Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Rip Roarin' Christmas at Home

The last winner for the Christmas Giveaway was littlebirdbigcity. Thanks to everyone for participating!
As it happens, I did get me a snow day. Four day weekends capped off by a Christmas at home can be rather fruitful! Grinchy cookie making (come with rather frightening eyes)Photobucket
Hoodie present giving to sister (I think she digs)PhotobucketPhotobucket
and flip-top mitt gifting

Those ones were for my mom. I also gave her one of my new obsession, my good friend the rooster man. Here's the one I gifted to her:

Slightly funky looking beak, but I loves him still. Have yourself some good holidays all! My seasonal sugar intake had spiked - hope yours has too :)

Friday, December 19, 2008

Indie Designer Day

Longoria - on blog
Designer: Katarzyna Tarasik
Blog: Fiubzdziu
Rav ID: fiubzdziu
Some Great Designs: fiubzdziu's Rav Designer Page

Generously offering her patterns for free, fiubzdziu is another addition to my list of awesome designers who utilize the power of simple lines, shapes and textures to wonderful results.
Pictured right is the fantastic Longoria's Something cardigan. I particularly enjoy the innovative twist on the open-cardi concept, with the tall neck and large buttons placed thereupon.
A great wrap-sweater is her Purple Haze. The lace is a simple repeat with great effect on the FO.
Her most recent addition is Romance, a subtley puff-sleeved cardigan that looks incredible with a nice leather belt. The neckline detail and sleeve-lace make this garment a perfect wardrobe basic.

This'll be my last profile of 2008 - back in the new year!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Galo Português para minha Vavó

Rooster vs. Rooster
Rooster - on blog

This year I've decided to make my grandmother a rooster... a lucky rooster!
This guy (clearly, my sewn version on the left) is from a folk story and is a good luck symbol. I just think he's rawkin.
Rooster - on blog

I had a lot of fun sewing him up - I just used some quilting scraps, fibre-fill stuffing and a couple left over buttons from my Gaets cardi. I've got plans for a rooster family. This guy has to fly off to my grandma's, but his brothers are hatchin in me brain.
...and what, no knitting content, you say? That is true. As can happen, my yarnny machinations have overloaded and caused a short in the circuitry. I got on a colourwork kick, and have careened downhill from there. Now that my baking is almost done, and my present making is on the verge of completion, I think my mind will turn back to tricot and I'll have some defo progress to show before Ludi-christmas (I've been on a 30 Rock watching kick!)
They're calling for a massive amount of snowfall this weekend - fingers crossed for a SNOW DAY tomorrow! *grinny grinny*

Monday, December 15, 2008

'Twas the Giveaway before Christmas...

Congratulations to last week's winner, The Yarniad!

This is the last week of the Giveaway before Christmas. Thanks to everyone for your participation.
eta: a very good question was asked of me re: how winners are picked. I use the lovely Random Number Generator on the interwebs. People are assigned a number in the order in which they responded to the question, and the Generator does the rest!
Last week before Christmas and one item remains,
only one question this rhymey contains!

1) Do you want this sweater?

sweater details:
waist - 14"
hips - 17"
bust - 17"

reason I'm giving it away: it's just a touch too big for me liking.

...and here's what else you'll get:
-one ball of Knit Picks Elegance (in same yarn and colour as in sweater)
-two hanks of Knit Picks Shimmer

Thank you to everyone and good luck!

Friday, December 12, 2008

Indie Designer Day

weirdrockstar - on blog
Designer: weirdrockstar
Blog: WeirdRockStar
Rav ID: weirdrockstar
Some Great Designs: weirdrockstar's Rav Projects Page

