Finished in 2011

I’m late posting this, but I’d rather post late than not at all. Here’s all of 2011’s craftiness in one mega-photo mosaic:

1. Baby Llama cowl, 2. Clover Walk 2-ply, 3. Goodale Sweater, 4. Pua Kenikeni Block, 5. Kukui Block, 6. Cross-stitch Floppy, 7. Joe’s Floppy Disk, 8. Nini’s disk, 9. Susie’s disk, 10. Silk-tacular skein, 11. Skew Too, 12. Dainty Flower Embroidery, 13. A disk for me, 14. Handspun Fingerless Gloves, 15. Clumsy Beret, 16. Spriteling Mystery Shawl, 17. Personalised Cassette Tape, 18. Madeleine’s Quilt Folded, 19. Kyr’s Quilt Folded, 20. Entrelac Baby Blanket, 21. Instant Baby Sweater, 22. Handspun Stack, 23. Banana Split Singles, 24. Pea Vines Shawl, 25. Teddy Rhino, 26. Poignant Elephant (with a dress), 27. Charity Twig Gloves, 28. The Mock-up Fairy™, 29. Mom’s Thanksgiving Shawl, 30. Celes Shawl

So that’s 14 knitted projects (1 cowl, 2 sweaters – adult & baby, 1 pair of socks, 2 pairs of gloves, 1 hat, 4 shawls, 1 baby blanket and 2 toys), 2 Hawaiian Appliqué blocks, 5 cross-stitch diskettes, 1 cross-stitch cassette, 5 skeins of handspun, 2 baby quilts (group projects!), and one dress (FINALLY) finished.

Surprisingly productive for how busy a year it turned out to be. I really didn’t think I got that much crafting done.

2011 Catch-up: a couple of shawls

Both of these shawls got pushed aside at various points for other more pressing projects (usually things to make for other people) and took way longer than they should have to finally block and photograph. You can see the creases in the photos as proof of how long they hung around before I finally took pictures.

Finished Pea Vines Shawl

1. Finished Pea Vines Shawl, 2. Shawl Detail, 3. Pea Vines Detail, 4. Finished Pea Vines Pattern: Pea Vines by Anne Hanson Materials: Tosh Merino Light in Rose Purchased At: Purl Soho Start Date: May 14, 2011 End Date: September 16, 2011 There is an error at the beginning of the Pea Vines, but I didn’t find it worth ripping out most of the border in order to fix it. I really enjoyed knitting this pattern, but it did take lots of concentration. Also, it took me WAY too long to start writing down what row I was on. I lost my place so many times that I lost count.

Finished Celes Shawl

1. Celes Shawl, 2. Center detail, 3. End bit, 4. Finished Celes Shawl Pattern: Celes by Jared Flood Materials: Berroco Ultra Alpaca Fine in 1294 (blue-green) Start Date: September 18, 2010 End Date: November 6, 2011 This shawl sat dormant for a long time because I ran out of yarn once I reached the border. I continued on almost immediately after getting another skein. The border is a very slight different shade of teal as the new skein was a different dye lot from the first. I don’t find it bothersome as the entire border is knit with the new lot. If I had started the new skein partway through knitting the border, it would have been far more noticeable.

2011 Catch-up: Twiggy Fingerless Gloves

Charity Twig Gloves
Every year at work we have a charity auction to raise money for Centraide/United Way and every year I offer to make a custom knit accessory for whomever wins the item. In the past I’ve made a scarf and a knitted bunny. This year, I was asked to knit some fingerless gloves for a co-worker as her office gets rather cold in the winter.
For the 3rd year in a row, I’ve offered my knitting services to my co-workers to raise money for the Montreal Centraide/United Way as part of our annual work Charity Auction.
I grabbed some yarn and decided to finally try the Pomatomus stitch pattern as translated into fingerless gloves. The yarn for this was not super exciting when it was in the skein, but was much more exciting once knit up. I enjoyed the stitch pattern so much, that I quickly started another pair for myself!
Mitten Back
Pattern: Nereid Fingerless Gloves (based on Pomatomus Sock Pattern)
Materials: Knit it Up! Vivacious in Chocolate Covered Gobstoppers from Sock Yarn Cinema Club: Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
Start Date: September 16, 2011
End Date: October 16, 2011
Palm Detail

2011 Catch-up: The Mock-up Fairy™

Complete with beehive
Yup. Hallowe’en. I wasn’t planning on dressing up but a conversation with co-workers while leaving work one day gave me the most perfect idea. Our office social committee came up with the theme of Fairy Tales so I figured I could dress as I wanted, slap on some fairy wings and be a sarcastic fairy. And that’s pretty much all I had to do was buy wings.
Sparklie sparkle sparkles
I work as a Graphic Designer here in Montreal and I’m often asked to make “maquettes” or mock-ups for different client presentations. Over the years that I’ve worked for my company, I’ve gained the reputation of being the Queen of Maquettes. I’ve built prototypes of milk cartons, juice boxes, die-cut what-have-you, boxes with drawers and inserts from scratch. All kinds of things. So once I thought a bit more about my costume concept, I realised I had recently completed the perfect dress to become The Mock-up Fairy.
The Mock-up Fairy™
Remember a million years ago when I declared I was going to make an army of dresses but somehow didn’t even finish one? Well, I finally finished it a week before Hallowe’en. I decided to postpone its debut until I would wear it as my costume. And it fit the bill perfectly.
Sparklie eyes
I spent sometime researching bee-hive hairdos because what else goes better with my new pair of retro glasses?
The bee-hive
Though all I had to do was buy some wings, I waffled about whether it was worth it. But I made myself go out and ended up getting the biggest, most ridiculous wings I could find. I got in the spirit of things (finally) and bought as many sparkly things to go with: make-up, nail polish, giant plastic ring. I used a tiara I got as a joke V-day present that lives on my desk.
The Mock-up Fairy™ - the full outfit
The costume was widely well received, though I was better recognized as the Fairy Godmother in Shrek. Not quite what I was aiming for, but not a bad serendipitous result.
These wings are sitting compatible
Oh and no one could really believe that I was able to work with my big ass wings, but as you can see from this re-enactment when I got home, that they are quite office chair compliant.

