Friday, June 30, 2006


I spent my morning with Maureen, drooling over her stash and being drooled over by her dog. Lookee what Maureen has made:

It's knit with Zephyr yarn and the pattern is a Faroese one that hugs the shoulders very nicely. It stays put! One day, I gotta try one of these...

But I'm afraid I wasn't much company because I had mental indigestion. This is the cause:

Pattern for roadkill anyone?

The yarn is Brazilia Stop and Go and the challenge was to knit something decent from it. I failed. Friends don't let friends knit fug. Mary Jane, I owe you.... something.


The Rose Leaf Lace Vest is done. It is a gift for my mother-in-law who is away just now.

I liked the top down construction and I'd like to try something top down for myself.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Vacation Time!

I am looking forward to a five day weekend. The boys have their last day of school today and I've booked Thursday and Friday off work. We're not planning on going anywhere really. Maybe the St.Thomas beach on Friday, weather permitting.

I could get a lot of knitting done in 5 days.

I've finished my lace socks and I'm putting the armbands onto the Rose Leaf Vest, which means that I don't have any real projects on the needles. Oh, there's some other stuff that is aging, but no active project.

And I was thinking "What should I knit?" I was thinking about the Western Fair and how it should be technical and creative... And then I finally woke up to what I was doing.

SHOULD knit?! What the heck is with this sh*t! No wonder I wasn't feeling the love. So now I'm just letting my thoughts drift. I've got a pretty cool stash (well, I like it anyway) and I'm going to just get funky with it. Which, really, isn't very funky since I'm something of a traditional knitter.

I'm ordering more sock yarn. I've finally found the exact shade of green to please my eldest son Luke who is 11, soon to be 12, and acts like 15. It's called "Anti Freeze" from Sundara Yarns:

I'm also getting "Fiery" since youngest son was watching. And I really don't need much of an excuse to buy yarn. Need I say that this breaks my pledge to "not buy yarn for a while". But I love the thought of my boy walking around with bright green feet.


Monday, June 26, 2006

6:45am, Emily Carr P.S.

The Grade Four classes assembled for a trip to the Toronto Zoo. Amidst this chaos I uncovered natural-born knitter Cordelia and her amazing finger knitting:

This strand represents two days work. Cordelia has also knit her doll a dress by sewing up a square she made (instinctive swatching behavior) and shoving her doll's arms through the holes in the knitting.

I asked, and Cordelia's mom is not a knitter. Folks, we are witnessing the evolution of an innate talent.

Way to go Cordeila!

Sunday, June 25, 2006

My house exploded.

All I could knit on Saturday was socks because this happened to my house:

This chaos was to celebrate the 10th birthday of my youngest son Alex.

Friday, June 23, 2006


I wrote this for the Knitting Curmudgeon's Fib Contest.

when I knit.
My soul's snarl is on the needles.

You know, I just realized that it's not a fib. Oh well, I like it anyway.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Sometimes it's hard to title these things...

My mother taught me to knit when I was only 5 years old. I remember yellow plastic needles with brown buttons on the end and red yarn. I remember getting bored when I had mastered the knit stitch and so my mom showed me how to purl. I had some fun making stocking-knit and then I made reverse garter stitch by purling all my rows.

When I was 8 my mom taught me to crochet. At first I made chains, but by the time I was nine I was making little chicks with feet and wings and beaks. I made them for my friends too. From making the chicks I learned to sew and embroider. I used to do embroidery in the summer time. These are some examples from back then.

Then I picked up knitting again. My first project was a pink pig. From there I remember doing a toy monkey as a gift to my brother and shortly after that I made him a sweater, my first.

My mom always encouraged me in these projects. She gave me her yarn, equipment, pattern books and would help me when I asked for it. Unlike for other projects, where my mom would help me even if I didn't ask and would sort of take over the project.

I stopped knitting for about 5 years while I worked for my brother as a video game programmer. He insisted that all my spare time be spent playing games. Which was fun for a while, but now I only play games when I want to. Mostly, my spare time is spent knitting.

I discovered knit blogs when I was looking for a poncho pattern. Guess who I found? Yeah. The Yarn Harlot. What an eye opener. It feels as if my entire knit world has exploded with the wealth of information and community on the internet. But the kicker is: I got my mother hooked on knitting socks. Here she is working on Lorna's Laces that I gave her for Mother's Day. She's enjoying this yarn so much, she saves it to work on between other projects. My dad already has a pair of socks knit from yarn I gave her for Mother's Day.

The evil plan to take over the world continues apace.....

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Socks in the Wild

Hello again and welcome to another episode of "Socks in the Wild". Today will be looking at the strange, inter-species behavior of the wild sock.

Our photographer managed to locate a wild sock without a mate. It looks quite lonely, doesn't it?
Using it's irrisitable charm, the wild sock attracted the attention of lonely creatures of another kind.
Shocking isn't it! This reporter is at a loss for words. The pictures speak for themselves.

