Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Multnomah in Malabrigo

Sorry people, it is just too cold to be taking outside shots currently! Although there is a hint of green showing through the back door, it's in the 'minus' category, temp-wise.

Pattern: Multnomah
Yarn: Malabrigo Silky Merino in Teal
Revisions: I chose not to incorporate the F&F pattern into the 4th and 10th repeats of pattern

Not usually a 'fan' of the feather and fan lace pattern, I surprised even myself by being drawn to this shawlette. The F&F pattern is sooooo reminiscent of something someone's grandma made them in an afghan -- except in this case. It's clean, pretty, fun, classy and a little sassy, too!

This shawlette is so versatile. On Sunday, I wore it to church wrapped around my neck front ways, as a scarf, seen below. After taking off my coat, was feeling chilly, so I just reached over for my little shawl, slung it around my shoulders and was snug as a bug -- not to mention the obvious, that it looked fabulous and the knitter sitting behind me, audibly gasped!

Off to soak!

The yarn bled a LOT during soaking!

I've got some of the yarn left over and am thinking a Meret for me is calling my name! It will have to take a number, though, as I've got a few other things on the go at the moment :)

BTW, I'll be doing some baby knitting in the blue, brown and green colours for the end of April...!

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Hat Crazy ...

This is my sister modeling her "Meret" -- a pattern I've had in my queue for awhile, only to discover that since I made it, everyone and their dog is also currently knitting it ... so much for originality! BTW, she loves it! I used almost 3/4's of 1 - 100g ball of Sirdar's Denim Aran from my stash, which is a combo wool/cotton/acrylic blend and is apparently machine washable. I made the large size and after researching further reviews, decided NOT to block it as it tends to grow. I did one extra repeat of the pattern to get the desired "slouchiness"

Honestly, this woman never takes a bad picture! And, to her credit, immediately stuffed it on her head upon opening -- hairdo be darned!

Next up, the "Armando" pattern. Both of our daughters have men who work outside: one as a roofer and the other in his family's granite business. Needless to say, when it's cold and wet, they really appreciate having 100% wool hats that cover their ears and foreheads. The roofer found that while using the torch, his current hats were melting. I did some research online and discovered that 100% wool is less flammable -- in fact, if you're doing any helmut liner knitting for our troops, they specify that it must be 100 % wool, to avoid any fire hazard/melting. Also, as you likely know from EZ's books, wool is practially waterproof and keeps them much drier, longer, in the rainy Pacific Northwest. I used Malabrigo Worsted in a burnt orange colour, for the Harley Davidson lover in the family :)

There was enough to make two hats from one ball, so our 13 year old grandson got one as well, with a slight variation that included a scrap of "Vaa" Malabrigo to make it his own (and also so he and dad could tell theirs apart).

S-I-L modeling his hat in the "Fading Cables" pattern, using Jaeger Matchmaker yarn in a glossy brown, from stash. I find this pattern a little 'short', so I added an extra good 1/2" to the rib at the beginning.

The rear view -- I had to stand on my tippy-toes to get this shot -- he's 6'4"!

Mike modeling his hat ...

And one more that used up my scraps of Vaa and Lettuce Malabrigo and turned out quite well, I think!

It was comical ... I always have my camera at the ready for family get-togethers. The instant the recipients discovered a hand knitted item in their gift, it was on their head in a flash and a pose was struck, without me even asking! I overheard our daughter telling a girlfriend, "she'll make you anything you want ... you just have to let her take a picture for her blog!!!"

Saturday, November 7, 2009

A new look on life ...

Yup, new specs. and a 2nd completed Damson. I really love this colour of Dream in Color Smooshy, called "Happy Forest" -- bright green is soooo my fave colour!

The upside down heart design is a little off centre, but you get the idea!

This time I went down a size in needle and ended up not only completing the entire pattern, but had a wad left over!! Likely the leftovers can be attributed to the 10 yds+ extra yarn that is in the DIC as opposed to the Malabrigo. Go figure. So, either I had a 'dud' skein the last time, or going down a size in needle made all the difference. Hmmmm, it might be interesting to weigh both of the shawls and see what (if any) difference there is ... note to self.

On a sad note, I'm on a flight to Winnipeg tomorrow a.m., to be with my bff as she buries her husband on Tuesday. So difficult ... so fast ... literally 2 months after diagnosis, he is gone. They are so grateful for the past 4 weeks that he was able to be at home with them, but still, the loss is great. Please pray for Connie and her kids: Kerri (Ken), Ryan & Adam.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

February Lady Sweater, finished!

