Sunday, October 31, 2010

Happy Halloween

A blog post almost didn’t happen this weekend. It’s been pretty busy and I should be absolutely exhausted. Last night, John and I (mostly me) bartended a Halloween party. One of the guys I work with was involved with organizing the party and I’d bartended for his club once before. It was a crazy busy night. We got there at 7 pm and didn’t get home until about 1:30 am. Of course, I couldn’t sleep right away, so I had a glass of wine, chatted a bit with John about our night and then, hitting the bed, fell right to sleep.

I don’t usually stay up that late. I was up at about 8:30 this morning with the intention of doing nothing at all. Well, except knitting, that is.

Willow for Wendy I’ve been working on this during the past week. It’s intended recipient lives in an area where winter is for real and this is a Christmas gift for her, from her father, who happens to be John’s cousin. It’s the Willow Cowl, which I’ve made for myself before, a pattern I really love. The yarn is Marks & Kattens Fame Trend in a gorgeous green colourway. Unfortunately for me but fortunately for my wallet, the yarn store had only one ball of it left; if there had been more, I would have bought a ball for myself, too. The shades of green in this yarn are the exact shades of green I love and wear.

I will be sorry to be putting this cowl in the mail.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Gotta Love Cute FOs


I have a feeling this little character could be popping up all over the place. The possibilities are endless.


Now, I want to make more monkeys! The pattern is Jacobus, available through Ravelry (not free, but well worth the price of $5.00US). The yarn is some kind of sock yarn that was in my stash, without a label. The pattern can be made using any weight of yarn; you just have to choose a needle size that will give you a firm fabric. Because I was using sock yarn, I used 2.25 mm needles.

Incidentally, the picture on my iPod is of Trinity and Ethan, who had been eating raspberries right off the bush. It is, essentially, a photo of two monkeys. ;)

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Can Sock Yarn Monkeys Be Rude?

I’m having fun knitting on Jacobus, the sock yarn monkey (I think I’ll have to start calling her Jacoba, though… it’s more girlish). Trying to pose her for her first real portrait, though, was a bit of a challenge.

For one thing, she only has one arm; the second arm has been started, but I’m only 7 rows in, so there are three stainless steel needles where an arm should be.

For another thing, she hasn’t been stuffed yet and her body seems to have parts that aren’t really there. That made for a giggle or two on my part. Once she’s been stuffed, though, I’m sure all will be fine.

007 This really is a fun pattern to knit. The hardest part so far has been keeping track of the rows knitted. Her legs are 50 rows and her arms are 40 rows, not easy to keep track of when you’re being interrupted by someone who wants to tell you about the book he’s currently reading. Thankfully… there’s an app for that!

008I love my iPod! I can have as many row counters as I want or need with this little app. And it’s free! For counting, all I have to do is touch the little plus sign and to frog a row, I just hold the “frog” key and the plus sign turns to a minus sign; click it while holding down the “frog” button and a row disappears. If you have an iPod or iPhone, do check out this app; just go to the iTunes app store and search for Knit Counter Lite. 

Well, we had planned an outing today to get some more of the photo assignment finished, but the weather’s turned rainy and gray, not a great day for picture taking, or cameras, unfortunately. That does, however, give me more knitting time, which suits me just fine. I can certainly use a day of doing next to nothing. I might just get Jacoba finished today.

Oh, while I think of it, I’ve rejoined Twitter. If you would like to follow me there, you can find me as EvelynSkae (all one word) or you can click on the button in my sidebar. I hadn’t intended to join again, but my boss asked me about Twitter yesterday, wanted me to help get an avatar up there for our work account. I figured that if my place of employment was going to be on it, I might as well be, too. Feel free to find me there.

Now, time for more coffee and time for knitting… I’ll post pictures when the monkey’s finished.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Of Cardigans and Monkeys and Pictures

Wow! This week has absolutely flown by! I’ve been very busy at work this week (and will be this coming week, too) and there hasn’t been much time for anything else. With the work I’ve been doing, the thumb has been aggravated, so there hasn’t been much work on my cardigan. There has been some, though!


I’m just about to work the next pleat (cable, technically), which means I’m almost up to the waist. I think, though, that with my  thumb being a little tender, it will have to wait until next weekend so I can give my hand a chance to recover. Working that cable is really hard on the fingers. I think I’ve mentioned before that this is the most difficult (fiddly) cable I’ve ever worked. It requires two cable needles, one at the front and one behind and stitches are knit off all three needles at the same time.

The colour in the picture is, finally, pretty close to the original. At least, it is on my monitor.

Yesterday was Sit & Stitch day. I haven’t been in a couple of months, and I had to get out to take some pictures, so I decided to go. I had to have something to knit, though, as the cardigan is a little heavy to take along and the next row is the pleat row, not something I want to be working on while trying to carry on conversation. Earlier in the week, I’d purchased and downloaded a pattern through Ravelry (it’s becoming an even more dangerous place!), a pattern from one of my favourite toy designers, Annita Wilschut (her website is in Dutch, but if you’re on Ravelry, you can look her up there). This one is named Jacobus, a monkey.

