Free Patterns!

I’ve knit a few samples these past few weeks. One with our new colourway Corrosion and the other with a Quintet set. So here they are for your knitting pleasure.

Quint

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This took one Quintet kit, 5 x 30 gm skeins. It is an easy pattern, exact amounts are not crucial. A kitchen scale would be handy since it is based on knitting at mostly 10 gm per section per ball.  Blocked size: 58″ wide and 29″ deep

Materials:

1 Quintet set (I used 3 ply sock but any base will do)

4 mm needles. I am a loose knitter so you could always go up to 4.5 mm if you are a tight knitter.

Kitchen scale

Gauge:  unblocked gauge 16 stitches x 32 rows, blocked gauge 18 stitches by 22 rows – I just pinned it to a clothesline and let it dry hanging rather than pinning out.

Pattern:

Cast on 3 stitches with colour A.

Set up row: slip 1 purlwise with yarn in front (s1pwyf), knit to end. Repeat for one more row.

  1. s1pwyf, knit front & back (kfb), knit to end.
  2. s1pwyf, knit to end.

Repeat these two rows until you have used 20 gm of yarn.

*Note: when switching colours, you will be slipping the first stitch of the previous colour then bringing the next colour up to your needle from the front, not the back, to kfb in the next stitch.

Add colour B, knit rows 1 and 2. Change to colour A, knit rows 1 and 2. Continue alternating until you have used 10 gm of colour B and almost all of colour A so that you don’t run out of colour A until you have completed row 2. Knit 10 gms of rows 1 and 2 with colour B.

Add colour C, knit rows 1 and 2. Change to colour B, knit rows 1 and 2. Continue alternating until you have used 10 gm of colour C and almost all of colour B so that you don’t run out of colour B until you have completed row 2. Knit 10 gms of rows 1 and 2 with colour C.

Add colour D, knit rows 1 and 2. Change to colour C, knit rows 1 and 2. Continue alternating until you have used 10 gm of colour D and almost all of colour C so that you don’t run out of colour C until you have completed row 2. Knit 10 gms of rows 1 and 2 with colour D.

Add colour E, knit rows 1 and 2. Change to colour D, knit rows 1 and 2. Continue alternating until you have used 10 gm of colour E and almost all of colour D so that you don’t run out of colour D until you have completed row 2. Knit approximately 18 gms of rows 1 and 2 with colour E (or more – just make sure you have enough to bind off).

Bind off using your preferred stretchy bind-off. I used Jenny’s Surprising bind-off, but the standard lace bind off is fine too. (Knit the first two stitches, slip them back onto left-hand needle, knit 2 together through the back loop [k2tbl], one stitch on right-hand needle, *knit next stitch, slip them back onto left-hand needle, k2tbl*, repeat until all stitches are bound off.)

Number of garter ridges:

  • 55 garter ridges (so 110 rows) in A, 11 garter ridges each when alternating A+B.
  • 10 garter ridges in B and 7 ridges each B+C.
  • 7 ridges in C, 6 each C+D.
  • 6 ridges in D, 5 D+E.
  • 9 ridges in E. This is a rough guide since numbers could be different for you depending on your gauge.

Corrosion Cowl

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Materials:

1 skein of sock yarn (Riverside studio MCN Twist in Corrosion) and two mini skeins (15 gm x 2 of Copper & Zinc)

3.75 mm needle (3.5 or 4 will do, the size might change a bit).

Gauge: 19 stitches x 39 rows after light blocking. Final size: 23″ long (46″ round) and 8.5″ wide.

Pattern:

Cast on 224 stitches with main colour (MC). Join in the round, place marker for beginning of round.

Knit 1 through the back loop (k1tbl), purl 1 for 5 rounds.

Knit 2 rounds. Join contrast colour (CC) for Broken seed stitch:

  1. CC: k1, p1 to end of round.
  2. MC: Knit to end of round
  3. CC: p1, k1 to end of round.
  4. MC: knit to end of round.

