Tag Archives: wool

It’s A Kind of Magic

This week my WIP is a little magical.  It is a shawl, but is a very magical shawl indeed.  Sadly, it is not so magical that it knits itself.  Nor does it knit up at a magical pace.  And there is no guarantee that is will be the perfect size when it’s finished either.  (Just for the record, I have never figured out exactly what the perfect size for a shawl is.  It seems to be way too dependant on my mood.)  It is magical because of the stripes.  Those little colour changes are happening all by themselves in the right place and making perfect little sections.

Now, before you start thinking that I have figured out the secret and am some sort of knitting wizard, it’s really not that at all.  It’s the yarn.  It’s all the yarn.

The Yarn Harlot first blogged about it here and you can imagine what happened next.  The yarn became a very scarce commodity.  There were sell-outs, and back orders, and now it seems that scoring a skein of the magic yarn is the same as winning the knitter’s lottery.  Somehow, my knitting guru managed to do just that and for Christmas a few of us received  skeins.

 

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This past weekend I cast on the shawl.  It says right inside the ball band, to be used with topdown triangle shawls.  I checked Rav and the Caterpillargreen website and picked a pattern.  I grabbed my 3.5’s and cast on.  Four and a half hours later I was cussing the yarn and the dyer.  I was oscillating between thoughts of auctioning off the skein and lighting it on fire in the courtyard.  It was not going well.  Colour changes were happening everywhere except where they were supposed to.  I was miserable.  I was frustrated. I was so very, very unhappy.

I had gone up and down needle sizes, tried a different pattern, added a second colour.  Nothing was working. So I took to Twitter and posted my woes.  Very quickly I received helped from another knitter.   She pointed out that gauge is super important and to try again.  So in one last ditch effort I went up another needle size.  4 mm way the key.  They were the saviour for the shawl, and at that moment my sanity.  It all started to work!  It started striping by itself!!!!

 

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Now the shawl is flying off the needles.  My goal is twofold.  First I want to finish it this week so I’m ready for the weekend.  (More about that on the weekend 😉  Next, I want to somehow win the knitting lottery when Caterpillargreen updates again.  They have some truly beautiful colours just begging for me to knit with them.

Yarn : Caterpillargreen Merino Twist shawl striping
Colour: Warm and Fuzzy
Pattern: Simple Yet Effective Shawl

For more great stuff check out the Yarn Along at Ginny’s and KCCO at Frontierdreams.

 


Somehow I Knew it Would be Socks

It’s been a while. A long while. There were times in the last few months that I thought about writing again, that little nagging voice in the back corner  of my brain urging me back to the keyboard. But in all truth, I just wasn’t that inspired. I have been knitting, but the groove wasn’t there.  So I waited.  I felt a little guilty when people would ask me when I was going to write again and was flattered when they told me that they missed my blog.  But I waited, knowing that at some point that light would go on and things would click and I would type and words would flow.  And really, because it’s me, I should have known it would be socks.  Socks would bring me back to the fold.  Socks would be my downfall.

I didn’t know it would be these socks when I started them on Saturday.  But by the time I was finished the first one yesterday, (Yes that would be Monday.  And yes you did read that right. I knit a whole sock in just over a day), I knew.  I thought about taking pictures of hourly progress, but I would have had to put the socks down and that wasn’t going to happen.  But let tell you, these socks are freaking magnificent!!!!

So without further adieu, allow my to introduce you to Lumberjack

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I love these and since they are made with a heavier gage yarn, the knit up super, crazy fast. Four episodes of Nightvale Radio and the leg was finished. That’s just over an hour. Hour and a half maybe. And I was staring, actually gawking, at the fact that I was a mere three rows away from the heel. Also, I sort of think that these might be the cutest damn, (really autocorrect? I am a grown woman! Yes I mean damn and not dam! I don’t want to make dam socks! What fibre would you even use for that)? Socks that I have made in a super long time. Another huge plus, all that ribbing makes them super flexible with the sizing and if you’re like me and have a sock recipient that has slightly different size feet, these are super awesome.

