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.

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FO: Moonset

Mooncrest Shawl

On very rare occasions I see a pattern and actually make the effort to get the suggested yarn, this was one of those times.  I had the good fortune to test knit a pattern, Solaria Cowl, from The Stella Collection designed by Julie Crawford and Tanis Lavallee. Also, in that collection is the Suncrest shawl designed for TFA Red Label, a fantastic merino/cashmere/silk fingering/sport weight fingering.  When I was at the K-W Knitter’s Fair in September I had a chance to chat with Tanis and pick up a skein of Red Label in Dove, which is absolutely gorgeous.

Then in October, Julie announced on the Ravelry board about the November TFA KAL, it seemed like I should break my personal queue and knit it up.  And it was the right choice, it is a fantastic shawl and a beautiful yarn and so soft to wear.

– Details –

Project Name: Moonset 

Pattern: Suncrest Shawl by Tanis Lavallee

Recipient: ME!

Yarn: TFA Red Label in Dove

Modifications:

  • Somehow my body was narrower than called for so I did three extra lace repeats to max out the skein.

New Skills:

  • Not a whole lot, but this is the first time picking up just one of the loops on a shawl, it makes a really nice edge.

Feedback:

  • I love it when a pattern and yarn look as good together as the sample/pattern version 

Re-Knit?: Probably not, but I need to make others from The Stella Collection, and I’m looking forward to the 2013 TFA club as it will be one long Stella Collection as we will be getting different weight yarns and all the patterns will be designed by Tanis and Julie.

Why did no one wake me up when November ended?

So, someone asked me for the date and I realized that it was December 5th and I had managed to go a month without looking at my blog.  Woah, I just don’t know where that month went.  However, it was a good month, lots of knitting and cooking.

First off, I managed to get through all my KAL chaos projects, but not much else.

Winter Bloom Shawl

 

I finished my Winter Bloom shawl, in Tanis Fiber Arts’s Orange Label (worsted weight merino/cashmere/silk) in Frost.  Not only did I get a totally awesome, amazing shawl, but I also won 3 skeins of Sweet Fiber Yarn’s Haven yarn (a new merino/silk aran-weight single) in Spanish Coin a gorgeous gold color.

Also I finished my Mooncrest Shawl in Tanis Red Label, another great base and awesome pattern. I wore it today and got lots of compliments.

Mooncrest Shawl

 

Oh and I finished a third item for the Tanis KAL, but it is a gift and the recepient is just too web savvy for me to share the pictures up here.  I will, after they are gifted for Christmas.

Also, I cooked up a storm from the new Smitten Kitchen cookbook a few weeks ago making the Apple Cider Salted Caramels.

Smitten Kitchen Carmels

 

I need to make a few mods when I make them again for Christmas.

Also, I made a batch of what I’m calling Slow Cooker Apple Sauce, or, Christina hates chopping apples Sauce. Where I stew apples in my slow cooker and then blend them with an immersion blender to make them into sauce. It means you get to keep all the nutrients of the skins and all you have to do is core and quarter the apples.

Apples before SauceSlow Cooker Apple Sauce

Of course November wasn’t all rainbows, apple sauce and pretty shawls, I also changed my first tire.

I woke up on a Monday morning, with an hour’s drive to work and I found this…

Flat Tire

 

Turns out I ran over a nail but I managed to get the tire changed all by myself, and end up only 2.5 hrs behind schedule.

So that was November, well plus all the work, and assorted chaos that make up my life.  I’m back into my knitting, although I did take last weekend off from knitting to try out a few different things I have let fall by the wayside, like Tunisian crochet, shuttle tatting, weaving and spinning. But if December even goes half as fast as November did, then I expect to resurface in January unsure of where December went.

Knitter’s intuition

You know that feeling you get in the pit of your stomach, that warp looks funny, or that stitch pattern looks off, and you know you should probably stop and frog but instead you forge on and end up with a FO that you never want.

Sometimes its a matter of the pattern style not matching your personal style (of knitting or for wearing) or maybe you have paired the wrong yarn with the pattern (for more extensive musings on this topic, I covered it for Knit and Crochet Blog week last year).

I cast on all my KAL Chaos projects last night, and within a row I knew that I had picked the wrong yarn for the Cabernet Sauvignon pattern.  The Homage was just too fuzzy and the nature of the color didn’t compliment the pattern (it was too high-contrast tonal to show off the cables).  I have another pattern picked out for the yarn, and I have an idea of a yarn for the pattern, although both plans may have to wait a while.

However, more excitingly, I have a project to replace it in KAL Chaos (although there is no KAL for it). I will fill you in more in a bit, but here is a little hint … (Ultra MCN, MCS, Ultra MCN) …

I think my eyes might be bigger than my stomach …

Yarns I have wound for this insanity, (L to R) TFA Orange Label in Frost, Shalimar Yarns Homage in Loden, TFA Blue Label in Truffle and TFA Red Label in Dove

So, right now on the go I have five projects in various stages of completion (one just got off the needles since Wednesday), and pretty soon I am going to have 4 more on the go.

Why, yes I am insane!

I’m participating in a second Tanis Fiber Arts KAL over in the Ravelry group. This time we are using TFA Accessories patterns or using TFA yarn for a gift project.

I’m able to enter one project in both categories, Tanis’s Business Casual socks, that I will be making out of the Year in Color club color Truffle. This one is a gift for someone who is tech savy enough to be a reader so I will show them off and hopefully they don’t deduce that they are the one getting them.

Business Casual sock pattern

Photo by Tanis Lavallee

Also, I’m going to try to finish the Suncrest Shawl by Tanis in some spectacular TFA Red Label in Dove that I picked up at the Kitchener Waterloo Knitter’s Fair (which I never blogged about, but short version, it was fun and I met the Yarn Harlot). The pattern is part of the Stella Collection which Tanis and Julie (Crawford of Knitted Bliss) released last summer. You may recall that I tested for Julie last spring and she and Tanis thanked me for my help with the full pattern collection.

Suncrest Shawl

Photo by Tanis Lavallee

So, after making this plan I discovered two more KALs that I wanted to jump on board with, first off Melissa Thompson of Sweet Fiber Yarns & Design released a new pattern Autumn Bloom, and announced an accompanying KAL and I had to get in on it.

Photo by Melissa Thompson

Melissa had an injury earlier this month, so she hasn’t been able to keep up with her dyeing (understandably!) and so I think I’m going to use the TFA Orange Label I picked up at Knitter’s Frolic back in April, which is going to make for a totally luxe winter shawl. Depending

Due to my selfish nature, and that you will have to pry this shawl from my cold, dead hands, it won’t be part of the TFA KAL, because if you are using the yarn but not the pattern it has to be a gift and I’m not gifting this baby.

The last KAL I want to get in on is the Cabernet Sauvignon KAL. Monika Sirna of What Dreams Are Made Of is a new designer to me, but I fell hard for her latest design. I may have missed her up till now becuase she has mostly been designing clothes for little girls, adorable girl clothes, but something I just don’t currently knit. I’m going to make it out of some other yarn I picked up at KW, an MCS fingering weight yarn, Homage by Shalimar Yarns who made the trek to the show all the way from Maryland.

Photo by Monika Sirna

My yarn is a little short of the requirements, but I will just remove keep weighing my skeins and remove a repeat in the center, yay for knitting math.

So the TFA KAL deadline is November 30th and the other two have a deadline of December 15th, and I still have 5 projects on the go, I can totally get them all done by the end of the year, right? Right?

 

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!