Thursday, 31 October 2013

Progress, and things off the needles!

Well, it's been a bit of time, but life's been busy over the last few days.

I'm not feeling so great today, thank goodness it's a slower day.  I was supposed to have a volunteer meeting today, but I let them know I won't be able to come (I don't think running to the bathroom every few minutes would make me that productive).

On the plus side, feeling like crap means I'll just stay home and knit today.

But even over the last few days, I've been productive with my knitting.

1) The Christmas Mittens are a wonderfully simple pattern, and I got mitten number one finished on the bus and during a volunteer photo shoot. (I did, I found, have to go up to 3.5 mm needles for the right tension, but that's ok.)

It seems like this picture is better indicative of the true colour, even though it was taken at night with a camera flash.  Weird. . . .

I've since added the thumb, sewn in the ends, and started in on mitten two.  (And one of the complete non-knitters at my volunteering asked me in surprise if I was knitting with the tapestry needle while I was sewing in ends at the photo shoot.  I laughed and explained that 'no, this is just for sewing it together.  She told me that made a lot more sense, and we both laughed.)

Also, the Fall Lake Slippers are finally done!  The tubular cast-off takes a while, but it's worth it for the stretchy edge.

No new picture there, since I gave the second one to my roommate pretty much the moment it was done.  But I think you folks can get the idea.

That's it for the moment, more to come when I feel better.

Thursday, 24 October 2013

Eat.Sleep.Knit's Yarn Sale

My apologies for not blogging about this sooner, but EatSleepKnit is having an overstock sale.  They've still got some colours left, if you'd like to check them out.

The reason I remember this today is that my order came today with Shibui Knits Heichi, in "column".

It's not something I would have usually bought, but it was a Power Boost yarn at 20% off.  I can find a use for it, I'm quite sure. (And I got 5 dollars of store credit on the Yarn Lotto that came with it too, so that makes it even better.)

I still have on order from their overstock sale a skein of Claudia Silk Lace in "Argyle",  6 skeins of Manos del Uruguay Maxima in "Fire" for a next year's Christmas Present (see, I -do- plan ahead sometimes, I swear!) and a skein of Blue Sky Alpacas Worsted Hand Dyes in "Mullberry", also for a next years Birthday. 

It's only some colours that are on sale, but their sale list is here, if you want to check it out.  A lot of their yarns on sale are also power boost yarns, and that does stack, if there's something you want.

My other current knitting challenge is revising my Ravelry Queue, tagging it all, and moving most of it into my Favorites, so that it's all sorted for next year.  My queue's just gotten too unwieldy. 

Sunday, 20 October 2013

Cable Disasters

I screwed up.

No.  It's not supposed to look like that.  Not at all.

I mis-crossed the centre cable on the Sleeve of my Spring Coat.  That's what I get for knitting cable patterns while distracted.  Now usually, I'm the type to leave small mistakes where they lie, but this, this is a big mistake, and annoyingly visible.  It will bug me.  It looks deformed and I hate it.

But I also can't just ladder down and fix it, because there are other cables in the way.


This wonderful post on how to darn over screwed up cables, from the Yarn Harlot's Blog

I'll be doing option number two (aka, the voodoo), as soon as I hit the end of this skein and have some yarn free to do the darning.

Because that is just too ugly for me to be happy with it otherwise. 

Thursday, 17 October 2013

Slipper Love and Christmas Knitting Update

Well, it's hard to have second-slipper syndrome when the slipper is really well loved.

My roommate took the finished Fall Lake Slipper and is wearing it mis-matched with her remaining old slipper -- she loves it that much.  Apparently it's really nice and warm.

 It's really heartening to see a knitted gift so well received.  And she's not pestering me for the mate, either. . . though when I was uninspired when my knitting tonight, I asked her what I should work on, and she grinned and told me I should work on her slipper.   But I consider that funny, not pestering.  Besides, I did ask.

