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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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. πŸ˜€

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. πŸ˜€

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

Patchwork Blanket - Centre

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

~~~

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

Fisher Price Loom

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

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

Fast forward to a few years ago…

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

Spears Wool Weaving Loom

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

Anyhoo…

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

Loom - Warped

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

Woven Koigu Scarf - progress

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

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

Woven Koigu Scarf - Complete

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

~~~

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

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

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

Crocodilian Socks - Sock 1 progress

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

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

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

~~~

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

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

Exploding Plum Blanket - Rnd 11

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

Goodness! Would you look at the time!

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

TTFN.

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

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

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

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

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

~~~

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

They’re both still in progress at the moment:

Evenstar, Clue 4 Complete

I’ve finished up to Clue 4 on Evenstar

Moderne Log Cabin, Block 6 Complete

and Block 6 on the Log Cabin.

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

Danny, Robin & Babybump

I’M GOING TO BE AN AUNTIE!!!

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

Christening Set

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

Mandarin Petit Yarn

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

Really.

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

~~~

Finished Objects

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

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

*SOCKS*

Smocked Stockings
Smocked Stockings

Cranberry Biscotti Socks
Cranberry Biscotti Socks

Stardust Socks
Stardust Socks (for my Mom)

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

Much Needed Legwarmers
Much Needed Legwarmers

Castiel Hat
Castiel Hat

Vintage Mohair Cloche
Vintage Mohair Cloche (crochet)

Ruba'iyat MittensMittens, back
Ruba’iyat Mittens

Bubbles Cowl
Bubbles Cowl

Hudson Handspun Scarf
Hudson Handspun Scarf (for my Dad)

And yes, that is *my* handspun!

Handspun Hudson

*GARMENTS*

Talia Vest
Talia Vest

Banish The Cold Sweater
Banish The Cold Sweater

*BABY STUFF*

Rocketry
Rocketry Baby Cardigan

Little Tiger Baby Hat
Little Tiger Baby Hat

*ACCESSORIES*

Totally Mod Messenger Bag
Totally Mod Messenger Bag

~~~

KAL/CAL PROJECTS

I’m such a joiner 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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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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Tunnel Vision

Yet again, I find myself falling behind on my blogging due to a sudden desperate case of “Finishitis”.

UFOs have been dropping like flies off my list to make room for new projects:

Robin's FLS - Complete

The February Lady Sweater for my sister was first off the list.

I opted for a couple of handcarved wooden buttons from Equador that matched better than the plastic ones I had originally picked out and I did end up having to rip back the entire body of my Zen Pullover to do the sleeves, but, no matter…

Zen Pullover (Revised)

I like my newer version much better :D.

Using 8mm needles and increasing at the sides whenever I felt like it resulted in a well fitting comfy sweater that I’ve already been wearing quite a bit.

LOL – I guess they can truly be called “sister sweaters” now.

~~~

There was a bonus square pattern included this month for my Afghan CAL, so I cheated a little and finished off the 2009 Sampler Afghan a bit early:

2009 Sampler Afghan - Complete

These squares were quite fast and fun to do – great for a stash buster all-over motif afghans if you’re looking for a pattern.

November Bonus Square November 2009 Bonus Square
(“Julia’s Flower” by Melinda Miller)

November Square 2009 November Square
(“Gem Star” by Chris Simon)

As for the blanket’s recipient, Danny is thrilled with it – as evidenced by his stretching out on it and napping in front of the TV every night for the past week.

The December CAL square (or squares if there’s another bonus pattern) will become a matching pillow for him – which seems to be needed :).

~~~

Not really a UFO, but a FO nonetheless, last week BadgerDan requested a scarf for a buddy of his who was just getting out of hospital after successful treatment for prostate & colon cancer (menfolk, please get thyselves checked!) and I was more than happy to oblige:

Diagonal Rib Keyhole Scarf

Pattern: Misti Alpaca Chunky Diagonal Rib Knit Scarf by Alicia Fleitas
Yarn: Mystery Chunky Blue Wool from Stash
Needles: 10mm

I cast on 20 sts and made an 8 row keyhole about 12” from one end of the scarf.

~~~

And last but not least, the decision was made to call it quits on the idea of the Forest Witch Mittens due to time constraints. With an additional cable repeat and some clever decreasing, the mitten in progress became a pretty awesome camera cozy:

Forest Witch Camera Cozy - FrontForest Witch Camera Cozy - Back

Those bobbles still crack me up.

