Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Travellin' Canary

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This blog will be on holiday for about 3 weeks - I'm off to Europe, my friends!
If you are so inclined, you can see when/if/what I get around to posting re: said excursion on my trip blog, Canary Goes To Europe.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Theoretical Theros

This post is titled thus because I'm rather bemused at myself for the way I work with designs. More on my gooberness below:
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Pattern: Theros
Yarn: 5.5 hanks of the very beautiful Handmaiden Samira Silk
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Firstly, the yarn.
I can never say enough good things about Handmaiden and Fleece Artist yarns. At least, all of their yarns I've knit with so far (and this is a considerable amount!) have pleased me in every respect.
The only hint of a possibility of a negative: when I blocked it, the colour bled out a bit. I didn't notice any difference in the hue of the yarn, though. Just the bloody-looking yarn-soak water!

Secondly, my madness.
Mad like a lazy person, I think. Inevitably, my finished knit designs never turn out how I imagined they would. This is usually due to my previously mentioned laziness. In this instance, it's also my lack of adequate yardage planning.
Initially I had wanted this knit to be created with a fair amount of positive ease, so that it could be nicely belted and look tres chic etc...
Well, after knitting up almost two hanks worth and realizing this would leave me with a garment that would reach only about to my armpits, I had to reassess.
Thus the good ol' negatively-eased tunic you see before you was born.

The lace sitting around my neck is the Dayflower pattern from Barbara Walker (I believe it was her Second Treasury book).
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The name?

Well, Theros is, according to a couple baby-name websites, is the root of me first name. I also thought the colour was quite autumnal, and the tunic-y-ness of the top sort of reminds me of astrological depictions of the Virgo. Plus, I'm supposed to be one of them Virgos.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Indie Designer Day

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Designer: Emily Amelia
Blog: Not Another Knit Blog!
Rav ID: aemmeleia
Esty Shop: FolkLore Fiberarts
Some Great Designs: aemmeleia's Rav Designer Page

Sometimes I just call upon "happy thoughts" during my regular-ol'-everyday life. One of my happy thoughts are grapes. Yes, may sound weird, bizz-odd, even, but there were always grapes in my backyard growing up. Delicious, delicious grapes!

So, with the fantastical powers that Ravelry provides the knitting community, I decided one day to search patterns that had anything to do with grapes. The above-pictured mitt is the beauty-ful result of that search.

I guess I'm biased because of this here childhood memory, but I think these could possibly be the best colourworked mitts I've ever seen. I love them so much that I'm waiting to cast on, until I find the perfect yarn for this project!

The Icewine Mittens' wonderful designer, aemmeleia, is not only knittily creative, generous in her free-pattern offerings and multi-talented (check out her etsy shop, in the near future, for new additions! she makes lovely drop spindles), she's also got an imminent addition to her family on the way!
I must admit, seeing her sporting her recently finished Tilted Duster makes me realize that this pattern is worn at its best with a pregnant belly!

Another beautiful design she's created is the Autumn Tea Cozy. Very seasonally appropriate! It's really gorgeous - and it gives me a reason/excuse to buy just-that-one-ball of Noro Kueryon that I inevitably come across when perusing frolicking through any LYS.
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Thanks to all readers for your positive response to this weekly featurette! This will be the last Indie Designer profiled for a few weeks, because I am off very soon for a long-overdue trip across the Atlantic. The featurette will return upon my... return!

Friday, October 17, 2008

Indie Designer Day

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Designer: Morgan
Blog: My Amphetamines and my Purls
Rav ID: pomoboho
Some Great Designs: pomoboho's Rav Designer Page

I've been enchanted by pomoboho's whimsical blog for over a year and a half now. Always filled with inspirational photos, often with a vintage air, I click my way over to My Amphetamines and my Purls whenever I need a bit of an escape from daily life drudgery.

I've oft admired her unique takes on patterns. Check out how she altered Fiddlestick's Garden Shawl (she must be some species of genius to do this!! so much so that I've used two exclamation marks here) and take a look at her colourwork. I think my fave is this cute elephantine sweater.

