Sunday, August 1, 2010

A coat to dream about

It’s picture time!
First up, pictures from my trip to 7th Heaven Alpaca Farm in June 2010.  Fuzzy Head came with me to watch the annual alpaca shearing. 
DSC01810 Holding down the first alpaca as they are finishing up and ready to flip the table back over.  We missed the real action, we came in just as they were finishing.

DSC01811 The yarn selection available to purchase.  Fuzzy Head is blocking the view of the yarn I ended up buying, pictured here:
DSC01841 This is a delightful alpaca blend.  The tag was mega confusing on these because the two skeins were tied together with one tag that says 245 yards and 4ish oz, so I assumed that between the two skeins, that’s what I was getting.  I weighed them only recently (when I got my yarn scale from Knit Picks, eeeeee!) and together they weigh just over 8 oz, so the tag was only for one of the skeins.  I’m not sure exactly how many yards I have, but I’m hoping to make a pair of mittens and possibly a hat, but we’ll see.

This little baby alpaca was available for petting, but kids kept getting in the way.  Kids ruin everything.

DSC01817 These fluffy ones were waiting in a barn for their turn, we left before we got to see them sheared.

DSC01816 This is the alpaca from the first picture, all naked and romping around in the field.
My newest baby:
DSC01852 Hello spinning wheel.  I love you.  You’ve easily doubled my spinning speed.  I powered through the rest of the bag of my rust coloured wool, which I have been working on since I learned to spin earlier this year.  I carded the last of it over a couple days when I saw how quickly I was going through it with the wheel.  Also pictured above is my yarn scale, on the little table next to the wheel.

DSC01844 This is my Alpaca Acres roving from Vixen, spun up over a weekend with my wheel, being turned into:
DSC01854 My very first handspun project!  I’ve got a few skeins of my other hand spun yarns, but this is the first thing I’ve made with something I made.  This will be a spiral cowl – a perfect little project for the amount of yarn I have.
Thinking about Christmas presents now.  Last year I was all about making gifts for everyone, and it nearly killed me.  I had to plan all year to get everything made in time, and I had no time to work on my own projects.  I would love to do that again, but I don’t have enough time now this year.  I’ve got a few small projects picked out for gifts, but not for everyone.  I’m trying to think of projects that are easy, that I could make for everyone, that they would get some use from.  My first thought was felted potholders, but I’m still thinking about it and I wouldn’t be doing it for this year’s gifts.  Any suggestions?  Christmas presents for extended relatives this year will be home made red pepper jelly.  I bought the canning jars last week and I’m just waiting for red peppers to come into season.
Happy knitting everyone!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Keeping my cool

Knitting updates!
Picked up and finished some impulse projects.  I made a pair of yoga socks for myself, Tam Tam, and for Yoga Mike.  I improvised my own pattern using a base pattern from my toe-up sock book, and just left out the toe and heel.  The patterns I saw on Ravelry for yoga socks were kind of awful and boring – just a plain ribbed sock without toe and heel and no interest whatsoever.  I think the socks I made are much more interesting.
My other impulse speedy knit is Kassa’s dog sweater.  Kassa is Slim Jim’s new dog who was given to us by one of my former sbux managers who needed a good home for her.  She’s a very svelte Walker Hound with big floppy ears and poor body heat production.  I made the sweater in about 3 days, and it’s pretty adorable.  No pictures yet because I was so excited to give it to Slim Jim and make Kassa wear it that I forgot to snap a few.  Slim Jim promised she will force Kassa into it once it’s not deathly hot outside.
In person news, I am moving again.  Fuzzyhead and I decided not to stick around with out inconsistent and unreliable landlord to find out what was happening with our current home.  We were never on a lease (because we’re stupid), and when we asked for a lease, we were told they couldn’t because they didn’t know what was happening with the sale of the house.  We live in a semi and the property was split in May so they could sell the two units separately (and get a lot more money than selling them together).  Selling either home was not even mentioned when we agreed to rent starting in March, and by April, the house next door was up for sale.  We asked for firm answers about whether we would have to move, or if we could have a lease guaranteeing that we would be safe where we were, and we were turned down every time.  He was super surprised when we told him we were leaving to find something more stable.  He was banking on us staying in the house and paying his mortgage for him until he could sell it and tell us to leave.  I don’t like renting.
On the bright side, we found a great place to move into for September 1, with lots of character and a few more perks than our current home.  We’ll have two bathrooms now, and a fenced yard with a deck.  The rent is a little more than what we pay now, but we’re cancelling cable which will free up some cash each month.  Cable is disappointingly expensive for what you get, and we’re better off with our vast collection of TV shows on DVD.
Happy knitting!

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Dennis Quaid wants a coffee!!

