February 26, 2005


This is just a quick entry to wish my husband, Mark, a happy one-year blogiversary. He’s over at Alliterative, where he writes about various things, including academia, food, music, and medieval English. If you have time, it’d be lovely if you dropped by to say hello; he’s recently restarted his blog after a hiatus, so no one really knows he’s there, and he’d love to have visitors. And he’s such a wonderfully appreciative recipient of my knitting, and very supportive of both the knitting and the blog, that he deserves any help I can give him, directing people his way!

Also, thank you, everyone, for your lovely comments on the two previous entries. Yes, I do have wonderful parents; and yes, I do look very much like my mother! Not a bad thing at all, as you can see from the beautiful pictures of her!

Posted by Aven at 03:40 PM | Comments (0)

February 25, 2005

More family!

The pictures of my dad weren’t the only ones I received yesterday — my mom also sent me some lovely pictures of her in the Pacific Grove Pullover I gave her for Christmas. That was the sweater I made in the summer, ostensibly for me, out of silk so that my mom, who’s allergic to wool (but also knits), could wear it. I never got a picture of her in it at Christmas, so here are a few to make up for that.

It’s very hard to see all the detail in the dark blue, so I’ve included several different shots (also, there were so many nice ones!) — one with flash, in which you can also see the gorgeous piece of art based on one of my mom’s poems and done by a friend of ours, hanging on the wall above the piano:


Another, slightly closer, without flash — you might be able to see the mitred squares a bit better in this, if you look hard.


And a final picture, this time next to the painting of my mom, done by my sister. I just can’t resist showing off all the talents of my family members!


I think it looks marvelous on her. Very elegant, if I do say so myself! And it fits, which I was worried about, since I couldn’t ask her for precise measurements because it was a surprise.

It’s so nice that my parents both not only like what I make, but understand my desire to show them (and the knitwear) off on my blog! Thanks, mom and dad!

Right. Next time, back to progress shots of the grey sweater… excitement’s over for the time being!

Posted by Aven at 09:21 AM | Comments (6)

February 24, 2005


The pictures have arrived! May I just say, I think my dad looks fabulous in his sweater, and I’m thrilled with how it fits him. It’s also nice to see that he’s been able to make proper use of it already!

I’m going to post all the pictures he sent me, because I think they’re all great, and it’s my blog, after all, so what I think goes!

Back from skiing, standing in front of our house (he just has to walk to the end of the block, put on his skis, and head off down the river — in downtown Ottawa!):


And a closer shot, showing the sweater off a bit better:


Skating on the canal:


And posing by (I think) the canal wall:


And thus the saga of the Fisherman’s Rib Sweater, conceived in July, planned in August, started in October, and finished in February, comes to an end, and the sweater begins a whole new life!

Posted by Aven at 11:29 AM | Comments (14)

February 22, 2005

Getting there

First, my dad did get his package — on Friday — and he loves the sweater. He says it fits perfectly and is everything that he wanted (this was a commissioned sweater, and dad had a particular sweater in mind which we tried to reproduce). That makes me feel very good — there really is nothing better than making something for someone you love who really, truly, appreciates it. He promised me that he’d send me a photo of himself wearing it… I’m waiting! Can it be that he thinks there are things in the world more important than the blog?

I’m also getting there with Mark’s grey sweater. I finished the front:


(Tigger was in that mood where he follows me from room to room, so it was hard to get a picture without him. I certainly didn’t stage the picture. I wouldn’t do that!)

One sleeve to go, and then it’s finishing time!

I’m also in the final stretch of the first blue sock (made with my food-colouring dyed yarn). I’m finding it impossible to get a picture that’s at all accurate colour-wise, but this comes closest:


The rest of the leg will be that same purpley-blue. I’m very happy with this sock!

I’m not so happy, however, with this:


I’ve had these less than a week, and one is already broken. I was picking up a wrap on the short-row heels — perhaps a particularly stressful action for the needle, but one that any dpns I use for socks will have to be able to endure, since I’m very fond of short-row heels. Fortunately this set had 5 needles, so I’ve been able to continue using 4, but considering how much I paid for these needles, I’m not pleased. I think I’ll stick to metal needles for fine-gauged socks in the future.

And that’s all for now. Lunchtime for me, I think. Mmm, Chinese food leftovers…

Posted by Aven at 01:02 PM | Comments (9)

February 17, 2005

Boxes and Soxes

I’ve sent the sweater off to my dad — according to the tracking information, which I’ve been checking obsessively (in spite of the fact I’ve never had a problem with Canada Post losing a package, I’m living in terror of such a thing happening right now) it was processed in Mississauga this morning at 10:37, so it might make it to him tomorrow — or, more likely, Monday. I can’t wait to see a picture of it on him!

In other news, I finished the second sock from the pink/blue/purple yarn. I’ve put the picture of the two socks into a popup, so that anyone who’s disturbed by non-matching socks (Stephanie?) can just not look. Because these are definitely fraternal, not identical, twins. In fact, they might just be kissing cousins… Here they are.

