Whole lotta Sweaters

It all started back in October while I was giving the Girl Cave a cleaning & moth check. Things were being sorted, purged & what was staying was updated on my Ravelry stash page and linked to a project in my queue. Organization & efficiency was the name of the game!

I had finished my Not Going to Rhinebeck 2014 sweater…290Pattern: Artichoke French

Yarn: Briar Rose Fibers Abundance

and was looking for a NaKniSweMo project…I came across some Lopi I had picked up during one of my LYS’s February Bulky Yarn Sale. The original plan was to knit myself Odinn, but I decided to make a stab at knitting a sweater for Chris. My first attempt was about 10 years ago…it did not end well and we avoided the Boyfriend Sweater Curse only because we were already married…This time things went considerably smoother…although I think Chris was getting annoyed by my constant requests for him to try the sweater on so I could check fit…. 031I really enjoy knitting Lopapeysa and am partial to the yarn made from Icelandic sheep that is used to knit them. As Christmas was bearing down on us and I had promised my Dad a sweater years earlier, I figured it was a good time to get that done & cast on a second Odinn.

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With the help of my sister, I decided to sort of recreate a ski sweater my Dad had bought when he was 16 and my Mum tossed when I was 16. It was the height of Grunge & I had found its well felted & moth holed remains in the depths of a closet. The Sweater was so very Kurt Cobain! My Mum was horrified that I was wearing it & promptly removed the temptation! Some words may have been exchanged when my Dad discovered it had been tossed.

My sister suggested I try to recreate that long lost sweater. My Dad is quite pleased with his sweater even though he didn’t get it till after Christmas due to my coming down with a Cold of Space & Death. I rarely get sick. but when I do, it really wallops me! He has received at least one compliment about it every time he has worn it!

After knitting the same pattern in a row had me looking for a change…but I still needed a sweater as the weather was unseasonably cold…like below -30C (-22F) with wind chill and I had no intentions of leaving the house unless it was for work, school or food!

Antrorse  popped up  in my feed so I picked my honkin’huge skein of Jill Draper’s Mega Empire  in a nice sunny yellow as I refused to knit anything grey in the depths of a deep freeze!

254I am really happy with this sweater, it has a neat construction & I really loved using Jill’s yarn! She buys the entire shearing from shepherds around her neck of the woods in Hudson Valley, New York. The fleece are processed at a local mill and then Jill dyes them! I really love that she is supporting local shepherds as I remember when we were getting fractions of a cent for our fleece in the 80s. The yarn is a bit rustic at first as the mill doesn’t use chemicals to dissolve the vegetable matter in the fleece and will smell a bit sheepy, but that is the kind of yarn I really enjoy working with and it blooms up so nicely after a soak! I picked up some locally made buttons to use on the yoke.

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After Antrerose it was still freaking cold! I had a bunch of left over lopi from Chris’ sweater & there was just enough that I was able to cast on another sweater…technically it’s a lopapeysa…but not really.

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Scatter is a free pattern via Ravelry. My stitches got a bit tight across the chest, but a stern blocking sorted that out. This sweater is knit a bit tighter than it should, but considering how cold it’s been, it makes for a great base layer.

As I’ve knit roughly a sweater a month since October, I’m taking a bit of a break before I hit burnout and dusting off the loom & pulling out the sewing machine.

 

Not a year end review.

Am late for the annual round up that bloggers seem to do at year’s end…quite frankly I have very little interest in doing a year end round up because 2014 started off with much promise then in April went straight into the shitter when Chris lost his job. We however, have survive. Chris started his new job on Jan 5th so we are moving on & taking with us new things we learned about ourselves, each other & the strength of our relationship when faced with a challenge.

Moving right along…The one tradition I do in January is to toss the stash, check for moths, purge and organize the Girl Cave into a workable space. There is really nothing more frustrating than having an idea and not being able to find what you need because the room is a hot mess…

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Yep, I should probably be embarrassed to post that photo, but I’m not. I  embrace my flaws & screw-ups and especially my bad crafting, it all becomes a learning experience. No one is perfect and maybe, just maybe if people showed more of their fuck-ups instead of their perfectly “curated” (unless you are a Museum Curator, DON”T USE THAT WORD!!!) Pinterest life, the world would be way less medicated.

Anyhoo….The gist is Girl Cave is getting organized.

Lists of sewing projects are being drawn up. Merchant & Mills‘ Factory Dress & Trapeze Dress will probably make up a fair amount of my wardrobe once this is all over. Sonya Phillip’s patterns flesh out the rest.

Yarn is being checked for moths then being sorted into “Keep” & “How Drunk Was I When I Bought That?!”…don’t judge me…we all have crap in our houses we question the reason for it being there.

Ravelry stash page is being updated & yarn is being associated with actual projects! I know, this is freaking revolutionary for me!

The BIG PROJECT for this year is a weaving project I have been trying to figure out since I first heard about it back in 2011. I want to try to recreate a shawl/wrap thingy based on the diamond twill weave pattern from the tunic. There is a crew who are recreating the tunic using mostly traditional methods. My plan is to spin two of the fleeces I have taking up space in the Girl Cave & using them to weave the shawl. This will be the first time I have used hand spun for both warp & weft…this will be a great learning experience regardless if I succeed or fail most sensationally!

