How to make 3 weeks disappear

Knit lace. Lots of lace. I guarantee that the whooshing noise of deadlines flying by will become completely imperceptible after 4 days.

But even if your house is a mess and your spouse doesn’t quite recognize the crazylooking person in front of them, you will have something freaking impressive and beautiful when you’re done.

Behold:

Dreamscape Shawl - Complete

My Dreamscape Shawl.

It’s glorious. Deliciously soft, gorgeous drape, and frankly, ENORMOUS.

I wish my photography skills were better so I could do it justice.

I love it.

~~~

The lace knitting inertia continued…

Windsbraut Bertha - Complete

Windsbraut Bertha

Also delectibly soft (Mondial Gold Merino/Cashmere), HUGE (70″x 38″) and horribly photographed.

~~~

But what if I don’t knit lace? I hear you say…

Knit socks.

My hubby tends to overlook the dusty furniture if I knit him socks.

D-Man Socks - Complete

Stripey D-Man Socks for my Danny-boy.

Aloe Vera infused (Austermann Step) socks, because I love him lots.

AND I got the stripes to match – yeah BAYBEE!

~~~

But you do have to know when step off the train to Crazyville.

The Patchwork Blanket out of sock yarn?

Patchwork Cushion - complete

Well, it became a rather funky looking Patchwork Cushion instead.

This is what the back looks like:

Patchwork Cushion - Back

The rest of the leftover sock yarns will be addressed at another time.

~~~

What of the Christening Set?

Progress has been made:

Christening Gown - Progress

It’s slow going – but I’ve been informed that nephew Marc will be christened in September, so I have some time.

The sticky white cotton on tiny needles with 3 active cats in the house also makes me slightly paranoid with sessions of manic handwashing after touching *anything*.

I hope my sanity survives the creation of this set, I really do.

~~~

How to soothe the madness?

Let’s try some nice stockingette.

Lady Grey Tunic

This is my cotton Lady Grey Tunic. Which I hope will look something like this when it’s done:

Knitted Tunic with Lace Border

Pretty hunh? It’s free pattern (found here).

~~~

And when all else fails, you can’t beat good old garter stitch.

And no one (with the exception of Elizabeth Zimmermann – have you seen the new book? WANT!) does it better than the gals from Mason Dixon Knitting.

Now, I have been continuing to work on the Moderne Log Cabin Blanket (20 more ridges to go on block #7), but I had something slightly less epic in mind.

A Mitered Crosses Blanket.

10 afghan squares. I think I can handle that.

Not having any Noro Silk Garden (sniff), I delved into the stash and came out with some tweedy woolly goodness with which to make my version.

Mitered Crosses Blanket - Square 1

Red Cross to the rescue πŸ˜€

~~~

As I’ve once again rejoined the world of the (slightly) sane, I will talk to you all again next week.

TTFN

Published in: on June 23, 2011 at 7:31 pm  Comments (2)  
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Sticking to the Plan

Oddly enough, I actually find myself exactly where I want to be with my projects at the moment.

Let me savour this strange feeling for a minute…

**deep breath**

Okay, that’s enough πŸ˜›

This week’s plan was to finish the WendyKnits’ KAL Summer Mystery Shawlette (aka my “Lucky Penny Shawl“), get as far as I could on my Dreamscape Shawl (“In Dreams Mystery Shawl“) and start on the Christening Set for my nephew.

Here’s how I did:

~~~

Lucky Penny Shawl

As I mentioned in last week’s post, the main part of the shawl (clue 3) was to be released later Thursday afternoon.

Lucky Penny Shawl - Clue 3 complete

It was done by Friday night.

The final section was released around 5pm tonight (my time) and took about a half hour to finish it off.

Lucky Penny Shawl - Complete

Blocked to within an inch of it’s life and completely dry by dinnertime.

Final measurement on it is about 56″ x 26″. Not too bad, but I do wish that I had done the extra repeats since I ended up having about a third of the ball of yarn leftover.

