• Knitting & Crafting

    FO: Pogona


    I really enjoyed this pattern overall. It only had two rows and was very easy to knit with while watching movies or TV. I didn’t feel pressured to finish it and loved going back to it. I don’t always wear my Stephen West shawls, but I’ve enjoyed knitting everyone of them.

    Shortened mine from the pattern because I had read many people ran out of yarn. I went to about 12″ rather than 14″ before doing the final garter rows. I did four garter rows instead of the six. Finished off with an Icelandic bind off which was new to me and stretchy. I’ll use it for socks next time.

    The yarn is lovely. It didn’t bleed very much and the photos don’t capture how nice it is. It was soft and knit up so well. No issues with knots, abrupt colour changes, or ply issues. I’d definitely use Fleece Artist again.


    Pogona, started December 16, 2015, finished February 3, 2016. Ravelry Project Page
    Pattern: Pogona by Stephen West Ravelry Pattern Page
    Yarn: Fleece Artist Merino 2/6 – 350.0 meters (382.8 yards), 125 grams – in Sangria
    Needles: US6/4.0mm
    Measurements: Post blocking 18”/46cm from centre stitch to BO edge. Wingspan: 46”/117cm which is ten inches less than the original, but mine is longer at the centre.


    Modifications & Notes:

    • Alternate cast-on method from KarenK (The No-Garter-Tab Method): Cast on 3 sts. Row 1: K 3; Row 2: K1, M1 (using backwards loop increase), K1, M1, K1 (5 sts); Row 3: K 5; Row 4: K2, M1, K1, M1, K2 (7 sts); Row 5: K3, P1, K3; Row 6: K3, YO, K1, YO, K3 (9 sts); Start with Set-up Row 1 (WS) in pattern
    • Slipped slevedge. Slipped first stitch of every row and knit tbl on the last stitch.
    • Used KFB instead of YO at the edge stitches so that my rows would be: Sl1pwise, K1, KFB… KFB, K1, Ktbl
    • Going from purl to knit: Purl st through the back loop. I didn’t find any benefit to this one.
    • 12” before garter rows.
    • Do 4 garter rows rather than 6.
    • Paired lifted increases
    • Icelandic bind off


    Tools/Notions: Many stitch markers.
    Lessons Learned: Icelandic bind off.
    Cost of Project: $16CAD for the yarn.
    Would I knit it again? Yes, but doubtful I would. Recommended pattern for easy project.
    Helpful Links:

  • Knitting & Crafting

    FO Friday: Katsura

    These socks took me eight months to finish and then I delayed photographing them for another three months. All in all, it took me about a year to get this post up. I am not knitting as much as I use to be. When I started these socks, I hoped it would get me back into it. In the past, I could finish a pair of socks in two weeks even while working full-time. I blame myself for picking this pattern. The twisted stitches made these socks very slow. It’s too bad as these were my first pair of socks from this book.

    Katsura, started September 2, 2014, finished June 2, 2014.Ravelry Project Page
    Pattern: Katsuara by Judy Sumner from Knitted Socks East and West Ravelry Pattern Page
    Yarn: Froehlich Wolle Special Blauband – 50g/225 yards – 2 skeins – #74
    Needles: US#1/2.25mm – 100cm circular

    Modifications & Notes:

    • Judy’s Magic CO 2AAT on ML using La-Rink and La-Link for toe increases.
    • Fleegle Heel
    • Yarn came with reinforcing thread so I used it for toes but forgot the heels
    • K2P1 ribbing
    • Jenny’s Surprisingly Stretchy BO

    Cost of Project: Yarn was Random Act of Kindness gifted from Ravelry. Thank you. Cost of book was around $10-15CAD probably.
    Would I knit it again? No.

  • Books,  Fitness,  Knitting & Crafting,  TV

    Sunday Salon: World Cup and Chores

    Sunday Salon

    Hello, all!

