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WIP Update: Heart Blanket

Just a quick Work-In-Progress update.  Friends with a new baby were admiring a blanket they saw online with a heart design (I see blankets everywhere now! From Etsy to local craft fairs).  Thanks to Sarah Patterson’s Valentine’s Day Heart blanket pattern I was able to offer to knit one up for them. It’s been a quick project thus far.

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I went with a higher wool percentage for the yarn, but it’s such a thick blanket! I think that it’s best use may be to cushion hard floors for babies, as very few houses would be this cold to require a chunky knit blanket of this thickness.

I should have the finished project up soon, and I have made some notes  on Ravelry for anyone else interested in the pattern.

 

What you think is going to happen

So, after months of not knitting, I went to Knit City – a local event for knitters, dyers and weavers that makes shopping for yarn the rest of the year seem very lackluster.  I went with an actual list of yarns I needed to make patterns I had picked out before getting there. That is not my usual strategy. Normally I let myself get caught up in the excitement and awe, and buy whatever inspires me most – which is usually yarn that is beautiful but the wrong yardage for whatever it is I decide I want to knit when I get home. I have a dresser full of beautiful yarn that doesn’t quite fit the bill. Although this new strategy isn’t as much fun as the no-holds-barred kind of shopping I have done in the past, it is definitely smarter.

I also bought Caitlin Ffrench’s new book The Darkness Fell, in the hopes I could use the Icelandic yarn gifted to me for one of her patterns. Pip & Pin‘s booth was very inspiring for me as well. I think I will knit the Courtship blouse pattern for myself  (or our baby girl) next summer. I wish I had spent more time looking at patterns from Very Shannon, or was able to visit with Hannahmin’s Fibre, but there is always next year.

I finally sat down with a skein of some of the beautiful yarn I found and knit my first baby sweater! I decided on the very popular Newborn Vertebrae. My baby will be born in January, so a newborn knit seemed like the best place to start. I love how practical the design is for babies, and it will work with the baby clothes that were gifted to us as well.

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I finished the Newborn Vertebrae in less than a week, and immediately cast on the Baby Fiddlehead Pattern. The pattern is very vintage inspired, and I decided to go with a soft green as well (115 Jadeite from Coop Knits – Socks Yeah!). It reminds me of vintage green milk glass. I love it!  The Fiddlehead pattern is a seamed sweater, so I’ll get to practice piecing my knitting together. I’m so happy to have started knitting again.

 

Knitting wha?

I haven’t knitted a stitch in two weeks.  I have been elbow deep in a refresh of our basement suite for Airbnb, and it’s been kinda intense.  I think I may have even toned some muscles in the effort. Non-couch spare time activities can really pack a punch.  I have gone from exhaustion to productivity master in that short time.

We’ve learned a little while plodding away but there are a few things that stood out and I’d recommend to someone else trying to quickly set up an apartment.

Painting the ceiling – Instantly the space looked brighter and more fresh. We did this step first and used Sico paint for the ceiling and walls and it’s amazing stuff.  The primer is built in, and we didn’t even need a second coat. Fast and beautiful (…just like me. j/k).

Vinyl tile stickers  – I bought mine from the TheWallStickerComp on Etsy, but there are other options online. I was able to cover up some hideous tiles that looked like they were from a 1983 clearance bin and it was an instant improvement. A renter’s dream. They won’t fool anyone close up, but they do make an eye sore less noticeable.

Amazon Prime – I placed so many order for home goods and they arrived quickly and at a good price. Buying online saved me so much time. I could buy appliances during my lunch hour and trash bins between meetings.  [If you like this sort of thing you may like the 9-5 discount offered at shoeme.ca as well. ;-)]

It also helps to have parents who want to roll up their sleeves and have some expertise, so I am extremely thankful for their generous assistance.

When I get back to normal speed I’ll post progress on the Dewdrop baby blanket I have plans to cast on.

 

 

 

 

These beauts

I completed a pair of the Vancouver Fog fingerless gloves in some gorgeous tweed. The red is kind of festive, so I photogrpahed them on some green shrubbery outside.

The pattern was fairly quick as the cable pattern is straight forward and repetitive. I used 4 mm needles which is a smaller than the 4.5s called for, but the fit works well. Snug, but not tight.

These will be sold at Hannahmin’s Fibre‘s next show, so if you like them seek out her booth.

