Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Finished Items 2008

This year was a slow year for me in finishing items. Although I did have a baby which is a huge undertaking.
Here is the list of finished items for the past year.

  • Bird in Hand Mittens
  • Baby Surprise Jacket
  • Soft Cardi
  • Top Down Baby Raglan
  • Hedera Socks
  • Woolly Thoughts Baby Blanket
  • Basic Ribbed Hat
  • Foliage Hat
  • Striped Cardigan
  • Family Christmas Stockings

  • Although the last two items have not had blog entries done, the knitting was finished in 2008 so I am including them here.

    Tuesday, December 02, 2008

    More blogging

    In an attempt to keep you blog readers on your toes I thought I would discuss the sideways cardigan.
    This cardigan started after last years Knitters Fair, to provide me a with a cardigan that was versatile. The idea when I went to the fair was a basic grey cardigan, that however changed when I saw this Silk Garden yarn. I purchased the yarn and figured the pattern would be decided later.

    After briefly contemplating mitred squares, I decided on knitting the cardigan sideways. This way I would not have horizontal stripes (the only adults that can get away with these are pregnant woman and wafer thin models).

    I started on a front, the back and then the second front. Here the project stalled for a number of reasons. This fall though I knew I needed to finish it. I finally decided how to do the sleeves - much simpler than I thought it was going to be (Thanks Maggie Righetti!). However, after I knit one sleeve, and went to seam the second front, I noticed a problem. The necklines were different. I had knit the shaping for the second front using the decreases as for the back. This needed to be ripped out before I started the collar. This was fine since it gave me time to think about how to knit the collar.

    I am now working on the second version of the collar, and I as I write this post think that maybe it needs to be ripped out again. When I have tried the cardigan on it seems that the neck opening is to big, and the collar is not going to fix this. I was just going to live with it, but I think if I put short rows along the sides it may make the opening smaller and fix the problem? Anyone have any ideas? Maybe I can wear this for Christmas this year.

    Monday, November 24, 2008

    Knits in the wild

    An almost too small Baby Surprise Jacket on a one month old
    and a sock puppet.

    Yarn: Leftovers of Soy wool stripes and Patons Kroy sock yarn
    Pattern: Skacel Collection Sock Puppet - Bird 1
    Needles: 3.5 mm and 4.5 mm

    What you can't see in the above photo is the tail (located on the heel). These puppets are for babies not yet walking.
    This pattern pamphlet has a bunch of cute puppets to make. I think more will be popping up on the blog.

    Thursday, November 20, 2008

    A Tale of Two Hats

    or Part 3 in my series of trying to catch up on my current knitting.

    I had two balls of Lana Gatto Baby Soft in my stash that were just begging to be knit up. This is soft yarn and these were colours were muted. The first ball was chosen as a hat for Ali.
    This is a simple 1x1 ribbed hat, it took me three attempts to get cast on number/needle size correct for his hat. As I was knitting along and deciding on how I was going to do the decreases, I remembered a series by TechKnitter on how to get a flat top in a hat instead of a pointed top. I thought that would be the best for this basic hat.
    I used her instructions for the decreases just modifying the first decrease to accommodate my use of 1x1 rib instead of 2x2 rib that she uses. I liked the final result.

    Yarn:Lana Gatto Baby Soft
    Needles: 4.5 mm
    Pattern: TechKnitting's method of decreases in the 8 trick pocket hat

    Next up a hat for me
    Back in September I discussed making a hat for myself and even purchased yarn to make myself a hat (and one for NB). As I started thinking about using that yarn for Foliage, and the changes I should do to account for the gauge difference. I remembered the second ball of the Baby Soft. It would work beautifully for Foliage.
    I added an extra 1/2 repeat and ribbed till I ran out of yarn (4 rnds)

    Yarn:Lana Gatto Baby Soft
    Needles: 4.5 mm
    Pattern: Foliage by Emilee Mooney

    Tuesday, November 18, 2008

    Hedera Socks

    In my on going challenge to get some FO blogged, I present finished Hedera Socks. You may not remember but I originally blogged about these socks back in February when I had finished the first one. The second sock slowly languished until the beginning of October when I finally finsihed the second one. After proudly finishing the socks it took until this past weekend for me to finally photograph the socks (since I wanted to wear them).

