Tuesday, May 31, 2005


[no title]

It's been a while, hasn't it? I put the final touches on the felted bag last night. I decided to go with the snaps, and not the zipper, but in a different way than I'd been thinking of originally. Wanting very much to speed up the finishing process for this, I decided to use the snaps to attach the straps. I'm super happy I came up with this stroke of genius because I really like the results. In hindsight, sewing the straps on would have taken less time than the accuracy and finagling that's required to use the "APPLY-ER", but the end result gave me a more flashy fun and snappy bag. Literally.

snap buttons can't be beat

Careful using the pearlized buttons, they break easily.  I learned this the hard way, sadly.  In addition to the snap buttons, I also added a pin in the corner.  I really really dig that this bag turned out to be a bag I would possibly consider purchasing, as in I like it not just because I made it. 

The trek to cotton sweaterdom continues.  As you can see, I'm hard at work.

Sunday, May 29, 2005

To Whom It May Concern

[no title]

Hey Secret Pal, thanks for visiting! Here's some info for you, drop me a line if you have any other questions.

1. Are you a yarn snob (do you prefer higher quality and/or natural fibers)? Do you avoid Red Heart and Lion Brand? Or is it all the same to you?
Yarn snob, yup. I love great quality wool (keep me away from the scratchy kind)--almost every time I've compromised for something of a lesser quality, it's made me angry. I also like great quality cotton.

2. Do you spin? Crochet?
I know how to crochet, but I prefer the look of knitting. I'm amazed by spinners, but I'm not one.

3. Do you have any allergies? (smoke, pets, fibers, perfume, etc.)
Dislike smoke and dog hair. I have a mild trinket and knick-knack allergy.

4. How long have you been knitting?
Off-and-on for many many years. I knit ridiculous projects as a kid, then mostly boyfriend and gift-like items in my late teens and early twenties, then picked it up again steadily last winter.

5. Do you have an Amazon or other online wish list?
I don't buy a lot of books because I can get most books from the library. I do I have a YesAsia wishlist with things that I can't find locally though. I can't seem to get the link to the wishlist to work, feel free to log in and check (user: click.clickety@gmail.com, pass: clickclick -- there's no personal or credit card type info in here or anything, it's basically just a list).

6. What's your favorite scent? (for candles, bath products etc.) I generally don't care for scents, but I'm a big fan of anything Bath and Body Works, especially their new lemony lotion products. I wish Canada had BBW stores.

7. Do you have a sweet tooth?
Chocolate, yum!

8. What other crafts or Do-It-Yourself things do you like to do?
I really like it all. I've always wanted to be better at sewing, my only contact with a sewing machine these past few years has involved a duster, only to make myself feel that I'm not neglecting it. I believe one day I will make a cute japanese purse, and possibly parts of a quilt (I have little confidence in my ability to finish anything of this size).

9. What kind of music do you like? Can your computer/stereo play MP3s? (if your buddy wants to make you a CD)
I like most music made by musicians. Actual musicians. I like live shows and listen to a lot of radio, of the public radio variety--I think KCRW really hits the mark in promoting talented musicians in a variety of genres. My computer/stereo plays MP3s; I love discovering new artists.

10. What's your favorite color? Or--do you have a color family/season/palette you prefer? Any colors you just can't stand?
I've been all over the cool baby blues and pinks this year, especially the multicolour yarns, but I love just about everything. I would say the only colours I stay away from are hunter greens and burgundys and wild neon-y colours, everything else is just peachy.

11. What is your family situation? Do you have any pets?
Live with boyfriend and cat.

12. What is/are your favorite yarn/s to knit with?
I don't like scratchy wool, and am always looking for nice butter soft stuff that wears well. I've recently fallen in love with Cascade 220, and am loving the merino wool. I've also recently made amends with cotton, which is nice and cool to knit with in the summer. And then there's the bamboo and soy yarns I keep drooling over, and Lornas Laces that keeps catching my eye. Mostly I'm falling in love with yarns I can't get locally.

13. What fibers do you absolutely *not* like?
Scratchy wool, acrylic and mohair make me scowl.

14. What is/are your current knitting obsession/s?
I've just started making sweaters, and am a bit daunted by the commitment it takes to make these. I have great respect for sweater knitters, and I'm a bit afraid that I won't be able to bring a finished object of this variety around the bend. I keep thinking of small projects I can make instead of working on one of the 3 sweaters I've started. Currently, I'm thinking that knitting socks would be neat, but I haven't been able to find a pattern that I like. Does a pattern that has a smooth heel and toe exist?? Plus, I feel like I'm cheating on the sweaters by even thinking of socks. I really do think I'll make socks one day, especially because I suspect that the first time I come face to face with some Lornas Laces, or some other variety of butter soft hand-dyed sock yarn, I'll want to buy it up immediately and start knitting socks. (Please don't tell the sweaters.)

