Friday, 31 October 2008

The worst

The worst has happened! (Well, the worst thing possible in the wizarding world!) And just when I thought things were pretty bad, they just got worse!

So, a few days back a friend of mine sent me a link to the international trailer for Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince (which is totally different than the North American trailer by the way). Obviously I got super excited yet again about all things Harry Potter. With the red hair, about 4 years ago I made an easy Halloween costume of being a Weasley my crocheting myself a Gryffindor Scarf. Its Maroon and Gold and the longest scarf too. I love that scarf.
Last summer when I was reading Deathly Hallows, I decided to make my friend who had commented on my Gryffindor scarf (because I wore it all of the time) a Ravenclaw one. Because he is just so Ravenclaw. (Not to be confused with being just so Raven.) Blue and Bronze. None of this blue and silver or blue on blue. I made it with the real Ravenclaw colours and he loved it. I loved it too. And really, I figured it was more of a Ravenclaw than a Gryffindor anyways, even with my red Weasley hair. So I got a little more yarn and made one for me! It's now my work scarf. What I wear when I have to go into the freezing cold lab, or on days when the BA actually gets cold.

But back to this week. I was all super excited about the new movie, but annoyed that it won't be out until next summer. But still excited. My friend and I were analyzing the international trail, and as hard as we thought we couldn't figure out why it seemed there was a scene with a burning house. It didn't seem to fit with anything. So after that conversation, I tried to figure it out by doing some googling. I didn't find anything then, but some combination of 'Harry Potter' and 'house' got me to a sorting hat quiz that tells you what house you would have been sorted into at Hogwarts.

Obviously I took the quiz....
I almost can't even say it....
it's just too horrible to even think!
I'm a Hufflepuff.
I'm the default house!
The no one else will take you house!
Why? Oh Why?

And just when I thought things couldn't get worse... they did!
I mentioned my sad hufflepuff-ness to someone who said (& this is close to direct quote) - "Yeah. You are totally a hufflepuff!"
WHAT?!?! People think I'm a Hufflepuff!? Not just some silly questionnaire? Oh the horrors. I'm crying badger tears over here. I still think that the quiz is somewhat stupid, but if in fact I am a Hufflepuff, I guess there is just one thing I can do: Get some canary yellow and black yarn and make myself a new scarf.
PS - Seeing as nanowrimo starts tomorrow, and I am participating once again, I am quite sure that my knitting productivity will go drastically downhill over the next month. So, I expect posts to be few and far between.

Sunday, 26 October 2008

That Afghan

Here's the other craft I've been working on, oh, so diligently. It's slow and steady with afghans, and that's what I'm doing.

I'm on my third (or is it 4th?) ball of yarn for this one, and the more of the afghan I get done, the more I like it. I hated it when it was just a small strip of an afghan. But with every repeat, it gets nicer. 
But, to be honest, now that I know it's a girl, the red might be a bit much. But at least it won't be too baby-ish. Maybe this could be used into toddler-hood. Maybe? Well, a girl can always dream, can't she?

Frogging and knitting update

Beyond a shadow of a doubt, one of the things I hate most about knitting, is frogging. I try my hardest to NEVER have to do it. I hate it. I hate seeing stitches disappear. I hate seeing all of that hard work get unraveled. 
At the same time, I'm somewhat of a perfectionist, and I know frogging is necessary. I'm sort of like a inconsistent perfectionist. Sometimes I just HAVE to do something perfectly and will take something wrong out no matter how small the mistake is. Other times, I'll let it go, telling myself: "No one is ever going to see this mistake."
I guess it just matter of how noticeable the mistake is going to be. And how much I care about the project. Or how much I care about the person the project is going to. 

