Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Heading for winter!

Now that we've passed the high point of this year, it's on the downside and into winter! I can feel it coming already! Oh, I dread winters! Why do I live in this part of the world? I've been asking that ever since I was 12--- still haven't been able to change it.

Ted was remarking at how light it still is at 9:30 in the evening. Well, yes, silly boy -- it's summer! When we were young at home, Mom had a real hard time trying to convince us that it was time to get to bed on a school night when it was still perfectly daylight and we weren't finished playing yet! But that is how summer is "way up north". Hahaha... and I'm in the south of the province!

I took these pics at 10 pm out my window facing east and a bit north. You can still see the reflection of the sunset in some of the windows. It's hard to get a good pic with a digital of the gorgeous soft pastels of the skies at this time of day/night. It gets dark pretty fast after that, and by 10:30, it wasn't possible to get any pics of anything useful. It is still quite light out, enough that streets lights are only starting to come on. People from the East or South are always so amazed at how late the light stays with us in summer. We just accept that as normal around here. Of course, in winter, it's a whole different story! (won't go there)

Of course, we can't go thru a summer without extremes! So, just to show us that it's not all peaches and cream, we had a bit of hail only a couple of hours earlier. It came on quickly, altho I noticed the strange dark clouds forming at 6 pm, and only lasted a short time. It was about pea-sized hail, but I think it was heavier in the north end of the city; they seem to get the brunt of most storms. You will note that all the white on the rooftops is hail! It's quite fun to watch it come down-- when you are safely inside looking out! It can be quite painful to be caught in it outdoors! The plants will recover since there is quite a lot of growing season to come.

I know I shouldn't have continued working with that acrylic when I discovered why it felt so strange in my hands. I need to learn to trust my fingers more often! But I am stubborn that way: once I start, I will continue on to the very bitter end! So I did -- trying to tell myself that this is a practice piece to learn the correct way to increase and how to drop those stitches. And I did learn a few things! I just saw one live and in person at a LYS today... and it was very nice! It was knit with larger needles too, so it would go faster than this one did. With delicious yarn, it would be fun to do as well! Oh, well -- *sigh*

The LYS held a Summer Solstice Sale today and were open for a whole 12 hours. I hope they did well, and according to the number that were there within an hour of opening (me included), I think they did. They don't have run-of-the-mill yarns in their store, and I didn't buy much. The things I wanted were NOT on sale oddly! But some things were 20, 30 or 50% off, which is good. When I picked up a nice skein of Lorna's Laces in an interesting colourway and looked at the price ($69.95), I decided that I really didn't need it that badly. I did get some Noro Kureyon, but only because of the discount; I don't think it's really that great a yarn-- for my purposes, at least. A lot of the "fancy and expensive" yarns that are available today are not really my tastes, and I personally don't feel they are going to be around for long. They are fun and interesting (but way too expensive) and pretty garish -- a fad -- and will disappear in short order. I've been around a long time, so have seen many things come and go just as fast! All things come around again if you live long enough. However, the younguns need to have their opportunity to play with fun things while they can... and they ARE knitting!

So it's all a good thing.

Sunday, June 18, 2006

The Clapotis

This is something I’ve been working on for a while, and finally got it done. It went well at first, and then I just got bored with it, I think. And then I didn’t know how to actually finish it up.

This is the clapotis scarf from Knitty. I always thought it looked so interesting, and yet so simple to do. So why not? Got to find the right yarn for it first of all…. And found this odd ball of some unnamed yarn. It was in a bright solid colour, so perfect for this. I don’t like the variegated for this.

After knitting for some time, I found I didn’t like the feel of this. I finally opened up the ball band, only to find that is was 100% acrylic!! Yuck! I should know better…. But had to continue and finish this thing. I used two balls for this, and then as I got near the end of the second ball, started the decreasing for the last part. This is knit on a diagonal, so you start with 3 sts and continue increasing on one side, decreasing on the other. And then decrease on both sides near the end – simple idea. And then the fun of dropping the stitches at one side!! Hahaha…. It doesn’t take much to amuse me!

Even after washing and blocking, it still didn’t improve. I’m used to wool, which adjusts to the knitting after wet-processing, and relaxes. This did not! Why do I even bother with it?? I know that acrylic has some uses, such as the scrubbies I made earlier, but not for scarves. I never learn!

I may just rip this out. My very first project that I will rip out!! Oooh! And this yarn would be better suited to the scrubbies, I think. I think I will do this with some wool, or alpaca I have, and make it wider. And maybe find some interesting patterns in the body of it... Lots of possibilities!

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Scrub up!

Somewhere I found an interesting item and had to try out the pattern. It's a very simple -- too simple -- knitting project, and is a lot of fun to do!

This is one time I purposely used acrylic! I have a bag of stuff, odds and ends, with out labels. I could tell this one was acrylic of some kind, and that is what I wanted. I wanted something that was soft, but yet strong and won't give out quickly. You see, this is going to be used a lot!

It's a scrubbie. It's something you take with you into the bath (or shower, I suppose) and use it to give yourself a real good scrubbing. It is all in garter stitch to give a lot of edges to do it's job, and to hold soap and water well. It's easy to rinse out, and will dry in no time at all. It won't wear out! All I had was this pink, so it really doesn't go with my bathroom; I don't have many things that are pink in my place! haha

I did the smaller one according to the pattern, but I felt it was too small. I suppose if I had thicker yarn, with larger needles, it may have been fine. I made the mid-sized one with more stitches, and that worked quite well. But I felt I really wanted something larger to fit my hands, and cast on a whole bunch more stitches. But I also felt I needed to make some adjustments to the pattern, because of the large diameter, and that was rather fun to do, and I think it worked quite well. I'm not sure how much larger you can do these without re-writing the pattern to take into account the large diamter. It's all a matter of mathematics here, I fear! However, I think the larger one is not that user-friendly, and the mid-sized scrubbie is about right in a practical sense. I now have to find some light blue in my stash and make a few for myself!