Size: Medium
Yarn: Dream in Color Classy; Colour: "Midnight Derby"; 4 skeins.

I was exhausted when these photos were taken, but was desperate to get them done outside, between rainfalls.

I am deeply smitten with this cardigan -- I absolutely love everything about it -- the colour, the pattern, the yarn, the way it looks on me -- everything!

I did 23 repeats of the lace pattern on the body, and the same on the sleeves. I have a 'petite' sized upper body, so the length was right for me, but if you're longer waisted, then you'd likely want to add a few more repeats.

I had originally purchased sufficient yarn to make long sleeves, but when I commented to my husband that I though I would do shorter ones, he said: "good idea, then it won't looks so much like a 'granny' sweater!!" What does he know, anyway?

I washed it in my front load machine, on 'hand wash', as the label says it's washable. I was a little surprised to see so many fuzz balls on the sweater after washing, but they easily picked off. I put it in the dryer for several minutes and took it out while slightly damp and blocked it out.

Yay! Another FO -- onto the next one!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009


All in all, this was a great knit. The pattern was well written and very clear. Rather than the Malabrigo sock called for, I used the Dream in Color Smooshy (sock), which has an extra 10 yds. on it. I was thinking that would be a good thing to have (just in case) although, I'd pretty much determined that I wouldn't be doing the frilly edging. So, here I was, knitting along, feeling quite confident -- until I got to the 103 row, still had at least 6+ rows to go and realized I was running out of yarn. I just had enough to cast off, with 14" to spare! As you can see in the middle photo, The centre heart-shaped pattern didn't quite get completed and there was no hope for the frilly edge. This has NEVER happened to me before, so came as quite a surprise. I was not spending another $25 dollars to do 6 rows, so cast off and decided it would be fine as it is!

While not really a 'shawl kinda gal', I do like this one. The "U" shape keeps it on the shoulders, without constant adjusting; it also doesn't draw attention to the backside like the typical "arrow pointing down" shawls. I would likely make it again, but would either go down a size in needle, or ensure I have a lot more yarn to work with.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving!

A new yarn shop opened up last year, about a 1/2 hours drive away from us. For various reasons, I'd never been there, until last week. They have a lovely selection of Dream in Color (it really goes against my Canadian grain to not put a "u" in the word 'color'!) yarn.

First in line is Dream in Color Smooshy (sock yarn) in the 'Happy Forest' colourway, which is slated for the Multnomah scarf/shawl.

Second, is Dream in Color Smooshy (sock yarn) in the 'Gothic Rose' colourway, which is currently on the needles and about 3/4's done, using this pattern called 'Damson'. I'm really enjoying how this yarn knits up, although I did find the large swath of garter stitch at the beginning a bit brain-numbing. I have a feeling that I may omit the edging as it's just not grabbing me at the moment. We'll see ...

Third, is Dream in Color Baby Lace in the 'Petal Shower' colourway (white/pink/taupe) and I'm planning to use it to make the Ishbel pattern.

This is Handmaiden Sea Silk in the Nova Scotia colourway and it is slated to become the Gail Shawl ... as you can tell by my current knitting, I'm on a bit of a 'lace' kick at the moment -- something I never thought would interest me. Never say, 'never'!

I have also discovered that while I like to have something warm and soft around my neck, I don't like the look of long scarves on me ... the scarf/mini shawl size seems to be the perfect solution and I love that it does double duty.

I seem to be slower to get excited about patterns or yarn that others jumped on many months ago already -- I think it takes me a little longer to warm up, for some reason. I certainly am not on the cutting edge, and while a lot of people have already 'been there, done that', I'm just starting to get interested. Maybe, too, I want everyone else to work out all the bugs first, before I tackle a pattern -- who knows?

In answer to my question in the last post, the answer is: "The February Lady Sweater", which should be finished very shortly. I'm half way through the last sleeve and definitely coming down the home stretch.

I find that about 1/2 - 3/4's the way through a big project (like a cardigan), I completely lose interest and start planning my next project and in this case, actually already started it (Damson). Then, I switch back and forth, simply because I can't stand to have a wip that's not finished, but really, the enjoyment of knitting it has passed and I just want it DONE!
Does anyone else feel this way? Or, do you, too, get distracted with the thought of what the next project will be?

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Can you guess ...?

Just a little something that I'm working on for myself ... more to follow!

