Friday, December 31, 2010

knitting 2010

Here is a really fun collage I created in Picasa with some pictures of my FO's for 2010. Now I'm missing a few and I'll add those as I get the finished project photos, but this gives you a bit of an idea of what I accomplished this past year!

I must say, I have no fear of colour!

Here's to knitting 2011, may it be even more bright and wonderful!

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Queue Revue

Today we're taking a sneak peak into my never ending queue!


In the Queue Revue today I'm offering up more mitten patterns. We're almost into January now and I'm so excited about mitten month! I've also decided to participate in "11 Mittens in 2011", which is exactly what is sounds like. Knit 11 pairs of mittens in 2011. I have many many patterns in my queue and some are all ready to knit with the pattern and yarn already matched and waiting for me to cast on.

A few weeks ago I shared all the Jared Flood (aka Brooklyn Tweed) mittens that are on my to do list, and today I have 3 super pretty colour work patterns to share.

1. The first one is called Isidora and is a SpillyJane pattern. She is a fabulous Canadian designer who does the most stunning colour work! I love her mittens! They are funky and retro, a perfect combo.

photo by spillyjane

I was reading through a few of the FO's on the Isidora page and one lady used Chickadee by Quince and Co. Chickadee is sport weight yarn (which the pattern calls for) and if it's anything like the Lark, I'll bet it's wonderful! So I'm thinking this may be my next yarn purchase. I'd love to try some Chickadee in some fun purple and yellow colours for the Superstar.

Planning out projects like this is just so much fun! Almost more than knitting them sometimes!

2. The Anemoi Mittens  has been around Ravelry for a number years and every time I see them I'm reminded of how very pretty they are.

photo by AnAbundanceOfLisa

These remind me of those Japanese paintings of mountains with swirling clouds. I just think they are so nice and classy yet whimsical too. I can't wait to knit these. They are knit in a fingering weight.

3. The last ones today are called La Joie du Printemps by Heather Desserud.

photo by yarnharlot

The Yarn Harlot has done them and blogged in her funny and entertaining style. I thought they were very pretty. They are also knit in fingering. I may change up the colours a bit though. Maybe something bold like red and white or green and brown.

So many choices! So many mittens, so little time!

Thanks for stopping by and checking out another edition of the Queue Revue.

So, I have to ask, what's in your queue?!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Queue Revue

Today we're taking a sneak peak into my never ending queue!

Hello again,

In this weeks edition of Queue Revue, I'm looking at blankets. I have a few patterns in my queue that I want to make next year. Some are knit and some are crochet (the next crafting frontier for me!).

photo by kelp

Isn't this a great blanket?! I love the white border and multi coloured honeycombs. The blanket is called Komb by the Berroco Design Team and it uses an aran weight yarn. This would be a wonderful heavy couch blanket to snuggle under, or a fabulous bed blanket to add some extra warmth when the mercury dips in the winter. I have a lot of white aran weight acrylic yarn in my stash from my mother and father in-law and this would be a great project to use it up.

photo by MoreThanOneWay

Look at this beauty! I can't wait to make this one too! I think this may be a multi year project though. The Barn Raising Quilt uses sock weight yarn and is a great option for using up all the scraps that are left over from knitting socks (or mittens as in my case). I don't have much sock yarn in my stash, but this blanket is the best excuse to go out and buy some!

photo by brooklyntweed

Remember Brooklyn Tweed from last week's Queue Revue? Well he also has a number of very fine blanket patterns. I particularly like this one, the Hemlock Blanket. It reminds me of those doily's that used to live on the back of lazy boy chairs or Chesterfields when I was a small child. I'm drawn to how lovely the lace looks on a bigger scale and with a subdued colour like grey.

I'd like to knit this one for a lap blanket for our living room. Or maybe to throw on our green leather chair. Or even in a finer yarn, it would make a lovely table cloth!

photo by LizK

And here is the Ripple Blanket! I have always wanted to make an afghan like the one my Mom made me when I was a little girl. It was dark purple, lilac, and white and I'm pretty sure she crocheted it in a ripple pattern just like this one except the stripes were 4 to 5 lines thick.

This one is a bit more vibrant than I remember but really cute! I have a lot of stash acrylic in all kinds of colours and weights that I'd like to use up. It would be nice to knit this blanket completely out of stash. But first I have to learn how to crochet!

Hope you enjoyed the peek at my future blanket projects...

And so, I must ask, what's in your queue?!

Saturday, December 18, 2010

The Alpaca Superstar Scarf

wish I knew about that cupboard door barfing it's innards on the floor before I took this picture...

