A Love Affair With Arbor

Sorry for the accidental hiatus there. I promise that I didn’t mean to but, well, c’est la vie avec le bebe. And then, well, we went to Hawaii for a week.

The thing I regret not doing most in Hawaii is actually not remembering to take a picture of my knitting in paradise. Sigh. But! The good news is I finished one sleeve of my totally last minute, selfish cast on of Divide by Emily Greene, knit in BT’s Arbor in the colourway Klimt.

 

Miles loves it as much as I do. I hadn’t knit with Arbor before but had snagged 2 skeins of it from Needles in the Hay when it first came into stock; so when my cousin offered me the Divide pattern, I immediately claimed dibs on most of the remaining Klimt to make it. True knitter that I am, I at first reasoned with myself that I would wait until all my Christmas knitting was done, and I had at least started the second sleeve of my Netherton cardigan…but then realized what a perfect travel project sleeves make, and Bob’s your uncle. Now I have a sleeve.

But I really couldn’t help it! I have fallen absolutely head over heels in love with Arbor. When I started knitting with it, all I could think was, “what is this magic?!” It’s light and bouncy with all the goodness of pure wool that I adore. The colour isgorgeous and the stitch definition is ridiculous; I would willingly knit inches upon inches of twisted rib just for this definition. Oh, Arbor, you seductress.

It is really taking all my will power now that we’re home to refocus on Christmas knitting rather than the second sleeve. My goal this week is to finish the Fuck It Hat I started in The Fibre Co. Cumbria and West Yorkshire Spinners The Croft, both in lovely shades of femininity, which takes the hat to a whole new level of awesome.

My second goal this week is to also start a tam of sorts for my mum in baa ram ewe Dovestone Aran in Bantam, aka red. Once these two hats are completed, the only other Christmas knitting is a possible cardigan for Miles – but at least if I’m a little late, he really won’t notice. I hope.

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A Love Affair With Arbor

Winter is Coming: Knit Faster

As I was camping this weekend, I got my first hit of the impending fall.

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Be Kind shawl from Interpretations Vol. 3 in progress in madelinetosh 80/10/10 in the Far Beyond

It was a bit cold, it rained a fair bit on Saturday, and all I could think was, “some knits would have been nice,” followed by, “oh dear lord, all of my knit accessories are in a box somewhere.”

And I died inside.

Yup, all my hats, mitts, cowls and scarves, and the majority of my sweaters are all in boxes stored away at my mother-in-laws.

What is a knitter to do? Well, my husband would say, we’ll just go through the boxes and find them all. I say I need to knit a whole new set.

REALLY, I already have 3/4 of a cowl done, I’ve now got some amazing Scottish yarn my parental so brought back for me from their trip that is dying to become mittens. I just need yarn for a hat. Oh dear. I guess I’ll have to go shopping…

Winter is Coming: Knit Faster

HP, BFFs, and K1s

This has pretty much been my life the last couple of days:

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Ah, the joys of being in the same province with your best friend again! I’ve just come back from a couple days at her family trailer hanging out with her and my nieces doing wild and crazy things like swimming with floaties, watching copious amounts of animated movies, and trying to translate Toddlerese. And surprisingly, I was able to get a fair amount of knitting done while there.

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The yarn is that madelinetosh 80/10/10 fingering (colour way is The Far Beyond, which isn’t being showcased very well in this picture) I told you about that I had dreamed of knitting a Sunwalker in…except it doesn’t want to be a Sunwalker. It wants to be a Be Kind from Interpretations Vol. 3. Don’t you hate it when your knitting dreams fall through? It wasn’t Sunwalker’s fault – ok, it looks best in more tonal yarns, we all have the colours that bring out the best in us – and it wasn’t the tosh’s fault – it just wants to be colourful, ok? – it’s just that the two weren’t meant to be together and that’s alright.

Either way, in the end I will have an equally cozy shawl to wrap around me. Considering Be Kind is entirely knit in garter stitch with the occasional eyelet row, the way it’s constructed is pretty unique and makes knitting a gazillion fingering stitches in one row (seriously, when you cast off you’re supposed to have 541 stitches…) go pretty quickly.

You’ll also noticed that I’ve conveniently placed the newest Harry Potter book/script underneath my knitting. Dear lord is it brilliant. I told my BFF that I loved her so much that I left my new Harry Potter book at home to spend time with her. That’s commitment; that’s love.

HP, BFFs, and K1s

Alpaca and the Road

So we have just completed our fourth day of our cross-country trip and so far I have:

  • Spilled on myself twice
  • Eaten 1 and a half bags of Veggie Straws to myself (among other copious things)
  • Had about a gazillion inner monologues with myself
  • Sang along to about 450 songs
  • Listened to 1.25 Harry Potter audio books
  • Contemplated life, the habits of moose and what the best set of matching tattoos for myself and my bestie are
  • Internally strangled Husband for inadvertently telling me the drive from Thunder Bay to Sault Ste. Marie is only 7 hours, when really it turned out to be 9
  • Made friends with an alpaca

Wait, what?

Oh yes, you read me. Just about an hour outside of Thunder Bay sits a wee little alpaca farm with a bunch of alpacas and, you guessed it, homespun yarn for sale.

