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.

Breaking Even

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

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

You see, I found yarn.

Good yarn. Wool yarn. Useful yarn.

Lana Grazia Lavabile

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

Simpsons Supremacy 4-ply

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

Total purchase price = $2.79

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

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

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

~~~

First up – finish the Sampler Baby Blanket.

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

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

Sampler Baby Blanket - Sewing Complete

Added an improvised border and VOILA!

Sampler Baby Blanket - Complete

One crib sized baby blanket ready for the baby nephew πŸ™‚

~~~

Next – finish the Exploding Plum Blanket.

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

Exploding Plum Blanket

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

~~~

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

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

Rummagerummagerummage

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

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

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

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

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

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

Crunchy Granola Hat

The Crunchy Granola Hat is born.

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

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

Webcam Hat Shot

~~~

Damn – still behind by 2.

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

Enter the Steampunk Safari Scarf.

Steampunk Safari Scarf

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

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

BTW, did I mention that it’s *FREE*?

Webcam Shot, Scarf

Lovelovelovelovelove. OMG – Must. Make. More.

~~~

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

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

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

Highland Handmades Peacock Corridale

I *really* need to get on that.

TTFN.

Published in: on April 15, 2011 at 7:14 pm  Comments (2)  
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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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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.

A January of FOs and Preparing for the Olympics

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

~~~

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

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

January Squares

February Squares

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

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

2010 Sampler Afghan - Jan-Feb

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

Moderne Log Cabin Blanket - Yarn

It currently sits at the 2 square point:

Moderne Log Cabin Blanket - Square #2
~~~

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

~~~

Wings of Horus Shawl

Wings of Horus Shawl - Blocked & Complete

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

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

Wings of Horus 1 Wings of Horus 2

~~~

Some gifted dishcloths were next:

Double Flower Cloth Double Flower Cloth

Denim Squidge Cloth Denim Squidge Cloth

Lacy Round Cloth Lacy Round Cloth

~~~

Niagara Falls Socks

Niagara Falls Socks - Complete

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

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

~~~

Mystic Waters Shawl

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

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

Mystic Waters - Complete

Makes Wings of Horus look like a shawlette – doesn’t it? πŸ˜€

~~~

YenforYarn Socks

YenforYarn Socks - Complete

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

~~~

Road to Oslo Socks

Road to Oslo Socks

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

~~~

Everglade Hat

Everglade Hat

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

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

~~~

On to February’s FOs

Smoke & Ashes Cardigan

Smoke & Ashes Cardigan - Complete

Yes. A mohair cardigan.

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

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

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

~~~

Handspun Headscarf

Handspun Headscarf

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

Attractive – no?

Handspun Headscarf - Headshot

Well, I like it πŸ™‚

Handspun Headscarf - Front

~~~

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

~~~

Rocky Butte Socks

Rocky Butte Socks - Sock #1

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

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

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

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

Rocky Butte - Original

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

~~~

DivaRomana Shrug

DivaRomana Shrug - Clue 1, Side 1

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

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

Mmmmm Fudgy.

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

~~~

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

Why, the Ravelympics and Knitting Olympics of course!

I’ve signed up for both πŸ™‚

Team Madness in Progress

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

In the WIPs Dancing Event…

Shetland Faroese Shawl

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

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

Saviano Socks - Yarn

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

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

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

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

Maple Leaf Forever Socks

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

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

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

Challenging? Hell yeah.

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

~~~

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

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

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

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

Evenstar Shawl - Yarn & Beads

~~~

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

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

I believe – don’t you?

Wrapping Up the Year

Yep. 2009 is over as of midnight. Is that loud cheering I hear? I think it might πŸ˜‰

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

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

~~~

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

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

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

Holiday Insta-Afghans #1 & #2

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

BD's Winter Socks Dad's Diamond Socks

BD’s Winter Socks & Dad’s Diamond Socks

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

Happy Stripes Tea Cozy Garter Mug Cozies Noro Coffee Sleeves

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

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

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

Rock Out Guitar Strap Sock MIL's Fancypants Apron

Rock Out Guitar Strap Sock & MIL’s Fancypants Apron

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

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

Roxie & her Bunny Nugget

She loves it though :D.

