Thursday, October 31, 2013

Thursdays Are For Knit Group

On this warm, wet Hallowe’en, knitters at the Meaford library were in scarce supply.  A variety of issues kept them away.  Cataract surgery, out-of-town boyfriends come to call, seasonal knitters headed back to the big smoke, husbands with pre-op appointments. 

But those of us who came, had fun with the little people.  The Elves.

Look at the crowd of these little, hand-spun, hand knitted, $3  items  the spinners had to display today.  They are for the upcoming ( Nov 23 & 24 in case you are in downtown Owen Sound that weekend)  annual Pottawatomi Spinners and Weavers Guild  sale.  Three of our  Thursday knitters are now also  members of that Guild;  Nicki,  Jean and Sharon.  Jean is a long time spinner, but Sharon just recently purchased her wheel and Nicki has been drop spindling for only a couple of years. 

All things in the show must be either hand spun or hand woven.  These little elves will fit right in. If love and laughter was the measure of their value instead of the Made In China competition,  there wouldn't be enough money.  Then, of course, that isn't the purpose of a sale, is it?

I love ‘em but they are way to fiddly  a knit to interest me.  My interest is solely in the viewing. I imagine if I am just minutes late getting to the sale, there won't be any left.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Matching Passions

We are a household of matching passions.  Fred and I both  indulge our retired selves, by spending hours at our respective hobbies  passions.  Me with my yarn and needles,  Fred with his line and hook. 

Sometimes our passions frustrate us.  The yarn twists or  tears; the pattern is undecipherable or the end result far from the vision.  For Fred, the frustration often occurs when, despite a mile or so of river available to the fisher people, a fellow fisher will hike down to stand  within inches of where Fred has been fishing.   This doubles the chances of tangled lines and cuts in half the chances of catching a fish.

And of course, for a fisherman, there are always the big ones that get away.

Always, our passions cost us money.  I treat myself to the best  yarn and needles my  budget will allow.  Happily for me,  Fred does  the same with fishing gear.  I never hear a word of complaint about what I spend on knitting supplies.   Nothing like good    tools to improve the skills.  That's my story ...

Almost aways, our passion are fun.  For me fun is  when a knitting project slips easily from vision to fruition.  Or for Fred, fun was this morning,  when he   caught his second, October  Rainbow Trout. 

This one is a biggy.  Seven pounds, and 26 inches long. 

All the better when the passion produces dinner.


Monday, October 28, 2013

Modestly Priced, High End

I mentioned last week,   that knitting my pillow with four balls of Noro yarn, makes it a high-end pillow. 

But look how far one ball went.
  One side finished with this much yarn left.

Both the second side and the border still need to be knit.  I am thinking that with the addition of another yarn for a plain  back side, I might get pillow number  two from  four balls. 

That makes my high-end pillow - very modestly priced. My cup of tea indeed!

Friday, October 25, 2013

Something New

Wondering which project to take to knit group, yesterday, I felt a need for a new start.   There were any number of WIPs that I could have taken -  my socks, my Modified Moth, my Autumn Fair, my half finished slippers or half finished hat/scarf combo.  But,  I felt the need to start something new.

I took this.
4 balls of Noro purchased at Riverside Yarns while on the Wool & Wine Tour and the pattern for a pillow.

Not normally a hand knit pillow person - too much 'Your Grandmother's Decorating' for my taste - nonetheless, this one caught my eye.  Colleen at Riverside has a bench right inside the door to the shop and on the bench was a joyful, colourful pillow.  Immediately I decided to switch over to the dark side  hand-knit pillow side of decorating style. 

The colours in Colleen's pillow were gorgeous and what yarn comes to mind when talking gorgeous colours?  Noro of course.  Luckily for me, Colleen had some Noro on sale in her discount bin in just the right colours for my living room.  Colleen suggested it would take four balls.  Four balls of discounted Noro still makes for a high-end pillow.

The pattern was free with yarn purchase.  Once I had the pattern in my hands, I noticed what yarn was actually used.
 The beautifully nuanced, beautifully coloured, Bernat Mosaic.  Modestly priced, acrylic Mosaic.    Obviously my yarn snobbery worked against me this time. 

Looks nice, though.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Thursdays Are For Knit Group

The best part about routine is that Thursdays come around regularly.  Thursday afternoons, of course, bring knit group and this week, some fabulous show and tell.

