31 May 2007

Jane Doe.

Effing yes guy! Check out my sweet new socks!

I love these so much that I am currently wearing them despite the very hot & muggy conditions. These are my first official tip-toe into the world of making sock patterns & I am pleased as spiked High School dance punch with them.

mmmmm I could just die from how good that heel looks.

The first sock was the test run, the second sock is a little different since I made some fit adjustments. This means that the socks are not exact twins, but I love them like a mother would love even slightly imperfect children.

But what kind of no good mother doesn't name her child? Me, that's who. I'll try to come up with a clever name while I knit the second pair (I gotta...so that I can perfect the pattern & share it with you!)

For those who wish to know, these socks were knit using Socks That Rock in the 'Harlotty' colourway. It's totally awesome!

30 May 2007

sew it like it's hot

To say this is a modified version of Simplicity pattern #4111 is an understatement.

I shortened the sleeves & took out some fullness, rounded the neckline, ditched the elastic beneath the bustline, made the ties longer & wider (and still not wide enough, it seems) I added about 2" to the length & about 1" on either side to the width. I think the only part I kept the same is the top front pieces - the boob bits.

The fabric is my favourite part of the whole thing - but it was noted by some friends that its the expanse of pale white/freckley chest skin that makes the top "sizzle".

After seeing this photo, I have to wonder if its the wrinkles from being caught in the rain & then tossing the shirt to the ground that gives it that extra edge?

Good for drinkin' too!

28 May 2007


I haven't done it on purpose - I didn't plan on taking a blog break or being a real slack-ass about the whole updating thing.....it just happened.

I've still been knitting, but other things are taking up my time as well. Like our new & exciting back porch container garden (a gushy post about that is forthcoming) and sewing FINALLY. I'll post about that soon as well...

Between the sewing, gardening & allergy season, I've been doing a little work on some socks.

This is some Socks that Rock in the 'Harlotty' colourway (named after the Yarn Harlot). I searched around for a good pattern but decided 'hey - why not go nuts & make up my own sock pattern?' Sometimes I can be totally unpredictable & CRAZY like that. I can't be contained.

So I got out my Vogue Stitchionaries & my perpetual 'stitch a day' calender & tried some stuff out. I knew I needed a pattern with lots of stockinette since I wanted to show off the pretty colours of this yarn. This zig-zaggy pattern was perfect, so I got to work. To my surprise the sock freaking worked....AND I love the pattern....AND it was pretty easy to knit.

I've now cast on for the second one, making some minor changes (ie: I cast on 60 stitches for the first sock but think it's a little snug, for the second one, I'm casting on 66) and making extensive notes as I go along so that I can share the pattern when I'm done.

22 May 2007

cast off, Eh!

Sorry about the title - I thought of it yesterday & decided it was too lame to keep it all to myself.

I know I'm due for a bigger update than what I'm about to give, but I wanted to post about the mail I got today! I'll update again, hopefully tomorrow with some knitting updates.

I finished my sock swap socks & sent them off today - and when I got home, the socks from my sock pal were there with the mail! Lovely!

They fit wonderfully, and are really a beautiful pair of socks. My swap pal Ann used some Cherry Tree Hill yarn in a bright orange called 'Tangerine' - this yarn feels really, really great. The beaded cuff makes them extra special - I love them!

Thanks, Ann!

09 May 2007

taking it EZ

I've been updating like whoah! My boss has been away for almost 2 weeks now, and today I'm left all alone in the office, so I figured this is prime posting time.

The weather gods sure hit it out of the park yesterday & the springy goodness followed me into Romni on my way home. I went in just to buy some contrasting wool in a nice bright, unexpected colour for the hem of Gord's sweater. I go totally ape every time I see a clever hem in a contrasting colour - I wanted to do the same.

These were the ones that spoke to me the most, and I bought them hoping one would also speak to Gord. (The green is actually called 'Spring Green' I didn't notice that until I got home)

and because it's literally impossible for me to not spend more money than I plan on when I enter into a yarn store, I also bought some sock yarn...

The Regia will probably become socks my my mom. She is allergic to wool, but likes hand knit socks - so when I see a nice non-woolly sock yarn, I buy it for her. As for when I'll get around to making my mother so many pairs of socks, who knows - but at least my heart is in the right place. Too bad most of the cotton sock yarns I come across are in decidedly femme colours, as I have another person in my life who is allergic to wool but is a boy.
The Lang Super Soxx is really super great colours - and I really love making socks with this stuff. I didn't realize until I got up to the cashier that these 4 balls of yarn have a bunch of the same colours going on. (not pictured, but also purchased, some 'suede' yarn for more baby Uggs & the new issue of Interweave Knits)

I came home & asked which Gord preferred - the Blue or the green. He said blue. Which made me happy, since that's the one I actually liked the best.