~~~

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

Royal Ball Winder Addi Clicks

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

My Furnished Parlour

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

(Photo will be added later)

~~~

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

Burning Rings of Fire Socks 1

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

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

Burning Rings of Fire Socks 2

I wore them all day yesterday – lovelovelovelove!

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

Niagara Falls Socks 1

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

So far so good πŸ˜€

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

YenforYarn's Happy Socks

YenforYarn’s Happy Socks

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

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

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

~~~

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

Wings of Horus - 12 rows to bind off

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

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

~~~

In Yarn/Fibre Pr0n news…

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

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

Simply Gorgeous!

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

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

Jekyll & Hyde Combed Top

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

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

And when it arrived, I was totally speechless…

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

ahem.

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

Lastly, I won another prize from the Sock Knitter’s Anonymous Group! πŸ˜€

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

Tangled Vines Socks

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

~~~

So, are you ready for the final project talley?

Got your smelling salts handy? Sitting down?

Okay, here we go:

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

2009 FINAL TOTAL: 131 Completed Knitting and Crochet Projects

I think I might need a stiff drink.

~~~

Wishing you all a Safe & Happy New Year!

New Year's Eve Greeting

See you in 2010!

Retro Awesome

Well, I made it! Cast off the last gift last night and everything is wrapped and ready to go. So, guilt-free, I can now devote a little time to catching you guys up with the massive amounts of stuff coming off my needles/hook over the last month and a half.

(I’ll share all the holiday gift knitting/crochet insanity with y’all tomorrow.)

~~~

Wow. Where to start?

How about some socks…

Regent Hose for Hubby 1 Regent Hose for Hubby 2

BadgerDan’s Vintage Intarsia Socks (aka Regent Hose for Hubby) came out pretty well I think – he just loves them πŸ™‚ This was his anniversary gift this year.

Miss Marple Mystery Socks 1 Miss Marple Mystery Socks 2

The Miss Marple Mystery Socks turned out just as awesome as I thought they would be. Star Athena encouraged us to play with ideas for the toe, so I modified the heel chart to make it work for the toes. (For the record, I omitted the lace pattern on the foot due to gauge issues.) What a great pattern – tons of fun! Thanks Star!

Alien Abduction Socks

These are the Slipstitch Rings Socks I mentioned in the last project post and are knit out of the last of my Fleece Artist “Cosmic Dawn” & the Black Lanett Superwash. I threw in some Acid Green Scheepjes Invicta Extra for good measure.

I call them my “Alien Abduction” socks.

Beam me up! *snicker*

(I swear I had some socks in these colours way back in the 80s…)

~~~

Hmm, what else?

BadgerDan got the matching December Sampler Pillow to go with his Afghan:

December Sampler Pillow w/afghan

I literally used up *every* inch of the yarn to finish that pillow off. Couldn’t have planned it better.

Mayrose Mystery Hat

This is the completed Mayrose Mystery Hat (aka Woolly Wormhead 2009 Mystery Hat “B”) out of Auracania Atacama Alpaca (try and say *that* ten times fast – I dare ya).

The tam is lovely and warm in the alpaca – fabulous drape. Very few designers will get me to do that much Feather & Fan (*not* my favorite lace pattern) – but I love Ruth’s hats to a fault. The “A” pattern – “Everglade” is queued and I’m still trying to decide on a yarn for it.

~~~

Are you guys sitting down?

Good.

‘Cause look what I finished!

Windsbraut Spitzbergen Shawl

The Windsbraut Spitzbergen Shawl!

Not only did I keep up and finish, but it was done and blocked before Yule and I was able to wear to a holiday party the next day!

