Thursday, 17 April 2014

Ready for Easter!

After some trials and errors (mostly due to a week with a big head cold and a debilitating fever), my Penny Candy Tee is finished and it fits!

I gave it a nice long bath in hair conditioner to make it softer. The Fabel sock yarn definitely needed it to bloom, it felt kinda stringy.

Sadly, after soaking and blocking, the Fabel yarn is still scratchy. I'll have to wear a cotton t-shirt underneath. Yes, I should have known it was a bad yarn choice but I liked the colours too much to be sensible... Oh well, live and learn.

I have to admit that I'm a lot like the "Princess and the pea", I can feel everything! If it isn't really soft, I can't wear it next to my skin. Since I value comfort above all else, I have many form fitting  t-shirts I wear under stuff, so it's all good. ;-)

Have a very happy Easter!!!!!!!

Monday, 7 April 2014

Spring is here!!!!!!

Wow!!!!! It's 12 degrees celsius today, that's 53.6 degrees fahrenheit for my American readers. Do you know how long it's been since we had that kind of warm weather? Over 6 months, 6 very long and very cold months!

For the first time, this afternoon I went out without a winter coat. I wore a trench coat and would you believe it, I had to come back home to change, because I was too hot! Wow! When your body gets used to a very cold winter, as soon as it gets warmer it feels like t-shirt weather. LOL. Everyone is outdoors and smiling from ear to ear. Happy days!!!

I spent some time shovelling the old snow from my deck, I can't wait to get out the patio furniture and knit outside! A lot of rain will fall starting tonight so the snow might melt faster than expected, it will get muddy but I don't care, I want it to go away, I want the leaves and grass and flowers to start growing! I want it to get green!!! ;-)

This warm weather motivates me to knit on my Penny Candy Tee. I could have worn it today!

As soon as the hand knit version is finished and blocked, I'll have all the information needed to plan a machine knit version or two, one with long sleeves. I've already chosen the yarn!

Here's a glimpse at the candy cane stripes: 

It looks very uneven now (because it's knitted with sock yarn on 4mm needles) but it's going to look scrumptious after it's washed and blocked. My swatch blocked beautifully! :-)

Thursday, 3 April 2014

Frogging isn't a four letter word!

You know how sometimes the best ideas (in theory) don't turn out the way you imagined? Well, that's exactly what happened with my colour choices for the Penny Candy Tee.

The Regia and Fortissima were the colours I had chosen for the striped part of the Tee.

Do you notice something?

The two colours are almost exactly the same! Duh!

The stripes didn't come out subtle, they came out almost indistinguishable and since the Fortissima is quite thinner than the Regia, which I hadn't noticed, it made it look too flimsy!!! I knit those stripes for a while, watching tv and not really looking at what I was doing, before realizing that it really was rubbish. So, this morning I frogged it back to the lace portion and have now started making stripes with the Fabel yarn (at the top of the picture) and the Regia at the left. The stockinette part is so quick and easy that I'm almost back to where I was when I frogged and it looks a whole lot better!!!

P.S: I wen't to another yarn store to buy knitting needles and to see what pretty yarn they might have. This is a sample of what I bought, I also remembered to buy the circular needles I needed. ;-)

 Aren't they pretty?

Sunday, 30 March 2014

Yummy yarn!

Friday, I spent some time at my LYS.

Friday, I bought yarn (surprise, surprise) and forgot to buy more circular needles (once again!) but after having a great time looking at yarn, in a display shelf facing the sock yarn wall, I saw, touched and fell in love with Regia Angora Merino sock yarn!

A picture cannot do it justice, it's so soft, so perfect! As a matter of fact, it's much too delicious to be hidden in a pair of shoes or boots, it's just much too gorgeous for socks, it should be used to knit sweaters, shawls, hats, mittens or anything else my heart desires!

Well, this soft-as-a-bunny yarn is more than perfect for Jen's very pretty Penny Candy Tee! That's what it will become!!! Some turquoise and lilac Step will also be used...

I also have some very pretty pink yarn for another version of the Penny Candy Tee and even some ecru, charcoal and red yarn for a long sleeved version, because it's still winter outside (even though april is right around the corner)!

Come on already spring! I'm really looking forward to wearing lighter clothes!!!

Thursday, 27 March 2014

Sticky yarn...

