Functional Friday: Moo Business Cards

This week I’ve decided to review moo.com. This is where I get my business cards from and EVERYONE loves them. I get a lot of questions about the website and process so I am going to lay them out here for everyone.

Business Card Front

These were the first business cards I have ever ordered. I didn’t want to print them myself because those cards usually feel fake and I find them a little less professional. On the Moo website, you are able to choose from pre-existing designs or create your own. I wasn’t totally sure where to begin, but I decided to put my information on one side and a picture of stockinet stitch in a variegated yarn on the back.

Business Card Back

I ended up choosing two different kinds because I wanted one that was very general and one that was specific and had my phone number on it. I made them different colours but the same basic design.

Personal Back

I finished the design, checked them over and ordered them. The shipping wasn’t too bad, but when I got the cards, they weren’t mine! I had been mailed someone else’s order. Now I realize this looks bad, but it was handled very well. I emailed and Moo.com sent me out replacement cards immediately. Their responses are prompt and polite. I was very happy with their customer service, which is really one of the most important things. I am a true believer in the importance of 10% what happened and 90% your reaction.

The business cards I got are the mini cards. They are really too cute. I am always complemented on them and if you are a business it is worth it simply because it is a different business card. People remember, and are more likely to keep, a unique card and the mini cards are definitely unique!

We actually ordered our save-the-dates from the same website and they are of excellent quality. I have never had any problems with the superior quality of these products. It is a little more expensive than some other websites, but you can feel the quality.

5 Month Wedding Update

Right now Paul and I are planning our stag and doe. We just got the tickets in from ticketmaster, they look amazing! If you follow me on instagram I posted a picture of them when they came in, if not here is the picture.

SD Ticket

Right now we are trying to figure out the games! We are definitely going to have a toonie toss and the 50/50 draw, but it is the other games we are pinning down now.

A co-worker told me about a game where you paint the handle end of a toilet plunger red and you have two people compete. Give them each a piece of sandpaper and whomever rubs the red off first wins a prize.

Another friend told me about the hammer game. You have a length of wood, a hammer and nails. Whoever can hammer the nail into the wood with the least amount of hits wins a prize at the end of the night. Apparently the guys get really into this one.

I also like the buzzwords game. Choose a few “forbidden” words (i.e. wedding, bride/groom’s names). On admission, guests each get 1 clothespin (or in some versions, 3-5 or however much you want) to attach to their clothes somewhere. If a guest catches another guest saying one of the forbidden words, they get the offender’s clothespin. The one with the most clothespins at the end of the night wins.

What are some of the best Stag and Doe games you’ve come across?

Worthwhile Wednesday

Even though spring and summer are the ‘off season’ for knitting, I’ve been getting quite a bit done! Paul is currently playing baseball so when I go and watch the games I get a good deal of knitting done. This is also the season of great movies so I am sure we will be going there more and more as well. I started another pair of socks for movie theatre knitting.

At the baseball games I’ve been knitting the snuggle sack. I had to pick up a bit more yarn for this one since I was knitting it from bits and pieces of older balls I had laying around. These odds and ends make the perfect yarn for a snuggle sack because it takes so much less yarn than a baby blanket.

Baby Blue Two Toned

This one in particular is knitting up really fast because I am holding two strands of yarn together and knitting with bigger needles. This gives it a really interesting two tone look. The one blue is a solid matte colour, kind of boring when you look at it. The other strand is satin and shimmery. I really love the effect these two yarns create together.

Baby Blue Yellow Two Toned

I am trying to make a stripe across the middle holding one strand of blue and one strand of yellow. I am not far enough down to see if it is going to work out, but hopefully it will look good! I am really not sure who is getting which one, I think I am going to make a surplus of these for baby showers in the future. This way I have a stash and don’t have to knit like a mad woman to get things in time.

I know what you’re thinking about the socks…. ‘again?’ One can never have too many knitted socks! This one is from yarn I’ve bought quite a while ago, I had balled it up and completely forgot about it. It is one of the softest yarns I’ve ever worked with. The same yarn I made the Alpha socks from.

Sock Autumn

I started this one while we watched the new X-Men movie. By the time the movie was done, I had a couple inches of sock. I LOVE movie theatre knitting! You just don’t realize how much you’re getting done until the movie is over.

The colours are turning out very interesting, I wasn’t sure how they were going to look, but I definitely like them. It makes me think of Autumn, with pumpkins, Halloween, Thanksgiving, that nice crisp air that happens just before it gets really cold! My favourite time of year.

