FOs: Fall Knitting 2013

After nearly a year-long knitting hiatus, I finally picked up the needles again a few weeks ago. And I’m having a hard time stopping! Here is about two weeks’ work… a few quick small projects and one that’s been a WIP for years.


Pattern: none
Yarn: malabrigo sock in 852 persia
Needles: US Size 0 and 1
Started: Dec 24, 2009
Finished: Sep 20, 2013
Ravelry Link


I think these socks win the award for longest duration of any project I’ve ever attempted, and it wasn’t because they were a big project or because of the difficulty. I cast them on two-at-a time, finished the toe and the reinforced heel all within the first month or so. It was the tremendously boring 1×1 ribbing on size 0 needles that took nearly 4 years to complete.


I finished them up at a cafe over a cranberry apple ginger iced tea, and decided to add the picot edging as a coastal twist. As much as I like them, I don’t forsee any small-gauge socks being attempted again in the future. Although I am using the remaining yarn for a pair of armwarmers, so we’ll see how that goes.


Pattern: none, inspired by Alexandra Tinsley’s Mix No. 24
Yarn: jil eaton minnow merino in 4720 aqua
Needles: US Size 8
Started: Aug 30, 2013
Finished: Sep 10, 2013
Ravelry Link


I saw this on the designer’s blog, Dull Roar, but I can’t get myself to buy hat patterns. So I spent an evening swatching (and watching the Hunger Games) and about two weeks knitting, and I had this super adorable bonnet!


I used exactly two skeins, down to the very last inch (the dangling pom poms were completed by gathering all the remaining yarn ends, splitting the pile in half, and wrapping around my index and middle finger until I ran out. Thanks to the un-plied yarn, they still plumped up quite nicely.


Pattern: Zeebee by Schmeebot
Yarn: noro cash island in 01 (black, brown, blue, teal)
Needles: US Size 8
Started: Sept 13, 2013
Finished: Sep 18, 2013
Ravelry Link


Oh, look! I knit from a pattern! Or at least… a detailed formula. I had this yarn sitting in my basket. I don’t know why I never learn that buying one skein of Noro is a bad idea. It’s not quite enough for a hat, not nearly enough for a scarf or shawl, and not suitable for anything like a toy or baby booties since it’s kind of scratchy and the fibers are rather weak.

But, I don’t learn… and so it was just sitting there staring at me. I decided to knit up a quick hat using a forgiving pattern that would show the variegation nicely.


At first, I loved how it was going. But around 6 rows til the very end, I ran out of yarn. Of course. I doubled up some Shiraito from my other Noro hat (below) and figured it was Noro so nobody would notice.


Then I got to the end seam, and by the second stitch into the graft, the yarn had torn. I spliced the ends back together but knew the same thing would keep happening, so I did a very obvious 3-needle bind off as a design element.


The seam doesn’t bother me. I actually think I might pull it out and re-do it in bright red or something. It feels super grunge and the perfect hat for running through leaves and sipping hot cider.


Pattern: none, inspired by Graham
Yarn: noro shiraito in 01 (teal, yellow, green, gray, black)
Needles: US Size 8
Started: Sept 13, 2013
Finished: Sep 18, 2013
Ravelry Link


This one was kind of the same deal as the hat above. I saw the yarn while in Rockland, ME at Over the Rainbow, a totally adorable LYS, and I had never seen this line of Noro before so I grabbed one. Why? Why do I do this? I cast on a plain stockinette hat immediately and had almost completed it by that night. Unfortunately, I tried it on and it was enormous. So I tore it out and started again. And again, enormous. The “ruler” app on the iPhone is really making me look like an idiot right about now. I finally got my gauge and cast on a more interesting hat. It was going to be Graham but, being Noro, I wanted to start top-down for fear of running out of yarn. And somewhere in between counting stitches and incorporating the pattern, I totally skewed it into a broken seed stitch (instead of a broken rib) and just left it. It’s kind of cute, whatever.


I actually had a bit of extra so I knit a tiny bow. I also had just enough left to complete the Zeebee hat (above), counted my blessings, and called it a day.

So that’s what I’ve been up to. Currently on the needles is a pair of arm warmers with the leftovers from the socks, and an oversized Lispenard for the winter. What have you been working on?

