MARRIED!!

As you can see, the wedding is finally over! In terms of blog posts this means I am going to be slacking off! I will do posts, Friday, Saturday and Sunday about Vogue Knitting Live, but aside from those three and this post, you won’t be hearing from me! Regular posts will resume on November 3rd. Thanks!!!!

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Packing your Knitting

I’ve officially started packing for the honeymoon! Since I am packing, I decided to go over a couple tips for packing knitting for a trip. Every time, I always pack too much knitting and never get to it all. My problem is, I don’t want to pack one or two small things then get sick of knitting them or finish them. I would be without knitting and that would just be unspeakable.

Travelling with Knitting 2

Speaking of projects, I think I finally got a system down when I sent to Cuba. I packed one larger project and a pair of socks. I was almost done those socks, I threw in another ball of sock yarn because I was definitely going to finish those.

When I am out and about I usually don’t knit on anything too complicated. Something I can just pick up and knit, no pattern or anything; autopilot knitting at it’s best. I think every time I’ve went to a Vogue Knitting event, I’ve brought a larger project as well as a smaller project. The ones that get worked on are not the larger more complicated ones. By the time I get back to the hotel room, I am usually ready for bed. Not really the best mindset to work on something that takes any amount of brain power.

Travelling with Knitting

If you are going to a fiber event I would just take one small project. Odds are you are going to purchase something there and if your small project gets finished you will have that to work on. Especially if this event is far away, you don’t want to be lugging all this yarn there and then trying to fit everything in your suitcase to get it back.

Travelling with Knitting 3

If your trip is somewhere you will be constantly busy and then crashing at the end of the night, it would probably be best to simply bring one or two small projects to work on. If you’re the type of person who brings their knitting everywhere and gets quite a bit done, you might finish a project while on vacation, so it would be beneficial to have another one ready to cast on.

Aside from this, that is all the advice I can give. Make sure you judge your vacation and how much time you will actually have to knit. I always over pack and then sometimes have trouble getting everything back.

Definitely Deprived

Well, I haven’t gotten all the knitting in I wished I had. I know there is always a time crunch before weddings, but I thought I would have an hour here or a half hour there to do SOME knitting. The prize for most worked on project goes to….. *drumroll*…. Car Socks!!

Green Gradient Sock

I suppose that really isn’t too surprising, but I haven’t really had the time nor inclination to knit much. I’ve briefly mentioned I was struck down with the flu, but it was so bad, I couldn’t even knit. I just wanted to lay in my misery and possibly sleep.
I am feeling much better now, but still exhausted. I think I might need several lattes on the wedding day itself. Hair and makeup for me and the girls starts at 8AM. If that isn’t crazy, I don’t know what is. I think I am going to try to get very little sleep on Thursday night, so sleep Friday night will be no problem! Right? No? Crazy idea?

Green Gradient Socks 2

I originally wanted to have my rocky coast cardigan done for Vogue Knitting, but I doubt that is going to happen. I am going to make a copy of the pattern and take it with me to Chicago! Hopefully I’ll be able to get some work on it done and maybe a little steam blocking. Hotel room irons probably have a steam mode? It would be something really sentimental to complete the sweater on my honeymoon. We will have to see.

Green Gradient Socks 4

I am really looking forward to another weekend at Vogue Knitting Live, but this year they have seemed kind of unorganized. I’ll withhold my judgment until afterwards, but I’ve gotten a bad taste in my mouth more than once before-hand. While planning a wedding, the last thing you need is trouble from something you’re going to do on your honeymoon. In movies you always see people getting upgraded to first class etc, when they’re on their honeymoon. It really has helped me decide that the next event I am going to attend will be a stitches event. I’ve been thinking about going to one for a while, but my recent dealings with Vogue Knitting have tipped the scales.

Green Gradient Sock 3

Beading

I’ve been really inspired to bead lately. At the Kitchener/ Waterloo Knitters fair there was a lady with the Celestarium shawl. The Celestarium and the Southern Skies shawls have an accurate depiction of the night sky from the northern and southern poles.

 

Shawl Beads

I had heard of them before, but never actually seen one. It was really lovely as well as slightly nerdy. She had altered the pattern so the tardis was beaded into the night sky.

Shawl Beaded Tardis

There are a few different schools of thought on how to put beads on your knitting. Since I’ve still got this flu bug, I’m not going to write a whole lot. Let the videos inspire you to bead as you see fit!

 

 

 

Happy Thanksgiving!!!

I did have a post planned out, but I am still really sick with the flu, so enjoy Thanksgiving and check back on Tuesday for the next post!!Thanksgiving

Functional Friday: Hello Yarn’s Fiddlehead Mitten Review

I was emailing the designer of this pattern the other day and I realized that I had not reviewed it yet. For me this is utterly inexcusable and I plan to make it right! This pattern came to me as part of a kit. The yarn and pattern were all packaged together. Unfortunately, these kits are no longer available, so you would have to buy the pattern and the full amounts of the yarn individually. Which I have done because I love this pattern that much.

