Sunday, February 27, 2011
Friday, February 25, 2011
It's been a rough week, and earlier today I was
Where the heck is my enthusiasm, anyway?
You know what? I'm betting it decided it had had just about enough of the soul-suck that is February in Canada and said "Dude? Screw this s**t. I'm buggin' outta here pronto. See you in March, suckah!!!"
Tuesday, February 22, 2011
Monday, February 21, 2011
And how was your weekend? Mine looked like this:
Happy Knitting, Everyone!
Friday, February 18, 2011
I've had this tutorial bookmarked for a while. I figured I could use fabric from some fat quarters I bought last summer, so all I was missing was the linen, the batting, and a coordinating fabric for the inner lining. I'm proud to report that NO fabric stash enhancement was made during this trip (that might have had something to do with Phil being there with me.) Wait - does extra yardage count as stash enhancement? (Insert sheepish grin here)
Here's my first strip:
Can I just say? Cutting wee 2x2 squares is harder than it looks! Sewing them up was no problem at all (well, not after I ripped out about 8 seams because I didn't have the right f***ing seam allowance! *&*?%?!!!), but cutting them took FOREVER! Of course, it doesn't help that I'm completely challenged when it comes to cutting in a straight line. It's like my brain shuts down, I look at all those lines and all I can think is "Huh? What? What am I supposed to be doing here? Whaaaat???" So cutting 24 squares took forever. Well, live and learn and all that.
They're not perfect, of course. The little 2 square-block seams don't quite line up when sewn into strips.
Even so, to say I'm happy with my little (and boy are they little) strips would be a colossal understatement. I am absolutely tickled pink by them. I carried them around with me as I was cleaning up. I put them on the bathroom counter and gazed at them fondly as I was brushing my teeth. I gave them a quick pat on my bedside table before I went to bed... (who me? Unhealthy obsession? Pshaw!)
One guess what I'll be doing tonight.
Happy Sewing, Everyone!
Thursday, February 17, 2011
Anyway, the point is that I’m starting to wig out. Wait, strike that. I am officially wigging. I’m reeling it in as far as retail therapy is concerned and trying to channel it into so-called “positive” activities like running on the treadmill and yoga and… honestly dudes, I think it’s only a matter of time before I bug the hell out completely.
So what’s a woman on the edge to do? Cast on for something new? Go crazy with stash enhancement? Book a flight to Aruba?
I’ve no idea. Right now I’m taking the “Try-to-cram-in-as-much-as-possible-in-the-2-hours-a-day-of-“me-time”-you-get” approach (trademark pending), which is both profoundly unsatisfying and a not-a-little exhausting.
I’ve been discussing it with Phil, and we’ve realized that what I really need is a girls’ crafty weekend. I need to sit by a fireplace, drink tea/wine, laugh, knit, and eat chocolate. In short: I need to chill the eff out.
Who’s with me?
Monday, February 14, 2011
Sadly, my recent knitting has been on secret projects that I can't blog about yet. Three of my friends (including Robyn and Caroline) have either had their babies or are about to pop any minute now, and I've only recently gotten my act together to knit them something. I know... it's not like babies arrive into the world via spontaneous combustion or anything. I've known about these little dudes for months! But for some reason, I just didn't put "Baby" with "Knitted Gift Knit By Yours Truly" together until last week. *Sigh*
So far one of the intended recipients has received her gift, and I'll be getting started on the gifts for the other 2 mamacitas just as soon as I whip up a pair of socks for Émilie. (I've run out of yarn not once but TWICE while making her socks. I think she's due for a complete pair of her very own, don't you?)
So yeah, secret knitting. But! I also had the privilege of taking a feather from Kate's cap and acting as enabler to a newbie knitter by facilitating her very first visit to her LYS, Espace Tricot. She's been knitting with crap-yarn while teaching herself to knit via YouTube tutorials, but her progress has plateaued lately, and I figured a trip to the yarn store would be just the thing.
(OK that's a lie. I've been itching to go to that store for months and shamelessly used her as an excuse to scope it out. I regret nothing.)
Knowing how I tend to fall down hard when faced with large quantities of yarn, I gave myself some strict
OK fine, so I didn't exactly hold entirely true to my guidelines (was there ever any doubt in your mind?), I figure since only ONE of these is technically going to the stash (Émilie requested I make a pair of socks with the Zauberball as soon as I took it out of the bag), I didn't do too badly.
Happy Knitting, Everyone!
Friday, February 11, 2011
This was only compounded by my home economics class in junior high school. I hated the project (a drawstring pouch), hated the fabric ("crap" fabric boosted from my grandmother's stash), hated how it seemed both incredibly slow (all that measuring and cutting and pinning - ugh!) and way to frickin' fast (my machine only had 2 speeds: crazy-fast, outta control stitching and off.)