❤ v

Renovation Close-Up: Office #1

Because it isn’t just as easy as picking out a color and waiting for the “after” photos, I’m going to start outlining each room, the process of design and renovation, and finally what I would change (or wouldn’t) if given the chance. I’m going to upload a ton of pictures with little descriptions, but if you just want the final run-down (or the finished pictures!), scroll to the bottom.

This is kind of half-assed of me. I’m posting a close-up of a room that isn’t even a room. But it is a separate space, so it’s kind of like a room by NY standards. At least I’m not talking about the shower in my kitchen (I was actually over at a friend’s apartment recently who has a shower in her kitchen. If you’re reading this– sorry! No judgments 🙂 ).

Since M and I both work from home, we wanted to each have our own office space. Back in Toronto, we bought a big desk and shared it, but since my space is always messy from crafting and his is always covered in paperwork, we decided to split off our offices into two spaces. I got the window side of the living room and he got the window side of the bedroom.

This is kind of what it looked like on paper:

As you can see, we divided up the space with furniture. My office is separated from the “living room” space with a wood credenza (aka liquor cabinet) and his by a huge Ikea Expedit bookshelf. This leaves slightly-larger-than-doorway-sized open spaces for us to “enter” our offices. Without this, I would spend my work day trying to catch a glimpse of the TV and he would roll over into bed around lunchtime.

I’m not going to go into renovation details. New floors, new AC units, new windows, new electric. Here’s a quick refresher:


before, clean-ish.


6 months of work in 3 images– how about that? Anyways, once we got moved in an unpacked about 80% of the boxes, I was finally able to SEE my office space again.

^I probably shouldn’t tell you how long we lived like this^

I put together the Ikea desk and the small Ikea Expedit bookshelf. I constructed some curtains (Ikea fabric. Do you see a trend?) and realized I had no space whatsoever for my yarn and fabric. Back to– guess where??– Ikea! 3 Billy bookcases and one week of hex keys and particleboard later, I have this:

ImageIsn’t she a beaut? I love her. The tops still need to be filled with tsotchkes– I can’t reach them without standing on a chair, so I didn’t want to put anything functional in there. I was finally able to start unpacking the rest of my office supplies, and later that week I had this:


There are still some blank spaces on the wall to fill in, and I want to do some fun crafty things with the desk. But overall, I’m happy with where I am right now. It’s a great space to work in. And hey– I’m not using the kitchen counter as a desk… anymore…


• Desk – Ikea… purchased years ago and no longer available.

• Bookshelf – Combination of Billy bookshelves from Ikea with glass doors and height extention ~$300ish

• Curtains – Ikea Monalis, $7/yd

• Flower Pots –Ikea Kardemumma, $4-6 each

• Egg chair – Ikea. Super old… they probably don’t make it anymore. And if they do, don’t buy it– least comfortable office chair ever.

• Chalkboard Window – from Building Character in Lancaster, PA

• Desk Lamp Bird Branch Task Light from Pottery Barn Kids.

• Art bulletin board and “Chinchilla Ranch” sign are handmade by yours truly. Bunny etching from Oldie’s Marketplace in Newburyport, MA (antique), $12. “Make Do and Mend” sign from Urban Outfitters, $20


Next post will be about some exciting life updates! Much more interesting than Ikea furniture!

The Great Destash of 2010!

Hi All. In the midst of all kinds of craziness, we are moving soon and lots of my precious offspring yarn has to go. Here’s a pretty detailed list– if you’re interested in particular dyelots or anything, feel free to email (vanessa [!at] Discounts for buying multiple items!

I am currently living in Manhattan– Midtown West to be more specific– and pickups/meet-ups would be my chosen method of delivery. I can meet you anywhere in the Midtown/Downtown region. If you are very far away, I can send it, but shipping costs are not included. Have at it!!

The Great Destash of 2010!

**All skeins are full, unopened, unused, with labels, unless otherwise noted. If the skein is missing a tag, I have weighed it to ensure that it is a full skein. I am very happy to wind skeins if requested. Click any picture to enlarge**


Koigu Cashmere * 100% Cashmere * $40 for both skeins (described below)

Purple Variegated (Color #C305)– 1 complete (50g) wound skein, 1 partial (27g) wound skein without tag.

