Saturday, January 24, 2009


So Nugget spent the two weeks that me and JF spend in Newfoundland at JF's parents with 4 other cats. He came back 4lbs lighter due to all the playing and the fact that he wasn't the only trying to eat. This is a really good thing because we'd been having some issues with his weight, and activity levels. Our conclusion was that it was due time he get a friend to play with. So we headed out last Saturday to find him a buddy. We ended up at the SPCA and found a little guy that we fell in love with. So without further ado:

Meet Burrito.
His name was originally Brido, we didnt like it and there's a food theme with animal names in our family so we changed it to something that sounds pretty much just like his old name. (Names include Poutine, Cannelle (cinnamon in french), Baileys, Nugget and now Burrito, there's also a dog named Brownie).

We're not sure if Nugget and Burrito are really getting along all that well, mostly because they seem to be fighting a lot but I think its just play fighting. My comfort was finding them like this:
two cats that hated each other wouldn't be this close together and peaceful right??

Christmas trip and Christmas knitting

Oh boy did I ever take on too much xmas knitting, it's still not all done. and we're almost February.

Me and JF spent two weeks in Newfoundland with my family for Xmas. It was the first time he'd been there for the holidays and my first time since 2003. What a relief, I literally did nothing for most of the trip.

In my last post I had just started my dad's socks. A few days after xmas I finally finished them (due to lack of an internet connection for most of the trip, I needed to look up something so I could finish)

Pattern:Toe up sock with gusset this heel using the magic cast on.
Yarn: Oasis Yarn Aussi Sock
Needles: US 1.5 / 2.5 mm circ
Made for: Dad
Timeline: Nov 29th, 2008 - Dec 30th, 2008
Modifications: Just 2X2 rib, mostly improvised pattern.

He likes them a lot and wore them pretty much immediately.

Next up was a hat for my brother that I cast on on the way to NL and cast off the next day. I didn't want my brother to see me knitting it so I had to put my dad's sock aside for a bit. I knew my dad would see his socks cause I wanted them to fit him perfectly and so he got to try them on.

Pattern: A Hat Fit for a Boyfriend by Stephanie Nicole
Yarn: Cascade Superwash - Charcoal 900,
left over Blueberry, Green Apple and Chocolate for stripes
Needles: US 6 / 4.0 mm
Made for: Matthew
Timeline: Dec 21st, 2008 - Dec 22nd, 2008
Modifications: Added three 3-row stripes.

Somewhere in there I also finished my grand-father's Heavy socks which I started back in August on my trip to Maine.

Pattern:#101 Heavy Socks by Briggs & Little
Yarn: Briggs & Little Tuffy Smoke 87 & Oxford 86
Needles: US 3 / 3.25 mm
Made for: Pop N.
Timeline: Aug 22nd, 2008 - Dec 18th, 2008
Modifications: Added contrast heel, toe and cuff.

In the airport on the way home I cast on for my MIL's hat . She wanted a simple hat with earflaps but not like a snowboarder hat just so that her ears are very well covered. I this on with a very bad sinus infection, while extremely tired with no pattern and little idea of how I thought it might work. This is what I came up with.

Pattern: Ribbed Ear Flap hat by Me (pattern to come)
Yarn: Plymouth Yarn Galway Colornep
Needles: US 6 / 4.0 mm
Made for: MIL
Timeline: Jan 3rd, 2009 - Jan 9th, 2009
Modifications: None, it's all my design.

I also made an earflap hat for JF's sister it was this pattern but I forgot to photograph it before I gave it to her. I should be able to get a picture soon.

I also started a pair of gloves for my mom and I couldn't get them finished before I left so I brought them home with me. Because of the fact that we are seeing some people soon whose gifts I haven't finished, I have to put them on the backburner as well. I should photograph the progress soon however.

My most recent project has been a pair of Trigger Mitts for JF's grandfather. He's not a hunter but spends a lot of time outside in the winter shoveling (he enjoys shoveling). I thought that these would be perfect for him. I'm using two patterns to help me figure out parts of this, but it's pretty straight forward once you understand the basic construction of mittens and gloves. One of the patterns is something I got that's from Newfoundland, and it's the most common pattern for this type of mitt. I didn't follow the colourwork though and decided to go with Salt and Pepper on the back and thumb and finger and something simpler on the palms. JF is really enjoying these so they probably wont be my last pair.

Pattern: loosely based on Soft Mit-Gloves by Emily-Jane as well as a traditional Newfoundland pattern.
Yarn: Cascade Superwash - Chocolate 819 & Charcoal 900
Needles: US 4 / 3.5 mm
Made for: JF's grandfather
Timeline: Jan 10th, 2009 - Jan 25th, 2009 (I'm hoping to finish by tomorrow)
Modifications: lots. colour work, number of stitches. More or less improvised.

