Thursday, 31 December 2009

Last FO of 2009!

2009 has been a pretty significant year for me. In the next couple of days I'll do a proper look back on all that's happened in my life and knitting this year. But today, I can officially post about my last FO of 2009. I finished Richie's Koolhaas in time for Christmas and got him over here today to photograph it, and last night I finished my very own Koolhaas. It's the 4th time I've knit this pattern (and surely not the last) but the first time that I've knit it for myself. In the photo bellow, Richie's Christmas gift is on the right, in TFA Green Label in Stormy, and mine is on the left, in Punta Yarns Mirasoft. (Mine isn't really that much bigger then his, I took the photo at a weird angle because the light was very bright! I don't actually have a giant head.)

I asked Chris and his brother to model the hats for me, they happily agreed, and seemed to really enjoy it... maybe a little too much, it was hard to get even one shot where they weren't cracking jokes or shooting me their best "blue steel" modeling face.

I have to say, I think that my Green Label yarn suits this pattern very nicely, Richie's hat will hopefully last him years. It's stretchy and comfortable, machine washable and solid. I don't think that my hat will weather the years as well. It was my first time knitting with this yarn, and though I think that the colour is beautiful, the yarn is incredibly soft and it's very comfortable to wear, it totally dyed my fingers and finger nails blue while I was knitting and is already pilling. These super soft single ply yarns are gorgeous, but I haven't figured out what they are best used for... Still, a beautiful hat that will last me this season is a nice treat.

Happy New Year to everyone! Thanks for stopping by my blog this year, see you in 2010!

Wednesday, 30 December 2009

Lucky me!

I love knitting books. I don't have a huge knitting reference library, but the books that I do have, I love. This year I was lucky enough to receive a few more books to add to my collection. My mom gave me these three books:

Family Album, Fishermen's Sweaters and Vintage Baby Knits. Vintage Baby Knits I had requested, Kaffe Fassett is always a good buy, and Fishermen's Sweaters is a book that my mom found second hand at our local V.O.N shop for $3! It's a beautiful book full of great patterns and lots of information about regional motifs. Plus, since it's second hand it came with a bonus:

The previous owner's notes and thoughts are paper-clipped to a couple of pages. I think that's just so neat!

While we're on the topic of books, my little brother Vincent gave me the three volumes that I was missing to complete my collection of these gorgeous Penguin Classics. I had started collecting them this summer, but could not find three of the titles, they were sold out everywhere I searched, including online, I had accepted that I would just have a collection of seven rather than all ten. Vince is apparently much more resourceful than me and was able to track them down. Isn't that a great gift!? Thanks Vince.

Though this last photo has nothing to do with Christmas or gifts, I just can't believe how well my orchid is doing. I bought this plant from Costco in May, I was impressed by how well it did all summer and was perfectly ok with the fact that it had lost all of it's blooms by fall, but now not only is it blooming again, it has sprouted a third stem with 4 new buds on it. Best orchid ever.

I received a couple more crafty gifts from my way too generous mom this Christmas, a bunch of beautiful buttons, a quilt pattern and a collection of beautifully coordinating batik's in shades of blues and greens to make a quilt. Lucky me!

Tuesday, 29 December 2009

Holiday Haze

Ah the holidays... I milked this holiday season as much as I could. I moved out to my parents house along with the rest of my siblings for a total of 8 days! We baked, watched a lot of movies, played games, read, ate and pretty much lazed around in our pj's the majority of the time. It was awesome.

If I wasn't in my pj's I was almost certainly in my new sweater! Thanks so much to everyone who left such nice comments and who are so encouraging! I love this sweater, and it really makes my day to know that other people love it too! I don't plan on publishing the pattern because the yoke portion is entirely taken from cosmicpluto's dipped infinity scarf pattern, which she has for sale on her site, so it's just not my pattern to publish. A little bit of math to figure out your gauge and how many stitches to cast on, along with Elizabeth's Zimmerman's percentage system and the scarf pattern, you too could make your own sweater!

