Garden of Fuzz

Friday, March 31, 2006


Need I say more? You can guess what that extra ‘F’ stands for.

What a week. I finished P’s birthday present, but couldn’t find my camera last night before delivering it. I made him a surprise flying spaghetti monster, and he promises to send me a picture of FSM, which I will happily put up. Many thanks go out to the creator of the pattern, Sherry W. raMEN.

Michael’s sweater is going well, though I’ve only finished the front part and half of a sleeve since last week. I expect much knitting to be done the next couple of days – VIVE LE WEEKEND! -- and hope that my lovely man will be wearing his new sweater next weekend as we peruse the sad condition of the back lawn and garden.

Due to the AWOL nature of the camera this week, instead of a project in progress, here is one of our many fuzzy pets, reclining beside our wool rug (at least there’s some wool – Simon’s fur is too short to spin). Simon is a Holland lop, weighs about 4 pounds, has the run of the house, and frequently buzzes as he hops along. He’s very affectionate and shows his jealousy of the knitting by snipping any yarn left within his reach. He doesn’t know the words to “Simon in the Land of Chalk Drawings” (song link here), for which he was named. But we sing it to him anyway.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Tuesday only?

Yesterday, I thought it was Tuesday, today, even though I know it’s Tuesday, feels like a Wednesday. Wednesday means west-end pub night, during which much knitting gets done and good friends are seen.

However, today is Tuesday.

What to report? I am not so diligent with this blog as I suppose one should be. I really must figure out how to get one of those lovely “In Progress” bar graphs like Michelle has, up on this page. Some visual appeal would certainly help.
St. Patrick’s Day was pleasant, not the usual loud carousing, but still a good time overall. I knit about eight inches on Michael’s sweater, gave J her knecklace, and was pleased to see some folks I haven’t seen in a while.

The knecklace loops were a bit fiddly to shape; I wound up using some teeny tiny dpns to work them, after several spritzes of water throughout the process; it reminded me of louse-checking day in primary school (ahh, memories). Once the loops were shaped, several gentle blasts of steam from the iron kept things together. No word on the current state of the knecklace from J… hopefully wee B has not gotten her pudgy little paws on it just yet.

Last Wednesday evening, I went to a meeting of the Downtown Knit Collective with some friends. It was stimulating to see all those knitters, and I came away promising myself I would give cables a try in the near future thanks to the guest speaker, Fiona Ellis. I even recognized several people that I see frequently on the subway, most notably a lady with a really original and fun dress sense – love that furry spotted coat and fish purse! I managed to escape the meeting with only one new book in tow, Loop-d-Loop, and am currently leafing through it several times a day trying to decide which pattern to begin. Once I figure out how to put up that progress graph, I’ll add that to it as well.

Tonight I am dropping off some yarn at the Toronto Humane Society, where I volunteer cuddling and socializing their small furry animals. THS accepts donations of yarn for their group of senior knitting volunteers; these ladies (and perhaps some gentlemen) knit up cozy blankets for the many cats in the shelter. Since spring is just around the corner, there will soon be dozens of kittens all needing blankets. Go knitters!

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Knecklace Knot Knitting Knicely…

…at least for me. I am on my second attempt with the knecklace, having had a few problems. One, the gauge swatch I knit and the calculation I derived from it for my substitute yarn did not jibe; two, despite having very small mammals as beloved pets and otherwise being very dextrous, I seem to be an absolute brute when it comes to manipulating slipped stitches.

The silk yarn fuzzes and pills; perhaps I am manhandling it as well. It is my first time working with silk yarn and I am not sure if there are any rules for careful handling. Now I am keeping everything in its own plastic bag, and unraveling from the ball only as much as I will knit in a half-row instead of pulling free several feet so as to knit merrily along for several minutes.

Tonight I will try very carefully to manipulate those dropped stitches into the lovely loops shown in the picture on the pattern.

