Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Eyelet Slippers

Pattern: Not-So-Tiny Slippers by Ysolda Teague
Yarn: Wool of the Andes by Knit Picks in Beach Glass
Needles: US 10 dpns and then 16" US 10 addi click circular

I had the hardest time with these slippers. But it has been one of the most rewarding knitting projects I've taken on since I started knitting. Yes, they are slippers, but with all the mistakes I made while knitting these, I've learned so much. 

I wanted a nice pair of slippers. I searched high and low on Ravelry for a nice pattern and first settled on a quite old fashion style of slippers that reminded me of my grandmother, Evelyn. They were quite similar to the ones she had lying around her house, but they were not very pleasant on the eyes. They kept my feet warm, but I couldn't get the sizing right. I kept looking and found this pattern and fell in love with the design. These were slippers I knew I would be proud to wear and knit for others, so it was a no-brainer to buy it. 

Pulling out my bulky weight yarn and dpns, I set to work. The first slipper flew off my needles. It fit very well but there was something not right about the right side of the slipper. There were small holes along the right side right before I started the purled edge for the sole. I was quite perplexed. I followed the pattern and knit the wraps as indicated, but I still had holes. Seeing I was making these for myself, I decided to live with it. But when I went to make the second slipper, I wanted it to be perfect. I wanted to iron out the kinks and find out what went wrong.

See the two pesky holes there? They are quite noticeable, eh?

On the second slipper, it took quite a long time to get to the hole issue because I had to frog back to the i-cord edging TWICE. The first time I misread the initial set up row and came out with a lopsided slipper. The second time, I miscounted on the eyelet row and they ended up closer to the left side than the pattern called for. I learned these lesson and started again. 

On my third try, everything went much better. No lopsidedness and my eyelets were centered. But I still faced my trouble with wraps and turns. I knew that the method I learned wasn't doing the job for this project, so before I started the wraps and turns for this slipper I did some research. I read almost every project note on Ravelry and no one seemed to be having this problem. I knew I was wrapping properly, so it had to be an issue with how I was knitting the wraps after the fact. And then I came across Cat Bordhi's youtube video on concealing wraps. This video completely saved my project. While my new knitted wraps aren't entirely 'concealed', they certainly don't leave gaps anymore. SUCCESS!

No more holes! Thanks, Cat Bordhi.

And when I finished the project, I ended up with these beauties. They are super comfortable and great to take with me on trips to my Nan's house. I'll definitely end up wearing these out.

Tourist for a day

I've been back from Nova Scotia for a day and I finally have a moment to sit down and share the pictures I took while visiting the areas of Mahone Bay and Lunenburg in Nova Scotia. 

I grew up in Nova Scotia for most of my childhood so these areas have been a place of fond memory for me. When relatives would visit my family as a kid, we'd always take them to Lunenburg to see the Bluenose and the Fisheries Museum. And almost always, we eat ice cream on the wharf and got it all over ourselves. Not much changed when I visited Lunenburg a few days ago (I even had an ice cream incident), except I was the tourist this time. 

My first request was to visit Mahone Bay, however. This town... well, there isn't enough words in the English language to describe how much I love it. It's the Stars Hollow I can realistically live in at some point. Some many beautiful little shops, breathtaking views and wonderfully nice people. If I could get a teaching job in that area, you would never find a happier person. Or knitter for that matter. 


Mahone Bay is home to one of the nicest yarn shops I've ever visited, Have A Yarn. It's stocked with the best brands of yarn and the best notions and tools all in one place. The staff was also very kind and helpful with the questions I asked. I felt very comfortable there. Sometimes in yarn shops I'm stopped right away with questions by the staff and I'm the only one in the shop, so I feel watched the whole time I'm there. Sure, yarn shops are not the most populated of stores, but I like feeling a certain level of comfort while I take in all the colours and textures of the yarn. I have a process and Have A Yarn was a great in letting me get on with it. If only I could live in Mahone Bay. I'd never leave.

What I wouldn't give to knit in those chairs!

Lunenburg Wharf, over looking the Theresa E. Connor and the Fisheries Museum

Lunenburg, Nova Scotia

Lunenburg Academy

One of the cutest gift shops in Lunenburg. They sell handmade prints, jewelry, stationary and more. AND, the majority of their products are made locally!

