Sunday, March 29, 2009

Surprise Guests in the Bathroom

Yesterday was so nice, we had a full 18 holes of golf. It was great to play on our course, a full 2 weeks early, and the course was in good shape (although a no-frills day, no water, no washrooms, no tow rope to climb the hill) and I shot a nice 89. Today, it is rainy and cold, so we both settled into some household chores... I was baking bread and cleaning the kitchen when I heard the tub upstairs being filled... It was mid-day, not the usual time for a soak in the tub. Investigating further, I found Rick starting a big clean of the 100 gallon fish tank. This only happens every 3 - 4 years. Usually he drains to 6 inches and refills without taking the fish out, but the tank was in a bad state and needed to be completely drained. The fish can no longer survive in a bucket for an hour or two, so he set up our tub like this...

with conditioned water and air supply!

I bet there are not many folks who have full size piranha in their whirlpool tubs...!?!?

Here is the latest sweater done and blocked and ready to wear. Pattern to follow in a day or two. It is a good way to use up several colours of the same yarn (or at least the same knit gauge). Any worsted weight that knits to gauge should work.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Sandbagging, not just for golfers!

In my little world, the term "sand-bagger" is used to describe a golfer that artificially inflates his/her handicap in order to gain a better net score and thus clean up (win) more tournaments. Obviously, not a complimentary term, and the shame of the true and honest golfer, for it is a game of honour.
I had an email from my sister, who lives north of Winnipeg, and as many of you know, there is a massive flood about to arrive in the area. The news is full of photos of Fargo, and the devestation there as the dikes have been breached. Sis told me of the "flood of the century" in 1997, and the difficulties the area had. This one is bigger than that, and she has been spending evenings at the local fire hall, assisting with the making of sand bags. This prompted me to find out more about what they are doing and I found a whole site that instructs how to build your own sand bag wall.... wow.
I can't imagine having to do this to save my house and property. I am in awe of folks who survive this ordeal and wish them all the best. The second photo is a floating machine that attempts to break up the bogged down ice, that leads to the dams that flood the Red...

at first I thought it was a land digger stuck in the ice, but no... who knew they had (or needed) such a vehicle? again, awe....

All the while I am getting excited about our lovely weather in our little neck of the woods, and plan to spend Saturday on the golf course, with my clubs inside these new Wood Hoods...

I have a new Four Wood, that I will use from the fairway (replace my tight lies club) and the blue fuzzies were a little tired after about 150 rounds of play!

Love you Manitoba!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

new golf season, new wood hoods!

The golf course opened last thursday, so I broke out the fun fur, felting wool and stretchy cotton, to make this years' version of the Wood Hoods. This one I am knitting the top and sock separately as I am not sure how the cotton stretch yarn from the sock part will handle hot water felting. I will felt the fuzzy tops and then sew them to the sock part, the whole thing can then be washed in cool water if and when needed....
Here are the parts done so far. Black Lion Brand fun fur, Lion Brand felting wool for the balance of the top and Esprit, cotton stretch from Elann for the stretchy sock (held double). The pattern is found HERE, just bind off loosely after the last increase row of the sock tube, and cast on the total stitches of the fuzzy part (with both black yarns held together) and continue from there to end. Wash the tops in hot water as instructed until solid and shrunken, then sew with large SHARP darning needle to attach to the cast off edge of sock - stretch this sock edge to match the larger opening of the fuzzy hood.

I had a lovely email from a gal who has made lots of these;

Hi Chris! I promised I would send pictures of my finished golf club covers. I finished them yesterday and LOVE them! I used Paton's Classic Wool (wedgewood, rosewood, and forest multi) and fun fur for the pink, green, and blue covers, and Lion Wool Prints (Majestic mountain) with Cello fur for the purple/brown multi covers. I used Lion brand Vanna's Choice acrylic for the socks. I bought 1-1/2" iron-on numbers in gold, then purchased felt to match the socks. After cutting circles from the felt, I ironed on the numbers, then stitched them on using beads and crystals to hide the stitches. Oh yes, it took two hot wash cycles and about 30 minutes in a hot dryer to felt the hoods really well - but they are really tough and strong now. Thank you again for the great pattern! My next project is a scarf (pattern from Lion Wool website), then I'm going to make your fun fur vest! I may have to play around with the size on that - I usually take a small. Should be a fun project! It is still cool here - but I actually played 9 holes on St. Patrick's Day - we had a rare warm day! Won't be long until golf season is in full swing! Take care ~ Yvonne

