Adventuring 2.0

I thought I was going adventuring a few weeks ago… That day has nothing on today.

After my midterm (which went very well, thanks for asking. I know the dairy cow life cycle inside and out), I hopped on a downtown bus and crossed something off the 101 Things list that I’ve been wanting to do for a while. I visited my local yarn store.

To say I was overwhelmed and delighted is an understatement. I have never seen so much high quality yarn in my life! Unfortunately, most of it cost more than my weekly grocery budget, but it was amazing.

I’ve never seen alpaca before, and I can’t believe what I was missing out on all these years! I wanted to go and buy all of it… The only problem I have with it (other than expense of course) is that it isn’t washable. What I would give for washable alpaca. Probably my first born child.

The lady working was wonderfully helpful and nice. She said that lots of young people come to their knit nights. My roommate crochets, so she said she would love to come with me sometime. I’m feeling a new ritual coming on…

I showed the lady the pattern I wanted to knit in order to feed my mitten obsession… She blanched and said “Wow, you’re brave”. That doesn’t sound too promising for my first go round with the stranded mitten patterns, but we’ll see how it goes.

Yes, that means I caved, and got mitten yarn. My hands have been cold all week, and it’s not cold enough yet to dig out my real mittens.

The yarn is Naturally Baby Haven, made in New Zealand. It’s 100% superwash merino. I’ve got colours #314 and #315. The pattern I’m planning on making is Chrysanthemum. That’s the plan anyway… We’ll see how long it takes me to get frustrated with all of the colourwork.

Yarn and pumpkins!

I also got some cute yarn ball stitch markers. I’m going to do a row of the sweater just so I can use them!

After my trip to the yarn store, I hopped on a bus and headed to the mall. I really needed a new travel mug, since mine was getting worn out. I picked one up from my favourite tea store – David’s Tea. They sell the greatest loose leaf teas, and that’s where my old travel mug came from. I invested in a sleek glass traveller… Great for someone who loves tea as much as I do! I also couldn’t resist buying their newest kind of tea, called “Stormy Night”, which includes vanilla, chocolate, coconut, and cinnamon. It sounds delicious and I can’t wait to try it!

My haul from David’s Tea!

It was quite the adventure. I’m going home tomorrow, and as usual, my biggest conundrum is what knitting to bring! Will it be the mittens, which require gauge and focus; the socks, which are great mindless knitting; or the big sweater, which hasn’t been getting any love lately?

Only time will tell. Either way, I’ll be going home with tea and yarn… Some of my favourite things.

Finally some Fall!

It’s finally fall! I’ve got a big photo post coming up tomorrow, with lots of photos of the knitting. As I mentioned, the Hat-Heel Socks are officially finished, and now I’m working away on the Fuzzballs… I’ve actually already finished the first sock, in three days! I can stroke another thing off of the 101 things list (finish a sock in a week). I realized that I could have called them confetti for all of the different colours.

Today was a chilly but sunny day; typical fall. I came home from school and made applesauce and brownies. Last night I made chicken curry; I’ve become such a cook! It’s strange but also gratifying to cook for myself. I like the independence, and knowing that I can completely take care of myself.

My school work seems to be much less than last year… So far anyway. I’ve had lots of downtime to work on the knitting, and I’ve already been scoping out projects for my next pair of Christmas socks. The Christmas knitting is going to be done before I know it! I opened the yarn box for the first time last night since moving back to school, and it was exciting to rediscover what yarn I brought with me.

I know that its seems as if I’ve totally forgotten about the sweater. Don’t worry, I’m still committed to it fully, I just haven’t been working on it lately. I like to finish the instant gratification socks first. Soon I’ll be working on the sweater once again. The back is already at 6 inches or more, meaning I have around 11 to go.

I can’t believe that it’s already September 24. Soon the snow will be flying (funny, I had a dream about a blizzard last night) and the horses will have their furry winter coats on. I’ll have even more of a reason to be cozying up in handknits!

 

Splurge

You would think, on a student budget, I would have learned by now how to control my debit card. Apparently not.

Yesterday, I visited the yarn store. They have moved to a new location, and I haven’t really talked to the owners much before. They turned out to be really nice and extra helpful. I explained that I wanted to knit a sweater, but I didn’t have the pattern with me. Sure enough, the owner pulled it up online, then ran around the store and pulled every blue or purple yarn that she had in stock. Eventually, I picked a nice blue one, and she got me 15 skeins of it. FIFTEEN SKEINS.

I have never bought that much yarn in my life. I actually left the store with 17 skeins, because I bought two skeins for scarves. She gave me a good deal, thank god, but I still can’t believe that it happened. She also said I could come back anytime for help if I needed it. This is why I love small towns, independent small businesses, and knitters. They make the yarn shopping experience so much better.

