Monday, October 31, 2005

Friday, October 28, 2005

Socktoberfest socks

They're done! And I didn't even need an extention which really is exceptional for me. I just couldn't wait to wear them both! I always wear the first completed sock while working on the's my motivational sock. Well with the time it took me to complete the second, my motivational sock is noticeably larger and fuzzier than the other. I hope they even out with wash and wear. Nonetheless, I love these socks! They are very yummy. And bonus : I have just the shoes to showcase them. These socks were meant to be.

Thank-you Lolly for organising Socktoberfest. It was great fun to see everyone's socks. I think next year I'll try something lacy and kick it up a notch.

So what's next? My very first adult sweater. It is pattern six from Lopi twenty-four. I ordered it as a kit from Camilla Valley Farms and received it on Wednesday. It is also my first stranded work and I hope I didn't bite off more than I can chew. I've got about 10 cm of the body done, I need 38cm to get to the armpit. Then the sleeves. Then the sleeves and body are worked together for the yoke. I really hope I can handle the stranding because I'll have a lot of knitting time invested before I even get there. This is actually Lopi Lite so it's not as quick a knit as I had hoped though the 18st gauge to 10cm isn't that bad.

Follow-up on Julian's squeak: it's gone and the pediatrician doesn't feel it necessary to proceed with any further testing or follow-up. Yay!


Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Theodore's sweater

Baby Theodore is still comfy in his mommy's tummy, but could make his entrance any day. His parents and big brother dropped by on the weekend to lend Julian their Jolly Jumper and boy does Julian love it. He wasn't quite sure what to do at first but once he got the hang of it, he put on a baby version of River Dance. It's a riot!

I cast on for Theodore's sweater after their visit on Saturday and finished it this evening. I used the same seamless yoked cardigan pattern as for Julian's baptism sweater though this one is knit in the smallest size. I just love this pattern.

Now that it's done...on to the second Socktoberfest sock. I've got most of the cuff done and should have some good knitting time tomorrow while waitting at the pediatrician's office. Julian started to squeak when he was about 5 weeks old. It was occasional (and cute) at first and then constant (and worrisome) by around 8 weeks. He was diagnosed with laryngomalacia which sounds scary but is actually nothing more than a soft larynx (voice box) and is usually outgrown by age 2. Well, Julian is 4 months old today and I am happy to report that the squeak is gone. Hopefully he'll get the all clear tomorrow and this will already be behind us.


Friday, October 21, 2005

Neapolitan ice cream socks

One Soctoberfest sock down. One to go. It's a good thing we don't have ice cream in the house because if there were I'd surely be sporting it on my hips!

Don't these look exactly like neapolitain ice cream? They're knit from Confetti Superwash and while I love the colour, the dye is inconsistent with lots of bare spots where the colours meet. Very annoying. Nevertheless, I love my ice cream sock and can't wait to have a finished pair.

I'm looking for a simple pattern for a knitted baby hat with earflaps. I love this beautiful one knit by Julie, but don't want to buy a whole book just for this pattern. I've been looking for a free pattern online and haven't had any luck yet. Maybe I'll try to figure it out on my own (very scary thought...when it comes to knitting, I need direction). We'll see...

Now for the true highlight of my day...
I mentionned in an earlier post that my little Jules won't take naps during the day and is especially fussy this week with the teething and all. Michelle left a comment about how her baby swing had worked wonders for her so I thought it may be worth a shot seeing as nothing else we tried seemed to help.

I did some research at epinions, picked one out, and had my husband buy it on his way home from work. We chose the Fisher Price Nature's Touch Baby Papasan Cradle Swing. As a cradle swing, it can rock side-to-side or front-to-back which I thought was a nice feature. Another nice feature... it matches our living room!

Julian went from fussy to sleepy in under 7 minutes. Love it!!!

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Mommy mittens and money laundering

Knitting seems to have taken over my life. I get so obsessed with finishing a project that I go to bed at the wee hours of the night (morning), the laundry is piling up, we're having McDonald's for dinner and the house...well it's needing some attention. So this morning I thought that I should pull myself together and set aside one day a week to attend to household chores. Dare I say it...a NON KNITTING day.

Well I made it to 1pm. That was a dumb idea anyway. Plus McDonald's has it's Monopoly contest going and we're only missing like 30 pieces to win!

