Nath Knits

and should probably be doing something else.


Random and Disjointed

1 – I unraveled the Kureyon Socks.  They looked dorky (not the yarn’s fault this time.  All mine.)  So I’ve started over, and they are my size, so far.  Who knows how they’ll end up.  I’m going away this weekend to a friend’s cottage with a bunch of other friends (and no spouse or kids), and I’m still waffling as to whether to bring the socks, or start a new project, because just the thought of these socks makes my blood pressure go up.  Sheesh.  Mind you, knitting while drinking wine might make me not care.

2 – It’s raining.  Which is good for my garden, don’t get me wrong, but not so good for the laundry I hung up.  Because, of course, Environment Canada said the forecast for today was “Sunny.  High 22 degrees.”  The forecast has now been changed to “Showers.  High 22 degrees.”  I wish they’d ascertained that before it started raining.

3 – Yes, I’m going away for a weekend of debauchery with some friends.  Which I feel vaguely guilty about, since I’m leaving my kids next weekend for a week to go gallivanting off to France.  But Dr. Thingo will take care of things just fine in my absence, and, as I told him, this is payback for all those summer conferences he goes to, in particular the two consecutive weeks’ worth he attended while I stayed home with a toddler and a two-month-old three years ago.  I’m vindictive that way.

4 – I’ve been cycling long distances (ok, 15 km at a time, but still) a few times in the last week, and except for the tender butt, it feels good!

I have to go buy some wine.

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Happy birthday, Vorlon!

First, my little boy has made the ‘official’ transition from toddler to preschooler. Yes, Vorlon turns three today, and so has evolved from this (at a day or two):

to this (at three, minus two days):

He is ambivalent about his big-boy status, but is happy with all the attention.

And for knitting, my hatred for Kureyon Sock continues. The gauge has dropped back to 8 st/in while I was merrily knitting along. But there’s no way in hell I’m starting over again. So, if you have size 7 (women’s) feet, pipe up, and the socks are yours. Grumble.


Thank goodness for Blue’s Clues

The first long weekend of the summer is over. As far as the weather goes, it was a bust, except for part of Saturday afternoon. We rented a car for the weekend, so obviously we went out for Dim Sum for Saturday lunch. Then I took the kids (so Dr. Thingo could get some work done) to a local nursery to get this year’s crop of annuals. I put them in immediately, since it was nice out by then, and I didn’t think the weather would hold. Here is, as it currently stands, my front yard:

All that brown is where the grass used to be. There are now perennial herbs, annual herbs (except for the Basil, which I won’t take out until the frost risk is much lower), and some butterfly-attracting plants, for which I got a kit at the nursery. I’ll probably be doing a lot of weeding this year, but I quite like it. Here’s another view:

Those are the annual herbs, and the last tulip in the back.

I also got the tomato bed ready:

Tonight’s low is supposed to be 1 degree Celcius, so I won’t put the tomatoes out today, as I meant to. On the far right, you can see the snap peas slowly crawling up the mesh I put up against my railing. Also, there’s that big patch of saxifrage that was put in there by the previous owners. There used to be two giant yews in this bed (you can see the stumps still), and I guess they put the saxifrage in there so it would eventually take over as ground cover. It makes pretty red flowers later in the summer. I keep meaning to take it out to make more tomato space, but I can’t bring myself to do it. Maybe next year.

Sunday, we went to Toronto to go to a Stragglers party at Jorge‘s, whom I haven’t seen in a long time. Since before his now 14 month old daughter was born. It was a fun time, and there were some kids there almost exactly my own kids’ ages, so I hardly saw them all afternoon. Everybody wins! Incidentally, the mom of one of those kids made the best cheesecake I’ve ever eaten. I wonder if I can get the recipe off her.

Yesterday, we didn’t do much of anything, as the weather was surprisingly blustery. The kids did go play outside later in the afternoon, but I put a video in after lunch and let them watch a big pile of Blue’s Clues while I worked on this:

Cute, eh? It’s the purse on the front of the current issue of Threads magazine. I picked out the fabric with Vorlon on Friday (“Do you like dis fabwic? Dis fabwic? Dis fabwic?” Len’s Mill is a pretty big place…). It takes just a few hours to put together, including the cutting of the fabric, the second guessing of instructions and picking out of seams, the looking up of errata that aren’t there and that I could have avoided by just reading the instructions through carefully before I started, and the finishing. Fun to do. And I love that polka dot fabric. I might have to get more to make some kind of garment.

And I am knitting! Spinrite sent me some yarn. By mistake. It was supposed to go to another homeworker, but since it’s easier to email me the pattern than for me to send the yarn away to its intended recipient, I inherited the project.

Gilded rib-cage, it’s called (heh). It’s made out of Bernat Bamboo, which is nice and soft, but sheds like crazy. I made another similar, but crocheted, garment out of the same stuff last year. Nice pattern, works up quickly. And, for the first time in ages, I’m working on straight needles, because I don’t have any 6mm circulars. It took some getting used to – the weight distribution is totally different.

