Monthly Archives: August 2015


An unemployed Lady Eleanor 4

Today is my last day at my current job. Been here for eight years, and have been working for the government for almost ten years (!!!) and today is my last day. I start a new job September 8th, so I have 10 days to be “unemployed”. THRILLING! Ten whole days off! Yahoo!!!!

Err, I actually have no idea what the hell I am going to do with myself for the next week. I have some things planned, like a beach day with my best friend who is taking a day off just for me, and I want to finalize my pattern write up for my Tri-Blend cowl, but for the most part I’m looking at a week of… I don’t know what. Its sort of pathetic, I know. Everyone (myself included) always wishes they had more time off, and now I have it and I’m panicking. (It is sort of like my experience with the furby.) The yesterday was my going away lunch here at work, and they presented me with a giftcard for Yarns On York (my LYS) and I got an idea…

Wouldn’t it be nice to use that yarn gift card on some yarn for an “unemployment project”?

So that’s the new plan – to start a new project using yarn purchased with my parting gift, and then see how much I can get done during my 10 day stint between jobs, and the pattern I am looking at is the Lady Eleanor Entrelac Stole. After making my entrelac hat and seeing how easy entrelac is and loving the end result, I’m definitely ready to do another, larger entrelac project. This stole is gorgeous and looks really impressive. It looks like one of those “seems a lot harder than it actually was” projects, which are always fun. Sort of like the old Rice Crispy Treats commercial. (Remember that commercial? For whatever reason that commercial is burned in my brain for all time.)

Anyway, the stole. Yeah, I really like it, and a big part of that is because of the colour blocks that happen. I looked at the projects for that pattern and it would appear that a LOT of people used Noro Silk Garden yarn.

This is a problem because Noro, to me, feels yucky. I’ve never knit with it, and I am fully prepared to admit that it may very well be fantastic and wonderful. The fact that so many people use and love Noro should lead me to believe that it is probably nice, but man… it feels yucky. Coarse or something. Every time I go to a yarn shop I look at Noro and wonder if maybe I should give it a shot because, man, I love those colours, but then I pick up a ball and have a “Eeeuuugh!” reaction and put it back.

I asked on Ravelry what the deal was with so many people making this project with Noro Yarn and the consensus seems to be that the colours of the Noro yarns work really well with this pattern, and that Noro yarn knits up a lot more nicely than it feels in the balls. Apparently it knits up quite nicely and it apparently gets softer and nicer with repeated washings. I am fairly trusting in the advice of people on Ravelry, but this is a big project, and I would need 10 skeins of the stuff…. Big investment.

So what’s a girl to do?

Honestly, I think I’m going to bit the bullet and just get the 10 skeins of Noro Silk Garden and hope it ends up okay. I like the project enough to risk it. I mean, seriously, look at that picture! How gorgeous is that!! And maybe the yarn leap of faith is fitting since I am making it to mark my career change leap of faith. 🙂

 

If anyone has any experience with Noro yarns go ahead and tell me what you think in the comments!


Noah’s Annual Hat 2015 – Yellow Minion

My son, like most kids, goes in weird erratic waves of obsessions. Minecraft is a commonly reoccurring one, as well as Batman, Cars, and Star Wars. Well, now we’re in the throes of a Minion obsession.

2013’s hat – Yellow Minion – Awesome picture, but a very mediocre hat.

This is not the first round of Minion obsession. He was allllll about the minions back in late 2013/early 2014 (around the time of Despicable Me 2 if I’m not mistaken) so back then I made him his first minion hat (and matching scarf and mittens). This is the first thing I ever made for him, and sadly I didn’t exactly hit this one out of the park. This was just before I started knitting, so it was crocheted. I didn’t have a pattern (as is the norm, even now) so it was very much winged and woefully imperfect. Frankly, there is lots wrong about it, but bless his heart he wore it.

2014’s hat – Reversible Creeper hat. Imperfect but overall pretty good.

That crappy but made-with-love Minion hat was the first hat of a now yearly tradition. Each year I make him a hat. He decides what theme and gives some broad strokes requests for features (like earflaps), and then I go to town. Last year’s hat was MUCH better than the first Minion hat. I made a reversible Minecraft creeper hat, and damned if that kid didn’t wear it every single day this -past winter. It was warm, it was cool, it was one of a kind, and he loved it. SCORE! However, this was my first project with colourwork and double knitting, so like the minion hat, it is far from perfect. There is some weird puckering going on from my doing the colourwork too tightly in places, and I started decreasing too early and then tried to “fix it” but it ended up just having a weird shape. Also, I ended up making it too short so I had to pick up and knit an extra brim (the green and black stripes on the bottom). None of this mattered to him, he loved the hat.

knitted Minion Hat 2.0

2015’s hat – Minion Hat 2.0. As yet incomplete, awaiting evil Purple Minion side. 

