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 🙂

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 “Bliosán Socks

Janel revealed the name of the pattern with the second clue – “Artichoke“. “Bliosán” 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.

Advertisements
Published in: on May 12, 2011 at 9:59 pm  Comments (4)  
Tags: , , , , , ,

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. 😀

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. 😀

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)  
Tags: , , , , , , , ,

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 😀

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. 🙂 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  
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

Out with the old and in with the new…

First off – our Holidays were wonderful. It was great to have some time with my family for a change – we don’t get to see each other that often. Everyone loved their gifts, and as promised here is what I made for BadgerDan:

Varsity Socks - 1 Varsity Socks - 2

A Pair of Varsity Socks (which he immediately put on as soon as they were unwrapped) and

WWII Watchcap

an authentic WWII Watchcap (which he asked for).

BadgerDan made(!) me a truly fantastic handstitched leather satchel – it’s huge (14″ x 14″ x 6″) and has more clips than you can shake a stick at. In a word – SQUEE!!!!

Satchel -1 Satchel 2

My travel project for the Holidays was my Highland Hose, and I actually managed to finish the first one:

Highland Hose - Sock 1

These, my friends, are what I call “kneesocks”!!!

In anticipation for the new year, I’ve been going through my projects and wildly finishing off WIPs, ripping out those that needed it and gathering yarn for some new ones.

I present to you – my completed 2008 Mission Falls Sampler Afghan!

2008 Sampler Afghan

and (finally) my completed Mystic Earth Stole!

Mystic Earth Stole - Blocking

Relegated to the Frog Pond was my Casablanca Shawl – I had run into some mistakes (all mine) and didn’t get back to it. I can always knit it again later.

I also took apart my Lopi Vintage Vertical Stripe Afghan (9.75 feet is WAY too big for a blanket) – reballed the yarn and made a new plan of attack. Using the blanket as a massive gauge swatch – I calculated that 165 sts/84 rows would give me a blanket measuring approx 5.5 ft x 3.5 ft. Much easier to deal with. And since it seems that I don’t really do “random” all that well – I sorted the yarn into colour groups and plugged them into a Random Stripe Generator using 1 row & 42 rows as the parameters. I tweaked it a bit in my spreadsheet program, reversed the stripe sequence for the 2nd half of the blanket and voila! One pattern chart to follow. I’m restarting this one at Midnight tonight.

VVS Yarn

This allowed me to free up yarn for a Hemlock Ring Blanket that I couldn’t resist starting on:

Hemlock Ring Blanket

I’m using all browns/beiges/creams radiating out from darkest to lightest.

Unfortunately, I can’t go any further on it until I get a certain ways into the VVS!

The 2009 Sampler Afghan yarn is ready to go:

2009 Afghan Yarn

This is the result of frogging two chunky homespun & handknit sweaters from Equador that I found at the thrift store. It has way too much vegetable matter in it for a garment – but perfect for a camp blanket for BadgerDan! By using an 8mm hook and this year’s CAL’s 6″ square option I should be in pretty good shape. I can always border it with any leftover Lopi from the VVS.

Hmmm, what else??? Oh yeah! I started an Aran Scarf for the Red Scarf Project:

Scarlet Aran Scarf

Today I organized my remaining WIPs and did a little mending that I’d been putting off.

So to sum up the year I have just gone through and counted all my Finished Projects from 2008 – here’s the final tally:

**big breath**

Blankets (3)
Sweaters/Tops/Vests (5)
Lace Shawls (6)
Bags (11)
Hats (9)
Socks (29 pairs)
Mitts (2 pairs)
Slippers (5 pairs)
Dishcloths (42)
Stuffed Toy (1)
Bottle/Tea Cozies (2)
Charity Blanket Squares (3)

Total Completed Projects: 118

Holy smokes is that a lot of yarn!

I’ve learned a lot this year and am very thankful for all the new people who have come into my life. **hugs**

Let us meet this new year with strength, hope and the will to see & make positive changes in our lives and the World.

