Tuesday, April 29, 2014


Not Chanel, but Fauxnel.  Fake Chanel.  Truly not a Chanel, but truly a better fit for my budget and social strata, I present to you, my faux Chanel.  My Fauxnel.

Pattern:  This one. 
This is the free ravelry download that I used  for inspiration.  The gauge on the French Riviera is 20 sts /4in whereas mine was 16 sts/4in.  So I combined the inspiration of French Riviera with the cast-on numbers from  Ann Budd's Handy Book of Top Down Sweaters.  Following the cast on, I simply knit to fit.

Needles:  4.5mm for everything. Trim and body.

Yarn:  For the sweater - Facination,  Desina. 
An Italian yarn consisting of a  60% Cotton, 30%Viscose 10% Nylon blend in a beautiful black, ivory and taupe boucle.  This yarn was donated to our stash swap at knit group.   I grabbed all of it  -   15 balls  in total   -  and  used about 7 for the cardi.  The black trim is Super 10 Egyptian Cotton.  Super 10 is great value because of the 230 yards per skein.  In my case however, I probably didn't use 2% of that.  I now have lots of black cotton as a starting point for another summer topper.

Mods:  The trim on my cardi is reverse stockinet. The lazy kitters' I-Cord.  I picked up and knit the stitches from the right side,   purled one row (WS), then cast off in purl stitch from the right side.  It gives a nice, cord-like trim, prevents rolling and with this boucle yarn was much easier to accomplish than I-Cord.

French Riveria shows the cardi with two different coloured bands of   trim.  The first, a plain, co-ordinating colour while    the outside trim repeats  the main yarn.  I have stopped at one trim.  I will wear it that way for awhile then decide if I want the second.  That decision was forced on me  because as yet, I have not been able to find a taupe yarn that matched the  pinkish-toned taupe in the main yarn.

Mistakes I Made:  Initially, I  got the gauge wrong.  Seriously wrong.  Somehow, gauge measured 12 sts/4in.  in the swatch.  Not only in the swatch but in my blind knitting until I reached the underarm.  Or so it seemed.  At that point I tried on the cardi  and it was small.  Seriously small.  I re-measured the gauge and the true count was 16sts/4in.   Quite a difference.  Certainly enough to make the knit on my needles too small and to require a re-start.  It fits well now.

Initially picturing this little cardi as a topper for a black tee and skirt, I now think it will also look good over white.  Perhaps even taupe. 

A great addition to my summer wardrobe.  Fauxnel and I are off to Baltimore tomorrow.  - where I am hoping the weather will be more summer-like than here at home.

Monday, April 28, 2014

Almost Chanel

The fabric and style of my latest FO - or almost FO - reminds me of Chanel fashion.  To me the fabric says 'lady of a certain age and certain social statra'.  Combine that with the simple style, accented by the black trim and the entire combo, to me, says Chanel.  Certainly, being planets apart from 'that' social strata,  it is most likely the closest I"ll ever come to the real thing. 

The yarn for this little cardi came from the stash swap at knit group a few weeks back.  I started it once, was down past the great divide of sleeves and body, then realized that I had misread my gauge.  By a lot.  I had to rip and re-do but now,  except for the weaving in of a few ends, it  is  done.

Just in time too, as Wednesday, I leave on a grand adventure.  I am helping  Shelridge Yarns with their booth at the Maryland Sheep & Wool Festival.  Will they let me into the Sheep & Wool Festival  wearing a cotton/viscose  cardi?  I'm about to find out.  Details and modelled shots of my Chanel tomorrow.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Thursdays Are For Knit Group

Have you ever showed up for a meeting and  realized you are the only person in the room that didn't get the memo?  That's how I felt at knit group today.  I was knitting  on my latest summer cardi but almost everyone else was knitting socks.  I looked to my left and there were four knitters - Carol, Gail, Bonnie and Lorrie -
all working on socks. 

I looked to my right and there were three more - Angela, Ruth and Jean -  with Ingrid being the only non-sock knitter in that line up.


Jean's socks deserve special mention.  She knits toe-up, two-at-a-time  on circular needles.

