Sunday, September 28, 2008

This, That and the Other Thing

THIS is my third, final and thankfully, successful attempt at downsizing the Gretel beret pattern:

Next to my worsted weight Gretel for size comparison.

PATTERN: Gretel by Ysolda Teague - "regular" version
YARN: "mystery" DK weight Swedish yarn acquired in a swap
NEEDLES: 3.25mm for ribbing, 4mm for the rest

Lucky for me, the new size fits Cathy's noggin' perfect! (Don't think you're getting away without sending me a picture of that beret on your head there, lady)

THAT is where I'm going to be selling some Jenny cloche hats I'm knitting (Shameless self-promotion alert!). Knitting for profit is a new endeavour that I'm still unsure about. The owner/proprietress of Shopgirls believes in getting artists and designers a fair price, and caters to a higher end market, but I have my reservations. Will I really be able to sell hand-knit hats for the astronomical (in my view) price that I will need to charge to make them worth my time? I'm going to knit up about half a dozen and see how it goes. You never know unless you try, right?

THE OTHER THING is this season's first x-mas knitting project: Argyle socks!

I'm knitting the top left ones.

I haven't decided yet whether these will either be for my brother or my Dad (They have the same shoe size - lucky me!). After knitting a couple of chunky weight hats, these socks feel like an exercise in patience.

So very wee!

I'm using a pattern from a Patons book I picked up at a thrift store somewhere. It's actually got a lot of nice socks and gloves in it, almost a miracle considering it must date from the eighties. Oh yeah, and I have an extra copy of the same book in my Etsy shop. (Shameless self-promotion alert!) Anyhooz, the argyle pattern is charted quite nicely, which I'm hoping will ease the eye strain that is sure to ensue from knitting black yarn on 2mm needles. Argyle has been on my to-knit list for ages - I hope I can master it! Argyle rules!

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Debbie Blissful?

Anyone picked up the premiere issue of DB's new mag?

Me likey! I like the look of the magazine (Debbie always has pretty pictures now, doesn't she?), though the styling does tend to get in the way at times. Case in point:

If you're going to knit a dress, don't you want to know how the dress hangs? How long it is? If it's staight or a-line? What it looks like from, I don't know, the front? The magazine's stylish, yet impractical presentation got me thinking how I get irked every time Vogue Knitting puts a belts over a sweater and then I realized...

Aha! Despite it's flaws, I do like quite a few designs:

This one is one of my favourites, though probably not for me. Covering my midsection in cables is risky business. Plus the busty are advised to steer clear of turtlenecks (not that I really obey that rule, but certainly breaking two rules in one sweater is sure to invoke disaster.)

Mmm... tweed. Then there's yet another slouchy beret to ad to the queue:

I like the soft, oversize cables, but doesn't it look a little loose around the edge? (Cuff? Rim? What the hell do you call the open edge of a hat?) It looks like that hat would just slide down her face if it wasn't for those killer model cheekbones!

Don't worry, it's not all just cables knit in greys. There are a quite a few nice mens' designs in there as well as baby blankets and some other goodies. There's even a scone recipe to go with the tea-cozy pattern (oh Debbie, we know you're English already!)

Overall, I like this magazine better than Interweave, and less than Vogue. Be warned: it's selling out like mad so if you see one, grab it!

Thursday, September 18, 2008


Hold onto your ovaries, it's Ladyfest in Toronto! This year, with all that free time I had over the summer, I volunteered to do some graphic design work for the fest:

(To be honest, this is the first version of an ad for Bitch Magazine that was never published. It's a long story, but I prefer this version over the one that was printed!)

I'm also participating in the Crafter's Market:

Saturday September 20th
10:30am - 4:30pm
St.Stephen-in-the-field Church
103 Bellevue Avenue, Toronto (at College)
Bakesale, Auction, Vintage Finds, Clothing, Jewelery, Plants... & more!

