Thursday, December 31, 2009

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

New listings in my Etsy shop

After taking a break of a couple of weeks, I am ready to add more yarns to my Etsy shop.

Today I added this wonderful yellow mohair/wool blend yarn. It is so soft. I would see a nice cowl and mitts made out of this yarn.

I have also added this wonderful chocolate brown with flecks of color all over. It is a wool/coton blend. Very soft. This would be great for a child's sweater. But then again, it would be great for just about anything.

Have a look at my Etsy shop for more great yarns!

Friday, December 25, 2009

Happy Holidays !

Wishing you wonderful moments with your families and friends during this holiday season.

Drop me a note when you come by!

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Alpaca love!

I wanted to knit something special for my mother in law for Christmas. I could not think of a more luxurious yarn than alpaca fiber. This is 100% baby alpaca yarn in a green and turquoise colour.

The pattern is Spectrum scarf available as a free download on Knitting Daily. It's a super easy pattern and what I especially like about it is that is has no right and wrong side. So when you tie your scard around your neck it doesn't matter how it falls. Both sides are the same.

I wish it had more turquoise in it but the softness makes up for all the green! The scarf needs to be blocked so that you see the stitch definition better.
Only one skein needed.

You should give this pattern a try. I know, I will make this one again.

I love red!

I've allready told you that I love red. After knitting my Green Thumb mitts in a bright red yarn, I thought I should knit a cowl in the same yarn.

The pattern I chose does not match the leaf motif on the mitts but that's ok. The pattern is called Stacked Eyelet Cowl. You can find it here on Etsy. It is super easy and quick to make.

I think that I really like cowls, they are easy to put on and they are warm. I think I feel the need to find some soft yarn to make other cowls!

Bella knits

Have you seen the movie Twilight?

I saw it just recently on the Movie channel. I couldn't figure out what all the fuss about vampires was until I saw the movie. I quite enjoyed it. I expected the typical horror vampire story, turns out to be a bit more interesting than that. (I hate horror movies and refuse to watch them.)

In the movie, Bella (one of the main characters) wears a wonderful pair of mittens with huge cables down the front. When I saw those, I knew I needed to find a similar pattern to make them as a Chirstmas gift for daughter V!

To my absolute delight, the pattern was on Ravelry! They are called Bella's Mittens. You can find the pattern on Subliminal Rabbit's blog.

The pattern is very well written. It had been quite a while since I had done cables. The hand part turned out to be a bit short for my hand, but daughter V has smaller hands than mine. When I blocked the mitts, I stretched them out a bit just in case.

My version is made in a wonderful pewter grey lambswool yarn. It comes from reclaimed sweater yarn. (I will have more of this yarn available in my Etsy shop soon.)

But then, it gets better. Someone came up with a matching hat! That's right, a Bella hat!

Some people are so smart!

I first saw it on Ravelry. You can find the pattern on Hollye Knits's blog.

Now, I need to wrap these up. I really hope daughter V loves them.

(I might have time to make myself a pair of those Bells mitts for myself !!)

Still hidden for Christmas

I love knitting gifts for Christmas. Especially quick and easy ones. So this year, I started my Christmas knitting in september.

Aside from having knitted for bébé O, I have two nieces that I knit for and our own daughter and our son's girlfriend. So that makes four beautiful adult girls. Last year, I made them each a pair of socks with self stripping yarn. They were a hit.

This year, I was looking for something different and a little bit more elegant. I found just the thing when we went to Calgary last september when our grand daughter (bébé O) was born.

You might remember, I showed you my purchases.

The store had a knitted sample of fingerless mitts made in a soft mohair yarn. These mitts had lace work and they were perfect for a Christmas gift. I love it when they have knitted samples in stores, they are so inspiring!

When I inquired about the pattern, they told me it came from a out of date knitting pamplet that featured Louisa Harding yarns, called Winter's Muse Landscapes . You can see it here on Ravelry. They only had the store copy left. I was really disappointed that I could not purchase it, but the wonderful lady in the store made me a photocopy of the pattern (if I bought the yarn). The pattern is called Swinstry. It's knitted with Louisa Harding Impression yarn.
The store only had three colours of Louisa Harding Impression yarn and I bought all three colours, knowing that I would need to search to find another store that stocked other colours. It only takes one skein to knit the mitts.

The first pair I made are for my niece that has alway been crazy about green!

The pattern has a seam on the side of the hand and I tried to see if I could avoid it and knit it in the round, but with the lace pattern, I could not figure out how to do it. So I knitted them as written. They fit really really well.