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I will agree with the husband though. Not everybody will get these socks. Non fibre people will likely look at them and shake their heads. You made work socks? The same socks you can get by the bag full for pennies? I sort of envision the whole exchange going down like a Nature of Things special voiced over by Morgan Freeman.
“Note how the sock recipient proudly displays his socks for the non fibre person to admire. This is akin to a plumage display by a peacock and serves two very important purposes. First, it allows the wild knitter’s work to be on display thus allowing her or him to have fibre dominance over the situation. Secondly, it shows the world that the recipient has already been claimed by a knitter and therefore if any other knitter wishes to enter this territory permission must be requested and granted. Watch how the wild knitter answers with confidence, his or hers eye narrowing ever so slightly, “why yes. I did make those.” An astute observer will note the fleeting look of supremacy on the wild fibre person. And as it always happens, the non fibre person sheepishly nods and agrees before slowly backing away. And the wild knitter and the sock recipient smile at each other knowing a secret that the scientific community has yet to decipher”.

And we do. We know the secret. We know that hand knit socks will always be better than store bought socks. We know that these knit up super fast and that they weren’t mass produced by some exploited laborer stuck in crappy working conditions so we could have 25 cent socks that last two months before looking like they were attacked by the mother of all moths. We know that love makes socks warmer. I know that these socks are awesome, and now, so do you.

Because I know that people will be curious, the yarn is Tanis Fibre arts yellow label in sand and poppy. And yes there is only one sock right now. The second looks like this.

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But, I have no fear. It will be finished later today.


Fibre & Paper – Jan 22nd.2014

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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.

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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 Sept 30

I’m really not sure where all of last week went.  I woke up today and realized I hadn’t  posted anything  here for a week!!! No further finishes this month  but there have been some changes to the list.  See, I meet a new knitter, well new to me she herself is not a new knitter, and I always love what she is working on.  While enjoying knit night together  we used our handy little magic boxes (our phones) to friend each other Rav and I checked out her projects and now I’m in trouble.  On some level I knew that checking out her page was going to be lead to an increase in my list, but I did it anyway because what knitter can pretty things?  (She knew it was dangerous too ’cause she gave me the “oh honey you’re so screwed look”). So my list is a wee bit longer than it was.  Sigh.  I have dreams of renting a cabin and doing nothing but sitting and knitting and having yummy food. (Anyone want to join me in that dream?  I’m happy to share it).  Mind you at this point I think I might need it to be an entire month!

A Year of Projects the Sequel 

WIPS

  • Stained glass mittens
  • Fiddle Heads
  • Cherie
  • Slippers – mom
  • Rattlesnake creek
  • Roam
  • Oliver’s Blanket  (finished Sept 2012)
  • Noro Log Cabin (finished Aug 2012)
  • Algonquin
  • Walnut Grove
  • Masonic Lodge Socks

Cardigans

  • Stage Door
  • Central Park Hoodie
  • Angural Cardi
  • Julia
  • Iced
  • Wallis
  • Bohus
  • Jon’s Sweater (for DH) (In progress)
  • Burr

Shawls (12 in 12)

  • #7 Cliff of insanity
  • #8 Earth and Sky
  • #9 Wingspan (Finished July 2012)
  • #10 Colour affection (Finished Aug 2012)
  • #11 Turnagain (In Progress)
  • #12 Jagged Edge

Socks

  • Jaywalker (Finished Aug 2012)
  • Lenore
  • Carousel (In Progress)
  • Fargyles (In Progress)
  • Staked
  • Flutter Bye’s
  • Aargon
  • Nutkin
  • Cubist socks
  • Annapurna

Mittens/Gloves

  • Stephen West Gloves
  • Willow Mitts
  • Anne Hanson fingerless gloves
  • Mitt Envy
  • Either/Or
  • Ace Fingerless Mitts
  • Diva
  • IO
  • Just a Little More
  • Ellipses

Other

  • Locksley
  • Frankenstein (In Progress)
  • Hypernova

Totals

5/50 Complete

13/45 In Progress

Dishcloth challenge

2/12

Balls in/out

2/12.5  July

19/4  August

0/11 Sept


FO Friday – Baby Love

Normally I cringe at deadline knitting.  It’s the type of knitting that if I want to enjoy it at all I have to start  and finish it months in advance.  I didn’t manage to get this done that far in advance.  Realistically it may only be a few days in advance, but this  blanket was finished before Widget came into the world so I am considering this a huge success.

