Friday, December 23, 2005

Wow...I actually finished something...

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So, I managed to finish these armwarmers for Miranda. They're the 'Hurry Up Spring' ones from Stich 'n Bitch Nation. It's a pretty fun pattern and actually knits up pretty quickly when you put your mind to it. I was a little annoyed with the fact that it took just over one skein of Noro Kureyon to finish it. I was too lazy to pick the right part in the yarn to get the identical striping pattern, but now that I look at them side by side it's a little unfortunate that I didn't. Oh well. I guess that's why they tell you to get two skeins.

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This shot is supposed to be a close-up of the leaf and branch pattern on them. I don't know if I made mistakes reading the chart or not, but there were definitely places in it that didn't seem to work out properly. And they really should have explained the whole reversing of the pattern part for the left-hand armwarmer way better than they did. They just said to read the chart from the left to right instead of right to left, and it's NOT THAT SIMPLE!! They don't explain that you have to reverse the entire pattern, and that caused me a little confusion.

All in all, this was a fun knit, though I wish there weren't so many mistakes in the pattern. You can't just mindlessly follow it, otherwise you'll run into trouble. The part where they tell you to make the thumb gusset it totally messed up if you don't start your 2x2 ribbing with p1 k2, instead of the k2 that most people would do, right from the start. And they don't tell you that little detail either. So, I just ignored what they said and just made the thumb gusset following the rib pattern and it turned out fine.

Now to put these in the mail, and hopefully they'll get to her some time before winter in Tokyo ends! HA HA!!!!

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Why I wish I could spend my days knitting instead of working...

This is bad...I have found SO many projects that I want to do, instead of finding projects to use up my stash with. I really, really want to make the Peacock Feathers Shawl from Fiddlesticks Knitting. I just called up Lettuce Knit and they have the I asked them to hold it for me. Isn't that awful? I think I have enough yarn to make it, but the question is if I want to use it for that. It's not really the nicest stuff and I have no idea how it'll drape. I feel like a yarn snob. But can I just say that I love knitting lace stuff? I want to knit myself Cozy from Knitty as well....

Plus I have so many unfinished projects going right now. I still have to felt and sew up another cat toy that I made, finish that baby sweater from the class (I didn't make it to the second class, but more about that another time), then there's the wristwarmers from Stich 'n Bitch Nation, and the ever present Clapotis that is taking me FOREVER AND A DAY to knit...oh, and as always there is Kyoto still hanging around waiting for me to finish. *sigh* I suck...I need more of that 'must complete everything I start' energy....though I think the fact that I absolutely hate finishing kinda puts a damper on things.

Saturday, December 03, 2005

I actually have been knitting...

I know it seems like it's been a long time since I was doing any knitting. I mean, I've admited already that I'm not knitting anything for Christmas presents this year, and my last post was in October! But I finally have photos to show! Hooray! Bear with me...this is going to be a bit of a long post. Maybe I should split it up and write it over several days so it looks like I've been doing lots. HA HA!!

Let's back up a little I signed up for that baby sweater knitting course and needed to pick up my materials for it. So, Elaine and I headed to Lettuce Knit. In addition to the stuff I needed for the course (which I'll show a little later), we found these bags of merino ends or rovings, or whatever they call them. They were packaged by weight. And of course we couldn't resist getting some. The whole bag was only $40. It's a sport weight (I think...I'm so bad with the weights), and Elaine and I swapped some our colours. So, here's what I got in the bag.
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Now to come up with a project for it....any ideas?

So, the baby sweater class started this week. It's only a 2 week class because the sweater is pretty tiny. I actually finished my homework the day after the class since I was practically done after the 2 hours in the store. So, here's a picture of the pattern.
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(Sorry...too lazy to rotate the pic)
It's knit pretty much in one piece in the round starting from the neck down. It's got raglan sleeves too, which I happen to like. The idea that I don't have to seam anything is SOOOO appealing.
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So, that's what I've got so far and you can see what other colours I picked. I wanted to do a stripped sweater. The part that I've stopped at is where we split things to make the sleeves. I think I'm going to want to switch colors here otherwise it'll be a pain to keep track of how many rows of blue I need on each sleeve. And I actually didn't know that it was going to be knit neck down when I chose the colour. Not that blue is so bad, but I originally wanted to put it on the bottom. In retrospect, I probably should have chosen a variagated yarn instead of trying stripes because there's so much blue now that the next stripe will probably take up, like, the rest of the sweater if I want to keep the stripe the same width. Or maybe I'll frog some of what I've done and re-do it in another colour...I dunno. Maybe I'll go back to the store for some advice, but I don't know if I'll be able to before the next class on Thursday.

Lastly (yup...told you this was a long post), I finished my first felted project! I made a toy mouse with the pattern and yarn that Carolyn and Elaine gave me. Felting is really fun! I was kinda scared at first, and got even more worried when nothing seemed to be happening. But the results were pretty good.
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The funny thing about the 'face' is that you have to sew the eyes on before you felt, so after I felted it, the shape of the eye changed shape. So, I stuffed it with some scrap yarn and a little catnip and let the cats have it.
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I think the toys are going to go over pretty well...or maybe it's the catnip!

