Abandoning my post.

November 19, 2008 at 6:57 pm | Posted in slippers, thrift, WIPs | Leave a comment

Or, in this case, abandoning the challenge. There’s no way, by this point in time, that I’ll be able to accomplish my own 2klace challenge for 50% lace projects completed this year. Not with the holiday knitting I have to do, none of which involves even a small bit of lace. So I’m calling it quits, and telling myself it’s a lesson learnt. It’s a bit of a disappointment, but what can you do? Gift knitting take precedence over personal challenges, after all.

Speaking of, I’ve started on one of my holiday projects.

This is the first part of the sole of one of the Aran Isle Slippers [Ravelry link] from the 2008 holiday issue of Interweave Knits. Requested by my mother when she looked through the issue, and since I had no idea what to get her for Christmas, this was the perfect thing. It’s something she both wants and needs, so it works out well.

The yarn I’m using is recycled from a thrift store sweater (hands up, all of you who are surprised at that), and is 70/30 acrylic/alpaca. No the softest yarn I’ve ever used, but it’s still nice, and the acrylic content will make it both machine-washable and harder-wearing than if it had been 100% alpaca. And my mother doesn’t like wool much, so that was out of the question before I ever picked up the needles!

Speaking of needles, I’m using 1 size smaller than the pattern calls for, since my mother’s feet are a little smaller than what the pattern says the slippers will fit best. Hopefully it should all even out in the end.

And if it doesn’t, Jakob will claw your eyes out so that you’ll never know.


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.

Thrifty Thriday? Or Frifty Friday?

February 22, 2008 at 1:38 pm | Posted in stash, thrift | 1 Comment

Take your pick. Whichever one sounds better.

I had a very happy trip out to the mall yesterday, with some money that my parents gave me. I originally intended to just go to Michael’s to see if I could find a leather tooling kit, but unfortunately, they didn’t. Instead I just picked up some thin suede and some leather needles, with the intention of making a present for a friend of mine. I promise I’ll show it off here when it’s finished, even though it has nothing to do with knitting.

I did stop in at Value Village, however, to see if they had anything nice there, and I came away with three wonderful sweaters!

100% alpaca, soft as anything, and a beautiful pattern. In fact, I’m not sure if I want to frog this to use for other projects, because it’s so beautiful. I suspect it’ll sit around for a while, being worn on cold days, until I finally make a decision one way or the other.

100% merino wool, laceweight, and quite possibly the softest wool I’ve ever felt. I look forward to making something out of this. Unsurprisingly, it’ll probably be reinyarnated as a lace shawl.

Moore teal than this picture shows, this is 58% silk, 30% nylon, 10% angora, and 2% lambswool. I love the colour, and the feel of mostly silk, so I had to snatch this up before someone else got to it first.

My acquisitions! Let me show you them!

I also picked up the latest Interweave Knits.

There are quite a few patterns in this issue that caught my eye. Some I want to knit but won’t dare knit for myself. Not until I lose a whole load of weight, anyway. But the one that I want to knit the most is probably this:

Not a very good photo, but it’s the Bleeding Hearts stole, by Anne Hanson. I love her designs, and being able to get my hands on this one without needing a credit card…

I really do need to put aside some money, physical money, and see if she’ll accept it for the purchase of patterns instead of using my nonexistent credit card. Her lace patterns are truly lovely, and I’m envious of her talent in a bit way! *grins*

But yes, it has been a slow knitting week. However did you guess? I have been knitting things, but very little on each project, and not really enough to show off at the present time. Hopefully by Monday I’ll have something worth talking about. I can’t subject you all to yet another day of placeholder posting!

Nick has spent most of his time napping on the couch. And given how little sleep I’ve been getting lately, I wish I could say the same for me!

Rediscovering the stash.

September 9, 2007 at 7:34 pm | Posted in Reinyarnations, stash, thrift | 4 Comments

I was digging around in my stash bin today (or rather, one of the many cardboard boxes near my primary stash bin), and I came across old sweaters I’d bought with the intention of unravelling them for yarn. Some I remembered buying, but others were nice rediscoveries that I’d completely forgotten about. I had been wondering, lately, how I’m going to complete all the projects I want to do when I have so little yarn lying around.

