Thursday, May 27, 2010

I have saved all my ribbons

cloth and buttons
For mother's day (a bit late) I made Mum a face washer using a stitch pattern called "Slate pattern" from an old Mon Tricot book. It's not exactly a reversible stitch, but the 'wrong' side looks ok. (oops, no photo though).

Noro buttons for Mum
She saw that when it was in progress, so I added a surprise - a set of buttons covered in knitted Noro Silk Garden lite. I think these are an improvement on the earlier ones I made, because I switched to smaller needles for the knitting.

I tried using a covered button kit, but even knit with smaller needles, the fabric is still too thick. So I just found eight matching (in shape and size, not colour) buttons in the stash, and covered them by running a thread around the outside of the (vaguely circular) piece of knitted fabric and pulling it tight to hold it on the button.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

We enter into it, it enters into us

white cardie

This is the Cabled raglan baby sweater by Rebecca L Daniels.

I had just finished talking to my friend, very pregnant at the time, about how I was going to wait til a while after the baby was born before I would knit something to suit him or her. Then a 200g ball of Bendigo 4ply cotton in white landed in my lap (you know who you are, thank you!). And it seemed perfect for something for a newborn (as well as a perfectly bad idea for the toddlers in my life). This is the softest, lightest cotton I have ever felt. It was almost like knitting with baby wool. And this kid lives in a warmer place than here, so cotton is ideal.

Even though the pattern is written for DK (8ply) yarn, I saw comments from others who have knit the pattern that it came out quite big. I made the smallest size, and while I didn't measure the finished product, I don't think it was far off the measurements given for that size (3-6 months). It should be fine for a newborn.

I made a couple of small adjustments: I made the two cables mirrored - in the pattern they both go the same way - and I made a crochet loop for the button, instead of putting a press stud to fasten it, with a button just for show. I like the button offset to the side - it seems to go with the 'eccentric cable' (that's what it's called in the pattern). But I think maybe I should have put a press stud on the other side of the collar - I'm worried it might sag on that side. Too late now.

If you look closely at the photo you may see that I got an unintended spiral effect on the sleeves. I tend to keep moving a couple of stitches around the double pointed needles every few rounds, to avoid ladders. Unfortunately with such a soft yarn, I must have pulled the first stitch on each needle a bit too tight. The spirals are the tighter stitches, with their position moving around the tube each few rounds. I wasn't too happy with this, but not unhappy enough to redo it. (I was trying to get the package sent before the baby arrived, though that didn't happen). I think it should smooth out with a few washes.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Now it's more like the little sister's vest

B vest

This is the 'dress' I knit for my niece early in 2009.

She's grown quite a bit. I'm stoked that she is still wearing it. And I think it's really cute as a vest. It must be the most-worn thing I've ever knit (a scarf I've been wearing for several years might be the only thing that would rival it).

B leaves

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Swan family

Last weekend we had a family picnic/leaf kicking event by the lake. This family of swans came right to the edge of the water and hung around for a while with quite a few people watching. Perhaps they were hoping some food would fall their way.

Thursday, May 06, 2010

Can I just ask you a question?

The other day I was walking through an indoor shopping centre on my lunch break. There are some stalls in the middle of the walkway, and when the people selling skin care products offer me a pamphlet, I'm used to just saying no thanks and continuing on my way. But this time the woman had a different tactic, she said, "Can I just ask you a question?"

I knew - of course I knew - this was just an attempt to get me to stop in the hope that I would become interested in the products after all. I also knew there was no way I was interested in buying or even finding out more about them. I should have said no. But politeness obviously runs deep, and I stopped and waited for her question. I think it was something like "what kind of skincare products do you use?" At that I said I'm not interested and started to turn away, but again she said "can I just ask you a question?"

She already HAD asked me a question. Why on earth didn't I just say no?

She peered at my face and said, "What products are you using? Because your face is looking a bit sensitive."

Finally, at that, I was offended enough to say "I'm not interested" and walk away quickly.

It was only thinking about it later that I realised why I was so offended and annoyed. It was so much more annoying even than the 'clipboard people' (paid workers who hassle people to sign up for charity donation programs - they don't accept one-off donations). I've learned to say no to them straight away. My arrangements for charitable donations are my own business and I don't need to be pressured on the street about it.

This woman caught me off-guard because I was expecting her to take the usual polite 'no thanks' for an answer. She took advantage of my (and I'm sure many others') basic politeness - it's very hard to ignore someone who addresses you directly. What made me really mad was the intense scrutiny of my face. I hadn't even entered a shop, let alone requested advice or a makeover, and I found myself being examined and the appearance of my skin judged!

I wished I had said as much to her, but of course I wasn't quick enough and anyway, I just wanted out of there.

And yes, OK, my skin might have been a bit thinner than usual (metaphorically speaking) due to a recent milestone birthday, one of the ones requiring a new driver's licence. And my new licence photo is fine but I liked the one from five years ago better. I think my skin was a bit less 'sensitive' then.

I'd say I might even be old enough to be a bit less polite. But I don't actually want to be less polite, I want people selling things to behave themselves!