I love it when I come across a designer who's Rav project page is filled with original designs. Weirdrockstar is one of these amazing knitters.
Her aesthetic is a splendiferous mix of gothically-classic-pinup. See her wonderfully cabled Green Brunhilde.
I love her Kimono (pictured right). Look at that wide belt! In her pattern notes she states that it's almost 4 metres long - this makes my knitting-cortex whir with appreciation and astonishment. Four metres! And it gets wider in the middle! Mmmm, incredi-design! Also: don't miss the photo she's posted of it from the back: such gorgeous cascades of cables as I've never seen.
Spring Sonata is a bold marriage of ruffle and lace that maintains her aforementioned aesthetic and has a classy and fun feel to it.
Green Cardi - she dyed it herself ladies and gentlemen (not sure if there's any gentlemen readers here, but I'll include you nonetheless). I love the wide neck and all over lace.
Make sure you check out her blog, where she includes some designs that aren't on her Rav page. I especially love the recently-blogged about lacey collar. Once again, how cool is that from the back!
Her gorgeous Project Spectrum jacket is yet another knitting wonder. Her use of colour is thoroughly attractive. The length of the piece gives is an almost regal air. The hood enhances this impression, and is equally splendid worn up over the head or down around the shoulders.
And her most recent post outlines the creation of a cute shorty-capelet creation. I love it with the two top buttons done up - very 50s chic!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Bake that Orange!

When the needles go silent, the oven starts up. Fruit-laden Christmas trees are my bag.

As is this.
They turned out pretty good. It's actually all the dry ingredients for some oatmeal chocolate chip cookies.

Quick survey!
As you can tell, I'm thoroughly into my Christmas baking. I wanted to make me some empire cookies, but I'm not sure if the cookie itself is traditionally a shortbread or a sugar cookie. So, how do you make your empire cookies?

Monday, December 08, 2008

'Twas the Giveaway before Christmas...

Congratulations to last week's winner, Xiuwen.

Ready for another round?
This time one answer is all I require,
look at my rhyming, I'm on fire!

1) Do you want this sweater and a bag of yarn?
Giveaway - on blog

sweater details:
Shoulder to bottom edge: 23"
Across bottom: 14.5"
Across hips: 14.5"
Across waist: 10"

(note: the reason I'm giving this sweater away is because it's too itchy for me. If you have sensitive skin, this would not be the sweater - nor the yarn - for you).

And also in this giveaway are six (and a bit) balls of the very same yarn as in this sweater, Rowan Tapestry!

Thanks and good luck to all :)
Last week is the last in this little giveaway. Stay tuned!

Friday, December 05, 2008

Indie Designer Day

Designer: Megan Rogers
Blog: Dulle Griet
Rav ID: dullegriet
Some Great Designs: dullegriet's Rav Design Page

What this designer can do with fair isle!
If you scan her projects page you'll see a sea of colour and cables. Beautiful colours and temptingly textured cables!
To begin: her lovely maize scarf has given me yet another reason to buy two hanks of Malabrigo Silky Merino.
While this scarf is a lovely example of design, I think her insightful use of colour is demonstrated well in the eye-catching Bobby's Garden blanket. It's quite an adaptable pattern as well, containing instructions for various sizes.
Another lovely is her Flyte Fair-Isle Pullover. I love the sleeves... love the deep ribbing... love the dancing hues of fair-isle happiness... and I looooove the neckline! (and I've got some love for the pics in the pattern, you know, those ones with the camelid creatures).
Pictured above is the design that first caught my eye, the gorgeous Truffle Cardigan. Dullegriet has generously posted this pattern tutorial for free. The delicate scallop edging complements the textured body and twining cables so wonderfully! This one has been on my list for a long time. It's rare when I find a cardigan/sweater with long sleeves that I wouldn't alter into shorter ones. This is one that I wouldn't change at all!
If you find yourself in Portsmouth, NH, you can pop by Macroscopic (a shop which provides "Distinctive Gifts for the Home and Body") and see some of her hand-knits in person.

Monday, December 01, 2008

'Twas the Giveaway before Christmas...

Firstly, thanks to everyone for taking the time to participate in this giveaway.
An interesting factoid: four times as many people prefer patterns with the photos, instead of the layout where patterns are collected at the back. Perhaps all the mags/books should have done some market research before changing the popular format!

Congratulations to last week's winner, Charity!

As always, this giveaway will stay open for the entering until Saturday, at which time I'll pull the name of the winner and announce that person's name on Monday.

Here's your gooftastic rhyme for week #3's goodies:
The giveaway before Christmas continues today,
answer these two questions and a gift may be on its way!

