Sunday, October 25, 2009

Hats on parade!!!

I've had Rage Against The Machine's "Bulls on Parade" in my head all weekend long, so you'll forgive me for this unoriginal title to today's blog post, heh.

I've got 3 finished hats that I still have yet to share with you, namely Gretel, Marrow Joe and the Sock Monkey Hat. But as I've yet to manage to capture the latter on it's intended recipients' head (he still despises it with all the passion a 2 year-old can muster), you'll just have to settle for the former 2.

First up, Gretel.
Knit with some uber-delicious angora merino handspun my cousin Jessica bought me for my birthday last year. Probably not THE greatest yarn choice for a cabled pattern, but you know what? I don't give a crap. I LOVE this hat, it's so soft and wonderful and feminine... I just wish I could get my hands on more of this yarn! I need a coordinating scarf and mittens :)

*Sigh* Love.

I also finished Woolly Wormhead's Marroe Joe hat, and it's yet to be determined conclusively exactly whose hat this will be...

Now, I originally cast this on with the certainty that I was knitting a hat for Phil. But when he put it on... I don't know... it just didn't seem to be him, you know?

But when *I* put it on... well, what can I say? (let's forget the fact that I've been drooling over this hat since I cast on the first stitches, m'kay?)

Sadly, the fact remains that I knit this hat for a Phil sized noggin', which I don't have... and while this may have made me sad, it also means I get to cast another one on for myself.

It's all good :)

Happy Knitting Everyone!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Beyond Startitis

As I mentioned last post, my knitting mojo is back. Maybe it's the return of Fall, maybe I'm propelled by my recent sweater-success high... who knows. But I'm deeply smitten with my knitting lately. We're talking deep, DEEP smit, people.

I don't want to call it startitis, because (to me anyway), that term implies that you're just going to put something down almost as soon as you've picked it up, and you're sort of restless and undecided about your knitting. I've got knititis. I want to knit all the time, on a wide range of projects, with each one holding as much fascination and interest as the one before.

So far, I've managed to control my urge to splurge, but really, it's only a matter of time, right? Stay tuned for some guilty yarn pron, heh. Here's what I'm working on right now:

Woolly Wormhead's Marrow Joe hat, technically for Phil, but he might have to tackle me to the ground and wrestle it out of my dead hands to get it. I'm knitting this with Alpaca with a Twist Baby Twist and Noro Silk Garden Lite, and OH my goodness. Seriously? Vertical Hat (new technique!) + Alpaca (soft buttery goodness!) + Hypnotic Noro colour-changing goodness (Ooh! Green! Ooh! Orange! Oooh! Charcoal!) = Heaven. I'm making, like, 17 of these hats.

Ysolda's Ishbel. This is the third time I've cast on for this project, and as the saying goes, this one's the charm. I'm knitting it out of Sea Silk. 'Nuff said. The thing's flying off the needles.

Harris Tweed socks. Knit with my gifted Noro Silk Garden sock yarn. I'm loving how they LOOK, not too sure about how they'll feel on the footies though. Someone NEEDS to get Mr Noro a new base yarn! Just sayin'...

That's pretty much it for now... But there's so much knitty goodness floating around in my head! I want to cast on for this, and knit with this, and let's not forget about this... AND, I still need mittens! There must be mittens, people! I need to get on that...

Happy Knitting Everyone!

Monday, October 19, 2009

Catching up

I don’t consider myself to be a particularly fast or productive knitter. I think this might have something to do with the amount of time I actually get to knit as opposed to the amount of time I spend thinking about knitting. I mean, when you think of it in those terms, I barely knit at all. So when people tell me I’m fast, I just smile and nod and think they’re entitled to their opinion, heh.

That being said, I’ve got 4 finished objects waiting to be presented on this here blog, so maybe there’s something to this whole “Gosh you’re a fast knitter Tara” thing I’ve been hearing lately.

I admit: I’ve found my knitting mojo over the past few weeks. I’m pattern stalking like never before, and pretty much all I want to do is knit. Naturally, this has led to some modest stash enhancement, all with specific projects in mind (hey, that’s my story and I’m sticking with it).

Clockwise from top left: Malabrigo Chunky (Indigo); Punta Yarns Merinotwist Hand Paint; Noro Bonbori; Malabrigo Chunky (Amoroso).

Getting back to those finished objects, I finished my Sweetwater Jaywalker socks a few weeks ago.

I had originally intended for these socks to be for me, but through some freak mishap (read: I didn’t swatch for gauge) they turned out slightly too big for my feet. When musing upon this fact after completing the first sock, Phil innocently asked whether I thought they would fit him? And lo and behold, they did. Good, settled, they’d be funky man socks, I was down with that.

Before I go any further, let me just say this: Phil loves these socks. He loved the yarn in the skein, loved the colours, loved the pattern, loved the striping sequence… I’m talking deep, deep love for the sock, people.

