Yay, Spring! :(

Ok, I’m still glad I don’t live in the Maritimes, and maybe this will be the new normal, and it’s only March, but man-oh-man, I’ve had it. I don’t go south in the winter, and one week in Cancun wouldn’t really make any difference to me, so I save that money (for more yarn? more wine? retirement with wine and yarn?). Although the cats feel it is spring, mostly they do this:

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Fire worship. I’m sure this cat threw virgins into volcanoes in a former life.

I am very happy with another cowl I finished. Very Hungarian looking, I think. Parts off my grandma’s pillow pattern, parts I made up to fit a cowl:aDSCF4499It’s a bit smaller than the leaf one, but big enough. I used Kathryn’s merino/cashmere fingering blend and it sooooo soft. I’ve started a different pattern in her singles:aDSCF4498I should have patterns for 4 cowls and a scarf ready by our Wakefield retreat, and a friend is going to translate them into French in time for the Twist Fibre Festival in St-André- Avellin in August. And some “action” shots, haha, mostly SNOW action:aDSCF4502

aDSCF4506Yeah, that sour look on my face is in fact how I feel. Sigh. I know warmer weather is coming, really I do.

I am trying to finish up a sweater for my grandson (since I will be seeing him soon!!!)

aDSCF4496 Just working on the hood, then a big shawl collar and sleeves. It is from a Martin Storey book which has loads of cute kid’s knits. I am using a WAY thicker yarn so had to fudge quite a few things (still working my way through the massive cones of grey yarn I got at Value Village).

And I’ve been working on crochet too, since I want to make something this summer from that book Filigree. It will be a good mind exercise since I already like crochet charts better than written instructions and my instruction books are North American, but the pattern book is British (so double crochet is treble crochet and a single crochet is a double crochet and a double treble is a triple treble etc) and no charts. Gah. I WILL master it.

aDSCF4409 This a swatch I made of different patterns. It’s kind of fun, but man does it eat up yarn. Think I’ll start with a pattern that is mostly knitting with a crochet panel, that way maybe I can get it done before the end of the summer! Summer? what’s summer?

Retreat!

Well, we are gearing up for out little retreat at the end of May (29-31) here in Wakefield. Maureen is deciding on the menu, Kathryn is mixing her colours and I’m writing up my classes and knitting samples. This year I am teaching double knitting (as colourwork) and mending your knitting with the Swiss darning method (or over-stitching). Friday is meet-and-greet and show-and-tell after stuffing our faces over a fantastic dinner. Saturday will be the double-knitting class and dyeing (and more gorging), Sunday you’ll poke a biggish hole in your knitted homework and then mend it (just pretend Frankie put a claw through your sweater like he’s done to me more than once.) (Oh, and one last food-fest at noon).

I will have patterns available, and Kathryn is putting together kits, and participants can dye their own yarn for their future double-knit projects (or for anything they like, I wouldn’t force anyone to double knit, except in my class).

This is what I have been working on:aDSCF4488The yarn in this picture will all end up as samples, and then kits made by Kathryn. The leaf cowl will be written up for the retreat. I am also working on a scarf (with cowl option) and a flowery cowl. All these patterns are based on my grandmother’s Hungarian embroidery.DSCF4492

We have many cushion covers from her and table cloths, but they are slowly disintegrating. So I mostly keep them wrapped up, but thought it would be nice to translate them into knitting. Some of them will only be for double knitting, others I’ll do as stranded knitting also.

Here are the pieces showing the other side. It makes a nice squishy, warm fabric (especially with Kathryn’s yarn!)aDSCF4490I’ve been wearing my proto-type all winter, and it has kept me warm in the piercing winter wind.aDSCF4437We still have some spots available, so if you are interested, let us know and Maureen can send you the information.

Kathryn has been dyeing up a storm. Her yarn went to fibre festivals in Paris and then Edinburgh with La Maison Tricotée, it can also be found locally at Wabi Sabi and at her studio, just give her a shout if you want to come out.aDSCF4410Here is some drying, some waiting to labelled and some bagged and ready to go.aDSCF4403

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In other news, our little Corgi is going home tomorrow. We will miss her, although I suspect Frankie might be relieved to be an only child again. And he can stop eating fruits and vegetables, which he eats now ONLY because she does.aDSCF4435(Notice the bags of knitting peeking out – I have them stashed all over the house. Except in the oven – I still use the oven).

