21 December 2005


Ooops - accidentally wrapped the scarves before shooting them in the sun. OK, I forgot, so fire me! It's a busy time of the year and I ain't
unwrapping em.
Also, I did diligentally work on the top this evening - I really want to wear it to the party I"m having on Friday - but it stll looks funny.

11 December 2005

Two Things Finished!

Well, 2 things that are pretty much the same and were being worked on concurrently. They still counts as two scarves. Hmmm...2 scarves, 2 sisters...Christmas is soon. I believe I've just made 2 check marks on my gift giving list.
Below, you see the scarves having their cold salt and vinegar soak, which will hopefully set the dyes a bit and get rid of some of the funky factory floor dust smell. Then, there they are drying on the sweater rack on my kitchen floor. The one on the left was knit with 9mm needles and the right with 7.5mm. Both are the same drop stitch pattern.When they are dry, I will take them out on a sunny day for a photo shoot so you can admire their true brilliance.

I've also finished the top I was working on but it looks "funny". No photos until I figure out how to fix that.

05 December 2005

Can't Finish Anything

So, I have Can't-finish-it-itis, that rare frustrating condition whereby the finishing is so boring and the casting on of a new project is so very enticing. Currently have 2 scarves, 2 sweaters and one doll in progress and I just started another sweater. Also, the rug is almost done. Two more rounds of one colour to finish it off are needed. I promise myself, that within the week, I will have an evening of seams and weaving in ends and photo taking.

In the meantime, here is a completely unrelated yet vital piece of business:

The Top 5 Songs To Which Yvette Is Currently Dancing Around Her House

1) Love Letter Bonnie Raitt
2) No Sugar Tonight/New Mother Nature The Guess Who
3) Gimme Shelter The Rolling Stones
4) Hard To Handle The Black Crowes
5) Up On Cripple Creek The Band

For those of you not already onto this amazing woman, get on over to Crazy Aunt Purl. Her divorce became final today and she has left me weeping and laughing simultaneously with her honesty and insight, as she so often does. Everybody send this gift from heaven telepathic good vibes today.

29 November 2005

Ah, Red Wine and Knitting

A delightful, delightful time. So it is possible to work a 12 hour day and still do the fab thing. I just love knitting. With what other endeavour can a girl walk into group of total strangers and within 5 minutes be laughing and comfortable? Thanks to (going around the table, and with apologies if mispelt)) Amy, Sophie, Tara, Janine, Ann Marie, Elizabeth, Erin, Vivienne, Elizabeth and Jen. Everyone was as friendly as could be. And I will definitely be checking out SnB at The Knit Cafe as Amy suggested. I wasn't familiar with that one. One highlight of the evening was when Veronica Tennant (a knitter, as it turns out) and her husband came over to chat. How lovely she is. Speaking as someone who, as a girl, had pictures of her Juliet all over my bedroom, I was thrilled.

Very impressed with the Rosewater. I could certainly get used to the gracious, elegant service of the staff and the beautiful surroundings. At one point, when they were out of a wine that I had ordered, the sommelier came over to personally apologize. Wow. Nothing like that has ever happened to me before. Alas, my pocketbook could not handle the swanky living too regularly. What an amazing treat though. Perhaps the husband could be persuaded to...

Special thanks to the Urban Sherpa for organizing the whole thing. You rock. And you do it while looking incredibly sexy in your little black dress.

I floated home on a warm sea of expensive red wine, very glad that I went.

23 November 2005

Some Past Work

I haven't finished anything new in a while due to having so many projects on the go. I did, however, run across this little item that I knit last winter. I'd actually forgotten about it until it was spotted half under the bed of the daughter. Worth a look I thought. It's prettier than I remember.
The problem with all the dolly dresses I've knit is that I kind of make them up as I go along. I start with a skirt pattern from one of the old books and work up, adjusting the size and mixing and matching as I go. I always forget to write anything down, so if I hit a winner, there is no way to ever replicate it.
The special feature of this dress is it was my first time switching colour in mid row - the bodice. With my instructions firmly beside me I wrapped that red and purple into a right tangly mess. Not a bad result though. The sleeves are a little boxy for my taste.

21 November 2005

What'll I Wear?

Just a quick note to babble about how happy I am that the Very Special S'n'B is this Saturday. What an amazingly festive idea, organized by the lovely women of TTC Knitalong. That event looked like so much fun, that I got the nerve up to RSVP for the Rosewater evening. "Nerve?", you say? Yes, nerve. It can be hard to do the social thing with a group of people one has never met before. However, everyone seems so cool and I am really looking forward to meeting you all. This fits in beautifully with my plan to get my butt out once in a while and see people.
If you'll excuse me now, I have to spend the rest of the week trying on everything I own.

17 November 2005

Got It

After an entire evening of trying patterns, stitches and needle sizes (frog and frog again), I finally found a pattern that suits the sari silk.

The Drop Stitch Scarf from Stitch 'n' Bitch Nation has a loose enough, yet fancy enough weave, that it really highlights the colours and varying texture of the yarn. It's also embarrassingly easy. Now, because each ball of yarn is a different colour tone, and 2 skeins seemed to be required per scarf, I broke one ball half way through and joined on a new one. That ball is now used and I'm about to join on the second half of the first for a hopefully planned looking colour scheme. This is really due to the fact that I hate knitting stripes.
This yarn has a fibre factory smell to it, and it is not colourfast so it will need a salt and vinegar soak before blocking.

The scarf so far...If you were my sister, would you like me for Christmas?

A close up of the stitches.

12 November 2005

Silk and Musings

The sari silk arrived two days ago and of course, the first thing I did was take pictures. That's the daughter's hand. She is practising to be a game show model here. LOVE the colours!! It came with a page of instructions which I'm enjoying following as I wind the balls, untwisting the over twisted sections by wrapping an elastic around the ball and dangling the thing. Ever untwist the phone receiver cord? Same principle. Highly entertaining. The texture is coarser than I expected. Now I'm musing about what to knit with it.

Speaking of musings...I'm at a bit of an impass, blog-wise. I'm wondering about my blog's direction and content. I've been cruising many knitting blogs, both in the GTA ring and around the world, and I've noted several styles. Some are strictly knitting - no personal info or pictures. Others have almost no knitting content at all, rant about any old thing , include tons of personal photos. I intended mine to be the former - just knitting, but now I'm reconsidering. The blogs that are the most interesting and that I re-visit over and over again, tend to be those that have achieved a balance. It seems that when the craft is put into a context, it takes on more meaning. One comment I came across recently was that the blog writer wished more people, would include photos of their surroundings. However, I also personally find the blogs with endless pictures of aunts, children, boyfriends, girlfriends, babies on & on etc...to be tiresome. (I'll also never put a picture of the daughter here - per her request and my own unease).

Open for discussion: What do you think? What's in good taste, bad taste? Entertaining? Just plain boring? How much is too much or too little?

07 November 2005

I Did The "needs to" Thingy.

Very cool! Here's what I Googled:

1) Yvette needs to try on these clothes.
2) Yvette needs to think about what she is trying to demonstrate.
3) Yvette needs To pick up her Phone.
4) Yvette needs to find another line of work .
5) Yvette needs to shut her mouth for 5 minutes. She is a yammering moron.
6) Yvette needs to get shaken up.
7) Yvette needs to discuss the ideal location, then training can be arranged.
8) Yvette needs to get her ears cleared out .
9) Yvette needs to stop doing this to herself.
10) Yvette needs to go!!

31 October 2005

Happy Halloween


Another post so soon? Well I thought that besides displaying this year's pumpkin, I'd best give an update on the backless summer top. Progress is slow now, perhaps because summer seems so very far away.

