Sunday, March 29, 2009

What To Do?

I think I used up my good knitting karma with the Queen of Beads Socks. Since then every project I've started as turn out to be a disaster in some way or another.

Four projects, four disasters.

The red thing is the gorgeous pink cashmere that Bertha sent me. I tried to make Wisp first but it didn't work and clearly neither does Montego Bay. I think it's the drape of the yarn that's messing me up since I'm not used to working with cashmere.

The sock is my attempt at the Leyburn sock pattern. It was going great until I tried to do a fancy heel. Now it's too long.

I ran out of yarn for the BSJ a few rows short. I guess I could rip back and cut out a few of the rows but I'm worried what that will do for the overall structure of the sweater.

The hat looks fine, right?

Clearly it's much too big.

I'm unsure what to do with these disastrous projects. The sock is pretty easy to fix and I probably could finagle the baby sweater. I think I need to find a different pattern better suited to the pink cashmere, and the hat clearly needs to be frogged. The question is, do I rip/frog these projects immediately and try to make them work, or do I put them aside for an indeterminate amount of time and hope that they will seem more appealing down the road? Right now I don't really want to work on them which is sad because the yarn for all the projects are gifts from very special friends. Ladies, I'm sorry that I couldn't make beautiful things from the lovely yarn you gave me.

Now if you'll excuse me, I'm going to go sew for the afternoon. Hopefully I'll have more luck with that.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Earth Hour 2009

On Saturday March 28, from 8:30-9:30pm please turn out your lights and join hopefully 1 billion people worldwide in fighting climate change. For more information and to sign up, please visit
I’m going to be helping out at a VIP event but since I’m just doing registration I’m hoping to sneak in a stockinette sock and do a little knitting in the dark.
What will you be doing for Earth Hour?

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Queen of Beads - Done

About a month ago I blogged about my wonderful package from the Rockin' Socks Club. With the arrival of this package, I become a completely monogamous knitter. I only wanted to work on these gorgeous socks. I finished them a few weeks ago but it took a while to get good pictures. 

This colour is so hard to capture. It's a little too greeny here.

I think the next ones are the best for showing off the pattern and the beads.

Pattern: Queen of Beads by Sivia Harding
Yarn: STR Lightweight in My Blue Heaven
(N.B. both yarn and pattern are part of the sock club and won't be available to the general public until next year)
Needles: 2.5mm Addis

Mods: I did these toe up using Judy's Magic Cast On and Wendy Knit's Gusset Heel (pdf). Thanks to these modifications, the socks fit like a dream!

Thoughts: These socks were an enjoyable knit from beginning to end. I would highly recommend this pattern to anyone who is thinking about knitting with beads. The most annoying part is getting the beads on the yarn but once they are on, you are good to go! The pattern is made up of two sections, the twisty part that looks like cables (but isn't!) and the beaded section. This makes the knitting even more fun because you're always just a few rows away from doing something different. I can definitely see myself making these again.

Now I just need to keep myself busy for the next few weeks until the second package arrives!

Friday, March 6, 2009

The Return of Random Fridays

I've decided to do a double posting today, just because :)

(Scroll down to see cute baby bibs)

As anyone who has spent any time around cats will know, they have a mind of their own and what they like to do one day isn't what they like the next. When we moved we downsized a lot of furniture that had mostly been serving as cat beds. Poor Cleo was forced to find new places to sleep. This means that she spends most of the night on our bed which I enjoy (but Pete doesn't since she seems to prefer to take over his leg room even though I will willingly give her mine). She also loves to sleep on the futon. Lately she's started climbing onto the top of the futon and hanging out there. While funny to watch, it has been taking its toll on our poor futon.

Notice the cat-sized dent

Clearly something needed to be done to save the futon. We needed to create another place that was warm and comfy near the window that would be appealing to Cleo. We came up with a design for a shelf to rest on top of the radiator (between the futon and the window) and my dad was kind enough to build it and bring it to us.

Mission accomplished! The futon has been saved and the cat is happy. Thanks so much, Dad!

Sewing Part 2

I don't know if it's the promise of spring around the corner or just a desire to try something new but I've been doing a lot of sewing lately (and have plans to do a lot more!).

I knew I wanted some little instant gratification-type projects but I wasn't sure what to do. It was Heather to the rescue (as always). She suggested the adorable bibs from Bend-the-Rules Sewing and accompanied me fabric shopping (I'm sure Heather would like me to say that she had nothing to do with my purchase of the cupcake fabric).

I sat down one afternoon and whipped off 6 of these bad boys! They are so fast and so cute! I definitely see many many more in my future.

(Click for larger picture)
I'm already plotting to make more of these. I think that bibs done with food-theme fabrics would be awesome!

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Spring Socks

In December I received a wonderful package from Tam. She sent me all sorts of chocolately goodies and a beautiful skein of sock yarn. I loved the yarn so much that I immediately wound it into a ball intending to cast on over the Christmas holidays. Christmas knitting being what it is, I didn't finish until January at which point I was tired of socks again and onto other projects. Then my first Rockin' Socks Club package arrived which got me back into the sock lovin' feeling except then I couldn't put down that project. However, as soon as I was done those socks (reminder to self: blog about finished socks), I immediately grabbed the yarn from Tam. 

I had no problem deciding what pattern to use. There is one sock pattern which is sweeping the blog world right now and I knew it would be perfect for my yarn (check out this beauty and this one).  I cast on last Friday and this sock has already seen some serious action. It got to sit in the sound booth and witness a radio interview at the CBC. It also came on Gen's birthday shopping trip and hung out in the change room of many a clothing store. 

But enough talking about the sock, do you want to see it?

This is Cherry Tree Hill Supersock in a special edition colourway based on Renoir's Spring Bouquet. I absolutely love it! Tam, you did so good! The beautiful colours help me believe that spring is right around the corner.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Sewing Part 1

When we moved into the new apartment last October, the futon was placed in the living room. In the past it had lived in Pete's studio and was mainly used by Cleo and I to keep Pete company when he was composing. With it now repurposed for use by our frequent visitors, I determined that it needed big fluffy pillows. We found the perfect pillows at Ikea but they didn't come with pillowcases. I finally got around to buying fabric in January and today I made the pillowcases. It was a bit of an adventure because I'd accidentally bought too little fabric. Luckily pillows are squishy and it all worked out perfectly.

Here they are posed on our futon.

Here's a picture with the flash so you can get a better sense of the pattern. I hate the flash but I do find that it does a better job capturing detail. I probably could get the same effect without flash if I had better camera skills. Something to work on.

I took a number of pictures today so be prepared to see more blog posts over the next week. I find it works best if I prepare the pictures on the weekend so I just need to write the words during the week :)