Sunday, February 26, 2006

Just Like Kristina Groves

While it wasn't a sluggish start, I didn't get out to a Cindy Klassen-like blistering start on this shawl. But I didn't panic at the countdown clock or when others were finishing ahead of me. I kept my composure and gave it all I had at the finish. It is my pleasure to present the Flirty Ruffles Shawl - Olympic Gold winner at these 2006 games.
And while the shawl is in excellent form, I needed the couple of hours sleep that were left before dawn.

There is little time for celebration as my next competition starts now. I have to complete the quint-coloured, fully-stranded fair isle sleeve and assemble the sweater for delivery in two days. Fortunately I am a life-time platinum card-carrying member of Team Caffeine. No worries Fiona!

Thursday, February 23, 2006

One Needle Wonder

I am finishing up the 11th row of the ruffle - finally!! Look - 2 days of didligent knitting and this is all I've go to show for it! I think that I am going to know off a quick garter stitch scarf after this just to feel productive again. (I think that this will be for the Dulaan project. Thanks Matthew!
I am using a 100cm (40") circular and I will be able to get all of the ruffle on it.
Kathy - I knit with my stitches very close to the tips. To facilitate this I have my left needle loaded so I don't have to shuffle the stitches up as much as others may. Here is what my needles look like as I prepare to knit.

Finish line in sight - if I squint a bit!

Tuesday, February 21, 2006


I am so easily distracted. It starts out by reading my favourite blogs. Then sometimes they will have an interesting link - gotta go! And then all of a sudden I've surfed to somewhere new and fascinating.
Long story short - I have a Johari Square. Wikipedia is awesome and now I also know a little bit about this tell me how wonderful I am self help tool. So, give it a go and help me learn something about how I real am!

I think that I'm really just putting off having to start that gigantic ruffle!! Kathy said that I will definitely need multiple circular needles for this - not that I'm not prepared, but still. I need one of those - whadaya call 'em? - coaches that atheletes have to help get their minds clear and focussed on the goal/finish line/prize.

Monday, February 20, 2006

Olympic gold?

Sorry for disappearing like that. I started feeling a cold coming on last Tuesday and the good news is that it never really kicked into high gear. The bad news is that it has lingered on, and on, and still on. I finally don't feel like a wad of horked up, spit out and crumbled-up in a kleenex crap, but I have a cough that rakes the inside of my chest like a wool carder ripping through cashmere. The good news is that in spite of a week of low-grade crapiness, I was not too ill to knit (that would be beyond illness and into a state called death). The even better news is that Thursday and Friday were inclement weather days!! I do believe that St. Christopher is not only the Patron Saint of bus drivers in general but of Olympic Knitting bus drivers.
Wednesday saw 4,444 sts knit on the Flirty Ruffles shawl.

Thursday 12,420 (Kyle was technically at home but was out with his friend Larry).
Friday 10,172 (Amanda had a PA day and Kyle was around more).
Saturday 11,142 (Kyle was
around a bit, but Kerwyn took Amanda to the Toronto Auto Show). The calculations were simple enough - I even forced asked Kyle to do a couple.
Hot toddys kept the cold symptoms quiet and didn't interefe with my knitting. Kewl. The muscles through my right shoulder blade took a beating, but that's what spa bathtubs & massage therapists are for. And this is the Fortius part of the games - a strong finish.
I think that I might really get this done in time - blocking & everything. Believe me, there was some doubt before those extra days off. Needless to say the progress is visually apparent and I'm proud to show you! Even though the ruffle is still a major chunk of knitting I am really looking forward to it. No, I do not have a secret life as a submissive.

I know that Fiona will be glad to hear that I have not abandoned her and I have been working, if not diligently then sporadically with enthusiam, on her sweater and have finished the first sleeve and am 25% through the 2nd one. No worries - the deadline is not in jeopardy.

I have also gotten some work done on the Lacy Scallop Socks in the LL Hawaii. I don't get it. There has been so much fudging going on with this simple lace pattern that my teeth are starting to hurt and yet - knock on wood - I have had no issues with the Flirty Ruffles Shawl. Maybe I'm some sort of lace knitting savant. hmmmmm I don't think that you can see the multitude of small goofs. I've taken the picture in a tropical plant to make you think of Hawai'i and distract you. Admit it, it worked - didn't it? hee hee more subtly demonstrated spy skills

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Not all Fun?

Once the drudgery is out of the way it is! By way of Samantha I found this candy heart generator and made a small change to the Turino Olympics motto. Now back to work for real.

Not all Fun ...

It's not all fun & Olympic games at Villa Prescod. Mundane life interupts regularily scheduled knitting like the commercials during your favourite program! But at least I'm stylish in my drudgery!

The Shawl is progressing with less and less apparent progre
ss. I know it's moving along because I move the ruler up the graph. However, when each row is 2 sts wider, visual confirmation of said progress is alarmingly lacking.

I am also working on the Top Secret Sweater which is also due come the end of February. I know.

