real life


I LIIIIIIIVE!!!!

One other change since I last posted is that I now wear red lipstick every day. I know this has precisely zero to do with knitting and utterly uninteresting to anyone else, but hey! It’s exciting to me!

Huge apologies for the epic two month long hiatus. I can give you all sort of explanations why, but for the most part it is because I started a new job. Its a fantastic new job and I love it, but it keeps me extremely busy. And then you factor in that I am going to the gym every day before work (plus an extra advanced level step class after work on Tuesdays)… As you might expect, the evenings usually find me physically and mentally exhausted. I just haven’t had the energy to post. Hell, for the majority of September I hardly picked up my needles! So this all represented quite a big change to my life, and something had to give while I acclimated.

My life is still hectic and exhausting but I’m feeling more used to it now. I’ve decided to make Get Your Knit Together a priority again. This site matters to me, if only just as a diary of all my knitting adventures. I find it really interesting and fun looking back on all my projects. So I’m bringing it back! I likely won’t be able to post multiple times a week like I had been, and instead am going to aim for at least once a week. That should be a much more reasonable and very do-able goal. This less intense posting schedule is also more reflective of how much time I actually have to knit these days. 

And I do still intend to post the patterns for the rest of my tri-blend set. For free, of course!

Coming up soon:

  • My Unemployment Wrap is done and oh so fabulous! And huge. Very huge.
  • Leftover yarn = gorgeous entrelac cowl!
  • My sock yarn blanket is out of hibernation and all kinds of wonderful!

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!


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.

 


Prince Edward Island Fibre Trail – Part Three

We had one final stop on the Fibre Trail that I really wanted to make, and it was to Belfast Mini Mills. Again, this was on the Fibre Trail pamphlet, but was also touted as a “must stop” for anyone interested in yarn visiting Prince Edward Island. This time the whole group of us went (my husband and kid included) and I felt a bit of pressure, like if it wasn’t awesome/fun it would be my fault since I’m the one who wanted to go there. Thankfully, it was pretty awesome.

Belfast Mini Mills

I actually didn’t take a single picture while I was there, probably because I was too interested in everything they were showing us, so instead you get a picture of the gorgeous yarn I purchased there.

Belfast Mini Mills is exactly what the name says and yet still not what I expected.

It is, as the name indicates, a place where you can purchase all the machines you would need to start up your own mini mill! This I was not expecting, which in retrospect is pretty stupid of me. It is sort of like going to a place called “Fish and Chips” and then being surprised when they serve fish and chips. Clearly I lack a certain amount of logic. Regardless, it was a very welcome surprise. They gave us a tour through their whole operation, and from what I can gather their machines are a pretty big deal. By “mini” it means not huge industrial size, but they are far from small. Not at all your hobby level machines. It was really fascinating having them walk us through the entire process, how they go from raw fleece to finished yarn, the entire process facilitated by the various machines they have constructed and designed. They so clearly took a lot of pride in their machines and the quality of the product they produced.

After the walkthrough of the whole process we went into their shop that was full of yarns, almost all of which had been produced right there in their mill. Oh man, the yarn… THE YARN! It was beautiful!!! The first thing I saw when I walked in the door were these gorgeous knitted hats that were rainbow and white, the white yarn having a fluffy halo. I thought it was angora but found out it was samoyed (dog)!! Crazy crazy crazy soft and beautiful looking. After that it was just a big room of beautiful yarns, including a whole set of qiviut yarns. So pricey but so soft and amazing looking. Someday… someday…

20150704_160855There was an additional room behind the “yarn room” where there was just a ton of fibre and roving, as well as a woman working away at a loom. My mother had a chat with her, having done some weaving herself back in the day, but I was totally taken by all the fiber. By this point I had purchased my drop spindle so all I was seeing was future spinning materials! In the end I settled on a bag of merino of a bunch of different colours so that I’d have plenty to practice with and that would allow me to combine and maybe make gradients should I ever wish to attempt that.

As for the yarn, I suffered greatly trying to decide on what to buy. The obvious and most tempting option was “Everything”, but sadly my budget didn’t allow for that. In the end I decided on a skein of the gorgeous rainbow yarn they used in the pretty hats they had up front. I didn’t buy the samoyed to go with it and regret it, but I’m sure I’ll still make good use of my rainbow yarn even without it.


 

So that was my experience visiting some spots on the Fibre Trail in Prince Edward Island. Was it worth it? Hell yes. I learned a ton, I saw some really interesting things, I saw the entire lifecycle of yarn (from the animal all the way to the mill and store), talked to some pretty interesting people, and frankly have taken away a deeper appreciation for yarn and everything that goes into QUALITY yarn now. I am still really surprised at how great PEI is for knit tourism (if that is a thing) and I would absolutely recommend it for any knitter (or crocheter or weaver etc) as a great vacation spot if they want both a great beach time AND some yarny activities as well.

(View Part One – MacAuslands Woolen Mill)
(View Part Two – Green Gables Alpacas/Julie’s Yarn Shop)