Time marches on.

September 10, 2009 at 6:18 pm | Posted in lace, pattern design, Random babble, stash, WIPs | 1 Comment

So much has changed since the last time I updated. For one thing, I’m unemployed now. Yup, the company shut down. With no notice. And is refusing to pay us for hours that we worked.

Needless to say, a complaint has been filed with the Labour Board by at least 3 employees, myself included, and we’re mad as hell about it. And really, who can blame us?

So now I spend my days desperately hunting for jobs. You know, in between fibres arts projects.

My old laptop decided it didn’t want to live anymore, so now I have a new one. Well, semi-new. Second-hand, but it’s better than the old one and is working just fine.

I performed on stage last month for the first time in nearly a decade. It was awesome! Lots of fun, and something I will definitely be doing again next year, so long as the theatre company runs the event again.

Summer passed rather wetly, and I can’t believe September’s here already. The weather, however, seems to think that it overslept and now it’s really October or November, because temperatures have been dipping only a few degrees above the freezing mark since mid-August, and we had a frost warning last night.

And joy of joys, my mojo is back! It’s been helped along by a nice package in the mail the other day, from Kristen. She sent me a metric buttload of old swatches, which thrilled me right to death!

My roommate and I went through them all yesterday afternoon, and some of the swatches have whispered to me their desired FO-form. So far I’ve got a hat in mind (really, the swatch itself is big enough for the hat, and all I need to do is seam the top), as well as a pair of wristlets. I suspect a stranded pouch or two may be in future, as well as plenty of yarn to practice tablet weaving with! (It’s not knitting, but I get to fondle yarn, so it gets a mention here.)

I do have a cowl on the needles right now, too.

You can’t tell from the picture, but it’s actually a forest green, not black.

It’s not much to look at right now, but it’s growing. I’ll end up writing up a pattern for it when it’s finished, no doubt. A free pattern, since it’s simple enough to do.

And I’ve also got plans for a pair of knit (and possibly felted) bracers, much like the ones shown here.

Little by little I’m also knitting some leprosy bandages to send off to charity, though these usually get worked on when I’m watched a movie or TV shows that has subtitles. Garter stitch can be done without looking at the stitches.

Yup, plenty of mojo to last me a good long while, if it sticks around!

Jakob seems indifferent to my happiness. Really, though, he’s just worn out from cheering me on.


What a stash!

September 6, 2008 at 1:04 pm | Posted in stash, thrift | 4 Comments

A trip to Value Village proved exceptionally fruitful yesterday. I managed to get quite a bit of yarn, nearly all of it 100% wool!

Three skeins of Briggs & Little Heritage yarn, for starters. I seem to be finding a lot of Briggs & Little yarn at Value Village lately, usually at least a skein every time I go in to search for yarn. Maybe they have a whole stockpile out back from someone who bought a bunch and decided they didn’t like it, maybe people just keep buying it and getting rid of it later. Either way, it’s a benefit for me. Briggs & Little yarn isn’t exactly what I’d call expensive, but it is something I’d have to contemplate buying, make sure it fits into the budget. Unless, of course, I knew I needed it specifically. But just grabbing yarn for yarn’s sake, no. I’ll continue to get my stash at Value Village, thanks.

The one with the label is 100% nylon. The smaller balls don’t have labels, but they feel exactly the same, the same airy softness, so I’m going to assume they’re the same fibre. Not sure what I’ll make out of them, though, but if I ever decide, well, at least I’ll have them.

These two skeins are from Macausland Woollens, which I’ve never heard of before, to be honest. 2-ply wool, a little rough in the skein but it might knit up softer, especially after being washed. I’ll swatch at some point and find out. They may make good winter socks if the yarn isn’t too abrasive.

I also managed to find a small hand loom, which I will not photograph and show here because I’m angry at it. See, it came without instructions. I have to figure out how, from the pictures on the box, to set up the blasted thing so that it can actually be used. No such luck at the moment. I’m sure I’ll figure it out eventually, but right now, I don’t want to see it, because if I see it, I’ll start fiddling with it again, and I just don’t have time for that. *chuckles*

No kitty picture today, I’m afraid. My camera’s battery is dying, and I didn’t get a chance to take one before the thing had to be charged. Next time, though, for sure!

Change of plans.

August 12, 2008 at 2:32 pm | Posted in 2klace, lace, shawls, stash, thrift, WIPs | 3 Comments

Instead of doing the Top Secret sweater for my Ravelympics challenge, I’m doing a self-designed lace pattern instead. It’s more fitting to 2klace, I think, and I really need to knit more things that I can also bring to work with me, after all.

I’m stuck on the name right now. “Chalices” comes to mind, but it’s not quite right. Any suggestions?

And for the curious, yes I will write up the pattern when it’s finished, so anyone who’d like to can knit one of their own.

