31 August 2007

Kristina's first lace!

And yet another new arrival... meet the Santorini Scarf!

Detail: Right Side

...and, last but not least... the Magical Upward Travelling Fringe!


This was knitted as part of the August challenge on the Do Something New KAL. Thanks to Tina in Wonderland for setting it up and Natalie (Stitchay Woman) for pointing me in the right direction.

Pattern: Montego Bay Scarf, Amy Singer, IK Knits Summer 2007
Yarn: Handmaiden Sea Silk, Paris colourway (I think, anyway. They don't label the yarn), 1 skein, 100 g = 400 m
Needles: 5 mm Addi Turbo and 5.5 mm bamboo for castoff
Start Date: Monday 27 August
Finish Date: Thursday 30 August
Size: 74" long x 6.5" wide
Name Change: I do not have a burning desire to go to Montego Bay. I would, however, like to go to Santorini.

Notes: I would recommend this pattern for anyone who wants to try out lace knitting. I was a HUGE sceptic due to a long term hatred of yarnovers (I have converted afghan kits to log cabin blankets in past because of this).

The pattern was very simple and intuitive to follow. I only had to rip a couple of times and saw the mistakes right away - due to the larger needles it was easy to put the yarn back on the needles

My only modifications: smaller needles than the 5.5mm called for (I thought the openwork looked too big in the swatch); regular fringe instead of braided (because I'm lazy... er, innovative!).

My only problem: finding a plain white t-shirt to photograph it against (I do own white blouses, which are crumpled in the back of my closet together with the rest of my lawyer drag from business-dress days)!

Do go with this yarn if possible - it is a joy to work with! I will most certainly be making one or two of these for gifts in future...

Happy knitting! Next up for me: the Poofy Dress with Fitted Bodice from Knitting Lingerie-Style (that's not the real name, but I'm too lazy... er, innovative, to reach across the table and grab the pattern book!)

swap heaven

This week was a lucky week for me - I received three swap packages at work! (the coworkers all shake their heads).

Many thanks to Robin, Soapy (from Knittyboard) and most especially Natalie (Stitchay Woman) for their ends of the bargain! The only downside - now with all this new stuff I don't quite know where to turn, project wise... I know, I know... "cry me a river". It is all quite the embarrassment of riches.

Thanks again, ladies!

29 August 2007

my new arrival...

... meet Aphrodite!

For now she is the newest addition to my workplace. I think the co-workers will like her for the following reasons:

- she is far less rowdy and disruptive than I
- I suspect she is smarter than me
- she won't hoard all of the landlord/tenant texts from the library
- she doesn't listen to Greek music incessantly in the office
- she won't send global e-mails as the acting self-appointed office social convenor exhorting everyone to come to the pub/join in on the book swap, etc, and... last but not least...
- she doesn't mess up the kitchen!

All that, and she has the same stellar fashion sense as I! :-)


Age: unknown - probably in the 60-70 range
Adopted by: Kristina
Adoption Date: 29 August 2007
Legal Name: Acme A-D-J-U-S-T-A-B-L-E Dressform
Parents: Acme Dressform and L&M Adjustable Form Co.
Weight at birth: unknown
Weight at time of adoption: don't know. Office postal scale too small
Fingers and toes: none (but I'm not concerned)
Size: A
"Vital Statistics": 32-40" bust, 25-33"waist, 35-43" hips (talk about "hourglass"!)

And now for the requisite baby shot without clothing for the proud adoptive mother to show to guests and humiliate her forevermore (my own mother entered one of me in a contest when I was two and it was actually published in the Kingston Whig-Standard, but I'M NOT BITTER...!!!):

(Time to sign off. I'm starting to worry about myself.)

27 August 2007

weekend warrior

1. Victory over the Goddess

Bowed and bloodied, I present to you... the Goddess by Stitch Diva!



Detail: neckline:

Detail: border and hem:

Cannot say I enjoyed knitting this too much, largely because of the very slippery yarn. This caused me to tune out and make silly mistakes, which then of course were virtually impossible to rip. Verdict: liked the pattern, hated the yarn. This was on commision from a fellow co-worker. I am modelling it although it is a tad bit small for me. As yet unblocked.

I will likely make one for myself using Handmaiden Sea Silk...

Yarn - Lang Opal Maxi, Chestnut (nylon blend) - 6 50 g skeins
Needles - 3.75 mm and 3.0 mm
Time spent - way too long (2-3 weeks)

Notes: do not use the yarn called for (Lang Opal) unless you are a far better knitter than I and not prone to booboos. I modified this pattern slightly by using a different stitch pattern on the hem (because I was sick and tired of an instruction that said "knit through the back loop twice" for every 2 stitches...