I don't know how my Secret Pal does it, but these gifts show up just when I need a boost. Her (his? - I don't think so, but you never know ...) intuition about the little things that I like is uncanny. Sticky notes, magnets, a lamby Beanie Baby, a subtly vanilla-scented soap, stitch markers made with a letter W (I love Scrabble!!), and my kinda red!!! yarn. Thank you darlin'!!

Caffeine provides a fine boost of energy. But to really take it up a notch it must be accompanied by diabetic coma levels of sugar. Krispy Kreme has this down to a fine art which I savour and appreciate. MMmmmmmm Unfortunately there isn't one up here in Barrie, but that's probably just as well too.

Back to my knitting - Go (Knitting) Team Canada!

Sunday, February 12, 2006

And Miles to go before I Sleep

Blog entries are going to be slightly less wordy for the duration of the Olympics.
Pub Night: I took a few group pictures early on then got so caught up in knitting and meeting people and chatting that I didn't take any more. I had an awesome time - totally worth the drive and I will do it again for the Closing Ceremonies!!

has expressed her desire to be an Olympian Knitter. She has begun her Olympics by sorting out the tangle that used to be a ball of yarn so that she can knit a scarf.

Let my Olympic Experience begin!! From the humble beginnings on a bus, the Olympic Journey continued yesterday on the road. We had
shoes to buy (not as much fun as it sounds Julie - they weren't for me) and the we went to see The Chronicles of Narnia. It was very well done. Amanda actually fell asleep about 20 minutes from the end - she has been working very diligently on her "Towers, Tunnels, Domes & Dams" project. She chose the Sunshine Skyway Bridge.

I didn't knit on Flirty Ruffles at Pub Night - too many distractions & not enough chart-spreading around room. I didn't take the Top Secret Sweater. I'd make an awesome spy - I can totally keep a secret from most people!!
Instead I worked on the Naturally Easy sweater. After the 4x5 rib (I kept getting confused about whether it was k4, p5 or k5, p4!!) it was smooth - and as Amy noted - fast sailing. And besides, I don't want to get off to too swift of a start. This is a 16 day marathon and I need to pace myself so that I can finish strong. Yeah ... that's it!!

Kenny - The Top Secret Sweater is a sample for Fiona Ellis' next book. It actually is a secret so I am only bloggin the worst most un-knock-off-able pictures possible. Again, I point out that this is an essential 00-spy ability. Just sayin' ... And a simple but not insultingly so, engaging yest not mind-boggling so lace pattern? shameless self-promotion: I highly recommend my Knotted Openwork Scarf (easily made into a stole by doubling the cast-on # and length). Really though, Fiddlesticks has a lot of gorgeous lace patterns for a variety of scared-shitless adventure levels.

And as Stuntmother noted, the blog-world is pretty small and synchronous world. I had to talk to Krista as soon as I saw her in her Klaralund and we had a great gab!! She even took a short video of me knitting - it's on her site. It made Amanda & I laugh - check it out!

Friday, February 10, 2006

The morning of ...

I am sitting here in eager anticipation of starting my Olympic Journey. But 'til then, I will share what else is new in my knitting world.

Olympic athletes cannot reach their goals alone. Julie sent out the 3.5mm Addis that I need to do my Olympic Shawl. She sent them super fast and put in the Opal that I had her set aside for me. This sock
yarn has the Official Cheeky Monkey Stamp of Approval. It looks very enticing but I will have to satisy myself with lustful glances and fleeting fondles between hard-core knitting.

I also bought myself a music stand. No, I don't play anything now, though I learned the trombone in school. But it has been on my mind for quite awhile that a music stand would be the perfect tool for holding my charts for easy reference while I'm knitting. I don't lose them sliding off of my lap and struggle to try to make them lie flat. It rocks!!!

Cheeky Monkey is an endless source of amusement. That is, in between having to be chased away from ankles, yarn, paper and plants. Here is a cute little pic of him chasing his tail.

And the Top Secret Sweater is coming along nicely. The
front & back are complete and blocked. I started the sleeves last night and they are really fun! Here is the best most uninformative and useless picture that I have.

I will have lots of pictures from the Opening Ceremonies launch party (Toronto) to share with you, along with the progress of my Flirty Ruffles Shawl.

Tuesday, February 7, 2006

Bonus Post - My Demise

Fit fit fits.
You will perish of fits. Repeat this to yourself:

"Things can work out even if I don't get

my way. Things can work out even...."

What horrible Edward Gorey Death will you die?
brought to you by Quizilla

Heirloom Potential

How do you know which potatoes are easy? (I thought that this was hilarious - the punchline will be at the end of this post.)

