Tag Archives: wool

Sometimes Accidents Happen

This month my friend Emily celebrated a wonderful milestone in her life.  She’s been in Canada for 20 years.  Em decided that she wanted to celebrate with her friends, and in a decision that may appear to be stereotypically Canadian, she decided to arrange a camping weekend on her DH’s family property on Amherst Island.  (Just for the record, I can assure you that not all Canadians like tent camping.  I’ve had my fair share of people look at me like I’ve grown a second head when I say ‘why yes, at least once a year my husband and I leave the comfort of our house behind and sleep on the ground, outdoors, in the “wild”.  Yes, I have on occasion peed outside in the forest behind a shrub – it’s rather liberating, you should try it sometime.)  So that’s what we did.

In reality, that’s what most people did.  My Hubby and I decided to day trip it this time due to other things that are happening in life, but we didn’t want to miss out on hanging with everyone so we comprised and went for a lovely long drive in the country.

The drive ended here. It was worth the trip.

Emily, who is a long time knitter herself, also pointed out that there was a sheep farm on the island where they sold both sheep and yarn.  So the first stop had to be the farm.  And there, I may have had a little yarn purchasing accident.  But, I wasn’t alone in my tripping and landing face first in a pile of yarn purchases as there were five knitters on the trip.  We may have bought a lot of yarn between the group of us.

Sadly, the one person missing is Emily!

How many balls did I buy? A few.  More than I intended.  See, my Hubby was with me because we had been running late due to a problem with the ferry, so we went right to the sheep farm and yarn shed instead of stopping by the property first.  (It really is a shed that had been converted into a store.  I had no idea that a shed could be so full of pretty things.)   While we waited to be let in I talked to the sheep and completely forgot to snap any pictures (oops).  But then we were in the shed and I was staring at a wall of pretty yarn and telling my Hubby to pick out a colour for a hat and a scarf and I did the same.  And then I noticed the price and my heart skipped a beat.  Then I took a quick glance at the yardage and I think I may have blacked out for a brief second before turning and calmly saying, “put that back and decide what you want your next sweater to be made from.”  And then I did the same. The reasonable number of red and orange skeins were put back on the shelf and the rather unreasonable number of natural and heather green skeins were instead purchased.

 

18 skeins to be exact.  18 skeins for two sweaters for under $100 and I had just been talking to the sheep that had been kind enough to donate their wool to my cause.  How is any right thinking knitter supposed to resist that? The answer is, you don’t.  Between all the knitters I think we bought somewhere over the 40 skein mark.  And one of the other knitters and I may have decided to split the cost of a lamb ’cause we sort of like cooking with lamb.   (Hey Williams – you want in on that or are you too biased towards Kiwi lamb?  We will be placing the final order next month.) We sort of made his day – the farm owner, not the lamb that we intend to turn into tasty Scotch Broth.

So I dove head first into a pill of wool and got to spend a wonderful if not slightly abbreviated day with my friend celebrating her arrival in Canada.  It was a great day and a wonderful way to celebrate our friend.  We are lucky to have you in Canada and are better for it.  Just for the love of all things holy, keep me away from the yarn shed in September please!!!!!


YOP Update – August 5th, 2012

After a little bit of a hiatus, (the first Sunday we were camping, the second we were in Cuba; neither activity really would have been enhanced by the addition of my laptop) I am back with a YOP update.  And while there is not much to report in the way of changes to the list, there has been great progress made with my ability to actually knit again! I can now knit for ever-increasing lengths of time with my brace off, as long as the item is light (socks are perfect) and I remember not to use my right thumb to “push” anything.  And I have figured out how to knit with the brace on!!!!!

Again items must be light and pattern simple and as you can imagine, progress is slow, but there is progress.  And as one of my knitting cohorts pointed out “slow progress is faster progress than not being able to knit at all.”  She is of course correct and even though my normal knitting pace has been slowed, I am thrilled to be able to knit again at all.

The other things I can do, again slowly and as long as I am very careful with my thumb, is weave in ends and sew.  Which means I am almost finished the Log Cabin Blanket.  It was on track to be complete before we went away, but that wasn’t able to happen due to Great Thumb Injury of 2012.  (I figure it needs a name since that will make it faster to type and it’s been enough of a thorn in my side that it really deserves a name.  I’d actually like to call it something else, and I often have, but they are not very lady like names and I really try hard not to use those words in my blog).

