Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Post Christmas Mellow

Now that the rush is over, I found relaxation in our usual Tuesday Knitting Night. The girls all got to relax and order good food and not serve, or cook, or clean up, or cater to the family... we just endulged in some food and knit-talk. I finished the second mobius, in three yarns of mohair and cashmere....

Hubby got the cupboards and cabinets finished (refinished) and remounted the last one on Christmas Morning (before the guests arrived :) and they look fabulous, see...

and I have posted to eBay a new kit for the Inukshuk, that contains all the yarn and all the poly-foam shapes (precut) and all the instructions printed!

You can find it HERE.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Rush Weekend

The weekend before Christmas, and although the shopping for presents is all done, there is always the rush for the finishing touches, decorating, and prepping the house for the infestation of returning kids and visiting relatives. When you live in quiet harmony with just one other, the addition of grown children and their friends visiting, and relatives stopping over, means you must prepare the guestrooms, and wash all the sheets and towels, and get extra food for the house. You would think that is enough to keep us busy, but on top of that, we had a massive snow storm on Friday, that shut the schools and stranded most folks on their streets until the plows released them Saturday afternoon. The grocery store was mobbed of course by the time I could make it there, but I did remember to pack my patience and was just pleased to be able to restock the shelves.... and speaking of shelves... we have chosen this weekend to take off all the cabinet doors and drawers and refinish the whole kitchen with a fresh coat of walnut stain! So here is our kitchen... I hope they get done and replaced by Christmas, but it does make putting groceries and dishes away VERY easy! hmmm.
and here is the quilt I managed to finish to put on dear daughters bed for her visit... the top is made of abandoned jeans, cords and assorted pants, and some leftover black ultra-suede (the larger black squares. The only part I purchased was the batting and the backing cotton. I like the result. I had to finish the job, because it not only goes on her bed, but the bed will be set up in my sewing room, so I had to clear away the mess and the machine! Busy.

Here is a photo of a couple of my nutcrackers. I have a collection of about 50, mostly on the mantle. I finally set up the tree and the nutcrackers, just in time for guests, who start rolling in tonight.
Knitting: I did finish the last two gifts, and all are wrapped, so I can start on my own knitting again, and plan a complicated cable cardigan design to feature here in the near future, but likely will keep to socks and scarves while guests are here and there is wine to be consumed. (please, don't drink and cable).

Monday, December 15, 2008

Super chunky quick hat....

I was cleaning out a cupboard where my stash of crafty stuff kind of drifts to, and found two balls of unknown super chunky yarn. The bands were gone, but I knit a swatch on 10 mm needles and then whipped up this in about 1.5 hours! I knit it on straight needles and then sewed a back seam, because I did not have 10mm double points in stock, and it would have taken me longer to drive to Fonthill and Rose's Fine Yarns to buy some than it took to knit the thing!
Gauge: 2 stitches to the inch on 10 mm (US 15) needles. Yarn: bulky, super chunky or 2 worsted yarns held together, that knits to gauge.
Cast on 41. Work in stocking stitch for 7 inches (the rim will roll up naturally). Decrease top by [Knit 4, Knit 2 together] repeat across, on first row. Purl next row. [Knit 3 knit 2 together] repeat across row. Purl next row. [Knit 2, knit 2 together] repeat across row. [Purl one, purl 2 together] across this row. [k 2 together] on last row and gather remaining stitches and sew up back seam!

Very quick, very easy, kindof cute.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Knitting, sewing and grommetting?

I have added curtains to the last minute Christmas gift knitting. Like I needed new projects to occupy my vast hours of leisure time? But when the urge to redecorate hits, suddenly you HATE the old curtains and my eyes keep moving to them and replacing them in my mind, until I just do it. So I found such a good deal on this burgundy taffeta drape fabric, that I plunged in and you can see the project on the go. I still need to hem the bottoms, but will do that this weekend.

The simple design requires no pletes, but uses Grommets to weave across the poles and it causes an easy gathering at the outer edges of the windows, but draws easily across the windows to cover for privacy at night. The grommets are really easy to install, as you can see from the photos, just cut to the pattern hole included, and snap into place. It brought to mind my favourite animated character Gromit from Wallace and Gromit. (Check them out if you don't already know the work. )

Also, at the same time, I finished my Moebius...

and also am well on the way to finish these Christmas socks...And here is a scarf made with lace weight mohair and an occasional row of Noro Yarn (leftover from stash)... knit on 8mm needles to give a open airy appearance.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Moebius Ring Scarf

I have a fascination with knitting (obviously) and mathematics (what??). I have not disclosed previously on this blog, but my post-secondary school education primarily involved a bachelor of mathematics degree from University of Waterloo. (I minored in knitting, as it was in these years that I balanced my life with fiber and yarns and taught myself to knit.) That being revealed, my knitting group wanted a group project and Jane brought a new book, The Treasury of Magical Knitting. The magic is the MOEBIUS.
For those who are new to the term, it is a ring or tube that has one twist, and if you follow along the outside edge of the tube, you will find it wraps around the tube twice and ends up at the starting position, basically it is a 2 sided object with ONE edge and really ONE side??!! Cool.
The starting point of knitting this miracle is to cast on over long circulars, effectively wrapped into 2 circles and twist once at the end so that you will knit into the top on the first round and the bottom on the second round. The ring then grows from the center out as wide as you like....photo so far...

I love this project and will help the other knitters in the group to start their versions of this scarf.

I also cast on a simple ribbed scarf with Merino wool and sequin knitalong. The sequins will be in the first 12 inches then plain until the last 12 inches, when I add the knitalong again. Easy. The yarn is the last from the summer tent sale at Needle Emporium. I managed to squeeze the 2 sequin balls in the $75 bag, and the regular cost of each of these balls was about $20!...nice