24 April 2007

mixed berries. mixed emotions.

I've entered into a sock swap.

My initial feelings were real upbeat & excited, but now I'm experiencing swap buddy anxiety.

I have lots of sock yarn in my stash but I wanted to buy yarn *specifically* for my swap partner. I went to Lettuce Knit & bought 2 skeins of Lorna's Laces in a great colourway called 'Mixed Berries'

A great bundle of deep reds, blues, pinks & purpley.

Then I spent lots of time flipping through my issues of Interweave Knits, Vogue Knitting, all my books & the binder where I keep patterns that I've printed off from the internet trying to find *the* perfect pattern.

I needed something to show off my skills, after all, my sock buddy apparently has many years of sock knitting under her belt. I've only been knitting socks for a little over a year now & while I think I've created some pretty primo socks, I still have lots to learn. (that, I think, is one of my favourite things about knitting & craft in general) Also, I needed something interesting that would compliment the yarn.

Then I found the Shimmer Socks pattern from Magknits. Perfect! The stitch pattern was new & interesting to me & from what I could tell it would do a great job of showing off this bowl of berries.

And so I began. I did my first provisional cast on using the helpful tutorial at Knitty - the cast on was nice - it took me a really long time, but I was pleased with the end result. Then I began the pattern.

I was thrilled! The stitch pattern is great for hand painted yarns & I motored on with high hopes. It started getting a little lop sided, but I paid no mind, hoping it'd sort itself out as I went along.

It never did. it got worse - the pattern got wonkier & wonkier as I went along, no matter what I did to try & straighten it out....

The sock was lost to me. I was no longer in charge - the sock told *me* where it was going, I was just a willing victim. I finally put a stop to it. Gave the Shimmer sock the finger.

I took the other yarn cake & cast on for my second pattern pick. 'Anastasia's Socks' from pepperknit blog.

The pattern is easy & quick going - but I'm worried. Is it too plain for a sock swap? Shouldn't I be knitting socks that will astound the recipient? Should I try & fix the Shimmer sock?

Should I try a whole new pattern altogether?

22 April 2007

busy....like a bee.

Happy Earth Day, everyone!

I planted some seeds today!

Just a few though - I thought I had more, but these were all I could find.

Zinnias, mini sunflowers & some Heirloom Sweet Pea seeds (Lord Nelson & Lady Grisel Hamilton Sweet Peas, to be precise!)

I'm incredibly excited for spring to take the drivers seat & drive me right into Summer. I hadn't realized it until last week, but this winter gave me a *serious* case of the Blah-wah-wah-wahs. I experienced a lethargy that was beyond the scope of simply blaming it on my generation. But no more! I'm ready to pop out of my own metaphorical peat pellet! Ready to ride my bicycle & eat lots of locally grown fruits & vegetables! (Speaking of which, Gord & I will hopefully be able to rig up some sort of vegetable growing operation on the back deck)

Have I mentioned? That my boyfriend & I are jumping into co-habitation mode & as of May 1st I'll have a new roommate!

In anticipation of this, I've been trying my best to get rid of stuff that's been cluttering up my apartment. I'm a Grade A pack-rat & I'm trying desperately to get rid of what I don't need.

This weekend I started with my sewing room - it was getting out of control!


I was kidding myself for a while by saying it was a *creative* mess - that chaos like this meant that the room was being put to good use & that there were "things happening" in there. But then I'd turn around & use the fact that the room was so messy as my excuse for *not* doing anything.

So Saturday morning I went in there with a mission - a game plan. A strategy. I was going to have a box for things I would give to other people. I would have a box for items to be donated to the Goodwill. I would have a bag for paper to be recycled. I would have a large garbage bag for everything else I didn't need.

I had a camera to take photos of things I should have gotten rid of years ago but held onto for some reason or another.

Such as this 'yarn dolly' given to me for christmas:

This is cute, for sure (but still, WTF??) - I just don't know what to *do* with it. I have had her sitting in my sewing room for over a year now & I think it's time she moves on to someone elses home.

