Sunday, December 23, 2012

{Hey! Hi! It's been a million years!}

Hi! Fancy meeting you here!  I haven't seen you guys in a while... I've been super busy settling in to my new post-graduation job and finding a routine.

Oh and then we bought the house! I know you guys have seen pics here in the past.  We moved the first week of December and have been settling in here. It's starting to feel like our own.

gratuitous living room shot.  And no - I'm not winning any mantle 
decorating competitions this year.  

But anyway! I'm here today because I found this sweater that I've fallen in love with!  I haven't been doing a whole lot of complicated knitting lately because a) not a lot of money for yarn these days and 2) (hehe) not a lot of time for heavy-concentration knitting.   Lately when I've felt the pull of the wool it's for something that I can do in front of the tv and turn off my brain.  And thinking back, it really was my winter and summer breaks where I got most of my big knitting done while I was in school.

So back to the sweater - I'm writing because it presents a dilemma for me.   First of all, this is it here:
Tilda in the Brooklyn Tweed new line up.  I love the raglan shape, the eyelets, and the delicate cabling down the front and even the little contrast edges at the bottom and the cuffs!  It has totally captivated me.  I haven't cast on yet though because there are a few things I don't like.  But what are a few uhh ... challenges... (cough cough)... when you're in LOVE?  We find ways to work around those, right??

Here's the thing though.  It's in worsted weight yarn, which I sorta promised myself I would graduate past because all the sweaters I've knit in worsted weight yarn tend to be too bulky on me. I really need to be down at DK and below.  BUT! I could just put in a bunch of shaping right?? Easy peasey on a top-down construction!  

This one is not top-down.  It's a seamed construction knit from the bottom up, as seen here in the WP4LookBook .   Go take a look at that link... I'll wait a second.

How in the world am I going to shape that without totally ruining the line of the eyelets that I love?? GAH!!  And why on God's Green Earth would someone design a raglan cardigan that has to be knit from the bottom up! DOUBLE GAH!!!

Help me out, Homies.  Help me to understand, even if you can't help me to knit this beautiful (if torturous) pattern.


Sunday, September 2, 2012

{Has it really been month than a half??}

I think it really has been more than a month since I last posted.  Crazy!    During that time I've knit a whole sweater:

This is A Very Plucky Cardigan by Kate Hiester and it's a fabulous knit!  Top down and one piece makes for a quick knit, then add in that it's also knit in worsted weight yarn and you get an entire cardigan in one month of weekend knitting.   The yarn is Vanna's Choice in a "grey marble".  It didn't feel all that great to knit with, a touch scratchy, but it's washed up nice and it feels durable all complete.   The fasteners in the bottom right of the photo are silver hook and eye closures  from Lyonwood on Etsy.  I just got around to ordering those the other day so they are still on their way to me.  I think this is going to be a favorite to wear in the winter!  I'll make sure I get a picture of me wearing it soon, once the temperature cooperates a litlte more.

Also, I bought one of these not long ago:

It is a single skein of Wollmeise in fingering, 100% merino superwash in colour Jeton.  I actually don't like it as much as I was hoping, considering I could have 2 other skeins of REALLY nice yarn for the same price, or 4 other skeins of pretty-nice yarn, ya know?  I wanted to knit a shawl with it, but it's only just this second occured to me that it probably isn't a good idea to do that in superwash.... will I be able to block it properly?

Ahhhh!  I'm already 3 charts in to The Dane Shawl!  Am I going to have to pull it out?!

Saturday, July 21, 2012

{A Great Find!}

I was browsing around Ravelry for my next project, when I came across this gorgeous pattern for the first time:

For the Love of Remnants

This sweater is amazing!  In fingering weight yarn, it's a perfect way to use up those ends and bits of sock yarn.   The possibilities with the colours are engless!   I think If I do it, I'll put in a v-neck, which I don't think would be very hard, and maybe a little shaping in the sides.

So when I saw that there were only 8 projects on this FREE pattern, I thought that was odd.   Why aren't more people making this one?  Well, it's only written for one size, but I don't think it would be hard to modify as it's just a sockinette tube, right?

