Knit by Night

Friday, September 30, 2005

I'm bad at thinking of post titles.

I have the overwhelming urge to knit a sweater. The problem is that I don't have nearly enough yarn to knit a sweater. Nowhere close.

Well, I have quite a few balls of Bernat's Berella yarn that I originally had plans to make into a load of simple squares for a blanket, but those are all in different colours, some variegated. If I put them all together, it'd look hideous. Purples and greys and reds and funny-looking blues . . . Not nice colour combos when you have to throw them all together.

Besides, I was looking for something a little thinner than worsted weight.

Also, I've never made a sweater before. I think it'd be good practice for me, a good exercise. Aside from the lack of yarn, though, I have too many projects to make before Christmas that starting on something as big as a sweater probably wouldn't be the best idea. Maybe next year. (I keep saying that to every non-essential project idea that crosses my mind . . .)

Turns out I'll have to stop by work today to pick up a new pair of knitting needles for Sean's Blanket. The pattern calls for 5mm needles. I have 4mm, and 6mm. Figures. I can either cut my losses and make it too loose or too tight, but I really don't want to. I have a spare $6 in my bank account. That'll buy me the needles I need. I'm just afriad of going and being roped into working tonight, though. Co-worker Laura may still be sick, so her shift may fall to me. I suppose whether I go in to buy needles and they ask me, or whether I stay home and they call me on the phone to ask me, the end result would be me going in, since I already said I would f need be, but . . . I'd feel more pressured somehow if they asked me face-to-face.

My mind works in strange ways.

Either way, I'll need to go out tonight to get money for next month's bus pass, and the past two weeks of rent money, so I may as well just drop by to pick up the needles. At least then, if I don't have to work tonight, I can come home and start on the blanket. And if I do have to work, I'll know I have the needles to use when I get home. Either way, I win, right?

I did it!

Black Magic has been finished. Huzzah! One present down, . . . more to go. I don't know how many presents I have to make, but meh, either way it'll be fun.

So now I have Sean's baby blanket to do. I figure since it's annoying to have to hook the printer up to Rachel's laptop in order to print out the pattern, I'll just write it out by hand. Might take longer, but it'll be less annoyance for me, and that'll make me less resentful of having to knit it.

I don't get resentful very often. Just in my really bad days.

I sent the Lucy pen off to Wendy yesterday, so she should get it in the next few weeks. Woot! Makes me feel happy. I love to give people things, preferably little surprise things that are just neat to have. Practical gifts are all well and good, but who wants them when you can have apen shaped like your cat instead? :p

Well, I suppose I should go put pen to paper and start copying that pattern. The sooner I start on it (yes yes, we all know what line's coming next, don't we?) the sooner it gets done, and the sooner I can move on to the next project!

Thursday, September 29, 2005

No title is good enough.

You know, there are a lot of amazing cheap yarns on EBay. If I managed to get the new job I'm hoping for, you can just bet that I'll be ordered yarn through there as often as I can. 10 50g skeins of alpaca/wool yarn for $17? Sold, to me!

Or, at least, it would be sold to me if I had the money for it.

However, once I start going to the gym and losing weight, my parents have promised me $10 for every pound I lose, so I may be able to get some things with that money. As I've said in various other places, meeting my target weight will net me $650 from them, which is a lot of money to throw into craft stupplies. Which is exactly what I will be doing with that money, by the way.

No knitting occured last night, because I spent half the night making many batches of cookies. Chocolate oatmeal. Yum. Today, however, I'm going to make up for it by finished Black Magic, come hell, high water, or yet more cookies! It's got about 4 more inches left on it, so I have no excuse for not doing it.

And since I've now found the perfect pattern for Sean's blanket, I'll be more than happy to start on it. Until I get the pattern repeats memorized, my night knitting will be The Unnamed again, since that's simple enough to remember. K1, *k1, yo, k2tog, rep from *, k1. Next row, K1, P to last, K1. Lather, rinse, and repeat. Nothing that requires any major concentration, and the more I do it, the more will get done.

And now, if you'll all excuse me, I'll go check to see if the mail has arrived, and then write a letter to Scottish Beth, my knitting penpal. Just because I can.

