Sunday, September 27, 2009

Stag; Or, How I Love the Local Video Rental Joint

Pattern: Stag (my own, improvised, and rather uncreatively named!)
Yarn: Berroco Inca Gold, 8 skeins

PhotobucketI've made a habit of issuing myself yarn challenges, and, as of late, it's been bouts between me and yardage. This round of playing chicken with the yarn turned out just dandy.

I wanted to see if I could make a tunic-length, cowl-necked, long-sleeved sweater - with cables, no less. And indeed, I did. Though it ended up a touch shorter than envisioned, and the sleeves were a smidge tight, they still work! And the upside? The snugness of said sleeves disguises the unsightly "ladders" left behind from my sloppy in-the-round dpn work (the trick to avoiding that is pulling tight on the stitches when switching needles, correct? I must remember to try harder next time).

Incidentally, this be the first (as well as the last) long-sleeved sweater I've ever made. The second-sleeve syndrome was avoided through a good supply of dvds (including the Indiana Jones hotness mentioned in an earlier post, as well as the first 3 seasons of How I Met Your Mother). Without those dvds, I'm afeared those sleeves would still be unfinished.

PhotobucketStag Constructions, for those Interested:
In the round, bottom-up raglan. I'd never attempted a sweater in this particular manner before.
Because of my playing chicken with the yardage, I decided to do a provisional cast on when it came to the sleeves, so that I could assess the yarn situation after I had begun the cowl and see just how long I could get away with making said sleeves.
I do not suggest this construction, or at least, not on a single set of circs. It was extremely awkward and tight the first 5 or 6 rows after joining the provisional-sleeves.

Also, the sweater would have benefited from my thinking through what I would do with the cables when I got to the sleeve juncture. I could have made the transition much more smooth by altering the staghorn cable pattern slightly, and turning some knit stitches into background purl stitches (see the second photo in this post. The slightly awkward decreasing around the armpit is visible there).

For waist and bust shaping, I simply hid my increases and decreases directly beside the cable pattern.
The cowl is a progression of 3 different needles sizes, getting larger as you near the edge of the neckline. I wanted it to be a bit bigger and floppier, but with only the 8 skeins I knew I'd have to compromise.
The greatest upside to this project? Stashbusting!

At the "photoshoot", I frolicked among the gardens of a nearby historic home and civic museum. I got a few cool snaps, and wanted to share.
On the gates in the garden yard. The pineapple was a symbol of welcome that was in vogue in the 19th c., when this home was built.

Backyard water tap, with some cool weathering, hiding among what's probably close to the last bits of green green sprouts of '09.

A pear tree has been dropping its fruit, and the bees have been feasting.

Lovely beautiful snapdragons. Nature has an amazing sense of colour.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Indie Designer Day

PhotobucketDesigner: Maggie Vremec
Rav ID: basicmag
Some Great Designs: basicmag

I'm choosing to say goodbye to summer and hello to autumn with this week's featured designer, basicmag.

First is the very pretty Burning Sand (pictured) top. Once again I'm won over by a simple shape with interest created in texture. I can totally see myself in a very comfy mood in this top.

The cable and yoke aspects of Summer Nostalgia add visual interest and continue the designer's style of wearable, knittable and fashionable knits.

Another favourite of mine is Fields of Gold. I've always felt like a fangirl of autumn, and this sweater embodies the spirit of the season quite wonderfully. The wee texture that resembles wheat, the golden hue of the yarn itself, the simplicity and layerability of the piece all come together to create a perfect season in a lovely sweater!

As many other knitwear designers, basicmag has many other beautiful garments. Check out her designer page on Rav!

Saturday, September 19, 2009

My Brain, She's Finished Developing!

According to the smarties that know such things, brains develop in a particular succession which reaches completion with the prefrontal cortex.
This region is responsible for our adult responsibility!, and regulates all that un-fun grown up stuff like paying attention, predicting the consequences of our actions, planning for the future and moderating behaviour.
This bit of our noggin doesn't finish developing until the mid-twenties.

Mid-twenties! Zounds and egads. I guess that means I'm officially a grown up now.
According to my own subjective measurement of the line between mid- to late-twenties, I've now exited my brainal development era.

It was kicks while it lasted.

And so, it's my birthday! And herein I present a taste of what I've been doings on this week I've had off:

-Visited the Dead Sea Scrolls at the ROM

-indulged in one of the first, and more recently opened, Anthropologie stores in Canada

-bugged Butters with portraiturePhotobucket

-baked cookies of gingerbread
-enjoyed the marigolds back home at my parent's place

-Indiana Jones watched

-plant purchased, including an ornamental pepper and a wee spruce tree whom told me to call him Bob

-Felicity hat knit, this time in golden

-and generally enjoyed the last few days of being 26.

Hello 27 - I wonder what I'll knit next...


Photobucket...incidentally, Indiana Jones is hot. Yes, I said it. Hot.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Indie Designer Day

PhotobucketDesigner: Susan Gutperl
Blog: Sooza's Knitting Stuff
Rav ID: sooza
Some Great Designs: sooza's Rav Designer Page

With summer winding down, I'm looking forward to the warmth and beautiful comfort of a lovely lace shawl. This week's designer has a wealth of these very garments.

First is Sooza's Bottom-Up Birch (pictured). Unsurprisingly popular, this pattern is free! The name is wonderfully reminiscent of the season, too :)

And for some traditional Shetland fare, you can check out Butterflies Shetland Shawl. So lovely!

