Monday, January 30, 2012


Yesterday, January 29th, I finally got around to creating a Finished Objects set for the year in Flickr. That means it took me almost an entire month to have a finished object. Considering how profuse some knitters are, not to mention how I used to be, I've got to say... it bugged me a little bit. I kept thinking "Seriously? Here we are, almost February, and this is all I've got? One pair of socks?".

At least these aren't your run of the mill socks though...

Pattern: Aphrodite, by Jeannie Cartmel
Yarn: Springtree Road Emeline Sock (50% Merino, 50% Silk)
Colour: Chartreux
Needles: 2.5 mm
Technique: knit on 2 circulars
Cast on date: January 12, 2012
Cast off date: January 28, 2012

I knit these beauties as part of the Solid Socks monthly Mystery Sock KAL on Ravelry. I got a wee bit confused and thought I could partake of both the Mystery Sock AND the Color of the Month KAL (which was Black/White/Grey for January), but apparently I can't do that... No matter though. These socks are made of total frickin' awesome, in my humble opinion.

Oh yeah... that's the stuff right there. Just look at those stitches! Ooh baby...


Next month's colour of the month is "Spring". In February. Since I doubt the group's organizers mean us to knit with dirty white, icy grey or dull brown (such is the colour of February in Montreal), I pulled the following candidate skeins out of the stash:

Anyone have any favourites?

Happy Knitting, Everyone!

Thursday, January 26, 2012


About a month ago, I came down with a case of Startitis. Thankfully, it wasn't the the severe kind that has the knitter casting on 17 projects in 3 days in wild, careless abandon. No, no, nothing like that.

I just really, really, REALLY wanted to cast on for a shawl. Even though I already had an active project on the needles. Even though I had a *cough*few*cough* lingering WIPs. I didn't care about any of that. Suddenly, what I was working on had about as much appeal as a colonoscopy, and I wanted something shiny and new, and darnit, it was going to be a shawl. Something with lace, but not too "lacey". Something awesome.

Now... I know what you're thinking. "Big whup, Tara. So you wanted to cast on for a shawl. How is that Startitis?!?"

Because of the fevered blindness with which I cast on, my friends. Brooklyn Tweed's Loft Collection had just come out and pushed me over the edge, so it didn't take me long to settle on Stonecrop for a pattern. As for the yarn, I quickly settled on the Foxhill Farm Cormo Cross I bought at Rhinebeck last year because a) it was still relatively shiny and new and b) it's brown, like the one the gorgeous strawberry-blond nymph modelling the pattern is wearing.

Was it the right gauge? Did I swatch? Did I even give a sh*t?? Um... no. I threw caution to the WIND, my friends. I told the Knitting Fates they could shove it up their skeins, and recklessly cast on. Total Startitis.

After about 10 rows I started getting that feeling, though... that feeling that this wasn't looking quite right, that maybe it wasn't going to work out. And I went through all Denial's usual suspects: "Maybe it'll block out", "Maybe it's the lighting", "It'll look better once it's off the needles". And for a while, that was enough to keep me going. I kept knitting, trying to outrun the sense of knitterly doom.

After a few weeks, as often happens in these situations, the Foxhill Stonecrop got set aside in favour of other, more interesting pressing projects. And there it sat, in suspended animation, on the living room end table (a.k.a. where WIPs go to die).

Last night I had Kate-the-Enabler over for a Knit Night, and as she was dutifully Oooh-ing and Aaah-ing over my current projects, she came upon the forgotten shawl.

"Is that your Cormo!??", she asked excitedly (she was there when I bought it. So was Stephen West. It was a Moment).

"Yeah" I answered. "I'm not entirely convinced it's working with this pattern, though...".

And Kate, yes woman extraordinaire, she who can see the positive in ANYTHING, spread the shawl out and gave it a good hard look. "You know..." she said, pursing her lips "I think you might be right."

Buh-bye, Stonecrop. Anyone have any pattern suggestions for 820 yards of Foxhill Cormo Cross?

Happy Knitting, Everyone!

Monday, January 16, 2012


My last FO for 2011 was another Holiday Hooligan, Ivy, this time for Maxime.

Pretty cute huh? A bit of a finicky pain in the arse to knit, and should totally have counted as three FOs since it came with a hat and a scarf, but hey... the important thing is that he's happy with it (you know.. as much as anyone with the attention span of a four year-old can be). Perhaps even more important is the fact that I've pretty much purged the urge to knit toys, and can I get an Amen to that?

The only trouble is that, since finishing Ivy, my knitting has kind of... lulled. I've got a few projects on the go, and even finished a few things (a second Roar hat for Émilie, as well as a neckwarmer/cowl that turned out too big for her...), but... yeah. Nothing was really doing it for me. It was all rather... Meh. Schmeh. Yadayada.

Then one day I was procrastinating browsing on Ravelry (raise your hand if you've got a funny knitting story that starts with those words!), looking into the Solid Socks group... and suddenly I was a woman possessed. I had to knit a pair of socks in the colour of the month (Black, White or Grey) and I had to knit the Mystery Sock (this month's is to catch up on a former Mystery Sock). I mean... I hadn't knit a pair of fun, challenging, pretty socks in, like... weeks!