Squee!

~~~

I’ve needed some little stashbusting comforts for myself during the holiday gift madness – some quick stuff that saved my sanity and made me smile πŸ™‚

Retro Stripe Wrap

Retro Stripe Wrap

Using up some of the soft brushed acrylic from my stash, I chained 200, worked out from the centre and went on instinct for the stripes.

All told, I think it came out quite elegant πŸ™‚

Noro Cabled Mug Cozy

Noro Cabled Mug Cozy

A much needed accessory as my coffee kept going cold!

[Pattern is a slightly modified Cabled Mug Cozy by MyFairKatie and knit entirely while watching “Alice“.]

I also made myself a crazy-ass pair of slippers:

Oriental House Slippers

Using both wool and acrylic stash yarns that really had no purpose. Certainly not the most colour-coordinated project I’ve ever made, but really, does it matter?

These just crack me up to no end and are very warm and cozy.

Chinese Emperor, Ali Baba or Munchkin? You choose (LOL).

[They’re actually called Peter Pan’s Slippers by Gabriela Ordenes.]

~~~

I *can* share a few gifts with you as they have already been received.

Our friend Lou needed a scarf, and I was more than happy to oblige him:

Othello Scarf

Othello Scarf

It’s made out of wool from a frogged Icelandic fair isle sweater and the Windy City Scarf pattern from the Stitch n Bitch Handbook. I’ve made a bunch of these over the years and it still rocks.

Jerry (our electrician buddy) received a manly neckwarmer:

Jerry's Quickie Neckwarmer

This is the Fourteen pattern by the talented John Brinegar. So simple, so fab – and FREE!. The yarn I used really doesn’t show how cool the pattern is – go see his original and be inspired!

I also did a bit of crocheted threadwork and made some snowflake ornaments for our building managers and the lady I cat-sit for.

Triple Crochet Snowflake

Lacy Snowflake

Royal Crown Snowflake

I even put little iridescent beads in the middle πŸ˜€ – they thought they were great.

~~~

A little bit more Retro Awesomeness is the fact we were given a *pristine* vintage couch in a rather loud print fabric (totally my colours, but seriously early 70s) and a fabulous solid wood dining set including credenza, hutch and *3* leaves! All this from a neighbour who was moving into a retirement facility. I cannot begin to explain how grateful I am to her and hope that the Universe rains many blessings on her.

~~~

This is getting pretty long, so I’ll leave all the yarn pr0n for a later date. In the meantime, have yourselves a wonderful holiday.

Published in: on December 24, 2009 at 8:57 pm  Comments (1)  
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Falling Off The Proverbial Wagon

Yarn acquisition has been running rampant Chez Alynxia lately. Mostly within reason, but I have strayed enough from my stash rules to feel incredibly guilty about it.

The recent happy arrival of the following gifts from some Plurky friends certainly has done nothing to quell the addictive fire:

KatKoe of Paper and Yarn sent me one of her cute little Copper Stitch Bugs (which seems to be hiding on me at the moment, so here is a photo of one of them from her store)

Copper Stitch Bugs

And TheChicksWithSticks sent me 4oz of GORGEOUS custom-dyed BFL roving in my favorite colours and 2 bars of her yummy homemade soap as a KAL prize from the KnittingPurls group on Ravelry. (You can also find her stuff here – please, someone buy her out of the Brandied Apple before I completely lose my resolve!)

TheChicksWithSticks BFL Roving & Soap

LOVELOVELOVELOVELOVE!!! Thank you both soooo much πŸ˜€

~~~

I shall now confess to you the extent of my yarny shame:

Marks & Katten Soft Mohair

A ball of creamy Marks & Kattens Soft Mohair (40% off) from Needles & Knits in Aurora.

It goes with the 2 balls of Estelle Watercolours (actually it’s the same yarn with a different name) already in my stash.

See? A couple of balls of grey and I’ll have enough for a decent sized project.

Totally justified.

Next came a couple of thriftstore sweaters for frogging:

Both are handknit – the first one I’ve identified as Bernat Softee Chunky (in Grey Ragg) and has already been frogged to make BadgerDan’s requested cardigan. It was $6 from the Goodwill.

All ready to go.

That second one is a huge, 100% wool Cowichan-collared zippered jacket and was only $2.99(!) from the Salvation Army. BD is using it until his cardigan is done. The jacket is very “retro Grampa sweater” and has grown on me so much that I might keep it as is instead of frogging it :).

