Getting Back in the Swing

I’ve been monogramming some bath sheets as a wedding present for some friends of mine since last summer. This has been an ongoing saga of mishaps and learning experiences, but I am finally making some real progress so I’m sharing the the hope that it will save others some trouble with similar projects.

The original plan was to have the embroidery completed by the end of August 2010 since the wedding was Labour Day weekend. Even with the best of intentions and making some major progress over the summer, the towels were not finished in time for the wedding.

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Knitting some more Monkeys

These ones from the Regia Hand-Dye Effect Design Line by Kaffe Fassett, in colour 08855.

sock showing colour gradations
Image from

This seems to be my go-to pattern when a yarn is frustrating me or I can’t make up my mind. These socks are going to be for a friend of mine from high school that I have recently come in contact with again. This yarn is perfect because this colourway has all the shades she likes to wear. It should match everything.

My one complaint with this yarn is that it’s very splitty, but that may be helped by switching to Addis instead of KnitPicks needles.

Knitter’s Fair Haul

The Knitter’s Fair was a raging success this year. There were people everywhere and also plenty of yarn and other knitting supplies. Unfortunately, none of the vendors at the fair this year had brought the yarn I was looking for with them, though several of them carry it in their shops. Those of you who know me will know that I only buy yarn if I have a project in mind for it already. Thus, I didn’t get any yarn at the fair this year. But as you can see, I didn’t leave empty-handed.

stuff I bought at the Kitchener-Waterloo Knitter's Fair on September 11, 2010

Clockwise from left to right: 100g of Corriedale in colour “Raspberry” from Ashford; 100g of Ashford 80/20 merino wool/silk in colour “Cinnamon;” felted soap from The Roving Spinners; and a Thomas Forrester 17.19g spindle with a purple heart whorl and maple shaft.

I couldn’t resist testing out the new spindle. I’d started spinning the Corriedale while waiting for the bus and on the bus ride home from Kitchener. The plan is to spin a singles from both the Raspberry and Cinnamon, then ply these together and arrive at a 2-ply lace-weight which will then be made into an appropriate shawl depending on the resultant yardage.

Making a Quilt

Quilt PatternInstead of going to the Knitter’s Frolic in Toronto this year, I went to New Hamburg with one of my knitting buddies to Shall We Knit. I ended up taking home some dark brown Malabrigo Lace (181 Marron Oscuro) that I had wanted to get at the KW Knitter’s Fair last year. It’s beautiful stuff. Lofty and soft; it should make a wonderful shawl for this winter.

Aside from our trip to the yarn store, we also stopped at the Mennonite thrift store just outside the town proper. They have all kinds of wonderful things there. My discovery this time was a package of pre-cut quilting squares in random colours, to make a 60″x80″ quilt. Because there’s a quilting group that meets in the shop, they have lots of odds and ends of fabric around and these packs are a way of making use of the leftovers while still raising money for the community.

I counted how many squares I had of each colour, fired up my handy-dandy PC Stitch, and then semi-randomly charted out where I wanted the squares to go. After that I put them in order by row, paper-clipped a label to each row, and stacked them all in order. I still can’t get my sewing machine tensioned properly, so I’ve started piecing the thing together by hand. Having never done this before I thought it would be difficult, but it turns out all the other needlework I do has prepared me quite well for quilting. The resulting quilt should look very nice on the bed in the spare room.

Doodle The Mascot

I joined the local embroidery guild a couple weeks ago, and for their first project of the year they are doing redwork embroidery. Basically you take a stylized image, transfer it to your fabric, and use outline stitch (also called stem stitch) to stitch the outline onto the fabric. It’s redwork because you traditionally use red thread for this. Bluework uses blue. It would be greenwork if using green. You get the idea.

Anyway, the second thing we are going to be doing is turning a redwork piece into a round ornament. Since the first thing I stitched is around 5 inches and we need something around 3 inches for the ornament, I’ve been trying to come up with something good I can use for the second lesson.

Today while going through some of my papers upstairs, I found the Doodle The Mascot page from the One Piece manga that suggests ways to turn a skull and crossbones into a customized pirate flag. Since I’ve also been trying to learn Illustrator and playing around with my graphics tablet, I’m going to create a pirate flag for Santa and use this as my ornament. Brilliant!

Basically, it will be a skull wearing a Santa hat with candy canes where the crossed bones would be. The bonus is that it will be stitched in red, so it’ll look very appropriately Santa-like.

Pirate Santa

ETA: Here it is! I suck so it took way longer than it should have, and the hat is a little weird. But I still think it’s awesome. Click for the full thing.


I’ve been going through my unfinished objects bag and trying to finish up some things. It’s amazing what ends up in there:

  1. I have a pair of mittens that is all but finished, merely needing a thumb on one and the cuff on the other. They’ve been in there for almost a year despite this.
  2. I started a snowman a couple of years ago to put out around Christmas-time, then lost the pattern for a year. After I found the pattern I did maybe two rows and that one’s been sitting in there for almost a year as well.
  3. There are a couple of vests that I was doing to build up a work wardrobe. There’s no real reason I stopped working on them, I just did. There’s also a hoodie that I stopped working on because I needed a new ball of yarn. I have all of the yarn for it, and I know exactly where it is. I think that one’s been in there so long because I stole the needles from it to make a hat.
  4. There’s a pile of socks in there that need darning. They were made before I learned the importance of knitting tight soles, so I’m contemplating cutting them up to use as stuffing anyway, since the entire ball of the foot and heel are worn.
  5. There was a pair of cabled socks in there, but I started those 3 years ago and can’t get gauge so they’ve been frogged to start again.

I’m kind of pleased that there aren’t that many things in that bag. I thought there would be more. Still, I’d better hurry and finish the mittens at least, before the cold weather sneaks up on us and I’m freezing.

All the pretty colours

I made a bunch of dishcloths last month since the cotton yarn was on sale for cheap and we were in desperate need of some cloths for the kitchen. I basically grabbed a ball each of the colours I liked, and then mixed and matched until I was out of yarn.


There are eight of them in total and I look forward to using them for a very long time. You can see all of the combinations on my Flickr under the dishcloths tag.

It's never too late to learn something

I found a really neat crochet pattern that I wanted to try so I dug out the random bits of crochet cotton that my mom gave me ages ago and gave it a whirl. It’s been years since I’ve done anything more complicated than chains and single crochet stitches (Dean’s spaghetti monster hat) so I needed a book from the library to explain what the heck was going on. It’s a really easy pattern though and I’ve already got it memorized. I took a picture of where I was last night.

Asphyxiation In Progress

I’ve finished the multicoloured section and done more, but I don’t want to completely spoil the surprise so that’s all I’m willing to show for now.

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