Here is my Levenwick in Debbie Bliss Donagal Tweed. I bought 12 balls of this yarn for only $30 in NYC! So far I love this cardi and am especially loving my introduction to the I-cord bind-off. I made a size between small and medium; basically made adjustments as I tried it on - the perks to knitting top-down. I was trying hard to avoid it being over-sized or have a baggy underarm, like I saw on others on Ravelry. I turned out just as I had hoped :)
Gemini in All Hemp 6 by Hemp for Knitting (Lanaknits). Pairing Jane Richmond's Gemini Design with this luscious hemp yarn was genius (if I do say so myself), but I knit it a little too big so I'm going to see if I can make it work otherwise I'll frog it and make it again in a smaller size. Although frogging is one of those things I've gotten used to and don't freak out about as much as I used to, I've never had to frog an entire project before! Yikes, we'll see. If I do frog it the process will be made even harder by the fact that I have machine washed this piece at least five times already, so those knit stitches are solidly happy with their respective neighbours and won't want to go anywhere. The reason I washed it so much, and in a machine at that, is because hemp is a fibre that wants to be washed. Its drape and overall look and feel improve the more you wash it. That is just one of the zillion reasons why I'm in love with this fibre.
Gemini in hemp...
Hello there :)
Baby is sleeping, so I have a moment to share what knitting I've been doing since he was born; two of Jane Richmond's designs actually (no surprise there). Above is my second go at Gemini. It's the perfect project since I really needed something I could do running on no sleep, and I've done it once before and know it's a breeze to knit. This time I'm using 100% hemp from Hemp for Knitting (a BC based business) in an emerald green. I joked to Danny that I actually manifested this yarn since I was specifically on the hunt for some cellulose yarn, to knit something for the KAL over at Luv in the Mummyhood, and lo-and-behold I found three skeins of this beautiful stuff for a mere $3. I couldn't believe my eyes. To be honest, that happens to me a lot. I find things that I'm looking for in thrift shops all the time....ever since I was young. My sis-in-law is sometimes appalled at how often this occurs :)
This Gemini has a lot of mistakes, but they are not super noticeable so I decided not to rip back to fix them. Let's be honest, I do this with pretty much every knitting project I do. None of them are flawless.
Hemp is awesome! This is what I love about it:
// from the lanaknits website //
1. It is the world's premier renewable resource
2. The hemp plant doesn't need any pesticides or herbicides since bugs don't think it's yummy, and it grows too fast for weeds to be an issue. Unlike cotton, which uses more pesticides than any other commercial crop! "In fact, over half of all agricultural chemicals in North America are used for growing cotton." (lanaknits.com). Yikes!
3. It gets softer, and the drape becomes nicer the more you machine-wash and dry it.
Grace in merino...
Okay, this one has tested my patience a bit. But in the end I think it taught me patience, since I didn't give up on it. I must has ripped the lace section back six times already. And I'm a slow knitter, so it felt like a lot of time wasted. It turns out there are a few mistakes in the original pattern which are corrected now, so once my Gemini is done I think I can give this one another go. (UPDATE: Jane has now added stitch numbers and a chart to the pattern)
I over-dyed a chartreuse green with logwood to get this great olive colour. I'm really loving it.
back to knitting.....
My former school, Capilano University, has threatened to discontinue a number of programs due to lack of funding, since the government scaled back funding for many post secondary institutions (wtf?!). One of those programs is my beloved Textile Arts Program. I am angry, sad and appalled to say the least. The Textile Arts program changed my life course for the better in so many ways, and I know that is true for many other alumni. It is such a valuable program. There is no other program in North America (and perhaps the world) that offers such a rigorous and meaningful education in this field.
It wasn't until my time in the Textile Arts program at Capilano University that I knew what my vocation was; to work in the field of textiles as an artist and educator. The program instilled in me an appreciation for handwork, shared knowledge and community, as well as a new appreciation for all aspects of history in the context of textiles. The faculty are some of the most interesting and inspiring people I've met, and all put forth a curriculum that is both extremely challenging and fulfilling. Future students would be hard-pressed to find a better education in this field.
In the past weeks, since the university announced the cuts on April 24th, there has been an uproar by students, faculty and the wider community. Letters are being written and all the artwork on campus was shrouded in black or damaged. That was apparently not enough. We bought some time when the board granted the university a few more weeks to fundraise, but we need to convince the liberals to fund these programs again, and the president of the university to create a more creative budget strategy (or to resign).
To get up to date on the issue here are some links, and there is an online petition HERE.
