Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Write your own book....

I came across this amazing website.... .... that allows you to create your own book... about anything, any size, with photos and text, whatever you would like, and print a copy to be mailed to you! It's really worth a look. You can see what other folks have come up with, and you can download the book making software and fiddle with it. It is very easy.

So of course I thought, how nice would it be to place some of my patterns in a bound book? They already look kind of cool on the website, all professional and shiny and beautiful, and I have really enjoyed seeing the patterns together here on this medium, but a real book? It was irresistable. So I downloaded the software and plunged right in. The fact that the patterns were already digitally stored allowed me to cut and paste and then move them around and insert photos all over the pages. It was an addictive process. I decided to make it like my favourite knitting magazines, where they have all the pattern photos, with short descriptions and pattern page references further along in the book. So the end result is 15 original Chris Knits patterns, followed by full pattern instructions and step by step photos when useful. A 58 page soft cover book, in colour with beautiful photos, and instructions. You can preview the end result HERE, and can even order your own copy if you are so inclined.

This photo shows the computer as you are deciding the page layout and editing the text and photos. You can easily do and redo the layout until you really like it, and in the end, you upload the whole lot back to Blurb and create your book page there and order a copy to print (or several)... it will take 2 - 4 weeks to get the books, and I will let you know how nice they turn out when they arrive.....

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Wrapped Up!

The Quilt Wrap is done, and it is as lovely as I imagined. I really enjoyed this project, it was so soft in my hands and each square worked up quickly, so it seemed to grow daily. It is so long, I had to take two photos!

and the finished wrap on me, wow.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Rain and Robins

It has rained so much this summer, we have broken all the records. I have come to the realization that if I opt out of golf because of rain, I will lose half my rounds! So into the golf bag this year is the best piece of golf equipment I have aquired since I began this game. No not the tight lies club or the new hybrid that is a perfect 125 yds, or even the amazing Wood Hoods. It is the PAIR of rain gloves I reluctantly bought last year after a rainy round and never used again in 2007. They are designed to grip the clubs BETTER when wet and you wear two of them. Seriously, they have allowed me to complete my game with no compromise to my swing due
to wet grips and tight hand clenching that used to follow.. Love the gloves. Here is a photo of our Sunday round at Lionhead in Brampton, a beautiful, top 10 course, green, lush and FULL OF WATER. this is the light rough, just beside the fairway! Look, a new water hazard! Rick and I both "lost" our balls in the fairway of 15. In the middle of the fairway. In "casual water" as they call it, and you get a free drop, but let me tell you, there was NOTHING casual about this water! I had a fun day anyway, as we played with number one son, who we don't see very often and laughed the rain off over beer and pizza and wings afterwards.
Today, when I got home from work this was on my deck railing. How new and sweet he looks. You can barely see the hint of red chest and he was a bit scruffy, just like any young kid!

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Birth of a Sweater Pattern

The Noro Blossom has been calling me. I knit my current wrap (almost done now) while staring at the skeins of Noro yarn. I have been dreaming of all the possible destinations for this yarn. Finally, patiently, I have started a swatch. Two reasons, first to check the gauge that this will knit to, and second to see how a 5 inch wide band of stocking stitch will look like. How will the colour changes look, will I get a thicker block of colour before it changes. I think the idea of vertical bands, three thicker (about 5 inches) and 2 separating them of 2.5 inches. The thick bands would be the burgundy mix, and the thinner from the purple mix. (I have 10 balls of burg and 3 of purple). The sweater will be a cunky easyfit pullover, with maybe a cowl neck. Hard to picture wearing this as it has been blistering hot and humid for days, but we have more cold days in the year than hot, so the sweater will be needed all too soon. sigh.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Tuesday Night Knitting...

