Friday FO Y’all!

What? It’s a (mostly) natural fibre 😉

Look what I made! :)

Look what I made! 🙂

I have to go slowly with these projects – M.E. means I get wiped out way too easily! – but I really love putting together furniture. These are my first hinged doors and I’m feeling very ‘proudy pants’. They are the self closing kind and working without need for adjustment. I got to use my new level for the anti-tippers installation and can now hide a few ‘junk’ piles 🙂

DIY And WIP

Still not anything on the FO front – spring restlessness and the call of the garden are working a different kind of creative spell 🙂

My poor, poor Rheinlust has suffered some ‘dino damage’! A needle pulled out and I don’t have the patience just yet to tackle dropped twisted stitches. I will, but right now, it’s not happening. I have to fibre so snagged another of Hélène’s patterns, ‘Brise d’été‘ and went stash diving for the right yarn. I came up with a cobweb weight, hand dyed, 100% silk from ‘No Two Snowflakes’.

I’m terrified! I’m still far more enthusiast than expert with my crochet and I rarely knit with cobweb weight – dammit Jim! I’m a maker, not a masochist! So far though, it’s coming out okay and I’m a process stick handler so it’s all about that anyway 🙂 The NTS has a silky hand, subtle sheen and the colour is beautiful.

On the house front, the gardens are coming along well. I had promised myself no plant purchases this year – funds and needing to see how last year’s fill in being the reason – but… I have a few more heuchera and sedum coming and some mini bee balm to keep the bees happy. My living room long term plan got a wee bump up too – curse you Ikea how I love you! The bookcases I’ve had my eye on went on sale and it’s so rare, I decided to go for it. The last bit should be finished by the weekend, super happy that it’s working out for use of space and scale in my little nest 🙂

My Mother’s Day was wonderful as always because… my kids ❤ and my own Mumma ❤ and I hope the same for all the mums who read here.

And here are a few pix of of the WIP’s both wool and wood:

 

Hi! :)

That’s as catchy a title as I can come up with and I agonized over it, believe me!

No FO’s just yet although my ‘Duane Park Triangle‘ shawl is blocking as I type – cursed thing. Remind me to never commit to a pattern that is all garter stitch again. Even the pretty Zen String yarns that I used couldn’t save my attitude by the end.

Happier WIP’s are my ‘Gothic Starfish‘ afghan. It just needs a few rows of black border and it will be out the door to live on my daughter’s purple sofa and my ‘Rheinlust‘ shawl, which I am madly in love with; all twisted stitches and Wollmeise goodness. This is not to say that I now love Wollmeise, I still prefer other yarn bases a LOT but it’s perfect in this pattern.

With spring finally here for real, I’m working hard on my little house and the gardens. Replaced the old mailbox with one that’ll match my new screen door when it goes up and the dead doorbell is on today’s agenda for a new wireless one. Good friends adopted my old wooden picnic table for their cottage and I now have room for an elf-size gazebo in the back garden. Lots of leafy clean up to do before that goes up but it’ll make a lovely outdoor retreat. My little office is coming along too, I just finished the assembly yesterday and am moving files, supplies and all that stuff that’s been living in my kitchen to its proper home.

Finally have my ‘Leaf’ set up and it’s keeping me honest about my exercise goals or err… honest about how much I fool myself! Apparently, knitting does NOT burn many calories… A terrible oversight on the part of our physiology IMHO. Saying goodbye to another dear family member and some irksome ‘girl’ health issues just lately have me wanting to get back to my former athletic self or a reasonable facsimile! I can say that deleting a few of my social media accounts has been a HUGE benefit in terms of stress relief. I mean really? How connected does one woman have to be, right?! 😉

With that, here’s pictorial ‘skinny’ on all of the things :):

Oh! And THIS! A month or so ago, I stabbed my finger with some wicked sharp scissors when I was lifting staples from the back of a painting… I couldn’t even look as I tugged them out and did the first aid thing. Knitting and blocking were really hard for a week or two and now I have a scar! Apparently, I haven’t outgrown this stage…

 

Wednesday…

Still waiting on my beads to finish up ‘Ile d’Ecosse’ shawl and so committed myself to finishing and blocking ‘Pennae‘ shawl. I like how the two colours of Tosh Merino Light played so nicely together but I have to admit, I prefer symmetrical shawls. I did tweak this a bit to minimize the snooze-inducing amount of garter stitch – again, just personal preference – and I think it’s come out okay.

