Sunday, March 30, 2008

Spring Glory

Pattern: Shetland Garden Faroese Shawl
Yarn: JaggerSpun Zephyr Wool-Silk
Needles: 3.25 mm

It took me two tries to start this shawl. I found the beginning rather complicated because there are many motifs all at once. But past the first third of the knitting, it was smooth sailing. I still used lifelines up until the last chart. Usually I scorn them, but I had no desire to start this project a third time.

My photographer was Alex, who is 11 years old.

This shawl will be a Mother's Day gift to my mother. She has one worsted weight shawl from me, but has pined for a laceweight shawl. She might expect one for a Christmas present, but I think she'll be totally surprised to get this for Mother's Day. I'm looking forward to it.

Saturday, March 29, 2008


Lookin' good so far, but we'll have to wait for it to be unpinned to see the true beauty of the thing. Do you like my little shoulder pads? Since it is a Faroese shawl, it's not flat. The shoulder shaping gives it a bump for your shoulders. I thought that I'd like to account for that into my blocking, hence the two folded up wash cloths. I don't don't if it will make a big difference in the long run though.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008


I like gum. I always have at least three packs of different flavours in my desk at work. I chew a piece after I have my coffee, my lunch, and I like a chew in the afternoon, when my mental energies start to lag.

Now doesn't this look like a big wad of pink bubble gum?

I've been chewing on this project for quite a while now. The pink seemed like a good idea when I started it, but towards the end, I was getting heartily sick of it. Another reason to like handpainted and variegated yarns, and color work.

There's some nice lace in there though. I just know it.

Blocking party this weekend!

Oh yes, and the sheep are telling us spring has arrived.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Local Treasure

Taking Dexter to obedience class, I always pass a little farm with 5 or 6 horses out to pasture and an shed decorated in a most intriguing manner. There's a laundry line, with a wooden cartoon sheep hanging from it and brightly painted wooden quilts are nailed to the exterior of the building. The upper story has a big window with a spinning wheel and a stuffed sheep visible from the road.

On Saturday I finally made a special trip just to visit the Wagon Shed. I should have brought my camera. The place is a magpie's nest of fiber and textiles. I found Kassy, the owner, sitting at her wheel spinning. A four-paned window behind her cast a warm light into the room and onto a hand-spun, hand-woven shawl draped over a loom. Kassy had embroidered dainty flowers on it. There was a open closet full of charming children's sweaters, and on the other side of the room there was a whole colony of wooly bears, each one unique.

Kassie had a student in, learning to spin. I couldn't decide if I wanted to flop down in a chair and work on my sock, or poke around the shop. I did both. I found collections of yarns, grouped by color, in bowls and on looms. I found a few caches of hand-spun too. I picked out some colors that spoke to me and played with them and arranged them to suit me.

It was difficult to talk price with Kassy. I think she loves her yarn too much to want to part with it. But I did manage to talk her into taking my money. I was just so inspired by the yarn. I think I want to make a hat, so I tried a swatch on Sunday.

I love the colors!

I want to knit a hat and bring it back to Kassy so it can live in her shop for awhile. I want her to feel like her hand-spun went to a good home. Next time I go, I promise to bring my camera so I can show you real pictures, instead of writing descriptive prose for you. But in the mean time, do go visit Kassy's website and poke around.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Happy Easter!

There's snow and sun and beautiful blue skies today! I've had a lovely long weekend so far. There's been visiting, cleaning, shopping and walking in the warm sun. I waited for the sun to take pictures of my Ruby Socks which were all finished last weekend.

Pattern: my own - little diamonds lace, with short row toe and heel and a picot hem (80 sts around)
Yarn: Schaefer Anne
Needles: 2mm

My photography cannot do them justice. The yarn is vibrant and lively, and the pattern is graceful. I'm very pleased with these socks.

The gauge is quite snug, so they were hard on my hands, especially towards the end, but they feel soft and smooth on my feet that it was worth it.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Casting Forth for the Next Knit...

As I approach the finish of one knit, my mind is casting forth towards the next project. It's not a pretty sight to see me all twitchy and jumpy when I don't have something satisfactory on the needles. My family stays far away as the books get pulled out, flipped through and tossed aside. The children are coldly booted off the computer when mom needs a turn. They peer in hopefully to see if I'm done, only to be told that I'll be done faster if they would just leave me alone.

One potential project is the Mystic Light Knit along. Last weekend Anna posted a swatch pattern that can be turned into a pulse warmer and so I knit it up this weekend.

Can you see the cables on either side? I find the idea of cables and lace together to be intriguing. My yarn is Fleece Artist Blue Faced Leicester (BFL), which is lovely and soft, but I don't like the look of it in this swatch. I don't think the yarn does the pattern justice, or vice versa. I'll need to go down a needle size or get a different yarn, if I choose to knit this shawl.

