Linen Stitch Toque

IMAG0677_1I just finished knitting a linen stitch toque. I’m really pleased with how it turned out. It’s the first time I tried knitting the linen stitch and I didn’t bother knitting a swatch. I really lucked out that it ended up being the right size.

The decreases at the crown could be better, but by the time I came up with a way to decrease better I was fed up of unpicking and re-knitting. Next time I knit a linen stitch toque I’ll know better. I also wanted to make this a slouch hat. But I just can’t seem to intentionally knit hats long enough to make them slouchy.

I really like the look of this stitch. I’m definitely going to use it again. I already have plans to knit a linen stitch stocking (my wrists are going to love that). For now I’m going to rest my wrists and knit a simple st st hat.

My first Fiber Festival

I just got home from attending Twist. It was the first time I’ve been to a fiber fest, and pssibly the last. I’m just not a festival person. The festival was really well organized. There were plenty of vendors selling a variety of fiber related items. But I hate crowds, and after an hour and a half I was ready to go.

One of my favourite parts was the mini fiber farm set up outside. It really was mini. IMAG0668There were 5 or 6 Shetland sheep and 3 alpacas. I fell in love with the alpacas instantly. They’re so cute. They really seemed to lave all the attention they were getting, they were even posing for the cameras.

There was also a sheep shearing demonstration. The shearing was part of a sheep to rug demo. Throughout the festival they’re going to spin fleece and weave it into a rug. I watched the sheep shearing and went inside and the team was already carding the fiber to prep it for spinning.

I really enjoyed looking at all the beautiful items in the artisan room. I’m amazed at what some people make out of wool. My favourite was the stall by felt artist Maggie Glassop. Her felt images were framed like paintings. I don’t know how she turned a bunch of wool into a beautiful landscape. I hope that someday, when I get around to learning how to felt, I can make something half as good as her. Now that I’ve seen her work I think I’m going to have to take the class on felting she teaches at my LYS.

I made a few purchases. I’m quite proud of myself for spending less than 100$. I regret not buying a new drop spindle while I was there, but I just couldn’t bring myself to spend 60$ on a spindle this early into my spinning career.

IMAG0669My first purchase was a lifetime supply of fiber from The Black Lamb. I ended up buying a total of 2.5lbs of fiber from them. I ended up buying 4 different colours. All the fiber that I bought was priced at 5$/lb. I couldn’t say no. I’m pretty sure it’s all superwash merino, I probably should have asked.

Then I want to the Cottage Craft Angora stall.IMAG0670 I really wanted to like this vendor and I wasn’t disappointed. Most of vendors didn’t seem very approachable, which deterred me from buying anything from them. But this vendor was different. He was friendly, greeted everyone as they approached and jumped in to help if it looked like you had a question. Personable, without being a pushy salesman. I had planned on buying a skein of there shetland wool. I ended up buying 2 and I couldn’t resist the qiviut roving. Qiviut is so expensive but I just couldn’t resist. 50g cost me 75$, but it was worth it. I can’t wait to try spinning it.

By this point it was getting pretty crowded so I decided to leave. I would like to mention Purlin J’s Roving Yarn Co. I didn’t buy anything from them but they were one of my favourite vendors, the service from them was excellent. I also love that they sell yarn out of a truck. It’s like a food truck but it’s filled with yarn. Who wouldn’t love a travelling LYS. I wish I had gotten into knitting sooner, I would shop there all the time if I was still living in Kingston.

When I left the festival around 11:15, the line to get in was crazy long. There was easily 100-200 people in line. I was glad I got there soon after they opened because I would have hated to be around that crowd the whole time. I feel bad for the people waiting in that line. It looked like a long wait and it was hot outside. And they probably had a long walk from their cars to get to the line. There were cars everywhere when I left. I was lucky to get there early enough to park in the parking lot, maybe a 2 minute walk from the entrance.

Now I have to go deal with my laptop’s power cord. My laptop just decided to take a swan dive onto the floor and now the power cord isn’t working.

Frost Flower Scarf

I finished knitting this IMAG0666scarf a few months ago and finally got around to blocking it. This might be my favourite item I’ve ever knit. It’s the only time I’ve been able to match the yarn to the stitch pattern perfectly.

I bought two skeins of Sublime lustrous in white, not knowing exactly what I planned to make with them. I was looking on knittingfool.com for lace patterns and when I found Frost Flower I knew I had to knit it with the Sublime lustrous. The silvery-white colour of the yarn reminded me of the fall when the grass is covered by a thick layer of frost in the morning.

The lace pattern was pretty difficult. I had to frog my first attempt after a few rows because it was faster and easier than tinking back and fixing my mistake. I think I averaged one mistake in every pattern repeat and spent a lot of time tinking back to fix my mistake. I finally memorized the pattern on the last repeat and managed that one without any errors. All that effort was worth it though, because I’m in love with the final result. Although I doubt I’ll be making another one any time soon.

Conquering Startitis

I think I’ve been managing my case of startitis well. My goal is to get down to 2 or 3 WIPs before I start anything new. There were a couple slip ups in the beginning, a few new projects were started. I haven’t started a new project in just over a week. Unfortunately most of my WIPs were still in the early stages, so there’s a lot of knitting and crocheting to be done before I can allow myself to cast on something new. I’ve managed to finish a couple projects and now I’m left with 4 scarves and a tam to be completed (or at least nearly completed) before I can cast on more.

In my case, startitis is a form of procrastination. I’m avoiding working on my WIPs by starting new ones. To avoid being tempted into starting something new I’ve spent a good deal of my knitting time working on a sweater for myself instead of working on the WIPs I have to complete before starting something new. I justified working on the sweater by convincing myself that I have to complete it before it gets too cold to wear it (it has 3/4 sleeves).

