Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Pining for the Camera, waiting for the Yarn

A photo-less post, my friends:

While not ever proclaiming myself to be a hat-person, I've fallen for the Shedir. And finished it.
And, I would be showing a picture, but am currently without camera.

This new-found love has led me to seek out, much like a pink-snouted truffle hog, more lovely hat patterns. Where I would have shunned them only days ago, I have now officially added them to the ever-growing "Next on the Needles" list.

And the odd desire has suddenly struck me to drop my reluctance to knit up some pretty wrap-tops. I avoided these because I was of the opinion that they make my chest look bizzare (as in "look at me! Here are my boobs!" - as an interesting side note, I have heard from certain style gurus that wrap tops are supposed to minimize a person's chest).

Needless to say I'll be sleeping on this one before throwing cash at pretty patterns and prettier yarn. (Though, the eagle-eyed reader will spy a selection of wrap cardigans in the aforementioned "Next on the Needles" list.)

I suspect these changes-of-heart stem from the spring bug. Yes, it's sunny outside. Yes, it's warm. And, just when I'm on the verge of finishing a very warm, and very epic, alpaca sweater.

Monday, February 26, 2007

It's not my fault!

This is the progress I've gotten to on the Fair Isle U-Neck:

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Yes, it's almost done. And I would have it done by the deadline (February 28) if not for the fact that I've finished off the only skein of black yarn. I did buy the amount required, but I think my inexperience with fair isle has lead me to misuse the yarn I did purchase.
It's been ordered; now the wait begins!
I think I'll be keeping myself busy weaving in ends. So very many ends.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Why did the Conservatives take the weed whacker to Canadian arts promotion abroad? asks MARGARET ATWOOD

I've not done this before, but can't pass up posting a link to this great article by the Canadian author Margaret Atwood. A dim outlook for those of us in the arts sector.

I knew it wasn't going to be pretty when Harper won.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Summer's a-coming

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Just a quick note:
Here is the sad remains of what was supposed to be a bikini top for me last year. I quickly changed my mind about that after determining that cotton does not act very well as a supportive garment (all on its own).

And so, I have decided to design myself a (gasp!) cotton, fair isle half-top halter for the summer. Fair Isle because I have to incorporate all those colours in there somehow. Half top because I realized that last year, my favoured mode of dress was anything cool that I could throw on top of my bikini top (a real one this time).

I do have a schematic rather quickly drawn, but have as-of-yet to photo and upload it. For now you can feast your eyes on the crying cotton and warn me (if you desire) that fair isle in cotton just might spell my doom.

Dog Sweater Update

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Here is the handsome hound sporting the two sweaters I made for him. They're both done with Bernat Satin. What a great model he makes!
I'm also quite glad they fit. I hope they help to keep him warm :) (see more on Lefty & Me).
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Sunday, February 18, 2007

Argosy Complete

Hugging one of my latest reads, here's the finished Argosy.

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Pattern: Argosy
Yarn: two skeins (and a wee bit) of Noro Silk Garden Lite
colour 2011
Time to complete: only days - less than a week!
Noro strikes again with a beautiful colourway. This was a fun pattern, one of those ones that burns itself into your memory so that you don't have to keep reading the pattern.
No new skills learned with this one.
I will say, though, that after my Lady E a normal-sized scarf feels a little, well, lacking.
It's still pretty, and I got to try out the Noro SG Lite. It's a great yarn, even better than Noro SG regular. Of course, not as many colours are available in it yet.

Friday, February 16, 2007

Cloud Bolero in Old Sage

I can't begin to tell you how much I love this colour and yarn.

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Pattern: Cloud Bolero by Ysolda
Yarn: about 1.5 skeins of Lamb's Pride Bulky
Time to complete: 1 day
Ribbon: left over from Eiffel

I love these little bolero capelets, so when I saw this Cloud bolero pattern I thought I had to have it. Unfortunately, something went awry in my reading of the pattern, because I was left with an incorrect number of stitches and a slightly off-kilter right side. I can live with it.

I need to find another bolero like this (or the Anthropologie one) to make, and in this colour! I absolutely love the yarn - very soft and fluffy. And it was highly pleasing to be able to just pull at the bit of yarn ever-so-nicely tucked under the label and get a perfect centre pull experience.

Any suggestions for other boleros?

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Six Weird Things About Me

I've been tagged, and so must comply! Here's my first meme:

Six Weird Things About Me

Where to begin? How can I divulge this list and maintain a degree of respectability?
Well, read on if you must, and discover the weird side of me.

1. I have to have all the labels of my products (food, shampoo, etc..) with the English side facing out. If it be French that faces me, I must right the object (that and I know someone's been touching my stuff!)

