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969 Yards!

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I think I have enough for my sweater. LOL, now if only I can fit it in, time wise! I found a really nice pattern already written which is exactly what I had in mind…and will work very well (I think) for this handspun yarn. It’s really thick and thin in spots so I’m planning to work with that!

A close up…

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Now, I’m back to cleaning…it’s SUPER CLEANING DAY here, lol, ’cause I have been too busy quilting and spinning and whatnot to get anything done these last few days. Doesn’t everyone include washing their newly spun wool with their cleaning day?!

I really need some cleaning elves…

Bittersweet Socks

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Can you see the problem?

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Yep, two balls of araucania ranco multy. No dye lots. Different colour balance. Crap. One sock is very purple…one has a very purple foot and a really blue leg, lol.

But, since I’m extremely anti-frog…I’m going to keep them the way they are. The alternative (and an option if they bug me enough) is to frog both socks and mix the two skeins together by knitting a few rows of one and then a few rows of the other.

The moral of the story? ALWAYS check the two skeins – preferably in the daylight – to check the colour balance. I’m sure, had I done so, that it would have been obvious!

I don’t usually stress about these kinds of mistakes – it’s good enough for me that I know what happened and that I won’t do it again in the future. I’ll always look at this pair of socks in a bittersweet way…

The knitting is beautiful and even. The lace is gorgeous. The fit is perfect. The. Colour. Is. Off.

Link to the free pattern – Lacy Cables Knee Socks

Knee Socks

Good morning!

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I realized, after finishing my version of ‘tempest’, that I had just enough of the Araucania ranco multy to make the Lacy Cables Knee Socks. And I do love knee socks! It’s funny because I was purely an ‘ankle sock girl’ until just recently.

They’re going to be gorgeous!

I’m starting the calf increases now and hope I’ll have one finished pretty soon. I may change the increases somewhat but I’ll have to figure that out as I go.

I’m focusing on them instead of on my ‘news’. I’ve just been scheduled for a small surgery and I’m as nervous as can be. I have to have a cyst and some breast tissue removed next month. I’m scared, nervous…the inner freaking out thing while on the outside I’m trying to set a good example for my girls and be a ‘big girl’ about it. All I have to say is aging sucks as far as the body goes…

Then, on to finishing up a few things in the halfway-done-pile…

The medallion sweater.

The cabled hoodie.

The frost flowers and leaves shawl (poor thing has been languishing for more than a year – two years in march as a matter of fact! – waiting for its knitted edging to be finished).

The flower mittens for my daughter – waiting for their thumbs, lol.

Another dream of mine – I’d like to sort all my yarn. Properly. Really. LOL, normally it’s a project that gets half way done and then gets the ‘good enough’ and sits that way. This year I’m hoping to do as I did last year – knit mainly from the stash. We’re so broke lately, I’m loving this hoarding habit of mine!

Maybe the new knee socks will inspire me 🙂

So Not Socks!

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This is my version of ‘Tempest‘ from knitty by Ann Weaver. I followed the pattern advice and went with negative ease (28″ bust – I am a 32/34) and I love how it fits – other than I wouldn’t mind it a little longer, maybe by a couple stripes or so…

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I used two balls of sock yarn – one ‘ranco multy’ and one austermann ‘step’. What an awesome alternative to socks!! I’m so glad I didn’t use these up before now 🙂 The ranco was a birthday gift I recieved last February and I’ve had the step even longer, lol. Now, instead, I have this beautiful sweater!

I made a few modifications;

*knit the body in one piece up to the armhole shaping.
*knit the sleeves in one piece and lengthened them to long sleeves, decreasing the amount of stitches cast on.
*lengthened the body at the waist by two small stripes.

Then I spent the entire afternoon sorting buttons from the vintage button stash. I found some nice copper buttons and used those…

I can’t believe I finished this in four days! Of almost constant work, mind you…

Esther!

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These are my Esther socks…they’re made of knitpicks ‘risata’ and are so comfy cozy! I like them enough that I may make another pair, SOMETIME, lol. It seems not a day goes by when I don’t have a few more ideas…

I’d like to make a pair of kneesocks that I found a pattern for.

I’d like to design a little cardigan with some finely spun handspun – I can picture it perfectly – now whether I’ll find the time (or take the time) to design it, we’ll see.

I’d like to try some crochet lace a la Antonina K. I saw her work for the first time recently and I’m enthralled! Beautiful!! So enthralled that I pulled out some crochet cotton and my hooks a couple days ago. You know how I had nothing on the go? LOL.

I’d like to finish the mittens for my daughter – they need thumbs!

