Monday, September 23, 2013

FO: Annis

I finished my Annis shawlette in time for a wedding we went to last month, but it was a near thing. A "rushing the shortrows, blocking at 1:00 am the night before" kind of near thing.

 photo IMG_6581_zps14d7c32e.jpg

Pattern: Annis by Susanna IC
Yarn: Riverside Studio Superwash Merino Lace (Note: my skein was about half the size as the linked yarn, and I did not use the full skein.)

 photo IMG_6580_zps7eecbd9a.jpg

Notes: This was my first crescent-shaped shawlette, and my first experience with nupps. I have admired Susanna IC's crescent patterns for a long time, and now I know I will make more of them. The shape is excellent for scarf-wise wearing - it definitely helps it stay around my neck/shoulders. I quite liked starting from the longest edge of the piece and finishing with fewer stitches, since so many things I've knit were done the other way around! Doing a backwards loop cast-on for 363 stitches as recommended nearly made me lose my mind; or rather, having to knit into the backwards loop cast-on for 363 stitches practically did me in. I might try finding a suitably stretchy but less annoying cast-on method next time.

 photo IMG_6624_zps9193f201.jpg

But, let's talk about nupps. I've heard horror stories about them, but I like to think I'm a relatively fearless knitter*, so taking the advice of my more experienced peers, I jumped right in. The main advice I came across was KEEP THEM LOOSE. So I did. I might have overdone it on the looseness, though. As a result of such loose loops, purling 7 together wasn't too difficult, but to be honest the finished nupps are a bit underwhelming. Mine definitely do not pop out as much as others I have seen on ravelry, and in fact they kind of disappear into the fabric. Hmm. Part of the disappearing could be from the variegated yarn, but I have a feeling tighter nupps would show up better. If I were to knit this pattern again, I might use beads instead of nupps, as many others have done.

 photo IMG_6579_zps440e0970.jpg

As alluded to at the beginning of this post, this project was a race to the finish. The only modification I made was to skip the last few short rows because I was running out of time. As a result, the top edge is has more stitches than is written, but I think it looks fine. I did fudge in some extra decreases before binding off. Nupps or not, I love how it turned out and have been wearing it a lot.

 photo IMG_6632_zps8651361a.jpg

It's pretty and fancy, but it works pretty well as a casual scarf, which is how I wear it most!

*More fearless about knitting than other parts of my life, anyway!

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

WIP: a real cardigan

I think every year I vow to make myself more sweaters, since there are still sweater-shaped-gaps in my wardrobe. Thus, I was annoyed to realise that this is my first sweater of 2013, and it's already September! The last sweater I made for myself was my purple classic raglan last November.

Anyway. Better late than never, a cardigan for me.

 photo IMG_6712_zps1a5d3a4c.jpg

I'm making the Gnarled Oak Cardigan by Alana Dakos using New Lanark Pure Wool DK in "Woodland." The colour is a bit less grey than the photo shows. To me it says MEADOW. It is heathered and has an impressive depth of colour, like many New Lanark colourways. In addition to green, there is yellow, purple, blue, and even red. I can't even try to hope to capture it in a photo, so you'll just have to take my word for it.

 photo IMG_6713_zps580ebfc8.jpg

At the moment it is all stockinette, but I have deviated from the pattern significantly in an attempt to add shaping using Little Red in the City as a guide. A new challenge! Haha. We'll see how it turns out.

Monday, September 09, 2013

FO: Little Sister Dress

A few weeks ago I finished knitting the dress for my littlest cousin-in-law. I made the 3 month size and it turned out super cute. I'll definitely make this pattern again!

Pattern: Little Sister's Dress by Tora Froseth

Yarn: Sandnes Garn Mandarin Petit

 photo IMG_6571_zpsec8a567d.jpg


I made i-cord button holes instead of crochet. It was somewhat time-consuming, but I really like the way it looks. I-cord is awesome and I will definitely use it for button holes again. These two youtube videos helped me figure out what I was doing, but mostly I just winged it.