This year he decided he wanted a Minion hat again. He had lofty requests of it being like a mask where he could actually look through the goggles, but we decided that was a bit of a safety issue, so he grudgingly agreed that just a normal minion hat would be okay.

My Muse ha ha ha

Well, here it is. Minion Hat 2.0. Again, no pattern, so the eyes are a bit… weird, but otherwise I’m happy with it. He knew I was working on it but hasn’t seen it finished yet (he’s away for 2 weeks camping with his bio-mom) but I think he’ll like it.

What he doesn’t know is that this is just phase one. I actually am going to make this mo-fo reversible as well! I got purple yarn and some pretty epic purple novelty hair-like yarn…. if you know the Despicable Me 2 movie you can probably guess what I’m going to do… 🙂

Yup, I’m making an Evil Minion hat to go with this one!

It may just be a second hat, but what I am hoping is that I’ll be able to make it so that it fits inside the yellow Minion hat, making it reversible. This may be a lofty goal, but I’m going to try! And this is going to be a total surprise, he has no idea I’m doing this.

 

One other thing… when I had just started the first hat Noah said, very politely and almost cautiously…

“Les… When you’re done the hat… if you don’t mind…. can you make me a new pair of slippers? My old ones you made me don’t fit anymore. “

Hells yeah, I can! And I’ve already finished one!

Yup, Minion again, and it still needs an eye, but I think he’ll really like it.

I also have plans to make him some matching mittens as well. So basically when he gets back from camping he’s going to have all sorts of new knitting waiting for him. 🙂


Back down the sock knitting rabbit hole

I’m grown up enough to be able to admit when I was wrong, or at least to admit that maybe I was a bit hasty coming to a particular conclusion. Back in February I declared that I did not like knitting socks and that it wasn’t something I had any interest in doing ever again, and at the time I suppose that was correct, but lately I’ve been rethinking this.

HaveAYarn.ca

image courtesy of HaveAYarn.ca

When I was in Nova Scotia visiting family my mother-in-law and I went on a little day trip to Mahone Bay and visited “Have A Yarn” yarn shop. Not my first time visiting this yarn shop – last summer my husband took me there as a special treat. They have a fantastic selection of different sock yarns and have a little knit swatch of all the different yarns so that you can get a sense of what the self-patterning yarn will knit up to be like. I actually had to laugh – when my mother in law was looking at the sock yarns with me she made the comment “Oh, what beautiful and detailed colourwork!”. It took me a second to realize that she didn’t know the yarns were all self patterning, and that the “detailed colourwork” was just the yarn! I explained it to her and she thought it was pretty nifty how the yarns do that. I have to agree – it is awesome knitting with a self patterning yarn because it oftentimes makes it look like you’re way better and meticulous than you actually are! Instant knitting swagger. 😉

But I digress! On the Wall ‘o SockYarn I saw one particular swatch… Anyone remember Wayne’s World when he saw his dream guitar? Here, let me refresh your memory…

 

Regia 4-ply Design Line by Arne & Carlos "summer night"

Regia 4-ply Design Line by Arne & Carlos “summer night”

Yeah, that was me when I saw this one particular yarn. It is Regia Design Line by Arne & Carlos in the Summer Night colourway. I don’t really get where the name came from, it looks FAR from “summer night”-y to me. More “Christmas at the Ski Chalet”. Seriously, the swatch had a real 70’s ski lodge vibe that was (to me) super campy but still really beautiful. To me it was/is too nice to use only in my sock yarn blanket, and I didn’t think the awesomeness of the yarn would really come through in one little square, so there was nothing for it…

Time to try knitting socks again!

I’m cheap and didn’t want to buy two balls of the Regia so I bought one ball of the patterned and one (less expensive) ball of grey to go with it, the plan being to make the toe box, heel, and upper cuff of the sock in the complimentary grey. In general I like to do a contrasting toe/heel colour when using self patterning yarns, just to break it up a bit and add a bit of contrast.

Well, I don’t know if it is because I have gotten VERY comfortable using teeny tiny sock needles thanks to my sock yarn blanket, but knitting these socks is going very well and turning out awesome! The yarn is exactly as awesome as I hoped it would be, and the actual knitting of the sock is way more fun and way faster than I remembered. The heel is already turned in the first one and is pretty solid too. Over all this sock is going great!

Oh, and I may have bought another fancier more expensive skein of hand dyed sock yarn as well, but that is the subject of a later post… 🙂

 


PATTERN: Tri-Blend Hat 1

The hat when paired with the matching cowl! Kind of like a colourful ninja.

The hat when paired with the matching cowl! Kind of like a colourful ninja.

