Getting Warmer!

With the warm weather coming in, my urge to be outside and free is alive and well. Especially since the virus that has been plaguing me for the past couple weeks is beginning to subside! This week I decided to go for a short run, just to enjoy the weather. This would be the part where someone says something like ‘what could go wrong?’

Beach Day

Seeing as I don’t have any particular pictures for this post, I am going to post random photos that I think carry the theme of this post. This one is from our trip to Cuba last year. Missing that weather!

 

After work, around five or six pm, I decided to make the first outdoor run of the year! I came in the house, dropped my purse, various water bottles, general detritus I haul around with me and went to get dressed. It was the warmest day that had come in a long time and I wasn’t about to miss out on an opportunity. The weather was actually warm enough to wear shorts, so I figured that it couldn’t hurt and threw a pair on.

I realized we had no water bottles around, so drank some water at the house and decided not to bring any with me. The last part of getting ready was to pop in my headphones and start my ‘RUNNING PLAYLIST OF AWESOME 2015’; it helps me stay motivated…. Mostly because of the name.

Running

I took off running. Now, with me, running doesn’t indicate a speed so much as general description. Running, yes! Fast? Definitely not. There are probably glaciers that move faster than I run. I usually liken my speed to a stampede of turtles that hit a puddle of molasses… in the dead of winter.

Regardless of speed or technique, I’m out there. I’m running and doing healthy things for myself. It’s better than sitting at home saying ‘ah well, I’ll run tomorrow.’ As exciting as it sounds, I actually run in a large circle and when I reached the approximate halfway point an uneven bit of sidewalk jumped up and tripped me.

Completely impressed gym selfie. Capture that progress!

Completely impressed gym selfie. Capture that progress!

With more than 10 years of martial arts training, you would think I would be a little more graceful than this, but alas, it is not so. This wasn’t a little stumble, WHAM right to the ground. Scraped my palms and knee decently. Before I let out a huge slurr of curse words, I happened to look to the side. There was a teenage girl standing in the driveway across the street with a cell phone pressed to her ear. I don’t think she was listening to whoever was on the phone anymore; she was now staring at me with open-mouthed shock. I remember being that age and I remember how cool I thought people in their 20’s were. Totally infallible right?

I wouldn’t want to destroy this poor girl’s world-view, so I jumped right back up, with as much dignity as possible, and kept running. I think this is one of the few situations where is socially acceptable to run away after! I scrammed, vamoosed, skedaddled, got the hell out of there and started around back home.

Back at home, before dealing with the carnage that was my hands and knee, I checked my running app. I like to keep track of my distances etc. When I looked, it said I did 8.2km. I was only gone for 25 minutes and I had walked some of that time. There was no way I had just run 8.2km. As it turns out, my running app was possessed, but I like to think it was trying to make me feel better for falling while running. I took a screen shot of the map and traced a blue line where I actually ran.

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The morals of today’s story are as follows!

  1. Don’t blindly trust running apps and never trust the ‘calories burned’ counter
  2. Keep telling yourself that it totally looked like you dropped into a burpee
  3. Buy some gloves to run in because heaven knows this won’t be the last time you trip
Creatively Crafty

Creatively Crafty

The Creativ Festival was a lot of fun. We saw some old friends and a lot of new ones! This was our first year at this show and my first year teaching there. I gave two lectures, one on swatching and another on steeking. The steeking class was something of a preview to my hands-on class coming in the fall. I am really looking forward to it; I think people are going to be very excited about cutting some knitting.

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While I wasn’t teaching classes I spent a lot of time in the booth. The ladies and I actually got quite a bit of knitting done. There was a company there that creates yarn bowls you can wear like a purse and knit while walking. They’re called a Yarnit! Christine went over and got one immediately and was knitting from it the whole show. We sent quite a few people over to her booth because these were just so darn cool! They fit in cup holders and even help with the tail end of yarn cakes that collapse in on themselves. The picture is from her website and links directly to it. I managed not to take any photos, of course.

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I worked on the second rainbow sock and am very close to being done. I think with the two-day show I managed to do almost half the sock! I had turned the heel and all my decreases were done, so it was just a matter of knitting up the leg of the sock. I am not going to lie to you… I did manage to drop two or three stitches. I picked most of them back up before I got too far away, but I am definitely going to have to weave one in. Shhhhh, no one will know but us.

