yet more stash…

Does it count as “stash” if it is purchased specifically for a gift project?

I bought 6 balls of this teal-colored Sisu to knit a cardigan for my friends’ daughter Kayla.  Just like my cousin, I’d promised each of my close friends that I would make something for their babies.  My usual plan was to have the gifts ready for the baby showers but Kayla’s parents wanted to wait until they knew the sex of the baby in order to choose a project, and although she was born last December, they only picked a project about 2 months ago.

Out of all the projects I have ever knit, this one is definitely going to stand out as being unique!  I found out only after ordering the pattern booklet that the pattern is only available in Norwegian!  I did a search online and found some websites that help translate knitting terms, and a very nice woman in one of my online knitting groups offered to help me translate anything I got stuck on.  So…in the upcoming month(s) I will be knitting my first Norwegian pattern and Kayla will finally get her “birth”day gift.  (Then I only have Mack’s dinosaur, Valerie’s project, my in-laws’ Christmas socks, my sister-in-law’s Christmas mittens…plus I want to knit Oblique for me before the baby is born, oh yeah, and a new project I’ve been working on for my dad’s store that has a November deadline…how much time is left, again?)

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yarn and a contest

Like the stash from yesterday?  I’ve got more to show you.  I picked up some yarn for two gift knits, but will show them to you in separate posts to stretch out the blog fodder.  :]

This is some Smart Superwash I picked up for another baby knit.  Robyn chose the colors so I can knit a dinosaur for her son Mackenzie.  (I’d knit an elephant (Rav link) for her first son, Sean).  I think he’ll turn out really cute!  (PS- my original photo was taken flashless, but came out so blurry you’d get motion sickness just looking at it.  Flash it is.)

On a completely unrelated note, I decided to enter a little contest Bea is having.  Click here if you want to go play too (you have until November 2nd)…but if you do, please tell her I sent you, as it will get me an extra entry, which I would appreciate.  Thanks!


‘cuz i need more stash in my life

During the SP12 run I surprised my downstream pal with a skein of the new Noro sock yarn.  I knew which colors she preferred, but it was hard to tell which of the colorways would be best judging solely by their on-screen photos.  A Ravelry search showed some knitted samples, but I still needed a better look.  So- I bought both.  Seeing the yarn in person helped me decide right away which skein would be best for my pal…and luckily (for me) the other skein was best for…me.

I really love the colors.  The skein is upstairs and I’m feeling lazy, so I don’t have the colorway handy.  I took the photos in sunlight without flash to try and get the colors as accurate as possible.  They’re pretty close (on my monitor)- a deep gray-ish purple that fades through to a silvery mauve and is shot through with a soft moss green.

These will become socks for me.  Not just yet- too much on my plate right now- but as soon as I can cast on I will divide the skein into two balls and work the socks toe-up to make sure I have enough for a matching pair.

p.s. I’d love to know why 80% of the time my flash-less photos come out blurry.



Last night the Montreal Knitting Guild was treated to an appearance by Molly Ann and Mary, the lovely ladies from Ariadne, here in Montreal.  They brought yarn to fondle, and they were gracious enough to give each guild member a loot bag with some samples inside.

 Let’s get in a little closer, shall we?

8 luscious little mini-skeins of yarn!

Frog Tree – Pima Silk (85% Pima Cotton/15% silk, 50g/140m each)

Lorna’s Laces – Swirl DK (85% Merino/15% Silk, 50g/137m each)

Estelle – Young Touch (100% Cotton, 50g/100m each)

Jo Sharp – Silkroad Aran Tweed (85% Wool/10% Silk/5% Cashmere, 50g/95m each)

Butterfly – Cotton (100% Mercerized Cotton, 125g/230m each)

Lang – Silk Dream (50% Merino/50% Silk, 133g/313y each)

Cherry Tree Hill – Cascade Fingering (100% Silk, 150g/608m each)

There were 2 of this one in my bag…not sure if everyone else got only 7 mini-skeins and I got an extra one, or if everyone else got 8 and I received a duplicate by mistake so I’m missing one.

