So I got this yesterday.
I am very, very happy. It’s something I’ve wanted for a long while. My knitting and cat obsessions are likely obvious if you read this blog, but what might not be is that I learned to knit from my grandma and come from a line of crafty women. Hence, this design has multiple meanings for me.
Putting it on my wrist was a bit of a big decision, but I’m ultimately very happy. My first tattoo isn’t so visible, and I’ve always wished I could show it off more. So, I figured why not take the plunge with this second one?
Another thing that I’m excited about with this tattoo? My husband drew it 🙂
Of course, small tweaks needed to be done by the tattoo artist. He added the detail on the yarn for example, which I LOVE. It was really cool to bring the hubby and let the two artists figure out the final product. I of course had input, but my art skills are so terrible I was happy to defer to them.
PS: the artist is Peter Belej at TCB Tattoos. HIGHLY recommended.
I recently was given some coupons for some good deals, so naturally I decided to get some tools I’ve had my eye on for a bit. Regular household items like a steamer and a kitchen scale…
Except that I have ulterior plans.
Sure, they will come in handy for cleaning pet stains, steaming wrinkles out of clothes (I HATE ironing, so this is good) and measuring recipe ingredients. However their main purpose will be yarn related. The steamer will help me block with greater ease, and the scale will help me figure out how many grams I have of a particular yarn. There is nothing more annoying than having to guesstimate because you want to cast on for a project that needs 120 grams and you have the perfect yarn for it but you no longer have the ball band and/or used only part of the skein in an earlier project and so have absolutely no idea how many grams you have left.
She always manages to sit right on top of my pattern or knitting.
Come to think of it, he’s started following suit…
So this past weekend was the annual Knitter’s Frolic. I went with some members of my knitting group, and we had a lot of fun.
Above photos from CanadianChia.
And saw some amazing things.
CASHMERE ROVING. IT FEELS LIKE CLOUDS.
And when it comes to shopping, I made out like a bandit this year. A bandit who pays for all their loot, but a bandit nonetheless.
Everything there was just SO AWESOME this year. More awesome than it already normally is. Plus I got more back that I thought I would with my tax return, so happy early birthday to me.
Here is the pile, in all its glory:
First we have some beautiful lace weight. Seriously, the picture does not do the emerald tones of this skein justice. It’s Shalimar Yarn‘s Breathless Lace in Loden. Handpainted! 850 yds! $30! 😀
I plan on making this beauty with it.
Then I stopped by a family-owned farm‘s stall and grabbed me some more hand painted goodness:
Once again, my camera does not do the deep hues of this yellow any justice. I normally don’t go for yellows, but it was so gorgeous it had to come home with me.
The Black Lamb (another local yarn producer) had this at their booth:
Merino mixed with angora rabbit! Get in my shopping bag now please!
Then at the booth for Gateway Fibreworks (another local outfit that makes yarn from Ontario alpacas – noticing a “local” theme yet?) I saw this skein, the last one they had of it’s colourful yet undyed (these are natural alpaca fleece colours) kind and had to have it.
While I was there I grabbed these mini skeins because alpaca mini skeins.
I’m thinking it should be enough for fingerless gloves.
So that’s it for the local fibres. I had planned on buying only local, normally-hard-to-get-your-hands-on stuff, but then…
Since I needed some DK weight cotton for this vest, I figured I might as well buy it while it’s on sale.
It’s called Kibiso silk. It may not look very silky, but that’s because it is actually made from the waste silk, which is the fuzzy bits on the surface one gets when you reel silk from a cocoon.
I also got a good deal on hand carders from Gemini Fibres. I’ll need them if I ever actually start spinning.
Speaking of starting spinning, I’ve taken a step in the right direction! I took Barb Aikman’s class on the Sunday of the Frolic.
I’ve got a long way to go, but at least it’s a start. I had trouble with the single treadle I was using, so a fellow student was kind enough to let me try her Ashford Joy2. Muuuuch better.
…aaand now I want an Ashford Joy2. It’s a beautiful machine.
