Sunday, 27 March 2016

Cough, Work, Hockey

I am still sick.  The title of this post sums up this past week.  When I was home I was sleeping and coughing.  I think I knit about 4 rows in total.

I finished the Gansey.  It is washed and blocked.  All the ends are tied in now.

No other knitting to report.

On the hockey front though, Essex won over Dorchester 5-2 on Tuesday.  This cold stole my voice and I was silenced most of the week.  I went to Tuesday's game anyway.  It is hard to cheer for a team when you cannot make a sound.  All I could do was throw up my arms and wave.  I sat in a spot in the arena where I could limit my contact with others.  I tried to be responsible.  I did not feel like knitting.  That alone was a sign I should have stayed home in bed.

Friday night the hockey action moved to Dorchester.  All week I had this delusion that I was going to the game.  Wanting to go was not the delusion; it was thinking that I was fit to go.  Common sense prevailed Friday morning and Hubby headed to Dorchester on his own.  He texted me the highlights.  Essex won 4-0.  I was curled up at home under blankies with my box of tissues.  Never picked up my knitting.

Hubby's brother is the General Manager of the Essex 73's and on Saturday he got a call from the Dorchester Arena Manager.  The fellow just wanted to say he had never ever seen a team leave a dressing room as clean as our team.  It was spotless.  He was doubly amazed to report that the area where the Essex fans were seated was also exceptionally clean.  His staff did not need to sweep up  trash like many spectators leave behind.

Tonight is game number 3 at the Essex arena.  Hubby and I are going.  I am still hoarse and coughing.  He is stuffed up with his own cold.  We will be quite the pair.  I think I will pack an extra large box of tissues and leave the knitting at home.

When Reba turned the colour she is now, I thought that if she had been a wild dog instead of a domesticated one, she would not last long.  She would be so easily spotted and become prey for some larger predator.  I think I was wrong.

Sunday, 20 March 2016

Home Sick

This post is going to be short.  I am home sick and not really up to doing anything but knit and even that is dicey.

Last Sunday Essex played Amherstburg in Amherstburg.  Essex won 2-1 tieing up the series 2-2.

The series returned to Essex on Tuesday where Essex again won 3-1 putting Essex ahead one game in the series.  Essex only needed one more win to be the league champs.

That game was Friday in Amherstburg.  But Essex lost 3-2 in overtime.  The series was now tied 3-3.  The final best of seven was played in Essex this afternoon.

I started coughing on Friday at the game and by Saturday morning I knew I was in trouble.  This morning I had completely lost my voice and it really hurt to swallow.  I decided that in the interest of public safety and my own health I would stay home.  Hubby took my ticket, walked to the Essex arena and happened to locate his cousin looking for a ticket so gave him mine.

Hubby texted me throughout the game.  Amherstburg was up by one.  Then Essex scored.  Amherstburg scored again.  Then Essex scored twice in a row  but Amherstburg got another one making the score 3-3.  Amherstburg scores again but Essex scores twice in a row.  Essex now has a 2 goal lead but Amherstburg scored again.  This would turn out to be the final score with Essex winning 5-4.

I knew the game was exciting because more and more of the texts were in capitals.

I stayed home in bed and had my i-pad and phone handy to keep track of the game.  I also knitted.  Mostly on the gansey.  The second sleeve is done and the blue thing is the monkey scarf.  It needs a lot of ends sewn in and the face embroidered on.  The gansey only needs the neckband done and the ends ties in.  The scarf is part of a child's winter set so I will make a blue hat too.

Essex goes on to play the winner of tonight's game between Dorchester and Exeter.  The dates and times are still to be determined.  The team managers have to flip a coin for home ice advantage and then work out available ice-times in both arenas to set the game schedule.

Sunday, 13 March 2016

Hockey Knitting

I feel like I have not accomplished much knitting wise this week.  When we parted last week I was heading to the basement to dig out yarn for the next project.  I located the yarn, found the pattern and cast on.  I had chosen eweCanknit #144 The Whale.  I can't find a link to the pattern to show you.  I think the company has ceased operations.  I know I have had it in my library for a long long time.  I purchased the pattern from Mary Maxim for $1.69 when my eldest niece was a toddler.  She is now 27.

My plan was convert the pullover to a cardigan, put the killer whale motif on the back instead of the front and add a collar.  The yarn was also bought at Mary Maxim for $1.99 per ball on a clear out.  The yarn of course is also discontinued.  It was originally for an adult sweater with whales on it.  I planned on knitting the sweater but never did and now don't want to.

I was well into the ribbing when I looked at the yarn label.  It said hand wash.  I was sure that yarn 20% wool and 80% acrylic was machine washable.  This sweater was for a little a girl and her Mother and I had agreed the sweater should be machine washable.  So I knit a swatch and threw it into the washing machine.  It did not felt or become icky but it came out much wider and somewhat shorter.

If the swatch changed size then the motif knitted into the sweater was going to become distorted as well.  My chunky healthy looking whale was going to become a long wide emaciated one.

I still want to use this yarn for something.    I have settled on the Monkey Scarf from this book. (Ironically also bought at Mary Maxim.) I will have to make a matching hat or mittens to make up the child's winter set for the Fair.

