Sunday, November 30, 2008

New arrival!

Well, it's been a busy week to say the least. It looks as though I'll be working on assignments and essays right into my holidays, because there's no way I'm going to finish everything before Thursday when school ends. The two things I absolutely have to get done are two presentations that I have on Wednesday and Thursday respectively. I wasn't very excited for my presentation for my Survey of Linguistic Theories class at first. However, this whole class has been a discovery for me that I don't dislike theory as much as I thought I did. The theory I'm going to present next week actually makes a lot of sense to me, and reconciles some of the differences between formal and functionalist views in linguistics. So, for those of you in my class, you can look forward to that this week.

As you can imagine, not a whole lot of knitting has been getting done. I've been working on the Christmas present for my sister. It's a secret, but maybe I'll give you a sneak peek next post.

The biggest news this week is that my friend Sean has become a father and welcomed his daughter Rena into the world. Check out the pictures of the new little one on his blog. She's absolutely gorgeous. I've got a knitting project for her nearly finished, but again, no pictures yet, because it's a surprise!! You'll get to see it after I mail it off and it arrives in Singapore. If you're on Ravelry, pictures might appear up there sooner.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

2am Adventures

It's fairly unusual for me to make this many posts in such a short time, but it's been an unusual couple of days.

I was woken up at 1:30am last night by my housemate shouting, "There's water pouring out of the wall!" And sure enough, their WAS water pouring out of the wall. Around where the water pipes are, to be exact, and the torrent was turning the floor into a floodplain. Luckily, the floor slopes down right about there, so it was taking longer to spread into the kitchen and laundry room. I ran to get some towels to form a barricade, to keep the water from spreading into the carpeted area, my roommate heroically waded into the torrent and found the water shutoff valve, and our housemate went to go find our landlady who lives above us on the 2nd floor of the house.

All 3 missions were successful. Well, nearly successful because our landlady wasn't home, but her son was and he assured us that the necessary calls would be made in the morning to have the water fixed. In the meantime, we were busily sopping up the water with towels and squeezing it into buckets, with our pyjama pants rolled up to our knees. Once the water was stopped, we were fairly efficient in getting rid of all the water, and removing anything that was at floor level to higher ground. Here's an action shot of my awesome roomies working hard to get the water cleaned up.

The morning was fairly uneventful with the exception of a small but persistent trickle of water which refused to stop running, but luckily was small enough that we could contain it. After having an expert in to assess the situation, we now have cold water (a VAST improvement over no water at all) and hopefully should have hot water back by tomorrow.

Also, my other reason for writing is to let you know that my awesome friend who goes by the name ifihadaboat in the online world is having a sale at her Etsy shop! She's offering free shipping for a limited time, so if you have a chance you should check out all of her beautiful handmade jewelry.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Some FO's and some not-so-FO's

As promised, I come with pictures for you! First up is what may one day be a cardigan. I made a significant amount of modifications to this pattern (the pattern is Stardust from Knitty) by making it in lace weight yarn. When I get around to assembling these pathetic looking pieces, I'll see if I can arrange an action shot, wearing it with the dress I originally wanted to wear it with. The original goal was to have this done for October so that I could wear it to SilverIlix' wedding. Obviously, that didn't happen. But nevertheless I'm sure I'll find a good opportunity to wear this, provided it turns out to be wearable when all is said and done.

Now, this next one was a weekend knitting binge, when I was struck with inspiration. The colours look a little wonky in the picture due to my terrible camera, but the greenish yarn is some lovely Manos del Uruguay that I'd been saving to make a nice cozy wool hat for myself. Personally, I think the white might be a bit too overwhelming, so I might try this pattern again with the colours reversed (which....would require more yarn....but I love Manos so much). We'll see. I charted out the pattern in Excel, and knit the hat top-down so that I could try it on as I went along. It turned out too big the first time, so I had to rip it all out and re-arrange my pattern to make it smaller. Right now, it's absolutely perfect! All that's left to do is fix the placement of one of the ear flaps, weave in my ends, and do a little blocking.

Pattern: Stash Buster Slippers
Yarn: Random stash yarn I had lying around
Outcome: Decent. Not my favourite slipper pattern I think, but it knits up quickly and these will keep your feet quite warm.
Modeled by: Aforementioned stash yarn.
Guest photo appearance: Other spotlight-stealing stash yarn. It's like zombie stash - slowly taking over my desk and converting more innocent fibre into its evil minions.

Lastly, my twisty socks! The pattern is Cable Twist Socks and it calls for worsted weight yarn, so I had to modify it a bit to make these in my sock weight yarn (beautiful hand-dye from Knitopia). In retrospect, I think I would have done my mods a bit differently (added in another pattern repeat, and made less purls between repeats) but I'm very happy with how these came out. I am now a veteran sock knitter, ready to tackle any sock challenge! Maybe one day I'll be able to afford one of those pretty circulars and tackle the 'two socks on one circular needle' method.

