Knit by Night

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Quick post before work.

I now have a potential new project. One of my coworker has made a request for a toaster cozy. Damned if I know why he'd need to keep a toaster warm, but heck, if he pays for the yarn, then I'll knit it for him.

I got a sweater donation from another coworker, too. One sweater that's 50% lambswool 50% acrylic, one that's 100% cotton (gorgeous purple colour!), and a third that feels like cotton but has no tag, so I can't be sure. They all are double-knit weight yarn, and are in pretty good condition. I can certainly salvage those!

There are also a few old shirts and whatnot in the donation, which I can turn into various other crafts. Huzzah!

I want to unravel one of the sweaters here tonight, to keep myself busy. (We're not allowed to browse the Internet, even between calls.) However, I have no scissors, and the thought of taking out seams with nothing but a couple of thumbtacks is something I'm not quite sure I'm up to.

Monday, December 26, 2005

Post-Christmas huzzah!

Christmas went well. Very well, in fact. I won't bore the world with a list of the gifts I was given (suffice to say the that most kick-ass ones were a gorgeous geisha figure, and a 30GB iPod), but I will bore the world with talk of how my gifts were received.

The two scarves I knit for Luke and Jen went over really well. They showed up for Christmas dinner wearing them, which is always a good sign. Their son Jander apparently loved his snake scarf, and Jen complimented the basketweave pattern on Sean's baby blanket. Dawn seemed to like her wrap, too, which made me quite happy. Rather than give socks to Robert (since I didn't have any made), I gave him a box of chocolates and a book, Life in a Medieval Village, which he seemed excited about. Rachel got various little things stuffed in her Christmas stocking, and The Illustrated Guide to Forensics, which he promptly spazzed over and started hugging. I can only assume she likes it. :p

I'm experiencing a sense of loss now, though. I have no projects to work on. Sure, I can knit on blanket squares until my hair turns blue, but that gets awfully boring after a while. Blankets squares are my "I have nothing else better to do and I don't feel like making my brain work" knitting projects. Garter stitch squares can only keep me amused for so long. So I really have nothing else to do.

I have no dpns, so I can't start a pair of socks. No circulars, either, so I can't start anything really cool and big. I don't have any more of the yarn that I was using to make the bathroom shawl. I'm tired of knitting really long strips that eventually wrap around people's necks to help keep them warm.

I suppose I could start on the ever-popular Branching Out scarf. It may be a scarf, but at least it's a fun lace pattern, and I have the perfect green cotton yarn for it. I do need more practice with lace patterns. I find them relatively easy, but practice never hurt anyone, right?

I'm still trying to decide what to turn that deliciously soft yarn from Tsaiko into. Two balls of each colour, three colours. I did want to make some wrist-warmers, but in retrospect, they keep the phone area of the call centre warmer than I like it, even in winter, so there's no much need for that, really. There goes that project idea.

I'm sure I'll find something. But if anyone wants to recommend any really fun patterns I can do with no dpns or circulars, and limited amounts of various yarns, I'm all ears! :)

Saturday, December 24, 2005

A Merry Messy Kweznuz to you all!

I am, at least, finished all my Christmas crafting. I finished the Falliage scarf a few hours ago, which turned out quite nicely. It's about as long as I am tall, and I still didn't use the entire ball of yarn. God only knows what I'll end up using the leftovers for, if anything.

The baby blanket is also finished. Not quite as big as I was hoping, but time constraints made me have to settle for what I could get. It's longer than my arm, though, and that's a plus. I finished it off with a k2tog bind-off, which looks really nice on it. I have to use that bind-off more often. Much less fiddly, and therefore quicker to accomplish, than the bind-off I normally use.

Now all that's left to do is wrap everything, and my Christmas work will be over. Then I can sit back, relax, and enjoy the reason of the day in happiness, awaiting tomorrow morning when I get to see the faces of those I've given presents to. That's the best part about this time of year. For me, anyway. Giving presents. It doesn't matter to me if people give me anything. I enjoy giving them things, and watching them enjoy what I gave. Especially if it's something I've made by myself, as most of the gifts are this year.

Best of the season to the lot of you, and I hope your holidays are as wonderful as mine! (Even though my religious holiday has come and gone this year, it sure doesn't stop me from celebrating with everyone else! *grins*)

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

One down, one to go.

I finished the midnight scarf last night, and got a start on the Falliage scarf, which is made from a nice boucle yarn in beige, red-brown, and green. Nice earthy colours, hence the name (a combination of 'fall' and 'foliage'). I have until Saturday to finish it, which shouldn't be a problem, provided I work on it constantly.

Of course, I still have the baby blanket to finish, but basically, I'm going to just finish up what I can once the scarves are done. It's not the biggest blanket it could be, but it's still a decent size right now, so, given that I have limited time, anything I add on from now I'm just considering to be a bonus.

