Wednesday, October 15, 2008

all too brief respite

Oof --my life has been crazy busy lately. Even when there's down-time it seems like one errand or project just piles on top of the next. We did manage to get away this past (Canadian) Thanksgiving weekend though for some much needed fall-colours-sunshine--and the weather has been absolutely glorious here.

If there's one place I wish I could retire to (you know apart from the South of France or some place more exotic...), it's Prince Edward County. We had an amazing day of thrift shopping, wineries, apple orchards and cider houses. And the beach! Honestly, I wish I could just pitch a tent and live directly on the beaches of Sandbanks. (My love of all things geriatric seems to be making me wistful for this lifestyle...) and while we were there it afforded me a pretty backdrop for a little F.O shoot for this post:

The Purl Bee's Lace Rib Cowl

As you can probably tell from that last picture, it's about three times the size it should be (it's doubled up in the first pic). I wish I could say this was a gauge issue, but it's really more of a wacky yarn issue. I used two skeins of a mystery silk & cashmere blend from School Products. It is the last of all the yarn I bought on my last trip to New York less than a year ago. The guy in the store referred to it as "pashmina". Like most of the yarn in that store, it's a bit vague but I am proud of myself nonetheless for having used it all up. It will be my justification for planning another trip there!

After knitting it all up, the cowl looked like this (un-blocked):

A nice, normal cowl.

But then one wear and it just kept groooowing and growing and narrowing and narrowing.....

It's a weirdo, but no matter, I likes 'em big.

Also nearing completion right now is my Wallis sweater:

Which as predicted, I totally ran out of yarn on. I've since bought more and am hoping to really get going on it again this weekend. I didn't however manage to get the same dye lot, so I'm a bit fearful that it will be totally obvious. The back and the front are done, so hopefully where the new yarn begins will be less of a big deal.

I am also about to complete my "mystery knitting". I am totally clenching right now praying that I won't run out of yarn, as it's a total stash busting project and there is no more.

I guess it's really not that much of a mystery --it's for my BFF's daughter who is turning one in November, but i'll save the deets on that until it's totally done anyway.

But that's about it for progress pics. I'm casting on for a couple new smaller items, and something for the BF (Fiancé?). I guess now that I've got the ring I'm obliged to knit him something. He keeps requesting socks, but well, y'all know how I feel about socks. Worst girlfriend ever.

Friday, October 03, 2008

a thrifty dilemma

Every summer, vitually every neighbourhood in my city has a community wide garage sale. Some of them are enormous, and thousands of people attend, and some are just kind of starting to get off the ground. A couple weeks ago I attended the New Ed garage's one I've been attending on and off for about a decade now, so as community garage sales go I'd kind of put it into a the "mid" range size-wise. There were definitely a few good scores to be had (pictures for flickr eventually...) but I also had a couple of knitting-related scores, so I thought I'd mention them here.

Naturally there was the "little old lady" church-type sales (who always seem to sell lots of knitwear) and while nothing ever really appeals to me per se, I always manage to make off with a pile of dishcloths. Mostly I think I just feel obliged as that could essentially be my mother selling up there, and being a knitter I have an appreciation for the work itself etc. etc.

But here is my dilemma...

for two bucks, a definite must buy. Someone else obviously put a lot of work into this:

(image deleted)

I assume this is crochet, right? (okay, I know a lot of you right now are like "duhhhh" but I don't know how to crochet so it's a fair question).

For two bucks I thought "those handles alone are worth two bucks and IMPOSSIBLE to find around these parts".

But then....when I brought it home and went to tear it apart, I faltered. Would *you* tear it apart? I mean as a knitter I am endlessly tearing apart my own work, so why do I feel bad about destroying someone elses? I'll never use it otherwise. Odds are good that I might even knit something in that very same colourway (ok maybe not but still). It wasn't a GIFT made specifically for me or anything. And further still "ugh, is the person who knit this dead now?"

OK, maybe I should stop even asking these kinds of questions...I'm coming across as a real weirdo.

In OTHER news (massive subject change), the always generous Wendy of Musings from a knucklehead nominated me for an award and totally made my day!

Here are the instructions:
1. Please put the award on your blog.
2. Add a link to the person who awarded you
3. You must nominate at least 4 fellow bloggers for this award.
4. Add links to the recipients.
5. Leave a comment so the recipients know they have received an award.

So to spread the love, I've decided to expand my blogosphere horizons here a little bit and link to 4 NON knitting blogs. Is that crazy? Should I only be spreading knitterly love around here? There are just so many amazing blogs that I regularly check out and I *am* a bit of a design and fashion junkie, so maybe I will share some of those...

Oh Joy SO many style and design inspirations here. She has an amazing eye and I never grow tired of her posts. Her eye for colour is unmatched --and I believe she's a textile designer in her own right.

Desire to Inspire. A Canadian and an Australian come together to share their interior design inspirations. I frequent this blog a lot and only just recently realized that the Canadian half of this duo actually lives here in Ottawa. I think I can now pinpoint my main rival for thrifted mid-century pieces round these parts! I am totally absorbed in her Kitchen reno updates, and find we share a similar design aesthetic...particularly when it comes to "curbside re-appropriation" if you know what I mean. (Dirty picking as we call it in my family...) Sidebar here--I managed to score a vintage Knoll tulip chair out of someone's garbage last week and plan to spend my weekend rustoleum-ing the eff out of it!

Victoire Okay, thought I would give another local shout-out here. Victoire is a great local boutique with a passion for Canadian designers, always ahead-of-the-rest and on-point style savvy with two very down-to-earth co-owners Katie & Regine who have long been a part of our local ladyfest scene. Even if you're not shopping there (my monthly massage happens kitty corner to them downtown so I find it hard to NOT go in...), their blog is still a source of fashion inspiration regardless of whether you can get in there and physically drool over everything first hand or not.

Design is mine Another fun design-related blog, though this one is a lot less stuffy than most and not quite so Eames-era funiture-centric like a lot of other design blogs I subscribe to. In is super fun. She takes the time to compile lots of etsy finds as well, so there is a real indie/d.i.y slant to what she likes to profile. Visiting her site is the internet version of strolling through the Bust craftsale.

So there you have it. I'm tempted to do a knitting only version, but I think for a lot of you who already do come here that might not give you any new reading. Next time though! I would actually love to hear about everyone's blog obsessions, kniting-related or otherwise.