Friday, July 27, 2007

Finished Sweater

I finished this sweater on Wednesday, but it took all say yesterday to finish blocking/drying. This sweater represents a collection of first for me. It is my first cotton sweater, my first top down sweater and my first attempt at a button band. I think the button band came out a bit small, but I haven't decided whether I will rip it out and try again. I am otherwise thrilled with the sweater. The cotton is such a wonderful colour and so soft.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Harry Potter and the Abandonment of Knitting

I'm sure I'm not alone in having set down my knitting in favour of reading this weekend. I picked up a copy of Harry Potter late Saturday afternoon and had it finished by Sunday evening. During that time I think I knit two rows on my sweater and four on one of my socks. No spinning at all was done, despite the presence of new and enticing fiber.

I think I have made up for it today. I've been blasting away at my sweater. The pattern is wonderfully straight forward and the yarn is soft and thick. It is nice to have something progress this quickly and easily:

You may notice that my hair is shorter now than it was last time I took a sweater photo. I got a hair cut last Tuesday and I really couldn't be happier how it came out.

Friday, July 20, 2007

Just Peachy

Yesterday I was in the mood for some knitting multi-tasking so I cast on for a sweater:

This is Something Red using Blue Sky Cotton in a lovely peach colour. It is also the polar opposite of my Norwegian socks. I picked up 4 skeins of this yarn at Lettuce Knit when I was in Toronto for the Yarn Harlot's talk. I fell in love with the colour and softness and I decided to make some sort of tank top out of it. Once home I searched the internet for patterns using this yarn just to get an idea of how it would work (this was before I was on Ravelry). I found and fell in love with the 'Something Red' pattern instead, so when we stopped in Toronto en route to Montreal I went back to Lettuce Knit and picked up a couple more skeins. I knit a swatch when I got home but decided I wanted to wash the swatch before I figured out my gauge. Yesterday I finally washed the swatch and started the sweater. This will be the third sweater I've made and the first sweater knit top down. So far so good.

I was going to limit this post to a description of my new project, but then I got some lovely fleece in the mail today. I ordered this fleece from London-Wul. I got some hand dyed Polwarth:

and some Dark Welsh top:

There is only one bag of the Polwarth but I put in two pictures because it looks so different from the front and back.

I shouldn't be bored this weekend.

Thursday, July 19, 2007


I don't have much to show by way of knitting today. I finally found some bamboo double pointed needles size 3.25 (at Zellers of all places), which means I have started knitting a Norwegian sock that will actually fit me. I started yesterday afternoon and I about the same place on the sock as I was back on the 13th. I will take a picture when there is something new to see. The too small sock is on hiatus until I can decide what to do with it. I know I'm not going to frog the whole thing but I also don't think I will finish it as is.

In lieu of knitting pictures here are some pictures from my garden. I have a plot in a nearby community garden, and I'm enjoying my first attempt at a vegetable garden.
My very tiny bush beans:

One of my ever growing cantaloupes:

The first of my eggplants:

A butternut squash flower:

Finally a rudimentary frame I made today so that my melon plants don't take over the whole garden:

Monday, July 16, 2007

Complete Divided Attention

The only problem with spinning and knitting is that you can't do them both at the same time. The last couple of days I've been switching from one to the other. On the knitting front, I've turned the heel of my Norwegian stockings:

I'm happy with the way the colour work is going but I now have to admit that there is no hope of this sock fitting me. I'm going to alter the pattern and switch needles and see if that helps. I'm not sure whether this particular sock is going to have a mate knitted for it. I'll have to see how I feel after I'm finished knitting a pair that fits. One last picture of the too small stocking, this time inside out:

Colour work is fun, if unforgiving.

On the spinning front I've been doing this:

When my mom was around I spun little bits of all of the wonderful fibers she brought with her. This is my first attempt at spinning a larger quantity. It is my lovely shetland roving. Much of my spinning at the moment is with the shetland simply because it is all prepared and I have a largish quantity of it. I've ordered a couple of other rovings so soon I will be able to show off a wider variety of yarn.

Finally today I got around to photographing my beautiful Lendrum. The cat helped by pretending I didn't exist:

Friday, July 13, 2007

Casting Off and On

My mother's visit was a complete success. We visited, we ate, we drank, we played with fiber,... She showed me how to spin on my new wheel and I showed her how to turn a sock heel. My spinning wheel hasn't been out for its photo shoot yet, but I do have a picture of my mother's first sock heel:

I'm not sure if she is addicted to socks yet, but it can't be long. I'm certainly hooked. I finished my Monkeys yesterday and blocked them overnight. I'm pretty happy with how they came out:

The lighting for that picture is less than perfect. I left it too late in the day to get the really good light. I should have taken my pictures earlier but I was all caught up knitting this:

This is the beginning of the Norwegian Stockings from Nancy Bush's Folk Socks. This is also my first attempt at stranded knitting. I have done two colour knitting in the past but it has always involved slip stitch rather than two yarns at once. I really enjoy learning new techniques and stranded knitting isn't disappointing me. I am worried, though, that these socks might be just a bit too tight. I'm going to keep knitting in the hopes that blocking and wear will stretch them enough to fit comfortably. Worst comes to worst I will just have to find someone with smaller legs to give these to. Let the bribery begin ;)

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

Monkey Business

My spinning and knitting have been largely on hold the last few days. I have been devoting most of my time to house cleaning in preparation for my mother's visit. This really boils down to doing a bit of cleaning and organizing here and there and spending most of my time avoiding cleaning ad organizing by playing around with Ravelry. Oh the wonderful time suck that is Ravelry.

I did cast on a sock a couple of days ago. I thought I'd see what the big deal was with the Monkey pattern. I had a skein of Jitterbug that I had picked up in Montreal and I was itching to get something cast on with. I tend to avoid swatching for socks (unless I'm designing them myself) since I find it easier to just knit a bit of the sock and try it on for fit. So far I have this:

I knit this using my favorite set of 2.75 mm needles that I have used to produce nearly all of my socks to date. I have decided that this sock is going to be too wide and so it destined to be frogged later today. Instead I am going to go up to 3 mm needles and cut the pattern down to a 12 stitch repeat from a 16 stitch repeat. So far so good:

I could have switched yarn and stuck with the original pattern but I think the Jitterbug is destined to be made into Monkeys one way or another. I originally bought it in Montreal because I thought I'd need some sock yarn for the return trip. As it turned out I still had my nephew's socks to work on on the trip back. Before I realized that the nephew socks would keep me entertained, I turned the Jitterbug skein into a Jitterbug ball. Lacking a nostepinne I made do with what I had at hand:

So like I said, this yarn is destined to be Monkey socks.

Sunday, July 1, 2007

Happy Canada Day

We finally had weather that made me want to put on a wool sweater, so now I have finished Tatami pictures. This was a very quick sweater to knit and I like the results. If I were to knit this pattern again I think I would go up a size, though I'm not sure whether the drop stitch pattern would show up as well in a roomier sweater. It is a great sweater for a cool summer day.

The details: Tatami Kimono kit from Link in the Lime and Cilantro colour-way. I only used four of the recommended five skeins; your milage may vary.