The only other major change is the balls in/out tally.  I may have had a little accident in a yarn shed yesterday.  More about that tomorrow, but believe me when I say no right thinking fibre person can fault me.

Without further rambling, on to my very static list.

One more thing – To answer a Morning Grouch’s question, July 1st was about two months after I first presented the idea to a group of other Ravelry folks.  That gave us enough time to get a group set up and for other people to join in and make lists.  It’s also a long weekend in North America so it seemed to make sense.

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

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

1/41 Complete

15/40  In Progress

Dishcloth challenge

2/12

Balls in/out

2/12.5  July

18 (!)/0 August


A Different Kind of WIP

So this was not the WIP I wanted to share this week. I wanted to share the log cabin blanket and the tons of progress I had made. But it’s not meant to be because I have a whole other WIP that needs finishing first.

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Yup, that would be my dominate hand in a “removable caste” which is really just a fancy name for brace. I have a severe dislocation that needs healing before I can do any serious work on my fibre WIPs. I can’t say I’m happy but there’s really not much I can do about it.   So I’m stuck. It’s just the way of it. Now if you’ll excuse me I need to go get some pain meds.

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


A Terrified Sweater Knitter Makes a Back

A major accomplishment has happened.  The terrified sweater knitter has made a back. Let me say that again in case you missed it: I. Made. A. Back!!!!!  And even more exciting, it’s going to be the right size!
See, here it is:

I had thought about taking photos from a bunch of angles, but then I thought about it for a second and realized that this is probably not the best idea (or at least not the most sane).

But look how happy I am!

And you know the best part (’cause in my opinion there’s still more and you all think I’m a little unbalanced anyway so why not keep going)?  Nothing bad happened while I was knitting it.  Nothing burst into flames, elves did come out of the wall while I slept and hack the knitting to bits or hide my yarn (but they didn’t clean the kitchen either – sigh), and I didn’t get eaten by wolves. But you know what did happen? I made a back!!!

And even better (yes, that’s right, this is even better than the best part)? Now I’m making a front. Soon after that, there will be sleeves and a hood. It’s pure madness. Warm and cozy green madness.

Pattern: Roam

Yarn: Indigodragonfly Polwarth Silk 


On My Needles & Between My Pages

On My Needles

It would be a slight understatement to claim that my knitting has become a shade redundant in the last few weeks……I’m working on Roam and making a sock yarn blanket.  And then the next day comes along and guess what? Still working on Roam and making a sock yarn blanket.  And really, this isn’t a problem.  I’m making progress on both and enjoying what I am working on, but it makes for really catastrophically boring blogging.  I’ve crossed into broken record territory to be certain, and this is a little strange for me.  Usually I am working on so many things I drown under buckets of woolly goodness.  Those other projects are still there, it’s just that right now, I want to be working on Roam and knitting a blanket.  So there you have it, a self-proclaimed project polygamist knitter is as close to monogamy as I have ever been.  It’s a little frightening.

Between My Pages

There is a little more variation here.  I’ve moved onto The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern and it is amazing.  Romeo and Juliet meet Victorian Era Circus life in a well written engrossing novel that is captivating and close to impossible to put down.  This book really should be a must read on everyone’s list.

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


YOP Update March 25

 I’m back after missing a week due to being away and by the beach and while I will always take knitting with me on a plane (assuming that my needles aren’t taken away by airport security), when I’m on a beach chair I read.  I’ve slowly gotten back into the swing of things  and progress is starting up again.  I am hoping that by the end of the week I will have two more fairly major projects finished.  Even if I don’t have the sewing up for the second one complete, the knitting itself should be done.  Both are well past the half way mark so I am hoping that it is doable.
With only three months left in the first YOP, I am starting to see what’s will likely be finished, will be a carryover WIP, and what will most likely not even be touched.  I would like to take a bigger chunk out of my sock list and make some serious progress on Roam (maybe I should start working on it more often).  But, I am happy with how much of this list I have tackled and I will confess that I am already thinking about the next one.
I still (magically) seem to be getting more balls out of my stash then I am bringing in.  I see this as a very promising and that there may be hope for a smaller, more organized and more efficient (meaning mostly yarn that I want to knit with) stash sometime soon(ish).
Hope everyone had a great week.  Looking forward to catching up.  Happy knitting
 
