Thursday, November 25, 2010

"Skating" Slippers ...

A certain young man, who is 3, declared that he needed new slippers so he could practice skating in the house. Besides skating, his current favourite thing is Spiderman, hence the colour combination choice. "Please can you make me some new slippers, Grandma?" (Insert big, pleading, brown eyes with long lashes, here.)

I had used this pattern previously and quite liked it, although all the m1's were a little hard on the wrists. Also, since the time I last made this pattern, we now have a front load washer/dryer set, which as you all know, makes felting something intentionally, a little more challenging. (Although the handwash cycle managed it perfectly on my Tea Leaves Cardigan, unintentionally :P****)

I set the machine to 'hot wash' and then added some more boiling water from the Kettle. Added a drop of "SOAK", put the slippers in a lingerie bag and let it run, until just before the spin cycle. Took at look at it, decided it needed more and canceled the current cycle and reset to 'hot wash' and repeated. Did this 4-5 times, before I was satisfied that it was as felted as it was going to get and the stitch definition was blurred. Needless to say, not much else got done during the HOUR it took to do this, as I was standing in the middle of the laundry room with a cup of tea, ready to pounce on the door.

Turned out just the right size, with a 1/2" of grow room. Said child has been threatened :) that these are for inside use only and not for touring the garage or new property (1 acre on greenbelt, overlooking a ravine with a creek). Yah, right? At least I don't have to watch him do it.

Pattern: Fiber Trends Felted Clogs for Children
Yarn: Cascade 220 - 1 ball each of red and blue (Spiderman colours!)
Needle: 9mm
Size: 8"

Opened bag and tried them on immediately! Don't you just love it when folks are excited to receive the knits you make them?

They fit!

Practicing skating on our tile, in front of the mirrors. Thumbs up, all the way around!

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Another Meret!

***Updated 11/23 with photo 'stolen' from recipients Facebook, to show her wearing it at school, with many covetous comments from her friends ... :)

"Grandma, I need another hat please, in purple", was the plea. This, after having worn last year's cream coloured beret nearly on a daily basis. How could I refuse?

Pattern: Meret
Yarn: 1 ball Cascade 200, in 'Amethyst'
Modifications: made size L, with 2 extra repeats of lace for added slouch.
Finishing: Lightly blocked over a dinner plate, taking care not to stretch the ribbing.

Having recently coloured her hair much darker than intended, it was actually perfect with the purple!

I'm not sure how I feel about the way it's worn here, dangling off the back of the head. I'd prefer to see it worn a bit further forward, but it's all about the hair and not about the warmth, right?

Saturday, November 6, 2010


I'm test knitting a new child's cardigan for knitting designer Samantha Roshak. It's really a child sized version of her Flint cardigan design and will be available on Ravelry November 21st.

This is a top down cardigan, with easy lace detailing on the sleeves and hem. The tie closure can readily be replaced with a button, or even a zipper, for ease.

More details and pictures to follow!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Strawberry Tea Leaves Cardigan


Pattern: Tiny Tea Leaves Cardigan
Size: 2
Yarn: Artyarns Supermerino ( 3 skeins)
Needles: 4.0mm & 4.5mm

First time using this yarn and I absolutely loved it! Soft, squooshy, perfect stitch definition -- all of the superlatives. I'll definitely be looking for it again. It was on sale and looked a bit garish on the skein (as some variegated yarns can do) but I decided to chance it and was very pleasantly surprised how softly the colours blended.

The buttons were absolutely perfect -- hand carved -- sigh! They were found at a yarn store in Pt. Moody called Black Sheep Yarns. It's about a 1/2 hr. drive from my place in a beautiful spot and is filled with one treasure after another. Sometimes I go into places that are so crammed full of yarn that all I see is a blur and I walk out with nothing. Not so, here! I don't think I've ever left empty handed :)

The pattern was a joy and I've already made another larger, longer sleeved version in a different, equally fabulous yarn that I'll tell you all about later!

Friday, September 3, 2010

Beaded Annis

Pattern: Annis,
Needle: 5mm, 6mm knitting needles and 1mm crochet hook
Yarn: The Woolen Rabbit Lace Merino, Colourway "Arabian Nights" (1/3 of 1200 yd. skein)

I decided to use beads instead of the nupps designed for the pattern, simply because I don't like the look of nupps and had been dying to try something with beads.

I used a teeny, tiny crochet hook to work the beads -- so easy and very pretty!

This pattern doesn’t use as much yarn, so I have lots left to make another one or two :)

I definitely agree with other comments on Ravelry, that in future, I would prefer to do w&t and pick up on return side to avoid long ‘slash’ stitch. Thankfully, it doesn’t show too much on a yarn this dark, but you’d definitely see it on a lighter colour.

Found the suggested bind-off a bit loose, even after blocking, so am thinking I may take it out and re-do. Definitely would choose an alternate bind-off for my next one -- probably just a regular bind off, but use a larger needle.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Country Fair

This year, I entered into 3 categories: Knitting, Photography & Scrapbooking. All in all, I had 10 Firsts, 6 Seconds and 1 Third. Not too shabby!

