Saturday, May 31, 2008

I dream of Aubergines

Ravelry continues to be a wonderful source to fuel my fibre addiction. A forum chain about dyeing led to 3 of us spending yesterday afternoon in the new Lettuce Knit dye room with Kim (Idigodragonfly) learning how to mix acid dyes and basic colour theory. We spent the first half of the class learning to mix the powdered dyes in primary colours and combining them to create other colours (like in 3rd grade, but much more scientific). It may sound boring but was actually quite interesting. One of these days I'll make a whole colour wheel of dyed yarn as a template for dyeing, although I'll probably start with Kool-Aide since it's cheaper and less toxic. You can get some surprisingly nice shades by mixing Kool-Aide, not just the acid green you're probably picturing right now. I know there's an article on Knitty about it, but I can't be bothered to look it up right now.

Then we got to the fun stuff. I bought 100g of merino roving from the store and dyed this roving.

Gorgeous, eh? I love the variations in purples. I've been getting more into purple lately, as a departure from surrounding myself with green all the time. I found instructions on this blog on how to braid roving into those nice braided strips. I think it looks really pretty this way. I called it Aubergine Dream.

I think I'll wait until I'm a little better at spinning before I tackle this just because it feels like it deserves better. Speaking of spinning, I kidnapped Marisa (one of the other 2 who attended the dye class with me) and forced her to drive me home in exchange for supper and getting to play with my spinning wheel. There was Rock Band in the deal, as well, but we couldn't get it to work and Nyron was still getting over his cold so he was taking a nap.

Until next we knit!


Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Much ado about babies

Angela's baby shower was on Sunday, so I had to step it up on the baby knitting. I had planned to give the first blanket that I finished to Amy, since she was due first, but I haven't seen her yet and I needed something to put in a pretty gift bag for the shower so the first blanket went to Angela, instead. It'll be a while yet before I see Amy, since she lives on the other side of town, so I've got time to make up the second blanket for her. The only difference between the 2 will be that I don't have enough of the Strange Harvest colourway to do the border, so I'll do the blanket for little Grace with a green border instead.

It looked a lot nicer after I blocked it.

Of course, I had to get the baby sweater finished, too, which only meant blocking it and sewing on the buttons. I love these leather buttons that I found at Courage My Love in Kensington (absolutely THE place to get buttons in Toronto, in my humble opinion).

I'm not sure I like having such a large button-free space at the bottom; I wish I'd put in a 6th button hole (especially since the buttons came in a set of 6). But then again, it may be good for pudgy baby tummies to have some room to grow.

It felt so good to get the buttons on this sweater, that I decided to go ahead and put the buttons on Grace's sweater, too. I love the little ladybugs, again found at Courage My Love. I think it makes the sweater a little more feminine.

In the midst of all this baby knitting, I made sure not to slack in Sock Wars. I was eliminated on Friday, but not before taking out my own target! I consider that a victory, especially since I finally learned kitchener stitch in order to graft the toes! I found a video on Youtube that I was able to follow much easier than diagrams in a book. These are the socks I knit for my target:
And this is what my assassin sent me:

I know the lighting isn't very good, but I was trying to take the picture quickly this morning before I left for work (if Nyron's reading this, yes, that is what made me late this morning). I love the little skull, what a nice touch! I also got a bag of tea. Mmmmm. Tea.
I've started a cardigan twin set in wool/cashmere that I bought as a kit at the Good Buy sale at Village Yarns. It's in a lovely light yellow colour that will be perfect to wear at work this summer. I've recently realized that all of the tops I've knit for myself this past year have been in a similar shade of light yellow. I really didn't do that intentionally; light yellow isn't even one of my favourite colours! It just happened that way. I'd like to pick up Arwen again, as well, although it's quickly getting too warm to wear it this season. At least it'll be ready for the fall.
Until next we knit!

