Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Summer of Socks

I was all gung-ho about knitting socks all summer when I joined SoS 2008 back in April or May, but then I got sidetracked by the Swallowtail Shawl so the sock knitting got off to a slow start. My mind still wants to knit shawls, but I can't seem to pick yarn or pattern to satisfy it. Until I do, here are the completed socks to date. All from the Sensational Knitted Socks books.

Scroll Lace Socks

Waterfall Lace Socks

Garter Rib Socks

Sidetracked Again

I had to come up with a baby present by mid-August. Although I have a heart blanket "in stock", it is blue and this baby is a girl. I know, I know ... blue is perfectly acceptable.

Anyway, I decided to try Elizabeth Zimmerman's February Sweater. I was admiring all the projects on Ravelry and decided is would be a quick knit. Ah! I spent all day Saturday knitting and ended up with nothing to show for it on Sunday morning.

It seems I have a major knitting-character flaw: I hate garter stitch. I think all the pictures of this sweater and of the Baby Surprise Jacket look wonderfull, but when I knit up all this garter stitch, I can't stand the look of it "in person".

I finally decided to modify the pattern to have seed stitch borders and raglan shaping in stocking stitch for the yoke. I am a much happier knitter for the choice. I only have a few rows to go on the main part and should make short order of the sleeves.

Yarn is Dream In Color Smooshy in Petal Showers.

Stash Improvement

There has been a whole lot of purchasing going on. I'll try and post pictures next time. I have been a very bad girl! :)

Monday, July 7, 2008

Mosaic Meme and Completed Swallowtail

I usually pass on memes, but this one was too good to miss.

What to do:

A. Type your answer to each of the questions below into Flickr Search.
B. Using only the first page, pick an image.
C. Copy and paste each of the URLs for the images into Mosaic Maker.

The Questions:

1. What is your first name? Ghislaine
2. What is your favorite food? French Bread
3. What high school did you go to? Ecole Secondaire Evangeline*
4. What is your favorite color? Purple
5. Who is your celebrity crush? Alan Rickman
6. Favorite drink? Ginger Ale
7. Dream vacation? Scotland's Stone Circles
8. Favorite dessert? Lemon Tarts
9. What you want to be when you grow up? Wise
10. What do you love most in life? Sleeping
11. One word to describe you. Quiet
12. Your flickr name. EterKnitty**

* No results for the full search, so I settled for a search on "Evangeline" only. That baby picture was the best result.

** I certainly didn't expect any results for "EterKnitty" - so I searched "Eternity" instead.

1. Ghislaine de féligonde (and a bug), 2. French Bread, 3. Dreaming Evangline, 4. Just a Orchid, 5. Alan Rickman, The Great, 6. Canada Dry Ginger Ale ad, 1930s, 7. Tursachan Chalanais, 8. lemon curd tart, 9. Portrait of a senior woman thinking with head on nands., 10. It feels so good to be a kitten, 11. Quiet*, 12. Day's end at land's end

Swallowtail Shawl Done

I finished and blocked my Swallowtail Shawl a little over a week ago.

The blocked size is 65" across and 26.5" deep. Still pretty small considering I added 10 repeats of the budding lace section. I considered doing an extra repeat of the lily of the valley portion. I'm glad I didn't though because I would have run out of beads. I started on the second skein part way through the lily of the valley portion. This skein was more pink than purple and I like the effect of a slightly lighter border section.

This shawl will have to be gifted to a small person like my model, Emi.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Swallowtail Shawl Progress

Last week I finally made a yarn selection for the swallowtail shawl - Malabrigo lace in a lovely purple colour.

The first section (budding lace) was knit quickly, even though I added 10 repeats to the 14 called for in the pattern so that the shawl would be a bit larger.

Although the pattern calls for nupps in the Lily of the Valley section, I opted for beads. The photo doesn't do the beads justice - they match the shawl colours perfectly. I have never done beading before and so far it has gone remarkably well. I am using the crochet hook method. I am already on the last few rows - it should be done by the end of the week.

Last week I knit for a secret project. Here is a sneak peek until it is no longer a secret. Hourglass lace pattern in Elann Peruvian Highland Wool - Colour: Nutmeg Heather Heather.

Additions to my Knitting Library

I received some great new books from my son and his girlfriend as birthday gifts:

I am happy to finally have Elizabeth Zimmerman's Opinionated Knitter - it was the only one of her books I didn't own.

