Posts categorized "Blankets"

The Skinny

My knitting mojo is back big time. On top of the few projects I already had on the needles, I started 4 new projects since Rhinebeck, 2 of which I started last weekend. Craig went off for his yearly Rhinebeck (deer hunting at Pineapple Lodge) and being alone all week made knitting all the things seem like the right thing to do.

I'm pretty sure he was just out of the driveway when I got out the loom and warped it using my Miss Babs Yummy Toes mini skeins for a Mad for Plaid scarf.


Then I did a bit more work on my first panel for Twitch.


Then I got really ambitious and starting this:


The Shieling blanket by Kate Davies. I love knitting blankets. They're always the right size, they're incremental--one square at a time--and who doesn't love snuggling under a blanket? 

This one might be a's fingering weight AND fair isle. And completely addictive. Two squares done and I'm smitten. It's beautiful and fun to knit.

I have a few other things on the needles and I noticed they're all fingering or lace weight. Skinny yarn and big projects.

While I love a chunky cowl or a worsted weight sweater, there's something more refined in a thinner-yarn garment. They're more  clothing and less hand made. There's more space for a motif or colour. And really there's more knitting which isn't ever a bad thing.

Go little on something big...or go home.

The Blanket

The simple facts: Emma asked for a hand-knit blanket. I like to knit blankets (they're simple comfort knitting and always fit the recipient) so I started knitting in January. It would be her take-to-university-blanket. Nothing to see here.

The longer story: We decided on a pattern. Chose the yarn. Bought more yarn when I miscalculated how much Eco-Wool I would need (6 skeins in case you're wondering--this blanket weighs more than 2 kg).

I knit on this almost exclusively for six months; panicking a bit when the weather got warmer and wondered if I could get it done on time (there was some target setting--can you tell I'm a project manager?).


Emma did her things: school, homework, friends, cello, piano, a lead in The Drowsy Chaperone, movie watching, prom, teen stuff. She also chose a university and decided her "what's next". Science (probably majoring in Physics) at Western University.


She finished high school with honours. I finished the blanket shortly after. The pieces were stitched together. 

Metaphor? Maybe.

Or just how a knitter does things. Stitching beautiful objects that bring warmth and comfort.


I'm getting teary--which is probably why I haven't pronounced the blanket complete on social media... 

Emma leaves on Sunday. She has her blanket, her determination, her smarts and her sense of adventure. She's ready (mostly). I'm ready (mostly). Time for the next big project.


I'm going to be an Auntie!

This is exciting! My first niece or nephew will be born in late October. This is my brother's first baby and he's only 3 1/2 years younger than me, so I wasn't really banking on him having kids now that we're both in our forties.

Mindy Peyton (as the fetus is dubbed--long story and we don't know the sex) will also be the first, first cousin for my kids who have the honour of being the only grandkids on both sides until now.

I really need to get cracking on the knitting! Luckily I started this baby blanket back in the winter when I needed a mindless but colourful knitting project. It's all sewn together and all it needs is a border and for about 10,000 ends to be woven in. 

Screen Shot 2016-08-28 at 9.53.23 PM

Now I'm considering what this kid needs to be properly ensconced in hand knits as is befitting a child related to a knitter.

So throw your favourite patterns at me! I've started a favourites list here but I want options. 

I have green sparkle yarn, just waiting to be something perfectly silly for a baby :)

To Martha and Sarosh

It was an absolute pleasure to be invited to attend your wedding.  The ceremony was loving and thoughtful. 


It was clear to everyone that you are a loving couple who will enjoy life together with humour and thoughtfulness.  

The reception was fun--I learned to Bhangra, I was apparently the best dressed at my table (or the most daring since I had to Gangnam Style--very sneaky of you).  And the food was delicious (I was sad that the server took my naan--I was slowly savouring it).

I love that you both hugged everyone in the reception line.  Sarosh had never even met Craig but was clearly so happy that everyone came to your celebration.  

I hope you enjoy my gift to you.  I confess it is a bit of a selfish gift.  I *really* like making blankets and your wedding was an excellent reason for me to knit another one.  It wasn't hard to let it go (even though the kids wanted to keep it) because it was always intended for you.  

I wished I had been more organized and got the gang together to make this.  But you didn't leave us much time with your speedy engagement (which I totally admire and respect).  Instead there are yarn contributions from Keri W, Keri C, Kathleen, Tonya, Kim and Lettuce Knit.

May it keep you warm in a lifetime of snuggles.  



Border Ideas, I need them...

I am one short seam and a few ends away from finishing my Parcheesi afghan!

I think it needs a border. Mostly because some of the garter edges seem to be flaring out and a border will squish them in a bit.

Ideas so far:
1. Icord--I love the look, but that's a lot of icord
2. Log cabin the edges--easy, the bind offs will keep it tidy, but might be too much.
3. Crochet--that might be too little and look odd with all the garter stitch
4. Pick up stitches all the way around, then bind off.


Any other suggestions?


I have enough yarn to do either a red border or a teal one.  Since the squares are red I think I'll use that yarn.  I love how this Parcheesi was done but I can't tell how the knitter did the border.  I already borrowed the one colour outer edge idea so I think doing the border in red will work.  

In Progress

I am a one-project-woman and have been for many weeks now.  It has hit the very boring stage.

I seemed to have underestimated the amount of knitting involved in this blanket.

And the amount of yarn required.

I chose a lovely teal for the outer edges of the blanket.  Bought 440yards, knit 4 strips and then went and bought 660 more.  I think I will need only 2/3rds of this, but wasn't going to chance it.

