October 30th, 2005 - The Gorge

Good friends of mine from work gave TJ and I a gift certificate for a night at the Elora Mill on the Elora Gorge as our wedding present. So we thought that we would use our night of relaxation as part of TJ's birthday gift.

What a beautiful place Elora is!

This was right outside of our cute little B&B room. We watched a jazz band, had some wine, hiked, walked, and generally relaxed. But you know what the best part was? Wellington Fibres.

How cute are these guys? Donna and Lorne welcomed me right onto their home and farm. Donna has been raising goats for many years, and sells her mohair based yarn and fibres in her own home and in shows such as the KW fair. Donna also has the neatest basement I have seen in a long time.

This was one side, and the other was filled with great one of a kind dyeing equipment and drying fibres. I had NO idea that goat fibre (mohair) was so soft when it was natural. I got some great lessons on the difference between fibres, how Donna got into her business and her love of fibre. We had a great chat and I was very impressed on how knowledgeable Donna was!

Now, see those pretty little brown and purple skeins above on the right?

Some chocolate/purple mohair and wool mix for a singlet and

some shimmery super soft mohair that will also become a singlet (more details on that tomorrow). I will definitely be buying a lot more fibre from Donna in the future, especially as she begins to spin her own mohair on site.

I mean c'mon, how could you not love this face?

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October 28th, 2005 - Tagged

First off, thanks to everyone that wished TJ a happy birthday yesterday. I truly think his favourite gift of the day was the blog post (which really surprised me). So thanks everybody!

Laura tagged me with a meme yesterday, and while I don't normally do these, this one is actually about knitting so I will.

What is your all-time favourite yarn to knit with?
This is a toss up between Rowan Calmer (for the bolero), and Artfibers Samba (the pink yarn I made Frieda out of).

Your favourite needles?
I have to agree with Laura on this one, Denise all the way. When I learned how to knit they were the first thing I bought, so I never ever knit on straights.

The worst thing you’ve ever knit?
Oh god. The poncho. Please, stop the inhumanity, I try not to think about it.

Your most favourite knit pattern? (maybe you don’t like wearing it…but it was the most fun to knit?
I think I would have to go with the ballet wrap for that. I do actually wear it, and it get comments on it's construction all the time

Most valuable knitting technique?
This one is a toss up between the crochet method of sewing up and cabling without a needle.

Best knit book or magazine?
Interweave Knits for a magazine, and book would probably be Barbara Walker's treasuries.

Your favourite knit-a-long?
The only one that I ever did was the Klaralund along, and I didn't really enjoy that. I haven't done any since (I like to knit at my own pace).

Your favourite knitblogs?
I read about 30 blogs, so I would say that they are my favourites. I really like to read the blogs of the people I know personally. missbedora's used to be my favourite, but she doesn't post much anymore (nudge nudge).

Your favourite knitwear designer?
I think I have to go with Kim Hargreaves or Debbie Bliss. For a designer that doesn't have patterns, Delphine Wilson.

The knit item you wear the most? (how about a picture of it!)
Frieda. Hands down.

Tag time!
Anyone who likes this, please feel free.

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October 27th, 2005 - The Boy's B-Day

It is my boy's champagne birthday today! I am so luck to have him as my husband that I plan on spoiling him completely rotten. He deserves every minute of it, and here is why:

1. He has a good sense of humour. He loves to tease me, which is good because it keeps me from getting too serious.

2. He is always looking out for me. Doesn't matter what it is, he will try to fix every problem for me. Sometimes I act as if I am annoyed by this, but I know that it shows how much he cares about me.

3. He thinks I am gorgeous. A girl has got to have that. :)

4. He is good with his career. He has done more in three years then some people do in a lifetime, all through hard work and dedication. Including the fact that he only got two hours of sleep the other night because he was working (this is a big reason why he deserves spoiling)

5. He is honest, and that reflects both with the friends he has kept since childhood and that I will ask him anything knowing I will get a true response.

6. He asks me to talk. Most people ask me to shut up. He frequently says "Talk to me". Doesn't care what the subject is, he just wants to hear my voice.

7. He never complains about my knitting (or other crafts). He will smile when I walk in the door with another bag of yarn and not say a word, he will drive all over the country with me on what he calls the "yarn treks", and lets me knit in public with him.