If you've fallen in love and have to cast it on immediately - I apologize.

(not really) :P

Sunday, July 8, 2012

{Two in One Day? That's Absurd.}

Well, technically the last post was for yesterday... I just didn't get around to writing it yesterday. Forgive me?

TODAY though - I finished my quilted table runner!! YAY! **horns & cheers**

pattern: Bargello Christmas Wreath by Becky Botello

The bargello technique is pretty cool -  You sew long strips together and then sew them in to a tube that you cut horizontally at varying widths so you get that regular repeating pattern.  It went together pretty quick once I caught on!

Also the machine sewing of the front AND the back is new and so so much faster than the hand-stitching I was doing before.  The trick is to iron over the binding to the back and then sew in the ditch from the front so you catch the binding on the edge.  I had to be careful, but I think it turned out really well!

One last glamour shot: the front and back displayed together:

I think I'll have to "lend" this one to mom, then sew her another one so I can get it back!  (It fits my table much better than it would fit hers, don't you think? :P)

{Yes, I know it's summer}

The 100 degree temperatures are going on their 8th day today I think, and I've been sitting inside all cool... knitting toques and scarves. From wool.  Am I crazy?

Yes.  the answer is yes.

I skeined up my graduation gift yarn  - Madelinetosh Tosh Sport in Robin's Egg and cast on this cute set. First the Pooling Rivulets Stole by Yarn Floozies (obviously without the pooling) and then Hermoine Hearts Ron hat by Christie Aylesworth.  I love how the repeating yarn overs mimic one another so it looks like a set without them matching perfectly.  They both flew by really quickly too, which made for some great  non-investment knitting - exactly what I've been searching for lately.

This whole working-full-time thing has really taken the wind out of my knitterly sails.  I think I always saved my really complex knitting for the summer months so I could concentrate on it for long periods of time. All my big sweaters and shawls have been done during school vacation times!   I'm not sure what I'll do now... have I relegated myself to small projects like these?  We'll have to see, I guess.

Oh speaking of small... does this hat look tiny on my head or is it just me?

Saturday, June 23, 2012

{Quilts in Progress}

     Quilting! Sewing! I'm so excited that I'm finally going to get the chance to experiment with free-motion quilting today.  I'm going to start super duper basic, using this video here by lcvday for instruction.  She's got a TON of  videos, each progressively harder and they totally make me believe I can do this - so I'm excited!

     I got to go to the local quilt shop called Sew Many Quilts to pick out backing fabric today. Here's what I came up with:

     This is a quilt that will belong to a very special little girl.  This is the first of two for a set of twin girls.  I thought I would make them very different from typical frilly girly and then also very different from each other too.  Avoid all the stereotypes!

        The quilt is made out of a collection of fabrics from, which is sort of like the Knit Picks of fabrics: very cheap but usable.  I figured out why they're so cheap, though.  The thread count isn't as high as some of the nicer cottons.  In fact, I think you can see the difference in the sheen on the backing fabric versus the top I made there.  Also, when you buy their precuts (which they don't charge extra for!) you don't get a very good mix of fabrics.  You get a lot of solids and a lot of weird prints you that don't necessarily "balance" a quilt, if you know what I mean.  I didn't end up using but half of the fabric I'd say.  So does that still make it cheaper if you have to buy twice as many precut packs?  Yes, but not by as much as you'd think.  

     This is the table runner that I showed you here.  It's been done for a while, but I hadn't decided what to back it with.  Isn't this fabric PERFECT???  Even the theme of the fabric, that swoopy leafy feathery design, is very similar to most of the motifs in the fabrics of the runner.  I'm pretty much in love with this times 100, but it's promised to my mom.  Maybe I'll have to make her another so she'll trade me back. :P

    So I've already spray adhesived the quilt sandwich together and I'm experimenting on a scrap with the free motion stuff.  I'm going to have so much fun!  I'll let you guys know how it goes. :)

    What are you working on this weekend?

Sunday, June 17, 2012

{Current Goings-on}

Hello all! Oh how I've missed you!  I do read all of what you are doing, even if I'm not writing as much anymore.   I've been busy doing all kinds of post-graduation things.   Like working. (mostly working).