Turns out I have way more than I originally thought! (Warning, this post will be picture-heavy!)

A medium red sweater, 70% lambswool, 20% angora, and 10% nylon, that I think I designated as the preincarnation of a Wool Peddler’s Shawl from Folk Shawls. I also think I have another one like this in the living room somewhere, but don’t hold me to that.

A beige alpaca sweater that I started to take apart a while ago, but stopped because the stuff is so dang sticky that I quickly lost patience with it. It’s soft as anything, though, and I want to get back to unravelling it. It didn’t speak to me immediately, but I get the feeling this thing is also destined to become a shawl of some kind.

A granite-coloured chenille sweater which I’m sure is destined to become many thick floofy scarves for charity. I like the feel of chenille, even if it is a bitch to unravel.

A sweater which, according to the label, has the following fibre content: 60% lambswool, 20% nylon, 20% dehair. Now, I have yet to figure out what dehair is. I can not imagine how a yarn can contain 20% lack-of-hair. Either way, the stuff is soft, and has these neat dark flecks running through it. I’m not sure what it’s destined to become, however.

A bright pink sweater which will get overdyed a darker red, and then will become a shawl for HeathWitch‘s wedding. It’s 76% silk, 13% angora, and 11% nylon, and this stuff is simply beautiful! Just seeing it again makes me want to start getting the yarn ready to be knit into something gorgeous and lacy!

This stuff is a nice wool/angora/cashmere/rayon blend, but I worry that it’s too fine and fuzzy to take apart properly. I’ll try it, but if it can’t be done, this sweater will go the way of the next two sweaters.

The bottom one is all cashmere, and the top one is mostly angora, and alas, these sweaters are too fuzzy and/or felted to be taken apart. They’ll be cut up and turned into wonderfully soft pillows or cushions, and possibly some baby booties or toys or something. aste not, want not!

Which brings me to my newest acquisitions. Yes, yes, I know, KFYS’07 hasn’t officially finished until the end of the month, but dangit, when I bought these, I felt the need for new yarns, completely not realizing that I still had a ton of them waiting in my piles and piles of fabric and fibre already!

This is a 60/40 polyester/cotton ribbon yarn that I thought would make some neat scarves, and possibly a couple of other little small projects in mind. I also wanted something easy to take apart, and heck, what can be easier than ribbon yarn?

This is my pride and joy. A 100% cashmere sweater that’s got good clear stitch definition, isn’t fuzzy and stuck together, and was only $5 for an insane amount of laceweight goodness. If it’s not too fine to unravel, this will become the yarn I’ll use for the Secret of the Stole knitalong.

I know, I know, I didn’t even finish the last knitalong I was a part of, but this time will be different, I swear. I’ll tie my roommate up and make her print out the pattern pages this time, unlike MS3!

I also grabbed some needles while at the thrift store.

Can’t have too many needles!

Since this post did contain an insanely large number of pictures, I was going to forego the usual pet picture today, but at the last moment, I decided against it. So here’s Albert, sitting on his perch, wondering why the heck I kept moving all around the room taking pictures of sweaters.

Sorry about the bars of his cage being in the way, but he still freaks out if his cage door is open, making it pretty much impossible for me to get a decent picture of him.

My nemesis.

September 5, 2007 at 11:26 am | Posted in Branching Out, lace, Reinyarnations, scarves, thrift, WIPs | 3 Comments

I don’t call this pattern my nemesis because I hate it, or because i can’t do it. On the contrary. I knit one before as a birthday gift for my mother, and she was thrilled by it. (And refused to listen when I pointed out two errors that only I may have noticed.) No, I call it my nemesis because the dang thing works against me no matter what I do! Having no printer at home that I can easily use (we do have one, but it’s in the living room and hooked up to my roommate‘s laptop instead of my desktop), I tend to write out online patterns by hand, so long as they’re not horribly long and complex, so that I can knit them in places that aren’t right in front of my computer screen.

I can’t count the number of times I’ve had to write out Branching Out’s pattern because whatever I write it on disappears. This pattern, in a nutshell, doesn’t want me to knit it. It’s going to extremes to make sure I never finish a UFO more than a whole year old!