Repeat these 4 round once more (8 rounds total)

Knit 4 rounds with MC.

*K1tbl, P1* for 5 rounds.

Knit 2 rows.

Knit 2 repeats of Broken seed stitch (8 rounds total).

Knit 6 rounds in MC.

Knit one set of Broken seed stitch (4 rows)

Knit 5 rounds in MC.

Knit 2 repeats of Broken seed stitch (8 rounds total).

*K1tbl, P1* for 5 rounds.

Knit 5 rounds in MC.

Knit 2 repeats of Broken seed stitch (8 rounds total).

*K1tbl, P1* for 5 rounds.

Loosely bind off.

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Frankie would look better in the Corrosion Cowl but he took off on me after this picture. He is an unreliable model!

 

 

 

It’s been a while…

Are we still friends? As I’ve mentioned in the past, I am both busy and lazy, and I guess blogging fell into the lazy category. I will try to do better. We are well into 2018 and I have a lot of ground to cover!

First of all, I did finish my What the Fade! It’s a great size, large enough to replace a sweater. I think I might add the tassels after all. My love affair with chartreuse will NEVER end.

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I was down visiting the grandkids again in November. There were actually some sunny days and beach visiting (but no swimming!) I made my little guys some Canada sweaters since they have recently acquired Canadian citizenship! I used Berroco Comfort DK, soft, washes and dries nicely. I’m stockpiling for future sweaters.

The maple leaf was a free chart on Ravelry and I winged the rest, loosely basing my numbers on oversized kid sweaters from various Rowan books I have. I also made flip top mittens for the oldest little guy, with magnet snaps (like you use on purses). He wore them for a week straight, inside and out, explained the magic of the flip tops to anyone who would listen.

I also made him a skull & bones sweater for his birthday:

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I’m always trying to get around the whole intarsia thing. Hate it. The problem is most of the intarsia (well all of the intarsia) I do is with acrylic blends because it’s for the grandkids (although I’m sure I could find an adult who wants a skull & bones sweater). This time, instead of the invisible floats like I used on their robot sweaters, I tried carrying the yarns through the whole design. This way it’s like stranded knitting. However, it turned out quite textured with the acrylic. Wool is more forgiving, bouncier, better to manipulate. I think it looks fine but I won’t do it again. I think if it had been wool, it might have turned out better (well until it got thrown into the washer and dryer!).

Anyway, he also saw his mom putting on some socks I had knit for her. He asked if they were knitted socks (technically all socks are knitted, but we know what he means), and said he wanted some too! A 5 year old wants hand-knit socks! I can do that in, like, a day! So I sent these off for his birthday.

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Those are spiders, by the way. Thought I’d do something fun instead of plain old socks. He will be getting more. The pirate sweater and socks were sent off in two different packages and when he got the sweater, but no socks, he was heartbroken. Until a few days later when they arrived. This kid has many knit socks in his future. I will send them to him randomly in the mail.

Remember my disastrous two-different-weights sweater? I finished it and delivered it.

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Nice and long and roomy. By the way, my daughter got a really nice haircut the day after this pic, so will probably want to kill me now.

While in Cape Cod, I started knit up a secret Xmas present for hubby.

IMG-6325 The hat is North Road Hat. I used odds and ends of Jamieson & Smith, Rowan, Palette etc. AND I lined it with qiviut/angora yarn, the whole enchilada! from top to bottom. It’s like wearing a baby’s bottom on your head, if you could do such a thing. And of course, whenever I am knitting something for someone else, something for me creeps in (my normal ratio is 1 for you, 3 for me, but I’m flexible). This time it was Sunset Highway, a very popular pattern on Ravelry.

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I used a mix of 3 ply sock, and supersock in Sailor, Mineral, Graphite and Blue Note. I changed the sleeves – not so baggy, and I didn’t like the big stripe midway across the sleeves in the original so added some patterning at the end.