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Owl Vest

A certain young man will be turning 2 in the coming week, and needs a little something to take the Fall chill off ... this owl vest has been in my queue for some time and I finally got around to finishing it. The pattern is for a smaller child, but I took a tip from another blog pal and added in a seed stitch strip on either side, substituting the seed stitch for the ribbed border.

I was fortunate to find the perfect buttons for the eyes, at only .99 for a card of 7 -- bargain! This yarn was leftover from hubby's cowl/fingerless mitts, so the whole thing was truly very thrifty.

I've been away from blogland for the last several weeks as I was out of town in Winnipeg, for 2 weeks, and then the last two weeks have been nose-to-the-grindstone, designing scrapbooking classes for the Fall/Christmas Season at the store. Oh, by the way -- take a look -- this magazine contacted me and asked me if they could publish one of my designs in their blog -- wahoo!

I made a last minute trip to Winnipeg to visit my best friend, Connie. Her husband had gone into emergency with severe back pain, which was determined to be as a result of a crushed disk. The doctors decided to do some further tests and the outcome wasn't good -- he was diagnosed with bone, brain, liver & lung cancer. He just turned 50 in April. Needless to say, it was all very unexpected and a complete shock to all. While I was there, he had surgery to replace the disk and then gamma knife surgery to deal with the lesions on his brain -- all quite successfully. We are now waiting, while he heals from these procedures to hear what/when the next course of action will be. If you're praying people, please remember Byron, Connie and their kids: Kerri (Ken), Ryan & Adam in your prayers.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Happy 50th Anniversary, Mom and Dad!

On August 15th, my parents celebrated their 50th anniversary, and what a celebration it was!

They invited my sister and I (plus husbands) to an overnight stay at Harrison Hot Springs, with dining and dancing on the Saturday evening and then brunch and a tour at Minter Gardens, on the Sunday.

Hubby surprised me by booking us in for the Friday, so we had a whole day to play before the others arrived. What a beautiful place! I hadn't been there in almost 9 years, which is scandalous, considering it's only about an hour's drive from our place. A beautiful lake and beach, a provincial park, lots of mountain scenery, hiking, biking, boating -- you name it!

We took a long walk through the mountain paths (about 2 hours) and discovered the actual hot springs along the way. Very steamy and sulphuric smelling (read: 'rotten eggs')! It was overcast, but comfortable on the Friday/Saturday and then sunny and warm on the Sunday. I took 168 photos -- thankfully, you'll only have to look at a few :)

This is a shot taken at Minter Gardens -- I thought the church was so tiny and adorable, until I went around the back of it and realized that it was a 'staged' facade, only!

Here we are, all dressed up, just before we went to dinner. How cute are they?
My mom is 70 and my dad is 75 -- not bad, eh? Hopefully, the good family genes will continue!

Hubby and I, in dress clothes -- a rarity, for sure!

And my gorgeous sister and hubby ...

The whole family together, at the restaurant. We had an amazing waiter and a fabulous meal, which was spread out over the evening, allowing us to enjoy each course, a little dancing inbetween and a lot of good laughs.

And a wonderful, memorable time was had by all! I'm not waiting until our 50th to go back there (we're only at 13!)-- I'm thinking that we should celebrate my 50th birthday there in a couple of years :)

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Leaf Lace Scarf ...

During our recent heatwave, it was just too hot to do any knitting, with anything heavy. The last thing I wanted was to have a load of knit up yarn in my lap. So, I put my current projects aside and started a new one! I've had this skein of Malabrigo Lace Yarn in the 'Pagoda' colourway, wound up and ready to go, but no project assigned until now. The Leaf Lace Scarf is the perfect pattern for this yarn! It is so lightweight and airy, I hardly notice that it's there. The pattern is only 12 rows long, and bonus, the wrong side rows are all 'purl'. BTW, if you're going to knit one yourself, I highly recommend using markers between each repeat of the pattern.

I've been looking for an alternate, lace weight yarn to the Rowan KidSilk Haze, which I loved deeply until I developed a sensitivity to wool and especially, mohair. I think I've found it! The Malabrigo lace (merino wool) has the same soft feel, weight and lovely halo that I had with the RKSH, with very rich colours and only $9.99/470yd. skein -- enough to make this scarf. Yippee! Happy dance!

Thank you all for your very supportive comments on my last post -- your loyalty is much appreciated!

Friday, July 31, 2009

Summertime ...

