Saturday, November 15, 2008

Too much for one post

... but I'm going to jam it in here anyway. It turns out that my looming-est deadline has been shifted and the pressure lifted a bit. (Whew!) I'm going to do more primary research before submitting my thesis proposal. Instead of writing madly for the next couple of weeks, then, I get to do one of my favourite things: spending time with moldy old newspapers. (I know -- sounds awesome, right?) First, I need to blog a bunch of stuff I've been wanting to tell you about for the last little while.

1. I was in Ontario last week at a conference. For me, one of the thrills of going to Ontario is going to Michaels craft stores! (Yes, really.) I wanted to pick up some Lion Brand Wool-Ease for an inexpensive sweater project -- and I went to Michaels in three different towns and couldn't find Wool-Ease! They all had the Thick & Quick version, but no worsted weight could be found. Has it been discontinued or something? Where in the world is the Wool-Ease?

1. b) At the Michaels in Belleville, Patons SWS was on sale for $2 a ball! I bought 16 balls of Soy Wool Solids (= 1600 m) in the colour "natural berry," to make some kind of cabled cardigan (even though I suspect cabling will be ... challenging, as this is a barely twisted single-ply yarn).

2. I bought a PedEgg, and it is awesome. I may love it a little too much. I want to grate the skin off my calloused heels all the time.

3. The book Knitting Noro by Jane Ellison is a good one. There are lots of good, basic patterns for cardigans, pullovers, and jackets that could be knit in all kinds of yarns. (I have my eye on the Turtleneck Tank [at right], for a bunch of grey alpaca-wool I have in my stash.) I'm thinking that (someday) I'll probably frog my ill-fitting Dolman Updated sweater to reuse the Kureyon in a pattern from this book, because I do love that yarn and that particular colourway.

4. Back to that conference in Ontario -- my M.A. supervisor was there. You may recall that I knit him a pair of socks once I'd defended my thesis. He loved those socks. He thanked me over and over; in e-mails months later he would mention them. A dream recipient of a handknit gift. Anyway, I spent time with him at the conference last week, and at the end of the first day we were standing around having a glass of wine and talking about what we'd been up to lately, and I mentioned Rhinebeck, and he started reaching around in his bag and talking about the socks I'd made him. Actually, he said, "I have some bad news." It turns out that he'd lost one of his socks six months ago, so he had brought me the surviving sock and asked if I would please knit him one new sock. He said, "I'm only asking you to do this because I really love those socks." Obviously, I'm going to knit him one new sock.

5. The new issue of Twist Collective? Be still, my heart. I simply must knit Norah Gaughan's Kingscot cardigan, and I'm also swooning over Kate's Sweet Pea Coat and the Postwar Mittens. And the design of the "Critter Comforts" feature is brilliant.

6. The forthcoming issue of Interweave Knits? It looks pretty good. I quite like the Manchester Jacket, the Ropes and Picots Cardigan, and the Dainty Pinstripes Pullover. I'm looking forward to having the hard copy in my hands to look at the patterns.

7. I recently picked up the book Crochet Me, mostly because I had to try to make the Icelandic Turtleneck pullover right now.


This project is simple enough for me and my minimal crochet skills. The FDC row was a bit tricky, but I eventually got the hang of it (I think). I don't want this top to be tight or clingy; I want to be able to layer it easily over a long-sleeved T-shirt. My actual bust measurement is 37 inches; the pattern has instructions for 38 inches and 41 inches. I chose to do the 41-inch size, but now I'm wondering if there will just be too much excess fabric with four inches of positive ease. (Any thoughts?) The yarn I'm using is inexpensive Jojoland fingering-weight wool, in a shade of dark blue that I only like (not love), so it's perfect for this highly experimental project (i.e., if my Icelandic top turns out to be very, very bad, it's OK). Crocheting is fun, but unlike knitting, I have to watch what I'm doing with every stitch. I can watch TV, but not a movie with subtitles.

8. I went to see Passchendaele, and I quite liked it. The reviews have been a bit meh, but I suspect a lot of those reviews were written by dudes who don't want women or romance in their war movies. The battle scenes were truly stunning. My only issue with the film was Paul Gross's casting of himself. I hesitate to even say it, because Gross is ridiculously handsome and I was very happy to look at his face for two hours, but his character is supposed to be in his mid-thirties, and Gross himself is ... no longer in his thirties. (Dead sexy, though.)

OK, enough. I have some work to do today, plus I have to get stuff ready for a research trip to Toronto tomorrow. Have a nice weekend! It's rainy and grey here -- perfect knitting weather.

24 comments:

whistlepeaknits said...

I had a bit of a crush on Paul Gross in junior high in his Due South days. I think it's his lips.

Have fun in Toronto!

Katie M. said...

Have fun in the archives! I can't wait to see how the crocheted cardigan turns out.

jane said...

oooo...newspaper digging sounds like tons of fun, have a blast. I fully concur with all your pattern choices from both Twist and Interweave.

