Tuesday, May 31, 2011

The Chicken, the Bustle and Me

My local museum's olde-timey dress up day is fast becoming an annual event for me!
Remember that dress I referenced back in this here posty?
The day for the gown has come and gone, and it was a fantastic one!

Here's photographic evidence of the fun:
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First of all, chickens. Very friendly chickens, very chill too. I made friends with both of them. You'll see in a pic below :)

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Here we have Tic Tac the mixed breed sheep. Born in February, this babe was sweet and very single-minded. It was all about grass (and somewhat about my knitting basket!)

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Here be me and Spot the chicken. She was so relaxed that, as you may be able to see, she fell asleep on my lap. I also had a bit of fun playing with the photo editor!

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And here's the final product! What you can't see are all the pins I have holding the jacket in (with my minimal sewing experience, I didn't realize the pattern was about 2" too big for me!), nor can you see the craptastic hemming job I did along the bottom edge of the skirt.
I am rather happy with the (21!!!) buttons on the jacket. As was Spot, incidentally. She had a great time pecking away at them.

Now that the major sewing project has been completed, I'm hoping to be able to share with you some of the loads of knitting I've been working on!

Friday, May 27, 2011

Indie Designer Revisited

PhotobucketDesigner: Heidi Kirrmaier
Rav ID: PiPiBird
Some Great Designs: PiPiBird's Rav Designer Page
Original Indie Designer Post: June 12, 2009

A lot can happen in two years. So many great designs, and I wonder where to start!

Pictured is one of PiPiBird's latest designs, Vitamin D. As many of you may know, I'm a big proponent of negative ease; and so my admiration of PiPiBird's designs may surprise you, as she proclaims that she is a proponent of postitive ease! I love her note, here:
I generally like positive ease, and many of my current designs are intended to fit somewhat loosely. It has become apparent to me that I may be in the minority in this regard - we seem to be in an era of ‘fitted’ knits, which in part I believe is a reaction to wanting to avoid repeating some of the ill-fitting knits of the past. Fair enough :) However, when I look at today’s fashions, I see a lot of loose fitting pieces, and personally find that a flattering fit does not need to equate to form fitting. Skimming a few body parts rather than hugging every curve is still fitted to me. The nature of the yarn also has to work, and a fabric with a little drape tends to work best and avoids bulkiness when there is some positive ease. Of course the ideal amount of ease varies by design as well.
Big quote - but I love it! And there's more to read on her designer page, linked in the list above.

Now, onto some more of her beautiful work!

Here's a pretty pocketed cardigan, Atelier. Worked from the top-down in one piece, not only does its wearability make my heart flutter, the seamlessness makes my fingers want to knit it now now now!

Igloo is a dress - a nice, simple one, with the wonderful functionality of keeping you good and warm in the cold months, but also with the added bonus of pockets (not sure I've mentioned this, but I'm a wayhugebig fan of pocketed dresses. It's one of the unexplainable bits and bobs about my fashion crushes).

See next Space Girl, a variable top-down constructed sweater (instructions included for both long- and short-sleeved versions). I love PiPiBird's use of texture in this piece.

Finally I'll point out a cardigan she's designed for my recent beloved yarn company, madelinetosh. Check out fall away cardigan, done in a beautiful blue shade of pashmina. This piece has all the hallmarks of a PiPiBird design, with lovely, simple construction and that fantastic use of positive ease.

Please check out her designer page - there's so much more there to see!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

I'm Interviewed!

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Hey all!
Just a quick howdy, hello and check-out-this-link today: it's an interview the talented WorstedKnitt asked me to be a part of on her blog. She does a designer of the month feature. Very cool :)

Also, this picture, right here? That's me garden. Not much right now, but whoo boy, I have plans! This past weekend was the traditional go-ahead herald for garden-sewing in this here part of the planet, and I'll be putting in my seeds and wee started plants directly.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Indie Designer Day

PhotobucketDesigner: Juliet Moody
Blog: jooslywoolsy.com
Rav ID: jooslywoolsy
Some Great Designs: jooslywoolsy's Rav Designer Page

Woo! The suns' out and I'm feeling Spring-y. Time for a fresh and fun designer!

This week it's joolsywoolsy; all her patterns are fun and cute. Take the pictured top, Sophia. I love the vibe of this knit. It looks like just as much fun to wear as it would be to knit! This is a retro 80s garment done to perfection. LOVE.

For something fun (and so cute!), see her cardi Charlotte. I dig the delicate little texture around the neckline. Makes it so interesting and pretty! This is a garment I can see myself wearing alllll the time.

And finally, for a bit of fun, clicky on the linky here for Monster Baby. It is what it says, folks. If I had a baby under my watch, it would so totally have something like this. Hmm.... I might be able to adapt that to Monster Doggy....

Thursday, May 19, 2011

I have a Bustle, And Am Not Afraid To Use It!

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As you may have noticed, there's been little to no knitting content on this blog for quite some time. I do have a few reasons, but the main (and crappiest) one is that my right hand/wrist had been sore for a while.
It's better! But the idea that I couldn't knit was really not cool, and made me realize just how much I love knitting!

