Saturday, November 27, 2010

Carmichael Aran - Finished

The Carmichael Aran has actually been finished for a few weeks, but it was only this morning that I got around to taking a picture.  The picture isn't that great, but it gives you an idea of how it turned out.  I'm hoping that Dennis, the recipient, will send me a better photo. One of my plans for the new year is to spend more time with my camera and learn what it, and I, can do. 

The sweater pattern is mine and I used tratitional cables. Since Mr. Carmichael lives near the ocean I used a wave-like pattern in the center.  I made the sweater with raglan sleeves for two reasons:  Dennis mentioned liking raglan construction when the sweater was first discussed, and I prefer a raglan shaping as it cuts down on the bulk under the arms that you get with a drop-shoulder.
Yarn:  Rowan Purelife Bristish Sheep Breeds DK Undyed
100% British Wool
Shade 00780 Ecru Bluefaced Leicester
13 balls, 50 grams each
Needles:  US #4/3.5 mm for ribbing
US #6/4.0 mm for the rest
Notes:  I blocked the pieces of the sweater before sewing them together and each seemed to grow dramatically in length.  However, after I sewed it all together and the sweater "rested", the lengths were right.  Now, I hope that the sweater fits Dennis and that he likes it.  I hope that the lengths are what he was hoping for. 

Off to package up the sweater and head to the post office......

Friday, November 19, 2010

HELP! I need somebody.....

I'm working on a new project, a hat for a guy I work with.  When he asked me to make it, many months ago, and described it, I thought it was a circular knitted cap.  Wrong! 

He brought his hat into work and asked if I could knit one similar to it.  Here's a picture:

Click on the picture to enlarge it.  Use your Back button to return to this page.
My co-workers were saying, "oh Joanne can make that, she can make anything".  Well, yes, I probably can make it, but it would take some time to deconstruct and then make the pattern and knit it.  I'd really like to speed things up and get knitting for my little grandson, so that's where you come in. 

Have you ever seen a hat constructed like this, knitted circularly, a snug-fitting, helmet-style?  A friend gave me a pattern that she found that was very similar (thanks!), but was knitted flat and seamed up the back.  I really want to work in the round.  I'm not concerned about the stitch that's used, although learning what it is would be a bonus.  I can always decide on a nice textured pattern later.  It's the construction that I'm striving for now.

I've already chosen the yarn:  Plymouth Yarns Baby Alpaca "Ampato", an aran/heavy-worsted weight, very nice and soft-to-the-touch yarn in a charcoal/gray tweed color (#500), about 4 stitches = 1 inch on size 8 needles.

This picture was found here:
He wanted a tweedy-effect yarn, and I'm willing to choose a thinner weight for a suitable pattern. you know of a pattern, or can you make a suggestion on how to make a hat like this?

Monday, November 15, 2010

Gordon Lightfoot

I guess it's time that I got back to blogging.  I have done almost no knitting in the past few weeks, and my computer was "having issues", which are now fixed, so let's see....what shall I post about this time?

The Carmichael Aran sweater is finished.  I'll take a picture when the light is better.  I need to get it into the mail for the recipient.

I've been to two concerts in two weeks, so I'll tell you about one of them, the most recent, first.

Last Saturday night I went to the Paramount Theater in Denver to see Gordon Lightfoot.  The last time I saw him was in 1968 at the Grand Theatre in Kingston, Ontario.  Forty-two years have gone by, and I was very pleased to have the opportunity to see him again.

The passage of time and a near-fatal long-term illness have taken its toll.  He's very thin and appears frail and has aged a great deal, appearing older than his years.  He'll be 72 years old on Wednesday (17th), but I'm very pleased that he's still able to go out on tour and share his amazing songs with us.  His voice was a little weak and he doesn't have the range that he used to have, but the voice is still unmistakenly Gordon Lightfoot.  He had a bit of the imp in his eyes when he told a couple of "adult" jokes.  He still has a lively spark about him! 

I took this picture as he was starting to sing The Wreck of The Edmund Fitzgerald in the second half of the show.

Photos weren't really allowed, but I couldn't resist snapping a couple of quick pictures.  I've waited decades to see him perform again.  I didn't want to go home without a couple of photos to remember the evening.

If I had one wish for the evening, I wish he would have played "Canadian Railroad Trilogy", but I'm not complaining.  After more than two hours of playing and singing, including my favorite song, "Sundown", he came back for an encore and a final bow.

And then it was over, much, much too quickly. 

My vehicle was in the lot around the corner from the Paramount, and across the street was the tour bus and equipment truck.  I had a little thrill and bit of a taste of home when I saw the license plates on the truck... from Ontario:

I understand that the plate on the left is from a Canadian TV Show, Corner Gas.  I've never seen it, but if it's still showing, I'll try to check it out when I'm in Kingston again.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

A Huge Thank You

Thank you seems like such a small word for the gratitude I feel.  Your donations to Compassion In Action (I, jokingly, call the group the CIA!) mean a lot, to me for your support, and to the homeless people in Denver who will be warmer and feel a little more appreciated after today.

The CIA group, men, women and children, met at my friend and the group's organizer, Kelly and Bill's house, at 9am.  Everyone helped, right down to the smallest child, to sort the clothing, shoes and blankets.  The children made cards and handed them out to the homeless people.  Lunch bags were prepared, with sandwiches, water, juice and more.  The lunches were each put into a sturdy bag or backpack, along with a hat, scarf, gloves, two pairs of socks, toothbrush, and bandaids.  The clothing and blankets were sorted and put into large plastic bags:  women's shirts, men's pants, shoes, blankets and so on.

Everyone found a small spot to work as they sorted the donated bags of clothing. The whole house, including the garage, was packed with volunteers and all the items. There was a lot of activity, but it all very organized.  That's our wonderful leader, Kelly, balancing the box on her head!

Five vehicles were loaded up for the trip.

All of us headed to parking lot which is across the road from the Denver Rescue Mission.  Plastic tarps were laid out and the bags and clothing were spread out.

We were still unloading the bags when word spread about what we were doing.  Men and women came along and chose what they needed and picked up lunches.  They were so appreciative, we shared hugs, and I heard lots of "thank yous" and "bless yous".

The arrow points to the Denver Rescue Mission.
After about 3 hours, we were out of food and almost out of clothing.  What was left was taken to the Denver Rescue Mission to be handed out by them.

We were lucky enough to have one of the most beautiful days to do this, in the mid to high 70s and sunny.  We couldn't have asked for a better day.

This is a yearly event, with the donations being given out in November.  If you'd like to donate anything for next year, please email me and let me know.  If you live anywhere near south Denver, I'll be glad to pick up what you have.  If you are farther away, we can find a more central place to meet.  This year, A Knitted Peace yarn store was kind enough to collect things for me.  However, since I no longer work or teach there, I really can't ask them to do it again. I'll be posting about it again next year in the fall. 

Again, thank you so very much.  No one in the Compassion In Action group takes even a penny, and many spend their own money for food, backpacks, toiletries and more, so your donations are really appreciated.  We couldn't do this without you.