Thursday, December 24, 2009

Merry Christmas!

I would like to thank those of you who stopped by and commented on the thumb of my Handsome Mittens. Your opinion is much appreciated! However, I did need to try all options and it turns out that green is my favorite. What can I say? So, I have yet to knit it in green again!


In parallel, I'm continuing Thermal. I started the first sleeve recently! I still enjoy knitting it!

In a couple of days, I should receive my new kit of KnitPicks nickel DPNs to start training for the Ravelympics. We are the Montreal Area Team. I really look forward to start knitting my first socks. It will be just one sock. I have a beautiful skein of Lorna's Lace sock yarn that would not be enough for a pair of socks anyways. It will be perfect and mostly, lots of fun!

Are you participating to the Ravelympics? What will you be knitting?

Everyone have a wonderful Christmas weekend!

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Question

The more I look at the pictures I took of the Handsome Mittens, the more I think that I should have knit either striped thumbs or black thumbs. I now find the green is too bright and catch the eye way to much.

If the mittens were for you to wear, which would you prefer:
  1. Green thumbs
  2. Black thumbs
  3. Striped thumbs

Would striped thumbs be too much? Wouldn't black thumbs give them a more casual look?

I know this is going to drive me crazy all week ;-) Why didn't I think of it before?

Have a great week!

Two of a kind!

I finished my second Handsome Mitten today! It has been a tough one compared to the first mitten I knit last winter.

They are a little different too. I don't think it really shows unless you measure them, but I think my tension is not as tight now.



Pattern: Handsome Mittens by Cheryl Niamath, IK, Winter 2008
Yarn: Cascade Pastaza
Needles: US 8 / 5.0 mm
Color: Green (069) and Black (008)
Start to finish: February 2009 - December 2009
For: Me
Modifications: The only modification I made is knitting the two thumbs with the same color. In the pattern, there is a thumb in each color.
Notes to myself: When knitting a pair of mittens, gloves or socks, knit the two at the same time. Or take notes. Otherwise, they may look slightly different and you may have a hard time remembering any changes you made.

But, here they are. The timing is perfect because temperatures are starting to drop below zero. Look at them, it is almost as if they were applauding me for finishing them!

There is almost half of the two skeins left. I think I will knit a striped scarf with it. I hope it will be enough so that the length is decent. I like the Skull Illusion Scarf by Ysolda. I will knit it without the skulls since I'm not sure when I will run out of yarn and it may then be difficult to balance the pattern.

Have a great end of the weekend!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Lazy me!

Instead of being productive and finishing my mittens - that are 90% complete by the way - I'm surfing the net! Once again...

Have you seen the Minutia '09 patterns on Berroco's web site? They are soooooo... little!

Here is my favorite one - I think:
Isn't it incredibly cute?

I'm also shopping sock patterns, needles and yarn for the Ravelympics 2010! I've been convinced, last night in Rosemere, that a first pair of socks would be a great challenge for me! And I think it would be realistic for 17 days!

According to Ravelry, Monkey would be a good choice! Do you think it's a good idea for a first pair of socks?

And I need needles... Would you recommend nickel needles for socks? They are so pretty. Or should I go for Harmony wood needles - that I already love? Decisions, decisions ;-)

I should go train, right?

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Lonesome mitten!

It is supposed to be the "Handsome Mittens", not the "Lonesome Mitten"...

Seriously, I don't know if I took too long of a break from knitting this summer, but I seem to be a worse knitter than I was last year!

While I knit the first mitten in one weekend last year, I have been trying and trying - it must have been more than 10 times - to knit the second one.

First, I did not remember how to change colors. The instructions seem to confuse me. I don't understand why it says that I must bring the second color "from beneath" the first color. It turns out that I get the best results from just brining the second color in the front just as it is "from beneath nothing". I think it works out very well - see middle of picture below - even with the two increases. It's so simple in the end, no wonder I did not leave myself a note!

Second, I have had other times when one stripe became two - don't ask me how I do that! This morning, it turns out that the yarn was cut in the middle of the skein and when I wanted to undo a few stitches to have enough to weave it in, it resulted in having a stripe becoming two again... So, I tried and tried to correct that - without almost undoing the whole thing once again - but with no success. Hence, I started again the part with stripes. Grrr...