Mom’s Thanksgiving Shawl

So I’m home, but still playing catch-up I’m afraid. In all sorts of ways.

Mom's Thanksgiving Shawl

I finished this shawl back in November. Managed to block it quickly enough. But then it sat around waiting for me to mail it to my mom.

Shawl detail

The yarn is Drops Alpaca and this was my first time working with it. It’s an awesomely soft yarn that was incredibly lovely to work with. Hopefully it wears well.

Lace detail

The pattern was really quite fun, though the central graft has some funniness I couldn’t quite block out. And I kept getting questions about the points at the start of each side. Just a side effect of the central cable business I’m afraid.

It's THIS big
Pattern: Autumn Arbor Stole
Materials: Drops Alpaca Sport Color 7323
Start Date: September 25, 2011
End Date: November 3, 2011

The Elephant wearing a dress in the room

In the spring (last time I had a haircut) my hairdresser announced she was pregnant and asked if I’d knit something for her bun-in-the-oven. She wanted to make sure that the baby would come home in nothing but handknit items. How could I refuse such a request?

Back in September I knit up this practically instant baby sweater out of some impossibly soft handspun and later (on the day of the baby shower) finally added the buttons.

Baby Sweater (with buttons)
Pattern: Baby Sweater on two needles by Elizabeth Zimmermann
‘Collision Course’ Pigeonroof Studios
100% Superwash Merino
4.2 oz.
Start Date: September 4, 2011
End Date: September 5, 2011
Buttons added: October 23, 2011

I also decided to throw in one of the toys I knit while tech-editing the new Fuzzy Mitten Savannah Chaps pattern. I decided to knit a dress from the Well Dressed Bunny Pattern for the elephant even though I wasn’t sure of the baby’s gender. I thought about knitting overalls, but thought the dress was cuter.

The blue balloons on the front of the house were a clear enough sign once we arrived at the shower. The theme of the shower turned out to be blue. Well the elephant in a dress got a big laugh when it was opened. Though it didn’t end up being a big deal. Since this baby has two moms, it would be a crime that he didn’t have an elephant in a dress.

Poignant Elephant (with a dress)
Pattern: Savannah Chaps by Fuzzy Mitten
Materials: Rowan Yorkshire Tweed – Limeleaf
Start Date: September 22, 2011
End Date: September 25, 2011

Someone had to balance out for all those trucks/cars/blue onesies. Even if it was by accident.

September Spin-in

I realised during Labour day weekend that I really haven’t spun very much yarn this year. Other than this, this and some other non-documented singles, I really haven’t spun at all this year.

And those rolags were made in March. I’d STILL NOT finished spinning them up and they are only half the bump of fibre. So I got to spinning.

Banana Split Singles

And managed to finish up spinning the rolags (2 oz. down, 2 oz. to go).

Then I remembered that I had a acquired quite a number of mystery cakes of handspun singles in need of plying:

Mont Filé-a-main

And realised that now I have a wheel so these will be relatively quick work. Suddenly I had a stack of skeins all ready to wash.

Spinning again

I missed out on the Tour de Fleece this year. I forgot all about it until it was basically over. So I’m declaring September for spinning!

My September Spin-in is already begun. I’m going to try and spin everyday, weather permitting. Fiona and I better get to work.

Instant Baby Sweater

There are another batch of babies coming up this winter and I decided to get my needles started for them during my last 4-day weekend of the summer. I had started knitting something else with this skein of last year’s handspun but decided what it really wanted to be was a baby sweater.

Instant Baby Sweater

Or more precisely, a February Baby Sweater (a.k.a. Baby Sweater on Two Needles). This is the first time I’ve knit this sweater, and the second time I’ve actually followed an Elizabeth Zimmermann pattern all the way through. Last time didn’t end so well.

Gull Stitch Detail

But fortunately, I’ve knit my way through all the bad sweaters. Also, the baby who’s going to wear this is still in utero, so no one can say that it doesn’t fit. The baby will grow into it and guaranteed won’t care about gaping necklines (or about much at all).

Garter yoke detail

P.S. This sweater is impossibly soft.

International Baby Friends

There have been some cryptic sneak peeks of this project over the past year, but FINALLY I can share the things for reals. So last fall, a couple of friends announced they were pregnant so a group of us decided to make them some quilts. This scheme was initially thought of to reduce our individual efforts, but in the end, the quilts had about the same gestation periods as the babies themselves. Amanda posted the timeline of events over here.

Madeleine's Quilt

The jumping off point was receiving a parcel from one of the international baby’s mother-in-waiting over in Amsterdam. She sent us some fabric and other goodies, so this that was our starting point.

Kyr's Quilt

These babies are destined to be friends, even if at the moment they are only quilt buddies at the moment. But as you can see, Professor Hammy Cheeks has already put his to work in his mobile satellite office.

It's a baby in a basket!

P.S. These are officially my first ever finished quilt projects. I was surprised at how little fabric was needed for the binding. It’s quite magical.