Sunday, December 06, 2015

FO: Arya Mitts

Oh hello! I didn't realize it had been several months since I showed any knitting progress. I have been doing some knitting behind the scenes, but it has been slow going - didn't feel like taking progress photos of another few centimetres of twisted stitch cable every week. And I abandoned a cardigan I was working on in a fit of annoyance. That probably deserves a post of its own if I can be bothered to take it out of the corner I've shoved it in. Anyway, I did finally finish something!

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Pattern: Arya Mitts by Patti Waters

Yarn: Cherry Tree Hill Supersock

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Mods: Changed the stitch count because as written with my gauge the circumference was massive. I didn't do any wrist shaping out of laziness, so these are just a long tube - but the stitch pattern is very stretchy, so I don't miss the shaping. I made the thumbs longer than written.

These took ages because I didn't focus on them, but ultimately I enjoyed knitting them. The cable pattern was intuitive once I got into it, and it certainly kept my interest. The yarn is so pretty - and a surprisingly good fit for these cables. (Photos don't show the pops of purple and green running through very well, but they are awesome.)

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I'm very pleased with these. Unfortunately I seem to have lost my slouchy green fingerless mitts from last year, so these ones are now going to fill a gap in my collection. (The gap being "long fingerless mitts that aren't bright pink." I still wear the pink ones with love, but since I wear almost exclusively green/turquoise/blue when it comes to outerwear, they don't really fit my accidental colourscheme.) Plus, another tick off my stash match list! Woohoo. Speaking of which, I'm due another post on that once I can figure out what to do with all my miscellaneous light weight alpaca yarn. It's on the list.

Monday, September 21, 2015

New WIP: Arya mitts

I've made a start on the Arya Mitts by Patti Waters. This is another project towards my Stash Match.

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I'm glad that I'm finally using this yarn because it is beautiful. This yarn was a gift in a swap from several years ago. It's Cherry Tree Hill Supersock. Very pretty in the skein, but as I was winding it I fell in love with the colours even more. It's subtly variegated in blues, greens, and purples - I thought it might be too busy for this cable pattern at first, but I think it will work okay. The twisted-stitch cables are surprisingly intuitive!

Sunday, September 06, 2015

FO: Cinnamon Stone Shawl

The greenest shawl ever is finished.

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Pattern: Cinnamon Stone Shawl by Verybusymonkey

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Yarn: Old Maiden Aunt Merino Superwash 4-Ply in Emerald City colourway

Notes:

Before I start criticizing the pattern, I want to say that it is beautiful and I love the result with some reservations. I think it is very worth knitting if you like the look of it, but be prepared to deal with some issues. The first half of the shawl went smoothly and was very enjoyable, but my troubles began once I hit chart 3.

First, the pattern along the bottom edge follows three charts - my first thought was to tape the charts together to form one seamless huge chart. But alas! The charts are different sizes, so the rows do not line up. If I had been more committed, I would have done some print sizing experimentation, but I just lived with it. It slowed me down and caused me to grumble a bit, but oh well.

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Second, there are some errors in the pattern(or maybe the pattern is totally fine and I'm just losing my mind - always possible). Other ravelers also ran into trouble where I did, which makes me think the pattern is to blame rather than my pattern-reading skills. Frustrating, but these things happen. Thank goodness for Ravelry. Anyway, I followed some very helpful notes to fix the problems - I've linked to them in my Rav notes here.

I'm not entirely happy with the lace at the bottom edge - I feel like the fact that it is reverse stockinette makes the YOs look messy and undefined. I much prefer the way the middle section looks with extra knit stitches thrown in for contrast and to define the lace a bit more. Does that make sense? It's still pretty, but not as crisp as the rest of it.

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My final small disappointment is that the way I prefer to wear shawlettes doesn't show off the gloriousness of this lace pattern. Sigh. (This is my own issue, not a fault of the pattern, though the pattern schematic is a bit misleading when it comes to shawl shape. Or maybe I just blocked it wrong?) I think this would look fabulous worn over the shoulders with the lace flowing down the back... like my picture on the chair above. I tend to wear things bandit-style, however; this particular arrangement crumples up the lace in this case. (I have made plenty of triangle and crescent-shaped shawls that do not do this, so it's not a function of shape so much as lace placement, I think.) It's fine, though - even if the lace gets crumpled when I wear it, it's still totally the greenest thing I own. GREEN FTW.

