Previously on …

So I’ve been having a wild and crazy month, and after enjoying/squandering my day watching the new Arrested Development I feel the need to do a bit of a recap on my life for you folks.

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L to R: Sudden Valley, Rita, Hey Brother, Caged Wisdom

So after learning about Nancy passing away I went on a bit of a yarn binge and bought a whole bunch of the Arrested Development themed sock yarn from Cakewalk Yarns.  She was having a sale and I was having a rough day and I ended up placing an order.

I also placed an order with Tanis (of Tanis Fiber Arts) and got more yarn. And the May club shipment showed up as well, but Carla and I did a swap so that each of us could make a large shawl out of the club skeins.

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But I did finish a pair of socks, this pair is from the TFA Year in Colour Club shipment.  The color and the pattern were named Patina.  The color is exclusive to the club but the pattern will go on sale sometime next year.

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Meet my new wheel, Claudia. She is named for Lady Bird Johnson, who was actually named Claudia and founded the Wildflower Center in Austin where I worked and does amazing work. She was a neat lady and it seemed a good a name as any.

I also have a new addition to the family.  I had a Monday off a couple of weeks ago and I made the drive to Gemini Fibres to try out different wheels and figure out which one I wanted.  Instead of waiting, I decided to take home my new wheel, a Schacht Ladybug.  I strongly considered the Lendrum Double Treadle wheel, but the Ladybug really was the best fit.

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We are already making beautiful yarn together.

 

I’ve also cast on for a new pair of socks, but my knitting mojo is totally bleh right now.  Which is very unfortunate because I have some serious knitting to get done.

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I’m looking forward to knitting and wearing these socks, the pattern is Harvest Dew by Rose Hiver and the yarn is Muskoka Sunset from Blueberry Pie Studio.

On top of that knitting I have a wedding shawl to knit for my sister and a shawl for me to wear at her wedding.  I had cast on several weeks ago with the beautiful gold yarn she had ordered from Sweet Georgia Yarns, but I couldn’t make myself knit it.  However, my reticence was a good thing, because after some serious wedding planning with Carla and our mom last weekend we realized that it would be better for me to knit a pi shawl out of a cream colored yarn to be used as a veil rather than a shawl. The pattern I’m using is Heliotaxis Pi Shawl by Renata Brenner and the yarn is an undyed silk from Handmaiden Yarns that Carla bought on her trip down east last summer. I ordered a second skein so that it will be a full sized pi that can be used for future big events, like babies.

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Another big thing going on is that I’m now a proud owner of two boat shuttles, because I’m borrowing one of the Trillium Handspinners and Weavers Guild Dorothy table looms for a workshop with Jette Vandermeiden in June.  The guild had the  loom but not shuttles, but now I’m worried I’m going to enjoy multi-shaft weaving a bit too much and want a table or floor loom.  Also, the guild has a brand spanking new website, www.trilliumguild.com, which I created.  It’s still a work in progress, but this is a big step forward.

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The biggest thing going on, and a likely cause for my lack of crafting mojo, is that I’m moving on June 1st.  I found an apartment in Downtown Bracebridge, within walking distance of work with a balcony that faces the Muskoka River.  I’m currently in the process of packing all my things and getting ready to go.  But living in the mess I’ve created is really impacting my mental health.  The new spot is amazing.  It doesn’t have nearly as fancy floors but it has closets and cupboards that close and I can store my yarn in a far more useful and attractive way. I can’t wait to get moved into my new place and get my life back to normal again.

So, today was a great day of packing, Arrested Development and an impromptu visit from Carla and Jim (which included lunch at the Old Station, a peek at my new office and a trip to the Muskoka Brewery’s new location). I’m hoping this week goes quickly because I wanna get moved and get out of the mess I’ve made for myself in my apartment.

 

 

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Two weeks, three pairs

After not finishing a pair of socks for me since last August (during the Ravellenic Games) I finished up two pairs of socks for me and a pair for my sister Carla.

I love making socks, but it took a little kick in the pants to finally get back into the swing of things. I find them the perfect project.  They are small projects (meaning they are quick to finish when I actually work on them), but they can be intricately detailed (but they are knit in the round so all knits), and they eventually wear out which means you can keep making more.  I’m finding I’m reaching critical mass of scarves, shawls and stoles, they spend far too much time in a chest by the door and I forget to wear them.

So I’ve already cast on for my next two pairs, because I really need to alway have a pair on the go.

My latest pair of socks, Patina Socks from the Tanis Fiber Arts Year in Colour Club.

My latest pair of socks, Patina Socks from the Tanis Fiber Arts Year in Colour Club.

Just Another Saturday

Eggs, spinach, tea, socks and Instagram, breakfast of champions.

This week has been a big one for me, I’ve been working on my first real attempt to lose weight and increase my fitness/health level in many years.  However, that has meant I haven’t had a whole lot of time for fiber crafting this week. Today, however I decided to make knitting (and getting caught up on my dishes) the priority today.

I’ve had the Felici Sport socks that you see in the top photo on the needle since the beginning of October and they are starting to annoy me.  By lunchtime I had turned both short-row heels and now I’m working my way up the legs. I’m hoping to have them done before the end of the weekend.

