10 April 2009

Tangled up in Blue(ish green).

Well, it only took about a million years, but it's done!

Tangled Yoke Cardigan! Done! Checkmark!

I didn't mind taking my time with this project - it was a joy to knit from the very beginning. I used Rowan Felted Tweed in 'Water'. I loved working with this - a lot! The knitted fabric is so soft & light while still being warm - it's wonderful.

I wasn't sure about what kind of buttons to put on, but in my last post, Julia suggested something 'vintagey' while Amy commented that she was quite happy with the Mother of Pearl jobbies she used on her own cardigan. That's when the light bulb went on in my head. I have vintage Mother of Pearl buttons! But did I have 9 of the correct size?

Yes, yes I did.

Effin' A! Button luck like that doesn't happen often around here, so I was more thrilled than some might think necessary as I sewed them on.

Even makes my droopy butt look good?

Now, my only concern about this sweater is that it felt...I don't know, more *substantial* before I blocked it. I think it grew too much in blocking & now the arms are a little bigger & longer than I'd like. While the fit is just right right now, I'm worried that my somewhat new, determined interest in my own physical health means that in a couple of months, it's going to be a little too big & look messy (props to myself by mentioning that I was about 25 pounds heavier when I started this sweater?). I guess I'll cross that bridge when I get there & maybe that will be when I test out the (shiver) machine washability of this yarn. (oh god oh god what if I ruin it? calm down, I'll cry about ruining it when it actually happens..)

up there there was a squirrel - causing mischief.

29 March 2009

Straight from the stash.

A while ago I made a mental promise with myself that I would finish up projects I already had going, use fabric I already had in my stash, spin fiber I already had & chip away at my yarn stash. I didn't *really* expect to stick to it though - it was just a little voice that would pipe up to remind me that I had plenty of yarn at home, or that I had beautiful sweaters on the needles, or that I could make a good amount of dresses & quilts with fabric I already own.

I'm surprised to have stuck to it - and even more surprised when I actually *give* myself permission to start something new, or to buy yarn & I end up forgoing it - telling myself all I have to do is fall back in love with the projects & materials I already own. Make them new...again!

It started with my sock yarn stash. I decided to knit chronologically from it. To my amazement, I have pretty much stuck to it. I have only bought 3 skeins of sock yarn in the past year or so (I KNOW, RIGHT??)

The latest completed project are these beauties:

Socks for Gord from some Trekking Pro Natura sock yarn. I remember the day I bought this -
how intrigued I was by the bamboo content...that was years ago - Bamboo is a
totally common fiber in yarns now!

I loved knitting these - the colours are calming, the yarn is lovely, and the weight is nice & light. A+! (This photo was taken after a couple of times through the washer - hence the pilliness)

And today I finished my Kaffe fasset Regia socks - a special treat for my own feet.

I'm wild about this colour combination, but was so frustrated by the short yardage of this stuff. I ran out of yarn with only about 4 rows to go in my second sock. Luckily, I had turquoise DK Superwash yarn in my stash that fit right in.

I've also made great headway with my Tangled Yoke Cardigan. I have only the button bands to knit. When I took this off the needles, after completing the neckband, I was almost sick to my stomach with absolute, pure joy. Seriously. I love this so much I could vomit.

I want great buttons for this...where should I get some great buttons? I'm not sure if I want to go way over the celtic top with this & get celtic-y pewter buttons or if I want to keep things in this same colour family. I love these indulgent decisions we get to make as knitters!

01 March 2009


For much, much longer than I care to admit to (a check in my Ravelry project information for this sweater, tells me I started it in September of 2008!) I have been working on the Tangled Yoke Cardigan. I love this project. I love the yarn (Rowan Felted Tweed), I love the feel of the knitted fabric, I know I will love the yoke cables... but I am dragging my heels on it. For months the body of the sweater has lingered in my sewing room...then I finally finished a sleeve, which hung out in the living room...the other sleeve was tucked into my bedside table . All these pieces of sweater everywhere...

There is an incredible sense of peace I feel once pieces of a sweater are finally joined. A "phew! The Gang's finally all here!" sort of relief. I finally got to feel that feeling last weekend when I joined the truant sleeves to the main body of this thing.

Awesome. I love it even more now - it's no longer a heavy grey Charlie Brown storm cloud following me around. Arms & body are together, the cable chart is just on the horizon! I can see it!

And then...
Oh! Snap! My needle has broken. The bamboo has split & the knitting on this cardigan is put on hold once again. (you can insert a fog horn boat noise here.)

So now, until I can get myself a new needle, I am happily working on this beauty:

It is 'A New Design in Cable Stitch' - A pattern from Woman's Weekly, 13 July 1940. A sweater requested by my friend Susannah.
I'm using Elann Baby Cashmere in 'Serengeti Sand.' It's lovely, the cables are lovely & I like working from a vintage pattern. I've been tempted to change a few things about it, but I'd like to stay as true to it as possible. Susannah takes the authenticity of her vintage clothing fairly seriously.

22 February 2009

Knit out.

How's this for bad blogging?
Last week I went on a fabulous work trip - a trip to the 'Knit Out' at Mall of America & not only did I fail to mention I was going, but here I am dragging my heels in coming here to tell you that I went & it was fun. Exhausting, but fun.

I had never been in the presence of so many knitters & crocheters before! They took over the whole place - it was great to see a variety of people. I was at the Spinrite booth - answering questions & talking to people about upcoming patterns & yarns while they waited (and waited) in line. Because of the high volume of people, I didn't get a chance to see any of the other booths or watch the fashion show, but reports were that everything was pretty fun.

