Saturday, December 31, 2011

My Year In Knitting

Wishing you all a very happy and healthy New Year,

Filled with good health, finished projects, and yarn stashing.

Friday, December 30, 2011

Keeping Mother Mary Warm This Winter

Not much Christmas knitting happened this year for me. I knit these, and I knit those, but that's old news to you. I had good intentions (I always do), but then that sweater took over my entire knitting life which left me with little time to crank out much else.

That is until... I came across this lovely little project.

We have had these kits at the shop for a while, and everyone who knits one raves about it, and usually casts on a second one no time after the first one is finished.

After knitting one myself, I can see why.

I'm still not sure if it's the hustle and bustle of the holidays that has left me a little brain dead, or that big ol' sweater, but in any case, this was the perfect project to get me back on my knitting track.

Quick, inspiring and just oh-so-super soft. (Seriously... it's living at the shop for a while and you're welcome to pop by and have a squeeze).

I like to knit for my mom at Christmas (knitting is sort of our 'thing', you know? It's what we do), and these days, I try to knit something other than socks (I save those for Mother's Day). This Christmas was looking like it was going to be a Chapters gift card until about December 10th when I finally kicked it into high gear, wound the yarn, and knit like the wind.

By Christmas Eve, it was in a box, wrapped up in some pretty paper and I even managed to slap a sweet little bow on there. The best part? I wasn't feeling stressed about it and my shoulders weren't in agony from too much midnight knitting. This project just seemed to sort of fall off the needles.

Good thing too because now that it's finally cold, that woman is going to need this. Her house is absolutely freezing, and I don't even feel the cold the way that she does. Better bundle up mother!

There is no such thing as 'too much' fringe

Info you may want to know.

Pattern- Mountain Colors Warm and Wooly Throw Trio (I did the Easy knitted Throw)
Yarn- It's a kit! But in that kit there are four yarns as follows
-Mountain Colors Mohair
-Mountain Colors Moguls
-Mountain Colors Merino Goat
-Mountain Colors Merino Ribbon
Colourway- Harvest
Needles- 8 mm Chiaogoo bamboo

And just a wee piece of advice to those that might want to knit this. I followed the pattern exactly, but the kind people over at Mountain Colors are more than generous with the amount of yarn in the kit. If I were to knit this again, I would most definitely add one more repeat.

So dear knitters, I hope that the holidays have left you feeling all warm inside- whether you have a new throw to cuddle up under or not.

The end of December means that it's finally time to knit for ourselves.

So, get cracking already!
What are you waiting for?

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas To All

And to all,

a good night.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

In Which I Overcome My Susperstitions

I knew when my boyfriend showed up for our first date wearing a knitted (albeit not hand knitted) sweater vest, that perhaps this could be the man for me. (Way to jump to conclusions Lynn!!!) I vowed that I wouldn't dive right into the "I'm knitting my boyfriend a sweater" stage for a while as I didn't want to freak the poor guy out. As we sat over Indian Food on that cold and rainy night however, he spoke of  how many siblings he had, where his family was from, what kind of food made him sick (thankfully, not Indian)... While he filled me in on first-date-details, I did my best not to look like I was doing a brain scan of my stash. I have a mental rolodex of yarns I own, yarns I could own, yarns I want to own, patterns I love... and if I meet you and really, really like you, I start a search of that catalogue- without even knowing it.

When I heard it through the grapevine that his 30th birthday was looming, I felt that that was my green light to go. Interesting, because I'll have you know, I'm quite a superstitious person- this is something I'm not proud of. For those that missed the memo, there is a well known superstition amongst the knitting world known as the 'sweater curse' which essentially tells us to 'never knit your man a sweater, unless you have the ring'.
Five months before his 30th birthday however, I gave myself a pep talk, made the decision to test fate, and cast on.

By the end of November, I handed him over his sweater.

Honeycomb cabling on a man??? Yes please.

When I first made this crazy idea known at the shop, many eyebrows were raised. I can't say I blame anyone for doubting me. My track record is pretty shady when it comes to actually finishing projects. So for me to get through this sweater is a major milestone in my knitting career- especially, getting through it on time (deadlines are something that I desperately struggle with, even outside of my knitting life).

Since when did I get all grown up and pay attention to the calendar?

I'm pretty sure I'm going to get 'spoken to' about this posting this photo

My mother also had her doubts when I got the crazy idea to get knitting a project bigger than a foot. So much so that she even called me at home on a Sunday after I had swatched a couple of yarns (which is to say that I must have meant business) to try and talk me out of it.

You see, my mom actually really likes my boyfriend, and hated to think that I might dump his sorry (and cold!) self if I tried to knit him something other than socks.

Turns out, I didn't. I made it to his 30th birthday and was able to gift him a sweater. It's been a few weeks now and at this point, we're still a team (which is to say that we have overcome the sweater curse- thus far).

