Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Warm wishes

Just a little note to wish you a wonderful new year.
Thank you all for being so sweet, creative and inspiring!


May 2009 be filled with all good things, big and small. Health, hugs, fun and warmth! And may your needles click merrily along all year.

Monday, December 22, 2008

All wrapped up

In a new shawl, for me.

When I saw this beautiful creation, I knew I had to make one for myself. (Click on Ravelry link for instructions on how to make your own. Thank you, EraLunaris for the gorgeous inspiration!)

It's the ultimate automatic-pilot knitting. With beautiful yarn. My favourite kind of project.

I decided against the fringe, adding a little garter border instead.

The yarn looks grey from a few feet away, but up close, it's bursting with colours.



Flecks that show up beautifully through sunlight.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

A change in (seasonal) scenery, finally!

It's 4:30 am, and I cannot sleep. Too many to-do's rattling around in the ol'brain. Why not get up and take pictures of my Christmas tree instead?

I couldn't bear to leave up a post sporting jack-o-lanterns any longer (regardless of how cute that baby is).

I want to show you all the knitting I've been doing. But I can't.

It's secret knitting. And it's a big amorphous pile of grey stocking stitch anyway, so there's not much to see.

Twinkling lights and red wool pom poms are all I got for you, for now...

Stay warm,

Thursday, November 27, 2008

FO out in the wild

Thought you might like to see this sweater out and about. Isn't the model handsome?


Happy Thanksgiving to all my American friends!


Monday, November 24, 2008

Frogging up the planet

Let's keep our environment from unravelling!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

A long time coming

Finally, I get to show you a secret knitting project that I've been working on for a while. This sweater has been a long time coming for my very patient sister. It took a few tries with different yarn and different sizes, to finally get to an end product that fits her really well.

The pattern is Martha, from Rowan 28, and the yarn is the ever-yummy Felted Tweed. My sister couldn't get over the fact that she could wear it with just a little camisole underneath. She was expecting that "wooly" feeling. Nothing but felty softness instead.

I love the herringbone-esque stitch pattern. But I won't lie, it was a slooooow knit. My lil' sis is totally worth it though.

Doesn't she look like a happy customer?

Thursday, November 13, 2008


The snow from the last post is gone, but the damp wind is rattling my under-the-weather bones. So I made myself a new hat.


Worked in an evening and a half, this little beret was easy and fun to knit. I love me a well-placed bobble, and this sweet, free pattern is bobblelicious.

Pattern: Beanpole Beanie, here and on Ravelry
Yarn: Mission Falls 1824 wool (100% Merino Superwash), in # 30 Teal
Needles: 4.5 mm

A HUGE thank you to all who've taken the time to comment lately. Normally, I like to respond to everyone, but a very nasty and tenacious cold put me behind in all non-essential activities, and now I don't think I can catch up. Thank you, thank you, thank you for your sweetness. It is truly appreciated.

Now, back to my WIPs pile! I just finished a yummy cardigan for my sister in rust-coloured Felted Tweed. I just have to sew on the buttons, darn in ends, and block. I expect a photo shoot will happen this weekend. Can't wait to show you!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Your secrets are safe with me

Warning: rambly post up ahead.

What fun it was to read all of your secrets. Some made me laugh, some made me want to cry, and some made me go "Whaaa???" Thank you all for taking the time to share your stories.

What's no longer a secret? The name of the winner:

Congratulations Denise!!! Please send me your mailing info at so I can mail you your toasty wrist warmers.

As luck would have it, Denise's story struck me as the most dramatic, so I was "secretly" sort of hoping she'd win, but I swear, the random number generator knew not of my bias.

In other news, here's what I've been working on, as I cough, wheeze and sniffle my way out of a really bad cold:

My first ever toe-up sock!!!


I don't have the hang of it yet, but I hope eventually that toe-ups will become my go-to sock pattern. I can't say I enjoyed knitting the short row heel, but I do like the way the stripes "miter". And I LOVE the fact that I can use up the whole ball of yarn. I've only finished one sock so far, and I highly doubt that I'll get the other done before the end of Socktober. Oh well, c'est la vie!