And finally, check out this splash of rainbow prettiness, Josephinentuch. I love letting the beauty of the yarn come through with a simple pattern!

Make sure you have a boo at some of her other pattern "recipes", including Lacey Cable Knee Socks - A Recipe, and Pi Socks - A Recipe.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Knot Tying 101; Or, How Wedding Planning Comes Along

...wherein I continue to chat about my wedding outfit n' stuffs...

Thanks to everyone for your comments on my last wedding post. I'm currently leaning towards hair half down with silk flower, but all remains to be seen, as I have about 10 more months to go!

When I saw these shoes, I knew I had to have them.
A friend of mine was married a couple years ago, and she had a pair of shoes dyed to a lovely blue.
Blue not being my colour, I thought red it must be.

I found these lovelies at Now, I need to decide if I want to wear them pre-wedding or not (I've heard a good suggestion re: breaking in the shoes, if only to scuff up the bottom and prevent embarrassing slip-sliding).


As for jewellery, I've had me a fantastic time surfing around etsy, and discovered Erica Bapst's shop. She had this pretty necklace listed, and I wanted earrings to match. No problem! she says, and in one night creates these prefect wee crystals for me.
I've tried them on with the dress and they match, though I do think I'd like the necklace to be a touch longer... I'm working on it!

And for the requisite "something blue", I've managed to obtain what I think may turn out to be the perfect hue o' polish for my toes.

No worries, my toes and shoes won't clash; the blue polish will me my wee secret.

Yarg, I have to dive into the photographer search... wish me luck - I've no idea what I want, should look for or even where to start!

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Reader Appreciation Summer FunTime Giveaway!

I'm here to announce the last winner of the Reader Appreciation SummerFunTime Giveaway!

Congratulations to the winner, Susan! I hope you enjoy your KnitPicks gift certificate :)

Message me on rav (canarysanctuary) or email me at canarysanctuary at yahoo dot com and I'll get that prize emailed off to you asap!

Thanks so much to everyone for reading, participating, educating and commentating.
I appreciate your support very much.

Hope you all had a good summer!

And now, on to knit :)

Friday, September 11, 2009

Indie Designer Day

PhotobucketDesigner: Melissa Shepard
Etsy Shop: Honeybee's Creations
Rav ID: honeybee69
Some Great Designs: honeybee69's Rav Designer Page

This morning at work I was greeted by a lovely basket of fresh MacIntosh apples. Their lovely sweet and crispy goodness happens to be very apropos for today's indie designer!

Pictured right you can see one of the many wonderful things honeybee69 can do with a hook and some yarn. Not only is this an adorable fibre-as-food, but it's peelable! Peelable! How very cool :) This Peelable Apple Amigurumi is only the beginning of the fantastic food pattern list.

On the veggie side of things, we have her Amigurumi Two Peas in a Pod. Their faces are so cute!

I have to say it was rather difficult choosing which pattern's photo to post in this profile, and the
Peelable Banana Amigurumi came in a close second. There's something about the peelability that is attractive, ingenious and fantastic. I can totally see kids loving these just as much as I do.

And the winner for most unique crocheted fruit is the Peelable Kiwi Amigurumi. They were one of the much desired rarities of my youth, and I've a soft spot for the kiwi. Mmmm, kiwi....

Sunday, September 06, 2009

Reader Appreciation Summer FunTime Giveaway!

Welcome to the last installment of the Reader Appreciation SummerFunTime Giveaway!

Congratulations to last week's winner, Hilary! The package will be heading your way after the long weekend :)
And now, for the last week!

Up for grabs this week...
-a $10 KnitPicks e-gift card (that's USD)

Good Luck to everyone!

Saturday, September 05, 2009

We are Experiencing Technical Difficulties...

Photobucket...and the blog won't look normal til the 14th.
Or so photobucket tells me.
I'm being slapped on the wrist for exceeding bandwith.

So I bring you a photo of flowers as apology and photobucket subversion (it's not that subversive, it's just from another photobucket account :P)

Though the ugliness makes me very sad, I'll still be blogging.

Come back tomorrow for your regularly scheduled SummerFuntimes Giveaway!

ps: If you click on where a photo should be, you'll get sent to a link so you can see it.

Friday, September 04, 2009

Indie Designer Day

PhotobucketDesigner: soobeeoz
Rav ID: soobeeoz
Some Great Designs: soobeeoz's Rav Designer Page

I love me my September.
Hints of the wondrous chill to come while the sun still shines on merrily.

A cool September breeze is stylishly kept off by sporting one of soobeeoz's lovely lacey creations.
(Her projects page is full of beautiful lace tops!)

Take for example her Leafy Lace Cardi (pictured right). The diamond panels even remind me of falling leaves! See the pretty
Red Leaf Top for an even more apropos example!

I really admire her design-tendency to create a cinched waist. Two great knits in this fashion are Pink Lace Trimmed Sweater and Serenity Lace Tank. The sweater is perfect for this time o' year; a relaxing, easy-going project with enough detail to make it unique and interesting to knit. The tank is another seasonal piece - wear it with a tee or light sweater beneath! (of course, all this seasonal talk is quite relative. Soobeeoz lives in Australia. If anyone reading is from that neck of the woods, you can just reverse my suggestions, and save these cool-weather knits for cool weather!!)