Monday, December 01, 2014

The Honeycomb Hat

Not too long ago I went to purchase some yarn to make myself a hat (and also a couple of cowls) since I don't have any here.  I'm not one to really wear hats because I don't think I look good in them.  However, my fiancĂ© has said that with the damp cold they get here, it would be a good idea to have one - especially when I'm out for a walk on a cold day.

The yarn I chose, mostly because I like the softness of it, is Bernat Satin.  I think I chose the wrong type of yarn for the hat.

First off, I had bought two skeins of the blue colour and one of a darkish pink.  The pink was supposed to be for the hat and the blue for a cowl.  Wasn't really thinking when I started knitting the hat, and until I actually knitted about three quarters of the ribbing, did I realize that I should have been using the pink yarn.  I continued knitting, though, because I felt I had done too much to that point to rip it out.

I have enough knitted that I can kind of put it over my head some (being careful not to drop any stitches off the needles).  I have a sinking feeling this hat is going to be too loose and maybe a little too big for me.  I'll wait until I complete it first before deciding if I'll keep it for me or donate it.

The pattern I'm using is the Honeycomb Hat (link to my Ravelry page which has the actual link to the pattern).  So far I find it an easy knit, and I would likely use this pattern again - with different yarn.  It has a seed stitch rib but says you can use other kinds of ribbing just as long as the gauge is the same or tighter than the cable pattern.  This is the part that feels quite loose to me - even though I used smaller needles than what I'm using for the rest of the hat.  Anyway, I'll wait until it's complete before making my final decision.  It might turn out OK.

Other than the hat, I haven't been knitting much of anything else lately.  I still have to finish with my scarves that I've been working on (blocking, weaving in ends, etc.), but still don't have my knitting items from out west yet.  I'm not in any great rush and the scarves can wait for next year to be donated if need be.  I'm not worrying about it :).

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!

Saturday, March 08, 2014

Finished Scarf - Not Revealed Yet

I have finished my scarf for the latest scarf exchange (Stashbusters on Ravelry) that I'm in.  I woke up early this morning and decided to work on the scarf.  I now have it soaking in the sink, and will be blocking it shortly.

I think the scarf turned out nice. I enjoyed working with the yarn (Fleece Artist - a Canadian company), and the pattern was pretty easy.  I couldn't memorize it, though by the end I didn't have to look as much at the pattern as I did at the beginning.  I will probably knit this particular pattern again.  I'm going to refrain from mentioning all the other details until my swap partner received the scarf - just in case she checks out my blog.  I do hope she will like the scarf!

I haven't been knitting on anything else while working on this scarf.  I think I'll sit out the next exchange and just work on my own projects for the next little while.  I really want to finish the hat I was working on before starting in these two scarf exchanges.  I've also got a few patterns (including one sent to me by my swap partner from the previous scarf exchange) I'd like to try out as well.

I'm going to keep this post short as I have a lot to do. I hope to have a picture of the scarf and hat to share soon.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Alphabet Swap Partner's Scarf

Flying Home Scarf
My Alphabet Swap partner finally received her package this week (on Monday), so I can share the picture of the scarf I knit for her.  She was satisfied with the package and said the pattern and colours were perfect for her (or something like that).  I'm glad she likes it, because I was a little worried she wouldn't.  I had no reason to believe she wouldn't, other than my own doubts about my yarn/colour choice and the blocking.

The picture here isn't that great as I had to use the flash (it was night and my apartment doesn't have good lighting for taking pictures). The colours are a little bit darker in real life.  In the daylight I think it looks really good.

I used the Flying Home Scarf pattern, a free download on Ravelry.  I really enjoyed this pattern; it wasn't too difficult, and while I couldn't memorize the pattern (it's a 10 row repeat), it was easy to follow.  I will more than likely be knitting this pattern again.

My blocking isn't that great as I didn't have anything to use for my blocking, other than pins.  I've since ordered some blocking wires from Knit Picks and will be able to use them on the next scarf I make - which  happens to be what I'm working on now.

I'll refrain showing any progress on my current scarf or mentioning the pattern for the current project since I am knitting it for my new swap partner in the Stashbuster swap at Ravelry.  This time I am only knitting and sending the scarf.  I like the pattern I'm using, and will likely knit it again in the future.  Once this new swap partner gets the scarf, I'll post a picture and the name of the pattern on here.

