Monthly Archives: September 2011

Creative Friday – An Almost Finished Sock

Knitting for me is as organic experience.  Not in the sense that I just make it up as I go, (though that does sometimes happen and the results can be interesting), but in the sense that I let my knitting tell me when it wants to be knit.  I can and will knit under a deadline.  But I don’t enjoy it as much and that’s when I start to go a little mad and the evil knitting fairy that lives in my head tells me that no one ever needs knitted goods from me again.  EVER.  I am way happier when me knitting tells me when it wants to be knit and I listen.

This week it was my Fishbone Gansey socks.  I tried to finish Mabel the Minion the socks whimpered.  I attempted to work on the gargoyle, the socks followed be around poking me gently in the bottom of the foot.

Okay sock, you're getting between me and my coffee. This is very dangerous for both of us!

I ripped out and started the Strangling Vines scarf a second time and the socks started screaming loud enough that I thought my husband might be able to hear them.  So I gave in and started to work on them.

I am both disappointed that they are not finished and pleased with how far they came this week.  The heel has been turned and the gusset picked up.  Just the foot and toe are left to knit.  Aside from realizing that I had started inadvertently doing my decreases 6 stitches too early because I can’t count, things have been going well.  Soon these will stop screaming and be on my feet.  Which is good because Charee and My Vampire Boyfriend are fighting for dominance in my head and there is just not enough room in my brain for three pairs of socks fighting for knitting time supremacy.  There are too many other things to compete with and at some point I really need to do laundry and consider washing out some coffee cups before we end up having to drink directly from the pot.  And really, how am I suppose to knit anything without coffee?

For more great Friday posts check out Fibres Arts Friday, Creative Friday, and Fibre’s on Friday.


Holiday Knitting Survival Tip #3

Tip #3; T.V. & Movie Marathons Can Be a Life Saver

I don’t care how much you love to engage in your fibre art of choice, or how much you love the person you’re knitting for.  At some point during the whole holiday knitting process you will hate something that you are working on.  But you will realize that the person you are knitting it for will love it.  Or you don’t have a back-up plan.  Or that the thought of frogging back all that work, even though you may hate it, is considering making you go to the liquor store at 10 a.m. to buy a bottle of Jack Daniels.  (I suppose drinking a bottle of JD at 10 a.m. would cause you significant pain of a very different sort later in the day.)  I promise that you will, or you already have, disliked a gift you are knitting that much.  (No, I have not drunk a bottle of JD at 10 a.m.  I have never drunk a whole bottle of J.D.  I don’t think my stomach would like that too much and I know my head wouldn’t.  Have you ever tried knitting with a brutal hangover?) Anyway, leaving the things I may or may not have done behind, before I get myself in more trouble,  let’s move onto the tip of the week, shall we.

T.V. and movie marathons will be your life saver.  Whatever it is that you like to watch will distract you enough during those dark knitting times that you may in fact be able to finish whatever it is that you are working on.  What you choose  to watch is up to you.  However,  I suggest watching something that you have already seen, and staying away from subtitles.  The point here is to watch something that will distract you without fully engaging you, and will allow you to get through the “boring stuff” that you are knitting, without tearing at your hair, bursting into tears, or tossing the knitting into the oven and turning it on just to see if it will burn.  Depending on my mood I have had knitting marathons that include everything from Stardust and Dirty Dancing to The Walking Dead and The Crazies.  Buffy, Firefly, Generation Kill, Dr. Who, and Dead Like Me have all served me well, and the second season of Fringe is the only reason my Lady Eleanor ever saw the light of day.  What I’m really trying to say is find something you love watching, be it mushy romance or slasher flicks, load up, and knit away.  Just try to remember to get up and walk around from time to time.  Numb bum really is no fun.

The Fine Print
The tips revealed in this blog are for entertainment value only, and do not represent the views or opinions of the blogger, the blog host, or indeed of any known living being.  Certainly not any sane ones.  The use of these tips indicates your acceptance that there is no warranty, express or implied, that following these tips will have any effect whatsoever on your level of holiday stress.  This will all end in tears.   

They’re Coming!!

I woke up to a very sad minion this morning who was clearly longing for companionship


First, we have to get the raw materials.

Maytal tried to fix the problem himself, but he couldn’t quite figure it out.


I'm so close!

So he agreed to sit quietly and let me work


It's like a cute, fuzzy version of a mad scientist's lab!

Meet Mabel. (Maximiliano has a head, but still no stuffing. He’s coming soon.)


Apparently Maytal does not approve of the blogging and wants me to get back to the knitting. He’s really very demanding.


