Distractions

I was going to comment on Sunday’s storm (which turned out to be the heaviest in 63 years), but suffice it to say we got 26 cm (9.85″) of snow in 24 hours. I am so glad we live in an apartment now and don’t have a driveway to shovel.

I’ve been working until 8pm at the shop almost every day and BadgerDan has been in Barrie all week so we’ve barely seen each other in a coherent state. Trust me, you do not want to see the state of my kitchen at the moment or the rest of the place for that matter. It looks like we were invaded by the gang from “Animal House“.

Even with work, I’ve managed to squeeze in some knitting:

Garter Stitch Jacket, Back Completed

The back of my Fleece Artist Garter Stitch Jacket is now done.

French Fable Socks

My French Fable socks are well on their way to being finished. I had to shorten the foot by 2 repeats. I should be done the pair tonight.

I was distracted by some stash yarn that wouldn’t leave me alone until I used them so:

2 balls of Malabrigo Merino Worsted in “Loro Barraquo” became

Celtic Vest

a “Celtic Vest” designed by Fleece Artist. It still needs a bit of blocking, but it flew off the needles. I can see me wearing this A LOT.

Earlier this year, I went on the Yarn Harlot Yarn Crawl in Toronto where we hit a wonderful shop called Americo Original. When we were there, I picked up a hank of their Dos Cabos 100% Handspun Llama. Super Bulky Heaven.

However, I wasn’t sure what I would make with it. I finally decided to end my agony of many months and made myself a simple garter stitch scarf with it.

Llama Garter Stitch Scarf

On 12mm needles it worked up in no time and to jazz it up, I added wooden beads to the tassels.

Beaded Scarf

Finished last night – I had forgotten how beautiful “basic” can be.

Every now and then I take on some commission knitting, and this was one project I couldn’t say “no” to. Knit for a 2 month old baby girl for a Christmas Gift – it’s her first Teddy Bear.

Baby Teddy Bear

It is made in Blue Sky Organic Dyed Cotton Worsted on 3.75mm DPNs from the “One Seam Teddy Bear” pattern by Eva McDonald.

Every child needs a stuffed bear – `nuff said.

Now that the DH has left to take his dad Christmas shopping, I sit staring at the chaos that is my living room and I realize (to my horror) that knitting might not be a priority at the moment. Dishes and laundry beckon to be attended to before I have to work the afternoon shift.

Crap. Being a grown-up really does suck sometimes.

Published in: on December 22, 2007 at 12:51 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Laments and Lovely Lace

I now have my computer back (DH updated my Linux from Fedora to Ubuntu for all you technogeeks out there) and it is now working much smoother. I was having trouble with what I call “Max Headroom” effects with my sound and video (it essentially stuttered and was driving me batty). Now if we could just figure out how to make TVU work on Linux, I might just be able to get my husband out of hibernation in the office. I swear, if there was a CPU in my vacuum cleaner the rugs might finally get some attention.

On the knitting front, I’ve finally finished my Halloween/Dracula’s Bride Shawl and love it (in spite of it’s difficult birth). Certainly not the easiest project I’ve ever done, but I’ve learned a lot from it – mostly patience with myself and my knitting.  Just because something is difficult doesn’t always mean that it’s not worth tackling – just look at the results:

Halloween Shawl - Complete

And just for the record – it’s pretty big (that’s a queen size bed y’all).

Also finally completed is the Swan Lake Stole (aka MS3) which took WAY longer than expected due to the fact that I chose to make the optional symmetrical version with lace panel insert instead of the wing. I wish I had blocked it with wires instead of pins, but all in all I’m pretty pleased with it.

Here’s a close up of the end:

Swan Lake Stole - End Closeup

One of the panel insert:

Swan Lake Stole - Panel Insert

And a really bad photo where I tried to get the whole thing in the shot:

Swan Lake Stole - Completed

Also to the delight of my now warm feet, my reward Thrum Socks are done:

Completed Thrum Socks

Oooooo Fuzzy!

I might sew on some leather bottoms (salvaged from some old moccasins) to make them a little more durable for around the apartment. But for now I’m just happy for my toasty toes.

Especially with the weather we’re expecting tomorrow – eek! According to the forecasters, Southern and Central Ontario is expecting the worst 1 day storm in 60 years – guess who has to work? Okay, okay, I live across the street from the shop but still – wouldn’t you rather be snuggled up in a comfy chair with a book and hot chocolate?

I picked up my Shetland Faroese Shawl (Tessa Shawl by Lynda Illingsworth) again after a bit of hiatus – I started it in the summer of 2006 and it’s one of my oldest UFOs. It is truly amazing how when you revisit an older project, how much you realize you’ve learned about your craft in the time elapsed.  With all the lace I’ve done this year, I’m kind of surprised at how non-intimidating this pattern now seems to me. I even understand why the yarn is behaving the way it does. The yarn is a 1-ply grey heathered cone wool which feels quite rough on the hands which I realize is probably spinning oil from the mill which will wash out thus rendering a nice soft finished object.  The pattern on the other hand is completely written out instead of charted, but once understood is pretty straightforward. Not only that, but after the final 681 stitch count of the  Halloween Shawl, 511 sts should be a walk in the park. This shawl is a bit different in construction, starting with the trim (84 repeats of a 12 row pattern which took me a year [off and on – mostly off] to finish) that you pick up 511 sts from along the edge and work up decreasing to the neck edge.  A nice change from having to slog along to the end. Here is Lynda’s photo of what it should look like at the end:

Tessa Shawl

It’s a free pattern from her website that you can get from the link posted above. She does some lovely work, check out her gallery.

