january sock progress

Last night was fun!  It turned out we had a lot of mutual friends (as evidenced by our Facebook pages) that I’ve known since high school, and a few of them were at the party too.  I got to spend the night catching up with old friends and reminiscing about the “olden days”.  🙂  Then came home and crashed while Yannick went back in to work to organize everything from his busy day (he’d left it all to come home for the party).

Today the boys had swimming this morning, then I had to go in to work to take care of some stuff.  I got home in time to help give the boys supper, then was back out the door to go watch my friend Debbie’s mid-year dance show.  She takes…um…hip hop I think, and every year for the last 3 or so I go to her mid-year and year-end shows.  The dance school she’s in is run by a local guy who has since made it very big, with dancers and crews appearing on major TV shows, in celebrity music videos and he even choreographed a very well-known music video game.  I think it’s really cool ‘cus I’ve known him since before he started all this.  We were in a show together at Place des Arts years ago…I think it might have been his first choreographing gig, plus we both acted in it.  It’s really cool to see people you know “make it big”.

Since I’ve mastered the art of knitting without looking, I spent the whole dance show knitting on my sock.  Here’s the progress so far.  Yes, I’m supposed to knit a-sock-a-month…but I have a good excuse (more info tomorrow).  I’ll get to the socks eventually…I swear.

I’m really proud of the yarn, however.  This was the yarn that I dyed myself and tried very hard to make it self-striping in shades of green.  Mom’s scarf showed me it would stripe, but I’d designed it for the average width of a woman’s sock, and have been really eager to see how it would stripe in a pair of socks for me.  Making me really happy!


study study study

I try to be good when it comes to school work.  I make a study schedule for Yannick and myself, and in it I break down each section into daily pages, and as long as we read/make notes on those pages on that day, we’ll be on track.  Usually he falls behind, and I nag.  This time it’s my turn.  First I was so busy on Sunday that I didn’t have a chance to get my pages done.  Then Monday I was out all day and had such a headache that night that I told myself I’d catch up at work the next day.  I did get some done yesterday but not as much as I’d hope, and work was busy today too, which means tonight I can do nothing but study.  No knitting.  No visiting the forgotten loom.  Just notes, notes, notes.  Study, study, study.

I did cast-on for my first socks of the new year.  These were cast-on last week, en route to visit my 3rd surgeon for my 2nd second opinion, while my mom drove.  Long story short, since neither my surgeon nor the 2nd opinion surgeon could find the hernias that I swear are there (and I’d know, as I’ve already had 3 fixed), I visited a laparoscopic surgeon to see if she could help.  She also couldn’t find the hernias, and focused more on my pain and less on my claim of the physical symptom of the hernias popping out, but in the end she thought she could help, if to do nothing else but to rule out the hernias.  I’ll be having diagnostic laparoscopic surgery in May.  If she finds hernias, she’ll fix them as they’re found.  If no hernias are found, hopefully she’ll find whatever is causing the popping and the pain.

I was sore, dejected and feeling ignored after the appointment, so I didn’t knit on the way home.

Here’s the tiny amount of toe I did get done on the way there.  My January sock.


slippers and capes and friends from the past

Tonight an old friend from high school came over.  I hadn’t seen her in at least 5 years, and it was great to catch up.  Because of her visit, I didn’t get to knit.  I did, however, get to witness the exploits of two very hyper, newly-minted superheroes.

(Capes by Maaike, as a birthday gift for Henri and one for Jakob so he wouldn’t be jealous.  Secret Identities of “Jakob” and “Henri” by me).

Aren’t those capes awesome?!?  She made them herself, and they are absolutely everything a young superhero could ask for.  They originally had a lukewarm reception, as I’d expected since my boys are not good with change.  But a few days later suddenly the capes were all they could think about.  Seriously, you have no idea how hard it was to get this photo- every other pic I took was very much an “action shot”.

