Saturday, July 26, 2008


I'm not a part of this swap, but liked the questionnaire. I have replaced "dishcloth" with more applicable terms where necessary:

Keepin' Cool in Summer Dishcloth Exchange Questionnaire:
1. Do you Knit or Crochet? For how long?
I taught myself how to crochet three or four years ago, but haven't done much with it. I would have to pull out my booklet to guide through making anything. I taught myself how to knit a year and a half ago, but only really got into it last fall. I am addicted.

2. Do you enjoy using metal, wooden, or some other kind of needle/hook?
My grandmother gave me all of her spare needles, so I mostly knit on old English aluminums. I also like bamboo, and would love to try wooden needles.

3. What are your favourite types of yarn? Any you just can't stand?
I love natural fibers: wool, merino, alpaca.. I would love to try camel and bamboo. I am not a fan of synthetics, but will tolerate a blend if it is washable. I really dislike novelty yarns and anything that squeaks and looks cheap.

4. When it comes to yarn, are there any brands you'd love to try and haven't?
I am still so new to knitting that I feel like I have barely tried anything! I would love to buy more yarn from small companies, or individuals, especially in Canada.

5. When you make knitted items, do you use them yourself, or tend to give them as gifts?
I think it is pretty balanced at the moment. I have a whole queue of projects I love that I am trying to work through; some items are for myself, but I am always working on at least one gift.

6. Do you have a favourite colour? Any that you dislike?
I like blues, especially deep ones. I wear a lot of black; refuse to wear pink except on my undies or socks. I like all colours, really, but some reds/oranges/yellows don't suit my complexion.

7. What colour(s) (if any!) are your kitchen and bath decorated in?
Well my current residence is not a place I am investing money in, as I hope to buy a home next summer. I'd like a blueish-grey walls with white accents for the bathroom. Kitchen would depend on the layout and lighting -- anything from bright red to warm cream.

8. What are your favourite scents around the house?
Citrus -- grapefruit, orange, tangerine.

9. What is your very favourite thing about summer?
Flowers and grass and leaves on the trees. Birdsong.

10. What is your least favourite thing about summer?
Smelly, grumpy people on suffocating buses and metros.

11. Do you use soap or body wash in the shower?
Body wash.

12. What scents do you enjoy in the bath?
Again, citrus. Also, mango, strawberry, raspberry.

13. What is your favourite stitch pattern?
I will always love seed stitch, but don't have a favourite. I'd really love a stitch dictionary; virtual is okay, but a book would be a dream!

14. What sort of treats do you enjoy? Sweet or Salty?
Both! I like to snack on almonds or cashews, but absolutely LOVE candy: red licorice, vanilla Clodhoppers, sour rings.. I eat a lot of fruit though. It's cheaper than candy.

15. Imagine today is one of the hottest days of the year - what do you do to keep cool? Or are you one of those folks who loves the hot weather?
Oh, I stay inside my nice cool home and sip tasty beverages. I always keep a drinking glass in the freezer so that my milk or juice can be extra cold when I drink it.

16. What sorts of hobbies do you enjoy besides knitting or crocheting?
I like to sew, and am anxiously awaiting a home where I can have a garden (currently have 0 lawn, not even a balcony or rooftop!). I spend a lot of my free time reading. When I knit, I like to watch funny shows like "Dog Bites Man," "King of the Hill" or "Home Movies."

17. Do you collect anything (besides yarn!)
I don't have enough space for collectibles!

18. Are you on Ravelry? If so, share your ID!
Yes, it is a great a resource for free patterns! I rarely use the yarn recommended in the patterns I knit, so the yarn index list helps me find a comparable substitute.
My username is loveasaverb

19. Do you have any allergies?
Pineapple :(

20. Do you have any pets?
I have a wonderful American Staffordshire who I would love to brag about, but I'll save you the agony and just say she is the most affectionate, clever, and well-behaved dog I've ever met. We also have a Persian cat who is older than I am (she is 24 and going strong!). She really has character and interrupts conversations to meow at me.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Need to get these thoughts out of my head; the knitting is taking precedence over the homework!

I wore my shoulder warmer to a friend's vernissage last night. Here is an action shot that was snapped when I wasn't paying attention:

Yes, I really am that lanky. My friends absolutely loved it and couldn't believe that I had made it myself. They were quite impressed, which of course was a huge compliment to me! I had a few nice pictures taken as well, and am waiting to for my friend to send them my way. Also got an actual shot of the bf and I, which is quite rare and therefore exciting. The vernissage was at the bar I used to bartend at -- don't think I've been back since last summer. I got pretty pissed off when I found out that I was supposed to be payed by the bar every night -- after working 5 or 6 months in which I was told the only money I made were my tips. "It's not retroactive," the owner laughed, when I told him that I hadn't been paid at all. Anyway, they have fixed it up quite nicely and my friend's photos looked wonderful.

