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Auld Lang Zyne January 12, 2014

Posted by haelybop in Fair Isle, Hats, Leah, Mittens, Queued Up, Socks.
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Happy 2014, one and all. Is it just me who’s completely stumped at how we are almost mid decade here?

What happened to me and my knitting last year? I got stuck in a sock rut. It started with Christmas presents for 2012. I decided to knit all my male relatives a pair of socks. That was 3 pairs all in a row. I finished the first pair in April or something. The second pair in October and the third in December of 2013. Why, when I can usually punch out a knitted object in pretty speedy time, did these socks take me so long? Well let me tell you. When I’m not knitting both socks at the same time, I really simply can’t stand sock knitting. The leg and foot part are just agonizingly slow for me. The heel and toe are really enjoyable but I usually zip through that quickly because I enjoy it. But when I finally cast off the toe of a sock, I realize I have to knit another one. I realize that I’m only half way there. And with the daunting task of knitting 3 pairs (6 socks) in a row, it made me crazy.

The end result of all 3 pairs were well received. This is the peril of knitting socks- they are so, so, SO comfortable. They make amazing gifts and I used a baby alpaca wool blend for all 3 pairs. And now I’ve gone and queued up another pair, for myself, this one with gorgeous fair isle pattern in it. Hoping this pair will be more fun for me to knit because the fair isle will make it more interesting!

I’ve been true to my word on my last post. This Fall, I’ve knit gloves, a hat, and an ear warmer, all for myself! They’ve turned out great, have a look:

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Happy knitting in 2014.

Fall Days = A Knitter’s Delight October 19, 2013

Posted by haelybop in Uncategorized.
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There isn’t a more perfect season for a knitter than Fall.  Who agrees with me?  The air turning crisp and cool making us reach for that sweater, jacket or my favourite- scarf.

I’ve been caught in a terrible rut.  The “Sock Rut from Hell” if you will.  The last year saw me knitting nothing but socks.  I know I should knit them 2 at a time but my needles were limited and I didn’t have two of the same mm and length. I’m just about to finally finish my last pair for my boyfriend that I promised him years and yeas ago, and then…. then I will knit to my hearts desire.  Next on the queue is a beautiful hat designed by my friend Rox in Vancouver. Then I’d like to knit myself a pair of gloves. Then it will be sweater time.

I get so easily caught up in knitting Christmas presents and that’s whats happened the last three years.  I actually can’t remember the last time I knit something for myself.  So this knitting season,  I’ll be starting off and perhaps ending it knitting items that are for me.  Can’t wait!

Happy Autumn!

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Happy 2013 Knitting World! January 3, 2013

Posted by haelybop in Fair Isle, Hats, Leah.
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Here we are in 2013 already.  For some reason, ringing in 2013 really made me stop and think.  2013!!!  I mean, where did the 90’s and 2000’s really go?  How is it possible it’s been 12 years since I was in College?  If anyone knows the answer, please let me know!

2012 was an amazing year for me personally.  I enjoyed many an amazing dinner and gathering with friends and family, met some new adorable and beautiful additions to the world, celebrated weddings, took an amazing vacation to California, started an intense and thrilling CrossFit regime here brought in a new pet to our home named Sasha the cat and really the list goes on.

Knit wise, I’m stuck again in the Christmas present vortex.  I still have two and a half pairs of socks left to knit!  Talk about missing the deadline.  I had all the female’s knitted item’s completed.  I knit what I consider to be the nicest, most beautiful hat I’ve ever done called Selbu Modern Hat which is for J’s sister and it looks so nice on her.  Once presents are complete, I actually had this horrible realization earlier that I don’t own my own knit hat for myself!  So that’s definitely in my queue along with another pair of gloves since I can’t seem to find the red pair I knit a couple of years ago.

For Christmas this year, I made and painted these cute and easy cement leaf garden stones:

leaves

I really love how they turned out.  And they took an afternoon last summer with the help from a neighbour.

Another present I knit was a braided head band for my sister:

ear warmer

This weekend we’re off with friends to Ellicottville for Skiing snowboarding.

Welcome Winter 2013!  Sasha the cat would like to put two paws up to celebrate.

sasha

Autumn Colours October 23, 2012

Posted by haelybop in Cheryl, Emily, Finished Projects, Leah, Scarves.
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Leah Says:

Happy halloween!  Summer came and went like it usually does; in a blur!  But we have had a lot of fun stuff happen to us this summer and fall- weddings and babies is all I’m going to say!  And with the cooler days, comes that friendly old feeling.  You know the one.  The yearning to hold needles and lovely soft yarn in front of the tv, playing a good movie, while sipping tea… THAT friendly old feeling. I succumb to it every year around now.
What have I been up to lately?  Loads and loads!  I’ve been a bit nutty at a crazy busy office, so only recently I was able to get my knitting christmas present list down and sorted out.  Plus, Justin’s sister gave me her stash!  You heard me.  Her beautiful gorgeous stash is sitting, tauntingly in my spare room.  I’ve already knit a lovely scarf with some of it so far:

 

This is of course a Christmas present for someone special! The yarn was Baby Alpaca, bulky, so soft and glorious.  I really do enjoy knitting with bulky yarn.