1) How do you hear about new knitting books? Ravelry? Word of mouth? LYS?
2) Do you prefer patterns that are challenging or easy?
...and here is what you'll get:

-two hand-crafted felt owls
-one handknit bear
-one roll of ribbon
-two hanks of Rowan Summer Tweed
-one handmade purse with vintage wooden handles (approximately 14" long and 9" deep, excluding handles)

Thanks to all! Still two more week's worth of giveaways to come :)

Friday, November 28, 2008

Indie Designer Day

Designer: Jane Richmond
Rav ID: janeyfromcanadia
Some Great Designs: janeyfromcanadia's Rav Design Page

In the past two weeks janeyfromcanadia has added three of her designs to Ravelry - for free! - and much to the enrichment of the knitting community. She knits for a fashion designer based out of Vancouver, B.C. How cool is that?! Though upon looking at her patterns I'm sure you'll agree that she's a talented fashion designer herself!

I love how her patterns are so textured and adaptable; her adorable hat Elizabeth can be worn slouchy or rolled over with a brim (to keep those ears warm!)
Not to mention the chunky Marian moebius cowl. A free pattern that is fashionable and quite functional at the same time. I can easily imagine a starlet sporting this neck-warmer! Bulky knits always fascinate me. This pattern gives a perfect project with perfect yardage for that perfect ball/hank/skein of bulky yarn you treat yourself to this holiday season!
The pictured Mustard Scarf, as a project with warmth and adorability, has made its way onto my holiday gifting list (and I suggest it for any and all of you who may have a gift to give to an appreciative recipient this year). I like how the scarf is worn in the picture, but can imagine it in several other tres chic arrangements. It also provides a golden opportunity to utilize that one perfect button you might have.

I'm really looking forward to (what I hope will be) loads more designs and inspiration!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Picking up the Bees

After going through a bit of a frogging phase, I've decided it's well-time to start diving into the UFOs and transform them into WIPs. Or alphabet soup.

As it stands, my bee sweater stands in a pile of not-being-worked-on-edness.

The problem I had before was that the actual bee fair-isle rows were too damn tight and definitely not cool. I'm not sure of the best way to fix that. Here's my options as I see them now:

1) increase up a significant degree and continue with the bees in fair isle (thus making the sweater longer than originally intended)
2) start working flat instead of in the round and create the bees via intarsia (thus creating the need for sewing of seams)
3) frog the whole damn thing and start from scratch (thus creating knit-heartbreak)

Clearly I'm not too keen on #3, but if needs must, then knits ribbit.
Knitpicks and Butters - on blog
In other yarnny happenings, I've received a happy package from Knit Picks, containing within a supply of Wool of the Andes Worsted for me to make myself the long-admired cheesy intarsia sweaters, sported by the fashionistas of the 70s. You know the ones I mean, with the BIG caribou/moose splayed across the front and back? I've searched fruitlessly online for a good photo, and was sure I saw a pattern for one but have as-of-yet to rediscover it.

I'm planning on putting in a couple of polar bears with pine trees for good measure. Wish me luck! (though it would be incredibly irresponsible of me to begin this knit while the Bees languish and the to-be-gifted knits lay accusitorily staring at me from their project bags).
But I think I'm entirely capable of that kind of irresponsibility.

Monday, November 24, 2008

'Twas the Giveaway before Christmas...

...part the second!

First of all I'd like to say thank you to everyone for your responses, and congratulations to our first winner, Poethead!

As per last week, you need only to read the goofy rhyme below, post your answers here (or message me on Rav, or even email me at canarysanctuary at yahoo dot com) and I'll enter your name for the draw. I'll be drawing the winning name on Saturday. Just let me know how to contact you, and the package will be on its way!

Now, on to this week's prizes:
'Twas the giveaway before Christmas, and if goodies you'd like to score,
all you must do is answer these questions four!

