Monday, December 27, 2010

FO: Grey one row scarf

Really pleased with how this came out.


Couldn't blog about it just in case it was discovered and the surprise ruined...


The yarn is a very subtly shifting grey, Zitron Unisono sock yarn with aloe and jojoba in it (2 skeins, knit on size 4 needles). The recipient is naturally skeptical about wool - because he hasn't been exposed to enough soft beautiful fine wools. I am working on that.


It's about twice as long as I am tall, which looked a bit silly on me, but much more proportional on someone who is 6'2. Also I knew I could easily shorten it if necessary, so might as well knit until the yarn was all gone. This pattern, the One Row Scarf from Stephanie Pearl-McPhee, is fantastic, just interesting enough to keep you going but just one row repeated over and over until you run out of yarn or get tired of it. The resulting texture is lovely, stretchy and interesting but not too busy for a subtly semi-solid yarn.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010


Oh hai.

So this is something new:

The first month I've sold enough patterns to merit a little payment due back to Ravelry. I paid them $1.40 with pleasure - they've certainly earned it. It's a little odd that November 2010 has been my biggest month yet, despite the fact that I haven't written up a new pattern in over two years. Might even be three. All proceeds went to Movember, and then some, so maybe that encouraged some to buy the Subtle Stripe, I don't know.

But yay!

Lately I have pretty much been working on gifts that I don't dare post pics of or talk about. So sorry for the lack of knitting content but that is just how it is. I have at least a couple of projects for me planned for the winter months and especially the week between Christmas and New Years when I will have the whole week off (I cannot WAIT!), and those I can post pics of and tell you about.

On the subject of NaknitMo, I basically completed the 30K goal but haven't updated in the last couple of days on Ravelry. I was up to 28K something, and have done a bit more knitting, just about enough, I think, but I have more than full time work right now and it can be hard to fit in enough knitting time! My resolution for the new year will be to change that.

Meanwhile, happy knitting!

Friday, November 12, 2010

Ravelry reaches 1M members!

OMG half an hour ago (what serendipitous timing!) Ravelry had its one millionth member sign up!! I am so impressed. Well done, Ravelry lovelies, well done!

That is all. Please return to your weekend knitting. I am swatching something from New England Knits out of ultra alpaca light. Yay!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

holiday knitting animation

Have you started your holiday knitting? I've been out of the crafty loop, I'm still working on summer wedding gifts. And no time for recently born second cousins, either. Yipes!

I just saw Franklin's latest blog post, check out the awesome animation he did up about holiday knitting. Because knitting a sweater is like saying I love you 150 thousand times in a row.

And that's Crazytown.

Monday, November 1, 2010

NaKnitMo 2010

So last year I participated in National Knitting Month, where you knit toward a goal number of stitches during the month of November. At the time I kept a little progress bar showing my progress, but now I don't know what I did with that code, so I'll be sorting out a new progress bar or using the code that I currently have in place to track progress on individual projects.

I wrote about my success in upping my goal and surpassing 50K stitches last November, here.

I'm no longer a full time student, or a student at all, but I have full time work plus I live/work in residence and also am marking papers for an undergrad course. Yeah, that last one, I wouldn't have taken the position if I had had the full time day job(s) when they offered it to me. But whatcanyoudo? I won't look for extra work next term, that is for sure.

Knitting time has been hard to come by and I'm not sure what kind of goal to put on my month. I do have a weekend trip coming up and plans for a portable gift knit, which I'm not talking about right now. I'm also currently wrapping up a rather large gift knit, which partially explains why it has been so post-less around here, but that should be done soon.

I also have a lovely pink cardigan for me that is just languishing for lack of an icord edging, and I'm going to try to get that back on track tonight, because then I'll have a new sweater. Yay. And with the stitch counting in November the finishing falls by the wayside. As far as a goal goes, I started at the base 30K last year. If I'm at half of that by the middle of the month I'll think about rejigging my goal.

Happy fall knitting!