They go high up on the wrist. There is a wonderful picot edging. I love picot edging!

The mitt is knitted with three different needle sizes. The smallest needles are used on the wrist area, making the mitt really snug around tha area...great idea!

So least I think so !

This pair is for my own daughter. Colour is light peach with lavendar. I will look great with her winter white coat.

I ended up finding two more colours in Ontario.

This turquoise blue is for our son's girlfriend.

And this red and purple pair is for my godchild/niece. I think it will look good with her brown coat.

And of course, the last pair that is not yet sewn mine! I might have the time to sew it up before Christmas...or not! But I am eager to wear them with my green winter jacket, so that should be enough of an incentive to do it very soon.

I have also knitted a black pair for my mother. I made them out of an alpaca blend yarn that is just so soft. I gave them to her before I had a chance to take a picture.

I must admit that I was a bit sad when I put the pattern away. I had never really knitted lacework before. I found this pattern easy to follow and a fairly quick knit. I would certainly do it again.

Let me tell you about the knitting...

Finally, I have a quiet morning with no far!

My father is quite ill and my little sister is as well. My mother is so exhausted that I am now quite concerned about her as well. These are the reasons I have had to leave my blog aside for awhile.
My daughter has just arrived from Calgary with hubby and our little grand daughter of 3 months! It is so wonderful to have bébé O in our house, to be able to cuddle and kiss her everyday! They will be with us for 5 weeks! that's right! 5 wonderful weeks!!

But back to knitting...

I am so far behind in posting about my knitting that I do not know where to start.

Let me tell you about Green Thumb fingerless mitts.

This mitt has a leaf pattern on the thumb, hence the name of the pattern. I knitted it in a red recycled 100% wool yarn I had in my stash. It has flecks of colour thoughout.

The pattern is available on Ravelry for a mere $2.50. It is a very well written pattern, very easy to follow. Well worth it!

The only thing is the thumb section is kinda big on my thumb. Maybe my yarn is a tiny bit thicker that the one suggested for the pattern. But nevertheless, I love them. I wore them so much this fall.

I have started another Green thumb pair in a navy blue yarn. But this pair, I have done the ribbing only on the wrist. The rest of the mitt is done in stockinette stitch exept for around the leaf pattern. It will be less bulky, I think.

Now, let me see...what shall I tell you about tomorrow???

Oh, I know! I must show you the finglerless mitts I knitted for Christmas, before I give them away! See ya tomorrow!!! (Can you tell I am now on Holidays!)

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Hi everyone,

So sorry I have not been coming to post since October. Life is taking me in all kinds of directions and it is a little difficult at times. I have had not choice but to put aside certains things I love to do. But I have been knitting and making soaps a lot! I would love to share all that stuff with you. Christmas holidays are coming up and I will get back into my good habits. I will be posting lots of pics of all the kntting projects that are completed and of the ones that are being thought of.
Come back to read me!

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Soapy production

I have been working with a new ingredient in my soapmaking and I am having so much fun. Titanium dioxide is used to provide whiteness to soaps, creams, lotions and cosmetics. Titanium dioxide is the naturally occurring oxide of titanium. It has meant that I can better control the coloring of my soaps.

Starting with White chocolate: I would never been able to achieve such a creamy white color before! The smell of chocolate is divine, makes me want to take a bite!!

Next is this Northern Pine scent soap made with pink clay added to part of the raw soap.

Then I made this soap by adding cut-up pieces of another soap. It is scented with a honey fragrance. I think this one is my favorite.

And the soap I made yesterday is still curing. I used methylene blue to color part of it. This colorant changes from pink to purple to blue while the soap is curing. I hope to end up with a wonderful shade of blue since the soap is scented with a blueberry fragrance. I will show you pictures of this soap once I cut it.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Calgary shopping

A special treat when we were in Calgary was to visit 4 knitting shop.
I started with The Knitting Room situated on Crowchild Trail NW. Wonderful yarns but not a huge selection. But I did find some beautiful yarns. One self stripping yarn with a black thread running through it for socks. Socks for me that is! :o)

Then I kept going back to a scarf she had on display in the shop. The pattern is available on Knitty under the name of Wisp. I decide to get the yarn but in a different color than the store scarf. It is also a self stripping yarn that will make a heavier scarf than the Wisp pattern. I love it when stores have sample of knitting. It really helps seeing what a yarn will look like when a project is completed.

