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….

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

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Piles of samples!

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

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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.

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

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

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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).

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

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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.

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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!

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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”.

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A little reminder…

Two blog posts within a week? what the… Just a friendly reminder to come out to the Mississippi Mills Fibrefest in Almonte. We will be in the arena, open from 10 am – 4 pm on Saturday and Sunday. Not only will we have mounds of this:IMG_0917But piles of this:IMG_0866We’ll have lots of yarn to make this shawl, Dot Shawl, very popular at Twist:55It only takes 2 skeins of fingering weight yarn and the dots are really easy to make. Really!

Our friend Mie’s bags were extremely popular at Twist.10And although she can’t make it to Almonte, we will have a few of her felted bags, so come early if you want to grab one! Here is mine – with matching needle holder – which we won’t have 😦 IMG_0838That frothy confection next to it will be a shawl from Kathryn’s lace singles. I hope to have it finished for Saturday. Better finish up this post and get knitting!

So please come and see us at our booth. If this isn’t enticement enough, let me try to hypnotize you with Frankie’s come hither gaze.IMG_0840Resistance is futile.

Better late than never!

I am a bit late in posting about the Twist Festival that took place on August 22-23 because Cape Cod got in the way! We had a great time at the festival, there were tons of vendors and huge crowds. Here is our stall featuring Stephen West’s Dotted Rays. The grey and gold leaf shawl is a Berroco pattern called Mrs. Watson (there’s a name that just rolls of the tongue) which only used 3 skeins of the MCN sport weight yarn.5For the dotted rays shawl, we used 4 different colours of our lace weight, held double. I made the golden one and Kathryn made the purply one. Here is the breakdown of how I divided the skeins:

Colour A: 2 x 21 gm (A+A), 14 gm (A+B)
Colour B: 4 x 14 gm (A+B, B+B, B+C)
Colour C: 4 x 14 gm (B+C, C+C, C+D)
Colour D: 14 gm, 2 x 21 gm (C+D, D+D)

This is a really fun pattern and even more fun to knit when you use different colours. I joined the yarn together using the Russian join. If you don’t know how to do it, scroll to the bottom of this Knitty article.

We met up with lots of friends, like Francine who sells shawl pins and stitch markers and Yvonne who runs Yvieknits Yarns, featuring many of Natalie Servant’s patterns at their booth:14Also Sheeps Ahoy. Deb sells Shetland yarns in addition to Briar Rose. More of Natalie’s shawls! I was supposed to knit up that red vest in time for the November Needlers’ retreat but I won’t have time (the plan was for 3 or 4 of us friends to all do it). I am actual teaching this year, double knitting, and have loads of samples I need to finish instead and time to waste freaking out about the whole thing. Maybe next year…9Laura Sheppard pottery was there too with lots of sheepy yarn bowls and mugs:8Our friend Diane Lemire was there with the most beautiful and fantastical felted and silk scarves:11Another friend, who we first met at Twist, Veronique was also there. She makes jewelry from wire using bobbin lacemaking techniques. Her pieces are amazing.1312

We are now gearing up for the Mississippi Mills Fibrefest in Almonte, September 12-13. There a lots of fibre/yarn vendors, vintage clothing, quilters, buttons etc. Some of my favourite vendors will be there, like Windblest Farms with their lovely BFL yarn and fibre, and Kelly who runs Just Knitting, and who, it turns out, is a weaver extraordinaire! Please come and see us, and buy a few things. We are all in the Almonte Arena.

Did I mention Cape Cod? Right after Twist, I hit the road with hubby and doggy for a 10+ hour drive down to visit the grandkid. Didn’t have any knitted items for him this time, maybe for the fall, if I can find the time, gah! The weather was great:3And I learned a new trick from the grandkid, if you want to get sand off your feet ASAP, put some baby powder on it and it all falls away like nothing. Here he is showing his technique:

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And after all that sun and sand, some ice cream at Ben & Jerry’s!4I did finish one knitted thing in Cape Cod. A sweater for myself. It is Sugarcoat from Heidi Kirrmaier. I used Knitpicks Lindy Chain, a linen/cotton blend.  I had 3/4 sleeves, until I washed it. I’m too lazy to rip back.

