Thursday, December 27, 2007

Square Cake Bag!

My creation

This square cake has no calories, but lots of fiber. I guess I should have made another bag, instead of eating Tiramisu tonight. Oh well, the New Year with its resolutions will be here soon enough, and who wants to diet anyway?

This cute little bag was designed by Jairlyn Mason and the pattern can be found here. As soon as I saw it, I knew I had to make one. I made the larger version.

Yarn: I've got lots of different colorways of "Endless Summer Collection Luna" in my stash (, and I like this shade of blue, as well as the shiny thread. It's viscose and cotton blend. I wanted some kind of cotton, because I believe it will hold up better. I used only 2 balls (50g/109yds).

It turned out 11" wide and 8" high without the handles. I made the handles 5" long, instead of the 4" called for. They are still a little too short for my liking. But I've used this bag and it's alright. It holds the wallet, keys, some tissues, and a few other small things. It's not big, but sometimes I don't want to lug around half my house.

I was worried about the stitch pattern not showing up, and how the yarn would react to blocking. It's not wool, but it held it's shape after blocking. The stitch pattern is as good as it gets with purl and knit stitches. Not bad. I like the whole bag a lot.

Oh, and of course I had to sew a lining. Not my favorite thing to do. I didn't want to get the sewing machine out, just for that, so I sewed the side seams by hand, ironed the lining and sewed it on by hand. There was a little dilemma, because I didn't want the stitches be seen on the outside, but since the lining was light green, you can see the blue thread and the stitches. Oh well, am I a perfectionist? No chance!

The original didn't have any buttons on, but I couldn't resist. As I said, I like this bag a lot, and can see me making another one in the future.

The pattern is well thought out, and well written. It was a pleasure to follow the instructions.

I might point out, that I did NOT choose the orange yarn I have in my stash for this bag, although I had thought about it.

We had wonderful snow fall today. Thick, fat, wet snowflakes. I had a great time with the dogs outside:

Biko - unflaggingly returning the ball to be thrown across the pool as far as I can. By the time I pick the ball up and throw it, she's halfway around the pool already, so I have to think quickly to get the most exercise for her. I tell you, she's tireless, and can on for longer than I want to.

Sam - he's hard at work, punishing his big bad ball. He's so funny. Every time I manage to get the ball away from him, and throw it, he goes after it, and chews the hell out of it, for at least five minutes, at which point he's ready to wrestle with me again.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

So, Christmas is NOT all about presents?

I disagree! We are celebrating a Birthday here, and what's a Birthday without presents? ;o)
O.K. so it's not my Birthday, but I still got some wonderful gifts. I thought you might be interested in my fibery goodies. I've got this wonderful wooden vase (wood is fiber too) , and scented candle called pumpkin (pumpkin's have fiber) from my DH. The funny looking thing in front is a ...
... needle holder, which I've got from my daughter. It comes from "Unique Wood Gifts" (Vancouver Island) and is made from "Birds Eye Maple". Isn't it wonderful? She also got me this Celestial Merino sock yarn from Lucy Neatby. The color is mermaid. Should be interesting to see how it knits up. The funny thing about Lucy Neatby's labels is, that there's this slogan printed on it, which cracks me up: "Make your yarn happy- Knit it now!" :o) I know I'm easily amused.
My son got me FatCatKnits fiber to spin. Lovely colorways. Can't wait to get to it. (There was some natural fiber too, but that's not pretty enough to be photographed.)
My creation
My DH financed these books as well. I made sure that I got the ones I really wanted. But have to say the two beaded knitting books are not what I was hoping for. But the other two books are wonderful! Have yet to get down and read them, just skimmed them so far.

I also got some money from my parents and grandmother, which got converted to fiber, which I'll show you eventually.
Still in holiday mode, so after I'll get the pups tired, I'll sit down and read a novel for once!
BTW, I'm stalled on my friends mittens. They turned out bigger than the original, the gauge is way off, even with using the same needle size and sock yarn. They must have used very thin yarn for their gauge and measurements. I'm debating with myself whether to go on or rip them. It's such a pity, because I like them, they are a lot of work though. In the meantime I started a Shetland Triangle Shawl (another one) for her. This time with thicker yarn, and it's going fast!

