Sunday, April 29, 2012


Happy Sunday everyone!

Today is the last day of blog week! It has been great fun to blog about each of the topics. Let me tell you, blogging every day is a lot of work! I have loved reading everyone's posts and am definitely feeling a renewed inspiration for blogging.

For this last day, I'm going with the Wild Card topic:  Craft Your Perfect Day.
Mostly, because I love fantasizing about crafting the days away : )

My current fantasy involves my Craft Group meeting up with our sister group from Australia... in Hawaii... or maybe Rhinebeck. I'm pretty sure someone is going to have to win the lottery to make that one happen!

I have been very fortunate to have a few lovely "Craftaway weekends" and "Crafternoons".

The formula for my ideal crafting day includes:

A beautiful setting
Canmore, Alberta

A long drive with lots of knitting. (It would be best if we could get a chauffeur so no one had to waste time driving, but we haven't quite gotten that one figured out yet.)

A good meal and a glass of beer or wine (with knitting at the table of course).

Knitting outside in the sunshine.
2 weeks ago in Canmore.

At least one fabulous yarn shop stop (complete with purchase of equally fabulous yarn - of course).

Bendigo, Australia

Absolutely NO children. (This is crucial)

Great friends.

My last Crafternoon even included a visit from some adorable local bunnies (this is a bonus but is not essential to the perfect day).

What does your Perfect Crafting Day include?

Cheers, Nikki

To see more posts like this, just type 3KCBWDAY& or 3KCBWWC into your favourite search engine.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

3KCBWDAY6 - Improving Your Skill Set

Happy Saturday everyone!

Wow, day six! It has been quite a week. I absolutely loved all the creative posts that I got a chance to look at yesterday.  I am happy to report that all the yarn from my "painting" rolled back up in less than 20 minutes without a single tangle. Phew!

I would consider myself a solidly moderate knitter. I've been knitting for almost two years now. I have made a whole variety of objects using a whole variety of techniques.

Still, I know there are still many gaps in my knowledge.

I have tried many cast-ons and cast-offs but I know there are about a million more out there.

Bulky Moebius Cowl 

I have done stranded colourwork but don't have a clue how to do intarsia.

"Oliver" Jogless Stripes Beanie

I have made a few garments but am not yet fully comfortable with different methods of sweater construction. (Give me a choice and I will choose top down, raglan, all in one piece any day of the week).

Raglan-Sleeved Henley

I have only ever tried felting once.

Socks are a serious weak area. I can turn a heel but the only pair I've ever completed were a set of baby duck socks.
Just Ducky Socks

I've made a few toys but feel like I have only just touched the surface of amigurumi.
The cables on these mittens recently gave me a run for my money.
Clepsydra Mittens

I am currently having a bit of a love affair with lace but I know there are much more difficult projects out there.
Sunflower Shawlette

I am comfortable working flat or in-the-round. I can use circs, straights and DPN's. I am not afraid to try new things but I think the single biggest area I need to work on is speed. My knitting is rather slow and I would love to learn some techniques to go a little faster. My main goal for this year is to learn how to hold yarn in both hands for colourwork.

I recently bought myself The Principles of Knitting.
Before I even opened it, I look one look and the book and thought: Wow, I've got a lot to learn!

Thank goodness learning is half the fun : )

Cheers, Nikki

Don't forget to google 3KCBWDAY6 to see more posts for Day 6!

Friday, April 27, 2012

3KCBWDAY5 - Something a Bit Different

If the world was made of yarn
What a world that would be.
To feel the sun's silky strands
And swim in a cashmere sea.

If yarn grew on trees
Let me tell you, my friend
Of all the extra money
I would have to spend!

Happy Friday everyone.

Cheers, Nikki

PS: Anyone out there have any tips for untangling yarn?

Fiber Arts Friday

Thursday, April 26, 2012

3KCBWDAY4 - A Knitter for all Seasons

Happy Thursday everyone!

Life and the need for sleep have conspired against me and the result is this blog post coming a little hard. Blogging everyday is a lot of work! And I still have no idea what I'm doing for tomorrow!!
Bella's Mittens
I live in a part of the planet that is relatively chilly for much of the year. It is actually possible for us to have snow in any month of the year - and let me tell you there is almost nothing morse disheartening than snow in August.
Honey Cowl
One of the few plus sides to living here is that it is a knitter paradise. Any woolly item you can think of, we need it. Hats, mittens, scarfs, sweaters, leg warmers, have at 'er. Then there are the lost hats, scarfs, and mittens that need replacing and the need for knits never ends.


Then comes the shoulder seasons. 

Lune Shawl

I love making shawls and fingerless mitts that are perfect for Spring and Autumn and easy to layer on those days where the temperature radically changes between morning and night.

Lately, however, I have started to look a little more at summer knits. Tees & tanks are certainly quicker to knit than sweaters. Summer hats can be just as useful as winter ones.

Dear Liza

 Like many people, I learned to knit by making dishcloths out of cheap coarse cotton yarn and have only recently discovered that not all cotton based yarns are the same. Some are actually quite lovely to knit with. My current project is a summer cardigan made with Debbie Bliss Cathay, a cotton, silk and rayon blend that is a bit splitty but otherwise great to knit. 


I can certainly see knitting more short sleeve items in my future. I think by the end of this summer I will truly be able to consider myself a knitter for all seasons : )

Cheers, Nikki

To see more Blog Week posts for today, simply google 3KCBWDAY4.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

WIP Wednesday #61 - Perseverance

Perseverance is not a long race; it is many short races one after another. 
- Walter Elliott

Happy Wednesday everyone!

I am still going going going with my Cherry. Since starting this KAL, I have worked exclusively on this one project for two weeks now. This is very unlike me!

I am seeing progress but I have slowed down in recent days due to my participation in Knitting and Crochet Blog Week. It's kind of ironic how blogging about knitting can keep you from actually doing any knitting ; )

Anyways, I have finished the back of the cardi. Despite it looking long and skinny when I finished, it has blocked out fine.

I am also done the left front and about 1/3 of the right. I am not deluding myself into thinking that the end is near. Even though it only has short sleeves, there is a ton of finishing on this project so I know I am in for the long haul.

Oh well, one step at a time I guess. In the mean time,  I will try to enjoy each small victory. 

To see what other in the KAL are up to, check out luvinthemommyhood's blog and see plenty more WIP's through Tami's blog too!

Cheers, Nikki

Click here to see today's Knitting Blog Week post.

3KCBWDAY3 - Your Knitting or Crochet Hero

Happy Wednesday everyone!

I will actually be doing two posts today (gasp!). This one is for Knitting and Crochet Blog Week and I will also be doing my usual WIP Wednesday post.

When I thought about who I most admire in the world of knitting, the list was long but two people stood out.

The first, I have never met but is incredibly well known in the world of knitting.

The Yarn Harlot.

This year I went back and read her blog from the very beginning. It was tons of fun and I highly recommend it.
My toddler poncho inspired by A Very Harlot Poncho
I have learned many things and been repeatedly inspired by The Harlot, including:
1. knitting for the sake of knitting is awesome
2. it is worth the risk of trying something new, even if it means the knitting doesn't work out or doesn't get finished
3. be selective who you knit for
4. there is always a way to justify more yarn
5. be who you are, even if other people don't like it or don't get it
6. knitting is a very appropriate excuse for not cleaning the house (although for some reason my husband isn't quite buying this one).

I am very proud that Stephanie is Canadian (somehow in my mind it associates me with her greatness). I would really love for the Yarn Harlot to be on Q, a radio program on our national radio station station the CBC, hosted by the ever gorgeous Jian Ghomeshi. I think she represents the best of all that is Canadian and I would love to see her recognized for it!

If by some crazy omission you have not read the Harlot's blog, I suggest you wait until you are having a bad day and need a pick me up... then click over and laugh your ass off : )

I am lucky enough to call my second knitting hero a friend.

Her name is Kim (perhaps better known as purrlescent). Kim and I met through friends at our weekly Craft Night. She is an incredibly awesome knitter. When I grow up I want to knit just like her.

Things to know about Kim:

She has great taste in yarn and projects.
One of my favourite things about Craft Night every week is seeing what she is working on next.

She knits like the wind.
We recently participated in a shawl KAL. She finished in 3 days. Seriously!

She had designed some gorgeous patterns and offers them for free!

Down the Rabbit-Hole


She is always happy to help those knitters less fortunate than herself when they make moronic mistakes.
(thank goodness!)

She can dye and spin.
I secretly hope she will teach me to spin one day.

She is generous with the products of her skills.
Look what I got for Christmas!

I am very very lucky to have Kim on my side. She is truly my knitting Hero. Thanks Kim!

I have to give an honourable mention to Kate Davies who rounded out the top three inspirational knitters on my list.

To see more of today's posts for Knitting and Crochet Blog Week just search for 3KCBWDAY3.

Cheers, Nikki

Click here to see today's WIP Wednesday post.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

3KCBWDAY2 - Photography Challenge Day

Happy Tuesday everyone!

Over the last few days the weather has been glorious and there are sure signs that Spring has finally arrived in Calgary.

The tulips have thrown caution to the wind and are emerging despite the frost risk.

The patio set is out
(with some much needed help from Grandpa and Doodlebug)

Rare yarn flowers have been spotted in the wild!
I hope spring has sprung where you are!!

To find more knitting and crochet blog week posts for today, search for 3KCBWDAY2.

Cheers, Nikki

PS: My husband unexpectedly came home while I was arranging the "yarn flowers". He stood talking to me for 10 minutes and never asked what I was doing. Apparently, it going to take more than me crawling around on the deck with yarn to rattle him.

PPS: It's only day two of blog week and my stash is already in total disarray!

Monday, April 23, 2012

3KCBWDAY1 - Colour Lovers

Looking through my stash in preparation for this post, I realized a few things:

1. I love to knit with colour. There is nothing better than knitting a great pattern in a gorgeous colour.

2. I am a huge fan of "semi-solids". I have learned the hard way that sometimes really varigated yarns look better as a skein than they do knit up (not that that fact has actually stopped me from buying more). 
Sometimes, knitting with a plain solid colour can get a bit mundane or look a bit flat. 
But the semi-solid has it all, no pooling, no funny colour shifts but still enough variation to add interest and depth.
This little vest is a recent knit of mine that is a good example of a semi-solid yarn.

3. While I love knitting with colour, I mostly wear neutrals.

4. This is a conundrum to which my only answer currently is... baby knits.

5. I have some awesome yarn in my stash and I can't wait to knit with all of it!

Happy Monday everyone!

Cheers, Nikki


Friday, April 20, 2012

Knitting with Superstars

Happy Friday everyone!

My husband G and I had the good fortune to see Coldplay on Wednesday night.
We knew we had good seats but we had no idea they were stage side!

Me, at my absolute coolest, knitting while waiting for the concert to start.

I wish I had had something better than my phone to take pics with.
This was taken with no zoom - we were really this close!
Such a fun night!

The forecast for this weekend is warm and sunny. Tomorrow I am off the mountains with my knit girls for a lazy lunch and even lazier yarn shop!

I hope your weekend is full of lovely things to look forward to.

Cheers, Nikki

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

WIP Wednesday #60 - KALculations

Happy Wednesday everyone!

Today, in addition to my usual link up with Tami's Amis, I will also be linking with  luvinthemommyhood for the Tops, Tanks & Tees knit along : )

I have spent the last week working exclusively on my Cherry cardigan for the KAL. There has been a little bit of going backwards and forwards (it appears to my dismay that I have still not learned how to count) but overall I am pretty happy with my progress. I'm about 2/3's done the back.
The project bag is my one souvenir from our recent Maui vacation.
It was repurposed from 1930's quilts from India!

I am really enjoying knitting this. The "little birds" cable repeat is simple enough to memorize, but adds enough variation to keep it interesting.
I have decided to to do the drawstring at the waist. My gauge is still a bit tight, so I have knit up a size. Fingers crossed it will all work out!

Close up of the "little birds"

btw: If you get a chance to pop back next week, I will again be participating in Knitting and Crochet Blog Week (there I've said it - now I have to!)

Cheers, Nikki

Friday, April 13, 2012

FO Friday #44 - Remembering the Humpbacks

Happy (Fiber Arts) Friday everyone!

Today's FO is another cute-as-pie baby knit. Man, I love these little baby vests. The are quick, easy and just so adorable. This one has the added bonus of being a little cardigan so I got to pick buttons for total cuteness overload.

I started this during our Maui vacation and had it done just a few days. I like looking at it because it reminds me of sitting out on the deck watching the water when a pair of whales swam by.

Pattern: in threes - a baby cardigan by Kelly Herdrich
Great pattern. Very well written, Totally seamless, knit top down. Sizes range from 0-3months to 5T. Simple, basic, effective.
This is the 6-12 month size on my (wee) 20 months old.
It's a little small on her but I'm sure you get the idea
Worsted Weight
Colouway: Autumn Flame
I used just under one skein for the 6-12 month size.
This yarn was some guilt gift yarn that I received from my husband last year when he went to New Hampshire. I love it's semi-solid appearance. It was lovely to knit with and bled very little when I washed it. I don't know how widely available this yarn is but I'm always looking for good superwash yarn for baby knits and I would definitely use this again. (In fact, I have a couple skeins left, so I can : )

I totally bribed her with a piece of liquorice to get her to put the cardi on and let me take pictures.
Honestly, the lows I'm willing to sink to for this blog ; )
Needles: 5.0mm Knit picks 16" nickel circ

Modifications: none

I will totally knit this cute pattern again. Maybe next time with stripes!

I wish you a weekend full of fun, laughter and time to knit (and check out more FO's ; )!

Cheers, Nikki

Mamma and Baby Humpbacks