Category Archives: Ravelry

Out With the Old

Happy New Year, everyone! For those of you who had a stellar 2015, may the new year bring you even more happiness. And for those who slogged through more challenges than imaginable this past year, here’s hoping 2016 will bring you what you need.

Being in the latter camp myself, I’m hoping for smoother sailing this year. We survived an unexpected move from Alberta to B.C. that included some severe downsizing and we’re still manoevering through the financial changes the move has created. Worse though, was saying goodbye to our bestest boy 3 days before we left Banff. That is something I’m still trying to deal with.  My world was forever changed when  Skyler died; he was the light of my life.

Though challenges seemed the norm for us in 2015, I did end up with 2 jobs that I love and have added some new members to my ‘squad’ – the friends that support me through all the ups and downs. (Y’all know who you are. Thanks for being there!)

And then there’s the knitting.  Too many changes, and more time spent working than I was used to, proved too much for me; months passed before I could pick up sticks and string again.  Don’t get me wrong – I tried.  I looked at new patterns daily and reorganized my stash but it wasn’t enough to get me motivated until, one day, I picked up the ‘cardigan in progress since November’ and kept knitting until it was finished.  It still needs to be blocked, the pockets sewn down and buttons added, but it’s progress, right?

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(Roosevelt Cardigan in Cascade 220 SW Aran, ‘Chocolate’)

Finishing that led to a gorgeous scarf/shawl (again, something awaiting blocking) and a hat/mitten/cowl ensemble.  Some previously finished projects finally found homes over the past few months.  My favourite knitted dress went to a friend’s new grand-daughter in Markham.

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(Fiesta Frock in Noro Taiyo)

A lovely alpaca sweater now belongs to a co-worker’s son.

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(Top Down Raglan Baby Sweater in Berocco Ultra Alpaca, ‘Tiger’s Eye Mix’)

In new knitting, a request for a pair of fingerless gloves yielded these beauties.

(Woven Fingerless Gloves in Patons Kroy, Cadet Colors)

I’m finally starting to feel like myself again, as more things come off the needles. It feels good to find my way back. Now we’re preparing for a few more changes.

 

Mornings Need Mittens

It’s cold this morning.  Oh, it’ll warm up nicely in a few hours, by about 20º or so, but right now it’s cold.  The Weather Network says it’s 5ºC in Banff, but where I am, it’s only 1ºC.  I live near the base of 2 mountains, and a river runs between them.  I get to see sunshine earlier than I get to actually feel it.

Top: Mt. Rundle
Bottom: Tunnel Mountain & Bow River

I need mittens.  My favourite fingerless mitts can’t cut it for the morning dog walk these days.  Gloves I have, but gloves here, as in Winnipeg or Northern Ontario, are genereally more decorative than practical.  When it’s cold out, your fingers want to huddle together.  Of course, I do have mittens, but they’re real winter mitts and are too heavy for most September mornings.  Besides, using them would feel like giving in to winter already and it’s too soon for that.  It’s enough that the furnace has been running for the past few days.  That’s my only concession – so far.

The mittens I envision will probably be plain stockinette stitch over the hands.  Seed stitch has been calling to me but plain will be faster.  The cuffs, though, those will be pretty.  I fell in love with Connie Chang Chinchio’s Gioielli Gloves but seeing as gloves are out (see above), I’m just going to use her smocked cuff pattern.  (The only link I could find is Ravelry; my apologies if you aren’t able to access it).

Gioielli Gloves from Textured Stitches

I’m hoping my yarn choice will work.

Llama Lluxury from SWTC in Camel

If not, here’s my second choice.

Gourmet Crafter Gourmet Sock in Moraine Lake.

Either way, I know I’ll love them.

Thou Shawl Not Knit

Something happened yesterday and I didn’t finish my shawl in time for the end of MadMay 2012.   I didn’t drop a stitch but I think I knit more together than I was supposed to.  All I know is that I was short a couple (a few?) stitches on a 12-stitch repeat.  I looked at it over and over again, from different directions, in different light and I couldn’t for the life of me figure out what I’d done wrong.  And no, I wasn’t using a lifeline.  Why would I need a lifeline?  I was only working on some 240 stitches (and more with each row).  I finally realized that tears were only blurring my vision, making it harder to see where the yarn had turned on me. It happens, you know.  You’re knitting along without a care in the world and bang, the yarn has decided to do something else.  Something that has nothing to do with your shawl/sock/scarf.

The only thing left to do was tink (for those who don’t know, “tink” is “knit” spelled backwards and it means to unknit – one stitch at a time).  I had to go back 156 stitches one way, and then 156 again the other way.  Halfway through, I hit a wall.  I couldn’t look at another stitch.  Could not.  I got in the car and drove to Canmore.  You’re thinking I went to Knit and Caboodle  for yarn therapy or a shoulder to cry on, but that wasn’t it.   I needed something from Kitchen Boutique, something I’ve had my eye on since I started working there.

Epicurean Pizza Cutter

A pizza cutter.

Yes, I have one of those rotary ones and it works just fine at cutting.  But I got tired of having the pizza slip around the cutting board.  I don’t have that problem anymore.  While I was at it, I bought a cook-it-yourself fresh pizza too.  Time saved cooking dinner was used on the shawl.  It was a good call.

I had every intention of picking up the shawl this morning but then this appeared.

It’s not what you think.  It’s all very innocent, really.  I got to thinking about Ravelympics 2012.  Ravelympics is a Ravelry group whose antics projects coincide with the Summer Olympics.  The idea is to challenge ourselves with new techniques or project types and start and finish one or more of these projects during the Olympics. I’m really counting on the “finish” part this time, but my record has recently been sullied.

I’m on a team (Team SYR2) and have been trying to decide what events I want to participate in and what patterns I want to use.  You know I love knitting socks but I always start them from the cuff down.  I’ve been meaning to try toe-up for some time, but I’ve managed to find an excuse not to at every turn.  I’ve decided that will be my Ravelympics challenge.

Sifting through patterns on Ravelry led me to a tutorial for Judy’s Magic Cast-on.  I was sitting there, assorted knitting needles next to me, as well as a couple of skeins of yarn, so what the heck.  It took a couple of tries but I think I got the hang of it.  Figured while I was at it, I may as well find out what my gauge is with this yarn that I have plans for (Noro Taiyo Sock – plans are a secret for now).  See.  Totally innocent.

Now back to my shawl.

PS  I lost a little time this morning after someone (I won’t mention any names, Tricia) led me to a link for “The Sock Report”, a new emag dedicated to sock yarn.  You can ooh and aah over it here.  It’s gorgeous.  You’ll love it.  You can thank me (and Tricia) later.

Aside

My desk keeps getting the better of me.  It’s a sizable space, with just enough drawers (one would think) but maybe there needs to be more – of something anyway.  My desk is where my computer lives.  And my computer … Continue reading