Oct 6

It’s a good day to dye!

We took over the roommie’s mother’s house while she was away and had a few friends over. It was a blast! We brought all our dyes and a bunch of mini-skeins of yarn, and told everyone to just have fun. No technical dyeing workshop here, just a bunch of friends hanging out over a some stock pots, mason jars and a microwave. Here are some of the spoils:


Oct 25

Mmm… Malabrigo!

Faking Sanity now has 100% more yarn! We thought we’d share this yarnie goodness on our craft blog. We have Malabrigo, as well as a small assortment of other sock yarns and a bit of laceweight, too! We’ll have an assortment of cool new needles and accessories in the coming weeks, but we thought we would tempt you with our pretty woollies in the interim!

May 10


Well this past weekend we went to Toronto and I decided to go to The Purple Purl to see if they had the yarn I wanted to start making the Pole pattern that I bought a little while back. I wasn’t going to do it but I bought some yummy yarn to use and now have skeins to make into  balls so that I can get started. I might just wait until Rowan is home with me and she can do the winding for me she likes to use the ball winder. no pictures of the yarn but it is purple and I love it. Can’t wait to get started on it.

May 6

Dyeing and Knitting and Dyeing Some More

I’ve been a very bad blogger, but this time, at least, I have good reason. I’ve been working lots, and reading, and knitting, and dyeing! I started with dyeing several new base yarns I’m testing out for my Faking Sanity yarn line (please forgive the differences in the black background colour; I was losing light fast, so I colour adjusted them so the yarn looked accurate).

The first is a fingering weight seasilk/merino blend. The sheen of this yarn is incredible. I’m not really fond of this dye job, so I’ll probably overdye it, but I do like the yarn overall. It would be awesome for a shawl or lacy scarf. The second is an extremely soft superwash BFL sock yarn with a bit of nylon for strength (20%). I’ve loved BFL from the first time I spun some, so I’m sort of partial toward this fiber, and this yarn in particular. The last two are both of a merino/cashmere/nylon blend fingering weight yarn. This one I’m fairly certain will become one of my regulars. It is a plump/squishy yarn that’s incredibly soft and has a nice sheen to it, as well. As I’ll be ordering this one again in all probability, I’ve decided that purple skein is going to go straight to my personal stash!

seasilk merino blendbfl superwash test
merino-cashmere-nylon blend testmerino cashmere nylon blend test

Last week, I also succombed to temptation and bought a bunch of Sidar Flirt DK – a machine washable bamboo/wool blend yarn for a cowl neck tee I saw at The Knitting Room a few weeks ago. As my crafty side is balanced with a very detailed/analytical/geeky side and because I have yet to knit a pattern as it is written, I decided to make several modifications to the shaping and construction of the top, which of course meant sketching out several scaled versions of the garment on graph paper. With my sketches in hand, I was able to determine if I like the basic shape of the garment with my proposed changes. Everything seemed ok, so I set aside my swatch and started this:
flirt dk cowl neck tee

As for the rest of the dyeing, I also managed to get a number of skeins of my Fixation sock yarn dyed up. Here are a few samples, since this seems to be the pic spam post!
fixationfixation 4fixation 2fixation 5

Apr 13

Yarn and Socks…

and socks and yarn…

I just finished the gusset and heel on my uber-bright greeny-blue socks. I was again reminded that although I prefer toe-up socks, I dislike knitting gusseted heels from the toe-up. On the upside, this time around, at least the sock and heel fit properly, as opposed to my previous attempts with this combination (the last time the socks ended up being a full shoe-size too short, so ended up being an unforeseen gift for the roommie’s tiny feet). I do like how the socks are turning out, so these will be for me, but the next time, I’ll either knit top down or do a short row heel.

As for the yarn, I bought a few skeins of sock yarn in the past month…Check them out:

Fleece Artist Nyoni Zauberball Starke6 Ja Woll Silk

The first two I think will end up being socks for me. The last, Lang Ja Woll Silk with its spool of coordinating reinforcement thread, will be for socks for my dad.

Jan 19

Faking Sanity Gracefully?

I had a skein of some Faking Sanity Compulsion that I had kept to knit a sample from, and this weekend, I finally pulled it out again. The yarn is a superwash 100% merino ranging from pink to deep red. I was browsing sock patterns, since that seems to be what I’m in the mood to knit these days, but on Saturday, I stumbled upon Anne Hanson’s Tudor Grace pattern again, and decided to give it a try.