And one last romp in the snow.aDSCF4485 Although I appreciate that I am not in the Maritimes under another 45 cm of snow, I still felt like weeping when I woke up to this. And although I love knitting in the winter, by a cozy fire, it is mid-March and I am heartily sick of it. Hopefully by the time we have our retreat, all this will have melted, but I won’t hold my breath!

Busy days

We have been very busy lately. This will be a long post about our retreat, upcoming events, vintage purchases and more! Warning: picture heavy.

First off, Kathryn will be at the Montreal Knitting Guild tonight (October 14th) giving a talk and selling her wares. Then she will be at the Ottawa Knitting Guild’s vendors’ night on the 27th, at the Christmas craft fair at Vorlage (in Wakefield) on November 8 and 9, and at the Idle Hands fair in Ottawa on November 23. Then I think she should put her feet up for a little while.

We had our little knitting retreat at the end of September, the weather was fabulous! So were the participants!

IMG_2064We  hold the retreat at “The Barn”, sort of literally, it once was a barn…

IMG_2065 But it doesn’t look like a barn on the inside. Here are some hard-working knitters:DSC_1784

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Maureen cooked up fabulous meals:

IMG_2069 That was just lunch, I didn’t even get dinner shots because excessive drooling was hindering the operation of a camera.

And there was dyeing! Always a very popular activity and this year’s yarn was particularly beautiful:

DSC_1780 IMG_2075 IMG_2066 We even had this participant who came with her 5 month old baby! Who was a doll and was happily passed around and initiated into the obsessive world of knitting. She should be casting on by 9 months.

DSC_1779 And drooling over checking out the yarn…

IMG_8337 (2)Kathryn and I are enjoying a little downtime. There was a baby just off screen, hence the smiles.

I also had a surprise for our knitters, bracelets!

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Made from old knitting needles that I scored at Value Village!

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You just drop them into a pot of simmering water, push them down as they become soft (like spaghetti), after about 5 minutes take one out with tongs and with heat-resistant gloves, twist them into a bracelet. Hold until cool (which is very quick – so just do one at  a time). If it is too big or too small, drop back into the pot. Voila. Crazy knitters’ jewelry!  I just picked up another 40 or so knitting needles and plan on making a pile for the next retreat that I’m attending. I even bent a 10 mm one, I kept that one for myself, it’s so hardcore! Not all old plastic needles work, one broke, another just sort of melted at the tip but 98% of them worked.

Next year we will be holding our retreat in the spring again, it seems to work out better for everyone. I’m thinking of teaching double knitting again, that was a fun class and I plan on writing up a cowl and hat pattern to hand out (based on some Hungarian embroidery work from my grandmother).

This past weekend, we celebrated Wool Day at the Saturday farmers’ market. We brought spinning wheels and spindles and Kathryn’s yarn, of course! By chance, the owner of Wool Is Not Enough (Vancouver) stopped by and bought bags of Kathryn’s yarn. So keep an eye out for it in Vancouver!

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DSCF3965 This was the tent next to ours, felting with Hannah Ranger, a very talented local felter. I bought something from her for my daughter’s birthday, but I’m not telling. And this picture segues perfectly into my next series of pictures…

In preparation for all these upcoming events, I helped Kathryn for a day in her studio (hopefully someday soon it will be more than just a day here or there, still working on the logistics of that…) And who should greet us at the studio but this little guy:

DSCF3938 Hannah’s new Australian shepherd puppy, Django! Of course I cheated on Frankie, what’s a dog lover to do??

DSCF3940 When a puppy offers up his belly to rub, you’ve got to go for it!

DSCF3945 He also came for a little visit every once in a while (after this very proper and staid picture he threw himself on that bag of roving, good sheep dog that he is). And then on me, melt…

DSCF3947 Although he might have just been confused by my cow-print apron.

I did do a little dyeing for myself. I had some alpaca/wool in an ugly beige (well ugly for me) so I over-dyed it blue and less-ugly-taupe for this sweater: Laszlo cardigan.

