May 17

The shawl! … and maybe something new?

My 1st Year of Lace shawl is going great. This week, I finished the final repeat of the body chart, and have started the set up for the edging. Know what that means? I’m sitting at about 50% completion – only 40,000 or so stitches to go! Whee!

Now, because I am… me… and there is no known cure, I just spent the past two days looking at knit and crocheted flowers and plants to start a new project. We’re planning a WWKIP event for the store, and were thinking it would be fun to yarn bomb it too, with tons of crocheted “flowers” and “potted plants”. I found a few cute patterns, so I’m setting aside my Phoenix Rising in order to work on those for a week or so. The store will look so awesome! After that, the countdown from 40,000 stitches will resume. :)

May 16

knitting ADD

I seem to have knitting ADD lately I’ve started to many new project and haven’t finished one (except socks but they don’t really count). I have now cast on the POLE pattern in my pretty new Tanis green label yarn and so far so good, the pattern has been easier then I thought. Hopefully I will actually finish this one in time to wear it for cool summer evenings.

May 1

So… about that shawl

The shawl on which I was working when my needle broke? The shawl on which I picked up the last life line, from which point I’ve reknit the next 4-5 rows 4-5 times? Yeah. I have the first 4-5 rows of the repeat memorized, so I don’t really look at the pattern chart for those, except for the centre panel. So, after the needle broke, I paintakingly picked up the hundreds of stitches on the lifeline, and started knitting away. When I got to row 5, approaching the centre panel and looking at the chart more closely for the first time, I didn’t have the correct number of stitches. When I looked at the rows beneath it, I realized that was the case since the lifeline, so I took it off the needles and picked up the lifeline again and started over. I’ve been working on the shawl at our store knit night lately, so when I had the same problem at row 5 again, I thought I had gotten too involved in conversation, and tore back to the lifeline once more. I did this one more time, and again had the same problem. It finally dawned on me that I should probably read the pattern for the first row to make sure I had it right. I did, by the way! Do you know what I didn’t have right? The *plain* purl row the life line was through! Somehow I had purled a yarn over and the following stitch together as one without noticing, and obviously that was causing all my problems. Now, I won’t say this is an extremely difficult lace pattern, but it is large and detailed. The fact that I’ve ripped back this repeat 5 times because of a mistake on a plain purl row and not a pattern row is just… mind-blowing. I’m now starting the repeat for a fifth time; the lifeline row error is now fixed though, and I’m confident I’ll make it at least to row 6!

Apr 14

Stupid needle!

I’ve been working on my Phoenix Rising shawl lately… I tend to use KP interchangeable circs, but for this shawl, given the sheer number of stitches, I decided to use a fixed circ since I didn’t want to risk a needle coming apart at the join. Tonight, at our Stitch n’ B****, my needle fell apart! I have another needle I can use, but that’s nearly 4 hours of work lost since the last repeat/life line. Bah!

Apr 12

What’s a third of a phoenix?

It’s 27,143 stitches… at least if the phoenix in question is Sivia Harding’s Phoenix Rising from the first Year of Lace club. It’s now official: I’ve passed the 1/3 completion point tonight with that 27,143rd stitch (I’m actually 33.68% complete, in fact). Only 53,545 stitches to go!

Mar 29

Lace time!

Since spring hasn’t arrived yet up here in Northern BC, I’ve decided to knit something light and bright to remind me it’s coming!

A few years ago, I signed up for the first Year of Lace club. I absolutely loved the first design, but had set it aside when life got in the way, and never went back to finish it. Last night, I pulled it out again, tinked back 3 rows to find the mistake that had made me set it aside in the first place, and started knitting again. Soon, I will have a beautiful new shawl. To see the finished version, check out the Ravelry page for Phoenix Rising here.

