First Post 2017

I am all lit up for reams more crafting this year! As if I needed any incentive, this will be my first full year participating in Eat.Sleep.Knit’s ‘Yarnathon’ 2017. The team at ESK put together an inspiring number of events, geared for a wide range of crafters. Our theme this year is ‘Candyland’. My 2016 team – the Starsheep – won 1st in the overall standings and I’m looking forward to another great year with the Peppermint Ponies this year.

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My queue will be monopolized with much ESK competitive and achievement knit and crochet because… competitive 🙂 Y’all know about winning the pair of socks in less than 24 hours x2 story. The year long project is ‘Persian Dreams‘ and the Q1 project is any pattern designed by Melanie Berg, one of my favourite designers. I’m currently yarnless in Ottawa – says the woman with a +700 skein stash – but I’ve ordered my Q1 yarn for ‘Moonraker‘  and hope to start next week. I’m still planning colours for ‘Persian Dreams’. Mine will be non-traditional shades so as to coordinate with my very Zen household colour scheme.

I’m continuing to work away at ‘Side Effect‘ to kill time and stashbust until my Q1 package arrives; soon to pick up the sleeves and I’ll work at the 2016 WIP stragglers as attention span permits. I am very pleased at how many FO’s I was able to complete this past year, with several items gifted and some sold in my Etsy shop. I found that embracing some new (to me) techniques made finishing SO much faster, much more enjoyable and definitely was a factor in getting things off the needles and 100% complete. I may be adding the ‘Product’ card to my ‘Process‘ wallet after all these years!

I’ll be updating the tab at the top of the page with all of  my 2016 projects a little later and I hope you’ll pop back to check them out – most are linked to Ravelry, if you’re looking for construction details – which reminds me! If you’re a Ravver, feel free to add me. I’m KeiB / Pointe Shoes Punk Rock And Purl. If you aren’t a Ravver and have trouble viewing any of those green italic links to projects, send me a message (tab above) and I’ll be happy to adjust settings for you – I sometimes forget to make them public.

Merry Christmas & Blessed Yule

Baking like a maniac today, family arrives tomorrow, love and happiness ensue!

From my home to yours, have a Blessed Yule, Merry Christmas and may all the joy of this season be yours ❤

santa

Source: http://giphy.com/gifs/christmas-santa-squeeze-l41YaWrBaLybnkQbm

Winding Down 2016

It’s the final weeks of December and once again I’m wondering where the heck this year went?! It’s been a pivotal year for me in my personal life (but that’s another blog site) altogether a very good one 🙂 A few more projects have flown off the needles and one or two may even make the deadline before New Year’s Eve (I still need a date – interviews being conducted – ha!)

My Solace Cardi is finished and I loved working with SweetGeorgia’s Worsted. The hand is soft and squishy with great stitch definition and the “Ultra Violet” colourway is the most exquisite mix of every purple that my little heart could wish for. A few mods along the way and some to try in another version of this, should I make another.

Solace and Solace Info:

Next up was a quickie knit for my “Silk Sweetheart” badge and a great reason to justify buying some Madeline Tosh Merino|Silk – well worth it!

Mandala Bias Scarf and Ravelry Info:

Speeding along on a few WIP’s; my NoFa Shawl and Ellington Socks photos and Ravelry details are linked to their names in green italic. Crossing my fingers to have those finished and a clean (more or less) craft slate for 2017. The next few days will be filled with cooking and a wee bit of baking for the holiday. My own crew will be here at home base for a few days, visiting various and sundry in-laws and outlaws and then I’ll have a little down time to spend with friends before a new year, another birthday and some big changes to come.

I hope your own countdown to Yule (or whatever) is going smoothly and happily and that you find a moment or two to relax and knit (or whatever). Cheers!

Worst Blogger Evah…

Yikes! A month gone by already? As 2016 closes I swear it’s picking up speed.

Family and Real Life have been keeping me hopping and I couldn’t be happier to see that the slow journey back to a positive balance in my corner of world is restored. I’m still knitting like a maniac but back in the land of the living too. My boy child has returned from his “Go West young man” adventure and will be staying local. The girl has married and moved to a different province – not because her brother came home! – and she and my SIL are happy and excited to be starting a new phase of their life. This mumma is verra chuffed! Get togethers with my Mamasan and Sibs and spending time with “Handy Andy” working on making this house more of a home are a welcome diversion from the laptop.

So. What’s up in the crafty, fibre-y part of my life? A few FO’s, a WIP or two and the bones for a new KeiB Designs design. I’m overdue for a pattern release. In the interest of keeping things short ‘n sweet and getting on with my Saturday plans, I’ll do my montage thing and you can click them for more info if you want.

Kei’s Brioche Rasta Cowl: Ravelry Notes

KeiB’s Haleakala Socks: Ravelry Notes

KeiB’s Amethyst Glade Shawl: Ravelry Notes

The WIP’s and new design you’ll have to take my word for! Several things have been set aside for projects that move me ahead in the Eat.Sleep.Knit Yarnathon 2016 – just a couple more weeks to go! I hope your weeks have been filled with whatever makes you happy – as long as it isn’t illegal, immoral or fattening – and I’ll be back soon or soon-ish… 😉

Wednesday What I Got

Post title has immediately precipitated singing Sublime’s “What I Got” 🙂

I got me some FO’s and some WIP’s and a whole lotta love for this Friday when Bestie and me are off to Needler’s Retreat 2016!