Regia's Kaffe Fassett collection, in Fire

And on another, completely random note, this is what it looked like outside my backyard window this morning. Isn't that crazy? Happy Christmas, uh, I mean Halloween!


Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Secret knitting - Part 3

Ok, this isn't technically secret knitting. These wrist warmers were originally knit for me.


But sadly, I've discovered that the skin on my inner forearm is extremely sensitive. The yarn I chose is an incredibly soft mix of bamboo and baby alpaca, and still, I get all red and itchy after 5 minutes of wear.

Maybe one of you would like them? Ok, here's where the "secret" part comes in. Leave me a comment divulging a "secret" related to your knitting. It could be a favourite knitting tip of yours, an admission on how big your stash is, or perhaps a story about a garment that didn't turn out and that you didn't even want to blog about.


You have a week to comment, and then I'll divulge the (randomly chosen) winner.

By the way, if these wrist-warmers look very familiar to you, they should. They're based on ones featured in the latest Toast catalog, made famous in the knitting world by Leslie's amazing version. Truth is (since we're divulging secrets here) I was similarly inspired, and probably cast-on for mine around the same time she did. Like-minded "friends" perhaps? Kudos go to her for actually writing up a fantastic pattern and taking such beautiful pictures. I'm way too lazy for all of that.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Secret knitting - Part 2

Here's another gift for a dear high school chum of mine turning 40 this year. Sadly, we don't have the chance to see each other very often now, but when we do, it's as if no time has passed. A special friendship.

Forest Canopy Shawl

Or rather "shawlette". I only used 1 skein of Misti Alpaca Handpainted sock yarn in Azulichen. It's large enough to completely cover the shoulders, and would be worn more as a scarf than a shawl.


Though I love the fall colours in this yarn, I'm not totally sold on the results. Once again, I was lured by the loveliness of the variegated skein. Knit up, it has a vague camo effect that I'm not crazy about. But these are all her favourite colours, so I couldn't resist. I don't think I'll be knitting with variegated yarn again, with the exception of plain socks. But she seemed to really like it, and that's what's important right?


All that said, Forest Canopy is a great pattern (have a look at Heather's gorgeous version.) Quick, easy to memorize and very pretty. I'm planning on making one for myself, but this time in some heathery, tweedy solid!

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Secret knitting - Part 1

Here's a cowl and hat set that I knit for a friend's birthday. I'm headed to her party tonight, so it's now safe to reveal:

Pattern: Brooklyntweed's Turn a Square
Yarn: Noro Silk Garden (#272) and Mirasol Quina (Charcoal Black)

If you don't know Mirasol yarns, they're a really lovely company with beautiful yarns and a social conscience. Quina is a blend of Baby Alpaca and bamboo and has a softness and sheen to die for.

Pattern: My own made up design
Yarn: Luxury Baby Alpaca Sport (#403).

A quick modeled shot

I love Mother of Pearl buttons, but I feel a bit guilty about buying them. Our oceans are taxed enough as it is with overfishing, pollution, and climate change. One way of satisfying my button love is by combing charity shops for used clothes with shell buttons. I can usually score 5-7 buttons for a couple of bucks, which is often much cheaper than buying them new. I've amassed quite a nice collection over time, so my button box is always ready.

Well, gotta go, I have a card and some wrapping paper to buy. Hope all you Rhinebeckers are having a grand ole time. Wish I was there with you!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Rhymes with "safe asset"

Man, there's been TONS of knitting around these parts: a lace shawl, a cardigan, some wrist warmers, a hat, a cabled cowl, mystery socks... All of it is secret, but the items will be gifted soon, so I'll show you in the next couple of days.

In the meantime, I had the great fortune of attending a Kaffe Fassett/Brandon Mably lecture and day-long workshop. I've been a great admirer of Mr. Fassett since the early days. I have most of his books and videos, and whenever I get the doldrums, I dip into his rich tapestry world for a visual uplift. Never mind that I've never knitted a pattern of his (some of it is a bit too "Cliff Huxtable" for me) but the workshop sure gave me a hankering to start going BOLD with shapes and colours.

Glorious Colour!