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

That one thing is me.

Knitting group didn't last as long as I'd hoped for (only 1.5 hours), but Laura had to go home and get something to eat, so it was understandable why it didn't last longer. Still, I got a few pattern repeats of The Unnamed in, which rekindled my interest some. It's going to be much easier to finish now that I've picked it up again.

Tonight is likely to involve more X-Files episodes (after House, MD, of course), so I'll probably manage to finish off Black Magic then. Huzzah! Finished projects are good, because that means I can start on new ones. *grins*

Until Rachel comes home from work, though, and we can begin our TV-spree, I think I'll do a bit of cleaning, and make myself something to eat. I'm thinking that tuna sandwiches sound good right about now. Seems like a good "autumn day" kind of food.

Guilty Pleasures.

I knit so much of Black Magic during the X-Files fest last night that it's agone from 1/4 done to 3/4 done. I'd say I have only another 6 inches, maybe less, to knit on it before I can wrap it up all pretty and wait to give it out as a Christmas gift.

Of course, this means that I'm sorely tempted to take it along to the knitting group today, instead of taking The Unnamed. But I have to be strong. The Unnamed needs to be completed too, and needs infinitely more work than Black Magic does. Besides, the sooner I get back into it, the sooner I stop feeling a bit resentful for having had to pull it all out when the dog screwed it up.

I'm really looking forward to starting on Sean's baby blanket. The only reason I'm waiting until Black Magic is done is because the two require the same needles. Though, if I knit that lacey pattern that I want to, I'd probably be able to start it now, come to think of it. Still, though, if I fall back on my old habits of having too many projects going at once, none of them will ever get finished, and since these are all Christmas gifts, they kinda need to get finished.

Boy, I wish I had my digital camera so that I could take pictures of these finished projects. It's driving me batty to not be showing them off. :p Mostly because I see pictures on all the other journals that I read, and you know me. I just want to be one of the cool crowd.

(Well, not really. Most 'cool' crowds really suck. But still, it seems to be this staple of knitting blogs, that one shows off pictures of what they're doing, and I won't be able to do that until we move again and unpack all of our stuff.)

On a different note, while I was out yesterday, I saw a novelty pen on sale at Colpitts Stationery, and looked just like Wendy's cat Lucy! I wanted to buy it and send it to her as a gift, but I'm not sure how well she'd take to giving out her address to a toal stranger . . . Even if this stranger has commented on her blog a few times.

Besides, I don't even know if I'll have the money to buy it on payday. I might, but there are no guarantees. If I can, then maybe I'll ask her if she has a PO box or something, just so I don't look like a complete stalker. *chuckles*

Monday, September 26, 2005

Snips and snails.

Another few inches got added to Black Magic last night, making now somewhere btween 1/4 and 1/3 done. Give me a few more peaceful nights of TV-watching, and it should all be done. If I actually take time out of my normal day schedule, it should be done even quicker than that. (I don't know why I haven't been big on the knitting this week. I hope I haven't knit myself out.)

I'm torn between two patterns for Sean's baby blanket. One is a nice lacey design that I enjoy, though Rachel says laciness is a bad idea, since babies can get caught on it easily. I've no idea what she's talking about, since it's not like the holes are big enough to poke his head through or anything, and the way I see this, it's be more of a blanket for holding him in, rather than tucking him in at night. The other pattern, which I'm sure Rachel will approve of more, is a simple checkerboard pattern, knit and purl squares. Plain, but it might look nice in the pale colours of the variegated yarn I have.

As much as Rachel may object, though, I'm likely to do the pacey blanket. It's not, after all, her decision, and not her gift to give. She may be Sean's aunt, but that doesn't mean she knows what's best for him any better than I do, especially in the way of decorative baby blankets.

Either way, I'm likely going to need a second ball of the yarn I bought, to make it big enough. Not too much of a problem. It was only $5 or so. I'm sure I can find that money in my next paycheque.

The knitting group is tomorrow, and I'm looking forward to it. No money for tea, though, which is unfortunate, but I'm sure I can get by without tea for a few hours. I think I'll be taking along The Unnamed. I've been a bit leery of it since I had to rip the whole thing out, and haven't really wanted to pick it up again. Maybe working on it in the presence of others will rekindle my interest. (It had damn well better!)

