Another post already! Lets be honest, this is happening people. I’ve been listening to knitting podcasts monogamously and that usually gets my knitting mojo up and running. Although now I am slightly depressed because all I want to do is knit, but it’s getting onto to busy season and I’ve got tons of stuff to do.
I’ve actually sewn a couple things. Yes, sue me, sewing. My mom got a new machine so I’ve ‘borrowed’ her old one to work on building some skills. While we were at Quilts at the Creek I bought a couple different fabrics and my mom and I made a bag. It’s a knitting project bag and really quite large, as I intended it to be! I used some of the scraps to make a smaller bag. I think I have enough for one more even. I’ll have to check when I have a spare second.
I’ve been steadily knitting along on my Galaxy Bone Yard. I went to a cottage weekend with friends this past weekend and brought it with me. When I am the ‘host’ of something like a cottage weekend and am sleeping in a strange place I don’t sleep well, so I was up at 6am both days. I just sat out by the lake and knit on this shawl. I think I might have accomplished a lot, but it’s really hard to tell. I’ve been used to knitting things that self-stripe where you can really see the progress. I’ve got over 800 yards of this yarn designated for this shawl and I intend to knit it all.
The Galaxy yarn is a darker colour as well, so it is a bit boring because of that as well. I really like how it is knitting up though. There are little pops of colour here and there.
I’ve also cast on another project. I had an unfortunate happening with the last sweater I made… it was really complicated, the size was off, etc. Whatever could have gone wrong with this thing, did. I was going to make the Rocky Coast Cardigan but thought it was a bit complicated and the yarn wouldn’t lend itself well to this project. The yarn is a baby alpaca so I am looking for something that will not look bad once it grows a little bit. I found the Breezy Cardigan which is open and lovely so I am knitting up that. I am knitting it on size three needles so it might take a while. I am actually insane.
I did a lot of yarn dying this past weekend as well and got to experiment with a couple things. I’ll have to knit up those samples sometime in the near future. Considering I have five socks to knit up and only two hands… this is going to get interesting. I really really need that sock machine right now. I’ve been looking for one that is on sale, but I might just need to seek out someone who is simply willing to knit me some socks on the one they’re not willing to part with.
It’s getting to be that time of the year again and I will see everyone at our next show, the Kitchener/Waterloo knitter’s fair. It’s always a good time and I’m starting to dye stock for it now so we will have a full truck coming there. I think I picked an auspicious time to re-start blogging, but it will have to do!
Alright guys, I know it had been a long time. I may or may not have failed horribly at my free style posting schedule. There were a few times I went to sit down and write a post, but something got in the way or I was sidetracked over to another project. The fact that I am writing this post right now means I am procrastinating something else in order to get this done. I haven’t posted in a long time though and I miss updating everyone with my progress.
I haven’t knit a lot in the past few months, mostly because I’ve been so insanely busy, but I am going to go over everything I’ve knit up to this point. I am also going to update my Ravelry page as well as the knitting history pages here.
My long overdue fair isle hat from Tanis Fiber arts, turned out nice. I made it a bit too small so I am going to go up a needle size or two for the next one. At work some of my knitting friends kept asking if I was done their hat yet. It is a really nice hat and a very lovely pattern, I do encourage you to go check it out! Here is a link for the pattern and TFA website.
I know, someone who dyes yarn promoting other yarn, what is this witchcraft?! No tricks or ploys, it’s something that I have knit with and is excellent quality. I thoroughly enjoy the yarn over at TFA, but I have a shameless plug for my own yarn now. I needed a project with my Aran weight yarn because it wasn’t selling and I have tons of it. I am going to stop carrying it after I sell it because noooooooooobody wants it, actually I have a clever idea to get rid of this yarn and I am not going to share my marketing genius here yet. I thought if I could get a really good project going with this yarn it would motivate people to buy it, especially since I dropped the price on it just to get it moving. No dice. I started a linen stitch scarf in the Topaz label, which is 100% BFL. I was going to do it in the Amber, which has some baby alpaca mixed in with it, but I figured that yarn would sell itself with the power of my awesome sample behind it.
I cast it on the long way, so there are a total of something like 450 stitches on there. I worked on it pretty steadily at first, but then got onto writing posts for other publications. I actually think that project bag has gone slightly askew; no idea where it is. I am going to have to dig it out and get it rolling again.