I’d like to finish spinning the bobbin I started after Christmas with the new rovings. Better yet, to spin a second ply so I can use the yarn to make those socks or design that cardigan…hmmm…

So many, many things I’d like to do, start, finish in 2009. Looks like it’ll be a busy year 🙂

A Beautiful Day!

It’s so mild and sunny and clear and SPRING like! Ok, I know it’s not really spring…lol…in a few days I’m sure we’ll be buried in a pile of snow again, no doubt.

My daughter says it’s ‘stunning’ outside. I think I agree.

We’ve had such a wind storm over the past day or so that most of the snow is melted and the rivers are FULL to flooding.

I’ve fallen into ‘me’ knitting, since the Christmas rush is over. Thank goodness. Love it and all, but really, by the time it’s over, it’s good that it’s over. LOL. Now I must seem like such a scrooge.

Wanted to show you pictures of the stocking I sewed…(they were a surprise so I couldn’t sooner)

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I’m working on my cabled hoodie sweater, off and on. I’ve actually almost finished the first sleeve to the point where it is attached to the body so that’s not too bad considering I had to rip it out three times to get the size of wrist I wanted. I like a fitted sleeve so I had to decrease the amount of starting stitches and then increase back up, ever so slowly, before the actual pattern increases began. I also had to tighten up my cast on quite a bit (three tries) in order to have the structured edge I wanted with this yarn.

Ah well, may the second sleeve co-operate a little bit better.

I’m also knitting myself a pair of Esther socks. I got the free pattern through ravelry and I’m loving the lace! There is a glitch in the heel instructions where it says to continue to ‘sl 1, k33’. Um NO. The decreases mean that you will not end with the ‘k33’ but rather ‘sl 1, k19’ for the smaller size.

A picture, or two….

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The cuffs are beautiful, folded with a picot edge…

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What I want to do now is spin a lot of beautiful yarn and then make these again, as tall socks (maybe even knee socks!).

I think they would be beautiful 🙂

On Boxing Day, my husband (lovely man that he is!) took me to The Black Lamb to buy my Christmas gift. Laurie was kind enough to open for us and to interrupt her own day – she is a wonderful lady!

I ended up with an absolute RAINBOW of colours in the superwash merino roving…

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And because I couldn’t help it – the fibre was yelling PLAY WITH ME…

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Getting Ready :)

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Christmas has crept up faster than ever and I didn’t nearly finish all the things I wanted to make people this year! I only have two hands, I keep reassuring myself!

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I’m working on one last minute scarf, still, and then THATS IT. REALLY.

It’s a star stitch scarf using some red heart ‘comfort prints’ that I had in the stash. It’ll be as long as I can make it between baking gingerbread and peppermint sandwich cookies with the kids. Oh – and topping up the shortbread supply, of course.

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Then I’m going to work on my Green Gables Hoodie in powder blue…

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Doesn’t it look COZY?

Today – I bake and knit and clean…and last minute shop, of course. Food is always nice, lol.

Tomorrow – We do gingerbread houses with the cousins and have a nice day with my mom and brother – I’m making a mini Christmas dinner too, turkey and all without quite as much variation in the side dishes. It’ll be delicious. I roast a fine turkey if I do say so myself!

Christmas – I think I’ll drink 😉 Oh, and watch the kids open their presents (which I am SO pleased with this year – we really did well with a little, there were so many sales) Then it’s dinner with family (which I don’t have to cook!) and visiting for the rest of the day.

Merry Christmas, Happy Baking!

Elf Business…

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This is ‘Fern Glade’ from the new Knitty by Megan Marshall. It was a beautiful knit – fun to make and fairly quick too! I used two strands of Jaggerspun lace weight in boysenberry and columbine. It’s in my projects on ravelry.

I’ve also been working on some TOP SECRET elf business, whenever the kid’s aren’t home. Can’t show you yet – in case they decide to read the blog (unlikely but you know). They are beautiful and I’ll post pics on Christmas!

I’ve started playing around, trying to design a scarf – not worth sharing yet but I’ll let you know – maybe I’ll have something to take a picture of by this evening 🙂

We’re having an entirely homemade Christmas this year, by the looks of it. Later this weekend I’m planning to put it all in one place and see where I’m at. For sure I’m behind a few pairs of those felted ribby slippers!

Right now I’m totally supposed to be baking a birthday cake! Chocolate, in the shape of a football and iced accordingly, lol. My little guy is now 11 — they grow up quickly 🙂

Have a great day 🙂 I’ll be the lady in the kitchen, desperately knitting and baking chocolate cake!

Silk!