    Since last Salon, I haven’t had time to think about the blog very much. In fact, I didn’t even know the comments were broken and a visitor kindly contacted me about it. Thanks, Susan!

    Yesterday, I finally did write a couple of posts on some books I read in May. I have a couple more posts to write then I’ll have caught up for those posts. I am still not reading though. I’ve been too busy.

    I’m working at home these days which is not something I have done in awhile. I made progress this week, and did some cleaning and laundry as well. In fact, I still have to clean some more.

    Knitting: Haven’t done any in months. I have to be careful otherwise my muscle memory will forget like it did five years ago. I’ll have to make time for it.

    Fitness: Started running again on Thursday and I ran this morning. Just 4km each time, and today was better. I’ve got a 5km race in September, but I find running in summer difficult because of the heat. Hopefully I can get back to doing a regular 6km on weekends.

    TV: Finished the new season of “Orange is the New Black”. I enjoyed it, possibly more than season one.

    Later today, more chores, maybe some gelato, but now, finish the Netherlands vs Mexico World Cup game. I would have posted this post much earlier if I hadn’t been watching. I’ve got a soft spot for the Dutch!

    Have a great week!

  • Books,  Fitness,  Knitting & Crafting,  TV

    Sunday Salon: February Blues

    Sunday Salon

    Hello, everyone!

    I have not been reading very much lately. I’ve been too busy and tired to read most days. Some readers like to read to unwind, but I am really active and like a book to take me away for hours and hours. Time of which I do not have lately.

    As for my book of today, I am still undecided. I could read my Classics Spin book (Kim by Rudyard Kipling), but I think I will err on my two pile of library books. Goodness, I am glad I have not bought any fiction for awhile. I’m trying to hold out until June as well.

    One of my reading goals this year is to read more out loud. I think it’s an interesting exercise as it could help improve my public speaking and normal conversation. It seems a lot of words and stories were written to be read out loud such as poetry. I hope to do more of that this year.

    Knitting: Haven’t started. The chart is the most complicated one I’ve encountered yet. I gave up colour coding it. I think I will cast on today or this week to get it started.

    In terms of fitness, I signed up for a 10KM next month. I don’t have the proper time to train for it and complete it to the best I could. I am running more though. This week, I ran 6k and 5k. Perhaps by the time the race arrives, I can do that three times a week. Swimming is not going as well as I would like. I can just barely front float and glide. No actual swimming to be done yet. I’ll be glad when the snow starts melting so I can ride my bike again and run more without muddy shoes.

    This weekend, I watched season 2 of “House of Cards” which I enjoyed even more than S1. You can see my review of House of Cards season 1 and a review of the British series.

    What are you doing this weekend?

  • Knitting & Crafting

    2013 Knitting Review and 2014 Goals

    2013 Knitting Flickr Slideshow:

    A little late on the knitting review and the 2014 goals, but knitting has just become less of a priority these days. Among my friends and colleagues, I am still known as the knitter, but this is less applicable to me nowadays as I read more, socialize more, exercise more and other more things than knit.

    In 2013, I only completed eight projects but worked on about three or four (two of which were the sock blankets). The completed eight projects included: three pairs of socks, two hats, one cowl, one sweater, and one necklace. Not an an exciting year, but I’m modest delighted with the Gap-tastic cowl, Shedir II, and Buttercup.

    For 2014, I have a few modest knitting goals:

    1. Continue not buying yarn and/or use stash as much as possible.
    2. Make Sylvi. My goal for Ravelympics 2014 is to start this project. It will take more than a couple weeks to complete too. I’ve had the yarn for awhile now, and I may or may not line it. Either way, this is will my most ambitious project yet.
    3. Work on my sock yarn blankets. Gosh, I have no idea when these will ever be finished.
    4. Optional Goals: More socks, Spin, a Christmas jumper, Balaclava for cycling (done!), and Legwarmers.

    I actually made a semi-decent balaclava the other week and the FO post will probably be up next week.