All in all, this is the current state of the second mitten. I've closed the TV hoping to concentrate better.

... and I will call the second mitten "Patience"...

I hope your projects are going well!

Have a great Sunday!

Monday, October 26, 2009

The multitasker of Montreal in Vogue Knitting!

"Véronik Avery talks about her new yarn, pattern and magazine company, St-Denis." - Vogue Knitting, Holiday 2009.

There is an article about Véronik Avery in this issue of Vogue Knitting! I wish her a lot of success!

I have to admit that I bought the magazine for this article because I don't feel that there is any pattern that I would knit in that issue... Oh, well, you never know. Sometimes, I think there is no interesting pattern in an issue and it turns out that I see a version from someone else, styled differently, and I change my mind ;-)

Aside from that, I'm trying to knit the second Handsome Mitten and it's driving me craaaazy! I am having such a hard time with it. I make errors after errors... Pastaza is not a yarn that likes to be frogged! Don't know what's wrong with it or me!!! Obviously, I love this pattern, because I will not abandon, but... will I loose my mind?

Wish you all a great week!

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Brrrrr...

It got pretty cold over here this week! And days are getting shorter so fast. There has also been a lot of rain...

But, this morning, I thought that such weather was a good excuse for me to take a bit of time to knit and well, get ready for those colder times!

First, I swatched for Fetching. I think these fingerless gloves will be gorgeous in that yarn and they should feel very soft. I will have to order new dpns which is perfect because I'm pretty sure that I will also need new circular needles for Bliss.

Then, I decided to cast on for the second Handsome Mitten! It will make me feel good to finish this pair of mittens before I start Fetching. And I think I will be able to knit a Handsome Scarf ;-) with the remaining yarn!

Have a great week!

Saturday, September 26, 2009

FO: Branching Out

Fall has arrived. I started a class of Spanish and finished Branching Out!


I remember when I originally printed this pattern. It represented for me a challenge: learn how to knit lace!

I remember that I used to knit very tight and that k3tog was impossible... It's all taken care of now and I have a much looser tension, although I still tend to knit tighter than the average knitter.

The yarn is what was left from my first Thermal. The resulting length of the scarf is decent. It will be perfect for the autumn!

Pattern: Branching Out by Susan Pierce Lawrence
Yarn: KnitPicks Gloss
Needles: US 8 / 5.0 mm
Color: Black
Start to finish: March 2009 - September 2009
For: Me
Notes: -

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Mindless knitting

I haven't started any new projects yet - not even swatching. The only thing I did is adding my next two projects on the side bar. Now, that doesn't mean that I am not looking forward to starting them, you know... ;-)

I'm still very enthusiastic about knitting my second Thermal, so this is what I do! It's going very well and it could be ready for the fall! Perfect!


As you can see, no mods for this Thermal. At least, I don't expect to make any. This one is going to be exactly like the original: same yarn, same color, same shape, ...

I bought my copies of Interweave Knits and Vogue Knitting this week. I really like the hat patterns in Vogue Knitting. Very tempting...

Have a great week!

Saturday, August 1, 2009

New yarn

In July, I went to Mouliné. This yarn store is located in south-west Montreal. It's a very good yarn store. It has a wide variety of yarns and very good specials. The lady is always very nice and gives excellent recommendations. I already knew what I wanted, but I was really excited about going there again (my second visit) and see what colors were available.

My next projects will be Fetching and Neoknits' Bliss Shawlette.

Fetching is a very popular pattern and I've always wanted to knit it. The recommended yarn is Debbie Bliss Cashmerino Aran, but the lady at Mouliné told me that Extra Merino would be an excellent choice in substitution to it. I bought two skeins. I think I will really enjoy working with it. Although this is not a color that I am used to wearing, I find it rich and it will look great this fall!