The dress grew a tiny bit in length when I blocked it, and the purl ridges have stretched out a little, due to the inelastic properties of cotton. That said, apparently I actually like knitting with cotton! Who knew? I used leftover yarn from my Decimal cardigan from years ago. I don't really remember having strong feelings about cotton then, but I seem to have internalised the knitting world's common complaints about it. It does emphasize my uneven stockinette, but never mind. Anyway, now that I've reminded myself I don't mind cotton, I'll probably knit with it more in the future.

 photo IMG_6573_zps4d409ab1.jpg

One final cautionary note. Do not assume buttons are machine washable! Other than socks, I seldom machine wash my hand knits, and it had not occurred to me at all that plastic buttons might not last in the washing machine. But sure enough, as you can see from the photo above, the buttons I chose got rather scratched when I washed the dress. (The shop where I bought the buttons very kindly offered me a refund when they learned of it, though I didn't take it because I don't mind too much). In any case, I don't actually mind how it looks now, but I was a bit shocked to notice it. I sent it off without changing the buttons - does this make me a bad gifter? Haha. I hope the buttons don't disintegrate too quickly now that it is in the hands of the recipient, but oh well. Another good enough FO!

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

FO Week: manly socks

In July I finished some socks for my brother, the last member of my immediate family to receive a pair of handknitted socks.

 photo IMG_6484_zps25338746.jpg

Pattern: Twilight by Melissa Morgan-Oakes

Yarn: Regia 4 Ply sock yarn

Mods: I did a 1x1 rib cuff instead of p3 k1.

As you can see from the photos, they turned out a little long. This despite the fact that I tried them on my brother before knitting the toes. Maybe he has shrinking feet, or maybe my row gauge was off so the toes turned out longer than they should have. Or maybe it has something to do with the horizonal ribbing issue, described below. Whatever. Brother says he doesn't mind, even when I offered to frog back and do the toes again. Hopefully they aren't uncomfortable in his shoes.

 photo IMG_6485_zps506185e1.jpg

I won't be knitting this pattern again, mainly because the stitch pattern is not my friend. Especially for socks. There is nothing wrong with it objectively, but as it turns out this waffley stitch acts like horizontal ribbing. That may not be the technical term, but I am using it to refer to patterns with several rows of purl then several rows of knit repeating. Horizontal ribbing causes socks to contract vertically, whereas standard vertical rib (i.e. k2 p2 and the like) causes socks to contract horizontally to fit the ankles. As a result of contracting vertically, the socks always seem shorter than they are supposed to be, so knitting them seemed endless! So annoying. I didn't think of this at all before starting - I saw a relatively simple and manly stitch pattern that wasn't rib and jumped on it. Oh well. Lesson learned.

Monday, August 19, 2013

FO Week: Colour Affection

I have several FOs to share, so I've decided that it is FO Week at Good Enough Knits. First up: Colour Affection!

 photo IMG_6331_zps6284a5e3.jpg

Pattern: Color Affection by Veera Valimaki

Yarn: Old Maiden Aunt Superwash Merino 4 Ply in Dreich, Jaded, and Bramble

 photo IMG_6341_zps6808e403.jpg

Added dropped YOs at the edges to keep them loose and did kfb increases instead of m1. I followed this description on ravelry here.

This was great fun. Garter stitch goodness. I loved the yarn so much that I never got bored of it. I may have said this before, but I'll say it again: I want to knit EVERYTHING in Dreich. It is the most beautiful gray-blue semisolid I have ever seen.

 photo IMG_6327_zpse7954355.jpg

I finished this in May, and I haven't worn it much since it is so warm and squooshy. We actually had an okay summer here by Scottish standards, so it wasn't usually cold enough for warm and squooshy scarves. It's also a bit difficult to wear, especially if I want to show off all parts of the lovely pattern. Oh well.

 photo IMG_6329_zpsa2b983dd.jpg

It's also really large. Picture below shows it blocking on a UK kingsize (US Queen) bed. It doesn't fit! If I'd had a larger space, I could have blocked it straight along the top - the dropped YO edge is quite flexible. As it is, it is slightly curved. I like it, though. If I make another CA I might do it as written and let the tighter top edge keep the curves. As you can see, there is a slight bump in the middle of the gray at the top edge - it mostly went straight with blocking, though.

 photo IMG_6314_zpscec4b438.jpg

Despite its current impracticalities, I love it and I've sure I'll use it a lot this winter. After all, it goes with pretty much everything I wear.

 photo IMG_6319_zps909f0818.jpg

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

WIP Wednesday: Purple Froth

Despite all my talk about cleansing my knitting palate with unselfish knitting, I've cast on for something for me.

 photo IMG_6574_zps64c687ce.jpg

It doesn't look like much yet, but it will be an Annis. This is my first crescent-shaped shawl and my first attempt at nupps. Nupps evoke a strong emotional response among knitters, it seems, so I'm curious to see if I like them! Haha. I'm going to a wedding in a few weeks, and I'm hoping to have something light to cover my shoulders if it's chilly.

