Craving Colour

Happy Weekend Everybody! The sun is shining and there is much to celebrate.

Yesterday was Canada Day *waves flag proudly* and my friends in the US will be celebrating their nation’s Independence Day on Monday.

Over in Europe, there’s the Wimbledon finals, the Tour de France AND the FIFA Women’s World Cup.

And it looks like Mother Nature has finally decided to let us have some summer weather. πŸ˜€

All very good reasons to raise your glass and cheer!

~~~

Most of this week it’s been pretty rainy around here causing me to regard mostly colourless projects as, frankly, kind of depressing.

White, Grey, Grey/Rust/Grey, and Khaki. *sigh*

There was only one solution…

CAST ON!

Digging around in my sock yarn stash, I picked out the brightest, happiest combination I could find, grabbed my copy of Last Minute Knitted Gifts and my 24″ set of 3.5mm Addis.

I Dream of Oceans Scarf

“I Dream of Oceans Scarf”

VOILA! Instant happy.

It’s the very popular Chevron Scarf pattern by Joelle Hoverson done in Sheeps of Egyptian Cotton Handdyed Merino Fingering Wt in “Pacifica” and Lotus Yarns Chakra in “Jenna”.

A great take-a-long project that I can pick up and do a few rows on whenever I need a blast of colour.

~~~

Regardless of the icky weather earlier this week, my Mitered Crosses Blanket seems to be progressing nicely:

Mitered Crosses Blanket, 4 squares

4 squares down, 6 more to go.

Each block seems to be a 2-day project, so I give it a couple more weeks and they should be done.

I’m still thinking about how I want to handle the border as I really am not a fan of applied I-cord. (Don’t get me wrong, I like the look, but I find it a bit of a pain to do.) Guessing it’ll depend on how much yarn is left after the squares and filler pieces are done.

~~~

This weeks quickie project was knit out of some of my first wheelspun – remember this?

Handspun Pumpkin Patch BFL

Well, it became this:

Mind's Eye Hat

“Mind’s Eye Hat”

One of the hat patterns from Shannon Okey’s Spin to Knit book.

I don’t think it came out too bad for 62 yds of (badly) Navajo-plyed, eye-searing BFL.

You won’t lose me in a crowd anyhow LOL.

~~~

When the sun came out in full force on Thursday, I took the rare opportunity to work on my embroidery projects that tend to get neglected in favour of my knitting obsession.

I got a little bit more done on the petit-point version of “Witchwork” by Amy Law that was designed for the Monica Ferris novel “Blackwork”.

Rather than ordering the kit from Kreinik (it just wasn’t in the budget when I started it last year), I ended up substituting the Silk Mori and Braid with DMC Cotton and Metallics on white linen from my fabric stash.

My version is a little more vibrant than the Kreinik original, but I really like how it’s coming out. I’ve just started the final border, so the embroidery should be done fairly soon.

Witchwork Petit Point

(I apologize for the fuzzy picture, my camera’s acting up again.)

It will eventually grace the top of one of these boxes.

The piece measures *less* than 4″ square. Next time I’ll throw a coin in the picture for scale.

My other cross-stitch in progress is a kit I bought for myself aeons ago just before I went for gallbladder surgery (and a good two years before I found out I was Celiac).

I pull it out and work on it from time to time when I have the inclination.

Bookshelf Cat Cross-stitch

It’s the “Frederick the Literate” kit designed by Charles Wysocki.

I love it lots. And I got a fair bit done on it while watching the live feed from Wimbledon on Feegle (my Netbook).