Sorta neat, right?

Should you want to make this sweater for your favorite man's 30th birthday, that's neat too.

Here is what you need to know.

Pattern- Sandnes Peer Gynt Fritid 9809-1 by Halla Einarsdottir (out of print)
Yarn- Sandnesgarn Smart, 18 balls
Needles- 3.5mm and 4mm Addi Turbos

And if you're still having a hard time believing that I actually knit a sweater for a grown man all by my lonesome (for which I wouldn't blame you)...

The proof is in the sweater tag.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Deck Those Halls

Well if I didn't open my email this morning to the most perfect Christmas/knitting image I've seen in a while... from none other than guess who!?!?!?

Yup- the mastermind (or maybe I should say part of the mastermind) behind this wreath.

And this one.

Oh yeah, and this one too.

Those knitting needles are surely moving faster than the speed of light.

I hope your decorating isn't getting in the way of your knitting dear knitters!

Thursday, December 08, 2011

'Super Cupcake' Indeed

I am going to start by saying that the name of the pattern I am about to share with you is called 'Super Cupcake'. I would be lying if I didn't admit that the name was the inital draw to the pattern.

Why? Well (if you must know), I like cupcakes -A LOT.

Then, a yarn arrived at the shop that I wanted to knit with (shocking, right?).

And then came an opportunity to sit in a car for four hours as a passenger (Oh Motor City, how we love thee).

By the end of the drive there and back (well, plus maybe a bit more time on the couch to be perfectly honest with you...) my very own 'Super Cupcake' of the fat free variety was born.

Cowl and hat.

Easy as pie, simple as punch, cute as a cupcake on a birthday.

All I need is a cape to take this to the next 'Super Cupcake' level.
('Super Duper Cupcake' perhaps?)

Gift giving season? HAH! Hilarious.

I'm keeping this puppy all to my greedy little self.
(Judge all you want. You'd do it too if you gave these accessories a squeeze).

Pattern- Super Cupcake by Bonne Marie Burns over at Chic Knits
Yarn- Cascade Eco Cloud in shade 1802- two skeins for the cowl, one for the hat (if your math is anything like mine, you'll be curious to know that equals three skeins total)
Needles- 4.5 mm and 5 mm, both 60 cm circular

Three cheers for Shaker Rib!

And three more for bolts of Liberty fabric.

Thursday, December 01, 2011

Jingle All The Way With Some Wool

As I was working my way through my Google Reader list this morning I came across this video, on this blog.

I present you with the same dare that she presents to her readers- just try not to smile.

It's December 1st my pretties.

You'd better get your knit on.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Because He Is (Still) A Patient Man

I have happened to notice that the weather outside is getting... a little more frightful, and the fire a little more delightful. Since this is the case, I thought that I would finally once and for all give back the hat and scarf that I so lovingly knit my boyfriend last Christmas (who so lovingly 'lent' it to me for the shop... a year ago!)

Since no yarn shop should be without a mans hat however, I whipped off another one, in other colours, really just for my own personal knitting interest. (It's incredibly difficult to knit the same thing, in the same colour, twice!!! Which makes me wonder how I ever finish a pair of socks!?!?!)

The model? Same guy as last time- my cousin (yeeeah... we're related).

But this time, he's no longer looking for love. (Sorry ladies).

While this brown version of the hat suits my red head-ish cousin quite nicely, I long ago decided that this particular boy will never get another hat from my needles ever again.

Especially since I knit him one when we were about 14 years old (in navy Patons Classic Wool I recall) and not only does he not know where the hat went... he has absolutely no recollection of me ever knitting him a hat.

While he might be all smiles and charm, he has been forever blacklisted from my 'To Knit For' list.
And let me tell you, I take that list very seriously.

Pattern? Churchmouse Yarns and Tea Pressed Rib Hat and Muffler (I added an extra inch to the depth of the hat again to cover up those cold ear lobes).
Yarn? Two balls of beautiful, beautiful Zara.
Needles? 4mm circular and double points.

And now that I have returned the hat and scarf, I can forever say 'good bye' to that blasted acrylic Pittsburg Steelers toque that the dear boyfriend has insisted on wearing... in protest?

HA! Wishful thinking Lynn.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

London- See You in Ten

So today is my birthday and I'm a mere 28 years old (having a Grandma who is 90 makes me realize that 28 is just that- a 'mere' 28 years old) .

While in London last week, I made sure that I got myself on the London Eye (best city view ever invented). After taking the obligatory touristy shot I realized... that I had the exact same photo of me already.

Only 10 years ago.

Yes, 18 year old me did love to accessorize.

Guess I know where I'll be spending my 38th birthday.

Time certainly does fly when you're having fun.

Here's to another 10 years of knitting (and accessorizing).

