Just One More…

Ahh yes, the plaintive call of wild and domesticated knitters alike:

“Just one more” (row, round, stitch, skein, ball),

“Then I’ll get to” (sleep, housework, cooking, bathing, blogging).

I am not immune and that is why there was no blog post last week.

I had personal goals that I wanted to hit and, well, I figured you guys knew me well enough to know that if there was a gap in my blogging, there’s probably some good stuff coming in the next post.

And there is!

So here we go…

~~~

Sockapalooza

In the last 2 weeks, I finished a whopping *4 pairs* of socks. Yes, I said FOUR.

Crocodilian Socks - Done Crocodilian Socks - Complete

The Crocodilian Socks (aka the Entrelac Socks from HELL) were finished first. As expected, the second one went a *little* faster than the first due to extensive notetaking.

BadgerDan declared them quite comfy and wore them most of last weekend. He does, however, mention that one really shouldn’t wear entrelac socks in workboots as they’ll give you some weird-ass welts on your instep.

Sound advice, thank you dear.

Garden Stroll Socks - Complete

Those were followed closely by the Garden Stroll Socks.

(Very cute – I really need to pick up some summer skirts to wear them with.)

Next past the finish line was my “fun stuff” project from the week before last.

Now, I may not have mentioned it before, but I try and do something quick and frivolous every week to break up the steady work on my epic projects.

Sometimes they get ripped out and you don’t hear about them, but for the most part, they do get finished and that’s the origin of all the bags, hats and other ephemera speckled throughout my posts.

I generally call them my “day projects” as they normally only take a day or so to finish.

Well, this time I decided to tackle some crocheted socks.

Why? Because you can never have too many socks.

(Do you *hear* the sarcasm? Yes, I know I have a problem. I’ll figure out what to do about it. Eventually.)

These ones I totally blame on the yarn which didn’t want to work for any other thing I tried to use it for and I just wanted it out of the stash before it influenced any of the other balls. (Hey, if stash can breed, it can also organize an armed coup.)

Patons Kroy Summer Moss

Behold – 2 upstart balls of Patons Kroy Jacquards in “Summer Moss”.

And here’s what they became:

Crocheted Carnival Socks

I used the “Ultimate Crocheted Socks” pattern by Dorothy Hardy which I had attempted about 5 yrs ago and gave up on, but managed to muddle my way through this time.

Crocheted Carnival Socks - Complete

I call them my “Crocheted Carnival Socks“.

Being toe-up, I simply continued the leg until I ran out of yarn and then proceeded to do the cuff in some solid Patons Kroy 4-ply in Burgundy.

I think they have been tamed quite nicely :D.

Bliosan Socks - complete

And last, but not least, I finished off my Bliosán Socks today!

Janel threw us a bit of a curveball with the last clue – shaped arch construction on the foot.

Bliosan Socks - Bottom Bliosan Socks - top

Sneaky. Clever. Pretty darned funky.

~~~

Fun Stuff

Last week’s little fun project came in the form of a wee stuffed bird.

Stripey Chirp - front

Meet “Stripey Chirp“. He’s 3″ tall and made out of scrap Noro Kureyon, and some other wools.

Stripey Chirp - side

(My apologies for the fuzzy photos, it was late at night when they were taken.)

The pattern is another one of Rebecca Danger’s adorable creations called “Chubby Chirps” and is available for free.

(I may have fallen down and purchased her Big Book of Knitted Monsters. Shhhhhh!)

~~~

Epic Garter Stitch

What really has been taking my time up has been a slight obsession with my two blanket projects.

I finished the middle 12″ of the Patchwork Blanket which consists of 36 two inch mitered squares:

Patchwork Blanket - Centre Square

Sock yarn. 2.5mm needles. This is gonna take FOREVER!

So I decided to upsize the squares a little:

Patchwork Blanket - 6

The 6″ squares still take forever to knit (about a day each), but at least it *seems* like progress.

The Moderne Log Cabin Blanket has also been getting a fair bit of love:

Moderne Log Cabin Blanket - Block #7, 35 ridges

Block #7 is now over the halfway point… only 62 more rows to go.

This is Hockey Playoff knitting at it’s best :D. (GO CANUCKS GO!!!)

~~~

A New KAL

A bunch of my Plurk friends twisted my rubber arm and suddenly I found myself participating in WendyKnits’ Summer Mystery Shawlette KAL

Lucky Penny Shawl - Clue 1

I’m using MadelineTosh Tosh Sock in “Copper Penny” on 4mm needles and decided to call it my “Lucky Penny Shawl“.

It’s been easy going so far:

Lucky Penny Shawl - Clue 2 Complete

The largest clue (Part 3) is due out in a few hours, so you know what I’ll be up to tonight :P.

~~~

Next Week’s Agenda

All this clearing off my proverbial desk is to free me up to work on my nephew’s Christening Set which I hope to get done in the next 2 weeks.

I also have the last 3 clues left to do on my Dreamscape Shawl.

Never a dull moment around here.

TTFN.

Published in: on May 26, 2011 at 2:42 pm  Comments (1)  
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This week’s post brought to you by the colour GREEN

Since I have a slight bit of writer’s block tonight, I’ll just quickly fill you in on what I’ve been working on this week without too much in the way of rhetoric.

~~~

May Mystery Socks

May Mystery Socks - Clue 1

This month’s Sock Knitters Anonymous Mystery Sock is by one of my favorite sock designers Janel Laidman.

Using up the seemingly unending stash of Scheepjeswol Invicta Extra in electric green. (I was given 3 balls of it from a destash – 2 pairs of socks later I still have 2 balls. There is something distictly odd about this yarn. But I digress…)

The beads I’m using for the socks are from a mixed batch of #6 Miyuki Glass Beads in greens with an Aurora Borealis finish.

Still trying to think of a better name for these pretty socks, something Irish maybe…

~~~

Garden Stroll Socks

Garden Stroll Socks - Sock #1 Complete

Finished the first sock! Ain’t it cute? :D

~~~

Crocodilian Socks

Crocodilian Socks - Sock #2 Toe

Finished the toe of the second sock and started on the entrelac instep.

~~~

Cotton Mini-Basket

Cotton Mini-Basket Empty

Needed a container that could hold an entire box of cotton swabs in the bathroom – so worked up this adorable little thing during a hockey game (go Vancouver!) using some #20 Cotton Crochet Thread held quadrupled with a 3mm hook for a nice tight gauge.

Couldn’t be happier :)

Cotton Mini-Basket - Full

Worked out so well it got me thinking that I may design a crocheted box for all those DVDs I organized last week.

~~~

Evenstar Shawl

Evenstar Shawl - Clue 6 Complete

I finished Clue 6 last night (YAYYYYY!!!!) and after much thought and consultation decided to skip the beads on the border to avoid problems for the baby it is intended for.

Hoping to have this finished by next week and a good start made on the rest of the Christening set for our nephew.

(He’s due next month – OMGMUSTKNITFASTER)

~~~

Sweater Recycling Program

Since it was such a gorgeous (if a bit chilly) spring day today, it got me thinking about warm weather yarns and my lack of them.

So I pulled out one of the thriftstore sweaters I had put aside for “upcycling” and had a lovely time dismantling it.

Recycled Cotton Blend Yarn

This particular sweater I really liked but it didn’t quite sit right on my frame and so warranted a re-work. I even got a couple of matching buttons in the deal!

The yarn is a cotton/acrylic/nylon/wool blend, approximately a DK wt and the sweater yielded 7 balls at approx 52g/209yds each (total = 1463yds) Not too shabby.

Thinking using it for a nice big shrug-style open cardigan or perhaps a tunic. We’ll see.

TTFN.

Published in: on May 5, 2011 at 11:25 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Baffling Brain Fogs and Resulting Chaos

The Thursday before last, I couldn’t do my regular blogpost as I was the helpless victim of an inexplicable brain fog.

This fog was very strange and kept me in it’s evil clutches for about a week and a half. It scrambled me so bad that I could barely string 2 relevant thoughts together.

You can imagine what it did to my knitting. It fairly near reduced me to tears.

Nothing would work, and when I bravely soldiered on, it caused much cursing due to skipped instructions, miscounting and multiple rippings back of hours of stitching.

