Friday, You’re My Favourite

Three FO’s this week, yay! “Le Scarabée Argent“, “Firefly
and “Harmonia’s Rings“.

All the details are on my Ravelry, at the links above. Hope all is well in your world with lots of time for family, friends, chillin’ and crafting 🙂

Harmonia’s portfolio:

Firefly’s portfolio:

Le Scarabée Bleu’s portfolio:

Yarn Porn! Tool Porn! 🙂

Tool Snobs Out There?

I’m a self-admitted yarn snob and am a sort of knitting needle snob. I adore my Addis – the good ole “stumpos”, Chiaogoo or CP bamboos and KP Karbonz. I will use wooden needles if I think the fibre needs it and I keep my old Aeros and Pryms because they are what I learned with. Not to mention some are my Grandma Tupper’s and I’m sure I may have “teethed” on some of them!

Something unexpected is that I’m discovering preferences in crochet hooks. I do a fair bit of crochet but definitely more knitting. My desire to expand the patterns that I design where I combine both arts into a project has me hooking more than ever. I learned to crochet on Aeros and probably some Pryms. Again, it’s what my Grandma used and she taught me to knit and crochet when I was still in Kindergarten. A few years ago, I began using Clover gold hooks, as the grip felt a little more comfortable when I would hook for long periods of time.

What a surprise to pick up my Tulip Etimo, a hook I’d purchased on a whim and find that yes, different hooks do make a difference!

I did not know that there were considerations like: inline, throat depth, head shape, shaft length – and this post just suddenly became “R” rated! The Etimo is slightly more inline than the Clover and it makes a huge difference in my speed and accuracy. I was actually amazed. I have small hands, fairly severe arthritis and Carpal (and I refuse to give in!) so on this score again, the Etimo is a win for me.

I have three Tulips and I’m moving them to regular rotation and keeping my Clovers for when I take projects out and won’t be devastated by a lost hook. Not sure why I was keeping the Etimos “for good”. They are more expensive, about double the price of Clovers but given that hooks pretty much last a lifetime, it’s money well spent. Not to mention, Joanne’s has a 20% off sale on until tomorrow!

Just thought I’d share my thoughts on this and feel free to chime in if you have any favourite tools in your tool kit!

Autumn Equinox

My first born’s birthday is today and even more auspicious that it falls on 2014’s Autumn Equinox.

Some of you already know that I have a poetry blog here on WordPress. Here is a link to my Cinquain-style poem celebrating the turn of the wheel:

(Fair warning should you decide to venture beyond that post; there is some mature content and raucous rock music placed there.)

Gwyl Canol Hydref Approaches ~ Cinquain III

Carrying that theme through to the knitting, this lovely pattern, in kit form from Earthfaire, showed up in my inbox this morning:

Hydref Scarf by Abigail Phelps. The photo below is a detail picture showing this lovely, leafy design worked in the perfect Autumn shades:

© Micki Krueger

© Micki Krueger

I sense another Abigail project is in my future. Her “Addewid” was a joy to knit. (Still need to block for a proper Show & Tell).

You can find the kits here at Earthfaire.

Monday Already?

Where the heck do the weekends go and are the ones in December even shorter? I think they must be…

We were under a winter storm watch this weekend, which is much less ominous than it sounds. This is Canada, we get winter. Real winter. Not namby pamby, oh brrrr, I need to wear gloves winter. 🙂

This meant knitting and more knitting and yet, I still don’t have an FO to show. I’ve been totally absorbed in my TTT (Morlynn) Shawl, to the point where, when I ran out of my main colour on Thursday morning, I made the trek to my LYS at the other end of town after work to pick up a second skein. Only this morning did I see a “Sticky” in the discussion pages for the pattern on Ravelry where, another Raveler had discovered that the quantities given are off. No biggie, I was back at it by the time I sat down on the bus to come home and am currently in the middle of the lace border.

Here’s how it’s been working up:

Beginning of the lace border.

Beginning of the lace border.

Contrast colour started.

Contrast colour started.

I totally ignored poor Dahlia and my socks, it seems that this shawl pattern is addictive! I am really liking my Karbonz circulars too. The tip to shaft join is virtually unnoticeable. The shaft to cord join could be a little more smooth, but it’s not distracting enough to take away from the knitting. Shout out to Knitter’s Pride: You’d have knitting pin perfection if you’d smooth out that join (and add a CPY-style bearing to the cord join).

The Sock That Would Be Scarf

I often begin projects that very quickly let me know that they “don’t want to be knit”.

That was the case with my Noro sock. This is the first pair that I’ve cast on in over a year – ironic as I mostly design sock patterns – and it should be said that those sexy Karbonz are sexy and in no way responsible for the frog-fest. I’ll be putting them to use again very soon.

The naughty Noro though, just wasn’t doing its normal, fantastic Noro “thing” in this sock. The colour runs were so long that I would clearly have ended with a pair that was unattractively mismatched. Not the usual and aesthetically pleasing Kureyon or Silk Garden mismatch but a “Oh my God, didn’t you check your dye lot?” mismatch.

So I cranked out the cuff yesterday morning and, still being in love with this colourway, began a garter eyelet scarf that is knit on the bias. Now this project wants to be made! A very literary-type thunderstorm went on most of the day yesterday, preventing any of the regular chores and so, I wrote and knit to my heart’s content and by supper had the second photo below.

The start

The start

Progression of colour.

Progression of colour.