This yarn is so pretty and so rare I feel terrible selling it, but I really don’t have a use for it so someone else should have the opportunity. Koigu Cashmere is exclusive to String Yarns in NY– it sells in the store for $40 each. Very rare– the store no longer has any of this color/lot so these are the last 1.5 skeins available. Plenty for a pair of women’s gloves or mittens!


Spud & Chloe Sweater Worsted * 55% Wool, 45% Cotton * $11 each, $40 for all including remnant

Teal (Color #7507)– 4 skeins, one 40g remnant

Leftover from my Darci Cardi– love the yarn, don’t know what else to do with it.


Prism Cashmere * 100% Cashmere * $100 for everything

Ebony– 7 mini skeins. Each sk is 1 oz/47 yd.

In full skeins, 7oz of this stuff would retail for $170 (full skeins are 3.5 oz and $85). Beautiful, soft, warm yarn. There is one skein in a different colorway but you would never know it from just looking at it.

Classic Elite Lavish * 100% Cashmere * $40 each, both for $70

Pink (Color #92559)– 2 skeins

Retails at $60/skein… you know you want it!


Handmaiden 2 Ply Silk Cashmere * 55% Silk, 45% Cashmere * $20

Pink/Yellow Variegated– 1 wound skein, without label.

I don’t know what happened here. I bought this yarn at a fiber festival in Toronto and fell in love– I even wound it after convincing myself that it was my next project, without having any pattern in mind. It has just been sitting on the shelf for 2 years now and somewhere along the line I lost the tag. Ouch. It is still so beautiful, though! Top photos are from when I first bought it, bottom photo is as it is now.

J Knits Superwash Me Sock * 75% Superwash Wool, 25% Nylon * $16

Rhinebeck (Greens and Yellows)– 1 skein

I love the J Knits sock yarn but don’t have the time to knit socks right now… ::sad::


Manos Silk Blend * 70% Merino, 30% Silk * $8

Ocean Blue (Color #3054)– 1 skein


Punta Yarns Merisock Handpainted * Merino, Nylon * $17

Green/Blue/Purple (Color #HP63)– 1 skein


Ella Rae Bamboo Silk * 70% Bamboo, 30% Silk * $5 each

Marine (Color #BS-08)– 1 skein

Chino (Color #BS-02)– 1 skein


Classic Elite Inca Print * 100% Alpaca * $7

Pink/Purple Variegated (Color #4634)– 1 skein


Wendy Peter Pan DK * 100% Acrylic * $2 each, $15 for all 9 skeins of white

White (Color #300)– 6 skeins with labels, 3 without– all full 50g, same dyelot

Variegated Blue (Color #994)– 1 skein

Medium Blue Solid (Color #998)– 1 skein


Southwest Trading Company Twize * 100% Bamboo * $5 each

Pink/Red (Color: Twed)– 9 skeins with labels, 2 wound without– all full 100g, same dyelot

Brown/Black (Color: Twown)– 1 skein

Grey/Pink (Color: Twey)– 1 skein


Berroco Comfort * 100% Acrylic * $5 each

Light Gray (Color #9729)– 1 skein

Cream (Color #9701)– 1 skein

Black (Color #9734)– 1 skein

Seafoam (Color #9714)– 1 skein

**Comfort Sock** Dark Heather (Color #1713)– 1 skein


Cascade Lana Bambu * 79% Wool, 21% Bamboo * $10

Gray (Color #06)– 1 skein


Dalegarn Stork * 100% Egyptian Cotton * $3 each

Dark Navy (Color #15)– 2 skeins with prices written on labels


Debbie Bliss Alpaca Silk * 80% Alpaca, 20% Silk * $4 each

Aran Weight Black (Color #25001)– 1 skein

Aran Weight Teal (Color #25023)– 1 skein

DK Weight Gray (Color #26003)– 1 skein

Skeins are characteristically slightly messy but still unused.


