Monday, October 29, 2012

Testing, testing, 1,2,3. Check.

I recently had the urge to test some other designers' patterns. I don't know why - since I'm testing my own designs too.  It's all towards Yule gifts, so I consider it additional motivation to finish stuff by the 21st of December.

Okay, well, these adorable baby hats are not Yule gifts, but they are warm winter hats. For indoors. I wouldn't expect them to keep a cold wind out in Winnipeg.  I like to peruse the Free Pattern Testers list on Ravelry for the new listings with few responses.  When I saw this London Slouch hat (though I wouldn't personally call it a slouch hat since it's not designed with enough fabric to be "slouchy") I thought it would be a cute, fun, quick baby knit and she needed baby sizes tested.

I used Lion Brand Martha Stewart merino that I picked up on clearance for $3.  I'd sure never pay full retail price for it, but thought I'd try it out.  Colour selection was meh, softness is poor for a merino, there are knots a plenty, yardage is short at 120yds, and while it claims to be a worsted weight, it is much closer to DK.  Not even close to being valued at $12 a skein! No wonder it was on clearance.  And this is why I'd much rather shop at my LYSes for quality yarns at a better price than what the box stores carry.

Having completed the hat testing, I had an urge to knit socks (other than the Winter Night Hawks I'm labouring away on, grudgingly). Consequently, I am now testing two sock designs (one test only requires one sock to be knit) -
Butterfly Flower socks in Brown Sheep Wildfoote Luxury Sock yarn (Columbine colourway)

and Twisted Tapestry socks in this mystery yarn:

I know, they don't look like much yet. Note, these are also the yarns Abi asked me to knit socks for her from... but first I need to knit adults socks to have leftovers to knit with.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Wee stash busting

Until the other day when I rescued my lace stash from storage, all I'd had to work with was a lot of thicker odds and ends that, somehow, came to the house.  Clearly I didn't think through all the details of my storage/stashing before the move.  Granted, I also imagined I'd be in a new home by this point - I'm an optimist. (I had packed up several projects for the move. Some I completed. Some are still slow WIPs.)

I'd been using up bits for things like the future blanket bits (discussed before) and this hyperbolic surface I thought would make a cute toy for the babies to squish their fingers in.  Plenty of alpaca and wool and mohair fuzziness to squish in there.

Then I needed somewhere to display my badges on the fabulously cute little notions bag I found at the thrift store. That project was the topic of last week's post (which was technically written after this post was drafted.)

I also thought it would be fun(ny) to knit up these novelty yarns into a fuzzy vest.  The recipe is quite fun to work with.  Lesson learned however - I thought I was sizing it to myself/my mom (it was going to be a gag Yule gift) but it turned out to fit Abi. She likes it provided I add a button. It's missing a (huge, gaudy) button.

I whipped up these Madrid cuffs for a friend in BC, because she needs many friends to hold her hands right now and I can't be there to do that.  They used leftovers from my Butterfly Forest shawl (aka my nursing cover).

Checking my recent projects list on Ravelry... almost everything else used new/ish yarns or full skein amounts which, even if they came from my stash, are not wee projects.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Knitting and Pins/Buttons

What's the fun of having knit-related pins if you can't display them properly.  Knitting bags tend to be of a material not conducive to pinning things to - because if you could pins things to it, then your fine point needles could also poke through that fabric.  I've used those bags...
I picked up this adorable little handbag the other day because I thought it perfect for my knitting notions.  It had a keyring hook just begging to have something done with it and I've been wanting somewhere to stick my pins.  A bit of scrap yarn later I had this:

Next task will be to knit a handle cover to add more pins to. Because there are more pins to add.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Happy Stash

Christmas came early for me and I saved us a whole bunch of money.

I smuggled some of my stash from storage into the house. (Currently sharing a roof with my parents while we move.)

Not just any yarn of course.  I smuggled in the good stuff!

Lace and Fingering weight yarns

Abi helped me dig through it.  She found the purple sock yarn and has requested a pair of socks.

Handing me some blue jean Montague. *heaven*

Found this yarn... yeah, I forgot about those socks for the frog pond.
There are many wonderful yarns inside.  I'm most excited to work with some Montague yarn by Waterloo Wools again.
delicious merino silk lace in Spice Trail. NOM

Of course, I'm also rather fond of my Painted Fleece yarns. (I'd link her, but her online presence has disappeared. Thankfully I've always been able to catch her at the KW Knitters Fair. Until this year when I was absent.)

lovely natural dyes yarn in fingering weight. two skeins for a large shawl.

I don't know where to begin, so I'm working away on some other projects - WIPs. Yule gift stuff.
However, the next time I'm struck by an itch to knit lace, I won't have to look beyond my closet - in the back corner.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Special Requests

As a knitter, I love when people ask me to knit them something.
Within reason.
Don't ask me to knit you a sweater...
I will gladly knit you one (one day), but don't expect me to make you large projects. And I'll be doin it on my schedule, my choice of yarn and pattern (something I will enjoy).
Unless you can actually afford to pay me. Even then, I'd have to approve the yarn and pattern.
I accept payment in fine yarns.

Anyhow, when my sister asked if I could knit my nephew a cowl I jumped all over that.  Jumped myself right over to the yarn show that was conveniently on my way home from the eyeglasses shop.  Grabbed a bulky, fluffy, singles in green and blue. Decided on a Fisherman's Ribbing pattern for optimal squishiness and warmth, designed it on a bias, had a few false starts with the design, and am now knitting away in gifterly-knitterly bliss.

Other projects can wait. I've got a special order to fill for my favourite nephew. (Only nephew... but he's fabulously awesome! Obviously if I had many nephews I wouldn't play favourites.)