Tuesday, September 15, 2009

So close! (Also: New Sock!)

I've been working on the Ariosa Wrap Cardi (free from Classic Elite yarns web letter available here) and I knew I would be cutting it close with my yarn. I'm using a worsted weight (did my patented lazy easy resizing method of just casting on the size larger to make up for the difference in gauge. It works!) yarn from Custom Woolen MIlls here in Alberta.


I knit the sleeves yesterday while semi-lying in bed and because I'm lazy I'm impatient I wasn't sure how long I would have water due to a posted warning about a water outage, I did a steam block. I sewed it together (it fits! woo!) and started on the collar. I was hoping I could squeak by with the amount of yarn I had left but no... I'm about half way done the collar.

So today (while on my way home to spend the afternoon on the couch due to the ongoing battle with whatever this is that's making me sick) I stopped by Gina Brown's, hoping they might have a skein. They didn't but Diana (the owner) took down the color information and said she'd see if she could get me a skein with her next order. I love that store!

And, because I was there and it's completely impossible to NOT buy yarn when one goes into a yarn store (in spite of all promises to myself) I picked up 3 skeins of sock yarn to start the Cranberry Biscotti socks. I'm not knitting them in cranberry-ish colors but I think that's okay. (A "shout out" (I'm way too white and old to use that. sorry) to Marie-Jolie from Permission to Unwind for pointing out this awesome pattern!)


The colors aren't quite true in that picture. I need to learn how to adjust my camera better.

Oh! Funny story! While I was in Gina Brown's waiting for a customer to finish up at the counter, a man in a dress shirt and tie burst into the store. While that sounds very dramatic and like an exaggeration, it really is what he did. Everyone in the store turned to look at him, as he planted his feet and said, rather loudly, "I need help! Can someone help me?" We all were frozen. I was wondering what sort of emergency he was having. He didn't seem panicked, but he was rather urgent and insistent. I thought maybe he had locked his keys in his car or something.

"I need sock yarn." We all just blinked at him. He pushed in front of me to the counter as the woman ahead of me in line finished and told Diana he needed help. "I need yarn. For Socks. Any kind. Just, for socks." An employee came and led him away trying to determine what exactly he needed and I heard him saying it was for his mother. Lucky her. But oh how funny for the rest of us.

Diana looked at me with a "did that just happen" expression and said "That was... like if one of us were to go barging into a tire store and just shouted that we needed a tire!"

Completely made my day. Well, that and the new sock-in-progress. And the nap. I need to get rid of this ever-present headache and sinus pain and stomach ache. ugh. Back to the couch for me.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

New Socks! New Scarf/Shawl! Hooray!

I managed to remain upright long enough on Thursday evening to finish the toe on my sock (whew) so I finally have them complete.


Pattern: I used the pattern for Padded Footlets from Interweave Knits Summer 2005 but made them regular socks (skipped the padded part)
Yarn: Knit Picks Essential Kettle Dyed. I LOVE this yarn. I bought a sampler sometime last year and I love love love this yarn.



A couple of weekends ago I finished a shawl I had been knitting. I plan to use it as a scarf this winter. I like the idea of wearing the point in front and wrapping the ends around. It seems like it would provide good coverage for the opening in my jacket. Don't know why I didn't think of this before!



Pattern: LaLa's Simple shawl (Ravelry link with free download here)
Yarn: Arucania Ranco Multy. I picked this yarn up over a year ago intending to make socks but I loved the colors so much I didn't want to make something that would hide in shoes. I tried a kajillion (i'm awesome at math) different patterns/ideas before settling on this shawl. It really was simple to complete and I love the finished project.


Size: Blocked to 25" from center to point and 65" tip to tip. Before blocking it was a bit firm and not really something I wanted next to my neck. I was a little worried that I had made a mistake with this one but it blocked out nice and drapey and just wooly enough to feel substantial without feeling bulky.



