Standing on a Stump

This is a throwback post published on August 27, 2008.

I’m not usually one for revealing stuffs about myself, but you’ll have to bear with me, as hours of scanning family photographs (both figuratively with mine eyes and literally with a scanner) have left me feeling a tad reflective.
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Here you see me, as an obnoxiously-wee one, standing on a stump in front of my grandfather’s farmhouse.
His farm was always a great place to explore (exploration, of course, being modus operandi for curious little ones).
He was quite an inventor, and made very many things himself.
My dad is the same way (see example here), and it appears that the trait has been passed through the genes to me (though I’d put my vote in for nurture, rather than nature). Not that I’m an inventor! I wouldn’t dare dream. But the “making” impulse is one of the connections that I never saw until I was far away from it.
My “making” has always been of a different sort than my patrilineal predecessors. I don’t believe they ever made anything that was wearable. Mostly stuck to the usable, drivable and function-able.
As I may have mentioned before, I learned to knit (almost) entirely from books. The one exception was the day I decided to learn, and asked my mom to teach me to cast on and knit. She learned from her aunt, who learned in school, as she was a professional knitter and seamstress back in the day in Portugal. (So, I knit Continental, not English).
So, that’s my knitting-lineage.
While I don’t imagine that I’d make a fantabulous teacher, I do hope that someday I can expand upon that little link there and give the happiness of a new craft and pastime to someone else.
I’ve never traced back my family tree, and have never really been too interested in doing so (mostly, I suppose, because I can’t. I’m a first-gen Canadian, and anything that came before me is likely lost to the proverbial mists of time on scant scraps of paper in some puny village on the Acores or under a grand pile of mouldy banker’s boxes on the mainland).
I think I’d rather place importance on a tree that was based on skill rather than birth.
A mertitocrical-tree! How very Napoleonic of me.
So there’s me, standing on a stump in my childhood happy place.
Blonde and everything (where the hell did that come from?!)

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Standing on a Stump

Herringbone Slouch

This is a throwback post published on February 21, 2009.

I enjoy a good “fast-off-the-needles” project, and this was one of them.
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PatternHerringbone Slouch
Yarn: Mission Falls Superwash 136 (one ball each colour)
Needles: 3.25 mm dpns

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Mission Falls makes a lovely yarn. The colours are fantastic and the wool itself has a great soft and springy factor. I was going for a knit fabric that would be substantial enough to keep you warm, and the needle size coupled with the extra-layer provided by fair isle make this a cozy knit.

Though honestly, I was sort of hoping for a more “slouchy” effect than the one I got. I’ll just have to get my hands on some lighter-weighted yarn and give it a go.
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On an unrelated note: As you’ve probably noticed, I’ve been messing around with my template and creating a new look for the blog. While it’s very fun, I must admit that I know very little about this stuff, and am sure that the page could appear rather, uh, messed up on other screens/browsers.

If you notice anything funky (and that’s the bad funky!) please drop me a line and tell me I’ve gone awry.

Herringbone Slouch

Knit-Strology; Or, Extrapolations Based on General and Specific Nonsense – Leo

Once every month, I’ll be re-posting from the old blog all the Knitstrology posts

This one was originally posted on January 18, 2012.

Sketching a Personality; Or, How I Have fun with Knitting and Astrology

Leo: The Lion Photobucket
July 23 – August 22

Leo Leo Leo!!!

I’ve been looking forward to writing your profile? Know why? Cause you have such powerful traits. And I’m not going to sugarcoat them for you, since you’re so confident you can totally take anything lil’ ol’ me has to say.

People love it when you’re there at knit night. Encouraging, inspiring, energetic and exciting, you infuse the drive and desire in others to try some new knitting trick, or tackle a pattern that might be challenging.
And you love to be loved (though, who doesn’t, right?) The admiration you can see reflected in other’s eyes just makes your day.

