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



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!


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


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!


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???


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!


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):


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.