I found another project that I haven’t shared yet- Ribby Slipper Socks.  Back in October my aunt had surgery and I made her a pair of slippers to keep her feet warm and cozy while she’d be resting.

Let me say, this project has an obvious flaw- it looks UGLY off the foot.  Long and skinny and seemingly non-atomically correct.

But on the foot they’re transformed!

Cozy and form-fitting, warm and snuggly.  I think I want to make a pair for myself.

I used some no-name chunky yarn in the teal color, the stuff I’d recycled from the failed crochet deep v vest.  I still think it’s Bernat Softee Chunky.  The black is Bernat Pounder worsted yarn, and I carried along some teal LionBrand Fun Fur for the last 4 rows, then bound off in the black only.  I’d only had a small amount of the fur yarn, so I divided it in 2 and just did as many rows as I could in each sock.  I used 5mm for the foot, and 4mm for the cuff.  It’s a free pattern, I forget the source right now, but if you search for them on Ravelry you’ll find them.  (Something is making me think they’re a free Interweave pattern, but I won’t swear by that).

Before my next surgery (which will be in May, as it turns out), I plan on making myself a pair.  That way I can be cozy and squooshy too.  🙂


plans for today

I have a bunch of photos to share of Mom’s scarf, but I’ve got a terrible migraine so instead of a long post with project details, here’s just a quick rundown of my plans for today, my day off.

I’d like to finish Yannick’s black & white socks. Last night I snuggled in bed with my knitting and laptop, and watched the latest episode of Supernatural. Now the socks look like this:

I’ve got about 20 more rows stockinette, then ribbing, and they’ll be done.

Maaike and I are doing A-Sock-A-Month for 2012. (6 pairs for the year). I want another easy-peasy pair to keep in my purse, so am going to cast-on with the leftovers from Mom’s scarf.

It’s the Knit Picks Bare that I dyed a few years ago. I did shades of green, hoping to make it self-striping. I can see from Mom’s scarf that it worked, but am really glad there’s enough left over for me, since I gave the scarf away. 🙂

Once I settled on the couch I didn’t want to get up until it was time to leave to go watch Henri’s class sing him happy birthday. So, being optimistic, I prepared my yarn beforehand.

First I weighed the leftovers.


60g left means I can use up to 30g per sock, plus more if I need from something contrasting. I pulled out the center of the cake until I had 30g remaining.

Then I wound the pulled-out part into a ball starting from the inside end so that the stripes would go in the same direction on both pairs, and weighed that ball to be sure they were even.

Finally, to be safe, I weighed one of my current socks that I’m wearing- a hand-knit, toe-up, shortie sock (1″ stockinette before 1″ of ribbing), and it only weighs 24g. So I know I’m safe to make a pair from my leftovers.


this is not knitting

Its not even knitting-adjacent. This is knitting in a bag. I’d hoped to have at least turned the heel after getting my studying done for the night, but each of the two hernias decided to pop out within the same 3 minute span, and it was all I could do to finish my online practice tests before crying uncle. My night is over, stitchless and weaveless, though I do plan on videogameing it in bed until the pain killers kick in.

What are YOUR favorite iPhone apps?


last socks of 2011

We’re back from up north, and are taking a study break until tomorrow night. No guilty feelings here- we’ve been at it since Sunday night. (Studying, you pervs).

After sharing a nacho plate from Moe’s which was surprisingly tasty, we settled in to catch up on Supernatural and I worked my way down the foot of what is officially the last pair of socks cast on in 2011.


(Not my last unfinished project begun in 2011, I’m not THAT good! Hell I’m not even done with everything cast on in 2010…or 2009…or 2008…or 2007…or damnit I’ll shaddup now)

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q- what does it mean when a man has big feet?

A- his wife gets fed up while knitting him socks!

I’m going to have a lot of knitting time on Sunday and need to finish the first sock of Yannick’s latest pair, or at least get past the heel, so I can have him try it on and make sure the length is good before I make the second one.