~~~

Adventures in Entrelac

I did, somehow, manage to finish the first Crocodilian Sock through sheer willpower and gritted teeth.

The leg took 3 runs at it to get the stitchcount down to where it fit an 8″ leg.

Final count = 45 stitches. Fingering wt. On 2.25mm needles. BIZARRE.

I swear, entrelac must warp the space-time contiuum or something.

Upon finally reaching the cuff, I changed first round of cuff to (K1, P1, KFB) to increase stitchcount from 45 to 60.

I also had to alter the first row of the heel by knitting into the front & back of each of the 15 stitches to bring it up to the required 30.

Okay, from here-on-out this should be a cakewalk, right? Wrong.

Following instructions, I diligently worked the heel and half of the gusset as written:

Crocodilian Socks - Sock 1 heel

Then I tried it on. The rectangular heel turn (Welsh?) as a rule doesn’t work well for me, but the worst part was that *the gussets weren’t lining up*. One side was about an inch ahead of the other side. HUNH??

For the life of me, I couldn’t work out how to pick up the bloody stitches evenly on the sides of the entrelac instep.

Being so fed up with this idiot sock at this point, I did the only logical thing possible.

(No, it didn’t involve copious amounts of alcohol or screaming, although those thoughts did filter through the fog.)

I ripped back to the heel turn, did a regular triangular heel turn (French?) and proceeded to knit the gusset and sole without joining to the instep. When the sole was long enough, I simply kitchenered it to the bottom of the toe and sewed up the sides of the foot.

Crocodilian Sock 1 - Done

DONE.

This pair is going to BadgerDan because I simply cannot get over my ambivilent feelings for this pattern enough to wear them.

~~~

Lace Limbo

I didn’t dare even *attempt* to pick up one of my shawl projects, but I had promised my friend Heather Zoppetti (aka “Digitalnabi”) to test knit her newest sock pattern “Bobbie Strow“.

It took me *three days* to knit the lace cuffs. This would generally take me the matter of *maybe* 4 hrs.

Garden Stroll Socks - Sock 1 progress

This is as far as I got on my version – “Garden Stroll Socks” Thankfully far enough that I could send my notes off to the ever-patient Heather with confidence.

These will now become the resident “purse” socks until they’re done as the hard part is over.

~~~

Maybe It’s a Yarn Weight Thing

Sure, that’s it – you’re overloading on sock & laceweight yarns. You need to knit with some chunky yarn.

Emmaline has been in the queue for a while, why not give it a go? Okay.

After screwing up the bodice increases 3 times, it occurred to me that perhaps gauge wasn’t the issue after all.

It did get done though, however slowly.

Emmaline Bodice

I had to put it away, but pulled it out again yesterday and finished it this morning:

Emmaline Top Complete

Emmaline Top

Finally – a Finished Object! (a week late.)

~~~

What Can I Do????

If you’ve ever wondered what happens to a Knitter who can’t concentrate enough to knit – let’s just say it isn’t pretty.

Over and over I muddled over in quiet desperation what I both wanted to do and *could* do in this troubling state.

I was almost to the point of hysteria when a little internal voice answered.

“You can spin”.

So I took it’s advice.

I spun:

Life's Lemons on Spindle Life's Lemons - Skeined

Highland Handmades Superwash BFL – “Life’s Lemons” (4 oz)

And spun…

Fertility Handspun Handspun Fertility

Intentions Yarn Superwash BFL – “Fertility” (4 oz)

And spun…

Handplyed Brown Heather Shetland

Handplyed Recycled Shetland (from sweater) – Brown Heather (36g – 2 ply lace to 4 ply fingering wt)

And spun some more…

Handspun Cinnamon Simon

LlamaGoldsmith Alpaca Roving – “Simon” (1.3oz)

Toasted Almond Alpaca Wool

Louet Dyed Eastport Alpaca/Wool Roving – Toasted Almond (2oz)

I even spun up some itty bitty samples into 55yds of self-striping laceweight singles:

Self-striping laceweight alpaca

Natchwoolie Samples of: “Black” Alpaca; “Hazelnut Truffle Fawn” Alpaca/Tussah Silk; “Milk Chocolate” Alpaca; “Sterling Mixed Grey” Alpaca/Tussah Silk (total weight: 12g)

~~~

All Spun Out

Relaxing a bit, time to branch out a little and ease yourself back to knitting. How about some crochet?

Fingerless mitts – that should be simple enough…

Bohemian Opera Gauntlets

Bohemian Opera Gauntlets

Wow, those were unexpectedly fast and easy.

Bohemian Gauntlets

And very sexay!

~~~

On a Roll

Hmm… perhaps you should try to do something with all those tiny balls of dishcloth cotton that have been driving you nuts…

Crocheted Dishcloths

Clockwise from top: Big Blue Flower Washcloth; Nature Star Tawashi; Spumoni Starflake Tawashi; Forget Me Not Tawashi; Eye-Searing Leftover Dishcloth; Softie Leftover Washcloth

Little balls of cotton? GONE.

~~~

Then Badgerdan returned home from Toronto with a set of Ikea Kassett CD Boxes.

Who knew that this small act could make me deliriously happy and spawn a joyful afternoon of cutting up sleeves from the overloaded CD binder all to the tune of blaring 1990s music?

CD boxes

I am such an organizational geek.

With my appetite whetted, I moved onto the 2 unsuspecting DVD binders with scissors in my scheming hands…

DVD Collection

Believe it or not, there’s 76 DVDs and 14 extra empty sleeves in that small plastic dollarstore basket. I’ll pick up a snazzier box for them next week.

And the binders didn’t go to waste!

Cross-stitch Binders

They’re now safely housing my collection of cross-stitch patterns and magazines. :D

This little adventure got rid of 2 plastic binders, one slightly warped CD binder and 2 plastic magazine holders. YEAH BAYBEE!!!

~~~

There’s still some residual fogginess going on, but the worst of it seems to have passed.

I think I can safely start on Clue 6 of Evenstar without too much chance of casualties.

I hope.

TTFN.

(Note: Will be back to regular Thursday updates starting next week.)

Breaking Even

Remember back in March when I told you about the master plan to work my yarn stash down to more reasonable levels?

Well, I encountered my first fullblown challenge to the plan a little over a week ago while out shopping with a girlfriend at the local Salvation Army Thriftstore.

You see, I found yarn.

Good yarn. Wool yarn. Useful yarn.

Lana Grazia Lavabile

2 balls of Lana Grazia “Lavabile” (100% Wool, DK, 110m/50g) in a lovely camel colour @ 99c each.

Simpsons Supremacy 4-ply

1 oz ball of vintage Simpsons Supremacy 4-ply “All Purpose” Fingering Yarn (50% Wool/50% Nylon) @ 79c.

Total purchase price = $2.79

Now here’s the kicker – at that point, I had only earned 30% of a single new yarn purchase. A deficit of 2.7.

Translation: I would need to use up a full **27 balls of stash yarn** before even looking at any new fiber purchase. ACK!!!!!!!

After I finished thwacking my head against the wall for a bit, I girded my loins and decided to face the monster head on.

~~~

First up – finish the Sampler Baby Blanket.

I simply couldn’t afford to wait another 2 months for the CAL patterns.

