I Feel Like a Thank You Speech is in Order

I feel like I should be making an Oscar style thank you speech at this point……

“I’d like to start by thanking all those fibre people out there both virtual and in person who oohed and awed for my project.  Your encouragement did not go unnoticed.  I’d also like to thank the Indy dyers whose hard work and dedication provided me with such beautiful yarns to use.  My BFF who taught me all those many years ago about moving yarn from on needle to another.  This is as much your victory as mine.  And last, but not least, my wonderful Hubby who didn’t even blink an eye when I asked him to steam block my squares for me and instead just pulled the iron out of the closet and said ‘no problem’  All of you helped me down this road and I am thankful to each and every one of you.”  Now cue music and applaud politely while I get dragged off the stage.

The whole point is that Vivid is finished!!!  It’s not just knitted, it’s seamed, and all the ends are woven in.  It is %100 done.

I actually loved knitting this project.  It seemed to have come in fits and starts, but knitting it was a pleasure.  One small note, I used The Magic Loop Method and a long tail cast on.  This meant each square had a little hole in the middle.

Untitled

Note the little holes

I spent a few minutes before seaming them up and closing each hole with the tail.  I could not wrap my brain around the cast on in the pattern and knew that this would be just fine.

Then came the long and daunting process of sewing 40 squares together into a blanket.  The first 16 went well.  I was almost enjoying it.  Somewhere around the 22nd square it became a labour of love, and by the 30 square it was just plain labour.  The last 3 were torture and I knew that if I stopped they would sit there for months taunting me everytime I saw them.  So I just kept sewing and there in the end, was a lovely little blanket.

I am thrilled that this is finished and I’m just a little bit warmer.

And here it is enjoying it’s glamour shots.

Untitled

Untitled

Untitled


YOP Update March 2nd, 2014

3rd_Yop_Banner_medium

I can’t believe that it’s already March and that means that there are only four months left this year’s Year of Projects.   If you were to look outside my window as I type this you may not actually believe it’s March as it is snowing again!  Earlier this week I flipped the Weather Network the bird as I was drinking my morning coffee, and I have even given up on the excuse that I am a knitter and therefore winter isn’t that bad since I have all this lovely knitted gear to wear when I venture outside.  It is that bad.  It sucks.  I hate it.  No amount of knitted clothing will make me like this winter.  It is never ending and I don’t have enough yarn in my stash to make me feel better about it.  And that last statement is a little laughable, but that’s where I am at.

But, on to what you actually came here for, fibre news.  I realize that there are only four months left of this year and I have finally decided to post a list.  I know this seems crazy, but it’s never too late.  (In slightly related news, I already have my list for next year in mind, but that will have to wait until July).  A few weeks ago I decided that this would be the year to end all WIPS.  I have been very quiet about this.  If you know me either personally or virtually, you know that this is my mantra…..control the WIPS.  But this year it feels different.  I really want it to happen.  And so far it’s been successful and a little challenging, but it’s working.

So, many months in, here is my list and the offences that landed them in the time out pile.    For the purposes of this list a WIP is anything cast on prior to 2014.

Barndom:  Cast on Feb 2013.  This patten is a pain in the arse.  The stitch markers are never quite where they should be and you have to rely on your ability to count.  Since returning to school I realized that I needed simple and this does not fit the bill.  There was no way I could wrap my brain around this pattern until the last few weeks.  So this is the top of my list to finish.  It may also be ending my love affair with Mr.  West, but that’s a whole other rant.

Crazed:  cast on July 2013.  Sometimes you just need a hard copy of a pattern.  I only had digital and it just wasn’t working.  Have a hard copy now.  Expecting great things from this pattern.

September Fingerless Gloves: Cast on Oct 2013.  Fell victim to “too many projects on the needles”.  Nothing else.  Just that.

Nutkin: Cast on March 2013.  Again, too many projects on the needles victim.

Fiddle Head Mittens: Cast on Feb 2011.  Did not have the skills to make these.  They were a serious struggle.  have found the love for them and enjoy knitting them.

Stretch Goal – if I can get to it before July it would be awesome.  Otherwise first on the next list.

Elfe: Cast on Nov 2013.  Saw a women at my LYS wearing one.  Fell in love hard.  Had what I needed in my stash.  Am not really certain why I haven’t finished it.

That will still leave six WIPs on the needles, but this list will be certainly put me on the right track to only having current projects on the needles and will pave the way for some of the larger projects I hope to accomplish with the next YOP list.

Hope everyone else had a great fibre filled week.

