By Tanya

This is a site to catelog, track and share all the various projects I create. It is intended to share and log successes and failures of my various craft projects. Soon you will see Handmade Cards, Knitting projects, Scrapbook pages, and Quilting projects, to name a few.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Colorful Endurance

Since my Secret Pal asked... I casted on my next project last night.

But first back to the washcloth. I've used it now and it is fabulous. It is soft but with just the right amount of texture to make your skin feel really clean and refreshed. It's definitely on my list of items to make for Christmas gifts.

Last night was knitting/spinning night at London-Wul. I had put aside some Fleece Artist merino in Blue Lagoon for a shawl for my step-mom (shhh) for Christmas. I just loved the blues and knew it would be perfect. I was up in the air on which shawl to do, but I've chosen the Icarus shawl pattern by Miriam Felton. I love the way it's knitting up.

And just so I don't get bored, and also because a friend is expecting a baby soon, I picked up some gorgeous green Mission Falls wool for another Trellis Baby sweater. The green is the second ball in from the left and it's called Basil.

Of course how could I ever get bored... I'm also working on the edging of the Pie Shawl and the purple Hedera sock. Funny thing is they are all the same weight yarn and lace patterns. I see a trend here. At least I'm not stuck on one color, lots of variety in that category.

I really do wish there were 48 hours in a day. But even if there were, there must be a limit to how many hours of knitting in a row a person can actually withstand. Physically it must be exhausting after a while. Hand cramps, sore neck, something. I wonder what the longest continuous knitting anyone has done? I figure the longest I have knit continuously would be about 4 hours. Is that a long time? I don't have anyone to compare to. Anyone care to share their knitting endurance times ?

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Ta Da!!

Presenting one green flower washcloth....

Finished Flower Facecloth

This pattern was very fun. It is from the Weekend Knitting book. Can't wait to try it out. If only it wasn't too hot for a bath... when is this heat wave going to break? Hopefully before my back breaks from sleeping on the basement futon!

Sunday, July 16, 2006


I'd like to introduce you to Mr. Metalhead Chicken!

Beer can chicken

If you didn't guess, he's a beer can chicken and he is no more. That was Saturday's fun, while knitting the mohair shawl. The color looks great out in the sun.

And here is Clancy...
Serious Clancy
He's watching me knit a new project that I started on Sunday. I seamed the trellis sweater and made a blocking board. (Thanks to Steph for giving me some great links in her comment on my last post. They were very helpful)

Trellis seamed

As soon as it was pinned down I started on the Flower Washcloth from Weekend Knitting.
Flower Washcloth plan

I really shouldn't have been starting something new right now, but look how great it is. I can't wait to see if it is as nice to use as the book says.
Flower Washcloth on Needles

That's it for this weekend. Time to go to bed and wake to a new week.

Saturday, July 15, 2006


To block or not to block?

I have a confession... I've been knitting for 25 years (yup, since I was 5) and I have NEVER blocked anything. I've made tons of sweaters, some of which did turn out and are still worn today. But I've never blocked any of them. I'm not really sure how or when to block items. Since I've been reading all the wonderful blogs out there on knitting it seems that everyone else blocks their items except for me. So here I go.. I'm blocking the trellis sweater before sewing it together.

Is this the correct thing to do? Do you block before or after sewing, or both? I soaked these items and then spread them on a towel to the correct dimensions now I'm just letting them dry. Is this correct? Does anyone have any helpful tips or info on blocking for me?

Trellis Blocking

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Thanks Heidi

I'd like to send a special THANK YOU out to Heidi at London-Wul.

Last night was a knit/spin night at her shop and I went out to join the group in some chatting and knitting. When I got there we weighed the yarn for my shawl to see if there was enough left. I had attempted to frog a section that I had messed up but I was getting 5 inch pieces of mohair from breaking the yarn so often.

Heidi generously offered to frog the section of my mohair shawl and without her great eyesight, lack of something to knit, and amazing patience, my perfect pie shawl would have been missing a slice!

