Monday, April 28, 2008

Cobalt Blue Is In For Spring!

Through Ravelry, I enrolled in a yarn swap for yarn snobs. Basically, you commit to sending your swap pal yarn and a few treats, according to preset rules. Every participant fills out a questionnaire, to give their swap partners an idea of what they like.

Emily has been taking part in yarn swaps for a while, and I thought it would be a fun thing to do. Our packages have to get to our swap partners by May 10, so I was pleasantly surprised when I received an unexpected package last week!

As expected for a yarn snob swap, I got some really nice yarn: a skein of Malabrigo Lace, in Buscando Azul (I'm not sure what that means, but it's a very nice deep blue) and a skein of Cascade 220 in a similar color (blue velvet) that will be perfect for mittens next Fall (I'm thinking colorwork, with light blue or ivory... maybe these?). I've never knit with Malabrigo before, but I've heard great things about it... I'll have to find a nice pattern to show it off!

My swap partner, the very generous DuchessRed (here's her blog), also included a box of spicy chai tea, two bars of dark chocolate (one with candied ginger, one with cherries and dark almonds... yum!), and two bars of handmade soap. Judging by her blog and her ravelry groups, I suspect she might have made the soap herself! How crafty is that...

Thanks to DuchessRed! Can't wait to use the yarn...

Friday, April 25, 2008

My fifteen minutes of fame...

My picture is on the Yarn Harlot's blog! Quick, go look!
Isn't it exciting?

Stephanie, if you read this, thank you! It was a pleasure to meet you (again)!

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Habs Win!

Shetland triangle finished!

Started: March 25, 2008
Finished: April 13, 2008
Pattern: Shetland Triangle, by Evelyn Clark. In Wrap Style.
Yarn: All Things Heather Handpainted Superwash Merino, won in a contest on the Yarn Harlot's blog
Needles: US 6/ 4.00mm

I was fortunate to show it to Stephanie herself last night at Third Place Books. She remembered the contest and the yarn, and said the shawl was lovely. (At least I think that's what she said, my memory is a little blurry). I had been talking to the people behind me in the line, a nice couple from Nanaimo with a very cute sleeping baby. They mentioned I was from Montreal and concluded I was probably a Habs fan. "Of course," I said. "And I'm missing the game to come here." (The seventh game of the quarterfinals, with the series tied 3-3!) To which Stephanie replied, as any true Torontonian would, "They'll lose. The Habs will lose"

Well, the Habs won. Beat the Boston Bruins 5-0. So there. And the Leafs didn't even make the playoffs, so who are you to talk... ;) (I have to say this, I'm from Montreal)

For the record, I'm glad I got to hear Stephanie talk. My mother was visiting, so I dragged her along. She knit and crocheted a lot when she was younger, but hasn't for a long time now. She was impressed with all the people knitting and the different types of projects being worked on, and has been talking of maybe taking up knitting again, maybe...

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Finally, a baby girl...

Ever since my goddaughter was born (she's now 3 1/2 years old), everyone I know has been having boys... Don't believe me? Off the top of my head, I count 4 little boys amongst my friends, three pregnant friends expecting boys, and my sweet little nephew whose now 6 months old. One friend actually had a girl recently, but since they decided not to find out the baby's gender during the pregnancy, I had to go with a gender-neutral pattern. You can understand how excited I was when I found out that I would finally have a chance to knit something girly...

I had been looking for an opportunity to knit Elizabeth Zimmerman's February Baby Sweater after seeing a few pretty ones in other people's blogs, especially this one over at Brooklyn Tweed. (This is the fourth or fifth project he has inspired, I guess we have similar tastes...) Not that there aren't many other pretty examples out there: mine was the 900th on Ravelry! Because of the lace pattern, it is pretty girly. Elizabeth Zimmerman's patterns are genius! This one is knit in the round from the yoke down, but doesn't involve fancy origami folding like the baby surprise jacket I knit for my nephew last summer.

I had some yarn leftover, so I decided to knit a pair of Saartje's bootees. They're the cutest thing... Probably very impractical, but absolutely darling little things.
Emily knit a couple of pairs as gifts last Fall.

Patterns: February Baby Sweater, by Elizabeth Zimmerman (from the Knitter's Almanac) and Saartje's Bootees, by Saartje de Bruijn.
Yarn: Dale Baby Ull, in red. Less than 2 skeins for the sweater AND the bootees. Purchased at the Fiber Gallery
Needles: US 4 (3.5mm) Addi Turbo circular needles for baby sweater, and US 1.5 (2.5mm) DPNs for bootees.
Time to knit: Sweater started on March 10 and finished on March 25, 2008; bootees started on March 30 and finished on April 1st, 2008. Buttons sewn on sweater and bootees on April 3, 2008
Buttons: Pink with little multicolored polka dots, purchased at Bad Woman Yarn

Who's the happy recipient of these lovely gifts? Pensive frog's upcoming baby tadpole...

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Hockey Night in Canada meets Shetland Triangle in Seattle

Did you recognize it? It's the yarn Stephanie Pearl-McPhee, aka the Yarn Harlot, sent me last Fall for correctly identifying the Hockey Night in Canada theme song.

What could I knit with this special yarn? Well, it's sock yarn but I'm not a sock knitter. Plus, I wanted to knit something that would last a long time and not end up with holes in the toes... I figured I should knit a scarf or a shawl. There are plenty of scarf and shawl patterns out there for fingering weight yarn. But if you're looking for a tested and true pattern that can be made with only 360 yards of sock yarn, your choice narrows down pretty quickly (thanks to the Ravelry pattern search engine). I opted for the Shetland Triangle, by Evelyn Clark (in Wrap Style). Knitted over 700 times, according to Ravelry... can't go wrong with that! Here are a few lovely examples... I think the slight color variegation will add to the texture of the lace.

Why now? Well, Stephanie is on tour with her new book. With a little bit of luck and a lot of knitting, it will be ready for her visit! I've already knitted 45 rows (out of a total of 114).