I also had to order more yarn for the red squares.  Totally messed up the math on that one.  

Turns out I could have purchased 5 colours and did all the stripes.  This way there are less ends.  I pledge to do the math more carefully next time.

Hopefully the red arrives in the next few days.  It had to come from the US and it's been 2 weeks. This means I couldn't knit the edges in strips, but have tried where possible to put the teal on holders so I can just add the red.  This makes for less seaming.  It also makes for a funny in progress photo.

In progress

It's all coming together and will be beautiful (I decided to use a poorly lit photo so as to extend the suspense) but I'm ready to move on to something, anything else.


Parcheesi Afghan and the rapidly disappearing stash

I'm cooking along nicely on my Parcheesi afghan which is good because it's a gift with a deadline.

I'm concerned about my yarn stores for this one though. I don't think I have enough colour diversity left for the striped sections so I'm taking a tactical approach.

Here's what I have done as of last night:


I've knit the centre strip using the colours I have, which includes some tiny bits where I have enough to use it on a stripe once or twice.  Now I will do the inside striped bits because I believe I have enough to maintain some colour variety.

I'm pretty sure I will be down to 6 colours once I get to the outside section, all of which I've used in the big squares and in the striped sections: yellow, orange, dark brown, natural, dark natural and navy (the colours in the top left square plus navy and natural e.g. the bottom right square).

I should have enough of the red to do all the squares so I can maintain that aspect of the pattern (which is something I really like) but I need to decide what to do with the outer border.

Option one is to buy a few colours of Cascade 220 which creates leftovers, but allows me to add in a few different colours.  Considering I will need about 50m tops of each colour, it seems a bit silly. 

Option two is to buy 2 skeins of one colour and do the outside sections in just that.  I like this idea because it's easier to knit and it really worked out nicely in this Parcheesi .

The issue is what colour to choose?  It would have to be something not used in the blanket already. (I have enough cream colour but would need to change the border on one of my squares and I don't think I have enough of any colours to do that.)

I was considering something like deep burgundy which is the main colour of my Ella coat. (I used this swatch in the blanket!)

Or teal blue similar to this (but not a handpaint) from my Ahni sweater and used up in this blanket.


But they both seem pretty dark. Not that this is necessarily a bad thing.

I'm also thinking a yellow-green like the one in some of my squares could work. Or a darker natural colour which would mute things a bit.

Any suggestions?

My plan is to knit the rest of the stripes, sew it up and take it to the yarn shop.  But having a good sense of what colours to look for would make me stop obsessing about this!

I Love Garter Stitch

I love garter stitch. I love it's squareness where the row gauge and the stitch gauge are the same. I love the way it looks. I love the ease of knitting and I love the squoosh.

Life is busy right now and garter stitch is just what I need--it's knitting that doesn't ask much of me except my time.

Not one to think small, this time I'm making a blanket. The pattern is called Parcheesi Afghan. It's a bit of log cabin and a bit of striping and a great stash buster. I'm using the leftovers from my Ella coat and odds and ends of similar worsted weight wools from my stash and any donations from knitpals. I'm into my fourth square and I can't stop knitting it.

My only concern is that I don't have enough different colours to really make this blanket pop. I don't really want to buy more full skeins of yarn so ill be hunting around for people's cast offs.

Oh, and that I'll get so engrossed with all this garter stitch that I won't knit anything else.


Paintbox Log Cabin Noro Blanket is Finished and I LOVE It!

I think the title says it all.  How about some pictures:


Paintbox log cabin

Almost every bit of it was a complete joy to knit.

Emma and blanket

The last border edge as a bit of a slog, but not a bad one since it's December and I could work under this.


Close up log cabin

(photo using the Instagram App, which I also really like)

The pattern is super fun. Ravelry link here. And I still love Kureyon which is perfect for this project.

Log cabin


Two solitudes of my knitting

I thought I would check in and show you what I've been knitting this month. I caught the log cabin bug, fueled by my love of Kureyon and started in the paint box blanket. I had no Kureyon in my stash (no, I can't believe it either) and resolved to buy a bit at a time and only when the yarn was sale. So I bought a few balls online from Little Knits, knit a square and then bought some more on sale from The Purple Purl a week later.


I fell hard. Little, easy to knit garter stitch squares in one of my favourite yarns. Colourful patterns that unfold as you knit. I love it. I want to knit it and nothing else and I'm on my 10th square of 20. The thing is that this should be something I savor. It's easy and portable and is excellent soccer-mom knitting so I need to slow it down.

That's how I swing to the other solitude of my knitting...lace. I don't knit lace much. I don't like the process very much and while I admire the beauty of lace knitting, the products aren't something I wear often.

However, every so often something comes along that I want to knit and I dive in. In 2009 it was Hanami. I had some lovely kidsilk spray in my stash and I wanted a challenge. I knit 2.5 repeats of the basketweave pattern and every stitch was hell. I couldn't figure out the basket weave pattern and it was really frustrating and it went into the time out corner...for two years.

Last month I decided to give it another go or repurpose the yarn. This time around it's much better. I get how the stitch pattern works. I'm even enjoying it. This weekend I left the log cabin squares at home and have knit two repeats of the lace pattern. I guess I need both kinds of knitting. Easy stuff for when life gets stressful and hard stuff for when I have opportunities to relax and take on a challenge. It's nice that I can have both around at the same time as my weeks fly by like a roller coaster without brakes.