You’re attracted to the finer things in life, and you work hard to get them. You’re the one who’s saved up pennies to afford the yarn for that indulgent baby alpaca and silk sweater. And you’d be able to pull it off, too. You’ve got that regal bearing! People notice when you enter a room.

Buuuut, my lion friends, if you, by some bizarre chance have your dramatic entrance go unnoticed, you might be put into a really rather foul mood. And when you’re foul, the melodrama comes out.
While you are a natural leader, and are really a rather clever person, don’t interfere where your two cents aren’t needed. Leos can be bossy, so try not to tell that knitter that she’s doing her yarn overs wrong. Just wrong! She’s doing them wrong! It’s ok. She’ll let you know if it’s a problem, because people know to turn to you for encouragement if she needs it. That is most definitely where you shine.

Leo rules the heart, so wrap yourself in a beautifully knit shawl or dramatic sweater.
Think fire, and you’ve got the lucky colours for Leo; orange, red, and yellow will make thost big cats purr with happiness.
While your confidence and ability to control situations are a great strong point, try starting projects on Sundays – they’re lucky for you!

Want to knit your own personalized astrological sign pillow? Check out my “What’s Your Sign?” design!

What’s Your Sign?

 

Knit-Strology; Or, Extrapolations Based on General and Specific Nonsense – Leo

Estivate

This is a throwback post published on August 7, 2014.

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on Ravelry

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I’m excited to introduce Estivate!

Part of the Sock Yarn Scarves Collection, Estivate is a convertible scarf/bolero that’s airy enough to be your summer’s constant companion, whether after the sun goes down around the campfire, or as a pretty accessory added to your formal outfit for those summer weddings.

I had a lot of fun designing this pattern. It’s worked in one piece, and is a versatile shape. Great as a loose top, bolero, or even scarf, it has a simple and short repeat of lace that decorates its surface. It’s a comfortable and airy knit, something great for this time of year.

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Estivate

Sexy Vesty; Or, Black Diamonds

This is a throwback post published on September 20, 2008.

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on Ravelry

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Photography skillz strike again!
Pattern: Sexy Vesty
Yarn: about 3.5 skeins of Lang Merino Superwash

Time to complete: one bloomin’ week!

Sometimes you get addicted to a knit. That’s definitely what happened in this instance. The yarn was really co-operating with me, and the little lace pattern was very simple to memorize (well, truth be telt, I only memorized it for the last two diamond repeats….)

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I’m not entirely sure what possessed me to knit a vest. I don’t wear vests.

Like many garments, I would see cute little tops of this particular fashion in stores and think “cute on dummy – not so cute on me”. This is the same line of thinking that prevents me from purchasing very heavily cowled sweaters, tights, trapeze jackets, super minis and clothing items with expressively-large buttons.

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Fortunately, this one has left me feeling positive about knitting again (after the malaise I was under in the post-Tareja days of last week). And I’m rather pleased with how it looks atop a regular ol’ scoopneck tee.

This one may get some use out of it!

In new cast-on news:
I was supposed to have something to show for myself re: a particular sweater in a lovely Russet-y shade of Samira Silk from Handmaiden.
Sadly, I’ve naught.
Well, naught that would be interesting to photograph.
I have already discovered a misjudgement in my design plans, and instead of frogging the very few rows I’ve actually knit, I will be doing the good ol’ improvised-fix in the end.
Here’s to hoping I’ve enough yarn to make this one!
I shall return with something to show for myself.
Shortly.

***Pattern Notes posted on Rav here.***

Sexy Vesty; Or, Black Diamonds

Black Diamonds; and, A Bit of Fair Time Fun

This is a throwback post published on September 16, 2008.

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on Ravelry

Scrumptious!
Superb!
Silky!
Scandalously superfluous!

with a little bit of happy dance thrown in.