So, being the can't-sit-still kinda person I am, I redirected my crafty energy into sewing.
The machine does the work for you there!

In what is becoming an annual tradition, I'll be participating in one of my local museum's "olde-timey days". That is, loads of people get dressed up in period costume and get to bask in the (hopefully!) lovely Springtime sun and work on crafts and the like to the delight of many visitors and wonder of many children.

I decided that this year was the year I'd take on a BIG sewing project. Last year I had a regency gown, which was honestly sort of pushing it when it came to period appropriate dress (being at least 50 years too old for the purpose).
For 2011, I've taken on a gown from the latter part of the nineteenth century, that is, Burda 7880 (pictured, of course!)

I've completed quite a bit of it (and certainly mussed up parts and got... um... creative!).
Now is just the race-to-the-finish line, with all sorts of little touches to finish, hems to stitch, bustles to... bustle?

I'll be back very soon with a final report. It has to be worn on the 28th, so my deadline approacheth!

(wish me luck on the buttons. I'm so nervous I'm going to screw it up!!)

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Oiseau Wednesday

Handful of finch!
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Here you see the bebes, at three weeks old.
On the far left is "Little Grey", the biggest (and so I'm assuming oldest). Next to Little Grey is Dark Grey (and yes, these are temporary names. I'm waiting to see the sex of the birds to permanently name them!)
And, on the far right, the wee baby Eddie. Much smaller than the others!

Little Grey took his/her first flight yesterday! I was very proud.

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Friday, May 13, 2011

Indie Designer Day

PhotobucketDesigner: Loredana Gianferri
Etsy Shop: Unique Creazioni
Rav ID: lorelostintheusa
Some Great Designs: lorelostintheusa's Rav Designer Page

I'm in the mood for pretty shawls, and this week's indie designer does pretty shawls very well!

Pictured right you see Spighe di Grano, a beautiful piece that makes great use of simple texture to create interest (and show off that fantastic hank of tone-on-tone variegated yarn you have hanging out in your stash!)

Check out this lovely piece, her The Three Sisters: LORE. Another great example of texture-to-create-beauty, depth and movement abound in this simply constructed accessory.

Finally I'll point you to I Want You, a lace-trimmed shawl done up in a wonderful array of examples on the pattern page. From light and delicate to bold and colourful, this knit does well with incredibly varied yarn colours and types.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Oiseau Wednesday

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More bird content!

Here's Anne and Henry's babies at two weeks old. Awww, so ugly (still!)
They've opened their eyes and are growing feathers at this point, so I can already see that one of the fledglings takes after Anne, and another after Henry. Little Eddie is still several days behind the others in development, but is being fed and still seems strong (as a little bird can be).

I love their little frowny faces!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Birds, Birds Everywhere!

This weekend saw me start my great ambitions of learning to be a birder. I went out with a friend and a small group (all of whom seemed to really know what they were doing! Methinks I need a good pair of binoculars).

It seems that birds get up awfully early, because, as you can see in the photo below, I had myself out of bed and in my car far before I normally would!

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The pretty scene of the sun over the marsh.
Our bird walk took us across marshland, along streams and through small woods and valleys.

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Here's a mama Canada Goose on her nest.

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A Mute Swan, who decided to paddle right beneath us all.

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Though it may not be terribly easy to see, here's a Blue Jays on its nest.

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A White-Breasted Nuthatch - a new spotting for me!

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And, in another new spotting, a Yellow Warbler, in the middle of flitting from one tree-top branch to another.

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And the ubiquitous, friendly and curious Black-Capped Chickadee. I had a couple of these tiny sweeties hop right onto my hand! They're so used to people coming by to feed them, that an outstretched hand is all that's needed to tempt them over.

I'm really looking forward to getting out there and spotting some more - I hear the Orioles should have migrated up here by next week!

Friday, May 06, 2011

Indie Designer Day

PhotobucketDesigner: Ariane Caron-Lacoste
Blog: Falling Stitches
Etsy Shop: Falling Stitches
Rav ID: FallingStitches
Some Great Designs: FallingStitches' Rav Designer Page

I love this designer's eye for detail.
Take the pictured Gespeg. A pretty, slouchy hat, this piece is made into something special with its interesting and unique diamond pattern.

Then there's the cozy, quick knit infinity scarf B├ęthanie. Such a lovely and chic pattern! Artfully arranged around your neck, this piece would do well to accessorize any cold weather outfit.

Cybelle, a neat and simple garment, plays upon this designer's strengths. A practical yet attractive cardi, this piece was envisioned by FallingStitches as the perfect knit for a chilly classroom.
This pattern is also part of the first issue of French Canadian Knits. This is a series put together by FallingStitches, which includes gorgeous knitwear designs all inspired by old French Canadian names (and yes, she is indeed French Canadian herself!)

Also to note: her blog is a pretty little joy. Populated by attractive photographs and lovely knitwear, it's always a great place to stop.
And, her Etsy shop! See the link above; with pretty stitch markers and patterns, it's quickly becoming one of my favourites on Etsy.