Thanks Yvonne! Her photos are here in the slide show to the right-----)

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Superwash Supersweater

This is the next great sweater. This is Arabesque superwash merino from Elann...(checked but sold out, so another worsted weight wool to gauge)... four colourways give me an abstract block pattern and the whole look is colourful and fun. The pattern is based on the shape of my Noro Blossom Turtleneck, although I have yet to decide if this one will be crew or turtle. I will keep you posted. The weather is warmer, work problems have eased up and are running a bit smoother, my bathroom is really beautiful, and I have some really great yarns in my stash... could life be any better? Wish you all the same! oh, and Happy St. Patrick's Day.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

The Great Reveal

New living room hardwood, and new area rug...
New hardwood in kitchen and cabinets refinished in mahogany stain and new nickel hardware and light fixtures. Runner in front of sink and DW.

Hardwood in Dining Room and new rug at computer station.

Hardwood in hallway upstairs....
New paint on cabinets and new aged bronze handles and faucet.

Floor tiles and step in front of tub are new.
Tiles continue up the side wall by cabinets and run over back splash of countertop.
Nice floor.
That's it for the reno for now, golf season begins in a couple of weeks and we will be working on our games again. Nice, eh?

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Icing on the Cake...

The last detail to be installed in the "new" bathroom is the new faucet... here it is and it's beautiful!
It has taken me a month to find it. I found it a while ago, but it was out of stock (of course) so I was running around trying to find an in-stock substitution, but had my heart set on this new-old style in antique bronze. There are lots and lots of chrome and nickel, but I already had my heart set on this colour, and of course, already bought 14 new door and drawer handles and towel racks in that colour.

So this weekend, install and pictures and done (I think)...


Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Merino Color Baby Rib Twist Pullover

Here is a big project. It is knit on 3.5mm needles (US 4) so takes quite a bit of patience to finish. The basic pattern is an 8 by 8 ribbing, with a cable shift after a set number of rows. This is done on the lower half only and creates a more snug fit there. The rest is plain 8 by 8 ribbing and simple shaping to finish with a wide scooping neckline finished with one inch 2x2 ribbing.

Yarn: Stampato Color Baby (100% Austalian Merino) color 806 greens with flecks. 9 balls were used for this generous size 40 inch chest, but it will easily stretch in this yarn to fit 44 inches. Other yarns designed for baby knits on fine needles would likely work, just knit a swatch to test the gauge!
Needles: 3.0 mm (US 3) for ribbing, 3.5mm (US 4) for body
Gauge: 24 sts and 34 rows in stocking stitch.
Size: This fits 10-12 (38-40 inch chest), but in this yarn it would easily stretch to fit 44"
Notes: Seed Stitch over even number of stitches: row 1: k1, p1, repeated across, row 2: k1, p1 repeated (knit the purls and purl the knits). Cable 4 right: place next 2 sts on cable needle, and put to back of work. Knit next 4 sts, then seed stitch 2(knit, Purl) from cable needle. Cable 4 left: place next 4 sts on cable needle and hold to front of work, then seed stitch (knit, purl) next 2 sts, then knit 4 from cable needle.