A facebook page has been started:
and a web site gives additional information
Board delays Capilano University cuts
Union plans CapU cuts injunction Move aims to delay May 14 board decision
Programs fall under the axe at Capilano U
Programs cut as Capilano University faces $1.3M shortfall
Capilano University puts course cuts on hold
Court injunction sought to delay cuts at Capilano University
Students need to fight for university funding
Capilano University plans program cuts to balance budget
Writing letters helps, so here is a list of contacts and their emails. Write away!
Capilano University President, Kris Bulcroft:
North Vancouver Seymour Mla- Jane Thornthwaite – BC Liberal Party
North Vancouver Lonsdale Mla - Naomi Yamamoto – BC Liberal Party
West Vancouver Capilano Mla - Ralph Sultan – BC Liberal Party
West Vancouver Garibaldi Mla - Joan Mcintyre – BC Liberal Party
Minister of Education: Honourable Don Mcrae
Here is a copy of a letter sent from the Emily Carr University of Art and Design Faculty Association President to Dr. Kris Bulcroft:
Below is a snapshot of the Vancouver Yarn poll results for the question, "which interchangeable knitting needles do you prefer?". Now, this isn't exactly scientific since there weren't many votes (75 in total). Also, I think it shows which brands people bought and were happy with, as opposed to assuming that they have tried multiple brands and 'prefer' the one they voted for. I guess that's my bad for asking the question that way. Non-the-less people shared. I received all sorts of comments on Twitter and Facebook and then did a little research to sum up what the IKN options are. Many of these brands have several options (like nickel plated vs bamboo tips) as well as offer them in different sizes, so I tried to sum up the info to reflect the full-meal-deal option for all brands, so we can compare prices more accurately.
The summations are numbered according to popularity and include comments from our readers. I'd love to add more comments to the conversation, so feel free to leave one and I'll add it to the summation. For those opinionated comments that I've already received I've added them in quotes, but decided not to include the persons name.
I hope you find this helpful :)
PS. I recently received the best early b-day gift from my mom: the Knitters Pride deluxe Dreamz set of interchangeables!!! So far I have no complaints. Now that I have these I can't wait to de-stash my bags of knitting needles!
PPS. If you're a strait needle knitter and are thinking of going circular you might want to check out Melissa's comparison post over at Misocrafty Knits
I just got back from the most relaxing time with family in BC. We had decided that this was the best time for me to go and introduce Sam to the Fam since it was a good opportunity to give Danny some alone time in Montreal to complete his thesis. As I write he is applying the finishing touches before he sends it off tonight. Go Danny!
The past three weeks in BC were magical. I spent a lot of quality time with my mom, great-aunt Franca and uncle John who all helped tremendously with all things Sam. I mostly appreciated the fact that they made sure that he had a well fed and rested mama. I even ventured to continue our cloth diaper regimen, which wouldn't have been possible without Franca's help in the laundry department. Franca is my 'artist aunt' who is super talented in the fibre arts. She creates art dolls, amazing vintage jewelry re-makes and has an impressive collection of hand-made quilts in her repertoire. One of her santos art dolls (a bride) is currently being featured in Art Doll Quarterly in the Summer 2013 issue. Yay Franca! It was so nice staying with her and John in beautiful Davis Bay, where I discovered the best coffee shop on the Sunshine Coast, Straight Coffee. I couldn't believe my ears when they offered my latte in cow, coconut, soy or almond milk. Amazing! And the food is so delicious.
Off my needles...
I finished my lovely Strathcona scarf while I was on the coast and finally gave it to Franca (a few months later than planned). It's knit with a double strand of Brassard lace yarn; one grey wool, one white cotton.
visit to Maiwa...
One place that I must always go when I visit BC is Maiwa, my fave store of all time. They recently received a shipment of vintage kantha quilts and I just had to see them in person. Each one is original and hand-stitched, and they're only $150.00! If only didn't live on a student budget. I was lucky to leave with a lovely natural-dyed, hand-printed linen tunic, thanks to my generous mom-in-law :)
As awesome as it was I'm glad to be back in Montreal with the hubby, where it is breezy and 28 degrees :)
I will be visiting BC a couple of times before the big move to NYC in August. Does anyone have any show recommendations in Vancouver or thereabouts?
Bestialiska. Benita Whyte, hair.
Threshold. Rebecca Smyth, paper
My mom has been visiting from BC for the past week which means I've been actually getting sleep and eating marvelously. Mom's cooking is the best: think italian meals daily, fresh baked goods and an excuse to visit all the necessary Montreal food stops; poutine, smoked meat, chocolatines, bagels etc...