Just to be sure we understand each other though, I should clarify that “soon” means, sometime in the future: possibly in the next month, or possibly 5 years from now! This shawl will have over 80,000 stitches once it’s complete. I have just finished the third repeat, which puts me at about 20% completion. So, only 64,000 stitches to go, but look how pretty it is:

Mar 1

Dad’s Not Socks

I knit my dad socks for Christmas a few years back, and the heel blew out, so I’ve been working on a new pair for him. The first pair were made of Louet Gems Sport, a 100% merino yarn. This time, I decided to buy a sturdier yarn, so I chose some Lang Yarns Jawoll Silk. Between the extra strength provided by both the silk and the reinforcing thread (enough to knit together with the regular yarn for both the heels and toes), I figured I was good. I also decided to make the socks a 1/2″ longer in the foot, in case too much negative ease lengthwise added to the first pair’s premature demise.

I started these a while back, and would set them aside as I got bored, but returned to them between other projects, determined I’d get him his replacement pair by Christmas this year. The ball of remaining yarn seemed to be diminishing quickly, so I decided to shorten the knee high sock from the first pair to a mid-calf sock; as I got closer to the end, I changed that to a fairly short sock, with only a 5″ leg before a 1″ cuff. It’s done! Before binding off, I decided to weigh the remaining yarn and disaster struck… only 40 grams left!!! How did that happen? Stupid men’s size feet! So… Dad’s Christmas socks became Dad’s Not Socks. Now, I need to go through my stash and find a yarn that I have at least 120 grams of, and start over. And frog the current sad, lonely Not Sock.

RIP Not Sock:

Feb 26

It’s done! And blocking!

My first real dye job became my first real shawl. I’ve blogged about it a few times: when I first started it, and again recently when I picked it up again. I finally finished it last week, and tonight I went up to perian’s to block it. I start a lot of projects, but don’t finish them very quickly or very often, so some of you may wonder if this is true. However, I’ve come prepared! Here’s the proof!

This hand-dyed yarn:

Became this lump of yarn:

And finally became this shawl:

I’m very pleased with how it turned out. It wasn’t much yarn (100 grams of fingering weight), so I knew it would be a very small shawl. In the end, it blocked out to 49″ wide and just over 20″ deep. I was desperately hoping it would make it to 48″, so this is as much as I could have hoped for. There are a couple of obvious mistakes I noticed much too late to fix (or to fix relatively quickly, at any rate), but an old friend once told me that if you couldn’t see a mistake from the back of a galloping horse, it wasn’t worth fixing, so… if you see them, just whoosh past your screen at a good gallop, and magically, the mistakes will disappear! :)

Feb 9

Progress! And maybe more dyeing soon?!

That shawl I picked up again last week after over a year? I ended up adding an additional leaf lace repeat, and have now started the edging. As tomorrow night is knit night at the store, I should be able to finish the shawl completely in the next day or two! Whee! I promise I’ll post a pic once it’s done, but I plan on blocking it at a friend’s house, so there will be post-blocking pictures in the near future as well.

I’ve even decided on my next projects. I really do enjoy lace, colourwork, etc, much more than plain knitting. I will work on my cowl top (which is mostly stockinette, but nearly finished) and I’m going to start on the Endpaper Mitts I’ve been planning for ages. I’ve recently also been working on a very basic black and wine-coloured crochet afghan, so the colourwork should keep me interested enough overall to be able to plug away and finish both the afghan and the cowl relatively soon, unless…

I spend all my free time dyeing… I just placed a fairly large order for more sock and laceweight yarn. Faking Sanity Yarns will be re-appearing on the market soon! We’ve decided to start carrying both Faking Sanity yarns and chain-mail knitting accessories at the shop this year. We’ll be launching these additions in conjunction with a WWKIP event, if we can drum up enough interest in this little northern town. Either way, I miss dyeing so much, so we may also look into wholesaling at LYS’s again once I have enough dyed in advance, so stay tuned.

Feb 1

Aaaaahhh… lace!