The Job is going well and I have no complaints in that area.  Like any industry I've had to start at the bottom and therefore don't have glorious and exciting things to tell you, but I am learning a TON every day about the world of banking and wealth management.

Hubby and I have been house hunting at the same time and it is SO EXCITING.  This is the one we're eyeing right now:

There are more pics of you click the link.  It's not 100% perfect but there are so many things in it that we never thought we'd get.  Major pros: beautiful new kitchen, pantry, fire place, 3brs, refinished hardwood floors, right beside a creek, tons of character. Major cons: not in the area we were looking for, no open floor plan, way over priced, right beside a creek (floor insurance).  We're working on getting officially pre-approved this week and then we'll enter in to the bidding process me thinks.

I've not been doing much at night after I get home because I seem to be totally wiped at the end of every day.  I hope this is not going to be the case forever, because I would like to take back a few of my hobbies. lol  I have had my outlet on the weekends though.

Just today I decided to take my new sewing machine for a spin after I spied this tutorial on Pinterest  (click if you'd like to see what my pinterest is all about) about how to make a zipper pouch on Skip To My Lou.   You see, I have never ever sewn a zipper before and I was WAY scared but the tutorial make it look super easy!  I pulled out my sewing bin and found a few pieces of silky fabric that had coordinated patterns.  I was worried that the fabric wasn't strong enough to hold up as a working pouch so I altered the pattern just a touch and included some scraps of quilt batting to give the fabric substance.  I suppose I also could have interlined it... is that basically what I did?  huh.

The result:

Super cute, right??  the stitching along the zipper isn't perfect, but it's dang good!  I messed up the sides royally once and had to unpick some stitching, but I'm happy with the finished result.

I'm also working on the Tara socks by Janneke Maat in a sock yarn that Jenny sent me AGES ago! (click on her link to read her brag about how she knit a pair of sock in 5 DAYS. Gah!)  I think it was my birthday last year, maybe?  It's called " handfargat sockgarn" and it's really great to work with.  It's durable feeling without being super scratchy.  It is pooling a bit, which is my usual complaint with multi-colour sock yarns, but I'm enjoying the pattern and the yarn anyway. :)

Other than the exciting stuff listed above, my weekend has been filled with laundry, gardening, eating our garden spoils, and time in front of the tv, which is just about as much action as I can handle right now. lol

Sunday, May 27, 2012

So... then that happened

Specifically this happened:

And damned if I ain't done.  I don't think it's sunk in just yet, really... that I won't be going back in the fall.

And then this happened:

(and it tasted delicious)

I've also been working at a new job now for about a month.  I started part time while I was finishing up and then my first day full time was the day after classes finished.  I haven't really had a break, but I'm not complaining.  I am really enjoying my job and I'm so thankful to have it.

It means that I haven't had a lot of time for this though:

Madeline Tosh Sport in Robin's Egg - a shrug maybe? I'm interviewing patterns.

A new granny square quilt I've been working on.   No, your eyes are not playing tricks - the blocks are not the same size. I haven't figured out my crochet tension yet...  Join with black, maybe?

Kitten in a box. The shoes next to the box are what the intended purpose was, but I think both kitten and box have found their shared destinies. 

That's what's been happening with me lately. How about you?  I'm going to try to post a lot more often now that school's out and the graduation/birthday/new job situation is calming.  

Hope you're having a great memorial day!

Thursday, April 5, 2012

{Here I Am!}

I know it's been forEVER since I posted.  I'm graduating in May and school is just bonkers, plus job shopping, internships, etc.  But don't worry, I haven't given up on crafting 100% . hehe I hope these pictures will be enough for you to hang in there with me until I return. :)  This is the non-boring stuff I've been up to over the last oh... 3 months or so!

New yarn from knit picks!

New compost in the backyard made from palettes.

A crochet experiment turned kitty bed

A Table runner made from this pattern from Craftsy.

Some closet organization.
($9 shoe rack from the dollar store + sticky hooks + some new hangers = one happy closet!)

