Thursday, May 19, 2016

Thursdays Are For Knit Group

A very special visitor came to knit group today.  Meet three week old Sawyer.
This is Sandy's newest grandson.  The recipient of her winter of  baby-clothes knitting.  You can see he attracted  lots of attention.

Baby knitting is still the big focus for many  of our knitters.  Jean is working on a baby blanket for her coming grand child.
 Knit with Bamboo it will be soft against the baby's skin, with lots of little holes for baby fingers to find. Perfect.

Sharon is knitting the cutest 'animal-like' neck pieces for her two little grand daughters.

For at home wear, as scarves are not allowed at school these days.

Sharon R keeps her baby blanket knitting just for knit group.
  Something she can knit while chatting.  Gail really isn't judging the work.  She just happened to stand up to show us her completed, mitered square pillow.

 Knit with sock yarn, it is Gail's first mitered square project.  A great way to use up all those bits of left over sock yarn.

Special visitors and special knitting.  A great combo.

Monday, May 16, 2016

Cowl Cache

2016  - the year of my stash annihilation/acquisition.  Is there a compound word that could mean both?  The year started with me wanting to annihilate my stash but  not even half way through the 365 days, has seen me enhancing it instead.
Cowls are the thing I'm knitting.  The goal being, to use large hunks of yarn for each project.  That should tip the scale towards annihilation but it will, nonetheless,  be far from complete. I can tell that already.

Last week on the trip to and from the Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival, I knit three cowls.  All from yarn I grabbed from 'Sue'.  Since arriving  home, I have knit two more.

Funky, unspun, artisnal yarn from Pagewood Farm gave me these two cowls.

 Either love 'em or hate'em cowls, I think.  With 10 stitches, garter stitch and  15mm needles, they hang once round the neck.

A longer, twice-round-the-neck cowl, I knit with two yarns; a commercial, multi-coloured red along with an  artisinal un-spun yellow.  120 stitches on 12mm needles, with  stripes of red garter and yellow YO K2togs.

The long, pinkish one below is knit exactly the same way as the red one above.  This yarn, Online Linie 231, is  a commercial yarn but again with an unspun look 

Below, another cowl with pinkish overtones.  Using three balls of Joy, this one is knit across 30 stitches with 12mm needles, changing  stitch pattern for each ball of yarn.  The first ball was knit in garter stitch, the second ball in stripes of garter and stockinet, while the final ball has   three rows of YO, K2tog every 5 ribs of garter.  It kept me from being bored.

This cache of cowls is intended for my Christmas give-away box.  I am way ahead on the gift prep but lagging way behind on the annihilation.

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

May 11

Ten years ago today, we came to view this house and later that same day put in an offer to buy it.  2006 was a beautiful spring; it started early, leaves were out and temperatures warm as we house searched.  

When Fred stood at the patio doors and looked out over the back yard, he could just manage to see a structure  out back.  Worried that it might be a busy commercial enterprise, he turned and asked the realtor  "What's that building back there?"
"The United Church, replied the realtor."  So camoflaged by the leaves on the trees that it was barely visible. 

May 11th,  ever since, has become spring test day.  Are the leaves out? Can we see the Church? How far along is the spring? 

Well, not very far, this year,  as you can see. 

2016 is the year of a slow-starting spring.  The direct opposite of ten years ago.  Perhaps this will be a  year of no spring. Perhaps a year when we go from a weak winter directly into summer. With fingers crossed, I hope for a strong   summer. 

While I would rather have warmth, leaves, flowers and sunshine, at least I know if I cannot garden, I can knit.

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Maryland Sheep & Wool Festival 2016

Home now from the 2016 Maryland Sheep & Wool Festival.  It was just as much fun, just as invigorating,  just as exhilarating, just as socially expanding - and - just as exhausting  as other years. 

You can tell the US economy is in good shape.  Shoppers did not quibble over  price, they did not take more than a quick second to 'think about it', and they paid almost as often in  cash as with credit cards.  All positive economic  indicators I think.  The government could save millions by just asking a yarn show vendor about the economy.  Why pay those  highly educated economists, when they could simply ask a knitter who has a booth at a yarn festival?

To give you an idea of what it is like to 'man' a cross-border, trade show booth  ---

We left home Wednesday, arrived late afternoon Thursday and this is what the 'main barn' looked like Friday as vendors put together their displays.

