Neon Confetti Irresistible!

Hi! Happy January! Is that a thing that people say? Happy January anyway :)

So far I’ve spent quite a lot of this calendar year eating nachos (YES) and watching the West Wing on netflix (YES) with my favourite person :) I have not been doing any knitting (broken record: no-crafting-for-wrist-healing-for-as-long-as-I-can-stand-it-so-that-hopefully-it-really-heals-this-time).

But! I did do a little bit of knitting back in mid-December that I haven’t shown you yet. (It was a bad idea wrists-wise, but I can still show it to you. Yeah!)

Remember this neon yarn that I gushed about (from Vancouver’s RainCityKnits) which I picked up at this summer’s Fibrations festival in Victoria?

Neon!

I love speckley, sprinkley yarns like this one, even though I sometimes have a hard time finding patterns that really make them shine. I’m using it to make (Guelph’s) Ash Kearns’ pattern, Clincher, and I’m still pretty obsessed with it. (Also kind of pleased that both the yarn and the pattern are by Canadians :) )

Neon!

I think the combination of yarn and pattern here is FANTASTIC. Kudos to RainCity dyer (and lovely person) Krista for doing such a beautiful and non-pool-ey dye job!

Project glamour shots time? I think so.

Neon!

Neon!

Neon!

Neon!

Neon yarn + simple, addictive pattern + bright happy project bag = COME ON

Neon!

Finally, regularly scheduled cat leg cameo:

Neon!

Yeah. I really, really love how this yarn is knitting up, and when I’m back in fighting form knitting-wise, I’m going to be all over this prettiness. It just makes my heart happy!

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Chevron Blanket: Forest Heather or Bust!

Last time I updated you on my Heirloom Chevron Throw, it looked like this (ugh, this photo is blurry because my corner of Canada + November = dark all the time!):

And the after!

Since then, I’ve made some fun progress! I finished the last rows of the 4th stripe, in Cascade 220 “Irlande”.

Green stripey pileup!

Shiny needles ooo

5 colours finished!

After I finished the last full chevron, the next bit of the pattern is to work two corner triangles to square everything off, using the last colour. I really love changing colours in striped projects. It just always feels really momentous!

First row!

First row!

First row!

The last colour is also Cascade 220, in “Forest Heather”. I’ve been pretty impressed with the Cascade 220 colourways that I chose for this project, especially the Heathers, because they’re actually fairly layered and interesting. I think of Cascade 220 as an affordable workhorse yarn, and I think it’s been just right for this project. Good drape, enough squish factor, and lots and lots of colours to choose from. I’m so pleased with how all the colours are looking together! It’s definitely a greeny-goldy bonanza. Not colours that would make everyone happy, but I really like them.

Aw yeah that goldy greeny gorgeousness

Of course, somebody still thinks this project is JUST for her, so when I spread it out to look at my progress and take a few photos, she opportunistically jumped up and settled in. Sneak!

Cat burglar!!

To Sale Shop or Not to Sale Shop?

Hi! Are you keeping an eye out for yarn sales right now? I’m not a big fan of the craziness of Black-Friday-Weekend-Whatever shopping, but I have noticed some pretty tempting yarn and fiber sales being mentioned on twitter…

For example, did you know that RainCityKnits (a huge favourite of mine) is offering 20% off ALL of their yarn for the next few days? AAAH! See this tweet for the deets!

I’ve been plotting and planning to order some RainCity Merino Worsted for a while now. I want to make the NEON SKI BONNET with it, for several reasons:

1. Neon.
2. Cool stitch patterns and construction
3. POMPOM RIGHT?!!
4. It will make me look even more like an adorable tiny child.

This image of the hat is from the designer, Lacey Volk’s, blog:

Neon Bonnet

Ooooh yes. So! I know I want to use RainCity’s yarn and Lacey Volk’s pattern. The remaining questions are:

1. Which colour of yarn?!!
2. Should I buy it now, while it’s on sale, even though it’s right before the holidays (when I should be buying things for OTHER people…)?

Colour-wise, I’ve narrowed it down to…

Lemon Yellow
Lemon

Electric Coral
Coral

Kelly Green
Kelly

Wasabi
Wasabi

OR Apple Green
Apple

(**ALL images of RainCity’s yarns belong to them and are from their Etsy shop, which you should go and check out!**)

I just cannot decide which colour or whether to hold off until the New Year… it’s not like I don’t have PILES of yarn already, and I have plenty of projects on the needles. Even if I got the yarn now, I wouldn’t have the hat ready super soon or anything. But it’s so pretty!!