Knitting news and updates!  Get ready for the yarn:
This sweater vest was started literally a million years ago after my very first knitting field trip to the big city.  I bought Sensual Knits by Yahaira Ferreira and this seemed like the quickest project to satisfy my need to create a hand knitted garment.  I bought a cotton/angora blend by Debbie Bliss on clearance from Herrschners, and as it turns out, didn’t quite buy enough.  I bought 5 balls, and I came so very close to the end of that last ball that I nearly cried.  I had it in two pieces ready to stitch together when I realized how little was left.  I put the whole project aside for a long time, and got the courage to pick it up and use the last of the yarn to try and finish it.  It turns out I had just enough to sew the shoulders and sides, and pick up a few rows around the neckline to finish.  I used every single scrap of yarn for that neckline, some of them were so short I only got 3 or 4 stitches out of the piece.  Picking up a border around the sleeves was optional (although I wish I had enough to do it), so I left it as I had it.  Voila!  Stylin’ green sweater vest.
My ribbed bolero, made using the angora/wool blend yarn that Tam Tam got me for Christmas.  I only had three balls of it, so I needed a project to show off how gorgeous and soft the yarn is, but also be small enough to use just 3 balls.  This project was perfect.  It used the exact right amount of yarn, and it was a super fast knit.  I think I finished this one in a week.
Moving right along with my new love for spinning, I am finally able to take the bag of beautiful orange wool and turn it in to yarn.  I got this for Christmas along with my learn to spin kit, and now I know how to use it!  Yay!  This is spinning up pretty thin, so I’ll get a lot of yardage for my 100 grams.  I’ll see how much I get out of this bag before deciding on a project, but I’m in no rush.  I like having a spinning project available on the side for when I’m in the mood.
It’s been a while since I actually finished this, but this is my very first handspun that I made in my spinning class.  It’s a white corridale wool that we dyed in a crock pot.  I chose oranges and yellows for this yarn, although now I don’t know what to make with it.  It’s a little over 50 grams, but it’s my first handspun baby, and I need a special project to show off the wool.  Any suggestions would be appreciated!
My latest and current project, this is my honeycomb blanket that is helping to use up the Bernat SuperValue I originally purchased for Fuzzyhead’s LOST scarf.  The Lost scarf got frogged, so this is recycling and re-using at its best.  I love the texture of this blanket, and that I don’t have to use more than one colour at a time (the gathered sections of grey are slipped when you work the white, and then knitted when you do the grey sections to hold it together and pull it into the honeycomb shape).  It’s going to be a cute little lap blanket, or maybe even a baby blanket for a deserving youngster.
Another update from my finished spinning class.  This is my completed colour wheel set of yarns – all carded (we only had primary colour rovings to work with), spun, and plied.  It took me a while to decide on a project to display this practice work.  I’ve decided on a wreath made of little rainbow coloured sheep – each colour will be knit into a small ball and stuffed, then a little sheep face and feet will be attached to each one.  It’ll be cute, I promise.  This one is kind of on the back burner right now while I get my groove back in to socks.
This will be delicious yoga socks – no toe and no heel for good grip on the mat.  This yarns matches my green bamboo yoga mat and I’m excited to finish them and show them off at class.
Happy knitting my lovelies!  Love your mothers tomorrow.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Troll hair

Knitting updates!  DSC01678 DSC01679  DSC01680
I have learned to spin, as mentioned in other posts, and two weeks ago we learned how to card!  Tamster bought me some hand carders for my birthday (very belated by the way, my birthday was in January and I received my gift in March).  Our homework from spinning class was to first of all spin the primary colours (from roving that was already dyed that we bought at Lily Lee’s).  Then the next week we mixed the roving to make secondary colours (see pictures above).  We spun those up, and then moved on to make tertiary colours.  The assignment was to make a colour wheel.  I’ve carded almost all of my tertiary colours, and I’m not sure how I want to present my final colour wheel.  Our instructor made simple leaves out of each colour and sewed them to a black square.  I think it would be super cute to make 12 little baby skeins to attach to some kind of background.  I love spinning!
My primary colours, spun, washed, and looking cute
My original handspun, with my primary colours, and my adorable sock project bag which happens to be a perfect size for spinning in progress.  My first handspun has now been dyed and I’m deciding what to make with it.
Also, I now live with Fuzzyhead, and this is my knitting corner, conveniently located in the living room for easy access to knitting while watching TV.
Thanks for checking in readers, I think I’ll be having a knitting and spinning day. 