I’m actually ashamed that this pattern has languished in my yarn bin for so long without being finished. Worse than that, without even being touched, except in the times where I move it to one side to get to yarn that might be underneath it. But since I’ve been feeling the lacy urges again, I decided to dig it out and finally, finally, finish it!

Then I looked at the ball of yarn attached. I’m either going to have to make a very short scarf, or else dye up some more of the yarn to make it a decent length. Thank goodness I still have some of the yarn left that I used in the first place, though I can’t say it’ll be easy remembering how many packets of Kool Aid to dump in the pot to get the colours even close to matching.

Serves me right for not writing it down when I first did it, I suppose.

I used yarn taken from a thrift store sweater for this; a cream-coloured yarn with pale flecks of purple and yellow throughout. It’s 75% wool and 25% angora, and while it isn’t the softest yarn I’ve ever seen(which isn’t to say it isn’t soft, because it is), it’s strong and versatile, which makes it a wonderful yarn to use. I wish I could find more like it, but I somehow doubt I ever will. I haven’t been thrifting for long, but I’ve only ever found two identical sweaters in the time that I have been doing this.

Of course, it was a stroke of luck that I happened to be in Value Village one day and saw a sweater identical to one I’d bought weeks ago, so perhaps that yarn was meant to be mine. :p It’s the stuff I’m knitting the MS3 out of, the single-ply spring green angora blend.

Which I really need to work on more. Perhaps I can convince my roommate to print out the pattern pages for me some time when she isn’t too swamped with schoolwork.

Jakob is curious. “What is this ‘lace knitting’ of which you speak?”

FO: Blue Garter-stitch scarf.

September 1, 2007 at 3:31 am | Posted in FOs, Reinyarnations, scarves, thrift | Leave a comment

Nothing particularly fascinating. This was mostly a stash-buster that works well as a charity item. Most scarves I knit but have no use for or no particular attachment to end up in the charity bag, really. I used up three balls of Paton’s Shetland Style Chunky yarn, 75/25 acrylic/wool, that was rather old and that came in a thrift store grab bag. It may have been old, but it wasn’t rough or awful to knit with. I’ve knit with scratchier, let’s just say.

Once done that, I felt rather scarfless, so I picked up the front of a to-be-unravelled sweater, took it apart, and cast on for another scarf.

A mistake rib scarf, in what I’m pretty sure is acrylic yarn, chunky weight. I found the sweater for $2 at Value Village, and while I normally don’t buy either acrylic sweaters or chunky ones, I figured that for a few bucks I might get a scarf or two out of it, so I may as well grab it. Lucky for me I did, since it was good yarn to cast on with for another relatively quick project, and I can also donate it to the Red Scarf Project.

Jakob is so tired of all this scarf-knitting that he’s curled up and gone to sleep in the bottom of the dresser again. Cute curly kitty.

Think pink!

December 21, 2006 at 1:52 am | Posted in FOs, stash, thrift | 1 Comment

The Faggiest Necktie Ever is done! No pictures though, since it has to be blocked, and the only place to block it without the cats getting to it is on the floor of my room. Which is where my computer is. And it’s a tiny room, so I can’t type up an entry here and have the tie blocking at the same time. So it’ll be blocked once this entry’s posted. Maybe I’ll get a good picture of it being worn by the recipient.

I did some last-minute stashing today, before KFYS’07 commences. Granted, it was Value Village stashing, but heck, yarn is yarn, and I’m happy to knit it.

10 balls of black Trio Dolcina yarn, which doesn’t seem to exist according to Google, but seems to be German in origin, jdging by the label. 70% acrylic, 15% mohair, 15% lambswool. 160 metres per ball. All for the low low price of about $3 Canadian.

3 balls of pink and 2 balls of purple No1 de Georges [something or other] yarn that also can’t be found via Google, made in France, 75% mohair, 20% “fibravyl”, 5% wool.

1 ball of red-orange Berger du Nord kid mohair yarn, which seems to be discontinued. (but heck, at least the brand exists. That’s progress!) 80% mohair and 20% acrylic.

Overall, not a bad stash enhancement, when you consider the whole lot cost me about $6 before taxes.

And now, I’ll stop bragging about my stash and go block that tie.

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