Monday, February 11, 2013

On sabbatical...

Well not really, but I'm sure you've more than noticed my absence from this blog for the last (many) months now! I just wanted to check in and say that said abscence will probably continue (possibly indefinitely). Life's been busy and I'm trying to spend some time enjoying it. I feel like I'm online enough still, and the guilt about not posting here (with my usual 40 paragraph dissections of everything I've been knitting --snore!) is a pretty big time suck when I have no intention of really blogging "professionally".

I'm not ruling it out in the future, and won't be taking down this blog altogether, but am contemplating a less text-heavy avenue. Speaking for myself I am definitely more of a blog "skimmer" than actual "reader" these days, opting instead to stare at the pretty, pretty pictures all day long.

I did however want to say that I LOVE YOU GUYS!! You've made my time here really worthwhile, and while I know this blog was pretty much about knitting and knitting only, I feel like I've made a lot of friends through it (cyber penpals, real-life or otherwise...) and your support, advice and encouragement has been amazing, so for that I thank-you from the bottom of my heart. BIGGEST HUGS

So that said, there are still plenty of places online for you to find me if you are so inclined!

Of course I am STILL KNITTING, and you can find more of that on Ravelry --my user name is Jadeblade.

There have been a few knits lately and you can find more details on all of them over there.



Other places you can find me:

Flickr!. I've probably been on Flickr for almost a decade now (and believe me you do not want to look back and see how crappy my pictures were ten years ago...I think I've come a long way in that department at least) But I do post new photos there on a weekly basis...some are knitting-related but mostly they are shots of my day to day adventures, vacations I go on, bike rides, pretty things etc. etc.

 Instagram --are you on Instagram? It is definitely my over-riding obsession these days. I will post pictures pretty much daily (and warning they are of the usual instagram navel-gazing variety, you WILL see pictures of my feet and food and things I think are funny.) --I try to keep the selfies to a dull roar though.

Pinterest Lots of knitting inspiration over there too, but I am definitely pinning recipes and fashion and shoes and random design stuff and other crafts as well. I love pinterest! It makes me feel like I am shopping without spending the money (and also without getting the stuff, but I can dream at least...)

I'm also on facebook and but meh, that's kind of boring and I'm hardly ever on there anymore. Facebook is mostly about friends and family (and spying on ex-boyfriends, natch.)

So there you have it, please still be my friend all over the internet! xo Cara

Monday, July 16, 2012

I'm alive!

Sorry I hope none of you are dealing with major abandonment issues right now because of me! ...and I am definitely aware that this blog needs a bit of a makeover if I'm to keep it going to any appreciable extent.

There hasn't been a lot of knitting happening this summer (carpel tunnel, thank you very much), but at this point I'm so far behind on updates that I will at least post a couple knits for posterity's sake if nothing else. Those of you who check in on Ravelry may have already seen these: I have two good friends having babies this summer, and there's nothing more satisfying than a baby knit!

acorn/squirrel yoked cardi

free pattern (Ravelry): Tulip yoked baby cardigan that I modified with acorns instead of Tulips --I made up my own chart for this since I couldn't find one anywhere. And I also added the squirrels à la TraceyNicole who seriously makes the most insanely adorable baby knits. I've copied several of her ideas at this point!

Untitled

The yarn I used here was Cascade 220 Superwash sport on 3.75mm needles.

When I saw the squirrel/acorn mods I knew I absolutely had to make it. Something about it just screamed CANADIANA to me, and the parents were leaving the sex of the baby a surprise (in the end it was a boy...) and Daddy was a Brazilian/Chinese transplant to Canada that it all just seemed kind of fitting.

It turned out adorable, though if I had to do it again, I might be inclined to go with something "woolier". I know superwash is probably good for a baby, but I am fearful that some ends will start slipping out.

Also for the fabulous Miss Muffy that some of you here probably follow as well...

change-up

free pattern: Pebble vest (I love that you can take what is essentially meant to be a "boy's vest" and turn it into a cute tunic for a girl).
yarn: Patons Classic in "cognac heather" / needles: 3.75mm and some matching booties to go with:

Untitled

(also a free Ravelry download, baby janes)

And yes, there was a bit of switch-up there... the little lamb became a heart. I always seem to go for hearts anyway, but after my mom said "what a cute car" I knew it had.to.go.



There are a few more things in the works but knitting has overall been at a standstill of late. I have at least determined that the carpel tunnel issues I'm having are down to RIDING MY BIKE more than they are knitting, so that's good news at least (cuz really if I had to choose...). I'm hopeful that everything will be highly correctable.