The only mod I made was to forgo the picot bind-off in favour of a standard stretchy bind-off.

Altogether mixed results, but I'll wear it with love this autumn/winter. And the yarn is still my favourite.

Tuesday, September 01, 2015

Moar swaps

This has been the summer of swaps. In addition to the sock/shawl swap, I also took part in a more standard gift swap. I sent fun things to someone, and a third person sent fun things to me - it was the standard secret kind of swap where nobody knew who would be sending them stuff. As it turns out, Erin sent me a delightful package of wonderfulness. It's fun to get post!

Local was the theme of this package. Erin lives in NYC and is originally from Savannah - so she packed it full of things from both places.

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Let's talk about that gradient. It's handspun and it is rustic and beautiful. I can't decide what to make with it - maybe the Moab Shawl by Verybusymonkey, or something similar.

Also included in the package were fancy flavoured sugars, exciting chocolate (goat, sheep AND cow milk varieties), honey soap, and blueberry jam. Particularly of note is the jam, produced by Anarchy in a Jar. Here's something you might not know about me: for the last 13 years (apparently), whenever I talk / think about jam this old Weebl and Bob video comes to mind. (Now you know!) Anyway, this anarchic jam is only going to reinforce the association I have between jam and revolt. (Plus it is delicious.)

Thanks, Erin! I'm truly spoiled.

Monday, August 24, 2015

Sock/Shawl Swap, part 2

Last post I showed you the shawl I made for the socks/shawls swap. Here are the socks I got in return!

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They are the Pandora's Box Socks. The picture fails to capture the beautiful bright purple undertones to the yarn. They are so soft!

Kristi, my talented swap partner, used a Fish Lips Kiss heel - I've never tried this heel, but I definitely will in the future. Standard short row heels never fit me very well, so I stick with heel flaps. But this heel fits me really well, even though it resembles a short row heel.

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Colours are all wrong in this picture, but there is the pretty cuff detail.

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She also sent me some goodies, including tea towel and hand made buttons. Can we talk about how awesome these buttons are? They are copper with enamel, and she made them herself. I am so impressed. For now they are living in my button stash looking pretty, but soon I'll come up with a project for them.

Thanks again, Kristi! It's been a pleasure swapping with you.

Friday, August 21, 2015

FO: stripey shawl

I made a thing, but not for me. It was for another socks/shawl swap, and it was a lot of fun. Last year I made someone else socks in exchange for a shawl; this year I am bored of making socks, so I made someone else a shawl to swap for socks.

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Pattern: Itaca by Stephen West

Yarn: Ito Kinu

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Notes:

I didn't add the shells / beads on the bind-off edge, but otherwise followed the pattern as written. The yarn is 100% tussah silk, and I really enjoyed working with it. It has a pleasant nubbly texture and a pretty depth of colour, in an almost tweed-y way.

I'm hesitant to commit to using it again, however; upon blocking, the shawl acquired a really strong musty smell. I'm told this sometimes happens to silk, though this definitely wasn't the 'fishy' smell that also sometimes happens with silk. Anyway, I managed to get the smell out, I think. I tried many things, but what seemed to work in the end was washing in regular laundry detergent (by hand) and rinsing in citric acid. Then hanging it outdoors for a few days. So, although I like the yarn, I have my reservations about it. Hopefully I just got a bad batch.

Next up, I'll show you what I received in return!

Linking up with FO Friday.

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

WIP: Greenest Shawl

I've made some progress on my Cinnamon Stone shawl. The rows definitely feel long now, and it no longer seems to fly by. I'm still excited to see the pattern coming through, though!

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Plus, I've reached the stage where the lace pattern for each row is on 3 separate charts. Definitely not television knitting, this! I haven't done anything with such an involved chart in a while, but it is going well. Luckily, the wrong-side rows have no lace, so my brain gets a bit of a rest then.

