Monday, 29 September 2008


I haven't been too happy with my knitting lately but now I feel released. I finished the woven squares ( . It's washed and laying out to dry.I liked knitting it and it turned out really well. I was determined to finish it and so was working on it to the exclusion of other projects. I felt like I couldn't work on anything else because I. Had. To. Finish. It's amazing how quickly things you like doing become a chore when this is hanging over your head.

But now it is finished and yesterday I worked on ...the second sock while I watched a Miss Marple movie, and this ... mitten which I am trying to fine tune and have taken apart several times already but am closer to what I want than I was, and a larger project ...

the Guenevere ( in Briggs and Little Soft Spun wool which is due out in October ( .

I feel so much better with all these projects on the go and with a lovely pullover finished.


Thursday, 25 September 2008

The Sun Helps

We are having wonderful, sunny, warm weather. It's so beautiful that it has aided me in being faithful to my sweater. I had a brief thought of knitting mittens but then the sun started shining and it seemed a silly thing to be doing now. Although that doesn't make knitting a chunky weight pullover any more sensible but I had already started that one.

I am so very close to finishing (the hardest part for me, the home stretch) and now after watching a movie this evening I have half of the second sleeve done too. Isn't that sunny patch wonderful. Sun and warmth in the fall is precious. I can't wait to finish and wash this pullover and see how it has turned out. This weekend will do it.


Monday, 22 September 2008

Super Weekend

I'm back from a terrific weekend in Sudbury, ON on Long Lake.
We know that knitters are for the most part are wonderful people and in groups at a retreat are lots of fun. But a group of knitters who knit for charity are even nicer and very welcoming, at least this group was. The Sticks, String and Stewardship Retreat is the brain child of Alison Hood who believes that using your gifts and talents in even the smallest way to help someone else has amazing benefits to the recipient but also to the giver. And that from every gift some good radiates much further than you could possibly imagine. And although I happen to catch Alison looking sort of serious here, she is a lively, funny speaker and lots of fun. Her committee did a great job and even though we had a schedule, it was very relaxed with lots of time for knitting and talking. Is there a square inch of table that is not covered in yarn?These woman are very involved in the Prayer Shawl Ministry ( and after a couple of stories there wasn't a dry eye in the place. Several other knitters were making blankets for Project Linus Canada ( - there is a chapter in Lively, ON) and hats, mittens, blankets, scarves and stuffed toys were collected to be distributed throughout their community.They also wanted to add to their skills as knitters. So we made Top Down sweaters for teddy bears. They were partially done here but several teddy bears were suitably clothed the next day.

It was a wonderful weekend and I am so glad they invited me to participate. This was their first retreat but I know they are already planning for next year.
- Deb

Thursday, 18 September 2008


It's a garment. I could wear it now right? It would look like I tore the sleeves off but in some circles that's quite fashionable. I was trying to be a one sweater woman, but in my defence I did write the pattern and this is the third Woven Squares I've knit ( . I could have had someone else knit it but I am trying out a new wool and looking at the finished product is not the same as working with the wool.

But now I have worked with the wool, I like it very much, that's been established and I still have 2 sleeves to go. Easy round and round knitting down from the shoulder to the wrist which wouldn't take long but now my eye is straying. This is totally bad news. This is where I put it aside, I have had my way with it after all, and start something new which takes up all of my time and interest. It lays languishing until I have a moment to spare for it. I have to have it done for the Stitches East show in November ( That's ages away. Lots and lots of time to finish. Ha.

Anonymous, from the comments, asked if this was part of my Christmas knitting. Is it time to think of that already? I must admit I have leaves falling in my driveway now so she may be right.

What I have to decide is if I'm going to do any knitting for Christmas at all. Knitting is my job and my hobby, but mostly my job. I like to hand Christmas over to my husband who is the shopper in the family, OK one of the shoppers, my daughter is also a super shopper. We had to go to the mall to get a new cell phone and it felt like something was terribly wrong. I was in the mall and it wasn't Christmas, which is the only time I venture near it. Which doesn't get me anywhere closer to deciding if and what I might knit this year.

Have you decided?


Tuesday, 16 September 2008

It's big

I've started knitting a sample out of the Briggs and Little Soft Spun ( It's a man's sweater, the Woven Squares ( and I'm not done yet. How can this be. I've been knitting and knitting and knitting and it's still not done. For the last 6 months I have been knitting baby sweaters and it's badly squewed my sweater timer. I should be done by now, right? It's been days. Adults are so big!

