And in less than a week, it’s winter. This is the same tree from a few posts ago, now leafless and branchy.
I had a day off today, and spent an hour giving myself an ombre manicure! I feel it is appropriate for the time of year, as it is all the colours of the trees right now. I used a yellow polish on my thumb, dark green on the pinkie, and medium green on my Finger-finger. The index and the ring finger each got a 50-50 mix of the polishes on either side.
I did 2 coats of polish, but because I didn’t want to mix up lots and hope it didn’t dry before I got to coat #2, nor did I want to try to mix the same colour again, my first coat went (from thumb to pinkie) yellow, yellow, pale green, pale green, dark green. I think the index finger needed more like a 70-30 mix, as the 50-50 is only just different enough that it shows in some lights.
The lighter colours look better in this photo, but you can see where I haven’t finished tidying up stray polish. I usually do that after a shower when my skin is nice and soft, so not till tomorrow morning.
The dark green is Sephora by OPI ‘I Come in Peas’, the light green is Sephora by OPI ‘Read My Palm’ and the yellow was a gift in a swap package, Circus, by Andrea’s Choice in ‘Somersault’. It was really hard to get a nice coating of that yellow, it kept streaking and blobbing, but I love the colour. I’m in love with the apple green on my index finger, and I adore ‘Read My Palm’. I think that’s been in most of my manicures this summer!
I’ll never be a blogger with a ‘brand’ or ‘branding’, advertisers will never want to shell out money for ads here, I will never have a post with ‘reveal!’ in the title, no one is going to ask me to write a book based on my blog, I wouldn’t call myself a taste-maker or any sort of maven, and I’m ok with that (mostly. I’d like to write a book, I just don’t know about what). I’ve always enjoyed the idea of keeping a diary, and typing is just so much faster. My work schedule gets way too hectic for me to think about blogging for weeks at a time. But I always come back, because I do like to share my craft projects and random photos from my life. (PS: this is as close as you’ll ever get to an apology for not blogging – I hate it when bloggers do that! Your blog is not your life.)
These fingerless mitts for example, that I made almost entirely in the dark backstage during tech:
The temperature in the theatre was somewhere sub-zero for the whole time. I at least get to stand up and walk around, so I was only wearing a few sets of layers. Poor Amy has to sit at the desk the whole time, so she was wrapped up in hoodies and blankets and scarves and my old Endpaper Mitts. I lent her those ones for the two weeks, and worked on these ones as fast as I could backstage. I finished them just in time for opening.
This is some deep stash – I bought it at Sock Summit 2009! It is from Black Trillium Fibres*, and I still have a fair bit left. I could do a short pair of socks, or some longer mitts I think.
They are also a Harry Potter House Cup project… if you thought knitting was geeky, don’t even ask.
*I just realized that this is an American-based indie dyer who actually spells fibre fibre! I knew I loved her stuff for a reason.
I love Ravelry. I love it for so, so many reasons, but my favourite right now is being able to connect with people. I’m in the Cookie A sock club, and I love the apple/green tea green yarn that came in this month’s parcel. I loved it so much, I wanted to make a sweater. One of my favourite hoodies is this exact same green, but in fleece.
Luckily (for me) lots of people don’t seem to be fans of crazy-bright green. I just posted in the club forum that I’d be willing to trade yarn from my stash for more green, and got quite a few replies. Each of the three skeins on the left will be going from my stash drawers to a new home, and I will be getting 3 more skeins of this beautiful yarn, plus a pattern from one trader, and $20 from another (the last two things make up for price discrepancies).
There are just so many reasons to love Ravelry!
I made these a few weeks ago with Meyer lemons and the last strawberries of the season. Well, proper strawberry-growing season anyway. The greenhouses will keep pumping them out regardless of time of year.
…. has been hard to find inspiration for. But I’ve discovered a winning combination that is so good, nice and easy, and tasty.
We’ve started receiving potatoes from our CSA, and last year they just piled up into a giant mound of potatoes. This year I’m trying to use a few each week. For dinner, I’ll chop up a few (they’re small, so usually about 4-5) into small cube-ish pieces, let those fry in a frying pan for 15-20 minutes, stirring every now and then to let the various sides get browned, then dump potatoes in a bowl. Cut up some cherry tomatoes, green onions, avocado to go on top. Plop a fried egg on top of that. Yum.
Yesterday I spiced up the hash brown part with some jerk spice I bought at work. I love the jerk spice! When we were in Costa Rica, we went to Puerto Viejo and had brunch at Bread and Chocolate. P had this AMAZING plate of hash browns in jerk sauce. If they sold the sauce I would have left clothes behind to bring back 4 bottles. So good. The dinner I made wasn’t saucy, but a little spice mix goes a long way.
The other sweater I finished recently was much bigger than Anchored. Not only did it have proper 3/4 length sleeves, it is one of those that I love so much that have drapey fronts:
I have a few bought sweaters that are like this, so when I realized I had the yarn to knit one, it seemed like a good idea. Then you realize that the sweater is really this big:
That’s a lot of knitting! I have two colours because…. well I don’t remember what I bought the yarn for 4 years ago, but I bought two skeins of pink and one of white. I do remember that I bought it at Olds Fibre Fest though.