    As for Sylvi, I have swatched it and will soon colour code the charts. It is a daunting project. I will post more about it as a goal. I definitely think there will be many posts on it.

    What are your knitting goals for this year?

  • Knitting & Crafting

    FO Fridays: GAP-tastic Cowl

    Gap-tastic CowlI wanted a giant cowl to go with my first leather jacket. I’ve had this pattern queued up for awhile now. It was between this or the Herringbone Cowl, but this one won over by being reversible and textured. I did forgot how boring it was to knit moss st/single rib though.

  • Knitting & Crafting

    WIP Wednesday: Squaring and Frogging Off

    Barn Raising Quilt squaresJust an update on one of the two leftover sock yarn blankets I’ve been working on. I’ve been working on this current square on and off the last week as I’ve been too busy to knit much.

    I started working on this quilt from the book Knitalong in January 2010 with the thought of doing 72 squares which would cover a twin bed. This my 49th square and this month, I’ve decided to stop at 56 squares or 8×7 square quilt.

  • Knitting & Crafting

    FO Fridays: Child’s First Sock in Shell Pattern

    Shell Pattern Socks

    Nothing like an easy peasy pair of lace socks to get me through summer. I worked on most of this in August. This is at least better than the Girasole blanket of last year. I’m starting to become one of those knitters who does not really knit in the summers. I spent much of this summer outdoors which is great.

    In any case, my third pair of socks of this year. I always like knitting socks. In some ways, they are the ultimate kind of projects for me: not too easy, not too difficult, comforting, not too big, not too small, and most of all, useful.

    I went back to my favourite sock pattern designer for these. I love this Nancy Bush book. I’ve made more things from Knitting Vintage Socks than any other knitting resource. With the cashmere and wool in these socks, I think they will be one of my favourite winter house socks.

  • Knitting & Crafting

    WIP Wednesday: Child’s First Sock in Shell Pattern

    These socks were started near the beginning of summer on July 1st. It feels like time has flown by since then. I’ve been very busy and preoccupied to sit and knit. I need to finish these by the end of the month for Sockdown. I’m past the halfway point though. I only turned the heels on them last week!

    As I’ve written in recent posts, knitting has become less and less of a priority for me in the last year. While I continued to accumulate yarn and fibre, this summer has been fairly low on crafting and no stashing so far. I am very glad because I have way too much yarn and fibre. I hope my yarn diet continues to the end of the year.

    I use to knit every day, but these days, I feel I knit only a couple of times a week.

    When I started knitting seven years ago, I was a frustrated and lonely university student. Thankfully, I am less of all those things now. Knitting has always been a relaxing home activity for me. I’ve tried to be a social knitter, but it’s not in my nature. It’s one of my introverted hobbies that I do when watching TV or movies. These days, I have the blog, books, and other solitary activities.

    Furthermore, I am more social again so I’m out and about. Once the weather gets colder, I’ll probably knit more, but I’m actually quite glad that I am knitting less or thinking about it less. The more I think about, the more I want yarn! That’s bad. 😉

    Does knitting go in and out of your life as well? Is it always in the background waiting in the wings?

    For more WIP Wednesdays and FO Fridays, go to Tami’s Amis.

  • Knitting & Crafting

    FO Fridays: Welsh Country Stockings

    Welsh Country Stockings

    This was first time completing fair isle on socks after failing to do so three years ago with the same white yarn. Nancy Bush is my favourite sock designer even though I always modify her parents a lot. Maybe part of the reason I love her that her patterns are easily adaptable. I converted this pair to be toe-up.

  • Knitting & Crafting

    4KCBWDAY7 Knitting and Crochet Blog Week – Looking Forward

    Knitting and Crochet Blog Week

    One year from now, when the 5th Knitting & Crochet Blog Week rolls around, where do you hope your crafting will have taken you to? What new skills, projects and experiences do you hope you might have conquered or tried?