My colours are more subdued. It went from this:

DSCF3943  Which doesn’t show it’s truly ugly beigy-ness. To this:

DSCF3949 And it is knitting up fabulously:

DSCF4004 Everything I knit lately has to go with with jeans, hmmmm, I think I have “retirement” on the brain, well semi-retirement since I do plan on doing other things. And in addition to this wondrous dye-job, Kathryn gave me this freakingly beautiful yarn!!!

DSCF4012 (2) I’ve played around trying to capture the colour, close…

I plan on making another Moroccan Nights with it. I just finished this version, in Wellington Fibres mohair/wool fingering weight. It was a bit of a slog, one skein was darker and had a tighter twist than the others. I was alternating skeins and then switched to just that last skein. But after a hot bath (the sweater not me), it still looked pretty crappy on the bottom, that part didn’t bloom like the rest of the sweater. So I frogged the whole body! And started again, alternating every other row with the two different skeins. It worked out that way, and I am quite pleased. It has a beautiful sheen and is pretty soft for mohair (but I have a high itch threshold).

DSC_1765DSC_1767 This pattern has all kinds of lovely details. Kathryn made one from her yarn and it looks gorgeous. (But she is a bad, bad poster and picture-taker of her own stuff, so you have to take my word). I don’t usually knit the same pattern twice but this is such a fun knit (all of Rililie’s patterns are fun).

When I scored those old plastic knitting needles, I also scored a pile of old knitting magazines! Some from the 60’s/70’s (fantastic) and the 90’s (mostly hideous and hilarious). Here are a few of my faves:

DSCF3985 Yeah, cause nothing says He-Man like bobbles.

And hey, aren’t those guys the Kennedys???

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I dare you to knit this one:

DSCF3987 In baby-blue and olive green, cause those colours go so well together. I don’t understand what the hell is going on with that monstrosity, it looks like some kind of weird moss is taking over and will strangle the poor guy.

DSCF3986 Well, they are just a bunch of scamps, aren’t they? Why do all men from the 60’s have furrowed brows? Worrying about Communists and nuclear war, no doubt. He could save this poor Stepford wife, I think her fake eyelashes weigh about a pound each! Oh my!

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This knitting magazine should have been called Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown:

DSCF3993 Oh my god! the migraine! the migraine from these eyelashes!

And who knew that Mary Maxim was ever this mod!!! Agent 99!

DSCF3988 Except that it goes totally downhill on the inside:

DSCF3989 Wow. I’m kind of speechless.

I kind of like these, from a Danish magazine, where the women seem much happier. I would feel like a pyrex dish though.

DSCF3992And then there were the 90’s. You remember the 90’s don’t you?

DSCF3977 Think I might have to use some of my plastic needles to poke my eyes out.

I actually found a few nice patterns in these 90’s Vogue knitting mags:

DSCF3978 This is pretty adorable. And this is quite elegant:

DSCF3981 But they were few and far between. Outnumbered by the likes of these:

DSCF3979 Ugh.

Well, I will leave you with more pleasing images of fall and Frankie (I did stay true in the end):

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And checking out a highly suspicious looking pumpkin. What kind of a soccer ball is that?

DSCF3969I’m off to Cape Cod soon to frolic with my grandson, so will post again upon my return, with pictures of his new sweaters knit by MOI.

 

 

 

Almost there…

Next weekend is our little retreat! I’ve written up the classes and am just finishing off some swatches. Kathryn is preparing the dyes and Maureen is  finalizing the menu. It will be a lot of fun. I will even have door prizes, for like, everyone! That’s one way to cull the books and stash. We have a few spots left, so if you are interested, contact us. It starts Friday night with a fabulous dinner and show and tell, or just knitting if you have nothing to tell. But a glass of wine (or two) might loosen you up. We are usually booked up when we hold it in the spring (but it just couldn’t happen this year). The fall seems to be a busy time of year for everyone but the weekend so far looks like it will be beautiful,  because you know, seven day weather forecasting never lies. Next year, however,  we will hold it again in the spring (hopefully we can get the venue).