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Now that we’re done this show it’s all about prepping for the next one! There are a few in September and October, but they’re clustered relatively close together. It will be interesting to getting everything together for such a close time frame, but I am looking forward to it! I really love vending at the Fiber Festivals and Craft Shows. If there are any I am missing, please comment or email me! I am never opposed to doing more; it helps keep me out of trouble.

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For the rest of this week, I haven’t being doing too much more. Catching up on some sleep and mentally preparing the next projects. My to-do list, or I should say my to-knit list, is always getting longer!

Technical Tuesday: Double Pointed Needles

At the Creativ Festival this past weekend I was knitting in our booth. Quite a few people commented on my ability to use double pointed needles and asked me how I managed to learn. If you’ve been reading the blog for a while, or read older posts, you will know this was not always the case.

I used to loath double pointed needles and I would use any tip or trick to get out of using them. I even, accidentally, discovered how to do something of a modified magic loop method to avoid using them for projects like colour work mittens and sleeves.

I did not watch any kind of YouTube videos to figure it out. No no no, I was determined to learn the hard way. I buckled down and started knitting socks with dpn’s. I will admit it was hard in the beginning; I definitely made mistakes, but that is the beauty of learning, you’re allowed to make as many mistakes as you like!

After a pair of socks or two, something clicked and I got into a rhythm and from there it was magic. I always find it’s easier if you make sure your left needle is under it’s connecting needle and your right needle (or working needle) goes over the next needle. Your needles build something of a log cabin around as you knit.
The beginning is always the most difficult, but don’t give up! At least 90% of being an amazing knitter is sheer unbridled fearlessness… and maybe a touch of stubbornness, but who’s counting?

On TV

Even though I haven’t had copious amounts of time for knitting and relaxing, there is always an episode or two of TV that sneaks in when cooking dinner or labeling yarn. We have begun falling behind on a lot of crucial shows like Castle, Agents of Shield, Outlander, etc. The list really does go on and on and on.

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I am going to talk about a new show today! Paul and I just started watching Daredevil on Netflix. This show is a Netflix original so I don’t believe it is being shown anywhere else. If you don’t know the premise of Daredevil, it is a Marvel comic about a blind man who is a lawyer by day and vigilante by night.

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I don’t really read up on that many comic books, so I cannot attest to how closely the TV show sticks to the comics, but the story has always fascinated me. The main character, Matt Murdock, lost his sight as a young boy. Since he lost his sight, Murdock’ other senses are heightened to compensate for this. As a result he is able to do incredible things, such as fight crime.

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I did see the Daredevil movie when it came out in 2003 and I liked how they showed Murdock’s interaction with everyday life. The movie used ghostly images to show how sound could translate to a type of sight. I really liked that effect because it allowed you to see some of the problems he dealt with as well as how he was able to do some of the incredible things he was doing.

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In the TV series, so far, they give a little less explanation about how Murdock is able to jump around and fight 9 thugs at the same time. Since I’ve seen the movie, I know he is using small sounds and smells to figure things out, but if I didn’t know these details, it would seem a lot more supernatural.
We are a few episodes in and I really like it so far. I have the urge to throw off work entirely and marathon the episodes that are on Netfix and knit my problems away.

Knitting Medley

Knitting Medley

I am not going to sugar coat it people, I’ve knitted a bit on my rainbow socks and put a few more rows on Paul’s socks. Mostly our house has been completely taken over with the preparations for the Creativ Festival this weekend.

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We are going to be in booth #276 at Mississauga International Centre; Friday 10-7 and Saturday 10-6. This is our first year at the Creativ Festival and I am super excited about it!

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There is a lot of work being done to make sure all the yarn is labeled and the stitch markers are strung! I am also giving two lectures at the Creativ Festival this weekend so I have been polishing those up!

CF Spring 2015

Outside of small snatches of knitting here and there, I haven’t had any really good chunks of time to get several inches done. Paul’s sock is getting along, I am really happy with how it is turning out, I think it will be a good fit for him. I’ll just have to copy it for the second sock to make sure they’re the same size.

