Thursday, September 29, 2011

Catching up

Things have been pretty hectic since returning from knit camp - both at home and at work. So I've saved up a few little things to do one giant blog post to catch you all up.

1) The most exciting new is that we have a new addition to our family, and the Wandering Cat clan.

Meet Mopar:Long-time readers will recognize Mopar as Dave's cat. Well, both Mopar and Dave have moved in with us full-time (though some of Dave's stuff still to come).

Mopar, as you can see, is a handsome gent. He's a half Maine Coone, half Siamese (yeah he doesn't look it, but he sings like one!) 17-year-old superior feline specimen. Like Tux, he's diabetic, and he's getting a little frail - but that hasn't stopped him from putting my cat-clan in their place. He's pretty laid-back, but he's not afraid to tell them what's what - especially with Tux, who is none too happy about the whole situation.

2) In yarn news - I got some (yeah like I really needed it after the knit camp haul - right? In my defense, this was ordered before knit camp)
Delusional Knitter's sport (merino/nylon) in Butterscotch. I've had my eye on this one for a long time, and I finally sucked it up and bought it. I'm thinking it will make some lovely lace and cable socks!

3) I've got fabric!

This awesome pile of potential is thanks to the very generous Zoom at It's destined to become a trousseau of Barbie outfits just in time for Christmas! I have promised her kitty Duncan some special catnip treats in exchange for these lovely scraps.

4) Dreaming about Barbie clothes got me reminiscing about the ones Mom made me as a child - and lead me on a hunt for a particular pattern book she use to have
We aren't sure what happened to it, but I'd love to get my hands on another copy. If anyone has a copy they don't need, let me know and we can talk - I found some on ebay, but I don't want to pay $15 + $10 shipping... I can't even crochet!

5) I've started knitting Purity
I've got the centre done, and I've started on the contrasting lace (in green on mine) but I'm not loving the Kidsilk Haze. It's a pain to knit with. I'm sorely temped to rip back the few rows I've done and switch to the Silky Alpaca I got from camp.

That's about all for now. Saturday is dye day (and maybe even reorganize Mom's stash day!) so I'm sure I'll have an update sometime on the weekend.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Knit camp:Wrap up

Sadly, this morning was the last day of knit camp. It was up early for breakfast, the off to class. We were once again with Fiona Ellis, this time learning all the finer points of cables. If you're familiar with Fiona's work, you'll know this is her specialty!

If you ever get the chance to take any classes with Fiona - take it. She's an excellent teacher with a wealth of knowledge and experience. As a budding designer, I found it especially cool to learn about her creative process, and even peek into some of her design journals.

I've got four new designs to get down on paper thanks to her classes.

After class today, it was one last group lunch, then goodbye to all our new (and old friends) and back on the road for home.

So now I'm back, settled on my couch with time to reflect.

I knew knit camp was going to be fun, but one thing I did not expect was the quantity and quality of knitting swag!
That's my haul from my "welcome bag", "door prize" and "gift from Mom"!
The Regia, Silky Alpaca, mini skiens, needle holder and scarf patterns are from the Welcome bag.

The two skeins of Alpaca Fino, stole pattern, sheep mug, and novelty yarns are my door prize. And a note about the door prizes - EVERYONE gets one - and they are all different, and all kick ass! (And there were other draw prizes on top of those, though I didn't win - and with all this, I'm certainly not complaining.)

The peacock coloured skein is Prism Delicato- a 100% Tencel lace yarn - that was a gift from Mom.

So, I went to camp, ate like a pig, knit like a fiend and made out like a bandit. Not a bad weekend at all!

But I am happy to be home - back to my own bed, and snuggled up with the cats. I think they missed me too.

Tux snubbed me for about five minutes, then realized I brought him some new yarn to snuggle with...
...Rocky wants to know why there are no cat treats in the goodie bags...... and Peno says..."Don't ever go away and leave me alone with the boys again!"

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Knit camp: Day 2

Camp began bright and early with breakfast. Then it was off to classes with Fiona Ellis.
Today - Dive into design.

Here's my workspaceMom and FionaThen it was time for lunch. And after lunch.... designing by the lakeand me in my new sweater with the best seat in the house:Tomorrow: It's all about cables.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Knit camp: Arrival

Well - here we are at knit camp.
It's dark and stormy on the lake...But it's warm inside and there is lots of yarn.

