This one was a long time coming.
Some Malabrigo goodness for me. This sat in my office knitting basket for quite a long time, progressing slowly as I stole a few furtive stitches here and there during lunch break.
I became quite proficient at cabling without a cable needle on this one. The fuzziness of the Malabrigo means the stitches want to stay put, making the job a whole lot easier.
I took the pattern out of one of my stitch dictionaries. Here's what I did if you would like to knit your own. It's dead easy:
Malabrigo Weave Scarf
Yarn: 4-5 skeins of Malabrigo Worsted, seen here in Grey Pearl (I used 5 skeins, because I wanted an extra long scarf, but 4 would be more than enough for an average length scarf.)
Needles: 6 mm, or whatever size gives you a pleasing fabric. I'm not specifying gauge here, because it's not crucial.
4CF: put next 2 stitches on cable needle, bring to front, knit next 2 stitches, then knit 2 stitches from cable needle
4CB: put next 2 stitches on cable needle, bring to back, knit next 2 stitches, then knit 2 stitches from cable needle
Cast-on 46 stitches (or a multiple of 4+2)
Row 1(RS): K2, *4CF (repeat * to end)
Row 2(WS): Purl to end
Row 3: *4CB (repeat * to last 2 sts), K2
Row 4: Purl to end
Keep going till you get the desired length. I didn't want to add a fringe, but that means that my edges curl a bit, which is ok, because I wear it looped around my neck with the edges tucked under (the giant cowl look). You might want to add a fringe, or start with a garter band to flatten the ends.
More info on the pattern can be found here on Ravelry. I'll try and write it up as a PDF over the Christmas holidays. Let me know if you end up making one. I'd love to see!
Sunday, December 13, 2009
This one was a long time coming.
Friday, December 4, 2009
Thank you for your sweet messages. They were so comforting. No need to worry though, I'm recovering quite well from my accident. My knee is still sore, but getting better. Hopefully I'll be up and running soon.
The silver lining to all this commotion? Convalescence knitting!
Pattern: Konnichiwa, from the lovely Knitted Socks East and West, by Judy Sumner
Yarn: Rowan Magpie Aran (discontinued), 2 skeins in grey
Needles: 4.5 mm dpns
(Sorry I could only manage close-ups. With my bum knee, I couldn't steady myself enough to take a good overhead shot.)
Too thick for shoes, but perfect for keeping my feet nice and warm as I curl up on the sofa with a good book. Have a warm and toasty weekend!
Sunday, November 29, 2009
As my American friends celebrate thanksgiving this weekend, I too have so much to be grateful for. You see, Friday night, I had a little accident. I was hit by a car while running. I was crossing a busy street at the crosswalk (I did have the right of way) and a turning car didn't see me and struck me. Miraculously, I have no serious injuries. My right knee is a bit busted up, and I have bruises and scrapes everywhere, but I'm so insanely happy to be in one piece.
The whole thing was so surreal. The sudden, intense blow to the body (I did not see it coming), the crowd of people, the sirens, the ambulance ride—it was so weird. Surprisingly, I was quite calm. My only worry was that my husband would be scared when he got the call from the police. Once he showed up at the hospital I felt better. It took a long time while they checked me out (x-rays, cat scans, tetanus shot, glueing my head back together—fun times!) but the final verdict was that I would come out of it alive and happy.
And friends, I am SO HAPPY! You can't even imagine! Happy that I'm here, happy to live in a country with universal health care (I can't imagine the medical bills I would have otherwise!) happy for all the lovely people that care about me, and happy that I can still knit (no damage to the hands, people!)
The paramedic told me I should buy a lottery ticket. What a lucky girl I am! My marathon training might have to wait, but I don't care. Walking with a cane is a blessing compared to the alternative.
So, let's spread some of this luck around. On to the Selvedge giveaway. The random number generator picked Cornflower as the lucky winner (visit her great blog and book club!) Congratulations! Please email me with your address and I'll send the magazine to you, as soon as I can hobble to the post office.
Happy thanksgiving everyone!
Saturday, November 21, 2009
I got a little surprise in the mail recently:
A second issue of the latest Selvedge magazine. If you don't know this publication, it's an absolutely gorgeous fiber arts magazine from England.
When I contacted Selvedge to let them know, they told me there was a little glitch in my subscription, and that I could pass on the 2nd copy to a friend.
So... if you're interested, leave me a comment, and I'll choose someone at random next weekend.
