It has been since I last bought yarn!

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Ready For My Close Up

Well... I'm ready.


Or at least I'm ready as I'll ever be. Above are my Stampede 2010 submissions for this year. I finished the blue twisted cable blanket just in the nick of time. It's out of the blocking pins TODAY, which is a relief, because I need to take it to the grounds for judging TOMORROW.

Whew! That was down to the wire.


Pattern: Textured Knots by Norah Gaughan
Yarn: Knit Picks Shine Worsted in Bachelor Button
Needles: US 6 for the ribbing at the ends and US 8 for the body
Notes: It's a lovely pattern. It's classy and gorgeous! The yarn really makes the pattern pop, but I'll be honest, this blanket weighs a TONNE. I liked the yarn well enough* but if I were to knit this again, I wouldn't use this weight. The blanket is heavy. Also? If you knit this- blow up the chart on a photocopier and COLOR CODE your cables. I would never have knit this successfully without a color coded cable chart. It just makes it so much easier!
Listening To: Craft Lit's Little Women and the Scarlett Letter and Selden Edwards The Little Book.


So- with Textured Knots off the needles I gave myself a little reprieve. I should have been pulling out the various socks in progress and finishing them up.



I fell off the wagon. (Oops!) So elated with the joy of being done the blankets, I was instantly inspired by the cute little Goodale cardigan and just decided that I deserved a pleasure project. I used my Christmas gift cards from family members (thanks Moms & Dads!) and bought this LOVELY Louisa Harding "Albero" in colorway 4. I think it's perfect for this cardigan and who knows- maybe I'll have another finished object to show off soon?

Cross your fingers for me- the projects leave for the Stampede tomorrow... we'll see how I measure up!

*Knit Picks has served me well and seen me successfully complete many projects this last year, I just wish they tried harder to prevent knots in their balls of yarns. Too many knots this time! It was frustrating and all too common.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Word of the Day: LOVELY

Pink Insanity is finished.


And OH, is it lovely.


OH OH OH OHhhhhhhh so lovely. It went from crumpled mess, to such a lovely flat project. I actually finished this blanket a long time ago- I cast off the final stitch- blocked the blanket- stood back and took it all in….


… aaaaaaaaaaaand hated it. Something was wrong. The blanket was lovely, but the ends… OH the ends were bothering me. The pattern called for a crochet border, but even the crochet border couldn’t save the ends. My issue was that the pattern just ended. The sides are lovely- with the lovely diamond lace pattern, but the ends just felt too abrupt. It’s like your eyes take in the lovely patterning and just when you’re about to exclaim “oh that is just lovely”, you stop because the ends just look unfinished and incomplete. Instead of the “oh that’s lovely” you immediately want to tell me you’re ideas on what I could do to spiff up the ends. In short, the ends needed something, otherwise the blanket just didn’t look finished.

And so I did what I do when I’m forced to decide upon something, I asked EVERY PERSON I KNOW how to fix it. There were some excellent suggestions, particularly from Sylvia in my knitting group, who suggested I pick up the stitches and knit diamonds across. Great idea, but when it came to execution, I failed. Miserably.

And then, I was overcome with madness. MADNESS I say! Because I decided the most viable solution was to undo the cast off and cast ON edges, pick up the stitches and knit in a picot border. Unraveling the cast off edge was a walk in the park- I caught the stitches and knit me a picot border to fold over and stitch. Unraveling the cast ON edge was significantly more tricky, but after some wine and chanting “you can do this, you can do this” to myself, I was able to muster the courage, CUT into the knitting and attempt the impossible.


It didn’t turn out too badly either. The stitching isn’t perfect. If I was able to add the picot at the beginning it would be smooth and beautiful- but instead I was forced t fold the stitches over and sew them down. It’s not exactly how I’d like it to look, but it does finish the blanket nicely and is a vast improvement from where I was.


So there you have it. After all that belly aching, moaning and near tears, this blanket is finished and it is just lovely. (The only thing I could say when I knit this was "lovely"… hence the over-use of that term here.)

Pattern: 0612-1 Hjertesett found in Sandes Lanett 0612 Baby 0-4 booklet
Yarn: Shepherd Baby Wool 3 Ply in Pink (0333) (6.5 skeins)
Needles: US 2.5 or 3 mm (!!!!!)
Notes: I skipped the crochet picot border and instead knit in my own picot border. If I were to do this again, I would not do the picot as an afterthought. This blanket blocks beautifully and in general is a very satisfying finished project. I did, however, have to blow up the charts to a size way bigger, or I would have gone crosseyed!
Listening To: (This is going to be a new section on the blog as I’ve discovered the joys of audio-books and Craft Lit. I thought I’d let you know what I “read” while knitting my project.) Little Women by Louisa May Alcott (courtesy of Craft Lit) and The Little Book by Selden Edwards. (ha…. Apparently I like books with “Little” in the title!) Both were excellent, I love Little Women so much that I burned through that book pretty quickly. The Little Book was also excellent, although it took a few weird turns about midway through that left me going “huh?”.