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Mr. Bear is a wonderful model

Mr. Bear, modeling the newly finished bamboo baby sweater.  He is not mentioned the fact that I have yet to produce clothes for HIM.
The baby sweater is complete!  This was the first project completed from the Vintage Baby Knits book I got last year, and I adore it.  It hangs beautifully, the shape is adorable, and I love the little hood.  It’s missing buttons, but those will come soon.
Blocking really made a difference with this one, the pattern is so much nicer when it lies flat:
In other knitting news, I have finished chart A for the Bitterroot Shawl.  That’s all 3 repeats of the chart, that’s 153 stitches my friends.  Now it’s on to chart B!
Didn’t end up taking knitting with me on my trip to Disneyworld.  The carry-on rules were getting silly, and it was only a 2 hour flight.  I also didn’t have a lot of down time to sit and knit in my room.  We got up early each day to get to the parks, and because all the dinners were booked for later times (after 7:30), we didn’t get home until it was time for me to fall asleep.  American channels are lovely though, I watched criminal minds almost every night as I drifted off to sleep.
Moving in a few weeks, eeeeee!  I start packing non-essentials tomorrow after I get some boxes from the bux.  We get our key on the 27th, in time to measure and clean a bit before moving week, which starts March 1.  Yay!  My own little home with fuzzyhead!
Till we meet again lovelies!

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Going to Bedfordshire

Working on two projects at the same time, Catherine must be rubbing off on me.  I’m diligently making progress on the bamboo baby sweater, which will most likely end up on my naked teddy bears and not on a child.  The progress to date:
DSC01356The completed torso – front panels, back, button holes and all
The first sleeve in progress
One more sleeve and a hood and it’s all done.  I think this may be the simple project I take with me on my trip to Disneyworld at the end of this month.  I’m concerned about knitting needle rules for airplanes, but I might just put it in my checked luggage and work on a bit at night in my hotel room.  International knitting, here I come.
AT THE SAME TIME (and this is big for me):
My first shawl attempt.  Catherine and I were supposed to start at Monday night knitting, but that has been delayed for a whole, so I started very carefully on my own, and I think I’m doing just fine.  It’s not really one of this mindless projects I can do in front of the TV, so it might be slow going. 
Trying to find a nice place to live.  That’s right team, this soon-to-be 23 year old is moving out of the house, in to her very own space with her dear and darling fuzzyhead.  We’ve seen one townhouse so far, and right now we’re looking at other options, even though we liked that first house.  We’re very high maintenance renters from what I can see – we need two bedrooms, laundry hook-up available, and oh yes, pets allowed.  And not just ‘pets’ as in a cat, I’m talking about a medium to large sized dog.  This severely limits most searching, as any place we choose must be pet friendly, AND have suitable space for dog (like a patch of grass for pooping on).  We’ve got lots of time still, we’re looking for something that will be available on April 1.  There are a few more potential places on my list, I’m waiting to hear back about the pets allowed part.
That’s all I got for now lovies,

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Sizing up the competition

Happy New Year my dear readers!  The holidays are over, and I’ve changed my desktop pictures from festive holiday reminders to sweet sweet Avatar backgrounds.  I loved that movie.  It was a great combination of two movies I already loved – Pocahontas and FernGully. 
I want to own this movie, and so I wanted to be reminded of its awesome every time I opened my laptop.
In knitting news, Catherine, Anonymous and I are joining forces in a knit along!  We are going to start work on a triangular shawl called Bitterroot, which can be knitted as a great big giant shawl, or a smaller shawlette.  I am opting for the smaller one, as this is my first shawl experience.  I bought yarn yesterday from Yarn Indulgences at the Kitchener Market:
This is the same variety of yarn that Catherine chose.  I was aiming for an orange/rust colour, but given my choices, I decided on this lovely red.  I think it will be quite fetching with red beads along the edge.  I think I’ll fiddle around with the gauge later tonight, so I can start with Catherine tomorrow at Knit and Chat. 
At the same time, I am working away on a baby sweater for Tam Tam’s future kids.  I bought the yarn in the summer from Shall We Knit, and it’s been sitting in my yarn basket for too long.  I love making little things, and a whole sweater for a mini person is such a satisfying project, even if (hopefully) Tam Tam having kids is a far off thing.
My progress so far:
The back and sides are knitted together at the same time for a cute cardigan-style hoodie.  Sleeves and hood to be knitted separately and sewn on later.
I also made and finished a pair of thrummed mittens without much fuss or showing off…until now!
Bam!  Look at those fluffy things.  They keep my hands nice and warm, although driving with them on is a little tricky.  The outside of them gets nice and fluffy too, and the thrums catch on things sometimes and a little tuft gets pulled out.  I think it’s still in the settling down stage, where the innards are matting themselves together and the outters are doing the same. 
Starting back to work tomorrow after a nice long weekend.  We’ve got mega planning and organizing to do this month before we move the business to a building.  Our move-in date is February 1, and we plan to open the doors at the new store on February 8.  We’ll still do all our regular stuff (corporate breakfast and lunch drop-off, weddings, private parties, etc) but we’re also adding a daily breakfast and lunch to-go only business in the lovely storefront.  My next few weeks will be spent costing, writing standard production sheets, and planning everything to do with the storefront.  I leave for Disneyworld on January 22, so I need to put in my share of work before then.
Happy knitting readers, see ya next time