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Archive for April, 2009

That’s right, a post all about knitting. Finally, two FOs to talk about, although I will admit, one of them is way more visually interesting than the other. But still, it’s all about the knit.

Below you will notice a lovely, bright lump of  a knitted item. The colour alone should be a clue that this particular item is not intended for your  truly. While mulberry is a lovely colour, it’s not a lovely colour for me. This vibrant beast has a more exciting and exotic destination – life aboard the Kate with Heather and Steve ( they of the hat overboard story). 

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Of course I’m not about to send anyone a blob of unblocked lace.

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Now that is more like it. I chose the Lilac Leaf Shawl from Knitted Lace of Estonia because I wanted something that  was interesting to work on but worked up relatively quickly. And I’ve been positively itching to knit something form this book since I bought it. I chose JaggerSpun Zephyr lace (wool/silk blend) for this project because I wanted something lightweight but warm and because of the range of colours. I do find this yarn a little splitty at times, but it’s nice to work with and blocks like a dream.

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This is a detail from the lace edging – probably the most interesting (for me) part of the shawl to knit. The pattern, as almost everything is from Nancy Bush, is clearly written and easy to follow. There is an error in the edging chart, so if you’re interested in knitting this one for yourself, do check for errata before you start.

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I’ve noticed lately that my favourite knitting style is Estonian. Whether it’s  lace or colour-work like mittens, my eye is always drawn to Estonian designs. It’s something about the combination of  shapes and design that really do it for me. And nupps. I love those things. Those little buttons add an almost sculptural  feature to lace  that I can’t resist. I’ve read comments on ravelry from people who can’t stand them – they’re too hard, too complicated, but I love them. It’s just that bit of visual interest that draws me in. Plus they’re called nupps. What’s not to love?

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As mcuh as I did enjoy this project I do have two small points that I’d like to mention: firstly is the yardage the pattern recommends. The pattern requires 525 yards and uses 3.75mm needles. I had one skein of the Zephyr lace, which contains about 630 yards, and used 4mm needles. Even accounting for the larger needles, I had enough yarn to add at least one repeat of the main body leaf pattern and still finish. Not so much. I had to buy an extra skein just to make it to the end of the main body. The other point I’d like to mention is that my shawl is also not as large as the dimensions listed in the book, despite the larger needles and added repeats. This does not impress me much. However, I am happy with the finished product, those issues aside. I keep imagining the shawl resting lightly on the shoulders while Heather sips some tasty tropical rum drinks. I think it’ll look great with a sundress on a patio somewhere exotic. Lucky shawl. All that remains is for me to wrap it up and mail it off.

But it won’t be travelling alone. The replacement hat will be travelling with it. The irony that these items are destined for people living in warm places is not lost on me. Chilly nights, that’s what I keep telling myself. They might have chilly nights.

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I made another Turn a Square hat for Steve, to replace the one that sank down into Davy Jones’  locker.  I used Cascade Yarns’ Pastaza  ( a nice llama/wool blend) and some good ol’ Noro (I can’t remember the colourway, but I’m betting that blogless Amelie can tell me which one it is). I knit this one without the increases so it will (hopefully) fit a little snugger than the original and to compensate for the heavier Pastaza. I have to say that I really liked that yarn. It’s all kinds of soft and warm and should keep his head cozy.

Phew! One post, two projects. I feel a slight sense of pride. Sadly enough, I don’t have anything on the needles at the moment. I know, I’m as shocked as anyone. It was an intense period of knitting to get those two projects finished and ready to mail and I feel a little knit-out at the moment. I’ve also been doing a lot of  knitting for other people lately and feel slightly guilty about starting something new for myself. But don’t worry, I’m sure it’ll pass. I still have the need for some lace knitting and oddly enough, I miss those knitted sheep. And some socks. And maybe a little shrug or sweater for the summer. And maybe a teapot cosy. And mittens, I love mittens.  Any suggestions out there? Anything you think Miss Knit needs to knit – maybe even for you?  Let me know!

 

PS – I totally love reading your comments, it makes my day when I log into my email and there they are. So thank you posting!

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Happy and Sad.

I’ve been promising a post with actual knitting content for ages – and here it is! But before we get to the show and tell, there are some things to get to first.

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Every sunday afternoon, Deco Daco, Amelie and I get together for knitting, mochaccinos and tasty treats. I look forward to it every week – we meet at the same bakery/cafe in Halifax’s North End, we always order mochaccinos (1 decaf please), and indulge in a fabulous pastry. And we knit. It’s like show and tell and knitter’s suport group with fancy beverages. I love the fact that I have a standing coffee date with two awesome people who love yarn and knitting as much as I do. We each have our own personalities that come across in our choices of yarns and projects.

Deco Daco is often working on cute projects for l’il Miss F. or lately, a striped kerchief for her sister. 

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Amelie  is my opposite in almost every way in terms of colours – she’s all about the Noro. She’s never met a colourway she hasn’t liked. Never-mind the fact that she’ s knitting a black sock, usually it’s a very colourful project.

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 And me. Well, you’ve seen my stuff, you can draw your own conclusions.

Sunday afternoons are for sharing our projects, our progress or lack of it, good conversations, and just life in general. And for catching up on our favourite bad tv shows (America’s Next Top Model, this means you).  Sundays will be a different from now on, as we’ll have an empty seat. Amelie has moved back to Quebec to be nearer to her family and go back to school. I’m happy that she’ll get to spend more time with her family, but I’m selfish. I miss my friend.

