June 30, 2005

Baskets of Flowers

I know you’ve all seen this before, so I’ll be quick. Finished shawl, pre-blocking:

flowerbasketpreblocking.jpg

And a closer shot, which most accurately shows the colour:

flowerbasketpreblockingclose.jpg

Shawl blocking (I really want blocking wires):

flowerbasketblocking.jpg

Blocked shawl, draped “decoratively” on clothesline:

flowerbasketblocked.jpg

Another shot of the finished shawl.

And a close-up of some of the baskets.

You’re not getting a modeled shot until the temperature drops below 30C for an appreciable length of time. Suffice it to say that the alpaca is lovely and soft, and that I’m very happy with my first real lace project. Thanks, Dani, for the enabling! I definitely need to make another lace shawl — a bigger one, with more colourful yarn. Hmm…

In the meantime, though, I’m going to be good and finish up my second Bronty, and also try to finish at least one pair of socks for Mark — I’ve got the wool for 4 or 5 pairs sitting around, so I should try to get some forward momentum on those.

In the meantime, Happy Canada Day tomorrow to my fellow Canadians, and anyone who wants to co-opt a holiday. BBQ’s and fireworks, here we come! We’ve truly got some wonderful things to celebrate about this country right now.

Posted by Aven at 11:46 AM | Comments (13)

June 28, 2005

Parade!

I’m a little later than I wanted to be getting this posted, but yesterday was the exam for the summer class I’ve been teaching, and somehow that sucked up all my energy and time. Now I’ve just got the marking to do — but I have two lovely TA’s, and so I only have to mark 35 or so exams. At least that’s something that can be done without a computer — it’s very hot, again, so sitting and working upstairs at the computer is not very pleasant.

In keeping with our resolution to do as many “Toronto” things as possible before we leave the city, Mark and I went down to the Pride Parade on Sunday.1 In spite of living in this city for more than 8 years, we’ve never been — so it was time to go. The weather was pretty perfect — hot and sunny, but not unbearably humid, with a good breeze. We didn’t stay for the whole parade, but we did see a good selection, including the requisite floats of barely clad men:

pridefloat3.jpg

I particularly enjoyed the “gay sports” float, with the waterpolo and hockey players:

pridefloat1.jpg

The pipers were another favourite:

prideparade2.jpg

And, finally, it was even relevant to Classics — look, Trojans!

trojans1.jpg

In the evening we went to a going-away party for a friend from Mark’s department… the annual exodus is starting, with people leaving for jobs and other new phases of their lives. It’s exciting, but sad to say goodbye, especially when they’re moving far away (like England). And soon enough it will be Mark and I saying goodbye to everyone here — strange.

Oh, and the knitting? Almost done the shawl. I have, it turns out, more yarn than I needed, so I’ve done a couple of extra repeats, but I’m almost ready to start the border.

1 See Stephanie’s eloquent entry about Pride in Toronto — she sums up pretty well why it’s a special event in a special city. Even if one of the signs of the general (and welcome) level of acceptance is that various corporations want to get into the action, so almost every second float is that of a bank or other company… still, I think any nostalgia about the days when the parade was truly an act of defiance would be tempered by a remembrance of the terrible things that needed to be defied. We’re not exactly where we should be as a society yet, but we’re so much closer than we once were. And when the same-sex marriage bill passes tonight (as it seems about to) we’ll be that much closer.

Posted by Aven at 10:32 AM | Comments (2)

June 23, 2005

New Project

I’ve not stopped knitting dinosaurs (yes, we’re keeping Bronty — but Mr. Stegs is currently on his way to a baby shower). But I have started a new project. I bought some yarn from Dani last night down at the SnB — she’s clearing out some of her less beloved stash, and I’m the beneficiary! I’ll be making a cardigan of some sort out of some of the yarn — but you’ll see that when I start it. In the meantime, I’m using the three balls of alpaca I also got from Dani to (finally!) jump on the lace-knitting bandwagon. I’ve started the Flowerbasket Shawl:

flowerbasketstarted.jpg

I know you’ve all seen multiple iterations of this pattern, but I need to take pictures of something! I felt a Flowerbasket deserved some flowers in the photo, but all I have in my garden right now is this clover (which is only there because we’re all being really lazy about mowing the lawns). I think the colour’s pretty close to the yarn’s colour, coincidentally.

You can see the yarn itself a bit better in this shot:

flowerbasketclose.jpg

The yarn, Luxury Alpaca, is very soft and lovely to work with. I don’t know if I’ll be able to stand it once it heats up again here (34C tomorrow, + humidity, apparently!) but in the meantime I’m enjoying it immensely. I’m not totally certain I have enough yarn for a full-sized shawl, but I can always stop a repeat or two short.

Oh, and thank you, everyone, for loving my dinos as much as I do! I’ll try not to inflict too many versions of the pattern on you, but I know I’m going to keep making these little guys!

Posted by Aven at 03:26 PM | Comments (2)

June 21, 2005

A day late...

dinos.jpg

I didn’t finish putting all three together until last night, hence the delay. But now that they’re all sewn up, I love them!

Meet Bronty:

bronty.jpg

and Trice:

trice.jpg

and Mr. Stegs:

mrstegs.jpg

It seems it wasn’t too hard to guess what I was making — that second picture was the giveaway, I imagine! Jo, I was also a little concerned about how annoying it would be to sew up — but I found it wasn’t bad at all. You don’t even really have to weave all the ends in properly — just leave them inside the tubes, and stuff around them! If I make more, I’m going to work them at slightly tighter gauges so that the white stuffing doesn’t show through the darker knit fabrics — and I’ll stuff Bronty a little more, so he’s not so floppy (he was the first one I made). But overall, this was very fun, and the patterns are very clear. Oh, and by the way, the patterns are free, and found here.

