Did you miss me?

Hello fellow Yarn Alongers and Wednesday crafters! Did you miss me? Yes, it’s been quite some time since I’ve put up a new Yarn Along post, but I’m still around. While I may not have been blogging as much about my craft projects, I have been knitting. In fact, I already have three finished projects for 2013, and we’re only halfway through January. But this current project is a doozy. This is going to be the most challenging thing I’ve knit in a long time.

I’m currently knitting an Alberta vest for my father. He asked for a vest – really, that’s the only thing he wants me to knit for him. Despite all my offers to knit him handknit socks, he really wants that vest. So, that’s what he’s going to get.

Hurricane vest in progress
Hurricane vest in progress

Isn’t that colorway gorgeous? The yarn is Hedgehog Fibres’ Merino Cashmere in Hurricane. Unfortunately that yarn has been discontinued – it is so soft, it’s a pleasure to knit with it. The base is a fingering weight yarn, but fortunately I got gauge holding the yarn double. Phew! Otherwise I would have had to modify the pattern heavily – and the armholes and neckhole are steeked, so that would have been quite an adventure. I’ve never steeked before so I’m pretty nervous about taking scissors to the vest. Do you guys have a preferred steeking method, or any other steeking advice?

Close-up - aren't those colors gorgeous?
Close-up – aren’t those colors gorgeous?

Oh, and guess what happened in the middle of all this circular knitting? I have a pair of Holz & Stein needles which I love. They’re so smooth, it’s a joy to knit with them. The yarn moves so smoothly along, circular knitting is a breeze. And then, then this happened:

Knitting needle fail
Aaargh! The nylon cable came out!

As to what I’m reading – I’m rereading one of my favorite Young Adult books series by Tamora Pierce.  I’d photograph it with my knitting, except that I’m reading the ebook version, and well, I was taking the photo with my cell phone – which is also where the ebook file is… You’ll just have to make do with the Amazon image:

Tamora Pierce Tris's Book
Circle of Magic – Tris’s Book by Tamora Pierce

Now for the blog hop part: I’m linking up with this week’s Yarn Along, this week’s Tami’s Amis WIP Wednesday, through Ambassador Crochet’s Wip Wednesday and Frontier Dreams’ Keep Calm and Craft on (KCCO) blog-a-long. Check out some of the other awesome wip posts.

What’s up, Wednesday?

Yup, it’s Wednesday! Even though I’m traveling, I thought I’d let you know what’s going on with this week’s knitting.

I’m sad to say that I haven’t made much progress in my knitting. I guess that’s just what happens when you spend a lot of time with young kids – there’s just no way I want to have pointy needles around that might just poke someone – or worse. Plus, I’m sure I’ll get “help” with my knitting, which’ll probably result in a tangled skein. In fact, my nephew tried to “help” me once by pulling on my yarn – the green Quince & Co Puffin that I’m using for the pea soup blanket – and my working yarn broke under the skein. Fortunately it was far away enough from the actual knitting that I didn’t have any problems like my stitches unraveling, and I did a quick felted join so that wasn’t a problem, but now I’m waaay more wary with my knitting around little kids. But they already associate knitting with me. In fact, I stopped by a yarn store with the toddler the other day, and he carried a skein of Malabrigo sock in a lovely shade of green around while I was in the store. He was quite disappointed that I didn’t buy it. I didn’t look to closely at the skein or I might have been tempted to buy it. At least he didn’t ask me to knit socks or something else for him, otherwise I totally would have caved. But I wouldn’t be surprised if he figures that out soon.

Back to my actual knitting. I’ve knit a few more rows on my Indian Red scarf, but apart from that I’m working on the Germany baby socks that I was working on last week. I just haven’t made that much progress. I’m about to transition into the black section – the next stripe – but the socks are definitely not long enough, so I’ll be knitting up at least two stripe set repeats. I’m knitting the socks in a spiral for extra stretchability so he can actually wear them for a longer time, so I might make the socks even longer so he can wear them as a toddler. The knitting two socks at a time method is nice in that you don’t worry about making the socks equally long and so on. And you avoid second sock syndrome. But really, I’ve never had problems knitting the second sock. I guess I just buckle down cause I want to actually wear the socks. Knitting one sock at a time on two circular needles is still my favorite sock knitting method – it’s just so much faster.

