Posted by: knittingnavigator | February 2, 2008

I’m not dead yet… please don’t put me in the cart (and FO)

Ah, the immortal words of Monty Python. This is just a shout out to say that I’m still here, although a little the worse for wear due to my temporary withdrawal symptoms from Ravelry. To repeat the words of many a fallen blogger, that place is like crack (or what I imagine crack would be like, leaving you addicted and needy for a fix.) For all of you out there who know where I’m coming from (and wish to return…) my screen name there is knittingnav.

One good thing about joining the cult that is ravelry is that the process of filling in your info and projects leaves you with lots of nice photos for the blog (and great new almost finished projects, and new fire-under-your-butt determination to finish old projects.) So, even though I have been more than a little preoccupied with my new toy lately, knitting has occured and here is the proof:

I started (and am almost finished) a nice new neckwarmer for moi based on the Imperial Herringbone stitch. All that’s left is to weave in the ends and sew on those cute buttons.

 herringbone neckwarmer

I finished a pair of booties for my adorable nephew. These were originally slated to be a christmas present if everthing else got done. As if- what was I thinking? They’re from a booklet by Bernat called “Mommy and Me” and are made out of less than a ball of Bernat Organic Cotton. I mailed them the other day and apparently they just fit. Another month of procrastinating and they would have been too small (sorry about the blurriness. My camera just did not like this yarn at all.)

D’s bootie

I’ve also picked up my minimalist cardigan again and am cranking out the pieces. As it stands now I’ve got the back and the right front complete and the left front about halfway done. I really hope this fits when it’s done!

minimalist-cardigan.jpg

I’m also working on a secret project for my swap partner in the Valentine’s swap on ravelry which has to get in the mail in the next couple of days, so today is it’s D day. Mission: completion by 2400, in the mail on Monday.

Rereading this I realized that I use parenthesis a lot. So, today is brought to you by the symbols ) and (

Posted by: knittingnavigator | January 13, 2008

I have gone and seen and it is good

All I have to say is Ravelry.

That is all. (woot woot!)

Posted by: knittingnavigator | January 12, 2008

Best of 2007

 Even though I haven’t been a blogger for long, when I saw a post over at knit lit at the beginning of January for making a list of your knitting “best of’s” for 07 I was intrigued. So here is my version:

1. your best FO of the year

Anemoi mittens. They’re a christmas gift for my SIL, but the 2nd is still not quite finished (so technically not a full FO, but still the project that stretched me the most as a knitter and of which I’m quite proud. They are SO pretty)

2. best FO of the year made by a blog you link to

It’s hard to pick just one. There is so much good taste out there in blogland.

3. best yarn you tried

variegated fleece artist worsted weight. The color transitions are really nice.

4. best new book/mag/pattern of 2007

Book: Pretty much all of the ones reviewed by stitchywitch. That girl has taste! 

Mag: Interweave Knits- I’m a convert! When I got their winter mag in my stocking I was so happily surprised I squealed. Way to go Santa!

Pattern: So hard to choose. I love a lot of the patterns over at Zephyr style, but the tree jacket and juliet in particular. My absolute favourite pattern from the last year would have to be the Autumn Rose pullover designed by Eunnny Jang.

5. best new knitting technique or gadget you tried in 2007

Stranded colorwork. Once I got the hang of it, things just flew. Also, I’m in love with the linen stitch and am on a hunt for a project that will truly do it justice.

6. top 5 inspirations–what five things inspired you the most over the past year?

#1. Family and friends (and their babies)- My first nephew and my godaughter were both born last spring and I made each of them a baby blanket. Choosing just the right yarn and pattern was truly a labour of love.

#2 Reading other blogs. They have opened me up to so many new projects, techniques and yarns. And lovely people too!

#3 Making a point of going to visit new yarn stores close to where I live that I have never seen before.

#4 Movies and music. They are my background noise and sometime distraction from my knitting. When I knit in silence I am more productive, but having that little something on is a treat that I associate with knitting.

#5 My environment. I’m constantly getting ideas from the colors and shapes of the world around me

7. designer who most amazed & inspired you throughout the year

Eunny Jang, Kim Hargraeves, Veronik Avery

8. knitting resolutions for 2008–what’s next for you and your blog?

In the next year I’d like to blog a little more frequently, learn how to use my camera to the best advantage for photographing my knitting, and try to finish up some projects that are languishing UFOs. Oh, and make something for me that I don’t give away!!

 And that’s all she wrote. Next time I’ll be posting a few pics of some UFOs that I want to finish soon.