Friday, November 18, 2011

Keeping It Real (Warm) in London Town

Lucky me has just arrived home from spending a week in London with my bitsy sister Emma. (She moved there the weekend of the Royal Wedding and has no immediate plans to come home- after my week with her, I can see why).

In an attempt to be the least offensive house guest I can be, I thought I'd kick off our week together 'in style' by presenting her with one of the mega-chunky-cowls that I just can't seem to get enough of. (Don't believe me??? Click here and here for some pretty solid evidence).

And so I have for you, a photo essay of us in London, with our cowls.

(Yeah... we're totally huge losers for wearing the same cowl in the same city on the same day... but since she's a waaaay faster walker than me -note the height difference-, I don't think that anyone noticed as we were rarely seen side by side).

We have 'turtle necks' alright!

 How about a round of 'Name that Bridge'?

Emma at Borough Market (our keens eyes sadly didn't spot our favorite chef shopping for ingredients on Saturday morning- BOO!)

Emma giving me a lesson in how to lock her fancy blue door. (She's the safest she'll ever be inside of that flat, let me tell you!)

Glamour shot on the Millenium Bridge.

Dumb tourist shot in front of St. Paul's Cathedral (just moments before we saw Mayor Boris trot by in a fancy red and gold carriage).

Emma enjoying her chorizo sandwich after strolling the Columbia Road flower market.

And myself doing... much the same.

Need a hostess gift?

Look no further my friends.

This chunky cowl has got you covered.

Wednesday, November 02, 2011

Goliath? I Have Your Sock

Driving back from Collingwood two weekends ago, I was sitting in the passenger seat knitting away and enjoying the lovely scenery. (I had a gift certificate to this place, and finally got to use it. Even if you aren't lucky enough to have a gift certificate, you must go now. Or at least add it to your Christmas list!) Seemingly, I was enjoying my knitting so much, that I neglected to look down the entire time we were cruising and I found myself with a massive sock.

Not just a 'Whoa! That's a big sock! Maybe I can get my brother to shimmy it up his foot and make it work!' sock.

More like a 'Holy smokes. Where's Goliath when you need him?' kind of sock.

I looked online to see what this sock measurement equals in terms of men's shoe sizes.

Apparently, it's a size men's US 14.5.

Is it just me...

 Yarn- Mountain Colors Crazy Foot

Or am I the only one blushing here?

That sock looks a little obscene if you ask me.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Happy Hallowe'en!

Since I am pretty positive that one can never be too old for Hallowe'en costumes, I thought I'd share with you this years version.

(If you missed the past few years, just click here and here).

Time seemed to slip away on me this year and on Friday morning, I ran into Value Village to drop a bunch of stuff off. I then gave myself 10 minutes, and $20.00 to find a costume.

After immediately spotting an a-line skirt from Peach Berserk with 'kissy-lips' all over it  (that would have made 14 year old me ECSTATIC!), I left with $14.00 and 8 minutes to spare.

What you can't see is the little pink, red and white bunting hanging over my head

Oh, the things you can do with the boxes that your yarn is shipped in...

Wishing you all a Happy Hallowe'en!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Mohair/Silk (Burlap) Cowl

Last night I was sitting at my kitchen table, knitting away when my cousin/roomie asked me 'Lynn? What's the difference between burlap and knitting?' Since this wasn't an entirely odd question (as far as questions from him go), I took my time giving him an answer. He thanked me, shared his Kraft Dinner with me and carried on with his evening.

When he came home a little later in the night, I proudly modelled my brand new, hot-off-the-needles project (inspired by a customer who was at Show and Tell two weeks back).

The project? A mohair bias looped cowl.

His reaction? 'Lynn- That looks pretty itchy. Doesn't it feel sort of like you're wearing a strip of burlap around your neck?'


Thanks heavens I don't allow other people's comments to affect my level enthusiasm for my latest project (remember this???) Especially since- I absolutely love this project.

So just to clear the air, I gotta tell you- this light and airy mohair/silk cowl does not in fact feel like burlap against my most sensitive skin- it feels more like little angels are kissing my neck.

HA! And the yarn used is called 'Angel'!

What the HECK are the odds?!?!?!?

What's more? You can wear this little number in a multitude of ways! (Does three ways count as a 'multitude?')


As I mentioned above, this project was inspired by a customer who brought her mohair cowl to the shop's annual Show and Tell two weeks ago. I cast on a few days after I saw her version, and after running into her at an Indian Restaurant over the weekend (and gushing over how I loved it so much that I'm making my own...), I thought I'd be a big fat phoney if I didn't follow through and get 'er done.

(So is that the secret to finishing projects!?!?!?!)

Pattern? Churchmouse Yarns and Teas Mohair Bias Cowl (we've got copies at the shop!)
Yarn? Two balls of Debbie Bliss Angel in 'Chestnut'
Needles? 6.5 mm circular by Chiagoo

Stay warm folks.

