Saturday, January 31, 2009

For the Birds

I am here-toward declaring February knit-for-me month! (It's the month of my birth and damned if I won't drag that birthday out for as long as possible.)

My first sweet, selfish project is one I've been meaning to knit for a long time:

Kate Gilbert's Bird in Hand Mittens. Colour-work! Eek! I've finally come to the realization that in order to master stranded knitting, I have to practice stranded knitting. Novel idea! So far my tension, (much like Jessica Simpson's recent weight-gain), is all over the place. As I have two yarns and two hands it makes the most sense to me to knit with one yarn per hand. Unfortunately, my right hand knits like a corvette and my left putts along like a model-T Ford. At least the inside looks pretty much like it should:

After mitten mayhem, I'm can't wait to jump on the bandwagon to Owl-town:

Photo shamelessly stolen from the designer, Kate Davies

I'm hoping the Owl sweater will lift the curse of the Alaska yarn.

This yarn was first knit into a train wreck of cables, then reincarnated as a saggy cardigan. (Perhaps it came from an evil sheep?) I'm hoping the third knit will be the charm.

p.s. I am fully aware that Alaska does not knit to the same gauge as the Owl sweater. I will make the necessary adjustments. I'm may be crazy, but I'm not stupid! Wait, did I just jinx myself! Dammit!

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Whole Lotta Rose-y

Second FO of '09!

Pattern: Anniversary scarf from Vogue Knitting Fall 2007
Yarn: Tilli Thomas Fil de Mer in "Parchment" and "American Beauty" (I think!)
Colinette Tao Silk in "Tapis"
Needles: 3.75
Notes/Mods.: Knit one extra flower, 26 in total.

This scarf was initially super-fun to knit. Then came the finishing.

Waah! The finishing! I think most knitters agree that starting a project is far superior to finishing, but there are certainly varying degrees of finishing. A hat? Weave in ends. Big woop! A sweater? Sew seams, weave in ends; not much fun. This scarf?

Sew 25 individual flowers to a knit border as well as each other. Torture! Oh, and did I mention all the flowers have beads?

I think this one took as long to put together as it did to knit. I certainly hope the ends justify the means! Lucky for me, this one is going to Mum. If mothers across the globe loving accept their children's gifts of macaroni glued to construction paper, a pure silk hand knit scarf shouldn't be a hardship (I hope!). This one's for you, Ma!

Monday, January 19, 2009

Beret bounty

Can I pull this off?

Are you sure?I don't know...

You don't think it looks like a macrame experiment from 1975?

Shucks, okay, then. I'll wear it!

Pattern: Urchin by Ysolda Teague (from Knitty Fall 2007)
Yarn: Farmhouse Yarns Lumpy Bumpy by Charlene (the sheep)
Colour: Avocado
Needles: 7mm
Notes/Mods: Knit the small size, but added two pattern repeats (9 wedges all together) after deciding the hat was looking rather wee:

This knit up quick! I worked on it Sunday afternoon while playing shopkeeper at the Nutritionista. When I started I had customers look at the pattern on the counter and say "Ooh, is that the hat you're knitting?" Before closing time it was on my head. I polled people on whether the hat was looking too crazy and more than one person said; "You could pull it off. I couldn't, but you could." Hmm.

This has me wondering; do I want a hat I have to "pull off"? Don't get me wrong, I'm flattered that perfect strangers seem to think I have the ability to take fashion risks, but doesn't "pulling it off" just sound like a lot of effort? Like I have to squint and clench my fists while wearing said beret?

Regardless of off-pulling, Urchin is a really fun knit and a pretty ingenious pattern. I think if I were to knit it again, I would choose a solid coloured yarn. Thick-and-thin as well as multi-hued is a whole lot of business going on for one little chapeau.

Whilst pondering the wearability of my new beret, I found the answer was waiting in the mail.

Maggi, my mother-in-common-law (I'm coining the phrase!) surprised me with a beret from her needles! The pattern is "Vintage beret" by Sarah Hatton from Rowan Magazine #44. I believe the yarn is Debbie Bliss cashmerino DK. Thanks so much, Maggi!

It's such a completely different look than the Urchin beret that I now have a choice for when I don't have the energy to "pull off" my hat. In fact, I can just "pull on" this beret - groan!

Friday, January 09, 2009

Wrap it Up

Firstly, thank-you for all of the nice compliments on my new 'do'. Goodness knows I would be incapable of blogging should my audience disprove of my haircut.

Secondly, a good-bye 2008 hello 2009 post is long overdue, yes? You'll have to forgive the sporadic posts. Us here in the northern hemisphere are experiencing those winter days where sunlight is a precious commodity seen only between the hours of 8 and 5 (ish). This means my window of opportunity to photograph my knitting is between waking and working. This time is better spent pouring coffee down my throat and attempting to locate my keys. Sorry, but a girl's gotta have priorities!

The 2008 knit list:

Selena Hat

Borealis sweater (technically I didn't finish it)
Jenny Cloche
"Gilet #480-T7-268" from Phildar Winter 2007/2008
Lace Ribbon Scarf
Flower Power washcloth
Pin box washcloth
2 noro sock cell cozies
Prairie Boots
Elisa Nest Tote
Bulky Houndstooth Pillow experiment
Skull wristband
Foxy Beret
Relaxed Pullover
Cathy's Down-sized Gretel Beret
Jenny Cloche for Shopgirls #1
Jenny Cloche for Shopgirls #2
Jenny Cloche for Shopgirls #3
Jenny Cloche for Shopgirls #4
Jenny Cloche for Shopgirls #5
Mended socks for Laire (does that count?)
Laire Toque
Pat Hat
Argyle Socks

I've never made one of these lists before and it's been quite revealing. I didn't quite crank out the projects so much as learn a lot!

Now let's check up on those 2008 Knit-o-lutions:


Do some stranded knitting:

Check! Okay, it was a wee wrist-band, but it was definitely stranded

Design, design, design:

Check! Again, I could have gone bigger and better with this one. I may have only officially published one design, but I did a lot of preliminary work on others (hence the poor FO count)

What would I like to see for '09?


Do more knitting for myself: I knit almost every day last year and how many projects were for me? Not nearly enough. 2009 will be the year of ME!

Publish three patterns: Eek! A tall order, but I think I can do it.

Stash bust: No more hanging onto yarn I might use one day. Knit it or pass it on!

That's a wrap, folks. I can almost taste the first FO of '09...