Steinbach Wolle Aktiv Color 100 * 75% Wool, 25% Nylon * $10

Blue (Color #06)– 1 skein


Misti Pima Cotton & Silk * 83% Cotton, 17% Silk * $9 each

Black (Color #50)– 1 skein

Terra Cotta (Color #0163)– 1 skein, wound


Anny Blatt Folie * 53% Mohair, 34% Wool, 13% Acrylic * $12 for all including remnant

Off White (Color #3001)– 3 40g skeins (1 tagless), one 16g remnant



Grignasco Top Print * 100% Alpaca * $4 each, 10 for all 3

Denim (Color #075)– 3 complete skeins (1 tagless)



Phildar Slogan * 100% Acrylic * $2 for all of ‘em

Blue (Color #85H)– 3 complete 50g skeins, one 45g skein without label


Gedifra New Age * 100% Nylon * $3 each

Black (Color #2114)– 2 complete very messy skeins

Caron Simply Soft * 100% Acrylic * $2 each

Baby Brights Ombre (Color #9801)– 1 full 4 oz skein with label, one 3 3/4 oz skein without

**Shadows** Mardi Grey (Color #007)– 1 skein



Red Heart Super Saver * 100% Acrylic * $2

Real Teal (Color #0656)– 1 skein

(Dare I say it?…)

Lion Brand Fun Fur… don’t even ask. * 100% Polyester * $2 each

Raspberry (Color #112) * 4 skeins


(And a few randoms…)


SOLD SORRY!  Off White Wool Roving. 100 g. $5

Off White Nameless Yarn on Cone. 316g (cone obviously included in weight). Looks like a laceweight to me– plain wool (kind of scratchy). $15



Sweet Sheep Sweet Super Skein in Evergreen, leftover from my Clapotis. 90g remaining, which is slightly under half the original size but still plenty for lots of projects. No tag, sorry :(. Photos are from before and after Clapotis was knit. $10


If you have any questions or would like me to reserve something for you, email me at vanessa [!at] Thanks everyone and have a fantastic New Year!

catching up

it’s been too long since i last wrote here. so long, in fact, that i couldn’t get myself to post again until something totally epic was going on to make up for the time gap. more time went on, nothing really interesting happened– i moved, i knit, i yelped… and then i realized that nothing was as big as i would have wanted to resuscitate my hardly-breathing blog. instead, so much has built up in notes, pictures, and half-finished projects and i don’t have my handy archive to organize my mind. so here i go, attempting to restart it, but full well knowing that i don’t have the time to blog as much as i used to in canada.

1. hemlock ring

is almost done. i’m past the original doily pattern and into the feather and fan as written by jared flood. i have no idea how big it’ll be, but i’m just about out of yarn (11 balls of debbie bliss cashmerino chunky goes quick!). i have no clue where i’m going to block it. the photo above is from last week– i’m too lazy to get a new progress shot.

2. flame lace scarf

still workin’ on it. blah. love it, hate the repetition.

3. herringbone mitts

this one is a new project. mike and i were going to the US open on labor day and i realized i didn’t have a project that was well-suited to watching a ball go back and forth and back and forth in front of me. the hemlock was wayy too big and the flame lace i was afraid my dear turbo lace needles would be confiscated. so i grabbed two colors of sirdar snuggly (from the naked sheep summer sale) and ran a pattern search through ravelry. i really like them so far but they’re gonna be HUGE. i don’t have all my needles unpacked yet so i had to use the recommended size for the project– flashback to the first three times i cast on the endpaper mitts. anyway, this has become my transit knitting, i’m about halfway through the first mitt and done w/ the cuff on the 2nd. this will take awhile though because they’re not top priority.

4. koigu cashmere armwarmers

just cast on these today. did you even KNOW there was a koigu cashmere? mmmmmmm…. i’m worried that my entire stash will seem worthless once i begin working with cash but it’s looking sort of inevitable. i can’t resist!

5. moving

i am not moving again anytime in the near future. this time i mean it. 15 times in 5 years, and we’re back in new york. i love the neighborhood and the apartment, and the fact that our grocery store stocks more than two brands of each item (*cough dominion sucks cough*). unfortunately, one thing i don’t love is our furniture. because we have none. between flaky delivery guys, confused woodworkers, and a lack of car we have not been able to buy one new item of furniture. not like we’re not used to living out of boxes or anything. our absolute last choice was ikea, and mike is going today with my father. i hate their aesthetic and their quality, but it looks like this may be the only way to actually get a bookshelf successfully into our apartment.