I did a few gauge swatches and started on it this Sunday, so it’s not very far a long, but I think I’m liking the results so far:

Faking Sanity before Grace:
FakingSanity Compulsion

Faking Sanity Gracefully?
tudor grace

Jan 13


Last week, I ordered a few skeins of some new yarns. I’m thinking of carrying/dyeing a couple of new yarns for the Faking Sanity line. And today, the package arrived in all its glorious splendour. Do any of these bases sound interesting to you guys?

1. This first one is a superwash BFL/nylon blend:
bfl superwash

2. The second one is a superwash merino/Seacell blend:
seamerino superwash

3. The third is a fairly popular base – a superwash merino/cashmere/nylon blend:
merino cashmere nylon

And this last one is just for me! I don’t even plan to dye it. I’m going to use it for a shawl, exactly as it is. It’s a 60% SeaCell/40% silk lace weight blend. The sheen and drape are amazing, and I love the warm, pale honey colour.
seasilk lace

Jan 3


No troubles here, though (sorry, I couldn’t resist)!

Before my move this summer, I had traded a kilo bag of Malabrigo for some hand-prepped Cotswold fiber. A “bit” was what I thought. A “bit” looked a little different than I had imagined once it was prepared. I went to pick it up today; here is a quick view of of a few little Cotwold tribbles:

cotswold tribbles

Like tribbles, though, they ended up taking over my favourite computer chair within moments:

cotswold tribbles multiplied

Dec 30

Christmas knitting and stuff

Well, the Christmas knitting was a total success. My little sis loved the heavy alpaca scarf. She had never heard of it, and was amazed at how soft the yarn was. And her rambunctious 3 year old always wants to be outside, despite my sister’s tendency to be… “frileuse” (man, english needs more words… it’s kind of like how older, frail grannies are always cold?).

All in all, it was an excellent fit, and one of my first slam-dunks as far as gift-giving is concerned. Now, it’s time to buckle down and resole the socks I gave to my dad last year, since he blew out the heel; I suppose that’s a sign he liked his gift too, but still… not looking forward to the task.

I also picked up a few things this Christmas season. When I delivered my last order of Faking Sanity yarns to Make One, I picked up Cat Bordhi’s new book for myself. It’s cool, but I definitely preferred the first one. My second purchase was a yummy, super-bright-green skein of Sweet Sheep Tight Twist sock yarn. I don’t know why, but I’ve been oddly attracted to all these bright greens lately. This one is called “Shamrock” (the colour is actually brighter, but taking pictures at night without proper lighting is tricky for me):

Sweet Sheep Tight Twist - Shamrock

Dec 15

More Faking Sanity yarns at Make One!

If you’re in the neibourhood check out all the new yarns at Make One… including another batch of Faking Sanity yarns from yours truly. This delivery was of Compulsion – a squishy, superwash 100% Australian merino yarn in a mid-to-heavy fingering weight. I forgot to take pictures of them all, so here’s a preview of the first few I dyed for this batch.

Compulsion mosaic

Dec 4

You knew it was coming…

I tore out my sock…

I got to the heel flap the other night, and noticed an error (I skipped two rows in the pattern repeat). I decided to leave it due to the fact that it was on the front of the sock, and would land right where the ankle meets the leg, and wouldn’t be very visible. Those who know me well know just how big a deal that was for me. Then, as I was finishing up the heel flap, I noticed a major error right up near the cuff of the sock on the other side. It was just too much! So, I tore the whole thing out and started over; I’m now working on the cuff again, but much happier!

Oct 27


Packages are so much fun! Remember me mentioning I won a contest on Gingersnaps’ blog? I was thrilled to get this package in the mail today! She was so generous, and this gift was definitely customized to me.

There was a whopping 4.2 oz/120 gram skein on Madelinetosh Tosh Sock in Peacock, and the colour is absolutely perfect (the colour appears a bit darker than it actually is – I had to play with the flash and exposure as it’s dark so early here now).

She also included a can of maple syrup from the Beauce region of Quebec, which is where my family is originally from. Yum!

And as if that wasn’t enough, there was also a big container of “sucre à la crème”. The ingredients vary from one recipe to another, but basically, it consists of sugar (usually brown or a combination of brown, maple and icing sugar), cream or evaporated milk, maple syrup, and a bit of butter. In English, it’s apparently called maple fudge, which always strikes me as odd since the French for fudge (“fudge”) refers specifically to chocolate.

