The Knit Knack's Blog

my handspinning, knitting, natural dye, weaving fibre home


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Knitting compliment

Last night, after class, I got a knitting compliment!  From a non-knitter no less.  The lady made my day when she said she liked my yoga bag, and then asked the best open-ended question ever… “Where did you get it?”  Answer is the truth:  I made it!  That led to a nice little conversation with me totally faking humility.  She gushed about the colours.  She said I could sell them.  Happy, happy, joy, joy…

It was my first ‘Stitch ‘n Bitch Nation’ project/ yarn-over attempt.  As I later found out from chatting on Knitty, the book’s directions for YO were misleading.  Extra laciness resulted but I really like the effect.  Here are some pics I took this morning:

Yoga bag - mat in

Yoga bag - mat in

Yoga bag - stitch detail

Yoga bag - stitch detail

This was from my Yarn Boutique days, and Margaret helped me to get the 2 colours to make up the required yardage.  I was so nervous, I even asked if she liked the colours together… she drew the line there, and let me decide.  Baby steps…

Some housekeeping:  last night I was playing in the blog’s dashboard, and realized there were no widgets.  Since I have seen the sidebars everytime I looked at the site, I thought that was how it looked.  Now, I’m worried it was all blank to visitors… Still trying to get the knack of wordpress here!  My apologies if it was hopelessly bare!  I’ll be working on this some more too.


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Great First – Downtown Knit Collective Meeting

I went out to the DKC meeting last night to hear  Laura Chau of cosmicpluto/ Lettuce Knit fame speak.   Laura’s website is here:  http://www.cosmicpluto.com/blog/.  I really wanted to hear Laura’s talk because she’s a young, successful designer/ blogger.  She was so articulate, and honest about her craft & experiences.  Really great job Laura!  She even delivered a slide show!  DKC did a good thing in inviting her to speak.  Probably the most exciting thing was hearing her story of moving from hobby knitting to publishing her own designs.  I mean, there were parallels there!!

I also loved speaking with Laura after her presentation.  She was very generous in answering my question because it was pretty personal.  Wishing her all that’s good:)

Not knowing a soul is no longer mortifying.  I had sock yarn, and needles & that helped with the shyness.  Of course, tripping over a step garnered some attention – so much for the stealth approach to life…  There is, however, an up-side.  I tripped right under the nose of Stephanie Pearl McPhee aka Yarn Harlot http://www.yarnharlot.ca/blog/ (or yes, her look-alike).  What’s better than making the Yarn Harlot laugh?!?

Also having some news on the job front.  One does need to eat – and rip out oooold carpeting – but returning to work… seriously?

The lead-up to the DKC experience was great too.  A favourite cousin treated me to lunch – at the AGO no less!  We had talked about getting together for such a long time, and it was such a blast.    I also got to take in the museum – my 1st trip post-renovation.  I have to say it’s beautiful.  Beautiful even from the street (yes, I’m comparing to the ROM…)  So, it’s the middle of March Break now.  I expected Moms and young kids but was surprised to see whole groups of teenagers walking the floors!  Gotta love Torontonians:)

Back to the new sock:  I planned to move to sock version 2.0.  The rush to have a portable project is making this one plain jane.  It’s navy blue superwash yarn, which isn’t helping.  I have a plan to use my leftover Araucania but it’s a vague plan at best right now.  Will work on jazzing the sockie up.


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Enabling knitting in public

Brother dearest is forwarding Lady B northwards this week!  Yay!  Will solve a raft of problems & ease any return to the workforce:)  Anticipation could kill me right now.  Of course, I understand it’s not on its way until he posts it… hint, hint.

I resisted the urge to start another mindless project, and casted on for Mitt No. 2.  It’s not a slog this time, and I got a good amount done, yesterday.  Depending on how good the thumb placement is, I may have to rip her back a bit… As much as I adore Elizabeth Zimmermann’s writing style, she’s light on the details.  So, I eyeballed it.  Guided only by the fingerless gloves pattern.  I’m at the stage where I know this eyeballing thing is bound to result in ripping back…  If it’s all good, pictures will follow.

Finding internet tutorials and other resources has given me a push to keep at her.  My way of holding yarn in my left hand is to wrap it around the second finger, and then guide with the index.  I found wrapping the pinkie difficult for feeding more yarn on the floats.   Anyhow, I’m not hanging on for dear life anymore, and I love seeing the patterns knit up.