The yarn is Riverside Studio superwash merino lace that I bought while in Ottawa in June. The rav link is for lace singles - this yarn is actually 2 ply lace, but isn't on the rav database. The dye job is gorgeous subtly variegated purples - just variegated enough not to be properly semi-solid, I think. I don't THINK it will be too busy for the lace edging, but I guess I'll find out.

It's WIP Wednesday at Tami's, and maybe if I get my act together I'll have a post for FO Friday. (Or maybe I'll just declare next week FO Week. I have some catching up to do!

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

WIP Wednesday

I have two WIPs on the go at the moment. They are both gifts, so I'm getting some unselfish knitting done. When I finished my last big project for myself, I was at a loss for what to make next. You might think that having a lengthy ravelry queue would prevent such dilemmas, but no. Right now I'm knitting for others to cleanse my palate, or something, and I think it is working.

First up is the Little Sister's Dress by Tora Froseth. This is a gift for my newest little cousin-in-law born recently. I'm now further along than the photo, working on the stockinette body portion.

 photo IMG_6503_zps096675f6.jpg

I'm using some cotton yarn leftover from when I made Decimal years ago. I don't often work with cotton, since I live in such an excellent wool-wearing climate. As it turns out I'm really enjoying it, and I haven't experienced any issues from cottons inelastic nature. If it keeps up there will be more cotton knits in my future.

Next up is a scarf for my mom. Last month we visited my family in Canada and I brought along a skein of Lioness Arts King of the Jungle Sock that I bought at the Edinburgh Yarn Festival. My mom picked the pattern Drachenschwanz after trawling through Ravelry. I love semisolid yarns and garter stitch.

 photo IMG_6505_zps6003b664.jpg

The original pattern is in German, and the English translation didn't make much sense to me... Luckily a helpful raveler, Amilouna, has basically rewritten the pattern in her project notes, so I am following those.

Because it is Wednesday, you can find more WIPs at Tami's blog.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013


It's not as warm out today as it was a few days ago, since Scotland's participation in the UK 'heatwave' was rather brief, but I am still enjoying a very magical iced coffee.

 photo IMG_6496_zpsf517bbf6.jpg

This is Magical coffee - cold-brewed coffee with cinnamon and brown sugar. My first time cold-brewing, but definitely not last. Delicious!

I did the whole thing in a cafetiere / French press, and the press seemed to do enough straining on its own. (We normally use a cafetiere for coffee, so all our coffee is coarsely ground.) I used less coffee - 3 coffee scoops (which I think are tablespoons), since I only used just over two cups of water. I also used less sugar - more like 2 tblsp, but next time I might use even less. I kept the cinnamon the same, because I love cinnamon. I used coffee ice cubes, since I made some the other day when it was rather warm and hadn't had a chance to try them yet.

Edited to add: the combination of cinnamon and sugar kind of gummed up the French press, so next time I might add the sugar afterwards. This wouldn't be an issue with straining, I guess.

 photo IMG_6497_zps8c9e2c8d.jpg

Oh, hello, by the way! I ATEN'T DED and all that.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

4KCBWDAY4 - colour review

 photo blogweek_zps4d53a011.jpg

What are your favourite colours for knitted or crocheted projects. Have a think about what colours you seem to favour when yarn shopping and crafting.

Only after writing this part of your post should you then actually look to see what colours you have used in your projects. Make a quick tally of what colours you have used in your projects over the past year and compare it to the colours you have written about. Compare this, in turn, to the colours that are most dominant in your yarn stash – do they correlate?

Now think back to your house animal - do the colours you have chosen relate to your animal in anyway - if you are in the house of peacock, for example, are your projects often multicoloured and bright?

Part 1: The colours I think I use, according to my brain.