I am just about finished my grandson’s hoodie. I have not knit the band around the hood, I want to make sure it fits first, so I’ll do that “in situ”. I just have to find some buttons, and maybe finish that second sleeve…IMG_2060I just love those fish. I’m going to make him a new blanket with those fishes swimming up and down it.

In November, I go to a knitting retreat in the Gananoque. I have yarn from sheep from a friend of mine and promised to have it finished for show and tell. I will definitely get it done on time.IMG_2055I really like the yarn, it is super squishy (yes that is an official yarn term), with lots of lanolin in it still but washes up beautifully. I also plan on finishing my Betty Mouat Cowl, I am using darker shades than the original, in Jamieson & Smith yarn. I knit a matching tam from Gudrun Johnston’s upcoming release, Shetland Trader – Book 2 (lots of great patterns), Hermaness Hats, I was apparently the first one to finish! Yay me! I plan on making the slouchy version too in a reddish colour. One can never have too many hats. Or scarves, or sweaters, or yarn…IMG_2051(Gawd, I just realized I sort of match my couch).

I also bought some Shelter, love the colour and the yarn. I plan on making a leafy top-down pullover so I can use every last drop. The colours are all incredible. Will post pics as  soon as I have something to show for it.

IMG_2054Well, back to work, I have a few buttonband swatches to finish. It is a rainy, albeit warm, day and Frankie is quite enjoying it. Who ever said we spoil our dog?IMG_2050

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wakefield Knitting Retreat 2014 September 26-28

Well this is a little unusual for us, a fall edition of the Wakefield Knitting Retreat! Our usual spot in May was booked so we opted for late September, one of the most beautiful times of the year in the Gatineau Hills. The retreat will once again be held at the Barn, surrounded by fields, woods and gorgeous vistas. If you want to see pictures of the lovely old place, have a look at their web site: the-barn.ca

The BarnWe are starting the registration process so if you would like to join us this year for a weekend in the country, here is some information:

The cost will remain the same as previous years, $300, which will include three workshops, all meals and snacks and two nights accommodation in a dormitory type setting.Dinnerdining room
Here is what we have planned for this year:
Saturday (Julie): Buttonholes, the Good, the Bad and the Ugly

We will look at different types of button bands, ribbed, garter, seed stitch, knit at the same time as the sweater, picking up stitches etc. and the pros and cons of each. There will be lots of examples and a little bit of homework before you come. If there is time during the workshop, we will also look at buttonholes. If not, there will be handouts and time later in the weekend for those who are interested.
Sunday (Julie): Cabling Without a Cable Needle
Cabling without a cable needle is not magic.  You will learn to become a speedy cable knitter. There may be some pinching involved, but only of your stitches, not body parts.
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Saturday (Kathryn): Yarn Dyeing
In this workshop you will learn how to create fabulous painted yarn with professional acid dyes. The colours you can achieve are brilliant and endless! Acid dyes use citric acid, which is a food safe acid. You will learn to paint self-striping multi-coloured yarn, and kettle dye using common kitchen tools, like a crock-pot.DSC_0250 DSC_0202 03a

As well as the workshops, there will be lots of time for knitting, relaxing and informal sharing of knowledge and experience as well as time to enjoy the natural beauty around the Barn.

If you would like to join us this year, please email us (threecrazyknitters@gmail.com) to let us know, then send us a cheque for $100 for a deposit and a post dated cheque for the balance ($200) and we’ll reserve you a spot. The maximum number of participants is 15.   Please make  the cheques out to JULIE NANDORFY and mail them to Maureen Marcotte at 26 Sully Rd. Wakefield Qc J0X 3G0. We really hope to meet old friends and to make new ones!

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Fall is the new Spring

No, I’m not going to rant about climate change (although if I hear “what’s this global warming?  it’s the coldest winter in 20 years” one more time, I will SCREAM). It just means that we have to postpone our little knitting retreat which usually takes place in the spring. Things just didn’t work out so it will probably be in the fall, we will keep you posted as to the actual dates once finalized.

