Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Let the baby knitting begin!

Sometime, mid-January-ish I will be provided with a new niece or nephew. Courtesy of my brother and his lovely wife. We do not know the flavour of this baby, we will find out in January. I am very much looking forward to that phonecall.

Until then I will continue to collect various cute little baby patterns that I may or may not knit, I keep changing my mind. Legwarmers? Buntings? Sweaters? Burpcloths? Bibs? Blankets? Ahhh, yes, blankets. As much as I love the Mason-Dixon Moderne Baby Blanket I have made two, here and here, and I'm not quite ready to make another just yet. I have been denying an itch to do some stranded colourwork for awhile now, and I am also in love with the adorable Sleepy Monkey Blanket as I think I have mentioned in the past. So about 3 weeks ago I sat down with the express purpose of purchasing yarn from Webs to make this blanket. I finalized my colour choices and placed my order, a little bit of Rowan Calmer may have jumped into my basket as well, my wee girl needs this.

Well, when I started writing this post, I was going to whine about how the yarn was taking it's sweet time to get here. Well, it came and I have knit the monkey side, in less than a week. Man I love stranded colourwork. However, one of the colours is on backorder, and another was more red/less orange than I wanted it to be, so I ordered two more colours from webs and now I am in a holding pattern waiting for them.

I have finished one baby knit though. I bought a Tulip Sweater Kit over a year ago intending to knit it for a special baby. If this baby is a girl, she is that special baby. We were going away for an extended weekend with my husbands family that involved a 4 hour car ride, each way. Perfect for a little baby sweater. I started in in the car on the way up, and by the time we got home I only had the i-cord around the neck to do.

The problem with said I-cord, is that it's a different colour than the i-cord around the rest of the sweater. The kit didn't have enough of the blue to do the bands and i-cord. So I used purple, the baby won't mind. And I'll probably be the only one who knows it's not really supposed to be that way, well, except for the internet. And anyone who looks at my Rav page.

And because I had leftovers, I made a colorful hat for baby to go with this adorable little sweater.

I love this set so very much. It was easy, quick, fun and looks AMAZING. If I do say so myself.

This year, I decided to enter a few items into the local fall fair, held over Labour Day weekend. It went quite well. I entered my Icarus in the 'Any other knitted item' category and won first prize. I entered Queen of Beads in the knitted sock category and won first prize. And, I entered a toddler dress I knit years ago in the Childs knitted dress category and not only won first prize, but also won best overall knitted or crocheted item, of the whole fair! Needless to say, I'm pretty darn pleased with myself. I'm already trying to decide what to enter next year. Winning is fun.

Well, in the weeks since I started this post, my yarn has come for the Monkey Blanket and I am cruising away on the ring side. Still loads of fun. It should be done before I go to Knitting Camp next weekend!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Late again

Once again I have been writing a blog post in my head for weeks, but have yet to sit down at the computer and actually type it out. In the mean time, I have finished, and started more projects. Shocking right?

First up, the beloved, Shawl that Jazz, that I finished almost a month ago. It's thick and cozy and warm and squishy, and blue. I love it.


I really enjoyed knitting it to, I thought I would get bored of all the garter, but I didn't. It may have helped that the bulk of it was knit on vacation with friends, but I did knit the super long edging rows at home where the tedium certainly could have set in. For the most part, it was a very well written pattern, the instructions could have been clarified a little for the beginning of the edging, but if you just trust in what is written and don't think about it too much it works just fine. I've said it before, but I used Blue Moon Fiber Arts Twisted in the In The Navy colourway on a 5.0mm Addi Turbo and it blocked easily to the measurements given in the pattern (which I can't recall at the moment).

