Matchy matchy

July 7th, 2014 by swatchless

The impending arrivals in my extended family have certainly got me knitting baby things. They are so quick to make, small, portable projects that are just so cute when finished.

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The little hats are little scallops and the mittens are mini motif baby mittens. I made the robot and birdie patterns, but there are many more to choose from. I’m stash busting, so I’m not too sure of the yarn I’m using. It’s nice and soft though which is important when knitting for little ones.

I still have lots of ends to sew in tonight, but before I do that, here’s an update on the garden. There are some peas,
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and beans,

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radishes
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and lettuce
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And here’s my harvest tonight.

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Argyle and Opera

July 4th, 2014 by swatchless

I have been working on a few projects that require my complete focus, either I need to stick closely to my cable chart, or read a pattern while counting rows, or to do some fiddly colourwork.

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If you’ve never knit argyle socks you can’t imagine the tangled mess that they can become. Each diamond and stripe has it’s own little ball of yarn dangling on the wrong side of the work. It’s knit flat, so there are knit rows and purl rows with colour changes in each. I’m glad that I’m past the tricky part–the heel is turned, and the gusset complete, and it’s all joined back up in the round.

This is now the type of project I can take on the road with me. I knit a bit between acts of the Bicycle Opera which rolled into town last night. A childhood friend is performing, and it was great to see him on stage! They bike from venue to venue across Ontario, and bring all of their (minimal) props and instruments with them. Their projections are even powered by bike generated electricity (the audience had to ride a bit at intermission to charge up the battery for the second half!)

If you get a chance go see this young and very fit group of musicians who are bringing contemporary Canadian opera to the masses. For more information check out theirwebsite

Very Special Socks

June 25th, 2014 by swatchless

How can you sum up four years of memories? I have decided to attempt this feat by knitting them into a pair of socks, to warm the feet and heart of a friend.

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I finished the socks in April, but have now given them a wash, and dried them on sock stretchers to help smooth the colourwork and make sure that they are large enough.

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They’re now all packaged up awaiting graduation night.

Psychedelic Mushrooms

June 22nd, 2014 by swatchless

That’s the name of this colourway, from Spunky Eclectic’s fibre club. I’ve taken a few minutes here and there over the last few weeks to spin a bit and break up the monotony of marking.

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I plied two bobbins of singles together today. I love how this yarn shimmers. It’s half merino and half tencel (which adds lustre).

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Look at the variety of colours. I am not sure what this yarn wants to be yet.

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For now it is content to sit in the sunshine.

Taking Small Breaks

June 21st, 2014 by swatchless

It’s a marking marathon this weekend. Exams, final projects, final marks and report cards are all due Monday. It is not fun to be cooped up on a lovely day, but I’m taking small breaks to enjoy the sunshine, to do some knitting, and to get started organizing all of my school papers.

My garden’s doing well

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My latest knitting project is an interesting one….I was asked by a rower to knit cuffs to be worn mid calf to protect from “slide bites”….I don’t know details, but it seems like an easy enough request to fill. I have complete creative freedom on this project, and so I’ve elected to use hot pink and teal, and to make them not match.

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These will be a grad present, so they’ve gotta be done by Thursday. I think I can manage that!

New Project On The Needles

June 10th, 2014 by swatchless

I started this mitten a while ago. I’m trying out a rather complex cable pattern that will be really cool when complete, but right now seems to be mostly purling, which is not my favourite, and it feels so awkward to purl in the round, since there is almost never the need to do it.

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I unfortunately have not been knitting much over the past 2 days since work is picking up, and I caught a nasty cold.

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You gotta love that the wrappers are full of inspirational messages…

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I’m working hard to get through this week; energy-zapping surprises seem to be around every corner.

Windmill socks complete

June 8th, 2014 by swatchless

I finished up the second windmill sock much faster than I had expected. The pair took a week from the inspiration to the finishing touches.

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Since there are lots of colours used, there are lots of ends to sew in.

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Here they are! The stitches are puckering a bit due to the stranded colourwork, but should be easily smoothed out with a bit of a soak in the sink.

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I soaked the socks and have left them to dry hanging on my grandmother’s sock blockers.

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The stitches smoothed out nicely, just like I hoped. Now I am just hoping that there’s no rain tonight.

How does your garden grow?

June 7th, 2014 by swatchless

It’s pretty exciting to see how fast my produce is growing now that the weather is good. My windbreaks are really doing their job protecting the tiny plants–it does get pretty breezy up here.
These are my radishes, they were the first sprouts of the season.

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Here are my carrots, getting their second set of leaves…so delicate! I planted short carrots in a tall planter, so hopefully that combination will work well.

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These are cherry tomato plants bought at the school plant sale. They survived their transplantation pretty well.

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The beans I planted appear not to be climbing plants…not yet at least.

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The peas are starting to climb already.

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I am trying lettuce for the first time, and it’s growing well. I look forward to snacking on this crop before too long.

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Something that I started last year was growing potato plants in buckets. This year I have some red potatoes starting as well as the white potatoes that are thriving!

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I’ll have to get more soil up here to start a few more planters. I think zucchini or pumpkin might be interesting to watch.

When you just need to feel productive

June 5th, 2014 by swatchless

It seems like it’s hard to make progress these days….work seems to be taking steps backward as fast as forward, and I’m not in any position to make much change there.

With my work, progress is incremental, and the effort invested now will sometimes not be recognized or appreciated until years later.

So, I took some time out this evening to do something with visible results. Every minute invested will show in countable stitches….lots of them!

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Here’s the foot of a sock….sock number two! Measurable progress. Something that I can create and control, and a gift for someone who means a lot to me. A good choice of my evening energy.

Flying off the needles

June 3rd, 2014 by swatchless

Sock number one has flown off the needles! I did the final cast off tonight while watching the provincial leadership debates.

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I’m thrilled with how it’s turned out. I tried something different for the gusset and sole and I hope to knit the next sock soon enough to remember all the details.

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The windmills are a bit sneaky, they look like a random all-over pattern from far away, but from up close they’re definitely windmills.

Now I have to fight against second sock syndrome and make the matching sock before it’s too hot to think about wool.