Sunday, March 25, 2007

Four Hobbies, Altogether

Knitting. Not much to show yet, but I cast on a Boogie vest on Friday. I'm using yellow wool 100% yarn that I frogged a 20+ year old UFO (unfinished object). It's a very simple design, and the back, which I'm on now, is just stockinette stitches all the way. Kinda comforting right now. After the never-ending fingering weight socks, I can use this for a while. I have an itch for a summer cotton sweater though -- I will take some time to decide which one, as it's very likely that I only get to knit one summer sweater!

I realized that I forgot to post my socks number two for the year.

Garter Rib Socks, done in KnitPicks Parade. DPN size 2. Very warm, snug and comfy, and these are for me!

Spinning. At Friday's Knit Night, I was telling Liz about recycled sari yarn, and remembered that I had a blue-gray large men's silk shirt that neither Charlie or I have worn. I can torn it in narrow strips and ply -- Saturday morning I looked for it in the closet, and then realized that I had just given it away to Goodwill. Agh. Cleaning your closet just doesn't pay off! I will be more careful next time I get an urge to de-clutter.

Gardening. I've been spending fair amount of time in my garden lately. I've spent some money to buy the plants I had always wanted to have. Camellia. Lemon. Star Jasmine. Peony. I figured that I should enjoy them now -- no more waiting for the right time to come.

Apple has started to blossom. Soon my wisteria will start blooming -- I love spring.

Dyeing. Yesterday, Mitch picked some dandelions from the front yard and gave them to me. Then I looked around -- oh my. Our front yard is speckled with yellow flowers all over! They are very short so the lawnmower doesn't catch them. I started to pick them and then realized that I had a small bowl-ful of flowers. They went into my dyepot, and this morning I went for another sweep. I think I have about 150 flower heads. Let's see if this would produce anything significant...

Monday, March 19, 2007

Mom's Broadripple

I finished Broadripple socks for my Mom last night, as planned. Unfortunately, it was just a few yard short of being one-skein socks.

Just half-an-inch more to go on the toes for the second sock! But I had purchased four skeins of the same yarn (since I'm used to the notion of two 50-gram skeins to knit a pair), so no problem --

This is my second pair of Broadripple. This time I used Knit Picks Dancing (fingering, 50 grams/253 yards) and US 2 DPNs. Since the original pattern is designed for Fixation (which is thicker than Dancing) and US3 DPNs, I modified the pattern a little -- I added two stitches in each repeat of pattern, making it total of 64 sts, instead of 56 sts.

Fits comfortably on my foot. Hopefully they fit my mom's too.

As I mentioned before, I just love this pattern. The pattern designer Rob Matyska says he's working on "Broadripple 2." I can't wait!

This is the third pair this year -- well on track for my goal of a dozen for the year!-- but knitting adult socks with fingering weight can be tough. After the gusset decrease is done on the second sock, the rest felt like never-ending!

I forgot to bring the copy of pattern for 64-sts heel turning to Montreal, and Charlie kindly sent me what I needed via email. Thank you!

Mitch taking pictures of the socks with his camera. My future knitting blogger.

I'm again project-less. I want to knit something other than socks for a while, but what should it be? I keep looking, but I still haven't found a vest pattern that I want to knit.

Friday, March 16, 2007

Coming Home

I was in Montreal again for the most of this week. It was a tiring trip, as usual. I just can't sleep for the first night every time I go to the other coast, so that makes me even more exhausted. At least it wasn't as cold as the last visit to this city.... There were still lots of snow left on the street, but I didn't need a winter coat. People kept telling me that it's spring -- it's warm. To me still, snow on the ground and "warm" don't mix.

Right in front of the hotel.

La basilique Notre-Dame de Montréal. Photo courtesy of my colleague Ken (thanks!).

On Wednesday, my afternoon meeting got cancelled, so for the first time on my fifth visit to this city, I finally had a chance to go venture out to find a yarn store. I marked the map, hailed a cab, then I realized that I left my camera at the hotel -- I'm just not destined to take photos of yarn stores, I guess!

Since I never drive in Montreal, I'm not yet well oriented around town. I got off the cab and looked around, then laughed to myself when I found the restaurant "Joe Beef" that my friend took me to in January. It's a great restaurant -- but very hard to get a table.

Mouliné fils de qualité is on the next block. Very small, but well stocked and cozy. Big end-of-season sale was going on, but I was the only customer. I went around and around in the store so many times. The kind owner let me be. Got some angra, and some muted green superwash. My friend has asked me to knit "socks in sage color." I hope my definition of sage green matches hers.

Maybe it's because of being in East Coast, but there were lots of European brands. The skein with the wooly sheep on the label is English. And the light lettuce green is my very first Phildar. I also bought some yarns from Norway -- Garnstudio. I can't read the ball band. Yeah.