So a few more filler squares, a couple more February squares, four of the April squares for the corners and a sewing marathon later, I had this:

Sampler Baby Blanket - Sewing Complete

Added an improvised border and VOILA!

Sampler Baby Blanket - Complete

One crib sized baby blanket ready for the baby nephew :)

~~~

Next – finish the Exploding Plum Blanket.

And holy cow, did it ever explode! It’s almost 6 ft wide!

Exploding Plum Blanket

Had to get a little creative at the border due to goofing up the pattern sequence a little and not wanting to pull it back to correct it. It’s not perfect, but it still looks pretty cool :).

~~~

Well that’s 22 balls down. Need 5 more. Hmmm…

I *had* planned on using some Malabrigo for this month’s Woolly Wormhead KAL Hat (“Waffle Slouch“) – maybe I’d better check the wool “oddball” case instead.

Rummagerummagerummage

Here’s 22yds of a dark brown mercerized wool (okay, that’ll totally work for the brim…), 71 yds of brown tweed Aran wt (nice for the body… but will it be enough? Better be sure…) and 28 yds of red heather (well, it blends a *little* with the tweed… maybe some stripes?)

Crossing my fingers, I used the stitchcount of the smallest size with larger needles and hoped for the best.

The brim yarn yielded a good 2″ of ribbing on 5mm needles. (The pattern said 3″, not too bad.)

Upsized the needles to 5.5mm for the Aran wt tweed and got to work. After a couple of repeats, decided that I’d need the red heather after all and threw a single repeat of it after every 2 of the brown tweed. Had *just* enough tweed to finish the hat. (Whew! That was close!)

There’s still a little bit of the red heather left… hey, how about a flower applique? There’s that one in the Knit 2 Together book

Add an army surplus button from ye olde button box and…

Crunchy Granola Hat

The Crunchy Granola Hat is born.

I swear to you that the red heather wool isn’t NEARLY as pink as the photo suggests and actually blends with the brown.

I’ve been wearing it for 2 days now – it’s cute as Hell.

Webcam Hat Shot

~~~

Damn – still behind by 2.

It’ll be summer soon… maybe it’s time to do something with those pesky balls of shiny cotton-blend ribbon yarn.

Enter the Steampunk Safari Scarf.

Steampunk Safari Scarf

I offset the ribbon with some heavier mercerized cotton braid in a deep rich brown.

The pattern is called “The Age of Brass and Steam Kerchief” by Orange Flower and only calls for 240yds of DK wt yarn.

BTW, did I mention that it’s *FREE*?

Webcam Shot, Scarf

Lovelovelovelovelove. OMG – Must. Make. More.

~~~

Beginning Yarn Stash Talley: -2.7
Current Yarn Stash Talley: +0.1

And that, dear Reader, is why this week’s post is a day late.

Now there’s the small matter of the 9 more balls that need to be used up before this GORGEOUS Highland Handmades Corridale can come home.

Highland Handmades Peacock Corridale

I *really* need to get on that.

TTFN.

Published in: on April 15, 2011 at 7:14 pm  Comments (2)  
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Getting My Crafty On

In the immortal words of David Wooderson (aka: Matthew McConaughey)

“All right, all right, all right”

The Mojo – she is BACK!

I even managed to resurrect some old skills and learned a new knitting technique this week – but more on that later.

Let’s tidy up some loose ends first…

~~~

Evenstar Clue 5 was the first on the docket:

Evenstar Shawl, Clue 5 Complete

I don’t think I’ll ever get over how pretty this shawl is. Just 2 more sections to go!

My La Vie de Bois socks were Tuesday’s mission:

La Vie de Bois Socks - Done

Mission Accomplished. :D

La Vie de Bois Socks - Complete

I am insanely happy with how these came out. They stop just shy of my calf muscles, so no shaping was required, although I did have a needle the next size up handy should they prove to be getting too snug near the top. It turned out to be unnecessary and they fit perfectly.

The last couple of days, I’ve been tackling the monster that is the Shadowed Cypress Project Bag.

Shadowed Cypress Project Bag - Top

The cotton cinch at the top turned out to be far less “easy peasy” than I thought. In fact, those 5 inches of cotton took the better part of 16 hrs to knit. That “allover cross stitch” pattern nearly killed me. I ended up knocking off the last two repeats to save my sanity.

Then the black cotton wouldn’t behave when attempting to make the twisted cord (or Monk’s cord according to the pattern). Having just about enough with this thing – I decided it was time to play dirty.

I dug out an old curtain tie-back, snipped one end, wove it through the eyelets as instructed, then carefully sewed it back into place on the tassel.

Shadowed Cypress Project Bag - Complete

HA! TAKE THAT!

Next I had to tackle the lining, which I also technically cheated a bit on by re-purposing an absolutely *hideous* drawstring bag that I picked up somewhere. (To my credit – it had gorgeous green satin ribbon ties with blown glass flower beads & was only a buck, so it was totally worth the money.)

Shadowed Cypress Project Bag Liner

All that was needed was to square off the bottom, fold over the drawstring hem and sew it in:

Shadowed Cypress Project Bag - Liner

I know it clashes badly, but it’s for my personal use and no one’s going to see it most of the time anyway.

The fugly was promptly hidden anyway by immediately stuffing the bag to capacity with the Moderne Log Cabin Blanket and it’s yarn.

Mischief Managed. :D

I also finished the 16 square centre panel of the sock yarn Patchwork Blanket:

Patchwork Blanket - Centre

All the squares will radiate out from here. (The colours are a bit off in the photo, but I wanted to show the pattern texture.)

~~~

A little known fact … back in the 1980s when I was a little girl, my parents gave me a loom. It was plastic rigid heddle loom made by Fisher Price and looked like this:

Fisher Price Loom

I distinctly recall using it, but couldn’t for the life of me tell you either what I made or whatever became of it.

But what it comes down to is the fact that I was weaving even before I ever picked up a crochet hook, embroidery or knitting needle. (There was also my unwavering obsession with my Grandmaman’s tiny 4″ wooden working model of a spinning wheel from the time I was a toddler, but I digress.)

Fast forward to a few years ago…

Harkening back to my childhood loom, I worked a trade with an acquaintance for a vintage “Wool Weaving Loom” made by Spears Games in the UK (circa late 1940s-early 50s).

Spears Wool Weaving Loom

It is, according to the label, a “size 3″ model (what it refers to, I haven’t the faintest idea) and had basic instructions on the lid.

Anyhoo…

Late Sunday night I got a wild notion to warp it up and see if I could weave a scarf on the little sucker.

Loom - Warped

I used about 25g of Burnt Orange Patons Kroy 4-ply for the warp (27 threads for those interested) and then started weaving a basic linen stitch scarf with the cursed – err – *cranky* Koigu KPPPM (darned stuff didn’t seem to like whatever I tried making with it) held double for the weft.

Woven Koigu Scarf - progress

Well what do you know… I guess it’s just like riding a bike :).

I wove all day Monday and had a complete scarf by dinnertime:

Woven Koigu Scarf - Complete

A new professional grade loom may be in my immediate future – just sayin’.

~~~

The Sock Knitter’s Anonymous challenge for April is Entrelac and/or “Non-traditional” sock construction. I came prepared for this one.

Drummossie by Rachel Brown has been in my queue since last year’s Sock Madness.

It took a few attempts with different yarns and a stitchcount adjustment, but I think I’ve got it now:

Crocodilian Socks - Sock 1 progress

This Opal Rainforest colourway (“Veronica die Wilde”) is based on a butterfly, but is turning out decidedly more reptilian in flavour, hence their title “Crocodilian Socks

The toe is knitted in the round, the instep is worked flat, then you provisionally cast-on for the second half of the leg which you work in the round to the cuff. The standard top-down gusset heel and sole are worked back and forth starting from the provisional cast on, ending where you kitchener the sole to the bottom half of the toe.

Wacky, but it works. I can’t wait to see how these turn out.

