Saturday, August 27, 2011

As for the Soleil . . .

Its done.  Sorta.
Side View
At least the knitting part is done.  Shoulder seams need to be sewn together and ends need to be woven in.  Then I've got to crochet a border 'round the neckline and armholes.  But the actual knitting part is done--it just ain't completely done.
Front View
As for the fit: a preliminary fitting proved successful--as in the tank fits.  Yay medium covers my perfectly plump self very well.  Only drawback:  it's a wee bit shorter than I'd like, but I can live with it.  Besides, I'm not sure but the silk-bamboo may stretch with wash 'n wear.  Only time will tell.
Lace Detail
For now, back to the Navy Bohus.

Friday, August 19, 2011

About Knit Night

Knitting (and crochet) are generally solitary activities.  And for the longest time I only knew one other knitter in real life--who happened to be my mother-in-law.  Then came the discovery of a knitting group in my wee community.  
A Fellow Member's Alpaca Lace Scarf
Funny story: while perusing the various groups on Ravelry, a poster lamented her difficulties in finding other knitters.  I responded with a "I feel your pain 'cuz I can't find other knitters in my small town either".  Lo and behold, another poster (who happened to follow my blog) mentioned that she lived in the same small town.  Then she invited me to join her at the next meeting of her knitting group.  The funny part is that she had been following my blog and I had checked hers out, and we didn't even know we lived in the same town!  
Another Knitter's Christmas Ball and Finished Sweater
Sometimes I feel like "the noob" 'cuz the other members are experienced knitters whose handiwork is often exquisite, delicate or complicated (and sometimes all three!).  But that's okay.  Each to his or her ability.  Besides, over the past year I've challenged myself through various projects; in the process I've acquired new skills and maybe even some confidence in my crafting abilities.  In the end, its all good.
My Own Green Soleil--A Work-in-Progress
By the way, I love, love, love our new location for knit night: we meet at our newly constructed public library.  Its a green, state-of-the-art facility that looks incredibly beautiful and inviting, and feels cozy.  There's lots of natural light and loads of inspiration: many local artists contributed various pieces to decorate the space.  It is an awesome place.
Library Interior
Yup, knit night is a good night.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

All Kinds of Progress

Sorta.  Over vacation, I did manage to get some knitting done.  Surprising how much one can do barreling downtown via subway train.  And there's been a smatterin' of knit time throughout the week.  Of course there's been this thing called "work" that has sucked up most of my time--go figure!.

First off, I'm close to finishing off the body section of my navy Bohus: just another half inch and I can join the sleeves to the body (although there's the small detail of actually making the second sleeve).
Bohus in Progress
The photo above is not accurate as I've gotten further along since photographing my Bohus.  My zeal for this project has not abated, in spite of the miles and miles of stockinette.  At present my only real concern is adjusting the yoke; thus far, my modifications have created the appropriate size (so says my tape measure).  I'm hoping this continues as I grapple with the decreases in the yoke (and don't get me started on the short-rows for the neck . . . that could be a little scary).

My other vacation project is my green Soleil.  I hadn't even swatched it when I left for Toronto.  Lo and behold, I've gotten to the waist.
Soleil Progress
It was the perfect airport/flying project (knitting is great for occupying one's hands and mind when one has a fear of flying--just saying).  The lace section was very easy once I memorized the pattern.   And the stockinette section hasn't been too mind-numbing, especially since I have to keep track of rows for the waist shaping.  And the silk-bamboo fabric: very nice feel and drape.  This is gonna be very pretty when its done.  I just hope it fits.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Yarny Goodness

So even though I didn't get to visit many yarn shops whilst in TO, I still managed to acquire a few tools and some yarn.  First off, I finally got a stitch gauge along with a bamboo circular and two cushioned crochet hooks.
Some Crafting Tools
These I purchased at a Mary Maxim shop at Yonge and Eglinton.  Although small, the shop carried a variety of fibres from acrylics to alpaca, silks and wool.  Lots of brands such as Rowan, Noro, Sirdar and Debbie Bliss, as well as basics like Patons and Mary Maxim's house brand (remember that there's no real yarn shop in my hometown, so for me there was variety). 
Mary Maxim Store in Toronto Mall
I also found a large Michael's outlet in Newmarket.  I love acrylic and acrylic blends and was happy to see a variety of brands from Red Heart to Lionsbrand along with Patons, Bernat and Michael's house brand.  My only purchase there was a set of Susan Bates crochet hooks.
Set of Crochet Hooks
Perhaps the most exciting excursion for me was a visit to Romni Wools on Queen St W in Toronto.  This was yarn heaven!  I must confess that if I lived in Toronto, I would be down at Romni Wools every weekend (even though it took about an hour and a half to venture down to the city).  
Yarn Heaven
It was two full floors of yarn (you name it, they had.  And honestly, if it wasn't there, then chances were you probably couldn't get it in the city).  Downstairs the store carries all discounted brands and discounted colours at discounted prices (I believe it was an automatic 20%).   Staff were ready to help, but I just wanted to browse and savour the yarny goodness because there was just soooo much! 

Upstairs was brighter and yarns seemed to be grouped by fibre (all sock yarns were together, all cottons, etc).  The variety was staggering!
Back of Store
Check out the photo above: that only represents one aisle out of four (and its not even the entire aisle 'cuz I was standing in the middle of the store).  Below is a section to the front where you'll find summer yarns and lots o' knitting books and magazines (again, that's only half of the front 'cuz the entrance and cashier are not visible).
Front of Store
And I'll confess that I didn't even see everything because there was too much to see.  If I had the time, I would have come back on my own (sans husband and children, although I was a good sport and waited patiently while they perused action figures at the comic book store or plucked guitar strings at the music store).

I had promised myself a lovely skein--just one.  I ended up buying two: 400+ yards of a pretty silk-wool worsted blend (regular $30 and on sale for $18) and 400 yards of super soft alpaca in fingering (only $10). 
Alpaca Fingering

Silk-Wool Worsted Blend
Mmmmm . . . . yarny goodness at its finest :D

Friday, August 5, 2011

Home Again Home Again

Aww how I missed lovely Nova Scotia where the air smells fresh and clean, and there's lots and lots of green.  We only just got back last night, and I've still got a bit of unpacking to do.  Uploaded all my photos this morning, though.  Leafing through my snapshots, I found some nice ones.
CN Tower
The trip to Toronto was good, if busy.  No matter how long one stays, there's never enough time to see or do everything.  We managed to visit with most of the family and catch up with some old friends (miss you guys).  And of course, we hit a few tourist spots.  Our two big excursions were visiting the Royal Ontario Museum (to see those dino bones) and catching a Blue Jays game.
T-Rex in all his glory

No matter what its called now, this will always be "The Dome"
We also ventured downtown to enjoy the sights and sounds--and smells--of urban life.  Life in the city can afford one many experiences and amenities (good comic shops, large book stores and lots o' yarn shops--squeee!!).  Still, as nice as it is to visit another place, it sure is awfully good to come home.  
Spadina and Queen St W
Funny that as much as we enjoyed ourselves in the big city, we all came to the same conclusion: life is good in our small east coast town.  Be it ever so humble, there is no place like home. 
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