October 31, 2004

Gifted

The tam has made its way to Tyla, and I think it looks fabulous on her:

tylatam.jpg

She was very happy with how it turned out.

I’m a little concerned, though, that I may have enabled her in her mad schemes to take over the world

I was left with a ball and a half of the yarn, so I think I’ll make her a matching pair of mittens or gloves, whichever she prefers. When I gave her the hat, she gave me back a necklace and bracelet that she’d restrung for me — they’d both fallen apart over the last few months, and I don’t have the infrastructure for beading, while she’s just taken it up. She’s also making us a lovely beaded star to go on the top of our very first Christmas tree — we’re having Christmas at our house for the first time this year, instead of going back to our families in Ottawa. She showed us a prototype, and it’s lovely. So I certainly don’t mind making her some hand warmers to go with the hat!

Posted by Aven at 11:18 AM | Comments (3)

October 28, 2004

Success!

Now this looks like a tam!

tam.jpg

Proof.

As many of you suggested, and I suspected, the problem was the number of rows over which the decreases were done. The pattern calls for a row of knitting straight in between each decrease round; following the advice of the SnBers I ripped out the decrease section and reknit it decreasing every row. Not only did that give me a nice flat top, it also made the swirl of the decreases much more pronounced. I then blocked it over the bottom of a spring-form cake pan, and voila! Like the pompom? My only concern is that it fit properly; I’m a little worried the bottom part isn’t long enough, so it won’t sit right on her head. But Tyla has a little head, so I’ll wait and see. I have lots of yarn left over, so I could always redo it with more length if need be.

Thanks for the suggestions, by the way — it’s good to have confirmation from the world at large that it’s not me, it’s the pattern!

Posted by Aven at 02:22 PM | Comments (6)

October 27, 2004

Problem

Does this look like a tam to you?

tamwrong.jpg

If that’s not obvious enough, let me make the problem perfectly clear:

tamwrongside.jpg

This is not the shape it’s supposed to be, in my view. I am perplexed. I think I followed the pattern correctly, so I’m going to take this elf-hat down to the SnB tonight to get advice from the wise and knowing knitters there. I will make this tam work!

UPDATE: Dani, it’s true the tam looks like a Hershey’s Kiss — but I know better, because I know what a true Hershey’s Kiss hat looks like:

hersheys.jpg

Don’t ask.

Posted by Aven at 02:22 PM | Comments (7)

October 25, 2004

Tam-o-licious

Remember a while back I mentioned that I’d acquired some things at Lettuce Knit last week? Of course you don’t. Nevertheless, here they are:

tamandbook.jpg

The yarn is Mission Falls 1824, and I have three balls of it. My friend Tyla bought it, and I’m making her a tam out of it. It’s a wonderful colour, and I’m very much enjoying knitting with it. It doesn’t hurt that it will be very quick.

Tyla also shared the cost of the book, The Knitter’s Handy Book of Patterns by Ann Budd. It has a section on tams, and allowed me to put together a pattern customised by Tyla in every aspect. I think the book will be very helpful to me, especially in making gifts for children and other people whose sizes are not intuitive to me.

Posted by Aven at 05:03 PM | Comments (3)

October 23, 2004

Baby set

The baby shower gifts have been finished and given. Haiku, a pair of socks, and a matching hat:

babyflemingset.jpg

The parents-to-be were appreciative and everyone cooed over how small the socks were. I do like making baby things — they’re so small and satisfying!

Now it’s back to the second thrummed mitten; I hope to finish that this weekend.

Today’s Toronto Star had several articles on knitting in their “Shopping” section today. The Knitting Craze, Stitch ‘n’ bitch cafés cater to wool addicts, and Knitting kit for a would-be domestic goddess. Both Lettuce Knit and Kelly’s blog were mentioned. I even had a friend say that she’d read the paper and thought “Hey! Aven’s cool!”. That’s pushing it, I think! But it was nice to see the articles, anyway.

There was sun briefly this afternoon, but it’s gone again now. It’s been a grey and gloomy week, and it would be nice to see some blue sky again. While I really like the fall and winter, I don’t like the grey skies and clouds that are so prevalent in Toronto in these seasons. It doesn’t help that the sun is setting earlier and earlier.

