Caught the Bug

Admittedly, I’ve been off knitting lately. I’ve had zero desire to pick up the needles in the last few months, and even less to cast on for something new. No longer were skeins of soft merino calling out to me. I don’t know what it was, but my brain had checked out of knitting.

Until last week that is. Frankly I’m not sure what happened. I logged on to Ravelry for the first time in months and was immediately hooked. Within the first 5 minutes I had found a pattern the I HAD TO KNIT. My reaction was not, ‘hmm, that looks nice. Let’s queue it up’. No, no. This was an urgent need. That pattern had to be mine. There would be no waiting around.

Sure enough, before I turned in for the night I had the beginnings of the project on my needles.

What was the pattern that had me so enamoured? None other than Viajante. That’s right, a plain stockinette pattern. Me. Interested in that? There’s hardly a YO or cable to be found. Sure, there’s a bit of lace at the end, but that’s assuming I’ll make it that far without caving into the monotony.

Something has changed. Yes I’ve caught the knitting bug, but it’s a whole new entity. Before my hiatus, I used knitting as a way to occupy and challenge myself. Give me a project with cables or mind-numbing lace and I was all over it.

Now, I’m seeking out simplicity in my projects. I feel pretty fulfilled in my current pursuits (riding, running, anything that starts with an ‘r’ apparently), which means that knitting doesn’t have to serve as entertainment as well. Instead, I want it to soothe. I need it to be something I can come home and relax to. Something that takes little brain power, and for that, I couldn’t have found a better pattern.

Early progress on my Viajante

No matter how long you stay away, knitting will always welcome you back, in whatever capacity you can handle at the moment.

Advertisements

Chances were slim…but not impossible

Ever the optimist, I gave my self a knitting challenge that I was quite certain I could not accomplish. On August 26 I cast on for a beautiful lace stole pattern, Love on the Edge. It gets it’s name from the beautiful hearts along the outer edges of the stole. When I first saw it I was smitten. The project is so delicate looking. I thought it would be the perfect accessory for an upcoming wedding that I’m attending.

Unfortunately I himmed and hawwed before actually purchasing the pattern and so, didn’t get a start until possibly too late.

The biggest challenge of the project lies in the fact that the pattern is a translation from Dutch. Never before has the adage “lost in translation” been so literal. The pattern doesn’t have the usual verbal flow of a knitted pattern, so I’ve spent a lot of time trying to figure out what the instructions mean.

I’m happy to report that I think I’ve got it mostly figured out, now speed is my only limiter. Sadly, lace knitting is not really known for it’s speedy quality.

Despite my doubts, I bound off my stole last night! Now for a good blocking and it’ll be already to be packed with the rest of my things this weekend!

Stay tuned for blocked photos!

Grinding to a Halt

Last weekend I went to the Knitter’s Fair in KW and it was awesome, in every sense of the word. There was so much yarn-y goodness it was daunting and a bit overwhelming. At first I didn’t think I’d be able to actually commit to a purchase there were so many options (don’t’ worry, I got over that fear).

I took my advice and made (almost) a complete round of the booths before laying down cash. (Yup, I was good and left the plastic at home. ) I tried spend on  yarns or other items that I don’t normally have access to, or yarns that I’ve been dying to try.

Here’s my yarn haul.

String Theory Caper Sock Yarn
Colour: Labradorite
Yarn: Merino 80% Cashmere 10% Nylon 10% (so soft!!)

Skein Sock Yarn
Colour: Sea Salt
Yarn: Merino 85% Nylon 15%

madelinetosh light
Colour: Opaline
Yarn: merino 100% single ply

Now that I have all these new treats, I have ever more project ideas floating around. And not just patterns that I think would maybe be nice to knit, but patterns that I have everything to cast on right now!

Turnalar Socks which I’ll use Cascade Heritage Silk in Italian Plum and Malabrigo Sock in Lettuce for.

Thanks mom….that purple/green colour combination stuck with me. 

Marin, which to be fair, was already in my queue, but now I have the yarn to do it. Methinks madeline tosh light is just the thing.

However…despite having all these fabulous new yarns to play with and new patterns to try out, I can’t. All knitterly endeavours shall be suspended until I finish this shawl.

It’s my Love on the Edge shawl. I’m hoping to will have it finished for an upcoming event. The shawl is beautiful, the yarn is delightful, but the project in general is starting to become the bane of my existence. Nothing like a firm deadline to take the fun out of knitting.

