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….

IMG_2865

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

IMG_2852

Piles of samples!

IMG_2868

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

IMG_2749

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.

IMG_2879

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

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

IMG_2875

IMG_2874

IMG_2872

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).

IMG_2877

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

IMG_2876

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.

IMG_2840

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!

IMG_2808

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”.

IMG_2777

 

Advertisements

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.

IMG_1777

IMG_1769

IMG_1778

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

IMG_2486

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.

c

(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.

b

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.

1IMG_1745

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

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:

12

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.

IMG_0835

IMG_0834

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.

Slightly obsessed…

This post will work its way back in time…

I’m working hard to get the classes ready for our retreat (see Maureen’s post), which is coming upon us oh so quickly! I’ve knit up some swatches to show how different button bands (and bottom bands) act and I have a few more to go:IMG_2037a(Gratuitous Frankie shot too!)

I’ve also been obsessing about a few sweaters, well more than a FEW, but I don’t have all day to write this blog, I’ve got knitting to do. I just realized that my grandson needs more sweaters. Kids, they just keep growing. I decided to knit him a hoodie, at first just something plain, but since he lives in Cape Cod…. hmmm… how about some fish?? I love knitting fish (as you might have guessed). There is something froufrou about seashells and clams, but not about fish (or crabs and lobsters which I must incorporate into my knitting sometime too). I bought a Martin Storey pattern called Whiting, purely for the fish! So I added these, rather willy-nilly to the top-down hoodie I started. I suppose I could have figure out better placement for them but I was so pumped to get started that I threw caution to the wind and cast on. I don’t think a 20 month old will notice if the fish could have been more judiciously placed. And if he did, well the little ingrate.IMG_2029aHow cute is that???? I will knit myself a fish sweater too (not exactly the same because that would be CRAZY, but we will be matchy-matchy all the same, got to do it when they are young and clueless!) I am using a HUMONGOUS cone of light grey yarn I got at Value Village for $6!! It is acrylic 😦 but it can be thrown in the washer and the dryer (I tried, good swatcher that I am) and I know that will be its fate, so no point in tempting fate, eh.

IMG_2028a

I will have my grandson positively swimming in grey acrylic sweaters until he is 35. I have two cones! My only concern is that the poor fella will get sick of my obsessive ocean-themed knitting. Maybe he will flee into the arms of the mid-west and then what would I knit him. Sweaters with tractors? Sigh.il_340x270.543912558_b5lzIf he would head for the hills,  I could do mountains and wolves. I loathe intarsia so I could figure out how to make mountains out of cables but not wolves, I think wolves would defeat me.IMG_0815However, this sweater is SO insane I might take a few painkillers and go for it. But here’s hoping that he will never get sick of fishes on his sweaters!

On a side note, here is a shot of Knit CompanionIMG_2026a It is an app for iPad (I believe they are making a version for android too) where you can upload your pdf patterns, crop your charts and then use highlighted counters to keep track of what you are doing (in addition to a bunch of other features). I love it. It holds loads of patterns and remembers where you are if you jump around between them, as I do. Knitting monogamy is for suckers! Anyway, I highly recommend it.

Otherwise I am also working on a coat! Which I expect will be ready for NEXT fall, argh. It is a slog, it hurts my hands a bit, but I love it to bits. I am using some rough-ish tweedy yarn I bought from someone on Ravelry held together with a light fingering- weight yarn I bought from Colourmart. (Gratuitous Frankie and Henry shot, must write “The Ballad of Frankie and Henry” someday).IMG_2032aThat is a sleeve. It is a very 50s/60s looking coat, Lindsay, from Cocoknits:lindsay-model-front-closed-130827_small2I will add big vintage buttons and make the sleeves longer. Love, love, love the collar.

I have also rediscovered Rowan patterns. I went off them for a while, many of their patterns were too dowdy (which a skinny 20 year old model can somehow get away with, well, barely, and perhaps a bit ironically?) and really, who wants to look dowdy? I might be a grandma, but I’m not a dowdy one (well in MY mind anyway). However, their last two collections (55 and 56) and separate designer books have been pretty fabulous. I love these two especially (Honey is from Kim Hargreaves, not Rowan).

IMG_2021a I am knitting away on this one from Honey, almost finished the front and back, had to frog most of what I knit at the Twist Festival because I increased instead of decreased and then tried to compensate because I didn’t want to frog and then it turned into a big frigging mess. I am using a cotton/acrylic blend from Katia and it has a hint of light grey, not cream coloured like my camera would have you believe.IMG_2020aWhich brings us to another of my current obsessions, gansey or guernsey (tomayto, tomahto…) knitting. I have many sweaters planned, some for myself and some more grey ones from the cone of infinity for the grandkid. I plan on making up some of my own sweaters with gansey patterns (I have a few books), one in bright orange! Heretic that I am!