While in Cape Cod, I also signed up for Kate Davies’ latest club of patterns and new yarn Milarrochy Tweed (like half an hour before we lost the internet connection, so it was truly meant to be). The yarn is a gorgeous mohair/wool blend with flecks of colour. I am about to start a project in this yarn but started one of the first patterns in a mixture of Knitpicks Palette.

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This will be an oversized sweater, not unlike a swancho, but NOT a swancho. It is called Strathendrick and can be found here. All the patterns so far have been absolutely fantastic (there are 12, coming once a week on Wednesdays), 4 from the new yarn, 4 using her other sport weight yarn and 4 from a lace yarn. Totally worth it. However, I got sidetracked from my swancho-which-is-not-a-swancho because I joined the Comfort Fade Cardi bandwagon to knit one for my sis. (Photo is me and not my sis since she hasn’t received it, hopefully she will look less pained than me – maybe it was the weather).

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It really has a lovely large collar. My beef with most cardigans with collars is that the collar is never large enough, this one is! After this cardigan, I managed to bang out a pullover for myself in 5 days! Ha, yes, 5 days! The gauge was 14 stitches to 4″ so it was a fast knit. I actually used my own handspun yarn, from years ago, which was meant for another sweater that never happened. z7

This is another Kate Davies pattern (my Year of Living Daviesly!) called Carbeth. The yarn is 50% merino/50% tencel (fake silk?) and actually has a sheen that makes it look oddly oily. It is super soft and surprisingly light. The original pattern is a crop top, but at this point most of my pants are on the lowish side (not exactly hip-huggers, which also means high-wasted pants must be in fashion, right?) so I decided to make it a tunic and to use almost every last drop of my handspun yarn.

Going back in time a bit, to Xmas, Kathryn gave me some Finnish yarn, Tuku. This a more rustic yarn and I absolutely loved it. So while I was supposed to be knitting this for hubby (in Naturally Pride – merino):   z5

(which I obviously did finish) I also knit these for myself:

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well the mittens… (the hat and cowl came a bit later because I HAVE to have matching accessories). The mittens are actually a free pattern! The cowl is Dragoste by Ysolda in some squishy Sincere Sheep Cormo I bought a few years ago and the hat is Kate Davies’ Neep Heid in the leftover Tuku and Drops Alpaca.

We are back at work now in the studio, and if you follow us on instagram, you can see what we are up too. We have a new colour, Corrosion and we also made a Quintet set based on it, called Foundry. In the picture below on the left, Corrosion is on a backdrop of Copper & Zinc.

I’ve knit up a cowl with Corrosion and two Copper & Zinc minis and will post the pattern soon.

We are working on some other new colours, so stayed tuned!

I actually have more projects to show so will blog again soon. Really. I’m serious this time. Plus I have to post the pattern. So I’ll leave you with Frankie. He will never need a sweater.                                  unnamed (2)

 

 

You win some, you lose some

Ah, knitting, she can be a fickle mistress, giving you so much hope and happiness, and then snatching it away, but sometimes she lets you hang on to it. Case in point: my son’s sweater (apologies for the blurry pic, I’ve been having issues, as they say, with downloading my camera pictures).

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Looks pretty good, right? WRONG. The sleeves are WAY to wide at the top (I will rip back halfway and cease increasing). Too many buttons, it would take him 20 minutes to button up this beast. But the worst of it, which doesn’t show, is that the front (although in theory and by row-count is the same length as the back) actually measures 34″ from the shoulder while the back measures 30″. Why? WHY, you may ask, as I did, almost sobbing. Well, a number of factors. Back neck shaping. DON’T DO IT, when knitting a v-neck cardi with pockets. Not to mention that the back neck was way to wide. (I was following a pattern and should have listened to my gut – even if that is what George W. Bush recommends).

The pockets add weight, hands in pockets add even more. The v-neck is open and loosey-goosey compared to a crew neck, so that the back shaping slides up to the back of the neck, dropping the centre shoulder seam forward and the whole front slides down. Now I understand why for some sweaters you just cast off across the whole back or even add some shoulder shaping, RAISING the back neck (which is what I have done now). This way the back has no where to slide, because it is already snugly against the neck. In addition, I threw in a couple of short rows on the front to raise it, so when hands go in pockets, or the sweater starts to sag a bit from the weight of the pockets, it will all lie straight.

