Monday, December 17, 2007

Christmas Knitting, complete

(FYI, this is written by Kate, not Shan as it says at the bottom. Shan was kind enough to take the photos and upload them for me. Thanks Shan!)

Well, having looked at my list I would say I have done well.
I have completed:
  • wrap and two pairs of socks for my mum
  • sweater for my dad (see pictures of it on me below - we are the same size)
  • mittens for my step-mom
  • head wrap for my sister-in-law
  • pair of socks for friend
  • scarf for father-in-law
  • wash clothes
  • miscellaneous gifts not to be mentioned before the knit group's Christmas party :)

Of course, most of these items are already being wrapped without being photographed, but at this time of year I just don't remember everything I should. (For instance, today I forgot to check on the hot lunch volunteers. As one of the coordinators today was my day to do that. I forgot. No volunteer showed up. Teachers handed out the pizza. Oops.)

So now it is a week before Christmas. The one big project still on my needles is my sister-in-law's sweater. I do have the back finished and a good start on the front, but this might wait for her birthday in February, as I don't feel the urge to speed knit it. Or I might just give it to her in the New Year. We'll see where we get with it.

I do want to make some hats for a friend's family as well.

front of the cycling aran. I see the zip is crooked on me, but you can see the lovely fit and the stand up collar here. I hand sewed the zip in. Also note the lovely cables up each side, although in heathered charcoal they are hard to photograph!

the 3 by 2 ribbed back. Perfect for a snug fit while cycling in our west coast wet winters!

Finally, At Last, Not a Moment Too Soon

I am done Print o' the Wave. Hopefully it will arrive in time for Christmas, but I don't really care if it doesn't. I'm just happy to be finished.

Print o' the Wave
Pattern: free download by Eunny Jang
Yarn: 1.5 skeins Island Hues (by Sweatermaker) 100% merino handpainted laceweight, 800 metres per 100 grams. Two different dyelots but they work together.
Yarn Source: Fun Knits, Quadra Island. Thanks again, Shelley.
Yarn Cost: $35 for both skeins, of which I used less than 1.5. So about $25.
Needle: 3.5mm Clover Takumi bamboo circular, and 3.5mm Addi Turbo Lace
Cast On: August 12, 2007
Bound off: December 14, 2007
Finished Dimensions: 97" long, 27" wide after an aggressive blocking.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Seriously Relieved.

Full project details can be found here. And I'm totally done my Christmas knitting! I have one more FO to post (once it's finished blocking) and I can relax and enjoy the season.
By the way chickies, once the stole is dry it'll be wrapped and mailed immediately....I won't be able to bring it to knit night next week! Maybe I'll do a victory lap to everyone's house just so you can see it, on my way to the post office.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Love, in the form of a Sweater

Oh, how I love thee, Cycling Aran. I love your cables up the front, your comfy ribbed back, your stand-up collar and stylish fit. I love the easy pattern, and the delicious yarn used (Tosca Jaspe). My Dad will love you as well. All you need is a zip, and we are good to go.

This was a great pattern to knit up, although it assumes a knowledge of construction (it is quite terse but it all works if you have knit a sweater or two). The sleeves will be too long for my Dad but they fold back easily, and I don't think I will change them now.

Phew, another one off the list (at least the knitting is done on this one)!!

PS Better pictures to come when I can get someone to take one. As my dad and I are the same size it fits me so nicely. I wants it. (This is getting to be a problem.)

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

The Road to Hell.

Kate posted a long time ago about putting up our Christmas lists - that is, the things we have to knit for Christmas. I meant to get around to it but didn't until today.

My problem this year is, NOTHING IS WORKING OUT. Here is what I had planned:

1- Aran sweater for FIL
2- Print o' the Wave lace stole for MIL
3- mittens for my sister (later SOCKS for my sister)
4- spiral scarves for all my nieces
5- wristers for my SIL
6- socks for my brother

and what has happened to all these fine intentions?

