Wednesday, 30 September 2015

September and August Finished Objects

Finished Objects!

Scollay Cardigan by Karie Westermann

Love love love love this cardigan! I knit it in the suggested wool, New Lanark Mill DK which is wool tweed with silk slubs, in the colour Milano (I keep forgetting if it's Milano or Verona - both are lovely, I got the pinker one). I knit the XL size, my gauge was a tiny bit larger than the pattern recommends which I accounted for in the length but not the width as I wanted a smidge more room than the XL but not as much as the XXL. I also knit the sleeves flat, rather than have to figure out if my gauge was different in the round (hint, it almost always is). I bought several sets of buttons trying to find the right ones for the cardigan. One set was the right colour but the wrong size and the others were all the right size but the shade of pink. I picked coconut flowers that had been glazed pink on the front and attached them wrong side up so the pink is against the wool. It works surprisingly well.

Full Hap by Gudrun Johnston

I finished this back in July before the end of the Hapalong (hap knit-a-long) but it was a gift so I couldn't share a picture. I bought the pattern along with the craftsy class and I loved everything about it. I loved participating in the Hapalong, I loved watching the craftsy class and listening to Ms Johnston - it was very soothing and interesting if that makes sense, and I loved knitting the pattern and seeing all the different colour combinations people came up with. Three of my colours are from Judith Glue a little tourist tat shop in town except instead of tat they largely stock things made in Orkney. The yellow, green, and light blue were each £10 and described only as "100g 100% lambswool". The blue is mystery wool from my stash, described only as "£4.00" on what looks like a charity shop tag. The bright blue was heavier than the others, but worked well enough and, I think, largely made the shawl. I'm sad to say that I don't have a great feeling that the woman I gifted the shawl to will love it in the way we hope any knitted gift will be loved, but such is the nature of life, right?

I'm using the three Orkney colours to knit a half hap in between other projects (it started as my travel project to Amsterdam but despite the four hour delay leaving, I only got about 20 sts knit the whole trip). The half-hap is so much faster to knit than the full size one that I'm ready to accuse everyone who knit one in the KAL of cheating or witch craft or something. I'm on the edging now and I've decided to knit back and forth, rather than turn it around every 8-15 stitches. It's not really fast yet, but it may get there as my left to right knitting improves. I may have enough wool left over to knit another half hap with the third colour as the centre.

Brainless by Yarnissima

These are "brainless" socks, one of my two default toe-up sock patterns, in a cotton-blend Opal sock yarn. I started them before Easter and finished them in time for Autumn. That's how long it takes me to knit a pair of socks, for a value of knitting that mostly involves knitting while following Little Djinn around the floral hall. I'm proud of myself for getting the stripes to match up, though I seem to have done the heels differently and the second way doesn't fit as well. Also, the stripes somehow got off on the second cuff. I don't care enough to redo them. I wore them yesterday when it was really hot (20C/70F) and my feet were too hot even with the cotton, so I doubt I'll bother with cotton blend wool socks again, especially as I didn't really like any of the colours, these are just the ones I disliked the least.

The good news is that, while I was knitting these, I found out that my favourite yarn dyer uses Opal's regular sock yarn as the base of one of her sock yarns so I can get the wool I like in colours I love instead of just being okay with!

Fudge by Barbara Prime

Fudge the Dog was a kit from Knit Now magazine and as soon as it arrived in late May Little Djinn insisted I knit it. I mentioned her a few months ago, but I don't think I ever posted a picture, so here she is in all her glory. The kit included the yarn and eyes and Little Djinn loves her. The current issue of Knit Now magazine has a kit for Puss in Boots by the same designer so if you think she's cute you can knit something very similar and get a very nice magazine not very much. I knit everything but Fudge's body in the round instead of flat to save seaming up, and as Puss doesn't have the spots I'll probably knit her entirely in the round.