Where can you see this lovely project to which my pictures do it absolutely no justice? Check out the Western Showcase at the Stampede, where I’ve entered it as one of my entries to be judged.

PS. To my husband, who had nicknamed this project my "Stampede 2012" project because he didn’t believe I could finish it. I think you owe me an apology honey!

PPS. This project took me a little over 4 months to complete! Wow. No wonder I was sick of it!

Monday, June 14, 2010

New Look... Same Old Nennie

I came to look at the blog and suddenly was hit with an overwhelming desire to update it a little. I reserve the right to wake up tomorrow and hate the whole thing and revert back to the old format. In the mean time let me know if something isn't quite right. (For example if your eyes can't read my font, in the new colors, LET ME KNOW.)

All this exciting formatting is here to cover up the fact that there isn't all that much new in my knitting world. I'm still slogging away. The pink blanket is done- but waiting a proper photo session, so nothing to tell you there. (Although YAY I like it again.)

The blue blanket is still a work in progress... I'm just a little over the half way mark.


I've decided to enter it in the Stampede this year instead of the pink sock of "meh". (Ellingtons- which have seen little in the way of progress.) I've got to take my stuff in to be judged on the 30th of June, so I need to get my butt in gear if I'm going to submit a finished entry!

In other knit news- I'm sure I drove several friends and MiL around the bend last week, obsessing over WHAT to knit on my looooong car trip to Saskatchewan this last weekend. I had originally planned to make a log cabin blanket with several odds and ends of acrylic I have in pinks. I thought it was the perfect car trip knitting since it is essentially all garter stitch. Row after blessed row of knit stitch. However the one color I needed to complete my vision didn't show up. So I flushed Log Cabin down the toliet.

This created a great conundrum because I wanted a simple small project and my brain couldn't let the garter stitch blanket idea go. SO, instead of inwardly fretting about this like a normal sane person- I basically whined to anyone with ears about my great knitting dilema about what the heck I should knit on the long road trip. Everyone kept saying "sock" and I kept fighting it.

Thankfully everyone knew what's best for me- and ultimately, I chose to knit the sock. I had planned a great photo journal where you could see the sock in progress along various roadside attractions, but forgot the general rule Husband makes on road trips- "no stopping for photos of your sock in progress". Or something along those lines. Anyways- you'll have to suffice to see what I knit there and back over the weekend instead.


This is the beginnings of the Charade (Rav link) sock. This yarn (Zen Yarn Garden In-Sock Yarns in "Passion Guava") surprised me by self striping. I was so charmed by the lovely striping effect I even decided to do an after thought heel, so I don't interrupt the loveliness of the pattern. (And I don't normally like to knit that kind of heel!!) It was perfect mindless knitting- and it thankfully entertained me on the trip.

ALL THAT AGONIZING, (literally 2 days of non-stop whining), and I ended up a cute sock anyways.

Well, I've procrastinated enough. I've spiffed up the blog, and yammered on for too long. I need to get that blanket out the door. Look for a good photo essay of the pink insanity blanket coming to a cute purple blog near you!

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Lost in Slog...

Whoops… life and knitting got in the way of blogging. Plus, if I’m being honest, there really isn’t that much to show for on the knitting front. I'm in full knitting slog.

When we left off- I was full of hope and promise to finish the ends of the pink blanket. (Which I’ve gone from loving to loathing!) I undid the cast off and cast on (eek!) rows and picked up the stitches and failed with the great plan hatched at my last knitting night. After more brainstorming and an idea came to me. “PICOT”. Said the voice. “You must PICOT”. Thankfully that voice is a GENIUS and picot is in fact, the right call. Just slow going... and tedious.. and well... my ambition is rather on the “meh” end of things. My goal is to have it finished for Tuesday when I’m back at Knit night with the girls. I’m so close. I just need to be done already!

Before all this pink blanket distraction, I started a lovely little baby blanket full of delightful cables.


This is it at the half way point. Progress? Yes. I had hoped to be here telling you today that I had finished this project, especially since little Blake, who it’s going meant for, was born a bit early. But alas, the pink blanket is slowing my progress (and SUCKING MY SOUL), and well everything suffers.

Motivating me only slightly to get these done already is the rainbow sock yarn from Knit Picks- which I ordered more of, taking me up to 6 skeins. (Seemed to be the right call too… it looks like it’s close to selling out on the website!)


Aren’t the colors pretty? The yarn is soft and I’m just DYING get at this already. I’m hoping this yarn will be my first pair of toe up socks… I think the striping will be perfect and a fun way to learn this new technique. (That’s the summer challenge for the MiL and I this year… learn “toe up”.)

Anyways- I’m keeping this blog short… less blather more “get at ‘er” and I'm going to try and squeeze out the last few picot stitches. I can't wait for something new...