crafts

Back on track

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Hey guys!

This fall has been insanely busy for me, and things are just now starting to get back to normal – which means that I finally get to do things that I have not been able to do in a while, yay! Among other things, I finally took time to ply the singles I spun during the Tour de Fleece this summer (I know… that was months ago!).

Although I did have my doubts while spinning it, I must say that I feel pretty satisfied with the finished product, which is quite a relief. The larger skein is a generous 597 yards of heavy lace 2 ply yarn and the other, small skein is 6 grams of leftover navajo plied in a fingering weight yarn. I am not too too sure what I’ll be doing with this yarn, but I do have a few options. Chances are, it will probably end up as a shawl in a (relatively) near future. 🙂

20151005_170443675_iOS20151005_170526684_iOSIn other news, I also visited the Vermont Sheep and Wool festival this weekend, and had a blast! The colors are now in full swing and the drive to Tumbridge was amazingly beautiful. We stayed for a few hours on Saturday afternoon, walked around the vendor stands, watched a sheep shearing demonstration and petted a few adorable Border Collies who were there to show their sheep herding skills. We had a lot of fun, and (obviously) I came back with a few additions to my stash. 🙂

In the picture below, you’ll see an A-MA-ZING pink Suri/Silk batt from Biltmore Wool Barn (Brewster, MA), a soft-as-a-cloud blue Merino/Tencel roving from Fiber Stash (Colchester, VT) and the cutest sock kit I have ever seen – the Tallulah sock pattern from Sivia Harding, complete with handpainted fingering weight yarn and matching beads! I fell head over heels when I saw this one, I simply couldn’t resist!

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Since I missed the Twist Festival this year and definitely won’t be able to make it to Rhinebeck, that’s as good as it gets for me this year, but I’m fine with it. What about you guys? Which wooly festivals have you been to or do you plan to go to this year?

No, I’m not dead

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Hey Sweeties! Long time no blog!

I feel like I have been neglecting you guys this summer, and I do not like that! My summer has probably been what everybody else’s summer has been – filled with food and fun and sun and trips and things! Although I have not really taken time to blog, I have been spending an awful lot of time knitting – and it shows, because I am now almost done with my Bluesand Cardigan.

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I’m quite happy to show you this today as this is the first time I have ever used one of my handspun yarns (even though I have been spinning for over a year – I know, shame on me!) and I think the solid yarn I chose for the body really complements the colorful handspun perfectly. I’m so happy! 🙂

Also, I must say this pattern made me realize I still have a lot of things to learn when it comes to knitting, as this cardigan has proven to be quite the challenge. Don’t get me wrong, this pattern is amazingly well explained, clear and precise, with so many diagrams and figures it really makes me wonder how much time actually went into making this pattern. But the construction of this cardigan is just so cleaver, I know it’s something I definitely would not have been able to come up with on my own. Seriously, I understand now why so many people are in love with this cardigan (and other rililie patterns) – t’s brilliantly designed with a lot of cute and interesting details and a simple yet unique construction that really makes this pattern stand out. I am in love!

What about you guys, have you ever been so smitten by a pattern that you just wanted to keep on knittin’?

Tour de Fleece 2015 and stuff

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Well guys, I feel like I really owe you all an heartfelt apology. Although I have been keeping myself pretty busy lately with many fiber things, I have been selfish enough to not share it with you. Unforgivable, right? Well, to make amends, I decided to share with you all today what I’ve been working on in the last couple weeks.

First things first, I decided to participate again this year in the Tour de Fleece with the girls from Papote et Placote. However, as I am not a very competitive spinner, I’m simply tagging along at my own rhythm, never mind the slow turtle pace. Since the beginning of the tour, which was on July 4th, I have spun about 60 grams of yummy Malabrigo sweetness that I am quite happy about. Here’s what it looks like:

FotorCreatedI have not been a very dedicated spinner since my neck has been killing me for days now, but I do what I can. And since the Tour de Fleece has been putting me into a spinning mood, I have also been thinking about how to use all those beautiful handspun yarns I have, that I still haven’t touched. I know, I’m lowering my head in shame now but I have to admit that since I started spinning last year, I have not used a single yard of handspun. Shame on me! It’s not because I don’t like them, on the contrary! But I think I have been waiting for an illumination; for the perfect project to showcase my handspun yarn. And after many a thought about it, I think I finally found it. Here’s the magical project I have in mind for one of my latest handspun named heaven:

FotorCreated2Yep, the BlueSand Cardigan from La Maison Rililie! I paired my blue and purple handspun with 2 solid shades of gray in Cascade Heritage yarn. The pattern usually calls for DK weight but the yarn I chose is actually fingering weight, so I’ll use a modified gauge and simply follow instructions for one size up what I actually want. I’m so thrilled about this project!