The first knitting show of the season was the Creativ Festival and then the Knitters Frolic, which was a last minute cancellation invitation. I know that wasn’t clear, but someone cancelled last minute and we were given a call. We went with less stock than I would have liked, but made lots of new connections. I had a great time there. I also met yarning friends! At the CF I met Sarah who was interested in the process of dying yarn. With the CF and the KF so close together (one week apart) I needed all the help I could get so I just invited her over to pitch in with the process. This way, I get an extra pair of hands, and she gets to learn about dying.
I also met Debi at the KF and mostly because of her Tardis tattoo. I reached across my table at the show, grabbed her by the shoulders and said, “Is that a Tardis tattoo?! We should be friends! Be my friend!!!”. Okay, okay… I might have screamed it at her. Her response was, “alright.” I don’t feel like I have scarred her irreparably. We made a deal to trade yarn for a knitting bag. I was looking for Doctor Who fabric bags but couldn’t find any. Debi actually had some fabric at home and would trade bag for yarn. Done deal. Debi came over and helped me dye the yarn, and I actually tried out a new technique for dying it. It turned out not too bad!
The most recent show has been Quilts at the Creek, which is not a knitting show (obviously) but we went along anyway. My mom is a quilter so she obviously, and enthusiastically, volunteered to help us out. It was sweltering hot the first day and not much traffic came through, but on the second day there was a steady flow of people. One of which is my new friend Colum, who I immediately shanghaied into helping me dye yarn sometime.
Speaking of salves…. Er…. Friends I mean, I met this really neat lady named Renee in a Tim Hortons parking lot. Mostly because she purchased yarn online and lived pretty close to me so we worked out a time for exchange (which I do for anyone local). We clicked right off and started talking yarn and all things fiber. As it turns out, she is a knit-ware designer. We’ve been keeping in touch via email or text and keeping a solid line open for any really excellent ideas that come this way!
What have I been working on lately!? Well I started a boneyard shawl with the yarn I dyed with Debi. It’s all updated on my Ravelry page, so if you want to check out the colour go on over. I’ve also been working on my grandmother’s sweater. Yes…. That thing. It’s been the project that plagues me and has plagued me for years. I need to get this thing on the go and out of my UFO bin. My grandmother hasn’t been well, so I have been sending good vibes and thinking of her while I knit the sweater. I actually steeked out the one back panel to make it a front because there is no way this was going to happen if I had to do that many cables on the front and back. I am going to do the back plain and get this sweater going. Just call me turbo knitter because I am making TRACKS on this bad boy….. that being said I think I have finished one sleeve in the past several weeks…
That is the highlights reel from the past several months, the next show we’ve got coming up is the Kitchener/Waterloo Knitters fair on September 10th, 2016. I hope to see a lot of people there and I will, hopefully, post before then. Please feel free to tweet, email, rav message me to get my butt in gear about posting. I love the challenge and motivation of knowing other people are out there reading.
Posting schedule! I re-evaluate the posting schedule every year to see where I am in my life, what the stats are telling me and if I get any general comments about posting. Blogging is an interesting experience because you pour out bits of your soul, put blood, sweat and tears into it and you generally feel like you are blindfolded, talking into an empty room. There is a sense of a presence here and there, but until you get comments, emails or actually run into someone at a craft show, there is a huge sense of “Hello? Is this thing on?” (If anyone feels like they must take action immediately to quash these feelings, we have a Ravelry group where everyone can connect)
This past year has been crazy for me personally, as well as with Stitch Please, Stitches be Slippin’, KNITmuch and Addicted to Sock Knitting; not to mention a personal life that happens somewhere in there. I am a schedule-y person and I like structure, but I feel like I need to give the blog a bit of an organic life of it’s own. When I am knitting a lot, I will write about it, when I am not really knitting, I will post less frequently. I think this is going to keep my posts fresher. One of the things my blog stats were telling me is Wednesday posts were the ones everyone was most interested in. Those are the ones where I wrote about what I was knitting, how things were going with it, likes, dislikes, general plans for future knitting. Those are the posts I really enjoy writing and it seems like everyone enjoys reading them, so I’ll do more posts like that.
Since this is going to be a new format, if there is anything anyone wants to read about, wants me to try, has suggestions at all, please let me know. I am on twitter, Instagram, Ravelry, Facebook, email. Most social media platforms have a way to personal message people, just in case you don’t want to make a public comment.
I’ll also make sure to keep everyone apprised of upcoming shows, events, when I am writing other places. I hope everyone has an excellent New Year and keep on knitting!
I know, it’s been a while, but it was a good time off! I’ve started a hat, kept knitting on a sock sample, I got suckered into knitting something for a secret Santa at work. It ended up being not too terrible and I got to try a pattern that I wanted. I am going to start with that since it is the thing that was most recent and fresh in my mind.
