Tidy Mind, Tidy Stitches

Today's topic is about organization, something that I really am not great at. My room is generally a mess, my school notes are everywhere and it's a miracle I still have my glasses handy. That being said, I'll give you a bit of a glimpse into my "yarn room". It should be noted that this room also serves as my living room, office and exercise room all in one.

This wall is my favourite thing in my whole house. I'm a compulsive art collector, and every single piece on that wall is so special. Some survived my backpack while traveling in Europe, some photos were taken by a talented friend, one is a print of my tattoo, one was painstakingly enlarged by a loving boy, and one needlepoint puppy was even made by an uncle. Art aside, this wall is also home to the prettiest portion of my stash. (And Jemaine the spinning wheel hiding in the corner)

For the most part it's organized by quantity. My single sock yarn skeins live in one box, my sweater quantities go in another, my spinning stash in another. Being the creative person I am, I also have another shelf just like this one, though slightly enlarged, to which my desk is attached and I have plugged some of the cubes to make a sound buffer. Here's a quick tour of the bins and some pretty yarn!

As you can see, it's pretty much a mess. In the end, however, it makes me happy! Maybe a little bit stressed as well, I can look at these photos and see the projects planned for almost all of the yarn. I just need more hours in a day and a couple more arms! I'm sure having it all out in the open allows it to get a little more dusty than necessary, it helps keep me from buying more as I'm confronted daily by the stashmonster.

Happy Wednesday!


Today's topic is about skills that have been accrued over the last year. I don't think there's any specific skills that I've picked up in the last year, but I've certainly honed a few. My lace skills improved, and I have plans on conquering larger projects in the coming year. I've cabled more stitches, and dabbled in colourwork. And though it's not necessarily knitting, and there are no rules for KCBW, I'm going to talk about spinning!

I'm only about a month away from my first spiniversary! I brought Jemaine home in mid-May of 2010 the day after I finished my exams. I thought it was a fitting halfway-through-a-degree present :) I'm certainly not the best, and I haven't had as much time as I would like to play with it, but it's something that I look forward to improving on in years to come!

It's a bit paltry, but there are the spoils of my first year of spinning. I also have a bobbin somewhere, and some delicious wool/silk on the go... I'm consistently spoiled with lovely fiber, I hope my Tour de Fleece will be a bit more successful this year so I can keep up!

A Tale of Two Yarns

Even though this is the first day of Knitting and Crochet Blog Week, it took me almost all day to decide what approach to take. While the yarn-snob in me was eager to complain about a certain recent yarn choice, I'm going to talk about 2 yarns that I think are beyond awesome.

The first yarn is something that I've only used once, but am keen to use again! Not only does Quince & Co. have beautiful patterns, and a lovely colour range, the yarn is 5 kinds of fantastic. I continuously rave about the Lark, since it's the only one I've used so far, but I'm sure the others are equally as delightful. The twist is just perfect and the 4-ply is perfectly fluffy and tough at the same time. I'm a huge fan of the Cascade 220, and it's one of my go-to sweater yarns both at home and at work, but it's got a touch of the itch, which is something that the Lark lacks. I guess this post will also serve as FO documentation, since I've never shown you my Eternity Scarf!

Pattern: Eternity Scarf by Michele Wang
Yarn: Quince and Co Lark in Bird's Egg
Total Yardage: Just under 3 balls (1 for each section)

The level of love I feel for this scarf is so high, it's almost insane. And while the pattern is a lovely combination of simplicity and texture, I think the yarn really makes it so wonderful. I wear this scarf at least 3 or 4 times a week, and has been my saviour in the everlasting Alberta winter with it's ability to wrap around my neck 3 times to make the softest turtleneck ever. I love this yarn so much that I would make and wear a unitard out of it. I may or may not be contemplating knitting myself some long johns out of the Chickadee for next winter.

The next yarn I want to talk about is a little more luxurious than the Lark. For my second yarn, I chose The Sanguine Gryphon's Bugga. (Or, in my case, the Skinny Bugga) I bought the yarn off a local destasher last spring, and fell deeply in love with the golden hues of the Bog Fritillary colourway.

The yardage of this yarn was great, and fortuitously perfect as I wound up with little more than 2 meters left. The sheen of the knitted fabric is perfect, and is just drapey enough to make the perfect shawl. And again with the colour! So perfect! I'm a huge sucker for semi-solid handpaints, and the variation was enough to keep it interesting without overwhelming the lace. I'd be ecstatic to use this yarn again, and I have at least 2 skeins with a similar content in my overwhelmingly large stash. Talking about it makes me want to cast on!

So, I'll quit rambling now. I have to say that I've been impressed with everyone's first Knitting and Crochet Blog Week posts! I'm learning so many things and it's only day 1! I'm looking forward to the upcoming posts and hope I can keep up!

