Thursday, March 29, 2007

A dilemma

Dear Laura,

I am having a yarn indecision crisis, and I need some assistance. Nephew #2 blanket is looking just lovely, and I am on stripe number 4 of 7. The trouble is that I am not sure this blanket is going to last me until these lectures are over, and it would really be tragic if I had to sit through the last few weeks without something to knit. (Just ask Pamela...she's reading....hi Pamela! She had to sit through a, ahem, rather dull lecture this morning with no knitting. It was sad.)

Of course, we know that (apparently) KnitPicks packages can take a little while to arrive, so I'm thinking it's time to order some more yarn for my next project, which will be....wait for it....a baby blanket. The Boy's PhD supervisor is expecting, and I'm going to take a shot at making a blanket for this baby, too.

I'm not totally decided on a pattern, but I'm leaning toward a log cabin, just because I think it would be fun.

My dilemma is this: which yarn to use? And which colours? It's a nightmare, I tell you! I really like my Shine Worsted, but man oh MAN they need to expand their colour range. This baby's sex is unknown, so I can't just pick all the pinks and do something girly (which is what I'd LIKE to do) - but it's hard to find an aesthetically-pleasing, gender-neutral combination of 5-6 colours!

My next idea was to use Crayon instead. It's a frisée yarn, which I think would nicely hide the tendency of log cabins to have less than perfectly square corners. And it's machine washable and dryable, which is a key trait in a baby blanket. The colour selection is a little better - I am contemplating either red/orange/yellow/green/blue/purple/buttermilk or periwinkle/blue/light blue/azure/buttermilk. AND it's USD $1.99, which I think you will agree is a steal. The dilemma is that it is only DK weight. It says you can use 3.75mm or 4.00 mm needles, and I'm currently knitting the Shine Worsted on 4.00 mm needles, so it might end up similar - but I will be sad if I feel like I am doing a lot more knitting and not getting nearly as much blanket for it.

Help, Laura! What do you think? (And for that matter, if you're lurking out there and reading this, leave a comment with your opinion - I'd like to hear it!)


p.s. I'm still reading Into The Wilderness, which is proving to be quite delicious. Claire Fraser even makes an appearance! (You've read the Outlander books, right? RIGHT???)

Thursday, March 22, 2007

You are so talented!

Dear Laura,

Oh my. Those shawls are breathtaking. I love them! You are so fabulous! Yay yay! (And hello to Erin, who is going to stop by to check out the shawls...Hi Erin! Glad to have ya here!!) :)

I am sad to hear that you have no KnitPicks yarn yet. That truly sucks, my dear. I am devouring my yarn, because I'm spending HOURS each day sitting in looooong review lectures, and I like to knit through them. (I'm pretty sure I already told you this on the phone, but we have a rapidly-expanding audience - at least two people! - so I figure I should fill them in on this crucial information.) Nephew #2 blanket is looking about twice as big as the last time you saw it, and if it wasn't already past my bedtime, I'd show you a picture. Just trust me - two stripes, and a third one already started.

I forgot to tell you last time about my wonderful new needles. I order a set of Knit Picks Options needles when I got my yarn. They are reasonably cheap, and they are lovely. Everyone in blog world was saying that they are "just the right amount of pointy" and it's totally true. Plus, they're hollow, so they're light. They just zip along, knitting up a storm. I love them.

I am already plotting my next yarn order, because I think I will need a new project before these review lectues end! (The end of April...which seems far away, but I suspect it will come quickly.) I have another baby blanket in the pipeline, I think. I'm contemplating a log cabin design - mostly because I think it would be fun to make. Do you think it's a good choice?

Off to bed with me, to dream of yarn and jaundice (one of the topics of this afternoon's lecture).


p.s. Currently reading: Into the Wilderness. I found this book at my parents' place the last time it was there. I think it was a hand-me-down from my grandma, who I think has excellent taste in books. I'm only about 40 pages in, but so far, so good. I always like a nice, thick volume of trashy historical fiction!

p.p.s. Hi Somaiah! Laura, meet Somaiah. She's in my class, and she doesn't like to leave notes, but she's here. At least she said she would be.... :)

Monday, March 19, 2007

Spring Break!

