Thursday, November 30, 2006

I finished my Hermione Hat, last night. So here's a photo of the finished products. I basically stuck to the patten, the only change that I made was bumping down the needles on the mittens to 3.25mm and shortening the length. Also in the hat, instead of doing the patterned decrease (which would have made the hat way too long) I did a rapid decrease by purling two together for four rounds. I got this way of decreasing from an Aran cap that I have made a few times from "Hats On!". I like this way of decreasing in Aran style caps, and I find it doesn't pucker too much in hats that have some ribbing like this one.

I have cast on for another Hermione hat, this one for Maureen. She goes to OT with me and lives in my building, after seeing pictures on my blog she has requested a hat and mitten set, so today we went to a LYS and got some Paton's Merino in cream. It looks great so far, I think the light color is really going to show off the pattern.

In some non knitting news, my group project for the Provincial Autism Centre finished up today. We did a presentation to some board members to show what we had created. Basically what we created was an evaluation tool for an online support group that the centre is starting for people with autism living in rural Nova Scotia. I have to say, doing the presentation was really rewarding, I felt like the centre really appreciated what we did for them and that our work is going towards something really amazing.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Anyone watch Degrassi next generation last night? Emma has taken up knitting! she says it relaxes her, and showed a hat that she made. The only thing I was bothered by was the whole show she is carrying around her knitting, she never actually knits, just carries it and no progress is made on her project. BTW, What is her project?? Some 1 inch wide scarf for a teddy bear? And no... there is nothing wrong with a 21 year old watching a show targeted at high school kids, this is how I keep up with the youth of today :P

I made some good progress on my Hermione hat today in class. I love this hat, and I can't wait for it to be done. I have already had many requests from friends for Hermione hats and mittens. Everyone who has seen the mitts and hat in real life say that the pictures really don't do them justice. So when they are both done I will try to take some pictures of them outside.

Our occupational therapy class is sponsering a Christmas family again this year and lo and behold one of the children asked for mittens! I donated a pair of honey comb mitts that I made a little while ago with handpainted and teal yarn. I hope she likes them :)

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Did you know that I was a trendsetter? I didn't. Until lately...

My classmates have been teasing me lately because more and more of my peers are showing up to school with their knitting. Knitters spotted include me, Crystal, Melissa and Judie. I actually find that it helps me concentrate in class. I find my energy level stays high enough when I knit that I can stay focused longer. What my friends will tell you is that I have an amazingly short attention span, so anything that I can do to lengthen it is a good thing.

I have to say I have been very impressed with Crystal's knitting, she told me that she had learned to knit before but didn't really know how to knit anything, I got her set up with a simple rolled brim hat and she finished it in no time. Without any help she proceeced to knit a basket stitch scarf and begin another hat. I love fostering the love of knitting in people!

Speaking of knitting in class, here is a shot of the start of my Hermione hat. I love it so far, and I can't wait to start the pattern :)

It's a running joke in our apartment that if Mike finds out that I love something he feels that he has to break it in case I start to love the object more than him. I have lost several bowls and mugs this way. Recently he broke one of my favorite pottery mugs, it was a beautiful mug, and the potter while still around has stopped making them. So when I worked the Dalplex craft fair the other weekend I bought myself a replacement mug, when I next saw him I informed him that he had in fact bought the mug for me. I must say though, that I love love love this mug, it's colors are so rich and it is the PERFECT shape. Here is a picture of the beloved new mug, isn't it perfect?

Monday, November 27, 2006

Not very much to post here today, I didn't get much/any knitting done this weekend because I worked about 25 hours this weekend. Today I mostly finished another afghan square, but I really don't think I need to post a picture, you have seen what the other 9 like it look like so far.

Hopefully I will have something more interesting to post soon. I think I am going to buy the Hermione Hat pattern and make one before too long...