The pattern is Adventurine

The yarn is all various balls of knit picks that I had in my stash with a tiny bit of left over IndigoDragonfly to make up for the fact that one of my balls of grey went missing before I even cast the blanket on and I have never found it.  (Believe me, I tossed my entire stash looking for it.  It’s not there and then I had to clean the mess up.  I was really not impressed at all.  And before you start thinking that maybe I never had the ball in the first place, I confirmed with my Rav stash picture that I did have two.  I live in a one bedroom flat.  Tossing the yarn stash all over the living room is not something I do unless I really, really, have too).

But, even with that little set back, the blanket is finished.  I even weaved in all the ends.  I had threatened to make my BFF do that part since I had just knit an entire blanket for her soon to be here son 😉  (See how much I love you Ms. K?) At some point I will have a picture with a baby in it, but until then these will have to do.

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For more Friday knitting check out FO FridaysCreative Friday, and Fiber Arts Friday.


On My Needles & Between my Pages September 12th

On My Needles

First I need to start this week by apologizing to my friend over at Twisted Stitcher because I fear that she will follow the pattern link and fall in love with the pattern the same way I did. Suzy, sorry if you end up wanting to add this to your list.

My newest addiction is Turnagain. I love this pattern. I hate provisional cast on, so the 242 stitch cast on was a shade of a nightmare, but I did finish it and now it’s just going round and round. The colour changes keep it from getting boring and the knowledge that the ends will essentially be hidden in the finished work with very little end weaving is about as good as it gets for me. Just ask my Lizard Ridge blanket how long it takes me to weave in ends. I’m using five shades of Indigodragonfly yarn and one Waterloo.

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So I am in love and it’s all I really want to knit. But, since you all know that I have the attention span of a Hummingbird on hyped up on too much caffeine, you know that there is other knitting happening too. What can I say? I want to knit all the things all the time.

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Between My Pages
Textbooks. Lots of textbooks with names like The Autistic Spectrum and Beyond the Autism Diagnosis. In reality, they are actually very interesting but it doesn’t make for a great book review. I do however, have some serious doubts about the last one entitled You and Others. I think that could be a bit of a chore.

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


YOP Update – Sept 2nd, 2012

Recently my knitting life seems to be all about blankets and socks and the odd combination of the two when I work on the Epic Blanket of Insanity.  But, for the last couple of weeks it’s  almost a certainty that if I am knitting it is one of those items in my hands.  Today will not be an exception.  I have one final square to knit for Widget’s Blanket and I am rather determined to finish it by tomorrow.  I would like to actually present the blanket to my BFF before the baby arrives and  Little Widget needs his “Welcome to the World Teacup Human” gift ontime.  It’s also turned out to be a wonderful stash busting project so I am very pleased by that.

No direct changes to the list since last week, but I’m very close to having another finish.  Hope everyone has a great fibre filled week.

A Year of Projects the Sequel 

WIPS

  • Stained glass mittens
  • Fiddle Heads
  • Cherie
  • Slippers – mom
  • Rattlesnake creek
  • Roam
  • Oliver’s Blanket
  • Noro Log Cabin (finished Aug 2012)
  • Algonquin
  • Walnut Grove
  • Masonic Lodge Socks

Cardigans

  • Stage Door
  • Central Park Hoodie
  • Angural Cardi
  • Julia
  • Iced
  • Wallis
  • Bohus
  • Jon’s Sweater (for DH)

Shawls (12 in 12)

  • #7 Cliff of insanity
  • #8 Earth and Sky
  • #9 Wingspan (Finished July 2012)
  • #10 Colour affection (Finished Aug 2012)
  • #11
  • #12

Socks

  • Jaywalker (Finished Aug 2012)
  • Lenore
  • Carousel (In Progress)
  • Fargyles (In Progress)
  • Staked
  • Flutter Bye’s
  • Aargon
  • Nutkin
  • Cubist socks
  • Annapurna

Other

  • Locksley
  • Stephen West gloves
  • Willow mitts
  • Ellipses
  • Frankenstein (In Progress)
  • Hypernova
  • Anne Hanson fingerless gloves

Totals

4/42 Complete

13/38 In Progress

Dishcloth challenge

2/12

Balls in/out

2/12.5  July

19/4  August

0/0 Sept


On My Needles & Between my Pages

On My Needles

With what we all hope is a few short weeks before Widget appears in the world as pudgy little ball of wails and gurgles, I figured I had better get moving on his blanket because while the weather has again turned warm enough that a wool blanket is the last thing anyone currently needs this little boy will be appearing next month sometime and he needs something from his Auntie to welcome him into this world. So with that in mind I am tackling the last few squares of the blanket and have the wonderful notion that I will finish with a few days or weeks to spare. I do love how it is turning out and I hope it will keep his little toes and belly warm all through the upcoming Canadian winter.

