April 29th, 2005 - Stashbusters Update

Thank you all so much for the comments on my sweater. I will email you all personally to thank you over the weekend. Today I will wear it to work for a test run, wish me luck!

I started a quick knit last night, something small that I can take in the car with me

Mmmmm KPPPM socks. I love the way the colours are working up.

And now, a quick stashbusters update, since April is almost up:

Aven has finished her beautiful blue silk raglan. I have seen this one is person, and it suits her very well. She has even started her May project, which is her own design - a felted vest for her husband. Yikes!

Chris has jumped ahead and it working on her May project (it is cooler out so she thought she would work on the wool project instead of the cotton one. Good idea)

Dawn is almost finished her Lucy. All she needs is a couple of buttons. We can't wait to see it!

Eileen is all done her Bad Penny. It looks great on her, and you should all pop over and see her funky mirror shot. Not only that, but Eileen had two projects for April, and she is almost done her second, which is a ribby tank. Maybe I could take some lessons...

Elizabeth has cast on her T-shirt with pink Calmer. We need a picture Elizabeth, we can't wait to see what it looks like!

Jennifer just joined yesterday, so she is going to be making up a project for April. Or, she could just knit one in July. She is very close to finishing her ribbed cardigan

Jessica has started her Faroese Shawl, and I think it might be wearing her out! I am looking forward to seeing the finished goods - it looks so lacey and airy.

Kim. Poor Kim. Kim had to rip out all her progress on her Lotus blossom shawl. I almost cried. But it is ok, she has started the Lacy Kerchief Scarf instead, which will be ever more beautiful.

Lynette is knitting the Marcos sweater for April, but we haven't seen any progress pics. How is it going Lynette?

Monica is knitting the Katia Reno pullover, but no progress pic. How's the progress Monica?

missbedora. This girl is in trouble. She hasn't even posted since March 31st. Get on it girl! Are you knitting over there at all?? ;)

Nadia is starting in May, and will be knitting her Phil Onde Slash Neck Tank.

Nancy is knitting the NYU Naughty Knitter Baby Blanket, one of a couple on the go.

Wow, that is a lot of knitting. If I missed anyone's progress, just send me a quick email. Thanks all, and Happy Busting!

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April 28th, 2005 - All Done

First, thank you everyone for your great comments on my book. I am happy with how it turned out, and I am looking forward to making more of them.

The ballet wrap is all finished!

I loooove this sweater. I will wear this one a lot. I am not sure if I will wear it to my friend's wedding or not, as I fear it might be too casual. It still needs to be blocked, which I am about to do shortly. I only did two things differently from what the pattern suggested - I knit an extra inch into the sleeves (I like my sleeves to be quite long), and I didn't add the extra stitches at the back slit. Oh yeah, and I used over two balls more then the pattern called for. Still not sure what was up with that, because the pieces matched the schematic exactly. Other then that, it is a well written pattern, the yarn is great, and I am happy with the result.

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April 26th, 2005 - My Own Book

While not nearly as exciting as Stephanie's book, I finished my own handmade book last night

It has a cover made out of the felt I showed you last week, with a wooden spine

Each section of pages is sewn in a different pattern with what I think was linen thread.

The flap opens to show you the white pages inside.

And Emma let me try her drop spindle, so I even spun the cord myself.

It's not perfect, but I am pretty happy with it for a first try. I am planning on keeping some wedding memorabilia in it, and using some of the pages for a guest book. I might also get TJ to cut another spine for me that is larger so that I can make a big one. It is another neat hobby to add to my collection.

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April 25th, 2005 - Coming Together

Yesterday I spent a whole day with missbedora, who is, after 2 months, finally home. Yipee! This is pretty much what our day entailed

Notice the cute little white jeweled flip flops? missbedora brought me these to wear to my wedding. Aren't they sweet?

I also had the second of my book classes with Emma yesterday, and I am hoping to finish up my book tonight after work. Pictures tomorrow, with a little luck.

And the ballet wrap is finally starting to come together

The arms and the body are attached, I just have to attach the sash, weave the ends from the sewing, and I am done. Laura suggested that I try the crochet method of sewing up, and I love it. It is much faster, neater, and stronger then whip stitching or backstitching. Which is a good thing since there is a lot of sash to attach. Then I just have to worry about making myself a dress (Fabricland has a big sale starting May 4th, so I will be waiting until then to get my fabric. Yes, the wedding I am wearing all this to is May 7th. No this doesn't worry me. Really. Guh)

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April 22nd, 2005 - Me Make Felt!

Last night was an adventure in crafting at our home. TJ always gets a little nervous when I am trying something new, as he knows that catastrophe often follows. I started with my pretty and now dry roving.

I took each piece and started pulling off little lengths and laying them in alternating directions.

Once I had three good layers, I started to needle felt them in order to tack them in place. I did this on top of the bed pillow that you see above.

Then, I stuffed the whole thing in a pillow case and dropped it in the washer, the same way that I would if I was making knitted felt.