Fireworks

Happy New Year Everyone!

Published in: on December 31, 2008 at 8:30 pm  Comments (2)  
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

Experiencing Technical Difficulties

[First off – a happy Independence Day to our American brethren]

Yet again, I find myself with two weeks worth of projects to fill you in on. This is not wholly my fault as I was about to post last Friday when suddenly the wireless connection dropped off of my laptop and BadgerDan wasn’t able to get it back up until Tuesday, at which time I then had to source out a new USB cord for my camera as my retractable one broke. Ahh, technology – gotta love it.

So here I am, back in business with photos to spare.

Some socks:

Simple S'mores Socks - Complete Simple S'mores Socks - Done

The Simple S’mores Socks are finally done!!! My first pair qualifying for Summer of Socks 2008. They’re also my 17th pair of the year and the 4th pair for the 52 Pair Plunge II. They were also a reminder of why I generally don’t do “plain” socks – too easy for me to goof up on. The second sock ended up with fewer stitches than the first one – whoops! Oh well, at least they fit.

New England Socks - Sock 1 New England Socks - Sock 1 Complete

I finished the first New England Sock and love the result. I shortened the pattern by 1 leg repeat and changed the toe to a shortened standard one as the original instep pattern ran a bit long for my foot. So much for finishing them before July 🙂 .

Odds & Sods Socks

Believe it or not, this is going to become a leg of a sock. Odds ‘n Sods socks (by Tricia Weatherston) which is the final round pattern from Sock Madness 2 to be precise. The leg is done in a mitred knitting technique and the foot and rolled cuff are picked up and knit normally. I am SO glad I got knocked out before this pattern came up! Kind of fun though. A great excuse to use up some really LOUD rainbow yarn from my sock stash.

The shawl report:

Casablanca Shawl - Clue 1 redo

I realized that I just couldn’t live with my Casablanca Shawl in the purple alpaca, so I reknit it in my original yarn – a brown/red 3-ply cotton/ramie blend frogged from a sweater – on smaller 3.5mm needles. So much happier – look how the beads play nice now.

Casablanca Shawl - bead closeup

Clue 2 is done and I can’t tell you how much fun this is to knit! The clues are not too big and are really easy to follow. I may just be able to keep up with this one!

Casablanca Shawl - Clue 2

The Slow Bee II Shawl is around halfway through Clue 2 and I’ll post a picture when it’s done. I’ve decided that since I’m knitting it on my 14″ Brittany Straight needles, that completing one whole side of the stole and then the other will be the way to go. [Note to BadgerDan – need KnitPicks Option needles, hint hint]

I’ve been trudging away on my Secret of Bad Nauheim Stole and have finally managed to complete Clue 5:

Secret of Bad Nauheim - Clue 5 Complete

Just one 20 round Clue to go – they are over 800 stitches each though.

Mystic Meadows stalled out halfway through Clue 1, and I finally figured out why. It really wanted to be made out of the Aubergine alpaca originally chosen for it. So it was frogged and now patiently waits in the project queue for later this year. I want to get some other UFOs cleared up first.

Last week’s KAL cloth:

Sea Flower Cloth

Turned out really nice this time – I’m calling it “Sea Flower”. Here are the specs:

Pattern: Round Dishcloth by Amy Carpenter
Yarn: Bernat Handicrafter Cotton (Country Stripes, Sage Green, Shades of Green); SR Kertzer Coolspun Cotton, White
Needles: 4mm

I used the 15 stitch option and used up some stash leftovers.

In the bag:

Keyhole Carpet Bag

Calling this one my “Keyhole Carpet Bag”. The pattern is the Hero bag by Jane Ellison from Mirasol Collection, Book 2. I used up some old stash yarn for this one, Fiamattino Musa (which I’ve discovered is now marketed under the name “Sitar” from Nashua). I used approximately five 50g balls (held double throughout) in the “Earth” colourway.