Mission Falls is coming back!

So, I went to my knitting class the other day (more on that in another post) and was lamenting the fact that I was really going to miss the Mission Falls stuff now that it's been discontinued and found out from the person in the store that it's actually going to be coming back! Someone bought the company from the lady who used to own/run it. I don't know if this means that the product will be a little different, or what, but I was very excited at the news.

In other news, I finally got to touch some Malabrigo. They have it at Lettuce Knit now, the cotton stuff too. It's SOOOO soft. I kinda wanted to get some just to have it. But I resisted the urge.

Well, Jamie and I are off to buy him a laptop. When I come back, I'll put up some pictures of some of the stuff that I've been working on.

Saturday, October 22, 2005

Request complete!

Hooray for me! I finished Jamie's slippers! I actually finished them about a week ago, but I was slow in putting pictures up.
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They're made out of Mission Falls cotton, which has unfortunately been discontinued. I used two strand held together to make them because the yarn itself was a little too thin. I think they turned out pretty well, and Jamie has since told me that he's going to hold off on any more requests for a while. ^_^ Which is good for me because then I can concentrate on my own projects. My progress on the Clapotis has been horribly slow. I'm still stuck in that section where you have to do 12 sets of that 12 row pattern in the 'straight' section. I think it's section 3 or something like that.

As for me, I think I will have to be horrible and not knit any gifts for anyone this year. I simply don't have the time. Work is blowing up in my face and I am finding my knitting time just keeps getting eaten up by it. Unless anyone has requests...If you request a knitted present and tell me what you want and what colour, I'm happy to do brain is just too tired to try and figure out what sorts of things people might want. So, Sailors, if you're reading this at all, you are welcome to make requests! (ha ha...though I have a feeling that Moon is the only one who actually reads this)

Friday, October 21, 2005

Everything’s either a Secret or Boring To Look At (or, why I’m too lazy to pull out the digital camera)

I feel like a bad blogger. I’ve got nothing. Oh, lots of knitting has been going on, but I can’t take pictures of any of it. I have things that I’m thinking about knitting, but I can’t post about any of it. I wish I knew exactly who actually reads the blog, versus who knows about it but never bothers to check it out. If I know you in person and you read the blog, leave a comment, would ya? And sign your name if you don’t have a Blogger account so you don’t end up as anonymous. Of course, now I’m going to be sad because it’ll turn out that nobody cares about me (er, I mean, the blog). And also relieved, because then I can ramble freely (I pee freely too, remember that stupid joke? I never understood just what made it so funny, like, tee hee, you said “pee”? Don’t get it).

Anyway, I’ve got 1.5 Christmas prezzies done, and I have at least 2.5 left to go. Possibly to be amended to 3.5, but we’ll see. There’s only 9 weeks left until Christmas, I’d better get cracking (especially on the socks, socks take an age and a half). Edda also now has a back piece and one front panel, but she’s all navy blue and my camera blows so all photos would show is a couple of dark sweater-piece-shaped blobs. I swear, I don’t know how anybody ever learned to knit a sweater without having a class. There have already been near decreasing and bind-off disasters, complete with an emergency visit to the yarn store.

Want to see what I’m fantasizing about? This Tramonto shawl. Oooh, the Koigu. I’m trolling the Internet and LYS-es for colours. Silly of me to be thinking about more lace shawls when I’ve got Lotus Blossom waiting in the wings, isn’t it? Ah well. Any excuse to ogle Koigu.

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

My first knitting class!

I went and signed up for my very first knitting class the other day! It's 'How to knit a top-down raglan baby sweater' over at Lettuce Knit. I know, I know....I have no use for a baby sweater (except to give away), but it'll teach me all the important stuff I need to know about how to make a big-person sweater. I'm actually really excited about it. It's only 2 classes and doesn't start until December 1, but whatever. Something fun to look forward to.

Jamie's been whining about the fact that I still haven't made slippers for him. I think I'm going to have to put my other stuff on hold and make them so he won't keep bugging me and I won't feel guilty anymore (ha ha!) I think I'll start on them today...

Saturday, October 01, 2005

I knew I was loose, but....

I didn't know just how loose until I tried to knit a swatch for Edda. The pattern for the cardigan is a sort of modified brioche stitch (or so I'm told, I don't know precisely what brioche stitch is, but for the sweater there's knitting and purling on one side, and knitting and slipped stitches on the other side, and what you're left with is a sort of ribbing-like effect), and the recommended needle size was 7 mm. So I knit a swatch using 6.5 mm needles, knowing that I tend to knit loosely, but nope, my gauge was still too big. So I knit a second swatch using 6 mm needles, still no go. I had to drop down to 5.5 mm needles before getting the proper stitch gauge (good thing I've been collecting needles in all sizes, otherwise that would have made for many trips to the yarn store). Which seems like a big drop in needle size, no? Loose knitter indeed. I'm a little nervous now that the whole thing's going to turn out too small, even though my gauge appears to be ok. The row gauge is a little off now too, but that shouldn't be too hard to remedy.