Pennae’s portfolio:

I’m still really hook obsessed at the moment and so progress on my fourth NCM2016 project has been good. I’m making the  ‘Starry Skies‘ blanket in some very ancient worsted leftovers, yarn too nice to give away or donate but no longer a favourite colour or rescued from very old WIPs. It’s about ‘lapghan’ size as of today and I hope to have it wrapped up over the coming weekend.

Meanwhile, household chores call. I’m staining an antique washstand that has been passed from my Auntie, to my Mum and I scavenged it from the end of our driveway when I was a teen – much to Mum’s chagrin :). It’s been with me ever since and endured an epic session of stripping and sanding to remove the five or six coats of paint it had endured over it’s life with a family of DIYers with good taste. While that dries, I’m planning how to best individualize the translucent, frosted privacy film that I’ll be putting up on the entranceway sidelight. A new front door meant the old, curtained window went – glad, as it was original to the house (!) We’ll see how my attention span holds for the next few days 🙂

All of the WIPage:

Not So Swift?

I saw a post on Instagram that caught my eye. A newbie to skeins, as opposed to commercial yarn balls, asked an Indie dyer if winding a skein into a cake was necessary before beginning to knit.

Confession? I’ve been in such a rush to start a project that I have sometimes knit right from the skein. I always want to put myself in a corner at some point before that skein is all knit up!

The discussion continued, as the newbie didn’t know how to cake yarn, what a swift was or what she could use in its place as she didn’t own one. I decided to post my own swift hack on Instagram and Pinterest because I don’t own a swift either! I have something that works great for me, is super cheap, easy to put together and ‘green’. Picture follows with the blurb I posted with it. Pretty straightforward assembly and it puts zero stress on the yarn – one reason why some Indie dyers advise winding by hand v. a swift / winder combo.

“No ‪#‎swift‬? No problem!
KeiB’s ‪#‎diy‬ swift solution. These ‪#‎upcycled‬ coffee jars work great and don’t require rearranging furniture or introducing your partner to ‪#‎bfl‬ bondage wink emoticon. Get fancy with ‪#‎acrylicwater‬ to anchor the contents and ‪#‎sculpey‬ or ‪#‎fimo‬ to dress up and disguise the lids. ‪#‎knittersofinstagram‬ ‪#‎keibdesigns‬‪#‎crochetersofinstagram‬ ‪#‎instaknit‬ ‪#‎lifehacks‬ ‪#‎skeins‬ to cakes – buy yarn not gadgets 😄 💕 ‪#‎keibonravelry‬

Three Happy Making Things

My first guy / unisex pattern ‘ James Harris‘, was worked by the awesome WildWoolly and she posted her FO photo on a real guy! I’ll never get tired of seeing my patterns made up 🙂

'James Harris' modelled.

‘James Harris’ modelled.

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I bought a rock! A little ‘Goo Gone’, some felt feet and I have half a bookend 🙂

Half a bookend :)

Half a bookend 🙂

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I have a good start on another stashbusting project. The worsted version of the Cerys Hexagon Blanket:

To keep me out of the bars when in-between projects ;-)

To keep me out of the bars when in-between projects 😉

Preparations, Purls and Patterns

Life goes on and this is a very busy week for which I’m grateful. I’ll be spending an afternoon with my Mum and Sisters – the l’il big Bro works shifts 😦 – followed by wrapping up a crocheted crib blanket for my very first grand niece-ling. A visit to the dentist today – chipped a tooth! – as a former CDA, I’m mildly freaked about that. Thursday is official ‘Sit ‘N Knit’ at my LYS but I may forgo as Friday brings our departure for 2015’s Needler’s Retreat!

