Wednesday, January 19, 2005

Woo! Just when I thought that comments on my blog were a passing phase, I got another one. And a very complimentary one, at that. Thank you, Aven - I can't really take credit for my work being "gorgeous", I just follow the instructions for the pattern and enjoy what I get. :) Aven also expressed incredulity at my having made a fair isle hat in a day. I hasten to point out that I was home sick at the time, so there wasn't much else to do, and it is a toddler's hat, so that's not quite as impressive as if I'd made an adult size. However, it's lovely to hear that someone thinks I'm a speedy knitter! This is quite heartening.

Hillhead slipover for Grandpa
I called up the Jamieson & Smith people last night and left my payment information, so hopefully the wool will be winging its way to me soon. And I discovered, to my extreme delight, that I actually have a 2.25mm circular needle in my house, which is what I'm going to need to start the project. This means I don't have to go out and buy one! (Which would have been a challenge, since few stores carry circulars that small.) That's the good news. The bad news is that although a bed opened up in the better-attention hospital, my uncle suspects that my grandpa is losing his will. This is quite understandable - it's very depressing to be in hospital, feeling horrible, for months on end. If I were in that situation at age 90, I'd probably lose my will, too. But there still does seem to be a chance that he's fixable, so as long as that's a possibility, I sure as heck don't want to give up. Now that my daughter and I are over our colds, I'm hoping to be able to bring her to visit him again soon, which apparently always perks him up quite a bit (hey, who can blame him for that, she's wonderful).
Blanket for baby Gelman
I finished one of the hexagon pieces. It looks great. It also hit me last night that the shape of the flower in the hexagon pattern is a Star of David. This realization melted away any lingering doubt I might have had about whether I should really be making this pattern for this baby, since the family is Jewish. (My mother sank my enthusiasm for the project quite a bit on Monday night when she realised I'd have to sew all the pieces together - "Oh no, Kathleen, you don't want to do that. Pick another project." Gee, thanks, Mom. Actually, my mom really is great, but every now and then she does slip up and give me commands instead of advice. It's annoying, but what can you do.) The hexagon piece I made is unfortunately smaller than I would like, so now I'm making another hexagon piece on a larger needle. We'll see how that goes.
Poncho for moi
I stopped off at Lewiscraft last night on my way home, and bought myself a 9mm 36" circular needle. Armed with this, I began the poncho. I am now rediscovering why I don't like working with novelty yarns. It is a pain in the heinie to insert the needle into each stitch without also grasping the extra novelty bits! However, it is very difficult to stay mad at a yarn with such gorgeous colours and such a yummy feel. I will probably complain the whole way through about the awkwardness of the yarn's "curly locks", but I love it anyway. I've got about 25 rows done so far. That's not as impressive as it sounds - the pattern starts with only 3 stitches on the needle, and you increase one stitch per row, so 25 rows means only 325 stitches. It's fairly slow going because of the awkwardness of the thick needles and how careful I have to be to insert each needle into the stitch and not the curly locks. But really, who cares about all that, I think this is going to look great when it's done.
United Way argyle cardigan for baby Rosatelli
In addition to the 9mm needle for my poncho project, I also picked up some navy sportweight yarn for this project. Unfortunately, they had no red sportweight yarn, which I also need. In fact, although they said that all the Lewiscrafts are running out of Patons Astra because their supplier has been slow, this store in particular was just a mess in the knitting section. Very unimpressive. I especially enjoyed all the cardboard boxes I had to move out of the way in order to get to some of the yarn shelves (not). I'm going to go to another Lewiscraft as soon as I can, to try and find some red in the other brand of sportweight they carry (called "Innovations", I think - although it's marketed as worsted weight, trust me, it's sportweight). This is also the part where I curse Zellers for not carrying any non-pastel sportweight acrylic. :)
Stornaway sweater for BIL (cream)
Time for a confession. Early in this project, way down at the bottom of the body, there was a small section of the yarn which had this bright reddish-pink colour on it. "Hm," thought I, "some strands of red fluff have gotten wrapped around the yarn there. I'll just ignore it, keep knitting, and pick the fluff out later." Well, guess what - it wasn't fluff. In my defence, it really did look like fluff, but alas, it was not. I don't know whether it was dye, or pen ink, or what (or whether it was something I did or whether I can blame the person who sold me the yarn), but it was on there to stay, and it showed up nice and prominently against the cream colour, right smack dab at the front of the sweater. Great. After I finished the sweater, I tried going over the area with duplicate stitch to cover it up. This helped some, but the pink was still pretty obvious. So I resolved that I was going to try my Dryel stain remover on it before washing it in Eucalan. This is what I did last night. IT WORKED. I was skeptical at first, because the stain remover was a bit sudsy as I was applying it, and the disappearance of the stain may just have been because the suds were hiding it, but when I went down this morning, the suds were gone and so was the stain. Well, almost, anyway. Enough that you wouldn't be able to see it unless you were really looking closely at that specific spot. I am tremendously pleased (and relieved). Next step: Eucalan!

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