Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Cut Short

Cut short is a good way to explain 'How To Knit Fingerless Mitts'. Simply use a mitten pattern but - cut them short.

That's exactly what I did to make these little, slightly-felted guys.

Knit with the 'non-itchy' wool I purchased at the Knitters Fair, I used a pattern for chunky-weight mittens. Then simply - cut them short. Both the thumbs and the palms.

Fingerless mitts come under the category of 'less is more'. Less mitten, more function. Especially for the university crowd. In a cool lecture hall, they can still text or type. Racing for the subway, they can reach for the token. At the pub - well, you know.

Another thing that has been cut short is our lovely late summer/early fall weather. I have gone from capris, little, knittted summer tops and bare feet in flip flops to "What the heck will I wear to work today?"

Cut short. It works well on some things. But not my wardrobe - or my opinion of the weather for that matter.

Monday, September 28, 2009


What a wonderful weekend we had. Being parents of an artist is great fun. Especially when there is an opening of a show.

Fred and I go to most of Peter's openings. It is a chance for us to get dressed up and be part of a world that is so very different from our norm.

This past weekend, Peter had an opening for a two-artist show
at the gallery that carries his work in Rochester, New York.

Having never been to Rochester and having been years since we had crossed the border, Fred and I suggested to Peter that we tag along.

It was great fun. The city of Rochester seemed lovely and quite historic. The gallery is located in an older apartment building, built around 1910. Very quaint.

The reception went well. Paintings were sold. The wine was great, the appetizers lovely. Two hours in high heels on terrazzo floors was the only negative for me.

Coming home Sunday, we did some cross-border shopping. I didn't feel up to trying on clothes, so headed for the discount shoe store. When we told the border guard that we hadn't been shopping at all, I held my breath that he wouldn't want to search my suitcase. Or look at my feet. Three pairs of new shoes - oh and a pair of winter boots -might have been a dead give-away. But definitely worth the nervous border crossing.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Tearing Through The Stash.

Although not as ambitious as Gail with her 'knit-a-ball-a-day' goal, I am nonetheless, happy with my stash-busting knitting of late.

There was this hat,
and this one.
Then the Alpaca mitts.

And yesterday, I started mitts with the yarn I purchased at the Knitters' Fair - the yarn the sales lady claimed 'no kid has ever complained of itching.'
100% wool at less than half the marked retail price. How many skeins of that great bargain did I buy? Sadly, only one. It is very soft, so the 'pitch' of 'no itch' seems to be right.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Thursdays Are For Knit Group And Survivor

This week saw the first day of fall knitting season. Production has been ramped up.

Nell has a beautiful baby set with two pairs of booties and one pair of toddler sized socks.
Today she was working on clothes for a doll.

Wilma has finished the red top, of Super 10 cotton, for her daughter. Except for the miles of waist-tie I cord that she worked on today.

Gail has a great helmet hat.
Made with three strands of yarn held together. This three-strands-at-once-knitting is part of Gail's master plan for next year's Knitters' Fair. She has set herself a goal of knitting a ball of yarn a day for 365 days. That way her stash will be dented by next year's fair.

One of my recent projects was a pair of Alpaca fingerless mitts, knit from the pattern I purchased last week. Sharon was wearing them almost before I was seated. My intentions had been to put them in a basket for family 'giveaways' at Thanksgiving. I had concerns though, that the teens who might get them wouldn't know how to care for Alpaca. Sharon loved them and so now they are hers. She will take good care of them.

We had a new-comer to knit group today. Lois. Isn't that a great smile?
She was working on a baby outfit that hadn't been touched for a year. She thought that long a languishing period was remarkable. None of the rest of us did.

Who saw Survivor last week? How about Mr. Nasty. Will he get his come-uppance soon or will he win the million? Makes for good TV.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

The addicted Knitter

Last week at knit group. Sandy B showed us some knitters' stationery.

This one caught my eye. I call it the addicted knitter. That's the yarn basket on the floor. The knitter who can't even stop for sleep.

Been there. Done that.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

A Winner!!

Hey Teach! made me so angry, that I immediately ripped it and started a different sweater with the yarn. A version of this lacey number
from the Gifted-Gemmell's book.

It's done and it's a winner.
Pay no attention to the lack of buttons or the many tails still hanging.

The yarn is Eco Cotton from Peru, knit on 5mm needles to a gauge of 18 sts over four inches.

I used the Basic Aran Vee Neck pattern, gave it waist shaping, added lace at the bottom edges and shortened the sleeves.

I like it. Modelled shots to come when Fred's around.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Weekend Knitting

My latest, great idea, my newest notion, my recent 'this-will-really-improve-my-knitting-results' goal is to knit a few 'odds & sods' between major projects.

