You might remember that I pledged to make a donation to Egale of 50% of my pattern sales during the Olympics. I’m happy to report that I remembered to pay, even if I forgot to tell you about it! I donated $65.00.
And now I’ll tell you about what I *should* have pictures of. I failed to use my camera twice in the last week. The first time I was in my LYS, Yarn Forward in Kanata, and a customer came in wearing a black Deco Raindrop Scarf with silver beads. She’d added in a lot of extra beads for more bling and it looked fabulous. I didn’t even think of asking to take a picture. And then on the weekend I was at a local seed sale. A past student of my double knitting class had done a hat with an alpaca on it (she have alpacas and grows garlic on her farm). No picture. This week I’ll be all ready with my camera & I doubt anything like this will come up!
I do have a picture of an almost-finished shawl in lace weight that I can show you. I put a little query out on a couple of social networks a few days ago to help me settle on a bead colour: black was the clear winner. The deep red of this yarn (Cascade Yarns Forest Hills Lace) doesn’t show up completely in this picture, but rest assured I’ll be taking better ones soon. I’m slightly worried about my chances for success given that the picture on the Cascade site doesn’t do this colour justice either.
Now I need to sit down for a few hours and whip this pattern into human-readable shape for testing. It’s been knit in fingering weight (< 100g) and lace weight (< 100g) so far and it’s going to have quite a few options for customization (texture vs. lace). I’ve knit both of my samples with a textured body and the shape is echoed in the lace of the border.
I was inspired, once again, by common Art Deco motifs. I keep getting drawn back to borders and trim that have this angles in zig-zags thing going on. I’m doing something similar in lace to what I did in cables in Fast Forward:
Hopefully I’ll have pictures for you soon, but the March Break starts this weekend and that may impact what I can get done. It’s not looking like we’re going to have spring-like weather for the break, but we’ll do our best to enjoy our time together!
This week I’ve been working on a bag of Castlemilk Moorit that I got from Spirit Trail. It’s another breed that’s new to me, bred from a mixture of Manx Loaghtan, Shetland and Mouflon. I’m enjoying the spinning, but I’m having trouble finding enough time to finish it up.
I did find the time this week to experiment with using won ton wrappers to make dumplings. Generally I’ve been making the dough myself, but all that rolling is very time-consuming. Last week I folded the won ton squares in half to make triangles, but it didn’t seem right. This time I used an Ikea cup as a guide to cut off the corners and make proper dumplings.
The verdict? Delicious. And there are enough left over for lunch tomorrow. I toasted up the remaining corners of the wrappers and tossed them with a little cinnamon and sugar for a tasty snack.
There was more creativity in the house this week, as a Rainbow Loom arrived for Zoé’s birthday. She dove into it immediately, with only a little bit of problem-solving required.
And then success! I think Sam is attempting to shine a spotlight on this wonderful bracelet.
By the end of the night she’d already made 20. And tomorrow I apparently have to go shopping for more supplies!
The Olympic medal count for Canada seems to have been increasing at an amazing rate, although some of the games have made me rather nervous. There’s still more heart-stopping hockey to come.
Here at home I’ve finished my knitting and I’m awarding myself a gold medal. My Scatness Tam is finished (except for the blocking). Once again, I’ve had a blast knitting a Kate Davies pattern in Shetland yarn. The great news is that I have a whole lot of it left over!
Pardon the slightly crazy eyes in this shot.
And the inside is relatively tidy. At least all the ends are tucked in.
If you look carefully, you might see that in the single-colour rows I’ve used a second strand of the same colour. The one thing that bugged me about my Sheep Heid hat was that I only used a single strand in a few rows, which changed the thickness of the fabric. This time around I alternated 3 stitches from the inside of the ball and 3 stitches from the outside of the ball and it’s got a lovely consistent feel to it. I’m sure someone passed this tip on to me (or perhaps I read it somewhere), and it worked well.
The only thing that I haven’t done from the pattern is the I-cord around the bottom edge. I’m liking the fit right now and I’m a little worried about fiddling with it. Perhaps I’ll feel differently after the hat has had a proper bath.
My other Olympic project (that Indigodragonfly merino/silk sock yarn shawl with beads) is already finished and blocked, but it needs some proper beauty shots. I’ve passed it on to my lovely model Francine to see what would be best to wear it with.
In the mean time, I’ve cast on another version of the unnamed shawl, this time in lace weight. It’s bright red and I’ve got a million miles to go before I hit the beaded section. I’ve got no idea what colour I’m going to use. I think it’s time for a trip to the local bead store!
A couple of weeks ago I used a lunch outing as an excuse to go check out a building in downtown Ottawa I’d been meaning to visit: 109 Bank St. This building was originally built for Ottawa Hydro back in 1934 and it was designed by W.C. Beattie, the architect who also designed my two favourite hydro substations in town (#3 on Carling & #4 on King Edward).
The building downtown was the HQ for Ottawa Hydro for a number of years. Now it contains a coffee shop on the lower level, but it still has a pretty nice feel to it.
The lobby is still lovely with some great details. I must go back once winter is over and the floor mats are up!
The silver, black & red interior of the elevator was a surprise. What was fun for me was seeing the fountain grille, because my brother took a picture in Regina for me of the same grille in the elevator of the Federal Building.
I also nipped down to Sparks Street to get a shot of the lovely foxes on a moderne building that now houses a jeweller, but used to be a bank.
