Gauge problems

I saw a great pattern on Instagram and was waiting for it to be released.  It called for aran weight yarn, but I thought I could probably do it with worsted – my favourite Cascade 220, as I have some of that in my stash.  It’s called “First Watch” and is a pea coat styled cardigan.  It is by Olive Knits.  I swatched with Cascade 220, and while I was able to get that gauge of 18 st per 4″, the fabric was way too drapey for this sort of garment.

I was at my (not so) local yarn store a week or so ago, and picked up some Berocco Vintage which is labeled as an aran weight.  I did a gauge swatch and it, too, was far to flimsy for this type of structure.  So I ended up ordering some Cascade Longwood, which is a true aran weight.  I did a quick swatch of it last night and my gauge was bang on.

Cascade Longwood

Cascade Longwood

The colour is a little off.  It’s sort of a paprika/brick red orange.  I’ll pick up some awesome buttons when I’m in Vancouver in a couple of weeks at Button Button!

In the meantime, I decided to start a pair of socks, because who doesn’t love knitting socks?!

Cashluxe Spark

Cashluxe Spark

This is some Sweet Georgia Yarns sock yarn club from 2015.  It’s more purple/red.  I have some purple left over from another pair of socks that I will use for the heels and toes.  Such great yarn!

We have been diligent in getting our lane swimming in at least once a week.  We have gone a few times to a really nice complex in Saskatoon and had some great swims there.  I am seeing progress in my technique, but it’s slow.

next stop, the Olympics!

next stop, the Olympics!


Some knitting

I got a bee in my bonnet to make a Cowichan-inspired sweater.  I didn’t necessarily want to make a bulky weight sweater, and I found a great alternative on Ravelry.  The “Knitter’s Dude Sweater” (so named because it was a replication of the sweater in “The Big Lebowski”).  It’s a worsted weight version, so much more to my liking for both knitting and wearing.

two sleeves done

I wanted to change the pattern’s motif/colourwork charts to suit me, so I found an octopus graph and am incorporating that into the sweater.


I have to add length to the body and sleeves, so I’m keeping good notes and hopefully it won’t end up too long.  The sweater is knit completely in the round, then the front is steeked to turn it into a cardigan.  The collar is added last.

Ravelry project page is here.

Door Prizes

Our gym had its “one year anniversary” event on Saturday.  I donated a couple of items for the door prizes.

OnLine Supersocke socks

OnLine Supersocke socks

Ravelry project page is here.  A simple pair of ribbed socks.  Lovely colour – it’s a deeper red than comes through in the photos.  I made them in a women’s large/men’s medium size.

And I had a hat pattern I wanted to try out, so I used up yarn from my green striped socks and made the Midas Hat.

slouchy hat

slouchy hat

Ravelry project page is here.  Could be a good pattern for using up bits of sock yarn.  I made the inside brim one colour, then switched after the purl (turning) round for the rest of the hat.  The SGY Tough Love sock yarn is soooo soft when it’s been washed, so I gave this hat a bath before I took it to the gym.

I haven’t decided yet on my next (bigger) project, so for now it’s more hats and mittens to donate.

Green Striped Socks

I finished these last week, but have been having trouble getting photos to upload to Flickr.

socks for me!

I used two shades of Sweet Georgia Yarns “Tough Love Sock Yarn”.  I started with three-round stripes, then two, then singles, then back up to three. The Ravelry project page is here.

There is still a hat on the needles and I’ve started another pair of socks.

We’ve been working hard at the gym and have a couple more events planned before the end of summer.  A team “mini triathlon” and then Spartan on September long weekend.

Our friends have had an abundance of zucchini and I found a recipe to make muffins with them.

chocolate zucchini muffins

The recipe took a couple of tries and some tweaks, but they’re pretty darn good!  Changes I made – the first time I tried this recipe, it was very dry, not like a muffin batter at all. So this time:

I used three eggs
I used the full ¼ c of maple syrup
I added one banana, mashed up
I used natural peanut butter, and I let it come to room temperature to make it mix better.
I used Enjoy Life mini chocolate chips (1/4 cup) and I blended them in with the zucchini.  I also increased the amount of cocoa to 1/4 cup.

I’ve made it a couple more times since then.

A couple of hats

When it’s hot (as it is on the prairie in July and August) I sure don’t feel like having a lap full of wool, so I have been staying away from starting any sweaters or shawls.  I made a couple more hats to go in my donation bin.

a woman’s medium, simple toque


slightly larger, men’s or women’s

Both made with leftover Vanna’s Choice yarn.  I have a lot of smaller amounts of different colours, so my goal is to keep making simple, warm hats until it’s all used up.

Did I show this hat before:

bulky “Woolspun” yarn using a broken rib texture

I had a few balls of a bulky weight yarn that I wanted to use up, and while these are very quick knits, the thick yarn annoys my hands, so this will be the last one I’ll make.  I am giving the remainder of my bulky yarn to a fellow knitter.

So the plan is to stick to smaller projects.  I couldn’t go very long without having some socks on the needles, so I have a pair underway along with a smaller hat made with Vanna’s Choice.


Chunky Mittens

I had chunky/bulky weight yarn left over from a hat I’d made during the winter, so I wanted to make mittens to match.  I didn’t have a “go to” pattern because I always make mittens using worsted weight.  I looked around online and found some patterns but they all seemed to be oddly written.  So I just went ahead and created my own.

Lion’s Pride Woolspun yarn

They were a quick knit, but I prefer worsted.

matchy matchy!