Oh, and if you’re wondering what I’m reading – I’m not. I’m still reading Curious George stories at nighttime. I’m looking for summer reads recommendations – anything you guys would suggest? I’m not the horror story (or horror movie) kind of girl, but I’ll read just about anything. I was thinking about reading the Game of Thrones books. I’ve heard great things about the series, and I generally like reading books before watching their film versions. That can of course be disappointing if the movie doesn’t live up to the books expectations, but apparently the series does a good job translating the books to the screen. Plus, Sean Bean‘s in it. Love Sean Bean. He’s such a great actor. If you think about it, he’s been in so many different good movies, including great series, portraying all kinds of different characters.

Anyway, that’s me for this week. Now for the blog hop part: I’m linking up with this week’s Yarn Along, this week’s Tami’s Amis WIP Wednesday, through Ambassador Crochet’s Wip Wednesday and Frontier Dreams’ Keep Calm and Craft on (KCCO) blog-a-long. Check out some of the other awesome wip posts.

Wednesday, Wednesday

The book I’m currently reading is not so much my reading but my nephew’s reading – it’s his good night story. You might have recognized Curious George from the bookcover – and the book itself is called ‘Curious George Storybook Collection.’ This version is very much so based on the TV series, with the same kind of graphics, and really big pictures. It’s quite cute but just doesn’t have the charm of the original stories. I wish they’d stayed consistent with the beginning of the original stories, you know, where it says: “George was a good monkey but always very curious.” Oh, and btw, have you ever wondered what the man with the yellow hat does for a living? Well, I wonder – and given that many of George’s adventures result in big, expensive messes, I wonder if he’s on an unlimited budget. For example, the donut delivery story in this Storybook Collection volume. George buys 100 dozen donuts instead of one dozen donuts. One dozen Krispy Kreme donuts is approximately $6 (dependent on your location), that would mean, that George bought $600 worth of groceries. And the man with the yellow hat accepts that without blinking an eye. Sheesh.

And in the meanwhile, I’ve made some progress, over the past week, and the end is in sight on my Indian Red scarf. Very exciting. It’ll still take me a while to finish it, but I can see how this pattern design is going to work out. I’m concerned that the scarf will be to small, so I’ll probably have to steam block it aggressively, or wet block it. The problem with wet blocking is that it is hard to find a space where I can leave something to dry. Plus, wet blocking doesn’t have that instant gratification effect that you get from steam blocking. I’m going to double check my gauge, and maybe I can add a bit more length in section H… Time to check out the modifications people have made to the scarf. I really really love Ravelry – it makes it so much easier to find that kind of information.
And now, since I’m probably responsible for getting the “Monday, Monday” song stuck in your head, here’s a video of the original song:

That’s it for this Wednesday. I’m participating in this week’s Yarn Along – there are links to other great Yarn Along posts there, with information on how to participate yourself. You can also find a link to this post through Tami’s Amis, through Ambassador Crochet’s Wip Wednesday and Frontier Dreams’ Keep Calm and Craft on (KCCO) series.

We can work it out

It’s Wednesday! That means it’s another Yarn Along day. Well, this past week has been a mix of knitting, blogging, and everyday life. I spent some time hanging out with my friends and my god-daughters, hanging out at the grandparents garden, way outside of the city. I’d hoped to get some good knitting time in, hanging out in the sunshine but instead I was occupied with kids, who had a blast. Have you ever seen two kids competing to get into a hammock at the same time? No? Well, it’s pretty hilarious.

I’d hoped to get more knitting done this past week – remember that knitting marathon? I’ll have a post up in a few days on how I did. I’ve made some progress on my Indian Red scarf. I’m now on section D-E-F-G. You basically knit all those sections at the same time, some in garter stitch, some in stockingette and some in reverse stockingette, and as you go you increase or decrease the sections. It’s a very unusual construction, but now I can kind of see how this will work out.