The yarn is 100% silk, but the rough silk, not the slippery stuff. The sweater looked great when I finished knitting, then I put it in the sink to block it. After 10 minutes, the water was pink, and so was the white part of the sweater. Small freak out, pull it out, assess damage. Pink blotches all over the white. No good. It was late at night so I laid it out and slept on it. (No, I didn’t sleep on the sweater, I slept on the idea of what to do next!) The next morning I did some research and found that something called Synthrapol is apparently good about getting excess dye out of things. Tracked some down at a nearby art supply store, gave it a bath in some water laced with marvelous new chemicals. It didn’t remove the blotches. What I don’t know is if having Synthrapol in the water in the first place would have helped. I gave it another bath, and although the pink kept leaking, I managed to spread it evenly over the white. Then a soak in some vinegar water and I laid it out to dry.
So while the sweater isn’t ruined, it isn’t a pink and white sweater any more, it is pink and lighter pink.
It feels a little large in the shoulders, the back line of the raglan sleeve always wants to creep over my shoulders to the front of the sweater, but I think that is more from stretching out in all the various baths I gave it.
The sweater pattern is Adrift, and there are more details on my Ravelry page.
I like blanket-y sweaters like this for work, because I can wrap up when I get cold.
I’ve finished some knitted objects recently! It feels a little novel to finish things. I feel like I haven’t actually finished anything in ages. That’s a bit untrue, as I finished the woobie cat in May, and my Colour Affection, the iPad cover and lots of little things for swaps and other people. But recently I’ve finished two garments, both for me! Saying they’re for me is a bit redundant – garments take me so long that I only ever knit them for me.
Today’s sweater is is Anchored. Plain and demure in front (even if it is in a colourway called ‘Hot Lips’)
Deep V and peekaboo cables in the back (this is where ‘Hot Lips’ kicks in).
I loved the pattern because of the lines of the shaping, you can see them in the photo pointing in to my waist from the bottom, and heading outwards from waist to bust above the waist. Turns out, the pattern as written did not make the increases/decreases do that. I basically had to re-invent that part. All the details of what I did are on my Ravelry page. I love the finished sweater, I’ve already worn it to work and gotten lots of compliments (the more astute coworkers remembered me knitting it at the reception desk!) but I wish I didn’t have to do so much thinking and re-knitting to get the same finished object as in the pattern photos.
This project used up yarn that has been in my stash at least 3 years, probably more like 5 years, so it felt really good.
Happy Olympics everyone! I am not a sports fan, maybe I’m even an anti-sports fan most of the time, but when the Olympics are on, I am glued to the TV. As much as I can be. I have to say, I’m working a little too much during these Olympics for my liking.
I chose my outfit carefully this morning, and pulled out that tiny old Union Jack purse of mine. Can I just take a moment to say how freeing it is to carry such a tiny purse around? Normally I have this giant bag, but today I felt so free and easy and light. I had my phone, my wallet, and my keys. That’s it. It was awesome.
Yes, those are little blue mice on my feet. They’re that jelly material, I bought them last year and had ever worn them out because they made farting sounds when I walked. Last week I finally got rid of that by taking my hole punch and punching a couple holes on the inner instep (right where your arch is) on each shoe. That gave the air somewhere to escape that wasn’t around my foot, and voila! No more fart-walking.
Calgary had a ceremonial raising of a Union Jack outside City Hall this afternoon, to show solidarity with London, as we too are a former Olympic city. The Mayor and the British Consul General participated.
I love the Olympics, I love Britain, I’m very excited. Although, I’m afraid to say I’m not expecting anything as all-star amazing as the Vancouver Olympics were. We might be great at ice hockey, but that leaves no time to devote to field hockey (which I played for years in school, and mostly enjoyed). I’m looking forward to watching the rowing (something else I used to do) and the diving most I think.
And yes, I did cast on a project today. More on that later.
This is one of the very first yarns I spun on my wheel:
It is very chunky, and in other places very thin. I was poking through my fibre bin the other night, which is also where finished handspun lives, and decided I wanted to knit something chunky and quick. Something about working on a laceweight sweater…
At the time, I was watching Stockinette Zombies, a video podcast by two ladies that I met at SSK. I’m one of those people who won’t jump in in the middle of a podcast, I have to catch up from the beginning, and it really worked out! In the episode that was on, Amy was talking about a pattern she’d just designed called the Zombie Envelope. It is a gadget cozy in a few sizes, and it called for chunky yarn! I immediately cast on for the iPad size. After an inch or two I tried it on my iPad, and realized that I needed 40 stitches, not 46, so I pulled it out and did it again. I finished it that night! I didn’t have enough yarn for a flap, so I searched through my button jar:
I wasn’t sure if I wanted a one-button closure, or more buttons, I let what I find dictate that.
I chose two buttons, and sewed them on and made the button loops from some matching green Cascade 220 I had lying around. Good thing I like green!