What a lovely day, hot and sunny on the golf course, and shot a respectable 88. Then dinner and knitting with my posse. I have been very good and continue to work on the projects I have started instead of jumping into 2 or 3 new ones with my recent tent sale purchases! Here is the quilt wrap shawl, about 80% complete... and here is the new cotton, lap blanket or single bedspread or queen size blanket... the end result will depend on how fed up I get with this modern log cabin design!
It is garter stitch and worked in blocks that build from picking up one edge and knitting out from there, really easy and kind of mindless. I can do this while sitting on my backyard deck and reading my ebook. I only pause to press the page turn button. The ebook is great because there is no problem of pages turning in the wind or the book blowing or tilting off my knee! Fabulous.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Needle Emporium Tent Sale (or Yarn Heaven)

Today my Knitting Group took a road trip to a yarn sale! It was the annual tent sale at the Needle Emporium in Ancaster, Ontario. I have never been before as it is usually on a work day for me but I have heard tales of deals beyond belief. And not just bad dye lots and odd balls, but real silk and merino and lots of it! So off we went, arriving at the opening time of 5pm for the first evening of the sale. It had grown so big over the years that it outgrew the "tent" and moved into a local church hall nearby. So we hit the front door with the thoughts: take no prisoners, every knitter for themself, set your radar for Merino and Silk, and leave the acrylic alone! The deal is this... they have 3 sizes of bags and you can fill them with whatever you want for $40 or$75 or $150. The only exception is Colinette yarn for $10 a skein! Within minutes I have 2 lots of NORO and 2 lots of Colinette, all enough for a full sweater each (4 sweaters). Moments later ALL the Noro was gone and most of the Colinette picked over. I got Silver Thaw and Blossom (Noro) and Tagliatelli and Chrysalis (Coli'). i also fit 5 balls of Debbie Bliss Cashmerino Dk, and 3 more balls of Blossom and some sequin accent yarn (usually $25 a ball) and some mohair scarf yarn. All in all about $700 retail price worth of yarn for $175. Wowweeee. Each of us bagged lots of bargains and although the suv was not FULL, you can see we did well. We stopped for a nice patio supper at a nearby pub, and met up with 2 other tables of knitters still on their tent sale highs, all chatting of the bargains and the possible patterns they will be using.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Biking on a Summer Day

We were shut out of our usual golf game, a big tournament was scheduled on our course... so we popped the bikes in the backof the Pickup and off we went to the Niagara Parkway Recreational Trail. It is a paved trail that runs along the Niagara Parkway, from Fort Erie, past Niagara Falls and ends at Niagara-on-the-Lake. We parked near Queenston and rode the bikes along the trail into the town of NOTL. Here is a picture of Rick:
And here is a picture of me:

The day was lovely and we locked the bikes and wandered the town looking at all the tourists with their ice creams and cameras. We then stopped for our own ice cream and took it to the part at the mouth of the river. This is where the Niagara river spills out to Lake Ontario, and across the river is Fort Niagara on the USA side:And from the other angle, a 45 degree turn to the left, and zooming across Lake Ontario, was this photo of Toronto. Visible are the office towers and the tall CN tower.
And the last photo is the Quilt Wrap, now about 5 feet long and just over half done! Still enjoying this fuzzy project, although it sheds a bit while knitting, so I change into old T's and shorts before I knit, then have to change again if I am going out again. It looks like I have a shedding multi-coloured cat if I don't change my clothes!

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Wood Hoods - Hybrids!

I have used my Wood Hoods for a few years and have made many colours for myself and friends. Just this week I caved to the new trend of Hybrids, and bought a 23 degree and 27 degree hybrid. They will replace my 3 iron and 5 iron and hopefully improve my game astronomically! (no pressure)! Of course the first thing I did (even before taking them to the range to see if I can hit the beasts) was make 2 new Wood Hoods in mini-hybrid size! I put the numbers on the side as that is the flattest place when the hoods are on, and I should be able to spot the numbers easily.

Please keep your hybrids warm with these new hoods. Pamper them and they will treat you well. Fly straight and long my new metal friends!
Wood Hoods - Hybrids.
One Size: For Hybrids, (utility woods – small woods that replace mid to long irons) **** For Full Size Driver and 3-wood covers see HERE!