But, before I can think of that, or use all this new yarn that is burning a hole in my stash, I must finish the baby knitting (yes, there is still another set of these:
as well as a blanket to go) plus the shawl I’ve started for myself:
I think I needed to finally make something for myself. People are starting to ask why I knit so much but hardly wear any knitwear :S
Luckily this shawl is in worsted weight, so hopefully it won’t take too long.
…but dear God it’s cute stuff.
Finished these recently:
and just started the foundation for these cuties:
After that I will be casting on for Knitted Moon Design’s Star Path Baby Blanket:
Other things I’ve been working on:
A coworker and fellow knitter is retiring, so I made her this little keychain pouch and put some fancy stitch markers in it. Pattern is here.
This cute owl coffee cup cozy (pattern is here) was the pattern in a knit-a-long I joined, aptly named the Cabled Owl Cozy KAL. The pattern writer/group admin (Knitphomaniac over on Blogger) was selling the sew-on googly eyes with proceeds going to a local soup kitchen in time for Easter. I opted to gift the FO to my mom, who is a little down lately now that she’s an empty-nester, my grandma has cancer, and my grandpa has had to move into a nursing home.
Grandma asked me to make her a hat for her new bald ‘do. I happily obliged. 1) grandma asked and I love her, 2) knitting is a good stress reliever for me, 3) my grandma is the one who taught me to knit in the first place.
I opted for the sophisticated Lucy Hat by Carina Spencer.
Grandma quickly noticed that her noggin was getting cold anytime she needed to take off the hat to wash it, and so I just finished up a second hat for her – a Tam-o’-Shanter made using Elizabeth Zimmermann’s instructions in Knitting Without Tears.
I’ve been told several times lately that I should start an Etsy store. I was wondering why, and had thought “hey, maybe I’m getting so good people are noticing!” but after writing this post I think it’s more likely because I’ve been churning out so .much lately. Unfortunately I don’t know when I’ll have time to knit for people that aren’t family or babies :S Maybe this summer? We shall see…
It’s books (and knitting and yarn buying, but that’s another story).
Recently, I borrowed this from work:
And now I waaaant it.
I mean look,
Each breed/animal has at least a full page dedicated to how to best spin, dye, and knit the fleece, as well as a swatch showing what it looks like knit up and a description of what types of garments it is best for.
It’s like the last piece in my collection. I figure I will have a library of ALL THE KNITTING KNOWLEDGE once I have it on my shelf.
… I really am in the right profession as a librarian…
I want it, I want it soooo bad. But I already own:
and a few books on how to spin and should really just be happy. I mean, I haven’t even actually started learning to spin yet. But then I tell myself “but it will be a great resource for when I actually do start! And it will make me a better knitter too!” If it sounds reminiscent of the talk of an addict trying to reason their way to their next fix, that’s likely a fair and accurate statement. Though I like to think I ended up making a small sacrifice for the good of my wallet: instead of the huge coffee table book, I ended up buying this instead:
Same topic, same authors, a heck of a lot cheaper. It’s like the light version. Also, it will fit in my purse while shopping 😀 I mean, what?
My sickness isn’t limited to books on yarn and fleece. In the same transaction I also bought:
because the other day I bought these:
I know, I know, this all adds up to a lot of $. But the Raspberry Pi and Arduino are work/career related, so there. Plus I got the books online for cheaper than at the hobby store where I got the Raspberry Pi and Arduino. Plus I rarely shop for myself. I’m treating myself after the rough winter I’ve had (more addict-style rationalizing…)
God knows when I’ll find the time to learn how to use the Raspberry Pi and Arduino with all this spinning I plan on doing…
And lastly, I got this:
I have a good reason! I have an older car! It makes strange noises I want to understand. Not to mention I’d like to not look so dim the next time I go to the mechanic.
…I’m going to go broke.
Then again, if I can fix and make my own stuff…
Kidding! No more book buying for a long time, I swear.
It’s been awhile I know. I choose to blame several things: post-wedding craziness, the holidays, and some health problems experienced by both my husband and myself.
This post is essentially just going to be a run-down of things I have been working on. It features some great patterns, including one I am writing myself (my first!). I guess that might be another reason for my lack of blogging: knitting addiction. I state where I got each of the patterns. To see which yarn(s) I used, click on the image to see a Ravelry description page.