Between My Pages

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Let’s Pretend This Never Happened by Jenny Lawson, (a.k.a The Bloggess) was supposed to be vacation reading, but it didn’t make it there. I bought it a few days before we were to head out and made the mistake of reading the first page and then the next and the next and I think you can see where this is going. By the time my husband came home from work I was well over the half way mark and double over in laughter so hard that all I could do was hold the book up in the air to show him that nothing was so horribly wrong, but that I had a good reason that I couldn’t pull myself together enough to get up and give him a proper greeting. That happened a few times while reading the book (and just for the record it happened to my husband too). He did at one point have tears rolling down his face and I thought that I was going to have to track down an inhaler for him as I felt very certain he was laughing himself into an asthma attack.

Now before you all start thinking, “I need to run out and buy this book right now because I need a laugh”, please read her blog first. It may be just as easy to find Jenny offensive as it is funny and she acknowledges that with an apology in the intro of her book. She is however, unapologetic about mental illness and anxiety disorders and growing up in a very unique family. Another fan of her work looked at me and said “I wish I’d known when I was growing up it was okay to laugh at some of that stuff. It would have helped a lot knowing that didn’t make me a bad person.” And she’s right. Jenny does make it easy to laugh about things openily and loudly that not everyone would find funny. While I will admit that my high-school experience didn’t include cows “private parts” I can relate to a lot of other things in her book and personally I think she’s hysterical. Like I told her when I got to meet her a few weeks later, (I didn’t know that was going to happen when I bought the book), “you make me laugh on days when I would rather hide in my closet and shut the doors.” And, if anyone reading this has even an inkling of what depression and anxiety can do to a person, you know that’s a pretty big accomplishment.

BTW- she’s just as funny in person.
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For more great Wednesday stuff check out WIP Wednesday and the Yarn Along.


I Learned a Secret During the Ravellenic Games

As most of you surely know, Sunday was the closing ceremonies for the Olympic Games, and that means it was the end of the Ravellenic Games as well.  As so, for another two years, we bid it adieu and we wait for the winter games so we can do it all again.

Just in case there are knitters reading this who don’t know what I’m talking about (It really can happen.  I met a long time knitter while I was on vacation who had never heard of Ravelry), you join a team, you fit projects into “events,” you do your very best to finish said projects, and then you post them in the right place and make it to “the podium” and earn medals for your team.  The events are vast and varied and usually a cute play on words.  They are a way to encourage knitters to watch the Olympics while they are knitting.  So I did both as much as time would allow.  (Canada has really good female wrestlers.  I had no idea.  Really folks, Canadian girls generally don’t have to fight off bears on a regular basis, I really don’t know where they came from.  The wrestlers that is.  I know where the bears come from.)  And, I made it to the podium three times.  And this is where the secret come in.

You know why I made it to the podium three times? Because I had to be (are you sitting down folks?  ‘Cause anyone who reads my blog regularly or knits will be just as shocked as I was when I realized what had happened) reasonable and realistic about what I actually could accomplish during the Olympic Games.  Just in case you missed that, I HAD TO BE REASONABLE ABOUT MY KNITTING!!!!!  I know, I’m in shock too.

So what led to this irrational behaviour on my part? (‘Cause I think you all know this didn’t “just happen”).  First, I was in Cuba for the beginning of the games.  And while I am normally the type of knitter who will drag myself out of bed, drink a pot of coffee, and sit in my PJ’s during the opening ceremonies to cast on, I was vacation and there was not chance of that happening.  I’m not even sure that the TV in the room worked, ’cause really, why would I check? Furthermore, TV reception in Cuba is a shade unreliable.  Sometimes they have clear reception, sometimes you and your husband are sitting with a bunch of Brits and Auzzies in an outside bar trying to figure out it what swimming event is actually happening and what country just won and wondering how it can possibly be snowing in an indoor pool in the middle of July in London, England.  (I suppose weirder things have happened).  The first few days of the games were spent there as well, and knitting just wasn’t high on the list of things to do.

