Sunday, 31 July 2016

I Wish I Was Faster

There are times when I wish I was faster.  Walking, running - the usual.  I wish I knit faster.  That way when I screw up I can fix it quickly.  This week I wish I was faster at recognizing I have a problem and faster at thinking it through.

I chose this project for the pincushion.  Looks nice and small in the picture in the magazine.  Should be a quick knit I thought.

I should have read the pattern closely.  I knit the four top squares and decided to make the back plain and not another 4 patterned squares like the front.  I was halfway through the back when I blocked the top pieces.  One had to be reknit to fix the mistake in it.  You would think when I was blocking the four top squares I would take a step back and think.  Gee, this is going to be 6" square.  That is awfully large for a pincushion.  That 6" is before the lace edging.

No, I reknit one square instead.  Then I tried sewing two squares together, and tried and tried various methods of joining, I realized I could not join the squares neatly*.  Each seam choice resulted in a mess.  That was when after a night's sleep I thought I could just use two squares, one for the top and one for the bottom.

I joined the two squares top to bottom and started the lace edging using the same lace edging as the pattern.  It took me several attempts to get the lace started as I wanted to knit it on instead of knitting the edging first and sewing it on. This choice turned out to be a happy accident.

I got one side done and turned the first corner.  I added extra rows for the corner but after a day of knitting on this I realized the lace edging was way too wide for a 3" square. See ...

Slept on it.  Ripped out the lace edging and made up my own.


Finally a finished project.  If I had been faster, it would not have taken me a week.

This pincushion, my smallest project just kicked my a.... , yet I think it is adorable.  I have stuck pins in it.  I have it where I can see it and admire it.  I think all the issues I was having were the project telling me that what I was doing was not what it wanted to be.  I should have listened faster.  I got there in the end though.

When I looking for something else and I found this pattern.  (the link is to the doll for sale, she offers the pattern on Ravelry)

I just knew I had to make it.  The knitting part is easy I have all the parts done.

Now the assembly begins.  I wish that part was done.  I think the most fun part will be blinging her up.  Now if I had been smarter, I would have picked something easy for the knitted toy category.  I could have knit a teddy bear and been done faster.  The assembly and decoration is going to take way longer than the knitting.

I have chosen patterns for most of the remaining categories.  I have 2 in progress and 6 not started.  We are not going to mention the lapghan.

*In fairness to the designer, the problem may have been the edge stitch I chose thinking it would be easier to sew up.  Did not work for the seaming but worked like a charm for joining one square on top of the other.

Sunday, 24 July 2016

Pelee Island Pleasures

This has been an eventful week.   I went to Pelee Island with Reba and Hubby and had a very relaxing 2 and a 1/2 days.

Upon arriving on the island, I  dropped Hubby at the township offices and headed to the Bakery for lunch.

The problem with relaxing is you start to remember all the things you were supposed to do and forgot in the hustle and bustle of getting ready for those relaxing days.  Hubby and I were attending a wedding on Saturday.  I had confirmed our attendance and booked a hotel room.  I forgot to book Reba into the kennel.  I called our usual doggie spa - full.  Called our backup spa - also full.  Tried to remember the name of the business we used a few years ago for a foster dog we could not board at a kennel.  She comes to the house to look after the pets.  I remembered the business name as Your Buddy's Buddy.  So I googled it.  There it was.  Hit the contact button and my smart phone automatically dialed the number.

I had an engaging conversation with the women who had just purchased the business who assured me she provided the same great service the previous lady provided.  I explained I had used the service a few years ago for a foster dog.  We made arrangements to meet Friday evening.  Then she asked for my address.  So I gave my street and town info.  There was a pause and then she asked what State?  State - uh - Ontario.  At this point I am pretty sure I have a problem.  She says she is in Oklahoma.  My smart phone - not so smart!

The lovely lady who cleans my house was home for the weekend and agreed to come in and let Reba out and feed her.

I ran into my cousin on the island.  She was a temporary cook's assistant on the ferry filling in for the week.  We drove around the island together until it was time for her to return to the ferry.

On Thursday morning Reba and  I took a hike to Fish Point on the south end of the Island.  Such wonders as Pelee Island are best shown, not described.  Enjoy.

The weather was very hot and Hubby's accommodations did not have air conditioning.  His landlord kindly offered me the use of her porch where I could catch the breeze and use the fan.  I spent the afternoon happily knitting away and watching episodes of Doc Martin on my laptop.

The adult winter set is now done and in the drawer.  I finished the gloves Wednesday night for the Thursday photo shoot.

 I have been working on the Counterpane Pincushion from July/August issue of Piecework using Baby Cotton from my stash and originally purchased in Heather's basement some time ago.  Of course I am altering the pattern slightly.  I have the top 4 squares done and am making the bottom square in garter stitch rather than 4 more squares in pattern.

