Sunday, May 29, 2011

Hello, hello, hello....Is there anybody out there? Just nod if you can hear me....

Well hello. I know it's been a long long time but let me first start off this blog by saying that depression is a debilitating, painful, soul-sucking, energy-sapping condition (disease?) And I thank modern science and the big old nasty pharmaceutical companies that make billions from it. I don't mention this because I want to discuss this in here because that's not what this blog is for. I only mention it to explain my lengthy absence. I am feeling MUCH better and I can function now and my goal is to get to a place where I can toss the little helpers that work oh so well.

Okay, that aside, now I can tell you the things I've been up to. I've been knitting a lot of different things. When my "crash" occurred, I was just making that yellow scarf with the beads. I really enjoyed that and I plan to make more of that pattern. I will make changes and create my own pattern for the next one.

I learned Entrelac! Where have you been all my life Entrelac?? Wow, it's a lot of fun and looks amazing with self-stripping yarn like Noro. I look forward to blogging about that!

I'm working on a pair of socks for a friend using Berroco Sox Metallic. I selected the Fox Faces Socks pattern by Nancy Bush that I found for free in Ravelry.

The other really exciting thing is that I am going to Wellington Fibres Mill in Elora, Ontario this week to look at....are you ready??...a SPINNING WHEEL! I'm so freakin' excited it's not even funny!! I feel like a kid at Christmas. That will be fun blogging about my adventures to the mill.

I made a several Candle Light Cowls a few weeks ago. They were a lot of fun and really fast to work up on a 16" circular needle. I'll blog about those later too.

Well, the weather here is really crappy lately. It's been a very cold spring and lately it hasn't stopped raining or at least overcast. Today there's a low hung cloud right above us and it's around 99% humidity. When the wind blows the tree, water sprinkles down on me here on the deck even though it's not raining out. My hair is starting to look like an afro...hehe.

I've got a heavy sweater on out here on the deck getting a little more done on the Fox Sox trying to keep out of the cool breeze. It really looks like the sun is trying to push its way through the thick grey mass above us. The Bob-O-Links are going bananas all around me and I keep hearing a hawk out near the bush lot. There's a
Grackle that nested in the hole in our maple tree right in front of the deck. It's being all noisy because I'm sitting here but it just better get used to me. I'm certainly not a threat. As I've been typing this blog, a hummingbird came by and hovered right beside me, not 2 feet away. I guess it saw the vibrant blue yarn on the table beside me.

Directly behind where I'm sitting right now is a 100 acre parcel of pine trees and then beyond that, a sheep farm. A few minutes ago the donkeys that protect the sheep let out some VERY loud brays. I guess something bitey was nearing the sheep. We have lots of wild dogs and coyotes around here. We've even seen a few wolves and occasionally the odd cougar might happen by.

Well, I just wanted you guys to know where I've been and hopefully I'm back. I can't make promises but I'll do my best.

For those of you that private messaged me from twitter, sorry I didn't respond. I just didn't have the energy...NO insult intended. I truly appreciate your concern.

Later Fibre Peeps

BevKnits with your Daily Dose of Fibre

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Sunday, February 6, 2011

Day 36 - Becca's Cowl and The Reason for a Road Trip to Listowel

If you know me, you know I don't need a lot of encouragement to head on over to Listowel on the quest for yarn.

My eldest son's lovely girlfriend, Becca, texted me on Saturday wondering if there were any nearby yarn shops to go to, she needed some bulky yarn to make this cowl pattern she found. It was 12:00 when she sent the text and the only nearby LYS closes at noon. I asked her if she wanted to go to Listowel to The Yarn Factory Outlet because it's open until 5:00pm on Saturday.

So off we headed on the quest for yarn. It was a very nice drive. Earlier in the day there wasn't a cloud in the sky but the sun was reflecting off the bright white snow. My eyes are very sensitive to the sunlight so I was quite happy that the sky had clouded over obscuring the sun.

The yarn that Becca picked out was the Kertzer Tweed Montage like I used on my Lofty Ear Flap Hat and Mitts but in a different colourway. She got the colourway that I have here waiting for a project.

After a short detour through the Timmie's drive-through for a mocha, we went back to their house (they live across the road from our farm) and she cast-on the 34 stitches on 8mm needles as required in her pattern. I let her do a few rows of stocking stitch and then I showed her how to do the cable required in her pattern. It was a 20 stitch cable so 10 on the cable needle! That's a big cable!