Thursday was a very good day.

~~~

Yesterday, I started a new pair of socks for the July SKA Challenge (Fair Isle/Intarsia), got a little carried away and finished the first sock at around 1:45am.

Fair isle knitting apparently has a hypnotic effect on my brain, causing me to not notice hunger, fatigue or even Canada Day fireworks. It’s powerful stuff.

So, I share with you the grand total of my Friday accomplishments:

Turkish Stashbuster Socks #1

The first Turkish Stashbuster Sock.

And when I say “stashbust”, I mean STASHBUST! There’s everything from tapestry wool, scraps of aran wt wool to quadrupled Kroy 3-ply fingering wt in these things.

Turkish Stashbuster Socks #2

When they’re done, I’ll have used up a full *17* balls from the stash. Small ones, sure – but they’re out of the stash all the same. And it’s the small leftover balls that drive me bananas.

It’s the Turkish Sock pattern by Bronwyn Lowenthal (from “Love to Knit Socks“) which is written for 14 different colours of Debbie Bliss Aran on 4mm needles. I used 3.5mm and found them plenty big enough.

I think they’ll look fabulous with my steampunky hiking boots this Fall, don’t you?

Steampunk Boots

July is also a “Mystery Sock” month – a colourwork pattern designed by Stephanie van der Linden – WOOHOO!!!

I’m going to finish off the stashbuster socks first then cast on for them. I already have the yarn pulled – can’t wait to show you!

~~~

I mentioned before, the Tour de France is on, in fact, it started this morning.

And any fiber person can tell you that means only one thing…

THE TOUR DE FLEECE HAS BEGUN!

Ladies and Gentlemen, start your wheels/spindles!

My goals are pretty up in the air at the moment, but I *have* started spinning one of the larger bunches from my fiber stash and will go from there.

Tour de Fleece Day One progress

8 oz of Pacific Wool & Fiber “Spinner’s Choice” Colonial Heather Wool Top in “Jewel Great Britain”.

My first test run was coming out a little thick, so I plyed it back on itself and started a new bobbin.

I’ll ply each bobbin back on itself to make things easier all around.

It’s really pretty stuff, teal and green with shots of burgundy – YUM.

(Just for the record, I haven’t joined any of the numerous teams – simply spinning for fun this year.)

~~~

Speaking of spinning, I did finish up a skein of handspun that I was working on earlier this week:

Handspun Jewelled Rainbow

It’s about 438yds of fingering weight (4 oz) spun on my Schacht Hi-Lo Spindle that I couldn’t bring myself to ply. So I finished it off as a singles yarn.

This delicious BFL Top is from Woolgatherings with the very descriptive title of “Dyelot: BFLM02181101”. I call it “Jewelled Rainbow”.

It reminds me of Malabrigo. If Malabrigo dyed BFL.

Hands off – it’s mine πŸ˜›

~~~

I’m pretty sure that’s it for now.

Enjoy your weekend everybody!

TTFN.

Shining Star

Too tired to be much more than random this week. I’ll do my best to wax lyrical in future posts.

~~~

Completion!

The last three days have been a slog but… it’s finished. After 14 months it’s finally finished.

I give you Evenstar in all her majestic glory:

Evenstar Shawl Complete

It’s knit in vintage winter white Bucilla Wondersheen Super Mercerized Cotton (so vintage in fact that it proudly declares itself “boilproof” on the label) on 3mm needles.

I can now move on to the rest of the Christening set for my future nephew.

Compared to the shawl, the christening set should be a cakewalk. I hope.

~~~

Spinning

This weeked I spent some quality time with my wheel and some pretty blue Corridale:

Handspun Blue Stunner

The roving is from Lakehouse Loft and is called “Blue Stunner”. Totally lives up to it’s name πŸ™‚

Spun on my wheel and then plyed on my new favorite plying spindle from Highland Handmades, it’s 111g/205yds of 2-ply in approximately a DK wt.

Delicious.

~~~

Quickie Project

I love making bags. I just do.

This was Saturday’s project:

Spiral Berry Bag

Spiral Berry Bag

It’s the Spiral Rib Bag from One Skein by Leigh Radford.

A good use for an orphan skein of Cascade 220 Handpaints that didn’t match ANYTHING ELSE in my stash (col. 9926 “Cherry Berry”) and even though the pattern didn’t call for it, I handsewed a liner for it:

Spiral Berry Bag, liner

Denim was the only choice in my mind to go with the yarn, made from an old pair of jeans.

A great small muckabout purse that can double as a project bag. WIN!

