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Friday, November 14, 2014

Old Shale Scarf

Debbie Bliss Angel Prints yarn used
As promised a few months ago, before life got in the way of my knitting, here is a photo of the Old Shale pattern using Debbie Bliss Angel Prints yarn.

The pattern is quite easy to knit, and it's also easy to memorize.  The photo to the right is about what I have currently done on the scarf to date.  Though now that I think about it, I took the photo and then did some knitting on it a few weeks ago, so there would be a few more rows added to what is showing.

I've never worked with this yarn before.  It's quite soft and fine and I do need good lighting to work on this project.  So far I am enjoying the yarn.  I have another skein of this in a different colourway and I'm a little anxious to see how it knits up.  I'll have to look up what this colourway is at a later point (I don't have the ball band handy).  I would never thought of using all these colours together.  Yes, I know blue and orange go together, but the yellowish and the pink I would never have put with them.  I only have one skein of each of the two colourways, so I imagine this scarf will be a little on the short side.  We'll see how it looks after it's blocked, though.

I've also got a few more scarves knit up but don't have any of them (or the previous ones I mentioned) blocked yet.  My blocking wires and foam pads are in storage at my BFF's place since I moved back home this summer and I don't know when I'll get them. So, until then, my scarves will have to wait awhile to get blocked.

Maybe my next project will be something I don't need the blocking wires for when blocking - something like a hat or mittens or socks.  Anyway, I will worry about that when the time comes.  Until then, I have this scarf and another one on the needles to finish up before starting something else.

And, now that the colder weather is upon us (we currently don't have any snow yet where I am), I hope to get more knitting done and added to my stockpile of donated items.

So, that's what I'm currently knitting.  How about you? What are you knitting? Let me know in the comment section, and feel free to provide links to the pattern.  I'm always looking for new pattern ideas.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Stuff Happens

It always seems that when I begin to get back into blogging, something happens which causes long periods of time between posts.

Sometimes these breaks are self-inflicted (meaning I have nothing to blog about due to a lack of knitting or it's due to something work related), and other times they are caused by situations out of my control.

This is one such case.

I've had to to take another temporary break from blogging due to a family situation which requires my full attention.

Don't worry, I have been knitting some while on this break, so hopefully when I'm able to get back into a normal way of life and blogging, I will have something to show for this long absence.

I'm not sure just how long I will be away - maybe a few more weeks, maybe a month or longer.  I hope it's not longer.  But, I am still needed in this situation so I must focus my attention there.  I will be back.  I promise.

Until then, happy knitting and God bless!

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

I've Been MIA

I've been MIA again, as you have seen.  The reason for this is that I relocated from one side of the country back to the other.

I am finally settled in my new domain. Sort of.  I'm in the process of looking for work here, but I do have a place to live.

I've been doing some knitting this summer and have made a few scarves (that seems to be my theme this year - one year it was socks, another mittens, an another was hats), and I am in the process of working on two in my new place.  I promise to post some pictures of these once I locate my needle to sew in the ends and then block them.

One of the new scarves I'm working on is the Old Shale pattern.  I got this pattern free (I've also seen it on Ravelry for free) with the purchase of the yarn I'm using on the pattern.  This yarn is Debbie Bliss Angel Prints (don't have the colour number with me at the moment) and is 70% mohair and 24% silk.  I've never worked with this yarn before, but so far I am enjoying it - even though its very fine.  I can really only work with this yarn in the daylight or if I have very good lighting at night.  As with the others, once I'm able to I will post a picture of this scarf.

For now, I'll keep this post short. Hopefully I'll be able to get these scarves totally completed and photographed soon so that I can share.

Happy knitting!

Saturday, May 10, 2014

New Lace Scarf

I've been a little slow on posting about the Birch Leaf Shawl I was working on.  I ended up not having enough time to make it a full shawl.  It ended up as more of a scarf/neck warmer, but still looked beautiful.  I was donating it to our school's Night of the Arts silent auction, which was done to help raise money to build a well for clean drinking water in Haiti (we ended up raising enough money for two wells, though the auction only raised money for one of the wells - the other was raised by doing various fundraisers at school).