WIPS:
  • 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)
  • Toe Up Socks
Christmas:
  • 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.) (Finished Dec 2011)
  • Urbana  (Finished July 2011) (Dad)
  • Podsters
  • Saturday morning slippers x2 (FIL, mom)
  • Minion (Teiff) (Finished October 2011)
  • Gargoyle (Sean) (Finished October 2011))
  • Strangling Vines scarf (Christine) (Finished Dec 2011)
  • Windcheif hat (dad) (Finished November 2011)
  • Cherie socks  (mom)(In Progress)
  • AStericks (MIL) (Finished November 2011)
  • Dog Chewie (Maggie) (Finished October 2011)
  • Super Secret Little J gift (See first super secret gift.  That’s her mum.) (Finished Oct 2011)
  • Kleenex covers x6 (Finished October)
  • Algonquin (In Progress)
  • Washcloth x2 ( I really thought I was finished with those!)  (Finished Sept 2011)
 
Shawls
  • Flamboyan (Finished Jan 2012)
  • Reunion Cow(Finished Jan 2012)
Cardis
  • Roam (In Progress)
Socks
  • Lenore (The third) (Finished Dec 2011)
  • Flaming Desire 
  • Staked  
  • Fishbone Gansey  (Part of the Knit-a-long of Doom) (Finished October 2011)
  • Cut & Paste
  • My Vampire Boyfriend (Part of Nerd Wars) (In Progress)
  • Cauchy (In Progress)
  • Masonic Lodge
  • Flutter-by (Finished February 2012)
  • Aragorn
  • Duckies  (Finished Aug 2011)
12 Shawls in 2012 (first 6)
  • Different Lines (In Progress)
  • Sharktooth (In Progress)
  • Flavia (Finished Jan 2012)
  • Stephen West Club shawl (February 2012)
  • Stephen West Club shawl (Feb) (In Progress)
  • Walnut Grove
 Dishcloth Challenge (first 12)
  • 8/12 complete
 
Newly added
  • West Knits Mystery KAL (Finished Sept 2011)
  • Julia
  • Minion Army (Finished October 2011)
  • Blue Whale shawl – replacement MIL Gift (Finished Dec 2011)
 
The running totals so far are:

24/46 complete

13/22  in progress

To try to have a better idea of what happens in my stash

Balls in/Balls out

0/11  (January)

8/5 (February)

0/1.5 (March)


Sometimes if You’re Really Patient You End up with an Awesome Story and You Get to Make Your Friend Cry

I am beyond excited to finally be able to share this with everyone. We (a large group of knitters) have had to keep this under wraps for months and months. It almost killed us. We have no idea how we pulled this off. But we did and as far as I am concerned it proves that the world is a better place for having knitters in it.

A few months ago our beloved Kim a.k.a indigodragonfly announced that she and her boy were going to walk down the aisle and join the land of the married folk. We were all thrilled for them. They are an amazing couple who deserve a life of happiness together.

Almost immediately the plotting began. What do we do for our friend? And within a short period of time we decided and agreed to knit them a blanket. We thought just to add irony to the whole thing we would use her yarn. There had to be a little scheming here as Kim knows us all and she’s a pretty darn smart lady, so we enlisted the help of her fiancée and set one knitter up to order the yarn from Kim. Well, our buyer was mighty convincing and Kim had no idea that while she was meticulously picking out skeins that worked perfectly together, she was actually picking out colours for herself.

So on a stifling hot day in the summer the blanket started to take shape and we finally presented it to Kim at the retreat this weekend. And, I can finally share this wonderful journey here.

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It started off like this

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And then we broke out the ball winders, five in total, and started winding

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eventually, we all had our little piles to take home. There are about five people missing from this photo

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At some point we all ended up with a finished strip

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Then it was time to organize

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We came up with this. There are two different sized strips in the blanket and everyone knew if they were knitting short and stubby or long and thin

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When it was finished, it was shoved in a bag and presented to Kim. Note the confusion on her face. She knows we're up to something, but she can't work out what, exactly.

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And then she was happy!

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And in a little bit of shock

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And then we made her cry. We got a little concerned 'cause she didn't stop until she hugged all of us

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And in the end the blanket was finished. It was worth every second of work and effort.