Autumn Sock Close

Unfortunately, I have been really busy. The weather is getting warmer which means we get out a lot more. You’ll definitely be seeing a lot more stories about hiking, biking, walking, beach time, swimming, tennis, baseball, etc. I  might have to sub in a couple stories about my clumsiness in the Monday Mishaps.

Technical Tuesday: The Fear of Frogs

Since I wrote about a more advanced technique last week, I am going to write about something every knitter learns the hard way; how to rip out your work. Sometimes you can knit backwards and fix it, but other times you need to totally frog the whole project.

I am going to pause here for a second to explain what frogging is. When you pull out your work it is called ripping it back. If you hear anyone say they had to ‘frog’ something it is because they ripped it out. Rip it, rip it, ribbit.

Now, when I mentioned knitting backwards this is what I meant.

This really isn’t a technique that you want to do over a couple rows and there is nothing worse then having spent hours working on something to notice a mistake a couple inches below. I found this video, which demonstrates a technique to rip out your work over as many rows as you like without losing a single stitch.

Oh my, where has this technique been while I was learning to knit?! I was self taught and found a lot of things in books or on youtube. Apparently I needed no help ripping out an entire project! I hope I have saved some people a little bit of time with this and no one else has to rip out a lot of work for one mistake!

 

Monday Mishaps: Just Plain Confusing

Monday again! Where on Earth does the time go? I haven’t had too many mishaps lately, thank heaven. I did have one while dyeing over the weekend though.

If anyone has ever dyed, you know it is a very meticulous process; there are a lot of things that can affect the way your colours come out. From adding a little more dye into the mix, using an unexhausted dye bath, or just plain unforeseen circumstances.

Blue Spill 2

I don’t know if this will be a very good story for you because I am still not sure exactly how everything went wrong.

I decided to do a bunch of dyeing to up my current stock. I wanted a lot more of the Garnet Label available since I think the most likely thing people would make with that yarn is a sweater and to make a sweater, you need more than two balls of yarn. Come to think of it, I really didn’t have a great colour selection in that base either. I decided to do four skeins in the colour Evergreen.

Usually when I am dyeing I write down everything I do in order to make it easier to reproduce results. One of my possible theories is that I put more dye in the second time around and the second green was just plain darker than the rest. Looking back I also could have used an unexhausted dye bath from a different colour and that is why the next green is a little bit of a different colour. Perhaps it could have been a blue?

Different Greens

Over all I chalk this one up to not taking careful enough notes. If I had noted exactly what I was doing, I would have known the precise amount of dye I was to use. Yet another brain damage moment!

I actually had another episode of the purplepocolypse, but this time it was with the blue dye. I managed to get a picture before I had actually cleaned everything up!

Blue Spill

Functional Friday: Namaste Bag and Little Buddy

Functional Friday: Namaste Bag and Little Buddy

I bought my Namaste bag last summer, I desperately needed something to carry my yarn stuff in. Whenever I was heading anywhere it was a mad dash to gather everything together and throw it in a grocery bag. I always ended up forgetting something; scissors, one of the double pointed needles, a different size needle. My ‘knitting base’ was in a storage container in my living room, which is really not mobile at all.

I ended up asking Johanne and Dave to look around at one of the retail shows. I promised to buy one if they wanted to carry them. I was so lucky because Johanne has a Namaste bag and she knew they were very good quality. I ended up getting this one in the colour eggplant.

Namaste Bag

This is one of the best decisions I have ever made! The bag is durable and large; I can carry more than one project at a time in it. I am really not a monogamous knitter; I jump from one project to another and what I work on really depends on how I feel. With this bag, I constantly keep all my needles and implements in them so I can just leave the house with a ball of yarn and an idea. I can work on gauge or anything else in the car or wherever I am headed.

It was especially useful for the Vogue Knitting Live conferences. I had all my homework for each class in there and all the tools I would ever need! I also carried around a ball of sock yarn to work with while I was waiting between classes or just before a class started.

I can carry around everything I need in this bag, I just store all my yarn in the storage spaces I have. I always have the current project I have been working on in the bag, so I can grab it and go at the drop of a hat.

Little Buddy

The best part about the Namaste bag, is the little buddy. This is a little container for all your darning needles, stitch markers, scissors, etc. The inside is magnetic so whenever you open it, instead of spraying stitch markers and darning needles everywhere, they stay firmly in place stuck to the side. This is an absolute live saver. I am forever losing my scissors and stitch markers, the little buddy keeps me in line!

