list.

Elvis came to the Knit-A-Long. I don't know the name of the person in the costume but I am sure someone else who was there will know. The wig is handknit and she looked amazing. Vivienne is in the middle in the Pirates outfit. Lilly is on the left. We had a wonderful chat just before I left. Lilly enjoy all your new sock yarn.

The next knit-a-long will be sometime in May. I can't wait. I'll have to start saving now. It was great getting to meet everyone. You are all an amazing bunch of women. Jacquie thank you for leading our group you did a fantastic job. Sophie thank you for all your help. Without it I wouldn't have joined today and had such a wonderful time. Beryl you are an inspiration. Michelle thank you for spending all that time talking to me and listening to me go on and on.

I am sure I am forgetting something but when/if I remember I will add it in. I hope I didn't leave anyone out. If I did, it was not intentional. Thank you all for a very very good day.

P.S. A very special thank you to the wonderful woman who took me to the train station. I should be ashamed of myself but if I don't write names down I never remember them ( I told our group that this morning when we were meeting at P.A.M.S.) I didn't write your name down and sure enough, I can't remember now. Old age is the pits. The first thing to go is memory and I never was very good with names. Give me numbers and I can remember them much easier for some reason.

Thank you Jean-Anne for making sure I got to the train safe and sound.
Thank you to everyone who helped fill in the blanks.

Friday, October 27, 2006

Lessons Learned

I am a very very lucky person at the moment. Last night I was too tired to do anything and I almost had a disaster of enormous proportions. I was sitting by my laptop and was about to drink a bottle of water. I use flavouring in all my water to make it easier to drink. I hadn't even addedf the Crystal Light and without thinking I started shaking the bottle with the cap off!!!! How lucky am I that nothing ended up on my laptop??? Just the thought makes me cringe. My husband bought me this new toy and it arrived mid-September. Yes, I have a maintenance agreement on it but I don't think it would have covered me spilling water all over it. I am NEVER going near that laptop with any kind of liquid again. I think I am just too clumsy. My fellow SnBers know just how clumsy I am. I've spilled cups of coffee all over the place on more than one occasion. How do I even manage to knit?

On the knitting front, after that near disaster I was afraid to even go near the laptop. Rather than risk anything I just knitted until I was too tired to continue. I am ready for the cuff on the first red sock so that sock will be done tonight. I am trying to think of what I want to knit for the TTC Knit A Long but I haven't got a clue. I want to try and knit something that I can finish by the time we are done but I am fresh out of ideas. I don't think I can knit an entire sock in one day. I can do it in 2, I've done that before, but 1 day would be a challenge. I am kicking around mini socks in my head but I'll see if I can magic loop that tonight. I have a pattern for a mini sock that came with the mini sock blockers I bought in September.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Ravings and Rants

Talk about great service. I ordered more of the coned sock yarn from Grand River Yarns. I ordered it Monday night. I received it today in the mail. I like the blueberry colour better than the elderberry but for socks they will both work just fine.

Without knowing what the heck I am doing, I ordered Fleece Artists rovings as well. I will learn how to spin using a drop spindle next weekend and I can't wait to get started. The only downside is that the spinning will cut into the knitting time. The blogging cuts into the knitting time too but as long as I am having fun what the heck?

Be warned, rant mode on.

Yesterday I had an appointment at the hospital for an MRI of my left knee. They told me the appointment was for 5:15. I HATE being late so I got there early. Very early as a matter of fact. I was there by 4:30. Then some woman comes and asks me all the apporpriate questions and I answer them. I'm told to change into those disgusting hospital gowns but if the person in front of me that's late shows up they will have to take her first. Sure enough after I am done changing I'm told the girl showed up. I wasn't going to change back into my clothes again. She went in for her test at 5:15. When I asked the technician about it I was told that my appointment wasn't until 5:45. I was told 5:15, I say. Well we tell the patients a half an hour earlier than their appointment so they can get here and do the interview and change etc. and be ready for their scheduled scan time. WHY WASN'T I TOLD THIS????? I would never have shown up that early if I knew all I was going to do was sit around there for an appointment that was later than I exected.

The one positive thing about all that waiting was the knitting I managed to get done. I did the gusset and heel turn while I was waiting and started the heel flap by the time I was called inside. I finished the rest of the heel flap and part of the leg at our bi-weekly SnB last night. I hope I finish the first sock tonight and get the second one started. Once these are done I have one more pair I would like to finish before the end of the month and then I will move on to other things. I'm getting a little tired of socks.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

I Can't Wait!!