I’ve started another sock, this one from some yarn I dyed on the weekend; it’s various shades of blue, that I tried to get in a gradation so it went from lightest to darkest. That part worked ok — however, the separate parts of the skein, predictably, got very tangled, so I ended up having to cut the yarn repeatedly, resulting in many knots. But I like the resulting colours, which are somewhat accurately represented in this photo:


The sock is being knit on a new set of Lantern Moon dpns (2.5mm … I like the fabric better than the 3.25mm ones I was using for the first two socks) that I picked up last night at the SnB. They’re lovely, and the points are nice and sharp — but they weren’t cheap! They better last.

That’s all for now — I hope I’ll soon have a meaningful update on the grey sweater, which I’m still working away on.

Posted by Aven at 01:16 PM | Comments (4)

February 14, 2005


Oh, the joys of not being productive!

As a Valentine’s Day treat to ourselves, Mark and I have devoted today to NOT doing anything we have to do — mainly, of course, that means no school or work. It’s Reading Week, so we don’t have to teach, and we’ve decided we can take one day off. We slept in until 11:00 and have lazed around all day, doing crossword puzzles and eating fattening food. It’s been wonderful.

Speaking of Mark, he’s decided to try to get his own blog going again. This has been such a busy year for him that he hasn’t been able to keep up his entries — but he’s starting up again. If you have a moment, drop by and say hi!

Dad’s sweater is drying… I’ve got a fan going in the room it’s in, to try to dry it more quickly. It should be ready to mail by tomorrow or Wednesday, I think!

Posted by Aven at 05:03 PM | Comments (1)

February 13, 2005

I can't believe I knit the whole thing!

Ta da!


The sweater for my father is finished! I started it October 15, 2004 — it took just over four months, though I wasn’t working on it as my main project for most of that time. Details about yarn and pattern are in the sidebar.

The ribbing makes the seams particularly pleasing, I think — the armhole


and the sleeve seam, where the increases in rib produce a nice pattern:


I sewed it all together last night, and then today I washed it and laid it out to dry — which will take several days, I think. I’m afraid that the sleeves are too long, so I’m trying to block them shorter, though I don’t know how well that will work. I can’t wait to see it on my dad, though! I hope he gets some chances to wear it before spring; knowing Ottawa weather, he should.

I can hardly believe I’ve finally finished this project — I’m very, very happy with the final result, and glad to have done it, but it did seem to go on forever — mainly because I didn’t concentrate on it, of course. Now I just need to finish the grey sweater and I can move on to something for myself!

Reading Week begins tomorrow — Mark and I are taking one day off completely from school and work on Monday, which will be lovely. We won’t be doing anything very exciting — just the thought of having no plans and nothing to accomplish makes me rather giddy, though. I may well get some knitting done — but only if I feel like it!

Posted by Aven at 08:09 PM | Comments (5)

February 10, 2005

I can't believe it!



It may look like a boring brown sleeve to you, but it’s thrilling to me! That’s the LAST PIECE of my dad’s sweater! I’m already working on the collar — I could be done by the end of the weekend, if all goes well!

Tigger’s excited too:


I’m so close I can taste it… I wish I could just stay at home and finish the darn thing! It’s going to be lovely when it’s all put together. And so nice to send it off to my dad!

Posted by Aven at 11:35 AM | Comments (3)

February 08, 2005

Sweaters? What Sweaters?

I am still working on the grey and brown sweaters, really I am. I’ve just been a little sidetracked by the socks for the yarn I dyed. I finished the first one on Sunday:


I didn’t make the leg very long, so as to be sure I had enough yarn to make a second sock out of the ball; this means, of course, that I’ll probably have yards and yards left over. I think it’s quite lovely, personally. For variety’s sake, I started the next sock from the other ball — I wanted to see how it knit up. This one is turning out rather more blue:


I think that’s both because I started from a different point in the skein (because of how we wound the skeins) and because the two skeins absorbed different amounts of the red dye. I’m not concerned, however — as Mark said, they still have all the same colours in them, just different distributions. I’m going to knit up all four socks, and then either pair up the most similar together, or have 4 interchangeable semi-matching socks.

In the midst of all this distraction I did, as I said, get some work done on the sweaters. I’ve finished the first sleeve of the grey sweater:


and I’m onto the decreases on the last sleeve of the brown sweater. I’m hoping to be putting that one together by the weekend — and maybe sending it off to dad by next week! Surely Ottawa can manage one more cold snap, so that he can wear it at least once this season!

I won’t be going to the SnB at Lettuce Knit tomorrow night — too much to do. But I’ll see all my fellow SnBers next week, I hope — it’ll be Reading Week, so I’ll feel a little less stressed.

Posted by Aven at 02:04 PM | Comments (6)

February 06, 2005


I was tagged for this by Lydia, and though I’m not really the sort of person the game was designed for, I think, I don’t mind playing along.

