Archive for the ‘Mountain Peaks’ Category

Progress

April 30, 2007

Well, I survived chaperoning Jamie’s band trip.  Barely.  I came to the conclusion some time on day two that I’m too old for that shit.  Or, more specifically, I’m too old to be all “woo band trip!” like the kids all were, but too young to be totally accustomed to getting no sleep like all the parent chaperones. 

I had all these grand plans to blog from the trip, and take photos of my sock around town, but I just didn’t have the time nor the energy.  Which is too bad, because Banff was beautiful until yesterday, when a massive snow storm hit.  Freaking Alberta.  I also had grand plans to get some work done, but there was not a single solitary place that I wasn’t surrounded by several dozen and usually several hundred teenagers.  I am very happy to be home where the only noise is the clock ticking.  (Well, and the neighbour a few doors down absolutely SCREAMING at her child.  I went outside to take photos for this entry and I felt like I was intruding onto a very ugly situation.  It was quite uncomfortable.)  There was just constant, constant noise for four days straight and it was exhausting. 

 Fortunately, despite the endless melee, I did have quite a lot of knitting time.  I packed the same three projects that came along to Disneyland: the Gryffindor socks, the Mountain Peaks Shawl, and the Central Park Hoodie.  Poor old Mountain Peaks once again got completely ignored – I swear I will make some real progress on that thing one of these days.  Central Park, however, was much more successful, and yesterday on the bus I finished the back.  Hooray!

Central Park Back

I cannot for the life of me get a decent photo of the colour. It’s a really bright, bold green, very springy and cheerful and apparently very trendy, because I got a ton of compliments on it from the kids on the trip. (The pattern also got major thumbs up from them.)

Most days, though, I didn’t bring my backpack into Banff, so I brought along trusty Gryffindor for my daily knitting. These were also a huge hit with the kids, who were very impressed at the idea of Harry Potter socks. Who knew my knitting was so cool?

As you can see, good progress is being made and I should finish them pretty soon and be able to go back to Rachel’s socks. (sorry, Rachel!) (memo to self on Rachel’s socks – 64 stitch cast on with a decrease down to 60 over the course of the leg.)

Gryffindor Progress

This didn’t get brought along, as I was close enough to finished that it wasn’t worth hauling, but here’s a sneak peek at the body of a baby sweater that I finished last night. It’s the Daisy pattern from Knitty, and it’s not for the next baby in line but I needed a change of pace so I started in on this. It’s a super cute raglan cardigan, and I really like the pattern. Seed stitch edging, raglan sleeves – pretty straightforward and adorable as well as gender neutral – all good things. I need to get some good buttons for it.

Daisy Body

I’m already halfway through the first sleeve. Ah, baby sized things, how I love you.

So here’s my challenge over the next few weeks. I leave for Cuba in 18 days. I plan to bring my shawl and a pair of socks along with me. Before I leave, I’d like to finish the baby sweater (no problem), the Gryffindor socks (should be manageable), and the Central Park Hoodie (unlikely, but it’s good to have goals). I need to finish up the transcribing I have to do, buy a bunch of stuff for Cuba including a new bathing suit, and clean the freaking house. In 18 days. Care to place any bets?

Luckily for morale, the weather has majorly improved, yesterday’s mountain snowstorm and the crapload of rain that was waiting for us in Edmonton aside. Not only is that actual green grass in those photos up there, but the tree next to the garage? Looks like this.

Spring

Hallelujah. I love spring.

The Gryffindor Sock’s Cultural Tour of Disneyland

April 10, 2007

I’m home. Sigh. I had all these plans about blogging while I was gone, but (a) the wireless was REALLY inconsistent in our room, (b) I was really freaking tired whenever I was in our hotel room and was usually asleep, and (c) I was barely in our hotel room. We also didn’t take very many photos. (I know. It was weird, and I’m a little annoyed – I have NO PHOTOS of Jana and only one of Ben. But they have a few photos, so I’ll get those from them and will put them up at some point.) Some days we didn’t want to haul the camera around, and Jamie forgot it once, and Jamie usually had the camera and isn’t an obsessive photo taker of people like I am. Anyway.

