Friday, February 26, 2010

Knitter's exercise

Have you ever thought about how to squeeze in some healthy exercise when knitting?

When I was knitting these socks thoughts for exercises came to mind:

Knit some stitches
drop some
pick them back on the needle


drop a needle on the floor
pick the needle from the floor
not getting off the chair

knit some stitches

yarn ball falls on the floor
run after yarn (have to get off the chair)
pick the yarn ball


drop a needle on the floor
pick the needle*

Repeat ** 10 times.

Adding some important tips:

The shorter the fingernails are, the more difficult it is to pick the needle up from
the floor, thus creating more bending time, thus more stress movement for tummy muscles.

If you are knitting socks with very thin needles, and have some scrunched together stitches that
need to be separated after the cable stitches, it would be a good idea to have a slightly longer thumb nail to be used as a tool to separate the stitches. Trust me on this one. I am going to
make sure that my thumb nails are nice and somewhat pointy, just for the above reason.

Any other tips from my readers would be welcomed.

To clarify the above, I am knitting a sock with minuscule size needles and the stitches are
always very tightly together after the cables. Did I show you a picture of my sock start?
well, here it is, isn't she pretty?

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Emergency Tools

How can I go anywhere without necessary tools for my knitting, or crocheting?

Well, this morning I was looking for a cable needle to go with my minuscule size knitting needles. All the ones I have are too fat. My needles are size 1.5 mm. It's less than 0 in American size.

What did I do? I collected some dull pointed tapestry needles, another size 1.5 mm needle (how many times am I going to mention "needle") (must count: 7) and then looked for a toothpick. Where do we keep toothpicks? Nowhere where I am looking. So, that will be a future idea, after going to the store and buying a whole package of them. I only need one, thank you. I wonder if they sell single toothpicks. Perhaps I should go out for lunch and get some from a restaurant.

I have tons of paperclips, small, coloured, big and huge. I picked the one that had approximately the same body type as my 1.5 mm needle: skinny. Opened the clip, made it more or less straight, and cut it in almost the middle to make two. With an nail file I smoothed the ends. Of course I don't have any nail polish handy to cover any roughness that the file didn't catch. I'll do it later at home. I came in dang early to work, an hour earlier than our office opens.

Oh, and the toothpick will be painted with nail polish, or some lacquer, if I have any at home.

Here are samples of my "cable needles" in emergency:

Monday, February 22, 2010

We got snow!!!

Here are some not-so-interesting pictures from my way home from work.
The trip took double the time than in a normal weather, and I even left 5 minutes earlier that
Perhaps they look boring, but for me it was interesting to see how the traffic was moving with the snow. Not very fast; I think my average speed was 25 km/hr.
This probably isn't anything to write home about, but considering that we have received about 10 cm (4") snow this year, it is kind of fun to see the white stuff. Mind you, there is more in the forecast for the rest of the week, and I am not looking forward to that.

I think TTC (our transit system) sounds pretty desirable.

Ravelympics WIPs done

Finally, after some frogging and switching needles and swearing, and with some occasional frustration, I finished the Zigzag socks.

I went to Purple Purl today, sheeesh, it's after midnight, so yesterday, and I knitted four rows before I noticed a major mistake, and that was not even a design feature, it was the fault of chatting and knitting. Seems that I can't knit and chat at the same time. Oh, well. I changed to my emergency project, but made a mistake there too, so what could I do?

I bought some variegated green sock yarn
to make the pattern I bought today. It's called Forest & Trees. The designer is Kate Atherley from our beautiful city.

My Saturday went quite nicely. I drew this picture, and I like it. I usually don't appreciate my own work, but somehow I really like this one.

It's late, and tomorrow is a work day, it's time for some under the eyelid movies.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Sunday and laziness

I tried to drink coffee that was left on the burner on. EwEwEw. So a glass of milk tasted good, really!
I am having withdrawal symptoms, have not been visiting Purple Purl for quite a while. I miss the people there, comfy chairs, coffee, that I usually forget to drink, yarns that want to hide in my bag.

So, I decided to go and visit today, with my Ravelympic project, the blue socks. Perhaps I will find out what kind of yarn I am using, since I have totally forgotten the name of it.
So typical for me to forget to write down the yarns that I have.

Of course I could have been smart and write all that down in Ravelry, but didn't.