And remember- leave the burlap to the roses this time of year.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Baby's Got A Brand New Blog

So, this is a picture of my dear sister and I in Florida last February. (It's nice to have a face to the name sometimes... you know?)

Oh, to be wearing a bathing suit again...

And I just thought I'd tell you guys that she has been bloggity-blog-blogging out in Kitchener over the past few weeks.

So, add it to your Google Reader, Faves list... whatever floats your boat.

Just thought I'd pass that news along.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Happy 90th Birthday Grandma!

Since one doesn't turn 90 everyday, I felt as though it was appropriate to wish my dear Grandma a very Happy 90th Birthday today in blog-land.

If it weren't for her... my mother wouldn't have likely knit (click here to read a summary of how Mother Mary learned to knit)...

And while it wasn't my mother who taught me, being surrounded by knitterly things growing up certainly planted the seed that grew that knitterly beast within.

Need photo evidence that our family's knitting history runs deep?

You got it.

Photo taken from a scrapbook that my Mom made me for my 21st birthday. Photo circa 1940-ish I would guess.

Happy Birthday to you Grandma.

This photo was taken last week as the birthday celebrations were just kicking off. Two generations of knitters (the third generation was snapping this pic).

Thanks for passing down those mad knitting skills.

We love you lots.


ps- how fitting that today also happens to be 'I Love Yarn Day'... what a day to celebrate!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Fraternal Triplets

So, I've had this plan that I will knit a pair of socks each month from now until Christmas. This will ensure that there will be none of that panicked Christmas Eve grafting which has become a part of my Yuletide tradition. (This is one tradition that I will be happy to leave behind one of these years).

Everything was moving along fine and dandy until I cast on the second sock of a pair mid-September.

I finished the cuff and thought to myself 'Really!?!?? This matches???'

After consulting with many a knitter, it was established that no. This isn't a pair (in the traditional sense of the term).

My man friend (who already doesn't understand how I have the patience to knit socks seeing as I barely have the patience to wait for water to boil) said that he would happily wear them, even though they don't match.

But, I didn't cast these socks on with him in mind, and I have some Christmas gifts to knit already!

So, I finished the second... and then cast on a third.

There is a first for everything, and this is the first time that I have ever knit three socks to make a pair.

All I can imagine is that the sock-yarn-spinning-machine hiccuped, causing one ball to be vastly different from it's cousins.

I'm ok with it. While it's thrown me off schedule, it's not like I don't like knitting socks.

Besides, everyone is permitted to make mistakes every once in a while- even yarn spinning machines.

I have forgiven this yarn. So much so that I might have even cast on a turquoise pair for me...

Yarn? Sandnesgarn Strompegarn (I'm pretty sure that means 'sock yarn' in Norwegian) Fantasy
Needles? 2.5 mm double points
Pattern? It's still in my head... I should really get it out there and into the world someday.
Size? Mens 10

So, I suppose that it's time I think of a recipient with a need for three socks.

Or two people with the need for three socks?

As for that 'Sock Plunge' I commited to a while back... does this count as 1.5 pairs??? That would put me at 2.5/26.

Let me know.

Wednesday, October 05, 2011

In Which We Must Thank the Sheep

This past weekend was the much loved Markham Fair. I make a point of going each and every year with my buddy Amy. We always end up stuffing our faces with Tiny Tom's donuts while we moan and groan about how adorable barn yard animals are and oogle the lovely quilts and knitting. (A big 'congrats' to all of the knitting winners out there!)

It just so happens that every year we go, it's absolutely freezing outside. It always feels like the first official 'cold' of Fall arrives the moment we step onto the fairgrounds. Since I am getting wiser with age (ha!), I planned ahead this year and made sure to knit myself an ultra warm accessory.

Sorry dude... I've got your wool.    

I even made a point of posing with the producers of the fibre. (Thanks guys!) I would have given my left foot for one of their fleeces that night had I not taken matters into my own hands.

But either way, I owe them a big thank you.
Info on cowl? Well... I've knit this cowl before, and I promise you I'll knit it again! This baby whips up in about as much time as it takes to go grocery shopping. (Now what would you rather do???)

Pattern- My Kind of Town Cowl by Trish Woodsen
Yarn- Cascade Magnum- 1 skein
Needles- 12.75 mm (SEE! I wasn't kidding when I said it knit up at warp speed)

I suggest you make one for yourself for the next time Markham Fair rolls around- you've got plenty of time to make a few of them actually... Oh heck- enter one in the fair if you really want. Just be sure you have one to wear when you go collect your prize winnings.

Speaking of entering things into the fair... here is a sampling of my Uncle's winnings- first prize tomoatoes! (There was also first prize peppers, watermelons...the list goes on!)

Oh Markham Fair...

I love you.

Even though you're colder than winter camping in February.