I now have a craving for dill pickle flavoured popcorn, so there's nothing for it but to go out and spend my last $2 on getting those things. It'll make me breath stink, but it'll make me tummy happy, so it balances out perfectly.

Saturday, September 24, 2005

Procrastination? Not your friend.

I don't know why, but I haven't been able to get into the knitting mood these past few days. I managed to get a few inches done on Black Magic, but that's nothing complicated (it's a garter-stitch scarf, for crying out loud!), and certainly nothing to brag about. The less said about my progress on The Unnamed, the better!

Maybe it's because I've run out of things to do while knitting. I normally watch reruns of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, but I can only see the episodes so many times before putting them back on loses its appeal. I can't use the TV downstairs during the day very much, since Rachel's parents lay claim over it. We usually get it for an hour a night on weekends (to watch X-Files), and between 10 PM and 1 AM on weeknights. Other than that, I'm lucky if I get get it to provide minor entertainment for me while I knit during the day.

I need something new to watch. Rachel has ordered 5 seasons of X-Files, so I'm sure a good deal of those will keep me in happy knitting-ness when they get here, but until then . . . I want to knit! I really do! I just am hard-pressed to find anything else to do while I knit, and knitting without anything else to distract my mind and ears is hard for me. (I've developped a short attention span, which is annoying as hell for me when I have so many long-term projects to complete!)

On a different note, I saw Lorraine's finished stole last night at work, and it looks very nice! Made in Bernat Boa yarn, in silvery greys, I want one for myself. Well, I say I want one. I want to make once, and possibly have it in my possession. I doubt I'd ever find a reason to actually wear it. The only use for it would be for costumes, or perhaps for selling. Still, I think she said it took about 3 balls, so give me $20 and a bunch of spare time, and I could make one. What I do with it afterwards is anybody's guess.

Laura and I have made a date to go knit in the back of the Feel Good store on Tuesday. They have back rooms filled with couches for customers to use, and a wide variety of teas to drink, and always welcome people in to use said back rooms and drink said tea. To me, it seems like the perfect place to go and knit for an afternoon. Someone came by work last night who said they'd just learned to knit, and was really enjoying it, and so I invited her to come along and join us. I'd love to start a proper knitting group in this city. I enjoy the feel of being a part of something like that.

I suppose it's time to go stick Buffy in the DVD player again, and see what progress I can make on The Unnamed. I think taht's my daytime knitting project, and Black Magic is my nighttime one. It seems fitting, given their colours.

Thursday, September 22, 2005

Ooh, looky here!

Amazingly, there is a craft show that's near enough for me to get to! The Canadian Needlearts and Sewing Show, located in Moncton. It took place this year in July, so needless to say, I've missed it this time. Next year, however . . . I'd like to go back to Moncton for a vacation, and this would give me a perfect excuse, as well as a good way to meet other crafters, buy supplies, and take a class or two.

Next summer can't come around quick enough!

I need to stop procrastinating and get back to knitting on The Unnamed. It's sitting alone in my bag right now, crying out piteously for someone to help it. Unfortunately, I have to head out for an hour or so, so its cries must remain unheeded . . . Which makes me feel bad. I name a piece of work, and suddenly it develops a personality. When will I learn?

I will knit tonight. I promise myself that.

Well-laid plans.

I got a whole two rows of knitting done today. Such a procrastinator, I. At least I did have other things to do at the time, though, that took my mind from rows and stitches.

I've decided, though, that once all the hustle and bustle of making Yule presents has ended, I'm going to make myself a bathroom shawl. I have a sensitive stomach, you see, and some foods send me into the bathroom for half an hour or more. It gets pretty cold in there, and I think a nice comfy shawl would really take the edge off, make the gut pain a bit more bearable.

Of course, as I said, that'll come in the new year.

I really ought to make a list of all the projects that I need to do this year, and the ones I want to do next year. Since I have a tendency to start a project and not finish it (though this trend has decreased significantly since I started knitting), making a list and crossing things off as I go will certainly help with motivation.

