Thursday, December 20, 2012

Again with the Westknits

I'm a woman obsessed, I tell ya!

I find it so hard to resist his patterns. They are simple and effective. I've also knit some legwarmers from the same collection called "In Defense of Tights". They are for Amy of course. The hat, I'm not so sure who thats for - Lucy maybe?

I can't tell you how much I loved knitting this hat. The simple double knit band and the textured colour shifting of the rest of the hat is simply charming.

Saturday, December 01, 2012

The Love Affair Continues

With Westknits designs that is. I mentioned in the last post about the new KAL that Stephen West has on the go. Its all I want to knit. There is even a pair of legwarmers!!! I can't believe that I want and likely will knit legwarmers.

I finished the first pattern in the knitalong installment. Its called Geysir Stretch.

I've been doing a little spinning this week too. Not as much as I would have liked. Since the house fire, I cannot find my niddy noddies and I've been wanting to get some yarn off the bobbins so that I can spin new stuff. I improvised a little and wound it right onto my umbrella swift. That was a little awkward, but it worked out okay. Here is a little skein of mixed BFL. The fiber was purchased from etsy seller Spun Right Round
A word of warning if you go over there. Her stuff is GORGEOUS!!! Be careful.

And I have to share a little drawing that my little man Max did for me. I think he is quite talented. This is me. I'm not sure why I have a bubble on my head. Maybe I'm a deep sea diver or something. Lol. Too cute isn't it?

And even though I've been going on and on about Stephen West, I just have to remind everyone who the real men in my life are. Here is a photo of Max and Morgan watching Kevin at last weekends hockey tournament.

Here is Kev with our little grand babies - Cooper and Morgan - after the hockey tournament. There is room in my heart for all of these men - including Stephen West.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Mystery Solved

So here is the finished shawl from the last blog post. This was such an engaging knit. If any of you out there haven't done a mystery KAL yet, I strongly encourage you to do it. There is a certain leap of faith involved - and I would only do it with a designer that I really really like. To date I've done four mystery KALs - two with Lee Meridith and two with Stephen West. All shawls now that I think of it. And I've been very happy with all four designs.

In other knitting news - I've started a sweater. The pattern is Leaflet from knitty. A top down raglan in an aran weight yarn - Madeline Tosh chunky. I'm enjoying the knit, but I fear that I've committed a grave error. I know that you are supposed to alternate skeins when knitting with this type of yarn, but for some reason I didn't. I only had one skein balled up and I just wanted to get at it. Now that I'm on the second ball, I think I can see a difference. Actually, I'm halfway through the second ball and I'm certain I can see a difference. So now I'm alternating skeins. Lets see if it works. Keep your fingers crossed for me.

Next up is a slouchy hat pattern from the new Noro magazine. It is knit with two alternating skeins of Noro. I love it!! I'm thinking I may knit this pattern a lot. I have quite a bit of different colours of Noro kicking around and Christmas is coming up. I know several people on my list who would love this stripey slouchy hat.

And finally I would like to show off some yarn. These first three skeins are the colours that I'm contemplating knitting Stephen West's new design - Geysir Stretch. I love Stephen's designs and this this one is no exception. Its in worsted weight yarn and so it will be quick quick quick!!! And I'm going to knit it in Mmmmmmalibrigo!!! Lovely stuff.

And these two lovelies are all the way from Iceland. Authentic Icelandic Lopi yarn. Amy's friend Liz just got back from an internship in Iceland and Amy gave her some money to buy me some Icelandic yarn. Sweet daughter I have there, don't I?

Friday, October 26, 2012

Honey Cowl

I have a finished object to show off this week. Its in handspun and I'm in love with it. Its from a Loop batt called Kaleidoscope Eyes. I just check out my Etsy purchase history and I realized that I've only been spinning Loop batts since November 2011! I guess I have an anniversary coming up. Haha. It seems that its been in my life for a lot longer than that.

This picture is taken from her etsy store. If you haven't spun one of her batts before, I strongly recommend giving them a try. Her shop sells out quickly after an update so make sure that you sign up to be notified of any updates

Here is Amy wearing the finished cowl. I'm very happy with it and so is she. I predict this will get lots of wear during the winter season.

