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Archive for December, 2005

Christmas countdown

The countdown to the holidays is on… we’re making good progress with the shawl knitting (really, though, too small to be shawl. More of a shawlet!), and have got most Christmas shopping done. Done!

Last weekend, it was time to deal with mailings. I am certain they’ll be late, but better late then never… right?!?

This year I made linocut cards. I actually don’t use linoleum, as I find it really hard to cut through, despite having the proper tools. Instead, you can buy these blocks of rubber – it’s right next to the linoleum, so it’s easy to find. And this year: black and silver paint! Fancy! They look pretty damn good. I should credit Holland for suggestion trying the silver stars on a black background.

the card factory, on the dining room table

It was also time to wrap up my gifts to send to the best family in Finland. I hope the girls like the English books! I sent a calendar, as well, since it is a record of my fame in Toronto. I’m sure they’ll get a kick out of it.

ready for the wrapping

notice i don’t use ribbon (i don’t have any; i’ve got lots of yarn, though!)

Since I had a false start at the post office on Monday, I didn’t get these into the mail until Tuesday. I’m positive they’ll be late, but I’m still holding out for a Christmas miracle on that one!

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gift knitting

How many days until Christmas? 10.

Yet what did I do last night, to the one gift I am knitting? I ripped it out.

I was flying along on this silk shawl for my mom, which I decided only last week that I really wanted to knit her for Christmas. It was garter stitch, it was triangular, it was going so fast! Double-stranded on 8mm needles really fly, you know? And the garter stitch… oh, I was loving it. So fast, and hardly required any attention. I knit all the way back from the velodrome in London, not once having trouble because it was dark out or feeling flightly carsick. (On the way to Ottawa for ‘cross provincials I learned that my car knitting cannot require too much focus. Those cable and rib socks nearly made me ill!)

But then the garter stitch became the shawl’s undoing. I mean, I don’t particularly like garter stitch. I wouldn’t wear a full scarf out of garter stitch — why should I expect Mom to? I agonized over it for a day. I’m not a fast knitter, and I was already so far along… and I don’t know if I really feel like restarting. And doing something in lace would take too much time to find the perfect pattern, and something in stockinette would require purling, which would definitely slow me down. But the garter stitch, it was really bothering me. And so I did what anyone else would do to be the worst Christmas knitter best daughter ever.

11pm: so big, but all this garter stitch is tearing me apart
11:50pm: ready to start over
1am: one colbert report later, and it’s much better (though smaller)
It’s a pattern from Interweave Fall 2004 Staff Scarves project. I was toying with the Flower Basket Shawl, but am quite happy with this one so far. No more ripping; I’ve got to get this done by next Friday, when I leave for Calgary.

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The Cable & Rib socks make me overly anxious. Seriously. See that ball of yarn? That small, small ball of yarn? I don’t have enough to finish sock 2. I know I don’t. I’ve just done the (short-row) heel, and it is on to the foot, but I am certain to run out.

dear ball of yarn: you are simply not enough

But hark, there is potential to save this mess. I think hope. See, the first sock is a little long in the foot. And I can always lengthen the stripe-y toe…

the transplant patient has found a suitable donor!

Oh yes. So here’s the plan: I will knit as far as humanly possible with the remaining yarn. Then I will try on the sock, and hope that it is not ridiculously short (a girl can dream, right?). Then I will split the difference in length between the finished sock and the sad sock. (It sounds so easy when I type it! I am sure that this will actually require a fair amount of patience.) And so the sad sock will be lengthened to a normal less-ridiculous length, and toes will be knit.

Oh geez.

Also to be filed under “wish me luck” is the sudden desire to do Christmas knitting. No photos yet (even though I know no one but my sister reads this blog), but I will tell you that it involves silk. And I am praying that it looks nice and is well-received.

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Fingerless gloves

More before-the-blog knitting!

yes, i did knit these, thanks!

These are a lovely pair of fingerless gloves with mitten flaps. Inspired by Broadstreet Mittens, but made up of a combination of other patterns.

I was wearing them frequently, though it’s now a bit chilly for that. I still need to weave some ends in on one of them! Bad, I know. Well, at least it is proof to people who are so impressed by them, they can’t believe I knit them!
The dirt:
FINGERLESS GLOVES/GLITTENS

PATTERN: A combination of an old Interweave article on perfect fitting gloves, Broadstreet Mittens from Knitty, and my own wits to make the mitten flap work for me.
YARN: Rowanspun 4-ply. It breaks if you pull too hard, but I love the tweedy-ness!
NEEDLES: 2×2 rib on 3mm, the rest on 3.25mm. (now that I know the wonder of knitting small yarn on small needles, I do wish I had gone down a size; the fabric is a bit loose)

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Well, except for here, it is. You know, since it’s my blog and all.

Actually, it’s about the Advertising Slogan Generator, found chez boyreporter. Just in put your favorite word or name, and all kinds of fun will result. Something really interesting to me, though, is how many slogans I recognized (despite the replaced product name). I didn’t recognize all of them, but it was strange to be able to identify so many… I guess that speaks to the power of a good advertising slogan (or the power of having an advertising slogan slammed down your throat through all avenues of media over several years).
In any case, the slogan generator is still fun to find a good memorable personal slogan! I ran a few to get a good post title, and came up with a few others:

  • Kids Will Do Anything For Tyttö (Really?!? I should get some kids over to do the stuff I hate, like cleaning my room and laundry.)
  • Always After Me Tyttö (This one’s a bit stalkerish, but still made me laugh.)
  • A Day Without Tyttö Is Like A Day Without Sunshine (Yes, but only if you accept bitter sarcasm as your sunshine… in which case, call me!)
  • Bet You Can’t Eat Tyttö (You most certainly cannot.)

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cabled neckwarmer

This is a two-part post. First, to test out blogging from flickr, and second to show off some October knitting.

ooooh, pretty and warm!

This is a neckwarmer I knit earlier this fall. Now that winter is here, it is still getting plenty of wear as an alternative to a scarf. I can imagine it will be useful when it is really cold, and will wear well underneath a warm scarf.
Cabled neckwarmer

  • Pattern: Cherry Garcia from Hello Yarn
  • Yarn: Manos del Uruguay (I think the colour is Wildflowers)
  • Notes: A quick knit, this took me less than a week. Blocking made a big difference in the softness of the yarn. I weighed the remaining yarn on the kitchen scale, and this project used just over half a ball.

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rough couple of days

Ok, it is time to actually start blogging here. Or is it? Why did I sign up for this account?

Yesterday was a most unhappy day. I nearly got hit by a car on my way to work because the driver didn’t think to shoulder check – um, dude, when you have just passed a cyclist and you want to pull into a parking spot you sure as hell need to shoulder check or else that poor cyclist will get squeezed between your large, heavy car and the one that is parked behing the spot you so desire. I was going slow, and managed to avoid injury. I gave the apologetic driver a lecture on the importance of shoulder checking. I was calm in speaking to him, but when I rode away, I was shaking. Then – much later – as I rode home from a friend’s place, I was honked at twice as I tried to make a left-hand turn from Bloor on to Palmerston. For fuck’s sake people, I am just trying to get around! I was very visible due to my many flashing lights, and was completely where I was supposed to be. Thank you to the cyclist who was headed west on Bloor because he kindly yelled at the first honking car, pointing out my (a) intentions to turn, and (b) correct placement in the road to make that turn.

I think I’m overly frustrated with these things because it’s a busy week, and I’m getting tired. Weekend cannot come soon enough. And my weekend starts tomorrow!

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