You have figured out by now that I am reknitting about half this sweater. Yes, I cut off the buttons, unraveled the collar, cut all the seams and ripped back as far as was needed. In addition to the changes mentioned above, I’m moving the v-neck higher, adding depth to the shawl collar and reducing the number of buttons. The knitting muses were conspiring against me this time, but I must say, I learned a lot from my mistakes. Even though it seems easy to just follow a pattern, it’s better to just use it as a suggestion and make the changes you think are necessary. As good ole George says, listen to your gut (except when deciding to wage war). I will take another pic when it is properly finished.

On to happier news, this! THIS!!!

31759904_unknownOMG, I am so happy with this shawl! It is called Find Your Fade, hugely popular on Ravelry (1450 projects so far). I knit it to showcase our yarn, Kathryn is picking her colours and I will knit another one – Kathryn does knit, but my fingers fly faster. Check out our Instagram feed for more colour suggestions.

img_3902I used a combo of yarns, singles, 3 ply sock, 8 ply sock, and MCN sock. It looks fine. Don’t be afraid to mix. The colours are (from right to left) Ghost, Sailor, Poppy Seed Cake, Scarab, Wicked, Twilight and Bewitched. I had a bit of crocking with Wicked and Bewitched (on all my right hand fingers too):

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There is a lot of dye in these colours and a layer of black, but the dye did not bleed at all. The first colour only uses about 20 gm of yarn, so you could use a couple of minis. I did make some changes to the pattern, I only did single yarn overs, instead of doubles; I skipped a few rows (could have skipped more) and I knit tightly so when it was washed it wouldn’t stretch out too much. The shawl as written is HUGE. Mine is a nice size I think. I even threw it in the dryer! I did not want it to stretch out. And it looks fine.

I will include one more pic because I am so freaking pumped about it!

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I also have some totally mindless knitting, also known as knitFlix:

img_3740This is the gorgeous pattern Helsinki (got the kit from Debbie Wilson at Sheeps Ahoy). It is a bottom-up sweater, but I have decided to do all my yoke sweaters, yoke first. I didn’t have the patience to recalculate to do this top-down so I cast on provisionally for the body and knit 3″, did the same for the sleeves, then joined them as per the pattern instructions and knit my yoke. This way I could try it on, make sure the armhole depth was good and now I just have to knit downwards and watch Netflix. I can easily decide how wide and how long I want it by trying it on as I go (I wasn’t sure if wanted to make the 37 or the 40, I knit a 37 yoke but might widen the body, we’ll see). I plan on doing all my Kate Davies sweaters this way too. I just love the colour choices, the yoke positively glows. Of course with all my other projects on the go, I should be finished just in time for summer, yay!

Because after reknitting my favourite son’s cardigan, I have to get going on this:

img_3917I am almost finished the lobster portion of this double-knit blanket, next, more fish, crabs, and sea shells. I have to get this done for March, when I go back down to see my grandkids, and it’s Oscar’s birthday. And I have to squeeze in a sweater for him too somewhere. I am having lots of fun knitting this blanket. I am using free pot holder charts on Ravelry, and Berroco Comfort DK. This yarn holds up very nicely after multiple washings and dryings. Even if wool is superwash, it will felt up after being thrown in the dryer a number of times (which I know will happen, I’m not judging my daughter, haha, so I use washable AND dryable yarn).

Speaking of yarn… we have some new colours, and more in the works. This is Jewel, I’m knitting up a sample shawl in it. A deep gold, with flecks of magenta, purple and blue.

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We’ll have more popping up on Instagram as we dye them.

That’s all for now, I’ll leave you with Frankie and Shelma hoofing it down our road, well, Frankie is sauntering while Shelma is jogging.img_3755

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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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.

