Monday, September 2, 2013

Ripping, Ripping, Ripping

Knitting patterns are always written for the perfect knitter - one who reads and understands the instructions perfectly, goes fast enough to finish the knit, but slow enough to never screw up.

The perfect knitter is someone who I pretend to be when I first start the pattern of choice - I review carefully other comments from Ravelry users, and make sure I don't make the same mistakes. I am prepared to start.

And then, the first mistake happens. The choice: do you rip back to where you should have put a life line in, or do you fudge and keep going? Oh, it's only one stitch, fudge and keep going!

That one little stitch hangs like the voice of the devil on your shoulder, weighing you down, daring you to keep going in that lace. And you are happily knitting the 400 stitches/row of lace weight yarn, until you get to the end. When you are 3 stitches short. After a long purl only row and a knit lace row. Bloody fantastic.

And before you know it, you want to swipe that little devil off your shoulder once and for all, and you know, you just know, you need to rip back to where you were the perfect knitter. Because in the end, you just can't handle knowing for the rest of the life of the knitted item, you screwed up at least once.

Then you tinker - what I like to call "backwards knitting".

After feeling bad about not blogging for the last two months, I realized that this summer has been like backwards knitting. I have a project (blogging), and a commitment, and I did not allow for the trips and the weddings and the lack of blogging mojo.

So knitters, when you go to knit the next pattern - plan for some of that backwards knitting time - because it will come!

Although I did not blog, here are a couple of things that have happened to me in the last couple of months:

1) I had my wedding - which was beyond my wildest dreams. I am now at a higher commitment level with the love of my life and my best friend, we had such wonderful people share in that moment, with great food, such memorable speeches and moments.

2) I went to England/Scotland for 10 days, in part to be a bridesmaid at my elementary school best friend's wedding at a castle!

And now, here for September, back to the blog.

My knitted projects since the last post:

1) My Rock Island for Mom:

I love this shawl. As my friend MarianelaP says, I would actually knit this one again (and she doesn't knit the same pattern twice!).

Obviously, beautiful yarn makes for a beautiful shawl - this is in SweetGeorgia Yarns Merino Silk Lace (of course), in Mist. Purpley, greyey - light, delicate, and intricate.

The border is pretty cool when picked up. It's one of those projects where you just figure out how many repeats of the border you will do each day, and just keep working away.

Allow for about a month-ish for this shawl - no last minute gifting with this shawl!

Project Details:

Pattern: Rock Island by Jared Flood
Yarn: SweetGeorgia Merino Silk Lace  in Mist (1 skein)
Ravelry Project Page: Rock Island

2) Azzu's Shawl

This was purely a stash buster with the yarn bringing the excitement. Another SweetGeorgia Yarn - this time Tough Love Sock in the Knit City 2012 colourway. Honestly, it's a bit busy for me, and I'm not a sock knitter, so when I saw my friend kpwerker's Knit City 2012 Azzu's Shawl, I knew I just had to copy it.

This was purely a stash buster with the yarn bringing the excitement. Another SweetGeorgia Yarn - this time Tough Love Sock in the Knit City 2012 colourway. Honestly, it's a bit busy for me, and I'm not a sock knitter, so when I saw my friend kpwerker's Knit City 2012 Azzu's Shawl, I knew I just had to copy it.

Busy yarns work well with lots of YO netting - so this worked out great. Great way to add a pop of colour to a neutral outfit.

Project Details:

Pattern: Azzu's Shawl by Emma Fassio
Yarn: SweetGeorgia Tough Love Sock in Knitcity 2012 Colourway
Ravelry Project Page: Azzu's Shawl

3) Owlet:

Again, a stashbuster. Worsted yarn in my stash really does take up some space, especially two bright "Blue Blood" Gourmet Crafter Yarn Gourmet Worsted from my friend Gourmet Crafter from my friend Gourmet Crafter (Alexa of Tin Can Knits). This is coveted yarn though, as she is focussing on her booming designs over yarn dying. This bright blue called for a child outfit. I picked this one, and just new I had to get rainbow buttons from ButtonButton. I hunted in that store for 1/2 hr to find these perfect buttons.

Love it. Can't wait to give it to the little 1.5 yr old to wear this fall/winter.

Project Details:

Pattern: Owlet by Kate Davies
Yarn: Gourmet Crafter Yarn Gourmet Worsted in Blue Blood
Ravelry Project Page: Owlet

4) Summer Moon Shawl:

Keeping with the stash-busting theme, I dug into the creme-de-la-creme of my stash - the SweetGeorgia Merino Silk Fine in Savory (which is apparently a discontinued colourway due to technical issues with duplicating the recipe).

