Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Long time no post!

Sorry for the lack of posting! Things have been pretty busy, and I have to admit that knitting has kinda fallen to the wayside. I'm still working on a baby blanket for a friend, but I really don't think it'll be ready by the time she has her baby. Oh well. We'll keep plugging away at it. Might take pictures of it someday.

However, this post is about something else completely. As a reward to myself for finishing up a pretty major (non-knitting) project, I went to Lettuce Knit for some goodies.
First up, some lovely sock yarn.
Koigu is always a crowd-pleaser.
I really liked the sparkly bits in this Dream in Color Starry.
And lastly, some lovely Dream in Color Classy.

The sock yarn is actually going to be for socks. The Classy is going to be for something else, which I'll likely write about soon.

Remember way back when I ranted about losing some socks and patterns? Well, almost 2 years after losing it, guess what I found?
Tah dah! The pattern that I couldn't find no matter where I looked! Haha! Funny how things pop out of the wood work!

Lastly, and this will probably only interest Adrienne, but I'm gonna write about it anyway. Did any of you happen to notice the unfamiliar piece of furniture that I've been photographing all my new stash on? It's something that arrived at our house just last month after a lot of heel dragging on my part.
Yup, the Chang family piano has now arrived at the Chang-Wells home. I was really excited about it, and have actually played it a few times since it's gotten here. Jamie tells me that it's possible to hear it a bit on the outside, so I'm a little self conscious about playing now. I'm so out of practice that I actually want to start out by playing scales and exercises again, and that'll probably be really boring for other people to listen to. Oh well.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

It's fat! It's thin! It's still the same piece of yarn!

Last Sunday, I headed over to Lettuce Knit for my first class of Learn to Drop Spindle, taught by the ever funny and charming Denny McMillan. I had a great time playing with the lovely fiber that came in our little kit - so soft and cozy! Granted, it was probably one of the hottest days we've had here in Toronto for a long time, but it was still grand.

This is the lovely Ashford top-whorl spindle that came in our kit. Denny showed us how to use it as a bottom-whorl one, just so we'd have played with it both ways. As you can probably tell from this photo, the thickness of my yarn isn't exactly consistent yet. But you know what they say - practice makes perfect!

Here's a better look at how uneven my yarn is:

I haven't quite got the hang of drafting and spinning at the same time just yet; it really is kinda like patting your head and rubbing your tummy. I'm quite proficient at doing the head/tummy thing, but somehow I can't quite get the hang of draft/spin just yet. I'm wondering just how much of a crime would it be to pre-draft everything that I want to spin with!

Monday, July 20, 2009

A few things

With a few babies just entering the world, I managed to polish off a couple things.

There's the finished Helena for Kim's baby. I think in the future, I might make i-cord ties instead of the flat ones they have in the pattern.

And with Janice's new baby boy, I made a vest. She mentioned to me that vests were really easy to put on Anderson, so I thought I'd make one for Carter.
This is the Owl Baby Vest. I had a fun time knitting this one, but i have to say that the instructions for this needed some interpretation. But it's still a pretty fun little knit.

I'm pretty happy with the way these turned out. Hope the kids they're destined for enjoy them too.

Sunday, July 05, 2009

A little stash enhancement

I went to Lettuce Knit to sign up for a class the other day - Learn to Drop Spindle! Yay! It looks like fun, and I've always been curious about making my own yarn, so I figure why not!

Of course, at trip to the yarn store would not be complete with out a few purchases.
A little mediumweight Socks that Rock for the Milkweed shawl. I've started this already and am really loving it already. I missed lace knitting.

I also got a pattern to make a shrug out of Dream In Color yarn.
Remember way back when I wanted to make Talia, and was sabotaged by the cats? Well, I don't think I can really return to that project thanks to the bad mojo. So, I got this new pattern; I'll probably frog the partially done Talia in a few weeks or so.

The last thing I got was totally spur of the moment. Lettuce Knit was having a 50% off Lexie Barnes sale. In a moment of weakness, I got myself this.
A Lady B in Utopia. It's too big for me to use as a day to day bag, but I really like it for all sorts of other reasons. With the new house, I've got all sorts of rooms where I can knit, so I actually use it to haul all my knitting gear around - from the garden, to the sunroom, to the couch by the TV, to upstairs. The bag holds pretty much all the knitting and crochet needles that I own, and a whole lotta yarn for whatever project I feel like working on at the moment. I can see this bag being great for drives to Ottawa. Only downside is that the Lady B is so nice and roomy that the temptation to cram it full is always there, which leads to a really heavy bag. I tried it out as my day-to-day bag once, and really did cram it full. My arms and shoulders weren't happy with me afterward.

I'll have some photos of my Milkweed in progress when I get a bit further along!