~~~

Sock Progress

The Crocodilian Socks are coming along slowly. I did a repeat or so when I needed something mindless to work on (generally while watching the NHL Playoffs).

The May Mystery Socks have been retitled “BliosΓ‘n Socks

Janel revealed the name of the pattern with the second clue – “Artichoke“. “BliosΓ‘n” is artichoke in Irish Gaelic.

I haven’t had much time to work on Clue 2 in the rush to finish Evenstar, but I did manage to complete the chart for the first sock:

I think I’m going to continue the pattern on the leg by another 3″ to make it a comfortable height.

Will work on them tomorrow.

~~~

New Arrivals

A pretty pair of Peacocks were waiting in the mailbox yesterday:

Highland Handmades Peacock Roving

I couldn’t help it – I had to get the Tussah silk too. I am a weak, weak woman.

We also gained a new furry member of the family on Tuesday night.

Lily

Meet Lily. She’s a 2-3yr old tabby and used to live with my 87yr old MIL who could no longer care for her properly.

She just loves BadgerDan and, well, she didn’t have anywhere else to go.

Maverick and Tomi seem to be taking the news of their new sister fairly well so far. The boys are giving her a wide berth and the growling and hissing has been pretty minimal. Give it time.

~~~

Until next week…

TTFN.

Published in: on May 12, 2011 at 9:59 pm  Comments (4)  
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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. πŸ˜€

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.)

Small Steps Forward

I wish I had some finished stuff to show you today, but apparently the same scattered energies that are messing with the weather are having a similar effect on my attention span. So please forgive me if I’m less than articulate this week.

2 shrugs and a baby sweater project were knitted, pulled back, knitted again and finally frogged and the yarn put away in sheer frustration. To the tune of 3 wasted days.

Unless, of course, you take the Thomas Edison philosophical approach – then I simply found multiple ways of how not to make a shrug and baby sweater.

Doesn’t make it any less annoying though.

~~~

I have, however, managed to make some small progress on a few projects, not as much as I’d like, but progress just the same.

The La Vie de Bois Socks have come a fair distance since last week:

La Vie de Bois Socks 80%

I was going to try and run out the yarn, but decided that an 11″ leg was plenty long enough.

La Vie de Bois Socks - Sock 1

So very pretty and surprisingly stretchy.

La Vie de Bois Socks - Sock 1 Side

I put some quality time in yesterday on Evenstar, getting to the halfway point of Clue 5 (of 7):

Evenstar Shawl, clue 5 50%

And I got a few more rows done on the Moderne Log Cabin Blanket:

Moderne Log Cabin Blanket - Block 7 begun

Must remember that even small steps will eventually get one to a destination, regardless of one’s patience levels.

My inner child is screaming in the backseat right now.

~~~

Needing a positive distraction, I started spinning up some of the happiest darned handdyed roving in my fiber stash:

4oz of Superwash BFL called “Life’s Lemons” (from Highland Handmades)

Spinning - Life's Lemons

Possibly the most perfect cheerful delicious yellow on the planet. Wonderful to spin but it does makes me hungry for pie.

~~~

Something new…

The sheer number of leftover balls of sock yarn was making it hard to close the stash suitcase in which they were stored. Unsurprising perhaps, but something needed to be done.

I gathered all the patterned and handdyed sock yarn balls that weighed under 40g, threw them in an old project bag and grabbed my copy of Vivian Hoxbro’s “Domino Knitting”.

Yep. It’s official.

The leftover yarn levels have reached the mitred square blanket stage.

But rather than go with the diamond style (a la Shelly Kang’s famous Sock Yarn Blanket) like most folks attempting this epic undertaking, I’m going a slightly different route with my Patchwork Blanket.

Using my favorite potholder pattern (#3) in the book as a basis:

Potholder 3

I’m working the squares in randomly pulled colours radiating out from the center until it’s wide enough, then working the top and bottom in pattern until it’s long enough.

Patchwork Blanket

Each square measures 2″ with a cast-on of 27sts on 2.5mm needles.

I have no idea what kind of timeline this project is going to have, but I’m sure it’ll measure in years rather than months.