Hope you're having a nice weekend. I'm tending to some woefully neglected household chores. But there's sure to be knitting somewhere in there too.
Wednesday, November 11, 2009
Bright star, would I were stedfast as thou art—
Not in lone splendour hung aloft the night
And watching, with eternal lids apart,
Like nature’s patient, sleepless Eremite,
The moving waters at their priestlike task
Of pure ablution round earth’s human shores,
Or gazing on the new soft-fallen mask
Of snow upon the mountains and the moors—
No—yet still stedfast, still unchangeable,
Pillow’d upon my fair love’s ripening breast,
To feel for ever its soft fall and swell,
Awake for ever in a sweet unrest,
Still, still to hear her tender-taken breath,
And so live ever—or else swoon to death.
Bright Star is by far one of the most beautiful movies I've ever seen.
I loved it so much, I saw it twice.
And I'm seriously tempted to see it again. The sets, the actors, the English countryside, the way the poetry is woven in so naturally... it all made me swoon.
One of the many things I loved about it was spying all the Sophie Digard creations the Brawne sisters wear.
And you mustn't miss this lovely website featuring Jane Campion's production scrapbook.
Sunday, November 8, 2009
This was the finishing weekend. I'm securing a steek with a crochet edge as we speak. This is a plain grey seamless hybrid cardigan for my very patient husband. I started it over a year ago. So close now.
In honour of Vestvember, I also finished my golden vest.
Pattern: Plain and Simple Pullover, by Rain Knitwear Designs.
Yarn: Fleece Artist Blue Face Leicester 2/8
I test knit this great little top for Veera. If you don't know her blog, you should. I love her pure, simple aesthetics.This easy pattern produces a pretty and highly wearable garment. It's knit in fingering weight, so it was rather slow going, but I love how light and comfortable it is.
Have a sweet week everyone!
Sunday, October 25, 2009
So what have I been doing all this time?
Playing with some SERIOUSLY luscious yarn.
Pattern: Hiker's Waistcoat (free pattern here)
Yarn: Terra, by Fibre Company (40% baby alpaca, 40% merino wool, 20% silk), in Pokeberry
The yarn exceeded my expectations. I've long admired the stunning colours and luxe hand of Terra, but worried about how "floppy" it was in the skein. But knit up, it has both body and drape. I've worn the vest several times with no sign of piling or wear. And it's so cushy and comforting. LOVE.
It was tough choosing a colour! In theory, I'm ambivalent about pink, but in practice, it looks really nice on me. And it's surprisingly versatile, pairing up beautifully with my mostly grey, black and blue wardrobe.
Ok, well, time to get off the laptop. I still need to restrict my computer time, so please forgive me if I don't post or visit you as often as I used to. Staying away from all your lovely blogs and Ravelry activities has been hard. But resting my eyes has meant that I can pick up my sticks and strings again. As much as I love my virtual knitting life, I value my REAL knitting life more. I'm sure you understand.
Monday, September 14, 2009
Thank you all for your sweet well-wishes. Rest assured that this is not a serious problem (my eye doctor confirmed it Friday). Nothing a little rest can't fix. Long walks, listening to books on my ipod, frequent naps and most importantly keeping my laptop closed when I'm not at work are doing me a world of good.
So I'll be quiet here a while longer. I just wanted to tell you that I appreciate your messages and that I'm doing fine.
Wednesday, September 9, 2009
Hello dear friends. Just a little note to say that you may not hear from me for a little while. My eyes are on strike, so I have to take a computer break. Loooong work hours in front of the screen + reading blogs and email + surfing the net + Ravelry = eyes that don't work so well.
I'm suffering from major eye strain (twitching, burning, trouble focusing), making it very difficult to work right now. Since I can't really stop bringing home the bacon, I'm going to have to cut my extra-curricular computer activity to a bare minimum, at least for a little while. I'm also going to have to slow down on knitting, quilting, drawing and reading, at least till my eyes recover. I'm not sure what I'm going to do with myself...
As soon as things calm down at work, I'll pop by again and say hello.
Until then, keep well!
Saturday, September 5, 2009
Some of you asked about the yarn I'm using for my golden vest. It's Fleece Artist Blue Face Leicester 2/8. To quote Rachel Zoe, this yarn is bananas. It's got the same lofty haloed look of Shetland, but it's so much softer.
Now to tell you about a delightful thing that happened to me. Believe it or not, I won another giveaway, the third this year! (Please don't hate me.)
