31 July 2012

A Finished Object Not Finished By Me

Several weeks ago Lettuce Knit was having a sample clearance. Many of the ladies at knit night tried on this slinky silk top but everyone agreed it looked best on me. I modestly admit that it does rather look like it was made for me.  So, for twenty bucks, I got about $80 worth of Alchemy Silk, hand knit by Laura Chau into a fashionable little number I never would have dreamed of making for myself. Score!
It had been hanging about the shop for a long time and consequently, was looking rough.  There were several snags and exposed ends as well as couple of small holes.  The neckline ribbon was in particularly bad shape. Well I finally got around to making the necessary repairs and replacing the ribbon. Now it looks smashing! I really, really, really like it!  It feels fabulous and sexy.

I'm not sure how I managed the look of this lower photograph. It certainly wasn't on purpose but I love the  fuzzy result.  It reminds of a snap taken in the seventies and that's been exposed to the sun too long with it's wonky colour and faded quality.

28 July 2012

Going For Gold

I made the last minute decision yesterday to cast on an Olympic project. A few friends were getting together at our usual watering hole and it just felt right to throw aside all the current WIPs for two weeks and start something completely new.
I've chosen to knit Laura Chau's Top Down Shoulder Warmer.  The yarn and pattern have been in my stash since Christmas so it was a simple matter of winding up the hank and doing a quick swatch before heading out to watch the opening ceremonies.  I was originally attracted to this pattern last fall when, knitting at Lettuce one evening, I felt a chill and slipped on the store sample. I wore it the rest of the evening and fell in love.  It was so sad when I had to remove it at closing time! I loved it so much in fact that after purchasing the pattern, I went out and bought the same yarn  in the same colour as the sample.  This is something I never do.

Being an easy knit, it's not really in the spirit of  completing a "challenging" project over the course of the games. I just really want that shrug! So maybe this can be a bronze medal sprint rather than a golden marathon. Fine by me.

Photo of the store sample is from Laura Chau's Cosmicpluto site. Click Here to go to the pattern page.

20 July 2012

It's Called a Yarn Crawl

They don't call it a yarn crawl for nothing. Yes, yarn was acquired at the TTC Knitalong last week. Not that I need more yarn, or in fact, have any more room to store it. However, the participating stores greet us so warmly that it feels like my duty as a Team Captain to support them.
Passionknit unveiled a kit in honour of the Knitalong - a  gorgeous fingerless glove pattern made with two skeins of Koigu KPPPM.  I chose this darkish colour mix and have cast it on already. It's my first experience knitting with Koigu. I'm loving it.

I have a huge lace weight collection but no Zephyr.  This Aegean Blue 50/50 merino/silk just called to me from the Knitomatic shelf.  I mean really! At that discount?  How could I not buy it?
Time to pick up the pace on my lace knitting.

Romni made little surprise bags for us and this was in mine.  I don't know what it is.  It feels like  wool - a little scratchy, very earthy.  One suspects that it is wound from their cone collection.  The colours are delightful aren't they? So very Me.

I also picked up some burgundy toned Cascade sock yarn at Mary Maxim but haven't managed to get a nice photo.  Who knew they made sock yarn? It's lovely stuff.
A great by-product of attending the Knitalong has been the firing up of my knitting spirit.  Seeing all the wonderful product out there and the amazing work of my fellow knitters has really inspired me. I've spent quite a bit of time with my needles this week.  Hopefully there will be FO posts soon.

17 July 2012

TTC Knitalong 2012

photo courtesy of Michelle Hotchin
On July 14, I participated in my fourth TTC Knitalong.  What a remarkable (and sweaty!) day filled with yarn, knitting, and great friends. Over 90 people took part in this giant yarn crawl/knit-in-public spree. The knitting community continues to blow my mind. This year I took part in a more active way than ever before and I'm so happy I did.

People often ask who "actually runs" the Knitalong and the answer is, "We do". As Glenna says, "We are people with skills." We get things done.  Just look at us!
Planning for the Mid-July event starts in late April, often in a pub. with the choosing of a date and mapping of tentative routes.  A more formal meeting later and jobs are assigned.  There are stores and sponsors to contact, donations to solicit and collect, and a press release to create and distribute. Graphics are created, registration is administered, bags are ordered and the pins are made.  Not to mention keeping on top of  blog and Ravelry posts and Twitter.
The night before the big crawl, we assemble to assemble.  The swag bags and prize packs are created and counted out for each team.  Team lists are printed out and distributed. This huge operation requires the consumption of much wine. 
Then it's time for the big day.
Here, happy members of the most excellent Team Red knit on the St Clair car. 

My co-captain Emily and I both look smashing in Red.
Our stowaway Clara models a store sample.
At the end of a fun but tiring day, we assemble at a pub for prizes and refreshments.

A few years back, we discovered we had a little registration money left over after covering basic expenses.  We voted on a charity and chose Sistering because it is a local organization and it serves marginalized women in an inclusive way. Also they use knitting and crochet as just one of their many community building tools. Over the years, the TTC Knitalong  has tried to increase the fundraising aspect of our event. Through increased efficiency and enrollment, as well as the acquisition of sponsors, we raised over $1200 this year! The icing on the cake is that we got coverage in Torontoist, a well established Toronto media outlet. Amazing.

13 July 2012


The Knitting has just not been with me lately.  It's so damn hot.  Also, my brain seems to be occupied with other things.  At best, I knit maybe five rows a day. Not a great speed at which to finish a cardigan.

I did however, get a new camera! That's cause for a blog post! You may recall that my old one was well and truly pooched. I was borrowing The Daughter's but that couldn't go on indefinitely.  So I took advantage of Canon's July online sale and ordered a pretty basic model - the best I could afford.  It's one of the lower numbered models, (A1300) considered to be of the 'point & shoot' class.  However, it still has most of the features I'm used to (macro, light control, shutter speed control, special effects, self timer, etc) and takes remarkably good shots. The cool thing about technological advance is that the camera I paid $120 for today takes shots as good as the one the ex paid $500 for six years ago. And let's face it. I never learned how to use all the settings on the fancy one anyway.
The new camera is also small and light. I've been carrying it around all week, trying to familiarize myself with it.

It came to work with me to this year's Indy.

 It came along for a post-Indy beer.

It came with me the Fringe Festival - to the traditional venues and to those on the beautiful grounds of The University of Toronto.

 Lastly, it followed me on an errand to Bloor and Jane.

02 July 2012

When The Sum Does Not Equal The Parts

You know how sometimes you just keep knitting despite misgivings? This scarf has been my commute knit for months. Slowly I built it up, square by square, all the while with a feeling of 'meh'. It's especially odd because all the elements were there. The yarn, Malabrigo Sock, is such a smooth and lustrous knit.  The individual colours are stunning. There were times on the streetcar when the morning sun hit the coral and the violet tones in a way that took my breath away. And entrelac? One of my favourite processes.

Why then do I feel so blah about the end result? That tumeric tone has a lot to do with it. There's a fair bit of it and that colour looks simply terrible on me. In the end, I guess the scarf just doesn't look how I imagined it might.  
However, I'm sure there's someone out there who does think it's beautiful. As soon as I find that person she will become the scarf's owner.