I had lots of great comments on the "shawl" and the mom of one of my students bought it. I'm not sure if she bought it for my student or not, but my student came up to me at the end of the evening and showed me that her mom bought it.  I also donated a couple of scarves I had on hand that I was going to donate to charity next winter, but I decided to use them to help at the auction.  I didn't see how much each of my items went for, but even if they didn't go for too much money, every little bit helped in raising funds.

Travelling Roses Lace Scarf - beginnings
I am still in the lace knitting mood, so last weekend I started a scarf.  The pattern I went with is the Travelling Roses Lace Scarf, which is a free Ravelry download.

I've finished one of the repeats (when you knit the pattern through once, is it still called a repeat?) and I'm almost half through another.  I am enjoying the pattern, and think it's looking really pretty with the yarn I chose.  I decided to knit this scarf with Knit Picks Shadow in Springtime Tonal.  It's a hand painted lace weight yarn and is 100% merino wool.  This is the same kind of yarn I used in the Birch Leaf Shawl.

I'm really anxious to see this pattern completed and blocked.  But, since I'm not anywhere near being finished knitting this, I'll just have to wait!

Well, I'm off to go work on my scarf some more.  What have you been knitting lately? I'd love to hear about it in the comments!



Sunday, April 13, 2014

Knitting Progress

Birch Leaf Shawl progress to date
I have made knitting progress this week. That's always a good thing for a knitter.

I completed the Color Play Scarf Tuesday or Wednesday, but I still don't have it blocked.  I'm not in a great rush to get that done, but it will happen.

I've been mostly trying to concentrate on working on my Birch Leaf Shawl.  You see, I'm on the committee for the art show we're having at the school where I teach.  We have decided to have a "night of the arts" and kids (and adults as well) will audition to sing, dance, or play a musical instrument (no lip syncing allowed, and if they sing it has to be to music, not a CD that has singing on it already - we want to hear the kids, not the singers on the CD).  We're also having a silent auction on art work done by the students, or anyone really (it's open to teachers, parents, grandparents, etc.), we'll hang other pieces of the students' art work for display only, there will be a craft table where items will be displayed for the silent auction (things like knitting, crocheting, cards, etc.). We're also going to have some students working on a mural during this time and people can go watch them.  The school is raising money to build a couple of wells in Haiti, and all that is raised during our "night of the arts" will go for that.
Close up of the pattern
Anyway, I decided that I wanted to knit something nice to donate to our art show to be bid on.  Since the show is the beginning of May, I thought maybe people might not be interested in bidding on wintery type items like hats and mittens, so I wanted something lighter that can be used in Spring, cool Summer evenings, and Fall.  My choice was the Birch Leaf Shawl.  I am using a lace weight yarn (100% merino), so I thought it would be perfect.

To be honest, I'm not sure how far I am on this shawl.  The directions just say to knit until you use up all your yarn or it's the size you want.  Since I've not knit a shawl like this before (I've done a couple but they were more like wraps, and they were in bulkier yarn without any lace in the pattern), I don't know how to judge the size or how much more I need to knit.  I'm not anywhere near being close to finished on this, and I'll probably knit until I finish this skein of yarn and then make a decision then as to whether or not I'll use some, or all, of the second skein of this yarn that I have.  Time will also be a factor as to how long it will be since I've only got a couple of weeks to get this done for the auction.

I am enjoying this pattern and how it looks.  You probably can't tell by these pictures, but there are three or four shades of pink in this colourway.  I was afraid that it was going to end up being a self-striping yarn (it looked that way at the point of the shawl after one or two repeats of the pattern), but it isn't.  I am liking this yarn (Knit Picks Shadow) and haven't had any issues with it.  I don't typically knit lace weight, so I am going a little slow with the knitting process, and as I mentioned before, I can only knit it during the daylight since it's difficult to see it well after dark.

Well, I have a lot to do and I'm sick with a cold yet again (seems I've been sick a lot since January).  Need to get some chili made so I can have lunches pre-made, there's housework, and of course knitting.  What gets done will all depend on my energy level, and the fact that I've felt tired all weekend from taking night time cold meds (which, even though knock me out, doesn't give me a good night's rest).

