The demise of Blithe

Back in 2011 I started to knit Blithe by Kim Hargreaves out of some Rowan 4ply cotton I got from a destash. Those of you who will remember I had a skirt with a stripe of the same colour green in it that I thought would go perfectly with that top.

So it was all off to the races and I knit Blithe on 2.25 mm needles in a month. I had to add length from the get go because, as my Ravelry notes indicate “My waist is not at my hip!” I continued on, added the buttons up the front and the sleeve caps before I trying it on properly. Rookie mistake #1!!

Note: I do remember trying it on before adding the buttons but it was a little hard to get the right idea of fit until they were added.

I attached the sleeves and without weaving in ends tried it on…. well…. it was completely potato sackish on me. The sleeves were more like wings attached to the top of my shoulders and there was no shape whatever. Rookie Mistake #2 I knit a 34 instead of a 32.

So here I was with this tiny gauge top that looked like a potato sack on me and did absolutely nothing for my figure. Can you see where this is going?

I was mad…. I dumped it into a corner and promptly moved on to something else.

FAST FORWARD 4 years later!

As you know I have been frogging some knits that I just don’t wear and knitting things I will actually WILL wear.

The Trail tank by Mel Ski popped up in my feed about a month ago and instantly I could see it knit in my fennel green Rowan 4ply cotton that was currently stuffed in a ziplock bag where it has not moved.

I started the tank yesterday and figured I should take some pictures to show you this horrible potato sackish top that I clearly wasn’t going to wear EVER.

Well…. when I tried it on, it wasn’t so potato sackish… and the sleeve caps didn’t look like bat wings…. granted I am more a 34 now and not a 32 so this would probably explain my shock. It is however still on the too short side. I do have a skein left over that I used to start my tank but I’m questioning if it would even look right if I tried to add length to it and if I really even want to do that.

I’ve been wearing it around the house today to get an idea of fit and if I really want to keep it. I’m pretty sure Blythe will meet her ultimate demise today where she will be frogged so I can carry on with my tank. Fingers crossed if I do frog, this new top will be the one that the yarn was meant for and I can stop looking at this yarn as an angry rookie knitter.

So should I frog or should I not?

 

Tuscarora

It was so amazingly awesome to have so many of you leave comments on my last post telling me you are all still reading! I guess the show must really go on for now :)

I’m currently prepping for a biiig yard sale this weekend and I might have completely gutted T’s room on Monday… so it is safe to say my house is in shambles right now. I’ll fill you in on the room reno in another post but right now lets talk about a knit for mama.

Moose and I had a little date last night so of course I did the obligatory, “Can you snap some pictures on the way for me?” His favourite phrase I am sure!

Humidity hair and all, “It is HOOOOT right now” this is Tuscarora.

I guess I should explain that in my absence I took a hard look at my knitting wardrobe and decided what was working and what was just never being worn. I reused this yarn from a previous knit in the hopes that I could knit something a bit more wearable out of it. I was looking for something with a bit of a more relaxed fit and this pattern jumped at me when I saw it.

Pattern: Tuscarora by Patty Lyons

Yarn: Colour Adventures SIlky DK in the colour Bluebell.

My Rav Project Page

The silk content in this yarn gives it a wonderful drape and its exactly what I was looking for in this knit. Something that just lay the way it should without constantly fidgeting with it

I also love the shoulders. I constantly have issues with knits because my shoulders are wide but the rest of my frame is small so although my bust measures 32″ for a garment across the shoulders always tends to be tight. I don’t have to worry about that in this one because the body just gets wider to make the sleeves, not a decrease in sight.

I think it was Megan from Stockinette Zombies who went to a workshop with Amy Herzog, some day I hope to take a class with her, and has the same issue about shoulders as I do.  Amy said that although you have a small waist, 32, your shoulders measure 36 or 37 so you should be casting on for a 36 or 37 and then decreasing down to the 32 for the rest of the body. Mind Blown! That makes complete sense!! I will definitely be keeping that in mind for future knits.

So there we have it.

One comfortable knit down with many to go!

I might add that I am attending Rhinebeck this year!! That sounds sooo strange to say but yes I am. I’m currently pondering what my “Rhinebeck Sweaters” shall be so there may be a whole lot of sweater knitting going on in the near future.

FO – Low Tide

Hello out there! Is there anyone left?

It’s been quite some time since I have used the blog but for some reason I feel compelled today to share. There has been knitting albeit not the amount that I am used to but that’s ok, things change and we all just have to adjust with it.

We went on a short little trip lately and I took something completely monotonous to work on. When I’m stuck in the car for hours at a time there is nothing I love more than stockinette in the round. I don’t need to look at it and my hands just automatically know the drill. I started Low Tide by Sara Gresbach.

It has been quite some time since I have knit T a garment and I decided she needed once last chance to actually wear something I knit her. She finds most things itchy so I let her pick out two colours from my never ending Cotton Ease stash.