I haven’t beem knitting much lately… I’d pick up a new sock pattern, do about half of a sock, get bored, and move onto another pattern. The roommie inspired me though… She’s been on this “finish it or rip it” kick lately.  Last night, I went through one of the bags filled with hibernating projects, and pulled out a lace shawl I started in 2008 and put aside within a few weeks. Remember this guy?

It was my very first dye job with acid dyes, and what ultimately led to the creation of Faking Sanity yarns. It sat languishing for over a year and a half, and last night, I picked it up and finished all but the final 20-row repeat and 8-row edging! Why have I not picked up any lace projects recently? I do love it, it keeps my interest much more easily than anything else, and I have missed it so!

And now, I’m off to work on my shawl!

Jan 23


Well I had a great bit of yarn sitting in my stash since  Perian, mtlaise and I went on our long distance yarn shop years ago and I finally found a project I liked enough to use it for. It isn’t the project I wanted to use it for which was the Pole cardigan (weight was wrong) but it is a cute project that I think I will like. It’s from the new book Vampire knits the be still my beating heart caplet.

This is what happens when you run out of stitch markers and are resourceful.Yes those are paper clips it was too cold to go out and buy more stitch markers

Jan 21

Finish or Perish

When I packed up all our yarn and knitting stuff to make the move up north, I was amazed at just how many WIPs I actually had. I mean, I’ve never been a monogamous knitter, but I didn’t realize quite how much of a knit-slut I had become!

So my challenge for 2011 is to either finish or frog ALL of my outstanding WIPs. No exceptions. I’m certainly allowed to start new projects, but all those old ones need to be out of the overflowing WIP-bin!

WIP #1: Elizabeth Zimmerman Knitted Garter Stitch Blanket in Cascade Eco — FROGGED

I was absolutely *loving* this knit… back when I knew what size needles it should be on! Silly me, I stole the needle tips for another project and didn’t record anywhere what size they were. I’d rather start all over again than putz around trying to figure it out!  I also had a baby version of this in the WIP-bin, but that one got sewn together and edged and is just waiting to be blocked.

Jan 21

patterns and knitting

I have been looking at Ravelry a lot lately since I need stuff to do while stuck at home because of the snow and have finally decided on buying a few patterns. I decided on buying the Pole pattern and a toy pattern Carmel the little Spanish girl I can’t wait to start knitting them. I have the yarn for the sweater though I have to spin it into balls to use which I will more them likely do tomorrow after the house work. It will be nice to sit and relax with some great yarn and a nice pattern to get into. It will be just like Saturdays I used to have in Calgary knitting and watching TV, though I will be on my own not with the Dork squad. The other crafters I know here don’t knit, they do other crafts so a stitch’n’bitch isn’t possible and they don’t really live near by so it makes it even harder. Oh well knitting doesn’t have to social, I would just prefer if it were.

Jan 9

Knitting time

I have been looking for a cute cardigan for a while and can’t bring myself to pay the prices that they sell for when I know I can make one that I like better for the same price as a store bought one. I’ve spent the past day or so looking at patterns and have found two that I like but one that I would like to start as soon as I can get out to buy the yarn for it.I want to start the cavern cardi as soon as I can get the yarn because it looks like one that is easy enough for me not to screw up to badly and actually finish. The second is the Pole which looks a little more challenging for me and one I really need to take time on but would still really like to try. I hope that I can get out and get my yarn sometime soon, I really need something to do with my hands other then play those blasted facebook games.

Jan 3

Committing to a project…

I’ve started working on a new pair of socks as my “carry around” project. It’s called Terrapin Lace, and I love how it’s knitting up in the Regia Galaxy I’m using. As soon as I get another inch or so knit – so it will stay on my toes long enough to take a picture – I’ll post photos.

The sock is going so well, I’ve started thinking about larger projects once again… I’ve been eyeing sweater patterns. The contenders so far are:
1) Back to School Vest (Shibui Knits in Ink)
2) February Fitted Pullover (Shibui Knits in Ink)
3) Tailored Scallops (Shibui Knits in Ink)
4) Corsica (Cascade Eco in (I think) Navy)
5) Baby Cables and Big Ones Too (Sirdar Snuggly in Light Navy)

Aahh… It takes me as long to make a decision about a sweater as it takes some people to knit one! It’s a good thing I don’t start every one that interestes me, since my problem is staying power!