In the meantime, there is knitting to show you! I just finished Reverb for a friend. It still needs buttons, but she gets to choose those. I used just over 2 cones of merino/cashmere DK which I held with a strand of lace-weight yarn to get the right gauge. The yarn came from Colourmart, a little company in the UK that sells remainder yarns from mills in Scotland and Italy. It is very reasonably priced and they DON’T CHARGE FOR SHIPPING. (An enabler at least year’s retreat introduced us to this yarn crack).aIMG_1723There is still about 100 gm left of the last cone, so I am mixing it with some other yarn I have to knit this (for myself):aIMG_1726I am knitting a top-down raglan of my own invention, might add pockets if I have enough yarn. I was originally going to make it just turquoise and navy but there is not enough navy left and I don’t have any other navy yarn on hand. I avoid black and navy because those two colours seem to have a magical magnetic quality to them, attracting every last bit of cat and dog hair to themselves, conspiring to make me look like some slob, crazy cat lady, which I am NOT (even though we have 4 cats – long story, but we do live in the country,  and one dog.) So, I had 4 balls of red St. Denis Nordique and decided to knit the top part in red (because turquoise and navy weren’t bright enough!) I have also found that wearing bright turquoise near the face is like playing Buttercup (the point of which totally escapes me), except instead of having a yellow chin, you have a weird neon turquoise glow on your chin. Red is much better on me, and doesn’t give me a red chin for some reason (although drinking too much Guinness might). I will do the body in stripes and decide what to do with the sleeves later. I’m all about knitting, not about planning. This sweater will be great to wear to large gatherings or festivals because you will never lose me in a crowd. Unless you want to, which is a possibility.

Of course I’ve also started something else (don’t even ask about the stuff in previous posts, they will appear as they get finished…), super cute top-down pullover, Laneway, I will make mine shorter I think (the original has the length of short dress).aIMG_1727I am using KnitPicks Imagination sock yarn (discontinued) in a grey mix and their Stroll sock yarn in red. I hope I won’t just end up looking like a giant sock monkey (although I’m sure my grandson would love that).

AND, I even finished a cardigan that will be perfect for my next visit to Cape Cod:IMG_1712aThe yarn was all STASH yarn that I bought years ago (for about $2 a ball, discontinued – so this cost about $20 to make!!!!) This is a very fun pattern to knit, lots of things happening to keep you interested, it is called BlueSand Cardigan. But it’s not ALL about me (so the count so far, 3 for me, 1 for a friend…) I also finished this little hat for my niece (who is giving it to a friend with a baby girl).aIMG_1716aI mailed it on Monday and it has not yet reached it’s destination. We are hoping it isn’t lost in the mail or being worn by some postie with a sense of humour or some kind of fetish. This was another very fun knit. I made a blue one for my grandson last year. And speak of the devil… I’m working on a cotton pullover for him, very Cape-Codish also:aIMG_1728I used the Whale Watch hat as the basis. I will stitch in some water spouting out of the whales when I am done. Stranded knitting in cotton is a pain, so the rest will be plain knitting, maybe striped sleeves, I don’t know yet, I haven’t planned that far. So obviously I am feeling pretty generous since this adds up to a one-for-one exchange in projects (we won’t count the actual SIZE of the projects).

I will end with one of those hairy beasts we own:IMG_1633aPlaying outside in -20 C weather can tire out the hairiest of dogs, especially spoiled ones. At least he doesn’t ask me to fluff the pillow, although I’m sure he would if he could.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Whew!

It has been a whirlwind 3 weeks (for me, Julie, at least). So  I will go backwards in time…

THE RETREAT!

We just had our little retreat in Wakefield (first weekend in May). It was a blast. There were 16 of us, 12 participants and 4 worker bees. We hold it at “The Barn”, which used to be somebody’s very funky home but is now rented out for events of all kinds:

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8714931231_cd6afeae2d_z (2)You can see why it is called the Barn. Despite a bad cold, Maureen cooked up a storm, with help from her daughter (and Kathryn). Although I’m not sure that we had enough food, I mean sometimes an entire half hour went by when we didn’t have something to eat.

8716056788_3ca5576111_z (2)Although it was a beautiful sunny weekend we spent a lot of it inside knitting… A few keeners, concentrating hard…

2013_05050030There was lots of sharing, and all I can say is thank god for iPads and free wifi! I might have to get one…. When we weren’t knitting, we were scrolling.

