31 July 2007

Tuesday-on-the Balcony Perfect Dress - done!

And I even get to wear my red suede shoes! Now all I need is the Royal family-style wide brimmed red hat! ;-)

I *love* this dress. Although it's 50 million degress with the humidex up here, I don't care - I'm wearing it tomorrow to work!

Yarn: Romni (work-handy LYS) Linen - 100% linen tape (worsted weight) - 12 50g balls.
Needles: 5 mm
Pattern: Saturday-in-the-park Perfect Fitted Dress - Fitted Knits by Stefanie Japel (with some adaptations) - smallest size
Time spent: 30 hours approx.
Finished length: 35" approx.

Detail from Centre Panel:

- I really like Stefanie's patterns but the book has quite a few errata. This pattern started off with one!
- original dress length in the pattern was 42" (for all sizes!). This on me would come down to about mid calf, so I made adjustments to the length of both top and bottom, comparing the length to the longest dress I own ;-)
- the linen is simply lovely. It is my first time working with linen but will definetely not be my last. I was amazed at how well it blocked.

Currently on the needles: the Sahara by Stitch Diva (www.stitchdiva.com).

29 July 2007

"perfect dress" almost done!

Here it is blocking (I hate doing this but figured it was essential with the linen... and I seem to have been right!

In the current humidity... it will take a couple of days to dry, dang it all!

Now, on to the Safari (after I do some cleaning in my sadly neglected apartment...)

28 July 2007

"perfect dress" in progress...

(edited on 29 July after apparently way too much knitting time spent on 28 July, to show progress report:

Looking decent so far... although the neckline is a tad low. Oh well! ;-)

I am loving working with this linen (it is the LYS brand) - and the colour (which photographed here somewhat lighter than in "real life") reminds me of that of my first fancy dress in high school (which I held onto for another 10 years after!). I just realised this halfway through where I'm at now!

It is really difficult to see how the dress might look when done right now due to the mock cable pattern...

This is approximately 8 hours in.

27 July 2007

Sahara no. 1 - yarn purchase!

I'm hoping to start knitting the Sahara this weekend for a co-worker (part of a staff gift for a milestone birthday) - that is, if I can tear myself away from my red linen Perfect Dress!

Here is the Sahara (right now I will be making the long sleeved one):

... and here are the yarns and colours my co-worker chose:

Ella Rae Silkience (41% cotton, 39% modal, 12% silk and 8% rayon), colour #10:

and Eden Madil Print Bamboo, colour #40:

They both feel so luxurious and soft... my only concern is that I will refuse to relinquish the sweater once it is finished!

But I do have plans for a (short sleeved) Sahara for myself also in Eden Madil (blue and black).

25 July 2007

Spicy fitted t-shirt - done!

The photo I like (more or less):

the photo DH likes

PatterN; a variation on Spicy Fitted V-neck t-shirt in Fitted Knits (Stefanie Japel)
Yarn: Sari-Rainbow-Mix (Infiknit), cotton and rayon - 3 200g skeins (approx 600 yds)
Needles: 6mm bamboo and 6.5mm plastic
Start Date: 22 July
Finish Date: 25 July
Time spent: 13-14 hours approx


This did not really turn out as I expected, but I like it anyway. My gauge was off for some reason (although I did a large swatch - but not in the round). Note the "design feature" on the left neck... I couldn't get it on otherwise (I've stretched it in blocking).

I was put of initially by some errata in the pattern... some of them were probably just me being obtuse! Due to the nature of the yarn, I gave up on the eyelet pattern as it wasn't showing anyway.

I enjoyed working with the sari silk (although I would suggest washing before knitting, at least this version. There is a finer worsted weight one that feels softer to the touch). I would not, however, recommend it for this particular pattern for others... although maybe going up a needle size would work.

I am hopeful that blocking will fix the neck a bit:

This (because I can't resist) is a close-up of the lovely fabric, but my camera does not do the colours justice...

Next up: the Saturday in the Park Perfect Dress in red linen (I think, anyway).

I need to get out more...

(and to stop procrastinating at work, apparently).

Here we are almost at the end of July... and I will be turning 37 in the middle of next month. It seems a convenient time to take stock of my knitting and craft work during my 37th year... all were knitted for myself unless specified otherwise.

Finished Objects
August - October 2006

- 2 Irish moss sweaters in the round (one for DH, one for me. How cute. AWWWW)
- 2 felted boxes from MDK book (housewarming gift for a friend)

October - December 2006

- Samus cardi from Knitty (for DH)
- Baby Blanket Moderne (MDK book)
- 2 felted buttonhole bags (www.masondixonknitting.com)
- 2 pairs of slippers (one for me, one for DH)
- 1 felted winter hat
- 2 non-felted winter hats
- "Slip of a Thing" felted purse (Knitty)
- "liquorice allsorts" bluky sweater in the round
- 2 scarves (one for me, one commissioned from someone at my workplace)
- "Nina" blanket (from Nina shawl pattern in MDK book, for my mother)
- felted rug
- 3 felted bowls (from One Skein book)
- 2 felted boxes (from MDK book)

January 2007 - today

- cabernet ribs sweater (IK Windter 2006)
- 2 scarves
- Curve of Pursuit blanket (www.woollythoughts.com)
- pinwheel blanket (inspired by a rug pattern in MDK book)
- 2 hats
- freeform log cabin blanket
- 1 pair of socks (1st and last!)
- Lorelei sleeveless top
- TTC tank top
- periwinkle bag with wooden handles
- "perfect sweater" (www.masondixonknitting.com)
- Tomato top (NSFY)
- "Crazed Harlequin" dress
- shaped tunic dress (inspired by Fitted Knits)
- Bacardi cardigan (NSFY)
- ribbon dress
- He Gansey (NSFY)
- Samus cardigan from Knitty (for me)
- ribbon x-back tank top (from knitty.com)

- 3 felted bags (felted from sweaters at Goodwill, with knitted/crocheted edging)
- 1 felted bulletin board (felted from a sweater from the Goodwill)
- 1 rocking chair (I painted and applied glass beads)

Started and Never to be Finished
- "advent blanket" (may try again next year... ran out of patience, then needed the yarn for the Curve of Pursuit)
- log cabin blanket (didn't like the yarn)

Current UFOs

- Spicy Fitted V-neck top in sari silk (sleeves and neckline remaining - will finish tonight)
- Leggings with Mesh Sides (Knitting Lingerie Style)... abandoned but not for long
- 2 knitted bags (I just need to line and sew them. I should just get on with it).
- knit/mosaic wall hanging (knitting done and canvas bought. Just need to put it all together one weekend).

Phew!!! Too bad I couldn't be so productive at work! ;-) If I'm counting correctly that is something like 45 FOs... and 3 weeks to go!

Query: do socks/slippers/etc count as 1 FO, or 2? Hmm...


Spicy Fitted V-neck T - sort of!

Hi al:

Here is my latest attempt, almost finished (after two evenings and an hour on the third evening) of knitting. It is loosely based on the Spicy Fitted Vneck T-shirt pattern in Fitten Knits by Stefanie Japel. (I say "loosely" because I found the pattern a tad incormprehensible, and decided as a result to get rid of the eyelet pattern - which was not showing up anyway with the Raj silk).

I trust it will look better than blocked (or when wearing it, for that matter). Sleeves (which I'm just doing cap) and neckline to go.

22 July 2007

the good, the bad and the pretty...

First for the good - my first attempt at knitting hemp!

Full t-shirt:



yarn: AllHemp6 by Hemp for Knitting
pattern: Hemp for Knitting raglan t-shirt
needles: 3.75 mm bamboo circular

This was a quick knit. I had washed the hemp before which I suspect made knitting with it more enjoyable. I took a run with drying it in the tumbledryer as I didn't mind if it shrunk a bit. It did shrink a bit.

And now for the bad...

I was close to tears earlier in the week when doing the laundry... somehow in the (communal) dryer my favourite knitted blanket (and one of my first design efforts) got bleach marks all over it! I'm still trying to figure out how this happened - it was fine coming out of the washer and I do not use bleach with any of my knitwear (or with the chocolate brown towels I washed the blankie together with).

So - requiem to my blankie:

I was so distraught that I wanted to take the scissors to it immediately. DH talked me out of this... and for that I'm glad. However, it is very disheartening.

... but now on to the pretty!

My newest WIP is the Spicy Fitted Tee from Fitted Knits. I'm trying it with sari silk.

17 July 2007


Yet more yarn... after I promised myself to engage in some stashbusting. But at 20% off I couldn't resist!

Handmaiden Silken, 1 skein in Pewter, one skein in which I think is Peridot.

Designated for the River Rock scarf pattern by Sivia Harding in No Sheep for You. I must also credit Marianne on the No Sheep KAL for inspiring me to make this after seeing her beautiful version on line.

I should have held out for two skeins of pewter... but I think these will work well together if alternated (as suggested by the ever helpful Leani (sic) at my LYS... who knows how to sell yarn!)



PS. Lest my new WIP feel neglected, I had better post some pics:

This is the Classic Short Sleeve Sweater (a raglan pattern) by Hemp for Knitting, using their AllHemp 6. Not nearly as luxurious as the Silken, but quite nice (I washed the yarn before knitting).

16 July 2007

new T-shirt

I guess the preserves interlude inspired me to...well, wrap up this T-shirt and acknolwedge that I didn't like the yarn all that much to work with and so wasn't going to stick out out for the full length.

The yarn was a novelty yarn, Ranee by Kertzer - I got it for $1 a skein so no harm, no foul. The pattern was adapted from a tunic pattern in the Knit.1 summer edition 2007. I liked the tunic but should have figured that this yarn (which is heavily patterned) would not show it off.

Oh well! Have cast on for another t-shirt using hemp. So far, so good!

15 July 2007

Lazy weekend...

Ah, the lengths I will go to in order to avoid cleaning house!

But first, I feel that I must pay some tribute to my UFO, which is feeling lonely and unloved given that I have not worked on it for about 6 days...

Truth is, I'm rather bored with this one. I should just finish it off now (it could be either a tunic or a dress, depending upon when the yarn might run out). Hard to tell the bottom shape because it's on 24" circular needles. Yarn is Ranee by Kerzner. Pattern adapted from a tunic pattern in the most recent Knit.1 mag. I thought the main colour was all black... instead it turned out to be all midnight blue except for one skein. Oh well. I shall persevere...

... and now back to my latest obsession: PRESERVES!

Far more colourful than my current knitting (which is probably why the digression, I would imagine).

And here they are, one by one (drum roll, please...)

1. Giradiniere Pickles (Italian Garden Pickles) - recipe by Lucy Crubb, in Delia's How to Cook, Book 3:

Ingredients: red onions, zucchini, egplant, fennel bulb, red, yellow and orange bell peppers, mushrooms, grape tomatoes, garlic, olive oil, white wine vinegar, bay left, rosemary, thyme and peppercorns.

2. Moroccan Preserved Citrus - original recipe for preserved lemons by Elizabeth David (I think)
Although you can't really see them here, I added limes and oranges as well as the lemons. Other ingredients: coriander seed, cumin seed, bay leaf, lots of sea salt, water.

3. Giardiniera - The Spicy Gardiner's Wife (adapted from #1, above)

This is what happens when I run out of white wine vinegar and have precious little other vinegar left. I stuck in red wine vinegar and some leftover shallot sherry vinegar I had made before ... and a ton of red chilli flakes. My name for it is a play on the "giardiniere" in the original recipe, which means "gardiner" in italian.

4. Pickled Green Onions - my recipe (and damn and blast that Loblaws does not seem to know what wild garlic is)

Ingredients: green onions, white wine vinegar, whole garlic cloves. That's it. But I'm still really craving toursi (pickled ramps or wild garlic shoots...) SIGH.

5. Sour Dill Pickles - Delia in How to Cook, vol. 3

DH will have to tell me how these turned out because I do not like dill pickles! Ingredients: fresh dill, coriander seed, cucumber, cippoline (the recipe called for shallots, but $#&@*$(&*@#(&* Loblaws didn't have them in either! What's going on?). Don't know if they will be less sour with the cipolline. Oh well. I don't eat them anyway! ;-)

6. Roasted Vegetables in Oil - my idea

This is a bit of an experiment. I'm actually trying for a flavoured oil with roasted veg flavour. I took the leftover veg from the Giardiniere (#1, above) minus the grape tomatoes, added some sundried tomatoes, panroasted the veg then covered in boiling oil (PurOliva - half canola, half olive oil so that it will refrigerate better, it is hoped). I will let this sit for about a week and see what happens.

I've also prepared a 7th thing, which is flavoured extra virgin olive oil (the cheap kind - Gallo - I buy it in the 3 or 5 litre tin). It's not quite ready yet. It is my own recipe and called "Pink Lady". The name comes from the name of the main herb (rosemary) plus pink peppercorns - not the colour of the oil.

"vintage" tank

Just came across this little tank top I made a couple of summers back - one of my first non-sweater efforts if you can believe it!

The pattern was from one of the Debbie Stoller SnB books - I can't remember which one. I think it was called the Mud Flap Girl Tank. Yarn used was Cotton Fleece from the stash (I didn't have enough of the turquoise for the whole top, as you can probably tell by the rather lame stipe pattern on the back).

14 July 2007

just call me Martha...

... or Delia Smith, rather. I got How to Cook vol 3 from the library and as a result decided to make... preserves! (Shoot me now... I haven't got a canning machine. But anyway).

So, off I trotted to Loblaws to buy a bunch of vegetables (and I don't even LIKE vegetables!). Ah, the power of photographs.

I have already put up the following: preserved citrus fruit (I've done this before, and it's not a Delia recipe... at least not one that I've seen). It is a bit new for me - a spin on Moroccan preserved lemons. I added orange and lime as well.

Aren't they lovely! I'll have to wait about 2 weeks before digging in, though.

I've also started the prep work for Delia's dill cucumber pickles and for an italian veggie mix.

I have not forgotten about knitting, although I've taken a wee hiatus during this week. I hope to have my next FO done tomorrow or Monday - a tunic or dress, depending on how long the yarn holds out. I got a bunch of Kertzer Ranee on sale.

Also, I did pop into the LYS today. I'm going to be making the Safari with one of these lovely yarns: Svale by Danegarn (50% cotton, 40% viscose, 10% silk)

or Eden Madil (100% bamboo):

Brown? you say, scratching your head? I know, I know... but this one is not for me. (I'm amazed at myself that I'm doing two projects for other people... am I getting less selfish as I grow older? Hmm. I doubt it). The person for whom it's intended probably would prefer the brown. I would prefer the blue. They are both lovely yarns so I don't know yet which one I will pick.

Also coming up: a hemp tank and a sari silk t-shirt.

That is, if I don't decide to can the entire produce section at Loblaws first... !

So many projects, so little time. ;-)

04 July 2007

Christmas in July...

...because I've just finished the He Gansey for DH! (pattern by Jeannine Sims in the No Sheep for You book)




The grey grew on me. Too bad I couldn't wait for a sunny day to photograph it, though! ;-)


Needles: 5mm Addi Turbo (body) and 5 mm Takumi bamboo (sleeves and neck)
Yarn: Rowan All Seasons Cotton - Misty colour (15 skeins)
Size: 45" approx chest
Time spent: 12 hours total for each sleeve and the neck. Didn't keep track of the rest


As this pattern was knitted in the round, I loved it - no seaming! It was much quicker to work than I would have thought which was also nice.

I did make some changes to the pattern:

- sleeve pattern was originally all in double moss. I decided to put the tree and line pattern from the front yoke on the sleeves instead, with seed stitch beside... and finish the sleeve under the elbow in stockinette. Official reason: this is more in the style of a traditional gansey. Real reason: I'm lazy and just wanted to do as much stockinette stitch as possible! ;)

- I also changed the neckline from rib and rollneck to 2/2 rib, based on DH's preference

- the sleeves are about 1 1/2 inches shorter than the pattern calls for, again due to DH's preference.

The Rowan cotton was also great to work for. I'm not sure how well the photos show it, but it produced great stitch definition and is also nice and light.

The rest of the pattern ended up fitting DH very well (I had him try it on while working on the first sleeve).

Now - I'm just hoping that the weather will be warm enough so that he can't actually wear it until October! Having said that, it is a cool day today here... SIGH.

Next up... I'm not sure yet. I bought some Kerzner Ranee on sale ($1/skein) and may whip up a tunic.

01 July 2007

2 presents from a proud Canadian...

... to the proud Canadian she sees in her mirror every day! I managed to complete two tank tops today!

1. Lorelei




Yarn: Cotton Fleece Berry (2 skeins) and New Age Teal (1 skein)
+ Lang Mille Colori 1 50g skein
Needles: 4 mm Addis and 4 mm bamboo crochet hook
Pattern: Lisa Shobhana Mason in her book "Yarnplay"
Time spent: 6 days approx.

This was great to knit and I really like the finished outcome. It did turn out a bit less formfitting than I wanted... but no huge problem. I stuck to the pattern closely this time... but did a slightly different design on the front and the back, which is why you all get treated to a shot of my butt (just in case you were wondering!) ;-)

2. "TTC Tank"

All but the shaped part at the top was knitted during my commute to work (1/2 hour approx)... my first subway knitting project, but not my last! (however, I guess I'll have to find a simple scarf pattern..). This one, like the Lorelei, had the benefit of being a stashbuster... this one was knitted almost all in the round and the only seaming was the shouders (for which I did a 3-needle bind off instead...)

Yarn: Lana Grossa Elastico (cotton/polyamide)
Needles: 3.25 mm and 3.75 mm takumi bamboo + 3.5 mm crochet hook
Pattern: "4x4 rib tank" by Cabin Fever.



PS. the toxic looking cooler in my hand? One word of advice... DON'T SPILL IT. It actually has stained my countertop. SIGH. None of which, of course, stops me from drinking it...

who needs fireworks, anyway???

I decided to start creating my own fireworks today... with this wildly coloured Cascade fixation yarn!

Here is my completed Lorelei... not blocked yet, but wanted to post anyway!

Specs in today's second post (together with pictures of me, perhaps a reason to avoid it... and gaudy looking vodka cooler!)

And this is the new work in progress:

And... these will be future works in progress...

To the left is allhemp 6 by Hemp for Knitting, to the right Sari silk. Thanks to those on the Knitty message Board who suggested washing these. I notice a bit improvement with the hemp in particular... the Sari silk not so much but it still did soften a bit. The hemp is my latest acquisition... and although the red linen in my stash drawer is no doubt feeling very jealous and neglected I will probably be using that one next.

As for the He Gansey... back on the shelp (just for a short while).

Oh, by the way... Happy Canada/Dominion Day!!!