Thursday, February 28, 2013

Thursdays Are For Knit Group

What a lot of laughs we had a knit group today.  Topics ranged from job searches, to composting toilets, to kidney stones.  All subjects that seemed, at the time, somehow related.  Sober second thought might say differently.  But what we did have in common was the knitting.

Sharon arrived today with  two felted gift bags.  The pattern, from One Skein Wonders, is a quick knit and makes a great gift. 

Especially when you stuff it with a beret knit with Madelinetosh as Sharon has done. Someone is going to have a very Happy Birthday.

Little Ruth arrived with a partially knit sock and a ball of tangles.  But what really thrilled her today was her new toilet.  She has only ever had one toilet in her house and it is  located upstairs with the bedrooms.  That becomes more problematic as one gets older she told us.She  is just delighted to have a new one on her first floor.   
 It is a composting toilet and although Ruth has no idea where the waste goes  or how the thing works, there was no denying her excitement at having this added convenience.

Gail has the first sock of a pair finished.  'Work' socks she is knitting   for her grand daughter.  What is it about adult styles reduced to child size that make them so darn cute?

Nicki brought in the yarn she spun using her contraption. - The one I showed in  last Thursday's post.  I guess it must work because that is great looking yarn, Nicki.

Deanna has a great start on a Churchmouse Poncho .   She is using Cascade 220 Superwash.  I gave her credit for being able to 'see' the poncho in the coloured yarn when the pattern picture showed it in a plain brown.  Not all knitters can see beyond the pattern picture.

 All in all a fun day.  A place to go to talk of all matter of things.  Including husbands that annoy.  Oops.  Did I say that out loud?

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Colour Block Lesson Three: Neck Line

From time to time, I've been rattling on,  about my Colour Block sweater. Presumptuous, I know, but there might be some that are interested to know how I knit  this sweater without a pattern.  First I talked about how to  cast on for the neck and shoulders, then how to do the sleeve caps.

Since the sweater is a top down, I am moving down the sweater as I explain it, which brings me today to the  neck line.

Quite easy actually - at least less complicated than the creation of the shoulders seams.  I wanted my neck line to be a scoop neck, lower on the chest than a crew and  to be off-centre.  Before starting, I made the decision to add borders post-knitting, rather that simultaneously.  Here's how I accomplished all that.

This is a top-down, knit-all-in-one-piece cardigan.  Being a cardigan, I am knitting back and forth rather than in the round.  Once I had the shoulders started, the sleeve caps and yoke began at the same time.  I added no extra stitches to the shoulder width for either front side, but simply knit back and forth for a few inches.  Once the depth of both fronts was  about one inch short of where I  wanted it to be, I worked some increases.  Three times, at one stitch in from  each front-neck edge, on the right side row only, I increased one stitch.  That give a gentle curve to the bottom of the neckline rather than a square shape.

But I also wanted an off-centre neck line.  So on the next right side row, I did nothing extra at all to the left front, but for the right front, I cast on several inches of stitches.  How  many inches?  Enough to take  the   right front almost all the way across to meet the left front. I stopped about an inch short of the left front to leave room for the button bands. 

When doing this kind of cast on, Elizabeth Zimmermann always recommended the backwards loop cast on.  I do use it sometimes.  But when casting on  multiple stitches, indeed multiple inches of stitches, I find the backwards loop cast on can get a bit - well - loopy.  Instead, I used the knitted cast  on.  It provides a better border in this circumstance.  IMO.

And here it is.  Notice the centre back line where the colours join to give you a reference of how far off centre the front neck line is.  Shoulders, Sleeve Caps, and Front Neck Line - all done.  Straightforward knitting from here on in.  Stay tuned.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

A Day With My Knitting Machine

I keep an eye open for projects that I can make on my knitting machine.  It is an LK150 (for a while, I called it the LK 148 as I had two broken needles.  Repaired now, the machine is back to the 150 status.)