In other knitting news, I've been busy working on a mystery knit along. This one is sponsored by Lee Merideth. I've written about her before and how much I like her patterns. This one is no different. It is so unique and such an interesting knit. I know its a shawl, but thats about it. I'm not sure which direction it will go in.

One more interesting thing that I wanted to bring up. Have you ever seen a pattern in the wild - not necessarily hand knit - with an interesting stitch pattern and want to duplicate it? Well, its happened to me on a few occasions. This stitch pattern was on a shrug worn by one of my coworkers, and I couldn't stop looking at it. I had to take a pic to see if I could figure it out later. I'm not sure if I can do it, but I really want to try. It is such a pretty stitch, isn't it?

Sunday, October 07, 2012

Knitting and Stress

Needless to say, the past month or so has been very stressful. Dealing with contractors and insurance adjusters hasn't been fun. I found myself very stressed - too stressed to knit even. I know, shocker. So, I've been thinking was I not knitting because I was stressed or was I stressed because I wasn't knitting?

I'm starting to think the answer is the latter, because I've forced myself to make a conscious effort to knit a little every day and I no long feel quite as stressed. I'm able to cope a little better.

As a result, I have some amazing FOs to show off.

First up, is this great little shawl. Its from the Knitspot Bare Naked Club. I loved knitting this shawl so much. It was knit with Brooklyn Tweeds Loft yarn in all natural colours. I predict I'll knit more of this pattern. I've always been a big fan of feather and fan lace.

And this beauty is my first forray into beaded knitting. Its called "My Hope" and it was designed by Laura Linneman of the Knitgirllls podcast to be used as a fundraiser for the Make a Wish Foundation. I enjoyed knitting this as well, but I totally messed up the beaded bind off. My fault for not reading the pattern correctly at all. I've put off weaving in ends because I've noticed several mistakes and I'm debating try to fudge/fix them or take it out and do it again. We'll see how it goes. But isn't it gorgeous? The yarn is Tanis Fibrearts blue label and OMG - Look at that purple. It nearly glows!

And my final FO is another Minty (Knitty pattern). This is the third minty that I've knit. It remains my daughter's favorite hat pattern. I started knitting this with her in mind, but it turns out that she isn't a fan of the variegated yarn. Oh well, I loved it. And I think it will likely be a gift for someone. The yarn is very unique. I've lost the tag (it came off in the washing of the stash that I could save because of the fire) but I know it came from a stall at the Farmer's market in Halifax. It came from Lismore Sheep Farm Wool Shop and it was a part of their "Easy Scarf Kit". Nat gave me this for Christmas last year. I'm not an easy scarf knitter, but I loved this yarn so much!

To make up for the disappointment that Amy felt with not having the hat that she wanted (ie solid) I started knitting Amy a Honey Cowl. She really liked this handspun (even though its not solid. Whats up with that Amy?) Its one of my Loop Batts. And boy, am I ever enjoying knitting this one. I think I'll be knitting more Honey Cowls this season. Maybe for Christmas gifts. I can see all my girls wearing these.

So, to sum up....lots of knitting going on....less stress. I can't say no stress because that would be nearly impossible - but certainly less. The moral of the story is to knit more, knit often, take lots of knitting stress breaks. Its good for your health.

Saturday, September 08, 2012

Its not so bad

I cannot figure out why this post is placed in 2015. This post was originally written on November 2012. 

