Wednesday, November 28, 2012

New Riding Jacket

So one of the scooter stores in town is going out of business. Everything is 50% off so I got a proper jacket for riding on the scooter. It's pretty sleek and spiffy - only problem is that it's so close fitting I can't wear any of my sweaters underneath :(

Either I'll have to wait until warmer weather to wear it or just keep wearing my gigantic fleece jacket on top of it.

Here it is:
My new jacket

Note the reflective zippers. The padding isn't too obvious either.
Underneath is my Gnarled Oak Cardigan.

Underneath that is the dressform that my husband just picked up for me from craigslist. I've been wanting one but didn't want to spend the big bucks on a new one. I had contemplated making one out of duct tape as per Custom Knits, but I wanted it on a stand.

Monday, November 26, 2012


I've been enjoying patterns by a local design team: tincanknits

I have 4 of their patterns: POP!, Low Tide (my experiment in dyeing), Antler  Cardigan, and Sitka Spruce.

POP! was the first pattern I purchased from them. I started making it right away (this was back in May!) since I actually had the suggested yarns. However, I ran out of Eco wool because even though I had bought 4 skeins of it, I had used it already for my Aidez:

and my husband's cowl .

I had enough left to make 20 POP! squares:

Earthy colour palette

I'm using 3 different colourways for the Noro.

I don't think that's enough squares. It's only enough for a small lap blanket. What to do......

I've made other cowls, scarves and hats for hubby, so I've been contemplating frogging the cowl and re-purposing the yarn. I also had issues with casting off the squares loosely enough so the edges are kind of tight, as you can see in the pictures, they roll up a little because they're tight.

To complicate matters, I've already woven in my ends.

Ideally, I need to:
1) undo the cowl and use that yarn (easy)
2) knit more squares (pretty easy)
3) undo the cast off edges on the finished squares and redo them, probably spit-splicing additional yarn as I go (not so easy - I most likely will need to break the yarn somewhere just to free an end and see where it leads).

That's why this project has been hibernating, but I'm feeling the urge to work on it again.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Hexipuff Update

Total days = 21
Total # hexipuffs = 50
Daily Average = 2.38

Here's a graph of my progress. As you see, I haven't been recording data daily. I'm also still playing around with the charts in Excel so my colours are kind of funny. I hope to improve with practice.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Another cardigan

Here's another sweater I'm working on. I bought the yarn at Knit City too! If you missed it this year, be sure to check it out the next time it comes because there were tons of deals to be had.

Anyway, I bought this yarn at the Elann booth, a steal at $2.38 a ball. It was to knit this pattern: Swing Cardigan from Vogue Knitting Fall 2012.

My friend Shereen also bought the same yarn, but in a different colour.

You'd think we could find a copy of that magazine somewhere around town. My husband drove me to 8 different stores looking for it, but it had been pulled off the shelves already. He finally drove all the way to Elann for me and I got my copy.

Here's the yarn I'm using and my progress so far:
Yarn - Lunar Mist (12 balls)
Needle - 5.5 mm
Size 36


Thursday, November 22, 2012

Spinning for a Sweater

I found the next big project to spin for. I bought 2 lbs of fibre at Knit City, a lovely 90/10 alpaca merino mix.

Here's what I intend to make:

It's the Cobblestone Trenchcoat from November Knits.

The fibre content of the suggested yarn is almost the same so I'm quite excited.

I don't know when I'll start though because I'm still trying to spin for the Knitmore Girls SPAKAL 2012 which I unofficially joined. I eagerly started spinning in March and then my enthusiasm waned come June. I still have about 200 g of fibre left to do, then there's all the plying and dyeing before the actual knitting. At least with this alpaca/merino, I don't have to dye it.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Anson's first handknit wool socks

So, here are the wool socks I started for Anson.

Needle: 3.75 mm
Yarn: leftover dual stranded DGB Ambiance Superwash and Regia sock yarn.

Very thick, so I think they will be quite comfy for him.

I intend to knit waste yarn at 8.5 inches for an afterthought heel, my first time doing that. Thought it would work better than the Houdini socks method because they're so thick.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Felted Slippers

I need to sit at my spinning wheel more regularly. My most common excuse is that it's too cold. I usually spin barefoot but then I got the brilliant idea of making felted slippers.

I found this pattern: Felted Mary Jane Scuffs

I finished knitting them in a few days but took forever to finally felt them and sew the strap on. I decided to needle felt flowers instead of applying buttons.

Additionally, I should have knit the smallest size because they are a little too long. I will have to figure out a way to bring up the ease around the back of my ankles.

Project pix:

Hand-drawn stencil for my needle felted flowers.

Goody bag filled with fibre

Felting needle, a little bent but still useable.

Kinda cute, right?

A little saggy around the back of the foot - to be fixed later.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Hexipuff update

Total to date: 33
Days since started: 15
Daily Hexipuff production rate: 2.2

My production has fallen off, but I'm still keeping on track with at least 2 per day :)

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Weekly update

So on my needles are numerous projects:
7 sweaters
3 blankets
1 pair of socks

I'll enumerate more completely next time.