It requires some thinking -

Sometimes two heads are needed - 

Some searching - 

Below is our booth - Shelridge Yarns - starting to come together.
 Doesn't that person on the left look as if she/he is tearing their hair out?

Eventually it does come together.  By 5pm Friday, all our garments were hung, labelled with name and price.  All kits were appropriately placed close to the display garments.  All signage was up and our booth looked  great.

Saturday started with early shoppers.  The doors open at 9.  We are not supposed to 'sell' before 9. Our first sale took place at 8:15am.

It is fun.  And I am so very grateful that Shelridge Yarns thought of me when they needed a helper.  But even a good thing can  last  only so long.  I gave my notice this trip and have retired.  No gold watch though.  I preferred the lovely, Evelyn Howard shawl kit (Pink shawl above)  that was offered to me.  

Good bye Maryland.  I will miss you next year.  

Monday, May 2, 2016

Margarita Monday

I couldn't resist that title.  How opportune to be knitting a sweater that starts with 'M' as does this day of the week. Who am I to question this gift of alliteration? Especially when there is progress to report?  So Margarita Monday it is. 

After 4 inches of knitting towards the waist from the great divide of sleeve and body, the pattern tells me to start the  waist shaping.  I am almost there.

And the lace is looking fabulous. 
Thankfully, our weather has changed to allow for  some outdoor knitting in bright sunlight.   If there is to be a mistake in the lace caused by distraction, I'd much rather be distracted by chirping birds and budding flowers than television.

There won't be much progress on Margarita this week, as I leave Wednesday morning for Baltimore and the Maryland Sheep & Wool Festival.  Margarita is too easily knit incorrectly  to  be worked while travelling.   Most likely, a couple of the  cowls I plan to knit from Bag Lady Sue's wool will be my car knitting for the trip. 

Friday, April 29, 2016

Stash Enhancement

A few posts back I mentioned that I was, seriously this year, going to get rid of my stash.  The method planned was to knit head, neck and shoulder pieces to give away next Christmas.  Using great quantities of stash yarn for each piece  was the goal.  In fact I do believe I used the word annihilation in describing the 2016 goal for my stash.

Well, Bag Lady Sue changed my modus operendi.  As of yesterday I have given up on the annihilation and have started to move forward to the enhancement.  Stash enhancement.  Yep a complete 180.  There is just no explaining the way a knitter's mind works.

Here is what I brought home from Sue's great give-away.
 This glorious roving type yarn with globs of contrast colour attached will make wonderful cowls.  Just a simple cast on of 30 - 50 stitches, a BIG needle and knit until the 50 yards in each skein is gone.
The yarn by Pagewood Farms comes from Arizona.  Designer yarn for sure.

A ball of red licorice for another cowl  Such colours.

 More roving type yarn in bright colours.  More cowls.

And below,  4 balls of Paton Classic in a brown tweed with one ball of white for contrast to knit a   
 cardi for me.  Perhaps  Fredericton   or  New Concetta

And last, forced on me by Sharon R, who knows my colour palette, is this gorgeous ball of Trend Setter  Bouquet in various shades of greens and blues and various textures of ribbons and yarn along with a coordinating ball of Ella Rae.  The green in these yarns is a pukie, pea-soup green. Should look wonderful on me.  I'm thinking cowl again.

Apparently the left overs are coming back next Thursday.  Mmmm, maybe I should take ....... 
No, NO!  Someone  stop me.

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Thursdays Are For Knit Group

We had a knitterly, better-than-Christmas afternoon, today at knit group.  Better than Santa or Pere Noel.  Better than a stuffed stocking  hanging from  the mantel.  What we had today was a visit from Sandy's Sister Sue.  Better known, because of her beautiful, hand-knit, felted bags,  as  Bag Lady Sue. 

We love it when Sue visits Sandy because she brings us all her no-longer-wanted yarn. 

 Shopping at Sue's is about the best yarn shopping one could do.

Quality yarns, unusual yarns, designer yarns, sourced from near and far.  Like shopping online but with the tactile experience included.

 Mind you, despite our yarn haul, none of us were/are as lucky as Sandy.  Look at the shawl she is wearing. 

Sue's design, knit by Sue.  Sue's Poppy Shawl, gifted to Sandy.

Sue brought with her, another gorgeous shawl.

Such creativity.  Such  a way with colour.  Such a way with design.  Sue is truly a one-of-a kind knitter.  We are privileged to know her and darn lucky to be the beneficiaries of her cast-offs. THANK YOU SUE.

