Mitts are DONE

Hallelujah!

You may remember my starting them waaaay back in this post. 6’4″ Man sized convertible mitts take significantly more yarn than I’m used to :S Plus the pattern I was working from had to be altered several times (though a man pattern, it was definitely not made for the 6’4″ variety), resulting in multiple froggings. I also added on the convertible thumb. I’m debating publishing it as its own pattern. But that requires me to compare it to the original. I don’t want to plagarize. We’ll see how motivated (and not lazy) I feel over the next few days…

The important thing is that they are DONE. To celebrate, here are some goodies:

1) I bought needles online. Turns out I’m not as happy with them as I’d hoped, but the eBay seller had this neat chart on their listing, and I saved a copy. You’re welcome.

2) I wanna make the Favorite Things Scarf. Such a cool concept.

But I should probably get on this instead… Life is hard.

3) I bought a copy of Mary Thomas’s Knitting Book

Um… ignore the Xbox controller. Ours is a nerdy house…

Anyway, this little book is a classic. Perhaps not as well known as Elizabeth Zimmermann or Barbara Walker, but every bit as chock full of invaluable information. An added draw is the wealth of historical information she includes.

Be warned, however, that this was originally published in the 1930s. Knitting techniques might not date, but the cartoons do. Most are charmingly cute, but some venture into mildly sexist and/or culturally insensitive territory. Mrs. Thomas was brilliant, but still a product of her time. Let’s focus on some cute ones:

4) Look what I found in my mom’s closet: an authentic Cowican Sweater! I’ve written about these before.

5) Not knitting, but still crafty, and friend told me about XStitchMyHeart via The Mary Sue.

… must learn cross stitch.

Noodle

I came into work the other day to find this little gem on my desk.

Isn’t she cute?! She’s from the book Noodle’s Knitting by Sheryl Webster, illustrated by Caroline Pedler.

A coworker from another branch (the same lovely individual who made this) made her for a knitting and fiction themed craft program and, knowing I love the book and have used it in storytimes more than once, made a second one for me.

I was so touched! Not to mention thrilled to be able to put something this adorable on my mantle. Right now she’s sitting beside my TARDIS, a product of the Ravhellenic Games. Mine is definitely the home of a nerdy knitter.

Speaking of knitting themed picture books, I don’t believe I’ve shared this other favourite of mine yet (hard to believe since I’ve written about them here and here):

Extra Yarn by Mac Barnett, illustrated by Jon Klassen.

These two images from the book pretty much sum up how awesome it is (though there is a great review here if you need more convincing):

Hi-yah!

Besides the fact that the fiancé and I were sick for a bit, it’s been a good couple weeks. First off, I must take a moment to point out an initiative very close to my heart that I found out about through a post on the wonderful Simply Notable blog:

The idea behind the Purple Stitch Project is to knit, crochet, or sew purple (the epilepsy awareness color) gifts for kids with seizure disorders. These gifts will serve as a reminder that they are not alone — that they have community support. The 2nd goal of PSP is to raise awareness about epilepsy, the 3rd most prevalent neurological disorder (next to stroke and Alzheimer’s). With every purple stitch made and every handmade item worn or carried, perhaps a collective conversation will begin about a disorder that surprisingly little is known about.

As some of you know, my fiancé has epilepsy, hence I am super excited to hear about such an awesome initiative. The fact that it involves the hobby I love helps too.

There are all kinds of patterns listed on Craftsy and Pinterest. Including awesomeness like this:

Everyone should make one!

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In other news, my shrug is coming along well. If I like it, I might also make it in white for the wedding 😀

Isn’t the drawstring square-bottom project bag you see in the photo awesome? I got it, along with another one in a funky pink, gold, and white fabric, from one of my fellow World Wide Knit in Public Day organizers, who made them for all of us who helped plan WWKIP Toronto Edition. It was such a nice surprise!

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On Friday I went to the latest

If you’ve never been and you’re ever in the area, you should go. Click on the Knitty logo/banner for the link to more info, but essentially it’s a great time in one of Toronto’s greatest (and probably coziest) yarn stores, The Purple Purl. You and twenty-nine other knitters get to test and review five new yarns ranging from super luxury skeins to bargain ones. The reviews are used by Knitty for their magazine.