Oh well, into the Patchwork Blanket project bag it goes.

~~~

Dreamscape Shawl

I’ve been going great guns on this shawl since last Saturday.

Clue 5 took a good 2.5 days of fulltime knitting:

Dreamscape Shawl - Clue 5 Complete

It was at this point that I suddenly discovered that I had accidently deleted any and all Clue 6 emails without actually downloading said clue.

My normally rational zen mind shattered.

I flipped out. Full on Kermit flail.

After some rather panicked emails to the designer (Susan, you are a SAINT!) and a very large serving of chocolate pudding, I was back in business.

Dreamscape Shawl - Clue 6 Complete

The last 2 rows of Clue 6 were finished this morning.

Clue 7 is printed off and ready to go. I hope to have it finished by Monday or Tuesday.

Oh, and Susan? I owe you martinis and cabana boys. Seriously.

~~~

Christening Set

The first part of the set, the bonnet, is off the needles and awaiting silk ribbon.

Christening Bonnet - Complete

I cannot *begin* to tell you how difficult it is to photograph 3-dimensional lace objects in this yarn.

Here is a picture of it before sewing up so you can actually see the pretty:

Christening Bonnet - pre-finishing

That line above the leaf motifs? Knitted pin tucks. I am so proud πŸ˜€

The rest of the set is going to be altered a wee bit. I’ll be doing the same as many others have done and combining the bodice of the jumpsuit (with shortened sleeves) and the skirt of the overdress. Then work a pair of simple “longies” (pants w/feet) for underneath.

It’s a bit more of a user-friendly option I think.

Crossing my fingers it’ll all be finished before he’s born.

~~~

Quick and Dirty (Clean?)

BadgerDan prefers to wash dishes with a plastic scrubbie (*shudder*).

I ethically refuse to buy any more of them from the dollar store.

So I made him a tawashi out of some leftover Red Heart SuperSaver:

Spiral Scrubbie

He’s happy – I’m happy. Win-win.

~~~

Coming Attractions

The next Windsbraut Shawl KAL will be starting tomorrow (Windsbraut “Bertha”).

My SKA socks for this month will be “D-Man” by Lykkefanten for BadgerDan.

The June Woolly Wormhead KAL Hat is the Tebe Slouch which I quite like.

Yarn options are still pending.

I may or may not get to them next week – we’ll see.

~~~

Furkid Update

Little Miss Lilith seems to be settling in very nicely and is holding her own with the boys. There’s quite the personality under that shy exterior that is showing itself a bit more each day.

She loves to hide behind curtains and suddenly attack or chase Maverick, Tomi and her toys. Lightning fast and super quiet – we have dubbed her “NinjaCat”.

We think it’s funny as hell – 13 yr old half-Siamese Tomi is not as amused.

~~~

Until next week…

TTFN.

Published in: on June 2, 2011 at 11:39 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Just One More…

Ahh yes, the plaintive call of wild and domesticated knitters alike:

“Just one more” (row, round, stitch, skein, ball),

“Then I’ll get to” (sleep, housework, cooking, bathing, blogging).

I am not immune and that is why there was no blog post last week.

I had personal goals that I wanted to hit and, well, I figured you guys knew me well enough to know that if there was a gap in my blogging, there’s probably some good stuff coming in the next post.

And there is!

