No excuses

Well actually, I am looking for excuses for not blogging for so long. Busy? Lazy? Can you be busy and lazy at the same time? I seem to have mastered it. We have had an insanely busy summer, and fall is already upon us (and soon I’m hightailing to Cape Cod in November for 3 weeks to help with the grandkids – sorry Kathryn!)

Twist Festival was great, with loads of people and great vendors. I stuck to buying some roving. We had a much better booth this year, hope we get the same one next year. We brought everything we had in the studio.img_2886

In an attempt to keep the arena cool, they turned the coolant on in the floor. There were so many people that it didn’t make any difference at all.

And then a few weeks later, Almonte! img_2124

We felt a bit cramped so maybe next year we will spring for a double booth. I bought the last of Windblest farm yarn. They have sold everything off after about 20 years in the sheep and yarn business. I will miss their lovely BFL yarns (I have hoarded enough for a few sweaters, not to mention some roving – Wabi Sabi has some Windblest roving, so get it while it lasts – I did!)  This will become a vest.img_2146

There is a new fibre fest next year in beautiful Prince Edward County. It’s just one day, Saturday, May 27, so if you are in the neighbourhood or want to go on a road trip, maybe see you there. We have signed up, now to find a place to stay…

I don’t think that I have finished ANY of the projects in progress in the previous post, but I’m close on a few, haha. I have knit over half of the shrug for my daughter. I might write up the pattern if it turns out all right. Here’s hoping it does!img_2163


I do love the colours in Cobalt & Rust. I am using the 8ply supersock, one of my favourite yarns. I plan on adding a border, using short rows to increase coverage on the fronts.

I have also knit up a cotton sweater for myself, using some cheapo Value Village discontinued Scheepjes yarn (ah, nostalgia, my mom used to translate patterns into English for them).img_2159

Loved the pattern, Norah Gaughan in Vogue Knitting 2016 Fall. Interesting construction as always. And speaking of Norah Gaughan, she just published a fantastic book on cables. I highly recommend it. There are patterns, mostly original cables from Norah and all kinds of useful information.


I have finished a sweater for grandson #1, an adorable robot sweater and have already started an abbreviated version for grandson #2. They are still too young to complain about matching ; )  My gauge was different so I winged some of it.img_2162

I used a combination of trapping floats and invisible floats:img_2175

That’s about it for my output so far. We have been too busy dyeing. When digging around for gloves that haven’t sprung a leak (pretty painful in simmering water!) When we notice a leak (usually indicated by a scream), we throw it out. I noticed this:img_3194

There are 7 left handed gloves and 2 right handed ones.  We don’t really seem to do all that much more with our right hands in comparison to our left hands, but this is what we end up with. I guess the only thing to do is to hire someone who is left-handed!

If you want to be kept up-to-date on what we are up to, follow us on Instagram at katsriversidestudio (and if you tag us, use katsriversidestudio, not riversidestudio which appears to be a music studio full of pictures of our yarn, haha).

I will leave you with a feeble promise to blog more, and picture of Frankie, meant to show my super cool leather measuring tape bracelet but which ended up focused on the cuter element, the dog.




TWIST! and am I bat-shit crazy?

Twist Festival is this weekend!! We are bringing loads and loads of yarn and we have a new label, with a logo and everything. This is not all of it….


New label! (there is a pale stockinette pattern on the background)


Piles of samples!


I finished my sweater! I’m loving it so much, I won’t even mind when the weather cools.


Now for the bat-shit crazy part:  the pile of stuff I have to finish. Three sweaters (all for me BTW, cause I’m selfish like that).

Ambergris, love the whale tails.


These you have seen already, I’ve been distracted…

Three shawls, samples and/or for me/ who knows…




Two more shawls and a scarf, samples and/or for me, depending how greedy I’m feeling.

Socks, definitely for me and/or sample, depending how dirty I get them (in new colour Oxidized – darker than photo).


Shrug for my daughter (in perennial favourite Cobalt&Rust) – I do knit 1 out of 100 for someone else.


I did finish this hat and cowl set, with one skein of worsted singles in Sand and the stripes are sock yarn held double. Pattern is Windschief.  It is a sample! So, maybe 2 out of 100 are not for MOI.


These are just the WIPs from our own yarn. You have NO idea how many I have with other yarns (because I am a tad promiscuous in my love of yarn). I will get these done, this fall, by the end of the fall, for sure, I swear. Then I have family obligation knitting, grandkids – fast, yay!, son – not so fast 😦   and a vest for hubby if I recover in time from not-so-fast-son knitting.