What are you working on? See some other WIPs at Stitch-Along Wednesday.

Monday, August 10, 2015

Yarn dyeing with onion skins

Since my experiment with tea-dyed yarn a few years ago, I've been curious about what else I can use to dye yarn. A member of my knitting group suggested onion skins, so I started looking into it. Upon finding out that onion skins can dye without a mordant, I set out to give it a try.

It took me several months to collect enough onion skins - I didn't have a precise amount I was aiming for, but I'd read that more is better. We tend to use yellow/brown onions, so those are the skins I saved. I collected them until I was fed up. I didn't weigh them, so I can't say how much I actually had in the end. Just call it a shedload.

To prepare the dye solution, I tried to shove all skins into my too-small pot, let them simmer for about an hour, and then strained the skins out. Boiled onion skins smell pretty terrible, FYI. I was surprised at how red the dye solution was.



I let the solution cool a little while I soaked my yarn. Since I am technically on stash down I couldn't buy any new yarn, so I used some undyed 4-ply alpaca that I had in my stash. Then I put the yarn in the pot and started simmering it again. The picture above shows the colour once I had put my yarn in - the yarn started taking up colour really quickly.

After simmering it for about 45 minutes, I was sick of the boiled onion skin fumes, so I turned it off and let it cool. There was still plenty of colour in the dye bath, though it was a bit lighter than at the beginning. If I was dedicated, I probably could have saved the rest of the dye and used it again on something else. Or maybe I could have used fewer onion skins to begin with.


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Picture above is what I ended up with.

Oh hey, it's brown! Surprise, surprise.

When I washed the yarn it lost a bit of colour, but not too much - the water became tinged yellow. It looked much more orange/red when wet, but it dried to be a light orange-y brown. My first thought when I looked at it dry was that it was exactly like my tea-dyed yarn. Upon comparing the two, however, I see that they are quite different.

See my tea-dyed sock with my onion-dyed yarn below. The sock is darker and less red/orange, though it does have reddish undertones that don't come through well in the photo.

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Tea sock with Onion yarn. A Study in Contrasts.
My problem now is what to knit with this yarn! It's a delightfully soft, delicate 100% alpaca 4-ply. Not suitable for socks - really, it would be best around the neck! It's not a colour I like to wear near my face, though. It may have to wait for a contrasting skein of alpaca to join my stash (next year, perhaps?) and become something striped to mediate the orange-y brown-ness of it. Any ideas?

I didn't follow any particular tutorials to the letter, but here are a few links that helped me figure it all out:
Ways of the Whorl
It's a Stitch Up
Lion Brand
Folk Fibers

Altogether it was a fun experiment. Maybe I'll try red onion skins some time!

Saturday, August 01, 2015

FO: Varia

A few weeks ago I started and finished a project without it making an appearance on the internet.

Yeah, it was quick! I love an instant gratification project every now and then.

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Pattern: Varia by Alex Tinsley

Yarn: Jamieson and Smith 2 ply Jumper Weight (held double).

Notes: No mods, super quick, very enjoyable. J&S is maaaaybe not the best yarn for slouchiness, at least not at this gauge, since it is quite sturdy. But it is certainly the best yarn for colourwork.

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My grandma requested another hat, and as I have already made her two Coronets, I wanted to try something different this time. When pressed, her brief was "something with various shades of blue." So here we are! In the shop, the middle shade looked more blue than teal - but as it turns out, the world is conspiring to make me buy teal yarn even when I don't realise I'm doing it. I'm onto you...

Linking up with FO Friday a day late here.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

WIP Wednesday: Cinnamon Stone Shawl

The boringness of my stockinette cardigan was getting me down, so I started something new. (As one does.)

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This is the Cinnamon Stone Shawl by Verybusymonkey. I'm happy to say that this is something from my Stash Match Project that I started last year - sometimes I can stay on track!

The yarn is Old Maiden Aunt Superwash Merino 4 ply (aka my favourite yarn), in the Emerald City colourway. Cameras can't handle how green this yarn is, so I oversaturated the colour in an attempt to bring out the awesome greenness. It doesn't quite capture it, still. It is so green. It glows!

