Heat Wave

I’d like to know who is propagating the myth that Canada is a cold country, because for the last week or two, southern Ontario has been hit with a heat wave. Temperatures are in the 30sC and feeling like 40sC (which, thanks to a handy conversion online, I can tell you is high 80s/90s in Fahrenheit). It’s hot. It’s especially hot for someone who doesn’t have air conditioning, and while I was able to fare quite well in the first few days, I very quickly lost the battle in trying to keep my house at a normal, comfortable living temperature.  New fans have been purchased, I relish my time at work with AC, and I’ve gone to a movie or two to escape the heat.  It was also quite lucky that we got a reprieve over the weekend and it cooled off somewhat, but summer has most certainly arrived, and she’s come with a vengeance!

This heat has also affected my knitting behaviours. My Doodler shawl, made with wool blend yarns, had to be put aside because working the the fibres was like a strange form of cruelty to myself.  Instead, I’m gravitating towards cottons. My Boxy sweater has come along with me to a few movies.  It’s knit in the round over what feels like a bazillion stitches, and right now I’m working towards almost a foot and a half in plain stockinette. It’s a perfect movie project, being worked in Berroco’s Weekend.  Also getting some attention as of late is my Sanibel Cowl, worked in Cascade’s Ultra Pima Paints.  I’m so in love with these colours, which is why I bought the skein to begin with.  I also adore how soft Ultra Pima feels, with excellent drape.  I’m looking forward to finishing this project, although I have a feeling wearing it won’t be possible until the first few autumnal days.


So, to that person who goes around asking Canadians if they live in igloos and take their dog sled to work, please, come visit the Greater Toronto Area. Not an igloo in sight, although one would be a welcome relief from the heat.

Happy knitting!

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Works in Progress Wednesday

I’m in a weird knitting stage where I want to be knitting, but I have no inspiration.  That hasn’t slowed me down though.

I’m working away at a pair of socks, yarn from the 2018 Knitter’s Frolic.  The speckles are making me super happy, and I love how the colours look together.  The yarn was from Bling Your String, 70g total in their Beach Glass colour.  Socks for my feet never take the full 100g that typically comes in a skein, but I was worried about running out with only 70 grams to work with (20g for the heel/toe and 50g of main colour).  My worry led to my weighing the yarn after completing each section to ensure I’d have enough for sock 2.  I did, and sock 2 is well on its way to completion.

I’m also making a lot of progress with my Doodler, and again, I’m going to gush about the colours working out well together. I just love the multi-coloured speckles anchored by the dark green.  I’m excited to get to the point where the third variegated colour is introduced.

I also started a blissfully simple project – Worsted Boxy by Joji Locatelli.  I bought a lot of cotton/acrylic yarn from Soper Creek (Berocco Weekend – it was a warm morning and I was completely put off by the idea of wool, hence the cotton), and I cast on later that afternoon.  Rounds and rounds of stockinette; I turn my brain off and just knit.

Happy knitting everyone!

On knitting up those pesky left overs

It’s inevitable. You find a pattern, buy the yarn, knit the pattern, and unless you end up playing an epic game of yarn chicken, you’re going to end up with left overs, those few grams of yarn that really, what CAN you do with it? A few weeks ago, these odds and sods were my focus and using them up in creative manners my mission.

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Well, first, I took over 100 grams from 5 different sock yarns and turned them into a lovely asymmetrical shawl.  I used the Ex-Boyfriends pattern and now have a shawl in browns, greens and a pop of purple. I felt highly satisfied when it was finished because those were 5 small cakes out of my stash.

Like many knitters, I also have quite a bit of acrylic kicking around. You know the yarn, the stuff you bought before you discovered your Local Yarn Shops and the wonderful and unique skeins they carry. Don’t get me wrong, acrylic has a time and place, but those small remnants were just taking up space and annoying me just enough to find a solution.  Enter my ‘Ugly Slippers.’ I took my favourite slipper pattern, divided up what was left of an orange and yellow into two, and finished off with the red, which I had significantly more of. The colours are out of order for me to call them ‘Jayne Cobb slippers’, but they are rather cunning, dontcha think?

