Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Yikes - I been away!

Hello folks, long time no blog!

Of course most of it was because of the annual 'can't blog; knitting for Christmas' stuff. Since it tends to be only my family who reads my blog I can't post much about what I did.

And then, the other part of the not blogging was simple laziness. I admit it.

Anyhoo, I have been knitting like a fiend, and actually managed to get my Christmas knitting done well in advance, so much of the knitting of late has actually been for myself! And, as usual, I have about 4 projects on the go.

Finished Object #1 - Tiny Antler Hat. Isn't this the freaking cutest thing you've ever seen?? It's CUTENESS EXPLOSION!!

Then I created a cowl to match. My vintage wool winter coat has a very annoying neck. The zipper closes & hits a spot on my neck that is very annoying, especially when it's cold. It's a metal zipper! So I whipped up a quick cowl. I call it 'Latte', because it's not quite vanilla. But close enough.

I am the toastiest wee reindeer in Muskoka!

Also on the needles are (still) the Moose Vest, the Honeycomb Vest and a new pair of mittens.

And - excitement of excitement - I did a knitting workshop with The Yarn Harlot!! OMG that woman is hilarious. I don't know why I was so surprised; after all, her blog makes me snort out loud. But she had us in stitches all day. In the morning she talked about knitting history and showed us pictures of things. Hilarious classic portraits of people 'knitting' with 3 needles, or something that looked like it was supposed to be knitting in the round but was on straights, stuff like that. She taught us throwers how to pick, and the pickers how to throw, and how to do a very convoluted purl when picking called the Norwegian Purl.

In the afternoon she taught us 'lever knitting', which is a style of knitting that is much more natural for the body, is faster (once you get familiar with it!) and will let you knit for much longer of your lifetime because there is less chance of repetitive stress injury. It wasn't hard to get the hang of it, but it will take lots of practice. I tried doing the Latte cowl with it, but because it makes my tension all wonky I gave up. She suggested doing 'homework' of a simple 1x1 rib scarf every night before doing our on the needles projects. I'll dig in my stash to find something for that. It won't be a scarf I'll wear, because it will start with really tight tension and loosen up as I get more comfortable.

And, of course, seeing as the workshop was held at the wonderful Little Red Mitten, on the lunch break I did some shopping. I picked up some Harrisville Shetland for my new mittens and some red Cascade 220 for another pair of armwarmers.

Oh! And here is the finished coatdress & cape from Fairy Tale Knits for the nieceypoo. I just have to whip up the muff to go along with it. I can't wait to see it on her.

Thursday, August 16, 2012


Sometimes you just need a project change to get the knitting juices flowing again. This is Snow Queen, the cover pattern from Fairy Tale Knits. The sample for the book is done in blue, which is a little more snowy, but nieceypoo must have pink, so the pattern name doesn't really make sense now, does it? The stitch pattern is a 6-row repeat called German Herringbone, and is easy to memorize. Chunky (well, actually worsted, but I'm used to dk or fingering!) wool & big (again, big to me) needles mean I'm just zooming along. But, sudden knitting fever combined with damp weather create arm issues, so I didn't knit at all for 2 days. Back to it today!
Here is what I've done so far, modelled by the ever patient and helpful Rosebud. She loves to help me knit by laying her giant head on one of my arms to slow me down. Very helpful.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Oh dear.

That didn't take long. Elizabeth is getting boring. I've almost finished the front, and it's all repetition. Same pattern, same colour, boring, boring, boring.

I keep finding excuses not to knit. I actually cleaned the bathroom tonight - and it didn't even need it!!! Never a good sign. Plus I keep looking at the skeins and balls and bags and baskets of yarn lying around every room in my apartment, thinking of the other things I want to do.

Am I alone in this? Getting bored so easily with a project? Is this the ADD manifesting itself through my knitting? This is why I tend to do really complicated things, with either lots of colour work or cabling. This has neither. The centre triangular pattern is brainless, and the sides are just stocking stitch.

I should be a good girl and finish the front before moving on to something else.

Then again, I have been meaning to wind those skeins of silk for a while...
And I have a project planned for nieceypoo...
And I have a newphew (new baby; I think it's a boy, therefore newphew) on the way...

Man, ADD sucks!!

Sunday, July 29, 2012


The downside to summer knitting - I do so much so fast & so suddenly (compared to when school's in) that I always wind up with a repetitive stress injury. My left forearm is really sore.

When I get going on a piano bender, it's my right arm that gets sore. So how exactly does knitting use my left arm more than my right? Or maybe it's just because I'm right handed, so my right arm can take more punishment.

I will attempt a couple hours tonight, but I won't push it. Sigh. 

Saturday, July 28, 2012


I forgot to post!!

I got the latest newsletter from The Little Red Mitten in St. Thomas. Right away I forwarded it to my mum. WORKSHOPS WITH THE YARN HARLOT!!!!

I told my mum that it would be a great birthday gift. And, being the wonderful woman that she is, she obliged! The very next day she contacted the store, and the Saturday workshop was already nearly full. Being a mother she was worried about what would happen if I couldn't make it down from Muskoka to London that weekend. To paraphrase the lovely owner of The Little Red Mitten, it won't be a problem!!