Aside from these scarves, I haven't been working much on the hat I'd been working on.  I am on the decreasing at the top of the hat; I'm just waiting until I get these swap scarves completed and then I'll go back and finish the hat, block it, and post a picture of it.  I do like the way it looks so far, though, and I can't wait to see the finished product.

Well, I'd best be off and get some marking done for work so that I can do some knitting a little later on this evening.  Happy knitting!

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Scarf Exchange Package

Here is the lovely package I received from my scarf exchange pal! I finally received it. I checked the tracking number of the package I sent to her, and the latest update this afternoon only stated that it was received in the States.  I don't know if it's just at the boarder, or if it's at least in her state.  Hopefully she will get it soon.  I really dislike the postal service where I live; it's not that great.

Anyway, everything is great!  Here is how she used the alphabet (we had to send 3-5 items that used the letters A - E):

A - alpaca yarn in the scarf
B - blue, the major colour of the scarf
C - candy and cows
D - drop stitch pattern used in the scarf
E - Echo Trail Scarf pattern, which is an eyelet scarf.  E is also for eggplant, the colour of the yarn (though the colourway is listed as grape, she thought it looked more like eggplant)

The scarf is so soft, which I like. I don't care for anything scratchy around my neck (or anywhere for that matter), and this is certainly not going to cause that problem!  My pal stated in her note that the scarf is a little shorter than she had hoped, by I am fine with that. I love it anyway!

So, Thelma, if you are reading this (not sure if you read my blog or not), thank you so much for the wonderful package!  I just hope you are just as pleased with what I sent in your package.

Monday, February 10, 2014

The Argyle Cap - Progress

The Argyle Cap
I've been working the last few days on The Argyle Cap I mentioned in the previous post.  I had hoped to finish it today since we have a holiday here.

I don't think that's going to happen.  Because I don't have a lot of light in my living room, and the fact the red is dark, it makes it a little difficult to work on in the evenings.  But, I have been working on it and I should get it completed this week before I get matched with my next scarf exchange partner on Friday.

So far, I think I am right on with the pattern.  Along the way I've made some mistakes and when I'd get to the end of the row, things didn't match up with the pattern - I'd be off by a couple of stitches.  I'd look to discover where I went wrong, then tink  back to the spot I'd need to fix.  Unfortunately, a couple of times that spot was close to the beginning of the row.  The row I just finished had me going back to near the beginning twice, and then about a couple of inches back the last time until I got it back on pattern.

I'm knitting the small size (ladies size I think), and because of the needles I'm using, and the weight of the yarn (fingering), I think these circulars are just a tad too long (I thought I was getting the smallest size - at least it was the smallest that was available at the shop where I purchased them). I'd also like to see the needle part just a little shorter.  Anyway, I hope this doesn't stretch the yarn too much and make the hat out of shape or too loose.
Close up of the pattern so far. 
This pattern isn't too difficult and most of the rows are easily memorized after a repeat.  I do find that I need to be able to concentrate while doing this, so watching the Olympics at the same time probably isn't a good idea.  That, and getting a couple of text messages from a friend, is probably what caused me to have to tink back those few times in the row I just finished.

I can't wait until this hat is finished so I can see how it looks.  The pattern suggest wet blocking and drying flat. I've never done that with a hat before, so hopefully that won't be too much of a problem for me.

I'm debating on making the matching mittens after I finish this (or at least after I finish the next scarf for the exchange), or if I'll make another hat using one of the other designs in the pattern and then make the matching mittens for both hats at that point.

For now, I'll concentrate on finishing the hat.

Saturday, February 08, 2014

I Finished My Scarf

As you might remember, I was taking part in a scarf exchange on Ravelry.   I completed the scarf and mailed out the package yesterday.  I do hope my exchange partner likes everything!  I'm not going to post a picture of the scarf until after she receives it, just in case she happens to visit my blog and sees it.  I don't want to ruin the surprise for her.

I'm not totally satisfied with the blocking as I've not really done any blocking in the past.  I probably shouldn't have chosen a pattern that needed to be blocked until after I had more experience with blocking; however, I did offer to knit her something else if she isn't satisfied with it.