Sharon was glad of the cooler weather today .  It gave her a chance to wear and show off her Essential Cardigan. Knit with the yarn she purchased in England - here.

The collar is adaptable.  Wear it flat as above, or turned as below. 

Great job, Sharon.  It fits perfectly and looks exactly as the Shepherd - and the sheep -  hoped, I'm sure.  Cozy.

Nicki showed us what a labour of love look like.  This little elf took her the better part of a day to create.
  She spun the yarn, then knit and stuffed the elf.  They sell for $3 at the Pottawatomi Spinners and Weavers Annual sale.

Wilma is still working on her Shelridge Yarns shawl.  She purchased the yarn at the KW Knitters Fair.  It's gorgeous, Wilma.  Matches your blouse. 

Sandy too purchased the yarn for this shawl at the Kitchener Waterloo Knitters Fair. 
She has shown us this shaw, finished but unblocked, a few weeks ago.  She showed it again today - finished but yet still unblocked.  In addition to the yarn Sandy also purchased blocking wires at the fair.  She is unsure of how to use them, so the shawl remains unblocked.  Block it, Sandy.

After an afternoon at knit group, I think I can safely say - Life is back to normal.    Hurray!

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Knitting Again

A routine evening at our house.  Tuesday nights,  Fred plays  Darts and   I knit.  And watch TV. 

Specifically 19 Kids & Counting.  A show Fred cannot stand to watch so good thing it is shown on Tuesday when he is out.

The back of Autumn Fair is now finished.

Two fronts and a collar left to do. 

Despite the absence of knitting these last couple of weeks, I still have high hopes of finishing this by month's end.  Nose to the     grind stone     needles,   Brenda.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Great Day Number Two

Residing, as we do  in the heart of the great lakes and in particular at the intersection of Lake Huron and Georgian Bay, the ferry, the M.S. Chi Chimaun that travels between Tobermory at the tip of the Bruce Peninsula and South Bay Mouth on Manitoulin Island, features large in our lives.   

Her winter harbour is Owen Sound – a couple of blocks from Riverside Yarns, just so you know.  Each spring and fall, the Chi Chimaun makes a re-positioning cruise.  In the spring from Owen Sound to Tobermory and the reverse in the fall.   A five hour cruise, with live music, entertainment and a great roast beef dinner.

Tickets are at a premium,  so ours were purchased weeks ago.   If I had known then how hectic my life was going to be these last couple of weeks, I probably would have passed.  But things have a  way of working out. The tickets were in my drawer -  and so  - we went.  What a glorious day!  Although it rained for most of the afternoon, the morning was bright and sunny.  We spent that time on deck, watching Georgian Bay’s special scenery. 


 Flower Pot Island.

Once the rain started we  spent time in the  lounge, listening to the  great music of Late Nite Radio 
(That is the Captain strumming the banjo.  Who was steering the ship?)

and enjoying the auction. (A sea of grey hair)
Of the 15 items auctioned off, the most expensive was ‘a pie a month’ for the next twelve months.  Top bid was $1,100.00.   Someone must really like pie.

The people of Owen Sound are proud to have the ferry in their downtown harbour for the winter.  Despite yesterday’s wet weather, there was still quite a welcoming committee.
Another, great, diversionary day.  Routine is slowly returning.  Next up –rescue my knitting bag  from behind the bedroom door. 

Monday, October 21, 2013

Woodstock Fleece Festival

Happily for me, I had  a great diversion happening on the weekend.  Last spring, Lyn Gemmel from Cabin Fever contacted me to ask if I would manage her booth at the Woodstock Fleece Festival this year.  She had a conflict - Rhinebeck.

Sure, I would.  Lyn said I would need a partner and she would try to get me one.  I immediately thought of  a friend that I used to work with at London Yarns.  Sharon  was just as keen as I to do the festival.

Woodstock  is more a fibre festival than simply a knitting festival.  There were spinning wheels galore,  a spinning wheel doctor  and hand made wheels for sale.  There were  rug hooking booths - no, not the kind sold in kits, but bolts of wool fabric waiting to be cut into strips to be hooked into rugs or wall hangings.  There were fleeces galore, shearing demonstrations and an Angora Rabbit show.  What does a rabbit do in a show?  I envisioned them jumping through hoops.

