Wednesday, December 29, 2010

W. I. P.

 It is a good thing my granddaughter doesn't haunt here. This is her Birthday Slouch Hat. I had considered this yarn for a lace shawlette but the colour changes were too dramatic. Drama is excellent for this hat with, of course, beads. This hand dyed loveliness, aptly named "Shock Wave," comes from my favourite yarn artist, "The Knitman," I should have this finished today.
This was going to be for Christmas. As that didn't happen I will finish it and set it aside in the "gift" box. I like to have a few things at the ready. The lace design gets lost in the colours but I still like it. Be daring with your knitting. Like this......

 My dear Mom would have been the first to say that these colours do not go together. I give you the Linen Stitch Scarf. If you like a light woven texture then I recommend this stitch. There is a slouch hat coming to match. If I get the Shock Wave finished today as planned then I am on to this slouch hat tomorrow. The ribbing is done I want to get back into this stitch. Once you get the rhythm it is quite enjoyable.
All of the above yarns are one from the Knitman's Kitchen .
Back to the needles!!

Friday, December 17, 2010

Why I will NOT be buying yarn in 2011....

 Well, rather, shouldn't be buying yarn in 2011.....

Although I have sold a bunch of yarn on eBay, and thank you ladies and gents for that, I am still feeling the fiscal restraint brought on my unemployment. The dole has not yet started and at this rate I will probably get my first cheque about the time I am recalled to work. Thanks heaps for all the years I paid into this and what do I get? Bupkis!
Just because I love lists and will sign up to just about anything I have joined 11 in 2011 on Ravelry, more fool I. If I get a third done I will be surprised. but what is life if we do not have a challenge?
In all fairness to me I didn't buy all the yarn in the picture. Some of it was gifted. Obvious what my favourite colours are eh? The orange is a bit of a departure but will spice up my knitting.
The first project is going to be the Valentine Scarf with The Knitman's hand dyed pink and black fingering weight with  #6 pink AB crystal TOHO beads  for my grand daughter's birthday in February.
Today, I will watch movies and knit on my Aran Coat and maybe do some Christmas baking after I download some audio books on my ipod.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Emerging from the stash...

One expects that the loyal followers will have fled to more productive areas over the last thirty days. I have been driven to sort the stash as it were. Sales, though not exactly brisk, have been satisfying. Feel free to dash over to My eBay and avail yourself of my offerings.
Up side to the destashing was the emergence of the "Aran Sweater." Totally deserving of the quotation marks.

The pattern was given to me in photo copied form back when I had the store. I have no idea what book it came from other than it was a Patons design. A friend of a customer came in one day wearing the original and I was overcome with admiration. She "gifted" me with a copy of the pattern which I have hoarded lo these 7-8 years.
Fast forward to 2007 when I purchased the wool to make same. I cast on for a size small and when the knitting "shrank" on the needles (or I got bigger) knitting came to a screaming halt.
Finally, reaching the bottom of the cedar chest, I unearthed a layer of heather beige wool and the knitting in progress. It is every bit as lovely as I remembered. Unfortunately, no pattern. Let me tell you I photo copy patterns like my mother clipped recipes.
Ever confident that I would locate it easily, I went through this lot ....

and then I went through these...

this is ridiculous saith I, as I went through this pile....

I spent and hour on Ravelry, searching, bobbles, honey comb, popcorn, trellis, aran etc... nada
Then I remembered!! In the last folder of the last file in the bottom of the drawer of the cedar chest. I found it.

One day I am going to regret killing of so many brain cells fussing about this. However demented I will be I will be cozy in my Aran jacket. I am already thinking of modifying the collar and I will have to make it shorter. A finished length of 36" aka 3 feet would only leave me 2 feet and a bit left over for the rest of me to function. 
Last night I completed one pattern repeat and as I am temporarily laid off from my employment I foresee a day of knitting and a "Lark Rise to Candleford"  marathon.
Finally completed the Linen Stitch scarf. Love it! All the texture of a woven piece but knitted. Wonderful.