Pattern is Aphrodite, by Jeannie Cartmel (who, might I add, has some really cute sock patterns!), and the yarn is Springtree Road's Emeline Sock (50% superwash merino, 50% silk) in the Chartreux colourway.

I'm calling them my Peel Me A Grape socks. They're decadent, sophisticated and just plain fabulous, and I'm loving every minute of this project. I mean... just look at them! Oh yeah, that's the stuff right there.

Happy Knitting, Everyone!

Saturday, January 7, 2012


Last week I was browsing Hawthorne Treads' shop, playing around with their Colour Search feature (Go have a look. It's pretty frickin' cool) and um... there was an incident. I don't really know what happened, and I certainly can't explain it, as I'm on a STRICT stash OF ANY KIND diet, but, well... before I knew it there were 10 yards of fabric in my cart and 100$ less in my PayPal account. These things happen.

Anyway, the fabric arrived this week and, aside from making me feel like it's HIGH TIME I break out of my Pink Phase, it's made me very happy.

*Sigh* Isn't that pretty? I mean... forgetting the fact that I've no immediate plans whatsoever for this fabric and that buying it was pure consumerist gluttony on my part... How can looking at that stack not make me happy?

The happy (if slightly guilt-inducing) fabric came with a bit of a surprise, however. It seems that I was so high crazed distracted when I had my falling down accident that I failed to notice that one of the prints I added to my cart was not, in fact, quilter's cotton. It was, of all things, corduroy.

Yup. That there is a wild, funky-ass corduroy. And I'm charmed. I'm smitten. I absolutely LOVE this crazy fabric.

I have no idea what to make with it, of course. I have visions of peasant dresses and bandanas and banana bags and... well. Only one thing is certain at this point. Whatever it becomes, it's going to be awesome.

Happy Knitting, Everyone!

Thursday, January 5, 2012


Up until now, I wouldn't have called myself a gadget person. As a rule, the new gizmos, doodads and thingamabobs didn't really interest me. I was usually pretty happy with whatever tech I had. It's perfectly serviceable, "if it ain't broke, don't fix it", yadayada...

The thing is, my job sort of requires me to be a bit tech savvy. Now, I realize some of you (or maybe even quite a few of you!) are going to have your entire world view completely skewed at the idea that a librarian could need to be tech anything, but they do. Information is available on many different platforms, and a good librarian (to say nothing of a good medical librarian!) needs to be hip to what's happening on the tech scene. (And yes, I realize that by using the term "hip to" anything, I have labeled myself as a total dork. Moving on.)

Anyway, since starting the new job, I've really noticed the, um... gaps in my techno-hipness. Clients would come in with really specific questions about their iPhones, their Androids, their tablets or their MacBooks, and it was all I could do not to answer them with "uummmmmmm... Gosh, I.... Look! Something shiny!".

Those days are behind me now though, for Santa (aka Phil) put a brand spanking new iPad under my tree :). It's fabulous! I've had a blast loading it up with various knitterly apps and assorted accoutrements. I've also started posting pictures on Instagram (I'm dearknits. Duh). So much fun! I love the filters you can apply to the images as well. It even inspired me to sign up for this photo a day challenge!

Here are a few pictures I took in the past week:

So while I remain may still be a techno-weenie (because DUDES, it just took me an HOUR to figure out how to post those pictures to Blogger, and I didn't really succeed because I wound up emailing them to myself and finishing up this post on my trusty old PC), I'm a weenie with a cool doohickey, and that's good enough for me!

Happy Knitting, Everyone!

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Less is more

I have very ambivalent feelings about New Years'. Reflecting on the year coming to an end, reading the seeming gazillion reviews that pepper the blogosphere in the first days of January, I find it all very inspiring. It's like I get infected with enthusiasm or something, and suddenly, because it's January first, everything seems possible. For whatever reason, I'm delusional confident and secure that all goals are achievable, even those goals that I've had for years and have never been able to get my sh*t together enough to accomplish.

'Cause, you know, it's the New Year. Fresh start. Clean Slate.

So I make lists. Lists of the accomplishments of the past year (Ran a half-marathon! Learned to sew! Changed jobs! 20 FOs! Processed over 150 pounds of tomatoes!). Lists of goals for the coming year, things I need to do to make this year the year.

The list for the coming year usually looks something like this:
  1. Exercise more.
  2. Knit more.
  3. Sew more.
  4. Read more.
  5. Save some any more money.
  6. Blog more consistently.
  7. Spend more time with my family.
  8. Spend more time with my friends.
  9. Spend more time with myself.
  10. Build a bigger garden.
  11. ...
Yeah. Realistic, right?

This would be when I freak out and my feelings about the New Year become somewhat less than enthusiastic because, honestly, how can anyone be successful with that kind of list? Seems to me we're all pretty busy, wouldn't you say? Just how much more can we reasonably accomplish, anyway? Too much pressure. Too many expectations. Too much more.

So I'm not doing it this year! Instead, I'm going to take it one day at a time, and try to do/make/be something positive, every day. How I accomplish that on a daily basis will depend on my mood. For instance, today I attended a yoga class, and wrote a blog post.

Less is totally more :)

Happy Knitting, Everyone!