Thursday, July 31, 2008
Wednesday, July 30, 2008
A neighbour mentioned that she had seen me from across the room at a recent social function. Apparently, I was wearing one of my hand-knit sweaters. As my neighbour told it, she spotted me and my sweater and said to herself "Boy! That Brenda sure knits for style."
What a compliment! Indeed I do knit for style. But to have it recognized by a non-knitter- well, I basked. It didn't take long though, until I questioned the thought. If a knitter doesn't knit for style, then for what? Ugly? Plain? Serviceable?
Do you know knitters that gather together yarns in an unpleasing array of colours then exclaim
"That's it! The perfect combination for my 'ugly' sweater."
Do you know knitters that search for a pattern and purposefully choose the most ugly?
No knitter gleefully grabs her needles exclaiming "I can't wait to knit another ugly."
That's not to say that ugly never happens. I recall the self-designed, gold, worsted-weight, wool sweater I made as a KAL with a 'How To Knit Pattern-Free' class I was teaching. Ugh-Lee! So ugly that after the first couple of lessons, I was too embarrassed to bring it to class.
And then there's ugly fit. I remember my early knitting projects. Patons Shetland Chunky 'Nordic Ski' sweaters. Blindly following the pattern, iognoring my petite frame, I made housecoats, not sweaters.
Mistakes aside, every knitter knits for style. It was nice to be complimented, but really! I just do what all knitters do. We knit for style.
Tuesday, July 29, 2008
Patons Classic Wool is the large ball at the back. The front, right yarn is Trendsetters Yarn, Joy. The one on the left is Trendsetters Yarn, Metal. I see a green Easy Peasy Wrap happening.
The pattern, Fibre Trend's High Top Felted Slippers, is to share with my friend Nicki. Last winter she and I both made felted clogs and both wished for a pattern with a closed heel. Here it is Nicki. Mind you, it is in children's sizes, so a bit of finagling will have to be one.
Three yarns and a pattern. A mini haul. Nothing any knitter wouldn't do, right?
And the best part? With bags like these, husbands need never know about the yarn!
Monday, July 28, 2008
I knit not so much to keep hands and head warm in winter, but for style. I knit not so much to save money on socks and slippers, but for the satisfaction of artistic creativity.
But in avoiding 'Grandma's Knitting', some techniques and knitted items are missing from my knitting repertoire.
Until yesterday, I had never knit a tea cozy. And never tried the two-colour, garter stitch technique so popular in Grandma's cozies and slippers.
Tea cozies, though, hold a certain allure and I had always been curious about that two-colour technique.
And so voila! My very first tea cozy.
But, should I start speaking wistfully about knitting what EZ calls 'Nether Garments', hide my needles. Please!
Friday, July 25, 2008
Thursday, July 24, 2008
Housed in the front corner of the NAPA Auto Parts Store, with no signage to indicate anything being sold other than tools,
Apparently the owner's wife, a knitter, thought the front corner of the family-owned, tool store could be put to better use. Well, Duh!
Kind of makes you want to yell "KNITTERS RULE!", Doesn't it?
The store is not big. But let me tell you, in a small town, worlds away from Knitters Fairs & Frolics, Tent Sales and the likes of Romni Wools, it's a treasure.
Should you be passing thru Hearst and want to stop in, you can find the address in the yellow pages. Just look under Auto Parts.
Wednesday, July 23, 2008
Tuesday, July 22, 2008
Just for comparison, here's one that hasn't been injured.
Friday, July 18, 2008
Thursday, July 17, 2008
Choose yarns in colours that you like. Again, an odd number probably works best. Include some 'fancy' yarns. An eyelash and a sparkle really 'kick it up a notch'.
Yarns don't have to be the same gauge or fibre. In fact the more pronounceable the differences in the yarns, the more interesting your piece.