I was chatting with Laura today, and tossing around the idea of starting a knitting circle in Saint John. The Feel Good Store would be an excellent place to do it, since they have back rooms with comfy counches that they encourage their customers to use for relaxation time. They also have some very good teas, which I've been looking for an excuse to try out. I'm sure if this thing is started, it'll just be Laura and I for the longest time, but really, that's fine by me. The more the merrier, but if it's just the two of us, that can be fun also.

It would definitely help if I knew more people in Saint John that knit for leisure and pleasure. Sometimes I wonder if my friends are the only ones that bother to. Shame, really. Knitting can be a relaxing and satisfying hobby.

Maybe we'll gather together a group of outcast knitters, and call ourselves Out of the Loop. (Yes, I came up with that title. Occasionally I end up saying witty things. Not often, but it's not unheard of, either.)

I think I'll run downstairs and see how Rachel's doing with her cloak pattern. I really can't wait to see that when it's all done!

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Dry your tears with love.

Well, after much thought, I finally have the complete list of things I'm going to be making for people this Christmas/Yule. It may kill me to get it all done, but I'll do my best.

Without further ado, the list:

For Rachel - A handbound journal with Griffin's family crest embroidered on the cover. The finally-finished Griffin plushie, too.
For Laura - A Souma Shigure figure made from clay, dressed in a yukata.
For Dawn - A periwinkle blue poncho (the Unnamed).
For Robert - Wool socks.
For Jander - A snake scarf.
For Sean - Baby booties. A baby blanket, too, if I have the time.
For Jenny - A black poncho, in the same style as Dawn's.
For Luke - I have no bloody clue yet.
For Mam - A Black Magic scarf just like mine.
For Dad - A knitted hat with "Baldy" written across it. (I hope I'm not getting too ambitious with this one.)

Likely, if I get hooked on making socks, everyone will get them as stocking stuffers, too, since socks are much more useful than scarves. Well, they are when people already have tons of scarves.

I started my mother's Black Magic scarf today, made from Lewiscraft's Gemini yarn, in black, 100% polyamide. I made one for myself before, and I love how soft it is when it's knitted up, and just knew she'd love one too. I figure I'll knit on that today, and restart The Unnamed tomorrow, when Laura and I are hanging out and doing The Crafty Thing.

I do wish I had the money to buy subscriptions to all these knitting magazines that I hear people talking about, or to buy some of the fancy patterns. All I can really get is the stuff I find online, and while there are some good things out there, I feel rather lacking in the idea department. Besides, I want to be a knitting snob for just a little while. *chuckles* Talk about so-and-so's pattern from such-and-such magazine . . . It might be fun.

I can at least get some good patterns cheaply from work, and I know there's a huge section of patterns at the library, which I plan to get my hands on as soon as I gather enough dimes to photocopy them. (The patterns are stored in the reference section, which means that they can't leave the library, which means that unless I want to sit and copy them all out by hand, I'd need to photocopy them.)

Black Magic is calling me . . . I think it wants to progress.

I ought to learn to just stop speaking.

Every time I say something along the lines of "all things permitting", something comes along to screw it up.

This time, it was the dog. Deciding to walk across the area I was knitting, getting his feet all tangled in the yarn, and pulling out stitches in such a way that I had no idea how to fix them. And since I'm lousy at ripping out just a row or two and picking it all up again . . . Yeah, back to the beginning.

I'm no longer going to knit downstairs. It's not worth it. It just isn't. This isn't the first time the dog's decided my knitting would be a great thing to walk across, either. I don't blame him for it. I know he's not going, "Ooh, look at what I can ruin!" He's just being a dog. Unfortunately, that means that my knitting gets screwed up, and I'm rather tired of that.

I'm have a short temper these days. I'm tired and sore a lot, and my doctor decided to take me off my antidepressants, which means that the smallest thing can make me have to fight back tears. And my knitting being ruined isn't exactly a small thing in my book.

Back to the beginning, I guess. I'll be able to get caught up again quickly enough, which makes this marginally easier to deal with.

Monday, September 19, 2005

Time well spent.

