Friday, September 30, 2011

We've Been Invaded

On virtually every street corner,

every lamp post,

every store front,

every door step
there are scare crows.  This weekend is the Meaford Scarecrow Invasion. 

Friday at 6 pm there is a parade followed by festivities - including food - at the harbour.  All day, Saturday and Sunday there is the famous Apple Harvest Festival Craft Show.  Perhaps not quite the One Of A Kind - but not far off it, either. The show takes up the entire arena and curling rink - and includes food. 

Not to deter you  from planning a day trip but driving in the area this weekend makes it seem as if every other road in the province has been closed.  EVERYONE comes to Meaford for the Apple  Harvest Festivities.  So if you are driving by, stop in and if not - you should.  Even if just to catch a glimpse of our annual invaders.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Thursdays Are For Knit Group

 Company came.    A couple of weeks ago, I received an email from Zieknits in Indiana.
She wanted to let me know that she and her husband were planning their  annual 'Grey County Fix' vacation and that she would drop into knit group.  Yippee!!  We love company.

Then just this week, I received an email from Elana,  Moe (Mother of Elana) and Maryanne.
Southampton knitters planning a day trip with a stop at  Meaford knit group as well.  Lots of company!   Lots of fun!
These Southampton knitters don't let any opportunity to boost their community pass them by.    Here they advertise this weekend's  Port Elgin Pumpkin Fest in true knitter fashion.
They told us the very sad news that the Southampton knit group is on life support.   So here is your invitation, Southampton.  If you knit, want to knit, used to knit, have ever thought about knitting,  know what knitting is or once saw someone knit - go your local  Library on Wednesdays.  Elana will be there.  You  could be having this much fun on the shores of Lake Huron!  Grab your needles and go!

Wilma had two neat things to show us today. Most important was a  picture of her British Columbia Grand daughters wearing their Grandma-knit tunics, hats and mittens.  Aren't they the cutest? 

Her other piece of 'show & tell' was more funny than adorable.  Wilma has solved the problem of knitting in the car during night drives or knitting in darkened movie theatres.  She has  needles that light up.  Stranger than fiction and you heard it here first, folks.  Knitting needles that glow in the dark.

Sharon has a great start on a pair of Zauberball socks.  
Nice, but not identical, which disappoints Sharon a bit.  I have heard that with Zauberball yarn  it is difficult to get identical. Has anyone else heard this?

Poor Joanne. She injured her ankle on a Bruce Trail hike this summer and it is healing very  too slowly.  
She is now in a new-fangled cast and can get around well, but no hiking for awhile.  The silver lining in that cloud starts with yarn and needles, Joanne.

We got rid of Ruth's mug-shot look.  Much nicer when you smile, Ruth.  
Oh - and cute little knitted outfit too.

With company - international company I point out again - knit group was enthusiastic, loud and fun!   Right next door to our room at Meaford Hall, voters were coming and going at the Advance Polls.  We were hysterically quite loud at times.  I wouldn't be surprised at a higher-than-normal number of spoiled ballots.  If my preferred candidate doesn't win, can I blame knit group?

Part of today's fun came from  trying to guess what Ingrid is knitting.  
We still don't know.  Our  My comment was so rude she chose not to tell us.  To be continued.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Light-Weight, Lace-Weight

Just when I thought I knew everything there was to know about knitting!  How foolish.  It started with Featherweight.  That lovely, lighter-than-air cardi that I knit with Cotton Flamme, this summer.    Travellers  would claim Featherweight to be the perfect companion.  Tiny and light-weight, it can be rolled into a ball and stuffed into the suitcase.

Having now worn a sweater as light as Featherweight,  I suddenly, after years of knitting, realize how heavy some hand knits can be.  It was no wonder then, that I was drawn to Ombre Cardigan by Tanis Fiber Arts.    Using even lighter, lace weight yarn than called for (Tanis lace weight has 900 metres per skein, versus my   Centolavaggi with  1400m) this little sweater is light, light, light.

Just now past the first buttonhole and part way into colour combo number two, I can't wait to get it finished and toss  it's non-weight on my shoulders.

Monday, September 26, 2011

19 Row Slippers

Last week, I came across the 19 Row Slipper pattern on ravelry.  It's very name held much appeal to me, suggesting a quick & easy, weekend felting project.

My yarn wasn't  the bulky weight the pattern suggested.  Well to be honest, I missed the line where it said DK weight DOUBLED!!  My yarn,  greedily grabbed a year or so ago, from one of  Sandy B's sister Sally's (AKA The Bag Lady)   great, yarn give-aways  is a loosely-spun, mid-weight wool in orange with navy flecks.  With some co-ordinating navy Patons Classic in the stash, I went for the two-coloured combo. 
These are so easy!  Just 19 rows and none of the twisting, turning, watching-every-stitch-you-make complications of some other slipper patterns I could mention. 

