Thursday, 31 May 2007

Beautiful Weather

We have been enjoying very nice weather these past few days. Dare I say, a little rain at night would be a good thing? Just as long as it's dry by the morning.

Last night I attended a music night at a local high school and almost finished the ribbing on my Sockotta sock. When I got home, I continued working on the bathmat which is coming along very nicely now. It makes me happy, knitting with such sunny yellow cotton yarn. My first test piece in the 'garterlac' pattern was a dishcloth. A Bernat Handcrafters yarn that was pink, white and brown. The entire time I was knitting it, I was reminded of Neopolitan ice cream.

I have a sweater to finish for a colleague's daughter. My colleague's mother-in-law started it but about halfway through was diagnosed with cancer and subsequently died, leaving the sweater unfinished. My colleague asked me if I would finish it. Unfortunately, I knit with a much tighter tension so had to re-knit it. I don't like the yarn (acrylic) nor the pattern (from the ball band) but it makes me feel good knowing a little girl will get a sweater that her loving grandma wanted to knit for her.

This weekend my husband and I are going to "Not the Messiah (he's a very naughty boy)" - the musical version of "Monty Python's Life of Brian". Tomorrow is the world premiere at Roy Thomson Hall in downtown Toronto and it will run June 1, 2 and 4. Eric Idle has collaborated with Peter Oundjian, who is his first cousin and conductor of the Toronto Symphony, on this project. There will be 105 musicians on stage for this comic 'oratorio'.

Wednesday, 30 May 2007

So Shall Ye Rip

I seem to be knitting everything twice these days. I have made progress on the Sockotta sock. I made several attempts at a short row heel and finally got the hang of wrapping the stitches after ripping it out 5 or 6 times. There's only one big hole at the gusset on each side of the sock. I'll mend it somehow, I guess.

The 'garterlac' bath mat (from 'Criminy Jickets' website) has been 'frogged' (rip it, rip it) because I had cast on way too many stitches and would likely run out of yarn. I'm now using 3 16-stitch squares for a total of 48 stitches. This should make if possible to finish with some yarn to spare.

The leftover yarn will be used to make a baby bib from the "Mason - Dixon Knitting" book for one of my colleagues who is due to give birth on July 1 - Canada Day! This is what the bibs look like made up (from ) . I think I'll embroider a little patch to add like in the 'bentemor' pictures.

I knit a pair of socks for a friend from Scheepjes yarn and got quite a surprise when there was a break in the yarn in a couple of spots and the striping didn't continue in a consistent manner. In fact, the piece of yarn that was inserted was backwards. So much for trying to match the stripes in the second sock. I decided to not bother trying to match the stripes in the leg of the sock and instead matched from the ankle to the toe. Then while knitting another pair of socks from Austermann Step yarn, I had the problems with the striping again while knitting the second sock. There wasn't a break in that yarn so I'm not sure what happened. It's not the first time Austermann Step yarn has been inconsistent for me. I do like the stripes to match so it bugs me when they don't.

My students are somewhat intrigued that their teacher has a blog. A couple of them checked it out and their eyes glazed over when they realized that so far, it has been 'just about knitting'. So to make it 'not just about knitting' I thought I'd include some non-knitting content. They thought I should talk about them.

I am a secondary school music teacher. Last Thursday was our big "Music Night" - in fact, my last one as I am retiring from teaching at the end of June. The picture at the top of this page is actually of me conducting at that concert. Our concerts are really class recitals - culminating performances for each of our music classes at my school. Everything went very, very well. The students knew their stuff and were well prepared. Just as we were nearing the end of our final piece, the fire alarm went off and we had to evacuate. It turns out that it was accidentally pulled at the building adjacent to our school. 20 minutes later, we were back inside (with a somewhat reduced audience) and finished the last few bars as if nothing had happened. I will miss many (but not ALL - ha ha) of my students but am very excited about the new challenges which lay ahead for me.

Sunday, 27 May 2007

Knitting in the Dark

Today my husband, step-son (age 13) and I went to see "Shrek the Third" I took the toe-up sock I'm knitting and got about 4 cm (1.5") done on the foot in the dark. Every time I do a new pair of socks I try to do or learn something different. These are my first 'toe-up' socks. I also recently learned how to knit on 1 long circular needle (Magic Loop method). I'm using Sockotta cotton/wool/nylon yarn Color 5 which I bought last weekend on a foray to Erie, PA for our Victoria Day weekend.

I'm also knitting a bathmat using a modified 'garterlac' pattern. I'm using sunny yellow cotton yarn and am doing 4 16-stitch squares rather than the 3 8-stitch squares. It's a 1 lb. skein so will be doing most of the knitting at home and saving socks for knitting away from home.