Above is a cardigan I knit previously, using Paton's Katrina yarn, corresponding pattern and many, tiny pearl buttons. This yarn is no longer available, likely because it pilled and snagged if you even breathed near it!

There was only one, open category for knitting this year and I had a tough time narrowing down what my submission would be. I showed up at the drop off with 3 projects and made a decision on the spot.

In the second year that you enter the photography competition, you are no longer considered "Novice", which means you can be competing with someone who may earn up to 50% of their salary from photography. I was pretty excited to see that I'd earned a few firsts, seconds and even a third in this division!

The above photo was submitted in the "Seasonal" category and was taken down the road from my home.

This is my photo from the "Olympic Memories" category -- I thought it was such a dichotomy -- Winter Olympics ... no snow ... February ... and the cherry trees blooming at least a month early!

This is the "Series" category. Photos taken at Minter Gardens in the Fraser Valley, last summer.

The photo in the middle was also entered separately in the "Flower Power" category and took 1st place.

These are actually 2-page layouts, with the 2nd page hidden under the 1st, to save space, so it looks a bit odd to me. This page is for the "People" category and showcases my Scottish aunts and cousins from my trip 2 years ago.

The top 3 hanging pages are all mine. This is the 1 page division in (L-R) categories: "People", "Pets & Animals", "Seasonal. The left one is our grandson, Josh, celebrating his 13th birthday, the middle, our former dog, "Brinkley" and the last, our B-I-L, nephew and great niece ice fishing on the lake in Alberta. It was tough to take photos in the barn, as it was so dark, but couldn't really use a flash, either, as it bounced off the plastic covers ... grrrr!

2-page division: "Pets & Animals" - our great nieces, with Brinkley

2 page division: "Seasonal" This is our house in the freak snowstorm we had 2 years ago. This was the first time all of Canada experiences a "White Christmas" in something like 40 years!

2 page ... can't remember the division!

The crowning glory ... I couldn't believe it when this page won "Best in Show"!!! It's of my parents, sister & I, plus husbands, celebrating my folks 50th anniversary last summer.

All in all, I was very happy with the results and made a little extra cash, so not too shabby!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Combo of Knitting & Scrapbooking

I realize I've been off the radar lately -- too busy with knitting & scrapbooking projects and just plain enjoying finally having summer!

Above is sweet Miss Ella, in her very first photo shoot, just days after she was born. She's modeling the hat I designed for her, which her mom LOVES and has requested "2 more please" in different colours and sizes. Happy to accommodate!

Monday, June 14, 2010

Ishbel in blues ...

This is my second kick at the can with this pattern and I still love it!

Pattern: Ishbel
Yarn: Ella Rae Lace Merino Colour #106
Needles: Circular 4 mm
Blocked: 50" x 23"

I did the small size stocking stitch and then switched to the large size lace. I ended up with about 13 gm of yarn left over.

This yarn is so amazing for lace knitting! It's even, smooth, tightly twisted and blocks like a dream. I've never encountered a knot, or even a slub and the colours are so rich and vibrant with short colour changes ... it's simply divine.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Funky Owl

I'm having so much fun with these knitted animal toys!
This pattern is also from Amy Gaines and I've used a variety of Lion Brand Cotton Ease colours to create it. I found some plastic cat toy balls at the dollar store, which are about the size and shape of a golf ball, yet lattice style and have a small bell inside. I stuffed the main body from the head down and placed a ball inside, surrounding it with stuffing. The baby who receives this as a gift will also have the pleasure of listening to the lovely tinkling sound of the bell.

Monday, May 24, 2010

The Unthinkable ...

I have a front load washer and dryer set. On the washer is a 'handwash cycle', which has been a godsend for washing all my cashmere or merino sweaters. I didn't even hesitate to use it to block my Earl Grey.

After the cycle was complete, it looked perfectly fine, but I thought it could use an extra 'spin cycle' to get rid of excess water, prior to blocking. Big mistake!!!

Above and below, you will see that yes, indeed, you CAN felt in a front loading washer ... :P******!!!

Cropped, Earl Grey, anyone?

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Family from abroad ...

My Aunt and her friend are currently visiting from Scotland, for two weeks. It's been 1 1/2 years since I was over visiting her, so it's been wonderful to reconnect. So much better in person, than over the telephone :) They stayed here for five days, and have moved on to my parent's house so Aunt Chris and Dad (her brother) can catch up. The Scottish accents have been flying! She's amazing, for almost 80. This woman can shop me under the table. I was flagging long before she was!

We had a big family gathering yesterday at our place and the weather was gorgeous! All the kids and grandkids, along with my sister, her husband and my mom were in attendance. Dad was down with a sinus infection, so decided to pass. It was wonderfully chaotic, with lots of laughs and good food.

Scrambled to have this finished for a baby shower for our newest grandson, seen in the previous post. This turned out so cute, but my goodness, what a lot of pieces and sewing up, plus stuffing to do! The finishing was deadly, but worth it! It was a big hit, with the pregnant friends of our daughter putting in requests for similar items and anything knitted, please and thank you!