San Marco Byzantine Scarf

Knit in three hand dyed colour ways from the Knitman's Kitchen.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Stash Busting

Estelle 100% silk 10 balls
 Time to do some stash clean out. I have posted these yarns on Kijiji/Ontario.
Search for "yarn," ignore the free stuff.
I didn't see very much there so that either means no one sells yarn on Kijiji or yarn sells quickly. Time will tell. If there is no action then I will have to switch to eBay. This is a fraction of what I have...sigh My daughter told me yesterday if I keep buying yarn I am going to need an "intervention."
If this goes well I could make enough to pay for my January holiday in Punta Cana. Now, wouldn't that be nice?
Rowan Tapestry 8 balls

Elspeth Lavold Silky Wool  6 hanks

RY Classic Silk Wool DK 10 balls

Elspeth Lavold Silky Wool  9 hanks

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Mulbery and Merino, Diagonal Border Cardigan

The mossy mobius baskets are quick and fun to make. Using freedom wool with a strand of eyelash brings this progect to life. Four packets of Ice Blue Koolaid in a cup of water give this basket a misty effect with electric green hairs. Before felting this basket measures a foot in diameter. Hot water and agitation will shrink it to half its size. Fun and a unique way of magicaly twisting the handle while winding around to the bowl with no seams.

From Diamond yarn with Mulberry and Merino. I love this sweater, cant wait to get both of them done. The paterns are simple and well writen.

The royal blue is for mum and knit with smaller size needle makes the weight of a jacket. I have the emerald green, adjustments to the length have been made and with the suggested tension.

I have this walnut, hand crafted wood product from canada. I like this sweater being so versatile with many ways to dress it up. I do find the yarn has a slight twist and can tangle with other stitches but love the smooth, silky texture.

Daughter #2

Thursday, October 28, 2010

"Colour" should be my middle name!

This is the Knitman's Hand Dyed Sock Yarn. Colours: Mosel (upper), Lagoon (right) and Firebird (left)
 4mm needle, it's the Linen Stitch Scarf. All for me. This remind me of the mosaic ceilings in the church of San Marco, Venice....sigh
Every row comes out a little different than the repeat before.The scarf will be about 5 inches wide..thereabouts.
 I finally have all the wool for Marc's sweater and will get that on the needles next week. We are going away for the weekend to visit with family. I will take this scarf to work on. In the meantime I am content to sit in the quiet and watch the pattern unfold. Both sides of this scarf are simply stunning!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Hairy Hats and Humming Alpacas

Chemo Caps: Mindless knitting of the hat variety has been about all I have accomplished this month. I have so many projects in the air the juggling act is getting ridiculous. I have yarn to knit about 6 more of these and then I am done, at least for the time being. On the charity knitting front I also have a baby all-in-one for St Luke's Mission Hospital. That deserves a post all it's own. More on that one later.
This is my Aphelandra ( Zebra Plant). The spikes were bright yellow they have now turned green and as everything outside the window is turning brown this is an ongoing source of pleasure.
Woodstock Fleece Festival: Look at this orphan baby alpaca, 5 weeks old. What a sweety. Everyone was getting a kick out of the black one behind her. The humming was so loud. When everyone laughed the black one would then hum all the louder.
The llamas were intently listening to Julia. They seemed oblivious to the fact it was raining. I told Todd he was a trooper for putting up with two women with a fiber obsession.
This is Billy (angora goat). He kept smacking his head into the rails in typical male goat fashion.
and then there was Sammy the Angora bunny.
Julia would have taken him home in a second.
There were twice as many vendors this year which was very good. I spoke with the girl's from Spun (Corinne's LYS) and they said it was a very good show. Julia won the last door prize of the day and everyone made a fuss over her name. It was all very exciting. I showed a great deal of restraint. I did purchase 2 pounds of fleece dyed in the most delicious colours and I found someone who services old spinning wheels. My little castle wheel needs some TLC. I think I may get it out tonight and have a go at some spinning. It has been ages but I think it is probably like riding a bike. Once you learn you never forget.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Knitting Karma

I admit I have a habit of starting a bunch of projects at the same time, and many of them are never finished. But, after a phone call the other day from a friend I have a very good reason to start and finish a few new pretties.

A friend of mine called me the other day and told me that her niece has been diagnosed with breast cancer and is facing a mastectomy. A terrifying situation to face no matter what age you are but to have to make such a difficult decision in your 20's breaks my heart. But, the real reason for her call is that she wanted to know what 'p2tog' meant.
She and her daughters are knitting chemo caps for Mount Sinai Hospital and could I help them and would I be willing to knit some too?

I was on Ravelry as soon as I got home and digging through my stash minutes after that. I started a cap but then ripped it out. I mean, it looked like something my granny would wear and cancer doesn't discriminate according to age. So, I've found some funky patterns and yarns that would appeal to a younger age group. I need to have as many finished as possibly by the end of the month. As soon as their done I'll take a picture of them.

