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!

Advertisements

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.

banner_peppermintpony

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

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… 😉

Easy Rider

This was going to be the day that I earned my “On A Jet Plane” badge – post a photo of you and your knitting out and about on a plane, train or automobile but… I forgot my knitting.

GASP!

I know… but it was my first time on a bike since I was in my teens and I was all a-flutter! I’m happy to say that I didn’t even miss it; the highway, fresh air, autumn colour and company were entirely diverting. I probably have some progress photos kicking around here somewhere of Ruisseaux and Starburst but they’re still on my phone so instead, here is a photo of my chariot during yesterday’s adventure:

Home from Wakefield and a glorious autumn tour through the Gatineaus.

Home from Wakefield and a glorious autumn tour through the Gatineau Hills.

I do hope everyone had a lovely Thanksgiving weekend. The first bit of mine was spent with family and then a lovely day touring to Wakefield for lunch and then back. Our glorious weather is holding so hopefully, lots more time for trips and badges!

Cheers all! 🙂

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.

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! 🙂