Sunday, November 2, 2008

More Than Cloth

28th Exhibition and Sale
Glebe Community Centre
175 Third Avenue, Ottawa
Friday, October 31st, 2008 (4 to 8)
Saturday, November 1st, 2008 (10 to 5)
Sunday, November 2nd, 2008 (10 to 4)
Admission Free

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Progress x 17 Months

Finally, an update on my Mangoes For Breakfast afghan.

This afghan has been in the works for at least 17 months. I wasn't happy with my first conception which used multiple other yarns of various colours. At that time I planned to crochet it in squares. The previous squares are pictured back in May 2007.

From the start I wanted a colourful piece with squares within a square. I consider intarsia and mitered squres. In the end I chose the log cabin approach.

Each square measures 18" x 18." I finished 20 squares to cover a double bed. It will be 4 x 5 squares for a finished size of about 75" x 90"

I tried top seamed crochet join, but didn't like the added lines. Instead I am working on a mattress stitch join.

This is a mammoth, heavy project. To help with its structural stability I am making it into a quilt. I have the cotton batting and the cotton fabric for backing.

The fabric I chose was on sale from Fat Quarter Shop dot com. The print is Malibu Monkeys by Erin Michael for Moda Fabrics. The backing fabric is the one with the white background. I think it is a better backing choice and will make the overall finished piece a little less bold. The all yellow fabric is a deeper yellow than the Melody Sunny Yellow of the log cabin squares. I may use the yellow fabric for binding.

I am not certain how much quilting I will have to do to keep this piece together. I planned to use buttons to help with the sandwich process. I will have to see how this works. This is uncharted territory for me!

I likely will sew 4 pillow cases from the remaining fabric to send a long with the finished piece. It is exciting getting near the finish line with this enormous project. The finished result is still a fuzzy image in my mind's eye.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Team Scarf Pattern

Here we have a scarf I made for a die-hard Mets fan. It is a bit sad that we are in the Post Season and had to say good-bye to the Mets, at least until next year. This scarf gives tremendous comfort in the off season. The bright colours of a royal blue and orange scarf in the dead of a wet, damp, dark, bone chilling winter does the soul good. Spring is coming, and baseball will begin anew.

Now you don't have to be a New York, Metropolitan Baseball fan to enjoy such a scarf. This snugly neck warmer can be made in any colour combination you choose. You may prefer your school's colours, or the colours of some other team. So here are my very easy instructions for your very own Team Scarf!

Team Scarf Pattern

Yarn: Filatura Di Crosa Zara, 4 balls of primary colour, 3 balls of secondary colour.
(here the PC is 2382 Royal Blue, and the SC is 1762 Bright Orange)

Weight: DK, 8 ply (11 WPI)

Content: 100% Superwash Merino Wool

Weight: 50 g - 124 m

Care: Machine Wash

Needle: 4 mm, 4 DPN

In main colour (i.e., the colour for both ends - here blue) do a provisional cast-on of 60 stitches over three DPNs (4 mm).

Knit 25 rounds in blue, then Knit 25 rounds in orange, Continue for desired length ending with the main colour.

Graft the end closed.

Then remove the provisional stitch from the beginning and graft this end closed, making certain the scarf will lay flat for its entire length.

Then steam block the scarf.

Ta Da! You have made a lovely team scarf!

So long Billy Wagner, so long Mets. 'Til we meet again.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Simply Lovely Corrugator

I love The Corrugator pattern. I have made three thus far (sorry, I have only taken pics of the most recent incarnation). It has all the elements I look for in a scarf: reversible, straight forward pattern, and wearable. Bonus features of this treat include its unisex appeal, the pattern is free to download, and the designer is a Canadian too! Serendipitously, I found out that Paula (a.k.a., the designer) is the sister-in-law of a wonderful coworker of mine!