1- still working out, thank God.
2- ran out of yarn. Haven't heard yet whether Shelley has been able to find me more. And, in my last conversation with my mother-in-law, she said "I once had one of those shawl wrap things...I wore it a few times but it kept sliding off my sloping shoulders and it drove me crazy." Doesn't bode well.
3- my sister didn't like mittens. So I cast on Chuck's Cabled Socks, accidentally reversed the needle sizes, and ended up with a sock that has enormous ribbing and a cruelly tight ankle. Gave up.
4- Gwen saw the scarves while visiting, and, trying to let me down easy, didn't give me much hope that her daughter will wear it. Apparently if she has seen a similar thing on someone cool, we're golden. If not....well, I guess a wrinkled nose is all I can expect. The donation bin will get these.
5- wristers.....yeah, right. NEXT.
6- wool socks for my brother? who wears like a size 12 shoe and lives in North Carolina? Again I say Yeah Right.

I'm a bit cast down about it actually, but I have made my peace with the situation and am content to just knit the Aran. If THAT doesn't work out, then I will be truly distraught, and qualify as an utter failure.

It's that old story about whether people appreciate it. I've come to realize it doesn't bother the intended recipients not to receive the knitting I had planned for them - at least, not nearly as much as it bothers me not to give it. My people, as far as I can see, would rather have a DVD or a couple of books. It costs me, what...$20 for that?

So, we'll finish off the Aran sweater, and that'll be it. If I get the stole done, maybe it can be a Mothers' Day gift for my mother-in-law, along with a nice pin to keep it on her shoulders. Or, maybe I'll rent a table at a craft fair one of these days, and sell it for $200. And use that money to buy yarn to make something for.........myself.

Friday, October 26, 2007

The Ocean Ripple Wrap

I don't know if I can bear to part with this wrap. I'm calling it The Ocean Ripple Wrap. I based it on a stitch pattern found in The Complete Encyclopedia of Stitchery, by Mildred Graves Ryan. The stitch is called Lace Wings, and is apparently found in Dutch stitch patterns. I then added a garter stitch border. I love the way the colour flows along the lace, giving the feel of water along pebbles at the edge of the shore. I picture this wrap over a coat, or even as an accent for a nice turtleneck and a pair of jeans. It will be very hard for me to part with it, as I love it.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Progress Report

No pictures today, but a progress report.
  1. Mum's wrap is five rows from being cast off. I have to go get some wire to block it properly, I think, so the edges are nice and even. I so love the Sweatermaker yarn I used, which I got at Fun Knits. A laceweight merino, in a line called Island Hues. Beautiful variegated blue, like soft blue jeans. Will have pictures once it is blocked and dry.
  2. Have begun Dad's Cycling Aran. I am using a very light 55% wool/45% acrylic blend from Lang yarns, called Tosca Jaspe. It is so light and lovely. Am just on the left front, so will post pictures when I have more progress.
  3. Mum's sock #1 is past the heel and on to the foot. I am doing a blueberry waffle pattern on the leg with a plain foot. She pointed out to me again the other day how much she loves my socks, and that they are all she wears. I love making her socks.
  4. Three dishclothes are finished; a rib lace one, a garterlac one and a checked one.

That is it for now.

Monday, October 1, 2007

Every Jedi Needs A Scarf

On a visit to Fun Knits, I let the boy pick out a ball of yarn for a new scarf. His choice was a ball of Bernat Sox, in a rather bright colour way (perhaps called Fiesta, but not sure). A simple knit1 purl 1 stitch pattern, with slipped stitch edges at the start of every row.

Just long enough to wrap around the neck and back.

I love slipped stitch edges!

Pronounced a success by our resident Jedi.