You'd never guess to look at him, but he really is a stern taskmaster.

These need to come with a warning label. “One is not enough. Expect multiples.”

You can see more of Maytal’s Adventures here.

Pattern: Minions by Heather Sebastian

For more great WIPs be sure to check out Tami’s Blog

Temptation Tuesday or Doesn’t She Ever Sit Still

One of my knitting friends  pointed out that I keep being tempting by crazy projects and that none of them are on my Year of Projects list.  She has a valid point.  So this week I thought, just for giggles, I’d be tempted by something I already own and that’s already on my YOP List.

Way back in the middle of the frigid winter a little band of knitters drove up to Haliburton to visit our friend and indie dyer Kim a.k.a IndigoDragonFly.  If you’ve never been around  an Indiedyer, and this probably comes no surprise, there is temptation everywhere.  You can’t turn around without seeing something that you love and really must have.  And then because Kim is smart and because she knows that all her friends are vultures she brought giant buckets of yarn to the cottage where we were all staying so we could all shop. (She still talks about being amused by waking up in the morning and realizing that we had all made little piles of yarn all over the “shop” and that we each knew where our stuff was and exactly what was in each pile.)  While I was digging through the yarn I found this.

Super soft and squishy. Named after a FireFly/Serenity character

And I fell in love with it. But I had already acquired a metric  ton  perfectly reasonable pile of yarn and there was only one of these and another knitter wanted it.   Kim pointed out that she could dye two skeins for me and have then ready for pick up at the Knitters Frolic in April.  The project I wanted it for required two skeins and this seemed perfectly reasonable so I agreed to wait until April and went home.  And then I completely forgot about that particular yarn and what I wanted it for.

So April rolled around and in my box from Kim was this yarn.  And because she had dyed it for me I bought it anyway without  knowing what the hell I had actually wanted to do with it.  I asked my BFF, who could remember me ordering it, but also had no idea why.  I asked my husband if he knew why I ordered it and he looked at me very straight-faced and replied “because it’s pretty and you’re weak-willed around pretty yarn?”  Um, yes.  But not really the answer I was looking for.  So there it sat.  Two balls of beautiful yarn with no plan.  I thought about asking Kim but I knew the mocking would be fairly intolerable so I opted not to go that route.

Well, it’s too pretty to sit in my stash for a long time and that’s when my BFF pointed out that she also had two skeins of yarn in the same base but a different colour for a Roam Cardigan.  And then the light went on.  That’s what it wants to be.  It may not be what I bought it for, but since it’s now the end of September and I still don’t know why I ordered it, that’s what it’s going to become.  It’s even been added to my YOP list.

So what’s the moral you ask? I’m not %100 sure but I think it has something to do with occasionally giving in when you otherwise wouldn’t because it will most likely have a happy ending.  Now I just have to resist the ever stronger urge to cast it on because I know that means the Christmas knitting will suffer.  But the yarn keeps getting harder to ignore as it keeps yelling louder every time I’m at home and now I’ve had to take it out of the stash to photograph it. And as has been previously stated:  It’s very pretty yarn and I’m very weak-willed.

Celebrating Autumn: or It’s Really Perfect Knitting Weather

I love Autumn.  The air becomes a little nippy in the morning and you have to think about grabbing one of your shawls or sweaters before racing out the door.  You need to trade in the open-toed sandals for cozy handknit socks and shoes.  It’s the time of year when the nights get cooler and sleeping gets easier.

And then there’s all the colours.  The autumn colours are stunning.  I will never grow tired of the leaves turning bright red and orange.  I could walk for hours through the ravines and valleys and find inspiration in almost everything I see.

I also think it’s the perfect time of year for knitters.  The weather causes thoughts of blankets and cardigans and warm fuzzy socks.  It becomes reasonable to knit something other than  a dishcloth or a sock because the idea of having something sitting on your lap while you knit doesn’t mean that you will overheat or become dehydrated due to the amount of sweat pouring off your body and into your wool.  And let’s face it, wet soggy wool is not really the best smelling thing, especially when it’s sitting in your lap.  I won’t tell you what my husband says about the smell, but he loves me enough to tolerate it and not complain too much.  (He knows how to behave if he wants the knitted goods to keep coming his way.)

This year autumn came in with a vengeance.  It was cold and raining.  It started raining at 11:30 in the morning and by 2 pm I was pretty sure that I should be trying to figure out how to build a kayak just so I could get home.  I did at one point realize that if I was at home I could just knit a cardigan and then I’d be warm.  (Because I, like very other cold knitter, believe that I can knit a cardigan at a moments notice instead of getting one out of the closet.)