~~~

My cousin Jeffrey and his lovely wife Susan welcomed their little daughter Anne into the World early Sunday morning.

It was a wonderful bit of news to find out from my Uncle Paul & Aunt Marilyn (the proud new Grandparents) on Monday as we laid Grandmaman to rest in a beautiful ceremony that she would have loved.

A true blessing. πŸ™‚

TTFN.

Published in: on March 31, 2011 at 11:43 pm  Leave a Comment  
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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 πŸ˜‰

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 πŸ™‚ )

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  

A Little Bit of This and That

Just a few random things today:

DivaRomana Shrug - Complete

As promised, this is how the DivaRomana Shrug looks like on me. I’m quite surprised at how comfortable, light and *warm* it is.

(Note: please excuse the hair – it was still wet from the shower.)

~~~

Treetop Kneesocks - Sock #1 (halfway through leg)

Wednesday was spent working on the (very tricky) leg of my Treetop Kneesocks and wondering what the heck my husband was up to and where.

The first chart section on the leg is now done and I hope the next section goes a bit faster. Bamboo DPNs aren’t the fastest needles to work with, but I chose them so I wouldn’t brutalize the recycled wool.

(Long story short: It turns out that BadgerDan was driving all over the Greater Toronto Area trying to find a Passport office that could renew his passport the same day.

Unfortunately, he wasn’t as lucky as the YarnHarlot’s Joe this time round and he had to miss out on a lucrative 10-day assignment to Tennessee.

Suffice it to say that he was none too pleased when he got home last night.

He has since picked up a few jobs in Toronto for the weekend and had a client pay a large outstanding invoice in full so doesn’t feel too bad about it now.

See? Things always have a way of working out. πŸ™‚ )

~~~

Moderne Log Cabin Blanket (Block 3 - 50%)

I’m about halfway through the 3rd Block on my Moderne Log Cabin Blanket.

Believe it or not, I keep this in a basket on top of my TV in the living room and work on it when I’m too tired or stressed out to think. With all the complicated stuff I do, it’s kind of nice to have something mindless to reach for when I need to.

~~~

Thursday was a spinning day:

This is some beautiful custom blended roving from the amazing CJ Kopec called “Sunset” that I picked up a little while ago.

It’s 2/3 Merino, 1/3 Colonial wool and all YUM.

I’m about a third of the way throught the 4oz batch – not bad for a novice spinner, I think.

~~~

The Round 4 specs for Sock Madness 4 were recently released and had me (and most of the other competitors) scrambling through the sock yarn stash in sheer desperation:

US 1/ 2.25mm, US 2/2.75mm – 4 skeins Knit Picks stroll (231 yds/50g)

Do the math – that’s 924yds/200g of sock yarn.

Oh. Em. Gee.

I don’t know about you, but I only get *maybe* 100g of sock yarn at a time. This sucker is also a cabled pattern making me think that I really don’t want to try and stripe them. Buying yarn is out of the question, so what to do????

The only thing I could think of: Raid the Laceweight Stash.

Lisa Souza Laceweight

You may remember this yarn:

Lisa Souza Wild Things

It’s a whopping 2520 yards/226 grams of 2ply extrafine merino (Lisa Souza Laceweight, “Wild Things”) which when I swatched it doubled…

SM4 Round 4 Swatch

… actually gave me gauge and is muted enough to pass as a semi-solid.

