Thursday, February 28, 2008

Happy Birthday Gen! (Adriana)

Today is Heather's and my dear friend Gen's birthday and in honour of her big day I thought I'd show off the knitting I've been doing for her.

An HGTV marathon while visiting my parents this week allowed me to finish off Gen's Tropical Vacation socks.
I love the perfectly matching stripes. It filled me with a ridiculous amount of pleasure :)

Last winter Gen had bought some yarn to make her first sweater, however, she got stalled a little way in and ended up frogging it (I think). I offered to help her knit a sweater with that yarn as my birthday present to her. We struggled with choosing a pattern since it was hard to find one she liked that matched the weight and yardage of previously purchased yarn. Luckily earlier this month we had a breakthrough and Debbie Bliss' Bolero Jacket was the winner. My job was to knit the back and two fronts with Gen working on the sleeves and the collar. Bulky yarn and big needles made this a fast knit, coming together in less than a week of evening knitting.
Here's a picture of the pieces blocking:
The yarn is the appropriately named Decadence (which appears to be discontinued?) from Knitpicks, a lovely red alpaca which shed a little too much (I found random fibres all over the apartment).

Gen, I hope you like your Christmas/birthday presents. I can't wait to give them to you in person.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

A Couple of Socks (Adriana)

Look! I finished two socks!
Unfortunately, they're not a pair (a growing trend in my sock knitting). On the left is Gen's Tropical Vacation Socks and on the right my purple Koigu socks.

Here is the first of Gen's socks. (I forgot to remove the stitch marker which showed me the top of the sock.) These had been my commuting knitting, but now that my commute is over for the time being ( my placement is done but I'll be back in class in a week) I'll have to find other time to knit on them. Luckily I'm going to visit my parents for a few days starting tomorrow and the travel time should allow me to get a good start on the second sock.

Remember my lovely but boring Nutkins? At that time, I'd decided to knit Annetrelac socks instead. Doing them toe-up meant that I knit a stockinette foot up to the leg. I tried to follow the pattern but entrelac seems to take forever in fingering weight yarn. I finally concluded that the yarn wanted to be a plain stockinette sock because it sure is beautiful.
purple koigu sock
Once Gen's socks are done I'll knit the second purple sock.

The final project I have on the go right now is a super long scarf for the sister of a friend (it's a birthday present from my friend). She wanted it to be long enough to wrap twice around her neck and to place her hands in pockets at the end. For something that long I insisted on bulky yarn. Because of that it's knitting up really quickly. Here's what it looks like from where I'm sitting:
big red1
It's grown at least another foot since I took this picture. I've nicknamed the scarf Big Red :)

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

A Couple of Hats (Adriana)

For Christmas last year I'd made Swell from Knitty for my brother. I noticed recently that despite the earflaps, it's not actually that warm a hat; it stops at the hairline leaving the neck and forehead bare. I promised Neil a better, warmer hat at an unspecified date. Last week I ran into his girlfriend, Courtney, at a local downtown eatery and she mentioned that they're off to Montreal and then skiing at Mont Tremblant during Reading Week (the last week of February). Clearly my brother needs a handknit hat to keep him warm on the slopes.
I quickly churned out this:
neil hat
Pattern: Norweigan Star Hat
Yarn: Grey Jo Sharp Classic Wool dk (bought on sale. $2 a ball!) and blue Patons Classic Merino leftover from Dad's socks.
Modifications: 2x2 ribbing for the brim. I think I started the decreases for the top sooner and more rapidly than the pattern called fo which resulted in it looking kind of funny (hopefully just to my perfectionist eyes).

Since Neil was going to have a nice warm head I decided that Courtney deserves one too.
courtney hat
I went with the same main colour yarn (Jo Sharp Classic Wool dk) and my overdyed sock yarn held doubled.
I used the fair isle pattern from the Fake Isle Hat (I LOVE this pattern!). I didn't have enough orange yarn to do the whole pattern, so I just did the main fair isle motif and I added in the little rosettes at the top for interest.
Since I was using dk weight yarn I lined both hats with fleece for additional warmth.

