Friday, May 27, 2011

FO Friday #14 - Accidental Scarf

TGIF!!! My husband had to work everyday over the long weekend, so today is day 12 of having the kids on my own. So TGIF I say! T.G.I.F.

By the way, it is still pouring rain here. Some of the outlying communities are now in a state-of-emergency over flooding. So far my basement is dry - finger crossed!

Needless to say, 12 days of constantly caring for 2 little ones and 5 of those days having torrential rain outside makes for one one slightly harried and stir-crazy mummy. Thank goodness for my Noro scarf!

The skein combo I used for the scarf
This scarf has kept me very amused with it's ever changing colour combination. So much fun!

I am continuing my mini love affair with the ever wacky Noro. I find the random colour changes intriguing and the running thick and thin of the yarn endearing. I have however discovered one issue that has taken to bloom off my crush... Freaking Knots! I don't actual care about knots that much but knots that create a sudden colour change Drive. Me. Crazy! I actually had one knot two feet into the start of a skein. I mean, seriously!
The "pattern" calls to cast on 39 stitches. I cast on 43 for a bit wider scarf.  It seems that I am becoming a bit of a loose knitter and I think maybe I should have gone down a needle size. Four skeins of Silk Garden  made a lovely long scarf. I really like the look of the slipped stitch edging. The edging combined with the 1x1 rib made for a scarf that lies perfectly flat and almost looks like it was knit in plain stockinette.
I wasn't sure whether I should try to get the colour combo on the ends of the scarf to match a bit...

Clearly, I decided not to bother with that!


Pattern: Noro Striped Scarf by Jared Flood
Yarn: Noro Silk Garden (4 skeins total)
Tools used: Knit Picks 4.5mm nickel needles
darning needle

All in all, a bright and cheery project for a rainy week!

I have made this scarf as a gift for my son's music teacher who's class we have taken for six semesters (since he was 6 months old!). Next week, will be his last class because he is starting preschool in the fall. Miss Sarina has a very fun taste in clothes. I really hope she likes this scarf!

 Hope you have great things planned for the weekend... like checking out more FO's through Tami's blog!

Cheers, Nikki

ETA: so sorry about all the spelling mistakes. I wrote this while the kids were around. I guess I was kind of distracted... Sheesh!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

WIP Wednesday #18 - Oops

Happy Wednesday everyone!
I am in a good mood today despite it being the 3rd consecutive day of pouring rain (with no hope of anything different in the long term forecast ). And it's not JUST because the Canucks are off to the Stanley Cup.

I am singing a happy tune today because, despite hardly doing any work on my "Ode to  Hedwig" sweater, I am up an entire sleeve over last week.

When I sat down to start the "2nd" sleeve, I noticed something strange about the pattern. Something had changed, there were less pictures and the instructions were in a different order. WTF? Was all could think in my black mood. Then I realized that the Owls pattern had been updated earlier this year and because I had purchased a copy I was sent the update. Somehow, I had picked up a copy of the old version and was knitting off of that.
Which meant...

And the best part is... I hadn't frogged it yet (Phew!!!)

Oddly through, despite realizing that I hadn't made a mistake, I felt a bit like the stuffing had gone out of me over the whole process.  And even through just last week, I showed you my plans for what to knit next, to coin a phrase from the Yarn Harlot "I accidently slipped and fell, and when I came up, I had started" ... a Noro Striped Scarf!

I will give you just a little sneak peak because I actually have hopes of having it done for Friday.

Oops, how did this happen?
Hope your Wednesday is giving you reason to hum a happy tune too!

My advice for a way to brighten your day? Pop over to Tami's blog and check out more WIP's by some very witty and talented folk.

Cheers, Nikki

Friday, May 20, 2011

FO Friday #13 - Christmas is Coming!

Wow, how's that for the worst title in history for a May post?

Last week I started to get bored of knitting the first (now ill-fated) sleeve for my sweater and began looking around for a distraction. I was also itching to knit with more Noro...

So, I decided to start a Christmas present project for my cousin. My cousin is a wonderful 19 year old girl with a rather eclectic taste in fashion. I figured she was one of the few people in my life who might be up for Noro's fab colour changes.

I've decided to make her a hat and fingerless mitts. This week I got the hat done.
I know it kind looks like a giant gnome hat here
but it's supposed to be big and slouchy.. that's what makes it hip & happening (I hope)
(wow, I'm sounding a lot older than my 34 years in this post!)