Then, you will have to forgive me for my lack of originality for the Bliss Shawlette choice of yarn, but among the colors that were available, I was really drawn to HandMaiden Double Sea Silk in Topaz. The designer used the same yarn and color. I have to say, for my defense, that the color really inspired the name I suggested. I really like that it looks like if the sun was shining on it all the time! I bought two skeins as well.


Then, being in a very happy mood, I went knitting in a park. I had one and a half hour to kill before going out for dinner with my friends! Of course, when you knit, one and a half hour is a very short time!

Have a great weekend!

Friday, July 24, 2009

The good side of fall

A lot of previews from our favorite magazines are appearing this week.

My favorite knitting magazine IK, among others, have great patterns. Unfortunately, I honestly don't think I will have time to knit any of them. At least, short term. But I always buy a copy. You never know ;-) Here are my favorite patterns:

Also, Vogue Knitting will be releasing the previews shortly. We can already find some of the patterns on Ravelry. I find this one especially nice:

HOWEVER, what really cought my attention is news about Brooklyn Tweed. He will be releasing a booklet of patterns with Classic Elite Yarns this August (if some of you see it in Montreal, please, let me know if you don't mind). You may go to SWAK News for a preview of the patterns.

You may also want to take a look at this interview with Jared Flood. I haven't bought any patterns yet from Brooklyn Tweed, but I regularly visit his blog. Every time I see a new pattern of his, I immediately fall under the charm! Here are my favorite patterns at first glance (but really, all of them are gorgeous).


There is a lot of talent in this community!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

FO: Lilas

Tonight, I went to knit night with my Lilas on. It is a "première" for me to wear something that I knit and that fits quite well. I am very happy!

Pattern: Lilas (no. 136) - This pattern is no longer on BdF web site...
Yarn: Coton Fifty - Bergère de France
Needles: US 2.5 / 3.0 mm
Color: Mauve
Start to finish: January 10, 2009 - July 21, 2009
For: Me
Notes: No modifications other than picking up the stitches to knit the button bands instead of knitting them separately and then, sew them.

Here is a link to instructions I found useful to knit the buttons:
http://www.craftstylish.com/item/3854/sew-buttons-securely-on-hand-knits.

Althought I am continuing Thermal, I will start some new projects soon (a shawlette and fingerless gloves). I already have the yarn and will take pictures to show you shortly.

I've spent a lot of time finishing Lilas and need to do something else now, like reading...

Have a great rest of the week!

Monday, July 20, 2009

Lilas ready for this summer!

Ouf! Finishing IS a lot of work...

As we speak, all is knitted, sewn, woven in... Tomorrow, I will sew the buttons and soak it (it's been on my sofa for quite a while now!). And then, I can wear it! And then, I can move on to another project!


I will take more pictures when it is finished!

I wish you all a great week!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Neoknits shawlette!

I just found out that I won the newest pattern of Neoknits Shawlette! What do you think? Isn't it a gorgeous shawlette?

There was a context this week to find a name for her new and gorgeous summer pattern. My suggestion (Océane) is in the top 3!

The suggested yarn is Hand Maiden Double Sea. I have never knit with this yarn before. It looks so luxuous and brilliant...

I will be going to Montreal this Thursday. Something tells me I will buy the yarn and start the project very soon. After all, I'm on vacation and I deserve it! Sorry current WIPs...

I just wanted to share my joy!

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Summer

Summer has finally arrived in Quebec!

Last year, I stopped knitting when summer arrived. This year, I'm still knitting! This afternoon, I went to Cafe Depot to knit with a good friend. It was very pleasant. I missed knit nights for the last two months. I really needed to go knit in public and see what someone else is making. I hope I can join the "North Shore Knitters" next week. We will see ;-)

I also joined a new group called Knit Crochet & Give a Little Warmth . It is a Meetup group (maybe there is a similar group near you) and we will be making blankets and hat and lots of things for organizations who help those who need a little warmth! I haven't attended any of the bi-monthly meetings yet, but I think it is a very good idea!

For those of you who wonder how my projects are going, well, no changes for most of them, except Thermal II. I started the third skein this afternoon. Soon, I will be splitting the front. It's going very well and I really enjoy it!

Hope you are having a wonderful summer so far!