So, New Year's coming. How do I know? Well, they started on fireworks already! Which would not interest me one way or the other, but Sam started hyperventilating as soon as he heard the first pop. Can't wait till that's over!

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

* Knitted Christmas gifts 2007 *

What a buildup to a fantastic finale! I've never heard my neighbourhood as quiet as at 8AM this morning. Nobody's driving around, it was an eerie silence. Only a dog barking in the distance. I guess everybody is still sleeping or opening presents. Of course, being from Austria, we had our big night last night. Even with only the three of us, it was a peaceful evening, with candle light dinner. Especially compared to last year, with my DH being sick and all. How fast this year has gone by.

Before I go back to my wonderful Christmas presents (apparently I was very good this year), I'll show you the secret knitted gifts I made this year:

My creation
Newfoundland mittens (as requested) for my parents, with Maria & Joseph.

My creation
Striped scarf for DH, with Trekking XXL socks. I wanted to see if you could use a different yarn for the Noro striped scarf. I like it. I used Rowan Tapestry in two colors. They go very well together.
The socks are very simple, because the yarn is so busy. I tried several stitch patterns, but nothing showed up clearly, so simple it was.

My creation
Chevalier mittens for my DH too. I LOVED knitting those!

My creation

Shetland Triangle Shawl for my sister. Made 14 pattern repeats instead of 8. It's still a itty -bitty - tiny shawl. Next time I'll use thicker yarn.

Well, all the other items I gave away, you already saw pictures off. These were the only secret knitted items I couldn't show before.

The years almost over. Here's a glimpse of what's to come. Two color knit socks, and two color knit mittens for a friend. I have a couple of other finished projects, but I don't want to spoil you too much.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Friday, December 21, 2007

It's a dog sweater,

.... no it's socks! Two color knitted socks!

Trouble with the mosaic pictures is, that you don't get them to show up as a whole (or I just don't know how to do it right). Anyway, that's why there's this single picture as well.

My creation

I don't know what to say much about them. I saw this cute dog sweater and thought the Norwegian pattern would be nice for socks as well. I was itching to do some color work, like never before, the urge was enormous, so I had to act on it. I made the socks up as I went, except of course, the Norwegian pattern. I cast on 72 sts, on 2.5mm DP needles. The yarn I used is Schoeller & Stahl, Fortissima in black, which is good for the heel and toe part, since it has polyamid in it. The other yarn is the gorgeous "Flamingo" merino yarn from Maggie's Dyed in the Wool Handmade shop (just a satisfied customer).

After I was done with the two color knitting, I had to decrease around the ankles (64sts), and decrease more for the foot (60sts.) At first I wanted to make the heel striped, but my son suggested to make it black and knit a flower in it. Well, yeah, what was I thinking? It was easy to get these socks the same length, because it was easier to count the rows between heel and toes. The two color knitting is not perfect by a long shot, but after washing and blocking it evened out quite a bit. I'm most satisfied and motivated to knit more colorwork. For the instep I used some twisted stitches, so that it was not getting too boring for me (the idea came from the Barcelona socks, but I used a different twisted stitch). Right now, I have looked at them too long, I can't stand it any longer, so I'll put them away for a while, before I start using them.
Paeivi (the designer of the lovely Ambitus neck warmer) sent me a picture of her Kyla mittens. You can see a picture here. Thank you, Paeivi!

I can't say it any better than Santa here :

I'm sure I'll be back before the year is over, but this is the last post for the holidays. So, have a wonderful time with your family and loved ones (two legged or four legged of course).

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Ambitus neckwarmer!

