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.

Need. More. Hands.

I’ll have all kinds of things in this post, dyeing, knitted presents, future knitted presents, current knitting, even some future sewing (don’t worry I’m not one of those knitters who will go down the quilting black hole).

First up, the presents I made for my grand-son’s first birthday. I made a much larger version, in thinner yarn (Berroco Comfort DK) than the pattern here. I also knitted the back in large stripes  (which I of course forgot to photograph) and made a different a border. I basically just used the graph. This was knit in the round and steeked. Since the yarn was very slippery, I used a sewing machine to reinforce the steeks. Then I picked up stitches around the entire blanket and knit the border, bound off on three sides and then knit my way down the back and sewed up all the sides.IMG_1653(By the way, the pottery statue on the shelf – a sleeping figure with an overturned book – is from sculptor Raymond Warren.  I gave it to my fairly recently retired hubby since I imagine that is what he does most of the day, read and snooze, snooze and read, repeat. I am exaggerating of course but can’t a working girl be bitter?)

But back to my cutie-pie sleeping with his blanket (and it even matches the sweater I made him!):image (18)I also gave him an old toy that used to belong to my sister and me, it is a bit hideous, but kids these days have too many cute things:

photo (56)My mother reknit him a body long ago and sewed pants and crocheted feet because otherwise all that would have remained of him would have been his head and his hands, which would have been way more creepy, don’t you think? Finn actually makes faces at it, sticks his tongue out at it. I think he is trying to imitate the expression on the toy’s face, but I could be wrong and maybe he’s trying to tell us to get this thing away from him. Have I traumatized him? Somebody’s got to. At least it’s not a monkey dressed as a clown. That would be traumatic.

Since I love colourwork, and love knitting for this little guy, I bought this pattern, Walking on Dinosaurs, which is a sock pattern but I plan on knitting it as a pullover for him.

Last week I went to Kathryn’s studio to dye up some roving for myself, superwash merino and 20% nylon, and to help with other dyeing. Here is Kathryn hard at work.IMG_1676Kathryn has piles of fingering weight silk (that is just what she has skeined, there are piles more), and it dyes up beautifully! IMG_1685

IMG_1674And here is a mix of yarns drying, some silk, some merino:IMG_1688I really like this yarn that she had already dyed, the colour reminds me of copper when it is turning green, which needless to say my camera did NOT capture:IMG_1673I dyed roving which  I am spinning up for socks. I am using a spindle and will spin three plies and then ply them on another spindle. The strongest socks I have are from yarn I spun in this way. I tend to overspin on the spindle and am better at spinning very thin yarn, so the resulting 3 ply is super strong and hardly wears out at all. Then I will knit my hubby some socks which should last longer than the other pair he wore to death (no picture, but his entire heel was sticking out, ersatz yoga socks?) I am spinning the blue/grey and gold, the green and gold roving will also be for socks, for the both of us. I figure it’s not too crazy to have matching socks, sweaters would be to cutesy, and we don’t do cutesy.IMG_1686IMG_1691I am also working on 3 sweaters, one for a friend, the pattern is Reverb, in merino from Colourmart. I’m holding one strand of the merino (dk weight) with a strand of laceweight to get a worsted gauge:IMG_1695And two for me! (Because the ratio should always be, 1 to give away, 2, or even 3, for me). I am knitting with my friend Robin’s yarn, Polwarth, super squishy beautiful yarn:IMG_1693And I am using up stash yarn (from at least 5 years ago) for a casual cardigan called BlueSand: (the brown is more grey than this picture suggests – bad, bad camera)IMG_1696So I am lugging some of this to Guelph next week, where I will be visiting my mom. And much to my delight I have discovered another yarn source in Guelph. It is actually a quilting shop, but carries Jamieson & Smith, among other brands. But it also has canvas fabric with Charley Harper prints, my absolute favourite illustrator. There is a tutorial on another fabric website for sewing a tote bag, which I have decided to make. I am thinking of using these two prints:

BankSwallowBlue-449-Tch1

Lastly, while I am romping in my new sweater (Green Mountain Spinnery Wonderfully Wooly, pattern – Pippin – a fantastic pattern, interesting construction, love the cowl, finished in about 2 weeks!!):IMG_1680Frankie and his buddy are romping in the piles of snow we have – with more to come I’m sure  😦IMG_1668aAnd Henry says, you have got to be kidding, I am not getting out of bed:DSCF3878

Green! For Canada Day(?!)

I had to share my 1.25 day sweater! Yes, it is green. And it is Canada Day. But if you were colour blind you might think it was red.

At least my pants are red, sort of. This was a moronically easy pattern from the latest issue of Knit.Wear.  It only used 3 skeins of allhemp6, which is a bargain, and even better, I got mine from someone on Ravelry ages ago for $17. All three for $17! For some mysterious reason, the magazine seems to show this (and another pattern made from hemp) pre-washed. It looks crunchy. Which it is until you wash it and throw it in the dryer. Then it is heavenly, soft with great drape. And yes, I knit it in about 1.25 days. Started late Friday afternoon and by 10 pm Saturday had it finished, washed and dried! Big needles helped!

Another project I am soooo glad to have finished was my sister’s birthday sweater. Only about a month and half late. Oops. It almost defeated me. I love the look, but hated the process. I used Japanese cotton tape lace weight yarn to knit what was supposed to be Gisela from Cocoknits. But… apparently my gauge was off (fronts turned out too narrow), I knit it in one piece and the itty bit of seaming I had to do was awful, like seaming a fishnet stocking. I had to add to the front, after 3 different attempts finally figured out the best way to do it. I still have to tuck in the ends and sew them down because they will wiggle their way out for sure, the evil buggers. It is beautiful, but painful.

I am still waiting for Kathryn to send me good photos of our road trip but I will post a bit about it. We first stopped in at Just Knitting where Kelly has just started to carry Kathryn’s yarn. It is a fantastic little store, lots of beautiful yarn and Kelly is super nice and knowledgeable.

Here are buckets of Kathryn’s yarn in Kelly’s store. I took a craptastic picture of Kelly in the store, completely fuzzy. I don’t know what happened, combination of not wearing my glasses and the bends from lack of coffee? small earthquake? How can an automatic camera take such a bad picture? I’ve included it for comic effect. Kelly was smiling. Sorry Kelly!

(And yes those are very fuzzy Jordana Paige Namaste bags! Apparently my memory was fuzzy too, yes Jordana Paige not Namaste.)

I did purchase some Euroflax Merlin and beautiful glass buttons, thinking of making a top-down tee… and a skein of Fiddlesticks lace (on sale!) for a brioche leaf lace shawl.

Kelly then directed us to Windblest Farm, 1821 Ferguson Falls Road, Ferguson Falls. They have border and bluefaced leicester sheep and sell yarn and fleeces. Beautiful place and lovely owner. We were greeted by her border collie (can’t remember the name – maybe Seamus?)

This is the store and the sheep are right next door!

And here are Kathryn and Maureen in deep conversation with Janice, the owner:

Some beautiful bluefaced leicester fleece (with an orangey sweater poking out at the side knit from her beautiful heathered yarn):

I purchased 3 skeins of DK/worsted weight leicester yarn, 245 m each, soft and with a great sheen. And  400 gm of leicester roving to spin (which should spin up into a gorgeous heathered yarn). I love leicester, the wool is hard wearing and has a beautiful sheen to it, the roving is a pleasure to spin.

Janice has sweaters knit up to show her yarn and lots of hats, many of her own design.

I will leave you with some more sheepy goodness and continue posting about our road trip when I get Kathryn’s pictures (hint, hint, Kathryn).