This bag now goes with me everywhere. I’ve been trying to squeeze in a few rows whenever I get the chance. Thankfully, this is paying off and I’m almost done the body. Almost.

Fingers crossed the border isn’t too slow.

KW Knitter’s Fair

It’s on.



Tomorrow is the Kitchener Waterloo Knitter’s Fair.

It’s the perfect chance to see many Canadian knitting vendors all in one spot. It’s my first time attending any sort of fibre festival and I’m so excited. And a little bit nervous. I know that I’m going to be overwhelmed with fibre-y goodness. To keep my emotions (and spending) in check I’ve tried to approach it practically.

Tips for a Successful Fibre Festival

  • Arrive early. Parking is a premium and hiking to the venue is not the best use of yarn shopping time
  • Do a complete tour before making any big purchases. You never know who’s got the best deals.
  • Bring cash. Preferably only as much as you want can afford to spend and leave the credit card at home. You’ll appreciate it later. Yarn fumes can have strange effects on your will power.
  • Bring water/snacks. I tend to get a bit crabby if I don’t have enough of either.
  • Make a list. Sure, you have all kinds of project ideas and must have yarns, but the moment you step across that threshold it’s likely your mind will go blank.

And so, my own list of items to keep an eye out for:

  • Hiya Hiya interchangeable needles: 3mm
  • Solid sock yarn in vibrant colours, not necessarily full skeins.
  • Signature needles (mostly to ogle, not to purchase).
  • Complimentary solid and variegated fingering yarn. 750 yds/840 yds (It’s not too late to start Malice).
  • MCN solid, maybe grey, for Marin

Randomly

A collection of knitterly things that I want to do (relatively soon).

1. Take better pictures of my finished socks, preferably on sock blockers.

2. Double knit a pair of socks i.e. two at a time, one inside the other. It’s a little bit of knitting magic! This Knitty article has a great explanation of the process.

3. Knit My Heaven shawl.

4. Attend a fibre festival. (Check! I’ll be heading to the Kitchener-Waterloo Knitter’s Fair this weekend).

5. Spin my own yarn. Now that the weather should be cooling down, I’ll be more inclined to pick up some fibre. Clammy hands don’t lend well to spinning.

6. Try Cat Borhdi’s Sweet Tomato Heel

Number 1

Since I’ve now become a Yarn Club aficionado, I thought I’d share my latest yarn club find. Thanks to the internet and Ravelry, there are endless options to choose from when it comes to picking a yarn club. Some clubs focus on colour, others focus on the pattern; some clubs distribute a variety of yarn weights, while others will only use one, like lace or sock yarn clubs. So far, the most interesting club I’ve come across is the Art Walk Sock Club by Zen Yarn Garden. My art history background may make me a bit biased, but hear me out.

Every month the dyer chooses a work of art and then dyes yarn to capture the colours in the piece. It’s really quite amazing. Some of the yarns are spot on.

Jackson Pollock’s Number 1 was this month’s art work.

Which was interpreted into this yarn:

So far, it’s been turned into this:

I always find it a challenge to match variegated yarn to a pattern, but I this one does a good job of breaking up the colour, and while ensuring the pattern stands out.

A little piece of heaven

Last month I received my first ever yarn club shipment, and as of last weekend, I finished my first yarn club project with an exclusive one-of-a-kind skein of yarn!

As per my previous post, I’ve been working on Jared Flood’s Guernsey Triangle using Tanis Fiber Arts Red Label yarn in a soft grey colourway: smoke. Because it’s Red Label it’s a blend of merino, cashmere, silk. Translation: this yarn is so incredibly soft. So soft that I didn’t want this project to end.

Textural Pattern
The pattern and the yarn are so perfectly paired. Because the yarn is just a single strand it really makes the textural pattern pop, but gives it a very soft look.

As I progressed through the pattern it was clear I wasn’t going to use up all the yarn so I made a few modifications. I added another 11 rows to the end of the pattern in the alternate textural band. I wanted to make sure I used as much of the yarn as possible, and I can safely say I was successful!

Leftover yarn
That tiny skein is all that was leftover from 385m: less than 1 gram of yarn.

I bound off after just one welted edge instead of two, as the pattern called for. For the bind off I used the suspended bind off method, which isn’t quite as tight as a traditional bind off.
Guernsey Triangle

The finished shawl was just so squishy and soft that I couldn’t even wait to block it before I showed it off.

I can see more of this pattern in my future!