I had his basic sock recipe all figured out but I recently switched toe methods and don’t know if the new method has the same number of rows as the previous (figure-8 cast-on and increases for toe-up VS standard short-row toe-up toe with waste yarn. I like both methods but didn’t have waste yarn with me when I cast these on).

I think I’m at the heel point now…finally!

Ps: the yarn is regular sock yarn, Drops Fabel Superwash knit on 2.5mm Lace Addis magic-loop style. I bought this yarn deliberately for socks for Yannick on one of my first trips to the sadly-gone Ariadne yarn shop.

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yarn ho in striped socks and hickory dickory dot progress

Remember the Fibonacci socks? The ones that I started years ago and finally finished on the cruise?

I gave them away.

I know! Hand knits- knit for me…given away. They really didn’t fit, they were too loose on me. Then one day Maaike came over and casually mentioned that her feet were probably a little bigger than mine…and maybe she could try the socks on?
A perfect fit. They seem to fit her like they were knit for her. Lucky wench. 🙂

I’m not completely generous…as you can see from this photo she still has the ends to weave in. And on the older sock I’d cut the yarns at every color change…that’s a lot of ends! Bwa ha ha.

She also offered to dye some sock yarn for me, lest you think I’m completely altruistic and will just give away socks, willy-nilly.Maaike in all her yarn-ho glory (and new socks).

She’s also wearing a mighty soft cashmere hat, whose adventures you can find out about here on her blog.

Other non-knitting news will be gotten around to another time. In the meantime, here’s more knitting!

I’ve been working on test-knitting the Hickory Dickory Dot pattern by Anny for her new store, Jujube and Lolo.

I’m using Bernat Soy yarn from Walmart. It is crazy soft and machine washable. So far I’ve completed the front and back pieces. I’d like to cast on for the sleeves but am waiting to hear from Anny about a pattern question I have.

Clearly this isn’t being knit for Jakob. This is the 2000s and I’m extremely liberal but I’m still not going to put a pink sweater on my son. This is being knit for a friend’s daughter. (Julie, if you’re reading this…it’s not for Kayla, sorry! You still have to pick what you want me to knit for her…)

Also, the pieces were pinned out just for the sake of taking a photo- these aren’t currently being blocked. I didn’t want you thinking I block things so crooked and uneven!


a boy in knits

Does anyone remember me talking about the Cabaret for the Cure? My friend’s leukemia fundraiser? Well, it is next week, so last weekend I got my tushie in gear and fixed the Montego Bay Scarf I’d knit for her.

Yeah. Um, no.

We won’t speak of that scarf again. I wove in the edge that got caught, and I spent 1.5 %&$^ hours carefully unpicking the part that had torn and ripped (of course it wasn’t the side that would unravel easily), and used new yarn to bind off, and wove in all the ends. Then I looked at it.

I had to admit that it was now a) a good 2 feet shorter, and b) still looked really fuzzy from getting attacked in the washing machine by some stray velcro. I did the only thing I could think of to tame the fuzz…I let it soak in Eucalan for 10 minutes, rinsed then gave it fresh water and a squirt of hair conditioner. I worked the conditioner through then put it in the dryer. Much of the fuzz was flattened, but even at this new, softer feel I had to admit that it still wasn’t good enough to be a charity-auctioned scarf. Hell, it wasn’t good enough to be a raffle prize!

I kept looking at another project I’m doing with the proper yarn, and realizing that I should never have skimped on the yarn for that project. Well, I didn’t really skimp to save money. I just honestly thought the sock yarn would be cute, since there was one in my LYS that was made with sock yarn and it was great. I should have realized that particular sock yarn was Regia Bamboo, which had a much silkier hand and feel than plain old sock yarn.

I didn’t want to leave my friend empty-handed or renege on my offer of knitted goods, so I looked around to see what I could offer. In the end I am giving them 3 sets of knitted goodies: all stuff I’d knit for Jakob. I don’t feel bad because a) I missed the boat on some articles that are already too small for Jakob, b) they have never been worn, c) they were knit with love, and d) they will go to make someone else’s child warm and happy, and that is much better than staying here and sitting in a bag.