Friday, November 24, 2006

Well, my practical exam yesterday didn't go as awesomely as I might have hoped, but it's done with now, so that's really the most important thing. My group worked really hard and I think that we did the best that we couldm so know all there is to do is to sit and wait for the results. Thank you to everyone who gave me kind words yesterday about Irene. I really appreciate it. I am just going to hope and pray that some funding comes through for her before her drugs run out.

I may not be able to update this weekend as I am working almost all weekend. I am working tonight, tomorrow night, and sunday night at the Cohn and I am working at the dalplex christmas fair this weekend saturday and sunday day, helping out my step mother with her candles. So, I probably won't have much knitting updates.

In the meantime though - Hermione Mittens!! Here they are being blocked. I love them and I think I will be buying the hat pattern shortly, because I have some more of the yarn, and oh how I love matching sets :)

Well, I would love to blog all day i REALLY should get some school work done before the weekend of work begins :)

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Not ready to make nice

This is not a political blog. This is a knitting blog. But right now I need to express something. I dislike Conservatives... strongly dislike conservatives. Especially right now. I am studying occupational therapy, I understand how our health care system works. I love Canada, I love that we have Universal Health care, I think it makes our country more beautiful and a more peaceful place to live. However, as my readers may or not know, our universal health care does not cover drugs, unless you are on social assistance.

The girl in the article is my sister. She has a host of autoimmune diseases and was born sick and has been terminally ill for most of her life. Now though, she has leukemia, and has a very short time left. Why? Why, can't the government just pay for her drugs? Afterall, if she can't get funding she simply isn't going to buy her drugs, there is no way that she can, no one in my family has any money. And if she doesn't take her drugs, she is going to end up in the intensive care unit - which lo and behold is covered in Canada. Guess how much it costs to keep someone in the ICU for one day? $5,000! It's not gonna take many days of her being in the ICU before it would have been much much cheaper for the government to just pay her f***in drug bill!

Ok rant is over. I am just really upset about this today.

I started the second one of my Hermione Mittens. I havn't got a lot done though because I have been really busy. I have a simulated client exam today, and I have been bartending a lot lately. Here is the mitten though! I am having a hard time getting good pictures of my knitting that really shows off the colour and the stitch definition. Any tips? I think maybe if I took them outside I would get better results, I just usually don't bother because I live in an apartment and have no yard!

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Quick update - I finished my first Hermione Mitten! yay! The only thing that I need to do now is finish the other one and block them. I think I will block them a little wider than they are now, currently it fits nicely but looks kinda skinny without a hand inside of it. I had a little trouble because the thumb gusset is so high, I cut out some rows doing that, and that messed me up for the decrease round... so I had to make some alterations, but in the end it turned out alright.

Sorry the pictures are a little blurry I had to put my camera on a weird setting to get the stitches to show.

Rice is really great when you're hungry and want 10,000 of something

I have a long knitting story to tell. It is the tale of my strange way of knitting and how I came to learn about where it came from. And I owe it all to Nona.

I was taught to knit by my mother. She taught me when I was in grade 3, but it didn't really stick uptil about grade 7. She taught me the way her Icelandic grandmother (amma) taught her to knit. Mom told me this was the Icelandic (continental) way to knit. I noticed that my stitches were twisted the wrong way, (I had to put my needle through the back, not front of my loop). I figured this was just a characteristic of how I knit.

When I went to Iceland this summer though I noticed that the people there in fact did not knit the way that I did... I was so confused, if I didn't knit the english way and I didn't knit the continental way, where did the way that I knit come from? My cousin Thora showed me the continental way, it was very similar to how I knit, the yarn is still held in the left hand, the yarn is just wrapped in a different direction, this picture is of her showing me.

Ever since I got back from Iceland I have knit the way that Thora showed me. But I have been confused as to why my mother and I had knit this other strange way for so long. Well yesterday when I was reading Nona's blog, I saw a link to a website that had videos on it. You can see it here. On the website I looked at the different ways that you can knit and purl and lo and behold I found how I had been knitting!! It is called the combined method and I guess it is sometimes used to teach people who have a hard time with the continental style. I suspect that my Amma taught mom to knit that way because she taught her so young. Hurray! Mystery Solved!!

