Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas to all,

Stars knitted by my talented Aunt Lynn using left over sock yarn
Pattern- Stjarna by Karolina Eckerdal

And to all, a good night.

Wishing you and yours, all the best this holiday season.

Monday, December 15, 2014

Passing The Buck

Come on now Canada Post.

I have done my part, now it's your turn.

The ball is in your court.

Pattern- Graham Hat
Yarn- Rowan Pure Wool Worsted Superwash

Let's make these Christmas knits happen on time this year.

For once?


Wednesday, December 03, 2014

On The First Day Of Advent...

My mom's birthday is September 28th, and this year, I knit her something that I have wanted to make her for-EVER. Being that I am not the best with deadlines however (I would be the first to admit that), I missed her actual birthday. But lucky for me... the nature of this gift allowed me to give it to her on December 1st.

Having said that, would anyone want to wager a guess as to what it is that I made her?

Did you say "Lynn, did you make your mom an advent calender in the form of 24 tiny mittens?"

If you did... then YOU ARE RIGHT!

Pattern- "Smitten- A Holiday Garland" by Knit Picks

While the mittens themselves did not take a tonne of time to knit (I'd say just under 45 minutes per mitten), it was the finishing of each one that took eons.

I knew as I was knitting them that I should really have been sewing up each one as I went, but of course... I like knitting best. And as soon as I cast off one little mitt, I would turn a blind eye at the finishing, and cast on the next one. Which is why... the gift was delayed. 

Nobody in their right mind would take sewing in the ends on 24 tiny mittens over knitting more tiny mittens. Am I right?

But lucky for me... my mom loves me anyway. 


The yarn? Was stash. All of it. And I would just like to take a moment to stop and pat myself on the back because NOT ONE BALL OF YARN WAS PURCHASED FOR THE MAKING OF THIS GARLAND. Which in many ways... is sort of scary if you actually think about it. (Read- I have A LOT of yarn).

It was loads of fun to dig through my mountains of yarn bins in the basement and co-ordinate "Christmassy" colours. While the bulk of the yarn that I used was Cascade 220, there is also some Brown Sheep Lamb's PrideManos Del Uruguay Clasica WoolFleece Artist BFL AranClassic Elite Majestic TweedRowan Tweed AranUltra AlpacaMadelinetosh Vintage and even some now discontinued Punta Merino was thrown into the mix. 

Now... I dare you to try saying all of THAT in one breath!


I knit two mittens out of each colour, and then two reeeeally long i-cords. 

The tags are 'key tags' from Staples. I tried some tags from Michael's initially, but they ended up being so giant, that they dwarfed the already tiny mittens.

So there you have it. Wishing a very happy (and very belated) birthday to my Mom!



And Happy Advent to all of you!

Monday, November 17, 2014

Two Years

Today marks the two year anniversary of the day that my husband and I said "I do". Can I just be the first to say "Where does time go???" The scary part about all of this... is that time just seems to be going faster and faster. At least that means that we're still having fun! 

In any case, not only is it two years since we exchanged vows, danced with all of our favourite people until the wee hours and ate until our wedding clothes were about to bust open... it also marks two years since I gave the man I love, a pair of plain grey socks that I had knit for him.

For those of you who are new (or even just new-ish) to this blog, you can read the full story here.

And while I mentioned last year that I wasn't so sure I could commit to a pair for each and every year that we are married, (I was twelve days late with my delivery last year), I found myself unable to ignore the grey sock yarn at the yarn store come mid-September.

So what did I do?

I cast on.

But as you can see... I made even less progress than I did last year.

Are the woman in my family the only ones who go
 'stationary shopping' while on vacation???
This card courtesy of Kate's Paperie in New York City.
However, what I lack in sock, I make up for in greeting card.

Is that cute or what?

Oh, and love. I make up for it in love too.



Happy Anniversary dear husband!

Here's to many more pairs of unfinished socks.

And more and more love and adventure with each pair that gets cast on.

xo

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

We're Almost Through This Phase Folks

Four down.


Two more to go.


Pretty soon, you won't have to hear another word about neon sock yarn from me EVER again.

Well... maybe.

Friday, October 17, 2014

"Officially" Done

As some of you may now know... I have finally finished The Shawl That Took Me Longer Than Anything I Have Ever Knit In My Entire Life. Those who know me well, know how much time I spent on this project. In fact... those of you who don't know me at all, other than from this here blog know how much time I spent on this project. And while I loved every minute of it, and would even go so far as to say that I miss working on it... I am so happy that I am done with it. 