Posted by: knittingnavigator | January 7, 2008

FO: Tessellating fish baby blanket

 tessellating baby blanket

Pattern:  I found the fish pattern by searching on the web for “tessellating fish” and made up the rest myself

Yarn: Bernat Satin in Lagoon, Spring and a multicolor that I’ve lost the ballband for.

Needles: US 7

Size made: I knit 44 fish in total; making the blanket 4 wide x 11 high with an afterthought border on the long edges

Completion time: February – May 2007 (in spurts)

Notes: The title of this post makes me think of the tongue twister “rubber baby buggy bumpers” for some reason. Try that 5 times fast! This project was a joy to knit (but a real pain in the a** to sew up- all those ends!!) The individual fish pattern was fairly simple and it took only a few fish to memorize it. After that, the fish just flew off the needles, taking between 25 and 30 minutes to knit each one. I agonized over my color selection and how to organize the fish and eventually settled on a “wave-like” blue/green combo with a family of 3 multicolored fish clustered in the center (some might think “agonized” is too strong a word to use, but if you’ve ever found yourself kneeling on the floor in the middle of the yarn section rearranging balls of yarn into different combinations, then you know I’m not exaggerating. ‘nough said.) 

The intended recipient of this was my first niece/nephew and I really wanted to create something special. It was very well received, although I just found out that my sister didn’t realize that there was more than 3 fish in it until my nephew was almost 4 months old. She blames it on the pregnancy hormones causing temporary post-partum blindness.

Here is an up-close look at the focal point:

 up close tessellating fish baby blanket

I knit one more of these last year for my god-daughter, but forgot to take a picture. For my second attempt I made it very colorful with 6 different colors arranged at random. Another hit. I don’t think that you can go wrong with this blanket idea, but I think that two is my limit. Beautiful results but oh, the humanity of having to weave in all those ends!

Posted by: knittingnavigator | January 5, 2008

Happy new year people!

Halifax harbour at dawn 

Well, after a nice extended fun-filled vacay, I am back and raring to go. A lot’s happened in the last two weeks: we now occupy only one two bedroom apt instead of two, our number of cars is back up to two (Honda CRV’s are cool!), I made it home for the holidays on the bus and the trip was complete with a gas leak and subsequent 2 hour wait in a convenience store for another bus to show up (!?!), and of course, knitting and pictures of knitting have happened as well. Whew!

2007 ended with a sigh. 11:45 found me just finishing up the last of the cleaning in the old apartment and I had just enough time to properly veg out on the couch for the midnight countdown. A quick call to the boyfriend who had to work completed the year. And not too shabby a year I say, all in all. Here’s to 2008 being just as good!

I’ll be back tommorow with some pictures of yarny goodness. I managed to take a pic of a FO from last year when I was home (a tessellating fish baby blanket for my nephew) and I’m excited to get it out into the blog-esphere. I’m inordinately proud of that project and it was made with a lot of love, which never hurts.

Posted by: knittingnavigator | December 24, 2007

Ignorance is bliss

I have been ignoring my knitting lately. Sad, but true. I’ve been taking it with me when I go out and moving it about in my apartment, but I’ve managed to avoid the act of knitting almost completely for the last couple of days. Life has been so hectic trying to get ready for the big day and my hand is still a little too sore for marathon knitting sessions. Bah.

My blissful ignorance of all things knitting has led to me being moderately productive in the rest of my life. Rooms have been cleaned, donations to charity have been made, shopping has happened, cookies have been baked and the best of all is that I cleaned my car. Not so exciting you think, but wait- guess what I found in my car under the seat? My long-lost Interweave Knits magazine with the pattern for my unfinished sweater in it. Huzzah! Once I get my hand back to normal and complete my christmas knitting, watch out minimalist cardigan, cause here I come!

Due to our household’s abrupt decline to one car, I drew the short straw and will be busing it home this year for christmas. Kind of sucky because busing can be sketchy at the best of times and I shudder to think how packed it’s going to be tomorrow (the big day itself), but on an up side I’m hoping to get some knitting done on the 4hr trip. I figure if I don’t bring anything else to do I’ll be forced to get some work done on my projects. “Crack the whip!”

Anyhow, got to go do some more baking to give to my boyfriends parents. If you can’t give knitting, then I think that homemade cookies are a halfway decent substitute. I hope everyone has a wonderful holiday filled with lots of twinkling lights and the warmth of family. I’ll see you again in the new year with lots of pics from my new camera. Oh, the enthusiasm of playing with a new toy!

