Sunday, December 26, 2010

Merry Christmas!

So, how was everyone's holidays? Right now, we're in Ottawa, enjoying time with Jamie's family. Andrew's been having a ball with his grandparents, and uncles & aunties. Since he's nice and occupied most of the time, I'm going to use this opportunity to update the blog a little. I've got a few FOs to talk about, so let's get to it!

Pattern: Mary Jane Booties by Sublime Yarns
Yarn: Sublime Extra Fine Merino DK
Needles: US4

I made these for my friend Becky's new daughter. These were pretty fun to make, and I really wanted to make some cute baby booties at some point in time, but those aren't really on the menu for Andrew. Again, the pattern wasn't very well written, but worked out pretty well in the end.

Next up is a little something for myself.
Pattern: Angee Socks from Sock Innovation by Cookie A.
Yarn: Koigu KPPPM
Needles: US2

I've been working on these for a while - just over a whole year! I finished the first pretty quickly, and then fell victim to the dreaded Second Sock Syndrome. This pair was finished on the ride up to Ottawa. Cookie A. always seems to have fun patterns, and Angee was no exception. I made a mistake and increased the heel every row instead of every other row, but it actually made for a really good fit. The socks are SO comfortable, and really reminded me why I love hand-knit socks.

I also got some crafty stuff from Jamie's siblings for Christmas, and I can't wait to make some of the projects!

This trip to Ottawa has been really productive from a crafter's point of view. For Boxing Day, we popped into a Michaels, and I managed to procure some new yarn.
This was a real steal for less than $8.99 a skein. There's over 450m in one of those suckers! I originally picked up 3; the sticker price was $12.99 and didn't feel like much of a savings. But then we went to pay, and I was surprised to see what they rung up. I even got 25% off the whole thing. So, I went back for 2 more skeins. I'm thinking of making a nice, cable sweater; still debating if the sweater should be for me, or for the hubby.

Hope everyone had a great holidays, and here's looking forward to an awesome 2011!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Our little aviator

Back in August, the three of us were in Picton attending Jamie's cousin's wedding. While there, I stumbled upon a wonderful little shop called the Rose Haven Farm Store. I could have easily spent a few hours in that store, but since we had a wedding to go to, I tried to keep my yarn ogling to a minimum. But that didn't mean I left empty handed. Knowing that winter would be hitting us before we could say 'in denial', it seemed like a good idea to make a hat for Andrew. We saw a cute little sample hat all knit up, and I decided that I'd make one for our little guy too. Fast forward to the end of November, and the hat was finally finished! I'm just slow at posting about stuff these days.

Pattern: Retro Flying Helmet by Sublime Yarns
Size: 6-12 months
Yarn: Sublime Extra Fine Merino DK (I forget the name of the colour now)
Needles: US6 for the stockinette, US4 for the seed stitch

This was a fun little knit. I kinda fiddled with the pattern a little though. The way it's written (and by the way, I have to say that I hated the way the pattern was written up - took a few read-through's in order to figure out just what they wanted me to do in certain sections), you knit each ear flap separately, knit the front flap, pile all the stitches from those sections on your needles and knit it all back and forth to make the body of the hat, then sew up the back seam. Well, I hate sewing seams, so I decided to knit the body of the hat in the round, and that seemed to work just fine. Seeing as I hate finishing, it bugged me a bit to have all sorts of ends to have to weave in, as well as sew the front flap down as it's purely decorative. Oh well.

I need to get over my dislike of finishing somehow - when it comes to knitting/crochet, it is truly the area where I am the least skilled. I've heard so many times that this is where your projects cross over from homemade to handmade, but I can't seem to make it over that hump. I often feel like everything I make still resides in the "homemade" category because of my lack of skill in finishing. Still, I know I've improved. Recently, I found the first pair of mittens I'd made; they were the Sacred & Profane mittens by Jillian Moreno. Oh boy, were those a mess in terms of finishing. You know that feeling you get where you stumble on an essay you wrote in, like, grade 6 that you thought was awesome at the time, but now realize had the same skill level as a monkey typing randomly at a typewriter? That's how I felt.

In any case, my model didn't seem to mind my lack of finishing skills.
The hat is still a touch too big for him, and the type of snowsuit we got him (which is so cute, I may have to post a photo of him in it here) already has a really nice hood built in. Still I may get him to use the hat a few times before the winter is through. It's not like he can say no yet anyway!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Every girl needs a little luxury

It's been a while since I blogged about an FO; knit-wise, I've been feeling really unproductive. I'm hoping to change that in the next couple months, but we'll see how things actually go. In any case, I do have one FO to talk about here, and two more saved up that I can talk about as soon as I get the photos off my camera.

Way, way back when, Adrienne and I took a trip to Romni Wool. By way back, I really do mean years ago. At that time, I bought myself a skein, just one because it was expensive, of Handmaiden 8-ply Cashmere. Lovely, lovely stuff. However, because it was only a single skein, there wasn't much I could make with it, and so it sat in my stash for a long time. I would go and admire it every so often, but it waited until I could figure out a project for it.

Fast forward to about 5 years later, and I finally came up with something! This project came about as I was finding the weather getting cooler as I would take my baby out for walks with me. On short jaunts around the neighbourhood, I often like to carry him in a front-pack carrier. As fall set in, I was finding my neck getting cold, yet unable to wear scarves as they would get in my baby's face as I carried him. My solution?

A small little neck warmer of my own design using a diagonal cluster lace stitch. Nothing fancy at all, but a nice little bit of luxury to keep me warm. I was a little short on the yardage, so I just added a little Noro Silk Garden to the end to finish things off; not the most elegant solution, I suppose, but it works for me. The alternating button colours worked so much better in my head, and I even liked the way it looked when I lay it out. But once they were sewn on and actually worn, I have to admit that I didn't really love it - I think it would look better if all the buttons were brown. Still, I started wearing it as the need for warmth was more pressing than my concern about button colour, and I soon became too lazy to change the buttons. I used it for a lot of autumn, but now that winter has set in, I'm back to my usual scarves.

On the same day that I finished that neck warmer, I also baked some goodies.
Cashmere and chocolate cupcakes - a winning combination. Well, unless you got the chocolate cupcakes all smeared in your cashmere, but I think you all know what I mean.

Up next: A little something for my little monkey.