I don't know what this flu or whatever I have is but it's making me feel wiped out. It hasn't turned into a full-on cold but my sinuses are affected and my throat. I couldn't take any time off last week because my coworker (the only other person who could cover for me) was on vacation. I spent the majority of the weekend on my couch, about half of that time lying down wishing I could just pass out for a while. Not good. I wish it would just go away or turn into a respectable cold/flu. This half-assed make you feel like crap but don't actually appear sick thing is soooo annoying. Plus we had summer weather this weekend and I couldn't enjoy it at all. (/whine)


In spite of the summer weather I'm really feeling like fall is here. My internal season clock switched and now it's all wool all the time. I'm working on a short sleeved cardigan (pics to come soon) that I hope will work for layering in the office, a cardigan in a great loden green wool I've had forever, and a stranded wool jacket/cardigan. We'll see how closely I can stick to my plans*.

*note: stated plans do not take into account socks in progress or other various projects strewn about in various states of completion.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Just finish already!

Today i decided that i need to finish some of the knit projects that are half done before i do anything else. I get bored and leave them and start something new, which is probably not shocking or news to most of the crafting world. I'm not feeling any of my current projects so I figure I need to force myself to finish something, anything to kick start my desire to do the rest of them.

I went home for lunch today and on the way decided I would start with a pair of socks that I had started in March and had never finished. I knew i had gotten the leg of the 2nd sock done and then just left it. I looked for the socks.

Nameless Socks

I'm not just done the leg of the 2nd sock... I'm about 6 rounds away from starting the toe! Why I didn't finish the 2nd sock I will never know...

So tonight I'm finishing the 2nd sock. I'm hanging out on the couch, watching football, trying to maintain my denial that I'm coming down with a flu (hopefully not THE FLU haha) I'm just about to start the toe so I will be able to cross these off the mental list tonight. Yay!

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

3 Tiered Skirt

I've been working on another post but just can't seem to get it going in the right direction. In the meantime I realized I hadn't ever posted about this skirt. I made this a few weekends ago by consulting numerous tutorials online (which I didn't seem to bookmark. I found them by googling "3 tiered skirt tutorial")

I bought this fabric at Fabricland a few months ago. The fabric is a lightweight cotton and it had this great embroidered edge all along one side, I was intending to make a dress or something but couldn't ever settle on an idea. A few weekends ago I saw a girl in a cute 3 tiered skirt and remembered that I had wanted to make one. 4 hours later:

3 Tiered Skirt

It's a little more cutesy than I usually would wear but I really do like it. I wore it today since it was 29C/84F and my office is generally about seventyhundred degrees if it's sunny. There's lots more that I've been doing. I just need to get back in the habit of documenting it.

Moving on: Craft Therapy.

I think I've written before about crafting as a therapeutic measure. When I feel really overwhelmed or stressed focusing on a task that I know I can do or that challenges me seems to give my brain a break and I come away from it feeling refreshed. I know this is not an earth shattering discovery, but I've been thinking about this idea a lot lately.

The weekend clearing out my mom's house was very difficult, as you can imagine. My brother and his wife had pre-sorted a lot of the items so it was just a matter of going through, picking out things to save and deciding what could go to the Salvation Army or what was trash. Being a sentimental pack rat I didn't want to let go of a lot of it. I had given The Boy one task before we went: if he saw me getting bogged down sorting through something he was to get me back on task or make me move on to something else. He did his job well and we got everything done in a day and a half. To say we were exhausted would be extreme understatement.

When I got back to Calgary I was wrung out. I couldn't focus and didn't know what to do. I kept crying and felt unable to process anything. I decided to set up Mom's sewing machine that I brought back with me and play with it.

Using Mom's Singer, which is nearly as old as I am, brought back a flood of happy memories and made me feel so connected to her. I was worried that I would feel maudlin or uncomfortable having her things in my house but I'm so pleased that instead I just feel this happy connection to my Mom and all of my memories of her.

Futura II 2

I took her for a test drive last week and made myself a new wallet. I'm not 100% happy with how it turned out (it's a touch too wide and I want a different kind of closure...) but I'm happy that the machine, with its quirks, works.

Wallet 2

I used a piece of the strip patchwork I made for the potholders i made a while ago.

Wallet 3

I used a tutorial (which I can't find at the moment) for the card section and I added another layer for bills.

Wallet 4

This long weekend I started a quilt top using some of my mom's shirts. I won't have enough for a whole top. I plan to use solid cotton squares to make up the rest.

9 patch blocks

This, too, has been therapeutic, and I'm looking forward to the comfort of a quilt so infused with memories of my Mom. I think she'd approve.