Friday, April 03, 2009

April goals

Here are my April goals.

1) Helgi’s mittens, from Folk Knitting in Estonia, for Kittycat's preschool teacher. I already did Anu's mittens from the same book for the other preschool teacher. It would be nice to have them done for Easter...
2) Finish Brea bag. Only need to sew the lining into the bag now.
3) Finish Kittycat's little chevron scarf. I finally finished mine and love it, now she wants one too!
4) Make a Shetland Triangle for MIL. I just did one for myself (see #7 below) and love it. It's in Cascade Baby Alpaca Chunky and I have enough, in a different colour, for another.
5) Fix back of Eastlake, finish and knit a sleeve/better yet, FINISH it! I started this in January and as with every sweater I knit, I'm having issues with it! I need to go back and add some rows to the back, then finish the neckline on the front; I'm hoping that once the fit is good in the body, the sleeves will be easier. At least once the first sleeve is done, the second should be easy!
6) CO Sylvi (only if I finish Eastlake first). I just adore this pattern; and I need to knit up all that chunky Atlantic wool that takes up so much space in the stash!
7) Finish Shetland triangle (104 rows). Done! I love it! It needs blocking.
8) Weave fabric for 3 dishcloths. I got a Schact Cricket last month and am enjoying playing with it. So far I have made 6 dishcloths. I'm playing with the dishcloth cotton because I got a whole bunch for free and don't get all ticked off if I make a mistake and waste some.
9) Get sleeves into blue jacket. This is a sewing goal; last month I made myself a top and finished one for Kittycat, but still didn't finish this silly jacket. Problem: I lost the last page of the pattern. ARGH.
10) Start smocking Kittycat's navy dress. I got a kit from Country Bumpkin oh, maybe last year? It's a 3 year old size so I need to make it. She's more of a t-shirt and jeans girl though.
11) Use 5 balls (so far: 2)
12) Buy no yarn or fabric. So far so good! Let's see how long I can last.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

I'm here, really

Here is me in a nutshell right now:

1) my shoulder hurts and I can't knit right now. Boo!
2) I am still working on Chi's brown sweater. I'm doing the sleeve for the 3rd time, and once I've finished it and its twin, I will have to pull out the neckline and saddle shoulders and redo those so they look normal. It's an EZ seamless saddle shoulder sweater.
3) I just made a fantastic scarf out of 2 skeins of Noro Iro. I CO 240 sts on a long circular 8mm needle and just kept on in garter stitch until I ran out. I love it!
4) I'm also working on a chevron scarf. I love it, too, but it needs to be quite a chunk longer yet.
5) I'm making socks for Chi out of Cascade Heritage. 2x2 rib. I like them. He has big feet.
6) I lost 2 lbs last month. Hurrah for the Wii Fit!
7) If I can get down to my goal, I will go down a couple of dress sizes by next winter. Dilemma: do I hold off knitting sweaters for myself until I get thinner?
8) If I do knit a sweater, should I start with Tempest or Silver Belle??
9) I need to buy NO YARN ALL YEAR. This sore shoulder is the universe telling me to stop stashing.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

November goals

Well, October has come and gone, and I did finish my red mittens but no other goals were met since my last post.

November goals:
1) finish the Shaded Aspen Leaf sweater for Kittycat. It just needs a neckband, hems and the underarm grafting so I might get it done this week if the neckband behaves itself and doesn't take too much thinking.
2) finish Chi's sweater. I so need to do this!
3) Knit that trinity stitch beret
4) finish sewing my blue corduroy jacket (It was fitting too loosely on me and so I had to take in the side seams, which meant adapting the armholes and sleeves, too - thinking leads to big delays in completion of craft projects)
5) finish sewing a green top for Kittycat (this is so close to done!)
6) finish the Green Hope socks (I need to work out the short row technique).
7) finish the microgauge socks (boredom is the only reason I haven't finished these yet)
8) get my O quilt ready to quilt (I made a quilt! well, a quilt top anyway. I like it. I need to finish sewing the backing pieces together, then get it ready to hand quilt. Then hand quilt it. This may take time. I'm not thinking about that right now.)
9) make some fetching mitts (this may or may not happen; if it does they will make good Christmas gifts)
10) use up 5 balls (so far: 1. I managed 4.5 last month in the end.)
11) buy no yarn or fabric (there is really, really no reason to fail on this one!)