We've also been doing some gallery hopping. Concordia's Fibres Student Association's yearly show at Galerie Diagonale was a treat...and I'm allowed to take photos, which is a plus.
Juried by Emily Jan, Emily Hermant and Susan Surette, Monstrocities includes ten fibres students' work, all which speak to the connection between materials and the body. I've included photos of some of my faves.
Today we also visited DHC ART where Thomas Demand is currently exhibiting his show, Animations. He uses paper, photography and animation to recreate real scenes that he has witnessed in person or in video, and are often politically charged. It is eery how real they look. If you are not in Montreal and unable to see this show I highly recommend watching this video about his work.
Body of Consent. Veronique Tremblay
Introducing my lovely little man, Samuel David Vallee, born March 1st, 7lbs 4oz, 19.25 inches long. Danny and I are happier than we ever imagined we could be.
Me at my baby shower yesterday :) 36 weeks pregnant.
In days of late life has been really exciting. I am blessed in so many ways, and feel so very thankful every day. To begin with, I am 36 weeks pregnant and loving every moment. In one week I will be full-term and baby could arrive any day!! As I write, the wee one has hiccups :) which he/she gets at least 3 times a day since week 32. I feel really lucky to be healthily pregnant, since I had spinal surgery nine years ago and have ever-since wondered if my back issues would return severely, or complicate my pregnancy in some way. I really sympathize with Melissa at Sweet Fiber Yarns, who is going through a very similar experience to me when I was her age. The good news is, it does get better, the pain does go away, AND a normal pregnancy is totally still an option.
So, there's that news and then there's this: Not only am I going to give birth to my first child soon, but I am also going to be moving to New York City for five years in September! This is brand new news for Danny and I, since he just received acceptance into a PhD program two days ago. This is huge and exciting and, I'm not going to lie, a little daunting, but we are lovers of adventures. When Danny and I moved to Montreal in 2010 we planned to stay for 2 years while I finished my BFA in Fibres, and then go right back to BC. In that time we have fallen in love with Montreal, and the many friends we've made here, and even considered living here permanently, or at least for another few years. It's a hard decision to move back to BC where everything is twice as expensive and the wages are the same. Also in our time here, Danny entered into a Masters program at McGill (Education and Counselling Psychology) and found his calling. I've never seen him more engrossed in his work and loving every stressful moment. So, as you can imagine, this lead him to apply to PhD programs, and lo and behold he got into his dream program, Urban Education at CUNY. So, off we will go in September with our new little family (including the cat). I'm thrilled to say the least. One thing that excites me is the possibility of doing an MFA there in a few years (a girl can dream).
All of these changes have lead me to wonder what will become of this blog here on VY. I feel like a bit of a fraud blogging from so far away and for so many years. I never imagined that I would be away from BC for so long. So I'm thinking of merging my personal, workshops and this VY blog to be one entity. I'm sure this won't happen for a bit, since once the babe arrives blogging will be the last thing on my mind, but these are thoughts I'm having. Any feedback from fellow bloggers and readers would be much appreciated :)
Yesterday I wore my lasted FO to the baby shower, below are some better photos. It's called the Artemis Cowl and I knit it in Madelinetosh Tosh Vintage. In true knitterly style, I broke my own rule about not adding to my stash when I laid eyes on this gorgeous colourway, Candlewick. I love a good golden yellow. Some notes on the pattern: I cast on 10 less stitches and did 4 rows of garter stitch instead of the slip stitch boarder. For binding off I tried something different and did 2-stitch short rows before binding off each pair, in an attempt get a picot look. I really like the eyelets that resulted from the short rows. Has anyone done this kind of bind-off before? Does it have a name?
I'm still knitting my Strathcona. Knitting lace with dull needles has made this project lag on for much longer than I wanted. I've also cast on a bunch of other projects, which is not my style at all, and learned that many WIP's does not work for me.
To solve my dull needle problem I've considered purchasing some interchangeable needles, since buying needles one pair at a time gets expensive. Also, I'm more convinced than ever that interchangeables are a great investment after learning about the magic loop method, for knitting small circumferences with long circular needles, over at Jane Richmond's website. It blew my mind a little. With that said, I really don't know which ones to buy. So if you have a preference I'd love to here your comments. Also, below is poll that I made. I'm hoping to get 100 votes for a good representative sample.
This blog is currently inactive. Please proceed to my personal blog over at www.jannamaria.com for all future blog posts from me.