Keyhole Carpet Bag - Liner

The lining is some olive green arctic fleece (recycled from an old hat) and instead of sewing up the sides, I just single crocheted it together – so much simpler.

Whatcha think?

And just to show you how much my brain has turned to mush, this is all I’ve been wanting to work on for the last couple of days:

Log Cabin Blanket - 1st Brown Side Panel done

Yep, my Log Cabin Blanket. Garter stitch is all I’ve been able to manage as of late.

In other news – Celtic Memory finally received her Canadian Care Package in the mail! She blogs about it here. She also has some other serious yarn pr0n in this post – go forth and drool.

Published in: on July 4, 2008 at 4:26 pm  Leave a Comment  
Tags: , , , , , , ,

I may just have a problem…

4 days later… I know I said “tomorrow” in the last post, but I just wasn’t able to get into a writing state of mind.

Anyhoo, here’s how my WWKIP day went in a nutshell (no pictures 😦 – see last post):

– Wished good luck to Heather and Wendy at Unwind (they were having a HUGE sale)
– Caught the bus into Toronto and started work on Simple S’mores Sock #2 (1.5 hour ride).
– Took TTC to Queen Street West and stopped in at Americo. (unfortunately they were out of what I was looking for, {handspun silk}, will try next time).
– Walked a couple of blocks to Romni where again I couldn’t find what I was looking for {Fiddlesticks “Cosy Scarves” Pattern} (they were out too, dang it).
– Made a beeline over to the festivities at Lettuce Knit where I came upon Stephanie playing with some dry ice.
– Sought out Rachel H (armed with her “Clipboard of Power”) to sign in for 1000 Knitters Project.
– Drooled around the store and bought some sock yarn and a copy of Cookie A’s “Twisted Flower” pattern.

Yarn from Lettuce Knit

Thats STR Lightweight in “Smoky Blue” (gorgeous) and 2 hanks of Art Yarns Ultramerino 4.

– Met, knit on the sock and hung out with a wonderful bunch of knitters including Stephanie, Rachel, Ken, Juno, Denny and a whole bunch more whose names unfortunately have escaped me. Said “hi” to Amy Singer, although didn’t talk to her much. Took a bunch of photos including the requisite sock w/Harlot shot.
– Was introduced to Franklin and sat for my picture. We had a nice chat while I knit on the 1000 Knitter scarf and he snapped away. I have to say, bar none, that Frank is one of the nicest and most darling men I have ever met. I had a couple of great shots of Franklin (including one where he wrapped himself in my Halloween Mystery Shawl in imitation of his grandmother arriving at Ellis Island – killing myself for erasing that one!).
– There were door prizes being handed out – this is what I won:

Bambino Sock Yarn

Cameleon Colourworks handdyed Bambino Sock Yarn (Wool/Bamboo) in Lavender/Gold. Not my colours, but it’s going to become a pair that the Lovely Fiona is going to flip over.
– I have never seen such a parade of cupcakes and muffins (most homemade)! Too bad I couldn’t eat any :(.
– Around 4pm, went back to Romni to rummage in the basement for a while and happily came out with these:

Romni Basement Finds

a ball of Regia Canadian Colour (4743 – name? anyone know it?) and a ball of Brown Sheep Wildfoote (SY-09 Mums).