Now that I shared my idea with you, I really want do know what you, wonderful spinners out there, generally use your handspun for! Do you spin with a specific project in mind or are you like me and you spin something and let it sit for a while until you find the perfect project for it? Please leave a comment below and let me know 🙂

The Spinning Mojo

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Since I have finished most of my current knitting projects now and didn’t quite feel like starting another big one, I decided last weekend to dust my poor little spinning wheel and give it some love. I have had the same project on it since March, and it wasn’t even because it was a LONG project (just a 4 oz merino roving) but truth is, I just didn’t feel like it (maybe I lost my spinning mojo?).  Either way, I wanted to get my rusty articulations back into shape because the Tour de Fleece is coming very quicky (start off is on july 4th) and I signed up to participate with the girls of Papote et Placote.

So I decided it was time to finish that project and take it off the wheel, so I took my little kiwi for a spin. The yarn I got out of it is a very fine fractal, 2 ply, lace to light fingering weight yarn with a generous 575 yards for 104 grams. I used the left over singles to spin a 3 ply navajo fingering weight yarn, it is 61 yards (14 grams) of pure cuteness. Yummy!

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The fiber I used was Malabrigo Nube in the color Zarzamora, it’s a beautiful mix of purple and green and blue.

Any of you guys participating in the upcoming Tour de Fleece?

Oh, Lacy Sweetness

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Last week I finished a sweet little lace shawl that I have been dying to show you all, and I decided that today is the day. You might remember a progress shot I shared with you a couple months ago of this shawl in the making, as it was my “airplane knit” that I started while going to Nevada and Arizona for a short vacation earlier this year, in April.

estuaryWhat do you guys think? Isn’t this shawl pure lacy love? This pattern is called Estuary, from tincanknits, and it was knit using Confetti Superwash yarn by DGB. The pattern is entirely charted, very easy to understand and very easy to follow, the only change I made was to work the edge stitches in stockinette st instead of garter st. I simply LOVE the finished project!

The yarn was something I found on sale at a local yarn store about a year ago, it was a yarn I had never heard of or worked with it before but I sort of liked the color, and since it was cheap I decided to try it. Although I didn’t hate this yarn, far from it actually, I don’t think I will use it again once I have used the remaining skein I have. Don’t get me wrong, this yarn was nice to work with, it has a nice soft feel and it definitely blocks very well, but it simply wasn’t a love story between it and me. I guess what it comes down to is that it’s a good yarn, but just not a “wow” yarn to me. Know what I mean?

Anyways, I also got a pretty nice surprise a few weeks ago that I want to share with you – a new yarn store has just recently opened in my area, and I LOVE it! Yay for more yarn! This little store is cute and quaint, it’s friendly and cozy and it’s called Pompon Laine Café – if you’re in the Trois-Rivières area, you should definitely go check it out, it’s located at the intersection of Bonaventure and Saint-Denis. I went  to the store opening a few weeks ago and got a membership card, and -oh, suprise!- I won a basket full of goodies including stitch markers, natural hand cream and (plenty) of yarn. Look at all these beautifuls! Am I not the most lucky knitter ever?

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Sea Breeze released!

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Good morning fellas!

Just a little heads up to let you know that my Sea Breeze sweater pattern has been released yesterday, woohoo! It’s available on Ravelry, go check it out! 🙂 Sea Breeze

A little taste of summer!

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I just got back from a very warm, sunny, crazy week of vacation in Nevada and Arizona with my brother and his girlfriend. It was so much fun, I feel totally recharged! After so much snow, and rain, and cold weather here up north, a little sunshine was definitely more than welcomed. We first visited Las Vegas and the Hoover Dam, then saw the Grand Canyon and Sunset Crater Volcano, we drove through Sedona and the Tonto National Forest, hiked the Hayden Butte, and so much more! I definitely kept myself really busy, but it it was all worth it. All in all, I had an incredible vacation, and I really want to share a little bit of it with you guys, so here’s a few pictures I took – hope you like them!