This year my 91 year old grandmother made the trip from Truro, Nova Scotia to Montreal all by herself to join us for Christmas. She is incredible. She has very poor eyesight, but can still knit entire garments almost exclusively by feel. I gave her an early Christmas gift of my Green Label Aran weight yarn in Peacock for her to knit herself a sweater in.

I think that I inherited my love of blue from my grandmother. She loves it! Probably even more than I do, which is really saying something. By yesterday she had complete the back, one sleeve and was working on the second sleeve. Awesome.

I didn't do much knitting over the holidays, with the exception of one last gift that needed to be knit, a Koolhaas for my soon to be brother in law Richie in Stormy (which I finished on the 24th and didn't take a picture of before gifting! I'll try and snap a shot of him wearing it the next time I see him.) I knit Richie a Koolhaas for Christmas 2 years ago, and haven't seen him wear any other hat since. His first version was starting to look a little ratty, so I decided he needed a new one, but when I saw him on boxing day, he was still wearing his old hat! He said that he wasn't ready to part with it yet... boys!

Inspired by how nice and quick and simple Richie's hat is, I've cast on for another Koolhaas, this time for myself in Punta Yarns Mirasoft. This yarn is really soft, and a very saturated beautiful cobalt colour. It will make a great hat.

This photo is just too sweet not to share. This is Stella snuggling with my parents dog Chase. She loves him and loves being close to him. He is so gentle and though I'm not sure he appreciates her warmth as much as she appreciates his, he tolerates her cuddling.

I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday season!

Monday, 21 December 2009

Dipped Infinity Sweater FO

Over the weekend I finished my Dipped Infinity Sweater, and... well... there's no way to say it without sounding a little full of myself so I'll just go a head and blurt it out: it is awesome! I love it, I think I really hit a home run with this one. I'm proud of myself.

I knit it in the round, starting with the body, then the sleeves, joining and then doing the yoke. I did my calculations based on my gauge and using EZ's percentage system and it still amazes me that it works out so perfectly every time! The grey is TFA Green Label in Shadow, I knit that part on 5mm needles and then switched to 5 1/2mm's for the coloured yoke because I used the diagonal scallop stitch pattern from the Dipped Infinity scarf and wanted to make sure that it would block to the same gauge. I think that the texture of the scallop stitch really adds a lot to the coloured portion, if I had knit it all in stockinette stitch I think that it would have looked a little flat.

I love that the coloured yoke section looks kind of like a traditional norwegian ski sweater, but the proportions and the bright colours make it very modern. I definitely plan on getting a lot of wear out of this sweater this winter.

The colours I used for the yoke are all TFA Blue Label: Midnight, Deep Sea, Peacock, Seabreeze, Spearmint, Lemongrass and Buttercup.

I am very tempted to make another one using Sand as the main colour and the scarf kit in the Reds colourway for the yoke! But before I cast on for another sweater for myself I'd better finish up the bits and bobs of Christmas knitting that I still haven't crossed off my list!

Saturday, 19 December 2009

Dipped Infinity Sweater

I've finally got some WIP shots to share of my Dipped Infinity inspired sweater. Until last night it was just a couple of grey tubes, but then I reached the point where I could join the sleeves to the body and start knitting with colour. I love it!

I've only gone through two colour repeats so far. The shifts are flowing smoothly and subtly, exactly how I want it. We're heading up to my sister in laws cottage for the day, hopefully there will be lots of available cosy knitting time and I can finish this thing in time to wear it for the holidays.

I love BLUES!

Wednesday, 16 December 2009


I finished my French Press Slippers. I felted them in my mom's top loading washing machine yesterday and it worked perfectly. I had my doubts about my felting abilities, I've tried before and failed, but the pattern included clear instructions, and when they came out perfect I was so impressed! Now I want to felt everything! Well, maybe not everything, but I would like to take another stab at making a felted bucket. (My first attempt was not successful, it didn't make the blog.)

I made fabric covered buttons for these funky slippers. I think that these may be gifted, but I haven't decided yet. I can think of a lot of people who would really like these, they are a perfect gift. I'll definitely be making more, but maybe not right away. I love this bright turquoise, but I think that the style works better in more natural tones, they have a vintage quality to them, the next pair I make will be less bright and more vintage.

