Friday, 27 February 2009

Last new colour of the month!

This month my creative juices sure have been flowing! I've added a fourth new colour to my repertoire, introducing Sand:

I had been asked by a customer to develop a natural, beige sort of colour. My first reaction was to think that it would be boring, but after thinking about it for a second or two, I realized that the yarn that I've used probably more than any other is Patons Classic Wool in the "Natural Mix" colourway, it's so versatile and always produces lovely classic results. It's a colour I've used often, who was I to be hypocritical and call it boring!? So I made it my starting point and worked from there!

Above we have my Sand colourway next to it's inspiration, Natural Mix. I took stock of all the things I've knit using either natural mix or something similar, many of my favorite things are this beige/sand colour

I can't wait to knit more favorite things with my very own version of a neutral base. I've been wanting to knit my dad a sweater vest. He'll deny it, but he LOVES sweater vests, drop by my parents house any night of the week and I can almost guarantee you'll see him in one of his many vests. Not only did I want to knit him a sweater vest, but I wanted to knit it out of my yarn and now I've got the perfect backdrop colour for a lovely striped vest sort of like this one. Dad will look great in it! I'm going to put it on the list for next Christmas, or maybe even father's day if things go well.

Chris took this picture of Stella the other day. It was around 1pm, and it was the first really sunny day we have had in a while. You see, Stella's a whippet, she's very adorable, but also very skinny, so she's always looking for warmth, usually she gets it by snuggling, which is amazing, but when the sun comes out she follows the beams around my apartment and lies wherever she has to in order to bask in the most sunlight. At 2pm she can often be found leaning awkwardly up against the bathroom door because there's a ray of sunlight shining on it. I've even come home to find her standing on the tiny little table I have next to the front door where I drop mail and keys. Anyways, all that to say, she's a heat seeker, and on this particular day, she found the sun on the coffee table, where I had left a bunch of knitting projects, so she just curled up among them and enjoyed the rays. 

She looks like she needs sunglasses, the sun was indeed quite bright that day!

Tuesday, 24 February 2009


Today I went on a little button shopping expedition. I went to Rix Rax, a lovely store in the Plateau with buttons in boxes stacked from floor to ceiling, just walking in made me happy. The one problem with that shop is that there are just too many options! There must be thousands of buttons to chose from, so trying to narrow down your options and pick the right ones is pretty near impossible. I did my best. I bought blue buttons for my Lagoon Loppem, and I bought lime green buttons for my Mallard Lady Sweater, but I made the horrible mistake of not bringing my knitting with me, so when I got home, I realized that I wasn't super confident about my choices.

So, there you have the blue buttons, the lime green buttons, and their respective sweaters, and to be honest, I kind of think that the blue's go better with the green sweater and the lime green button's really pop against the blue sweater! My goal with the kind of fluorescent green was to highlight the lime green in the Mallard colourway, but when you put them together, they kind of just look like they don't "go". But against the bright blue, I thought it was a really neat, unexpected pop of fun colour. So I did the switch up, and voila!

Now I have one extra lime green button and two extra blue buttons, I'm sure I'll find a use for them somewhere. I got a turtleneck for Christmas that has a random button sewn on the bottom right hem, it's a neat added detail, I may bejewel an existing sweater with a random green button at some point. 

Remember how Stella ate my awesome purple wood buttons from my Drops jacket? I finally replaced them as well, and though they're not that flashy, they're lovely none the less.

Simple copper metal buttons. Now I can finally wear that sweater again! I'm still missing buttons for my Mallard Lady Sweater, but 2 out of 3 ain't bad.

Monday, 23 February 2009

2 new sweaters, 2 more new yarns

I'm super excited! I've taken the plunge and have registered to go to my first Knitters Fair as a vendor. I'm going to the Toronto Knitters Frolic on Saturday, April 25. I'm going to have my own booth and just can't wait to have the whole thing set up. I'll take tons of pictures. So, between now and then, I'm probably going to knit exclusively Tanis Fiber Arts projects so I have lots of samples to display. I'm currently working on my February Lady Sweater in Green Label Mallard Colourway. It seems to be quite a trend to knit this sweater in green, and I've always liked this colourway, and people tell me that because of my dark hair I look good in green... so put all those factors together and the decision was made! I feel like this sweater would look good in any colour though. I may make more then one. So far I've got this:

Just a note, I took these pictures yesterday and it was pretty grey and not ideal lighting for a photo shoot, my apologies for so-so pictures and un-accurate colour depiction...