May 30, 2012 Yarn Along

I need a plane read, and since they really don’t like you reading an ebook during take-off and landing, I was looking for a paperback. I’ve started reading “The Omnivore’s Dilemma” by Michael Pollan – I’m just at the beginning, but it’s a really interesting read. The subtitle is “A natural history of 4 foods” – he looks at the food production of four different foods. It’s a very interesting at the food industry, looking at food chains from beginning to end, tracing what we eat. He asks ‘What should we have for dinner’ – a simple question, but which becomes more and more complicated. Hence the omnivore’s dilemma. I’m looking forward to reading more – I’m sure it’ll be interesting, shocking and disenchanting at the same time.

May 30, 2012 yarn along - close-up of the Indian Red scarf

Now for the blog hop part: I’m linking up with this week’s Yarn Along, this week’s Tami’s Amis WIP Wednesday, through Ambassador Crochet’s Wip Wednesday and Frontier Dreams’ Keep Calm and Craft on (KCCO) blog-a-long. Check out some of the other awesome wip posts.

As you might have guessed, the post title is inspired by “We Can Work It Out” by the Beatles.

crack that w(h)ip

Well hello! It’s Wednesday wip time. And, as Devo said, it’s time to “Whip it! Whip it good.” Oh 80s, sometimes I miss you. Not the fashion, for the most part, more the music. Remember that hair? The perms? The scrunchies. Yikes. Unless you’re out to have extra fun with it – like with an 80s tribute band. Meet the Legwarmers, who are exactly that. I went to their New Year’s Show, and another time for my birthday. Definitely one of the best parties I’ve been to. Just check out their promo video below, and there are more images on their website. It’s a pretty much a requirement to dress up for the concert, so you almost get an 80s overdose there 🙂 I think it’s the best fun you can have with the 80s without actually bringing the 80s back. Imagine if people dressed like that all the time…

So, let’s look at my knitting (and reading). Well, would you look at that! I’ve actually managed to make some progress on my Erin Go Bragh shawl! I’m almost done with the last part of my Color Affection shawl. It has lingered and lingered around here. Which is kind of weird since it’s a fun project. By now the project has taken on dimensions that make it difficult to take it along. It’s no longer a “on-the-go” project. And I have other projects going on that have been getting knitting time, both my Indian Red and my steel sings scarves. But I’ve been trying to finish up my Color Affection, and I’m almost there!

May 23, 2012 wip and reading

I think I’ll finish this one today since I’m participating in Cheryl Marie’s Knitting Marathon. That’s 26.2 hours of knitting, May 23-24. I won’t be able to only knit in that time. Obviously I have to sleep. And then there’ll be lots of other things going on like eating, blogging, household stuff and so on. (I love that blogging comes second – although I’m scheduling my Wednesday and Thursday posts). But I should definitely make some inroads with my knitting. I think my Erin Go Bragh will be finished, and I’m hoping that I’ll maybe even finish my Indian Red scarf. Want to join in too? Shall we see how much knitting we can get done? I’m sure you can start later and then correspondingly finish later.

And the read, that’s a comfort read of mine. I read Tamora Pierce‘s Alanna series as a teen, and I loved it. A girl that wants to become a knight, and despite all the challenges, having to hide that she’s a girl from almost everyone, and so on, she succeeds and forges her own path. Who hasn’t dreamt of being a knight? I loved that series, and I still have my books. This series is a set in the same universe as the Alanna quartet and tells you the story of Keladry of Mindelan, the second girl to try for knighthood. She does it publicly, without having to hide her gender like Alanna, and the book talks about the different set of challenges she faces, the prejudices, but also her successes. I’m currently on book 4 in the quartet, Lady Knight, and I still have aways to go. I like rereading books – good books, that is – you know what is coming but you don’t remember all the details, and it’s like saying hello to an old friend.

Now for the blog hop part: I’m linking up with this week’s Yarn Along, this week’s Tami’s Amis WIP Wednesday, through Ambassador Crochet’s Wip Wednesday and Frontier Dreams’ Keep Calm and Craft on (KCCO) blog-a-long. Check out some of the other awesome wip posts.