Speaking of slippers. I'm a little conflicted. Today I was shopping at Loblaws and even though I had a brand new pair of slippers at home, I couldn't resist buying this cute cabled, pom-pommed pair from Joe Fresh.

I think that they're sweet! They have a grippy bottom, are machine washable, are stylish and comfy and cost $8, less than the cost of the wool for the ones I made. Joe Fresh makes it so hard to resist!

***Edited to add: I have been wearing my new Joe Fresh slippers for about an hour and have already managed to spill some blue dye on them while working... good news is I don't feel bad about it, I think it adds a bit of funk to the look.

Monday, 14 December 2009

Some Spinning

Not much to say today. My Dipped Infinity/Fiddlehead Mitten inspired sweater is coming along. Maybe by the end of the week I'll have an interesting progress shot to show, right now it's just a grey tube. I've also started a pair of Leyburns in Prism, but there's not much to show there either. I've pretty much completely sorted out my stash! I took everything out, photographed it all, and have uploaded the photo's to Flickr. It was an interesting experience. I thought that I had way more useless stuff, that I would end up with a garbage bag full of yarn to give away, but I don't...Great!

Last weeks spinning is has been plied and skeined and an soaked. 100g, 210yds. Lovely and bouncy, but not as soft as the merino I'm used to spinning. Still, very lovely. I don't think that I used the batt to it's highest potential, it had more distinct lights and darks in the batt, but I didn't have a good enough plan when I spun the singles and ended up with a much more blended/muddy result. Next time I'll have to be more careful if I want to really highlight the differences in colour. Lesson learnt.

I also made a pair of slippers today. I just couldn't resist. I'll felt them tomorrow and hope that it all works out! Felting makes me nervous.

Saturday, 12 December 2009


When I first started experimenting with dyeing my own yarn for socks I had a blast making the wildest, craziest, brightest kool-aid dyed yarns I could! It didn't take long, however, for me to discover that my heart was really in tonal dyeing. For two years now I've been selling my range of tonal yarns, and though I still love it, it was time to add some spunk to the collection! I had a hard time accepting the fact that multicoloured yarns will inevitable pool, stripe and misbehave in ways that are beyond my control, but I've given it a lot of thought, and well, I love knitting socks in multi's and they certainly have their place in the world of hand dyes, so I might as well just accept it and run with it!

I spent months working on these 8 new colours! It has proven quite an adjustment to teach my mind to think about colours in non-tonal representations. But I'm quite pleased with the results! And to tell you the truth, I think that they will pair very nicely with my original tonals, maybe in a fun striped shawl?

I've knit my first pair of TFA multicoloured socks in the Harvest colourway. They are a gift for my soon to be brother in law for Christmas. I've already cast on for my next pair in Prism!

As a knitter/crafter I am often literally overcome with the need to cast on for a particular project. I get an idea in my head and I just can't get it out! I'm totally experiencing such an urge right now and I just don't think I can fight it! I have Christmas knitting that I should be doing, I have WIP's that I should be finishing, but I know that as soon as I'm done writing this post I'm going to start on a new sweater for me!

Inspired by my Dipped Infinity scarf I'm going to make a pullover with a graduating colour yoke. I looked through my stash of leftover blue label yarn and came up with this assortment:

The concept came from the scarf, but the colours are clearly a direct rip off of my Fiddlehead mittens. I love those mitts, so hopefully this sweater will be loved (and worn) just as much.

Friday, 11 December 2009

One blanket, three looks

I love my apartment. We've lived here since July. It's bright, airy, quiet, has a huge bathroom and plenty of closets, and when it's clean and organized it actually feels spacious. I'll be sad when we move on from this place. I can feel us outgrowing it already. Our next move will be to a house, and though that will be extremely exciting and I'm sure I'll love a house even more then this apartment, right now I'm very happy here.

I love that we have a fireplace, it really adds character to the otherwise new and stark space. Chris has an old rocking chair that seems right at home next to the hearth. I've accessorized it with my favorite blanket, the mitered square afghan. I love how just by rearranging the way it's folded and switching out the pillow I can achieve multiple looks.