Monday, June 29, 2009

Yes, that's exactly what I meant it to be...


Meet Baldassare the Blood Drop. Working at a hospital, I thought it would be quite fitting to crochet up a little toy like this. Isn't he cute?

And now, the real story. I didn't actually plan to have a drop of blood for a toy. It was originally supposed to be a toy mouse.
Starting to get the picture? But since I'm really new to this crochet game, I'm still not good at gauging how much yarn I need to finish a project. So, before I could get the ears and tail done, here's how much yarn I had left.
Not exactly enough to make the rest of the appendages on Mr. Mouse. But since I already put the eyes on, I didn't want to waste the toy (such as it is).

And so, I'm sticking to the story that I always planned to make it a drop of blood, and don't all of you think otherwise (haha!).

Saturday, June 27, 2009


A few months ago, Woolgirl was having a sale on a whole bunch of different worsted weight yarns. So I bought some Madelinetosh Tosh Worsted in the colourway "Seaglass":

Madelinetosh Tosh Worsted Seaglass B_02

I knew it was going to be a bright, vibrant green from the photo on the website, but somehow I wasn't expecting quite this degree of electric neon-ness. It's in the process of being turned into this:

Green Gable pattern & yarn

Will I be able to pull this colour off? Am I carrying my love of green too far? Will it be a fun awesome sweater or will I end up blinding passers-by? Stay tuned! =)

P.S. I totally fell off the yarn diet wagon. Some Calmer at >50% off was calling my name. I couldn't not do it!

Saturday, May 30, 2009

More Cracksilk Haze

Not too long ago, I bought some yarn. And some beads.

Trinket yarn & beads

Kidsilk Haze is rapidly becoming one of my favourite yarns (that, plus Silk Garden, plus Koigu KPPPM, plus Calmer. Hi, I'm a yarn snob). It's airy and light, yet oh-so-warm during those frigid winter months. I'm using this yarn to knit Trinket (Rav link), a scarf that I've coveted ever since the pattern came out years and years ago.

Trinket progress_01

I'm into the second ball of yarn now (there are 3), and the scarf is around 3 feet long. I think I want the main part of the scarf to be at least 5 or 6 feet long, and then there's the knitted ruffle where all the hundreds of beads are attached (600 or so? I hope I have enough beads. Maybe I should buy another tube just in case. Or use fewer beads. 600 seems like an awful lot to hang on the end of such a light scarf).

Anyway, it will probably be several months before this one gets finished (by this fall/winter though, definitely!). It's almost June, which means that it's probably about time to start thinking about Christmas presents. =)

Friday, May 22, 2009

I can see why these things are addictive

Say hello to my new buddy. He has no name was of yet, but I'm still thinking of one. I suppose one could argue that this little octopus could be female, but I get the distinct feeling that it's male.

Here he is gazing wistfully out the little window by my front door.

I embroidered his eyes on, but decided that next time I'm going to use safety eyes instead. It was a pain to do the embroidery.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Lorna's Laces Sale (again)

Remember last year's Lorna's Laces tour and sale? It's hard to believe that it happened over a year ago, especially since I haven't touched the yarn that I bought that morning! Nevertheless, that doesn't mean that I shouldn't have gone out and bought MORE yarn this year, right? =)

Last year I was #40 in line, so this year I was determined to be one of the first 20 into the yarn room (oh, the things we do for yarn). I'm not a morning person at all, but having to get into work at 7 am some mornings recently really served me well, because I made it over there just before 8. I was #15, so there are 14 people who are crazier than I am. =)

I've been on a yarn diet since April 1, but I knew that I'd be going to this sale before that so this is the one exception until at least the end of June. Maybe that's why I went way over budget!

Lornas Laces Sale_01

That's 7 skeins of Green Line DK in a one-of-a-kind colourway, 4 skeins of Lion and Lamb in Pine, and Shepherd Sock in Montrose and another one-of-a-kind (it reminds me of Annie Modesitt's Roadside Gerry). I was really hoping to get some Green Line DK today, so I'm quite happy about that. The Lion and Lamb is a bit of a luxury, and I have no idea what I'm going to do with it, but it's a yarn that I've always loved from afar.

Lornas Laces Sale_03

I'm also seriously loving the Montrose colourway.

Lornas Laces Shepherd Sock Montrose_02

And now my stash has officially reached ridiculous proportions, and I may need to extend the yarn diet beyond the end of June.

Thursday, April 30, 2009

February Lady Sweater

Oh, hello. I guess I haven't posted here in a little while (hangs head in shame). There are a couple of reasons (excuses), the first being that I haven't really been knitting much in the past few months, and the second is that my computer was dying a slow death such that tasks like uploading photos was too much for him and made him heat up and have his fan go into overdrive.