Plus ugh it's been so hot this summer that knitting is the last thing on my mind these days. So traffic on this here blog may continue to be sporadic but I haven't given up on it yet.

I'm also still addicted to Instagram if you want to follow me there @recklessglue and on Flickr I still go by Jadeblade.

I don't ever stray too far from the internets in some capacity, and I'm definitely still reading a lot of your blogs, so hopefully this is the kick in the ass I need to get back to blogging. In future I may try to go a little more photo-heavy and a lot less wordy, but well you know how that goes...blah blah blah type-type-type!

xo Cara

Monday, February 13, 2012

knitting & technology

Sooo, I meant to post this ages ago, but never got around to it. Better late than never? (Especially since there's not much "new" knitting to speak of right now, heh)

I knit this for my sister for Christmas...



And in case you were unsure, it's an ipad sleeve! I knit it in some lionbrand cottonease I had in the stash...and it's a free pattern from Emily Nimz.



My only gaffe was in "pattern assumption"...I had basically finished knitting it in it's entirety before I realized the pattern called for a special cast-on that would have allowed for a seamless bottom. D'oh! But I wasn't about to tear back and just seamed it up instead. That's what I get for just plunging in and casting on my usual way.

I was trying to hold out for pictures of it with the ipad inside, but it completely slipped my mind on Xmas day and I just never got around to it again. Ah well, she assures me it fits!

I like to tease my sister about her intense ipad addiction, but it seems that I too have now joined the iphone revolution...

All that to say... if you'd like to follow me on instagram my handle is: recklessglue. You can be my like 5th friend (sad, I know haha).

I mean let's get real, instagram was the main reason I even bought an iphone in the first place! But if you have suggestions for any fun apps send 'em my way (I have already kind of gone app-crazy...I think in the first week alone I loaded about 15 different camera apps) but are there any good knitting ones? I almost loaded a stitch/row counter but then thought better of it. (When was the last time I even counted rows?). I need like a lazy-knitter app or something. Or maybe one that will just do.the.knitting.for.me.

And I'm sure I'm kind of late to this party but I'm also on Pinterest now too. BOY HOWDY do I love being able to pin knitting patterns and various inspirations. Easy Peasy...


See you somewhere on the internets!

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Peter Pan Collars


hmmmm, that looks like a V-neck to me, but what the hell do I know.

As a long time thrifter and lover of mod-fashion many was the day I would while away the hours on ebay using the search term "peter pan collar" in vain hopes of finding a sixties gem.



These days, the Peter Pan collar is back baby, and you can find them all over the place. Which I suppose is good news for those of that like to buy cheap dresses on Modcloth! (though part of my New Year's resolution was no more online clothing shopping--the duty and shipping fees to Canada were killing me)



So with that in mind I decided to spruce up a few collar-less items in my own closet. I hunted around on Ravelry but couldn't really find a pattern that fit the bill so I improvised this wee design in garter stitch. Within a couple of days I had cranked out a few of them in different sizes so I thought I'd post this "recipe" for you too in case you wanted one of your own.



There is nothing fancy here--you basically just wear it like a necklace (or a BIB!). The yarns I've used are heavy enough to keep it from sliding around, but you could always secure it a bit better to your top to keep it from moving at all.

This would be so cute in a super-fuzzy angora!

I hate it when patterns "over-explain" things, but that is exactly what I am about to do here!

Peter Pan Collar

needles: 4.5mm (U.S #7)
yarn: Aran or Worsted weight ---yarns pictured here: Debbie Bliss Alpaca Silk (pink), Lang Silk Dream (taupe) and the cream one is Misti Alpaca Worsted. As far as yardage goes, I have no idea, it was all scrap yarn from the stash--definitely less than half to a quarter of a ball of anything.
gauge...not so important. You can petty much make these any size you want, just use a needle size that is appropriate for your yarn. You can adjust the size up and down based on how many stitches you cast on and the length you knit your straps.

N.B: I've knit these in garter stitch, but seed stitch would be nice as well. Basically anything that is the same front/back will lay flat and keep the edges from curling. Stockinette stitch would look fab, but you would definitely need to block it to keep it laying flat. Slipping the first stitch also makes for a nicer edge, but I haven't done that in any of the collars pictured here.

