Sock it to me…

As an avid knitter I often find it very difficult to refrain from buying more yarn to add to my stash. My biggest weaknesses is sock yarn as it comes in so many fantastic colours! When I first got into knitting, tackling a sock pattern was incredibly daunting to my inexperienced hands and I think this is true for a lot of beginners. Reading through a sock pattern for the first time was like trying to learn a language that I only partially understood. After gaining some experience with scarves, dishcloths, hats and etc, I decided that it was time to finally raid my stash and try my hand at making socks. I looked around for patterns and settled on one from Lion Brand that is a simple Basic sock. So I cast on to my double point needles from knitpicks.com (DPN’S) and got to work. The ribbing and body of the sock was easy enough, but when I got to the heel flap the pattern made no sense to me at all but I figured the pattern has worked out so far so I’ll just follow what it says to do. To my amazement and relief, it all worked perfectly and I absolutely fell in love with knitting socks. I’ve made enough now that I no longer need to use a pattern and have even created my own variations of the basic sock pattern to add more detail. It’s also a great project to throw in your purse/bag to work on when waiting for an appointment, as a stress buster on your lunch break or whenever you have time to spare. I’m often working on a pair for my father in law who loves the bright and somtimes neon coloured socks I make for him. For him, the brighter the better so I’m always on the lookout for flashy yarn. The best advice I can give if you want to learn how to knit socks is start with a good pattern (I highly recommend the pattern linked above for your first try) and trust the instructions no matter how convoluted it seems, I promise it will work out. Below, are some of my current WIP’s and completed project. The colour for the socks is called Sunset Stripes and I added some 4 stitch wide cables which unfortunately aren’t that visible in the picture but when they are finished and blocked I’ll take a better one to show the detail. The reversible llama scarf is a pattern I created and was knit with Knit Picks Stroll Hand Painted yarn in Koi Pond and Patons Kroy in Navy which seems to have been discontinued but can easily be substituted. I will post the charts and pattern when I finish writing it out. Lastly are a few toe rings I created. Until next time Carpe Filum!!

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Rough Times…

My blog has been on the back burner for a little while due to some chronic health issues. Those of you who know me are aware I suffer from Fibromyalgia and Lupus along with a tachycardic arrhythmia (high heart beat), all of which can reek havoc on my day to day life and mobility. Managing my chronic pain has been difficult for the last few months and has left me pretty much bed/couch bound. Paired with insomnia, my life has been on a never ending loop of worsening pain and less sleep, not to mention the other symptoms that come along with my illnesses and my recent tear of my rotator cuff. I try to stay positive and motivated but that can be a difficult thing to do. I am so grateful for my loving, supportive and understanding husband who cheers me on, takes care of me on the days I can’t do it for myself and doesn’t care if I don’t get any housework done. I try to get out at least once a week for a girls night with my bestie Heather, but ultimately I have a lot of down time to fill. This is where my various crafting hobbies help me to pass the day and distract me from my pain. Obviously at the top of my list is knitting but I also dabble in crochet, painting miniatures, colouring, nail art and creating jewelry (especially working with wire lately) to name a few. Like most avid knitters, I have several works in progress (WIP’s) going at one time of varying difficulties to work on depending on my physical and mental limitations of that day. My most recently finished project is this super warm hip length cardigan from Yarnspirations.

This free pattern called Long Weekend Cardigan was knit in Mulberry Bernat Super Value yarn using my Knit Picks Foursquare Interchangeable Circular Needles . I did however make a few alterations to include buttons on the pockets and front band, as well as adjusting the pocket placement (email me for directions). It’s a great pattern, with clear directions and includes a waist length and long version too! This would be an ideal pattern for your first attempt at a sweater but also fun for an advanced knitter. I’m going to leave it here for now but I hope to talk about and share with you my current WIP’s and future projects. 📿Namaste📿

Unfinished Projects

Wow! Almost a year has passed since my last post. I kept telling myself, I’ll do it tomorrow but before you know it tomorrow turns into next week which turns into next month and so on. I plan to post ever week but I’m not making promises. So in the spirit of starting again on my blog, I decided to work on one of my many WIP’s. The lucky project is…

As mentioned in a previous post, this teapot cosy is a mixture of patterns designed by others and by myself. I’ve decided to make some changes to the colour scheme as you will see in more recent photos. The tea cosy pattern is where I started, but I had to adjust it a little to fit my oddly shaped tea pot and added a drawstring around the bottom to keep it snug. For the roses, you can find the pattern here, this is for the daisy and the leaf drawstring was adapted from here. Now for the changes I have made so far.