Pattern: The Corrugator

Designer: Paula of Hired Hands

Source: Free PDF File at

Yarn: Patons SWS (80 gm - 100 m), Medium weight (4)

Colour: Natural Earth x 2 (for the start and the finish); Natrual Wood (for the middle)

Content: 70% Wool, 30% Soy

Needle: 5.5 mm (US 9)

Tension: 17 stitches by 21 rows (10 cm x 10 cm)

My other scarves were also made using SWS. The colour combinations were:

  • Natural Moss (middle), Natural Earth (ends) - My favourite so far. Since the colour variations in SWS can be quite variable, I made certain there was sufficient green in the Natural Earth (to match the Natural Moss).
  • Natural Indigo (middle), Natural Denim (ends)

I highly remmend this scarf. It is a rapid knit. The result is beautiful and makes a wonderful gift.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Commuter Scarf Revisited

I created this mosaic using flickr toys. Here are pictures of most of my Commuter Scarves. I failed to take pictures of some of them before I sent them off as gifts.

This was my first ever self published pattern (pdf format), and I have been delighted to see other people's finished objects using this pattern. I have only used Noro yarn thus far but I have seen other beautiful scarves using other yarns. One that I plan to use myself is the self-striping Patons SWS yarn.

Other yarn examples that work well:

The pattern can be downloaded here.

Drop me a line if you decide to knit one (or two)!

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Know any Basketball Players?

Fiber Trends Felted Clogs

This is a very popular pattern out in cyberspace. I love the look of felted (a.k.a., fulled) wool, and clogs / slippers are a perfect choice for fulling. So I purchased the pattern and attempted to use up some of my yarn stash (click here to see the original project). The yarn to be used is double stranded worsted weight wool. And as you will see, tension (gauge) really does matter! These clogs were to be size 8 men's! They turned out as a Men's 17D!

This is my first ever felting project. Prior to felting my partner had quite a laugh. Quite simply, the un-felted clogs were ginormous! I assured her that felting would shrink them down to size - although, silently I too worried about their size.

Initially I tried hand felting them in the bathtub. That didn't work well. Then I took them down to the coin washing machine in our building. After 3 rounds of agitation ($1.50 a go) I gave up. Yes, the clogs had felted, but they remained huge! I don't know anyone who wears size 17! (Does anyone know if these clogs could be further fulled?)

Here you can see, the finished clog measures 15 inches. I don't know what to do with them except try to sell them on Etsy. Do you know someone who could and would wear these clogs? I have listed them at $5.00 with $15.00 postage. This price is negotiable. Truthfully I would like the postage to be covered - this is not a money making venture.

Now for a lovely picture of how I would like my second attempt to look...

These lovely clogs are knit by Leanne of To Knit Is Divine.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Perfect for Fall

Interweave Knits Photo

Pattern: Montego Bay Scarf
Designer: Amy R. Singer (of, of course)
Magazine: Interweave Knits Summer 2007
Yarn: Yarn Handmaiden Sea Silk (70% silk, 30% Seacell; 440 yd [400 m]/100 g)
Colour: Periwinkle, 1 skein

Mine: Oasis (100% SOYSILK® 240yds / 100g ball)
Colour: Passion 059; 2 balls
Tension: 5 sts and 8 rows = 1" US 6 (4.0mm)
Care Instructions: Hand wash and lay flat to dry

I love the lovely sumptuous drape of this scarf. It is so simply feminine. The knitting goes very quickly - the most detail oriented portion of the scarf is the braided fringe. With this yarn I did not need nearly all of the fringe lengths suggested in the pattern. Too bad I didn't document how much I did use (sorry).

Here is a close up of the fringe. I think the braiding was worth the effort. This pattern is one that I will likely knit over and over again. I am so happy with the results.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Meet Red


Welcome the newest member of the Sock Monkey Family - Red. He's a handsome, cheery fellow dressed in a fisherperson's hat and sweater with knitted boots besides. As you can see, there is a kinship with my fondly remembered sock monkey (How do you like the loop ears?)


The sweater was knit in the round and I made my first steeks for the arm holes. Thank goodness for Elizabeth Zimmermann and her instructions! The turtle neck is smaller than sock body to give Red the appearance of an neck. The boots (a basic sock pattern) are stuffed and sewn on the legs. I didn't like the look of a footless monkey.


Here he is checking out the dust bunnies between the wall and the head of the bed. I love his tail. My first tail attempt was horrible! I followed the instructions that come with the Fox River Red Heel Socks. It was way too short and too thick. This version is using nearly the full length of the sock and only a quarter of the width. I wasn't too sure where to attach the tail. Now I think it looks best above the red bottom.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Sock Monkey Memory

Sock Monkey Face - circa 1960

As a child I did not have an attachment to any particular toy except for my Great Aunt Win's Sock Monkey. This Sock Monkey lived at her place and I played with it every time we visited. I loved its hat, ears, limbs and tail. There is a picture of me, before memory, dragging it along by its arm. I am not sure what the attraction was but I have remember that monkey to this day. Before getting these pictures I spent more than a few spare moments looking at Sock Monkeys on line trying to remember what this one looked like. Well, my Great Aunt's daughter found him and took these pictures for me. He has suffered over the years, but it is so nice to see him again.

Sock Monkey Body - circa 1960

Here we have a full body shot. He used to have pompoms on all of his limbs and his tail. I remember his hat and ears very clearly.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Lovely Lace Socks

The lovely Embossed Leaves Socks are done. I have been wanting to knit up these socks ever since I first laid eyes on them. But first I had to find the perfect yarn...

Pattern: Embossed Leaves Socks
Source: Favorite Socks, by Interweave Press
Designer: Mona Schmidt (Her website can be found here.)
Yarn: Oceanwind Knits Hand-dyed Sock Merino, Thyme (I also considered the Sweetgrass colourway) - I believe the perfect yarn for this design
Needles: 3.25 mm (3 US)
Tension: 28 st / 10 cm (4 in)

I love the detail of the star toe that seems to complete the leaves.
The pattern (as printed) has two problems. First is the 1x1 rib cast on - I didn't like it and I found out that the designer hadn't done this cast on either. She had intended the tubular cast on. She even posted a Tubular Cast On tutorial on her blog. My cuff (above) is cast on in this method - I love it!

The other problem is where the heel gusset begins. The directions ask you to (gasp) cut the yarn. This is not needed. I just picked up one side of the heel flap (becomes needle 2 I think), continued with the lace pattern on needle 3 & 4, and then picked up the other side of the heel flap (needle 1). This works beautifully and I didn't cut the yarn!

Then I got carried away and continued all of the lace repeats for the foot. After finishing (weaving in ends and blocking) I realized that these socks were too long for the intended recipient. It took me a day before I could face frogging and re-knitting and re-blocking. But now they are perfect (if I do say so myself) and ready to be popped in the mail.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Garter Stitch Baby

My first Baby Surprise Jacket. appropriately knit for a friend's first child.

Pattern: Baby Surprise Jacket, from The Opinionated Knitter

(I used the pattern along with Dawn Adcock's notes.)

Designer: Elizabeth Zimmermann

Yarn: Sublime Extra Fine Merino Wool DK 063 Taffeta (light), 066 Myrtle (medium), 067 Sloe Berry (dark) - one ball each.

Needles: 4.0 mm (6 US)

Tension: 22 stitches per 10 cm (4")

This jacket is so famous I felt I HAD to knit one. Now that I have knit one I can see what all the fuss is about - it is so much fun to make. It goes from this amorphous shape to a lovely jacket with only two shoulder seams. EZ instructions were a challenge (but as you can see I got help from Dawn Adcock). Rather than just diving in to this project it was important for me to read and try to understand EZ's pattern. But once I started to understand the sweater was done before I knew it.

The choice of Sublime Extra Fine Merino was wonderful. I love the stitch definition and luxurious softness of the yarn.

I also made my first custom label (with the help of Grumerina, a.k.a. Kathy Veeza). Not the best picture, but you get the idea.

I complemented this pattern with Saartje's Bootees.

These lovelies knit up very quickly with what I had left over from the Baby Surprise Jacket. They are so cute!

And after all is said and done, here is what I have left over!

Note: My last post was November 17, 2007! I am still recovering from my computer crash and have rebuilt my system. Now I just have to put it all in the new chassis and, at last, recover the files from my previous hard drive. Well, I am back and it won't be so long again before I make another post.