Because I've got an idea for another project. I've been thinking about knitting Jim a sweater. He wears his Urban Aran all the time, and while it still looks great, I think it deserves a break. I was searching around for some yarn for him on the net, and I found this great website I want to share with you. It's called Wool2Dye4. Not that I know how to dye. Or am interested in learning how. Cause I'm not. No really. Honest! I am NOT protesting too much!

I wish I could buy the 1lb aran weight cone of BFL and dye it in shades of blue to knit it up into Cobblestone for Jim. I think the changes of garter stitch to plain stockinette would look great in hand dyed yarn. But I've never dyed before, and I don't trust myself to create my vision.

So instead I dove into my stash and I've come up with this combination of colors to make Jim a yoked pullover. When these colors were put together, they just clicked for me.

This would be for the Aspen Leaf yoked pullover (look for the image with the number 31 in the bottom) from Meg Swansen's Knitting. Jim looks good in a yoked sweaters, and I love the idea of using stash yarns. I'll just have to knit him a neckband of something soft and lovely so to make up for not using the BFL.

Well, back to the needles! Those socks won't knit themselves you know....

Monday, March 10, 2008


We were hit with another big snow storm on Saturday. There was only one thing to do, which was to hunker down and wait it out. I've been in hibernation mode ever since Christmas. I'm waiting for the weather to turn and bring me back my spunk. I feel like such a slug these days.

This weekend also brought the start of daylight savings time. We had sunny days on Sunday and Monday which made it worth while to lose a whole hour on the weekend. The down side of it is that it's pitch dark in the morning now, right when I'm taking Dexter to the dog park for a run.

The blowing snow inspired me to knit mittens, but my hibernating brain made a critical error. I don't think I have enough of the light grey to finish the mitten.
This pattern is from Charlene Schurch's Marvelous Mittens book using the same colors too. I think it looks really spiffy and I was planning to give it to Jim. I didn't even have a ball band left on the light grey wool, since it was leftovers from a pair of socks. I'm going to try heading down to Micheal's with a bit of the original yarn, just in case it was Kroy and I can get some more. Otherwise, this mitt is destined for the frog pond. At least I had fun during the snow storm, right?

I finished the fourth Trekking sock using a different color way for the last half. They all kind of blend it together nicely though.

Socks do not make a good substitute for flowers.

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

This Post is Brought to you by the Letter S

S is for spring, sunshine, socks and startitis...

Southern Ontario had another snow storm this morning which gave way to a beautiful sunny afternoon. Perfect for walking the dog and taking some pictures. I was mesmerized by the colors the sun brought out in my latest sock project.

The yarn is hand dyed by Doug, and the patterning is taken from Vinnland. I thought the yarn too dark to show the pattern well last night, but today in the sun, it just sings! Lovely, vibrant color. This much knitting occurred last night, but I should have been turning the heel on my fourth Trekking sock instead. I think it was disappointment that made me turn from it.

Clearly there will not be enough yarn to complete an entire sock. Not to worry, I have an oddment of Trekking in another color way that will work for the foot. Thank you to the kind reader who offered to send me more yarn.

All I can seem to knit these days is socks. There's still the red lace one. I've decided to start the second one before completing the leg on the first. Then I'll be able to take turns knitting each to maximize all the lovely red yarn. The sock is big on my blocker, but it fits nice on my foot.

There's also a pair of boot socks on the needles. Boring, brown, boot socks. Not part of today's post.

It's funny, but I'm not really worried about the startitis at all. I love all these projects, and the lace shawl too, and I'll get to the one by one, when I'm good and ready. Anyway, it's going around. Like a bad cold, there's nothing to do but wait it out.

Sunday, March 02, 2008

The Sublime Ridiculous

Having fun is not translating into beautiful knitting for me this year. I've had a couple of flops this year, and oh look! I've made another.

Pattern: Pale but Proud, Knitters 1992
Yarn: Bernat Soy Naturals
Needles: 5mm

Yes, I had fun knitting it. If it's only about process, then this project was a success. But I do like to have a nice product too. Excited at the prospect of knitting this pattern, I took a moment last weekend to pick up some yarn from Michaels. I wanted something with natural fibers, that would look slightly elegant. I must have been tired because I chose entirely the wrong yarn for this project.

Soy fibers felt, so I can never use it as a wash cloth. It's too clunky too look elegant.

In my enthusiasm I thought I'd make two cloths so I bought two balls of the yarn, in different colors. But one ball wasn't enough to make even one cloth, and since I already knew this project was a dud, I just carried on with the other ball. I think it gives it an old fashioned, country styling that just isn't my cup of tea.

The cloth fits nice over the stool we keep by the phone. Oh, the phone's ringing. Grandma called, and she wants her doily back.

The stool does show off the pattern nicely.

What else could I do with this thing? It's not a dog coat.

It's not a hat.

Any one want a piece of ridiculous knitting? Free to a good home.