    Project Details
    Yarn: Brown Sheep Wildfoote Luxury Sock Yarn
    Needles: 2.25mm /US1
    Pattern: Hedera by Cookie A
    Mods: None

    Saturday, November 15, 2008

    A baby blanket

    I am going to try and get caught up with posting some FO and progress shots this week. We will see how that goes, it is great to have goals, it is another to finish them.

    Back in June I started a baby blanket out of Rowan Cotton Rope. It went with me on the trip to the Dominican, where the modular nature made it great for beach knitting. In September I put a push on to get the squares done. I started the seaming using a crochet seam and I was not happy with how it looked. I wasn't sure on how best to seam it so I continues on till the blanket was 1/2 done. At that point I tried the whip stitch seam and immediately liked it better so I ripped what I had already done and reseamed the blanket. Hundreds of stitches were picked up around the edges, and the border was picked up and knitted. The octagon shape was chosen as I would not have enough yellow to make the enough squares for a square blanket.

    The idea came after going to the Woolly Thoughts workshop hosted by Shall We Knit in May.
    Yarn: Rowan Cotton Rope
    Needles: 4.5 mm /US 7
    Pattern: My own

    Friday, October 24, 2008

    Baby has arrived

    Just a quick note to let you know baby has arrived and we are home and doing well. Details can be found here.

    Wednesday, October 15, 2008

    Election results

    I stayed up late last night (well late for a pregnant woman) to watch the election results. I was not happy, then when I woke up to go to the bathroom I couldn't get back to sleep since I was so pissed off at Canadians.
    Dr Steph sums it up the best here

    In 2004, Canadians made fun of Americans for re electing Bush. The first time in 2000 it was a mistake- voter fraud, supreme court intervention but 2004 that was all the voters doing.
    However, here Canada just repeated the mistake. We have re-elected a leader that doesn't understand the economy (head in the sand), that is out of touch with the people, a leader that doesn't understand basic science (apparently you can burn coal without emitting CO2).

    We need election reform in Canada. We have declining voter turnout, this election was the lowest turnout ever only 58% eligible voters turned out to vote. Our first past the post electoral system allows the Tories to have a minority government (it was almost a majority) with 147 seats after receiving 37.6% of the vote. The Liberal Party received 26.2% of the vote and got 76 seats. Over 60% of Canadians who voted did not want Harper to be Prime Minister. Mixed member proportional system is not a perfect electoral system but it may give us better representation of what Canadians want (pdf link).

    So I now have an MP that I have written asking clarification and he ignored me, he is anti choice, and likes abstinence programs. I still have a Prime Minister that is an effective politician but stands for everything I am against. The government spent $300 million in an economic crisis on an election that was against the law. The only consolation is that it could have been a majority (I shudder at the thought)- he was only 11 seats short.

    Monday, September 22, 2008

    Some baby sweaters

    Before the weeks get away from me I thought I would show you two completed baby sweaters.
    First up is the soft cardi which I mentioned in this post that I couldn't find the buttons. The buttons were found in a random drawer and have been attached. I don't like where I put the button holes, and decided to improvise them.
    There does seem to be a problem with how the front lines up though. I have had counted the rows on both fronts and it should be fine. I am just putting it down as some random wonkiness. I realized when I was half done seaming that I should take the plies apart from the yarn and just seam with 1 of the three plies to get smaller seams. We will see what this sweater looks like on the baby.
    Pattern: Soft Cardi in a Knitters Book of Yarn by Clara Parkes
    Needles: Size 4.5 mm
    Yarn: Rowan Cotton Rope

    Next up is the top down raglan that I introduced here. This yarn started off as a kimono that turned out too weird so it got reknitted in this raglan. This is my first raglan sweater and I can see why people love to knit them.
    It needs some blocking but overall I am happy with how this sweater turned out.
    Pattern: Top Down Raglan by Carole Barenys
    Needles: 3.5mm US 4
    Yarn: Sirdar Snuggly DK - 2 skeins

    Friday, September 19, 2008

    Politcal rant

    We interrupt this knitting blog for the following rant. It is about the Canadian election if you are not interested please feel free to skip.