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

'Tis the season....

….for starting on the Christmas knitting. I know it’s still only September (almost October!), but it’s amazing how time flies when there are deadlines involved. I think I started knitting my Christmas gifts around this time last year, and I was still knitting come December. This year I’ve started even earlier, and began purchasing gift yarn in August. I've also pared down my recipient list considerably. This season I think the knitting will only be for family and perhaps certain special others, if inspiration happens to strike.

Some of the projects will be top-secret of course, but since I’m pretty sure my dad never sees this blog, here’s a shot of the cabled scarf I made for him, pattern courtesy of Yarn-A-Go-Go (the pic is of the scarf-in-progress, but it’s actually done now, ends woven in and everything, it just needs to be blocked. I’m always behind with the photos). It’s a little hard to see the details, but there’s a sort of braided cable down the middle, and that’s moss stitch at the sides. It’s done in Karabella Aurora 8, one of the very nicest and softest yarns I’ve ever worked with. Seriously, you need to go get some, it’s so extraordinarily plush and buoyant and springy and smooth. And it’s got fantastic stitch definition, and is supremely easy to work with, it just slides effortlessly through the fingers. I’m tempted to go out right now and buy sweater quantities of this stuff in several shades.

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Saturday, September 24, 2005

Lopsided socks

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Finally, after 3 months, the Regia Ringel socks are done! As soon as I finished grafting the second toe (note: I still suck at grafting, as well as anything else involving a sewing needle, it seems) I put the socks on to admire, and discovered much to my horror that one sock was way bigger than the other (the one on the right foot in the picture). More specifically, the heel of sock #2 was poorly executed because I kept making mistakes while knitting it, and as a result I knit it too loosely and now the whole sock sits all baggy-like. Well, shit. I'll just have to learn to live with it though, since there's no way I'm ripping it out. The colours in this yarn were fun, but honestly I just didn't love working with it. It's got a slightly rough texture that my hands didn't like. Perhaps this brands me as a horrid yarn snob, but give me Koigu or Lorna's Laces any day. Not that I wouldn't necessarily try other sock yarns, but I'll probably avoid more Regia for a while.

Speaking of yarn snob-worthy sock yarn, my next pair of socks will be knit from this, delicious Fleece Artist merino.

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I'll probably knit it toe-up in just plain stockinette, I had contemplated finding a fun lacy or cabled sock pattern to try except that a)I'm sorta lazy and b)the intended recipient is a rather conservative dresser so flashy socks might not be the best idea. =)

Sunday, September 18, 2005

One benefit of being single.... not having to be accountable to anybody else for one's spending habits (well, except maybe Visa). In an attempt to document the sometimes uncontrollable and often haphazard yarn acquisition, I made a little Excel spreadsheet to record just how much yarn I have. It doesn't look like all that much spread out over my yarn storage containers (and the floor =P), but right now I have over 80 skeins/balls. A lot of that is sock/fingering weight yarn. I know that isn't necessarily a ton compared to some people's stashes, but it's a lot for me considering the slow rate at which I knit. I don't even want to get into how much money that's all worth (though I did buy a lot of it on sale or off eBay, is that a good excuse? Oh wait, I'm single, I don't need to make excuses. So there).

It also doesn't help that I've been "forced" (haha) to buy more yarn for a sweater class I'm taking soon at Newbury Yarns. Voila, yummy Rowan Kid Classic in colour 846, a pretty navy colour, to make Edda from Rowan 36.

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I hope this class goes well, I've got a total mental block when it comes to sweaters now thanks to the 4 Ply Soft sweater fiasco. Although if it does go well and I get all sweater-happy, watch for the stash to increase again considerably. =)

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Finally, some photos!

But even still, they aren't really of anything in particular. Ha ha!!

First off, an increase to my stash thanks to that annual event that is my birthday! Thanks to my friends Carolyn and Elaine, who figured that since my kitties are keeping me from knitting, why not knit something for the kitties!
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I'm actually almost done making a magenta toy mouse. I just need to sew eyes on, felt it, and stuff it. It'll be my first felting project!! While I was working on it, Hanatarou kept wanting to play with it, so I hope that still stands after it's all finished.

About a week ago, I went with Elaine to Romni. I wasn't planning to get anything, and she was looking for needles and a row counter. But we all know how well those "I'm not getting anything" trips work out, right? Actually, I was looking for sewing supplies in that area, so I figured why not go as well. We stopped in a lot of places so I could look for black elastic. Alas, we didn't find any. However, while we were in a dollar store looking for elastic, we found these.
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I don't know if you can read the price tag all that well, but it says $5.00. Yup. Only $5 Canadian for a pair of Addi turbos. I bought the size 0, and Elaine bought the size 1 and 3 (if I remember correctly). Even though I sometimes find Addi's a little slippery, I still like them and a deal like that was just too good to pass up.

And then we went to Romni, and I saw a whole bunch of Crystal Palace needles that I just drooled over but didn't buy. What I did buy was another skein of the Manos del Uruguay in colourway 107 for the Clapotis that I'm making.
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I wasn't sure if I had enough, so I figured that there was no harm in getting one more skein just in case.