As for who’s getting these dinos — one is for a baby about to be born to some friends, one is for Mark’s god-daughter, and it looks like we’re keeping one — or, at least, Mark gets very sad when I suggest giving away Bronty. I’ll admit that I’m a little sorry to be sending them away, too! Ah well, I’ll just have to make more!

Posted by Aven at 10:05 AM | Comments (10)

June 19, 2005

Mystery

pile.jpg

Any idea what this mess is going to be? (Anyone who was at the SnB on Wednesday should keep quiet, since you already know).

Does this help?

pile2.jpg

Tune in tomorrow for the big reveal. (I hope!)

Posted by Aven at 11:29 AM | Comments (4)

June 16, 2005

Housekeeping

First, I should mention that W was my June Stashbusters project. I haven’t technically finished my May project (the vest), although the knitting’s all done, so I feel justified in moving on. (Don’t worry, dear, I will finish it — I just need to get the buttons and the pocket material). I’m not sure what my next big stashbusting project will be, since I actually don’t have any more large amounts of yarn left — it’s all oddballs or small project amounts. I’ll be working on socks for Mark this summer (it’s the only wool knitting I can stand in the summer — and we have lots of yarn for socks to match his various sweaters). But I don’t know what I’ll do for myself… I may have to design some multi-coloured things, or maybe break down and get some more yarn. We’ll see!

I have also cleaned up and updated my sidebar, so it’s almost caught up. No major WIP’s, though.

And finally, pictures:

wposed.jpg

And a closer picture of just the top:

wcloser.jpg

You’d think I could manage to get my necklace sitting right for a posed picture… or that my photographer would notice and tell me to correct it. Sigh. Clearly, I’m not knitting magazine model material…

And, because I love you all, I will share with you this ridiculous picture of me from the SnB last night, courtesy of Dani — I was being told to strike a “Sears Catalogue pose”. Note that my necklace, at least, is right in this one… Here you go.

Posted by Aven at 12:14 PM | Comments (8)

June 14, 2005

W Done

I told you I’d have a picture:

wdone.jpg

I don’t have a modelled shot because I just finished the top and there’s no one home to take a picture of me. I can’t be bothered to figure out how to take a picture of myself that’s worth posting. But I intend to wear the top tomorrow (unless the cool weather they’re promising arrives) so I’ll get a photo then.

This was a quick, fun knit — the shortrows kept it interesting, and the aran-weight yarn made it fast. The only issue is that it requires frequent counting — but I didn’t mind that.

In fact, it was so quick that I never managed to post the details about the top on my sidebar! Oops! I should update that project listing, actually — but not right now. I’ve got a thesis to write, for goodness sake!

Posted by Aven at 04:10 PM | Comments (3)

June 13, 2005

Pictures later

I’ve finished the front, and am more than half done the back. But it’s grey and dark here (finally, the promised thunderstorms! After more than a week of oppressive heat and humidity, a bit of a break!) so I’ll try to get a picture tomorrow.

For the record, I don’t know on whose authority Saturday was “International Knit in Public Day”, (seen on a couple of blogs, but I don’t remember where) but I did indeed KIP. I sat with Mark and my dad and watched/listened to some wonderful blues bands (notably Georgette Fry) down in the Distillery District, and knit away on my languishing green sock. So I did my bit!

My parents were visiting this weekend — at least, my mother was down for the League of Canadian Poets Annual General Meeting, and my dad came down to hang out. We all went out to dinner on Friday with my supervisor — it was great to have them all finally meet. All in all, it was a lovely weekend, and very nice to see my parents, as always.

But now I’ve got to get back into the knitting! We’ve been eating outside now that it’s so hot, and I don’t really get much knitting done when we aren’t sitting around watching tv. I must find a way to work the knitting into an outdoor lifestyle…

Posted by Aven at 05:38 PM | Comments (2)

June 08, 2005

Silky!

I’m still not quite done the vest (it needs buttons and pockets), but I’ve started something new: W from Knitty. I’m using, surprise surprise, some more of the Elann silk. I think after this project I’ll only have enough for one more, probably striped. And then I’ll be done with it!

Anyway, here’s my progress:

wstarted.jpg

It’s a tank top, knit in two pieces side-to-side. It uses shortrows to form the wedges — it’s very clever, and fun to do. Here’s a close-up of the top of the middle wedge:

wcloseup.jpg

The silk is a little inelastic, so there are some slight holes at the ends of the shortrows in garter stitch, but not enough to bother me. I’m more concerned that the entire idea of doing a close-fitting tank in a non-elastic type yarn like this is entirely a mistake — but ho hum, I’ll worry about that at the end. I’m liking how it’s looking for now, anyway.

Posted by Aven at 10:15 AM | Comments (3)

June 06, 2005

Sticky!

Sorry for the infrequent updating. Mark and I have a new resolution for this summer — we’re trying to make weekends be weekends, and actually socialise and do some of the myriad things available in Toronto before we leave. This is great, and means we’re seeing our friends and having a lovely time, but it also means I’m not home as much, and the knitting is a bit stalled. Also, we went from barely late spring weather a week ago to full on hot, humid summer weather this weekend, so suddenly wool doesn’t seem so attractive. (Today’s high is supposed to be 30C, humidex 37C).

Still, I’ve finished the edgings on the vest, and just need to attach the buttons. Then I’ll have to do the pockets, but that might take a while, as I find fabric and sew the linings. I’ve also been working on some socks for Mark, as well as (still) working on those green socks for me. I’m hoping to start some more summery knitting soon, though.

Ok, the computer’s generating too much heat, so I’ve got to go. Have a good Monday!

Posted by Aven at 09:08 AM | Comments (2)