On ravelry, my main source of knitting information, I saw this pattern
 -  for a lacy, open, machine knit scarf.  At first glance, the pattern was gobbeldy gook to me.  But leaving it  beside my computer where I could study it daily, the light finally went on.    Yesterday, with an entirely, empty afternoon in front of me, I decided to give it a go.

There was a ball of Kauni yarn in my stash,  purchased at Fun Knits on Quadra Island during our 2008 trip out west.  Since we are planning another trip to the same locale at the end of March, it is imperative that I empty my shelves  in preparation for more yarn shopping.  A good enough excuse I thought.

The pattern called for 5 repeats of the lace pattern across the width of the scarf.  A wider shawl-like piece seemed better in my mind, so I increased that to 7 repeats and used the entire 100 gram ball of Kauni.
 I have a spectacular piece.

Easily knit in an hour or so, with gorgeous colours, but  - for me - too wide and too long to be comfortably wearable.  It will be  re-do.  But I absolutely love the pattern.
 And I love how fast I was able to  knit this up on the machine.  I learned lots about my machine in this not-so-little piece:  leaving needles out of work, occasionally skipping needles normally in work and just how easy it was to create this thing of beauty with some mechanical ingenuity as my helper. 

I see an intense love affair developing with my machine. 

Monday, February 25, 2013

Baby Blue

My first finished sweater of 2013 is just that - finished.  I call it Baby Blue.  Nothing subtle about me.

Pattern:  From Need A Baby Cardigan?, it is the basic pattern with  the Broken Rib border option.
 I know now that a fancy border pattern in the bright, busy yarn was effort wasted because it doesn't show.  Oh well.
Yarn:  Wicked by King Cole.  Wicked as in 'wicked cool', I'm sure.
Needles: 4mm throughout.
Modifications:   None.

I knit the 3 button option and bought the  'purrfect' buttons at Purrsonally Yours yarn store in Meaford.  I was mistakenly searching for red buttons as my eyes had convinced me that the  fuchsia  bits were red.  Shop owner Isabel pulled out these 3 yellow ones and I said "Perfect."  She said "Easy sale."

A quick knit  that hits the spot when we are almost at the third month of the year and I had not finished  one sweater.  Into my very empty box of baby knits, onto my ravelry project's page and my blog list of FOs 2013  it goes.  Feels  good.

Friday, February 22, 2013

Beyond Shoulder Seams

Earlier this week, I showed you some progress on Colour Block.  But look at her now.  To the waist and beyond.
Once I reached the shoulder width of my certainly,  soon-to-be-famous  Suz-Ann method of beginning a top-down, set-in sleeve sweater, it was time to start the sleeves.

For this, I relied  totally  on Susie M's method of sleeve construction.  With markers,  I set aside 2 stitches - one on each side of my shoulder seam.  From there I started to-ing and fro-ing  back and forth across the sweater.  Each row, that  is both knit rows and purl rows, I increased one stitch on the sleeve side of each marker.  Two increases on each sleeve on each row.

That continued until I had about 1/6 of the sleeve depth complete.  Thankfully, it had occurred to me, before  starting the sleeve-cap shaping,  that 2 increases every row all the way down to  the underarm would give me a very weirdly-shaped sleeve cap.  Reading further about Susie M's method, it seemed the consensus was to stop the every-row increasing at about  1/6 the sleeve depth.  Well, now, I am glad I  peeled those apples before it was time to fill the pie.

Measuring a few of my set-in sleeve sweaters and studying Ann Budd's Handy Book Of Top Down Sweaters, it seemed that a 7 - 7 1/2 inch armhole depth would be good for me.  1/6 of that would be just over an inch.  And that is exactly where I stopped my every-row increases.  From that point downwards, I increased inside the markers  only on the knit rows.  

And by gosh - I think  it is a pretty nice sleeve cap.  

Try it.   Measure across your upper back - shoulder bone to shoulder bone.  Multiply that number by your gauge per inch and cast on that many stitches.  Put enough stitches for the centre-back neck on a piece or scrap yarn. (In my case that was 7 inches worth.  You can copy that if you like.)  
Divide the number of shoulder stitches by 3 and begining at the neck edge, short row  each shoulder three times.  
Pick up the stitches for the front sholders  in the cast-on stitches of the back shoulders. 
Repeat the short row shaping then proceed with the sleeve cap as I've just described.