And then I saw....yummy, yummy cashmere....
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I just couldn't resist. They had this really cute scarf knitted up from it. I asked them what the pattern was and the salesperson said it looked like it was just a [yo k2tog] scarf. I'm not totally sure though. I think I'm going to have to go back and look at it again so I can be sure. And if I really can't figure it out, then I'll just exchange it ^_^ (ha that's gonna happen!)

Saturday, September 10, 2005

Multidirectional scarf #2000

Meet my I-hate-Verizon scarf, knit during the month of August when I was frustrated by my lack of internet at home (and the fact that I was paying for said lack of internet). It’s a multidirectional scarf knit from the Diakeito Diadrey I had bought way back in April. The yarn looked really fun in the ball, but knitting with it only served to remind me of the fact that perhaps boucle yarn and I just do not really get along *cough*CashmerinoAstrakhan*cough*. I loved all the fun and random colour changes, but the texture changes (smooth alternating with boucle) just meant that the width of the scarf kept changing slightly as well. All and all though, this scarf *looks* really super-fun when worn, even if it wasn’t a complete joy to knit. Again, I will not be knitting any sweaters from this stuff.

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Hooray for using up stash! I'm trying, really I am. =)

Thursday, September 08, 2005

Yarn Review: Debbie Bliss Cashmerino Astrakhan

I was in my LYS a while ago, buying a row counter and needle protectors and browsing the yarn selections, when I came across one of the new Debbie Bliss yarns for fall. Cashmerino Astrakhan, a new addition to their cashmerino line that has a boucle-y texture.

There was a swatch, and it was so very soft and plush, and the yarn came in such fabulous colours, that I just *had* to get some. I was envisioning plushy accessories, either a scarf or a hat or some wrist-warmers. So I picked up a couple of skeins, a dark pink one and a brown one, and brought them home with me to play with. That’s where the trouble began. I thought hey, stripey wrist-warmers! So I cast on in the round and started a rib pattern, but I had cast on too many stitches. Ripped it all out, cast on again, dropped stitches and couldn’t recover (this happened more times than I care to admit). Ripped it all out again, cast on using smaller needles, still too big. Ripped it out yet again, cast on using fewer stitches, now it was too small and not very stretchy. Abandoned the wrist-warmer idea altogether, thought about maybe a hat. Cast on for a hat, didn’t like the way it was turning out, ripped everything out for the billionth time. Clearly this yarn didn’t like being knit with dpns. At this point I was getting really annoyed because the boucle texture? Super-confusing. It’s hard not to catch the needles in one of the loops instead of the yarn itself. And all the loops made ripping things out an absolute nightmare. So I cast on for ribbed wrist-warmers again, except I was going to knit these flat and sew them up at the end (sewing? Also a pain in the butt). Eventually I ended up with a wrist-warmer and head-coif set (coif modified somewhat from a Knitty pattern).

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This is a fun pair of accessories, very pet-able and will definitely be warm and appropriate for the late fall (whether I have a coordinating scarf is another question), but boy, was the process of making them arduous. I wouldn’t necessarily recommend this yarn for anything except small, flat, un-textured things (merino & cashmere facecloths, anyone?). I definitely wouldn’t want to be making a sweater out of it.

Knitty is evil...

Actually, it's not, but it did give me lots of inspiration. I actually have been knitting a little, despite the insane little kitten who likes to play with the yarn. I've actually started using that alpaca glitter than the wonderful Adrienne sent to me. I started a thin little lacy scarf, but I don't know if it looks the way I wanted. After seeing the new fall Knitty though, I'm debating if I'd rather make the Falling Leaves socks with it. Adrienne, do you think I'll have enough in that one skein you sent me to make a pair of socks? I also think that I'm gonna make Flora out of that pink mohair stuff that I never seem to be able to use up. I started a ribbed scarf long, long ago, but never finished it. Oh man...and Ella looks like fun too...

Oh man...and then there's still Jamie's slippers, and my Kyoto sweater that taking me YEARS to finish. But I'm making good progress on the Clapotis. Oh man...the Manos yarn is so nice when knitted up. I think they must use vinegar or some acid in the dying process though because it smells faintly of vinegar. But that's nothing a good washing won't solve when I'm all done.

So much knitting, so little time ^_^

Thursday, September 01, 2005

Pooling Colours

Regardez, the Pooling Colours Scarf (Interweave Knits, Fall 2004) is done! The yarn actually behaved itself and pooled rather cooperatively the entire time. See?

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And a closeup of the pattern:

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When I first started the scarf, I thought it would be cool to make it nice and long, so I could wrap it around my neck a couple of times and there would still be a decent tail to show off all the yummy colours. So I knit, and I knit, and I kept on knitting until the ball of yarn was almost gone (560 yards!). At that point it was about 7 feet long. Then I blocked it. And it about 8.5 feet. That's more than 1.5 times my height. The scarf now comes down to my knees when I wrap it around twice. But, I love it. The more rainbowy goodness the better, I say. Pictures do not accurately convey just how fun this scarf is.

