Category Archives: ribbi cardi

Approval

Photobucket

I’m glad it meets with her approval. But it does still need buttons. ;)

Photobucket

In other news, I was very generously gifted with this ‘make my day’ blogger token from MJM Knitting, and Queen of the Froggers. Thank you so much! D’awwww. And the blog-iverse demands that I pass it on, so without further ado I would like to show my affection for Canary Knits and Foxy and Crafty who are two of my new favourite people (and bring the sarcasm), my lovely sister Martha, Elinor, Rach (who I suspect may be a wee bit busy right now!), Moggle, and Marianne.

In fact, the whole damn blogosphere pretty much makes my day every day, as has every single person who has ever left a comment here. You have my undying gratitude for helping me procrastinate and keep the real world away just a little bit longer every single day ;)

9 Comments

Filed under cats, ribbi cardi

Cling to the knitting

The combination of events in the coming week is making me more stressed out than I’ve been in a long time. Mostly, I just want it to be next Friday afternoon already! So if you are a ‘send thoughts via the internet’ sort of person, I could sure as heck use some. Additionally, I am very, very grateful to have the knitting to cling to.

Jan4 025

Ahhh, a finished pair of socks. It’s been a long time since I’ve had a finished pair of socks for myself! These are the Monkey pattern, in Socks that Rock, ‘Rooster Rock’. Helping me with these was my brand-spanking-new digital kitchen scale, which was quickly put into operation on the knitting workbench next to the swift and ball winder. I divided the skein in two halves to make sure I didn’t go over half a skein for either foot. I’ve got Size 11 feet and STR lightweight is not kind to the large-of-foot with only 360 yds. But I did manage to squeak it out, with 7 grams left to spare. I should have stuck in a few extra rows ;)

Jan4 028

I love it. I want to pet it just for being its digitally accurate, yarn-weighing self. I mean sure, it’s supposed to be measuring flour and butter and things like that, but surely yarn is a far nobler pursuit.

In current WIP news, I’m happy to present Ribby Cardi #3. I did in fact knit myself one for Rhinebeck this past October, but a combination of factors left me with a sweater at least a full size too big. Rather than convince myself i could make it work by wrapping it around myself unbuttoned, I gave that one to my mom. The first one I knit on purpose as a gift. So, I definitely hope this one sticks!

Jan4 030

This is Briggs & Little Regal, in Grape for the body and Red BWO for the sleeves. I motored through the body all in one piece and now that I’ve gotten to the sleeves the mojo has faded a bit. Slow and steady, right? I’ll just have to keep putting in the time. Winter’s still here for another few months.

And in final ‘clearly-my-stress-is-affecting-my-brain’ news, go ahead and guess what I found in my sock yarn stash box when I was sorting the stash on New Year’s Day. Go on, guess. If you guessed half a dozen mini liqueur bottles, you’d be right. Yeah, I dunno either about that ;) I think this is chalked up to moving frenzy – clearly I was shoving things in boxes, thought “oh these might break, shove ‘em in with the yarn, yarn will protect it! Protect the booze!” And now here I uncover them five months later wondering exactly how sheepish I should be about hiding booze in with my yarn. I’ll let my fellow knitters decide that one!

Happy twelfth-and-final day of Christmas! It’s back to the real world. I’d like to cling to the holidays, but thank goodness I can at least cling to the knitting instead.

23 Comments

Filed under finished object: socks, ribbi cardi

Ready for Rhinebeck

My Ribby Cardi is finished, hurrah! Here I am, slightly blurry, with the finished product:

Ribby2Finished

I like the colours, it’s very comfortable, and I’m glad I did the ribbed buttonband once again. Only problem? I am 100% sure that I should have knitted a smaller size, likely the 38/39 size and not the 40/41 size. I think it’s pretty obvious it’s a size too big, which is a bit of a bummer since, don’t we all try to knit things that fit?