Alas, dear Melvin is now no more, and I've been slowly setting up a new machine (Melvin II), so I thought I'd finally post photos of a sweater that I've had finished since January.

This is the February Lady Sweater (Ravelry link) that everyone and their mother has been knitting, it's really an easy knit and makes a garment that looks flattering on just about everyone.

February Lady Sweater_01

The buttons came from Bettiegee's vast button collection, I think it looks really good with the garter stitch (please excuse my unhealthy-looking hair in the corner there).

February Lady Sweater_04

The yarn is Beaverslide worsted, which people have raved about with good reason. It's a wonderful yarn to knit with, and I am tempted to buy several more sweaters' worth to stash away. Not that I need more stash (really, I don't). But we need to support businesses we love in these hard economic times, right? =)

I've worn this sweater several times now, which makes it the 3rd sweater I've knit that I actually wear out in public. I think I'm slowly getting better at this whole "making garments" thing.

I also knit a good chunk (the lace parts) of a second Lady Sweater for Bettiegee of the buttons, using Lorna's Laces Green or worsted, I can't remember. However I neglected to take any photos, so just imagine a second, pink version of the same sweater. =) The Lorna's yarn was really nice to work with, maybe I'll be able to snag some for myself at this year's Lorna's Laces tour and sale.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Knitting on a deadline

Went to Ottawa for Kim's baby shower, and still wasn't done the second sweater that I wanted to give her. I'm usually pretty good at knitting for a deadline, but with the whole house thing, I've been a little preoccupied. I was close enough though that I thought I could finish on the drive up. This is as far as I got.

I think I would've finished had I not forgotten my dpns at home. And so, I presented the almost finished sweater to her, and then took it back with me so I could finish the ties before giving it back to her. So close, yet so far. Oh well. It's still a pretty sweet little sweater, and since I made the 12mo size, I'll see her again before the baby fits into it. I highly recommend Helena as a pattern, and Swish superwash as a yarn - this was a really enjoyable knit.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

It's supposed to be spring

Even though spring has officially arrived, the weather here hasn't exactly reflected that. I'm getting good use out of my reliable Clapotis and my new Fiddleheads. But something was still missing. A nice hat. Much to my dismay, I seem to have lost the Koolhaas hat that I made - it probably got tucked away in our massive clean up of the place when we were trying to sell it. So, what to do?

Say hello to the Tempest Beret, from the Winter/Spring Knit Scene. It was a really fun knit. I made it from the Malabrigo that Adrienne sent to me way back. I was originally hesitant to knit a beret because I was afraid that my ears would be cold, but this hat covers my ears nicely. It also takes the award for most fun blocking. You put it around a big plate! How fun is that?! Uh...okay...maybe I'm the only one who finds it fun (haha!).

Also got a package from Knit Picks today containing yarn that will be fashioned into more baby items. I'll post about those when I've actually started them. I just got some superwash merino since I figure new moms and dads don't have the time to hand wash.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

I still dislike finishing and sewing in ends

Another finished object! Yay!
It's the Baby Yours that I started a while ago, and now that I know someone who's having a girl, I decided to hurry up and finish it. This involved more sewing together than I usually like. I'm not too sure if I'd knit it again without trying to figure out how to take away some of the seaming.

Here's a photo that shows the cables better, but the colour is totally off. I'm a bit too lazy to adjust the levels in Photoshop. Just imagine this in the colours of the first photo. Haha!

I still need to block this, but on the whole I guess it's okay. I made some boo-boo's on it, but I think I managed to hide them. Haha!!

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

I win!

Remember how Jamie said that I wouldn't get the mittens done before winter was over? Well, he added a few more stipulations to that statement. He said that in order for me to prove him wrong, I had to either finish the Fiddleheads before March 21, or before the last day of sub-zero temperatures, which ever came first.

Annoyed with his increasing number of stipulations, I decided to silence all doubt by finishing the mitts.

The alpaca lining is lovely, and the next time I see Denny at Lettuce Knit I will have to thank her for her suggestion. It really is like a little bit of luxury next to my skin. I wore them today to work, and my hands were the warmest they'd been in a while.

Now I just need to figure out how to shove the bottoms of the mittens into my coat sleeves while wearing said mittens. If I could do that, I'd be all set. Either that, or learn to do up zippers while wearing mitts.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Halfway there

Just a little update on the progress of my Fiddleheads.
The cat seems to give it his seal of approval.

As I mentioned before, I decided to knit the second using magic loop instead of dpns. I hadn't really anticipated that the simple act of eliminating the need to change between needles would significantly speed up my knitting. But it did. And so...

I took that picture before blocking. They are currently drying after a good soak, and I think most of the funny bumps and curls are pretty much gone. Now, on to the lining!

I am determined to prove Jamie wrong, and finish them before the weather gets warm.

