Tuesday, 23 February 2010


If you're on Ravelry, you'll no doubt know all about the Ravleympics - a group event challenging ourselves during the winter Olympics. I'm taking part this year, in the team for the Manic Purl podcast (it's one of my favourite podcasts, and she's based in Vancouver where the Olympics are actually taking place, so I figured that would be the team for me. Go TeamManicPurl!!!

I was going to knit and write up a shrug pattern that I've been thinking about for ages, but the sizes were really too much to think about at the moment. There would only have been two measurements, back width and arm circumference, but it was really too much to think about. So, a few days after the Ravelympics had begun, when I still had nothing cast on or even thought about, I decided to change tack. I'm pretty much used to desigining socks by now, I've got the hang of all the sizes and measurements for that, so I decided I would design a pair of socks for the Olympics. This was about 3 days into the 17 day event. Goodness knows what I was thinking!!

So I spent the first day swatching and trying to come up with a pattern for the socks. That went kind of well, except the yarn I was using wasn't really showing the pattern up. So I switched to another yarn, but this one was too variegated to show up the pattern.

Ravelympics Take 1

It photographs well enough as you can see, but it was just invisible in real life. So I went to a solid yarn.

Ravelympics Project

Ravelympics Project

Finally it's working!! I'm nearly at the toe shaping on the first sock, and I'm very excited about the pattern. I just had to post pics to show you all! Normally I would be a bit wary of posting photos before I publish the pattern, (I've already come across one pattern that may just have been a coincidence, but it was very similar to another that someone had been talking in depth about, and well, part of me doesn't really believe it was a coincidence... but I just won't knit that one, that's all) but it's my intention to knit the 2nd sock and have the pattern published by Sunday the 28th. Um yeah, that's only 5 more days. But I think it's do-able. It might drive me insane, but I think I can do it. So long as I can stay off Ravelry and Facebook, that is!

Sunday, 21 February 2010

A Couple More FOs (IntSweMoDo #3, and Vest-uary)

I'm trying to catch up on photographing my knitting. My ravelry page is full of white spaces with no picture! So here's a couple that I finished over the past month or so:


These are the first in my attempt to knit every pair of socks in the book "Favorite Socks". They're the Diagonal Cross-Rib Socks by Ann Budd (I love her patterns!). I went through a couple of yarns trying to find one that showed the pattern, that didn't pool - I seem to be having some trouble recently picking out the right yarn for socks first time! But this yarn - Regia 4 fadig in colourway 1936 - is just perfect for them! The yarn is light enough to show the pattern, and the variations look quite nice with the pattern. I love these socks!!

Turtleneck Vest

And I love this top!!! It's the "Perfect Periwinkle Turtleneck Tube Vest" by Stefanie Japel from the book "Fitted Knits". I used Teddy Vanguard acrylic yarn for this top, and it took all two balls that I had (about 560 yards). It was knit top down though, so I could just keep going till the yarn ran out. And there was absolutely no seaming at all! Fantastic!! When I was done, I was done!! I like that :)

The only thing about this pattern (and the whole book really) is that it is full of errata. Before you make anything from that book, I advise you to download the errata pdf here. I think just about every set of numbers in this pattern was wrong. Only the basic outline of the pattern was correct (at least in my size). The pattern is fantastic, but if it wasn't for ravelry, I probably would have just gone ahead and tried to make it as is. I don't think that would have gone well. But with the errata file, everything was fine :)

This vest is my IntSweMoDo project #3 (1/4 of the way done already!), and my project for Vest-uary, a knitalong of vests during the month of February. I'm doing the ravlympics just now (I'll post about that soon!) though so I can't do another vest for Vest-uary, or another sweater till at least the end of the month. This one though, I just love it! If only it would warm up a bit around here!

Saturday, 20 February 2010

Monet Ellipse Socks - Pattern Now Available

I mentioned that on my brief hiatus from blogland, I had actually been knitting lots, and I've been designing too! Now that my brain is becoming a bit less fried, I've even had a chance to write things up :)

Monet Ellipse Socks

These are the Monet Ellipse socks, available to buy from Ravelry, or you can can use this link to buy the pattern.

They're named after the impressionist artist Monet, for the way in which the pattern really comes into its own when stretched around a foot.