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I am making a few plans for what I am going to knit after the show. My grandmother’s sweater is, of course, on my mind, but I will also start a sweater for myself too. I am due for something other than socks. Don’t get me wrong, I love socks; but there are only so many times you can write about socks. I’ve been dancing around with the idea of trying Amy Herzog’s Fit to Flatter pattern maker. It seems like a really great idea and I am going to try it eventually. I might as well try it sooner rather than later!

Technical Tuesday: Illusion Knitting

This technique I have seen before, but completely forgot about! I’ve wanted to try this out, but I figure I will cover it here because it is just so darn cool! Illusion knitting is a knitted garment that uses texture to create a hidden image or words.

You can only see the images or words when you tilt the garment on an angle. There is a group on Ravelry for Wooly Thoughts; it looks like they supply a fair amount of the illusion knitting patterns on Ravelry.

I can’t even imagine how intense writing these patterns! Sara, the one below is for you!

My Latest Pins!

All the cool things I have found on Pinterest lately!

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Running shirts! Of course!

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Funnies

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More funnies

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Custom Wine Labels

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Fun Running Shoe Laces

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Playing Around with Colours

I mentioned a last week that I was going to be doing some experiments with yarn I began to play around with self-striping colours. While I was dyeing, I decided to try something a little bit, out there.

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I’ve been sticking with a two or three colours pallet, because it is a bit easier than going all in and doing 1000 colours all at once. I am dipping my toe, not hurtling myself into the deep end. I dyed this skein, which when knit up should look similar to the Harry Potter scarves in the later movies (The Goblet of Fire and Order of the Phoenix).

Harry Potter Scarf!

I haven’t even had time to knit a swatch of that to see if it works because I have been working on the two other pairs of socks I showed you last week… AND this pair.

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Yes that is right! Already done one sock! Look out world!!

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Technical Tuesday: Mosaic Knitting

Mosaic Knitting, or Slip Stitch Knitting is a way to knit with two colours but not carry a float. Usually when you are working a Fair Isle pattern, you carry the float behind the colour you are currently working with. This effectively gives you two layers of wool and a very warm garment. While this is great for those cold winters, what about pieces you want to wear in the fall, spring, or early summer? You definitely don’t want to be wearing an extra thick garment then! Enter Mosaic Knitting.

As is the case with a lot of techniques, it is easier than it looks! I also found this post about Mosaic Knitting and found it really helpful! Barbra Gregory wrote this article for Twist Collective and there are many great examples along with very excellent writing.

There are so many shapes and patterns you can make by simply slipping stitches, it is truly unbelievable. I really can’t wait to give it a try; I’ve never done this technique before, but I can tell, it’s going to be good!

Custom Ink

I was really not sure what to write about today. This is the day when I write about something not knitting related, but I really feel like I’ve got nothing going on. Then BAM! I had to order a couple more t-shirts for my Creativ Festival helpers!

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I’ve used Custom Ink for t-shirts twice now. They normally do huge orders, for teams et al, but I managed to order just a couple things from them. The very first time I was ordering these shirts, I was having a heck of a time getting them to work. There were so many factors and my order was particularly complicated because the backs were all the same, but the fronts were different.

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I couldn’t manage to get it figured out by myself and was incredibly frustrated by the time I called in to speak with them. The person who picked up the phone was friendly and, best of all, unscripted. I felt like I was talking to an actual person rather than someone sitting there reading from a script. She managed to untangle my order and get me all set up with exactly what I wanted.

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This time was exactly the same! I was doing something overly complicated again, and began to frustrate myself. I called in again, remembering how helpful the previous person had been, and wondered if it had been a fluke. My experience was exactly the same! Custom Ink has the BEST customer service I have EVER experienced.

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I feel like the people that work there, actually like their jobs and have a good time at work. Mostly because I always joke around when I call into any customer service phone line. Usually the person on the other end laughs, but doesn’t really speak too much because “this conversation could be recorded for training purposes.” I am sure they are thinking about saying something wrong. It makes for a very tense phone call.

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These people seem like they are just people who are trying to help you out with whatever problem you have; they’re not just cogs in some huge corporate machine. I love that; it’s just like a real person talking to you.

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Needless to say I am completely smitten with them and would recommend this company to ANYONE getting t-shirts made. It’s worth it a bit more if you’re getting more than six done, but you never know when you will have a need for a hundred t-shirts that are all the same!

Toe Up!