Last year, while I was hoping and dreaming of spring, I made this crochet scarf. It was a bad decision, it used a few skeins of some yarn that was earmarked for a sweater, it looked flimsy, I didn't like it and never wore it.

Since I have some Filatura di Crosa Mille yarn left in the same colour, as well as in a slightly darker very yummy shade, I need to unravel the Sweet Eleanor scarf to have enough yarn to make myself a light spring cardigan.

Well, this mohair doesn't want to be unraveled!!! It's fighting me every step of the way, it sticks to itself like velcro. I have to cut through tiny mohair fibres to unravel every single crochet stitch...

I have to do this a few minutes at a time. If I try to go any faster, I'll probably cut the scarf up in tiny little pieces and throw it in the garbage. It's that aggravating! ;-)

I'm searching the web to see if there's someone out there who knows a way to tame sticky yarn, Pam, olive oil, silicone??? I'm willing to try anything, that yarn is discontinued and I really need what's in the scarf to have enough for a cardigan.

Meanwhile, the endless stockinette body of the blue peacock eyes cardigan has grown 6 inches. Slowly but surely!!!

Sunday, 23 March 2014

March blues...

I've been entertaining myself by knitting a lot of swatches on the Passap, supposedly for spring tops. Yeah, a whole lot of swatches that turned out to be perfect for summer clothes or for borders or even accessories, but nothing that turned into an idea for a top. I really should stop fooling around and concentrate on knitting myself a few light sweaters. Yeah, right after I try a few summer fair isle patterns and continue to try to find a way to do corrugated rib on the machine... ;-)

Meanwhile, I'm still hand knitting socks.

To be absolutely truthful, when I'm in front of the sock yarn wall at my LYS, my choices are only dictated by the colour combinations that make me giddy. Last time, I went in to buy more circular  needles ( you can never have too many in the different lengths and sizes you use most) and came out with sock yarn. As always, I was so impressed with the sheer amount of yarn, by all those possibilities, that the knitting needles completely slipped my mind... Well, now I have to go back for needles and you know where I'm going with this, more yarn will more than probably come home with me. Listen, I only have enough self-striping yarn left for three measly pairs and very little self-control!!!

The holy grail of sock knitting is the perfect heel! After trying a whole lot of different ways of turning a heel during my rather long knitting life, I've come to the conclusion that, for me, there are a few non negotiable points that the best heel has to meet. First and foremost, it has to fit perfectly! Then, it has to be quick and easy to knit, not have any holes or uncomfortable bumps and look good!

After turning, unravelling, starting and frogging a lot of heels, trying many unsatisfactory, partly satisfactory and a few satisfactory but fiddly techniques, I now have a new favourite!

It's the Lifestyle Toe up socks' no-wrap, no-muss, no-fuss short row heel. There's a Youtube video that explains it perfectly.

It's really hard to take a picture of your own heel...

These are the latest socks that came off my needles. The yarn is Hot Socks New Jacquard.

I seem to be in a blue mood, I even unearthed a blue WIP that had been lingering in limbo for too long and started working on it! Again!

It's a modified version of the Peacock eyes cardigan that I vow to finish, once and for all!!!

Saturday, 15 March 2014

Completely fed up with winter clothes...

This winter has been hard. It's been very hard. Now, it's snowing, again... I have to shovel, again and I'm so bored with winter and with my winter clothes! It seems as if I've been wearing them for ever. When I get dressed in the morning, I don't see anything I want to wear. I pick the first thing I see, just to get it over with. How pathetic is that for someone who loves clothes?

The only fun I have is deciding which socks I'm going to wear and which sock yarn I'm going to knit next!

Look at those colours, they're happy and pretty. That's what I want the rest of my clothes to feel like right now!

In the winter, everything becomes black and white. Now, I really need some colourful new stuff to help me make it until spring, until the first little leaf, the first blades of grass, the first flower. I need joy, I need fun!!!

Since it's still cold, I have to think about lighter clothes I can layer, because I just can't face knitting winter sweaters, not now, not in the middle of march!!! Come on!!!

I feel like making springtime stuff!

Let's see, I've collected a whole lot of inspirational pictures on Pinterest and I have a lot of "favorites" on Ravelry that would be perfect. It's time to stop procrastinating, climb out of those march blues, choose  something, anything, pick a yarn and sit down at the knitting machine!!!

Well, right after I shovel a bit and go out to buy cat food... Sigh...