Tuesday, January 17, 2017

2017 - Finishing Old FOs

Today is January 17, 2017.  We are already over half way through the first month in the new year.  Sadly, I have just finished one knitted object.  This year was rang in unlike others.  I wasn't gung ho to start a new project.  I didn't cast on anything new on New Year's Eve.  I just knit on the half dozen or so little projects that I've got squirreled away in various stages of completion all over the house. 

I have SO.MUCH.YARN!  You think I'd be embarrassed by it, but I'm not.  I'm quite proud of it, to be honest.  I jokingly say that I'm getting ready for retirement.  But, when I actually think on this, it might really be true.  Kevin is retired already.  Granted, he is A LOT older than me (not really, just 10 years) and he did start work very young and worked for the provincial government for many many years.  He also is incredibly hard working and managed to save a lot. As a result, Kev has a decent pension and was able to retire comfortably  He's been asking me to consider retiring as well, or at the very least scaling back on my hours so that we can do things together - travel being the biggest thing on his mind.

Until now, I haven't given it a lot of serious thought.  I love my job and can't imagine not doing it.  It is nice to know that if I were to stop working then I'd have enough yarn in my stash that not only would I not need to buy any yarn for many years, but I'd also be able to try new yarn out on a regular basis.  It is a little ridiculous how much I've accumulated.  One day I'll be brave enough and actually post pictures of it all.  Until then it is my own private embarrassment. 

So far this year, I haven't felt driven to start something new.  I have felt the need to finish off some of those half completed projects that I have everywhere.  I'm actually thinking of not starting ANYTHING new, unless I finish an older FO.  Meaning, I can't cast on anything new until I've finished something old.  Maybe by doing this, I'll get a bunch of things finished.

My first FO is a simple pair of after though heel socks that I've knit for Amy's boyfriend Maxime.  He really loves handknit socks and really appreciates them.  He's an easy guy to knit for and so knitworthy.  The yarn is a worsted weight, self striping by Regia or Opal - I cant remember where.  His birthday is in March and Amy may even be going to visit him during his March break.  He is currently doing his PhD in Maryland USA.  Not really worsted weight sock weather there, but he is a native Montrealer, so he can appreciate things to keep warm.

Now, I'm able to cast on something new, but the desire is still not there, so I'm going to go with it.  I want to finish up some more things.  I'm thinking that Quiviut Cowl that I've been knitting forever may be the next up for completion.  I've been savoring the quiviut because it is a joy to knit and its so expensive that I'm doubtful I'll be knitting with this yarn a lot.  Jessie and I purchased a skein of this each a while back.  She knit up her yarn pretty quickly, whereas I've been kind of dragging on the project.  Partly because I want to savor it, but mostly because that's the kind of knitter I am -  casting on whatever strikes my fancy. 

The cowl is very beautiful.  The pattern is in Romi Hill's recent books called New Lace Knitting; Designs for Wide Open Spaces  I've currently got the body of the cowl finished and am working on the short rows for the back of the neck.  Then its on to the lace edging and I'm done.  After that, maybe I'll cast on two new projects.  Or maybe I'll take a look around and see an aran weight cabled cardigan that is 1/3 done, or I'll see those striped mitts that have one finished and the cuff done on the second.  Or, I'll see the bulky weight dropped stitch cowl that's half done.  Sadly, I could go on and on and describe about a dozen other projects.

So, here is to 2017 and the hopes that I will clean out some of the old half finished or even barely started projects.  And, who knows?  Maybe, I'll get bitten by the 'startitis' bug and cast on a dozen new projects between this post and the next one.  I'll be going with the flow in any case. Wish me luck!!

Saturday, December 31, 2016

Christmas Traditions

So, I wrote this blog post about two weeks ago.  I've been having a lot of problems using my iPhone to do blog posts.  So many problems that I've composed and lost whole posts.  It was getting very frustrating and I had almost decided to give up the whole blogging business.  But, Kev gave me a laptop for Christmas.  So, now I can resume blogging.  I rather enjoyed blogging using the iPhone, but lately the apps that I had been using just weren't working and I couldn't even manage to get a post to the publish part.  Like I said, very frustrating, especially when you've done the work to get all your thoughts down to word form and all your pics organized only to be met with a road block in the publish phase.  Maybe it was my phone, and not the app itself.  That is entirely possible because my phone has been absolute and total rubbish lately tbh.  So, without further adieu - here is what is likely my last blog post of the wonderful (not) year of 2016!!