8. He is amazing in the kitchen. Can whip up a dinner and dessert with ease (this is a good thing, because without this we would go hungry most nights. Not because I can't cook, but because I am lazy.)

9. He is a handy man. Some might think that is is a given with men, but it really isn't. If the car is making weird noises, he can fix it. If the computer putzes out, he can fix it. If I need an oak cd case made to look like a library catalogue with inlaid panels and brass fixtures? He can make it. (as well as bookcases).

10. He loves me totally unconditionally. I can be in the nastiest mood, wearing my paint covered joggers, snapping at everything anyone says and huddling in the corner, and he still wants to be around me. This is the best thing about him

So Happy Birthday T, I hope I can show you how happy you make me.

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October 24th, 2005 - I Promised

Well, I promised that I would get started on the front of Princess De this weekend

And happily, I did indeed get started. I am quite pleased with how the cables are turning out so far, but the tough part is going to be once I get past the empire waist ribbing, and am going to improvise some random cables on the chest. I have NO idea how to do that, but I am going to wing it and hope that something works out. There may be some ripping and re-doing once I get to that point. Patience is unfortunately not one of my virtues.

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October 23rd, 2005 - A Quickie

This weekend I decided to try out my ideas on how the Morehouse Melody shawl (I looked on the Morehouse site again and couldn't find just the pattern) on some leftover Silk Garden that I had from Klaralund

First I cast on about 160 stitches. About halfway through the first round I twisted a stitch, then knit 16 stitches, then twisted another stitch. I did this for about 15 rounds.

Then I cast off all the stitches except for the 16 between the two twisted stitches

Then, I dropped all 16 stitches

Drop

Drop

Drop!

Once all 16 of the stitches were dropped, I cut the cast off row first, because it was shorter. Then, chop chop!

And Tada!

The photographer is still working on getting the whole FO in the shot

Neat huh? I am going to line the back of it with a nice fabric to keep it lying flat. But at least I know that it works! Fleece Artist Merino, here I come!

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October 21st, 2005 - Here They Are Mom

Thanks everyone for the suggestions and help setting up the new stashbusters blog. if you need instructions on how to join, please check here.

While I know I had promised to start working on Princess De again, I haven't had the time to get down to it. I need some thinking time to work out how to do the cable. So instead I started working on my Mom's mother's day socks

I am using Lorna's Laces, which was gifted to my Mom back in May. I love how the little stripes are working out, and I have to admit that I am going to have a hard time giving these ones up. As we start to get into icky cold weather around here, these remind me of spring (anything helps).

I promise Monday that there will be pictures of an in progress front of Princess De!

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October 20th, 2005 - New Blog

Ok, well everyone seemed to think that it was a good idea to start a new blog for the stashbusters, so here it is!

http://stashbustersblog.blogspot.com/

I am going to try to email everyone on the list with the password and login, but if I miss you, send me a quick email. I don't know a lot about bloglines, so my hope is that there is someone in the group that knows how to add the large stashbusters picture to the top header. If you know how to do this, email me and I will send you the file. I will work on it over the next couple days and see if I can add some things to it as well.

Just wanted to let everyone know that it was not the amount of work that gave me the idea to start another blog, I just felt that not everyone was getting all the attention that they deserved. With our own Stashbusters blog, you can add pictures and your own words to make it a lot more interesting to others. (And then I will not make typos that make it look like Samantha is knitting up MY stash).

We will try it this way for a little while, and if it doesn't work, we can go back to the old way. Sound good?

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October 19th, 2005 - SBS

I have posted a new update on the Stashbusters page. What would everyone think if I set up a blogspot blog, so that everyone could post their own updates? Would this be worthwhile? Or would everyone rather email me when they have a new update?

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October 18th, 2005 - Project Recap

This weekend we had the last wedding party at TJ's mom's place. She did any absolutely incredible job of turning the basement into a tropical island, complete with fish, palm trees, and grass skirted tables. I didn't have my camera with me, but when others send me their pics, I will be sure to post so that you can all see what a great job she did.

While we were at the party, we received many too many gifts (it was supposed to be best wishes only!). One of the gifts we received was this

A beautiful hand knitted afghan. My first adult hand knitted item (that I didn't knit of course). It has a very pretty fan pattern on it, and I can see that we are going to use it for many many years

I am not sure at this point who made it, but I think that it was from a local craft show. Such a thoughtful gift, thank you Ann!

