August 23, 2009

resistance was futile

I have several biggish projects going right now. 3 sweaters. Plus a vest my poor son has been waiting for months for. I was going to get it done this weekend. I was. But I'm someone who can't work on only one thing, especially a big thing. My fingers get itchy for the instant gratification of a small project.

And I had this incredible yarn sitting in my cupboard, which I got from Melissa a few weeks ago. I had told myself I would hold off using it until other stuff got done. But I couldn't stop thinking about it. It's gorgeous. So I caved yesterday afternoon and made these.

Abby at Folktale Fibers spun this. It is made up of separately dyed pure shots of colour which are spun into singles and then plied (2) together so every 2' or so is a new and unique colour combo which is constantly entertaining and lovely. In my haste I neglected to take a photo of the skein, so I took a quick one of the other half of it after doing the first mitt.

Is it weird to be in love with a yarn? I don't care.

August 15, 2009

fair isle cardigan

Pattern: Fair Isle Cardigan (Rav. link) by Debbie Bliss in Family Knits
Size: 4-5 yrs.
Yarn: Knitpicks Shine Sport

This was a LOT of work, but I'm really happy with this, my first fair isle sweater. It calls for wool, but this cotton/modal yarn works very well. It's really soft and drapey. I had so much fun making this (despite days and days spent weaving in ends) I would make it again in wool if not for the fact this is the max. size and I don't feel like sizing it up (she keeps getting bigger). Maybe I'll try a steeked version one day and size it up at the same time.

August 10, 2009

camping socks

These I also knit mostly while camping. The yarn is from Crown Mountain Farms in the Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds color. Totally fabulous. And free! Each skein is 200 yds and I had 2 skeins, so I started at the toes and worked up so I could stop when I ran out. This got me almost to my knees, which is great cause I've wanted high socks for awhile now. These are squooshy and warm and I love how one goes from lighter to darker going up and the other going down.

My only wish is that I had made these in time to actually wear them while tenting in the mountains. It can get pretty chilly at night there.

August 9, 2009

strawberries and kiwi

I have been spinning like a fiend since being reunited with my beloved wheel. Here's one example. It's the 4oz. of superwash Corriedale I dyed a few months ago. I have been struggling with the whole learning curve of spinning in general and in making a sock yarn that pleases me, in particular. I have generally been too tight. Receiving and subsequently studying the handspun sockyarn from Crown Mountain Farms recently helped some (I just finished socks! More later).

Maybe it's cause I'm on vacation but I managed to loosen up and spin a better, if not perfect, yarn. It's just a 2-ply (like CMF's) but it's consistent and I got 387 yards. My only complaint is I can't get quite the "sproinginess" I would like, although it's not bad. Actually, I was reading up last night and realized for a worsted I should have more twist in the singles and less in the plying, so I may have been a wee bit too relaxed on the singles. I have to find the sweet spot.

August 6, 2009

camping shirt

Pattern: Raglan Leaf T-Shirt by Melissa LaBarre
Yarn: Sublime Soya Cotton DK

Technically, there was no wearing of this whilst camping, only knitting of it, but it was a great on-the-road project. Getting wonderful loot from awesome Melissa reminded me that I had wanted to make this top for awhile now. I totally LOVE it. I love anything involving leaves, no seams, and top-down. This yarn is great, too. Bought from Mona at Wolseley Wardrobe.

My spinning wheel has been very distracting since I got home (more on this later), but I sat on my porch today and finished this up because I was dying to wear it. Go! Make one, too!

August 4, 2009

...jiggity jig

Whew. Home again. We did lots of stuff and went to many places, some of which we will return to now that we know what they're all about. If you're ever in central/western Canada, the Yellowhead and Trans Canada highways form a convenient loop that takes you from prairie flatlands to mountains and everything in between. Very cool.

So I was really hoping to have finished and taken pics of my knitting projects while on my trip, but I haven't had time to finish things yet, so here are some dinosaur country pics instead. Drumheller, Alberta. They have the world's tallest dinosaur (apparently) (top). You climb to the top and look out his mouth. Pretty much just as fun from the ground and kinda expensive to climb inside.

Cool badlands topography (middle).

But what is really worth the pretty great price of admission is the Royal Tyrell Museum there (bottom photo - by daughter). It shows everything you ever wanted to know about archaeology, dinosaurs and the geological and evolutionary history of the planet. Lots of great bones. As well as some creepy (live) albino half fish / half salamander things in a fishtank I'm trying not to think about. Don't go on a holiday long weekend, though. It was packed.

I'm really tired. In a good way.

August 1, 2009

yah.mountains rock.

I'm not home yet and I'm only getting a wee bit edgy living out of a tent and backpack. It's been so worth it, though. The top photo is one of about 30 elk that periodically wandered through our campsite in Jasper. This (Jasper) is quite possibly the most beautiful place on earth. Not that I'm the most well-travelled person, but still. I know.

They have a funky, relaxed townsite with coffee bars and bike stores and even a great yarn store (Stychen Tyme). I have to say I had no expectations for it and it completely surprised me. I had to buy Elizabeth Zimmermann's Knitting Workshop there because knitting while camping reminds me of her, as she did it so much herself. Thoroughly enjoyable, of course. I plan on treating it as a master course and doing each project.

We also took a tram partway up a large mountain and then hiked the rest of the way to the top. No small feat with a 5 year old, but she's a trooper. These are the other photos. Had to build inukshuks at the top, for some reason. The first photo shows where the tram took us to, but I couldn't get a photo of the full rest of the trail. You get the idea. It was steep, OK? And the air was thin. I think we were about 2400 metres up.

Anyway, just checking in. Hope you're all doing well.