Crafty Bird

Welcome to my nest of fibre, fabric, paper, and beads...

Location: Victoria, British Columbia, Canada

Thanks for dropping by! I have a passion for all sorts of crafty goodness. Creating items with my hands and heart is a perfect complement to my working life.

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Lovely Fall knitting

Lovely fall days really inspire me to want to knit warm, snuggly sweaters. Way back when I first started to acquire a stash - only two short years ago - I purchased the yarn for the Debbie Bliss' Lara sweater in the project colourway (Alpaca Silk in 20510). I did attempt to start the sweater at one point, but it was abandonded for other projects. Lara, you are abandoned no more.
I have just starting the rib collar on this uniquely constructed sweater. It is progressing fairly quickly as it is my main knit when I relax in the evening in front of the tv.
I've also been working on ... a sock! Gotta have a sock to knit on the bus! Unfortunately, this little sock has been started about five times. Yah, I know, it looks easy, but the yarn is that crazy Cascade Fixation - very stretchy. I have managed to find the right stitch count for my foot and also a good tension for the yarn (which resembles an elastic band) and I am on my way now. The pattern is the Embroidered Stockings from the Fall 2006 Vogue Knitting. I'm loving the idea of knee socks right now so hopefully these will knit up quick!

I've been listening to a hilarious new podcast that I thought I would pass along to anyone who hasn't heard of them yet: Lime and Violet. Give them a listen. They're a hoot!

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Back on the blog again

Wow! Where did August go! Such a lovely month full of sunshine, travel, family, and friends - and now it is September. Time to get serious and down to business with school/work. After such a long break from posting on this blog I hardly know where to start.

I managed to drive about 3500 km in August during my trip to Northwestern British Columbia to conduct interviews for my masters thesis. I stopped off in Prince George to visit with my brother and his girlfriend, as well as friends and I also visited with my mum for a few days on the way there and back. The interviews went well - I managed to get 5 interviews. Now I am transcribing, which is pure torture!

My boyfriend and I also took a long weekend trip to Vancouver to visit his family. I gave the Sweeten sweater to his niece and not only did it fit with a little room for growth, but she liked it too! I found some lovely pink hand-dyed silk ribbon to finish the sweater off and I thought it looked lovely against the grey of the Rowan wool.

Pattern: Sweeten from Rowan Babies in 2-3 year size
Yarn: Rowan 4 ply soft in shade 384; 4 balls
Needles: 3.25 mm for body, 2.75 mm for edges
Trim: Hand-dyed silk ribbon
Comments: The pattern worked well as my first sweater. It gave me a feel for how a sweater is knit and constructed. The fit on this sweater is great! I really liked the Rowan 4 ply and the fabric it creates: very fine and perfect for a child's light sweater.

While on my driving trip I finished off sock #1 of the cotton blend socks. Don't worry, I didn't knit while driving (although I really wished it were possible!). I did, however, listen to many podcasts including the wonderful Craft Lit podcast and the reading of Pride and Prejudice. I cast on for sock #2 and almost finished it while in Vancouver. Unfortunately, I came home to realize my gauge was a lot tighter than the first sock! You can see how narrow the sock on the right is compared to the sock on the left.
The gauge issue was the result of using dpns on the first sock and a circular on the second - good to know my gauge is tighter when using circs for socks! So rip-rip-rip it went and I started again with a larger needle. I finished up the second/third sock last weekend and I really like them! I enjoyed knitting these toe-up socks and will definitely use this method again (in fact, I am already!).
Pattern: Widdershins (plain version) from with Magic Toe-up caston
Yarn: Marks & Kattens Clown (45% cotton, 40% superwash wool, 15% nylon) in shade 1724; about 1.25 balls
Needles: sock #1: 2.25 mm rosewood dpns (of which two broke!) AND sock #3: 3.0 mm addi circular
Comments: I'm not very happy with my H.A. Kidd Rosewood needles - two broke while knitting these socks. I will save some money and stick with bamboo or metal dpns from now on! These socks were knit for my size 7 feet.

Since I was on a successful sock situation, I dug up a sock languishing in my knitting basket - one that had been abandoned quite a while ago. So I picked it up, finished it off, and immediately cast on for the second. What's the status of the second sock, you ask? Done!
Pattern: Thuja from
Yarn: Patons Kroy Socks 4 ply in colour 54043; 1.5 balls
Needles: 2.75 mm aluminum dpns
Comments: This yarn is a bit, um, course, and I'm hoping will withstand wear by A over the winter months.

I'm very happy to have three finished projects for August. I also have Orangina almost complete with just a bit of seaming up to do. I fear that it may be a bit snug around the chest though. If so, I will just knit an insert on each side to give it a bit more width.

I have a few more projects on the go that I will save for another post or two. I really need to fess up as to what I have lurking in my knitting bag, baskets, shelves, closet..... But, now that September is here, I am looking forward to the Fall days as it is my favourite time of year. This past summer was lovely, but a challenging one for me mentally. I've done lots of thinking about life and my direction and focus at this point. This semester is going to involve a lot of work as I attempt to complete my thesis. I just hope my knitting will keep me feeling balanced....

It's nice to be back. Thanks for dropping by!