Thursday, October 23, 2008


Firstly, here is a wee sweater I completed in September. Details are all on Ravelry; it's made of Sandnes Garn Lanett which is one of my favourite (and most stashed) yarns.


And here are my October goals.

1) Finish my Lopi mittens (I made a pair for Chi and a pair for myself in September. Finally using up leftovers from my big Lopi sweater that I made in 2003!)


Here are the man-sized ones I made for Chi. I also finished a pair of navy ones for me, and have just one thumb to do on a pair of red ones for me. I think I can get this done in the next 5 days.

2) CO for green hope sock (done!)
3) Make mittens for MIL (done! but they are for Christmas so no piccies)
4) Make Kittycat a sweater

I'm doing the Shaded Aspen Leaf one from Elizabeth Zimmermann's Knitting Workshop. First I cast on with a twist and knitted about 3 inches. Frogged. Then I knitted about an inch before realising I'd cast on 30 stitches too many. Frogged. Then I knit about 3 inches and realised it was way too tight for her (it was the same width as a t-shirt she has that fits her quite snugly!). Frogged. Finally I've got it right and it's coming along nicely, though I'm not sure it will be done by the 31st.
5) Finish Chi's sweater (this was begun in February, and it's still not done) I have frogged and reknit this a fair bit for some reason. I got all the way to the neckline, finished it off with a hem and everything, then found it fits weird. I need to knit the sleeves then go back, undo the neckline partway and then reknit. I think that if I raise the back neck a little less, it will fit more nicely.

6) Make trinity stitch hat
7) Finish microgauge sock
8) Finish green top (sewing)
9) Finish blue jacket (sewing)
10) Use 5 balls (so far: 3.5)
11) Buy no yarn or fabric (failed this one earlier this month. Maybe I should go ahead and buy fabric too, since I already got yarn from Elann at the beginning of the month)

You know what I did last summer

Yes I am alive! Hurrah! It's been a crazy busy summer and autumn so far.

In knitting news my summer was mainly sock-consumed, and autumn has been about getting sweaters and scarves knit. Oh and mittens too. Mittens are good, especially when made on 6mm needles with Alafoss Lopi yarn which is woolly and hairy and warm.

Here are some pictures of my summer sock knitting:

IMG_5386 Waving lace socks from IK Favourite socks; Araucania Ranco solid yarn. I love these muchly.

IMG_5387 Priscilla's Dream socks from IK favourite socks; Opal Hundertwasser yarn. Why do I love these so much? I like the fact that the yarn's colourway is based on a Friedensreich Hundertwasser painting. I had never heard of this artist and the yarn inspired me to find out more. I had lots of fun doing so. I find his buildings very fascinating. Plus the socks are just so warm and woolly and scrummy.

IMG_5643 These are from Charlene Schurch's More Sensational Knitted Socks. I knit them in Elann Sock it to me 4-ply (red) and SRK On your toes (ecru). These are a gift for my aunt, who wrote me a card to say she likes them, which means I will be happy to knit her more socks in the future!

IMG_5633 This one is knit in Cascade Heritage (which I love a lot) and is also from More Sensational Knitted Socks. It was for my little sister who has big ol' feet. This sock almost had a twin, but just as I was about 2 inches away from completing it, I lost it (and my favey Addi Turbo sock needle, too!). The people from the lost and found at the library and the mall were entirely bemused when I tried to describe to them the kind of sock that was lost (i.e. one with the needle still in it...) and were sadly unable to find it for me. I can't see how it would be of use to anyone else, though. I'll get another ball of the yarn and make another, one day.

IMG_5242 These I designed myself. They are knit in Elann sock it to me 4-ply. The stranded design on the cuff is a houndstooth check that is elongated and then goes back to its original proportions. I rather like it.

These were all knit for Summer of Socks '08. I hoped I could get 5 pairs done, and if I'd not lost that second Heritage sock, I would have met my goal! I did also knit another sock - in TOFUtsies
on a 2mm needle - that is still waiting for its twin (it's a boring plain sock and I don't really like it) so technically I did knit 10 complete socks over the summer, just not 5 pairs.

I have another on the needles now: IMG_6150 This is Gruen ist die Hoffnung by Steffi Linden in Cascade Heritage. The sock begins with the circular lace motif and then is worked to the toe and back, picking up the remaining live stitches of the lace motif as the sole is worked, then the heel and cuff are worked and voila*, a crazy little sock. Steffi is a genius.

