25 March 2007

Don't be afraid of your freedom.

New socks for me!

I knit these without a pattern - basically a 2x2 rib with some cales. (first round I cabled the first knit rib, second row I cabled the second knit rib, third row I cabled the third knit rib etc etc etc...)
I used some Knitpicks 'Dancing' sock yarn in the Square Dance colourway. I'm a little unclear about this stuff - I *think* it's discontinued? If so, too bad. There's a little elastic in these which makes them really comfortably stretchy. Also, the yardage is fantastic - I could have knit the legs about 2" longer!
The pooling got a little crazy, but I really don't mind.Early on, Gord dubbed these the 'Soup Dragon Socks' & for good reason too!

I'm free...to knit what I want....any old time.....

Very similar hey?

24 March 2007

man vs. machine

A couple posts back I expressed my scaredy-catness about venturing out into the world of making things for other people. My fear of a button falling off or a crooked seam has been a long standing excuse to not be doing what I want ought to. Why would people spend more money to buy something I've made when they can go to the mall & buy complete outfits for dirt cheap?

Hmm..maybe because I cannot possibly be the only person who is fed up with the crap ass quality of cheaply made, mass manufactured clothing.

Zara knit hoodie. After 2 washings, the lovely cuffs have almost completely broken themselves free of the rest of the sweater. There's also a large hole at the back shoulder seam. two. washings.

Club Monaco sweater. The ribbing along the bottom began ripping apart from this within the first couple of washings. Was this to be expected? I did, after all, buy this from the outlet store. The reasonable Nicole told the pissed off Nicole that that's probably why it was heavily discounted; so I ran it through my serger, fixed the problem myself & continued to wear it.....until it started happening again. This time in a different spot - of course, the area I had already fixed with my own machine was still perfectly in tact.

Sweater purchased from Winners. After the first wash a little hole in the neck band formed. I paid no mind. After 3 more washings the neckband has come unattached enough to make me feel like a teenage goth when I wear this.

I've only documented these three instances of what seems to be a regular occurrence. What do I do every time it happens? I shake my head, I regret spending the money, I LIVE with it. I accept it as an inevitable part of mass production, and before long I fall victim to yet another cute sleeve detail & a low price tag.

Meanwhile, proof of the fact that I have something resembling talent, or, at least ability hangs in my closet & is folded up lovingly in my sock drawer. Every pair of socks I've knit seems to improve with washings! The mass amounts of skirts I've made have held up through countless wash cycles, my winter coat looks like I made it yesterday, the tops I've made for myself are my *favourites*.

Handmade *is* bettermade.

21 March 2007


Remember when I scored a giant cone of fingering weight wool last summer?

I knew it had to be a shawl or a stole or something, but seriously, a shawl? I've never been that kind of girl, so the thought of spending tons of time on something that for sure would be incredibly gratifying to knit & finish, wouldn't be put to much use once it was done wasn't all that appealing to me.

But last week I found myself in a very new to me place. A place with no projects on the go. Donald's socks have been axed - he'd like slippers instead (the socks were taking me *for.e.v.e.r.* something about using cotton to knit stuff for other people slows me down) Gord's anniversox were done & the next big project was supposed to be a sweater for him. We've finally narrowed down the pattern (Elizabeth Zimmerman's Seamless Hybrid - wooot!) but now there's the matter of picking out the yarn. I had a sock on the go - but it was mainly an 'at work' project.

I needed something....something a little challenging, using something from my stash. A buffer project that would last until Gord had made a colour/content decision for his sweater.

Yo guy, my bad - this was cast on last wednesday at about 9pm. I finished it on Monday night.

It's the Swallowtail Shawl from Interweave Knits Fall 2006. I used size 4 circular Addi Turbos. This is a really easy to follow pattern. The hardest part is the nubbs - the stumpy ends of my needles could not get in there for the p5tog - I did some online searching & discovered that sl2, p3tog, psso would work just the same. This saved me lots of time & cut my swear words to almost nil.

I'd read it a million times - how blocking lace turns the work into a whole different thing - turns the caterpillar into a butterfly....but it took seeing it with my own eyes to fully understand. Before blocking, the top edge measured 42". Now it's 56". Lovely. I have the awesome tips on lace blocking from the Yarn Harlot to thank for how nicely this turned out.

It has one or two mistakes, but nothing I can't live with.

This used barely any of the wool from the cone - I could probably knit about 4 more of these things with what I have left over!

I really, really love it, and dare I say...I think it's converted me into being that kind of girl.

18 March 2007


I la-la-la-la-love my boy lots - so much that this is the fourth pair of socks I've knit for him!

The pattern is John's Anniversox knit with Lanett 100% Merino sock wool. This sock yarn is awesome - Super soft!

My camera has a hard time getting right in there to show details, but trust me when I say that I think this is the best heel I've ever turned. The picked up stitches along the heel flap are flawless. Not to toot my own horn or anything - really, it's Grumperina's horn I'm tooting since it's from her tips on 'picking up stitches the pretty way' that I've been able to reach this level of awesomeness.

Why do I love knitting for Gord so much?.....