Anyway, I'd be interested in hearing what you are currently knitting, or your thoughts on the Birch Leaf Shawl if you've knit this already (or would like to). I love getting comments, but that hasn't been happening (nudge, nudge, wink, wink).  Happy knitting!

Sunday, April 06, 2014

Cheating On My Scarf

I've got about three repeats done here, I think.
I knew it couldn't last - the monogamy of only knitting one thing at a time!

I'm cheating on the Color Play Scarf!  I am almost finished with it - just a couple more inches left, I think, and then I'll block it.

I was getting a little antsy to start a new knitting project.  We have an art show at school coming up in less than a month, and I'm on the committee to organize it.  One thing we talked about was having a sort of craft table with items people could bid on (we're raising money to build a well in Haiti).  Since it will be in Spring, with warmer weather, I figured that not too many people would be interested in buying hats, mittens, winter scarves, etc.   Since I had some lace weight yarn that I had ordered from Knit Picks back in January, I thought I'd try my hand at a lace shawl that would hopefully be light enough to wear on a Spring or Summer chilly evening.  I don't know if anyone will bid on it or not (if not, then I'll just bring it back home for either myself, or donate), but I thought I'd at least attempt to make one.

Since I've never really knit a lace shawl before, I wanted to find an easy pattern.  The one I chose is called The Birch Leaf Shawl, and it is very easy to knit.  I started it last evening and got the first 15 rows completed (the rest of the shawl is a repeat of the last four rows, not counting the purled wrong side rows) and decided that this will be something for me to knit in daylight hours.  I don't have a lot of good light in my apartment, so when it gets dark I can only work on knitting that has larger than lace sized yarn involved.

For the time being, I can finish my Color Play Scarf when it gets dark. Then I'll have to find another pattern to work on for that time of day.  At least the days are getting longer no, so when I get home from work I will have a few hours (except when I have Bible study) in the evening before it's dark.  Hopefully I'll get the scarf completed tonight or tomorrow night and be able to block it and photograph it.

Tuesday, April 01, 2014

Finished Exchange Scarf #2

 Remember a few weeks ago when I was talking about the second scarf exchange I was taking part in on Ravelry?  Well, my exchange partner received the scarf (finally) last Thursday.  I was waiting until she received it before posting a photo.

I can't seem to find where I placed my pattern. I've even tried looking it up online (Ravelry, Knit Picks, Google...) and don't seem to see it.  I was pretty sure it was called Tide Pool, but searching under that name doesn't seem to be bringing anything up.  I'll keep searching for it though.

The yarn I used was Fleece Artist in the Seafoam colourway.  I remember thinking that this yarn fit very well with the name of the pattern. Oh well, as I said, I'll keep searching for it.  I'd like to provide a link to it

I've been knitting away at the Color Play scarf.  I am on the last section of it, probably about 80% of the way through.  I'll have to block it after I'm finished, and I'll be sure to post a photo of it.

I've also been looking for the next pattern I'll knit, though I'm thinking I might do another of the Irish Mesh Cowl I made when I went to Edmonton.  I need to use the needles I'm using on the Colour Play scarf, so I can't start until I've finished the scarf.

I decided to gift the cowl to my friend Janice.  She's always doing a lot for me and another friend of ours - driving us around to get groceries, going out of town shopping, to/from work, going for coffee.  She doesn't ask for gas money, so when I showed her the cowl and she said she like it and thought it turned out great, I decided to give it to her.  She said she's worn it a couple of times already this past weekend, and I'm sure she'll wear it to work some day as well.

Aside from the scarf knitting, I've been looking into trying my hand a drop spindle spinning again.  The drop spindle I have is back home in New Brunswick.  I've been looking on Etsy, and have seen some fairly cheap priced spindles, and they include some fleece to practice with.  I have been going back and forth on whether or not to get another one. I haven't made a final decision yet, but I'm leaning toward a 'yes'.  It's been several years since I first tried spinning (haven't tried a spinning wheel yet), so I would need to relearn how to do it.  I'll keep you updated on whether or not I decide to try spinning again.