It's maybe not Friday night knitting - I have heard that some people know how to have a good time on a Friday night - but it isn't as difficult as one might think.

Thanks for reading everyone and have a great weekend.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Thursdays Are For Knit Group

My memory is getting so bad.  Nicki walked in to knit group today, wearing a great hat.
 I complimented her on it and she said she wears it lots.  O.K. That's nice.
I asked her if the pattern was from Knitty.  I vaguely remembered Knitty having a pattern for 3 tams.  "You should know, you knit it", Nicki said. 
"I did?"  "Me?"  "And I gave it to you?"  Wow, none of that do I remember.  But I sure liked it a lot.  I think I will queue it up again.

Jean plans in advance.  There is a trip to the Yukon and across the Arctic circle in the works for her this summer.  She already has a start on a quick 'something to throw over a tee shirt' as she describes it.  Lot of cables and lace across the horizontally-knit upper chest with a stockinet lower half.  Shown here  - not to advantage -  held up against her sweater, it will be perfect  over a tee. 

Sharon, like me, has the late-winter,  can't-wait-'til-spring, house-cleaning urge.  After cleanign out some closets, she brought in several vintage pattern books to give away today.  For some strange reason, this one didn't get grabbed up by anyone.  Can't imagine why not.  It's still available. Anyone?

Nicki brought in a, new-to-me, piece of fibre apparatus today.  She explained it to us, showed us how it worked and all I understood was  "It is for plying." 

Wilma, shown below wearing her Dk weight, top-down cardi from Button up Your Top Down,  finished her crocheted baby blanket.  Lovely bright colours for a little one, Wilma. 
"Wilma?? Gail??  Hello?  Anyone home??"   Too busy knitting to look up.

A great afternoon sandwiched between championship games of women's curling.  Culers from across the country vying for top Canadian spot.  Another game tonight.  What a wonderful way to waste time.  Especially since the game plays at the perfect knitting speed.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Easy Knitting

Following yesterday's detailed post of sweater, shoulder-seam and sleeve construction,  today's post gives us all a mental break.
Easy knitting, cute little sweater, my 'Wicked' baby sweater is nearing completion.

Bright and cheerful in colour, simple in design, it is the perfect 'waiting for dinner' knitting.
With 8 inches in body length at the moment, I have  2 more inches of stockinet  to knit  then one inch of border trim before the lower cast off.  Two sleeves later and the sweater will in my 'baby box'.

The pattern is from the Need A Baby Sweater book.  I love that book because every pattern has instructions for several different yarn gauges. That sure makes yarn shopping easy.  When I saw the glorious, child-centred, colours of wicked, I knew that regardless of gauge, I had a pattern that would work.  Knitters of old worked this way, I'm sure.  There certainly wasn't money or opportunity to purchase a new pattern for each project.  One pattern but different stitch counts and needle sizes  and the knitter had instructions for the entire family.   

What worked then, still works in 2013.  And it is so cute.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Shoulder Seams And Set-In Sleeves

Colour Block is growing rapidly.  Seen here from a Friday shot, it is now even longer.

Since there is so much to talk about with the construction of this sweater, I thought it better to dole out  information in small doses.

Today's topic  is Shoulder Seams.

As my Colour Block vision materialized, I knew I wanted set-in sleeves.  And I wanted to knit CB in a top-down fashion.  Suzie M has created a newer style of top-down knitting with simultaneous set-in sleeve which she calls The Contiguous Method.  It starts at the centre-back neck then works back and forth making increases until the knitting reaches  shoulder width.  At that point, on either side of a few stitches set aside at the shoulder 'seam',  increases are made in the sleeve portion of the knitting to create enough fullness to cover the upper arm.  Ingenious!  But--

The one thing that concerns me about Contiguous is the lack of a shoulder seam. After all, the entire weight of the sweater hangs from the shoulder.  Doesn't it stand to reason that it is a good idea to have a seam there?  To support that weight?