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I’ll leave you with our new toy, an industrial toy that I put together myself!!15A new skein winder!!! It does 3 at a time!!! It has a motor and a yardage/rotation counter that actually stops!!! Can’t wait for more yarn to arrive to give her a spin.

This, that and another thing

Well I will finally post about the Almonte Fibre Festival which happened on September 7 and 8. Kathryn did quite well and it was a lot of fun. We saw quite a few friends and acquaintances, the usual suspects, and lots of new people too. Kathryn made quite a few batts, and of course they sold out pretty quickly. The batts are on the back table with a customer deep in thought…jThere were a lot more booths with ready-made crafts here, I managed to get a few Xmas presents, which I won’t be showing 😉   I was a very good girl indeed. Just bought a couple of natural skeins of BFL DK yarn from Windblest Farms, to round out the 3 blue ones I bought when we actually visited the farm – I’m thinking something stripey. I love BFL, love the sheen, the hardiness of it, no it’s not super soft but not everything in life needs to be super soft.DSCF3555 I love spinning it too and am kicking myself for not buying some fibre, but then maybe I should spin up the fibre that I already bought from them. It’s funny how time is different with knitting and stashes (for me at least). Something I bought 2 years ago, seems like just a few months ago, and the more special something is, the longer it takes me to figure out what to make with it. Which makes me feel bad when someone gives me something fantastic because I might not actually get to it for a few years, but the doesn’t mean I don’t appreciate it, I’m just waiting for the perfect idea, and it will come to me.

And I scored a Jordana Paige bag, on sale (and so did Kathryn but in a different colour) from Kelly’s booth, Just Knitting. She had loads of stuff on sale, so I also stocked up on circular needles, because when you have about 50 projects on the go, you run out of needles. If I ever get them all done, I’ll have a sale on needles.iAnd there were buttons! Buttons galore! You could have spent ALL day looking at buttons and not have seen them all. So I almost blindly bought a few handfuls of vintage buttons.

And then there were these:a

dI realize, these days, there are a lot of alpacas around and most of us have seen them at most fibre festivals, but how could you ever get tired of anything this cute? With the biggest eyes in the world, aside from Japanese Anime characters.anime(2)

(By the way, if you want to be really creeped out, there is a Ukrainian girl who has turned herself into a real live anime girl, it is truly weird – Anastasiya Shpagina – if you must look…)

I will have to take a pass on having my own alpaca, but maybe I could manage something like this (as long as I don’t have to water them!):hMaureen recently went to Montreal’s botanical gardens and this was one of the exhibits.

I finished a sweater for myself. It’s a top-down pattern, that is more of a recipe than an outright pattern, from an Estonian designer, the internet CAN be a fantastic place! I used one strand of fingering cotton, Araucania Lonco, in beige and one strand of mohair lace from Handmaiden, in peridot. It is light and airy and yet has just enough warmth.1aAnd I finished these:gSo guess who’s coming for dinner?

To Twist and Back

Who knew yarn could be so exhausting! Kathryn, Maureen and I spent the weekend in St-André-Avellin at the Twist Fibre Festival. There were all kinds of knitting, spinning and felting workshops and about 68 vendors with yarn, roving, fleece, pottery, clothing and various hand-made items. Here we are enjoying a beer (as you can see I’ve already “enjoyed” mine) before the insanity began.1Our friend Francine was already there (with the scarf), and we met Stephanie, she writes patterns for children’s clothing and sells knitted items.  2And we met Yvonne, of Yvieknits, she and Francine shared a booth.23They were knitting, we opted to just quaff our beer, knitting would have got in the way! We were all staying at Auberge Petite-Nation, good prices, good beer (but you know that already), clean and simple rooms. Just one drawback… the shower from hell, death by a thousand needles.12I guess this keeps water usage to a minimum, nobody can stand more than about 3 minutes in there, wash your hair, and anything you can stand having the needle-spray hit on your body and get the hell out! I believe this shower head not so secretly desires to be a mechanical meat tenderizer, like this:

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Now back to happier thoughts… We set up on Friday and headed over to the arena before the 9 am start of festivities on Saturday. 9 am to 6 pm. A looooong day. Well worth it but exhausting. Sunday was marginally better, we got to quit at 5 pm. But I did make a sale at 4:55, so who’s complaining.3How pretty is that? All of Kathryn’s batts were gone by 1 pm! She will have loads more for Almonte (more info at end of post). Hopeful Shetlands was next door to us, like last year, with an old sock knitting machine that kept the crowd fascinated.4Kathryn wore the lace-weight tee I knit to showcase her yarn. I will write up some sort of pattern since people are bugging me for it. But since I am not an overly enthusiastic pattern-writer, it will be a guideline of sorts, with advice on how to make it fit (it’s really a pretty simple top-down piece) and I will get it done soon. Promise. Really. Well maybe.22We also inadvertently brought exactly the same skirt, in exactly the same colour. Guess having similar taste helps keep the peace when deciding on what to knit for samples. My dummy was a big hit too. Everyone seemed to really like the shawl (cashmere merino lace) and the pattern (not mine, but Boxleaf Triangle from Anne Hanson) and the top was knitted in Kathryn’s merino singles (just over 2 skeins!), the pattern is Folded.14The woman in the  background was knitting super thick but super soft wool on needles the size of broom handles!

By Sunday afternoon, the booth was getting a bit sparse… Yay!13Since we all know that my yarn somehow miraculously reproduces, filling my formerly-known-as-guest-now-yarn room, I was fairly well-behaved in the purchasing department, looking for yarn I don’t actually have (I know, how is that possible??? yarn I don’t have???)

I got loads of silk (my plan, down the road, soonish, is to knit fingering/dk silk shawls – my design, so no copyright infringement, to sell as a finished product, for a fair amount of $$, and see it they sell. If not, I’ll just look fabulous for years to come, or give them as Christmas presents that can never really be fully reciprocated, haha). Anyway, my silk dealer was Daf at Farmable Fibres, and I bought this:20

Kathryn and Maureen also grabbed some of that silk, who could resist? The silk roving on the side, I plan to spin for myself and I got that from The Roving Spinners booth, she packaged her silk to look like candy, very clever and really, isn’t silk the candy of spinning?6Such beautiful colours:7I also splurged on a sheep mug! Everyone needs a sheep mug! And some ceramic buttons from Laura Sheppard (I know she should change the spelling of her last name, I’ll suggest it next time).8I really liked her yarn bowls too, maybe next year…10I also got some beautiful mohair blend yarn from Wellington Fibres, lace weight in teal/peacock and fingering in a mustardy shade for a sweater. Maureen got a skein of the lace weight in a beautiful shade of purple and Kathryn bought a few boxes of dyed locks. We saw lots of people walking around with Wellington Fibre boxes. Again great value for your $. 

21The picture does not show the true colour. The yarn cake on the side (how perfect is that, yarn and cake??) is cotton fingering Wolle’s colour changing yarn, which I’ve been wanting to try out. Lastly, I did actually buy something for someone other than myself, hard to believe, I know. I couldn’t resist another felted animal head from FeltFactory. For my grandson, in Cape Cod where nary a moose is to be seen. (I myself have actually seen one on our highway, not hit, but freaking out and he did make it to safety).19My mother was worried that it might frighten the little guy, but I figure if you grow up with felted animal heads on your wall, why would they frighten you? Better than clown heads, which are just evil.

Back to Kathryn’s yarn, these lovely ladies carry her yarn in Montreal and they had a booth at Twist, La Maison Tricotée:16And Kathryn will be at the Mississipi Valley Fibre Festival in Almonte (in the Almonte Arena) on September 7 and 8. Hope to see you there!