2. I hate wearing socks. Especially when I'm at home. No matter how cold it is outside, as soon as I get home the socks come off. If my feet need to be warm, I have slippers. That's what they're for. I try to disguise my dislike of the sock by buying really cutesy ones, and rather loud ones as well, but this is only a temporary mask for the bubbling pot of annoyance that wearing socks creates.

3. I have an intense aversion to wearing hig heels. They may look beautiful, and be wonderful works of sculptural art, but to torture one's foot, legs, back etc... by wearing them is beyond me. And don't tell me they're comfortable - they're not. Anything that makes you walk on only one part of your foot and creates a clip-clopping horse-like noise is not comfortable.

4. I hated vegetables for so long, that I had never really eaten one (other than the odd piece of lettuce or carrot in a chicken noodle soup) until I was 21. This does not include potatoes, which I love and have always loved.

5. I've never broken, sprained or twisted any limb, bone, or other part of my body. This may have something to do with my aversion to sports and other strenuous physical exercise.

6. I sing to my birds. They don't care. They just yell back, and if I get too close, they run away and squawk in terror. Yet I sing (and talk to them) anyway.

There you have it. A strange-but-true account of the assortment of oddities that is me.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Eiffel Complete

Here it be: my completed Eiffel. I love this pattern! Despite the couple of mistakes I made in its construction, I'm entirely satisfied with it. Here's a close-up of the lovely neckline, that I didn't even realize would be lacy! (I really should read ahead in patterns.)

exactly 4 skeins of Alchemy "Silk Purse" yarn, colour 93a - Ruby
pattern: Eiffel, free from Knitty
ribbon: plain ol' black ribbon from Michael's
Things I'd change: I was far too lazy to rip this one out when I should have, about 1.5 inches in, when I realized the size Small I was making was going to be far too big, and xs was the way to go.
Also, I should have made the body part about 2 inches longer. I tried to lightly block it out, and it didn't make too much of a difference. I can live with it, though.
New skills: Knit with 100% silk yarn. Very beautiful finish, nice and soft and smooth. One thing to keep in mind - it's very stretchy. Also, frogging and reusing isn't the best, as it gets a bit fuzzy and unhappy.

I apologize for the fuzzy pic. It's the best I could do on my own!

Saturday, February 10, 2007

Knit Knit Knit

Continual and unending work on the Mystery Garn Studio Pattern.

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It occurred to me last night, as I bought another bag-full of yarn (there goes the yarn abstinence!) I am a particular sort of knitter: the quick burn and fade away. I love to start projects; finishing them, not so much.
As you can see above, my Mystery Garn Studio pattern is yet to be completed. According to my nifty progress bars, I have far too many on the go to finish before the weather takes a turn for the worse (or better? I like winter, especially as it pertains to knitting).

So, what kind of knitter are you? I've met a few in my times, and here's what I'll categorize them as:

One-pattern-Knitters: These friends can certainly focus. They choose a pattern and actually focus on just that one pattern until it's complete! No knitting A.D.D. with this crowd. No ten projects on the go.

Perfect-Pete Knitters: These stitchers are all about the flawless finished project. Just by the book. No room for deviation. Sometimes but not necessarily the same as the One-pattern-Knitters. This bunch are also have great patience - you'd have to in order to undo any mistakes (or go so slowly and methodically to avoid making them altogether!)

The Quick-Burn-and-Fade-Away Knitters: As mentioned above, I'll categorize myself under here. Eager and enthusiastic to begin a project. Casting on is ecstasy. But finishing, not really at the top of the priority list. Far too many needles and stitch holders owned by this mob - they have to in order to keep all their gigantic magnitude of projects on hold!

The Chillax Knitters: This is what I'd say I aspire to. This group of knitters knit for the love of it. A mistake? No worries! Frog it out. One project on the go - they actually finish it. Five projects on the go? They aren't stressing over it (and, they finish it!) A magical, mystical tribe are these.

and, on the other end of the scale:

The Pickle-in-Ass Knitters: You can't be as great as them. There's always something wrong with your work. Superior to you by whichever definition they choose to use. These are an unfortunate crowd - avoid at all costs. Ruining a beautiful hobby is their hobby. Nasty bunch, these.

The Eager-to-Learn Knitters: Not necessarily beginners, these people love a challenge. They want to learn something new and useful with every project. Rather commendable! I've found these people love to share their newly learned skills with others.