What do you think, readers? Would you pick it up now, or wait until later? Which colour would you choose? Leave me all of your opinions in the comments! :)

Chevron blanket update… and blanket surgery!

It’s been a while since I’ve posted anything about my chevrons blanket (aka Heirloom Chevron Throw by Jocelyn Tunney – the pattern is FREE)! Despite still having generally terrible wrists/forearms, I’m managing to sneak in tiny bits of knitting here and there (mostly because I am not typing very much right now – my typing job is on hold for a little while, so I can stand a bit more knitting as a result). Here’s the blanket with gratuitous cat blanket thief!

Cat blanket thief

Chevron blanket progress

Looking good! Wait a minute… what’s that in the apple green stripe?

Ugh!

Ugh! A weird little tuft of yarn! At first I thought maybe I’d done a bad job of felted-join-ing, but upon closer inspection, I remembered that it was just a felty nep in the yarn, and when I knit it in, I’d thought it would blend in fine. But because everything else is so smooth, it’s REALLY obvious. And annoying. I decided I could probably fix it with some surgery, by cutting the yarn, unpicking the few stitches where the nep was, and grafting with new yarn… weaving in the ends on the back for close to seamlessness.

SURGERY!

EEP!

Ooh messy

I worked on figuring out the kitchenering with contrasting yarn, to make it easier to see what was going on. Then I tied on the right colour of yarn to the contrast yarn, and gently pulled/guided the correct yarn through. (I really should have taken more photos… but it was intense.)

A little bit better

A little bit fuzzy, but:

And the after!

Pretty good, right?

Can you see where I fixed it?

This is the spot I fixed! Could you tell?

Here!

I am loving this blanket, even though it’s sooooo slow going. 20 more rows (10 more ridges) of this colour and then I’ll be on to the final triangles to square it off!

Chevrons progress

What are you knitting these days??

Neon Confetti Obsession!

I had a tendonitis flare up this weekend (SIGH), probably from too much computer work on Friday, so I haven’t been able to knit a single stitch this weekend. But I’ve been thinking thinking thinking about what I’d like to cast on next. Not that I’ve finished anything recently – sloooowest progress on my Chevron blanket and my hexagons blanket and my greeny-gold Cold Mountain and my spinning and everything else…

BUT. I’ve been thinking about this yarn.

Rain City Neons + Vic skyline

RAIN CITY AMAZINGNESS!

Remember this? I picked it up back at Fibrations in August (which is when I took those sunny photos). It’s a 75% superwash merino, 25% nylon blend sock weight from the FANTASTIC Rain City Knits (seriously go over there right now… if you love bright colours and rainbows and happy saturated yarn… you’ll be into it.)

IT. IS. SO. PRETTY!!! So cheerful and happy and amazing.

Neon Confetti Amazing!

I wound it up.

Neon Confetti Amazing!

Neon Confetti Amazing!

It’s not even depths-of-winter yet or anything (and even when it is, where I live, it’s not super cold). AND I like cold, gray weather. But this bright yarn is making me super happy! LOOK at all of the little speckley coloured bits! It’s mostly pink, yellow, and blue, but then there are surprise flashes of green! and orange! and purple! Loooooove. I think the colourway is called Confetti.

Neon Confetti Amazing!

I’m pretty sure I’ve decided what I want to make with it: Clincher! Here’s a picture from the designer, Ash Kearns’ blog (which you should definitely check out):

Clincher

The pattern requires a little bit of contrast yarn for the loops, which are added at the long, cast of edge of the shawl’s triangle shape. I’m thinking of using some bright blue that will complement the blue bits in the Confetti skein! Very excited. Now if only my dumb body would co-operate!

Little things!

Hi friends! I’m alive! But this fall has been kicking my butt. So far October has been just as busy as September was, maybe even more so… and in the last week I’ve caught a pretty terrible cold that is just laying waste to my productivity.

I have been able, FINALLY, to do a tiny bit more knitting than has been possible in the past months, though. The doctor I saw about my wrists prescribed a fantastically effective topical anti-inflammatory, and also referred me to a hand physiotherapy practice. (I have not been to the physio yet, but I will get there! Eventually!). So far, even just using the anti-inflammatory and continuing my practice of limiting typing time as much as possible, taking breaks, doing a variety of activities instead of just one for a long span, trying to exercise a little more, and extremely limited knitting time has been making a big difference.

So, I have been knitting just a little bit on little things…

Yellow things

Some pretty (slightly blurry) yellow projects. One is a nearly finished hexagon, for my forever-in-progress Six’es blanket. The other is a surprise for a friend, which I will reveal when it is fully complete ;)

I also spent a couple of evenings (because, only a tiny bit at a time!) making up this little coffee cup cozy for a different friend.