On the left we have a pure alpaca yarn named “Rocky” after the alpaca it was sheared from; on the right an alpaca and sheep blend (all the brown is alpaca from an unknown alpaca, and all the white is sheep). I’m really terribly excited about these, and it makes me giggle at the fact their brand is “Old School Alpaca” (although very hip sounding, I’m pretty sure it’s actually because they’re located on Old School Road…).

On a final note Jasper has been handling the travelling life very well. A regular Jack Kerouac, if I do say so myself.

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Alpaca and the Road

How To Pack When You’re a Knitter

When moving all the contents of your home, and especially when you know a lot of your belongings will be put into storage for a long while, the second thing you must do (the first being getting rid of anything you don’t want or need anymore – but that’s not what we’re here to talk about today) is go through your WIPs and stash.

Step 1: Collect up all WIPs into a safe area to be transported with you in your car so that during your journey, and when you arrive at your destination, you will have things readily at hand to start working on right away. This step also includes all your needles and accessories needed (ie. ball winder, tapestry needles, measuring tape, you get the idea)

Step 2: Pick out patterns that you had thought about starting soon, and think that once a WIP or two is done (oh, who are we kidding, even if we don’t finish a WIP first…) a new project will be great, put them aside and a. go through your stash to find any yarn that would work well for that project, or b. use this time to stock up at your favourite LYS on local yarn – since you will never see them ever, ever again. Once yarn is picked, put it aside with the patterns for easy navigation.

Step 3: Go through your stash again, and this time just pick out all the yarn that you just can’t bare to part with right now, or that could potentially find its way to a pattern sometime between the packers and your new place, but before they could be dug out of storage. This is essential, however, if you forget to do this step, or to do it well, this is just an excuse for you to check out all your new LYS.

Step 4: Cry over the fact that you forget to put aside your yarn bowl and the packers got to it first.

Step 5: Keep all current WIPs together in an easily accessible bag(s), and use extra yarn as padding for other objects. This helps increase their efficiency so when your husband asks you why you need to pack so much yarn it’s not just because you may or may not have an addiction, but for efficiency’s sake. Look how much better protected this mug is now!

And that, friends, is my Knitter’s Guide to Packing.

 

How To Pack When You’re a Knitter

Ontario Tuesdays

As I may have mentioned, last week we came back for a bit to Ontario to celebrate some good friends’ wedding and a what do we need to get organized here before we move back permanently/general visit.IMG_3453

Visits back home for me are always a little bit weird, a little bit stressful, and never truly relaxing. This is why I’m pretty glad that this time I don’t have to try and shove everyone into one week of visits. Instead I can just say, “well, I’ll see you next month then!” And everyone is cool with that. However, I will admit, I’m getting a little bit tired of everyone asking me, “so Kyle has a job lined up, what about YOU. What are YOU going to do?”

And honestly, I don’t know yet. But I do know that knitting will probably be involved.

A couple weeks ago madelinetosh had an online sale, so of course I had to partake. I’ve never used tosh before, it’s always been a teensy bit out of my price range, but with the sale I thought, “this is my chance! TAKE IT!” and so ordered enough of the 80/10/10 fingering to make a Sunwalker shawl by Melanie Berg, and 2 skeins of the DK twist in Outlander, which not only struck my fancy, but seemed incredibly appropriate as I had just started reading the book series by Diana Galbadon.

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madelintosh DK twist in Outlander

Since the impending Ontario trip was looming, I had the package sent to my mom’s house and boy am I glad since it arrived the day we left Calgary! So of course, I couldn’t help but cast on with that lovely goodness. The pattern is Honey Cowl by madelinetosh and it’s so perfect for the variegation of the yarn. I’m so happy and in love with it that the fact that it’s summer and I can’t wear it is totally bringing me down.

Ontario Tuesdays

May 2-4

If you’re from Ontario,the phrase “May 2-4 Weekend” in commonplace (unless you’re my grandfather, that is. Yeesh.) and I had to learn the hard way when I moved to Alberta that if you refer to the May Long Weekend as “May 2-4” you will be laughed at. It’s true. Calgarians can be cruel.

Anyways, this last May 2-4 weekend, although very rainy and cold, did not stop the adventures.

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With a couple of friends we trekked down to the Alberta Birds of Prey Foundation in Lethbridge, a sanctuary for hurt or abandoned birds, where you can feed ducks and hissy mama geese, hang out with some eagles, falcons, and my favourite – owls. We each could hold one of their owls who have imprinted on humans (key to owl-holding), and got to hang out with a unnamed owl baby who hangs out in the gift shop who I dubbed Harry Potter.

In actual knitting news, I finished my Boxy sweater! Wooo! It’s currently pinned and drying as I type.

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I’m hoping that it stays a little bit on the cooler side this week, just long enough for me to wear this constantly. I’m excited to see how it fits after blocking, because when I tried it on pre-block, it was a little bit short for my liking (like an inch-ish) but then again it’s supposed to be a little bit on the short side and I have a penchant for long sweaters.

The Mechita though…oh, the Mechita! I want more of it in ALL THE COLOURS. I actually ended up with about 1 full skein and a quarter leftover from this (WOO!) and now I’m debating what it should become. A shawl? A baby sweater? A hat? So many options.

May 2-4