When I made this sweater last fall for my supervisor I made the 38/39 size and when I tried it on, it fit just a bit too snug for my own tastes, particularly around the shoulders. I chalked this up to slightly smaller gauge in both stitch and rows. My gauge hasn’t changed. When I tried this one on pre-washing it fit very nicely, but then after washing it seemed to floof out again, returning to its intended state and making me look like a dummo knitter who can’t even pick the right size, geez Louise! ::hangs head in shame::

Oh well. I will happily wear my mistake. It’s warm and comfy and I made it for ME, and darn it all I like it anyway. And in any case, it’s going to help ID me next week at the Rhinebeck wool festival in New York, for I am a happy participant in Rhinebeck Blogger Bingo.

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

I wanted to sign up for this so that I would get myself out of my stupid habit of coming down with the Shy Quivers when faced with large groups of new people, and actually get out and meet new friends instead of focussing only on the yarn and spending $$ part. ;) I’m a square (Saturday) and a player – hey, I figured if I was going to go around stalking and accosting Rhinebeck people, then they should have the right to stalk and accost me back ;) And apparently there are prize draws, so I call that a win win all around.

Another thing I did this weekend will help me out with the Rhinebeck experience. I spun for the first time.

Handspun1

Kate visited this weekend and did not do the typical houseguest thing and show up with, oh, a plate of cookies, or a bottle of wine, or any of these mundane things, but brought me a handmade drop spindle and a length of pink (she knows me well) roving. After dinner she showed me how to use the drop spindle (happily spinning away on her own bit of bright turquoise Louet roving), and before I knew it I was well on my way to the contents of the picture above. We joked that it looked not unlike spun candy floss.

Handspun2

(Kate is 3/4 done with a pretty bitchin’ shawl, by the way.)

I’m definitely still getting the hang of it, but generally I like it. My biggest problem is pulling (“drafting”?) the fibre too thin as I drop and spin, and then it breaks and I have to reattach it, and then I end up with a lumpy bumpy part in the attempt to reattach it. Still, cool. (Dude! Did you know you can make your own yarn? What won’t those crazy kids think up next!)

And now I know what the heck one does with those sticks with pucks on the end, and the fuzzy stuff that comes in little bags. I don’t know how fast I want to dive into this whole new part of the fibre world (Warning. Warning. New Fibre Obsession in Range), but I’m at least comfortable knowing what I’m looking that and I can check out the Rhinebeck stalls for something new and interesting. (Genuinely, there is nothing in the yarn area that I actually need – not that that’s stopped me before – but it is true that I can’t just walk down the street and buy a drop spindle. Thank you Rhinebeck.)

Can’t wait for the weekend! Just gotta get some actual “work” done before then and I’ll be feelin’ fine.

16 Comments

Filed under finished object: sweater, rhinebeck, ribbi cardi, spinning

Touch of Pink

Ribby3

I started the first sleeve of the Ribby this weekend, and if I can apply myself it’ll be done in the next day or so. (Re: button band yardage in the red – I think I’ll be OK. Am confident enough to go back to it post-sleeves.) This is where the element of risk comes in through the colour selection (self-inflicted since the pattern itself couldn’t be easier to follow). How will the pink work with the red? Is the pink pale enough? Is the red strong enough as a base colour? Is it all fun and bright in an antidote-to-winter sort of way, or brassy and kitschy in a Valentine’s-accessory-gone wrong sort of way?

This was my colour plan from the get-go, and you can be darned sure that I’ll be following through on it, although time will tell the bright vs. kitch factor I suppose ;) Either way, I’ll have no shortage of pink in hand for the sleeves. Of 6 balls, I’ve only just started the 2nd one and am almost finished the increases for on this sleeve. Can’t wait to get to the seaming stage, it’s getting closer and closer.

I managed to get the cupcake baking done in the early afternoon today, preparing for this Wednesday when I’ll finally get back to Lettuce Knit, and on the happy occasion of Emily‘s wee gal Clara’s first birthday (I guess this means she’s getting less wee). Mama requested something vanilla-based, but I did a batch of chocolate as well for me all me for other chocoholics in the crowd. If I can just work out the transport issues, we’ll be all good to go.

Beatrice has had a long hard day of waking me before dawn, stalking the backyard, and napping in her favourite chair, but declined to comment for the paparazzi. She’s lucky she’s cute. ;)

Beatrice4

13 Comments

Filed under baking, cats, ribbi cardi

Productivity (sort of.)