I'm using fat wool and big needles and ... I guess a man is about 6 baby sweaters worth, maybe more. I have to reset the timer and get real. I have all of the Body done (it's in the round from the bottom ribbing up to the underarm) and probably half of the top yoke done. And just for the fun of it I am working the yoke Back, which is knit flat, by working back backwards on the wrong side rows. Actually that makes no wrong side rows because I am always on the right side, so maybe they are now backwards rows, or something. Anyway the pattern makes that interesting and I can see that I am improving as I go. I'll be over the hump today if I can get the Back done.


Monday, 15 September 2008

K-W Show

We had a terrific day at the Kitchener Waterloo Knitting Fair. It's organized by the K-W knitting guild and they take such good care of you at this show. It means a lot to the vendors. At about 2pm a volunteer came around to give us water and to ask if we needed Advil, bandaids or mouthwash strips - what service! Somebody there knows what it's like to be in your booth for several hours without a break.
Lisa came to show us her dress knit out of Cotton Tweed. Isn't that incredible? Wow.

I came on the bus with the Aurora Guild. We had lots of draw prizes and a 50/50 draw on the way there,and shopping Show & Tell on the way back, with several crys of "We need to go back, I missed that booth."We were all a bit blurry after all that shopping.

And there was a new award given for the best shopper - The Joan Davis Award, for the shopper with a steady hand on the credit card and a cool head amidst tough decisions - which went to Joan Davis who has yet to be outdone!
She knew nothing about this award, and her reaction was perfect.
The challenge now is to see who can outdo her next year. Who is going to step up to the plate? You have a year to train and save up for the big event. Do we need a bigger bus?


Friday, 12 September 2008

And I'm off to Stratford!

It's Friday and I'm just packing up the van to go to the KW Knitters' Fair I'm actually first going to Stratford to visit my girlfriend Judith (who is kindly putting me up for the night) and eat pizza (one of the world's most perfect foods) then off to the Bingemans Centre in Kitchener to set up the show tonight. The show opens Saturday at 9:30 sharp!

A couple of weeks ago I posted a picture of the Side to Side Shawl #079, that I did in some very yummy silk. We (Deb and I) were not too happy with the gauge after blocking so I ripped it out to re-do on a smaller needle. In the mean-time we talked about some interesting changes I could make and the result is the Point to Point Shawl #081 with a collar. Here's a picture, I sewed on the tassels last night and blocked them, yes - I did photographed them this morning!!! This is called "just in time" knitting :)
The photo on the left is in Wild Silk and the photo on the right is in 60/40 mohair/wool blend. The left is a "kerchief" sized shawl or a "neck" shawl and the one on the right is a full sized shawl. I really like the little collar and the tassels add a lot of fun.
Here's a photo of the back so you can see the tassel and back better.
OK, I guess it's time to finish packing up the van and get on the road! See you in Kitchener!

Thursday, 11 September 2008


I love getting mail like this. It's the new Soft Spun Briggs & Little wool. So I've been busy trying out this needle and that needle to get a feel for the best gauge to knit it at. Not much to show you yet but it feels great. I've started knitting a published pattern of ours in it and will photograph it tomorrow when I have a little more done.Just a tease today, gotta go,

Monday, 8 September 2008

Good Project?

My hat is finished and I think the pattern matches the pinkness pretty well.So well in fact that I tried another pink one. This one took 1 afternoon to knit. It took me longer to figure out something in my house that was head sized to display the hats on than it did to knit it up. There are a couple of cereal bowls stacked up under there if you are looking for something yourself sometime.This leads to the question we get asked quite often - 'How can I make this in a different size or using a different weight of yarn?' The first pinkness was made with sock wool at a gauge of 7 sts per inch (28 sts = 4"/10cm) and is a small adult/large child size with 144 stitches cast on. The second pink is made with aran weight (heavy worsted) at a gauge of 4.5 sts per inch (18 sts = 4"/10cm) and is a small kids hat with 80 stitches cast on. Same stitch pattern worked on both hats.They look slightly different. They feel Really different. The sock wool hat is very, very stretchy and soo light. I did it with a 50 gram ball and have some left over (although that's the same for both hats actually). The heavier weight hat took a nanosecond to knit while the sock wool hat took the time it would take to knit one sock. You might think that the size makes a difference in the time taken to knit the two hats since one is for a small child and one is for a large child but the sock wool hat for a small child would still need 120 sts. And it would still take you a while to knit that up.

When I write out the pattern it will read the same for both hats except for the number of stitches cast on (which depends on the yarn you choose) and the height of the hat before beginning the crown (which depends on the size of hat).