Posted by: knittingnavigator | December 20, 2007

Going down in a blaze of glory

Well, things have gotten pretty shaken up around here lately and a huge wrench has been thrown in the works for finishing my christmas knitting. It all started two mornings ago with a huge crash. I was in the passenger seat of my boyfriends car and we were driving his kids to school on an especially icy morning when we slid into the back of a huge moving van. The car is a write off, but thank god we’re all okay except for a few bruises and some strained muscles. With the help of some very kind strangers I managed to get back to the house, get the kids set up in my car, and then get the car out of the parking lot (it was stuck. I had to get another stranger to give us a push.) All the while my boyfriend was dealing with the police, insurance, etc.

We managed to get the kids to school only about 15 min late and then we spent a good portion of the rest of the day making sure that my hand wasn’t broken (it got slammed into the dash along with my knees) Thank god it wasn’t, just badly bruised. This whole story leads to the fact that it’s getting closer and closer to christmas, and I still have half a hat and one mitten to finish, and my fingers are not co-operating! They feel a little better today, but I have to admit that I had a moment of doubt last night. I think I might have to think up some back-up gifts just in case, which is something that I hate to admit to. I’m going to knit to the end, but I’m a realist who hates to give gifts late, so now I have to wrack my brain to come up with suitable alternatives for hand-knit gifts.  Argh!

On an up note, we bought my christmas present yesterday and it’s a brand spanking new digital camera and I am so excited!! I know it kind of ruins the surprise on christmas morning to already know what your gift is, but in this case I think it was better to be able to put some input into it. Let’s just say that it’s exactly what I want and I can’t wait to try it out on my knitting! Woot!

And now back to my knitting. I think I can, I think I can, I think I can…

Posted by: knittingnavigator | December 14, 2007

Stash evaluation

Yesterday afternoon I forced myself to sit down and really take a good look at my yarn stash and be realistic about what can and can’t come into the new apt. My boyfriend and I are bringing both of our two bedrooms apts and all that they contain into one two bedroom. Let’s just say that a lot has got to go. Including, sigh… yarn. One good thing about being forced to evaluate the stash is that I found out just how many UFOs that I actually have. Not counting xmas knitting, I’ve got 910 (I just thought of another!) UFOs in the queue:

  1. minimalist cardigan for moi
  2. baby booties (this may be an xmas gift, but only if all of the other xmas stuff gets done. Oh a girl can dream)
  3. lace scarf for my mom from a pattern by Kim Hargraves I believe
  4. purple garter stitch circle rug
  5. perdita bracelet  for my sister
  6. kids purple sweater, size 4 (I started this before the intended recipient’s 3rd b-day. She’s now 5.)
  7. an intarsia napsack, based on my own pattern (still a cool idea, but this may get frogged)
  8. socks in Kroy “paintbox”
  9. mitered square rug (this is finished and only needs to be sewn up)
  10. lace stole-thingy for me (convertiblefrom knitty)

My hope is that after all of my christmas-induced knitting deadlines are over I’ll come back to this list and work on either finishing these projects or retiring them for good before I start something new. Fingers crossed people! This is not something that I am any good at, not atall. Maybe a good new year’s resolution, hmmm.

Posted by: knittingnavigator | December 13, 2007

still breathing

Hey ho out there in blog-land. Long time no talk, eh? In the past little while life has been a bit nuts, but has still been full of knitting whenever possible. I’ve finished my tessellating fish baby blanket for my god-daughter, finished the back of my minimalist cardigan from IK Fall 07

minimalist cardigan

but have since lost the pattern so now sweater progress is stalled until I can either find my magazine or get hold of another copy, and am working frantically on christmas knitting. I’ve got two projects still on the needles: a pair of anemoi mittens for my sister in law in pink and purple drops alpaca and a hat for my brother. Both projects are stranded colorwork which is a first for me and so far I have one mitten completed and a swatch for the hat. The goal is to finish the second mitten in the next 3 or 4 days and then get the hat done in time for the gift giving season. Oh, and I’m moving before christmas. Lots to do and the time is getting shorter even as I write.

Posted by: knittingnavigator | October 3, 2007

Next paycheck, more blog love

Bad blogger, very bad blogger. I started this blog with such enthusiam, and then life happened and so no blogging. I’m still knitting daily and making progress. I’ve got quite a few projects on the go, but the one that I am currently devoting most of my time to is the minimalist cardigan from Interweave Knits Fall ’07. I’ve got one more inch of the back to go and then I’ll move on to the fronts. One big blog hurdle is that I started this blog with the idea that I would be buying a digital camera, but the money for that has gone to camping supplies (big 4 day hike at Cape Chignecto, NS next week.) Blogging just doesn’t seem as exciting without pictures. Where’s the visual interest? Where’s the love?

Anyone with any good suggestions for a reasonable priced digital camera? I’m leaning towards a Canon powershot, but I’m not sold yet.

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