Anyone that knows me, knows that I am an optimist. Yes, the glass is always half full and yes things could have been worse. I've put off writing this post until I was in such a frame of mind whereby I didn't sound sorry for myself.
You see, we had a house fire! A bad one. It seems my beautiful house is condemned. We are now living in an apartment over the pharmacy where I work. Things could be worse....I could be totally homeless!
My tenants too, are without a home and I feel so bad for them. They didn't have insurance. See, things could definitely be worse.
The fire started in the day - when no one was home - not even my little dog Spencer! If it had been in the night time, if Amy had been home (it started outside her bedroom door!) I shudder to contemplate how worse things would have been then.
The first firefighter on the scene was our son in law, Blair. Because he knew the layout of the house, he was able to get the fire out quick enough so that the house didn't burn to the ground. I am now able to sort through the belongings and list the contents of our home for the insurance. The adjuster tells me this is much harder to do from memory. Again, something to be grateful for.
I'm handwashing some of my more precious skeins by hand to try to get the soot and smell of smoke off of them. I've bought more Soak this past week than I have in my entire knitting career! Others, I'm replacing as I need them. Because, they are replaceable!! The things that we lost in the fire are only material things. And this fire has made me realize (I kind of knew this anyway) what a wonderful community we live in and what wonderful friends and family we have.
This weekend, we are moving out of the drugstore apartment and into a mini home - complete with craft room! I'll try to post some pictures when we get more settled. Until then, I'll have to show off pictures of my recently completed Gemini!
Knit with Classic Elite yarn Classic Silk that I purchase years ago from Webs. This yarn has been languishing in my stash forever. This little sweater was a quick easy knit. Great first sweater, if you've never knit a sweater before. If I were to knit this again, I would start the neckline with 4 rows of garter stitch first because as written the neckline has a tendency to roll. I avoided this, by crocheting a single crochet edge entirely around the neckline. It works, but I think the garter stitch would work better. I've already worn this sweater a couple of times and I must admit to liking it a lot. Kind of surprising given the colour of the sweater. Its definitely not something I would normally chose. I'm not sure what I was thinking when I bought it years ago.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Mystery Revealed.

So, for the second consecutive year, I've taken part in Stephen West's mystery knitalong. Like last year's KAL this year was also a shawl. Unlike last years KAL, each clue this time was very unique. Don't get me wrong, I love last year's shawl and its one of my favorites to wear. But each clue was more or less a variation upon the last. This shawl had some very different clues that utilized a lot of different techniques. The result is stunning!!! And even though pink is not something I would not normally chose, I think I will wear this lots too.

The yarn is from esty seller Kelpie Fibers I'm warning you - don't go over there unless you want to buy yarn. It will be seriously hard to resist. I have bought her fiber before, but its the first time buying her yarn and OMG!!! I am so crazy about her yarn. I'm thinking of getting a sweaters worth of the Falkland sock. It practically glowed - the colour was that spectacular. And it is so flipping soft. Again, highly, highly recommend this shop's yarn!!

Thanks to my gorgeous daughter Amy for tolerating me and being my model for this. Turns out the best photo is the one she took of herself. LOL. I'm debating a photography course over on Crafty....hmmmm.....might come in handy. We'll see.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

When Knitting Attacks!!

One of my favorite audio podcasts is called the Knitmore Girls. They have great knitting and spinning content. You should give them a listen. They have a segment called "When Knitting Attacks" in which they discuss ways that their knitting has foiled them in the previous week. I couldn't help but think of that segment when I realized what I had done with my latest knitting project. Take a look.......

Yes....that is two right handed mittens. Boy did I ever feel dumb. These are my Ravellenic games mittens. (If you don't know what the Ravellenics are...check it out here)

Thank goodness these are afterthought thumbs so it was a relatively easy fix. I simply hacked off the thumb, kitchenered the hole, and snipped the yarn on the opposite side to get a left handed mitten. Pretty nice, no? Knit with handspun that I finished during the Tour de Fleece. I love them, but suspect they will be gifted to my sister Cindy who expressed an interest in them when I visited home this past weekend. We'll see.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Successful Tour!

Today marks the end of the Tour de Fleece. I finished a 2 ply fractal spin today. I'm very happy with it. Its called Bifrost - a polwarth wool by etsy seller Kelpie Fibers. I love how happy this yarn is. I'm not sure what I'll make out of it, but I'm leaning towards mittens.

And here is a group photo of all the yarns spun during the tour. I'm very happy with the lot of them. I didn't spin as much as I would have liked but things like work kept getting in the way. But work I must, if I want to buy fiber to spin that is.

I didn't really set any concrete goals for myself - other than play with the art yarns a bit. I did manage to spin 3 different art yarns. The first one is the beehives that I already blogged about. I also did a whole Loop! bullseye bump as a super coil.

My bobbin wasn't large enough to hold the whole skein so I thread plied the leftovers. I like that one too!

Overall, I'm happy with my yarns. Look for them in upcoming posts as all of them are screaming to be knit or woven right away!

Saturday, July 14, 2012


I've been bitten by the bug that seems to have been going around the knitting community. Yes, I'm talking about the Colour Affection Shawl

The yarn harlot blogged about it. Diane of Knitabulls podcast spoke of it. And its been consistantly in the top 20 of Ravelry's 'Hot Right Now' pattern list since ...well, I'm not sure, but I'd be willing to bet since it was written. Veera V is an established pattern writer. This particular shawl has been well over 4 THOUSAND times on Ravelry!!

