Sunday, April 29, 2012

First World Problems

We're are weighted down with first-world problems around here.

I just finished this traditional Icelandic shawl, using authentic Icelandic laceweight yarn:

But it's too small and now I don' t know what to do with it. Put it in the box of potential knit-gifts I suppose. It's too bad, it's so pretty.  I think I may have to knit it again, only larger:

I was working my new yarn into socks. While I do plan to make the Delft Blue socks Jody, I started in on the Fresh Breeze pair first. I bought enough yarn for both, plus there should be enough black for a third pair from the Around the World in Knitted Socks book.

This sock went into timeout for a bit because I needed length in the foot and couldn't decide how to proceed with the colors. As you can see, I resolved that issue and now I'm almost done the first sock. But while they were in timeout, I finished some socks for Jim:

Again, from Around the World in Knitted Socks, these are It's Tea Time, but I modifed the heel details less fussy. My knit buddies tell me that their guys wouldn't wear these socks, but Jim is very happy with them. And they've got cashmere in them.

He won't be wearing them for a while though, it's getting warm and sunny again.

I've got so many exciting projects and ideas, I almost don't know what to knit. Jim is very sympathetic. He's got too many interesting video games these days.  First world problems, am I right?

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Road Trip Report

Thanks for your kind thoughts yesterday. Jim is beginning to see a pattern to his "episodes" of illness. It's rather fascinating what patterns emerge when you start to really track what's going on. He was out with his friends on Friday night and told them that he was wearing a wire, so they'd better watch what they say.

The road trip was a great success and a wonderful escape. I've got just a few pictures to share, so hang on to your hand knitted socks...

We toured the mill at Wellington Fibres, which was a clean well lit facility. They are quite clever in using solar power to heat their water for washing fibre, and in recycling that water as heating, by pumping it under the floor of the mill and barns. How green!

Our tour guide is the son of the owner (Kevin I think), who loves his job, but confessed that he doesn't knit. I told him he ought to and he replied "That's what my mother keeps telling me."

Here he's showing us how they put together cleaned, picked and dyed fiber to create their rovings for hand spinners.

And here it comes out the other end, ready for a turn at the wheel:

Wellington Fibres dyes their own, in the fleece for hand spinning and as yarn for knitting.  Doesn't this look like a fun place to play?

After the mill, we checked out the kids.

And their moms:

It's wonderful to see the bearers of the fiber, but I'm glad I'm not a goat farmer. And that's all I've got to say about that.

The store at Wellington Fibres was as tempting as you could wish. With four people in my car, I left with a trunk load. Only this was for me: red hot, 50/50 mohair/wool blend. My eyes will bleed when I spin this!

And the most royal skeins for color work:

I"m not sure if they'll be mittens or socks yet. 
After that, it was high time for lunch. We went to Cora's in Waterloo, cause everyone loves breakfast so we could all agree on that. Then it was on to Shall We Knit? for further retail therapy. 

Dare I confess? I did buy more yarn.  I love the socks in the book Around the World in Knitted Socks but there are a few patterns that I think require quite specific colors in order to re-create their charm. So I bit the bullet and bought the yarn:

Now, can you guess the pattern?

Friday, April 20, 2012

Down, not out

I've been spinning and knitting, but not blogging because there's been some worrisome health concerns in my family of late. My lovely mother-in-law is getting frail at 88. We spent last Saturday at the hospital with her and her whole family is pitching in to take good care of her. In spite of her health issues, she's about finished her sweater. I'll have to get seaming soon. I hope she'll be wearing it in good health next winter but I'm worried she won't.

And Jim's been feeling under the weather too, but there's no obvious reason. He's wearing a cardiac event monitor for a couple of weeks to try and gather more info. He's got two electrodes glued to his chest and the recorder hanging around his neck. I've been calling him my bionic man. 

It's hard to write for the blog when stuff like this goes on. Everyone is mostly OK, but one's mind does run on. I'm just grateful we live in Canada where all these medical expenses are covered. They're not free though. Last weekend I did up my taxes. Ouf.

But tomorrow, oh boy! Going on a road trip tomorrow to see the baby goats at Wellington Fibres annual open house. I hope it doesn't rain. There may be some fiber therapy. Actually some MORE fiber therapy. Since it's not a proper blog post without a picture, here's what came in the mail for me yesterday:

I blame Knittyspin since it was their review of Dyeabolical's superwash Cheviot that sent me shopping. I'm planning to spin some really awesome sock yarn with this.

Saturday, April 07, 2012

Quick Like a Bunny

I needed a quick gift for my nephew, who is coming to visit for Easter along with his two sisters. The girls are getting lovely shawls, but what kind of knit do you give to a thirteen-year-old boy?

How about some sporty, durable, fingerless mitts? I think these will fit the bill:

I couldn't be happier with how these turned out. I love to do plug and play knitting. They were started on Thursday evening and finished within 24 hours. I wrote up a rough pattern on Ravelry, in case you want to see how it was done.

I've also finished my mother-in-law's socks, so she'll be sporting some very bright feet on Easter Sunday:

That's it for obligatory knitting, now I'm off to play!

Monday, April 02, 2012

Feeling young

I've been just gripped by my knitting lately. Spring freed me from the tyranny of winter's sweater knitting and I've been rocking out on the small, quick projects.

Here's Sunrise on Echo Beach all finished up:

This was  a fun and easy knit, that worked perfectly with the variegated colors of the Handmaiden yarn. I highly recommend it.

Then in a fit of inspiration, I cast on a little shawlette called Crowning Glory. Started on Thursday, finished Monday morning, this was equally addictive and fun.

I ran out of Noro Silk Garden sock yarn and couldn't find any more of the same color, so I used some left over Kureyon sock yarn from the stash that had similar colors in the same saturation. Can you tell where the transition is?

I don't have a dress form, but doesn't the lap shade make a nice place holder for shoulders?

I intend to give both these knits to my nieces, who are 15 and 13. I think they'll enjoy the colors and fun shapes.