15. What is/are your favorite item/s to knit?
Mittens! So fast, so easy, and loved by all. Who doesn't love mittens?

16. What are you knitting right now?
Officially, 3 sweaters, all in cotton, although none of them get much attention. I knit 6 rows of a Phildar sweater last Sunday. :(

17. What do you think about ponchos?

18. Do you prefer straight or circular needles?
Circular, love love love addi-turbos and addi bamboos.

19. Bamboo, aluminum, plastic?See above.

20. Are you a sock knitter?
Contemplating it. ...Guiltily.

21. How did you learn to knit?
My grandpa taught me when I was 8.

22. How old is your oldest UFO?
8 years. I have a few knit in the round fair-isle-y sweaters that I started with a roommate years ago. Sweaters really are hard to finish. I blame the acrylic yarn for these unfinished objects.

23. Is there anything that you collect?
I have a weakness for vintage and strange board games from yard sales and second-hand stores.

27. What knitting magazine subscriptions do you have?
None, but I flip through the Rebecca and Phildar magazines at local shops, and sometimes pick up Interweave Knits.

28. Any books out there you are dying to get your hands on?
I'm really amazed by the quirkiness of Japanese styles, and would like to get my hands on some actual patterns.

Monday, May 23, 2005

Long weekend bliss

[no title]

Ahh, Montreal: so much to see. Saturday brought a quick roadtrip to Montreal, just for the adventure of it.  I love that a small road trip gets me somewhere so interesting.  Kind of like having Europe in your backyard. 

Random Montreal sights, plus a random shoe shot on the Orange Line Metro 

I love the architecture in Montreal, there are so many unique details to take in.  The people watching's phenomenal, and it's a cinch to get around.  Notice the shoe shot above?  I took this of our shoes at the subway station, in part because I loved the orange tiles, and in part because I love that the colour schemes of the Metro stations correspond to what line you're on.  Literally impossible to get lost. 
Something neat that I like to look for while in Montreal are the Distroboto machines, which are old cigarette vending machines converted to sell art stuffs.  They don't have much of a website to give you more info, but it's part of the Artomat project, and you can happily read more on their site.   Didn't find any machines this time, but I was in Montreal in the fall, and the Distroboto gave me some fun local music and funky hand-made jewelry.  Very fun.
On the drive home, I was happy to have been accompanied by Grant Lawrence and CBC Radio 3.  I love good radio, and I really feel there's a real shortage of it, so I'm always happy when I tune into something good.  We just missed a special with the Arcade Fire, incedentally, from Montreal, so I checked around on the CBC website to see if I could find it archived somewhere.  Sure enough, there it was, along with over 100 other great performances, which I highly recommend you take your mouse and click here immediately (and then click 101 Music Stories) to check out.  Seriously, more than one hundred recordings. 
I had to laugh though, when I found the playlist for Radio 3:

CBC Radio's generally pretty uptight and stuffy, the good music programming usually airs late at night, or during weird times on the weekend.  It's government-run, and generally pretty conservative, so I find it pretty amusing that they can get away with this.  For those of you who've heard my endless "But the CBC really IS good!" rants, file this one under "But the CBC really CAN be cool!".
By the way, no yarn shopping in Montreal, no knitting either.  Perhaps this evening?

Friday, May 20, 2005

May Two-Four

[no title]

It's Friday evening, and we're gearing up for a weekend of fun, May Two-Four-style.  The much-anticipated first long weekend of spring/summer is here, and us Canadians are off to buy two-fours for the weekend, aka cases of 24 beers.  I think tomorrow's got a day trip to Montreal in the works, shoe shopping, I imagine patios, and I wouldn't be surprised if we end all or some of the evenings this weekend off with fireworks. But, before we get to any of that tomfoolerly, here are the final results of the felted bag.

Before and after felting

Why do craft tools have such ridiculous names?

I'm really happy with how this all worked out in the end. Cascade's great to work with, I recommend it highly--it felted thick and sturdy after one wash. I let this simmer for a wash and a half, but I wish I'd have taken it out after the first cycle because it came out a bit smaller than I intended it to be.  It's just shy of a magazine in size. 