Rebecca from the pretty Poshyarns was giving away a copy of the new fall Rowan.
It's the quintessential Rowan fall issue. Beautiful people in beautiful places wearing beautiful knits. Sigh... I love it.
I have enough Cocoon in my stash for this gorgeous thing.
I'm hoping to cast-on soon.
I'd love to knit this as a cardigan.
This is the PERFECT sweater for a walk in the autumn leaves, don't you think?
And can you imagine how luscious it would be, all those gorgeous colours of Felted Aran Tweed?
I would sell my soul for this girl's hair.
Even more lovely was what Rebecca included in the package:
A pretty fabric flower that she made. It's just the perfect thing for my fall coat. Thank you so much Rebecca! Check out her shop for more beautiful creations.
I promise, I'm not entering any more contests for at least a year. I even resisted this wonderful giveaway. But you shouldn't. So go see t.
Thursday, September 3, 2009
Tuesday, September 1, 2009
Saturday, August 29, 2009
I'm not in a writing mood lately.
But I do feel like showing you some of the lovely things I picked up in New York.
Hope you won't mind this rather "quiet" post.
Back issue of Selvedge magazine
Hildy from the Lima Collection
Babycakes recipe book
Linen from B&J
Liberty fat quarters from Purl
Thursday, August 20, 2009
This post got me thinking about favourite songs. Sheesh, it would take me forever to whittle a list down to my desert island must-haves, but I thought it would be fun to see what comes out off the top of my head. Of course if you asked me tomorrow, I'd have a totally different list. Consider this a completely random roundup:
1. River Man, Nick Drake
2. Burning Down The House, Talking Heads
3. Spelunking, Laura Veirs
4. Heartbeat, David Sylvian
5. Never Had No One Ever, The Smiths
6. God, John Lennon
7. Digital, Joy Division
8. When the Levee Breaks, Led Zeppelin
9. Emily, Joanna Newsom
10. Turn You Inside-Out, REM
11. Brothers Gonna Work It Out, Public Enemy
12. He Doesn't Know Why, Fleet Foxes
13. All The Love, Kate Bush
14. Eye No, Prince
15. Kooks, David Bowie
16. Company In My Back, Wilco
17. Give It Up, Talk Talk
18. Across the Universe, The Beatles
19. Oh Well, Okay, Elliott Smith
20. Refuge Of The Roads, Joni Mitchell
21. Black Dove, Tori Amos
Hmm, pretty nostalgia-heavy there, grandma...
I limited myself to one song per artist, though really, many of them could fill up the list by themselves (I could EASILY have all Smiths songs for instance, to my DH's chagrin). And I left off classical music, French artists, and guilty pleasures, all of which take up a good chunk of my ear space too.
What are some of your favourite songs?
Sunday, August 9, 2009
Thank you for your encouraging words following my last post. I've dusted off my sketchbook and have been drawing again. It feels good.
But fear not, there is still lots of yarn in my world. I was on a fibre mission in NYC, looking for speckled skeins of Koigu KPPPM. In soft, sun-faded, beachy colours. I have been collecting some of this stuff over the years, and wanted to buy up enough to finally make a Barn Raising Quilt.
I started making some squares.
I'm totally hooked.
Thursday, August 6, 2009
One of the main reasons why we love NYC so much is all the great opportunities to see art. It seems like every time we go, there's always a major show I'm dying to see. This time it was Francis Bacon at the Met, and James Ensor at MoMA. There were smaller shows too, Fashioning Felt at the Cooper-Hewitt, and Ray Johnson at Richard L. Feigen & Company (if you don't know Ray Johnson, you should see "How to Draw a Bunny" a fantastic documentary on him). Another fun thing we always do is take a ramble in the art gallery district in Chelsea. You can pick up a free directory of all the galleries and the work they feature. It makes for a great, free afternoon, and we get to see what's happening right now in the NY art scene.
One of my favourite pieces was at MoMA, an art installation called "Measuring the Universe", by Roman Ondak:
"Over the course of the exhibition, attendants mark Museum visitors' heights, first names, and date of the measurement on the gallery walls. Beginning as an empty white space, over time the gallery gradually accumulates the traces of thousands of people."
This short video shows the artist explaining the ideas behind his work.
I couldn't resist being measured up for posterity. I was excited to participate in this lovely piece. I can now officially say that I'm in the Museum of Modern Art. Maybe not in the way that I had imagined, when I dreamed of one day becoming a famous artist...