Beyond the slippers, the Christmas Knitting is progressing nicely.  There's not yet pictures of everything, but, I'll share the pictures I do have.

1) The Pine Cone Mittens:

These are turning out better then I'd hoped, considering that they were a complete stash-dive and I wasn't sure how the yarn would turn out.   There's more ribbing done now then the picture shows.

2) The Mini-Dalek Coffee Cozy:

This is easily my most complicated Christmas Gift, but it's a nice challenge.  I do find I can only take so much of the bobbles, though, before I need a break from this.   Also, it was a real trick getting the gauge right, since I'm scaling down the pattern.  Basically, I took the dimensions my giftee gave me (about the size of a water-glass), and then did some swatches to see what stitches-per-inch would give me that finished size.

Didn't -quite- work as easily as that, but I got it sorted out in the end.

3) The Dragon Rider Gloves:

I was surprised by this pattern, since there's no ribbing around the edge of the cuffs, just a band of ribbing on the palm.  Also, there's some typos in the pattern before the thumb gusset, which make things kind of confusing.  If it weren't for Ravelry, I probably would be a lot more frustrated with these then I am.

So for once, the Christmas Knitting is actually kind of under control.  It's keeping me busy, yes, but I don't feel overwhelmed by it.

Monday, 14 October 2013

Piles and Piles of Christmas Knitting (and stuff for me, too!)

I decided to enter a KAL featuring Christmas Knitting.

While only one entry can actually be entered, you can knit as many things as you want, provided you only post one finished object in the final thread for the knit-along.

While you can't knit until October the 15th (tomorrow), you can swatch and wind yarn before, so I spent yesterday winding a whole bunch of yarn for these projects.

1) Dragon Rider Gloves.  They're for someone who reads this blog, so I'm hoping not to spoil the surprise too badly.

2) Mittens on a String.  These are a simple free mitten pattern.  My giftee for these is one of those types, while a really sweet person, who would leave his head behind if it wasn't attached to his body.   Hence, the mitten-string.

3) Mini-Dalek Coffee Cozy.  This is going to be the most complicated of my Christmas gifts since I'm re-sizing the pattern.  It's just a matter of recalculating and shrinking stitches per inch, but it still has to be done. Gauge isn't absolutely crucial on this, which does give me a bit of wiggle room.

4) Pine Cone Mittens.  Yet another pattern from Knitting Everyday Finery, these are the only project I haven't created a Ravelry Project Page for, because the yarn for them doesn't need to be wound, it's a giant ball of worsted-weight mill ends I got ages ago that came pre-wound.   These are for the friend who was kind enough to lend me a netbook to get through the laptop being down.  He wasn't initially on my knitting list, but he really did come to my rescue since I need the computer for work.

Finally, there's a project for me, as part of the idea of this KAL is that you don't forget about yourself during the frantic rush of holiday knitting.  The idea is you get one entry for a gift, and one entry for something you knit for yourself.  So, like I mentioned before, I'm going to be making myself a fair-isle hat/cowl/mitten set.

It's going to be a busy next few months.

Friday, 11 October 2013

Scarf is done (or, progress on the Christmas Knitting!)

So, the Entrelac Scarf for my Father is finally done.


It's nice to have something off the needles, since several more things will be going on the needles in the next little while.

There's another KAL here on Ravelry that's all about Christmas knitting, so I'm going to enter that with my remaining Christmas Gifts.

Also, that KAL challenges you to make one thing for yourself, as well, so I'm going to make these (non ravelry link here), using Briggs and Little I got early in 2013.  The DROPS patterns are actually really nice patterns, even if sometimes the instructions are a touch vague (but that's probably just due to the translations, I suspect.)

Wednesday, 9 October 2013

Technical Acheivements

My laptop is now back up and working wonderfully.


I am however, fighting a cold.   But that's secondary.

Because my laptop died, I needed some way to access the internet for work.   I've been meaning to buy a tablet computer for a while now, so my laptop not working (plus having the paycheque to actually pay for this tablet) meant that I had the impetus to actually go -get- a tablet.

