Tuesday, 29 June 2010

TFA Tuesday - Psychedelic Sweater

This sweater is nothing if not inspirational. I love looking at it. I love that this mom had the guts to see this yarn and say to herself "that should be a sweater for my son." And I love the photo of the boy wearing it, he looks proud of his cool, psychedelic sweater.

This sweater was knit by Daisan (on Ravelry, blog, project page) in Tanis Fiber Arts Blue Label Fingering Weight yarn in the very bright and very psychedelic Prism colourway. I'll admit, some people might not be into the way that the yarn pooled on the sleeves, or the intensity of the colours in the sweater, but I admire anyone who dares to knit a sock yarn sweater and the boy who wears it proudly.

This sweater inspires me to take chances with my knitting!

Sunday, 27 June 2010

Sunday morning bliss

Ahh.... what a lovely way to spend a Sunday morning... Admiring my beautiful wedding gift from my best friend, bridesmaid extraordinaire and extremely talented artist Sara Caracristi. And sipping on a cappuccino made with my new espresso machine, also a wedding gift, this time from my wonderful big brother Luke and his beautiful girlfriend Amanda. Life is good.

Friday, 25 June 2010

It worked!

I decided to give photo uploading one more try today, and wouldn't you know... it worked! So, here's my swatch! Exciting.

I knit this swatch in my Purle Label Cashmere Sock yarn in the Velvet colourway, some leftover from my Travelling Woman Shawl. I'm very pleased with how the swatch turned out. I'll be using the diamond texture pattern with some seed stitch and probably a bit of ribbing to make myself a casual, cozy, throw-on-with-anything cardigan inspired by the versatility and wearability of this cardigan. Mine will be knit in Deep Sea. I hope to start on it this weekend.

On a completely unrelated topic, check out this awesome new design by my good friend Jenna Rose. I LOVE all of her work, but I think that this may be my all time favorite design of hers. I plan on buying anything and everything she prints this on! Isn't it great?

Happy weekend! I'll be spending mine knitting and DIY-ing.

trouble in blogland

I don't know why, but for some reason blogger will not allow me to upload any photos... I am not particularly computer savvy, so in an attempt to remedy the situation I restarted my computer.... didn't work. I'm optimistic that by tomorrow the problem will have fixed itself and I can blog about the swatch I knit for a new sweater design I'm working on.

Fingers crossed!

Tuesday, 22 June 2010

TFA Tuesday - Stripey Cardigan 2.0

Yay for two-toned stripey cardigans! Last week, when I was contemplating all the new projects that I wanted to start, I was particularly fixated on a two-toned cardigan in these colours. Remember that photo of the yarn on the cake plate? Well, it stayed there until last night when I actually baked a cake. I just loved looking at those colours together and am hoping that I'll get hit with a wave of inspiration if I leave them out next to each other to contemplate every time I walk by. 

Anyways, when I was thinking about a two-toned sweater, I immediately thought of this gorgeous little number by swayinglights on Ravelry (project pageblog). This sweater was knit in TFA Green Label Aran weight yarn in Midnight and Sand, a lovely combination.

There are several things that I love about this sweater. First of all, I got to see it in person this spring at the Knitter's Frolic, and it fit beautifully and looked just how a favorite sweater should. Do you know that look? When a sweater just fits right and looks super comfy and cozy? Like its the first thing you would grab to throw on with jeans? I love that look, and I LOVE cardigans, but I don't yet have a handknit TFA cardigan to reach for when I'm looking for comfort, I think its about time I remedy that!

I think that wide stripes really work, and I like how she worked the ribbing on the hem and the cuffs over two stripes, one of each colour, a little detail that shows how much thought went into it. 

Finally, one of my favorite things about this sweater, and surely the most inspirational aspect for me, is the fact that these yarns were originally knit into a entirely different sweater! That sweater was also lovely. Isn't it interesting how different the original sweater looked from the final wider striped version? Same yarns, similar concept, totally different result. The first sweater had fit issues and was completely frogged, not skipping a beat swayinglights' re-swatched and started over! I admire that kind of perseverance. I'm pretty sure I would have let the sweater just sit there for a few months, eventually frog it and then wait another year before I was ready to face the yarn again. I love her finished result and now I have a lot more confidence in my ability to knit myself an equally successful two-toned cardigan. 