Well, who am I to resist. I think its the endless possibilities of colour combos that make this such an appealing knit. I started knitting this on my vacation to Niagara Falls. Kev hand wound the yarn for me. I purchased the three skeins of Mad tosh sock from Lettuce Knits in Toronto.

I thoroughly enjoyed knitting this. There is something soothing about garter stitch stripes. I'm not sure that I will keep this shawl for myself however. I did notice one thing about it when I had just about finished it. The colours, the stripes - the shawl looked very similar to my Daybreak. I love wearing shawls in the winter, but I'm not sure that I need two stripey shawls in the nearly identical blue and yellow colours.

Wednesday, July 04, 2012

Tour de Fleece!

This is the fourth year that I'll be participating in the Tour de Fleece. This annual event has really helped to improve my spinning by leaps and bounds. Its gotten so that I associate summer with spinning now. I just love it!

I started team Newfoundland and Labrador, and I am the captain! Go me! Lol. I'm happy that spinning is really picking up in this province. We have about a dozen or so participants on our team. I'm also spinning for team Loop (my new favorite etsy store!). One of my goals is to spin through some of my Loop stash. I have 5 of her bumps in my stash and they are all bigger than 5 oz. I also want to try a few art yarn techniques.

I tried spinning some coils/beehives. They actually turned out pretty good as I was spinning them, but when they were pulled through the orifice and onto the bobbin, they sort of came apart. I followed the technique as outlined in the book Spin Art.

So I think my problem is that my orifice is too small. Schact sells a bulky flyer for the sidekick wheel with a larger orifice for the purpose of spinning bulkier art yarns. This is something I may have to invest in.

Here is a close up of some of the neater coils. This was so much fun to spin and its definitely something I'll be trying again. I think next time I will try plying it with a handspun single instead of a commercial yarn. I'm not sure that I like the contrasting colours.

Prior to the tour I finished up spinning half of my cupcake fibers sock kit. Here is the resulting skein. My first official three ply! I say first official because I have spun chain plied yarns which is technically a three ply yarn but not really considered a true three ply yarn since all three plies of the chain ply come from the one single ply. Understand? I'm not sure I do, and I'm a spinner. Lol.

I cannot get through a Tour without being inspired by the many spindle spinners over on Ravelry. I'm always amazed at what people can accomplish on such a simple tour. I had to break out my spindles and give it a whirl. Literally. Lol. Here is a photo of Spencer...looking unbelievably worried. He is such a little neurotic guy. I'd love to know what he is thinking sometime.

And the final photo is of my Loop batt that I've spun so far. I'm not sure what I'll do with this one, but right now I'm leaning towards chain plying it to preserve the colours. This one is called 'Kaleidoscope Eyes' and is a repeatable colourway. This means that lots of other people have this exact same colour. The good thing about this is, that its very easy to get inspired by project photos of this stuff knit up on Ravelry. Diane of Knitabulls podcast fame is currently knitting a gorgeous shawlette called Ruby Slippers in this colourway. I'm tempted to do the exact same thing! But who knows when and where inspiration will strike. I do know this.....all of my Loop batts that I've spun up are currently knit up. I think that says something about this fiber. It doesn't languish in the stash at all. It demands to be seen!

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Summer Time!

Summer time around here means birthdays! Starting on June 10th with Kev's. Next up was Nat's on the 17th. And today is Cooper's birthday. One year old already. Isn't he awesome!!! It is kind of surreal how fast this past year went. I cannot tell you what a joy this little boy is. I've been around a lot of babies in my time, but I don't know if I've even seen a happier more content little boy. And he even started walking on Kevin's birthday.

It was so nice, we were out in the back yard with the kids. We put Cooper on the ground (He's been standing on his own for quite some time now) and he just walks over to a soccer ball and tries to KICK IT!!!

Here is a photo of the cake that I made for Kevin. Simple enough, but it looks impressive. There are about 10 kit kat bars on the exterior of that cake and 5 packages of smarties in the center. I probably could have done with more smarties on the center, but it was sweet enough as it was. Blair asked for a cake like this for his birthday too. Which isn't too far away - but before Blair's birthday is Morgan's and after Blair's birthday is Aimee's. See.....the endless parade of birthdays.