Flat mug cozy

The yarn is leftover lovely handspun (I did not spin it – it was a gift from my mom a few holidays ago) – I have a teapot cozy made from it, so it seemed like a lovely thing to have a sister mug cozy to send my friend, with whom much tea has been consumed! So, we can both have tea knowing that yarn from the same ball is keeping it warm.

Mug & Teapot

Mug Cozy!

I added crocheted loops on one side and buttons on the other, and blocked it so that it would lay flatter. I hope she likes it!

Leftover Lace & Wrist Report

Hi! How’s your September been? Is it fall where you are?

I am a huge cliché – I love fall. It’s my favourite. Despite what my mom thinks (hi mom!) I actually really like winter, too, although Victoria doesn’t get much in the way of snow or anything. I miss snowy winters! I’ve had a busy month – unfortunately, it’s been full of life stuff and not very much knitting stuff, though.

Lace progress! SUUUUPER slow progress, that is. In fact most of the progress on my current lace project, Cold Mountain by Kieran Foley in Juniper Moon Findley (50% silk, 50% merino, ooooooh), is from a couple of weeks ago, when I was still doing okay knitting one or two rows a day.

Cold Mountain or GOLD Mountain, am I right?

I’m into the third and “middle” section of lace motifs. Not quite halfway done the shawl, but almost! I just love how the patterns transition.

Arrowey

Aw yeah lace!

Cool Transition

This last one is the most accurate, colour-wise! It’s a goldy green rather than a greeny gold.

More accurate colour-wise

Lately though, I haven’t been knitting at all. Sadface. I finally saw a doctor about my dumb recurring wrist pain (which was determined to be chronic tendinitis (from overuse), a word which I have been misspelling basically forever apparently), and hopefully I’ll have some new pain demolishing tools at my disposal soon!

What are you knitting this fall?

Saanich Fall Fair 2014!

Finally, the fall fair! We went last weekend, and I haven’t had time to share the news until now (because we also moved last weekend… busy times!) This post has kind of a ton of photos, so I hope you’re into that.

First, I won’t lie, I went to check out the Needlework Room, since that’s where my entries were! (In case you missed it, the post about what I entered is here.) Out of four entries, two won blue ribbons! SO EXCITED! Both the cabled mittens and the Shepherd Hoodie won in their categories :) The other two things just got to be part of the fair, which is also pretty excellent as far as I’m concerned. The Shepherd Hoodie also won the Victoria Knitters’ Guild award for best Fancy Knitted Sweater! So cool. I love fairs. (And if I’m honest I really like winning stuff too.)

Winning Mittens! (The white ones)

Winning sweater! (The white one, again)

My garter spectrum blanket!

Other awesome stuff we saw in the Needlework room: an incredibly cool knitted salmon, a crazy intricate knitted gingerbread house…

Coolest knitted SALMON!

Incredibly intricate knitted gingerbread

The whole room was full of amazing things, which of course I failed to photograph. Oops! I did snap lots of other cool fair stuff though. Vegetable dude!

Incredible vegetable dude

Tiny adorable plants!

Tiny tiny plants

Apples make me feel like fall is right there. Right?

APPLES GALORE!

Beautiful and leafy!

Thanks for the instructions 4-H!

How to Ice a Cake. Thanks 4H!

I ate these. Also mini-donuts which I failed to photograph :)

Hot dog. Onion Rings. Yes.

MOHAIR GOATS!

Regular goats and mohair goats!

ALPACA PARTY! I got to pet one. What.

ALPACA PARTY! I got to pet one.

Sheep haircut time! Just a trim.

Sheep in the beauty chair

Brad: “Do you know why some of them wear coats?” Me: “YES! It keeps their wool cleaner and prevents it from being discoloured by the sun. KNOWLEDGE!”

Sheep in coats

Sheep buddies :) Their faces are basically the cutest.

HI SHEEP FRIEND!

Cows

Sunflowers

Fluffy bunny

Prize winning eggs! This colour is bananas.

Prize winning eggs

Bye fair! I’m already excited and planning for what I’d like to enter next year.

Bye fair!

Is there a local fall or agricultural fair near you? I heartily recommend them :)

FIBRATIONS Recap!

On the weekend, I got to do one of my very favourite things – attend a local fiber festival! I’m lucky to live in a place that has a thriving, excellent local yarn and fiber culture. Our most awesome local event is called Fibrations, and it’s pretty delightful. Vendors, artisans, and community groups set up at St. Ann’s Academy, and there is tons to see and do and buy (and eat – there are even food trucks)! The whole thing is run by one of our best local yarn shops, Knotty by Nature.

