Movin’ on up?

So, I don’t think I am going to get my final TFA KAL project done by the Jan 31st, mostly because I am about 10 grams into a 115 gram ball of Red Label and true lace (as in patterning on every row) is not exactly the quickest stuff to finish.

Nothing like a Traveller travelling.

I would have had a fighting chance of finishing if I hadn’t moved this weekend.  Why yes, I have moved again.  The house I have been staying at since September sold back in early December but the closing date isn’t until Feb 10, so I got to spend the the holidays and January (which is an evil, devilish month, at least for 2012 it has been) in the house.

So I am back with my parents, hopefully not for long as I am already missing the privacy of living alone, however, having good meals prepared is pretty awesome!  I no longer have an office, but rather my desk is at the end of the hall, I miss my office but hopefully I will get more spinning done now that I have a spinning corner in my room.

My furry, sweet, drooly, purring kitty, looking so terribly classy.

MommaCat, who I have been caring for since I moved into my old place, is spending this last night alone and tomorrow will be headed for her new digs.  I will miss her, but she wasn’t really my cat, I was just her nanny for a while, and I won’t miss cleaning her litter box.

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A Year of Socks?

My first pair of socks for the year, and my adorable cat who was very curious about the fact that those socks didn't have her fur on them yet.

So, when I was setting my goals for 2012, one thing I wanted to accomplish was to set myself an unreasonable goal and really try to hit it.   My recent discovery that I love knitting socks and my bucket full of sock yarns gave me the idea that I might want to do 12 pairs of socks in 2012.

I know many people set out the patterns they want to do by month and I have started doing that, however I am not “declaring” my patterns and my yarns, as I have changed the order and pairings pretty well every day since I decided to do this.  However, I will say that my Pomotomus Socks that I am making for the TFA2012KAL (and if you notice I have changed the pattern since setting out those goals less than a month ago) are my January Socks.

You will be able to keep track of my socks, as I will be tagging them so you can find them in the top bar.

I think I have selected my February Socks as well, they are likely going to be the Hermione’s Everyday Socks made out of Fleece Artist Trail Socks in Sugar Plum.  These textured socks don’t have too much to get lost under the dark multi yarn.

Socks for House Elves?

No wait, I want to make Staked by Glenna C, using the November Cranberry colorway from the TFA 2011 Year in Colour Club.

Red is a good color for vampire slayer inspired socks

Oh no, I started a pair of vanilla socks in KnitPicks Felici Sport back in December, I should probably finish those first.

Stripey Socks are Extra fun

Decisions, decisions!

FO: Shadow Buttons Cowl

While both my sister and I are knitters, rarely do our queued projects. However, we both fell in love with the Buttons Cowl by Tanis Lavallee (yes the Tanis of TFA) and thanks to having very different aesthtics we came out with very different looking cowls.  I don’t think she has managed to get any pictures of her’s yet, but it is a fantastic pink (Royal Flush) with black leather-y buttons, and totally full of win!

While her’s is full of energy and drama, mine is more calm and serene.  Shadow is an amazing color, and looks beautiful with all the activity (cables and bobbles) in the pattern.

I do have to give a shout out to my mom, who put the buttons on the cowl for me.  I am not much of a seamstress (which to me is a different skill than just sewing) and when I asked for the tools to put the buttons on she offered to do it for me, and I was happy to accept.

– Details –

Project Name: Shadow Buttons Cowl

Pattern: Buttons Cowl by Tanis Lavallee for Tanis Fiber Arts

Recipient: Me

Yarn: TFA Green Label in Shadow

Modifications:  None – done as is, and I even used the yarn the pattern called for, which may be a first!

New Skills:

  • Button Holes – Technically I have done buttonholes before, but it has been a while and I think I have a better hang of it this time.
  • Bobbles – While I have done nupps a few times now this is my first time with bobbles.  I must say the extra row of stitches (and the fact you aren’t doing p7tog) make bobbles more fun than nupps.

Feedback:

  • Yarn: As I said with the earband, Tanis has amazing colors, but the Green Label isn’t my favorite, it is just a bit too twisty and hard, but those attributes made it the right yarn for this pattern.
  • Pattern:  A great finished product but I did find the pattern a touch confusing, my interpretation T2L/T2R twisted stitch resulted in some trouble until I found a Knitting Daily link.  Also the explanation of the button location seemed needlessly complex.  I think just a bit of tech editing would make a world of difference as of the three members of the guild who have made it this month, all three of us had troubles on the T2L/T2R stitches and two of us has some troubles on the buttonhole placement.

Re-Knit?: Nope, too many cowls not enough time!  But I would recommend it to others as a great single skein project.

FO: Dad’s New Year Earwarmer

So on Christmas morning, upon opening his matching hat/mitts set made by my sister and me, my Dad gave the appropriate amount of thanks and then mentioned that he would really appreciate an earband.  With the amount of yarn, TFA Green Label, remaning, the recent release of the Tabata earband pattern by Anne Hanson of knitspot, and the TFA January KAL starting on January 1st it was like a perfect storm of yarn, pattern and inspiration.

I managed to get this headband started and finished on January 1st, making it the first FO of the KAL (as far as I know). While it was a nice quick knit, it took me two weeks of procrastinating to get it blocked and gifted

– Details –

Project Name:  Dad’s New Year Earwarmer

Pattern: Tabata by Anne Hanson of Knitspot

Recipient: Dad

Yarn: Tanis Fiber Arts Green Label in Olive

Modifications:

  • Adjusted Gauge for heavier wool and a denser headband.