This little bear & skunk figurine was given to me by my great friend Darren about 7 years ago. It's lovely. It's adorable. It's a *skunk* playing *guitar* to a *bear* holding *flowers* while sitting on top of a *mushroom*. That's a lot of cute going on in one little porcelain figurine, and it's time I stop being so greedy - more people need to see this!

This scarf is awesome. about 4 years ago my cousin & I decided that for our family's gift exchange we would *make* each other gifts. I made him a sock monkey & he freaking learned how to knit & made me this awesome scarf. He said that he'd come home from class, crack open a beer, watch Hockey & knit this scarf. AMAZING! It's a little wonky in some spots, but that makes me love it *MORE*. The thing is, I'm not the only fan of this scarf. Moths love it too...

After I took these photos, I decided I must do all I can to save. this. scarf. I know what it is to put so much work into making something for some one. I cannot let a couple (um, 5 or so.. ) of moth holes get me down. I think I may felt it & see what I can do with it.

This...this is just one of the beauties I got rid of. A couple of summers ago my friend Peter & I were riding our bicycles around town & happened upon a Jamboree (!!!) at a grade school. We got there near the end of it, so at the book table they were encouraging us to take all the books we could jam into a bag for one dollar. There were tons of Reader's Digest 'Condensed Novels' which are probably some of the most handsomely design books I've ever seen. Peter & I snatched them up, not quite sure of what we were going to do with them - but we wanted them.

They are filled with amazingness. And mold. These books make my nose tingle & my eyes water & my skin crawl. I've taken a bunch of photos of their insides & outsides in hopes of using the photos as inspiration - but the books.......they will go.

I've started a special photo set of these things in my flickr

It felt crazygood to just toss things! I've never, ever been the type who can let go of stuff - but I'm hoping this is a new leaf. My sewing space is *so* tidy & awesome now. I just want to sit in there all day long.

Trust me, this bookshelf looks a billion times better.

This room means a lot to me. Tim & Donald surprised me with a 'While you were Out' style room makeover last year. While I was at work, they painted, put up some awesome artwork, tons of hooks, set me up with lots of shelf space & made me cry. They loved me enough to do this for me! I love this room! It deserves to be clutter-free!

Now everything is in its place, the sun is beaming in through the window & there's not one dust rainbow to be seen!

Next stop - my bedroom....soon to be Gord's own private music hideaway.

19 April 2007

Spring? Is that you?

SSSSSssssssssssunny sunshine! Finally. Every year when the weather finally turns this crucial corner I feel like hugging random people on the street. "We made it man, we really made it!"

Also, warm sun means that I can, if I want, wait in the park on a bench for my boyfriend & knit.

Here I am knitting those effing cotton socks. These socks are too small for the intended recipient, but I've been having such a hard time knitting them that I really don't think I could handle it if I were to rip back & add length to the foot.
I took this picture because this song came on my ipod & it's by a band named 'Sunshine' I've never heard of this band & I have no idea how it ended up on my ipod but it wasn't terrible. (note to self: should knit a little ipod cozy - look how scratched up it is!)

On my way home I stopped & picked up this super cute ceramic thing to keep my needles in!

I'm a great admirer of people who keep their knitting needles in jars & now I am one of them! Yes!

It occurred to me that I've been doing so much knitting with circulars & dpns that I have been sort of neglecting my nice long straights. Maybe for my next project I'll treat myself to some choice needles.


Nice huh? This is some Fleece Artist right here - this is really super stuff - that acid green colour had me at hello. The thing is, I've started knitting 'Brenda's Socks' & I'm not sure the pattern is right for this yarn.

From the looks of the cuff, if I were to knit this in a plainer pattern a subtle stripey thing would happen with the browns, blues & greens. Yes, guy! But I'm having a tough time finding just the right one. Time to spend some one on one with my pattern books!

17 April 2007


Fresh off the needles!

62 stitches & 2x2 rib, size 2 needles
Lang Supersoxx stripes. colour #6351.

The stripes in these were totally confusing - I love how they turned out but I could see no rhyme or reason to the sequence of the colours. I'm not complaining - I totally dig on these. I just wish there were more than 2 pink stripes per socks.

