Blog Archive

Sunday, February 14, 2016

Stash Conqurered!

I have done it! I have conquered my stash!

The last time I bought yarn was July 2015 - one skein for the Thunderstorm MKAL and one skein of Malabrigo Rios in Archangel in August 2015, which I used for the Boneyard shawl.

Wait...I lie. I also joined the Mad Geek Tour - All of Time and Space (Doctor Who) and received 3 skeins of sock yarn. (July, August and September)

And in September I went to the closing sale for Lettuce Knit and bought 4 skeins of Scrumptious Purl (because Robyn was Instagraming the gorgeous Baby Beluga from Jamaica and I was totally jealous!)

Okay, other than that,  the last time I bought yarn was in June. But in May and June of last year I didn't just buy yarn.. I BOUGHT YARN. I acquired a massive amount of yarn. Between Knitters Frolic in April and then a visit to Montreal to see Robyn and her awesome shop, I bought more yarn in a few weeks time than I think I have bought in my LIFE! Plus, Robyn GAVE me some as hostess gifts and birthday gifts. I could practically swim in all that yarn.

And I'm NOT apologizing for it! I'm not feeling bad at all about it! But I did reach a point where I ran out of places to PUT it all! So I have been on a mission to make some space.

I dug through all of my yarn and sorted and organized it. This was my idea of heaven :) Hayley at Knit-o-matic had a yarn swap in November and I donated much of my leftovers, acryllic, and older stuff that I know I will never get around to knitting or had fallen out of love with. That cleared out a reasonably sized grocery bag. Felt good about that!

And the rest I have been knitting up as quick as I can - randomest projects first :)
(Isis Cowl - named for the Egyptian legend, not.. you know... )
Camo Sugar Plum Cowl - Malabrigo Twist, softest yarn EVER!

The Socks that Had to be Socks - the yarn just wouldn't be anything else!

Quick Chunky Socks

Quick Chunky Socks II

Polar Bear Charity Project 

Hudson's Bay Cowl for Imke  

Aujourd'hui Cowl in Punta Fuego "Magma" LOVE this colourway! 

Mya's Sugar Plum Cowl - made for sweet 4-year old Mya who is battling (and beating) Leukemia
Aunt Janet's Sweater - Down by the Sea
Longest project ever, so happy to finally have it finished. And she wears it ALL the time. So happy about that :)

Pitter Patter Shawl - test knit for BohoChic Fiber Co. Used up my Mrs. Crosby Loves to Play yarn from my first Knitter's Frolic. LOVE the way the colours combined :) 

Nick's Jurassic Socks - totally looks like Dinosaur scales 

Baby Blanket for little Andreas. Knit through two Seasons of True Detective, five Seasons of The Wire and a couple of Terminator movies. Manliest blanket ever! 

And finally, the biggest stash-buster of them all, A Blanket for Seriously Cold People!
7 skeins of Cascade Magnum cleared out a whole basket of storage space :)

After all of this knitting I have this much yarn left: 
Trust me, there is plenty in there - but at least I can tuck it away and not have to explain it away or trip over it! And everything in there has a plan or specific destination. Totally manageable!
(okay, there is also, tucked away in my closet, my Opal Advent Calendar - it's designated for the cozy memories blanket and will be coming out... probably later tonight :) ) 

11 weeks til Frolic

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

I Slipped...

December 30, 2015

I have been working on a blog post for MONTHS, cheering for the fact that I had conquered my stash. In it I brag that the last time I bought yarn was in June 2015. I was pretty pleased about that. And I have been diligently working through my stash and getting through a lot of projects, re-assigning yarn and just feeling right properly organized and not a little virtuous.

And then Robyn sent out a shop update.... damn it!

We have new yarn collection in the shop by Artfil, our local eco-friendly handdyer. The new collection is composed of 10 self-striping shades called Cocktail. Every colour is a replication of existing layered cocktail/smoothie or jello shots. The corresponding recipe is printed on the back of the label which is bilingual. The yarn is composed of 80% Superwash Merino/20% Nylon with a gauge/tension of 28-32 stitches on a 2.5mm or 2.75mm needle. The yarn also looks great knitted up on a 3.00mm. They are 50g skeins, with 177m/194 yards. One skein is enough to make a hat, or a large man’s sock. You will require 2 skeins to make a pair of socks.

I am not particularly partial to cocktails, but SERIOUSLY - could YOU resist this yarn??? I wanted pretty much all of it! But I settled for Zest, Watermelon and Love Potion.

Now that I am done Aunt Janet's sweater and nearly done the Pitter Pattern Shawl that I am test knitting, I'm going to indulge in socks socks socks! My plan is to master the Fish Lips Kiss heel AND perhaps try knitting on dpns... maybe ;)

Such pretty yarn! Robyn..... thank you again for being my favourite enabler!

(PS - my only other Boxing Day shopping was for a new Joystick for the PS4, so I kinda think I deserve this!) 

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Hudson's Bay Cowl

 I bought this yarn last year with the plan of making Susan B Anderson's Snowman & Tree from her Topsy-Turvy Hand-Knit Toys book. I LOVE topsy-turvy toys and hoped my boys weren't too big them. I had visions of tucking one into each of their stockings and listening while they figured them out. Such lovely daydreams!

 Then we got an email from this young lady's Dad
 asking us to send a few things from Canada that he can't get in Amsterdam. J and Mr. Ed have been friends since Kindergarten and they have a Bromance that has stood the test of time
(don't ever tell them I used the word Bromance....)
Mr. Ed decided that we should put together a Christmas basket for J and his sweet family, and "oh, by the way, do you have any nice, really Canadian-looking knitting you might be able to include"?
Um... sure dear. I'll get right on that?!? 
A couple of trips to Roots, Indigo and a round of digging through the stash led to a beautiful, very Canadian Christmas basket complete with my very own Hudson's Bay cowl. I think the green really should be blue, but this was the yarn I had and Mr. Ed is rather proud of me. 
5 days knitting and I'm a superhero! 
So it's all packed up and headed overseas. I wont even hint at what the shipping cost...

