Sunday, November 28, 2010

Teach a Child to Knit

You know the old saying 'Give a man a fish, he eats for a day but teach a man to fish he'll eat for a lifetime'.  Well, I believe this to be true of knitting.  Max loves hand knitted things.  In case you don't know, Max is Kev's 3 year old grandson.  He lives with us now - partime anyways.  I love him to bits.  Today he spotted some juggling balls on Ravelry that he really wanted.  Of course I made them for him
 They were super easy.  So then he gets it into his head that he can learn to knit.  The balls are crochet, but he does see me knit more.   So I thought, why not?  I was 7 when I learned, but kids today seem to be so ahead of things, maybe he could learn.   Well, he was more interested in using the needles as drumsticks.  I didn't think he would be able to master the fine motor skills.  He just wanted to mimic what I was doing.  Too cute though, isn't he?


 And I wanted to show off a pair of handspun mittens that I made for him.  I think I will make an ichord to thread through his jacket so he doesn't lose them.  Handspun is much more precious.  I am getting over my reluctance to use it.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

The Benefits of a Close Shave

Every knitter should have one - a good sweater shaver that is.  I took these photos to demonstrate the difference.  These two photos are the underarm area of my somewhat recently completed 'Lady Kina'.  Just look at those white pills.  For some reason the pills were white, not grey.  I'm guessing its because its a blend, and only the wool part of the fiber pilled.  I could be wrong on this count.   I should ask about it on the knitter's review boards.  Clara Parkes knows a lot about yarn!

 Here are my lovely Malabrigo Robot mittens.  The mitten on the right hasn't had its shave yet.  It almost looks blurry.  There weren't a whole lot of actual pills, but more like a fuzzy greyish halo around the mitten.  And again, I'm guessing grey since the orange and blue fibers must have pilled equally to create grey.
And another photo of 100% wool mittens that have a fuzzy pilly thing going on.  These are Aimee's mittens.  She was very pleased that they now look brand new.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

A Mystery

A lot of designers host these mystery knit alongs.   A clue is given every so often and the participants go off and knit the clue.  I've seen several of these on the Ravelry boards, and while they have always piqued my interest, I've never participated.  But along comes a mystery KAL by my one of my favorite designers.  I just couldn't resist.   I know, its only 34 days or so before Christmas.  I have lots on my plate.  I have to finish knitting this hooded scarf thing, that my mother specifically asked for this summer when she was here.  The good news  is, that its almost finished.  I love when I'm enjoying knitting something so much that it almost knits itself.  Well, thats the way its been with this hooded scarf. 
 The yarn is shamrock by Knitpicks in the colour
Dougherty.  I was not expecting to enjoy this yarn or even this pattern this much.  What a nice surprise.  

I did some sewing this week too.  I visited Heather's  Ranger group.  We made some Little Dresses for Africa     I had intended to send them to the blog writer in this link.  But, one of the girls in this picture has a brother who is currently getting ready to go to Benin, Africa through Canada World Youth.  We will be sending them  to him, so that he can distribute them to needy girls in that part of the world.  The dresses turned out super cute and they were pretty easy to make too.                                                   

So, about that mystery.  I'm still not sure what it is.  I've just about finished knitting clue one.  And this is what it looks like.  At this point it could be anything.  A hat?  Maybe?  This could be the band.  Its only 3 inches wide.  Not mittens, I really don't think.  The genius part about many of Lee's patterns is that they are any gauge, so that practically any yarn can be used.  I'm using Paton's SWS for the stripes and Briggs and Little softspun is the blue background.  I'm liking it so far - whatever it is.

Monday, November 15, 2010

I miss Jess

Twist Collective came out today.  It is filled with gorgeous patterns.  All of which, I want to knit right now.  I really miss having my friend around to talk about which patterns appealed to her, which yarns that I might have in my stash that could work with different patterns, which patterns we didn't really like but might work in a different colour..etc.  You get the idea.  I really miss having someone around to bounce knitterly thoughts off.  She sees things differently than I do, and I really appreciated her different perspective.  Since I've lost my iphone, I can't even text her to find out her opinions.  Yes, I guess I'm a little whiny.  I saw her mom today, which made me miss her even more.  But I especially miss Jess whenever there is a new Knitty, or a new Twist, or I get my next issue of Interweave in the mail.  Which should be soon.  I guess I'll be missing Jess again, soon.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Loving the Handspun


I have this real problem with knitting with my handspun.   I'm not sure what it is, but I'm really hesitant to knit it.  Its almost as though, once its knit, its potential is gone.  I know, weird eh?  I also feel that no project is good enough.  No project will really show off how beautiful the yarn is.  Also, I'm not sure that any recipient of a handknit item made from handspun, will really get how much effort has gone into such a project.  But, I really have to get over this.  My handspun stash is rapidly growing.  And with Distinctive Knitting (my LYS) starting to carry spinning supplies I suspect this situation will get worse. 