With each newly knit pair of socks I've been forcing myself to toss one pair of "bad" socks. Socks made acrylic, usually with some 'cutsie' pattern on them. This time I think it will be the army green socks with shadows of horses on them. Remember when shadows of horses were the shit? Even cooler than wolves or fawns?

14 April 2007

Bullet Proof Nothing.

Yesterday I spent close to 10 hours at a Medieval conference selling books. Party. Party.

By night fall I was totally ready for some funtimes! Gord & I went to see Simply Saucer!

It was enjoyable for sure, but nothing overly exciting. (ie: nothing to blog about even though when we had left the bar a girl said "what's going on in there?" I had had some lots of beer so my reply was "Simply Saucer! Go inside & see & write about it on your blog!!")

So there I am writing it on my blog.

Remember the lump of brown stuff in my last post? Well, it's now.......uhhh..kind of close to a cardigan:

A cardigan that I don't think I'll ever wear.

It's the 'Short Sleeved Cardigan' from the Spring Vogue Knitting. Here are the problems.

- I substituted cotton with recycled Swish Superwash wool that had originally been Gord's Morse code sweater. (long story) not sure this was a good way to go

- there are no button holes knit into the button band. You are to smush the buttons through the eyelet lace. A girl like me is virtually incapable of buttoning something up like this without it looking totally ass.


that photo perfectly shows my buttoning problem.

So what to do? It's comfy enough to wear, it fits well everywhere else - it's just ultra, mega short. I even considered adding one more lace repeat before the waist ribbing but for some reason opted not to. ah duh.

I think I might try to add some more to the bottom, but I'm not sure I'm up to that just now. Also, I don't know if you can tell by the photos, but it hasn't really been blocked yet - unless you count the brutal attack I made on it with the iron (shhhhh!)

I think I might get away with wearing it unbuttoned, but still...

I tried wearing a different coloured shirt underneath because I thought that maybe that'd help? Yeah, but no.


09 April 2007

hippity hoppity

OMG...where do I even begin?

Who here loves a long weekend? Can I get a whut whut? I for one sure love them! They're so long! And weekendy!

This Easter weekend was a jam packed one, filled with tons of crafting!

The first crafty thing that happened was that I got some *amazing* mail on Thursday. I'm lucky to be a part of an amazing craft community that introduces me to so many amazing artists Courtney is an incredibly talented jeweler that I've admired for some time now & Anyhow, Courtney sent me an incredibly beautiful ring! I put it on straight away & have barely taken it off since! I'm incredibly touched to be the recipient of such a gorgeous gift.

(There are more & better photos on her you really should go look!)

Friday began awesomely with a delicious breakfast & the kitchener stitching of this sock:

This is a simple 2x2 ribbed sock. I cast on 64 stitches & went to town. I really love the stripes - the colours are really cute, I just wish there were more than 2 pink stripes in this sock.

It's Lang Super Soxx colour #6351. I used some Lang Super Soxx for a pair of Super Gord Soxx - I really like using this stuff, and it feels like the socks will last a good long time.

After I stitched up the toe, I cast on for the second sock & knit one row. Then I finished up the pomatomus sock I've been working on:

Here it is being modeled by my arm. These socks will be for my mother & her feet are 2 sizes smaller than mine. I'm using meilenweit maya for these which makes for the smooshiest softest sock I've knit yet. I cannot stop manhandling it as I knit.

der ner ner der dah dee dah...........

Fast forward to Saturday....
Gord & I went to his parents house where we spent the whole day making delicious food for our Easter dinner!


(Gord's niece & nephew were a awesome l'il helpers)

During all of this I snuck in little bits of knitting. I started a new project on Friday, hoping to get it totally done by the end of the weekend.

On Sunday Gord's sister Lorraine showed me how to make pysanka!

I was totally into this! It was a really fun project & now I want to hook myself up with the gear so I can make more of these! Mine are the two obviously novice eggs on the left in that photo. Lorraine's are the eggspert ones at the top.

Hers are so amazing that I told her she should put them on her resume!

Phew! so much fun making stuff! And aside from this stuff I also finally finished all the songs on Guitar Hero in the medium setting, watched all of Twin Peaks season 1, watched Half Nelson and.....

This lump of brown stuff will be a completed cardigan by tomorrow.