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I used my hand prop for drawing to model these. Inventive, no? 

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I’m working on a shorter blue pair at the moment, so there will be more of these to come.

Happy holidays everyone!

Lichen & Moss

So, I am totally going to knit the other things I said I would knit, but I am adding this to the list too.

Citrine

I was just gifted two skeins of Americo Brezo in Dark Citrine.  I love the colour so much! I wanted to knit something with texture and with two skeins I was looking at large shawl and cowl patterns.  The Lichen & Moss Shawl pattern is perfect.

This pattern in from Sue Lazenby, whose designs I am now in love with. Her designs, like Kate Davies’ work, are classic, and for me epitomize beautiful knitting design. The kind of knitting I’ve been working towards. All of my knitting thus far seems a bit like practice, and one day I will create something worth treasuring for years to come.  Classic knits like these are the garments you hold onto that not only last physically but aesthetically.

Lichen & Moss by Sue Lazenby

Lichen & Moss by Sue Lazenby

I should make it clear that I am proud of the knitting I have done so far, and the projects I have created, but I rarely knit for myself. This is something specifically for me, and it feels surprisingly like self care to knit for myself. All these stitches will be just for me, and it seems kinda beautiful.

Too much cheese?  …I’m worth it. 😛

I was a test knitter!

I was a test knitter for the first time for Kristel Robinson. I follow Kristel on Instagram, and she called out for testers some time before Christmas. I knitted the Twist Boot Cuff pattern in a turquoise wool the photos don’t do justice. They turned out really well, and I gave the final project as a Christmas gift.  Test knitting something of this size took no time at all and I love the collaborative spirit of the process. I was given the pattern for my efforts, and I felt good about helping another knitter out.

Boot cuffs may be my new favourite thing to knit. They are what I like to call an “instant satisfaction” project. I tend to love knitting smaller projects with patterns that have both easy sections, and more interesting stitch designs or techniques. This pattern checks all the boxes for me. Knit yourself some boot cuffs!IMG_8842 IMG_8843

For anyone else who has this pattern I can offer one tip for the project. I had cast on and bound off in a stretchy style not called for in the pattern, but when I reknit I think a regular bind and cast off would work better and help the cuff keep the shape when worn.

Christmas in April

This little update is so late, it might be considered early.

I like to knit for Christmas, but this year (uh, make that last year) I didn’t knit as much as I had wanted to. I still have a list of projects I haven’t given up hope on, but I feel like I may never catch up at this point. We spent the holiday in New Orleans, and nobody needs a knitted anything there. In fact it was so humid I turned on the A/C at some points. I’ve grown accustomed to the temperate climate of Vancouver, and weather that is not cool and temperate seems extreme. I have about a ten degree window of comfort. So, I was too busy to be productive before Christmas, and after Christmas I fought a virus that seemed intent to take me down for months. I guess I will have to make up for winter’s lack of knitting this spring. Just another reason to re-watch episodes of Outlander like the obsessed fan I am.

Here is a peak at our Christmas in N’awlins:

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St Louis Cathedral

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French Quarter

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French Quarter home in Christmas finery

The Mississippi

The Mississippi

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Lafayette Cememtary No. 1

There is much more where this came from, but I liked these snaps of the city to share with you.

The stand out gift I knitted for Christmas was a cowl pattern I purchased at Knit City 2014. The Riverbank cowl was a fun and interesting knit. The beautiful hand dyed yarn is from Sweet Fibre. I knitted the cowl in Bruin. This was the first time I bought a pattern and the yarn I needed at the same time. I usually buy yarn and hope to find a pattern for it down the line or vice versa. The pattern and yarn worked so well together. This is probably the best strategy to avoid the storage problem that my yarn stash has become. I wish the pictures of the project were better, but light is hard to find in the winter months here – the cloud cover steals the light that may get through before the 3:30 pm sunset – so my project pictures suffered.

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Look at that beautiful yarn varigation!

I have two gifts I will send sometime this year as belated presents. I’m knitting “Claire’s Capelet” inspired by Outlander (told you I was obsessed!) and this Lucy Hat. The Lucy Hat short rows gave me some pause so I haven’t gotten past the brim. Reading absolutely every note on Ravelry forthis pattern about how to make it happen didn’t get me anywhere, so if you have some insight please message me on Ravelry.

I think my next post will be a list of WIPs to help get me motivated.