~~~

Some other UFOs have been taking a bit longer, but progress is slowly being made:

Regent Hose for Hubby

Regent Hose for Hubby - Sock #1 Complete

LOOK! A COMPLETED INTARSIA SOCK! AMAZING!!!!

(And it only took me how long to knit? *groan*)

This is what the leg looked like before the heel:

Regent Hose for Hubby - leg

The cuff for the 2nd one is finally done and I’m on to the leg of it later today. Alcohol might be involved, just sayin’…

~~~

Wings of Horus is in the final stretch, and like most large shawl projects at this stage, is taking FOREVER to knit (beads not withstanding).

This is how it looked after Clue 5:

Wings of Horus - Clue 5

and here is where it is now (Clue 6, Row 230), only 16 rows from completion:

Wings of Horus, Clue 6, row 230

So close, yet still so far…

~~~

In the next posts – a new pattern for sale(!) and what other things I’ve been getting up to.

Stay tuned ;).

Published in: on November 12, 2009 at 4:31 pm  Comments (1)  
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Things That Make Me Happy

On this weekend of numerous fiber festivals (Rhinebeck, Creativ Festival, etc.) that I (yet again) will not be able to attend, I have decided to focus on some simple things that bring me joy (not necessarily in this order):

1. Electric Purple Koigu Socks

Hidden Heart Socks

(It might not look it in the photo, but I do assure you that the yarn is, indeed, electric purple.)

Pattern: Hidden Hearts by Jeannie Cartmel
Yarn: Koigu KPPPM, P818183; Broder Medicis 2-ply lace, Midnight Blue
Needles: 2.25mm

I’m using the leftover laceweight yarn that I dyed for Mystic Star held doubled for the toe (elongated to 3″), heel & cuff of these socks because the colour was perfect and I only have one single gorgeous skein of the Koigu.

(Trust me, if I could’ve, I would’ve cleaned Lettuce Knit completely out of this luscious yarn.)

2. The Magic of Blocking Lace

Autumn Leaves Scarf - Blocking

The transformation of crumpled mess to gorgeous lace never ceases to amaze.

Autumn Leaves Scarf - Complete

My Autumn Leaves Scarf blocked out to about 7″ wide and 61″ long.

It also looks fantastic with my Levi’s jacket:

Autumn Leaves Scarf w/Jacket

Pattern: Feuilles by Eric Hinsch
Yarn: KnitPicks Palette, Autumn Heather; Patons Kroy 3-ply, Col. 305 (Khaki Green)
Needles: 4mm Brittany Straights

3. Trees That Match My Wardrobe

Autumn Trees from Balcony

This is the view from my 5th floor balcony. Oh, how I love this time of year!

4. Wool Blankets, Sweaters and Socks

It’s October in Ontario. See above.

5. My New Haircut

My new haircut

I feel so sophisticated. And a little like Audrey Tautou.

6. Lace & Ruffles in Chunky Yarn

There is just something deeply satisfying about knitting lace in thick wool on chunky needles.

My Solstice Stocking

My Solstice Stocking

Pattern: Ruffled Lace Christmas Stocking by Kathy North
Yarn: White Buffalo Elenka, Cream; Reynolds Lopi, Gold
Needles: 6mm DPNs
Hook: 6mm

That crocheted ruffle just cracks me up.

Solstice Stocking - Ruffle Detail

7. The Perfect Beads

I finally picked up the beads for my Wings of Horus Shawl this week – they’re #8 Miyuki beads in a matte gold colour that works incredibly well with the cotton/ramie blend yarn.

Beads for Wings of Horus

They remind me of Egyptian jewelry, which is entirely appropriate.

8. Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars

Cookie Bars 1

I use the recipe from “Eating Gluten Free” by Shreve Stockton.

(A really good basic GF cookbook, btw. The buckwheat pancake recipe is the BEST! I just sub out the buckwheat with teff flour as it’s a no-no for me.)

9. A Place For Everything & Everything In It’s Place

Those of you who know me well, know that I abhor doing dishes and laundry. However vital, it simply takes too much of my valuable knitting time.

