Tuesday, March 29, 2005

Giant Step Backwards

Last night I decided that I would take a giant step backwards with the Shapely Tank Top. I was on the home stretch of the front piece when I realized that the slipped stitch selvedge I was creating was NOT a good idea. Not for this project that requires a picked up edging anyway. I decided that, even though I only had an inch or so to go on the front straps, I would rip all the way back to the underarms where I had started this slipped stitch selvedge.

When I got it ripped that far I had trouble with a couple of the stitches near the edge slipping a little farther than I had intended. They slithered into the area of the bust short rows and made them confusing to pick up properly. I spread the piece out to take a really good look at it and in the process got to further examining the very beginning. You know, the part where I said I was dissatisfied with the hem short rows because they seemed too bunched together? I've never mentioned this before, but I was also none-too-thrilled with the cast on method I had chosen. I had used my usual "cable method" and, combined with the garter stitch border, it really was not the best choice. It wasn't horrible, but a long tail cast on would have been better.

I've been enjoying knitting this smooth cotton in row after row of straight stockinette. No, really. I actually like doing plain stockinette. I find the repetition soothing. So soothing in fact that I decided that I wouldn't mind too much doing this entire piece over again.

I have ripped it ALL out, rewound it into balls, and I am beginning again. It's a small set back of a day or two but, in the long run, I'll be happier with the end result. The "Roma, Four Seasons Cotton" I am using makes a lovely fabric. It has a wonderful weight and drape to it.

Sunday, March 27, 2005

Another Set

As I was knitting the various pieces of this baby set I didn't mention it on my blog because I wanted to present them as a completed set. These three items bring my total finished objects, so far this year, to 16.

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The color is not right. I have fiddled with it a little and still can't get a true representation of the color. Even in "real life" I find that the appearance of this yarn varies considerably depending upon the lighting. In the rainy day photos I have taken it is coming out way too blue. In reality it is a soft lavender color.


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I've had the cotton yarn for the next project sitting around since January. It is working up rapidly. This "beginnings" photo was taken in the late afternoon and by late evening, working on it sporadically, I had over 6" knitted. This will be a "Shapely Tank Top". So far I am having my doubts about the short row shapings of the hem line. It seems to me that they are packed too close together, that there should be a greater difference in the length of each subsequent row. On MY knitting anyway, it is turning out like a short, rather deep dart where I would think the effect should be more gradual and soft. I am leaving it as is though. Many, many people have knit this pattern successfully and to rave reviews. I'll try to trust that all will work out fine.

Friday, March 25, 2005

Knitting Bloggers Anonymous

I've noticed lately that my blog is responsible for much of my excessive knitting. I feel a certain responsibility to keep my blog updated and at least mildly interesting to the knitters who find their way here, so I knit a lot, always trying to reach a point where I can post another photo of some sort of progress.

I recently downloaded a new "hit counter" from (Thanks Rabbitch). It generates a little more information than the one I had before. With this one I can tell that the majority of my visitors are from the United States, but that I have also had visits from Germany and Turkey today. **smiling and waving to you all**

I also am given some idea of the average length of each visit. MANY are for less than one second. When I first saw that particular statistic I thought, "Aw, *pout* they find my blog boring". But then I realized that I do the exact same thing when I am visiting my favorite blogs. If they haven't been updated recently I click in, see that it's something I have already read, and then click back out. If they have a statcounter, they see a visit of less than one second.

This is where the pressure to knit and blog about it comes in. I see all those millisecond visits and feel bad for wasting your time. You come here expecting to see some blather and/or photos of recent projects and there is nothing new.

Must. Knit. More.

Silly I know, but it's true. I bare my soul here with the thought that admitting one's "problem" is the first step toward recovery. Now if you'll excuse me I must go and knit frantically in hopes of posting a new picture in a day or two. I wonder if there is a 12 step Knitting Bloggers Anonymous.

Wednesday, March 23, 2005

On a Real Baby

Here is the Pink Purls baby set being modeled by the recipient, my grand-niece. Isn't she a cutie?

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It was nice to see that the hat actually fits at the same time as the sweater as it was a "by guess and by golly" effort. I have no small babies around that I could do fittings on.

My mom always had two baby outfits tucked away ready for gift giving, one for a boy, the other for a girl. When one outfit was given away, she knit another to replace it. That way she was never left scrambling to make last minute baby gifts. I think it is a habit worth emulating. With that in mind I have a "boy" outfit stored away and I cast on yesterday for a "girl". It won't be long now before another little grand-neice or nephew arrives.

Tuesday, March 22, 2005

Woven Rib Tank Top

The Woven Rib Tank Top is done and I am very happy with it.

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I ended up going with a V-neck after experimenting a bit. A sweetheart neckline, which is what I originally planned, would need a shallower V, and that would not have worked with this particular stitch pattern.

Monday, March 21, 2005

I'm Done, But....

I finished the Woven Rib Tank but now I am going to rip a bunch of it out. It's "okay" as is, but I would like the fit to be better. It's a little too low in the underarm area so I'll be shortening both the front and back straps a little. That's not too big a deal as it only involves about 12 rows on each strap, front and back. The bigger adjustment will be to the neckline. It's not as low as I would like so now I will be ripping the front down to the armhole shaping and reknitting it with a lower neckline.

