Monday, August 31, 2009

Reinforcements Have Arrived!

My Bamboo Fusion order from arrived today! Yippee! It took approximately one week and one day, which really isn't a very long wait. More importantly, I got the same dye lot! How awesome is that? No alternating skeins.

And my bamboo arrived just in time. My second scarf project also just ran out of yarn. I would have had two projects with no way to move forward! (Hmmm . . . there are a lot of exclamations points in this post, n'est pas? Too much excitement?)

Remember my frogged scarf made from Patons Silk Bamboo? I had recycled that silk bamboo into the fishtail scarf. I don't recall the length of the frogged scarf before its unfortunate demise, but this fishtail one is approx 13". So if one ball makes 13", then 4 balls should give me approximately 52". Does that sound right (have I mentioned my "issues" with math? Number phobia? Fear of failure? Whatever the reason, numbers make me nervous. Perhaps a left-brain/right brain sort of thing . . . but I digress)? I hope 52" is plenty long. The tape measure said it was long enough, so I'm gonna go with that.

I figure I'm still on track for getting these knits completed in time for Christmas. September hasn't even begun yet (not until tomorrow anyways). I'm off to a good start--as long as I don't add anymore projects to the list.


Sunday, August 30, 2009

And So the Cardi Grows . . .

And grows and grows . . . All the separate pieces have been made: the back, two sleeves, left front and right front. Right now I'm working on the yoke section, so all the pieces are connected at long last.

In hindsight, I wish I had worked on the back and front pieces in the round--less pieces to seam. However, having NEVER worked a sweater from the bottom-up, I decided to follow the pattern as is. If and when I ever work on this pattern again, I'll know better.

Still, I am enjoying the pattern thus far. It looks cute. I'm also enjoying the Vanna's Choice yarn. It's an acrylic, but much nicer than Red Heart stuff. In fact, I'd dare say it almost feels like wool . . .

Hoping to finish this cardi by the end of September. If only my scarf progress was a little more productive . . .

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Adventures in Knitting

So my boys have been asking to learn to knit for a while. Finally this week I obliged. My boys are between 7 and 9 so I thought they'd have enough dexterity to manipulate the needles.

After digging through some left-over balls of acrylic and finding some short stubby plastic needles, we embarked on our first knitting lesson. I cast-on and slowly worked through the first row as the boys watched each step. Then we worked a few stitches together, hand-over-hand, so they could get the "rhythm". We made up a "story": go in the door, put on a scarf, poke your head back out the door and then close the door. Despite the dropped stitches, unintentional increases and other wonky weirdness, they've done an awesome job. Best of all, they're enjoying themselves!

Right now, we're focusing on the knit stitch. We decided to make garter stitch scarves for their teddy bears. Once they've successfully completed the scarf, we'll move onto roll-brim hats (knit flat) so I can introduce the purl stitch. The hats too will be for their teddies. Smaller projects will be easier to complete. From there, who knows?

I just think its neat that they even wanted to learn! They're so proud of the work they've already completed. My oldest couldn't believe how much his scarf had grown in a few days. A visit to grandma and grandpa included a tag-along knitting bag for the boys so they could show off their new skills.

I hope your weekend is filled with happy knitting joys. :)

Sunday, August 23, 2009

At the Mercy of Mother Nature . . .

Woe is us as Hurricane Bill makes its way just off the shores of Nova Scotia. The western parts of the province are already done with it. And the heavy rainfall warnings have ended, but we're so close to Cape Breton and Guysborough that it may not be over yet for us. We're in northeastern part of province and Bill is still forecast to make landfall on or near Canso, Guysborough. Nasty winds may yet strike. All we can do is wait and hope for the best . . . guess we'll be in the clear some time by midnight.
What a way to end our vacation!

Back to work tomorrow . . .

Saturday, August 22, 2009

The Knitting Continues . . .

So the knitting continues (and it helps that I've been on vacation the past week).

The Eyelet Yoke Cardigan is progressing rather quickly--at least for me, slow as a turtle. The back is "complete" as is one sleeve. I've even started the second sleeve. Once the left and right fronts are done, I can work the yoke across all the pieces. At this rate, I might be done by the end of September (Maybe? Perhaps? If I work really hard at it . . .).

The Fern and Waves scarf is coming along too. About 18 inches done. See the upper right hand corner? Take a closer look below. See the little ball of bamboo.

That's all that's left! If two balls gave me 18", I hope 4 more balls will be enough (anything over 50" will be just right). I've ordered more from Elann. And according to their website, there was more of the same dye lot. Could it be possible? I'll know for sure in 1-2 weeks . . . (if hurricane Bill doesn't blow us all away).

Hope your weekend will be less blustery than mine. ;)

Thursday, August 20, 2009

A Day at the Beach!

A surprisingly cool and refreshing day at one of our local beaches. The water temp was posted as 19 C. It felt like bath water! Not bad for the usually cool Atlantic Ocean.

Nothing soothes or calms like the ocean: I just love the sound of the surf crashing onto the sand; cool water splashing over my legs; wet, squishy sand between my toes as I walk along the shore on the hunt for treasures washed up on the beach . . .
I did find some pretty rocks and a few small shells, but no sand dollars or sea glass today :(

And of course there's uber-cool knitting!