The pattern did suggest  that for a higher slipper, one could knit another row or two.  I did.  Then the other modification I made,  - copying  from  that other famous, felted-clog, slipper pattern - was to knit a double sole.  Once the slipper was complete, I picked up stitches all around the slipper, where the body met the sole and knit a second sole,   "" reversing""    all shaping. Even now, in their yet-to-be-felted state, they are great slippers.

Having made the size medium  with  finer yarn, definitely another pair in heavier yarn and/or larger size are in order.  Next weekend.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Thursdays Are For Knit Group

What great surprises were in store for us today. at knit group.

The day started when this  lovely couple, Virginia and Ron,
stopped by with bags and bags of yarn, patterns and needles.  Sadly, arthritis now prevents Virginia   -   ' the best knitter I have ever seen',  according to husband Ron  -  from knitting.  She decided to donate all her supplies.  It was Christmas  all over again.  Thank you Virginia. 


Look who is back form the Arctic.  Tanya. 

Still working on the Fish Hat.  Or wind sock as she now describes it.
"I went terribly terribly wrong somewhere" she claims.  A new fashion in Whitehorse, I am sure,Tanya.  She said she will never wear it.  But I think she should  re-consider.  Look at the fun it gave us today, Tanya.

Nan, another Koigu knitter finished yet another scarf.  It's great,Nan.  Sadly, not my colour though.

It would be impossible to NOT guess which one of our knitters purchased Lilac shoes.  Only Ingrid.  They are beyond cute. Sadly, not my size though.

Sharon is back from Maine and practised great yarn-shopping restrain it would seem. Two balls.
Strange as it might sounds, she still reports a great vacation. 

Sandy B finished her Noro Citron.  There are many versions of Citron on ravelry and like yours, Sandy, they are all wonderful. 

Ruth knit herself a very stylish sweater.  Nice fit, nice style but Ruth - it's not a mug shot.

Then just before we left, another great thing happened.  Victims of our own success, our new room at Meaford Hall is too small.  The Hall has offered us a larger room on the main floor for the same price. Yippee! 

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

From My Basement

FOs are flying off the needles here.  If one can fly slowly.  This mini afghan was started in March shortly after attending the Brier in London.
It all started with the new chesterfield.    Purchased solely for comfortable TV watching, it has big puffy arms and reclining seats.  But no basement TV watching is truly comfortable - at least in our basement with our Canadian winters - without an Afghan. 

Our previous TV-watching Afghan was lacey,  holey, heavily fringed  and delicate.  It ended it's life with messy,  tangled fringe and a  giant hole where Fred's big toe rested.  This Afghan I decided had to be more serviceable than ornate.  More sturdy than delicate.  More closed stitched than lacey.  Patons had the perfect pattern. 

Knit on 15mm needles, in stockinet stitch,  holding together  four strands of their Shetland Chunky  (I substituted Cascade Eco),  a non-curling edge  and simple giant tassels on each corner, it would be perfect. 
Today's furniture manufacturers don't include  removables.  There were no pillows or arm caps to take to the store for colour matching so I am not 100% pleased with my colour choices.  The little fleck of red in the furniture is overdone in the Afghan.  But with four strands of Eco, it sure is warm.  That delightful warm.  That cozy but never over-heated warm that only wool can bring.   There are no holes for toes to play with.  No fringe to tangle.  It fits the basement, TV-watching-bill perfectly. 

Tuesday, September 20, 2011


Started in the summer.  Finished in the fall. Same year though!!
This is the Pure & Simple Bulky Asymmetrical Cardigan.  Knit with Naturally Chunky yarn in a dark brown colour.

The end result is not as pleasing to me as I had hoped.  I loved the pattern from the 'get-go' and have had it in my queue for quite some time.   But!   I had forgotten how heavy,  hot and plain uncomfortable   a chunky weight sweater can be.  Especially  when compared to Featherweight which was the knit that preceded Asymmetrical.  This style, with it's off-centre closure, only looks good when buttoned. Hotter that ever.

Sure I  knit Chunky sweaters years ago.  Most knitters of my era did.  We began our sweater knitting with  Patons Chunky 'Ski' Sweaters.  Sadly, I had forgotten that they too were hot and heavy.  Asymmetrical at least has some style.   

And I do love the buttons.  Those were from The Woodlot, purchased at the KW Knitters Fair.  

I will give it one winter.  If it is too hot and  heavy for comfort, then I will take it apart for hats and mitts.  Probably a much better - IMO -  use of the chunky yarn.  And then  - maybe - re-knit Asymmetrical in a lighter yarn.

Monday, September 19, 2011

2nd Annual Knitrade

In 2010, Cabin Fever sisters, Deb and Lynda, organized the first-ever, Canadian equivalent of the massive, American, wholesale trade shows.  One-stop shopping for LYS owners.  Yesterday was the 2011 event and while there, I wore two hats.