I am also trying to finish (I had to restart after my swatch lied and the bottom of my sweater grew to a hilariously large size due to my loose knitting), a super cute sweater with some silk/wool yarn I have from Kathryn:

fellersweater1_small2 IMG_2035a

Of course the colour is much richer but what can I do? My camera is a stinking liar and in cahoots with my lying swatches. Don’t you love the bag? I bought it from Mie, her website is WaterWillowDesign, she makes beautiful glass jewelry too, which I also have 🙂

And lastly, here are a few pics from the Twist Fibre Festival. If you missed it, you should definitely go next year. It was exhausting (apparently over 8,000 people passed through) but well worth it. There were tons of vendors, great classes and a polka dot alpaca!    I sh&t you not!IMG_2015aHow cute is that??? I have no idea how he/she looked pre-shaved, but those look like polka dots to me! And this sheep was channeling Robert De Niro in Taxi Driver, I think:IMG_2010a

“You talkin’ to me?” Although I don’t think De Niro was quite that insanely bug-eyed. Thank god for fencing.

This was Kathryn’s booth:IMG_2002a And here is a shot of her sweater, which everybody wanted to buy of course. She used her sport weight cashmere/wool blend:IMG_2003aand a photo before the hordes descended:IMG_2004a Well back to the future and more swatch-knitting for the retreat and writing up my classes. I’ll leave you with a shot of the grandkid enjoying the ocean. Hope I don’t put him off it!IMG_3975

 

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:

tenderizingPage-282x300

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!

Kinnearing the Yarn Harlot (if you don’t understand this maybe you shouldn’t be reading this blog)

Kathryn already posted about the recent Twist Fibre Festival in Saint Andre Avellin, but I (anikoknitter) have a few things to add. Yes, the Yarn Harlot (who does have a name, but you know who we are talking about) came to Kathryn’s booth! And bought yarn! And we forgot to take a picture! Because we are uber-Canadian! Or maybe just morons! (no insult intended to my partners in crime). It IS possible to get a picture with Stephanie, she is very nice, and I know someone who has a picture, with the Yarn Harlot; Natalie must have asked. Luckily, Francine kinneared her! Thanks Francine!

Here we are guffawing because she is very funny:

And here we are talking serious sh*t about yarn and colour:

It was a great festival, right up to the last 10 seconds before I backed into a huge metal skateboarding ramp. I’ve already planned where I will park next year and maybe tie pillows to the back hatch…

Truth be told, we hardly took any pictures. I don’t know why. I believe we all had cameras. I would be a very bad photo-journalist. We met very nice people, you’ll just have to believe me on that because we don’t have any pictures. I do have pictures of yarn; they don’t move on you, they are now in my house (probably reproducing with the rest of my yarn as I write this, so that I will have even less room in the guest-room-that-has-become-a-yarn-room).

I too bought recycled silk from Farmable Fibres

And shetland lace and beautiful shetland/BFL roving (I think?) from Hopeful Shetlands

and ceramic buttons, which I forgot to photograph, even though they are in my house and probably reproducing with the rest of my buttons so that they can have a room of their own. Also, people seemed to really like my noro lace top, so I will write up the pattern but with Kathryn’s lace singles, which is a super bonus for Kathryn because she gets a lace top out of it.

In the meantime, I’m busy with other things, things that have moved into our house (besides yarn and buttons):

She is a declawed cat, who showed up at our house, starving, guess she couldn’t catch anything without any claws. Hopefully she will make a full recovery, she actually has a distended stomach. We are calling her Eddie. Since she will ignore whatever name we give her anyway, why not Eddie.

And this little guy, sort of yarn related since he is an Australian shepherd/Border Collie mix, Frankie, 9 weeks old:

Could he possibly be any cuter??

With that, Frankie bids you goodnight…

Working for the weekend…

Haha, do you have that Loverboy song stuck in your head now? It was earworming me for a couple of days after I found out that they are coming out with a new album. The 80’s: been there, done that, have the t-shirt. And I’m not going back, especially for the hideous t-shirts.

But back to OUR actual topic… Kathryn HAS been working for the weekend, for the Twist Fibre Festival weekend, 25-26 August.

Some yarn and fibre drying:

BFL roving, we both love BFL, love to spin and knit with it (don’t you just want to pet it?):

She even had her visiting mother, an acclaimed artist and teacher, working! Slave driver!

Some gorgeous wool and silk yarn:

And a box bursting with roving!

I was busy too. I put down some of my latest obsessions and got to work on samples for Kathryn. It is a new shawl pattern – the green one is knit with BFL and the red one is from Kathryn’s fingering weight merino singles. I haven’t come up with a name for it yet because I suck at coming up with names (like I suck at taking pictures) but I will by the time I make it available. (Then again, I could be brilliantly inventive and original like Vogue Knitting magazine and name it “#05 Lace shawl”.) I am also working on a slightly different version in Kathryn’s sport weight alpaca/soy yarn, but that will still be on the needles and in the experimental stage for Twist.

If you have a idea for a name, let me know!

And hope to see you at Twist!