So I finished my Fleece Artist mittens, but not before I laundered and machine dried a 10 dollar bill left in my husband's pants! It came out looking like one of those "new" bills you get from the bank machine: crispy clean. There's nothing to this money laundering thing. Really the perma press wash cycle and the fluff dryer setting work wonders. The bill is also spring-time fresh! So if you've got dirty money... LOL!

Kidding aside let me get to the fleece artist. It is soooo yummy. I bought this kit from Ram Wools a few weeks ago. The wool and mohair knit up together beautifully and on size 7 needles it is a super quick (and marvelously satisfying) knit. This wool is so great. My husband loves these mitts. Good thing the colour is girly or else my mommy mittens would be at risk of a mittnapping!

On the baby front, we finally figured out why Jules hasn't been himself this past week. All this crying and fussiness just isn't like him. He's just a week shy of being 4 months old and my husband and I think he's teething. He got red cheeks yesterday and I thought he had a fever but he didn't. I looked up the signs of teething in one of our baby books and he has ALL the signs: drooling, biting down (lots of nursing ouchies these past couple of days ), red patches on the cheeks, runny nose, fussiness, refusing to nurse. Of course it didn't say how long this would last. Though he's got to grow what? like 24 teeth? Is this going to be our life now?

More about my Socktoberfest sock tomorrow. I'm almost finished the first.


Sunday, October 16, 2005

I heart stashbusters

I knit a little red hat to match Friday's mittens. A small step for a normal knitter, but a giant leap for me. Hats and I have a bumpy past. They say insanity is trying the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. That's me when it some to knitting hats (in the round anyway).

Hats knit by moi always end up looking like they're made to keep Andre the Giant's head warm (or worse). My first attempt at making one actually turned into a sweater for a gradeschooler!!! Well I never finished it but it could have been a sweater for a gradeschooler... They always look so small in the first couple of rows, I get nervous that it won't fit and start over with a bunch of extra stitches. You think I would learn from this mistake and know better for my next attempt. But no, I repeat this everytime I attempt a hat.

So I was doubtful when I started to work on this hat but I really wanted to get rid of that half ball of cheap red yarn. I had 69 yards left (I measured) and the pattern only required 60. Perfect! But could I do it? Well I frogged it about 4 times, used tiny needles for the rib to try to cinch it some and the fit ended up being just right. Hat success! What a great stashbustin' project. And the red yarn is all gone. Now there's the green ball, the blue, the yellow...

In baby news...
It occurred to my husband and I this weekend that we have now officially entered a whole new life stage. Grandma offered to sit Julian for a few hours on Saturday afternoon and we weren't about to turn that down. So we dropped him off, got in the car (I got to sit in the front seat, whoohooo!) and then since we couldn't think of anything else to do...we went to the mall! And we bought him little froggie Robeez shoes. So cute ;-) Yup, whole new life stage...


Friday, October 14, 2005

Little mittens

My little Jules has been a little more cranky than usual in the past few days. At 3 months he sleeps through the night from about 9:30 pm to 6 or 7 in the morning. After a quick feed he usually falls right back asleep until about 10am. This is just great. Problem is, he doesn't nap during the day. I keep telling him that all the other little babies are taking afternoon naps but he just doesn't believe me. He's just so tired in the afternoon but he works himself into a tizzy and then just can't calm himself down. I don't know what to do. Hopefully this is just a phase and will soon pass.

Meanwhile, I just don't get to put in much knitting time during the day. So I was really happy to come accross this pattern. In just a few hours I was able to complete his very first pair of mittens. They are red thumbless mitts with a moss stitch heart detail (which doesn't photograph very well unfortunately). I just love the way they turned out. He seems to like them too and doesn't mind having them on. Straight to his mouth they went for a little taste.

Some progress on my Soctoberfest socks. I've got one cuff and leg done and the gauge is finally right. I'm now working on the heel flap which seems to be taking FOREVER. It's my least favourite part of sock knitting. Can't wait to get to the gusset. Hopefully tomorrow...


Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Anny needs...

Here's a peak at my Socktober socks right before I start froggin' ...again. Given that the yarn is the same weight as my previous socks and the ball band gauge info was identical. I thought it completely unnecessary to swacth. WRONG! They're still way too big. It's a shame to frog these though because as you could tell from the picture, the self-patterning somehow created a wonderful chevron in the varigated row. That probably won't happen again but hey, at least they'll fit (hopefully).