And y’all know what happens chez Dear when we really, really love our handknits, don’t you? That’s right, we want to wear them naked.

Happy Knitting Everyone! And thanks to Phil for being such a good sport when I presented this idea to him :)

Thursday, October 15, 2009


First things first: I will not be going to Rhinebeck this year after all. It turns out that Phil's surgery was unsuccessful, the tendon and nerve in his ring finger are still severed, and he's got to have another surgery this afternoon. I am, of course, bummed about missing the trip, but am sad beyond words that he has to go through this painful operation again, and that we have to reset the timer on his recovery time. A month to the day after the original incident, and he's still no closer to being on the mend. That, I think you'll agree, is a big bowl of arse right there.

Despite the No-Rhinebeck thing, life chez Dear is feeling very bountiful in terms of knitting. For instance, I've finished the Garter Yoke Cardigan.

Probably the fastest cardigan I've ever knit, which isn't really saying much since I've knit precisely two adult-sized cardigans in my lifetime, heh. I don't know... I cast on September 17th, and bound off October 12th. That seems pretty fast to me, considering the limited amount of actual knitting time I get in an average day. Knit with Shelridge Farm Soft Touch W4 yarn in the Cranberry colourway, I knit this pattern pretty much as written, except I added some shaping to the sleeves.

I suppose it isn't really really finished though, as it's still blocking and I've yet to sew the buttons on. Stay tuned for a proper photo shoot in the near future.

Anyway, I think I might be addicted to this whole knitting cardigans thing. I've already got the next one lined up and ready to go. I'm going to knit the Honeybee Cardigan, using some luscious Malabrigo Sock. Oooh, I can't wait.

It'll have to though, sigh. I've got to knit a few Winter Woollies first, it seems like everyone needs hats, scarves, mittens... In true Knitter form however, I'm kicking off the season of selfless knitting by knitting something for myself, heh. I cast on for a Gretel hat using a beautiful handspun angora-merino blend my cousin gave me for my birthday last year.

And it has to be said: I might just have an orgasm every time I wear this thing. I mean, angora? Oh. My. God. So soft! Oh baby, where have you been all my life? I never knew it could be this way.

Saving the best for last, I received a lovely, thoughtful, package in the mail this week, from my wonderful friend Kerry. I guess she thought I was feeling a little down lately, and decided I needed a pick-me-up.

She sent me a ball of Noro Silk Garden sock yarn, and as you can see I've already cast on with it. I mean, look at those colours! Does she know me or what?

Now the yarn is fabulous, but what really knocked my socks off, no pun intended, is the card that came with it, which she made herself.

Thanks so much, Kerry. You really did brighten up my week, and I'm glad to have you as a friend.

Happy Knitting Everyone!

Monday, October 12, 2009

The leftovers

Believe it or not, I actually had a photo session today. I took pictures of 2 recent FOs, the 3 skeins of yarn I wound into cakes for upcoming projects, the kids... Massive eye candy, something this blog is in serious lack of, in my opinion. And then, once the kids were in bed and I staggered to the computer, I hit Delete rather than Page Down when looking at what I'd taken and sent my lovely pictures to that great photo album in the sky.

Then I ate a slice of Chocolate chunk pumpkin bread (for you, Kerry!), which made me feel a little bit better.

The good news is that I realized my mistake in time to salvage 2 pictures, which while they aren't the greatest FO shots (you can't really see the knitting all that much), are pretty cute nonetheless, and show off Émilie's growing talents as a knitwear model.

A few weeks ago now I knit Émilie a Tretta hat out of Cascade 220, and used the leftovers to make her some no-brainer quick mittens. I know, they're cream-coloured. Also, may I draw your attention to how I said Cascade 220, not Cascade 220 Superwash? Yeah, I know, I'm an idiot. Live and learn, right? Say it with me! Sooooooooo-peeeeeeeeeer-waaaaaaaaaaaash. *Sigh*

The good news is that she loves them (as you can see). But don't take that to mean that she's satisfied. Oh no, she's already put in a request for a pink had and mitten set. And a purple one. Yup, I'll get right on that.

Oooh! Hot off the presses: I just finished my Garter Yoke Cardi! Ends woven in and everything, all I need to do is sew on the buttons. When I told Phil I couldn't really finish it tonight because I didn't have enough buttons, he stopped for a moment and said "Really. You DON'T have enough buttons".

Then I remembered I'm still holding my mom's vintage buttons bucket hostage, not to mention the huge container a seamstress friend of my grandmothers' sent over about a month ago. I know what I'm doing tomorrow night! heh.

Happy Knitting Everyone!

Sunday, October 11, 2009


Over the past 3 days, it feels as though all I've done is bake. Zucchini bread using a third of a massive, mutie zuke given to me by my good friend Robyn, chocolate pumpkin bread, pumpkin pie, and pumpkin cupcakes.