Dear Nikki,

I am very glad to hear that you're not dead! Excellent news. I am also not dead. I was just enjoying my lovely Spring Break last week! I didn't get as much work done as I had planned (since when is that a surprise), but I did get some skiing done, and some much needed resting. I spent the first weekend up in Whistler in the Roxy All-Star Women's Ski Camp. Basically, it was two great days of lessons. My skiing has dramatically improved, my confidence in particular. I can now ski down black diamond runs! Even ones with trees! It may not be pretty skiing, but I haven't been panicking, and I do get down it, so that's great! On Monday I was back in town for a meeting. Tuesday, my aunt and I did some fabric shopping. We bought some brown fabric for my new shower curtain (not yet in progress), and... some fabric for the bridesmaids' shawls. What do you think?
Dress with Shawl and Telephone Cord

Shawl with Dress

It's a sheer off-white fabric with little bits of silver going through it. You can't actually see the silver from a distance, it just looks kind of sparkly. I think it's pretty and I hope the other girls like it too! And anyhow, if they don't work out, we just won't wear them and that will be fine.

Wednesday and Thursday were occupied by some more skiing, and the (very quick) hemming of the first shawl, using a serger. The shawl is currently way too long, but I didn't have the dress with me to figure out what the right length would be, so I'll be trying them on together sometime this week. How exciting!

The weekend I spent doing a bit more work, and watching tv. Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason was on TBS this weekend, as well as a few other movies. I didn't watch all of them, but I taped a few so that I could watch them later. It was very relaxing. Do you know what I didn't do though? Knit my new yarn! Why? you ask (I can hear you). The yarn isn't here yet. I've been checking my mail regularly in the hopes that it will arrive, but so far, no dice (and, more importantly, no yarn).

Anyhow, I'd better get to bed. I have to get up early for work tomorrow (I really enjoyed sleeping in last week)! Love,

p.s. Currently reading: I just finished Handful of Time by Kit Pearson. It was very good. I was actually in the book store (okay, fine, the book section of my grocery store) looking for The Lights Go On Again by the same author (I think I borrowed it from you once) because I had just finished reading the other two books of the War Guest Trilogy and wanted to complete it. The grocery store didn't have what I was looking for, so I bought Handful of Time instead. An excellent book though. In celebration of St. Patrick's Day (sort of but not really) I'm reading Scarlet Feather by Maeve Binchy. Can you tell I'm in a re-reading phase?

Catching my breath, catching up

Dear Laura,

You may be relieved to know that despite my absence from blog world (and apparently email-responding world....I got your lovely message, thank you, response coming ASAP)...I am not dead. I am in fact alive and have even found time to knit lately. I'm just a bit paralyzed, with the big news of last week (for our non-existent readers: I found out what my life is going to look like for the next two years and it's mostly good)...and the creative juices just aren't flowing! Hence, no blogging, and very little emailing. I think I'm finally recovering though. :)

How are things in B.C.? Have you started your ballet camisole yet? I do not have the new IK yet (and am trying to resist in general, since I clearly have no time to knit anything from it....although I suspect I will relent and buy it later this week, when I have a scheduled study date with a classmate at the Starbucks inside Chapters)....anyways, what I was going to say was that the Cable Down Raglan looks lovely and I think you should go for it!
I got a box of KnitPicks goodness in the mail on Friday, which was excellent timing because I kind of needed some yarny goodness after all the emotion of the week. None of the yarn looked anything like it did on my monitor (although it was quite close to the catalogue colour....too bad I didn't look at the catalogue before I ordered). Anyways, the watermelon colour is pink, not red. And the crocus colour is pinky purple, not dark purple. However, the colours I picked still, fortuitously, look fabulous together so I decided to cast on - and so far I like the results.

I have been doing tons of knitting because we've begun the review lectures for our licensing exam, so I am spending a fair chunk of time sitting in lectures. The lecturer today even told the class that she had noticed a knitter was present, and that she herself had knit her way through her med school review lectures. She seemed like an awfully smart lady - I figure it was probably all that knitting, don't you think?