I did a little more stashing the other day, too.

The pale one is a Pierre Cardin sweater, the third one I’ve acquired in as many weeks, with lovely laceweight merino yarn. I’ve got another two in various stages of frogging, too; one that’s a rich brown, and the other a delicious deep navy blue. The brown stuff is destined to become an Aquila shawl. I’ve got to tell you, puzzling out Finnish is not the most easy thing in the world. I’ve managed to figure out the pertinent words, like “rows” “knit”, “needles”, that sort of thing, and I’m hoping it’ll be enough to get me through the pattern.

No idea what the blue will become yet, but I’m sure I’ll figure something out.

Anyway, back to what I got distracted from. The other sweater in the picture above is 70/30 wool/nylon, which makes it just about perfect for knitting socks. I expect I’ll do a lot of dye experiments with the yarn from that, especially since I blew a load of money on some Wilton cake dyes specifically for yarny use the other day. I’m looking forward to seeing what fun colourways I can create with what I bought.

Nick has decided that going near the vacuum cleaner is a viable option only when it’s not being used.

Drive-by blogging.

August 8, 2008 at 2:51 pm | Posted in stash | 2 Comments

Remember this?

The hank of merino yarn that I bought from Cricket Cove for $10? It’s actually this:

8 smaller skeins of wool. It looks to be somewhere between fingering and DK weight. What do you think, guys? Does it look like there’s enough there for a full-sized shawl? I’d bloody say so!

Jeepers, that skein was deceiving at first! I was figuring there’d be enough for a somewhat wider than normal scarf in a good length, but now I’m easily seeing that it could be enough for a good shawl! Time to go through my backlog of knitting patterns and see what I’ve got that might be suitable for that colour. It’s tempting to dye it to something in a colour I might wear more often, since dark colours suit me best, but no, I think I’ll leave it as is. I’ve been trying to incorporate more colour into my life lately, and I won’t manage that by sticking to the same old stuff. I’ll give it a try, and if I still don’t like the colour on me, well, then I’ll have a really good present to give to somebody!

I wonder if the skein of cashmere/wool I bought at the same time is just as deceptive in amount… On closer inspection, it may well be, and I might have enough for a shawl out of that one, too.

So much to knit, so much more to knit with than I first thought!

Back and ready to blog!

August 1, 2008 at 1:34 pm | Posted in lace, Random babble, shawls, stash | 2 Comments

Howdy, all! Did you miss me while I was away?

(Warning, this post will be more photo-heavy than usual!)

My little holiday in Dartmouth went wonderfully, and I had an great time! Though we didn’t get to do all that we’d originally wanted, three nights away from home was just about right for us. Neither my roommate nor I sleep quite as well in unfamiliar places, and we missed our pets something awful, so coming back home was also a good thing.

To start with, I’d like to say that I can’t praise the Days Inn in Dartmouth enough. It was a very awesome hotel that was clean, well-staffed with friendly people, and allowed us both an early check in and a late check out. The restaurant attached to it, Favourite’s, had so much good food that I could have eaten there for weeks and not gotten sick of it. If you ever go, I recommend the potato skins for an appetizer, chicken florentine for a main course, and/or the apple cinnamon pancakes for breakfast!

Nice room, huh? King size bed, right on the corner of the building so it’s by default larger than the regular rooms, TV with all local cable channels… I liked it there!

At the Museum of Natural History in Halifax, we saw butterflies:

Including the above blue morpho that was kind enough to pose on a girl’s butt while we took pictures. (Also thanks to the girl for letting everyone take pictures of her butterfly’d butt!)

We saw cool preserved animals and birds:

And we saw some lovely scenery at the Halifax Public Gardens:

And just to let you know, I didn’t get to go to the yarn store in Dartmouth, because there wasn’t really enough time and we weren’t familiar enough with the bus routes to properly plan a trip out just for that. I did, however, get to go to another yarn store in downtown Halifax.

Yup, I went to The Loop, where the person working there was very kind and helpful, and let us use their swift and winder to make this:

It’s a skein of Skacel Merino Lace, wound into a ball. 1350 yards of delicious laceweight wool, in a beautiful forest green colour, and it only cost $17! I couldn’t get over how good a price that way, considering this was enough yarn to make a full-sized shawl from!

And just to make sure I had a shawl to make it into, I also picked up this:

The Arabesque stole, by Dorothy Siemens. There were more patterns there that I wanted, but since I was limited by credit cards, I decided to just go with the one,and one I could knit on straights instead of needing circulars or to bunch all the stitches up trying to knit a triangular shawl on straights.

So those are the highlights of my vacation, at least the yarny parts! More was done, of course, and plenty of fun was had, but this being a knitting blog and all, I’m keeping it short and sweet here, and doing a full post over at my personal blog soon, if anyone’s interested. (Just keep checking back if it’s not the first post there when you see it. It should take me an hour or so to finish typing everything up.)