When knitting for myself I use lots of cool colours. Blue, green, purple, and variations thereupon. These are my favourite colours to wear, so it makes sense that I am always drawn to them in yarn. That said, I also love using colours that I don't wear - golden yellow and neon green, for example. I can't wear yellow near my face, but I can certainly wear it on my feet. Yay for yellow socks! I don't use many neutrals, even though I have made a few brownish things over the years.

Part 2: The colours I actually use, according to Ravelry

I've organised my project photos by year, and have made screenshots for the last few years just to make a good comparison, since I didn't finish that many things last year.

 photo colours1_zpsd7065e27.jpg
In 2013 so far I have knitted with yellow-orange, blue, teal, gray, and Noro (which is a colour in itself). What the screenshot doesn't show you is that there is purple in my Colour Affection as well.

 photo colours2_zps8a1dea30.jpg
In 2012 I used teal, purple, red, forest green, forest green, light minty blue, undyed/white, and green.

 photo colours3_zps3ae2c6eb.jpg
And in 2011 I used yellow-orange and blue, magenta, neon green, blue and purple, red, green, brown, blue, green, brownish-gray.

What this exercise tells me is, I forgot about red! How could I forget red? Red is a colour I have only developed a fondness for in the last few years. The red hat I made last year for my grandmother was the brightest red I've ever used - I wouldn't have chosen the colour for myself before, but now I actually want a bright red hat of my own. I also apparently use more neutrals than I thought. I kind of forgot about undyed yarn being neutral.

2011 was my most varied year in terms of colour use. I wonder if this is because I was unemployed and mostly buying yarn on sale. For the sake of being cheap, I took some colour risks. The magenta yarn I used for my Honeybee cardigan was incredibly cheap, and I definitely wouldn't have chosen that colour if choosing full price yarn. Similarly, the brown yarn I used for my lace-yoked cardigan was on sale. I quite like that shade of brown, but I'm not sure I would have bought a cardigan's worth at full price.

Part 3: Stash
I haven't made any screenshots of my stash, but you can look at it here. The photos aren't entirely representative of the stash, since I haven't taken pictures of some of the old stuff... and some of the stuff on the list I no longer have. But never mind. For the sake of unscientific analysis, here is the breakdown:

Total stash entries: 21
Red: 1
Blue: 4
Green: 6
Teal/blue-green: 2
Purple: 4
Natural/undyed: 2
Brown: 1
Gray: 1

Green wins! Blue and purple tie for second place! I think my current stash is pretty representative of my current colour tendencies, actually.

Part 4: Relate back to my knitting house
Well, since deciding the Hebridean sheep was my knitting spirit animal, I'm a bit stuck for representative colour. These sheep are blackish. As I have mentioned previously, I hardly ever use black yarn, although I do wear black. I'm totally willing to try it, though. Especially if it comes from a badass multi-horned sheep.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

4KCBWDAY2 - the ultimate project

 photo blogweek_zps4d53a011.jpg

Yesterday I decided to go off-message and declare the Hebridean sheep to be my knitting spirit animal. It follows that my mascot project should involve yarn made from Hebridean sheep's wool. This yarn tends to be blackish, which is a departure for me - I almost never knit with blackish yarn, preferring bright and deep colours. For this project, however, I will embrace the wool's naturally occurring shade. What should I make in black(ish)?

Given my admiration for this sheep's resilience as detailed in my post yesterday, I though some sort of outerwear would be appropriate. I have no desire to knit with fine gauge black yarn, so I set my minimum yarn weight to Worsted. I am forever queuing jackets and coats on ravelry, though I have yet to make one. So, a black woolly jacket! I started by looking at my Ravelry queue and favourites, and then did some more searching supplemented by my memory of various jackets I've admired in the past and somehow forgotten to put in favourites.

Here is the shortlist, as captured from my pinterest board.

 photo mascot_zps8afedf85.jpg

From right to left, Red Oak by Julia Trice; Katrine Cardigan by Cecily Glowik MacDonald; and Everybody Knows by Ann Weaver.