And with that, it is time for me to sleep. Goodnight, and have a lovely weekend all.

Coming up, right after the break!

I went to go make this blog post today, and realized that the batteries in my camera are dead, as are my backup batteries. So, while they charge, here is a sneak preview of what sort of fun pictures will appear later today!

Stash-buster slippers! I made two pairs of these babies. Not the prettiest slippers ever, but true to their name they eat through a lot of yarn, and let you get rid of some of those half-balls of weird colours that you've had sitting around for ages. Made in a one-size-fits-all pattern.

The saga of the lacy cardigan continues. I've had the pieces finished for a few weeks now, and they're just sitting in a sad little pile on my desk, waiting to be transformed into a finished garment. Will I overcome my dislike of seaming to actually finish this project? Will the cardigan actually look nice at the end?

Remember those socks I started waaaaay back over the summer? Oh...maybe you don't remember them, because I don't think I mentioned them yet. Oh oh! I do have a picture of them back when I started them.
I loved that dock. What a nice relaxing summer. So yes, those socks have been finished for quite a while. Pictures will follow!

I designed a hat! It's Mario-licious. I'm still not happy with the earflaps, but that won't take too long to re-knit.

Check back soon!

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Summer? What summer?

Oh hi! I guess it's about time to give an update here. You may wonder where the summer portion of my blog has gone. Well, it really has to do with the fact that I'm a sporadic blog-writer at best, and my internet connectivity this summer was rather limited. As well, I played Guild Wars in most of the time that I did have on the internet. I know, I neglected showing all of you my lovely knitting achievements because of a video game, it is sad. However, now that I'm back in school, you may get a few more blog posts due to my addiction to multitasking. Why focus on one thing, when you could focus on 5? Currently I'm tabbing through between writing this post, writing a paper on theoretical linguistics, checking for new anime releases, browsing various forums (I knew joining all those extra groups on Ravelry would turn out to be trouble...), and talking with my roommates. Maybe this is why I find it impossible to pay attention in lecture these days unless I'm knitting simultaneously. Keeping my hands busy helps to focus that scattered and capricious attention span of mine.

If your curious about the summer, well, we'd need a whole nother post on that (the linguist reader will spot the instance of infixation just now). If you, my (two? three?) devoted readers clamour to hear the tales of mosquitos and muffins, breads and bears, canoes and rescues by cute yacht club boys I shall oblige. Otherwise, let's get to the FO's!

First, I finished Jenn's wedding shawl right after arriving home in Ontario. The wedding was absolutely beautiful, and it's pretty special to have the bride wear something you've knit. They had one of the best receptions I've ever attended, which was basically an informal barbecue style that encouraged everyone to move around and socialize instead of being locked to their 'table' of acquaintances. Here's a picture of the lovely bride herself, who now, months later, is going to be the mother of twins come March! So exciting! (And yes, those are bride and groom transformers on top of the cake....I love my geeky friends)

Having become addicted to lace in the course of that pattern, I spent a couple weeks making another small lace shawl for a dear friend of mine in the UK. I used the Spiders Web Fichu pattern from the book Victorian Lace Today, although I didn't read their instructions carefully for attaching the beads, which turned out to be trouble. They have a tendency to snag and tangle in the shawl. Not optimal, but it was my first time using beads in my knitting, and a good learning experience. The yarn is more of Lynne's hand-dyed merino from Knitopia in Langley. You can't tell in the picture, but it has subtle variegations between dark and light purple that give the shawl some extra visual interest.

I also finally finished the Phoenix Scarf. Yes, it took a while. It was a pretty fun knit. Here's some of the finished pictures.

Another notable accomplishment in my pre-camp leisurely days on the ancestral farm were a couple of items for my favourite craftster swap of all time, the Make a Friend Swap. It was so much fun to make these! The first is a quilted table runner. *gasps of dismay* Not knitting? NOT KNITTING? Indeed. My wonderful Mama took me with her to her weekly quilting group, and let me raid her fabric stash. That week everyone in the group was making the same pattern, which is called Table Runner with a Twist. It was my first real quilting (besides a mini-quilt I made when I was really young that doesn't count) and I love how it turned out.

The other item I made for this swap was based upon the pattern Intricate Stag Bag. The pattern isn't actually available online anymore it seems, but for anyone who desperately wants to make this, I could send it to you. The pattern calls for DK yarn, and I ended up making this in worsted weight which made it a bit bigger than I expected. Ok, maybe a lot bigger than I expected. I knit it with yarn made from a sheep farm in my local area though, so hurrah for buying local and supporting farmers! The original pattern has an ugly chevron type border though, so I designed my border myself. It's supposed to be a leaf motif, to go along with the natural theme of the bag. In hindsight, I should have added a couple stitches on each side because some of my border got lost in the bag assembly.