Her designs mirror her fanciful blog: Belle Brummell is a gorgeous use of delicate lace, worn in a rather innovative way. The above-pictured crocheted Pomo Boho Collar is really sweet; I can see it being a perfect complement to a sweeping neckline. And don't miss out on a peek at her Steeple Bumpleigh Helmet. I think it looks absolutely wonderful on her! I think vintageously whimsical could be an apt description.
Fair Isle U - Neck - on blog
I must admit to being directly influenced by the aforementioned pachydermal pullover (like the alliteration, eh? I do good). This knit has taken the form of my super neglected fair isle pullover, wherein I've substituted some fancy footworkin' fair isle for some bees.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Stripe Fantastic

I humbly bow before you and say; It feels like I've neglected this wee bloggy. I have been up to stuffs, I swear.
Most recently it's been a startitis-of-small-projectus-is.
I did warn you that you hadn't see the end of my knittings of the Felicity hat.
And here's two more:
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Pattern: Felicity
Yarn(s): Purple edition is leftovers from a Misson Falls ball and Noro Kureyon
Grey edition is leftovers from Karaoke as well as a ball of my favourite colourway from Noro Silk Garden
PhotobucketI love the stripes. I've seen a couple people playing around with different self-striping yarns, and they've had their pieces work out wonderfully. I just happened to have me a whack of leftovers, and so tried it meself on the grey Felicity.
Once again, I highly recommend this pattern!

Below you see the fun bit of brown right at the top - that's my fave colour in this hank.

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The proverbial heat is on for me to complete a particular sweatery thing that I've rather obtusely blogged about and never displayed.
The shortening of the daylight round about here is cutting most inconsiderately into my photography time (that's excuse #1). Further into the bargain is the aforementioned startitis-ness (excuse #2), as well as a distracting weekend filled with family (it was Thanksgiving for us Canadians), hiking, picnic-ing and re-ingratiating myself to the dessert gods after my shamefully misguided attempt at pumpkin pie last year.
For inquiring minds: yes, I did triumph. Pumpkin cheesecake.
You can never go wrong with the cheesecake.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Indie Designer Day

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Designer: Ellen Bartz
Blog: The Moebius Sock
Rav ID: RivendelLN
Some Great Designs: RivendelLN's Rav Designer Page

I'm a sucker for argyle. Especially argyle in creative usage. And I'm a fan of very nice people. Especially people who get creative with their pattern naming! (check her pattern notes) :)

RivendelLN's right-pictured Elva Argyle mitts are too adorable. I apologize, but the English language has as of yet to come up with a single word that incorporates "functional", "wearable", "understated-chic" and "looks-like-fun-to-knit".
I'll have to stick with adorable.
Since I've been on something of a mitts-kick, these Elvas might leap onto my needles rather soon.
And because they're designed to be knit flat (yeah - I know! Great idea!) I'll be able to give some attention to my long-neglected straight needles. I'm also rather looking forward to the stash-busting potential of this pattern.

RivendelLN's knits from other patterns are equally stunning. Her recently blogged-about Leaf Lace Scarf has reignited my long-snuffed-out desire to knit scarves, and I was ├╝ber-flattered when she was the first to knit my Le Lapin Noir pattern. Thanks for being so inspiring!
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In other news: Jejune, the wonderful designer I profiled last week, has had her Maude Louise voted as one of the sweaters for the first KAL of the Obscuriosity group on Ravelry. Congratulations! Obscure no more :)

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Swirling Gauntlets; Or, Travelling Stitches

I've learned something about myself: I am totally unable to focus on large projects when there is an event of any magnitude looming in the near future.
And so I present yet another set of hand-warming knits:
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Pattern: Swirling Gauntlets
Yarn: one, just ONE, skein of Louisa Harding Grace

I'd recommend this pattern to anyone (and in fact, I already have!)
It's infinitely satisfying to sit down and actually complete an entire knit in that particular sitting. This knit may also make it's way onto my (very short) Christmas knit list.