And I have started (and restarted, and restarted…) some socks out of the Kureyon Sock yarn I bought after last week’s workshop. I HATE THIS YARN! Sure, it’s pretty, but I can’t get an accurate gauge swatch to save my life, and then the gauge changes while I’m working. I started off wanting to make the Coriolis pattern from New Pathways for Sock Knitters, toe up. I started off with 3 mm needles, got 7 st/in in the gauge swatch and it turned out to be 6 st/in in real life. So I decided to go with it, ripped it back to fewer increases and kept knitting. I saw that the texture was nearly invisible and the fabric was too thin (I should know better than to use a one-ply for something textured). So I decided to do the Topstream socks from the same book, ripped it back completely, and did a swatch with 2 mm needles. That was too firm, and it was 9 st/in, which is crazy. So I settled on a 2.5 mm needle, swatched and got 8 st/in, started the sock again, and realized about 3 inches in that it’s really 7 st/in. So I have ripped back to get the appropriate number of increases for my foot size. This is nuts. Luckily, the patterns are totally customizable (Cat Bordhi is a genius) but I have to redo the calculations every time, which is a minor pain in the butt. The yarn is so contrary, it even eluded the autofocus on my camera:

I hope this one sticks. If not, I’ll just make the socks as-is, and find somebody they’ll fit on. Sheesh.

*ETA:  I just realized that the view I’m using in wordpress is screwing with my pictures and truncating the last little bit of them (on the right), so you can’t see the snap peas crawling up the mesh in the picture. I’ll figure out how to change it later.

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Knitting and Math. Best Mothers’ Day ever!

Not only did Zebula give me this kick-ass necklace for Mothers’ Day, but I got to spend the afternoon at a Woolly Thoughts workshop. Pat and Steve, who are the founders, are former maths (yes, with an s. They’re Brits) teachers. They do all kinds of cool things with garter stitch and colours, all modular. These ideas and techniques have been used to teach math and geometry to school-age children, apparently to great success. It’s technically easy, but the results are wonderful. Plus, I got to hear things like “closed Sierpinski Peano curve” in a knitting workshop. I’m full of ideas now, to use up the stash. I already made Zebula a Barbie blanket from the knitting I did in the workshop.

The workshop was hosted by Karen, of Shall We Knit, in a coffeeshop a few doors down from the shop. It was a nice space, and the coffee was good. We got to go to the shop afterwards, which was great a) because I’d never been and b) I could get a copy of the Woolly Thoughts book. The store is fabulous. Just what a yarn shop should be. Big work table in the front, well-arranged and displayed yarns and great book selection. Prices were clearly displayed, and many of the yarns had either swatches, or garments nearby, so that you could see what things looked and felt like. I’m glad it’s there. Though it’s 22 km from my house, so a pretty substantial bike ride, if I want to go that route.

I’m off to go finish my Mini-Clap, and do some more work on the Q socks. Maybe some coffee too.


It’s nice out. I think I’ll leave it out.

It was mostly nice today, so I got some gardening done (to continue the gardening I’ve been doing on and off for the past three weeks.  The grass in that patch in the front has been completely removed.  I have since put in one of those black rubber borders so that the garden doesn’t spill over into the neighbours’ driveway.  I have transferred a few of the perennial herbs to the new location (mint, lemon thyme, chives and sage, if you must know).  My trays of seedlings are coming along nicely, and I should be transferring everything over in a week or two when the frost risk is over.

I know this gardening stuff is getting tedious, but I can’t resist.  Look how nice it is outside my house!

Nice, eh!  And it proves pretty conclusively that I didn’t even come close to getting all of the tulips out of the periwinkle.

And a closeup of my favourite tulips:

It’s like they’re painted. I love ’em.  Oh, and my saskatoon is blooming like crazy.

You can see the bare patch on the right where I tore out all the grass.  I’m expecting, since I haven’t covered that nice bare patch of earth, that weeds are going to move in and have a party anytime now.

When did this blog become “Nath Talks About Her Garden”, anyway?

I have been knitting.  I’m making a pair of socks.  It’s the Q pattern from Knitty.  I’m in love.  These are so much fun to make up!  I always forget how cool fair isle can be to do.  And it’s whizzing by.  I just started these on Saturday night, and made most of the leg that evening.  I did modify it a bit.  They’re for a man, and while I think he’ll be ok with the colour scheme (at least, I hope so), I didn’t think he’d want knee-highs.  The yarn is Paton’s Kroy Sock, in black and “Paintbox”.  The recipient did say he wanted them to be “silly”.  I hope this qualifies.  Really, I’m all nervous about these.  I almost never make anything on commission, so I’m feeling the pressure.

Oh, and the Mini-Clap (redux) is now about 2/3 finished.  Much better now with the new width.  And I probably won’t wear it for another six months.