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February 2012

Posts from January 2012

Week Two: Now the Fun Begins

It was nice to complete week one with some time to spare to work on other projects (I'm not a one project knitter!) But by Sunday, I was itching to get striping again.

On Monday Nora posted our week 2 assignment on her blog: finish the back and fronts of the upper bodice. We got some tips on how to ensure we're knitting the right size for the fit we want and some advice on how to work the armhole decreases.  Then I jumped in and got going.  I love all the stripes and noticed that Nora must have seen blog photos of my living room rug when she picked the colours for my sweater.

I must remember to consult my carpet for inspiration the next time I do colourwork!

Tonight I plan to finish the fronts and then I have the weekend to work on other things and wait for the next part of the project.

And we're off!

Last night fearless knitters started their Ella Revisited sweater coats.  Even though I'm juggling a few knitting balls right now (including a new design in progress with a deadline) I managed to get started and work 5 rows.  I started with the MC--Cranberry because I like it the best (don't tell the other colours).

Ella revisited cast on

I already like how this pattern is written.  You start in the middle at the waist (well just above it) and work up to the neck and sleeves.  Later, you pick up and knit the rest of the coat downwards which allows for modifications to the length and shaping when you can try it on and see what you want.  Brilliant!  

Nora, the designer has quite a great process with this KAL.  On Mondays she will post tips on her blog.  The first one was head-smackingly smart.  She has stitch markers placed to mark increases--everyone does that...but she also suggests putting stitch markers at the cast on edge in the same places to help with picking up stitches later.  Brilliant!

The only issue I can see with this KAL is portability.  It's a striped coat which is awesome, but I can't lug around 5 skeins of yarn.  I'm already considering winding off mini skeins and putting those in my project bag. It will add an element of randomness to my stripes (which is how I plan to roll) and means I can have some nice stockinette knitting with me for those time when I have a free moment (which don't seem like many right now).

My baby is 13...

Yesterday Emma turned 13.  I have a teenager in the house.  How did that happen?

Craig surprised her yesterday with a great gift.  He took her to his very funky hairdresser for some highlights.  She has cut Craig's hair for 15 years and has cut Emma's hair and watched her grow up.  Eve's hair is either purple or blue and as a woman in her 60s she clearly has danced to her own drummer her whole life.

So what did Emma choose?  Blue.  She bleached out the bottom 1.5" of the ends and now they're electric blue.  What more could a teenager ask for?

She also got the more traditional stuff--charms for her bracelet, a sound dock for her ipod, balloon bouquet from her Grandfather and of course the slumber party with her best pals.  I think I'm more tired than they were from getting up to tell them to get to sleep.

It was all fun and Emma cleaned the main floor of the house yesterday (including vacuuming) so I think 13 will be fun.  I'm still in shock that she doesn't look like this anymore:

Emma Baby

Emma is one

Ella Revisited KAL!

I was approached by Noni designer of those awesome felted bags and flowers to participate in a knit-along for her Ella coat. She's reinvented the pattern a bit and wants to show it off.

I took one look at the coat and wanted to join up right away.  (Emma was looking over my shoulder trying to suggest I knit the coat for her).

I confess, I love ruffles in knitting.  They clearly have a time and a place, and this coat is one of those places. They're fun and a bit silly (and that's good sometimes).

The coat has a striped version too.  Emma was all over that (for her, life is all about MORE COLOUR).

The offer of yarn to knit it up in exchange for some time cheering on others in the KAL via the blog and Ravelry and Twitter sweetened the pot a whole bunch.  I sent my colour preferences, Noni mixed in their magic and this is what I got:

Noni kal

It's so totally me!  Browns and earth tones with some garnet and cranberry (for the ruffle).  The Shepherd's Wool is super soft and I've wound it all in anticipation of the January 16th start date.

Want to join me?  The yarn is worsted/aran and the pattern is lots of stockinette with some fun shaping thrown in.  There's some great posts on the Noni blog about choosing colours and getting the right fabric. The Ravelry group is also quite fun (and there are contests).  Have a peek and if you join in let me know--It would be fun to blog about others in the KAL.

My last minutes finishing Hanami via Twitter

Well Hanami is done.  I never made friends with this pattern.  I found the basketweave lace pattern impossible--for some reason I couldn't see it while knitting, meaning I had to follow the charts very, very closely.  That made it go into the time out pile for a long time, only to emerge this year when I decided that it was time to just get it done and move on.