~~~

Desperately needing a mental break from knitting black cotton in the dark last night, I grabbed some chunky acrylic yarn from the closet and started crocheting a quick throw using my 8mm hook and a vintage doily pattern.

The pattern is called “Sunburst Pineapple” which is amusing enough at one-o-clock in the morning, but as my yarn is this great dusky purple and my version will dwarf the original 20″ doily, the name “Exploding Plum” came to mind and put me in a fit of giggles.

Exploding Plum Blanket - Rnd 11

There’s 19 more balls of the Mary Maxim Cloudspun where that ball came from (a neighbour gave it to me) so I expect this blanket will be HUGE.

Goodness! Would you look at the time!

You must excuse me – I have to go be all crafty now.

TTFN.

Published in: on April 7, 2011 at 11:58 pm  Comments (1)  
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I know, I know…

I haven’t posted since last year. I felt like hibernating for a bit. I get like that sometimes.

With the first signs of spring starting to show themselves, I figured it was high time I let you guys see what I’ve been up to.

I’ll refrain from the 2010 rundown of projects, because it now scares ME how much comes off my needles in the space of a year and frankly, it’s not a contest.

(Note to self: must go through Rav Projects and add year tags.)

~~~

I started 2011 with only 2 long term projects on the needles: the Evenstar Shawl and the Moderne Log Cabin Blanket. Shocking, I know.

They’re both still in progress at the moment:

Evenstar, Clue 4 Complete

I’ve finished up to Clue 4 on Evenstar

Moderne Log Cabin, Block 6 Complete

and Block 6 on the Log Cabin.

I do a row or two on the afghan when I can, but there’s now a deadline for the shawl. Because you see…

Danny, Robin & Babybump

I’M GOING TO BE AN AUNTIE!!!

My sister and BIL are expecting a little boy (to be named Marc Antoine). Evenstar will be used for his Christening and I’ll also be making this set to go with it:

Christening Set

I plan on shortening the sleeves and the ribbon will be white. I have vintage mother of pearl buttons inherited from our grandmother and purchased the 16 balls of pure white SandnesGarn Mandarin Petit fingering wt cotton needed for the set.

Mandarin Petit Yarn

I have a few months before my nephew makes his debut, so finishing this set is totally within the “doable” range.

Really.

Hey, with love and a positive attitude anything is possible.

~~~

Finished Objects

I’ve actually completed quite a bit already this year, motivated by my master stash-busting plan – but more on this later.

(As always, click on the project links for more info.)

*SOCKS*

Smocked Stockings
Smocked Stockings

Cranberry Biscotti Socks
Cranberry Biscotti Socks

Stardust Socks
Stardust Socks (for my Mom)

*OUTERWEAR*
(It’s been a reallllllllly cold few months! Canada. Winter. Brrr.)

Much Needed Legwarmers
Much Needed Legwarmers

Castiel Hat
Castiel Hat

Vintage Mohair Cloche
Vintage Mohair Cloche (crochet)

Ruba'iyat MittensMittens, back
Ruba’iyat Mittens

Bubbles Cowl
Bubbles Cowl

Hudson Handspun Scarf
Hudson Handspun Scarf (for my Dad)

And yes, that is *my* handspun!

Handspun Hudson

*GARMENTS*

Talia Vest
Talia Vest

Banish The Cold Sweater
Banish The Cold Sweater

*BABY STUFF*

Rocketry
Rocketry Baby Cardigan

Little Tiger Baby Hat
Little Tiger Baby Hat

*ACCESSORIES*

Totally Mod Messenger Bag
Totally Mod Messenger Bag

~~~

KAL/CAL PROJECTS

I’m such a joiner ;)

So far I’m keeping up with all of them, which given my track record with KALs has me pretty chuffed.

Dreamscape Shawl (Clue 3 Complete)
Dreamscape Shawl, clue 3

This is another amazing beaded shawl creation from the incredible Susan Pandorf (Pandosu/Sunflower Designs) called “In Dreams” based on Galadriel’s crown from The Lord of the Rings.

She is donating 10% of all her pattern sales over the next week or so going to assist the Japanese Relief effort. If you have ever wanted to purchase one of her lovely patterns – now is the time.

Windsbraut Manaus (Clue 2 Complete)
Winsdbraut Manaus - Clue 2

This mystery shawl is the newest of the Bride of the Wind series from the equally talented Monika Eckert (Wollklabauter).

Monika has also created a lovely stole pattern called Prometheus which she is donating all proceeds from to assist the Japanese relief effort. I urge you to take a look and make with the clicky if you like what you see.

March 2011 SKA Mystery Socks (Clue 3 Complete)
March 2011 SKA Mystery Socks - Clue 3

March is another Mystery Sock month in the Sock Knitters Anonymous group.
The theme: Lace.
The designer: verybusymonkey.
The pattern: Too pretty to resist.

And…

2011 Sampler Afghan (70%)
2011 Sampler Afghan - Jan-Mar

I’m using the 6″ squares from this year’s Crochet Block-A-Month CAL to make a blanket for baby nephew Marc. My design only encorporates the first 6 months of squares as he is due in June and I want to have it done when he arrives.

Blanket Schematic

I made a chart and everything! See – there is method to my madness.

~~~

*OTHER WIPs*

I have two other knitting projects on the go, both well on their way to completion:

Shadowed Cypress Project Bag
Shadowed Cypress Project Bag

I fell in love with this bag (Cinnamon Bark Project Bag by Linda Guzzaldo) the moment I saw it in the Interweave Knits Holiday Gifts 2010 issue and knew it would be perfect for housing some of my larger projects (read: blankets). I just have the cotton cinch top & cords to finish and then sew in the liner. Easy Peasy.

It will (hopefully) look something like this when it’s done:

Cinnamon Bark Project Bag

and last but certainly not least,

Torontonian Socks (for BadgerDan)
Torontonian Socks - sock 1

It’s “prove your love through vintage intarsia” time again (LOL)

Vintage Sock Patterns

Hubby’s birthday is a week away and I still have a good 3/4 of the second sock to knit. I think I’ll be able to finish it in time.