Yes!! I cant believe how fast this year has gone.  It's that time of year where start thinking about what ornaments I want to make for my four grandsons.  This is the third year that I've made handcrafted tree ornaments for my boys.  The first year I crocheted snowmen for them.  The second year, I knit the cutest snowball reindeer.  This year, I've decided to knit little elves!

The pattern was written by Susan B Anderson.  She is a wonderful designer - in particular she designs great toy patterns.  I've knit several of her toys in the past and always with great results! She does a fantastic job.

All four of the elves knit up very fast.  I couldn't be more pleased with them.  I'm pretty sure that my boys will like them too, and really that's what its all about, right?

Merry Christmas from my house to yours!

Friday, November 18, 2016

Baby Wall

My favourite blogger, the yarn harlot has often written about how when she knits for babies that she feels a responsibility to finish the knitting in a timely fashion because it seems as though the babes somehow delay their arrival until the knitting is finished. 

So with that in mind I started knitting these super sweet overalls. They were a little fiddly but oh, so worth it. They are knit using Julie Asselin's superwash DK weight yarn called Leizu. A great yarn for babies in my opinion. 

The pattern is from Judith Durants book One Skein Wonder - Baby  I own all of books in this series(I think) and I highly recommend them. This pattern took a little more than one Skein of the Leizu but thats ok. I've got some left over that I can do a hat or some booties for baby Wall. 

This little guy is going to be the first baby of my fellow pharmacist Melissa. They  have been waiting for him for a long time.  I didn't want to delay his arrival at all if there was anything to this knitting myth and really cracked down hard on the knitting and got it done in a reasonable time. 

Just look at those little butt pockets!!

She is currently 10 days overdue and it's totally not my fault. The knitting is done!! 


Sunday, October 09, 2016

Sweater Love

I finished knitting my sweater from the Carol Feller KAL. I am very pleased with the finished result. I was right about several things in this KAL. The fact that I could see other Knitter's finished projects being posted on a daily basis really inspired me to want to finish my own cardigan. 
Also, the yarn!! OMG! It's a 50/50 silk merino blend from Blue Moon Fibre Arts and its stunning!! I kept wanting to knit and knit just to get to the next colour just to see how it would look next to the previous colour. 

I am so pleased with how these colours slowly transition. This is a real ombré cardigan. I noticed that on some of the smaller sized finished objects the colour changes are more abrupt. I think it's because their kits contained fewer skeins and hence fewer colours. While I knit the largest size using all six of the colours in the kit. I have a fair amount of this left over too. I'm surprised. I didn't knit my cardigan as long as the pattern called for so I know this is where the extra yarn came from. 
Overall, I'm very pleased with this cardigan. I'vet already worn it a lot. I hope the yarn hold up well. Now all I have to do is figure out how to better use a selfie stick!



Thursday, July 28, 2016

Carol Feller KAL


I'm so excited to be participating in a KAL hosted by knitwear designer Carol Feller. I bought a book of hers last summer called "Short Rows" and I fell in love with her esthetic then and there.
Here is the sweater that I'm currently knitting. It's called Santa Rosa and it's beyond gorgeous. I've ordered a lot from Bluemoon Fibrearts. Check out their blog post about the KAL here. http://blog.bluemoonfiberarts.com/2016/05/03/carol-feller-santa-rosa-kal/

While waiting for my yarn to arrive I started knitting a different Carol Feller design called Traveller. Not as feminine as the Santa Rosa Cardi but still gorgeous and so wearable. As are all her designs. 
I think the yarn in the Santa Rosa cardigan is the big appeal. I'm all about gradients right now and Man! This kit does not disappoint. Just look at how these colours transition in my chosen colour way - scarlet begonias. 
So stunning. I'm past the yoke now and I'm hoping to do a lot on this sweater this weekend. We shall see. 


Saturday, May 21, 2016

A Little Fox

 See this sweet little girl fox. I made her using a pattern from Rebecca Dangers book 50 yards of Fun. If you haven't seen this book yet, I strongly encourage you to pick it up at your local book store. Have a  look through it. If you are inclined to knit toys at all then this may well be the book for you. I've already knit at least six of the wonderful critters contained within this delightful little book. 