Last month, I got my orders from Knit Picks and The Loopy Ewe (links to their shops on my left sidebar).  The photo to the right shows the yarn from Knit Picks, and includes: 2 Wondermint Chroma Worsted (back right corner), 2 Peapod Stroll (the green), 2 Dandelion Stroll (yellow), 2 Eggplant Palette (dark purple), 2 Cream Palette (in back of the dark purple), 1 Lignonberry Heather Palette and 1 Oyster Heather Palette (both in front and being used to knit my current project).
The photo to the left is part of my order from The Loopy Ewe.  I bought two Cascade 220 in purple hyacinth, and one Alchemy Yarns of Transformation - Juniper Colorways in sugar mountain.  I also ordered  two Cascade Superwash Sport in Christmas green and gifted them to my BFF.

I also ordered a few other things with the yarn, but didn't put them in the pictures.  I got some tapestry needles, since I couldn't find my other ones, some Harmony DPNs (unfortunately I ordered the 5 inch needles and they are a little small for my current project, but I'm making due.  I think I'll have to order them in a bigger size next time as I am enjoying using this needle.), a magnetic chart keeper, and something for my scarf exchange pal (which I'll refrain from writing).

As I mentioned above, I've started on my next project.  It is the Argyle Cap by Amy Munson (from Knit Picks).  I also ordered the Argyle Mitten Collection (also by Amy Munson) pattern as well.  Both the hat and mitten patterns have a few different variations of the pattern to choose from.  I have only just started the hat pattern today, so I don't have much of it to show in a photo just yet.  When I get it done, I'll be sure to take a picture.

The Ravelry group (International Scarf Exchange) is hosting another scarf exchange, and I've signed up for it again.  They are taking a month off from the alphabet exchange and just doing a stash busting exchange.  You can either sign up to send  just a scarf, or a scarf, a skein of yarn from your stash, and a little treat to nibble or sip.  I joined the one to send only the scarf, and I'm already thinking of possible patterns.  We will get matched up with a partner next Friday and then have a month to get the scarf made and mailed.

Time to get back to working on my hat.  We have a long weekend (Family Day) so I hope to get this project completed before heading back to work on Tuesday.

Happy knitting!

Monday, January 13, 2014

Knitting Progress

Ive mentioned in the previous post about becoming involved in a scarf exchange on Ravelry.  Since joining, Ive been looking through various scarf patterns to knit for my exchange partner.  There are so many wonderful looking scarf patterns, and that makes it difficult to choose just one.

Yesterday I had the flu so I couldnt do anything, though I had hoped to start the scarf then.  Today, I feel a lot better. I wont say Im 100% better, but the fact that Im not aching and I have no fever makes me feel a lot better.  Today my cough seems to be what Im dealing with more than anything, and there are times when I cough so much that its hard to catch my breath.  I had an opportunity to go shopping in Dawson Creek today (I had hoped we could check out a yarn shop there, see if its open, and maybe get some yarn to use in my pals scarf), but I decided to stay home to get better for work tomorrow.

I looked through some of the yarn I have here, which isnt much, and looked for something that might fit the categories – colour(s) she said she liked, types of yarn she likes, etc.  I decided on a skein (I wont go into details of what colours, the brand/type, or pattern just in case my pal reads my blog. I dont want to ruin the surprise for her), and searched the internet for a pattern.

Of course, me being me, I am second guessing my choice of yarn, colour, etc.  If I were doing this scarf for charity, I wouldnt worry so much because there would be someone out there who would like it.  I just want my pal to like the finished product, and not feel disappointed in what Ive chosen.

Since this is an alphabet swap and we need to choose things to include that start with the first five letters of the alphabet, Im trying to keep this in mind with the things Im choosing.  I have something for A and B, and have an idea for C.  Still deciding on D and E – though things could change between now and when I get the package sent out!  I just really hope my pal is happy and satisfied with what I send her.

Yesterday, at some point when I was feeling a little better, I ordered some yarn from The Loopy Ewe. I havent ordered anything from them in a long time, and found out I had a credit of nearly $20!  Anyway, since my birthday is coming up in a week from tomorrow, I decided to order some yarn for myself as a birthday present to myself.  I probably wont get it in time for my birthday, but that doesnt matter since Im busy knitting my scarf exchange pals scarf.

