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:

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

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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!

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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)

August 31, 2004

Catch-up

I have just realised that I never documented the finishing of the silk squares sweater — I was distracted by my new silk, and deserted the old. Shameful. So, here is the mitred sweater in its finished state:

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The sizing is not quite what I envisioned when I started the project, but I like it. And I do think the construction makes it a very interesting top. Now I just have to think about what to do with the rest of the silk from Elann… any ideas? (It’s aran weight, slightly rough and tweedy). This sweater didn’t really take very long to do, I found the mitred squares made everything except the sleeves go very quickly. I wonder if I should try another Just One More Row pattern…

In other news, my birthday was this past Saturday, and we celebrated in style at the home of two old friends, Mike and Tyla, who hosted a lovely party. I over-indulged in various types of sparkling wine (it was my 28th birthday on the 28th of the month, which is apparently one’s “Champagne” birthday — we couldn’t afford real champagne, but we decided to honour this new-found tradition as best we could!). I also used the opportunity to make a cake — I love baking, but eating baked goods isn’t very good for me, so I have to seize every chance I get to bake for others. Here I am, clearly already more than slightly cheerful, with my sour cream cake filled with home-made custard, whipped cream, and wild Ontario blueberries:

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Mmm, that was good cake, if I do say so myself. I do love wild blueberries…

I’m getting near the end of the front of Mark’s sweater, and I think I’ll post a photo when I do finish it, just to prove that I have been knitting and to remind you of what it looks like. Then it will be one more sleeve, the finishing, and then… I’m not sure what project will come next. I’ve definitely got things planned, but I have to decide what order makes the most sense. Oh well, I’ve still got lots of time!

Posted by Aven at 03:34 PM | Comments (9)

August 05, 2004

Arms race

After rescuing the silk sweater from Tigger, who just loves it when I’m blocking, I think that it’s long and wide enough, though I still might pick up stitches around the bottom and knit a few rows downward, just to lengthen it… I’ll see. In the meantime I’m working on the first sleeve:

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This weekend we’re heading up to my parents’ cottage, in Quebec, just off the Ottawa River. It’s a fair distance to go for just a couple of days, but we’re looking forward to it very much — two precious days to lie on the beach and enjoy ourselves. I think the silk sweater is getting a bit bulky to carry around, so I’ll be bringing this:

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It’s the beginning of Mark’s next sweater. This one is in Paton’s Decor, an acrylic/wool mix, and I’ve used Knitware’s sweater-designing software to make the pattern — it looks pretty straightforward, so I think it will work. The stitch I’m using (close-up here) is called Ridged Rib. So far, this seems to be going much more quickly than the King Charles sweater — I have no idea why, but I’m glad.

Since we’re leaving for the cottage tomorrow, I won’t be posting again until Tuesday (not only does our cottage not have internet access, it doesn’t have electricity, running water, or phones — in fact, it’s outside any cell-phone service area!). Have a great weekend — I’m sure I will!

Posted by Aven at 02:45 PM | Comments (3)

August 02, 2004

Preserving the summer

What’s the most sensible thing to do in the hottest portion of a Toronto summer? That’s right, make jam!

Ok, maybe not, but this is when the fruit is ripe, so this is when it happens, heat or no heat. This year we’re finally getting our act together to make several different batches, all of which have something from our garden in them:

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That’s two types of raspberry jam and one batch of lime mint jelly; we also made a batch of gingered citrus-rhubarb jam, but I seem to have neglected to photograph the jars. For more details on the individual recipes you can check out my husband’s blog; he writes about them here and here. I think we’ll be taking a break for a little while, but soon it will be time for chutneys and relishes… mmm…

I’ve also been knitting, in between boiling things. The front and back of the silk sweater are done, joined at the shoulders, and blocking:

silkblocking.jpg

I’m worried that it’s going to be a little small, but I think the blocking will make it work; if I need to, I might add a row of squares or something else to the bottom, since I think it might be too short. We’ll see.

I’ve also started the next Mark-sweater… more on that next time.

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

July 29, 2004

Fun at the LYS

Last night I finally made it to Lettuce Knit for the Stitch ‘n Bitch. It was lovely! I felt right at home almost immediately (thanks, Jane!) and I met several people with whom I had only communicated electronically in the past. Everyone was just as funny and friendly as I’d imagined, and people were working on some truly beautiful pieces — check out Kelly’s scarf, for one! And Kathy (I think — I’m so horrible at names) completed her first project ever, a wonderful poncho — fabulous! I’m definitely going back, though not next week, since I’ll be out of town. Oh, and thanks again for the ride home, Stephanie!