I am beyond grateful to have been sponsored to go on a scholarship this year – it’s been a difficult one and Retreat is one of those soul and sanity resets that I look forward to even at the end of a good year. I’ll have my camera handy as always to record slip slip knits and shenanigans.

So… what fell off my hooks and needles since the last post?

A slouchy hat with a whole lotta Vikkel going on. I winged this one to use up some gorgeous Malabrigo Rios – matches my Black Locust mitts – and to earn another achievement badge in Eat.Sleep.Knit’s Yarnathon 2016. Go Starsheep!

Next up was another stashbuster. Coppelia is a shawl / cowl hybrid and I finally knit up some of my Schaefer Marjaana. I fell in love with this 50/50 Silk Merino blend and bought a sweater or two’s worth sometime in the early 2000’s. Moving and organizing my guest room unearthed a lot of treasures. I love how the combination of yarn and pattern came together and this one will be coming with me to Retreat.

Yes. Yes, we do plan our outfits for the weekend!

On the needles I have an interesting bulky knit cowl. This is a bit of a challenge but it is for another achievement badge so worth powering through my dislike of 10.00mm needles that feel like telephone poles! I never buy “fat” yarn but this is another of Malabrigo’s – the Rasta base – in the same colourway as my BL mitts and the Vikkel Slouch hat and so, is a little less irritating to juggle knit.

Two stitches to 2.5cm!

Two stitches to 2.5cm!

The other WIP’s in waiting are all progressing very well. Atelier is almost finished, Ruisseaux still needs sleeves, Dulce de Leche is coming along slowly but… it’s cashmere and silk! I’m making this last as long as I can… like any luscious, sexy, sensual, tactile… err… knitting!

I’ll be casting on some socks – gasp! – to take as my personal knitting for when we have “free time”. I decide on the Haleakala socks from one of Cookie A’s sock clubs – the first year I think – I was a member for the first and second rounds and have yet to make one sock from all the patterns we received! I guess that’s the hazard of having started off designing socks almost exclusively myself. I got “socked out”. These will be cast on once we’re at Retreat so in the meantime here’s a little bit of yarn porn from Claudia Hand Painted Yarns – Addiction base in teal colourway:

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This is ESK’s photo and my skeins from them are identical.

Still can’t believe that I went from knitting one full pair of adult socks in less than 24 hours (Twice! My team competed and won twice) to not having finished a single pair in several years! Not a problem if a third of my stash wasn’t single skeins of Indie sock yarn…

I have a tiny bit of homework to prepare in addition to figuring out what Cons go with what cowls and what mukluks go with what shawls so better get cracking here. Hope you all have a productive week with lots of time for crafting and I hope to have some photos to share of the beautiful spot I’ll be at and some of my favourite ladies.

Cheers!

If Starting New Is Wrong, I Don’t Want To Be Right

Eep! Started this post a week ago and never finished it either ~ Startitis is strong with this one! ~ Anyway, I’m not going to waste a perfectly good draft so here’s the beginning and I’ll pick up the thread pun definitely intended, further on.

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Startitis

I have a low-level version of this all the time but – holy crap! – it’s out of control right now.

I’m trying to maintain my usual circuit knitting method, going back and forth so that all is eventually finished but there’s just too much shiny in my queue and items I want to finish to take with me to Retreat in a few weeks.

My Starburst hat is finished, just need to buy some balloons to block it out to its proper Rasta dimensions, a Solace cardi, and a KeiB Design crochet project (for more ESK badges) and my Dulce de Leche, also poor, sleeveless Ruisseaux – so close and yet so far.

So, I’ve pretty much psyched myself out with my own nonsense and the perfect remedy for that? Start a crochet project of course!

I’m working on Kleine Blümchen, a lovely, filet-crochet shawl in some newly acquired (Shush now!) Malabrigo Sock on “Lotus”. It’s flying off the hook and I love it – can I say that? This one I’m keeping for me 🙂

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So, Kleine Blümchen is finished and submitted for achievement points in the 2016 Yarnathon, the other projects are on a temporary hold while I try and sneak in one more points-worthy project: Aurora Borealis Scarf / Stole. It’ll then be time to start organizing and packing for Needler’s Retreat 2016. Woot! I can’t believe it’s that time again and am especially grateful to be participating this year as I’m going on scholarship. Feeling very fortunate indeed. Follows are the photos of KB Shawl and Frozen Lake shawl – finished for some time but just blocked. Poor Starburst hat is still not blocked but I did buy the balloons I need to block it properly and finish! 🙂

Kleine Blümchen Shawl:

Frozen Lake Shawl Details:

Welcome Back Winter With Nefertiti

One of my first original designs, the intarsia technique “Nefertiti Scarf” is among Elann.International’s featured patterns for the month of October.
Details are on Elann.com and Ravelry where you can favourite or queue it 🙂 The yarn that I designed with, Elann’s Peruvian Highland Wool Worsted, was discontinued for some time but has been re-released with a higher micron count, more colours and a sportweight version as well.

I taught myself Intarsia as I was working on this and it’s a technique that I enjoy. The original design concept is still a favourite and last year I reworked it as a single colour scarf that really showcases the textural stitches I chose to convey an ancient Egypt feel. This scarf was called “Cairo Cabled Scarf” and is also available on Ravelry.