A Chrismas Yarn...

Well on the 23rd of December I quickly finished up Dad's socks, the Gentlemen's Half Hose pattern from Nancy Bush's Vintage Socks while finishing off the Christmas baking (cookies & lavosh) and packing for my train the next morning. I snapped a quick picture before they were soaked.
I had also recently finished my mittens while at the Purple Purl on Sunday. The girls have convinced me to write up the pattern. Yummy malabrigo on 4mm needles. They have proven to be very warm.
Christmas eve saw me off on the train to Ottawa. Dad picked me up from the Fallowfield station and we headed over to Nanny and Poppa's to say Merry Christmas before heading off to the farm. When we got to the farm we had a bit of supper, watched Christmas movies and had a visit from the Christmas eve mouse! Isn't s/he cute?!
Christmas morning saw the opening of gifts. Mom received the hat she is modeling below. It is my own handspun and my own impromptu pattern. She also received a lovely skien of malabrigo sock yarn in a rust orange to knit herself up something nice.
Dad's feet are seen here modeling his socks. They fit him perfectly. The only change I made to the pattern was to make them half an inch longer. Turns out that made them the perfect size! They are just the type of socks he said he wanted, nice and long to peep over the edge of his work boots. He's requested a nice pair of dress socks for next Christmas in a navy blue colour.
Here is a picture of my Christmas booty. My mom made me a hat, scarf and mittens. They are very nice and I finally have a hat that is not a toque or baseball hat that actually looks good on me. The mittens are very warm. Trust me I tried them out doing the activites in the pictures further below. The thermos is from my Dad and should keep soup or stew piping hot for up to 24 hours. It can also keep things cool for the same length of time. The purple and green yarn is from my sister. The purple yarn is Briggs and Little. The colour is gorgeous, but B&L is not known for their softness. Hopefully it will soften up with a little washing. I was thinking of making a throw out of it for my couch. I have a pattern that I think will do nicely. The green yarn is Indigo Moon sock yarn in the colourway cedar. I almost bought myself a skein of this on Sunday and am really glad the little voice in my head told me I could wait. These two skeins will become knee-high socks. Now I'll just have to find a skirt to wear them with. She also got me earrings but those were in my ears already and hence why they are not in the picture.
Here is a picture of me in my gettup from my mom (if you look really carefully you can see some of the earrings) and my aunt who also received a scarf and hat from my mom.

After all the food on Christmas day and the sleigh ride, I spent Boxing day outside snowshoeing (Dad caught up to me, I took a detour to the pond). And then I tried a little cross-country skiiing with my Uncle. (click to enlarge any of the photos)

Happy Holidays!


It's that time of year again........

....where the Christmas baking must be done. These are the gingersnaps I've been working on today. I used fresh ginger instead of dried (I would have put a whole lot more ginger in too, if I didn't have to share with people who prefer the blander version) and I changed just under half the flour to whole wheat (I use Red Fife because it tastes nutty instead of bitter). They turned out very well.

I have been working on a scarf for my sister. She bought the yarn and picked out the stitch pattern and I've turned it into a scarf pattern. You can't see a lot of the pattern in this picture because it's not stretched out, but it does give you a vague idea.
It has been cold here lately so I've started making myself a winter set which will include a scarf, mittens and a toque (haven't started the toque yet). I started the scarf then realized I should probably make the mittens and toque so that whatever yarn is left from those could go into the scarf and that way I won't have lots of yarn leftover. The yarn is malabrigo and it is a gorgeous colourway. It is grey and white with hints of purple and blue.
I've almost forgot to show the rush toque and gloves I made while I was up in SSM to keep my fingers and head warm. The gloves are the first pair I have ever made.


The Vintage Yarn Swap

My vintage swap box arrived just before I left for Sault Ste. Marie and TC was getting right in there digging into the box. I took me a while to figure out why he was so excited.....
...until he found what he was looking for. It didn't last very long. He had the catnip guts removed and was rolling in them pretty soon after this picture was taken.
Piper also got a little something in the box too!
And this was also found in the box!!!!!!! So many goodies!
The coffee was excellent as is the tea and as for the other snacks, I can vouch for their tastiness as well. The movie "Cold Comfort Farm" was very good and the alpaca fibre is being spun. I've almost finished spinning my singles and it spins like a dream!
It was a great swap!


Home again

The lack of blogging due to the month of November was mainly because I was in Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario for work without internet access where I was staying (okay there was but I didn't find that out until the second to last day I was staying there).