I'll be selling off the last of the Cherry Bomb Boutique merch - cheap! For those that don't know, Cherry Bomb Boutique is a business that I started with Cathy (there I go bloggin' about Cathy again!) a few years ago. We made hand screen-printed stuff, bags and the like, among other crafty goodies. We dropped out of the whole craft market when both of us found ourselves too busy to really give it the time it deserved.

The leftover merchandise has been taking up valuable real estate in my apartment, and as much as I would like to sell it for what it's really worth (and lord only knows, it's hard to get folks to pay a fair dollar for hand made goods!) at this point, I just need to get he stuff out of my house! I plan on making a lot of signs like this:





Here's a peek at the goods:

Hope to see you Saturday!

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Gretel III : Once Bitten, Thrice Shy

Once upon a time in a chilly season long ago (and currently on the return) I promised Cathy I would knit her a Gretel beret. (Is this the Cathy blog? Why do I keep blogging about Cathy?) At long last, I have nobly cast on, cast forth and plan to make good on my promise; several days after her birthday. To use what is rapidly becoming my favourite phrase on this blog; better late than never! Lucky for me, it's hotter than Hades out there today and Cathy can probably stand to wait a little longer for her "birthday" present.

I've had a bit of challenge on my hands knitting this chapeau, the third Gretel to grace my needles. You see, the recipient is a petite little thing, and as a result has a petite little noggin. When Cathers tried on my last Gretel, she looked to be drowning in a sea of mustard coloured cables. No problem! I can size it down! ...Right?

There was no way in hell I was about to deal with math or re-jigging cables, so I chose to simple scale down the yarn and needles. As I'm attempting to go easy on the wallet and hard on the stash, I picked a skein of Drops Alpaca from my yarn stock and tried needles .75 mm smaller than the pattern called for (3mm & 3.75 instead of 3.75 & 4.5 for those that care about such matters). After I completing the ribbing I started getting cold feet. Was this thing going to be too small? Did I downsize too much? What if it turns out baby-size? Or beetlejuice size!

Eek! I though it would be best to compare the new version with the old:

Not very promising. I cast on again, upping the needle size by .25mm (3.25 & 4mm for the aforementioned folks that give a rats ass). Though the size was looking better, the knitting was looking a little loosey-goosey:

I suspect this yarn with this pattern are not meant to be... unless knitting for pin-heads. On to bachelorette number two!

Mystery "Swedish Wool Yarn" from a swap a while back.

I prefer the colour to the Alpaca (not that you can see much difference in this photo, but trust me, it's much more of a "wine" colour) though it's not as soft. Enh? You can't win 'em all. This time I'll try the same needle size as the last but with the new yarn. Cross your fingers/toes/miscelaneous appendages!

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Sunday, September 07, 2008

Totally working

Hi Cathy!

I opened up your store just fine. I'm totally not using my time here to stage photos of my new finished sweater.

Why yes, this was knit with Mirasol Miski baby llama. How did you know that? The colours? Oh, they would be "snowdrop" and "french navy".

You want to know the pattern? That's funny, you don't knit very much. Well, anyway, it's basically the "relaxed pullover" from the Vogue knitting website. Yep, it's a free one. You think the sleeves look different?

What an astute observation! I did, indeed, modify the sleeves. I'm quite pleased with the outcome. Now I can totally stock your shelves without those pesky bell sleeves catching on everything. The neckline?

Yes, that is crochet. Two rows of single crochet in fact... though I may rip it out and knit a few rows to make a rolled edge instead. Or maybe applied i-cord? I don't know. But come on now enough chit-chat, I really need to get back to work!

That foxy beret? Yeah, I finished that one too. You want me to model it? Well, it's your store. If you think my time would be best spent showing you a beret, that's your prerogative.

Your right, the knitting elastic I used on the ribbing doesn't help much considering how loose the edge is. The brushed suri I used is pretty nice stuff though. The colour? "Whipped cream".

No, I know you don't carry whipped cream, I was just saying that's the name of the yarn colour. Can I get back to work now? Sheesh!