Sunday, December 31, 2017

Knit year in review

This year saw me complete 35 projects, which is about on par with my yearly average. There weren't a lot of big projects this year - just two cardigans and a tunic - but I'm okay with that. There were a couple knitting slumps, and of course, I lost some knitting time to my new quilting hobby.

My obsession with lace continued with many holey projects (fully half of my projects had some form of lace work)  - my favourite being the Crimson Blossom shawl.
I continued to hone my colourwork skills (six of the 35 were colourwork) and definitely the one that shines was the Tree Delivery cowl.
There was also lots of designing, with several patterns released, as well as several in the works - including the On the GO designs. I've got 12 planned and managed to complete five of them (number 6 is on the needles now). It's hard to chose a favourite, but Hamilton (my home stop) looks so great with my  tartan heels.
I also took some time to enter the fair, walking away with many, many ribbons. My favourite of that lot was definitely the Old Shale baby cardigan. I'm seriously considering upsizing this one so I can have one too!
And of course, there was some silliness - with giraffe hoods and Loch Ness Monsters... and a wokny Beaker!

Before I wrote this post, I went back to the start of the year, and re-read my knitting goal for 2017. I completely flubbed on it (I couldn't even finish the Empire Line cardigan in time!), but honestly, looking back at all I did accomplish... I can't feel bad.

So here's to keeping 2018 in stitches! See you next year!

Friday, December 29, 2017

Friday felines

The regal Yard Lion shows off his winter coat.

Thursday, December 28, 2017

Spruce Blaster

As most of you agreed, none of those yarns were going to work for Blaster. It was time to get something new. So I went shopping...

... in MOM'S STASH!

If you've been around for a while, you know that Mom has an AMAZING yarn stash. She's always been pretty free about giving something up if she didn't already have plans for it. And now that her focus is mostly on quilting, it's even easier to liberate yarn from her stash.

So I came home with six skeins of String Theory's Merino DK in Blue Spruce.

It's nice and squooshy and lovely to knit with. I was a little worried the variegation would be too busy for the sweater...
But I'm about halfway done the upper back and it's not so bad. The darker shades of slate, pine and navy are broken every so often by a pop of turquoise. Because it's hand dyed, I'm alternating skeins to get a good, even mix.

This isn't a colour I'd usually gravitate towards, but I think it's good to step outside your colourbox every now and I again. And I do have a couple of dresses this will work with, so it's not a huge gamble.

I'm happy I've got a good start on it, but I've really got to put it aside and go look for those darn Nessie eyes... wish me luck!

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Lost Ness Monster

I was hoping to have a second Loch Ness FO post for you today. Instead, all I have is this sad, pink snake...
There just hasn't been any knitting in the the last week. And when I finally got the urge to knit yesterday, I realized I don't remember where I put the eyes I set aside for it.  And I can't continue on the belly until I get the eyes in. I just couldn't muster the urge to search for them... so pink Nessie is languishing.

I hope to make her my last FO of 2017, so I'm going to have to muster the energy soon. Just maybe not today...

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

A Boxing Day tradition

For the past few years, I've joined in Andi Satterland's after-Christmas KALs. And this year will be no different.

I've already decided I'm going to make Blaster...
The only problem is... what yarn to use? I have several lots of DK weight...

.I've got this lovely Debbie Bliss Cashmerino, but it's almost the same colour as the Empire Line Cardigan... I';m not sure I want to have two  cardigans of the same colour on the go at a time.
This Debbie Bliss Cathay has been in the stash forever (That's a young Rocky pictured with it!). But it's got two strikes against it - first, I've got 30 balls of it, and I was planning to make a afghan with it all. Second, it's almost the same shade as the Agatha I made in last year's KAL.
I've got this gorgeous Jo Sharp cotton. But I'm not sure cotton is the best choice. This pattern needs negative ease, and I think cotton will just stretch out with wearing.
Then there's this lovely Rowan Felted Tweed... but I was saving it for a sweater for Dave.

This GGH Woolywacsh... but I think the colour may be a little too drab  for a January knit.

Some decisions are hard!

Monday, December 25, 2017

Meowy Christmas

Wishing you and yours the very best of the season!

A very Meowy Christmas from all of us!

Sunday, December 24, 2017

That's a wrap!

I hope you're all ready for the big day!

I've got a little bit of baking to finish up today, but otherwise, I'm ready. I took Friday afternoon to tackle wrapping and labeling all the presents.
And I would be in big trouble if I didn't acknowledge my little helper!
...who doesn't look so little there! He was actually pretty good, and didn't get into too much trouble.