FMittensFinished

The first time I saw this kit, the LYS owner handed me a sample mitt that she had knit. At that point I was completely and totally sold. I LOVED it and wanted to get one in every colour. Unfortunately at this point in my life I was just out of school and was struggling to pay student loan payments as well as rent. I couldn’t afford it this time, but I went back and visited… more often than I would like to admit.
I was also scared that I wasn’t at that level of knitting yet; they looked to pretty and intricate, I had never some something that complicated before. So it wasn’t completely about the money.
Paul ended up making the decision for me and bought the kit for my birthday. I think he had probably heard enough about these mittens I was lamenting over.

Fiddlehead Mittens Thumbless

I didn’t cast on right away; I circled around them like some kind of nuclear bomb. My main problem was, I didn’t want these mitts to go FUBAR on me. It was a nice kit and more than I had spent on yarn before. I wanted them to be perfect. The thought of casting on with another, more inexpensive yarn, never occurred to me. I was still a relatively new knitter at this point.
Paul started asking me why I hadn’t cast them on yet. I made excuses here and there about needles or another project, but that would only work for so long. One day, I just closed my eyes, clenched my teeth and opened the bag. Which was the best decision I have ever made. It was the most difficult pattern I had ever done, but it was well written, clear, logical and a great learning experience for me.
The mittens start off with an I-cord cast on, Having never done one, I trusted the pattern completely and followed the instructions. The cast on looked amazing and it hadn’t hurt at all. I thought these mittens might be possible.
Being a beginning knitter and not knowing any better, I trusted the pattern 100% and it worked out for me. Not having knit a whole lot of patterns I didn’t realize how well this one was written, but having a wider variety of knowledge now, I can spot excellent writing when I see it.

Fiddlehead Beginning

I may have a slightly biased point of view because this project was a pivotal moment for me as a knitter. From this point on I was not afraid to throw myself into any project regardless of how hard it looked. If I took it slow and paid attention I could do it.
I know this review was a little less technical and a little more about me fan-girling all over them, but, I maintain that they are a very well written pattern with a beautiful finished product. Definitely beginner friendly so I always advise people to go for it! These mittens are one of the most complemented pieces of knitting I have.

Music Sooths the Savage Beast

You may have noticed that my daily series have gone slightly off the rails, I plan to reign everything back in after the wedding and honeymoon. Effectively that will be November. I made this quote the title because as forward as it is, it is true.

Savage Beast

This quote comes from English playwright and poet, William Congreve. This line is often misattributed to Shakespeare and mostly, misquoted. The quote actually states ‘music has charms to sooth a savage breast’, but through time and interpretation we now recognize the bastardized version I’ve used for the title as correct. William Congreve’s literary career lasted only seven years and was not very successful, so I think we will make sure that Old Bill doesn’t get credit for this one.

Shakespeare

What made me think of today’s blog post was, shockingly enough, planning my wedding. I will be the first one to admit that I have a shorter temper than most, there may be an incoming over-share here, so look away if you’re really sensitive. My temper gets cut in half when I am hormonal. Today was a particularly trying day because I KNOW I am hormonal and I’ve been running in circles all day. I had a vendor ask me for some specific information that required a lot of thought and careful selection.

I spent all day scraping together this information and sent it off. I felt an internal sigh of a mission accomplished. They messaged me Monday (while I was on my deathbed with the flu) and said they needed this info by the absolute latest on Wednesday. Very little notice, but I got the job done.
They emailed me back with a list three times as long… at 4pm. I… was… livid. I was also at work with people stopping by my desk and giving me work etc. Not the best place to be in hulk-like rage mode.
I plugged in and kept listening to my podcasts, but after a few minutes I was still really angry. I decided to switch over to music and turned on songza. Since my catastrophic iPhone meltdown, I haven’t signed into songza, so my username and password were not saved… put the metaphorical hammer down and back away slowly. Stuck with only the music on my phone, I didn’t think this would be the best time to listen to the Chicago soundtrack… or something of a similar feel.

I settled on my contemporary classical playlist, which is mostly comprised of The Piano Guys. I like listening to classical music, but sometimes I need something that really makes me want to dance and in a moment like I was having, I definitely needed something a little dancier than Bach. This worked perfectly, I really got into the music and it helped me center myself a little bit.

Strange as it sounds, but I actually haven’t been listening to all that much music. Sure there is music in the background all the time, but I am not actually listening to it; it’s just a kind of ambient noise. Music has all sorts of great effects on your mood and brain, especially classical.
Classical music effects how we see neutral faces, if you play happier classical, you see neutral faces in a positive way and if you play sad classical you see them in a negative light. The music effects your mood, which effects how you interpret a person’s face and the underlying mood associated with that face.
All the people who make up a new playlist to go to the gym have got a good habit to keep. When exercising while listening to music helps your body ignore the brains cries of fatigue.

Music has been a proven and effective means of calming, healing and behavioral therapy. I play piano, and when I listen to cello music, there is something about it that resonates with my soul. I would love to eventually learn how to play the cello, I’ve always loved the sound and have no idea why. Maybe I played in a past life? Listening to contemporary classical can bring me from 60 to zero in minutes, but with a higher tempo I can get a really good workout at the gym. With all these uses, it’s easy to let music become an ambient noise in the background at malls and in the car, but it does so much more when you actually listen.