The pattern is beautiful, and well-written, and the green shows off the bottom portion nicely with it weaving almost like leaves and shoots. I have 2 skeins, but I'm choosing to use the next skein in something else, just need to figure out what.

Blocking helped with size, as always, but it's a little small, so I'm going to pick up the natural shawl pin sold at Wet Coast Wool for it.

Project Details:

Pattern: Summer Moon Shawl by Judy Marples
Yarn: SweetGeorgia Merino Silk Fine in Savory
Ravelry Project Page: Summer Moon Shawl

On the needles:

 1) Valeriana Estonica 

I am currently working on the gorgeous light shawl in Yummy Yarn Studio 60/40 Silk-Cashmere in the Worm Wood colourway. I also picked this up at KnitCity2012. I was really forcing myself then to pick colours outside of my comfort zone of blues and greens, and I'm so glad I did. This sandy gold is super soft, shiny, and just gleams as I knit. I've had tons of compliments as I knit this.

I should have used a lifeline with this project - I ignored that, went to fast, and lost a lot of time tinkering back - (see above rant). But I'm well on my way, lifeline in, and taking my time.

2) Sunnyside

I splurged on this yarn (aka didn't stash-bust) for my sister's best friend's first baby girl, Mia, in the UK. I feel it's quite grey in the UK in the winter, so this little cardi will make her stand out. Love the colour.

The feel of fall is in the air - anyone thinking about Christmas knitting yet?

Thanks for the patience today! Super long post - but it's been a super long time!

Monday, June 10, 2013

What I Love - June 10, 2013

What I Love - June 10, 2013 - The Blog Edition, Round 1

There are so many blogs that I continually discover and now follow. My previous way to do this was create a link on my blog, and visit my blog, and check them out individually.

Not anymore - I now am on Bloglovin'.

Bloglovin' keeps track of all your favorite blogs, and sends a daily email with all of your blogs most recent posts that you haven't read. What I really like about this over an RSS feed is that the format of the blogs remain how they normally would. No reduced format.

Also, the picklist at the top is awesome. You can sort by category also - so if you really do not want to see gorgeous food pics from smitten kitchen, you can avoid it - if you can....

I have a link to Bloglovin' on my sidebar -------------> sign up and follow me!

Top 2 knitting blogs I love to follow:

1) Miso Crafty

(her photo - like I say below - beautiful!)

What I love: 1) her pics are stunning. 2) her writing style - sense of humor! 3) She's local - on the Island! 4) Her aesthetic!  5) Her super awesome project bags! As a proud owner, I can attest they can stand the "Ashley uses this bag test" (which is a challenge for any bag!)

Also, she updates frequently - at least once-a-week, so it keeps it interesting.

2) Yarn Harlot

(photo courtesy of the internet)

Why I love it - always good for a laugh. She's frank, and states everything that most knitters are thinking re a knitter's crazy mindset. Get her books - she will also have you laughing by yourself in a bed in Africa. Just sayin'. Her posts can get a little long, but check out this one. Freakin' hilarious.

What are your top two knitting blogs?

over and out.

Follow">">Follow my blog with Bloglovin

Monday, June 3, 2013

Secret No Longer - Dahlia Sproutlette

Introducing....Baby O's Dahlia Sproutlette!

I have a darling knitting friend, who just had a beautiful baby girl (complete with Spock ears!)

Obviously, she needed a knitted item - mom likes bold colours for babies, none of this pastel or natural baby wear, so, I went to my stash and came up with my Dahlia Madelinetosh Sock yarn purchased at Churchmouse Yarns several years ago.

Now, I just needed to find a baby girl sock yarn pattern, super pretty, super girly - because she has not yet decided she will be a tom-boy, or hate dresses, or not like being called cute.

Luckily, Tanis Fiber Arts Sproutlette Dress fit the bill. Requirements met:

  • sock yarn
  • 1 skein project
  • pretty leaf design
  • easy to follow
  • cute accents like leaves, scalloped edging
  • fun way to add a button

I am super happy with how this turned out. And although this was finished a while ago, I had to wait before posting details, as she is a Ravelry user, blog-checker, and a skilled figure-out-the-gift-ahead-of-time kind of person.

Beautiful Baby O now has a great 6-12 month dress to wear. And she has an extremely proud Aunty A! Now for the hard part - waiting 6 months before she can try it on.
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