Off to go work on the Color Play scarf again. Happy knitting!

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Color Play Update

I've been knitting away at the Color Play Mohair Scarf this week.  The previous post (and this one) was a scheduled post, so I had actually typed it up on the weekend.  The photo in the previous post was what I had knit up to that point.  The photo in this post is what I have done as of yesterday (Tuesday) morning.

As I said, this is a fairly quick knit.  The only thing I have to pay attention to is the seed stitch boarder.  The rest of the scarf is just knit and purl.  And, since I'm knitting with two yarns at the same time, I have to make sure when I knit that I get both strands and not just one (which has happened a few times, but I was able to catch it and fix it).

So far I like the colour choices I have made.  The purple and the white both  have sequins in the yarn, but the teal and the lighter purple (which will be added when the teal runs out) don't.  The next colour pattern will be white and the lighter purple, and end with the lighter and darker purple together.

I'm not used to having a scarf be this wide (and will likely be wider once I block it).  I don't know if I had used just a mohair yarn if it would be so wide or not, but I've decided it doesn't matter. Scares are all different lengths and widths.  To me, though, this seems more like a small/short wrap than a scarf.  If I had cast on for the wrap, I would have to add another 30 stitches to what I have, so it definitely would be a lot wider than the scarf (obviously).

I am anticipating adding this scarf to the items I'll be donating to charity, unless someone I know falls in love with the it. Then I might be tempted to give it as a gift.  I may even just keep it for myself (I have few to no items I've knitted, other than a few pairs of socks), but I haven't really decided where this lovely scarf will end up.

Well, I'm off in search of some new knitting blogs to read, and work more on my scarf.  Happy knitting!

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Current WIP - Color Play Mohair Scarf & Wrap

The beginning of my Color Play Mohair Scarf
As I've mentioned previously, last week I spent four days in Edmonton and visited a lovely yarn shop (River City Yarns).  One of the items I purchased (besides yarn) was a pattern by Churchmouse Classics for the Color Play Mohair Scarf & Wrap (pattern can be found on the link on my Ravelry page).

I started working on this Saturday evening, and what is shown in the photo is what I had completed by Sunday morning.  I've been working along since then, so it's bigger than what is in the photo (obviously) now.  I am enjoying the pattern.  It's an easy, mindless knit (seed stitch and stocking stitch), and should knit up fairly quickly.  I'm doing the scarf (I'll do the wrap at another time), though it's looking wider than scarves I've made in the past, and with blocking, it might become wider.

I wanted to buy the Kidsilk Haze mohair yarn used in the pattern photos (and the example I saw at the yarn store), but it was more than I was willing and able to pay at the time.  I went with a cheaper yarn for now.  I'm using Patons Lace (two with sequins and two without), and it's an acrylic/mohair/wool blend (two strands at a time) and is probably a little thicker than just a mohair yarn.  I think this will be a warm scarf when it's finished.  The colour choices I went with are: Mystic Teal, Amethyst (the two shown in the photo), Crystal, and Arctic Plum.  I can't wait to see how it looks as I change colours along the way!

I'll take photos along the way and, of course, once it's completed.  I've got another week of Spring Break this week, so I should be able to get this completed before going back to work next Monday.  As I said, it's an easy pattern and is knitting up quickly.

Well, I'm off to do more knitting on this scarf.  Enjoy your day, and happy knitting!

Monday, March 24, 2014

Irish Mesh Cowl Completed

My Irish Mesh Cowl
This past week I went to Edmonton with a few friends.  I decided to take some knitting with me to help pass the time in the car (it's about a six hour drive, maybe more, depending on how many stops are made, and how long those stops last).  I also worked on it at the hotel in the evenings when I was relaxing after long, busy days.

I didn't quite finish it on the trip, but had 99.9% of it done. I had to finish the binding (had some of it done in the car) at home Friday evening when I got back.  I blocked the cowl on Saturday, and it was dry this morning.  I'll be adding this item to the things I'm going to donate to charity.

The pattern I worked on for the trip is the Irish Mesh Cowl pattern.  It is an easy knit, and looks so pretty!  It called for 4.5 mm needles, but I didn't have any (bought some while in Edmonton though).  I had hoped blocking would have made it a little wider and longer, but it didn't increase much.