Since you’re wondering, the pattern I’m going to be knitting is Victoria. It seems like a pretty good first sweater project.

Here’s the yarn… It’s called Click, and the colour doesn’t have a name.

A better shot of the colour.

I’m excited to start knitting it… I need to do a little measuring and some gauge, and I should be good.

I also got some cool scarf yarn. I only photographed one of the skeins (the other is pink, for my best friend for Christmas), but this is seriously the coolest stuff ever.

The scarf

This is the yarn for the scarf, when you unfold it. It’s tricky to knit, but really cool! The brand is just the house brand for the store, so you can’t get this exact stuff anywhere else.

A closeup of the scarf

I love it.

Oh yeah… All of the other WIPs I currently have on the needles.

I’m a knitting machine lately.

#54

Today’s post is about #54. On my list of 101 things, #54 reads: Knit a really scary pattern.

This is what I’m working on right now. I started the Hat Heel Socks on Saturday afternoon. It’s the strangest construction of a sock that you’ve ever seen… You knit a little hat for the heel, then two gussets (like ear flaps for the hat) then the foot, then the cuff. Go look. You’ll be shocked.

Anyway. I had to learn how to do the magic toe up cast on for these socks. I did it! I was so excited. I did the heel “hat” and the two gussets by Sunday night. I then proceeded to try it on, and…. It was too small. I was so upset. So, I ripped it out and started over, this time a size up.

These socks are going to be a gift for someone, so I want them to look perfect. I feel as if I will be ripping them out again. Regardless, I haven’t made much progress with this new size yet. You’ll see:

Some blurry progress of #54, knit a scary pattern.

It’s just a tiny little nub, so far.

The blurry Nub that is the Hat-Heel Socks.

My camera didn’t focus in for this picture very well, but you can see that the socks are just a nub so far. After more Olympic viewing this evening, they will be much larger!

That wasn’t all that happened this weekend. I’ll show you what happens when you have two days off and non-stop Olympics.

This is what my coffee table looks like after a weekend with two days off and non-stop Olympics.

It isn’t a pretty sight, but it means that knitting was accomplished. Even needle rolls have moved on from the planning stage… I now have fabric!

Those pink blobs that you see there? Those are what I have dubbed “The Fuzzballs”. Remember those tube socks I was going to make for my sister, out of that crazy soft yarn? Well, I’ve started. Just a little ribbed cuff at the top and then straight stockinette from there on out. They are quick and easy, if I can just get over the bits of fuzz that end up everywhere.

A closeup of the Fuzzballs.

These are going to be super quick, but I’m glad I decided to go for tube socks. I don’t think I would even be capable of seeing the stitches to pick up.

The Fuzzballs.

They’re also a little strange… The fuzz tends to come out more on the purl sides. So the ribbing is just a mess of fuzz, but then the inside is fuzzier than the outside when you get to the stockinette part. I guess this is a good thing… It means the warmer, fuzzier side is the inside.

I also spent a little quality time with the weaving in box. The products? Hat: finished. Sampler Texture Socks: Finished. My sister’s socks from the beginning of the year: not quite finished.

This is what happens when you spend some time with the weaving-in basket.

There they are! I just have a wee bit more to do with my sister’s socks… I think there’s literally 3 more ends to weave in and then the box will be empty! For the time being, anyway.

I also realized that I have yet to show you the hat, officially finished.

The hat!

Don’t you just love when I’ve had the day off? I come back with photos!

Gosh, that photo of the hat turned out really well. It’s a little small, so I’ve decided that it will be for my sister. She’s going to have a pile of knitting for Christmas this year!

PS. 101 things list: I’m up to 17/101, with many in progress!

Less

Today I’m “less” everything. Book-less, lunch-less, knitting-less. I’m at work, and I’m focus-less.

The knitting-less thing is really starting to get to me. I have tomorrow off (finally) so I’m planning to make a dent in the weaving-in-ends pile. It’s getting a little excessive. I’m also hoping to get something on the needles as soon as possible. I’m definitely going to cast on for a couple of things; I need some vanilla-zone-out-and-nod-off-knitting as well as something a little more convoluted. I can’t wait to sit by the Olympics and knit again tonight.

Is it sad that I can’t wait to sit and watch Olympics and knit? I’m a teenager; I should be partying and having a great social life! That’s what school is for, I guess.

I’m also hoping to get some photos up tomorrow of the finished hat (once the ends are woven in of course) and my current Christmas knitting pile. I know it’s way too early for the C-word, but I need to get some focus if I’m going to seriously do some Christmas knits this year. I’m actually getting excited for the December grind, when I’m working on 5 different projects at once, and all I do is knit in every spare moment.

