Monday, December 31, 2012

2012 Wrap Up

2012 was a good year- a really good year. It was without a doubt 'The Year of the Wedding' for me. I was a bridesmaid three times, a guest once and even a bride (thank heavens, also only once).

While it was the 'Year of the Wedding' in my personal life, it's safe to say that in my knitting life, it was the 'Year of the Baby'. I knit six baby sweaters and two baby blankets. Funny... because I don't know that many babies. But I suppose that when  you have a year of weddings, a year (or several years!) of babies to follow is inevitable.

And just like I learned as a wee Brownie many moons ago... I'm just doing my best to 'Be Prepared'.

Whatever the case may be, it was a year filled with joy- and as always, knitting.

Wishing you all a very Happy New Year.

May your 2013 be filled with joy, love, happiness, and of course- even more knitting than 2012.

Monday, December 24, 2012

When In Need- Just Make It Yourself

One of the nice things about being a 'maker', is that when you need something- something specific- you can often just make it yourself.

Such is the case with these fingerless gloves.

I knit myself a pair YEARS ago out of some Koigu that I had in my stash. I used Smoking Hot Needle's 'Kyla' pattern which triggered what turned into quite the binge. I knit a tonne of those gloves! For friends, for sisters, for me... you name it! Such a great pattern.

But here we are, years later and I am in need of some new ones.

The cast off had popped, there was a hole in the thumb, the colour had faded... it was getting pretty ugly.

Queue the updated (not to mention festive!) version I whipped up over the past week.

Extra long to cover my knuckles
I was hoping to have these done by the 15th for our annual 'tree cutting' day, but low and behold, I got cocky and messed up both thumb gussets royally.

When will this knitter ever learn that there is no such thing as a knitting pattern that's too easy!?!?!?!

And extra long cuff to fold back over my wrist

While I did miss the tree cutting day deadline, I completed them just in time for our first snowfall of the season on Friday. I wore them while I shoveled, and I wore them yesterday as we headed over to my sister and brother-in-law's for lunch.

Merry Christmas to me!

Festive Nail Polish- OPI's 'Die Another Day' from the 007 Collection
Christmas is here folks, and there is that nip in the air that tells us not only Santa is on his way, but that Jack Frost has already arrived.

Details pour vous
Yarn- Naturally's Aran Tweed in shade 86, 1.5 balls total
Pattern- Churchmouse Yarns and Teas Ferryboat Mitts
Needles- 4mm DPN

I might just be hearing the rumblings of another binge just around the corner- and I'm not only referring to a Christmas cookie binge!

Merry Christmas everyone!

Wishing you and yours a wonderful, happy and healthy holiday season.


Friday, December 21, 2012

Mystery Solved

The day after our wedding, my man and I climbed into the car and somehow managed to get ourselves up to my parent's place to eat a little food and open a few gifts. It was quiet and intimate. We just took our time, and delighted in each card and token of our love. It was the perfect way to wind down after a pretty exciting past 24 hours.

And then... we got to an unmarked box.

The box had no paper to rip off, but had a red and green printed pattern all over it. And when we took off the lid, we found ourselves simply covered in glitter. As we dug through the tissue paper, we uncovered one Christmas ornament after another, all clearly handmade- some of them even yarn themed! But by whom???

Red Yarn!
We could not for the life of us figure out which kind souls had thought to give us ornaments to help us get in the festive spirit for our first Christmas together as a married couple. 

I must confess that without these ornaments, our neighbors would have thought we had given up on Christmas all together. We had no plans to put up a tree, no plans to hang up lights, not even any plans to buy a wreath... As of the day after our wedding, we just had plans to catch up on our sleep.

And Green Yarn!

But when you're given a box of such thoughtful handmade ornaments like we were, it somehow reignites the Christmas spirit within- fatigued, or not.

So we kicked our Scrooge-ish ways to the curb, bought a mini tree and decked those halls of ours.

Who could the thoughtful recipient be!?!?!?

Complete with tree topper et al.

Or should I say cake topper?

So who do you think it was that so kindly made us our box of ornaments???

'His and Her' sheep on chocolate disks from Swiss Master Chocolates

Why none other than our two absolutely beautiful, glitter loving, six year old flower girls.

Christmas arrangement by my lovely and talented sister

Thank you girls.

Christmas in our house truly would not have been the same this year, were it not for all of your love.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

An Early Christmas Gift To Me- From Me

I thought I might give the wedding talk a rest, and show and tell a little something that I somehow managed to finish up recently. While I can't say that the bulk of the knitting happened recently, the casting off part did- and I'm thrilled.

Not only am I thrilled that I actually finished something, I am thrilled with the finished product. I can't tell you how rare that is... So sad, but so true.

I seem to recall casting this sweater on during one of those BRUTAL hot days last summer. The kind of hot that is too hot to even go swimming because the pool feels like a bathtub. You know?

While I'm not entirely sure what possessed me to cast on a long sleeved, alpaca/wool blend sweater... I did. And not only did I cast it on, I knit the entire darned thing (minus the stupid neckline) during the hot, hot heat of the summer.