Here's one of my sweaters on the go:

Kaleidoscope, a free, seamless, bottom up cardigan using sock yarn.

I restarted this 3x until I was satisfies with the drape. Both my stitch and row gauges are smaller, so I've adjusted the size I'm making accordingly. I eventually settled on 3.25 mm. I changed waist decreasing to every 6 rows and increasing to every 8 rows to accommodate shorter row gauge.

Pix so far:

Most realistic colour

I'm using some lovely sock yarn I picked up at Knit City, which if you didn't make it, was a terrific first time yarn festival in Vancouver. I was one of the lucky first 50 that got the swag back and it paid for the 10$ admission many times over with all the goodies inside. I suppose we'll have to line up even earlier next year to get the bag since there were many disappointed people.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Wool + Chilly weather riding

How I missed my wool during my commute yesterday. Riding behind my husband on the scooter  I only had a thin cotton sweater, a thin cotton blouse and thin cotton socks. I did have motorcycle pants and my wool cowl and winter jacket and leather gloves, but sadly, the chill still bit. Luckily, my commute is only 20 minutes.

Ideally, I need my wool socks, wool cardigan, and I'm considering knitting legwarmers. The cold air still climbs up my ankles. I'm not wearing boots, only leather shoes because it takes so long discard my riding gear once I'm at work and slipping out of shoes is so much easier than unzipping boots.

Now my only decision for the legwarmers is if they will go outside or inside my motorcycle pants.....

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Baby colours?

I'm making a baby blanket for one of the numerous babies that are always popping into my life periodically.

It's the Big Bad Baby Blanket from one of my knitting books - a pattern I had already made years ago (preRavelry) out of variegated yarn.

This time I'm experimenting, mostly because of what stash I have available. I want it to be superwash merino and I don't have enough of any one type, so I am making it out of grey, burgundy and brown/grey sock yarn. I am stranding both the grey and the burgundy with the sock yarn and doing red and grey blocks with the grey as the moss stitch border. Plus, I'm not sure of the sex.

Here is what it looks like so far:

So, IMHO, nice heathery colours that EZ would definitely approve of.

I happened to answer that timeless question from someone at work: "What are you making?"

"Baby blanket".

"In those colours?????"

I mumbled something about babies wearing more sophisticated colours now, or more natural colours but realized she didn't believe me.

Note that the person asking did not have kids of her own. I guess pastel pink or blue are the only acceptable baby colours in her world.

Opinions anybody??

Monday, November 12, 2012


I love looking at blanket patterns. I add them to my Ravelry queue with frightening rapidity. My latest obsession is The Beekeeper's Quilt.

I suppose it will take me the better part of a year to complete. My aim is to make at least 2 hexipuffs daily.

Date started: Nov. 4, 2012
Total count to date: 24
Daily hexipuff average: 2.67

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Wool socks will get you eventually!

I've knit items for my kids with varying degrees of success. All of them got at least one sweater each and for some of them, that was enough. I love to make things for my daughter because she wears them, looks beautiful in them, and knows how to care for the garments. The boys are another matter.

My two oldest boys have now moved out so I only have the two youngest at home now. When I volunteer to knit something for them, kid #4 (Anson) very politely says "No thanks" in his sweet voice. My youngest son, Andrew, finally relented and asked me to make him some socks for the house. I made him two pairs so far and it has been very gratifying to see him wearing them all the time.

Well, the colder weather is now upon us. My husband wants to conserve our heating gas consumption, so we all bundle up at home and the central heating only comes on sporadically.

Our family also has scooters - a small 50cc one (which I can drive) and 2 larger 300cc ones - very powerful and requiring a motorcycle license to operate. This is what the guys took on their trip to Toronto this last summer.

My husband still insists on driving them, even though the weather is a cool 5 - 8C most days now. They really are so economical on gas. Extra layers are needed along with the full face helmets. He drives one with Andrew behind, and Anson drives the other one all by himself. He had just gotten his learner's license before they left on their road trip.

They went out yesterday and I happened to give Anson a pair of hand knit socks which his older brother had left behind when he moved out.

Well, last night they returned from their chilly excursion and the first thing Anson does is ask for another pair of hand-knitted socks because they were so warm! He just wants me to make them out of thicker yarn, not sock yarn. How wonderful is that! Andrew is also asking for another pair. I'm smiling :)

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Experiment in Dyeing - Semisolid

This summer my husband took the kids on a road trip so I had the house to myself:)

Decided to finally do some dyeing. I had bought some acid dyes at Maiwa with a gift certificate a friend had given me.

After watching numerous youtube videos I felt brave enough to try.

I had attempted kool-aid dyeing a couple of years back while I was taking spinning lessons.

My first project may have been a little ambitious but I was very pleased with the results.

2 100g skeins Yarnundyed Superwash Sock

Ciba Washfast acid dyes - black and turquoise.

I used a very scientific method of one butterknife tipfull of black, and a smidgen of turqoise added to my dyebath. I kept the skeins dry so that the dye would only soak in partially and I would attain a semisolid colour.

Here are more photos. I still have to finish adding buttons and block it before it's finished, but all the knitting is done.

Low Tide Cardigan: