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.

Image hosted by

Saturday, September 24, 2005

Lopsided socks

Image hosted by

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.

Image hosted by

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.

Image hosted by

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!
Image hosted by
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.
Image hosted by
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.
Image hosted by
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....
Image hosted by
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.

Image hosted by

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).

Image hosted by

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?

Image hosted by

And a closeup of the pattern:

Image hosted by

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.

Image hosted by

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!