Friday, December 24, 2010
not a creature was stirring, not even my spouse.
The presents were wrapped and all the chores equaled none,
it was time to sit down and get a blog done!
Somehow, despite all the distractions this week,
I got in some knitting and thought I'd give you a peek.
It's a Cashmere shawl! And it's off the needle!
But that isn't it, there's more, keep on sittin'
For I even finished a cute pair of mittens!
But I woke up one morning with progress to show!
If that wasn't enough, there was even more,
Even the white blanket isn't as much of a snore!
Just a few border rows left to pick up and knit,
And before New Years I should be finished with it!
I cast on a sweater I love so much I might marry!
Everyone, meet Willie, and isn't it cute?
A friend's litte girl, I think it will suit!
And I'm so completely charmed by that cute little pup!
I've got some time off now, so I expect much more to see.
Perhaps I will even start something for me!
Now to do yarn "research" for the boxing day sale,
Missing yarn at a discount would make any knitter wail!
So back to my knitting, with relaxing in sight!
MERRY CHRISTMAS TO ALL AND TO ALL A GOOD NIGHT!
Pattern: Fletcher Mittens by Amy Swenson
Yarn: Noro Silk Garden (worsted) 292 and 264
Needles: US size 6
Listening To: Super Sad True Love Story by Gary Shyteyngart
Notes: The pattern was great and easy to follow- it's a good download I'd recommend it to anyone. However I HATED the yarn. HATED it. The colors are lovely, and it compliments the pattern perfectly, but it kept breaking and ripping and I had so many ends to weave in at the end I was completly in full HATE mode for the yarn. BOOOOOO NORO. (What I don't get it is that so many people love that yarn and I can't for the life of me figure out why. I will not be buying Noro again!)
Monday, December 13, 2010
Hey?! Remeber that time I decided that I had too many things on the needles and I needed to close some circles? Well, apparently I've didn't learn anything from that... because I cast on a pair of mittens, simply because I could not wait to to do so any longer.
Fletcher Mittens when they're done- and I'm hoping to also make a matching ear muff warmer thingy. (I think that's the technical term for those.)
I felt slightly less guilty than I normally do when I cast on a project admist other projects, because a large portion of the white blanket (OF NEVER ENDING MONOTONY) is actually finished. I've cast this blanket off and the ends are woven in. (Apologies for these photos... it's December in Canada, we're lucky to have 10 minutes of natural light!)
So yes, there is still knitting to be had around these parts, even though it happens less often than normal. Not to worry- I have 2 weeks off over Christmas, I'm hoping that things will be flying off the needles then!
Hoping your Christmas schedules are allowing you some time to knit too....
Tuesday, November 30, 2010
Firstly, if your me, and you have projects that you're working on, but they look essentially the same since the last time you posted photos of them, well, it doesn't make for very interesting blog fodder. The white blanket looks the same as it did last time... only longer. Except, not long enough to tell you what the next step is or something interesting about it, just long enough for me to know I've made progress but not really talk about it.
mittens instead, you have to hope that I can catch a sprinkling of sun on a weekend to take a photo.
Noro Silk Garden after it's been sitting in a knit state for over 2 years isn't pretty- I'm happy I was able to salvage most of it...)
What I need is a "blog person." Someone who I can pay for their time who will sit down and a) build this site into something palatable and viewable and b) set it up so that I can post photos, text and respond to comments and make it my little space on the internet but also something that is easy for my lame-o computer skills to manage. (Hello birthday gift idea!!)
So there you have it. I'm hoping for a flurry of excitment/progress here soon. I also know that 'tis the season for doing 96 gazillion different Christmas events that suck on knitting time. So cross your fingers I'm able to survive with a little knitting along the way.
Saturday, November 20, 2010
Maybe it's because they are all the same color.
Behold- the latest baby blanket, where progress is made, but there isn't much to say about it. (At least it's a very VERY simple knit.)
Sunday, November 7, 2010
As you can tell from my last post, there are a lot of open circles in my life right now. The sheer idea that there were so many projects in various states of completion was stressing me out, I didn't want to knit because it was so overwhelming to figure out what I should work on- so I decided to take the advice and close a few of my own circles.
Firstly, I had to admit defeat. I could not finish all of the projects on the needles and so I had to let some projects move to the frog pile. It's not to say I won't ever attempt these again, but they are no longer weighing on my concience.