I'm at the stage where the rows are still short enough that they fly by, and I love watching the lace pattern develop.

Linking up with Stitch Along Wednesday

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Outfit Along update

There are only a few days left in the official Outfit Along, and as expected I'm not going to finish my sweater on time. But it's cool - I got my skirt done!

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Modeled shots to follow at some point. I swear I ironed it, but the hanger makes it bunch up more than it should.

The pattern is the Alder Skirt by Imagine Gnats. This is the first time in my adult life that I've made a garment from a pattern. I had a few false starts and my cutting/sewing accuracy could be better, but oh well.

Problem the First:

The first time I sewed it all together the pockets gaped horribly. I have a suspicion that the pockets are suppose to gape a bit in View A, but it is hard to tell how much since most of the pictures of that view include hands in the pockets. In all likelihood, slight errors in cutting and matching made mine even worse. I decided I didn't want balloon pockets, so I had to undo the side seams and move things around until they didn't gape so much.

Problem the Second:

When putting the elastic in for the waist, it seemed like I wouldn't be able to put it on over my hips. This was made worse by the rejigging I had to do for the pockets. I contemplated trying to install a zipper, but decided that might be too much for my tiny brain to handle at this stage. In the end, I can juuuust barely get it over my hips, so it's fine. I can always fall back on putting it over my head.

Here it is with my Cria cardigan in progress:

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(strange shoulder lumps are from the skirt hanger)

I'm at the endless stockinette body stage, and it seems like it will last forever. Ah well - it'll be worth it in the end!

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Yarn bowl!

Oh HAI blogosphere. I've been crafting, just not keeping up with pictures and writing about it. Never mind. I wanted to show off something I made a little while ago that is yarn-related, but not made of yarn.

I took a pottery class for 6 weeks ending last month, and it was incredibly fun. In my youth I did pottery for a few years at the local community centre, and I loved it - so when I found out there was a class on in my neighbourhood I was excited to try it again. And I still love it, and I'm anxious for the next session to start up! I kind of love the unpredictability of it - I'm sure some people plan well and create things according to their plans, but I found it kind of freeing not to. Especially with glazing - it was kind of fun not knowing exactly how the glazes would interact with each other and how it would all turn out. I made a bunch of things, including some wonky wheel-thrown bowls, and a few flower pots, but the thing I'm most proud of is my yarn bowl.

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Yeah, it's teal. So sue me. (The glaze is a not-opaque blue-y green plus a thin layer of blue glaze, over top of a turquoise slip. It was kind of an experiment, but I love the colours that came through.)

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And it works! I've been using it with my current project, as shown above - the Cria Cardigan - and it has kept my yarn contained nicely while looking awesome on my coffee table.

I'll be back with more soon: a knitted FO, plus an Outfit-Along update.

Tuesday, June 09, 2015

Outfit Along: getting started!



The Outfit Along hosted by Untangling Knots and Lladybird started at the beginning of the month, and I somewhat impulsively decided to participate. I'm going to make a skirt rather than the official dress pattern, and I'm making a different cardigan as well. This will be a chance for me to try sewing a garment from an actual pattern, as well as work through some stash yarn I've been meaning to use for a long time.

Here are my materials:

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The fabric is more turquoise than it appears. I will be sewing the Alder Skirt - it has an elastic waist so I don't have to attempt zipper installation on a garment this time. (Though now that I've made a few project bags with zippers they are less scary than before). It also has pockets! Pockets are awesome. If all goes well, this will be extremely wearable. I'm excited.

The yarn is Double Kiss, an alpaca-wool blend. I will be knitting Cria by Ysolda Teague - another eminently wearable design that I've had queued for years and years.

I have been a bit concerned about the two together, wondering if the fabric is too summery to go with the cardigan. Alpaca and wool are quite warm, after all. I already decided against some other fabric in my stash that was an even more summery print, but I think this will work for autumnal wear. To be honest, I might also find myself wearing alpaca in the summer given Edinburgh's famously crap summers...

Monday, May 25, 2015

FO: Raiun Cardigan

This week has been a week of finishing. It's awesome when long-haul projects that I thought would never end suddenly come together and I remember why I chose to make them in the first place.

