Tuesday, 22 April 2014

Sneak Preview: Mrs. Jardine

   I am very excited to tell you guys about my newest pattern that will be released very soon. I am just waiting for my boyfriend fiancĂ© husband (someday I will get used to that) to finalize a few more photos. But here is a preview for you guys:

   This sweater is a prime example of necessity as the mother of invention. The yarn store where I work, Passionknit, had just four skeins left of this gorgeous purple yarn (Madelinetosh DK in Vishnu). So I decided that I needed to come up with a sweater that would only take me four skeins. Of course the best way to make sure I had enough was to use a fabric that was very open. I picked out one of my favourite lace patterns, grabbed a needle one size larger than the yarn called for and got to work. The product was a loose open sweater that makes a great lightweight top for Spring. I hope you will like it as much as I do.

   While I knit the sweater out of a wool, it would also look great in a cotton or bamboo blend. Something even lighter would make it perfect for the warm months to come, though its hard to believe the crazy winter we have had in Toronto this year will ever loosen its grasp on us. We can only hope, and knit.

Sunday, 13 April 2014

Day Four

This was a big day for us; we were going to do something we never really do: exercise. One of the first activities Alex suggested for our trip was going on a bike tour across the Golden Gate Bridge. This made me nervous for a couple of reasons. 1) I don't like heights and the Golden Gate Bridge looks like this:

2) We don't bike. I haven't been on a bike in years. This is not to say that I was afraid I had forgotten how, the statement "its like riding a bike" didn't come from nowhere. But I knew I would not be good at it. In addition to being tall that bridge is also long. I had a feeling this was going to prove to be a challenge for me stamina-wise. In addition the idea of a tour, where we were biking with other people made that whole bit worse. The idea that I might be out of breath, trying to keep up only to get to the rest spot to find a bunch of grumpy in shape people who were already bored of waiting for me by the time I got there never mind letting me catch my breath before we all moved on to the next part where I would quickly fall behind once again. I imagined them saying things like "Oh the Jardines are behind again, guess we will have to wait some more" in exasperated tones.

3) These tours are pricey, and the idea of doing something that made me nervous was one thing, but spending a bunch of money on it was adding insult to injury.

 But it was the one thing Alex really really really wanted to do. Now my cousin had been to San Francisco with his wife, and when he heard we were going the one bit of advice he gave me was if you bike over the Golden Gate Bridge take a tour. They had gone on their own and gotten very lost. They almost didn't make it in time to catch the ferry that takes you back to the city. Now my lack of physical fitness is second only to my complete and utter lack of a sense of direction. So I knew if a normal person got lost, I pretty much had no chance of getting there. So I was ready to listen to his advice, and spring for the tour, mostly.

   So Alex and I walked down to the water a bit after breakfast, and walked up to the first bike rental booth we saw. The young gentleman there was extremely friendly. He said his company did not offer tours, but that it was a very easy route to follow, and he would give us a map and walk us through it before we left. We were convinced. After all, I thought, I had Alex with me, and his sense of direction is actually very good. We also figured we had our iPhones, and in an emergency we could turn on roaming data and use the gps to find out way. I honestly don't know how I ever successfully arrived anywhere before turn by turn directions. So off we went.

   It was a long ride, and getting up to the bridge was super difficult. I wimped out and walked my bike a few times going up those hills. But it was nowhere near as hard as I thought it would be. And though the bridge was very tall, it didn't seem as scary as I thought it would. We made it to Sausalito, walked around for a while, and then caught the ferry back to San Francisco with time to spare. In the end this was my favourite day of the trip.

Tuesday, 8 April 2014

Remember Knitting...

  I originally thought this blog would be about knitting, not just an excellent chance to journal about my trip. So here is what I have been working on: a sweater for my husband, my wedding present to him and some socks. 

Pattern: Hugo by Veronik Avery
Yarn: Madelinetosh DK in Whiskey Barrel

Pattern: Hedera by CookieA with minor modifications for lengths and toe.
Yarn: Stricken Smitten Sinful Sock in Scheherezade's Sky
(this was from 2012 CookieA sock club)

   The sweater is turning out great. I even went whole hog, and did the tubular cast on the pattern recommends, which is a pain in the behind, but also makes a very nice edge. I will say that since this pattern is done in pieces, working back and forth for the tubular cast on was much easier than doing it in the round. I just found the hole thing less confusing. I will be modifying the sleeves for in the round anyways; I love the guy but there is only so much seaming I am willing to tolerate. 

   The socks are pretty. I started them just before the wedding because I wanted something simple but not boring in a colour that went with my colour scheme. The picture above is not a great representation of colour, but they are more purple than blue. The yarn came from the CookieA sock club, and I didn't want to make the patterns that went with that shipment. So I thought doing another CookieA pattern would be thematic. 

Thursday, 3 April 2014

Day III Drive

    So I can't commit to a numbering scheme, I like variety anyways...

   One of the things Alex was most looking forward to was driving along the California coastline. So we rented a Ford Mustang, which apparently are all rental cars. And we drove twisty roads that had giant cliffs off the side and no guard rails even on the bridges. I was a wreck the entire time, and if it weren't for the few breaks we took to admire the scenery and take photos I probably would have passed out. But the pictures were gorgeous!


   But before we got to these twisty roads of death and the lovely vistas, we headed to the Monterey Bay Aquarium. As we were driving through a mostly residential area, I suddenly cried out "Yarn Store!" like a sailor calling out "Land!" I hadn't been in a yarn store in over a week through all our crazy planning and wedding stuff. Fortunately Alex knew exactly whom he had married, and without argument or question he found a place to park. 
   The Twisted Stitch is a lovely little shop. We found some lovely hand dyed sock yarn, some of which came home with me and some ended up as a gift for my maid of honour. 

   Pictures a little fuzzy, but one of those skeins is already gone, so thats the only one with all three. Then we went to the aquarium. There were some really great tanks with fish and sharks and jellies, but my favourite was this guy:

   He moved around quite a bit. It was awesome.