Voilà, the swatch I had at the end of the night. There be alpaca, merino, and even cashmere in them there hills of inadvertent garter stitch.
And their are door prizes! I went home with this:

And the entire store was on sale, so this had to follow me home:

Did you spot my invasive cat in, not one, but both of the pics above? Because, you know, I don’t give him any attention, not at all.

More free things! :

This is chunky/bulky weight wool yarn from Briggs & Little that I got from a destashing friend.

Last weekend I visited family out in the country, and came back from antique shopping with some pieces of handicraft history.

These are two antique yarn bobbins/spools. Well used from the looks of them. See how they would have been used here.

This handkerchief is hand embroidered and edged with crochet. I love the little pieces of detail. And I couldn’t very well resist a four leafed (leaved?) clover.

Beyond that I’ve found myself cooking and baking a lot. It’s the fall weather – it is finally not too hot to have the oven on, and nothing is better than long-simmering soup, à la this recipe for Tomato Basil Parmesan Soup I made on the weekend. Pinterest is likely also partially to blame. I’ve been pinning way too much.

Speaking of baking…

We had a potluck at work. One of my colleagues and I are a) very nerdy and b) share a love of Game of Thrones (we’re librarians, so it’s not a surprise). Plus there is my love of all things medieval. This led to us using this:

To make things like this (complete with explanatory notes) :

Whole story here.

Ewes-ful information

Lookit! My last entry got noticed by Geek & Sundry. Thanks for mentioning me, guys 🙂

Speaking of things that are both geeky and awesome, I am very excited about something a friend showed me on Patrick Rothfuss’ website:

This is totally what I wear to work... I do want those shoes, however. In flats...

Speaking of work, I stumble across this post on Tumblr, which sums up why I’ve decided I want to persue work as a children’s specialist:

Sidenote: I have recently become rather obsessed with Tumblr (in addition to Pinterest…) Follow me!

The full quote, from Neil Gaiman (who else?):

“Stories that you read when you’re the right age never quite leave you. You may forget who wrote them or what the story was called. Sometimes you’ll forget precisely what happened, but if a story touches you it will stay with you, haunting the places in your mind that you rarely visit.” ~ from M is for Magic

Something else library related that I think will make your day:

Recently, a library customer left her laptop at the bus stop outside a library. Another library customer found the laptop and took it into the library, on the assumption that the owner might return to the library to look for it.

That’s exactly what happened. The owner took a cab back to the library and found the laptop waiting for her there. She left the note above for her anonymous saviour on the bus stop hydro pole, thanking him/her and relaying the cabbie’s similar story that he shared during the cab ride.

After a shitty day at work, with printer problems, kids breaking the elevator, and grumpy old men being indignant over having to prove they still live in the municipality once a year (“I’ve lived here for 40 years! I’m not moving any time soon.” Well that’s great sir, but I have no way of knowing that and unfortunately your word is not going to cut it with the Public Libraries Act) I really needed to read something like that 🙂

The CNE (Canadian National Exhibition) ended on labour day weekend. Here is a round-up of yarn and fibre-related goodness. Sorry, they’re cell phone pictures…

The Peru booth of hand-knits and crafts was a stop I had to make.

A close-up of the 100% alpaca coat. The fibres were more glorious in real life.

Incredibly detailed kids and baby sweaters.

This fantastic crochet top, I mean lady, sat in front of me at the talk by Richard Palmisano on hauntings at the CNE grounds.

These three pics below are of a display on sheep at the Farm Building ❤

Actual sheep!

This llama was not impressed with my taking her picture.

Alpacas with funny haircuts.

And now I’m off to finally start work on my shrug. Hope everyone has a great weekend!

I think I’m smart

Before I get down to business after a bit of an absence, I must first direct your attention to…

Felicia Day, I love you. I can’t believe I just discovered Geek and Sundry/the Flog now. Here is Knit Culture‘s take on the encounter as well.

So, basically this post is dedicated to how smart I think I am. I bought some inexpensive tools recently. Inexpensive tools that have proved to be indispensable (for me anyway).

First off, I wanted one of these.

Yarn holder, yarn lazy susan, I can’t find one unified name for it. Unfortunately, any one of the nice wood ones I had my eye on I couldn’t afford (though FYI, the site that that image links to supplies awesome stuff I don’t really see elsewhere).