So here we go…

~~~

Sockapalooza

In the last 2 weeks, I finished a whopping *4 pairs* of socks. Yes, I said FOUR.

Crocodilian Socks - Done Crocodilian Socks - Complete

The Crocodilian Socks (aka the Entrelac Socks from HELL) were finished first. As expected, the second one went a *little* faster than the first due to extensive notetaking.

BadgerDan declared them quite comfy and wore them most of last weekend. He does, however, mention that one really shouldn’t wear entrelac socks in workboots as they’ll give you some weird-ass welts on your instep.

Sound advice, thank you dear.

Garden Stroll Socks - Complete

Those were followed closely by the Garden Stroll Socks.

(Very cute – I really need to pick up some summer skirts to wear them with.)

Next past the finish line was my “fun stuff” project from the week before last.

Now, I may not have mentioned it before, but I try and do something quick and frivolous every week to break up the steady work on my epic projects.

Sometimes they get ripped out and you don’t hear about them, but for the most part, they do get finished and that’s the origin of all the bags, hats and other ephemera speckled throughout my posts.

I generally call them my “day projects” as they normally only take a day or so to finish.

Well, this time I decided to tackle some crocheted socks.

Why? Because you can never have too many socks.

(Do you *hear* the sarcasm? Yes, I know I have a problem. I’ll figure out what to do about it. Eventually.)

These ones I totally blame on the yarn which didn’t want to work for any other thing I tried to use it for and I just wanted it out of the stash before it influenced any of the other balls. (Hey, if stash can breed, it can also organize an armed coup.)

Patons Kroy Summer Moss

Behold – 2 upstart balls of Patons Kroy Jacquards in “Summer Moss”.

And here’s what they became:

Crocheted Carnival Socks

I used the “Ultimate Crocheted Socks” pattern by Dorothy Hardy which I had attempted about 5 yrs ago and gave up on, but managed to muddle my way through this time.

Crocheted Carnival Socks - Complete

I call them my “Crocheted Carnival Socks“.

Being toe-up, I simply continued the leg until I ran out of yarn and then proceeded to do the cuff in some solid Patons Kroy 4-ply in Burgundy.

I think they have been tamed quite nicely :D.

Bliosan Socks - complete

And last, but not least, I finished off my BliosΓ‘n Socks today!

Janel threw us a bit of a curveball with the last clue – shaped arch construction on the foot.

Bliosan Socks - Bottom Bliosan Socks - top

Sneaky. Clever. Pretty darned funky.

~~~

Fun Stuff

Last week’s little fun project came in the form of a wee stuffed bird.

Stripey Chirp - front

Meet “Stripey Chirp“. He’s 3” tall and made out of scrap Noro Kureyon, and some other wools.

Stripey Chirp - side

(My apologies for the fuzzy photos, it was late at night when they were taken.)

The pattern is another one of Rebecca Danger’s adorable creations called “Chubby Chirps” and is available for free.

(I may have fallen down and purchased her Big Book of Knitted Monsters. Shhhhhh!)

~~~

Epic Garter Stitch

What really has been taking my time up has been a slight obsession with my two blanket projects.

I finished the middle 12″ of the Patchwork Blanket which consists of 36 two inch mitered squares:

Patchwork Blanket - Centre Square

Sock yarn. 2.5mm needles. This is gonna take FOREVER!

So I decided to upsize the squares a little:

Patchwork Blanket - 6

The 6″ squares still take forever to knit (about a day each), but at least it *seems* like progress.

The Moderne Log Cabin Blanket has also been getting a fair bit of love:

Moderne Log Cabin Blanket - Block #7, 35 ridges

Block #7 is now over the halfway point… only 62 more rows to go.

This is Hockey Playoff knitting at it’s best :D. (GO CANUCKS GO!!!)

~~~

A New KAL

A bunch of my Plurk friends twisted my rubber arm and suddenly I found myself participating in WendyKnits’ Summer Mystery Shawlette KAL

Lucky Penny Shawl - Clue 1

I’m using MadelineTosh Tosh Sock in “Copper Penny” on 4mm needles and decided to call it my “Lucky Penny Shawl“.

It’s been easy going so far:

Lucky Penny Shawl - Clue 2 Complete

The largest clue (Part 3) is due out in a few hours, so you know what I’ll be up to tonight :P.

~~~

Next Week’s Agenda

All this clearing off my proverbial desk is to free me up to work on my nephew’s Christening Set which I hope to get done in the next 2 weeks.

I also have the last 3 clues left to do on my Dreamscape Shawl.

Never a dull moment around here.

TTFN.

Published in: on May 26, 2011 at 2:42 pm  Comments (1)  
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Shining Star

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

~~~

Completion!