Into the donation box!

Sparkle Socks

The secret socks I was working on have been delivered to their recipient.  They turned out pretty nice!


Sweet Georgia Yarns “Glitterati” Sock Yarn in wisteria and sapphire

Ravelry project page is here.  I probably wouldn’t have had enough of the purple yarn to do the sock completely (men’s shoe size 12) so I also had the lovely “sapphire” sparkle yarn.


sparkly toe!

It was hard to capture the colours correctly with my camera. The blue is darker than it appears and the purple also is a deeper hue.

I do have enough of the sapphire to make myself a pair of socks, I think.

Last Friday (March 25th) was the last week of the Crossfit Open.  As my arm was still healing and I was having a hard time getting the swelling to subside, I opted out of doing 16.5.  It was a real stinker of a workout, so I’m not too broken up about missing it.  Next year I’ll do all five!

I did help out judging again:


being judgemental

We had a gym event on Good Friday and had a potluck as well as the workout.  Such a great community of friends.


Five of the six of the Happy Hour Crew

And it wouldn’t be a blog entry without the poopers:


It was warm enough a few days ago to have some windows open and get the breeze blowing through the living room.


I waited until yesterday during the day to weave the ends in and take some photos of my little shrug/bolero jacket.  The yarn is a darkish blue.  (I had trouble getting the colour to be properly represented in the photos.)


“mapie” colourway of Sweet Georgia Yarns Cashluxe Spark

I had tried to make the Lady Cornwall shrug, but found the pattern so ill-written and hard to follow, after five tries I just used the stitch count and construction details to make a stockinette stitch version.  Ravelry project page here.


just the right size!

The shrug starts with the neck edge, then raglan increases are made forming the sleeves.  Sleeve stitches put on waste yarn, then the stitches for the body ribbing is picked up all the way around.  Really ingenious.


two inches of twisted rib



this shows a bit of the ‘magpie’ colour – the greeny purple within the blue.



25 feet of front-rack 35lb lunges … then burpees, then lunges, then pull ups. Ugh!

At our gym, several of us are participating in the 2016 Crossfit Open.  The first wod was on Friday.  It was a tough one!  I can only wonder what they have in store for us for this week!

Almost Finished My Shrug

I have a cute little black dress (sleeveless) that I plan to wear to a concert in a couple of weeks.  As it’s still winter here, I wanted a shrug or little bolero jacket to pair with it.  The one I had before is too tight in the shoulders and arms (thanks, Crossfit).

After browsing for a few hours on Ravelry, I found a very nice, lacy pattern called Lady Cornwall. There were plenty of completed projects and no one had any serious problems with it.  So when I was in Vancouver, I picked out a luxurious cashmere blend yarn for it.  After I had finished my latest socks, I started the pattern.

I ended up starting this project FIVE times.  The yarn I was using has a metallic sparkle fibre woven in, and by the time I ripped it out the fifth time, the sparkle had either fallen out or been destroyed.  (It was only about an inch and a half of knitting over 80 some stitches, so not a huge loss).

The pattern is … okay, but the formatting of the text and the way the instructions are written out are not very friendly.  Changes in fonts/sizes, reading one part of the pattern on page 2 then having to flip to page 4, etc.  The lace pattern itself (I was working from written instructions, not the chart) were somewhat confusing and instead of setting out that the center of the lace panel is done over a six stitch repeat, every row had an indication of how many stitches would be left in that section and give a separate set of instructions, even though the first six would be another lace repeat.  The way the written instructions were presented, it was easy to miss YOs and other stitches.

Another problem I had was that the lace pattern for the sleeve started on a different row than the lace pattern for the back.  So you would start the lace pattern on row 5 for the first part, then switch to row 11, then back to row 5.

I kept ending up with erroneous stitch counts (likely I was missing YOs), so I finally gave up.  But wanting to get my money’s worth, I used the construction and cast on/increases of the pattern and just did stocking stitch instead of the lace pattern.


view of the back

I had the sleeve stitches on waste yarn to try on the back after completing the ribbing.


ribbing to come

I will finish the sleeve ribbing today or tomorrow!

Got a hair cut a few days ago.  I basically just get the sides and back cut.  I’m trying to get the top long enough to bring out my curls.  Whenever I do get a cut, she always styles it like this.  Meh.


Meh. I was going to the gym later anyway, so it didn’t matter.


Vancouver Part 3

On Friday, we had a lazy morning, no rush to get going.  We wanted to check out the Sweet Georgia Yarns studio.  They are one of my favourite yarn producers and local to Vancouver.  I wanted to find a nice luxurious yarn to use to make a shrug to go with a sleeveless black dress I have.


this is the sale “bin”

They have a small office/storefront with their in stock yarns/colours, and next door was the dyeing space and the clearance/sale bins.  What a delight!  They have several different yarn weights and blends and they are all quite lovely.

(The sharp-eyed among you might notice Ande is wearing MY new boots … what a good friend to help me break them in!)

I ended up getting some Cashluxe Spark in the “magpie” colourway.  I think it’s a good match to my shoes:


Fluevog Odette and Cashluxe Spark in Magpie

(More on the shrug in a later post.)

We had Ande’s nephew coming to stay overnight, so we didn’t stay away too long.  The yarn studio was our big excursion.

These boots (Fluevog Malcolm) were worn to start breaking them in:


Fluevog Malcolm in brown – very comfy already!

We had a lovely supper then watched a movie and knit.


my whippety assistant!