This was the line-up to get to our booth on Saturday - pretty crazy! I was happy to see so many men with their ladyfriends on Valentine's Day.

The woman knitting had her pattern tucked in the hood of her friend's sweater ahead of her in line. She stuck her knitting in there too!

Mall Mascot for the 'Underwater Adventures' pretending to eat our froggy washcloth.

After my long day of chatting up knitters, I put myself on the Light Rail and headed to Minneapolis to meet up with a crafty internet friend - it was great!

Jackierocket! This past year has been a weird one, socially, for me. Hanging out with JR was so relaxing & fun - I'm glad I mustered up the energy to get out of my hotel room. I didn't stay out too late though, Sunday was a brand new day of Knit Out fun. By the end of it, my throat was scratchy & I was suffering big time from healthy food withdrawl (Not many vegetarian options at any of the places we went...) - but I was high on all the great ideas I got from talking to so many people. *highfive!*

My trip knitting for this was socks for me with some of the Kaffe Fasset Regia sock yarn. I've been diligently knitting only from my stash & was pretty excited to finally knit with this stuff.
I cast on in the airport, knit on the plane & when we touched down 2 hours later, I had turned the heel & picked up the gusset stitches. I didn't have much yarn left, but I kept knitting hoping it would magically turn into more.

It didn't.

In the airport on the way home, Sara was nice enough to rip the entire thing back & I restarted from the beginning.
My initial cast on was 66 stitches - too much. I cast on 60 this time & started the heel flap about 1 1/2 inches sooner than on my first go.

I finished just under the wire with just the tiniest bit of yarn left over.

18 January 2009

If you think I'm soxy.

I know Toronto is just a tiny speck on the map, and I know that where I (and tens of thousands more) live is but an even tinier speck, but when the power went out on Thursday night, it was big news. It became even bigger news when we were told that it'd be up to 24 hours before heat & electricity would be restored to our part of the city.

For the first 20 minutes or so of the blackout, Gord & I tried to pass the time by playing our ongoing game of Monopoly & listening to the wind-up radio. It didn't take long before trying to read the Community Chest & Chance cards by candlelight got old & we packed it in.
Power was back on by about 9:30 the next night & just in time too, since after almost 24 hours the temperature in our apartment was getting pretty crisp...or 'frigid' as I am quoted as saying in this article. Notice the bit about wearing hand knit socks? I made them promise to include that part.

And what a convenient segue!

Hot off the needles - I present to you...




Why are they the best socks ever?

Because I spun the yarn myself!

And then I knit it into these socks! That I am wearing on my feet as I type this!

I did run into a snag - I had only the toe decreases to do when I ran out of yarn..

So I had to spin some more up just so I could finish...and of course since I have too many projects on the go, I didn't get around to doing that until this morning - when, in an astoundingly speedy spinning & knitting session, I finished up these adorable little socks. I've been patting myself on the back ever since.

Superwash Merino roving in 'Tahiti' from Spunky Eclectic
I started spinning this in June, finished the socks in January. 7 months for a pair of socks? Totally worth it!
I used a great drop spindle from Yellow Dog Farm - also purchased from Spunky Eclectic.

And this isn't the only pair I knit during that time...

Clockwise from the top left, Socks for Gord - out of unidentified sock yarn. Monkey socks for my mom out of Regia Cotton....which, to be honest, were so very hard to give away. Socks for Gord & a pair for me - both out of dgb sock yarn from my stash.

I sometimes finish things & give them away before I realize I haven't taken any photos of them. Aside from these 4, I knit 3 pairs of socks for various men in my life. A pair for my dad, a pair for my brother in-law Scott & a pair for Kie, Gord's brother in-law. I'm still making my way through my sock yarn stash, currently chipping away at (surprise!) a pair of socks for Gord.

11 January 2009

Okay, okay.....2009 - my year for blogging, I swear.
Let's just forget that weird lull ever happened, hm?

You know those projects that you don't remember knitting? Those ones that just all of a sudden show up, asking you to weave in their ends so it can be officially done?

My Gathered Pullover is one of them. I got this yarn in the summer & started casually knitting this on the bus on my way to & from work. When it got too big, I stuffed it in my bedside table & would throw in a row or two now & again. When I got to the cable, I did it one afternoon when I didn't feel like working on my other projects. I took a sleeve with me over Christmas holidays & finished the other one on the bus. Which brings me to Friday, when I wove in the ends & realized that I had a *fabulous* little sweater on my hands.

Pattern: Gathered Pullover by Hana Jason Ravelry link here.
Yarn: Patons Classic Wool in 'Dark Natural Mix'

I'm totally smitten with this one - probably because it sort of appeared from out of nowhere - and I'm 100% happy with the fit. I had some worries before I picked up the neckline stitches - it was huge & messy. To compensate, I picked up less stitches than the pattern called for to bring in the V-neck. I couldn't be happier with how it turned out & I am incredibly proud of how neat & tidy & perfect my picked up stitches are.

I worked less rows of neckline than the pattern called for as well, since that rolley edge business is not for me. I also worked a knitted hem in the sleeves and bottom edge. I sort of regret doing this in the sleeves as I could have them about an 1 1/2" shorter, but there's no going back. At least this shows that I'm past my nasty habit of not making sleeves & bodies of sweaters long enough.

Two thumbs up for this one!

Over my break from blogging I finished a couple choice projects - I'll start sharing them soon. I'll sprinkle posts about them in between my current stuff. Current stuff lately means finishing up all my WIPs. I'm dedicated to a new project in/project out rule to help keep a cap on my compulsive project starting. So far so good, and now that this sweater is done I can put some new socks on the needles.