Fortunately, the first day I was there by myself, which left lots of time for a cultural tour with the Gryffindor sock! As you may recall, my first pair of Gryffindor socks for my sister went on a Cultural Tour of Britain last summer, so I decided that my own pair would be perfect to take to Disneyland. (I’m not knitting many socks at the moment, so I need to get these started so I can have them for a Harry Potter intensive July.)

Let me set the scene for you. On Tuesday, I got out of bed at 5:50am in order to leave home at about 6:20 or so for an 8:00 flight. When I opened the door to take a photo for the blog (even at 5:50am I’m thinking of you!), this is what I saw:

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Yeah. We had to have the plane de-iced before we could take off, so we were a bit late leaving and arriving. Fortunately, the flight was excellent. I had my own personal TV, so I got to watch The Holiday, which I LOVED. I knit on my Central Park Hoodie, which I’d packed as my secondary plane knitting. However, it was too early and I was too sleepy for Mountain Peaks, so I got all the way to the decreases on the back of CPH. Once we got to LAX, my luggage arrived fairly quickly (I’d tied some extra CPH yarn on the handles for easier recognition, since it’s such a bright green), and I was off to catch the shuttle. Which unfortunately took a while, but eventually I made it to my hotel, where I checked in, dumped my stuff, changed my shoes, grabbed my sock, and headed to the park.

The yarn I left in my main pouch of my purse, and the needle I tucked into a well-hidden part of my purse. I’d heard conflicting things about knitting in Disneyland (the official word is “sorry, no,” but as I quickly learned nobody actually seems to give a rat’s ass.) I had a variety of plans for how to get around this, but nobody even blinked at it even when they laid eyes on it, so my carefully planned subterfuge was totally unnecessary. Upon our arrival in the parks, the sock stayed in my purse for a while. After all, it wasn’t even in sock form yet, so it felt it should keep to itself for the first few hours.

The parks were really busy, so I got a fast pass for Buzz Lightyear and headed to California Adventures, where I rode Soarin’ Over California (one of my favourites, but the sock is apparently afraid of heights so it stayed stowed in the underseat compartment.) in the singles line, where I only waited about 10 minutes as compared to the 100 minute wait in the regular line (and man, was that satisfying!), and then we headed to Grizzly River Run where we both got wet. The sock was only a little damp thanks to my very reliable MEC bag, but it was still quite disgruntled. Fortunately, it was really warm that day and we both dried off quickly.

After that, I got another fast pass in California Adventures and headed back over to Disneyland. I went to get in line for the train, and when I realised how slowly it was moving, decided it was the perfect moment to cast on for my sock. I had a convenient spot on a bench, and made excellent progress on the cuff while chatting with two little girls who liked my green toenail polish. (I got a pedicure in anticipation of wearing sandals a lot.) The train finally showed up, and I went and got a fast pass and rode a few rides. I ended up waiting for the train AGAIN at the Toon Town station, by which point I managed to finish the cuff. (That was seriously the longest wait of the whole trip. For the train!)

After I had some dinner, I had a bit of time before my fast pass was valid, so the sock and I went on a photo shoot. It was hilarious. I couldn’t believe more people weren’t giving me weird looks, but I guess I’m still not the weirdest person in Disneyland.

Our first stop was a visit with one of my absolute favourites when I was a kid – Mary Poppins! I happened to see her and Bert show up, so there was virtually no line to see them. I wasn’t really bothered enough to wait in lines for characters, but with no line, I couldn’t resist…

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(As always, click on photos if you want to see larger versions.)

They were very nice and I actually had quite a good chat with them. They were very accomodating about the sock.

Next, we went to visit several other characters, but in a slightly different form.

There was Pluto

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(and unrelated to the sock, I hope you’re appreciating the difference in weather, here. Flowers! Warm sunny weather! I weep, I weep. It’s still snowing here today.)

Dumbo

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Minnie

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and Ariel.

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We then wandered over to the castle, where one of the Disneyland photographers kindly took a photo of us, again without blinking. All of this nonchalance about a person taking photos of a partially knit sock really makes me wonder what kind of weird shit they get asked about on a regular basis.