Cross your fingers.

~~~

Now, to explain my master stash-busting plan (MUAHAHAHAHAHA!!! Ahem.)

Last year, I managed to accomplish the huge goal of uploading my entire yarn stash into Ravelry. (Seriously people, this took *months*)

I still have a few stray balls here and there that aren’t inputted and I haven’t included any of my spinning fiber (I upload that when I finish spinning it.) But it’s essentially done.

It was shocking.

Now, don’t get me wrong – My stash hasn’t reached SABLE level yet, but it’s of a significant enough size where I find myself saying “That’s a crapload of yarn”.

I may have mentioned before that I keep my yarn (mostly) in second hand suitcases. What I’m attempting to do is to get it down to where I can store it all in the pretty antique ones and do away with the ugly ones.

There are a few ways to accomplish this – my choice?

I intend to USE IT UP.

Starting in November of last year, I devised a plan which has since been refined.

I have to earn any new yarn and fiber by using up 10 balls of old stash for every single unit coming in.

The following exemptions apply: Christening set yarn (which hubby paid for and had to be to colour specifications – pure white) and any yarn/fiber gifted to me or won in a contest.

I set up a spreadsheet where I’ve been keeping a record of yarn usage for the past 4.5 months and the plan is working beautifully. As of today, I’m breaking even :D.

By doing this, I hope to accomplish a measure of simplicity without a feeling of lack and stimulate my creativity by limiting my choices of materials to what I have on hand.

“Use it up, wear it out and when in doubt, do without.”

In addition to my 10:1 ratio, I’m also including the clause that the majority (95%) of new fiber purchases be made from de-stashes, thriftstores or directly from the independent artisans. I want to know where my money is going and feel good about it.

And isn’t feeling good what life is all about?

TTFN.

Published in: on March 17, 2011 at 2:23 am  Comments (1)  
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Peace of Mind is the Greatest Gift

Since my last post there has been a flurry of activity, but not, perhaps, in the way you might think.

Oh yes, there has been the mad rush to finish and wrap gifts, not to mention the last minute grocery shopping. My way just happens to be slightly different from the mainstream.

Over the last 7 years, I’ve made almost all of our holiday gifts (with the exception of a few giftcards sprinkled here and there). Sometimes it was due to financial circumstance, but mostly because I’ve come to realize that I just don’t *get* the retail culture any more.

Oh, don’t get me wrong – I was a champion shopper once upon a time. I used to love shopping for the perfect gifts at Christmas. But what has changed is my viewpoint. I want to know where the items I give have come from, what energy they carry. I want to know that they will be used and appreciated. Most of all, I want to make sure that they bring some value to the recipients’ life instead of simply creating clutter for them.

One way I can do this is to personally make useful (and sometimes whimsical) items for the people in my life. I give of myself, my time, and my skills to express my gratitude to them for being who they are.

A gift from the heart, made by my hands to express: “Be warm. Be happy. Smile. You are valued.”

That said, here are some of the holiday gifts I’ve made this year (most of which have been received already) and all of which were made from yarn that was on hand in my stash (project links given at end of post)…

Hats:

Mom's Poinsettia BeretSage Bucket HatRussian Swirl HatBlue Swirl Tri-Peak Hat Emerald City Jester HatCharlie Brown Hat

Scarves:

Fluffy MIL Dress ScarfDanny's Rustic ScarfPheonix Purl Scarf

Mittens:

Christmas Cruiser MittensPicot Posey Mittens

Slippers:

Faroese SlippersFIL Holiday Slippers

In lieu of gifts this year for the adults in my husband’s family (other than my in-laws), I instead made a bunch of hats for charity:

Chunky Red WatchcapSimple Pleasures CapBlue Swirl HatSnow Palace BeretNature Hike HatGreybriar Hat

~~~

The biggest difference, I think, between my “busy” and that of most of North America is that instead of bringing oodles and oodles of new things into the house this time of year, I’ve been clearing stuff out hand over fist.

The de-cluttering bug bit and bit hard. I’ve gone through everything from books to underwear with a razor sharp critical eye, nerves of steel and brutal honesty.

I sorted, re-organized, re-purposed and most of all *purged* anything that doesn’t work for us where we are now and where we want to go in the future.

(This included getting rid of our huge TV – we watch everything online anyway. We gave it to my MIL who needed one in her bedroom. She’s thrilled and the large black hole in my living room is gone – totally win-win :) )

Poor BadgerDan thought he was married to a woman possessed – but he was thrilled and relieved when he could see the top of his desk again LOL.

Several garbage bags and two epic trips to the local thriftstore (with the assistance of a friend’s truck) later and things feel so much better.

My holiday decorations are all things that we love and will fit into two small plastic stackable toteboxes when we take them all down again.

We can walk into our storage room without thinking something is going to collapse on us and we can FIND whatever we’re looking for quickly and easily.

All the books we’ve kept, we are going to read in the very near future, refer to constantly or are such old friends that we couldn’t bear to be parted from them. They all fit into a standard tall bookshelf.

*THAT* my friends, is a holiday miracle.

Next, I tackled my WIP pile. I ripped out projects that gave me the merest hint of stress or guilt and concentrated on finishing those that I knew I could complete quickly and would make me happy.

Woodland Rustic Shawl

Woodland Rustic Shawl - a version of my own Classic Crocheted Shawl pattern worked in a self-striping recycled sweater yarn (what I used to call my “faux Noro” sweater) trimmed in my own handspun natural dark brown Coopworth wool.

Woodland Rustic Shawl - Complete

It’s warm, more comfortable than a cardigan and looks really good over a shirt and jeans. I luff it.

Not So Plain Winter Socks

Not So Plain Winter Socks – my take on Nancy Bush’s Gentleman’s Plain Winter Sock pattern from Knitting Vintage Socks done in a yarn from a local indie dyer (Liza Handdyed Sock carried by Needles & Knits in Aurora, ON) in a one-off untitled colourway that I’ve dubbed “Koi Pond”.

Insane colourful pooling goodness for a grey winter’s day. I dare you not to smile :D.

Right now, I have a mere 3 active projects on my needles and I couldn’t be happier:

Countdown to Yule Scarf
Evenstar Shawl
Moderne Log Cabin Blanket

So what if my scarf wasn’t finished for Yule? (I’m currently on working on the Day 16 chart.) It’s my knitting and I can always wear it on New Year’s. No pressure.

~~~

Holiday plans have been surprisingly simple this year and instead of running around Ontario like headless chickens ping-ponging between family celebrations, we are having a quiet holiday – just BD, myself & the cats.

My parents are flying out to Jamaica on vacation (good on them!), my sister is spending it with her new husband and his family in our nation’s fine capital and my brother will most likely be working the weekend, then going home to a quiet holiday of his own with his girlfriend.

Most of BD’s family is spending Christmas with other relatives and other than a quick get-together with my SIL, her husband & my in-laws tomorrow – we have to be at home as we are on-call at the building for the weekend.

We have a full refrigerator and cupboards, wine & Irish Cream, each other and a stack of movies.

Peace, Comfort and Joy.

We wish you all the same.

Happy Holidays

Christmas Fireplace Wineglass

~~~

Project Links

Hats (L to R):

Mom’s Poinsettia Beret
Sage Bucket Hat
Russian Swirl Hat
Blue Swirl Tri-Peak Hat
Emerald City Jester Hat
Charlie Brown Hat

Scarves (L to R):

Fluffy MIL Dress Scarf
Danny’s Rustic Scarf
Pheonix Purl Scarf

Mittens (L to R):

Christmas Cruiser Mitts
Picot Posey Mittens

Slippers (L to R):

Faroese Slippers
FIL Holiday Slippers

Charity Hats (L to R):

Chunky Red Watchcap
Simple Pleasures Cap
Blue Swirl Hat
Snow Palace Beret
Nature Hike Hat
Greybriar Hat

Published in: on December 24, 2010 at 7:37 pm  Leave a Comment  

Bad Blogger – No Cookie

Oh, my poor neglected blog – can you tell that I haven’t really been in a writing mood these past months?

Wow, well I’ve finished a metric tonne of stuff since I last posted so let me bring you up to speed. I’ll just go in order of when I last mentioned them for ease of reference.

(Note: All links are to the Ravelry Project Page for each item. I also list particulars on the Flickr pages for those not on Ravelry.)

~~~

Rocky Butte Socks

Rocky Butte Socks - Complete

I finished these in plenty of time for the Opening Ceremonies. So squooshy and comfy, I love them :D.

~~~

DivaRomana Shrug

DivaRomana Shrug - Complete (blocking)

Finished TODAY!

I ended up doing the trim in darker yarn only (Spinrite Orlon) because (A) I think it looks nice and (B) It allows me to keep my last two balls of Chocolate Kid Merino for another project.

As the Orlon is 100% acrylic, I both wet blocked and ironed the shrug so that it will keep it’s shape. The border I “killed” the heck out of and it seems to have worked.