At work, I am kind of the token member of the department. There are 9 people and they all work together, but I work alone. I am just stuck onto the side in order to be part of some kind of department. This being the case, I only know a couple of them on a personal level. Of course I had picked the name of a person who was A) new to the department and B) someone I had next to no interaction with. The whole crux of this secret Santa was that the gift had to be handmade. I may or may not have laughed in a maniacal manner when they said it had to be handmade. I was so prepared for this!
Usually I have a small amount of gifts that were already knit up for just such a purpose as this! Unfortunately I didn’t have anything that would work. I was watching my victim… I mean… giftee, to try to attain the perfect knitted accessory for her. I didn’t have time to do a sweater and she is very fashion forward. I decided to do something in a neutral colour in a shawl for her. That way it would match with everything! The fact that I’ve been dying to try out Hunter Hammersen’s Curls patterns was just a happy coincidence. I picked one of the easier patterns because I really didn’t have time to make something complicated. There was only a week’s worth of time to get it ready and there was a lot of actual Christmas shopping to do before then. I used some yarn from the stash and it worked out really perfect.
That’s not to say I didn’t go through a couple different variations. I tried two different types of yarn before I got the perfect one. I was slightly attached to this yarn, because there was some alpaca in it and it was so SO SO soft. It was black and white and I knew these weren’t colours that I would wear. Finally conceding that this was for a good cause and it would be selfish of me to keep yarn just for the purpose of feeling it up. The curl itself actually could not have turned out more perfect. There were two balls of this amazing yarn so I kept knitting on it right up until the night before I was supposed to give it as a gift. I just needed to do two rows in garter stitch then bind off and block, so I made it as big as I could have. The only photos I have are of it blocking and soaking. I never managed to get a photo of it on her or anything, but it saves me the extra step of attempting to explain what the photo was for and getting her permission to have her image displayed here. I really loved knitting this curl and I really hope I get the opportunity to make more in the future!
The hat I was working on is a colour work hat I have been intending to make for about 2 years… possibly 3? It’s one of Tanis Fiber Arts Four Seasons Hat kits, I bought two just before they were out of production. I love colour work. I could work colour until the cows came home, left, then came home again, so it isn’t really surprising that I was all over this like white on rice. I think my gauge might be a little small though. All the people who have ever taken a class from me will gasp in horror that I DIDN’T DO A GAUGE SWATCH!! I know. Take a deep breath, it’s going to be okay. I am really hoping none of my students are actually reading this and if they are… this is one of those “do as I say not as I do” moments.
I think I can block it a little bigger. I am not worried that it won’t fit or anything, but I originally wanted it to be a bit roomy. We will see. I always have the next one if this one doesn’t turn out exactly as I planned. Now that I’ve been keeping my hair short I really appreciate all the hats and scarves that I have knit in the past. Having long hair actually keeps you rather warm, I never realized how much. Mind you, I really don’t miss it. I dislike being too warm, so layering scarves and hats really suits me.
The sample sock I’ve been working on is something of a prototype for self striping Christmas colours. I am not sure if I want to share it yet, I am going to release it next year. I was thinking about trying to get it out before Christmas this year, but I really didn’t have the mental space to do it.
Look out for my next post talking about the scheduling of blog posts for the next year! If you miss me, it would make my day if you commented or emailed and let me know! I know I missed you!
This technical Tuesday is not going to be as technical in a knitting sense. As you might have noticed, last week I completely lost track of time and managed not to do any posts. I wasn’t heading into the office on Wednesday, so I definitely forgot to write my posts until Wednesday because I thought it was the weekend. Then I just would have had Thursday’s post up, but at that point it seemed a little pointless as Thursday is my off-topic day.
The latest self striping sock I dyed for Halloween. Colour name: Witches Britches.
Every January I re-assess the blog, what I am writing, when I am writing etc; I am going to be doing that again this January. I do this to keep up with my needs and what is working for me at that point in time. The past two months have been so crazy busy that I am going to take the rest of November and December to go back and just post when I feel like it.
Schedules are great and I am definitely a fan, but when you’re too dependent on the schedule sometimes content starts to feel too planned. I am going to take some of the time I would be writing and put that time into knitting. Then WRITE ABOUT it! It probably won’t be a whole lot at first, but I do have some fun things still planned. I’ve been sent a product to review, so that will be coming up very soon. I’m currently still testing it out!