Saturdays are usually days when I do my weekly chores, like vacuuming, other cleaning, laundry, etc. etc. Guess what, all I did was draw zentangles, prepared lasagne, tomato salad, and tossed salad for dinner at my son's place.

The kids were wonderful, and I played with my grandson in the kitchen. He was sitting on the kitchen table, and had a keyring, with keys and a small truck attached. Well, his legs were mountains and I had to drive the truck up and down. There was a bridge between the knees. Sometimes the truck (and the keys) fell on the "floor", and then he wanted to show me how to do it. We did this for at least half an hour. "I'm having fun with mummi" (mummi is grandmother)
he told his dad. My grandson is 2 years and a few months old/young.

The sweetest thing was when he found out that I had brought French Fries with me for the kids,
He said: They are my favourites! and then he came and gave me a kiss and a hug, and "thank You Mummi". What a sweet child.

I am not going to make new coffee now, no, I am going to Purple Purl, and enjoy the coffee there.
I might even get a lemon square pastry. It's not THE lemon square, but I don't know the name for the ones they have, I usually just say "that lemon thingy, please" hah, and the girls know.
It's like heavenly manna, never tasted that one, but I have a vivid imagination. Not good for my figure, but it's Sunday, and I can do what ever I want on Sundays.
Mondays are good days to start watching what you eat. And then there is always another Monday, and another. I tried to start on a Wednesday, but that didn't work, Still waiting for the right Monday. Maybe tomorrow. But first I will have a lemon square thingy at Purple Purl.
It has a nice lemony cake and on top a lemony icing. I have to go now.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Socks and Yarn

I must admit that I chose wrong yarn for my Fishbone Gansey socks.

My FG socks are in this picture, trust me!

The trick is to use solid color yarn, not a yarn that has tons of different colors, in short sections. (duh)

All the hard work for following the (any) chart, tongue on cheek, with occasional blurry eye syndrome, with some coffee breaks, and skipping a line or two in the chart, would be wasted when using yarn that deliciously hides the incredibly handsome pattern.

The picture how the socks would look with different yarn is here.

My other socks are a different story. The yarn, was probably bought at Purple Purl, but I am not sure, since I have a great talent in losing the yarn labels and bills. Bills I lose easily, because I really don't want to be reminded how much I really spend on yarn. Hmph.
I will say that the yarn is soft wool, since it does not make my skin itch. If you didn't know, I am allergic to wool, when it's that rough kind, with real feeling of prickly thingies.
For these socks I used solid color, and the pattern shows up very clearly. These socks are my
Ravelympic Team Canada, Team WIPs - Dancing challenge. I have to get the finished before
the closing ceremonies in Vancouver. Otherwise I will be disqualified. Oh, I don't want that.

If I want striped socks, I will, from now on, use sock yarn that is meant to create striping pattern. I will not use fancy patterns with striping yarn, I swear.
It's OK to use (mildly) variegated yarns for complicated patterns, but I would suggest strongly to make a swatch first to see if the design shows with your choice of yarn, if it's not the same as recommended. It's not always possible to use designer's selected yarn. It might not be available everywhere in the world, or the price might not meet your budget requirements, or you just like your yarns better. It's up to you, but make that dang swatch first (I speak from experience for NOT making swatches).
I would also, from now on, read the pattern instructions first, before starting to knit. Once you get to the third pattern chart (if there is one), which I didn't notice when started, you better have clever attention span happening, otherwise you, just like me, will have some serious frogging ideas and bad words blurting out. (unless you are somewhat more organized and possess sharp eye sight, and are more keen to details, then this is not an advice for you.)(and experienced sock knitter, oh, almost forgot that one)
I will make sure that the pattern will keep me interested at least until the heel part. You can always omit the pattern for the foot part (yes, you can). I tend to think that the foot part might be hidden in the boot or shoe that is not a sandal type, but is more to the style of a running shoe. Not necessarily any fancy running shoe, but one that keeps your feet comfy. Also, when the sock is plain stockinette stitch it fits better into the shoe, instead of a bulky cable patterned foot part.
Of course all of the above is your own choice, yarns and patterns, striping or not. I am just saying what I have done to make my blood pressure to go up a notch.
Personally I will still do everything that I am not "supposed" to do, but that's just me.
Next socks that I'll make will be plain stockinette stitching throughout, except the ribbing for the opening, and I will use my wildest sock yarn that would not be good for a lace patterned socks.
I swear, I will not obey my own instructions.
I will not make any comments about toe up socks, because I have started two pairs, over a year ago, and stopped just before the gusset and/or heel part. I'm not scared to screw up the process, I just don't want to proceed. I like looking at unfinished objects (UFOs), they remind me of my home.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Fun MeMe

This was originally in Marmelade's blog, but I saw it in Janet's blog.
I think these are fun to do. They are all about self.

