Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Portobello West Market

For the past couple of days, I've been trying to capture some good progress shots of my trekking sock, but not one single shot is up to standard. There is progress though, and I'm loving Charlene Schurch's clear, detailed instructions in her book, Sensational Knitted Socks. I'm super close to finishing up the first sock, so I will be able to start the second one soon.

Over the weekend, we went and checked out the Portobello West Market, held on the last Sunday of each month, at the beautiful, new Rocky Mountaineer Station. I've known about this market for about a year now, but just haven't been able to make it to any of their dates for some reason. It's exciting to know that Vancouver has a market like this (inspired by London's Portobello Market) showcasing the talents of so many creative designers, whether it be in fashion clothing, jewelry & accessories to visual art and even botanical art! I loved most of what I saw, especially the amazing clothing and jewelry. I absolutely loved the jewelry by Fiona Louie. That's her Lovebirds Collection and Leaf Collection in the above pics. Check out the market's next date on June 24th. Admission is free and there's music and entertainment after 4pm. Unfortunately, we went too early on Sunday, so we didn't quite catch the music. Maybe we should have planned to go later in the afternoon, so that the boys would've been more entertained while I shopped more seriously. The boys were just too antsy and restless to allow me to go through the market at a more leisurely pace. I guess there's always next month.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Off to the 30th International Vancouver Children's Festival

Look at my scary skull face painting!

Serious about fence painting

Exploring juggling balls

Make that diablo spin D!

Trying out the stilts

Why won't this kite fly?

With a day off from work on Friday and some tickets to see Tzo'Kam & Sandy Scofield, two First Nations music acts, it was a full day of fun festival activities that started bright and early (out of the house by 8:45am) and ended until the boys were just too tired to fly their kites made at the festival.

As usual on most of my outings, I bring my sock knitting, in case I have a chance to knit a round or two. Most of the time I don't even have the opportunity to unzip my knitting bag, but to my surprise, I was able to pull out the sock that day while R was in the giant sandbox and D was socializing with friends after having lunch. What I also didn't expect was to attract a crowd of French immersion students at the festival (both boys and girls) quite interested in what I was making. It was a little daunting trying to answer all of their questions while trying hard not to make a mistake in my knitting pattern, but it made me very happy that these kids would be interested in just watching me knit on my DPNs. Knitting in public sure has the power to promote it!

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Let Me Out!

With such beautiful warm weather yesterday, it was off to Trout Lake with the boys and some friends for a picnic. After lunch and some active play at the playground, I took D and R for a quiet ride around the park in our red wagon before heading home. Needless to say, R did not appreciate being buckled in once he realized he had the chance to be super close to some water. We had just arrived at a little, secluded pier (complete with a fisherman) near the edge of the lake, when R decided to make a supreme fuss. His powers of persuasion didn't take long to work on me, for I soon broke down and gave in to his desires of escape and freedom. With ducks to look at and murky water in which to look for fish and throw sticks and leaves, how could I resist not unbuckling both boys. Besides, I think the lone fisherman was getting annoyed that we were scaring his fish away by making so much noise.

Anyhow, I was also going to report on sock progress these past couple of days, but I had no choice other than to frog the sock! Yes, you read that correctly. All you have to do is look at the above photograph. Not only did I feel that the sock was a little small, I found some glaring mistakes!!! When I first saw the mistakes, I just thought, oh well, no one will notice when the sock is finished, but the more I knit, the more irritating those garter stitches were, popping up in the stocking stitch ribs (see between the limey green stripe and the darker green stripe). I just couldn't live with the broken up ribbing, so I'm starting all over again. It's a good thing that I didn't knit down to the heel yet.

Sunday, May 06, 2007

Time to Crochet Myself a Nomad Hat!

I'm so grateful to meet such warm-hearted people on the internet via my store and my blog. I love how the internet has brought together creative, like-minded people so willing to share and discuss ideas, thoughts, and solutions. Thank you Catherine, for sending me some "happy mail"! I love Tiffany Reynolds' colourful crochet pattern for the nomad felted hat! It really made my month after having lost my wallet to a pickpocket in mid-April!

Other projects that were on the go, but were interrupted by some sock knitting include the "Panta", a popular translated finnish headband pattern that is documented by a thread on Craftster that is over 80 pages long and some kanzashi. My finished panta, knit in Elann's stretchy Esprit yarn, turned out a little too big and too wide, so I'll have to experiment with the pattern some more to get it right for my head. Maybe then, I can model it myself rather than have Ms. Styro do the modelling for me.

I've also been working on some kanzashi flowers. This is my second attempt (based on a great Craftster tutorial) at getting the kanzashi the way I like it. So far, so good..... my second attempt has been much more successful at getting all the petals in the right position. Only when I get the hang of making these flowers will I actually hunt down some vintage kimono fabric to make more authentic and more lovely kanzashi. I have to admit that I have even more projects started, but I'll leave that for future posts... My crafty life is quite insane. Sometimes, I think I really have to cut down on some projects and go out for some fresh air more often.

Friday, May 04, 2007

Wrestling a Porcupine No More

I've been itching to start a pair of socks lately, and decided to resist no longer and take the plunge into the sock yarn stash, despite being in the "muddle" of a whole bunch of other crafty projects. So here's what I just started...socks in Trekking XXL from a pattern in Sensational Knitted Socks, a great book by Charlene Schurch that I bought quite some time ago. I'm knitting a six-stitch pattern sock. I am thinking of using the simple slipped-stitch rib for the sock pattern, but the waterfall rib is calling me too. Although I debated knitting these socks on a circular needle (a chance to use my new Addi Turbos), I ended up going with my DPNs. It really wasn't so long ago that knitting with double pointed needles felt somewhat like wrestling a porcupine, but after knitting Ann Budd's Cowgirl Slipper Socks using DPNs earlier this year, I think I've truly been converted! See this post. It was such a pleasure to work with five needles. Dividing all the stitches on four individual needles really allowed me to visualize more clearly the structure of the basic sock. Fixing mistakes also seemed easier with the DPNs. There wouldn't be as many stitches to undo if I had to rip back to a mistake using the DPNs vs. a long circular needle.