I'm pretty sure I'm going to go with stripes, I haven't decided on what width yet, I'll have to do some swatching myself, but at least now I know that if it doesn't work out how I planned the first time, I'll just rip and re-knit!

Monday, 21 June 2010

Bridesmaids shawls

As I'm sure you all recall I spent a good part of late winter/early spring knitting shawls for my beautiful bridesmaids. I didn't want to knit the same shawl three times (boring!) and I didn't want to knit all three shawls in the same colour (also boring!) so I picked three different patterns that I liked and wanted to knit, chose three different colours of silk that I liked and thought suited my girls, and even though they don't all "match" I'm very pleased at how lovely they all looked together. I knew that the girls wouldn't be wearing their shawls all day, so I wasn't even concerned about making them coordinate with any particular wedding theme, I just wanted to knit them something that I thought they would love, hopefully use again and possibly even keep forever.

The girls had a very hard time telling the "right side" from the "wrong side". In fact, in these photos I can tell that they all have their shawls on inside out, can you tell? No non-knitter would ever notice, so I'm not too worried about it. They all seemed to love their shawls and I for one really love seeing them looking so beautiful in them! I've got this photo that my brother's girlfriend Amanda took printed already and I'm going to frame it and put it next to my desk. It will keep my office friendly and knitterly. I love it!

Lydia on the left is wearing the Percy Shawl in Deep Sea, Sara is wearing her Aeolian Shawl in Plum, and lovely little Lilia (my sister and maid of honour!) is wearing the Nightsongs Shawl in Blueberry.

Saturday, 19 June 2010

Back in the swing of things

Well, Chris and I have officially been married for one full week. To tell you the truth, I think that I may be suffering from a bit of post wedding depression. I was looking forward to it and was working towards it for so long, then all of a sudden, in one very short day, its over! I really tried to enjoy every moment of it as much as I could, but it still went by so quickly. We should be getting all of our photos from the photographer next week, so I'm very much looking forward to that.

For now, its back to business as usual. We didn't go on a honeymoon, we decided to postpone it and instead spend a few days relaxing and decompressing in the still very new to us house. I'm just now getting back in the swing of things and wrapping my mind around the fact that the wedding is over and I can put my energy towards other things, things like knitting! I have been too busy and mentally strained lately to work on anything other than socks, but now I'm feeling this intense need to fill my evenings with more interesting knitting!

I've been fondling my cashmere sock yarn for a while, I'm particularly fond of how awesome Deep Sea looks in it:

I'm thinking an easy, comfy cardi would work very well in this. Something along the lines of Klara84's Featherweight meets minimalist, I love the texture and I know that anything knit out of this amazingly soft yarn would be delicious.

I also have big plans to write up the pattern for my Prism handspun shawl.

Handspun Prism Shawl

This shawl drew quite a bit of attention at this years Knitter's Frolic and since its such a simple pattern it should be easy to write up. I might make my next version in Meadow, a multi that I love and have been wanting to work up into something fabulous.

I've also been eyeing a few skeins of DK that happen to be sitting next to each other on my shelves. Sunset and Velvet, I think they make such an interesting pair. A simple, striped sweater? Or maybe something with a little bit of texture? I haven't quite decided, I may have to think about this one a bit more, all I know is that I love these colours together and I really want to be knitting with them now!

I also have a few sweaters I'd like to knit in my Aran weight... the Royale pullover, the Mondo Cable Cardi, the Fitted February Lady Sweater, another Dipped Infinity..... I'd better get started!

Tuesday, 15 June 2010

TFA Tuesday - November Fitted Pullover - PLUS! The Dress!

I have been waiting to write this post for months! But I couldn't share it with you until after the wedding, because I didn't want to spoil the surprise for anyone. The wedding has come and gone, we're married now! And I can finally share the beautiful story behind my beautiful wedding dress.

