Wednesday, November 21, 2012

33 Knitting Days...

Holiday break
Holiday break (Photo credit: C├ęsar Poyatos)
Holiday knitting is in full-swing: I have tons of projects on the needles, yarn strewn about the attic...

I will actually ramp up even further when the panic realization strikes that I don't have enough 'free time' to knit all the projects I have planned, let alone bake goodies, go shopping and prepare for the holidays...

So, to release any tension associated with the holiday knitting crunch, I hunted down the holiday tv specials:

Canadian Schedules:
YTV - not published yet

US Networks:

I enjoy knitting in front of my holiday favs...
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Saturday, September 22, 2012

Weaving Word Association: Selvedge...Temple

I've been sick the last week, so didn't get much further on the weaving, so no photos of progress to date :) However, the weaving is coming along.  I wasn't happy with my selvedge edges so Google'd "weaving selvedges" and had some links come up referring to "Temples".  After I checked a few sites out, ran across one that made their own, which led me to others (read: I was lost down the rabbit hole)...

...much later I was trying out a binder clip with yarn & a washer tied to it to hold the edges taught...worked like a charm!
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Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Finally Warped, Two Years Later...

I have a lovely used LeClerc table loom, purchased through about two years ago.  The woman I bought it from had never really touched it - told me the previous owner set it up for her, and started her with a couple of inches of weaving.

For the last two years, that is how the loom sat in my attic/craft room.  Periodically I would go up there and throw the shuttle back & forth a few times; my son would take a couple of tries; I'd read the "Learning to Weave" book and try a couple of things. I took the practice warp off, but couldn't figure out a way to put one back on without a warping board.

This past spring, I sent photos of various warpboard "how-to's" to my brother, and voila, had a warping just took me 3+ months to actually use it... but that's not as bad as the fact it has taken me two years to warp my own loom!!

I'm following the book's instructions to do a sample piece, so I'm using sock yarn, hoping I can get a washable placemat for the lil guy to use at school.

Instructions called for 2 colours of 60 ends each, so I managed to use the warp board twice in one day!!!

I didn't have a sley hook for sleying the reed, but instead used a plastic stitch marker from my knitting kit it took me a good couple of hours to do this with 120 threads into teeny tiny spaces (Note to self: need to buy a sley hook)

Threading the heddle was just as tiresome (120 threads through moving targets) & I could not get comfortable (Note to self: bring kitchen stool upstairs next time!)

After a few inches of weaving, I'm thinking using this practice piece as a lunch placemat might embarrass the 7yr old, maybe it'll be a timeout or blackmail mat instead...
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Monday, September 10, 2012

Issue Solved...tearing out too short Cast-On

As soon as I read today's article, I exclaimed "BRILLIANT"!

My favourite cast-on technique is the long-tail cast-on, but, as any knitter can attest, if you don't estimate your yardage correctly, you inevitably end up miscalculating and every so often have a too short tail and have to rip back and redo the caston to get the number of stitches you need...casting on 80 stitches on teeny tiny double point needles for socks, this can be rather frustrating.

So later today, I'm trying the long-tail with 2 strands (guess that means I need to cast on a pair of socks) :)

Sunday, September 9, 2012

106 Knitting Days....

christmas 2007
 (Photo credit: paparutzi)
I love Christmas.  I have been known to sing Jingle Bells year round.  My husband refers to me as a HOLIDORK. People complain "its too early to think about Christmas...But me, I think of old traditions, handmade gifts, people being consciously friendly for the season (when I really wish people would be consciously friendly year-round).

It also helped that I used to do craft shows and needed to have my Christmas items ready before August for judging and build up my inventory before the fall shows started!

For many years, I have a little competition with myself as to how many gifts I can make each year vs how little I buy.  I also build up a small inventory of knitted items for my son's school "Children's Craft Sale".  On Ravelry there's a group that shares the trials & tribulations of gift knitting: Some preplan a year in advance, while others leave it to the last minute to knit into the wee hours of Christmas morning...I've done both

I'm quite sure my sister-in-law will be 'peeking' but here's a sampling of what I'll be working on this fall:

1) The Hitchiker Scarf - This is great in a self-striping or variegated sock yarn to display more prominently than as socks on the feet!

2) The Bandana Cowl - Bulky yarn, quick knits are a must for holiday knitting!!! Plus, I may just knit this for myself..

3) The Baktus Scarf - do you sense a theme here??

4)  iPhone Sock - quick knit, leftover yarn, most people own one of these things, perfect for the school craft sale!

5) Dobby Booksock - what avid young reader wouldn't know what this is?? Again, quick knit, leftover yarn :)

I'll share more later...happy knitting!