I am sorry, but… Game of Thrones

Excuse me, would you please kick that soapbox over here?

Thank you.

I have a problem with a very popular series right now. Game of Thrones. I hate Game of Thrones. I gave it a fair shake, I swear! I read the first book; I watched the first episode of the TV show. I still don’t like it. I feel like it is a picture of everything that is wrong with society today, and a graphic picture. I swear to you that I have heard it called Art. That is right… Art… with the capital A. Essentially we have Leonardo da Vinci, Rembrant, Piccaso and George R.R. Martin. One of these things is not like the others… I’ll give you one guess.

gameofthrones1

Game of Thrones is not Art. It’s a Dungeons and Dragons soap opera crossed with porn. I do know that many of the die-hard fans that read this think to themselves, “Okay… so DON’T WATCH IT!!” Trust me, I don’t. My problem arises when I am not allowed to not like it. Game of Thrones is so popular it comes up relatively frequently in casual conversation. Even when you strike up a conversation with someone you really don’t know well, “Oh hey, do you watch Game of Thrones?!” Sometimes I almost feel bad. They look so excited, like this is going to be a bonding experience between the two of you. You’re going to talk about which characters you like, which ones inspired a sense of relief when they were decapitated. Alas, I usually say, “Oh, I don’t watch it.”

This is the point where I see that gleam in their eye; they think they’re going to convert me to the best thing ever. I know that gleam; I’ve had that gleam. Before they launch into the thousand things that are so great about the show, they ask in disbelief “You haven’t seen it?!” to which I respond
“Oh, no I’ve seen it. It’s just not for me.”

I still end up on the receiving end of the ‘how awesome Game of Thrones is’ dialogue.

One of the things that’s said to me over and over again is how realistic the plot is. They don’t keep characters alive just because they are the main character or if someone gets shot with 30 arrows, he doesn’t miraculously make it. Okay, valid point, but if I wanted things like that in my reading material, I would read a news paper.

All of the above aside, I can see the draw of the show. Rich characters and intrigue; never knowing which side of the political battles will win! The twists and turns of the plot make you feel a sense of powerlessness and vulnerability within the safe confines of your living room.

By all means, like the show, but have some respect for my opinions. I get emotionally invested in characters and when they are ruthlessly ejected from their mortal coil, I’m not really digging it. I do respect it when others like the show, it really doesn’t affect me in anyway, all I want is the same thing in return. I really don’t think people realize when they’re trying to convert me. A couple people have asked what I don’t like about it, usually I state the regular dispatch of main characters. My favourite response to this was ‘But that is what is so awesome about it.’.

Sigh

Alright, I THINK I am done now… Does anyone else need a soapbox?

Technical Tuesday: Double Knitting

Double knitting is an intermediate to advanced technique which allows you to create a double thick, two layer, reversible fabric. You can knit in one colour and create a really amazing potholder, or you can use different colours and make a pattern on both sides!

I have a slight compulsion about symmetry. I hate it when something looks great on one side but a complete shamble on the other! There were some knitting kits I have seen for blankets and throws; they look really cool on one side and the other side looks horrible! This is the only thing that has prevented me from buying a couple of these kits.

I’ve found a few videos on this subject, but they don’t have the best vantage point and lighting. This is the one I have used a couple times, and seems quite simple.

On the other hand this four part tutorial is a little more comprehensive.

I have wanted to try this technique since I saw my friend Lindsey had written this pattern on Ravelry. It’s a beautiful cowl that uses the double knitting technique. Now that I have watched a couple of the videos for double knitting I will be able to knit this pattern.

 

 

Monday Mishaps: A Ball of a Different Kind

This week’s Monday Mishap is brought to you by Paul’s baseball team! When this mishap happened, he wasn’t actually on the team yet, we were just going to watch the game and have dinner with some friends. The games are in St Catharines and this one was at 6:00pm, that means we have to leave at 5:00pm and we finish work at 4:30pm. I know it is Monday but if you complete that math, we had approximately 15 minutes to grab our stuff and go.

Since I was going to be watching a baseball game I was, obviously, going to bring some knitting. My problem was, I didn’t really have anything started. Yes, I had Shauna’s mittens, but there are multiple colours and several balls of yarn that go with it. I didn’t want to haul everything out to a baseball field and have it come back in a tangled snarl.