My theory being that more thinking time between projects might prevent future disasters disappointments like these.

So, Thursday at knit group, I started a hat. From my new favourite hat pattern book -
Do You Need A Hat?

I used Peruvian Highland Chunky from elann. It was one of my sample pack yarns, and I would have to say, it passed my test. It was nice in the hand, has lovely loft and a bit of a halo.

Following the 'good-for-any-size-yarn' pattern and using chunky yarn, I knit this.

Great, isn't it? It is the plain, top-down patten and I simply added a little slip stitch design with some white alpaca, also from my 'sample pack'.

It went so quickly, that perhaps I know there was not enough thinking time. As disaster-prevention, I've started a second, little something. I'll show you when it's done.

Friday, September 18, 2009

This And That

Wednesday, I asked if readers could guess where I was spending my day. Knitters are smart - or I'm pretty transparent. All guesses were right.

In Collingwood, we have a new yarn store. The Grey Heron. The main focus of the store is clothing, but Karen, the owner, loves all things yarny and has dedicated one room in her store to yarn. Just enough space to give me a one-day-a-week job. Originally, I talked to Karen about working two days a week, but reconsidered. Retirement is very time consuming.

My first day was great fun. I spent time 'dressing' the yarn room with the goal of making it inviting and inspirational to knitters. Yarns got priced, the 'bits of yarn' bargain barrel stocked and mannequins decked out in skeins of yarn. Lots of fondling and feeling. A yarn rep called and Karen graciously let me sit in. Such fun.

On the home front. I forgot to show one little purchase from the fair. A great designer button.

You might remember Nimbus from last spring.
I searched long and hard for a great button for Nimbus. The current fashion of one-button designs require an outstanding button. Not finding one that I liked or that matched, I settled for the one in the photo.

But look what I found at the fair.

Then, yesterday! The lurking danger of knitting in a LYS! I bought these.
The mittens were knit up and on display, in Noro no less. A sure way to get a knitter to break her diet. Fingerless mitts are so perfect for typing or texting, making them a great little gift for the younger crowd.

And this shawl patten
I saw at the fair but foolishly didn't buy. I know - it does have a centre back point, but I like the way it 'collars' itself.

Now my diet starts.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Thursdays Are For Knit Group And Survivor Starts Tonight

What a fabulous 'show and tell' time we had a knit group today. Those of us that went to the Kitchener Waterloo Knitters Fair had lots to show and say. Doreen said she hasn'tyet stopped talking about her day. Not an uncommon reaction from first-time fair goers.

But there was knitting today.

Wilma is at that 'oh-so-exciting' stage of picking up 398 stitches around the edges of her daughter's sweater. Smart though, she marked it off into sections.

And she's still smiling. Not every knitter would be.

Pat was back after a long absence. She hasn't been feeling well so we were especially glad to see her today. Still knitting toys. Look at her elephants.

Pat told of one little fellow who, when he saw her elephants, asked her if elephants have an elephant Santa Claus. Pat assured him they most certainly do. I don't know who smiled more, the knitter or the child.

She also brought this wonderful scarecrow. Just in time for Meaford's Scarecrow Festival.

Quite a different set of dangers lurk when having knit group meet at the LYS rather than the library. At the library, the most damage a knitter could do after the meeting would be to borrow a book. At the LYS, well, look at what was on the table. New sock yarn. Aren't those colours gorgeous?

Oh so virtuous, me, I resisted. Many didn't.

Now off to watch Survivor. Fall has begun.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Where Am I Today?

Something BIG is happening to me today.

Something that hasn't happened to me in a long time.

It involves talking and fondling.

It involves helping people make choices and using a cash register.

I am taking this.

And this

and my knitting bag for the lunch hour.

Can you guess where I am?

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

And, then I bought..

One of my must-have, planned-purchases at this year's Knitters Fair was Cabin Fever's latest book - Need A Hat?
This book has instructions for any size hat, in any size yarn. A wonderful 'I'll-never -need-to-buy- another-hat-pattern' reference tool. I feel certain that tools like this were more commonly available to knitters of previous generations. The times were such that knitters couldn't afford to frequently buy new patterns. Only in our age of affluence do knitters buy a pattern, per project. Of course, I too am often a 'pattern-per-project' purchaser but I do I love these types of reference books. It was the thing I searched for during my first 'walk-about'.

Of course, retail sales drive the economy and I like to do my bit - so I also bought ---all this.
Not as much as most years, but I've heard the economy is already on the rebound. My job could be done here.

This yarn combo
is meant for this sweater. Or, one as much like it as I can design myself so I don't have to purchase the pattern. It is knit with one strand of DK weight held with one strand sock yarn to give a gauge of 18 sts. I love the sunny colours -nice to brighten a winters day.