It’s a little big on me, but not too bad :) (It’s still drying, so I’ll upload a photo of me in it next time).

~~~

Shetland Shawl

Shetland Shawl - Complete (blocking)

It’s done, but not until the day *after* the Olympic Closing ceremonies – I tried, but the border was my downfall.

Not perfect by any stretch of the imagination, but as it was my first lace project *ever* that has now finally reached completion after years of neglect, I still feel pretty good about it.

Shetland Shawl - Complete

~~~

Saviano Socks

Saviano Socks - Complete

Completed during the second week of the Olympics. I love how the yarn ended up pooling on these:

Saviano Socks - Done

~~~
Maple Leaf Forever Socks

Maple Leaf Forever Socks - Complete

Seriously, how cool are these socks?????

Maple Leaf Forever Socks - Instep Detail

They came off the needles in time for the Canada/Russia Men’s Hockey game and were worn throughout every subsequent Canada hockey game. Lucky charm? I don’t know, but I certainly wasn’t going to risk not wearing them and they seem to have worked :).

Maple Leaf Forever Socks

~~~

Evenstar Shawl

Evenstar Shawl - Clue 3 Complete

Confession: This shawl was cast on just before the Olympic Opening ceremonies – I was twitching okay?

I’ve finished Clue 3 and now that the shrug is done, I should have some more time to work on it.

~~~

Half the reason for my blogging vacation is due to my participation in Sock Madness 4. Yep, it’s that time of year again LOL.

And hooboy, have the designers ever upped the challenge factor this time around:

Round #1 – Silver Birch Side-to-Side Socks

Silver Birch Side-to-Side Socks

Pattern: Simple Side to Side Socks by Deborah Swift, MountainMom Designs
Yarn: Shelridge Farms Soft Touch Ultra 3-ply Handpaints, SU0107N-093 (Beige, Black, Grey); Mystery 3-ply Wool, Grey/Beige Twist; Black Acrylic Cone Wool
Needles: 2.25mm

I alternated between the handpaint and the twist yarns every 2 rows for the body and the toe.

These ones went to BadgerDan, hence the colours. I even managed to get him to model them (okay, not the best photo – Tomi wouldn’t move his fuzzy butt.)

Silver Birch Side-to-Side Socks - complete

Round 2 – Premium Roast Socks

Premium Roast Socks - Complete

Pattern: Cool Beans by Heatherly Walker (aka YarnYenta)
Yarn: Fleece Artist Basic Merino Socks, Bark; Lady Galt Kroy (4-ply), Dk Brown; Paton’s Kroy (3-ply), Beige & Med Brown
Needles: 2.25mm

Yet again I am reminded that I am not really all that quick at fair isle. These took me a lot longer to finish than I would have ever expected and actually aggravated my wrists into a carpal tunnel flareup (which hasn’t happened in a good long while).

It may have been slow work, but aren’t they fantastic? I love them alot.

Round 3 – Lupine Meadow Socks

Lupine Meadow Socks - Complete

Pattern: GAMs by Taya Schram
Yarn: Lisa Souza Sock!, “Newtown”
Needles: 2mm

Finished 3 days ago amidst a stomach bug and *two* day-long sinus migraines and I somehow ended up working 21 repeats on the leg instead of the required 12/15 rpts.

Fever and a fun lace pattern apparently equals insanity.

~~~

My 2010 Sampler Afghan has been growing admirably:

2010 Sampler Afghan (Jan-Apr)

March Square AMarch Square BMarch Squares C March Squares

April Square AApril Square BApril Squares C April Squares

~~~

And speaking of growing, I started an English Country Garden – a crocheted one that is (which will eventually become a blanket) :)

English Country Garden Blanket

This is a CAL that I happened upon on Ravelry (English Country Garden CAL) and thought would be a good use of my itty-bitty balls of sock yarn. There will be are 1-2 flower motifs released each month from March to September and it’s up to you what you do with them.

JonquilsBegoniasDaisies Jonquils, Begonias & Daisies

~~~

The accursed “Ugly” Flat Feet yarn finally found a pattern it liked:

March Mystery Socks (2010)

March Mystery Socks 2010 - Complete

I figured if it didn’t work, I could always dunk them in the dyepot – but they didn’t turn out too bad.

The pattern is so incredibly pretty (Belle Vitini by Kristi Geraci), I think that it might warrant another pair done in a prettier yarn.

~~~

Remember the Celtic Vest I made a few years back? Well, during the Olympics I decided that it needed to be frogged to make some matching mitts and a hat for my Mmmmalabrigo scarf.

Celtic VestMmmmalabrigo Scarf

I ended up recovering approximately 130g of Malabrigo Worsted in the “Loro Barranquero” colourway…

Celtic Vest - Completely Frogged

… and have recently whipped off a pair of mitts:

Malabrigo Mitts

Malabrigo Mitts

It’s the “Rosa Mitts” pattern by Erin Amelia and I still have enough yarn left over to make myself one of these hats:

Starburst Hat Starburst by Woolly Wormhead

~~~

I started a scarf for my sister’s birthday in March which I hope to have done by her wedding in September:

Foreign Correspondent Scarf

Foreign Correspondent Scarf

Pattern: Foreign Correspondent’s Scarf by Lexy Lu
Yarn: Filatura Di Crosa Diwa, Champagne Pink (col. 2)
Needles: 3mm

She loved it when I showed it to her, but I secretly think that the colour of the yarn is keeping me from working on it.

~~~

My current Socks in Progress are a pair of
Treetop Socks by Heidi M. Scheppmann
from the Summer 2009 Issue of Knitty

Treetop Kneesocks

Treetop Kneesocks

I’m using some recycled wool from a frogged sweater/vest and will be reinforcing the heels & toes with some leftover JaWoll reinforcing thread.

They should eventually look something like this:

Treetop socks - original

I haven’t had much time to work on them lately, but I hope to have one of them done by the end of the month.

~~~

I’ve been spinning my little heart out, both by spindle:

Handspun Natural Merino
Fleece Artist Merino Sliver, “Natural”, 2-ply DK/Light Worsted

Handspun Seacell Merino
70/30 SeaCell/Merino sample from The Enablerie (formerly Flawful Fibres), 2-ply fingering wt

Handspun Soysilk Merino
50/50 Soysilk/Wool Sample from The Enablerie (formerly Flawful Fibres), 2-ply fingering wt

Handspun Alpaca Merino
Fleece Artist Merino Alpaca Sliver (I’m calling it “Caramel Macchiatto”), 2-ply fingering wt. (approx. 50g)

and by wheel:

My first bobbin of hanspun

My first bobbin of yarn – EVER!

Handspun Fleece Artist BFL
Fleece Artist Blue Faced Leicester Sliver (I’m calling it “Pumpkin Patch”), Navajo-plied 3-ply DK (approx. 50g)

I’m so proud :D.

~~~

Here’s hoping that things settle down enough around here for me to be able to blog a bit more often.

TTFN.

A January of FOs and Preparing for the Olympics

First off, I decided that with the new decade, my blog needed a bit of a facelift – you like?

~~~

January started, as in previous years, with my annual New Year’s Day Crochet-a-thon.

This year’s sampler afghan will use all 3 of the CAL patterns – the 12″ Ravelry Square, 12″ Craftster Square and the 6″ Ravelry Square (of which I’m making 2 per month). The plan is to have all the 6” squares in an “Aran” coloured acrylic and the 12” squares out of scrap neutral acrylics (including some darker colours and black, but no white or cream). The final border will be done in Chunky cream acrylic.