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It’s weird not seeing her at work almost everyday – where we talked about yarn way too much in between doing, you know, work and stuff. But I’m  a big girl, I’ll suck it up. We can always keep in touch thanks to facebook and blogging (*hint, hint* Start your blog up woman!). On the up side, I now have someone to visit in Quebec. Someone who can take me to new and exciting yarn stores 🙂

And now, before I get all teary, I can finally blog about one of the projects I recently finished – which I am knitting in the photo above. I knit Ellen’s Stockings from Folk Knitting in Estonia for Ezmy as part of the Handmade Chain-mail project suggested  by Deco Daco on facebook. A  fabulous idea. I’m having fun with it so far – even if I tend to pick big projects and make more work for myself. I can’t help it – I want every person on my list to feel special. Is that so wrong? I’m really happy that I’ve got a year to finish everything, it take sthe pressure off.

Now, I must apologize for the craptacular quality of these photos. The colour was impossible to photograph. In real life those socks are a nice cranberry red, with a slight variation throughout. In the photos? Not so much. They’re black and white for your own good, trust me.

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I enjoyed the pattern – it looks complicated, but is actually pretty to memorize and is very intuitive once things get under way. It had enough going on to keep me interested and the socks flew off the needles. The yarn is Lorna’s Laces which I like but not as much as other brands I’ve knit with. It does feel nice on the hands though and it knits up beautifully.

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The most important part is that the socks fit (always a concern when knitting for feet that don’t belong to me) and that Ezmy likes them. Phew. One thing that I hadn’t considered is the vegan angle – I think I worried for nothing, but it’s something I’ll have to keep in mind.

Well, that ‘s all for this post. I’ll be back soon with pics of some freshly blocked lace and possibly a hat (and maybe more!). Hope all is well. And Amelie – get your blog going lady!

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Happy After Easter!

Hello all – hope everyone had a nice Easter, filled with tasty  chocolates and all manner of good eats. This is   a quick post to let you know that I am in fact alive and knitting. Secret gift no. 1 has been mailed off and as soon as I hear thtat it has in fact been received, I will give up all the deatils (including the terrible photographs. I swear, some colours are almost impossible to capture). I’ve also been making some pretty good progress on the mystery knit no. 2 – I’ll share a few more details with you shortly (I don’ t think that the intended recipient is a reader, but I’ll err on the side of caution, just in case). I’m officially halfway through that particular pattern and am enjoying it. I hope she’ll like it!

Well that it’s for the moment. Hope all is well and I’ll be back with knitting (and photos) soon.

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The Easter Bunny left me some flowers (and sewing lessons!).  Miss Knit sews? We’ll see. . . .

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This week has been so gray, I needed something to brighten my day. Daffodils are just the ticket, sunny, cheerful and bright – plus the money goes to the Canadian Cancer Society. Good stuff all around.

And, actual knitting content. Kind of.  Here’s a teaser of what I’ve been working on – for folks who may or may not be visitors to Through the Back Loop. So, to be on the safe side (and not ruin any surprises), I’m sticking to the obscured shots. My apologies for the reddish one – gray skies + trying to be sneaky = not such a great picture.  Meh.

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The only hints I’ll dish out is that the yarn is something I purchased off the internet, was featured ages ago in this blog and has been marinating in the stash since then, waiting for the right project. I’m enjoying the yarn/pattern combo and  am reasonably confident that the recipient will like this item. And that’s all you’ll get out of me. Oh, alright, one more hint – the pattern is from the same book as my Spring Mitts, although with less ripping action. 

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Now this, this could be anything. Well, maybe not a sweater, but I still won’t tell. I will tell you  that it will need to be blocked, it will be going to someone who  will appreciate it’s light weight and on whom the colour will look very pretty. It will also take longer than the other project. This one however has a strict  deadline – it must be finished by early to mid-May and no later.  Better get knitting!

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More Mail!

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Another day, another package! I don’t often get two awesome packages in the mail in tyhe same month, let alone within days of eachother. This one arrived yesterday afternoon from Vancouver, courtesy of my good friend Zoe. If it looks like it might be a birthday gift, you’d be right!  My birthday was/is in November and this is my late gift form last year or my early gift for this year. Whichever way you look at it, it’s a pretty sweet gift. Zoe has very good taste. Inside I found a skein of Habu textiles laceweight, some lavendar (love!), chocolate, tea, LYS card almost full (more love) and a wrapped mystery.

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It is beautiful. The colour, the soft sheen, the drape, the weave – it’s beautiful. I love it. It makes me think of dry grass. I feel very lucky to have gotten such a lovely gift from such a good friend. I am spoiled indeed. So thank you, thank you, thank you!

And on the knitting front – no picture syet, but a quick story. Back before Christmas I knit  a hat for my friend’s partner. They bought a sailboat and plan to sail from San Diego to Australia. The hat was given as a christmas gift from my friend to her partner. He loved his hat. I got an email yesterday telling me the story of hat overboard. It seems that on their trip from La Paz, the sea kicked up, it was chilly and windy and the sea was jealous of the hat. Up came the wind, away went the hat. They circled about, boathook in hand, but the rescue was a failure. Down into the watery deeps went the hat. Anyone who is willing to circle a sinking hat in bad seas at their own risk definitely deserves another one.  So off to the yarn store I go – it’s for a good cause after all.

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I couldn’t resist – this is me and my new scarf. Heaven.

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