One of my main focuses has been to get through the eyelet portion of Icarus, and onto the very exciting feather lace pattern, which I finally managed to last weekend.  I had thought I was doing an extra repeat of the eyelet pattern, but after reading the text portion of the pattern again, I discovered that I actually was supposed to be doing the extra 1/2 repeat anyhow.  Therefore the shawl will be made to the pattern, without an extra repeat, and will hopefully be nice and big.  The yak/silk I’m using is a 1200 yd ball of 100 g, and after doing 5 repeats I still had 80 grams left, which means I will probably have plenty left over.  I just couldn’t face doing another whole repeat of eyelets, especially now that each row is so long.  I keep telling myself “plenty big”.

My sock purse project is the Lindsay Sock from Sock Innovations, in a very pretty green/blue/white Lisa Souza.  I’m enjoying the pattern, especially as its easy to do, and easy to figure out where I left off, which means no row counting.  It hasn’t gotten much attention as I’ve focussed on Icarus, but this week I’ll get back to it again. 

My endeavour to make something for the 3 babies due in August is over halfway to completion, which makes me happy.  In fact the gift for the first baby due to pop is already done, and the next one up is getting pretty close.  Once all the babies are here, and the presents sent off I can show some photos.  I currently have plenty of projects on the go, and plenty I’m itching to cast on and get started on.

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Slowly but surely I’ve been whitting away on the 10 pieces of Flower Child.  The back is done now, doesn’t it look good in the photo?  Yeah, kind of a dog’s breakfast.  Here is hoping that once it is blocked and sewn together and finished it will look a bit better.  I’m doing the fronts now, with a highly exciting pattern!!  There are bobbles and everything.

Other WIP’s include baby cardigans, socks, and an Icarus shawl, but I’ll save those for next week (when there is more progress).

This is a very nice pattern, and I think my finished object is about one step above an ugh.  Its funny, in the ball the yarn colours didn’t look that far off, they seemed to blend nicely, but knitted up the yarn is too busy to show any of the pattern.  At least the Fleece Artist Casbah is very soft, and will be a very nice shawl around a neck.  One comment about the pattern; I did the bind off as written, and ended up with a too tight edge.  So tight in fact that I couldn’t make the points in the blocking.  I had to take out the bind-off, and redo it with the Estonian lace bind off from Nancy Bush’s book, you know, like I should have done in the first place.  I have a large mental note now, “Always use this cast-off”.  Life is going to be easier, let me tell you. 

Over the weekend I gave this scarf to Mr. J’s grandmother, for her 81st birthday.  The colours are her colour range, and I showed her how to tie it with the point in the front.  I believe I also explained the beauty of a small triangulate scarf perfectly taking up the V in the front of your suit coat, but I’m not sure if that sunk in.  Oh well, its the thought that counts.

On Sunday we took her, and Mr. J’s mother to a brunch out in the foothills.  (They spent almost the whole time commenting that I wasn’t “getting my money’s worth” but what can I say, I have a messed up digestive system, and it didn’t want to eat anything other than waffles, French toast, and fruit.) 

I might not be a kid anymore, but the thought of spending the night in a teepee, a fairly authentic one at that, is very exciting.  I think we may have to head back out to the lodge one weekend to hang out here.  Telling stories, singing, watching the fire, so much fun.  These teepees were set up right next to the Nakota Lodge, which doesn’t give one a very “wild” experience, but it could be good if you have small kids with you.  If anything happens you can run back into the hotel.  You know, in case of grizzly bears, ghosts, or wild elk stampedes.

For Christmas I made my future mother in law a pair of green fuzzy slippers, which seemed to go over well.  So well in fact that she has already worn a hole in one of them.  So in a shameless attempt to make a good impression with the future in-laws, I made another pair, plus one for the Grandmother.  When I suck up, I go the full way apparently.  The Pocketbook Slippers turned out to be a fun pattern, and a good way to use up some Classic Wool that I’ve got hanging around.  They are so durn cute, little and tiny, then they stretch out and fit your big feet! 