Stephanie said...

The yarns chain craft stores carry depends entirely on what the buyer for the chain chooses, which is *entirely* dependent on what sells. (There's definitely a catch-22 there.) I haven't worked in the commercial craft industry in several years, so this intelligence may be totally out of date, but back when I was in the loop, the stuff the mass market customer wanted was wildly different from what a "knitter's knitter" would choose. Basically, anything that produced results quickly with a minimum of skill (e.g., bulky yarns and novelties) sold well at that level.

Alison said...

The Icelandic Turtleneck seems to run WAY big. I am a 36" bust and I am making a size smaller than size small as written in the book. All I can say is try it on frequently and at the first sign that you think it might be too big, rip it back a bit and throw in some decreases.

Stephanie said...

Dude. There is seriously so much in this post that all I can say is.. Yes.

Yes to all of it, except maybe the crochet, but definitely the PedEgg.

Serenknitity said...

Loved this long post, excellent Sunday morning read. Your Supervisor sounds lovely! So glad you are making him another sock (chances are he'll find the first one once you do, that seems to happen).

liz said...

Really enjoyed your long post! I'm fairly certain "my" Michaels always has wool-ease. Maybe we can work out an wool-ease package to be sent?? contact me at lizchatwell AT yahoo DOT com

Anonymous said...

Are you aware of the Coats and Clark outlet for yarn in Mississauga in the industrial plaza north of the 401, east of Hurontario? It has limited hours
(I think thurs/fri/sat 11-5) but sells yarn by the bag--cheap!!
I bought a bag of Nashua Creative Focus Chunky for $25 (wool and alpaca) and a bag of Nashua Painted Forest for $15. 10 balls to the bag. Also pattern books were very inexpensive. It's like panning for gold (or a box of chocolates) you never know what you're going to get. Could be TLC, Patons, Moda Dea, etc. Worth the trip if you're already in Toronto area. I'll send more specific directions if you need them.
Marlyce in Windsor, Ontario

Nell said...

Be careful with that pedi-egg. I love it too. But I've seen a couple of people who have gone too far and made their heels too soft. Ouch!

snoweviolet said...

What can be cuter than him asking you to knit him a new sock? That is some serious handknit <3!

Ann-Marie said...

Funny that I have to read the post of someone else to know that my local Michael's has SWS on sale!

:)

La Cabeza Grande said...

Oh, the sock professor! That's so sweet. That's what I call showing your knitwear some love.

Thanks for the info on the PedEgg. I wondered. So much better than wielding a file over a trashcan, I'm sure.

Best of luck with the IC pullover. I like it, too, and was giving it serious consideration.

a wren's nest said...

Thanks for the Twist Collective link. What a great magazine!

shannyb70 said...

It looks like you're productive on all fronts! Thanks for the update about Twist Collective and for the "Passchendaele" review. I'll have to check it out on DVD. I'm a big Paul Gross fan. I loved him in "Slings and Arrows."

Veronique said...

Your former supervisor sounds so sweet! And thanks for pointing out that the IK preview is up :)

Stacey said...

Long post...I love it :)

I, too, think I have seen worsted weight Wool Ease at one of my numerous Michael's. Let me know if you need some...

I have no idea who Paul Gross is, but I'm going to go imdb him.

Seanna Lea said...

I like the Icelandic pullover. It's really snazzy looking. I'm still planning on making the Butterscotch cardigan (I've only had the yarn for months!)

Carolyn said...

I tried #2 = did nothing for me. Mayhaps my feet are worse than yours.

Ditto on #5. I really want to make that green cabled all over thingamabop. Lovely.

yay for brainy blogging!

Thinks too much said...

I SO love Paul Gross. Love, love, love. (I saw him as Hamlet at Stratford 10 years ago, and he smiled RIGHT at me -- my heart was all aflutter!!) Liked Passchendaele despite its few 'made for TV' moments. Turns out my grandfather was there (didn't notice him in the movie, though).

Karen said...

According to Michaels - woolease is not available in Canada...

http://www.michaels.com/art/online/displayProductPage?productNum=nw0246&channelid=

I guess us Cdns will have to smuggle it across after finding suppliers :)

Dr. Steph said...

Haven't seen Passchendaele but see what you mean about Paul Gross. Shades of Emma Thompson in Sense & Sensibility.

Leanna said...

1. I hear you about Michael's and Wool-Ease. I live in Ontario, and none of the four closest stores to me carries Wool-Ease. They do seem to have a fixation on something called "Vanna' Choice" though, which is mildly disturbing.

2. Paul Gross started to bother me during the "carrying of the cross" scene. I was like: Really?? Do you think we don't understand that you think you are Great?? ;)

Carolyn said...

maybe i just have super tough feet but that stupid pedegg does NOTHING for me. i just wanted you to know!