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

{Buttons Buttons Buttons}

Buttons x 3! Three completed tiny sweaters!  I feel so accomplished.

yarn: all leftovers of green acrylic, blue and grey wool

pattern: Autumn Leaves by Nikki Van De Car
buttons: Cute Fat Birds from stephaniexu  

Buttons: Natural Coconut Buttons from stephaniexu (sensing a theme?)
yarn: left over wools

  Ta Da!  There will be some very happy babies in the near future. :)

Monday, January 30, 2012

{Alora's Quilt is DONE!}

Oh my gosh I'm so excited to show you guys these pictures.  I love this quilt!  It's so fun and soft and warm and smooshy!

fabric: Sunny Day by Connecting Threads 
 pattern: Strawberry Fields by Moda Bake Shop

I did the binding in the perfect shade of pink satin.  OH my gosh it's so soft!  But let me tell you... cutting that stuff was a such a pain in the butt! My ruler kept sliding around and I could not get a straight bias cut to save my life. lol  I don't think you can tell too much in the end though. hehe

Then, you may notice that the quilting is ... minimal.  I decided to do this because where the blocks come together are the only straight lines in the quilt and I don't have a quilting foot.  I keep putting off buying extra feet for my machine because I'm pretty sure I'm going to want an upgraded model soon, and some of the new machines come with those things, so I don't want to be buying stuff twice, ya know?

(as an aside: if someone is selling a used Brother machine, I'd be thrilled if you put me in contact with them!)

I can't wait to get it in the mail!

Friday, January 27, 2012

{New Commenting}

Hello Lovely Friends,

I played with my commenting settings yesterday to make it so they appear below the post.  Can you let me know how that goes? lol  Do you like the commenting system here? I wish for it to be the least annoying possible.

Let me know what you think?


Thursday, January 26, 2012

{Casting On Advice, Please!}

Starting tomorrow, Friday, Mr. Pie and I are headed to the cabins at Douthat State Park! YAY!  It's the park where we got married, so it's a very special place to us, and it's promising some dark and dreary weather, which is perfect for having a wood fire all day!    Knitting in front of the fire at the cabins may be my very favourite thing ever.

So of course this morning, when I should be worried about getting dressed and getting to school to work on my final paper, instead I'm worrying about what yarn to bring for a new project to cast on!  I'll have lots of knitting this time weekend, (and lots of writing time...hopefully) so I'm excited.

Dark and Stormy is one option - this is what I was thinking of using that Vanna Heathered yarn on:

(c) 2010 Splityarn

  This cardigan is top down with worsted weight yarn, so I wouldn't think it would be too bad for cabin knitting - nothing overly fussy and such, so it holds good possibilities. I would have to buy the pattern today though. $6.50 isn't too bad for a sweater pattern.  I would probably have to fuss with the side seams a bit to put some shaping in, but I've been admiring this sweater for so long!

Maybe a sock pattern?  I have a few sock books kicking around and that killer skein of cashmere sock yarn kicking around that I could probably just cake it and toss it in a bag along with my sock needles and have a pretty easy packing job of it.  I do need to finish the second of Mr. Pie's slipper socks before I cast on for more sock though.  In for a penny, in for a pound?

I also haven't knit a shawl in a while and I have a some pretty lace and sock weight yarns that could be shawls.  Do I want something really complicated?  Usually for cabin knitting it's what i go for since there's no distractions, but if I don't *finish* the project this weekend that means that it'll drag over in to the spring school semester which mean - let's face it - it'll be unfinished until at least May. 

There's IS this one shawl idea that I've had percolating for a while: the Cladonia Shawl pattern in this great colour changing yarn, with maybe a soft grey to stripe it with... 

So what do you guys knit when you're getting away?

Monday, January 23, 2012

{New Yarn!}

There's a general feeling out there, I think, that when someone gets something for free, that they don't value it as much as if they had bought it.  

I promise you I'm not that person.   I got my FREE skein of yarn from Eat.Sleep.Knit today!!  

Squoosh Fiberarts Merino Cashmere Sock in color "Bark"

If you are a yarn person and haven't shopped at Eat.Sleep.Knit you are totally missing out! Some of the best customer service, hands down, of any retail experience I've EVER had.   One of their totally cool perks is that with every order you get a little scratch and win ticket and I got one along with my christmas present this year.  And I won this yarn!  I am THRILLED!