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Friday, September 7, 2012

The #yyjstitchers increasing momentum...

Image representing Meetup as depicted in Crunc...
Image via CrunchBase
As of May 24th, 2012, the #yyjstitchers met as a group at the lovely Cabin 12.  We setup a Meetup group , notified knitters on Twitter (the reason for the #), as well as posting on Ravelry forums for Vancouver Island Fibre Lovers.

I'd like to say we are a non-denominational fibre loving group - we aren't just knitters, we have crocheters in the mix...something I have found lacking in many Stitch N Bitch groups in the area (might not be in other cities, but I find so few crocheters out to the groups).  Matter of fact, we even had 2 people drop spindling at our July meetup!

Some of the people came from Ravelry, some from Twitter, some through Meetup, and others from word of mouth...we are a community from various sources as well (again, the nondenominational theme).  We are now up to 64 Meetup members, and average 17 'stitchers' attending our monthly meetups.

We are now increasing the frequency of our meetings :)  The lovely people at Cabin12 have agreed to let us take over the world knit/crochet/spin peacefully in their lounge on the 2nd and 4th Thursday of each month at Cabin 12.  They have been great hosts for us and we not only get to take over a comfy space with couches, chairs, coffee tables, we also are 'yarnbombing' the place ;)

Hope to see you there!

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Thursday, July 26, 2012

Less than 24 hrs before MASS CAST ON!!

The Ravellenic 2012 Games are nearly upon us! 

From what *I* remember, this "knitting olympics" originally started as a winter only event in 2006 by YarnHarlot.  After Ravelry was born, they ran the Summer games in 2008, and again for winter 2010.

Personally, I've only participated in the 2010 Ravelympics (that WAS its name then - not any longer due to a nasty letter about us knitters denigrating the games...when in reality a nice 'please note Olympics is trademarked and you are infringing, please change your name' would have been fine). 
But I digress...

There are various teams, but again for 2012, I'll be competing with Team Canada.  It was great to share & chat online with fellow hockey fans ;), while we knitted & cheered.  This year Team Camada outdid themselves with compiling a list of Canadian Designers AND Canadian Yarns if you really want to challenge yourself.  We're also trying to have groups of knitters meet for the MASS CAST ON & post photos of their cities to share with other Team Canada Knitters.  We'll be knitting at Cabin 12, 1pm Pacific time :)

Not on Ravelry?  Get yourself signed up - knitters, crocheters, weavers, spinners ALL have events.  Info is here if you have a sign in, otherwise here's a brief overview (get yourself signed up & Join Team Canada).

The Basic RULES

Pertinent bits of info as collated by the International Ravellenic Games Committee
Ravellenics 2012
July 27 - Aug 12, 2012
The One Rule To Rule Them All:
Challenge yourself by starting and finishing one or more projects during the 2012 Summer Olympics.
What will be a stretch for you? It could be a new technique, that first sweater or pair of socks, something massive, something delicate, or maybe finishing that monster in the closet. The goal of the Ravellenics is to support you in expanding your knitting/crocheting horizons.

When do we start?
We have a firm start time with a Mass Cast On during the Opening Ceremonies. When the Olympic games kick off in London (2100 BST) that’ll be your start time, whatever time that is in your timezone.
Events  There are 32 events this year. Some have firm rules, some are open to interpretation. You decide which event(s) you’d like to enter. Each event has a unique tag and each project must be tagged to get counted in the tallies. the tagging tool will launch closer to start of the Games

Pick an event, create project page with special tags, and cast on with thousands to compete. That’s it in a nutshell.
 Just remember the one rule: Challenge yourself and have fun!
That’s it!
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Saturday, January 14, 2012

January Goal: Spinning on a Spindle

Happy Belated New Year everyone! Hope you are enjoying 2012 so far. I didn't get myself into any resolution-making, but every January I review the knitters' bucket list to see how many items I've "checked-off" - I'm still afraid to try steeking ;)

Over the month of December, we stayed close to home (hubby was recovering from surgery), and I spent a great deal of time in my 'studio' (aka our finished attic space). I inventoried the 'equipment' - 3+ knitting machines, table loom, cowichan spinner, & 2 spindles. I've decided that I should actually start learning the skills to use those items...

So, this month, I'm trying spinning on a spindle - motivated by the lovely conversation & photo sharing on twitter by a few spinners/spindle makers. I've moved from a "thick/thin bulky yarn" (photo at right) to a "inconsistent thread w a few small nubs". My goal is to spin on the spindle 15minutes per day (as per the instructions from Respect the Spindle")

I'll keep you posted - do you have Fibre-related goals this year? Please share them!

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