I have also ordered some yarn and a couple of patterns from Knit Picks a couple of weeks ago.  The patterns were ones to download, so I already have them.  They are for argyle hats (it includes a few different patterns) and the matching mittens (again, it includes a few different patterns).  Im looking forward to knitting those up – they looked so cool.  The hats and mittens I make from these patterns will more than likely go to charity.

Ill post pictures of my scarf exchange pals scarf once she gets it so that I dont ruin the surprise.  Ill also post pictures of the yarn and the patterns, Ive ordered for myself, when I get them in the mail.

Id love to hear what youve been working on lately.  Feel free to drop a comment and let me know!

Thursday, January 09, 2014

Ravelry, a Swap, and Yarn

On the weekend, I was surfing around Ravelry, checking out patterns and the forum.  I remembered taking part in a few swaps and secret pals, and thought Id look to see if there were any currently going on.  From what I could see, there was no secret pal (it almost sounded like there had been a lot of people not following through on obligations, so they turned it into various swaps), but there were several different swaps going on.

One of the swaps I took part in a few years ago was the International Scarf Exchange. Unfortunately, I ended up losing that scarf (I think one day when I was doing some supply teaching. I either lost it, or it was taken out of my bag – which could have happened at the particular school I was at.  However, it doesnt look like that one is going on, though there are some starting up in that group – they are just under different names.
Anyway, I joined one that is called the Alphabet Swap.  In the package, we have to send 3-5 items (have to double check if that includes the scarf we knit, or if that is in addition to the scarf), and the items must all start with the first five letters of the alphabet.  So, for example, you might send a skein of Alpaca yarn,  the scarf might be shades of blue, there might be some chocolate, a pattern for an item that starts with a d (the name of the pattern that is), etc.

The lady Ive been partnered with in the swap lives in Wisconsin. Since this isnt a secret pal type of exchange, we are allowed to contact the other person and ask questions.  We can also stalk their profile, questionnaires and posts with regards to things they are interested in to possibly include in the package we send.

Im looking for different patterns as options to knit for her, but havent settled on anything just yet (we only just got our partner names last evening) and Im waiting for her to contact me before I make any final decisions.  Also, I want to know if there is a specific colour she would like me to use.  Then I need to get the yarn – which might mean I need to order it online and that could take awhile to get to me (at least two weeks).  We have to have our packages mailed out by February 14th, so Id like to get started on this ASAP.

About a week ago, I visited the Knit Picks website because they were offering free shipping to Canada on orders over a certain amount.  Well, I surfed their site to look for some yarn, patterns, kits or whatever caught my interest.  I havent bought any yarn online for eons (Ive bought a bit of yarn in the last few years, but its been from Michaels or Wal-Mart), and I thought I would treat myself – sort of a Christmas present to myself.

I ended up ordering a couple of patterns (argyle hat and mittens).  I will post a link to them in the next post and also Ill take a picture of the yarn I ordered for the patterns as well.  I should be getting that package in the next week, so Im kind of excited for that.  And, since my birthday is coming up in less than two weeks, I think I might just ordered some more yarn as a birthday present for myself.  This time, I think Im going to order from the Loopy Ewe, which I also havent ordered from in a long while.

Well, off to do some more searching on Ravelry for scarf patterns for my scarf swap partner!

Sunday, January 05, 2014

Time For A Change

Since its been some time that I have posted on my knitting blog (other than my post of the other day), I figure its time for a change in my blog design.  While I do like the background and the colours of my current design, and because its a new year and Im hoping to get back into more knitting and blogging, I think I need to start off with a new blog design.

Im not sure what Ill go with – one of the myriad of free templates available, or if Ill actually break down and pay a little for a really nice looking template.  So far, all of my templates (on this blog and my other ones) have been the free ones offered either on Blogger or some other site that has free designs.

Knitting Update:

Ive done a little more work on my Diagonal Lace Scarf, but at some point in the pattern (not too far from the needles), Ive managed to lose a couple of stitches – more than likely it is a couple of yarn-overs.  So, I now need to rip back a few rows until I get the right amount of stitches.

HmmmI just went and looked at the pattern I had printed out for this scarf, and I noticed that there are only 24 stitches.  Now that I think about it, I did have 24 stitches on my needles! I didnt make a mistake! 