So bring on the fat man!

Saturday, December 23, 2017

Halfway to Oakville

I was able to finish the first Oakville sock up this week.
 It's one of those pattern that shows much better on feet than the blockers, but that's going to have to wait until the second sock is done.

I'm not sure when that's going to happen. I won't be travelling into the office until mid-January, so there won't be much train time. But I may cast on and work on it at home. We'll see how it goes.
But for now can we just marvel at the beautiful dye skills of Miss Paisley? Such a great mix of such warm hues. That girl's got some serious talent!

Friday, December 22, 2017

Thursday, December 21, 2017


First. Sorry to anyone I scared yesterday with post! Burton is just fine. He's happy and healthy, and a total pain in the butt - just as he should be.

It's just that I noticed he's almost completely lost his kitten looks. At his neuter appointment, he weighed a solid eight pounds and I'm pretty sure he's grown since then. My Baby Burtie-Burt is a baby no more!

In other news...

My Amaryllis has bloomed!
I'm sure why I've never grown one of these before. It was so easy to grow. And just look at those beautiful flowers!
I think this is going to be a new Christmas tradition!

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Bye, bye, baby

Oh baby Burt...
 It's hard to believe...'ve been with us for just six months.
It feels like you've been part of the family forever. You certainly don't look like a baby anymore, but you'll always be my perfect boy!

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Growing pains

It was a quiet afternoon workwise yesterday, and since my home office doubles as my sewing room, I decided to use some of the extra time and tackle some of the sashing on the Woodland Ballet quilt.

I wanted to do at least one scrappy border, and use as much of the leftovers from the paw blocks as possible. But that required a little math.  I did some measuring, some quick calculations in my  head, and got cutting.
The top and bottom borders went together beautifully. I thought I was really on a roll when it turns out I had cut just the right amount to complete the side borders as well. Things couldn't be more perfect, until I laid those side borders alongside the centre for pinning...
It seems my math was a little bit off. I knew things were going far too well! I've got a fairly easy way to fix it, but it means unpicking the seams on the top and bottom borders, and I just wasn't up to that, so I decided to put it away for another day.
Of course, I had to extract a couple cats first. As you can see, the scrappy border (once complete) will will make it much closer to its finished size. Just one or two solid borders after that, and this top will be ready for sandwiching!

Monday, December 18, 2017

FO: Loch Ness Monster

The purple Nessie is done!
And as you can see... she has some neck problems...
I've had a couple Nessies' necks twist a little, but never one as much as this one. It comes from being off a stitch or two when you pick up an graft the stitches on the belly. And I didn't really notice how bad this one was until I was done and at the tail...
Dave says she looks curious... I think she looks like she needs a neck brace. I'm going to see if I can rig up some wire in there. If not, I think I'm going to have to ungraft, and try again.
But other than her vertabral issues, I think she's quite sweet. I've knit many of these Nessie's and they never cease to delight me.
The construction is brilliant. It's a lot of short rows, and you have to pay attention, but it's worth it.
I'm working on Nessie's sister right now, so you'll hopefully be seeing double soon!

Saturday, December 16, 2017

Aliza in Wonderland

Back when I ordered these Wonderland fabrics from MSQC, I didn't have a plan for them...
I just really liked them, and the price was right! Just before they arrived on my doorstep, I found out a coworker was pregnant. I had to wait a few weeks more to find out that they were indeed, having a little girl.

They are going to name her Aliza, and while she's not due until March, I decided to get a jump on things while I had some time. I considered and discarded several ideas until  I finally settled on getting in some log cabin practice.
I fussy cut and pieced the rabbit fabric so I was sure to get one full rabbit in each block. What you can't see very well is that several of the fabric also have sparkly gold highlights. To keep it simple, I made all the blocks the same. And in a matter of hours...
I had 12 lovely little cabins. I found some plain white cotton in my stash, and considered using it for sashing, but I think this would look so lovely with a pop of green. So I'm hoping to get out this weekend to see if I can find some that matches the shade in the floral fabric on the end.

...any excuse for another trip to the fabric store!

Friday, December 15, 2017

Friday Felines

As you saw in my birthday post, we got a little snow this week. By the time all was said and done, we got several inches, and I just couldn't resist taking Burton out for his very first  romp in the snow...