~~~

Also found at the Salvation Army Thrift Store:

~ Mary Maxim Northland Wool – Black
~ Lion Brand CottonEase – Violet
~ 35g Mystery Ball of Worsted Weight Merino (probably Debbie Bliss Merino)
~ 87g Mystery Ball of Chunky Alpaca Blend, Blue Marl

All 4 balls for $2.99.

Not bad, not bad at all you say… why all the guilt?

This is when I fell down and bought full price retail.

*GASP*

Hear me out now…

I have instituted a new rule – if the full price yarn is necessary to complete a project that removes 1 or more skeins from the stash it can be considered. Logically, they cancel each other out!

I have been wanting to knit myself the Cowl sweater by Diana Rupp (from Stitch ‘N Bitch: The Knitter’s Handbook by Debbie Stoller) for years now… (the red one on the right)

and decided long ago that I wanted to make out of the Cascade 220 in #7811 Purple Jewel Heather in my stash. (It just *wants* to be purple!)

Problem was that I only had 4 skeins of it. Why not make it without the cowl? Sorry, not an option.

After much deliberation, I finally made the decision and ordered that single skein from The Loopy Ewe – and look what it arrived with!

Loopy Groupie Package

My friends, I am now a Loopy Groupie! Squee! (Maybe now I’ll finally be able to score me some Wollmeise…)

In addition to the purple C220, I also received a skein of Cherry Tree Hill Supersock DK in “Northern Lights” (which is totally going to make a pair of Woven Ridge Socks by Cat Bordhi), the “Brick by Brick Hat and Socks” pattern also from Cherry Tree Hill & a Loopy Ewe tote bag which is now completely filled with “queued” yarn. There were also some Tootsie Rolls in there, but they didn’t last long enough to make it into the photo. Thank you Sheri (and elves) – you ROCK!

(I hope to start the sweater after all the holiday knitting is done.)

~~~

Also purchased for full price (from Needles & Knits) were:

A ball of Lanett Superwash in black (which I’m pairing with the last of my precious Fleece Artist Sock in “Cosmic Dawn” for another pair of Cat Bordhi socks –Slipstitch Rings.)

and a skein of Shelridge Farms Handpainted Soft Touch Ultra 3-ply (col.SU0107N-093) to use with these 4 from the stash:

for the new Monika Eckert (Wollklabauter) Mystery KAL ShawlWindsbraut Spitzbergen.

~~~

Thus bringing me to another admission…

I’ve started another Mystery KAL project. Actually… make that 3 Mystery KAL projects:

Windsbraut Spitzbergen (which translates from the German to “Bride of the Wind” – Spitsbergen, a Norwegian island in the Arctic Ocean) and since it only calls for 800yds of yarn and Moni’s KALs usually run to 8 clues, I think I can keep up.

It started on October 31st with Clue #1:

Windsbraut Spitzbergen, clue 1

and we’re now up to Clue #2:

Windsbraut Spitzbergen - clue 2

It totally looks like Arctic tundra :).

~~~

November 1st marked the start of the new Sock Knitter’s Anonymous Mystery Sock KAL – a mosaic sock pattern written by the wonderful Star Athena and called “Miss Marple”.

There was no way on Earth I wasn’t going to do this pattern – Agatha Christie fanatic that I am, so using a stock photo as inspiration for my colour theme, I chose these stash yarns:

Yarn for Miss Marple socks

Those would be a ball of KnitPicks Palette in “Merlot Heather” and the leftover frogged 2-ply wool from my Peacock Track Scarf (which, incidently, I’ve been wearing constantly now that the temperature has dropped dramatically) again, held doubled, on 2.5mm needles.

I just finished Clue 2 earlier today:

Miss Marple Socks - clue 2

They are most awesome – can’t wait for the next 2 clues :D.

~~~

The last mystery KAL is a pair of hats (I bought both patterns) by Woolly Wormhead.

I started with Pattern “B” using 2 balls of Araucania Atacama Alpaca (say *that* 10 times fast!) and 3.75mm needles.

It doesn’t look like much now, but reserve your judgement until the beret is done and blocked.

