Wednesday, June 01, 2011

The Temple of Sacred Yarn

I have more than a few yarns that I've collected over the years that I am terrified to touch. No pattern seems good enough, and my knitting prowess is never strong enough for me to wind up a skein or two of these yarns and cast on.

Case in point: The Fiber Company Terra in Henna colourway.

I fell hard for this yarn. The orangey purply tweediness made up of merino, baby alpaca and silk was too much for me and after a serious blow to the credit card (still on a student budget back then), I brought it home to found my very own Temple of Sacred Yarn.

A quick look through the yarn log tells me that I bought this yarn on or about August 12th.....2006. That's right just shy of 5 years ago!!! 

After much sketching, plotting, sifting through pattern books, and patterns on Ravelry without success, I had almost given up the hope that I would ever use this yarn. Finally I went to my LYS and just bought a simple wrap sweater pattern on a whim. I brought it home and started glancing through my yarn shelf until my eyes landed on the Terra and I realized they it was a perfect match.

The sweater is simple enough to show off the beautiful colours of the yarn. The garter stitch neckband and hems provide the perfect amount to texture to add a light rustic touch that really ties into the slightly thick thin character of this one-ply yarn. Also the back and forth knitting (knit row, then purl) ensures that the yarn doesn't bias the knitted fabric. Finally, the seamless top-down construction allows for yarn economy and also means that this sweater might actually get finished eventually since I won't be left with any finishing once the actual knitting has been completed.

So far, so good. Knit on!

Friday, May 20, 2011

Bags and bags and bags of fun

It all started innocently enough...I figured it would be fun to make a cute bag. There would be no pesky fitting issues, I would learn some new things, and most importantly, I could customize it using my three most favourite fabrics.

I chose some more "utilitarian" fabrics for the outside thinking the bag would be more versatile that way. Then I picked a gorgeous lining fabric to make things a little more interesting.

Now there is one thing you have to understand. My personal work ethic is one where I do things right but I only do them once. I'm a perfectionist with limited time who is surrounded by endless inspiration.

I'll read ever single word in a book (including forwards, dedications, author bios) but I never re-read even my most favourite books. I'll rip my knitting back to nothing as many times as it takes to get it just right but I will never re-knit even the most satisfying pattern.

Nonetheless, I have managed to make four iterations of Amy Butler's Birdie Sling Bag since mid-January.

All with beautiful linings!

More amazing still is the fact that there are plans for a fifth bag currently in the works.

I am really enjoying this pattern. The last step where you magically pull a gorgeous bag from the sewing equivalent of a misshapen, thread covered pile of rubble is so exciting for me that it seems to propel me head-first into the next bag.

I have loved making these bags so much that they have actually motivated me to pick up long lost half-finished sewing projects and shove them either towards or over the finish line. They have also motivated me to carefully construct a completely unreasonable plan for an entirely new spring/summer wardrobe.

I suppose the big question is whether the thrill will wear off before number 5 gets sees the light of day.

Friday, February 26, 2010

My cheerleader, the metric system

After weeks of furious knitting, I have managed to add a 26 cm or 10 1/4 inches to the beast.

Never did I think I would use the metric system as an emotional crutch, but there you have it. After spending most of my vacation knitting, I only made it through 10 1/4 inches of black stockinette. Much more encouraging to have finished 26 cm.

A few days ago I realized that I had left all of the extra yarn for this project at home. This effectively ground my progress to a halt just before the colour work picked up again on the body, and completely eliminated any lingering romantic notion I may have held of finishing the project before the end of the Olympics. Enter a very understanding significant other and the kind folks at FedEx and one business day later there be yarn.

Thanks to the arrival of the yarn, I've managed to start digging my way through the colour work. I'll post my olympic progress after the end of the closing ceremonies.

Monday, February 15, 2010


Since I am both Canadian and planning to go to Vancouver to watch a few events, it seemed like the perfect time to hop on the bandwagon and cast on for the Yarn Harlot's Knitting Olympics.

I debated between setting a completely unattainable goal and a giving myself a chance by casting on for something a little more realistic. Ultimately, the charm of knitting a Dale sweater designed for Canada during the Canadian winter Olympics proved irresistible and I cast on for Dale of Norway's Le Massif (rav link).

I am 100% certain that I will not get this beast, knit on 3.25mm needles, finished during the Olympics. In the last three days, I've made it through the sweater's hem, also known as the first of 22 balls of yarn.

So far she's a beaut. Wish me luck as I stagger off towards 11" of tiny black stockinette.

Monday, June 22, 2009

With these two sticks

My mother gave me a gorgeous Bohus sweater kit for Christmas way back in 2007. I've been afraid to touch it ever since so I decided to pick up a small hat kit to see if I was ever going to be ready to tackle the "real thing."

After about two months in the stash, the draw of knitting in the round on teeny tiny needles was too much to resist. I decided to pull it out and begin working on it.

Although this photo is a little out of date, here's what it looks like so far.

And here's a mandatory picture of the wrong side.

I've managed to make it through 55 of the 65 colour work rows for the body of the hat. I think that I should be able to finish the knitting later this week. Then all that will be left is about 80 different ends to weave in. The only downside is that I promised myself I wouldn't pick up another knitting project until I make it through some of my other Summer of Craft goals. Therein lies the real challenge.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

As the Wheel Turns

I spent last weekend at a friend's cottage, working on my summer spinning goal. While there I managed to turn this gorgeous seacell/merino batt I bought last summer

into this

I've spun nearly one full bobbin and still have about half of the fibre left to turn into singles. Once that is finished, it will be time to ply. I'm thinking I'm going to Navajo ply these singles into a worsted weight yarn. I should end up with about 300 yards if all goes well. That would be enough to make a cozy scarf or a nice pair of mitts next winter.

While working away on this, I realized how little green has made its way into my craft projects. I have some green yarn stocked away in the stash but I don't think I've ever knit anything that had green as its main colour. Seems bizarre given my general love of all colours.

Up next, my summer knitting project that is *eep* almost finished!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Summer of Craft's been a while. Despite my prolonged absence, I haven't fogotten about you. I'm still lurking on all of your blogs.

The past nine months have been a whirlwind. Between travelling, being unemployed and having to get settled at two different offices in the span of two months things have been off-kilter so to speak.

Now with that all behind me, I thought it might be fun to set some summer priorities.

The sheer number of crafty pursuits I have taken on have effectively rendered my limited hobby time completly unproductive as I flit about between this project and that. As a result, I decided to tackle one project from each type of craft to help focus my efforts.

Quilting: Finish the string quilt I started last month
Sewing: Make throw pillows for living room
Weaving: Finish Seacoast Scarf
Spinning: Spin Green Seacell fibre
Knitting: Finish Gothic Pink Window Bohus Hat
Embroidery: Finish stitching the Christmas scene

I will provide detailed introductions to all of these projects over the coming weeks.

If I manage to finish all of these projects before the Labour Day long-weekend, I will reward myself with a couple of gorgeous Bohus kits I've had my eye on the past few months. As incentive to you, dear reader, to heckle me on in my efforts, I will reward you with my first ever contest.

Enjoy your weekend!