My first hat was for my 'boss' Karen, from Grey Heron.  She  had another commitment and could not attend Knitrade this year.  She  sent me with her shopping list.  What fun that was to buy and buy and buy and not break MY bank account.  For the store,  I brought home very large bags of Cabin Fever and Jojoland yarn.  The Jojoland rep, a  petite, Chinese woman all the way from Texas was so cute, so polite, so charming.    A perfect match for their lovely yarns.  And then I brought home lots of one-offs - buttons, beads, brooches, stitch markers -  to show Karen some new things that we might consider  for the store.

My other hat, I wore while helping out  at the Cabin Fever booth.  That meant arriving early and staying till the last shopper left.  Ask me if my feet hurt.  Ask me if I was   am tired.  But ask me too if it was a great day!  For sure.

The shop owners  portion of the morning started with a presentation by the Patternfish rep.  It was great to hear her new ideas for expanding the Patternfish  online presence directly into the  LYS.   

Then I met Barbara.  The Denise Needle Rep - all the way from Virginia.    What a great lady.

 That Timmys is borrowed.  She is  newly  converted to our national drink and thought being in Canada and all, she should show her  love of the brew.

I told Barbara how in love I have been with my Denise Needle Set ever since first purchasing it about ten years ago.  But now, they have gone one better.  They have come out with a soft case for the needles.With space for needles, cords and lots of other bibs & bobs - like markers, little scissors, it is a great kit.   It can be purchased alone - for those like me, who already have the needles - or with all the needles included for  first-time purchasers.
Did I have to have one of those?  You bet.  Along with a great brooch by 'Sarah'  to decorate the front of my felted bag.

What felted bag, you ask?  Haven't heard me mention knitting one?  Well, you are right.  The thought never occurred to me until I saw the brooches.  "Great to decorate felted bags", said Sarah. Such a slick salesperson. Of course I had to have one.  Fred accuses me of being impulsive.  "Ain't it grand" I say?

There were goody bags of course,and I suppose it really should go to Karen.  She does own the store, after all.  But  sorry for your luck, Karen. I have stolen this from the goody bag.
The latest C.F.  book.  Another - 'use whatever gauge of yarn turns you on'   Need A   book.  Like the Need A Hat and Need A Sock books, this little, book of baby sweaters gives  patterns using yarn from Sock to Chunky weight.  One book for all your knitting needs.  I love it.  Someone  -  have a baby please! 

All in all a great day.  Two   knitterly weekends in a row.  How lucky am I?

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Thursdays Are For Knit Group

Whether it is the call of a new location, or a resurgence of interest in knitting due to the  season changing, I don't know.  But our new room at Meaford Hall was packed again today.

Nell, - that would be Nell-who-knits-only-for-charity-Nell, knit herself a shrug.
She and hubby are off to North Carolina for a few weeks to visit their son and she thought a shrug would be just the ticket for those North Carolina evenings.   It looks lovely, but I hope you don't always need help to get into it, Nell.

Can you guess what these are?  Nicki is making slippers again.
The Fiber Trends Felted slipper pattern.  Can't wait to see what size they end up being, Nicki.

Sandy B has started another mitred square blanket. 
In taupe tones as requested by her daughter.

She and Nan discuss it. Sandy hates it.  I like it. 

Nan brought her Knitters' Fair treasures to show us.  What wonderful buttons. 

They look great, Nan, but I think you need to sew them on first.

Newcomer Joyce is working on a hat and hopes next week, someone can teach her how to do I-Cord for the tassels. 
I'm sure someone - er any of us, can -  Joyce.

Mona has a great sock yarn hat for her daughter and a great smile.

Guess who?
A shot of the back of a sweater coat with mitred squares is your first clue.
Ingrid wearing another beauty.

Doreen - sorry to be the one to telly you this, but you need a lesson in gauge.  This top is MUCH too big for you. 
Doreen tells me she is sending it off to her daughter in England.  Like Sally Melville said -"if you don't get the gauge thing right, you never know who you are knitting for"  - or something like that.

What about that Survivor opener last night?  Looks as if it's going to be a great season!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Ready For Coat Weather

 Last week, I started a scarf to match my new-ish, fall coat.   Last year's scarf of contrasting colour was so - last year.  This year I wanted a matching scarf.

Casting on, then ripping off for a few different designs, I finally settled on Sally Melville's 'Shape It Scarf'.
This scarf begins like a triangular shawl, but not long into it,  casts on  great hunks of stitches on two rows.  It finishes with  knitting straight for four inches - a hybrid of sorts.  A sharf.  Or a scawl.

Mine, being knit with far, finer yarn that the pattern recommends, had to have many more stitches to achieve the length I wanted.    300 to be exact.  But it is perfect.

Initially, I planned to use two yarns.  A green and a deep charcoal to match the coat.  But it looked a bit plain.   So I used my old trick of making my own yarn -taking several different but co-ordinating yarns, and simply tying them together in varying lengths, to create a 'new', designer-effect yarn.
I love it.  It looks great and gives the entire 'ensemble' a more cohesive look than the contrasting scarf.  Heaven knows I can use more cohesion!