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Actually the warm weather has been here for a few weeks now and I’m so happy to blink my winter tired eyes in the warming sun of the spring. The last few weeks have just slipped by as I’ve been running around filling appointments and other errands. I wish I could say I’ve been busy with work but things have been slower than I hoped. On the upside I’ve partnered up with another local business and I hope to see an increase in projects soon. Speaking of projects I’ve finished the first side of my Bertram Tank Top. I took a break from the second side because I wanted to knit my Mom a pair of houndstooth wrist warmers for Mother’s day. The pattern will be coming soon. I have to knit another pair because I forgot to take pictures of the pair I knit my Mom!

Here’s the front of the tank top. There is a mistake. It doesn’t ruin it so I don’t mind it. Can you see it?

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Normally this time of year it should be warming up, but for some reason mother nature has decided to prolong winter. Only a week ago it seemed like spring was here. It had been warm with a fair bit of rain and then on the weekend we had an ice and snow storm. It sucked big time. No-one left their house if they didn’t need to as the roads were ice rinks. The storm was worse than any of the storms we had during the winter. My girls had a snow day on Monday because of it – the only snow day they’ve had this year. It’s hard to believe that this time last year we were wearing short sleeves. Especially when it looks like this:

It needs to warms up so I can wear my Bertram tank top as soon as it’s done. I love the modular way it knits up. It’s something different from the usual way of making a sweater which makes it fun. I can’t wait to get to the next part of the pattern to see how it’s going to go together. The mitered square was cool to make, but I messed it up near the end. I ended ripping out several rows because, a few times I missed decreasing 2 stitches at the centre (I only decreased 1 stitch). The result of my error shifted the middle decreases over to one side and everything was off centre. If you decide to knit this pattern make sure to constantly check that you have an equal number of stitches on either side of your marker. It would have saved me a headache and a fair bit of swearing if I had been checking more often. Now that it’s fix it’s coming along nicely.

 

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Yesterday I started a new project! It’s from Creative Knitting magazine called Bertram Tank. I’m excited about this one because I get to learn 2 new skills, mitered squares and provisional cast on. Provisional cast on is a method of cast on that you ‘unzip’ later on to give you an edge with live stitches which are picked up and knit. I love that the tank top is knit modularly making it more interesting to knit.

I wasn’t keen on the colours the designer choose – I look bad in yellow, so I decided to go with some very different colours. You can see them in the below photos. The first photo is my swatch and the crocheted chain for the provisional cast. The second is the chain again (you actually need two of these for the pattern). The third is the beginning of the cast on. The fourth is where I am on the tank top as of this morning.

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You probably guessed I’ve been busy since I missed posting last week. Work kind of exploded and I was putting in some good hours trying to get caught up. I’m starting to figure out the next article I want to write. I wish I had more time to do research. I have been making time to knit – of course! I’m trying to build up an Etsy inventory to help get me through the slow months of work (no pressure).

I loved the houndstooth fingerless mitts I made my niece for Christmas that I made a pair for myself. My daughter was kind enough to model them for me.

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On December 31 we had a record low of  -28℃ (-18 ℉).  The girls would be going back to school in a week and my oldest daughter had been wearing a threadbare pair of fingerless mittens I made for myself. These mittens are perfect for a bus commuter. The flaps keep you fingers warm but allow you access to your fingers for things like grabbing your bus pass. Are they warm? They used to be but the thumbs are so worn out they almost have holes in them. So I grabbed some yarn and DPNs and started making her new ones.  I used the pattern World’s Simplest Mittens with my own modifications. The yarn is some left over Paton’s Classic Wool in worsted weight that I doubled for extra thick mitts.

The modifications were to divide the mitt into four fingers (I needed to add a couple of stitches so the fingers weren’t too small). Then I created the flap with rib on one half (to face the inside of the mitten) and stocking stitch on the other half. The flap length starts from the top of the thumb gusset until it was long enough to cover my daughter’s fingers. I used Kitchener stitch to sew the flap on.