    The Conservative Party has not released a platform. I have asked them from a link on their website what their platform is, I haven't heard back. Harper has said he will announce policy on Oct 15 (the day after the election). What the hell good does that do for me?
    All of the election ads have been attack ads, what other people have done wrong, why their plans won't work.

    So far in election promises Harper has promised:
    Up to $750 tax credit for new home buyers (doesn't mean you will get $750)
    $0.02/L decrease in diesel / aviation fuel tax. The gas prices are changing by >$.10/L overnight - what does this do.
    $150 tax credit to seniors
    As I can't find the platform and only am able to get the sound bites of these policies what they actually mean is not much.

    I want to know what his plans are on health care, environment, agriculture, family, economy. Harper has assured us we are not going to have a recession since if we were going to have one it would have started already. I need something more to go on.

    My question is why are people going to vote for the Conservative Party - they are not willing to tell you what they want to do with the country yet you are willing to hand over control to them. Polls are showing that the Tories have 36% national support. This makes no sense to me.

    A couple of things that I did find out about Harper while searching for his platform. He is writing a book on the early days of the NHL and that Laureen Harper is also listed as a Conservative Leader (she has never been elected so I don't know how this has happened).

    If anyone out there is planning on voting conservative or knows some one who is I have a two simple questions "What part of the Tory platform attracts you? What do you want to see Harper accomplish?"

    If my search of the Conservative website and of the internet has been faulty and a policy document is out there then please let me know where it is.

    I think I will send a l link to this blog entry Conservative candidate in my riding to see if they can shed light on this issue.

    Thursday, September 18, 2008

    Knitters Fair

    This was an impulse buy.
    Well as much as an impulse as seeing something deciding you want it, putting it back and saying if it is still here when I finish wandering this room then I will get it is. It is 8 balls of Estelle 100% silk in a beige. Now when I decided to get it, I thought there was 9 balls in the bag which I figured would easily make a cardigan. I got home and had it on the coffee table and say wear it was written in large letters 8 balls. I looked at the bag again - yup 8 balls. I think though this will be enough for the February Ladies Sweater (rav link).

    My next purchase I debated about for a long time, I ended up getting Shelridge Farms DKW Soft Touch yarn in peacock .
    So yummy. This will be a hat for me and possibly for the little one as well. They had a great pumpkin and yellow that would be great for a Jayne's Hat but unfortunately they were sold out of their red. I also think the red is not the right colour- a little more on the blue spectrum than yellow. When I went back later in the day, to get the pumpkin and yellow they were now sold out of the pumpkin. This yarn obviously does not want to be a Jayne's Hat. I have admired their yarns and their patterns for a long time so I am glad that I finally bought some yarn.

    I also got some Acid exhaust dye to overdye the laceweight that I tried to naturally dye last year and was not happy about the colour.

    Last time I mentioned the Cascade yarn for Christmas Stockings that I got at Shall We Knit, here is a photo of it. I still haven't decided on a pattern- and probably won't till I go to cast on. It is just nice to know the options.
    The baby blanket is 1/2 seamed and I also have some sweaters that now have buttons to show you in the next post.