The sales clerk at the 'yellow-yarn' booth talked me into this.
She swore that -one hank will make two pairs of kids mitts and that no kid had ever complained of itchiness. Sold.

This lovely pattern started calling my name just the night before the show, when I read Glenna's blog.
She released the pattern just in time for the fair and mentioned that it would be available at Tanis' Fibre Arts booth. Another must-have for my list.

A sucker for slipper patterns I bought this.
I love felted slippers but hate the go-to pattern, by Fibre Trends, used by most knitters. Not that there is anything wrong with the pattern, but it is too darn detailed for me. I like everything s-i-m-p-l-e!!

Also a sucker for anything green, I copied Wilma and bought this shawl kit.
A shawl with a straight back is rare and something I like in a shawl. Who wants that more common of shapes with the shawl arrow pointing to the butt?

And a knitter can't have too many gadgets.
Especially these, as like Fred's socks in the wash, they disappear.

Not too much damage to the bank account. And thanks to my generous riders who gave me mega bucks towards gas, I only had to reach for the credit card once.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Fun At The Fair

Four hours of driving plus six hours of 'fair' equals a fabulous day at the Kitchener Waterloo Knitters Fair.

I give you my photo re-cap. (For shots that show the overall mayhem, go to Knitting To stay Sane )

First purchase of the day goes to Wilma. A shawl kit with pattern and a beautiful skein of Alpaca.

There were knitting friends from my old stompin' grounds - Carol and Barbara from the London Knit Group.

One of the days highlights - I met Deb Gemmell!! Author of my summer's favourite pattern book, Button Up Your Top Down and one half of the 'gifted Gemmels'.

Deb, by the way, is going to be doing a workshop in Collingwood this fall at our newest yarn store - Grey Heron. If you live close by, you won't want to miss her. Contact the store to book your spot.

Obviously, our group has fallen in love with the Gemmell sisters' patterns. Look at the Cabin Fever books that were produced for show and tell at lunch time.

We were lucky to have Sandy's famous sister Sue - the bag lady - with us. Look at her latest creation.

And here's the lot of us - minus Nicki who thought the photo shoot would make her late for the fashion show.
Happy knitters having a happy day.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Countdown To Kitchener

Shamelessly, today I copied my title from Curlerchick's Thursday blog.

But you can hardly blame a knitter. Tomorrow is one of the biggest days of the year for Knitters in this part of Ontario. It is the annual Kitchener Waterloo Knitters Fair.

70 vendors. All selling knitting stuff - yarn, patterns, yarn, books, yarn, fleece, yarn, sweater kits, yarn, sock kits, yarn, to-die-for knitting gadgets and did I mention yarn?

I can't tell you the amount of money I've dropped there over the years. Mostly, I can't tell you because I haven't kept track. Really, when it comes to knitting supplies, who keeps track? But there is also the off chance that Fred might start to read my blog and who wants a husband to know these things? Bad for their blood pressure, I always say. I see it as a wife's this Knitting wife's' duty to do what I can to keep my husband healthy. Low fat diets, prodding him to exercise and of course, keeping silent about money spent on yarn. Tough job but ...

The fair is hosted by the Kitchener Waterloo Knitting Guild of which Sally Melville was a founding member. In fact, one year at the fair, when Sally was still associated with Knitters Magazine and XRX Books, I was privileged meet Sally and all her editorial crew. You know those names you read in Knitters Magazine? Elaine Rowley, Rick Mondragon and a couple of other people whose names I was unable to hear over the sound of my swoons. This year, I hope to meet Deb Gemmell of the 'gifted Gemmells.

Curelrckick's group is taking a bus to the fair. Our group has two cars going. Eight Knitters.
We intend to arrive early, stay late, spend lots of money, meet other Knitters and have a Knitterly good time. I'll tell you all about it Monday.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Thursdays Are For Knit Group

Again today, some 'not-seen-all-summer' knitters were back at knit group. Sandy is still knitting for grand kids. This hat is made with sock yarn. Cute hat. Cute knitter, Sandy.

And Nicki, who had the nerve to take a job that often sees her working instead of knitting on Thursdays, had the day off. Looks like work hasn't affected her knitting output. She is making this coat
with this colour of Patons SWS.

Nell is knitting another baby outfit
but with DPNS!! Nell is Dutch. If you have ever watched a Dutch knitter, you know that they like to put one end of the needle under their arm. Pretty tough to do with DPNs. Unless you have a set like Nell's.
Have you ever seen such a l - o - n - g double pointed needle?

Take a look at this cute sock.
Number one of a pair to greet the newest arrival in Wilma's family.

But the big news - I have just heard Survivor starts next week. That means falls is definitely here and time for some serious knitting.