I made her for some friend's daughter that I was hoping to spend some time with this spring. The visit didn't work out but the knitting did. She says foxes are her favourite animal and purple is her favorite colour. I think I did ok. She will be travelling to the north via Canada Post I think. 
Speaking of favorite animals - one of Kevs nieces was lamenting to me about her daughter loving platypuses and how hard it was to get stuffed toy platypus. Now I pull out my trusty book of 50 Yards of Fun and find just the pattern. 

He's so cute no?


Saturday, April 16, 2016

Knitting Bucket List

Most of us are familiar with the concept of a 'bucket list'. The idea - made popular by the Morgan Freeman movie - is that you compile a list of things that you want to do before you die (or kick the bucket). I would bet that for Knitters (knitters with a capital K means serious business knitters) their bucket lists are pretty fiber-centric. 

I recently posted a picture on Instagram and I hash tagged it #knittingbucketlist and I wasn't surprised there were others out there like me - knitters with a capital K.  

This is a picture of a skein of quiviut that I've just wound with the intention of knitting it into a lacy little cowl. Knitting with quiviut is on my bucket list. 

Seeing other knitters Instagram photos of their bucket list has gotten me thinking. What other things would I put on my knitting bucket list?  

1. A trip to Rhinebeck (during the wool auction of course)
2. Attend a Stitches event (any of them would do, but if I were able to chose - Stitches West seems like it'd be real fun!)
3. Since I'm thinking about knitting festivals/events I'd also love to attend a Vogue Live Knitting event too. 

Now of those three if I had to pick just one, it would definitely be Rhinebeck. 

4. I'd also love to go to Iceland! Not for any particular event, and really not just for the knitting and the Lopi sweaters and the Icelandic sheep, but also for the scenery and the hot springs and the culture. 

5. I'd also really really love to go to the Shetland islands - for most of the same reasons that I'd like to visit Iceland. I love to spin Shetland wool. And I love Shetland lace! So yeah! This place is on my knitting bucket list of places to see. 

But a bucket list is more than just travelling to new places. It's also about experiencing different things too.

6.  That's why quiviut is on my list. Quiviut comes from muskox. They are massive creatures with a very thick coat. On their bellies they grow this insanely soft fibre. I believe is the 'softest' and 'finest' fibre in the world. I think experts have determined this by measuring the micron count of the fibres. 

Micron count is a fancy word for how thick (or coarse) a strand of hair is. Apparently muskox grow some of the finest. It is also quite pricey! Think about how difficult it must be to harvest the underbelly hair from these beasts! 

I read somewhere that they (their owners) actually collect the hair since they shed their coats periodically. I know that they don't harm the animals at all. I'm not sure about brushing them. Maybe that's part of the harvesting too. I do know that is not on my bucket list. 

A lot of people using the hashtag knittingbucketlist were listing techniques that they wanted to try. Brioche was a popular one. I can honestly say that I can't think of any techniques that I haven't tried. I also think I could master most of them too, if given the time and inclination. So for right now there aren't any techniques that I'd put on my bucket list. There are designs that I'd love to try though. There are also certain designers that are definitely worthy of being on a bucket list. A lot of the instagrammers had Elisabeth Zimmerman's Baby Surprise Jacket on their lists. I can see why!! This little sweater is so unique and different and is classic EZ. I've made several.

7.  What I'd really like to do is knit right through her Knitter's Almanac in a year. I'd like to start in January and follow along in her sweet little book (my favourite of all her books) and knit each of the patterns mentioned. I'm not sure I could do it, but I'd love to give it a try!! 

There are so many other things that I would include on my Knitting Bucket List. I think I'll save it for another blog post. There are so many designers Id like to meet! There are knitting celebrities that I'd love to meet. (And yes, there is such a thing! Just in case there are any non Knitters or even knitters without a capital K reading this blog)  There are so many challenging designs that I'd like to try. And there are things that I'd like to try to push myself on too. There are ideas for potential designs that I'd like to get out of my head and onto paper. There are classes that I'd love to take! So many things but only one lifetime. What a gift we have. We have to use our time wisely and with fibre!