I haven't yet opened the Japanese knitting stitches book - that should keep me enthralled for hours!

Stash Improvement for this week:

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

June Update

Clever title. Makes me wish I had just numbered my blog posts instead of using titles - but then I would know exactly how few posts I have made. With the advent of Ravelry, it seems superfluous to post to the blog. It's not as if I have loads to say - I just want to keep track of my knitting.

Since I completed the silk scarf shown below, I've been knitting socks while thinking of other projects. I've joined the Swallowtail Shawl KAL but I can't seem to make up my mind as to what yarn to use. I have loads in the stash already (which has not prevented me from ordering more). My plan for the weekend is to select yarn and get a good start on the shawl.

Crest of the Wave Silk Scarf

This lovely scarf was completed a few weeks ago. I had never knit with silk before and it was an enjoyable experience. This blocked out to 10"x80". It is fluid and practically weightless. Silk from Clever Cat Knits.

Café Mocha Socks

I just love these. The yarn came from Etsy's Sunnyside Ellen. Her base yarn is Louet Gems (very soft and squishy) and the precision dye job is admirable. The yarn came in two skeins, ready for matching socks. I used Anne Hanson's Tesserae pattern.

Lime & Violet Sasquatch Socks

Very cheery colours. I'm sure they will brighten up those dull, rainy winter days when I start wearing them. "Stems" lace pattern from one of the Sensational Socks books.

Lana Grossa Meilenweit Socks

Just plain striped socks.

Stash Enhancement

A short while ago, Yarn Harlot linked to EarthFaire. I can't remember what she was knitting at the time, but I'd never heard of them, so I had to go take a look. This is what I came away with. The yarn is a merino/tussah silk blend - very soft and shiny.

Socks and Lace Yarn - Araucania and Malabrigo purchased from Valley Yarn.

More sock yarn - Mama Llama, Shui Bui and Whimzy Pinzy purchased from Sonny & Shear.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Creamsicle Hearts

I remember eating Creamsicles when I was a kid. I was reminded of their coolness and creaminess each time I picked up the needles on this project.

I wasn't sure about the stripes when I started, but I like the finished look. I rather enjoy non-traditional colours for baby things. I added an extra repeat of the pattern so that it would start and end with an orange row. It shrank four inches length-wise on wash/dry.

It will be gifted this week to one of my co-workers who is expecting in July.

Pattern: "Precious in Pink" from Leisure Arts Book #3219 Our Best Knit Baby Afghans
Yarn: Schoeller Portofino Soufflé
Needles: Circulars - Knit Picks 4.5mm
Pre-Wash size: 36"x53"
After Wash/Dry: 36"x49"

On the needles

A Crest of the Wave scarf in lovely 100% Spun Silk from Clever Cat Knits.

I wanted this to be a quick knit so I picked a pattern I had already used. I like crest of the wave - it is easily memorized; pattern the right side row, purl the wrong side row for eight rows and then knit both right and wrong side for four rows. Simple, right? So someone explain how I managed, seven inches into the scarf, to start knitting every wrong side row and did not notice this for another six inches!! Sometimes I wonder about me. Anyway, it has been frogged and re-knit. I should be done with it tomorrow.

Stash Improvement

This week brought to you from the friendly people at Sonny & Shear. They have a lovely selection of yarns. My chosen yarn came nicely packaged and ribboned, with a lovely note - handwritten no less - and some tea.

That's all for now. I'm off to see if can do a couple of loads of laundry ... I thought I'd be the only fool doing this on a Sunday evening but it turns out there are a whole lot of other people in this building with nothing better to do.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Soft Hearts

It has been a few weeks since I finished this blanket ~ it has finally been washed and a picture taken (actually, as I am not a great photographer, quite a few pictures were taken to ensure that at least one was blog-worthy).

It shrank quite a bit length-wise, but it came out ever so soft and cuddly from the wash/dry.

Pattern: "Precious in Pink" from Leisure Arts Book #3219 Our Best Knit Baby Afghans
Yarn: Schoeller Portofino Soufflé
Needles: Circulars - Started on Addis 4.5mm; finished on Knit Picks 4.5mm
Pre-Wash size: 36"x42"
After Wash/Dry: 36"x38"

For some reason, the Addi needles and/or cables were not slick enough and the yarn wouldn't move along at a pace that suited me. Once I switched to the KP needles, the frustration level went down to zero and I finished the project very quickly. I'm glad I finished it on a happy note - I much prefer to knit cheery thoughts into my projects, especially those destined for gifts.