(Though it pains me to think Christmas before even Halloween has passed, here begins the Christmas paragraph):
As stated in the past, I don't make it a habit to knit for others. There's far too much possible disappointment and frustration involved to make it worthwhile. Buuuut, for this particular year, I've chosen to knit for two family members. My mother (who would love absolutely anything I knit anyway!) and my sister. Therein lay the gamble.
She saw me wearing my white Corona a few weeks ago and admired it. I also happen to have a very large, long-lived stash resident who would be perfect for said purpose.
I declare here and now: if I knit this, this entire sweater, taking up many hours of time, time that could be spent on knitting things for appreciative recipients (namely, me), I will have to embroider an ever-lasting wallhanging that will act as a persistent reminder to never, under any circumstances, knit for anyone. But me. And my mom. And maybe the boyfriend. If he ever actually wanted anything.
//end Christmas paragraph
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On an unprecedented and totally unrelated note, I will recommend a book I've been reading. It's called "Bright Earth" and it's authored by Philip Ball. I have to purchase my own copy because I loves it so. I just took it out from the library after perusing the boards on Ravelry, and it's full of the kind of stuff that makes my proverbial clock tick. Or me. Makes me tick. Yes.
Science that even a dedicated Humanities student can comprehend without doing mental calisthenics of any kind. Like, why are pebbles one colour when under water, and then when they dry off become so boring you have to throw them back in the lake and search for another?
//end whetting of reading whistle

And, on yet another unprecedented note:
For all those of you who are Jane Austen fans, and do not have the great luck of living in Britain, last month there was a sweet mini series made for tv called "Lost in Austen". Four parts. Really cool - not for purists! If you want a looksee, just youtube it. It devoured my entire weekend.
//end Darcy drooling

Friday, October 03, 2008

Indie Designer Day

PhotobucketDesigner: Kristen
Blog: Knitting Kninja
Rav ID: Jejune
Some Great Designs: Jejune's Design page on Rav

Pictured is Jejune's wonderful Maude Louise, whose delightful details (such as the diamond pattern around the waist and down the arms, and adorable seed stitch around the shoulders to a cute little pointed v in the front!) make me so happy I can't even type right (this is true: I've had to retype this particular sentence several times for various spelling mistakes in my zeal to share this information with you all).

Jejune's designs (and yes, she's got others!) are pieces that I could definitely see myself knitting, wearing and loving until they're pilled into extinction.

Another great example: her Tamarind Cowl. How cool is that undulating design detail? Not only does it look beautiful to wear, it looks fun to knit!

I've never plugged a Rav group before, but I must do so for Jejune: she is the mod of the fantastical Color Coordinated* group.
As some of you may know, colour theory in all its glory is one of my passions/obsessions. This group speaks to the reader/researcher/information-devourer in me.

*on a rather unrelated note: yes, it did kill me to type colour without the u. It was a battle between the anal-must-get-the-name-exactly-as-it's-represented side of me against the but-I-love-spelling-the-right-way side of me.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Knitting in the Meantime

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I'm antsy. This has affected my knitting.
So, instead of focussing on the sweater I'm hoping to complete before I leave for Europe, I've knit up a pair of Dashing

Pattern: Dashing
Yarn: 1.2 skeins of Louisa Harding Grace
Needles: 4mm dpns

Generally this sort of caramelly-camelly colour is not my bag, but it found its way into my bag at this year's Tent Sale at me LYS. I can't help myself around Louisa Harding Grace yarn. I love it so.
The theory behind this very (to me) boring and too-close-to-my-own-skintone-colour is that it'll blend in nicely with almost any outfit, and is (as the theory goes) infinitely wearable for slightly chilly days in Paris and the like.

As for modding the pattern (because you know I have to) I made it on 4mm needles instead of 4.5, and with a slightly smaller gauge I was able to end up with a finished product that actually fit (seeing as how this pattern is made with men in mind, it would most likely have been a touch large if I hadn't used the smaller needle/gauge).

Scintillating!

In other news:
The very eagle-eyed observers of this photo might notice that Lil' Bastard (as is the fiddle's name) is missing an E string. This is because I'm a terrible fiddle-mama, and am too strenuous with my ignorant fiddle-tuning attempts. Guitars are so much easier.
(and a piece of trivia: my electric guitar's name is Ares. The acoustic? He's no name. But he's missing an E string too. Something with me and E strings....)

And, in further other news:
Be forewarned, dear readers. I've vacation-brain, and will most probably be yakking about it from now til November. I'll try to keep it down.