This week, I have actually managed to thoroughly clean & organize my kitchen, keep up with the dishes & get all of the piled-up laundry washed, dried and put away. We can actually see the floor in the bedroom – it’s positively amazing!

An uncluttered house = uncluttered mind. Or at least in theory… it sure as heck feels like a weight has lifted off of my shoulders.

10. My Wonderful Husband

Tomorrow will be BadgerDan’s and my 11th wedding anniversary and as much as I like to grumble about him, he is the love of my life.

We’ve been through quite a lot together these past years and marvel at how we’ve (a) survived and (b) haven’t killed one another yet as we are both *quite* headstrong individuals who think in very different ways. (We have been known to have some very loud arguements, only to find out afterwards that we were actually arguing the same point.)

He is the Mathematician to my Visionary, the Costello to my Abbott and the Yang to my Yin.

And even though we won’t be going out for dinner tomorrow night (we’re actually on duty this week & next while the building managers are on vacation), we *will* be cracking open the bottle of 2007 Folonari Valpolicella Classico Superiore Ripasso in the cupboard.

I love you Honey. Have a cookie. πŸ™‚

Cookie Bars 2

Published in: on October 16, 2009 at 9:37 pm  Comments (4)  
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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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On Obsession, Inspiration and Adaptation

Holy smokes! Here it is, the middle of March & I haven’t posted since my birthday.

In my defense, our internet connection went down in February, followed by my laptop having a meltdown (BadgerDan was able to resurrect it, but we are seriously looking at new ones right now for both of us.)

When last we left our intrepid knitter, she had just discovered the Sock Knitters Anonymous group over on Ravelry and was working on the January Mystery Sock Pattern…

The Beaded Mystery Socks are now done:

Beaded Mystery Socks, complete

Pattern: SKA January Mystery Pattern by Sheryl Giles
Yarn: Lang JaWoll Color, 82.0198 (2 skeins)
Needles: 2.25mm
Beads: #8 Miyuki Glass Beads, Gold-lined Brown (8-135S)

As are the Strange Bedfellows Socks:

Strange Bedfellows Socks, complete

Pattern: Coupling by Deb Barnhill
Yarn: Louet Gems Fingering, Fern Green; Misti Alpaca Handpainted Sock, Taos
Needles: 2.5mm circs

I used a “Judy’s Magic Cast-On” Toe instead of Short-row one as in the pattern & did the foot in plain stockingette.

What they don’t tell you is that SKA is *not* a 12-step program and will lead you down a slippery slope, as I soon discovered…

First, I thought, I have time to do another pair for the January Challenge…

Rolling Thunder Socks

Rolling Thunder Socks, complete

Pattern: Rolling Thunder by Sivia Harding (from Knitty)
Yarn: Austermann Step, col. 01 (approx. 1/2 ball – 45g); Patons 3-ply Scotch Fingering, Butter Yellow & Dark Burgundy
Needles: 2.25mm KnitPicks Classic Circulars, 2mm DPNs (for 3-ply sections)
Beads: Amber A/B #6 Miyuki Beads (6-257)

I shortened the leg by 1.5″ and reduced to only 68 sts at the gusset to accommodate tighter gauge and needles of 3-ply.

Hey, it’s stash busting right? Sure.

Enter the February Challenge and a designer that I had lots of patterns by, but had never gotten around to knitting…

Naniboujou Socks

Naniboujou Socks, complete

Pattern: Naniboujou by Chrissy Gardiner (from Knitty, Winter ’08)
Yarn: Cascade 128 Solids in Dark Brown (1108), Rust (2414) & Cream (8010)
Needles: 4mm

Chunky yarn, why not? (I used the 4.75″ size of the pattern)

Nice and fast, neat pattern, Husband loves them.