So the Superstar is on a purple kick. We picked out a chunky alpaca yarn for a pair of Bella Mittens but I changed my mind. I was afraid that the alpaca would grow and those lovely mittens would stretch out and lose their shape. So I though a nice cuddly scarf would be a better idea.

This pattern is called Chunky Alpaca Scarf by Jane Richmond. It was super easy to knit and easy to block. I used 2 skeins of  Diamond Luxury Collection Baby Alpaca Sport. This scarf is so nice to wear! I can't get over how soft and warm it is! I'd love to make a few more of these for gifts.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Queue Revue

Today we're taking a sneak peak into my never ending queue!

Hi everyone!

I have a few more projects to share from my queue today. I thought I'd focus on mittens as I'm a bit obsessed with them at the moment. I'm in love with a number of patterns from Brooklyn Tweed.

He is amazing and suits my aesthetics perfectly. Simple patterns and  beautiful yarn create amazing hand knits. So here are a few of my Brooklyn Tweed "must knit" mittens.

photo by brooklyntweed

This pattern is called #03 Green Autumn or Druid Mittens (guess which name I prefer?). It's found in the fall 2008 edition of Vogue Knitting Magazine. I love the cables and bobbles on these mittens. Druid calls for a fingering weight which means these are a bit labour intensive but so worth it.

photo by brooklyntweed

This pair of mittens is actually unisex and looks amazing! I was originally thinking of B when I saw these but I'd almost like to knit a matching set for me. Corny I know, but oh, so fun!

These mittens are called Strago and are great because you can easily adjust the size by changing the yarn weight and/or needle size. I'm definitely buying this pattern in the new year!

photo by brooklyntweed

I love this pattern! It's called Grove and I love the cables. Just love them! There is something about a wonderful cabley mitten that says cozy and warm to me, and that's very important here. While its nice to knit showy pretty mittens, if they don't keep your hands warm, they just aren't going to be worn.

Grove is knit in a DK weight on a 4mm needle. Not a bad weight for quick knitting. I can see myself knitting up a few of these as they also could work for a male or female.

Thankfully Ravelry is full of mitten groups and KALs (knit a longs) to help me with my mitten addiction. An unfortunate side effect is the addition of even more mitten patterns to my queue!

Happy knitting!

And hey! What's in your queue?!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Books, Books, Books...

The library in my town is small. Really really small. The best thing about our library (other than our two librarians) is that any book I want I can order on their system. The books will come from all over the province. I love that!

So I went a bit crazy and ordered a bunch of books. You never know how long it will take to get to you or if there is a hold on them or a waiting list. So I ordered a bunch, like maybe 12. Well they all came in on Friday.

I'm so excited. I love reading, although it loses out to knitting most evenings. I'm particularly excited about the Gail Carriger series (the bottom 3). I'm expecting good things from that steampunk fantasy trilogy.

I'm also not above a good bodice ripper. Sometimes there is nothing better than curling up with a cup of tea and raunchy romance novel.

The very top 3 books are some of the top fantasy novels on Amazon. My favorite books when I was a teenager were fantasies like The Wheel of Time (Robert Jordan), anything Tolkien, David Eddings, Terry Brooks, Anne McCaffrey, Piers Anthony, Terry Pratchett, etc... I used to devour these writers and spend hours lost in their worlds of magic and epic battles of good vs. evil. Loved them all!

So this holiday season I expect to be buried in a pile of books. Maybe my knitting will have to take the back seat this time...

Especially if I want to return them by the due date!

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Look at my Thumbs!

Here's a look at my first pair of Fried Chicken Mittens! Gosh I love that name! I made them with some Cascade Eco in grey (that haunts my stash in large amounts) and did some embroidery in scrap purple stuff. I actually found two cute buttons that match the Superstar's new favorite colour.

This was a super easy pattern to knit. I did some mods though because I usually do...

* I knit 17 rows in 2x2 rib and then on the next round I knit and increased 4 throughout the round (once per needle). My original intention was to knit a liner and I still may.

* Oh, and I knit these on dpns because I haven't tried the magic loop technique yet.

* I followed the pattern after that but adjusted for the 4 extra stitches.

* I picked up the 2 stitches for the thumb as per the pattern but on the next round I knit them together with the next stitch, so ~k all sts until last 3, k2tog, k2tog (last stitch plus first stitch).~ I had to adjust the thumb pattern a bit so the decreases were at the end of the round, where those picked up and knit back together stitches were. This made for a bit slimmer of a thumb and no holes to sew up later.

The next time I knit them (which is right away!) I'll skip the knit rounds prior to closing the top of the mitten and the thumb. I think it makes a bit of pointy tip which looks odd to me. I'll also knit a much longer cuff and I'll probably not do those extra increases.