I’ve finally had the chance to write up the pattern for the Tri-Blend hat, the first of the tri-blend trio of patterns I’m going to be releasing! It was a bit of a pain in the butt because, as you can probably imagine, the colourwork all had to be charted and that was no small task! Ultimately I got it done and I tried to make it clear and easy to follow.

If you like this pattern please leave a comment letting me know! And if you have any questions, comments, or concerns please let me know in the comments and I will do my best to answer you as quickly as I can.

 

Be sure to subscribe to my blog (in the sidebar) to be notified when the rest of the tri-blend set patterns are released!

 


 

Based loosely on EZ’s bonnet pattern, this bonnet has been made to be comfortable, beautiful, but also extra warm and fitted. My main motivation when designing this set was to show off the beautiful saturated colours of my three yarns, but also to find the best way to shield myself from the extreme cold of Canadian winters, extreme windchill in particular.

The extra long, extra deep bonnet brim and the added length and fit in the back with the short rows ensures the hat fits snuggly against your head.

When combined with the Tri-Blend Cowl (cowl pattern to be released at a later date) they overlap perfectly for extra warms while still being comfortable. Together you have the perfect set to stay warm and block out the coldest winter winds.

The Complete Tri-Blend Set

The Complete Tri-Blend Set

Materials:

  • 200 yards of worsted weight yarn in three different colours (total 600 yards) The leftover yarn will be enough to also do the Tri-Blend Cowl and Tri-Blend mittens. (cowl and mitten patterns to be released at a later date)
  • Size 6US circular needles (ensure cable is at least 18 inches long).
  • Stitch markers Additional needle for doing the i-cord bindoff.
  • A tapestry needle or crochet hook (for finishing the ends)

 

This pattern is available on Ravelry.com, and the pattern is available for download.

Download this pattern now!


Comment-dit-on “Rainbow Entrelac Hat”?

Me and my menfolk on the Bluenose II

The past two weeks have been hectic. VERY hectic and very nonstop. First, all last week I was in an intensive French immersion course. It was exhausting and hard but I do think my French is better for it. Something else happened during French week, which I will get into shortly. Anyway, after French Week we went to Nova Scotia for four days to visit family and had one of the best visits we have ever had up that way as far as I am concerned. Great connect with family, visited a yarn shop, and even got to connect up with a facebook friend! Great vacation. This week, once we got back from Nova Scotia, has been a week of anxious waiting to hear back from a job I interviewed for a couple of weeks ago. This had been weighing on me like a brick because I really wanted this job. Yesterday, finally, I heard back and I got it! This is a huge deal because for the first time in my career I won’t be working for the provincial government any more. I have been a civil servant for almost a decade, but only for three more weeks! This job will be in the private sector, which is a whole other world, but it is a change I’m definitely looking forward to. New work. New challenges. New experiences. I haven’t been doing a great job about maintaining my weight for the past few months and let my gym membership lapse a few months ago as well. My new job? Yeah, it is like a block from the gym, so I am taking this as a marker moment to get back on that wagon as well. Whole new routine and state of mind starts in just a couple weeks!

Now, back to French week….

During my week of immersion we were expected to spend the entire day there, speaking French, including over our lunch hour. Me, I don’t need an hour to eat lunch (I often don’t even bother eating lunch) so guess how I filled the time!

BAM! Rainbow Entrelac Hat!

20150730_220933

Looooooove how it turned out. The pictures do NOT do it justice.

Of course, I have some notes:

  • Technically I started this thing on Tuesday and I was done it by Thursday, which to me is pretty speedy. People in my French class were pretty surprised/impressed at how quickly the hat got done and they all loved the end result. 🙂
  • Entrelac is NOT HARD. Keep in mind this was my very first experiment with entrelac. Honest to heavens, it was stupid easy and simple to do once you got the first row done, and the end result is absolutely gorgeous. I highly recommend giving it a shot to any intermediate or even more advanced beginner.
  • My hat was knit on size US7 needles, using worsted weight yarn. The grey is Paton’s, and the rainbow is the fabulous rainbow yarn I bought from Belfast Mini Mills.
  • My entrelac had 17 squares, each 5 stitches wide. After 3 rows of that (each row being a complete repeat of both a rainbow and grey row) I decreased to 4 stitch wide squares for a row. Next row was 3 stitch wide squares. When I got down to two it was mostly just an exercise in decreasing evenly and then switching to just the grey to finish it off.
  • I didn’t have a pattern and was just sort of winging the whole thing, and because of that it did end up pretty big. Comically and unwearably too big until I picked the edge stitches up with smaller needles (i think US6) and then knit a bit of an extra, smaller, edge. It didn’t take much to bring it in that little bit and make the hat wearable.
  • Like I said, the hat was/is big, and even after the added rows to close it up a bit. The hat is basically a slouchy beret/tam type thing and not something I would usually knit, let alone wear, but the end result really is properly adorable and I think I will wear it after all.