Unfortunately, every year I end up getting sidetracked by all the yarn and fiber and taking too few and mostly terrible photos.

Terrible photo of vendor tents!

Raffle Ticket Tent!

See? You can’t really tell how awesome the event is from those. Oops. This one is a lot better:

Humming Bee Farm's incredible banner

Isn’t Humming Bee Farm‘s banner AMAZING?

Even though I did not take great photos, I had SO much fun :)

Excited Fibrations Face!

I DID take lots of photos of the yarn and fiber that came home with me. Here’s my haul!

Fibrations Haul woooooo!

Let’s break this down, shall we? My first stop was the RainCityKnits booth. I’m a pretty unabashed RainCity fangirl – I even knit a sample sock for them last year in their Local Sports Team colourway. Krista is the mastermind behind the company, and she is SO sweet! She was totally lovely to chat to :) I had planned to get something neon and solid coloured from them (I want to make the Neon Ski Bonnet for myself this winter, and obviously RainCity is the place to go for NEON!), but in the end I was seduced by THIS, which is on a merino/tussah silk base:

Rain City Neons + Vic skyline

RAIN CITY AMAZINGNESS!

AAAAH NEON SPRINKLES!!!! I loved this skein SO MUCH that I kind of walked around the festival with it around my shoulders. Isn’t RainCity’s needle gauge cool, too? I love it! If you haven’t seen RainCity’s full neon awesome line, check it out right now! (Warning, everything is beautiful and vibrant and you are going to want all of it basically.)

My next must-see stop was JOMA yarn, new to me and sooooo full of gorgeousness. I picked up a skein of stunning one of a kind hand dyed sock yarn (the CRAZY BEAUTIFUL colourway is “Wild Child”, and the base is Glam Panda – merino, bamboo, and nylon) – it’s greeney and yellowey and has spashes of teal and bright happy red/pink and yeah I love it. I also got some mini skeins at the JOMA booth, because they were beautiful and super affordable and perfect for my Six’es blanket!

Joma, huge new crush.

The mini skeins are (top to bottom) are Circus Clown, I Fought the Law, and She Wore a Raspberry Beret. So darling!

I also got some spinning fiber. First, from Humming Bee Farm, 2 ounces of green, hand dyed Corriedale wool! This may be a surprise but I am into green ;)

Corriedale from Humming Bee Farm

From Ba-a-ad Ass Textiles, I also got 4 ounces of super pretty Romney wool!

Fiber scores!

The colour makes me think of winter ocean at Dallas Road :)

Even though I’m still only knitting and spinning a tiny tiny bit because of my sensitive, sore wrists, I’m really excited about my new yarns and fibers. Ahhhhh, fiber festivals :) I’m already looking forward to next year!

GUESS WHAT TIME IT (almost) IS!

It’s aaaaaaaalmost FALL FAIR TIME!

Sign

As you may remember from last year, I am a HUGE fall fair fan. I just kind of love everything about them, a quality which has baffled a lot of my friends lately. But seriously, what’s NOT to love about them? Crisp weather (hopefully), adorable animals of all kinds, deep fried foods, farmer’s marketey produce and products, a midway, and exhibits full of hand made entries! I love love love fall fairs :)

Last year was the first year I entered things I had made into the fair since I was a kid, and it was definitely as fun as I remembered! I even won some ribbons, which was delightful.

A few days ago, I dropped off my entry form for this year’s fair. Eeeee! Not the actual entries yet, those don’t need to go in until shortly before the fair in a few weeks.

Entries!

So, based on those only slightly cryptic categories, can you guess what I’m entering? (You don’t actually have to guess… I’m going to tell you because EXCITEMENT!)

First, a plain sweater, which can only have garter, stockinette, and ribbing. Remember this guy?

Cozy!

Plain! And cozy :)

Next, a sweater with “fancy stitching”!

Shepherd

Basically, there are 3 categories of sweater – plain, fancy, and traditional aran. Even though this sweater has aran elements, I don’t think it’s a “traditional” aran. Hence, fancy stitching! I’m really really proud of this sweater, so I hope the judges like it.

The third entry is a baby’s blanket. I’m entering this happy thing!

A pop of colour!

I know the difficulty level is very low, since it’s all garter stitch, but I love the colours, so I’m going to enter it :)

Last thing! MITTENS! I’m entering these softie cabley beauties.

Here's to warm hands!

That’s it! I still have a few weeks to wait until the actual fair, but I’m really looking forward o it already. Are you entering anything in your local fair? If you never have, DEFINITELY consider it! It’s really fun, and helps to support agricultural fairs so they can continue to exist. Yay fairs!