Cheryl also gave me some skeins of her yarn she had lying around, and I popped out one of these cuties:

I think this one takes the cake for cutest item I’ve ever done.  I’ve been meaning to make brothers and sisters for our lonely pumpkin, but alas haven’t had any time.

Happy thanksgiving and happy Halloween!

April Snow Does Not Bring May Flowers, Mother Nature April 23, 2012

Posted by haelybop in Baby, Finished Projects, Leah.
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Leah says:

 

We have 2 cm of snow in our forecast, and we are the lucky one’s!  Further north is expecting 25 cm.  You know, it’s not that I don’t like snow, I love it.  I love winter, Justin and I have snowshoes and skis and snowboards and we are always eager to put them to good use!  I just like snow in Winter.  Not in April.  Not at the END of April.  After a snow-less winter.  This just isn’t right. *End rant

What is right, is the hat and mitten set I finished knitting for my friend’s new baby girl, I was so convinced would be a boy.  Shows what I know.  Ta da:

 

I loved how the yarn knitted up in the mittens.  This will be sent shortly to my friend and her growing family.

Cast on are two new projects.  One is a baby hat for another dear friend who is expecting a boy at the end of April (any day now!) and… my very first sweater.  I’m almost finished the back but I may need to rip it out because I cast on medium and it is looking REALLY small. I checked my gauge, but I’ll knit the back and see how it measures up.  The pattern is from Vogue Knitting Fall 2011 and is really easy.  It’s funny, I always thought knitting sweaters was a whole other ball park that I was just not ready for…. but it’s pretty easy!  I know the tricky part for me will be fitting it all together, since my tension tends to change slightly when I work on a garment.

For all you Southern Ontarian’s: Bundle up! It’s looking chilly out there.

 

Happy April! April 4, 2012

Posted by haelybop in Baby, Blankets & Afghans, Finished Projects, Hats, Leah, Random.
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Leah says:

We have entered what I hope to be Spring without any snow and with refreshingly coolish temperatures ahead.  Welcome Spring!  Though we in the GTA can’t really complain at all about the winter we had, it was the mildest in years and literally snow-less, I am happy to see that Spring is now official.  I’m also happy to see my tulips and lilies coming up in the front garden bed.  I’m so eager to get outside and continue to create curb appeal to our home.  It really needs it and while the work seems endless, I’m really  enjoying it thus far.

Now on to the knitting side of things.  There’s good news and bad news.  The good news is, guess what?  I finished the afghan!  Woot Woot!

 

And here on it’s new home:

I do apologize for the quality of these photos, they’re taken with my iPhone and the lighting is always wonky.

I’m thrilled with it.  It was such an easy knit (basket weave stitch) and was great to watch movies (after movies, after movies, after tv shows) with it on my lap.  And its WARM.  It ended up taking 13 skeins of Patons Tweed Wool in chestnut and I’m really happy with the colour and how it blocked.  At long last, what has taken about a year from the time I purchased the wool to completion, we have an afghan.

And now for the bad news.  I knit the cutest hat for my friend’s new baby but didn’t swatch it and it’s gigantic.   What do you think?

 

Good Luck Bear is trying it on for size and it’s way too big for him.  I love the pattern and how it turned out, but sheesh!  I just don’t know what to do with it.  I wanted the snowflake pattern because the little one was born in February, but maybe I can give it to her next Christmas for next winter.  Right now I’m knitting baby mitts and another hat for her.

I’ll leave you with this next picture, we’ve had a very warm spell in March and during one of those gorgeously warm days, Justin and I went on a hike in Dundas, at Spencer Creek Park.  This is of Websters Falls:

Love that he even caught the rainbow the mist caused at the base of the falls.

Here’s to many more warm Spring days ahead!

The Neverending Afghan March 2, 2012

Posted by haelybop in Baby, Blankets & Afghans, Emily, Leah, Random.
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Leah Says:

I just can’t finish this Afghan.  It’s been a month and a half and I just ran out of yarn last night.  Will need 2 more skeins which will take the number of skeins up to 12!  Plus, my friend had a healthy baby girl (I was SO wrong, I was sure it would be a boy!)  and I haven’t even started her gift yet.  Good thing baby’s are small so I won’t be spending a truck load of time knitting my little presents.   Can’t wait to meet the newest addition to her gorgeous family, either.

Other things I have been up to since my last post, are:

1. Last weekend we took Friday and Monday off and travelled to Huntsville to visit some good friends of ours and partake in some winter activites.  We snowshoed in Arrowhead Provincial Park:

We skied /snowboarded at Hidden Valley Ski Hill.  Can I just say since the area had close to a foot of snow dumped on them on Friday, we had simply the best ski conditions we’ve had all season?

It truly was a winter wonderland all weekend long. Sad that we had to drive 4 hours north to get some decent winter conditions, but there you have it.