Farewell, Maurice Sendak

I had a post all drafted for today’s Yarn Along, but then I saw that Maurice Sendak died yesterday. How sad. You might have heard of Maurice Sendak, especially in the last few years. Maurice Sendak is the author – and illustrator of the great children’s book “Where the Wild Things Are.” It’s a lovely story […]

Something different – but it’s still Wednesday

Another Wednesday! It’s once again time for a yarn along, but I also want to talk about last week’s Knitting and Crochet Blog week.

I’m still working on my Erin Go Bragh shawl. I know, I’m almost done, and I should have finished this project before the end of the month, but I’ve been so busy blogging this past week that I really haven’t made any progress. But, I have a new wip! Yes, even though I already have plenty of projects on my needles (I think I need to make a collage of my wips!).

But actually, I’m not the one who decided to cast on for a new project. Noooo, my knitting needles decided. In fact, my knitting needles decided to cast on a Windward scarf and have a little battle over the yarn for this project (Wollmeise 100% in Indisch Rot). Don’t believe me? See for yourself:

There is a good reason why I made this video. Remember the Knitting and Crochet Blog Week? Well, Friday’s topic was all about creativity:

Day 5: April 27, 2012. Something A Bit Different It’s back, and this time it has the most amazing of prizes (look for the prize for ‘most creative post’). This was a massive success last year, and for many it was the highlight of the Blog Week, so this year you are challenged, again, to find a new way of blogging. This is an experimental blogging day to try and push your creativity in blogging to the same level that you perhaps push your creativity in the items you create.There are no rules of a topic to blog about but this post should look at a different way to present content on your blog.

Wednesdays are the days with the most traffic for me, so I thought I should spread the love and share some of the other awesome creative posts out there. Here are my favorites:

  • A Pile of Sheep created a Yarn Personality Test! I’m Madeline Tosh Vintage – I’m an “easygoing person with just a touch of wild child for spice!” What are you?
  • PumpkinSpins used mind mapping to draw up a chart to answer “Why I create” – really interesting, and now I want to think more about why I myself create
  • Knit One, Stitch One, Save One drew a series of images, and created a quick animation out of the gif images to show what her hands look like while knitting. So creative – and the drawing are just beautiful.
  • Stitched Together is planning to knit a shawl with stripes, and the color of the stripes will be based on the comments that people have left on the blog, and in the end she’ll hold a random drawing where the winner will get the finished shawl. Awesome!
  • All She Wants to Do Is… created a knit/crochet version of The Onion website, call Crafting News Network. How hilarious!
  • When Did I Become a Knitter: It’s a post from the perspective of her Roan sweater, a wip of hers, at a self-help group called Unloved Knits Group. I have a few nominations from my wips for that group too.
  • Sanday Spinners put up a Knitting Riddle – I’m still trying to figure out the answer on my own. And you can win a knitted item from her!
  • Wickedly Artsy created a visual knitting timeline with images of the different stops in her knitting life
  • Fidlstix has a great post titled Something You Should Know About Me (no, I’m not going to tell you what it is, you need to play the video yourself)
  • Laylock‘s animated gifs of her knitting techniques (cast on, knitting, purling and cast off) are really interesting – my version of those techniques look different. Plus they should be really helpful to new knitters
  • KellPattsBlog‘s contribution is a crytoquote. How cool!
  • AStashAddict made a Hexipuff Evolution vlog. I haven’t made a Hexipuff yet, but I foresee a Hexipuff blanket in my future.
  • Frog-Soup‘s funny drawing (naked sheep in need!) made me giggle
  • and a ton more more…

And then there’s of course my stop motion animation – I’m ridiculously proud of this video. The family is already discussing whether we should do a video for my grandmother’s 90th birthday.

I hope you liked all of these different, creative takes on the something a bit different topics. I had to stop adding posts to the list or it would have been unendingly long. You can find more posts on this topic by googling 3KCBWDAY5. If you’d like to nominate any of these posts (or any others!) for the creative award, click here to go to Eskimimi’s nomination post. Of course, if you’d like to, you can also nominate my post too 🙂 If you cannot submit your nomination even though you’ve filled out all the fields correctly, then that means that someone else has already put in a nomination for that post. Nominations close on May4th, at midnight British Standard Time.