Thursday, December 14, 2017

Little Ness

A few weeks back, my former coworker sent me a picture of her three-year-old snuggling a little stuffed toy I'd made for their cat. It's pretty tiny - you could barely see it in her hands - so I figured it was time I made her a more substantial stuffie.
Okay, so it doesn't look substantial yet... but when it's done, it'll be an adorably monstrous Nessie!
I picked up some Patons Classic Yarn - Purple for the body and pink for the belly. And I should have enough to make one for her baby sister too.

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Oakville on the move

Oakville is moving right along...
It's actually even further along than the picture shows and who knows, today's train trip home may even see it finished (though that may be wishful thinking).

December is usually slower than other months workwise, so I don't think I'll be in the office much more this month (and definitely not between December 21 and January 1st), so though I've got a good start on this, it may be into the new year before this pair gets finished.

But who knows... I may just get ambitious. It is a nice warm colour for these cold snowy days!

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Spoiled little birthday girl!

As of today, I have officially made 38 trips around the sun without managing to cause too much irreparable harm to myself! And I'm feeling pretty good... over the last few days, I've been absolutely spoiled.

At the end of November, Dave asked me what I needed for my birthday (he's always so practical). The truth was, other than a car... I don't really need anything. But when the Black Friday buy 2 get 1 free sale popped up on Charmed Aroma, I asked if he wouldn't mind picking out a couple of candles.

If you've never seen them, they are great big scented double wick candles with a piece of jewelry hidden inside. You burn them down until your prize (wrapped in foil) is revealed. Apparently you can win a piece worth up to $5,000 but most of it is just nice sterling silver costume jewelry. They  give you an appraisal code that reveals the "worth" of item. While I think their "appraisals" are highly over-valued, the jewelry is pretty, the candles smell really nice, and it's a heck of a lot of fun! I've spent the last week burning my candles day and night to get my prizes...
I also got a pretty white tear-shaped stone pendant, but it was still in the candle when I took this picture.

Mom wasn't supposed to get me anything else, because she'd already given me some money towards a new dishwasher, but when Burt and I stopped by after his vet appointment on Saturday, she had a gift bag for me.
More of her gorgeous handspun, and some much needed quilting tools!

Yesterday afternoon, I went to the mailbox and there was my prize from the I ❤ Fall KAL!
500 yards of the most divine merino/bamboo I've ever felt, a fun little button and some cute animal bum stitch markers! Thanks so much Vera!

My paperwhite have also started to bloom, just in time for my birthday!
 And they smell so strong! They are the dining room and you can smell them as soon as you get anywhere near the room!

And last, but definitely not least... the best birthday present of all...
Baby Burt is back in business. He's eating on his own again (and bugging me for a little of whatever I'm eating) his energy levels are back up to MAX, and we seem to have put the worst behind us! I couldn't ask for more than that!

And before I forget - time to share some of this love.... the winner of the 10 year blogaversary give away - Jocelyn!!!! I'll email in a little bit to get your details. Congrats!

Monday, December 11, 2017

I like big blocks

Thanks for all your well-wishes for Burton. We had a very rough morning yesterday when I woke up and Burton had completely regressed. In fact, he was worse than before I took him to the vet. I syringe fed him and fretted about whether or not to take him to the emergency vet. But after some food, and a good long sleep, he seemed to bounce back. By late afternoon he was eating on his own  and alert again. Here's hoping it sticks!

Now onto business!

As you know, before I start any new quilting projects, I'm on a quest to assemble all tops for the projects I currently have on the go.

With Chocolate Covered Pinwheels done, and Deep Sea Stars stalled until I can get more fabric, the only ones left were the Bear Paws, and some fall-coloured HSTs I haven't shown you yet.

To be honest, I'd been putting assembling the Bear Paws off. I'd already had some trouble with them. And I'd planned to assemble them on an angle, which made the process seem so much more daunting.  But in the end, I sucked it up, and much to my surprise, it was together in about an hour, with nary a problem!
It helped that the paws are nice and big (about 11" square) and there are only 12 of them. Squaring them up helped even more, though like the stars, they lost a few of their sharp points (though not nearly as badly as the stars.

Since the paws are on point, I'm calling this one Woodland Ballet.  Like the Sea Stars, this one is going to be a queen size quilt, and I want Mom to quilt it. Unlike the Sea Stars, it's much bigger, so it won't require as much sashing. I also have a quite a few coordinating fabrics set aside for this one. So you may see the top done before Christmas, but the finished quilt will have to wait until sometime in the new year