My husband is fanatical about his grass ... it is the envy of all the guys in the neighbourhood ... plush, velvety, soft and lush ... sigh! And for the last 2 weeks, it has been devoid of humans, due to an unbelievable heatwave -- upwards of 40+C -- I saw 104F and 111F on our old thermometer -- ghastly. The fans are on overtime and we are lusting after A/C -- grocery shopping has taken on a new appeal.

I entered my scrapbooking, photography, knitting and dill pickles into our local country fair last weekend and came out with 6-1st place ribbons, 3-2nd place ribbons and one third, resulting in $35 prize money. Before you become unduly impressed, read on!

This is going to sound like sour grapes, but you're not going to believe this -- my gorgeous 'Alhambra' scarf came in 3rd to ... wait for it ... an eyelash yarn scarf!!! Yep, you read that correctly! Apparently my 16 row, lace pattern on both sides, stick a needle in your eye took me three months to knit scarf just didn't cut it. The judge preferred the garter stitch, red eyelash yarn scarf, instead. First place was given to a shawl, which was somehow entered in the 'scarf' category (go figure!) and then 2nd went to the eyelash scarf. I was scratching my head for a moment, until one of my knitting pals who volunteered at the fair whispered to me that the judge was actually a 'non-knitter' -- can you believe it???

My February Baby Sweater came in 2nd to a 'swallowtail shawl' which must have literally been cast off in the car, on the way to drop it off, because it hadn't even been blocked out! It was still in the 'before its glory, lace blob stage'.

Needless to say, it was a learning experience ... I was wise enough to keep my mouth shut while I was there, for fear that I'd get roped into judging next year's competition, which would really mess me up, because then I wouldn't be able to participate :)

The kids were away for the weekend, so we had the 'granddog' for a few days. He's very sweet and a joy to have around. My garden took a beating, but I was prepared for that. His only other foible is that he loves to chew on tennis balls. I went to the dollar store and bought 3 sleeves of balls because he can chew through one in only 10 minutes. Once he's popped it, he proceeds to shred and spit out the pieces. Once he's done that, he gets up and walks away, as if to say 'that job's done'!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Vulcan, Alberta

WARNING: Picture heavy!!!

We flew to Vulcan, Alberta at the end of June for 10 days, to visit hubby's sister. The Starship Enterprise, is the town monument and its claim-to-fame! When the recent StarTrek movie premiered, the residents of Vulcan were given 300 tickets to auction off among the inhabitants and those who won, were treated to a buffet dinner and then bussed to Calgary (an hour away) for a special viewing.

We timed our visit so hubby could go to an airshow in Nanton, about 30 minutes from Vulcan. (That's my b-i-l on the right) They were going to start up an old WW 2 bomber plane, and being an airforce brat, he couldn't resist. Also, two of his uncles were bomber flyers in WW 2 and were killed within a couple of months of each other - both were in their late teens/early 20's. They had a huge memorial wall of all the Canadians who had served and both of their names were listed.

This is the actual bomber. I have a video feature on my camera and promised to get the whole thing on tape for hubby and his one surviving uncle. My arms nearly fell off holding the camera high and for at least 5 minutes, but I got it all!

I won't bore you with further pics, but I got inside and photographed from every angle possible! It was actually quite interesting.

We noticed that there was a farmer's market happening, so we walked over to check it out. We discovered hubby's cousin (on the right) with all of her handmade jewelry for sale. She makes beautiful stuff -- I bought 3 pieces!

This is a town lost in time. It hasn't been created to look this way, it IS this way. The fenced building has a real, honest to goodness saloon on the main floor. Gotta be at least 200 years old!

I love the colourful grain elevators! They're almost becoming extinct.

Me and one of my nieces. On Canada Day, we got up early and drove to Rosemary, Alberta about 1 1/2 hours away. This is a tiny town, population 300, that for one day is at least 10x that! They have a big celebration, parade and all, and people come for miles to participate.

Here's another niece, flying the flag!

The whole gang, on the sidelines, watching the parade ... it circled the town twice, so you didn't miss anything! Volumes of candy was tossed out, so the kids had a blast scrambling to retrieve it.

Hubby, who climbed out of his comfort zone and dressed for the occasion, tattoo and all! Yeah!

Mud bog truck races ... notice the flying mud, which sprayed up and landed on those of us standing at the fence line, taking pictures :P*****
On-land, ski do races -- can you believe it?? I was down in the pit, taking photos, before someone noticed me and told me to get lost :)

And a very fun time was had by all!