Wednesday, July 27, 2016

The Dog Days of Summer

Apparently the phrase "the dog days of summer" have to do with the appearance of the "dog star" Sirius, in the sky, not the fact that my dogs have little desire to move, in the 29 degree afternoons.  I'd show you a picture, but they both hiding, somewhere cool.

I have to agree with the dogs, the hot weather makes moving a chore. After 42 days spent knitting on Alberta, I decided to go for something that required less mental capacity. (Thank you for all the lovely compliments on Alberta.)

I have made 3 of Elizabeth Zimmerman's Baby Surprise Jackets (known in knitting circles as the BSJ). They are quite quick and simple to do, and make a lovely jacket for a baby of either gender, so they make a great shower gift.

I have some lovely bamboo yarn, sitting in my stash, just asking to be knit, so I started a BSJ.

They start out looking like this.  Oddly, although this is my fourth one, I don't have a single picture of a completed jacket. I guess I finished them just in time to give them away. They are knit in one piece, and require seaming, only at the shoulder. Not a lot of counting, no markers to juggle and not a bead in sight! Far more suited to a hot afternoon.

Meanwhile, Layla has joined us at the Resort and spa, for a couple of weeks of R & R after 6 weeks in the shelter. She is Foster Cat # 160, at our house.

She is a pretty little girl, but she needs to get rid of her infection because it is making a mess of her lovely fur.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Alberta Shawl

On May 11, Anne-Lise Maigaard offered her pattern for the Alberta Shawl, for free, to anyone who donated to a group providing relief to the victims of the wild fires in Fort McMurray.

I made a donation to the Edmonton Humane Society and encouraged others to do the same. I also heard about Anne-Lise's generous offer from my friend Cheryl of Grandma CoCo's Designs.

On June 1, we challenged each other to a knit along. It wasn't a race, just a chance to work together, even though we live about 2 hours apart. As one of us got to a tricky section and worked it out, we would tell the other how we solved the problem.

It took us six weeks, many emails, and a lot of beads, but now we are done.

I had a hard time finding a towel big enough to lay under it. You can't quite see the whole shawl.

A closer view of the lace. My points aren't all exactly the same, but the fault is in the blocking. Doesn't it look like a giant lace doily?

The yarn is Gloss Lace, by Knit Picks, 70% merino wool, 30% silk, and 100% a joy to knit with. The colourway is Sterling.  The shawl has in excess of 700 beads and  about 600 m of yarn.

Drop over to Cheryl's blog and see how hers turned out.

Sunday, July 17, 2016

A Weekend of Finishes

Sometimes it feels like I'm are getting nowhere.  Then, sometimes, everything just starts to work.

The blog is called Arts and Socks for a reason. I have this odd addiction to knitting socks. Not usually very fancy socks. Just plain, ordinary, wearable socks, in interesting yarns.

Two pairs were finished this weekend.

The pair on the left are an adult men's size in Regia Pairfect Cotton. The pattern is the one I have stored in my head. This is very nice yarn to knit with, and, although one of the nine year olds, in the group where I teach knitting, thought the the tiny bit of pink in the yarn meant that no man would wear them, I think I will have no problem finding a new owner for these.

The pair on the right are in newborn size. These are My First Regia, and are from the ball I bought last week when I got caught having to wait, without my knitting. The pattern is Baby Socks by Kate Atherley, and I have knit them enough that I can do much of it without the pattern. I am told by new parents that they do not kick off.  Unlike the adult socks it is pretty much impossible to make the baby socks match, unless you want to waste a whole bunch of yarn.

I am obviously in my Turquoise Period, since the socks are very similar colours. I love the contrast in the sizes.

Meanwhile, the Alberta shawl is currently swimming in the hot tub. The knitting is FINISHED!

In a few minutes, I will rinse it, and block it. Pictures, soon.

This week, we again had a feline staff change. Maddie is now with her forever family, and we have Copper carrying out all the cat duties.

She is a little cutie pie. I am told the female red tabbies only occur once in 10,000 red tabbies. Not sure how true that is, but they are rare enough that the staff member giving her to me kept referring to her as "he".

Sunday, July 10, 2016

Sunday Ramblings

I have not yet blogged in July. Our weather has been really hot, so I have been doing little. I actually drove a friend to an appointment this past week, and forgot to take any waiting room knitting. Luckily, there was a wool shop nearby, and we were early, so I could make a quick stop. Equally lucky, I don't need a pattern to cast on a pair of socks.

Yesterday, at the local farmers' market, the strawberries looked wonderful. Since this was probably the last week for strawberries, due to the heat and lack of rain, I bought a 3 litre basket. The berries have now been transformed to this.

I made 10 one cup containers of uncooked strawberry jam for the freezer. When February rolls around again, and the snow is up to the windowsills, some strawberry jam tastes wonderful on a warm scone.

In other food related news, I discovered these at the store, yesterday.

The Covered Bridge Potato Chip people have made Canadian patriotic chips, from red and white potatoes. Covered Bridge Potato chips are made near Hartland, NB, home of the world's longest covered bridge. This is a YouTube video of Rick Mercer, taking the factory tour.

I am progressing on my Alberta shawl. The next row uses 90 beads, so I was trying find beads that go together, since I don't think I have 90 the same. I started with the matte beads in the middle, but I only have 52 and even then they aren't all the same. I expect I am worrying too much about the bead colour placement.

Earlier this week, I dropped my container of beads. They hit the floor and spread everywhere. I had to remove the pets from the room, crawl around, sweeping them up with a whisk broom, then vacuum, and pick the beads out of the vacuum cup. Every now and again I find another bead. If I am short at the end, I have some silver lined clear beads, that will work for the last row.