Friday, September 28, 2007

Progress is Good

There is some progress being made on the Christmas list. Mum's wrap has reached the halfway point; her socks are started. A bunch of us Riverstitchers went down to Village Yarns in Cumberland (sadly website-less) earlier this week, where I stocked up on yarn for the second pair of socks, the scarf, and the two sweaters. So now I have a big pile of yarn staring at me demanding to be knit. But at least it is still September, so I'm feeling good about it - we'll see what happens in November :)

A lovely night of stitching last night at knit night. A number of Christmas presents being knit, a wrap, socks, legwarmers, another wrap. Plus a sweater from a pattern that we won't talk about, as it causes some of the knitters to get high blood pressure :) Plus there were apple squares with vanilla ice cream. yum yum yum.

Sometime next week I will post further about Mum's wrap, just to show the beautiful yarn it is being knit from.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Dinner, For Shan

Toad in the Hole

Served with gravy. And a big green salad (OK, that part isn't for Shan).

Sunday, September 16, 2007

All Knitting, All the Time

OK Girls, it's time to get serious about the holiday knitting. To that end, I'm admitting here and now the projects I have decided on for my holiday gifting.

1. Wrap, designed by me, for Mum. This is in the works.
2. Socks for Mum
3. Cardigan for Dad
4. Cardigan for Sister-in-law
5. Head Wrap for Sister-in-law is done
6. Socks for friend
7. Dishclothes for family and friends. I probably need about 10 more.
8. Scarf for Father-in-law
9. Mitts for Step Mom

That's it, I think. Hmm. Only two really big ones, plus the scarf always takes longer than you anticipate. Only two pairs of socks, and I think I'll keep them fairly simple (one of them is a women's size 10).

Come on my knit friends. Let's see those lists!

Friday, September 7, 2007

7 down, 12 to go.

Just finishing up ball 7 of 19 and the piece is getting heavy. The colour is very hard to photograph - none of the pictures I've put up even remotely resembles the actual hue. It's much more intensely mossy in real life.

I've had stacks of problems with the edge chart, but have frogged nothing. I simply don't have time to back up on this one. The chart has two or three mistakes in it, and I am completely unhappy with how the bights are opened and closed within the reverse stockinette. So, I have had to make some changes and do some experimenting on the fly, which means one end of the blanket will look quite different to the other.

I have a different feeling about this blanket,'s not like my other knitting projects. The mistakes and inconsistencies are inconsequential - what I'm knitting here is just life as we know it. We get through it as well as we can with no do-overs, and hope that by the end what we have is nice, and comforting, and will help others remember us with fondness despite the obvious imperfections.

Knitting this blanket has been hard. It gets harder with every ball I join in, with every day that passes to bring us all closer to the crisis. Sandy's surgeon phoned last night to tell her the biopsy results were in and the tumour is indeed cancer, though it is "young" and does not appear to have metastisized. He has upgraded (downgraded) her case to urgent, so as soon as Victoria has room for her, she will be travelling down for her week of radiation prior to surgery.

We're not ready -- not me, with my 7-balls-down-12-too-go, not my friend with the job she has just started, and a young family, and not you, with the little bits of life that flow over you and around you every day. We have little triumphs and little disappointments, aggravations and celebrations, and then when we're only midway through all we've got planned, our mortality walks straight up to us and stares us in the face.

I can't handle it. So for now I'm just going to keep knitting, and hope to be done in time.

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Yet Another 0 Has Been F'd

I'm pleased with this one.
Evening Star Top
from Interweave Knits, Summer 2006
I knit this from a cotton/acrylic blend (shocking, I know) called Cotton Plus by TLC. Love the yarn. My favourite part of this top is the cabled waist -- it is super comfy and flattering. I didn't add the frilly hem, neck or sleeve treatment called for in the pattern -- too much for me. However, I can see why they put it on the neck, as the neck is loose as is. Not too loose, but perhaps an elastic thread ... I will have to wear it for a while to see. Also the back edge of the neck sits up, which I notice is in the photo of the model as well. The garment is loose over all, which surprised me as I did get gauge and it looked more fitted. But I really like it, and it is a totally comfortable item to wear.
Now on to Christmas gift knitting!!