After this was done, I sort of had to make myself finish my May Rockin' Sock Club socks before we went away with Jer's family for a few days. It's not that I didn't like the socks or the yarn, I like them both. But knitting them hurt my hands. K3tog, and SSSK at 8 sts/in is not fun. But I buckled down and got them done. They fit great and despite the crazy pooling, they look pretty good too.
Blue Moon Fiber Arts Rockin' Sock Club May 09
Fraggle Squiggle Socks by JC Briar
Socks that Rock Lightweight, Pepe LePlume
2.5mm KnitPicks nickel circular, magic loop

Then we went away for a few day with my in-laws to a location that required a 4 hour drive. I knit a baby sweater. But I'll leave that for next time, that and the knitting results from the local Fall Fair.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Ahhh, vacation

We have recently finished a nice little mid-summer vacation. Jer was able to get a nice chunk of time off again this summer and has (again) successfully packed full of stuff to do. The best part of all, was the trip to a cottage we rented (it belongs to a colleague of Jer's).

a modest little place

We were there for a week, joined for the first part by friends of ours from out west who were here technically visiting his mom, but they actually spent more time with us. It was so great, they have a 14 month old little boy and are pregnant again, they are such easy friends and we had a wonderful time. The second part of the week was spent with friends from home and their 2 little boys (6 and 2.5). A little louder than the first part of the week, but just as much fun.

I packed a few different projects to take along, covering different yarn weights and pattern difficulty. A couple of socks (I'm have trouble starting my second Fraggle Squiggle sock), My honeybee stole, and Shawl that Jazz. Well, I started on StJ in the car and made excellent progress on the 3+ hour drive up north and didn't really stop all week. I had finished a good portion of the body by the time we got home and have been working on it pretty steadily ever since. I started on the edging a couple of days ago, phew, those are long rows! Needless to say the other knitting I brought with me, never made it out of the bag. I'm using my BMFA Twisted, In the Navy and I'm loving it! It should be done soon, I hope.

Shawl that Jazz on the deck

Before we left I started, and finished, a pair of Monkey socks for a good friend. She has tried knitting, but the tightness of her knitting makes her tense and she is pretty wound up to begin with, she has been asking (jokingly) for some socks so a few weeks ago I pulled out some Yarn Pirate colourways I would be willing to part with and she chose one, BFL Soltice. If these socks had fit me, they would have been very hard to part with, lucky Julie and her giant feet.

Now I need to finish my Fraggle socks, and make some decisions on colours for the baby knitting that needs to start in September.

I love vacation.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009


So, I've bought a little bit of blue yarn lately. It wasn't intentional, it just kind of, happened.

Big pile of blue yarn

It started in April, with Sundara's Year In Color - April. I loved the charcoal over blue lagoon sock yarn. Loved. It. Still do, so even though it's a little costly to buy directly from Sundara with Canadian shipping, I bought 2 skeins of the sock yarn and promptly forgot about it, since shipping wasn't going to happen until June.

Sundara Sock Charcoal over Blue Lagoon

So the email came from Sundara that the April YIC had shipped, then, my Zen Yarn Garden Harmony Semi-solid club shipped and this arrived.

Zen Yarn Garden, Black Sea

I opened the box, said WOW! This is pretty! Wait a minute, I think this is very similar to what I bought from Sundara. Doesn't matter, love it, squeeze it, horde it. Then, I decided that I wanted to make a Shawl That Jazz while on vacation this summer. After looking at many different yarn options, I decided on using Twisted from Blue Moon Fiber Arts in the In The Navy colourway. And it was close to my mom's birthday, she was loving the My Blue Heaven that was the January RSC yarn, so I bought her a skein of lightweight (her first STR!) and ahem*askeinofmediumweightformyself*ahem

BMFA Twisted, In The Navy

BMFA Socks that Rock Mediumweight, My Blue Heaven

So that's my little buying spree for now. Come September, the baby knitting begins because my brother and his wife are having their first baby in January! It's very exciting. I just have to decide what I want to do. For starters, I'm leaning towards this. But what colours?

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Sock club socks and socks and socks

The last three pairs of socks that I have finished have come from yarn sent to me from yarn clubs. One each from the three that I belong to, Blue Moon Fibre Arts Rockin' Sock Club, Yarn Pirate Booty Club, Sundara Seasons Yarn Club. The Sundara club is no more, but not to worry, I have replaced it with another, a Canadian club. I actual get the yarn the DAY AFTER it is sent out. It is bizarre and awesome. But I digress.