I think the pattern is very good for semi-solid and variegated yarns, and it came out quite pretty in the pink colourway (Zitron Trekking XXL colour 305). The cabled ellipses create a vertical pattern which goes nicely with any horizontal one created by such a yarn, and it would also look fantastic in a solid colourway. The pattern calls for any sock/fingering weight yarn and 2.75 needles.

I've written the directions in 3 sizes, as cables have a tendancy to pull in, even when used with ribbing as in this pattern. I recommend making a size larger than normal, for this reason.

I hope you like this pattern :) I enjoyed knitting them, they're quite fast and enjoyable to knit. The cables provide variation and interest, and I think I may actually make some more of these soon...!

Thursday, 18 February 2010

A New Craft and New Supplies...

As if I need anything else to fill up my time or head with, I have been drawn to the dark side, and last week I got myself a drop spindle!!

Drop Spindle Kit

Drop Spindle Kit

Drop Spindle

I haven't even attempted to spin anything yet, it's actually a bit intimidating! I'm watching lots of youtube vids and sort of getting my head around it first :D

I got the kit at Twist Fibre Craft Studios. I went to Newburgh for a completely different purpose, but of course I had to go in and buy lots of yarn-y goodness.

Sock Yarn!!

3 balls of sock yarn. The pink was to go with the leftovers from a previous pair of socks actually (you'll be seeing them soon!), so that was totally necessary, otherwise I'd have had 1/3 of a ball left over. We can't have that now, can we????

Sock Yarn

I'm going to make some sort of cowl with the brightly coloured yarn, and am not sure about the reddy-orangey one yet, but it looks pretty :)


I also bought 3 balls of alpaca yarn! It's Artesano Alpaca 4 ply, and I'm going to knit a sweater for tribal dance with it. Big open garter stitch, I think it'll look quite cool. That's going to be my IntSweMoDo2010 project number 4. That was also a completely necessary purchase in order to make this project. :D

I love going in to Twist Fibre and browsing all the different yarn. Only trouble is it results in huge purchases like this :) At least I managed to resist the books and magazines, my queue is already quite big enough!

Wednesday, 17 February 2010

IntSweMoDo2010 Sweater #2 Completed!

I haven't been about on blogland so much lately :( My brain has not had much space for that recently. It seems like I've been super busy and stressed and have only had head space for quick things like Facebook or Ravelry (not even uploading pics on Rav either, just browsing patterns and forums). So I guess what had to give was blogging and posting about knitting here and on Rav. But I want to get back into it, so here goes... :)

I have been knitting tons though. Knitting is very good for emptying my head and getting back into a rhythm. I've finished the next item on my IntSweMoDo2010 project list.


It's the "Woman's Textured Sleeveless Pullover (C179)" by Melissa Leapman (rav link). It's a free pattern from the Cascade Yarns website, you can get it here. I didn't use Cascade yarn though, I used James C. Brett Aran With Wool in a wine colour. I used a size smaller needles and a larger size in the pattern to get the right size for me (the gauge was a little tighter, but that's the way I like it with that yarn. It recommends 5mm needles, but I think it looks too loose when I use that size. Gauge is right, but it just looks wrong.)

I really liked knitting this vest. I actually made it in January, but I just got around to taking pics and uploading and blogging just now :( Lack of headspace.

So this is the 2nd of my IntSweMoDo sweaters. I've actually knitted a third (another vest) already, but again, I need to take pics, upload and actually write about it. I'll be starting my 4th sweater soon. So far it seems like I can knit two a month. Although they're not full blown sweater sweaters, they still count ;) Now if I could only do the rest of the stuff that goes with it. But I think things are starting to calm down around here though, so I hope I'll be around a lot more.

Tuesday, 9 February 2010

Spam :(

Just a quick comment to say that I've had to change some of the settings on my blog beause I've been getting a bunch of spam comments recently. :( I've put word verification on, and I changed the people allowed to comment to "registered users (includes OpenID)". So what I assume that means is that people won't be allowed to post under "anonymous" any more. But I'm not entirely sure, so if anyone commenting has any problems, please email me at the address in the top of the right sidebar, and I'll try to sort it out.

Seriously, I don't get the point of spam. I mean, does anyone reading a blog post about knitting or dancing seriously read the other comments, and think "Wow, top meds???? I need me some of those!!!" and proceed to click the highly suspicious link? No, I don't think so. So what's the point? Sigh. The internets can be strange...