(lapels --you will make 2)
CO 12 sts
Row 1: Knit
Row 2: K1, M1, K to end (13 sts)
Rows 3-11: Repeat row 2 until you have 22 sts
Rows 12-20: Knit

Cut yarn. Leave these stitches live. It is up to you if you want to take them off and place them on a stitch holder or some waste yarn. I just left mine on my needles and pushed them out of the way (I knit on circulars) before knitting the second one. Just make sure when you have to line up your two lapels again for joining that they are both facing the same way.

CO 12 sts again and repeat rows 1-20, but don't cut your yarn this time. You will then have two of these "lapels". Line them up side by side on your needles.

Knit all the way across joining your lapels together as you go.
Next Row: Knit
Next row: K8, BO 32 center sts, K8

You will now work the straps separately.

(right strap)
Next row: Knit
Next row: K1, SL1, K1, PSSO, K to end (You are decreasing 1 stitch at the neck edge on alternate rows)
Repeat these last two rows until 4 sts remain.

Knit 13 rows
Next row: (make button hole) K1, BO 1 st, K2
Next row: K2, CO 1 st, K1
Next row: Knit
BO all sts

Now, I should probably say here that you don't have to put in a button hole if you don't want to...you could leave both straps flat and attach with velcro, or slide in a ribbon so you can tie a pretty bow at the back of your neck, whatever works for you.



ALSO, I have knit my straps quite short because I wanted my collar tight to my neck to wear with high-neck shirts. If you have a specific top or dress you want to wear this with try it on for length to see where the collar will fall, and knit your length accordingly. If you knit it short like mine you may find yourself with a big gap of skin showing before your top starts!

(left strap)
Re-join yarn at the neck edge
Knit 2 rows
Begin neck decreases as per right strap until 4 sts remain
Knit to desired length and bind off (no button hole this side)

Weave in ends, lightly block if desired (all of the collars pictured here are not blocked)
Sew on your button, wear with girlie pride.



Some ideas for yarn modification...

As I said you can pretty much knit this in any size---for example, using a bulky yarn you might want to CO 8 sts instead of 12. You would then do your row 2 increase until you had 18 sts instead of 22. The rest of the pattern would pretty much stay the same, but you would have to adjust the width of your straps accordingly and the number of center stitches you would be binding off. Same goes for a smaller/finer gauge yarn with more stitches being cast on. You would bind off more center stitches and have more stitches in the width of your straps (which would also mean more decreases at the neck edge until you got the strap how you wanted it.

I'll see if I can set up a pattern page for this right on Ravelry--would love to see if anyone else knits this!

xo Cara

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

HAWT pink

yes...hot pink-a colour I'm surprised I even had in my stash!

I always think I'm such a "neutrals" girl but yesterday as I was looking at my Ravelry projects page I was struck by how colourful everything was. I'm not sure if that's just "how I take a picture" --I tend to like fairly saturated images--or if it's actually that everything in my life is more colourful than I give it credit for (It is slightly ironic that I am a vintage lover but do not like this current trend of post-processing all photos to have a vintage feel to them).

Maybe I've just been saying "I'm a neutrals girl" for so long that it's become part of my daily lexicon, true or not. I'm sure all of the colourful tights in my wardrobe would have something to say about this.

Still, I'm hard-pressed to generally wear anything THIS brain-metingly PINK on a regular basis:



And honestly I had to cool these photos down so it wouldn't sear your retinas out of your head the second you loaded this page.

painfully pink boot toppers

These were a little project that I started MONTHS ago in an effort to simply get-this-pink-outta-my-stash and after seeing a similar pair knit by Crispianna on Ravelry. (And how much do I love those boots she's wearing...me want!).

Seriously I think I started these back in September expecting to wear them all fall with tights and dresses, but the tiny needles started to rub my fingers the wrong way and I just dropped the project altogether right when I was in the home stretch. They languished with about an inch to go until I finally just did.it.to.get.it.done. Now they become my "first official project of 2012". ( I am obviously easing into the New Year...)

So what would you call these? Boot toppers? Footless socks? Miniature legwarmers? (I am not embarrassed to admit that I have always been a "legwarmers" girl--even when they went horribly out of fashion, so this is not a stretch for me).

Also note: I am not likely to wear them as I have them pictured. I have been tucking them into boots more like socks if I'm wearing them with jeans, so they are usually hidden. With tights I am wearing them more like legwarmers, so they are definitely visible then, if that helps.

Size-wise this is a far cry from all the blankets and rugs I've been knitting lately, and I am definitely OK with that.



yarn: Rowan lightweight DK in pink (about 1.5 skeins)
needles: 3.25 mm

pattern: CO 48 sts, join in round, K2 P1 rib for as long as you like (mine are probably around 9 or 10 inches). BO loosely, weave in your ends.