Red Oak drops off because if I make it, I'd prefer it not to be black - those leaves should stand out. Both Katrine and EK are simple and the pattern wouldn't get lost in black. They both would be excellent canvases for fun buttons, also - showing my peacock side, a little? Everybody Knows happens to be an excellent Leonard Cohen song, which is always a bonus. I also think the yarn might suit it better - I've found several options for worsted/aran weight Hebridean yarn. (Not all examples on that list actually contain fibre from the Hebridean sheep, but you get the idea). I would probably lose the drop stitch details because I don't want too many vents to let in the wind. However, I'm kind of drawn to Katrine, despite the fact that it calls for bulky yarn and I haven't found much Hebridean wool at that gauge. I figure I can do some maths, maybe hold some yarn double, and make it work. I like that it has different textures represented: stockinette and seed stitch. The high neck / collar would be warm, but not too tight. I might not want it right neck to my neck due to scratchiness, but it looks roomy enough for a softer scarf/cowl to fit underneath.

That's decided, then. Here's to Katrine as my mascot project. Who knows, maybe I'll even knit it.

Monday, April 22, 2013

4KCBWDAY1 - off to a bad start

 photo blogweek_zps4d53a011.jpg

It's Knitting and Crochet Blog Week once again, and having missed last year's due to my wedding and honeymoon, I was excited to hear it was running again this year. Eskimimi has once again put a huge amount of work into this event, creating new topics and adorable graphics to support them... For which I say a huge thanks, and I apologise in advance for the absolute mess I am making of this first topic prompt.

See, I'm just not feeling this first topic. The basic premise is this: assign yourself to a knitting 'house,' symbolized by an animal. Maybe I'm just channeling in my inner teenager, but upon reading the topics I thought, "I don't want to be pigeon-holed! I will not submit to labels! I don't have a knitting spirit animal!" This is frankly ridiculous, because I do participate in many labeling exercises in my life. However, being sometimes a Bee, often a Peacock, occasionally a Monkey, and even at times a Manatee, I didn't feel like committing to one house. So I decided to stretch the topic to its extreme.

I started thinking, and realised that maybe I DO have a knitting spirit animal.

 photo IMG_5688.jpg

Meet the Hebridean sheep. These particular ones I met at Woolfest last summer, and they are easily the wackiest-looking sheep I've ever seen. The reasons I have adopted the Hebridean sheep as my knitting mascot for the purposes of Blog Week are as follows:

1. Wool comes from sheep

Wool is my preferred fibre with which to knit, so I had to choose a sheep. I haven't knit with Hebridean wool yet, but I would like to try it. I quite enjoy using hardy, rustic wool yarn, since I know it will be sturdy and wear well. I also have a lot of sympathy for the rare native breeds that don't get much attention in light of merino's supremacy. Merino is great for some things, but there is certainly room in my knitting basket for other sheep breeds.

2. These sheep are resilient

Hebridean sheep can survive in difficult conditions, able to live outdoors even in the winter. Scotland is an excellent place to rely on wool for warmth. In the islands off the west coast of Scotland that give this breed its name, it doesn't get very warm - wikipedia (the font of all knowledge :P) gives an average temperature range of 6 C to 14 C. (edit: which may only refer to average maximum temperatures, so isn't exactly representative. But that's what I get for not fact-checking out of laziness.) Although I have not yet been there, given the Scottish weather I have experienced on the main land, I can only imagine how windy it might get on the islands. That gives me a lot of respect for creatures who can eke out an existence outdoors.

3. They are truly badass

Look at those horns! According to the Hebridean Sheep Society, male and female sheep are born with at least two horns. Moreover, the Wester Gladstone website shows sheep with up to 8 horns! Clearly in my brain, the more horns, the more badass. So correlation does not equal causation? Meh, I don't want to hear about it in this case.

Hebridean sheep don't represent me in any concrete sense. Although I consider myself to be a bit wacky, and I'm pretty awkward sometimes, I'm not particularly badass or resilient in many ways, nor do I sport any wicked horns. But I like them and they inspire me to be tougher and try some different things in my knitting life. I hereby commit to knitting something out of Hebridean wool this year, and I will report back on the experience.

Happy blog week, everyone!