I also finished knitting this sweet little cardigan. It's Loppem from Norah Gaughan Vol.3 knit in Lagoon. It only took 2.5 skeins of yarn and was finished in 4 days. It's missing buttons, and the colour in the photo is not accurate, but hopefully you can gather a little bit of it's cuteness. I was really happy with the way the colour in the yarn behaved while knitting this project. I didn't alternate balls of yarn every other row, I just knit one ball and then joined the next and continued and there is no sign of pooling or weird colour changes or anything! It looks like it was knit from one continuous skein, and isn't that always the goal! I'm very pleased and comforted that my yarn behaves as I planned. 

Next I'm going to share a couple new colurs I've been working on. last week I shared Blueberry (though it wasn't named yet.) Now the parade continues. I've had a request for a deep dark olive colourway, so here's the result of my experiments:

It's darker and browner, less blue then moss, I was skeptical at first because I worried that I had two colourways (moss and this new olive) that looked too much alike, but it's really growing on me.

Next, a very feminine, rich, deep and dark colourway: Plum. It's the kind of colour that I always immediately love, somewhere in between burgundy and grape, it's jewel toned and really quite lovely if I do say so myself. I'm getting in some new yarn bases soon, and I can't wait to try these new colours in them! Check my Shop for more photo's and to purchase these fun new colours.

Thursday, 19 February 2009

Stella's on cloud nine

I'm venturing into new dyeing ground. I'm very excited about it. One of my goal's for 2009 is to learn how to spin. I've tried my hand at a drop spindle, and it was fun, but I'm really dying to go all the way and spin on a wheel. I love the idea of spinning, and even more the idea of spinning from roving that I dyed myself! So, step one is to try the dyeing. I tried, and it was beautiful. It was so much fun to see the roving go from dry and fluffy and beautiful, to wet and limp and honestly looking like kind of a disaster, and then dried and fluffy and colourful and gorgeous again! I braided it and had it all ready for a photo shoot, then I went off to work and left Stella home alone with it, and this is what happened:

She had a field day! She was very severely punished for doing this, but I have to admit she was adorable lying on the bed covered in this cloud of turquoise fluff! She knows not to dare going near the yarn, hopefully now she's learn not to go near the roving either!

ps: Don't worry, this big pile of shredded fluff won't go to wast. I plan on using what I can to make a great pair or TFA thrummed mittens.

Sunday, 15 February 2009

A collection of projects and plans

There's been lots and lots of dyeing going on around here lately. I dyed 100 skeins on Friday, it was a big day for me! That's one reason why blogging has been a little slow. To make up for it, this post is going to be pretty random, like the title suggests, I'm just going to blab about what I've been working on and what I'm planning on working on next. So, first things first, I've got this FO to share, I've finished knitting my Assemblage cardigan and I'm pleased to announce that it's a success!

I've been wearing it around the house, mostly in the mornings over my pj's or in the evenings before I go to bed, that's why I don't have a photo of me modeling it, I'm not prepared to put a picture of me first thing in the morning on the internet. I'll plan a proper photo shoot one of these days. Trust me when I say that it fits me just like it fits the model in the booklet. It's slouchy and comfy and cozy, just what I wanted. And the yarn was a great fit for the pattern. All in all I'm very please.

Next up, here's a photo of a new colour I dyed a little while ago, I'm going to finish my Malabrigo socks today and then immediately cast on for my next pair with this. I think that I can safely say that this is my new favorite colour of all time! I'm working on a couple more new colours that will be added to my permanent collection within the next couple of weeks.

Laura Aylor, the genius behind the Lizard Ridge Afghan (see mine here) did me the great honor of designing a new afghan using my Green Label yarn. It's called the Merrywood Throw and it's gorgeous. She's got the pattern for sale on Ravelry and I'm so excited to see more completed versions.

Now that I've finished my Assemblage, I'm ready to start a string of new sweater projects that I'll knit with my Green label yarn, the first is from the same booklet as the Assemblage, it's the Loppem Cardigan, and I'll be knitting it in Lagoon.

