Saturday, November 24, 2012

Aimez Aidez

G'day all!

Ok, the post title doens't make lots of sense but it may or may not rhyme... lol

About six weeks ago I saw that my friend over at Celtic Caston was doing a knit along for a Berroco pattern called Aidez.  Well I hummed and hahhed over it (not hemmed and hawed - we have different vowel sounds to Americans!) and then saw some yarn in my very local yarn shop (The Tea Cozy) that would do nicely and umm, well, I started knitting.  After I bought the yarn (cascade Eco+ in purple heather, shade 7811), of course.

Waiting for breakfast
Despite a little issue with row gauge because I did not use the correct yarn and did not allow for row gauge to be off - always a critical issue in a raglan sleeved item and I knew it would be (ahem!) - it fits quite nicely.  It is nowhere near as loose as the model on the Berroco website.

The back
Hmm, I look like a bit of a linebacker there... not that we play American football much in my country.  I guess holding my handbag (aka purse in the US) was not a good idea.

If the weather had been a bit more cooperative here recently, I would've gotten it done earlier but the blocking took days as I had to do it one piece at a time on the ironing board and steam block it.  It worked out well enough, it just took two days... lol probably as long as it would've if I've wet blocked it.  The problem with wet blocking is that it would then have been pinned out on the bed.  I can't use the guest bed for blocking as it is a fancy pants air mattress.  Oops!

A bad attempt at an arty shot
So it was an easy knit, though do remember that row gauge is critical in raglan sleeved items.  I did some cables with an old knitpicks needle tip from a broken set and some without.  I also modified one of the twists - the left twisting one on the back - because as written, it was just looking messy and not twisted.  I swapped the stitches over, left two behind the right to, making a proper cable crossing.  The right side looked fine as written.

I think you need to see how pretty Nathan's breakfast at Portage Bay was.  He'd already eaten most of one piece of coffee de leche French toast by the time I took this shot.

Yum!  The topping bar is great.
I am also pleased to say it has not rained on me yet today.  Hooray!  We've even seen the sun on occasion :-)


Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Knitalong, Aidez

G'day all!

This post comes to you care of my phone, as I have had another crack at breaking a computer (though I have not in any way damaged my work laptop, it's done it all by itself). 

Celtic cast on has a knitalong happening for Aidez, a free Berocco pattern.  Excuse the lack of links, they are hard to do on the phone, no cut and paste.  I thought I'd best show my progress as the knitalong ends in a couple of weeks...ack, better get my skates on! Plus the shot is pretty average but what do you expect from a phone?

So far, I have done both the sleeves and fifteen inches of the back, plus the fronts are now a good twelve inches long. This means that I should be able to get it done in two weeks, surely? I've knitted this much in just under three weeks.

Time will tell!

Thanks for the birthday wishes, btw, they were much appreciated!


Friday, November 02, 2012

A wilted birthday

G'day all!

Happy birthday to me!  It is my birthday in Australia but not quite here in Seattle yet.
Birthday sorbet yesterday with my friend L.

Over the years, finding out where I am from is becoming increasingly interesting to me.  Who am I?  Where am I from?

This is something that is difficult - my parents are dead, my grandparents are long dead (my father's parents so long dead my mother never met them), my cousins are old enough to start popping their clogs....  I'm at least third generation, more like fourth generation Australian.  One of my sisters has traced our lineage back to the Second Fleet, she thinks (lots of people with the same names is an issue).  So yeah, not only am I a colonial, I probably have convict blood in me, a matter of some pride in Oz.

This would look a lot nicer if embiggened.

Apparently I look Dutch or possibly from some part of Sweden.  I don't look particularly Norwegian if the people I see around here are anything to go by.  I'm too big, the wrong colouring and the wrong shape.  I know my ancestry includes English, Irish, Welsh and Scottish peoples but it doesn't really inform me as all of those have been such a melting pot for so long - wave after wave of invaders.

We had a rainbow at sunset yesterday.  Lasted forever!

So tonight, I went to a talk by Sylvia Olsen, technically about Cowichan sweaters but just as much about her life and the knitting that has informed it.  Here is a lady who was alien to the First Nations tribe she married into, yet she has put down roots there.   At the same time as it was inspiring and an interesting talk, I was also saddened because it became all about me, me, me.

I've been here since January, 10 months almost.  I have not put down roots.  I have not integrated in any way.  I have one friend, well one and a half friends - I have the phone numbers and email addresses for two people and one I ring regularly, though not as often as I should have over late summer/fall.

Still loving the leaves...

I've gone to knitting events and talked to people and tried to share things and given people my mini moo cards.  At the Nordic Knitting Conference, I talked to some people there who said how hard it is to be an outsider and how hard they found it to integrate into Seattle society - it's known as the Seattle Freeze but don't worry, I've found it happens all over the USA.  Anyway, the very next night after being all pally with me, they didn't want to know me any longer.  I wasn't interesting any longer.  They were not from Seattle, so it ain't just the Seattle Freeze.  I've had the same thing happen in Colorado and in California.  I rarely got to know people who had lived in that place all their life.  It was the imports who became my friends, the people like me who would like friends and did not have established groups and cliques.

Love the plays of yellow and red.

So it is a bit depressing on top of the usual I'm a year older (on the other hand, given the events of late 2009, I'm a year older!  I made it another year!  Yay!).  I am introverted.  I am actually quite shy and uncertain in social stuff - being geeky did not set me up socially for life, it usually brought rejection.  I don't make friends easily or often, though once I do, I tend to think of them being friends for life, even if we haven't talked for five years.  I had hoped that I would have some friends to invite out to dinner by now, but the only ones coming are my husband's friends, people I've met through him.  I enjoy their company and I'm getting to know them better and we can have fun but it would be nice to have some of my own friends.

Rugosa rose hip and fall foliage.

I go to knit nights and have been to the spinning guild twice now and I have some sorta friends there.  Maybe I am trying too hard.  Maybe I'm not trying hard enough.  Maybe I'm just a very dull person.  Maybe I exude loneliness. Maybe I'm too geeky, too chatty, too weird, too me

Instead, I fling myself into my crafting because it fills some of the gap.  If I can't have friends here, maybe I can have lots of nice things instead, things that I can say, "I made that, aren't I a clever girl?"  Having someone's approval, even if it is only my own, is nice :-)

A little quilt, the fish now has a big eye on it.
I made that all by myself, aren't I a clever girl?

I won a book tonight because it is my birthday tomorrow :-)  If I wrap up some of the yarn I bought online recently, I'll get a present too.  I could wrap up the new tops I bought to replace my lovely lime green fleecey that I lost today.  I can pretend.  I'm good at pretending.  Plus I know this too will pass.  I'll get used to being mumbly-cough soon enough and I'll find someone(s) to be my buddies sooner or later.

I liked these leaves against the paling fence.

Oh, btw, many apologies, I have been even worse than normal at responding to comments.  That's because some scumbags spammed my comments and I had to chuck about 100 comments into my spam box and now gmail throws all of the comments in there, and I'm not very good at checking spam as I discovered the other day when I found goodly handful of comments there.  I'm trying a different commenting form, one that I think will let me reply in the comments.  I hope.