Mithral Hat by Carol Feller

In preparation for her next pullover KAL, Carol Feller released a hat pattern using the same stitch pattern which was a bonus pattern for buying the pullover pattern in advance and can be used as a swatch for the sweater. High from the yarn fumes after finishing my Scollay, I bought the pattern and ordered the yarn (also discounted in September from Purlescence) and quickly knit it up. Then I blocked it and realized it's a disaster, so I frogged it (the knitters out there all gasped in shared pain at frogging a brushed yarn) and re-knit it on larger needles. I just cast off the second attempt today, blocked it over a balloon in front of the space heater, and took a picture. I still need to measure to get my gauge so I'll be ready when the first part of instructions (it's not really a "clue" when we know what the finished garment will look like) are released tomorrow. And, yes, Mithral is a LotR reference.

Beanies and their longer cousin slouchies don't do anything for me, but the hat has already been claimed by my little knitwear model (protip: don't hire a model who wants to do a photo-shoot whilst bouncing on the bed unless you have a much better camera than the one in my phone).

Monday, 28 September 2015

Wow, It's September Already

Wow, it's September already! and the last few days of September at that :-/ I had that horrific realization (wait, it's September already? the 27th? how did that happen?) at work yesterday and my only explanation is that time stopped for me back in mid August when we moved house. That's was about as un-stressful as such a thing can be (we hired movers to pack and move us, we stayed at a hotel whilst it was happening, the weather was perfect) and then after half a week to get settled, we went to Amsterdam for 2 nights so Chris could attend a conference, which could have been better (four hour delay leaving, Little Djinn was only kept from hysteria taking off and landing by having me lean over and cuddle her the whole time, Chris walked out on his conference halfway through the first day, Little Djinn wanted to be carried the entire time and by the end of the trip my wrists were burning agony at all times). The following week, September, my mother arrived for a three week visit. Phew.
The best news is that Little Djinn got on wonderfully with Grandma. About five minutes after G'ma arrived, they were cuddled on the sofa together reading stories and G'ma is now a favourite. Yesterday, Little Djinn told Daddy that she needed to use my pad to see (skype) G'ma and ask her to come sit at the table and play. When we Skyped on Sunday she climbed up on my lap and said, "It's Grandmama! We miss you Grandmama!" which was made all us adults die of cute.
The move went smoothly enough, and we were largely unpacked inside the house before we even left for Amsterdam. The garage is another story: we don't talk about the cave of boxes-ahem, the garage. Oliver and Libby (Oviler and Libbily to Little Djinn) spent the move and Amsterdam trip at Kitten Summer Camp and spent the first few days (Libby) / weeks (Oliver) slinking about the house skittishly but now run around like mad (confident) things. Oliver spends most of his time in my side of the closet (I put his cat bed in there after the first few days) or under the quilt on our bed. At the old house he stayed in the closet in the nursery, so this is his normal. Libby sleeps on our bed.
Little Djinn has all the words and pretty complex sentences. This morning Daddy asked her if she'd like some juice and she told him "No, I'm eating a bikkie. Afterwards, please." She's a lot better about eating "real" food, but still prefers to be fed, and most of the time you have to follow her around popping food in her mouth to get her to eat. Left to her own devices she just gets really really hungry and falls apart, she doesn't think to eat. She's also completely not interested in potty training, though she no longer stars screaming if you suggest some day she might pee in a potty so that's progress, right?
Playdough is still a big part of our lives, but cars are probably the favourite toy right now and colouring is on the rise. We went to a birthday party for a friend, T, who will be moving to England soon (nooo!) and Little Djinn was only happy when hiding in the masterbedroom with as many cars as she could carry. There were 10 or so toddlers at the party and Little Djinn ran away from all of them. One in particular kept taking things from her, and the one time we got together with a friend since then Little Djinn literally ran screaming from her. Socializing, not going so great. We didn't sign up for any classes or activities this past session with how much we had going on, but the next set of sessions start *cough* this week so we'll get to try again.
We love living in the new house. It's very beautiful up here, next to the woods, and we have red squirrels in our garden. Chris and I have both expressed surprise that we haven't missed looking out at the river. Our across the street neighbour is a family I know from PEEP and baby massage, way back when, with two boys, a two year old and a two month old.