Thursday, 27 September 2012


Vacation.  Finally.  Although of course by the time I get around to writing a new post, my vacation is almost over.  It's been fairly busy though!  The first 5 days or so were spent in Minneapolis with the Enabler, and after getting back home I was so excited to be back home with the cats and my spinning wheel and homemade food that I kind of just hibernated for a few days, and blogging was nowhere on my mind.

Not that Minneapolis wasn't great, because it totally was!  I rarely go on vacation to a place where I could see myself living, but I could definitely see myself living in Minneapolis, if it weren't for the fact that it's not in Canada.  But we can't fault it for that.

We went to a number of amazing restaurants, went to a Twins game, the "premium outlet mall" in Albertville, and even *gasp* the Mall of America, and I loved every bit of it.  We walked through downtown many times, walked through the sculpture garden, spent all of our money (and then some), and basically had a lovely time.  I didn't take that many pictures because I so rarely do anything with my (non knitting related) pictures that it just wasn't worth spending my vacation behind a camera lens this time.  I did take a few though, here are some of my favourites:

Minnesota: #1 in voter fraud.
Target Field.  The Twins lost to the Chicago White Sox 9-2.  We had fun anyway.
On the roof of Brit's Pub, beside the rooftop lawn bowling green.
A cinnamon twist and a maple bacon long john from Yo-Yo's Donuts.
Holy.  Crap.
The Enabler showing off his impressive lung capacity.
Knitbomb found on the bridge close to the sculpture garden.
Size 75 (35 mm) knitting needles at StevenBe, otherwise known as "Yarnia" (according to one of the lovely employees that I spoke with).
Oh that's right, I went to StevenBe as well.  We parked in front, followed the signs around to the back, walked through a small room containing above couch and knitting needles, as well as some various knitting bags, and stepped through a small door into one of the largest yarn stores I've ever been in.  Shelves of wool stretched from floor to (very high) ceiling, and there was another square of shelves centred around the middle of the room, which contained numerous chairs for sitting and knitting.  There was even coffee.  The Enabler followed me around for a little while before settling into one of the chairs for the wait so that I could pile yarn on him as needed.  I circled the shop a number of times, picking things up and putting them back down, not able to make a decision in the face of so much choice.  I was offered help by at least three separate employees, one of whom gave me a tour of the store, told me where everything was, and directed me to a few shop exclusives.  I mainly wanted to get things that I couldn't get at home, and so after a few more rounds of the shop I did manage to make some decisions.  I came away with a few local yarns as well as a skein of Three Irish Girls in a colourway exclusive to the shop, and maybe one or two others that were just too pretty to resist.  There was also an amazing selection of fibre, so I ended up getting some of that as well.  Surprised?  Me neither.

On the left is some Polworth top that the Enabler picked up for me in Seattle a couple of months ago (but I hadn't shown off yet), colourway is Blue Lagoon.  On the right is the merino roving that I got at StevenBe, colourway is Toucan.  I can't wait to spin these!
I'll be honest though, I haven't worked up the nerve to spin anything variegated that I REALLY like yet.  I've only spun up some of that giant bag of fleece (which takes a lot of work since it has to be hand carded before it can be spun), and a bit of Corriedale top that I got at my LYS.  I picked this up a little while ago since I was tired of only spinning purple, and when I saw the colours lying next to each other up on the shelf I just about had an aneurysm.

These need to be striped.  Seriously.
So I've been working on spinning that up, partly as practice and partly because it looks awesome, and maybe soon I'll get the cajones to dive into the super nice stuff!  I just don't want to muck them up, so I've been debating with myself how I should try spinning them, whether I want to try to keep the colours together or if I should try fractal spinning.  I also want to start working on making a thicker yarn, but I think I'll use practice fleece for that.

Oh, in case you were worried that I didn't do much knitting on my vacation, I also finished the Clapotis for myself out of tosh merino light.  I hearts it.  I am wearing it right now.  I may not ever take it off.

Yep.  It's good.

Saturday, 1 September 2012


I should probably change the name of my blog to "Infrequent Confessions of a Lazy Wooloholic" since I've been such a terrible blogger lately.  It was summer though.  I'm allowed to slack off in summer, right?  Now that it's September it's time to knuckle down and hit the books, metaphorically speaking.  September hasn't felt much different than August to me for awhile now.  The only difference is that work gets busier, people come back from their holidays, and I can smell sweater weather coming just around the corner.

I'll be honest with you, I like summer, but frankly I'm pretty tired of it.  I like hot weather, but the heat is so much more enjoyable when there's a cooler stretch here and there to break it up.  I love wearing sun dresses, but I also love wearing jeans and a sweater.  The two days during the last few months when it was actually cool enough to wear jeans and a sweater, I was relieved to be able to cover up a bit, however briefly.

I started getting excited for sweater weather a month ago already, and to indulge this excitement, when friends of ours had a baby boy at the end of July I decided the perfect present would be a tiny sweater.  I'd never made a tiny sweater before but I think they're just adorable.  After gushing over dozens of patterns on ravelry I settled on Little Coffee Bean, which is a free pattern and basically the cutest little sweater ever.  I didn't know right away what colours I wanted to make it, but I knew I wanted to do something other than blue, since I don't think that every little boy needs to wear blue.  I even toyed with the idea of pink and blue stripes just to confuse people.  The yarn called for in the pattern is Berroco Vintage, and my LYS is totally stocked with that kind of yarn so I knew having good colour options wouldn't be an issue.

By the time I got around to buying yarn for it, the baby shower was a week away.  I didn't really think I needed to have it done in time for the shower, but the colours were so great that I wound the yarn and cast on almost as soon as I got home from the yarn store.  It knit up pretty quickly and two evenings later I had made some good progress.

I knit it during my lunches, on the bus rides home from work, and a bit in the evenings, and I managed to finish everything but sewing on the buttons with three days to spare.

I didn't think it was possible for anything to be cuter than this sweater.  That is, until I added the buttons.

Totes adorbs.  The worst part of it is was having to give it away.  I am hoping to get a picture of the baby wearing the sweater, as that may help to ease the pain of separation I am still experiencing, but unfortunately the sweater isn't going to fit him for a few months yet.  Why can't babies grow faster?

Then I reminded myself that the Enabler continues to very much live up to his nickname, as he went to Seattle on business and came back with this for me for my birthday (amongst other things but this is all I took a picture of).

That's two skeins of tosh merino light in the steam age colourway.  They are well on their way to becoming a clapotis for me.  Well you didn't think that I was going to make one for my mom, and then not make one for myself, did you?  I'm hoping to have it finished before the cooler weather starts in earnest.  I'll be honest, I like fall and winter more since I became a more avid (obsessive) knitter.  A hand knitted scarf/hat/pair of mittens really helps take the edge off.

Spinning is going pretty well, and I'm getting better at hand-carding fleece into rolags.  They're kinda fun to make, and Olivia likes them too.

Really though, they're going to have cat hair in them anyway, might as well embrace it.