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Online Helping Hand

There is a light at the end of the fair isle tunnel!  Thanks to a Ravelry Caribbean member for posting this link:  http://fairisleknitting.blogspot.com/2007/03/how-to-get-started-great-2-color.html

Def. putting on the blog roll too.

A kind blogger has put together a bunch of resources for those of us knitting in the wilderness.  Mitt No. 2 will benefit.  Poor Mitt 1… be it resolved that Mitt 1 (rightie) will stay in current form as evidence of progress:)


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Get er Done – AFTER

It took a trip to the LYS over yonder & full use of my obsessive skills but I got ‘er done!  Instead of plodding on with the zig-zag lace body, I decided to look again for a workable stitch.  The Noro Silk Garden just could never look lacy on those needles even if I managed to unfurl the edges:)  Acceptance is a wonderful thing & I ripped it all back to the sea foam border.

Third time’s the charm!  I went with a waffle stitch, which has lots of body.  The 2 skein plan would have left me with a hand towel, so up to yonder LYS I went.  There was another rip-back thanks to a sleepy attempt at sea foam border No. 2.  Here’s the lovely Coral Seas Spring Scarf:Coral Seas Spring Scarf - blocked & all!

The waffle stitch reminds me of our coral sea cliffs back home, especially on the Negril West End.  Man, do I wanna go to Ne-gril:)  It was an easy repeat that also blends in the colour changes in the yarn.  The edges did curl but the over-night blocking & steam ironing have opened it up.  Whether or not, she will go inwards again, I can’t say…

We are going out this evening & so, I get to test her!  It was nice to have a little race to get ‘er done.  Thanks to TCA & fingers are still crossed for the handsome reward…

Friday’s lunch was, as expected, awkward.  People can be so funny in this life.  I’m cool with it all though.


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Get er done challenge

TCA’s current giveaway is the “Get er Done” challenge. The prize looks excellent, so here’s to hoping!  Perfect solution for the austerity measures… he he.  Naturally, I put up the Noro scarf of yesterday’s post.  I could put up peg bag as well, but that’s still a touchy subject.

Deets on the giveaway are here:  http://torontocraftalert.ca/our-current-giveaway/

You best believe, I’m entering this post for 2 more entries.  With my luck, I’ll be needing more entries for sure!


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And on other needles…

Yoga was pretty good:)  Mad rush of self-esteem in a beginner’s class!

I am responsible for the design flaws in this one & cannot cast blame on anyone else.  This scarf started life as a gift for Ms. Mittens.  It’s Noro Silk Garden, and was to be a match for the fingerless gloves she was first gifted.  It’s edged with the Sea Foam pattern from Nicky Epstein’s “Knitting beyond the Edge” http://www.nickyepstein.com/node/7 and has a zig zag eyelet throughout.  The stitches are great but the sides are curling, and I wanted to give her a warmish scarf.  Ms. Mittens got Puff, and I have this much in train:

Noro Silk Garden scarfette

Noro Silk Garden scarfette

See the curling after the sea foam edge?  With Spring on its way, I’m now getting the vibe to mount a defence against the curling.  I have an idea but the peg bag fiasco is an open wound, so I’ll be taking care not to go crazy with the fixer-upper ideas again…  See, I may be mad with Debbie Bliss for not fitting peg bag to wooden hangers but I’m big enough to admit bending a drycleaner’s hanger wasn’t my brightest moment…

It’s labeled ‘scarfette’ because I’m short on yarn.  I’ve gone 1 of 2 skeins, and it’s apparent that this baby should not aspire to knotting or tying of any kind.  Now, I got it recently from a LYS, and they probably still have an extra skein.  But truth be told, I am waaay over-budget on yarn/ discretionary spending.   So, a pin will do, and scarfette it shall become.

Oh, and yes, I did finish the first Norwegian mitten.  Thumb and all.  It’s a bit, shall we say, snug.  I am itching to cast on for the left mitten but I wasn’t up to sitting at the table for long stretches after yoga class no. 1…  Hopefully, arnica will help me through this return to exercise!

Tomorrow, I am having lunch with someone, and fully expect it will be awkward from start to finish.  I’ll wear my handknit socks for moral support:)  Wish me luck!