I’ll be starting Pattern “A” (a slouch hat) after I finish this one, as they take the same needle size.

~~~

Well, that’s a load off my conscience.

Oh, by the way, did I mention that I also started a crocheted sweater for my brother?

Hey, what do you mean “Intervention” and “Rehab”?

It’s only a little yarn… and I can handle the new KALs – really πŸ˜‰

Published in: on November 13, 2009 at 1:25 am  Comments (3)  
Tags: , , , , , , ,

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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In the shadow of an old Chinese curse…

“May you live in interesting times.”

With all the ups and downs our little family has gone through over the last 2 months, trying to keep one’s head on straight has been hard enough, let alone trying to blog about it.

I’ll give you a cliffnotes version of what’s been going on and then give you the project/stash enhancement details.

– Competing in Sock Madness 3 (I’ve made it through to the Semi-Finals!)

– Yarn Crawl with SilverPheonix in Toronto (we had so much fun! He blogs about it here.)

– Elderly Father-in-law hospitalized & undergoes brain surgery (he had a subdural bleed resulting from falling and hitting his head). He’s home (and doing well) now after scaring the pants off of us after a month & a half of surgery & rehab.

– WE’RE FINALLY MOVING!!!! Unbelievably, we scored the assistant building managers position of my In-Laws’ apartment building. We move in June 1st. The new apartment is IMMACULATE, has a balcony (which being on the 5th floor gives me the willies), and the building has laundry facilities! (Can you hear the angels singing?) Best of all 50% off of the rent and the opportunity of maybe running a building of our own in the future. Sweet.

– My laptop (or rather the harddrive thereof) DIED. Subsequent tries by my beloved to repair the ancient Dell Latitude resulted in 2 more fried harddrives. We have since decided that this is my laptop telling us to “Leave me the hell alone and let me die in peace!”. BadgerDan is allowing me to share his laptop until he can get us some new MacBooks. No more screwing around. We did a backup a while ago, so I didn’t lose too much data (I hope.)

– Our nephew Richard and his girlfriend Shannon are going to have a baby boy (first baby in the family in a *very* long time and soon-to-be big brother Eric doesn’t know what he’s in for). Yay, baby knitting!

– My cousin is getting married at the end of July and I’m thinking a blanket will be a good gift. If I crochet it, I might just be able to get it done in time.

A whole bunch more has been going on, but those are the biggies.

Okay, lets get to some fun fibry stuff!

First, some shout-outs:

My darling SilverPheonix gifted me with these:

Shears To You Laceweight Alpaca

Organic 2-ply Laceweight Alpaca from a local breeder! A 4 oz skein each “Li’l Miss”(brown) & “Verdy” (cream) which I assume to be the names of the individual animals.

and he *made* me these gorgeous stitch markers!

Stitch Markers by SilverPheonix

(There was a bunch of other goodies in the care package too – spoiled me rotten, you did, David! Thank You!)

Remember all those finished socks from the last post for the Sock Knitter’s Anonymous February Challenge? Well, I *actually* WON some yarn!

Black Cat Fibres, Yak Wool

This is a wicked 100g skein (500m) of Yak Wool 4Ply in “Electrical Storm” donated by Ruth (Cinders over on Ravelry) of (Black Cat Fibres) all the way from Lancashire, England. I can’t stop petting it.

Katkoe
of PaperandYarn sent me an adorable little set of flowery stitch markers to brighten my day. Which they did, but I just can’t get a good picture of them. They’re real cute though. Thanks again!

Some purchased Yarn Pr0n:

Koigu from Lettuce Knit