So, I’m sure we’ve all done it. Bought that beautiful yarn – that ‘must have’ – and then discovered that it’s not so easy finding the ideal use for it.

My most glaring example are the ten balls of Plymouth Shire Silk in sea green in my stash. Had to have them. Love the feel. The texture. The nubbiness.

Yet every single thing I’ve tried to knit with them has been frogged.

I’ve had them for two years now! A sweater’s worth of silk without a purpose.

Silk is warm, strong, resists mold and mildew while being very absorbant and is VERY lightweight. So…I’m trying it in a scarf…

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It’s working out beautifully! Sure, I won’t have enough left for most sweaters but at this point I’m just really happy to find a use for it. Not sure it’ll do for a matching hat – we’ll see…

Who Knew?

I finished up the second mitten this morning and learned something I had no idea about!

I’m a knitter who has learned from books and by reading on the internet I’ve learned so much more BUT I had no idea that floating a colour on the bottom vs the top of the main colour had such a BIG effect on the results!

I’ve learned that I like to float the pattern colour on the bottom and let the main colour be on top. It makes the pattern colour so much more prominent!

These are the fronts – you can’t quite see the difference, or at least not as well…

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And the backs…LOL…where you can surely see the difference!!!

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The one on the right…I like that one 🙂 It has the coloured floats held to the bottom. The one on the left? Not so much. Black is the prominent colour and the brights are almost lost. They are staying as is though…a learning experience and I’m not big on ‘re-dos’.

The moral of the story? Writing down your float orientation IS useful IF you tend to pick up and put down projects or (gasp!) get sidetracked.

Lesson learned 🙂

A Quick Knit Lace Scarf

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I had an inspiration this weekend so, of course!, I had to try it out…this scarf was inspired by a stitch I saw and liked. The best part? It’s completely done by knitting and working yo’s which are then dropped on the following row! Really pretty, really simple, really satisfying 🙂 I think it would be a great project for any knitter.

The pattern is in my pages, if you’d like to make it 🙂

I May Have Slipper-itis

Seriously! LOL

I thought the ‘Ribby Slipper Socks’ (from the holiday IK) would be a cute gift for my daughter. Then I thought they’d be even cuter if they were felted. Now they’re so cute I can’t stop!!!!

Here’s the first pair, (of a probable MANY)…using mystery wools bought second hand SO CHEAPLY…

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Aren’t they pretty?

The next pair…in Bernat Felting wool, the green mix…slightly modified to make the back a little lower on the heel…

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I feel like casting on another pair, lol. Of course, the good news is that if I make too many, they all fit me perfectly 😉

Hello Winter!

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The icicles are great knitting inspiration! Seems we can’t warm up fast enough this week — winter’s come so early this year!

I’m working on some felted Ribby Slipper Socks (from the holiday IK) using some mystery wool. I needed to give my hands a break after knitting the first of the floral mittens — I find it works best for me if I break up working on things using fine yarns with chunkier yarns. Saves my hands from the ‘I-can’t-grip’ syndrome.

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I suppose another alternative would be to take a break (what is a break?) but I’m not even sure I know how anymore, lol.

The socks are done except for the cuffs — I’m felting them (or trying to) in the sink to hopefully avoid over-felting (not a satisfying experience – been there, done that) in the washer. I HOPE they turn out nice! The pattern doesn’t call for felting so I’m winging that part. I’m going to do the cuffs in superwash after the feet are dry — maybe, depending on the final fabric, I’ll needle felt them too.

Up next – finishing the mittens. Next next? Sewing the quilt. May the Christmas elves be with me! LOL. Happy crafting 🙂

Pretty Mittens

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I’ve started knitting another pair of mittens (more for Christmas!). I’m using knitpicks ‘palette’ in assorted colours, from my stash. They’re turning out really pretty 🙂 I’m hoping I don’t run short of the black. I definitely need to get myself a bunch more…I love having the palette around for all kinds of colour work and felting. It’s great to have all the colours to choose from! Maybe Santa will bring me some more…

The Beaumonde Inspired Hat!

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I’m so pleased with this hat!! I love how the cable decreases came out sort of ‘leaf’ looking.

It is ladies medium, I would say. I used the drop stitch idea in the first bit and then had it come together on top. The needles are 5 mm and I used my handspun superwash merino – about a heavy worsted I’d say.

The credit goes to SmarieK for her beautiful cables and her fabulous ‘Beaumonde scarf’ pattern – I’ve put this hat pattern in my pages if anyone is interested in making it 🙂

Enjoy 🙂

Fabulous Cables!

So, it SNOWED here last night — it even stuck to the ground!!