Pattern: Low Tide by Sara Gresbach

YARN: Lion Brand Cotton Ease in Stone and Azalea

Mods: I knit 2″ stripes and 2 decreases at the beginning of sleeve then knit straight to cuffs.

My Rav project page

The sweater knit up in no time and even having to adjust and reknit the sleeve an extra time still didn’t slow me down much.

I love the side split on each side of this sweater, it makes things less bulky around the bottom and it sits just perfectly.

The stripe sizes in the pattern are optional so I went with a thick stripe of 2″

The sleeves as I’ve said where my only issue. My girl spends 99.9% of her time hanging from trees and monkey bars so her muscular arms ended up looking like stuffed sausages in the sleeves as written. I opted to only decrease a couple of stitches and then knit straight to the cuff which fit much better on my little tank.

A quick and easy sweater that she will hopefully get use out of when it cools down a bit. For now we are going to take the sunshine and enjoy it!

If you are still reading I would love to hear from you. I’m on the fence about whether to keep going with blogging or not.

Learning something new!

I have had a jar of sock yarn leftovers that I have wanted to make into some kind of a blanket for years now. Year after year it sits there being unused and unloved…. that is until last week.

You see I recently watched a new to me podcast called Bakery Bears Podcast. If you haven’t watched this knitting podcast yet you should! The podcast is a husband/wife team, Dan and Kay and is very well done. Dan loves history and because they live in England they get to experience all the wonderful historical places England has to offer. They even take their viewers with them for a little history lesson.

Kay has toy patterns for sale on Ravelry that she calls Mr. and Mrs. Bakery Bear, hence the name of the podcast. They are awfully cute but I think my favourite is her newest design. Miss Gelato. How cute is she?

So while I was watching the show Kay holds up her “scrappy sock yarn granny blanket” and I knew that was what my scraps needed to become. There are several viewers of the podcast on my Instagram feed who are grannying also so it really did fuel the fire.

Last Friday I decided I was going to learn to granny. Now my mum grannies like a pro and I have tried to learn from her a time or two before but I’m so very visual and need to see things repeated over and over a bagillion times before I can perfect them. T and I made a trip to michaels to get the itty bitty 2.75mm crochet hook that I needed and that night, once she was in bed, I sat down with Bella Coco on you tube and learned to granny.

My problem is I get a little bit obsessive when I’m trying to learn something new. I want to be good at it right away, so I ended up staying up much later than I normally do trying to wrap my brain around it.

By the end of the next day and many ripped squares later, I had it down pat. There are still times when I find that I forgot to do 2 trebles in the corners but they are small enough that ripping back and fixing it isn’t a big job at all.

I am now well on my way to my first granny square blanket!

Design Along

This is my knitterly friend Sarah aka PrairiePoppins.

She is currently in the top 5 of the design along challenge that the A Playful Day Podcast is hosting!!!

If you listen to the APlayfulDay Podcast you will have heard about the Design Along challenge that is going on right now. If you don’t listen to A Playful Day “Where have you been??” Head on over there and have a listen.

You can read all about the Design Along challenge and the amazing opportunity the winner will receive here.

I didn’t get around to posting about the 1st part of the challenge before it ended…. not enough hours in my day, but part two is happening now so I thought I would give you a chance to be a part of it.

In part 2 they picked their favourite 5 designs and it is now open for public vote. The design with the most number of likes wins:

A 2 hour tech consultation from Kate Atherley, yarn support from Fyberspates for this design or samples and an hour’s consultation with A Playful Day herself to help them on release/ next steps.

How awesome is that for a budding designer getting their first published pattern out into the world?

I have watched Sarah design for her family for years and was very excited to see her take the next step to publish her work.  I know there are great things to come from this lady and am behind her all the way!

This is her Three Colour Plaid Cowl pattern that is in the top 5.

Features of the Cowl:

  • only one colour per row
  • squooshy, deep fabric that doesn’t curl
  • woven plaid look with simple slipped stitches pattern
  • button closure so you don’t have to pull it over you head and mess your hair if that’s important
  • tall enough to stand up and fight the winter wind if you want to
  • could be a two colour cowl, and would be fabulous with a gradient and a contrasting solid

Can’t you just imagine this in those rich Fyberspates colours??

So if you would like to encourage Sarah in her pursuits please head on over to the board and click like!

Voting is open until Monday the 9th February so get your votes in and cheer this lovely lady on!!

Good Luck Sarah!!

FO: Snood

Well hello!!!!

Two snow days in a row means I have an FO and a blog post. How about that now?

We experienced Blizzard Colbie yesterday as did much of the eastern America and Canada. It is still snowing here today with icy conditions so we’ve been extra lucky to have another snow day today too.