Instead of stopping to consider my options I proceeded to run around like a chicken with my head cut off. I pulled out drawers and rifled through them, looked through old bags I had stored yarn in. Just looking for SOMETHING easy I could take with me. Since I didn’t have something easy, I ended up shoving my grandmother’s sweater into a bag and found some baby blue yarn that had the potential for a baby blanket.

Cables of Sweater

I figured the blue yarn would be great for making a snuggle sack for my newest nephew, due in July. The snuggle sacks are all stockinet so If I was feeling particularly brain dead I could always cast on that. I really wanted to work on my grandma’s sweater though. I need to get that done soon. We headed out the door at five and I was fully intent on making progress on this sweater.

When we got to the field we discovered the game had JUST been cancelled, so not only did we drive 45 minutes for a game that was no longer happening, I wouldn’t be able to work on any knitting. The night ended up being pretty good regardless of my scrambling before we left. A group of six of us ended up playing Cards Against Humanity.

Cards_Against_Humanity_Box

What I have learned from this experience is to always have something on hand I can grab and go. I think I will start several easy projects JUST for this purpose! I usually don’t think I need to get my knitting in order until it is already too late.

Functional Friday: Vogue Knitting Stitchionary #6

I am not sure why, but on the Vogue Knitting site there were not volume 4 and 5 of this stitchionary collection. Perhaps I will have to go looking for them later, I know volume 4 is all about crochet. I could really really use that one, my crochet skills are not what they should be. Volume 5 is all about lace; as we know, lace and I don’t get along, but maybe volume 5 would help me along and I will be able to knit lace with less difficulty.

VKS 4

Volume 6 is al about edgings! I think my shelves are going to be filled with books containing fancy edges; between VK Stitionary and Nicky Epstein they’re taking over the whole shelf!

This book is split into seven chapters: Ribs, Texture, Cables, Lace, Colour, Unusual and Crochet. The chapters are also arranged in order of difficulty, the easiest at the beginning and challenging ones nearer to the back. All this information is given to you in the ‘how to use this book’ section. One thing I really REALLY liked was the fact that in this section the authors told you what yarns they used for what chapters and the needle sizes.

VKS5

In each chapter the yarn is all corresponding, I love the effect this has on the book aesthetically. If you are flipping through the book rather quickly it is easy to see when you have progressed from one chapter into the other. The yarn is different and although it is a coordinating colour it is not the same. The book is, essentially, colour coded.

One thing the Nicky Epstein books had that the VK Stitionary’s did not was the patterns for the photos displaying the edgings used on an actual garment. However, these are Vogue Knitting books so all the garments are probably taken from the magazine, you just have to go through and find them.

Even though this is a review of the Vogue Knitting Stitchionary, I would like to add this little story on the end of it. I subscribe to Vogue Knitting Magazine and I was sure my subscription was coming up, but I wasn’t sure when. I checked the magazine rack at a local book store and the newest VK Magazine was out and I had not received it. I went online and clicked through to renew my subscription; right after I did that, I wondered if I would be getting the issue I missed or if it would start on the next one.

VKS 6

Instead of guessing I called the VK Magazine subscriber services and got some of the best  customer service I have ever received! The customer service representative told me I should have received the latest issue with my current subscription and she wasn’t sure why I hadn’t. I didn’t even have to ask for another one, she just said she would have one sent out immediately. Then she realized I was on an automatically renewing subscription and they should have notified me that I was going to be renewed soon. For some reason no one had tried to renew my subscription. I hadn’t even known there was a problem, but we worked everything out and I was EXTREMELY glad I had called!

I’ve worked in retail and currently work in an office where there is a call centre, I know good customer service when I see it. I’ve always been happy with Vogue Knitting, but this was really very exceptional. Thank you Vogue Knitting!

Mother’s Day

I hope all the moms had a lovely Mother’s Day this past weekend! I got to see both my mom and my mother-in-law-to-be. Considering that they live four hours apart and Paul and I live in between, we did quite a bit of running around.

We went to see Paul’s family on Saturday for dinner. It being Mother’s Day and all, we went out to eat. Both of Paul’s brothers were there and Paul’s middle brother’s fiancée. I got to hear a bit about what they were planning for their wedding since boys aren’t as interested in that kind of thing. I got to press all kinds of unsolicited advice onto Allie, but she took it all in with good humour. I am very excited that Chris and Allie’s wedding is going to be three months after ours! It is going to be a very exciting year for all! Allie and I kept telling Patrick (the youngest) that he is next!