    Since we have an election coming up although everyone seems bored of it (it is not very exciting compared to the one to the south) I thought I would share this post

    Thursday, September 11, 2008

    Potential Fall knitting

    I have been thinking lately of some upcoming projects to work on this fall. As Jenni mentioned the fall is going to be hectic (and that I should get buttons).
    Before I get into what I want to knit and possible patterns, I should come clean on what is on my needles that needs to be finished.
    1. Hedera socks - these are about 75% done
    2. Koigu socks - I have one done, easy knitting once I cast on and get to it - what were those magic numbers again
    3. Sideways cardigan - I need to knit the sleeves for this. I should/need to get this done before the baby comes so I can think on how to do the sleeves
    4. Baby blanket - Easy squares that are almost done and which needs to be seamed and a border attached.
    The plan is to have yellow triangles (1 left) all around the outside so it ends up being an octagon. Then I will pick up stitches in the turquoise for a border around the outside once it is seamed together. I just now need to sit down and figure out the crochet seam since I think that will be the best one for this blanket.

    Now on to my want to cast on this fall list.
    Hat - I love my hat, it is warm and soft and comfortable and warm. It is just to warm for those fall/spring days that are just above freezing and you want something on your ears but 4 layers of stranded alpaca knitting just is a little too much. So possible contenders
    1. Short Row Hat by Veronica Avery (I could use the left over silk garden from my cardigan)
    2. Shining Star hat by Kate Gilbert
    3. Foilage by Emilee Mooney
    I think all three hats would be simple enough not to require too much thinking, not overly warm but still enough to block out some of that wind.

    Christmas Stockings - Ali and I have some great stockings that my step mom made that reside on their house. I realized last year that we should get our own stockings for our house, and will also need to make the little one their own stocking for this year. I bought some Cascade 220 in heathered green and red to make the stockings and just need to figure out what designs. I will put a white/cream top on stockings for the names. Things I am toying with:
    1. Stranded patterns, a large snowflake perhaps with some smaller designs
    2. Knitting the stocking to be felted then needle felting designs on it
    I haven't found any patterns yet (not that I have looked hard) that jump out at me, I did love the yarn and it did say Christmas stockings for me. I need to take out Christmas Stockings: 18 Holiday Treasures to Knit from the local library.

    After writing on how I need to knit myself a new hat, I should also point out that the I have not knit the baby a hat- there have been a couple given as gifts that are different sizes. I think the baby will need a greater selection of hats. I do have the Itty Bitty hats book out of the library.

    On Friday night knit and chat I got this new pamphlet from Skacel - Sock Puppets they are not puppets made from socks but socks for your baby that are puppets. How can you look at those photos and not say "Ahhhhh"

    Why have I been thinking of fall projects - why the KW Knitters Fair is coming up fast - Saturday to be exact. A shopping list needs to be determined. Last year I had some specific things I wanted this year it is much more fluid (which can be dangerous) but I also feel that I have a much larger stash this year that needs to be worked up.

    Thursday, August 21, 2008

    Another post - shocking I know

    Way back when I talked about the would be ill fitting baby Kimono. I partially took it apart in the hopes to fix it. I then left it in my knitting basket until about a week ago and decided that I really should get it done for this fall. I pulled it out and started noticing areas that needed to be fixed and quickly came up with a long list including:
    Ripping out one of the fronts to the arm shaping, and starting it earlier
    Ripping out the other front to the wrap shaping - the bind off looks too tight
    Adding some width to the top of the sleeves

    - I think the back was fine.
    This was not at all guarantee to make the sweater fit.
    So I decided to do the more radical approach and make a different sweater.

    Since seaming has been an issue with me lately, a top down seamless raglan was in order.

    The second sleeve is done and I have a few more inches done along the bottom. This sweater, even though I followed the 6 mo size, looks in my eyes to fit a 1 yo. But that doesn't bother me since babies grow and it will fit at some point.

    The one problem I have found for with this sweater construction is trying to get it to lay in a nice fashion for a WIP photo shoot.

    Monday, August 18, 2008

    Missing buttons

    This soft cardi has had the knitting done since May, however, for reasons unexplained I did not seam it together until quite recently. While I was seaming, I was also looking for the white buttons that I got to go with it. Buttons... Can't seem to find them anywhere.

    I have tossed my stash, which has grown quite a lot this pass year. I really need to work on that as it is getting out of hand.

    I have checked all the other assorted baskets around the house and knitting bags that I would put the buttons in.

