Friday, June 21, 2013

A Picture Is Worth A Thousand Words

Inspired by Soulemama's {this moment}

" A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember."

In the busy hustle, bustle of life, this notion of a photo capturing a moment to pause and savor really appeals to me.

I haven't done this in so very long, but the little boys have had some amazing adventures this week. Instead of a single picture here is a whole series capturing our fun this week.

Moments To Remember - June 18 - 20, 2013

Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos

Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos

Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos

Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos

Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos

Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos

Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos

Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos

Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos

Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos

Tuesday, June 04, 2013

Summertime and the Knitting is Easy

I cast off my Work + Shelter sweater this morning.  I started this a little under two weeks ago, suddenly inspired by the other variations that were popping up on the Luvinthemommyhood KAL's Finished Object Picture thread on Ravelry.  I had thought there was a chance I could zip through it between the 23rd when I cast on and the 29th when the KAL ended, but alas.  I am not that quick a knitter, nor did I have that much energy to stay up that late at night each night to accomplish a feat quite like that.

I knit it in SWTC Bamboo - a yarn I had in my stash for several years. I originally bought it online in a bag sale from Discontinued Brand Name Yarns to make my Josephine Top. This yarn is fantastic. I machine washed and dried my Josephine lots over the course of time and it still looks great. (I just don't wear it much anymore because I lived in it when I was expecting the little boys and now associate it with maternity wear even though it wasn't intended as such).

I did do a couple easy modifications on the pattern. I wanted a touch more length than the pattern allowed for so I added an extra lace stripe before attaching the sleeves.  This also allowed for the lace on the sleeves to line up with the lace on the body and I do love symmetry, so was happy that it worked out that way!  I also started the ribbing for the neckline early in order to have a lower, wider neck.

I feel like quite a "grown up" knitter right now.  I not only took the time to put all the stitches on waste yarn to see how the length would be once I joined the sleeves and reworked it to a proper-for-me length, but I did the same thing again at the neckline to see where I wanted it to sit. I didn't just blindly follow the pattern hoping for the best (which in this case would have been a short, high necked disappointment). Yay for putting in the extra effort!!  I LA LA LOVE my new sweater!!! I also la la love how easy it was.

Saturday, June 01, 2013

Misty Morning

I finished another knitting project yesterday.

I cast on my Augusta Cardi at the beginning of April as an "in between" project. One I could work on when I needed a diversion from other projects and while I waited for the Luvinthemommyhood Tops, Tanks and Tees KAL to begin. It was a perfect project for those purposes. Easy to put down, forget about, then come back to and know where I left off. It was also pretty mindless knitting, so great for those times that my mind was going in a million other directions and I didn't want to have to think about my knitting too. Augusta is my second project from the book New England Knits; although my first project, the Montague Vest is still in time out for bad behaviour (I need to re-do the front edging. Grrrrrrr.)

I'm really happy with the final result, and even happier that I put some extra effort in to get that result. Although this project was not without problems it went together well! I decided to use some stash yarn that was gifted to me a few years ago by a very generous soul, determined to destash, that I met while on a business trip down east to Toronto. It's Cottage Craft (produced by Briggs & Little) 2 ply worsted wool in the colourway Fundy Fog. Oh how I love the maritime names of B&L yarns. Ever since reading Anne of Green Gables after a windfall find of an unopened boxed set for $1.00 at a used book sale when I was seven years old, there has been a part of my heart that belongs to the maritimes. Although, admittedly, my love is only second hand from books and music as I've never had the good fortune to visit in person yet. I digress. Back to the knitting.

Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos
Yikes! Where to begin?!?

At some point one of the cats that have resided with us over the last few years got a hold of one of my skeins on Fundy Fog. I did have plenty others, I could have just discarded the one the cat had enjoyed, but that goes against my thrifty (some would call it pack rat) nature entirely. So one morning I patiently untangled and rewound all 270yds of yarn. Once the yarn was untangled, I was set to go.

I have been wanting to try short row shoulders for quite some time now and thought Augusta would be the perfect project to try it out. I am a convert. I love the smooth transition that comes from the short rows rather than the "stair step" effect of casting off. And what is not to love about eliminating two seams from the finishing sewing?!? A quick three needle bind off and you're done!

Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos
Short rows and a three needle bind off!

After the yarn was untangled I had assumed things would be smooth sailing. And it would have been for the most part had I not absent mindedly knit an extra cable repeat on one front giving me an excess three inches of length I didn't notice until I began blocking the piece. That was easily enough fixed though and I moved onto the sleeves.

There is something about sleeves. They are my knitting nemesis and take me forever to knit. I do always try to knit them two at a time so that once I'm done, I'm done (otherwise every garment I knit would run the risk of being one armed, so great is my dislike of knitting sleeves!!) I knit and knit and knit some more, yet I swear the knitting didn't grow. According to the pattern I was to knit 20" from cuff to underarm before starting decreasing. I had read several comments about the sleeves being too long so I patted myself on the back for having the foresight to decrease the length by an inch. Once my sleeves were done I carefully seamed up one and sewed it to the sweater to gauge fit. Holy gorilla arms batman!!! I hummed and hawed about what I should do. Leave it and likely never wear the cardi? Hem them and end up with weird bulk at the wrists? Unseam, rip back and make them shorter? Shudder!

I chose to do the right thing. The mature knitterly thing. I wanted a sweater I could love and live in so I ripped back. I started my decreases at 17 1/2" instead and continued on. The sleeves are still a touch long, but I can definitely live with them.

Liking the results!
I'm really glad I had my sweater this morning! After two days of ark building worthy rain, this morning was just cool (about +5C) and a touch drizzly. The little boys were determined to play outside no matter what. I didn't mind though. I grabbed a cup of tea and braved the elements, cozy and warm in my new cardi despite the misty morning!

The perfect cozy sweater for a misty morning.
The sun came out late this afternoon making me really want to get back to work on my Work + Shelter top I started on a whim last week after seeing all the great versions of it done by other knitters for the Luvinthemommyhood KAL! I'm pretty close to being done and  hopefully the weather co-operates and I get to wear it as soon as it's off the needles!