This is my new idea for a hat booklet. Showing the same pattern in different weights of yarn so you can choose your yarn first and then pick the number to cast on to get the hat and size you need. Start by rummaging through your stash or strolling through your local yarn store and pick something fabulous you would like to knit your hat in. Then go to the pattern from there. Opens up all kinds of options I think.

Do you think this makes a good project?


Friday, 5 September 2008


Here is the pinkness.It's not that it's too pink. It's that it's pink enough that I can't ignore it's pinkness. I was trying some patterns on it which I liked but which didn't look good with the pink. So I had to rethink my approach. If you can't beat it, join it and why was I fighting the colour? This pink reminds me of - candy floss, fall fairs, candy apples. Yes, that's it, I need something very round. Pink is round. This pattern reminds me of balloons.This is some of the sock wool I dyed and it's making a great hat. I'm using addi turbo's for the first time. I know, a little late to the party. I am impressed though. They are wonderful. I am using a 2.5mm/US1 needle 40cm/16" long which I thought would be very awkward but the wire is very bendy and the needle shaft is long enough to hold onto.

This is a prototype at the moment. I am thinking of working on a hat booklet this fall and am working out the details. I'm really liking knitting this fingering weight hat up. It's soo light, I may get it out of a 50g ball (large child size I think, maybe an adult size - can't tell with the needle in). Show you when I get it finished.

Wednesday, 3 September 2008


Is this week speeding by or what?! I've been merrily knitting, frogging, knitting, frogging on my sock wool Hat. This is my usual method of designing a new garment but finally I had to put my failure to like anything I did down to the colour of the wool. Does this affect you too? It was just too pink for me so I'm switching to another colour today. I think I might look at the Ultra Soft Touch with Nylon from Shelridge Farm ( because I am loving the stitch definition on my King's Knight socks ( .
Don't the knots pop out?
See, there they are. Fun, fun. The knots are only on the leg of the sock in case you were imagining how they would feel in your shoe. Although maybe they would work on the pressure points of your foot if you put them on the bottom of your sock. Who knows.This is all I have to show you so I thought I'd show it thrice. It's a man's sock but if you switch from a stitch gauge of 7 sts per inch (28 sts = 4") to a finer sock yarn, say Ultra Soft Touch superwash (without the nylon) which gives you a gauge of 8 sts per inch (32 sts = 4"), you will get a smaller sock (8" around instead of the man's sock which is 9" around) and you too could have these to wear. Now that's a thought. Into my sock wool stash I must go.


Monday, 1 September 2008

Shelter Valley

A beautiful weekend where I, not being my optimistic self, took no sun screen. Yes, a little lobster-like today but so glad to see the sun for a couple of days in a row.
Let me introduce Shelter Valley Folk Festival ( to you. The windmill is in the logo and that strip of blue at the top is Lake Ontario. A terrific venue in Grafton ON, and celebrating it's fifth year with the return of lots of the artists who have appeared over the years.
There are 3 workshop stages with 2 or 3 artists on a stage together during the afternoon. Here is one of my favourite artists, Suzie Vinnick and Rose Cousins (who was my discovery of the weekend). Valdy and Lynn Miles were the 2 emcee's of the main stage. Valdy being very Valdyish and Lynn being her hilariously sarcastic self.
The main stage is built on the side of a barn.
I love the roof supports, aren't they great? During the dinner break things quiet down. Singer/songwriter ( paul court, sitting on the stage steps was seen earlier assuming the position for receiving any inspiration floating on the breeze.
I don't think he caught any. But I did catch Alyssa Wright (, singer/songwriter, cellist, pondering....
and then poised for action as the perfect word came into her head, possibly the inspiration which passed by our earlier writer.
I did take my knitting figuring that all the artistic creativity would give me a good idea for a hat. But no knitting mojo was there and after frogging twice I put it away. It's ssooo pink and I had geometric patterns in my head which didn't fit somehow. I was thinking of balloons and roundness and it wasn't coming out that way.I put the hat away and started another sample of the King's Knight sock ( in Ultra Soft Touch with Nylon by Shelridge Farm ( and loved it. I don't get tired of this pattern. The wool shows the pattern really well and I can't wait to get to the knots.The last weekend of the summer and our year begins again. Any knitting new year's resolutions on your mind for the coming year? I think I want to have a sock on the needles at all times. And I am definitely into sock weight wool now so more of that. And my Briggs and Little wool is on it's way from the maritimes and I can't wait.