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Gaspereau Wayzgoose 2010 - book binding workshop

Two years ago I managed to make it to the Gaspereau Press Wayzgoose, a printing festival at an independent printing press an hour outside of Halifax. I participating in a paper marbling workshop, and had a grand time.

This year I mentioned the annual event to two friends who were keen to go for the bookbinding workshop, and we were lucky enough to snag a couple of spots. So early Saturday morning we were up and in the car with our coffee mugs and we arrived in Kentville NS just in time to select the papers we wanted to use for the covers of our journals.


There was careful stitching of blocks of carefully folded paper:



I documented parts of the process on a new hand-me-down iphone I’d just hooked up with a monthly plan the day before. I don’t know why I hadn’t thought to bring my camera but this worked great!


We glued spine bits together, covering up all that lovely careful stitching.


We built the actual hardback, piece by piece:


Lots of steps, eventually the books were all stacked in a press to give the final squeeze. It was such a cool process.


We saw demos of several different printing presses, tried out a couple, and talked to the people who were working them. I got a few really awesome posters from Amos Kennedy Jr, who is apparently famous though we didn’t know it at the time! I’m looking forward to getting these into simple frames so they won’t get damaged. They make a fab set.


The three I got are all about coffee, which was a big theme.

Also, the Press blogged some photos of the event, and if you know what the back of my head looks like you might see me in one or two of them ;)

We had a lovely lunch in the middle of things, then a lovely coffee at an independent cafe/coffee roaster on our way home. We left before 8 am and didn’t get back until 5! I was zonked. But it was great. And I have the loveliest handmade journal to show for it.


Wednesday, October 6, 2010

unillustrated update

In brief... my knitting time seems to have completely evaporated. It's fall weather, today I am sporting my original Clapotis (from 2005, before this blog began) and I had a thought that it might be nice to cast on for another after taking several years off after knitting four of them. I have still been accumulating some lovely yarns, and simple projects are most definitely the order of the ... times.

Mythos (the pink cardigan in my last post) is seamed and the pieces grafted and I just need to do the edging - which will involve shortening the sleeves since I ran out of yarn, and I don't have any pictures. But it's lovely and I am thinking about knitting another one with more yarn perhaps in a bigger size or with a slightly bulkier yarn because honestly the knitting for this was done in about ten days, it's just the finishing that is holding things up - because I am run off my feet with other things. Anyway!

How is your fall knitting going? Sorry for the quietness around here!

Monday, August 9, 2010

Knit Camp 2010

While I was home in Vermont I got lucky and the timing was perfect to attend my first ever knitting retreat: KnitCamp!


It was easy camping, with a leanto, lots of yummy food, and friends. And knitting for two days straight. With s'mores. What is not to like?


(that would be my knitting, a pink cardigan I'll show off later...)

Super pancakes and amazing maple smoked thick cut bacon:


We almost had a coffee disaster (ok, we totally had a coffee disaster) but it all turned out ok in the end, see these smiles?


Breakfast the second morning was gorgeous french toast and breakfast sausages from BH's parents, I do love knowing where my meat comes from:


This is Petey, he totally made our circle of knitters his pack and made sure to investigate anyone who came near. The rest of the time he snoozed quietly.


Thursday, August 5, 2010

Vermont Knit Camp ahoy!

Sorry, no pictures, though I've started a couple of super fun new projects and also acquired some new yarn yesterday.

Why new yarn when I've been sooo good for soooo long? Because I am going to Vermont Knit Camp this weekend and suddenly became very afraid that I did not have enough projects with me to allow me to knit basically nonstop during daylight hours all afternoon Friday, all day Saturday, and who knows? probably a chunk of Sunday morning as well.

The weather is going to be nice. There will be lovely people. Lots of food to share and enjoy. And as much knitting as I can handle for 48 hours. Woooooo!

Monday, July 26, 2010

WIP: Handkerchief Tee f/b

We have a front and back for the Handkerchief Tee, which is such a nicely written pattern once you master the lace.