I Love Surprises

Sometime in March, I sent Jennifer a scarf as part of the Pay It Forward "thing" that was going around the blogs in July. In return, she surprised me with this lovely box of gifts! Some Socks That Rock yarn AND Malabrigo! Along with the yarn goodness, there were a number of other lovely goodies: cookbook, notepad, assorted teas, bath bomb and some mints and caramels (they were delicious!). Thank you so much Jennifer!

Sock Photo

As usual, some socks were completed. This pair in wonderfully soft Handmaiden Casbah. They left home as a birthday present. I really love that yarn though - I think I'll need to acquire more and make myself a pair.

On the needles

I started Ann Hanson's Honeybee Stole. This is destined to be a Christmas gift ... I'm starting early.

The blue hearts blanket turned out so nice that I started on another one, using the same yarn (I have a tendency to always buy more than one colour of any given yarn!). For some reason though, I didn't buy the same quantity of the tangerine and cream as I did of the turquoise and I don't have enough of to make a blanket of a single colour - hence the stripes.

Stash Enhancement

And of course, what blog entry would be complete without new yarn purchases. This time from a new (to me, anyway) vendor. I can't remember which blog is responsible for sending me to this shop, but Woolgirl has lovely yarn and her packages are a joy to receive.

Monday, March 31, 2008

March Madness

I am very thankful that this month is finally over!

It started off with an extreme ear infection which had me in tears and kept me home from work for three days. Just when the antibiotics were kicking in and the pain was finally receeding, I caught a cold. I am still coughing. I hate being sick!

The weather has been chilly - which I don't mind. I was mightily cheered up by the sight of cherry blossoms popping out all over a week or so ago. Another few days, I thought, and it will all be picture-worthy. Last week, we had hail with thunder and lightning. On Saturday, it was snow and sleet. Enough already ... I moved from Montreal to Vancouver to get away from this kind of March weather.

Work has been so busy I can hardly find the time to, em, attend to basic needs. Never mind trying to keep up with blogs - either my own or others'. If you haven't seen me in the comments friends, I am not ignoring you and hopefully I will catch up with all of you in the next week.

I have managed to do a bit of knitting.

Predictably, there have been socks:

My favourite garter rib pattern in Rabbitch's "No Mean Feets". Lovely yarn! I don't think there is any stock on this in her store at the moment - she was "Harlot-ized" a while ago and hasn't yet caught up with the demand. I was lucky enough to place an order a few weeks before this happened. I am keeping my eyes open for more though - I like to buy from local people.

Tesserae Sock in KnitPicks Essential Tweed - colour is Inca Gold. These were a fast and easy knit. I am wearing them today and they are very comfortable. I love the fact that you start right in on the pattern - basically a 2/4 rib which alternates starting points every six rows. So simple - wish I'd thought of that! I'm sure there will be more of those in my future.

I have started trying to clear out the UFO pile and I am making good progress.

Here is the feather and fan scarf in Wooly Wonka superwash sock yarn:

I don't think I ever blogged about this one, but I started it quite a few months ago and got sidetracked. The Skeleton Scarf from Arctic Lace in Qiviut! What a wonderful knitting experience - soft and lighter than feather. The best part is I have a second 50g skein to look forward to. I had bought a shawl kit from Arnica.dk but decided I would rather split the yarn up and make two separate projects.

Thanks to the faceless model - my friend Christine.

That's all for now - must get back to work.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Angel Lace

Just a short post to show off the latest finished object.

It has been quite a while since I've knit a shawl and I've really enjoyed this project.

Fibertrend's Angle Lace Shawl in Handmaiden Cashmere, knit on 3.5mm Addi Turbo Lace needles.

I added a few repeats of the pattern to use up as much of the yarn as possible. I weighed my skein after each pattern repeat so I could eventually estimate how much I would need for the edging and casting off. I did well - I only have 7 grams left.

It is decadently soft and as light as a feather (or angel wings, I suppose).

I'm still in a shawl-knitting mood, but I can't seem to decide which pattern to do next - so I'm knitting a sock while I come to a decision.

Monday, February 11, 2008


Amazing but true ... a post without a sock photo in sight!