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

I give you Evenstar in all her majestic glory:

Evenstar Shawl Complete

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

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

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

~~~

Spinning

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

Handspun Blue Stunner

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

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

Delicious.

~~~

Quickie Project

I love making bags. I just do.

This was Saturday’s project:

Spiral Berry Bag

Spiral Berry Bag

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

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

Spiral Berry Bag, liner

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

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

~~~

Sock Progress

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

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

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

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

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

Will work on them tomorrow.

~~~

New Arrivals

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

Highland Handmades Peacock Roving

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

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

Lily

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

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

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

~~~

Until next week…

TTFN.

Published in: on May 12, 2011 at 9:59 pm  Comments (4)  
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This week’s post brought to you by the colour GREEN

Since I have a slight bit of writer’s block tonight, I’ll just quickly fill you in on what I’ve been working on this week without too much in the way of rhetoric.

~~~

May Mystery Socks

May Mystery Socks - Clue 1

This month’s Sock Knitters Anonymous Mystery Sock is by one of my favorite sock designers Janel Laidman.

Using up the seemingly unending stash of Scheepjeswol Invicta Extra in electric green. (I was given 3 balls of it from a destash – 2 pairs of socks later I still have 2 balls. There is something distictly odd about this yarn. But I digress…)

The beads I’m using for the socks are from a mixed batch of #6 Miyuki Glass Beads in greens with an Aurora Borealis finish.

Still trying to think of a better name for these pretty socks, something Irish maybe…

~~~

Garden Stroll Socks

Garden Stroll Socks - Sock #1 Complete

Finished the first sock! Ain’t it cute? πŸ˜€

~~~

Crocodilian Socks

Crocodilian Socks - Sock #2 Toe

Finished the toe of the second sock and started on the entrelac instep.

~~~

Cotton Mini-Basket

Cotton Mini-Basket Empty

Needed a container that could hold an entire box of cotton swabs in the bathroom – so worked up this adorable little thing during a hockey game (go Vancouver!) using some #20 Cotton Crochet Thread held quadrupled with a 3mm hook for a nice tight gauge.

Couldn’t be happier πŸ™‚

Cotton Mini-Basket - Full

Worked out so well it got me thinking that I may design a crocheted box for all those DVDs I organized last week.

~~~

Evenstar Shawl

Evenstar Shawl - Clue 6 Complete

I finished Clue 6 last night (YAYYYYY!!!!) and after much thought and consultation decided to skip the beads on the border to avoid problems for the baby it is intended for.

Hoping to have this finished by next week and a good start made on the rest of the Christening set for our nephew.

(He’s due next month – OMGMUSTKNITFASTER)

~~~

Sweater Recycling Program

Since it was such a gorgeous (if a bit chilly) spring day today, it got me thinking about warm weather yarns and my lack of them.

So I pulled out one of the thriftstore sweaters I had put aside for “upcycling” and had a lovely time dismantling it.

Recycled Cotton Blend Yarn

This particular sweater I really liked but it didn’t quite sit right on my frame and so warranted a re-work. I even got a couple of matching buttons in the deal!

The yarn is a cotton/acrylic/nylon/wool blend, approximately a DK wt and the sweater yielded 7 balls at approx 52g/209yds each (total = 1463yds) Not too shabby.

Thinking using it for a nice big shrug-style open cardigan or perhaps a tunic. We’ll see.

TTFN.

Published in: on May 5, 2011 at 11:25 pm  Leave a Comment  
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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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Small Steps Forward

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

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

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

Doesn’t make it any less annoying though.

~~~

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

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

La Vie de Bois Socks 80%

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

La Vie de Bois Socks - Sock 1

So very pretty and surprisingly stretchy.

