Ishbel

Pattern: Ishbel by Ysolda Teague

Made for: My mom (in exchange for some delicious beef)

Size: small

Yarn: 130 yards of brown handspun containing 1/3 each of quivet, merino & cashmere and a little over half a skein of Knitwise cashmere in cream.

Needles: 3.5mm circulars

Gauge: Umm I was bad and didn’t check.

Started:   May 22/11       Finished: May 27/11 (knitting);  June 20/11 (blocking)

Modifications: used two yarns to create stripes (and help the handspun go further).

This project was started earlier (we are talking April) in a completely different incarnation (a personal variation on the Haruni pattern) but ended up being ripped out twice before I finally decided to work on the Ishbel pattern and it flew off the needles with no frogging necessary. In my opinion that is always a good thing.

Sean thinks this is one of the fanciest and more difficult things I have knit. I don’t necessarily agree but if he thinks two colours looks fancy he is definitely welcome to that opinion (it is all a matter of taste isn’t it?). The pattern was very well written and fairly easy so not difficult in my opinion. However he is the one who had to listen to my not so happy comments about weaving in all those loose ends so he may be onto something with the difficult part. The finishing aspect is for me the least enjoyable part of any project especially weaving in ends, assembling by sewing or inserting zippers.

The weaving in of the ends is part of the reason it took so long to get around to blocking the item; the other part was the postal strike. What is the point of blocking it when you are going to have to wait forever to be able to send it to the recipient so you can post the pictures? I ended up doing it anyway since I had a few other projects that needed to be blocked anyway and I do love the magical transition that happens when you block lace.

Oh and my mother thinks it’s beautiful!

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It been hot & sticky out there

It has been a very hot and humid week here in the city. We are luckily enough to have air-conditioning in our unit and although it does not make our apartment freakishly cold it is a nice 23- 24C with no humidity. Luckily I have recently started a bunch of small projects that don’t take up a lot of space on ones lap which would make knitting unbearable.

Over the Canada Day long weekend I had started Sean’s socks and have made good progress. Then they went into hiatus for a little while and will be taken off hiatus as I have received some of the requested flowers I require to continue.

I also started my Dad’s holiday socks this weekend so I can switch between the two pairs if I need a break from one of them. I am hoping I got the sizing right as both Sean’s and Dad’s socks are being made from a pattern and not from my mind.

I also started on Almost Ovals shortly after the TTC knitalong with the lovely Indigodragonfly merino/silk I bought at the Purple Purl. Since the yardage of the yarn is much more generous than the pattern requires I have added another repeat and will most likely be making it much longer than recommended as well. I might also have bought another skein of said yarn in another colourway because I enjoy knitting with it so much.

I have also recently finished another shawl but need some more pictures before I post the finished object post. Frankie was checking it out.

Super Bunny!

Pattern: Sophie by Ysolda Teague with a cape designed by me

Made for: Megan’s baby boy

Yarn: not quite one skein of Rowan RYC Cashsoft 4 ply in a bright red colour. Cape made with Lily Chin Chelsea.

Needles: 5 2.5mm dpns

Gauge: didn’t bother

A nice stuffed toy that was quite enjoyable to make for my work-roomate’s little boy (the pattern was very well written). She can knit a little bit and is quite the crocheter so she asked me to knit a toy since it was something I could make a with a lot more ease than she could and was something she really wanted. I included a cape because in all honesty it makes the bunny even more awesome. The cape is my own little pattern and is just an i-cord with picked up stitches at the centre and the cape was knitted in moss stitch increasing as I went until it was time to cast-off.

Stash Acquisition (Part II of the TTC Knitalong 2011)

This post is about all the yummy yarn I splurged on while enjoying the TTC knitalong and I will be breaking it down by store! Although first things first; when arriving at the first store you receive your TTC knitalong bag filled with some swag which included a small skein of indigodragonfly captain tightpants yarn, some coupons, a Tanis Fibre Arts postcard, TTC map and mine also included a skein of cashmere donegal tweed which is no longer in my possession but I will explain why at the end of this post (it went to a good home).

The Knit Cafe: I purchased a skein of Madelinetosh Pashmina as I have heard so much about this yarn but haven’t had many opportunities to purchase, let alone play with it. While there I also picked up a skein of Fleece Artist Merino 2/6 as it is a wonderful yarn to make socks with among other things.