FotorCreatedCanyon FotorCreatedSedona FotorCreatedSunsetCrater FotorCreatedVegas And of course, since I was going to spend a lot of time on a plane or at the airport on the way there and back, I had to start a little project to keep me busy, right? RIGHT? So I started the Estuary shawl, using some Confetti Superwash yarn from DGB I had in stash. Lucky me, a little bit of knitting here and there during the trip and some knitting time at the airport allowed me to reach the halfway mark in only a week. Yes! It’s a very easy pattern so far, very well explained with easy to follow charts and instructions.

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Wrapping up WIPs

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This month, I decided to tackle a considerable task; which is to gather and sort all my sewing supplies and to organize them in a single, sewing-dedicated room in my apartment. You see, I have been sewing for over 11 years now, and throughout the years I accumulated an impressive amount of fabric, patterns, notions and projects that are now scattered all over my apartment. I’m sure you can appreciate how daunting of a task this can be, but if you can’t really picture it, here’s a few images of the different places I have fabric and supplies stored in.

Fotor0911134919Before you judge me, I have to explain to you why my sewing things are so disorganized. It is not because I’m messy, carefree or negligent; it is simply because in a short period of 7 years between 2004 and 2010, I lived in 7 different apartments in 4 different cities, moving approximately every 10 to 18 months. During that period, most of my possessions were boxed and unpacked, to then be re-boxed, moved, and so forth a hopping number of 7 times, until I finally settled down a little over 2 years ago, coming back to my hometown. In this packing craziness, a lot of my things have been mixed, switched over, separated, reunited, used as packing supplies, etc., some of those things even stayed in boxes for YEARS, because I had no immediate need for them at the moment and I knew that I was going to move again soon anyway. So when I finally moved to my current apartment, you can imagine how much of a nightmare it was to unpack everything. I somewhat managed to concentrate most of my sewing stuff in 2 different rooms, but there is no organization system whatsoever since everything has been in such a hot mess for such a long time (heck I’m not even sure what I have anymore!).

What actually triggered the adventure is that earlier this week I had to put my hands on fusible interfacing to fix the waistband of a pair of pants. Not much of a problem in most cases, but knowing how chaotic my notions are, it definitely was a problem for me. I heaved a long, desperate sigh, and started frantically looking through the countless chaotic fabric & notions containers that I have to find what I needed. I knew I had some, I just couldn’t figure out where; but somehow, no matter how hard I looked for it, I just couldn’t find it. As I finally reached the point of desperation where I was considering just going to the store to buy some more (AGAIN), I stopped myself, looked around and decided it was just time to finally do something about this horrible mess. The very same day, I started going through my bins, boxes and baskets to evaluate the damage, and in the midst of it all I discovered an impressive amount of unfinished projects; including 4 sets of placemats (yes, 4!!), a baby bag, 2 pairs of pants, a cape, a laptop bag, 2 quilts, 2 tote bags, as well as a certain number of miscellaneous clothes that needed to be repaired or altered to my size. And I’m telling you my friends, this is only the tip of the iceberg – because there’s a lot of things in there I’m not even sure anymore what it was supposed to be.

Fotor091185155Because I have limited space in my apartment and because I like things to be neatly organized and easily accessible at all times, I decided that my “Organize-the-Sewing-Room” project just had to start by completing as many of those WIPs I possibly could; that way I’ll free a lot of space to be able to set up a better, more functional system to efficiently sort and store all my supplies. So far, I completed one set of 7 placemats (the beige/orange one on the bottom right corner), fixed 2 pairs of pants that needed to be sized down, bought assorted biais tape for the remaining 3 placemat sets and started looking for missing patterns for the bags (because yes, somehow, some of the patterns got separated from the project – don’t ask me how!). This sewing room adventure is probably going to be a very long and strenuous one, but I’m hoping to finish most of my WIPs by November, to be able to start sorting and organizing fabric and notions in December. I’ll keep you updated on my progress, but let’s hope I can have a functional sewing room by Christmas..!

On a different note, I have also been making progress on my #SSKAL, the body of my Busy Bee sweater is almost done! Yay! 🙂 I cannot wait for it to be done and washed, so I can finally wear it!

Fotor0908134823So that’s it for today folks, wish you all a fun-filled, craft-filled weekend 🙂