No seriously, I really like green!
Does my iPad need a cozy? Probably not, but it was a very satisfying knit, and even that little break from the laceweight sweater has put wind back in my sails for that project.
I mentioned in the SSK Yarn Haul video, but in case you didn’t watch it, I had spent all the cash I was allowed at the marketplace when I found a braid of beautiful fibre called ‘Heather’s Dilemma’. As it literally had my name on it, I decided it was ok to break out the credit card and purchase it. It looked like this in fibre form:
I started spinning it right after I bought it, as that was also the first day of Tour De Fleece.
A couple nights ago, I finished the second bobbin of singles, and then put both bobbins on to my lovely 3-prong, tensioned lazy Kate! (thanks mum!)
After a lot of plying, I had this! I had split the fibre down the middle, and was hoping to get a mostly self-striping yarn, with bits of barber-poling in between the solid coloured sections. I obviously didn’t do a good job of splitting it (probably because it went something like ‘Look what I bought! Wheee! *Rip*) so this is more of a barber-pole yarn with a few solid bits.
This is the water in the bathroom sink after it had been soaking for about 15 minutes! That dye didn’t transfer to the yarn (or the sink!) luckily, and the yarn doesn’t look paler than it was.
342 yards of yummy sport-weight yarn! I was waffling about what to make with it, and then I watched my friend (from SSK!) Sam’s latest podcast, and she is going to be doing a KAL of the Wingspan scarf for the next month and a half or so. I have just about the amount needed for that, and she was there when I started spinning this yarn, so it seems appropriate.
I had some singles left on one bobbin (see above re: not splitting it in actual halves) so I practiced Navajo plying that I learned from Lynn at SSK. Lynn was an amazing teacher, I feel like I learned a ton of stuff in her class. I can see the improvement already in both these skeins. Particularly in the n-ply tiny skein, because when I tried that once before, I basically tied myself to the wheel by accident.
I haven’t been perfect about spinning every day during TDF, but I’ve been pretty ok. Random extra travel day on July 1st didn’t help, but I’ve done as much as I could. I really want to try to spin at least 15 minutes every day for the rest of it, and hopefully that will get the habit ingrained in me. I also don’t want to forget all the amazing things I learned!
Two years ago, I knit the Evenstar shawl specifically to enter in to the Creative Arts & Crafts competition at the Calgary Stampede. Last year I was eaten up by wedding planning/wedding blogging so I didn’t even try. This past year I knit what I wanted to for me, then when Stampede time rolled around again, I had to look back and figure out what, if anything, I deemed worthy. I decided that the best thing I’d knitted was my not-going-to-Rhinebeck sweater.
Last Friday the husband and I were on the grounds to catch an Our Lady Peace concert, and I made him look around the knitting displays first.
Third place! Sadly, not Third in in the whole Knitting section (that would mean $100!) but 3rd in Stockinette/Garter stitch sweaters isn’t too shaby! The awards are tiered like that – the top 3 knitted things out of all the entries get 1st/2nd/3rd in Section, plus cash prizes, and then the top 3 things in each class (lace accessories/stockinette sweaters/etc) get ribbons. I had to explain that to a non-knitter lady who was there taking pictures for her knitter-sister and texting her that she won $125. I felt bad, but figured it was better to tell her than not.
A few days later, one of my friends texted me this photo:
My friends are awesome.
Sillily, I forgot to take any pictures of the winning items, but I did take some pictures that you might be able to help me identify:
I love both these shawls, but don’t know the patterns! The pictures aren’t the clearest, what with iPhones & the glass cases, but I thought I’d throw it out there.
The purple/green was in ‘Stockinette/Garter Stitch Accessory’ and the blue was in ‘Embellished Item (knit with beads, sequins, etc)’. The beads are on every cross of the lattice section.
Just like last year’s Sock Summit stash enhancements, I was so excited about all the yarn and fibre that I wanted to really talk to you about it. So, I recorded a little videoblog of me blathering on about yarn and fibre.
And now I’m on a yarn diet until Rhinebeck NEXT year.
There were many cool things at SSK, but one extra-cool thing was Tempted Fiber’s Build-a-Batt station. One of the tables in Tempted’s booth was devoted to little bins full of various colours and types of fibre, and you could pull off whatever you wanted, put it in a bag with your name on it, and come back later to your own personalized spinning batt!
These are the fibres I chose:
Some teal, some rainbow, some sparkle. Not very much, as I was on a budget (both cash-wise and suitcase-space-wise).
I was number 9 that day, and I left the booth for a while, then came back just in time to see Becky making my batt!
You make a little wooly sammich, then turn the crank on the
instrument of torture drum carder.
And all those tiny teeth comb everything together.
A few turns through the carder, then you break into it so you can pull it off. Looks like troll hair, doesn’t it?
My finished 0.9oz batt!
Glamour shot! I love it. I think I want to corespin it, but not until I get some more practice. This is so special and pretty that I don’t want to mess it up. I’m so happy with how the rainbow fibre mixed in with the teal. I want a drum carder more than a little bit now, it was such a magical process!