Goal accomplished?

I am many things in this world. I am a woman. I’m a girlfriend. A sister, a daughter, a friend. I’m also a knitter, a wannabe crocheter, a spinner and now apparently a pattern designer! Yes, that’s right! I’ve written and published a knitwear pattern. It’s not the most complicated pattern ever, but its still valid that I wrote it out, knit it and it works. It’s sort of a test run for an actual pattern that I’m going to write for a hat that I want to make. I’ve looked high and low and can’t find the perfect hat pattern that I can see in my head. So I decided that I would make it myself and then if it worked out, publish the pattern. I’m also reverse engineering a stuffed animal that I’ve seen in a magazine that I can’t find the pattern for. I’ve named him Mr. Wrinkles and I can’t wait to get started on knitting him up. The shawl pattern which I just finished will be put up on Ravelry for free and the hat is probably going to be free for now, however if it turns out awesome, I’d like to sell it via Knitpicks in their $1.99 pattern section. I’m using their yarn to make it up, so it makes sense to get it sold on that forum. Mr. Wrinkles will probably be a Ravelry paid download because I suspect that he’s going to be somewhat difficult to engineer. If you want to test knit and you haven’t already let me know on Ravelry, please leave a comment with how I can get in touch with you and I will offer you both Mr. Wrinkles and/or the hat to test knit. I would just ask that you provide decent photos of your finished project. I’ve heard somewhere that sometimes people ask you to pay for the yarn and knit the thing and then they want the item. I most certainly don’t want your item. If you’re local and you want me to photograph it, I’d be happy to, but the item and pattern is yours to keep.

In other news, I’m in for another rough two weeks. My manager, who is also a friend of mine just suffered the tragic and sudden loss of her father in a very unpleasant situation. The week that it happened, she was at work and altho it really didn’t affect me personally, it was very taxing trying to keep the junk off her desk, people away from her office and attempt to comfort her in an appropriate and professional way. She’s been away for a few days and now she’s back for a week and a half before she goes back to Ontario again. I’m again tasked with taking care of her workwise as well as again attempting to provide comfort, distraction, some laughter and an over all feeling of safety for her. It’s exhausting. I would do it for the rest of my life for someone I cared about if it was required, but that doesn’t take away the fact that it’s a difficult function to perform, made all the more complicated by the fact that we work together, so it’s not like I can just drag her to a coffee shop or a lounge and chat and drink away the afternoon. (which would be nice!)

I got started on working on another WIP (work in progress) that has been languishing since last March… it’s a beautiful beaded stole and I can’t wait for it to be done… unfortunately in the year that it was hanging around not getting any attention, I guess it got angry and the entire ball of almost 1000 yards of yarn turned itself into one gigantic loopy knot. I can’t do anything about it (because I’m not ept for detangling), so I emailed a fellow knitter who LOVES to detangle stuff (there are a LOT of those types of people out there!) and she’s going to fix it for me. In the meantime, since I don’t have any other projects in progress that can be ‘on the go’ or ‘mindless knitting’, I am casting on my ribbed legwarmers! My friend Sara is teaching me how to knit two things at once on one circular needle… exciting! I’m waiting to cast on any type of lacey something (which is almost exclusively what I knit) because I’m waiting for my 700 yards of Sweet Georgia Merino Silk Laceweight to show up so I can start Echo Flower. Girasole is on hold until my kp order shows up so I can use the bigger needles for the rest of it, and the crochet portion of my round shawl is stalled indefinately because there is NOTHING for me to wear it with any time soon, so it will just go in the heirloom knitting box. I’ve just initiated a KAL (knit-a-long, wherein everyone knits on their own version of the same thing at the same time) to do the new Knitty pattern Annis. It involves casting on 363 stitches, but I think once we get over that trauma, it will work out nicely and it’s a really really pretty pattern. It will also help because on my fantastic Echo Flower, I need to do nupps and I’ve never done them, so I’ll practice on this… it’s relatively cheap yarn I’m using (not the quality, which is great, but the actual monetary cost) and then be wicked awesome for the big times!

Helllloooooo Kitty!

Yes!  I did knit a Hello Kitty Hat!  In fact I knit the hat portion (and the ears) last August and then I got bored and decided it was dumb.  So I tried to throw it out.  It got rescued from the throw away bin and then I entered a contest where you have to finish something started ages ago. I figured that last August was ages ago so I knit her bow, wove in all the ends (OMG, the ends!) and put her face on.  I like it good enough, but I’m sending it to my friend.  Maybe she’ll wear it, take pictures and then send it to her friend who can take pics with it and then send it to her friend….because lets be honest… NO ONE needs a Hello Kitty hat in their wardrobe for keeps.  Or she can keep it… I don’t mind!