Thursday, May 05, 2011

Colourful Words

As I believe ya'll know, I'm a sucker for cool words and the fascinating intricacies of the English language.
I've pointed in the direction of the Phrontistry in the past, but I thought I'd play a fun game this time:
there's a neato list of rarely used colour words.
I chose a couple favourite and googled them to find the first image that comes up on the search.
Here's my results:

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Isabelline

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Coquelicot

Isabelline is "greyish yellow". That bird up the appeared on the top of the search likely due to the fact that it's a Isabelline Shrike.

The second colour I chose, coquelicot, is a brilliant, poppy red. Hence the poppy.

Wanna play too? It's fun!

Wednesday, May 04, 2011

Oiseau Wednesday

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While it's a bit difficult to see, here is Henry and Anne's wee clutch of baby birds. They're about a week old, and are beginning to grow tiny feathers on their tiny wings.
Anne had laid five eggs, but only three hatched.
Two of the little ones are thriving; one of them is... well... I'm a bit concerned for the poor thing. It's much smaller than its siblings, and keeps (falling out of? getting kicked out of?) the nest. I've had to replace the small bird back into its home about three or four times.
I figure, if this tiny baby lives another week, it'll make it to adulthood.1
Fingers crossed!!
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1If this little one survives, and is a boy, I have to name him Edward :)

Tuesday, May 03, 2011

Knitting Goals: Play that Meme!

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What with Springtime and all that renewal stuff thoroughly underway, it's got me to thinking about my knitting.
All of it.

All those sad little UFOs nefariously tucked out of sight, all the designs-to-knit, all those bookmarks jammed into various copies of Vogue and IK...

And especially all those things I don't know, haven't tried. All those holes in my knitting knowledge and experience.

Being the list-making nutter that I am, the first thing that occurred to me was "check the interwebs!" I knew there was a meme out there.

So I made me a list of (some of the) things I've done, and (some of the) things I'd like to do.

(I've marked with bold the things I've done).

How about you? I must admit it feels good to see (certain sections!) all bold.

Techniques

Garter, Stockinette, Drop Stitch, Twisted Stitch, Slip Stitch/Smocking
Moebius Band, I-cord, Buttonholes
Graffiti Knitting
Continental Style, English Style, Portuguese Style
Lace, Entrelac, Intarsia, Fair Isle, Bobbles, Cables, Steeks, Short Rows
Darning, Felting, Knitting with Beads, Swatching
Long Tail CO, Tubular CO, Backwards Loops CO, Provisional CO
Knitting and Purling Backwards, Knitting two socks on two circulars simultaneously
Magic Loop
Thrummed knitting

Fibres

banana, bamboo, cotton, linen, milk, soy
alpaca, buffalo, camel, cashmere, silk, wool
synthetic

Projects

Afghan
Shawl, Scarf, Hat, Mittens: Cuff-up, Mittens: Tip-down, Fingerless mitts, Armwarmers
Socks: top-down, Socks: toe-up, Slippers
Sweater, Cardigan, Shrug/bolero/poncho
Toy/doll clothing, Baby items, Stuffed toys
Knitting items for a wedding
Holiday related knitting
Household items (dishcloths, washcloths, tea cosies…)
Purses/bags
Knitting a gift, Knitting for pets

Designing

Sweaters, Mitts, Socks, Scarf, Dress, Skirt, Poncho, Hat,
Publishing a Knitting Book

Other

Participating in a KAL
Charity Knitting, Knitting in public
Dying, Spinning
Teaching a male how to knit, Teaching a child to knit

Monday, May 02, 2011

Librivox Love

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I've recently become quite attached to Librivox.

My sister began a Jane Austen book club a few months ago; with great gusto I signed up, of course. And, of course, I've already read (several times over) each of her novels.

With the time and date quickly approaching for our book club meeting, I had to bow to pressure and listen to the audio book (which is totally not cheating, since I've read the books already anyway!)

After searching my local library's website, as well as the interwebs, by far the best source for these files is Librivox.

Now that I've listened to a few of these novels, I've realized my favourite reader is certainly the talented Elizabeth Klett, who is also quite a crafter! (check out her site. It's good stuff).
She's also done several pieces of Shakespeare, which are next on my list!

Anyone else a Librivox fan?

Sunday, May 01, 2011

Knitters Frolic to Toronto

It's been a cool, wet Spring round here. I happen to like a bit of rain, but it's amazing what happens when the sun comes out.

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Yesterday, M. Soleil made one of his first real appearances this Spring. It was gorgeous.
Not only that, but it was the annual trip to the Downtown Knit Collective's Knitter's Frolic. A troop of six of us travelled up the highway to Toronto, and improved both our stashes and the knit-economy rather wonderfully.

Here below you see some of my purchases.

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I bet you're not surprised to see some Handmaiden (above) and my perennial colours in madelinetosh, below. Methinks it may become some lovely sort of fair isle sweater.
Oooooh yeah.

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Hope you're enjoying some wonderful Spring weather and fantastic knitting, wherever you may be!