Ah well, at least it means there’s nothing outside to distract me from working at the computer!

Posted by Aven at 06:18 PM | Comments (5)

October 21, 2004

Baby knitting

I’ve taken a bit of a break from thrumming and from my dad’s sweater to make a few things for a baby shower we’re going to this weekend. I made some little socks, and I’m making a hat to go with them:

babyflemingsocks.jpg

I’m also working on a Haiku for the baby (of unknown gender), using up some leftovers from Mark’s King Charles Brocade sweater. I’m having trouble getting a good picture of this, and it doesn’t help that it’s a grey day here. This is the best I can do, and it doesn’t show the pattern off very well — but here’s the body and the beginnings of the sleeves:

haikuparts.jpg

I also acquired some new yarn and a new book at Lettuce Knits last night, but I can’t start that project until the baby gifts are done, so I’ll show them off later.

I handed in a draft of my first chapter yesterday! There’s still work to be done on it, but the bulk of it is done, I think. I hope. If my supervisor agrees… So I can get started on the next chapter. Fun, fun, fun!

Posted by Aven at 03:14 PM | Comments (3)

October 17, 2004

Mitten Part II

I have now completed one thrummed mitten. Or rather, I’ve finished two, but the first was too short and I didn’t like my spacing of the thrums, so it was ripped out and reknit. This is the result:

thrummitt.jpg

Because I wanted black thrums, to match the rest of the set, and I didn’t want to mess around with dyeing, I’m using roving, not fleece, which results in a less fluffy looking interior:

thrum inside.jpg

But it’s still plenty warm and fluffy when worn. I’m almost at the thumb placement for the second mitt, so it shouldn’t be long until there’s a matched pair. Though, even with the advancing cold, I don’t know when Mark will need mittens this warm in Toronto… but we’ll see. Maybe this will be another wonderful winter, like last year, with lots of snow and real, proper winter temperatures!

Oh, and because I was bored, here’s a shot of the mitten hanging out with the fall foliage:

thrummittartsy.jpg

Back to work now!

Posted by Aven at 03:18 PM | Comments (3)

October 14, 2004

Commissioned Sweater

At the cottage I was knitting on a sweater for my dad. He commissioned me to make him a replacement for a favourite sweater that he lost last year. After describing it to me he looked through a book of stitches and decided that the sweater he used to have was done in Fisherman’s Rib all over. I made him a swatch, and we confirmed it — and chose Paton’s Classic Wool as the right yarn for the job. Now, this is going to make a lovely, warm sweater that will suit my dad very well and be all that he wants it to be. I’m happy to make it. However, the stitch is not designed for quick knitting — not only is it 1X1 rib, but each knit stitch is knit in the stitch below (see link above for a description of the stitch) and so it takes two rows of knitting to achieve one row’s worth of height. In other words, this is going to take a long time! I think I’ll need to work on other things as well, if I’m going to keep my sanity!

Thanksgiving weekend was good for getting knitting done, though. Lots of sitting and talking or singing. I managed to knit most of a sleeve, and finished it Tuesday night:

fishermansarm.jpg

It’s hard to show what the stitch really looks like, but here’s a fuzzy shot of the cuff and the beginning of the arm, showing the difference between normal 1X1 ribbing and the Fisherman’s Rib:

fishermanscloseup.jpg

I’m now working on the back of the sweater, and am about 2” above the ribbing. Stay tuned for more brown ribbing pictures!

Posted by Aven at 06:11 PM | Comments (0)

October 12, 2004

Trees, trees, and more trees!

Thanksgiving weekend was wonderful, full of family, friends, food, and fall foliage. And music, but that doesn’t alliterate.

First, here’s my contribution to the sky pictures — this is the sky at my cottage, in northern Quebec:

sky.jpg

This was during one of the rare moments of partial sun; it was cloudy most of the weekend, with rain on Saturday. But it cleared up somewhat during our walk around the lake, allowing us to see vistas like this:

cottagetrees.jpg

and this:

thanksgivinghills.jpg

and many more, but my camera doesn’t do them justice. We also were able to wear many handknit things, since it was fairly chilly; here’s Mark modelling the aran sweater I finished for him this past spring, which he hadn’t had a chance to wear until this weekend:

markcottage2.jpg

I think he looks quite marvellous in it, and in this setting!