Behold, the first stripe of the Circle of Friends blanket (a.k.a. nephew #2 blanket), 4 rows from completion:

Or, Stove With Yarn.
(What can I's dark and wintery out today
and I couldn't find any good lighting anywhere else!)

Only six more stripes like that and the blanket will be finished!

That's all the knitting news that's fit to print. Hope you're doing well. We must have a good long chat sometime soon.


p.s. Currently reading: I just finished Crocodile on the Sandbank, the first in a series of mysteries about Amelia Peabody, a British female amateur archaeologists/amateur detective in Egypt in the early 1900's, which someone told me was "along the same lines" as Laurie R. King's books about Mary Russell. My take: yes, "along the same lines" as in "smart feminist protagonist solves mysteries." Otherwise...meh. The plot and writing were kind of mediocre. I like Mary Russell a lot better than Amelia Peabody.

Tuesday, March 6, 2007


Dear Nikki,

Well, you have inspired me to get on it and order the yarn for my new big project. That would be the Ballet Camisole. The pattern actually calls for Knit Picks Shine Sport, so I was glad to read that you enjoyed knitting with the worsted weight of the same yarn! I chose a colour on the purple-ish side of blue, Hydrangea. I think it's really pretty! I think a real advantage of knitting a tank top is that there is a slight hope that it will be done in time for summer! I sure hope so anyways.

I also ordered 2 balls of Swish Superwash yarn (in Ballerina!). I'm thinking of knitting a cabled sweater and I wanted to give the yarn a test-drive to see how I like working with it. I really like Rogue, but I'm also considering a pattern that was in the latest Interweave Knits, the Cable Down Raglan, if you have the magazine. This is really some long-term planning though, because with how busy I've been, the tank top will probably take me until summer! Anyhow, I'm also waiting in excited suspense for my yarn... I wonder who will get theirs first!

My school has spring break next week, and I'm really looking forward to having some time to get ahead in my prep work, relax, and do some knitting. I'm also planning to get some quality ski time in too, so keep your fingers crossed for snow!


p.s. I'm not reading anything exciting right now... I've been re-reading Knitting Rules by the Yarn Harlot, but I'm on my second read through (in the past 2 weeks) now, and I think it's time for something new. I just don't have the energy to start something new right now. Maybe during spring break I'll get a library card and find something exciting to read!

Sock success

Dear Laura,

Wow, what a view! Thanks for the pictures - does that mean the fog actually cleared for a few minutes? I don't think the blurriness has anything to do with operator proficiency. Night photos are always blurry, in my experience! (At least they are when I take them!)

Those Fetching wrist warmers are lovely! Well done! They look complicated! As for the Ballet Camisole - go for it! It looks quite manageable to me. And of course in blue - is there any other colour?? ;-)

I finally finished my Dad's socks, and - of course - forgot to take a picture. They weren't all that exciting anyways - black/grey top-down stockingette. Almost as boring to talk about as they were to knit. I asked him to take a picture and email it to me, so if he comes through, I will post it! He was very excited about them, and he's saving them to wear at the wedding. How sweet is that?

I started a pair of socks for myself, for once. I decided to try a picot edge, which went well until the bit where I was supposed to pick up the cast-on edge and knit it together with the live stitches. I abandoned that plan - I'll just sew it down when the sock is done, even if that's the wussy way!

I'm also about to start a baby blanket for nephew #2, who is due in mid-June. I really debated about whether to make a quilt (my first) or a knitted blanket, but since I'm going to be sitting in a lot of review lectures in the next two months, I think something portable (i.e. knit) is a better idea. So, I'm going to make the "Circle of Friends" blanket (link to Alison's) from Last-Minute Knitted Gifts, which I borrowed from my fabulous friend Daina. I think the idea behind the blanket is that a bunch of friends can work on it together - but I'm going solo on this one. I'm using KnitPicks' Shine Worsted in Watermelon, Crocus, Bachelor Button and Green Apple. (That'd be red, purple, blue and green - vibrant if nothing else.) I used this yarn for the last baby blanket I made and it turned out really soft - AND machine-washable. Plus, it's cheap, and KnitPicks usually has pretty quick shipping. So, I'm watching the mail now for my yarn!

Well, I think that's enough crafting news for tonight. There is more....but I will save it for another day!