Rip… Rip… Riiiiiiip….

OMG, I am so glad that I have good and supportive knitting friends and that they are aware of the trials and tribulations of taking on a HUGE project!  I made a HUGE mistake in my blankie that I’m making and it was one that couldn’t be hidden…. all the lacey holes were in a beautiful left hand facing slant and then all of a sudden, I got a case of the stupids and the next round of lacey holes were two stitches too far to the right… hence, no more nicely lining up slant.  The only thing to do in such a case is to take the knitting out back to the offending row and fix it.  That particular chart in the pattern is fairly central and it would have been SO noticible. Plus, like Boy says, do I really want to spend hundreds of hours on this project, only to have a glaring mistake?  Um, no, I don’t… so I went to Starbucks at six pm yesterday where it was bright and sunny and quiet (ya, it was oddly quiet) and spent a pain staking thirty minutes taking each stitch out individually and placing it back on my needle… I managed to do it all without screwing the thing up worse and being forced to rip out 16 rows down to my last lifeline (lifeline: a piece of cotton or other string that you put through all your stitches so that if you have to unravel, you can unravel safely down to that spot and then all your stitches hang on the cotton until you can put them back on your needle.  It saves ripping the ENTIRE thing apart when you make a mistake…).  I”m now well on my way again, and I’m more committed to my blankie than I was originally because I’ve now invested time in it going backwards, which makes it more valuable to me for some reason.  I’ve been trying to think why that would make it more valuable, but I can’t think of a single reason, other than in my heart I feel like I love it more now… Is it weird to talk about a blanket in terms of how much you feel for it in your heart?

I’m getting all my hair chopped off in 4.5 hours!  Yay!  I’m thinking that I’d like it quite short and a nice chocolatey brown color, but I think I’ll go for short and my own color.  It seems silly to dye my hair dark in the middle of summer… then the sun makes your head hotter!

Sorry, no pictures today… maybe I’ll post pictures of our epic adventure to the United States of America tomorrow… epic!  I have to get up at FOUR THIRTY IN THE MORNING!  Enough said!

Shitty weather? Time for Knitting Bread

Woops… did I say knitting bread?  I meant knitting… and baking bread!  Or did I?

Last night I whipped up the second batch of dough from my Artisan bread in five minutes cook book.  It’s sitting on the counter rising as we speak… I’m perfecting the recipe… what I mean by that is this time I put in enough yeast, but the lid on the container I bought doesn’t seal well, so the dough became a bit dried out while in the fridge overnight.  I’ve combatted that in the meantime with plastic wrap, but I really should just get a proper dough bucket… apparently they have them at Williams-Sonoma…. and because I am physically made of money, that is exactly where I will buy my dough bucket… NOT!  LOL… I will try walmart first!

I’ve also been epically knitting along on my blanket…. partially because I want to get it done and partially because I did something yesterday that shall not be spoken of, but requires that I finish the damn thing quicker than originally hoped for… way to go me!

I have to put the dough baby in the oven in five minutes, so I’m off to clean up my kitchen and play with the blankie while it bakes… but I shall leave you with this:

Knitting with dough, while difficult is do-able… I did three backwards loop castons and one and a half rows of garter stitch…. and then the whole thing stuck to my plastic needles and I got mad and ripped it off.  Evidence suggests that you can also weave with dough… so I did… note the fringe!

Oh and I’m doing this for a contest I’m in… I’m not really nuts…. sort of!


You want a hand knit lace stole??

I’m stealing this from Yarnpiggy because she’s smart and I don’t have time to go around finding cool things to repost… So thanks Hilary!

Okay, so go HERE and put a bid on one of the most beautiful shawls you ever did see!  It’s lace and it’s Wollmiese, which for you knitters need not be described, but for you non knitters, just know that it’s one of the most sought after and ridiculously hard to get items out there.  They’re fundraising for the Ride2ConquerCancer and both their hubby’s are riding hundreds of miles a day in order to raise this money!
So, get over there and make a donation.  Not only will you win the stole if you’re the highest bidder, but you’ll get a tax reciept and the fabulous feeling of making a contribution to a disease that touches everyone, regardless of borders, economic status and gender.  Screw Cancer!  Now go!

Sometimes what you pay for is awesome!