Back: With smaller needles, cast on 108, and work in K2 P2 ribbing for 2.5 inches. On the last row of ribbing, increase 12 sts evenly spaced (120 sts).
Establish the pattern as follows: K8, [Seed Stitch next 8, K8] repeat brackets across to end.
Work as established, with stocking stitch band alternating with seed stitch band for 14 rows.
Row 15(right side): k4, Cable 4 left, seed stitch 4, cable 4 right [ cable 4 left, seed stitch 4, cable 4 right]- repeat bracket to last 4 sts, k4.
Row 16: Purl 4, seed stitch 2 [purl 4, seed stitch 4] to last 10 sts, purl 4, seed 2, purl 4.
Row 17: K4, seed stitch 2, cable 4 left, cable 4 right, [seed 4, cable 4 left, cable 4 right] repeat to last 6sts, seed stitch 2, k4.
Row 18: Purl 4, seed 4, purl 8, [seed stitch 8, Purl 8] repeat to last 8 sts, seed 4, purl 4.
Rows 19 - 32: work as established stocking stitch 4, seed stitch 4, stocking stitch 8, [seed stitch 8, stocking stitch 8] repeat to last 8 then seed stitch 4, stocking stitch 4.
Next 4 rows, move the cables back... Row 33: k4, seed 2, cable 4 right, [cable 4 left, seed 4, cable 4 right,] repeat to last 12 sts, then cable 4 left, seed 2, k4.
Row 34: p4, seed 2, [purl 4, seed 4] repeat to last 10 sts, p4, seed 2, purl 4.
Row 35: k4, cable 4 right, seed 4, [cable 4 left, cable 4 right, seed 4] repeat to 10 left. Cable 4 left, k4.
Row 36: p8, [seed 8, p8] repeat to end.
This gets you back to row one, and the honeycomb pattern is complete, and you repeat the whole lot, until 12 inches from start, or thereabouts, as long as you end at an 8 by 8 ribbing spot!
Continue up the back in plain 8 stocking stitch, 8 seed stitch ribbing, until 16 inches. Decrease 6 stitches at start of next two rows, then one more at start of next two, for armhole shaping. Work even in 8 by 8, until 9 inches of armhole have been worked. Cast off all stitches.

Front: Work same for back until neckline: when front is 22 inches total, work 33 sts, join a second ball of yarn and cast off next 40 sts, work 33 stitches on the right side of neck. Continue on both sides of square neckline until length is same as the back, then cast off both shoulders.
Sleeves: Cast on 50 sts with smaller needles, work in 2 x 2 ribbing for 3 inches, increasing 6 sts over the last row. With larger needles, K8, [seed8, k8] across row. Continue in established stocking stitch, seed stitch bands, increasing one at each side of sleeve every 6th row until 76 stitches have been worked. Keep the increases in stocking stitch. Continued even until 18 inches from start. Work sleeve cap: Cast off 3 stitches at start of next 14 rows, cast off 6 sts at start of next 4 rows, cast off last 10... done. Repeat for other sleeve.
Sew shoulder seams. With 3mm needles (short circulars or double points) pick up 96 around neckline and work in k2 p2 ribbing for one inch, then cast off all.
Sew shoulder seams, and then underarm and side seams. Finish all ends. Done.

****here is a photo of a readers version of this pattern!  Thank you Java!  Added Dec 2014.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Sunday Clean up Day...

Done the laundry, and cleaned the hardwood floors (so easy) and now sorting out a few more eBay do-dads... I have a bunch more yarn packs that end Tuesday, so take a look here. The new ones are crafty jewelry that I am finally purging, and hopefully they find good homes.
I am almost to the sleeve cap of the new sweater, but will need to block and sew and photo and type up the pattern, so look for all that by Tuesday evening, I think. I love Sundays, it is my only whole day off, and I can get lots of little things done, and still have some down time to knit and catch up on DVR stuff I missed through the week.
This morning we also got the grout issue solved... grout issue? Well who knew that grout came in so many different versions of white? There's antique white, snow white, alibaster white and then, canvas and butter and linen and many other shades of light beige. The issue for us is we must match a previous tile and grout that we did in the bathroom on the backsplash area above the sink. I couldn't remember, so it took both of us two tries and testing small areas, to find the right off-white. Now we are full steam ahead with the finishing tile touches and the bathroom will be done! (well, after a bit more caulking and a new towel rack is installed - then it will be done...)
I feel like a reality show, with the big reveal just around the corner. I just can't figure out how they do so much in 2 days or even a week, this has taken over 2 months. I guess it's because it's just 2 of us and not a whole team of professionals, and we are trying to work full time too. In the end, I love the results and am very patient to see it all done right.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Next Pattern, Coming Soon

I am THIS close (fingers held up half inch apart) to being done the next sweater patter, and although it seems only days since I posted the last one, I was knitting this at the same time as the chunky colinette, and took the first sleeve to Florida with me. The new one is on 3.5 mm needles (very fine) so lots more stitches and takes a bit more time. But what I hope to get is a lighter fitted pullover that can be worn inside. The honeycomb rib-cables are on the lower half only which should give a snug fit through the torso, and a bit more relaxed at the bust (I hope). Of course the whole thing will relax a bit after blocking and not look so bumpy-ribby (just made that term up, can you tell?) I have a mock turtle neckline on it, but may change that at the eleventh hour. Stay tuned....
meanwhile, the bathroom should have the finishing touches in place this weekend and I should be able to post photos here by Sunday evening! I love the results, and that's it for renovations for now, since I have a bit of spring cleaning, and should be done that by the time our golf course opens (around April 1st). After that my time is full with work, golf and knitting, and major chores will have to wait until next November!