And take a look at her yarn! 
Reported to be Kroy and  purchased at a   chain store  owned by 'Len' for a ridiculously inexpensive, single-digit price,  Jean will get 5 pairs of socks from the 500 G ball.  A little over a dollar a pair!

Ingrid was dressed in her own hand knits from top to bottom today.  This is her sock yarn skirt.  A gored skirt where the gores were each knit separately then crocheted together.  That one-at-a-time method  allowed her to knit the skirt as travel knitting.  I like the way the crocheted columns break up the  bands of pattern. They add great interest to the finished look and prevent the skirt from becoming a perfectly, horizontally striped piece.

Today, Ingrid wore the skirt with another hand knit, a  colour- coordinating grey vest.  You look lovely, Ingrid.

For the first time since I can't remember when, there was  enough  sun  and warmth today to  sit outside for a mid - morning coffee.  A sunny morning followed by  an afternoon of knitting -  pretty perfect day, don't you think?

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Thursdays Are For Knit Group

Accompanied by  some chocolate Easter eggs, to keep  our sugar levels from dropping,  knitting today was lively and fun.

Look at Wilma's sweater! 
Finished, with her first-ever zipper installed,  it is a great spring garment. Look at that fit.  Isn't that perfect?  With trepidation, Wilma chose to knit a smaller than normal size. But it turned out perfectly.
This is The Sarah from  Button Up Your Top Down.

Ruth finished the socks she was knitting for her grandaughter' birthday gift. 
In lots of time for   Janessa's May 23rd birthday.  What a  lucky girl to have Grandma knit for her.

Sandy B just returned from a knitting cruise.  5 full days of workshops, food, knitting,  sunshine and  yarn shopping.  Look at this haul.
The bright blue on the left is from Richard Devrieze, dyed especially for the cruise and named after the  ship - Brilliance. 

While cruising, Sandy started this pretty pink piece. 
The pattern is featured on the front cover of  Knitting Traditions

Angela is determined to become a sock knitter.  With a bit of help on how to pick up those pesky gusset stitches, she is well on her way.

Lauren's socks are unique.  Knitting them for a friend who suffers from cold feet, she has done the  leg normally but combined mohair  with the sock yarn for the foot.  Very 'one of a kind' Lauren.

Lots of knitting,   just a bit   -  ):  -   of chocolate.  Perfect for Easter week, don't you think?

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Flood Relief

Flood Relief.  Not the kind that the insurance companies or government agencies  cover but flood relief nonetheless.

Speaking of insurance companies, my Montreal niece works for an insurance company as an Actuary. That means she is a statistician who studies risk assessment issues for the company.  She tells me that Canada is the only one of the G7 countries that does not provide 'overland flooding' insurance.  As she said - "Think how disappointed the people in Alberta were last summer." 

Today, we are getting our own flood protection.  Despite knowing that in the 8 years we have lived here there has never been water until this frigid winter  and,  despite our belief that in the 39 years of the house's life the basement has never before flooded, we felt we had to do something.  Something to ease our uneasiness not to mention that of future buyers.  We are putting in  a sump pump.

 The worker.

The helper.

Now, fully dug and no water in sight.  How about that!

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Discouraging News Times Two.

Our weatherman does not know his Metric from his Imperial.  Metric and Imperial are two systems of  measurement very different from each other.  Canada is a metric nation.  Last night the weatherman predicted 2 - 4 centimetres  of snow.  With 2 1/2 centimetres equalling one inch  we were expecting an overnight snowfall of somewhere between 3/4 of an inch and almost 2 inches.  Instead we got this.

That looks like an Imperial 4 to me. 

I could probably cope with that one disappointment but today I have two.  Yesterday I posted that my gauge on the summer cardi currently on my needles was 12 sts over 4 inches.  Turns out, I too have trouble with measurements.  For fun, last night,  I tried on the cardi.  Gosh it seemed tight.  I double checked  the gauge, once, twice,  then again and again.  Turns out I have 16 sts/4in.

Unfortunately the cardi was being knit to the wrong gauge.  It is definitely too tight.  My options are to carry on and forever wear it while constantly tugging at it -  or -  to start over.  Guess I'll do the latter.