1) Does the colour of the garment in a pattern influence if you make it or not?
2) Do you prefer a pattern book/magazine format where the patterns accompany the photos, or where all the photos are at the front and all the patterns are at the back?
3) Do you knit mostly for yourself?
4) If a pattern is knit in a hard-to-find yarn, but includes pertinent sub information (gauge, fibre, needle size) does it affect if you knit the pattern or not?
...and here's what you'll get:

-one vintage crafting book (and I must add a caveat here: this book is hardcore vintage. As in, it was discovered in a box in storage on my grandfather's farm, and despite my best efforts, still smells a bit neglected. Not rotten! But just smells like an old book. This is not why I'm giving it away. It's up for grabs here because I'll never use it enough, and I'm sure there's someone else out there who will. And it will be kept in a separate bag from the other goodies mailed to you.)
-two balls of Rowan Kidsilk
-one bear handknit by me
-a length of ribbon
-a stamp that says "Love" on it

Thank you and good luck! And if you don't win this week, keep in mind there's still 3 weeks worth of giveaways, and each week the prizes will get bigger!

Friday, November 21, 2008

Indie Designer Day

Designer: Stephanie Dosen
Blog: *tiny owl knits*
Website: Stephanie
Rav ID: tinyowlknits
Some Great Designs: tinyowlknits' Rav Design Page

I came across Stephanie Dosen's knits before I was introduced to her music. But if there was ever a perfect reflection of knit artistry into music, her work is it.
Her delicate and haunting melodies are mirrored in her always beautifully ethereal designs. Don't ask me to pick a favourite, because I'm convinced that's an impossibility.

Forest shrug Dosen - on blog

Her recently posted Forest and Frill shrug demonstrates her knit-aptitude; she can take a bulky yarn and make it appear airy and love-ily light in a finished garment.

Amy March's Slippers clearly appeal to my enjoyment of circa 19th century female-centred fiction and what I'm sure is everyone's desire to keep their feet warm in the most wonderfully-adorned manner possible (in particular I love the marriage of yarn, ribbon and lace. This is big-time up my proverbial alley).

Check out her amazing sculptural use of yarn in shakespeare in love. I truly didn't know that Lamb's Pride Bulky could be so beautiful.

I never had plans to create any sort of free form/scrumble type knitting until I saw her heather and violet scrumble scarf. Now I know where all my project-ends are going. (And I'm not kidding. I've got them all categorized by colour and awaiting their eventual new life in Mason jars along my shelf!)

How cool are these robin hoods merry uggs? The flip-over top detail gives the shoe/slipper such character in such an elegant fashion.
And the brilliant pullover pictured above? That's Stephanie's snake-a-licious sweater. I have been desirous of this knit for many months now. I never was so anxious to cover myself in reptiles as when I first beheld this beauty. I love the play with cables and incredible creativity. Of course cables could be snakes! I just never realized how well and naturally they lend themselves to each other until this sweater.

The spirit that's infused into all Stephanie's art (and I definitely include her designs in this) reminds me of all the things I love and always puts me in the best of moods. I was a bit of a forest-wanderer and -wonderer myself (and part of me still is). So her work appeals to the fairy-tale child in me.

Monday, November 17, 2008

'Twas the Giveaway before Christmas...

First I'd like to say thanks to everyone for your lovely words about Gaets! I hope to get the pattern done within a few weeks, but unfortunately can't promise it because of previous knitting commitments!

I've done some champion gun-jumping this year and allowed the holiday bug to bite me. I couldn't wait until December to set up the tree, so I did that already. Then the poor thing looked so sad without gifts under it, so I went out and did a purchasing sprint.
Then the selflessness set in and I decided to let go of some of the lovely things that I've been hoarding for myself in favour of spreading this happy bug to others!

You can benefit from my early-holiday-zeitgeist.

Today is the first in a weekly goodies giveaway that'll feature on this bloggy for the next 5 weeks. Each week the prizes will get bigger!
Just read the silly rhyme below, post your answers here (or message me on Rav, or even email me at canarysanctuary at yahoo dot com) and I'll enter your name for the draw. I'll be drawing the winning name on Saturday. Just let me know how to contact you, and the package will be on its way!
'Twas the giveaway before Christmas and all you must do,
is answer three questions from me to you!

