Sunday, July 30, 2006

A New Knitting Spot, And An Impromptu Project

I spent most of the day knitting and listening to podcasts today. It was a really nice and relaxing day. For some reason, I had to put the iPod in the shot to get the color to show up properly.

On a whim, I've decided to use the rest of my dark blue Rowan Rowanspun Aran to make the Boogie Vest from the Spring '04 Knitty. Again, I'm using a double strand of this yarn. I got the picture part way through the day, but I've actually finished the entire back of it.This yarn is actually quite nice. And apparently tweed is very "in" for this fall.

Around 6 o'clock, I put the knitting down, and started cleaning. I got rid of a ton of clutter, and I did the vaccuming. I can't believe I can actually see the coffee table again!

I did bunch of furnature moving (with Stu's help), and I organized myself a designated knitting spot. It's between his desk and the kitchen table (aka my desk). It's a cozy spot, and I can't wait to sit there when I get home tomorrow after work. I also think it's going to be a perfect spot to spend time once we get into the cooler weather.
After I got everthing set up, Stu said, "You know what that area needs? I book shelf. You know, on the wall." Isn't that nice? He wants me to have a place for all of my knitting books in my knitting area. He rocks!

I hope everyone had a good weekend!

Saturday, July 29, 2006

Farmers Market Bag Surprise!

Last night I finished the project that I've been working on, and have been waiting to talk about.

It's the Farmer's Market Bag from Weekend Knitting by Melanie Falick. I don't think this pattern should be included under the guise of being knitable in a single weekend. It should be in a book called "Knit for every spare second for over a week, and you might get it done".

The only time I deviated from the fair isle pattern was on the strap. It was supposed to be patterned, but I made it plain instead.

This picture is pre-felting (that's a 16 inch ruler beside it):

This project was actually inspired by my stash. Almost a year ago, I picked up 2 bags of Rowan Rowanspun Aran, and I've had no idea what to do with it since. I was surprised at how little yarn this project took. I only used about 3 balls (possibly 4, I can't remember) of the dark blue, and 2 of the light blue. At least I think it was 2. Geez, I should really start paying more attention! If anyone really wants to know, I can count the remaining balls and tell you exactly how many balls it took.

I used a double strand of this yarn, and a 7mm needle, and I "pretty much" got gauge. Hey. It's a bag, it doesn't have to be too specific.

This picture is post-felting (as you can see, it needs a shave!):

Stu kindly volunteered his old razor to do the shaving (Yes, I did ask first!). It was unimaginably fuzzy when I took it out of the wash, and it's getting better, but it still needs another shave.

I was searching around online to see if any other people had substituted yarns and talked about it, but I could hardly find anything on this bag. I was really surprised, since the book's been out for a while, and it's a really cute pattern. Believe me, it looks much more difficult than it actually is. I was even able to work on this on the bus.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Will Anyone Believe Me If I Start This Post With "So, I Accidentally Bought Some Yarn..."

No? Okay. I didn't think so.

Truthfully, I just bought it really quickly.

I was looking at the Sunshine Yarns Etsy Shop, which I do quite frequently, and I noticed that Dani was going to include something special for each person who bought yarn that day, in celebration for her 1000th sale.

I wasn't sure what to expect, but I figured I'd go for it, because a surprise is always good. She included some candy, a laminated knitting abbreviations card, and some dpns. I was totally surprised to see Bryspun dpns, especially since they were one's I'd been wanting to try.

Obviously I also good my skein of yarn that I'd ordered. It's superwash, and it's in the Grasshopper colorway. It's lovely.

I've ordered sock yarn (non superwash) from Dani before, and it was really nice, but I think I'm going to like the superwash even better. I can't wait to knit with it.

For now though, I'm still working on my secret project. I'm thinking I'll be totally done by the weekend, at which point I'll share it with all of you.

I'll give you a hint---It's going to be felted, and it's gigantic.

In the last few weeks, I've become extremely FO oriented, so look for many FOs in the future.

PS. I haven't been doing as much blog reading lately, because I've been trying so hard to finish my project. I want to read them, but I also want to have enough time to read them in depth, and comment on them. My Bloglines account is scaring me though, I have 173 new posts to read. I guess I'll be playing catch up this weekend.

Yay! Tomorrow's Friday! Happy Friday to everyone!

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Another Reason Why I'm Lucky...

My KSKS pal got her package a few days ago, so I can finally reveal that I was spoiling Abigail. She is an immensely talented sock knitter, and I've enjoyed her blog since she first started blogging. Go check out her blog to see what I sent her!