I thought since I have some new readers, that I should do a little Princess De recap so everyone knows where I am at and where I am heading. I also thought this would help me to get going on it again. A long time back I saw a picture of this sweater by Delphine Wilson

So I promptly got started on designing my own version on it, sans nipples

Here you see the back and the two sleeves.

I will shortly be starting the front piece, which is the most difficult piece as I need to design the cabling. Once the front piece is done, I will pick up all the stitches around all four pieces, and knit the ribbed band. My plan is to do short row shoulders, and then knit another vertical ribbed band on each side. This is all in theory and may require quite a bit of knitting and frogging, but somehow I will make it work.

I haven't forgotten about all you Stashbusters out there, I am working on another idea for a blog, and I will get back to you all soon.

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October 13th, 2005 - Pinky Toes

All done!

Aren't I artistic?

A much better colour shot

I am happy with my second pair of socks, because I learned the short row heel. I will be using this heel from now on rather then the heel flap. It seems to me to be easier when you are using the magic loop.

BTW, for those that asked, this is Koigu KPPPM, and it is a pleasure to knit with for sure.

Up next....Princess De!

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October 12th, 2005 - Inspiration

After seeing Alison's new Morehouse Merino shawl, and then Theresa's start this morning, I have decided that the Fleece Artist merino that I had intended to make a Clapotis with is going to become a cool steeked shawl instead. This has the added bonus of meaning I can knock one UFO off my list. That is truly stashbusting at it's most creative.

It doesn't seem as though you can buy the pattern on it's own, so I am just going to make something up. I think I have the right idea in my head anyway. Cast on a whole bunch of stitches, two of which are twisted by knitting into the back, with a few stitches (15 or 16?) between them. Knit in a big tube, and then drop the 15 or 16 stitches in the middle, and cut the steeks for the fringe.

Either this will work, or I am going to end up with a big mess of wasted yarn. Does anyone else think this would work, or am I nuts? Hmmm...maybe a trial would be a good idea.....

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October 11th, 2005 - Long Weekend

This weekend was Thanksgiving up here, so I did manage to get a fair bit done. On Saturday I went yarn shopping and picked up some hand spun at Lettuce Knit that Megan had spun

Yeah, ok, so I already knit it into a scarf. I didn't want it to turn into stash. Here is a close up of the great artistic slub texture

Tough to knit, because it was so thick in places, but it made a neat, tiny scarf.

I also bought the Snap Cardigan pattern, which I am going to use my brown cascade 220 for. My plan is to knit that in November.

But most of my knitting this weekend was spent on my loverly KPPPM socks, and I am just about to the heel of the second sock. I have decided that sock knitting is perfect for hockey watching. And since my Leafs played (and lost) twice this weekend, it gave me a chance to get a lot finished. Pictures tomorrow!

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October 6th, 2005 - It Feets!

Thanks everyone for the great comments on my bolero. I wore it to work again yesterday and I can honestly say I love it.

Last night while I was waiting for belly dancing to start, I turned my first short row heel!

It feets! hee hee

I used the instructions from "Simple Socks, Plain and Fancy". It was really was simple and I have only ended up with one small hole on each side. I can live with this. I will try to avoid it on the next one though. My main reason for doing a short row was to see if I could do it, because I am planning on using it for my Princess Di shoulder shaping. (I am actually starting to look forward to working on her again, but socks first). I also seem to have forgotten how fast socks go. And how easy they are to carry around. Perhaps more socks in my future?

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October 5th, 2005 - Finally

I had wanted to post these before now, but I was away all weekend and then my photographer has worked late the last two nights. I finally just set up the tripod this morning

My best model-esque pose

Excuse the sleepy look on my face, it is 6:30 am

Broad shouldered girl!

The whole garment, but especially the back was a longer then it was supposed to be because my row gauge was off. But it has worked out to my advantage as it hits just at the right spot above my waist. Or at least I think so. I wore this to work on Friday and felt comfy and yummy all day.

So the deets:

Pattern: Iris from Rowan 35

Yarn: 5 balls of Calmer in Powder Puff

Time to knit: 15 days

Changes: None, except that it turned out longer

Now that I own one, I would definitely like to knit another bolero (or is this a shrug? I really don't know the difference). The Calmer is so very soft and stretchy, that this one is definitely on the list for another project someday. I think I will wear it to work again today!

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