Speaking of long scarves, I have finally been bitten by the Harry Potter bug (thanks Andrew!) and have also knit an Azkaban scarf, in Ravenclaw book colours.

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The picture is of the scarf-in-progress, but I finished it when I was back in Toronto on vacation, and this one also ended up being almost 8 feet long. I'll try to get another picture of it soon. It was easily the most mindless knit I've ever had, stockinette tubes on circular needles are great! And the periodic colour changes served to break up the monotony somewhat. I love these colours together, and this scarf should keep me nice and warm in the dead of winter.

Back from the land of the internet-less

Hello, I'm back! A month after my internet goes kaput! It's a long and sad and boring story, but basically my modem died, it took a long time (and a lot of talking to incompetent tech support people) to figure that out, I got a new one, and now things appear to be up and humming again. I feel like I've got a huge backlog of posts, knitterly things had been happening during the month of August (because I had no internet =P), and now I need to go back and document them all, one post at a time. Stay tuned for updates!

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Happy Blogiversary!

Hey, can you believe it's been a year since we've started this thing? One year, so many knits, so many UFOs, so much more stash to hide away!

I'm not in a particularly introspective mood today, so I'll spare you the knitting-year-in-review. Suffice it to say, I learned a lot of new things, how to knit socks, the joys of lace, the irresistible lure of handpainted yarns, but I have yet to complete a sweater. Plenty of time for that, I say. Here's to another year of making pretty things and drooling over yummy fibers. =)

(FO pics and posts are forthcoming, as soon as I get a new network card. I don't know how to navigate the inside of a computer, so this could be bad news....)

Friday, July 29, 2005

Knitting halted

And just why has my knitting come to a complete and utter halt?

Meet Hanatarou...our new kitten.
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Heh this really knitting related? Well, I guess so since it's why I'm not knitting right now! ^_^ He really is quite adorable, and he and Dany are getting along reasonably well. But he is SO energetic that he is quite the handful. I think I need to wait until he's sleeping before I pull the knitting out. But he doesn't really sleep long enough to allow me to get much done, so I get lazy and usually don't bother.

Thursday, July 28, 2005

Summer knitting?

Well, it seems like I've been very bad about writing in this little blog. Then again, I haven't really been knitting all that much! I really should start on the slippers that Jamie wants, but I still have 2 projects on the go that I haven't finished yet.

The first is the Kyoto sweater from Knitty. I've been working on this sucker for probably 1.5 years now. I have one more sleeve to finish before I can start sewing up all the pieces and finishing the edging at the neckline. Lots and lots of stockinette with absolutely no variation. Very, very boring. But after that's done, it's the terrifying stage of FINISHING!!!

The second thing that I've started is my very own Clapotis. Remember that purple variagated Manos that I bought that I was going to use to make a bag with? Well, I changed my mind yet again. So, while I was on my trip to Japan (and sitting on planes for many many hours), I finished all the increases. But I haven't progressed any further with it. Yeah...I totally suck. I also think I might need one more skein of the yarn. I think I'm going to have to order it off the internet or something. You can obviously tell that I'm very concerned about dye lot matching ^_~ I figure, it's variagated and hand dyed anyway, so each sken usually isn't quite the same anyway.

Hopefully you've had a more productive summer of knitting than me...

Monday, July 11, 2005

Counting stitches

Did you know, that the Evening in Eden shawl (shown below) consists of about 22350 stitches? That sounds like a big number, doesn't it? Did you also know that an average sock (knitted from sock-weight yarn) takes around 17000 stitches (hm, that's weird, a single one of my socks probably only takes about 10000 stitches at most)? That's a LOT of stitches. Next time you feel frustrated with the knitting, calculate the approximate number of stitches you've done and voila, an instant sense of accomplishment! No wonder it takes so darned long to finish anything!

Sunday, July 10, 2005

Lace, and more lace

Well, I sucked it up and finished the Evening in Eden shawl. And blocked it, and fringed it. And you know what? It didn't turn out too badly in the end. I did one less pattern repeat than recommended (6 instead of 7), but it still came out to a good 5+ feet long, which is plenty long enough in my book. I am resigned to the stupid stockinette border, it curls a little less now that it's blocked.

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In any case, I consider this shawl to be good practice for some other, more complicated shawls that I covet, in particular this Flirty Ruffles Shawl, and possibly this Lotus Blossom Shawl. Yummy.

In the meantime, I've started another little lace project. Last year I bought a lovely skein of Schaefer Anne yarn, to make the Pooling Colors (I'm only using the American spelling because that's what the pattern says!) scarf from the Fall 2004 issue of Interweave Knits.