Which soon led to some simple kneesocks…

Ribby Retro Socks

Ribby Retro Socks, complete

Pattern: Ribby Retro Socks by Chrissy Gardiner (Knitscene, Fall ’07)
Yarn: Sean Sheep Armytage, Greens; Bucilla Tapestry Wool, Col. 011
Needles: 2.75mm DPNs

Hey, why aren’t you using the “good” yarn? Okay, I thought, let’s do some really nice ones…

Knotty or Knice Socks

Knotty or Knice Socks, Complete

Pattern: Knotty or Knice Socks by Chrissy Gardiner (Interweave Knits, Fall ’08)
Yarn: Stonebarn Fibers/Gypsy Girl Creations, Cattails (2 skeins)
Needles: 2.25mm

I worked a toe-up flap heel (a la Wendy Johnson) instead of the short-row one as written (added a stitch to the sole needle sole to accommodate this) and then added 15 rnds of K1B, P1 ribbing as I felt they needed a cuff.

This yarn was actually the first yarn I ever bought from The Loopy Ewe.

Why not a cabled pair?

Tilted Cable Socks

Tilted Cable Socks, complete

Pattern: Tilting Cables by Chrissy Gardiner (Interweave Knits, Winter ’07)
Yarn: Lana Grossa Meilenweit Multiringel, Col. 5020
Needles: 2.5mm

I again knitted the foot in plain stockingette and lengthened the heel flap from 32 rows to 36 rows for my high instep.

Here’s a close up of the cables:

Tilting Cable Socks, close up

How about another stash buster pair?

Kaibashira Socks

Kaibashira Socks, complete

Pattern: Kaibashira by Chrissy Gardiner (Knotions)
Yarn: ONline Supersocke 100 Highland Color, Col. 840 (45g); Paton’s Scotch 3-Ply Fingering Wool, Kelly Green (18.4g); Ornaghi Filati Merino Oro 2-ply Laceweight, Black
Needles: 2.25mm DPNs

I held the laceweight and 3-ply held together to recreate the effect of the Supersocke yarn and to bring up the gauge.

And darn it, I need a pair to go with my big ol’ grey tweed sweater…

Squares & Stripes Socks

Squares & Stripes Socks, complete

Pattern: Squares & Stripes by Chrissy Gardiner (from Lion Brand β€œJust Socks”)
Yarn: Sandnes Garn Smart Superwash DK, Grey Tweed (2 balls); Mission Falls 1824 Wool, Raven (005)
Needles: 2.75mm DPNs

Enter the March Challenge and another mystery sock kal…

March Mystery Socks

March Mystery Socks, Clue 3 Complete

Pattern: SKA March Lace Mystery Sock by Kristi Schueler
Yarn: Cascade 220 Paints, Cherry Berry (9926)
Needles: 3mm DPNs (leg & heel); 3.25mm DPNs (foot)

I used the 42 stitch option & we have one more clue (the cuff) to go on these.

Did I mention that the new Spring 2009 issue of Knitty is out and fricking incredible???

I couldn’t stop myself…really!

Absinthe Socks

Absinthe Socks, Sock #1 Foot/Heel

Pattern: Absinthe socks by Sara Morris (Knitty, Spring 2009)
Yarn: Scheepjes Invicta Extra, Electric Green (discontinued)
Needles: 2.25mm

And how about some baby socks?

Sporty Striped Baby Socks

Sporty Striped Baby Socks

Pattern: 44 stitches, 2×2 rib leg, flap heel, reduced down to 40 sts for foot.
Yarn: DGB Confetti Superwash, Col. 193
Needles: 2.5mm DPNs

Yarrr!! Baby Stockings

Yarrr!! Baby Stockings

Pattern: I started out with a standard Judy’s Magic Cast-On Toe, 32 sts (3″ foot), short-row heel and worked 1.5″ of the leg in stockingette, then on a whim incorporated the central pattern from “Jack Sparrow’s Favorite Socks” by Pamela Northrup, worked 3 rounds, then did 1/2″ in 2×2 rib before binding off. Leg measures 5″ to the bottom of the heel.
Yarn: Opal Pullover & Sockenwolle (10g sample ball), unidentified colourway; Paton’s Scotch 3-ply fingering wool, Black
Needles: 2.5mm

These just crack me up to no end.

Good news? I have 29 pairs already done for the 52 Pair Plunge II ending April 31st. Bad news? I think my husband wants me fitted for a straight-jacket.

By the way, the first round of Sock Madness 3 is tomorrow (maniacal laughing…)

It wasn’t just socks I’ve been working on during this period of radio silence…

There has been sweater knitting:

Austermann Abotanicity is finally off the needles!!!!!!