I had seen these socks in progress on her blog, and I was secretly hoping they would be for me (I knew there would be a pair on the way, since she had to ask for my foot measurements).

Thank You Abigail!!

On my knitting front---

I have a really special and super cool project on the go right now, which I started on Friday (actually I had been working on the small section in the picture below for a week). The knitting really started on Friday though. And yes. I did sew in all those ends. Not fun! It's going to be worth it though.

I will be sharing this almost completed special project with you later in the week. I'm really looking forward to showing it off.

I almost totally forgot! I knit a bath mat last week. It's made from Bernat Handicrafter Cotton on 6.5 mm needles. I used the log cabin design, and just winged it. I think it turned out really well.
This project started when I had my first trip to Walmart ever! I found 2 jumbo balls of this yarn, and had to buy it!

Thursday, July 20, 2006

My KSKS Kit Has Arrived!!

I got home to a beautiful package from my KSKS pal today! Yipee!!
She really out did herself. Not only did she make me two beautiful bags, she also sent some amazing sock yarn, and "bonus yarn". But that's not all. I also got a cool index card holder with index cards. You may not know this about me, but I write everything on index cards (phone numbers, grocery lists, movies I want to see, etc.). Oh, and some fab Crystal Palace dpns, and candy!

The excitement of a package, coupled with too much candy has made me slightly crazy, so I'm going to make this a short post.

The sock yarn is from an shop called Celia's Basket, and the colorway is called Garden Flowers. The "bonus yarn" is wool/cotton. I've never worked with wool/cotton before, and I'm looking forward to it.

The bags are amazing! One is bigger and floral, with a cute little toggle button. The stitching on both bags is flawless. The gingham bag has a beautiful drawstring ribbon. I love them both so much! I have to apologize for the crummy pics of both bags, but it's windy outside, and I just couldn't get a better angle right now. I just couldn't wait to share what I got!
I feel so lucky! I've been very fortunate with exchanges!

I'm guessing you'd like to know who the fabulous woman is who sent this perfect package?

It's Julie from Knitpickin'. You may know her better from her podcast, which is Craftborg! How do you like that, I celebrity sent me my kit!

Go check Julie out, she has a much better picture of the bag on her blog.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

That's One Finished Vest!

First, I'd like to thank everyone for their nice and encouraging comments on my last post. I thought I'd show you all the finished product. It was still a little damp, but I'm considering it done! It actually turned out a little long and wide, so I might see if this will fit my dad. These sorts of sweaters are right up his alley. If it does fit, I'll get a picture of him wearing it.

The pattern is from one of the White Buffalo pattern cards (which I can't actually find right now). You can probably tell from the pictures, but the front is exactly the same pattern-wise as the back. When I was blocking it, I just made sure to rinse it until the water ran clear (that is after I heavily salted the water).

I guess using this yarn was a good thing, because I learned two ways of dealing with running colors. Salt or vinegar. Not both, unless you want to smell like chips every time you wear your new garment. It might be okay if you were making Ruffles, I guess. Hehe. Okay, that was bad.

I opted for the salt, since the smell of vinegar makes me sick. It worked really well, so I'd recommend this way. Just use a bunch, I think I used about 2/3 of a cup in a 1/4 filled bathtub. Just start out with enough super hot water to dissolve the salt, then fill the rest with cold water, and you get barely lukewarm water. No bad wool effects this way!

I am so glad it's done!

Stu managed to snap a really good picture of the boys (aka Redd and The Cat).
See! I told you he was small!

I started a new project last night, but I'm going to wait a day or two to tell you about it.

Also, I sent my KSKS package off to my pal a few days ago, and my pal has sent mine off, so there will be pics soon (I hope!) . I'm excited!

Saturday, July 15, 2006

How Does One Lose A Whole Freakin Sleeve!?!

I have a jacket/cardigan that has been haunting me for over a year now. Family asks if it's done yet, the nagging in the back of my head tells me I should finish it, etc.

This sweater is made out of 6 strand White Buffalo unspun yarn. If you've ever knit with this, you'll know that it is a pain in the @ss to knit. Since it's unspun, you have to kinda twist the strands as you knit with them, and they constantly break. It seems that no matter how gentle I am, the yarn hates me. So that's problem one.

Problem two is a bit strange. The "yarn" is black and when you knit with it, it colors your hands black and makes them really waxy. This coloring is not as easy to get out as it should be! I know I can set the color when I'm blocking, but I can do anything before that or it'll fall apart.

Also, this is a fair isle sweater, so it's been a bit of a challenge (especially with breaking yarn).

