The Knit Knack's Blog

my handspinning, knitting, natural dye, weaving fibre home


Leave a comment

Cardigans will be Cardigans

I am fighting an urge to go back to knitting my sock.  Truthfully, I am fighting a couple of urges but let’s talk about the knitterly ones.  A sock is something I know I can make true-to-pattern or not.  It fits at the end of the day – either me or inanimate objects that could use bundling.  My sock-in-progress is at an easy round & round stage…

The sudden sock love was brought on by cardigan troubles.  The design is to taper down the front tops keeping the rows of ‘cocoons’ true.  And man do those cocoons stand out in the  sea of plain old stockinette.  Waves of sock urges came as I had to frog the left top front and have at it a 2nd time.  I got it only to realize that I over-tapered by a good 10 stitches.  Here’s what I have fudged up to solve that leetle problemo:

Up to the front left shoulder now - Purple Cocoon Cardi

Up to the front left shoulder now - Purple Cocoon Cardi

This photo came out remarkably purple!

Now for the right side, which has to match yonder left side.  Cardigans are a trip.  Even wrap cardigans it turns out.

My foot is getting better.  In a fit of cabin fever, I sneaked out into the back yard yesterday.  It’s a deep (and crooked) step down but I was fine.  The plants are thriving thanks to the week of rainy, cool weather.  I even have a sweet pea flower!  Will there be tomatoes?  The 3 baby plants are growing fast.  The Globe & Mail ran a story yesterday by Gayla Trail.  It was, “A word to the water-wise:  Irrigate well & often.”  Clipped and saved that beaut.

Just before the Wimbledon mens’ final… we have new neighbours.  I didn’t get to say goodbye to our old ones.  They were pretty cool.  The only problem I had was a pile of cigarette butts that came out in the spring thaw.  Right beside the fence.  A first in 3 years, so I’m guessing a daughter took up the habit this winter.  I was debating how to handle this when out came the For Sale sign.  Issue averted but they were friendly and cool.

My whispery footnote:  MIL seems to have postponed her trip a few days.  Quiet, private sigh of relief.  Needs more time to sort the house y’know.


Leave a comment

Sunny Sidekick

Cute, summery bop-about handbags are hard to come by.  In my old age, I walk past countless contenders in the stores.  This year, I have called the hunt off, and am making Amanda’s Squatty Sidekick by Amanda Burka.  It’s another Knitting Daily freebie.  The close-to 300 rave reviews, and FOs on Ravelry sealed the deal.

This Sunny Sidekick uses my dirt-cheap SWS from Mary Maxim.  It will felt like a dream, and isn’t too bright for me.  I hoped to be felting right now in fact.  Sadly, the strap has gots to go.  In the glory of knitting outdoors, I went a little blank.  The strap is way-off but will be an easy frog & fix.  Before frogging:

Slightly tipsy Sunny Sidekick

Slightly tipsy Sunny Sidekick

Here’s a totally gratuitous pic of her with flowers peeking through yonder fence:

For fun - Sunny Sidekick again

When felted, the bag will shrink a bit and become sturdy.  Right now it’s a flopsy mess.  My sewing skills are nothing to write home about but I may try making a lining for this.

Deep breaths – I found the strap a pain to knit…


Leave a comment

Shrug Saga and then some

I’m out of the hard-core lacy bit of my Shrug.  After all those ‘knots’ for the Lily of the Valley borderthe sleeve’s basic 4 stitch repeat for just 4 rows was sweet.  Too sweet.  The eyelets were decidedly leaned to the right.  As in not matching the left sleeve.  Grr.  I swallowed hard & ever-so carefully frogged it back down to:

Shrug Love

Shrug Love

Even without blocking, I like the panel’s effect.  I may be scheming to add an edging.  Then again I may not be.

I had a lovely, warm summery day.  A highlight was finally visiting Spun Fibre Arts in Burlington.  The space is well-organized and warm.  She has much of the same stock as my other LYSs but with some interesting additions on the luxury end.  For example, camel,baby camel and Araucania’s sugar cane yarn, Ruca.  I noticed hand-spun yarn as well as a selection of roving, and hand felting tools.  Maybe I’ll go to her Sit ‘n Knit sometime.

My fears about the Baby Cardigan are in full swing.  I’m worried about the dusty pink.  My friends aren’t too sure it’s a girl & she did ask for a non-girly colour.  So many Mothers are anti-pink…  She’s 3 weeks shy of her due date.  Here’s the substitute – I even have another friend in mind who it would be perfect for (in case) –

Baby Gift Take 2?

Baby Gift Take 2?

As for my earlier soapbox post – the trustworthy folks at Flora2000 obliged by taking my order.  At least MIL will be able to have some flowers this year.


Leave a comment

Surprise and Shrug Roadblock

I knew I had a Babylon Falling “Owner’s Choice” set on the way but the contents blew me away!  Sean made artful picks & here’s what I have to chew on:

BF Owners Choice picnic!

BF Owner's Choice picnic!

Here the lovelies are on my bookcase:

BFs in pride of place

BFs in pride of place

I feel smarter already!  Big thanks to both the benefactor & the facilitator of this care package.  Good push forward for month-end blues.

The Wedding  Guest Shrug hit a wall.  The double-stranding was a pain in the ass.  I was bound to drop one half every stitch & mindless knitting was well nigh impossible.  Also, the colours weren’t flowing.  The silk was falling flat on the lace pattern too.  I knew to call it a day when Hubby saw only a few holes.  So I thought – time to frog.  A few deep breaths later, I had the warring balls of silk separated.  Here’s what I’ve come up with as a solution for these issues – back to basics.  Keeping it at lace weight, and going with a simpler motif.

This means more work – teeny tiny needles.  Ergo more time.  But who am I to blow against the wind?  I’ve also ditched the 1 x 1 ribbing for my preferred 2 x2.  Here’s where it’s at:

Wedding Guest Shrug take 2

Wedding Guest Shrug take 2

The new motif is called ‘little fountain.’  It looked cute on my swatch & only has a 4 row repeat.  Even if I have more stitches, the pattern is easy to remember, so I may make the deadline yet! [Yeah, if I knit every moment available, and manage to ignore the new book stash…]

I honestly cannot fault the yarn for all of this.  It was a gamble going with lace-weight.  The Hand Maiden is holding up very well, and is still a star.  It’s taking the innovation like a pro!


Leave a comment

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.


Leave a comment

On the frogging block

I borrowed Debbie Bliss’ book, “Home – 27 Knitted Designs for Living” from our library & had a go at the cotton ‘peg bag’.  It’s the first of her patterns that I’ve knitted.  It’s moss-stitch all over, and quite easy to knit up.  However, my thumbs are down on this one.  I am sewing-challenged, and I got twisted in the directions for the lining.  Also, no hanger in my house could fit the dimensions of this bag.  That’s the rub for me.  Here’s how it stands at the moment:

A mishapen peg bag:(

A mishapen peg bag:(

Hubby’s shy input is that the hanger doesn’t look right.  Uh-huh.  That’s going to have to go.  As is the lining, which is a mere sub-set of the larger bag.  I’ve been pondering this one, and am sharing the mess that it became.  The idea was to use it in my bathroom.  I’ll frog out the top seam, rip the lining, and have at it again…  Update to follow.

I have to run – going to yoga class no. 2!  I fell off the yoga wagon long ago, and am very happy to have found a great studio in town.  Not uppity at ALL!  I’m late though!