Now, as you can see below I have got to work on my Hermione Mittens. I love them! I love them! I love them! I really can't express it enough!

These pictures really do not show good stitch definition. When I get them finished I will try to take a better picture. What do I like so much about these mitts?
- The pattern is easy to follow
- The design is complicated enough to be interesting and easy enough that it can be memorized very quickly
- It uses several design techniques I have never used with mittens before (note that the thumb is ALREADY done)

I bet I can finish the first mitten tonight, as long as my pesky studying doesn't get in the way. I hope that a few people are reading my posts. I know that my site is getting a few hits a day, I am just not sure from who...

Monday, November 20, 2006

*sigh* I am growing weary of the afghan. Christmas is still a ways to go though so I think it will be ok if I take some time off from it. Luckily I had lots of time to knit in class today and managed to finish square #9. The patten calls for 12 squares, today I layed it out on the floor and tried to decide if maybe I could just call it a 9 sqaure lap blanket... it could qualify, but the present is for two people so I really should make it large enough that two people could share it at the same time. The cat was kind enough to jump off the couch and onto the blanket to make this picture more interesting.

Why does my apartment look so messy in all my blog pictures? It is really quite clean in real life. Somehow all my blog pictures manage to show off all the small messes and stashes of yarn in the corner. Mike has declared a war on my scraps of yarn. So I am making an effort to clean up and throw away all my little odds and ends that I snip off. It's hard! If it was up to me, yarn would probably take over our small apartment. So I guess I am glad to have him keep me and the yarn in check.

I realized that on my last blog Dispatches from Iceland I never posted a picture of me in the second Icelandic sweater that I knit while I was there, I also never posted a picture of Leif in the sweater that I knit him to match, so here they are now...

The sweater was knit with the lopi yarn that you can only buy in Iceland, with two strands held together. That's rough the equivalent of Lopi Lett here. I knit it on 5 mm needles. The patten was purchased in a yarn store that Carola kindly showed me in Reyjkavik. I have no idea how you could access it here.

The dog sweater was knit using the same yarn, but the pattern came from a more mainstream source. One of the coiled books that Lopi yarn publishes every now and then. This book was number 25.

My latest inspiration is the Hermione Mittens, I saw inspiration while browsing blogs here, here, and here. Everyone's mitts are sooo pretty! I bought the pattern on impulse, and I think I will cast them on tonight. Exciting!

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Warm and Cozy

I have added my free pattern, a hot water bottle cozy to the sidebar. I am really proud of it and I really hope someone makes it! If anyone makes one, please please please send me a picture. I would love to see it! Just so you all know, I have a really loose gauge, so please either check your gage or just bump your needle size up a size or two. My gauge is so loose that if I am knitting a pattern I always go down a whole size because I have learned that my gauge will always be bigger.

I spent most of my knitting time today assembling an afghan that I am making for my brother and Julie for Christmas. Here are some pictures of it at large and up close. I am using Briggs and Little Atlantic 3 ply, a cheap but good quality chunky yarn. The pattern is from "The Little Box of Knitted Throws" and it is my very first afghan ever knitted so I must say I am quite proud of it, part of the reason that I knit it was just as a challenge to myself to see if I would have the patience to knit a blanket. I must say I really have enjoyed it and I think I would do another... Lizard Ridge is calling me!!

That's all for a now, I am really tired and I plan to take a nice long bath before I go to work tonight.

Saturday, November 18, 2006

So hopelessly hopeful

I finished my noro tea cozy, the same tea cozy that I caused me to totally abandon studying for my midterm. I can't help it when it comes to Kureyon. I get too excited waiting to see what the next color is going to be and I can't bring myself to stop knitting until I have finished the whole ball! anywho, here is a picture of the finished project. I loved knitting it, and like the final project, which will be a present for my mother. But I think that next time I make it I will eliminate the double knit base, to me it is a little too thick and causes the teapot to sit a little rickity. Anyone who would like to use the pattern, it is from knitty and the pattern is available here.