And not just "done with it" in the "Yah, I'm done. I cast off. I just need to sew in the ends, block it and get it up on Ravelry" sense of the term. 

I am ACTUALLY done. 

I have cast off. I have sewn in the ends. I have blocked it, and I have it up on Ravelry

That's about as 'done' as any knitting project could possibly get.


Since I am fortunate enough to have a lot of really good people (aka 'knitters') in my life who just 'get it' when a project of such proportions comes off the needles, I had one show up at my door on the Monday of the Thanksgiving long weekend and say "Come on! Get outside and let me take your picture with your beautiful new shawl!" (Okay... not really... I might have actually known that she was coming, but still... It is insanely nice of her to crawl out of bed on a holiday Monday to come over to my place and snap some pics!)


So here you have it. A collection of photos taken by my good friend Tara. Not only does her photography beautifully capture the most colourful time of year, it also does a pretty good job of capturing a project that can easily claim the title of 'most colourful', as least as far as my Ravelry project page is concerned.


As it just so happens, I bought this yarn while in London with my family, visiting my sister last February. In the days leading up to our trip, my husband asked me what I was looking forward to most. I replied with "I can't wait to walk into Liberty, with all the time in the world, and pick out a pattern, some yarn and some needles to make a project for ME". While I could tell he was a tad puzzled that I didn't respond with "I can't wait to go to the Imperial War Museum with YOU honey!" he knows better than to react negatively to such a statement. At least not to my face anyway. (Why the heck do you think I married him!?!?!?)


So the reason for telling you all of this?

Conveniently... I happen to have a ticket to take me back to dear London scheduled for this coming Sunday.

My birthmark arrived later in life, in the form of a dot of grey hair on the back of my head.
That's my story, and I'm sticking to it.
I couldn't have 'officially' finished this project at a better time.

Details of the yarn, pattern and needles can be found here
And what exactly do you think I'm most excited about doing in London this time around?


I think you all know me well enough at this point to hazard a pretty good guess.

Canadian Thanksgiving Weekend Flowers at the Parental's

Cheerio!

Tuesday, October 07, 2014

Crossing Christmas Gifts Off My List

So, the thing about most of my knitting lately... is that it has mostly been in preparation for the 2014 gift giving season. 

Yah, I know. None of us want to acknowledge that Christmas is actually going to happen anytime soon, especially with this beautiful, warm Fall that we are having. After last winter, we are all understandably, in denial. But since this seems to be the year that I have found myself with a bit more time than I have in the past, I thought I would bite the bullet and knit socks for (almost) everyone on my list. (Uhm... sorry about the little spoiler there dear loved ones).

So while I shall try not bore you with each and every pair as I churn through them, this pair in particular seems to warrant a shout out.

And why is that??? You ask.

Because the yarn was an absolute delight to knit with.

And while I am not going to share the colourway here until these puppies have been gifted to one faithful blog reader in particular, (hence, the black and white photography), I do need to tell you about the yarn itself. Because each and every stitch was like a little slice of heaven.


The yarn? Northbound Knitting's Superwash Merino/Nylon. The perfect blend for a pair of hard wearing socks, but still an absolute pleasure to knit up.

This is a yarn I had never knit with, let alone heard of, before stumbling into Lettuce Knit one day this past summer. It has a beautifully tight twist and I suspect will wear well in the recipient's boots throughout the entirety of this upcoming Canadian winter (and hopefully, a few more after that!)

The good news? I can now cross another Christmas gift off of my list.
The bad news? I can no longer knit with this beautiful, bouncy yarn!
The silver lining? I happen to have also snagged a skein of it for myself.

Because isn't that how everyone plays the sock yarn game?


"One for you, and one for me".

Sort of like eating a box of chocolates...





Wednesday, October 01, 2014

Aaaaaaaand.... We're Back

Apologies for the radio silence. Between having a wee bug floating between the walls of our house, and just general 'beginning of Fall mania', this poor website appears to have been swept under the carpet for some time.

I am back however, and I have been knitting like a maniac.

Mostly socks... which is likely getting pretty old for all of you kind folks that are still tuning in.

But also other things.

But first...

See that?


You know it.

My beast of a scarf/shawl is COMPLETE!

And sewing in the ends only took me three hours and fifteen minutes of uninterrupted podcast listening time. (Yes. I timed it).

Rowan inspired photo shoot to come. (HECK NO I'm not kidding!)

Until then, or until I post some other knitting up and around these here parts...

I leave you with...