Anyway, it's a little lumpy. I seem to be tension challenged these days. I do love the look and feel of the fabric though. I was knitting outside one day and it looks gorgeous in the sun. There is a heaviness to the fall of it, so I think it will be quite slinky. Hopefully, the beauty of the yarn will compensate for the occasional oogly stitch.

There is a possibility that it won't be wide enough - a slight miscalculation in gauge. If that's the case, I'll knit a panel to add into the back. It should be quite simple considering the bottom half of this shirt is basically a tube.

Here's a picture of the front and back. I'm in the mood to get back at it but I must finish the laundry and grocery shopping first. After a night of costume sewing, I don't know if I can handle any more glamour!

30 October 2005

ebay Rocks My Socks!

I've been coveting this recycled silk sari yarn for quite some time. Inner battle went something like this: You don't need any more yarn! But it's sooo pretty. You have no idea what you'll make with it! But I waaant it! Yesterday, I finally quit fighting it and purchased a lot of 10 skeins on ebay. The picture is from the sellers site. The actual colours of my yarn won't become known to me until the shipment arrives. I'm so excited I could just pee. A special surprise is on the way for me. I think I got a good deal too. It'll come to about $50 Cdn with the shipping. If that's not a good deal, please don't tell me.

Two weeks ago I bought this baby, also on the modern wonder known as ebay. A woman in Scarborough had 5 or 6 1960's Vogue Knitting on auction. I chose this one, 1964, because that's the year of my birth (ouch! personal information). Check out the height of that hair. It doesn't even fit on the page.

My favourite photo is the purple with turban number. This woman oozes cool.

The one I intend to knit is the jacket in the black and white photo. It has an interesting slip stitch pattern that creates the woven tweed effect. And I already have the perfect yarn in my stash so no more purchases necessary!

The daughter, who is sitting next to me, just told me I need to use up all the yarn I have and stop buying new stuff. Hee hee.

23 October 2005

Blythe Jacket Done

Ok, above we have what it is supposed to look like as knitted by the wonderful Knitty designer and modeled by a vixenish Blythe. Note the beautiful seams and the way the shawl collar folds out so luxuriously.

Below is my version as modeled by one of the 3 Wee Friends while she hangs with Bogey & Bacall. Lumpy, lumpy arm seams and my collar inexplicably curls in. I think that has something to do with the way I pick up stitches. I always have trouble with that particular skill. Not my best work but I do like my substitution of a cute button for the suggested snap at the waist.

Regarding the Wee Friends. Who is familiar with them? They always come as a set (blonde, redhead and brunette) and in a theme (winter, ballet, etc.). They're made by Mattel and are smaller and more realistic than Barbie. The daughter and I quite like them. The problem is that there do not seem to be any clothes sold separately so, you're stuck with just what comes in your set. Barbie clothes don't fit them (although, those are Ken's shoes in the picture). So, I'm knitting tiny outfits with lumpy seams. I made a delightful cable sweater last spring but the innocent looking grey cat of my previous post chewed it to bits.

Does anybody know of any commercially available clothing for these dolls?

17 October 2005

No Camera, AARGH!

I was in the mood for doll clothes so I knit the Blythe jacket from Knitty this weekend. You may have noticed from past posts, that I enjoy making doll clothes. I find that they are great when I feel like accomplishing an entire project over a weekend. Also, the patterns can be played with so easily. I feel a bit like a mini fashion designer sometimes mixing and matching dress skirts and tops, playing with different colours and textures, adding beads, fringe etc. The problem is, I fear that soon my daughter and her friends will be too old to want the fruits of my efforts. Then, what will I do?
Anyway, the pieces were all finished and pinned to the board for blocking. I went for the camera and it's not there! It turns out that my husband took it to work for whatever reason and it's still sitting on his desk. Objects have a habit of slipping into the Twilight Zone at his office. I'll need to harass him to bring it home if I ever want to see it again.
I've started to sew the pieces together and the seams look fairly pathetic, particularly around the underarm. I don't know if I'll ever get the hang of that area. It's especially difficult with such teeny tiny stitches. I may have over estimated my patience on this one. Pictures will follow asap.