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We also saw some REALLY cute ducklings in the moat. They were teeny!

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(I do have better photos of the ducklings but they don’t have the sock in them. They kept swimming away if I was juggling the sock and the camera, so I put the sock away for a few minutes to take pictures of the duckies.)

Around the side of the castle is Snow White’s wishing well, and the sock wanted to make a wish. Luckily, I had a quarter.

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So the sock got to make a wish. (And although you can’t see them, there are other people around the wishing well. Didn’t even blink at a ball of yarn and a sock holding a quarter while someone took a photo.)

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Next, the sock decided to storm the castle!

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Unfortunately for the sock, I’m pretty sure that door is fake. So the sock decided instead to fulfill its lifelong dream of being a princess.

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(No, I didn’t buy my sock a tiara. I took that photo in the store. Although it does look awfully cute, doesn’t it?)

Perhaps then, if it has managed to become a princess, the sock is the rightful ruler of Britain!

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Nope, doesn’t look like it.

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The sock decided another route to fame and fortune might be more successful. Who’s the leader of the club that’s made for you and me? M-I-C-K-E-Y S-O-C-K!

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No? I don’t think they’d embroider Mr. Sock on the back of a pair of ears even if I had been willing to purchase it a pair. (Which I did not.)

Perhaps, then, the sock could get a few tips about becoming invisible from the master! Can you spot the sock?

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Anyway, the sock decided to abandon fame and fortune and concentrate on the rides. It thought about the teacups

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but eventually decided to start with Buzz Lightyear’s Astro Blasters!

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(I know, it’s an awful picture, but the line was moving really fast and it is HARD to take a photo with one hand while holding up a sock with the other and moving up a ramp while also trying to listen to your instructions for defeating Zurg!)

The sock got its own blaster

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and in the photo you can email yourself, the sock is heavily featured, but unfortunately it doesn’t seem to be working right now. (Seriously, the sock was doing the blasting in the official photo.)

Next up was Big Thunder Mountain Railroad. Since I’m such a fan of it, the sock was determined to ride despite the fact that it clearly wasn’t tall enough.

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But it managed to smuggle itself in inside my purse. It put down the lap bar

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but it clearly wasn’t doing much.

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So the sock rode in the little pouch for loose objects. It still seemed to have a good time.

We went back to the hotel at that point, and although we went back in the evening, I didn’t take any more photos, since it was dark and really crowded. The sock did get to ride Pirates of the Caribbean (where flash photography is prohibited), Space Mountain (where I was too busy going “wooooo!” to take the camera and sock out, and it totally wouldn’t have worked!), and wander around, although unfortunately the fireworks were cancelled that night. We had a good time together! I got quite a bit knit.

Unfortunately, after that first day, I wasn’t by myself anymore. (That part is not unfortunate – although I had fun by myself, it was a lot more fun with the others there.) However, I didn’t have nearly as much time to take sock photos the rest of the trip. The sock did make one final appearance in the Lego store, though!

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That was on Saturday night, and you can see how much I accomplished. I only knit in line for rides, and then on the shuttle to and from Universal that day, and by that point I was almost finished the gusset decreases, which I finished in the shuttle to the airport yesterday. I knit Mountain Peaks on the way home, since I didn’t have a tv this time and could concentrate on the shawl. The CPH and Mountain Peaks were on Denise needles, so I knew they’d get through security, but on the way home I risked my KP Circ for the sock. I made the airport party in Vancouver wait to make sure the sock made it through ok, but nobody even looked twice. Disneyland over 5 days, going in and out multiple times a day, Universal, and three airports – nobody even blinked. The only time I got any sort of remark about it was the flight attendant leaving LA who made me put it away until the seatbelt sign was off. All in all, it was a very successful knitting trip.

And a very successful trip altogether. We had a great time, did lots of fun stuff, enjoyed the weather (although it went down hill the last few days, it was still SIGNIFICANTLY better than here!), ate some very tasty food, and all in all had a fabulous time. Dear Disneyland, I miss you already. Love, Sarah.

Good thing it’s only six weeks until my next vacation. So what does one knit in Cuba?