Just wanted to point out, there is no pattern. We were inspired by something we saw and made our own. There are two sets of strips. Each had a certain number of stitches cast on and were knit to a certain length. I don’t know those numbers any more. There was also no rules for how the colours were used in each strip. We all just did what felt right.

Just wanted to add, we love you two. Our lives our a brighter and warmer place because you are in it. And I only hope that on some small level we all returned some of that to you. And I wish you many years of happiness and joy and snuggles.

xo


A Wonderful Weekend Away

This past weekend was what has become the annual winter retreat weekend in Halliburton organized by Indigodragonfly for a few of her closest knitting buddies. Kim used to live here in the city and then moved out to the country a few years ago, but she remains incredibly close to most of us. So once a year a small group of us pile into cars and vans and leave the city, the spouses, and any children old enough to be mobile and make the pilgrimage to our friend. We rent a cottage and knit and eat and drink and chat and laugh and knit some more.

The trip begins by shoving everything we need into a van and driving up the highway into the country.

The van ride was filled with knitting and Tim Horton breaks but eventually we reached the cottage and this year we also found winter (which really has not come to the city this year, so we had to go visit it, too).

This is how a normal Canadian winter looks

Then we settled in and ate huge amounts of home-made food and knit and stayed in our jammies way longer than you would on a normal day.


Every year Kim brings us tons of yarn to play with and this year she even brought us little goodie bags.

Just a small sampling of what was actually there

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The yarn wasn't part of the goodie bag.

I showed amazing restraint and only came home with five balls and all are slotted for projects.

There was a community knitting project this year and people could just pick up a corner and join in.
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I finished my flutter-bye socks and wore them all weekend. (More photos to come of those). And I started my march shawl. (I’ll post that on Wednesday).

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Hanging with my friend's sweater pieces

This year ended with a little adventure as we had to push one of the cars about 300 yards up a snow-covered driveway/hill to get it to the highway since CAA (roadside assistance) decided that we didn’t actually require help in that matter. We did get the car off the hill and it was a beautiful winter day so no one froze in the process. My BFF was excused from the whole thing as she is kind of pregnant and pregnant ladies should never push cars!

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Victorious at the top of the hill!

A big thank you to Kim for bringing us all together! As always, it was a wonderful weekend that ended far too soon. We’ve already started planning next year.


I Hate Knitting Indecision

I hate that moment as a knitter when you are sitting staring at your projects, and knowing that there are a few more in the bottom of the basket, and not wanting to knit any of them.  It happens to all of us from time to time.  We stare at the things that were started with the best of intentions, the things that once held our attention and think, ‘I just can’t pick that up’.  Or is some cases, ‘What was I thinking starting that in the first place?’  And that’s when you realize that your knitting Mojo has fled into the night faster than a teenage boy when his girlfriend’s father comes home.  It’s out in the pasture with the sheep munching the grass.  It’s left you up the creek without a knitting needle.

Sometimes you try on a few different projects, projects that worked just fine a day or two earlier, and realize that nothing fits.  It just feels wrong.  The yarn has magically become scratchy in your hands. The pattern seems to have somehow changed from your native tongue to some form of ancient language no one has spoken for hundreds of years.  All of the cable needles in your house are gone.  And worse, it’s happening to every single thing that you are trying to knit.  It sucks, plain and simple.  And (I’ve heard, ’cause this has never happened to me), that it leds to major cases of startitis with projects being cast on in a flurry until you find the one that fits.

Fortunately, that didn’t happen to me this time and the whole thing passed very quickly.  My Mojo came back and my projects and I are friends again.  But to all the knitters out there  that have lost your Mojo: Talk to someone.  We’ve all been there.  We can help you knit through it and get back to the yarn filled pastures.  Hang in there and I promise that one day soon, your projects will fit.  Your needles will glide through your projects and your hooks will never miss a stitch.  And, if it doesn’t come back, we can help you hunt it down.  We all carry pointy sticks.


Don’t Fear Your Robot Master

So today’s post was supposed to be final photos of my last two shawls, but I finished Clink for Nerd Wars and I think he’s just too darn cute not too share.  He marks my third entry this round and completed the Geek Culture challenge.  Fans of Buffy know that there is a Buffy Bot that makes an appearance a few times in the series and I envision this little guy being her bff.  Sure, he might be all old school robot style, but with those big eyes and squishiness, how could it not work out!

I will guard the knitting books!!!

I see you!!!!

Do I blend in?

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