Here's Ambitus the wonderful neck warmer. I like neck warmers more than scarves. This one's made with Artyarns Ultramerino 6 color # 135 on 3.75mm and 4.00m circular needles. I used 125g/342.5yds (a little more than one skein). This yarn is wonderful on the skin. I love how it changed it's pattern with the ever increasing stitch count. Thank you, Paeivi for this lovely pattern! I'm sure I'll knit more of those. And for those who've read my blog for a long time, yes, this is the same yarn I used to make the Wool Peddler shawl. And there's still more in my stash. :o)

Ravelry made me do it! I saw a wonderful sock pattern, and it turned out to be from the book Folk Knitting in Estonia by Nancy Bush. I ordered the book on Friday and it was here on Monday! Wow! Sometimes Canada Post surprises even me, in a good way! I know I have many knitting books already, but this one's special. There are lots of patterns in there I'd like to make (eventually). Usually there's only one pattern in a book I want to make, but not this time. I'll start with the sock called "Tiit's socks".
I just finished these socks in the picture, they are blocking and drying now. Never loved two color knitting more as with these socks. (They are NOT from the above mentioned book.) Pictures coming soon. But before I embark on another pair of socks, I'm going to knit me a square cake.

Marianne has sent me a picture of her finished Kyla mittens. I think they are lovely. Picture can be seen here. Thank you, Marianne!
Gudrun sent me another picture of her Kyla mittens, photo can be seen here. She made them in orange, of course I'm in love with them! :o) Thanks, Gudrun!

Monday, December 17, 2007

Noro Striped Scarf!

It's time to show you some knitting. As promised here's my gorgeous Noro striped scarf. That's right, this one's for me. O.K. it was hard to choose just a few pictures, but I love this scarf, and its colors so much, so if you roll your eyes, because it's just a freaking simple scarf, move along please.

Scarf with cute little Christmas tree found in a sewing shop.

If you want distinct stripes with big contrast, be sure to choose two very different colorways. Mine had some of the same colors in it (guess when I like something, I really like it) and sometimes the stripes got muddled because of that, but I like it that way. I think the contrast stripes pop more this way.

If it were not for the gorgeous colorways Noro Silk Garden has, I would not buy this yarn. I had to pick straw forever. I think this yarn is a tiny bit overrated. Lately I had a lot of knots in my commercial yarn, but here was only one knot in one ball, that's not too bad. It's still almost too scratchy for my delicate neck, but I'll suck it up.

One colorway had much more yardage in both balls, than the other. At the end I knit from both ends of the ball, after the other colorway ran out, just to use it all up, and keep the stripes going. So there's nothing left over, just what you cut off from weaving in the ends.

Here are some specifics:

yarn: Noro Silk Garden in color # 239 (more yardage) and # 203, 2 balls each
pattern: Noro striped scarf as made popular by Jared
needles: 4.5mm straight Rosewood (my only pair)
size: before washing: 6" x 81" it's long Baby

I've cast on 39 stitches, for the edge I did nothing special. I knit the knit stitches and purled the purl stitches. I like it that way.
start-finish: December 1 - 11

Yesterday we had a snow storm. When I got up early in the morning I expected there to be lots of snow, but it didn't even snow yet. I thought the weather guys got it wrong again, but no. The snow came later, and of course me and the doggies had lots of fun.

Sam likes to rest in the fresh snow. In case you are wondering, the snow shovel is OUT. Every time he played with it his mouth got all bloody from the jagged edges. I was really surprised that he let me use it to shovel a little path away from the door. Normally he goes all crazy when I use it. I guess he'd rather have me shovel the snow.

Biko was busy scurrying around the pool, when I called her. She stopped mid stride and looked over. So, she CAN listen, she's got no problem with her ears. That's interesting. :o) Her nose looks white, because I caught a snow flake on camera (or I should say many) right in front of her.

Pictures taken at 8 AM this morning (from my kitchen window), what a wonderful sight!

That's it for today.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Some finished spinning!