One of the cool things about Ariadne is that they carry a lot of the yarns you hear/read about online but don’t often find in our usual LYSs.  Cherry Tree Hill, Koigu, Lamb’s Pride, Reynolds, Classic Elite, Jo Sharp, Frog Tree and Lorna’s Laces, just to name a few!

Not only that, but since Mary is one of the founders of Twist Collective, another fellow Montrealer, Kate Gilbert, came by to talk about the online magazine, and to give us a trunk show!  We got to see, first-hand and up close, most (all?) of the wonderful clothes from the TC Fall issue, and even get a little sneak peek at some of the items in the Winter issue.  It’s going to be a great issue, let me tell you!

They even did a little cross promotion, and in our Ariadne goodie bags we were given TC tape measures and a little booklet with advice on substituting yarns Ariadne carries for the yarns required in the Fall TC issue.

It was a fun night, and I even got some knitting done on Jakob’s costume.


webs part deux

I can’t show you my actual knitting, but it hit me the other day that I never finished my WEBS story, and never showed you the new additions to the stash. It’s a little late to recap the story, since I don’t remember much…but I’ll try.

After the Harlot event Maaike and I went back to WEBS to do our shopping. I was so tempted to go utterly crazy- I wanted yarn for so many different projects! But I resisted. With one exception, I made myself promise to only buy sweater-quantities, and only for myself. Before leaving I’d printed out the yardage requirements for a few items in my Ravelry queue, and I was able to get stuff that would actual work, instead of having cool yarn and trying to find a good project for it.
It’s about time I show you, no?
First up is some Jaeger Aqua Cotton. It’s 100% mercerized cotton in a rich, chocolate-brown color. I bought it to make a silky-look lacy tank top.
This Araucania Nature Wool Chunky is 100% wool. I bought it to make a heavy jacket-esque sweater. The color shift is so subtle but there really is a lot of depth to the color.

This Ironstone New Wool called out to me. I had finished my shopping and was leaving the warehouse when I spotted it- and it made me stop. For 4 years I have had a sketch of a sweater in my head, and this was the exact yarn I’d “made up” for it. I’ve never seen it before, and I couldn’t resist it.
I cheated a little with the Valley Yarns Monterey. I needed something for a scarf project I want to design, and not only was the yardage crazy, I couldn’t pass up the colors.
It’s a 50% cotton/50% wool with 322 y/skein. !!! If you can’t tell how huge that is, here is a normal-sized deck of cards with them, for scale.
This Iceland yarn by Madil is either black or a deep smokey gray. It’s 100% machine washable wool, and I think I’d bought it to knit a Rogue. Either Rogue, or another sweater.
Finally, we have some Valley Yarns Shelburne. It’s a 45% wool/30% acrylic/25% alpaca bulky yarn. I love the deep coral-red shade, and also plan to use this for a sweater for myself.
With our shopping complete (and wallets lighter!) we decided to start our drive back right away. It was already almost 6pm (I think, this was a few months ago now) and it was a good 5 hour drive if we didn’t get lost. I drove and drove and drove, and it was pretty uneventful, until we got hungry and decided to stop for supper.
American highways aren’t like Canadian ones. Yes, you have better roads, but we have better rest stops. Maybe it was just our route, but I never saw a single big, lit up rest stop complexe like we have all over here, with at least 2 restaurants, a convenience store and gas station. The few places we did see were few and far between, so when we saw a small sign saying the next one would be the last for a while, we decided to stop.
It was already late, and quite dark out. The exit had us go backwards in a circle for about 3 miles before opening onto what looked like it was probably a large flea market site during the day. At night it was deserted and pitch black, with the exception of a diner at one end of the lot. The part of the diner where patrons sit was shaped, from the outside, like a “traditional” diner, almost like a rounded, silver capsule. It was butted up against a log cabin, so you walk into the cabin’s front door and the bar and kitchen of the diner were part of the log cabin, that also had a more formal restaurant within. For the life of me I can’t remember the name of the town we were in, but if I saw it I’d know in a second.
In any case, we sat down and were given menus, and I joked to Maaike that the way the “locals” (I assumed they were locals) turned to look at us when we sat down, I felt like we were in a horror movie. One of those Stephen King things where it turns out everyone in the diner is dead and it’s their ghosts, or something. We had a good laugh, although it really was creepy, especially since it was so black outside and you could barely see out the windows.
I tried sending a text message to my parents and Yannick to let them know we were stopping, and wouldn’t you know it, but there was no cell signal in the diner! I left Maaike at the table and went outside. I had to get about 4 car lengths from the diner before I picked up a signal, so there I was in the dark, in an empty field, holding my phone up to the stars and watching over my shoulder to make sure I could still see Maaike in the window- now I REALLY felt like I was in a horror movie!
Finally my cell told me the text message couldn’t go through because there was no digital signal around. I gave up and made my way quickly to the door to get back into the light…
…and the door was locked. The front door to the diner, with Maaike inside, was locked. From where the door was, you can’t see the diner area, just the lobby. I was banging and banging, and peering through the small window, seeing NOBODY. I swear I banged on the door for a good 5 minutes, which is a LONG time when you are scared out of your wits in a dark, deserted empty field and separated from the only person you know. In my head the movie camera panned out, so I could see both me, banging on the door futely, and Maaike, being attacked by the zombie ghosts inside.
Finally the busboy came to the door, and in the strangest thing I’d been asked all year, looked at me and asked “were you inside already?” I think I just nodded and ran inside and back to Maaike. (Who was fine and not eaten by zombies).