The gist of the workshop was to take a simple pattern (Persian Poppies in this case), choose tons of colours from the pile, and just start playing. As you can see, we all came up with wildly different results. Brandon was a fun teacher, gently teasing us when our swatches would start looking like "bland porridge" or "slices of muddy potatoes". With his help, we all stepped out of our comfort zones (acid yellow and amethyst purple? Yum!) with dazzling results. I learned a lot.

Kaffe working on a gorgeous scarf

Hanging out with the technicolour master

If you get a chance to participate in one of these classes, I highly encourage you to do so! And you may get lucky like I did. There was a door prize and I won!!! I still cannot believe it, but I got a Brandon Mably book, and a kit to make a sweater called Caterpillar from Kaffe Knits Again. That's 24 balls of 4-ply Rowan Scottish Tweed in 12 colours, people! I was SO chuffed!

Monday, September 22, 2008


I'm still on my WIPs-busting crusade. And so far, I'm making good progress, polishing them off one at a time. The only problem is that my current project is one I cannot blog about. So would you like to see a pre-blog FO to tide you over?

I thought you would.


Pattern: Salina, from Rowan Vintage Knits
Yarn: Rowan Felted Tweed, #151 Bilberry
Mods: I decided not to knit the cuffs, but left the rest of the sleeve at a 3/4 length. Once it was done, I realized that the body was way too short on me, so I snipped off the bottom, picked up my stitches, and knit an extra couple of inches of seed stitch border.

I really like this sweater. The hourglass shaping is very flattering, the shape of the collar is pretty, and the yarn is soft and cozy. It's held up really well after a couple of years of wearing it. I also like that it looks just as nice dressed up with a skirt than it does with jeans.

A good, classic knit.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

File this one under: Whaaaaaaa????

A sure sign that the Apocalypse is upon us:


Is it me?

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

The warmth of friends

It was my dear friend Sarah's birthday on Sunday, so I had to make her a little something to keep her warm this winter. Haven was an appropriate choice: that's exactly what friendship like hers is like—a haven.

Sarah's Haven
(Sorry for the image quality. It was a late night fueled with too much food, drink, laughs and games. I almost won at Clue. I knew I couldn't trust Colonel Mustard!)

Pattern: Haven, by Kim Hargreaves, in Heartfelt, The Dark Collection
Yarn: Rowan's Cocoon, in "Cloud".
Mods: Worked on 7 mm instead of 8, because apparently I'm a loose woman. Only used 3 balls instead of 4 because Sarah is petite. 4 balls would make an incredibly looooong scarf.

This was an incredibly speedy knit. I cast on Wednesday, cast off Friday, blocked Saturday, and wrapped it up Sunday. I think she liked it. It sure looks pretty on her.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

More reasons to love the mailman

Got this in the mail the other day (a little retail therapy as a consolation for losing my NYC yarn).


Another Alice Starmore kit.

My fingers are itching! But I promised myself I would stay focused on my WIPs pile.


It's mighty tempting though....

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Lucky girl

Look what the Button Fairy brought me:

In a brown paper package tied up with string hid...

the prettiest treasure. All the way from Australia!

Thanks Nora! I hope to knit something worthy of such a beautiful button.

Friday, August 22, 2008

3 FO's and a half

A parade of simple socks, most of which have been patiently sitting in my basket, awaiting their mates:

Austerman Step in "Schlamm"
For DH. I'm a bit "meh" about this yarn. I think I've been spoiled, and it's hard for me to get excited by commercial sock yarn. But the ol' man likes them.

From a few posts back, Phildar Preface in marine and ecru, and a touch of STR in Pondscum. I'm popping these in the mail for my maman.

Compare and contrast the gargantuan black hole sock (Regia 6-ply) with the pale blue one (Regia 3-ply). Bear in mind that the blue one is a women's size 9 1/2. So basically, the black one is Hagrid-sized. Actually it's for my dad. This is my second attempt at knitting him socks. The first pair didn't exactly fit. I'm sending him this single sock, hoping that like Cinderella, it will slip effortlessly on his honking hoof. I'm not knitting the second one till I get confirmation that this one fits. That's a lot of sock, people! The blue one does have a mate, and this pair is mine.