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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

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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.

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(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.

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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.

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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

Lack of focus

Well, no surprise there. I know I have to finish some baby items, within a month. So what do I do? Knit a sweater for myself and start a hap blanket (for myself). This is not nearly as selfish as it sounds. Really. The sweater is totally justifiable. We (Riverside Studio) have a new yarn, a DK weight, 100% superwash Merino. Yum. So I had to dye some up and knit something. First up was a cowl:IMG_1240a

But I needed more! So I dyed up enough yarn (more than enough it turns out) for a sweater. For me, MOI, nobody else! One of my favourite colourways is Sundown, a blue and orange mix. I knit this in nine days, which includes the day I dyed it. Ha, stick that in your pipe and smoke it! (what does that even mean?) Warning, picture heavy:

IMG_1286aIMG_1288aIMG_1278a This last pic is not some smug selfie but to show you how freakingly matchy my earrings are, which I bought, I believe, in 1990? Sometimes fate takes a long time. The pattern is a Vogue Knitting one, #02 Bateau neck (always with the poetic names for their patterns). Vogue lost me for a few years, crazy expensive novelty yarn, over the top designs – wait, I don’t think six different stitch patterns in one sweater are enough, so let’s also make it in 100% Vicuña at $200 a skein! But lately I’ve been liking their patterns (still full of mistakes). I added quite a bit of length to both the body and the sleeves. No crop tops for this middle-aged survivor of the 1980’s!

But back to our yarn… This is a 4-ply yarn, squishy and bouncy with fantastic stitch definition. It didn’t grow too much, but I did wash and dry it mid-way through the back just to make sure. I always do that with superwash yarn since swatches are known to be evil little liars.

Next up is Darsham, a Rowan pattern (love their stuff lately too). I dyed this in our colourway Pond and am using our new 8-ply sock yarn. Another bouncy yarn, just a joy to knit.IMG_1296aI love the clever use of cables and this yarn is great with cables. Next up will be a sweater in some BFL sport weight that we are thinking of carrying. I dyed some up in Goldenrod.IMG_1303a

It is not quite as bright yellow as this appears, I’m having camera “challenges”. But nothing wrong with bright yellow.

My other distraction was spinning. A friend asked for some pointers, so I thought I had better spin a bit before offering up any wisdom on the subject. And then I got sucked down that black hole. I had some Shetland roving sitting around for a couple of years now and decided to make Hansel, a Shetland hap shawl/lap blanket (for MOI, since if I gave to somebody else, who might throw it in the washer, I might have to kill them). I spun it up as a gradient, then spun some other Moorit (brown) Shetland I had, but had to also use some Romney I had already spun (3 years ago?) and some deep dark delicious brown roving, mysteriously called 100% wool, to make sure I had enough (yay fibre stash!).IMG_1289a I am really loving it, even though I realize it might end up looking like a hippy-tastic 1970’s rustic shawl/blanket. I’ll take my chances and start wearing Berkinstocks if it does. I have one more brown rainbow repeat to knit. Woot!

I have not forgotten the babies. One already born (almost finished the blankie) and one on the way. I have finished one little sweater, with another in the works, and a blankie. IMG_1293a

Kathryn has also been trying out new colours. Fantastic colours! Hard to photograph colours.

The reds on both ends are actually the same colour, just different lighting. See what I mean? Anyways, the colours are complex and scrumptious, and there will be more.

Well, I will leave you with some cuteness, as always. Shelma, our ward for 3 months, who I couldn’t find and after panicking a bit, discovered her in a carry-on bag. Small dogs, you never know where they will turn up.IMG_1649a

While Frankie observed from our psychedelic Giant Tiger (if you are from the Outaouais you’ll know what I mean) cheapo fleece blanket protecting the daybed, thinking, small dogs, you never know where they’ll turn up.IMG_1648a

 

Snowballs?