Wear & enjoy warm ankles.

Monday, January 09, 2012

2011 re-cap

Ok, well I will spare you my drawn out 2012 "knitolutions" (I do have some regular resolutions that mostly include "NO MORE INTERNET SHOPPING" but that's another story) and 2011 re-cap apart from getting my feet wet for 2012 with this mosaic:

2011 knits
Click the mosaic to be taken to links of all these items
(sorry it's teeny tiny, you can also see it much larger on flickr)

Did you think I had disappeared for the month of December?

You'd be just about right given that most knitting came to a standstill (TG I was on the ball with earlier Xmas knits this year) and I only managed to crank out a couple of wee items in the last month or so (mostly due to taking a knitting "break" in an effort to heal some repetitive strain) --so I will attempt to post about those little items soon.

For now I leave you with that mosaic of 2011 knits. I already can't wait to see what my 2012 mosaic will look like!

Smell ya later 2011!

hey girl, I know this is old news but has everyone seen these?







Naturally I think all of the knitting ones are hilarious, but some other crafty favourites include:

"Hey Girl, Don't stress about me stepping on that pin. It's my fault for walking barefoot through the dining room" and "Hey girl, I"m sorry only 12 people entered your blog giveaway".

heh. Oh breaker high, how far you've come.

Enjoy...I loves me an adorable meme.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

'Tis (almost) the season

This photo might lead you to believe that my Christmas decorations are up already, but you would be mistaken...

Rudy

pattern: Christmas Rudolph Reindeer by Loly Fuertes
yarn: Patons Classic Wool in Taupe (plus miscellaneous worsteds in white & red)
needles: 2.75 mm
misc: button eyes and a ribbon around his neck



Well, what can I say? It's RUDOLPH, and y'all know I have a fawn collection right? (well, I tend to bust those fawns out over the holidays more for some reason...) but still. I simply could.not.resist this knit and he turned out super adorable.

I know I always say "I'm not a toy knitter" but a couple of them manage to find their way into the queue every year for one reason or another it seems. And when I started this little guy a couple weeks back it was one of those gray November Sundays where I refused to change out of my P.Js for the entire day (and subsequently managed to finish him in one day as well).



It always seems to be the little knits that languish in my queue for like 2 or 3 years and then when I finally get around to it and bust it out in one day I wonder why I put it off for so long.

You can check out my project page on Ravelry for more notes on this little dude, but suffice to say the pattern is at times a bit vague. I think something is possibly lost in the translation, it's another of those patterns that uses the word "knit" in a very general way..."knit this"-- apparently interchangeable with "make this"...not unlike an Amy Sedaris sweater pattern wherein the "pattern" simply states: "Instructions: knit a sweater" (heh).

Still I fear the process of focusing on this one fiddly little thing for such a concentrated period of time has put me down for the count for the forseeable future as I have not knit a stitch since. In fact I think something about those small needles rubbing up against the sides of my fingers has given me some fresh new hell of repetitive strain (no doubt exacerbated by the fact that I am on a computer all day long...) so I am having to force myself to take a bit of a break and let my fingers re-coup. (Yes this seems unbelieveable with Xmas less than a month away, but for the most part all of that knitting is done at least).

But if nothing else this unexpected knitting sabbatical has allowed me time to turn my attention toward my latest obsession: Papercraft!

And to that I can only say "where the hell have I been???" There are SO many cute FREE downloadable/printable PDFs out there that allow you to make the most awesome stuff!

Case in point:

This Calendar of the month club from Curiosity Group.





People, there's a record player! A RECORD PALYER!



Now granted, these are all from a 2011 calendar, but one can assume there will be some more good ones coming for 2012 as well. right? right.

Perhaps something more festive?


fawn from Strumpets Crumpets


Santa from Ataque Mutante


And lots more of these on the Canon website.

Or if wasting tons of coloured ink in your printer is not really your bag, you can use some colour copy paper instead...



I made a handful of these last night...they look great hanging on your tree, you can do up the giant one and turn it into a ceiling lamp, or just pile them all in a bowl like I did, super cute and super fun.

Who knew?! (Not me, obviously) The world of paper craft is massive it seems and you can find that ball pattern at How About Orange. In fact that's a great blog to get you started because she links to all sorts of fun paper crafts elsewhere in addition to her own.

I could post a million pictures of all the super cute papercraft patterns I've been looking at lately, but that might be overkill. Just go sharpen your scissors and fire up the printer!

But make sure you don't abandon you knitting altogether...