Pattern: Felicity by Wanett Clyde
Yarn: Noro Silk Garden Lite
1.1 skeins used
Tools used: 3.75mm/US 5 16" Chicagoo bamboo circ
4.5mm/US 7 16" Knit Picks nickel circ
4.5mm/US 7 Knit Picks nickel DPN's
darning needle

My friend has knit this **FREE** pattern several times and I loved her results. The pattern calls for heavier weight yarn so I cast on 90 stitches. I increased to 130 before decreasing.

I apologize for the fuzzy self-portrait bathroom shots... I kinda forgot it was Friday today.

Overall, I'm happy but not totally convinced about the outcome. 
First, these are definitely not my colours and it's hard for me to look past that to the style of the hat. 
Second, I'm worried it's going to be a tiny bit loose around (although I have been assured by my friends that the fit is great). I blocked it on a tall cylindrical vase so I didn't stretch it out.
Third, there was one knot in my skein that has resulted in the jarring colour change from green to red mid hat. I didn't think about it at the time but I wander if I should have splice further into the skein to avoid the sudden change.

Having said all that - It's a pretty cool hat and I really really hope my cousin likes it!

It's raining here but I think checking out more FO's through Tami's blog should brighten the day!

Cheers, Nikki

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

WIP Wednesday #17 - What's Next?

Until about 10 minutes ago, I was going to write a post about my progress on Ode to Hedwig. Actually, I was going to complain about how slow the sleeves seem to be going after knitting up the body so quickly. Oh how I long for 10 minutes ago...

Because about 9 minutes ago, I cast on my second sleeve and realized that I had made two major unfixable errors on the first sleeve about 3 inches in. That's 3 inches in of 19 1/2 total. Can you hear my sobs through the computer?

So slow sleeves become even slower and this Wednesday finds me further behind on the sweater than last Wednesday. (I did knit hat in the middle but you will see that on Friday ; )

So instead I have decided to bring you:

Works (not yet) In Progress Wednesday

I have big plans for my knitting coming up. I am ambitiously determined to go stash busting as we save for a big trip this fall.

So, with any luck, soon this:

Will be THIS:

And then this:

plus 8 more balls just like this one ; )

Will be THIS:

Top-down Baby and Children Cable Yoke Jacket

And finally this:
for my sister-in-law (much more purple in real life)

and this:
for meeeee

Could both (separately) one day be THIS:

So much to look forward to (including about 11 more items in my queue
Ok, I feel a little better now.

I'm off to frog a sleeve but you should head off to Tami's blog to see many more WIP's (that are hopefully progressing better then mine).

Cheers, Nikki

Friday, May 13, 2011

FO Friday #12 - For a Wee Welshie

Happy Friday everyone : )

I refuse to let my 10th FO Friday post in a row be defeated by something as pathetic as a Blogger system crash! Friday the 13th be damned!! So, here it is, with 9 hours to spare (mountain time).

It is my pleasure to present:

Cables in Storm Clouds

Pattern: Pembroke Vest by Kristen Kapur
Size 12 months
Yarn: Cascade 220 superwash
Colourway 900 - 1.1 skeins used
Knit Picks nickel interchangable circ. 3.75 & 4.5 mm (US 5 & 7)
Knit Picks nickel DPN's 3.75mm/US 5
cable needle
darning needle
2 buttons (purchased at The Knitting Room)
stitch holders
Button close up. They have little snowflakes that are tough o see in this shot

I am sold on knitted vests as baby boy presents. They are fun and quicker than sweaters to knit. As a mum, I know they are easy to use in a baby wardrobe. In general, I like to knit patterns that are at least 6 months and bigger. That way, it doesn't really matter the finished size, because unless it turns out super tiny, it will fit at some point. Also, newborns have the ability to grow out of clothes in less time than it takes to change their diaper. They are also pukey little blobs who are probably most comfortable in in onesies and sleepers.  So, I like to knit a size that will last a little longer, be a little more functional and still look darn cute.

I enjoyed this pattern. It was clear and easy to follow. I knit the 12 month size and ended up with a vest that is probably a 9- 12 month size. I found the shoulder shaping a little strange and think, considering it is a V-neck, that the buttons are probably unnecessary on the 6 & 12 month sizes. I didn't really learn any new skills but am becoming more and more comfortable with sweater shaping and seaming.

Overall, I am thrilled with the result and excited to send it off to my cousin's new little lad in Wales.

Cheers, Nikki

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

WIP Wednesday #16 - A New Love

Happy Wednesday everyone!

You have caught me in a great mood. The weather is gorgeous and I am typing this on my laptop, in a t-shirt while out in the sun : ) x 1000

♥♥♥I have a new love in my life....♥♥♥

♡♡♡Knitting a sweater with thick yarn and big needles!!♡♡♡

I cannot believe how fast it goes. This time last week, I had just started swatching for my Owls sweater. (Newly christened as nursenikkiknits' "Ode to Hedwig" - a geeky Harry Potter reference but I'm OK with that ; )
I have now finished from the bottom to the armpits and a third of one sleeve!
Note: also in pic are cute new project bags I got for Mother's Day : )

I am very happy with the way it is looking so far. I am loving working it up in the round. How great is it to not have to go back and knit another whole front or back, and then seam it all later?

Hmmm, buying DK yarn to make my husband's sweater may have been a mistake.

I'm hoping to have a completed baby vest to show on Friday, so be sure to check back then.

Want to see more progress on projects? Fly on over to Tami's blog.

Hope your day is bright and sunny too.
Cheers, Nikki

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

And now for something completely different....

I just found out that I have been successful in my application for a new community garden plot in my neighborhood.

I am soooo excited.

I just have one problem... I know NOTHING about gardening
(let alone growing vegetables)
(let alone in a place with a cold climate and very short growing season)

But still... very exciting!

I have some books.

And some seeds.

Ok, so maybe I went a little crazy on the seeds
My 3 year old is also very excited. The first thing he asked was could we "please grow some sausages and bacon?"

I don't know anything about gardening... but I'm pretty sure the answer to that one is "No"

Watch this space!

Cheers, Nikki

Friday, May 6, 2011

FO Friday #11 - First Felt

Happy Friday everyone!

My week has gone a little off kilter. Yesterday morning, I (very unexpectedly) threw out my back. I have had this randomly recurring, excruciating problem since my first pregnancy. It's SO frustrating.
I spent most of yesterday on my wonderful friend's couch while she (very graciously) looked after my two rug rats (and her two too!). Needless to say, neither of us got much done...
I really hoped it would be better today but unfortunately, it is not. My husband & I had some fun hiking planned for the weekend - first of the season - and I'm bummed that we won't be able to go.

The good news is... ummm... I can still knit! (oh, and the Canucks won again last night ; )

I had a lot of fun making my first felted item. It turned out to be a fun little project to try out a bunch of new skills including:
I felted using my front load washer. I put it in a mesh bag on a hot quick wash with no rinse or spin. It worked out well but I had to run the cycle 3 times to get it fully felted.

Here is the pre felt shot:

And post - Ta Daaa

Pattern: Overprotective by Petra Johnson
Yarn: Cascade 220 & 220 Heathers
Tools used:
Knit Picks nickel interchangables 6mm (US10) on 32" circular
stitch holder
darning needle
1 button
mesh bag
washing machine ; )

I could have made it a little smaller, but it works pretty well. I can easily hear the phone ring through the case. The purple flecks in the Heathers really came through with the felting.
Overall, I'm really happy with how it turned out.

Check out more FO's through Tami's blog.
Best wishes for great weekend and a very special Happy Mother's Days to all you North American and Aussie mum's out there (and anyone else celebrating Mother's Day on Sunday).

Cheers, Nikki

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

WIP Wednesday # 15 - Sweater Swatching

Happy Wednesday everybody!

What a week! Federal elections, royal weddings, major news events... wow!
My knitting has kept me company as I have sat on the sidelines watching it all unfold.

My "Cables in Storm Clouds" vest (Pembroke vest) was progressing well. I have finished the back and the the front... and I have also run out of yarn. Fingers crossed that I'll be able to get more today.

My "First Felt" has been a lot of fun. Here's a sneak peek of it in it's wonky pre-felt state.

Come back on Friday to see how it turned out!

Finally, I have realized that if I am going to achieve my New Year's resolution of knitting a sweater for each person in my family, I need to get on with the big one's. Sooooooo, I am swatching for my first adult sized sweater - and it's for meeeeee! (and as usual my row gauge is on and my stitch gauge is off, sigh).

There is always more going on in WIP Wednesday through Tami's blog. Check it out!

I'll try and post a some photos from my tape delayed Royal wedding party tomorrow. So fun!
Cheers, Nikki