This is my first Elizabeth Zimmerman pattern. I've often read of people who were unsure or nervous about following EZ's instructions, but take her word for it & end up thoroughly satisfied. I want to be one of these people. So when she told me to cast on & start knitting the body - with no mention of ribbing, or knitting in the hem, I did it. But I keep getting distracted by the rolly bottom of the sweater.

I re-read the instructions a bunch of times, making sure that I FOR SURE was not told to do any bottom work. Then I read her instructions for picking up the hem & sewing it up. I had my doubts about how it would look - I did a bunch of google searches but most of the results were about knitting the hem in as you go along. I started doubting EZ....I started wondering if I should frog it & start over with a knit in hem....

I decided to do a swatch. (I hate to admit it, but although I've been an avid knitter for many years, I hardly ever knit a gauge swatch. my bad.)

I knit a little test then picked up stitches along the back of the bottom edge, just as Elizabeth tells you to. And then I knit the hem using her 10% decrease method (which, by the way, is mother-freaking genius) and sewed it up just like she said - not casting off, keeping the stitches live & taking only a scant bit of the sweater stitch as I went along.

my swatch has a secret!

So there it is from the front - near to perfect.

And on the back, which will be the inside of the sweater, we have a splash of colour to show that Gord is a fashion-forward man, not afraid of colour.

And guy, look how totally stretchy it is. Awesome.

I consider this my first, gentle reminder to trust in what Elizabeth Zimmerman tells me to do. If she told me to jump, I would ask how high. Of course, her response would be "My dear, however high the right height for YOU would be."

08 May 2007

domestication? Is that you?

I guess the best word to describe how I'm currently aiming to live is 'quaint'. I love sitting in my sunny living room thinking about what I'll make in my sunny sewing room. I love making delicious dinners with my best friend/boyfriend (the dinners are so yummy I've started taking photos. When I told Gord that I might start a food blog, he pointed out that that would put a lot of pressure on dinner...but seriously, there's some good cookin' going down - I think I'll start posting about the particularly delicious ones here.)

a cute little unidentified plant that Gord brought home for me yesterday!

I love jumpingclimbing into our extra comfy bed (we put Gord's deluxe futon between my deluxe box spring & mattress! indulgent!) I love pouring over quilt patterns & afghan patterns (I've actually started a miter square blanket, but this one makes me want to start over only using tahki cotton classic, just like in the Mason & Dixon book) & ideas for pillows & various home comforts. Spring is here, and I want to be the best me I can be. Not waste a second, spend all my time creating and crafting and idea-ing, and laughing.

I'm in LOVE with the moss that has grown in this random pot on my back porch - it's like a mini bog!

Also, I want to post way more, not wait until I only have a finished project to show off - but to *share* more. Talk about process.

And with that, I present to you a little glimpse of one completed sock swap sock. I won't show the whole thing since I'm not sure if my swap partner is lurking around, but I will say that those of you who liked the looks of the Anastasia Socks were right. This pattern is wonderful!

I've only knit 2.5 pairs of toe-up socks. I had convinced myself I didn't like it. With these, I'm ditching the magic loop, two at once technique & knitting toe up, one at a time on dpns & I'm really liking it. Also, I think I've finally found a way to cast off that creates a nice sproingy edge that doesn't cut off the circulation in my leg! Awesome!

***edited to add:
I had just posted this & then discovered I have been tagged with a meme by Shannon! (I had been tagged by Rahime a while back but couldn't think of 7 things at that time, but with my new *sharing* policy, here I go...)

1. I collect old nancy drew books, interestingly printed envelope paper (you know how on the inside of envelopes there's a printed pattern so you can't see what's inside? not sure what I'll do with it yet though) and I'm beginning a serious vintage kitchenware thing.

2. When I was a kid I had 40% hearing loss in my left ear. I am still sort of hard of hearing, I'm convinced I'll be totally deaf one day.

3. I have a secret freckle.

4. When I worked at the bookstore I memorized all the names of the dogs that used to come by with their owners. I ocassionally spot these dogs out for walks & greet the dog, not the owner, by name.

5. I pierced my own nose when I was 16.

6. I am a recovering pack rat with a dream of one day having barely any posessions.

7. I could live the rest of my life only eating peanut butter.

I'm supposed to tag 7 more people, but I'm opting not to - but if you'd like, please share!