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I wound the skein (560 yards!) into a ball (it took an hour! Thank heaven there was no tangling involved), and attempted to make the yarn pool. The way the scarf works is that the yarn is space-dyed, so you try to work it so that each row takes up exactly the amount of yarn in a single colour repeat, so that as you knit horizontally you create a vertical striping effect. I thought the concept was pretty cool. As you can see, I've managed to make my yarn sort of pool (except for the cast-on edge and the very first row, but I knew that there was no way I could make that part work so I just let it do what it would....except that it's bugging the point where I want to rip it all out and make it work, even though I've tried it already and know that it won't....the cast-on edge takes up too much yarn....argh....must learn to take a more Zen-like attitude towards the knitting....). It doesn't have an exact vertical striping thing going on like I've seen in some cases, and the colours tend to drift back and forth and get a little muddied in places, but overall it's not too bad. I think it shows off the lovely colours of this yarn pretty well.

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The lace pattern isn't complicated and is pretty easily memorized, so far this is a fairly mindless knit except for keeping track of the pooling. I've taken to inserting lifelines every 24 rows in case I mess up and need to rip back. I'm not 100% in love with it at this point because of the cast-on edge and the drifting colours, so I don't know if I want to keep it or not. Although the last thing I want to do is to earmark this yarn for more socks, I have enough sock yarn as it is. Suggestions? Opinions?

Edited to add: OK, so I decided to rip the scarf out and start again. The cast-on edge looks a little better now (but it still doesn't quite line up, of course), and it's still pooling the way as it is in the picture. So much for letting things be. =)

Saturday, July 02, 2005


So several weeks ago I started this Evening in Eden shawl with some Berroco Softwist that I had bought on sale many many moons ago. I figured that the yarn was a pretty colour and the right weight, and the pattern wasn't bad, so why not? Except now I've made it through half the shawl and....well, I sort of hate it. Well, hate is perhaps too strong a word, but I am certainly not overflowing with affection and goodwill towards this particular knitted item.

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Why do I dislike it? Well, for starters, the pattern, while interesting and easy enough to knit, does not call out to me. At first I thought, hey, look at the cute paw-print-like things! But now I'm thinking, paw prints? Why am I knitting paw prints?! Secondly, the yarn, it is slippery and splitty. I've mostly managed to avoid splitting the yarn, but when it splits, it's rather irritating. Additionally, I realized about 3 (48-row) repeats in that I somehow thought "garter stitch edging" meant "do it in stockinette!" and now my edges are all curly. At the time I didn't want to rip out the whole thing just to fix the edging, but now it's staring me in the face and mocking me for my stupidity.

So, what do I do? Do I rip out the whole thing? Do I throw it in the closet never to look at it again? Or do I suck it up and make a slightly shorter version of the shawl, with 6 repeats instead of 7, and leave it at that? I think I have 8 or 9 skeins of this yarn, not quite enough to make a sweater (not that I would want to even if I did, the yarn was cheap and a reasonable colour, but I bought it during my reckless-yarn-buying stage, and I don't love it by any means), so if it's not going to be this shawl, I don't think it's going to become anything else. I'm leaning towards just making the shortest shawl I can get away with and moving on to something else.

I think I'm more of a process knitter, I enjoy trying new things and watching them take shape much more than actually having the finished product (I've lost interest in most of the things I've finished). So if I don't consider the project (or the yarn) fun/interesting/beautiful my patience drops considerably. Just another example of my fickle nature, I guess.

Friday, July 01, 2005

Happy Canada Day!

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Don't ya think? =)

No knitting progress here. It's too damned hot to knit.

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Do you believe.... the Curse of the Love Sweater? Well, I clearly must not, cuz look what I made!

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Two Baby Bobbi Bears, one for baby cousin Jayson (the blue one), and one for grownup Jason (the brown one), both of whom have birthdays this month. Aren't they adorable? Cutest bear pattern ever.

I actually did ponder the Curse for a few minutes before ordering the yarn for both projects, but decided not to worry about it because a)it's a bear, not an entire sweater (please ignore the fact that I've never actually made a sweater), and b)if I'm knitting two it must dilute out the effect somewhat, right? Not to mention that c)I live a charmed life and I laugh in the face of curses. =P

Some things I learned while knitting the bears:

1) Stuffed animal patterns aren't as scary as they seem.
2) Large double pointed needles (US9) can get unwieldy.
3) And they can hurt if you accidentally poke yourself with one.
4) Blue Sky Alpacas cotton (dyed and organic) is very soft and yummy yarn.
5) How to duplicate stitch.
6) Be generous with the stuffing.
7) The only stuffing worth using is Cluster Fill. It feels like slippery little polyester balls, and it is magical. Regular polyester filling will make your stuffed thing all lumpy and gross. I now worship at the altar of Cluster Fill.