    This could be anything from mastering a technique (broomstick lace, entrelac, etc), trying a new yarn or skill, or a long term wish to crochet only from your stash, or knit every stitch in one of the Harmony Guides. Maybe you have no desire or plans for your craft at all, no new element of knitting or crochet that you dream of mastering, in which case write about why that might be. In a year’s time participants will be asked to look back to see if they achieved any goals, no matter how general, and see which house conquered the art of looking forward.

    I have mostly middle to long term goals. I don’t necessarily think I will have done most of these things in the next year, but I do want to do them over the next couple of years. In order that I want to do them in:

    1. Start Sylvi this year. I’ve had the pattern for about a year, and I was able to get 15 skeins of the Peruvia Quick for it in March. The yarn thing was just luck and circumstance, and it is an investment. It will also take a lot of time and skills because I am not a big seamer. This project will test me in many ways.
    2. Hexipuffs: The beginning
      Work on my two sock yarn blankets. I am really wondering if I will ever finish the heixpuff quilt. I am about halfway on the Barn Raising Quilt. I have 44 out of 72 squares I want so far. I am knitting more socks just so I can work on these more. I only work on them a couple of times a year in batches.
    3. Less yarn buying. HAHAH! Well, I’ve cut it down to once a month now which is better than some other times.
    4. More spinning

      More spinning. I really don’t know when or how. Also no more buying of fibre until I actually do spin more. Sadly, I haven’t picked up my hand spindle in months.

    Longer term goals (hopefully within the next 3-5 years): learn to crochet, get a sewing machine, steek a sweater, install a zipper in a sweater.

    I love to knit and craft, but while I have added onto it a bit over the last year or so, I do feel that it’s slowed down. I no longer feel the need to always pick up a project right after I finish the last one. Even more, I am less obsessed with finishing projects. I am enjoying taking it slow, but of course, I won’t ever really drop it for too long like I did in 2009. I’ll keep it up even just for my wrists and hands.

    How about you? What are your knitting and crafting goals?

  • Knitting & Crafting

    4KCBWDAY6 Knitting and Crochet Blog Week – A Tool To Covet

    Knitting and Crochet Blog Week

    Write about your favourite knitting or crochet (or spinning, etc) tool. It can either be a tool directly involved in your craft (knitting needles or crochet hook) or something that makes your craft more pleasurable – be it a special lamp, or stitch markers.

    Is it an item that you would recommend to others, and if so for which applications/tasks do you think it is most suited. Conversely, do you have a tool/accessory that you regret buying? Why does it not work for you?

    Well, I definitely do love my needles. My favourite needles brand is Hiya Hiya. I really do like their stainless steel needles. Most of my needles are generic bamboo needles, but they work fine. I like bamboo over aluminium because they are not cool to touch.

    Other tools I use a lot of: Susan Bates Knit Chek Needle Size and Size Gauge Card, clasp stitch markers, row counters, highlighters for charts, tapestry needle, and project or ziplock bags. I also really like collecting buttons.

    I have a handmade Turkish hand spindle which I like. I purposely bought a Turkish variety so I could wand a ball on it.

    I’d recommend all the above and my new favourite tool, the OttLite:

    This is just one kind of OttLite lamp, but there are many other styles

    I bought this last Boxing Day from Michaels. I’d read some good comments about the OttLite from Ravelry forums, and it is a great lamp. It is bright and reduces eye strain when reading. It is much better than conventional florescent and incandescent lights. I also like halogen lamps to.

    As for tools I regret buying, I don’t really have any. I definitely have a weakness for project bags which no one else really sees because I mostly knit at home. I also got one of those chart readers for free in a yarn club package, it’s nice to have, but not necessary in my opinion. While I think it’d be nice to have an umbrella skein and a ball winder, once again, I don’t really find them that necessary given the price of a good ball winder is $50 these days.

    Now let’s talk wishlist.