Neil had requested a grey hat so I felt that subtle was the way to go. For Courtney I wanted to do something with more pizzazz and I feel that the orange accomplished that. I hope they and their hats have a great time on vacation, and hopefully they'll send me pictures :)

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Trellis (Adriana)

I managed to get a lot of knitting done in the past few days thanks to getting sick (some weird flu that gave me migraines). While watching the sixth season of Buffy I finished Trellis!
I was too excited to show it off that I didn't wait to block it.

trellis done
Pattern: Trellis
Yarn: Nashua Superwash in Charcoal
Needles: 4mm
Started: February 10, 2008
Finished: February 16, 2008

Comments: I remembered reading somewhere that most people did it with four buttons instead of 5 so I did the same. I knit the two fronts at once, and did the same with the sleeves.
I'd read some worrying comments about this yarn on Ravelry (unfortunately after I'd already bought it) so I put the swatches through the washer and dryer, and I was pleasantly surprised to see how well it held up. Hopefully this will bode well. I also went down a needle size to help. The yarn was very nice to work with.

It's a good thing this sweater is so darn cute because I didn't have that much fun with the cables.
Ev requested a hat to match so I made one with a seed stitch border. It took me about 2.5 hours in total. Gotta love baby sizing :)

Any suggestions for how best to block this sucker?

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

On the Go (Adriana)

Here's a quick post to show off what I'm currently knitting. Apparently I've already used the titles "WIPs" and "On the Needles". Good to see just how creative I am :P

My bus/work knitting is Gen's handdyed socks, in a colourway I've taken to calling "Tropical Vacation". The blue makes me think of the sky and the water, and the green of island vegetation. Gen, you can change the name if you want since these are your socks.
I'm just about ready to turn the heel. It's amazing how much knitting I can get done between the bus rides and waiting for my super-slow computer to boot up at work (it takes 10 minutes to start. Seriously).

My evening and weekend knitting time has been taken up with a new project, Trellis. I'm making this for my friend Ev to give to her friend who is due at the end of March. Ev supplied the yarn and will be taking me to our favourite restaurant in payment for the knitting.
I'm finding it slow going despite the tiny size. I'm discovering that I'm not such a big fan of cabling (sorry Jane).
trellis back
It's is awfully cute, though. This is the finished back and I'm about 2 inches into the two fronts (I'm doing them at once in the hopes of making the sweater go by faster).

That's all for today. I'm hoping to finish Trellis this weekend since we get Monday off due to the newly created "Family Day".

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Yarny Goodness (Adriana)

Last month Phoe held a contest to celebrate her birthday (very generous of her). She had a number of different coloured packages and we were to pick a colour and she'd draw lots for the winner of each colour. I was thrilled to win the red package! It arrived in the mail last week but I had to wait until the weekend to get a decent picture (I'm really looking forward to longer daylight hours). Inside the red package was a gorgeous hank of laceweight by Yarn Chef (who I'd never heard of before) in the colourway Caribbean.
phoe yarn
Isn't it stunning? I think it would make a really nice spring shawl.
Phoe also included a beautiful bracelet she'd made which I love!

This Friday I got bit by the dyeing bug and I ended up spending my evening in the kitchen dyeing up a storm.

other yarns
The red is some sock yarn I'd gotten which was rather tame in colour so I decided to liven it up. I think this would make some lovely cabled socks.

The orange in the back is the yarn I'd dyed yellow to make the ill-fated Simply Lovely Lace Socks for Gen which ended up being teeny tiny. Luckily I have a friend with teeny tiny feet who is enjoying them right now. I ended up with a fair amount of the yellow yarn left so I overdyed it orange to use as the contrasting colour in a hat for a friend.

Since I now owed Gen some socks she requested self-striping socks in blue and green.
gen yarn
I hope this is what you had in mind!
I always enjoy dyeing self-striping yarn. It's fun to run back and forth across the apartment stretching it out and winding it back up again.

wound yarns
Here are all my yarns wound up. I've already cast on Gen's new socks which will be my bus knitting this week.

I hope everyone's having a great weekend. It's minus 28 here with windchill so I'm going to snuggle up with some knitting in front of the tv for the rest of the day :)

Friday, February 8, 2008

Cute (Adriana)

So I've developed a bad blogging habit lately. I have been wanting my posts have themes to them (Christmas, family presents, etc). This is all fine and well except that sometimes I don't end up with pictures for a while after I knit something which will then ruin the whole theme. Also, I've gotten out of the habit of blogging about WIPs which is ok for smaller projects that I whip up in a day or two but it has also contributed to my slowdown in blogging. I'm going to try to be a better blogger.

