Tag Archives: yarn

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.

 


Paper and Fibre February 11, 15

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The Fibre

This week’s fibre is a little bit of a risk.  Well maybe it’s not.  It’s almost certainly, maybe,  not a risk.  Here’s the deal.  I’ve started my SIL’S Christmas socks.  The pattern is Lumberjacks.  The pattern is not the risk.  The pattern is awesome.  This is my third pair in as many months.  It’s great.  The colour is fine.  She’ll love red socks.  The yarn is great too, but it’s also the problem.  You see the pattern calls for a huge amount of yardage for each pair of socks.  I’m not sure if it’s a difference in gauge, but according to the pattern I should need just over a skein of the master colour for a pair of men’s socks.  As it turns out I need less than a skein.  I fair bit less than a skein.  So considering that I only used the red for the heels and toes for my hubby’s socks, and the ladies socks have fewer stitches per round and fewer rounds over all, I should need a much smaller amount of yarn than with the men’s socks.  So I should have enough red yarn.  It seems reasonable to think that.  In fact it seems foolish to think anything else.  I’m almost certain this will work.
A yarn scale would make my life easier and happier.  But that would require me to know where my scale is and right now I kind of sort of don’t.  And anyway, it’s way more fun not knowing and having the anxiety spur me on.  It will make me a faster knitter since we all know that if you knit super fast you will in fact avert a pending yarn shortage.  But that’s not going to happen.  I think.IMG_2670-0

The Paper

The-roadThis week I finished The Road by Cormac McCarthy. As the story progresses you realize that it is, at its core, a very complex discussion on humanity and human nature. It asks the question, how do we retain our humanity in the face of insurmountable odds? Why do some people maintain a moral code of conduct that is reflective of current values, and others morph into something abhorrent? Or are do some people adapt while others cling to the past? It’s a fantastic metaphor for heaven and hell. It’s both brutally grim at times and uplifting in its depiction of a father and son’s unwavering love. I’m not certain I can recommend this book, but if you can deal with the writing style and very dark content it is worth the read.

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


Fibre and Paper Jan 21.15

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The Fibre
I’ve decided that it’s time to break the spinning wheel out of its corner that it’s been sitting in since the end of November. This beautiful fibre was bought for me at Rhinebeck an2015/01/img_2638.jpgd I did manage to un-braid it! So first I have to finish drafting it and then get it on the wheel. Wish me luck. My spinning always seems to suffer the agony of being neglected.

 

 

 

 

The Paper,
While it is true that I am still reading the Lies of Locke Lamora, and still loving it, I have briefly put it aside to finish The Road by Cormac McCarthy.  This post apocalyptic novel is a tale of the survival of a father and his young son that is simultaneously filled with enduring acts of love and downright brutal heartbThe-roadreak and suffering.  The rather abrupt writing style in the novel does add to the overall bleakness of the world in which the two main characters reside.  Fortunately, in this case, a novel without a single wasted word works well.  I think that an overly descriptive narrative would actually detract from the feel of the book and the fast and oddly intimate relationship that you form with the father and son.
While I am not certain that I would recommend this novel,  I can say that it is incredibly compelling.

 

 

 

 

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

 


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 Feb 10th

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I realized a few weeks ago that I had started to avoid the Sunday ritual of posting my YOP update.  I’ve also realized that it has started making me avoid my blog and our Rav group.  This is all unfortunate, since I really like blogging, and I am a group Mod.  Also, I really like the idea of having my knitting goals laid out before me so I can plan things.

But sometimes even the best laid plans need to be revamped.  It was almost two years ago that I realized that there were other knitters who thought that the crazy idea of a Year of Projects wasn’t that crazy, and thus the idea and the group was formed, and off we went.  For a long time, it really worked for me.  Then, in the last few months it stopped.  I’ve actually come to hate the list a little bit, and got really bored with posting the same updates every week.

Clearly there was a huge problem.  I thought about stepping down from the group.  I thought about not blogging anymore.  Neither of those options felt like the right option.  So I created a new option.  I realized that the YOP police weren’t going to break down my door if I admitted to mostly abandoning my list, and I remembered why I proposed this group at the start – to build a community that encouraged each other.  And we have a great community that I still am interested in being part of.