Since they WERE originally knit for Jakob I took some photos of him wearing them, just to have for my records, and I will show them to you here.

This is the “Ice Cream Cardigan and Hat” knit from 2 balls of Regia Canadian Colors- Ottawa. I used my leftovers to knit “Christine’s Baby Booties” to match.
Jakob was all giggles that day and I can’t help but crack up when I see these photos!

I think this one (below) was my favorite of his silly grins. He looks like a roly-poly little toy and I just want to pinch his cheeks!
I will be giving away the Just Ducky Hat and Socks set. It is still too big for him, and I think by the time it would fit he would be too old to wear it.

I’m sorry…I think I’m going to gush here…but I LOVE this boy’s face!

The last set I will be giving away is the Froggy Hat and Socks set. I don’t know why but the hat is way too small but the socks are too big…it would have been cute when he was smaller but that would have been May and too warm…all in all I feel quite comfortable with giving it away.
More of his favorite face…sucking in his lip. (He didn’t stay that way for long, I think I tickle-bombed him right after this photo was taken).
Finally, some other knit photos to share. This is the Baby Cabled Cardigan I finally got around to finishing last week. I don’t know if this photo properly shows it, but the cardi is baggy and the sleeves are too long, which means it should fit for another 3-6 months- or until the Winter is over. But you can clearly see that the length is too short. Every time he moves his arms it rises, and since it has a hood the weight of it pulls the back down and the front rises up to about his mid-chest.
I’m going to fix it once I finish my secret project.

The hood however…let’s not go there.

Cute elfin look- yes. Practical and useful hood- no. In theory the hood would fit a normal head, but the cables pull it in too much. I really don’t feel like knitting a border, and I can’t pick up more sts at the neckline and work up since the hood already grows up from the front edges of the cardi. So the hood will be purely decorative. I’m ok with that.


lotsa fun stuff

There was a lot going on this weekend, here in our little neck of the woods. Saturday was a huge milestone for our family- we started Jakob on solid foods!

Here he is having NO idea what he’s about to get into.

…here comes the airplane…open the hangar…

…and the verdict is…

…he likes it! Ok, he really didn’t express any form of like or dislike over the strange mushy stuff we were repeatedly spooning into his mouth. He did, however, avoid crying or fussing, and kept breaking out in his usual grins, so we’re counting this as a success!

We’ve been giving him a sippy cup with some purified water after each meal to help wash down the cereal, and he has yet to refuse the cup. If he continues to take it we’ll see if we can get him to take breastmilk or formula in it, and since he’s still refusing bottles, this might be a way to be able to leave him for longer than 2-3 hours. (Of course, I’m not going to try to get him to take bottles any more, because there is no sense in getting him started on them just to have to wean him. I’d rather him go straight to the sippy cup).

Here’s another photo of him, just because. 🙂 I can’t stop taking photos of him and I can’t stop staring at them, so now you all get to see what I get to see every day. My gosh I love this boy!

Does anyone remember the Froggy Hat and Socks set? I finally found the bag of handknits I made while pregnant. Just in time too…the socks are too big still but the hat barely fits! I think he will have worn it just for this photo, and it is now going to go into the “grown out” bin.
Sunday was another exciting day- I attended an all-day Fiona Ellis workshop! She is so nice and warm, so genuine, and I am really, really happy I took the course and got to meet her. In the morning I took a class on short rows, and in the afternoon it was about slipped stitches. I felt bad because Yannick had to bring Jakob to me twice so I could feed him, but it was remarkably non-disruptive. The first time he brought him in was during the morning class, but they came in silently, I fed Jakob on my lap and then they left, all within about 10 minutes and all without causing any interruptions to the class. The second time we called a bit more attention to ourselves, but that was because it was during lunch hour and we played with him for a bit. It might also have had something to do with the fact that he wore his Superman costume. (I had been asked to bring it in).