– Walked back to Lettuce Knit where things were wrapping up (quite literally – everyone left posed for a photo with the scarf around us on the steps of the shop). Sun/heat was beginning to bother me a bit.
– Went back to Queen West, got a wrap from a cafe selling Gluten Free food (kewl!) and hopped on the streetcar heading to Islington (was meeting BadgerDan at some friends in Etobicoke where we were staying over). A surprisingly nice ride if you’re ever wanting to blow an hour or so sightseeing in Toronto. Takes you all along Lakeshore and by some REALLY expensive houses.
– Caught the Islington bus to the station where I promptly got on the Casino (Woodbine) bus by mistake instead of the Northbound. Was at Woodbine Center before I figured out what was going on – oops! Got off and grabbed the next bus heading in the opposite direction. Was totally not feeling great by then – too much time in the sun.
– Finally made it to our friend’s apartment around 8:30 or so where BadgerDan was dead asleep on the couch (long day for him too). He had made ribs and the smell just put me over the edge. Tossed my cookies, then headed for the spare room where I slept through until morning. (We’re pretty sure I had a touch of sunstroke – felt much better when I woke up.)
– BadgerDan drove me to Finch where I caught the bus back home so I could make it to work at noon.

Well that’s pretty much how that weekend went.

Here’s some of what I picked up at the Unwind sale:

UYH - Sale Yarn

There are plans for those 2 balls of Noro Kureyon Sock – Colour 150 is going to become a pair of Rivendell socks and 188 will become Nancy Bush’s Chalet Socks.

The other one is Araucania Ranco Multy in blue/brown.

I also brought home some adorable Sweaterkits sheep buttons (which might be made into magnets):

SweaterKits Sheep Buttons

(My sheep are brown not white like in the photo.) How can you not grin at those?

A sweater’s worth of dark green Nature wool and the remaining 2 hanks of Misti Alpaca Handpainted Lace (“a thousand lakes”) that I needed for the Slow Bee shawl also came home along with a replacement set of 2.75 Pony Pearl DPNs (I gave away my previous set of Boye’s because they were driving me nuts).

Arriving last Monday:

Lana Grossa Sock Yarn

My order from Red Bird Knits of some sale Lana Grossa Meilenweit: Two in One 8501 (Teal) and Marmi 7001 (Brown) which the husbeast has already claimed.

Arriving this Monday (aka yesterday):

The Eclectic Sole

Squee!!!! Rivendell socks can now be made. Just a note – Janel is also the designer behind the Chameleon Colorworks SotM Club which gave birth to the book.

I’ve been dealing with some serious startitis over the last few days:

Woven Basket Cloth

Pattern: Woven Basket Stitch Dishcloth by Chris Silker
Yarn: Bernat Handicrafter Cotton, Hot Blue/Somerset
Needles: 5.5mm
Hook: 5mm

I was using up leftovers for this cloth. Did the centre 4″ square as per pattern and then improvised a crocheted border around in contrast. Not my favorite – my MIL will like it though. This was the KAL cloth I missed doing a couple of weeks ago.

New England Socks

These are New England by Nancy Bush from Knitting on the Road in Araucania Ranco Multy (Peacock) done Magic Loop on 2mm 32″ Addis for the May/June 2008 KOTR KAL. I would like to finish them before July…

Friday was the release of Clue 1 for both the Casablanca Mystery Shawl KAL:

Casablanca Shawl - Clue 1 Done Casablanca Shawl - Clue 1 closeup

(I changed out the beads to some cognac A/B #6s and am much happier than with the teal. Using 4.5mm needles and am pretty pleased with the results.)

AND the Slow Bee II Mystery Shawl KAL:

Slow Bee 2 Shawl - Clue 1, Side 1 Complete Slow Bee 2 Shawl - Clue 1, Side 1 Closeup

I still have to undo the provisional cast on to do the second half of Clue 1, but already I’m in love with this shawl. It’s actually knit on 3.5mm 10″ Brittany Straight needles and transferred to circs for the photo. Fiddly, but fantastic!

My Goddess Knits Anniversary Mystery Shawl finally got underway:

Goddess Knits Anniversary Shawl - Clue 1 done

Clue 1 is done (I went with Chart B for this clue) and Clue 2 should be done before the week is out (probably going to choose Chart B for this one too).

This morning, I did some design work which has, lets just say it, been driving me completely bananas the last week or so. Mixing cables can do that to you – arghhhh!