My creation
Above is "Gothic Beauty" roving from Electric Sheep Fibers, 4oz superwash merino wool. I wanted to spin thicker, which is hard for me, and I wanted to Navajo ply, which I did. I've got only 76 yds of yarn, 8 WPI. This was very hard to spin, because the black parts stuck together and I needed brute force to loosen the fibers (I always pre-draft, and still it was stuck on many places). This is an example of how I LOVED the roving, but not the finished spun yarn. I think in the future I will not buy handpainted roving with so much black in it. I'll use the ones I have, of course. The singles where thick and thin, and that must be the reason for the small yardage I've got.


Below you see "Pie for Everyone" Spunky Eclectics Fiber Club November 2007.

Here you see some roving, which did not excite me at all. I thought meh, when I saw it, but as soon as I started spinning it, it grew on me, and I love the result. It's 4oz of Falkland wool, and it was fun to spin. The singles where a lot more even, and I think you can see how good the Navajo plying worked. I've got 131 yds with 9 WPI. I was still trying to spin thicker, which I accomplished.

My creation

I have no clue as what to knit with these, they'll go into my handspun stash box for later use.

Here's one more picture of the "Gothic Beauty" socks, which are great, and my yarn to compare, dyed in the same colorway (by Amy Shimel). I did not think I could spin the yarn so it would stripe like the sock yarn, but I though I might get enough for a hat. Don't think I have.

I have two finished knits to show you, but that's for next time. I have only one project on my needles right now, and those are socks.

And just because, another picture of Biko sticking her nose in the snow, and Sam watching me play with Biko.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Christmas came early!

Last night it rained, then snow fell. It was so warm that everything was like slushy under your feet, and oh so wet. This morning the whole mess was frozen and crunchy underfoot. The steps are slippery with ice, the driveway will be hard to shovel, especially after the snow plough came by, and shoved the compacted snowy mess into every driveway. And still - I like it better now, than in high summer. For me it starts getting uncomfortable around -20C.The following pictures come from two different orders from the same place. There's one sock yarn missing, but for the sake of symetry I didn't include it in this picture. You spinners out there be strong!

My creation

I can't get enough of looking at those delicious colorways. I found my new favorite dyer, and she's local! :o)

I'm talking about Maggie, and her little Dyed in the Wool Handmade shop.

I'm looking for an appropriate sock pattern for her wonderful sock yarn. I love the almost solid colors. The hardest thing now is to choose what to spin first, and what to knit next.

Please don't hate me, because I've got the most wonderful fiber stash! ;o)

Last night I started on "Twigs & Berries". Merino is wonderful to spin with. I split the roving just in four long pieces, to get long color repeats. I'd like to Navajo ply it. Hopefully the singles will not break. We'll see.

Monday, December 10, 2007

? Monday ? - where's the weekend gone?

I like this simple but beautiful scarf. Jared put down some general directions for it. It's not rocket science, but I like to look at his pictures of Noro striped scarf (and all his other photos of his wonderful work). I choose to do the edge differently, I like the way it looks, and it's easier. I'm using Noro Silk Garden colorway # 239 & 203. I'm halfway through with it, but now that the secret knitting is done, I can put more time into this project.

I'm spinning "Pie for Everyone" Spunky Eclectics November Club fiber. It's 100% Falkland wool, 4oz. At first I was disappointed, when I saw it, but once I started spinning it, I grew to like it. We'll see how it will look once finished.

While browsing on ravelry I found this circular neckwarmer and Paeivi was kind enough to put up the pattern for it! I absolutely love it, because I think I'll never going to knit a sweater for me, but I like my Beethoven Dickey very much, only it's like a bip, and leaves the shoulders cold. This neck warmer is next on my list. Thank you, Paeivi!

Larry sent me a picture of his finished Kyla mittens, here's another shot. I think its a lovely colorway. Thanks for sharing, Larry!
And, I've finished Hannah's socks. They where meant to be for Christmas, but I didn't get the yarn in time. I'll send them to her after Christmas.
With yarn like that, it was not necessary to knit an intricate stitch pattern. I've tried, but to my utter delight the yarn striped, and did NOT pool! What more could you want from yarn. Besides it is so busy by itself, no fancy - shmancy is needed.