I made a few other items over my break which I’ll eventually get around to photographing.  In other exciting news I downloaded my new stash totals into Excel.  I know, spreadsheet fun!  Even with all the recent stash acquisition, I was only up 2000 yards, which I thought was quite reasonable.  I’m hopeful that the totals come down again for my next report on July 1, but with Olds Fibre Fair coming up quickly, I’m making no promises. 

Mr. J and I are busy packing up as we’re off to Montana for the long weekend.  I’m attending a class with Nancy Bush on Sunday!  Its very exciting, but Mr. J is more excited about the fact that he’s bringing his bike.  The retreat is occurring at a fishing camp, and should be a nice relaxing time for us both.  I need a break after a week of work!

FO: Lacy Baktus Scarf

May 13, 2010

Have you made one yet?  They are the must have accessory of the spring season!!  I know, I shouldn’t pretend that I’m the least bit fashionable, but I have been finding the lacy Baktus useful this spring.  Someone asked me if I recommended making the regular Baktus sans holes, or the lacy Baktus with the holes.  My answer was that this light lacy scarf made from 100% merino is too light for our harsh winters, I definitely need my heavier Baktus made from worsted wool and no holes for that.  But for our chilly spring mornings, over a spring jacket, this scarf is just the ticket.  It is made from sock yarn from Pigeon Roof Studios that I got at Stitches West in February, I love the white, purples, and blue colour combination.  I’ve been getting a kick out of pretending that I’m such a trendy knitter because I have Pigeonroof Studios yarn around my neck. 

One of my favorite things, and its something I’ve been doing since I was a teenager, is photoshoots with your friends.  If you want to have an awesome time, and giggle like a mad woman, grab a good friend, insist she stop at an old community center on the way home from your field trip, and have a photoshoot.  Do your best model poses, smile with your eyes, do the turtle to get rid of that double chin.  Ignore the odd car that goes by, with its passengers staring at you!

And most important, end with a jumpity shot!  Thanks Joce, you are the best photoshoot buddy evah!

FO: Wheel Mittens

April 20, 2010

Not only did I finish these on the weekend, but I threw them in the washing machine for a full cycle of felting.  Felting is always nerve racking, especially as the water turned pink immediately.  However none of the Brazilwood dye transferred to the cream yarn, and most surprisingly, the colour went from salmony pink to hot pink!  I’ve included the original yarn in the photo for reference.  The mittens are soft and thick, and in a test run this morning almost wind proof.  They are  still a little bit big, so another cycle is in order.  I’m calling them wheel mittens as the pattern looks like knubby mountain bike tires to me, but in Estonian Folk Knitting the graceful Ms. Bush calls them “Kristi’s Mittens”.  The checkerboard pattern on the band is extremely simple, and impressive.  The yarn was purchased in Moab at Desert Threads, the cream was a gift for my 35th birthday.  Next year: More brazilwood!

I saw my first robin yesterday morning, and then another.  Spring is definitely here!

FO: Tweed Jacket

April 13, 2010

As we learn living in Calgary, it doesn’t matter if you don’t finish your bulky tweed jacket until the end of March; there will still be a few more cold snaps and snow storms to wear it in.

This is the coat from the first Debbie Bliss magazine, utilizing Donegal Tweed Chunky Debbie Bliss yarn purchased at the Boxing Day Sale (used before 1 year passed, woohoo). 

I love the yarn, I love the colour, I love the tweed.  The jury is still out on the collar, its very, very large.  I followed the advice of those who had gone before me on Ravelry and made a much smaller size than I normally would have, and so the body (which may or may not be apparent from these photos, I’m still working on Mr. J, my art director in these photoshoots) actually has a contoured look even though there is no shaping.  It is tight over the bust, and then comes in at the waist, which pleases me.  I need to fix the position of the third button still, which is why the gaping is occurring. 

It sure is warm however, except around the exposed neck area.  However when the office gets drafty I can just roll the super huge collar up and snuggle in.  Since its still snowing on and off, foggy, grey, and generally miserable outside, this coat is getting worn!