But autumn is here and it seems like a good excuse to host a giveway.  Up for grabs is one skein of Sheep Shop Yarn Company’s Sheep Number Three.  It’s a wool/silk blend and 325 yards.  It’s really soft and not rough at all.  I’ve had this in my stash for a very long time and it’s pretty clear that I’m never going to use it for anything. I’d really like to see it go to a good home and be turned into something pretty.

(I tried to make this big enough so you can clearly read the tag)


To enter all you have to do is a leave a comment on this post by 11:59 pm on Friday October 7th.  The winner will be picked by a random number generator, (a.k.a my husband,) and announced on Saturday October 8th.  Please ensure that I have a way to contact you if you are the winner.

Happy Autumn and good luck.

Year Of Projects Sept 25th update

 First I’d like to thank everyone who wished me and my injured arm well.  It’s been improving every day and is almost back to normal.  I can even put weight on it again for short periods of time.  I can currently say I’ve downgraded my arm to annoying as opposed to painful.  It’s better than it was.  Your well wishes were appreciated.
Now, to the knitting!
It’s been a pretty good week.  My Bff’s birthday gift is finished.  It needs blocking and one small repair but the knitting is finished and it looks pretty good.  It will look way better after a little soak in the tub but it will be ready for her on her birthday in November and I’m certain she will like it and get good use out of it.
I also ended up casting on Sean’s Gargoyle, and Maytal has been complaining  that he needs other minions to play with, so they have been cast on too.  Because after all, when’s the last time you saw just one minion?  It’s been a busy fibre week in my house.  I hope you’ve been just as successful.
  • Clockwork (cast on June  &  part of the Knit-a-long of Doom) (Finished July 2011)
  • Wallis Cardi (cast on August of last year)
  • Rattlesnake Creek socks (cast on about 1 1/2 years ago)
  • Noro Log Cabin Blanket (cast on in June & it’s Christmas Knitting)
  • Super secret BFF gift (I know you read this.  No peeking, but you’ll like it.) (Finished Sept  2011)
  • Super Secret Husband gift (He reads it too.) (In Progress)
  • Urbana  (Finished July 2011) (Dad)
  • Podsters
  • Saturday morning slippers x4 (Randal, Teiff, FIL, mom)
  • Minion (Teiff) (In Progress)
  • Gargoyle (Sean) (In Progress)
  • Strangling Vines scarf (Christine) (In Progress)
  • Windcheif hat (dad)
  • Cherie socks  (mom)
  • AStericks (MIL) (In Progress)
  • Dog Chewie (Maggie)
  • Super Secret Little J gift (See first super secret gift.  That’s her mum.)
  • Kleenex covers x6
  • Sachets x6
  • Algonquin
  • Washcloth x2 ( I really thought I was finished with those!)  (Finished Sept 2011)
  • Herbivore
  • Flamboyan
  • Reunion Cowl
  • Roam
  • Lenore (The third)
  • Flaming Desire (Part of the Knit-a-long of Doom) (In Progress)
  • Staked  (Part of the Knit-a-long of Doom)
  • Fishbone Gansey  (Part of the Knit-a-long of Doom) (In Progress)
  • Cut & Paste
  • Matrimony Socks
  • Masonic Lodge
  • Flutter-by
  • Aragorn
  • Duckies  (Finished Aug 2011)
Newly added
    • West Knits Mystery KAL (Finished Sept 2011)
    • Julia
      Minion Army (In Progress)
      The running totals so far are:

6/42 complete

11/36  in progress

A Spinning Success

I finally did it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I turned this

Into this

Got out the Niddy Noddy

Gave it a bath

And ended with this

This is very exciting for me as it is the first  spinning project that has completed all the necessary steps to be considered finished!  I’m a concerned that some areas are a little underplied.  But I figure I knit with Noro so I can knit with this.  I even have an idea of what I’m going to knit with it!!!

And the next spinning project is ready to go.  I may yet get through all my fleece before April and the next Knitters Frolic.

Creative Friday

My BFF’s super secret birthday gift is almost finished.  So close to being finished that I am confident that by the time you read this post it will be completely finished and just in need of blocking.  But, I can’ t show that to you today.  It has to wait until some time in November after she’s opened our faded blue gift bag and has seen it.  So I thought I would do something a little different and show you a finished object that she’s given me.