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Stuff and things

I've been meaning to write about all sorts of things lately, and just never getting around to it for no apparent reason. I will get around to it, though. Later. In the mean time, I am knitting - progress on my Colo(u)r Affection was stalled for a while when I encountered some epic yarn barf. I say encountered, but really, it started out as slightly twisted yarn, and I made it a lot worse by ignoring it and pretending it would go away on its own.

 photo IMG_6278_zps7e93f464.jpg

All is now untangled, though I had to make several cuts in the yarn to do it. The good thing about knitting stripes is that I don't feel bad about having to join new yarn. The largest salvaged ball might see me through to the end of the project, though. We'll see.

 photo IMG_6210_zps8db76ec7.jpg

Also check out my awesome and delicious green smoothie. It's a bit chunky, but I don't mind. Smoothie above contains an apple, an orange, peanut butter, oats, ginger, spinach and water. It tasted very fresh. This seems like a good way to eat more green stuff - I love leafy greens in all sorts of forms, but somehow still don't eat enough of them, so why not try them in drinkable breakfast form? Mmmm probably the best smoothie in the world?

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

WIP: Colour Affection

I'm enjoying Colour Affection so far.

 photo IMG_6208_zps371d3282.jpg

Judging by its cheeky smile, I'd say it's enjoying the process, too.

Happy Wednesday, everyone!

Check out more WIPS at Tami's blog.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

FO: Magrathea

 photo IMG_6175_zps0f3abe59.jpg

Pattern: Magrathea by Martina Behm

Yarn: Stratus, by Sparkleduck. (70% Bluefaced Leicester, 20% silk, 10% cashmere)

Mods: Used 3.25 mm needle instead of 3.0 mm because that's what I had around. Otherwise no mods.

 photo IMG_6178_zpsa38cd75f.jpg

The shawlette has a wingspan of 140 cm. I didn't measure it before blocking, but I'm sure it grew a little. The garter stitch is really stretchy, and if I'd blocked it aggressively, I expect it would have grown even more. It is a great length and depth for satisfactory for bandit-style wearing. I want it around my neck at all times!

The yarn is gorgeous and squooshy. The picture below is slightly more colour-accurate than the others - there are subtle green and blue shifts all the way through. If I could only knit with semi-solids, I'd be a happy knitter. This is my first time knitting with BFL - and in combination with silk it is pleasingly shiny. I would like to try something in 100% BFL to better judge the fibre itself, but that will come.

 photo IMG_6183_zps7d43fdc5.jpg

I really enjoyed knitting this. The construction is interesting and not something I had tried before: one of the lace edges is knitted at the edge of ever-increasing garter rows, and the other lace edge is knitted across the entire length at the end. That doesn't make much sense, but I swear the pattern itself describes it very clearly! On my version, my stitch count must have been slightly off (despite my attempts to check it), so there is a bit of a wobble where the two lace edges combine. It's hard to see if you don't know what you are looking for, though.

 photo IMG_6199_zps68b175cb.jpg

Not as smug as I appear, though I am rather pleased with this FO.

Thursday, March 21, 2013


I promised to show off my Yarn Fest loot, so here it is.

 photo IMG_6153_zpsdcab78f0.jpg

Three skeins of Old Maiden Aunt Merino 4ply in Dreich, Jaded, and Bramble. I usually don't mind winding my own skeins, but I took advantage of a yarn-winding-for-charity service providing by enthusiastic volunteers at the festival because I wanted to cast on for Colour Affection as soon as possible. Not going to lie - seeing the OMA stuff in person blew my mind. After taking quite a while to work through the crowd to the OMA stall, I settled in crouching by a trunk of yarn, and was dazzled by all the potential colour combinations. I eventually settled on the above three. However, Lilith of OMA was wearing a Colour Affection when I went up to purchase the yarn, and I almost had to rethink my yarn choice yet again.

Yet another Old Maiden Aunt Merino 4ply - this time still in skein form, since I have no immediate plans for it. Colourway: Emerald City. I picked this one up and couldn't put it down, so it came home with me too.

 photo IMG_6158_zpsc288198d.jpg
Hint: it's way more luminous in real life.

And finally, a fabulous semi-solid red from Lioness Arts.

 photo IMG_6163_zpsc49d8573.jpg

The yarn is King of the Jungle Sock (80% merino, 20% nylon) in the colourway Seeing Other People. Again, no concrete plans for this one yet, but it can just sit in my stash looking gorgeous for a while.

I know this might count as restrained shopping in some circumstances, but since I rarely buy more than one skein at a time of luxury yarn, this was a splurge for me. An exciting splurge, though - I don't feel at all bad about it, and you can't make me! :P

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Edinburgh Yarn Festival!