Usually I do my colourwork in doubleknitting, so working with fair-isle technique again was a challenge for me. In particular, I always have trouble with my tension, and with securing the unused yarn over long floats. However, I gave this a bit of a tumble in my washing machine after I finished it, and then blocked it out in a square which seems to have helped. I didn't knit the back of the bag, but rather sewed it to a nice matching green plaid material, and used that to construct the bag (had to take advantage of my Mom's high-tech sewing machine while I was there). It's actually pretty huge. I really like this pattern though, and I think it came out great. I'd love to try this in doubleknit sometime, maybe for a placemat.

During the long summer days and stormy summer evenings I knit the katana scarf for Kraco. Camp was super isolated, but knitting helped keep my sanity. Or, most of it rather. Looking back, a lot of that time seems like an unreal ethereal experience that I only dreamed. Maybe because it's so incredibly different than living life at home or at school, my only two points of reference thus far in my life. At any rate, this scarf knit up surprisingly quickly, and it looks great so kudos to Kraco for the elegant design he provided.

Whew! Still reading? That's probably enough of an update for now. I'll write again soon to fill you in on my knitting adventures since the beginning of school. It's that busy time of the semester again, so knitting time is becoming scarce, but not to worry, there are new projects in the making!

Monday, April 14, 2008

Spring is here!

Spring is here! This past week the entire city has exploded in daffodils and cherry blossoms. And surprisingly, we've even had some sunny days to be able to enjoy it. I only have a week left before I have to go back to Ontario where it is still predominantly winter, so I'm enjoying it as much as I can.

This week has also been quite productive for knitting. I posted my craft swap items Ravelry, so those of you signed up there get a chance for a sneak peak at the swap items before I post them here! Also, I promised you pictures of my RPM socks which I finished quite a while ago, but never got around to it. So, here they are, in all their green sockish spiraly glory! The pictures don't quite do them justice. The spirals are much easier to see in 3d instead of you trying to see them on this flat screen. My sister LOVED them, so I consider my first sock knitting experiment a huge success! I plan to get some more sock yarn this week to start another pair over the summer.

I've also been making quite good progress on my Phoenix scarf, pictured below. I was following the chart for the middle bit that I made, but then lost track because I was trying to knit and watch anime at the same time (incidentally, I made so much progress on this because I watched the entire series of Dennou Coil this weekend...really liked it!). So, the mistakes became part of the pattern, and I just ended up freestyling it. I should finish this soon, but I really have to finish Jenn's shawl before I get any farther on this one. Don't mind the random blue spot in the middle of the picture. I think my camera lens needs to be cleaned.

That's all for today! Back to studying for me. I write my last exam tomorrow morning, and then I'm done for the summer! Huzzah! Now if only I can find a job....

Monday, March 31, 2008


This is me totally stressing out. I might be spending a night or two this week in the computer lab trying to get my ridiculous papers done. I have lots of awesome knitting pictures for you guys, I promise! You'll just have to wait a little bit until the insanity is over for me to get them posted. I also have some super secret awesome things I made for a craft swap that I can't post pictures of yet until they arrive in Russia. Exciting! I bet you with you knew what they were ~_^

To my knit night girls, I miss you, and I hope to be back soon. Less than a month until school is done! Huzzah!

Friday, February 8, 2008

You know you're on the west coast when.... walk outside and it's +5 degrees C and you hear someone say, "Holy crap it's cold out today." It's the dead of winter, and still feels like spring to me. I didn't even have to bust out my toque until January. Actually, it's been pretty awesome because we've had a few really good snows (sadly no snow days though) this month, and from what my Vancouverite friends tell me, that's pretty unusual for here. I'll definitely take snow over rain any day.

School is busy (I know, what else is new, right?) but reading week is approaching quickly and I'm looking forward to a week of uninterrupted crafting.

For those of you who are anime fans, I've been rewatching Seirei No Moribito recently with a friend of mine, and am reminded of how excellent a show it is. Apparently it's based off of the first of a series of novels. That one has been translated into English, but not the others sadly. Hopefully one day in future I'll be able to read all of them.

As for knitting, the socks are nearly done, they just need to have the toes finished up. I'll take a nice action shot for you all when I get them done. The spiral effect is captured a lot better when the socks are actually being worn.

I know, you want pictures. No pictures of current projects right now, BUT I do have some pics of a few things I made for a Retro Video Game craft swap last semester.

