Friday, August 30, 2013

FO Friday #81 - Decaf Vanilla Latte Socks

Happy Friday everyone!

I have an FO! I finished a pair of socks about an hour into my road trip to Montana. Good omen for a long car ride, I say.

 I used the Vanilla Latte pattern for these socks. It is free and a great alternative to plain vanilla for self-striping. I used Laura Linneman's afterthought heel to maintain the stripes. I read a tip that said that fter picking up the heel stitches, to knit a few rounds before decreasing the heel for a better fit. I knit four rounds before decreasing and I haven't blocked them yet but so far I love the fit.

The yarn is Knit Picks (sadly discontinued) Felici sport weight yarn in the King Pin colourway. I matched up the stripes pretty well. I knit seven inches before I put in the waste yarn for the heel. I probably had about 10 grams left from my 2 skeins. I cast on 56 stitches and knit these on 2.75mm DPNs. I don't know how well this yarn will wear but they feel is lovely and soft.

I'm excited to have a squishy pair of socks to welcome in the Fall (not yet though, not yet!) As usual,I'll be linking up my FO with a whole bunch of other awesome finished projects through Tami's Amis.

Those of you who have a long weekend this weekend, I hope you get the chance to enjoy every extra moment. We are back on the road and heading home today. Monkey starts Kindergarten on Tuesday! Crazy!

Cheers, Nikki

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

WIP Wednesday #106 - Avoiding SSS

Happy Wednesday everyone.

I'll apologize in advance for the poor lighting and lack of links. I'm vacation blogging again.

This week, I'm mainly working on my Monkey's helicopter sweater. Mostly, because I have promised him it would be done by the start of school. A fact that he reminds me of several times a day. That gives me six more days to finish. In an effort to avoid Second Sleeve Syndrome, I'm knitting both sleeves at the same time (on separate needles). 

I did finish one project this week (which I'm looking forward to showing you on Friday). So, I got to cast on something new : ) I've finally (re)started my citron.

This time, I'm using some heathered purple Knit Picks Alpaca Lace.

So far, so good!

That's it for me but as usual there are plenty of inspiring WIP's over at Tami's Amis.

Cheers, Nikki 

Favourite Things: Going-To-The-Sun-Road
We are in the middle of an end of summer road trip to Montana. This my first trip to this state (that brings my total states visited to 15 - woo hoo). We drove through Glacier National Park on our first day here. Amazing and Gorgeous. Words cannot express how lovely the park is. Two big thumbs up from me.  We are going back for some hiking today. I can't wait. 

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Sunday Spins: The Big League

Happy Sunday everyone!

If you follow me on Instagram, you might already know, but I kind of did a thing...

The owner of my LYS offered to sell me her second wheel (yes, she really is that awesome). Who could say no to that?

Now, I just have to figure out how it works...

Cheers, Nikki

Friday, August 23, 2013

FO Friday #80 - O is for Oat

Happy Friday everyone!

This week, I finished my August project for my LYS' AlphaKAL. We are 15 months into this 26 month challenge. I'm very excited that I haven't missed one yet.  This month had the added bonus of finding something in my queue that would meet the criteria and that I had already purchased the yarn for!

I fell in love with my friend Purrlescent's Seashore Cowl last year. I am so happy to now have one for myself!

Pattern: Seashore Cowl by Milja Uimonen
Size: Small

The sizing for this cowl runs large. I am not normally a "small" person but I knew from my friend's experience that I would be ok knitting that size. If I knit this pattern again, I think I would consider shortening the first two mohair sections a bit. I think that they overpower the lace more than I would like.

Knit Picks Aloft in the Oat colourway (22g)
Knit Picks Capretta in the Pesto colourway (70g)

Interestingly, I found the Capretta to be less soft than other MCNs that I have tried but the Aloft was (IMHO) much softer that other mohair yarns I have used. For the price, I would certainly use both yarns again. I have quite a lot of the Capretta left. Coordinating fingerless mitts or a hat, perhaps?

4.0mm/US 6 fixed Signature Needle Arts Circular
Love these needles. I use them every chance I get. I'm sad that they aren't making the fixed circs anymore but will happily use my new Hiya Hiya interchangeable sharps (at a price point that is much easier on my wallet) instead.

This cowl can be worn in a capulet style or draped more around the neck.

I love it and am looking forward to experimenting with wearing it this fall!

Want to see more finished objects? check out FO Fridays at Tami's Amis.

Cheers, Nikki

Favourite Things: 
We finally have a year round Farmers Market close to our house! My family and I checked out the Symons Valley Ranch Farmers Market last weekend and had a great time. There was a playground and some cute animals for the kids. There was also lots of yummy meals and live music for lunch as well as a great selection of local and organic foods to purchase. My kids even made it onto the news about it (in a incredibly brief clip around 1:25). So awesome. I'm heading back today to stock up for the weekend. 

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

WIP Wednesday #105 - First in, First out

Happy Wednesday everyone!

I fell off the blogging bandwagon a bit over the past week. I don't really have any reason (other than the baby is teething and I am T.I.R.E.D.) I am constantly blogging in my head, I just wish it didn't take so long to get it onto the screen! Seriously, I need a mind reader app (I'm sure those Apple folks have it in the works).

Fortunately, while not blogging, I have been knitting a lot. Unfortunately, you aren't going to see a lot of it here here today because my main project is finished! Here's a sneak peek.

Be sure to come back Friday for the big reveal!

I have made some progress on my other projects. 

Yeah, I've still got about five inches to go... No, I'm not kidding.

I've just about finished the body of my helicopter sweater for my Monkey.

Next up are the sleeves. Tell me why again I'm not making him a vest? Monkey is a bit obsessed with time these days. He want to know exactly when his sweater will be finished. I've promised it for the start of school, which gives me a little less than two weeks.

I am starting to daydream a little about what's next...
Since I'm on a "yarn diet" (kinda) until Knit City, I've been looking at my stash and wondering where to start. I've been watching some old Stockinette Zombie podcasts lately where they talk about "First in, First out". I thought that that sounded like a great way to work through my stash. That is until I realized that my "first in" is ten skeins of Rowen 4 ply soft I picked up in am amazing sale when I had been knitting for about two months. 

They were 75% off and at the time I had no idea how much you need for a project... so I bought them all. I have 1900 yards in a forest green (it's much greener than the photo is showing).

I'm toying with the idea of an Abigail cardigan. Needless to say it would definitely be a long term project.

Any other ideas of a way to (quickly) use up nearly 2000 yards of fingering weight wool? Sigh.

Hope to see you back here on Friday!

Cheers, Nikki

Many more WIPs to check out over on Tami's blog!

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

WIP Wednesday #104 - Another Thing

Happy Wednesday everyone.

About two weeks ago, I started casting on All. The. Things. I am enjoying working on them all but when you have several different projects on the go, it doesn't really look like your making progress on anything.

So... I cast on something else ; )

I've started my Seashore Cowl and I'm loving it. I've had the yarn and pattern in my queue for about a year and it feels good to finally be knitting it. This project has moved up the priority list for August as one of the colourway names meets the criteria for this month's AlphaKAL at my LYS (O is for Oat). I'm using KnitPicks Capretta in pesto and Aloft in oat on my 4mm signature needles. So far so good!

This bag (from The Knotted Bag) is supposed to be for spinning but I couldn't resist putting this WIP in it. Can you blame me?

Cheers, Nikki

Favourite Things:
This week I'm feeling very grateful for my knitting group. After spending so much time on holidays and visiting family, I'm feeling a bit lonely (and to be honest my kids are making me a bit nuts). I love having my knit night to look forward to. I'm lucky I get to knit with a great bunch of gals and they give me endless inspiration for my knitting.
Craft Night action shot
Want to see more posts like this? Check out WIP Wednesdays through Tami's Amis.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Sunday Spins: Acquisitions

Happy Sunday everyone!

I have a couple special purchases to share with you today. 

I got the chance to go to the Olds Fibre Week back in June (my very first fibre/knitting event!) I picked up several things there, but the most special with this gorgeous batt from The Wacky Windmill.

I wish you could feel how soft it is. It's a blend of merino, bamboo, silk, fire star, angelina and mohair. It is going to be a real challenge but I can't wait to spin this one!

Then a couple weeks ago I was goofing around on Etsy (FYI: this is a very dangerous pastime!) and I clicked over to The Knotted Bag. She had one bag in her shop. It had cute little sheep on it. When I saw it was a spinning bag I knew it was destined to be mine. She lines her spinning bags with satin so that fibre slips easily out for spinning. I loves it!

I am trying to make the most of a slow and sunny Sunday. I hope you're enjoying a your day too.

Cheers, Nikki

Favourite Things
Yesterday we travelled out to the mountains and went "day camping". We met our friends at their campsite and stayed all day. We went swimming in the lake, roasted marshmallows and watched a thunderstorm over the mountains. Then, at ten o'clock, we packed the kids up and drove home. Best. Camping. Ever. No trying to get kids to sleep in a tent on the hard ground, no waking up freezing at three in the morning needing to pee and no worrying about bear attacks in the night... I highly recommend it : )

Not too mention, all the great knitting time I got in the car!

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

WIP Wednesday #103 - We Have Lift Off

Happy Wednesday everyone.

My kids and I are heading back to Calgary today after a lovely week away in BC. It is hard to leave my family and this lovely setting but I'm glad I will get to come back at the end of October to go to Knit City!

I have been happy with my knitting progress this week. I guess that's what can happen when you don't have to drive, clean or cook!

First up are my Vanilla Latte socks. I have started the second sock. I am loving watching the stripes match up with the first one. I think that might be my secret to avoiding second sock syndrome. 

Next up, I have cast on and made good progress on my Sockhead hat. I love the way the Kidazzle yarn is knitting up.

Finally, I have finished the colourwork on my Monkey's sweater.

Can you tell what they are? (For the love of all that is woolly, please tell me they look like helicopters.)

I've made good progress on three of the four projects I brought on my trip. Not bad!

I'm looking forward to seeing everyone else's progress over on Tami's Amis.

Cheers, Nikki

Favourite Things:
I had a great time on this trip finding a few geocaches with the kids. Geocaching is a great way to get the kids outside and excited to go for a walk. With a smart phone and an app from it is easy to find cache locations and get going. We've now found geocaches in three different provinces in the last six weeks!

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Sunday Spins: Tools of the Trade

Happy Sunday everyone.

I am enjoying some fine summer weather on my visit to BC. I moved to Alberta six years ago and ideally cherish these visits back to show my kids where I grew up. This weekend is my home town's annual parade and festival. It is all the things small town parties should be: a parade that includes floats by every business in town, a softball tournament that runs all weekend, bouncy castles for the kids and beer gardens for the grown-ups. Good times.

Meanwhile, I am making slow and steady progress with my orange superwash merino roving from Tails & Snouts on etsy.

I am working on the final third while the first two thirds are safely stored on bobbins, ahem.

I thought today I would show you my spindles in a little more detail

My first spindle in the top one in the photo that I got for Christmas. It was handmade by Edward's Spindle Shop. It is a bottom whorl spindle made of hickory and purpleheart. It is probably considered a slightly heavier spindle. It weighs 43 grams. I think bottom whorl spindles are great to learn on. This spindle is very easy to flick and holds a spin for quite a long time. It is a drop spindle but you can also use it in a supported fashion to do long draw by spinning the base on a tabletop. I initially had some trouble with the single slipping up the shaft while I was was spinning before I realized that you are supposed to wind your leader down around the bottom shaft before bringing up to the hook. You can kind of see what I mean in the picture below.

Works like a charm. I think the biggest downside to the spindle is that because of the hook, you can't slide the cops of yarn off and have to go old school and wind them off.

My second spindle is an Emily Spindle by Adam's Workshop.  It is a top whorl, birch and purpleheart spindle weighing 25 grams. I am really enjoying spinning this spindle by rolling it along my leg. It feels quite natural and creates quite a fast spin. This spindle doesn't spin as long as my other spindle but I have found the lighter weight to be easier on my wrists. 

Next, I would love to try a Turkish spindle. I thinks that it might just combine the best both my two spindles.

Now, I'm off to the beach! Hope you are having a fabulous Sunday.

Cheers, Nikki

Favourite Things: The week I picked up the fall issue of Knitscene magazine. I really enjoy this magazine and in this issue the Impression vest, Forester hat and Terrace sock patterns have really caught my eye.

(Sorry for the lack of links in this post. The inability to link is definitely the biggest the biggest drawback of blogging on the iPad)

Friday, August 2, 2013

FO Friday #79 - N is Not for Noro

Happy Friday everyone!

First off, I'm going to apologize if my formatting for this post looks a little strange. I am blogging from my iPad while I'm on vacation and I'm finding it a little limiting.

July was for N in my LYS's AlphaKal. We had to choose a pattern yarn or colourway that started with N. I had planned to make a a Noro and Ultra Alpaca vest for my husband. The July heat quickly taught me that that plan was made of crazy. 

In the end, I made a lovey cowl from some Louisa Harding Grace Silk and Wool I had in my stash. My only annoyance is that I had three skeins and this cowl only used two. But really, the Noble Cowl pattern is free and made a quick satisfying lace knit.

I'm not sure who this one will be for but I think I will use it to start a collection of spare giveaway knits... If I don't keep it for myself.

Cheers, Nikki

Favourite Things: I'm thinking of ending my blog posts by letting you know something that got me feeling excited, happy or grateful.
This week it's Knit City. This knitting gathering (conference? retreat?) is being held the last weekend in October in Vancouver. Class registration went online yesterday. I have registered for a class with the Yarn Harlot!! I am so excited. I am going for the weekend with a couple of knitting friends and I can't wait. This is the first thing that has gotten me looking forward to Fall. Yay!