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Yes, I AM pleased with myself! Haha.

Pattern: Raiun by Kirsten Johnstone

Yarn: Rowan Wool Cotton 4-ply

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Notes and Mods:

I am very happy with this. Having never worked with a wool-cotton blend before, I was pleasantly surprised at how easy it was to work with. Given the dubious status of summer in my city, I'm sure this will get a lot of wear.

My only real mod was adding ribbing to the bottom hem, since I don't trust any pattern that tells me stockinette hems don't roll if you block them enough. I've been down that road before! The only thing I'm not super pleased about is the fact that the collar rolls inward a bit. Not a huge problem, but I can see myself getting annoyed in the future if I end up tugging at it a lot.

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I love the ribbing pattern on the back - I guess it is the whole point of the sweater. It gives the illusion of shaping, which helps on an drapey open-fronted cardigan, and it also kind of looks like wings. Success!

Wednesday, April 08, 2015

WIP Wednesday: breaking my own rules

First, I wanted to say thanks to everyone who found me via the Love Your Blog challenge and stayed to take a look. It's crazy how many blogs I've added to my blogroll just from Monday's festivities - I'm looking forward to finding even more fun reads over the coming weeks!

Second, I have a newish WIP that is breaking all the rules.

I'm making some plain socks using a Fleegle Heel, as a gift.

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The yarn is Fyberspates Sheila's Sock, and it's not electric blue like it appears - more periwinkles and purples.

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Rules broken:

No Vanilla Socks

This isn't a hard and fast rule, but I have so many non-vanilla sock patterns in my queue/favourites that I never have any desire to make plain ones. Unless they are stripey. But these are going really quickly, so maybe these will change my mind about vanilla socks. Also I might try something fun and fancy at the cuff, but I haven't decided what yet.

Deviating from the Stash Match project

I gave myself plenty of scope for changing my mind when I started the stash match project, so it's really fine. This is the first major change I've made, though, so it feels a bit rebellious. The yarn is just a perfect colour for the intended recipient, and I'm still feeling a bit burnt out on cables from my last socks, so I currently have no desire to make the project I originally allocated the yarn for, as gorgeous as it is. There will be other yarns and I may yet come back to it.

Using my "too pretty for socks" yarn, for socks

I have all my digits crossed that it will be okay, since these are meant to be bed socks, and the yarn is technically superwash. somehow knitting gift socks out of obscenely pretty yarn seems more justifiable to me. I know this is irrational, since I should totally use the best for myself, and I can't know if the gift recipient is going to take care of the socks lovingly... but there it is.

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So there it is. Do you have any knitting rules, and do you like to break them?

Linking up with Stitch Along Wednesday this week.

Monday, April 06, 2015

Interactions and community

A Playful Day

The delightful writer/podcaster behind A Playful Day has come up with a new blogging challenge for April that is all about loving your blog. Since I am certainly guilty of leaving my blog unloved over the last year or so, I thought I'd use this opportunity to try and jumpstart some creativity etc etc.

Interactions and community is the theme for this week. I almost didn't participate this week because I thought, what can I say about community that everyone else on the internet won't already have said? But then I thought, this is about me getting out of a blogging rut, and maybe being more introspective that usual and posting about things I don't normally post about is a way to attempt that. It doesn't have to be about being ground-breakingly original. (Hopefully not, anyway.) So. Apologies if you've heard this all before.

Like many knitters today, most of my experiences with the knitting/crafting community happen via the internet. Ravelry is awesome, etc etc - I'm pretty sure I wouldn't be an obsessive knitter without it, because it is an excellent information resource as well as being an interesting community. I've been fortunate to make friends through Ravelry that I never would have met otherwise, and these people have enriched my knitting life as well as my personal life.

Sounds a bit too sentimental? Well, I should probably also mention that the first real-life friends I made when I moved countries were in the knitting group I joined. (A knitting group I found out about on Ravelry, obviously). How's that for sentimental? It's not the only knitting group in town, and I did try a few, but this is the one that I felt like I fit into immediately. Even though we've had to change our venue several times over the years, and membership is fluid, it's the heart of my knitting community. It means that knitting isn't always a solitary activity for me any more, and we all benefit from tips and tricks in addition to chat.

