Monday, June 26, 2006

Hazelnut Spun

I've now finished spinning 1000 grams of N.Z. Corriedale in the color "Hazelnut". This is from commercially combed top purchased from "Aurelia Wool & Weaving".

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The bright, blazing, blistering hot* sun kind of washed out the detail and color in the photo. Trust me, it's a beautiful colorway. It will eventually become a pullover sweater for my husband.

*At 10:30 A.M. it is already 86 degrees F. in my upstairs hallway.....and it will get much, much hotter before the day is through. My house is situated such that it gets all the morning sun blasting in the windows at the back of the house. It does a quick hop over the house at noon and then bakes us through the front windows until the sun goes down.

Needless to say, evenings are reserved for lying around downstairs whining or, after dinner when it gets "cooler", (HA!), lying around outside whining. I try to have everything that needs to be done upstairs accomplished by no later than 10 A.M. or the heat is just too much for me to handle. Potato salad and a veggie tray are waiting in the fridge for supper. Something barbecue-ish will be purchased as well.

My computer is UPstairs.
NOW.....before I melt away.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006


I've finished "W", which is a free tank top pattern available at Sorry about the blurry photos, I wasn't having much luck with the camera.

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Size medium, knit with just over 4 50 gm balls of "ONline Linie 139-Cicada" in the color named "Pacific Coast" which I purchased through My second one will be knit from "ONline Linie 117 - City" in "02 Marble". I might decide to make the smaller size as this one hangs on me around the middle.

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I made a few changes on this pattern, and will include more changes the next time I knit it. Yes, I will knit it again, very soon. I have yarn for a second one, next time in shades of grey and with a little less texture.

The top is knit vertically from one side to the other in short rows that provide the shaping. The pattern directions have you casting on, knitting across the first piece, and then binding off. Repeat for the second side. That just doesn't make sense to me. Why create seams for yourself by casting on and off? With the next one I plan to use a provisional cast-on, knit all the way around (not casting off and on when I reach the side), and then end by grafting the final row of live stitches to the ones held in the provisional cast on. Yes, it is just as much work, but it will give a neater, more professional finish.

The other change I made was in the cast off at the bottom edge. A regular cast off was not stretchy enough for my liking. I did what I believe is an original bind off of my own invention. It adds a bit of stitch length in every fourth stitch using what I call a "reknit" stitch.

Edit: If you have time, stop by and visit "Monkey".

Monday, June 19, 2006

Not Your Average Gnomes

Father's Day brought a few gnomes to our garden......if you can call it a garden. Note the suspicious lack of flowers? Next year we will do better.

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These little gnomes brought along their own solar powered lamps. They charge in the sunlight and glow with a bluish light at night. Doesn't the first one just beg to have a stream running under the log they are sitting on?

And this second one seems to want to be peeking out of some thick, tall vegetation. Ornamental grasses perhaps?

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Anyone have suggestions for their names?

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Happy Father's Day

Happy Father's Day to any father who happens to stumble across my blog today. I hope you have a great day full of all the things you love most.

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My husband loves lemon meringue pies so I've made a couple for his special day. He is a wonderful man, totally deserving of a special day in his honor.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

I Love It!

Sometimes most of the enjoyment from a handknit article comes from the actual knitting process. The finished item doesn't quite live up to our expectations so we rarely use it and we experience disappointment. All that knitting, not to mention the money for supplies, wasted.

This isn't one of those times.

This is one of those rare items that turned out BETTER than expected! I LOVE my new "One Stitch Cardigan". Looking at the photo accompanying the FREE pattern I was not sure I would like the fit and the style and was afraid to invest a lot of money finding out. If I had known it would turn out this well I would have spent the money for better quality supplies. Maybe next time I will make it in a nice, soft wool instead of ACKrylic.

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For an 100% acrylic yarn, this one isn't bad. It's Phentex Worsted in "burgundy". I knit the entire sweater (size small) with less than two 16 oz (454 g) balls. I have about half of the second ball left. I knew I'd have leftovers but it was cheaper to buy two giant balls than to buy less yardage in smaller balls.