Well, I really do love that nephew of mine. I've restarted his sweater twice! Frogging at least 4 hours of work in the process! The first time I had to frog because I was stupid and used the wrong set of needles. I did the sizing swatch with the set of size 6 needles, but didn't think about what size I needed to use to start. So I cast one, and started knitting. Then reading ahead in the pattern, it tells you to switch to the larger needles. Umm - the size 6 are the larger needles in the pattern. I should have been using the size 4 to start. So I frogged.
I told myself I'd be careful the next time, and so I cast on the project again. I was feeling good about myself when I got to change to a different size needle part, glad I was right on track. But that's the thing. I wasn't on track. I started working on the twisted tree part of the pattern, and something just didn't match up. At first, I thought the pattern was wrong... but with a little more investigation, some math and then some counting, I found out that the pattern was right and I was wrong. Instead of casting on 138 stitches, somehow I cast on 128. So, what to do? I thought for a moment about making it as is, and modifying  the pattern as I go to be okay with 128 stitches, but that seemed like it would be more of a headache in the long run than just frogging. So that's what I did. 
And then I started to wonder - Universe! Are you trying to tell me to make Xavier a different sweater? There was no answer obviously, so I just decided to push through and start again. Here it is thus far, with one repeat of the twisted tree pattern done. 

And as a final update on the Aunt Again sweater - here it is with the buttons sewed in place. You can't tell, but they are little fishbowls and pretty cute if I do say so myself. 
(Oh, and I found out my sis in law is having a girl! So maybe more girly baby things to come...)

Monday, 20 October 2008

Fetchings and being a little annoyed

Has anyone else had this happen to them? I bought needles at my LYS two weeks ago, and when I got home I realized that I already had a set of #3 DPN! Oops. And to add insult to injury, I didn’t even need #3 for my project. I really needed a set of #4 DPN. So I bought needles I already had and really didn’t need! Well, I needed to get my yarn for the fetchings (seen below) so I took them back to the store this weekend, hoping to return them. I had the receipt, but they wouldn't let me return them. I asked if I could exchange them, but no dice. The package wasn't open - it was obvious I hadn't used them and then decided to return them. Supposedly they have a 24hr return policy on knitting needles. What's up with that? They aren't open Sundays and close at 5pm on week days. How am I supposed to get there any day except Saturday? There is absolutely no way I can get to the store 24 hrs later, even if I had realized they were wrong. But, get this. They will take yarn back up to 90 days after purchase. Weird. I think so. I guess they don't want people using needles for a project and then returning them. But this was not that. I say again - the package was still obviously sealed.
Anyways, luckily they weren’t bamboo needles or anything, so they weren’t too expensive. But I was still annoyed.

But, onto my weekend project. The Fetching! I love them. Relatively.
I loved working with the yarn. Berraco Ultra Alpaca. It’s a nice thickness and has a nice feel.

There are a few things that I would change about the pattern if I was going to do it again. I would add another repeat of the cable at the top and I’d lengthen the thumb. Maybe it’s just me, but I’d rather that the fetching cover more of my hand than they do when you make them as the pattern explains. Similar beef with the thumb. Otherwise, the pattern was fun to do. I love cables, and used a real cable needle for the first time on this project. (I’d always just sort of worked it without the needle or with a spare #3 DPN (ha!) on other projects if that makes sense. It didn’t always work out well.) I was a little surprised that there isn’t a gusset on the fingerless gloves, but to be honest, it does sort of work without it because of the way the ribbing is done.

So, they are in the mail and I hope the best friend likes them.

Friday, 17 October 2008


Who is excited about knitting right now? Me. I’m very, very, very excited!
Why am I so excited? Because last night my best friend sent me an email saying that her quilting room is freezing. Only 10C! (She lives in Canada and the room isn’t on the main heating.) And the exact moment I read the sentence I knew what I had to do. I HAD to make her arm warmers! I LOVE arm warmers! Adore them! Always have! I wear them ALL of the time. Even when my coworkers look at me like I’m an idiot for wearing them, I just smile and pull them a little snugger.
So any chance to convert someone into my way of thinking about arm warmers, I am so there. Especially when it’s my bestest friend.
I thought about making her full on arm warmers up to her mid-bicep, but she wasn’t so keen on those. But she did like the idea of wristlets. So wristlets it will have to be. After numerous emails with possible patterns, the choice was for fetchings. Dark ones. (picture below is from the pattern, and hopefully mine will look similar.)

So I will be going back to my LYS this weekend in search of just the right yarn to quickly knit up a pair of finglerless gloves for her. Because they are the best, and she is the best.

