Hedgehog Knits

Adventures in knitting from the eastern edge of Canada.

Sunday, September 30, 2007

Taking in strays

Wow, how did three weeks go by so quickly??

Today I bring you a little rescue knitting that I've been working on. One of my aunts, who is quite a good knitter, started this lace pullover for her daughter. Despite her uncertainty and lack of experience with lace charts, an employee at our LYS convinced her that she would be able to tackle this pattern. And it probably would have been alright if the pattern was at least well written.

Alas, the pattern (from a back issue of Knit 'n Style) has many errors and ambiguities, and doesn't really explain how one is supposed to alter the charts when faced with armhole decreases, neck shaping, ad sleeve increases. In the interest of getting this gift finished in a reasonable time (I think that it was originally intended as a gift for last Christmas!), I decided to take it in and work on it in my spare time (whatever that is!). It came to me with the biggest part of the knitting already done - both the front and back up to the armholes. I actually just have one sleeve cap to finish now, but it looks like I have to go track down one more ball of yarn.

It's a nice yarn to work with : Mandarin Petit by SandnesGarn. I think I counted 7 plies of cotton. It's quite soft, and about a sport weight. Makes for some fine detail on a sweater.

The other "stray" that I've taken in lately is a cute little cat who has been hanging around the house for the past six weeks or so. Molasses ("Lassie" for short) was a skinny little black thing when she first wrapped herself around my ankles as I was hanging out clothes one Saturday morning. She had no collar, and seemed very hungry, so we've been feeding her and fattening her up a little, and Nick and I intend to take her with us when we move into our own home. Which leads to the next exciting news....

We put in an offer on a house in downtown St. John's this morning, and the offer was accepted! We still have to go through home inspection, and the deal won't close for a full month. But we're well on our way to having our own home! We're very excited. After a full month of searching and viewing houses, this one, though a little bigger than we really need, seems like a place where we will be happy to put down roots. We loved it from the first minute we stepped in the door. And we'll be able to walk to work.

So, lots going on here, with precious little time for knitting. Next time though, I hope to bring you photos of the first finished Accordion jacket - almost done!!

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Monday, September 03, 2007

Actual knitting

I finally managed to take a little time to myself this weekend - a little guilty pleasure for the holiday weekend. And nothing goes better with a work-free Sunday afternoon than a new knitting project. I haven't done that in a while! To say nothing of writing two posts in one weekend.

I dipped into the Knit Picks yarn that arrived a couple of months ago, and started an Accordion jacket for one of the very little people in my extended family. I may not do too much holiday knitting this fall, but I do intend to make two of these for the boys. This is size 3 years in Swish Superwash, which is worsted weight, making it a fairly quick knit. I've already done the back and half of one of the front pieces.

So far, I love the yarn. This is my first Knit Picks purchase and above all, it's very soft. I am allowing for a little bit of vertical shrinkage, as this yarn does have a bit of a reputation for that. Just to be sure, I plan to machine wash and dry the pieces before assembly.

After a couple of years of experience knitting for the babies and toddlers of the family and receiving feedback from parents, I have learned a couple of important things. Firstly, all members of my family are genetically predisposed to having large heads. Even the babies. This means that pullovers are much more likely to go on if they have a button closure on the shoulder. Secondly, most little boys really hate to have you put anything over their heads. Struggling with an uncooperative kid with a big head means that short zippers in the front of the neck are especially out of the question, as they usually end up stuck in somebody's eye. I hope that this jacket will be loved and worn for a long time because it will involve minimal hassle to get it on, and the ribbed texture makes for a very stretchy jacket that should give quite a bit of room to grow.

Now that I know the yarn will work with the gauge for this pattern, and KP has introduced new heathered colours for this yarn, I plan to order a little more. The second Accordion will be a slightly bigger size 4 years; I'm thinking squirrel heather grey with Dublin green trim. And while I'm ordering, this might be the perfect opportunity to finally get me some good lace blocking wires. But that's all. Really.....

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Saturday, September 01, 2007

Checking in

Wow, time has certainly been flying these last few weeks. There has not been much knitting - just a little progress on the Tofutsies socks while flying. That's right, I'm happy to report that while being the most confusing and least intuitive airport that I have ever had the displeasure of navigating, the Heathrow security staff had no problems at all with my 2.0 mm metal dpns. Just don't try to bring any killer shampoo onto a plane!

I had a productive work week in Manchester and got to spend most of the weekend exploring on my own. I toured the City Centre, checked out the historic canals (birthplace of the Industrial Revolution, so they say), visited the John Rylands Library, and saw a very good local production of West Side Story at the Palace Theatre.

The Gothic-style John Rylands Library

Manchester Town Hall

Peter Street, in the City Centre

The architecture is quite nice in Manchester, and I really enjoyed the short visit. I didn't manage to make it to any of the museums and galleries on this trip, but it sounds as if I'll be spending quite a bit of time in the city in the months to come, so I'll save them for another time.

Life has not slowed down much around here. I'm still trying to dedicate evenings and weekends to the last round of thesis revisions, so I haven't had time for much knitting or anything fun really. I had to register for one last semester as a part-time student, but I am looking forward to a thesis defense later this fall. It will certainly be nice to have it all done and be able to have some guilt-free spare time!

I have not been keeping up very well in blog-land lately, but I'll re-emerge before Christmas, I'm certain. Thanks for bearing with me!

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