So, coming across a bag pattern among the scattered graph paper, I immediately grabbed yarn and needles and cast on some stress relief knitting:

Keyhole Carpet Bag

I’m beginning to think that this case of Startitis might become terminal.

Start and Finishitis

To begin with – I won a thing!!!

My Vintage Vertical Stripe CAL group on Ravelry held a contest draw in February and I won FIRST PRIZE!!!!!  I have no idea what I’ve won, but as soon as it comes in the mail, I’ll let you know.  I’m so excited!

As promised, I have some photos of my Arabian Nights stole:

Arabian Nights - Border  Arabian Nights - Beads

So pretty.  Unfortunately, I haven’t been able to work on it this week due to other projects needing my time but I’m back to it next week.

Danny’s Nordic Grey Socks are done.  These are pair #5 for the year:

Nordic Grey Socks - Complete

I also whipped off a pair for me – Ravenclaw Frankensocks (Pair #6)

Ravenclaw Frankensocks - Done  Ravenclaw Frankensocks

As their name suggests, they are made up of 4 different DK/sportwt stash wool yarns.  The main yarn is Patons Double Knitting, the short-row heel is Smart, the toe is made up of Tapestry yarns (as are the stripes).

I honestly had half the first sock done without realizing that I was knitting one.  I was watching Willy Wonka at the time so I blame the mesmerizing effect of Gene Wilder.

Gene Wilder, Willy Wonka

Nothing against Johnny Depp (ooohhh Sweeny Todd!), but this is the REAL Willy Wonka film.  How I love this movie.

See – sidetracked again.

I also started a new pair as part of my Knitting Vintage Socks KAL.  We had 2 patterns to choose from this time – Gentleman’s Socks with Lozenge Pattern or Fancy Silk Socks.  I made a pair of the silk socks a while ago:

Tomato Patch Socks

(Tomato Patch Socks – Fleece Artist Merino & FDC Zara)

so I’m going with the other one.

These I’m calling these “Carnivale du Printemps” (Pair #7) and they’re out of Lorna’s Laces Shepherd Sock “Watercolors” and a butterscotch fingering wt from the stash. I’ve altered the pattern to 70 sts on 2.25mm DPNs (I may switch to 2mm for the leg to avoid pooling).

Carnivale du Printemps

The 12″ crocheted afghan square for this month is called “Cygnus” and here is my version:

Cygnus Square

again, out of Mission Falls 1824 Wool and the last of the black Georga 100% Wool.

I’ve actually decided to forgo the mitred squares to join all of these up and am going to make 12 filler squares in 12 more 1824 colours.

Yesterday, I motored away on the Luna Moth shawl because Wendy needs it before April.  I think I only have a couple more repeats to go, thank the gods.

Luna Moth Shawl - Almost Done

Silk is not really forgiving to my wrists.

I completed Fiona’s crocheted tote bag.  I ended up using some of my acrylic stash in beige (yay! – one more ball gone!) when I ran out of the rust Phentex.  General consensus is that it needs some retro flowers on it, but I’ll let Fi add them on.

Crocheted Tote Bag - complete

Swatching has begun for the Secret of Bad Nauheim shawl and here is mine:

Secret of Bad Nauheim Swatch

Misti Alpaca 2-ply Laceweight (Natural Dark Tan) on 2.5mm needles.  I may go up to 3mm for the shawl, we’ll see.

Today I spent working on a birthday gift for my sister Robin:

Robin's Nordstrom Bag Robin's Nordstrom Bag - liner

I used the Nordstrom Crocheted Hobo Bag pattern by Dao Lam.  I made it quite a bit smaller (about half the original size) for an evening bag.  I used Mary Maxim Parisienne DK in black and Berocco Metallica in black on black held together for the body of the purse (I only had an inch of the Berocco left when I reached the 1st sc rnd).  The handle is 6 chains of 50sts braided together.  I fully double-lined the bag with a gorgeous plum coloured fabric, added a snap closure and matching grosgrain ribbon.  Ta-da!  I hope she likes it.

