lava monster

I have finally cast off the Hap Blanket last night. I still have to weave in all the ends and block it but at least it is one thing off of my to do knitting list. Unblocked it just fits on the bed. It will be interesting to see how much it grows with blocking as my past experiences with the feather and fan pattern show that it can grow quite a bit.

I started working on the second secret project for my mother. There wasn’t enough yarn to do what she requested so I have paired it with some cashmere in my stash to help the yarn go a little further so I can create what I see in my head. All I will show you is the two yarns as the final product is suppose to be a surprise.

Last night we had some friends over to watch the last regular season game between the Leafs and Habs (Habs won 4-1). I made some appetizers with the leftover phyllo pastry from the Moroccan chicken pie I made on Wednesday. The triangles are filled with caramelized onions, feta, olives and sundried tomatoes and the little logs have bananas and honey. They were delicious!

Today we had delicious sourdough pancakes and I will be making sourdough bread today for the week.

Shale Baby Blanket

Pattern: Shale Baby Blanket by Jared Flood

Made for: Karyn’s baby girl (due date is late this month I think)

Yarn: 4 skeins of  Tanis Fibre Arts Green Label Aran Weight in Sand

Needles: 4.5mm circulars

Gauge: close to indicated but didn’t really care; it is a blanket after all.

Started: January 3/2011                 Finished: Feburary 21/2011

Modifications: don’t think I did quite as many repeats as the pattern recommended before running out of yarn

This was an easy to knit up project for a baby even if it is a little bigger project than I would normally knit for one of my expecting coworkers. I really wanted to knit this pattern and my coworker wanted a baby blanket as it would still have uses as a couch blanket once the baby (or babies have out-grown it). It was pure luck that what I wanted to knit was what she fell in love with and fits her tastes perfectly.

She is planning on having more than one child so I thought a neutral colour would be a smart choice and the Sand colourway by Tanis is nice and neutral but still has some interest from the shifting neutral colours and a hint here and there of pink and blue.

It grew considerable upon blocking and this yarn was very easy to handle wet and easily blocked out the way I wanted it to. The feather and fan pattern is one of my favourite simple lace patterns.
Part of me doesn’t want to give this blanket up but the other part of me is happy it is going somewhere where it will be used.

all over the place

There have been several projects on the go that have yet to be mentioned on this blog so I thought I would give an update on what is going on in my little knitting world. I have been knitting the lining for my fiddlehead mittens which I have shown a picture of in the last post. It has been a bit slow going due to all the other distracting knitting but this coldish, snowy weather may bump it up in priority.

I received some lovely gift certificates to the Purple Purl and treated myself to a few lovelies. The first was a Tanis green label fingering yarn kit for the Infinity scarf  in greens. I have cast on and have made decent progress on it as it is mostly mindless knitting and the colour changes make for great motivation.The other lovely I bought is Tanis green label aran yarn and enough of it to make myself a sweater.

Once I had completed the Sprossling I started on another Anne Hanson sweater called Henley with a Twist with that lovely Sundara sock yarn I had purchased earlier. I have completed the two sleeves and the back, so the only thing to finish is the front (and once it is finished a third Anne Hanson sweater will be cast on). 

The last project I am going to mention today is a the Shale Baby Blanket by BrooklynTweed for a coworker who is expecting a girl in March. If I stick to completing one pattern repeat a day I should have no problems finishing this by the end of February. 

a brief knitting update

First things first, I finally have a picture of Sean’s 2009 xmas gift, which until now I have not had a picture of the finished product.

Last week Sean wanted to make a good tomato sauce with meatballs. This is the picture Sean took when we reheated the leftovers for a meal last weekend.

Dad’s second sock is coming along nicely. I just have to finish knitting the foot section and then move onto the toe.

I’ve also been working on the blanket which is getting just massive. From my estimations it is big enough for the edges of the blanket to just cover the width of a queen-sized bed. A little bigger and it should be time to cast-off.

I’ve also restarted working on my fiddlehead mittens. The almost complete one was finished sometime last winter. I’ve started on the second one and then once that is complete I pick up along the edges to knit the inside lining. These should be excellent winter mittens with all those layers.

Plugging away

It has been a very busy weekend. I made a pan of brownies on Saturday but of course forgot to take pictures. This new recipe I have tried is rich and fudge-y and does not stick around for long. We made stuffed peppers filled with orzo, vegetables and feta to go with our steaks before heading out to watch UFC with the boys.

Today I made mini-butter tarts for birthday celebrations at work and beer bread buns for lunch and dinners this week. We had samples of both and they are both excellent. The gorgeous colour of the bread comes from Guinness and not the choice of flour.

We are making pizza for dinner tonight. I was in charge of making the dough and Sean was in charge of the toppings. He had to get his fingers in the shot.

I have been concentrating on knitting a chemo cap for a friend of Sean’s family. His mother offered to buy the yarn if I would knit it.

I have also been knitting more on the hap blanket than I probably should but it is so nice and mindless while being incredibly soft. I’ve cast-off the garter stitch centre yesterday and then promptly picked up the stitches around the edges and started the lace edging. Sean wants this blanket to be nice and big and suggested that if we ran out of yarn before it was the proper size we could run to the yarn store and get some more, which is a pretty good idea. I’m afraid it won’t make for good photographs until it is cast-off now that it only resembles a giant blob.

A Sunny Sunday

We thought yesterday was going to be the nicest day of the weekend and went for a little walk to the park to throw the frisbee around. However I woke up this morning and the sun is shinning beautifully. We may need another excuse to spend time outside again today. It was also a great day for taking pictures of knitting in progress.

One of Dad’s Christmas socks is complete (well the knitting part anyway). If there is enough time after I finish the second one I may use duplicate stitch to put Space Invader motifs on the socks. The black yarn is Regia, a work-horse yarn with nylon added in. It’s not super soft but it is also not scratchy and should take a lot of wear my Dad will dish out while he’s puttering around the farm. The toes are Paton’s Kroy Socks. These are like all the socks I have made him in the past, machine-washable. However we don’t tell him they are machine-washable. He has to put them in the special laundry pile for hand-washing only (they will last longer that way too) or he runs the risk of never getting another pair of handmade socks. This is just in-case either I or Nanny make him a pair of socks that are not machine-washable. So far there have been no reports of mishaps from my mother so I think he takes the possibility of being cut-off from handmade socks very seriously. I think it is very endearing that he makes that extra effort to take care of his handmade socks and is part of the reason he gets a new pair every year. Last year he gave me the highest sock compliment that I think can come from him – “This socks are the best socks yet; they stay up and fit nice.” I guess it’s custom socks from now on.

I have finally taken the leap and cast-on and started knitting the sleeve for Sean’s Aran sweater (after charting out the increases for the cable using Knit Visualizer. So far it is turning out very well.

I started reclaiming the yarn from a disaster project from a few years ago called the Kimono Shrug. I had finished all the knitting but when I started seaming it together it definitely did not work. Since it involved 6 skeins of Malabrigo it is definitely worth reclaiming the yarn. Well I finally got around to it and unseamed and then unravelled the pieces back into skeins. I dampened them to help relax before winding them back into balls.With the one skein that was not knit up into the disaster project I started work on a couch blanket by Ysolda, very simply called the Hap Blanket. The centre is garter stitch and then you pick up along the edges and work in a feather and fan pattern. As you can tell I am currently on the garter stitch pattern. I am making it slightly bigger than the pattern calls for since I have the yarn and I would like it bigger than 40″. It is my nice mindless project at the moment to take breaks from all the Christmas and secret knitting.