January Squares

February Squares

With my plan in place, I’m able to piece together strips every 2 months – yay for forethought! (See 2010 Sampler Afghan project page [Ravelry link] for pattern details)

Here’s what it looks like as of right now:

2010 Sampler Afghan - Jan-Feb

I also started a Moderne Log Cabin Blanket out of 4 colours of frogged sweater cotton that have been sitting in my stash *forever*

Moderne Log Cabin Blanket - Yarn

It currently sits at the 2 square point:

Moderne Log Cabin Blanket - Square #2
~~~

But, as the title of this post suggests, I do have some FOs to show you and I hope they go towards explaining my radio silence during the previous month. In order of completion – here we go…

~~~

Wings of Horus Shawl

Wings of Horus Shawl - Blocked & Complete

The beaded edging on this shawl nearly *killed* me, but I love the results!

Oh, and if you don’t believe me when I said that it was big – here’s some proof:

Wings of Horus 1 Wings of Horus 2

~~~

Some gifted dishcloths were next:

Double Flower Cloth Double Flower Cloth

Denim Squidge Cloth Denim Squidge Cloth

Lacy Round Cloth Lacy Round Cloth

~~~

Niagara Falls Socks

Niagara Falls Socks - Complete

I only did 2 pattern repeats on the cuff and used a standard heel pattern rather than as written, which, by centering it on the back, accidently off-set the foot lace pattern. You can’t really tell though.

(I had also originally planned to use white yarn for the heel and toe, but chickened out and used dark blue instead.)

~~~

Mystic Waters Shawl

Ahh, yes… Let’s just say that my wonderful friends over on Plurk could tell you *all* about the saga of Alynxia and the big blue shawl. Took 2 years to knit the first 3.5 clues … and a *WEEK* to do the last 4.5 clues (+ border edging)

Mystic Waters - Clue 4Mystic Waters - Clue 5Mystic Waters - Clue 6Mystic Waters Clue 7Mystic Waters - Clue 8

Mystic Waters - Complete

Makes Wings of Horus look like a shawlette – doesn’t it? :D

~~~

YenforYarn Socks

YenforYarn Socks - Complete

I really like these – even if I had to use a different dyelot for the second toe. (When they’re in shoes, nobody’ll notice :P)

~~~

Road to Oslo Socks

Road to Oslo Socks

Nancy Bush, how I do love thee! Leave it to her to have the perfect pattern to use up some recycled lambswool in grey and red. (This one is from Knitting on the Road)

~~~

Everglade Hat

Everglade Hat

Made as a gift for YenforYarn, who recieved it earlier this week and thinks it’s wonderful. Glad you like it Lisa :)

[Just a quick note here: I *did* cast on a pair of Lisa's Manhattan socks in January (see?), but the yarn I used (Lisa Souza Sock!) was just a little too light for the pattern and ended up frogging it. So after all the Olympic hubbub dies down, I'll be casting on again with a slightly heavier yarn.]

~~~

On to February’s FOs

Smoke & Ashes Cardigan

Smoke & Ashes Cardigan - Complete

Yes. A mohair cardigan.

I finally found a pattern that those pesky balls of King Cole Luxury Mohair liked!

Can’t say that the pattern didn’t have it’s issues – it was a really sketchy English translation which really made me rely on my knowledge of how a sweater *should* kinda fit together. Many a “hunh?” and “oh they must mean *this*” was muttered throughout.

I completely ran out of yarn as I cast off the second sleeve – so the picked-up collar ended up not being an option. So I added a couple of strategically placed buttons and made it into a rolled edge, wrap around. Wabi Sabi :D Fini!

~~~

Handspun Headscarf

Handspun Headscarf

I whipped this up yesterday on some 12mm needles to use up the small ball of experimental superbulky barberpole I spun up in January. (Yes! I’ve been spinning! More on that after the Olympics.) The black is some stash Cascade 128.

Attractive – no?

Handspun Headscarf - Headshot

Well, I like it :)

Handspun Headscarf - Front

~~~

Other than the long-term blanket projects, I do have 2 current WIPs that I’m working on, heading into tomorrow’s Opening Ceremonies in Vancouver…

~~~

Rocky Butte Socks

Rocky Butte Socks - Sock #1

AKA “The Team L&V Fitness Challenge Bootcamp Sock” by Eliza Metz (the incomparable Miss Violet of the Lime & Violet Podcast)

(What is the Team L&V Fitness Challenge you ask? Well, head on over here and Miss V will tell ya all about it ;).)

This is one of the very rare times I’ve actually intentionally gone out and bought yarn for a specific pair of socks. The yarn is Sandnes Garn SMART (superwash DK wool) in col. 1093 (black/grey variegated).

The pattern calls for sportweight (STR Mediumweight specifically), but I like a slightly thicker yarn when using US3/3.25mm needles. My gauge ended up being bang on and I think it looks pretty darn close to Miss V’s original:

Rocky Butte - Original

I’ve started the second sock and think it’ll probably be done by the start of the Opening Ceremonies tomorrow night – cross your fingers.

~~~

DivaRomana Shrug

DivaRomana Shrug - Clue 1, Side 1

This is a mystery KAL from Knitting Delight Yahoo Group. It’s a shrug (not a shawl, which I’m not allowing myself to cast on until the last one is finished.) and Clue 1 looked sooo pretty! Had to do it, couldn’t help myself :)

I’m using the same yarn combo as I used for this scarf a few years ago – CPY Kid Merino in Chocolate (col. 4673) and Spinrite Orlon (also called “Chocolate”) held double throughout.

Mmmmm Fudgy.

It’s knit out from a provisional cast on (centre back), then you work in the opposite direction. I’m 20 rows shy of finishing the second side, but if I don’t finish it before tomorrow night, I’m not going to worry about it too much.

~~~

So why all the fuss about the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics? (You know other than they’re the OLYMPICS in MY HOME COUNTRY?)

Why, the Ravelympics and Knitting Olympics of course!

I’ve signed up for both :)

Team Madness in Progress

I’m on Team Madness In Progress for the Ravelympics. (Many people are on multiple teams, but I’m keeping it simple *cough* this time round.)

In the WIPs Dancing Event…

Shetland Faroese Shawl

My long neglected Shetland Shawl. This is how it looks going into tomorrow and it hasn’t been touched since I can’t remember when.

In the Sock Hockey, Cable Cross-Country & Stash Compulsary Dance Events…

Saviano Socks - Yarn

A pair of Saviano Socks in See Jayne Knit Superwash DK, “Iguana” (that has been marinating in the stash since October 2007). It’s Yarnissima’s pattern from the latest issue of Knitty.

The official start of the Ravelympics is the beginning of the Opening Ceremonies.

The Yarn Harlot‘s Knitting Olympics, however, begins with the official lighting of the Olympic Torch.

And this is what I’ll be casting on when the torch is lit:

Maple Leaf Forever Socks

My Maple Leaf Forever Socks, (aka “Regent Man’s Socks No. 2065″ from “Hand Knit Socks by Regent, Vol. No. 20″) will be done in Cable’s & Lace Lizard Toes in “Beltane” (totally Canadian Flag colours!), some vintage Paton’s Scotch 3-ply Fingering wool in White & some leftover Sandnes Garn Lanett in black.

The maple leaf pattern will be intarsia’d in white on the handdyed red/white background. The black will be used for the leaf detail and used to embroider an outline around the white leaf for contrast.

Vintage. Intarsia. Embroidery. Leg knit flat and sewn up.

Challenging? Hell yeah.

[Note: These socks also qualify for the Ravelympics in the following events: Sock Hockey, Nordic Colorwork Combined, and Snowcross.]

~~~

Now there is another mystery KAL that starts tomorrow that I haven’t mentioned and that is the Evenstar Shawl KAL by my incredibly talented friend Susan Pandorf (aka Pandosu). She’s a fellow yarn-obsessed lace junkie who has one of the most creative minds in the business. Not to mention her patterns are like crack.

The Evenstar Shawl is the start of a whole Lord of the Rings series that she came up with one day and it sort of steamrolled…

Over 770 members (from 18 countries) as of today and still growing. Way to go Sue!!!!!

I have my yarn and beads ready to go for when I can find time to start it. (You know, *after* I finish the WIP Shetland – wink, wink, nudge, nudge.)

Evenstar Shawl - Yarn & Beads

~~~

Well, I guess there’s only one thing left to say…

GO CANADA!!!!!!!!!!!!

