November 20 2015 004My local knitting group was talked into doing a KAL by me, as I really wanted to knit Starshower.  It is the pattern of the spring and summer, and all the cool kids are making it!  I’m not ever going to be cool, but it doesn’t stop me from trying!  I talked M into trying it out, and together we talked a whole bunch of other people in to joining in.  It turned out to be a challenging pattern, especially for those newer to knitting!  New skills included the garter tab cast on, short rows with wraps, lace knitting, keeping track of all those increases, and knitting in the round among other items.  I made mine out of purple Spring Harvest Farms mohair, which is very, very warm, but didn’t have enough yardage to complete the last two rounds.  None the less it is long enough to cover my shoulders and chest, which means it is extra warm!  I am thinking about making this again with a thinner yarn of which I have more yardage, but I haven’t done a final decision on what to use as of yet.  I know some of my friends struggled with this pattern, but I also saw them grow as knitters and learn so many things they thought were beyond them.  I had a lot of fun.  We haven’t drawn prizes yet, but will soon!  We are also busy coming up with plans for another knit along which should start January 1 ish.  For our knit along participants had to start a Starshower, post one picture of it, but not finish it to qualify.

20150731_082735The Canada KAL finished up in September, but I still have three projects that I haven’t talked about yet!  My Newfoundland project was a headband named Sherwink.  This is named after a location in Newfoundland, but the designer is not from there, nor is the yarn.  A little bit of a stretch, but the judges said okay for this collection of patterns, whew.  I had seen this headband before, and had even lucked out in getting it for free when it was available for a short time.  I used some leftover Pashmina, and I enjoy the result.

20150818_070430My Yukon/Northwest Territories/ Nunavut project was a hat from the talented designer Michelle Krause.  She has a lot of great patterns to choose from.  I had purchased this Noro long in the spring, and it made a really great squishy hat.  I have already given this hat away as a present, which is a tiny bit sad, as it was a nice hat.  But also a great present for an old friend.  The important thing to note about a designer from the north is that they know a thing or two about knitting warm hats.  The double layered deep brim on this hat, plus the close gauge and thick yarn ensure this will be warm indeed.

20150930_075136-1And for my finale project, my Flue by Ewe socks!  Canadian yarn, Canadian (Calgary) designer, Canadian feet, Canadian designed shoes.  These socks have two tiny cables up the side, and a really awesome colourway.  I love how they are not striped, but have little tiny almost stripes.  If you get a chance to look at Two Birds Knitting Co. yarn, or better yet a chance to buy it, snap it up!  The base is very good, tightly spun yarn with a decent amount of nylon, and the colourways are incredible.  I do love my new Fluevogs I got in Winnipeg, they are comfy and very cute.

All in all, a great KAL and thank-you to the Calgary store The Loop for hosting this.  We learned a lot about great Canadian Designers and yarn.  I even won two prizes as the contest went on!  They are having another knit along next year centered around trying new techniques, which sounds like fun.  Instead of having to participate every month you can choose which months to join in, and still be eligible for prize draws.

Using up me leftovers

September 10, 2015

Varmi slippersI really enjoy using up almost all of a yarn, so that I don’t have to put it into my leftover bin.  I like to have just enough left so that I can keep it in my odds and ends bag in case of repairs needed in future.  After I finished my sweater knitted out of my brown and white lopi yarn from Bragg Creek, I had enough to make a very nice pair of wooly socks/slippers.  I still haven’t gotten a pair of leather soles to fit over these, the search continues.  They are so warm, and I’m waiting for next winters freezing temperatures.  These took some time as I was doing okay until I got to the heel part, which was tricky to figure out.  I did manage to figure out the instructions, and lo and behold they turned out fine!  Another new technique of doing an “afterthought”  foot almost.

Snowflake HatBut then I still had more yarn left, so I made a hat using the snowflake motif from the sock.  I had so much yarn this hat got a HUGE pom-pom for extra awesomeness.  This will be a very warm ski hat, if I ever go skiing again, and is one of my 15 hats in 2015.  One of the reasons we haven’t tried skiing yet is that two years ago my brother broke his leg skiing, and Fia is absolutely sure that if you go skiing you will break your leg.  So she doesn’t want to go.  Still.  Maybe next year!

FO: Custom Fit Firth

August 26, 2015

Customer fit sweaterPresenting my first attempt at a custom fit sweater!  And the shoulders are too wide.  I guess I got my measurements a little bit off?  It is not so bad that I would rip the whole thing our and redo it, which is what the fix would almost need to be.  Otherwise I really like the simple construction, and V-neck which you can’t see in this photo.  I will spend some time gushing over the Western Sky Knits yarn, dyed in a rust, blue and grey colourway.  I really love it and am so glad I impulsively snatched it up.  I alternated skeins so that I got a  really nice balance of pattern without any pooling.  Just lovely.  I think I need to redo measurements, perhaps with a friend this time before I attempt another custom fit knit!

WIP pileIt is the last week of summer, and I’m itching to finish up projects before September 1, of the start of the fall.  Even not having gone to school in so many years, this will always be the start of fall for me.  I have been working on these three sweaters all summer, wildly casting on the new project before finishing the old one, and I am almost to the end of each.  I am knitting the sleeves of the beige/crimson summer cardigan, starting the sleeves of the Ursula, and finishing the yoke of Lupine (as I pull the yarn off the bottom.  I will then need to reknit the bottom, sigh).  I learned new skills with Ursula, crochet reinforced steeks, and am about to do another short row cap sleeve, which is always challenging to get started on.  Can I finish all of these in a week?  No, but perhaps I can finish up two of them.