The Little Things

The Little Things

Don't ever outgrow the little things
the world just gives away,
The free fresh air and sunshine,
And the games that robins play.

Don't ever outgrow the magic
of a puddle in the rain,
the splash one little puddle makes,
the joy rainbows contain.

Don't ever outgrow big shady trees
with shadows twice their size,
And the wonder of a perfect moon,
That captivates the eye.

Don't ever outgrow the tender heart
that loves the things it sees,
And brings to all that's beautiful
in treasured memories.
-Authour unknown

This poem has hung in my Mom's kitchen for as long as I can remember. I was reading it with the boys this weekend and enjoyed how much they took from it.  

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Cottage Ripple Blanket

November 2014-July 15 2015

Finished! Very happy with my prety Ripple blanket. Wove in the ends while sitting on the dock this afternoon so it smells like sunshine and Hawiian Tropic
Would have done a more colourful border but ran out of yarn!
Xandy already claimed it for a post-swim nap on the paddle board - looks so perfect against the bright orange :) Will definitely be making another one of these someday.

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

The Four Day Quilt

September 18 2015

This time last year I made a quilt. Not just any quilt, but a quilt I sat down on a Monday and worked for four straight days to finish... 

I had bought two charm packs from the Missouri Star Quilt Company with the intention of making something for our good friend and neighbour Connie... and then totally forgot until a week before her birthday. It was A's first year of what should have been full day school and I thought, "hey, I have the time, why not make a quilt?" So I spent four straight days sewing.

I used a Disappearing Nine-Patch pattern that was featured in the Fons&Porter's Quilting Quickly Fall 2013 Magazine - 19 Easy projects by Jenny Doan and Missouri Star Quilt Co.

It was extremely fun to make and while it was a little rushed and my squares are not totally perfect, it is cherished by Connie and I was very much pleased with the end result. It also taught me that I will never again spend QUITE that much time at a sewing machine!

measures 60x60 inches
hand stitched the binding :)

Monday, September 7, 2015

Thunderstorm MKAL Shawl

This spring Mr. Ed gave me an iphone5. I am infamous for being stupid low-tech and not having a smart phone. But I wanted an iphone for the GPS feature as I was driving to Montreal to visit Robyn and didn't want to get lost! 
Because I am me, I still have my old "dumb" phone which I use as a phone and the iphone is for music, games, movies for the kids, directions and....instagram. This was NOT a good thing for me to discover and proved to be highly addictive. Mr. Ed keeps threatening to take my new toy away from me! :( 
I'm pretty good about leaving it alone when we're home and in the city, but at the cottage I get a bit lonely for adult conversation and it's proven to be a great way to see what friends and family are up to.  It's also a GREAT way to yarn shop and stalk my favourite knitting designers. 

One of the very first posts I read this summer was for a MKAL organized by Alicia Plummer of Two Little Plums. I fell madly in love with her Campside shawl a few months ago but had never knit a shawl or followed a chart and was struggling a little. So when I read "I have to say, I think you’re going to love your shawls. I love this pattern more than Campside, and that’s saying a LOT" on Alicia's instagram post, I knew I had to sign up! 

Drove the kids into town and popped into the local yarn store where I immediately zeroed in on this yarn: 
Cascade Yarns Heritage Silk Paints - 85% superwash wool and 15% silk. SO soft and luxurious and looks like a proper Thundercloud :) Colour is called "misty blue". 

 The MKAL actually started on June 12 so when I read about it I was already a few weeks behind on clues. Ever the stickler for deadlines (I like then, I just don't always make them!) I immediately cast on and got to work :) By July 8 I had finished "Stillness" (Stockingette) and "Winds" (Twisted Stockingette) phases (above) and the WHOLE time the weather at the cottage looked like this:

It just rained and rained and rained. I seriously questioned if working on a project called "Thunderstorm" was such a great idea!
 July 16 I finished Raindrops (above) and on July 17 finished "the brief pause".  This was a great clue - only four rows! I was catching up... and it was raining again. Bring on the Downpour! (below)
 Everyone on the Ravelry forum celebrated finishing this section so I knew it was going to be challenging .... it took the longest of the whole shawl and was a two week clue. That's how long it took me - with SERIOUS devotion each night, sitting with my charts and not letting anyone talk to me! I made a few mistakes and on the last row and had to tink back 291 stitches. Sigh... 

August 2 - finished "Fading Rain", which absolutely FLEW by (one night) after Downpour. It was the same charts as Raindrops so it was familiar territory.
 The last charted section was called Petrichor - "the smell of dust after the rain" and was a sort of lacey 2x2 ribbing. Not sure I loved the look, even though I loved the name. If I were to make again I might do a few more raindrops and then just do a straight rib. The final section "Earth" was a very welcome garter stitch border.

 And here is my finished Thunderstorm :)
 Even to photograph it I had to wait between rainfall, but I am thrilled with the end result!
 And I didn't have any wool soap with me at the cottage so I washed it in baby shampoo so it smells wonderful! I blocked it on the deck so it dried in no time and then I just carried it around the woods taking pictures!

It was such an interesting experience knitting with a KAL. I loved having the forum to read and check in with and I loved seeing everyone's finished shawls as they came off the needles. It was great having help and reading other people's questions and was incredible to see some of the modifications,  beadwork and cast-offs other (more experienced!) knitters did to make the project their own. Truly inspirational!

And just as this was finished up, some lovely knitter started a KAL for Campside
So there's hope for me yet ;)