Saturday, September 1, 2007


Skein 0 Knitter 1.
Victory is sweet.

Friday, August 31, 2007

Oh What a Tangled Web....

Trying to unwind? .... Don't spend a morning unwinding a tangled skein is all I can say! One of four skeins our group was gifted at Fun Knits -- now I see why they were gifted! Shan says hers took four hours, but we all know Shan is another kind of gifted, right? The fact that she persevered with it and did it in one day makes me feel faint.

Here it is the first day I took it out...

Then I put it away for about five weeks. Today was the day, after being reminded by Shannon's lovely, centre-pull all wound up ball of yarn at knit night, to pull it out and start again. I'm not finished at all, but here are a couple of action shots.

Note how fast my hands are going! My skein is twisted, with two long strands seemingly unrelated to the rest of the twist. I've given up trying to find any rhythm, I'm just winding as it goes. Will it be finished today? Don't hold your breath.

Monday, August 27, 2007

The Monkeys are off My Needles

I finally finished the second Monkey sock! I am very pleased with these socks, and with the yarn. I was surprised at how much I had left - I could have made the socks a little longer.

Hard to get a good photo at night with a point and shoot digital camera, but the colour here is fairly accurate. No close-ups I'm afraid.
Pattern: Monkey, from Winter Knitty, by Cookie A.
This was a great pattern. Challenging enough that I had to watch it develop, but straight-forward enough to memorize the 11 row patterning.
Modifications: I changed the heel from a straight knit heel to a slip stitch heel, just because that's the kind I prefer.
Yarn: Super Soxx, bought at Village Yarn Shoppe in Cumberland. This is 75% superwash, 25% polyamide. I really like the feel of it on, and it was nice to knit with, only occasionally splitty. At $14.50 (or thereabouts) for a 100g ball (420 metres), it was good value.
As you can see, I made them fraternal twins. I didn't feel like matching the striping, although it would have been simple to do.

Monday, August 20, 2007


Kate, I LOVE this quiz!! It was hilarious!

What kind of yarn are you?

You are Shetland Wool. You are a traditional sort who can sometimes be a little on the harsh side. Though you look delicate you are tough as nails and prone to intricacies. Despite your acerbic ways you are widely respected and even revered.
Take this quiz!


Make A Quiz More Quizzes Grab Code

There's no Escaping It

Sigh. I'm not a yarn snob by any stretch, but this still makes me sigh. I should have known.

What kind of yarn are you?

You are Acrylic.While you are very versatile, your plasticky countenance can be offputting. You are very good with children but can become a pill if left alone with them too long. You are very flexible but don't give in to manipulation.
Take this quiz!

Make A Quiz More Quizzes Grab Code

Thursday, August 16, 2007

No Such Thing as "Too Early"

Christmas knitting has begun. I am planning to work 5 of these spiral scarves this year, with matching wristers, for the nieces.
I know it's a bit cheapy and not very nice yarn or anything, but the thing is they're children, and not too discerning as to fibre. I hope they'll like them, anyway, even if they're not fancy or expensive. The ruffled scarf and matching ruffled wristers (not made yet) will be cute together, sticking out of the girls' winter coats.

And here's the first progress shot of my MIL's print o' the wave stole:
I have to work a total of 34 of these repeats (I've done 6 in two days) then pick up for the edging. Should be interesting - first lace project. I had signed up for MS3 but didn't find a satisfactory yarn so abandoned the project after the swatch stage. This is better - I like how it looks finished and I wouldn't have wanted to take the chance on an unknown outcome for a Christmas present. This pattern is nice and easy to memorize too. I can't tell you how much I love the yarn - "Island Hues" by Judy McLean of Sweatermaker (a hand-spinner/dyer from Courtenay, I believe). Fun Knits and at Uptown Yarns both stock her yarn and fibre, though she doesn't have a website of her own.
So, we're off! Only four months left of knitting time!