2013_05050031There was also some relaxation and lots of laughs. Although as you can see, some people can NEVER put down their knitting needles.

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I gave a class on two-handed stranded knitting and another on yarn substitution, Kathryn gave a dyeing class. Here is some yarn steaming and simmering on the stove (conveniently located outside).

8714946167_98c5c47347_z (2)And drying on the line, yarn couldn’t have a prettier place to hang out and dry.

8716063654_f7c2398fc3_c (2)There were also oodles of Kathryn’s yarns for purchase:

8716061996_5003525f2c_z (2)Because every knitter knows, you CAN’T have too much yarn, despite what other people might say (who know NOTHING, by the way).

On our final day we took a group shot, unfortunately two of our participants had already left, but they have their yarn and memories…

8716052482_2e313feb93_b (2)We think everyone had a good time (at least they tell us they did) and that some new things were learned and shared, including lots of food and probably a few extra pounds (if I could share those, I would!)

And one of our participants, Josée, sent me this picture just after the retreat, well on her way knitting her stranded mittens!

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Before the retreat, I went to visit my daughter and grandson in Cape Cod. First time I met the little guy (who was 2.5 months when I arrived and 3 when I left). I came prepared with all kinds of knits (which will surely humiliate him later in life). Every baby needs an octopus hat.

1Mother and son in knits, knit by me. I know, I know, it’s not always about ME (knitting) but actually this blog sort of is. Note the Peter Rabbit buttons…

3He is a very happy baby:

2013_04290026And we managed to spend a bit of time at the ocean, windy but nice. The baby just slept through it all, he’ll have years and years of ocean fun ahead of him (with more crazy sea creature hats, I’m sure).

IMG_0745 (2)And despite some worrying and a desperate search for lower-back painkillers, it turns out that walking a lot and carrying a 12 lb baby around for 2 weeks actually does wonders for the back. For mine at least. Maybe when I go back to my cubicle-rat job, I should periodically rock a 12 lb bag of flour at my desk. If nothing else, maybe I can get myself forced out for mental health issues? I’ll have to dress it in an octopus hat…

I even managed to pump out a Cape Cod sweater (a tradition I seem to have started with myself). I didn’t think I’d have time, but I knit this up in one weekend. Norah Gaughan’s Route 1, knit in Berroco’s Remix. It took less than 4 balls!

1 (2)Just before I left for Cape Cod, this was the weather here:

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But while I was gone, my little Magnolia tree actually blossomed! I received this last year from my son for my birthday and I didn’t kill it!

2013_05070019And a moment of magnolia zen for Frankie:

2013_05060010Which lasted until he noticed this visitor, up a tree:

pA chubby porcupine! I love porcupines, they are like Dr. Seuss characters come alive. Frankie has yet to be quilled and he couldn’t get near this guy (yay fence!) but I think he would learn his lesson if he ever did (he would just want to play, no aggression in this guy).

I’ll leave you with some human cuteness this time:

photo (31)Might Finn be thinking: “where’s my Canadian Grandma??” But more than likely he’s working on a fart (a few which, by the way, I have on video) – kids these days have no idea of their future torment with every burp, fart and sneeze digitally captured.

Wakefield Knitting Retreat 2013

The days are getting longer, the sun is stronger and it’s time to think spring! That means, time to plan this year’s knitting retreat at the Barn near Wakefield.

The Barn in early spring

The Barn in early spring

Julie and Kathryn have some exciting workshops planned and I’m already testing out some new recipes so it should be a great weekend!

The dates this year will be May 3-5 and the price will be the same as last year ($300 for all classes, meals and two nights accommodation). We wanted to let you know what Kathryn and Julie have planned for the workshops:

Julie will present an introduction to stranded knitting  i.e. two-colour knitting with short changes between colours whereby you carry the unused colour (float) behind the one you are knitting with:

We will focus on knitting a swatch in the round (without really knitting in the round), colour dominance and managing floats.  If you are really keen, I suggest practicing knitting (before the retreat) in the style you do NOT currently use (if you knit English, practice Continental, and vice versa) if you would like to practice two-handed knitting (only the knit stitch, there won’t be any purling), otherwise you can alternate your colours from the same hand.
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Julie’s second workshop will be on yarn substitution:

We will examine how to substitute yarn for a given pattern, including possibilities for using different fibres and touching on using yarn with a different gauge. There will be a very detailed handout and lots of props as examples. If you have any questions regarding a specific project you would like to tackle, bring them along.