Robin's Nordstrom Bag - close-up

I think it’s adorable – and it sparkles!

This weekly update thing seems to be working for me, so let’s see if I can stick with it.

Best wishes all!

Published in: on March 7, 2008 at 11:00 pm  Comments (1)  
Tags: , , , , ,

Getting Hooked

I crocheted long before I ever picked up the pointy sticks and run back to it’s simplicity every now and then. I can whip something up so quickly and not even have to really think about it. Joining some CALs on Ravelry really got me excited about crochet again.

Looking back over the past month, I’m actually quite surprised at how much has come off my hook:

Dreamcatcher Square

This is the first of 12 pattern squares for a sampler afghan I’m making as part of the 2008 12″ Crochet Block-a-Month CAL. It’s called the Dreamcatcher square and it’s out of Mission Falls 1824 Wool and Debbie Bliss Merino Aran (Black). Each pattern square will be out of a different colour of the Mission Falls with the last round in black. When all 12 squares are done, I plan on knitting them together with black mitred squares (a la Domino Knitting by Vivian Hoxbro). This took maybe 2 hours to do.

[Just for the record – I’m using up a stash ball of the Debbie Bliss before buying more black in the 1824 Wool – it’s black, it’s a blanket, so sue me.]

Vintage Vertical Stripe Afghan (21 rows)

This is my Vintage Vertical Stripe Afghan so far. I’m making it entirely out of leftover, frogged and donated Lopi/Icelandic Chunky wool using a 6mm hook. Totally retro, warm and feltable if I so choose. It’s also therapy as I am forcing myself to make the stripes as random as possible by changing colours every row – not easy for me so there may be a few stripe patterns occurring intermittently throughout the blanket.

In amongst the hoard of mercerized cotton crochet thread given to me lately by the lovely Fiona there were a couple of strange orphan balls of polyester yarn. The first was a ball of 2″ wide tape or rags (possibly for rug making) in a Harvest Gold colour which I immediately made into a small yarn basket using the biggest hook I could find.

Yarn Caddy Basket Yarn Caddy Basket (Side View)

Ain’t it cute?

The second ball was some rust-coloured Phentex of the “icky, cringe, shudder” variety. Rather than pass it along again to the charity shop from which it came I decided to make it into something useful for Fiona.

Using my favorite ancient crocheted bag pattern (from Women’s Day, December 1972):

Women's Day, December 1972

This is what it looks like so far:

Crocheted Tote Bag - Phentex

Here is one I made a few years back out of cotton string (which I love – I keep my socks in it):

Crocheted Tote Bag - Cotton

January 23rd was my birthday and BadgerDan gave me a new camera (yee!).

New Camera which does not as of yet talk to my laptop (bloody Linux….) but will chat with our server so hopefully there will be a lot more photos on the blog.

I’ve been working on a few projects for the shop:

Disco Lights Purse Disco Lights Purse - Liner

This is Square Cake from the latest Knitty made from Tilli Tomas Disco Lights in “American Beauty” on 3.5mm needles. I made the smaller version and lined it with a striped rayon fabric. Purty hunh? (And look how much is left over!)

Felt Ballerina Slippers FibreTrends Pattern

These are (pre-felting) Felt Ballerina Slippers by FibreTrends (see above right) made out of worsted weight Auraucania Nature Wool in a russet colour (033). As soon as Wendy felts them I’ll post a picture, but you get the idea.

I’m also working on a Luna Moth shawl for the store out of 3 hanks of Tilli Tomas Voile de la Mer “Mermaid” on 3.5mm needles. It’s going to be gorgeous.

Luna Moth Shawl - Photo 1

Okay, I think that’s it for now. Next entry – a sock update and what you can do with second-hand sweaters.

Published in: on January 31, 2008 at 7:32 pm  Comments (1)  
Tags: , , , , , , ,