I am sooooo psyched. As mentioned previously, I saw someone spinning at the Creative Festival on Thursday. I believe her name is Diana but I am not 100% sure. Anyway, I was so fascinated that I've decided I really want to take the bull by the horns and learn how to spin. Since I don't have room or the money for a spinning wheel I am going to learn to spin with a drop spindle. I emailed Gemini Fibres and as luck would have it, they are having a beginning drop spindle class on November 4th. Saturdays are usually not a good day for me because Joseph has his swimming lessons on Saturday. This Saturday I had to cancel because I want to go to the TTC Knit-A-Long. Paul said to just book a makeup for Friday night instead. This Friday is a PA day anyway and Joseph doesn't have school. So the makeup is booked and the class is booked. Now I just have to hope there is no snow so I can drive to Mt. Albert. I don't know how I will be able to contain myself until next Saturday. Another way to add to my fibre obsession! I don't think I can stand it!

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Another Sock FO

It's amazing what you can accomplish when you actually have time to knit. I finished the second Kroy socks yesterday. I blocked them overnight and this is the result. I don't particularly care for the Kroy yarn but I liked the colours. I have now started another pair of red socks using the Regia sock yarn. I had a pretty difficult time trying to find sock yarn that was in a solid colour. I bought the yarn at Mary's Yarns and I knew it was a bad idea to go there because, as is usually the case with me, sock yarn wasn't the only yarn I left with.
11 balls of Wool Gatto in a forest green colour managed to find its way into my bag. I don't usually care for green but this was a nice green (the picture is a little darker than the actual colour) and it was on sale for 50% off. How could I leave it in the store? I don't know what will happen after the TTC Knit-A-Long that I am planning on joining Saturday.

Friday, October 20, 2006

Am I Missing Something??

Today I went to the Creative Festival. I had a pretty good time because I spent some time knitting with other knitter's at the AM740 booth where they test for the fastest knitter and crocheter. I saw Wannietta at the booth. She was warming up to defend her title of the fastest knitter in North America. I did time myself at knitting but I don't like knitting with straight needles and I just couldn't get in the groove. I did manage to knit 124 stitches in 3 minutes. Nothing close to Wannietta but I'll take it. I also went to the West Toronto Knitter's area and met some really nice knitter's there. I am ashamed to say I am horrible with names and I can't remember the name of the woman I was talking to. She was spinning with a drop spindle and it was fascinating to watch.

I didn't spend too much money and that was a plus. That doesn't mean I didn't buy anything. I bought some yummy baby alpaca yarn in a lace to fingering weight in brown from Headwater Wool to knit a stole. The stole is one of Larisa's designs and is very nice. I will post pictures once I have a chance to knit it.The yarn is marked as a fingering weight but I think it is a fine fingering weight. The yarn I used for the Rosy Fingered Dawn pattern was supposed to be laceweight and it was more like fingering weight. Yarn weights can be so confusing sometimes.

I got 3 skeins of Noro in colour 134 from Mary Maxim to make the Booga bag. Last but not least, I got a book from Noro called Noro Revisted by Cornelia Tuttle Hamilton from The Needle Emporium. There are some really nice patterns in this book. I love the one on the cover. I want to make it but I don't want to use the Noro. It's good for felting but not for a sweater for me because I find it too itchy.

What I found so disappointing about the show is the presence of things like cooking pots, orthodics, makeup and things like that. What on earth do these things have to do with "creative". There was VERY LITTLE knitting or crocheting. I think there were maybe 15 to 20 booths that dealt with the fibre arts, if there were that many. I thought knitting is more popular now than it has been for years. Why is there such a lack of knitting presence at this event? I believe that each year the knitting content shrinks. What am I missing??

On a bright note, as a result of going back and forth to the convention by TTC I did a lot of KIPing. I finished the first sock knit from the Kroy self striping yarn. I was going to try and knit a sock in a solid colour yarn next, before I finished the second sock, but I couldn't find any solid coloured sock yarn in a colour I liked so I just started the second sock on the way home.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

I'm Sooooo Impatient

I couldn't wait to try the new sock yarn. This yarn is really nice to knit with. And the more I knit with it the more I think it doesn't feels scratcy anymore. I do find my gauge is 10 stitches to the inch while with most other sock yarn I knit 9 sts to the inch . I think the yarn is a little finer than the other sock yarn, at least in the green colour but I am really liking this yarn. I think the yarn will work out fine for the blankets. I just have to try machine washing it and see how it holds up before I make my final decision.