First up, anyone remember Galaga? I charted this little guy from a screenshot of the game. The one side is the good guy, and the other side has two of the baddies. If you're not familiar with the game, it's a bit of a Space Invaders knockoff. Very old school. I did the patterns in duplicate stitch. The pouch has a zipper sewn in (see previous blog post for rant regarding zippers) which I DID get at Fabricland, in a nightmare journey that almost cost me my sanity.

Next up, some perler bead magnets! This was my first time working with perler beads (well, since first grade since I have fuzzy memories of making things with these long ago), and I got one of those giant packages of mixed colours, but regretted it after due to how time-consuming it was to dig through the pile and find ones that were matching in colour. Now I have all these mixed perler beads in 25 colours and no more white ones. Aaaaanyways, these were a lot of fun to make despite that. I once again based them off a screenshot, this one of Zelda: Link to the Past, but didn't have to adjust the aspect ratio, yay! They're fridge magnets of some useful things you might need in case one's fridge finds itself lost in a dungeon in the dark world.

Lastly, I painted a little tetris keychain. Using nailpolish, which might surprise some of you that know me since I never wear nailpolish. I got these awesome little 'nail art' thingies last semester though, that were just too cute, and could be used for making designs on any number of surfaces, and my crafty instincts told me I just had to have it. The keychain is a domino on the other side.

Thanks for reading! Catch you all next time!

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Warning: Extreme Geekness in this Post!

Whew! What a busy week! Actually, the beginning of the week wasn't so busy at all because I was attacked by the flu, and rendered unable to do anything for a few days. Now, you'd think I should have been concentrating on catching up on all my missed schoolwork once I started feeling better. HOWEVER, knitters have other priorities. Specifically, today was our long-anticipated post-Christmas party and gift exchange with my gaming group! My first project that I hinted at in my previous post can be seen below, fully completed.

It's a cute lil' d4 dice bag. The only snag I ran into was crocheting the sides together a little too tightly, so the sides didn't look quite as pristinely flat as I was hoping. Also, freehand embroidery isn't my strong point, so it's a small miracle that the numbers look as good as they do.

The second isn't knitting at all. I learned to crochet, just so I could make this. It's from the pattern Magnetic Crochet Katamari although mine doesn't look quite as awesome as the one in the picture. Canada doesn't seem to have the right sort of magnets, and I didn't have quite enough time (it's a long story involving size G and E crochet hooks, Zellers, and me almost buying a mop) so there aren't quite as many nubbins on mine as are called for in the pattern. Perhaps I shall order some magnets online and tackle this pattern again sometime. I also had issues with my yarn being different weights too, because I was unobservant.....

But enough of that, onto the picture!

I didn't expect the pattern to be so big, but it's a really great size to grab and throw around. Even though the magnets in the nubs are pretty small, they're strong enough to grab fairly sizable metal objects if they catch them at the right angle.

The gift exchange and party in general were a success, and well worth the large amounts of time we spent preparing. I made a pinata too, which turned out to be very durable (although we were punching it, not hitting it with a stick) and the random assortment of candy and toys we'd picked out to go inside seemed to work out well. We also had our gift exchange in a D&D game type format, which is enjoyed more by some people than by others, but it was unique in that we made our 'dungeon tiles' out of gingerbread. Everyone got to decorate a 'tile' at the beginning of the party, which were then used for the game later on. The premise was that each room was 'disintegrating' after the group passed through (i.e. we ate them, hehehe). Lots of great gifts were given, fun times were had, delicious food was eaten, guitar hero was played. Nothing more you can ask for in a party.

Also, the socks I'm making for my sister (for Christmas...retroactively) are almost done, and should be ready for a photo shoot of the FO soon! What, homework you say? Well, I suppose I have to do that too......but it's so much more fun to be knitting in denial!

Thursday, January 10, 2008

xkcd strikes again

Some of you may or may not know that one of my most favourite webcomics is xkcd. I thought today's comic to be especially hilarious. Check it out:

In other news, my camera is having issues, so you'll have to wait for pictures of the latest knitting projects. Christmas knitting was all done in a whirlwind, and therefore didn't really get properly documented. Ah well, that's how things go sometimes. I will tell you though, that I'm working on a super exciting little project for a post-Christmas gift exchange I'm attending next week. I got tired of the ridiculous prices Fabricland charges for zippers (and I didn't really have transportation to get there either, so it was kind of a moot point in the first place) so I picked up a pair of pants at Value Village, one of those pairs that has a bunch of little zippered pockets on the legs. You know the kind I mean. I'm going to rip those out, and use them for my projects, AND have material left over for other crafting projects, all the while saving lots of money. Everyone wins! Except for Fabricland. They can stay over in Loserland, till they either lower their zipper prices or move their store closer to my house.