The absolutely stunning colours of Collingwood, Ontario from this past weekend.

So get your wools ready!

Winter is a comin'!

Tuesday, September 02, 2014

Have You Ever?

Have you ever finished up a knitting project that you're proud of, only to realize that while YOU may love it, and many of your knitting friends have encouraged you to move forward with the project, all of your non-knitting friends/peers give your newly finished project a sideways stare and say "Hm. That's cute."

Have you?

Do you know the kind of projects I mean?

For example, you fall in love with a skein of hand painted yarn and cast on a cardigan out of it, only to have it pool in 100 different places? You keep going because you manage to convince yourself that no one will ever notice, and your knitting friends assure you that they won't. But then along comes your non-knitting friends who take one quick look at it and go "You're really going to wear that?" Oh the face they would pull if they only knew what you had paid for the yarn...

Or maybe you cast on a pattern that includes a technique you have been simply dying to try, only to cast off and realize that perhaps it wasn't the best technique/ project pairing? Once again, your non-knitting friends are immediately captivated by the new technique you have tackled, while the non-knitters make you feel as you though cutting a hole at the top of a feed sack would have been more impressive.

I suspect this is because knitter's "get it". They know how much time you have invested in the knitting, they know why you would want to spend all that time fine tuning a new technique, and they know why you would want to drop all of that cash on those few skeins of hand painted yarn. They just walk your walk and speak your speak, and THAT, is really comforting.

I ask you all of this, because I am finding myself in that very predicament right now.

I have some dear friends expecting a baby, and I want to make them something jaw-droppingly-adorable.

So, I cast on a pair of baby pants.

While the yarn feels simply glorious, and my knitting friends have all gushed about them, I can already hear that dreaded "Hm. That's cute." from my non-knitting-baby-expecting friends.

While they will no doubt appreciate all of the work that I put into the pants, I think that they might wonder about my yarn selection and secretly hope and pray that 'Auntie Lynn' decides to never knit for their baby again.

Pattern- First Impression Pants by Drops Design 
So what do you think knitting friends?

Am I just imagining it?

Or are these pretty insane for a non-knitter to put on their baby?

Perhaps I am best off just knitting for expectant knitters exclusively.

Because even if the finished project does end up looking like a hot mess, at least I know that they will understand and appreciate why I did what I did.


Am I right?

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

So Close, Yet So Far

If you can believe it... after months and months and MONTHS of knitting, I can finally say that I have officially cast off my Soumak shawl.

The only problem???

That light at the end of the tunnel is just a little bit further away than I had anticipated.

Now, "why is that?" you ask.

One word for you.



Ends.

Monday, August 11, 2014

Podcast Round-Up

Something that I decided to make a very concious effort to do when the shop closed down, was to start each day with one hour of knitting. I know that this 'not working' thing won't last forever, so while it is happening, I shall embrace it with VERY open arms. Especially if it means I have the opportunity to clock some extra knitting time...

While I cannot claim to have stuck to this 'knit for one hour rule' of mine everyday, I have done pretty well. I have worked mostly on my Soumak shawl during these one hour stints, and as one might suspect...I am loving it.

On days that the weather is beautiful, I sit outside and knit away, and on the days that it's not so gorgeous, I curl up on the couch.

The one thing that does always remain the same however? I always listen to a knitting podcast while I knit in the morning. What better way to start the day?

Which leads me to... this post.

A friend of mine recently asked me "What are some decent knitting podcasts that I could listen to?", which I thought was a rather good question.

So without further ado, here is a list of five podcasts that have been keeping me company during my early morning knit sessions.

The Knitmore Girls


This mother/daughter duo have their show broken into perfect little segments, all of which I love. Each episode is typically an hour long, which works perfectly with my alloted morning knitting time. They knit, they spin, the sew, and they adore neon sock yarn just as much as I do. What more could I want? They stick to a pretty strict weekly schedule, and you can count on me to always listen to the latest episode as soon as it drops. Maybe it's the mother/daughter/knitting thing that I relate to... I'm not entirely sure. But one thing I do know? I like this pair.

Knitting Pipeline            
                               

I must admit that I have not listened to the lovely Paula in quite some time, but she is one smart lady. I really must get back to her... The name of her podcast comes from her love of not only knitting (obviously), but playing the bag pipes as well. I recall telling a friend about this podcast once, and she laughed at me, thinking that my description made it sound just about as exciting as watching paint peel (sorry for not doing you justice Paula!!!) But when she gave it a listen, she ate her words. It's good. Just trust me on this. You will walk away having learned a little something new every time.

