Wednesday, March 27, 2013

WIP: Colour Affection


I'm enjoying Colour Affection so far.

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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


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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.

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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.

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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.

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

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Swag

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

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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.

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

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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Giant creepy clown face watched over the proceedings...

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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).

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

Win!