So far, I’ve done to the first line of small leaves (see the triple rows in the photo?) above the bottom border and am taking my time.  I figure it’s taken me this long, there’s no rush.  Besides, I’m a full 7 clues behind on my Mystic Waters and want to have it mostly done before the Spring Surprise Shawl KAL and the Secret of Bad Nauheim Stole KAL start up.

Once I get a little further along I’ll post some close ups.  TTFN.

Published in: on December 15, 2007 at 1:18 pm  Comments (1)  
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Done like Dinner

Well, I did it. All holiday gifts were completed as of the afternoon of November 30th. I did the happy dance of joy around the living room while BadgerDan gave me a strange look from the office. I spent the rest of the day (and well into the night – I think I went to bed around 3am) wrapping gifts, decorating the living room and updating my projects on Ravelry (not an undaunting task). Here’s a breakdown so that you can understand my happiness.

Gifts completed prior to November 1st:

  • Montego Bay Scarf
  • Clemetine Shawlette
  • Arctic Lace Dishcloths (2)

Gifts completed between November 1st and 30th:

  • Super Mitts (3 pairs)
  • Fingerless Mitts (1 pair)
  • Cabled Headbands (2)
  • Swell Hats (2)
  • Hot Head Hat
  • Sloppy Joe Beret
  • Sideways Bobble Hat (sans Bobble)
  • Boteh Scarf (Crochet)
  • Textures Scarf
  • Qiviut Webs Lace Scarf (made in Alpaca Lace)
  • Arctic Diamonds Lace Scarf (ditto)
  • Double Chocolate Shetland Lace Scarf
  • Mitred Triangle Scarf (Snowy Triangle)
  • Maple Leaf Socks (1 pair)
  • Moccasin Slippers (Crochet) (1 pair)
  • Set of 2 Mason Dixon Felted Boxes

They’re all on my Ravelry projects page (Alynxia) and on Flickr if you want to take a peek (with all pertinent info) – it’s just too much for one blog entry.

What I can share with you is what else I’ve been up to during my gaping void of non-blogging.

I’ve started on the Mystic Waters Shawl and I’m loving it – it is just beautiful (not to mention it’s going to be HUGE!)

Mystic Waters - Row 90

Here it is completed to Row 90. I’ve actually finished Clue 1. I went with a different yarn than originally planned – I’m now using Fleece Artist Baby Curls (2000m laceweight) in the “Aegean” colourway on 4mm Addi Turbos. I’m completely smitten as Danny will attest to – I keep bugging him in his office so that he too can bask in it’s sheer gorgeousness.

My Halloween Mystery Shawl (aka “Dracula’s Bride”) is 18 rows short of completion and is what I’ve been working on this week. It’s slow going, but I hope to have it done before Sunday. Here’s the latest photo I have of it after finishing Clue 4.

Halloween Mystery Shawl - Clue 4

Next week, I plan on finishing my Swan Lake Stole (aka MS3). I have Clue 4 completed on the second half of the symmetrical version leaving only Clue 5 and the centre joining panel left to do.

Swan Lake Stole - Part 2/Clue 4

My Garter Stitch Jacket got ripped back and started over and is now truly in garter stitch after a few false starts (and making a textures scarf with the proper technique). This is my current “watching TV with the husband” project. [No photos yet – but will add later] I have 7″ of the back done so far and – yet again – can’t say enough about how much I adore Fleece Artist yarns.

My reward project for making my holiday deadline is this:

Thrum Socks - 1

They are Thrum Socks!

Fleece Artist colourway “Cosmic Dawn” (Handdyed Kid/Handdyed Mohair roving) on 3.25mm needles. I tweaked the pattern a little to work with my sock-knitting style. They are just so neat. Isn’t the “Don King” shot hilarious? Thank heavens that my Knitting Vintage Socks KAL is taking December off as I’ve just started on the October/November sock – “Child’s French Sock” with which I’m bucking tradition and doing in a happy, self-striping Garn Studio’s Fable Superwash that has been calling to me from the stash. The pattern isn’t as fussy as it looks and is actually working for me on the 2.5mm needles, a size that I usually deem too loose.

French Fable Socks

Hmmm, what else…oh yeah – yarn!

Received from Lisa Souza:

Wildthings Laceweight

8oz/2500yds of “Wild Things” Superfine Merino Laceweight. OMG – I want to use this as my pillow it’s so soft. Slated for a future Mystery Shawl KAL.

See Jayne Knit Yarn and Stitch Markers

These are from See Jayne Knit‘s site on Etsy and I cannot be happier. Handdyed DK wt Superwash Merino sock yarn “Iguana” (talk about your gut reactions – I saw this on her site and said “mine, mine, mine!”) and some lovely abalone shell stitch markers for my Mystic Waters shawl (when I reach the repeats).

Jayne is a fellow Canuck living in Vancouver, BC who does the most amazing dyejobs – we’re talking Wollmeise “squee” levels. I have no qualms whatsoever giving her a shameless plug:

Go to her blog and meet her absolutely adorable hamsters – or better yet, go to her etsy site and grab up some of her beautiful yarn! (See above for links)

Whew – I think we’re all caught up now. Back to dealing with “finishitis”of the lace variety.

Published in: on December 6, 2007 at 3:51 pm  Leave a Comment  
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