Halleluah – crisis averted.

~~~

And last, but not least:

alynxiathelacemonster

Ain’t it the cutest? This little guy is “alynxiathelacemonster” created by the ever-talented Miss Violet who is on a bit of a monster kick at the moment.

Thanks V, I love it lots. πŸ˜€

Published in: on April 23, 2010 at 1:17 am  Comments (2)  
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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 πŸ™‚ (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) πŸ™‚

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.

From Books to Nuts

Or rather from Nuts to Books…

So, with no further ado, I present to you the long awaited pattern for the “Little Knitted Acorn Project Bag”!

Little Knitted Acorn Project Bag

Little Knitted Acorn Project Bag

Click on the above link for the PDF instructions and enjoy!

My humblest thanks go out to my testknitters and the people who have been patiently waiting for me to get around to writing out the final copy… and then re-writing it when the original died along with my Dell laptop. You guys rock.

I can’t begin to tell you how happy I am that things are finally settling down enough for me to start transforming my patterns and ideas from jumbled notes & sketches into tangible instructions that others can follow. That and having a computer that can not only keep up with me, but actually do what I tell it to do, when I tell it to do it! (If only the husband was as well trained…)

As of right now, the pattern for the Classic Crocheted Shawl is being tested and should be available for download soon. Progress!

In addition to my new computer, I’ve acquired another couple of useful items recently that have made me squee with joy:

This would be my “brand new” Singer 306K (circa 1955) picked up for $20 at the local Salvation Army Thrift Store. It fits in my Nana’s sewing machine table perfectly and BadgerDan is on the hunt for a new pedal (the current one is kinda wonky) and some of the missing attachments for me. Colour me happy πŸ˜€

However, not as happy as my new spindle makes me!

Murano Glass Spindle

I picked up this gorgeous little guy from Butterfly Girl Designs over on Etsy. Now I just need to get some fiber worthy of spinning on it!

Now to bring on the yarn pr0n…

As I mentioned in my first blog post of the year, I have given myself some rules for stash enhancement and that also entails that I share with you my yarn acquisitions, full price or otherwise, lest the guilt monster haunt me for life.

In the spirit of full disclosure, the following was a bit of a splurge – but it was a special occasion. And I felt entitled as I completely missed WWKIP day.

Cables & Lace Yarns

Cables & Lace Dragon Toes in “Strife” and Lizard Toes in “Beltane”. Incredibly, it was the first mail we received at our new address. (They are destined for a pair of socks & a scarf – as soon as I’m able to stop petting them.)

I also ended up purchasing the yarn for the Lover’s Knot Wedding Afghan (2 (400g) balls of Phentex Worsted in “Natural” and 1 (125g) ball of Loops & Threads Impeccable Solids in “Chocolate) due to a lack anything suitable in my stash for it. As it was for a wedding gift with next to no yarn leftover from the project, I think I can let myself off the hook for this transgression.

However, what follows now is the Yarn Score of the Century found at my local Salvation Army Thrift Store:

Yarn Score of the Century

20(Twenty!!!) balls of Jade Sapphire Lacey Lamb and 4 200g hanks of Worsted Wt Wool (I think they’re Romni Wools house brand, but could be wrong.)

All for the grand price of… $16 CDN.

(I’ll allow you a moment to do the math.)

Needless to say, I think I broke the landspeed record getting from the cash register to the car and after getting home, spent a good 3 hours jumping up and down.

Deciding to share the joy, I subsequently gifted about 10 balls of the Lacey Lamb to various knitterly buddies of mine over on Plurk, still leaving me with at least 5 shawls-worth. (That delicious wine colour has Mystic Roses written all over it.)

There has also been some forays into dying, both project-related and otherwise:

Not having enough yellow yarn in the stash (read: next to nil) to do the Sock Knitter’s Anonymous September 09 Mystery Sock (the challenge this month was the colour “yellow”) written by the illustrious Nancy Bush, I had to improvise. A little digging around yielded a couple of skeins of cream mystery 2-ply “workhorse” wool and a box of Gold Tintex Dye.

The resulting combination henceforth officially dubbed “Mango Margarita”:

Mango Margarita Wool

Not too bad for a fabric dye. (The socks, btw, have been worn and washed with little to no colour-bleeding – so far, so good.)

Yesterday, after colouring my hair, there was quite a bit left over and inspiration struck. I re-skeined 2 balls of some seriously ancient laceweight wool and had a bit of fun.

Following the same directions as for hair – I did one in solid and one “a la Jackson Pollock“:

Hair Colour-Dyed Laceweight Wool

It worked – who knew? (lol)

Last, but not least, some books magically made their way into my library…

In separate trips to the local Value Village, I scored these (both in hardcover and $3.99):

Family Album by Kaffe Fassett & Zoe Hunt

Family Album by Kaffe Fassett & Zoe Hunt

Welcome Home by Kaffe Fassett

Welcome Home by Kaffe Fassett

Thus, bringing my Kaffe book collection up to 9 (not including Rowan publications.) MUAHAHAHAHAHA!!! One day they will all be mine!!!!! (Ahem.)

My friend Betty (of Sheeps of Egyptian Cotton) sent me her extra copy of A Gathering of Lace by Meg Swansen and earned my ever-lasting love and devotion.

A Gathering of Lace

And on the “free for the taking” bookcase in our building’s party room I found a copy of this:

Knitted Shawls, Stoles and Scarves

Knitted Shawls, Stoles, and Scarves by Nancy M. Wiseman

Note to self: check bookcase every Wednesday after little old ladies needlework group.

Wishing a very Happy Thanksgiving to my fellow Canadians (and happy Diwali to those celebrating it).

TTFN.

{Note: *Wince* I realize after reading this entry that my writing style leaves plenty of room for improvement. I’m working on it. Really.}

A Parade of Projects

Okay, time to update you on the rest of the little stuff I’ve been up to these last months… and there’s a lot of it, so stay with me here…

I decided to opt out of the Dishcloth KAL group I was involved with, but did complete the KAL cloths for May:

Daisy Dishcloth Daisy Dishcloth

Cabbage Patch Dishcloth Cabbage Patch Cloth

A summer top managed to make it off my needles:

Coachella Top

Pattern: Coachella by Fathom Harvill (Knitty, Summer 2007)
Yarn: Teal Braided Cotton from Stash
Needles: 3.75mm, 4.5mm, 5mm Circular needles

I used the Extra Small size instructions, worked the first 3 rounds of collar on 3.75mm and the last 2 rounds on 4.5mm to transition to the larger needles.

We needed a rug for our “Library” (dining room area):

Tweed Shells Rug

Pattern: Tweed Shells Rug by Katherine Eng (from Scrap Yarn Rugs)
Yarn: Chunky Thick/Thin Acrylic blend from frogged 2nd hand, handknit sweater-coat; Olive Green Cotton (Sleeves from frogged Sweater) – Yarn held double throughout.
Hook: 10mm

The cats just love it.

I did a wee bit of spinning with my Rakestraw spinner and decided to make a flower pin with it:

My Handspun Handspun Flower

Pattern: Crocheted Rosettes/Flowers by Lion Brand
Yarn: My own handspun, 8.5g 2-ply lt worsted wt.
Hook: 4mm (row 1); 5mm (row 2)

The Oddballs Ravelry Group was doing a CAL for the awesome Inga Bag and since I found had all these little pieces of DK acrylic in my stash (don’t ask – NO frickin’ idea) I made them into a “magic ball” and voila:

Inga Bag1 Inga Bag2

A new project bag! I even lined it:

The liner is made from an old black t-shirt. The bottom of liner is square and double thickness for strength.

It seems I’ve been on a bit of a hat kick lately…

Baby Flower Hat

I improvised this baby hat for one of BadgerDan’s clients who just had a baby girl.

Spring Cap

Spring Cap was the Woolly Wormhead KAL hat for September. I’ve actually been wearing this one alot.

Emerald Star Cloche

The Emerald Star Cloche is my version of the her October KAL hat.

Dr. Seuss Hat Dr. Seuss Mitts

This beret was made to match these mitts, which the husband dubbed “Dr. Suess Mittens”. Aren’t they hilarious?