He is absolutely adorable and can be knit out of any weight of yarn. In the past, I’ve made her teddy bear pattern (Carolus) and the mouse pattern (Suzie). They were both fun to knit and this one is proving to be the same. The entire monkey is knit in one piece, with very little seaming. Here’s how it’s looking so far…


Once he’s finished, or rather she’s finished (there’s a lot of pink in the yarn and she’ll have a pink muzzle so it’s decidedly more female than male), I’ll post a picture. In the meantime, I’m enjoying the process.

If you ever decide to knit a toy, do check out Annita’s patterns on Ravelry. Her patterns are very well written, with plenty of pictures. And the fact that there’s very little seaming is also a bonus.

I think that, today, John and I will be getting out for a bit. I still need to get some pictures taken for work and I think he wants to spend some time at work (which I don’t mind… gives me some uninterrupted quality knitting time). Speaking of taking pictures for work, did I write about my assignment?

We have a client who wants marketing materials printed. He asked whether or not we have a photographer we like to work with and both of the women who’ve been dealing with him recommended me (they have such confidence in me!). He’s given us a list of about a dozen places he’d like pictures of, places his company has dealt with. They’re all in and around Kelowna, with the farthest one being a golf course near Vernon, about a half hour drive from here. My boss has lent me his Nikon DSLR and John and I have been going out to the places on the list to take pictures. It’s really been fun so far; I’m getting to places I normally might not even know about.

So far, I’ve photographed one golf course, one winery, a school, a sports field, and a residential complex. The client has seen some of the pictures and has, thus far, been very happy with what he’s seen. I can’t tell you how good that feels! It helps that we live in a beautiful area and his company does work outside (irrigation systems).

It’s looking like another gorgeous autumn day in the Okanagan. It would be wasteful if we didn’t get out there while we can. It won’t be long before it’s too cold or miserable to enjoy the outdoors. I hope that, wherever you are, you enjoy your day!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Being Careful Not To Twist

You know those patterns that are knit in the round? You know how they always repeat the warning, “join in the round, being careful not to twist”?

Well, here’s why they tell you that…

016 Twelve rows in, and I never noticed it was twisted. Damn!

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Done Like Dinner

Just a few minutes past noon, and my slippers are off the needles, seamed up and ready to toss into a hot wash. By 1:00, they’re felted to size and drying. I am one happy girl!



Yarn & Food

Last week, I wrote about the yarn that I was given and the swatch I’d made with the Condon’s 1 ply wool. It has, obviously, been released from the pins and ready for a review. My first reaction was that this is not a yarn you want next to your skin. I had hoped it would lose some of it’s scratchiness, but it really didn’t. It did, however, block beautifully. Now, I’m not really sure what to do with this yarn. I posted about it on Ravelry and someone there suggested it might be considered a weaving yarn as Condon’s did make yarns for weaving with and that, perhaps, I might be able to trade it for something I could and would use. One thing I don’t do is weaving and I’m not about to start.

002I might consider that, or I might make a shawl or two, but something to be worn over a jacket or coat, not something worn next to the skin. Someone else suggested that it might be a great yarn for felting. I think that will be the next test.

I also wrote last weekend that I would be making apple jelly and some bread sticks. I did both, but didn’t make any dinner buns. Both turned out very well, if I do say so myself. John thinks the jelly is a bit too thick, but I don’t mind it being a little on the firm side. It 001tastes marvellous on a piece of toast and the colour is gorgeous, so clear and jewel-like. This batch is just plain apple jelly; yesterday I made a small batch (about 1.5 cups of jelly) of lightly spiced apple jelly. It’s spiced with a cinnamon stick and a couple of cloves and tastes like apple pie.

The breadsticks, too, turned out really well! The recipe came from someone on the Breads forum on Ravelry and sounded so good that I 002just had to try them. They did not disappoint! They’re filled with a mixture of minced garlic, olive oil and grated parmesan cheese. The only thing I would do differently next time is to sprinkle them with a bit of coarse salt before sealing the filling between the two layers. The majority of these are in the freezer; they’ll be perfect with a pasta or soup dinner, warmed in the oven. I will definitely be making these again, perhaps adding some herbs to the filling as well. I’ll post the recipe to the food blog (In Ev’s Kitchen).

In the knitting department, one of my slippers is finished! Completely! And the second slipper has been started. As John said last night, I could have a new pair of slippers by Monday night, knitted, felted and dry. Yup, that’s doable!

I very much like the combination of these two yarns, both Cascade 220. The picture doesn’t really do the green any justice. It’s a much nicer green “in person”, not as washed out as it appears to be in the picture. Even the brown is more golden than the picture shows. 056Seeing as my nightgown is green and my robe is white, these should work quite well. When John saw that I was making 2-colour slippers for myself, he was a little envious, commenting that he only got ONE colour and how come he didn’t rate two colours? I laughed.

Ok, this post is getting a little windy now. I’ll leave you with one of the pictures I took yesterday. One of the places I had to go to take pictures was a local school. At either side of the main entrance were large pots of flowers, mostly chrysanthemums and dusty miller. The flowers are beginning to fade but the contrast between the mums and the dusty miller was just too much not to photograph.