Fall has ARRIVED, people!

I've also been doing quite a bit of knitting, natch. Nothing I can show you yet, sadly. I don't know if I told you I had started a Garter Yoke Cardi? Well, I did, and it's almost done! I'm madly knitting the second sleeve, and I hope to finish it tomorrow evening. Two garments in 2 months! I am on a ROLL, people.

I've got lots of plans for upcoming posts and projects, I had a massive session with my swift and ball winder this week. Stay tuned!

Happy Knitting Everyone!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

So much for that idea!

I promised y'all a finished object parade last time, didn't I? Yeah, well, that didn't work out quite as I had planned. My usual DORMA shenanigans being squared with the absence of The Great Distractor (aka Phil), I didn't have time to take any pictures. So it's another wordy post for you, my lovelies!

Today I want to talk about the New York Sheep and Wool Festival, or Rhinebeck, for those of us who are in the know, heh. Heck, you could probably call it Knitter Mecca, it's so huge and wonderful and full of yarny (and sheepy!) goodness. Knitters dream of it all year long, and I'm no exception.

Earlier this year, the wise and powerful, soon-to-conquer-the-world Alison and I decided we would go together, as Kate-the-Enabler wouldn't be making the trip this year (something about creating a new human life and bringing it to term - WHATEVER). Alison's a hoot, we get along like peas and carrots. I was really, truly psyched.

Now, before I go on, I think I should confess to being A) incredibly impulsive and B) prone to cognitive dissonance. This can lead to lots of topsy-turviness chez Dear.

A few months later, the bills started accumulating, the noose around the neck started to get a smidge uncomfortable, and the rational, responsaible adult chimed in (don't you just HATE it when that happens?) and said: Rhinebeck is right after the start of (fairly expensive private) school. Perhaps it isn't the best time to subject yourself to that kind of temptation?

So I called Alison, we talked it through, and we agreed that she'd find someone else to room with her.

Now, after a long summer of mostly-yarn-fasting and general running around, Rhinebeck started to take on a new appeal. See, I've begun to rationalize, I mean believe, that the appeal of Rhinebeck is not, in fact, the yarn (stop that laughing!), but rather the prospect of having a weekend on my own. THAT'S hard to ignore, try as I might.

So after a few discussions with Phil (who IS a bit indisposed at the moment), we agreed that I will be accompanying Robyn, Amy and their friend Madeleine next Friday. I'm really, truly psyched.

I need to remember, though, that it's not about the yarn.

Happy Knitting Everyone!

ps: Oh, and Alison? Yeah, she's going with Véronik Avery. Trade up much?

Saturday, October 3, 2009

All's well

I'm still here.

But after a week alone with the kids, I'm pretty tired in the evenings, and I mostly feel like knitting rather than writing about knitting. So in lieu of actual inspiration, I give you a few random occurrences from this week:

  1. I made Maxime a Sock Monkey hat. Upon presenting it to him on Friday morning, he took one look and said "Aime pas ça!" (I don't like it). Émilie, on the other hand, was absolutely devastated that I hadn't made her one. *Sigh*
  2. I should be casting on for a pair of mittens for Maxime tonight, but I think I'm going to work on my new cardi instead. Bad mum, BAD MUM!
  3. A vodka cranberry juice is a fine way to welcome the weekend in style.
  4. I watched The Amazing Race for the first time EVER last Sunday, and I think I'm hooked. I hope Phil likes it!
  5. Speaking of Phil: he's visiting some kiting friends in Texas this weekend. It's 30 degrees there. If I sound bitter? That's because I AM. It's been grey and raining for the past WEEK here, and I've had enough.
  6. The kids stayed at their grandparents' house last night. My first day off and what did I do this morning? I woke up at 6:50, had a quick breakfast, and went out for a run. I need to learn how to relax, don't I?
  7. Speaking of running, after 4 months, today was the first time I listened to music while running. It changes everything.
  8. Kate-the-Enabler and Lemondrop (aka Kate's husband, Chris) are officially the sweetest, most thoughtful people on the planet. When I got back from my run today there was a lovely breakfast tray waiting for me on my front step. I KNOW, right?
  9. Wee Bronwyn (aka Little Miss Enabler) is so cute, it almost makes me want to have another baby (I said ALMOST).
  10. I'm tackling the BBC Top 100 books of all time list, and reading Wuthering Heights for the first time. After discussing it with several people, I've come to the conclusion that it's best to read it as an adolescent, all full of romantic notions of doomed love and what have you. Because as an adult? These characters are schmucks! Completely un-redeemable, first class dumb-asses.
OK, I've got a few finished objects to show you next post. I'm going to TRY to get some decent pictures tomorrow.

Happy Knitting Everyone!