They are size 9, knit with 2.25mm 5 DP needles. 60 stitches for the leg, 56 stitches for the foot. The yarn came from Amy Shimel's etsy store Electric Sheep Fibers. It's very soft (superwash), and it was fun to knit a basic sock again.
My creation

Friday, December 07, 2007

I'm so mad at myself right now!

A few month ago I bought some wonderful handblended batts from Stephanie of Spritely Goods. I have three colorways, did the light green "Palo Verde" first. It was also first time spinning from a batt, and it was easy, and fun! I LOVE the sparkle in it.
I made fairly nice singles, no overtwist at all.

First snow of the year always makes me feel like a child before Christmas, so it gets photographed many times.

After plying I had some singles left on one bobbin, and I've decided the last time I had some left over, that I would use it to practice my Navajo plying. I'm getting better at it.
The big skein is not quite 4oz, 428yds, heavy fingering weight, 2-ply
colorway: Palo Verde
fiber content: handdyed merino wool, alpaca, firestar, angelina

(you can click on this pic to have a closer look at the sparkly)
What I'm mad about though is, that I managed to overtwist the finished yarn. Halfway through it dawned on me, that my tensioned Lazy Kate, presumed my new best friend, was way too tight, and after one single broke once, I got it! Loosened it, and the rest of the plying went on smoothly and a lot faster as well. Now I have half a balanced skein of yarn, with the other half overtwisted. Grrrrrrr! Stupid, stupid, stupid. I love the color though, and it's s-h-i-n-y! :o)
Just in case anybody was wondering. The visit to the vet was not so bad. Sam "yodeled" from the first step through the door, until he could get out of there again. My head was spinning afterwards. Both received their vaccinations, or booster shots. Sam has a minor rash on his belly again, which we wash with some antibacterial shampoo the vet gave us. It's clearing up nicely. Biko has problems with her hips. I guess it could be from her manically running and jumping when we play outside. So she's got some restrictions, no more jumping, and we help her going up the big steps. I think I saw some improvement already, or maybe it's only wishful thinking. I sure hope it's not really her hips, don't want another surgery, but it's too early to tell. Sam, of course has to be weird, and confusing too, because whenever he's running a lot outside, and he gets his blood flowing, or when he chews on the tennis ball, which is rare, one of his eyes kind of pops a little or gets bigger than the other. It's hard to describe, and the vet only shook her head. Both Vets looked at his eyes, and found nothing wrong. I spend a lot of time with my dogs, and I know them, and notice when somethings different. At first I thought I imagined it, but my son (sceptical at first) confirmed the "eye popping". Oh, otherwise they are just fine! :o)
And also, even if this is at the end of my post, I wanted to thank you loyal readers and commenters, to take the time to comment. I love to hear from you, and I think blogging is nothing without the communication between blogger and reader, so please keep on doing so! :o)
Now off into the weekend. It's snowing right now. One more thing: As of December 5th I'm done with all my self imposed Christmas knitting! Yeah! On the needles, a scarf and a pair of socks. Pictures coming soon.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007


My creation

While shoveling snow yesterday at noon, the mail man stopped and handed my son two packages, filled with this gorgeous fibers. Whew, at least those two get crossed off the list, to worry about. I'm really in a strong spinning mood, and who can blame me, with all these wonderful dyed fibers?
Pick Up Sticks had roving on sale, which I've been waiting for. I didn't get the colorway I wanted most, they sold that fast. But still, I like FatCatKnits dyeing very much. I've never spun Funky Carolina before, looking forward to do that.
Amy of Electric Sheep Fiber makes me drool over her dyed fiber. I even got some sock yarn "Gothic Beauty" for some socks for Hannah. They should have been in her Christmas package, but I didn't get it in time. So, she'll get them after Christmas. It will still be cold in January, right?

So, now I've got another four packages to worry about. Hope they'll arrive soon, or at least on time. Now I'll be busy with my fiber, you understand. Ta ta!

PS Can you tell I'm having fun with my new tool? :o)

PPS Have you seen the winter There are so many wonderful patterns I want to make, I'm breathless. :o)