Wednesday, October 01, 2014

Aaaaaaaand.... We're Back

Apologies for the radio silence. Between having a wee bug floating between the walls of our house, and just general 'beginning of Fall mania', this poor website appears to have been swept under the carpet for some time.

I am back however, and I have been knitting like a maniac.

Mostly socks... which is likely getting pretty old for all of you kind folks that are still tuning in.

But also other things.

But first...

See that?


You know it.

My beast of a scarf/shawl is COMPLETE!

And sewing in the ends only took me three hours and fifteen minutes of uninterrupted podcast listening time. (Yes. I timed it).

Rowan inspired photo shoot to come. (HECK NO I'm not kidding!)

Until then, or until I post some other knitting up and around these here parts...

I leave you with...


The absolutely stunning colours of Collingwood, Ontario from this past weekend.

So get your wools ready!

Winter is a comin'!

Tuesday, September 02, 2014

Have You Ever?

Have you ever finished up a knitting project that you're proud of, only to realize that while YOU may love it, and many of your knitting friends have encouraged you to move forward with the project, all of your non-knitting friends/peers give your newly finished project a sideways stare and say "Hm. That's cute."

Have you?

Do you know the kind of projects I mean?

For example, you fall in love with a skein of hand painted yarn and cast on a cardigan out of it, only to have it pool in 100 different places? You keep going because you manage to convince yourself that no one will ever notice, and your knitting friends assure you that they won't. But then along comes your non-knitting friends who take one quick look at it and go "You're really going to wear that?" Oh the face they would pull if they only knew what you had paid for the yarn...

Or maybe you cast on a pattern that includes a technique you have been simply dying to try, only to cast off and realize that perhaps it wasn't the best technique/ project pairing? Once again, your non-knitting friends are immediately captivated by the new technique you have tackled, while the non-knitters make you feel as you though cutting a hole at the top of a feed sack would have been more impressive.

I suspect this is because non-knitter's "get it". They know how much time you have invested in the knitting, they know why you would want to spend all that time fine tuning a new technique, and they know why you would want to drop all of that cash on those few skeins of hand painted yarn. They just walk your walk and speak your speak, and THAT, is really comforting.

I ask you all of this, because I am finding myself in that very predicament right now.

I have some dear friends expecting a baby, and I want to make them something jaw-droppingly-adorable.

So, I cast on a pair of baby pants.

While the yarn feels simply glorious, and my knitting friends have all gushed about them, I can already hear that dreaded "Hm. That's cute." from my non-knitting-baby-expecting friends.

While they will no doubt appreciate all of the work that I put into the pants, I think that they might wonder about my yarn selection and secretly hope and pray that 'Auntie Lynn' decides to never knit for their baby again.

Pattern- First Impression Pants by Drops Design 
So what do you think knitting friends?

Am I just imagining it?

Or are these pretty insane for a non-knitter to put on their baby?

Perhaps I am best off just knitting for expectant knitters exclusively.

Because even if the finished project does end up looking like a hot mess, at least I know that they will understand and appreciate why I did what I did.


Am I right?

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

So Close, Yet So Far

If you can believe it... after months and months and MONTHS of knitting, I can finally say that I have officially cast off my Soumak shawl.

The only problem???

That light at the end of the tunnel is just a little bit further away than I had anticipated.

Now, "why is that?" you ask.

One word for you.



Ends.

Monday, August 11, 2014

Podcast Round-Up

Something that I decided to make a very concious effort to do when the shop closed down, was to start each day with one hour of knitting. I know that this 'not working' thing won't last forever, so while it is happening, I shall embrace it with VERY open arms. Especially if it means I have the opportunity to clock some extra knitting time...

While I cannot claim to have stuck to this 'knit for one hour rule' of mine everyday, I have done pretty well. I have worked mostly on my Soumak shawl during these one hour stints, and as one might suspect...I am loving it.

On days that the weather is beautiful, I sit outside and knit away, and on the days that it's not so gorgeous, I curl up on the couch.

The one thing that does always remain the same however? I always listen to a knitting podcast while I knit in the morning. What better way to start the day?

Which leads me to... this post.

A friend of mine recently asked me "What are some decent knitting podcasts that I could listen to?", which I thought was a rather good question.

So without further ado, here is a list of five podcasts that have been keeping me company during my early morning knit sessions.

The Knitmore Girls


This mother/daughter duo have their show broken into perfect little segments, all of which I love. Each episode is typically an hour long, which works perfectly with my alloted morning knitting time. They knit, they spin, the sew, and they adore neon sock yarn just as much as I do. What more could I want? They stick to a pretty strict weekly schedule, and you can count on me to always listen to the latest episode as soon as it drops. Maybe it's the mother/daughter/knitting thing that I relate to... I'm not entirely sure. But one thing I do know? I like this pair.

Knitting Pipeline            
                               

I must admit that I have not listened to the lovely Paula in quite some time, but she is one smart lady. I really must get back to her... The name of her podcast comes from her love of not only knitting (obviously), but playing the bag pipes as well. I recall telling a friend about this podcast once, and she laughed at me, thinking that my description made it sound just about as exciting as watching paint peel (sorry for not doing you justice Paula!!!) But when she gave it a listen, she ate her words. It's good. Just trust me on this. You will walk away having learned a little something new every time.