I was a really good girl (and I have David to back me up on this), yarnwise at least (lol) while on our Yarn Crawl and only fell down when I saw this absolutely GORGEOUS skein of Koigu KPPPM over at Lettuce Knit. I think it looks like African Violets, don’t you? I paid full price for it, but as it was a special occasion, we decided it doesn’t count :P.

In the interests of full disclosure, I’ve also purchased the following yarn:

– 4.5 balls of Bouquet “Marina” Superwash Wool (around $2.50 from the Salvation Army) I needed it to make my FIL a pair of gloves (detailed later).

– A mixed bag of yarn which included a few of balls of Kroy wool & some misc. acrylic ($4 from the Salvation Army)

– A ball of Cream Georga 100% Mercerized Wool from Walmart (I paid full price for this one, but needed it to make these socks as a future project, I already had 2 balls of the dark grey and don’t want to mix with a non-mercerized wool.)

– 2 BAGS (20 balls) of Twilleys of Stamford Freedom Spirit col. 417 “Promise” (which I scored at an unbelievable 70% off). I don’t have plans for it yet, but by the Gods, 2400m of DK Wool should be enough to make *something*!! Maybe even something “Rowan-esque”. Ain’t it purty?

Freedom Spirit 517-Promise

See? I’ve been good.

If you follow me at all, you won’t be surprised that I’ve been working on a whole whack of projects since my last post. So consider yourself warned that this section is heavy on the photos and content.

I’m going to detail the misc. stuff (in chronological order) first, then the Sock Madness Rounds, followed by what’s currently on the needles and what ended up in the proverbial Frog Pond. Sound good? You sitting down? Let us begin.

Miscellaneous FOs

SilverPhoenix Hat – a surprise gift for David given to him on our trip to Toronto.

SilverPheonix Hat

Pattern: Louisa by Kristi Pedersen (West Coast Creative)
Yarn: Twilleys of Stamford Freedom Spirit, “Air” (Shade 506); Filatura di Crosa Zara, light grey (Col 1494)

Quilted Windmill Cloth – the March 2009 Mid-month cloth for the Monthly Dishcloth KAL Yahoo! Group.

Quilted Windmill Cloth

Pattern: The Windmill Dishcloth by Sew-Funky
Yarn: Bernat Handicrafter Cotton; Jewels, Delft Blue, Light Blue

FIL’s Manly Gloves – Danny’s Dad lost one of his leather winter gloves, so I offered to make him a new pair. When I asked what colour, 3 voices responded in unison “Grey. Plain.” *SIGH* Let’s just say that I would rather give myself a lobotomy with a plastic DPN over making these gloves again.

FIL's Manly Gloves

Pattern: Gloves for Service Men by the American Red Cross (vintage pattern from 1942)
Yarn: Bouquet Marina, col. 6750 (Steel Grey)

Pleated Beret – This was the April Vertical KAL Woolly Wormhead hat. It worked up fast and well, but just looks *wrong* on my head. I don’t know why. I’ll take it apart later and reuse the yarn for something else. I’ll try the pattern again with a different yarn some other time.

Pleated Beret

Pattern: Pleated Beret by Woolly Wormhead
Yarn: FibraNatura Oak, Tyme (40255); Sublime Extra Fine Merino DK, WaterLeaf (019)

Highland Hose – They’re finally DONE!!!!!!! And OMG I love them!!! I reversed the cables on the second one to make them symmetrical.

Highland Hose

Highland Hose - 2

Pattern: Rose’s Hose by Rose Singerman (from “Sock Hop: Socks to Make Your Feet Dance” by Joseph Madl for Philosopher’s Wool)
Yarn: Hayfield Falkland, col. 16004 (250g)

Illusion Egg Hunt Cloth – the April KAL Cloth for the Yahoo! Monthly Dishcloth KAL. I used up scraps to stripe the β€œeggs”. Trust me that there are a lot of better looking versions than mine :).

Illusion Egg Hunt Cloth

Pattern: Illusion Egg Hunt Dishcloth by Deborah C. Tilley
Yarn: Bernat Handicrafter Cotton, Natural; Lemon Swirl; Denims; Natural Ombre

Malachite BSJ – A jacket for the new grand-nephew! I forwent the buttons and did some i-cord ties instead.

Malachite BSJ

Pattern: Baby Surprise Jacket by Elizabeth Zimmermann
Yarn: Georga 100 percent Cotton, Green Multi; Dk. Green Cotton from frogged Old Navy Sweater