That is enough wedding talk though! This is about Mother’s Day! I have to pose the question, what did everyone get their mom for Mother’s Day. I never really know what to get my mom, usually there isn’t anything in particular that she as an unusual burning desire for. Paul’s mom is easier because she requests that if we insist on buying her a gift, we get her gift cards. As much of a cop out as many people think that is, this is what she wants! My mom doesn’t really express an outright desire for things, so I have to guess a little bit.

This year I ended up getting her a Pandora bracelet. I have one as well, and I thought about getting one of the mother/daughter charm where we both have one and they fit together. Those are as expensive as buying two charms though, and when you’re already getting the bracelet on top of that…

Pandora Mom Charm

I decided to go with a vintage ‘loving mother’ charm. I think it is her style and it looked good. I already have ideas to build on it at a later time, next holiday perhaps?

Seriously though, what do you get the mom who has everything? If only they sold time; the person who learns to package that up would make a killing on Mother’s Day.

Mittens and no Socks at All!

I have officially started Shauna’s mittens. I was home last week and realized, I had all my blogging done, I didn’t need to do any dyeing and it would be the perfect time to knit something! Unfortunately I didn’t have anything started. Before the moment passed and fate dropped by to give me something else to do, I jumped up and started to ball the yarn for my next set of fiddlehead mittens.

Fiddlehead Yarnz

Getting the yarn was actually an adventure in itself! I asked Shauna if she wanted a different colour scheme or yarn, but she wanted hers to be as close to mine as I could manage. Having knit the mittens from a Tanis Fiber Arts kit SERVERAL years ago, I would have to work from scratch. TFA was no longer making the kits. Around the same time they were being discontinued, I had offered to make Alanna a pair as well. I ended up driving to Guelph just to find the last kit carried by retailers!

Green Blue

Along with no longer making the kits, TFA have updated their colours since then. You need a total of six colours to complete the mittens. I ended up heading to the Purple Purl in Toronto because they’re one of the last retailers actually carrying TFA yarn. I had the pattern handy with all the yardage needed as well as the mittens themselves so I could match the colours as best I could. I, of course, forgot all of this at home.

Purple Red

Alanna came with me and guided me through the public transit system until we were finally in front of the store. I didn’t realize I had forgotten to bring the pattern and mitten until I was looking at the yarn going ‘what colours is it again?’ Luckily, one of the store staff had knit the same mittens and had one there for me to look at. She also managed to remember the colour names that stayed the same! I would have been lost without her, but the staff at the Purple Purl are always amazing!

Red Orange

I had to change out some of the colours that stayed the same because they didn’t go well with the colours I had to sub in. It is the same progression of green, blue, purple, red and orange, but the shades all have to go nicely together. There was also the question of the base or main colour. The one included with the kit is sand, but I don’t think it really went well with the rest of the shades, they were on the cool side of the colour spectrum and sand has red/orange undertones. I bought a skein of Sand and Chris Grey; the grey is a cooler colour and not very far off from the sand, I am going to knit a pair in each and see how they look.

Fiddlehead Beginning

I am hoping to have a little of the main colour leftover from these mittens so I can try out the child size modification of this pattern. I am not sure how it will turn out but I really can’t wait to see.

Technical Tuesday: Entrelac

Entrelac knitting is one of the most visually interesting techniques I’ve seen. It looks like the knitting is woven over and under each other, but it is actually knitted separately. From the first moment I saw an Entrelac picture I had been very intimidated; surely it was very complicated and took a long time to master. Once I finally tried it, I learned that if you can knit purl and pick up stitches you would be fine!

Alanna Entrelac

The picture above is the Entrelac scarf Alanna had knit for me! It was knit with Noro Silk Garden yarn and has long colour shifts in it. I believe Noro is recommended because the length of the colour shifts make it look like each square is a different colour. This scarf is one of the most complemented knitted items I own. I remember I had so many requests for one when I first started wearing it that I had to stop following up on them because I would be knitting forever.

This video is excellent, it gives you the basics so you could try it yourself! The swatches she is knitting are perfect because the colours contrast so well. I will admit that I don’t really like the sweater they have there as an example. If you need a place to find more Entrelac examples and great patterns I would HIGHLY recommend Rosemary Drysdale’s book Entrelac: The Essential Guide to Interlace Knitting.

Entrelac

It is a rare thing that I find a book where I love all the patterns in it. Not like, LOVE. I actually just realized there was a second Entrelac book and I am very seriously considering hunting it down because I like the first one so much.