I quite like it.  More then I thought I would.

I don't like the touch-screen keyboard, but as a small note-taking device/portable day planner/to-do list/portable knitting library it works great!

However, I had one puzzle to figure out, and having figured it out, I thought I would share.

Most of my digital knitting patterns are in PDF format.  That was easy. All I had to do was to download the PDF reader app.

However, some of my patterns are websites (the two that come immediately to mind are the DROPS pattern site and the Knitty E-zine.)  Now don't get me wrong, I love both those sites.  But I didn't bother to pay for data on my tablet.  Data is absurdly expensive for what you get here in Canada, and most places do have available wi-fi.

This did mean, however, that I couldn't access the pattern websites when I was somewhere without wi-fi, like, for example, on the subway.

Now, on my computer, my work-around was simple -- I just saved the entire web page with the pattern I wanted to my hard drive.  That means that in case the website was down, or eventually expires, I still have the pattern saved.  But you can't do that on a mobile device -- at least, not easily.

What you can do, however, is use the Mozilla Firefox Mobile Browser, and use its 'Save as PDF' function.  This allows you to save a web page as a PDF, which then can be read off-line.

Puzzle solved!   I have to admit to finding this quite a useful little feature! 

Second Slipper Syndrome

So laptop is working again.  This is actually really good news, as I'm back on my own machine and I have all my pictures.

 But despite my increased knitting, I've been neglecting my Fall Lake Slippers. Though they don't have a specific set deadline, I've been asked to have them finished for when the weather starts to get cold, which is has.

And yet, I can't find the impetus to work on the second slipper.  First one is done, finished:

But the second one is completely unappealing to knit, despite that they knit up really fast in the bulky yarn.

Well, maybe when I get a few more things off of my needles, I'll get inspiration for these again.

Monday, 7 October 2013

Knit-Along, Sock-Along

Hello again, and sorry for the brief hiatus.   I do not yet have a working laptop, but a friend has been kind enough to lend me his old netbook until my laptop is fixed. The laptop technician is hopefully coming on Tuesday.

In more knitting-related news, the cowl KAL is done, and I did not finish.  I got about half-way done.

But, I am loving how it's turning out.

I did get the needles I ordered from EatSleepKnit, but I realized that I wanted the HiyaHiya Sharps.  I'd ordered the standard HiyaHiya circulars.  It's my own fault for not paying more attention.

That's ok, you can never have too many circular needles in various sizes and lengths.  At this point I've gotten used to the Aero needles for this cowl, so I'll just keep it on those, I think.

As for the Sock-Along, it's progressing pretty well.  I did my first toe-up cast on with the Elementary Socks, and it wasn't nearly as hard as I thought.

The Froot Loops Socks have just been started again after I had to frog them.  But they're coming along ok.

They are coming along and I'm quite liking the colour.  This photo turned out pretty true-to-life for the colour, which makes them one of my more vibrant pairs of socks, but hey, I can live with that. 

Tuesday, 1 October 2013

Laptop Woes and beginning the Sock-Along

So for those of you who saw this post earlier, I apologize for the weirdness, Blogger and a tablet don't work so well together.

Yes, my laptop went sputch.

It's back running for now, with a priviso from the techs that "lets see if this happens again," basically.  They're going to call back tomorrow after I run some tests and see how well this thing works out over the next few days, and if their fix holds or if they need a new fix.

In the mean time, my yarn came for the ESK Sock-Along.  The poor postman actually came to the door while I was on the phone with the laptop tech, so I feel rather bad for him.

Anyway:  Tanis Fiber Arts Blue Label in 'Natural'

and in 'Peacock'

(and yes, my hair got in the way of the camera on that second pic!)

I've done a lot of knitting with having a non-functioning laptop, but not actually a lot to show for it, since my primary knitting has been on the Evening Star Cowl KAL, which while pretty, doesn't knit up very fast at all.