New Skills:

  • Making an ear band … other wise nothing really.

Feedback:

  • Yarn – As always Tanis has beautiful color, personally I find the Green Label a bit too tightly plyed, and sproing-y, for my taste, but it makes beautiful cables.  It certainly has it uses and it worked well in this pattern.
  • Pattern – This was my first time getting all the way through an Anne Hanson pattern, I frogged two different lace scarves by her quite a while back (that was knitter failure not pattern failure).  What she lacks in graphic design she makes up for in tech-editing (which is superb).  Although the sheer extent of the size range can make  the pattern a bit tough to make sure you reading the right number.

Re-Knit?: Maybe.  It is an attractive, quick pattern that makes a very functional item. I might be tempted to use the shape and switch out the texture pattern to make it more interesting on a re-knit.

Where does the time go?

Wow, how on earth did it get to be the 19th of January?  I have been somewhat lax in keeping y’all updated on my fibery doings.  That is not to say I haven’t been up to all sorts of crazy things.  We are now more than halfway through the Tanis Fiber Arts KAL, and I have finished up two of my items and have two more on the go.  However, neither of these were the items I planned prior to Jan 1st.

This was supposed to be my WIP Wednesday shot, yesterday

The socks, still made out of Aquarium, aren’t the Aquarium pattern any more, but rather the Pomatomus pattern by Cookie A from Knitty and instead of making Itasca out of Blue Label in Frost, a beautiful pattern that I don’t think I would really wear that often, I’m saving it for a pair of Cookie A club socks that won’t be released until October. Instead I’m started the Imogen Cowl from the luscious TFA  Red Label in Brick that was a birthday gift from my sister.

I have two FOs from the KAL and I will be doing FO pages at some point (hopefully soon), but if you want to see other finished items from the KAL check out THIS POST over on Tanis’ blog which has so many pretties.

My second finished item for the TFA KAL. Nothing like getting the knitting year started off with so many FOs

I managed to get this done on the first day of the KAL, nothing like a WIP that only lasts one day!

Oh and not only have I been knitting, I am also now “qualified” on a serger. I helped out my sister Carla get the last few baby quilts done so she could open her new Etsy Shop with lots of stock.

Why, yes, that is a whole lot of quilts!

By the end of the weekend I had serged the edges of many of the minky-backed quilts and had some plans to start doing some quilting myself.  I’m getting the materials to make a pieced Moda layer-cake quilt and matching materials to make a cotton/minky adult security blanket.

It’s not as though I need more hobbies (or materials to stash), but quilting is an activity that I would like to be able to do, even if I don’t make it my life’s work.

On TFA and KAL

Top L to Bottom R - Olive, Shadow, Aquarium and Frost

So way back on December 1st (hey, it feels like a long time ago) Julie (knittedblissJC) announced a knitalong (henceforth known as a KAL) starting on January 1st using Tanis Fiber Arts yarns.  I have stashed away a year’s worth of the Year in Colour club and a skein of Green Label in Shadow I picked up at Stix and Stones in North Bay and the leftovers from the mittens I made my Dad for Christmas.  I also have some Red Label that Carla got me for my birthday, but I am saving that till after the KAL so I can savor the experience.

So, starting yesterday morning I will be working on nothing but projects in TFA yarns till the Feb 1 cast off deadline. They are as follows …

  1. Tabata Ear Band by Anne Hanson of Knitspot in the leftover Green Label Olive for my Dad
  2. Buttons Cowl by Tanis Lavalle of Tanis Fiber Arts in the Green Label Shadow
  3. Itasca Shawl by Tanis Gray for the Year in Colour Club in Blue Label Frost (the club yarn)
  4. Aquarium Socks by Patti Waters for the Year in Colour Club in Blue Label Aquarium (the club yarn)

I have no idea if I will get this all done, but the two green label projects are quickies and all of them will fit in my purse so there is hope!

On 2012 and Looking Forward

A beautiful start to a beautiful year.

So as you know by now, I set myself some goals last year and I think it would be fun to do it again this year. Last year I set personal goals as well, and those still stand, I don’t feel the need to add new ones, but I do have some new fibery goals.

In 2012, I will: 

 – Spinning –

  • Participate in the Tour de Fleece in July
  • Spin a truly woolen-spun yarn
  • Spin a useable sock yarn
  • Spin a 2-ply laceweight of at least 800 yds from 100g of fluff
  • Spin at least 3lbs of fluff
  • Tailspin some locks
  • Spin hand carded fleece

– Knitting –

  • Knit 12 pairs of socks during the year – I have all the yarn in my stash
  • Finish one large shawl/stole, more than 1000yds of laceweight
  • Design a pattern that is appropriate for submission to an online knitting magazine
  • Participate in at least one Knitalong
  • Knit more than 10 miles of yarn

– Crochet –

  • Start a sock-yarn Babette Blanket from my scraps
  • Crochet a shaped item (mittens, hats, shrug, etc)

– Fiber/Yarn –

  • Take undyed fluff and turn it into a finished object, which will included dyeing, spinning and knitting.
  • Process some raw fleece, preferably from a local producer.
  • Knit down my stash

So, that is what I think I want my 2012 to look like fiberwise, although if 2012 is as exciting as both 2010 and 2011, who knows what my life will be like on December 30th (on goal check in day).

Enjoy the new year, I’m off to work on my TFA Knitalong knitting that started today, I will tell you all about it tomorrow.