Goodbye Doggy Mittens
Knitting Therapy, which is delightfully simple to knit, and I love feeling the soft cashmere. Progress is slow but steady, and it's looking like this these days.
Wednesday, October 27, 2010
I have the most crippling case of Knitting ADD (KNAD) right now. I can’t allow myself to cast on anything new. I just can’t- because there are SO MANY things on needles right now that need to be finished. SO many. So instead, I’m so overwhelmed by my projects, I haven’t been knitting at all, just casting a trillion things on and then losing love with them 43.5 seconds later.
Exhibit A: the Charade Socks
At one time- they looked like this.
Exhibit B: the Doggy Mitts of EPIC GAUGE FAIL
I can’t decide if thicker yarn is going to fix my issues or if I just need to admit defeat.
Exhibit C: Cashmere Therapy
Instead of fighting that urge to cast some thing else on while knitting this shawl- I’m suddenly impulsive.
Exhibit D: Rainbow Socks
Jocelyn and Anne- so I pulled these out of stash, cast on and made immediate, satisfying progress.
Except my sister mentioned that she wants knee socks (not in reference to these socks, just in general) and now all I can focus on is my OVERWHELMING NEED to rip these out and turn them into knee socks.
Not to mention Exhibit E (Noro Scarf), Exhibit F (Argyle socks) and Exhibit G (Silk Scarf) that have been around so long, I’ve actually gotten used to ignoring them!
I’m also mildly entertaining about throwing an "Exhibit H" into the mix and casting on the next blanket this weekend for a friend due after Christmas.
Why is it when I have a big project I can “buckle down” and be monogamous? But, when it comes to little projects- I’m all over the place? I can't see to pay attention to anything longer than a minute! If you're wondering why blog posts have been light- it's because I'm sitting here in a pile of "Works in Progress" and wondering why I did this to myself!
I blame Ravelry. I wouldn't have this problem of "OOOH shiny! Look at that" if Ravelry didn't tempt me with lovely projects. So with this ranting, I'm off to knit some stuff. What? I don't know- but I have to knit SOMETHING.
Sunday, October 17, 2010
But, I did have one and only goal for the weekend. FINISH GOODALE. Thank goodness I had some success!
Goodale Cardigan by Cecily Glowick MacDonald
Yarn: Louisa Harding Albero in colorway 4
Needles: US 7
Listening To: (What did I NOT listen too!? Most recently it's been "Room With a View by EM Forrester.)
Notes: I love top down design because you can get the right length in a sweater. I tried this on where the pattern told me to stop for the length and it wasn't long enough for my long torso. SO, I added several rows more to make it longer.
I'm especially fond of the pockets....
Mags' website. Someday she will come to Calgary and I will make her take photos of everything I have ever knit. I swear!)
You'll notice that I'm only talking about the sweater and not the mittens? The mittens and I have agreed to disagree. And they're currently in time out thinking about all that they've put me through. When they decide to meet gauge and write "I am sorry for causing Jen great distress" 1000 times, I will think about knitting them again.
It's nice to finally, (FINALLY!) have this off the needles and feel like I actually knit something else, without this in the back of my mind going "Jennnnnnn you need to finish your Gooooooooodale!...... And to that? I say Thank Goodness!
Friday, October 8, 2010
So hard that, after a few errands, I went home and knit silently on the lace (very very easy lace DO NOT BE IMPRESSED!) shawl. The simple act of knitting reminded me that while in that exam, I felt like I knew nothing, I am not an idiot all the time. I’ve managed to get pretty good at this little craft. Anyways, I found the simple act of knitting an easy pattern very enjoyable. My shoulders relaxed, my brain cleared and I just got in a zen state of knitting each row the way it’s supposed to be. This process was made even more pleasurable and more therapeutic by the fact that the yarn is cashmere. It’s so soft people. So very very very VERY soft. Every so often I’ll run my hand over it, feeling the softness. I can’t wait to wear this around my neck!
For right now thought, I need to go back to the easy cashmere shawl, I need a little detox from the mittens and that brief little reminder again, that I am capable. (I just have momentary lapses.)
Oh Cashmere shawl… you’re better than any therapist!
Sunday, September 26, 2010
Last Friday I took the day off, and MiL and I drove out to Carstairs to check out Custom Woolen Mills. It was a lovely way to spend a day off and a really interesting little trip, so I thought I'd share it with you.