Stashtastic to the umpteenth power!

July 16, 2008 at 9:51 pm | Posted in stash | Leave a comment

If I’m going to spend money that I technically shouldn’t, I may as well spend it on yarn.

For starters, I came back from Value Village for 5 sweaters to unravel. 2 bulky 100% wool sweaters, one of which is rather rough (will likely become hats with soft felted-cashmere lining) and one incredibly soft (possibly winter socks?). 2 laceweight 100% merino sweaters, one in heather shades of brown (might take a trip to the dyepot) and one in deep dark blue (will be knit as is, it’s such a beautiful colour). The third is a silk/nylon/angora sweater in red with a bit of white patterning that’s got no official plans for it yet, but just give me time!

No pictures of them right now, because Nick is being a butt and getting in the way of all my photos, so I can’t get a clear shot of anything.

I also picked up:

2 skeins of Briggs & Little 100% wool yarn, $3 for both skeins. Possibly will become socks, or a scarf. I haven’t decided yet.

3 bags of partial balls of dishcloth cotton. Will become numerous facecloths, because we need more of them around the house, and they’ll be good to practice stitch patterns on.

Living with Quilts, which seems to be some history about quilting, and then a bunch of pictures of different styles and patterns, which are probably going to be inspirational enough to help me start making at least a scrap quilt in my spare time.

And of course, here’s Nicky!

Getting in the way of everything, and meowing all the while. Still, he’s awfully cute.

And now I’m going to go lie down, because my allergy meds are kicking in and making me feel rather woozy.

Oh yes, and if anyone’s interested, I also recently signed up for a Plurk account. It’s kinda fun, actually, more fun than I thought it would be.


July 10, 2008 at 1:40 pm | Posted in scarves, stash | 1 Comment

After a monetary gift from my mother, I decided to make a little investment of the yarn variety.

I found all of this at Value Village, all for less than $10 for the lot. Not a bad deal, really, especially when you consider that one ball can be knit up into a scarf, and each scarf can be sold for $5 or $10 at the Christmas craft fair that my workplace puts on.

Assuming they sell, of course. And assuming that I’m still working here by the time that rolls around. If not, well, there’s always the city-run Christmas craft fair, if I can make up enough stuff to make getting a table there worthwhile. (The city-run fair costs money to reserve a table, whereas the work fair is free for sellers.)

And failing all that, then I’m sure there are some shelters around here that wouldn’t mind a donation of handknit scarves around gift-giving season. It won’t be much, but it’ll be something.

I figure that this stuff isn’t going to count towards 2klace, since it’s on ongoing huge project to get a whole load of stuff to sell and/or donate. I’ll eventually show the whole lot of my Ravelry page, maybe show them off here, too, but I’m not going to count each scarf as being an FO here. Too many scarves to be interesting, really. Or if I do count it, I’ll count the whole batch as one project, since it’s all working toward a singular goal.

And the scarves are easy to knit at work, just repetitive knit stitch over and over until the yarn’s gone. Good to keep my hands busy and to make me feel productive.

Though the scarf is a bit too wide, I think, and kinda tight on the US 10s I was using, so I’m thinking I might frog it tonight and cast on again on US 10.5 needles instead, with less stitches. Make the yarn last as long as it can.

My aim is to get at least 20 scarves knit by December. Since I don’t have 20 balls right now, this is going to involve a few more trips to Value Village for more novelty yarn, which I certainly don’t mind. I like stash enhancement, even if it’s just novelty yarn that I don’t normally knit with, me being a big lace ho and all. *laughs*

I ought to do this every year, really; knit a huge batch of scarves to sell or donate in December. I’m sure I’ve probably meant to in years past, and probably just never got around to it, or something got in the way, or what have you. Most likely it’s because I got the idea far too late in the year to knit much. This year, though, I’ve got about five months to knit up 20 simple scarves. That’s a scarf a week. That’s easy, since it’s all in garter stitch!

Jakob approves of my plan, so long as he doesn’t have to do too much to help.

In which I go shopping!

July 3, 2008 at 7:01 pm | Posted in stash | 1 Comment

Cricket Cove was having a sale today, and I couldn’t resist dropping by. Good thing I did, really, because I came away with two fantastic deals!

100% merino wool, a little rough but still very nice. The actual yarn’s a teensy bit more orange than this picture shows. I’m not sure what it will become, exactly, but I suspect a new lace scarf will be in the making.

After I finish one of two of my current projects, that is!

This is a nice strong red skein of cashmere. 100% cashmere, according to the clerk. It’s about fingering weight, a little thinner than the merino, and from the looks of it, I think I’ve discovered just what is meant by “cabled yarn.” I expect this will become another lace scarf, or possibly a shawlette.