Then I found this:

Link to the store here (their English could use some work, I'll admit).

Plastic? I don’t care, as long as it gets the job done. The job being preventing this from happening.

Yarn twisting and curling on itself – my mortal enemy. The physics can be found here.

And it turns out it works quite well. I did away with the silly holder. Didn’t really stay on anyway (though I’ve been promised they’re sending something to fix it).

My second stroke of genius came at the dollar store. I had been lusting after Knit Pick’s Chart Keeper, but a) I’m cheap, and b) the magnets worry me – won’t they hurt the electronics in my purse? Then I saw this:

Just a clear pencil case. I’ve already been using row counters to count repeats, so don’t need the magnets. The case does the job of keeping my charts from getting all crumpled in my bag just fine. The only downside is that this is the other side:

Not really my style.

In other news, I finished my belt for the Ravellenic Games!

I even made the buckle. Because I am a wizard (my ego is getting quite the stoking today, I know).

Cut and fitted 'em myself.

Voilà, my medal 😀

Unfortunately, my TARDIS plushy didn’t get done in time to qualify for the British Cricket event. But it’s done now 🙂

The pattern is by Nyss of Pixelated Mushroom and is available for free on her site.

Desmond investigates:

Almost done, I promise. But first…

Lookit my new Hunter boots! (And check out the sexy super pale leg). Yes that is a crocheted cat toy in the background (and yes, it came with the bed). I’m very excited because not only are they awesome and green, but I can’t wait to show off hand-knit socks in these puppies.

I’ll leave you with this lovely colour of Berroco Vintage Chunky (you can see the threads of purple running throughout more clearly IRL), which I’ll be using for the Simple Lace Shrug from This is Knit was scored by yours truly at 20% off at last week’s grand opening of the new Toronto LYS, Ewe Knit, which has opened up practically next door to my knit night group’s pub of choice. Whether this is awesome or horrifying (to my wallet, anyway) remains to be seen. They also appear to be installing an espresso machine. It’s like they know me…

I got my purchase home, set it down, and then this happened… again :

Cat after my own heart.

More things I am excited about

Well, to be honest, I’m still excited about my purchases from the Frolic. So is Desmond, it would seem. I managed to get this photo but couldn’t get one of the best part, when he was actually full on burying his head in the bags of yarn. Man I love this cat.

Nevertheless, on to this week’s even larger levels of excitement!

1) Appropriately called Bigger on the inside, I cannot wait to start Kate Atherley’s TARDIS shawl from the latest issue of Knitty. Anyone who knows me knows of my love affair with Dr Who.

So excited I went right out and got yarn for it.

2) I’m on the planning committee for WWKIP Toronto Edition, and am happy to report that things are really getting going. Look at the shiny new blog masthead!

We also have a Ravelry group, a  Facebook event page, and I’m even attempting to get the Twitter hashtag #WWKIPTO going. Wish me luck.

3) I have just discovered the West End Scarf. Drooool. Yet another one to add to my ridiculously long queue.

4) Look who’s coming to the Downtown Knit Collective next week!

5) My fiancé has recently said things to me like “come sit in the TV room with me. I miss it when you aren’t sitting in your chair knitting” and “you see that sweater that guy is wearing? Do you think you could knit me something like that?” I am beyond estatic. This from the guy who cringed when I offered to make him a hat two winters ago. Nevermind that the sweater he pointed out was machine knit in what had to be fingering weight…

I need for an iPad edition of this to come out.

ispy at the ischool

Once again a Bissell Bomber has been struck by the common cold and was 
out of commission for a few days. Sorry for the lack of posting, but all the syrups,
pills and tonics I was on made my keyboard a bit tricky to navigate.

I was also worried that I had started hallucinating when I saw that there was a yarn video game?!
Leave it to the fine people at Nintendo to make something that is already adorable
(a pink, squishy ball from Dream Land) and add an awesome yarn element!!

In this Wii Game, our hero eats some random tomatoe that he finds and is banished by the evil
sorcerer Yin-Yarn to Patch Land, a place made completely out of fabric.
In this new world Kirby’s ability to fly and swallow/copy enemies are useless
so instead he uses a whip to capture things and turn them into balls of yarn.

Kirby’s…

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