Ripping back a finished article that is okay "as is" is difficult to do. Ripping out something that is awful and is hated is so much easier. I decided that I want to do this though. It is one of those things that would bug me every time I wore it.

Thursday, March 17, 2005

Happy Saint Patrick's Day

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My shamrock is looking much healthier than it has in years! It's amazing what regular watering can do.

Happy Saint Patrick's Day!

Tuesday, March 15, 2005

Over Five Thousand Cookies!

No, that's not how many cookies I ate yesterday! Sheesh. I only had ONE. I was just pondering my weekly baking, and estimate that I must make at least 5,000 cookies each year. Each Sunday or Monday I make between 8 and 12 dozen cookies. Multiply that by 52 weeks of the year, and you come up with a minimum of around 5,000 cookies annually.

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This week's contribution to the cookie bin; Orange Coconut Cookies from "Company's Coming - Cookies". Perhaps not as fancy looking as some I have photographed, but these are very good.

Monday, March 14, 2005


Here it is, the completed back for the Woven Rib Tank. The blossoms are from our huge magnolia tree which is already in full bloom.

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Sunday, March 13, 2005

Lots Of Knitting But Little Blogging

I've been very busy knitting away on the Woven Rib Tank Top. It's quite a fine gauge so progress is slow and I have little to write about.

I've reached the underarm area and the point where I have had to make a few more design decisions. I've decided on a square neckline on the back and a sweetheart neckline (right angle "V" joining vertical sides) on the front. This seems to be what will work best with the stitch pattern. I have graphed it all out and I am able to work this neckline shaping without interrupting the floats that form a prominent part of the stitch pattern.

I might have a picture of the completed back piece in the next couple of days.

Friday, March 11, 2005

May Came Early

Here we are mid-March and we are experiencing temperatures and weather more familiar to May. Spring has come early to the West coast of Canada. It seems my beginning a tank top in March was not rushing things. Walking yesterday morning in 21 C temperatures a t-shirt felt HOT.

Wednesday, March 09, 2005

Mom's Slippers

Creativity runs in my family. If you've followed any of my links to Monkey, you've seen some of my daughter's work. Now I'm giving you a chance to see my mom's creations too. This is a collection of cute little booties she is making for charity. She also does lovely oil paintings.

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Mom's mom was also very creative. She quilted, sewed, knitted, crocheted, tatted, rug hooked, and was a wonderful painter. She also made tacky fridge decorations from crafter's foam and magnets, but we loved her anyway.

HER mom (my great-grandmother) also did all kinds of textile crafts and was an excellent painter.

Too bad the painting gene seems to have passed me by.

New Design

I've been experimenting over the past few days. Knit a bit, rip a bit, repeated over and over. I've finally come up with a stitch pattern I like....and its my own invention!

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I am designing a tank top for myself using "Katia Alba" which is a cotton/viscose blend with a bit of a sheen to it. I wanted to show off the sheen by using a stitch pattern that had horizontal as well as vertical elements to it so as to best catch the light. I dragged out stitch pattern books and poured over them but was not happy with what I was finding. After much trial and error I invented a stitch pattern that is easier than standard 3 x 1 ribbing and yet looks rather complicated I think.

I haven't completely decided what I'm doing from the underarms upward. I am thinking that perhaps a square neckline would be in keeping with the square nature of the stitch pattern.

Tuesday, March 08, 2005

Monday, March 07, 2005

Shameless Publicity Stunt

Okay, I'll admit it. In a shameless grab for blog hits, I have now resorted to publishing a photo of hunky construction workers in a tool belt and no pants.

Well maybe the guy in the tool belt is my husband (hands off ladies, he's mine!) and the fellow with no pants is none other than the blog-world famous Monkey, who dropped by to help out on the sundeck renovations.

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Thursday, March 03, 2005

Celtic Knot Pullover

It's done! And just in the nick of time too. My parcel from Elann arrived this afternoon as I was putting the finishing touches on an "extra" neckline.

The original rolled neckline was too loose and gaping for my liking so I added a second, rolled neckline just inside. It brings the neckline up and in a little and I think it also gives the sweater a more finished look.

The sweater fits great, is comfortable and looks pretty good too. Isn't it great when that happens?!

When my parcel arrived, I didn't open it even though I know it contains some lovely new yarn and two books I have really been wanting. I had promised myself that I would finish my sweater and write a blog entry about it before getting involved with something new. Now with those two tasks's time to cook supper. Rats.

Hmmm....Elann for dessert?

Wednesday, March 02, 2005

Too Busy Spending Money To Knit

Yesterday did not produce much in the way of knitting to blog about. I was too busy out and about in the community keeping the local economy thriving. Groceries. Ugh! also got another order. Whee! I now have two new knitting books and enough yarn for a summer tank top on its way.

Today I sit down and do what I can to finish the Celtic Knot Pullover. Besides the fact that I really want to wear it, I also want it done before my Elann order arrives. New yarn and books can be naughty temptresses!

Tuesday, March 01, 2005


So sweet, and I'm not talking about the cute little bunny. These are Choco Coconut Balls.

They are incredibly sweet. Too sweet for me in fact, but then what did I expect? The center is mostly icing sugar held together by sweetened condensed milk. Chopped nuts and a bit of coconut add a little texture. These came from a cookie cookbook. I think they are more like candy. VERY sweet candy. These won't be fattening MY hips.