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Oh Fudge

So last week the red cardigan went into time out, because I've made the sleeve too long and I won't have enough yarn left if I continue. i knew this really as I started the cap shaping, but waiting until I was 2 inches in before admitting it. So now I have to rip back a good 4 inches. Of lace and shaping. Oh fudge.

Working on my second monkey sock, heel done beautifully, ready to start the patterning along the top of the foot. I've made the heel in the wrong spot for the pattern to match properly to the first one. Must rip out said beautiful heel. Oh fudge.

I'm going to work on some stockinette now.

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

The Last of the Baby Knits

I think I have come to the end of the baby knits, at least for now. This little boy sweater is for my friend in Ontario, who had a little boy this spring. I'm hoping this sweater will see a lot of action in the cold winter there.

Pattern Specs:

  1. Based on Sally Melville's Baby Rainbow Jacket, from Knitting Experience Book 3: Color.
  2. I say based, because I used a different slip stitch than she did, although I followed her measurements to get the sizing. I also made the sleeves solid colour with just a stripe, rather than continuing all the colour work.
  3. Yarn was Sari cotton, bought on sale at Fun Knits during our field trip. Although the yarn is a little splitty, I love the colours it comes in and it was easy to knit with overall.
  4. Time to knit, about three weeks. I had to go back for one more ball of cotton, to finish the button band.
  5. The buttons are from my very large button stash.

I enjoyed this knit, and I think it is very stylish for a little baby boy (six-nine month size).

Now back to adult knitting!

Friday, August 3, 2007

Done and Finished and Laid to Rest.

I just outed myself to my Sockapalooza 4 recipient. I went to her blog to leave a comment letting her know the socks were done, but forgot that I was already logged on as myself so of course the comment wasn't anonymous.

Sigh...I tell you what - this whole event is cursed. At first I thought it was just the yarn, or the pattern (or the second batch of yarn, or the second pattern) but now I realize it's Sockapalooza in general. (Either that or it's me, in particular.)

Anyway, a picture. Full details are over at HalfSoled Boots.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

I've F'd an O (Well, Almost)

One larger than planned baby blanket finally is off the needles. I haven't heard that the intended recipient has had the baby yet, so I still have time. Of course, it still needs to have the ends woven in, but I am just so relieved to have one of my big projects off the needles! Now I can move on to something else in the queue.

Blanket design made up as I went along. Stripes are fun!
Yarn is TLC CottonTots - a very soft 100% cotton [edited to add - originally I said this was a cotton/acrylic blend. Don't know where I got that idea. It's not.]. Will be machine washable, always a plus for a young mom.
Time taken about 2 months, give or take. Mostly this was TV knitting, in the evenings.

Monday, July 16, 2007

What to do, what to do?

Oh crap oh crap, I am about to run out of yarn again. Any volunteers for one of the following?

a) helping me bash myself over the head with a mallet and end my suffering

b) knitting the second sock for me so I can sit in a corner weeping softly and eating my own hair

c) ripping back the sock to the cuff, taking out half a repeat, and THEN knitting the second sock for me, maybe while I go lie down in the street in the hopes that some kind Samaritan will run me over in their car so I don't have to obsess about socks anymore, which would also provide a handy excuse to my intended recipient about why she's not getting any socks from me this summer. Because I would be dead.

Girls, seriously. Help me out here. Anyone?