Knitting workshop

Knitting workshop

And once again, Kathryn will lead a workshop on dyeing yarn with professional acid dyes:

In this workshop you will learn how to create fabulous painted yarn with professional acid dyes. The colours you can achieve are brilliant and endless! Acid dyes use citric acid, which is a food safe acid. You will learn to paint self-striping multicoloured yarn, and kettle dye using common kitchen tools, like a crock-pot. We will dye 2 skeins of yarn with the idea that they will be used for colour work.

Kathryn's dyeing workshop

Kathryn’s dyeing workshop

dyeing outdoors

dyeing outdoors

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The Barn accommodates only 12 participants in dormitory-style rooms so if you are interested in coming this year, please let us know as soon as possible by emailing threecrazyknitters@gmail.com or calling Maureen at 819 459-3164. We’ll then ask for a $100 deposit to confirm your spot.

Here are a few more photos from last year to give you an idea of what’s in store: great classes, lovely people, lots of time to relax and delicious food! Spring can’t come soon enough.

The kitchen crew

The kitchen crew

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Early evening visitors

Early evening visitors

In the dead of winter, a middle-aged woman’s fancy turns to thoughts of …. the spring knitting retreat!

It is snowing, it will be -20 something all week, but I’m just thinking about the first weekend in May, our little spring knitting retreat. We’ve already booked The Barn, and now is the time to start thinking about our classes. I’ll give you a hint:

6and

7and

4and finally

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Yes! The basics of stranded knitting. I’m in love, in love with stranded knitting, and like anyone in love, you just have to share that warm fuzzy glow of knitterly love. So in our class, once you figure out how best to hold the yarns in your hand/hands (I knit double handed), we will focus on colour dominance with some exercises, and tension/floats. I am going to try to complete all my stranded projects so I will have lots of examples and I’ll knit up little samples too.

Kathryn will do her dyeing workshop and talk about colour theory, especially as it pertains to stranded knitting, what to think of when deciding on foreground and background colours.

Then on Sunday, I’ll give a class on yarn substitution. Things to consider when substituting yarn in a given pattern and you want the yarn to be similar to the original, and ideas for making substitutions that are completely different from the original (I knit a jacket at the original gauge with fingering mohair when the original called for worsted/aran weight wool). I’ll bring plenty of examples.

As it is a new year, I counted the number of projects I knit last year:

11 cardigans ; 3 pullovers ; 5 scarves/shawls ; 8 baby things ; 2 short sleeved tops ; 3 hats. Keep in mind it wasn’t all for me. Mostly, but not all. Especially the baby stuff.

Well, back to my knitting, so I will be prepared for May. I leave you with pictures of Frankie discovering the joys of eating ice:

mmm, what’s that?

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well maybe just a taste…

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Oh, yeah! fantastic! but could use a soupcon of cat poop…

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More retreat treats

I had a great time at our little retreat. Everyone laughed a lot, they were pretty game to sleep with strangers (some rooms had 6 beds) but earplugs helped.  As to actual knitting and dyeing, we split the class up on Saturday, so half dyed yarn and half worked on double knitting. And then we switched it up in the afternoon. This worked well as everyone was able to get individual attention. Here are a few more pictures from the retreat.

Knitters concentrating on their double knitting:

Close-up of some double knitting, you can see a few errant bars across the stitches but those were soon fixed. Everyone did a great job!

Kathryn‘s beautiful yarn, and Francine‘s beautiful shawl pins (and stitch markers) for sale:

And thematic cookies for everyone, made by my baker-daughter (who I may have mentioned in this blog, once or twice, or maybe three times, but whose counting.)

Lastly, Henry bids you adieu (with a little blue and green double knitting poking out from behind him), and says, thanks for the yarn, baby, just try to take it away, come on, try.