Pattern: My own

Yarn: Clifton Woolens Boucle

Needles: 5.5 mm’s

Ravelry project page

A co worker asked me to make her a snood before Christmas. She is an artsy gal and I knew my hand knit would be appreciated so I agreed. She brought me this red boucle from a local dyer but I didn’t get around to casting on until a few weeks ago.

You see the day after Christmas, Moose and I decided to completely gut the living and dining rooms and make them new. It was messy! Old carpet ripped up and crack fill dust everywhere, definitely not the place for a knit in progress to be. I’ll talk more about the reno’s in a future post but if you look closely at my FO pics you might see my new wall colour and chair rail :)

As you can see this “Snood” is going to be very versatile. I can wear it as a capelet, fold it over to be a nice warm cowl and also pull it up over my head and use the drawstrings for  a neck warmer/hood combo.

My girl took these pics for me and she kinda brings out the silly in me. I feel more comfortable in front of the camera when she is taking the pictures compared to Moose the “hurry up and get this over with” picture taker. He needs to take some lessons from T me thinks.

I can’t honestly say I enjoy working with boucle. It does get easier to work with as you go along and creates the most cosy fabric but it’s just those loops, you catch one at the wrong time and it messes with your flow.

I think it turned out well and hopefully this will keep her warm for many winters to come.

First FO of 2015! HUZZAH!

I’ll be back to tell you about the current reno’s and it is most definitely time for some selfish knitting. Sweaters! The sweaters are calling!

FO times 2!

The shawl is finished and pictures were taken only an hr or two before mum showed up to take it on its merry way across the pond for Nanny’s bday.

Pattern: Miss Bennett by Paulina Popiolek

Yarn: Madelinetosh Pashmina in Esoteric 

Needles: 4.5mm

Mods: I knit 44 repeats on a larger size needle. I also added a few rows of garter to the edge of the shawl before binding off to avoid rolling.

My Rav project page

Another fabulous pattern from Paulina. I enjoyed knitting the lace first and then I was free to coast through the stockinette portion in no time.

The Pashmina was a joy to knit with, the silk and cashmere content really make this shawl that little bit more special.

I had to buy two skeins to complete the shawl but I had tons of leftovers so I made a beret to go with it.

Pattern: Greenery Beret by Melissa Labarre

This was a quick little knit that looks more complicated than it is. The lace work is a simple feather and fan pattern and looks smashing when blocked.

I quite liked wearing this one. It reminded me that it has been a while since I’ve worn a beret.  I may just have knit something new in the New Year.

For now I’m going to relax with no knitting deadlines looming before I decide what to knit next.

Emptying out the basket

It’s that time of year when I start thinking about emptying out the WIP basket and finishing things off.

With Christmas break quickly approaching my mind has begun to wonder about possible new projects to cast on but some things must get finished before that can happen.

I currently have 6 active WIP’s on the go with about a 3 week time frame to finish. I’m NOT go to finish them all lets face it and I’m not turning this into a race, we all know Christmas is stressful enough so I’m going to pick away at my WIP’s and hope to get something accomplished before I pull any new yarns out. (I do have some exciting projects planned though but I’ll save that for another post)

Number one on the list is a new WIP that I just started last weekend. My mum asked if I could knit my Nanny a shawl for her birthday which falls right after christmas. She thought something similar to the Miss Dashwood shawl I knit for her at the beginning of the year would be nice. I am not a huge fan of knitting the same pattern twice, although I definitely would if it came down to it. Mum and I looked at many shawl patterns and she just kept coming back to Paulina P’s designs, mum knows what she likes.

She chose Miss Bennett by Paulina Popiolek another that was on my list to knit.This design calls for fingering but my version will be slightly larger with a sport/dk and a larger needle.

Speaking of mum knowing what she likes…. I took her to my LYS to pick out some yarn for said shawl. She headed straight for the Tosh, Pashmina at that!! Dang mum’s got expensive yarn taste! We walked away with two skeins of Madelinetosh Pashmina in the Escoteric colourway.

A beauty huh?

I was rather intimidated before starting my last Paulina P design but I think I’ve got the hang of her style now and hopefully it will go off without a hitch!

I think by the time I’m finished with the knitting it will be very hard to part with…..

Snowflake

Pattern: Opal Bunny by Susan B Anderson

Yarn: Opal Surprise in the Rainbow colourway *why is that not a surprise?*

Needles: 2.25mm dpns

Mods: No mods but if I were to knit this again I think I would move her legs a bit closer together so she sits better. I would also add the poly pellets suggested in the pattern that T refused to let me add.

My Rav Project Page

I wanted to blog about the making of this little gal, I really did but such is life sometimes.

While visiting my LYS one day T spied Susan’s Opal Bunny pattern hanging in front of the Opal Yarn shelves. We didn’t buy any yarn or pattern that day but she did ask about it NON STOP once we got home. She worked on her behaviour *first year of school is exhausting for those little minds* and finally earned the yarn for her bunny.