Friday, May 22, 2009

Progress

Here is a short update on my WIPs.

First, Lilas is going well. There remains a sleeve to be knit, plus finishing. Before I start knitting the second sleeve, I decided to verify if it fits. It does. I'm relieved! I spent quite some time to assemble it. Sewing is definitely not my favorite part of knitting. I should consider knitting more things that require minimal sewing. Still, here is how it looks like (the part that is finished). Note that the part that goes under the arm looks quite good due to the fact that it melts with the cables. I've had a little more trouble with that part in the back...


Then, I have knit a bit of Thermal with my new Harmony needles! I like them. I have not experimented with many needles in the past, but here are a few comments. They are definitely pretty and they don't make as much noise as metal needles. At first, I thought that the colors of the needles would make it more difficult to knit due to the fact that there is less contrast with the yarn color than with gray needles. It hasn't been a problem however. The cables are very well integrated with the needles. I would not know that they are interchangeable from the feel of it. All in all, I'm very happy with them. I look forward to see how they will age.

And yes - if you wonder - I do enjoy knitting Thermal again! The color has something to do with it I think...

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

A very French "déjà vu"...

It's been a long time since I purchased some yarn. I got it last night! And even though it is not a new yarn to me and the pattern I will be knitting with it is not new either, don't ask me where all the excitement is coming from!

Here is Gloss in Woodland Sage for my Thermal II ;-) Did I say "déjà vu"?

I also bought KnitPicks Harmony Wood circulars needles in 3 sizes and a 24" cable. I will be trying them tonight! From what I heard, I will love them! Also a row counter (no more pieces of paper on the coffee table) and a tape measure (much easier to carry everywhere)! It will be fun!


Hope you are all having a great week so far!

Friday, May 1, 2009

Tough week?

I don't know what's with me... The whole week, I've been thinking about knitting another Thermal. In a lighter color. Maybe teal...

The thing is, the one I have is too tight. I would want one that is more comfortable. I'm thinking knitting one size larger with bigger needles... With long sleeves and a longer body.

Well, goodbye, I'm off to KnitPicks web site... I'm crazy... Help...

Have a great weekend!

Saturday, April 18, 2009

IK and Knit.1 on May 5!

It's always exciting when previews from your favorite magazines become available!

Here are my favorites (at first glance)...

IK Treillis and Keyhole Tank

IK Spidery Tank

Knit.1 tank (no names yet)


Among them, I would most likely knit Spidery Tank. We'll see ;-) Have a great weekend!

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Not much activity...

Good afternoon! Spring is coming, days are getting longer and my knitting time is diminishing...

I've started the front of Lilas though. I hope that the fact that it could be worn this summer will bring motivation... We'll see ;-) In the meantime, here is a sneak preview of the cables on the left front. They are fun to knit! Very delicate too!



Enjoy spring... and the rest of the weekend!

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Saturday, March 14, 2009

The return of Branching Out

Hello! Another sunny weekend morning! It feels good! I hope you all had a good week.

I had a good post-Thermal week! On Wednesday night, I met with the North Shore Knitters and continued Lilas. The back is almost completed. I really look forward to knitting the fronts!

On the other nights, I started a new Branching Out with the remaining skein of Gloss. Half of it is knitted already. I started a Branching Out in 2006 with a thicker yarn (Bernat Satin). It will be frogged. It didn't do justice to the pattern. It was my first lace project however and I can appreciate the hability I've acquired while knitting this other version, soon to be forgotten ;-)

Here is a photo I took this morning. As you can see, I keep my magazines close... What will be next? My first pair of socks? There is also Habanero and the Millefiori Cardigan that I am much interested in. After Lilas of course. I will not say more before I make up my mind. I'm surpised I didn't see many Habaneros on Ravelry. I think this pattern is very interesting.

Have a great weekend!

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Knitting sweaters

I can't believe I will no longer need to say to myself: I should be working on Thermal ;-) That will make me think seriously, next time, about starting a new sweater or any long project. I will knit more sweaters and tops for sure. I already feel like I have more experience: the gauge, the length, regular checks to ensure it fits, etc. But you have to love the pattern and the yarn.