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I’ve been working on a beautiful cabled scarf using some olive green superwash merino which I spun on my baby (the Kromski wheel) earlier this year. I was planning to use if for the ‘bella’ pattern but I think it’s a little thicker than I’d like. I seem to spin a heavier-than-I’d-like worsted. Oh well 🙂 The yarn is working out nicely on 5 mm needles for the Beaumonde Scarf by Smariek knits. What an excellent pattern maker she is! I love this scarf and most of her other patterns as well 🙂

Definitely have a look – I think you’ll love her patterns too…

A Hat For My Husband

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Another thing for my Christmas gift collection 🙂

I used Patons Classic Merino in paprika for this project…a wool I’ve had in the stash for a few years now. It’s nice to use up the odds and ends! It was left over from a sweater I made myself back when…the obligitory ‘extra’ ball just in case of unforseen shortage or disaster, lol. He quite likes oranges so I’m thinking he will like this hat.

The pattern is ‘A hat fit for a boyfriend’ and is available for free. I think it’s an excellent pattern and have already knitted three of these so far. It’s quick, easy and looks nice when finished!

I’m really feeling the time flying by…just over a month to go. I want to make so many things in so little time, lol. Wish me luck 🙂

It’s Perfect!

I’ve finished my version of ‘Starsky’ (by Jordana Paige) and I have to say it’s turned out amazing!

A couple pics…front and back…

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I made a few modifications…beginning with the yarn. The pattern calls for a bulky yarn (knitpicks sierra) but I used Bernat ‘denim style’ (cotton/acrylic blend) and I really think it’s a great choice. It’s light and warm/cozy at the same time, completely machine washable too! The denim style SAYS it’s worsted but it knitted like a bulky for me.

I knit the body and sleeves in the round rather than including seaming in the design. I joined the shoulders with a three needle bind off to eliminate seaming there too. The ONLY seams are those used to set in the sleeves.

I made the sleeve cuffs a little longer than the pattern calls for. I also incorporated one panel of the pattern, centred, up each sleeve. I like the texture and it made the knitting more interesting too 🙂

Mine is the small size and the pattern is available free, from Knitty. I have yet to decide on a fastener or knitting an i-cord tie…

It fits perfectly and the yarn is really too comfy to describe. I can see me making more things with this lovely yarn 🙂

I Knitted Those Mittens (And Finished That Blanket!)

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They are the heart mittens – the pattern is available for free.

They knitted up quickly using worsted weight yarn and size 3 mm needles. I used an acrylic/tencel blend (black) and Bernat ‘glow in the dark’ in a baby blue (looks white). I think the glow in the dark is a neat idea 🙂 They will be for one of my girls for Christmas.

I got the neatest pattern book today – I’m a magazine junkie, lol – for a knitted ‘advent tree’ and 24 tiny knitted ornaments. The tree is so-so but the ornaments are definitely calling me! I’m wondering if they wouldn’t be sweet to use up bits of sock yarn left over from other projects. I KNEW I was keeping that for a GOOD reason 😉

I really need to finish up my sweater – and show it. I’m not even sick of knitting it, just terribly side tracked with my Christmas list…

Less Than A Round To Go…

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The pattern is free, if you’re interested in making this (or a variation of this!).

This is the blanket I’m making out of mostly stash boucle, along with some fluffy stuff and the odd ball of wool. Thank GOODNESS it’s almost done because I swear my hands are seizing up! I dropped my coffee pot today because I had no grip, lol…it was an extremely sad moment — thankfully my coffee pot also brews into cups 🙂

I so want to knit something small, like a mitten! I’m going to reward myself with that whenever this is done, hopefully tomorrow. And work on the quilt, oh, and the sweater….and sometime find time to clean the house,lol…

A Little Of This, A Little Of That…

I’ve been working on a bunch of things lately — I’m hoping to have some nice gifts ready to give at Christmastime!

Here is a new picture of the quilt (for my daughter) – I’ve almost completely finished the applique, so far.

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Here is a picture of the blanket I’m making for my husband….I’m using some new yarn (to tie it together, I hope) and some from the stash…

Christmas Cozy Blanket

Here is one of the sweater (well, the sleeve) I’m working on – probably for me 🙂 I’m using denim style yarn and I love it so much – so soft and cozy too!

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I Feel Like Getting Cozy

So I’ve decided that my cone of silky wool (unknown really but I can tell it is natural fibres and very very soft) wants to become a Laminaria shawl!

It’s perfect for a shawl and there is lots of it on the cone. I can’t wait to cuddle up in this 🙂 I’m using a 4 mm needle and I like how it drapes so far.

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Of course, this means I had to frog the apres surf hoodie I was working on – 🙂

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