That’s it for this Wednesday. I’m participating in this week’s Yarn Along – there are links to other great Yarn Along posts there, with information on how to participate yourself. You can also find a link to this post through Tami’s Amis, through Ambassador Crochet’s Wip Wednesday and Frontier Dreams’ Keep Calm and Craft on (KCCO) series.

It’s Wednesday

so that means it’s time for another Yarn Along post! I’m once again participating in this week’s Yarn Along – there are links to other great Yarn Along posts there, with information on how to participate yourself. You can also find a link to this post through Tami’s Amis, and through Ambassador Crochet’s Wip Wednesday. Oh, and then there’s Frontier Dreams’ Keep Calm and Craft on (KCCO) series too.

This week I’m working on my new WIPs, since some of my old WIPs are knit up. Yeah! The two wips that I have going are the same as last week: my Melody shawl wip, and my orange Fernfrost scarf. Both are really making progress. The Melody shawl travels in my bag whenever I’m out and about and likely to have  something around 10 quiet minutes where I can knit – at the doctor’s office, on the tram, on the Metro, in the car… I didn’t think I’d see this much progress by now. I thought that this would turn into one of these endless projects that linger for months, and only rarely makes progress. But I think this one will be finished up this month. Which is pretty good for me, given that I have a bunch of other things going on right now. Sorry, not the best picture – the lovely purple looks rather muddied.

I do have new pictures of the orange scarf. I was steam blocking my mystery KAL shawl (Yes, it’s finished!) and I decided to steam block part of the scarf to see how the lace pattern will look in the end, and I’m really happy with the project so far. The lace opens beautifully, and I can see that this will be a lovely long scarf. Personally, I like broader shawlish scarfs and I worked hard to convince my Mom otherwise, but Mom wanted the skinny one, like her Haruha scarf. Sigh.

Oh, and as to the reading material – it never hurts to take another look at all the camera functions. As you can see, my SLR is a Canon EOS 20D. Not the newest camera out there, but I’m pretty happy with it. The one major thing that I don’t like is that it requires CompactFlash cards. Grrr. I can’t just pop mine in the card reading slit in my camera. I usually end up taking a bunch of pictures and then I hook up an external card reader to upload the pictures. Which means that I’m usually behind with posting pictures. I then have to get my act together and organize my pictures after the fact – and that’s why there haven’t been any food pictures lately, even though I’ve been cooking quite a bit.

Btw, as to the mystery KAL – it’s finished! It didn’t have any lace components, so it was super easy to steam block it – no pinning and so on. Just easy peasy steam blocking. I only had to make sure that I didn’t stretch the edges too much and avoid uneven length/width sides. Tuesday’s post shows a bit of the finished object. Once I’ve figured out how the buttons work – i.e. what the different wear options are – I’ll do a mini photo shoot and will put up better pictures. Until then, here’s another picture of the finished project (too much sunshine, so the colors don’t look as saturated as they are):

IMG_7199

  

(Y)arrrrrrrrrn along!

Another Wednesday, another day to check in and see what I’m knitting and reading. My current read is Winnie the Pooh, which I read for my nephew over Skype. We both love Winnie the Pooh. We have a few other books in that series, but the Honey Cake mix-up is by far his favorite. It’s a really cute story – I must have read it to him a hundred times already, but he still enjoys it. I think there’s something really comforting for kids (especially the young ones) to reread a story, and to know what will happen. Oh, and for all of you Winnie the Pooh lovers, there’s a great series of YouTube videos about “The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh.” It’s a real treat for my nephew, even though he’s only allowed to watch a bit.  He’s kind of scared by Owl, and that funny mole, and Tigger is a bit too hyper – he’s too fast for him to understand, but he loves the songs. I have them memorized by now, too – and I keep thinking of the “Up, down” song when I’m sweating on the elliptical.