Friday afternoon saw us at the hall, ready for set up. 



What a job!  Although I have helped at the Cabin Fever booth at various shows in the past, I have never been in charge.  There is a big difference!  Lyn, I hope we didn't embarrass you and your good name too much with our   display efforts.

Early in the day, this Mother Daughter duo stopped by, both wearing Cabin Fever patterns.  A picture waiting to be taken.  
Mom is wearing  the Side Panel Vest and standing in front of our blue sample of that same pattern.  The daughter is wearing Sarah, from Button up Your Top Down.  I positioned her in front of our poster of  a blue Sarah.  You look lovely in your Cabin Fever sweaters, ladies.

It as a great day.  Lots of hard work, but fun.  Although, next year, Sharon and I thought Lyn could do Woodstock and we could go to Rhinebeck. Wonder what Lyn will say.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013


Sadly, my Dad passed away last Friday.  He was 93 years old and except for a couple of difficult months this past year,  was exceptionally healthy for all those years. 

Dad's life motto was  'When we work,  we work hard.  But when we play, we play hard.'   Dad's personality and way of things could best be described as one of largess or perhaps the better word is,  excess.
If he owned one pair of sneakers, he must have owned 18.  Same with plain white tee shirts, light bulbs, batteries and shoe laces. In his bedroom at the house he had 3 tall boy dressers, and a collection of 500 CDs.

He loved to drive around the Gaspe but by the 17th trip my  Mother refused to go again and so  dad made many more  trips alone.

He used to make his own wine. He kept a running supply of 400 bottles.  

Since my Mothers death he had collected small, round, end tables.  "For the living room, to put a dish of peanuts on when I have company"  he'd say.  He had 9.   

He like his music loud;  his wine, red and copious; his cigars, Cuban; his Courvoisier, heated.  He loved Quebec, the French language and the French people.  And they loved him.  One French family that worked for Dad years ago had 13 children.  Dad and my Mom were invited to every one of those 13  weddings and by the time number 13 was married they were being invited to the weddings of the grandchildren. 

Dad loved Canada and  from 1941 - 1945 he served his country overseas. After being involved in the Italian Campaign, Dad was scheduled to be shipped to the Pacific but with the dropping of the atomic bomb the war was over and dad was home.  Ever after, he  held  Harry S. Truman in high regard.  "Mr Truman saved my life", he'd say. 

He loved politics, attended several sessions of  both federal and provincial Parliaments, never failed to vote and kept a regular email correspondence of an advisory nature  with his member of Parliament.

He believed in hard work and thought that all who are able should always pay their own way.   He had no patience for laziness or cheaters. 

He loved to travel  and he loved to read.  He had read every book ever written about,  or by,  Winston Churchill.

His home was always open to anyone who wanted to drop in.  There was no business so pressing that he couldn't stop to enjoy a glass of red wine with a friend.

He asked for no funeral but rather that we have a party.  And he asked that we  spread his ashes  in Quebec City, at Perce Rock and in New Orleans.  We have some travelling to do.

Friday, October 11, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving

It is  Thanksgiving weekend here in Canada.    We celebrate earlier than our USA friends - wait too late  and we'd be snowed in up here.

It is most definitely my favourite time of year.  I'll show you why.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone.  And if it isn't Thanksgiving where you live - what the heck.  Go ahead and cook a turkey anyway.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Thursdays Are For Knit Group

Today, it was almost impossible to tell where the brighter colours were. At knit group or on the October trees in the park. 

For sure, Carol was on her game with these colours.

This is a sweater she knit  for her daughter.  The top of the sweater was knit with Cascade 220 Superwash and the lower portion with Noro.  "This is a very expensive sweater" Carol told me.No kidding,  with all that Noro.  The pattern came from the latest Noro book.  It is most definitely a One Of A Kind, Carol.

 Gail has a brightly coloured baby sweater started for a family baby due in March.

Nan was sitting directly across from me and I wondered about the equipment she had set up in front of her.

From the other side, though, it as easy to see how clever our Nan was.  Look at that chart.
  A giant chart in a vertical position.  Just what my old eyes need

 Nikki and Jean are working together on a project.  Little elves.  Knit from Jean's hand spun yarn. 

Lots of fun.  Lots of laughter.  Lots of colour.  A great day indoors and out.