I'll post a picture of them when they're done.

All I have left is 1.5 pairs of Newfoundland mittens. The Pink and black one needs it's mate and I'm also doing a Purple and white pair for JF's cousins. I also need to make a felted kitchen set for JF's grandmother. Hopefully I'll be able to finish within the next 2 weeks. Then I can finish my mom's gloves. I really want to knit something for myself after that.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Just keep knitting, just keep knitting.....

So yeah, this xmas knitting thing is getting old. I am advancing however and have managed to crank out another couple FOs. I finished the pink/peach/coral socks:

Pattern: 3x3 Cable with Moss Stitch by Charlene Schurch
Yarn: louet gems fingering - soft coral 04
Needles US 1 / 2.25 mm
Made for: Nan N.
Timeline: July 7th, 2008 - Nov 25th, 2008
it didn't actually take this long, July 7th was the date I cast on with the original colourway. Sometime after that I changed colours, and did other projects between the two socks.
Modifications: Only really used the stitch pattern, did the sock over 66 sts. continued cables on heel flap.

I really love the pattern and will definitely be making myself a pair at some point.

I also made myself another hat. I realized that when I wear my hair up in a headband it makes my head bigger and non of my hats would actually stay on. I opted for a slouchier hat but not too slouchy cause I still want it to stay on by itself.
Pattern: Slouchy Copy Cat Hat by Terra Jamieson
Yarn : Susan Andrews Collection Inca Gold Marra - Dusty Rose 3995
Needles US 6 / 4.0 mm
Made for: Me!
Timeline: Nov 19th, 2008 - Nov 27th, 2008
I was working on this while working on the second sock. I wasn't really digging cabling on the metro so this was my commute knitting.
Modifications:I cast on more stitches in the beginning, I was worried about it being too tight. It worked out perfectly.

I also finally cast on my dad's sock. I said I would wait, but I saw someone at Ariadne's knit night doing a method that I found quite intriguing and I decided to try it. Two socks at once toe up, using the magic cast on. I'd wanted to do these socks toe up and two at a time, but I don't like the short row toe and I wasn't crazy about the one in Interweave. This one seemed simple and really nice. So I tried it and it's awesome. I probably should have cast on more stitches but oh well, the toes will be slightly pointy.
I'm a bit further than this, almost done the toe increases. It will be done in 2X2 rib once the toe is complete.

The last of my projects is not really knitting but I'm sure they'll get lots of knitting related use anyway. I decided to finally make myself some Placemat Sock Blockers, I've had the placemats for a while so it was just a matter of printing out the template and doing them. You can see them in the photo with the pink socks as well but here they are all nekkid:
Pattern: Sock Blocker by Maryann Wu
Made for: Me (Size 7-9 foot) maybe even more.
Timeline: Nov 30th, 2008
I really needed some sock blockers, but I'm not really able to spend $30ish on them right now so I decided to go this route. They're flimsy-ish but work really well.

I also procured some yarn this week, Ariadne got in some more Marra, and this stuff makes me weak in the knees and it's really inexpensive due to it being discontinued. I bought 15 balls of Fuchsia: The colour is not quite right, but is as close as I could get it. I figure that it might become Mr. Greenjeans but I'm still not sure.

Next is something I've been eyeing for a while. I went to a craft fair a while back to see Biscotte (shop link) and she was all out of the colourway I was really looking for. I did end up walking away with a skien of her Watermelon and one in Lavender fields. (I didnt take pictures before winding into cakes. I need to photograph the cakes). The colourway I was looking for was this one:
Biscotte & Cie's Kiss the Frog sock yarn.

I love the colours and I can wait to see how it knits up.. I just have to find a pattern.

I also cast on for the second Heavy Sock but It's such a boring knit that pictures were just not necessary. I'm still not sure I will finish.

6 down
3 in progress
9 to go (3 hats and some other optionals or at least later deadlines.)

Saturday, November 22, 2008

More FOs

Apparently November has been kind of a slow month. I only managed to get a couple more things finished.

First I finished the Icewine mittens (The second was considerably faster than the first). In the end I ended up ripping out the thumb of the first too to change the placement of the border and then make it longer. Here they are in all their glory.

Pattern: Icewine Mittens by aemmeleia
Yarn: Berocco Ultra Alpaca - Pea Soup Mix 6275 & Prune Mix 6284
Needles US 3 / 3.25 mm
Made for:Aunt June
Timeline: Sept 12th, 2008 - Nov 10th, 2008
Modifications: slightly longer thumbs and changed placement of border on the right thumb.