So, here are a few photos:


Pattern: Thermal by Laura Chau
Yarn: KnitPicks Gloss
Needles: US 2.5 / 3.0 mm
Color: Black
Start to finish: October 2007 - March 2009 (yes, it took me that long)
For: Me
Notes: The pattern is very well written and Knitty.com provided answers to all questions I had. I've made a few modifications: no buttons, 3/4 sleeves, grafting instead of 3-needles bindoff for the shoulders, and more length to the body. And although I made the body in size A that made it very adjusted due to the fact that I knit a bit tight, I switched to size D (!) when I started doubting that my arms could get into the sleeves of size A. I think it explains why the collar does not go very low: smaller size made longer.

Here is also a closer look at the stitch pattern, collar and shoulder. I have to say I am very satisfied with the result. Very proud also. Every defect I detected, I corrected. Even if it meant hours in some cases. To give an example, I picked up the collar stitches 3 times (and there were about 250 stitches for the collar): the first time was for practice (!), the second time I did much better except for the back which explain the 3rd tentative (after knitting half an inch I decided that I wasn't satisfied with the back). Every time, I was so glad I did it again.


Another thing I learned is that knitting is not a matter of life and death ;-) When I put the center front on a stitch holder to knit the sides, I lost many stitches without realizing it. Can you imagine my unpleasant surprise when I realized that the stitch holder was not holding the stitches? I was so discouraged. It did not occur to me then that I had the capability to fix it. This yarn is so small and dark. I waited a while and then, a co-worker explained to me what I had to do and with a lot of work (and countless hours), I was able to fix it. That teached me that knitting is a hobby. If I want it the easy way, I can always go buy a nice sweater at the mall. If I want to learn and achieve new habilities, I have to work hard and mistakes are part of it. Isn't it a nice conclusion?

I hope that this will inspire other people to knit this sweater. After all that time and hard work, I'm really glad I did!

Thermal: check!

Thermal. Completed. Except for blocking but I will do that later. I'm so happy and relieved. It will definitely be good to move on to other projects now.


Also, it fits. It's adjusted though. I will have to be careful so that it doesn't get smaller than that. There is still a bit of room, but not plenty.

I've made a few modifications here and there. I will post a more complete summary later today with some pictures of me modeling it!

Wow! It's sunny outside and Thermal is complete! I looooove spring!

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Stitch pattern

Hello! These days, I spend a lot of time reading blogs. I would accomplish so much if I was knitting instead!

While surfing to see more Bella's mittens, I came across a picture by Ruth Cross that gives a very good look at the original ones. I really like the effect on the inside and the thumbs, but I don't know what stitch pattern this is... Any ideas? I'll look through my magazines. Maybe I will find something similar.

I truly like them. I'm not sure if it's because they are pretty and comfortable or because they are from Twilight. It must be both ;-)

One more day before the weekend...

Saturday, February 21, 2009

The Butterfly Award

Island Girl from Prince Edward Island made my day today by nominating me for the Butterfly Award - For the coolest blog I ever know. Thank you so much, this is so sweet!

Although I feel much more like a caterpillar at this point - a slow one - it is an honor to receive it. I spend myself a lot of time reading blogs from my blog list, blogs from these blog commentators, then blogs from these blogs commentators blog lists, etc. I'm sure you know what I mean ;-)

All in all, every day I discover new people who are very talented photographers, cooks, and of course, knitters. Since this is a "butterfly" award, I will nominate blogs that I've discovered recently, hoping that other people will discover them at the same time!

Here is what to do:
1) Post the award logo on your blog
2) Add the link to the person who nominated you
3) Nominate at least 6 others & post their links.

I am passing on this award to:


Knitwise, I continue to knit Thermal. Yes I do. The second sleeve is half knit. There is hope. More than half of the back of Lilas is done. I think I will knit the second Handsome Mitten after Thermal unless I really need a change...

Have a great weekend!

Monday, February 9, 2009

1 of 2!

Here is the first of the two handsome mittens!




















It went very well although I was not sure how to pick up those stitches for the thumb. It's not perfect, but I'm happy with it!

