Tuesday, August 26, 2014

September's Cowl

On our recent trip to Victoria I decided to take a knitting project. I didn't anticipate long periods of time to knit unless we got stuck in a ferry line up. Fortunately we didn't, but it is nice to pack along a small project to have to knit. I have been looking at September Circle, a cowl/infinity scarf, for awhile. I was attracted to it as it was very pretty and it used a  long self striping fingering/sock yarn to great effect.

I love these types of yarns. Using a fairly simple lace pattern, the pattern produces these long bands of colour that look like you were actually changing yarns of different colours as you knit. You get a lot of bang for your buck with these ones! For this project I used Crazy Zauberball in the sock weight.

I love the scalloped edge ! There are so many different types of long striping sock yarns available you could use this pattern over and over again. The pattern is not a complicated one. I goofed up a few times as I didn't take any stitch markers with me but after a few misalignments of the wave pattern I could see when I was off a stitch. There are a few nice rest rounds of knit and purl too. It was knit on a 4.5 mm needle so it produced a nice lacy airy cowl.

This colourway is not one I would typically choose but with a bright blue jean jacket it works! It can easily be doubled up to make a thicker cowl around your neck. This is a good pattern and I think you could have a lot of fun with it.I think it would also look really nice in a tonal or semi solid or solid yarn.

There is more mailbox fun happening in my neighbourhood! A few weeks ago, my buddy and neighbour Shannon and I went out for coffee. We spend a lot of time talking about our future knitting projects, gardening ideas and lots of other stuff we know we will never have time to do. We have a great time! Right of the blue Shannon announces she wants to paint her mailbox...today. So off to the hardware store we went. A few hours later armed with a can of fire engine red spray paint Shannon sprayed her old mailbox. There was no time to take a before picture as she is a woman of action. A few days later, Shannon drilled some holes, put in the new knobs and presto chango a snazzy new mailbox was up and ready to go! I love it! We are trying to convince some of our other neighbours to let us redo their mailboxes. We are still waiting for takers!

Now the days and nights are getting a bit cooler, the flowers are getting their second wind . My zinnias are growing like gangbusters.

Yippee!! My back ordered yarn finally completed its trek from Japan.

Happy making friends

Keep smiling!


Monday, August 18, 2014

Knitting RX

I have knit a lot of socks, I love my socks, they are the best thing I have learned to knit. I have the ma th down pat and can knit a sock that fits my foot or any other person's foot extremely well. I still get a bit sad when a sock is just plain worn out and gets tossed.  However sometimes I can prolong the life of a sock and squeeze a few more years of wear out of them. I knit this sock 12 years ago (can you believe it) and this pair is still one of my favs. Let me tell you a well knit well fitting sock can last for many years, Once you have worn hand knit socks you don't look back. They are awesome! ( I am off on a tangent here so back to the sock at hand).

 This sock is in good shape other than the hole in the toe.It is fact of life that holes happen in socks sometimes.I will be honest I really don't know how to darn a sock that well. Usually I say darn and throw it in the garbage can! (sorry, old corny joke). I think I have a psychological aversion to darning. Do you remember those old beige leotards we used to have to wear? The ones your older sister or cousin wore before you? The ones where the elastic was shot in the waist, causing them to creep and fall down your backside all day long so the crotch was mid thigh and you were constantly pulling them up? The ones where as soon as you put them on the knees sagged and they wrinkled in folds around your ankles? And the ones your mother darned at the knees and at the back of the heel and the toes so they created hard lumps in your shoes and caused blisters on your feet? They were beauties! So here is my alternative method to darning.

Most knitters get really really nervous when scissors are brandished about their knitting .And for good reason!

Riii Riii Riiiii

Some of you who are faint of heart might want to close your eyes about now

Just take your scissors and whack off the part of the toe with the hole in it. I mean carefully choose where the offending hole is and trim accordingly.

Unravel the yarn back a few rows  to the point where all the stitches are intact and are on the same row

Load up your stitches on your needles, find some sock yarn and you are ready to go. Can you believe I still had the original leftover ball from 12 years ago? You see I knew I might need it one day.  (That's the most feeble excuse Chris) I need to do some decluttering.