2. I’ve been training for a 5 km race coming up this Sunday!  My sister and I are competing in it, and no, I do not plan on running with her, running in front of her, since I plan on beating her!  We are a little competitive and share a friendly rivalry when it comes to sports.  She usually has me eating dust when we cycle together. Anyone out there have any tips for a 5 km run?

3.  I did not successfully complete my detox.  I had a terrible bout with food poisoning and was down for the count for close to a week, which caused me to have this horrible relationship with food, especially fish, that’s still slightly in place.  So that alone killed the detox.  I’m eating clean now, mind you.

4. I’d like to give a shout out to fellow Cool Girl Emily- she is celebrating 5 years with her lovely husband tomorrow!  Woot woot!

5. TGIF, baby!

It’s Stich n Bitchin Time! February 10, 2012

Posted by haelybop in Blankets & Afghans, Leah.
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Tonight I’ll be hosting a yarn, wine and pizza filled Friday evening with my dear knitting friends.  Due to the fact that we have been moving around the GTA a bit, these Stitch n Bitch sessions have been fewer and far between, however it almost makes them more special when we do get to do our stitch fest.

On my needles, I have this:

afghan from Knit Simple Winter 2008 issue.  I’m about half way through and it’s looking really nice.  It’s been a great knit because it’s easy and it’s doing a great job of keeping me warm as I watch Boardwalk Empire and Luther.  I’m using Paton’s Classic Wool Tweeds in Chestnut.

I’m also 1/4 of the way through a month long ‘clean eating’ detox.  I have cut out wheat, dairy, coffee and processed sugar.  What’s amazing about this diet (which I have done last year as well) is that I notice significant changes with the way I feel throughout the day, my sleeping habits and even my mood.  And let me tell you, there are some really kick ass gluten free recipes out there, for pretty much anything you crave like cupcakes, muffins, etc.  One great website I’ve gotten lots of recipe’s from is http://glutenfreegoddess.blogspot.com/.  A little planning ahead with my meals has proven really helpful and makes things easy when I know I’ll be out for most of the day. Valentine’s is coming up, so I’ll allow myself to cheat a little as we’re going to a wonderful restaurant that night.

Tonight, I won’t be breaking any rules- we are having personal pizza’s (mine with spelt pizza dough and goat’s milk feta and mozzarella) as well as a black bean dip with brown rice chips and crackers and some good old dark chocolate for dessert. Can’t wait!

TGIF!

The Queue and Thrumming January 24, 2012

Posted by haelybop in Baby, Leah, Mittens, Queued Up.
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I’m a little slow on the uptake here, but who has heard of thrumming?  Does it really make your mittens a lot warmer?  And just how hard, exactly, is it? Do you end up with a whole bunch of the unspun yarn in the mitten? Do you need to sew in a lining to the underside of the mitten? Discuss.

After a brief ravelry pattern search for mittens, I came across these adorable thrummed mittens and they are really intriguing.  Not sure where in my long queue  I can fit them in but I do believe they should go on the ‘must knit’ list.

Speaking of my queue, it’s baby all the way.  Cast on is an afghan for my home now, but once that’s done I’ll be knitting for the soon to be born little one’s.  Without giving too much away, I’m attempting my 1st fair isle pattern for one friend who is due in February, a heavily cabled garment for another friend due in April and then a little something is in the works for another close friend and fellow knitter, who is expecting in May. Other than that, I have no baby items to knit.🙂

Until next time, keep knitting and have fun!

p.s. Did any Canadian get that reference to those old “Body Break with Hal Johnson and Johanne McLeod” commercials on local channel stations?

And a Prodigal Son Returns… January 18, 2012

Posted by haelybop in Baby, Blankets & Afghans, Leah, Queued Up, Scarves.
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Dear WordPress: I’m sorry I left you!  I’m sorry I started my own blog but grew tiresome and antsy and eventually unsatisfied with it.  Now I’d like to beg forgiveness and ask that you accept me back to us Cool Girls, who still love to knit.

Now enough grovelling.  What have I been up to?  (Knitting-wise, of course)  Here’s some random pictures from my recent FO’s:

A knitted layette for my dear friend who gave birth to a beautiful girl last May.

A lacy cowl for said friend as her Christmas present.

A “Lily of the Valley’ stitch scarf:

And with this same Sirdhar’s Mohair “Blush” yarn, a ruffle scarf:

That one’s not the best picture.  Sorry about that!

I got into this “knitting my stash” funk, and it’s something that I think every knitter goes through.  When you want to desperately to go and buy this gorgeous yarn for this gorgeous pattern, but just can’t reconcile the cost when you have a large drawer full (most of you have a lot better stash than me, I imagine) of stash that’s beckoning you to knit it.  Most of these projects were knit with my stash and while the drawer still seems full, so does my bank account.  Next up, I’ll be knitting another baby gift for another dear friend who is expecting her 2nd.  My first sweater is also in my queue, and I’ll get that cast on in the next few weeks.

Until next time, happy knitting one and all!

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