As most of you know, the current kitty count went down by one a few months ago. Recently, Paul and I have welcomed two kittens home. The story is kind of twisty, but it starts by getting added to a Siamese cat breeder’s waitlist.
There wasn’t originally supposed to be an opening until early 2016, but as it turns out there were a few people on the list ahead of us who wanted to wait. Paul and I went for a meet and greet and picked out our little kitten. We picked her out in the middle of September, but had to wait till she was 12 weeks to bring her home; that landed us on October 30th. Over the next few weeks, we decided to name her Luna, because the Thai name of Siamese actually translates to moon diamond; so it is fitting.
In the beginning of October Paul and I were talking about Luna and when she was going to come home when Paul made the suggestion that perhaps she would need a friend. Our other cats were all a similar age, within a year of one another, so they all got along and had a similar energy level. They’re older, and introducing a kitten now would be a bit of a different story. I started looking for kittens at shelters who were Siamese or Siamese mixed. Siamese cats have a very high energy level which lasts past the kitten stage, I was hoping for two kittens with a fairly even energy level.
I had sent quite a few emails about kittens, but most were already adopted or there was an adoption pending, when I finally found this guy.
On the Petfinder page his name was Caleb, I immediately sent an email about him and set up a time to go see him. The lady who was fostering him told us about his past situation, he was rescued from a hoarders house who had 40 cats. He wasn’t socialized very well so he would take some time to come around. We brought him home on October 24th and decided to name him Solaris. He was very nervous and hid under the bed in our spare room, I realized that he wasn’t socialized well so he wasn’t going to come out on his own when either Paul or myself was in the room. We started to handle him more; pick him up from under the bed and sit beside him and give him lots of pets. The very first time we did this, he started purring almost instantly. He is a very sweet boy who loves to play. He slid in with the other cats almost seamlessly, if one of them hisses he moves away but is totally unfazed. In the week we had him, he went from hiding under a bed to running around and playing like he owned the house.
On October 30th we picked up Luna; this could not have gone more differently. She was fine in her room with Paul or I, but as soon as one of us would leave she would start screaming. It’s amazing how such a loud sound can come from such a small cat. We followed along the steps for integrating a new cat into your house, but whenever we got to the point of seeing other cats, even if there was a gate between them, she was hissing, spitting and growling like crazy. I wasn’t sure what to do because, when we weren’t with her, she was either hissing and spitting at the other cats or yowling about being alone in a room. She would not calm down either, I tried to let her cry a bit to see if she would settle down, but she just got more and more worked up. So we let her out.
Took out the gate separating the cats because the larger cats weren’t hostile towards her, she was the one making all the noise. The other cats just looked at her like’ you don’t even weigh a pound, what are you talking about?’
Solaris was a perfect little gentleman and would follow Luna at a distance, when she noticed she would turn around and hiss at him. He would lay down where he was and when she started walking again he would keep following her. He wants to be friends so badly. He finally got tired of being patient and he would run up to her and pounce, then run away. She finally realized that he wasn’t hurting her and chasing each other around was actually fun. They’re totally friends now. Playing and running around. Paul thinks they were cuddling the other day, but got up when he walked in the room.
It’s all a happy kind of chaos and the older ladies are just happy the kittens have each other to entertain themselves.
Well all the shows are now complete, it’s been an absolutely crazy two months. I feel pretty burned out from all the prep-work of getting these shows together so I haven’t been working on too much knitting. There have been a lot of mundane things like cleaning the house, restocking the cabinets, a lot of meal prep for the next couple months. I’ll write about that on a Thursday though, I am way too proud of myself to keep that from you!
I have been working on socks, of course, what else would I be working on? The purple gradient sock I dyed is starting to knit up nicely, the colour-shift near the toe is a bit harsh, but we will see what it looks like on the other one. I would post photos of it but Paul has ABSCONDED with my knitting yet again.
I should be fair, this is the sock that I keep in the car. I always knit on it when we are in transit from one place to another. I don’t know if I have mentioned, but Paul and I work at the same office. The other day, he had some training at another office location. This presented something of a problem because we drive to work together; I would have no way home. Thankfully there was someone there who goes home the same way as me and she was able to give me a lift. The crucial part of this story comes when I went out to the car to grab my knitting, so I could knit on my lunch break. Paul had left a half hour before I thought he was going to, so he went to do this training with my knitting in tow.