My first project is an Aviator style cap I found on the Head Huggers website. Great site with lots of patterns for all different crafters.

~Daughter #1

Friday, October 1, 2010

Light turquoise cotton sweater.

This sweater was knit about 10 years ago. That says a lot about the yarn. This is a worsted weight cotton from Greece. When I knit this cardigan the yarn was being sold as Intermezzo Aran by Elann. The pattern was a Leisure Arts leaflet.....which I am looking for.
I have tossed it in the washer and dryer. Once I spilt coffee all over one sleeve and it still washes up like new. It actually fits me again!
The pattern was for a sleeveless top. I used Ann Budd's wonderful sweater book to knit a dropped shoulder sleeve. I stuck 3 repeats of lace down the middle of the sleeve. I am thinking I would like to make another one for spring. The stash has lots and lots of this cotton just crying out to be knit. Now, where did I see that leaflet last...Hmmmm????? The pattern is out of print now. So WHEN I find it if anyone else wants to have a go just send me an email. I would be happy to share.
Later the same evening: I found the photo copy I knit from, somewhere hides the original. It is Leisure Arts leaflet 868. I have all my notations and the sleeve pattern.
It is moments like this when I justify keeping every pattern I have ever knit...basking in the glow.
Just for the heck of it I "googled" the pattern and look what I found? For sale on Etsy!!! I bought it. Just in case I can't find my original. I love it when everything comes together..sqeeeeee

Thursday, September 30, 2010


Knitting and knitting and knitting, mindless knitting. Now at 38 ridges. Good for TV watching.
Tomten Jacket

Gotta have lace on the needles!

Blueberry Pi                                                                                                                                                                    

Jewels of the Rubaiyat
Playing with colour. See the square needles?

Friday, September 24, 2010

Up to my eyes in wool

Two strands of Moda Dea with a 6 mm needle
 Because I have nothing better to do.... I am starting yet another sweater, This is for another nephew who likes to go camping in Algonquin Park, in the winter. Hardy lad. His requirements are: earth tones, washable wool, not itchy, preferably Merino, drop shoulder, no ribbing and thickish, large enough to wear with layers, and something suitable to wear by the campfire. That translates into a 52" fleece type pullover. Easy Peasy.

This is a more accurate picture of the colour

I have nailed it so to speak. Moda Dea is a perfect wool for this project. ( Used it in it's worsted tension for the skull sweater) Crisis of magnitude has been discontinued. WHAT?? I liken this to popular programs on the television. Every one likes it so cancel it. I sent out some feelers on Ravelry to those with Moda Dea in their stash. No one was willing to part with any. I understand perfectly. I finally had to resort to eBay. The shame of it all but they came through. I got 9 balls from upper New York State and I have 6 balls coming from Mississippi. With exchange and shipping at least it will cost me the same as if I had bought it here in Canada.
I swatched with two strands held as one and a 5.5 mm needle but it was too stiff. Switched to two strands and a 6 mm needle and it is perfect. Bulky but soft and pliable. Another plus with this wool is the strands are cabled not just twisted. When you hold it up to the light the "halo" is minimal therefore it does not pill. I am tempted to head out and buy up everything I can After all I can always sell it on eBay. I do have to pick up a contrast for a Bear Claw pattern on the back. I am graphing it out and once I am satisfied with the results I will add the graph here and on Ravelry for anyone else to use. All I require is that credit be given where it is due and you do not sell the pattern. Thank you in advance. Yes, I am still working on the Sugar Skull graph. Who needs to sleep, work, eat....OK, ok I can live "off the fat of the land" for a while yet.

Jewels of the Rubaiyat

My Dad had a copy of the Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam. It was a small leather bound book with beautiful colour plates inside. Each colour page had a piece of tissue over the plate so it wouldn't stick to the printed page. It was beautiful to hold, and look at. The jewel tone colours leapt off the page. If you have never read these Persian love poems you should they are beautiful. 
All that brings me to this. I want to knit  a sweater derived from a pattern of AS's. I have been advised of the care that should be taken when referring to this designer. As I am not knitting the pattern with the exact colours in the exact wool then the designer does not appreciate you calling your knitting project by the same name as the pattern. Works for me. Life is to short to get bent out of shape. Ergo I will be calling this sweater "Jewels of the Rubaiyat." I have given the designer credit on my Ravelry page for the inspiration. I hope that's not an infringement of any copyright. 

