Monday, July 20, 2015

July already!

Wow, has it been a long time.  Life has been incredibly busy, and to be honest, I have been battling another round of depression and health issues.  The health issues turned out to be a tempest in a teapot, thanks to a careless radiologist reading the ultrasound of my neck two years ago.  Between waiting for another ultrasound, followed by radioactive testing-- with its requirement to be off my thyroid meds, and then awaiting the appointment with my endocrinologist, it has been a rather trying time.  Thank heavens everything turned out just fine in the thyroid end of things!   I have, however, been knitting, and I will endeavour to show my efforts over the coming weeks. 

My most recent finished objects are shown below--
These are the Fishtail Hat and Fingerless Mitts designed by Gail Bable and published in the 2008 Pattern A Day knitting calendar.  I used James Brett Aran With Wool, sadly discontinued now, perhaps one-fourth of the ball, and 4.5mm needles.  These are very quick projects and the directions are quite clear.  The only modification I might make is that the fishtail pattern could be centred on the top of the hand and garter stitch for the palm of the hand, which would then require a left and right hand direction.  I understand why this was not done, and they are fine.  Really.  It is just that sometimes we want to tweak patterns.  

Having completed these, I wound the rest of the yarn into a ball and will be donating to charity via the store.  I am determined that once a yarn is used in a project, any leftovers must move on.  I have far too many partial skeins around and I would like to simplify my stash.  Sort of.  Kind of.  Arggh.  

I had an empty project bag, and we have declared Saturday's to be Start Something New days at the store.  Accordingly, I pulled out this little sweetie:
On the left is the camisole I have started in Dye-Version stretch bamboo, as specified in the pattern.  Barb is using Katia Stretch Cotton in hers, so we will get a great comparison of the yarns.  

A project completed recently (See?  Here is my attempt to catch up!) is this nice little cowl.  It is worked in Berroco Folio, colour 4505.  Folio is a 65/35 superfine alpaca and rayon blend, rated as a double-knit weight by Berroco.   I used approximately 1.5 skeins of yarn, knitting on the specified 4.5mm needles.  This blocked out really nicely, the knitting was fun, and I wore this one day last week at the store because I was cold.  I rate this project as a 5/5 and a complete success.

We are trying to decide whether to bring this yarn into the store.  Berroco yarns are priced in U.S. Dollars, and the exchange rate is so low.  The suggested retail price from Berroco allows for a 90-cent dollar, not a 70-cent dollar, so we have mixed feelings.  The yarn claims to be DK weight, but I am not really sure that is accurate.  I have another Folio project on needles so will have more opinions later. 

In other news, my friend Christi from Timmins popped by the store.  We both bemoaned our lack of blogging efforts and promised each other we would try harder to maintain the blog.  Here is my end of the promise!  and it feels good to be back. 

Happy knitting!

Tuesday, March 24, 2015


Despite the absence of posts, there has been a lot of knitting around here.  We are still trying to recover from the Very Bad Things that started last August, and I do find solace in my knitting.

Today's blog post features a shawl that I absolutely fell in love with, and decided that I must knit.  it is called "In the Pink" and was a free Ravelry download.  It is knit in sections, the first being the centre fractal portion. 
Stitch markers are your friends, because they become extremely important a bit later.   The live stitches, with stitch markers, are left on a holder, or better yet, a spare needle. 

Next, you knit the "wings," both left and right.  Again. These stitches are left on holders, or spare needles.  Yes, you are up to 3 needles!
The you start the joining process.  Stitches are knit together from the wing and the centre, one at a time.  Stitches are grafted from the wing and the centre portion.  Then you work the filling in lace.  Repeat for the second side, and you have most of the work done.  

Then the border is knit on, and joined at the end of every other row.  A bit repetitive, but oh-so-worth it.  At the end, you have an absolutely beautiful shawl.
The shape of the shawl means that it will stay on your shoulders easily, and it can wrap right around you and keep you all snuggled and warm. 

I used one strand of FdC Centolavaggi and one strand of Misti HandPaint Lace (colours 416 and I have lost the ball band for the Misti, darnitall!) and a 3.75mm needle.  I ended  up on a set of Hiya Hiya sharps, and they were truly marvelous.  If I didn't already have a full set of Addis and Addi Interchangeable, I could see myself switching over to the Hiya Hiyas.

As much as I love this shawl, I have a friend who needs a beautiful, warm hug.  I am wrapping it up and gifting it to her this week. 

I will endeavour to be back soon to tell you about all my other finished works. 

Sunday, January 04, 2015

Trying again, another new year

Last year, I resolved to do better about keeping the blog updated.  I did pretty well, slacked off, started up again.  And then in mid-August, some Very Bad Things happened in my life.  They rocked my world big time.  I stopped eating, lost 15 pounds.  For the record. I don't recommend this weight loss plan.  it wreaks havoc on your system.  I eventually restarted the anti-depressant medications, despite the cost.  Life began returning to the new normal.  I am not going to detail the Very Bad Things, especially since we are still trying to process through them.  Right now, the upshot is that I am working in a law office in The City one day a week, with some extra hours gained from e-mailed work, and the remaining days at the shop.  

I have been knitting still.  We published a calendar at the store for 2015 with twelve original patterns, none of them scarves.  For the record, writing patterns is HARD.  What seems perfectly clear in my head often isn't to other people.  Quite the learnng curve, to be certain. 

Christmas was spent visiting my son, daughter-in-law and grandson.  It was a very much needed holiday away.  We did a very minimal gift-giving regimen this year, which also greatly reduced the holiday stresses.  I did, however, knit socks for the family.  

It really was a great visit.  I was able to spend one-on-one time with each of the kids and grandson, plus the weather was awesome.  Starting with the baby, you see his Christmas socks, my son's, my daughter-in-law's socks that match the baby, my husband and mine!  The other two children were in Michigan visiting ther dad, but they did get socks.

We are teaching an Aran vest project at the store this month.  I got the sample vest knit, and it was such fun.  The pattern was published in Knittong Traditions Spring 2014 issue.  

I apologize for the crapticular photos.  I will get some better ones from the store.  I used 5.5mm needles to get gauge, and 260g of James Brett Aran with Wool.  Sadly, the yarn has been discontinued, but Hayfield makes a similar fibre which should work just as well.   I followed the pattern as written, although in hindsight I wish I had lengthened it a tad.  Oh well.

Today is a very grey, rainy day and I am fighting the urge to huddle on the couch with an afghan, the cat, and my I-Pad, being totally useless.  So far I have folded laundry, done this blogpost and done a 15-second Plank position.  Not terribly productive, but better than nothing.  I am off to block my vest and do some handwashing, make up some food for left-overs later in the week, and some knitting.  The Edwardian Cardigan is out of hibernation, working on the sleeves.  It is NOT travel knitting, so will only get worked on here at home.

Ta-ta for now.