Saturday, July 28, 2007

It's not my fault, I'm greiving!

So much to blog! First, let's get the last of the vacation knitting up in here:



The baby sweater made a fair bit of progress, as did the Biker Vest:



Unfortunately, when I got home I realized the vest is riddled with mistakes. I somehow managed to reverse the right side and wrong side of the pattern halfway up the back. Then there's the fraternal left and right front sections. Dang, yo! I blame bad lighting and good cocktails. Luckily, it's a fast knit, so I don't mind ripping most of it back and starting over. Besides, I finally memorized the pattern (it's really not that difficult, but lets not forget about those cocktails).

My other unfortunate happenstance?



My faithful ipod, Cherrie II, passed away last weekend at the tender age of two. Rest in peace, Cherrie II. You can join your sister Cherrie the first, who suffered the same fate two years ago. As a result of my loss, I am terribly behind on my knitting podcasts, and had to listen to the rest of my cottage "reading" on the b.f.'s ipod. (Oddly, he is not thrilled to have Jane Fonda's autobiography among his playlists.)

To ease the pain, I have started my Springtime in Paris sweater:



Oh yeah, and I accidentally bought more yarn:



It's not my fault! First the Drops patterns were released, then the only store in town that carries their yarn was having a sale! I was powerless to resist! It took me two seconds flat to choose the colour (51) - it's one of those great colours you can't really put your finger on; Is it green? Grey? Brown? Whatever you call it, I hope to turn it into this:



I've been acquiring new craft supplies at an alarming rate. Yes, I admit I have a problem. Methinks it may be yarn (fabric, bead, etc...) diet time.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

The Prospector

I love thrift shopping. I mean, I LOVE thrift shopping. My mother will tell you of a time when I didn't, but I assure you it was only grade school teasing to blame ("Second hand?! What, are you on welfare?! Welfare kid!) I've never met a thrift store I didn't like, and it breaks my heart if I don't have time to stop at a yard
sale. Thank god my boyfriend and family all share the same bargain hunting obsession!

While in my hometown over my vacation, I stopped by the thrift store I've been frequenting since knee-high to a grasshopper: The Prospector.

Score!



A big ole whack of fabric! Some great old stuff with nutso prints too! Finding a whole lot of something like this in a thrift store can only mean one thing: Somebody's grandma (or grandpa) just died. Makes me feel a little creepy. I can reassure myself knowing that grandma would probably be happy to see her former fabric stash in the hands of someone who really appreciates it. (Not like those good-for-nothin' kids of hers that gave it to the thrift store!)

Later in the week in another small town Ontario thrift store, I found me another score. This time, knitting related!



Patterns! I'm beginning to collect a pretty decent library of this vintage knitting stuff. I can't resist them! Especially the really old ones - this one's from 1949:



Even if I did knit this fabulous piece of headwear, I'd have to buy a whole new wardrobe to go with it. Oh yeah - and channel a Katherine Hepburn persona just to pull it off. Isn't great though isn't it? Or how about this one:



It makes me wish people still wore hats on a daily basis (You know, other than baseball caps). The stuff that may actually find it's way onto my needles is a little more contemporary:



Most likely from the 70's, but totally in vogue now, non? And if I'm feeling a little more adventurous:



Or even more adventurous:



Doesn't she look a bit like Twiggy?

More adventurous still:



I don't know if I could pull it off, but it sure ties into my latest Edie Beale / Grey Gardens obsession. I should knit one just for kicks. If anyone has any fashion tips on how to successfully sport a turban, I'm all ears. (I mean, how could you take it off? You either have to wear it all day, or suffer some serious hat head!)

And then there's those patterns that time forgot. You know, the ones that have failed to stand the test of time:



Mmmm-kay. Now, I understand that pretty much every part of the body can get chilly from time to time, but under what circumstances would you need to warm the knees, and knees alone? Soccer in the snow? Bagpipe busking on a breezy street corner? When was the last time you said; "Whoo! It's cold out here! I'm freezin' my knees off!"
(Notice the handwriting at the top indicating someone actually knit this pattern)

This one makes a little more sense;



At least the picture illustrates where you may find yourself in need of such an devise. Leg in a cast, can't wear socks, yup - you could use a toe-warmer.

And then there's this:



Hmm. An top open toque? You know the kid in this picture never wore it outside the photo studio. (Despite looking almost exactly like the kid that played D.J. on Roseanne, that show wasn't on tv yet, and I'm sure he would have beaten to a bloody pulp) Who is this for? People who want to wear wool hats but not be warm? Headband enthusiast who wish they could simultaneously sport pompoms on top of their heads?


Alright, enough laughing down memory lane. Besides, there's a whole book on the subject. Much knitting still left to report, but it will have to wait until another day. I'll leave you with this:

NEW DROPS/GARNSTUDIO PATTERNS ARE NOW AVAILABLE!!!