That's pretty much the background you need on this sweater. I should also mention that I had finished everything but the collar and weaving in the ends/button band/etc.

So this brings us to last night. We were out with Emmie, and for some reason, my reindeer sweater came up. I decided right then and there that I was just going to finish it, and get it done with. When we got home, I went to to bin that I kept the pieces in, and noticed that there was only one sleeve with it.

I know I knit the second one, so I looked everywhere it could be. Still no second sleeve. We live in a one bedroom apartment, so there isn't exactly a lot of hiding space. Also, this isn't exactly a small sleeve. It's about 2 feet wide, and 3.5 feet long. It's gigantic.

This sweater has become an entity all to itself. Stu was laughing last night, and I asked him what he was laughing about. His reply was, "You sure seem to have a lot of animosity towards that sweater". Animosity towards a sweater! I am truly crazy!

Anyways, long story short---I now have a reindeer vest. There isn't a chance in hell I'm knitting another sleeve for that sucker!

The ends need to be sewn in, but I gave it a try on, and to my chagrin, it looks awesome! I figured it would look horrible, which would go with the rest of my experience with it, and I'd put it in a box in the closet, never to be spoken of again. It will continue to haunt me as I am compelled to wear it, cause it looks really good. Argh!!

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Very Fetching...

Does one fingerless glove count as a finished object?
I finished my first Fetching fingerless glove. I'm so happy with how it turned out! Look at those beautiful cables! Sorry, I still find cables amazing!

I used Debbie Bliss Cashmerino Aran in a dark blue. I lucked out, because it was already in my stash. The stitch definition of this yarn is perfect for this pattern. It's funny, because I didn't think I'd like this color (and to be honest I didn't really even want to use it, because of that), but I am really happy with my results. Also, this is a really really (did I mention really?) quick knit.

For needles, I used Crystal Palace 8" bamboo that was a 4.25mm. I was concerned that the pattern called for 4mm needles, but I could only find a 4.25mm in Crystal Palace. I decided to risk it anyway, and there was no problem with using the slightly larger needles.

I was home from work again yesterday and today. I went to the doctor yesterday, and she figures that I just have a mild flu. I will definitely be back to work tomorrow though. I'm feeling a bit better tonight.

We're still enjoying our new little kitty.

Here's an overhead shot of him. He's really very social and well adjusted. I think he really thinks he's Stu's cat though. They hang out together. Redd sits on his lap, and sleeps with Stu at night. Our original kitty still sleeps with me, so I don't feel too left out.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Meet The Newest Member Of Our Family

Meet Redd. He's a 3 month old orange tabby. We picked him up from the SPCA yesterday. He's very friendly and happy, and seems to be getting along with our other cat very well.

He's super sleepy in the picture above.

He looks really big in both pictures, but he's really little. He's only 3lbs.

I was home from work today, because I woke up with a migraine, and it was also making my stomach really upset. I bet people at work are going to thing I was faking. Oh well, I wasn't. I wish I was, because I would have had a way better day.

More updates soon!

Saturday, July 08, 2006

You Should Watch Who You Say, "Do You Wanna See My Goodies?" To...

However, I know that you knitters would like to see them, and I shall not disappoint!

Yes, I am talking about yarn!

I met up with a fellow knitter and blogger yesterday morning for a bit of shopping and a cup of coffee. You can visit her blog here. We had an awesome time.

We started out at Urban Yarns, where I had a bit of a list of things I wanted to look at. I always make myself a "things to look at" list when going to the yarn store, because I get distracted too easily.

Since I bought Weekend Knitting, I've been wanting to get some Crystal Palace Cotton Chenille, and I figured I'd have to order it online. I had a quick peek, and I found it at my LYS. They must of just gotten it in. I ended up getting 4 skeins. I also picked up some needles and yarn bobbins (for fair isle knitting). All in all it was a pretty reasonable trip money wise.

We stopped at Starbucks for a coffee afterwards, before deciding to check out Homecraft Importers (a LYS in Kitsilano).

From there, Emmie picked up some super happy hot pink yarn to make herself a cell phone cover. I'm looking forward to seeing it!

I found myself some 4.5 mm Addis (I think I used to have one, but it's gone now), and, okay, this really doesn't sound like me....

I bought novelty yarn! I'm still in shock. I think it was the vibrancy of the colors. It seems like I can't help myself, if it is bright green, I must have it.

It's ribbon yarn, and I only bought 2 balls of it. And it was on sale for $3.50/ball, so it wasn't that expensive.