 


Fibre & Paper – Jan 22nd

bambu-simple-abstract-wallpaper-900x1440

The Fibre

I feel like all I am writing about these days are the stars for the Holiday Garlands, or the squares for my Vivid Blanket.  Assuming that these two projects end before my patience for them does, they will hopefully be off the needles very very soon (Yesterday, preferably).  Then I can move onto something new.  Mainly turning these two rather unassuming skeins of Cascade into a linen stitch scarf for my BIL.

Untitled

Normally this would not be a colour combo I would pick for almost anyone I know, but my BIL loves orange.  I was concerned that orange and black would be way to Halloweeny for a scarf, so instead, with the help of one of my friends I picked this combo.  I am relatively certain the results are going to be lovely and would really like to cast it on.

The Paper

I had the wonderful pleasure of starting off the 2014 reading year with this  brilliant book.  I admit that being a fan of Gaiman may cause me to be a little  biased, however  I do not think that can detract from what a wonderful read this is.  Gaiman has once again combined being a wonderful writer with being an even better storyteller and has created a world in this book that  engages and engulfs the reader.  A true fairytale for adults, this is a fast and enjoyable read (in fact, my only complaint is that it isn’t longer), filled with memorable characters and a plot that keeps you hooked until the very last  word.  Additionally, the ending is outstanding.  Fabulous from start to finish.  I highly recommend  finding a copy of this book and  curling up under a blanket.  It will be time well spent.

For more great Wednesday stuff check out WIP Wednesday and the Yarn Along.


YOP Update Jan 19th, 2014

3rd_Yop_Banner_medium

I have to admit it has been a super productive couple in weeks in my fibre world and really I couldn’t be happier.  I finally feel like I am reaching some sort of balance in my knitting life again (though I think some people might use the word obsession instead of balance).  But the point is there has been progress in the last two weeks and I am very happy about it.

Two sets of garlands have been completed!!!!

Untitled

Untitled

And that means that two Christmas gifts are finished. The third has been cast on and with any luck the stars will be finished by the weekend. I have no illusions about finishing the whole things this week. But if the stars are finished I will consider it a victory.

My SIL’s 2013 Christmas socks are finished and though they were still on the needles until after Christmas Day, we haven’t seen her yet as she and her husband were away over the holidays. Since we haven’t exchanged our gifts yet, I do not consider the socks late as they were finished prior to getting together and I will not be panicking the night before we see them..

Untitled

Vivid is coming along at record break neck speed. I have finished six squares in the last two weeks and that means that there are only six squares left to complete. Then I have to put the whole thing together, but I’m willing to take this one step at a time.

Untitled

And finally the mittens. I’ve almost made it to the last colour change on the first mitt. It’s not an updated photo, but they are still getting love.

Untitled

So overall, I have nothing to complain about. There’s been fibre and a lot of it. Now somehow this week I need to find some time with my spinning wheel and all will be right with the world.

I hope everyone else had a lovely fibre filled week.


Sometimes the Oddest Things Happen

Sunday mornings are wonderful  in my flat.  (Actually the whole of Sunday is usually pretty darn good).  We almost never have to set an alarm.  We wake up when we wake up and we lounge around in bed reading, or snuggling, and chatting, and generally dragging out the morning for as long as we can before the overwhelming need for food and coffee kicks in and forces us into the kitchen.  Actually, my husband heads into the kitchen and I curl up on the sofa and knit while he brings me coffee and breakfast.  It works well.  He enjoys cooking breakfast, which I really don’t enjoy doing at all and I need a little longer to have my brain working well enough be considered active.  We both love Sundays.

This past Sunday while we were snuggled up and debating if the need for coffee had reached the point of forcing us out from under our blankets, I was thinking about what project I would pick up and trying to tackle and realized that NOTHING in my WIP basket was holding any real interest for me at that moment.  When you consider how many WIPS I have, this makes no sense.  I decided at that point that clearly the time had come for caffeine and we headed out to the living room.

I sat myself down and then the strangest thing happened.  Instead of reaching into the basket under the coffee table where pretty much all of my WIPS live, in a generally futile attempt at keeping my knitting from overtaking every corner of the flat, I reached into the other basket.  The one that holds my knitting accessories, socks that need to be darned, two projects that need to be frogged and the yarn reclaimed, and two projects that have clearly reached Hibernation status and earned a good long time in the naughty knitting basket.   I reached into that basket and woke up a project from an almost three year slumber.