Anyway, come to Twist and check out our yarns and samples. I hear there might be a few other vendors 😉  Don’t miss this cornucopia of yarn! Loads of new colours!


But if you miss it, we will be in Almonte at the Mississippi Mills Fibrefest 10-11 September. However, after Twist and before Almonte, I’m heading down south to see my munchkins. This little guy says, “See you later”.



FOs and WIPs

I have been working hard at my knitting. I am a knitter possessed. I have been wanting to knit up certain colours for such a long time. It’s almost all I’ve been doing. Thank god for audio books (at the moment, Annie Proulx’s Accordion Crimes). So let’s start with some FOs (warning, this is a picture-heavy post!)

This shawl is Uncia by Lucy Hague. I couldn’t put this one down, it took me 6 days to complete. Although the yarn is somewhat variegated, it turned out well enough to see the beautiful cabled details.


Here is a detail shot.IMG_1819

Lucy Hague has other gorgeous cabled shawls, I plan on making this one  too, maybe in Verdigris:


I have already started another Uncia in a solid pale blue/periwinkle yak yarn I have, which will end up more scarf/shawlette sized. I also knit up Gavrinis from Natalie Servant, a retreat knitting friend of mine. She has many fabulous designs, many of which are in my queue but this one became a bit of an obsession. I used undersized skeins of singles fingering, in Petalite and Graphite on the bottom (btw, I always use the Russian join for my shawls – even with singles, especially with silk – instructions here).IMG_1848

I liked this design so much, I started another one, this time a rectangle, but which I then joined after about 14″ so it will be a shawl/poncho. My initial enthusiasm took a hit when I discovered this:


I didn’t quite catch all the stitches in a knit 3 together. Rip! But then I was well on my way.IMG_2658

Isn’t it a beautiful design? At this point I began knitting across the two sides, I just have 2 pattern repeats to go, so about 100 rows. I’ll block it again before casting off to see if it is the size I want. I know I will wear this a lot. I’m using singles fingering again, in Ghost, a very pale grey.

This hat is knit in our DK and is a free pattern from Joji. I added extra rows between the decrease rows in the crown. This is currently one of my favourite colour combos, Spring Fling, Teal and Chartreuse.IMG_2559


They look fabulous together!

Now on to WIPs, so many… I am working on two more shawls (I will post pictures when I am further along), and three sweaters, and a shrug for my daughter (there are more but I don’t want to seem completely ridiculous). In my defence, although most of these are for me, they are also “samples” for festivals and shows, really they are. IMG_2683

This one is Antler, I just used the neck part from  the pattern and then added stripes and a textured pattern and am knitting it a bit A-line. I love our colour Little Burgundy, but burgundy as a colour makes my skin look jaundiced, so I decided to start with Mushroom (in MCN, a test skein) and the rest is in our 8 ply supersock. I think I might live in this sweater after the summer, although a close runner up will Breathing Space:IMG_2682The main body is in Sailor and the stripes are a mix of Indigo and Denim (using up odd skeins again). I just finished all the short rows and now I’ll just be knitting round and round. Good TV knitting. I realize I have to start getting rid of some of my clothes, a  lot of my clothes, since I keep adding to my wardrobe. I expect at some point everything I own will be hand-knit. Well, maybe I’ll stop at underwear. Maybe.

I also started a side-to-side shrug for my daughter in Cobalt & Rust. I am using a broken seed stitch pattern to help mix up the variegated colours a bit more.IMG_2654

This colourway has a lot of turquoise in it. Turquoise often crocks, in that it comes off on your fingers:


But I soaked my knitting thus far in some Eucalan (soap for knits that you don’t need to rinse out). The water was slightly coloured, but hardly at all, and certainly not enough for the dye to run into other colours.


We have been working hard in the studio, even in 30+ degrees celsius weather, and have all kinds of new colours we want to try out. We also now have minis, when you want to add a stripe of colour but don’t want to buy a whole skein.IMG_2539

We have lots more colours to skein up for these.

This is another recent favourite, Dark Chocolate and Trail.


In between dyeing and knitting, we often do our local Saturday market. Our tent is a riot of colour and knitted objects.IMG_1820


Our friend Mie has sent us a new shipment of knitting bags all the way from Japan. We will have them for sale at Twist Festival. I might have to buy myself another one, haha. It’s hard keeping my hands of the merchandise!