Why the exuberance?
Well, my friends, I do believe that this Saturday has seen me make the most wondiferous single stash enhancement ever.
Since I cannot help myself, I pampered me to an early birthday prezzie and got:

3 different colourways of Fleece Artist’s Woolie Silk
(I think the colours are best described as Granny Apple Green for whom I already have plans a-brewin’, Amber and finally a Buttery Cream),
Enough Handmaiden silk to make a long-planned for autumn sweater (I must give the proverbial shout-out to Linda’s Craftique. I buy gorgeous yarn from her booth every year, and yet have still never been the store itself),
a perfect and long-searched-for shade of chocolate brown in a dk merino from The Black Lamb,
some black baby alpaca,
and a couple hanks of black laceweight merino.

Hmmm, I feel a new personal colour preference coming on.

Stayed Tuned.

Oh yeah, and Rav got me “recognized”. How cool it that?!
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAIn the meantime, I’ve been diligently knitting away on a new one (this time from the Great Stash Enhancement of July 2008.
As per my usual trademarking, this lace has many-a-woopsies, but I’ll live with it.
I think I’ve cropped them out of this photo…
You’ll see in (hopefully) a couple days.

Black Diamonds; and, A Bit of Fair Time Fun

Stag; Or, How I Love the Local Video Rental Joint

This is a throwback post published on September 27, 2009.

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Pattern: Stag (my own, improvised, and rather uncreatively named!)
Yarn: Berroco Inca Gold, 8 skeins

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I’ve made a habit of issuing myself yarn challenges, and, as of late, it’s been bouts between me and yardage. This round of playing chicken with the yarn turned out just dandy.

I wanted to see if I could make a tunic-length, cowl-necked, long-sleeved sweater – with cables, no less. And indeed, I did. Though it ended up a touch shorter than envisioned, and the sleeves were a smidge tight, they still work! And the upside? The snugness of said sleeves disguises the unsightly “ladders” left behind from my sloppy in-the-round dpn work (the trick to avoiding that is pulling tight on the stitches when switching needles, correct? I must remember to try harder next time).

Incidentally, this be the first (as well as the last) long-sleeved sweater I’ve ever made. The second-sleeve syndrome was avoided through a good supply of dvds (including the Indiana Jones hotness mentioned in an earlier post, as well as the first 3 seasons of How I Met Your Mother). Without those dvds, I’m afeared those sleeves would still be unfinished.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAStag Constructions, for those Interested:
In the round, bottom-up raglan. I’d never attempted a sweater in this particular manner before.
Because of my playing chicken with the yardage, I decided to do a provisional cast on when it came to the sleeves, so that I could assess the yarn situation after I had begun the cowl and see just how long I could get away with making said sleeves.
I do not suggest this construction, or at least, not on a single set of circs. It was extremely awkward and tight the first 5 or 6 rows after joining the provisional-sleeves.

Also, the sweater would have benefited from my thinking through what I would do with the cables when I got to the sleeve juncture. I could have made the transition much more smooth by altering the staghorn cable pattern slightly, and turning some knit stitches into background purl stitches (see the second photo in this post. The slightly awkward decreasing around the armpit is visible there).

For waist and bust shaping, I simply hid my increases and decreases directly beside the cable pattern.
The cowl is a progression of 3 different needles sizes, getting larger as you near the edge of the neckline. I wanted it to be a bit bigger and floppier, but with only the 8 skeins I knew I’d have to compromise.
The greatest upside to this project? Stashbusting!

At the “photoshoot”, I frolicked among the gardens of a nearby historic home and civic museum. I got a few cool snaps, and wanted to share.
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On the gates in the garden yard. The pineapple was a symbol of welcome that was in vogue in the 19th c., when this home was built.

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Backyard water tap, with some cool weathering, hiding among what’s probably close to the last bits of green green sprouts of ’09.

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A pear tree has been dropping its fruit, and the bees have been feasting.

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Lovely beautiful snapdragons. Nature has an amazing sense of colour.

Stag; Or, How I Love the Local Video Rental Joint