As you can see, I changed the colour of the popcorn flower attached to the lid. I liked the blue but felt the orange would be better for the over all colour scheme. The other change was the yellow butterfly on the spout. I wasn’t happy with the size and colour so I created by own pattern. I’m so happy with how it turned out and changes could easily made to the colour and wing design.

Currently I am designing some ladybugs to give it more of a garden feel. I’ll also be adding some snails, a few more small flowers and possibly some mushrooms for the sides. It’s been a great distraction lately as winter has come which means more pain then usual for me. My fibromyalgia always flares in the colder weather and I compensate with fuzzy pants, cosy sweaters, my heater, lots of blankets and of course knitting/crochet projects! As always I will update as I go and will post the butterfly pattern I created soon. Stay warm folks as the weather outside is frightful…

Baby it’s cold outside…

Winter is definitely here and it’s shaping up to be another cold white Christmas in the north. Just last week it was -30 C before the wind chill! Needless to say the furnace was working on overtime. A few years ago I created a pattern and knit a draft blocker for the front door, which works alright but now that my abilities have improved I think it’s time to try again. This time it will be bigger to really block that cold air from getting in and I’m adding a great basket weave pattern to dress it up a bit. It’s not much to look at yet and I’m still working on the pattern but I will be posting it when it’s finished so you can make one of your own! It will be the first pattern I’ve ever published and I’m pretty excited. So stay tuned for more. 

On a side note, with Christmas coming I went looking for old family recipes that have become traditions in our house and this year I got an extra knitting related suprised. While looking at an old cookbook my Grand had brought over from Scotland and had used her entire life I found a handwritten pattern for a dish cloth tucked away between the yellowing pages. I miss her terribly and I feel like this was her way of letting me know she still looks in on me now and again. She had tried to teach me to knit as a child and I wish I had paid more attention, but I think she would be proud of me for picking up the hobby and how far I’ve progressed. So I pose a question to you, if you are a knitter/crocheter who taught or inspired you to love yarn crafting?

Keeping it Cosy

Here I am sitting in the waiting area of a garage waiting for my truck to get an oil change, still working away on the last owl hat for a paying customer. I’ve still got to finish the set I’m working on for my daughter but when it’s more for fun knitting I tend to rotate projects as I get bored/frustrated with one and need to take a break from it. Here is what I’ve been working on now and again.

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I am a huge tea lover and always have a pot going. I should show you the cupboard full of all my selections I have! In oder to keep my little pot warm I found a great knitting pattern for the cover and found a bunch of other patterns for knit leaves and crochet flowers. More on this to come!

Déja Vu…

Once again sleep eludes me but gives me extra knitting time (although I’d prefer the sleep) to finish off my orders for the owl hats. With an upcoming treatment change, here’s hoping that sleepless nights due to pain will be a thing of the past. Chronic pain is a beast to live with and I don’t wish it on anyone. I started knitting as a distraction from a difficult divorce but continued because of its relaxing benefits. Something about the rhythmic clicking of the needles is just so soothing even on the really painful days. Enough about me, on to the knitting. I finished knitting the white owl hat earlier in the week and added the button eyes to complete it. 

With that finished, on to the next one. This client chose a royal blue for her hat. The yarn I used for both is Brava Worsted by Knit Picks. The first colour was called White and the one below is called Celestrial. I’m knitting on Knit Picks Caspian 5.0mm DPN’s. As you might have already guessed, I LOVE Knit Picks products. No I don’t get commission for pushing their products, I’m just a huge fan. I have never been dissatisfied with any of the products, the prices are great and they have tons of great free and paid patterns. I’m concurrently working on a great poncho kit from Knit Picks, but that’s for another time. Paid work always comes first. To be honest I have a few projects on the go but what serious knitter doesn’t? So here’s a look at the beginning of the second hat. Until next time, keep calm and knit on!

Night Owl…

Another night spent awake in pain. Thankfully my hands are OK so I’m working on one of my orders for an owl themed hat. I made one for a friend and now I have orders for two more! I don’t  do a lot of commission work but I enjoy knitting so much and who doesn’t want to be paid for doing something they love? I used to create and sell jewelry (which I still do on occasion) but since discovering knitting it has been a less frequent activity. So here I am on the couch, watching Netflix knitting away while drinking a delicious new holiday tea I dicovered. Seems fitting for a cold snowy December night. All is quiet and peaceful save for my dog, Gizmo, snoring away. She’s my constant companion during the day and on sleepless nights like tonight. Well this hat isn’t going to knit itself…

A few more hours of work and the owl motif is now visible. For anyone interested you can find the pattern here. It’s a well written pattern that also has a crochet version. For the true owl lovers there are also patterns for fingerless mittens and a scarf.