Monthly Archives: June 2007

Twitchy

Yesterday I had to part ways with my laptop and give it over to the repair people. It’s having the same problem as a year ago, where it turns itself off without warning – no shut down sequence, just ::click:: ::black screen of doom:: – and at that time the problem was the fan overheating and needing replacing. They say it could be 2 weeks before I get it back. ::SOB:: (My baby! My BABY!) Oh, and did I also mention my DVD player is broken, too? This is making my evening life very unfortunate. (Thankfully, I have an external hard drive with important files and computer access on campus. If I didn’t, these would be very real tears.)

Thankfully x2┬áthere is one laptop still in the household, so hopefully I’ll still be able to take pics at the TTC Knitalong on Saturday and upload ‘em afterwards. But nevertheless, it’s hard times here at Knitting to Stay Sane. I guess this means I’ll actually have to do, oh, work.

In the meantime, though, I simply must know how to make these, the most awesome cupcakes known to knitter-kind. (Thanks to Marianne for the link!)

Is it Saturday yet?

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Yarny PSA (Or: Why Elann wins at yarn)

I should warn you that if your yarn-buying trigger finger is feeling a little itchy, this would be a good place to stop and turn around, while you’re ahead.

In the interest of full disclosure, I will admit that this week is the first week since I started my stash-maintentance incentives that I won’t be adding any money to the jar. Firstly, because I’m not in striking distance of finishing anything this week (unless I purposefully start something very small and finish it right away…hmm…), and secondly, because I may have taken the credit card for a brief spin by KnitPicks and Elann last night. (I do mean brief, though, we’re talking 3 projects’ worth of stuff – the damage could have been sooooo much worse.) I’d been stalking a few summery yarns for a while now, and the Canadian dollar is so high right now that that is what finally pushed me over the edge. (Seriously, it’s at $0.95 US. It’s never been that high in my lifetime, that’s for sure.) Also, who are we kidding. The TTC Knitalong is on Saturday and I know I’m going to be at least forking over for a wee bit of sock yarn at Lettuce Knit.

June6 009

(In the competition for TTC-Knitalong project, my purple Elann Luna reminds me it has been waiting since last summer to become a ballet camisole, and this pink/purple Online Linie reminds me it wants to be Jaywalker socks just like the ones I knitted on the last TTC Knitalong. Hm.)

But I need to make mention of Elann for another moment in case there’s anyone out there who hasn’t given it a second look lately. For starters, if you’re one of the people who’s been wanting to order KnitPicks’ CotLin but can’t because it’s been out of stock for freaking forever, it might interest you to know that yesterday Elann quietly unveiled their own line of Dk-weight cotton/linen blend. Camila does not come in the same colours as CotLin, but it does come in more colours overall, and is very similarly priced. Boo-yah.

And another thing – Elann has spent the last few months gradually introducing more and more of their own yarn lines, including a laceweight merino/alpaca blend, a cotton/linen/rayon blend, a sport-weight mercerized cotton (that looks very similar to their Sonata DK-weight cotton, but lighter), an aran-weight cotton, and an aran-weight cotton/linen blend. They’ve also been re-stocking their wool-based wintery yarn, but let’s deal with one brand of obsession at a time. I’ll admit that the colour selections in all of these yarns don’t appeal to me equally, and that I have absolutely no experience knitting with these few yarns I just listed. But dude. That’s a lot of yarn expansion. I’m taking notes and watching with interest.

Seriously, I think all Elann has to do at this point is develop their own line(s) of sock yarns in solid colours, come up with one or two modern fiber yarns like bamboo (or hemp – they had hemp last year, where’d it go?) as year-round staples, and maybe style up their samples a bit more and they will be set. Knit Picks should watch out – especially since Elann does ship overseas. ;)

And now, I think my enabling is done. And there is this supposed “Thesis” that I have to “write,” or whatever. Psh.

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I heart my LYSs

I really, really do. There will come a day in the not very distant future when I will no longer live within walking distance of Lettuce Knit and Romni Wools, and that thought makes me very, very sad. This past Saturday I went with my sister M and our friend C (blogless) down to Romni. I hadn’t been in a while and even though it was C who wanted to make a purchase in the first place, somehow I ended up walking out with 4 skeins…what can I say, I guess it was the yarn fumes. Romni is formidable.

Anyway, you sure can’t do this when you shop online, I tell you what:

June2 004b

Sometimes you just need to hug a wall of sock yarn. (“It felt good to hug the sock yarn”, M reported later.) Yarn makes everything better. And you feel like you’ve been pulled into a vortex where time stops and there is only yarn, and so you don’t really notice how long you’re browsing for. It’s sort of intoxicating. (I even ran into Em, who was buying spinning-related things, and got into a conversation about how long I can possibly last before taking up spinning. I think the answer involved some amount of laughter.) I remember that when I was new to Romni, I didn’t buy anything for the first few visits, I just walked through and looked and touched so that I could get my bearings. After that it was all good. How could you not love this face?

June2 011b

(That’s the back wall where the worsteds await – where you can get enough of something sturdy and basic for a whole sweater if you want.)

I’m so excited to be going on the TTC Knitalong for Worldwide Knit in Public Day. I can’t wait. I’ll be on the West Team (Or, “Go West, Ye Knitters, Go West”), due in large part to my desire not to be on a Romni-less route – everyone gets to go to Lettuce Knit afterwards, so that was helpful in my decision-making process, and all routes include the Naked Sheep and the West Route includes Village Yarns, so I’ll still get to experience 2 new LYSs in the bargain.