Next is the Great Thumb Injury of 2012.  Nothing forces you more into rational behaviour then a physical hindrance.  I wasn’t sure that I was going to be able to do any knitting at all, so I literally couldn’t set any lofty goals for myself.

Finally, the academic work.  My very inconsiderate college clearly doesn’t understand the importance of knitting and final assignments were scheduled to be due during the Olympics!!!!!  Really, have you heard of anything more rude? So instead of knitting during the diving or gymnastics I was writing research papers on decreasing food selectivity in autistic children and the ethical concerns surrounding parents being therapists to members of their own families.  Sigh.  Really cut back on my knitting time.

So the goals I set had to be small and realistic.  (And in my opinion way below my regular standards.)  But you know something, it kind’ve worked.  I had two entries in Frogging Trampoline and one entry into the Modular Relay and I finished them all.

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First reclaimed ball – it’s Koigu

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Next reclaimed ball – Kauni!!

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All these little balls have been added to my EBI!!!!!!

So what have I learned? That I can be reasonable with my knitting when forced to be.  That when I am reasonable I can finish things.  That I can understand the appeal of having less projects on the needles at one time and having a far more focused attitude about knitting.  Those are all good things.

And realistically, a week from now when my two exams are finished and I have three weeks of work and academic freedom, I will forgot all of that.   Because in that time I will finish everything and be WIP free.  Shhhh…….it can happen………..and it will 😉


YOP Update August 12, 2012

It’s another week where there has been little progress made in the knitting department.  However, the flip side to that is I did get all three of my last assignments finished and turned in on time, so in reality, not having a ton of knitting time was a small price to pay for the peace of mind that comes with knowing that I am not struggling with my academic work load and having to play catch up.  Two exams to go and I will have three glorious weeks to knit ALL THE THINGS!!!!!!  (And then work and academics start-up again at the same time.  I think I need to go cry a little now).  Additionally, while I am spending more time each day with the brace off (it’s off right now actually and I can push the space bar down with my right hand again!!!), I do need to take frequent breaks in my knitting to stretch out my thumb and to ward off turning the dull throb that I feel pretty much constantly into pain.  But like I said last week, I can knit so I’m not really complaining.

As for the list, due to the yarn purchasing accident last week, I’ve added a Husband Sweater to the mix. It’s the Modern Aran  from the Knitting Manual.  It should be a relatively fast and simple knit.  And since he picked both the yarn and the pattern I won’t have to worry about whether or not he likes it.

I really hope to have a few finishes soon, but for now, here’s the list.

A Year of Projects: the Sequel 

WIPS

  • Stained glass mittens
  • Fiddle Heads
  • Cherie
  • Slippers – mom
  • Rattlesnake creek
  • Roam
  • Oliver’s Blanket
  • Noro Log Cabin
  • Algonquin
  • Walnut Grove
  • Masonic Lodge Socks

Cardigans

  • Stage Door
  • Central Park Hoodie
  • Angural Cardi
  • Julia
  • Iced
  • Wallis
  • Bohus
  • Modern Aran

Shawls (12 in 12)

  • #7 Cliff of insanity
  • #8 Earth and Sky
  • #9 Wingspan (Finished July 2012)
  • #10 Colour affection (In Progress)
  • #11
  • #12

Socks

  • Jaywalker (In Progress)
  • Lenore
  • Carousel (In Progress)
  • Fargyles
  • Staked
  • Flutter Bye’s
  • Aargon
  • Nutkin
  • Cubist socks
  • Annapurna

Other

  • Locksley
  • Stephen West gloves
  • Willow mitts
  • Ellipses
  • Frankenstein (In Progress)
  • Hypernova
  • Anne Hanson fingerless gloves

Totals

1/42 Complete

15/41  In Progress

Dishcloth challenge

2/12

Balls in/out

2/12.5  July

18/0 August