Becca is the young lady that learned to knit on her own and knit a dish cloth. She came to me and said she wanted to learn how to knit socks. I kinda said that the normal progression isn't Dishcloth-Sock, there's usually a few different projects in between but she wanted to. She picked it up SO FAST!! She did indeed knit a pair of socks! I was thoroughly impressed so I was quite confident that she would pick up cables easy-peasy (lemon squeezie).

Ya think?:

Becca is AWESOME! I can't wait to see the finished cowl.

I didn't get much knitting done today. After I left Becca and Mike's house, I went home, got my hubby up and we headed out for a nice supper with Brenda & Norm and Dan & Evelin. When we got home from there I made a cake for Ed's birthday which we plan to celebrate at Sunday Morning Breakfast Club.

Here's the cake before I put it into the cake carrier. It's a little tall so the very tips of the whipped cream got a little flattened but it wasn't bad at all.

It's a Black Forest cake. I used a packaged Devil's Food Cake mix for the base cake. Sprinkled liberally with Kirsch then assembled with real whipped cream and sweet pitted cherries that I get at a Mennonite market nearby. The chocolate on the outside is shaved milk chocolate. The cherries on the top are maraschino. I didn't use the sweet pitted cherries on top as they aren't as "pretty" as the maraschino ones.

I think an extra lap around the farm on the snowshoes is warranted this week! Need to burn off the extra calories in this puppy!!

Until later,

BevKnits with your Daily Dose of Fibre

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Day 35 - Eyelet & Wavy Cables Blanket

I didn't get much knitting done on Friday so I thought I'd show you all a blanket I made last summer. The pattern is Eyelet & Wavy Cables Blanket from Creative Knitting, March 2010.

I used a machine washable acrylic in a lovely blue.

Just a simple garter stitch border and then followed by this nice pattern. It's cables on one side and eyelets on the other so the blanket is reversible.

This is the eyelet side:

This is the cable side (my preference):

I think that if I were to make this same blanket, I wouldn't use the wavy cable. I would use only one and make a nice twisted cable. You can see where I made a mistake and did the same cable a couple of times.

Ahhhh, remember this weather??

I just went out and took this picture. I can't open that door because the snow is stack up against it so this is through the antique glass and then the screen door so sorry about the quality, but you get my point:

Until later,

BevKnits with your Daily Dose of Fibre

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Thursday, February 3, 2011

Day 34 - More Baby Things

The daughter of a friend is about to have a baby. I've never met the young woman but I still wanted to make a little something for her new baby. Problem is, we don't know the sex.

Everyone is telling me to think boy so I'm making a little set out of some Bernat Jr. Jacquards I have in the blue/green/yellow/white colourway. Now watch, it'll be a girl!!

I started this set yesterday and as of the writing of this blog, I have almost the last sock done. I love knitting small person things! They work up so fast. :o)

I have many passions and nature photography is one of them. I specially like sunrises and sunsets. I snapped this one with my iPhone the other night. I just happened to catch a glimpse of the sunset so I ran outside and got a few shots. It can change VERY quickly.

So, even though it's not fibre related, Enjoy!

BevKnits with your Daily Dose of Fibre

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Day 33 - Knitting Stitch Markers

One of the other things I do with my time is make Knitting Stitch Markers. I used to make lots of bracelets and anklets but not so much anymore. I still have a large supply of finished jewellery and a very large supply of glass beads. I was going to start selling stuff like that online or in LYS but I just didn't get around to it but my friends all have really nice stitch markers ;o)

Here are some small cut glass bead markers in process, suitable for 3mm needle and less.

These ones are larger, will fit up to 6mm needle:

Here's a mess of psychedelic glass ones, up to 5mm needle:

Assortment of marker sets:

I love these ones!! These lovely glass beads are flat so they lay flat on your work. I use these ones the most!

I have these ones at a LYS nearby. I don't really shop there anymore so I should probably go get them. I had a spare piece of mirror glass so I made the little box they're in. (I'm also a stained glass artisan, if you didn't know that about me)

Here's about 1/3 of my glass beads on the bench in the glass shop. I love those balancing fish too. They're made out of glass and balance on their front fins.

I really should spend a day making a huge bunch of new markers but for now, the beads are here waiting for a nice knitted shawl that needs some nice beads.

Well, back to my knitting. I'm trying to get a hat/mitt/sock set made for the daughter of a friend who is scheduled to have her newest baby any time now. It was due on Feb 2 but still no baby (as far as I know).