I did a lot of work on Dad's socks. I realized the socks I was working on where the yarn was picked here had even less yardage than the ones from last year and were going to end up looking like ankle socks on him. So I went back to another pair I had started for him ages ago. They are proper man socks that are long enough in the leg that they can be worn comfortably in boots. They even have some nice calf shaping and look nice and manly. They are also made of superwash wool and have a thread of nylon running through them so they should last a long time. The pattern is Gentleman's Half House from Nancy Bush's Knitting Vintage Socks. I had plenty of time to work on them up in the Soo. One as you can see is complete and I am at the heel on the second one. They are very roomy on me so I hope they should fit him perfectly.
My green silk lace went under reconstruction. As I was knitting it up in my design I realized it was too complicated and was not showing off the colourway (and the purpose of this piece of lace is to show off the gorgeous colourway). So I switched to a very simple ostrich pattern that I think does an excellent job at focusing all the attention on the yarn.

My sister was in town recently and she was wearing a toque I had made that I had never gotten a picture of her in. So I took the opportunity while I had it. Too bad she wasn't wearing that red sweater I made that I have been waiting for a picture of her in for quite some time. Mojo, if you are serious about stockings for your kilt you may want to take a picture of her in her sweater for me, please!
I can only show a little tidbit of the next finished object as the person it is for reads this blog. It is made from my own handspun!
There are some other things I realize I forgot to blog about that happened before I left for SSM and they will be the topics of future posts (like the vintage yarn swap I participated in).


Cute Factor

Well the red cashmere sweater is blocked after I finally picked up stitches along the edging and used the I-cord cast-off I used along the neck and hem. I did sew in a zipper, realized it was a dress zipper after all that hard work was done and took it out. I need to find another fine zipper or eye and hooks to close the front. It fits beautifully and I can't wait to start wearing it! Everyone who touches it is absolutely in love with it, but then who wouldn't be; it's cashmere and I have 4 and a half balls left to enjoy to make something else. Now that is the birthday present that keeps on giving.
I started my next sweater shortly after the majority of knitting was completed on the red sweater with the silky Malabrigo yarn I bought at the Purple Purl (it was on sale). Here is the little swatch I made:
It is going to have deep lacy ribbing at the bottom and a deep V-neck with same said ribbing and full length sleeves. I'm going to call it "The Sky is Falling" sweater. I am making pretty good progress so far. See:
I love the subtle tonal changes of the blue.

I've started on my own lace design. It is a wide scarf/stole. I made a little swatch out of some leftover lace from another project just to make sure it would look pretty.
The bottom part is an Estonian star pattern and will be the border and the top is from the 2nd Barbra Walker stitchionary and is called "Faun Eyes". I'm slightly obsessed with it and it is true knitted lace as there are yarn overs and decreases on both the right and wrong sides. This stole is being made from the Indigo Moon hand-dyed silk I got from the Purple Purl booth at the K-W Knitters Fair. I wanted to do something special with this yarn and what is more special than something you've designed yourself? I've already started.
Ah yes and the cute factor promised in the title. Here it is.
PS. Piper met her first little people yesterday (Mel's nephews who are 6 and 4). She really liked them and they loved to play her favorite game with her which is you give her something, she throws it and you pick it up and bring it back to her so you can start all over again.


Hmmm, Cashmere, Yummmm!

The red cashmere sweater is almost complete. I just have to add the bands on the front and then add the zipper! I can't wait til I can wear it! It is so soft against the skin and I have 4 skeins of yarn leftover to do something else with (This sweater has taken up just over four skeins so far). Yummy cashmere. One can never have enough.
The Boing! scarf has been finished for a while now but it took til the beginning of this month to finally block it. I love this scarf. It was an easy lace pattern that was just challenging enough to keep me from getting bored yet simple enough I could still watch TV. I pretty much followed the pattern; the only different thing I did was to add a few extra repeats and I still have quite a chunk of yarn left. I've been wearing it quite a bit and love the feel of the Malabrigo lace against my neck (so very soft).
Two projects that have been hibernating have come back out. I have started again on Dad's Xmas present. The heel has been turned and I just have to finish the gussets and move onto knitting the leg. I was knitting them this evening, enjoying a beer and the Habs game. Currently they are whooping the Leafs 6 to 1. Go Habs Go! The construction is one of Cat Bordhi's toe up socks and the pattern is one I found in a stitch dictionary, called ears of corn. I have named these socks the Blue Corn Socks. Hehe that is a no brainer, eh?
I've also been working on the Alpine Knit Scarf from Victorian Lace Today. Don't let the name fool you; it is definitely a stole and has a true knitted lace border which I am absolutely fascinated with (not that this picture shows it).
Last week I took a spinning course at the Purple Purl and ended up staying almost the entire day knitting after the class. I found the series of stitch dictionaries I have been trying to find for a while! I also bought two more skeins of Malabrigo sock yarn in gorgeous colourways. I may have to take my mother there the next time she visits and maybe my sister when she comes to visit.
Oh and last but not least I've joined a yarn swap with a vintage theme. I've found two swap items for my swap buddy (both are related). It is very fun hunting for items you hope they will like.