2. Morrigan - beware!

So, I decided, having just finished battle with one goddess to take up the sword (my trusted Addi Turbo lace needles) against another one... the Morrigan by Jenna Wilson in No Sheep for You.

Despite all enthusiasm, I lost Battle Number 1 when I misread the first pattern sequence:

... but, thanks to Laura's kind help (from the NSFY blog) I finally got on the right path:

I suspect this will actually be quite fun, in the masochistic sense of the word, to knit. I have started with sleeve #1 because (a) it is smaller than the body; and (b) having seen Laura's body of Morrigan completed, I suspect I would be tempted to just leave it as a vest otherwise! ;-) I also think I'll finally have to teach myself that "cabling without a needle techniqu.

This will most certainly not be a "TV knitting" project. As such, it will likely take me several months.

I'm using Rowan Calmer in blush colour, Addi lace needles 3.25 mm size and Clover bamboo 3.0 mm size.

3. Kristina's First Lace!

This is the beginning of the Montego Bay Scarf by Amy Singer in IK Summer 2007 issue. About 10 minutes worth of knitting. Started this at about 9 last night but it took me about 45 min. to cut 200 strands of yarn off for the fringe. My personal challenge (as posted on the Do Something New blog) is to have this finished by Sunday.

It has also helped me realise that I've been knitting YOs wrong all these years! SIGH...

Yarn: Handmaiden Sea Silk - one skein - Paris colourway (I think)
Needle Size: 5 mm

24 August 2007

more questionnaire fun...

I can get quite addicted to these online questionnaires... maybe should set up a "meme" but I don't want to hassle others. So, if you're interested, why not cut and paste into your own blog or Email me if you don't have a blog...?

This one is from Joan's weblog (FugueStateKnits - link in the sidebar)

What is/are your favorite yarn/s to knit with? What fibers do you absolutely *not* like?

Preferences: My all time favourite is Butterfly Super10 (known as Takhi Cotton Classic in the US) - best for me in terms of affordability, sheen and colour range. However, I've developed a love for Handmaiden silks (I know, not too original).

Detestable: Right now, Lang Opal. I am working with it and HATE it. I am also not fond of curlicue novelty yarns.

What do you use to store your needles/hooks in?

Straight Needles (which I don't use and haven't for years. Will take any offers! :-D): a Toronto Public Library bookbag.

Circular Needles: a fancy sturdy shoebox (I have another one for notions. My mother works in a high-end shoestore...!)

How long have you been knitting & how did you learn? Would you consider your skill level to be beginner, intermediate or advanced?

I learned to knit 25 years ago. Have been obsessive with it for the past 10 years or so. I would consider myself advanced in most regards. (perhaps, to paraphrase Joan, "pretentious advanced".

Do you have an Amazon or other online wish list?

Didn't know such a thing existed. I rarely shop on line.

What's your favorite scent?

Vanilla; "bounce" laundry sheet smell (the regular)

Do you have a sweet tooth? Favorite candy?

I have a salty tooth. When I have sweets, they are usually jelly beans/jujubes and other stuff like that. I also love Portuguese custard tarts. Not a big fan of chocolate, but don't let me near the chip aisle in the supermarket!

What other crafts or Do-It-Yourself things do you like to do? Do you spin?

I don't spin (except when I've had one too many alcopops!). I do a bit of crochet, and have also done needlepoint tapestry and counted cross-stitch. My major alternate craft is mosaic with stained glass, tile, old plates, etc.

What kind of music do you like? Can your computer/stereo play MP3s?

I listen to a lot of greek music and classical on CBC radio. I like pretty much everything aside from rap, hip hop, opera and punk. My stereo is too antiquated for MP3s but my computer plays them. I also have an iPod nano.

What's your favorite colour(s)?

This week, deep blues, periwinkle and purple. Last week, scarlet and orange. Next week... who knows?

Any colors you just can't stand?

beige, yellowy-toned greens.

What is your family situation? Do you have any pets?

"married but not churched" for the past 3-odd years with JJ (not that they've been odd except where my behaviour is concerned). No kids and no desire to have kids. No pets. Just the yarn. I would perhaps have a bird but am too careless re. leaving windows open in the apartment.

Do you wear scarves, hats, mittens or ponchos?

I wear scarves and hats for much of the year. Mittens: no. Ponchos: none too flattering for a 5'1" individual, so no.

What is/are your favorite item/s to knit?

Depends on the day of the week. Overall, I really like knitting blankets, actually.