Tuesday, 14 October 2008

Aunt Again, Afghan

The most surest way to get me to start knitting/crocheting with a vengeance is to tell me that someone I know is pregnant. Baby things are so much fun to knit. And when the person who tells me they are pregnant is my sister in law, well, can imagine my productivity has shot through the roof!
That's who I made the baby sweater for. It's blue, but that doesn't mean the child is a boy. It's still early enough that they haven't found out the sex yet. But that hasn't stopped me. I still don't have the buttons to finish for the sweater (although I did find one to use to finish the calorimetry), but I've moved on to the baby afghan.

Here it is(as of a few days ago): 

I'm not sure if I like it or not. It's a new set of crochet stitches. A single, a half double and then a double crochet, skip 2 chains repeat. I think I've made it too wide and will need to buy more yarn to get any sort of a blanket shape. I'm also not sure about the holes in it.

Saturday, 11 October 2008

Calorimetry and my Aunt Again sweater

If only I had buttons! Then I'd be done two projects. Seriously. I would. 

So I knitted like mad yesterday. I was having a lot of fun with the Calorimetry pattern that I found on ravelry, and I just had to try it! And I knew just who to try it for. And I knew just what yarn to use. It was like fate. Or destiny! (um... yeah. maybe not destiny.) So as soon as I was done this little baby sweater

(minus the buttons, which I'm going to try to remedy today) I grabbed the frogged yarn and started. 

I frogged the yarn as I was updating my ravelry stash last weekend. There are a bunch of great things that have come from ravelry. (Can you tell I'm in love?) One has been the free patterns. I'm always on the look out for a new pattern. Right now I need a sweater pattern for my 2yo nephew X. I've found a few possible ones on ravelry, and now I have to decide which one to do. Another good thing has been organizing stuff. I've found all my needles and logged them and put them in the same place. Now I know what I need for certain projects and what I already have. Same for my yarn. It's been catalogued, and now I know what I have to work with. I also frogged about 90% of my unfinished projects. 

That's where I got the yarn for the Calorimetry. Three years ago at the insistence of my best friend, that her other best friend would die of happiness if I made her arm warmers our of this yarn we saw, I bought the yarn and proceeded to make one arm warmer and never get any further. Yup. That's me for you. All good intention. No follow through.

But when I saw the pattern, it was just perfectly MC, that I had to make it for her. So I did! 
As you can see, the yarn does not compliment my hair colour at all. And if I was going to make it for myself, I would definitely not do the 15 repeats that are in the pattern. I'd make it a little smaller. Maybe 11 repeats? Perhaps I just have a small head, but I had a hard time making it lie flat. 
But I still really like it and do think I'll make one for myself. 
After I try a Tudora for my sister. And the February sweater for me. And the baby afghan. And the legwarmers. And I found a HP bag I might want to try and I think I have enough yarn to do. See! Ravelry is great... but I might just spend the rest of my life knitting. Forget socializing... that is... unless I can bring my knitting along. 

Wednesday, 8 October 2008

Pushing all my buttons...

You gotta be kidding me!

That's what I was thinking this morning when I found out that the buttons I bought for the 'Aunt Again' sweater are too big. Too big! Ack. Seriously. They don't fit through the holes. No joke. And they are such cute buttons too. Now what am I going to do?! 
Okay, okay. I know what I'm going to do. Buy smaller buttons. But what do I do with the buttons I already have? I wonder if I can return them... Otherwise I have 9 blue buttons with which to use at some point in the future. 

But hey - other than the button size, I really like the way that the sweater turned out. Even though I make a mistake on the 'mistake ribbing', I still like it. (I did knit rows for the purl rows and vice versa. I think it just means that the ribbing doesn't stick out as much... oh well.) But yay. 5 months early... 
Now I just have find a PATTERN for the nephew I already have and make him a sweater before Christmas! Eek. 

Saturday, 4 October 2008


I'm on Ravelry. Finally.
I've been reading blogs for months and months where other people link to things on ravelry and I've always thought that it was some very secret society. Or at least some society where they wouldn't let people like me in! Silly people like me. You know, one of those ones where someone has to give you in invitation. Like gmail used to be before it was open to all us lay folk.
Well, I was wrong. All I had to do was request an invitation and wait a few days, and voila! I'm in. And I'm in love already! Really I am. I love that I can organize my yarn and needles and wip and everything! 
So guess what I'm doing today!? 
I'm going to organize all things craft related. (It's about time!) and then I'm going to craft like a runner on steroids. Or something like that... I'm going to craft a lot. Yay.