Thursday, July 30, 2009

Update, Photos of Yarn, and Works in Progress

I find myself embracing several projects at once, and thereby finishing nothing quickly... and I am fighting the urge to cast on three more projects AND start some major sewing and painting pieces at the same time. I have held it to four knit works, and have promised to finish at least three before casting on more. All this at a time when I have little time to knit, most of my time is spent at work and at golf and after the minimum (seriously minimum ) housework, I have but an hour or two a day to work on these four things... and even less time to blog about them!

So here are two of the works I am nearing completion.

The Noro Aurora cropped cardigan, knit side to side, I have passed the midpoint and am barrelling towards the left sleeve. I will have a generous ribbed bottom edge and neckline to do after, but it is coming along fine.

The hand spun lace with beads scarf.... almost done, as I took this for the road trip to Pennsylvania and did about 4 feet of it. I have the ends to sew in, but it already looks cool, even before finishing and blocking.

And the Urge to cast on more, came with the purchases made in Lancaster....

Gorgeous hand dyed merino alpaca from shibuiknits. Three skeins could be a great scarf or mitts and hat.

Lana Bambu, a wool and bamboo from Cascade Yarns. Definitely a hat waiting to be knit.

The last is a pound of handspun pure alpaca in the natural taupe-brown of the actual alpaca. It has the most amazing soft feel and once you touch it, you would not be able to put it back on the shelf... you would HAVE to bring it home and put it in a crystal bowl on the coffee table and look at it and touch it and dream sweet dreams of amazing soft garments knit from it.... mmmmm. (sorry, I ramble, but clearly this yarn has moved me.)

Monday, July 27, 2009

Weekend in Lancaster, PA

I spent Friday evening, to Sunday afternoon, in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. The purpose of the trip was to visit my daughter, starting her last month of externship at a medical center in Lebanon. The secondary motivation was to drop in and visit some of the numerous knitting and quilting shops in the Lancaster area. (in the photo, the Lancaster Yarn Shop sign is behind the red car! but I was timing the buggy so, ooops)

I found The Lancaster Yarn Shop in Intercourse, PA, about 15 minutes east of Lancaster. Intercourse is a lovely village with high density craft shops, and many local Amish arts and crafts. The quilting alone was overwhelming, with museums, several shops with finished quilts and lots of fabric shops with unlimited ideas and patterns and colours... the best is The Old Country Store...

The Lancaster Yarn Shop was a delight and Wendy welcomed me, I had Ravelried her (is that a real word?) that I was visiting from Canada, and we had a great chat about the small knitting world and how we all connect! I bought some lovely green yarn (to be featured soon here), and a book I can't find on this side of the border.
I also found Labadie Looms, and oogled some amazing hand dyed yarns and rovings, before settling on 2 purchases...
I managed to do some quilting fabric purchases too, the selections made it difficult to decide, but I will be inspired as the weather gets colder to get busy on a new quilt....
Here are photos from the museum, of huge quilts that are WAY beyond my skills, but definately delighted my eyes....

I also spent time in Lebanon with Robin, and as we chatted in her room, a thunderstorm rolled through. A huge loud blast startled us and sounded VERY close... well it was, the tree outside the window was on fire and here is the security guys putting it out....
and here it is a few hours later, having broken and toppled onto the lawn!

Monday, July 20, 2009

Lots of knitting, nothing dramatic to show

I have three projects on the go, but not exciting photos and not enough done to model, so here is a small piece of the new Noro Aurora cardigan...

and here are photos of the new Turtle Resort in our basement...!
The turtles are visiting (we are turtle-sitting) as Robin is away and can't take them with her on her internship... they moved in with their 60 gallon tank and all the gear May first, and will likely be staying for about a year, since she is on the move that much until she graduates. My husband decided they need more action, and built and pond on a drop cloth with rocks outside and in, so that they can go in and out as they wish... and after the first day, they had it down to busy wanderings, then rewetting, then wandering...

The towel is for them to wipe their feet as they leave the pond!
It's a busy week, with golf tuesday and visitors wednesday and out of town thursday, then away for a girls weekend of yarn shopping and outlet malls.... photos will surely follow over that one!

Saturday, July 18, 2009


You have to check out this video...

too funny!

Monday, July 13, 2009

No Time to Blog!

I count on rainy days to catch up on my knitting blogging, but this is a quicky on a not rainy monday evening. The days have been cool (for summer) but really nice for golf. The game has been up and down, but I feel good about the basic swing and the driver has been working, and the putter has started to come around.
On the needle update: I got a great skein of hand spun lace weight that has beads thread into it already! I found it at the Fibre Fair last month. Silk, alpaca and mohair in mauve-purple and pearly beads.
I am knitting it on 4mm needles in mostly garter stitch with the occasional yarn over row, dropping the yarn overs on the backside row. Then every 4 inches I add 2 rows of purple ribbon yarn to give it a sturdy striping effect.
On another set of Addi's I have the cotton ribbon from the new shipment, a simple pullover sweater with one row of cable offset up the left side and shaping the neckline.
The new Noro has been swatched and sketched and I am excited about a side to side knit cropped cardigan to be seen in a blog post in the near future!
And I have a fully completed Colinette Tagliatelli Coat to be photographed and documented on the next rainy day... It is pretty cool and has an unusual asymetric front with zigzag button band.. Sort of a Tag-Zag Coat.... that's a cool name.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Parcel Yarn!

I know what you are going to say... you don't need any more yarn... you haven't finished knitting your Tent Sale stash.... It will take until 2010 to knit WHAT YOU HAVE ALREADY! Yes, yes, yesssss. I agree. But.... how can I explain... it's NORO. Oh come on. You all know what a Noro addiction is. When they say Noro and sale at the same time, I lose my head.

Look at this...
It's Aurora....wool, kid mohair, and silk with a sparkle accent. Simply fabulously Noro. 8 balls of it!
And since I was paying postage anyway... well, you must admire the frugality of ordering 14 balls of Italian Cotton Ribbon(filatura di crosa Malva) to be shipped together with the Noro.
So you can see the sense of getting this package of yarn, the need of it, the value of it... (the insanity of it!)... but I am grinning from ear to ear!

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Butterfly Halter Top

I fell in love with a vibrant green cotton, Butterfly Super - 10. I just got 2 skeins(125gms) and started a simple tank top.... Halfway up the back I realized that there would not be enough for a tank, so the halter version was developed! (I was on a roll and did not want to stop to drive to Hamilton's Lens Mill Store for one more skein!).
Here it is:
Yarn: 2 Skeins of Butterfly Mercerized Cotton, Super - 10. 125 grams, 230 meters, colour 3722
Needles 4mm
Gauge in lacey rib pattern: 26 sts = 4 inches.(unstretched)
Finished measurement: 30 inches unstretched (but VERY stretchy - goes to 40 inches without too much pull) Size Medium - Large

Lacey Rib Stitch Pattern: Row 1: K2, [P2, K2] repeat across: Row 2: Purl 2, [Yarn over, knit 2 together, Purl 2] repeat to end. Row 3: K2 [ P2, K2] repeat. Row 4: Purl 2, [Knit 2 together, yarn over, Purl 2] repeat to end.

Back: cast on 92 sts, and work in K2, P2 ribbing for 2.5 inches. End with right side row facing.
Change to Lacey Rib Stitch Pattern (above) and work untilack measures 14 inches. Place stitches on a holder.
Front: Work same as back until 14 inches are done. Cast off 4 sts at the start of next 2 rows. Continue to decrease one stitch at each outside edge EVERY RIGHT SIDE row.
AT THE SAME TIME: when length is 16 inches, Cast off CENTER 14 stitches. Working with 2nd ball of yarn, work both sides of the front as follows: Decrease one stitch at each NECK edge on every right side row, 8 times. Then work neck straight.... continue the side front decreases all through this part and continue until only one stitch remains on each half. Fasten off.

Sew side seams. With circular needles, work ribbing for back and side and back of neck: begin at back, rib across the 92 stitches on the holder (k2, p2 ribbing). Pick up 40 sts up the left armhole side front edge, then cast on 32 for the halter band, and pick up 40 down the right armhole front.
Work around in K2, P2 ribbing (increasing or decreasing to make a multiple of 4-and the ribbing even) Rib for one inch, then cast off all sts in ribbing.
Neckline ribbing: Starting at the neck strap: pick up 32 across the back of neck (right side facing you should be knitting in the direction of the inside of the circle that makes the halter.) Pick up 68 stitches evenly spaced around the neck hole, and meet up again at the right shoulder. Rib in K2, P2 for one inch and cast off in ribbing.
Finishing: Since cotton stretches so much I added some inch wide elastic to the back edge (zigzag on my sewing machine.) and I also found a crocheted chain cord, thread through the lacey holes beneath the bustline add shape and makes it stay put.... (see photos)

This should be nice as a bathing suit topper, and I will likely wear it with a wrap skirt to lunch over my suit on my next Resort Trip.