But the best part?

$12! Used to be $60, on sale for $12! No way was I passing up a deal that great?! Even if it’s only a cashmere blend yarn instead of 100% cashmere, you still don’t come across that much yarn for so low a price!

[Edit] – Actually, according to a small label hidden within the wraps of the skein, this yarn is a cashmere/wool blend. And the yarn is actually 3 2-ply strands plied together. Not sure what you’d call that. 6-ply, I’d guess. But either way, it’s blockable, so I like it!

Nick is wondering if all this yarn talk is code for something. Perhaps, “Kitties get to eat an early dinner while sitting at the table like people.”

Alas, he’d be wrong.

A Knitter’s Day Out

June 11, 2008 at 6:48 pm | Posted in Random babble, socks, stash, WIPs | 3 Comments

The other day, I met up with KnitKitten to take some pictures for the New Brunswick “Worldwide Knit in Public Day” scavenger hunt. It was a hot muggy day, and walking outside from inside was like walking into a particularly moist oven. Not very pleasant.

However, the walking around with a fellow knitgeek was definitely fun, with all the crazy stuff we were talking about. And it was nice to spend some time getting some fun pictures of the city.

The sock hanging from the antlers of the moose is KnitKitten’s. The moose statue is… Well, honestly, I don’t know how old it is. It’s uptown, near the boardwalk, and it’s one of those things that nearly every tourist gets a picture of at some point during their visit. Because really, a huge stone moose! How could you not want a picture of that?

This is the picture I’m most proud of. I don’t think I’ve ever taken a nicer picture of something. Maybe I’ll submit this to a photography contest of something.

The day did have some knitting content, too. Other than hanging socks-in-progress on large animal statues, I mean. When we went into Cricket Cove, and somehow, I won’t say how, but I walked out of there carrying a ball of sock yarn, a set of bamboo dpns, and a booklet of sock patterns. No idea how they came along with me. *whistles innocently*

I cast on about an hour later, sitting with KnitKitten in front of an art gallery. I’ve never knit more than the leg of a sock before, so I’m hoping this’ll end up a better attempt.

It’s On Your Toes yarn, 75% superwash wool and 25% nylon, with aloe vera thrown in there somehow. Once they’re finished, they’ll go to my roommate. It’s a little too warm right now to wear wool socks, but no matter; it’s possible that by the time I’m finished them, the weather will be colder!

I really hope that I can continue to enjoy knitting socks. There are so many patterns out there that I’d like to try, socks are useful things, they’re nearly always needed by people, and I admit, it is a little fun to see the look on people’s face when they see me knitting with five pointy sticks instead of the usual two.

Jakob would like to remind anyone who reads this blog and who lives in Saint John, New Brunswick, that his human will be sitting in King’s Square on Worldwide Knit in Public Day, probably knitting away at this very same sock, if anyone wants to join her. She’ll probably be there from 11 AM to 1 PM, at which point she’ll have to dash off to work.

Bring on the knit!

May 12, 2008 at 9:29 am | Posted in stash | Leave a comment

I don’t know what it’s been lately, but I’ve been all stash-expandy over the past few days. I’ve managed to get two complete sweaters frogged and ready to be reknit, though I have no idea what I’ll make out of either of them at the moment.

This is bulky-weight lavender yarn, 70/30 acrylic/wool blend that I bought ages ago. I think it may become a baby blanket or something. I don’t know anyone who’s going to have a baby any time soon, but I work in a place where it’s not uncommon for babies to b expected, so I’m sure I’ll find someone eventually.

This is acrylic/polyester chenille, which makes me think of granite. There are three other balls of this that I didn’t take pictures of, too. No doubt this’ll become a few scarves for charity or something, some mindless garter-stitch knitting to do when I’m watching something with subtitles and thus have to concentrate on something other than my knitting.

There’s a teal green silk blend sweater that I want to start frogging soon, and a couple of partially frogged sweater pieces that I want to get back to. It’s kind of nice to really start wrestling my stash back into order. Soon, no longer will I have sweaters that would be great for a certain project but take time to prepare when I want to knit now.

Maybe this is because I just bought a new pair of scissors and expect, like every other pair of scissors I’ve ever bought, that they’ll go missing soon. I want to use them for everything I can right now, preparing everything that can be prepared, getting ready for the inevitable day when the scissors will vanish and I’ll just have to be content with what I already frogged, yarn-wise. If I’ve already got everything frogged, then there’s no problem whatsoever!

Another day of no kittypics, by the way. Camera needs recharging, and the kitties are tucked somewhere safe and cozy and sleepy, since it’s way too early for anything sane to be awake right now!

Then again, I never claimed my kitties were sane, did I?

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