Second stop was Make One Yarn Studio situated at 841, 1st ave SW. What a great find! Yarns, kits, knitting bags, you name it they had it! There were knitted items everywhere, several of them with ribbons or awards. But what got my attention was their selection of acid dyes. I will now be able to experiment with something else than Kool-Aid!!!
I bought 4 colors. We will see how I make out with those. The owner was telling me that they were offering a great yarn dyeing class later this fall. If only I lived closer!!!

But the next two stores...oh la! la!
Downtown Calgary on 1st St. SW I found Gina Brown. The name of the store did not inspire me at all but hubby convinced me to check it out. A great variety of yarns. I found the perfect yarn for fingerless gloves which I will be knitting for Christmas gifts this year. (But the green/yellow yarn is all mine !) The yarn and pattern is from Louisa Harding. It has a small amount of mohair which makes it so soft!

Another store downtown is Pudding Yarn. Another name that did not entice me. Why call a yarn store Pudding??? I should have asked, I guess. But this store was my favorite! Yarn from one wall to the other, from floor to ceiling. Paradise!

I usually do not like buying yarn without a good idea of what I will use it for. But this time I only know that it will be for our little grand daughter. I would like to do a little sweater with or without a hood for her. She will be about 8 mths old next spring. If you have any idea for a pattern, I would love to hear about it.

Anyway, these were my purchases. My knitting needles will be smoking if I can knit all of this before Christmas!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

The pièce de résistance

After 29 years, we returned to Calgary.
Way back in 1980, I went out there to teach. My hubby and I loved the city of Calgary. It was a booming city! We spent almost every weekend in the mountains. The Rockies are so beautiful.

But nonetheless, we stayed only one year. Work opportunities were available back in Ontario.

But last week, after 29 years, we returned to Calgary. The city has changed so much but the beauty is the same!
We took a couple of days to go back to Lake Louise, Lake Morainne and Banff. Great trip down memory lane!

Here is the view from our rental car as we are leaving the city of Calgary on Hwy 1.

Our first stop was Lake Morainne. A very small lake (according to Ontario standards!) but such striking scenery. The water is a beautiful turquoise blue. The mountains are so close, you can almost touch them. It was a very cold day...a high of only 4C ! The wind was glacial.

Then we stopped at Lake Louise. The wind was still very cold and the water not as clear as it can be on a windless day. But there again, we strolled along the shoreline in awe of the nature surrounding us.

But the most beautiful sight, the pièce de résistance, was this little sweet treasure. Our first grandchild, a little girl, born on September 2nd. We ooed and awed constantly when we were around her. She is such a joy. We realize what a special time in our life this is.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

My studio

Today, is a typical fall day...lots of rain and wind. It's really cold too. So I thought I would tell you about my workspace a little bit.

Since both of our children have left the nest, almost a year ago, I have slowly been organizing my studio for all my crafting projects. I have a wonderful work surface near a large window, providing me with lots of natural light.

I have the perfect view of nature and the beauty that each season has to offer. I did not want to cover this window with curtains so I decided to hang my colection of glass balls.

Over the years, I have collected five of these glass balls, They vary in size and texture. They are all transparent except for one. That one is super heavy and is navy and gold.
My favorite one is the large pink and orange one. I bought it on a girl's weekend at a cottage in Maniwaki, Québec.
They are hung from the ceiling with nylon thread. The kind that is used for fishing lines.

I would love to add more, maybe eventually cover the entire window...wouldn't that be great!

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Banana soft wrap

I knitted a wonderful easy project late last winter. It has been in my armoire since then. I guess that with the cool weather coming in, I got thinking that I should not let it sit there any longer.
I finally got around to blocking the mohair/acrylic blend triangular shawl this weekend. I blocked it on the bed in the guest room. With the fan on and the open window, it dryed very quickly.

Such a great project knitted on large needles in a stockinette stitch. Simple, light and airy is the result. The color is really a light banana yellow.
I have decided that I will put this shawl in my Etsy shop. (I own quite a few shawls allready!)
You can see it here. It would make a great Christmas gift for that special someone.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

New style

I have introduced a new style of hat. This little hat actually came about as an accident...I was not concentrating on my knitting and made a couple of mistakes while making the crown of the hat thus extending the 'stem'. I actually like the little curlycue on the top. Hat is made out of 100% lambswool...extra soft for baby's head.
I am heading out of town for three days to a huge meeting. I will bring my knitting along of course...working on a pair of fingerless gloves. I should have pictures to show you on the weekend.