We got here a little later than planned, due to an unintentional detour - or as I like to call it - unexpected adventure! But all is well. Tonight was just a fashion show and dinner - and Icecream!
Tomorrow classes with Fiona Ellis begin!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

"Hey mom....."

"..can I go to knit camp with you?"

Sorry Rocky, the resort says no pets allowed - and there's too many other things to put in my suitcase anyway. But don't worry, Dave is going to take good care of you and keep you company while I'm gone. (Try not to bug your sister Peno too much...)

And for the rest of you who can't join us - be sure to check out the shop. Mom's got an update ready to go. Including goodies like these:

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

I spy...

with my little eye... something purple and made of alpaca, silk and cashmere...I am amazed - but it's done and blocking. And it was done a day early! I knit my poor little fingers to the bone into the wee hours of the morning last night. I'm terribly sleep deprived now, but I've got a finished cardigan for knit camp.

It will come of the blocking board tomorrow, and I'll put the closure on it that night. And Friday - I think I'll wear it on the drive up!

Details will follow when I have better pictures of it (probably by the lake at camp!)

Monday, September 19, 2011

Bring on the babies...

...because I am stocked up on yarn!
Mom's been bugging me for weeks to help her rein in her ever growing stash. But I don't think her idea of help involved me taking it all home....

But really - all I said was - "I went to Lens, but I didn't like any of the 'baby' yarn and none of it was on sale, so I'm just going to dye my own"

To which she replied "I have lots of yarn you can use for baby projects" and into the stash room we went. I came out about half an hour later with the above pile, as well as a few balls for myself...
The above pictured are cotton/viscose/silk blend. Mom said they could be used for baby - but there is silk in them so you know I'm keeping them all for myself. There's enough of the red to make a short sleeved cardi. And I'm on the hunt for a nice shrug pattern for the pink.

Oh... and look what magically appeared on one side of my sweater?
After posting last night, made Dave dinner, then put my nose to the grindstone and pumped out a sleeve. She took about 5 hours. I know that seems insane for just seven inches (7.5 if you include the picot) - but it's fingering weight - on 3.25 mm needles.

I'm still not overly optimistic about having it done in time. It's 9:42 and I haven't knit a stitch. But I'm still trying.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Perfectly picot-ed

Once again, I was overly optimistic about how long my knitting actually takes. I was hoping to have the body of Fable done by Saturday, leaving all day today to work on (and possible finish) the sleeves.

But it was not to be so. Oh the body is finished....But it took me until 4 p.m. this afternoon to get there.

I've got about 3 inches done on one sleeve.. but I'm not deluding myself any longer - there is little chance of this being done by camp. We leave in the morning on Friday, and I usually only get an hour to knit each night after work (sometimes none at all). And it needs to be blocked, so that means I'd have to finished it by Wednesday night.

Oh, I'm going to try. But I'm being realistic, so I'm not too disappointed when I don't get it done.

Oh well... for now I'm going to find pleasure in a well-done picot collar.I do love a good picot!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

A Cinderella story?

Nope... I just haven't had a chance to make the second one yet.

I needed a break from the seemingly endless rows on the body of Fable (only 3 inches to go!), so I cast on for a pair of my Baby Janes. Can you believe there are 213 pairs of these on Ravelry - how cool is that?

I'm using some leftover DK angora that Mom bought at the KW Knitter's Fair years ago. She bought several cones in a couple of different colours. This blue has been used in a cardigan, a pair of gloves, these shoes and I'm hoping to have enough to make a bonnet to match.

There's no intended recipient yet, but out of the three "gender surprise" babies in the recent baby boom, I'm sure there is bound to be at least one girl. And if not... they can be put away for some future baby.

I stopped at Lens after work and picked up a few cards of buttons for the stash - including these little pearl hearts which were just perfect for a pair of Princess shoes!
I really have to design a big girl version of these!

Sunday, September 11, 2011

The Fable unfolds...

As promised....Dave is off working today, so I am devoting the whole day to nothing but knitting on Fable. Well, I'm doing laundry and watching pirate movies too... but it's mostly all about Fable.

The above (crappy bathroom mirror shot) was taken at 4:20 p.m. Were I not modding the crap out of this pattern, I'd be just about ready to cast off the body and start on the sleeves.

