Wednesday, November 9, 2011

The Prodigal Knitter Returns....

I know it's been a VERY long time since I've posted anything on this blog. The reason being.... well, I haven't had anything to post about! I hurt my shoulder back in the spring, which led to a hiatus from knitting... that lasted all summer. And part of the fall.

But, as of last weekend, I'm back. I hauled my knitting gear out of the closet, took stock of the projects I had on the go... and discovered a nasty surprise. Those of you who read my other blog may already know - I discovered that I hadn't sealed some of my projects in ziploc bags, and the moths had gotten to them. So rather than picking up where I left off with my beautiful baby alpaca, I had to soak, wash, rinse and dry all the yarn left in my knitting bag. Not fun. Let this be a lesson to all you sporadic knitters out there!

Fortunately it's all now as good as new, and the moths didn't actually do much damage - they only chewed through a couple of strands. And while I waited for my existing projects to dry out, I started a new one, so it's all good. I am determined - DETERMINED - to knit a blanked this winter. So I started knitting my first coloured square. Though I decided I'm just going to knit until the yarn runs out and then start a new one, so it may end up as more of a rectangle. I'll take pictures when I've got a few more rows done and post them.

In the meantime, here are some inspirational knitting photos I found on the interweb!

Monday, April 11, 2011

Make-It Monday - Make It: The Handmade Revolution

To view image source, click on image

Well, since I made almost no progress on my knitting this weekend after having been distracted by a sudden, overwhelming and frankly disconcerting urge to clean out my closets, I'm going to take this opportunity to share an event. Make It Vancouver is happening this weekend (April 15-17). It's a craft fair full of awesome. You should go. For more info, go here.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Make-It Monday - Finally Finished!

So you may remember that I took some photos of a cowl in the making a week or two ago. Well, I've finally finished! This one was a bit of a monster of a project because the yarn I was using, though beautiful, soft and warm, is quite narrow, and I was making a very long scarf to join in a loop. Here is the final result:

I tried doing the Kitchener stitch to join the scarf, which apparently was supposed to make it look seamless. Not quite:

But I just wear that in the back of the first loop and it's more or less hidden.

Though it took nearly a month of daily work and lots of sore muscles and cramped fingers, I'm pleased to say that I got to wear it for the first time today! And given that it's a particularly wet and miserable Monday (see my previous post), it was the one thing that brightened up my day!

If you'd like to make one, the basic pattern is courtesy of Julianne Smith and is available on her site here. Thanks, Julianne!

Of course, true to form, I'm already well on the way with my next project:

This one is a cowl made of chunky 100% Baby Alpaca yarn - it is so soft that I swear the first time I touched it I wanted to wrap myself up in an entire suit made from it and stay there forever. It is absolutely incredible. Even J. was impressed by its softness - though he did have some concerns about just what happens to the baby Alpacas to get the yarn off them. Pretty sure he was joking.

Until next Monday....

Monday, March 28, 2011

Make-It Monday - New scarf/neckwarmer/cowl

One of the main problems with the last one I made was that it was too itchy. I'm hoping I can soften it up when I wash it, but for now I can't actually handle wearing it. So I'm trying again with a really simple stockinette stitch/cable in a merino wool silk blend. It's super soft and smooth, and I'm digging the sheen the silk adds to it. Can't wait to finish this one up and get a bit of use out of it before summer weather relegates it to the closet!

So far it's coming along well - though I did forget to hold the cable in the back for one of the centre stitches so it twists the wrong way - but I've decided to pretend it was on purpose and make it into a motif by alternating for a waving cable! Here's how it's going so far:

(That's Opie in the background.) I'm about halfway done now, so I'm hoping to finish it in the next week or so. Last night I slept funny and now my shoulder is all fucked up, so I'm probably not going to get much done this weekend, though!

Monday, March 21, 2011

Make-It Monday: Yarn Shopping Excursions Results!

Instead of staying in my pyjamas all weekend (though I must admit I spent relatively little of Sunday out of them) we went to Main Street on Saturday for a shopping "excursion." I'm still not sure quite how I did it, but I convinced my guy to give me a ride all the way out there so that I could visit a couple of local yarn shops, Three Bags Full and Birkeland Brothers. I think I promised to get him a coffee, which he went and got for himself after the first five minutes he spent in sheer boredom at the first store! At any rate (despite the yarn shopping), we had an enjoyable afternoon drinking coffee as we wandered along looking in store fronts. For those of you who aren't from around here (or who haven't been to this part of town), Main Street is a great mixture of cool, funky shops, weird old hold-outs from another time period, random utilitarian shops (like bathroom fixture emporiums), comic book and game shops and overpriced hipster clothing. Fantastic for window shopping on a sunny Sunday afternoon. Here's what I picked up.