I also like the two colors together. It will go well with my black winter coat.

I look forward to wearing them!

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Handsome mittens

End of resistance. I'm exagerating a little bit because I casted on Lilas not so long ago. So, I can't say it had been ages since I last started something new.

Lilas is going very well. The back is 3/4 done. I should post an update when I will start the front which is going to be more interesting than looking at a back all in stockinette stitch.

I bought the nice Pastaza below a few weeks ago at Effiloché to knit the Handsome Mittens. I had a crush on those mittens the moment I saw them. I loved the colors from the magazine very much. However, I'm using different colors. I really like the mix of bright green in the contrast color. I will want to wear these mittens with my black winter coat so I bought black to go with it.

Now that I look at the colors I chose, I realize that my winter blues must have been at a peak that week ;-) I would not say it's a soothing combination, on the contrary!


Thursday, January 29, 2009

Lilas

This is the latest project I started. I named it Lilas. Its official name is "Gilet manches courtes #136" from the Catalogue Créations 2005/06 - Bergère de France.

In its former life, it was a a debardeur I had started in 2007. Two weeks ago, it was still alive. But then, I frogged it. It was definitely pretty but I've known for a long time that it would never fit - but kept lying to myself that it would... So I finally frogged it and looked into magazines, catalogues and Ravelry - this is a lot of fun too! - for a new pattern I could knit with 7 skeins of Coton Fifty from Bergère de France.

One of the pattern that is in my queue is Henley Perfected by Connie Chang Chinchio. I think it's a very pretty piece of clothing. I considered it very seriously. However, I think this pattern calls for a cold wintery color more like green or blue. Not lilas. And probably a yarn different from Coton Fifty.

Here is the magazine photo of what my "petit gilet" will look like and then, my progress (I took the picture one week ago). It is the perfect mindless knitting project. I really enjoy it at night to relax while watching TV.


















Sunday, January 25, 2009

Twilight

I am a Twilighter. I've read the first 2 books so far. I love the story. It is so romantic.

Look at this! Do you see what I see?



Saturday, January 24, 2009

Ethermal

In September 2007, I saw this from the talented duo at TeamKnit. It is simple, polyvalent and comfortable. Everyone who knit Thermal seem to be very satisfied with the final result.

After reading all these good comments, I decided that I wanted one as well and ordered the required yarn.

I decided that black would be a great color. I wear a lot of black. Have you ever knit with black?

That is, for many months, I've been working on Ethermal, oops, I mean Thermal. I've also un-knit it many times due to my lack of attention. Despite it, it is almost complete as we speak. The body is all knit as well as the first sleeve. Below is the second sleeve. I keep the rest for when I will post on the finished product.

When will that be? That is the question...


Thursday, January 22, 2009

In the last two and a half years...

Before I start blogging about my current and future projects, I would like to take a few moments for a quick retrospective.

I've been knitting since February 2006. I learned with Knitting for Dummies which I think is an excellent book for self-taught people. I think knitting is an amazing hobby. Yarn is just beautiful and comes in so many colors and textures. Also, there are so many patterns and technics to learn. I'm so glad I got acquainted with this art!

My favorite project up to now has been the Lilian Tank Top by Amanda Reed. Here is my own version. I knit it very fast. I think it is a very nice piece of garnment. I however wonder how it would come out with a slightly more delicate and shiny yarn... But don't get me wrong, the TLC Cotton Plus Solid in blue gives very good results!
















Another project I really enjoyed making with TLC Cotton Plus Solid - and blue is my favorite color - is the Irish Hiking Scarf. I thought that cables were difficult. They look difficult. It is not only easy but adds a lot of personality to a piece of clothing. I was very proud of myself.




















And finally, my first completed project, with the help of my mom to sew it: this nice and simple Baby's Hoodie from Bernat. I offered it to my good friend Micheline for her baby girl. I hoped it would be pretty enough to give as a gift and I thouht it was. Also, I found out that my mom turned out to be an excellent teacher for sewing. She is an excellent knitter as well (although I learned from a book because we leave far far away)!