Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Gotcha Covered

My husband came home with a new gadget....

....and, much to his horror, I couldn't resist using some of my handspun to crochet it a custom fit, protective cover.

Relax! It's only a temporary measure until he buys a leather cover for the GPS.

Meet TomTom. My new travelling buddy.

Ooops! Did I say, "My"? I meant "ours", "his", but I'm the one with the incredible knack for getting lost. Very lost.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Moving Tigers

It's hard to take pictures of tigers on the run!

Oh sheesh! Enough of that! I'll get a picture of them at rest.

Size 5 toddler socks made for my granddaughter, Kaylen. Pattern generated by Sock Wizard software. Yarn is Opal Rainforest in the "Tiger" colourway.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

New Knitting Group!

A knitting group is finally starting up in Chilliwack! We need your support to make this a success.

All knitters in the Upper Fraser Valley are welcome. This will be an informal group for knitters to get together to enjoy each others' company, show off finished projects, get help with new techniques and confusing pattern directions, and offer encouragement to newer knitters. Although there will be no business type meeting and no dues, with everyone's help lets make this a fun and learning environment --- more than your average "stitch n bitch". Possible activities could include knit-a-longs, challenges, charity knitting, socials, "yarn crawls", technique demonstrations, field trips, swap tables, guest speakers, book and yarn reviews, knitting humor readings and so on.

Bring your knitting and your friends to the first meeting, to be held in the multipurpose room at the Chilliwack Library on Sunday, May 4th from 1 - 3 pm. At this first gathering we will discuss arrangements for possible meeting dates and times and choose a group name so we can be included in the next Leisure Guide.

We have the summer months ahead of us to gather socially, and will launch into full operation come September when the Leisure Guide comes out and everyone is back into their fall routines.

Hope to see you there!

Email me if you're interested. My e-addy is on my profile page. Thanks!

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Mystic Forest

Last Wednesday I showed you what I had on the wheel. Nothing new in that regard, I'm still spinning away on batt after batt of the "Mystic Forest" custom batts I made up on my drum carder.

But this week I have the first skein to show you. I'm very pleased with the way it turned out. Not too glittery --- just the right amount of glitz for a bit of life when the sun hits it.

The first skein is 138 g / 3.75 ounces and somewhere around 298 yds / 266 metres. I estimate that I'll have enough of this blend to make about 8 skeins this size. I still have no idea what I'll make with it. Although I forgot to measure the WPI, I'd say it was about a fingering/DK weight.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Masters Monday - 2.16

Well, whaddaya know? A wee bit of progress to report! (What's that saying? If it wasn't for the last minute a lot of things wouldn't get done.)

This is Swatch 21 - picking up stitches.

For this swatch the knitter has to figure out how many stitches to pick up and how to place them most effectively along selvedge and bind off edges. The swatch also tests your ability to select and position appropriate decreases for the neckline.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

What's On the Wheel

Michelle asked if I would consider doing a weekly blog post on my spinning, in much the same fashion that I do the Masters Monday posts. I pondered the idea for a while before deciding that for me, the weekly posts about spinning won't work.

The main reason is that I am a one-thing-at-a-time spinner and, wanting enough to actually DO something with when I'm finished, I spin large amounts of most of the preparations that I begin.

Like this for instance. This is part of about 2 POUNDS of blended batts that I am drum carding and spinning. It's a combination of black superwash merino, bright lime green merino, and a blue/green firestar. I have no idea what I'll make with it when I'm done, but it will be a long while before I card, spin, and ply it all ---- months likely, as I don't spin every day.

That type of long term focus would make for very boring weekly spinning reports.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Masters Monday - 2.15

Oh dear. Not a whole lot of Masters progress to report this week.

I DID do a gauge swatch for the Level II vest though.....only to find out the yarn that I purchased for it will not work. Not only that, but I can't even use the yarn with a different pattern. The yarn label did not include the gauge, and after swatching I have found it's too thick to meet the vest requirements. It will eventually get used up, but not for my Masters knitting.

In preparation for the next swatch and the vest I've also pulled out all my books which mention picking up stitches. Yes, I have been picking up stitches around necklines and armholes for years, and I know how to do it, but it never hurts to see what the "experts" advise. It also looks better on the swatch label if you can refer to an actual written resource rather than quoting "personal experience" only.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Side Tracked

Monday evening I set out to begin my Master Knitter Level II vest, but I was side tracked. The yarn I intended to use was a little too thick to get gauge without the fabric becoming too stiff. I then tried a ball of handspun, more on a lark than anything, seeing as handspun with its characteristic unevenness is a poor choice for an item where your knitting will be judged on stitch uniformity, but I just wanted to see if some day I could use it for that vest pattern.

The handspun was thinner than I expected and was not appropriate for the intended vest, BUT.....'s a perfect DK weight, and works for a pattern I've been wanting to knit in handspun for quite some time. This first piece is the back of a raglan, cabled hoodie. I will likely dye it a denim colour when I am finished with the knitting.

Sirdar "Jackets 8427"

Monday, April 07, 2008

Masters Monday 2.14

I'll chalk this week's effort up as research and practice.

Swatches 17 - 20 are all about buttonholes so I dug out all my reference books and found every mention of every type of buttonhole I could. The little strip on top was a bit of practice. In the end I decided that I will wait for the April issue of "Cast On", the TKGA magazine, which is supposed to be coming out with an entire article on buttonholes. Other technical articles I have found in the magazine have always been quite enlightening, often refining techniques in a way I have not found in my other references.

Maybe I'll start on the argyle sock or vest. I have the yarn for both.

Saturday, April 05, 2008

KoPP Socks

The King of the Potato People socks are done. (Named after the colourway, hand dyed by Rabbitch of Rabbitworks Fibre Studio.)

The toe shape and construction is my own adaptation of several socks I have knit and loved, the stitch pattern of stockinette on the sole, and a rib variation (2 rows stockinette, 2 rows of k2, p2 ribbing) on the remainder was my own idea, the remainder of the basic sock construction, including the eye of partridge heel was a pattern I generated on Sock Wizard software.

Thursday, April 03, 2008


I've been in a bit of a funk lately, bored with my look and wanting a bit of a lift. Today I went out and boldly did something about it!

I got my hair highlighted, nothing drastic, still with lots of my natural colour (the mousy brown and the ... ahem ... silver), but with the lift of a bit of lighter golden brown.

And I got it cut and styled into an upswept, spikey, fun change of pace. Again nothing too drastic. If I wake tomorrow morning with deep regrets and unable to get it to do the upswing, I can always comb it back into more or less my old hairstyle.

So far, (day one) I like it.

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Now That It's Safe

Several months ago there was a lull in my knit related blogging as I was working away on a baby gift that I wanted to keep a secret.

This is a pattern (named, simply "Blanket"), by Amanda Griffiths from the book Luxury Knits: Simple and Stylish Projects for the Most Desirable Knitwear . I adapted the blanket to be more baby sized by using less repeats.

And here she is, our sweet little grand niece wrapped in the blanket.

(reverse side of blanket showing)