I enjoyed the thumb! Really! I panicked a bit when I had to put those stitches on my scrap yarn. The thumb opening was awfully big, but the pattern says relax, the thumb is supposed to look big. Thank goodness for that! The tapering that happens when knitting the thumb after really does the trick! The thumb fits!

Truly a great fun pattern!

Ta da! A new pair of mittens for the Superstar!

Friday, December 10, 2010

Victorian Lilac Lace

I had such high hopes for this shawlette! I was going to give it to my mom for Christmas but after I bound off and blocked I found the bind off was too tight! It didn't want to block to nice points like I had envisioned. I thought it might still work out though.  What I didn't realize was how it would it pull and curl at the edge in an unflattering way.

You can see in this picture how the edge tends to curl. Now granted my mom may not have noticed this but I find it glaring. It makes me sad.

This was a lovely yarn purchase from the Kangaroo Dyer. The yarn is called Victorian Lilac and is very pretty! I love the purples and greys, so trendy right now. Poet Seat is a 50/50 blend of silk and merino wool and feels super soft. I'd love to order more of this yarn in the future. Silken shawls feel so nice against the neck and this shawlette doesn't disappoint there.

The pattern is called the Travelling Woman Shawl  by Liz Abinante,  a very popular pattern on Ravelry with over 5000 projects. I can see why too, it's easy to knit and looks classy.

I'm going to try this pattern again one of these days with a better, stretchier bind off. But right now this little shawl is worn only occasionally to work when the mood strikes. Too bad...

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Queue Revue

Today we're taking a sneak peak into my never ending queue!

Hi knitters! I thought I'd start a regular weekly post highlighting the many projects I have in my queue. A queue is a great feature on Ravelry that allows you to list (queue) the projects you want to knit and add information like yarn type, tags to help you sort and search, and any other notes you may want to add.

Everyone uses their queue differently but I use it to list the projects I want and  intend to knit. I try to keep it reasonable, like under 100 but it's hard! I also go through it now and then and purge patterns that I've changed my mind about. Eh, it happens.

I'll try not to overwhelm you this morning!

picture by fullywoolly
I'll start with a pattern I queued back in July of this year. It's called Web Spinner by Irene Johnston. I intend to make this for Mr. Man. In fact I've ordered the yarn and printed the pattern. I just need to finish off the seasonal knitting and get going!

I'm so excited about this sweater for so many reasons:

1. My little lad loves Spider-Man.

2. I think he will look wonderful in this blue blue sweater with his blue eyes and little person!

3. I'm really glad that this pattern calls for Knit Picks yarn which comes in a range of colours (extraordinary richness and so many to choose from) and is a reasonable, budget friendly choice. I wanted a superwash (so I bought Swish Worsted)  as Mr. Man is only 3.

4. I know he'll have grand adventures in this sweater. 

picture by pinneguri

Aren't these lovely? I can't wait to knit a pair in January. The pattern is also a free one called Sundagsvotter. These mittens are knit in a light fingering weight yarn and I happen to have the perfect yarn in my stash.

JoAnn, my coworker brought me yarn last year from New Zealand. I made these fingerless mittens that I wear almost everyday at work. She also brought me 3 skeins of lovely deep red merino in a fingering weight.

I decided to wait until January and include these in the NaKniMitMo KAL on Ravelry. This is a knit a long during January for mitten month. Bet you didn't know January is mitten month! They offer prizes and encouragement and fun throughout the month. I joined up last January and since I still have mittens in my queue, I'm doing it again this January.

These are my must do mittens for 2011!

I hope you enjoyed a brief glimpse into my queue!

Monday, December 6, 2010

Fried Chicken Mittens

image by odacier
image by odacier

Every person should have a pair of these! And if you live here in the middle of the Canadian prairies where the temperature has been a balmy -25 just about every day, then you definitely need to add these to your queue!

I had to share this free pattern  (if you are on Ravelry) with you. I love how these are constructed. Very easy to knit, and a great shape. I also got a real kick out of the cartoon of the different thumb options one has to chose from when knitting mittens. So funny!

I happen to have issues with thumbs. I always leave them till last when I'm knitting. Maybe this time I'll be more tempted to finish them off if they do indeed end up looking like fried chicken!

And... well, sorry about missing a whole week of blogging last week. We had company and christmas parties and so on and the blog got forgotten. But I'm back on track now (or at least until the next time).

Cheers, and happy mitten knitting!

Out with the old and in with the new

As I mentioned in my last post, we got a new camper last summer. I've been ready for an upgrade for ages. I loved the freedom that the...