I also wanted to post a picture of this cute little porqupine that I made a while ago, I forgot to put a picture of him on the site, but I think he definitly deserves one, because he is so very cute! I got the pattern for him for free at the same place that I got the patterns for the other forest friends that I knit. Oh and yes he is sitting next to a nerf dart, that would belong to my oh so mature boyfriend.

I finished my step mother's Christmas present as well, a pair of sheepskin slippers. These slippers are a Maggie speciality. I co-designed them with my good friend Gill Martin. And I love the pattern VERY much. Basically they have a sheepskin bottom and a knitted top, but the truly special part is that when you put your foot inside the slipper your foot rests on top of pure sheepskin fuzzyness. I tried to take a picture of the inside but it didn't turn out, basically imagine your foot on top of a sheepskin blanket. That's what it feels like. Lovely!

They are knit from the bottom up, and the pattern is VERY simple. Basically I just cut out a piece of sheepskin in the shape of the person's foot. I punch holes in it using a leather punch that I got from a tackshop. Then, using a 4.5 mm crochet hook I pick up stiches through the holes, two stitches per hole usually, but this varies a little. Then I crochet a few rounds around the foot. How many I do varies, this particular one has a row of single crochet, a row of double, and a row of single. After this I pick up some stitches from the toe, usually about 8. Then I knit back and forth picking up a stich from each side on every knit round. This will cause you to increase by two stitches every right side round. So once I have enough stitches width wise I knit two together after every pick up. So basically you carry on like this up the foot, skipping some stitches on the side so that your top isn't too puffy, then I pick up enough stitches from the heel to create a leg space and make the cuff. Ta Da!

It only takes me about 4 hours to make a pair of them. I know the pattern sounds a little complicated but it really isn't. If anyone wants to attempt a pair let me know and I can give you some more tips. I assure you it's a wonderful gift, everyone loves them!

Tonight I am going to the Christmas parade with my brother's girlfriend, and my good friend Julie. We are taking their dog Oliver. Should be very fun, especially if I get around to making some Irish Coffee before we go :)

Friday, November 17, 2006

I must say that in the right light, you look like Shackleton

I don't have a lot of time to write right now because I am off to go to work. I am bartending tonight for the Royal Winnipeg ballet, should be quite fancy. I just wanted to give a couple of updates, I forgot to mention that the crocheted forest friends I made are from a free pattern I got online here. It is truly an amazing site, I love it and I don't even really like to crochet!!

Also, I decided not to submit my pattern to knitty, because I think it would have been more appropriate for their christmas issue. So I will be posting here as a gift shortly :)

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

The Century Is Raging But So Are We

So, it has been quite a while since I updated last. I have done way too much knitting and don't have all the pictures for what I have done so I will just post the ones that are available. These pictures are of a baby sweater from Last Minute Knitted Gifts and baby booties from the same book. I used Cascade 220 for both projects and 3.75 mm needles. I have to express that I really truly am in love with cascade, the color and the drape of both of these pieces is heavenly.

In further knitting news, I have been developing a pattern for a certain knitting website that i dare not mention, lest I jinx myself. But I am very excited about it and having a lot of fun. If it does not get excited I will post it on here as a free pattern.

I got my grad ring in the mail this week. I love it because it reminds me that the end is in sight. In less than a year I will be an actual, real occupational therapist. That my friends is a thrilling thought!

I went to Tatamagouche today for the dog's birthday party. I brought along my homemade dog cookies, get the recipe here. They were a big hit and I think I am maintaining my status as favorite auntie among my doggie friends.

And Carola! To answer your question, no sadly I did not make up the pattern for those farm creatures. I got them from a Debbie Bliss book "Knitted Toys". I am thinking about modifying the sheep though and turning them into finger puppets.