052 For those of you in Canada, I hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving weekend.

Saturday, October 09, 2010

Some Things Just Take Time

006 I had to go back through the blog to find out when I started these slippers for John. It shocked me to discover that it was way back in March 2007! We were living in a basement suite at the time and the slippers never did get finished because: 1) summer was on it’s way and you don’t need felted slippers in a Kelowna summer 2) we were busy with John’s Dad who eventually moved back to Vancouver and 3) we moved out of the suite, first to Gibsons and then into a 3rd floor walkup that was warm enough that felted slippers were superfluous and 4) I wasn’t about to use coin operated washing machines for felting. Well, seeing as we’re back in a basement suite with ceramic tile floors, felted slippers are necessary again; and seeing as we have an in-suite washing machine, I have no excuse not to felt.

When I pulled the slippers out of the storage bag, I realized that all that was left to do was the second sole (if you haven’t made these, there’s a double sole, inner and outer, making them nice and cushy and extra strong) on both slippers. I had that done in pretty short order. After stitching up the soles yesterday, I immediately threw them in the washing machine and after 1 1/2 cycles (with an old pair of jeans), they were felted to size. Now, they’re drying, which will take a couple of days given their thickness.

And John will be happy. Now, it’s my turn. I need slippers, too, so this week I bought wool for me. As John said, right now I need slippers more than a cardigan so they’re the priority. The cardigan is on hold for a few days, but coming along. I just need to be careful not to aggravate my thumb, which has been bothering me a bit this week because of what I’m doing at work. Because of that, I’ve been limiting my knitting time.

Speaking of work, even though it’s a long weekend here in Canada (our Thanksgiving Day is Monday), I’ll be spending some time outdoors, working on a photo shoot for a client at work (his company sells irrigation equipment). I have numerous sites in and around town that he wants pictures of for his company’s brochures. It’s gray out today, but I think I’ll be able to get some good pictures. I just hope it doesn’t rain.

I’m also hoping to film a tutorial this weekend. The nupps tutorial is still in the queue, but first I’d like to make one on the crochet cast on, which can be used as a provisional cast on or as a nice-looking, stretchy cast on that mirrors the cast off. It’s perfect for something like scarves, where you’d like both edges to look the same. It’s also great for projects that have a ton of stitches to cast on… like my cardigan, which has a cast on of 915 stitches.

Now, though, it’s time to get myself going. Let’s see… tripod, 3 cameras, fingerless mitts, warm socks, sturdy shoes… Am I forgetting anything?

Sunday, October 03, 2010

Oh Bother!

I love blogging. Really, I do. That said, though, I really, really, really hate it when you have a post ready to publish and the program you’re using decides to crash. That’s what  happened earlier. I had my post ready to hit “publish” and I got that error message. You know the one.

So, now I have to remember what I wrote or start over completely. I’m starting over, trying to remember everything.

There has been knitting this week, but not really much to show. The cardigan is coming along nicely, with about 4” finished, and the first buttonhole inserted. The rows are getting shorter now; after the current pattern row, I’ll be down to about 500 stitches (from a cast on of 915). Yesterday, not much knitting happened because of a migraine (kept me in bed pretty much all day), but I did work a few rows on the Shetland Christening dress. It’s all garter stitch at this stage, so there’s no brain work involved. Perfect for those days when thinking hurts… literally.

This week also saw the growth of my stash, thanks to Ann (once more, Ann, thank you so much for thinking of me). She stopped by the shop with a bag of yarn for me, a bag that contained this…

003 001

The yarn in the first picture is a cotton/linen blend from Denmark. I’ve never heard of the company, but I do like the feel of the yarn. One of the ladies I work with suggested a tank top or light cardigan perhaps. I’m not sure yet what the yarn wants to be, and until it tells me, it will wait in the stash. The second yarn is two 4-ounce cones of 100% wool lace weight yarn from a Canadian company, Condon’s Yarns from Charlottetown, PEI.

I’ve done a little research into the company and didn’t come up with much. I did find an article about them that was interesting; I also did a search in the extensive yarn database on Ravelry, but only came up with one hit. There were also two threads started, with one post to each thread, hardly qualifying them as discussions. To find out a little more, I’ve emailed the Charlottetown Chamber of Commerce, asking about this company.


If/when I hear anything, I’ll pass it along here. This morning, I also took the time to knit up a swatch with the yarn. It feels rather scratchy, or raw (it even smells like wool, telling me that it has a fair bit of lanolin in it??), but it does knit up well. I wanted to see whether or not the wool would soften up after it’s washed. It’s still drying, so the jury is still out. Once it’s dry and released from the pins, I’ll post a review of the yarn, even though it’s a yarn that has (likely) been discontinued. I’m hoping it softens up quite a bit because, as I said, it really is nice to knit with.


Ok, now it’s time to get my apple jelly going. Last week, we were given a box of apples and I made a batch of juice, which I froze because I didn’t have the time to finish making jelly. Right now, it’s thawing on the stove (low heat) and I’m forcing myself to deal with it. I also intend to make a batch of dinner buns and some bread sticks, so I’d better get moving.