While it hurts to give up on 12 out of a required 23 inches of knitting,

 it does seems as if time is on my side.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Hello Summer

Half way to summer I'd say.  At least half way to a summer cardi. 
Whether the weather will cooperate or not remains to be seen.

This little cardi is a fast knit. Although the ball band suggested a gauge of 18 stichest over 4 inches with a 4.5mm needle I am getting 12 stitches over 4 inches with the same needle.  Quite a difference!  But faster knitting, for sure.

I started with the cast on number from the   Shrug This   pattern in   One Skein Wonders, which conveniently has a gauge of 12 sts/4in and from there have just been knitting to fit.  The beauty of top down.   Finished by Easter is the current goal.

And another word on weather.  This little poem taken from a Church bulletin and attributed to annonymous.

Whether the weather be fine
Whether the weather be not,
Whether the weather be cold
Or weather the weather be hot,
We'll weather the weather
Whatever the weather
Whether we like it or not.

Annonymous must have been Canadian.

Friday, April 11, 2014

Spring - Inside And Out

With my flood vest finished (and worn twice, I might add) I told myself that it was time to put away the wool and get out the cotton.  Enough of that winter knitting. I wanted  needed something that said spring.

Like my fellow knitters at knit group, I walked past the bags of queued yarn in my stash and went instead for the latest acquisition.  This lovely yarn picked up at our Stash Swap. 
This yarn was donated by Barbara, the previous owner of our 100 Mile Market.  You might remember her as the 100 Mile Miss who requested a pair of  Briggs & Little Tuffy work socks.

It was always my understanding that she didnt' knit.  Or at least didn't knit much.  But come our Stash Swap, Barbara sent in a lot of unwanted yarn. I snatched this gorgeous lot.  About 15 balls altogether. 
Won't it be nice with a black summer skirt?  Or a white summer skirt?  Or a brown summer skirt?  I see lots of new skirts in my future.

Since the yarn is glorious in itself, I felt the pattern needed no further lace or stitch enhancements.  With that in mind,  I  selected a free ravelry pattern for  a basic, top-down, raglan-sleeved summer cardi with a border of two rows of attached I Cord.
 One row contrasts, while the outside row returns to the main colour.  A perfect use for this yarn, I feel.

With this  much complete after a day of knitting, this little summer piece will most likely be finished before the weather makes it wearable.

Although, I could be wrong.  Look what has sprouted in my garden.
 Have a great weekend everyone.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Thursdays Are For Knit Group

What knitter needs more yarn?  All of us at knit group claim to have supplies to last several lifetimes.  Nonetheless, when the yarn hit the table at our Stash Swap a couple of weeks ago, we all dove in.  As if we had never seen yarn before.  Many of us have already knit - or woven-  the yarn that was  snatched at the  Swap. 

Sharon has woven three scarves.
The blue  scarf  has yarn from my stash  while the red one  contains Nicki's.  Fleece Artist, no less.  Nice give-away, Nicki.  Nice scarves, Sharon.

Doreen has knit two hats with yarn she claimed from Nicki's stash.

Sharon has already knit one gorgeous sock from Nan's stash of Tanis Fibre Arts sock

And, as promised, Ann Marie came today to pick up our socks.

 We knit these
 for her exhibition - The Homefront -  at the Tom Tomson Gallery in Owen Sound.   The show runs from June to September and focuses on the women left behind when the men went off to war.

 Drop by Owen Sound this summer to  take a look at the exhibition  and see our socks.  In fact- why not come on a Thursday and knit with us first before heading off to  the gallery?  There you go.  Your vacation planning all done.  You're welcome.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

The Flood Vest

Despite the rip-back, despite our basement flood, my super chunky vest is finished.  The last, I think, of the winter knitting.  Time to start thinking of summer.  I think I can, I think I can - makesummer happen.

Pattern:  Sirdar pattern called Waistcoats in Faroe Super Chunky
Yarn:  Wool Slub by Knitca.  Colour - Rainbow
Needles:  8mm
-- The pattern suggests two lengths.  One quite long, the other quite short.  I knit mine somewhere in between.  In between enough to give me my normal 23 inch length.
None of the edges were to have any kind of trim according to the pattern.  I put 2 rows of K1 P1 at the bottom to prevent curling.  The 10 stitch cable at the front edges I found difficult to do without a stitch or two at the edge to 'hold' the work.  So I changed the 10 stitch cable to an 8 stitch cable and put 2 garter stitches along the edge from the point where the cable begins  to the centre back, where the cable stops.
- I knit it in one piece to the underarms and then separated to knit the upper body.