1) Do you purchase knitting books?
2) What's the average price you'll pay for a knitting book (let's say it has about 20 patterns in it)?
3) If you buy knitting books online, what do you think is a fair price for shipping?
... and here is what you'll get:

-one tiny little polar bear
-two "Canada" badges
-one handmade bag (measures about 9" deep and 9" across)
-5 buttons (each about 1.5" across)
-two rolls of ribbon (one black with red cherries, the other white with red ladybugs)

Thanks all :)

In knitting news: I haven't much going on. At least not much that's blog-worthy. Gift knitting isn't all too fascinating! I'll be back with original designs in a while.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Hello November; Or, I Guess I'm Refreshulated Now


Pattern: Gaets
Yarn: Fleece Artist Woolie Silk 3 ply (almost 2 full hanks)

I first thought of this pattern months ago - the name actually came from some graffiti that I walk
Photobucketpast everyday on my way to work. Doesn't mean anything, just kinda looked cool. It was very pretty graffiti too. Nice cursive handwriting.

Things that I like about this one: the yarn! Fleece Artist strikes again with another new favourite for me.
I also enjoy the fact that the buttons are a pretty close match, and my fledgling attempts at lace designage seem to have turned out alright.
I'm rather surprised with myself, in that the weird thick/thinness of the collar actually turned out the way I wanted it to. It's a combination of decreasing and short-row shaping.

What I'm not too thrilled about:
I still have a long way to go in my learnins' of the proper shaping for sleeve caps. These ones seem to have turned out a bit square.
I also made the buttonhole a bit large, and so have to sew them up so the buttons don't keep popping open!

I must admit, I like it better from the back.
PhotobucketI'm not sure if I prefer the "buttoned-up-all-the-way" look or the "half-buttoned-up" look. Either way, I can see myself getting some definite usage out of this little knit.

I did keep notes on this one, and it may be patterned-up, if people wish. As stated above, the sleeve-cap shaping is not good, but I think greater minds than mind can prevail over what would be the poorly written and certainly misguided directions.
In other news:
Monday will bring a new, month-long giveaway, so stay tuned if you like winning free gear!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Travellin' Canary

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:

Pattern: Theros
Yarn: 5.5 hanks of the very beautiful Handmaiden Samira Silk
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).

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

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.
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

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:

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.


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

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 über-flattered when she was the first to knit my Le Lapin Noir pattern. Thanks for being so inspiring!
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:
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
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

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).


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.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Red Shoe Love

red shoes - on blog
For many a year now, I've had silly daydreams of being able to kit myself out in bizarre and over-the-top historical fashion.
Surfing around on (which is dangerous, fyi), had me bump into these rather Louis XIV-esque red velvet sweeties.
Me could nots resists.
They're on the docket for tomorrow.
Knitting news: I'll give you some tomorrow.
In the meantime, I'm going to drink my drink and enjoy staring at my new foot fashion.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Indie Designer Day

Designer: Isobel
Blog: Izzy's Knitting
Rav ID: Izzy
Some Great Designs: Izzy's Rav Design Page

I was very excited (and a bit stunned) to discover that this lovely, funky and totally cool shawl is available as a free download on Rav. It's called In the Pink, and after very quickly saving it to my library for future knittage, I perused the rest of the very generous Izzy's offerings.
She has another very tempting lace pattern, with the same sort of focus on structure and pattern featured in In the Pink.
I hope she keeps on designing! I find her modernist, über-geometrically-patterned take on the lace shawl fascinating and beautiful.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Sexy Vesty; Or, Black Diamonds

Photography skillz strike again!
Pattern: Sexy Vesty
Yarn: about 3.5 skeins of Lang Merino Superwash

Time to complete: one bloomin' week!

Sometimes you get addicted to a knit. That's definitely what happened in this instance. The yarn was really co-operating with me, and the little lace pattern was very simple to memorize (well, truth be telt, I only memorized it for the last two diamond repeats....)
I'm not entirely sure what possessed me to knit a vest. I don't wear vests.

Like many garments, I would see cute little tops of this particular fashion in stores and think "cute on dummy - not so cute on me". This is the same line of thinking that prevents me from purchasing very heavily cowled sweaters, tights, trapeze jackets, super minis and clothing items with expressively-large buttons.