1. Total amount of music files on your computer: I don’t have any music on my computer. I don’t have any digital devices like an iPod or mp3 player, and I listen to the radio while working on the computer, usually.

2. The last CD you bought: The last cd I bought was for Mark, “The Rap Canterbury Tales” by Baba. Mark’s teaching Chaucer right now, which is why we got this – but it’s actually pretty fantastic. I don’t know about the quality of the rap (I’m not exactly a good judge of the genre) but the adaptation of the Canterbury Tales to a modern context is pretty fabulous. I don’t remember what the last cd I bought for myself was – I don’t buy music very often. Maybe David Francey’s “Far End of Summer”.

3. What is the last song you listened to before reading this message: Brahm’s “Requiem”, which was playing on CBC2’s Choral Concert on the radio when my alarm went off this morning. Before that, something silly and bubblegummy on CBC1’s Finkleman’s 45’s last night (he plays the silliest songs from the 50’s, 60’s, and early 70’s – Mark deplores my taste for listening to him, but it’s fun)

4.Write down 5 songs that you listen to a lot or mean a lot to you:

This is hard, so I’m just going to go with the ones that occur to me first – I could list songs forever.

“Forty-Five Years” by Stan Rogers. One of the most beautiful love songs ever written, in my opinion, and a song that always reminds me of my family and summers at the cottage.

“Desolation Row” by Bob Dylan. I could pick a lot of Dylan songs, but I’ve always loved this one for its combination of grim pessimism and truly wacky imagery.

“The Gulf War Song” by Moxy Fruvous. Great song, great sentiment, lovely vocals – and it’s from their first album, which always holds a special place in my heart.

“The House of the Rising Sun”, probably the version by the Animals. It meant a lot to me and my friends in high school, and, cheesy as it is, it’s a great singalong song.

“When I’m 64” by the Beatles. It was our first dance at our wedding, partly because Mark is a huge Beatles fan, but mostly because it’s just a sweet, straightforward sentiment. And a boppy beat.

You can probably tell I don’t really listen to much current music. I’m pretty much a folk/classic rock kind of girl, with a sprinkling of classical music thrown in.

5.Who will I pass this on to: Dani and Kelly. Feel free to do it or not, as you choose! And don’t feel you have to pass it on.

Posted by Aven at 11:48 AM | Comments (1)

February 05, 2005

More fun with colours

This dyeing thing is addictive! I dyed two more skeins of that yellow sock yarn today. The first was with food colouring again, and I was aiming for variegated green — I think I was pretty successful, though the variegation is more subtle than my first skeins, since it’s tone on tone:


It’s difficult to capture the colour properly — it’s not as dark as that picture makes it seem, but not as bright and yellow-toned as in the picture with flash:


The second skein I dyed using tea. I’ve always wanted to try that, and though starting with a base colour of yellow won’t give me a perfect idea of the shades produced by tea, I gave it a shot anyway. This is the skein after soaking in very strong Red Rose Orange Pekoe tea:


I found it too orange for my taste, probably because of the yellow base; so I brewed up a batch of super-strong Chinese tea (some unidentified loose leaf I’ve had around the house for a long time) and dunked the yarn in that. It’s hard to see in this photo, but I think it toned down the orange a bit and resulted in a slightly browner colour:


Still not my favorite colour for wearing, but interesting. And they’re only socks, after all.

I’m finding that one skein/ball of the Kroy 3-ply seems to be enough for two socks — at least, I’m into the ribbing on the first sock from the first dyed ball and there’s more than half a ball left. So I should get 4 socks from the two pink/blue balls, and a pair from each of the skeins I dyed today. Suddenly I have a whole lot of sock yarn for myself!

Posted by Aven at 06:52 PM | Comments (3)

February 03, 2005


With the very patient help of Dani and Laura at the SnB last night, I managed to wind the (very badly skeined) dyed yarn into these rather nifty-looking balls:


I couldn’t help myself — I just had to see what it looked like knit up, so here’s the beginning of a sock:


Although the colours aren’t perfect in this shot, they’re pretty good — I think it looks like watercolours, and I’m very happy with it. Of course, the colour distribution over the length of the ball is rather different, so I’m likely to end up with a pink foot and blue leg, while the other sock will probably be the reverse. But I am airily unconcerned about such petty details. I just like the colours.

Oh, for the record, taking cutesy pictures of your cat, yourself, and your yarn from armslength while lounging on the bed together is difficult. Evidence here.

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

February 01, 2005


Thanks for all the compliments on the shawl. Apparently Tigger likes it too:


It’s really the yarn and the simple pattern that make it work so well — I just followed directions. But I like it.

This morning I had 110 emails of spamming Trackbacks from my blog. I’m having to go through every entry individually to turn off the Trackback feature (which is never used anyways) to stop the spammers. I am not, to put it mildly, amused.

Posted by Aven at 09:15 AM | Comments (5)