Wednesday, September 29, 2004

So much for the Yarn Diet!

After being shamed by the magnitude of my stash (see previous post!), I vowed to "knit down" my inventory somewhat. That resolution lasted for all of a week. I had a babysitter last night and I happened to be in Knitomatic's neighbourhood. (Which is sort of like being on an Atkins diet and finding yourself outside a Krispy Kreme donut store)

Well, pictures speak louder than words...

Rationalizations ahead:

- It really isn't that much...just 9 little skeins. Surely I've knit up that much since I resolved to decrease my on-hand stash. Perhaps the net impact is zero?

- I do have immediate, saleable plans for all of it!

The paired balls of Noro will go to make up some of Indigirl's Perfect Pouches. They are very popular and I wanted some "grown up" colours for customers who don't share my daughters' friends love of hot pink, magenta, sunkist orange and purple!

The lime coloured Llama blend will also go into a small felted bag.

The hemp yarn is going to be part of an experiment in felting. I plan to combine it with some light ecru coloured mohair that I have in my stash and felt up a small bag.

The safari yarn was just too cute to pass up! It's made out of a paper-like substance that is REMARKABLE strong. You just can't rip that stuff. It's a lot like that white paper/fabric that they make un-tearable courier packages, haz-mat suits and vapour-proof barriers for houses. TYVEK?? Ooooh, you're thinking, sounds really attractive, but it is very delicate looking and has a print on it that strongly resembles a cheetah! I'm going to play around a bit with stitch and needle size to come up with something simple, perhaps a variation on Stitch N'Bitch's Chinese Charm Bag with circular handles.

Anyway, I definitely won't be anyplace that sells yarn for a while I think I'm back on the wagon.

BTW, Haley's KNITOMATIC site is at:

Many thanks Haley for mentioning Guardian for Gillian!!! mmmwah!

Tuesday, September 28, 2004

Look at what came in the mail!

Thanks Secret Pal!

Look at all the goodies! Stickers and iron ons for the girls (who are greatly appreciative by the way) and a CD for mummy!

Certainly a day brightener!

Monday, September 27, 2004

Finishing H@ll! (can I use swear words in a Blog?)

I figured that I'd knock off lining and magnetic snapping those two Flower Power Bags yesterday. True to form, I was finishing the invisible stitching along the top of the brown/tan bag when I noticed that the snaps didn't meet squarely. The Flower Power Bag doesn't have a top flap and is about an inch and a half deep on the sides, so if the snaps aren't perfectly centred they pull the bag squint when you close it. did I manage that?

I shouldn't be suprised, I don't think I've ever lined one of those bags correctly the first time. FWIW, this is a character flaw of my own, Hello Knitty ( has EXCEPTIONALLY clear and detailed instructions about lining bags and installing magnetic snaps on their website.

So, I ripped out the lining and the snaps and re-did them. I somehow feel cheated, I've done the lining twice, I should have both bags finished!

In order to feel like I'd finished something, I pulled this cellphone holder out of my "whatever" pile. It was an experiment with a yarn picked up from the "trading basket" at Haley's Knitomatic. The colours aren't very true, the main yarn is bright orange and the highlight colours are lime, lavender and an almost black! It's a nylon-ish blend that snarls like a Barbie dolls hair when you knit it on small needles. I'd definitely rethink the guage if I make another. I think I'd skip the contrasting stitching and just seam it inside. Well, at least I won't lose my black phone in the bottom of my black purse anymore!

In other knitting news, I've been nibbling away at the Dale Pluto Coat for Knitomatic. I'm almost finished the first sleeve. My set back of the day occurred when Gillian ( my stitch counter and snapped away at it before I could stop her! So I have to go back and count somewhere between 72 and 92 rows to figure out where I left off. That's a project for direct sunlight and a clear head. (Dale Ara is a deeply coloured slubbed yarn that doesn't like to be counted!)

Friday, September 24, 2004

Not much knitting....

Things have been busy. I mentioned two curriculum nights for the girls' schools and I've been volunteering at E and C's school this week. Toss in the usual homework/housework and minivan rodeos and I haven't done too much knitting. What I have done has been split evenly among the Dale Pluto Coat, the two Flower Power Bags (gosh those magnetic snaps and linings are a pain in the rear to install!) and the Harlot Poncho...

Since there are no more pictures of the WIP that are are a couple of G riding the bus home from school.

Pretty cute huh?

Wednesday, September 22, 2004

Two Steps Forward...and One Back

Ok, pressing ahead with my finished objects campaign, I felted two more Flower Power Bags.

Just some seaming with blanket stitch and some lining and adding magnetic snaps...yikes, guess I'm not really that close to being finished after all.