Look #1:

Look #2: (please disregard Stella's bum in the reflection on the fireplace... She was stretching!)

Look #3: (Stella has found a resting spot on the back of the sofa!)

The other night we had a huge blizzard. It was the perfect opportunity to take advantage of the fireplace and enjoy the storm.

So that's exactly what we did! It was a perfect evening. I spun from my first ever batt. I have a yearly membership to DiakCraft colourway club this year (I mentioned it here) but have been too nervous to spin the gorgeous batts, until now!

This was November's fiber. Spinning from a batt wasn't difficult, I pretty much just treated it like a braid, pre-drafted it into strips and spun away. I hope to get it plied this evening and then maybe move onto another batt!

In other crafting news, I made some little mitten ornaments the other day. Here's my first attempt at doing blanket stitch.

Aren't they cute? I had thought that it would be nice to knit up some mini mittens to attach to gifts this year, but this was way simpler! Just cut out some felt and quilt batting, sewed on a button and then did blanket stitch the whole way around. Took about 10 minutes from start to finish. Pretty cute no?

Thursday, 10 December 2009

New Web Site

Woohoo! I have a website!!! Check it out

I feel like I keep making excuses about why I'm so busy, this time of year there's always Christmas to blame, but really, this is the reason. Chris and I have been working at it for what seems like months! But really intensely for a couple of weeks. Now it's up and let's all cross our fingers that things go smoothly from here!

The website also means that now my blog has a new home. Here at I hope that it's not too hard for readers to find, I don't think that google reader is going to update it automatically, but hopefully no one will be left behind.

My favorite thing about the site is that it's in Canadian dollars, and that you can see all of my colours at once. (You may also notice a few new colours in there, but more on that another day.)

This is a very exciting day for me, I feel like I've reached a new level. Thanks to everyone who has helped me get here!

Friday, 4 December 2009

Busy time of year

This week has been one of the busiest I can remember. Thanks so much to everyone who visited my shop and purchased a Dipped Infinity Scarf kit! And another big thanks to those who left nice comments about the kits! The kits have been up in the shop for almost a week now, and thanks to them I have spent all week dyeing, drying and re-winding skeins.

Today a back ordered shipment of yarn is being delivered, which is a huge relief, I hate not having everything in stock! We're bringing the computer in to get fixed, I have a meeting at the bank... thank goodness it's almost the weekend!

Another layer of business that occupied much of my free time this week was the shooting of our engagement shots (so much fun!), then the designing and printing of our Save the Dates, which I am very excited about! I haven't gotten them back from the printers yet, but I really hope they're perfect.

This week hasn't left me much time for knitting. I have been plucking away at a pair of socks that I'm knitting for my soon-to-be brother in law for Christmas. In a fun multicoloured but manly colourway.

To make up for the lack of knitting content in today's post, and because my brain is having a hard time constructing a proper sentence, I'm going to let the photo's do the talking (mostly). Here are a couple more of our favorite photo's from the shoot.

Even Stella turned and looked back in this one!

This is our most smiley one, Chris doesn't usually smile so big in pictures, but he has such a beautiful smile so I love that the photographers captured it!

Chris and I were supposed to be "acting like we were in love" in this next shot, Stella really wanted in on the action and they caught her mid leap as she was jumping up to be in the hug!

We had a such a perfect day. Thanks Suzy & Patrick!

Monday, 30 November 2009

Engagement sweater

This morning Chris and I had a photo shoot with our wedding photographer to take some engagement shots. I'm not going to give it all away now, but I'll just say that we're thrilled with the results. I'm happy to announce that Stella's sweater got finished just in time! We left our apartment this morning at 9:30am to go to the shoot, at 9:29am I was weaving in ends! She looked perfect!

A cabled pullover with twisted stitch ribbing turtleneck, knit in TFA Green Label Aran Weight yarn in Sand. Chris has put in a request for a matching one!

A couple other knits managed to sneak into the shots as well:

It was such a fun way to spend the morning!