Friday, June 10, 2005

Stripey socks

In the interests of eating up some of the sock yarn that I've got stashed away, I started on a new pair of socks last night. In the interests of not being bored with yet another pair of toe-up-socks-with-short-row-toes-and-heels (although I've only knit 2 pairs of those -- so I can't really claim boredom, can I?), I decided to knit these socks top-down. Oooh, I know, how wild and crazy can we get, huh? =P

The main reason for knitting these socks top-down was so I could learn the tubular cast-on. With help from my mom and some pictures with confusing Chinese descriptions and the usually-incomprehensible-to-me Knitter's Handbook, I think I'm starting to get the hang of it. Here's the practice cast-on:

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It's sort of hard to see, but notice the ribby-looking cast-on edge. And here is the sock-in-progress, reclining in my Easter-basket-turned-sock-basket. I think I switched the knits and purls around when I joined in the round though, but I'm just going to leave it like that because it still looks better than my usual cast-on edge. And there's still sock #2 to practice on besides. =)

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Oh, and the yarn is Regia Ringel, colour 5048, clown. =)

Sunday, June 05, 2005

Long awaited update

Wow, I've been a terrible blogger (and knitter) recently. I wish I could say something like "oh, I've been absent because big and exciting things are happening in my life", but the truth is simply that I've just been lazy. =P In any case, here are a couple of things that have been on the knitting agenda as of late:

Fun with socks! Toe-up socks in Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sock, the Somerset colourway (notice the fun pink!).

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A while back I bought a bunch of Berroco Softwist on sale, and it's been languishing in my closet ever since. Since I need a new "big" project and I'd rather knit lace than something useful like, say, a sweater, I started an Evening in Eden shawl a couple of days ago. I've done one pattern repeat so far, and I'm not entirely sure how I feel about it at this point. The yarn is the right weight for the pattern, and it's a pretty colour and is slightly shimmery, and it has a springy quality that reminds me of Koigu Kersti, but I'm not sure it's 100% right for this shawl. Then again I'm not used to knitting lace using worsted weight yarn, so maybe it would look thick and heavy no matter what yarn I used.

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Lastly, a mom-endorsed yarn purchase, more Malabrigo in the Loro Barranquero colourway, for a fun scarf and possibly also a hat. Aren't the colours pretty?

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One more thing, I think I'm going to put myself on another yarn diet (in addition to the donut and semi-ice cream diets I'm on) for the month of June. The stash, it overfloweth. I haven't shown you the sock yarn I bought off eBay, because I forgot to take pictures. But I have lots more Lorna's Laces waiting to be knit up. =)

P.S. I hate Blogger, it's driving me up the wall. It took me ages to get this post to format correctly. Argh!

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Not sure about the gauge I started the scarf using US8's. I'm wondering if I picked a needle size a bit too big, but the yarn I got didn't recommend a size, and it's about the same as the Elizabeth Lavoy. I was worried about using something too smallbecause there's only 25 stitches, and I didn't want the scarf to be too narrow.

Here's a picture of what I've got so far.
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Hmmm...acutally, when I look at it in the photo, it looks more or less okay. I was worried that the needle size was too big and that you couldn't see the pattern. What do you guys think? Think it's okay as it is? I don't want to keep going if I'm just going to frog it and start over again on smaller needles. Right now, I'm leaning on the side of just keeping it.

But let me tell you, it's awesome knitting with this stuff. When it's all knitted up, it's SOOO soft and silky. I totally recommend getting some!

Sunday, May 22, 2005

Gift bag!

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Okay...I have to say that this is probably a speed record for me. The Alpaca Silk is definitely very nice to knit with. Plus, I learned the three-needle bind off for this project too. It's not hard, but I still feel a small sense of accomplishment anyway. It makes very nice seams indeed. I think the part that was the most frustrating for me was the fringe. Probably took me about as long to knit the whole i-cord as it did to put the fringe on one end and wrap the tassle. Actually, it was the wrapping that was the most frustrating. I wanted to have a third hand when I was doing it! ^_^

Next, on to the scarf. Oh! What size needles did you use for yours?

Thursday, May 19, 2005

Finally, some photos

Okay...I finally have photos to show!

Here's the shawl.
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I had a tough time blocking it actually, because it was so darn big. The kitty in the picture gives you an idea of the scale ^_^ Here's an up close shot of the lace pattern
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(stupid me...I should've taken the towel away for the zoomed out shot...I only needed it for the zoomed in shot, after all...*sigh*)

I also decided what to make for my friend Minako. I'm gonna make one of the drawstring pouches from 'Last Minute Gifts'. I got some light pink Blue Sky Alpaca Silk for it.
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And I'm also going to make her the 'Branching Out' scarf out of this yarn
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It's from Fleece Artist, and it's 100% silk. I'm hoping that it'll be a nice scarf that she can use during more than one season. I was debating getting kidsilk for it, but in the end I wanted something a little heavier.

Yay! It's done! I didn't make it in time for Mother's Day after all, but the shawl is now done. I stayed up late last night to finish it. I'm going to block it and then take a photo of it. It's HUGE! I'm hoping that my mom doesn't feel like it's too big for her. *ponders how to take a photo of such a large piece* I have a bit of the Kidsilk left that I don't know what to do with now. Maybe I'll make some lacy bookmarks or something.

So, I've been thinking about what kind of gift to give my friend Minako when I go to see her in Japan. She's going to take me and Miranda around Kyoto, so I want to give her something good, but I also don't have a lot of time to finish them in. I was thinking of making her a few knit items. I'm thinking of making her that 'Branching Out' scarf from Knitty. Can you think of something else that I could make to go with it? I'll probably look through the 'Last Minute Knitted Gifts' book to see if somethng jumps out at me. Maybe those gift bags or something? I!