It took me two or three tries to get properly cast on for the skirt section, which was mildly frustrating. It's a provisional cast on, and when you need to join to knit in the round and the very first round is the lace chart in four sections with a different lace section at the corners, it is very hard to keep track of not twisting your work, and also getting the lace set up correctly. Yikes. I ended up knitting the first few rows flat and joining once I could be sure I had the pattern established and could join without twisting. I'm now working in the round and have several inches of the skirt knit but it looks just like the earlier pieces (except it can't lay flat) so I didn't take a picture yet. I'm really excited to wrap up this project because I think it's going to look fantastic layered over lots of different things.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

WIP: Tilted Duster

A quick update on my Tilted Duster - recently we've been having a lot of hot weather here in Nova Scotia but before that there was a cool period when I was able to focus a bit on this project, including figuring out how I would pick up stitches around the arm hole and knit down, wanting more control over the final length of the sleeves than I usually have. Also I don't enjoy setting in sleeves.


The bit of pink in there is a yarn held together with the working yarn when I picked up sts, to use later for tightening up the gap in picked up stitches and the sleeve. I think it's going to work out beautifully.

Here we are with more of the sleeve cap knit:


Basically you pick up sts around, divide each side by three, and work a short row sleeve cap back and forth, picking up another st on each side as you go. I had lots of help from here (video)and here.

With the recent hot weather I've gone back to knitting cotton or linen, but I'm excited to have the Duster finished for late fall/early winter this year.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Sheldon knits

I am so loving this Sheldon comic series lately, you have to check it out:

Sheldon knits. Yay, knitting comics!

Have a great day, hopefully there will be some knitting content this weekend. I have several good sized projects that just need some attention and will be finished. Then I can start really planning for Vermont knit camp at Groton State Park!

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Virginia yarns...

I'm in Richmond VA for about 48 hours (slightly less) so of course I had to check out the nearest yarn shop to the inn I'm staying at, nevermind the 96 degree heat or nasty humidity or thunderstorm that threatened this dedicated pedestrian.

Thirty-three blocks later (blisters forming) my water bottle was empty, it was sprinkling (completely different from Halifax in that rather than walking through thick fog or a very disperse rain storm the drops were huge and splatty) and I reached the Yarn Lounge.

I made several rounds of the lovely shop while it started pouring with a vengeance outside (apparently there has been no rain for ages, though it seems green and humid enough to me!) and chatted with the staff and knitters around the work table. I fell in love with Rowan's Lima yarn and want to buy a bag for a super cozy fall sweater asap. The colors are heathered and elegant, the construction is a thick lofty cable sort of thing that I usually don't go for, but I saw several pieces knitted up and they were stunning. It's mostly alpaca with a bit of merino and nylon and I feel like the construction would make it fairly hard wearing and unlikely to sag. I want some. The color choice will be hard. Also at $14 per 109 yd ball and me with a carry on and still on that pesky student budget, a sweater's worth was not in the cards today.

One of the lovely ladies there let me fill up my water bottle from their water cooler when I simply was looking for a tap, and I finished it in no time as the rain settled and I set back out for the hotel to get in a cold shower before being picked up for (a job interview) dinner! Crashing very soon with a full day of more interviewy stuff tomorrow.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

WIP: Tilted Duster

It's a bit chilly in Halifax at the moment, and the time is good for working on my Tilted Duster, which has been languishing.


I really like how this is coming out, and think it just might be my go-to cozy sweater this fall and winter. I'm working on the skirt, which is coming along very quickly, since it's 4.5 stitches to the inch and simple increases along the sides, along this triangle of stockinette which is developing by each hip.


I've just been poking around online looking for advice on how to work the sleeves from the top down. I'd really like to have control over how long the sleeves are, and I usually find that when I work them from the cuff up, even if I do some math to get the sleeve cap right, the length can sometimes end up being off.