Some knitters, I know,  would argue that there is no 'shoulder' seam in a raglan.  Sure,  the pieced raglan has sleeve seams that probably give some support to the upper portion of the sweater, but the top-down raglan has no seams.  At all.  Does that bother me? No.  Why is that?  I have no idea.  But the idea of a set-in sleeve without a seam bothers me.

Ann Budd, in her Handy book Of Top Down Sweaters  has top-down, set-in sleeve designs.  Instead of  simultaneous, set-in sleeves, though, her designs get the armhole ready for a finishing application of a short-rowed, set-in sleeve to be added after the body is  complete.  It works.  But it wasn't what I wanted to knit.

But - Ann's system does create somewhat of a shoulder seam.  The entire back stitches are cast on and short-rowed across each side to  shoulder  width.  Next the fronts are begun by picking up their stitches from the cast-on stitches of the back.  Although not quite a seam, there is, I feel, some support given by that pick up.  The fronts are then short-rowed just like the back until they reach  shoulder width.

What I decided to do was a combination of both systems. Call it the Suz-Ann method.   I cast on and followed Ann's instructions until I reached shoulder width, then switched to Suzie's method of  simultaneous, sleeve-cap construction.  It worked.  Really well, I think. There is just  a slight puffiness on the purple side, that I should be able to block out.   But...

There is always room for improvement.  Next time, I would start both back and fronts with a provisional cast on, work  short rows to reach shoulder width,  join the fronts to the back with a Three Needle Bind Off then carry on a-la Suzie.    That should be the perfect start to the perfect simultaneous, set-in sleeve. 



Friday, February 15, 2013

Break Downs

Things are falling apart here at the Harris Household.  And that doesn't include the aging occupants.

Yesterday at knit group, I went to shoot the first photo of the afternoon  and my camera batteries died.  Strange, I thought, since they are new and were working two minutes before I left the house.  But I know better than to argue with technology.   I put the camera away enjoyed the knitting, the company  and  the  Valentines  treats.   At home I put the batteries into my re-charger.

New batteries, old charger. I have no idea which isn't working but the little red markers that normally line up sedately like a  British Bobby began dancing as if they were enjoying Mardi Gras madness.  Twelve hours later, still no charge.  Hence a photo-free post.

Dinner last night, was home-made Macaroni & Cheese, seasoned with onion, garlic, spices and topped with a bread-crumb, Parmesan Cheese mixture.  Fred's absolute favourite.  It was Valentine's Day after all.   The side was Savoy Cabbage sauteed with carrots.  That was the problem.

When I hurriedly (I am always in a hurry)  switched on the garburator with all  the carrot scrapings, outer cabbage leaves and core,  it plugged.  I tried to rectify the situation, but had to call the Valentine's Lover away from his favourite, political TV show to unplug the sink.  He got the plunger and  - he did it!!!   Fred plunging the sink,  me standing by, both of us sprayed head to toe with dirty cabbage/carrot water - how much Valentine's romance can one woman stand?

 I praised him profusely and told him it was the best Valentine's Day present ever.  (You can't say I don't know my way around a man.)  Dinner was lovely, dishes went into the dishwasher and off we went to enjoy the evening.  At bedtime I noticed a funny smell and checked all the stove burners to make sure I hadn't left one of them in the 'on' position.  Nope, all was well.

This morning, my Valentines' lover opened the dishwasher to find it full of water.  Hmmm.  Apparently, the clog in the drain didn't  disappear.  Apparently, it just moved  moved from one drain pipe to the next.  Apparently, that was last night's 'off' smell.  Apparently, some intense plumbing would be required. 

At the moment, lover boy is under the sink.  Not too happy.  The red markers on the charger are still dancing and I think it is time to get out of the house.  Anyone want a visitor?

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Beginnings and Endings

Finished Objects have been in short supply around here this winter.  But there are some.  And along with the FOs there are some new beginnings.  See my parade.