I would have preferred to be able to take the Sunday workshop about lace knitting, but it's December. Who knows what the weather will be like? I needs travel time.

I had to laugh at my mum. When she was enrolling me in the Saturday workshop, "Knitting for Speed & Efficiency", she wondered aloud why I would want to knit faster. I wish I could knit faster! I'm sure Steph will be able to teach me a couple new things.

That being said, I knit a couple of inches on my Elizabeth I last night. Tonight? Nada. Which is,, actually, probably a good thing. No repetitive stress injuries.

Now to decide which book to bring to have autographed.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Can you hear me now??

It's been a very long time since my last post.

Something happened that made me seriously reconsider continuing this blog, but then I told myself that I already gave up 2 social media things for that reason, and why should I give up a 3rd that was about something that means a lot to me? I don't need to go into details. If you are reading this, and you understand, 'nuff said. If you're reading this & you're clueless, welcome to my blog!! LOL

Back in late June I casted on for yet another Alice Starmore. She may not be among many knitters' favourite designers simply for the fact that she has stood her ground against her publishers, but you can't deny her design genius! Because of this dispute with her publisher, many of her books are out of print. I already had the Celtic Collection, and my mother found me In The Hebrides at a rummage sale of all places, but what I really wanted was Tudor Roses. And believe it or not, I found it!!

I started off easy peasy. Elizabeth I. One of my heroines, of course; how could she not be? Redheaded, stubborn, and a brilliant mind to boot. Hmm...reminds me of meself! I'm knitting this in berrocco vintage dk, a nice basic cream colour.

Historically, the first two weeks of summer, I relax & knit like a fiend. That didn't happen this year. I had company in the form of my 5 year old niece whom I adore, but has an endless stream of energy. Ergo & therefore, not much knitting accomplished! But lots of swimming, playing with the dog, and general fun had by all.

I got a fair bit done chez les parents after delivering nieceypoo to her parents (in one piece, too!!). I am now at home & can knit to my heart's content. Or, at least, to the arm's dull pain sets in.

And, of course, just to make things challenging for myself, I stopped at Knit & Quilt on my way home (they let Rosebud join me so she wasn't in a hot car; great for her, not so much for me. It's difficult to browse when people are fawning over your adorable dog) to pick up the goods for my next nieceypoo project. Everything must be pink. I got dusty rose because I reckon I can knit with it without getting sick to my stomach. I hope she likes it!

Monday, March 19, 2012


And here are the matching gloves for the Hawthorne hat.

I didn't get a lot of knitting done over the March Break. The first few days I spent down in London, and I spent most of my time with my lovely niece. We went swimming - she is totally fearless! We went down the big slide, and she had to go by herself. No problem at all! And I had to stop because the chlorine (public pools are the worst!) was bothering my eyes too much, so off she went on her own, up the stairs and waiting for her turn. She is such a cool kid.

We went shopping for her birthday. Sort of. I told her I needed ideas, so she could show me everything she wanted, but I wasn't buying. It just went on 'the list'. It's a good thing her dad has put in a new rule saying that for every new toy she gets, she has to give one up otherwise the house would be overrun!

We had a girls' night putting tattoos on (Disney princesses - ick - that made me break out), went to McDonald's, read together, watched Dr. Sheldon Cooper before bed and played with my dog. Who is only referred to as 'girl'. And gets dressed up, and not in her X-Men gear.

The Child goes a gazillion miles an hour. I was exhausted! And then, when I got home, I got sick. Of course. It was March Break!

So those are my excuses. As I say to my students, it's a Buttercup Situation. Deal with it.

Monday, March 5, 2012

ADD Strikes Again!

I brought home a crapload of marking this weekend. I fell really far behind because of report cards and then being sick.

So what did I do to avoid work? I knit a new hat! It's Hawthorne from Twist Collective, and I'm dying to cast on for the matching fingerless gloves now too. I did it in a lovely variegated yarn from Classic Elite - Liberty Wool.

Unfortunately, when I was blocking it I stretched out the ribbing too much! I tried reblocking but it didn't make a difference. I'll have to sew in a piece of elastic thread. Because other than that, I'm loving this hat! This picture really doesn't do the colours justice. I'll have to bring my real camera home to take another picture.

Friday, March 2, 2012

Wee Baby Things!

Whenever I knit things for friends having babies, the finished objects always seem unbelievably tiny to me. I remember doing things for my niece, and taking them down to London when she was born. She was the first baby I ever had any real contact with, and all those tiny little handknit things I made were too huge for her to wear right away! I was shocked.

Now I know a little better. Even when I knit things that are supposed to be 'newborn' size, I know that the child in question won't be able to wear it for a few months, at least. Maybe I should try knitting preemie sizes for the next one!

These are for my friend Heather, expecting her first any day now. Since they'll be worn in the spring, I went with a lovely new leaf green shade, with bug buttons!

This is a Debbie Bliss pattern, from her Step-by-Step book, done in her EcoBaby cotton yarn, which was a joy to work with. I'd use it again.