Because he's even cuter than my parent's awesomely cute dog. And the only thing he knows how to play on the autoharp is 'Louie Louie'.

10 March 2007


Some new little friends!
I was itching for an instant gratification project last night - this fit the bill perfectly! They're so cute it's killing me!
I used some scraps of worsted weight yarn, and some of the many wine corks we have in the kitchen - the pattern can be found here
I see many, many more of these in my future.

06 March 2007

crazy great.

First, a finished pair of socks!

'Retro Rib Socks' from the Winter 2004 Interweave Knits
Socks that Rock in the 'cracked canyon' colour way
These took about a week and a half to finish. STR is some really great stuff, the colours are outstanding - I wore them all day & they are super cozy!

When I came home today there was a small package waiting for me! With curious and anxious hands I opened it up to find this!....

An awesome broach made of wool! I commented on how great I thought this was when I saw my friend Shannon's photo on flickr - and now it's mine! She sent it to me in the mail along with a really awesome vintage clothing label. AWESOME! I put it on right away! Thank You Shannon! I love it!

So it was already a super great day! And then my doorbell rang & at my door was the total angel of a cab driver who had come to return my wallet!!! **With everything in it!!**

Could. not. be. happier.

04 March 2007

High's & Low's

I did it again - I've left too many things to talk about unsaid & now I must jam them all into one confusing entry. I'll make it short & sweet. I will elaborate on project specifics.

Snowstorm in March - sort of sick of bad weather.

Finishing the 'Child's placket neck pullover' from 'Last Minute Knitted Gifts'

This was another stash busting project. I used some blue & green Brown Sheep Cotton Fleece, knit on size 6 needles. This was my first raglan from the bottom up - went pretty well, I think. The only thing I changed was that I put actual button holes in the placket, the pattern tells you to just push the buttons through the seed stitch, but that seemed weird to me.
I don't even know who will get this sweater yet - one thing's for sure, there's a total storm of babies on the way & I need to get ready! I know of at least 5 new people coming. Now I just need to find some buttons!

Oh, and p.s. if you decide to knit this, you may want to check the errata - there's just one minor yet important error in the original printing of the book.

Waking up to hear that the fire chief has advised people to stay indoors if they do not need to go out. I assume this means I get a snow day - which means I begin to document my snow day. I had grand plans - elaborate cake baking, sewing, knitting, napping....

LOW: boss calls to tell me the commute to work is easy & breezy & I should have no trouble at all getting there for the afternoon. boooooooooooo.

HIGH(x's 2):
Luckily my boss leaves early on Friday afternoons which allows me the following Highs:

Finishing one of Gord's Anniversox
I'm using some incredibly great feeling Lannett Merino sock yarn for these - they're nutso soft!

Starting the second Socks that Rock 'Retro Rib Sock'
I know, I know...when did I make the first one? I'm such a bad blogger! I guess I just think it's better to show pictures of stuff when it's completely finished - but I personally love a good progress picture, so I'm going to start talking more about the process of my knitting as I'm doing it.
Here's a picture of the first one:

Not normally a fan of ribbing with stripes, but I'm so into these socks! The pattern is from Interweave Knits Winter 2004. As for Socks that Rock - I now fully understand what all the fuss is about - hot damn this yarn is good!

Completing my Greenery Hat (yes, another project that just appears out of nowhere - for sure, for sure I am going to start writing about projects as I begin them) & then deciding the pink ribbing looked totally wrong - I began unravelling the cast-on edge & quickly entered panic mode as I realized it wasn't going to be as easy as I thought.

I ended up putting my circular needle through the loops of where I was going to begin knitting the ribbing all in brown - then I mercilessly ripped & cut the pink stuff away & joined the brown yarn. Then I knit the ribbing in reverse & now.....


I have a completed hat that I really, truly love!
It covers my ears!! This pattern is great (and free!) and a really super way for me to get down & dirty with cables. I used some Knitpicks Swish Superwash from my stash (left over from gord's christmas sweater.....which...well, I'll blog about that later......-sigh-)
(oh - and what are those? my new glasses! It took a week to warm up to them, but now I like them! A lot!)


Deciding I needed to buy myself something very nice since I had to go into work. I found these NIB Clarks boots on ebay for a totally crazy low price. Was the highest bidder. Then I got out bid. Then I bid again & won. Dudes, I got these boots for like....$21 US. boo(t)yah!


I discover I lost my wallet - most likely in the cab I took to Gord's house - FREAK OUT. I had multiple unused gift cards in there, a fairly large lump sum I had just withdrawn from the bank
and 2 Simply Saucer tickets.... Cry for a long time, berate myself for being so careless, walk my sorry ass home. Complain for most of the afternoon. (the wallet, if you remember, was a christmas gift from Gord & probably the most favourite thing I've ever owned ever...I loved that wallet more than I should probably admit)
I'm blaming the loss on an issue I meant to blog about weeks ago: The horrible bag I've been forced to use as a result of poorly manufactured handbags.


Gord brings some 'sad-be-gone' in the form of beer & Jager & soon I am telling jokes & doing interpretive dance & I'm back to my old self again.

On the agenda today: Make new lame "money holder thing" & new "idiot proof" bag.