Friday, April 04, 2014

Spring Break

I seem to have missed an entire week somewhere...

Of course, it's been busy this week with the kids both home (and playdates, and playing soccer in the evenings), so while I kept meaning to post any given day since Monday, I just plain haven't.

I've been doing a lot of swatching, swatching, swatching, and unfortunately can't share any of that, but fortunately I can share two things.

I finished my husband's Christmas socks:

The pattern is Cable Clock Socks by Ann Budd, though I changed the yarn to sport weight, so knit a size or so down but with 3mm needles to balance it out. Must have worked, because they fit the husband (but not so much myself, though I am modeling the socks in the photo above).

I also quickly whipped up Beanie Flow by Michaela Richter last week. A cousin (technically my cousin's cousin, but close enough) has rather recently taken up knitting, but has jumped straight into the deep end (and is swimming, er, knitting, like a pro in no time), decided that she wanted to knit this really cool pattern, though modifying it to incorporate colour-blocks. Sure, a little intarsia to spice things up, why not? The only difficulty was that the pattern is in German only.

Since that's just the sort of crazy thing I might do, I definitely wanted to help out, and in the end, joined in to make it a knit-along. Thankfully, between online translation, putting our heads together, and the (thank goodness) fact that the pattern has charts too, we figured it out.

Mine came out a bit small because I didn't check my gauge, but it fits my youngest just great, and she loves her new hat.

I've had a sneak peek at my cousin's version, and it is spectacular. Hopefully she'll add photos to Ravelry once she is done so everyone can check it out in the project gallery for the pattern!

Must get back to my swatch, the timer just went, so it is done soaking and ready to block!

Friday, March 21, 2014

Hup Oranje!

I finished knitting Hup Holland by Tori Seierstad a while ago, but finally have some decent photos.

I took the first set right after finishing, but it's hard to get photos of your own head:

Also, the hat gave me a headache, so I re-blocked it, this time stretching it over a size 3 soccer ball.

My head is apparently the size of a size 3 soccer ball, because now it fits just fine, which is a relief. After all that work, not being able to wear it because it gives me instant headaches that last the rest of the day would have been a pity.

I had my husband snap photos instead this time, which worked much better:

Now, just looking forward to the opening ceremonies for the EDSA Mini World Cup next Wednesday!

Friday, March 14, 2014

Dyeing to Tell You About My New Hat Plans

First off, the skirt.

I finished it in time to wear it to quiz night last week! I am not completely satisfied with one or two things, but all in all, it went quite well. I was worried it was coming out too tight in the waist, so eased it a little wider, only to find that it would have been just fine if I'd stuck with the pattern. Might make another with this pattern sometime, so will trust it on the next go! I have a bit of fudging to do with the side zipper to get it to lie correctly, and will have to get to that sometime, but as that's a bit of handsewing that I haven't gotten to yet, it is as likely to be awhile before I get around to it.

The pictures are from today rather than last week, but the only important difference is that  my hair is pulled back instead of being so curled (and big. I don't like having big hair) that it looks like Lady Edith from Downton stuck her finger in an electrical socket.

Next project to catch up on: the  Hup Holland hat by Tori Seierstad.

This pattern was originally used as a fundraiser to raise money for a new football ground in Lillehammer, Norway. I was too late to buy it for that, (it is now a free pattern, now that that goal has been reached) but I plan to donate to the Jumpstart charity next time I'm at Canadian Tire to balance that out.

I had ordered some orange yarn back around Halloween, as Knit Picks had a sale on orange and black yarn, and I needed a bit of both for projects in my queue (including this one).
Only one problem... The orange was not orange enough.

The pile of wool sat around for awhile. I wanted to over-dye it, but that creating a bit of a getting-around-to-it obstacle. Finally, to celebrate joining the Dutch team here in Edmonton for the Mini-World Cup indoor soccer tournament, I knew I had to get around to it right away so I could make this hat.

I bought lots of Kool-Aid powder. It's easy to dye with, and, it's bright orange. I explained to the grocery store clerk, as I wouldn't want her to think I was planning on drinking 18 packets.

I spent a fair bit of a day unwinding the balls into skeins. My youngest helped by running around a couple of chairs set back to back, then sitting in the chairs when she got dizzy.