Look-ey at what came in the mail yesterday!!! I actually
started dancing from foot to foot and babbling "ooooo, ohhhhh, look-ey!!". Poor Kyle kind of took it in stride and his friend Larry listened attentively patiently, humouring the obviously simple-minded woman who explained about the virtues of the different yarns and the stunning complexity of the pattern. Larry nodded politely and with a smile, but had this "those sound like words that I should understand, but WTF???" look on his face. I'm quite certain that Kyle made all sorts of explanations about me and Larry must have accepted them because they came back later like nothing had happened and ate the dinner that I prepared.
But you all can understand such a decline into "coherent-challenged"!! I mean, I'm doing Flirty Ruffles for the Knitting Olympics, but this is a whole new level of lace. Whew! The thought of knitting this engineering marvel is both exciting and scary at the same time.
Heirloom Knitting sent this and it came so fast that I am blown away! Excellent customer service and attention to packaging details. BTW, this is a limited edition release of 500 patterns that will not be re-released until 2010. no mug-wumping if you want this pattern people!! (Your mug on one side and your wump on the other as you sit on the fence.)

Speaking of the Olympics - I will be at the GTA pub night and I am totally stoked about launching this event with other Team Canada athletes! And I'll get my jersey - I'll have to try not to spill food and/or drink on it or my knitting. That'll be an Olympic challenge in and of itself (I'm messy neat challenged).

The back of the Naturally Easy sweater is almost done. Blogger is not uploading this picture - I think that even Blogger is in awe of my Heirloom pattern! I will try later. I may just bring this along to Pub Night just in case I can't see/pay attention to fine lace knitting. The 4th swatch for the Flirty Ruffles worked out just about perfect - you were right Jane. 3.5mm Addis did the trick!

Swallow whatever is in your mouth - the punchline is next.

They have a sticker that says "I da ho"!!!

Sunday, February 5, 2006

A Tale of 3 Swatches

Maybe I should have called this blog "What Wannietta Knit Yesterday!"

I'm not sure if this is a comedy or tragedy.
The 1st swatch was on 3.25mm Addis - too small. Next I tried 3.5mm bamboo - still a bit small in width. Up to 3.75mm Addis. This one is a titch big on the width and big on the length giving the stitches a loosey-goosey appearance, even for lace.
I would appreciate a second, third or -enth opinion from other lace knitters. I think that I will knit another mother-freakin' swatch on 3.5mm Addis. I just thought that the bamboos would be nice to knit on and they seem to have thrown a wrench in my swatch curve.
I will certainly be intimately familiar with these 24 rows of Chart
2. I hope that I will have enough yarn after all of this swatching, but will rip into my swatches if necessary.

I finally got into the Naturally sweater. I've got
a few ideas for a clever name but I'm going to bounce them off of Julie before settling on one.
This is going to be a basic v-neck man's sweater. I went with a 4 x 5 rib because in my experience most men don't like a fitted, tight ribs, especially at the waist/hip. I think this will make it more "young man" friendly.

And it is winter again! While we didn't get the 30+ cms of snow that was called for, Kyle and Kerwyn shoveled off about 15-20 cms between last night & this morning.
Our power was off for a couple of hours last night. Kyle was bored stiff and he shoveled the driveway rather than read. I played some board games with Amanda then laid in bed with her reading until the power came back on.
Hydro One is going to get a call from me regarding "Tracy". After 45 minutes on hold, I expect some information on what is going on. I also - as a paying (on time, I might add) customer, I expect this information relayed with courtesy and respect. While I'm sure that there were irate and rude people calling in, I was not one of them. Even after asking if the rest of the street was also out of power then asking if I had checked our main breaker - like we supply the power to the neighbourhood!! - I maintained my composure. And when she said that they weren't sure what had happened and were looking into it, I was kinda flip. "So what - are they just driving around in trucks looking for a downed line?" But considering that she is sitting in a lighted office building somewhere with heat still pumping in and things not getting warm and melty in her freezer, I think that I could expect better than her bitchy reply and then hanging up on me! Homey don't play dat!!

Edited to add:

Friday, February 3, 2006

Just in Time

As the snow begins to fall gently on the small northern town, panic quietly begins to spread. An unseasonably warm January has lulled this community into sporting a fall-like wardrobe and the white fluff swirling through the air is shattering their illusions. A lone citizen braves the alien landscape because she has a newly completed weapon against these Flakes of Death. So confident is she that she was seen laughing at this White Invasion. Fear not good citizens - winter can be defeated!!! Take heart and knit - knit now!!!
This Shedir fits a lot better - I re-knit it on 3.5mm needles.
Samantha - I used the Rowan Calmer called for in the pattern - it is very soft and cozy.
Robin - For my Jaywalkers, I used Regia Color #5440 (party color) and yes, it is the 4ply. I used 2.5mm needles and knit the large size.
Kenny - Yes, the Daisy Meadow Scarf is for a client; the same one for whom I am knitting the Flirty Ruffles Shawl. (for anyone curious about knitting 2 socks using the Magic Loop technique, Kenny is doing a tutorial on his blog!)

I also did a swatch on 3.25mm needles for the FRS yesterday. Isn't it lovely?! It is a bit small though, so I will be knitting another swatch today on a 3.5mm. Once I get the needle size down pat I will have to order a couple of long circular needles to do the ruffle. I am not scared or worried yet about the deadline - Olympic adrenaline or delusions of speed? Time will tell.