March 27, 2009

Oh Happy Day!

Today's my birthday, and I woke up to this!

I'm so excited I can hardly contain myself! Unfortunately I have a super busy weekend ahead of me so I'll have to wait a while longer to play with my new toy.

My husband scored some major brownie points today!

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March 19, 2009

My finished pillow

I finished my tunisian crochet pillow last night. I'm pretty happy with it. Unfortunately, while it was gloriously sunny most of the day, by the time I got home from work it was cloudy so my photos didn't turn out terribly well. We have windows galore in our apartment so when the sun is shining there's a ton of light. I just couldn't wait though, I wanted to take pics of my finished object!

The needle is a 6 mm birch crochet hook from the River John Needle Company, which is based out of a Nova Scotia sheep farm.

I love the colours of the yarn (Wool Clasica, Manos del Uruguay, colourway 114) and the overall look. I thought blanket stitch edging would look nice, and it probably would have if the yarn was thick all over.

I like thick-thin yarn generally but it made the edging look uneven. If I were to do it again I would edge it in a different thick yarn, perhaps in a solid colour coordinating with one of the colours in the pillow. But I really don't want to redo it! I'm glad to be done and ready to move on to the next project!

I ordered some stitch markers from Etsy and they arrived today. They're Cat's Eye Droplets from Crimson Orchid .

I believe they're made with Tiger's-eye, a gemstone which I've just read is good for focusing the mind and helping one to recognize self resources. Perfect then to have around while knitting!

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March 12, 2009

Full bloom and a WIP

I have several WIPs (works in progress for the non-knitters) on the go at the moment, one of which I've been working on for several months despite the fact that it is very simple. I just keep ignoring it.

It's a pillow cover (or will be) in tunisian crochet. Learned the technique in a class at Spun. The cover is made to fit a small Ikea pillow. I love the way the fabric appears woven:

Here is the back of the fabric:

Just a couple inches more and then it's time to sew up.

By some botanical miracle, all three of my orchids are currently blooming. A perfect opportunity for some photographs.

The first and second photos are of an orchid I've had for several years. It's had a long nap since its last eruption so this is long overdue.

I have a particular affinity for this phalaenopsis orchid as it was a rescue. I acquired it when I worked at a garden store. It was January and, somewhere between the delivery truck and the store, a box of orchids was exposed to the cold. All showed signs of frost damage and most were beyond salvage so the whole box was going to be thrown in the garbage. This one looked like it might pull through so I took it home and nursed it back to health!

My mom gave me this yellow orchid after my back surgery last October. It was blooming when she gave it to me and it is STILL GOING STRONG! [thanks mom ; )] Unbelievable! Definitely a nice get well gift and outlasts a bouquet by months. I believe this is a phalaenopsis as well.

And finally my new addition. I picked it up in bud a few weeks ago at an orchid show at the Royal Botanical Gardens. I live only a short distance from the Gardens and it's my new favourite place. This orchid was a steal at $10. It's called a Beallara 'Eurostar' which is apparently an 'intergeneric hybrid' of Brassia, Cochlioda, Miltonia and Odontoglossum, or some such.

A bit of a set back with Dulce de Leche. I knit the bottom hem and a few inches of the sweater before becoming painfully aware that it was WAY too big. I've had to start over : (

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March 8, 2009

Colour Inspiration

I belong to the Around the Bay Knitters' Guild. We meet once a month, often just knitting as everyone takes a turn showing off a recent project. Once in a while we have a guest speaker and at our March meeting a few nights ago our special guest was Jane of Dye-Version and she talked to us about colour.

Jane dyes yarn in her home studio. She is also a costume designer for Big Comfy Couch and Polka Dot Shorts! She gave us great tips on where to look for inspiration for combining colours, such as coffee table books and magazine ads (as she put it, someone got paid a lot of money to put those colours together, take advantage of it!). She showed us a book she goes back to often, Butterfly by Thomas Marent, which is impossibly gorgeous. She also suggested that if we like colour combinations we see in magazines we should rip out and save the pages for future reference. I think I'll start doing that. I don't dye my own yarn but having a library of colour inspiration will come in handy when choosing multiple colours for anything from knitting projects to home decorating.

She brought lots of her beautiful dyed yarn to sell and I picked up two hanks of 100 % bamboo fingering weight in a blue multi although I have no idea what I'm going to do with it. Any suggestions?

I thought I’d have a look at some of my own photos for nice colour combinations, here are a few of my favourites:

I love the red and purple of this poppy from my garden.

The blue sky complements the various shades of orange in the forest canopy at Scanlon Creek Conservation Area.

The blue-green along the shore of Flowerpot Island turns to bright blue then pale blue sky.

I've just started Dulce de Leche from the new Twist Collective. Hopefully I'll have a decent amount to show soon!

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