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Pirate treature

"Professor, what's another word for pirate treasure?"
"Well I think it's booty" "booty" "booty that's what it is"


I'm BA-ACK! I am most certainly refreshed and mosquito bitten, though I managed to avoid the sunburn (some thanks in part to inclement weather). Why is it that despite poor weather, allergy attacks and swarms of ferocious mosquitoes, I still managed to have a fantastic time? Maybe it's this:



***TIP*** Whilst cottaging, one can still appear fashionable despite lack of shower facilities and cosmetics, by simply donning enormous sunglasses. (Found these at a thrift store for 99 cents - take that Queen St. West!)

Lots of vacation knitting news to report, but I'll narrow this post down to a single FO.

SUEDE BOOTIES




Yarn: Berroco Suede
in colour 3714 Hopalong Cassidy and Marks & Kattens "Teddy" in 538

Needles: Addi Turbo lace and Denise Interchangeable

Notes / Modifications: I initially knit the larger size and didn't like the way it looked. The leg of the bootie seemed far too large. I started again in the smaller size, and though I still found the leg wide, overall it was much better. (I know babies have "cankles", but it was esthetically displeasing, okay!) Also - I opted not to knit the sole in a different colour - what's the point, really?

The pattern is super cute and very quick and easy. I like the look of the "suede" yarn knitted, but I wouldn't buy it again. Firstly, ribbon yarn sucks ass. It twists and splits and I just plain don't like it. Second, it's expensive. I don't mind spending money on a really great yarn, but this stuff is 100% nylon novelty yarn. I can't imagine knitting a whole garment out of it (although my favourite pattern in the latest Knitty is made from the same yarn!).

Gratuitous baby pics!



Thursday, July 12, 2007

Vacay

As much as I love the city, about once a year I have to run screaming to the country. Maybe it's the smell of hot garbage, but the GTA just starts getting a little intolerable by July. On that note dear readers, I'm off for a week at "the cottage". Yay! I expect to return refreshed, sunburned, mosquito bitten, and dying for a place that sells organic fair trade soy milk lattes.

I'm off to pack, but first, progress from my silversmith class:



Looks a little more ring-like, a little less hunk of scrap metal-like.



I've made good progress on a second project too. I'll keep you guessing on exactly what that's going to be.

And what's this?





Yup, I finally put together the Phildar Swing Jacket. No time to post a big spiel about it now, but it's finished. FINISHED!

Lots and lots of posts to come when I get back!

Sunday, July 08, 2007

Sum-sum-summertime

I'm having a little case of blogger block these days. Yes, I have progress to report, but snappy commentary? Witty banter? Pithy anecdotes? Nada.

But, hey, I've got knitting!



The Twinkle Biker vest is back on track. I think I was a little quick to judge the pattern, really. I'm an inexperienced lace knitter/chart reader which must account for at least half of my initial trouble. We fought. We made up. We're back together. It's cool.



I'm really having fun knitting this little baby sweater. It's just round and round and round in stockinette, but the colour changes keep me on my toes. I ripped back and changed the colours a bit since my last post. Much better.

I'm trying my hand at carrying the colours along the back instead of breaking yarn with each new colour:



I've never done this before and it's easy enough, but I foresee a big problem: Baby hands + loops of yarn = wee fingers getting caught. Crap! If I ignore it and knit real fast the problem will go away though, right?

I'll figure it out. I may not be the world's fastest or most experienced knitter but I'm nothing if not determined. Even without pithy anecdotes!

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Wanna Be Startin' Somethin'

I Said You Wanna Be Startin' Somethin', You Got To Be Startin' Somethin'! ...

...you get the idea.

My long weekend of overwhelming free time got me started on a lot, and finished on not. (They're just never long enough, are they?) Ah well, there should be some cottage knitting in my future. In the meantime: Looky what I started!




Okay, so this is probably going to be impossible to keep secret. I hate keeping secrets! Besides, I need the blog-fodder. Yes, it's going to be a baby sweater. Who's baby will be sporting this little number? Muah-ah-ah-ah! That's what I'm keeping secret. Take that expectant mothers!

I also started the Twinkle Biker Vest:



Unh, yeah. Didn't get too far on that one. It looks sadder than those poor overripe bananas. (Hmm, must find time to make banana bread) But, like, seriously, you guys? I'm not so sure about this one. Love the yarn. Love the design. But the pattern? I've only knit two rows and I want to pull my hair out (except that I just got an awesome haircut). I had to cast on and rip back twice. It's not that it's a hard pattern, it's just so damn vague. I know I've said that before about Twinkle patterns, but I can't resist! All I ask is for a little chart, a few more instructions. Throw a knitter a bone, Twinkle!

Oooh, Did I tell you I'm taking a silversmith class? I'm totally copying Amy. I had my first class on Thursday and this is what transpired:



Apparently that smooshed piece of silver and that free-floating hunk of jade is going to be come together and magically become a fabulous piece of jewelry. (No, I don't know how. Geesh! I've only had one class! Lay off!) I have to come up with a second jewelery project for the class tomorrow. Gaah! The possibilities!