We ended up having an okay meal, followed by an uneventful drive home. But boy will I never forget that diner!


more stash fun!

This is an old post, I had saved it as a draft on April 3rd while waiting to see if it was ok to post Robyn’s April Sock Club kit, and then forgot to publish the post.
Isn’t this gorgeous? It’s similar to the first sock club yarn but still different, and I really, really LOVE the colors. I also think the sock pattern itself is fabulous. It’s so simple, but the effect is really stricking, and I am looking forwards to knitting it.
Here’s a closeup of the yarn. Isn’t it beautiful?

p.s. It doesn’t count as stash purchasing because I told Robyn I wanted to buy it last year.

Other recent stash aquisitions that are not purchases that break my “year of the stash” rule because they are for specific projects:

Black Regia 4ply for Yannick’s mom’s Christmas socks. She wants the Queen of Cups pattern from Knitty.com (I’m too tired to go look up the exact link right now). I have black sock yarn in my stash but one set is acrylic and I’m not giving her that, and the other is Sisu which I haven’t yet washed and I’m afraid to give her something that pills badly. No one is really interested in my knitting and they always hear Yannick rave about his socks and they have admired how well the Regia is after being thrown in the washer and dryer all the time…I’m afraid to switch brands and give them something that doesn’t wear well and have them disappointed with how the socks turn out. (I say “them” because I’m also going to knit a plain stockinette pair for Yannick’s dad).
This is the Dream in Color Smooshy I picked up from Robyn’s shop. I know what you’re thinking, but this really isn’t a purchase. I fell hard for the shawl pattern “Jeannie” from the Winter Knitty, and had Yannick help me choose a color. I wanted black or red but he chose the color “Into the Mystic” from the Dream in Color website. I didn’t think it was what I wanted (I didn’t think it went with black as well as it would probably go with denim) so he said that if I knit it and wasn’t happy with the final result, he’d pay me back for the yarn. I thought I’d ordered it right away but after the New Year I contacted the company and it turns out I’d never placed the order. Right when I was about to order it Robyn told me she was getting some into her shop, so I ended up ordering it from her. In the end the colorway looks NOTHING like what it does online, but I really love the color it turned out to be! It’s going to be one gorgeous shawl.
This is a bunch of Patons yarn that I picked up for my submission to the 2008 Mary Maxim design contest. You have to use yarns from certain brands, so I bought this for my 2 submissions.