Romni Wools:As mentioned earlier Romni was having a 20% off all yarn purchases sale for the month of July. So I indulged in some lovely yarns and decided to treat myself to some roving. The roving is very very soft Australian wool top in a beautiful sage green colour (are you noticing a colour trend yet?). The yarn to the left is Handmaiden Double Sea Silk and I just couldn’t say no to the shine and crisp softness of the silk/seaweed blend. The yarn next to it is Fleece Artist Sea Wool (a merino/seaweed blend) that is also just lovely to handle. Romni was also handing out samples of Eucalan and Soak as well as a free pair of needles to all those participating in the TTC knitalong. The needles are not something I would personally use but perhaps my mother can use them or knows someone who prefers straights.

The Purple Purl:Going from left to right: Tanis Fibre Arts Blue Label Fingering Weight in lemongrass is going to become a baby sweater for my friend Mandi who is due the end of December. The indigodragonfly Merino Silk lace in the colourway Margaritaville which I have already cast on a project with (a little treat for myself) and I can say the yarn is absolutely delicious. The Malabrigo sock yarn is for my Dad’s socks this year as he has made it known that it is his favourite yarn for socks (despite my mother’s assumption he couldn’t tell the difference between yarns). And last but not least is a new yarn being carried by the Purl called Rocky Mountain Dyeworks Bow Falls Fingering in Ponderosa Pine. All the yarns with the exception of the Malabrigo are from Canadian dyers. Mmmmm yarn.

Americo:I purchased three skeins of Americo’s Pima Cotton in a beautiful turquoise colour. I’ve eyed their cotton for a while as it is some of the nicest looking cotton I have seen in my opinion. I’m hoping I bought enough to make myself a light summer top sometime in the future and when this happens I will let you know what I think about working with cotton.

The last skein of yarn I received was given to me by Hong of Team Red. She received it as a prize for having the best Knitting T-shirt which said “Will Knit for Tattoos”. As it turns out she does not knit with lace weight and offered it to me. It is a skein of Viola Merino lace in the nut brown colourway. And now my lovely skein of cashmere donegal tweed lives with her.

Go Team Orange! (Part I of TTC Knitalong 2011)

I had heard about the TTC knitalong before but this is the first time I decided to participate. You choose a team based on what 4 stores you would like to go to and all the team names are a colour. And as I am sure you have guessed you use the TTC to get from one yarn store to the next, puzzling all the non-knitters that get on the streetcar wondering why there are so many knitters in the back.

The first stop was the Knit Cafe where we were all supposed to meet. I was a little bit late, due to of all things on that day TTC issues! I had enough time to claim my TTC knitalong bag with swag and the all important Team Orange pin, order an espresso and to purchase some yarn (I will show the goodies purchased in Part II).

The second stop was Romni Wools. It was very convenient that the knitalong coincided with their July sale of 20% off all yarns in the store. Also if you were on the TTC knitalong they gave us a few small freebies (again in Part II). 

On our way to the third store there were two of us in the back of the street car knitting socks when a guy who got on started asking a lot of questions about what we were doing and why there were so many knitters on the streetcar. The third store was one of my personal favourites the Purple Purl (who were offering 15% off all yarns if you had your button) where I managed to get a picture of our team with Jen one of the shop owners! (Those in red shirts are our team captains.)

Our last stop was Americo. It was a little small in there for the size of our team but we did manage. On our way out of Americo to Rivoli, one of the ladies that joined us from Rochester, New York decided to start winding the skein bought by her mother (the other lovely lady from Rochester) on the street with the help of Danielle.They finished it up once we arrived at the Rivoli (our team was the first complete team to arrive).
Once we all were settled in beer and food was had, finished objects were shown off, more skeins of yarn were being wound into balls and prizes were handed out.

The award for who most needs a sherpa (ie person who bought the most skeins/balls of yarn) was a battle between these two ladies who brought suitcases for the purchases. It was a close one as the one on the left had 60 balls of yarn and the one on the right had 62. 

The greatest things about the TTC knitalong are you get to chose what you get out of it. Some people go to buy yarn, others just go along for the fun of it (hardly buying anything or nothing at all), and some go to meet new awesome people or check out new stores. I did a little of it all (except the hardly buying anything). It was a great way to meet and hang out with some awesome knitters! Go Team Orange!

Frankie

Frankie is the newest member of our little family. She is a boxer/Burmese mountain dog mix and is almost 9 weeks old. We picked her up from a nice family on our way home from Sean’s uncle’s cottage where we spent Canada day and watched an excellent amateur fireworks display. I expect Frankie will be making periodic appearances in the blog just like Piper does from time to time.