Friday, May 29, 2015

A Short, One-Sided Battle

A bee just flew into my sewing room and wont leave. 

So I guess that's it, the sewing room is now hers.  I concede defeat!

I wonder if she'll let me retrieve my sewing machine.  Or maybe I should just buy a new one...

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Yarny Prizes from the hkkal

So I was one of the lucky winners of a Grand Prize during the Holla Knits KAL earlier this month, and that prize arrived at my door today!

I picked the Lion Brand gift prize, which included a couple of balls each of four of their yarns.  I've never used Lion Brand before, so I was excited about this package.  I did a bit of research, shot off an email with my colour choices, and then promptly forgot about it.

Until today.

Lion Brand Gold Leaf
I chose white gold for the LB Gold Leaf after stalking the projects made from this yarn.  The silver grey was decent looking, but I thought that the lighter colour would look nicer.  I admit, it's a bit ugly - the gold leaf is pretty gaudy, more so in person than in the photos (it actually looks pretty good in the photos).

I suspect it'll look better knit up, and I think I'm going to knit up the Vermonter, a chunky hat pattern I've been eyeing up for ages now.  And I'll probably knit it up pretty soon too, because I'm curious if this yarn will look nicer in a project than in the ball.

Lion Brand Baby Alpaca
I chose two colours for the LB Baby Alpaca with the intention to reknit a hat for a friend.

Fornicating Deer Orgy
I'd knit yet another version of the fornicating deer toque for her a couple of years ago, but the colourwork was too tight making the hat too small, and the wool in the original hat was too itchy for her.  I'll have to adjust the pattern a bit to account for the finer yarn, but this stuff is beyond soft and fluffy, and the cream should pair well with the cowl I knit her this Christmas.

Lion Brand Superwash Merino
For the LB Merino Superwash, I decided on a bright read with the intention to knit more red accessories for next winter.  I'm loving red right now for winter things - my favourite winter boots are red felted wool, my car is red, and I'm itching to knit a pretty hat from this gorgeous tonal red a friend sent me for my birthday.  So maybe a pair of mitts and a matching scarf/cowl?  Something fun, anyways.  This yarn is quite soft and cozy, if much brighter than I expected.

Lion Brand Silk Chiffon Ribbon
The last yarn was the LB Silk Chiffon Ribbon yarn.  This stuff is a little weird, and is made up of shredded strips of chiffon.  Though despite the 100% silk label, I really suspect this is polyester.  (ETA: Silk it is!  It didn't feel like what I think of as silk, more like poly or rayon - but as Karlie mentioned below, it's illegal to misrepresent the fibre content, and a burn test suggested by MrsC confirmed it.  Thanks ladies!)  The odd part is that this 'yarn' doesn't have any colourways.  That means that what they have is what you get, and I don't think you get any say in the matter (not in ordering online anyways).  I requested whatever they decided to send me!  It's odd, but like the gold leaf, I'm itching to knit it up and see how it looks.

I'm thinking a small cowl or something.  Maybe the Three-Turn cowl?  It has to be a small project, because I only have one skein of this yarn.  I want something simple to let the 'yarn' shine, but I don't want just plain stockinette.  

I think, as of now, I am on a yarn diet.  I don't actually have any more places to stash all of the astronomical amount of yarn I've acquired lately.  I am working on it - I've started two projects lately that is using yarn that's been in the stash for over a year now.

Are any of you on a fabric/yarn/craft supply diet?  If so, do you count prizes/giveaways/presents in that diet?  I think those should be exempt, eh?

Monday, May 25, 2015

fo: tttkal Avana Shrug

This might just be my fastest garment knit ever.  I started it on May 13th (well, other than getting the provisional cast on - an annoyingly tedious but immensely useful start to knitting - over with the night before), and finished blocking it on the 25th.  Twelve days?  Not to shabby Heather!

Pattern: Avana, by Annie Rowden
Yarn: Juniper Moon Farms - Zooey, a lovely cotton/linen blend in dk weight
Mods: Knit the initial section at 11.5" instead of 10" to increase the armholes.  10" would've been too narrow.

Things I liked about this pattern:
  • simple and unique construction
  • easy fit
  • icelandic bindoff made a really clean finish!
  • the beautiful drape of the finished fabric

Things I didn't like about this pattern:
  • the lace stitch

Things I didn't like about this pattern, but dealt with because it was worth it:
  • the lace stitch

I did not enjoy doing the lace section, and considered swapping it out for something else.  I'm glad I plugged on though, because it turned out really lovely and was worth the headache that was the k3tog (knit three stitches together) and YOs (yarn overs).  Ugh.

I really loved working with this yarn.  It has a slight thick/thin texture, and while I had a hard time keeping my tension and gauge consistent, I love how much texture it added to the knit.  In fact, I knew this was the perfect pattern for the yarn, since the stockinette would let the yarn shine!

I hand-washed this before blocking, because after two weekends of knitting this next to camp fires, it smelled of smoke and sunscreen.  But uh, the fabric didn't soften up as much as the swatch did.  I know that linen does with use and washings though, so I think the garment will only get softer and drapier with time!  Plus this yarn is machine washable, which will probably help.

I've been wearing this sucker all day, and let me tell you, it's incredibly comfortable and wearable!  It dresses up a plain t-shirt without making it over-dressy (a bit faux-pas here in the Yukon), and makes a cool and comfortable layer for the summer.  This is going to be wonderful for Mexico!

And because I was sick of the stiff photos and I had a few kids laugh at me, here's some fun photos!




Friday, May 15, 2015

I'm Going on a Holiday! And making all sort of little things for it

Guess who's going to Mexico?!