Completed Work

The pink baby blanket is done and has been delivered to a happy grandmother.

To answer a question from a couple of posts ago on this blanket, it uses a very simple slip stitch pattern and you only ever knit one colour at a time. The stitch is in one of Barbara Walker's Treasury books - I'm not sure which one.

You need a multiple of 4 stitches plus 3.
Cast on with colour A (white).
Row 1: Purl
Change to colour B (pink).
Rows 2 and 3: K3, *slip 1, K3*. Repeat * to * across row.
Change to colour A.
Row 4: K1, slip 1, *K3, slip 1*. Repeat * to * to last stitch, K1
Row 5: P1, slip 1, *P3, slip 1*. Repeat * to * to last stitch, P1
With colour B, repeat rows 2 and 3.
With colour A, repeat rows 4 and 5.
The slip stitch should be done purlwise, with the yarn to the wrong side (at the back when knitting, at the front when purling).

You get a very different effect if you use more than one colour. In this blanket, colour A is still white, but I have used alternating rows of blue, pink, green and yellow.

The Crest of the Wave scarf was finished this weekend and it will be on its way (as soon as I can haul my sorry self to the post office) to a recipient who will remain unnamed for now. There are many many patterns out there for this. I used Judy Jacob's (which I found on Ravelry), but I cast on 65 stitches instead of 53.

Stash Enhancement

This is wonderful lace weight merino from The Sweet Sheep. It is oh so soft and the colour is simply amazing! It will become Ann Hanson's Snow Shawl whenever the pattern becomes available.

Sock yarn doesn't count, right?

Some cashmere from Purl Soho. See how I get sidetracked ... Someone posted a link to the Giacomo Baby Hat pattern. Very cute, I thought. I read through the pattern and considered whether I might ever want to knit this. I read all the way down the page where there was a link to a pompom tutorial. Ah, there was something I might use. Clicked on the link, but the tutorial used a product I had never seen. So I went to that site to purchase their pompom maker. While I was there, one skein of cashmere just jumped in my cart!

New on the needles

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Let it snow

This was the view from my apartment window just before I left for work this morning. It is pretty - from the inside.

I like snow ... as long as I don't have to make my way to work in it.

I was so pleased with the weather forecast last Friday. It was to snow during the weekend and get back to rain by Monday evening. Perfect for me since I had Monday off. I thought it would all be gone by the time I had to go to work on Tuesday.

If there is one thing you should never trust here in Vancouver it's the weather forecast! Oh, it did snow on Sunday - pretty much everywhere except downtown Vancouver. It was nice and sunny downtown.

There was really only about two inches of snow on the ground this morning - but it was enough to make the sidewalks treacherous.

I don't know what I'm complaining about really. You'd think that after spending most of my life in Montreal where they get "real" snow storms, I wouldn't give the snow in Vancouver more than a passing nod. I suppose that 20 years is long enough to forget what was and to take issue with what is.

Now THIS is snow:

I remember this storm well - March 4, 1971 - 18 inches of snow in 24 hours! I'm not good with dates, but this was also the weekend Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau married Margaret Sinclair and for some reason I've connected both events.

That's my mom (with dog Milou) in the picture. She always loved to shovel snow. She is 76 years old now and she still enjoys that activity ... although not on that scale!

Now for knitting content

There (of course) has been some stash enhancement since my last post.

Two skeins of Dream In Color Smooshy and some lace weight merino from Sweet Sheep. I thought I would do the Honeybee Stole with the lace weight, but I'm not completely happy with the colour - too bright; it looked a bit more subdued on my monitor.

Two skeins of sock yarn from Rabbitworks. The lilac yarn has already been converted to socks (picture below).

Some lovely Handmaiden Casbah which I received as a gift.


Some Dream In Color socks for me. Love the colour name: In Vino Veritas. Stitch pattern is "Stems" from More Sensational Knitted Socks.

These are from the lilac yarn from Rabbitworks. Also in the "stems" pattern. They will be on their way to my mom today.

Hourglass Lace pattern from More Sensational Knitted Socks. Yarn is from Wooly Wonka. These will also be travelling to Montreal - for my mom's best girlfriend.

On the needles

It's NOT socks!

A Crest of the Wave scarf in cashmere from Posh Yarns in the UK. I bought this yarn eons ago - it is oohh soooo soft!