Knitter’s folly

This post will again go backwards in time. Mostly so I can keep the cutest pictures for last (hint: not furry and four-legged).

I just got back from the Eastern Ontario Needlers’ Retreat in the Gananoque (their 25th Anniversary!), held at the Glen House Resort. This was my fifth or sixth year, I’m not sure, it’s all a blur. There are almost 70 of us, so it is a pretty raucous time. Many of us only see each other once a year at this event. The poor sole (non-knitting) male at the bar didn’t know what hit him when we all congregated in the pub to sign up for our classes, have a few beverages and pet each other’s knits (which we were wearing at the time but that is sooo allowed). People imagine us knitters to be quiet types, grannies-in-training, but we are a naughty, naughty bunch. I go with three other friends, and shared a room with one of them. We even had a little sitting area in our room (which quickly became a knitting/wine drinking nook):


and this was the view from our room:


Friday night, after dinner and a few drinks (we are very naughty and I am very stupid, knocking over my red wine and splattering some on my WHITE sweater), we have show-and-tell. It is great fun and very inspirational to see everyone’s work. Here is a gaggle of knitters who all knit Natalie Servant’s Peloton pattern.DSCF4150Now, this is a knitting retreat, so yes, you guessed it, we knit. All the time. At breakfast, lunch and supper (we had to ask the staff in the dining area to turn up the lights since we weren’t there to date each other but to KNIT, so none of this romantic mood lighting for us). Notice the clever use of coffee cups:


So what did I end up doing the day BEFORE the retreat? (Hence the title of this post). Knit, knit, knit. I had to finish my sweater. I promised my friend Robin that I would come with the sweater I made from her yarn (from her sheep and which you can buy here.) I used Elderberry Pie, spun from Polwarth sheep. Here I am talking about it (before the red wine incident).IMG_8004_medium2I spent the rest of the evening washing out the spots, first with white wine (between a few gulps) and then seltzer water and then a full bath in shampoo and conditioner and it worked! Post-wine proof (and post-tea-dribble proof – maybe I shouldn’t wear white or only drink white wine, even for breakfast):DSCF4156I took the textured stitch pattern from Winnipeg Pullover in Interweave Winter 2014, and used a cable from another sweater in that issue and then knit it top-down.

I also finished my Betty Mouat cowl. I wasn’t expecting to finish before the retreat but in a moment of madness decided I could do it. I grafted 399 stitches the night before the retreat, until just past midnight. Then I had to soak it and block it. It was still slightly damp when I headed out with it. But that’s what knitters do.

Excuse my expression, I was caught mid-whine about grafting 399 stitches. Which by the way is a few repeats less than the pattern calls for. I’m glad I made it shorter, it is plenty long and fits very well this way. Besides then I would have had to graft 504 stitches and that is just crazy!IMG_8005_medium2

This is how it looks on, twisted double around my neck:


and three times:


and notice my fantastically matching Hermaness tam! I am currently making the slouchy version of the Hermaness hat, in Brooklyn Tweed Loft, in the colour Camper. It matches the mid-red Jamieson & Smith almost perfectly. Although my attempt at actually capturing the colour has failed again.


I was also a vendor at the retreat for Kathryn’s yarn, and I did very well indeed. I kept myself under control and the only yarn I bought was again from my friend Robin (I did however win 7 skeins of Briggs & Little Heritage!!! in blue!!!! enough to make a sweater/coat!!!! which I have already started!!!) This time I bought her fingering weight Elderberry Wine which is wool, alpaca, silk and nylon. It is delicious. I’ll do some kind of colourwork sweater with it. Again, the blue is much richer than my pathetic photo would have you think.


I also ended up with some silk hankies ( I had to, they were for a class taught by the lovely Francine). You draft a hankie and then knit straight from it. We were making chunky cowls, but you can draft it thinner and make fingerless gloves or whatever you like! The hankies were dyed by Yvonne of Yvieknits Yarns. I picked an acid yellow/green to go with my bright royal blue coat.


So now that I am back home I am full of inspiration and have even more projects on the go. I started another Moroccan Nights in Kathryn’s Riverside Studio Merino Singles (a rich brown/rust colour):


and Such a Winter’s Day in Brooklyn Tweed Shelter:


I am knitting it in three big blocks of colour, grey, grey/blue, and blue. Can you tell I’m into blue lately??

But before all this knitterly excitement, I was in Cape Cod to visit a certain someone…aP1160102A happy little fellow (yes I knit that sweater, this is a knitting blog). The yarn is discontinued, Knitpicks Felici Sport and the pattern is Boatneck Pullover from 60 More Quick Baby Knits. He was also edible adorable in his new hoodie:DSCF4063It fit him perfectly! with room to grow. (Of course I bored everyone to death at the retreat with pictures of my cutie, but it was just to show the sweaters, I swear!)

Well that was my month and a half, hope yours was good!

Kathryn and I will be at the Idle Hands Craft Fair on 23 November at St. Anthony’s Banquet Hall, 523 St. Anthony Street, Ottawa (just off Preston) with loads of yarn.

Hope to see you there! (I don’t abuse exclamation marks, do I?!)