To Do pileIn anticipation of September 1, I have started a pile of potential.  These are the projects I hope to tackle in the fall!  I enjoyed pulling all this yarn out, and am slowly winding it up.  My knitting group is doing  a Starshower knit along, I have my last project in the Canada KAL to finish, and there is 3 sweaters worth of yarn there.  I think I know which project is up first, but I’m undecided after that, hence pulling all the potentials out to look at.  Oooh I can’t wait.

Along with the goal of completing WIP by Sept 1, I am also hoping to present all of my FO’s by then, as I am very behind.  I did manage to complete some things this spring and summer!  Next up will be a sweater I finished just in time for it to be too hot to wear!

Ursula sweater in progressThis is my Ursula sweater from Kate Daties, in the yarn acquired last year at Olds that just says “Quebecor” on the label.  No other info.  I just loved the three contrasting colours together, and I still do.  Once I swatched the pattern I realized I was getting a much larger gauge than the pattern, so I am winging the sizing.  Even the smallest size had too many stitches.  This is a fully steeked sweater, and I am actually finished the lower body, and about to add the arm steeks.  It will be fun once I start cutting it open!  The yarn is very wiry once knit, so not for a fan of soft yarn.  I am thinking it will be a hard wearing sweater, and low pilling, which I like.  As normal I am worried about running out of the grey, even though I did buy all they had.  I am at the arm holes now, and just finishing off my second ball.  Crossing fingers I won’t need to do short sleeves!

Lupine cardigan in progressThis sweater is the Lupine cardigan from Wooly Wonka, a lovely simple design for summer.  I have had this wool/silk etc lace yarn for a little while, and it is perfect for this summer cardigan.  It is growing slowly, but I am approximately five inches into the body.  I was attempting to join a knit along with this sweater, but alas I am too slow.  This is mostly as I am splitting my knitting time between the two projects, rather than dedicating all my time to just the lace cardigan.  I love both!


June 8, 2015

Rainbow sweaterWow, did this sweater turn out nicely!  The Better Breton pattern is very, very, very good, and makes an attractively fitting sweater!  I also managed to pick the right size, and get a good fit at the shoulders.  And of course, who does not love a rainbow sweater?  Fia has requested one, so that is on the list to make.  With the rainbow yarn kit from Rain City Knits I have enough yarn left to make one to two kids sweaters.  I had run out of grey below the third stripe on the arm, and ordered three more skeins, so enough grey to make another sweater.  The only downside – I had some colour run.  I found some information on how to fix it, I just need to do the work now.  I intend to wash the rest of the rainbow yarn before I make the child’s sweater.  I even got to wear this to knitting the other night when it was a chilly rainy day.  I have put it way until fall, which is sad as RAINBOW.

L'amour mittensFor the province of New Brunswick, I knitted mittens designed by Sarah Arnold aka “Hot Cheese”.  The name of the pattern is Ardour, and is very pretty I think.  The yarn is Briggs and Little (the blue) which is spun in New Brunswick.  The oatmeal yarn is good old Custom Woolen Mills.  A good use of scraps that have been in a box for a number of years now.  I had high hopes of finishing these easily on my vacation, but a fever for 3 days took care of that.  I finished two days late for these to count.

Our first strawberryLast year we finally, finally got a garden in.  It only took about three years.  We had some strawberries, which were promptly eaten before I could even wash them, and didn’t get to try any of course.  We planted pumpkins, zucchini, cucumbers, and four tomato plants.  Everything was blooming, everything was doing so well.  We had baby cucumbers, some zucchini that would so close to being ready to pick, and flowers on the pumpkin plant.  Then this happened:

hail damage in garden 2A hail storm in July, in three minutes almost everything as destroyed.  We ate two zucchinis pock marked with holes, but nothing else was salvageable.  The garden recovered, and we thought we may get something else growing, more pumpkin flowers were observed, but then it snowed on Sept 6.  And that was the end of our garden.  We are trying again this year.

Bubblemania scarf completeI am getting behind on posting about my Canada KAL projects!  Two more are now complete.   I finished up Bubblemania just before the deadline, and even won the prize for the month.  Not bad!  Plus I really like this scarf, pink is a good neutral for me I like wearing pink and grey.  It helps that one of my favorite pair of shoes to wear is also pink and grey.  I am wearing this scarf once or twice a week now, the bit of cashmere is enough to make it very soft.  I bought the yarn in Ontario years ago at a store in the Beach.  It is not the store my Grandmother used to knit for, that one is closed, but it is close to it.  Like so many things I had a pattern in mind, but the yarn wasn’t right for it in the end, and sat in stash for years until being dragged to light by the KAL.  Very glad it is now a useful garment!

Quebec CowlThis angora/qiviut yarn from Cottage Craft Angora in Quebec is another stash yarn that I was always wanting to knit up, but never got around to.  I picked a pattern from Glenna C. (an Ontario designer no less, now I’m mixing provinces!!) as I wanted something lacey but with just a little bit of simple lace.  This is perfect, very warm, and delicate.  The yarn is unbelievable in how soft and warm it is, bunnies and musk oxen playing nicely together.  I have some more merino/qiviut that also needs knitting up.  I’m really happy with both these projects.

The first photo was taken in Drumheller, a town which has dinosaurs roaming free in its parks and streets.  We went there for my birthday weekend this year.  We had a lot of fun, and enjoyed the dinosaur museum immensely.  We did not enjoy the hockey team parents partying until 2 am each night.  I actually heard their own children asking them to be quiet!  Aside from that Fia and I did some very good dinosaur impressions around the huge t-rex bones before many other people arrived.


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