La Vie de Bois Socks - Sock 1 Side

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

Evenstar Shawl, clue 5 50%

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

Moderne Log Cabin Blanket - Block 7 begun

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

My inner child is screaming in the backseat right now.

~~~

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

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

Spinning - Life's Lemons

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

~~~

Something new…

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

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

Yep. It’s official.

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

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

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

Potholder 3

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

Patchwork Blanket

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

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

~~~

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

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

A true blessing. πŸ™‚

TTFN.

Published in: on March 31, 2011 at 11:43 pm  Leave a Comment  
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It’s been a rough week…

But somehow I’ve managed to muddle my way through it and accomplish most of what I set out to do.

~~~

Finished Objects

Today is darling hubby BadgerDan’s birthday and his Torontonian Socks were done with a few days to spare.

Torontonian Socks Complete

The man loves vintage colourwork socks and I am happy to indulge him – once a year.

Torontonian Socks Done

He proudly donned his “hep” hosiery this morning and couldn’t stop smiling. (Until I went for my camera, then he skedaddled off to work. Dammit.)

Happy Birthday Honey – I love you. (And yes, next year you can have argyle.)

Windsbraut Manaus

Windsbraut Manaus turned out to be a 3-parter and easily finished.

I’m quite surprised how little of the Zauberball (col. 1966 “Spring Meadow”) it ended up using. The entire shawl only took about 335yds on 3.75mm needles and came out to about 62″ wide by 25″ long. There’s a good quarter of the ball leftover.

If you have a hank of Colinette Jitterbug in your stash that is languishing due to the short yardage, this might be a good project for it. Just a suggestion.

March 2011 Mystery Socks

The March Mystery Socks were completed yesterday. I really love this colourway of Zitron Trekking XXL (col. 76), which probably explains why it took me so long to use it. Deliciously grapey – I may have to find more.

~~~

WIPs

My Dreamscape Shawl (aka “In Dreams”) is up to date at Clue 4:

Dreamscape Shawl, Clue 4

And since I get a little twitchy when there isn’t a pair of socks on the go…

La Vie de Bois Socks - 1

This morning I cast on “La Vie de Bois Socks” designed by my friend Heather of Highland Handmades with some Indigo Moon Merino Superwash in their “Lichen & Moss” colourway.

La Vie de Bois Socks - 2

“La Vie de Bois” translates to “Life in the Woods”. Lichen, moss… I think it works.

Everything else on the needles/hook remain (mostly) at the same stage as last week.

~~~

My rough week started last Thursday with me somehow spraining the trapezius muscle in my right shoulder (I think I did it while moving our new mattress) and I’ve been in varying amounts of pain ever since. Liberal applications of Vicks Vapo-rub & extra-strength Tylenol seem to have me on the mend now, but it’s still bugging me a little.

Yes, I knit through the pain, keeping my shoulders as still as possible and not making any sudden moves with my head. (Working all those beads into the shawl was a treat, let me tell you. Doing the laundry was quite fun as well. Especially when we ran out of both coffee & Tylenol earlier this week.)

But the toughest part of my week came yesterday evening via phone from my mom.

My maternal grandmother Lucille passed away last night at 7pm.

She had been sick for a long time and went peacefully at her nursing home (I believe) in the company of my uncle Paul – her eldest son. My mom was able to see her on Sunday with my father to say goodbye.

She is survived by her 3 children, 9 grandchildren and 3 great-grandchildren (2 of which are due within the next few months).

I am the eldest of the nine and have many fond memories of her from the summers of my youth at the cottage on Balsam Lake. I prefer to remember her that way before the illnesses took their heavy toll.

Grandmaman was a devout Catholic her entire life and I pray that she finds peace among the Angels and Saints she so treasured.

Take care of her for us Mary. We miss her.

Published in: on March 24, 2011 at 10:52 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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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.