I believe – don’t you?

Wrapping Up the Year

Yep. 2009 is over as of midnight. Is that loud cheering I hear? I think it might ;)

Suffice it to say that it’s been a tumultuous year for us and practically everyone we know. Thankfully, we have survived and are beginning to see bigger and brighter things coming to fruition for 2010.

But before we ring the old year out, there’s some final things to show you:

~~~

I promised to share this year’s crop of holiday gifts and now that they’ve all been distributed, I can!

(I won’t go into too much detail or else this post will turn into a novel, so click on the links to go to each project’s Ravelry page for additional info)

Holiday Insta-Afghan #1 Holiday Insta-Afghan #2

Holiday Insta-Afghans #1 & #2

Mom's Mystery Slippers 1 Mom's Mystery Slippers 2 Dad's Lopi Slippers of Doom
Mom’s Mystery Slippers & Dad’s Lopi Slippers of Doom

BD's Winter Socks Dad's Diamond Socks

BD’s Winter Socks & Dad’s Diamond Socks

Maine Morning Mitts - Pair #1 Maine Morning Mitts - Pair #2 Maine Morning Mitts - Pair #3
Maine Morning Mitts – Pairs #1, #2, & #3

Happy Stripes Tea Cozy Garter Mug Cozies Noro Coffee Sleeves

Happy Stripes Tea Cozy, Garter Mug Cozies & Noro Coffee Sleeves

Overpass Cowl Frosty Ottawa Morning Cowl Chunky Dean Street Cowl Jade Infinity Cowl

Overpass Cowl, Frosty Ottawa Morning Cowl, Chunky Dean Street Cowl & Jade Infinity Cowl

Rock Out Guitar Strap Sock MIL's Fancypants Apron

Rock Out Guitar Strap Sock & MIL’s Fancypants Apron

Joseph, The Amazing Technicolour Octopus 1 Joseph, The  Amazing Technicolour Octopus 2 Roxie's Bunny Nugget 1 Roxie's Bunny Nugget 2

Joseph, The Amazing Technicolour Octopus (for baby grand-nephew) & Roxie’s Bunny Nugget (who’s pompom didn’t last 2 minutes LOL).

Roxie & her Bunny Nugget

She loves it though :D.

~~~

BadgerDan spoiled me rotten this year with a much needed Royal Ball Winder, a set of Addi Clicks and a replacement foot pedal for my 1950s Singer Sewing Machine.

Royal Ball Winder Addi Clicks

Among other wonderful gifts, I also received some precious family heirlooms to look after. My Grandmother’s mink stole (circa 1950s), antique drop leaf table (circa 1920s) & my great-grandmother’s tea table (circa 1900s). The furniture looks wonderful in our “parlour”

My Furnished Parlour

In other good news, Hubby has finally gotten our Jeep insured and on the road – The Mork & Mindy Mobile Lives!!!! Woohoo!!!!!

(Photo will be added later)

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On Christmas Day, I started a pair of socks from some leftover yarn and completed them yesterday:

Burning Rings of Fire Socks 1

Pattern: Burning Rings of Fire Socks by Kirsten Kapur
Yarn: Lang Super Soxx, grey/brown; Sandnes Garn Lanett Superwash, black; Lady Galt Kroy 4-ply, col 118 (brown)
Needles: 2.5mm circs (magic loop)

What a great little pattern! (It’s a free Ravelry Download, btw.) Fits like a dream and works great with handpaints, self striping and stashbusting – I think this one might just become my go-to travel sock pattern.

Burning Rings of Fire Socks 2

I wore them all day yesterday – lovelovelovelove!

Being in total stashbuster mode, I also cast on another pair:

Niagara Falls Socks 1

Pattern: Niagara Falls by Janel Laidman (from The Eclectic Sole)
Yarn: Lang Super Soxx, col 630.0045 (41.6g); Paton’s Scotch Fingering 3-ply, white (8.3g) (for the heel & toe)
Needles: 2.5mm circs

So far so good :D

And my last cast on of the year is in support of talented designer and Plurk/Ravelry friend, Lisa Dykstra (aka YenforYarn), who’s just started chemotherapy.

YenforYarn's Happy Socks

YenforYarn’s Happy Socks

Pattern: Periwinkle Socks by Lisa Dykstra (from Crystal Palace Yarns)
Yarn: Kroy 3-ply from Stash, Burgundy/Blue/Green Twist (27g); Solid Burgundy (40g)
Needles: 2.25mm circs

This is one of the free patterns she did for CPY, but she has also done some fantastic work for the WoolGirl Sock Club and has a great sock pattern called Manhatten that I’m planning on casting on for in January.

Grab those needles, choose one of her patterns and send her lots of healing thoughts and good will!

~~~

On the shawl front, I have 12 more rows to go on Wings of Horus which I hope to finish sometime in January. These last rows are taking *forever*! (Did I mention that this shawl is huge?)

Wings of Horus - 12 rows to bind off

Mystic Waters and my Shetland Faroese haven’t been touched in a while, but I’m going to be firm with myself and not cast on another lace shawl until they’re finally off the needles.

So the WIP count going into 2010 is a whopping 2 pairs of socks and 3 shawls. I’m doing pretty well, I think :).

~~~

In Yarn/Fibre Pr0n news…

For our wedding anniversary, BD bought me these to make the Mystic Embers Stole:

2 skeins of Cables & Lace Frog’s Hair (70% Merino, 30% Silk 2-ply laceweight, 440yds) in “Rusty Hull”

Simply Gorgeous!

Note: Knitting Dragon has put his dyeing on hold for a while as he pursues a degree in Fiber Arts & Fashion Design – All the best Eric!

When I first saw this roving, I completely lost my mind and stalked TisJewel until she had it up in her etsy shop:

Jekyll & Hyde Combed Top

4oz of Merino/Tussah Silk Combed Top, “Jekyll & Hyde”.

You know when all rational thought goes out the window and all that’s left is your inner child screaming “MINE”? Yep. Totally what happened.

And when it arrived, I was totally speechless…

Then I immediately went to her website and ordered the other one, as NO ONE ELSE MAY HAVE IT!!!!! MUAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!!

ahem.

A few other wonderful fibery things will be arriving in the new year … of which I will fill you in later.

Lastly, I won another prize from the Sock Knitter’s Anonymous Group! :D

This time for the 2009 October Challenge, donated by SandraSingh – a copy of Chrissy Gardiner’s Tangled Vines Socks:

Tangled Vines Socks

Very cool! Will have to figure out what yarn I want to do them in…

~~~

So, are you ready for the final project talley?

Got your smelling salts handy? Sitting down?

Okay, here we go:

Pairs of Socks: 52
Pairs of Slippers: 4
Pairs of Mitts/Gloves: 7
Hats: 7
Scarves: 7
Cowls: 5
Shawls/Apron: 3
Sweaters/Tops: 7
Afghans/Blankets/Rugs: 7
Pillows: 2
Bags: 3
Dishcloths: 9
Placemats: 4
Cozies (Teapot or Otherwise): 8
Accessories/Ornaments: 4
Stuffed Toys: 2

2009 FINAL TOTAL: 131 Completed Knitting and Crochet Projects

I think I might need a stiff drink.

~~~

Wishing you all a Safe & Happy New Year!

New Year's Eve Greeting

See you in 2010!

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