What are you knitting right now?

Finishing the Goddess tank from Stitch Diva at present (with the dreaded Lang Opal yarn). Also working on a log cabin using scraps and one-skeins from the stash. Next project after the Goddess is done: the Montego Bay scarf from IK Summer 07.

Do you like to receive handmade gifts?

Depends on what the gift is, doesn't it? ;-)

Do you prefer straight or circular needles? Bamboo, aluminum, plastic?

circular (I can't see ever using straights again). Bamboo or AddiTurbo, depending upon the type of yarn.

Do you own a yarn winder and/or swift?

No. JJ helps out in a pinch!

How old is your oldest UFO?

1 year or so old.

What is your favorite holiday?

Any holiday that lets me stay home from work with pay and doesn't involve seeing relatives

Is there anything that you collect?

Does yarn count? :-). I also collect items made from blue glass.

Any books, yarns, needles or patterns out there you are dying to get your hands on?

If I had unlimited funds, I'd get every size of needle that Addi Turbo sells. Yarns: I'm intrigued by Hempathy, Needful Ceramic and cotton/linen blends but right now have a (necessary) yarn spending moratorium. Doing pretty well with pattern books right now - I just got Norah Gaughan's Knitting Nature which I had coveted for some time.

What knitting magazine subscriptions do you have?

None. I buy them at the LYS. I am pretty consistent in buying IK. Other mags I only get if I see at least one "must make" pattern in it... i.e. about 1/2 to 1/3 of the time.

Are there any new techniques you'd like to learn?

Lace. I'll be starting my first lace project tomorrow if all goes well...

Are you a sock knitter? What are your foot measurements?

I have knitted exactly one pair of socks. I have since divested myself of all sock yarn and sock sized needles, never to return. My foot size is 8 Cdn ladies/6 Cdn mens/37 european.

When is your birthday?

16 August (the day Elvis died, apparently, but a few years before that earth-shattering event).

Are you on Ravelry?

Yes - just got on last week. I'm KristinaB over there.

Knitting Checklist...

This was borrowed from Joan at FugueStateKnits who borrowed it from StitchayWoman who borrowed it from Knitstant Gratification... (links to all of these blogs in the sidebar!) Feel free to borrow it yourself!

Here are the rules:

Mark with bold the things you have ever knit, with italics the ones you plan to do sometime, and leave the rest.
(My note: I'm going to assume that I plan to do everything, so I'm not going to use italics for that purpose...)

• Afghan
• I-cord
• Garter stitch

• Knitting with metal wire
• Shawl
• Stockinette stitch
• Socks: top-down
(once. Will never do it again.)
• Socks: toe-up
• Knitting with camel yarn
• Mittens: Cuff-up
• Mittens: Tip-down
• Hat
• Knitting with silk
• Moebius band knitting (Not on purpose... it has happened by accident, lol. However, just saw a very cool Moebius bowl: check out bbcaddict on Ravelry!)
• Participating in a KAL
• Sweater
• Drop stitch patterns
• Knitting with recycled/secondhand yarn
• Slip stitch patterns

• Knitting with banana fiber yarn
• Domino knitting
• Twisted stitch patterns
• Knitting with bamboo yarn
• Two end knitting

• Charity knitting
• Knitting with soy yarn
• Cardigan
• Toy/doll clothing
• Knitting with circular needles
• Baby items

• Knitting with your own handspun
• Slippers
• Graffiti knitting
• Continental knitting
• Designing knitted garments

• Cable stitch patterns
• Lace patterns (starting first one tomorrow)
• Publishing a knitting book (maybe one day. but more likely if I publish anything it will be a book of political ranting.)
• Scarf
• Teaching a child to knit
• American/English knitting
• Knitting to make money (but too labour intensive)
• Buttonholes
• Knitting with alpaca
• Fair Isle knitting
• Norwegian knitting
• Dying with plant colors
• Knitting items for a wedding
• Household items
• Knitting socks (or other small tubular items)on two circulars
• Olympic knitting
• Knitting with someone else’s handspun yarn
• Knitting with dpns
• Holiday-related knitting

• Teaching a male how to knit
• Bobbles
• Knitting for a living
• Knitting with cotton (most of the time)
• Knitting smocking
• Dying yarn (not generally, but am intrigued with plant colours, especially a lovely turmeric one I saw)
• Steeks (not yet but coming up soon!)
• Knitting art (in progress)
• Fulling/felting
• Knitting with wool
• Textured knitting
• Kitchener BO
• Purses/bags
• Knitting with beads
• Swatching (boy, have I ever!)
• Long Tail CO
• Entrelac