Fortunately, this one has left me feeling positive about knitting again (after the malaise I was under in the post-Tareja days of last week). And I'm rather pleased with how it looks atop a regular ol' scoopneck tee.

This one may get some use out of it!

In new cast-on news:
I was supposed to have something to show for myself re: a particular sweater in a lovely Russet-y shade of Samira Silk from Handmaiden.
Sadly, I've naught.
Well, naught that would be interesting to photograph.
I have already discovered a misjudgement in my design plans, and instead of frogging the very few rows I've actually knit, I will be doing the good ol' improvised-fix in the end.
Here's to hoping I've enough yarn to make this one!
I shall return with something to show for myself.

***Pattern Notes posted on Rav here.***

Friday, September 19, 2008

Birthday for Me, Decidedly Mid-Twenty; Or, AVAST YE!

ARRRR me fellow knitting pirateers! Today not only be Talk Like a Pirate Day, but it also be ME BIRTHDAY!
(be assured next Friday the Indie Designer Day will return)


In the past few days, I've received a couple neato internet funnesses. First came a meme, and second, an award!

Here's the meme.

The rules:
1) Link to the person who tagged me: NessaRenee
2) Mention the rules
3) Tell six quirky yet boring, unspectacular details about myself
4) Tag 6 other bloggers by linking to them
5) Go to each person’s blog and leave a comment that lets them know they’ve been tagged

I won't be officially tagging anyone; I'd just like to blanket-nominate all who can actually make it through the riveting informational tidbits that I'll be listing about meself below-heres:
1) I've never broken any bones, nor sprained a damn thing. These are the fruits of a life based upon the glorification of inactivity.

2) I hate the maths, and my existence is based on running away from them and being able to prove to my dad that I haven't died and been eaten by ravenous wolves and vicious vultures because I dropped math as soon as I could.

3) I'm not a big fan of cake. Cakey-cake. Cheesecake gets full points for being delicious and heart-stopping. But cake, as in, birthday cake! - is not for me. Ever since my opinion on the subject mattered, I've chosen alterna-cakes for my birthdays (ice cream cake, cheesecake and most recently, simply my favourite sweets).

4) I've recently bought the perfect dress in the universe. Perfect for me, that is. (Pictured Left.) I don't think I've ever had such a "oh sweetness, this is awesome!" experience in a change room before.

5) I feel entirely wrong if I'm not always doing something. For example, I rarely actually watch tv. I'm always knitting something whilst it's droning and/or yelling at me.

6) And, in a nice little summing up: I talk to my tv. Besides my mother, I've never met a single person who employs such frequent and liberal use of the mute button as I. I take it as a personal insult that commercials/shows/etc... try to pawn off imbecillic ideas on me, as though I'll swallow that crap. They rely on you not paying attention to what they're saying. So MUTE the BASTARDS! (I also have a unique talent for getting my own dander up.)

And also, a few days ago the wonderful Team Knit (specifically Julie!) nominated me for this adorable ribbon.

I'm very flattered!
PhotobucketThe ribbon always had such wondrous awe attached to it for me as a child. You got them (if so lucky/talented) in dance and skating. Piano was all about the pretend-frameable certificate of completion; Guides and swimming the badges.
But I digress...

The rules are:
1- Post the award on your blog.
2- Add a link to the person who gave you the award
3- Nominate at least 4 other bloggers and add their links
Nominees, simply in alphabetical order:
Another Shop Girl (because her knits are always so interesting and fashionable)
Green Apples (because I love her wonderful use of colour - in knits and most recently in paints!)
Juicy Knits (because she always chooses the same knits that I've in mind to knit too - and they look so great on her)
Longhorn Diva (because she has fantastic taste and has introduced me to so many knits that are exactly to my taste)
So Knit Picky (because she's always so elegant!)
The Yarniad (because many reasons, but just for today I'll say that it's because it's her birthday too!!)

4- Leave a comment at the recipients’ blogs so they can pass it on.

Merci beaucoup to all. Have an extra of whatever it is you like, and the explanation excuse justification reason is because it's CanarySanctuary's birthday, and she said I could.

Birthdays give you incredible omnipotent powers. I'll have to try climbing walls and leaping a few tall buildings.