On the way back to the car, we stopped in a little clothing store, where I found a hand woven shawl that I just had to have. Guess what? It's Green! Oh, and it was only $20. It's in the picture below.

Overall, I didn't end up spending very much money yesterday, but last night I had a terrifying dream that I was trying to buy an electric women's razor (I have no idea why. Maybe it's my subconscious trying to tell me to shave my legs!), and both my credit cards were maxed out. So I couldn't buy anything. The other weird thing was that I think that the store clerk was that Italian detective from Law and Order. Isn't that I weird dream? That's it! I'm not eating all you can eat sushi before bed again!

I just wanted to add that I'm really glad there is some interest in my Fetching KAL. I was saying to Stu that it must be the ultimate dis to start a KAL and have no one join. Luckily that hasn't happened to me. I'll be doing my updates for that today.

Knitting Progress:

I've completed a full pair of socks. The second one was finished yesterday morning, and I looked like a complete freak to the neighbours while I tried to get some pictures to share. I was out on the deck, because the light is best out there, and I was looking for a relatively clean surface to use as a background. "A Ha!", I thought. "I'll use the outside freezer!". So there I was at 8am, in my bright pink over-sized flannel pyjamas with teddy bears on them, squished up against the wall (so I could move my feet around and have them stay on the white background), taking pictures of my own feet.

There we're a couple people who walked buy, who actually gave me very weird looks!

Do you think that a few years from now the phrase "I'm a knitter" will be used like the whole "Don't blame me, I'm getting older ya know"?

For example, two friends walk past an apartment balcony and witness someone in pink pj's madly snapping pictures of her feet in different positions. The first one says to the friend, "What's wrong with her, she looks crazy to me!". The second friend, who has passed buy this seemingly crazy woman several times before, turns to her friend and says, "Don't worry about her. She's just a knitter".

Do yo know what I mean? Would it be one of those phrases that's used to excuse odd behavior? Think about it, it could happen.

Sorry I got a bit sidetracked. Okay, sock specs:

Koigu KPPPM in a flecky pretty purple.

2.5mm 32" Addi Turbo Circ (for magic loop).


Peacock Socks from Katie Knits.

I didn't do the fancy toe, and I made the ankles a bit shorter. This is a really good simple pattern!

The very top picture is of my Fetching progress yesterday afternoon. I love the color of the Crystal Palace bamboo dpns with the blue Cashmerino.

Friday, July 07, 2006

Fetching Knit Along!

Hi Everyone,

The new Knitty is out, and I've decided to start a Fetching Knit Along for those fabulous fingerless gloves!

The pattern can be found here.

You are all invited to join! Tell your friends.

The KAL is here.

Maybe this could turn into a swap, once we've all tried out the pattern.

Chrissy :)

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Super Duper Secret Pal!!!

I wanted to share what my super awesome secret pal sent to me. I actually got the package yesterday, but we were out for dinner, and didn't get home til I was too tired to do it justice. I managed to get a step by step opening of the package, which I don't normally do. This way, you can see what I saw.

It came yesterday morning while I was at work, and Stu kept it as a surprise for me when I got home.

It was beautifully wrapped! I never thought of putting wrapping paper under packing paper. It was a really nice surprise.

The contents were presented fabulously as well. I love themed package. This package has a purple lavender theme.

Honestly, I was most enamoured with the hand knit wrapping for the lavender and rosemary soap, and the handmade cards. I've never had handmade cards before.

I also got some really amazing looking teas ( I think I'm going to try one of them out tonight, but I'm not sure which one yet). Chocolate and lavender sounds good, but so does raspberry. Hmm.

There was also some lovely Koigu sock yarn. I think this is perfect, because it's almost solid, so it'll look good with a more complicated sock pattern, which I've been planning to create and knit using my 365 Knitting Stitches A Year Calendar. This is a great resource!

Let's see, what else was in the box... A little package of lavender (I'm going to put it in with my yarn to ward off bugs, and make it smell nice), and some treats for the kitty cat. He says, "Thank you!" by the way. Also, I got some of those crystallized sugar things, you know, the one's on the stick?

I have more pics, but Blogger's being super slow right now.

Thank you so much secret pal. It's like you read my mind! Stu's been laughing at me, because I've been walking around with the box full of stuff where ever I go.

Just a quick note to everyone whose commented on my last post. I think Stu's ego in now big enough to fill a stadium! Okay, not quite, but he's sure proud of himself.

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Self Control? Sorry, I Don't Have Any..