Rosemary Drysdale gives you the basics of Entrelac knitting, how to work stitch patterns into your Entrelac knitting and several patterns. I would normally tell you which pattern is my favourite, but I honestly cannot choose. I love them all. I heavily endorse this book and if I ever meet Rosemary Drysdale, I am going to fan-girl out… hardcore.

Monday Mishaps: Slightly Unstable

This Monday’s mishap isn’t directly related to knitting. It happened when I was on my way to the post office to pick up some yarn I had ordered. This is my way of stretching things out and relating them to knitting.

Knitting Outside

I was on my lunch break from work and I had the delivery notice with me. I decided to run over and grab the yarn before I went home for lunch. Let’s be honest, who can wait until after work? Definitely not me. I was heading to a Shoppers Drug Mart with a post office inside and on the way there, I was thinking about something else. I was really on a train of thought coming up with ideas and alternates if those ideas didn’t work. I can’t remember what I was thinking about now, but the important thing is that I was really into this thought.

If you have ever been to a Shoppers, you will know that the cosmetics counter is immediately on the opposite side of the sliding doors. Usually there is a desk there and the one or two people manning this section are helping customers with cosmetic decisions. It must have been a slow day because when I walked through the door there was a young lady at the cosmetics counter playing the part of greeter.

Here is the embarrassing part, when I walked through the doors I was full out talking to myself and the greeter saw me. I stopped at once because she immediately said “hello, can I help you?” Probably thinking to her self, “Here to re-fill the meds huh? Drugstore that way”.

Baby ChloeSince I have no photo to portray how crazy I looked, here is a picture of my cat tangled in yarn.

To which I responded, “No, thank you” and slunk away into the depths of the store. I am sure I am not the only one who talks to themselves in the car, but the fact that I was caught doing it puts the ‘socially acceptable’ needle slightly into the red.

I went to the back of the store and got my package, which was huge, and hurried out of the store. I don’t know if that greeter saw me leaving, but it would have been funny if she did. I come in talking to myself then leave hugging a gigantic box. It’s a good thing no one tried to take it away or carry it for me. I probably would have started to foam at the mouth and growl at someone who tried to separate me from my yarn. As long as I am seen as slightly unhinged, I might as well play the part to it’s fullest.

Functional Friday: Zig Zag Stitches

Instead of trying to kill you guys with another book review, I am going to review a little something I picked up at the Knitters Frolic!

Needle Case

There were a lot of really great vendors there with amazing yarn, but I chose to take home a Sock and Go from Zig Zag Stitches. This is a small knitting needle case special for sock needles. I do have a couple needle cases, and those ones are very nice. I really like them but they are quite big. The Sock and Go has two pockets for different needle sizes and one larger one for a pair of scissors or anything else you might need while knitting a sock.

Needle Case 3

This is perfect for all the sock knitting I’ve been doing lately! Hopefully it will prevent me from losing needles or pulling them out of my socks. I keep a size 3.25mm (US 3) and a size 2.5mm (US 1.5). This way I can choose a skein of yarn, grab this case and go. As I was typing this article I realized how perfect the name of the case is. I actually had to re-word my sentence from ‘I can choose a skein of yarn, grab the Sock and go, and go’.

There were a lot of really bright and cheery patterns but I chose the chevron outside and polka dot inside. I’m not usually a huge chevron person, but the dazzling colours combined with the cute little orange button talked me into it. I didn’t even make my complete round of all the vendors before I bought this case. I saw it and immediately had to have it. It was the essential thing I’ve been missing without even realizing it.

Needle Case 2

I definitely saw a lot of things around the Zig Zag Stitches booth that I would have loved to take home with me. Essentially everything with a cat or music note pattern on it. However I pulled a WWPD [What Would Paul Do?] and practiced a bit of restraint. I supposed if I actually want to marry him in October I should save a bit of the funds to make it happen, but I digress.

Zig Zag Stitches has an Etsy shop! When I was first checking out the rest of the stock I noticed it is based in Sarnia, Ontario. That is very close to where I grew up and where my parent’s live to this day! It struck a special cord with me to support a shop that has grown so close to home, and without even realizing!

There are a variety of project and spindle bags; I doubt anyone could ever have enough, especially with such attractive patterns! My favourite one is the boxy bag with the sheep on it. I think I will order a flat zippered pouch though; I am always losing small objects in my knitting bag and purse. Hopefully I will be able to organize myself a little better and add some colour to my bag.