I have two finished objects to show off right now and you'll have to bear with me as I talk a bit about the recipients. They are both people I care a lot about so I tend to go on.
The first is a Fake Isle Hat I knit for my friend Calli. Calli has been my friend since I was eight (she was 7). We first met when my mom was considering homeschooling my brother and I, and so we were introduced to Calli and her family who were homeschooled. At the time I thought Calli was a boy. (She's not, nor has she ever been one). We used to spend the day with Calli and her family every two weeks for many years while growing up. Most of my favourite childhood memories involved her and her siblings. Those were the days; we did such crazy stuff. Calli and I went to the same high school and she went to university a few hours away from me so we were still able to see each other at least a few times a year. Now she lives in Montreal and, with my parents' move away from my hometown, we weren't able to have our customary Christmas visit. Knowing that I would not be seeing her I knit this hat in the summer to give to my mommy to give to her mommy when they saw each other in the fall. (I'm so sneaky) I made the hat to match a scarf I'd given her last year and to keep her warm in Montreal winters. (Calli actually sent me this picture at the end of December. See above re bad blogger)
Check out how cute she is! That's such a classic Calli expression :)
The yarn is Knit Picks Andean Silk in Slate and Silk Garden 205 and a purple colourway.

While on the subject of cute, I finally succumb to the lure of the Calorimetry. (Awesome pattern, by the way. A very fast knit) I'd tried to resist but it was the perfect present for classmate extraordinaire, Kristy. Early in our program we discovered that we're the kind of people that everyone hates, the kind who kill themselves to finish a project a week early, the kind who are done all the reading halfway through the semester, the kind who are disappointed when a test is postponed because it ruins our carefully planned schedule (told you that you hate people like us). Doing partner work in school is usually a drag but working with Kristy made everything so much easier. She has a white think-and-thin ribbed scarf that she loves and I decided that she needed a head covering that matched.
Isn't she cute too?
The yarn is Frog Tree Merino Worsted in natural (this stuff is just like Malabrigo)

Ok, that's enough sappiness for one post. I promise I'll be back soon with more pictures of FOs and WIPs. I hope everyone has a great weekend. I'm going shopping with Kristy!

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Catching Up (Heather)

Just as I am a day behind on posting my contribution to the Bloggers Silent Poetry Reading, I am years behind discovering this song by Feist. I heard it for the first time Friday night and I feel like it is very expressive about this time of life:

Leslie Feist

Helping the kids out of their coats
But wait the babies haven't been born oh
Unpacking the bags and setting up
And planting lilacs and buttercups oh

But in the meantime we've got it hard
Second floor living without a yard
It may be years until the day
My dreams will match up with my pay

Old dirt road,
knee deep snow
Watching the fire as we grow old

I got a man to stick it out
And make a home from a rented house oh
And we'll collect the moments one by one
I guess that's how the future's done oh

How many acres, how much light
Tucked in the woods and out of sight
Talk to the neighbours and tip my cap
On a little road barely on the map

Old dirt road,
knee deep snow
Watching the fire as we grow old
Old dirt road rambling rose
Watching the fire as we grow
Well I'm sold...

First snow of February

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Christmas Again? (Adriana)

Last Saturday Pete had a play he'd written performed in a local playwright's cabaret. Naturally my whole family wanted to come see it (the joys of having family living so close). I took this opportunity to pull together some projects I was making for various members of my family. It was almost like Christmas again!

I had finished Dad's Ginormous socks early in the new year. If you're making socks for big feet worsted weight on 3.25mm needles is definitely the way to go. I probably used about 300m of yarn, Patons Classic Merino.
dad's sock
They will keep my dad's feet warm when he's working in the workshop (aka the garage)
(I did actually make two of them)

I'd been bemoaning the lack of knitting projects recently and mom suggested that I knit a bag for Granny to hold her multitude of pills (she'd been using a grocery bag up till now). I wanted to make it a tactile experience for her so I used many different fibres (it was also a great excuse to use up some of the stash)
granny and bag
From the bottom up there's Paton's Classic Merino (from mom's Fake Isle Hat), some red fun fur leftover from a Booga Bag, blue Classic Merino from dad's socks, some acrylic mom bought me when I first started knitting before she learned that I was a yarn snob, more Classic Merino from dad's socks, SWS (from the Fake Isle Hat), more purple Classic Merino, topped off with mohair from the Fleece Artist mitten kit given to me by my brother. This bag was clearly a family affair.

I was really feeling like stash busting so I suggested to mom that I knit her a pillow with the yarn left over from her blanket. Since I've been so into entrelac these days I decided to use that technique to show off the stunning colours of the Noro.
The back uses up some of the pink Peruvian Highland wool.

I hope everyone's having a great weekend!