Uh, yeah. There's that catastrophe I was talking about. Hmm..so we need to be a little gentler with the felt. Luckily I had enough left over to try again.

This time I needle felted it a lot more, and I did it on top of my ottoman, as it is more sturdy. Once I had really stuck them together, I read Emma's site and decided to felt it by hand in the sink.

Here you can see that I rolled it in a pillow case. I stuck it in the sink in hot water and squooshed and squished it around with dish soap. Et....

Volia! Me make felt! It is now all dry and sturdy. On Sunday when I take the second half of the class, we will cut it to the size that it needs to be. I am happy with the colours too, they remind me of a sunset. So craft catastrophe averted, sort of. Now, I just have to figure out what to do with that other hunk of crap. Hmmm.

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April 20th, 2005 - Fruity

On Sunday I took the first in a set of two classes that Emma is teaching on making handmade books. I had signed up for this class so long ago that I had almost forgotten about it. The first thing that we did was pick out the wood for the spine of the book, and drilled the holes that will be used to sew the pages into the book.

Then Emma provided us with some instructions on how to make a felt cover. There were two possible methods: one was to use a knitted piece and the other was to use roving. So off I toddled to get some roving and Koolaid.

I think I may have gotten a little carried away

My whole home smells like multiple flavours of Koolaid. Obviously I still need to turn it into felt, but I will document that process as I go.

On an unrelated note, I wanted to show you all the cute little purses that I picked up this weekend

One is about 8" tall and the other is about 6". I thought they looked like little takeout containers. I keep picturing balls of yarn in there....obsessed much?

A bunch more people have been added to the Stashbusters group. Everybody has picked some great and ambitious projects for April. If you want to join us, just email me *dani warren at sympatico dot ca*

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April 18th, 2005 - A Very Knitty Weekend

We decided last minute to pop out to Sarnia this weekend, so I had 6 hours in the car to knit

One sleeve and the back done, and one sleeve to go. Luckily I was able to get two more balls of yarn, because I am almost out of the 12th ball. I am a little worried about where this extra yarn is going - I have visions of it stretching greatly when I give it a bath. Perhaps steam blocking might be best.

And would you believe that this came in the mail on Friday?

Yup, the summer issue of my subscription. I have been waiting since Christmas to get an issue, and I finally get the summer one before it is on the shelves in the store. Weird. There isn't a lot that I would knit out of this one, but there is a cute bolero that I might knit in white for my wedding in August.

Yes, you heard that right, I am getting married in August. As in 4 months from now. A while back TJ and I decided that we wanted to get married on an island, with just a small group of friends and family. We are just getting sorted out with the travel agent right now, but the options are St. Lucia, Antigua, Aruba, Bahamas and Barbados. We should be all sorted out within a couple of weeks, and then I have to start on the details. Like a dress. Eek! The resorts hook you up with a wedding coordinator, so I really don't have to do too much, which is what I wanted. Simple and stress free. All I have to worry about is knitting something to go over my arms in the evening. *grin*

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April 14th, 2005 - Mmmm, So Warm

I got a package from missbedora last night, and inside was a great present from her adventures in Dryden

Aren't these great? They are handmade sheepskin slippers. They are so soft inside, and VERY warm. These are going to get a lot of use - thanks Lady!

Not only that, but there was a cute little sheep inside too

He's a magnet, so he is already up on my fridge. So cute.

Last night was Stephanie's book launch at the Museum of Textiles, and it was awesome. Stephanie was a riot, as usual, despite the fact that she was so nervous. We all moved the SnB to the Rivoli at the end of the night, where we ate, drank, and passed around Megan's lovely baby, Penelope. If only I had remembered my camera. But Steph had hers, so check out her blog today.

While knitting at the Riv, I finished the fronts of my wrap

The scissors are shown for scale, to give you an idea of how ridiculously small these are. Thank you everyone for the advice yesterday. Especially Leslie, I needed that little bit of therapy. Thank you for bringing me to my senses! I am going to rip out the sash cast off and do a sewn cast off, and I am going to call Brenna at the store and have her put the ONLY remaining pink ball of this yarn on hold for me. I really hope that will be enough. If not, I will be on a mission to find more.

I also finally got my order from Elann last night (after almost 4 weeks, which is weird). It is the most hidious colour of pink - complete bubblegum. So I didn't even take a picture of it, it went right back in the box and will be going to the post office tonight. That is unless someone out there likes bubblegum pink. Takers?

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April 13th, 2005 -Forget Sleeve Island...

Sleeve island will be a piece of cake compared to sash island. This thing is over 10 feet long!

But it is done, so I am happy. Once again though, I need the advice of the blog world.

The first image is my cast on. Totally happy with how that looks. The second image is obviously my cast off. I just did a regular cast off following the rib pattern. Is there a different way that I can do this that will prevent it from flaring? It looks icky.

Also, I am concerned about yarn amounts. I have a little under 4 1/2 balls of yarn left to make the sleeves, two small front pieces, and the back. The sash took over 7 1/2 balls. Is there anyone out there that has made this that can allay my fears? (Laura? Janet?) Should I be buying an additional ball?