I will definitely be knitting this pattern again.  I have more yarn (Marion Foale 3 ply, 100% wool and gifted to my by my Alphabet Scarf Swap partner a month or so ago) like I used, which is actually darker than in the photo, and with the bigger needles, hopefully I'll get a different effect (wider, longer) with the lace part "popping" more.  I am pretty satisfied with how this cowl turned out. It's the first one I've made and I'd say I had a good experience knitting a cowl for the first time.

I'm working on another scarf now - the pattern I bought in Edmonton - and will post about that next time.  Until then, happy knitting!


Sunday, March 23, 2014

The End of The Striped Poppy Lace Scarf

My sad-looking Poppy Lace Scarf
After taking a few days off from knitting my Poppy Lace Scarf this week while travelling to and from Edmonton, I came back to it and knit a few more repeats of the pattern. I decided this scarf needed an early demise.

Not because of the pattern, because it's a great one.

It's early demise came from the fact that I really wasn't liking this yarn choice for it.  The self-striping sock yarn would be better used in socks, or a scarf that doesn't have a lace pattern to see.

I blocked the scarf last night, and it was dry this morning, so I photographed it and added it to my charity knitting.  The blocking didn't lengthen or widen it much, so I think this would be a better size for a child/youth, or just a short scarf to wrap around your neck underneath your coat.

I enjoyed this pattern. I didn't enjoy my yarn choice.  In the photos I've seen of this scar done in solid colours, I really loved how it looked.  I'll knit this again in the future, however, I'll be using a solid colour next time so that the pattern actually shows up.

Chalk this experience up to trial and error, lessons learned, etc.

Saturday, March 22, 2014

I Enabled My Knitting Habit This Week

This past week I spent four days in Edmonton, Alberta.  I went with K, Little K, and J and we drove the 6 - 8 hours (depending on how many stops you make and how long those stops are) both ways.

Before we left, I did a little research to see if there would be any yarn shops in the area we would be visiting.  So, on Wednesday afternoon (after spending about five hours at the West Edmonton Mall), we took a little trip to River City Yarns, where I enabled my knitting habit.  This was a great shop, the ladies working there were very friendly, helpful, and knowledgeable.  If I lived closer, I'd definitely go back (though if I ever get to Edmonton again, I will most likely take a side trip and visit the store again)!

There was so much yummy, yarny, goodness in that shop that I felt a little overwhelmed.  There was so much to choose from it made my visit difficult.  This store has higher end, quality yarns that are a little more pricey than what I normally go for (though if I had the money, I would have bought some of it), but there are brands that weren't as pricey. There was very little (if any) acrylic in that store.

I bought two skeins of  Mirasol Nuna (shade 1038) which will likely be a scarf or cowl, two balls of Rowan felted tweed in the Duck Egg colourway (no. 173).  That will likely be a scarf or cowl as well.

I also got 4.5mm circular needles (Addi Turbo Rockets) and a pattern.  The pattern is from Churchmouse Classics (I don't think I've heard of them before), and is for the Color Play Mohair Scarf & Wrap.  One of the ladies at River City Yarns had made a sample of this pattern using the Rowan Kidsilk Haze yarn which the pattern calls for.  It was GORGEOUS!  I had debated getting some Kidsilk Haze, but when she told me the price the yarn alone would cost, I felt saddened to have to turn it down.  The price was more than I was willing to pay, unfortunately.  However, I did get an acrylic/polyester/mohair/wool blend of Patons when we stopped at Michael's on our way back to the hotel so that I can try the pattern.

Patons Lace yarn I'll use in the Colour
Play Mohair Scarf pattern
Also during our trip, I brought some knitting along to help pass the time in the car.  I knit the Irish Mesh Cowl pattern (a free Ravelry download), and managed to complete it on this trip. I knit in the car both ways, and at the hotel in the evenings when we were unwinding from our long, busy afternoons.  I don't have a picture of it just yet as it is soaking in preparation for blocking.  Once that is done, I'll take a picture of it and post.  I really liked the Irish Mesh Cowl and will definitely be knitting it again.  I had used smaller needles as I didn't have the size required (4.5mm) in a circular. I hope the blocking will help, because although it turned out great, it's a little narrow to what I'd like it to be.  I plan on doing this pattern again soon on the larger needles (maybe even the same yarn) for comparison - and also because I want to.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Poppy Lace Scarf - In The Beginning


As I mentioned in the previous post, I have begun working on the Poppy Lace Scarf .  It is a 12-row repeat, and you knit these rows until you get to the desired length you want.