This is just a long way of saying that I did a lot of work with nothing to show for it.  I thought this sweater would be great hockey knitting once the motif was done.

Instead Hubby and I went to game on Tuesday and I knit on Luella.  I thought all that stockinette at the beginning would make great hockey knitting.  I hadn't counted on the lace weight yarn  and the fine needles being hard to knit by feel alone.  I was having to look down all the time and was missing too much of the action on the ice.  There was a lot of action too.  Essex tied the game 2-2 by scoring on their own net, the referee lost his balance and fell on his backside but Essex finally won 5-2.

On Thursday Amherstburg hosted on their home ice and won 3-1.   Hubby was on Pelee Island and I had another commitment so we had to settle for the Pointstreaks site for updates.   Last night the game was back in Essex.

 I had finished the back of the gansey and the three needle bind-off of the shoulders.  Stitches were picked up at the arm openings for the sleeves to be knit from the top down.  I had completed the textured stitches on the sleeves and was already into the plain knitting round and round.  I took both the gansey and the shawl to last night's game.  I decided to work on the gansey.  I could happily knit on it without looking and would catch all the action.

 By the end of the first period I had decided that I had messed up.  The pattern said to knit for 10 1/2 inches from the opening.  I took that to mean where I had stopped knitting round and round and started knitting back and forth.  Half the underarm gusset was knit in the round.  I decided that the pattern actually meant that the underarm gusset was part of the opening for the arms and I should only have knitted for 10 1/2 inches from where I started the gusset.  That would explain why I had 32 stitches too many for the sleeve.  I just decreased that many in the first round instead.

Off the body the start of the sleeve looks weird.  When I put it on me, it fits well and looks just fine.  The gussets of course are now too low for the underarm but I am a busty woman and the gussets are placed just right to give me the extra bust room I need.  I messed up good!  I am going with it.

What do you think?

I knit the rest of the game plus the sudden death overtime on Luella.  Essex lost 3-2.

Luella is bigger but I bet you can't tell.

Hubby and I are heading to Amherstburg tonight for game 4.  I may be taking three projects!

To close out this post - for your enjoyment - a cute doggie photo.

Sunday, 6 March 2016

Getting Green

My favourite part each week when I start this blog is updating the progress report.  I love turning the squares green.  The greener the spreadsheet the happier I am.  I was able to completely fill in the boxes for the baby hooded sweater.

The buttons look white in the photo but they are a lovely pale blue.  I picked them up at A Stitch in Time in Leamington.  I went in for buttons and came out with a bag of flannelette.  I almost forgot to buy the buttons.

I did forget to buy the little buttons for the inside.  I like to use a second button to secure the main outer button.  It helps to stabilize the button band and reduces the stress on the knitted fabric.  I picked these up at Len's Mill Store in London.  More about that later.

Tony's slippers are done.  More green squares filled in.  These slippers are green too - more or less.

I don't know why the colours are so ugly in the photos.  I tried various settings and this is the best of the lot.  They are a lovely green and brown.  Hubby modeled them for me.  Knitwear always looks better with a body inside.

They are a bit big on Hubby so should fit my brother just fine.

Felting slippers for me is more nerve wracking that cutting steeks in a sweater.  You put them in the washer and hope for the best.  I am never sure if they will felt evenly, too much or too little.  Luckily these came out just right.  I have a front-loading machine - not recommended for felting as not enough agitation.  I put these in on the delicate cycle with a towel to increase the pounding.  I used hot water wash and cold water rinse and held my breath.  They came out pretty good I think.

The Luella Shawl progresses.  The start of the shawl is endless stockinette.  Perfect for my carrying around knitting.   Most of this got knitted on Friday when I attended an event.  I wish I had stayed home.  I was overly tired and somewhat cranky.  The event started late and with the exception of only a few performances, not all that entertaining.  It might have been just me though.  I did meet other knitters there and each wanted to know what I was making.  While I enjoy endless stockinette it isn't much to show fellow enthusiasts when it is white, plain and still the size that might fit a Barbie doll.  The interesting part doesn't start until the wonderful lace ending.

I should make further progress on the shawl this week.  The league championship playoffs start on Tuesday with Essex versus Amherstburg.  This is the same team Essex played last year for the championship.  It was really exciting hockey then and I hope this series will be too.

The Gansey moves along.  The front and back are now split for the arm holes.  The front is done.

The back is coming along.  I use markers to mark the changes in the pattern so I don't have to count stitches.

On Monday I had to go to London for a medical appointment so I took the opportunity to stop by Mary Maxim and pick up some patterns for upcoming categories.  I also stopped by Len's Mill Store for the tiny blue buttons for the baby sweater.  Before coming home I headed south to St Thomas for an exploration of Little Red Mitten where again I picked up a pattern and yarn for upcoming projects.

I like to have a third project on the go.  I keep planning on gathering the yarn, pattern and needles into a project bag for the next few projects.  Instead I pick up a current project and work on it.  I have an hour before Hubby and I go to the movies this afternoon.  That should be enough time to chose the third work in progress.  Wish me luck.

P.S. There is a link to the Progress Report in the right side-bar.