Tuesday, 31 March 2009


I've just come off of a really great weekend, and I'm almost in the middle of what I think is going to be a really great week. Saturday night at work was a lot of fun, I just lucked out and ended up working with some of my favorite people, it really makes work seem not like work at all! Then on Sunday I spent the morning shopping, which was a huge success and the beginning of my inspiration kick. While shopping I found a pair of cowboy boots in a second hand store that were my size (size 5, hard to find second hand!) and they're perfect and were cheap and totally would have made my day if I hadn't had so many other great things happen on Sunday. Next I stumbled into Preloved, a shop I rarely go into just because it's in an area of town that I don't really go shopping in. I found a lovely dress there that was big time on sale, that's always great, but what was even greater was that the store provided me with a big dose of inspiration. I can't imagine that anyone can walk in and not feel moved to find old unused clothes in the back of their closets and want to cut them up and reconstruct them into something useful and beautiful. That's exactly what it left me wanting to do, and that's exactly what I did on Monday, but more on that later. Finally, the high-light of my Sunday was that I spent the afternoon at a friends house with 9 great girls eating a gourmet brunch and laughing and just having an all around great time. I really wish I could do that every Sunday! Hopefully because this one was such a hit, we will do that sort of thing more often. 

Anyways, so now to my restyling adventures. In the Fall I knit myself this gorgeous Kureyon striped cardigan. 

It's using my favorite colour of Kureyon (if it's even possible to have a favorite, they're all so beautiful!) colour #156. I used Elizabeth Zimmerman's percentage system to knit this cadigan in the round from the bottom up, joining after the sleeves to knit the yoke and decrease raglan style. I was really careful to try and match up the stripes where the sleeves and the body meet without making the sleeves match, I wanted everything to just kind of flow into each other. It all worked out perfectly and I absolutely love it!!! Except for one thing... it's too small! I did a gauge swatch and all the math and worked the whole thing out perfectly, and then somewhere between fondling the Kureyon and rushing to cast on I totally disregarded my gauge and cast on for a sweater based on 4 stitches an inch instead of 5 stitches an inch. Honestly, I don't know how that happened and how I managed to knit the entire thing before realizing what I had done! I was so upset! I let it sit for a while, then I decided that since I had intended it to be a cardigan anyways, I would steak up the front and add a generous button band and maybe that would help! I cut up the front of my sweater and then optimistically tried it on, but there was nothing I could do, it was just too small. I toyed with the idea of cutting steaks down either sleeve, picking up stitches, and knitting in a kureyon stripe to widen the sleeves, maybe I would do the same down the back... but it was just so far from my original vision of the sweater and not what I wanted that instead I just put the sweater away until I could figure out what to do with it. Well, months went by and finally on Monday, thanks to my trip to Preloved I decided to once again take my sewing machine and scissors to it and turn it into something completely different. I knew that it would never be the cardigan that I'd wanted, so instead I made it into a custom doggy sweater for Stella! It took a couple of hours of work, a very patient dog model and a bunch of creativity, but I've got a really cute dog sweater out of it! I'm just missing some velcro, and I haven't taken a finished photo yet, because it's not exactly finished, but after I get a little input from my mom  some velcro, I'll post a full report. Just trust me, it's neat, and Stella looks hip.

I'm inspired by a lot these days, I just keep stumbling across new things I want to try, like sewing my own clothes (I've already ordered this pattern, I can't wait to make it, something about a flashy contrasting pleat really gets me excited.) I'm just in the mood to make things! I even made a little painting last night, I don't like it, so I'm not going to share it here, but I tried some new techniques that worked out well, so I'm looking forward to working on it some more. Hopefully I'll be able to use all this inspiration and make lots of new things and have lots to share soon!

Tuesday, 24 March 2009

Yarn from top to bottom

Business is going pretty well for me these days. I've got a steady stream of orders and an endless supply of inspiration and motivation. I'm very excited about the future! What I'm not excited about is the current and future state of my apartment. Bellow we have what used to be my "living room" and is now "the place where I stack 100lb boxes of yarn".

Excuse the mess, but these days, it doesn't really matter how much tidying I do, the place is still overflowing with boxes of yarn. Next, we have what I used to call my bed, but now it's more like "the place where I sort and organize my orders".

I'm not complaining. I hope to be organizing and mailing lots of orders for many years to come if all goes well, however, hopefully I'll be able to find a more suitable place to do it in. My bedroom also currently houses drying racks as well as dyed yarn storage, we're pretty much bursting at the seams with yarn around here. But I love yarn right!? Isn't that why I started doing this in the first place?