I do try to always bring my knitting along, just in case I have a free moment. And I did work on the sleeve of the eyelet yoke cardigan (its gotta be done in time for Christmas and there are two other gifts needing my attention).

Happy knitting where ever you are . . . and don't forget the sunscreen. :)

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Where the Country Road Leads . . .

So hot the last few days . . . we've been on little jaunts through the countryside to catch a cool breeze.
And maybe stop for a little picnic lunch or snack.

The air can be as much as five degrees cooler, depending how close to the ocean you are--a very welcome cool, indeed! I guess ya never know where the country road leads (well, dear hubby knew where it led, but I didn't and that's okay since I wasn't the driver--ha!).

And this countryside got me thinking . . .and dreaming . . . **sigh** Some day, we'll be living on a country road--at the very least, in the country on a little farm.

We visited a little place last night. It needs work--a lot of work--but its a definite possibility. We'll have a huge vegetable garden and also a greenhouse to extend the growing season. Definitely need a cow (to fertilize that garden--nothing like cow poop to make things grow!), some chickens (for eggs and meat) and a few pigs ('cuz who doesn't like pork?). Eventually, we'd have goats (and they better stay out of my flowerbeds!) and of course sheep. I'll need to learn how to spin . . .

It's fun to dream . . .

Monday, August 17, 2009


So remember my Andrea Reversible Lace scarf (see post here and below)?

Sadly she is no more. The picture above is all I have left of her.

Since starting other lace projects, my Andrea scarf has looked less "pretty" (I'm thinking it was all the purl rows). As time wore on, doubt plagued me. I wondered whether my mom would indeed appreciate the scarf. She was once a knitter and avid crocheter, but not sure how she'd feel about a hand-made gift--although she seemed to like the gift scrapbook I made last year.

So today I ripped, ripped, ripped … all the way to the frog pond. Not to worry. The silk-bamboo will shortly be turned into something more pretty and perhaps more to my recipient's liking. In fact, I've already cast on for another scarf using a pretty fishtail pattern.

I like the new scarf better. I hope my mom will like it too. It's so hard to make things for one's mom.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Casting On One More . . .

So I decided to cast on one more project (Eeek! Hope I've not got too much on the go. Too ambitious perhaps?). The Eyelet Yoke Cardigan from the Lion Brand website will be a Christmas present. Thankfully it will also be very portable. My lace scarves are not so portable; I've got to concentrate so that I don't mess up the pattern. At least with the cardi, there will be a lot of mindless stockinette stitch that I can easily do in the dark (a must if I wanna knit a little during naptime).

Just finished working on the swatch. Originally I tried Eloise Eyelet Yoke pattern (also from Lion Brand). Not sure what the difference is between the two as they look very similar; however, the suggested needle size for Eloise seemed odd (3.75mm with a worsted weight?).

Is it odd to agonize over which needle size to use? According to my swatch, 5.0mm gives me 18 st while 5.5mm gives me 16.5 st (gauge should be 17 st). Since I’d like this cardi to be bigger, I went with the 5.5mm. The intended 16 mo recipient is already wearing size 2 so I figure size 3 will be plenty big.

Happy knitting . . . :)

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Happy Anniversary to Us!

On Thursday, dear hubby and I quietly celebrated 15 years of marriage--where did the time go? He surprised me with a beautiful bouquet and an awesome dinner: steamed veggies, grilled scallops and bacon-wrapped chicken--yum!

Then the reminiscing began in earnest. Leafing through our wedding album with the kids led to a search for our wedding video (do people still watch VHS? Gotta get the thing digitized before the tape becomes unusable). We hadn't watched the thing in a few years.

My how we've changed! Hard to believe we were once so young! The fashion perhaps a little dated, but not overly so. Many of our guests we haven't seen in years: some have gotten old and grey; some have grown up and now have their own families; some have since passed away.
Hope your weekend is a good one.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

The Kindness of Friends :)

So a good friend ended up visiting a sheep farm in the next county over: Lismore Sheep Farm Wool Shop in River John, Nova Scotia (I had only just discovered their website and was wonderin' whether I could convince dear hubby that we should visit the place). Lo and behold, this friend picked up a cute little scarf kit for me! I was pleasantly surprised (squeee!!).

Inside the little packet, there was a simple pattern along with hand-crafted needles, curly yarn for a fringe and a delicious hand-dyed alpaca, silk and merino blend (so hard to stop all the fondling; it feels ever so nice!). This yarn is very special. No simple garter or rib will do. It has to be lace.

Perusing a few free lace patterns on Ravelry, I found three possible contenders: Fern Lace Scarf, Scarf with No Name or Summer Stream Scarf (these are Rav links). Given my novice lace status, these three were rather simple in terms of specific techniques required (but they look soo purty); also they had a ten stitch or less repeat. I want to keep the scarf narrow as per the suggested pattern in the kit (about 24 stitches) so that I won't run out of yarn. No one wants a scarf that's too short.

Now back to my Christmas knitting . . .