06 May 2007

Tiiiiiiiiiiiiiiin Roof!...........Rusted!

A new sweater fell of the needles today!

'Rusted Root' by ZephyrStyle. I knit this project purely to get rid of some Cotton Fleece I had in my stash, leftover from the shrug I knit for Susannah. I needed to buy more yarn though, so I went & got 3 balls of 'Cherry Moon.' wrong dyelot, I was drunk, yadda yadda yadda, you know the rest.

I made lots of modifications to this sweater. At least, I *think* I did. I never even looked at it past page one. Basically, I read the first line where it tells you how many stitches to cast on & how to divide them & followed the lace pattern - but I never even looked at the rest of the pattern. I didn't do the puff sleeves, but if I knit it again (which I probably will, but maybe with a different lace pattern? Who knows.) I'm going to add just a bit... for some extra pa-zang.

I love how it fits - but where the new dyelot was joined in pains me. I think I'll knit a test swatch of both dyelots & do a test re-dye. The really ironic thing about this is that I bought 3 skeins of the new dyelot, hoping that with the one I already had, I'd be able to eek this sweater out (the pattern called for 5) I now have a full, untouched skein of the new dyelot left. Meaning I have what I started with. And I couldn't have knit the whole sweater in the same dyelot, and I guess I still could. Some day.

Overall, a very satisfying knit except for the horrible blaring bad bit straight across my chest.

Oh, and about my chalkboard that a couple of you were admiring; I found it in the garbage of a church about 10 years ago, and carried it home in the rain. I've always loved it, but the other day when i was looking at it against the new wall colour & my little green chair, I re-fell in love.

05 May 2007

new beginnings.

Things are slowly being put in their place, walls are being painted & the apartment I've lived in for the past 9 years is finally becoming a *home*. Gord & I have already painted the Living room, which has made a huge difference. For years the walls were a bizarre burgundy colour with limey green trim. Totally wacky. We've painted the trim fresh white & the walls are 'Polar sky' blue & I'm in love with sitting in here.

We still have a bit of work to do, but it's coming along quite nicely.

I've made a couple allusions to the fact that the sweater I knit for Gord's christmas gift wasn't as awesome as I was hoping it'd be. The fit was awkward & the raglan sleeves made him uncomfortable. I was nervous about the whole Boyfriend sweater curse thing, but I think the fact that Gord was able to tell me that honestly, the sweater wasn't his thing is a good sign that we are solid as a rock. So for the past little while we've been searching for the perfect pattern & the perfect colour of grey. We've finally settled on Elizabeth Zimmerman's Saddle Shoulder Sweater from Knitting Without Tears(LOVE!). And as for the wool, I discovered the perfect shade of grey while at Lettuce Knit last week. The woman who works there (who also does CosmicPluto) was wearing the exact shade we were looking for, she told me it was Elann Peruvian Wool in 'Oxford Heather Grey". I put in an order that night & it arrived yesterday. (side note - dudes, Elann is so awesome! and fast! and cheap! and Canadian!)

I started last night with a gauge swatch & everything! I took measurements, I made a little sketch, I'm determined to do right by my man! And by Elizabeth Zimmerman!

02 May 2007

moving day.

If I ever move, this is how I'm gonna do it - by moving the WHOLE HOUSE.
Yesterday I helped Tim move his stuff out of our house (2 flights x's 2 loads) into Donald's house (1 flight x's 2 loads) then we moved Gord's stuff (3 flights) into my house (one flight) making it *our* house.
I wonder when I'll get full use of my arms & legs, because right now, it seems like the most far-fetched idea I've ever had. Luckily, the thrill of creating a *home* with the man I'm totally crazy for is helping to ease the pain. Like A5-35 for the soul!
In knitting news...I started Rusted Root from Zephrystyle 3 days ago & I'm zipping right along. There's one huge major snag - I'm knitting this because a) I love the pattern and b) I had leftovers of the Cotton Fleece I used to knit Susannah's shrug. I didn't have *quite* enough to make the sweater though, so I went to the Knit Cafe to buy supplement yarn. Then I went out with Tim to have lots of beer & nachos to say s'long to the roommate life & when we got home I started up the sweater with the new yarn I had bought. Borderline drunk & by the light of one dim lamp in the living room.
When I saw the sweater in the sober light of day I discovered that the new Cherry Moon is quite a different colour than the old cherry moon. It doesn't just look like different dye lots - it looks like two completely different colours. I'm continuing on though - I'm not sure what I'm hoping will happen - but we'll see.