I've always really liked this colour, but haven't knit anything out of it yet. It's a bright ultramarine blue, and I think it's just the thing for this cute little cardigan. This should be a quick knit. Also in the queue are the February lady sweater and the Shalom Cardigan. It'll be so fun to be able to walk around wearing sweaters made out of my own yarn! Stella gets too, it's only fair that I do too!

Tuesday, 3 February 2009


I've been sick over the past couple of days, at first I didn't even knit, I just lay on the couch with Stella and watched General Hospital and napped. Did I mention that Dr. Patrick Drake (aka: Jason Thompson) came into my restaurant last week! I freaked out, he was very gracious. Anyways, when I was feeling better I finished a little Baby Surprise Jacket that I had started right before I got sick. The blue is my own fingering weight yarn in Tidal, and the multi is Blue Moon Fiber Arts in the Lucy colourway. To tell you the truth, I had high hopes for this little sweater. I thought that it would be a great way to use up leftover sock yarn (which it definitely is) and I also thought that because it was so little and cute and because I was combining a solid and a multi that the result would somehow be a little more subtle then what I actually got. The multi is screaming at me! I think I've learnt my lesson, next time I'll definitely do more solid, and just have the multi as an occasional stripy accent. Also, I knit these on 3.75mm needles, the last one I knit I 3.25mm's and though it did fit the baby for a good 8 weeks, it was teeny-tiny, but I think that next time I'll use 3.5mm's. I've learnt a lot from this wee sweater. 

The last thing I learnt is that though the pattern says to cast off in purl on the right side, so that you end up with what looks like a garter stitch cast off, I much prefer the look of the wrong side! That super neat little cable running along the edge really finishes it off. Next time I'll cast off in purl on the wrong side, or in knit on the right side? 

Super close up of cute little cast off edge.

I guess that the theme of today's post is learning, because other then all the things I learnt about making a BSJ, I also took the time to learn how to darn socks today! I quick little You Tube video and I'm officially a pro, I darned two socks very successfully! The third I gave up on because the hole was bigger then my fist... The light bulb isn't random in that picture, apparently you're supposed to use a "darning mushroom" when you darn, but light bulbs work just as well.

And lastly, today I delivered an order to a LYS, and though I'm usually very good about just walking in and out and not looking too much at the yarn so as to not let myself be tempted, today I couldn't resist. I picked up this gorgeous Namaste bag, and it's fantastic! So many useful pockets and clever design tricks. I love my Namaste. And since I was paying for it, I decided to throw in a couple skeins of Malabrigo sock yarn while I was at it. I'm considering it research, I'm studying the dye. 

Even though I had kind of become opposed to knitting socks with no nylon content, I may have changed my mind now that I know how to darn, especially since I've just darned 2 pairs of socks that actually have nylon! And even though I already have a pretty nice pair of socks on the needles, and a super nice cardigan that only needs a right front, a collar and a button band to be complete, I'm 95% sure I'm going to cast on for a pair of luscious Malabrigo socks before this day is over. I've got a pattern in mind, and it's taking all my strength to try and convince myself that I should finish what I'm working on before I start something new... but this yarn is like butter! 

Monday, 2 February 2009

Mitered Square blanket

I'm not sure where it came from, but I was struck by an intense urge to work on my Mitered Square Blanket yesterday. I've sort of been viewing it in terms of groups of three. This is my third time posting about it, I seem to post every time I've completed three more blocks, that means that hopefully the next time I post about this blanket it will be done! So, here's where we're at so far.

I've completed to red-orange-yellow-green and blue sections, next I've just got the purple-pink section and then the rainbow will be complete! I love it more every time I complete a new square. I'm really seeing it come together and the colour progression is working just as I had hoped. I'll talk more about my process and colour choices in my final post about this project. For now, here are close ups of the latest three blocks, only one is sewn together, I was running out of light and had to take the shots before I could finish the sewing. 

I think I'm going to take a little break from this again, I want to finish my Assemblage sweater before winter is over! But I'm so tempted to just get this project over with because I can't wait to have access to all the leftovers that are going to result from the completion of this project! I've got visions of colourful mittens and hats and probably even a yoked sweater... it's going to be so much fun!