Well, I’m off to work on my Gavrinis poncho and to keep an eye on this guy:IMG_1881

He was very well behaved, no ducks were harmed in the making of this picture. He only wants to herd them, not to eat them, and he has finally given up on the notion all together.



What would you pay?

I’ve decided to make a few shawls to sell. We are constantly being asked at shows if the sample shawls are for sale. Now, I have no real idea what people are thinking when they ask this. I am sure if I said $200, they would say WHA? and if they offered me $60 I’d say WTF? Nevertheless, I’ve decided to knit up a few shawls and cowls. I’m using fingering- weight 100% silk, which I dyed and which I knit from my own patterns (which mostly reside in my head). The cowls will be knit from merino, and merino/cashmere. I am planning on charging between $80 and $170, depending on the complexity and size.IMG_1771

Notice the beaded bind off…IMG_1774

This one also has beads.




I’m quite proud of this one, a crescent shawl. I used a German lace pattern for the bottom half. (My camera needs to be recharged so these are from the iPad).IMG_2485


I think my prices are still a bargain. I am not counting the hours of knitting lest I stain these shawls with my tears in figuring out an hourly wage, haha. But I enjoy knitting them, and coming up with my own ideas, and I am curious to see if they will sell. If they sell like hot-cakes, I might up my prices, if they don’t, I won’t lower the prices, I’ll just prance around the house in all my silk-shawled glory, and if family and friends are really nice to me…

I have even managed to knit for myself. This tunic, Serenity, has been finished for quite a while. I used our fingering singles in the colour Dusk. I really love it, and I don’t look quite as fat in real life as I do in these pictures, although this IS an excellent sweater to hide all kinds of lumps and bumps.


(Frankie never worries about the size of HIS ass).

I also knit another cowl, which goes fabulously with my tunic. I used Mushroom and Damson & Denim in merino/cashmere/nylon lace. I have enough to knit another, which I might sell.


I still have another sweater to finish before the Twist Festival in our 8 ply sock, and a few more shawls, I hope.

(a wee update to the post – another sweater I knit!) I completely forgot to add this sweater to my post, Persimmon:

1aIMG_1744 I used Berroco’s Indigo, a yarn from recycled jeans. I really like the feel and love the colour (and I love matching my bag!) I changed the top pattern since the original just uses garter stitch. This yarn is not terribly bouncy and the garter stitch part was much wider, so I ripped back and substituted another pattern. I also knit an i-cord at the beginning of the garter stitch edges. It makes for a much neater edge.


Since I’ve already given you gratuitous Frankie butt shots, I’ll leave you with this cutie, can’t wait to see him again. He’s rocking that electro-static hair look!e

Art! Yarn! (not Artyarn!)

We have been very busy lately. Last weekend our co-conspirator in knitting pursuits, Maureen, had an opening at The General in Almonte.  Here is Maureen (incognito in her shades) enjoying the sunshine with another artistic friend, Diane Lemire.  I am acquiring quite a collection of Maureen’s pottery, well whatever my husband and son don’t break inadvertently.1IMG_1704

Back on the home front, it’s SPRING! (Although with a week of 30+ degrees, Summer is trying to elbow its way in).

DSC_0470 (1)

This is the view from our studio. It looks just like our yarn, Wasabi! Should have called it Dandelion Field??


Kathryn has been furiously working away to create pieces for the upcoming Artists Studio Open House in Farrellton, and then next weekend, the art show in the Glebe. I’ll be helping out Friday night at the Open House, so come by for a glass of wine! Or a painting, or a skein of yarn – we will have a yarn table 🙂  You can also come by on Saturday or Sunday.1IMG_1731I think this is one of my favourites:a1IMG_1733 This rooster seems to be saying “You will be MINE” or at least those crumbs on your shirt will be.

I have been dyeing to add to our own stock for summer markets and upcoming fibre events. We have a few new colours and once Kathryn is back to dyeing more often, she will work on more new formulas. Here is a fun lemony one: Poppy Seed Cake (the name “Ants in Lemon Curd” was a close runner-up). 1IMG_1734

I will tease you with more pictures of piles of yarn, waiting to go to a good home (who needs puppies and kittens when you can have yarn).


I actually have lots of knitting to show but will write a separate blog post about that.

I will leave you with more nature… in my driveway! A fawn! Molting! (We have lots of deer around here but it’s still exciting when they come to eat my weeds).