Finished:  The felted Clogs via my pattern re-write are now felted and feeted.  (Ask any knitter how to make the English language evolve)

Beginning:  A baby cardi from this great Cabin Fever Book. 
This is being knit with the King Cole Wicked purchased at True North Yarns in Barrie.  There is method in my madness of beginning another cardi while working on Colour Block.  I keep torturing myself by reading groups such as  13 Sweaters in 2013 on ravelry and bemoaning my lack of finished anything, let alone sweaters.  When finally the light went on, I realized that a sweater is a sweater is a sweater - regardless of size.  This little one is meant to re-stock my box of baby knits, ramp up my FOs list and let me read my ravelry groups without guilt.

Finished:  The Kitimat hat and matching mittens. 
The mittens are simply a 36 stitch mitten worked with the Kitimat  colour chart.  They have the after-thought thumb and finger tips shaped like toes of a sock.  In retrospect, that is the wrong finger-tip shaping for that thumb design.  I think.  The mitten seems to twist a bit, and I am constantly re-aligning the shape-lines along my finger tips.  Perhaps, a better decrease style for this kind of thumb would be to decrease like a hat.  Decreasing the stitches down to a centre few and pulling the yarn through the stitches to close the hole.  Next time.

Beginning:  Victorian Beaded Lace Pullover. 
Designed by my friend Patti-Ann from London Yarns, it has been in my queue for some time. A lovely pullover with beads in the lace trim.   This straight forward sweater I will translate to machine knitting.  You can see my gauge swatch beside the pattern.  Note the size of machine-knit gauge swatches.  That's  the way to test gauge!

Always the carrot in front of the nose, beginnings motivate.  They make finishings faster.    That's my story ----.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Spring Scarf

While contemplating thee construction details of Colour Block, I knit my first spring scarf.  The yarn is Bolivia, purchased on my recent yarn crawl day.  True North Yarns in Barrie are clever people.  The first thing I saw when entering the store was a delightful spring-coloured scarf.  Who can resist that on a snowy winter's day.  Not me, it seems.

The scarf is an easy knit - 10mm needles, 18 stitches, and knit until the yarn runs out.  In my case that gave me a scarf the length of my queen size bed. 
80 inches I believe that is.

Bolivia, true to it's hand spun origins, has lots of thick and thin parts. 
While knitting, this gave the scarf an extremely  wonky border.  Severe blocking later and it is  tamed into an almost  perfect rectangle.  Just enough wonkiness left to show off the hand-spun ness.

It will be wonderful with a light, spring jacket.  Lucky me, I have scored 2 such coats recently at ridiculously low prices during Zellers  closing out sale.  It was meant to be. 

Monday, February 11, 2013

Happy Dance

There is progress.   Colour Block  has been planned, re planned and   - TA DA! - started.

So far, I am thrilled.  

Suzie M's  newer, creative method of knitting a  top-down sweater with set-in-sleeves, known as The Contiguous Method,  has intrigued me since I first came across it on ravelry a year or so ago.  What better time to try it, than now.  On Colour Block 

Since this type of construction  begins with a 'measurement times gauge'  thing, there was a bit of math before I could start.  Colour changes, when/where I wanted them to occur  and how long I wanted each to last meant even more math. 

Several sheets of paper, a pencil nub, one tired brain, a winter's storm and hours of TV coverage of the Provincial  Curling Championships on the weekend  and here I am. 

Thrilled. The plan is for  a top down, set-in-sleeve garment, with a neck line about as low as a 'v' neck, but scooped rather than veed,   and  an off-set, front opening.  Buttons to be many, smaller and ending between bust and waist where there will be shaping.

Look at this set-in-sleeve!  Happy dance.
At this point, I  do think I have gone a bit too far and will be ripping back an inch or so.  There are body section increases required as the sleeve nears the underarm section to enlarge the sweater  from shoulder width to bust width.  In my Happy Dance  state of knitting euphoria, I went too far.  But this is one of those knits that is just so thrilling to work on  that ripping back doesn't bother me.  Just another chance to be thrilled all over again. 