    I can't seem to find them

    So I figure this leads me with a couple of options. A) go buy new buttons now, B) wait a couple of more months - I am thinking of October in the hopes that the buttons are found.

    Project specs:
    Pattern: Soft Cardi in a Knitters Book of Yarn by Clara Parkes
    Needles: Size 4.5 mm
    Yarn: Rowan Cotton Rope

    Saturday, August 09, 2008

    Baby Surprise

    Lets's not mention how long it has been since I have blogged. I can't even think of a good excuse so I won't try and give one to you.

    I have been knitting though. First finished object to show you is the Baby Surprise Jacket by Elizabeth Zimmerman:

    I choose three possibilities for buttons

    At first I thought that the choice was tough between two of them, but after looking at the photos, there is a clear winner on which to use.

    I was told not to use this photo since it looks like the sweater killed Keeper.
    This photo with Keeper requesting a belly rub is much better.
    Pattern Specs:
    Yarn: Dale of Norway
    Needles: 2.75 mm
    Pattern: EZ BSJ

    The sweater looks so tiny, but I guess that is what babies are. I want to do a second one after the baby arrives and then can choose whether to do something very frilly or not.
    If you are in the area - for the month of August there are 22 BSJ on display at Shall We Knit - they are having a contest for customers to vote on their favourites. - It is nice to see so many different examples and possibilities on what to do with a second or third.
    I have either been away from posting too long or blogger/ flickr just want to drive me nuts. The photos all have the correct orientation while on my computer, but uploading to flickr or blogger causes them to be rotated. I can fix them in Flickr but not here.

    Sunday, June 01, 2008

    Show and tell

    A week ago I got to spend the Saturday with the Yarn Harlot, while she examined hundreds of items of knitted items for the KW Knitters Guild Adjudicated show. The items were all knitted by members of the Guild. Since I am the official photographer for the Adjudicated Show I can show you a sneak peak of some of the winning items. Ready..

    Well there are winning entries in those baskets - along with a selection of other items. I can't show you the items themselves because what then would be the purpose of the Adjudicated Show - it would become an Adjudicated Blog. You can see all the items with commentary by Stephanie on June 10 at 7 pm in Hilliard Hall, First United Church, Waterloo (if you are in the area and need more info just let me know). Following the show, photos of the winning entries (I have more specific photos) will be posted on the guild website in the galleries.

    I had hoped to submit two baby sweaters, however, the fates were not with me. The first item the Harvey Kimono from Natural Knits - needed some serious reworking.

    I kept thinking that once the sleeves were in, once the neck band was on. Okay I was in some serious denial about this sweater. The baby would have to have a neck the size of a toothpick or the front halves would not overlap. This sweater has now had most of the seams and edgings torn out and is in a time out. Just to give you an idea about this sweater - blogger is insisting on rotating the photo. The original is not rotated - WTF?

    The next item was the soft cardi - this sweater's downfall is that this is what it looked like - except still damp the morning of adjudication.
    That is cotton - I am not seaming heavy weight cotton while it is wet. Recipe for disaster. While looking at these photos, the one piece doesn't seem right. They looked fine when I was pinning them out. I haven't seamed this sweater yet so I can't comment on how it will look once put together. Maybe I should stay away from baby items...

    Although I did just get the pattern for the BSJ by EZ. I am thinking of making it from some Baby Ull (I have a little of that in my stash). However, before I can start that I do need to finish some other items I have on my needles.

    Sunday, May 04, 2008

    Some baby knits

    After taking about 6 weeks off from not knitting (you guys couldn't tell could you) and very little blogging, I have some works in progress to show to you.

    First up is the Harvey Kimono from Natural Knits for Baby and Mom by Louisa Harding.
    I am in the process of seaming, afterwards I need to add a garter stitch neck edging and sew on the buttons.
    Pattern Specs so far:
    Yarn : Sirdar Snuggly DK
    Needles: 2.75 mm and 3.25 mm - note this is 3 sizes smaller than the pattern suggests.