I brought the silk sweater to work on, and by bedtime last night I’d finished the front:

silkback.jpg

Actually, I’ve now decided this is the back, not the front (the two pieces are worked identically). There are various imperfections and minor errors that I hope not to reproduce on the second piece, now that I know how it all works. Still, I’m pretty happy with it, and I’ve started the second square of the (new) front.

Enjoy the sudden return of summer temperatures, Torontonians, and everyone, have a great day!

Posted by Aven at 12:06 PM | Comments (4)

July 27, 2004

Mitring along

The silk sweater continues to grow steadily; I have one more square and a triangle to do, and then five smaller yoke squares, and then the front is finished. I think it’s going to look pretty good, even with the less than perfect job I’ve been doing of picking up stitches. I’m just not a perfectionist, and it shows in my knitting sometimes. However, the same nonchalance about doing the job right usually extends to my opinion of the finished piece, so I’m generally happy.

I’m considering getting started on my next sweater for Mark — I have alot of yarn stashed for him, and various other projects lined up after that, so I might go back to multi-tasking. Because I had some problems adapting a commercial pattern to a different yarn and stitch with the King Charles sweater, I’m thinking about using some sweater-designing software to make a custom pattern for this next sweater. Has anyone out there used Knitware Sweaters? Do you have any advice? I just have the free demo version, but as far as I can tell I can still design a sweater with it, I just can’t save the design or use certain functions. Anyway, we still have to decide on a stitch pattern and I have to do a proper swatch with it before I go any further, but I’m curious about other people’s experiences with this programme.

Posted by Aven at 11:58 PM | Comments (0)

July 24, 2004

Done, done, done!

Finally! The King Charles Brocade sweater for Mark is finished:

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After all the pain and re-doing involved, I think it came out well. I don’t know why it took so long to finish, but I hope the next one I do for Mark is quicker!

I’ve also finished the second sock I was working on (or, almost — I just need to cast off with a larger needle). I think I’m done with socks for a little while — I don’t want to get too bored with them, so I’ll wait a week or two before starting the next pair.

As I was finishing Mark’s sweater, I actually started the next thing — I couldn’t sew seams while chatting or reading blogs, after all! Here is the beginning of my next sweater, in that silk from Elann I bought a while back:

silkstarted.jpg

Doesn’t look much like a front yet, does it? It’s a modular sweater from Just One More Row, so it’s constructed out of mitred squares and triangles, mainly. It’s fun to knit — after casting on/picking up for the square, it just keeps decreasing away to nothing. It’s very satisfying! It’s also just a joy to be working on something new, finally. I think it will go pretty quickly. Here is a closer look at some of the squares.

Tigger was interested in the photo shoot too:

silktigger.jpg

Now that I’m on to a new project, of course, I’m already thinking about the next… but this time I think I’ll try to finish one before starting another!

Posted by Aven at 05:22 PM | Comments (8)

June 23, 2004

More Yarn

Silk!

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It just arrived from Elann. Lovely, isn’t it? I’ve never worked with silk before — I’m looking forward to this! The colours are Grape Tweed, Blue Slate, and Thundercloud. I think I’m going to use one colour to make this:

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It’s the Pacific Grove Pullover from Just One More Row. I don’t know what I’ll do with the rest of it, but I couldn’t resist the colours and the price. I’m sure I’ll find something!

I finished the second Esprit sock, and wore them yesterday evening, to soothe my poor little toe. Which is, by the way, getting much better — those clever doctors and their effective antibiotics! I think it will all be cleared up by tomorrow, though of course I’ll be taking pills until next week. I even got through yesterday’s lecture without too much discomfort, though I only filled two of the three hours, because I didn’t want to make things worse by standing too long (the students didn’t seem too devastated to be done with class an hour early in the last week of term!).

I’ve also reached the armhole on the front of Mark’s sweater, so the end is in sight… then one more sleeve and the finishing, and I’ll finally be done!

That’s all for now — have a great day.

Update — it looks like it’s a good thing I pounced on the silk when I did (June 8, I think) because all but three colours of the variegated yarn are now sold out!

Posted by Aven at 12:03 PM | Comments (5)