My knitting, so far this winter, has seemed without focus, on the back burner and further from the top of  life's pile of  must do's than normal, for me.  To have Colour Block finally start to take shape, appear successful and like-able - wow!  That's worth a Happy Dance.

Friday, February 8, 2013

BIG Has Benefits

My stash is big.  So big that sometimes it overwhelms me.  Already  a pension collector I  wonder when will I ever get time to knit all that yarn.

But other times, big is a gift.  Truly a gift.  Here is the new  colour palette for Colour Block.

Chosen from my stash  and all but the purple are gift yarns.  Ruby from Hearst and Sandy B's sister Sue keep me supplied.

The variegated green has shades of lilac in it that complement the purple and shades of light green
that  complement the mohair.  I have 900 metres  and it WILL be enough.  In the meantime, disappointed with the earlier, differing gauges issue,  I took up, once again my Geodesic Cardi.  It is not any enjoyable knit but I will force myself to focus on it.  I will not start colour block until Geodesic is done.  Promise.

Our current winter storm is being dubbed 'Perfect'.    Knitters will not disagree.  Stay home.  Stay warm and stay knitting.  Have a great weekend everyone.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Thursdays Are For Knit Group

Today's weather cooperated - or at least held off.   I not only got to knit group but there were chocolates.

Nan, part time Meafordite, full time knitter has been up from Toronto for a couple of winter weeks and arrived at knit group today sporting a Koigu, I-Cord necklace. 

 Clever, fun, inexpensive and quick to knit.  Thanks for showing us, Nan.

Jean was wearing a sweater, today, that is not only a work of art, but a lot of work. 
Sharon asked if the yarn was her own hand-spun.  Just like something Jean might do.  Spin the yarn then knit a work of art.  But not this time - commercial yarn, she said.

Little Ruth was back today. 
Poor thing.  Two months ago today,  she slipped on a patch of sidewalk ice in front of her home, fell,  broke her arm, smashed her face and broke her glasses.  But it's hard to keep a good knitter away from her needles.  One pair of grandson's socks are ready, the second pair are on the needles.

Wilma has finished a lovely cabled slouchy hat, knit with Manos.  Looks great Wilma and pretty practical for the stormy winter weather we are having.

Nicki has the sock-yarn, log-cabin blanket sewn together. She Kitchener stitched it.  Should there not be an award for that?   Gorgeous.  But, she thinks,  too heavy for a shawl as was her intention.  Plan B is more squares to make it into a blanket.  I should say, more socks, then more squares.

Knitters and knitting.  Chocolates and yarn.  Is there anything better? 

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Colur Block Progress

Stay with me here.

That's right.  No progress.  I have spent several knitting hours studying my pattern books, determining just exactly what I really wanted in a colour block sweater, working out gauge (Thankfully I had a giant gauge swatch in my Vignette, knit of the same yarn) working out stitch counts and design features.  Ready, finally,  to  cast on last night. 

6 stitches into the cast on, I thought - "Wow!  The orange Lamb's Pride yarn seems much thicker than the purple I used for VIgnette."  That is when I looked - really looked  - at the label. 

Compared to the  leftover balls of purple that got this entire Colour Block concept started.

Oh, how sometimes I yearn for a better brain.


Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Felted Clogs

I know, I know.  You keep tuning in to see progress on my colour block sweater. Friday I promised you  progress stories on Monday.  Instead, come Monday,  I told you about my yarn crawling adventures.  Today, yet again, I am opting out of the  progress report  (If you are beginning to think there is  no progress, you might be right) to tell you about my soon-to-be-felted clogs.

 Recently, several of my knitting friends have been struggling with Bev Galeskas famous Fiber Trends pattern
trying to knit felted clogs.  When they asked me for help, I had to admit, I hate that pattern.  Well, hate is a strong word but the pattern is definitely not my favourite.  Sure, I love the finished product.  What I dislike  are all the words. 

I realize that paper size and number of sheets of paper are all restrictive issues that designers must address when putting their ideas to print.  But still.  Knitters, I think, need patterns that provide information in an   easy-to-see-at-a-glance, format.  After all, we are doing two things at once. Knitting and reading.  Make it easy, please,  Miss Designer.