And I didn't help matters when I started this. It's going to be a Yarn Harlot Poncho utilizing more stash remnants. It is for one of my daughters, the colour isn't something I would make for me! I have too many things on the go right now, but all of them are at a stage where I either have to pay a bit of attention to what I'm doing in terms of shaping etc. or they are too huge to tote around for playground knitting. (Was that a rationalization or what?)

Hey, I needed some straight-forward lap knitting, I've been through curriculum night at two different schools for three kids over the last two days. Another story for another post.

Monday, September 20, 2004

Another out the door!

Ok, I'm trying to make a concerted effort to create FINISHED OBJECTS!

So, harnessing my newly awakened zeal...another finished pouch. Actually, this was the partially finished object from my last post. It has been blocked, trimmed, had velcro stitched onto the flap and a decorative button added. (a very angry looking orange/black cat with a turquoise fish in its mouth)

Notice that it is leaving my possession! (since finished objects sometimes hang around longer than I'd like) Melanie, watch the mails!

Next items scheduled for completion: I have a couple Flower Power Bags that are an applique each away from felting. I'm a bit nervous about one of them as I have always used Cascade 220 for this project. I'm making one of the bags up with a chocolate tweed and tan/chocolate marl that I had in the stash. (part of my resolution to work my way through the stash before my estate executor has to dispose of it) I've felted both of the yarns before with pleasing results, so I'm hoping that they will combine nicely.

Saturday, September 18, 2004

Felting away!

I've had a few orders for felted bags come here is a picture of one in progress...

It's Indigirl's Perfect Pouch pattern made up from a very interesting turquoise boucle yarn that felts nicely. Of course, I cheat.

The yarn is so heavily slubbed and fuzzy that knitting attached I-cord is out of the question. (Well, at least for someone with my limited patience, it is.) I found it much easier to make a long cord with a 6mm crochet hook and the chain stitch, then chain stitch the cord again with a 10mm crochet hook to get a finished cord of appropriate diameter. I slip stitched the finished cord to the bag pre-felting.

Speaking of felting, I've had great results duplicating the Perfect Pouch with Noro Kureyon. With other yarns, it is tough to guess how much the knitted cord will shrink during the felting process. While a slightly larger or smaller pouch is acceptable, a really short or long strap is tragic, so I cheat again and attach the last couple inches of the strap to the bag post-felting. I've made these bags for little girls and my 6 foot tall sister-in-law and it helps to be able to adjust those strap lengths while the recipient models the bag.

In other non-knitting news, my husband bought his first pair of reading glasses. Doesn't he just look like he should be standing out on the front porch, shaking his fist in the air at the neighbourhood kids who cut across our lawn??

Wednesday, September 15, 2004

Another Finished Object!!!

Woo Hoo!

I'm knitting like crazy for "Guardian for Gillian", but because I have a lot of projects on the go, it seems like I never finish anything!

But today, a Noro Bag...

It's a cross between the Noro Blossom bag, Kemp from the Simply Noro book and the Chinese Charm Purse from Stitch N Bitch. I should have positioned the bag differently to show off the nifty taffeta lining!

On the non-knitting front, I believe that I might inadvertently nominated myself for the Treasurer of our local School Council. Was this a bad idea???

Sunday, September 12, 2004

Shhhh! Don't tell my husband!

If you are my husband, and you've tripped over this site inadvertently while deleting the internet cache...LEAVE NOW...

In my defense, much of this cache was inherited from retired/deceased knitters in my family and doesn't reflect my current knitting requirements...LOL

I found these at the Old Mill. They are intended as tapestry wool, but are untreated 100% wool and should felt. "Should" felt, isn't the same as "Does" felt. I've tried ice water "shock treatments", applications of soap and baking soda...but no. It doesn't really felt nicely. I emailed the company that produces the wool and the proprietor confirms that she has heard reports of people using the yarn for felted projects, but has no experience felting herself. The wool is quite coarse, so I'm hoping to be able to felt it into bags and such since it isn't really garment-friendly.

Any suggestions as to how to improve feltability???

Yikes, I recognize some of this stash from college...and I finished grad school in the 80's!!!

Ok, I can justify this, to myself at least, because it contains a ton of Walmart clearance yarn. I'm not usually a big fan of Bernat and Lion Brand yarns, but when you can get funfur, ribbons and eyelash yarns for $1 per can you NOT buy it???

This one doesn't count because it's needles, crochet hooks, notions and stuff!

Yikes, what is that horrid lavender stuff!!!

This was my favorite grandma's hope chest. It's mine now.

Hope I live long enough to knit all this stash!!!

Thursday, September 09, 2004

Finally! A Finished Object!