And speaking of Blair - I wanted to pummel him just a little when he asked the day before Nat's birthday if I would make her a cake. It was too hot in the house to do any baking, so I went and bought a pre-made angel food cake and came up with this!!! It turned out really well - not too much effort at all.

And lest you all think that I've retired my needles for the summer, fear not. I've been knitting. Lots of shawls again.

The first shawl is handspun from one of my Loop batts. I made this for Charlotte - one of the technicians at the store who just recently moved away. Charlotte has always appreciated my work and always oohs and ahhs appropriately over the handspun, so she was deemed worthy of receiving such a gift.

And the final photo is proof that I've jumped on the band wagon that is the Color Affection shawl. I think the appealing part of this shawl is the picking of the three colours. It is so fun to combine all the different colours to see what the shawl will look like. This one is made of madtosh sock. Its my first time knitting with this yarn and I must say that I'm not disappointed. I love the tight twist on this yarn and colours are gorgeous. Not surprising - the yarn would make great socks!

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Bursting at the Seams!

It's been a very busy couple of weeks. Kev and I drove to Sherbrooke for Amy's convocation. It's hard to believe that she is finished her degree. Her time in Quebec has been wonderful. I'm going to miss going to Lennoxville/Sherbrooke. I can only imagine how she must be feeling. Here is a photo of the two of us on convocation day. It was such a great day. The weather was great, even the honorary doctorate speakers were awesome. We had such a great time. I am so proud of my daughter - I'm just about bursting at the seams! I had hoped to wear my orchid thief shawlette to the convocation. It would have matched my dress perfectly. But alas, I couldn't pull it together. I had plenty of time to finish it - but knitting lace while driving on a dirt road - not ideal lace knitting conditions! I did finish it when I got home and I couldn't be more pleased. Well, maybe I'd be more pleased if I actually had enough yarn to finish the bind off - but, oh well! I had to bind off in the fingering weight version of the Tanis Fiberarts yarn. I think this is my first full sized, lace weight shawl. It sits so nicely on my shoulders. Here it is on my kitchen table. Its quite large. And of course no vacation would be complete without souvenir yarn. I managed to fit in a quick visit to Lettuce Knit in Toronto where I bought (amongst other things) this gorgeous Tanis Fiber Arts yarn. I just love her colours so much! And I visited a spinning supply shop called the Fiber Garden in Jordan Station which isn't too far from Niagara Falls. I bought some lovely batts (er...amongst other things) while I was there. I can't wait to spin this stuff up!!

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Two Wrongs Make a Right

I've never believed that two wrongs make a right. I'm not sure where that expression came from, but it always felt kind of dumb. Until now that is. I just finished (finally) my Rocky Coast Cardigan. And it turned out perfectly! But I think the reason it did so, is because of 'Two Wrongs'. Both 'Wrongs' happened at the beginning of knitting this sweater, and I kind of liked how it looked, so I just went with it. The first wrong was casting on for the wrong size. Initially, I cast on for my bust size and knit several inches. Then I check out the finished objects on Ravelry and found that since this pattern is meant to be worn with several inches of positive ease, you should cast on for a size that is several inches larger than your bust size. Rather than tink back, I decided to keep the cast on as I originally had done, but increase up to the size to give me the easement I wanted. This turned out to be perfect because the other thing that I read about the FOs was that the neckline tended to run large and hence slipped off people's shoulders. The second wrong, was miss crossing my cables. My cables are lined up - snake like - meandering down the length of the garment. I knew I had made a mistake right from the get go, but I kind of liked it and decided to keep going. Since the yarn I chose is sort of self striping these cable lines help to break up the self striping. So, here it is. I love it. The yarn is Cascade Eco Duo - a blend of wool and alpaca. Its a single and its oh so soft and squishy.
I'm sure it'll pill like nobody's business, but I don't really care. I have a good sweater shaver. I predict this sweater will get lots of wear. It is so comfy and the amount of ease is perfect. Its not falling off my shoulders. And I like the little clasp that I've used too.
So, in this case, I think two wrongs did make a right....well, a right sweater in any case. Next up....I've got some Madelinetosh chunky I've been dieing to try!!