There is baking in this post, (it’s been far too long!) but since this does still remain a knitting blog, I’ll start off with the Ribby Cardi. I’m onto the 2nd front piece, fuelled by a sort of escape-velocity speed of knitting wherein I hope that if I knit fast enough I’ll still have enough red left for both the fronts and the buttonband. I think it’ll be okay. I think. But if I have to place a Knit Picks order and try to only order 1 ball of yarn? Shee-yeah, right, that’s likely to happen.

Ribby2

Before I get to the baking, lemme tells ya about the food. The veggies this week have once again been met with my full force. The swiss chard subbed in for escarole in this skillet recipe, the butternut squash became this fantastically awesome pasta recipe which I’d forgotten about, the tomatoes got sliced up with some basil and vinaigrette, and some potatoes and carrots became this yummy soup. If I can stagger back to the kitchen this evening, more of the tomatoes will be turned into some pizza with olives. YUM. It’s a lot of cooking particularly on the weekend, these last few weeks, but it’s worth it to have leftovers for the rest of the week. There are sadly no pics of any of this – I don’t seem to have as much patience to stop and take pictures before devouring my dinner – but I’ll personally vouch for all of those recipes. MMM.

And I did say there was baking. Oh yes. I’ve started taking cupcake requests. My friend E who works in the same office as me on campus, requested something in chocolate-mint. This isn’t my favourite flavour combo, but I am a big fan of Junior Mints candies, so essentially I tried to approach this by trying to make a cupcake version of a Junior Mint. I think it worked. I can’t say that I’ve tasted one yet (waiting until after dinner), although I have tasted all of the constituent parts and those tasted darned good to me. Also, my sister and our friend C stopped by post-baking and there was a lot of this going on:

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Mint-Chocolate Cupcakes

I know this is horribly unseasonal – in the markets there are apples and pears and pumpkins for crying out loud! and I’m sitting here making chocolate mint cupcakes? – but hey, whatever. This prep will come in handy come the holiday season. For this adventure, I combined a sour cream chocolate cupcake recipe with a mint creme filling and a simple chocolate glaze. My sour cream chocolate cupcake recipe came from Cupcakes Year-Round, but this recipe is pretty close. I like the way it turned out, just smack dab between cake and brownie texture.

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

For the mint creme filling, I started with 1 can sweetened condensed milk, added 1/2 teaspoon of peppermint extract (add more in very small increments to increase the flavour), and kept on mixing in more powdered sugar until it got to a nice spoonable consistency. You fill the cupcakes by cutting a little cone shape out of each cupcake, slicing off the pointy end of the cone, spooning (or piping) in the filling in the little hole, and then putting the top back on. Now, it’s ready for glaze.

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

For the glaze, I warmed 1 cup of heavy cream to just-bubbling, and poured over 200g of chopped dark chocolate. (Dark chocolate for that nice Junior-Minty flavour, mmm…) Let it stand for a few minutes and then stir it up until it’s a good drizzly consistency, but not so thick that it needs spreading. Drizzle it over the cupcake tops until smooth, then let stand. (it will harden up.) Garnish with some crushed up peppermint candies for easy identification purposes. Mmm.

So that pretty much brings me up to speed on the weekend. Miss Beatrice the cat has had a long hard weekend of defending the backyard against her evil arch nemesis, Skinny Orange Cat (as opposed to Fluffy Orange Cat), so she’s been a bit restless. I on the other hand, have some resting up to do before dinner begins. Off I go to clutch the knitting and pretend tomorrow isn’t Monday… ;)

8 Comments

Filed under baking, chocolate, cooking, ribbi cardi

Gggghhhhhlllrrrgggl

…is the sound of me wrestling with my willpower. I do not need more yarn. I do not need more yarn. I will soon be going to a place where there is no shortage of yarn. I’m fine, really. I should not use this as an opportunity to immediately start spending. I will resist. I will re…I will…um…RESIST. Yes, that is what I will do. ::cough::

I will also, however, make an attempt at heading out to my first non-Toronto knit night tonight, and go in search of Spun. Me and Burlington Transit, we’re gonna be like this. ::links fingers:: The transit time will also give me some knitting time, which will be just fine with me. I’m just about ready to cast off the back piece of the Ribby Cardi:

Ribby2

So far so good. It feels like it will fit comfortably – not too loose, not too tight, so I’m hoping that is indeed what I will get. Yardage might be tight, though. I have 8 balls of the Fired Brick and used 3 and 3/4 on the back, so here’s hoping there will be enough for the 2 front pieces and the buttonband in the end. Um. How fast can I knit on that bus ride tonight?

