Monthly Archives: April 2015


It’s been two days since I last picked up my needles

Home Alone ScreamSee, THIS is why knitting should be the driver behind most of my decisions! I based my decisions upon other things, and look! Look what happened! I haven’t knit for two whole days!!! I mentioned this fact to my husband last night in bed and he was pretty surprised, and he even did a fairly respectable impersonation of Kevin from Home Alone.

Anyway, I don’t have much to post about because of this, but here is a picture of the progress I have made on my Fellowship of the Shawl. Took out a couple of the now unneeded lifelines so that they aren’t cluttering up the lace design. I’m about a third of the way through Aragorn and loving how it is looking!

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“Unlike you, knitting isn’t the main consideration behind all my decisions”

Paradox Point, New Brunswick, Canada

I took this picture Saturday evening from their front deck. People go their whole lives never seeing such a beautiful place, and they LIVE HERE. Crazy.

Went to visit my parents this past weekend. They live not too far from us, just a 2 hour drive, and where they live is absolutely gorgeous. Right on the ocean at the tip of a peninsula overlooking the water. Phenomenal spot, and actually so beautiful that my husband and I opted to get married there on their lawn! A visit was long overdue, we hadn’t seen them since Christmas which is a long time for us, though a big part of the reason why it had been so long was because they spent a good chunk of the winter in Arizona. Good visit was had by all I’d say. Lots of “You’ve gotten so big!’ comments about my kid (because he seriously is growing like hell). My mom got to show me her bowls that she is making (really neat if you ask me!) and I got to show her my knitting projects. Fun stuff. 🙂

The visit isn’t actually the point of this post. The drive home is.

There is two ways for us to drive between our house and my parents house. Both routes take roughly the same amount of time (~2 hours), and generally we opt to take the slightly faster, mostly highway route. Just a smoother, easier ride. Yesterday, however, my husband announced he was going to go the other way. The twisty turny bumpy way. This was extremely uncharacteristic of him, but I immediately knew exactly why he decided to drive that route – he thought it would be more fun to drive, especially now that he recently got a new car with a “Sport Mode”. I put up a bit of a fuss and tried to convince him to go the normal smooth straight hiqhway-way, but no luck. He finally asked me why I cared so much which way he went, and I had to admit that it was because the way he wanted to go was too turny and bumpy for me to be able to knit on the drive. He replied teasingly….

“Unlike you, knitting isn’t the main consideration behind all my decisions.”

At first I was going to argue the fact but I had to agree that actually knitting is the driver behind not all but definitely a disproportionate number of my decisions. Knitting factors into all types of decisions, such as:

  1. whether or not to go to the gym (If I go I will have less time to knit in the evening)
  2. what to eat (some foods make my hands greasy and that can rub off on to my knitting. Also, if a meal takes a lot of preparation/tending it can really cut in to my knitting time as well)
  3. what to watch on TV (I can concurrently knit and watch some things without difficulty, but some things require my full attention)
  4. what to wear (depending upon the yarn I am using some of my shirts just suck up every single little fluff from the yarn and end up looking ridiculous, so if I am going to knit with fluffy yarn I will NOT wear certain shirts)
  5. when to use the washroom (do I pee now and risk losing my place in the pattern, or do I hold it, finish this pattern repeat and THEN go pee?)
  6. how to style my hair (if I am knitting cables I make sure to have my hair up so that I can stick my needle into my hair when I’m not using it. If I don’t I inevitably misplace it.)

And now I can add “what route to take when driving” to the list of decisions affected by knitting.

I know to lots of people that is extremely odd and maybe even a little troubling. The way I see it is that we all have our priorities, and they don’t always make sense to other people. For example, my husband’s desire to drive over twisty turny car-sickness-inducting roads for “fun” is beyond me, as is his refusal to relinquish any more of our lawn space to gardens because it would mean there would be less to mow, and he LOVES mowing the lawn. We’re all weird as hell, and we all value things differently from other people.

 

Anyway, I couldn’t knit on the drive home, all because my husband values driving on swervy roads over knitting. Some people…

 


Chickpea the cat has been knit a hat 3

Chickpea - The soon-to-be hat recipient!

Chickpea – The soon-to-be hat recipient!

My sister put a link on my Facebook wall to a story about knitted hats for cats, and then said she was “putting in an order” for me to make one for her cat, Chickpea.

Well, wish granted!

Chickpea's Cat ToqueStill not sure the original request was sincere, but it is too late for that now! LOL I could have purchased the patterns that were done up by the person in the article, but frankly it is a hat for a cat… It doesn’t need to be perfect. God knows the cat isn’t going to care and will probably hate it no matter what I do! LOL Anyway, I felt pretty confident I could wing it, and I was right! I think I was actually fairly ingenious in how I constructed it. (Not going to get in to it now, I have plans to do up a pattern in the near future.) I wanted to make sure that there would be holes for Chickpea’s ears to go through, but I also didn’t want a ton of seaming or weird boxy edges. Success on both fronts. Also, hello scrap yarn! I used gradient King Cole Riot DK yarn (remnants from my Shawl En Mousse et Vagues) because it is frankly really pretty and a good weight for this type of thing. It is actually 100% wool and fairly nice yarn that I used on this hat. The yarn also made a pretty fantastic looking pompom thanks to the colour transition.  And finally, I knit it at a relatively loose gauge so that it would have a lot of stretch. The cat in question lives a couple provinces away so I tried to make it a size that would fit any cat’s head. It has been a while since I owned a cat so most of this was just guessing.

