Dry Out The Digs & Rev Up The Restoration!

To celebrate the end of the flood recovery, I’m having a “Downsize The Deductible” sale at KeiB Designs and Knits on Etsy. Take 10% off any item in the shop from today until 23 July! 📦🎁🔖🤗

https://www.etsyonsale.com/shop/KeiBDesignsAndKnitsDry

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I Do Knit – Honestly!

Maybe it’s winter, maybe it’s the hectic work schedule, maybe it’s having a “boy” underfoot (kidding! I love him underfoot) but it’s so hard to blog of late and as to reading other posts… there just aren’t enough hours in a day. This why I sometimes mention to comment and link me to any of your posts that you think are not-to-be-missed 🙂

In the interest of keeping this somewhat concise, I’ll gallery photos and the green links will have more construction details if you’re interested. Almost every project or purchase I’ve made is to aid my intrepid teammates, the Peppermint Ponies and I’m happy to say that I’ve reached level 1 in the Booster Club (can I say popped my cherry? I just did!) I’m at Cherry level and achieved the maximum points for my Q1 KAL – any Melanie Berg pattern – submission, ‘Moonraker‘. Canada Customs has been holding my Birthday order (placed on 15 Jan) hostage since the 22nd of January. I have no idea why this semi-regular order has aroused suspicion but am considering a covert mission to liberate the fuzzy goodness!

I’ve finished some long time WIP’s and hopelessly tangled some cobweb lace of a WIP that I hoped to be adding here but… damn… To keep me calm whilst waiting on my Postie to rescue my Birthday yarn, I’m working on a super cute Casapinka pattern called ‘Loop‘. It’s bright and fun, a stashbuster and super easy.

It’s February already and soon March will arrive and another round of National Crochet Month. I’ve picked a pattern and have some gorgeous – Yarn Porn ahead! – Yarn Love and Shibui to use for my first project. Planning ahead – bless my little ADD heart – this one will tie in nicely with Yarnathon 2017 projects and badge collecting.

I’m off to work – they just don’t understand about priorities, lol! – have a great rest of your week!

The FO’s: Rico Socks, Smoke Rings Shawl, Moonraker Shawl

The WIP’s: Loop Shawl, Brise d’Été Shawl, Side Effect Pullover, NoFa Shawl

Crochet On A Grand Scale

Good for people and elephants! This story made me smile – enjoy 🙂

Elephants in India are sporting colourful woollen jumpers after villagers knitted the super-size garments to protect the animals from near-freezing temperatures. Women in a village near the Wildlife SOS Elephant Conservation and Care Centre in the northern city of Mathura reportedly began producing the colourful, pyjama-like garments after staff at the centre warned temperatures were approaching sub-zero at night.

Source: Villagers knit jumpers for Indian elephants to protect the large mammals from near-freezing temperatures | The Independent

With Bated Breath…

Still waiting on my ESK yarns to get fully engaged with my Yarnathon 2017 knitting – the shipment is right on track, I’m just REALLY impatient to get started! All groups and their members are off to a great start although at the moment, the Peppermint Ponies are bringing up the rear. I expect to singlehandedly boost our stats with my birthday order next week! Well, maybe boost a little… I am still on the never-ending yarn diet of Doom.

As of Saturday AM:

Yarnathon 2017 ~ Teams and standings on 7 Jan '17

Yarnathon 2017 ~ Teams and standings on 7 Jan ’17

What I have done is plan as many non-buying point boosters as I can; these being mostly achievement badges for various skills, spills and thrills in the knit / crochet world. What I am buying for is a toned down version of the Persian Dreams afghan and a crochet version of our team mascot who I’ve dubbed “PepPonia“. So far, I’m favouring one of Heidi’s African Flower motif designs, Fatty Lumpkin, worked in our team colours on Cascade’s 220 Superwash base.

On the WIP front, my Side Effect has it’s first sleeve and the second should be underway later today. Contrary to my lifelong modus operandi, I’m focused on finishing this before going back to other WIP’s. No big thing but working this way as opposed to having six or seven UFO’s strewn over the living and dining room is so much more Zen 🙂

And now Saturday chores and stuff calls ~ loudly, obnoxiously ~ beginning with shovelling out after last Thursday’s very rude dumping of 20cm or so of snow and then freezing rain. Clearly, Mother Nature is not a knitter – I have to keep these muscles protected for warmer, fuzzier activities! Cleaning then organizing an under sink recycling pull out bin will be much easier now that Handy Andy very kindly repaired my ancient sink basket and trap (thank you !) and once the vacuuming is done, I’ll be tucked in with a cuppa, a book and SE’s sleeve 🙂

Here’s hoping your chores are light, and that there’s time for a few stitches where you are. Passez un bon-weekend!

Provisional Parlance

My two most current WIP’s use a provisional cast on and I thought I’d share a little pictorial of how I do it. My favourite of the many provisional cast on methods is the crochet method and it’s one of many reasons that I think every knitter should have some basic crochet skills – there’s lots of time to entice you to the dark side!

There are two crochet-type methods, the most common is where you create a chain length and then pick up your stitches in the back bump of each chain stitch. This is a perfectly serviceable method but even as an experienced Hookster, I find dealing with a long, floppy bit of string to be a pain. I think it would give a novice the vapours!

For control, neatness and ease – once you’ve practised just a little – the “crochet on” method works best for me and I think would be easier to manage for beginners or entrenched knitters. It does require two “sticks” and works stitches in a knitting-type way, so is a more familiar feel. When done the way I do, there is lots of room to correct stitch count before beginning to work with your project yarn without having to rip out and start over. If you’re as OCD as I am, this method really fits the bill.

Below is a photo infographic with notes of how I work this cast on. I can’t be sure if anyone else does it like this, I haven’t seen it in any tutorials or pictorials, so I’ll call this tweaked version “Kei’s Crochet Provisional Cast On”. You’ll need to click the individual photo in order to read the full text of the instructions 🙂

I hope this is as clear as I think it is and if you are trying this out, feel free to message me if you have a question – there’s a “message me” email button up top there ↑

You will find that you very quickly gain a rhythm with this, using your forefinger to move the yarn from the front of the last stitch made and around to the back for the next one. I like giving myself the insurance of a couple extra chains even if I wind up not needing it and the added control that the beginning tab gives me for those first few stitches.

I’m using a ChiaoGoo circular needle, a Prym hook and a smooth cotton fingering weight (a scrap, don’t remember the brand). Smooth cottons are ideal for any provisional cast on.

Hope this will help someone out!

Cheers all! 🙂

FO Friday ~ Jungle Superhero Pram Blanket

Off the hook and going soon to Mama, Papa and Baby.
My project notes are on Ravelry -> here <-

JSPB’s portfolio:

I’ve been somewhat AWOL the last couple of weeks. Mostly to be sure JSPB was finished but also am participating in Yarn Love’s Castra KAL and test knitting a shawl for my friend Anja (it’s interesting and fun – you’ll want it 🙂 ).and will have an update later this week.

I’m working hard supporting the ‘Save Mooney’s Bay‘ community group and this is my priority at the moment.

A member created this wonderful Youtube video that hits the highlights and provides a link where you can add your voice. Your support would be very appreciated.

Wishing you all a wonderful weekend! 🙂