I am very happy with the yarn - soft, lightweight, almost roving like, bulky yarn.
I am not so happy about the gaping armholes. 

But nothing a bit of elastic thread won't cure.

A very cute, easy and with such bulky yarn, very  fast knit.  A good way to end the winter knitting.

Monday, April 7, 2014

Post Flood

Despite the hopeful title, there are no gauarantees that we are indeed post flood.  As some have mentioned to us, in our area, the big melt has yet to come. 

That being said, the basement is dry at the moment and with two dehumidifiers running non-stop, we are seeing the last vestiges of dampness, thankfully, disappear.    Fred, my work-horse husband, has removed all flooring and today will tackle drywall.  He intends to remove samples to check for dampness and the possibility of mold.  Keeping our fingers crossed - well I am, Fred can't work that way -  we are hoping that minimal wicking occurred.

With the flood subsiding, I did knit a bit.  My brightly coloured vest is almost finished.
It was done to shoulder height by Thursday evening, but was way too long.  The pattern gives two lengths.  The long version  at 28 inches would be  too long for me and the short vest at 20 inches  too short.  I aimed for something in between - and missed.  I ripped back to the underarms, then back another couple of inches before re knitting to the shoulders.

It should be finished this evening but with  the blocking board stored somewhere  high and dry,
it might not be wearable for some time.  

Friday, April 4, 2014

It's A Miracle

The water has stopped.  Last night we stopped sucking and pumping out water about 7 pm to watch the  baseball game.  About an hour into the game, Fred went to check on the water flow and called me down.  "You gotta' see this."

The water was gone.
Not only had it stopped coming into the house, but the  water that was on the floor when we left was gone.  It was as if some blockage  in our weeping tile system had given way and sucked the water out of the house.  Without uprooting our landscaping and digging down to the tile system, we will never know for sure but it would seem as something was preventing our tiles from doing their normal job of draining water from the house.  Perhaps too high a water table, or a chunk of ice in the tiles.  Whatever it is, it is gone.

Fred has started to tear out the flooring.  As Scott McGillivray would say " It's demo day."  I have offered to help but Fred said he could handle it.  He said "It's just manual labour."  I have taken him at his word.  What woman could  do manual labour.  The basement looks much like it did 8 years ago when we moved into the house.  A second fresh start coming up.


Thursday, April 3, 2014

Thursdays Are For Knit Group

Retreating from my wet basement - Thank you Fred - I spent a wonderfully dry time at knit group.  

Carol was here for the first time since her winter in Florida.  Sporting a tan and free of all the struggles of our Georgian Bay winter.  Welcome back, Carol.

Deana's Diagonal, knit in Paton's Lace, is changing colours at the most appropriate places. Looks great, Deana.

Sitting beside Gail's ongoing diagonal  scarf, also in Patons Lace, are two hats she knit this week.  The one closest to you, has some fancy, fluffy stripes .  Yarn she picked up last week in our great, yarn give-away.  

Remember that multi-stitch vest Jean was knitting?  The one I thought would take (me) forever to finish?  She's got it done.  A work of love for sure, Jean.

Wilma's original Olympic project, Cabin Fever's Sarah, is almost finished.  The body is done, sleeve number one is done.  Just the second sleeve and the zipper to do.  It is lovely. 

Wilma knit size small and is very happy with the fit.  A fit with less ease than C.F. recommends. 

Ruth is knitting socks for a grand daughter with yarn she picked up last Thursday.  (Such a great idea you had, Nan.)   These socks are going to Janessa.  Like Vanessa but with a 'J' said Ruth.

I had to knit lots this afternoon to ease my guilty conscience at leaving Fred alone to deal with our water problem.  He now has the best of all our drying solutions.  He uses the shop vac to suck up the water, pours the water into a five gallon bucket, which has the submersible motor in it that we normally use to empty the hot tub and pumps the flood water directly into the basement shower.  No more carrying of buckets.  Smart man.