In other fuzz-related news, I had a disaster with hair colour on the weekend, such that my hair is now very close in colour to the yarn used in the knecklace. I haven’t dyed my hair in ten years…. The dear woman at the Shoppers Drugmart thinks that my “virgin” hair grabbed too much of the colour and thus my attempt at dark auburn has gone horribly awry. This would be fine if I were still a student, and did not work for a mutual fund company. Last night I tried redying it to a “dark copper brown”, only to end up with a darker burgundy. Apparently, red colouring is stubborn. There used to be a product called Metalex that would strip recently applied colour from hair, but I have so far been unable to find it. Methinks I will be reduced to another trip to the drugstore. My hair is so fried right now.


Friday, March 10, 2006

One! One distraction finished!

I finished the coffee cup cuff last night and it had its inaugural voyage this morning protecting my fingers from the hot wrath of my ridiculous yet delicious half-sweet, non-fat, extra-foam, vanilla latte. It’s a bit on the hairy side. Actually, it looks like it’s knit from steel wool, but really it’s pretty soft.

It’s made from Berroco Quest on US #2 dpns. I pretty much followed the pattern, but stuck in two stripes of seed stitch (two rows, then six rows later on) and made it a bit wider to compensate for my terribly tight gauge. It was my first time knitting with such tiny dpns and I was nervous about slipping stitches.

And I have found another distraction, for friend P’s upcoming birthday, but since he is aware of this blog, I will not post it until it is finished and his birthday is past. Nyah nyah nyah nyah nyah. Nyah nyah.

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Project Update (and isn’t that the most boring title, but there it is)

Not doing very well here with frequent updates, are we? One of these days I’ll set myself up properly at home and/or stop forgetting my camera cable on the kitchen counter.

But on to the projects at hand.

Michael’s sweater (SnB's The Man Sweater) is coming along nicely; the knitting Olympics taught me to focus on one project – and I was doing well, really, until some birthdays came up. Laura turns a secret number today (does anyone really know how old she is?), and J, my oldest friend, is gaining another year next Wednesday. J and I have known each other since kindergarten, when we skipped our first class together by hiding under the coats in the cloakroom. It was French, for the record, and I think we didn’t like the teacher.

Here we see the ingredients for J’s present. She is getting a
knecklace, and probably won’t read this before then as she’s got a shiny new daughter. Shout out to The Squee!

I haven’t started the knecklace yet due to Laura’s impending appearance at a group birthday party on Saturday. I have been working on this:

This hairy little confection is well on its way to becoming a take-out coffee cup sleeve. Laura has moved out of the city and I miss our coffee breaks together. I will put up the finished cuff on its test run tomorrow (provided I remember the camera cable). Laura, I promise not to spill!
I will end this longish post forthwith by sharing a snapshot of the completed back of it, guarded by our eleven year-old kitten, Freckle. Freckle likes yarn.

Friday, March 03, 2006

Olympic gold, after a fashion

So yes, I was one of over 4,000 knitters from all over the world participating in the Knitting Olympics. Hey, we made The National. I was watching (and knitting). Then jumping up and down, pointing at the t.v., "Hey, we're on the news!" Our rabbit, Simon, seemed impressed.

I finished the
shawl on Friday night, a day and a half before the closing ceremonies, despite being taken down by the 'flu for the first week of the games, and made an appearance at the Team Canada closing ceremony event. It is a simple pattern, but was the first thing I'd knit in all the years of knitting where the aim was to in fact have holes! In order to break my alpaca habit, part of the challenge of this exercise was to go acrylic. It's still soft, but it just doesn't drape. So without further ado...

The finished Olympic shawl... awkwardly photographed.

Wood mouse beauty, Rosebud, checks out the detail in one of the new shawl's points.

And the way my husband sees it - the Green Bat Cape.

Much to say about Rosebud, our handraised-from-a-fuzzy-pink-bean wood mouse, but that's another story, as they used to say on Hammie Hamster.

Next crazy project: knit this.