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Margarita Progress

There has been some daytime knitting.  It's a hard thing to do, daytime knitting.  Too many years of a 9-5 work habit have made me suspicious of my own intentions when I sit down, mid-afternoon, to knit.

But with Black Margarita, and my age-related, less-than-perfect vision, I have no choice.  Despite the lack of knitting hours and depsite the rip-backs due to much too interesting telelvision, I have, nonetheless,  just passed the 'great divide' of sleeves from body.
 Today, I will bring out my bravery and try it on.

Without me in it, I did place it over the shoulders of one of the dresses that inspired the knit.

 I love, love, love it, so I hope, hope hope it fits. 

There are, I'm sure, mistakes in the lace.
 But I'm also sure that with all that is going on in the pattern, the mistakes will go un-noticed.  If not, I subscribe to the philosophy that "Those that matter won't mind and those that mind don't matter."

Monday, April 25, 2016

Stretchy Yellow

Each year, my ladies group at Church, draws names to select a secret pal for the year.  We learn their birthday, anniversary, favourite colour and favourite season.  Throughout the year, we send cards and little gifts to encourage and remember our secret pal. 

Look what I've knit for my yellow-loving, secret pal.

What the heck is it you might ask when you see it laid flat on my bed.  But around my neck, in 3D fashion, you can see it is a fun cowl.
The pattern, the 3 Rib Cowl by Debbie Seton is  a free ravelry pattern.  Easy to knit, it is a great mindless project. The finished results belie the easiness and that is always a good thing.

I love the way it drapes in such fun fashion.  I've pulled it in varous directions to show you how stretchy it is. 

That stretch was helped, in part,  by my own personal version of Jeny's Surprisingly Stretchy Bind Off  in which  every 10 stitches or so, I make,  then immediately bind off,  an extra stitch. ( I find  JSSBO so stretchy as to be sloppy.  My version does a make one versus a yarn over and I only do that make one  every ten or so stitches versus every stitch.)

Instead of the Aran weight yarn called for in the pattern, I used DK, Cabin Fever Cotton Tweed with a 5.5mm needle.  With my smaller gauge yarn, I guessed at an appropriate number of stitches to cast on that would give me the same length/look as the pattern.  My memory is failing me but I believe I cast on about 166 sts.  I like the look.

This one will wait to be delivered until we exchange Christmas gifts.  If I were to give it to my yellow-loving, 'secret pal' now, my identity would be secret no longer.    I have a reputatuion as 'the knitter' in the group.


Thursday, April 21, 2016

Thursdays Are For Knit Group

Was 50 Shades Of Grey a book about the weather?  Could well have been a description of the colour of the skies this spring.  The only bright spot in our day was in the room at knit group.

Sharon R is working on her Cinnie.  Apparently,  my green one inspired her to knit one for herself.  She said she is quite proud of herself that she can knit well enough to make a Cinnie.  Indeed she should be proud of herself -  it is looking gorgeous.


Here you see the back panel and the left side of the front and back.  She is about to start the sleeve. 
Below you see Sharon's attempt to hide from the camera.
 You can run but ------

Cinnie is a Chic Knits pattern designed by Bonne Marie Burns.  Popular designer at knit group today, as Wilma was working on one too.  Her pattern is CeCe.  
This one, she said she started in Pima Cotton about two years ago then set it aside.  But she thinks it is too small.  Yep, sure looks like it Wilma.   

Bonnie brought  her finished, Mitered Square pillow for show and tell.   The three taupe squares in the bottom right part of the pillow are close to  the colour of her furniture, she said.  Throwing the pillow on the sofa, she thought "Wow!  That looks good!"  Always nice to have a successful finish to a project.

Joanne was back in town today and came to knit with us. 

She has moved to Toronto to be closer to family  but misses her knitting friends, small town living and Georgian Bay.   From time to time, she drives up to spend time at her house on the water and when here, stops in to see us. 

Babies are big on everyone's mind these days.  Sandy's grand son is expected to arrive in this world Monday and Carol has been knitting a sweater for him.


Better seen in the close-up below, it is a hooded cardi. Cute and just in time.

Jean, too,  is expecting a grand child but doesn't yet know if it is a boy or  a girl.  She picked bright, cheerful, gender-neutral colours for this Baby Surprise Jacket. 

The yarn is Chamelon from  Michael's. What a great choice for a baby project.  

The day  might have been grey, but definitely not dreary at knit group,  with all the bright colours round the table today.