Small Bout of Start-itus

This week has been a really rough week. Getting everything together for the wedding takes a crazy amount of time and memory; both things are in short supply here. Paul and I have been running around like chickens with our heads cut off trying to make sure all the odds and ends are tied up.
This week we were also struck with a really bad case of the flu. We were both bedridden for the weekend and Monday! It was going around and we were bound to get it at some point. I guess it is better to get it now rather than later and possibly during the wedding. It was not a good flu though, I was legitimately too sick to knit.

Gradient Sock Car

In the past week I have gotten quite a few rows put on my gradient socks that are my car knitting. I can never believe how fast these knit up. It is really quite crazy. I think if I ever had to commute to work, on a train or something, I would be the most productive knitter ever!
I also started another pair of the gradient socks, as per the title. I wrote about them in yesterday’s Technical Tuesday, but here is the photographic evidence!

Gradient Toe

They were a little bumpy getting started, but no more than when you try something new. I found the pattern gave a lot of leeway and wouldn’t recommend it for a beginner pattern. I would have preferred something with more structure, which I could flagrantly disregard. I messed up on the slip one knit one of the heel flap, I had a hard time understanding the instructions so there was some ripping and re-knitting, but I didn’t want to go back too far or I would be totally lost in the pattern.

Gradient Sock 2

I think they are turning out not too bad, all things considered, and no one will really notice if the alignment of the heel is off by a little bit. I did the same thing on my first pair of cuff down socks and I thought it would really bother me, but I haven’t even noticed it. Honestly, how often do you look at the back of your heel? When the socks are neatly folded, no one notices either. This is one of the only mistakes that doesn’t haunt me, which is why I am going over it now, and not as a Monday Mishaps. It was a mistake, but not a painful one, or maybe more like a growing pain. I’m getting taller as a knitter.

Technical Tuesday: Not what I Planned

I did have a post planned for today that involved beading, but I got carried away by yet more socks. As I mentioned before I wanted to try socks from the toe up rather than the cuff down. On a whim I decided to start another pair of socks and give this technique a go.

Pattern Link

First I used Wendy D. Johnson’s pattern Toe-up Socks with a Difference. I believe the difference is because the increases are on the bottom of the foot rather than the sides, but I used this pattern more like a guideline than an actual solid truth rule.
The pattern gives you options for the cast on, but not instructions, I simply went on youtube and found Julie’s Magic Cast on. I’ve heard a lot of good things about this cast on and it’s very popular, how could anything go wrong?

There wasn’t anything that went wrong in the cast on or the pattern itself, but I think the pattern was written for those using the magic loop method of knitting socks, not dpns. The pattern only specified needle one and needle two, usually when you’re using dpns there are three. I put a lot of time and effort into liking dpns so I am not going to stop using them now. I had to improvise a little bit and use my head, but I managed to get it working and my socks on the way.

I haven’t gotten to the bind off yet, but I am going to use this technique, I found it while looking for a super stretchy bind off for sweater cuffs. I always pull up my sleeves and if the BO is not stretchy enough, it cuts off circulation, which is never good.

Monday Mishaps: It Never Rains…

I have finished knitting the body for my Stripes Gone Crazy Cardigan. The end result looked a little… asymmetric. However! In the pattern itself, the designer wrote that this is totally normal and it will bock to look like a regular cardigan. I thought nothing of this and threw it in the washer to wet block.

Stripe Gone Crazy

I don’t know if I have mentioned this before, but I use my ‘damages’ to knit samples from my own yarn. A ‘damage’ is a skein of yarn that had something wrong with it and I deemed it not fit to sell. This could mean anything from a knot in the skein to the colour not looking quite right. The skeins I had designated for this sweater looked fine, so I assumed there were knots in them or something. Little did I actually know, when I had dyed the purple, I had used too much dye. The yarn was very saturated and I was having trouble rinsing it out. I was afraid the colour would bleed and this would equal my whole business failing horribly.

Stripes Gone Crazy 2

I am really glad I didn’t sell those skeins because they bled onto the yellow and turned it a weird purple yellowish colour. Which I was totally not impressed with, so I washed it again. When I say I washed it, I mean I threw it in the washer on the wool cycle with some soak. There is no agitation and the soak is actually rinsed out. After the second wash the yellow was still a gross colour and then a light bulb went on in my brain. This is made entirely of superwash yarn, it doesn’t need to be on the wool cycle.

Stripes Gone Crazy 3

I put the sweater in again with the regular cycle and detergent to see what happened. Most of the purple came out of the yellow, but it still wasn’t the sunshine yellow that it was.
The yellow is now the exact same colour as the gold yarn in Gilt Leaf and Rule the Night; so that is what I will market it as. The sweater itself doesn’t look bad, but I am a little bit sad the really bright yellow didn’t stay bright. Perhaps I will have to make another one…