The only thing that I can think as to why I had thought Id made a mistake and left off a couple of yarn-overs, is because of having finished those other two scarves and I used 26 stitches for them. I must have been thinking (yes, it was late when this all happened) of that scarf and using 26 stitches for that.  Hmmm, now I need to make sure I rip back to a spot where I would start on a row 1.  And because of this confusion, I now remember the importance of using life lines in knitting – so that you dont have to rip back too far, and youll be at a spot in your knitting where you know you left off (such as at a row 1).
Lesson learned – and hopefully remembered for next time.


Since Ive been away from the land of knitting blogs for some time, Ive been going back to visit some of the blogs I used to visit often.  I hope to re-establish connections/friendships in the knitting sphere and not stay away so long next time.

Ive really missed some of these women, their knitting, their daily life stories, etc.  These women gave me motivation and encouragement (even if they didnt know they did) along the way – both in knitting and life.  I also hope to come across new blogs as well.  I look forward to seeing what patterns are being worked on, and maybe find some new ones that I can work on as well.

Yall Come Back Now:

I really hope youll keep coming back and encouraging me to continue knitting (to not loose motivation), with my other craft/art projects, and just in daily life in general – you know, when times get tough.

Happy knitting!

Wednesday, January 01, 2014

Welcome 2014!

I can't believe how long it's been since I've really made any postings here - particularly knitting related.  I just haven't had a lot of knitting motivation in such a long time, and to be honest, I just never thought of doing posts of any of my art journals (which I hope to get more into this year).

About three weeks ago at Bible study (one of the two that I attend), we were talking about spiritual gifts and taking a "test" to find out what ours were.  Well, I had mentioned about my knitting and how I had wanted to learn to make mittens (which blossomed into other items) for the mitten tree at the church I was attending back home (in case I haven't mentioned it here, in late August of 2011 I moved to northern BC as I accepted a teaching position at a Christian school).  I also mentioned that I was in a slump, or rather I felt stalled in my walk and hadn't been doing any knitting in so long.  After mentioning this, I was encouraged by the others to pick it up again and get working on it.  I mentioned that I'd like to start a mitten tree at the church (the new one I'm attending here in BC) since they don't have one, and they didn't know what a mitten tree was.  They said that if this was a gifting (craftsmanship), then I have to do something about it - I need to knit and start a mitten tree.

Since it's obviously too late now to start one for Christmas (as I had mentioned to them at the time as well), I would still like to have something set up where people can knit (or purchase items to donate) various items that can be donated to homeless or less fortunate people.  Here in the north, we will still have cold and snow for awhile and these people can definitely still use the items.  So, I need to figure out how to set something up, present it, and start collecting items to somehow (and somewhere) distribute them.  One of the members of the Bible Study group suggested the Salvation Army, which is a great idea, but I said that as far as I knew people have to buy the items they have.  I want these items I will make and collect to be given freely to those who need them - just like Jesus freely gave us the gift of salvation.

Two "2 Weeknights With Warrick" scarves
Needless to say, my motivation was re-sparked and I began working on some knitting projects within a day or two.

I chose to do an easy pattern, one that I could do without much thinking so that I wouldn't lose motivation before I got started.  I went with the 2 Weeknights With Warrick pattern, which I have done before a couple of times.  In the photo, the scarf on the left is the first one I did and finished not long after starting.  The one on the right was finished a few days ago (and it looks in the photo like I've got it backwards, LOL!  Well, at least you can see what each side looks like...).

Want to know a little secret? These aren't completely finished.  I can't find my darning needle to sew the ends in, so once I get that and can take care of the finishing touches, then they will be totally finished.

I've already started in on another scarf, though it might be one I keep for myself.  The pattern for this scarf is the Diagonal Lace Scarf, which I've also made a time or two in the past.  It's another fairly easy pattern - a 6 row repetition, and I like the way it looks.  The yarn I'm using for this pattern is Red Heart Boutique Unforgettable in Petunia.  Since I've only been knitting this pattern for a few days, I don't have a whole lot completed. But, when I'm done I will post a photo of it.

Do you have anything specific that you are wanting to knit, or learn to knit, in 2014? Would love to hear about it in the comments, and feel free to post a link to what you're working on!