Three Bags Full:

Birkeland Bros:

Oh, and I also got this book. Oops. Even Opie seems to think I have too many books. I think he's trying to say "and where are you going to keep this one? There's no more room on the bookshelves and I'm not giving up my pillow."

Monday, March 14, 2011

Make-It Monday - 5th Avenue Infinity Scarf from

So I've started yet another new project, abandoning completely the Paris Night scarf I posted about last week. Oops. But I had to. See?

To view image source, click on image

I think this is absolutely gorgeous. I couldn't track down the yarn used here so I decided to do a trial run with some Stitch Nation yarn in "Little Lamb" - it's a pale cream colour that I've got tons of kicking around.

Here's what it looks like un-looped:

To view image source, click on image

I think I messed up the pattern a little, but I actually kind of like the result. I'll post pics when I'm done - hopefully soon! Wish me luck...

To make your own, head on over to the amazing!


Finally finished! Definitely didn't follow the pattern properly, but I think for a first try it looks okay. I need to block it, which will hopefully stop the edges from curling, but I think I'm ready to move and try it again with some coloured yarn!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Knit 'n Kaboodle Cup Warmers!

To view image source, click on image

I know I did a knitting post just yesterday - but look how cute! I stumbled across this at Knit 'n Kaboodle when I was looking for something to do with odds and ends of yarn and discontinued one-offs that are sitting irritatingly in the bottom of my yarn bag leering at me. There are all sorts of cool designs and the patterns seem pretty cheap. Plus these look easy enough for novice knitters (like myself) to be able to complete without too many visits to the trusty knitters on YouTube! Here's a free one to try out:

Click on image to see source & pattern

Wicked Wednesday - Ravelry

To view image source, click on image

I only just discovered this amazing site for knitters and crocheters tonight. It's not only a site, but a community of creative stitchers who share patterns, tips, photos and sources for great yarn. I haven't explored it thoroughly yet, but when I stumbled across the little guy in the picture there, I figured I had to share it! If you're into crafting - or needlecraft in particular - drop by and check it out!

Monday, March 7, 2011

Make-It Monday - Yarn, yarn and more yarn!!

Big 'ole rainbow in a bag!

Here's my big bag of inspiration! Since I started knitting again to keep these idle hands from trouble, I've finished one project and started a few new ones! Aside from the hat fiasco, I have started a few scarves - a motorcycle scarf for my dad, a basic scarf with the yarn left over from the hat, and last but not least, this merino wool scarf:

Yay! Scarf in the making...

Now I know it don't look like much, but I'm stoked because it's super soft and cosy! I may have to make a blanket like this bad boy, just 'cos it's so soft and warm. Hopefully I'll finish it up soon - just in time for spring and warmer weather. Le sigh. Oh well, I'll have a reason to look forward to winter, for once!

I've been looking around a lot online - both for yarn and patterns. There are some great sites out there for both. My favourite yarn shop is Jimmy Beans Yarn, which has a great selection, charges very reasonable shipping costs and has the best online customer service I've ever encountered! Seriously, these guys will let you know right away if something isn't in stock, they'll go to a ton of effort to recommend yarn that works with your pattern and even calculated out how many skeins of yarn fit into one of their envelopes so I'd know what size to make my orders for cheap shipping! Awesome.

Back to the needles...

Bonus shot of Hera with her best "who, me?" expression.

Saturday, February 12, 2011


To see image source, click on the image

So I recently took up knitting again after years of not being crafty. Between school and work, not only did I not have time, but I didn't have the energy. For the last year or two of my degree I was constantly burned out and had zero creative juice to spare. Now that I'm done school and have a bit of time to do what I want guilt-free, I'm searching for hobbies. Not just to fill the time, but to fill the void. I have been feeling more and more disconnected from myself for the past few years, and have developed some unhealthy habits like shopping and watching way too much TV to feel good. But it never lasts, and overall it just makes me feel more empty. I look back on a time when I used to garden, cook and sew, and I miss it. So I decided to throw myself back into creating, and knitting seemed like a practical choice. Not too mentally demanding, it creates something you can use, and with Youtube these days you can find instructions for everything!

I've been knitting on and off since I was about 6 - my maternal grandmother was a avid knitter and I think my mother taught me. That's the one thing I really remember about my grandmother - her knitting in front of the TV. She could knit an entire sweater in one night without ever seeming to look at her hands. It was amazing to me. But until recently, I've never done more than knitting and purling - no cabling or fancy patterns. I hadn't even used circular needles. So I figured I'd give it a shot with this "Snowtracks Cap" from Stitch Nation. After a couple of re-starts I finally got the hang of it, and within a week, lo and behold - my first knitted cap! 'Cept the thing I didn't consider is my recent hair metamorphosis that included bangs a la Emily the Strange. You can't wear caps with a thick fringe 'cos they end up in your eyes. FAIL.

Oh well, at least now I know I can not only knit a cap, but follow a pattern. On to the next....