Yesterday wasn't quite as productive as I wanted it to be. In fact, it wasn't very productive at all. Tonight, however, was much better. I'm half done the first panel of The Unnamed, and will, all things permitting, be able to start on the second panel some time tomorrow.

I hope. Again, all things permitting. Which they don't often do.

I picked up a decent pattern for socks today, too. I plan to get one of those insanely large balls of yarn from Red Heart, the ones that cost $6 for enough yarn to fill a grocery bag, and get a start on making socks for people. Good stocking stuffers, I think. Also, I need some new socks of my own, so this will serve numerous purposes.

I found some wonderful yarn today that would be perfect for my first big shawl project. Right thickness, nice colours. Unfortunately, the damn stuff was acrylic, and so couldn't be blocked, which would leave the shawl with an annoying unfinished quality that I'm not really looking for in my work. Until I find better yarn in natural fibres and lighter weights, cheap crochet cotton will just have to do. At least it's cheap, after all, and I did manage to find some in nice colours. Hopefully the shawl won't turn out too badly.

But that project won't come til after the holidays. I have too much to do, too much to make, between now and then.

Sunday, September 18, 2005

The start to a productive day.

I tend to really only knit a lot when my roommate's out of the house, and since she's working until 5 PM today, that gives me quite a few hours to work on The Unnamed Christmas Poncho. I tend to knit lately while watching old episodes of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, just to keep my ears and mind as occupied as my hands. It's a good way of passing the time, too, so that knitting doesn't become too mind-numbing.

I checked out Handpaintedyarn.com today, and was drooling over their selection. Specifically, the laceweight yarn. I can't get any of that here. When I was to use something thin, I have to use crochet cotton. Granted, the stuff I have now comes in some very nice colours, but it's not the same as using other fibres.

Well, I say that I can't get it. I know I can't get it at any of the usual places I look. But there's a new yarn stall that opened up in City Market, and I think they sell handspun yarns, so there's always a chance they'll have what I'm looking for. Even if they don't, it will at least give me some variety in my stash. Since I don't think they sell branch name stuff, they already have a load of things I haven't seen before.

At least, I hope they don't sell much brand name stuff. I really really hope. It'd be nice to be able to support a local place-of-craft that takes the handmade approach to things.

I'll be going to City Market on Monday, so I'll see what they have. Hopefully something nice, yet afforadable.

Well, I suppose I should go pop in another disc of Buffy, make myself a nice cup of tea, and get back to working on TheUnnamed. My only regret with this poncho is that I won't be able to block it, since it's made of synthetic fibres. Boo. Yet another reason I want that stall to be a handspun place. It'd be incredibly likely that they're using natural fibres, and therefore I can learn more about blocking. Cotton's all well and good, but . . . meh, I'm tired of being so limited.

Yes. Knitting now.

First post evar!

Good, a decent knitting blog that I can use, where I can post pictures and not have people on LiveJournal complain that I'm clogging up their Friends list. I'd also been looking into a better place than LiveJournal to host this thing anyway.

So, as this is a first posting, I feel I ought to introduce myself. My name is Winter, and I'm a knitting addict. I'm not very experienced, or very quick, but practice will make perfect, and at least I'm not afraid to try new things. I'm 21, living in Canada, working at Lewiscraft. As for furry companions, I have two cats and a rat, who are all big love-loving sweethearts.

I will be posting progress pictures and completed project pictures, but that first requires me to find my digital camera, which has gone AWOL. Once I rescue it from its hiding place, things will be better.

On a more knit-related note . . .

I started making the Christmas poncho today. Nothing too fancy or difficult, but it ought to end up pretty. I'm using King Cole Soft as Silk yarn, made with 100% premium (emphasis added as it says on the wrapper) acrylic, in periwinkle blue. How that's better than regular acrylic, I'm not sure. Still, it's good enough for the poncho, and I'm pretty sure the intended recipient will enjoy it.

It's still taking me a while to get used to 9 mm needles, though. They feel so big and clunky. I wish they were steel, but alas, they're rubber, which means it's easier on the yarn, more annoying on me. But work didn't have anything other than that, so I was stuck. Still, I can survive them, and that's the important thing.

With that in mind, I ought to get back to it. It's not going to knit itself, after all.