On my way back to the car, I caught a back view of the Medical Arts Building at 180 Metcalfe Street. It was finished in 1928 and was designed by W.E. Noffke. He was also responsible for the Blackburn Building that I visited a couple of years ago. Since I was parked close by, I went to get a few more shots of the yellow-bricked building:
It was a cold and windy day, but all that walking really got the blood flowing. What capped this off as a great photo trip for me was that I only spent $2 for metered parking on the street!
The Spelsau is finally finished. I’ve got about 315 yards now in around 100g. It has extremely long colour runs because I was enjoying spinning it so much I couldn’t really bear to break it into smaller chunks.
I’m not sure what to tackle next in spinning but I’ve got lots of options!
This week it was Ron’s birthday & the kids each decorated a cupcake for him:
I made 19 cupcakes. The next day there were 3 left. Ron & I hadn’t eaten a single one at that point, so the kids made out quite well. There was a small amount of cupcake withdrawal the next day, but the kids survived. Of course next weekend there will be more cake for Zoé’s birthday, so they won’t be deprived for long.
I started off the Olympics planning to knit the Scatness Tam from Kate Davies. It went so well at the beginning that I was afraid I’d be done too quickly. This fear allowed me to succumb to the call of the Indigodragonfly Merino Silk 4 ply sock yarn that I showed you on Monday.
I barely touched the tam this week, but the sock yarn shawl project quickly grew to fill my lap, took on some beads, and kept growing.
A week after casting on, it’s already off the needles and blocking and I only have a small 10g ball left. Hopefully it’ll be dry some time tonight and I’ll get to have a proper look at it to see how it turned out. There is some texture (knits & purls) as well as the lace & beads. I’m planning on darning in the ends pretty quickly, but getting proper pictures may take a while and the right kind of light. Fingers crossed.
I think it’s time to go back to the hat knitting now!
I cast on my Scatness Tam on Friday while watching the opening ceremonies. I chose a purple sock yarn (shown in the middle) for the inner brim. I thought it went well with the colours of the hat:
On Saturday I finished the brim and was finally able to see whether or not it fit my head. Bingo! Going down a bit in needles was the ticket. I tend to be a loose knitter and I am using the same size of needles that I used for the Sheep Heid hat a while back.
Now I’m into the colourwork and it’s fun. I think I may have to limit myself to a few rounds on it a day so that I don’t find myself tired and hungry at the end of a day with nothing to show for it but a lovely Shetland tam.
Even though I’ve got a million things on the needles I did bring some more yarn downstairs with the intent to think about what to do with it. I chose a lovely blue Merino Silk 4 ply Sock from Indigodragonfly (Kathleen Turner Overdrive). Initially, I thought it could sit on the side table encouraging me to finish something else first. That plan was cancelled with the advice of some ever-so-helpful people on Twitter. Instead, I’ve wound it up:
I’ve already started working on a project and I have my fingers crossed that it works out. Hopefully I’ll show you a bit more of that later in the week.
I have been working on some Spelsau from Southern Cross Fibre:
This stuff almost spins itself! I am finding it a whole lot like spinning Shetland. It’s great stuff. I’m planning on chain-plying and perhaps it’ll end up as some fingerless mitts or something. It’s an enjoyable diversion. I’m not sure what I’ll tackle next for spinning because I’ve still got a bit left to go on this, plus the plying.
In fun family times this week, the kids have found a couple of moments to play well together. This puzzle started out being a diversion for Sam to forget that he’d lost his electronic privileges for the day, but then his sister wanted to help:
And Ron brought his magic 8 ball home from work and it ended up being a great hit with the both of them. How could it not be awesome? It’s got “magic” right in its name.
The flurries of ongoing issues around the Sochi Olympics and the state of the treatment of LGBT in Russia have left me feeling a little “meh” about the Olympics. Luckily today I saw that Bristol Ivy has put together an effort for knit/crochet designers to raise funds for gay, trans and human rights organizations during the Olympics. There are quite a few designers on board and links to quite a few organizations, should you be moved to make your own donations.
This was a no-brainer for me. For the duration of the Olympics (Feb. 7 – 23), I’ll be donating 50% of my pattern sales to Egale Canada. Egale is ”Canada’s only national charity promoting lesbian, gay, bisexual, and trans (LGBT) human rights through research, education and community engagement.”
My fellow Canadian and online friend Maureen Foulds is also in on the action, donating 75% of sales on the opening & closing days and 25% on the other days, as she explains on her blog.
I finally finished spinning up the North Ronaldsay. Those are the hardy sheep that live in the Orkneys and spend a portion of the year eating mostly seaweed. When I wound up the singles I wasn’t even sure that I wanted to ply it, but I kept going.
The resulting 2 ply is about 385 yards in 54 grams, which to my mind makes quite a nice laceweight yarn. It’s a very plump skein. It makes me want to run out and buy more fiber right away, which is crazy given how much is still waiting to be spun. Must resist….
For now it’s going to live in my stash, like so much of my yarn, waiting to find out what it wants to be.
So that makes 2 new-to-me breeds I’ve already spun this year: Herdwick and North Ronaldsay. Up next, I’m taking on the December club shipment from Southern Cross Fibre. It’s Spelsau, which is something else I haven’t spun. It is time for me to play with colour again, and I’m looking forward to it. Plus how cool is it to be spinning a fiber that was once used to make sails for Viking ships?
This has been a week of fort creation at home, both upstairs and down. Blankets and chairs have been moving around in a crazy way.
Yep, I think she’s playing chess on the iPad.