Use a relatively large needle. I used 8mm
The shawl is done - or at least mine was - in garter stitch. That is, knit every row. The benefit of garter stitch is that both sides are the same. There is no right or wrong side. Of course, you can knit yours in any stitch you want. The principle remains the same whatever stitch you use.
This piece, unlike the other Easy Peasy Shawl pattern, is done with vertical stripes. And the yarn is used for more than one row at a time. The decision to use a particular yarn and to make the stripes a particular width is TOTALLY RANDOM. Don't try to over think it. Have a little faith and just knit.
Also unlike the other Easy Peasy Shawl pattern, this one is not fringed. In the 0ther pattern, the ends became the fringe and didn't require being sewn in. Sorry, but in this shawl, you do have to sew in the ends.
Cast on sufficient stitches to make the topper as long ( ie deep) as you want it to be. Remember, you are working side-to-side so you are casting on for the depth of the shawl.
Knit a few rows in your cast on colour. When you think you have enough for that colour, change colours.
Knit a few rows - not the same number of rows as the first colour - of colour number two.
Continue in this manner until the piece is as long as you want it to be.
Cast off. Sew in the ends. (Sorry)
To make it into a shrug, at each end, sew the front to the back for a few inches.
Wednesday, July 16, 2008
But my question for you is, "What do you think I am wearing for travel attire?
Will I dress a la orange? As I intended to do for the trip back home in June? Except that I didn't get the top done in time.
So I made this little green skirt. The pattern was very easy and it fits! That's a good start for re-entering the world of sewing.
It was a 'done-before-dinner' fast sew. More accurately, a done-after-dinner- but-before-the-movie sew.
Tuesday, July 15, 2008
Remember when this style was popular?
It was destined for the 'recycle' store in town, but yesterday, as I gathered yarn for the trip, I came across the Bolero leftovers. Two full balls and a bit. "Hmmm", says I
I bet I could turn this from the 'One Year Wonder' that it was, to this year's 'au courant'. Not that I am especially fond of this year's fashion favourite; the closely fitted bodice with the fuller, lower half. Really, I can't imagine anyone who has ever been pregnant enjoying wearing that style. It makes my feet swell, just to think about it.
But, I do like my wardrobe to be somewhat current. And a re-knit wouldn't be too timely or costly.
So - the plan is to cut off the lower seed stitch trim and knit down. It will become a full length - or at least as full length as 2 balls and a bit will allow - summer sweater. There will be some fullness - not 9 months worth, but some - and a lace pattern.
Another vacation project. Ever optimistic.
Monday, July 14, 2008
I did find time though to get my yarn ready for the next trip to Hearst. This trip I decided not to take a major project. Instead, hats & mittens are on the agenda. Hat & mittens are often my January knitting. After the Christmas hype, I find them to be soothing. Not too much of a mental challenge, but fun to be creative with colour.
This time in Hearst, two beauteous Grand kids have asked to learn to knit. The oldest already knows how and now, the 6 year old and just-turned, eight year old want to learn. Mindless knitting for Grandma is just the ticket while I help them with their first projects.
Even so, I think I may be a bit optimistic about what I can accomplish in a month.
Friday, July 11, 2008
Again, before you all rush to comment on how brilliantly creative I am, I remind you - I am a copier. This time I took inspiration from Jane Thornley. Jane, who is brilliantly creative, does pieces with beautiful yarns knit in random order. Jane also does lots of short-row techniques in her pieces to make them even more spectacular. That would have been way too time-consuming and 'hard' for me. I wanted quick & easy, a 'wear-it-THIS-summer' knit. A type of 'done-before-dinner' knit.
Remember how I wondered if I had stash yarns in the brown colour-way? I needn't have worried. Look at the throw on my bed.
But now the question is - Is it a shawl or a shrug?
And now - as best I can while doing a self-portrait - the shrug view.
I will write up the pattern over the next couple of days and post it on the blog. In the meantime I hope you all have a Ta-Da! weekend.