I had a fair bit left over, so I whipped up this 'Leafy Baby' hat. There are mittens with the pattern as well, but I only did the had. And sewed on a ladybug for added cuteness!

And last, but oh so NOT least, these amazing little baby Chucks!! Aren't they the cutest things you've ever seen? Heather & her husband Pat are funky people, so The Kid will require funky clothing. This is to set him/her on the road to funk. They seem impossibly tiny to me, but hey, what do I know?

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Knitting Observations

I often forget to change needle size after doing ribbing. That is a piss off.

More wine = slower knitting. Also a piss off.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Oh yeah!

I also did up a pair of SpillyMitts. They are from the brilliant Spilly Jane. If you are on twitter, she is one to follow. SO interesting and funny. And her stories about her bird Pooky are a riot. She's based in Windsor and does the most amazing mitten patterns. These ones are done in Patons Classic Tweed. Quick, easy & warm on the bum arm.

I pulled out my swift last night and started winding the Elspeth Lavold Silky Wool to start on the Honeycomb vest. Two observations: 1, that you know you have real wool when every once in a while you need to pull out some nature detrius, and 2, there's a surprising amount of yarn in these skeins! That's how the designers get you - you fall in love with their incredible fibre, then find that there's only 100m on the skein, so you need to buy 300 skeins (okay, slight exaggeration) to make your project, and each skein is $12 each (not much of an exaggeration there at all).

This swift is hilarious. Well, not the swift, but the cat's reactions to it. Bronte sat on the coffee table like Snoopy being a vulture, watching it spin. I kept expecting her to pounce, but she got tired of waiting for something more exciting to happen, I guess, so she went off to Rosebud's bed for a nap.

Sulis sat under the piano with huge eyes, watching it spin. I took a break for a bit to have a snack, and she came over & started batting it with her paws. I tried to play with her by making it spin, but as soon as it started turning on its own she freaked and ran away. It was quite cute.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Christmas is for Knitters!

There was stuff. There was food. There was finally some snow! And there was an adorable niece belting out karaoke songs much more advanced than should have been sung by a 4 year old (I'm looking at you, Katy Perrry) but fortunately she has her own interpretation of things like 'going all the way'. And she rocks at Gaga's Born This Way.

As for me & my needles, well, there wasn't much created this year. It's been such an appalling winter thus far. Rain, rain, and more rain. Did that require an Oxford comma? Are we doing away with the Oxford comma? Hmm...must look into it. Anyway, all the rain makes for a very damp atmosphere. And very damp atmospheres are very hard on the surgical steel-reinforced arms. I actually woke up from the pain one night. Had to dig out my electric heating pad, wrap it around my arm & attempt to go back to sleep. It hasn't been this bad in years, not since I lived in London.

So before the pain hit, this is what I knit my sister Deanna (excuse the horrible pics, please, they were supposed to just be 'place holders' on ravelry, until I took proper ones at Christmas, but I forgot to!). The pattern is Bronwyn. I saw something similar on the Miu Miu runways for spring, but tied off-centre around the shoulders instead of the neck like I have here. I liked it that way. Unfortunately, Deanna got a lot of scarves and shawlettes for Christmas! She had them all on at one point, and got a little overheated.

I started a pair of socks for my brother in law. He is huge. He's 7 feet tall and wears a size 14 shoe. Needless to say, finding a pattern to fit him was impossible. So I invented my own. But I didn't get very far before the pain in the arm hit, so I bought him another gift and whenever the socks get finished, I'll send them his way. But I really should ask Deanna to measure his foot for me. They just seem way huge to me. But I think I gave the pattern an appropriate name - Sasquatch Socks!

From my parents I got the wonderful Northern Knits book (already full of post-it notes for potential projects) and some patterns from Twist Collective that I told my mum I liked. Then, after Christmas, my mum & I made the trip down to St. Thomas to my favourite store, The Little Red Mitten. I picked up Brave New Knits - it's got some amazing patterns from bloggers in it, and I think there were maybe 2 things in the entire book that didn't appeal to me. That's a quality purchase!

My mum lent me this thingy (really, I don't know what to call it) that her physiotherapist had given her to wear on her bum knee to keep it warm. It didn't fit her, so she gave it to me for my arm. It really helped, so I got the brilliant idea of knitting myself some arm warmers! While at the store, I picked up a wack of yarn, totally blowing my budget of course. The koigu is for the Fallberry arm warmers, the Zitron unisono is for the Nereid ones, the Classic Elite Liberty Wool is for the Hawthorne hat & mitts from Twist, and that glorious green Elspeth Lavold Silky Wool is for the Honeycomb vest that I can't wait to work on!

But wait, there's more!

Between Michael's and Spinrite on the way home, I stocked up with good old reliable Patons Classic Wool - I love this stuff. It's cheap and it's good. So I bought enough for projects:

Soria Vest

Central Park Hoodie

While at Spinrite I made the mistake of touching this:

So I had to buy it. I don't quite know what it will be - socks? Armwarmers? I just had to have it. If you knit, you understand.

Oh and how could I forget? My new pride & joy - my namaste circular needle case. Now my needle roll actually rolls closed because there are no circulars in it!! Yay!!

And now? Back to my knitting.