I think it'll work with some short rows, and I found a useful video explaining the technique, plus various blog posts, of course. I have a smaller cone of this yarn and am thinking of trying out the top down sleeve even as I continue knitting the skirt. The skirt is really good TV knitting, while the short row sleeve cap is going to take more attention.

As for TV watching, I'm halfway through the second season of the Tudors. Poor Sir Thomas More. Ouch.

Monday, June 21, 2010

WIP: Handkerchief Tee

This got put down for a few weeks in favor of the simpler Damson, but I really do like how it's turning out so I'm trying to work through it again. I have to follow the lace chart for every row but I know the pattern well enough now that I can tell when I've gone off the rails, so that's something.


I've finished one of the top pieces, and am nearly halfway through the second one. Then I get to join them together and work the skirt piece, and I think it'll go fairly quickly. I also located the elusive 7th ball, hiding below a bunch of other summery cotton I'd like to use in the next month or two, and I think it'll take just about as much of the Elann Nilo as I have to finish this project.


Sunday, June 20, 2010

FO: Damson

I'm back! Sorry about the hiatus, I've been in a French immersion program for five weeks. There wasn't as much time for knitting as I would have liked but I did manage to finish Damson pretty quickly and wear it out a few times, even to a fancy dress river cruise.


The yarn is Estelle Cadenza, lovely and drapey with the silk in it. I used about 1.2 skeins, so I have a bit left over for something else... maybe another Lace Ribbon scarf?

And, hoping that if I had a simple project to work on I'd be able to watch French movies and still keep my hands moving, I picked up a pretty skein of alpaca at a local yarn shop (yeah, souvenir yarn!) and cast on for another Damson. I messed up the stitch count but decided it just doesn't matter enough to go back. Funny, because the first one turned out perfectly with zero effort on my part.


The colors are much more fall-like. I'm ok with that. It's another Estelle yarn, I only realized when I went to start the project in Ravelry. This time it's Arequipa, a wool-alpaca-nylon blend that is fuzzier than the Cadenza.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

WIP: Damson

I'm making progress on Damson, it's a nice simple pattern to take along when I putter around town. You know, just in case.


The yarn is difficult to photograph, probably due to my utter lack of an appropriate white box type space. It's a marine blue with dark plummy purples and deep teals. Yum. It's not going to be the world's most stunning shawl, as the pattern is quite simple and I've decided not to do any lace inserts, which I would have liked but just didn't feel like working out. But as a simple pattern to be wrapped around like a chunky scarf in a gorgeous yarn, it'll do nicely.


Tuesday, May 4, 2010

WIP: Tilted Duster

Whoah, this one took a long hiatus. As I wrapped up Rosamund's Cardigan and started thinking about other large projects, I unearthed the back piece of the Tilted Duster from the Fall 2007 IK. It was nearly finished so I quickly got that part done and then before I knew it I had knit the front and back top pieces as well, because they're so small by themselves and a large collar will be knit on later to cover most of the chest.


I've now attached the fronts to the back at the sides and shoulders and picked up all along the bottom edge to knit on the skirt. I'm only a few rows in but it's a lovely place to be in a big project like this, because it's the bulk of the mindless work. I chose to work the skirt next rather than the sleeves, as the pattern calls for, but I might take a break at some point from the skirt to work the sleeves, as I see how far this amount of yarn takes me.


The yarn is a custom blend of alpaca, silk, and wool, in various shades of gray/silver, that I built at Yarnia in Portland in the summer of 2008. The weather in Nova Scotia is still cool, so it's not bad to be working on a piece that promises to be a lovely sweatercoat for fall.

Monday, May 3, 2010

WIP: Handkerchief Tee

In late March, I started Petrie, from the latest Knitty.


I added in a faux side seam and worked some waist shaping, though the pattern doesn't call for it. The fabric was coming out well enough and it was about the right size but I just didn't feel like I would ever be excited to wear something so simple and plain.