Boxy Bag

Sara actually got a flat zippered pouch from the knitters frolic and we were both commenting on the amazing quality. The corners are all tucked in and neatly stitched; you can tell each item was made with care and love. Sara’s mother and mine create a mirage of different things with their sewing machines and sergers; the caliber of skill involved in the production of these items struck us, it wasn’t something we were actively searching for. I am a firm believer that you can feel when something is well made, I feel it here.

Sheepies

I would highly suggest you check out the Etsy shop! It is late for mother’s day, but the unexpected gift is always appreciated. These are especially great for the crafter in your life who has everything; one can never have too many project bags!

On my Bookshelf

This is going to be another post about what I have been reading or listening to via audio book while knitting. I have only written one other previous post about books and I changed the category it was tagged under to Audio Knitting. That is what Paul calls it whenever I hunker down with an audio book and my knitting. With changing the category, if anyone were only interested in what books I have or am currently reading, they would just have to look under that one tag.

On the docket right now is the fifth installment of the Green Rider series. This was the first ‘grown up’ fantasy I ever read. I was at that age where I had grown out of Goosebumps books and needed to start defining my own reading style. I remember, I was in the Coles at the Sears mall in Chatham, I completely judged the book by it’s cover. The cover is what caught my eye and once I read the back, I knew I wanted to read this book.

Green Rider One

The first and the second books were amazing! Also, they were published five years apart. I am not a person with an overabundance of patience, so it was luck I found the series just as the second book was about to be published. The wait for the third fourth and fifth books were brutal. Especially the wait between the fourth and fifth books. We were left with a cliffhanger ending for the fourth book; luckily we only had to wait four years for the next one. Oh my goodness, I thought I wouldn’t make it.

The last post I wrote on this topic, I mentioned how much I dislike cliffhanger endings. It is cruel; yes it does make the people who read the previous book more likely to buy the next one, but what about the people like me who have zero patience and a BURNING curiosity? I find, even though I am irked by cliffhangers, the next book is usually a let down. I’ve spent the whole year… or four, thinking about what could happen next. Forming and discarding possibilities for that long you build up a standard in your mind. Especially when the series in question doesn’t usually end with a cliffhanger. I enjoy the feeling of resolution and problems just upon the horizon, not ‘okay, we’ve tied up most of the lose ends, lets just throw the main character into mortal peril at the very last second’.

GR Two

If you can’t tell, the emotional tea that are my feelings on this subject have been steeping for much too long. For those of you who aren’t tea drinkers, I’m bitter.

The book itself was okay, your lovely main character is out of danger and continues on the journey that is the basis of this series. This book answered quite a few questions, but really felt like filler for the next book. I feel like there was one major revolution and that didn’t even really come to fruition.

GR Three

I could be biased because the romantic subplot that I DESPARATELY want to happen is really not working out how I thought it would. From any of the forums that I’ve read, my feelings are not unusual. This is a romantic subplot that was hinted at in the first book, looked likely through the second book, at the end of the second book your hopes for this couple took a pretty hard hit and the fourth book made it extremely unlikely. The fifth book has pushed this almost right over to impossible. I am currently sitting in a huge sweater and sweatpants, sobbing ‘BUT THEY JUST WANT TO BE TOGETHER’ into a tub of ice cream. No I am not exaggerating. Yes it is that bad!

GR Four

I am about to hash out some serious spoilers, so if you haven’t read the book and plan to, look away!!

In the book mirror sight Karigan has a romance with a character from the future named Cade. While I did like the idea of Karigan having a romance with a character that is not the love interest she has had since book one, I didn’t like that it was one book long. She tried to being Cade back to the past with her, but she was unable to. I actually thought Cade would turn out to be a descendant of King Zachary and would end up being the man she saw begging her to stay in the Berry sisters telescope. Now I very seriously wonder if we are going to come back around to that at all? In the first book it was hinted at that it would be the King. Karigan recognized something in the shape of his eyes; it would have made sense for the Kings heir to be the one begging her not to go. I am really not sure what to think of the romance with Cade though. Since she coupled with him in the book and had the potential to be carrying his child, now that she has gone back in time to before it happened does that mean she is a virgin again? Telegoth said that there had been the potential for a child but since she travelled back and it would have been Cade’s child, the Gods would not have allowed something from the future to come back.