So, the holiday craft-a-thon is almost complete. Soon I'll be back to more sedate, deadlineless knitting, possibly finally starting that shawl I've wanted to make for a while. Or maybe use some of the gorgeous yarn that Tsaiko sent me the other day. Wonderfully soft, fine, and plenty of it. I'm sure I can find something fun to make out of it. I'm contemplating using one ball to make some wrist-warmers. Not that isn't especially cold in the call centre I now work in, but I'll do anything to help prevent my hands and wrists from going wonky again. I'll be doing a lot of typing, and I don't want any flare-ups of pain, like the ones back when I did data entry. Plus the yarn's so soft, I can only imagine the joy of feeling it next to my skin all day. :)

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

The truth will free my soul.

Another few inches got added to the Midnight scarf over my breaks at work today. I also got in quite an interesting discussion there with a crocheter, talking about afghans and whatnot. It was quite fun, and the first time someone paid attention to my knitting. I was surprised, actually, that it's taken three days. I knit every day over my breaks, and only today did someone say, "Hey, you're knitting."

Not that I expect praise for knitting or anything. I just figured that most people there would find it odd that someone my age knits, and knits publically. *shrugs*

On a different note, slightly, I can't wait until Christmas is over. From a knitting standpoint, anyway. I'd like to be able to get back to knitting simple blanket squares without feeling guilty that I have presents to be working on. I want to be able to sit for hours frogging bargain sweaters without having to avoid looking at the pile of Things To Be Knitted. I want to start the second baby blanket I have planned, and rush less with it because the baby in question won't even be born for months yet!

Don't get me wrong. I adore knitting for people. Every time I see something that I want to make, I'll be wondering who I can give it to once it's made. But deadlines are a pain in the patootie. I'd rather I didn't have them. I'd much rather be able to randomly walk up to someone some day and say, "Here, I made you this," than hand someone something on Christmas that I had to rush to finish because I didn't budget my time properly.

Besides, randomly gifting people is so rewarding. Especially seeing the looks on their faces. *grins*

But mostly, I just want to knit squares for the blanket. I dug out the one that my mother knitted for me, and it's warm enough, but having one of my own will be twice as satisfying. Being able to look at it and feel it and have it keep me warm, and to know that every stitch was made by me.

And now, if you'll all excuse me, I'm exhausted from a long day of work, and my bed has such a sweet siren song . . .

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Work post!

I'm sitting here at work, in front of the computer, thinking to myself, "Hmmm, what can I do that doesn't involve studying hotel codes or going through numerous screens of a reservation sale program?"

And then the answer comes to me. Actually, it sorta makes these little peeping sounds from my bookbag, that sound suspiciously like, "Knit me. Knit meeeee."

Yes, I brought along my knitting. Unlike yesterday, when I forgot my knitting, or any reading material, or real paper, and so had to spend my breaks with nothing to do but sip on a bottle of lemon-flavoured water. At least today I came prepared!

Jenny's Midnight scarf is what I have with me, since it's small and simple enough to stuff in my bookbag and bring to work. Knitting away during my breaks and while waiting for the bus really makes the thing come along quickly. I fully predict that it'll be done by the end of the week. That leaves next week to do Luke's scarf at work, and still work on the baby blanket when I'm at home.

If I can pull myself away from frogging Value Village sweaters, that is.

Saturday, December 10, 2005

Bargain yarn-hunting at its finest.

I went out today and got the very last of my Christmas and Yule shopping done. Not that there was much to pick up. Something to hold Dawn's "was-supposed-to-be-a-poncho-but-is-now-a-slightly-wonky-wrap" together, and a few blocks of Sculpey. And that was it.

So, in celebration of this, I decided to pick up some yarn for myself, too. Not at Michaels, though. No, I decided to get more bang for my buck, so to speak, and get a bit of practice in with my unravelling scheme. Er, my scheme to unravel stuff. Not my scheme that's coming apart. So since I was already in Value Village (which was where I got the pin to hold the 'wrap' together', I took a look at some of the sweaters there.

I walked away with an extra-large 100% wool cardigan, with good seams to cut, and lots of cabling and texture work, in a slightly off-white colour. I'm guessing the yarn's about worsted weight, and it's still in fantastic condition. This cost me $5.99, not including taxes. Yes, the entire thing cost me less than a single skein of wool yarn at Michaels.

You're not going to hear any complaints out of me, that's for damn sure!

Near the bus stop there's another second-hand clothing store, and since I had some change in my pocket from buying the cardigan, I decided I may as well take a look in there, too. I walked away from there with the softest thing I'd ever touched. It's a size small, but I wasn't about to pass it up. A woman's sweater (if you can call it that, 'cause I doubt it's ever seen sweat!) in black, dark turquoise, and a lighter turqoise, probably fingering weight yarn (possibly even lace weight), with the following blend:58% silk, 30% nylon, 10% angora, 2% lambswool.

What did this gorgeous thing cost me, all told? $3.19. Canadian money.