And cake - must not forget cake.

(I meant to take a picture at our last meeting, but I was distracted by knitting and eating cake, so you'll just have to imagine.)


Sunday, April 05, 2015

Blog love

In case you've missed it, A Playful Day is hosting the Love your Blog challenge, starting tomorrow. Every week there will be a new topic to inspire blog people. I know my blog is in need of some attention given my neglect over the last year or two, so hopefully this will help.

A Playful Day

Come join in!

Friday, April 03, 2015

FO: Tweed Handbag

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It's finished!

Pattern: Simply Stylish Handbag by Lisa Lam

Fabric: Harris Tweed and quilting cotton

Notes: This was my most involved sewing project to date. It involved lots of really narrow seam allowances and handling many layers of fabric at the same time. Also a magnetic snap closure, which turns out is actually super fun to install. The pattern was pretty straight forward, but the physical execution of it gave me trouble at times, since I'm not that experienced with sewing. There's one area where the pattern cuts out and misses a step, so I found myself winging it a bit, but it all worked out in the end.

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The handle came from U-Handbag, where I bought the pattern. It was surprisingly difficult to sew on, and I made a right mess of it on the inside. If I was more of a perfectionist I would have ripped it out and started over, but I was just anxious to get it finished. And nobody is going to look on the inside of my bag, anyway.

The lining is actually purple, not as blue as it appears, and the tweed is black, purple, and teal.

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Mods: I added a fabric loop for keys (as shown above - I neglected to consider the difficulty of photographing the inside of a dark bag, but you get the idea), and an inside pocket (shown below.) I need to get a better carabiner, since the one I used doesn't stay shut.

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I followed this tutorial to add a pocket to the inside, since I don't feel comfortable keeping my phone in the outside pocket.

All in all, I'm very pleased with my bag! I formerly used a bag with a cross-body strap, so using this shorter shoulder strap is taking some getting used to, but the bag is generally the right size for my gear. I won't use it when being a tourist in a very crowded place prone to thieves, since the bag doesn't fully close at the top - the only closure is the small tab across the front that snaps to the body. Maybe for my next bag I'll make something a little less easy to pick-pocket. Still, for every day use it is awesome and I'm proud of myself for making it!

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By the way, it's Fiber Arts Friday - check out some more fibre-related projects there. (Tweed counts as fibre art, yes?)

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

WIP Wednesday: things other than knitting

I've been doing some non-knitting things lately, so I wanted to show my other hobby WIPs this week.

First, I've become slightly obsessed with the idea of growing things since we moved into our new flat. A few weeks ago I bought one of those grow-your-own-herb kits, and I'm pleased to report that I haven't killed them yet!

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I've got parsley, basil, and chives sprouting cheerfully on the window sill. Hopefully I can keep them alive long enough to reap some delicious fresh herbs this spring.

I've also been sewing - although I got a sewing machine the Christmas before last, I haven't used it much other than for some hemming and repairs, and a few small projects. Now I've got the bug, though.

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Above, you can see most of the bits of my tweed handbag. I've actually sewn it all together since I took the photo, but I still need to attach the handle. I bought the tweed when I went to Harris last summer and dithered about choosing a bag pattern for ages until I finally settled on the Simply Stylish Bag by Lisa Lam. It's relatively simple as handbags go, but it's the most complicated thing I've sewn so far, in that it involves many layers, and interfacing, and magnetic snaps, and pockets... so I'm pretty pleased that it mostly worked out. Some wonkiness involved, but that's to be expected. FO photos coming up once I get that handle attached.

I'm linking up with Stitch-Along Wednesday this week. Click the link to check out more WIPs.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Edinburgh Yarn Festival 2015

How lucky I am to have such a festival in the city where I live!

EYF 2015 was this past weekend, and it did not disappoint. I didn't take any classes, but I sure exercised my stash-down exception. Wheee! As is typical, I hardly took any photos, and most of them are badly lit / blurry. Here's a glimpse of the WestKnits / Ysolda stall, though, festooned in beautifully mad colourful shawls. That sums up the yarn festival for me: beautiful and mad.