For a final stash busting attempt, I discovered a new kind of torture. I had enough Opal remnants to make a smallish pair of socks, and tempted to try a new method, I bought 40″/100 cm circulars and started a pair of toe up two at a time socks. I. Hate. It. With a passion I didn’t know existed. The almost finished toes were lying on the top of my knitting basket, and we were in an epic showdown. My dilemma was: do I persevere and keep on, hoping that this method will grow on me, or do I face ‘defeat’, realize life’s to short to knit something I’m hating, and re-cast on with a different method, like my 9″ circulars which I LOVE? The desire for movie knitting won out, and I transferred one of the two onto my beloved 9″ circulars… Life’s too short to knit something out hate, right?

ASSEMBLE!

So, unless you’re living completely off the grid, a certain movie came out a few weeks ago, and I was SUPER excited to see a lot of super heroes hitting things. Okay, so maybe I’m over simplifying the new Avengers movie because OH MY GOODNESS what a movie! So much happened in that 2 hours and 40 minutes, and there is still so much to happen in Part 2! I had so many different feelings throughout the movie, but I won’t get into specifics, because, spoilers.

I did get the chance to debut my new Captain America shawl:


Quite a bit went into the making of this shawl: the yarn was all hand dyed, it was my first time trying beading, and the cast off involved casting off over 1500 stitches using the Jeny’s Stretchy Bind Off method. When I was around the one-third mark, I messaged a friend and asked her to send either help or vodka. Casting off really was a test of patience, but totally worth it.

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As well, I faced yet another instance of not paying attention to required yardage. One would think I’d learn my lesson, and this one hurt.  All of this yarn was hand dyed, and when I was about to start the second red stripe, I realized rather painfully I wouldn’t have enough yarn to finish it.  Did I mention it was hand dyed?? I was able to dye another skein, and I was pretty impressed at how close I was able to get the colours! In the picture above, the original skein is on the right, already caked and almost half used, and the newly dyed skein in on the left, waiting to be wound.  When it came to knitting the final red stripe, I blended the two colours, alternating skeins every row. Seriously folks, pay attention to yardage.

I have to add, I’m kinda loving this designer. Lalíe Roque has five patterns available FOR FREE on Ravelry, and all three relate somehow to a fandom. Right before Avengers Part 1 came out, she released a new pattern: a pair of fingerless gloves designed in the style of Thanos’s gauntlet which holds the infinity stones. I’d highly recommend checking out her designer page on Ravelry because I am simply inspired by her creativity.

Maybe I’ll make the gauntlets before Part 2 is dropped.

My Perfect Cowl

I have a new favourite knitting project, and I think I’m a wee bit obsessed.  Since delving into this knitting obsession hobby, I’ve become a big fan of shawls, scarves and any other neck accessory (neck-cessory?).  The problem with shawls is that throughout the day, they shift, they slouch, they constantly need to be adjusted.

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Enter the bandana cowl. Guys, they are, in my very humble opinion, the perfect cowl. They have interest with the shape – they look like a shawl, but without the fuss of constantly fiddling with the ends.  If you choose a simple pattern, the yarn can shine, like with my Escarpment Cowl.  The yarn was the fabulous Mineville Wool Project Merino DK Single, named in honour of the Ontario Science Centre, and the colours were truly the star with the rich blues and greens.  The simplicity of the pattern, designed by Shireen Nadir of Blue Brick Yarns, truly showcases the yarns.  It was designed in mind for her Blue Brick gradients – if you haven’t checked out this indie Canadian dyer yet, please head over to her website.  My apologies in advance to your bank account.


Even with a more intricate pattern, like Tipsoo Cowl by britt schmiesing, which somehow just FLEW off my needles a few weeks ago, the yarn still can be the star is naturally is (it’s Indigodragonfly, because I know you were curious) and yet the pattern allows for texture difference and adds interest to a knitter who may not always like the appeal of endless rounds of simple stockinette.

I’ve been endlessly searching Ravelry for more patterns of this structure.  I’m hoping to become comfortable enough with the construction of this accessory to perhaps experience to with my own designs. I end up wearing most shawls wrapped around my neck.  These bandana cowls allow for the same look of a shawl without the bulk and without the fuss.  Like I said, my perfect cowl.