    Next project on the needles is the Baby Soft Cardigan in the Knitters Book of Yarn
    I am using Rowan Cotton Rope in turquoise and white.
    I am enjoying this cotton yarn, but it is hard to make neat increases. There is one increase that is really bugging me, and I think I will have to fix it. I kept denying it to myself, but I think I will be happier once it is fixed.

    The advantages of a fall baby - I know that these will fit sometime in the winter (for how long though is a different matter).

    Wednesday, April 23, 2008

    New Blog

    I have started a new blog, this one is not going away. However the new blog is going to have an exciting part in mine and my husband's new life.
    So go on over to Ninja Baby and say hello.

    Monday, April 07, 2008

    Spring arrival

    For those of us in SW Ontario the winter was long. In Kitchener/Waterloo we broke two snowfall records
    • The most snowfall at one time 37 cm (old record 22.4 cm in 1971) March 8 storm
    • The most snowfall in a season - I am not sure where we are so far but the old record was 245.3 cm set in 1923-24 (broken March 8)
    April 1, this is what our back yard looked like (after 1 day of rain)

    The first time I saw robins this spring it was March 25 - five were in the same tree eating some berries. I think they might have been shock to them that there was no grass to pick through for bugs and seeds.

    Afternoon of April 2,

    Sunday April 6
    I should keep a record (hey isn't that what this blog is for) when these crocuses first flower. I planted them in September and the package said Feb - March flowering. I knew Feb was out but April?

    There is only snow in the backyard in a very few patches along the wooden fence, where it drifted deep and doesn't get much sun.

    My Burning Bush (Eunoymus alata, Dwarf Winged Eunoymus) fed the rabbits in the neighbourhood and may have been a sacrifice. I am not sure what the my "guard" dog was doing during these attacks. He lets us know when the rabbits are at the neighbours though.

    The rabbits would not have had to stretch very far to get that back that is 60 cm off the ground, as the snow was quite deep. There are some branches that are not completely girdles and a few inner ones not touched. I am going to wait until it starts to leaf out to decide if it can be salvagable or if it needs to go back to the ground (which by the look at some of the pruning I think it has before).

    Friday, April 04, 2008

    Courtesy of the people over at XCD comics.

    Tuesday, March 18, 2008

    I have been a bad blogger

    I have thought about blogging, taken some photos to post but that is as far as it has gotten.

    Proof that I have thought of the blog - I have pictures of the total eclipse (Feb 20).

    (This my E for the abc along)

    and I have done some knitting.

    So to sum up: I am still alive, I have done some knitting, life has been busy although not that exciting, we have had lots of snow, and short stay by another grey.

    Monday, February 18, 2008

    Something scary

    Do you want to know something scary?

    Sure you do.

    It is not this massacre, that I actually came home to twice this past week. That is Bear, a big stuffed animal that Keeper liked to play with. On Monday I came home and there was small pieces of styrafoam that met me at the door. A quick search of the house led me to believe that Bear was attacked in the rec room and was carried around the house. Bear had a small hole in its arm that I thought could easily be fixed. I went about cleaning up the carnage. Cleaning this up I realized that it was not carried through the house just that those light as nothing pieces stick to everything and are blown everywhere. Friday I came home, and someone had gotten bear from the spare room upstairs (the door does not close firmly) and proceeded to rip the other arm off. More vaccumming. Even today, after yet another vacuuming there is still styrafoam bits everywhere.

    The scary thing is that I actually have knitting content to report on. I have finished another front and the back to my cardigan.

    The good news is they are the same size. Here they are spread out on the floor prior to blocking. Demonstrating their sameness. I added more seed stitch to the button flap since I really like how this yarn (Noro Silk Garden) looks in seed stitch.

    As if that is not enough knitting for you, I have finished one of the Hedera socks. I think that should count as a FO since it is a Cookie A pattern and she only ever knits one. Alas but I can't bring myself to wear mismatched socks even if they are handknit so I guess I shouldn't count it just yet.

    I think reporting on two knitting project is enough for one blog post.

    (See I told you this was scary.)