These are my set of Dashing, in buttery soft baby alpaca.  Most often my BFF will give me something that will encourage more knitting.  She bought me my ball winder, multiple balls of yarn, and is responsible for my husband buying me a swift.  She’s the owner of one of the two wheels currently in my living room, and we refer to all of our books as the joint knitting library.  But that particular year she made something for me.  I love fingerless gloves.  I have many pairs.  I have them in different lengths and they serve different purposes.  But these are one of my favourite.  I love everything about them and I love the fact that they are a beautifully constructed pair of hand knit gloves that I didn’t knit.

You can find these on

I always chuckle to myself when my BFF says she doesn’t knit for other people.  That’s  flat-out wrong.  She just doesn’t knit for people all at once.  Unlike me who only knits for others at Christmas and the odd birthday, I think she’s knit for every new baby born to anyone she knows since I’ve met her, and for her Aunt, and for random birthdays.  She had a horrific experience the day before a baby shower when she was knitting in a restaurant and the waitress dumped a margarita on the baby shower gift.  (The recipient  still received a hand knit object.  It was just a little late.)

But I think the gift we all love the most is the love of fibre and knitting that she’s given to so many of us.  I can think of multiple people, myself included, that would have never even have started to knit if it wasn’t for her.  If the knitting mafia did exists she’d be the Godfather of it.  (I just had the most ridiculous vision if my BFF inspecting a brief case full of freshly shorn fleece and pounding her fist on the table saying “you expect me to believe this is pure Alpaca!!!!”  And then having the enforcers from either side of the room step forward with knitting needles and tape measure in hand, dragging the offender into a field with the actual sheep and Alpaca.)

I guess that technically,  inspiring someone to knit is a WIP and not an FO.  But this post does include two FO’s, one for me and one for her.  And as soon as I can I will show you hers.

For more great Friday finds check out FO Friday, Creative Fridays, And Fibre Fridays.

Holiday Knitting Survival Tip #2

Tip #2 (courtesy of my spouse, and intended for all the other spouses out there)

Give Your Knitter Time Alone with Their Knitting.

My husband stresses that this is vital to the sanity of both the knitter and the spouse. It does not matter how you manage to arrange the alone time for your knitter, but it has to be done.  Work longer hours, go to the pub with your mates, take the children to a movie, just find a way to make it happen.
He can be quoted as saying “and if you frame it right you can make it look like you’re doing your knitter a favour”.
After many years if being together I can read between the lines a little for you. What he’s really saying is “For the love of God save yourself.  And if you like your children even a little you should try to save them too.”
I value this advice greatly.  It’s kind of a win win all around.  I get time to myself to knit uninterrupted, he gets to do something (hopefully) fun with his friends, and we both get time when we are not making the other person crazy.
My husband is smart, and he has a very good sense of self preservation, sanity preservation, and marriage preservation.  He also knows that unless he wants me to become more of a crazy women then I already am then I need time to knit alone, and he gets time to play video games or drink hoppy beers with the other men.  So let your spouse read this and then let them go and snuggle down to knit in silence.

(Husband’s note: Alone time for the knitter also greatly improves the size and quality of the knitted item(s) you will receive for the holidays.  I’m up to three sweaters so far.  My motives are not entirely altruistic.)

WIP Wednesday – The Squares are Finished!!!

I mentioned on Sunday during my YOP update that I was a mere two squares away from being finished the 20 squares I need for the Noro log Cabin blanket.  And I can happily report that the squares are finished!!!!!!!   Now before you get all excited and think that I can give you some tips on how to be a really fast knitter or that I have finally mastered time manipulation thus figuring out how to extend all of our knitting time by hours each day, it turns out that I simply can’t count.  When I thought I was casting on the 19th square I was in fact casting on the 20th square.  I am not sure what possessed me to count before casting on a new square but I am very thankful that I did.  (I didn’t actually believe that I had finished all the squares and even made my husband count them just to be sure.)


So now I have to start the long task of  blocking them all out to the same size.  Normally I would do this with my steam iron.  It worked great for the Lizard Ridge Blankets that I made.  I saw a blanket that had been over-blocked and really didn’t like the way it turned out.

I figure this puts in the good daughter in law category

The second Lizard Ridge blanket blocked with an iron

But for this I’m not concerned about that happening so I’ve opted for T-pins and blocking wires.  (Note to self – you need blocking mats.)
Then all that’s left to do is to arrange the squares and knit the joins and then this gift will be off the list.  It’s also one more gift afghan off my list and I can start thinking about who gets the gifted afghan next year. (A big thank you to my husband who voluntarily sewed in the ends for me while we watched Stargate Atlantis.)

For more great WIPS check out Tami’s blog.