Someone else, I can see, is planning to nap the day away. (The little twerp. After waking me at 6am on the day I was supposed to get to sleep in.)

Beatrice3

But I suppose I do need to get onto those errands, and this “work” that needs to “get done”, or whatever. Psh.

7 Comments

Filed under ribbi cardi

Fuel for the fire

Having a weekly vegetable box to work with is, I am discovering, the opposite of how I am used to cooking. I generally come up with a few recipes to cook throughout the week, then buy the ingredients. This is the reverse – I am being given some key ingredients and then run off to figure out how to use them. I am also realizing that the best approach is to have a few staples on hand in the pantry and refrigerator and then plan for a shopping trip mid-week instead of on the weekend to get anything else that I need. This week, I had a lot of fun finding new recipes to work with.

For the mizuna, I used one bunch as a substitute for escarole in this recipe, which was YUM. Perfect on a chilly weekend like the one we’ve been having.

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

The beets and beet greens were a different challenge, though. I see now that the default recipe for any green leaf vegetable besides lettuce is, “fry it up with bacon and garlic!” But since I knew I was doing that with one of the mizunas, I kept on lookin’. I found this recipe for beet green gratin from Alton Brown (I love you Alton! Call me!), which did not disappoint, particularly with the beets roasted up on the side.

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

I also roasted up the acorn squash last night as part of dinner with friends, based on this recipe I found at Smitten Kitchen (that blog is fast becoming a must-read for me). It’s a really, really good way to eat a squash. The other head of mizuna found its way to this stir fry recipe which was also darned tasty. I’m eating as much as I can (woe, such a problem to have, right?), but I do think I’ll be getting into the habit of having people over for dinner more often or passing on a few of these to my sister who is close by.

But really, it’s just as well that I have this new deal of having a set of vegetables to work with every week, because my appetite has just skyrocketed the past couple of weeks. And then it occurred to me that, in the past month, I have:
a) switched my average rising time to 6-6:30am as opposed to the leisurely ::mumblemumble:: o’clock I was used to as a grad student living a short walk from campus
b) increased my running from 3 runs to 4 runs in a week
c) increased my long Sunday run to 50 minutes and now to 60 minutes
d) started using my bike as transportation for running errands.

Oh, right. THAT’s why I’m so hungry. Bring on the vegetables. (Um. And maybe some cupcakes too.)

Sept16 011

But lest ye think knitting content has forsaken this blog, I can report that I finally caved and cast on something new today. It’s the start of another Ribby Cardi, for me and with the faint hope of making it to the Rhinebeck wool festival in late October. Heh. It’s Swish Superwash from Knit Picks in the colourway ‘fired brick’, a brilliantly cheerful red which will be joined by sleeves knit in – wait for it – ballerina pink. I will surely not get lost in a crowd wearing this, right? All the more reason to bring it to Rhinebeck, so’s I don’t get lost from my partner in crime. And I’m all prepped to add length and various mods thanks to using this yarn the last time around.

In other news, Beatrice the cat has accepted me. And my lap. (She even lets me knit at the same time. I knew she had some intelligence about her.)

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Happy weekend!

7 Comments

Filed under cats, cooking, ribbi cardi, sweaters

Other People’s Stuff

Yesterday, I finally gifted my supervisor with her Ribbi Cardi – she loved it and was totally flattered. But hey, I figure a PhD supervisor who signs on for 4+ years deserves something a little more than a wee scarf or hat, right? She did warn me though, that when the rest of my committee sees it, they will start wanting sweaters, too. Hm.