PS. Little sister I believe I was promised a picture. I'm still waiting!!!!!!! And if you are going to torture me by making me wait for my box, could you at least send a picture of the yarn you put in the box?


Purple Purl

While up on the farm my mother gave me two cones of bulky weight yarn because and I quote "it doesn't felt." I did a little swatch and I got gauge for a pattern of a peacoat that it will be turning into. Mind you it will be slowly since the yarn is not gentle on the hands and it's not soft so it will be perfect for outerwear.
I have also gone back to my spinning. I started this black alpaca a while ago and put it aside for the reason I always put aside my spining. Because it always breaks on me when I try to make it as thin as I want it. I got a great tip on Sunday from the Stashaholic (Ravelry handle) while I was at the Purple Purl (great little knitting store that actually encourages you to hang around and knit and chat). She told me to treadle faster and draft less. It works like a charm and I got through the rest of that bag so easily. Here are the singles. I have two more bags to spin up.
One sleeve of the shrug is done and the second sleeve is on the needles. There has been some more headway since this picture was taken. The knitting part may be finished as soon as tomorrow.
While chit chatting at the Purl I made a few purchases. I bought a Malabrigo pattern book and "Knitting without Tears" by Elizabeth Zimmerman. And these are the new stash purchases. Can anyone say yum!
I will be taking a spinning course at the Purl in the beginning of October. I've heard my teacher is really good and I can't wait!


Update Part II: The K-W Knitters Fair

Disclaimer: If you haven't read Part I yet, scroll down and read it first.

Mel and I took our annual trip to the K-W Knitters Fair held by the Kitchener-Waterloo Knitter Guild. We arrived late since we take the VIA train up there (next year we will be taking a car and will be getting there early). We paid and went in and thought we were going to be okay. The room didn't seem as crowded as last year and thought we would have enough time to thoroughly check out all the goods. Well one of the organizers overheard us and said "oh I overheard you and thought I should let you know that there is a second ballroom full of vendors." If you only could see the look of sheer panic on our faces! There was way too much to see and not enough time to go through everything, hence our resolve to drive up and get there early next year!

I managed to stay within budget (which sadly wasn't very large). I am starting a jar to put cash in throughout the year and whatever is in it will be spent at the Knitter's Fair.

Here is the list of spoils:
A kit for a shrug with malabrigo yarn from Spun Fibre Arts. I cast it on immediately (even before we got on the train to go home). We talked with the designer who let us try on the samples. I didn't want to take off the one made with malabrigo. I could have lived in it. Mel liked the black one better. The yarn was silk and merino and has more drape than malabrigo. We will be taking a picture of the two of us together in them when they are completed. This is what I have done so far. Yes this is the project that the cashmere sweater was cast aside for. If you knew what malabrigo felt like you would understand. That and it is a quick knit.
Some laceweight yarn that was dyed here in Ontario and reminds me of the ocean when it's that moody green colour on a sunny day.
I also found some lovely silk laceweight from a dyer in BC at the Purple Purl booth! I talked with they owner of Indigo Moon on Ravelry. She is very nice and gave me some great tips for keeping the dye as bright and beautiful as possible when washing. She also told me this colourway is a one-of-a-kind that will probably never happen again! I must find an extra special pattern for it.
I also got a pattern. It is suppose to be for a baby blanket but I thought with a little alteration it would make a great stole or scarf! And it only cost me $1! Mel picked up several Fiddlesticks patterns for $6 a piece (that's half price people for gorgeous patterns).
I also picked up some 6mm addi turbo circulars for the shrug and a chibi which is a darning needle holder so you don't lose your needles!

Here is some free advertising for those vendors that gave reuseable bags to carry your stuff in instead of plastic!
That's all for now folks! Hope the updates were worth the month long wait.