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!