Well, that’s it. More yarn added to my stash, although no unlawful purchasing has been done. 🙂



Go figure, one of the few times I manage to sneak into Ravelry during the day it goes down for maintenance!

Oh well. I’m slowly working my way through adding my wips and fos to my notebook. Then it will be time to organize my stash. Oh, my stash. 🙂

Speaking of stash, 3 balls of Dream in Color Smooshy got added to it last night! No, Maaike, this does NOT count as a yarn purchase. The yarn was actually ordered in December, before starting this “year of the stash” nonsense. I’m allowed to pay now for what was previously ordered- Yannick’s rule, not mine. :p I bought it from Robyn’s shop, and I’ll take some photos when I get home.


the one with some yarn and a wave

Last night, after Jakob was in bed and Maaike had left, I commandered Yannick’s arms (I still don’t have a swift) and wound up the yarn I dyed Monday night. They wound easily but it was quite a sight to see Yannick standing with both arms outstretched and the Celery colorway wrapped from arm to arm, around his neck and under his foot in an attempt at keeping it taut. (I don’t have a niddy noddy either for rewinding a smaller skein). MUST add those items to my stash soon!

Well, without further ado, here are the yarns I dyed:


I love how this came out. There are some true black spots, and some raspberry areas, but most of it is a tone-on-tone mix of black/red and red/black and it is so subtle and striking. Did I mention I loved it? Unfortunately it is really hard to take a good photo of at night and indoors, so this is the only shot you get. The other angles came out really dark.


This came out exactly how I wanted. It is a soft transition from the darkest to lightest shade of a, well, celery green. (Or is it sage? Or moss?)
There isn’t a lot of variation, but I wanted a yarn where the colors had interest but wouldn’t compete with the stitch pattern. I think this might work perfectly! (I love it too).


This yarn came out really funky. I’m reserving my opinion until I work up a good swatch, but I think I’ll like it no matter what, if for no other reason than the fact that I made it.
If things worked out correctly than the black third will spiral around with the colored two-thirds. It will be busy, but it was designed to work with a plain stockinette stitch sock.

I made sure to post this tonight because Yannick’s parents are sleeping over tomorrow night and I don’t know if I’ll have time to get to the computer before they go to bed. I know it is a short post, so to make up for it I’m leaving you with a video of Jakob. I took this on Feb 29th (the leap year day) at work- you can see my messy desk in the mirror. Just about a week ago and he was waving with minimal coaching. Now he’ll wave for fun, if you say the words “hi” or “bye”, and when he doesn’t want to eat any more he waves “bye-bye” to his food. I think it is the most adorable thing!

(Don’t you find he waves like the Queen? You know, that “arm in the air, wrist moving back and forth” thing”? I love it!)

p.s. I posted this at 12:43 am EST. Youtube takes a few minutes to process the video once I upload it, so if the link isn’t working for you just yet, please wait about a half hour and try again. Thanks!


no idea what title to put

Here’s Mommy with Jakob at 41 weeks (last week). I know it’s not the clearest of photos, but I love the way he’s cracking up, and couldn’t resist posting it.
Here’s another shot. I know he’s not looking- but guess why I posted it? I’m wearing the Kosher Sweater! You can see here that the sleeves are a little baggy, but otherwise I love the sweater. It’s great to throw on with a pair of jeans, but boy- the Decor yarn is warmer than I’d thought!
Here’s a photo from today, of Mommy with Jakob at 42 weeks. I need to start wearing makeup, or tanning, or something- I look so pale and washed out!