Working on the weekend

I guess knitting with our yarn to make a sample could be considered working? Even if it is fun? And you can drink wine while doing it?  I dyed up some MCN lace in Cobalt & Rust recently. There was an underweight skein (90 gm), so I used it up to knit a versatile cowl. IMG_2373

This was yesterday (I started it on Friday), with my friend’s dog, Playa, offering support (and soulful eyes). And here it is today, all washed, blocked and dried. (Some day I will remember to look at the lens).


It is super easy, using the Old Shale pattern.

Old Shale Cowl in MCN lace:

Gauge isn’t terribly important, I had 18 stitches per 4″ or 10 cm.

With 4 mm circular needles, cast on 216 stitches. Place marker and join in the round.

Round 1: purl

Round 2: knit

Round 3: purl (place markers every 18 stitches, this will make it easier to see what you are doing for the old shale pattern, this will also make it easier to drink wine and not totally screw up the pattern).

Round 4: [k2tog (3 times), *yo, k1* (6 times), ssk (3 times)]  repeat till end of round (a total of 12 times).

Round 5: purl

Round 6: knit

Round 7: knit

Repeat rounds 4-7 until desired length. I used about 3 gm of yarn for every repeat. Make sure you have at least 8 gm of yarn left before ending.

Finish on round 7 then repeat rounds 1-3 and cast off using a lace bind off, or your favourite stretchy bind off. I used this one: knit the first 2 stitches, put those 2 stitches back onto the left needle and knit them together through the back loop (k2tbl). You now have one stitch on the right needle and all the rest on the left, knit 1 stitch from left needle (2 on right needle now), put those 2 back on the left needle and knit them together through the back loop. Continue like this until all the stitches are bound off.

I’ll leave you with a few more craptastic shots!

1 (I have no idea what that white dot on my forehead is, either something on the mirror, or lint in my limp hair).

3 7



Life’s mysteries and then some knitting…

You might already know that my daughter had another baby (sporting the OpArt blanket).


You might think from my title that I will wax on about the miracle of birth, life, babies, etc… Actually the greatest mystery to me is the mind of a young child.

I’ve been down in Cape Cod for a month helping out, here is my to-do list, including such things as “watch Dinotrux” (grandson’s suggestion), “express anal gland” (of dog, and politely declined on my part), “no knitting” (ha! nice try), and “potty training.”IMG_1958

We’re sprinting to the finish in toilet training (please do not tell me how your child was trained by the age of 16 months). Things are going well, but what is it with pooping??? Why the resistance? (I know there are probably thousands of studies on this, thank you Dr. Freud). Why does he deny doing it in his pants? Or after you have just finished cleaning him up, defiantly say, “see, no poop”, implying you are an idiot. Or when you ask if he just farted (a harbinger if ever there was one), replies “the farting has stopped,” like some public service announcement. Why does he say, “I not pooping” with his obvious poop face on, and then 30 seconds later say, “I pooped”. Even when a toy he has been coveting is hung on the wall opposite his potty, and he is excited about the fact that if he poops in the toilet/potty, it will be his, and as he is lovingly gazing at it, imagining all the fun he will have with that toy when he poops in the potty, he poops his pants. FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, WHY????

So I got my daughter these:

shitshow(More hilarious items can be found here).

He knows the alphabet, a dozen dinosaur names, he can count to 20 (well, sort of, if 18 actually came after 13), he can follow Lego instructions, he understands what the word “transparent” means and shows you all the time, except when it comes to the WORKING OF HIS MIND.

I have no memory of how I toilet trained my kids, an indication perhaps of how traumatic the process was? I just have some old grainy pictures of a cousin or two sitting on the potty while tied to their cribs. I’m sure this method would be frowned upon today, if not actually being an indictable offence, but it is starting to look pretty freaking brilliant to me.

Now on to knitting! Despite having “no knitting” on my so-called to-do list, I did get some in. I bought this little sweater second-hand for grandson #1 some years ago. The bottom of the sweater was once also just white, but something got to it and chewed it up. So I ordered some navy and white worsted weight cotton, cut off the bottom and knit a stripy finish.


And with the leftover yarn, knit this little sweater:a5

I also managed to work a bit on my “Serenity”, in the colourway Dusk. I am determined to finish at least another three projects showcasing our yarn, so there is knitting monogamy in my future.


And lastly, a fun acquisition:


Because you can never have too many knitting-related kitschy items!