My second big accomplishment was that I made a point to put all of my finished knits that still require ends tucked or a light block into one highly visible and traffic-impeding spot. The hazard of being a Process Knitter…

If I have to see these everyday, I’ll likely get at least one or two done. This is my theory anyway 🙂

I hope everyone is enjoying a peaceful Sunday, cheers!

Catchy Post Title Here

So… I couldn’t wait until The Retreat. I had to try these new Karbonz. Verdict: really like them.

They are light like bamboo, smooth like wood and the nickel plated tip has a perfect point. Smooth and sharp but not so sharp as to split plies. Warm in the hand and flexible which is a huge bonus as I have arthritis. The seam between the tip and the body of the needle is noticeable as had been pointed out to me but not enough to interfere with the movement of the yarn or the flow of the knitting. After a few rounds, I really didn’t notice it anymore. Just in time for Christmas, Knitter’s Pride has come out with a gift box of the interchangeable circulars – more temptation!

I’m using Kureyon sock and an old favourite pattern, Ridges and Ribs by Criminy Jickets. Other than the first colour shift is taking forever on these tiny 1.75mms, I am liking how yarn and pattern are talking to each other. Picture is a little dark, sundown comes so early now that we’re halfway through October.

Noro Sock Cuff

Noro Sock Cuff

I Got Nuthin’

I’m having post-project let down after completing my Mayflower Shawlette. I know. I have elevnty-hundred WIP’s and a ridiculous amount of yarn but… Doing a little bit of photography and some writing until my yarn muse sings something I want to hear.

I did order this pattern keeper for knitting on the go. Slipped Stitch Studios has some of the cutest project bags and accessories. I want the entire Crazy Caveleras line! They even have snips on a wristlet – could double as a key chain – that are airplane approved.

This is going to make travelling with a pattern so much easier!

This is going to make travelling with a pattern so much easier!

We are off to explore. It’s a misty, warm morning, the rain is still making up it’s mind whether or not to fall. Perfect for some moody and romantic photo opportunities. Or, maybe just hanging out at a coffee shop

Cheers all, Kei

This!

I think this may be one of the best new innovations for knitters ever.

http://stitch-maps.com/

Just like with crochet diagrams, the kind that you more often see in Japanese pattern books, it’s so easy to “read” the stitches. Browsing the website, you can get a much better feel for the way the finished fabric will look, much more so than with a grid-style diagram.

I love this and hope to try it out very soon.

Down The Garden Path

I’ve another shawl on the go and really enjoying this one.

It’s crochet and a pattern that caught my eye some time ago. “Garden Path” by Lily Go. This is one of those patterns that I think will do a lot to improve die-hard knitters opinion of crochet. Lily’s patterns are incredibly well written for both the chart and the written instruction fans.

It’s fine, light and at first glance, resembles the traditional knitted shawls that so many of us love. I’m working it in Zephyr Wool-Silk 2/18, a beautiful 2-ply lace and it’s one from the stash. I’m using it single strand and not doubled as the pattern calls for, so have downsized my hook.

Loving the Tulip Etimo hooks! All the comfort of good ole reliable Clovers but with a slimmer shape that works with my “delicate” hands ;).

Crochet in Zephyr merino tussah silk laceweight.

Crochet in Zephyr merino tussah silk laceweight.

Rows of double picot flowers between filet crochet pathways.

Rows of double picot flowers between filet crochet pathways.

“Knit Night” happened at my place again yesterday evening with my BFF and I managed to get to the 17th row of this, in between talking. Last Tuesday was the official reinstatement of Knit Night – fondly known as “Stitch ‘N Bitch” in my neck of the woods – how could I refuse a request from DD to learn how to crochet? 🙂

I lucked out on a Verdant Gryphon shop update and snagged a couple skeins of “Girl With The Dragon Tattoo” colourway on the Codex base – how apropos!

Hoping to have it soon to share a little Yarn Pr0n!

This Is My Kind Of Happy Hour

From The Needle Nerd:

2013

And definitely MY kind of olive!

Nerd has some neat and nerdy crochet patterns here, at her Etsy shop.

I am still working away on the last scarf to finish but have been a little sidetracked by my Concetta Cardi. It is looking good so far, I’m just finishing up the body decreases and should have a photo soon. The deep, blueberry shade doesn’t photograph well unfortunately but it is gorgeous in person.

I’m using the Addi Natura bamboo circualar to work this. I’m trying to find the “perfect” bamboo needle and this one is lovely. As I was knitting away last night – huge snowstorm, so a good time to cozy up with yarn – I found myself paying more attention to the needle. I knew I would like the cord, Addi has had that down pat for years, the joins are smooth – not a single snag or drag. I like the tips – they taper in a similar way to Addi’s Lace tips, a little less sharp of course. What I do find, is that the finish on these makes them very slick. They are more like an aluminium needle in action than a bamboo needle. This isn’t a bad thing per se but when I choose bamboo, I’m looking for a little of that integral “drag” for stitch control and better uniformity of stitches. I’m declaring these as keepers – Addis are always worth the cost (the shop wouldn’t take my firstborn, so save up if you can) but I think that my favourite are the Crystal Palace bamboo. The cord is a little stiffer but they make up for that with the ball-bearing join – best knitting needle enhancement ever – the tips are strong, sharp and smooth and the finish is more natural, a nice “hug” to the stitch but no drag, warm and lightweight in the hands.

Now, to find a “Lllama Daddy”

😉