Friday, 28 May 2010

On my needles + new yarn!

I know I usually post on Thursdays, but I wanted to wait after today because I knew I was going yarn shopping! So I didn't mind to wait another day!

But, first things first, what's on my needle right now?On last week's post, I talked about my latest finished project, the Boneyard Shawl, and I said that I needed something a little bit more challenging. So, after looking at my "to-do" list, I decided to start Faverolle by Cirilia Rose (Berroco link).

photo: Berroco

It was a love at first sight. The sporty/handknit look is soooo me! But I think what truly caught my eyes is the color: a soft, smooshy turquoise embellished with natural wooden buttons! How could I resist?! So I ordered the booklet and the yarn (same color!) almost right away! So far, I'm halfway through the back and it's going fairly quickly. I wanted something a little bit more challenging... well I guess it's not really a challenge, since everything is in stockinette stitch! At least there is some construction involved... I am also curious about the pocket: I read the pattern but didn't quite understand how they want me to do it... we'll see!

And an equivalent, if not more fun subject : NEW YARN!! But I know, I know... I already hear you : "But Ariane, weren't you on a yarn diet? Weren't you supposed to knit your stashed yarn before buying more?" I know, I know... but, in my defense, I was with new knitters, shopping for yarn at Mouliné and they had a SALE!

And, for some reasons, I am having a laceweight yarn craving. Since my Citron shawl, I just fell in love with laceweight yarn and decided to treat myself : my first ever skein of Malabrigo!... a yarn I wanted to try since... since ever I think! I heard so much about it that I knew one day I was going to buy some... But, I haven't decided of a shawl pattern yet! Any suggestions??

And since the weather here is über summery, I thought that only a yellow, laceweight yarn could suit my mood. And since Alpaca is my favorite fiber ever, why not hit two stones with one shot? So I bought some gorgeous and soft Super Alpaca Lace from Estelle Yarn. I don't know this brand, but who cares? It's alpaca and it's yellow and it's laceweight. Again, any pattern suggestions?

Thursday, 20 May 2010

FO: Boneyard Shawl

I needed a mindless project to knit between my boutique sewing projects. And wanted to knit something easy before starting another pullover, which requires lots of time, thinking and effort. And this cute shawl certainly fits the bill!

I'll be totally honest with you, this is not my favorite knitted project I have made. Don't get me wrong, the pattern is super well written, the idea and concept behind the shawl is ingenious and effective, the yarn will keep me warm next fall... I think that, at the end, I was just bored! I really love the end result, it made me use some stashed yarn. I think it was just the whole process of knitting this that turned me off. No sense of accomplishment after binding off. No selfrewarding feeling. Just... well another shawl!

We can clearly see the loose stitch... right there...

Maybe it's because a have reach a certain level in my knitting journey. I realized that, if the project doesn't require me to concentrate a bit, need me to focus on counting my stitches or always be aware of counting my rows for some increases or decreases, it... bores me!

Hehe me trying to give a serious top model attitude

Now that's better!

Why so serious Ariane?

Ok. I'm feeling like I'm being harsh on this shawl. I wore it all afternoon and I really love it. It's big (68" wingspan x 32" depth), cozy, and I love the contrasting color bind off (I didn't have enough yarn to bind off, and I was too lazy to unknit a whole row. I had some leftovers from the same yarn but in a different color...).

I don't really know why, but I LOVE this picture!

I really can't wait to wear it this fall, or even during a chilly northern summer night. But let me tell you that my next project (that I'm bringing to tonight's Stitch'n Bitch) is plenty of construction! *hint hint... a sweater?!?* Yep, a sweater indeed! It'll be in the next post. So stay tuned and have a nice *early* week-end!

Thursday, 13 May 2010

Homemade Pop-Tarts

Pop-tarts. It was such a treat when I was young! I remember picking them up at the grocery store with my mom, imagining how good they will taste. The hot, melted filling, the crispy tart...

My boyfriend is French, so he never ate pop-tarts when he was young. I was in shock, and immediatly bought him a box. And you know what? He did not like that. Again, I was in shock! How could I possibly make him like pop-tarts? Because, you know, pop-tarts are awesome.

And then, I found this recipe, from Smitten Kitchen (if you don't know this blog, go take a look. One of the yummiest blog ever). And that was it, I knew I wanted to make these. How cooler (and yummier) can it be? Homemade pop-tarts?

So, here is his review : ridiculously DE-LI-CIOUS ! And to me, they taste like the real thing, but even better and with a dash of self-satisfaction! Plus, the recipe is very well written. Just do exactly what she says and you'll end up with tasty, yummy pop-tarts! Just... try these! You won't regret it!

Thursday, 6 May 2010

Learning to spin on a drop spindle

Yesterday, I tried to spin some yarn with my drop-spindle. I bought it some months ago, but got frustrated and never really used it.

But, that was before yesterday. Me and my boyfriend went shopping and we stopped by Indigo, a big library store. And, to my very own knitter/sewer/crafter delight, I ran into the fullest shelves of knitting/sewing/crafting books! I could have past the entire afternoon there, looking at books, flipping pages and dreaming about the things I could make. And then I found this book:
Sorry... Amazon picture

Respect the Spindle by Abby Franquemont shows with great pictures and detailled "how-to" how to start to spin yarn with your spindle. What I thought was super sweet is when she says "If you have a few corkscrews and pigtails, don't panic. " Made me feel better!

She explains a very good technique for beginners : Park and Draft. I won't go into detailling this technique because I am a very beginner myself and don't want to make you do mistakes with my so-so explanation!
But! after a few tests, and some great explanations for a twitter friend, I kinda of got it, and here is the result! One 32.5 yards, mini-skein of handspun yarn!

It has been wasched and dried, but you can still see aaaalll the corkscrews and the piggitails... hum! I think I am on the right path, and I do know at least what I did wrong!

So, on this note, I'm going to go spin...
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