I whipped off a pair of wristwarmers (aka knittin’ mitts)

Knittin' Mitts

and… a few scarves…

Mmmmalabrigo Scarf Mmmmalabrigo Scarf

Manitou Passage Scarf Manitou Passage Scarf

Peacock Track Scarf Peacock Track Scarf

This last one is a great mystery CAL scarf by Charles Voth (aka StitchStud of the Stitch Stud & His Bride Podcast).

There have also been socks. Many socks.

Summertime Blues Summertime Blues Socks

Lichen Rib Socks Lichen Rib Socks

Kaffe's Cross Rib Socks Kaffe’s Cross Rib Socks

Tuffy Slipper Socks Tuffy Slipper Socks

Redwood Forest Socks Redwood Forest Socks

Southwestern Socks Southwestern Socks

Fabled Sunrise Socks Fabled Sunrise Socks

Nancy Bush Mystery Socks Nancy Bush Mystery Socks

Plus one holiday stocking:

BD's Solstice Stocking1 BD's Solstice Stocking2 BD's Solstice Stocking3

My 2009 Sampler Afghan is almost done with just 2 more squares to go:

2009 Sampler Afghan (Jan-Oct)

June Squares

June Squares

Pattern: Eliot Square by Julie A. Bolduc

July Squares

July Squares

Pattern: Kingfield Square by Julie A. Bolduc

August Squares

August Squares

Pattern: Jupiter Granny Square by Patrizia Pisani

September Square

September Square

Pattern: Amazing Grace by Bonnie Pierce

October Square

October Square

Pattern: Carousel Square by Priscilla Hewitt

You will note that I have changed to single monthly squares. This is due to running low on the lighter main colour wool. The 4 singles will make a transition row in the middle of the afghan – see? Design feature. πŸ™‚ I’ll be starting to sew these babies together fairly soon.

Thus finally bringing us to my current projects:

My sister recently saw my Noro/Kathmandu February Lady Sweater and made with the grabby hands, so I promised her I’d make her one for Christmas.

I’m making Robin’s FLS in Cascade 220 “Dune Heather” for the yoke and Briggs & Little Heritage “Sheep’s Grey” for the body and sleeves.

Robin's FLS

So far, so good.

It’s soon to be mitten weather around these parts and I’ve begun a pair of Jared Flood’s Green Autumn/Druid Mittens (aka the cover mittens from Vogue Knitting, Fall 08).

Forest Witch Mittens

I’m calling these my Forest Witch Mittens and they have been quite the challenge so far. After swatching AND knitting a cuff twice, I finally ended up going down 5 needle sizes to Size 0/2mm so that the mitts would fit my relatively small hands. The yarn is a dark green heather 3-ply wool from a frogged 2nd hand sweater-vest.

Knitting is slow – but with all the cables, to be expected. Got to say, against my better judgement, I’m finding those itty bitty bobbles amusing as hell.

The Sock Knitter’s Anonymous October Challenge calls for, among a couple of other options, “Socks for Men” and, being a good knitter wife, I allowed BadgerDan to choose a pair from some of my vintage sock pattern books.

He chose the last pair on the right – Regent Man’s Socks No. 2058 (from Hand Knit Socks by Regent, Vol. No. 20)

Regent Hose For Hubby

Yeah… once I picked my jaw up off the floor, I asked him

“Really?”

He replied

“Go large or stay home”.

Lesson learned and challenge accepted.

Regent Hose for Hubby in all their intarsia glory are being made on 9″ long 2mm DPNs using the following stash yarns: Opal Designer Uni 4-ply, Dk Brown; Lang JaWoll Color, 82.0198 (Green); & Patons Kroy 3-ply, col 390 (Taupe).

Regent Hose for Hubby2

Yep. Bobbins. Up to 9 of them at any one time. On 2mm needles.

He’s lucky I haven’t stabbed him with one yet.

My newest project is a great little lace scarf I’m test knitting for my friend KnittingDragon (of the Sweaters for Dragons Podcast & talented dye-master of Cables & Lace) which I’m calling “Autumn Leaves“.

Autumn Leaves Scarf

Pattern: Feuilles by Eric Hinsch
Yarn: KnitPicks Palette, Autumn Heather
Needles: 4mm Brittany Straights

I will be using a yet to be determined contrast yarn for the end lace sections as I’m a little short on yardage.

Project update complete.

**THUD**

Tomorrow… yarn pr0n & a free pattern.

As for now, I need to go prepare a peach crisp and some gluten-free biscuits for Thanksgiving Dinner at the parents.

Published in: on October 10, 2009 at 8:00 am  Leave a Comment  
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