Let me first wish everybody a Happy New Year! We finally have snow! I’m thinking of switching to the Orthodox Christmas, not just to take advantage of boxing day sales but to have a better chance for snow? Frankie is loving it, but this is what he looked like after a romp in deep snow:101He also grew a new pair – if you know what I mean. I’m sure he was very pleased with himself 🙂   But then they melted 😦

Sorry I have been AWOL for so long. I was pretty sick before and through Christmas. Lost my sense of taste. My cardamom pumpkin pie tasted like salt (?!) I had to get my son to taste my cooking and then sat down to enjoy a meal basically comprised of cardboard as far as I was concerned. I did however get some Christmas knitting done, after I swore I wasn’t going to do any Christmas knitting. Mostly small surprises, more fingerless gloves in our sport weight yarn, one for Kathryn and one for another studio friend:

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I also knit up this pillowcase for my daughter in the now-discontinued Mission Falls superwash yarn. The pattern is Lyle Owl Pillow by Natalie Servant. A fun knit. I highly recommend her patterns, I have many more to knit up.109 (I’m not sure how I get almost everything I knit to match my wretched couch).

I used invisible floats again:110

I was planning on showing the stranded sweater that I was working on for myself but got side-lined with another project, a baby blanket for my daughter’s sister-in-law who had to give birth much sooner than planned. Everyone is fine. So I am furiously working away on another Sleepy Monkey Blanket (I’ve linked to the one I previously made for my grandson). Again using the invisible floats, through the monkey’s face where there are some very long bits of stranding. At the risk of sounding like a broken record, I can’t recommend this method enough.107I also managed to finish some socks for hubby. This is from our new 8 ply sock yarn, such squishy goodness! The colourway was Kathryn’s first take on a request from La Maison Tricotée, grey with flecks of rust, turquoise and brown. Can’t wait to make myself a pair!106

I knit myself this shawl, Elbow River, by Heidi Kirrmaier. It is knit side-to-side and is not quite as simple as it looks. She always has nice little details that make for a better result with your knitting. I used our 3 ply sock yarn in Azulejo and some random reds we had lying about. I’ll have to wear to a Habs game!102This one is for Kathryn, fingering singles in Ghost, Petroleum, Graphite and Ice Blue.103Kathryn gave me this fantastic drawing of sheep! I like how the first one looks like a band member from KISS and the last one like a balaklava- wearing robber. And I guess the middle one is just not amused by it all?111We are back at work now, finishing up an order for La Maison Tricotée and starting on other ones. Kathryn will soon disappear behind that wall of worsted.104We have some plans for the new year, a website, a new yarn line – we hope, and new colours of course. I will let you know as soon as we are up and running!

In the meantime, I have to send off this sweater for my grandson’s birthday. The Teddy Sweater, a very easy knit and easily adjustable for size and other animals. And I have to get knitting for the new grandson on the way, in March. I will be abandoning Kathryn for a month then to go help out my daughter.108I’ll leave you with a bad selfie of me and Henry. Neither one of us understands what it means to actually look at the camera. Oh well, I guess we are too old for this sort of thing. 116

Hope the coming year is kind to you!

Just a drive by…

This won’t be a long post. Both Kathryn and I are desperately trying to finish up a lot of things. It didn’t help that I was AWOL for two weeks. Here:1aSpending time with the grandkid! It went really quickly. Kathryn was back home slaving in the studio 😦  while I was eating these 🙂1b courtesy my daughter, the expert baker, and seeing these 🙂1bacBut now I’m back and helping her pump these out:1abadSpeaking of which, Kathryn will be at the Ottawa Valley Weavers’ and Spinners’ Guild Exhibition and Sale. It runs from Friday Nov. 6, 5-8 pm, Saturday 10 am to 5 pm and Sunday, 10 am to 4 pm at the Glebe Community Centre. It’s a great show with lots of hand-made items, roving, fleece and yarn. I won’t be there because I’ll be at the Needlers’ Retreat, teaching double knitting and eating and drinking WAY too much.

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):

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and this was the view from our room:

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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:

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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:

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and three times:

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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):

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

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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?!)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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.