Nov 17

Hey, remember me?

Wow, it really has been a while! Running a business sure cuts into the knitting and dyeing time I had grown accustomed to! I found out about a local artsy/crafty sale this weekend, though, so I actually have been dyeing. I have about a dozen skeins either ready, awaiting reskeining or drying right now. It will be a bit of a mad dash to get reskeining and labelling done since the next two days are our long days at the store, but I’ll figure it out, since the sale is this Saturday. I’ve got some of my standard bases, and some of my newer test fibers done up. There are a couple I’m really proud of (and perhaps one I’m debating holding back for myself, but don’t tell). I’ll make sure to grab a few pictures before I send them off to the sale.

As for knitting, well not much of that yet, although I did work on my Dad’s socks at our store knit night last week, and I’ll be starting some quick facecloths for a gift basket for my sister at this week’s. That’s about it, though. As much as I’d love to knit more, I know knitting while I’m tired isn’t smart (since I have to then fix all the mistakes), so it will have to do for now. I’ll just have to enjoy the dyeing that much more!

Jun 1

I’m Back!!!

Wow, look at this, I’m posting! It’s been almost a year since my last confession post.  I haven’t exactly been in a knitting mood lately, but I fixed that by going crazy with the frogging.  I ripped out my Green Gables sweater and a Stolen Moments wrap, and then went to town on my Lift and Separate.  This was the pattern that made me want to learn how to knit 4 years ago.  I started it at the beginning of 2007 and haven’t touched it in years, my gauge has changed drastically, and I realized that I wouldn’t wear it anyway. So, I frogged. It felt awesome!

And then I took the yarn and turned it into a lovely little blanket — well, half a blanket so far.  It’s Jared Flood’s Wool Leaves. Yes, I totally have a thing for Jared’s patterns.

I also cast on a little scarf yesterday as a on-the-go project. It’s out of yarn that I stole from mtlaise’s dyepot, a pretty shiny yarn with SeaCell in it. It’s not my normal colours, but it’s knitting up so well in Anne Hanson’s Tudor Grace pattern.

And tonight, I might actually go do the whole knit night thing again…

May 25

first attempt

Well I’ve been thinking about trying to make a shawl for the longest time now and I finally broke down and found a pattern that I think may be simple enough for me to do without screwing up too many times. I already had to restart it once because I couldn’t find were I had dropped a stitchand have gotten only as far as the first part of the shawl, pretty close to knitting into the chart pattern soon so I will post pictures when that gets started.

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 29

Odd pictures

Well, the yarn I started dyeing is still wet, so it’s hard to take accurate colour shots. I did promise a photo, though. The Walking in the Maize sock pattern is an odd one. With ribbing around the mid-step of your foot, it is super-comfy for a gal who likes very fitted socks like I do. That being said, the ribbing makes it look very odd off the foot. Since I chose a busy Tofutsies yarn, and the sock is simple stockinette except for that feature, I decided today’s picture would be of the sock, unstretched and off the foot, so you could see what I mean about the shaping:

Walking in the Tofu Sock 1

I’ve also decided to tear out my previous stockinette sock in the spring greens. I had tried a toe-up gusseted, short-row heel, and I really don’t like the fit. The heel was about 1/4″ shorter than I would have liked following the exact instructions, so I’d have to tear it out and increase more slowly to add the extra length without making it too baggy. However, I’m thinking I’ll try one of two options:

a) Knit a top-down heel flap and gusset as written (without reversing anything), from the toe up. This would leave the slip-stitch pattern on the bottom of the heel, where I’m more likely to wear through it anyway.

b) Knit my standard no-wrap short row heel, since I know it fits well.

Here’s the sock before the heel surgery:

Spring Greenery with bad heel

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