I always come back from NYC feeling nourished creatively. Art-making seems more fluid there, more intrinsic to everyday life. I find it difficult maintaining my artistic drive while stuck in my 9 to 5, but I really feel a deep need to spend more time making art. Maybe even at the expense of other things like knitting. I haven't talked about this here before, but my ambition in life has always been to work as a serious artist. But apart from studying fine art in university, and showing/selling a few pieces here and there, I haven't found the courage yet to really make it happen. I find it scary.
I think my love of NYC is a way to keep that little creative flame alive.
Wednesday, August 5, 2009
...when you have new rubber boots!
So the weatherman was right, we did get crazy storms pretty much every day we were in NYC. But we didn't care. It was actually quite romantic, huddling under an umbrella, arm in arm, taking frequent refuge in some cozy cafe. We had such a lovely time!
And oh, how nice it is to be home again. Wouldn't you know it, the sun has finally come out.
In the next couple of days, I'll show you some of what we did, and the treasures we found. For now, I have piles of laundry to contend with.
Sunday, July 26, 2009
In less than 48 hours, we'll be leaving for our now annual wedding anniversary trip to NYC (I can't WAIT). I wondered if the weather in NY has been as crazy as it has been here this "summer". Anyhoodle, I checked the 7-day weather forecast:
Tuesday: Mostly sunny. A chance of showers and thunderstorms in the afternoon. Humid with highs in the upper 80s.
Wednesday: Partly sunny. A chance of showers and thunderstorms in the afternoon. Highs in the upper 80s.
Thursday: Mostly cloudy with a chance of showers and thunderstorms. Highs in the upper 80s.
Friday: Mostly cloudy with a chance of showers and thunderstorms. Highs in the lower 80s.
Saturday: Mostly cloudy with a chance of showers and thunderstorms. Highs in the upper 80s.
Sunday: Mostly cloudy in the morning...then becoming partly sunny. A chance of showers and thunderstorms. Highs in the mid 80s.
Hmmm.... I'm detecting a pattern here. I might have to pick up a pair of these!
Saturday, July 11, 2009
One of my favourite things about summer is that it's perfectly acceptable to simply have a big bowl of cherries for diner.
Listening to this soft song.
Watching this sad and beautiful film.
Reading this great bio, in preparation for a retrospective I'll soon be seeing at the Met.
Monday, July 6, 2009
Hello there. Last week I was nestled at my parents' seaside home for a little vacation. Despite being sick for most of it, and the cold rainy weather, I managed to have a nice time. Books were read, naps were taken, comfort food was eaten, socks were finished, and I even found some time to learn a new handcraft.
There's a strong tradition of hand-quilting in Acadian culture. My maman is one of a long line of master quilters in my family. She turns simple cottons and threads into masterpieces (one day I'll show you my gorgeous wholecloth whitework wedding quilt). It was high time the knowledge got passed down to the next generation.
So with my maman's patient help, I modestly started on my own quilting journey. My interest mainly lies in the "piquage", (piquer is the french term for quilting, and the word literally means to prick with a sharp object) using the stitches to make a design on one large piece of cloth, instead of piecing or appliqueing different fabrics together.
I'm starting off with a simple crown design to fashion a small pillow. Forming small and even stitches takes practice, but I'm enjoying the soothing, repetitive movements (sound familiar)? And I especially love the threads that connect me to my fore-mothers. These small simple movements feel encoded into my very DNA.
Sunday, June 21, 2009
Happy Summer Solstice everyone! In honor of the longest and "lightest" day of the year, I give you the Aestlight shawl.
Ok, so maybe a Shetland wool shawl is not the most appropriate garment for the first official day of the summer, but I just finished test-knitting it for Gudrun, and I was excited to show it to you. Isn't it a beautiful pattern?
Pattern: Aestlight, by Shetland Trader
Yarn: Rowan Scottish Tweed 4-ply, in "Thatch", 6 balls
It was a pleasure knitting Aestlight. Gudrun's pattern has clear instructions and helpful instructional photos. I loved the soothing stretches of garter, and easy-but-entertaining bits of lace. It was the first time I knit an edging sideways onto live stitches, and it was much easier than I imagined, with lovely results. I know that Gudrun will be making the pattern available soon. You should definitely add it to your queue!
Enjoy this lovely, long summer "sun"day.
Edit: the pattern is now available here