Not being of any help to my friends trying to decipher the  roughly 250 lines of instruction
 (come on  - it's slippers,) I decided there was nothing for it but to re-write the pattern.

My knitting time, these last few days has  been taken up with  that project. Instead of line-by-line 'blind-followers' instructions, I have re-written the pattern so that the knitter is told where they can expect to end up and how to knit their way there.  Then I let them go to it.  My version reduces the centre 104 lines of pattern info to 19.  That is something a knitter can read at a glance. 

And as a result, I have a great pair of slippers, ready to be felted.

Tomorrow I will share this info with my friends and hopefully the felted clogs will begin to roll off their needles.  While they do that, I will start Colour Block. Promise.

Monday, February 4, 2013

Yarn Crawling

It has been awhile since I have yarn crawled. But Saturday a bunch of like-minded knitting nuts and I took off for our closest Big Smoke.  That would be Barrie.  Perhaps I should call it the Mini Smoke.  It isn't Toronto, but it does have two great yarn stores.

First up. we hit what used to be called Knit &Quilt but is now called True North Yarn Co.  What a great store!  Easy to find  - just a couple minutes off Hwy 400 and boy is it Big!  Bright! Clean! and Spacious!   And - there is a  discount room which  literally snatched the self-control right out of the needles  of some of my fellow crawlers.   With my stash already containing several bags of sweater quantities, I restrained myself nicely.

But there was no restraint when I walked in the door and saw Bolivia.
A gorgeous, multi-fibre yarn from Barcelona.  Smart marketers those True North people!  Strategically placed, right inside the door was a skein knit up into a simple scarf. The tag outlined the pattern; 10mm needles.  Cast on 18 sts.  Knit.  I can do that.  Purchase #1.  And lucky for me, needles were on sale.  The 10mm needle the scarf requires cost me just $4. 

Next the  baby yarn caught my eye.  My entire stash of baby knits have been distributed over the last few months - a baby boom in Thornbury, it seems.  Long winters, you know.   Time to stock up on baby knits.  Wicked, from King Cole Yarns,
a bright, happy, laundry-friendly acrylic was purchase #2.  It will be  one of Cabin Fever's Top Down Baby Cardis, very shortly. 

The group was starting to fade, so off we went to be watered and fed before stopping at Eliza's Buttons & Yarns.  Eliza's is Barrie's newer yarn store.  What a delight.  True to it's name the first thing inside the door is  a cabinet filled with buttons.  If you ever need that 'certain' button to finish you knitted garments, Eliza's   would be the place to find it.  And of course there is  yarn too. Lots of it. On display was a great tam and curly scarf knit from Liberty Wool.  My itching fingers said -   'I want to knit that.  In exactly that colour.'  But figuring I already had enough hats, I settled on only  one  ball for the scarf.
 Big mistake.    I wonder if Eliza ships.

Even the tough, snowy, winter drive home could  not dampen our enthusiasm.  It was a great day.  Definitely put the city on your radar if you want a great yarn-crawl day. 


Friday, February 1, 2013

Ready, Set ...

Knitting has been on the back seat of my life since mid- December.  Back seats can be  a mojo killer.  But, the last few days, I feel something.  The mojo is coming back.  It is starting to percolate.  That little knitting urge, currently buried  under 'life'  is  , like the flowers in spring, starting to assert itself.

So much so that my yarns are ready and waiting  for my 'colour' block sweater. 

The purple is left over form Vignette.  The greens and orange were gifts- Sandy B's sister Sue again.

While the yarn was a gift, the pattern I am stealing.  At least the concept.  I am going to do a sweater similar to Chris Bylsma's Kaleidoscope Top.  Mine will be a cardigan. Knit in the round from bottom to top.  And probably have no ruffle.

Tonight I will finish up Kitimat mitten #2  -  then  - "Let the mojo return,"

 Check with me on Monday to see progress.  In the meantime, have a great weekend everyone and thanks for reading.