And am I ever pleased that I did.

Because that Mother Nature of ours kept her promise, and winter has indeed rolled around once again.

And I have found myself with a lovely new warm sweater to head out and chop down a Christmas tree in next weekend. 'Tis the season for long sleeves and wool!

An early Christmas present to me, from me you could say.
Necklines and Raglans

I must confess that this sweater would have likely sat in a pile on the floor for even longer than it did had it not been for some kind customers that gave me the kick in the pants I needed to get 'er done.Why is it that I can be so close to the finish line, and then bail and move onto another project? Another project that will also likely lie on the floor until someone sets me straight...

What the HECK is my problem?

Yeah no... I did not knit that hat

This sweater was well worth the effort however and I'm eternally grateful for that much needed kick to the finish line.

So much so, that I intend to cast on another one of these as soon as the Yuletide festivities are behind us.

I will be sure to let you know when I'm ready to do the neckline and need a firm talking to regarding seeing it through until the end. Be as harsh as you want. I'll need it.

While I would be the first to admit that this sweater isn't anything entirely exciting, it's something that is entirely wearable- and I like that. Perfect for the cozy weekends indoors that lie ahead and perfect for those late night skates on the public rink after dinner.

Like I said, it's perfect.

Certainly not the workmanship... but the idea of this sweater is perfect.

And that's good enough for me.

You know what else is perfect?

Nail Polish- Butter of London in Wallis
Purchased at Blossom Lounge

How well my tacky nail polish matches my green sweater.

Festive, indeed.

Some sweater details to keep you warm as follows:

Pattern- Basic Chic Pulli by Bonne Marie Burns over at Chic Knits (I opted against the waist shaping so that I can eat as much as I want at Christmas dinner and not look pregnant in my newly knit sweater)
Yarn- Berroco Ultra Alpaca 5 skeins in a lovely shade of green, and some little leftovers from my Vonica for the cast off on the waistband and cuffs
Needles- 4.5mm for the body, 4mm for all of the ribbing

And you know what else??? It's knit all in one piece.


Am I right or am I right?

WHAT!?!?!? Blue poinsettias?!?!?

Felice Navidad to you all!

Friday, December 07, 2012

Us Knitters? We Sassy.

When I started to plan my wedding, the first question people would ask me was 'So what are your wedding colours?' to which I replied 'Huh?'

Er, I must confess... I had no clue that weddings had colour schemes. But I must also confess to knowing very little about weddings at all.

So in order to have an answer ready for anyone that asked, I picked out some grey and green invitations that I fancied and ran with it. It felt like a pretty good starting point.

And you know what??? It worked (if I do say so myself!). The green was a lovely pop of much needed colour in an otherwise somewhat dreary month and the grey worked as a beautiful backdrop for my brightly hued flowers. I was pleased with the outcome.

What I was also pleased with however, was this incredibly thoughtful gift made by my buddies Lynn and Kerry. (Remember them???)

Most definitely inspired by my wedding colours.


Ah. Maze. Ing.


Wedding colours or not, I flippin' love it.

The grey yarn and the green Christmas balls? A perfect blend of contrasting colour and texture. SO beautiful.

Since the colours were just so perfect for my big day, I didn't hesitate for a moment to incorporate this wreath into my wedding decor. It hung proudly on the podium where the speeches were made, for all of our lovely guests to see.

This wreath contains luxury fibres only- HELLO!

So thank you dear friends. I love it like crazy and it will hang on many doors for years to come.

I appreciate you parting with all of the beautiful yarn from your stash (talk about stash busting!!!), and I appreciate all of those glue-gun inflicted blisters I saw on your poor hands. Those blisters must have seriously hindered your Christmas knitting productivity levels and I can't thank you enough.

OH! And I almost forgot to share one little detail with you.

Silly me... how could I?!?!?

I urge you to take a moment to check out the tag that was included on the wreath.

And who says knitters aren't sassy people?!?!?!

Talk about starting off my marriage with a BANG!

Much love. ♥

Wednesday, December 05, 2012

When Wool Gets Woven

We have a friend at the shop whom we have known since the first few weeks of opening up our doors almost ten years ago. She is a prolific knitter whose sleep patterns I question as I have done the math... and really have no idea how she manages to get through as much as she does in a day.

Her knitting is always beautiful (I mean always) and more recently, so is her weaving.

Several months ago she popped into Mary's Yarns to pick out the wool to weave my sister and her husband a blanket as a wedding gift. I helped her pick out some beautiful shades of purples and browns, and as we were laying them all out to admire our selection, she spotted my newly acquired engagement ring.

'Are you getting married too?' she asked.

'Yup' said I.

'Well...' she paused,  'you may as well pick out your colours while we're at it!' What kept her from running out the door screaming is beyond my wildest dreams...

As it turns out, I didn't pick out my colours that day- but I didn't have to.

I left that up to the expert.

And not surprisingly, she did a most wonderful job.

Not only did she do a wonderful job with the colour selection, but with the weaving itself.

Absolutely wonderful.