If I Was....

a color....Copper

a verb....imagine

a day....Friday

a TV show....Lie to Me


an emotion....Aloof

a month....June

a flower....Lily of the Valley

a holiday....Midsummer Day

a movie...Deeply

an article of clothing....Over-sized tee

a book....Freeform

a car....Mustang (I had 1969 and then 2000...what else is there duh)

a piece of furniture....Recliner

a scent....Jasmine

an instrument....Flute

a art store

a shoe...crocks

a fruit....Peach

a song....Misty

a tree....Birch

a planet....Moon

a tool....Tool box (haha)

One down, one more to go

I am talking about the Ravelympics WIPs-Dancing Challenge. I finished a dress for my granddaughter. It was meant for Christmas, then Valentine's Day and now for Easter. Well the
dress is done, except blocking. The dress pattern is from Ulla Neule, and the name is Vaapukka and the yarn is Tanis Fiber Arts Fingering
yarn in Royal Flush.
Unfortunately the dress pattern is only in Finnish, but the lace pattern is in easy to follow chart.

My next goal is to finish blue socks for a friend, who has a birthday coming up soon. The pattern for those socks is kind of invented by combining two patterns, and changing the chart direction on my whim. I'll post a picture later.

Does anyone know a good trick to tink on a circular needle. I have two socks on one needle, and noticed that I had made a little design feature, which I wanted to change. going back on a circular isn't that easy, or is it? Previously I had just taken a straight DPN to tink, but hellooo, I don't have all my needles with me at all times. Only a few sets, but not the one I need TODAY.
("tink" = knit back) (or unknit or frog or fix the dang stitch!)

So, I did fix that one stitch, with great difficulty, but did it. There must be a way. My circular needle is 100 cm long, so there should be enough give for twisting and turning, wouldn't you think?

Friday, February 12, 2010

2010 Olympics

My Team Canada WIPs - Dancing section challenge for me is to finish the pink dress and those
blue socks during the 2010 Winter Olympics. This challence is at Ravelry groups Ravelympics 2010

I am sending my coldest snowy thoughts to Vancouver so that they could get some really cold
temperatures and lots of snow.

Wishing all the best for all the athletes!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

February thoughts

Hello all,

If I don't mention this around Sunday, then Happy Valentines Day to all.
In Finland they call it Friendship Day, so I would like to Wish you all a
very warm Friendship Day!

Tomorrow is the start of the Olympics. I have some friends in Vancouver
(work related) and one of them sent me an e-mail telling that she and her boss
and another girl from the office went to see the dress rehearsal for the opening
ceremonies. Apparently the show is "spectacular" as she put it.

I have not decided what to do during the Olympics, but definitely a WIP program.
The evil head of Startitis is lurking in every corner, and guess what, I have, with me now,

two skeins of yarn, not used yet, and two WIPs, crochet WIP, scarf, and drawing
supplies. (oh, they don't have anything to do with this upcoming challenge).

I suppose my first choice would be to finish my granddaughter's dress, don't you think?
Second, something blue for my friend in Finland - get this, for her I was going to make
a lace scarf, then socks, then entrelac tote bag, then entrelac scarf, and now
I am thinking of socks. I think I am losing my mind. I am so happy that Monday is
a Family Day, and I can sleep in, and then knit.

Does anyone have a foolproof remedy for startitis, or indecisiveness syndrome?
Should I just start my life over again? I could do so many things differently.
For example get some clear plastic boxes and sort all my yarns in colors.
It's going to be an exciting night, I must decide what to make and watch The Mentalist, and then
Ghost Hunters. I miss the show Lie To Me I wonder what happened to it.

My drawing inspiration has come from hiding, and I've done a few zentangle drawings. I joined Zentangle group in Flicker, and have enjoyed looking at the artwork from members. Even if you are not interested in drawing, have a look at the marvellous, amazing and incredible zentangles in that group.
It is such an interesting area of artwork that I am just in awe to see different creations.

Be safe over there in snow-covered lands.
We have just a little bit here.