It's a pattern by Amy Gaines. I happened on her patterns while surfing Etsy and noting that she had a sale on, promptly purchased at least 6 of them! She's also on Ravelry, if you're interested.
I couldn't find the safety eyes that she mentions, so I just embroidered them on. I used Lion Brand Cotton Ease, so it could be easily washed. I preferred the face "smirkless", so left off the smile. All in all, I'm very pleased.

"Mom" requested another pair of booties, please, so I made some in warm weather colours. Modeled below ...

His older brother requested some new slippers, so he could "skate" in the house on the wood floors! Then he decided he'd like to help me make them -- too cute! He'd stayed overnight and had woken up at 2AM, wondering where he was! Hence the look of exhaustion on my face :)

Next post, the saga of the Tea Leaves cardigan ...

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Big News...!

A new Grandson!

Levi Vincent Mark R.
7lbs. 10oz.
Born April 16, 2010

He's about 2 hours old in this photo -- mom and baby are now home and doing well!

While I've been a woefully lax blogger, I have been knitting and will have some F/O's to show you in the near future!

Monday, March 1, 2010

One Skein Baby Hoodie

Pattern: One Skein Hooded Baby Sweater
Yarn: 1 skein of Dream in Color Classy "Midnight Derby" (left over from my FLS)
Needles: 24" 6 mm circulars
Button: Left over from FLS - 1". Crocheted loop to edge of button band for closure.
Mods: Sleeves: omitted decreases prior to ribbed cuff, so it wouldn't be so tight. Added 1/2" to length of sleeves and 1" to s/s portion of body.
Size: Approximately 0-3 months.
For: New grandson, arriving mid April :)

This may well become my current 'go to pattern' for a quick knit for babies. The pattern calls for 6.5 mm needles, but my swatch proved to be better with a 6.0 mm. It uses around 220+ yds. of worsted weight wool. The DIC yarn has 250 yd/skein and I have a large golf ball sized ball left over. As this 100% wool yarn is both machine wash and dryable, as well as very soft, it is the perfect thing for newborns who spit up a lot.

Note: I have found that my FLS has 'pilled' significantly with machine wash/dry and that's even with the 'hand wash' cycle on my new front loader! So, while I think it's lovely yarn and perfect for a baby sweater, I would think twice before using it again on an adult sized project. Thankfully, because it's a dark colour, it doesn't show too much, but under the arms (where there is naturally a lot of friction) it is definitely noticeable on my sweater.

I hadn't decided what kind of closure to use, so omitted button holes and waited until the end. Initially thought I might make a 'frog', but when I found the left-over button, decided to simply do a chain stitch loop for closure and am pleased with the results.

Did a full block, using "Soak" washing liquid and laid flat to dry.

Final verdict: stinkin' cute and I'll definitely be making more!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Olympic Red Meret

Pattern: Meret size L.
Yarn: Mirasol "Tupa"
Needles: 4 mm
Mods: 2 extra pattern repeats to achieve desired 'slouch' effect + I-cord loop at crown

Modeled with the appropriate Vancouver 2010 mitts!

I know -- I look like I'm dressed for winter, but it was actually a very sunny, balmy 14 C today -- wonderful for us; not so happy for the mountains in desperate need of snow!

I've had the flu since a week ago today and haven't been ANYWHERE except for a brief trip into the market yesterday. There was a moment where I thought my "wet noodle" legs were going to give out on me -- not a great moment.

Most of my time this past week has been spent indoors, watching the Olympics and knitting, or reading, so, today we spent a couple of hours this afternoon in our lawn chairs, on the back patio, enjoying the sunshine and admiring my crocuses (in full bloom!). I actually got a bit of pink on my face and chest -- sooooo weird, for February! Hopefully, I'll be recovered by the weekend as I am fully determined to be at several Olympic venues next week -- no way am I missing out on this once in a lifetime chance!

Spray mist blocked over my Ikea dinner plate. Worked out really well. As you can see, I did a small I-cord at the crown. After I decreased down to the last 4 stitches, I did an 8 row I-cord, flipped it in half and tacked in to the inside, to finish it off. This is far more stable than simply drawing the yarn through the last few stitches and knotting off. I've had a previous one explode on me and spent the better part of an hour scrambling to recover the stitches :P******!

I probably could have gotten away with having made the size M, but I would rather have a hat a bit loose, so as to avoid the whole "hat head" drama. If it stretches too much, I'll simply thread some red-coloured elastic thread through the back of the ribbing rows.

Here's my hubby, on his way out the door to the Olympic Women's Hockey Game last night. Not tooooo excited ... :)

Our daughter called in the a.m. to say that she'd won a pool at work and was presented with two tickets, and did her Dad want to go???

Here he is, back at home, after the game and having a celebratory drink ... in his Olympic mug, of course! Doesn't matter if it isn't from this particular Winter Olympics, does it?