Yeah. There was no way I could have passed that up. I'd never touched angora before this, so far as I knew, and I just about died when I felt how soft it was!

I also noticed that as I was going through the racks and racks of sweaters, I was beginning to be able to tell by touch what was a natural fibre and what wasn't. This, I imagine, will be a big help later on, when I do more bargain yarn-hunting.

So for less than $10, I got myself an insane amount of yarn. This makes me pleased. Very pleased indeed.

And now, if you'll excuse me, I think I have some dishes to wash, or possibly some cookies to bake. I'm craving peanut butter cookies tonight, and far be it for me to deny my cravings. (I went to the gym today, so a little big of 'bad' food won't kill me. :p)

Friday, December 09, 2005

I do need to keep up with this thing more.

I've been away from this blog so much over the past few weeks that I've still got a mountain of catching up to do. In regards to reading other blogs, that is. At least 2 weeks have passed since I last really read anything. I did a bit today, but . . . Well, there's still so much more.

I've taken a break from the baby blanket to work on Jenny's scarf. Every time I look at it, I go, "Hmmm, I wonder if I made it too wide. It looks too wide, really." 24 stitches cast on doesn't seem like much, but really, 20 would have suited it better. But I've come along so far (and to be truthful, 'so far' isn't really that far at all) that I don't want to rip it all back and start over. If I run out of yarn before it's a good enough length, I'll just buy another ball, gosh darn it!

But at the same time, I don't fancy sitting through the whole project saying to myself, "It still looks a bit too wide . . ."

But is it just me thinking it's too wide? It could be just perfect, and because I happen to like thinner scarves that end up longer, I could just be imposing my own personal bias on it. There could really be no problem at all.

Damnable brain.

On a different note, I can't decide if it's a good thing or a bad thing when you see someone wearing a scarf, and not only can you tell that the scarf was handmade, you can also tell what yarn it was made from. Opinions on this? Am I going insane, or just taking another step into the knitting world?

By the pricking of my thumbs, something knitted this way comes.

I managed, thanks to some Christmas money from my grandmother, to pick up the yarn for Luke and Jenny's scarves. enny's is a lovely midnight blue bloucle yarn from Bernat, while Luke's is boucle yarn in earth tones, browns and greens, which Rachel says he'll probably like. I'm in the middle of knitting Jenny's right now. I figure that if I knit during my breaks and lunch at work, I can finish the scarves before Christmas, and still have plenty of time to work on the baby blanket while I'm at home. That way, everyone's happy.

And warm. Let's not forget warm.

I can't believe how close it is to Christmas. Today makes it even more obvious, since it started snowing earler. It's still snowing, and there's enough to put a nice white layer over everything. Traffic's a little wonky because of the slipperiness, but fortunately for me, I have nowhere to go tonight, so I need not worry about that.

Tonight, I expect, will be spent curled up in bed, knitting, possibly with a homemade version of a Christmas drink I tried today. It's essentially a mug of mint tea, just made with hot chocolate instead of water, so it's a nice chocolatey-mint drink. You could get the same effect, I suppose, by letting a candy cane melt in your hot chocolate. The candy cane would probably have a more festive feel to it, too, but meh, since I have no candy canes, a tea bag will have to suffice.

Thursday, December 08, 2005

Opening the door to destiny.

Good thing - I finally have a job! A well-paying one, too!

Bad thing - This seriously cuts back my knitting time. >_<

Which means that I really have to crack down and use more of my spare time every day now to finish that blanket. It shouldn't take too long, fortunately, but I don't want to have left it until the very last minute. It's still coming along there, slowly slowly. At least I have most of today during which to work on it, once I get back from doing the things I need to do. 7 PM onwards ought to be spent in knitting glory.

I think I'm still in shock over having a job. The amount of money I'll have coming in is staggering for me. Not as much as one job I had, but still significantly more than most. And while my first thoughts are, "Yay, I can start paying off my debts and get ready to move out of this place and back into a place of my own," my secondary thoughts are, "Yay, just think of the yarn I can buy!" Another true sign of knitting addiction, I think.

Well, when a person will be pulling in about $1000 a month, what else are they supposed to think of? :p

Saturday, December 03, 2005

Curiouser and curiouser.

Weird. I have just been informed by Amelia that comments may not be showing up on my blog, and I'm not getting notification of anyone trying to comment. So if anyone tries to comment to this entry and it doesn't show up, send me an email to let me know, please, and maybe I can try to wrap my brain around (read: email Blogger about) what's going on.

In knitting news . . . Nothing. Nada. Zip, and zilch, too. I've been so frigging lazy lately it's not funny. I've barely made any progress on the baby blanket, instead devoting my time to playing video games. Note to self: video games can wait, and be played any day. Christmas presents, however, have to be finish within a certain time frame. Otherwise, they aren't Christmas presents anymore!

Tomorrow, I am devoting a good 4 hours to working on that blanket. Damn the world and all its problems; they can wait until after some knitting has been done! Baby Sean needs his blanket!