Our blanket... is stunning. So much so that when I got home that night and draped it over a chair to admire it, even my husband (OH! I love saying that word! HUSBAND!) said 'WHOA! Where did that come from!?!?! Now THAT, is a nice blanket.'

Home decor isn't exactly his 'thing'. I was rather shocked that the dear man even noticed it at all!

So trust me... that says it all right there.

While I can't say that this present was a complete surprise, it was more surprising than one might think.

Even when you've been given a major clue such as 'Lynn, pick out the colours you want for your own blanket' (can I even call that a clue???) you don't actually believe it until it is finished, right in front of you, with your very own name on the gift tag.

He asked to be in the photo.
I couldn't refuse such a face.
It was just last week that we were presented with our present and already I have curled up under this beautiful blanket to nap, to knit, to read and to watch a movie. It's only a week old, and I've already put it to work.

You might think that she intentionally coordinated her colours with my cushion, wouldn't you?

The yarn? Cascade Eco.

How many skeins? We don't know... but several. Let's say several.

Needle size? HA! Just kidding. I can't talk weaving... so I'm not even going to try.

So thank you friend. Winter is upon us and these nights are getting chilly. Nothing like a thick wool blanket to keep the shivers at bay.

And to all of you dear knitters, I hope that you are also staying warm.

Because I know that we certainly are. ♥

Monday, December 03, 2012

Toasty Toes for Two

I have a friend- a really good friend- from whom I have drawn much knitting inspiration over the years. Her knitting is beautiful, her stitches even, her production level impressive, and her projects, unique.

Throughout her career, she was a knitting teacher. More specifically, a handwork teacher- but much of her teaching revolved around knitting. Dreamy... right? Over the years she had the privilege to watch literally hundreds of children discover the joy of knitting.

While she did not teach me how to knit, I was fortunate enough to sit as a student of hers for two years, and she has quite literally watched me (and my knitting!) grow.

Much to my disappointment, she was unable to attend our wedding due to a previous commitment, but she so graciously stopped by the shop just days before, with a beautiful gift bag in tow.

I had strict instructions not to open the bag until we were married, and I gladly sat tight and waited. I am rather impatient by nature, so while the waiting nearly killed me, I knew that this surprise would be worth the wait.

After our two day post wedding trip, the first thing we did when we got in the door was open our gift. While I wasn't entirely sure what our gift was, I could tell from the weightlessness of the gift bag that it certainly wasn't a package of mixing cement.

While it might be crass to admit this... I am going to. Deep down, I had my fingers crossed that our wedding gift from her was something of the knitting sort.

As it turns out, I was right.  


His and hers socks. 

So perfect.

In every way possible.

On left- Opal Shade 5431
On right- Opal Shade 5430

Knit at a nice tight gauge to prevent holes, re-enforced heels, ribbing down the leg and top of the foot for a snug fit, stripes lined up exactly to the stitch- there are so many things about these socks that make them wonderful.

What's more, is that she had me unknowingly choose my own wedding sock yarn! What a sneaky thing to do... But oh-so clever! She had been in the shop a while back and as I enthusiastically showed her our latest shipment of Opal Van Gogh sock yarn, she ended up buying the two balls that I was most keen on.

She left the shop leaving me feeling quite chuffed that she had actually listened to my opinion (a true Knitting Queen if there ever was one- listening to me!?!?!?) only to surprise me weeks later with the yarn not only knit up, but knit up with me and my man in mind.

Warm toes together

I'll take 'His & Hers' socks over 'His and Hers' monogrammed towels any day. 

Those stripes... so perfectly lined up!

So thank you dear friend for the thoughtful and warm wedding gift. My man and I are lovers of hand knits, and lovers of warm toes. Getting married in November, we should have thought to register for hand knitted socks... but thanks to you, we didn't have to.

You just knew.

Here's to keeping those toes toasty over the upcoming cooler months.


Saturday, December 01, 2012

I'm A Wife!

I'm baaaaack! And I'm maaaaarried! And only is it just now, two weeks after our big day that I'm starting to feel my wedding hangover subside. Since our big day, I have felt jet lagged and foggy. Someone could have mugged me on the street and I likely would have just shrugged and shuffled onwards.

However, after much planning, we can now get on with married life, and I'm so happy to be moving forward. Goodbye wedding, Hello Christmas! So nice...

While I am not too interested in going on and on about my wedding here, I do have a few things I would like to share with you that are wedding related over the coming weeks.

Two reasons.

1- Because I am fortunate to know many talented people. Really... you have no idea. And there was lots of yarn and knitting related goodness to be had at our wedding, and the festivities that surrounded it. I think I would be cheating all of you not to share some of these wonderful things!

2- I don't care if you love or hate weddings, we're all nosey people (that's why we read blogs! Admit it!) So when I get some decent wedding photos, I will most certainly share them with you.

In the meantime, speaking of talented people and wedding photos... Check out what Mother Mary made for the top of our chocolate wedding cake!

My poor groom seems to have misplaced his glasses!

The likeness is uncanny.

So there you go. That's the best photo that I've got of us on our big day.

More to come.

I promise.

Thanks for all of the love everyone!

It is so very much appreciated- you have no idea.