Of course we stuffed ourselves, first with Mark’s parents in Ottawa, then with my family and friends at our cottage. I neglected to get any pictures of the food, because I was too busy knitting and having fun, except for one rather bad shot of the seven pumpkin pies I made:

pumpkinpies.jpg

I didn’t mean to make quite this many, but things kind of got away from me… and before I knew it, I had made filling enough for seven pies, so I had to make the crusts! Not really a problem, though, since I could happily eat pumpkin pie for breakfast, lunch, and dinner for days at a time.

There were 21 people for Thanksgiving dinner, including a toddler and a newborn baby who were mainly in bed during the bulk of the festivities. We all stuffed ourselves silly and then sat around playing and singing:

thanksgivingmusic.jpg

A lovely time was had by all. I did knit, but I’ll talk about that tomorrow — I think this entry is long enough already! Now I must get back to work, since I didn’t do anything school-related all weekend.

Posted by Aven at 02:29 PM | Comments (7)

October 07, 2004

Happy Thanksgiving

Just a quick note to wish everyone who celebrates it right now a happy Thanksgiving. We’re off to my cottage, so I’ll probably return eager to share lots of pictures of beautiful fall leaves and excessive amounts of food. I’ll also try to catch up on documenting the various projects I’m working on now. I’m thurmming along fairly happily, though I think I made the mittens too large. I’ve also finished the pair of socks I was working on, allowing me to pack for this weekend only hand-knit socks for myself! Yay! As well, I’ve started working on a commissioned sweater for my dad. More about all of these when I get back, along with photos.

Have a great weekend, holiday or not!

Posted by Aven at 02:56 PM | Comments (3)

October 04, 2004

Mittens, Part 1

Here’s the first set of matching (to this) mittens for Mark:

matchingmittens.jpg

I’m not particularly fond of the pointy tops, but they fit fairly well and they do match. I like the cuff, though; it’s garter stitch, doubled lengthwise, and I picked up for the hand around the edge, going through both thicknessess. You may be able to see what I mean a bit in this picture:

matchingmittenscuff.jpg

So Mark’s wrists will be very warm. I wish the hand part were also a double thickness, because I think the single layer won’t be very windproof. For colder days, therefore, I’m going to make a second pair of matching mittens, thrummed with black roving, which will be extra cozy. The inspiration is Steph’s Thrum-along. I’m going to use the same cuff design, since I like the doubled thickness. I think I’ll start the cuffs tonight, and by the time my roving arrives I’ll be ready to start thrummin’.

Posted by Aven at 05:43 PM | Comments (3)

October 03, 2004

Cabaret closing

I finished this Tuesday night, but I just didn’t manage to get a picture of it until today — and I’ve even worn it twice, but I didn’t get a photo of that, either! So for now I’ll make do with this picture of the completed Cabaret Raglan:

cabaretdone.jpg

I love it, to put it simply. I think it’s fairly flattering, and it’s a nice, simple, elegant top that I can wear on many occasions — which is exactly what I wanted.

I did wear it both Wednesday and last night, and I’m glad I did. I’m even toying with the idea of making it again, in blue… we’ll see!

Last night was, of course, the book launch for Knit Wit down at Lettuce Knit. It was a great party, and I met several people whom I’d only known through blogs before, which was fabulous. The book is great — I especially like the fancy construction, that allows it to stand up and act as its own easel. Good job all around!

I’ve started a pair of mittens for Mark to match this hat and scarf (the scarf is a Gryffindor scarf that around 10’ long — boy did that take forever to knit!). I’m thinking of doing a second pair and thrumming it, since that hat and scarf are very, very warm, and deserve a pair of mittens that are, in the immortal words of the Harlot, “freakishly warm”. So that’s on the horizon, but for now I’m just making plain mittens. Pictures soon — I’m too lazy to go get the camera now. And I have to spread out my photos, since I think the projects I’ll be doing for the next little while won’t be very exciting. I’ve decided I really need to work through some of the projects I’ve already got yarn for, to make myself happier. I get edgy and unhappy if I have too many things on the “to-do list”, and that makes me stressed, which is not what knitting is for! So it’s time to clear out the backlog, and then I can start acquiring stuff again.

Posted by Aven at 12:24 PM | Comments (4)