Now for some fun...I saw this meme on Rainberry Blue yesterday and had to try it. You simply google your name followed by "needs" and see what comes up. Here's what "anny needs" generated. No filtering, these are the actual top 5:

  1. The Anny's needs tend to align most strongly with commercial needs (especially when it comes to yarn).
  2. Anny needs no introduction (enough said!).
  3. Anny needs no booze (that depends on whether I'll have to re-re-frog the Soctoberfest socks).
  4. United States Needs to Scale Down Oversized Anny (now I know I could probably use a jog but this seems wholly unnecessary).
  5. Anny need absolutely to be disciplinate (I don't know about that one).

I guess that says it all. LOL.


Tuesday, October 11, 2005


I worked on it in the morning. I worked on it in the afternoon. When my husband came home I handed him the baby and worked on it some more. I even stayed up 'til the wee hours many a night working on it. And when I finally finished it after a few weeks of exclusive knitting...I didn't even like it!!!

The cable-knit hoodie in the Winter 04/05 Phildar Layette looked very cute. I knit it using the recommended Phildar Superbaby yarn in the olive colourway. This was my first significant cable project. The cables actually turned out pretty well. The colour is also very flattering on my little dude. But something about it is off and I'm not sure what it is. Maybe when Julian grows into it I'll like it more, but for now it's going to the bottom of the drawer.

I can't wait to start working on something else and as luck would have it, I just received my order from Ram Wools today and have plenty to choose from: another baby sweater from Sirdar, a silk and chenille fan and scallop scarf, some Fleece Artist mohair mittens, and the Debbie Bliss Cashmerino Astrakhan cardigan from the Fall'05 Vogue Knitting magazine. I'll probably start with the mittens. After that green sweater, I need some instant gratification and mittens should do the trick.

...and I'd love to join everyone in celebrating Socktoberfest. I have a few balls of Confetti self-patterning yarn in a pink and brown colourway hanging out in my stash that are calling to me. This will be my second pair of socks ever and I think I'll use the Lion Brand pattern again. Sure the stockinette gets kind of boring after a while, but I'm not sure if anything else would work with self-patterning yarn. It is lots of fun to see what wonderful socks everyone else is knitting, many of which I'd like to try myself as soon as I have a better mastery of sock-knitting basics.


Friday, October 07, 2005

I'm interchangeable!

When I came across the quiz for "What kind of knitting needle are you?" I must admit I hesitated. Last time I took a knitting quizz...I was acrylic yarn! Not that there's anything wrong with that ;-) I knit all baby garments with acrylic. Julian doesn't react to it and it's machine wash and dry which for baby garments is a necessity! But I really wanted to be wool or silk or even alpaca...

So when I took the "What kind of knitting needle are you?" quiz I was expecting the worst, but apparantly...

You are interchangeable.
Fun, free, and into everything, you've got every
eventuality covered and every opportunity just
has to be taken. Every fiber is wonderful, and
every day is a new beginning. You are good at
so many things, it's amazing, but you can
easily lose your place and forget to show up.
They have row counters for people like you!

What kind of knitting needles are you?
brought to you by

Yeah, that sounds about right. I like that. And of course it's totally accurate because I love my Denise Interchangeables and knit with them most of the time. As for row counters...well let's say that it is helpful but not fool proof. Even with my Kacha Kacha I still have to guess every once in a while. Did I hit the Kacha last time? Heehee!

Julian's thanksgiving sweater now has a back, front panel and hood...I'm still holding out hope that I'll be able to finish the other front panel and sleeves in time but between housework, laundry and entertaining my grumpy little guy, I must say it's not looking good. You know what it's like.

I went a little nuts with the net rings yesterday and joined a whole bunch. Greetings to all those like-minded knitters out there.


Thursday, October 06, 2005

Thanksgiving sweater?

Well another race against the clock is on...this time for Thanksgiving which is Monday (in Canada). I started to knit a cable-knit hoodie for Jujube from another Phildar magazine. It is my first significant cable project (though I did knit a Good ole cabled scarf for my sister last Christmas).

The back is completed and took 4 days which seems like an insame amount of time to spend knitting what is ultimately a 12" x 12" square.

I'm almost done one front panel as well. That leaves 4 days to knit the right front, 2 sleeves and the hood. Can it be done?

I'd keep my fingers crossed but that would slow down my knitting considerably ;-)

In blog news, I figured out a way to post a finished objects gallery in my sidebar. It is a permalink to the October 2nd posting below. Check it out.


Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Julian's Baptism Sweater

Our 3 month old little guy was baptised on Sunday wearing the baptismal gown his grand-mother made for his father's baptism 27 years ago. The gown aged beautifully and had not yellowed at all. I knit a little cardigan to wear along in the hopes of passing both the gown and cardigan to my own future grand-children. I was up until 2 in the morning the night before his big day finishing the sleeves and sewing buttons but it was ready in time and looked beautiful.

The pattern was a real pleasure to knit. It was knit all in one completely seamless piece from the neck down (sleeve stitches are held on a stich holder and knit after the main piece). I'll post close-up shots in my gallery (just as soon as I figure out how to make one ;-)

The pattern is free and available here.


Monday, October 03, 2005

Hello World

My mother was one of 24 chidren. Yup! No really! My grand-parents were farmers in rural Quebec and being good Catholics in the 1930s and '40s had a child every year they could. My grand-father passed away when I was 3, but my grand-mother lived to be 84 years old.

She spent the long Quebec winters in Rimouski with one of my uncles and his wife but in the summer she would pack her bags, her knitting needles and her yarn and travel down the St-Lawrence River to Montreal where she would visit with all her children and grand-children and great-grand-children. She would spend about a week at each of her childrens' homes and knit mittens and socks and slippers for everyone in that family and then moved on.

During one of those visits, she taught me to "tricoter a l'endroit" (knit) and "tricoter a l'envers" (purl) with some scrap yarns. (Did I mention she was french? In fact my whole family is...I'm the anomaly. More on that later, but now back to my knitting debut. ) My grandma would watch me knit and every once in a while, she would have to put down her mittens in progress and try to figure out where I went wrong. Somehow, I always ended up with too many stitches (which is weird because now I always seem to be loosing stitches!). Anyway, I would make a little square, get bored and go draw or play house instead.

My grandmother passed when I was a teen and it wasn't until my early twenties that I got the knitting bug from a Martha Stewart Baby magazine. I got myself some needles and cotton yarn and knit the garter stitch baby sweater. It was pretty much a bunch of rectangles seamed together into a buttonless cardigan but it looked pretty good. I made one for my nephew and put the needles away for another couple of years. I was working full-time and finishing my bachelor's degree on a full-time basis as well and just didn't have time for knitting. Textbooks occupied my commuting time.

I got married last year and moved to a new house in the suburbs. One of the implications was a 1h30 minute train ride each way to and from work and since I graduated and don't have any more required reading...I picked up one of Debbie Bliss' learn to knit books and the rest is history. The addiction began. I was egged on by all the knitting blogs out there and now that I am at home on maternity leave with my 3 month old son, I have both the time to knit and a growing model for all those very cute and very quick knit baby sweaters and booties.

So expect to see a lot of baby knits 'cause he's always growing out of something...


Sunday, October 02, 2005

Finished Objects Gallery

Fleece Artist mittens

Knit from a Peace Fleece wool and mohair kit.

Made with love hat and mittens

Knit using leftover Bernat Satin and this magknits pattern.

Gilet a capuche (cableknit hoodie)

Knit using Phildar Superbaby in Olive. Pattern form Phildar Layette Winter 04/05.

Bee booties and behive hat

Knit using Bernat Chunky. Hat pattern free online here. Booties from Zoe Mellor's 50 baby booties to knit.

Phildar bonnet, echarpe & blouson

Knit from Phildar Partner, Phildar Denim and the new pom-pom yarn Phildar Bowling. This was the first time I had ever used recommended yarn and recommended colourways. I am thrilled with the result. The pattern was in Phildar Layette's Winter 05/06 magazine. It is still a little big for Julian but soooo cute!

Shawl-collared jacket
Knit from Bernat Chunky in gray marl. The pattern is from Debbie Bliss' Baby knits for beginners.

Julian's Baptism Sweater
(seamless yoked baby sweater)

Knit in one piece using less than 1 ball of Bernat Softee Baby
The free pattern is available here.

Herringbone booties

Knit in blue and cream cotton yarn form Zoe Mellor's 50 baby booties to knit.

My first socks!

Knit from Confetti yarn using this pattern.

Pirate shoes

Knit from Bernat Satin. Yet another cute pattern from Zoe Mellor's 50 baby booties to knit. Julian wears these often. They're the only shoes he has that you can trust to never fall off. They also look great with all his baby jeans and khakies.

Stocking stitch sweater

Knit with 100% peruvian alpaca from Elann. Julian's skin breaks out into a rash when he wears this. I think I'll stick to acrylics and synthetic blends for his baby wear. The pattern is from Debbie Bliss' Quick baby knits.