I'm not entirely decided on how I'm going to finish this.  I picked up some snap buttons, thinking I'd add one as a closure, and then I fell in love with the blue zippers you see above.  I've been loving blue and red combinations of late, so I'm entertaining adding some sass to this bag with some blue.  But, of course, this will mean zipper installing, which, given the choice between that and using the "APPLY-ER" to rig up some snap buttons in 2.5 seconds...  And, there's always the option of leaving things in the flesh and letting everything hang out with no closing mechanisms at all.  We shall see.

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Quick update

OOhhh, everything’s just so close with the red felted bag. The main bag is all ready to hit the wash, I’ve only the straps left to finish. Similar to how I failed to read the material requirements until I was well into the project, I also failed to read the measurements of the finished product. Turns out this is actually quite a large bag; it looks like it’s just a bit bigger than a magazine in size from the picture, but it’s actually much larger. I compensated by making it shorter, which also awarded me with the bonus of casting off sooner. Final product to be revealed shortly, I hope.

In the meantime, the Tulip Festival is well underway, which of course means that us Ottawa folks can expect rain every evening until the festival ends. At least while there are concerts scheduled.

Parliament Hill a la Tulip Festival

P.S. - I have no idea who took this picture, it was sent to me a few years ago. Lest you think I'm a photographer, or image thief.

Saturday, May 14, 2005

Rainy Saturday

Pretty miserable out today, complete 360 from last weekend's great weather, but very much a deja-vu from Miss G's visit a few week's ago. It's rainy out, just like it was when she was in town, and I started out the morning by heading to the same yarn store we started our Saturday day out on, to pick up some more of the same wool I picked up during her visit. Lots of sames, I'm sure you can see the deja-vu-ness I'm referring to.

Much-needed supplies to finish the felted bag

I'm about 5 inches away from having the main part of the felted bag finished. Things have slowed down considerably due to my not reading the pattern properly (or at all) when I bought the wool, and not picking up enough. With more than enough supplies now, I'm so looking forward to the upcoming felting fun.

I got restless during the week, and cast on another project:

Ugh-- 2mm's!

This will one day be the zippered cardigan from Phildar Printemps 2005--or parts of it, anyway. I've had the supplies for months, but had intended to make the Ribby Cardi first, as a practice cotton sweater. As I continue to be frustrated with the cotton I'm using for the Ribby Cardi, I far prefer the idea of starting 8 or 9 more projects before going back to it again. All to say, don't expect rapid progress, certainly nothing to match the magnifigance of this!

Sale-bin superfind: $1.99 each!

And finally, I was happily surprised to find some Rowan Wool Cotton in a sale bin today. My mind went quickly to toques and mittens and scarves, which made me quite afraid. So, for those of you who may be suffering the same affliction: Reminder: It's only May!

Thursday, May 12, 2005


[no title]

I've been thinking a lot about this soy-silk yarn from Southwest Trading Company; a few months now, even. I don't own any of it, but I thought it was time to share at least a photo. I love the colours, I love the feel of it, I love everything. I don't love that I can't think of anything to make with it. Most anything would be impractical, and I'm just not so impractical.

Southwest Trading Company's Oasis: Made with soy!

Small post, large picture. Enjoy.

Monday, May 09, 2005

Sign me up!

[no title]

I love getting things in the mail. Who doesn't, really? I confess that one of the main reasons I started blogging is so that I can take part in Secret Pal. I wish something like this existed for every one one of my interests. So, you can imagine my excitement now that the sign-up for Secret Pal 5 has started. Hurry over, you have until May 29th to get your name in.

Similarly, I'm also excited by the upcoming Sampler subscription date, which is next Monday, May 17th.  Subcriptions are limited, so get there fast next Monday.  Here's a peek at what to expect:



Imagine, fun hand-made things from all over the place delivered to your door. 

Saturday, May 07, 2005

Felted bag update

[no title]

It's really, really nice out today. Not really a day for knitting.

Here are some photos of the felted bag I'm working on:

From Summer 2005 Interweave Knits
I really really like this wool--Cascade 220 Quatro

I'm making this bag in Cascade 200, which I'm told is excellent for felting. It was recommended to me by the ever-friendly staff at Wool 'n Things, a great store in Orleans, an Ottawa suburb. I have to make mention here about how well I think this store is doing. The shop opened in December, and they've far surpassed the selection that was previously available here in town. When I went in on Saturday, I was surprised to find a very complete line of Rowan (hard to find in Canada), and lots of fun stuff like Southwest Trading Company's Soy yarn, which is like candy on a string. They also stock lots of Phildar, have lots of sales, and keep very current on what's going on in knitting land. They take online orders, but their website doesn't do much to show what they actually stock. Kudos to them for doing such a great job in giving us Ottawa knitters something different.