Some of you regular blog readers out there may have recognized my wedding dress from another recently married knit-blogger's wedding. Julie, from the fabulous Knittedbliss blog married the love of her life last March 2009, and she wore The Dress on her amazing day. Not long after I got engaged, I went out wedding dress shopping with my mom. I tried on tons of dresses, most of which were immediately rejected, and then I tried on one that I absolutely loved! I was ready to commit right then and there! I loved it! Mom convinced me to take the weekend to think about it; we were in no rush. When I got home I remembered that Julie had done this amazing post about her $5000 wedding, and that she had bought her dress second hand online. As I was scanning her post looking for the link to the second hand bridal dress website my jaw hit the floor... she got married in the dress that I had fallen in love with earlier that day!

I thought that it was just such a neat coincidence. Julie and I had communicated through our blogs a little bit before because, well, she's just got such great style and everything she knits looks amazing! I sent her an e-mail telling her the story of how I had fallen in love with the very same dress that she had, and that I was probably going to buy it for my own wedding. Then, thats when I got totally floored... Julie responded with the sweetest, most enthusiastic e-mail. She didn't know me or my then fiancé (now husband!) Chris, but she was obviously so in love with her husband and such a romantic, kind, generous person that she offered to lend me her dress for my wedding. I was a stranger, but to her, I think that I was a stranger in love and that was all that she needed to know.

We e-mailed back and forth, and in October in Toronto I met up with Julie and tried on the dress. It fit, I loved it more than ever, and I took it home with me.

Julie adamantly refused to accept a renter's fee or any kind of payment - she just wanted me to take the dress and enjoy it. I was so overwhelmed by her generosity and her faith that I would be good to the dress and treat it with care. When I picked up the dress I brought with me a small offering of yarn, including a sweaters worth of aran weight in Grape.

Which brings us to this week's TFA Tuesday inspirational knit! Knittedbliss' November Fitted Pullover. (blog post, ravelry project page.)

This sweater is beautiful, and of course its special to me since looking at it makes me think of the wedding dress and all that it means to me. I will definitely knit one for myself soon, and I know that it will carry with it the same reminder, because it will be a knit inspired by a beautiful story, I'm very sentimental like that!

On my wedding day I felt like the luckiest, happiest girl in the world to be marrying the love of my life. I also felt beautiful and fabulous in my dress, and that's all thanks to Julie. I love that I was wearing a dress that had such amazing karma; I saw Julie and Guy together just for a few moments, but they are so obviously head over heels in love, and I really believe that the dress carries that love with it.

Julie, thank you, thank you, thank you. I love this dress, and I love it even more because it has such a beautiful story behind it.

photo by SUPA studio.

Sunday, 13 June 2010

Husband and Wife

There are no words. We are so happy. The day was perfect!

photo by SUPA studios

Thursday, 10 June 2010

The fun starts now!

Yesterday Chris and I put the finishing touches on EVERYTHING that we had left to do in preparation for Saturday. We had a meeting at the reception venue last night at 6pm where we had to drop off absolutely everything that would be needed on the big day, the seating chart, place cards, favours, cake knife..... Yesterday was a busy day of wrapping things up, but now we're pretty much done! Now we get to sit back, welcome all our friends and family who are coming into town, and really enjoy our wedding.

Here is a peak at another thing we finished off yesterday, my mom and sister came by to help me tie the yarn around the ceremony programs. Cute eh? Those tiny little bows are the only place that yarn managed to sneak in to the details of our day. We were going to use ribbon, but then realized that we would have to buy like 10 roles at almost $6 a piece we were thinking that we really didn't want to spend more money, even though $60 isn't a make-it-or-break-it kind of number, we've just mentally put our foot down, no more spending! Then my mom came up with the brilliant idea of using yarn! And I love it. Because we both work with yarn all day, we didn't want to have an entire yarn-themed wedding, but just a touch really makes me smile.

I also finished blocking my moms Mother of the bride stole yesterday. I don't think I've blogged about it once, in theory I was trying to keep it a surprise. I think that my mom was getting a little nervous, she knew that I was making her something, but I hadn't mentioned it in weeks, I think she thought that in all the chaos of the move and wedding planning that I had forgotten. Ha! No, not forgotten, just sneaky. I gave her the stole yesterday and I think she really loves it. We'll get some great shots of it this weekend with her hair all done and in her gorgeous dress. My mom is usually quite casual and understated, but she's really pulling out all the stops for the wedding, she's going to look gorgeous and I can't wait to see her all dolled up!