Whatever the reason, I've always associated sewing with tediousness, with an aftertaste of ennui thrown in for good measure. So it was quite a surprise to me that, out of the blue, I wanted to learn how to sew*. And lucky for me, turns out I've got a seasoned seamstress/quilter living right across the street from me :)
Now, it took a while for us to get out ducks in a row (what can I say? Sometimes even the best impulses need time to mature into glorious fruition, heh), but over the past few weeks, we've swapped our weekly
wine-drinking cheese-plate-consuming Knit Nights in favour of sewing sessions, and it's payed off.
It is with great pleasure (and no small amount of pride) that I give you my first finished sewn project:
Pattern: Quilted Lunch Bag, from One Yard Wonders
Fabric: Oh crap I should know that, shouldn't I? Sorry, I'll remember next time :)
Modifications: None. Except our mitered corners blow theirs outta the frickin' water.
It's not perfect. My seams aren't necessarily always straight, the bias tape sometimes puckers, and despite having measured quite carefully, one side is a wee bit taller than the other. But for all that, it's still the most stylinest lunch bag in the office fridge, and that's good enough for me.
Happy Sewing, Everyone!
* I wasn't the only one who was surprised. When I told my mother what I'd been up to these past few weeks, she just blinked at me a minute and asked me if she'd heard me right "You? Sewing??"
Wednesday, February 9, 2011
I think this one's a keeper :)
Sunday, February 6, 2011
In keeping with the whole "Hope Springs Eternal" thing, I don't change my wardrobe all that much during the winter. Sure, the shorts and sandals are put away, and I don't wear skirts as often as I do in the summer... but you won't find many long-sleeved shirts or sweaters in my repertoire, either. T-shirts are the one thing I can't bare to put away for the Winter.
Now, I may be a hopeless romantic when it comes to spring and summer, but I ain't stupid either. I still want to be warm. Enter the cardigan, and Castlegar (bet you were wondering where I was going with that, eh?) is definitely my new favourite.
Yarn: String Theory Caper Sock
Colour: Bee's Knees
Needles: 3.25 mm circulars and dpns
Size made: 35 inch bust
Now, I'm not going to lie: knitting this cardigan up takes a bit of patience. It's knit in a fingering weight yarn, so progress can be frustratingly slow. The fact that I chose a superb yarn that I absolutely love to work with was certainly helpful in getting me through all that stockinette! And the fact that there's no assembly required makes it a winner in my book (as always).
So there you (finally) have it! I hope it was worth the wait.
Happy Knitting, Everyone!
Friday, February 4, 2011
Nothing I can't handle, of course. I know that if I were just able to hunker down with my knitting, some tea, and seasons 2 and 3 of Buffy, I'd be completely recovered within a day or two. Which would be totally doable, if only I lived in Neverland. *Sigh*
Too bad, I've got the perfect socks for it too...
Yarn: Knit Picks Stroll
Colours: Fawn (MC), Wonderland Heather (CC) and Sapphire Heather (Border)
Needles: 2.5 mm Harmony circulars
Even though I'd had the book in my library for a few years, I didn't really feel the urge to knit anything from it until I stumbled upon Mustaavillaa's version while
My first incarnation turned out to be... well.... ass. The colours I'd chosen were WAY too busy, and the pattern was just lost in the blue-teal yarn vomit my careful knitting produced. I decided that simpler was better, and re-cast on with just one contrasting colour for the main section of the colourwork, and the results were much more to my liking.
Plus, I was working these babies using my newly acquired two-handed colourwork technique, which just had me completely chuffed, you know? I soon ran into a small snafu though. The calf shaping in the pattern only has you go down to 80 stitches, and you keep that stitch count until you begin the toe shaping. 80 stitches was fine for my calf, but for my foot? No way, that was too big. There was nothing for it. I was going to have to modify the pattern to suit my own body.
Now, if you know me at ALL, you know that it's extremely difficult for me to modify a pattern. Sure, I know it can be done. I know designers aren't the boss of me. I know it's my knitting, and that I should feel free, even encouraged, to adapt it as closely as possible to my body in order for me to have the best possible garment I can have.
I know all of that, and yet the very notion of not following a pattern to the letter gives me a twitch.
But these socks were special, and I wanted them to fit me perfectly. I decided that with the gauge I was getting, I'd be OK with 72 stitches around the foot, and adjusted my calf shaping accordingly. Trouble was that that completely screwed the pooch when it came to the heel shaping.
The pattern as written has no gusset shaping. The gussets are knit into the heel itself (I hope I'm explaining this right), so by the time you pick up your instep stitches, you're already back up to your original stitch count. There are no decreases.
They're not perfect, but they're the socks I'm most proud of.
Happy Knitting, Everyone.