FINISHED MEASUREMENTS ”Sock” section [tube] is 1.5 inches wide and 9 inches long.
Hood section is 5 inches wide and 5.5 inches long BEFORE felting.
Hood is 4.5 inches wide and long AFTER felting.

MATERIALS [for 3 Hybrid Wood Hoods]
[Hood Yarn #1]: Patons Classic Wool [100% wool; 223 yds per 100g skein]; color: Royal Blue: 1 skein[Hood Yarn #2] Lion Brand Fun Fur [100# polyester; 60 yds per 50g skein]; color: Royal Blue; 2 skeins
[“Sock” Yarn] Patons Canadiana worsted weight [100% Acrylic; 170 yds per 85g skein]; color: Black: 1 skein

1 set US 10.5/6.5mm double-point needles for hoods
1 set US 7/4.5mm double-point needles for “socks”

Notions required: purchase sew-on number patches [optional]

11 sts/19 rows = 4” in stockinette stitch with Hood Yarn #1 and #2 held together on 6.5mm needles
14 sts/24 rows = 4" in stockinette stitch in Canadiana on 4.5 mm needles

When substituting yarns, ensure that the “sock” yarn is 100% acrylic and fairly sturdy twist, so it holds a stretchy rib without sagging. If you choose a yarn that has any wool in it, knit the “sock” separate from the Hood, and felt wash the Hood alone, then attach the “sock”. You want the Hood to felt, and shrink, but NOT the “sock”. Also make sure the Hood Yarn #1 is 100% wool and not a superwash wool. You want it to felt well.

Sock: Starting with “sock” yarn and 4.5mm needles cast on LOOSELY 24 and distribute between 3 dpn’s. Join without twisting, and work in k2, p2 ribbing in the round for 9 inches.
Last row of “sock”: Increase 6 stitches evenly across last row. 30 stitches on needles.
Hood: Change to 6.5mm dpn’s, and Classic Wool and Fun Fur, begin stocking stitch loosely in the round, with both yarns worked together.
Work until the fuzzy hood is 5 inches long.
Decrease row 1: [k2tog, k1] repeated across this row. 20 sts remain.
Row 2: [K2tog, k1] repeated across this row to last 2 sts, K2 tog . 13 sts remain.
Row 3: K2tog, repeated across this row to last st, then K1. 7 sts remain.
Break 10 inch tail of both yarns, and using large eye darning needle thread tail through remaining stitches to gather closed and securely fasten the tail. Sew in all yarn ends.
Felting is simple in the washing machine, with hot water. Use a regular setting and small load size. I usually put the item[s] in a mesh bag to reduce the wooly residue in the tub and drain, and will throw old dishtowels in to help beat up the wood hoods. One full cycle usually reaches the dimensions required, but you can check every 5 minutes and do a second cycle if needed to get the approximate size of finished measurements. You want a firm, dense, fuzzy fabric. Air dry and reshape the ribbing to allow it to dry unstretched.
Sew optional numbers on side of hood: 3, 5, or whatever is required for others. I have also used letter beads to spell out “three” and “five” and sew to hood.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Happy Canada Day!

On this bonus Tuesday off work, I am free to do what I like...(no family visiting, no obligations at all, just a free day)... After an early golf game, on a lovely morning, I have puttered around finishing some odd sewing repairs, and finishing some bead projects that were on the back burner. Here's the beaded necklaces...

And here is the newly blocked tank top....

Now the rest of the day is for relaxing with my book and enjoying the rest of the afternoon on the deck. The breeze is light, the temperature is warm (but not too hot) and the zebra finch (Ben) is chirping and enjoying his summer location.... hanging from the beam above my chair...

Tonight we will ride our bikes down to Port Dalhousie and watch the fireworks off the end of the pier. What a great day. Happy Canada Day..