I have knit other stuff too this summer, but I'm happy I filled up my sock drawer - nothing like cosy wool socks to wear on hardwood floors as the rain fills the sky and the darkness swallows up the evenings.

*note the spelling. One of the things that drives me nuts is when people spell this word "viola." A viola is a musical instrument. Voila (and I would put the accent on the a, except I'm too lazy to work out how to do that in blogger) is a French word meaning "There it is!" If you can't spell the French word, go ahead and use some English ones instead. Et voila**, sound advice from the woolcat.

**or maybe all these people really meant to use the word viola? Perhaps I should continue the trend of using the names of musical instruments as random expressions of accomplishment. Here are the socks I knit - oboe! And then I baked a cake - flugelhorn!

(it's entirely possible that I am really too tired to be blogging.)

Monday, June 02, 2008

June goals and more socks

Firstly, here are my latest socks: Clover socks. My own design, knitted in Elann Sock it to me 4-ply (the pink) and SR Kertzer On your Toes (the brown, left over from Chi's socks in the last post). Knit on 2.25mm needles, toe-up, magic loop, 72 sts round the foot and leg. I like a nice tight gauge on my socks.




Also, here are my June goals.

1) FO finish tomten
(I am knitting a toddler or smallish child sized Tomten in Gedifra Living, an aran-weight superwash wool. It is going to be too big for Kittycat, but I think I might give it away to a friend with a four year old boy).
2) FO finish lace ribbon scarf
(Great pattern! Very excellend mindless knitting and ate up a couple of balls that had been stashed with no real purpose in mind. I am already over half way through).
3) frog back ogee tunic front and finish
(this is giving me grief... I love the pattern, but the yarn is hard on the hands - Elann's Camila, a cotton-linen blend. Also I am not as keen on the colour as I thought I would be. So, now that the front appears to be too long (so that the split for the front neckline gives me a cleavage that plunges somewhere around my belly button - NOT a good thing on this body!) I need to frog it back, and that just makes me sad. I think I've done more frogging than knitting this year already!)
4) finish Betsy’s norgi’s body section
(I'm knitting a cute little Norwegian-style sweater, just the same as in my first ever blog post, but a bit bigger. It's going along nicely - I can definitely finish the body this month, perhaps the sleeves too)
5) FO make a pair of plain (ribbed) socks (green tofutsies for me) (start June 21)
(Summer of socks starts June 21!! I'm not going for fancy, just knitting away the stash. Which may have been added to. A little. )
6) FO make a dishcloth
(just so I have something easy to cross off the list!)
7) use up 8 balls of yarn
(I managed 10 in May! May was a good month. Not so much frogging happened as in March and April, which were sad and depressing months. Mind you I also bought 4 balls in May, which takes away from the achievement a little. )
8) FO finish Cathedral mitts
(These started as Cathedral socks by Jeannie Townsend, but I didn't like how they were coming out. Then I tried one on my hand and lo and behold, it wanted to be a fingerless mitt. And so it became just that. Now I have second mitt syndrome!)
9) smocking!!
(A non knitting goal... I have a little dress for Kittycat that is partially smocked, it needs to be finished and sewn up. I also have a brown skirt for me that needs to be smocked and sewn, but I cut the smocking threads off too short and have to work out how I can make it work after all. If make any progress on either of these in June I'll be happy).
10) FO finish platypus
(This was knit several years ago and has never been seamed and stuffed! Just do it already, woman!)
11) FO finish the blue jacket
(A non knitting goal. I started sewing this jacket in April, - no, March - and it's really close to being done).
12) FO make a tiny turtle from sock yarn?
(I won't be sad if I don't do this, but it looks kind of fun!)

In May I achieved 8 of my 14 goals, so I hope I can do better this month.

Thursday, May 15, 2008


I made my first pair of socks last summer, in a yarn that I got on an excellent sale (full bag of 10 balls for less than $25!). I thought the yarn was a bit on the ugly side but would keep the knitting interesting.

I was bitten by the bug big time - knitting them was basically no more fun than other knitting, but wearing them is lovely. I come home, take off my work shoes, and snuggle up my feet in lovely wool. And then the knitting is very portable, which is great for riding in the car or walking around after Kittycat when she's on a nature walk ("LOOK, mummy!!! A ROCK!")

So, I knit another pair of ugly blue stripy socks, a pair of kneesocks for Kittycat from the leftovers, and then I got to start on my Boxing Day stash and make a pair of brown socks for Chi. He wanted them to be boot socks, so they are super long and gobbled up the yarn, but I should have enough leftovers for a pair for me or Kittycat.