Thursday night I strung the beads for a pair of Norwegian wrist warmers.  I am using the chart from Pulsvante fra Sunnfjord from the book Handplagg.  I love the photos in this book.  I often flip the pages when I need a good drool.  Finished the pair this morning.

The red and yellow beads  purchased in Frankenmuth July 1.  The dark beads are from a source unremembered.   The yarn is Rowan True 4 ply Botany purchased a long time ago at a Needle Emporium in Ancaster.  I can't seem to find a link to this yarn so I suspect it is now discontinued.

The beaded category - done.

Progress: 33 done, 7 not started (8 if you count the 43rd category added this year) and 2 in progress.

Sunday, 17 July 2016

A Good Week

Vest done.

Hubby and I had a photo shoot this morning.  The above photos are his work.  I have never been able to take selfies with a Nikon SLR.

I can take close ups though.

I love these buttons,  I spent over half an hour picking these out in Fabricland on Monday.  I think I chose well.

I am excited about the next project finished but let me tell you the story before  showing you the photos.  When I was in London in late May I stopped into Mary Maxim.  I didn't want yarn I wanted inspiration.  Lucky for me I met Sarah.  She has to be the world's most helpful knitting salesperson.  I wanted help choosing a project for the category "not otherwise listed".  So of course since I had no idea what I wanted for this category, I couldn't explain exactly what I wanted.  Poor Sarah.  Everything she suggested was already a category.  However when she suggested a teapot cozy from the little booklet in her hand, I came home with a new pattern book.  I might make one for the fair next year.

She suggested a Japanese Knot Bag.  I had to ask what that was.  She showed me the pattern Buttons Ahoy on Ravelry.  Sarah told me she wanted to make one for her daughter and add buttons related to the new Disney movie about Finding Dory.  I had some buttons that I had picked up at the Paris store on a Spring visit because they reminded me of  belly dancing.  I thought I could add those buttons to the bag.

Sarah, if you are reading this thank you for your inspiration.  I bring you my version of Buttons Ahoy to complete the novelty purse category.

Since I have no idea what is meant by novelty in the novelty purse category, I claim it is the buttons.

One handle is shorter than the other and goes over the longer handle to form a closure for the bag.  I wanted yarn for this bag that was hardy and solid and would create a stiff fabric when knit at a tight gauge.  When I saw this yarn at Zeilinger's in Frankenmuth I knew it was exactly what I wanted for this bag.  It helps that I love  the colour too - Aztec Gold.

I lined the bag with fabric from an old faded pillowcase I took when clearing out my mother's house.  Hubby and the rest of my family could not understand why I wanted used bedding.  It is not bedding - it is fabric!

Almost finished is the adult winter set.  This one is for me.  I need a scarf for a lovely jacket I own. A scarf will extend the time I can wear it.  To complete this category, I am making matching fingerless gloves.  One glove left to go.  Both still to be blocked.

Pattern for the shawl is Bellis from Hillevi Handmade and designer Malin Nilsson.  The gloves are out of my head using the shawl colours and a feature from the shawl to tie them together.

In rooting around for a link for you, I found a pattern I just have to make.  I hope there is time.  I will show you once it is started.  Too many yarn and embellishing ideas are dancing in my head right now.

Hubby just headed out on the motorcycle.  He is heading to a convention for the next couple of days.  Reba and I are left  home together.  I think I will knit  until she demands a walk or dinner whichever she wants first.

Sunday, 10 July 2016

52 Days to Go

I checked the countdown clock this morning on the Harrow Fair website.  7 weeks and 3 days to go.  That translates to 52 days remaining to knit.

I then updated my progress report.  I have completed 29 entries.  These are actually completed and in the dresser drawer.  Fully completed and not just some imagined finish on my part.  There are 3 projects in progress and 11 items not even started.  One of these is the new category for Lapghan.  That is a big project and I am not sure I can get to it.  To finish on time I have to average a completed project every 3.7 days.  That is without going to work, eating, sleeping or doing laundry.  Stay tuned to see if I stay sane.

I do have some completed projects to show you.

The pillow is stuffed.  A bit wimpy but stuffed.  If there is time at the end, I may add more to fill it out some more but for now it is stuffed and done.  I am using quilt batting for stuffing.  I bought a queen size piece for a quilt I started but have still not finished.  The batting went into the spare room closet on the floor.  My dogs dug into it to hide during thunder storms so I had a quilt bat with a gaping hole in the middle.  Now it is stuffing.

For weeks now I have been claiming that Luella was done.  I am no longer deceiving myself.  This baby is blocked, done and in the drawer.

If you are wondering what blocking wires I used in the top photo - stainless steel tig welding rods.

The finished projects are piling up.  