This past Saturday was the first Edinburgh Yarn Festival. It was fabulous, and I really hope they do it again next year! I'll definitely sign up to volunteer. Having a fibre event like this so close to home was great. It really took the pressure off - I didn't feel like I had to see everything all at once, since I knew I could wander back home and come back again if necessary. I didn't take too many pictures, but hopefully these give a feel for the atmosphere.

When I arrived, I was greeted by this bizarre creature.

 photo IMG_6139_zps5dc02278.jpg

It was incredibly crowded on my first circuit of the stalls, but by the time I made it around for a second look, it had calmed down a little. Still, the place was heaving.

 photo IMG_6144_zps0c63cf0a.jpg

I dropped most of my loosely-determined budget at Old Maiden Aunt. The stall was placed in a sort of bottle neck / dead-end, which exacerbated the crowds... It is easy to see why everyone was heading there, though. So much beautiful stuff.

 photo IMG_6140_zps159f6b94.jpg

Giant creepy clown face watched over the proceedings...

 photo IMG_6147_zpseb5fb984.jpg

And here's Ysolda's big rack-o-samples. The fangirl in me did squeal inwardly at handling these original, beautiful pieces. I declined the offer to try some on, mostly because I was wearing a soggy raincoat and didn't want to fling moisture everywhere. (The weather that day was pretty awful - all the more reason to frolic inside with the wool).

 photo IMG_6142_zpsbec41c59.jpg

All in all a great time. It was pretty overwhelming to see all this gorgeous stuff in person - most of my yarn-ogling happens on the internet, which just isn't the same. I always feel a bit awkward chatting with people who do things I admire - but everyone I spoke to was lovely. I picked up so many cards to facilitate future internet purchases, in addition to the yarn I bought on the day. Swag pictures coming up!

Monday, March 11, 2013

Lemon poppy seed cookies

I made some cookies, and managed to get photos when they were only mostly gone.

 photo IMG_6130_zps0986400a.jpg

The recipe I sort-of followed is here. These are a bit of a departure for me, since I mostly bake brownish things - the result of subbing in brown sugar and whole-wheat flour, and using lots of spices. I do love some cinnamon... but in this case, these were lovely as is, without too many substitutions.

 photo IMG_6132_zps63efc027.jpg

I say without too many because I tinkered with the fats. The recipe calls for butter, but I can never resist reducing and substituting when butter is involved. In this case, I reduced the total fat to about 6 tblspoons (from 8), and used roughly equal amounts of butter, vegetable oil, and virgin coconut oil. In actual fact, the butter measurement was very rough - basically two vaguely tablespoon sized chunks. But anyway. The subtle coconut smell while the cookies were baking was delightful, but there isn't a strong flavour of it once baked, at least not in the small amount I used. This was my first time baking with coconut oil, and I'll probably experiment with it some more. It's mostly saturated fat, so despite all the hype, I doubt it is that much healthier than other saturated fats, but whatever.

Oh, and I left off the glaze mostly out of laziness. They are delicious without it, anyway.

 photo IMG_6133_zps7741a1ec.jpg

Mmmm cookies. Will make again.

Monday, March 04, 2013

FO: stripey stripes

Just dropping in to say I did finish that Noro scarf. I finished it a while ago, took some long-arm photos, scowled and said I'd get some better ones.... and never did. I got fed up with not posting about it, so here are the somewhat awkward self-portraits. Also I need a hair cut. Meh.

 photo IMG_6117_zpsdfb31ff6.jpg

I love it and really enjoyed knitting it. It's cozy and warm - I happen to like the feel of Noro around my neck, though I realize that I'm in the minority. I had to intervene several times when the colours became too similar - the kind of intervention that involves scissors. Still, good times.

 photo IMG_6113_zps02d81dc4.jpg

Details: Three different skeins of Noro Kureyon. I split one of the skeins in half, used the first half striped with one of the other skeins, subbed in the next skein when that half ran out, continued along until running out, and I used the last half for the last part of the skein. Does that make any sense? I am having difficulty explaining it, but it is simple, really.

I CO 29 stitches, and knit two rows of each colour in 1x1 rib, slipping first and last stitch of the second row of each stripe, as Brooklyn Tweed describes.