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Colinette Saddle Shoulder Sweater

This was totally inspired by big cozy sweatshirts, you know the kind that you can't wait to throw on after work and lounge in jeans and slippers while knitting and watching Corner Gas or Rick Mercer! This is Colinette's Chrysalis, a mostly cotton hand dyed Chunky yarn, soft and comfy from day one.

Yarn: Colinette Chrysalis, 7 skeins for roomy medium fit. (40 inch chest.)

Needles: 8mm (US11)
Gauge: 7 sts = 4inches in pattern stitch, after blocking.

Pattern Stitch: Row 1: K3, [P3, K3] repeat brackets to end of row.
Row 2: Purl all stitches.
Repeat row 1 and 2 for the body pattern.
Back: Cast on 39 sts.
Work K1, P1 ribbing for 5 rows. Increase 3 sts evenly over the next row. Change to pattern stitch. Work even in pattern for 21 inches. Cast off all stitches.

Front: work the same as back until 19 inches. Cast off all stitches.

Saddle Shoulders: Cast on 9 stitches: work in pattern (K3, P3, K3 right side- purl wrong side) for 6 inches, then for right shoulder with WRONG SIDE FACING, cast off 3 sts at beginning of row, work rest of row and next in pattern. Cast off 3 at start of next row, work rest of row and next in pattern, then cast off last 3.

For left shoulder after 6 inches, and RIGHT SIDE FACING, cast off 3 sts a beginning of row, work rest of row and next row in pattern. Cast off 3 at start of next row, work rest of row and next in pattern, then cast off last 3.
Sew these shoulder panels into place between back and front pieces, without stretching too much. I find this extra sewing keeps the shoulders from stretching too much especially with this type of bulky heavy cotton.
Sleeves: Cast on 17 sts. Work in K1,P1 ribbing for 7 rows, and increase 3 sts across last row of ribbing.
Change to pattern stitch and work sleeve, increasing 1 stitch at each side every 4th row until 42 stitches are on needles. Work the new stitches into the stitch pattern as the sleeve grows. Continue until sleeve is 17 inches long. Cast off all, and sew the sleeves to the side of the Front/Shoulder/Back before you sew the sleeve and side seams.
Neck: With Double point needles pick up 40 sts from around neck, and knit around the neckline in K1,P1 ribbing for 4 rows. Cast off all.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Knitting Delays....

Another reason that the knitting has stalled (besides Florida runaway golf adventures) is the ongoing improvement of CasaChris. The latest project is bathroom. Of course the renovations of kitchen and Living room were fabulously successful, and led me to look at the tired decor of main bathroom. These things often domino, and the momentum was there, so... I took it upon myself, as hubby was still hardwooding the hall upstairs, to remove the cabinet doors and hardware, and paint all the cabinets a lovely creamy white (primer and 2 coats of paint) then reassembled with new antique brown handles. Next came new flooring, tiles in sandy tones. Now I am painting the walls, a soft green grey. I still have second coat to do tomorrow so right now the room looks like this...
and this...

At the moment I am using the ladder as a towel rack.... works great. Still to come is tiling the step up to the whirlpool tub, and finding and installing a great new faucet. Then clean up and return the pictures to the walls and more photos to post here.... :)

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Spring Golf!

I was away for a week, a quick golf vacation to Jacksonville Florida. We chose that spot because I have never golfed in Fla, and Rick has never golfed in north Fla, and there were so many courses to tempt us.
The first 3 days were cool, sweaters on, but sunny and the golf was fine. The last four were amazing, balmy, warm, and I was in capris, then shorts and got a bit of sun, even through the sunscreen!
Here's one course, Eagle Harbor...
and an aligator sunning on the side of the fairway! This one was only about 3 feet long, but Mom must have been nearby so we stayed clear.
and the eagle the course is named for in a tree over the 15th tee!