Mother of the bride stole

The pattern is the Seascape Stole, I added a repeat to the length to get a nice long stole, it measures nearly 80 inches long! I also added some extra eyelet rows to either side. I dyed my Silver label Mulberry Silk yarn in a custom colourway to complement mom's dress and skin tone.

So, now the fun can really begin! Today we clean our house and for the first time try to really get it ready for company, my family is starting to arrive today we're having about 20 people over for supper tonight! Chris is cooking, mom and dad are helping, I can't wait! 

I probably won't post again before the wedding, so wish us luck, pray for good weather! I'll be back with a full post soon after. 

Going to the chapel.... and we're gonna get married....

Tuesday, 8 June 2010

TFA Tuesday - I'm not Ishbel

When people walk into my office/yarn room for the first time and see all of my yarns on the shelves their initial reaction is always something like: "Wow! Look at all that colour!" Almost all of my colourways are pretty intense and bright, some of them extremely so. But occasionally I do dye more gentle, subdued colourways. This weeks TFA Tuesday inspiration is a beautiful Ishbel shawl knit by pirateygoodness (on Ravelry, blog) in my very understated Sand colourway. You can find her project page here, and blog post here.

I'm usually drawn towards the more intense colours, and when I developed this colourway I had thought of it as a really good complement, a nice neutral base to pair with other, brighter colourways for colourwork projects. I love how it looks on it's own as well, but I usually have a hard time reining in my need for brightness and typically chose a brighter shade for my personal projects. But I just love how calm and appropriate this shawl looks in this lovely, subtle shade. Very pretty, and a reminder that sometimes, elegant and subdued is better than bright and attention grabbing. I used this new-learned restraint today when I finally threw out a bunch of bright, sparkly eyeshadows that I had been hoarding for years, I'm embarking on a more elegant and understated look!

Saturday, 5 June 2010

Making room

I haven't shown very many (if any) shots of the inside of my house yet, the reason is that though we have pretty much unpacked everything, the place is still not quite camera ready. The rooms are spacious and lovely, the paint colours are perfect, but today it looks like a wedding planner exploded on the dining room table, and like a crazy yarn lady through her stash all over the office floor. And with very good reason! Chris and I are putting the final touches on the wedding (which is exactly one week from today!!! I can't wait!) With the help of my awesome sister and maid of honour, Lilia, we had a very productive day yesterday. We made the place cards, we bought the centerpieces, we bought my bridal shoes and a ton of new makeup! I may have gotten a little carried away in the MAC store... All in a very good days work.

Today we took a break from all things wedding and finished mailing out all the orders that we've been working on lately. Now we're all up to speed and we can take next week off to really bask in the wedding fun! Family will start to arrive in town on Wednesday, more on Thursday, rehearsal dinner on Friday and then we tie the knot on Saturday!

After the wedding, when we've taken a little time to relax and enjoy our first couple of days of being married, we'll get back to work and will hopefully have some time to work on injecting a little bit of "us" into the house. I have stamped my mark on at least one wall already; voila the wall of silk!
I was so smitten with it after the show we decided to put one up in our office. Its a nice rest for my eyes when I need a break from staring at the computer screen.

Wednesday, 2 June 2010

TFA Tuesday - Lace wrap for Kate

So, I'm a little late with this week's TFA Tuesday post. Last night as I was lying in bed drifting off to sleep I remembered that I hadn't posted! I came very close to jumping out of bed to come and blog, but then came to my senses and realized that you guys are all very reasonable and understanding and would be patient enough to wait an extra day for a post.

Anyways... here it is! This week I am very excited to be able to share a project that was knit out of one of my new yarns for 2010! This is the beautiful Alpine Knit Scarf with Double Rose Leaf Center Pattern and Diamond Border (kind of a mouthful!) from Victorian Lace Today knit in TFA Silver Label Mulberry Silk yarn in the Peacock colourway. The very talented knitter behind this project is Jen (aka: Swimmingly on Ravelry). Here is her project page for this shawl.

I love this colourway. Peacock has always been one of my personal faves and I love seeing it knit up into beautiful FO's like this one.

I have had Victorian Lace Today sitting among my collection of knitting books for a couple of years now, and I don't know why I have yet to knit a single thing from it. This may be just the push I need to dust off my copy and pick a new project to cast on, in Peacock no less!