Wednesday, December 31, 2008

30 finished knits!

FOs of 2008
Wow! I had no idea I finished 30 knits in 2008! Looks pretty impressive when they're all together in a pretty mosaic.

Have a safe and happy New Year!

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

More Christmas knits

Now that the holidays are over, I can expose the rest of my secret Christmas knits. My cousin, Andrea, has two Guinea pigs that she loves more than anyone could ever love a rodent, so I scoured the Internet for a decent Guinea Pig pattern. Not an easy task. Most patterns are too cartoon-y and cutesy. When I was just about to give up, I came across this pattern on etsy. I bought the most disgusting yarn known to mankind and whipped this up at the eleventh hour.
Ginger Guinea Pig
Isn't she just the cutest thing in the world? My uncle said she stole the show on Christmas morning!

My fourth and last Gloria Cowl went to my sister-in-law, Hannah. She loved it! But really, can you blame her? It's knit from beautiful Fleece Artist Nova Socks yarn. Mmmm.
365-232 (one last cowl)

And, surprise, surprise! Mum got a Forest Canopy Shawl too! She knew about Gramie's shawl and Gramie knew about Mum's shawl, but neither of them knew they were getting their very own shawl! Heh heh.
Mum's shawl
The colour is just perfect on her. It's knit from Black Lamb City Silk.

Dad is an avid birdwatcher. Well, I guess avid might be kind of an understatement. He's not one of those guys who'll drive 500 kms to see a rare bird, but he will devote several months each year to monitoring certain species of birds. If you want to know more, check out his Web site.
Dad's blue jay
I found this blue jay pattern on Ravelry and couldn't pass it up -- it's just way too flippin' cute. I didn't really expect it to turn out as well as the pattern picture, but it did. It's just perfect!

My brother, Nigel, couldn't be left out. He casually mentioned that he wanted a knit gecko after I gave him Myrtle for his birthday. So, again, I scoured the Internet for the perfect pattern. Who knew Fiber Trends carried an adorable gecko pattern? The only hitch is that it cost me $15USD to get the pattern mailed to me. Ouch.
Nigel's gecko
I knit the gecko and needle felted some markings to make it look like his late pet, Zia. I think he was pretty darn happy with her!

Hope you all had a Merry Christmas and have a fantastic 2009!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Lots and lots of Christmas knitting

Sigh. I've almost finished all my Christmas knitting. I wish I could show you everything I've knit right now, but too many of those FOs are still top secret. However, a few recipients don't read my blog or have already received their handknit gifts, so here's a quick round up of all the not-so-secret knits.
365-204 (yet another Christmas knit)
I knit this tam for my friend, Sarah. She lost her beloved tam while back, so I whipped this up for her. It's a Drops pattern knit with one skein of Drops Alpaca. Raveled here.
Back of the Tam
Since Gramie isn't Internet savvy, I can blog about her top secret gift. It's the Forest Canopy Shawl in beautiful Fleece Artist Somoko. I almost want to keep it for myself, but I know she's going to love it so I guess I'll part with it. I will, however, have to knit myself one of these in the future. Raveled here.
365-214 (I almost want to keep it)
I've knit a number of cowls over the past few weeks, mainly Gloria Cowls. It's a quick, easy and elegant pattern and doesn't bore me. The recipient of this one is still top secret, just in case she happens upon my blog. Raveled here.
365-220 (yet another Gloria cowl)
Sherrie and I exchanged gifts the other evening, so I can reveal her handknits. She asked for some charcoal coloured fingerless mitts in a "heavy" type of yarn. If you know Sherrie at all, you know that she's quite particular about what she likes, so I spent a great deal of time picking out the right yarn and pattern. I chose Drops Silke Tweed because the silk gives it that "heaviness" Sherrie wanted and the colour was spot on. Plus, I know that she likes tweed. (Who doesn't?) I found the pattern on Ravelry and fell in love with that cable. Sherrie seemed to like it too! Raveled here.
Sherrie's mitts
She also asked for a matchy-matchy cowl and since I had some yarn left, I whipped up yet another Gloria Cowl. Raveled here.
Sherrie's cowl
And just in case the recipient of these slippers reads my blog without telling me, I'll keep her identity a secret. These are the Yoga Slippers from Erika Knight's Classic Knits At Home. I had planned to sew on some suede soles, but I tried to do it by hand and on the sewing machine and it just looked sloppy. They're still pretty sturdy without the soles and if someday they get holey, I'll darn them. Raveled here.
365-221 (One more Xmas knit finished)
Come back after Christmas and I'll show you the rest of the top secret knits!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