"That was nice," said Plop. "What’s next?" *

March 25, 2007

First of all, thank you for all your nice comments on Rogue! I am very happy with it myself.

You’d think that after finishing Rogue, my very first sweater for myself, a beautiful and flattering sweater that I love so much, I might be at loose ends for what to knit. Now, I do, of course, have about fifteen other things on the needles. Since it’s been a while since I posted about anything other than Rogue, a baby sweater, and sock pal socks, let’s have a bit of a refresher, shall we?

In the “slow but steady” category, there is the Mountain Peaks shawl, which I am knitting with the gorgeous hand dyed silk my sister bought me for Christmas. (Beth, you should know that any time I’ve mentioned that my non-knitting sister bought me hand dyed silk for Christmas to another knitter, they have been VERY impressed. And that’s before I mention all the other yarn! Even my stitch and bitch friends, who think it’s weird that I knit for you so much, agree that it’s a good deal when I get such things in return.)

Uh, anyway. Shawl. Last time we saw Mountain Peaks, there wasn’t much of it, but it was going well. It looks approximately the same these days, but with another repeat of the same chart. So bigger, but with nothing new yet. I’ll take a photo when something new is happening, because let’s face it – in progress lace photos are basically a case of “and here is a slightly larger blob.” The knitting of this shawl has been greatly improved by the arrival of my Magnetic Chart Keeper from KnitPicks the other day. I would like it a little bigger, but it’s still extremely convenient. I actually forced myself to stop working on this the other day because I want to have plenty of it to knit while I’m on the plane. Since I’m flying by myself, I think lace will be perfect. Not too heavy, but interesting. (Not that flying with Jamie would really interfere with that. He has this weird capacity for doing nothing and will sit on a plane for three hours and do nothing except look out the window and maybe look through the in flight magazine. Weirdo. Flying with Jana involves much more giggling, but we’re all on different flights for this trip.)

In the traveling sock category is poor Rachel’s Christmas socks. The first sock is actually pretty much finished (I should finish it and cast on the second one, because I keep not working on it so I don’t run out of sock in an inconvenient place.), and yet I still haven’t posted a photo. That’s because they’re always in my purse. Sorry, Rachel! They will be done eventually.

In the pretending May is still REALLY far away category is one of the ongoing baby projects. It is making good progress. Given that I just heard about ANOTHER baby yesterday (one of Jamie’s relatives), I should really get on this. Photos on this one will not be around until post-gifting, as giftees are reading.

Now, you’d think that would be plenty to keep me busy. Knit on the sock when I’m out, work on the baby project when I’m home, knit an occasional row on the shawl but mostly save it for the plane. No problem!

But there’s that pesky knitalong nagging at the back of my mind. I have a lead! It’s not the end of March yet and I’m already done three sweaters! There’s still hope!

So I had no choice. I had to cast on for another sweater.

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This is the Central Park Hoodie. I cast it on Friday night while I was (impatiently) waiting for Rogue to dry, which took FOREVER. If the outside was dry, the inside was damp. If I turned it inside out, the outside got damp again. Argh.

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(I’m just about to do the second cable.)

Central Park is from the fall 2006 issue of knitscene, making this the first project I have knit from a print knitting magazine. Previous to this it’s been online patterns or books. I’m knitting it in a very bright shade of Cascade 220. (I actually forget the colour, and it doesn’t have a label because it’s a cone. Ack!) It is a very bright and cheery green – I’d probably call it a Kelly Green. It’s knitting up very quickly – the advantages of size 8s after a sweater knit on 5s! I’m hoping to finish up the back pretty quickly and then tackle the front sections before I leave, but we’ll see how the week shapes up. I am pretty busy this week, so that may be a pipe dream.

Of course, the real question is…how much knitting do I bring to California? The shawl for the plane, and some socks for lines. But do I bring the sweater for back up mindless knitting?

Oh, the dilemmas.