• Knitting and purling backwards
• Machine knitting
• Knitting with self patterning/self striping/variegating yarn
• Stuffed toys
• Knitting with cashmere
• Darning
• Jewelry
• Knitting with synthetic yarn
• Writing a pattern (one so far)
• Gloves
• Intarsia (hate it, though)
• Knitting with linen
• Knitting for preemies
• Tubular CO just recently (re the Goddess pattern from Stitch Diva). Pretty cool.
• Freeform knitting
• Short rows

• Cuffs/fingerless mitts/armwarmers
• Pillows
• Knitting a pattern from an online knitting magazine
(Knitty.com and berocco.com)
• Rug
• Knitting on a loom
• Thrummed knitting
• Knitting a gift
• Knitting for pets (this will never happen)
• Shrug/bolero/poncho
• Knitting with dog/cat hair (not in this lifetime, anyway)
• Hair accessories
• Knitting in public

19 August 2007

sic transit mundi...

...aka my new ...aka my new commuting project: a log cabin made out of past swatches and yarn remnants or single skeins left in the stash.

The centre of each log cabin square is (or will be) a swatch... I have 9-10 swatches total to use. This blanket may turn out looking a bit bizarre - but it will be warm. Yarn weights between DK and aran.

And, here is another WIP... the Goddess tank from Sahara Diva:

This has been slow going because I detest the yarn (Lang Opal Maxi). Very slippery and finicky.

16 August 2007

birthday gifts!

Yesterday I treated myself to some wildly expensive yarn as it is my birthday today! I bought Alchemy Silk Straw...

...and I got as a present a skein of Handmaiden Sea Silk!

These are intended for the following projects:
Oriel Lace Top and
Montego Bay scarf from IK Knits Summer 2007. ;-)

I also (coincidentally... not for my birthday) received this gift from a coworker and her partner yesterday:

It's a really funky wrist bracelet-type thing (wrist cuff?) made from all vintage materials (yarn, fabric, buttons) and is very cool. ;)

15 August 2007


if there's anyone else out there on Ravelry, I'd love it if you'd drop me a line (I am KristinaB over there). And if not, keep my user name in mind... and I would encourage anyone to sign up. I might actually be able to keep track of my stash as a result! I could stand to lose a lot of knitting time with this site... SIGH.

13 August 2007

you say "tomato", I say...

...Tomato Redux!

My second Tomato was as enjoyable a knit as the first...! EVERYONE should knit one!


Pattern: Tomato (Wendy Bernard) in No Sheep For You

Yarn: Mission Falls cotton (black); Cottonlicious (pink); Kerzner Super 3 mercerised cotton (discontinued - orange) and Berocco Suede (big stripe) - approx 320 g total.

Needles: 4.5 mm and 4.0 mm

Start Date: 12 August

Finish Date: 13 August

Time spent: 11 hours approx.


- not too much to say about this pattern except that I love it! (for my other one, see the Sidebar under Finished Knits 2007)
- this one knitted up a bit tighter than the other one (which was made with 100% Mission Falls - I was surprised at this (but not unhappy!)
- the Cottonlicious is almost identical to Mission Falls and also made in Canada...
- I'm really sorry the Super3 is discontinued.
- This was all made with stash materials...
- my colour inspiration for the Tomato was the "Nina Blanket" by Phyllis in Mason-Dixon Knitting (below)... I wish I could have made my mother's Nina (see sidebar - 2006) in that scheme but, alas, her decor wouldn't comply!
- my only modifications: I did 2k1p rib all around (which I prefer to the 2x2), and
the stripe across is in reverse stocking... in Suede! ;-)

12 August 2007

Lorelei at (psychedelic) sunset - done!

In the interests of stashbusting, I present myself with this fine top ... a suitable antidote to a rather grey day, I thought!



For some reason it looks a bit bunched up in the photo - probably because I'm paranoid about the size of my stomach recently! SIGH.


remnants of each of the following:

- Super3 mercerized cotton (orange)
- Romni linen in two shades (red)
- SWTC soysilk (red)
- Noro Kureyon (pale variegated)
- Handmaiden Silken (bright variegated)
- Mission Falls (fuschia and peach - don't remember the official names of the colours)
- Berocco Suede (pink)
- probably some more I've forgotten about...

adapted from Yarnplay by Lisa Shobhana Mason... this is a cross between the Lorelei and Poppy tops, size small

Start Date: 7 or 8 August

Needles: 4.5 mm Clover Bamboo and 4.5 mm Clover crochet hook


- this is my second stab at the Lorelei (I have had more compliments on the last one I knitted than any other top this year!). However, it was the photo of the Poppy in Shobhana's book that inspired in part the colour choices and "layout"
- in this regard, I skipped out the eyelet rows in Lorelei and substituted ramdom purl rows against the stockinette. I think it looks quite sharp!
- other modifications: I had to adjust the stitch and row count slightly, assuming close to aran weight for the yarns I was using. I also made it a bit slimmer than the last one. (33" around instead of 33.5")

I love how loud it turned out, although am not 100% about the idea of alternating the orange and red stripes at the top. Oh well.