April Squares – The April CAL squares for the 2009 Sampler Afghan.

April Squares

Pattern: April Square by Julie A. Bolduc
Yarn: Chunky Homespun from frogged Equadorian Sweaters

Mystic Star Shawl – is COMPLETE and FRICKING GORGEOUS! Couldn’t be happier (although I thought that last clue was going to kill me). I assure you, there are beads in there.

Mystic Star

Pattern: Mystic Star by Anna Dalvi
Yarn: Broder Medicis 2-ply laceweight wool (from France) handdyed to a midnight blue by me.
Beads: #8 Miyuki Clear Beads

Little Acorn Bag – I crocheted up this little project bag on a whim. (Little did I know where it would lead…more on this later.)

Little Acorn Bag

Pattern: Little Acorn Project Bag by Brigitte Read
Yarn: Light Brown Mystery Tweed from Stash; Noro Kureyon, Col. 149
Beads: 3/4″ Wood

Absinthe Socks – a pair worthy of the Green Fairy, don’t ya think? A couple of modifications: I ran 2×2 ribbing up the back of the leg, made the cuff longer (total 18 rnds instead of 12) and reversed the middle cables on the second sock.

Absinthe Socks

Pattern: Absinthe socks by Sara Morris (Knitty, Spring 2009)
Yarn: Scheepjes Invicta Extra, Electric Green (discontinued)

BadgerDan’s Bad-ass Driving Gloves – My beloved had his birthday at the end of March (his 49th – I love you honey! *duck*) and these are what he wanted me to make him. Had to do an inter-library loan to get the pattern, but it was definitely worth it. (I plan on getting my own copy when I do my “book binge” this year.) The only thing I modified was shortening the straps to 7″ and replacing the D-rings with a button closure.

BadgerDan's Badass Driving Gloves

Pattern: Driver by Robin Melanson (from Knitting New Mittens & Gloves)
Yarn: Gjestal Selbu Husflidgarn, Col. 312 (black heather)

April Showers Cloth – the April Mid-month Cloth for Monthly Dishcloth KAL Yahoo! Group. I β€œintarsia”ed the contrast border.

April Showers Cloth

Pattern: April Showers by Deborah C. Tilley
Yarn: Bernat Handicrafter Cotton, Green Twists; Forest Green

May Squares – The May CAL squares for the 2009 Sampler Afghan.

May Squares

Pattern: Rainbow Crochet 6″ Square by Sarah Bradberry
Yarn: Homespun Wool from frogged 2nd hand Equadorian Sweaters

If you’re wondering, the 2009 Sampler Afghan currently looks like this at the moment:

2009 Sampler Afghan - Jan-May

I whipped off a bunch of baby socks in leftover yarn (details in the links):

Spring Stripe Baby Socks Spring Stripes Baby Socks

Woodsy Baby Socks Woodsy Baby Socks

Reese's Pieces Stripe Baby Socks Reese’s Pieces Stripe Baby Socks

Baby Huntsman Socks Baby Huntsman Socks

Cosmos Baby Socks Cosmos Baby Socks

Dr. Who Baby Socks Dr. Who Baby Socks

Which bring us to my latest FO – the Little Knitted Acorn Project Bag

When I shared my crocheted acorn bag with my Sock Madness friends, a few of them requested a knitted version as they don’t crochet. Always willing to assist, I offered to write one. And this is the result:

Little Knitted Acorn Bag

I consulted with the original designer and she gave me the green light to offer it as a free pattern. As soon as I hear back from my test-knitters and get the pattern re-typed (my master was nuked with the rest of my laptop), the PDF will be available as a Free Ravelry Download and I’ll have a direct download from here as well. (Providing, of course, I can figure out HOW to make it work.)

So, if you’re interested, stay tuned!

Sock Madness

This year’s Sock Madness has been a lot of fun so far. We’ve just finished up Round 5, with only 2 rounds left to go. And I’m STILL IN THE RUNNING! I guess all the practice has paid off (lol).

In retrospect, I do admit that some of my yarn choices could have been better…

(As the designers are always better at explaining their own patterns, I’ve provided links to the Sock Madness blog posts in the pattern notes for each.)

Round 1 – Tropical Mer-tini Socks

Tropical Mer-tini Socks