First up, the March 2009 Rockin' Sock Club kit. I like the colourway alright, liked it better in the skein than knit up. The colour is Gertrude Skein, mediumweight socks that rock and the pattern is Rogue Roses, by the Yarn Harlot herself, Stephanie Pearl-McPhee.

The socks are just OK. Not my favourite, but I don't really dislike them. Knitting the little rosebud was kind of cool.

I did leave out the yarn-over holes that were to run up the sides of the climbing rose pattern. I just wasn't a fan of it and I like the way it turned out.

Next, I finished a long term WIP. My traveling sock. I started this pair in December sitting in the gym at my boy's school waiting the 1.5 hrs between the primary Christmas concert and the Kindergarten concert.

The yarn is Sundara sock yarn in the Bronzed Sienna colourway. The Autumn shipment for January 2008 from the now defunct Seasons yarn club. I love this colourway and the yarn is really nice too. I just knit a basic sock using the Stephanie's basic sock recipe in Knitting Rules. Used 64 stitches, 6 inch leg, heel flap and gusset.

Not the best picture, but I wanted the beach and ocean in the background

I finished them up partly on the 16 hr car ride to Myrtle Beach SC and completed them sitting on the balcony overlooking the ocean. Perfect.

Finally we have the September 2007 Yarn PirateBooty Club. Merino/Tencel, colourway Butternut. I never seem to get the right yarn/pattern fit first off with Yarn Pirate yarn, but this worked. I've had Cat Bordhi's most recent book for awhile now and thought that this would be the right time to try one of the architectures out. So I decided to go with the Master Coriolis.

I don't like the toe. There will be no more star toes in my future. I do like the socks, once they are on my feet. Getting them there is a bit of a struggle as they are too tight around the ankle. My numbers are on my Ravelry page.

I really liked the different structure of the sock and it has made me want to try more from the the book. And I am current knitting a pair of socks using the Riverbed architecture, which fit like a dream. The thing I don't like about toe up socks, once you turn the heel there is no fun stuff to look forward to, it's just the slog of the leg and then try and figure out how much yarn you need to knit the cuff. Something it is becoming quite apparent that I'm not very good at. I do like being able to use up all the yarn though.

There you go, thanks for making it all the way through. Three new pairs of socks at a time of year when you need to pay me large amounts of money to put socks on my feet. Coincidentally, these three socks were all of a similar colour, I did not plan it that way, really.

My next post, through a series of yarn purchases (oops) and club shipments will also be all of a similar colour, I guess I'm in a colour zone right now. Just waiting on one more mailing and the sun to come out again so I can take pictures.

Any guess on what that colour might be?

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Geetha? Githa? Gytha.

Lovely lovely Gytha, even if I don't know how to pronounce it, such a beautiful sweater.

After the winter issue of the Twist Collective came out I was in love with this sweater. A little bit of colourwork, which I love. A little bit of stripes, which I love. A hood, which I love. So, when putting together a Xmas list for my husband I added a link for the pattern and a link to Green Mountain Spinnery with the colours and amounts I needed specified. We certainly don't need him guessing about that! Of all the knitterly goodness I had on my list, this was what he chose to buy for me (yay!), mostly because he really liked it too.

The colours of the Mountain Mohair are absolutely gorgeous and I kept opening the box and petting the yarn until I had (mostly hehehe) finished my Central Park Hoodie. But once I started, it was really hard to put it down, well until I was about halfway through the blue stockinette portion, but that's normal right? The yarn was a pleasure to knit, not at all splitty and very little VM. And the colours. Did I mention the colours?

The sweater is knit in the round from the bottom up, starting with the colourwork stripes, so fun. The body is split at the armholes and the right front, left front, and back are worked separately. The sleeves had an interesting construction in that they start at their full diameter then around the elbow you work in 1x1 rib for a couple of inches before resuming the stockinette and then shape the shoulder. The sleeves fit nicely into the armholes on the body too, which always makes the seaming a little bit easier.