Apparently, this is not the first time a wild sock has forged this type of relationship, as evidenced by this photograph, which shows the offspring of a wild sock and a squirrel.

Edited to add: squirrel_in_ sweater pic is from Cute Overload!

This just in. There's been a horrible accident at a discounted yarn store. Reputable knitter, Mary Jane, lost her mind at the sales bin. To further compound this error in judgment, she went on to knit this tangle of yarn barf.

Mary Jane said "I just couldn't stop myself. I don't know what came over me." Some good will come of this tragedy as the pink scarf will be donated to a drive to raise funds for breast cancer.

Mary Jane appears to be in recovery. She was noted last night to be knitting a cabled baby sweater in cream colored yarn. Please leave your comments in support of Mary Jane as she tries to recover from her affliction.

Thank you.

Monday, June 19, 2006

First Meme

Aw! Isn't it cute. Kind of like baby's first steps...

Meme from from Woolheaded via Lucia via Margene and Cara:

Please leave a one-word comment that you think best describes me -- it can only be one word long. Then copy and paste this into your blog so that I may leave a word about you.

Cause you know I gotta try just about everything at least once!


I had a knit-snit this weekend, where none of my projects was good enough to knit. So Saturday afternoon I went out side with yarn, needles and a couple of stitch dictionaries and I came up with this:
I like the center stitch, but I think the bars in the edging are a bit much. Noodling around did the trick however, because after that I was happy to work on my projects again.

The other thing I did this weekend was take a trip to London Yarns and Machines. My knit buddies were telling me that they have some great new yarns in. I really like this store and I feel like I should buy more often from them. They are located only a five minute drive from where I live. They've got Koigu now, as well as Misty Alpaca, Mission Falls and a variety of sock yarns.

Needles and Pins is a 15 minute walk from work for me. This store tempts me even more because it right there when I have time on my hands. Also, it is chock to the brim with high-end yarns like Rowan, Noro, Debbie Bliss and even Habu now.

But the truth is I buy very little from either of these stores. Most of my shopping tends to be done at knitting fairs. There's something about the group high of all that yarn that loosens my purse strings.

Sometimes the local yarn stores just don't have what I want. I'm going to knit this for my father:

And I'm ordering the yarn on-line from Jameison & Smith. I've also added some yarn for a shawl to my order and the entire total, including shipping, comes to about $101 Canadian. How can the local stores beat that? And have you seen the J&S color card? Whew!

So the issue here is while I want to support my local yarn stores, I don't and I feel just a teensy bit guilty about that.

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Knit in Memories

I've noticed that I knit memories into my projects. For instance, while working on the chest of Jim's gansey I watched Fiddler on the Roof for the first time all the way through. For me, the sight of that needle work reminds me of the poor struggling to survive with grace. That movie tied in nicely to the thoughts I was having about the nature of knitting as a hobby.

Not so long ago, people knit because it was necessary. You could liken it to doing the dishes, or cooking a meal. Today, we debate over why we should even bother when you can get the same garment in a store, cheaper. It's a moot point in my opinion. The reality of the situation is that our culture is so incredibly rich. By the standards of most cultures, at just about any time in human history, we are wealthy in the extreme.

Yet, our culture is so poor socially. People live fragmented lives and it takes a definite effort to keep in contact with friends and family. For me, knitting has been a way to create a community. My therapist calls it my knit-work. This blog is a way for me to extend that community and it's exciting and scary opportunity. It feels like I'm learning to tap dance in public. I hope I don't fall on my face too many times.

Saturday, June 17, 2006

Pet Inventory and a Pledge

Pet 1: A fish named Fishy. He likes to play and gets sulky if I neglect him. He's a small finned Beta and he's about 4 months old.
Pets 2, 3 and 4: Three guinea pigs, all rescued from shelters. The black and brown one, Rita, had been in the shelter four 5 months and is already 3 years old. The other two are sisters, I figure to be about 6 months old. The white one is Cirie (named after the feisty survivor finalist) and the beige one is Cindy (because she is spicy, like cinnamon).

Their cage was inspired by CavyCages, our only modification being an aluminum bottom. My husband, who installs siding on houses, created it out of flat stock.


I do hereby pledge to the blogosphere, that I am not now, nor will I in the future, ever knit clothing for these animals. In addition, I will not force these animals to model clothes that are intended for people. Furthermore, I will not photograph these animals with any knitting, yarn, or other textile related paraphernalia in an attempt to spice up the blog. I do so solemnly swear.

Friday, June 16, 2006


I've got a couple of ideas brewing in my head. One is for a pair of socks to enter into the Western Fair's Funky Sock competition (Knitted Article #20). I'm thinking of using this yarn:

to create socks with a white cuff and blue body. I'd pattern waves where the blue and white meet and stitch white and green fish on the socks. Maybe in duplicate stitch, or maybe in chain stitch so I can be more artistic with the placement of the fish. That bit of multi colored Koigu may come in handy for the fish embroidery. It makes me think of the speckling on a trout. The toes and heels could be done in either the green or the white; it depends on how I feel when I get there.