This is my short row swatch. The pink section uses the “wrap and turn” method, which I usually tend to use in garments (like the bum area of the Superman costume). It works well, but if you look closely you can see the 3 turning points. The blue area uses a “yarn over, slip first stitch” method, which I enjoy. I find it shows less than the wrapped one, and I tend to use it a lot on short-rowed sock heels (and toes). The yellow sections use what I think she called the “Japanese or catch method” where you grab the back of the stitch in the row below to close the gap. I didn’t mind it, but it was fiddly. I was knitting fast on Sunday so I had enough time to make a second “catch” swatch and do the short row/3-ndl bind off shoulder method. I didn’t really need practice on that, however, as I almost always adapt patterns to enable that bind off on the shoulders. I really, really like the professional look it gives.

Before the short row class was over we were given the time to work on a creative swatch. The assignment was to work the short rows while interrupting a pattern, and the examples given were lace and cables. I decided to see what would happen if I worked short rows while working a striped pattern. This was the first time I used 2 different colors to cast on (I did the long tail method) and I was able to practice my Fair Isle. I tend to pull too tight when switching colors (probably because I do a lot of intarsia) so I was trying hard to keep things loose. I was also holding the green with my left hand and practicing the two-handed technique. I was able to knit pretty fast using both hands, but I had to remember to knit that color through the back loop on the following rows because the stitches I knit from my left hand wound up mounted the wrong way on the needle.

This is my swatch from the slipped stitch class. There are 6 different techniques shown, I did the first 4 twice each for practice. I never before realized how much fun slipped stitches are, and how much I enjoyed working them and how much I like the look of them. I think this is something I will definately have to play around with some more!

Two last things. First of all, I tried a new recipe tonight. I found this on Caroline’s blog not too long ago, and remembered that I had some apples in the fridge about to go bad, so I made it for dessert tonight. The only modification I made was to bake it in individual dishes instead of one larger pie plate.

It was delicious! Thanks Caroline! Next time I would probably try adding just a dash of lemon juice (I like how it brings out the flavor of the apples) and I would put less sugar, because I found it sweet. I would also probably make up for the less sugar by serving it warm, with vanilla ice cream. 🙂 What I also found cool was that I’d sprayed the dishes with Pam first and the resulting dessert was able to pop out and still hold its shape…so I would try making it in smaller ramekins next time I entertain and each person could get their own little one for dessert, maybe with some melted chocolate drizzled across the top…

The other last thing is my current knitting. I have been working on something but I can’t show photos of it here. I can tell you it’s a hat, but I can’t say much more because it is one of my Knitty.com submissions. My mom’s manicurist saw a photo of it and wants me to make her some to give as gifts, but before I can figure out how much to charge I need to make a second one and record how long it took, the exact yardage it took, etc. So I’ve been working on that for about a week now, but today I decided to put it aside temporarily.

We have a family event to attend this coming weekend and I wanted to dress Jakob up a little. I decided to knit him a little vest to wear with a white button-down shirt and dress pants. After rooting through what little of my stash is unpacked, I found some gray Patons yarn left over from the Glam Coat. I have two balls left, which I’m sure is more than enough for a baby’s vest. I didn’t feel like hunting down a pattern at the right gauge, so I spent today writing one up. I was able to knit the ribbing too, and hopefully I will have a vest in time for this weekend.

Here’s my swatch, before I unravelled it. I wasn’t sure if I wanted to use a garter or ribbed edging for the cuffs, so I swatched it with both. That’s regular garter on the bottom, sideways knit-on-as-you-go garter on the top left, and ribbing on the top right. I like the look of the regular garter the best but the swatch kept flipping up really badly along the first stocking stitch row, so traditional ribbing it is.

Tomorrow I get to go knitting with Robyn, Tara and the blogless Kate, so I hope to have some vest progress photos by night time.