I’ll start off with the arm knitting trend. Despite my already large stash, I decided to buy some extra bulky yarn and give it a whorl. I used the tutorial here and followed the guidance of Unwind Yarn House in using Mirasol Ushya yarn held double. I’m pretty happy with the look of the result, albeit it’s not as warm as some of my other scarves, and I’m worried that getting a stitch snagged on something might cause the whole thing to be pulled out of shape. We shall see.
Curious to see what arm knitting might possibly look like in progress? Voilà.
PS: I entered this in the Ravellenic Games, which coincides with the Olympics.
I’m also planning on entering a pair of slippers that I’m making for my husband in colours from Fallout, his favourite video game. I started off following this pattern, but had to make so many modifications due to hubby’s extra extra large shoe size that it’s practically its own pattern now. I’m considering publishing it 🙂
Before these I finished Shara Lambeth’s Dentelle Cowl for my mother-in-law. It’s a lovely short cowl, and I really like the finished result. Though I will suggest that if you plan on trying to make your own that you make the foundation chain very loose. The stitch pattern is very stretchy, plus you will be putting many dcs into the foundation chain, so it needs to be able to give a little.
Being at that age where friends and cousins start having kids, I’ve also been doing some baby knits.
This adorbale pair of booties is based on a Saartje de Bruijn pattern. Albeit I used the seamless version by Fleegle instead, because I hate seams. Hate. I had to learn the Turkish cast-on it order to do it. I highly recommend FluffyKnitterDeb’s tutorial, it’s really easy to follow. A little tricky until you get the hang of it, but I’m glad I’ve learned how to do it. It makes beautiful sock toes, bag bottoms, mitten tips, etc.
One of the babies was born in December. She of course required something more warm and snuggly, hence I made her a hat using the Bulky EarFlap Hat pattern from As the Bunny Spins and booties using Simple Soft Baby Booties from Adirondack Mama.
She might not be so happy about wearing it, but I think her parents are glad she’s warm in these -20°C tempertures we’ve been getting.
Then there was my Christmas knitting.
I made a Jayne hat again. This time it was for my middle brother, and I used this pattern, which I think I was happier with.
Here they both are, sporting their hats in true browncoat style 🙂
And now for my pride and joy of the whole lot. The pattern is Fightin’ Words by Annie Watts of Wattsolak Designs. These fingerless mitts were for my youngest brother, who seemed to get a kick out of them.
My first true stranded colourwork. A pretty awesome pattern, and a pretty awesome job, if I do say so myself.
Not only can I still not believe I got them done on time, I am beyond happy with how they turned out. They are even worth the 240 inches of i-cord I had to knit.
I’m now married to the love of my life and knitting was involved. No wonder I’m smiling.
The annual TTC Knitalong was this past Saturday. I was on Team Intarsia (a.k.a. the best team).
Team Intarsia started at Creative Yarns in Scarborough, which had a great sale and the Zauberball I’ve been coveting, so I did a lot of my shopping there (the Malabrigo and the Louisa Harding below were both from there too).
But she bought new ones when we got to the Purl, where is where I got the Sweet Georgia DK. I normally don’t do crazy colours, but the skein was just so vibrant I couldn’t say no. It was calling to me. You know how it is. Ilana’s DPN troubles were soothed when she won the Purple Purl’s draw for their limited edition Indigodragonfly colourway and a pattern.
It was also at the Purl that I started binding off my wedding shrug 😀
Then it was on to Romni Wools. I bought a spindle there that is hopefully better quality than the current homemade one I have. It’s Ashford, so it should be. Romni was also giving away free needles and this little adorable guy, who now resides in my craft room.
We discovered that Romni also apparently sells the stuff you’d need to make muppets.
Then it was on to Americo Original, where everyone got a free skein of lace weight 100% llama for FREE. I was nearly done binding off at this point.
I walked down the street like this too. Really weirded out some of the uninitiated, lol.
At the Rivoli I finally finished the shrug.
AND I got the following certificate, after my team leaders nominated me <3! The lovely Glenna C. was one of them. She has some great photos of the day (and of the most awesome team, if I do say so) on her blog here.
A damn good day.