This is a tremendous scrapbuster that I would recommend to just about anyone. I think they are both very flattering patterns for many figures... and a very simple knit with minimal shaping and seaming.

Now to bore you with some close-up shots!

Detail shots:

Next off the needles: probably another Tomato, just about as loud as this top! Also working on the Goddess from Stitch Diva (on commission from a co-worker, in chestnut coloured Lang Opal Maxi) and "Gaia" (design by Haley Waxberg of Knitomatic in Toronto... yarn is Handmaiden Silk Spun).

08 August 2007

lorelei/poppy in progress

Here is the latest project on the needles - scrapped the Tomato in favour of a tank tee modelled on the Lorelei and the Pppy in Shobhana Mason's Yarnplay. It's turning out to be a good scrap/stashbuster!


PS. In the ongoing quest for stashbusters, and having had to content myself with reading for the past week on the TTC... last night I hit upon a brilliant idea. At least, I thought it was brilliant at the time.

Namely, I figured I could use scrap and "one skeins" left over from other projects to make... wait for it... a log cabin blanket.

That's right - a blanket.

I started this blanket today (right now the temperature is 32C or 37C with the humidity...). I won't go on about my "humidex" pet peeve. Suffice it to say that it doesn't seem like the best time of year to knit a blanket. However, I'm stubborn and I have no other portable projects at present... so, we'll see.

Wish me luck!

07 August 2007

Spicy Fitted V-neck Tee - done!

Well, it's been another long weekend of the tank for me. This one was started and finished yesterday!


Pattern: Spicy Fitted V-neck Tee in Fitted Knits (Stefanie Japel)
Yarn: Lana Gatto Summer (50% cotton, 50% acrylic, bulky weight) - 6.5 50g skeins
Needles: 6.5 mm

Notes: quick to knit, but the pattern contained some errata and was rather hard to read. Will try to get it together to post the errata. For now, be careful of where you are told to place stitch markers for the increases and decreases. I ended up having to rip several rows, which did not make me happy.

It's also perhaps a tad *too* fitted. I probably should have gone with 7 mm needles but wanted to start right away and the shops were closed yesterday for the civic holiday. Oh well!

Next up: another Tomato; the Goddess top from Stitch Diva

06 August 2007

Sahara - done!

New: Action photo!

What a great pattern this is - Stitch Diva rocks!! I'll be making one for myself one of these days in Eden Madil bamboo (This one is for one of my coworkers). It is as yet unblocked - soaking right now.

No modelled shots as yet as it is not for me and won't suit my body type too well. I'm hoping the coworker will agree to model it!


Yarn: Ella Rae Silkience (cotton, modal, rayon, silk) - main colour and Eden Madil Print (bamboo) trim and neckline

Needles: 4.5 mm and 4.0 mm

Time spent: 20 hours approx.

Notes: I absolutely loved working with both the Silkience and the Madil. Highly recommended. They feel very luxurious! The pattern is lovely too - and hardly any seaming!

and won't fit my body type,

03 August 2007

name change, etc.

Hi all:

The few of you who visit here will note that I have undergone a name change. Otherwise, same old same old!

My other news:

(a) Progress is being made on the
Sahara for my co-worker... I have started the waist shaping and will hopefully have something to show you next week!

(b) Next up: Another coworker has asked me to knit her the
Goddess. We hit the LYS the other day and picked out Opal Maxi (on sale!) - a lovely chestnut colour similar to the one shown in the link.

However, before I start the Goddess I may have to sneak in another Tomato (NSFY) or Spicy Fitted T (Fitted Knits)... depending upon which will work better with the yarn. I have some very loud orange Super 3 left over from my Samus. The Super 3 is discontinued but I think I'll try to find some Mission Falls 1824 Cotton in a complementary colour (!) or else check out the sale room at the LYS today for more mercerised cotton.

Nothing else new, really. Looking forward to a long weekend. Nothing much planned other than knitting and perhaps a movie or two (I hope Shrek 3 is still playing!)