Thanks to everyone who left nice comments on my last post about the new Dipped Infinity Scarf Kits, I will be restocking my Etsy shelves regularly, so if I happen to be sold out when you stop by, try again soon as I'll definitely have more!

Friday, 27 November 2009

Dipped Infinity Scarf Kits

I finished my Dipped Infinity Scarf this week. It's such a fun and quick knit. It's the type of knitting that you just hate to put down, you always want to knit just one more repeat so you can switch colours and see how the next pairing will work.

And when you're done, it's the type of knit that you just can't stop wearing! It's really lovely and soft and snugly. This will definitely keep me warm all winter long. I love it!

Because I love this scarf so much, I decided to share the joy with you all and make up Dipped Infinity Scarf Kits.

This is the colourway that I knit the sample scarf in. I'm calling it "Red".

Of course there's a "Blue" colourway, I will almost definitely be making another scarf in this!

And a natural and earthy "Green" colourway. I really like the pop of yellow at the end.

The kit includes enough yarn to knit the pattern as written with the colours in the order shown. There isn't the same amount of each colour, so it's important to knit them in order to make sure you don't run out!

Tuesday, 24 November 2009

Dipped Infinity Scarf

As soon as I saw this pattern over at Cosmicpluto knits, I was in love.

My instinct was to cast on in a similar blue colourway, but in the interest of diversifying I've chosen a completely different set of shades. I'm very happy with it.

I would love to finish this tonight. If I don't, it will have to get put aside for a couple of days while I work on an emergency project with a strict deadline. We've got a photo shoot booked on Monday with a photographer to take some engagement shots and Stella has nothing to wear! Chris thinks that the fact that I even say thing like that makes me totally crazy, but we're going to a lot of trouble to make these photo's great, and if Stella is going to be a part of themshe's going to have to coordinate! Ok, maybe I am nuts.

Monday, 23 November 2009

Multitasker Tote The Second

Back in April I bought a bunch of lovely designer fabrics and patterns, with the goal of doing more sewing. By May I had made my first Multitasker Tote. I loved it then and over 6 months of constant use means that I love it even more now! It's the perfect tote. I bring it with me shopping and can avoid coming home with plastic bags. I stuff it full of yarn and WIP's when I go visit my parents and want to show my mom what I'm working on. It carries a lot, is very comfortable and also, is very cute! I get a lot of compliments on it, so the other day when I was itching for a little sewing project to do, I decided to make myself another tote.

I used a combination of Anna Maria Horner fabrics for the body and the strap, and a lovely brown and turquoise polka-dot that I picked up at Fabricville for the pockets and lining. I really like the way they work together.

I made the straps a tiny bit shorter this time so the bag sits a little higher on my hip.

It took us a couple tries to get a decent shot outdoors. We were trying to stage it as though Stella and I were just casually standing in front of a tree.

People say she's photogenic, but it often takes a lot of coaxing to get the shot!

Saturday, 21 November 2009

My Fiddlehead Mittens

This is my third pair of Fiddlehead Mittens, and surely not my last!

My sister has requested a pair for Christmas, so I'll be casting on for those soon. I'm not sure what colourway hers will be in. I've been dreaming up lots of new options, she's partial to my original Jewel colourway, but I'm not super keen on knitting the exact same colourway twice, so I'm going to try and come up with something different. I'd like the next pair that I knit to have the contrasting colours in the background rather than the foreground, so instead of the motif colour changing, the swirly pattern will all be in the same colour, and the background will shift. It's just fun to mix things up a bit.

This pair have yet to be lined. It's really tough to muster up the discipline to line them! At this point they look finished, are totally wearable, and are very warm. I've been wearing them for the past couple of days even though it hasn't really been justifiably cold yet. The lining definitely adds a really nice finished look, adds an extra layer of warmth and hides all the floats on the inside of the mitt that fingers could potentially get caught up it... I have plans to line them at some point, but I've got lots of other things to do between now and Christmas so I've sort of bumped the lining down my list of priorities.

Until then I'm perfectly happy wearing them as they are!