Friday, July 13, 2007

My Summer Holiday

Summer has finally arrived!!! As a child we would spent our entire summers at a cottage at a lake in an oasis of trees in central Alberta... those were halcyon days, and yesterday felt like a piece of one of those fondly remembered days. Often, we would pack up all the family and make a trek into one of the small towns to stock up on supplies and necessary items for entertainment( snorkles, flippers, thongs, nets, suntan lotion(!)) It was an all day event, with a lot of time spent milling about the toy/fun section of the old General Store. We would come back with our little treasures, tired and sleepy, but so satisfied.. and ready for the next week of sunshine and water.
Yesterday, was one of those memorable days. Now, as an adult, the time that we get to just enjoy moments of exploring and milling about in a treasure trove is usually nonexistent.We , as parents, have so many demands on us. Especially for my great friends that are part of RiverStitch who still have their beautiful young kiddies. The demands of young children - even tho we adore them, is sometimes so taxing.... and just such a break is so necessary.
I can't remember a more fun day, than yesterday, for a long time... what could possibly be more fun than spending hours absorbing and thinking and talking about our knitting vice, with like minded souls?!
My one big comment, is how wonderful the kids were!! Kudo's to Shan and Sunmi - next time - we will make it WAY more fun for them !!(both adults and kiddies)
Mr. Quintessential wanted to know what we did over on Quadra.."Hung out at Fun Knits for most of the time, other than to eat!" I said... - ..he shook his sensible is that possible he wonders!!
Have a super day.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Hot .... Smokin' Hot

Yup, that's right. Over 40 degrees on my south-facing deck at 3:45 in the afternoon. It is hot hot hot. But we aren't complaining, because last week it was still cold and damp. The heat wave is supposed to break in a couple of days anyhow.

With the heat the knitting has slowed down. There is still work being done on the red cardigan (now on the second front) and on the striped blanket (almost finished). I have done a few washcloths in the last while, and with Rabbitch's cloth drive, I thought I would share these three which I think will be headed her way.

OK, off to dream of other things to knit, while I melt a little in the heat. Quadra tomorrow - look out Fun Knits, here we come!

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

New MagKnits is Up

Hey Gang!! The July MagKnits is up.

Only 5 patterns, but they are quite nice.

I'm quite liking Devon (the tank) and also the shrug.

That's all!

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Teacher, Teacher

A had a wonderful teacher this year. Someone who really took the time to appreciate him as a child and as the great kid he is, with all his quirks. In thanks, he bought her some scrapbooking supplies and I added a few goodies to the bag.

Two ballband dish clothes,
and a bookmark from Patons Grace.
I found the great little pattern on Knit with KT,
and it was simple and quick, just what I wanted!
I discovered that it is very difficult to photograph
something black, however!
The cute little eyelet pattern wasn't showing up well, so I finally put it in the window. Problem solved.

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Cake & Coals

Now I introduce the mysterious pink thing photographed during cast-on by Kate at the Harlot event. It's Elsebeth Lavold's "Gyrid", from the Viking Knits Collection Volume 1. It's meant to be a tank but I plan to knit a short sleeve, baste it in, and check whether I like it that way better. Tanks and me are not always compatible.

I know there's not much to see here - plus the light yesterday was dreadful and it doesn't look its best - but I have finished the back, and am 1/4 of the way through the chart on the front. I like how the Silky Wool is knitting up - nice and drapey. It's a bit on the thin side; now I know why the model picture has a discernible bra line. The thinness should make for a comfortable and flattering top, though - as Juno says, "The bigger the bust, the thinner the yarn."

And, a little picture from knit night the other day. I had a few shots of people, but I thought this one captured the mood better.

Friday, June 22, 2007

Summer Is Here, I Think.

Well, the weather may not be cooperating, but according to the calendar it is summer. Someone tell the sun that!

I have gardens and knitting to share today. How about all of you?


The baby blanket is much closer to completion, perhaps 3/4 done? This is a good thing, as my green is getting low and I don't want to buy anymore yarn for it!

I started new socks (no, I don't already have enough projects on the needles. socks are little anyhow, they don't count). This is the Monkey sock pattern from Knitty (by Cookie A.) that is popping up in blogland. A great pattern, and I like the look with this yarn. By the time I get to the foot I have to decide if these socks are for my mom or me -- her foot is two sizes bigger!

After washing the green feather and fan socks they are delightful. Soft but solid. Will definitely make this pattern again.


Even with the weather things are happening in the garden. Just a few shots, to appease the garden gods :)

Peas!! Yum.