The slippers are done.  The above photo is the unblocked pair.  They are blocking now.  So done.  The pattern is Posie Toes.  The yarn is 2 ply fine from MacAuslands Woollen Mill on Prince Edward Island.

I tried to enlist Hubby's help.  I could not remember which trip to PEI included a visit to the mill.  Was it the time his bike broke down or the time the bikes were in a flood?  His answer, "We had two trips?"  I went to my scrapbooks for the down east trips.  It was 2008 and it was the trip where Hubby's bike broke down right after the visit to the mill.  I followed the tow truck to Charlottetown.  The bike was dropped off at the dealership and then I followed the taxi to our accommodation.  We picked up the bike the following morning.  It was a minor problem.  It rained overnight and the parking lot flooded.

I talk about this trip to PEI a lot.  But mainly for the rain.  We were on the road for 12 days and on 10 of them it rained.  Some days all day.  Some days just a bit.  It rained so much that my brake light filled with water and I had to visit a Harley dealership to get it dried out.  Despite the rain it was also one of the most fun trips Hubby and I took.  It was one of the few times I took a camera.  The more it rained the more pictures I took.

I went through my photo archives and found these for your enjoyment.  Here we are in New Brunswick at the Irving station.  I think this was our third day of rain.

Hubby getting towed from Summerside to Charlottetown.

The flood.

It must have been sunny when we went to the mill.  No pictures.

Getting back to the slippers...  I wanted to use a yarn with lots of body for the slippers.  I wanted the yarn to be hard-wearing.  All my DK yarns are too wimpy. Most were purchased with baby outfits in mind.  So I chose this MacAuslands yarn from the stash.  2 ply fine sounded like a DK right?  When I make something small like slippers and I don't have a particular recipient in mind I don't normally pay too much attention to gauge.  Surely there is someone they will fit.

I made the women's medium size. I have big feet but these were way too big for me.   Hubby is getting a pair of slippers.  I did ask if he wanted the flowers that the pattern calls for.  Apparently not.
Shopping bag complete.

This pattern is the Everlasting Bagstopper from Knitty, Summer 2007.  I have been wanting to make this pattern for some time now.  I was sure I purchased linen yarn on sale at the Little Red Mitten on one of the excursions with Maltesecross.  I remembered clearly that I thought it would make a lovely bag - this one in fact.  I spent several weeks recently trying to find it.  It was not in my inventory.  I checked likely places where I might have put it.  I was just about to go out and buy more  when I found it while looking for something else.  Apparently I have a lot more yarn than listed in my inventory system.  The yarn is Louet Euroflax 100% Wet Spun Linen.  The colour is champagne.

The pattern calls ribbon handles.  I checked my sewing supplies.  I had some suitable bits of ribbon but noting that made this project pop.  I headed over to Sewcraft and the lovely Karen helped me out.  I think she said it was her second day working at the store.  We settled on the cord and the slider for the bag closure.  Black worked best with the bag.  So I wanted a ribbon that would tie everything together.  We checked out the ribbons.  Nothing really worked well.  The black webbing was okay but just too boring.  I was ready to leave when Karen suggested fabric instead.  We picked out some black fabric with a lovely pattern of dots and dashes in a colour so close to the yarn you might think the manufacturer had my bag in mind.  Karen you did well.

I added some fabric to the inside of the handles where they attach to the bag for extra strength.  After all the handles are only as good as the strength of the attachment to the bag.  I am hoping that the reinforcement will take the stress off the knitting where the handle is attached.  Kind of like adding a small button to the inside to secure the outside button.

I am so pleased with this bag.  The handles do tie everything together.

The vest is almost dry.   It should not take long.  The house is hot since the air-conditioner broke down yesterday.  The repairman comes on Monday.

I have started a new project.  This is Bellis.   I can't find a link for the pattern for you.  However, the designer is Malin Nilsson from Hillevi Handmade.  The pattern is available on Ravelry.   Here is a link to her blog.  The pattern comes in English and Swedish.  The yarn used  Truffles from the SRK Collection  - 80% wool and 20% cashmere.   Knitting with this yarn is a joy.  I just wish I had air-conditioning to fully appreciate the feel as it flows through my fingers.  I can't find a link to this yarn so I suspect that it is now discontinued.  This makes sense.   I purchased the yarn in Heather's basement.  Heather is selling the remaining inventory from her mother's store which closed a few years ago.  When I go, I simply move inventory from her house to mine but at a great bargain.

I wanted a triangle scarf for a lovely black jacket I have.  The collar is fake fur in grey, red and black.  I think this will set the jacket off nicely and extend the season for wearing it.  I will have to make up a pair of fingerless gloves with elements from the scarf to complete the adults winter set category.  That is three items in three days.  Can I do it?