I invented the pattern, knit them toe-up with an eye of partridge heel flap, and Chi, despite initial doubts that knitting socks would be worth it, really likes them.

Here are Kittycat's leftover kneesocks, which were really useful under wellies this winter. Toe-up with a shortrow (yarnover) heel.

Here is a WIP shot of the Diamond Waffle socks I made myself. It's a great pattern, but the yarn is horrible for the pattern. Still, I wear these all the time because they fit beautifully.




These are all photos of my first socks - a plain toe-up, short row heel sock. The two lower photos are of the two sides of the heel - the yo method makes them different from each other, at least the way I knit it. I wasn't happy with that at first, but the socks are still comfy and it's a handy way of doing a heel!

The brown yarn is SR Kertzer's On your toes with aloe vera, and the stripy stuff is Elann's Sock it to me Harlequin.

My mum saw me knitting these and liked the stripy yarn, so I gave her some for Christmas and lent her my Spring 2007 Interweave Knits with the toe-up recipe. She's been on a total sock bender. All her kids and grandkids got socks for Easter, Kittycat has 5-6 pairs made from the leftovers, she sent socks to my aunt and uncle and has made some for herself and my Dad too! I love that crazy knitting lady.

Victorian Lace in May


This is the Scarf with the Wide and Handsome border for a Mantel, from Victorian Lace Today, knit in Millefili Fine (sport weight variegated cotton), and taking just over 3 balls.

It's for MIL and she loves it - I saw this colourway and thought of her right away.

The pattern is relatively easy, especially for lace. The drop-stitch centre just flies by, and the ends are fun but not too complex or fiddly. Because of the heavier yarn I used, I did only 2 points instead of 3 at the ends. I used my lovely Lantern Moon straights (5mm, which gave a nice open fabric). I love the variegation of the yarn - it goes from a coffee-brown to a light golden-beige, and with the slight sheen of the cotton it really glimmers, without being such an extreme variation that it would detract from the lace pattern. I wasn't sure how the cotton would block out, but I pinned and steam-blocked it through a wet cloth, then left it to get nice and dry and the lace opened up quite nicely (and the yarnovers at the end stopped curling too).

I started it in December and finished it in May, but it was actually a quick knit, but with a long winter sleep when I abandoned it for other stuff.

In other news: I am starstruck! I left a comment on WendyKnits' blog and she emailed me back. I was all excited to get an email from her (cos she is famous!!). I love reading Wendy's blog because she's so prolific and always has something new (and beautiful) to show off. Of course, if you knit and have ever been connected to the internet in any way, you have probably come across her blog.

Other blogs I read are the Yarn Harlot (my favourite!), Lene's Dances with Wool (except she's off on a quilting thing right now - I'm reading her shared quilting blog, Fine Stitches, instead), and Yarnstorm (just beautiful! AND I had an email from Jane, too, a couple of weeks back. Turns out she did her teacher training at the same place, and with the same professor that I did, but she went on to gentler and prettier things, and I am still teaching French! I am very envious of all her talents, and her blog makes me smile with the gorgeous handwork and photos). I also read and love Brooklyn Tweed (beautiful knitting, spinning and photography - very happy he's got time to blog more recently!), Grumperina (she does excellent tutorials, knits beautifully and you've got to love an opinionated scientist who crafts!) and Lolly (who has made me all interested in weaving, like I don't already have my fingers in too many crafting pies - and she's into composting too which fascinates me big time and makes me want a garden).

Of course I'm linking to a bunch of famous ones, which is a bit lame, because anyone who has found their way to my little tupenny-hapenny blog has no doubt found all these other ones already - but for what it's worth, these are blogs I wholeheartedly recommend.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

French Trellis Scarf

This is the French Trellis scarf from p98 of Victorian Lace Today, but instead of the bramble centre from the book, I substituted the centre from another scarf in the book. It's simpler than the bramble one, and I wanted something that would be a little less busy. 

The filling that I substituted gives a definite bias to the fabric, as you can see in the photo of it before blocking. I didn't block it really severely - the bottom photo shows the scarf with one end blocked and one end not. 

The yarn is Elann's Pure Alpaca Fina - a little itchy round my neck, but lovely and soft and light to work with. I hope the recipient likes it and doesn't find it itchy.