I thought I would be able to whip him up pronto but this mama was exhausted as well and not much knitting time was had. When I did pick it up and knit I kept making the most ridiculous mistakes. The day after I had stayed up late to finish the head *never a good idea for me* I realized I had set aside stitches for 4 ears instead of 2……. DOH!

 I vowed to only work on him when I wasn’t exhausted and if that meant NOT knitting for that day *Gasp! Horror* then that was what needed to happen.

I set myself another goal of getting it done by T’s birthday but that didn’t happen either. So it seems that Snowflake, as T has named her, was finished at just the right time. Our first snow day of the season. I took an hr to relax and finish her off this morning before we went out to the snow.

I think Snowflake fits in perfectly with my Rainbow girl don’t you?

Rainbow Art Party

Today was my sweet girls 5th birthday party!

Where has the time gone??

This is the second year we have had a birthday party with T’s friends and I’d have to say this one was A1!

T wanted to do a rainbow party and it was pretty easy for me to add art into the equation. Any excuse for children to create and I am there!

I made a bday wreath for the door.  I got the idea from my friend Lacey who made one several years ago for her oldest. I’m pretty sure she used smaller balloons and a TON more than I did but this mama was in the “get’er done” mode. So it’s just balloons pinned to a12″ straw wreath which you can see due to the angle I took the picture. I added a few curly pipe cleaners that I wound around a pencil and bob’s your uncle an instant party wreath. *Now I just need to work on buying a wreath hanger instead of tying it up with washi tape :)  I am resourceful if nothing else!

I bought a bulk pack of canvas from Michaels so each girl had a 12×12 canvas to paint and take home. Instead of making a picture I gave the girls strips of thin painters tape. They choose where to put the tape before the painting began.

Once they had finished painting and BEFORE the paint was dry we peeled the painters tape off and created a really cool mosaic art piece.

We also made stretchy bracelets with rainbow beads and beads with letters so the girls could spell out their names.

We had a slight problem making the knots stay put in the stretch elastic so here is a little help if you plan on doing this. Knotting Stretchy Bracelet 

The last activity was a treasure hunt in the backyard. These are always such fun and it’s definitely a highlight of a homemade birthday. Watching them run around pondering and searching for each clue is so much fun.

T opted for sandwiches, fruit and veggie for her party, so much better than pizza that they only take a few bites out of. They ate their fill of fruit and veggies, watermelon being the favourite, and then it was on to the cake. * I love chatting with kids while they eat. There are always some cute stories shared, opinions, likes and dislikes.*

Lastly lets talk about the cake. The cake is probably my favourite part of the birthday party. I’m definitely not the best birthday cake maker in the world but the kids think my shoddy creations are great *right now anyway* so I’m just going with it.

This year I wanted something pretty simple. I made a white cake and separated the batter into several bowls, each bowl being a different colour of the rainbow.

I baked the cake a week ahead of time and froze it until the day before. *Definitely key to my sanity come party day*

 I frosted it with white frosting, added stripes of smarties and volia.

Now would you like to hear the story of the smarties?? *groan* T and I picked up a bag of smarties at the store the week before her party. I had originally thought skittles but T discovered that smarties had ALL the colours of the rainbow plus pink and the skittles did not. We came home with smarties but when I was decorating the cake the morning of I ran out. Some stripes weren’t completed so I ask Moose to go to the store and pick up a bag of smarties.

Rule #1 NEVER ask a man to go to the store for something specfic!

I told him it was a BAG of smarties and they were on the top shelf in the candy aisle.

Rule #2 Even though you state EXACTLY where the product will be NEVER ask a man to go to the store for something specific!

He comes home, 15 mins to spare with a bag of other food and a clear plastic bag of BULK smarties lookalikes……

*cue steam rolling out of my ears*

They weren’t even the same colours!!!!

RULE # 3 No matter how specific or simple your instructions may be just go to the store and get it YOURSELF!

So the cake wasn’t what I had planned but I made it work as best I could considering what I had to work with.

The kids didn’t seem to notice and it still got eaten. There was one girl that picked all the smarties off and didn’t eat them….what is that? If I could eat smarties I definitely wouldn’t be leaving them on my plate!

Quite possibly my best party brain wave was asking NOT to bring presents. Instead we asked that each child bring a few dollars so that T could pick something from the World Vision catalogue for a family. So much better than being unloaded with tons of toys when the girl just wanted to have fun with her friends. She was excited to be able to purchase a piglet, 2 hens and a rooster!

We love you birthday girl!

So happy to be able to bring your rainbow party ideas to life but I won’t mind at all if you want to stay 5 for an extra year, you are growing oh so fast!!

PARTY!!! Wait what?? Party’s over?? Oh man!!

~ Molly~