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Not Bad for a Pokey Knitter

My Fern & Waves scarf slowly grows . . .

Thus far, I have approx. 6.5-7" which is not bad after one day (I'm a slow knitter). I suspect I'll have to make this at least 50" long, if not longer. Me thinks more yarn will be necessary--lots more yarn.

The original pattern called for 52 stitches, but that seemed too narrow. Instead, I decided to cast on 72 stitches: 4 pattern repeats with 4-stitch garter border on either end (4 x 16 = 64 + 8 = 72). I also added 2 rows of garter at beginning before starting the lace pattern. No special reason--just 'cuz. Actually, I thought it might look pretty to have a "finished" border.

I'm also wonderin' whether I might stop in the middle and then start another half. That way I can graft the two halves and each end will have that pretty rippled border . . . hmmmm. Something to ponder.

Happy knitting!

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Lots of Lacy Goodness

I can't believe my initial trepidation regarding lace (see link here). If you've ever considered experimenting with lace, my advice: go for it! There are lots of easy lace patterns out there to get your feet wet. There's even a beginner lace group on Ravelry that has a list of easy lace projects (if you're a knitter/crocheter/spinner and you're not yet on Ravelry, what are you waiting for? The best knit/crochet/fibre resource online, bar none).

Remember when I wasn't sure what to make next (see link here) ? Well I've actually completed two projects! Remember that lilac acrylic? I only needed one ball to finish the lacy hat. Using an old knit-pattern-a-day calendar, I found Grace's Lacy Star Hat (found on Oct 28 2008). Since I still had another ball left over, I also cast on for a matching cowl using the Fishtail Hat (found on Feb 19 2008). Obviously I've modified the hat by casting on one less pattern repeat width-wise, making the item shorter and omitting the decreases. Enjoyed the fishtail pattern so much, I may have to make the hat at some point with perhaps a matching scarf for myself.

I've also started my second lace scarf. My yarn of choice was Elann's Bamboo Fusion. It's a little splitty, but feels very nice. Although I've only just begun, the bamboo looks good thus far into the Ferns and Lace Scarf pattern (free download on Ravelry). The instructions/chart are easy to follow (bonus: you can always contact the designer on Ravelry if you get stuck).

Back to knitting . . .

Sunday, August 2, 2009

The Socks Are Done!

Yes! Those pretty pair of blue socks (remember these from here and here ) are done and done! So very pleased with myself.

As you might recall, this pattern came from an old Patons booklet. There were elements of the pattern that I liked: the longer leg length and also the larger needle size (2.75mm versus the usual 2.25mm). One thing I did NOT like was the look of the finished heel turn. It's rather triangular and narrow. I prefer something less "pointy"--like the more rounded heel turn found in the Vintage Vogue Ribbed Child's Sock (remember these found here ).

What to do? Then it hit me: why not combine the two patterns! Take the best of each while leaving out the elements I dislike. Sound easy, right? Not so much. I spent most of the morning rewriting instructions and trying to reconcile the various stitch counts as the two patterns were merged into something new (and I should add that the pattern is only for my own personal use since I'm dealing with copyrighted material). At one point I pulled out some scrap yarn and needles to re-create the heel turn just so I'd get the numbers right. Is this what designing feels like? Have I mentioned how much I dislike math? I really, really hate math (sorry to all you math minds out there. I much prefer words to numbers).

Needless to say, I now have two sock patterns that have been customized to fit my sons' feet. Now if I could just get brave enough to try a new stitch pattern, I'd be grooving. No wait--if I came into untold riches and could use the most luxurious yarns for socks, then I'd be grooving.

Knit on! :)

Saturday, August 1, 2009

And My Next Knit Project Is . . . ?

Always thinking ahead, I've begun planning my next knitting project (or should I say projects?). My ribbed socks are done and I'll have to post an FO pic as soon as I can (I'm waiting for the sun to come out). I'm almost done the slippers. My cardi is slowly chugging along--very slowly--and I'm hopeful it'll be done some time before Christmas (just in time for next spring--ha!).

I've got some yarn stashed and I'm debating what to start next. My son gifted me some lilac acrylic which I thought would make a cute lacy star hat for my niece. I've already made this particular project for a charity knit, so it should be easy-peasy to whip up a second one. The pattern came from a knitting calendar.
I also want to make another sweater for my niece as the 1st one I made is getting rather small. MIL gifted some Vanna White acrylic and its just enough for a cute eyelet cardigan that's made bottom-up (pattern is from Lion Brand website at You'll have to register to see the free patterns, but its free to register).

My current lace scarf is on hold as I await yarn. So I should probably think about starting the second one (green one is for my mom while a red/burgundy one is for MIL). I'm not sure which yarn to use. Aren't the varying red shades pretty? I'd have to order more Patons Angora and more Bamboo Fusion, but I have plenty of Red Lustre . . . and I'm not sure which pattern I'd like to use. I've downloaded quite a few (go and see Ravelry linked through my sidebar--tons of free patterns that you can store right on your Rav profile!!). I'll have to peruse them before deciding on which yarn to use . . . so many decisions . . . a little flummoxed . . .

Time to think . . .

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