Ribby Cardi


(Finished Ribby Cardi, KnitPicks Swish Superwash in Bordeaux (arms) and Wisteria (body), 4.5mm needles)

As you can see, I made a buttonband instead of using the zipper – given the Swish shrinkage issues, I didn’t want to risk Horrible Bad Shrinkage combined with Zipper Installation Which Could Potentially Go Screwy. And it worked. Buttons matched perfectly. My supervisor kept saying how soft the yarn felt and asked if it was cotton, and I said, “Nope, it’s wool! And you can even put it in the washing machine!” and she said, “NO! Really?” So, metal note. Superwash wool = positive knitted gift experience. I’ll definitely be knitting one of these for myself eventually, since the Fired Brick I originally ordered for the body turned out not so suitable and I still have it sitting around – it didn’t contrast enough with the Bordeaux. I’m thinkin’ red-and-pink Ribbi for me, just to be bright and girly. (My supervisor declined a photo while wearing hers, insisting wrongly that she is not photogenic. I wonder, does anyone actually think themselves photogenic?)

The Swish Superwash does shrink up as predicted – and really, KnitPicks is NOT doing themselves any favours by not advertising this. When I finished knitting and assembling, the length was 23.5″, and after washing and drying, the length was 21″. The sleeves, somehow, did not shrink up as much – I think this might be a property of the ribbed fabric vs. the stockinette fabric. Stockinette seems to dry and shrink up faster, as I noted on the, oh, four times or so I removed it from the dryer to check progress. For this pattern, if I do make it again with Swish, I’ll not only add length to the body, but add more rows in the raglan sleeve cap/armhole shaping to guard against shrinkage there. I think most of the shrinkage did happen in the body, but hey, just to be on the safe side. (I have the feeling that the Swish is also going to pill like a mo’fo’, but hey, so does every other yarn KnitPicks makes, so no real surprises there.)

[Edited to Add]: A pic from knit night last night of Aven and her wee guy. He had no toys and I had sympathy, so I offered my scarf with the waggly tassly ends, and that seemed to suffice for at least two seconds. After last night I started wondering if well-meaning fellow knitters should include a soft baby toy in their knitting bag, for just such emergencies.

(Et voila le cute.)

So yes, I plucked up my courage again and went to Lettuce Knit for knit night for the third time ever – the first chair available that I found was right by the door, so I sat there the whole time as if ready for a clean getaway in case of terminal shyness. But no, it was all fine, and the ladies I chatted with were lovely, and there was one woman next to me who was there for the first time and so that was reassuring to me. And Elizabeth, who I’d met before, started showing me this hand-dyed limited-edition laceweight and sock yarn and almost had me convinced to plunk down $50 on yarn before I left – but I persevered and did not purchase. I’ll see how the perseverance lasts if I go next week!

8 Comments

Filed under finished object: sweater, ribbi cardi, yarn review

Weekend afternoons without knitting

Once upon a time I did used to spend my free time doing things besides knitting. Despite the fact that some people (my mother) ;) now ask me if I do anything else at all besides knitting, I think what’s happened is that knitting has slowly but steadily colonized all of my other hobbies. I used to work with beads, but now my bead box sits idly on the shelf. I used to bake things, but now only do that on special occasions. And of course, I did used to do a lot more reading for pleasure, not so much any more – although that may have more to do with the fact that I do various academic reading during the week and so reading has gradually lost its lustre.

Anyhoo. I went back to all of these things yesterday – dusted off The Woman in White and read 80 pages at bedtime, and in the afternoon I got out the beads…

(Beaded stitch markers, in sets of 6. Okay, so it’s beading that’s also knitting-related.)

I’d promised to make 2 sets of stitch markers for another knitter, and once I finally sat down to do it I just kept on stringing more sets, cranking out 7 sets altogether. I might have done more, except I eventually ran out of jump rings and my fingers were getting stiff from using the pliers. I’ll have to get more jump rings eventually if/when I want to do more – but around these parts the bead stores are located handily near a couple of my favourite yarn stores, so that way lies temptation and madness.

(Pseudo-early-Valentine’s Day cupcakes.)

And, well, there are very few things that will not be improved by cupcakes, don’t you think? Me too.