In the meantime, here is a picture of Francois and Malcolm who are the best of friends.

14 October 2005

A couple of days ago the daughter was helping me wind yarn when she said, "I'm glad I have a Mommy who knits. Really. You're different when you knit."

05 October 2005

Is It Brown or Gray?

Yesterday it was the ugliest brown/gray man's sweater ever. Today it is approx. 1200 yards of fresh clean cotton yarn drying in the miraculous October sun. Someday, it will be the Mermaid Mesh tunic from Interweave.
So pretty, I just had to take a picture!

04 October 2005

A Holiday

Yes, I actually took a holiday. Life has been extremely stressful lately and I found myself physically and emotionally exhausted, so I announced to the significant other that I was going away for the weekend. Lest you think me frivolous, let me just say that I have been with my partner for 17 years and I have never done this before! So off I go to Kingston where I plan to knit, shop, read, and hang out by the lake.

Knitting Story #1: I plan to spend the 2 1/2 hour train ride there, working on a lacy shawl thing with my Kikki. About 2 hours in, not only does it look terrible but it's obvious that I don't have enough wool. RIP!!! Now I have two days ahead of me and no pattern! My first stop in town is the LYS where, with the help of the the owner, it is decided that I have enough yarn to make the backless top in Rebecca. The pattern calls for a thicker yarn and 6mm circulars. I have with me 4mm straights. So, we'll knit the largest size, back and forth and life should be fine, right? I purchase the pattern mag for $23.00! Ouch!

Knitting Story #2: After a great weekend with beautiful weather I'm feeling calm, relaxed, and it's time to go home. (BTW, I highly recommend a mental health holiday if you can manage it. What a difference.) Anyway, back to the station I go to hop aboard the west bound train that will return me to the arms of my loving family. I even arrive early to avoid line ups. It turns out that there was a de-railment outside Montreal and no one is going anywhere. There are many cranky people in the station so I go outside, plunk my butt on the one bench and pull out the knitting. There have been a few snags in the progress, but more on that another day. Above mentioned bench is right beside the giant ashtray where the cabbies hang out waiting for fares. One by one, the taxi drivers arrive. The oldest of them gets his lawn chair out of the trunk and starts chain smoking the Export A's in the dark green pack. They have no passengers as the trains are all stuck, but everyone seems happy enough to hang out and chat. I spent over two hours hanging with these guys breathing second hand smoke and talking about the rail line, Kingston, food, and even knitting. One of them used to own a yarn store! The time flew by and I got tons done on my sweater as well.

27 September 2005

Rug Progress

Here it is so far. I must say, it's looking better than I expected. Needs to get at least twice as big, but I'm really moving at a good pace now that I have the hang of it. I'll also need to pick up some sort of rug backing.

The rug-to-be is photographed with my Kikki which I love. I only have 4 skeins - about 350 yards. I've been holding on to this yarn for months, terrified of wrecking it. But it's time to plunge in! My knitting needles are unpacked from the move and I can't wait to start something new. Perhaps a light shawl or capelet wouldn't require too much yarn? Suggestions anyone?

26 September 2005

My Summer Sweater

Finally, something for me. I finished this in August and wear it all the time.

The pattern as pictured on the left, is from the July issue of Creative Knitting. Size 6mm needles and bulky wool are called for in the original pattern. For July! No way!

My version, on the right, is knit from super soft recycled cotton. The colour is actually a little lighter than it appears in the photo. I had to use 5mm to avoid a very meshy fabric and knit the largest size printed to make up for the thinner yarn. I'm super happy with the result. It falls beautifully and looks great over a tank or a long sleeve jersey. Wore it once in the evening with a long summery skirt and my white lace push-up bra. Add big jewellery and instant fabulous!