Inside out!

I love this sweater. It fits well, it looks good, and it's only a little bit scratchy. It's really warm too so I haven't had much opportunity to wear it, but I'm not going to wish for fall just yet!

Gytha, by Jennifer Appleby
Twist Collective, Winter 2008
Green Mountain Spinnery, Mountain Mohair in Glacier Lake, Pistachio, Rhubarb, and Concord Grape

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Like Potato Chips

The Noro Striped Scarf. Once I started I couldn't stop. Of course, then it took me weeks to photograph and talk about it, but here it is.

So so fun. I used 2 balls of Silk Garden in #252, and two of #245. It's thick and long and warm and cozy.

I slipped the first and last stitches (purlwise) on the second row of each stripe. I'm not sure if I would do it that way again. Not because I don't like the way it looks, it's a very nice edge. But because I found it a little awkward. I think I would just slip the first stitch of each row instead.

I have already purchased enough Silk Garden in two other colours to make another, since while I like this one a lot, I'm not sure if it's for me or someone else. Someone shorter, someone who possibly likes it more than I do.

And here's a little teaser for something else I finished.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

A cozy sweater

I don't really have too much to say about my new Central Park Hoodie. Except, that it's exactly what I wanted it to be. A nice cozy house sweater that I'm not too worried about because it wasn't crazy expensive to make. The seaming didn't even bother me too much, maybe because it's been awhile since I've had to seam up a sweater. The thing that did bug me, was buttons. Nothing was right. Even the ones that are on there right now, not right, but they'll do. I do love how the cable show up with the Cascade 220.

I started this sweater as a break from the endless garter stitch madness of the baby blanket and it provided just the right distraction. I actually finished this sweater almost 2 months ago, but the button search was making me nuts, and then I got tired of waiting for sun AND someone around to take my picture. So I took artificial light pictures myself and maybe one day I'll get someone to take my picture.

Central Park Hoodie by Heather Lodinsky
Cascade 220 Heathers, 6.5 hanks colour #2441
Size 40
5.0mm Addi Turbos

Great sweater, love the long arms.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Round 2

The first of the RSC 2009 kits has been completed. I can't even tell you how much I love the colour. My Blue Heaven. As I was knitting, I was thinking "Oooo, I think this colour is my favourite" then it would change and "Oh, maybe this one", then "No, I think it's this one". Turquoise, cobalt, teal, all of them so so pretty. The pattern is Queen of Beads, by Sivia Harding

I had some minor challenges starting these socks. You see, they begin with stringing approximately 140 beads onto the yarn. I read that dental floss threaders were the way to go, but couldn't find any. But I had a dentist appointment 2 weeks after the package arrived and asked the hygenist for some. But then of course, I had to explain why I needed them. Needless to say, she was amused. So I attempted to string the beads with the threader on the end of the yarn. No go, the beads wouldn't fit over the doubled up bit of yarn at the end and I kept breaking the end of the eye of the threader. Then, I tied a length of dental floss to the end of the yarn and put that through the eye of the threader. Better, but still difficult to get the bead from the floss to the yarn. Then I tried a length of sewing thread instead of dental floss. Bingo! There was the occasional bead that would not go on, but I'd just put that one aside and use another. I had the beads strung in no time after that.

The knitting went quickly. It's a fun pattern that is really, really pretty. With or without beads. I put beads only on the leg, but I should have done the first repeat of the instep as well, to line up with the heel flap beads. Oh well, no one will really know, will they? And I did the extra repeat in the leg, can't have a short sock!

I finished these socks a couple of weeks ago, I'm very behind in my blogging, there are a couple of other things to show you too. My next RSC kit arrived today, it too is awesome. Very girly which isn't so much me, but I love it. I've worn my Queen of Beads once, so far, and the fit is great. I lengthened the heel flap a little from what I have been doing because my socks are feeling tight around the instep and some of the are harder to get on, this worked.

Fabulous sock, pretty pretty colour. On to the next finished project!