I’m really quite excited to get these socks done.  Mostly because I want to wear them, but also because there is no way I’m going to make my goal of 15 pairs of socks this year if I don’t finish a pair soon.  I haven’t finished a pair yet this year, and working on the pair today I’m wondering why.  I LOVE knitting socks, I get real satisfaction from knitting socks and living in Ontario there is rarely a time when you can’t wear socks (even in July and August you might need to wear socks to bed).  Also, they wear out and get lost, which means that you can keep making them forever (and even if you have too many of them, they really don’t take up much space in your drawer).

So, overall it’s been a delightful Saturday and I still have a few more hours of knitting, and watching old episodes of Psych, ahead of me yet.

FO: Sleep Tech Dressy

Sleep Tech 2

I had been holding this post back in hopes of getting better pictures of the socks, but now I’m back in Bracebridge and the socks have already been worn several times, so we go forward with the pictures I was able to take in my dark apartment.

For me knitting fits well into the old adage “if I like you, I’ll do it for free and if I don’t, not for all the money in the world”.  So giving Jim, Carla’s boyfriend of about 6ish months, a pair of socks for Christmas shows that I’m happy he is dating my sister.

This was another project I completed during the November TFA KAL along with the Winter Bloom and Moonset shawls. And these make 13th pair of socks for the year, which is quite impressive if I say so myself.

Christmas Miracle Yarn

Now, these socks were half of a “Gift of the Magi” like scenario.  I gave these socks to Jim made from an exclusive OOAK Tanis club color way and Jim got me a skein of TFA Blue Label in Cranberry.  If you are a TFA fan and wondering why you aren’t familiar with Cranberry, thats because it was the November 2011 club skein.  I used it this spring to make Staked, however, after many months I had to admit I had made them way too small and gave them to Carla.

Staked Socks

 But I loved the skein and wished I could get another, but I know they are few and far between and I didn’t want to make the effort to hunt down a skein.  However, Jim (and Carla by proxy) was able to get a skein from Tanis.  I’m not sure where she conjured it up from, but she helped make for a very special Christmas surprise for me.

I know Jim likes his socks and I hope that it is the first of many pairs I make for him, as he seems to be a really great guy and he seems to make my sister happy, which in turn makes me happy.

– Details –

Project Name: Sleep Tech Dressy

Pattern: Business Casual Socks by Tanis Lavallee

Recipient: Jim

Yarn: TFA Blue Label in Truffle (January 2012 Year in Colour Club)

Modifications:

  • One less leg repeat, which is good because I would have run out of yarn

New Skills:

  • None, I’m really starting to get a handle on sock knitting

Feedback:

  • Yarn – Blue Label is fast becoming my favorite sock yarn, and was perfect for this pattern and recipient.
  • Pattern – Clean and simple.  I am getting to a point with socks where I use the designers pattern as a jumping off point that I can tinker with to make them fit well.

Re-Knit?: Just maybe, because the choices for man socks are few and far between and this is a nice pair.

FO: Quiltatomus Socks

Pomatomus Socks

So back in the spring I acquired some fabric, with the noble intetion of learning to quilt, however as time passed (and I got my loom) it came clear that I was probably not going to quilt it.  Carla on the other hand had bought some sock yarn for socks and she was also convinced she was never going to actually make socks.  So, we swapped, I gave her two quilts worth of fabric and she gave me two skeins of sock yarns and we set deadlines, the simple quilt and these socks in October and the second set for Christmas. We made the first deadline but holiday commitments have us from finishing the other.

This pair also was a milestone, it was my 12th pair of socks for the year, meeting my Year of Socks goal for 2012.

– Details –

Project Name: Quiltatomus

Pattern: Pomatomus by Cookie A in Knitty, Winter 2005.

Recipient: Carla

Yarn: Sweet Georgia Yarns in Tough Love Sock in Big Blue Wave (an exclusive club colorway)

Modifications: Shortened the leg by a repeat, similar to the pair I made in January.

New Skills: Nope, but I do love this pattern.

Feedback: I like the stitch pattern, and Tough Love Sock is a great sock yarn.

Re-Knit?: Nope, twice is my limit, but I have a pair of mitts in my queue that utilizes the stitch pattern from these socks, which is really quite fun to knit.

I love socks, socky, socks, socks

Much like Ron Burgundy, I feel strongly about scotch, I mean socks.

Here at the end of October, I have made 12 pairs of socks already this year, the goal I set for myself back in January.

Now, I’m not one to give up when I’m ahead, so I’m going to keep going with the sock knitting pace I have set so I’m planning to make at least 3 more pairs (two patterned, one plain) before the end of the year.

So, the Ravellenics were fun

I’m so far behind on my blogging at this point, it took me a week to blog about the Fling and here I am, two weeks late on the Ravellenics, without good FO pics.

So I met my main Ravellenic objective, knitting two pairs of socks in two weeks.

They were the only things I knit for two weeks, and I worked on them solidly, but I FINISHED THEM IN TWO WEEKS!

For those keeping score at home, that means they are pairs 8 and 9 for 2012. And I’m on track to finish pair 10 in August.

WIP Wednesday: August 1st

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Okay, I’m trying out my iPhone WordPress app to post this today, apologies for any oddities.

So I’m flying along on my Ravellenic socks. I’m really liking Kim’s merino nylon sock base and the colors are just great.

My goal is to have both pairs done by the closing ceremonies of the London Olympics and with a lazy 4 day weekend coming up, I’m right on track to meet that challenge.