Toronto has some great local yarn stores. So do London and San Francisco, I was happy to find out in the last year. It was so discouraging to read Alison’s tale from a horrible LYS in her neck of the woods (I can’t imagine experiencing such harshness in any consumer experience, let alone in an LYS.) Not all LYSs can be painted with the same brush, and I’m glad to have been able to discover that in Toronto first hand.

In other knitting news from the weekend, during our sloth on Saturday night and John Cusack movie fest, C made her first ballband discloth:

June2 018b

She’s planning to use it as a facecloth, which will be particularly comforting since by now she will be at home recovering from surgery and could surely use a nice wee knitted thing like that. And yes, she knows about the mistake she made and is quite content to leave it as-is. ;)

Happy knitting on this Tuesday…

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Inferno Legwarmers – 2 ways

At Knit the Classics, participants are challenged to work on a knitted or otherwise crafted project to parallel the ‘classic’ novel selection of each month. It’s sort of an online book club with the option of putting your crafting skills to work at the same time. The May 2007 selection was ‘The Inferno’ by Dante Alighieri. So, naturally, I decided to make legwarmers with flames on them. You know, so the flames of Hell can literally lick at your heels. That makes sense, right? ;)

Inferno1large Inferno4

Download the free pattern here:
InfernoLegwarmersPDF

[EDIT]: Hey, look, now it’s a prize-winning pattern, too! Aw, shucks.

Yarn: Patons Classic Merino in ‘black’and ‘regency’. You would need 2 balls of black and 1 ball of regency if you make 1 of each version or if you make both with the flame pattern, and 1 ball of each colour if you are making both with the striped version.
Length: 16.5 ins
Size: To fit leg circumference 14-16 ins around at upper calf.
Needles: 4.5mm and 3.5mm DPNs
Cast on: May 22
Cast off: June 2
Notes: Since I couldn’t decide between the flame motif and the nine circles (one for each of the circles of hell through which Dante descends), I decided to do one of each. There are instructions for both included in the pattern. There is also a vertical band of k1, p1 ribbing at the front and back of the legwarmer to add a bit more cling and structural integrity.

I must say quite like the contrast between the black and the red/orange variegated – it’s one of the new variegated shades of Patons Classic Merino and this was a fun excuse to try it out since I’ve only ever used the solids. And since it is officially June and now in the land of red/black/metallics for Project Spectrum, I suppose I could count this as my first project for that too, right? Look at that, it’s a two-fer!

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Filed under finished object: accessories, free pattern, knit the classics

Do they make kilts that go with this colour?

Les-voila:

KiltHoseFO1

Pattern: ‘Highland Schottische Kilt Hose’ from Folk Socks by Nancy Bush.
Yarn: Apple Laine Apple Pie sock yarn, in ‘aubergine’, 4 skeins
Needles: 2.75 mm DPNs
Cast On: May 13, 2007
Cast Off: May 31, 2007
Notes: As soon as I saw Terhi’s beautiful execution of this pattern, I knew I had to have some on my own. Seeing these socks on someone’s feet makes all the difference.

I did add some length in the leg to accommodate my height (I’m 5’9″ and also wear size 11 shoes), and I did not use most of the 4th skein but did definitely need it as the 3rd skein only got me as far as the gusset on the 2nd sock.

The pattern wasn’t too challenging for anyone familiar with socks already. The biggest challenge is the lacy pattern in the cuff, but once the cuff is done then it’s straight on in the moderate lace rib and a few decreases, and before you know it you’re working the heel flap and gussets.

The yarn has a slight halo due to some mohair content, but the feel is gorgeous thanks to a bit of silk and nylon. I blogged in a previous post about my concerns with the dye consistency in the yarn, however, as 3 of these 4 skeins had patches with small dark stripes in the yarn (I suspect you can see this effect on the FOs if you look out for it), as well as several joins. As a result I am hesitant to use this yarn again, save for the remaining 3 skeins I own. But if the dye inconsistencies can be resolved in the Apple Laine production – wowzers, what a gorgeous yarn. You’ll want to pet it.

And now to conclude with a mini kilt hose picspam:

KiltHoseFO4

 


 

KiltHoseFO6

 


 

KiltHoseFO2

I think it is safe to say I will be knitting more Nancy Bush socks in the future. Also, more knee socks, and I will now have to go make sure my skirts and shoes are suitable to be worn with knitted garments of this station. ;)

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Filed under finished object: socks

Feeling Finished

I finished something last night:

KiltHose

Full pics this weekend when I can do it properly. Maybe if it’s cool enough for the Knit in Public day TTC yarn crawl I can wear them then and ‘represent’ in style.

I’ve also been working on a smaller project for Knit the Classics, which I have until Sunday to finish. (Me + Deadline Knitting = Anxious Me.) The book was Dante’s Inferno, which explains why part of it looks like this (perhaps less blurry in real life):

Inferno1


So, I gotta get the 2nd half finished by Sunday, then contemplate next projects. And put my head in my hands and wonder how it got to be June already. Also, I’ve spent the last couple of evenings engaging my inner fangirl and hunkering down with some Buffy DVDs. Just had to. It’s good for the knitting and frivolity, what can I say. Any other Buffy fans out there?

The humidity and heat has arrived and promptly started sucking the life out of me yesterday – I have to remember to drink more water. On with Friday…May your knitting not be far!

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Filed under finished object: socks, knit the classics