Nat came to the house on Friday and announced that she needed new mittens.  What selfrespecting stepmother would I be if I didn't help her out with this situation??  By the way, she also announced that she is expecting!!  Hurrah, another babe to knit for.  Can't deny the fact that I'm hoping for a little girl to knit for this time, but seriously, people always say this, but its true.  As long as the baby is healthy.  I can still put fuschia on a boy, right?

So, back to the mittens.  I quickly knit up some mitered mittens (curtesy of Elizabeth Zimmerman, knitting goddess) out of a heavey worsted weight handspun that I did a long time ago.  The colourway was called sushi.  Cute aren't they.  And I know that Nat will appreciate them - so she is totally worthy of a knitted project from handspun.

I have quite a few gift certificates to spend at Distinctive Knitting.  I had a pharmacy intern this summer that gave me a gift certificate as a thank you gift for being her preceptor.  So, I took a quick jot down to see Mrs March (owner) and I saw that she still had a shelf full of the Fleece Artiste Merino Slyver.  I quickly spun it into this lovely skein of yarn.  Actually, not quickly - I had to run it through my drum carder to get it to fluff out.  It had become quite compacted from sitting on the shelf in the store.  Since I was giving his mommy handspun mittens, I figured Morgan needed some too.  So, I knit up these little fraternal twin mittens.   I'm not sure how I feel about them being so different from each other.  I figure he'll wear them in any case.  Winters are long, cold and hard in these parts - and a two year old goes through quite a few pairs of mitts in a winter.   I had several yards  of the yarn leftover and this stuff is too precious to just toss, so I knit it in with an earflap hat for Morgie too.  

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Crochet Love

It started with that little duck Halloween hat for Colson.  It was so fast.  It was so cute.  I was smitten.  I can't stop the cute.   I had to crochet another one, with the proper eyes.  Adorable, isn't it? 

Then, I found this cute owl pattern on etsy, so I crocheted some of them.  I ended up modifying this one quite a bit.  I'm on a roll now. 
This latest one is my favorite.  I plan on donating these to Heather's Ranger group who are raising money to go to Halifax next summer.  I think people will like these.  

 And guess what this is? No, its not my favorite yarn shop.  Its my bedroom, and it makes me so happy to see all my yarns on display like this.  It makes them so accessable.  I've kind of organized them by colour.  Also, the quantities that I have in sweater's worth are in those duvet bags under neath the pile of feltable sweaters that are folded on top.  I still have large quantities of yarn in the living room and some downstairs.   When I get another square shelving unit, I will stack it on top of the existing one, and add more yarn.   My self striping yarns are hung on the closet rod, in the hanging shoe units.  Works in progress and spinning fiber are hung in bags over the closet rod.  Pretty clever isn't it.  I've shown some of my friends this picture, and they can hardly believe I have that much yarn.  I don't tell them about the shelving unit in the living room.

Saturday, November 06, 2010

What happened to October?

Was that ever a fast month! But then again, I always find that time seems to speed up in the fall.  I guess, I've been so busy with work, and girl guides that I haven't found the time to blog.  I've been knitting though.  And some other things too.  I even did some painting. 

 Last weekend the Big Land Trefoil Guild went to Lake Alexander for a fall camp.  7 of us attended.  We each had to bring a craft or activity.  I figured the girls could handle some silhouette painting.  Here are the results.  I think they turned out very nice!  I particularly liked my friend Karen's.  She did the Inukshuk in the sunset.  Gorgeous!
 I was busy with knitting Halloween items for Heather's baby, Colson.  I made him the knitted duck feet from Knitty.  These were just about the trickiest things that I've ever knit.  Turkish cast on, applied icord, stretchy cast off, shortrows.  This little pattern had it all!  But boy, oh boy, were they ever cute.  Just look at that little duck!  The crocheted hat was a cinch in comparison.  It only took about 2 hours to finish.  Talk about a great little pattern.  Its from speckledfrogcrochet on etsy.  You can buy it here.  What a great seller, and a great pattern.  I'll be making this again.  And she doesn't mind if you sell these hats - if you ask!

 I've been making a very concentrated effort to knit more with my handspun.  Its hard.  A project has to be worthy enough, a recipient has to be worth it too.  It has to be a special project for a special someone.  I'm trying to relax those standards somewhat and just knit it already.  (I'm really starting to build up a stash of handspun - my regular stash is bad enough).  I'm also trying to knit more from the books in my library.  This argyl hat is knit from two different colours of my handspun.  The pattern is from All New Homespun Handknits which is a really nice book with the patterns calling for small amounts of handspun.  I just love the resulting hat.  I've already cast on for two more.  Stay tuned.
Last weekend