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Jazz, Blues and Knitting

Last weekend Troy and I went on a weekend getaway to PEI for the Jazz and Blues festival in Charlottetown. Of course it was a small lineup but we really love Sue Foley, Hot Toddy, Isaac and Blewett and Alex Pangman. We saw Don Ross and Ellen McIlwaine for the first time and they were great too. All the shows were quite intimate as it was a small venue and the people were all so friendly. The weather was fabulous and PEI is so beautiful.

One highlight of the weekend was that I was surrounded by music and crafting! I was knitting the Perfect Pie shawl everytime we were in the car so I got a fair amount of knitting done while seeing the beautiful scenery. Plus, right across from the music tent was a place called the Market Place which was the largest local craft shop I've ever seen. It even had a coffee shop in it (just like Chapters, but with crafts instead of books). It is also the outlet store for Great Northern Knitters and they had quite a large selection of Fleece Artist yarns. I was in heaven! I visited the store three times just because I loved it so much and there was so much to see. My hubby could stay in the tent while I sneaked out for a 'bathroom' break and I got to peruse all the lovely yarns. Charlottetown has lots of little interesting shops downtown and we window shopped in all of them.

On Saturday morning we went to the Charlottetown Farmers market (thanks Troy). It wasn't very large, but it was just perfect. I love going to other town's Farmers markets, they show so much about the town's culture and it's people. I picked up this amazing hand dyed mohair from a lady (I lost her business card and can't remember her name). I just fell in love with it because green and blue are really my colors this season! I don't have a project for it yet, but I'm searching.

Mohair - green/blue

All in all, this weekend was relaxing, inspiring and romantic! A girl couldn't ask for more!

Happy Day!

I have so much to say today and so little time to say it! I think I'll just stick to the most important thing that happened today. A parcel arrived from my Secret Pal !!

I was on my way to Agility class with my dog Clancy and I saw a parcel in the mail box. I jumped back out of the car and retrieved the parcel and brought it along with me in the car. I was cruising down the highway at 120km and trying to rip through packing tape at the same time! No one mentioned that this Secret Pal exchange could be dangerous. I managed to tear through the tape with the help of my teeth (what a sight this must of been to the guy passing me). As I'm swerving down the highway I reach into the big envelope to see what treasures it holds. It was worth all the danger... I got a smelly green candle, some homemade (by my secret pal and her kids) dog treats and a hank of hand spun and dyed two tones of green yarn. I'm not sure what type of yarn it is (do you know SP?) It's soft, but not too soft, so I'm thinking wool. It's beautiful shades of green. Now what am I going to make with it?

Thank you Secret Pal!

Secret Pal 8 package #2

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Oh what have I done?!

If you have been reading my posts lately, you know that I have started 2 projects that are both due in the beginning of August. This is a new thing for me, to start projects with actually enough time to complete them when I need them, and I was so proud of myself that I had a plan and it was actually doable without throwing me into a panic the day before I needed the items complete. Well, I've gone and ruined that!

I found out that a friend is having a baby shower on the 22nd of July, only a couple weeks away, and I threw myself into planning mode. I had to find a sweater to make for the baby fast. Tuesday I spent looking at patterns then Wednesday I searched for yarn. I chose the Trellis cardigan from Knitty and off I went to London-Wul to find some yarn. The Trellis cardi is made with Rowan Cotton/Acrylic at 4st/inch gauge. I decided to go with the Mission Falls cotton and chose a nice beige color that would show off the cabling. As soon as I got home from work I started knitting one of the front panels (it was only 31 sts wide so no sense doing a swatch).

I didn't like it, it was reminding me of a wash cloth (no offense to the yarn cause it is really nice).

It was knitting/spinning night at London-Wul so I packed up my projects and off I went. When I got there I showed everyone and they all loved it. I still was not feeling good about it so I thought I'd try a ball of the Mission Falls Wool... it was instant love. Here are the two for comparison...