Until later,
BevKnits with your Daily Dose of Fibre

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Day 32 - More Socks and Our Knitting Group

It's funny when you talk about knitting in public, like at a restaurant, it's amazing how many people you will find that either knit or used to knit (or crochet). There are lots of creative people out there.

I love to knit with groups of other knitters, you learn SO much! On Tuesday, we had our first Bitch & Stitch session in Dundalk at Dianna's house. It was awesome even though there was only 3 of us. I'm a complete moron though, I didn't take one freakin' photo while I was there. D-oh!

Dianna is working on a crocheted shrug with this lovely navy blue and rust yarn and she's also working on an pink crocheted afghan using the Pink Harmony from Bernat. She has a knitted scarf on the go too but I think she's going to frog that because it's too wide.

Brenda was working on her white modified fan & feather baby blanket and I was knitting a baby sweater for Dianna's granddaughter. Unfortunately, I went too far before the yoke reduction and had to unknit 3 rows. Then I got the yoke reduction done and then I knit too far and will have to unknit about an inch so I put it aside and pulled out my Bordello Sock to work on.

Dianna made us a lovely pot of coffee and we enjoyed each other's company and got bunch of stuff knit up.

We will be meeting again next week, this time on Thursday so hopefully Debbie will be able to join us.

Because I didn't take any photos while we were knitting, I thought I'd show you a couple more pairs of the socks I've made.

This pattern is called Eagle's Flight and that yarn is Austermann Step, with Jojoba Oil and Aloe Vera right in the yarn. Lovely stuff to work with and extra lovely to wear.

These socks are made with Filatura di Crosa, Maxime Print. It's a 5-ply sport weight yarn and is also very lovely to work with. This is just the standard sock with a gusset and heel flap pattern. I don't like to do lace or cables with the self-striping yarn so much.

Next week at the B&S I will try to remember to take a few pictures ;o).

Until later,
BevKnits with your Daily Dose of Fibre

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Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Day 31 - I Think Socks Rock

For years I've wanted to learn to make socks but I was afraid of the very concept of working in the round on double pointed needles. My step mother would take ONE YEAR to finish a pair of worsted weight socks!!

So back in 2005 I decided that enough was enough! I wanted to learn to make socks. I bought a book (Patons #590, Pull Up Your Socks!) with patterns of socks and learned to make a pair of heavy worsted weight socks.

The very first pair I made with acrylic green yarn and I made them to fit my second son. Here they are on his feet:

The only thing I really couldn't learn from the text or the pictures was the Kitchener Stitch so the ends are just basically sewn shut. Thank goodness for Knitting, that's where I went to learn how graft the toe of a sock together and now I love to do it because she made it easy :o)

I then made myself a pair of acrylic heavy boot socks:

But as you know, acrylic is NOT warm and it wears very fast. But for my first two pairs of socks, this was fine yarn to use.

I bought a couple of balls of Patons SWS - Soy Wool Stripes in the Natural Plum colourway and made another pair of socks. I LOVED these socks until I accidentally put them in the washer with a load of something else and they got washed and felted before I noticed they were in there. Oh well, live and learn. SWS is 70% wool and 30% soy.

Here they are when I first finished them:

When Walmart was carrying more yarn, I found this neat self striping yarn. It was called Shaun Sheep Wool - and it was 100% wool. Unfortunately, right after I bought this yarn, they got out of all the specialty yarn and sell only Bernat and they're limited at that! If I want Bernat yarn, I'll go to the factory where it comes from!

Here's my Shaun Sheep Socks (and I made a hat to match)

Oh and yeah, I made that doily under the socks too. That was my crochet #10 cotton doily phase.

The next thing I found was the 4-ply fingering weight self-patterning and self-striping yarns! HELLO! I was hooked! I needed to buy new smaller double point needles but I was ready for it. I went out and bought a set of 2.75mm DPNs and a ball of Online Supersocke 100 seen here:

So I made these socks in 2006 I think and they are EXACTLY that same colour now after being washed hundreds of times. Most of the time I just hang them on the line in my laundry room after they come out of the washer but sometimes I just toss them in the dryer too. They DON'T shrink. The yarn is 75% superwash wool. Ya gotta love superwash!

I have made tons and tons of socks since these first few pairs but I just thought I'd give you a little of my background in knitting from time to time. Specially when I'm trying to get caught up a couple of days worth of blogs.

Until later,
BevKnits with your Daily Dose of Fibre

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