The next day, I set to work dyeing the yarn.

It was still not quite the right shade of orange as it was now too reddish, though it sure smelled like oranges!

I wanted to over-dye it with yellow to brighten it up, but went on a fruitless search for yellow Kool-Aid powder before deciding on playing with Wilton's icing dyes instead.

Soaked the yarn in vinegar, then cooked it up with Golden Yellow, which I think brightened the yarn enough. More vinegar in the rinse stopped it bleeding, but unfortunately banished that lovely orange smell.

In the meantime, as the yarn dried, I started the hat.

Though I found that the blue was not blue enough.

I finished knitting the blue rounds, put the hat on waste yarn instead of switching colours right away, then dyed the piece in the microwave.

Wilton's Royal Blue was just the thing.

The red is red enough, the white is white enough, and the black is black enough, so I'm finished dyeing for a little while.

Friday, March 07, 2014

In Which I Take a Break from Knitting and Sew for Awhile

It's still very much winter here, but my longing for spring had me sewing up a spring skirt.

Sure, I've made it of wool, but spring is a bit cold here too, eh?

Now, I love this book...

(not just because it's a great reference full of stuff I don't know, but partly for it's 1970s content, and because I actually kinda want to make a room full of foam furniture,

but not so much this hat),

Understitched Facing!

Prepping for Blind Hem
...but for some reason there are a few explanations in it that I can't seem to wrap my head around. This book was my perfectly excellent reference for flat-felled-seams, and it was great at explaining that to me, but for understitching facings and for blind hem stitch using the machine, I had to turn to the internet to make all clear.

Fortunately, the first couple of searches worked, and I now have something in the way of a blind hem on my new skirt! I didn't use a special foot or anything (just the zig-zag one), and it seems to have gone OK except that I should have relaxed the needle thread tension back to what I had it on for straight stitching. I had guessed at tension to be what I had used for zig-zags, but it caused a bit of a pucker.

A bit of tugging, smoothing by hand, and pressing with steam made it look alright in the end, and I suspect wearing it and or washing it (as one washes woolens, of course!) will make it all turn out fine.

Just a bit of hand-stitching to go today, and I hope to wear it tonight to the Wolfe Tones Quiz Night!

Tuesday, March 04, 2014


The other day I released a new pattern: Penguin Mittens!

My daughter needed new mittens, and what better a thing than penguins to replace her last ones with? If your little one lost some mittens around now, if your weather is anything like we have (deep winter that looks like it's not planning on winding down anytime soon), you may need some Penguin mittens to warm little hands as well!

The pattern is available for sale both via Craftsy (see sidebar) and the following link to Ravelry:

Friday, February 28, 2014

And the Winner is...

Blue Sparkly Buttons!

Thanks very much to those who helped with the decision, whether here, on facebook, or in person. We had two votes for white, two for undecided, and seven for blue.

It took two tries, but now I have knit this sweater which I have wanted for years now! I love the book that it is from, Knitting it Old School, which has many, many patterns that I want to make. The pattern again is St. Moritz by Snowden Becker, knit in Knit Picks Merino Style (discontinued, but in a lovely colour that my friends Kim and Madison helped me pick out, oh, a couple of years ago, with this sweater in mind). Modifications: Slightly longer and with one less set of waist decreases, and a few more increases as the length continues towards the hips.
I'm very pleased with the sweater, which worked out a treat! It was too chilly outside today to try to wear it without a coat, so please forgive the slightly blurry indoor photos!  To note just how chilly it is (and we're lucky cause I hear Saskatchewan is way chillier today), it is minus 25 Celsius (that's -13 F) with windchill making it feel like minus 37 Celsius (that's about -35 F). Not short-sleeves weather!

I have a plan to make a new skirt, and will plan to wear the sweater with it in the spring (or closer to spring than today, which is not saying much), so I hope to have better photos in future.

Monday, February 24, 2014

Choosing Buttons...

I'm finished knitting the St. Moritz sweater!

Now, just to choose buttons. I've narrowed it down to two sets from Aunt Margaret's button collection.

The blue ones have little sparkly costume gems set in them, and are slightly rounded.

The white ones are higher contrast, nice and shiny and are slightly larger.

 So, which ones would you pick?