*The title of this post comes from one of my favourite books of all time, The Owl Who Was Afraid of the Dark, by Jill Tomlinson. It’s about a baby barn owl named Plop who is afraid of the dark. My entire family can probably recite a good 60% of it, and it’s a family classic. I highly recommend the audio book. (There’s also a decent but not quite as excellent picture book version, but the chapter book is better.) Plop is always hungry, and eats everything his parents bring him and follows it up with “That was nice. What’s next?”

Mmm, yarny.

March 22, 2007

Mmm, yarn. At my Stitch n Bitch last week, someone mentioned that the yarn store in one of the nearby suburbs was changing over to an online only store, and were having a closing sale. I’d only been there once before, but it was a nice enough store, although their pattern selection was ridiculously out of date. Still, a yarn sale is incentive enough for a 20 minute drive, and since I had a free Friday afternoon, I headed out to check things out.

It wasn’t actually quite as epic a sale as I’d hoped, but I still picked up a few things that I haven’t seen in many other stores around here, since everything was at least 10% off.

I picked up two bags of Mission Falls Wool, which I like for baby stuff. I got a nice turquoisey colour

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And kind of a burgundy-ish red that was really hard to photograph well. It isn’t this pink, I swear.

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(If you’re really interested, click through the pictures to my flickr account, where you can see closeups. Flickr is sucking tonight, though, so in the interests of posting EVER, I’m not going to put them here.)

I also picked up 7 skeins of Briggs and Little in a nice bright blue. I thought about using this yarn for my Rogue and then ended up with the Bartlett, but I might make a cardigan or something with this. Possibly a sweater for my mother-in-law. It was definitely a good deal!

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But the really good yarn I got last week is this.

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That’s Handmaiden Lady Godiva and it is absolutely glorious. Karen and Paul gave me a LYS gift certificate for my birthday (to which I say: woo!) and I decided that allowed me to justify the purchase of this kind of expensive but unbelieveably gorgeous yarn.

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Oh, man, it is nice.

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I have no idea what to make with it. I have two skeins. Suggestions welcome.

In other knitting news, Rogue is knit. It is not seamed, but it is knit. I am having a few logistical issues with the drying process, but soon! I’m hoping it’ll be dry by tomorrow so I can have photos for the Sweater a Month KAL update. Plus I want to wear it to Stitch n Bitch on Monday. Pictures to follow. Upon finishing it, I immediately began to work on Mountain Peaks, which is coming along really well. I finished the first repeat of chart one and have started in on the second. (Of three.) So far, so good! (Knock on wood.)

Batteries in the camera died, so hopefully more pictures will follow next post.

WIPs on Parade

January 19, 2007

I totally got out of the habit of taking pictures of works in progress during the Christmas Knitting Mania, because I knew I wouldn’t be posting them until they were finished. However, given the nature of the current WIPs, it will be a long drought without pictures if I keep forgetting to do photo shoots. (Do you like how I say that like before the Christmas knitting I took WIP photos all the time? I just flipped through my archives and the only WIP photos are of the sock’s cultural tour. Geez, I suck.)

Fortunately, I remembered this evening, and whipped out my new blanket, perfect for photo shoots. As I mentioned, I seem to be burgundy obsessed at the moment, so the nice light blue blanket that my in-laws bought us for Christmas will be excellent for photos of projects. I finally got around to putting the really good lamp next to my knitting chair (there is space thanks to the tidying now), so I hve reasonable light. I know you should take knitting photos in natural light, but we get very little light in our house (which has its advantages and disadvantages), and it’s cold and snowy out, and I don’t want to dump my knitting in the snow. So this will have to do. It’s a pretty bright light, so it will do the job for now. Better solutions will be pursued.

After my surprisingly successful monogamy around Christmas, I’ve gone back to my usual slutty knitting. It’s nice having so many things, actually – I have something different for every mood.

First up is the beginning of my beautiful, beautiful Mountain Peaks Shawl, pattern here. This pattern is fantastic. The only lace I’ve done is Branching Out and Pomatomus, yet I am following the charts with almost no trouble. (of course, I’m only on chart one!) Even better, when I was reading over the pattern in advance (!), I was confused about one thing emailed Miriam, and got a fast and helpful reply. Awesome! Two thumbs up for this pattern so far. We’ll see how I do when I get to the short rows.