Monday, 16 March 2009

Purple knits

My Grammy is my knitting role model. She knits pretty much all day, every day. Almost all the knitting she does she gives away, either to her kids, her grand-kids, her great grand-kids or the church. It's amazing. I gave her a couple skeins of my green label yarn thinking that maybe she would knit something for herself with it (what was I thinking!?) but when my mom went to visit her recently she came back with this pair of mitts for me! 

They're my Grape colourway, and they're so nice. Grammy makes the best mitts. I don't know how she does it, but they're always a perfect fit. She's got a real knack for it, I guess that after close to 90 years of knitting mittens you get pretty good at it! 

Next up is my most recent pair of socks. These were cast on right after I perfected my new Blueberry colourway. I loved the colour and wanted to see it knit up right away. These socks are great! The colourway is pretty difficult to photograph, the socks are darker in real life.

The first photo isn't cropped because I thought that the composition was kind of funny. That's me with my pants rolled up to show off my socks, standing on the back of my sofa trying to find the light, and Stella doing her own thing in the background, one of Grammy's mitts is sitting there too, the other fell onto the floor I think!

Here is a more conventional sock shot, I think that the colour near the cuff, where it's less washed out is more accurate. I had kind of planned on not wearing these so that they would be in tip top shape to show off at my booth at the Knitters Frolic... but I put them on to model this morning and can't seem to will myself into taking them off! They're so comfy!

Wednesday, 11 March 2009

Adamas Shawl

Last week I was so in love with my new Sand colourway that I just had to cast on for a hat right away. I came up with this cable pattern and am really into it. Chris has been wearing it around the house and every time I look at this hat I like it even more. I'm going to for sure write up the pattern. Hopefully soon! I love that Chris is wearing a hat with a pom-pom, my grandmother always puts pom-pom's on her hats, I feel like a hat just isn't hand knit if it doesn't have a pom-pom. I know that if I had given Chris the choice, he would have opted for no pom-pom, but it's just so much cuter with! There's just something about a full grown man wearing a hat with a pom-pom that I can't get enough of! 

I'm knitting with a new yarn that I plan on adding to my collection. It's a lovely 2 ply lace weight merino yarn. I'm making the Adamas shawl. It's a great geometric pattern that I really like. I dyed this sample in my Garnet colourway. I dyed 2 more sample skeins as well, in Peacock and Mallard and man, I can safely say that this yarn takes dyes beautifully! I've been getting lots of requests on Etsy from people wanting tonal lace yarns, and now that I'm knitting with it myself I can see why. It's really beautiful! The lace pattern is still the focus, but the slight changes in tone throughout really makes for a lovely effect. Here's my attempt at stretching out the lace pattern to show it off a bit:

This yarn will come in 115g skeins, at just over 1000yds per skein, that's a lot of yarn! I've already knit 9 repeats of the pattern and I've still got roughly 2/3rds of the ball left! I had planned on using as much of the skein as possible to really show off it's yardage, but I feel like that's going to result in one ridiculously big shawl! But, I guess with shawls, once you get to the 12th, 13th and 14th repeat, knitting hundreds of stitches per row, you start using a heck of a lot more yarn per repeat then you even thought possible. Or at least that's what always happens to me. I never cease to be amazed at how much yarn a border can take! I'm at the point now where I can't just sit down and finish a repeat, it takes a couple of sit downs before I get through it. 

I'm really enjoying knitting it, I can't wait to see it blocked! 

Friday, 6 March 2009

February Lady Sweater!

Here I am modeling my February Lady Sweater!

I have such a hard time getting decent modeled shots of my sweaters. You see, I think that the main problem stems from the fact that I live in a loft, there are windows on only one side, so I always end up standing in an awkward place in the middle of my apartment to take my FO shots, so the back ground isn't exactly ideal. Also, I love him, but before I met Chris I don't think he'd ever snapped a photo in his life, so though he's sweet to take these pictures for me, he's not yet the worlds greatest photographer (sorry babe). But at least you can kind of get an idea of how it fits!

I'm very happy with how this sweater turned out. I knit it in TFA Green Label Mallard Colourway and I used 4mm needles even though the pattern called for 5mm's. I knew that even the xxs was going to be too big if I didn't downsize my needles, and I'm glad I did. I ended up using pretty simply wooden buttons that I bought at fabricville. They're simple and lovely and are a nice match for the pattern I think. 

All in all, I call this sweater a success. I'd definitely knit this pattern again, it took about a week of casual knitting and I can definitely see it working in many colours. Maybe my sister would like one in Plum?

Just a note: even though in this last photo it looks like the sleeves are pretty drastically different colours, I'd like to stress that it is not the case in real life! I think it must be the lighting or something...