Long Weekends

April 4, 2010

Around here it doesn’t seem like spring is moving very fast, but there are signs.  There is less ice in the river:

And there are rumours of crocus sightings, but I haven’t seen any.  I’m keeping a sharp eye out for robins, as are the cats.  We have had three sunny blustery days, which have meant good road bike riding conditions, as long as you are prepared for the sideways gusts, and the pain of riding right into the wind.  This generally happens on your way home, no matter which direction you are riding. 

I feel like I’m “getting stuff done” beginning with the latest WCOBB blanket, Yummy Cupcake:

I wanted something simple for the my section, and when I found a stitch pattern called “Sugarcube’ that fit the bill as it was nothing more than purled squares.  This blanket is so peaceful and soothing so far, I hope the next knitters keep it up!

After vowing not to start any sweaters until the end of April, I immediately started a new sweater.

Green sock yarn from Sleeping Dragon, and plain old grey Kroy sock yarn bought on sale.  Tempest is a nice easy pattern with waist shaping, thick and thin stripes, and is thin enough to be pretty useful around Calgary all spring, summer and fall long.  The back is already done! 

Now I’m getting prepared to start my taxes, which if I can get those done, the weekend will be a complete success!

Moab Knitting

March 25, 2010

Over the course of the vacation, and especially during the long drive in the car it seemed like I got a lot of knitting done.  Then I gave away two of the knits during the course of our travels, and I’m left with feeling that I didn’t really get that much done!  I had made my father a Jacques Cartier toque for his birthday in a nice brick red colour, and then decided to make a green one for an old co-worker that had been asking for a hat for around 3+ years.  Soon after I was outed as a knitter at work.

(If he ever finds out I put it on, and took a photo of myself drinking a beer, he is sure to throw it out).  So it turns out that being a knitter in Utah isn’t that bad, as busy hands are much admired there.  It was funny when people started realizing I had made all the knitted items I was wearing. 

I made my friend Gigi a red and  black scarf, striped in 1×1 rib a la Noro scarf.  We have a photo of it, but it’s currently on Mr. J’s camera at home.  I made nice long tassels at either end to finish it off, and used Berroco Pervuia wool, which is soft.  She had been asking for around 3 years for a scarf (do you see  trend here?  I may not make something right away, but sooner or later you will get your knitted item).  As Gigi is very clever she admired my scarf and mittens as well, and wins the worlds best person to knit for award  Again.  I hope the scarf keeps her warm, this spring and next winter.

The Rest of the Haul

March 5, 2010

It seems a bit boastful to be proudly displaying the yarn purchased last weekend, and yet when other bloggers do it I LOVE IT!  Its like shopping for free, so I hope ya’ll don’t mind. 

I think my biggest happiness came in the Lisa Souza booth.  Her base yarns were nice, the colours were lovely, and her prices very reasonable.  Where other booths were charging $28 for hand dyed skein, her sock prices were low at $18.  I came away with:

On the left straight up sock yarn, in the middle Merino, and on the right is BFL.  This latter base is amazing, the BFL is shiny, without any silk in there.  The merino was bought with my last $20, and the colours are true on my style.  I thought the sock yarn with the light green/blue, and natural with spots was pretty cool, and not something I normally would have chosen.  I really couldn’t resist the BFL, with the shininess, and the vaguely purple/blue colour, so I didn’t try!

Next up with Blue Moon Fiber Arts:

I had wanted to find some of the black Raven colourway, and this heavyweight Valkyrie fit the bill perfectly.  It was one of two left in the booth on Saturday afternoon.  It is black with hints of purple and copper/brown.  On the right is a 994 yd skein of Geisha which is tussah silk/kid merino in the silver Winter Solstice colourway.  It’s seriously shiny, and worth every penny.  I really cannot wait to knit this up into some gloriously elaborate shawl. 

Places that I would like to buy from next year (or at a wedding I’m now going to in Boulder Colorado in April)

Wabi Sabi for intense saturation of colours.  I was eyeing their purple (the theme?) and green.

Feministy and Little Red Bicycle are doing some killer colourways.

Have a good weekend everyone!  We’re heading out to Banff for some skiing and relaxing by the fire!