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Yarns of Nova Scotia

I'm on my second vacation of summer holidays and I'm having a grand time. This is the 2nd time I've visited Halifax, NS this year and as a knitter, it's always a treat. Halifax and the surrounding area is home to three lovely yarn stores and I use my trip to stock up on yarns that I wouldn't normally be able to get my hands on at home in Newfoundland. So far I've splurged on enough yarn for the Pomme de Pin cardigan and two skeins of fingering weight yarn for more Petit Artichaut boleros for friends. I've also found the cutest embroidered project bag with sheep on it. Much better than using a ziplock bag!

I bought this and the peach yarn at a new yarn store in Dartmouth called Dartmouth Yarns. It's such a quaint shop with a good selection of yarn, needles and notions. If I hadn't spent so much at LK Yarns yesterday, I certainly would have bought more. And did I mention that it's on the street next to my favourite coffee shop, Two If By Sea Cafe? I need to move to this area ASAP!

Tomorrow it's off to Lunenburg and Mahone Bay to buy some more yarn. Can this vacation get any better?

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Le Petit Artichaut

It's that time of my life when friends and family start having babies. While it makes me feel old (and way behind everyone else), it's a wonderful excuse to knit all the adorable baby clothes I have queued up in my Ravelry favourites! I decided that the first project I would tackle would be the (Petit) Artichaut by Solen Couix-Loarer. 

I'm so happy with the result of this baby bolero. When I started the project, I was quite worried it wouldn't work out. First of all, getting Fingering weight yarn in rural Newfoundland is almost impossible. Luckily I found this Red Heart Stardust yarn in pink or I would have had to return to the drawing board. Also, I've never knit with fingering weight yarn and I didn't have a US 2.5 needle to work with (only a US 3 circular), so I had no idea if this would even resemble the sample pictures. But I stuck with it. 

I looked at a number of  YouTube videos to help me with the provisional cast-on, but it turns out they didn't help too much. I managed to do it, but when it came time to remove the waste yarn, the crocheted chain did not unravel easily. Instead, I had to reclaim the working yarn stitches and cut out the waste yarn through each stitch. A long process, but it worked out in the end.

Having read through almost all of the notes left on this project from other knitters on Ravelry, I have to agree with them on the fact that this pattern is unnecessarily difficult in certain areas. I assume it is a problem in the translation from French to English, but I had a hard time following the two row repeats. It would give you the pattern for the RS and WS rows then tell you to repeat this 5 times in total. Is that 5 times including the two you just knit, or in addition to those two rows? Did anyone else find that confusing? 

I also found myself taking a lot of notes while completing this project; mostly in an attempt to keep up with what row I was currently finishing and how many I had left to do. All the repeats made if difficult to keep track in my head. It also would have been nice to have the explanations of the LLIP and RLIP stitch embedded in the pattern and not at the end so I wouldn't need to keep flipping back to the last page to find it.

Overall, I was happy with the pattern however. There were a few frogged sections that I went back and redid but that's just because I was very intent on getting a great finished project that I could send to my cousin's wife who is having her baby in October. I'm fine with a few mistakes on something I will keep myself, but if I'm sending it somewhere, I like to have something I'm very proud of as a result. And I do!

If you find yourself knitting this project, here are a few notes. Good luck!


*Is the button hole necessary on this? Couldn't you just use the last four stitches on the left side border to start the 15.3 inch strap and pass it through the hole made on the right side seam?

*If you did include the button hole on the right side, couldn't you transfer the hole from the right seam to the left seam and start the second strap from there? It would take a lot less yarn and eliminate the strap needing to go all around the back of the garment. This would also eliminate any worry about the garment being too tight on the child. 

If you'd like to see more photos and details, head over to my Ravelry page

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Canuck Socks.

Friends, I'm back at it! The needles are working away at new projects. Don't you just love summer vacation?!

I've been busy since finishing school in June and returning from my Disney vacation with my sister. My first finished project since picking up my needles again has been a lovely pair of socks; my first pair actually! I've been quite pleased with the result. I was quite apprehensive when I started the first one. All the terminology and the anatomy of the sock was quite confusing to me, but once I decided to just go with it, the whole process was painless. It was also a great project to take with me on the road. I spent half a week with a bunch of great girls at Pathfinders camp in Tilting, Newfoundland and ended up taking some really nice shots of my new socks while I was there.

For now, I'm working on a few more projects. A pair of comfy slipper socks, actual slippers and the Petit Artichault bolero for my friend Tracey's first baby! I'm pouring in most of my time to the bolero at the moment, however, as I'd love to finish it before going up to Halifax next week. More on that next time!