Pattern: Tropical Mer-tini Socks by Ronni Smith
Yarn: Austermann Step, Col. 09
Needles: 2.25mm

Round 2 – Tokena Socks

Tokena Socks

Pattern: Tokena by Tricia Weatherston
Yarn: Shelridge Farm Soft Touch Heather, Cajun Spice; Paton’s Kroy 3-ply, Col. 390
Needles: 2mm DPNs (cuff, heel, toe); 2.25mm DPNs (fair isle)

Round 3 – Talia’s Wings (The Manly Version)

Talia's Wings

(A little note: BadgerDan requested a pair be made for him during the competition – these would be them.)

Pattern: Talia’s Wings by Heatherly Walker
Yarn: Lana Grossa Meilenweit Marmi, col. 7001
Needles: 2.5mm circs

Round 4 – Lucky Diamond Socks

Lucky Diamond Socks

(After I finished this round, I made the following modifications to my socks: Lengthened toe by 1″ and lengthened cuff to 1.5″.)

Pattern: Lucky Diamonds by Melissa Goodale
Yarn: Shelridge Farms Soft Touch Ultra 3ply, col. SU0107A-081(Blues); Paton’s Kroy 3ply, col. 374 (Dk. Navy)
Needles: 2.25mm circs

Round 5 – Fine Feathered Feet

Fine Feathered Feet

Pattern: Dimpled Diamonds Socks by Deborah Swift
Yarn: Opal Rainforest 4ply, Owl
Needles: 2.25mm, 2mm

Next stop…the Semi-finals!

Which brings us to what I’m actively working on right now:

Works In Progress

The Zen Pullover is slowly taking shape:

Zen Pullover, body begun

I’ve opted to sew the sleeves and instead of working the back & front pieces seperately, picked up and am knitting the body in round top down. I hope it will fit – if not, I’ll just pull it back and add more stitches. It is a “Zen” pullover after all…

I joined yet another Mystery Shawl KAL – this one is called “Wings of Horus” by Kalinumba and involves solving riddles before you can open the PDF Clues. Due to Sock Madness demanding my attention, I’ve only completed the first 2 clues (the 5th one was just released):

Wings of Horus, clue 2

If the yarn looks familiar – it should. It’s the same yarn I used for the now frogged Casablanca Shawl. Doesn’t it look like falcon feathers? The last clue will have us adding a whole bunch of beads – I’ll have to find some golden ones I think.

Sock Knitters Anonymous is running another mystery sock KAL – this one by the famous Yarnissima! The pattern is called Kiila and I’ve finished the first clue (again, delayed by Sock Madness).

Kiila Socks

The yarn is a discontinued yarn from KnitPicks called “Memories” in the “Redwood Forest” colourway. Here’s a close-up:

Kiila Closeup

And since the only knitting book to somehow escape being packed away for the move is my copy of “Favorite Socks” and I’m so close to finishing the 52 Pair Plunge II (it ends May 31st and my current total stands at 43 pairs), I have a couple of pairs on the go from there:

SuperMeida Socks (Meida’s Socks by Nancy Bush) is using up one of my oddball, single skein, “what was I thinking” yarns – Cascade Sassy Stripes in a forgotten colourway that I can’t find the name of. It just reminds me of a superhero costume. The toe is some closely matching dk grey 4-ply Kroy.

SuperMeida Socks

Here’s what it looks like with a foot in it:

SuperMeida

The stitch pattern reminds me of Wonder Woman for some reason…

And begun today…

Cable Rib Socks

Cable Rib Socks (by Erica Alexander) which I’m altering a wee bit by knitting them out of the Fleece Artist Blue Face Leicester Aran (Cosmic Dawn colourway) from my frogged Thrum Socks (I kept the mohair roving to spin – hey it’s Fleece Artist and I’m thrifty!) on 3.25mm needles. I’ve reduced the stitch count down to 42. So far, so good.

This brings us finally to:

The Frog Pond Report

Even after changing to yet *another* yarn, the Dogwoods in Spring Mystery Shawl didn’t want to cooperate – so into the pond it went. Eventually, I hope to find the right yarn.

Dogwoods in Spring

Believe it or not, it’s taken me over 7 hours to complete this blog post. I really do need to start contemplating blogging on a daily basis…

That is, if my “times” don’t get any more “interesting”.

TTFN.