Next up was another simple hat for another cousin. I used the Boyfriend Hat pattern again because I quite enjoy the simplicity of it and the nice decreases.
Pattern: A Hat Fit for a Boyfriend by Stephanie Nicole
Yarn: Cascade Superwash - Gray 816
Needles: US 5 / 3.75 mm
Made for: Grant
Timeline: Nov 10th, 2008 - Nov 11th, 2008
Modifications: None

I also cast on a pair of gloves for my mom, but the colour was all wrong, so I'm waiting on another colourway. I also cast on another hat for myself, a slightly slouchier version that I'll be able to wear when I wear my hair up. the peachy-pink socks are also close to be done, but since the second looks exactly like the first I haven't bothered to take pictures. Next up will be the second Briggs and Little sock. Hopefully I can actually get most of what I'd hoped accomplished.

In other news I have started working again. I'm working as a Temp for an agency that I was referred to by janemumbles. Obviously it's not permanent but I'm ok with that. I figure that this gives me a chance to try different kinds of jobs while actually still making some money. Obviously this is cutting into my knitting time a little but I'm still hopeful that I'll be able to finish at least most of what I started. I'll be back soon with some more FOs and pictures.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

New FOs

I've really been trying to make some progress on my Xmas knitting. I was hitting a lot of trouble with every project, having to restart most of them at least once and most often twice. I decided that I need to get some of the hats scratched of my list, since they are almost instant gratification and would give me some more stamina to complete some of the harder projects.

First I did the Irish Hiking hat. I removed the ribbing, cause I don't think it's really necessary on a cable/rib pattern. This one is for my cousin, who requested a green toque.

Pattern: Irish Hiking Hat by Blackhorsefree
Yarn: Cascade 220 Wool - Christmas Green 8894
Needles: US 7 / 4.5 mm
Made for: Kyron
Timeline: Oct 16th, 2008 - Oct 18th, 2008
Modifications: Omitted ribbing

Next I moved onto a simple black/tweed tuque for my Father-in-law who prefers his hats to be a little short. (Not covering the ears, although it looks perfect on my hat model).
Pattern: A Hat Fit for a Boyfriend by Stephanie Nicole
Yarn: Plymouth Yarn Galway Colornep - Black 509
Needles: US 6 / 4.0 mm
Made for: Father-in-law
Timeline: Oct 19th, 2008 - Oct 20th, 2008
Modifications: Shorter to not cover ears

Since I felt like I was on a roll I decided to keep going with hats and moved on to my brother's hat. I decided on using the Montreal Tuque pattern by Veronik Avery because of the three colour combination. His colour choices have nothing to do with the Edmonton Oilers and everything to do with the fact that they match his winter coat!
Pattern: Montreal Tuque by Veronik Avery
Yarn: Lang Yarns Merino 150 - Navy 0035, Gray 0124, & Orange 0059
Needles: US 3 / 3.25 mm
Made for: Father-in-law
Timeline: Oct 21st, 2008 - Oct 28th, 2008
Modifications: none

At this point, I'm starting to get tired of knitting for others. So I decide to cast on a hat for myself to ensure that I don't get angry about all this knitting for others that I'm doing. I was looking at yarns at Ariadne and I got drawn in by the Classic Elite Yarns Jil Eaton Minnow Merino. I looked on ravelry and there aren't that many patterns for it yet but I did see one Foliage that caught my eye and so I decided to finally cast on for that pattern. Especially since it's been in my queue for a few months and I've wanted to make it ever since it came out. It was my first time doing a hat top down so the beginning was a little confusing. The verdict is still out there on the yarn because although I love the colour and the fact that it's superwash despite looking like roving, it's kind of fuzzy/pilly and splits very easily (due to its roving nature) and it is tricky to fix your mistakes (unknit). I do love the way it feels (it's beautifully squishy). I won't decide how I feel about it until I've actually worn it a few times. As for the finished product, I should have chosen a better cast off method cause it's a little tight, but that just means that it also won't slide of my head like all my other hats (I have big hair).
Pattern: Foliage by Emilee Mooney
Yarn: Classic Elite Yarns Jil Eaton Minnow Merino - Aqua 4720
Needles: US 7 / 4.5 mm & US 5 / 3.75 mm
Made for: ME!
Timeline: Oct 30th, 2008 - Nov 3rd, 2008
Modifications: none

Before I started on this hat streak I finished my first of four Newfoundland Mittens for JF's cousins. They're 7 & 12 (i think, maybe 8 & 13) and instead of using a neutral with Noro this time, I just chose their favourite colours with white and black. The first is for the eldest, whose favourite colour is "Rose Fluo" or Bright pink. I decided to pair it with black since that makes it pop. The second pair will be "Mauve" or purple with white.
Pattern: Newfoundland Mitts by Traditional Design
Yarn: Mystery Pink Merino (Zara-like) and Black sock yarn (Regia or Phildar)
Needles US 3 / 3.25 mm & US 2½ / 3.0 mm
Made for:
Timeline: Sept 27th, 2008 - Oct 16th, 2008
Modifications: added pattern repeats both in width and length, black yarn held double.