Austermann Abotanicity Sweater, Complete

Pattern: Abotancity by Cassie Rovitti (Knitty, Winter ’07)
Yarn: Austermann Step, colour 06 (4 balls)
Needles: 2.75mm, 3.25mm & 3.75mm circulars

I made mine short sleeved by using 2.75mm needles and decreasing every other row to 83sts then knitting even until I hit 4” and will need to put some darts in at the back as it’s a little big on me.

I finished half of a mohair sweater before deciding it wasn’t working:

Swirling MIsts of Doom Sweater

(I took it off the needles, but haven’t yet pulled it apart, just in case I want to give it another go.)

And started what I’m calling my Zen Pullover:

Zen Pullover

It’s the “Rectangela” pattern from Berocco that I’m doing in Briggs & Little Heritage, Sheep’s Grey.

I mean how pretty is this?

Rectangela

There have also been dishcloths:

February Monthly KAL Cloth

Peppermint Pink Kiss Me Cloth

Pattern: Kiss Me Cloth by Lisa Milan
Yarn: Scrap Dishcloth Cotton in Pink, Bright White & Variagated Pink
Needles: 4.25mm

(It is *very* pink to my “non-pink-person” eyes, but isn’t really all that aesthetically or technically offensive.)

February Mid-Month KAL Cloth

Circle Cloth

Pattern: Circle Cloth by Hakucho
Yarn: Bernat Handicrafter Cotton, Sage Green & Green Twist (+ a scrap of lighter green when I ran out of the sage)
Needles: 4.25mm

And the March Monthly KAL Cloth

Pot o' Gold cloth

Pattern: Pot O’ Gold Dishcloth by Emily Jagos
Yarn: Bernat Handicrafter Cotton, Banana Yellow
Needles: 4.25mm straights

For some reason, I decided that I immediately needed a new spring scarf to go with my green Levi’s jacket and after a stash dive, came up with this:

Grizabella Scarf

Grizabella Scarf

Pattern: Wear-as-a-Collar Scarf by Sally Melville (from Scarf Style)
Yarn: 3 Novelty yarns from stash (your guess is as good as mine)
Needles: 6.5mm straights

I am thoroughly surprised at how much I actually like it, for a novelty yarn scarf.

There has been crochet:

March Squares for the 2009 Sampler Afghan

March Squares

Pattern: March Square by Julie A. Bolduc
Yarn: Chunky Homespun from frogged Equadorian Sweaters
Hook: 8mm

Thoroughly by accident, I stumbled upon a crocheted lace shawl mystery CAL and one “ooh shiny” moment later had this done:

Dogwoods in Spring Mystery Shawl

Dogwoods in Spring Mystery Shawl

Pattern: Laceweight Mystery Shawl 2009 by Tracey McCorkle
Yarn: SouthMaid Mercerized Crochet Thread, Size 20 (White)
Hook: 3.5mm

which I took apart and re-did yesterday in some ancient 2-ply wool from the stash because the mercerized cotton was playing hell with my hands.

Dogwoods in Spring, take 2

I plan on handpainting this shawl when it’s done.

And talking about shawls…

Last post I mentioned Mystic Star and how I wouldn’t start it until after the other ones were done.

Yeah. Then I saw a gorgeous clue 1 done in midnight blue accented with clear beads on Ravelry.

In the span of 3 hours this happened:

These

French 2-ply laceweight

went in here

Dying laceweight

to look like this

Rit dyed laceweight wool

and a bit of a blow-dry later, became this:

Mystic Star, clue 1

It now looks like this:

Mystic Star, clue 3

I just have clue 4 to finish and it’s done. Stunning.

(I also signed up for Mystic Roses, but honestly won’t be starting that one for a while – it’s the same size as Mystic Waters & I don’t have the yarn for it at the moment.)

It just goes to show you what happens to a knitter when you limit his/her internet useage!

In other news, my extremely wonderful & talented friend Silver Pheonix from over on Plurk & I will be meeting up in Toronto for a bit of a takeover yarn crawl on Friday. You have been warned. (Muahahahahaha)

Sock Madness and David within a 24hrs of each other. Be afraid, be very afraid. (I can’t wait πŸ˜€ )