my Socktoberfest socks are a little late to the party

Well, I guess I was a little late getting ready to go to the party. I didn't think I was going to take part in Socktoberfest this year because I was so busy with Christmas knits, but I saw Kelly's Interlocking Leaves socks on Knitty and I had this Cherry Tree Hill sock yarn that I bought in Montreal calling out to me. They seemed like a really good match so I cast on for some Socktoberfest socks on October 23.
Done like dinner
Pattern: Interlocking Leaves by Kelly Porpiglia (rav)
Materials: Cherry Tree Hill Supersock Merino in Java
Needles: 2.5 mm addi turbos
Started: October 23, 2008
Finished: November 16, 2008
Raveled here
single sock for Socktoberfest
I really couldn't be happier with these socks. The pattern is just beautiful and so perfect for fall. It reminds me of crunchy brown leaves -- something I haven't seen much with the wet weather we've had. All that's left are soggy leaves and I don't really want to knit anything that evokes that image.

The socks aren't for me. They're a Christmas present for someone who is totally oblivious! Heh heh.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Pimp my bird

I signed up for the Holiday Ornament Swap hosted by freshly{blended} and cake & pie last week. I thought I would sew some kind of Christmas tree with a nice star-shaped button at the top, but I changed my mind when I saw this ornament in Martha's special Handmade Christmas magazine at Sherrie's house on Saturday. Sherrie told me that Wal-Mart carries Martha's glitter, so I took a rare trip out to Wal-Mart and filled my basket with glittery goodness.

And then I got to work. I made the cinnamon dough and cut out 18 cardinals from Martha's template. Once the birds were dry, I sketched out an outline of each coloured section with a blue chalk pencil (you can still see some of the blue on the bird below) and started gluing and glittery and gluing and glittering.
365-189 (pimp my bird)
It took me two days to finish them all, mostly because I had to wait so long in between each glittery colour, but I'm so happy with them. I made way more than I'll need for the swap because I want to keep a few and give some away as Christmas gifts.

Monday, October 20, 2008

This and that

I have a couple of FOs that I haven't blogged about yet. Not sure why I keep putting it off . . . maybe because I've already posted them on Ravelry and Flickr and forgot about the blog.
bath mitt
Sherrie is selling so many of her beautiful soaps at a craft fair in Yarmouth this weekend. It's at the Grand Hotel, in case you're local, on October 25 and 26. If you're there, please stop by her booth and say hi! I'll be helping her all weekend, so I knit up a little bath mitt to give away as a door prize (as if her soaps aren't enough to draw people to her table!).

Pattern: Wash Mitt by Erika Knight (rav)
Source: Classic Knits at Home
Materials: less than half a skein of Louet Euroflax Originals in Champagne
Needles: US 7/4.5 mm
Started: October 15, 2008
Finished: October 17, 2008
Raveled here

Modifications: I changed a few things. I knit the front and back separately, but didn't bind off the end, rather I kept the ends on the needles and grafted them together. If I knit this again, I'll do it in the round and knit the end like a sock toe.
Sweet Baby CapI also knit up this little darling with bits of leftover yarn for my cousin's baby boy.

