At the time I am typing this I am a pattern repeat and a border away from finishing the Mountain Chickadee blanket. This project coincided with cherry blossom season, and our ancient cheery tree exploded in white blossoms at the same time, so I took the pictures next to the tree. I am not that experienced with lace knitting, but this has been the easiest pattern to memorize and knit thus far. At any given point it was easy to see where I was in the pattern so I could correct stitches as needed before getting to the end of the row and realizing things were not matching up. For me the easy patterns with high impact are the most fun to knit. I added a few repeats to the length, so I created an extended version of the second smallest size in the pattern (in case you notice how long the rectangle really is).
All of my projects this year have been dictated by my yarn stash. I have purchased a fair amount of yarn in the last few years and have been committed to knitting my stash before buying new yarn. Knitters can be placed in two yarn strategy camps – the “yarn stashers” and the “buy-yarn-as-you-goers”. I am trying to become the kind of knitter who buys the yarn needed for a project at the time the project begins. I see the potential in every ball of yarn and it’s so exciting to bring the yarn home and imagine the completed project, but at this point my stash feels like a giant to-do list. Each completed project makes me feel more satisfied.
The amount of half started projects has diminished too. I have two projects I started and haven’t completed, but I’ve made plans to pick those up. I started a list of WIPs last summer and from that list all that remains is the Lucy Hat. I tried to start where I left off but then tore it all back again. The other WIP yet unmentioned was a lace weight wrap I began with a skein of Americo’s Abrazos in a slate blue. The comments in Ravelry echoed my own feelings about the project; that it was a beautiful yarn, but the knitting was incredibly boring. When I gave it half a thought, it was no surprise that lace weight stockinette stitch would be some drudgery and after spending more hours than I like to recall on untangling the skein in the first place I needed to do more with it than knit a rectangle. I decided to try and find a lace weight singlet/ tank top pattern instead. The yarn is so soft and light that I think it’s better suited for a summer garment. I decided to attempt the Quince & Co Azalea tank without the lace border as the textured yarn wouldn’t work well, but the shape is lovely. I’m making the small size so I should have enough yardage. Hopefully what I imagine translates to the needles. I’ll probably pick this back up in summer to knit since the yarn itself will becomfortable to knit with, but I bought the patten yesterday. Is that organized, or a bit horder-ish? 😉
I just realized I photographed the Mountain Chickadee upside down, but I still think it’s pretty.
I went to the yarn store again. I felt less guilty about it than I did the last time, as I have made a serious dent in my yarn stash. I knitted up every last bit of cotton I had, so I needed to replenish the stock. When I got to the store the yarn I had in mind was sold out, so I browsed until I was inspired. I found some beautiful cotton and linen blends. Something about the idea of dressing up onions and produce in linen seemed so luxurious. I think I may tweak my pattern a little so that the fabric of the bag gets more attention. Seeing skeins of yarn lined up makes me feel like I have jewels in a box. They are so pretty.
These skeins are laying on a cotton blanket I have plans for too. I would like to make new covers for the large cushions I have in our living-room. I want to sew two pillowcase-like sacks out of the cotton blanket fabric. Repurposing the blanket is a good idea as I have a surplus of bed linens, but badly in need of new cushions covers. Still, the idea of cutting it is making me winch like I was cutting off long hair. It’s going to happen though, and I am going to love those cushion covers (I hope).
This produce bag I made is from a blend of cotton and viscose. The colours from this Welsh hand-dyed yarn are beautiful. I will be selling it on etsy, along with others I have completed, very soon.
I have also been working on this lingerie piece for a friend of mine. I changed the pattern a little, and made modifications, and then found myself stranded in unknown territory. To finish it I will have to create a new top section, and because of the brain power that will take I have put it down for awhile. I need a eureka moment. In the meantime I have to rip out the top section I first attempted, but failed to execute.
The lace pattern is lovely, and the blended linen and cotton is so soft. I really hope I can make it work.
In between fun projects I am still untangling a ball of Americo yarn. I refuse to let it win. I will untangle it. In fact, I am seeing the light now, but it’s been a long mile of tangled string. A MILE of knotted thread! (Can you hear the insanity creeping up?)
We went to Toronto for the weekend in the middle of April. It was just before the weather turned Springy in Montreal, and Toronto for that matter. It rained most of the time, but really, that just makes for good shopping weather, and I love shopping on Queen Street.
Two of the shops I visited were yarn stores and I bought something in both. The Knit Cafe was a repeat visit. I stopped in last time I was in Toronto. I bought some yarn for my next project; the back-to-school vest for Eli. I also picked up some Noro for a shawl project. I wish there was a Knit Cafe where I lived. Their classes look like so much fun! I could finally learn to crochet. It also made me wish I had knitting friends. I do know people who knit, but not in my city. While in Toronto my friend Joanne showed me the wool socks she has been making, and it struck me that looking over your friend’s knitting work is almost as satisfying as admiring your own. (Mrs. Brown, thank you for sharing your pictures!)
The second shop I kind of stumbled upon. Americo is a beautiful store, with gorgeous yarn. I was a bit transfixed. I bought something even though I didn’t have a project in mind when I went in, but I wanted to leave with a piece of the dream, so to speak. I bought a hank of the Abrazos, a lace weight blend of Pima Cotton and Bamboo that I will be making a fine gauged shawl with for my friend Becky’s birthday present. I think it will be perfect summer knitting. I already feel the gratification. I imagine myself going back to Americo’s when I have a really special project in mind. If you click the link to their website you can imagine how luxurious the yarn felt, and also see the patterns they offer in store. All very chic. The photos below were from a phone because I did what I do on every holiday – forget the camera at home.
Oh Toronto, you had me within 2 blocks really.
Since I have been home I have finished the small details on the rest of my projects. I completed the labels for the Mad Men themed gift, and I really liked how they turned out. I think I’ll do this theme and coordinating label thing again. I took the picture with the last of the evening light in my kitchen, so I apologize for the weird lighting:
I also whipped up a baby bear hat for Mrs. S. It’s placed over a vase so it stands up.
I then boxed up 5 packages and took them to the post office where the woman at the counter told me I should really get a postal service card that saves you money on shipping. I think she is right, as I have 2 more packages ready to go at my door, and more are surely to follow.
The crib is assembled, the quilt is quilted, and the stuffed owls are hung up, so I’m also ready for my visitors too.
I hope everyone likes what they get in the mail. I am of to cast-on for Master Eli’s vest, who seems to grow a full size every time I announce I will be making him something.