Overall I am really not sure how I felt about this book, it was good, but there are other parts of the plot I would have liked to see advanced. While the giant overall plot of saving the world is important, what really keeps me captivated are the smaller subplots and the interactions between the characters. I love the interactions between Karigan and Captain Mapstone because the Captain has become something of a surrogate mother figure within her own mind. Karigan respects her and it is touching to see the Captain struggling with sending her into dangerous situations and worrying about her as a mother would. Also what is going on between Captain Mapstone and Karigan’s father?! There was a hint that she went to see him, but nothing concrete. Since this book took place in the future we only received small clips from the past. I didn’t like that, I found myself getting really confused because I didn’t really understand what had happened.

GR Five

It really appears the King has lost most of his regard for Karigan now that he and Lady Estora are married and expecting a baby. At the very end he hands back the letter Karigan had written him for the contingency that she did not come back from the Blackveil forest. He said he thinks she knows what his feelings are towards her, but it felt like he was trying to placate her to forget about Cade or something. It didn’t seem genuine.

Hopefully the next book will give me a little more of what I really enjoy about this series. The whole time I read this book I was rushing through to get to the end and the interactions between the characters I really wanted to see. Hopefully I’ll get more from the next book and not have to wait five years.

Completion and Currency

Alright, I’ll admit that this wasn’t the best post title. I couldn’t think of anything else and I am a sucker for alliteration.

For completion I give you, Paul’s socks!! I know, finally done! I’ll have to wait and see if Paul actually wears them. Thou who does not wear the socks does not get more socks!

Dad Socks 2

Now that I am done all the socks I am really not sure what to make next! I was thinking either the ombre cardigan or the fiddle head mittens. Actually, thinking about it now, I will do the mittens next. The ombre cardigan is knitted with two strands of lace and I am just not sure if I am ready for that. Plus I would like to get these bad boys knitted up and given out before the end of time.

The currency part is a little more interesting. As you know, I’ve been dyeing my own yarn and selling it on Etsy and this website. I am officially a vender of the Kitchener Waterloo Knitters Fair!

Vendor Badge

It is going to be September 13th, which is the weekend before my birthday! I am really looking forward to it and really REALLY looking getting everything ready for it! Hopefully the traffic on Etsy will pick up a little more and that will give me an idea of what I should dye for the show!
I really love experimenting, as you might already know. I actually have pictures of my latest creations!

Technical Tuesday: Wonderfully Weaving Wool

One of the best skills I have learned in knitting is weaving. As with most people, I hate weaving in ends. When you hold a finished garment in your hands, strings dangling all over it, the last thing you want to do is weave in all those ends. With this technique you can weave them in as you go and join another ball into a large project without making a knot.

When you are weaving in another ball you are always working with two strands. Hold the strand from the new ball with your left hand and follow the video below!

When you still have a length of your original ball left, switch the yarn in your hands. Continue working in this manner until your original ball runs out. If you check your work, you will see that you have successfully continued with your working yarn. There is no visible sign that you’ve started another skein!

Fare Isle Nordic

This technique is also really great for Fair Isle knitting; it helps to neaten up the wrong side. One thing that always prevented me from knitting a great deal of Fair Isle was how messy the back looks. If you made gloves your fingers would get caught along the inside of the mittens on all the strands at the back.

Inside Nordic

To save yourself from lining every garment, if you carry the colours behind your knitting the back will look much neater. I constantly use this technique, but I wouldn’t suggest it if there is the slightest chance you’re going to be ripping your garment back. It is particularly hard to find the ends in order to unravel your garment.

One Year!

This is the one-year anniversary of my blog! One year ago I sat down to write a blog post on a subject I am passionate about. I didn’t know how long I would carry on or if I would write a few times and let it trail off. I’m glad this is something I’ve continued to write; at least the English degree wasn’t completely wasted!

One Year

I wanted to thank everyone for reading; the comments and emails let me know my articles do not go out into cyber space and disappear. Even those who do not leave comments or contact me at all are appreciated! I know you are out there and hope you enjoy at least some of the content I put out. I really hope there is something here for everyone and readers of all skill levels, even those who do not knit.

I always encourage anyone to email me with questions, comments or suggestions! I am always ALWAYS open to new material. If there is something in particular you would like me to review or a technique to be covered I would be happy to look into it!

This post is not the regular Monday Mishaps because I feel it would be a grave disservice to forget about you, the reader. I’ve never had any unpleasant comments or emails and I’ve only felt comfortable here in my online home. Writing is similar to composing music, meaning that you end up bearing a little bit of your soul to others. I am glad that everyone accepts me for who I am and know that I do not write just for myself, I write for you.