Sunday, February 08, 2009

Fledgling Fiddleheads

I've been working on my new Fiddlehead Mittens in the hopes of finishing them before the winter is over. It's been going faster than I thought. However, I'm getting the feeling that I'm not really very good at picking colours. Here's why.

While I love the look of the dark purple against the grey-ish brown, I'm not so sure about that lavender. Granted, the photo makes it look lighter than it reality. Looking at it sitting next to my laptop, I am able to see the swirly motif quite nicely, so I guess it's not too bad.

I was considering frogging the lavender part and just stick with just the dark purple and grey-brown, but as I write this post and keep looking at the mitten itself, I think I'm going to keep plugging away at it. For the second mitten, I'm considering using magic loop; not totally sure yet though.

Monday, February 02, 2009


Yay! I've finished something! After a long, long time, I finally finished my toe socks! And this marks the last set of socks I will make on size 0 needles. Adrienne, I'm sending those needles your way. You're okay with bamboo, right?

With the finishing of something, it heralds the desire to start something new. Even though I'm not really suppose to be enhancing my stash right now, I really wanted to start on some new mittens. My current mittens are getting kinda old, and the thrums inside are thinning out and getting matted down, and hence not very warm any more. And so...
Starting from the left are three skeins of Cascade 220, which are slated to become Fiddlehead Mittens. The two skeins of alpaca are going to be the lining for the Fiddleheads. The last two skeins are just some pretty, pretty Koigu that I just wanted - they'll probably become socks. I also got the latest issue of Knitscene.

Why did I feel that it was suddenly okay to buy more yarn? Jamie confessed to me that he bought two books even though we no longer have any bookshelves :)

Saturday, January 31, 2009


Oops, I guess I forgot to continue posting. I have 2 sweaters and a pair of socks to post about! I also have a sweater-in-progress that I'm knitting for someone else, and a new scarf that I've started. Work's gotten busy though, so I haven't actually picked up my knitting in a couple of weeks.

I remember buying the yarn for Salina from Rowan Vintage Style way back in 2004 (too lazy to look up the actual post), so I figured that I should probably get to knitting this thing already. I started it sometime in Spring 2008, and had all the pieces finished and blocked by July:

Salina pieces_03

I seamed it up and tried it on, and discovered to my dismay that the sleeves were actually too long. Well, too long to be 3/4 length sleeves, which is what I was going for, but also too short to be full-length sleeves. It looked pretty stupid.

Salina sleeve too long_01

I let the sweater languish for several months (August-November), then around mid-November I decided that I had to do something about the sleeve issue. So some surgery was called for.

Step 1: Determine optimal sleeve length. See how there's at least 3 inches of extra stockinette in there? Duh.

Salina sleeve fix_01

Step 2: Put stitches on dpns, unravel sleeve seam. It's a good thing I hadn't woven in any ends yet.

Salina sleeve fix_02

Step 3: Cut yarn (!!), unravel back to marked stitches. Fingers crossed that all the stitches on the dpns were actually from the same row of knitting.

Salina sleeve fix_03

Step 4: Join new yarn, reknit the cuff in the round. And voila, a sweater that I'd actually wear out in public!

Salina finished_04

There are 4 buttonholes, but I only used 3 buttons. When I wear it, I generally only have 2 buttons buttoned anyway.

Salina buttons_02

This was a fun and pretty successful knit overall, the only thing I don't love about it is the fact that the collar doesn't sit down properly in the back. It's not wide enough, so it keeps flipping up. I'll have to try to block it down, or something. Other than that, all is good.

The pattern is Salina from Rowan Vintage Style, the yarn is Rowan Felted Tweed in the Crush colourway (Rav link). I had to go down to US3 and US1 needles to get gauge (recommended needles are US5), which actually wasn't quite as painful as it sounds. I love this yarn, it's tweedy and soft and I haven't noticed any pilling yet. I will definitely be using it again.

Thursday, January 01, 2009


Happy New Year! I have a bunch of things to post about. I'll start with my sister's Christmas present, these awesome Fiddlehead mittens (Rav link).

Fiddlehead Mittens_08

I bought the yarn for these (Reynolds Whiskey, it's a gorgeous yarn and I definitely want to use it again for a sweater someday) way back in the spring, during WEBS' big anniversary sale. I ended up knitting 4 mittens, because I wanted a pair for myself too!

Fiddlehead Mittens_03

The lining is knit out of Kidsilk Night/Spray, with two strands held together. The mohair in the Kidsilk plus the stranded wool means that these mittens should serve to keep our hands warm(ish) during the chilly Montreal/Chicago winters.

Fiddlehead Mittens_07

I'm not quite finished with my own pair yet, but my goal is to finish knitting the linings in the next week or two, because it sure is getting cold out there!