I’m so looking forward to some time off this weekend. I’ve been busy these past couple of weeks; when I’m not working, I’m doing something. It’ll be nice to have a little time to re-energize before my last 4 days of work then vacation! I’m learning that I really do need time to myself to just relax. It makes me happier and I’m more productive.

In Canada, this is a long weekend. I have plans on Monday, but that means I actually get two days off in a row! And tomorrow, Olympic Show Jumping is on, early in the morning. I’m feeling some breakfast-in-pajamas-knitting-early time coming on! I used to do that a lot during the winter Olympics in Torino in 2006. It seemed like every day was a snow day too, so we were home from school a lot.

Gosh, all this talk of Christmas and winter… Looks like I’m ready for fall!

Long, long ago

Long, long ago, in a land far, far away, lived a girl who didn’t have anything on her knitting needles for 4 months.

Four whole months was a long time for this girl not to knit anything. She struggled to find something else to do with her hands when she was bored.

Why go four months without doing something she loved, you ask? Because this girl was entering her first year of University. She wasn’t sure what she would have time for, and who she would meet. She wanted to make a good impression, and she didn’t want to cart extra stuff to school that she didn’t really need.

When the girl came home from school for Christmas break, she immediately picked up the needles again. She began knitting socks, and she decided right then and there that she would be bringing her needles and string back to school with her in January.

And she did just that. Her knitting became her study break. She would do a row, then study some more. It also let her relax. She hated to watch television or movies without something to knit in her hands. During second semester, she could relax properly with her knitting.

Then, when she moved home from school for the summer, she was reunited with all of her stash. The girl went crazy! She started knitting things left, right, and centre. She loved it. Then, however, the weather turned hot. She began to turn to the other things she had been deprived of while at school, like reading and riding her horses.

Her knitting began to fall by the wayside. She tried to maintain it a little bit; she had a knitting blog to write, after all. Still though, her productivity decreased markedly.

Suddenly, it dawned on the knitter that Christmas was approaching! They had entered the second half of the year! She was inspired yet again, visiting yarn stores and printing patterns. She was knitting again!

Then, after finishing multiple projects that she had on the go, the knitter bound off her final project and breathed a sigh of relief. She was caught up!

She didn’t knit anything for three days. She thought about patterns. She looked at her stash. She just couldn’t decide what to knit next. All of her yarns looked so enticing, but she couldn’t decide which one was perfect. It would take a little more thinking and a little more watching of the Olympics, then the knitter would be craving the feel of yarn in her hands. She would start something soon… She was sure of it.

And a gold medal goes to…

Me! Your gold medal winner of Olympic-hat-knitting. I’m finished! I don’t have any photos, since it still needs the ends weaving in, but this officially means I have nothing on the needles! I know, it’s pretty shocking.

I’m not sure what I’m going to start next, but I actually have two days off this weekend, so I’ll finally have a little time to relax. I’ve been feeling a little overwhelmed this past little while, since I feel as if I haven’t had a moment to myself to just relax. I ride my horse every morning, so that should be enough, but I’m finding that it’s really not. I need some time to sit back and just think, without having the pressures of work or socializing.

Speaking of, my family holiday is coming up soon! We go to Florida every year in August with all of my cousins, and it’s a great way to just all be together. We don’t do anything, except relax. There’s a gorgeous beach and a gorgeous pool on our doorstep, and we go out for dinner every night so that we don’t have to cook.

I’m really looking forward to it. This year I’ll have no electronics. My phone stays at home, and my iPod is for the plane only. I’ll probably turn it off after we arrive. ┬áCome to think of it, I might not even bring it.

I’m excited for the break. It means no knitting (because who brings knitting to a beach?) but it does mean some much needed refreshment time. I’ll come back with lots to blog about and all of the thoughts in my head going straight.

It’s fairly distracting to have a vacation coming up. I can’t really focus on anything and I’m completely at loose ends. I don’t want to start anything, since I’m going to be away for a week, and I want to finish everything up as quickly as possible. I think I’ve got cabin fever!

Anyway, back to the knitting. I’ve got numerous patterns picked out, and lots of yarn in the stash, but nothing is really calling my name at the moment. This seems to be a common theme this summer. I’m thinking a quick baby hat, since I have a pattern in my head that I want to write down, and maybe start on some of the socks for my family. I also need to sit down and have an end-weaving-in-session.

See? I told you I’m at loose ends. I can’t even write a decent post without going all over the place. You’re going to have to bear with me for another week, then I’ll get my brain together, I promise.