As for my knitting, well, I have finished one of my wips, the pleated scarf, I just don’t have a picture of the finished object. And the mystery KAL shawl is almost done – I’m waiting on clue#6, the last clue, and then I’ll have another FO for March. It looks really pretty so far, so I’m curious to see what the finished project will be like. And we’ll apparently need buttons – I guess for optional sleeves?

Now, why did I cast on for another project even though I already have two other wips on the needles, including last week’s project? Well, last week’s melody shawl is going to be my mindless project, the one that I work on while I’m in the car (not while I’m driving!), or waiting anywhere where I’ll likely only be able to knit just a bit at a time, and where I don’t want to worry about keeping track of where I am in the pattern. I’ve made a bit of progress, so this will probably turn into another endless project (and it easily fits into my handbag, as you can see).

The other project is for my cousin and his fiancee – the better than better than pea soup blanket. I really do need to get cracking on that one since I’m probably headed to San Francisco in May or early June, and I’d love to take it with me at the time. It would be rather inconvenient to bring it to the wedding. Plus, I really want to finish this up before it gets too warm.

IMG_8951

Ok, so back to the topic at hand. The German Wollmeise group (on Ravelry) is hosting a knit along called 12 Wollmeise in 12 months, with the goal to knit some of your treasured skeins instead of letting them linger in your stash, unknit. You pick out the skeins beforehand, give them a number and each month one number is drawn, and that skein is to be knit up. I’ve knit up January and February’s skeins, but I was late in working on my March project since my time was sucked up by my other Wips. So I’m a bit late to the party, knitting up this beautiful skein of Campari Orange light. It matches my mother’s hat really well, and she’s pretty excited to get this scarf.

The pattern is Anne Hanson’s Fernfrost, a really pretty pattern that shows of the colors beautifully. I thought that this would be a labor of love (well, more or less) since I was all scarfed out after that darn pleated scarf. But this one is flying of the needles, it’s so much fun to knit. I have till Saturday, so I’m hoping I’ll make it. And this time I’ll cast on for my April project right after that so I won’t be under such time pressure at the end of the month. Btw, I’m making this scarf narrower with only two rather than three pattern repeats, as per request, even though I tried to convince her otherwise. And now I’m wishing I had another skein in the color, to knit up a spring-inspired Windward for myself.

Phew, this was a long post. I’m participating in this week’s Yarn Along – there are links to other great Yarn Along posts there, with information on how to participate yourself. You can also find a link to this post through Tami’s Amis, and through Ambassador Crochet’s Wip Wednesday. Oh, and then there’s Frontier Dreams’ Keep Calm and Craft on (KCCO) series too!


Yarn Along

Another Wednesday, another Yarn Along post. I’m currently still working on the same Wips as last week, but I’ve added a new Wip: a Melody shawl for myself. I cast on for it since I wanted (another) mindless knitting project. One of my friends knits while at the movies, so I thought I’d try that myself. But first I was busy with my bucket of popcorn, and then I was so engrossed in the movie that I never brought out my little Melody shawl loop. Oh well. (Btw, sweet popcorn at the movies = win!) It doesn’t look like much right now, but it sure is fun! The yarn is Sundara fingering silky merino: ridiculously soft, and so very gorgeous. I don’t wear much purple, but this, this I’ll wear. A lot.

(Btw, the movie was ‘The Iron Lady” – very very interesting. And what a tour de force performance by Meryl Streep! No wonder she won the Oscar for her performance. Her body of work really is amazing, and I am always amazed how she can portray these characters, some of them very iconic, so well that you absolutely forget that it’s her.)

The book is a good book on Pilates. It explains a lot of the background of Pilates, and really creates a good system to build your skills. I used to go to Pilates to build back and abdominal strength – I used to get really bad back pains, and Pilates helped a lot. I went to Pilates ‘machine’ classes, and haven’t tried mat classes so far, so this will be an interesting exercise. I sure can use more core strength, plus flexibility.

If you’d like to Yarn Along too, just visit Ginny’s Yarn Along post where you’ll find more information. Happy Wednesday everybody!