The other idea is based around the Fleece Artist Garter Stitch Jacket. I bought this yarn:

Shot taken with no flash

Shot taken with flash

at the Toronto Knitter's Frolic. I've been told by Mary Jane, who's a top-notch knitter, that this kit isn't quite enough to fit a lady of my size. And I believe her. My other concern with the pattern is that it has drop shoulders and everything I've been reading tells me that it's much better to use fitted sleeves on plus size garments.

I've been working on the Rose Lace Vest for my mother-in-law that is worked from the top down. This construction intriqued me so I borrowed Barbara Walker's Knitting from the Top Down from the library. It seems like a smart idea, and I really have difficulties knitting myself a sweater that fits properly. I've done it once, and it was the second time I had knit Rogue.

So what I'd really like to knit with this yarn is a top down jacket, with fitted sleeves. And to stretch the yardage, I'd like to add a moss-stitch border in a smooth yarn to the center, bottom and cuffs. I'd use it to knit the collar too. This would put a kind of frame around the handpaint and the moss stitch would echo the texture of the curly yarn without competing with it.

This idea will have to wait though, because I won't knit such a hot project until the fall or later. This blog is a great place to park my ideas until I can come back to them.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Socks in the Wild

Welcome to "Socks in the Wild". This time we'll be following the adventures of a tribe of wild socks and witness their narrow escape from their natural predator.

In this image we see the female sock approaching the male. Notice her bright patterning and flirty ruffle.
Wild socks enjoy close relationships that are reinforced with tactile contact and %20 nylon.

Ah, but look. Their offspring has joined them. It looks as though the little one has been frightened by something. Notice how the parents protect their offspring. In this image we can also see the the young one's felted appearance.

Aha! This is what scared the little fellow. It's the wild sock's natural predator. A snake in the grass.

These creatures will wear a wild sock down to a thread before tearing holes into them and finally lining their nest with the remnants.

The sight of the snake in the grass sends the sock tribe into a panic. The young one appears frantic.

It doesn't look good for the wild sock tribe. But wait! What's this? It looks like the alpha male has arrived to scare off the predator. Notice his stature as he defends the tribe.

With the snake in the grass gone, the young one seeks some reassurance from mom before jaywalking through the grass once more.

The End.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

I'd like you to meet my husband Jim.

This handsome fellow is Jim:
He's the parent-at-home after school. He cooks dinner, manages homework, does the laundry, works full time, and his idea of fun is doing this:

Yes, I am one lucky duck. I don't mean to brag. Oh, knitting content? Right. Here's a close up of the sweater:

This is a gansey I designed for Jim out of Philosopher's Wool. The patterning on the chest is a row of hearts on the bottom, a horseshoe cable in the middle, with a tree of life on either side. This is my idea of magic to protect him while he's at work because he's outside in all kinds of weather and under dangerous conditions sometimes. I wish him love, luck and health always.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

All about Holly

Holly is my Tuesday lunch knit buddy and she is one smart lady. She's helped me solve many a knitting dilemma and issue. Our kids used to be in the same class, but we really didn't become friends until she spotted me wearing Rogue while waiting for the elevator in our office building. We started talking about knitting and now we rarely shut up about it.

Holly's quilt
There is some funky free form quilting going on here, in the top of this quilt. It hangs in Holly's office where it cheers up even the greyest day. Holly's hobby of choice is quilting, but knitting isn't far behind.

Holly's sock yarn drawer
Actually, I think Holly needs to replenish the sock drawer. It's looking a little low. I see a lot of ends.

I told Holly about the STR sock club because I was thinking of joining. She did, and I chickened out. Bad knit buddy I am. I did join though when they re-opened the club. I'll show you my Rock and Weave socks another day.

This picture doesn't do the socks justice. Holy actually knit from both ends of the ball to prevent striping, but the STR resisted. Handpaints can be stubborn that way.

Holly's Ribby Cardi in progress
Holly took this pic. She's showing me what my digital camera can do when someone who knows what she's doing is driving it.

Needle Roll
Circular Holder
Holly made me these wonderful needle cases. I love the fabrics she choose for me. I'm a bluesy, greeny, pinky, purpley kinda gal.

Holly and I did a sock swap once. Our very own, mini Sockapalooza. The yarn was from Knitpics and it felted like nobody's business. I still have a bit left over and I'm thinking that all it's good for is felted slippers. I can't remember what pattern Holly used for my socks, though I remember liking them till the washing machine turned them into shrinky-dinks. Anyway, I created my first orignial pattern for Holly's pair. I didn't have a blog at the time, but the SockBug kindly put the pattern up on her blog.


Did you get your name in print enough Holly? Your wish is my command!