This is the silk that Beth bought me for Christmas. It is very subtly variegated, which just makes the lace look like the sun is shining on it. Glorious! It is so shimmery.

Mountain Peaks 1

Mountain Peaks 2

It’s more burgundy and pink than it looks in those pictures – a great colour for me. I’m hoping it will go with the dress I’ll have for Erin’s wedding.

That’s right! Erin is getting married! Ashley proposed on her birthday (January 3rd), and they’re getting married next summer. (For those of you who don’t pay much attention to these things, Erin was my roommate before I got married, and she was the greatest roommate ever. We had a blast. Imagine my delight when she moved into the basement suite in our house last year! So now she’s my downstairs neighbour, and she was also a bridesmaid in my wedding.) Not only that, but she asked me to be her maid of honour! Whee! She’s leaning towards burgundy for dresses, so I’m hoping I can wear this. (Because let’s be honest here, my lifestyle does not really offer up too many opportunities to wear silk shawls.)

As previously mentioned, I have, after wanting it for well over a year, picked up Rogue. Flush with my success on Samus, I decided I was up to the task, and once I printed off the (awesome and well written) pattern, I felt pretty confident about it.

Here’s its progress so far.

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It’s in Bartlett 2-ply yarn, which is very sheepy and full of lanolin, which means my hands are way less dry than usual. (This is clearly an excellent winter knit for Edmonton.) It’s a bit scratchy, but when I washed my swatch (!) in wool wash, it got very cozy, so I think it’ll be perfect. It’s exactly the oatmeal-y colour I wanted.

I finished the kangaroo pocket at Stitch n Bitch the other night, which looks great. (It’s a little wonky in the photo because the needles are in behind it.

Rogue Kangaroo Pocket

I was a bit nervous about the closed cables (it says ADVANCED cable skils on the pattern, and I hate to presume about my own skills), but so far so good.

Rogue Side Cable 1

I am loving knitting this. The pattern is SO good, and it’s a great mix of mindless and attention requiring. Two thumbs up! My knitting is very satisfying at the moment, can you tell?

My log cabin baby blanket is also coming along well. I’m using Trillian’s technique to avoid some of the picking up, so it’s scrunched up in this photo because it’s all on one big circular. (I love interchangeables.) The colours are also so bright that they really don’t photograph well.

Log Cabin

I really like how the Crayon is looking in the log cabin style, and it’s so nice and soft without being too heavy. Excellent for babies – I will definitely be ordering more of this.

Log Cabin Closeup

And, finally, my thrum mittens. It’s been a bit neglected this week (so many projects to choose from means some get neglected), but one is done and the other is in progress. This is a Fleece Artist Thrum Kit. Highly recommended – it’s SO soft.

Thrums

Outside…
Finished Thrum Mitten

And inside!

Thrums!

My mother was so impressed with this that she actually sort of hinted that she’d like a pair! That’s totally unheard of for her. By the time I’d get a chance it’ll be spring (curse you, spring babies!) but I’ll hopefully be able to make her a pair for her birthday in November. (Somebody remind me in September when the babies have settled down a bit, ok? And nobody get pregnant for the next few months so I can have a lull.) She’d never heard of thrums before but apparently her hands get really cold, so it seems like the least I can do.

I have a few other things in the immediate queue – I promised a few things to people, and since poor Karen broke her hand she made a very pitiful request for a mitten that will go over her cast, which seems like a manageable project that will drastically improve her life until the cast comes off, especially once it gets colder. I’ll have to figure out the best way to do it once I see the shape of the cast tomorrow. We’re going to Calgary tomorrow (woohoo!), so we’ll hit the yarn stores and find some nice non-wool yarn to make her some broken hand mittens.

Isn’t that selfless of me? Going to the yarn store to buy yarn for my poor broken-handed friend? I know. I am a giver. Mmm, Calgary yarn stores.

Now the question is, what knitting to pack? Hmm. Decisions decisions. Unfortunately, due to broken hand I’m driving, so I won’t be able to knit with my snazzy new headlamp. Poo. Still, I’m sure there will be knitting time. Maybe I’d better just pack everything.