Firstly, I have to admit that the trip did not start off on the right foot. Carstairs is about an hour outside of Calgary, and as we turned off on to a lovely paved highway, we passed a semi, which left us this souvenir of our trip...
We did not let this set back deter our interst in seeing the wool, so we forged ahead- I suppose if something is going to happen to your BMW, the best witness to your innocence in the situation is your Mother in Law!
Driving up on the property we stopped in the shop, where we were told to check out the washing/spinning first. And so, we stepped into the barn with a very SHEEPY smell and checked out the raw wool being washed.
We also stopped into to check out the sock knitting process. Custom Woolen Mills makes a bunch of machine knit, wool socks for customers. The gentleman demonstrating this showed us the sock knitting machine.
After inhaling sheep fumes and getting a really good understanding of what goes into producing yarn, we enjoyed the RARE sunshine outside to check out the barn area and all the fleeces that are waiting to be processed.
alpaca mittens for my father in law and how very soft the yarn was!
lanolin in it, it immediately makes your fingers feel so soft to touch. We learned about the different "crimps" in wool and got to feel the difference between a "good fleece" and a "bad fleece".
Rounding out our visist, we also got to step into the store, to be tempted by the various wools they had spun.
We had a great time at Custom, despite the "rocky" start. (Bad pun alert!) I think we both found the operation fascinating, and it kind of personalizes the yarn you are buying a little more.
I did end up buying the yarn for my sister's mittens at an impromtu stop at Pudding last Friday. But we can discuss that another day. There has also been knitting progress here at Chateau Nennie.
Progress and the opportunity to cast on new projects will be on hold this week, as I prepare to write the CHRP exam. All knitting time will be devoted to studying (SOBS UNCONTROLLABLY). I will not allow myself swatches or ANYTHING for projects I want to cast on for the fall, until after the morning of Oct 2. If you think about it.... send me a little luck that day okay?
*Husband must be credited for handling the news as well as he did. Was he happy? No. But he did not get angry with me, understanding it was not my fault and also choosing to look on the bright side that no one was hurt and that no other part of the car suffered injury. On the downside- the windshield is not repairable- and will need to be replaced.
Thursday, September 16, 2010
Truthfully, I've been trying to show you these since Sept 10th, when they were actually finished but the weather, which can only be described as utterly DISMAL, has been so overcast, and so DARK, that I couldn't get home in time to take a picture in natural light. THERE HAS BEEN NO LIGHT, for so many days.
Thankfully- I have the relief of a finished item distracting me from all the gloomy skies outside!
Pattern: Ellington Socks by Cookie A
Yarn: Estelle Arequipa in colorway 213 Pale Pink
Needles: US 2
Listening To: These have been on the needles since April 11th (!!!), mostly living in my purse. So these socks have listened to a lot of lunch banter between Anne, Mel and myself. But for the final knitting push to finish these, I listened to my latest audio book: One Day by David Nicholls. (PS- I'm Loving It!)
Notes: I knit the "Medium" size for this pattern. They fit well in the leg, but go high up the calves and fit fairly tight. Were I to do it all again- I'd go up a needle size for the cuff, just for extra stretchy room. Also, this pattern is not for the faint of heart. I had more than one "frogging" sessions of "rip it rip it" when it came to this pattern. Cookie's patterns are GREAT, there is nothing wrong with what you purchase, but she sure isn't afraid to challenge you with a big chart or several decreases.
The fronts of these socks are stunners!
And it seems almost criminal to cover up the toes! And well, I have to admit, almost makes me think "I think I'm ok at this knitting thing!"
Lest you should think that the rain delay has delayed any other knitting, Goodale is seeing some healthy progress and maybe, just maybe, starting to inch toward the finished line also!
Hopefully I won't have to wait EIGHT days for a flicker of sunshine to poke through to show you it when it's finished.
Must get back to knitting away furiously to finish up my projects. MiL and I are heading out to Custom Woolen Mills tomorrow for a little field trip and I worry that I could fall off the yarn buying wagon again!
PS- Sarahdobbs, who left me a comment on my blog regarding my leaf blanket, I don't have a way (email, or a blog link) to respond to you! Anyways, on the off chance that you're reading this- I cast on 161 stitches for the blanket in order to do an extra row of leaf repeats. Hope that helps!