Pattern: Norwegian Sweet Baby Cap (rav)
Materials: bits of Oceanwind Knits Merino in Blu and Black Lamb City Silk
Needles: 2.5 mm addi turbos
Started: October 8, 2008
Finished: October 10, 2008
Raveled here

Apart from that, I've been busy knitting lots of Christmas gifts. For a sneak peek, you can visit my Ravelry page. Since none of my family members knit and most of them read my blog and keep tabs on my Flickr page, Ravelry is the only safe place on the internet to post my secret projects!

Monday, October 06, 2008

Craft Swap!

I had read about craft swaps on house on hill road and thought it was a great idea. So I sent off an e-mail to my two favourite crafters, Sherrie and Blogless Annie, and asked them if they were interested. Of course they were! We set a date (last Thursday -- why has it taken me so long to blog about this?) and got crafting.
365-150 (birds on a branch)
Sherrie had shown me these lovely little birds on spool a while back, so after mulling over several different crafts, I set about making a flock of these guys. I just used some leftover fabric from different projects, found some branches on the trail behind my house and used some 18 gauge wire for the feet.
birds on a branch
Aren't they sweet? I may even make a few of these for myself.

Sherrie, maker (and seller!) of everything soapy and sweet smelling, made the loveliest milk baths (mine isn't fizzy because citric acid is the fizzing element. Since too much citric acid in foods makes my tongue swell up, I don't even want to think of what a citric acid bath would do to me!) and Raspberry Coconut sugar scrub. I've only used the sugar scrub so far, but Lordy, is it ever divine!
What Sherrie made for the swap
Blogless Annie made us these re-usable feminine hygiene products. Fashionable and Earth-friendly! Annie swears by these, so I'm interested to see if I'll become a covert too!
What Blogless Annie made for the swap
We also cooked up a great meal before the swap. It was sort of like a really fancy potluck. We chose the theme "autumn" and each brought a course. We started out with my curried butternut squash soup (accompanied by some Nova Scotian Tideview Cider -- can we just take a moment to talk about how amazing this stuff is? It's like wine, only apple-y with a little sparkle. It's so-so-so good. Too bad you can only get it in Wolfville, NS.)
Course #1
Blogless Annie cooked up Penne with Summer Squashes and Sweet Corn. It was so good. I'll definitely make this sometime.
Course #2
And Sherrie made an apple tarte tatin from Donna Hay's Modern Classics #2. So, so delicious.
Course #3
All in all, a great swap. I hope we can so it again!

Monday, September 29, 2008

FO: Charades and Pacafiesta!

I feel as though I've been working on these Charades for such a long time, and it's not because I didn't enjoy knitting them, other projects just seemed to get in the way. I started knitting these way back when we went to Montreal and Ottawa (where we saw Claudia and Nicole!), so they might look familiar to a couple of you.
365-146 (lounging in handknit socks)
Pattern: Charade socks by Sandra Park (rav)
Materials: two skeins of Oceanwind knits merino sock in Sienna
Needles: 2.5mm addi turbos
Started: April 27, 2008
Finished: September 27, 2008
Raveled here
Modifications: I extended the pattern to the heel flap just to add some more interest.

Verdict: I know I've extolled the virtues of Oceanwind knits sock yarn before, but I love it. It's the perfect sock yarn, as far as I'm concerned. And this pattern was fun, easy and addictive (even though it took me six months to finish them!).
Blogless Annie and I went to Pacafiesta over the weekend and super giddy on yarn. It was such a fun time. We saw real live alpacas and we might have hugged one or two . . .
Hello Mr. Alpaca
And we saw alpacas wearing hats (!) because, frankly, what's an alpaca without a funky hat?
alpacas with hats
Of course we came home with some yarnz! I picked up this beautiful skein of handspun silk and merino, but the über talented UberWench. If I wasn't already married, I would consider eloping right now with this skein.
The loot from Pacafiesta
This skein of Black Lamb city silk (50/50 silk and merino) is destined to become a super secret knit.
The loot from Pacafiesta
And I also brought home with me a skein of fingering weight handpainted alpaca from Sunrise Mercantile. It's only about 60 grams, but I think I might pair it with the Koigu I picked up at London Wul and knit up a pair of socks with grey cuffs, heels and toes.
The loot from Pacafiesta