It has taken me a long time as a knitter to make modifications to patterns instead of  designing a whole new pattern. It saves a lot of headaches and time especially if the project is a simple thing like mittens or a hat. Don’t be afraid to jump in there a try modifying a pattern to create something new.

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Happy New Year and Merry Christmas my fellow knitters! I realize I’ve fallen off the grid for two freaking months! I was in a knitting crunch trying to get so many projects done that I didn’t have time to blog. On top of the usual business of the holiday season my family and I got a rescue dog on December 23. Patches is a much loved new addition, well much love by everyone except the cat. Taking him for walks has been challenging for all of us as the temperature here has been -24C (-11F) to -15C (5F) on average and that’s not factoring in the windchill.

I’m happy to say that I was very busy knitting Christmas gifts this year. And everyone who received that showed a true appreciation for them. So I proudly share with you my photos:

Witch Cats Hat from Ravelry – Gift for my aunt.

Cat mittens modified World’s Simplest Mittens and Witch Cat Hat patterns to create matching mittens.

Flash Beer/Coffee Cup Cozy – my own pattern using duplicate stitch to create the lighting bolt. Gift for my brother in law.

Houndstooth Fingerless Mitts – modified World’s Simplest Mittens with houndstooth pattern. Gift for my niece.


Purple and Silver Heart Ornaments. Part of homemade family gifts.

Final family gift packages – homemade hot chocolate mix, two knit heart ornaments and gift tag designed by me as Blue Bug Design.

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Happy Halloween! We had a great halloween party this weekend and the whole family is looking forward to trick or treating tomorrow. My Louise Belcher costume turned out great and with a bit of help from my husband we got the ears to stand up without moving at all.

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It’s really difficult to think about Halloween when we are having an unusual heat wave. It have been 31 C/88 F every day for the last 10 days and it sucks.

I’ve started gearing up for my favourite holiday by watching a horror movie a week and watching The Exorcist series on Netflix (it’s creepy as hell). I just love the fall because, it’s cool, rainy and an excuse to stay in and be super cozy while knitting. Plus there’s Halloween which embraces my love of horror stories. Most years I dress in a scary costume, but this year I’ve decide to go as Louise Belcher from Bob’s Burgers. It’s fitting. I’m a Louise and I’m can be a smart mouth just like the cute nine year old in the cartoon. Of course I have to make her signature pink bunny ear hat. So I found a free pattern on WoollyRhinoCrafts. Now I hate to seam my knitting and this pattern has a lot of seaming. So of the seaming can’t be avoided but with the ears I felt I could make them in the round. Using the pattern WoollyRhino kindly provided I converted to something in the round and I’m pretty happy with it. My increases and decreases look a bit sloppy but it’s a costume so it’ll do.

Here’s Louise:

And the progress on my hat:

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I’m feeling sad that the summer is almost over. My daughter’s return to school next week with the oldest one starting high school! Where does the time go? Knitting has been slow as I’ve been concentrating on finding more clients for my graphic design company. However I did manage to work on some dishcloths earlier this month when I went camping. There are few aspects of camping that aren’t my favourite, but overall I love it. Being out in nature just feels right, like I’m returning home after a long time away. I suppose knitting is like home to me too. It comforts and warms me when I knit making me feel so calm. Here’s a little camping and knitting for you:

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I’m happy to have jumped back into my knitting projects shortly after a quick trip to British Columbia for my cousin’s wedding. As a side note I live in Ontario so I supposed it’s really not that quick of a trip. When I returned I was so jet lagged it took me a few days to get back to knitting as I tried to convince my body when the proper time to eat and sleep was.

Below is my progress on my plarn yoga mat strap which I’m happy with so far. It’s a double ribbed item and as you can see the plarn doesn’t have the same distinct look as regular yarn. It is a bit messy and I actually don’t mind that. As I try new things we’ll see what garter and stocking stitch looks like.