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The fit is great and it is really comfortable. Maybe someday (when enough time has passed for me to forget the miles and miles and miles of garter stitch) I'll knit this pattern again with better yarn and in a more neutral, goes-with-everything kind of color. It will have to wait a while though. The pain of all that boring garter stitch is still too fresh in my memory!

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My one splurge on this project was the handmade, enameled copper buttons. I picked them up at Fireworks Enamelled Copper in Crawford Bay, B.C. I also bought coordinating earrings. They have the same color pattern but are a different shape.

I made a few alterations to the pattern.

  1. I knit it all in one piece rather than with a separate back and fronts so that I could eliminate the underarm/side seam. I placed stitch markers where the side seams would have been and then I increased one stitch on each side of the markers when directed to "increase one stitch at each end of every RS row".
  2. Because of the way the pattern is designed there would also be a seam on the top of the arm. I tried various seaming methods, including a 3 needle bind off, and was unhappy with the results. In the end I eliminated the seam altogether by leaving the stitches live (rather than casting them off) and then grafting the two edges together. Tedious and time consuming but WAY better looking!
  3. I really like the edging treatment and decided that, for a truly finished look, the edging needed to go around the cuffs, across the pockets, and all along the lower edge in addition to the front and neck edge specified in the pattern.

Other than that I did the pattern as written. Although the garter stitch got boring and seemed to go on forever, if you are looking for a "mindless" project for in front of the TV or for a long road trip, this might be the one for you. I might even make it again myself......a l-o-n-g time from now.

Monday, June 12, 2006

Tempting Yarn Choice

I've decided that I will participate in the new knit-a-long being hosted by the Sexy Knitters Club. I've been resisting. I have several projects waiting in the wings already, yarn purchased and everything. And that is after I have finished the ultra-boring-to-knit "One Stitch Cardigan" which is on the needles now and must be finished before I allow myself to get fully involved in a new project. Still, I just can't resist this new little temptress, "Tempting II".

So in preparation for the July 1 st start date I have purchased 6 balls of Lana Grossa "Basics, Fresh" in color # 301. I've knit numerous gauge swatches and I've found the necessary needle size. Now I'll dutifully pack it up in a project bag to await the start date while I work on that *yawn*, One Stitch Cardigan.

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Although this yarn has a stated gauge of 20 stitches over 4 inches, and I'll go with it as that is the gauge I need for the pattern, I find it a bit loose and "sleazy". If I was designing specifically for this yarn I would go with 22 to 24 stitches over 4 inches. It gives the resulting fabric a better "hand".

Lovely yarn by the way. It's yummy soft.

Monday, June 05, 2006

Studio of Straw

Tucked away near the South East corner of British Columbia, in a community called Crawford Bay, is a enchanting craft "village" overflowing with creativity. Little artisan shops line the road on both sides for a distance and provide an interesting day of browsing. A tourist with a pocketful of cash, or unafraid to put his/her credit card into action, can come away with some truly unique items. No mass produced trinkets stamped with "Canada" here! These one of a kind items are real works of art and you can watch the talented craftsmen/women at work making them.

I really liked these. They are towel/quilt stands, but also looked lovely with colorful weavings displayed on them. And I couldn't resist placing a custom order with Fireworks Copper and Glass for these buttons.

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They'll be for that new "One Stitch" sweater I am knitting for myself.

My personal favorite is Barefoot Weaving, a studio/shop with colorful woven items displayed everywhere, two large looms inside and at least a couple more outside. The whole place is eye candy to me. Mmmmmm, wouldn't I love to have their stash of fiber to play with?

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The weaver's husband, Ted Wallace, is an artist and his paintings are on display along the tops of all the walls.

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The building itself is quite unique as well. It is constructed using haybales to form the basic structure and provide insulation. This photo shows a little window near their till. Through the glass you can see into the interior of the hay filled wall.

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The sign dares you to try to "huff and puff".