So with that in mind, here’s my new and improved (for me) Year of Projects List inspired by my BFF and Nerd Wars.  The first Sunday of each month I will post my knitting goals for the month.  Some things will be off my list (as I am not removing it) and some things will not be.  I won’t be posting the whole list every week, but will continue to update the page.  I will still also be keeping track of what comes and goes out of my stash.  I will update each week on Sundays but those posts will have a much smaller focus.  Until I have more time I am also not going to worry about posting finished objects only on Fridays.  If something is finished it will be posted on Sundays and if I have time during the week I will post more often.

February 2013 Goals

1.  Finish Mum’s Socks

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Finished on Friday!!
First item off the list!

2. Finish Jaywalkers

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Yes. I’m making more Jaywalkers.

3. Vanilla Lattes for me!

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4. Barndom (this may be a stretch but I’ll give it a shot).

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5. Wurm hat (I realize it doesn’t look anything like a hat now)!!

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Soon. Really soon!!!

And if all that happens then I’ll hopefully finish the hood of Roam.

Balls in/Balls out

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I’m looking forward to reconnecting with everyone.  Hope you all have a great fibre filled week.


YOP Update Oct 9, 2012

So things may have gotten a little out of hand here this week.  Nerd Wars T6 started and that means I had to cast on some new items!! So far only two.   Both are from the list of fingerless gloves and I already have one glove finished (minus the thumb) and the second glove is cast on.  I am hoping to finish the first glove from the second set today and start the second one as well.  I am thinking about completing a “dissertation” (a project that will take approximately all three months to complete), but we will have to wait and see about that.  Last go around I made my Colour Affection shawl.  I’m, not sure what I would do this time.  I still have to think about it a little more.  Also, I am fairly close to being finished the my Turnagain Cowl!!! And it’s not a moment too soon as it’s getting mighty chilly here these days and clearly I don’t have any other knit cowls in this flat 😉

Hope everyone else had a great knitting week and Happy Thanksgiving to all my fellow Canadians.

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 (in progress)
  • Either/Or
  • Ace Fingerless Mitts
  • Diva (in progress)
  • IO
  • Just a Little More
  • Ellipses

Other

  • Locksley
  • Frankenstein (In Progress)
  • Hypernova

Totals

5/50 Complete

15/45 In Progress

Dishcloth challenge

2/12

Balls in/out

2/12.5 July

19/4 August

0/11 Sept

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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.


On My Needles & Between my Pages

On My Needles

I had a really hard time figuring out what WIP to focus on this week.  Probably because I am still slightly overwhelmed by the number of WIPS that I have and really don’t feel like talking about any of them.  I did however finally decide on this little fellow.

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This is my worsted weight sock Fargyle.  Since taking this picture I have frogged it back to the start because I am going to use the second ball for the cuff, heel, and toe.  Originally I thought I could do the small size, but the length will be too short and since both balls are one off custom dye lots, it’s not like I can get more anytime soon.  I am hoping that a combination of the two balls will provide the extra yardage that I need to make the sock a wearable length.

Between My Pages

(ed. note: No spoilers in the comments, please.  I love my lady wife dearly, but she’s not a patient woman.  I’ve actually put a fair amount of work into not letting any details slip about books she hasn’t read yet, despite badgering and provocation.  I’d really appreciate it if you could help me out with that.  The suspense, that is.  Not the badgering.  Or the provocation.  She needs no help with those.  Especially before coffee.)

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I have finally moved onto the Song of Ice and Fire series and have almost finished the first novel A Game of Thrones.  Stunningly written, as one of my friends said:  “it’s not just a page turner, it’s a chapter turner.”  Having watched the first two seasons of the TV adaptation on HBO, I am even more impressed by the casting choices that were made to bring the characters to life.  My goal at this point is to have the third book finished before the third seasons airs and I sorely regret not having read the first three books all those many years ago when I bought them for my DH for Christmas.  These are addictive and a must read if you enjoy fantasy novels.  Just prepare yourself, Martin has a special way of making his despicable characters downright horrid.  (I actually had to ask my Husband if a certain character makes it through the first book because I needed to come to terms with having to see or read anything about that person because I found the individual so incredibly offputting.)  All of his characters have flaws that make them easy to love and hate and get really really angry with.  In fact Ned Stark my be the only character in any novel ever that I have cussed out for being a pig headed fool stuck on his notions of pride and chivalry, or more to the point, cussed out at all.  It just never happens.  And for the glory of the seven kingdoms, would someone, anyone, please do something about Geoffrey?  Four more books with him in them may be more than I can bear. (ed. note 2: See!  Clearly fishing.  Don’t fall for it.  Not even a little.)

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


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 😉