Hopefully I’ll finish knitting my current WIPs soon so I can make something I’m excited to blog about. Until then I’ll keep toiling away at the WIPs I have in front of me. (Don’t get me wrong, I like the WIPs I’m working on, I’m just not so excited about them that I can’t put them down).

Llama toque

Every now and then I come up with an idea that I have to knit right away. It’s almost always hats. Yesterday I was trying to come up with ideas for colourwork hats. I drew a bunch of charts of different animals. I couldn’t resist knitting the llama chart into a hat right away. There were other animals that I wanted to knit right away as well, but I didn’t have the right yarn.

I give you llama toque. IMAG0655I tried to come up with a clever llama pun as a name for the design but couldn’t think of any. I wish I had had the forethought to knit this using my baby llama yarn, but I’m quite pleased with the wool I used (Heaven’s Hand Wool Classic). I’m really glad I decided to buy that yarn. I would buy more immediately, but my stash is too big.

I learned a couple new techniques for this toque. IMAG0658The first being a corrugated rib. It was a lot easier than I expected. It was kind of like double knitting but you only bring one yarn forward for the purl stitches (that took some getting use to).

 

IMAG0656I also decided to add a tassel. In my opinion the tassel really amps up the cuteness. This was the first time I made a tassel. It too was easier than I expected. Now I think I’m going to try making a pom pom to add to another toque.

I’m hooked on knitting animals on hats now. Animals make everything cuter. I’m resisting the urge to cast on an elephant hat with the same yarn.

I’m a sucker for a sale

I bought more yarn today. Wool-Tyme in Ottawa is having their annual tent sale. And I can’t seem to say no to yarn on sale. Lucky for me most of the yarn on sale is acrylic so it was easy to resist. The one 100% wool yarn that I had planned on purchasing was only available in 2 colours that I didn’t really like so I gave those a pass. IMAG0650The only yarn I picked up from the sale is two bags of Patons Silk Bamboo. I’m going to be able to knit plenty of scarves/cowls with this yarn. It’s 70% bamboo and 30% silk and 100% soft.

Then I wandered into the clearance section.IMAG0652 There I picked up 5 skeins of Sublime Lustrous. I love crocheting cowls with this yarn, so I feel like the purchase was justified.

Every time I go into that store I am drawn to IMAG0651Heaven’s Hand Wool Classic. Today is the day I finally bought some. The colours always catch my eye and it’s soft for non-superwash wool.

IMAG0653Finally, I broke down and bought a pair of 4.5mm 40cm circs. I’ve been considering buying another pair for a while. The pair I have is always in use. It’s my favourite size needle for knitting hats. 4.5mm is my Goldilocks needles; not to big and not too small, they’re just right. I’m probably going to cast-on a hat right now, even though I shouldn’t because I have too many WIPs.

 

Too many WIPs to choose from

I have too many WIPs to choose from when I want to knit/crochet/spin. One of the consequences of startitis is multiple WIPs, more WIPs than I can handle. I just counted. I have a dozen active or semi-active (that get picked up once or twice a week) WIPs.

WIP 1:

IMAG0639

WIP 1

First off is this tam I designed. I tried knitting it once before, but frogged it because the yarn didn’t suit the project. Now I’m trying it again with a different yarn. This one is going to take me a while to complete because of the small gauge and part of the design is cables.

WIP 2:

IMAG0640

WIP 2

This hat I cast on today. It should only take a day or two (if I focus mainly on it). It’s going to become a stranded toque.

WIP 3:

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WIP 3

This is the last hat I’m currently working on. I also have a small bin of yarn waiting to be knit into hats. This one is knit in broken rib stitch.

WIP 4:

WIP 4

WIP 4

This is one of the few scarves/cowls I’m working on. I started this one when it was too hot to knit with wool. The yarn is made of viscose. Now that the AC is fixed (YAY!) this WIP probably won’t get as much attention.

WIP 5:

WIP 5

WIP 5

This one doesn’t get much attention. It’s going to become a 2×2 rib scarf. I’m knitting this one continental, so I work on it when I need a break from knitting english.

WIP 6:

WIP 6

WIP 6

This scarf hasn’t been getting as much attention as it deserves. I think it’s because I haven’t memorized the pattern repeat yet. I’ve decided to set it asside for now and come back to it when I have fewer WIPs.

WIP 7:

WIP 7

WIP 7

Now for a crochet project. This is a crochet cowl. I like having a small crochet project on the go because I find that when my wrists are sore from knitting I’m still able to crochet. Different movement I guess.

WIP 8:

I’ve been working on this blanket for months. Sorry no pictures until it’s future owner receives it, I want the design to be a surprise. With the heat I haven’t been able to work on it the past 2 weeks, but now, with AC, I’m going to try to make up for lost time.

WIP 9:

WIP 9

WIP 9

This is the first of the semi-active WIPs. I pull it out every now and then and knit a row or two. When it grows up it’s going to be a cardigan that’s destined to be a Christmas present.

WIP 10:

IMAG0647

WIP 10

I started this sweater in May when I wanted to work on something for me. I’m going to have to buy more yarn (that will hopefully match), but I’m not there yet. For some reason it photographed grey. It’s actually white and brown.

WIP 11:

WIP 11:

WIP 11:

This double knit blanket square is progressing really slowly. I can normally knit a square in 2 or 3 days, but I can’t seem to knit more than one row at a time.

WIP 12:

WIP 12

WIP 12

Last but not least, my spinning WIP. I’ve been struggling with this one lately. My joins keep falling apart. I think it’s getting too heavy. I think I’m going to have to slide off the cop and start a new single.

My WIPs keep getting tangled together. I think I have to focus on finishing one or two projects at a time and not starting any new ones until my number of WIPs is down to a manageable level.