Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Should Do - Want to Do...

I'd drone on about how busy I am but all of you are probably too busy to read about it. Hey, it's that time of year and as always, it'll come on the 25th whether I'm ready or not. First off, I've been tagged by Anmiryam to reveal 6 weird things about me. My examples leave a bit to be desired but here goes:
  1. I started reading Tarot cards when I was eight. It became quite lucrative when I was in University.

  2. I have an aunt that had triplet boys and then ten years later twin girls. I have another aunt with two sets of twins. I had twins as well.

  3. I can't eat eggs unless they're scrambled.

  4. I'll often turn my car around half way down the road to come back to the house to check that I turned off the coffee machine. I never have left it on by mistake.

  5. I hated, hated, detested the musical Cats.

  6. When I moved to a new town at age 8, I started calling myself Shelley. Four years later, I moved again and went back to Michelle.

There you have it, my weird confessions. I wish I could tag six new people but the only folks whom I know who have blogs have already been tagged.

On to knitting content (clearing throat). Christmas party was great - shawl, not done. That means I can shift back to Poppy who is chugging away nicely. I'm about 60% of the way through the bottom.

I've also started a pair of Fetching fingerless mittens for my DH. He's into RC Flying and his hands get cold when I holds the control box. I hope to have these done for Christmas but if not, he'll get them soon after.

Lastly, I've really fallen for Bonne Marie's latest cardigan "Ariann". I'm searching for the perfect yarn and there are two contenders in the "swatching warm up heats" at the moment. First up is merino/angora worsted weight from Lisa Souza. This is just a small sample to play with to see if it works. My gauge is a tad smaller than prescribed. I'm getting 20 st. by 29 rows and the pattern calls for 19 stitches by 24 rows. It's a concern because this is a raglan pattern and the row count...well, counts. I love the variation of this yarn (I want to make Ariann out of this) and it's so very soft. I would love to make Ariann in the "Mother of Pearl" colourway (insprired by the lovely Vanessa). My only hesitation is that based on my swatch, there may not be enough "heft" and drape to show off the lace pattern. If anyone has used this yarn for a garment, I'd love to hear the feedback. It is truly amazing.

The second option is Berroco's new Ultra Alpaca. I've swatched in the pale pink colourway and the gauge is close to the bullseye (I should make Ariann out of this). Bonne Marie herself has just used this yarn to make a lovely lavender Ariann and for the money - it's a very nice yarn. I just may want to use this for another Bonne Marie pattern - the infamous Ribby Cardi.

I may not get much time to blog over the next few days. My father is coming to stay with us for Christmas and he sleeps in the computer room. We'll see how it goes, I can always steal one of the kids' lap tops ;) It's been a while since I've recommended a wine to go with my knitting. For swatching, I recommend Goundrey Offspring Chardonnay. It's smooth, lets you enjoy the process and experiment and best of all...there are sheep on the label! Seriously, I had this wine yesterday and it was wonderful.

Monday, December 11, 2006

Supply and Demand

Well kids, it looks as though the Louet Victoria is turning out to be the "spinning equivalent to the Play Station 3" this Christmas. Lettuce Knit in Toronto had ordered in a store sample of the Victoria and I was eager to try it...only to have it snapped up before it was unpacked! At any rate, I've got my name on the waiting list for the March shipment and hopefully it won't involve sleeping outside of the store in layered clothes and a box of lousy pizza. There is a nice review of the wheel here and I found a neat little video on how to set it up on you tube. I've asked for Santa to bring me a Woolee Winder for my Schacht so, hopefully I will have lots of spinning toys this year.

I've been spinning the Blue Faced Leicester from Lisa Souza and it is lovely but I'm having problems with it not staying spun. If I have to pull some back off of the bobbin - it shreds and falls apart. Does this breed need more twist? Any epiphanies for me on this?

In the mean time, I need to knit myself a scarf to go with a brand new deep chocolate brown winter coat I've bought. I stumbled on this beautiful pattern on Lisa's site and snapped it up along with her soft merino sock yarn to make it.

This colour way is called "Mardi Gras" and boasts shades of brilliant orange, hot pink, periwinkle and a touch of chocolate brown. I should be a fun knit. Lisa's customer service is amazing.

My Icarus shawl is progressing but will definitely not be finished to wear at the company Christmas party this Saturday. That's OK - I promised myself no obsessing or overextending myself this holiday season so, it'll be done when it's done. I'm so zenned out I may just find peace on earth this Christmas...if not a Victoria.

Friday, December 01, 2006

It Followed Me Home...Honest!
I'm stumped. I paid an innocent, benign visit to my LYS and found a stowaway in my back seat when I got home. 7 skeins of Aran weight Malabrigo. This particular shade is dubbed "Rich Chocolate" - yummmmm! It's so incredibly soft - I believe it's singly ply. I've never knit with it before but its name has been evoked a few times on various podcasts (said with hushed tones) so, I'm game to let it stay and hopefully become something beautiful.

I'm actually thinking of this design. It's Cardigan for Arwen from the new Interweawe Knits. It's been a while since I knit anything with cables and I'm jonesing for some now. Unless you've been in a monastery, you'll know this is one of the hot knit-alongs right now.

I've made little progress on Poppy. I'm still totally in love with the yarn and design. Here's a shot of the little progress I've made. I've passed the 1/4 mark and the second band of colour (to the right) should run directly up the centre front (if I've done this correctly). Quite frankly, I'd love to sit a only knit right now however, as we all know, life gets in the way. I've also been working at something on the side.
Here are the beginnings of Icarus. I'm making it out of Cherry Tree Hill Suri Alpaca. The colour is called "Raku" and it's a mixture of shades of plum, teal and smoky grey. I've got an amazing dress to wear to the company Christmas party on December 16 and I'd love, love, love to have this done by then. I'm plugging away but won't be making myself ill to meet the deadline. I plan to wear the same dress to the Cuvee wine-making awards in February so, it will be ready by then. I also plan to put some beads on the "Icarus Feathers". There's a tutorial here on how to do this. I know that lace really comes into its own when it's washed and blocked. Until then, it looks like a mash-up of stuff.
In the end, I've got about 5 active projects on the needles. This is when I'm happiest and I can knit to my mood and have a few projects to choose from. Oh yeah, the Malabrigo - it can stay.