If my Technical Tuesday post wasn’t enough of a hint; I’ve been studiously working on socks from the toe up. I’ve actually started two pairs! One for Paul and one that was a dye experiment!

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First up I’ll show you Paul’s socks. This is the Manos del Uruguay Alegría yarn. I am not 100% sure on the colour, but I have linked to it on the Ravelry project page! The yarn itself is really knitting up in an interesting way. Everyone I have shown has asked if it is self striping yarn, but I’ve just hit that magic number of gauge when the yarn takes its own patterning and runs with it!

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The second pair of socks was actually a dye experiment for self-striping socks. I think I have figured out how to do it and I was just playing around with colours. Seeing what lengths to dye for what kind of block of colour. I think they look kind of cool though!

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At the very least they are definitely bright in true Stitch Please fashion!!

Technical Tuesday: Toe Up Heel

I’ve started my pair of socks for April and decided to do these ones from the toe up. My friend, Lisa, gave me some great advice for toe up sock heels, so I am going to share it with you. The first thing you need to know about this particular post, is that I love heel flaps. I know a lot of people who hate to do heel flaps because they have to pick up stitches or they get holes in the sides, but I have this down to a science (most of the time) and I love doing socks this way.

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When I was discussing this with Lisa, she said she does her toe up socks with a heel flap as well; which, of course, made my day! If you refer back to this post the best cast on and cast off for toe up socks are there; all I needed was the middle bit!

You Should get that on a T-shirt

The latest thing I have been completely and totally obsessed with is going to be really good. I found this website that sells t-shirts and other merchandise. I normally love t-shirts with really clever sayings and this all started when I was looking for shirts with clever sayings for the gym. ​

 

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On my first perusal, I read a lot of shirts that had straight up, funny, gym sayings, such as the one pictured above. There are so many that I honestly could not choose just one. I really liked looking at the gender specific ones and imagining them on the opposite sex they were intended for. As well as the really general ones; of the general ones I think the Burpee one is my favourite, because really… who likes burpees?

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At this point I realized that were were shirts for the gym that have been inspired by some of the fandoms I participate in. I started looking up Doctor Who ones because it was the first thing that occurred to me. Things really snowballed from there.

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Once I got into searching the Harry Potter ones and texting them to my fellow gym-goer and fangirl, Sara, I knew I had stumbled upon something of a black hole. This is where all my spare time and money is going to go…I can feel it already.

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I know this might sound like a foreign concept to some people, but I am not a procrastinator. I usually don’t put things off to the last minute, ever. When I know I have something to do, I get it done and out of the way. Hence, when I have a report due at work or a blog article to post, I get it done as soon as I have time to sit down and work on it and BAM, done.

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A few days ago, I spent at least an hour looking through more and more of these t-shirts during time I had decided I was going to write. I had several things to get done and I really wanted to work on them, but I couldn’t look away from the screen. It was absolutely ridiculous.

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Mind you, I did come up with a plan to set aside change and save up to purchase one of these shirts as a reward for actually going to the gym. I am going to get a jar set up for it and make a list of the top shirts I would like to get. Making the list is going to be the hardest part because I am having a lot of trouble not BUYING ALL THE THINGS!!!

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There are even shirts, totes and phone cases with yarn and fiber arts sayings on them. I ENDORSE THIS SITE FOREVERRRR! I am really, very excited about everything this page has to offer and can’t wait to make an order!

Don’t Stop Believing… or Knitting

I can’t believe it is April already! Springtime is upon us and I have therefore been working on my Lemon Waffle Socks! They are the epitome of spring and therefore need to be finished!! While I am writing this there is nothing left to be finished except the toe. The photo I post will be of the completed socks because there is really only a few more rows of them to be finished.

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I’ve had a few decent chunks of time to work on things, but I have spent most of the time working on these socks. I am going to start my next pair imminently, I am thinking I might do a pair for Paul. I’ve only made him two pairs and they’re both green. Branching out is a good thing! I don’t think I have any green sock yarn currently in my bin. There is quite a bit of purple, but I don’t know how much luck I would have getting Paul to wear bright purple socks…
Since I have been slacking horribly on upcoming knits, I am going to show you some better photos of Liane’s baby blanket. Sara took these photos for me and they are stunning, as always!

Liane Blanket Four

Liane Blanket One

Liane Blanket Three

Liane Blanket Two