Cast On

I feel as though Brenda Dayne can be heralded as one of the pioneers of knit-podcasting. I remember listening to her while I was in university eight or nine years ago (oh geez... How long HAS it been anyway???). While she has been a little more sporatic with her posting in recent years due to... life, her library of episodes is impressive, and will keep you listening for months on end. Her voice is wonderful (she reads audiobooks from time to time for a bit of mad money) and her knitting knowledge is extensive. Brenda is an American transplant in Wales, and she satisfies my inner lover of the UK.

iMake



This podcast is a more recent discovery for me, but I was hooked immediately. Focussed on so much more than just knitting, Martine's lovely accent and interest in all things crafty keeps me coming back for more.While her posts are also somewhat sporatic, it's always worth the wait.

Voolenvine


This podcast is one that started as a podcast, and then eventually evolved into a full time vidcast. Kristen's episdoes are posted on Youtube (at least, that's where I get them from), and I must admit that it is a treat for a visual person like me to have the opportunity to actually see what is currently on her needles. Her episodes are short, typically no more than 30 minutes, and it's mostly just chit-chat, with a "shop update" to wrap things up, as she recently started to dye and sell yarn. She lives in Brooklyn, New York, and I just like her. I'm pretty sure that if we slightly closer in proximity, we would be buds.

So! There you have it. Let me know if love any of these podcasts as much as I do! And if not... which ones ARE you into?

Let me know!

Happy knitting!

Tuesday, August 05, 2014

The Summer of Neon Socks

Well folks, I have done it again. 


I have grafted the toe on my third pair of neon socks this summer.

And do you want to know something?

I still feel my heart skip a beat each time I look at this growing stack of neon.


So what do you think I did to celebrate the completion of my third pair?

Left to Right- Regia Fluormania in shades
7187, 7188 and 7184

Why, I went out and bought myself three more balls.


Obviously.

Sunflowers at my parent's this past weekend

I hope that you are enjoying these early August days as much as I am.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

A Need For Some Speed

Since the shop closed at the end of May, I can honestly admit to being VERY proud of how well I have stuck to my Soumak shawl. Not exclusively of course... as you have seen the few things that I have churned through other than the Soumak, but I have done pretty well. Actually, let me rephrase that- for ME, I have done well. When it comes to knitting... monogamy is not something that I feel too strongly about. But as it turns out.. not many knitters do. Which is exactly why I like knitters so much.

While I am loving every stitch and every colour of my shawl, I must admit- it is taking WAY longer than I could have ever dreamed possible. As in... it is safe to say that I have never devoted so much time to a project in my entire knitting career.

To be fair, it's huge. Like... MASSIVE. Which is exactly what I wanted! So who knows why I am so surprised. The needles are only 3.75 mm, and the yarn is not exactly what one could classify as a 'chunky' weight. So, yeah. That's what happens.

So how do you think I am going to keep myself motivated with this project?

You guessed it.


I am going to cast on a quick and easy project with a pair of 12.75 mm needles and watch something just FLY off the needles for a change of pace.

While patience is a virtue...

My Dad in the garden, also practising some patience

Instant gratification is sometimes good too. 



Friday, July 25, 2014

Because Red Is Best

I love the colour red. And do you want to know something? I didn't even realize how much I loved red until a friend of mine pointed it out a few years back. This particular pal gave me a red necklace and said "I thought you would like it since it's your favourite colour". While I most certainly appreciated the thought that went into the gift, I did find myself thinking "Really? It is? Red, eh?" 

How absolutely stupid is that??? I didn't even realize it at the time... but red is a colour that I just tend to gravitate towards like crazy. The chairs in our family room are red, my Kitchen Aid stand mixer is red, my toaster is red, red is my preferred nail polish shade (this one in particular)... Red is best. What can I say? 

So, remember that trip to New York that my sister and I took over the May long weekend? Well, I have something to show and tell from that trip- other than my chevron baby blanket, and it is (no surprise) red. 

As soon as we had dumped our bags in the hotel, we marched out the door and went straight to Purl Soho. They happened to have a sample of a vest knit up in the shop, I promptly fell in love with it, so I bought the yarn and cast on that evening.

While I was standing in Purl, humming and hawing over the vast colour selection that was literally right at my finger tips, the lady at the desk said "You should totally get the red", to which I replied "Yah? And why is that?"

I realized it was a stupid question as soon as I saw her eyes lower right down to the bright red pants that I was wearing.