Cast On

I feel as though Brenda Dayne can be heralded as one of the pioneers of knit-podcasting. I remember listening to her while I was in university eight or nine years ago (oh geez... How long HAS it been anyway???). While she has been a little more sporatic with her posting in recent years due to... life, her library of episodes is impressive, and will keep you listening for months on end. Her voice is wonderful (she reads audiobooks from time to time for a bit of mad money) and her knitting knowledge is extensive. Brenda is an American transplant in Wales, and she satisfies my inner lover of the UK.

iMake



This podcast is a more recent discovery for me, but I was hooked immediately. Focussed on so much more than just knitting, Martine's lovely accent and interest in all things crafty keeps me coming back for more.While her posts are also somewhat sporatic, it's always worth the wait.

Voolenvine


This podcast is one that started as a podcast, and then eventually evolved into a full time vidcast. Kristen's episdoes are posted on Youtube (at least, that's where I get them from), and I must admit that it is a treat for a visual person like me to have the opportunity to actually see what is currently on her needles. Her episodes are short, typically no more than 30 minutes, and it's mostly just chit-chat, with a "shop update" to wrap things up, as she recently started to dye and sell yarn. She lives in Brooklyn, New York, and I just like her. I'm pretty sure that if we slightly closer in proximity, we would be buds.

So! There you have it. Let me know if love any of these podcasts as much as I do! And if not... which ones ARE you into?

Let me know!

Happy knitting!

Tuesday, August 05, 2014

The Summer of Neon Socks

Well folks, I have done it again. 


I have grafted the toe on my third pair of neon socks this summer.

And do you want to know something?

I still feel my heart skip a beat each time I look at this growing stack of neon.


So what do you think I did to celebrate the completion of my third pair?

Left to Right- Regia Fluormania in shades
7187, 7188 and 7184

Why, I went out and bought myself three more balls.


Obviously.

Sunflowers at my parent's this past weekend

I hope that you are enjoying these early August days as much as I am.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

A Need For Some Speed

Since the shop closed at the end of May, I can honestly admit to being VERY proud of how well I have stuck to my Soumak shawl. Not exclusively of course... as you have seen the few things that I have churned through other than the Soumak, but I have done pretty well. Actually, let me rephrase that- for ME, I have done well. When it comes to knitting... monogamy is not something that I feel too strongly about. But as it turns out.. not many knitters do. Which is exactly why I like knitters so much.

While I am loving every stitch and every colour of my shawl, I must admit- it is taking WAY longer than I could have ever dreamed possible. As in... it is safe to say that I have never devoted so much time to a project in my entire knitting career.

To be fair, it's huge. Like... MASSIVE. Which is exactly what I wanted! So who knows why I am so surprised. The needles are only 3.75 mm, and the yarn is not exactly what one could classify as a 'chunky' weight. So, yeah. That's what happens.

So how do you think I am going to keep myself motivated with this project?

You guessed it.


I am going to cast on a quick and easy project with a pair of 12.75 mm needles and watch something just FLY off the needles for a change of pace.

While patience is a virtue...

My Dad in the garden, also practising some patience

Instant gratification is sometimes good too. 



Friday, July 25, 2014

Because Red Is Best

I love the colour red. And do you want to know something? I didn't even realize how much I loved red until a friend of mine pointed it out a few years back. This particular pal gave me a red necklace and said "I thought you would like it since it's your favourite colour". While I most certainly appreciated the thought that went into the gift, I did find myself thinking "Really? It is? Red, eh?" 

How absolutely stupid is that??? I didn't even realize it at the time... but red is a colour that I just tend to gravitate towards like crazy. The chairs in our family room are red, my Kitchen Aid stand mixer is red, my toaster is red, red is my preferred nail polish shade (this one in particular)... Red is best. What can I say? 

So, remember that trip to New York that my sister and I took over the May long weekend? Well, I have something to show and tell from that trip- other than my chevron baby blanket, and it is (no surprise) red. 

As soon as we had dumped our bags in the hotel, we marched out the door and went straight to Purl Soho. They happened to have a sample of a vest knit up in the shop, I promptly fell in love with it, so I bought the yarn and cast on that evening.

While I was standing in Purl, humming and hawing over the vast colour selection that was literally right at my finger tips, the lady at the desk said "You should totally get the red", to which I replied "Yah? And why is that?"

I realized it was a stupid question as soon as I saw her eyes lower right down to the bright red pants that I was wearing.

Oh.

Of course.

Red it is.

Why yes I did take a picture of this vest on a mannequin out on my roof.
What of it?

I will just have to keep in mind not to ever mix this vest with those pants.


I used the yarn that the pattern called for, Purl's own super wash merino. It made it seem like a pretty solid souvenir of our trip that way. A yarn that I couldn't possibly buy anywhere else (well, as far as I know...) So, it is officially what I will forever and always affectionately refer to as my "Bright Red New York City Vest". Not the least bit creative... but it will never be confused with any other vest that I might own.

It's the collar that prompted my 'love at first sight' reaction

It knit up quickly and quite honestly, was one of those projects that made me a little sad to sew the last end in on. I wouldn't say that anything about it is all that exciting... it just worked.

And that alone is worth it's weight in red yarn.

The charming buttons were from the shop- Mary's Yarns

Details for all of you red-yarn-lovers out there

Pattern- Purl Soho Cardigan Coat and Vest (maybe I will even make the 'coat' one day???)
Yarn- Purl Soho Worsted Twist in shade 1140, Red Zinnia
Needles- Addi Turbo 5mm, 80 cm
Mods- Absolutely none what-so-ever

And speaking of red... Check out my good friend who has taken to spending his afternoons in the backyard with me these days.


This guy knows where he's welcome. 

And that would be right here.