In other new yarn news, I ordered some new yarn from Knit Picks to do some nice thick fair isle slipper socks for Mr. Pie:

Knit Picks Wool of the Andes in Worsted in Fedora, Winter Night and Dove Heather, respectively

And picked up some pretty acrylic yarn at a good sale Michael's was having:

Vanna's Choice Heathers in "Grey Marble"

At 1500 yards of worsted weight for $25, I didn't turn this down. It'll be enough to do a whole sweater for me!  I don't think I've ever knit myself anything in acrylic, and I like how this feels, so I'll give it a try.  I don't want to be labeled a yarn snob, right? :)

How about you, any happy stash enhancement lately? 

Sunday, January 22, 2012

{Baby Quilt Top}

Continuing with the theme of baby paraphernalia (hehe) : I started a baby quilt!  I've had these precuts from Connecting Threads kicking around for a while with my baby niece in mind; it's called called "Sunny Day". Then I came across this quilting pattern from Moda Bake Shop called Strawberry Fields Forever !  It was a perfect marriage!

I started cutting right away.  Do you know that feeling where you're so excited about a project that you drop everything and become obsessed? I love that feeling. Today, almost 48 hours later, I have this:

Ta Da! Isn't she pretty? These wonky blocks are right up my alley! No measuring! No matching seams! LOL They came together so incredibly fast.  Now, I need to figure out if I want to use some existing fabric that I have, which while the colours work is a flat cotton instead of the flannel, or if I want to order some yardage from this collection instead so it matches perfect.   Then for binding I think I want that silky/ satiny feeling fabric.  What IS that stuff? lol

It's 40" x 40" . Do you think that makes a good sized baby quilt?  I know this way I wont' have to piece the back. :P   I could add borders, I suppose. But I'm kinda digging it. :)

Friday, January 13, 2012

{Baby Sweaters Galore}

I've had a few friends come out and let me know that they are expecting!! I'm so excited for them (TWINS in one case!) so I've been furiously casting on since the day I found out.  Two down:

and a third on the needles!   Of course, I'm just waiting on buttons.  These two up above were from the Concentric Stripes Cardigan pattern, which is free.  I had fun mixing and matching some left over yarns in my stash and finished off a bunch of odds and ends!  The top one in browns is some wool/silk blend, along with wool for the accent colours and the bottom green one is mostly acrylic with some wool accents.

The next one is done in some Unplanned Peacock yarn and i'm loving knitting it. Updates soon!

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

{Look Ma, No Rolling!}

Ta-Da!  I picked out the cast off edge, did 12 rows of garder and booya! no rolling.  It's not my preferred look, but I like it better than how it was before, so I consider it an improvement.

And yes, that's the Christmas tree still up.  It finally started snowing last night! and it's sticking! So I couldn't take the tree down yet.  Maybe tomorrow.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

{Stephen West is a Genius}

Stephen West is a brilliant knitware designer.  I think the brilliance in his designs are how elegance meets simplicity.  When I went searching for a shawl pattern to show off the beautiful stitch definition in the yarn I got from Mr. Pie for Christmas, I found Boneyard.  Definitely simple knitting, but with a touch of interest in the garder ridges every 12 rows.   Then, at the end, I added a whimsical touch by way of another gift: the book Knitting Beyond The Edge.

I'll let you be the judge of their marriage:

I love how this yarn is such a beautiful semi-solid - tones of orange and even red show through subtly in a few places.    What I don't love about this edge technique is how badly it curls, even after a very aggressive wet blocking.  I've considered steam blocking or picking out the cast off edge to continue with a few more rows of garder, or even just picking up stitches on the edge and knitting some more rows with what's left of the yarn.

I'd love your opinion.   Here's to some very successful knitting in 2012!

The deets:
pattern:  Boneyard Shawl by Stephen West  and
            "Lattice Beauty" from Knitting Beyond the Edge by Nicky Epstein
Yarn:     Have you Any Wool Luxe Sport in Truffle