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

FO: Election Scarf

Ahhh, elections. I'm sort of going election-crazy here. Up here in Canada, we're in the midst of a federal election and four short days after E-Day, Nova Scotians go to the polls again to vote in the municipal election. To make things even crazier, the advance polls for the municipal election are the same day as the federal election! Aaaaaah! I'm trying to ignore the American presidential election because, frankly, my brain can't handle any more election fodder. The only saving grace is that we're not in provincial election mode yet, but since I work for the provincial NDP, I'm always gearing up for an election just in case.
Election scarf
But because I'm a good New Democrat, I've decided to embrace the election craziness and knit myself a commemorative scarf. The provincial and federal New Democrats have a thing for orange (just check out the federal site) and I had a skein of worsted Malabrigo in Bergamota in my stash, so I quickly knit up a doppelganger of Heather's Mabel's Scarf.
Election Scarf
Pattern: Mabel's Scarf by Larissa Brown (rav)
Materials: one skein of Malabrigo worsted merino in Bergamota
Needles: US 8/5mm bamboo circulars
Started: September 18, 2008
Finished: September 22, 2008
Raveled here
365-140 (election scarf)
The pattern says one skein will give you 13 repeats, but I only got 12 with fewer than three yards of yarn to spare. It is sort of short, but I'm happy with it nonetheless. The pattern is so ridiculously addictive, which is why I finished it in under five days. And the scarf is so deliciously squishy, soft and warm. It'll be great for all the running around I'll be doing on E-Day (the federal E-Day, not the municipal E-Day!).

Oh! And have you heard? Our own knitter-extraordinaire Whistlepea Amy is the NDP candidate in Ottawa-Orléans? I really, really wish I could drop everything and move to Ottawa for a few weeks to help her campiagn! Good luck Amy!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

FO: Myrtle the turtle

I think I've started a tradition where I knit my brother a secret (well, maybe not-so-secret) stuffed whimsy of some sort for his birthday and Christmas. Last Christmas it was Naughty Lloyd and for his birthday I knit Myrtle.
Pattern: Sheldon by Ruth Homrighaus (rav)
Materials: bits and bobs of Debbie Bliss Rialto Aran in Lime (210) and Mission Falls 1824 Wool in 028 and 007
Needles: 3.25 mm dpns and 3.5 mm Addis
Started: August 28, 2008
Finished: September 3, 2008

Although the outcome couldn't possibly be cuter, this turtle wasn't the most fun thing to knit. I found the shell to be rather annoying, especially that goshdarned applied i-cord. A few screams may have slipped through my lips while knitting that i-cord. But, of course, it was so worth it. C'mon, my brother made me a swift! The least I could do is knit him a turtle.
365-122 (the lake)
Myrtle will be on display in the window at Hands On Crafts during the Craft Splash. Say hello to her if you see her!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Thank you Fleece Artist!

I e-mailed Fleece Artist and they sent me the pattern! I am as happy as a clam!

A plea

365-107 (a plea)
Okay, so I'm working on the Lady of the Lake (ravelry) coat and I just finished the body last night. I went to the hutch in the kitchen (where I keep some of my yarn) to get the pattern so I could figure out how it wants me to bind off and I couldn't find the pattern. I tore the house apart looking everywhere I could imagine it might be and I found nothing. It's a Fleece Artist kit, so it's not like I can just hop on the web and download it again or something. I am so mad at myself for losing the damn pattern!