Shetland wool
 I ordered the above Harrisville Shetland Wool from the Red Mitten.They have 100 colours in stock. Oh Joy Oh Bliss. The colours are to "dye" for. I am anxious to start swatching. That will be my Saturday project, stay tuned for more pictures of the swatch in progress. I will post my colour choices. The neutral tones don't show up very well in the picture. It will be interesting to see if they work in the knitting. Well, that is why we swatch..right? I am hoping the new circular needle I bought at the Knitter's Fair is the right size. It is circular but the needles themselves are square. I leave you to figure that out.

Saturday, September 18, 2010


Low Cal Blueberry Pi: Roughly blocked EZ's half pi shawl in alpaca fine. 6mm clear Ab finish glass beads sprinkled like sugar crystals. Perfect Pi for the calorie conscious.
Tomten Jacket: in WooBu, tension swatch 5.5 sts to inch 5.5 ridges (11 rows) to the inch with a 4mm needle. I originally bought this wool for the Traveling sweater but it didn't work out for me. so now I have new plans for it.
Cast on 221 stitches and just knit back and forth until the pattern then I will worry about what to do next.
Crocus shawlette: whole lot of wet wool. Amazing how it blocks out!
Blocked and drying and only two ends to weave in. Very Happy with the result.
Close up of the edging. Look at those nupps! My father, God rest his soul, used to say, "Don't break your arm patting yourself on the back."
(as usual click on pictures for a close up)

Monday, September 13, 2010

Peering into the dark side...

I've been feeling very Darth Vaderish lately when it comes to knitting because.... well I know this will come as a shock to some of you... but sometimes I knit with acrylic.

My apologies to those of you who just sprayed your computer screen with your beverage.

I cannot hide the truth any longer and if it means I have to give up my addi-turbos as punishment...pffft not a chance, catch me if you can.

Bernat is starting a Mystery CAL on Sept 22, made with their softee chunky. I've been feeling the crochet bug for a while now but I didn't want to commit to some more jacquard tapestry. A mystery CAL sounds like fun and this should work up quickly given the yarn and hook size. There is a pattern for a square every week and in the end you have a blanket. Perfect, just what I needed.

I don't know about you but in my house all blankets and afghans take a lot of abuse. They are dragged out onto the grass, drooled on during naps and claimed by Chewbacca if someone allows it to slip to the floor. My 90lb puppy feels any article on the floor belongs to him and is a new bed. Also, I need then to be easy peasy washable and not have to worry about them felting or shrinking or stretching. Also I'm not willing to invest a whole lot of $$$ on natural fibers that I know will be abused so soundly.

Chris' Steelers blanket was made from a Bernat product and after over a year of constant abuse it's still holding up well. So, I'm willing to give another of their products a try. It's just for fun anyways. What I did like about their website is I can choose my colours and add it to the cart. When I look at the 'cart' the swatches are all lined up and I can get a good idea of what colours I want to use and how they will look together. Now hopefully Michaels has the colours I want in stock or I'll be starting the decisions making over.

I have the project listed on my Ravelry page if your interested in joining in. I'll post a picture after I have a couple squares done.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

The fruits of our "Flavour".....

Sunday afternoon , Julia and I decided to dye with Kool Aid. I had some beautiful Fleece Artist wool in three textures, pied wool, curly stuff and mohair. A very boring white. I dyed it all Strawberry Kiwi. Julia played with colour and dyed some unplied with Ice Blue. The side garden looked like an eastern bazaar. It was a beautiful day.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

KW Knitter's Fair

Our annual pilgrimage to the Kitchener Waterloo Knitter's Guild Fair. I have not seen Sandy in a year and we show up wearing the same colour. We think alike and dress alike, what can I say? Julia took our picture, thanks kiddo.
I bought a square circular knitting needle!! I am very intrigued and will let you know what I think of it. I also got the Herbert Niebling book of Knitted Lace Designs, it was pricey but I couldn't resist. A vial of #8 beads for the copper lace weight for the test knit shawl and...sigh... a hank of merino silk lace weight in a deep blue. So I will have to reset my counter again.
I am exhausted. We walked miles!! It was a wonderful day and beside all the beautiful patterns, and wool-silk-alpaca-lama-mohair-cotton-flax yarns, notions and beads I had the opportunity to reconnect with a dear friend and share a wonderful day with my daughter.
(Corinne, you have to take a sick day next year we missed you.)