Today was my first day back at work after my 10 day vacation. The first day back has to be the hardest. Today actually went pretty quickly though, so it wasn't that bad. Although, I did start the morning thinking, "How have I been doing this everyday?!?" It didn't take me long to get back into the swing of things. One of my co-workers (she's also a friend I hang out with outside of work) actually came up to me and hugged me, as she told me that I was never to be gone again for that long. I guess I was missed.

I did a little shopping at Chapters after work, and found some real knitting gems while I was there.

Now I have all the cool books I've been wanting for a while. I couldn't resist the 200 Crochet Blocks book. As many of you know, I'm a bit hooked (hehe) on crocheted squares right now, and this book has so many cool looking ones. Don't you just love Interweave Press? I sure do.

When I got home, I found something interesting on the deck. Apparently Stu had been busy while I was at work.

This is cat hair yarn from our little grey guy, and it's been knit up by Stu. Does your man knit? Apparently mine does!

We have a rug right outside our sliding glass door to the deck, and the cat lies on it and gets it covered in cat hair. When Stu cleans it, he rubs it from one side to the other, which creates yarn that is quite tightly "spun". He's never knit with it before though.

Alright, I'd better go and start looking through my new books.

Props to Stu for providing the knitting content today!

Monday, July 03, 2006

Crochet? Acrylic? I Thought This Was A Knitting Blog Of A Fibre Snob!?!

What do we have here?

I keep forgetting to post my crocheted afghan progress. It's really just a practice blanket, but I'm really liking it so far. I'm going to do a big square for the middle that will be equal to four regular squares.

All of the pastel colors remind me of icing on a cupcake.

I'm just doing the crocheted granny squares from Debbie Stoller's Happy Hooker book. All of the normal sized ones have 5 rounds.


4.5 mm crochet hook

8 balls of worsted weight yarn (2 of each color): I've used Bernat Satin in the most icing-like colors I could find.

For those who don't know, Bernat Satin is 100% acrylic, which is totally unlike me. I really wanted something that could go in the washer and dryer though.

One word of warning though. DO NOT TRY TO KNIT OR CROCHET WITH THIS YARN ON A HOT DAY IF YOU DON'T LIKE THE FEEL OF ACRYLIC!! It magnifies that squeaky sweaty feeling. Eeeewwww.

With our heat wave, I've been alternating between other projects that use either wool or cotton. I think that cotton is actually better to knit with when it's hot than when it's cold out.

These squares are great for knitting on the bus, or on a lunch break. That's what I've been doing (up until the heat).

I had to get a picture of my picture taking helper. He was supervising. This is his "Get back to work" look! Is there such a thing as a cat that isn't bossy or opinionated? Regardless, I love my little supervisor.

Sunday, July 02, 2006

Building A Log Cabin One Stitch At A Time

Yesterday I was over at January One, and I noticed that Cara has posted instructions about how to make Log Cabin Squares. I'd been admiring her squares for a while, so I was glad to see a post about how do create them.

I've been on a bit of a dishcloth kick for the last couple of days, so I thought a log cabin dishcloth would be a neat idea.

This is fairly true to color (on my monitor anyway). This is the first time that I haven't found garter stitch to be truly boring.

I also did a crocheted round dishcloth out of the same yarn. Actually, neither will really be dishcloths in the traditional sense. I'm planning to use them more as hand towels.


Mission Falls 1824 Cotton (100% cotton) -- 2 Colors

4mm Addi Turbo (for the Log Cabin)

4.5 mm Crochet hook (for the crocheted one)

I'd worked on dishcloths before, but I'd always used Sugar 'n Cream, or that other stuff that looks the same, but I can't remember the name of. That was miserable, because of all the splitting, and it just never felt nice in my hands.

I thought I'd have to give up on ever making a dishcloth that I'd like, but when I was browsing at my LYS, I came across the 1824 cotton, and I immediately thought "Yes! That will be perfect!". Then I started second guessing myself, and ignoring my own knitting mantra of "Knit whatever you want out of whatever you want, there are no rules!". This only happened because I'd never heard of anyone knitting dishcloths out of anything but Sugar 'n Cream.

With a brief consult from a LYS employee, I decided to give it a try. Boy am I glad I did. This is fabulous!

If you want to knit a dishcloth out of something a bit fancier that the usual, give 1824 cotton a try. I also think that something like this would make a great gift. I could totally picture 3 log cabin dishcloths in complementary colors folded in quarters and wrapped up by ribbon as a totally good gift.

Watch out friends and family-- It might happen!

I'm really excited about the blue and natural colors I have left to knit up. Can you tell the log cabin one is my favorite?