19 September 2005


I absolutely want to make this. It's from a 1960's British Patons mag. Oh yes, I have a small collection of vintage pattern books that I buy on Ebay and at rummage sales.

Three Questions:

1) Can I find a nice yarn? Not the scratchy acrylic of the pattern but something soft yet shape holding. Also, can I find said yarn on sale?

2) Is it wide enough to fall gracefully over the huge hips? I quit smoking recently and gained 10 pounds in a month!!! I refuse to stress about this. I now have more time and money for knitting - oh, I may live longer too.

3) How old are you when wearing cute sixties dresses stops being cute and just looks pathetic?

17 September 2005

Corking Around

The snakes are going well (no current knitting projects due to having just moved). Some musings on fibre arts...
As I work on my mat, I remember corking with all my friends at recess during grade school. This was the early seventies. This memory always makes me think of the scene in Margaret Atwood's Cat's Eye, describing a similar reflection - it is called spool knitting in the book and Cordelia is pathetic at it. Has anybody else read this? This part of the story takes place, I believe, in the late forties, early fifties?
Now the daughter is helping with my mat. I bought her a great wooden corker - Canadian made, yay! - to replace the crappy plastic one that came with her craft book. She is becoming quite fast.
Anyway, she took her corker to school the other day and...you guessed it. "What's that?" "Show me how." "Can I have a turn?" Of course, this translates into "Mommy, can you pleease buy a corker for M? She really likes it and wants to make a hairband."
So, I bought two more. A spare won't hurt. I have visions of a circle of children, maybe even some boys in this scene, sitting in a circle on the grass...a knitting idyll. I love the continuity of craft, the tradition. Now I have a tear in my eye and simply can't go on.

12 September 2005

Remember Corking?

I always called it corking as a kid, but have discovered recently that it goes by many names - french knitting, spool knitting and i-cord are a few
Several months ago, I dragged the old corker out of the sewing basket and started using up my scrap yarn. But, what to do with the results? I made several cute flowers for hats but that got tired quickly.
I've always loved rag rugs so I spent an afternoon researching rug making on line to see if corked "snakes" can be adapted into a traditional looking rug. Particularly helpful was a 1971
Mother Earth News article titled Snug As A Bug In A Braided Rug.
Here's the plan. . .After I get enough ropes made for a good start, I'll begin braiding and stitching them into a mat for my bedroom. It will be gorgeous! It will be tons of fussy work! Why am I doing this!
Updates will follow.

07 September 2005

Links Day

I'm trying to learn a new part of blogging every time I log on. Today is figure out how to post links day. It's actually pretty simple.

I've chosen just two to start - both local Toronto independents. Beautiful stores each with its own flavour.
Knitomatic at Bathurst & St. Clair feels like a giant candy store...huge stash on shelves and in baskets. Impossible not to buy something. The proprietress seems to like colour as do I.
Lettuce Knit in Kensington Market is not as heavily stocked and feels more earthy. Shopping there, one senses the care with which each yarn was chosen. It's rather like choosing one piece of jewellry from the artisan's table when all the pieces are lovely.

We all could use some more yarn, right?

04 September 2005


The daughter doesn't get this one. She says it's ugly. Well, It is ugly but that's kinda the point. Got 2 balls of this acrylic sayelle. It's from Robinson's for heaven's sake! When did they go under? One simply has to make a retro seventies thing with such typically seventies yarn. I am quite pleased with the result.

I got the patterns off the internet - maybe about.com, but I can't remember exactly. They are printed and bindered so it doesn't really matter unless someone asks and who's likely to? Holy run on sentence Batman!

03 September 2005

A Place For My Projects

For my first entry, one of which I am particularly proud.
The yarn is recycled thrift store sweater acrylic. The pieces are all based on old patterns but adapted for today's 18" doll.The model is Tabitha, my daughter's Tolly Girl.
This ensemble was completed this past spring and sold on ebay.