Monday, May 02, 2005

Not making it for Mother's Day

Well, it looks like I'm behind on that shawl. I'm almost done ball #2 of the kidsilk, and will be starting the third soon. However, my mom is leaving for China soon, so I won't be seeing her for Mother's Day. I saw my family last night for dinner, but of course I wasn't done the shawl yet. So, she's just going to have to wait until she gets back. And that means I have another month to get it all done! YAY!

But I should really try to get it done this week so I can at least say that I had it ready for Mother's Day...and then I can start on another project!! I'm still thinking about what to do with that awesome skein of Cherry Tree Hill that you sent me. I take it out to pet every now and then, it's so nice! ^_^

Sunday, April 17, 2005

Totally not related to knitting

I figured this might be the easiest way to show you a picture of Yuki ^_^ I've only used...hmm...I think just over a gig. I'm a little lazy when it comes to ripping CDs onto it.

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I realized that I didn't take a picture of anything else so it's hard to get a sense of scale, but oh well. I just love his pretty blue colour, and I'm obessive about keeping him clean! I hate it when I get fingerprints on the screen.

Saturday, April 16, 2005

Spring has sprung!

Well, it must be something about the recent sunny springlike weather, because the Branching Out scarf is done! I swear, this must be some sort of a speed record for me. It must also have to do with the fact that the leafy pattern is so very addictive and so very fun to watch develop. Each pattern repeat took about 10 minutes to complete (15+ if I messed up the pattern, which happened far more often than I'd like to admit), so it became almost like a game of "let's see, how many pattern repeats can I finish before leaving for the lab?" This will be a fun little scarf to wear on breezy spring days. The Elsebeth Lavold Silky Wool is a really nice yarn to work with, although I'm thinking that perhaps I need to make another version of this scarf in Kidsilk Haze? Could this be an excuse for me to finally purchase a skein in the Meadow colour? Hmm....

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And because one can never have enough yarn, I've just ordered a Baby Bobbi Bear pattern + yarn from Jimmy Beans Wool, to make a birthday gift for my baby cousin Jayson. So darn cute!

Saturday, April 09, 2005

After a long period of abstinence....

....I indulged in some stash enhancement! But more on that in a bit.

I finally finished the Caryl's Kerchief for my godmother, made from yummy 4-ply Chinese cashmere from Jade Sapphire. Mmm, cashmere! It was $27 for 175 yards, so totally affordable for a little neck scarf like this. I hope she likes it!

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And here is a closeup of the beaded edge:

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Now onto the stash enhancement! Woolcott was having an overstock sale today, everything on display in the store was 35% off, no exceptions. They moved most of the "good" stuff out of the way though, of course. =P There was a ton of funky novelty yarn and scary eyelash stuff everywhere, but still some nice yarn to be had. I found some Diakeito Diadrey that I've been coveting for months, it is a Japanese yarn, a wool/mohair/nylon blend that changes both colour and texture (smooth alternating with boucle). I think it'd make a really fun multidirectional scarf. Also some rainbow-coloured regia sock yarn, and a skein of Elsebeth Lavold Silky Wool to make this scarf from the latest Knitty. Which I think will be my next project. After I finish doing my taxes. Can you tell that I love knitting lacy things? =)

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Thursday, March 31, 2005

Covet central

So, I head over to my fave little LYS with Carol (you remember Will's girlfriend, right?) in tow a few days ago, and saw the most amazing yarn. It's made out of...get this...100% Bamboo. But it's super soft! It feels kinda like a mix of cotton and silk. Plus it has this cool glossy look to it. I checked the Lettuce Knit newsletter, and she said that she got 31 different colours in (hello, Baskin Robbins!). They're all dyed using chemical-free dying too. The company is called Alchemy Yarns of Transformation, and I totally wanted to buy some. They have a pattern for a tank top that takes 4-7 skeins depending on size (I that would probably be 4-5 skeins for me). So, what's stopping me? The price. The introductory price is $24/skein. I'm wondering if that means that the price will go up the next time she orders it.

In other news, Carol bought a pattern for a felted handbag (Bags by Mags) and the yarn for it while we were on our little excursion. The pattern looks really cool, and I can't wait to see how the finished product looks!

Wednesday, March 30, 2005

99 bottles of beer on the wall... I finally got off my lazy @$$ and took some photos.
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These are the beer cozies that I made for my friend Aaron. I think they're a little small though. I tested them on a bottle of Keith's India Pale Ale and they fit okay, but I don't know how well they'll do for fatter bottles. Plus it was hard doing the letters with pseudo-intarsia (at least I think that's what it's called). I never knew how much slack to leave. As a result, the middle part isn't all that stretchy. But oh well. They're mostly just a novelty anyway.

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And here's that shawl I'm working on. As you can see, it's taking me quite a long time. But I'm happy with the way things look. Boy, it's SOOO much easier when I use stitch markers. Lace can be a bit of a pain though. Plus the Kidslik is so darn thin. On the upside, the shawl feels sinfully soft!