In other news, I made myself a big yarn shopping list (and an appropriately named document, saved right in the middle of my desktop for easy access!). There are quite a few projects that I am eager to get started on.. My next visit to Ottawa (should be in a week or two) will involve going to a lovely little store that is crammed full of all sorts of yarn priced ridiculously low: odd balls, discontinued colours, et cetera. So I have a made list of which yarn is required for which projects, and I will shop for as many as I can. I want to make (in general order):
-- pair of felted Christmas stockings for the bf and I
-- the diamond rib lace shrug
-- a little cape for myself, though that will be a frivolous treat
-- the February Lady Sweater -- though I really should finish the Mrs. Darcy cardigan first!

I should be thinking in terms of Christmas knitting.. A sweater for bf (he has asked for Mr. Stripey, in black-grey-brown though I'm dreading another double-knit.. takes so long!). Decide on a scarf for the skein of Malabrigo intended for my grandmother. Find yarn for a scarf or shawl for Jack's mum -- have never met her, so I will just choose something gorgeous and hope for the best.

I am also taking part in my first swap (!!), through the local Ravelry group. I am pretty excited and have some need ideas for my swap partner. Hope she likes everything!

Saturday, July 19, 2008

A promise that pictures will come soon:

I have been quite productive! In two nights, I knit myself a turquoise shrug, based on Julia Allen's "Anthropologie-Inspired Capelet." I washed it and set it to block yesterday and it should be dry by tonight. The yarn (same as I'm using for Mrs. Darcy) is absolutely beautiful -- I love the colour and the sqooshiness of the wool. Knitters, you do know what I mean when I talk about "sqooshiness," right? The wool felt a bit scratchy when I tried it on, but the wash should have softened it up.

I don't think I've ever knit anything so quickly! Two nights! It didn't even make it onto my "on the needles" list in the sidebar. I also basically re-wrote the pattern, as I decided it would be quicker if I knit the shrug with double-stranded yarn. I will post my instructions once I have some pics; they will hopefully be useful to anyone else wanting to make a size small with double-stranded yarn.

The scarf that I am making for my brother's birthday gift is close to being done.. Well, the knitting at least -- then I have to weave in all those ends. Ugh. I did about.. seven stripes (so, fourteen ends) last night before I got fed up. The ends sometimes poke out of the scarf that I made the bf last year, so I might need to re-evaluate my technique.. That's one of the downsides of being a self-taught knitter: I'm not always sure if there is a better way to do something. Well, practice makes perfect! And I suppose I could get off my butt and try to make to a social gathering -- there are a few knit nights that take place fairly close by, but they never seem very convenient.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Excitement, and a contest

IT'S DONE! I finished knitting my Hush Hush project this afternoon, and am really excited to block it. It is still in my sidebar at 99% until it is washed and blocked. I will hopefully add pics to my Rav project page soon, so the Ravelry users can see what all my excitement is about. Stay tuned.

ALSO I am very happy to share this wonderful contest with you. It is so easy to enter! Because I am a little bit incompetent tonight and can't figure out how to turn this button into something clickable, look at this:

(oooh.. ahh..) and click here. You have until July 31st.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

And it goes on and on and on and on..

For most of the past seven months, I've had less than one hour of knitting time per week. ISN'T THAT INSANE?? Any and every knitting project seems to take ages to complete.

Two weeks ago, my schedule opened up quite a bit so I am trying to buckle down on one particular project.. currently known as Hush-Hush. I'm working on it for my mother's 50th birthday; it is in her colours and an absolutely gorgeous stitch pattern.

Yarn from Tanis Fiber Arts; colourway "Royal Flush" (middle skein). On the left is Tanis's "Lilac" and on the right is Malabrigo "Snow Bird."

(I don't think she knows I have a blog but don't want to give out too many details -- just in case!)

However, I (somewhat foolishly) decided to use a sock yarn for this project.. I LOVE the yarn and LOVE the colours, but my goodness, it is taking ages. I worked really hard on Hush-Hush for the past two days, and went from being 20% done the project to 75% done. YAY ME. Current length is 50", and I am aiming for 66" before blocking..

THEN I still have to block. Which isn't a problem; I rather like blocking. It is a productive, almost relaxing process and I love to see the piece take its proper shape before my eyes. I was intimidated the first time that I had to do it, but holy moly it is so easy and so worthwhile. I won't do it here, but at my sister's the next time I head to Ottawa. The yarn can be machine washed, then I'll set it out to block. However, this means that I'll have Hush-Hush laying around chez moi for about a month before it is blocked and gifted! It's so soft and lovely that I'll have to hide it from myself..!

I can't wait to post the awesome pattern that I am using! And to show pictures! If you're on Ravelry you can get a sneak preview -- in the left-hand column of this blog, click on the "where my stitches at?" button to find my profile and browse my projects.