Thursday, July 10, 2008
Sandy just finished a stroller blanket for a friend's baby. Sandy picked up the yarn from Bee Hive Wools in Victoria B.C. while on vacation there in June. The blanket is being knit in Meaford and sent to the Bahamas. I love the way knitters bring the world close together. Aren't those colours perfect for a Bahamas' baby blanket?
I started my next Easy Peasy Summer Wrap. Dorothy is wearing my first one in Quebec City as I write.
I was inspired by this new ball of yarn I picked up in the sale bin at Knitters Bazaar
in Barrie. Oops! Sorry, the store has changed it's name. It is now called Knits and Quilts, I believe. On Anne St.
Nicki baked us Biscotti. Yummy.
And tomorrow, I will reveal my little topper for the 'dress that called my name'. It passed Knit Group inspection. After Knit Group, I took it to the store to show the lady who sold me the dress and it passed inspection there too. I think it looks pretty darn good myself. I'll show it to you tomorrow.
Wednesday, July 9, 2008
Sadly, Grandma-to-be is a non-knitter. The knitting world is shaking their heads and clucking in disbelief at that news. Worried that the little one would nave nothing hand-knit to wear, I decided to make a baby hat.
Since we live in apple country, here in Grey County, the hat is an 'apple hat'. Lest you think I am brilliantly creative to put the idea of apple country/apple hat together, I confess I stole the idea from Sharon. Sharon - the weaving, bag lady from Knit Group. (See post of May 8) She makes apple hats for the new babies in her life. I shamelessly copied.
This is the red yarn I bought last Thursday after hearing the dress call my name. The yarn is Naturally Merino Fine. From New Zealand. It was the first time I have ever used this yarn. A very soft, washable wool.
The hat was the secret project I mentioned in Monday's post. Grandma-to-be and I hike on Wednesdays and I know she occasionally reads the blog, so I couldn't tell you about the hat until after today's hike.
Here is Grandma and our hiking friends with the hat.
And now, Grandma and the hat.
Grandma loved the hat and got the 'apple' thing at first glance. She looks much too young to be a Grandma, don't you think?
Tuesday, July 8, 2008
There are several in the area but he asked about Walter's falls. So off we went to show off the area's spectacular - well, not the Rockies spectacular, but pretty darn good - scenery.
Monday, July 7, 2008
I looked at it for a l-o-n-g time. I knew I didn't need a dress. I knew my spending money had just gone to pay for a new tire. Then a new sidewalk. I knew the rule was -" Walk away and think about it."
So the dress remained in the store. I ran a few errands then went to the yarn store for a ball of red yarn. (That's a little surprise for a friend who is an occasional reader. I will share it with you after I see her on Wednesday) And all the time, there was a voice - the dress was calling my name.
Returning to the car, I had to walk right past Coco's a second time.
"Well, it wouldn't hurt to take another look" said my bad, bad, bad, free-spending self.
This time I tried it on. It fit perfectly. Ah - the clerk did mention something about control-top panty hose. So, let's say - almost perfectly.
All the way home, the knitting brain was working. What could I knit to go with the dress?
What could I knit that would be easy enough to get it done fast enough to wear the dress THIS summer? Did I have 'stash stuff'' in the dress colours? Turns out I did. Or do. Look what I found.
Thursday, July 3, 2008
Nicki's Mom, Vera, reads the blog in B.C. and loves to see full shots of her daughter. But sorry, Vera, it's a no-head shot today.
The rest of the group tried to stay out of the way of the learners. Wilma kept busy with a pink baby sweater. She has a shower to go to soon
And Doreen is making her first pair of socks.
And what did I wear, you ask? Well, yes indeed I did. My new orange top.
And my Knit Group activities? The gauge swatch for the green summer top. And I am
w - a - y off. With the recommended needles, the ball band states 21 stitches over four inches. Me? 28. Got some work to do there. Perhaps a gauge-free summer wrap would be a nice idea.
Thursdays are for Knit Group and ain't it grand?