I did finish off the Ribbi Cardi on Friday, but have no FO pics to share as of yet – I still need buttons, and I also still need to gift it to the recipient (my supervisor), and so I’m holding off on any photos until I’m absolutely sure that it fits the wearer and all is well. I’m a little bit nervous and am crossing my fingers for the best, but I think all will be well. Thanks to the cold weather, I’m also dreaming of casting on for new things like this and this, but am being good and am still keeping myself on track with the things still on the needles.

Happy Sunday!

7 Comments

Filed under non-knitting, ribbi cardi

Saturday knitting tour

The good news is, I’m feeling better today – so much better that I’ve even had a shower and have already consumed some dry cereal. I might even try some dry white toast with a bit of honey later, it’s all very exciting. The bad news is that I’m better enough that I do actually have to do real work today, so I’m wondering how fast I’ll be able to get through that so I can return to lying around and actually get to enjoy it. It’s been nearly 3 full days since I last picked up my knitting needles, and that’s just too damn long.

But, before all of The Unpleasantness (I think I may have narrowed it down to some ceasar salad consumed on Saturday night, either that or some random bug), I did have a lovely visit from Kelly. She arrived on Friday and we did some knitting and lounging around, and on Saturday we continued that pace until about midday when we ventured out towards the yarn stores. In Ottawa she doesn’t have access to the same variety that we do here in the T-Dot, so she was raring to go. (I of course had to be pushed out the door kicking and screaming. You believe me, don’t you?)

Our first visit was to Lettuce Knit. We ogled and fondled and browsed. I made my purchase of bamboo needles and then actually sat and waited for the others and knitted a few rows of my Ribbi Cardi sleeve #2, fresh with new bamboo 4.5mms just sleeve-sized:

(The second sleeve, in the state I left it in on Saturday afternoon.
Sadly, it has not grown since then.)

Kelly escaped with a copy of a spinning magazine and a pair of Lorna’s Laces skeins. (She has since been contemplating whether to in fact knit them up for a gift as planned or to figure out a way to keep the resulting socks for herself.) My sister fondled many things lovingly but none so much as the Misti Alpaca laceweight. I should mention here that, the night before, my sister was found flipping through my back copies of Interweave Knits magazine and saying things like “ooh, shawls…” But she did not make any purchases. Yet.

(Kelly and Me in front of Lettuce Knit)

We carried on to Romni Wools. I had tried to prepare Kelly for what she was about to walk into. I kept saying things like, “They have a lot of yarn. They have fibre. They have an upstairs and a downstairs. Your eyes might glaze over. Really.” But I don’t think anything can truly prepare you for Romni, particularly when you haven’t had the ability to rely on stores of that size as a matter of habit. We all went in and dispersed, and I went directly to the Noro section. I had anticipated buying a pair of Addis, but before departing had found that I already owned the size I was prepared to buy, so instead I decided to go for the Noro Silk Garden and see if I could find a couple more skeins of the same Silk Garden I received at Christmas, so that I could use put it towards a Poppy sweater. Well, after doing quite a bit of digging, I found what might possibly have been the last remaining skeins of Silk Garden #201, unless they had secret things hidden where I can’t see them.

By the time I emerged and caught up with the others, Kelly had made her way downstairs and had seen the fibre. She was practically giddy, and I’ll let her tell that part of the story, but suffice it to say she was thrilled to be able to touch the fibre she was interested in buying. I hear that’s a big deal for spinners. ;) (I’m still holding out, but will happily watch others discover this and its joys). So, she made out with some purchases as well.

On our way back home, my sister decided she wanted a second look at Lettuce Knit. And so we returned. And there was more fondling of sock yarn, and more fondling of Misti Alpaca laceweight. And lo, my sister became the proud owner of two yummy purple skeins of her first laceweight, destined to be an Icarus Shawl one day. She even got to have it wound on site and couldn’t have been happier:


And that’s pretty much the exciting knitterly tale of the weekend. I wish there was more, but sadly no. I lie in wait for next weekend when I will be ready to pounce on so many projects it’ll be like knitting before it goes out of style. I hope everyone out there in blogland is having a good week!

2 Comments

Filed under lettuce knit, ribbi cardi, yarn stores