I can definitely say, this has been an excellent diversion. I’ll be vending in person, as opposed to selling on Etsy, et al and creating and updating my Seller’s ‘tool kit’ has been at the top of my list. My presentation will be very simple as the Vendor’s Night portion of the weekend is small, the bulk of the time being devoted to workshops. I’ll include an info stand with my Berroco interview in print and business cards, a binder with a selection of patterns and samples for those. Hopefully, I’ll create some new connections and broaden my customer base. I’ll be including the first of my professionally tech edited patterns and one or two of my friend Francine’s (of Fancy That) shawl pins. Verra excited 🙂

On the homefront, I did a redux on my bar cart / microwave stand yesterday. It’s not my favourite piece, being from the ‘year of apartment living’ but it’s useful and so I thought I’d make it more presentable. The DK version of Matinée ~ Marbles is done too.

A little gallery of the knits, the Duct Tape Diva stuff and the last of October:

The Countdown Is On

The Needler’s Retreat 2015 is coming up quickly. Taking place at the beautiful Glen House Inn in Gananoque again, this one will be really exciting for me. I’m preparing for my first Vending experience, a little nervous but glad it’ll take happen in a place and with folks I’ve known for a few years.

I’ve spent the morning doing Graphic Design work for my advert sheets and presentation binder and updating the files for my business cards. For now I’m just creating labels to stick on the old ones and bring them into this decade. I’m happy too, to have connected with a tech editor for KeiB Designs. I think it’ll add a professional touch and I know as a knitter, I appreciate that feature.

I’ve been working like a stevedore on the “Knitting / Guest” room and am really happy with the results so far. I’m still inundated with yarn (please visit my stash for sale on Ravelry and adopt some) but as of today, I have almost all of it in the one room. I did get some shelves (bamboo – recyclable and biodegradable – yay!) for my own closet and for the front hall. A little more work to do there as I’m still slowly working my way through old clothing and aiming for one more big donation to Diabetes before the end of the year. I put together coffee tables for the living room and finally replaced my 1960’s folding card table that was curb-dived about 10 years ago and has been serving as my kitchen table. Next up, I’m going to tackle what will be my office / sewing and needle work room. All in good time, I don’t procrastinate so much as to lose my title but I’m finding I have to make a mess in order to clean up a mess. It is so worth it though, as I’m getting better at getting rid of the things that make my life “heavy”.

I’m still working on the BW wrap and the Falling Leaves cowl but did get a wee bit bored and so took a break to whip up Anna Hrachovec’s “Boo Bat“. My daughter is crazy for bats and we kept a bat house at the old home. I love this cute little ami and can see a few more for her (I can’t tease her about being too old for bats. I still will buy anything Hello Kitty!) I am seeing trying my hand at some different techniques to create my own pattern but we’ll see how that goes. I know the weeks between now and Retreat weekend starting November 6th, will fly by.

This is a bigger post as I’m currently participating in a poetry writing challenge called OctPoWriMo and I suspect it’ll take a bite out of my blogging time for the next month. If you’re interested in poetry and other writing, I blog that at my other WordPress home: The Eclectic Poet. I’ll be here whenever I can though – you’ve been warned! 🙂

Here’s a Pictorial of the house and knit happenings: (You can hover over each photo for a quick blurb or click the first one and it opens a larger, slideshow-type of view, where comments, etc. can be made)

A Small Break From The Garden…

I’ve started a bunch of things, nothing new there. It’s hard to focus when the garden calls. Hard to stay awake at night after an evening spent working outside. I do love it though, and it looks like there’ll be a good return on the work so far. Keeping my enthusiasm to the scale of a small urban space is the only trick. Like all my passions, it’s a “go big or go home” deal with me :).

I am in love with my latest crochet project, Schultertuch / Dreieckstuch and of the neglected, it is seeing the most love. I had some ancient Lorna’s Laces stash that demanded to be dusted off and it seems it will be a gradient-ish shawl, if all goes to plan.

Pictures:

Cthulhu and Dragons and Slinkys ~ Oh My!

My Cthulhu Cozy has grown and is now dragon sized:

I hope to get down to HomeSense today and pick up a decorative dress mannequin. I think it’ll help with the pictures of FO’s and after some diligent research, they seem to be very well priced. If all goes well, I should have a photo to post this evening of the finished dragon cozy aka: Matinée ~ Peridot.

ETA: mission accomplished. The form has been purchased though it’s been established that I am not permitted inside any “value” type shopping places without a chaperone! Pictures to come…