Then I stared at it for a few seconds before pulling it out of the project bag, and the realization that this was what I wanted to be knitting sunk in.  I will admit, at that moment I was slightly befuddled by this turn of events.   I remembered why it got tossed aside in the first place.  I was at the thumb hole.  The dreaded terrible thumb hole that had caused my more experienced knitter friends to complain heartily, and a few newer knitters to call me asking me to explain how to make the thumb hole to them, and me not being able to answer them because three years ago I had no clue how to make this happen.  That thumb hole.  It’s famous.  (Just to point out, when the kits first came out back in 2011, we all bought them.  I mean every knitter in the city bought one.  It was crazy.)  And that’s where I was in the pattern.

About this time my cup of  coffee had magically appeared in front of me.  (Okay fine – I know it didn’t magically appear.  But any cup of morning coffee that appears in front of me without me having to go and retrieve it myself is downright magical.)  And with the coffee cup in one hand and the chart in the other and the yarn and needles in my lap, I took that ever important first sip of my coffee and I thought, is that it?  Really? By the second mouthful a few moments later I knew that I had this pattern sorted out and that this really was what I wanted to be knitting.  And so I did.  I started knitting and even though I am no where close to being finished yet, I’ve made more progress on it in two days than in the last three years.  In fact even as I am typing here, I sort of wish I was over there knitting.

The pattern is FiddleHead Mittens and the colours are a kit from Tanis Fibre Arts.  I am a little concerned about my tension, but have been reminded to twist my yarn behind the stitches every so often and I am hoping that will help.  The outer shells will also have a lovely warm bath before adding the liners and I am hoping that in the end, they will be relatively flat.  And I am really excited to be working on these again and soon there may be a pair of mitts.

Untitled


Seeing Stars

Untitled

Untitled

Untitled

Untitled

Untitled

Pattern:  Luxury Holiday Garland

Yarn: Sock Yarn scraps

Needle: 3.25 mm

Pro tip:

  • Ironing the stars makes all the difference in the world.  It’s okay if they look a little wonky when they are first finished.  The iron makes it all better.
  • Using i-cord instead of a crochet chain.  It works fine.

Hibernation

For the last few weeks most of Canada had been in a little bit of a deep freeze.  (Okay to be honest most of North America has been in a deep freeze).  As I type this a lot of people reading it will really understand what I mean.  It’s been cold, really truly, bone chilling cold.  It’s the kind of cold that makes your car not work and have to be left in a parking lot at work over night so that it can warm up enough in the sun to move.  It’s the kind of cold that makes you wonder if a hat, scarf, mitts, socks, and sweater (in addition to everything else that you have on) is really enough knit wear for a five minute walk to the corner store.  It’s the kind of cold that makes you realize that as you are standing on your balcony for 30 seconds to assess the temperature and watching the ice crystals form in your coffee and that all the squirrels in the courtyard have donned tiny little knitted toques and scarves and that they are chasing the ever elusive and recently believed extinct Urban Penguin.  (Just for the record we all know that they are not penguins.  They are raccoons wearing thrift store sweaters in an attempt to stay warm.  It just happens that the raccoons only wear black and white sweaters.  I wonder if they are colour blind).  (Ed. Note:  The Urban Penguin is, in fact, a raccoon in clothing.  The black and white theme is not because they are colour blind, it is because the other animals never invite raccoons to formal dress balls.  Not that I can blame the other animals, because a raccoon at a formal event is a recipe for scandal. But I don’t blame the raccoons either.  Take any opportunity you can get to wear formal wear.  Tiny, well-insulated formal wear.  Tuxedo snowsuits!)

And I suspect that this “I will never be warm again weather” is what is causing my two blanket WIPS to be getting so much love lately.

First up is Vivid.  I’m still chugging along on this and the stack of squares has grown considerably.  In fact I am well over the half way point!  I’m really looking forward to having this finished.  Not because I am tired of knitting it, I just want to be able to add another blanket to the pile of blankets on the sofa that the Hubby and I currently hide under.

Untitled

Untitled

The other is the Epic Blanket of Insanity or the Project That Will Always be There (Ed. Note:  In the spirit of the term WIP, I refer to the EBI as TWE, or The Work Eternal).  There is zero chance that this will be finished before the end of the winter.  But knitting this is like knitting hope in yarn form.  I knit this knowing that when it is finally finished, sometime around my retirement years, (that’s probably at least 20 years from now – for once I’m setting realistic goals for my knitting), it will give me and the Hubby warmth and protection from the cold and something else to snuggle under since we fully intend to still be snuggly 20 years from now.

Untitled
(Further, and final, Ed. Note: The Editor regrets any typos he may have missed.  I’ve only been inside for half an hour, my glasses still haven’t unfogged.)

I hope that the rest of your are warm and safe and happy.  I have my knitting and whiskey to get me through this long, cold, winter.


Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 256 other followers