In June.  OH DEAR GOODNESS I'M GOING TO MELT TO DEATH.  I can't really handle anything over 25C/77F, so uh, yeah this should be interesting.  It's for a friend's wedding though, and the resort we're staying at sounds lovely, so I'm determined to suck it up and wear as little as possible.

McCall's 6569
Speaking of, I'm working on a few pieces to bring along.  I want to sew a bathingsuit or two, and I'm even considering a bikini, based on everyone telling me that's all I'll want to wear.  I bought McCall's 6569 on my last visit down south, and placed an order for everything I need with Bra-Maker's Supply (hooks, padding, fabric, liner, elastic, etc.).  I've even started converting an older bra into a bikini, using this tutorial!

I started yesterday, and should've finished it, but other things got in the way.  I suspect that this is the source of my Startitis - I've been itching to start sewing swimsuits, but with ongoing renos my sewing room is acting as storage and there's just no doing anything in there.  But yesterday I got desperate and hauled out my sewing machine to the livingroom.  This, I suspect, is going to be the only way I'll get any sewing done.

I also started a pair of shorts last fall that I'd like to finish up for this trip, a pair of Grainline Studio's Maritime shorts.  Although at the moment, I have no idea where they are, so we'll see about that.

wip: Avana
In related knitting news, I've knit about 11 inches of my Avana coverup. This thing is just flying, and I'm kind of wondering if I can finish it this weekend while camping! 

Speaking of, I should probably go help the boyfriend pack.  Have a good weekend all!

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Startitis and the tttkal15

Ever since I finished my Cardboard Cafe, I've had a hard time focusing on one project.  I've started so many projects, both knitting and sewing, that I've sort of lost count.  I think I'm so indecisive because there are projects I need to finish by June 6th*, so of course I'll start anything and everything else.

So when Michelle at My So-Called Handmade Life invited me to join the Tops Tees and Tanks (TTT) KAL, of course I said yes!  And I had to start a new project.  Of course.

I'm knitting up Avana, by Annie Rowden.  And since I've been itching for an excuse to try out Juniper Moon Farm's Zooey, a wonderfully soft and cozy cotton/linen blend, it seemed like the perfect opportunity.

Juniper Moon Farm - Zooey
I swatched yesterday and managed to get the loose gauge (sort of - the loose fabric it makes means it likes to stretch) on 6 mm needles.  And truth be told, I cast on last night as well, despite the KAL starting today.  BUT I HAVE A GOOD REASON FOR THAT.  I had to do an invisible provisional cast on, a tricky technique and something I've only done once before, and since I knew I wanted something simple to knit at my appointment, I figured I'd get it out of the way last night.

wip: Avana

wip: Avana
Glad I did, because I've gotten some good progress on it, about 3.5 inches!  And I should get some more, because it is gorgeous outside - the sun is shining, there's bright new leaves growing on the trees, and a lawn chair in the yard just calling my name.

Hope you all have/have had as nice of an afternoon as I'm going to!

*I'll tell you about what's happening on June 6th later.  :D

Monday, May 11, 2015

Run for Mom 2015

There is absolutely Nothing I Made in this post, but there is something Awesome I Did.  I ran the Run for Mum today (eta: err, yesterday) in honour of my Mom!

My Mom, on top of being an awesome woman and my very best friend, is also a breast cancer survivor.  I talked about this before, on my old blog, and she's doing fantastic!  I'm so proud to be the daughter of such a strong woman, and I thought about her (almost) constantly on the run (because sometimes you need to concentrate on trying to breath or not stepping in dog poo).

The run is in honour of Moms on Mother's Day, but also raises money for breast health awareness.  The really cool part is that all of the money raised stays in the territory.  The Whitehorse hospital got a digital mamogram unit in 2009, entirely paid for by the Run for Mom.  Awesome, eh?

I'm not a runner, but I'd like to be.  I've started the Couch to 5k training program...many times.  This year, I've set a goal for myself - to be able to run the Millenium Trail (a very popular paved 4.2 km non-motorized trail in Whitehorse, winding around the Yukon River) by the end of summer. 

I started the first week a few days ago, and basically ran/walked the Run for Mom using the week 1 interval (run 1 minute, walk 1.5 minutes for about 20 minutes)...twice.

I am going to be in so much pain tomorrow.

Worth it.

Wednesday, May 06, 2015

Socks for Me!

Socks...for me!
Hey look, another pair of socks.  This time for me!  You might remember these, they were my travel knit for the Manitoba trip last month.  I actually finished them the first weekend in Manitoba, not long after I tossed my cousin the pair of socks I'd made for him.  :)
Socks...for me!
I really enjoyed knitting these.  They're almost exactly like my cousin's socks, only smaller.  I used Garnstudio's DROPS Big Fabel in the Wild Berries colourway.  The colour repeats were shorter than in the Green Mix colourway in the other pair, and the single large block of blue emphasized the repeats a bit more, but I really like this colourway despite this.  It's so cute with the bright colours!

Socks...for me!
I followed the Rye sock pattern (again), but modified it a bit from the other pair.  I CO 44 stitches again and did 2x2 ribbing along the leg (I have large calves, so "standard" women's socks normally don't fit me), but only knit these to 9 inches high on the leg.  Instead of continuing the 2x2 rib across the top of the foot, I knit straight stockinette except for carrying along a row of 2 purl stitches along the sides of the foot. 

Next time, I might CO more stitches, but add a line of a cable stitch along the outside edge of the sock.  Heh, it's true that once you figure out how to knit socks, you don't really need a pattern anymore!

Socks...for me!
And I can see why everyone raves about hand-knit socks - I can't believe how comfortable a well-fitted pair of socks are!

If you could, would you knit your own socks?  Do you think it's worth the time and effort?  I used to think not, but now...I'm starting to change my mind...