I still have a ton of projects to finish for xmas, but I'm slowing getting things done. I will have some extra time as I am spending xmas in Newfoundland and will be leaving the Quebec gifts until last and can knit on them while in Newfoundland, to be given in the New Year.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Mountain Adventure.

This past weekend was my father-in-law's birthday, and for his birthday he decided that he wanted to climb a mountain with his family. I was invited to come and despite my uncertainty about climbing a fair-sized mountain I went along for the adventure.

We went to Mt. Mansfield near Underhill, VT. It is much bigger than the only other mountain I've ever climbed Mont St-Hilaire. we set out early Sunday morning and got started on the mountain around 9 am. I started to get discouraged pretty early on because my asthma was giving me hell and making me extremely out of breath. At some point I'd pretty much given up but then I got a second wind and upon seeing this I just couldn't stop, I knew I wanted to see it from the top:

View from (almost) the top.

We finally made it and although the pictures don't really capture it (it was a bit foggy and the pictures show this) it was beautiful, absolutely the best time of the year to climb a mountain. We ate lunch and then started walking towards our descent point. shortly after we started to descend it started to snow (I'm not even kidding). It finally stopped and we kept coming down very slowly (I always thought that coming down was faster than going up but it was wet and slightly slippery so we came down extremely slow).
Those little white dots are snow people!!

We finally got off the mountain and everybody was in pain. Getting up and down has been the hardest thing ever for the last 2 days. But I'm still very glad I did it. I probably won't be doing that size of a mountain again for a while. I figure I'm better off building up to it.

Sewing: DPN case

I got a sewing machine for xmas last year and I hadn't really used it due to lack of a sewing space. Recently I did some cleaning and re-arranging in my office and created a sewing nook for myself. I've been wanting to make myself a DPN case for a while now and last week I finally did so.

All rolled up

other side
closed unrolled.
open needles hidden
fully open.
I used some fabric that was bought specifically for this purpose over a year ago with some fabric that I bought recently. I used snaps for closing the case and I used clothing labels to label the pockets (I have a full set of dpns and wanted them to stay organized).

I hope to make a couple more to perfect my sewing and then eventually start selling them on etsy. I'll let you know when they're up.

More stash

Just an update on other random stash I've acquired in the past few months.

Robyn's Nest
sock clubs:

July's kit which is a dye your own and it came with Kool-aid to dye with. I can't wait to try it
August's kit which was designed by Robyn and dyed by Tanis Fibre Arts
September's Kit.

The ladies at Ariadne decided to put my favourite yarn on clearance and I obviously couldn't resist. I only bought two colours in christmas-y colours to maybe make something for the holidays.

Earlier this summer I stopped by Les Lainages du petit mouton and found some Regia on sale as well as a very bright Noro (probably for another pair of Newfoundland mittens).

At my first visit to Effiloché since just after they opened I spotted Ranco Multy which for a 100g sock yarn was fairly inexpensive and I rather enjoyed the colours:
I made another trip to Ariadne a little more recently to aquire some yarn for my xmas knitting. Some Lang 150 merino and was also tempted by their new Koigu.
destined to be a Montreal toque for my brother

I'm contemplating the Chevron scarf in these two colours.

I visited my LYS here on the south shore Saute Mouton and fell in love with the colours of this OnLine sock yarn:

Later that same day I stopped by a Quebec chain of department stores (known for being fairly cheap in quality) just to check for something, I stumbled into their yarn section and low and behold they now carry Briggs and Little tuffy. I grabbed two colours that I hadn't seen before:

And last but not least is some Cascade 220 superwash from Robyn's Nest also for some xmas knitting. I ordered this special from Robyn. She has a multitude of new colours of the superwash in her store now.

This will probably be the last of my stash acquisitions for a while. At least until I start getting my xmas gifts. :D

Icewine mitten and Alpaca yarn

So I started knitting the first Icewine Mitten only to discover that the green I chose didn't work at all with the purple. Too dark and barely visible when knit in fair-isle. I set out on a hunt for a better green and finally found an Ultra Alpaca supplier in Montreal. I set out to Effiloché hoping that she would have one of the lighter greens I saw online. (She had two). I chose a colour called Pea Soup mix (love the name) and while I was there I decided that I should buy another colour to go with the darker green for a future project. I settled on a colour called Winter Squash (I'm more and more attracted to oranges and more autumnal colours. I will probably make Kate Gilbert's Wintergreen mittens with these colours.

Pea Soup Mix
Winter Squash

I did restart and finish the first Icewine mitten. I really like the pattern, and once I changed one circular instead of dpns things started going much smoother. ( I was getting bumps because of fair-isle and dpns blech!) Here the first mitt: