Friday, October 25, 2013

FO Friday #86 - Picture Panic

Happy Friday everyone!

I think I have almost wrapped up my latest hat binge... although there is at least one more that I want to make. 

I panicked a couple weeks ago and decided that I absolutely needed to knit my daughter a hat for our upcoming family portraits... In 5 days. I used Cascade 220 sport and held it double to go faster. Of course, I didn't really adjust my guage for the thicker yarn and when I finished the hat I realized it felt like it was made out of iron and definitely was not flattering. 

So, I ripped it out and started again, sigh. 

I still finished with one day to spare. I based my hat on the Flower Hat by Rebecca Lennox. I used my own numbers and shaping for the hat and then attached the flower (which is sewn separately in pieces) as per the pattern. The hat is very cute but I would never have paid so much for a one size hat pattern if I wasn't in a panic. In the end, Doodlebug was as cute as a button for our photoshoot. I don't have the pictures back yet but I'll post one up when I do. 

Picture Panic

I'm in Vancouver for Knit City! I am so excited to go to two Yarn Harlot lectures tomorrow. One has a cash bar (although it will be tough to save some of my yarn money to buy a drink ; ) I'm sure to have lots of pretties to show you next week

Cheers, Nikki

Favourite Things:
We went to the first of several Halloween parties last night. All three kids had a blast. My favourite part was how gorgeous the weather was. This time last year we were knee deep in snow!

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

WIP Wednesday #113 - Monogamy

Happy Wednesday everyone.

I have actually been a monogamous knitter this week. I wonder if there's something wrong with me?!

Things are very busy and I've just needed some easy thoughtless knitting. I figured starting my Abalone would be perfect. And it is... now. 

I am really enjoying knitting the body of this cardigan. I did have a couple false starts. I decided to do a provisional cast on and that took a couple attempts for some reason. Then, as simple as this pattern was, I managed to increase unevenly on the two sides. So, I gave the yarn a stern talking to and told it if it behaved badly again it was headed for time out where it might be lost for all time. Needless to say, third time was a charm : )

While monogamous knitting seems to be soothing my soul right now, it does not make for the most interesting of blog posts. I'm sure I will be greatly inspired at Knit City this weekend and will have new things to show next week.  Don't forget to pop back on Friday for More Hats!

Cheers, Nikki

Friday, October 18, 2013

FO Friday #85 - It's Fall, Y'all

Happy Friday everyone!

I cannot tell you how much I wish I lived in a place where I could get away with saying "y'all" in real life. Maybe I should start using it and see what happens? (*Spoiler Alert - what will happen is that my husband will look at me like I have gone off the deep end.)

Anyways, moving on to the knitting, I have hats! I have soooo many hats, but today I will show you two. I apologize for the photography, Bean is not as anamoured with his hats as I am. 

First up is his wee pumpkin hat. I made the two bigger kids pumpkin hats three years ago and my Monkey still insists on cramming his on his head from time to time. Bean is actually going to be a pumpkin for Halloween, so there was no way I could resist making him one. Added bonus: I used stash!

Pattern: Little Pumpkin by Susan B. Anderson 
Size: 18 months

100% Merino DK weight
Needles: 3.75 mm / US 5

Next up is another quick knit winter hat for Bean. This time I went for a Woolly Wormhead pattern that satisfied this month's "Q" requirement for my LYS AlphaKAL. Bean is even less tolerant of this one...

I guess there's just no accounting for some people's tastes. Though, on those brief moments when he leaves it alone, it sure is cute.

Pattern: Quynn by Woolly Wormhead
Size 18 inches
Needles 4.5 mm / US 7
Yarn: Knit Picks Chroma worsted in the Guppy colourway

That's it for this week. I will have more (hats) to show next Friday, when I will be on my way to Knit City - Yippee!!!!

I'm linking up with Tami's FO Friday and Wonderwhygal's Fiber Arts Friday . Click over to check out all the yarny goodness.

Cheers, Nikki

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

WIP Wednesday #112 - The Problem with Finishitis

Happy Wednesday everyone!

What's the problem with finishitis? There is not a lot left on the needles to show you! 

Don't get me wrong, I'm really excited to be finishing all kinds of things (and by "things, I mean hats) but I get a bit twitchy when I don't have go-to projects on the needles. I do still have socks underway but sometimes that just not quite enough, you know?

I have some plans, but they are for the kind of knitting that requires concentration and does not lend itself to grabbing on the go. Most of my bigger projects plans require a little thought and start up work (like a complicated cast on or, gasp, math). 

Anyways, I finally bit the bullet and started swatching and planning for a project I've had in my queue (with designated yarn) for two years... Abalone

I'm using Madelinetosh tosh dk in the thunderstorm colourway. I know I should probably be thinking about Christmas knitting but now that I've swatched I can't wait to get started!

Cheers, Nikki

PS. Of course, the good thing about finishitis is that I have lots to show you on Friday!

Friday, October 11, 2013

FO Friday #84 - Cool Kids Hat

Happy Friday everyone!

The last couple days have been cool and wet here. I suspect that those first white flakes are just around the corner. I am dedicating myself to knitting winter accessories for my family. This year (for a change) I even started with something for myself : )

I saw a few podcasters making a Sockhead Hat towards the end of the summer and I wanted to be like the cool kids too. I love this hat and the best part is that it makes fabulous on-the-go knitting. It's very portable and and you just go round and round for about forever. Then one day (not one day soon - this is an awesome fingering weight knit, but it's not magic), it's a hat.


Pattern: Sockhead Hat by Kelly McClure
Simple and free. Awesome.
I only knit for 7 inches before starting the decreases so I could have the option to wear the brim folded or not.

75 grams used
The perfect use for this lovely skein that was an unexpected gift from my friends.

I'm seriously tempted to cast on another one. Are you? You know you want to ; )

I'm linking up with Tami for FO Friday and with Wisdom Begins in Wonder for Fiber Arts Friday. Click over for oodles of yarny knitty goodness.

Cheers, Nikki

One last shot of my hat in the wild with my lovely Bean.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

WIP Wednesday #111 - Binge

Happy Wednesday everyone!

Let see, what am I working on this week?

Well, there's a hat.

And, a hat.

What? That doesn't look like a hat?
Well, I promise it will very soon.
I did warn you that I felt a hat binge coming on.

For something a little different, there are also socks.

Be sure to check back Friday to see a new FO (spoiler alert... it's a hat). 

Cheers, Nikki

Linking up with Tami for WIP Wednesday. Click over to see lots of yarns goodness in progress.

Monday, October 7, 2013

Sunday Spins on a Monday - Silky Sadness

Happy Monday everyone.

Well, I'm going to have to call this one a learning experience...

I finished spinning my merino and tussah silk braid. This was my first spin ever with silk content.

First lesson: when spinning with silk, add more twist.

I thought I did add more twist. I increased my whorl ratio and was conscious to try to add more twist to my single but when I plied I had several episodes where the single drifted apart. Overall, I was happy with my ability to reattach the single and continue to chain play but I suspect when I knit it up there are going to be bits that are a hot mess.

Second lesson: It is ok if your skein seems a bit overplied when you are done.

I was worried about how much energy was still in the skein when I finished plying. Not only did the entire skein have a bit of a twist but I could see parts where the individual strands of yarn were twisting back on themselves. What a difference a good washing and thwacking can make! Now it looks really balanced.

Third lesson: Rinse quickly if the dye runs.

here is some of the original fibre again the yarn after washing

Would that have helped?
I wish I had a picture of the skein before I washed it. I chain plied to preserve the gradient of colours that started with a sunshine yellow, became orange, and ended up strawberry pink. Well, the water in the sink looked like Orange Crush by the time I finished washing the yarn and now the whole skein is a muted orangey-yellow that transitions to orangey-pink. Sniff

I don't actually know how I could have prevented this.

The end result is still very pretty and kind of reminds me of rainbow sherbet : )

And anyways, I'm not bitter. In fact, I'm already moving on...

SweetGeorgia merino, bamboo and silk

Cheers, Nikki

Friday, October 4, 2013

FO Friday #84 - P is for Papaya

Happy Friday everyone!

I won't lie, this week has been a rough one. I feel like all the balls I've been keeping in the air since the start of September are starting to drop. To top it off, yesterday I fell down the stairs. I'm ok but I feel like I got hit by a truck. I'm just so thankful that I wasn't carrying the baby!

One bright spot this week was that I finally took photos of some of my more recent FO's. I channeled my inner mamatronic and did my own photo shoot. I didn't even let the discovery that my camera doesn't screw onto my tripod stop me.

Pattern: Papaya Shawlette by Tanis Lavalee

I have never knit a shawl pattern that incorporates both lace and cables. I love the overall effect. I initially had a lot of trouble with the bottom edge rolling. I wet blocked, spray blocked upside down and steam blocked. In the end I ripped out the cast off and added a couple rows of garter stitch before the bind off and that seems to have done the trick.
The pattern and yarn for this shawlette was designed as part of Tanis Fibre Arts Year in Colour Club (YiCC). This is the first club I have ever subscribed to and I have loved it. The patterns are exclusively available to the club for one year.

75% Merino, 15% Cashmere and 10% Silk

This yarn is so soft and squishy. Because it is a low twist single I doubt it would hold up well to garments but it makes a gorgeous shawl. One skein is 115g and I had less that 10 grams left when I finished. 

I can't decide if I can pull off this colourway or not. As I rule, I usually avoid pink but this little beauty might be too hard to give up.

I am including this FO as part of the The Loop's AlphaKal, The Fat Squirrel's Squirrel is Away KAL and Must Stash Podcast's Rhinebeck or bust KAL. Triple dipping FTW!

Best wishes for a wonderful weekend! Make sure you hold on to the handrails when going down stairs!! I'm off to soak my aching body in a hot bath (Ha ha, as if. I'm probably actually changing a diaper or doing the pick up and drop off circus routine with my kids).

Cheers, Nikki

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

WIP Wednesday #110 - Two at a Time, Toe Up. Sort of.

Happy Wednesday everyone!

I am looking ahead this week, all the way to Christmas. Now that I am mostly done finishing all the things, I am starting some new projects. 

First up, I am making my husband a hat for our wedding anniversary next week. This is not just any hat. It is a crazy cabled hat out of some if the softest, most squishy yarn I have ever knit. I am making Knotty but Nice out of Zen Garden Serenity Worsted. I'm almost done the cables and so far I like. This needs to be done by Tuesday. 

Next, I've started some Christmas socks for my father-in-law. I am branching out and trying my first pair of toe up socks. I am knitting two at a time on separate needles in my attempt to avoid second sock syndrome because I know myself and I am easily distracted by new shiny things.  My verdict so far: they look good and I think they will fit well but the start was a finicky pain in the butt. The pattern is Laura Linneman's Socks on a Plane and the yarn is Ewe Give Me the Knits (EGMTK) sock yarn. 

Also, because it is the start or a new month, we are onto "Q" in my LYS's AlphaKAL. I'm planning to make Bean a Quynn out of Knit Picks Chroma.

I will admit, I am barely holding back from casting on everything I see, all at once. This space just might get a little nutty over the next little while.

You've been warned.

Cheers, Nikki

Linking up with all the other WIP's over at Tami's Amis