I tend to have a lot of projects going at one time. The logic to this is as follows: sometimes you are in the mood for different types of knitting. When I have time and patience, I can do finishing work (not very often). Late in the evenings, back and forth stockingette is sometimes all I can manage. When it is warm outside, I don't care to have large, wooly projects piled in my lap. (the WIP Dale coat feels suspiciously like a russet-coloured Retriever when it is heaped on me)

So, lots of creations on the go, waiting for the perfect opportunity for me to work on each of them! The down side is, things advance VERY slowly!

Anyway, I finished up one of the Flower Power Bags from Hello Knitty today! It is for my SIL and is designed to her specifications. Reverse colours (black on black with colour only in the detail) and an especially long strap, because she is tall.

My SIL graciously purchased two of the bags that I am knitting for Check out our progress on the website!!

I think that I prefer the coloured bags with the black straps. One of the things that I noticed with this bag is that large quantity of black yarn dulled the fuschia flower during the felting process. If I had to do it again, I might try attaching the flower petals after the felting process.

Here is my attempt to demonstrate the lining and magnetic snap. Isn't the lining fabric a hoot!

Well, one finished object behind me!

Tuesday, September 07, 2004

First Day of School! And a Poncho Question!

The first day of school! A major event Chez-Chelle! E was heading back to Grade 2 and E and G were starting Senior Kindergarten. G and C are morning and afternoon kindergarten respectively, so a large part of my day will be spent shuttling kids back and forth to school.

Just cuz they are so cute, here are a couple pictures of the girls, ready for their first day back at school!



and G

And the poncho question....

I love Yarn Harlot's poncho and I have a stash of little girl coloured tape to knit it. Is it too late in the season to knit a cotton tape weight poncho, or should I just start with a heavier, fuzzier weight to make a warmer garment? Strange asking about this when the weather is practically tropical outside, but it is September!

Monday, September 06, 2004

Please disregard the previous fish :-(

Just when I was starting to get used to the little guy, we find him in an exceptionally "listless" condition in the bottom of his tank. Yikes....

An opportunity to explain death to the pups...

The kids were much less distressed than I thought they would be. They wondered why the fish died, but beyond that were keen to get a new fish. The personable young lady who helped us at Petsmart was at a loss to explain how we killed the fish in a matter of days. Nikki's cat knocked over her betta tank and the little fella flopped about on the broadloom amidst the shards of glass (which presumably kept the cat at bay) for hours before he was saved.

Well, after receiving expert instruction on betta maintenance, we left the store with this:

Wish Doree luck!

No knitting content today except to note that seeing the betta fish almost inspires me to try my luck at a Charlotte's Web. (see the resemblance?)

Friday, September 03, 2004

UFO?? Unidentifiable Knitted Object

Ok, now that I think I have the hang of this picture's another!

Can you guess what this is....

Ok, does this help??

That's right, it's Wendy's Kitty Bed! Unfortunately for the intended recipient it is made out of the world's weirdest Lopi (from a stash older than most knitters I know) and it WON'T FELT.

Lopi that doesn't felt...kinda like a duck that can't float??? Well, the fibres do felt up a bit, but it certainly doesn't shrink any. I've knit it on a variety of different sized needles, single and double stranded, I've tried running it through multiple wash cycles, shocking it with hot then icy water, adding a bit of soap (not detergent) to the water, adding some baking soda to the water...nothing seems to help?

Any felting experts think of anything else I could try?

Thursday, September 02, 2004

A breach of mommy etiquette??

Ok, E, the oldest pup, went to her umpteenth birthday party of the season at her friend E's house.

FWIW, I like E's mom a lot. She seems friendly and a concerned parent. She cooks meals from scratch, supervises homework, sees that her children receive tutoring when they need it and hey, her DH is an accountant too!I've sipped coffee with J, planned play dates, organized bake sales, signed up for VBS, generally done everything but offer her one of my gently used kidneys.And what thanks do I get for accepting this woman as a near sister....

She gave the little girls at the party loot bags containing...A LIVE BETTA FISH!!!!

Well, in order for a live betta fish to remain a live betta fish it needs:

a bowl/tank (as opposed to the specimen cup it came in)
food (not table scraps, I'm told)
water conditioner (heck, I drink tap water, what makes the fish special?)
optional stuff...light, filter, heater, plants and gravel for decor....and CARE!!!!

This has gone too far....I'm already planning retaliation for next year's round of birthday parties... What to hand out???Puppies? Body piercings? Cans of beer? Bows and Arrows?

Am I over-reacting, or is it odd to give pets as party favours
More importantly, is re-gifting possible in this case?

Ok, some knitting content...

In preparation for school, I finished a little purse for E.

It's based on a Rowan Cotton Tape pattern, Caree, except that it is made from tape picked up on the clearance table at Walmart! Of course it is lined in purple and pink butterfly fabric!