This is a photo from yesterday. Jakob was having fun sitting and “hiding” in his little tunnel, and popping his head out to “surprise” me. Did I mention that he crawls now? And he waves to EVERYONE. I have it on video, I should post it one of these days…

So is anyone out there wondering what I did on Monday night that I was so excited about? Get your minds out of the gutter- I dyed yarn for the first time! Maaike and I went over to Gillian’s house (another member of the MKG) and Gillain taught us how to dye yarn. We used regular dyes that we mixed with rubbing alcohol (as opposed to Kool-Aid or natural dyes) then heated them in the microwave to set them, and we each dyed 3 skeins.
This is what mine looked like after I got home, re-nuked them, did a few rinses and hung them up to dry. The one to the right I dyed in an attempt to get a fake “Fair Isle” look like the self-striping Regia yarns. I find the colors look very “preppy”, so I call it my Oxford yarn. The one in the middle is my Black Cherry yarn; it is mostly black with random splashes or Madder and Grenadine colors. The one on the left is my best achievement, I think. It is dyed to be self-striping (the stripes are longer than the number of inches it takes to work 1 round) and goes in 5 shades of green from dark to light. I worked hard at watering down the colors to get a subtle transition, and I LOVE it. I also dyed this yarn, my Celery yarn, with a specific project in mind. I’ve wanted to knit Mona‘s Embossed Leaves Socks (ravelry link) for the longest time, but have mostly striped or patterned sock yarns in my stash, and wanted something a little more solid or subtle to let the lace show up properly. I also wanted something “leafy”, be it green, brown or orange tones. Well, I can’t wait to start those socks now, because this yarn is exactly what I was looking for!
I should have taken photos of the yarn twisted into traditional skeins, but I forgot. Anyways, here’s Oxford. I know it looks weird to have the solid section and the striped section. I’m hoping that as I knit it will make 2 spirals up the foot, one solid, and one patterned.
Here’s Celery. This photo actually shows a pretty accurate color. I don’t have the stripes lying in order, but you can kinda see the transition from one shade to the next.
Finally, here’s Black Cherry. I love this color too! I’m hoping to find a good pattern for this yarn, something with cables maybe, or perhaps lace…but something that works well with a more solid yarn. I can work a project like the Jaywalker Socks (Ravelry link) in any old striping yarn. The pattern for this sock has to be special!


title goes here

I would have posted this last night but I went to bed too late and was too tired. Just pretend you are reading this last night. If it helps, you can go put your jammies back on, brush your teeth, take out your contact lenses, then come back.

Yesterday we went to my friend Maia’s house for a mini-playgroup. I know you can’t tell by these photos but there were other babies there! I think we were about 7 or 8 moms, plus 1 extra baby (Maia has twin boys).

Jakob had a blast pulling her foam alphabet mat apart. I MUST get him one of these, it entertained him for so long!

He would pull off a square and then separate the letter from the background.

Of course, eating them was fun too! I also want to get that pig she has- when you turn it on, one ear flicks and the jaw works back and forth grumbling and talking about eating some nice slop. It’s too cute!
So my hubby came home with some yarn yesterday. I asked him what he was trying to get out of. He swears it was just an “I was thinking about you” gift. Cue the “awwww”. 🙂 The yarn is Estelle’s Woolly Bully, and this one skein is freaking HUGE!
Seriously- that coke can is included for scale. This is BIG. I don’t know what I’m going to make with it yet. I love the colors and it is really soft. The thing is, I’m currently in the middle of 2 scarves, plus I have a half-finished Clapotis somewhere. I don’t need 4 scarves (especially since I’ve made it this far in the winter without wearing even one), so I think I’ll swatch it for a bit and maybe try to design something with it.
Here’s yesterday’s progress on the Silk Rumple shawl. Everything from the orange pin and up is new. It’s slow-going, but I only worked on it for an hour yesterday.
Here’s the Noro scarf progress. I took a quick count last night, I think I’m at 78 stripes completed. I’m also thisclose to finishing the first 2 balls which means I’m almost halfway done!

Today we only have some errands to do once Jakob wakes up from his nap, so I hope to have much more progress to show off tonight.