So here's the plea: If you or anyone you know has knit the Lady of the Lake coat and has the pattern, can you please, please, please e-mail me the instructions on how to bind off the body and how to knit the sleeves and collar. If this doesn't work, I'm e-mailing Fleece Artist directly.

eta: I have e-mailed Fleece Artist. I'm just too impatient! I'll let you know what happens.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Crossed the finish line!

My Ravelympics cardigan is done in plenty of time to enjoy the rest of the games! It took me all of a week to knit this, but I did work on it nearly everywhere I went (including a game of kickball).
365-103 (Ravelympics cardigan done!)
Pattern: Shalom by Meghan McFarlane (rav)
Materials: 1.7 skeins of Malabrigo worsted merino in Pearl Ten
Needles: 7 mm circulars
Started: August 8, 2008
Finished: August 14, 2008
Raveled here
Shalom cardigan
Modifications: I added about 20 rows of stockinette st to the bottom before doing the garter st edge because it didn't quite look long enough. It stretched when I blocked it, but I like the length.

Verdict: I really, really like this. I realize it's not terribly practical as it doesn't have long sleeves or much of a front to keep me warm, but it does look nice over a turtleneck (which is probably how I'll wear it most often) in a decorative, vest-y sort of way. I love the colour, it's so beautifully soft and the fit is quite nice too! It's a winner!
Shalom cardigan
Moustache insisted on being in one shot. But what he really wants is to get his paws on what's left of the Malabrigo . . .
Shalom cardigan

Saturday, August 09, 2008

FO: Rainbow socks

I picked up some Noro Kureyon sock yarn in Liverpool, of all places, earlier this summer. I had heard over the Internetz that a little shop called Ball N Skein carried Noro sock yarn and, lucky me, I had a gift certificate to that very shop from my swift-building bro. The yarn shop ended up actually being a photo shop with a little corner of yarn. They carry mostly Patons and Briggs and Little, but, tucked away on a shelf were a few skeins of Noro sock yarn. Score!
rainbow socks
Pattern: just your basic 64 st, top down, plain stockinette sock with a short-row heel
Materials: 2/3 of a skein of Noro Kureyon sock yarn in #184
Needles: US 1.5/2.5 mm
Started: June 21, 2008
Finished: August 6, 2008
Raveled here
365-94 (nuzzled socks)
Since I am a type A personality, a control freak and a perfectionist, I couldn't have mis-matched socks. I had to do a bit of engineering to make them match, like adding a few metres of yarn here, taking a few metres away there, but it was all worth it. They still don't exactly match perfectly, but I don't think you'd really notice unless you were examining them closely. During regular wear, I think they'll look like matching socks.

Yesterday morning I cast on for my Ravelympics project while listening to Olympic coverage on the radio! I'm knitting the Shalom Cardigan in beautiful Malabrigo.
365-95 (Ravelypics!)

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Trip to New Brunswick

Jesse and I went to New Brunswick over the long weekend to attend a music festival. We lived in Moncton for two years from 2004 to 2006 and this is the first time we've been back since then. It was great to see all of our old friends and all the bands that played the festival. I had just started knitting right before we left Moncton, so I never had the chance to visit London Wul in Dieppe when we lived there. This was finally my chance! As soon as we got there, we discovered that they have these great sheep cutouts outside the yarn shop!
I'm a sheep

Hello. I am a sheep.

I managed to pick up a few things at the shop. The had several skeins of "odd lots" of Fleece Artist yarn in a bin along with two skeins of this unnamed mustard-y merino sock yarn. It's buttery soft and much yellower in reality.
unknown merino
I had heard that London Wul carries Koigu (as per the Web site), but it appears that information is old because the sold out of the stuff several years ago. However, I did manage to find this lone skein of Koigu KPM in light grey after digging through that sale bin. It's only 45g but it was also only $3. Yup, that's $3 Koigu. I know, right? I snatched it up.
And, in other knitting-related news . . . I got a Ravelry t-shirt in the mail! Now I can show off my inner knit-geek.
365-92 (check me out!)
Rockin' the Rav.