Friday, May 16, 2008

Mixed reviews

I do a lot of knitting in publick (almost every day, in fact, on my commute to work) and most of the time it goes without comment by the general population of non-knitters around me. Last night, though, I received 2 comments from people on the street. The first came when I was getting off the streetcar to go to my knitting class that I teach every other Thursday. A woman on her bike asked what I was making and when I held it up so she could see my socks, she said it was nice. Later on, while we were enjoying knitting class on the patio of the cafe in Kensington Market where we meet, a man walking by shouted out "knitting sucks!" at us. When we all looked up he smiled and said, "just kidding". I think he just wanted to make a group of young women look at him. Loser.

It was really precient that I was talking yesterday about Amy having the baby, because yesterday Amy had the baby! After work I found a voice mail from her husband to say that little Gracie had been delivered that morning and that mother and baby were fine. It was really sweet of him to call me with a birth anouncement. I wanted to call back and congratulate him, but he sounded really tired (she went into labour the night before, so he probably hadn't had any sleep since Wendesday morning) so I didn't want to risk waking him. I'll call this afternoon when I'm home from work.

I got confirmation from my Sock Wars assassin this morning that she didn't mail the socks priority post! Hurray! That means I'll definitely have my socks done before the end of the weekend (especially since it's a long weekend in Canada) so I'll have the satisfaction of taking out my own target before being wacked myself.

Until next we knit!


Thursday, May 15, 2008

Much knitting, but little blogging

My apologies for being such a negligent blogger. I spent most of last week in Nova Scotia doing wedding planning and then work has suddenly been hit by the busy season, so this is the first chance I've had for an update.

Angela's baby shower is next weekend and I still haven't finished the second baby blanket. Therefore, I have decided to give her the first one I finished and give the other one to Amy later, since Amy isn't having a baby shower (this is her second yung'n) so I have more time to before I'll see her again. I'm assuming she's had the baby by now, since it's a week past her due date, but I don't want to bother her while she's still "lying in" so I'll call her next week sometime. I still have to block Angela's sweater so I can sew the buttons on. I've never sewn buttons onto knitting before, so wish me luck.

Sock Wars III is in full swing and I'm almost halfway done. I'm doing the 2 socks on 2 circs method (as always) which I was hoping would give me an edge on speed, but apparently not. A quick peruse of Ravelry shows that lots of people have already finished their socks. Then I looked on the forum and found that my assassin has sent my socks today! Depending on the type of postage, I could be "dead" as early as tomorrow. Hopefully she picked a slower service so that I'll at least be able to finish these before my untimely demise. On the bright side, no one has ever knit socks for my before, so I'm thrilled to get them. Always a silver lining, right?

While I was in Nova Scotia my mom and I had 1 afternoon where I didn't have any wedding stuff or family stuff scheduled and I could do whatever I wanted to do. Wanna guess what it was? Yarn shopping! When I was growing up in Bedford (the town next to Halifax) the only place to buy yarn was Lewiscraft, which meant Patons Canadiana and Bernat acrylic. But in the last few years Halifax has got a few nice yarn shops and I always try to hit them when I'm in town. My excuse was that I needed to get sock yarn for Sock Wars, so that became my focus. We started off at LK Yarns which is close to where my bridesmaid Sarah lives. There, Mom got me 2 skeins of Estelle Arequipa: one in a lovely dark green and the other in a peachy seashell type variegated. Then we went to the Loop Cafe (where I took my hand spindle spinning lesson) and really raked it in. I got a braid of Aurelia Topknots roving in deep purple and lilac tones and a bag of Louet wool fibre in a natural brown colour (Mom spotted both of them, saying "is that what you use on your wheel thing?"). Then I got my obligatory 2 skeins of lovely Lucy Neatby Celestial Merino Dream, this time in a gorgeous sunny yellow, and a ball of Tofutsies for the Sock Wars socks (see, I didn't forget my original objective). I'm loving working with Tofutsies and definitely intend to buy some for myself. While we were checking out, Mom noticed a hairpin lace bobbin and decided to buy it for me, too. Then, she noticed a scarf pattern called Lighthearted Leaves from Fiddlesticks Yarn and decided she wanted me to knit it for her. So she added the pattern and the yarn called for (a silk yarn in a lovely orange colour) to the pile in front of us. Can I say, I love yarn shopping with Mom? :)

Until next we knit!