While this is by no means an exhaustive list, where do you think you stand? Create a category for you! I'd like to hear it.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Behold me Meeting Deadlines

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Molly Ringwald:
KnitScene - Fall 2006
Yarn - Noro Cash Ihora
Number of hanks - 6 (I think)
Mods - Knit in the round, drastically reducing the number of stitches. I also lengthened it, and didn't have the energy to add the crocheted trim.

What I'd change - I wouldn't make it with handspun. That's my new rule: no sweaters/tops with handspun. The weight of yarn varies, and it ends up looking a bit funny.

On to the next deadline!

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Don't Have Much to Show

As the title may suggest, I've no camera at my disposal at the moment; despite this fact, I am going to use this post to proclaim that I am a changed knitter. Sort of.

(Obligatory photo - deride if you must!)
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My proclamation here is to urge myself forward, and actually finish all the projects I've started
in a timely fashion. (d'ya like the bold and italics there? I'm getting savvy, mate).
Those nifty little ticker factory tickers at the bottom of the page will count me down to victory. As soon as I get back on track, I can discard the deadlines, and be a normal, organized, sane knitter once more.

Here is the schedule:

February 7 - Molly Ringwald (yeah, didn't see that one coming, eh? I started it 2 days ago, and now, according to my progress bars, I'm 80% done. Oh yes, there have been late nights).

February 14 -Eiffel (I've tried it on, and the fit is good. Now to move on to the sleeves... then the yoke... then the blocking...)

February 28 - Fair Isle U-Neck from VK. It's deadly cold, and I must take advantage of the weather and have my FI sweater, made from Knit Picks Elegance (an alpaca blend). When the hell else are you to wear an insulating alpaca top if not in -20 degree situations?

March 10 - Handmaiden Sweater. Once again, the pretty golden top has been shafted. I'm at a bit of a stand-still on this one, seeing as how I'm designing it myself. I think I know how I want the neckline to look. And the sleeves will be 3/4 length.

In and amongst these deadline are the other little "finishing" type WIPs, like my Mystery Garn Studio one (which is soooo close) and the Clapotis, the Trigger Bag, etc... Perhaps also a hat or two. Cause, really, when the hell else are you gonna wear a touque?

*note: this photo is my lovely collection of current favourite teas. Not knitting? So what. They're pretty. Deal with it.

Saturday, February 03, 2007

Progressing Slowly on me Eiffel

Here's a more updated photo of my Eiffel progress. I worked on it last night, and I'm up to the ribbing now. I thought for a while I had to frog everything, but fortunately when I tried it on, it was the right length. I find that a lot of shirt patterns make the shirt far too short. And what's mostly odd about that? I'm no amazon - at 5'1, I should have no problem fitting in to a shirt that's more on the short-waisted side. At least, you'd think so.

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This picture wonderfully displays my lazy-ass mistake of making it a size small instead of xs, and changing my mind about 1.5 inches in. There's no way I was frogging this one at that point (after three unsuccessful and rather frustrating cast-ons), and thankfully I've avoided disaster the second mistake go-around. (this second mistake was based on my impatience to start the top ribbing part. The pattern called for 9 inches of lace. I measured it three different times, in three different places, and it was correct. I was about 5 inches in to the top ribbing, remeasured and found that I was over-eager with my earlier measurements. In fact, it was only 8 inches :p That's ok, I can deal.)
Stay tuned, the saga continues.

I've decided this one should be done for Valentine's Day. Think it can happen? Now that I've announced it, I'm sure the pressure (read: motivation) will help.

Friday, February 02, 2007

You Kick Ass, My Friend! and a Quick Quilting Update

Due to the selfless efforts of my good friend, I now have a "new and improved" blog! (Thanks so much! You rule!) Oh yes, and as you can see, I can now properly hyperlink text! Oh yes, the skills improve daily.

Here's some of the prettiness that I've collected for quilting.
Because I'm so bloody keen, I bought myself some quilt blocks on eBay. No idea how to use them, where or when, but dammit they're cool, and so I had to have them.

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This one has several copies. I think they're iron-ons (the instructions aren't in front of me at the moment).

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Some of these ones are silk. So soft and smooth! Any suggestions for use? I thought perhaps a tote bag or small purse. Maybe a quilt? They're each about 5-6 inches tall.
Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting I love poppies, and so couldn't resist buying this one. I think it may become part of a wee quilt.

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Now this is just square-happiness. I took the easy route out and bought some squares already cut and combined on eBay. I think creating my own pallatte will be fun, one day, when I actually have a clue as to what I'm doing.

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The strawberries (noticing a them, perhaps?:p) are only a teeny piece, and so I'm not sure what to do with them. The two fabric pieces below were bought in rather copious quantities, and so they just may become a garment, when I get the guts/time to try!

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