But, me being me, I'm making the body longer so it's more cardigan than shrug. I have at least four inches to go before I can start the picot hem (another mod) - and then at least an inch after that before I can cast off. I'm hoping to be able to do that by bedtime, but that might be just a wee bit optimistic.

However, Dave is working next Saturday too - so that's at least one more day of (relatively) uninterrupted knitting to devote - things are looking good for having in done by Knit Camp on the 23rd!

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Behold Haruni

Today was dye day - and while I was up at Mom's I took the opportunity to get some finished pictures of Haruni.I am definitely pleased with this one, even if I didn't have enough yarn for the i-cord edging.It turned out to be a good size for a small shawl - about 50 inches wide - just wide enough to wrap nicely around the shoulders.
The pattern is very easy - and definitely one I'll do again - probably with more yarn so I can make it even bigger and do the proper edging.

Oh, and of course... I added beads....
Still not a big fan of the Wollmeise - there were actually four knots in this skein - and I can't get the perfumey smell out of it - despite a long soaking. But I do love the colour.

Since casting off, I did do as promised and have been working diligently on Fable. It doesn't seem like I'm getting anywhere... but I'm working on it. Pics coming soon.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Block it like you mean it!

I was pleasantly surprised to discover that I only had four rows left on Haruni - not eight. And that I-Cord edging - I needn't have worried - I didn't have enough yarn any how.
So, I did a stretchy cast-off and I think it looks just fine. It's happily blocking and I'll get some modeled shots this weekend.

In the mean time, here's a little sneak peek at my bead workI love beads!

So now it's back to the regularly scheduled WIPs.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Haruni wins this round....

I was really hoping to have pictures of Haruni blocking for you today... but, alas, it was not to be.
Despite knitting my fingers to the bone all weekend, I finally admitted defeat at 10 p.m. last night.

There are just eight rows left - and I probably could have gotten them done by midnight, but it was really the thought of the i-cord cast off that follows that did me in - who knows how long that's going to take.

I do want to get it off the needles though, as I'm itching to get back to Fable. Mom and I are going to Knit Camp in just a few weeks, and it would be really nice to have it to wear.

Oh, and there is another baby to add to the baby boom... this one in November! Sigh. When will people learn cats are better?

Speaking of which...You can see they had a productive Labour Day.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Meet Anna

You will remember that this summer, I participated in a mystery KAL with designer Anna Dalvi. Anna is a fellow Canadian and her designs are beautiful!

I first discovered Anna's talent for myself, earlier this spring, when she contacted us about using one of our yarns for one of her designs.

A quick look at her design page - and you know there was no way I was saying no.

So Anna chose her yarn (Twinkle Cat Gold in Dragon Heart), it was sent off, and I waited to see what she would do with it. Last week, she unveiled her creation...
I was not disappointed. The pattern is Eragon. (I love the little detail up the side of the thumb)! It's part of her "Seven Fingerless Mitts" e-book - and the other designs are just as lovely (and there are still three more to come!).

If you haven't checked out her design page on Ravelry, I seriously suggest you do. She's just put out a lace book that is truly magnificent - it's going on my Christmas wish list!

It is definitely an honour to have our yarn featured in one of her designs!

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Startitis bites again...

Haruni has been in my queue for a very long time - and I've had a skein of Wollmeise squirreled away for just such a shawl.

I've mentioned before that Wollmeise is not one of my favourite yarns (I find the base a little too cotton-like for my liking), but it does soften when washed and some of her colourways are pure genius.

Spice Market is one such - an absolutely stunning grouping of deeps brownish reds with touches of burnt orange and green. It's just like autumn here among the vineyards.

Although they are hard to see, I've added beads as well - a nice iridescent orange that adds just the right touch of shine.

It's a Labour Day weekend here - and if I have my way, all my labours will be put towards finishing this shawl!

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Ah, September 1st... wait... WTF?!?

Seriously ... September??? Never mind August... what happened to the rest of the summer?

Oh well.. no where to go but forward right. That means there's Christmas knitting to plan, babies to prepare for, designs to get underway.

The good news is, I've got a little head start.The Shawl Collared Baby Sweater is done - all it needs is buttons - and baby isn't due until December!

And is sounds like Mom might have the sock machine figured out... just in time too... if September's here, I'll need socks soon!