Unfortunately, I made the wrong choice of yarn for this pattern.  Unless blocking will help considerably, the pattern will be lost in the stripes.

I'm not too upset by the poor choice of yarn for this pattern.  To me knitting involves taking chances with your yarn selection or colour pallet.  You'll never know how a pattern will turn out unless you try it.  I've knit socks or scarves or hats thinking that they wouldn't look good in the colour or type of yarn selected, only to have it turn out looking quite beautiful.

As in life, you learn from your mistakes.  You can frog what you've started (if you aren't satisfied with it), or you can continue to go on and use it as a learning tool.  And what I have learned from this pattern and yarn choice is that if you use a lace pattern that has a specific pattern you want to show up, don't use a self-striping yarn.  This yarn would have been better in a plain stocking stitch pattern, or maybe an eyelet pattern that would show up on each (or every other) row.  Live and learn.

That being said, this pattern is pretty easy to follow, nothing too difficult, but it's one you need to pay attention to, otherwise you'll end up with a mistake (but then isn't that true of most lace patterns?).  I will likely knit this pattern again, though I'd use a solid colour yarn instead of self-striping.  I should have taken a cue from the pictures of the scarves on the Ravelry page (where this pattern is found) and used a solid colour for this scarf.

I'll post a picture of the completed scarf once it's blocked and see if it looks any better than it does now.  I don't know when that will be as this coming week I will be heading to Edmonton for four days and won't be taking this to knit in the car (since I need to focus on it). I'm looking for more of a "mindless" pattern to knit that is easily memorized. I haven't made the choice yet as for the type of item I'll knit, though it will probably be a scarf, hat, or socks.

Happy knitting!


Saturday, March 15, 2014

Completed Argyle Cap

The completed Argyle Cap
A week or two ago I finished the Argyle Cap I had been working on prior to doing the two scarf swaps I was in.  I forgot to post a picture of it when I finished it, so I thought I'd add it now. 

Sorry that it's not a good photo. I was holding it up on my left hand and taking the photo with my right (which is why the hat looks a little bent forward in the picture).  I don't have any of those head forms I see many knitters use to display their completed hats, and I didn't have anyone around to model it.  So, I made do. 

The size I made was the adult small, and it fits me just fine.  I will likely be adding this to items I will donate to charity next fall/winter.

I enjoyed this pattern (see a couple of posts ago for the link from Knit Picks) and didn't find it difficult at all.  About the only problem I had was in my own knitting. A few times when I was working on the argyle section, I didn't knit the right amount of stitches in the main colour (or contrasting colour) and was off. That would result in tinking back to where I had gone wrong and fixing the mistake.  It all turned out well, though. But now that I look at the photo, I can see what looks like a possible mistake. 

This pattern has a few variations included with it, and I will likely be making those, and this one again, in the future.  I also purchased the corresponding mitten pattern (which also has the variations included in it as well), but haven't started any of the mittens yet.  I'll be sure to post photos when I do start and finish the matching mittens.


Monday, March 10, 2014

Parcel Received Today

I like coming home to mail. Not bills and junk mail, but real mail. Packages and parcels type of mail.  I've been expecting my scarf from my partner in the Stashbuster scarf swap, and it came in today!

The scarf from my Stashbuster Swap partner
It is so soft and pretty.  I really like the colour of this yarn.  I don't know what brand or colourway this is, but it's nice and spring-like, and it came at the perfect time - next Monday is St. Patrick's Day, so this is the perfect colour for that!

I'm not sure if my partner visits, or has visited, my blog, but if she does, I would like to say thank you so much. I love the scarf. You did such a fantastic job on it - I love it!