 

So frickin’ close!!!

Right so I’m *this* close to being done with the spinning the singles for my Corriedale sweater and then it’s a date with Plyville! Of course finding some time for uninterrupted spinning is proving a challenge, ABi wants to “help” by trying to push the wheel to go faster and Liam keeps trying to stick his fingers in the spokes of the wheel. Any spinning now has to be done when both kids are napping (yeah right) or there is another adult around to run intervention but with a bit of perseverance I will be plying by the end of the weekend!

I’m still undecided about the number of plies I’m going to do and what’s going to happen with the yoke. Somewhere along the lines I came across an online ply/yardage calculator and do you think I can find it again? I thought I had bookmarked it but obviously not. If anyone knows what I’m talking about could you kindly send me the link, my Google-fu seems to have gone on vacation!

I’m also going to have to spend a bit of time over the weekend going through the yarn stash with a critical eye and then have a bit of a stash sale si I can make some room in the fiber bins for those three fleeces that will arrive any day now from Wellington fibers! And just maybe I’ll remember to take some pictures of my current knitting projects, I feel that photos make for more interesting blog posts.

More Roller Skates…

Ive narrowed down my choices to two style of skates…both from RollerGirl.ca

The first choice:

The Voodoo Kitten

Old School suede boot design that can be customized with a choice of lace and wheel colours. I’m leaning towards Hot Pink to match my helmet.

My other choice:

The Jive Monkey

Shorter boot that can be customized with a choice of wheels.

It’s a toughy…but I plan to have my new skates before a few of us head out for a night of skating at Scooter’s in mid June.

Roller Skates

When I was a kid me and my siblings some how came into possession of some old school metal strap on skates that we spent hours on skating around in my parents basement. I *LOVED* them but eventually I out grew them and as I lived in the country on a dirt road and the closest roller rink was in Oshawa (about a 45-ish minute car ride away) there wasn’t much point in investing in either a new pair of Quads or some inline skates so, I stopped skating.

Then a few years ago my Sister’s Man found a pair of the old school indoor quad roller skates at the Sally Ann which he gave to me but they don’t work so great in the outdoors with their current setup. It would be a simple task of swapping out the old indoor wheels for some new outdoor ones but after two babies my feet aren’t as narrow as they once were so getting into the skates is an adventure. I’m holding onto them in case Abi wants to wear them or I decide to start binding my feet to return them to their previous narrow glory!

Since I still want to skate (really badly I might add), I’m coveting a pair of strap on over your own shoes outdoor roller skates (AKA Skorpions) that I cannot get in Canada. According to the nice CSR I emailed Canadian Tire is the only retailer in Canada and they only carry one model in an older design and it isn’t the one I want so I’m left with ordering them online but the shipping is about 1/2 the cost of the skates (if I lived State side the shipping would be FREE!!! I’m a bit jealous!) and that’s not including any duty or brokerage fees! My other option is to see what RollerGirl can hook me up with and seeing as she is Canadian it’s looking like the better choice.

And we’re back…

Visiting the Farm was a nice bit of a break, the kids got to see their grandparents and play about, I got to have some almost uninterrupted adult conversation about. My Mum and I went to town to visit On the Lamb where she bought some yarn for me to knit into a present for her to gift to someone and she bought me two skeins of Twelve yarn for my birthday present. I’m so not a novelty yarn girl ( I have been known to make some narsty comments about them) but this yarn was knit up into a simple scarf knit lengthwise and something about it reminded me of Dr. Teeth and the Electric Mayhem, so I HAD to have one too!

And a trip to the farm would not be complete with out a new baby…

My Dad discovered this kitten IN the cat box when he went to change the litter on Friday afternoon. The kitten is male and as yet unnamed but “Litter”, “Poop” and “Scooper” are being considered. I suggested Coprolite, but was vetoed. Abi thinks he should be called “Beaver”.

Possibly over did it with the spinning.

I think spinning all morning may not have been the best idea (but man was it fun!) or perhaps it was just the position I was sleeping in during my nap (yes I take afternoon naps!It’s one of my more European qualities!) but man things in the lower pelvic and hip are are tender and a bit stiff!

I’m going to waddle around the corner to run an errand to see if that helps loosen things up otherwise I see my evening plans changing to me hanging on the couch watching Captin’ Tight Pants aimin’ to misbehave and knitting my sock.

Furnishing the backyard for 21$!

That’s right we have decked out the back yard for 21$ thanks to the fun that is the yard sale.

Last Saturday Chris found 4 lawn chairs for 1$ at the church jumble sale then this morning we found a table and 4 chairs for 25$ (Chris offered 20$) at a house down the street during the annual street sale that one of our nearby streets have. This has brought us in way under the backyard budget for this year which means that there is a possible chance we might just put in a stone patio at some point, and will finally get around to getting some outdoor cushions for our old futon to add to the overall backyard seating situation.