What it did have going for it was that I used Kid Silk Spray, KSH's varigated cousin.  It's a fabulous yarn and so pretty.  The drawback was that it doesn't rip out well so I decided rather than fight it, I would just enjoy using the yarn and slog through it.

Today, I got to the bind off.  I knew I was short yarn from the outset so took out one 32 row repeat of the basketweave pattern and the last blossom chart, but randomly added rows to the blossom charts just to stretch stuff out.  It all looked good.  But then it went very wrong

I live Tweeted the bind off (shown here in reverse order, jump down to the bottom.  All photos are included below too)

Picture 3

Picture 2

Ya, I ran out of yarn during the bind off.  Holy crap!

Luckily I was saved by my lovely stash of KSH.  A bit of Blushes to finish it off and the scarf is ready for blocking--I swear now I can't see the difference on the bind off.  It's like this shade is part of the varigation for the Vino Spray.

Picture 4
And even though I felt like this when it was all done:

Picture 5
I think I'm going to keep the scarf for myself.  It was a tough slog to knit and no one will appreciate it like I do.  And it's KSH warm and cozy. 


Happy New Year! (with some goal setting mixed in)

I hope everyone has a wonderful 2012.  For those of you doing the 12 knitted things in '12 may your needles be swift and your projects delightful.  For everyone, I wish health, happiness and a stash that makes you happy.

Me, I'm not any more reflective than I usually am about stuff.  But since this blog has always been intended as a space to say what I like, I'll put forth a few goal like things:

Running:  I want to match my 1000km running goal (btw I ran 1036km in total over 150 runs!!!) and I'm considering entering a 1/2 marathon this year.  Truth be told, I will be 42 in July and a full marathon is 42km, so I'm stewing over the idea of doing a full, where perhaps I will discover the meaning of life, the universe and everything in my exercise induced euphoria.  (See what I mean about my self-reflexivity?)

Spinning: It's like many people's get healthy goals.  I once again vow to spin more often.  I haven't done more than dust my wheels since the summer.  Must try to develop a more regular practice and improve my spinning.

Weaving: This winter I need to weave Craig the scarf I promised two winters ago.  Maybe I'll warp the loom today just to get things started.  This is one craft I feel I have balance with.  I pull out the loom when I want a scarf and put it away when I'm done.  I could learn more about it, but I don't feel any burning desire to tackle it now (saving it for my retirement).

Knitting: It was a good year for me.  I completed 6 sweaters, 2 pairs of socks, 7 accessories (hats, scarves etc) and a blanket.  I have a few FO's on the go and don't like to over plan my knitting life since well, other life does tend to get in the way.  I would like to tackle some stashed projects, knit some knee socks with some handspun sock yarn (already spun) and make stuff that makes me happy since that's really what it's all about.

Finished objects, 2011

(I love these mosaics!)

Stash: My stash is healthy.  It doesn't really give me much stress until it moves beyond the furniture I have to contain it in.  Right now, I actually have empty storage spaces so I'm pretty content.  The biggest problem is that I have so many nice yarns and fibres and not enough time to play with them all.  For 2012 I will continue to add to the stash wisely, sell or give away what doesn't give me pleasure and keep working on getting the yearly kilometers of yarn equal or less than the 2011 number of: 57.14km.  (I like how that sounds much better than in metres!)  That's down from 65km last year so that ain't bad.  One way I do this is by making sure my stash is up to date in Ravelry.  Then I can shop in my "personal yarn store" before I venture out and buy yarn.

Career: This was a good and bad year for me at my job. I don't blog about work much because I don't think my big boss likes it very much (because I've been chastised for my time online in the past).  Even saying that might be too much, but really, I do feel that I should be able to write about my work in a general way (ie not blog the content of my work, but what I'm working on) and how I FEEL ABOUT my work.  (That felt good to say).

I was fortunate to be selected into a mentorship program in 2011 and it was a great opportunity for me to make connections in the University, learn from someone who does a very different job than me and to spend time thinking about what I want to do next in my career.  I have some good ideas and I'm thinking about what I might do to get there, like... 

  • Project management courses with possibility of getting PMP certification
  • Talking to more people at the University to learn about their work and their career paths
  • Thinking about work outside the University.  I really like academia as a place to work but wonder if I'm limiting myself by trying to carve out a career in one place (which has fantastic benefits and good work/life balance).  I plan to do a bit more exploring of the world outside the ivory tower and see what other opportunities Toronto has to offer me.

Wow, that's a lot more goal setting than I planned when I started this post.  But there it is.  I am still the #womanwhogetsshitdone and now I'm going to have a nice long bubble bath!

I would love to hear your goals too!