Anyway, I’m pretty damned proud of this stupid thing. Yes, it is a toque for a cat, and yes I know full well that it is likely to go unused apart from the couple of pictures taken of her wearing it when it first arrives. It only took me a couple hours, so even getting one or two hilarious pictures of Chickpea wearing the hat will make it worth it!

ETA: I have been sent a picture and holy crap is it awesome!


Spotlight: Shirley Brian Yarns

I am always keeping an eye out for new and fabulous gradient yarns, and, as I have said in the past, I do have people in my family who are allergic to wool, so non-wool gradients are pretty appealing.

Flashdance - Shirley Brian Yarns - http://shirleybrian.com/

Flashdance – Shirley Brian Yarns (http://shirleybrian.com/)

Today I discovered Shirley Brian Yarns – it is 100% cotton fingering yarn and it comes in quite a spread of different colour gradients. It looks pretty similar to Wolle’s Color Changing Cotton, a yarn that I have experience using and like rather a lot, though if I have one complaint about Wolle’s it would be how limited the supply is, and therefore difficult it is to get your hands on the nicest colourways. You also have to place your order by email and just sort of hope your selection is still in stock. Shirley Brian Yarns sells their yarn directly online so (presumably) you’ll know immediately if you’re placing an order for something in stock. On top of that it is made in Canada and there seems to be a larger selection of colourways.

Speaking of colourways, I am absolutely in LOVE with a couple of them. Wolle’s has some really nice colourways, but I am really drawn to the colourways Shirley Brian Yarns offers. The bright, super saturated, high impact colour transitions appeal to me more than more subdued ones, and Shirley Brian Yarns has some pretty phenomenal colourways (especially Flashdance (acid green – mauve – jeweled purple)… LOVE IT!).

The one thing I am unsure of is whether they offer smaller balls of end colour in case your project takes a bit more than one ball. It is one thing that Wolle’s does that I find pretty hugely convenient, so if Shirley Brian Yarns doesn’t that would be the only downside I can see.


Gimli, I vanquish thee!  2

I AM VICTORIOUS!!!!! Good GOD that was a pain in the ass. After much belly-aching and whining and way too much time I finally managed to get the Gimli section of my shawl done. Honest to god, those were the most annoying 14 rows ever. I’m both extremely glad that I have successfully finished this section (and put a super secure lifeline in place to ensure I never have to do it again!), but I am also pretty irritated with myself because I have a pretty good idea of what was going on that caused this section to be a painful basket of hellfire:

Hammer and tongs! I am so torn between rage and joy, that if I do not burst, it will be a marvel!” – Gimli, Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers 

  1. I was stupid and didn’t correctly interpret the pattern. At the end of Legolas it indicated a stitch count of 87, and then at the end of the first row of Gimli it indicated a stitch count of 89. I did NOT register the change in the stitch count, nor did I really register that there was an increase happening. I just kept thinking I was supposed to start Gimli with 89, and I kept thinking I had the wrong number of stitches. This was NOT the pattern’s fault. It was correctly written. I was just being pretty daft.
  2. I wasn’t using enough stitch markers, nor was I really using them correctly. Again, the problem comes from Row 1 in Gimli where there was that sneaky 2 stitch increase.  When I put the markers in at Row 1 they got all out of place after the two stitch increase that happens in that row, and that kept making me think that I screwed up when I hadn’t. This didn’t start to work until I waited until the second lace row to put my markers in.
  3. I am fairly sure that I wasn’t paying enough attention during my first couple attempts. I am sure I missed YOs, missed some K2Tog/SSKs, and extra super likely is that I didn’t notice some times when stitches were sort of hiding under other stitches, so when I knit them I ended up doing accidental decreases. I started to be super careful and meticulous (especially with the stitches hiding under other stitches thing).
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Gimli is done!! (Apologies for the crappy picture. I snapped it last night before I went to bed.)

 

When I posted about my struggles on Ravelry I got a ton of great suggestions, all of which helped me to finally triumph over this section, but one poster suggested I stop using my Wolle’s Colour Change Cotton, suggesting that the yarn was contributing to my difficulties. That was the one bit of advice that I did not take. I don’t doubt that using a high twist wool/wool blend would help some, but this yarn is driver for this project. Part of the reason I bought this Fellowship! The Shawl pattern was specifically for my Wolle’s yarn, to show off the long colour transition. Maybe I’m shooting myself in the foot by stubbornly sticking with this yarn, but I don’t think so. The end result will be so amazing in this yarn…

Anyway, its done and I’m really happy with it. It FINALLY looks like it is supposed to so now when I do Gandalf (the next section) it will build upon it perfectly. HURRAY!