Instead of sitting and knitting on my lunch break I was now sidelined to surf instagram and the like. Which leads to online shopping, which leads to stash enhancement, which leads to needing a larger house. Let’s just say there is no good ending here! When my knitting friend came across me and noticed I was NOT knitting, I had to inform her about Paul ABSCONDING with my knitting bag.
As I write this post, Paul has taken the car with the knitting in it. I guess this is the downside of car knitting. There usually isn’t a great time when you’re in the car to take photos, but when you want to show off your work, you have to make sure you’re able to grab it out of the car. I am sure this sock will be completed soon and I’ll be able to show FO photos of at least one sock!
I also wanted to mention a couple of prospective projects I am thinking about. I heard about this one on the Knit1Geek2 podcast. A Little Knit Music by Julia Blake. This is a sweater that you knit the treble clef into the yoke of the sweater and put beads where the notes would be. The best part is, they actually make up a melody. As Maggie and Karen suggested, you could knit your own adventure with a melody that means something to you. Their suggestions fell on the geek side, which I heartily approve of, but you could really do it with just about any song!
I also want to get going on a couple hats I have the yarn for. I’ve had this yarn for two years and have been meaning to knit up fair isle hats, but just haven’t had the time or motivation. I’ve got short hair now and it doesn’t cover my ears. I am thinking hats will be an essential staple of my wardrobe this year. I have a few different patterns that I am going to try out. I am going to do two of the Four Seasons hats by Tanis Fiber Arts and give the Whale Watch hat by Kate Gagnon Osborn a try as well. Those are just a couple that I have picked out of a line up. I have sooooo many saved in my Ravelry library, I feel like this will be a slippery slope.
One of the first skills you realize is important is weaving in the ends. Its something that can take your garment from looking home-made to hand-made. Everyone strives for the hand-made look; we’re talking fine Italian suits that are $1000 made by nuns, not a garment that was glue-gunned together in someone’s kitchen.
There is a different kind of weaving for many different kinds of stitches so I’ve also linked the Very Pink Knits videos for garter stitch.
If you’re anything like me and hate to weave in ends at the end of a project, you can always weave them in as you go.
If you’re having problems with your ends staying woven in, check out that first video for sure. It’s an excellent technique and very well explained. It’s almost like back-stitching in sewing. You’re going back to the previous stitch and locking that yarn in even tighter. This is one of those things I learned the hard way, but once you’ve got it, you’re golden!
I know it is a little bit past, but October 18th, Paul and I celebrated our one-year anniversary! It was on a Sunday and that was the day after Creativ Festival and Woodstock Fleece and Fibre, so we mostly celebrated by NOT doing any yarn things.
It doesn’t seem like that long ago that we were in full wedding craziness. There were a few weddings that year in a short period of time, and we were first, which I am glad about. I was able to attend those other weddings and just relax, no worrying about deadlines or getting things done.
I was also able to attend with my husband. Paul and I were engaged for almost three years, so it was high time we actually planned a wedding and tied the knot. Our wedding day was everything I could have dreamed for and I got to marry a very good man, who puts up with a lot of sarcasm and yarn.
The marketplace at the Creativ Festival was really good; huge. We were placed right beside Biscotte Yarns. I had heard of Biscotte Yarns before and their sock-of-the-month club is actually on my wish list. It was really great to be able to sit beside them the whole time and get to know the ladies working the booth. Their yarn is really stunning, especially the self-striping, but everyone here knows about my soft spot for self-striping yarn.
I also took the time to jaunt over to A Needle Pulling Thread and say hello. Everyone there was busy, but I still got to say hello and check in with them. I also took some of their awesome KNITmuch cards back to our booth. There was a ruler on the edges and I thought that was extremely clever. We actually ended up having to tell people that they could take them. Customers would walk by, pick one up, look at it and then put it back. I think they thought it was something we were selling.
I know we are light on photos again, but there are lots and lots of links to look at!
I wasn’t personally at Woodstock, but I had a quick re-cap from my booth bunnies. We were right beside the Alpaca, but nothing got eaten, so I count that in the win column.
One thing that everyone was pleased about was the premier of a new colour! I decided that people had been asking long enough and dyed some yarn a plain black. We called it ‘you never go back’. So many people wanted plain colours to mix with all the really bright yarn, so I’m branching out a bit. Watch the shop for a couple more neutrals in the near future.
I’m lining up all the shows for next year and getting all the pre-orders from the past shows sent out. There will also be an Etsy update soon as well. I have to put up the latest self-striping, Witches Britches, and the newest colour, You Never Go Back. If you’re not signed up to our newsletter, here is a link. I’ll definitely be announcing these things in the newsletters!