Mom’s Xmas Yellow Shawl

Folded Shawl Here’s one last Christmas present that I knit. For the record, there was a high likelihood that this would have actually been finished in time to be wrapped for giving on Christmas day. It seemed a bit on the smallish side, so I wanted to check before finishing it off. Shawl on the railing Turns out I was right. My mom requested it be “much much longer” so I continued knitting until I ran out of yarn. That’s an extra 10 pattern repeats on both sides. That’s like 80% MORE shawl in this shawl! Yellow shawl Then I had a blocking conundrum. I usually do. Though I now live in a bigger place, I also have a roommate. We use our couches regularly and have no spare beds. I was going ready to block this sucker at my brother’s place when I realised that this shawl would probably do with a slight steam blocking. Because of the 40% cotton content, it was pretty relaxed already. More shawl detail! So then some steam. BOUM. Blocked. BOUM. Took some pictures. BOUM. Mailed it off. BOUM. Central panelPattern: North Sea Shawl by Cheryl Oberle from Folk Shawls Materials: Manos del Uruguay Serena in 2044 (baby yellow) Start Date: November 6, 2011 End Date: January 22, 2012 A week later I received this last picture taken by my dad to my cell phone while on the phone with my mom where she was telling me she thought the shawl was now TOO long. Um. What? I convinced her to wear it once and then decide. Turns out she’s fine with the length (even if it’s longer than she anticipated). What? Where's the flash? It could have been nice to have some additional repeats in the central pattern now that I think about it, but it’s still nice as it is.

Woodgrain Slippers

Tops & bottoms This is another project that I knit during Christmas vacation. And it was also a gift (that was given as balls of yarn). Finished slippers The pattern is something of my brother’s invention. It may have been figured out from some old slippers someone brought to him. I can’t remember. The knitting was super fast and it’s a pretty simple slipper formula. One of these days he might finally write it up. These were not knit for my feets: They're not for me.Pattern: Woodgrain Slippers Materials: Cascade 220 Heathers held double Purchased At: Effiloché Start Date: January 5, 2012 End Date: January 7, 2012 The slippers were pretty quick yet satisfying to knit up. They have quite a nice squooshy finished texture. I might (one day) eventually have to make myself a pair.

Dad’s Fair Isle Mittens

Finished Mittens

During the holidays, I managed to knit and delivery a couple of Christmas presents. I had planned to make my dad some Fair Isle gloves for sometime now. I’ve had the yarn hanging around for a few years now but somehow never got around to it. But this was the year! I had kind of been waiting for Elliphantom to release a pattern for these Snorri gloves she knit back in 2010. Instead I grabbed some chart paper, zoomed in on the few pictures available and made a chart of the main motif for my own use.

I’ve been knitting my own mittens since I was a kid. I’ve been a process knitter from a very early age. Most of my projects were grabbing yarn my mom had lying around, some needles and a pattern that I found intriguing. Making it for someone to actually use was beside the point. Except when it came to mittens. Nearly every winter, I’d end up knitting myself a new pair of mittens. In high school, I even knit some for my classmates. Mittens are fun, fast & practical.

My mom had an old Patons toddler’s mitten pattern book I used to follow every time. Though I’d have to invent some numbers so they’d fit my hands. I would figure out the next set of numbers in the series of sizes to end up with something big enough for my hands. Maybe not the most precise method, but store bought mittens never fit very well either. The mittens in this book were pretty basic and all were seamed. I found out about knitting in the round when I discovered a pattern for socks in my mom’s collection in grade 6. Once I had a handle on that, all subsequent mittens were adapted to knit in the round.

1. Snowflake Pattern, 2. Top Decreases, 3. Mitten Side, 4. Mitten Texture

All this is to say that I’m pretty comfortable with how mitten knitting works. And pretty comfortable with gloves too. I ended up inventing my own pattern based on the measurements I had of my dad’s hands and the Snorri glove chart. Since I was knitting on the fly, I wrote a pseudo-pattern for myself so that I’d know what’d I’d done once it came time to start the second mitten. It’s a new habit I’ve developed for the past few sweater patterns that I’ve heavily adapted.

I started knitting these mittens a week or so before leaving on holiday. I ended up making the switch from gloves to mittens as a time saver. I like them better as mittens (always a better choice for a prairie winter). I had the almost one complete mitten done. (Probably should have taken a picture at this stage).

The mitten seemed too long to me and I wasn’t super thrilled with how the top decreases were working out. The usual Fair Isle triangular top wasn’t working for my so much. While on holiday, I took it out and redid the decreases, changing out paired decreases with single double decreases at each side of the mitten. I played with them a bit to get a nice rounded top. I’m pretty happy with the result. I’m pretty pleased with the resulting contrast between traditional colourwork in a non-traditional mitten.

1. Dad & Mittens, 2. Dad & Mittens, 3. Tut & Mittens, 4. I think he likes them

I think my dad likes them a lot too. He got pretty silly posing in them. I hear that he’s been wearing them every day since my parents returned home from the holidays.

Finished MittensPattern: Dad’s Fair Isle Mittens (with snowflake pattern from Eliphantom’s Snorri Gloves). Materials: Drops Alpaca in 0607 & 2020
Purchased At: River City Yarns
Start Date: December 12, 2011
End Date: January 5, 2012

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

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.

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.

Officially Finalized

A very good friend of mine just became an aunt. I decided to send along some baby goodies. But procrastination and a Canadian Postal strike has meant that I just sent out the package today (shh, don’t tell San Francisco).

In digging for suitable baby things, I came across a looooooong languishing unfinished project. An entrelac baby blanket I knit during a holiday break back when I was in University. I knit the whole blanket, and the whole border (with improvised mitered corners!) but never quite made it to finishing it. No ends had been worked in and the border was only attached with safety pins. And it sat in a box pretty much since then. Likely 6 years or so. And maybe the reason it stayed unfinished was mostly because I thought it was maybe kind of weird to be a 24 year old with a finished baby blanket that had no baby causation.

But the opportunity of being able to send this blanket to a real live human child in a far off distant land became too appealing. Especially since the recipients will really enjoy it. So I made myself finish it off during the postal strike.

And this is the only picture I managed to take of the blanket during its life with me. Partially obscured by Diva, a friend’s cat who merely sat on it long enough to pose for this picture and then wandered off.

Hurray for finishing long long long overdue projects! It feels super awesome to have this thing finally finished and on its way to getting drooled on! Huzzah!

Anyone else have a scary old thing lurking around in the back of their mind/knitting basket?

Ceçi n’est pas une diskette

Back in February I got a little focused on cross stitch. Particularly in stitching personalised cross stich floppy disks for all my geeky friends. Well one friend got left out. She’s not as big a technology geek as the rest of us. Though she was excited about having a personalised cross stitch, a floppy disk really did not suit her. She’s much more into music than computers.

Midnight Cross Stitch

It took me a while to figure out what object would work better. Then longer still for me to finalise the cross stitch chart and finally start stitching. But I managed to find the perfect musical equivalent to a floppy disk. A cassette tape.

Finished by Monday

I even managed to cryptically get her to finalise the colour choices without revealing what I was stitching. She really liked it (and maybe even squeed a little?). It currently lives in a prominent place in her living room.


It turned out so cool that I want to stitch one for myself maybe. But I’m still excited about this quilt thing, so it might wait.

Non-hipstamatic Cassette Tape