I haven't spent much time on this bag since I picked up the materials last weekend; I've really only sat down with it once during a one-hour show earlier this week. Much of that time was spent learning how to knit continental, and I'm eager to sit down with it again (when it's not so nice outside). I'm loving the colour, I think this stuff's going to be a regular part of my collection from now on.

And now, time for a bike ride!

Friday, May 06, 2005

I suppose it's time to make up.

[no title]

O f course this is how this works. Of course! Now that I'm happy to be working with wool, and am not wanting anything to do with cotton, of course a batch of cotton arrives in the mail.


Grrr!  Evil cotton!

I'd mentioned earlier that I'd made a big Knit Picks order, and that I'd post more on it at another time.  I suppose now would be as good a time as any to bring this up again.  About a month ago, I ordered a sampling of Knit Picks wool, mostly all Merino Style, a few balls of Elegance, and some Shimmer.  I just couldn't make a decision on one or two colours of the Merino Style that I liked the most, so I ordered 2 balls of a bunch of their colours, and some larger quantities of colours I really liked.  I wanted to see what everything looked like in real life, and, well, I went 100% crazy before finalizing the order--somehow I justified purchasing 2 balls of multiple colours.  Maybe I was thinking mittens?  A striped sweater?  Tea towels?  I'm not sure really, but I had big dreams about it at the time. 

But then when the order came in, I was pretty disappointed with the colours.  I was really impressed with the quality of everything, but the colours just weren't right for me.  The Knit Picks website's colours look so rich and bold, and much of what I got was mostly dull colours.  A few exceptions here and there (grass was my favourite), but for the most part I wasn't thrilled.  Thinking that I wouldn't want to knit with wool in the summer, I exchanged the colours I didn't like for the bag of Shine you see above.  Which, as we've covered, of course was delivered at the height of my distate for cotton. 

I really like the colour, I promise I won't return it.  Hopefully I'll get over knitting with cotton, and make something possibly nice with this.  Not quite sure what yet.  The back of another Ribby Cardi, perhaps?

Thursday, May 05, 2005

cbc scavenger hunt, oh my!

[no title]

Oh, such fun!  Ottawa celebrates its 150th anniversary this year.  The CBC folks have cooked up a neat scavenger hunt, to be held Satruday May 14th.  Ironically, many of the prizes are trips to Montreal.  Interesting...

Ottawa through the eyes of the cbc
...Still working on the felted bag, and am happily enjoying my reunion with wool.  I'm using this opportunity to try my (left) hand at continental knitting.  After only a few minutes of feeling like I'm learning how to knit all over again, my speed ramped right back up to my regular right-hand style, even a little faster.  Here's a great step-by-step guide on continental knitting. I'm looking forward to trying this out for ribbing and other purl-inclusive stitches.  This is the main reason I decided to give this continental mish-mash any attention--moving back and forth between knits and purls in English style is lame-o slow. 

Tuesday, May 03, 2005


[no title]

This is the store I fell in love with in Vancouver: www.gravitypope.com. (I forgot to include the link in my last post)

I [heart] Rocketdogs!

[no title]

Couldn't be happier today--got some shoes in the mail. I was in Vancouver this past Easter, and found these Rocketdogs that I love love love. I thought there was something a little off about them while I was trying them on in the store, but the sales lady made me feel like I was being paranoid, so I brought them home with me anyway. After wearing them around for a bit, I couldn't get over the fact that one felt looser, so I had a good hard look at them. After a few days of feeling crazy, I finally took the insole out of each of them and discovered that one foot was a size 10, and the other a 9. The store was great about the exchange, and quickly sent me 2 shoes of the same size. I'm happy to have the shoes, but it makes me miss Vancouver. Sigh... I fell in love with this more than amazing store while there; I wish it was at my immediate disposal.

As for the knitting, I continue to harbour resentment toward cotton. So much so that I've put the Ribby Cardi on hold for a few days while I work on the very cute and functional red felted bag from this month's Interweave Knits. I'm using Cascade 220 in a great red, and I think I'll forego the embroidery and use fun buttons or pins instead. No need to drive myself bananas with embroidery.

Monday, May 02, 2005

TBIM (Too Bad It's Monday)

[no title]
Sigh, another weekend over.
Great visit this weekend--we did a good go-around of Ottawa yarn shops, some all-round regular shopping, and a giant blast at the Alberta scene.
                                     ahhh, such a good weekend
Too tired to say much more, other than that I can't help but think we left one of our destinations on Saturday without paying the tab. Miss G, if you're reading, does your steel-trap memory have anything on this?
Blog Template based on Delicious Design Studio