Toe knit and ready to graft

 And Bob's your uncle! A rehabilitated sock!!

I have cut off toes of socks, cuffs of sleeves and ribbing of sweaters to readjust the size or to fix holes or worn out bits. With your knitting you have to be fearless sometimes. Remind yourself that you are the boss of your knitting. Take courage and be a ballsy knitter or a ballsy gardener or quilter or crocheter or whatever your passion is. Its good to try something that pushes you a bit and gets you out of your particular comfort zone. Sometimes I over think my projects too much and I remind myself enough already, just do it, just go for it. Be Fearless!!

I had a few more thoughts but I think I have said enough for today.

Keep smiling


Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Knitting Dancette, painting, moving kids..all the fun stuff

It is very hard to believe it is mid August already. It has been busy here at Chez Chrissie this past month. We did get the Adirondack/ Muskoka chairs finally painted. I love them, they are super comfy and have nice big arms for cold /hot drinks, knitting projects and books to rest upon. At night we light up out old tiki torches, (with citronella oil) sit in our chairs and gaze vacantly into the night sky! Last night a really big horned owl swooped by. It startled me as it was so quiet. We watch the fruit bats zooming around picking up the bugs. Sometimes they get a little too low so that's when I high tail it into the house. I have been dive bombed by a bat and its a little too freaky for me.

We have been busy the last two weeks helping our daughter move in Victoria. We have moved our kids, and all the elders numerous times in the past decade. We are known as the Cotton Top Movers. A dubious distinction to be sure! Hey its your family and that's what you do. Victoria is such a beautiful city .

I love the hot pink petunias next to the lime green plant

Victoria is a city with the most amazing gardens but I didn't have a lot of time for garden picture taking.

There was Ikea furniture to assemble. We painted some older darker end tables for her bedroom.

New apartments are designed to be much smaller than their older counterparts. We spent a bit of time figuring out and installing closet and cupboard organizers.We had a discussion about us downsizing and living a more minimalist lifestyle. Hmmm. The comment was made that I would have to get rid of all my fabric, wool and crafty stuff. Screeechhh, put the brakes on that idea!!

If you zoom into this picture, you will see a rather large river otter running down the sidewalk. We were about a block up from the ocean, I would have expected a sea otter maybe ,but a river otter, not so much. It sure startled all of us.

Archie has now relocated to Victoria too. He is now a metro condo dog. It sure seems strange not to have him here anymore. I will have to start sweeping the kitchen floor more regularly,I will miss the cleaning service !

No more rolling in the dirt and water little friend. In honour of his upcoming move a trip to the groomers was in order.

Who is this white dog?

Before our big trek to the Coast I finished my Dancette.

I am seriously loving this triangular shawl/scarf!! The pattern again is Dancette, a pattern by IGK. Carrie is a super designer, her patterns are well written, easy to follow and very stylish.

What totally amazed me is I have clothes that matched the yarn perfectly, now how does that work heh heh!!

This is such an interesting pattern. It uses two different colours and I hope you can see the stripes in the body of the shawl. The border has a nice chevron pattern.

It forms a nice raised pattern that adds a textural dimension to the shawl. Colour plus texture, can it get any better that that?

What really makes this shawl pop is the beautiful yarn I used. It is Mulberry Cashmerino Fine, a beautifully soft merino wool cashmere mix. It is like buttah to knit with. The colours I used are Raspberry and Squash. The pictures I have taken do not do justice to this beautiful yarn.

This yarn is dyed locally by my friend Sally, she is an incredibly talented knitter and dyer. Her colours are awesome, I have knit with many of her yarns and just love them. There are a few projects on my Ravelry project page that have been made with Mulberry Yarn- Fiddlehead Mitts, Purple Jazz Wrap and Cradle me Blanket  all used this yarn.. I have plans for more!!

beautiful sunsets in Victoria

Happy knitting friends

Keep smiling


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