Winnings - madelinetosh toshsock in peacock and maple stuffs

Oct 9

[insert catchy title here]

I’ve only been posting about dyeing recently, so here’s a quick update on other stuff. I haven’t been knitting much, but I’m nearly finished a pair of socks (not one, but two socks!) for the roommie out of Zauberball in Brombeeren. I also started on a new sweater this week. The irony couldn’t be missed: it started snowing the day after I cast on for Summer Solstice. The construction of this sweater is quite different, but I really like the look of the finished sweater. Here’s how they both look so far:

magic socks nearly done summer solstice at first snow

I also made a few purchases this past week or so. First, I bought some of the squishiest black yarn ever to be used for a scarf for my brother in law… I think! And most recently, I purchased a Namaste buddy case to carry aorund my knitting tools, as well as a Hermosa bag. I’m still debating on this one as to whether I should keep it for myself, or give it as a Christmas gift. What do you guys think?

diamond sport alpaca - bulky namaste buddy case - peacock namaste hermosa

Sep 26

Faking Sanity Yarns – Now at … ?

I just got home, and had to post. Remember these guys? There’s a small difference since the last time you saw them… Can you spot it? How about if I give you a hint? There’s an addition to the label… Do you see it now? How about if I say that my trip was to a local yarn store?

faking sanity bliss and fixation

You guessed it, those are M1 sales labels on the back of my ball bands (but, I must admit, I thought you would figure it out a little more quickly)! :)

Check out both Faking Sanity Fixation and Faking Sanity Bliss – now available at Make One Yarn Studio. Fixation is a fingering weight soft wool yarn with a bit of nylon for stength; it’s great for hand-knit socks, and is machine washable, too. Bliss is a laceweight wool silk blend (55% silk/45% wool); it’s a worsted-spun 3-ply yarn with an amazing drape and subtle sheen.

And here it is in it’s new environment, waiting for you to pick it up! (Well, most of it – some has already moved on to it’s newest home!)

fakingsanity bliss and fixation at M1

Sep 22

Nearly there!

The last few skeins aren’t dry yet, so I can’t skein them and say officially that I’ve completed my first order, but look how the box has grown!

lys order is growing

See? It feels pretty cool, actually. After this, I’m going to finish a set of skeins for a sweater I was commissioned to dye, and then I’ll be doing a bunch for the shop, and trying out a few of my new 100% silk yarns in the process. I can’t wait.

Sep 19


I did some more dyeing this weekend, and while those skeins are still wet, I’ve started putting together my very first LYS yarn order (sorry about the picture quality – no decent lighting here in the evening):

part of 1st yarn order

Actually, there’s yarn all over the house right now. A skein on the stove and another on the table that just came out. A couple draped over the gym equipment. A few on the back of the computer chair. Eight more on the big chair. And four – these four (!) – with shiny new ball bands and ready to find a new home! So very exciting!

Sep 9

I’m seeing green!

This green:

sweet georgia english ivy

It’s lovely Sweet Georgia superwash sock yarn that I’ve been eyeing since it came in, and it’s awesome!

I’ve also just printed off the ball bands for the yarn I’ve completed so far for my first LYS order of hand-dyed yarns. I’ll be finishing up the last few skeins this weekend, so that’s kind of exciting too!

Aug 4

Another delivery!

Last week, I arranged a purchase on Ravelry for some Lamb’s Pride Superwash Worsted. Although I missed the impatient delivery man, when I got to the door, there was a package on the floor. Wee! The yarn is the most amazing deep red (it’s called “Shane’s Red”) and the ever so slight heathering gives it so much depth. I’ve been itching for a sweater lately, and I think this will be perfect. Must decide on the perfect match, though… I’m tossing around the idea of that Corsica sweater (Ravelry link) I was originally planning for my Noro.

Lambs Pride Superwash Worsted - shanes red

And can I take this time to point out that Americans are crazy when they complain about the US postal service (not that the person I bought this from is one of those)? The parcel took 7 days to arrive despite a holiday in between (4 business days), and it cost less than $11 to ship. For me to ship the same parcel to her address would cost nearly $17 for the cheapest option with no insurance, tracking, guarantees, etc, and their delivery standard is 2.5 weeks (12 business days). And the cost only drops by 50 cents if I want to ship the same parcel to my mother, here in Canada. I do have to admit that Canada Post has improved greatly in the past couple of years at their standard delivery times, but they still lose and damage stuff frequently, and when you’re paying more to start, for a slower delivery time, you tend to have this weird, perhaps unfounded expectation that your package gets delivered. To the right address. Undammaged.

Thump. Stepping off my soap box now.

Jul 28


I got two deliveries this week; one was more anticipated than the other… Can you guess which?

Wensleydale, Finn, BFL, merino-tencel, merino-seacell... and crutches

Jul 26


Have you ever watched Firefly? I always thought the expression “shiny” was amusing and quirky, if a bit odd… It’s what keeps popping into my head the more I dye this yarn. This shot was taken with no flash, and yet… Shiny!

Bliss Silver and Coal

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