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Almost as soon as I arrived, I visited my friends at the charity yarn-winding table. EYF's charity of choice this year was the Teapot Trust, who provide art therapy to chronically ill children. EYF volunteers wound skeins into cakes for a donation to the trust, but the Teapot Trust also had a table of gift items for sale to raise funds. I bought a pair of earrings shaped like teapots from them because they were so cute.

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Then I went and bought yarn. And more yarn. I had a short list of projects to buy for, as per my stash down exception, but I was blinded by the pretties, so I didn't really stick to it.

There was so much beautiful stuff, much of it from companies I'd heard of but never seen in real life, and some of it from dyers I'd never heard of.

First up, Old Maiden Aunt. Obviously, I knew I'd spend time digging through the piles of loveliness since I'm a big fan. I ended up with this skein of 4 ply merino in the Crazy Ivan colourway. (Spot the Firefly reference.) It's impossible to describe or photograph, but think purple, teal, blue, green, and red all in subtle layers. Like an oil slick, only not shiny.

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Next, Easy Knits. This is a new-to-me dyer, which so many insane vibrant colours. Again, I ended up with merino 4 ply:
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The neon green is a bit outside my normal colour range, but it just called to me.

Finally, I stopped at Eden Cottage Yarns, and picked up some more merino 4 ply (sensing a theme?) in a lovely faceted charcoal gray.

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I didn't intend to buy solely merino sock yarn, but that's what happened. Oh well! Sometimes you just have to roll with it. As of now, the only skeins that have been assigned to a project are the neon green Easyknits and the Eden Cottage - I plan on using them together in a Pendulum shawl.

The festival seems like it was a roaring success, and I look forward to next time! Maybe I'll even take some classes. Maybe by then I'll have made some more space in my stash. Haha.

Friday, March 13, 2015

FO: Elf socks

I now have in my possession some fabulous (if I do say so myself) elf-themed socks. These were not the most enjoyable of projects, and if I made them again I would make some more changes... but I think they were worth it in the end.

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Pattern: Tauriel by Josiah Bain
Yarn: 75% wool, 25% nylon, my own hand-dyed with tea (see this post for details).

Mods: Shortened the ankle by 1 repeat, change heel to twisted-slip-stitch to keep the flow of the ribbing/cables, kind of ignored the instructions for the toes and partly winged it.

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Notes:
Mistake the 1st:
I probably should have made a larger size. I balked at the cast-on stitch counts for the sizes above small; even though I do not have small feet, I rarely if ever need to cast on more than 68 stitches for socks. So, even though in my brain I knew I was a medium, I cast on for the small. As a result, the cables are stretched to maximum. Luckily, they are super-stretchy since it is basically ribbing with some cabley twists thrown in. The socks fit and are pretty comfy nonetheless, but I think they would look better a little less stretched. Oh well. Should have trusted the pattern.

Mistake the 2nd:
I shouldn't have shortened the ankles - these turned out slightly shorter than I normally like my woolly socks. Oh well. Still fine.

Mistake the 3rd:
I misjudged how long the toes would be. The pattern says to begin the toe shaping on one of several cable pattern rounds, and if the socks aren't long enough by then, to do ribbing until it gets to that point. I think mine look out of proportion because of where I started the ribbing. I probably could have gotten away with continuing the cables for longer and then doing a more rapid set of toe decreases. Never mind.

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Despite these frustrating details, I do like the socks and will wear them a lot - none of these things are bad enough to make me want to frog and start over. Definitely in the Good Enough category of FOs. I'm excited to have finally used my tea-dyed yarn, and look forward to seeing how it holds up to washing.

For those keeping track, this skein was part of my Sock Yarn Stash Match category. 3 more skeins to go!

And finally - anyone else heading to the Edinburgh Yarn Festival this weekend? I am so excited and will post a (probably incoherent, babbling) recap of events afterwards. If you see me, say hello! (I'll probably have a ravelry badge labeled Notpanicking. And probably my Colour Affection. And will be ogling the Old Maiden Aunt yarn stall, among others!)