6. working

it has always been my dream to own a yarn store. part of that dream has been to gain experience so that my future awesome store doesn’t go belly-up due to my never having worked at a yarn store. so when we moved back i got a job at one! its an adorable store on 82nd and lex called string and the people are all really nice. did i mention that “checking inventory”=rolling around in cashmere? gotta love it. i’m also working out three brand new winter patterns for the store. the koigu cash mitts will be one. and it’ll be free with purchase of yarn from our store (which can be bought online for any non-new yorkers). more on that later.

for now, i think that’s enough catching up. i wont be posting here as often as i used to, but i’ll at least try to update when there’s a FO or two or when i have a new pattern. happy knitting!

beach week 2k8

aside from the initial adventure (see last post), beach week 2k8 was a huge success. mike and i spent a week in oak island, NC with his extended family. a little awkward, but my handmade wardrobe seemed to be a success (i regularly received comments but was never asked “did you make that”– a good sign, i think) and we both enjoyed our relaxing week out in the sun.

that was the view from our roof, with our umbrella directly ahead. pretty, eh?

the clapotis is about 5 ft long now, unstretched– definitely wearable, but i think i’m going to keep going til i run out of yarn. i have a lot left so it’ll probably have to wrap around my neck twice, but that’s ok. i’m loving it so far and can’t wait for the fall to actually wear it.

last week, Diana commented, “how do you knit on the beach without sand getting in EVERYTHING?”… well the answer is, i don’t really. any sand will probably shake out as you work, or drown out while it’s soaked/blocked… at least that’s what i’m pulling for.

one of the best things about being back in america was the shopping. not that there’s anything other than surf shops and bbq restaurants on oak island, but we spent one day in southport, the nearest town, and one in wilmington, about an hour away. in southport, we stumbled upon a really amazing store called angelwing needle arts. normally the term “needle arts” is pretty pretentious, but in this case i can’t think of any other way to describe it. the owner said she likes to swing between crafts (sound familiar?) so the store contains everything from beautiful yarn to designer fabric to handmade buttons to rug hooking and cross stitch supplies… plus a huge book and magazine section, including old patterns and mags for $1. mm heaven.

the malabrigo worsted was only $10/hank– and so pretty! how could i resist? this photo doesn’t really do them justice– the light one (water green 83) is much greener and the dark one is blacker (VAA 51). i don’t know what i want to do with these, but they definitely go together. and i can’t stop rubbing my face in them so maybe some sort of neckwarmer or hat.

i thought i was really getting used to life in the south (i’ve lived there before so it shouldn’t be too big of an adjustment) but then i saw this and couldn’t stop cracking up

…maybe i’m not really a southerner after all.

it’s textile day in canada

as every crafter in toronto knows, today and tomorrow are the annual textile museum yardage sale. everything from thread to dressforms, fat quarters to knitting needles– for prices even an american will find shocking. i got there about ten minutes after it opened and can’t really say i was surprised to see a wall of people, slowly moving as one, through each of the tents. an hour later, i had filled two bags. i saw what some other people were lugging away and i didn’t do half bad. right?

(the yarn was $1-2 a bag, books were $.25-$2, and needles were $1. i spent a total of about $20.)

the “complete book of knitting and crocheting” was a really cool find– it’s from 1953 according to the copyright page and contains some extraordinarily outdated and weird designs, as well as some i’m embarrassed to say i really want to knit. (click to enlarge)

i also noticed some of the bags of yarn i was buying had partially finished garments in them, but when i began to sort through i realized there was actually a completed sweater– i don’t know if i’m going to seam it though. i might just unravel– i have to figure out what size it is. it’s not my style but i’m not going to argue with a $1 sweater– some assembly required.

anyways after that (and a quick stop for pizza) i headed over to lettuce knit for a dye workshop. i brought along some bristol yarn gallery buckingham and tried handpainting for the first time. i didn’t know what to expect but i think it turned out pretty well, eh?

now what to do with 220 yds of fingering-weight? hmm…