Oh.

Of course.

Red it is.

Why yes I did take a picture of this vest on a mannequin out on my roof.
What of it?

I will just have to keep in mind not to ever mix this vest with those pants.


I used the yarn that the pattern called for, Purl's own super wash merino. It made it seem like a pretty solid souvenir of our trip that way. A yarn that I couldn't possibly buy anywhere else (well, as far as I know...) So, it is officially what I will forever and always affectionately refer to as my "Bright Red New York City Vest". Not the least bit creative... but it will never be confused with any other vest that I might own.

It's the collar that prompted my 'love at first sight' reaction

It knit up quickly and quite honestly, was one of those projects that made me a little sad to sew the last end in on. I wouldn't say that anything about it is all that exciting... it just worked.

And that alone is worth it's weight in red yarn.

The charming buttons were from the shop- Mary's Yarns

Details for all of you red-yarn-lovers out there

Pattern- Purl Soho Cardigan Coat and Vest (maybe I will even make the 'coat' one day???)
Yarn- Purl Soho Worsted Twist in shade 1140, Red Zinnia
Needles- Addi Turbo 5mm, 80 cm
Mods- Absolutely none what-so-ever

And speaking of red... Check out my good friend who has taken to spending his afternoons in the backyard with me these days.


This guy knows where he's welcome. 

And that would be right here.


Monday, July 21, 2014

Every Time A Knitter Cuts A Steek...

An angel gets it's wings.

And if that's the case, then I am surely responsible for a little set somewhere out there.

But despite that very pleasant thought however, cutting into my knitting just goes against everything I ever knew to be true about knitting-up until that day.

In fact, it is a concept that I continue to struggle with today- in a very BIG way.

video

Hence... the music selection.

Finished product to come when... I finish it.

(Pssst! Don't hold your breath).

Big thanks to Amy Detjen and my good buddy Tara for holding my hand every step of the way.

I couldn't have/wouldn't have done it without you two.



 ETA- if you are having problems loading the video clip on whatever device you are using, and find that you prefer Youtube, here is the link. Enjoy!

Friday, July 11, 2014

Happy Campers, Indeed

So we're back. And while we have been back for a few days at this point... I have felt jet lagged and groggy and in no place to write anything coherent. Which is weird... because there is only a one hour time difference between home and Marshfield, WI. Who knew that knitting information overload and jet lag could have the same effects?

In any case, I thought that I would wrap up the week with some point form Knit Camp notes.

In short- Knit Camp? So good. Like... SO good. I can't say that I did much research into Knit Camp before setting sail. I just knew that I loved Meg Swanson. But man oh man, am I ever glad that we went.

We met wonderful people, ate some decent food, knit A LOT of stitches and learned even more about those stitches than we knew possible. 

Knit Camp. You're great. 

And readers? If you are considering going at some point in this lifetime- GET ON IT. Do whatever it is you have to do to get there, and then go.

So without further ado, in point form, I present to you a quick summary of what went down in Wisconsin.

As one might expect, we knit.

My colourwork baby bonnet out of Icelandic Unspun held double

And then we knit some more.

Tara is wearing- Juneberry by Jared Flood
Tara is knitting- fingerless gloves out of Manos Alegria

We ate.

Deep fried dill pickles- a Wisconsin speciality.
Or so I'm told...

We then ate some more. (As people tend to do)

Hummus and feta omelette from Meg's sister
Lloie's restaurant "The Kitchen Table"
where Lloie herself was hard at work
We tried on yarn in various states of knit.

Don't try and tell me that you wouldn't have done the same thing...
Yarn- Jamieson Shetland 2ply Spindrift 
We steeked. (For the first time EVER. Video footage to come.)

Tara's colour work baby bonnet.

We took some Wisconsin style selfies.


Some VERY happy campers

 And then got some proper pictures taken with the inspiration behind the Baby Surprise Jacket himself. An experience that truly left me far more breathless than that time I came face-to-face with Mr. T. Oh, SWOON.

EZ designed the ever popular Baby Surprise Jacket when Meg
was pregnant with her son Cully (pictured) in 1968.

 We fondled mountains of gorgeous hand knits.

Gorgeous is an understatement.
 And then had mini heart attacks when we flipped the hemline, only to discover who had actually knit said handknits.

A little piece of knitting history- right there in front of me, just like any other regular day. (NOT!)
Marshfield, Wisconsin- you and your inhabitants are wonderful. 

Fields and farms for miles.

Knit Camp Team- That most certainly includes you.