Okay, you know the saying ‘you get what you pay for?’.  Usually it’s said with negative connotation that you didn’t pay enough for the ‘thing’ and therefore you deserve it’s crappy quality.  Uh, not so with Knitpicks yarn.  Lemme tell you, it’s some NICE yarn for very little $’s.  I knit up my Gaenor, shown below in my first skein of it, which was hand dyed by a friend.  The hand dyeing would do nothing to change the quality of the yarn, so I’m convinced that it was essentially exactly like it was off the warehouse shelf.  It’s soft, it’s springy, it’s even and it’s not splitty.  I loved knitting with it!  It was 75% merino and 25% nylon, which would give a nice durability to socks… It’s also superwash, which means that it will be more difficult to felt.  I say ‘more difficult’ because I wouldn’t put anything past me!  The cost of the 462 yards of fingering is $6.29.  Not too shabby!

So on the heels of that I am VERY excited to knit with my new Knitpicks Tonals.  They’ve gone above and beyond and delved into the realm of semisolid (forgive me if they already had that… I’m new!).  I bought one skein of the Stroll Tonal, shown here in Canopy to make Undine.  The yarn is absolutely gorgeous and unbeliveably well priced at $9.99 for 462 yards.  It will have the same percentage of merino to nylon in it and it’s also superwash.  It’s a bit more blue in the picture than in real life where it’s a gorgeous deep green.

I also bought two skeins of my very first laceweight yarn ever! (not including the cashmere ball that my friend in Florida sent me, but lets not talk about that because it makes the other yarn jealous! ) I don’t know what I’m going to make with this but the colors were too amazing to pass up!  It’s Shadow in Gypsy and I bought 440 yards of it for $4.29 (well I bought two skeins… details!).  it’s gorgeous and I can’t wait to make something amazing with it!

Part of me wants to put a black streak in it, but I don’t think I will….

Now, don’t get me wrong, there are a MILLION yarns that I’m in love with that Knit Picks doesn’t have and never will, but they’re really awesome for some stuff and you certainly get a LOT more than what you pay for.  I recently bought the yarn to make knee high ribbed legwarmers which are on the cover of the Joy of Sox book… the Alpaca that they call for would have been over $50 but I got 100% wool from Knitpicks for less than $18US!  Plus, I think Alpaca will sag, and I’m not interested in saggy baggy legwarmers.  I also got some wonderful bulky weight yarn for my friend in Manitoba to make me a crocheted Totoro toy.  While I now know the basics of crochet, I’m not good at it enough to make this toy and she really wanted to crochet him, so for the cost of a ball of sock yarn, she’s making me my toy!  I’m so excited for him!

Here’s a wee picture of the cartoon.  I don’t think mine is having teeth…

That’s all in my world… except for that I’m sticking to my plan of knitting one pair of rows of Girasole every day… in fact, I’m five days ahead of schedule since I’ve been knitting two pairs a day… wish me luck to keep going.. the thing is getting heavy!  when it’s done it’s going to weigh 2.2 POUNDS!  Yikes!  That’ll be a sucker to wash and block… lucky I think I’m doing it at my friend’s house and then we’re taking it to her studio to pin…she has a washer, which should make the whole thing easier… and it won’t take a week to dry!

Oh, and something new… please go sign the Guestbook… 

Two in one day??

Just came back from a lovely evening out.  We went out of sushi at our favorite sushi restaurant Tokyo One on W 10th and Trimble.  It was great.  We know the owners and they’re fantastic!   Anyway, right beside there is the new Urban Yarns shop, so we went in and hung out with the ladies for their grand opening in the new store!  The new store is beautiful!  There’s a crystal chandelier and the walls are a lovely icy blue with a HUGE painting of the Eiffel Tower hanging behind the register.  They have their yarn beautifully organized into sections (such as the ‘sock section’ and the ‘Sirdar section’, so things are super easy to find and there’s WAY more room in there!  Love it!  That’s the location that Smungkee Bean hung out in for a week and the minute I walked in the door they asked for him to come back. I agreed, since he is pretty cool and his job of holding down and protecting the knitting area can probably be taken care of by me and the cat for a duration.

I also finished another shawl, as mentioned below, so I thought I would post a couple pictures.  Please ignore the hole I knit into the shawl…it was an accident and I will probably try and fix it (hide it) at some point…

It was 3’6″ wide and 16″ deep when I took it off the needles and it was 6′ wide and 2′ deep when I took it off the blocking board.  It’s sprung back a bit with wearing, but it’s superwash, so I knew it would.  The color is true in the top picture.

My friend and I are going for a walk around the Stanley Park Seawall tomorrow… 10km at the crack of dawn… can’t wait!