This is the progress I've made on the Kroy socks. I brought a book with me to my in-laws before I started the socks but I couldn't find a pattern in there that spoke to me so I am just doing a k2 p2 ribbing for the foot and then will work the ribbing for the cuff. I know it's boring but the mindless knitting has been good for me this weekend.

I am trying to figure out what the hell is wrong with Chapters. I ordered the Arctic Lace book and it was shipped the next day. That was October 11th. When I go to their web site and try to track the shipment it STILL says it is IN TRANSIT TO THE POST OFFICE!!!!!! I live in the Greater Toronto Area. Silly me thought that since I paid for shipping and handling, because the order wasn't over $39.00 I would get it faster. Obviously, the $5.90 I had to pay for the shipping wasn't enough. I guess the more expensive shipping would have gotten it to me by now. I always say I won't order for Chapters again and then I still go ahead and do it. Will I never learn????

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Yarn Yarn and Yet More Yarn

I've been very bad this week. I couldn't resist getting more yarn. First, I bought some yarn from Grand River Yarns. I have 2 more grandchildren on the way and I want to knit the Sweet Dreams Baby Blanket for both of the new arrivals. It's become sort of a tradition with me. I love this pattern so much that I make it for most people when I want to give them a baby gift.

The yarn from Grand River Yarns is a fingering weight sock yarn. I bought it in 3 colours - 600 grams of the cream and 300 grams each of the plum and green. When the cost is only 3 cents per gram, how can you go wrong? The cream I am going to use for the blankets and I think I am going to knit a shawl from the other two colours. I haven't quite decided yet. The yarn isn't as soft as I would like but I am going to knit a swatch with it and see if it softens up in the wash. Then I'll know better if I will definitely use it for the baby blankets or not. I do like the twist on the yarn. It doesn't look like it will split easily when knitting with it. I'll report more on my experience once I actually start my next sock.

I went to Mary's Yarns on Thursday for their first Sock Club night. I bought the Fleece Artist sock yarn then in 3 colours. Maggie brought some to our SnB on Tuesday night and this stuff is amazing. It is really really soft and it knits up into great socks. My daughter wears a size 10 shoe and I can still make a decent size cuff. From what I understand one skein goes a long way.

Finally, I managed to finish the second sock for two pairs of socks this week. I designed both of these myself. You can't really see the pattern on the colourful too well but I like the way both of them turned out (exept for the short row heel). I've started another pair from some Kroy self patterning yarn I had in my stash. Once I finish this pair I'll give the Grand River Yarn a try.

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Socktoberfest Knitting

It has been a positively horrible week. Things have to start to get better, I hope. Thank you Maggie for all the support this week. Not to mention the help with my blog that you are always so willing to give.

I went to Wal-Mart this morning and I saw some Bernat Sox yarn. They have it in big balls now. I didn't know that. It's perfect for test knitting patterns. I bought a bright colour mix of red, green, yellow, and blue. I have some ideas for more designs that I would like to try with this. I want to try short row heels but I might try with a solid colour. From what I've heard self patterning yarn might not look as good when you do the short row toe because both sides probably won't match. I'll try it out, I think, and then decide how I want to proceed.

This month being Socktoberfest I hope I can get a lot of sock knitting done. To that end, I am working on finishing the two pairs of socks I started. This being a long weekend I should be able to get at least one pair completed. The second would be a huge bonus.

The weather is supposed to turn much colder by the end of the week. I need more yarn like a hole in the head but I want try and get some Hand Maiden Sea Silk. I've heard about this yarn shop in Newmarket that I would like to get to. Now it all depends if the weather will co-operate or not. If not, the Creative Sewing and Needlework Festival is coming soon and I didn't make it the last 2 years so I would like to try this year. Maybe I'll get lucky and find someone that has 3 hanks of the same colour. It seems like there is less and less yarn stuff at this event each time I go and more stuff that isn't even sewing or craft related. For example, they sell orthodics there, eye glass cleaners etc.

Happy Thanksgiving to all the Canadians out there. I hope whoever has Monday off enjoys the long weekend. That goes to people south of the border as well since Monday is Columbus Day in the U.S.