Have a great weekend. I'll be busy slaying more wips. I've got a major incentive to get them done, as I won't allow myself to start this till everything else is done. A fantastic motivator!

Saturday, August 16, 2008

IIIIII love New Yoooooork...

Gird your loins chickadees, this is going to be a long one.

NYC was super fantastic, as always. Thank you SO much for your great suggestions. We ended up rambling around, doing our little thing, not taking ANY photos (I know, bad blogger!), but just soaking it all in. Unfortunately, I can't show you the Viewmaster in my mind. But I'd have to say this was one of our best trips ever. This girl couldn't ask for a better traveling partner. Not just on our trips, but everyday life. I am incredibly blessed. I love you chou. Happy anniversary!

Some of the highlights, in case you'll be in NYC soon:

- Louise Bourgeois at the Guggenheim
- Henry Darger at the Folk Art Museum. Along with Darger's amazing and unsettling work, the show featured other artists that were inspired by him, and I was particularly taken with the work of these two women:
Robyn O'Neil and Amy Cutler
- Mark Rothko and Joseph Beuys at MoMA
- Turner at the Met

If you're hungry:
- Order the incredible grilled corn at Café Habana
- Go to carb heaven at Po. Delicious, romantic, not too spendy.
- Best. Pizza. Ever. at Una Pizza Napoletana. A bit pricy for 'za, but TOTALLY worth it.
- Yummy comfort food can be found at Bubby's. Harvey Keitel can also be found there (we ran in to him right outside. He looks a LOT better in person than you would imagine).

If you have a little fun money in your pocket, go to:
- Downtown Yarns (thanks Mary Jane), a totally delightful, friendly and beautifully stocked yarn store. I bought many lovelies there, but sadly, I suffered a tragic loss. I left my shopping bag somewhere, and lost some REALLY nice yarn. We're talking Malabrigo laceweight nice. Blue Skies Chunky Alpaca nice. KOIGU nice!!! Frankly, it's too soon to talk about it. So let's move on.
- Don't like to put petroleum crap on your face? Korres on Wooster in Soho has yummy, natural face products.
- If you'd like to go back in time, visit Tender Buttons, a teeny store packed with the most beautiful buttons ever. I brought back some lovelies:

Mother of Pearl and horn buttons

Huge ebony button

I also bought some gorgeous Nani Iro fabric at Purl Patchwork.

I think I might make a kimono-style bathrobe with it.

And finally, you probably would like to see some knitting, wouldn't you?
Alrighty then, introducing:

What took me so long? Part 2

"Holy-crap-it's-freezing-in-the-office" Lap Blanket

Pattern: Felted Saddle Blanket from Greetings from Knit Café.
When I first bought this book, I thought, who the hell has a horse to knit this for? But then I stopped to look at the darn thing, and thought lap blanket! It's perfect.
Yarn: Noro Kureyon # 150, 14 skeins, bought on SUPER sale.
Mods: I didn't felt mine. It's warm enough as it is.

So cozy!

This mo has been in my wips basket for ever! The 18 hours of driving to-and-fro NYC helped me polish this baby off.

Hope you all have a lovely weekend! I'm off to see Sarah Harmer at the Ottawa Folk Festival. Of course, I'll be bringing my knitting...

Saturday, July 26, 2008

What took me so long? Part 1

I have attacked my WIPs pile with a vengeance, and am determined to finish EVERY SINGLE ITEM before I cast-on for something new. We'll see how that goes. You wouldn't believe how many UFOs I have.

Fresh off the needles:


Aran Pullover by Melanie Falick and Kristen Nicholas from one of my favourite baby books, Knitting for Baby. No mods, Mission Falls 1824 wool in Pistachio, 5mm needles.

This little ode to garter is a cashmere cowl knit with a single skein of Jade Sapphire, bought at Purl Soho last summer. It is divinely soft, as you can imagine.


Speaking of Purl and NYC, DH and I are headed there soon to celebrate our 10 year wedding anniversary (my, how time flies when you're having fun). I'd love some suggestions of your favourite NYC haunts: good places to eat, shop, walk, etc. We've got our own faves, but it's always nice to discover new places.