Cotton Trellis swatch Cotton

Wool Trellis swatch Wool

What is your opinion? Some of my fellow knitters at London-Wul said that the cotton would look great once it was washed up, or to try a different size needle. The cotton is definitely softer and cooler. I was tempted, but I have to really like the yarn and pattern to spend all that time knitting it up.

So now I have the Hedera socks, the Perfect Pie Shawl AND the Trellis Cardigan all to knit at the same time. At London-Wul I only worked on the Trellis cardi so I could see if I wanted to buy more of the wool or not, which I did buy. I didn't work on the sock at all. On the drive home I started to feel kind of paniced that I had too many things on the go so I came up with a plan (yes another plan) to make me feel better. I stopped and bought an iced cappacino, came home, lit a bunch of candles, put on some music on and knit the sock until it was finished. I forgot to mention that I didn't get home until 10:45pm so finishing the sock took me until 1am, but it's finished, grafted and all. And I feel so much better!


With this one sock behind me I now feel better about knitting on the baby cardigan. Full speed ahead!

Monday, July 03, 2006

Canada Day Tragedy

Before anyone gets too upset I'll tell you what the tradegy was... Our camera was dropped and broken!

This is the last picture taken successfully with it on Friday. We were packed up to go to Salmon River to a cabin with some friends. As soon as we got there the camera fell out of Troy's pocket (don't ask what it was doing in his pocket, that's a touchy subject) and smashed to the ground. The boys thought the display screen was just broken so continued to take pictures with it. I had my doubts... and unfortunately I was right. When I uploaded the photos today they were all black after this one.

Now on to some good news....

I finished my step Dad's socks on Wednesday night, the day BEFORE his birthday. That was great, except one sock was smaller than the other and I had no time to fix it. I should know better than to make one sock smaller, I've been making socks for a while. I think it was in my rush that I saw what I wanted to see, that the second one was as long as the first before I started the toe. I did a shameful thing and gave them to him anyway, he's a man, he won't notice, right? And doesn't everyone have one foot smaller than the other anyway? He didn't notice, but my Mom did and pointed it out to him. He wouldn't give them back and wore them the very next day to prove to me that they fit and he loves them. They did turn out pretty nice (I forgot to take a picture of them). I used Austermann Step sock yarn in nachtbleu and it has Aloe Vera and Jojoba oil in it. (Did anyone catch the irony in using Step yarn for my Step Dad) Very nice wool to work with.

I've started 2 new projects that are both due to be completed for the first week of August. One is the Perfect Pie Shawl from Weekend Knitting and the other is the Hedera socks from Knitty.
I was having trouble getting the holes to look right in the Pie Shawl until I found this post from It seems that she and many others have had the same problems but she figured out how to make the holes look triangular and I've since started the shawl over again and it's working. The cobweb affect was ok, but I like the triangles in the book much better.

The Hedera socks are being knit up in 100% merino wool in a purple/violet color. They are for my Secret Pal. The pattern was a bit tough to get used to at first but now I've got it memorized. The only issue is that the lace needs to be flattened out. I'm going to try blocking this first sock when it's complete. I'm almost up to the toe so it should be done soon. The other horrible thing that happened with these socks is that while I was coming back from the cabin yesterday and knitting them in the car TWO of my needles broke within 5 minutes of each other. I have now sworn off the Brittany bamboo needles when you are using size 2.5mm... I had never broke one before and others said they had. I guess I had just been lucky, but 2 right in a row was a bit ridiculous. Maybe the dampness got to them over the weekend, I don't know. But I'm not taking the risk of being stranded without needles because they broke again. I'm going to get a pair of Pony Pearls in size 2.5mm as soon as I can get out to London-Wul to pick them up.

** UPDATE **
I found an old camera and here are pics of the Hedera socks and the Pie Shawl. The shawl is actually a fushia pink but it looks very red here. The Hedera socks really need to be flattened but when they are on the lace spreads out nicely.

Beginning of Pie Shawl

Hedera sock