I have a lot of thinking to do about my work -- I knit while I think (I knit, therefore I am?) I plan to finish my mom's dancing socks this weekend. Perhaps I'll do so under the falling petals of the cherry tree, to make up for the missed flower season.

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Birthdays and another FO

First of all, I want to say thanks to Tamami for some yummy yarn that she gave me for my birthday which included a skein of Tofutsies and a skein of beautiful purple Schaeffer yarn. I'm currently looking for a pattern for the Schaeffer yarn, and for the Tofutsies I may do the Broadripple pattern that Tamami is so fond of. Huguette also gave me some wonderful gifts for my birthday including Socks that Rock yarn that I am currently using to make socks (what a surprise). You knitters are too good to me! Thank you, thank you, thank you!

Speaking of birthdays, it's Huguette's birthday tomorrow. I'd post a picture of her, but I'm sure that she'd kill me. Happy Birthday Huguette!

Any my final comment this morning is that I finished my grandmother's shawl - thanks to crochet help from Huguette. I sent it off without even taking a picture. Thankfully my grandmother's friend is a little familiar with technology so she snapped a shot of Grandma in the shawl and sent it to my phone. The quality isn't great, but here it is:

The yarn used was Artyarns Supermerino. No pattern, just a lot of YO's and k2tog's.

Hope everyone has a great weekend!

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Flower Season

I start feeling sad when the cherry blossom season arrives.

Cherry blossoms have a special place in our hearts. When we say "Flower," it means cherry blossoms. When they are in bloom, I dread the time that passes so quickly, taking the flowers with it -- I feel like I should be standing below a cherry tree, admiring the flowers for every second of their lives.

We have a cherry tree in our backyard. It bears blossoms later than the other trees around, and it's whiter. Every year I grow more and more affection for it. I think it's the most beautiful cherry tree, although I'm afraid that it may not be a real cherry. Just don't tell me it isn't; because it would still be my cherry tree.

When the petals start covering the ground, I grieve.

I have been trying to go to Japan during the flower season for the last five years, and every year I fail. It's always about work. Someday I am going to regret it.

I'm knitting another Broadripple socks in Knitpicks Dancing. This is going to go to my mom.

My mom turned 71 this year. I know this would be a bit on the "young" side for her (especially in Japan), but I decided that this colorway is perfect. She started taking a ballet class, and she just sent me a photo from her dance recital... and she was in a tutu! (Calm down, a long tutu.) I'm so proud of her. It seems so appropriate that I knit a pair of lacy socks for her in "Dancing" yarn.

I love this yarn! It's stretchy and soft. Very nice to knit. It's really too bad that Knitpicks discontinued it.

I've been itching to knit a vest for myself, but can't find a good pattern that would go well with yarn in my stash. It can only mean one thing. I need more yarn!!

Monday, March 05, 2007

1,000th Visitor!

Before anyone entered the "When will we have the 1,000th visitor?" contest, we've just had her visit! It was much sooner than I thought.

Visitor's Time: Mar 5 2007 2:35:29 pm
Visit Number: 1,000

This person's ISP is Verizon, and she uses English version of Windows XP, and Firefox.

Erin, is it you?

Thank you for those who visited our blog so far! We've had visitors from all over the world. Keep coming!

Erin, Huguette and Liz -- thanks for the souveniers from Stitches! You shouldn't have :-) I love them. My stash containers are now too full to close. I'm in trouble.

Spring is here. My cherry tree started to blossom. I'm afraid that I will be in Montreal again when it's in full bloom.... Even the thought of missing the blossoms for work is killing me.

Sunday, March 04, 2007

Christmas Finished Object

Hello everyone. Erin here...I'm actually posting for the second time in a week. Yes, I'll give you a minute to get over the shock of it.

I know, I know...this is late. REALLY late. However, I wanted to post pictures of a feather and fan stole that I made as a Christmas present for my mother. I didn't finish it by Christmas, so I put it under the Christmas tree in a box but still on the needles. I was happy she at least got to open a gift on Christmas and that I could finally knit on it in front of her. Mom kept joking with me that I would still be knitting on it the next time she came to visit. However, I did finish it before she left.

With this project I really learned my lesson about buying enough yarn for a project. The problem was that I bought the yarn with another project in mind. Anyway, I bought more yarn that turned out to be much lighter in color and spent too much money by the end, but Mom's worth it. I hope she gets some use out of this stole.

Yarn: Artyarns Ultramerino 6 in colorway 123
Size: 2' wide by 7' long

By the way, the extra yarn that was too light became a pair of socks for me. I love the socks, but have not photographed them. Will post pics of the socks in about 2 months!!

Thanks to Tamami for trying to host knit night this past Friday. It didn't work out as well as we had hoped, but I had a great time. Tamami gave me some very yummy yarn for my birthday. I can't wait to use it!

Hopefully next knit night we can do the planned charity knitting.