CK sent me the spring 2010 IK and the Handkerchief Tee caught my eye so I swatched and am working on the top back part now with the same Elann Nilo yarn in bronzed olive. Much better. I swatched on 5s and it came out too big so I'm using 4s; it's a drapey forgiving sort of top that I can wear over a tank or a dress, so I'm hoping the sizing will come out ok, and also that I'll have enough yarn! Luckily I can just knit the skirt until I run out of yarn.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

FO: Rosamund's Cardigan

Rosamund, modified with a cabled lower hem.


She is sans buttons for now, but I'll probably wear the sweater with something stuck through the front until I can find bigger buttons. I had a couple I thought might work but the wool is so sturdy and substantial that I think I'll keep looking for bigger ones. I also haven't sewn in any hook and eye closures, as I'm not sure I'll want them once there are buttons on.

Here are a few images from the hem-attaching process, in case anyone's inspired to try the same modification.


I first knit the two vertical bands a few extra inches beyond the length of the st st body. My cabled bands are about three inches wide so I knew that would be how much extra length the cabled horizontal hem would add. I picked up and knit 12 sts along the edge of the extended vertical band, then kfb into each st on the way back and also added an extra selvedge stitch to use to attach the horizontal cable hem to the body later. So with 25 stitches, I worked the triple cable, leaving that selvedge st in stockinette, until I had enough length to match up with the body width. This took awhile, since I was just working the cable and nothing else. I blocked the entire thing to see what would happen with the cable, and I was glad, because it really stretched out lengthwise when wet blocked.

Eventually I felt I had about the right length, and I set about attached it to the live body stitches. That didn't worked well, and I was nervous about the stability of the lower hem, so I ended up binding off the stockinette body stitches and then attaching the cabled hem to the BO sts.


I worked under two strands of the cabled selvedge, and under two BO stitches at a time. I used safety pins to line up the hem with the body at six inch intervals, so I could try to make sure I was using enough of the cabled hem to match up with the body.



It was a bit fiddly, but I'm pretty pleased with the result.


Monday, April 19, 2010

WIP roundup

Lots of WIPs around.

I finally started that second lace border on Bridgewater. I love the way it is looking, and I think it'll block out fantastically. I just hope I don't run out of yarn, because I don't have much left and might be trawling Ravelry for matching laceweight before this is over.


The spiral scarf is on hexagon number 9 now, who knows how far I'll take it - I have lots of this beautiful yarn and am not sure what the rest of it will become. I think I'll be blocking it to see how it looks and if I want to add some bigger hexagons too.


I started Ysolda's Damson last night, knowing I'd be on a car ride today. I didn't get a chance to knit, though, because there was a dog who wanted to snuggle the whole way, which was fine. We saw lots of lambs and sheep on a farm, and there will be a post about that as soon as I download the pictures!


The yarn is Estelle Cadenza handpaints, 80% merino, 20% tussah silk. It's so lovely.

Now and again I pick up my red Leyburn sock and knit a few rows. The needles are rubbish, just the Susan Bates aluminum ones from the craft section of a Walmart. They are bending a lot with all the pressure I put on them trying to keep my stitches tiny and tight.


And finally, I have been going around and around with Petrie. I do not love it. I love the yarn, and I like the idea of a simple boatneck sort of tank, but I don't think I will wear it because it won't be that flattering on my curves. It has been knit up to the underarms, more or less.


I am thinking of swatching a bit with the remaining yarn, and then making a decision. I am thinking of doing something lacy that I can wear over a commercial tank top, and since I just received CK's copy of the new IK in the mail, I am thinking of the Handkerchief Tee or the Double V Cardigan. Time for swatching! Because I clearly don't have enough WIPs...

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Lamby goodness

I had the fun chance to visit a sheep farm south of Halifax over the weekend. Lots of lambs!


Here's a soon-to-be mama...


Her next door neighbor, a pregnant Romney:


Out in the field...


I got to give a whole bottle of milk to this little one.


It was a really fun field trip.