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April 12th, 2005 - Stashbusters

Well, there seems to be a few people interested in the Stashbusters group, so here you go!

The graphic will lead you to the Stashbusters page that I have created, where I have listed the guidelines and the people who are participating. I have a small button there too, but please make sure that you save it to your own server, and please link it back to the Stashbusters page.

I have put my three items that I will be knitting in my sidebar. April will obviously be the ballet wrap, May will be Freida, and June will be Clapotis.

If you are interested in joining, just leave a comment, or send me an email (dani warren at sympatico dot ca). I will try to make an update on how everyone is doing once a week. Good luck everyone!

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April 11th, 2005 - Three Feet to Go

Give or take a half a ball, I have kept up with my one ball a day goal for the ballet wrap

Would you believe I still have over three feet to go? Long would be an understatement. But I am enjoying knitting with the Merino et Soie so I can't really complain.

missbedora is home! Well, for a day or two anyway. We got to hang out for a few hours last night, so I have had my best friend fix for a while. Only 12 more days and she is finally home for good!

This weekend in the comments Wanda suggested that I start a knit along for my "one project a month" idea. I would be happy to do that if anyone is interested. I was thinking we could call it the "stash busters" and it would entail knitting (and completing!) one large item from your stash a month for three months (April, May and June). What do you think? I thought it would be a good way to clean out the stash before the summer months. Leave me a comment if you would be interested in joining.

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April 7th, 2005 - One Ball a Day, One Sweater a Month

I have set myself a challenge with the ballet wrap, just to keep it interesting. My goal is to knit at least one ball on the sweater a day, which would mean it should take me 12 days to finish all the pieces. So far I am doing well:

I have just started the first set of short rows on the sash. Sorry, the pictures aren't going to be very exciting until I get through this long piece.

In other knitting goals, I have also decided that I would like to knit one sweater a month, or as close to it as possible. I am not really doing this as a deadline or anything, but I like to have something to strive for. And I would like to work through all the sweater yarn I have in my stash. I usually average about this long for a sweater, so I don't think this is too unreasonable. Seem lofty?

On the Interweave front - still no magazine. And, I found out yesterday that my order from Elann was shipped back to BC, which is weird. When I found this out I cancelled the order, since it was going to be yarn for the ballet wrap, but I would still like to know why the heck it was shipped back. Very strange.

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April 5th, 2005 - I Broke Down

Yesterday I went in to Chapters and bought a copy of the Spring Interweave. Which of course means that my subscription will come today in the mail, but nonetheless I couldn't wait any longer.

And, like a common hussy, I have been distracted by a new, fancy project. I have left one sweater mid stitch (mid row even). I have tossed aside Princess De for the Ballet Wrap. The shame.

Please let me explain myself. I am planning on wearing this to a wedding that is on May 7th. That is just over one month. The sash for the wrap is something ridiculous like 10 feet long. It has to be sewn onto the body of the sweater. I am definitely going to need a month if I am going to get this done. I also have some kind of sick notion that I am going to play seamstress and made the black strapless dress that I would like to wear under the wrap. One month.

Princess De is not forgotten though. As soon as I finish the wrap, I will go right back to her. Unless of course I get sidetracked by my Artfibers yarn. Mmmmm, Artfibers. Must pet yarn. Hussy I tell you, common hussy.

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April 4th, 2005 - Uh, Yeah

So I have been pretty good lately about not buying much yarn, using what is in my stash, and generally not spending much money on my knitting. Yeah.

Let's just say I fell off the wagon. Clockwise from the top left corner (the first link is a close up shot of each):

1. Samba. I gave TJ a list of yarn that I thought I might like from Artfibers in San Francisco based on their website. Apparently their website is very out of date, as they don't even make two of the yarns that I had picked. But the lovely ladies at the shop told him that based on what I had picked, I would really like Samba. They were so right. This is a beautiful 80% Extrasoft wool, 20% Brazilian Silk blend that has a bit of a thick and thin quality to it. It is destined to become Freida.

2. Kyoto. This is the one yarn I picked from Artfibers that they still had. I can't believe this yarn. It is as if it is glowing. It is so incredibly shiny. I am not sure what this will be yet.

3. Fleece Artist Merino. I saw this one and couldn't resist the colours. It is going to be Clapotis.

4. Merino et Soie! Megan had this on for 30% off at Lettuce when I stopped in this weekend. What luck! And with my store credit it was almost free. This is the correct yarn for the ballet wrap from the latest Interweave (if my darn subscription ever comes!)

5. Phil Onde in purple and white. This is going to become a cardigan from the Spring 2004 Tendances. This was REALLY cheap at Romni.

6. One more ball of Linen Drape to go with my others so that I can make a top.

I also got Steph's book, which I will take a picture of once I get it signed. So yeah. A lot of purple and pink yarn. And I am going to ask if anyone has one more that I need. Is there anyone out there that has one more ball of the Phil Onde in Jacinthe colour, dye lot Z102? I would love you forever if I could buy it from you or trade for something.

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