School Sundays

Well, the stress of the final weeks of school have come creeping up on me. While I'm not necessarily being productive at the moment, I'm sitting in one of the many campus libraries working on what seems like an insurmountable pile of work. What's worse is that what I'm working on requires both hands, therefore no knitting. I even brought it with me, just in case!

My current portable knitting is Villeray by Ariane over at Falling Stitches, and the yarn was dyed by Steph over at Crafting A Better Life. I adore this colour, and I've been waiting for the perfect project to do it justice. After a bunch of false starts, I think I have a winner. It's simple and interesting at the same time, and most of all is super easy to memorize. I put the pattern on my ipod just in case I forgot it, but I've been alright so far. It might be because I usually make triangle scarves, but this rectangle feels like it never grows! I'm holding out hope, however, since this will be the perfect scarf to celebrate spring!

Well, that's all for me today. I'm pretty sure I can hear my pile of work yelling at me..

Happy Spring! I hope your day is filled with blooming flowers and puddle splashing!

Bacon and Blogging!

I am pleased to say that, now that we're here in mid-March, that my Christmas knitting have made it to their final owners. The last one to finish, for a couple of reasons, was my Makin' Bacon scarf.

Pattern: Makin' Bacon by Linda Cyr
Yarn: Loops and Threads Impeccable Solids
Needle: 5.0mm

The yarn left something to be desired. I usually avoid knitting with pure acrylics at all costs, but the recipient of this scarf was destined for someone who is quite picky about fibers, leaving my only possibility as pure acrylic. The squeaky yarn combined with really long rows made this scarf last for-freaking-ever. The result is pretty cute, though, and it goes well with the pancake hat I made her a couple years ago.

In other news, I'm getting excited about Knitting and Crochet Blog Week! It starts on the 28th, so hopefully school won't get in the way of getting all my posts out. And now, I must go dive in to the list of over 50 sources for a paper I'm working on. I hope daylight savings hasn't ruined all you guys the way it has me. I had such a hard time getting moving yesterday and I'm still groggy today! In any event, I hope everyone is enjoying as lovely weather as I am. It's above 0C for the first time in a good long while!

Happy Monday!

Finer Things Monday

While my weekend was generally uneventful, I took the plunge and dyed my hair red! I had it this colour in my first year of University and was feeling a little nostalgic lately. So, off I went to Lush and picked up a brick of henna in Caca Rouge. It was a right mess to apply, and required me rocking a saran wrap turban for 4 hours while managing the drips running down my neck, but it was totally worth it!

Last week, I also finished and blocked my Snapdragon Tam! It has just enough slouch, though I do sort of wish I had made the medium size, but I was worried about running out of yarn.

Pattern: Snapdragon Tam from Ysolda
Yarn: Malabrigo Rios in Sunset
Needles: 4.0 mm

I only used 3/4 of the ball, so I could probably have gotten away with making the medium. I love the hand of the yarn, though it was a bit splitty for working cables. The colour is, well, perfect. It's such a nice pick-me-up to help get through the recent cold snap around here. Well, that's all I've got for now. I have a rather large assignment due on Wednesday, so I'm off to learn how to age and sex sheep from their bones! Oh, and enjoy a matcha latte in my favourite mug. I adore how the green in the mug matches the drink!

The Solution to Winter

I've come to the conclusion that my wardrobe requires many more handknit socks. Why is that? This is why.

I made these socks almost 2 years ago as a shop sample for Urban Knitters in Edmonton. When I got them back they went into my sock drawer and didn't emerge until Thursday night. I had forgotten about them entirely! The colour is a perfect combination of awful and awesome and they're nice and snug. They also have kept my feet warm during our cold snap which is more than I can say for the 3 layers of socks I had been wearing throughout the week.

So, for the rest of the evening I'll be working on my sadly neglected Lore Hoodie. I'm dyeing my hair this evening, so assuming it looks OK I'll be back soon with my newly finished and awesome Snapdragon tam!

P.S. Thanks to my dad for crawling on the floor to get a photo of the socks :)

Take Two

Even though it's only Tuesday, I feel like this week has lasted forever. It didn't help that I had a midterm in German this morning that I felt rather unprepared for, so I spent the last couple days stressing out about my lack of knowledge. Turns out, I actually can write a sufficient amount! I still have some problems with mixing French and German words up, but I've been getting much better. With the end of my paper proposal almost finished up, I'm ready to cast on for a new pair of mittens!

I've been dying to make Polska Mitts for months, and after buying the yarn last summer I was so saddened when they got resigned to the timeout chair. I've been pretty successful at cleaning up my WIPs in the last couple weeks so this is my treat! Plus, I feel like I need something to work on at school that isn't a sweater. 

So, for the rest of the evening I'm hibernating by my heater (it's a -40C windchill outside!) and casting on!