Sunday, 31 May 2009


It sounded like someone was throwing sand at the house. What could this be - hail? There they are on my car hood. Not big pieces but coming in waves. What's the date again?
I took a break and went to Ottawa, Carleton University actually, to sneak a peek at my friend's world of academia. This was the Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences held once a year which draws academics from across Canada and the U.S. My friend is a sociologist. I sat in on 2 talks and was quite surprised at how much I understood, of course the two I attended were hand picked for me knowing that lots of these talks would be way over my head. But I got to see Dr. S in action and see the response she gets when she speaks. It was great and now I have faces to go with the names of the people she works with and a much better idea of how that world works. I spent most of my time here, at the Book Fair, where every University Press had their list of books on display, rows and rows of vendors with lots and lots of books. Ahh, it was amazing. And it's true that a change is as good as a rest!I think 'take a friend to work' is a great idea. I know that Dr. S is really keen on coming to a knitting trade show with me sometime. A large gathering of women entrepreneurs, what could be more fun than that.

So, no intricate knitting done, too busy listening intently, but I did manage half a sock. I've lost the tag for the wool, sorry. That's the problem with 100g balls, there is no second ball with the tag still on it to check.When I got home I was ready to get going on the Double Cross.
I am almost ready to begin the heel. It went very quickly and easily. There was enough pattern to keep me entertained and when I looked up I was surprised at how far I had come along. That's always a bonus. And I love this colour Brown (looks like chocolate to me) of Soft Touch Ultra from .


P.S. Commenters: Samm, this cable is fun. And Mom, you'll find this one much more enjoyable to knit.

Monday, 25 May 2009

Votes In

Lynda liked the last double crossing (which I personally liked the best too) so that's what's going on the sock.

I'm going to do some work on it over the next couple of days. I'm taking a little break, no particular reason, just seemed like a good time to get out of town and someone I know is headed east so I'm hitching a ride. I should have some knitting done when I get back.

See ya,


P.S. We are getting all our new patterns ready for the TNNA trade show in mid-June (Jane Austen shawl included). I'll launch them on the blog when we get back with photos and everything. Thanks for asking Elizabeth.

Sunday, 24 May 2009


Last weekend was our long weekend here in Canada. We celebrated by reading books and taking it easy since it was raining and sort of miserable. But this weekend we are celebrating the 10th anniversary of the Mariposa Folk Festival coming back to Orillia, ON (where it originated 49 years ago). This is the Mary Street Collective band . . .
having a terrific time celebrating on stage. Four singer songwriters who got together to cover each others songs. It worked really well. My husband, paul court, smiling in the green shirt, and Aaron Howes singing one of his own songs.On the either side of the stage, The Brights, Don Bray playing guitar and Alyssa Wright playing her cello.
Only 6 weeks to Mariposa, Yay!

Back to our regular programming. I've been playing with the pattern from the panel of this sock.As I had said previously, the panel ends up to be quite dense. I thought I'd have a go at the pattern and see if we could get the same sort of look without it being so dense. The pattern is worked using 2 rows where you work the cable crossings with a rib row in between them. I tried working only one repeat of the pattern with several ribbed rows in between.
Then I started a swatch and worked one repeat of the pattern reversing the crossings (did the second cross first and then the first cross), again with several rounds of ribbing in between. Interesting.I tried working one and a half repeats and I like the double line but it's getting very dense again.It's a very fuzzy photo but these are the double lines.
And lastly I wanted to see if I could spread the double lines further apart.
So now it's decision time.

Friday, 22 May 2009


I started working on the Jane Austen shawl border and realized that one of the balls of wool was bouncing around quite a bit in the bag I had them in. Hmm bouncing a little too much. This is not good.The orange ball is getting quite small and I don't have any more of it. I have no idea how much yardage this wool has since it's out of my stash without any tags on it. In fact, it was from the 'frogged from another project' stash (I have quite a bit of this type of stash). I have no idea if I have enough to get around the whole shawl with the lovely knitted on border. I do not want to get to the other side and have 2 more points to do without any orange wool. So I have put a different border on it which I could knit until I ran out of the orange. It makes a shawl but not as interesting as the original.And I don't have to throw the wool back into the frog pond. Compromise. I really have to do something about this tendency to start something, work it part way through, rip it out and start something else. This is probably a character flaw!

Now that I have blocked the shawl I am allowed to start a couple more things right? I have started a couple of socks. Nothing impressive yet.There is ribbing because . . .I am redoing this sock. Lynda thought that this cable design would work out great but it's very, very dense and difficult to knit. So I am going to fiddle with the pattern and see if I can come up with a variation. And this is a plan for a new adventure for me, the story sock. I have never tried this before but I am going to do a theme sock. I'll tell you the story as we go. After cruising through several stitch dictionaries I have developed this mock up of the sock. It may turn out to be totally unworkable as a design but this is quite fun to contemplate. I'm going to wind the sock wool now.


Tuesday, 19 May 2009

Dress it up

The Jane Auten Shawl is coming up a beautiful colour. The combination of the solid orange stand and the variegated strand gives me a combination of yellow, pink and lavendar on the orange. Gorgeous for spring. I've used an 8mm/US11 circular needle instead of a 10mm/US15 because that's what I had on hand and it's lovely and, at the moment, a little dense. But blocking will do great things for that. And now I am working the lace edge and attaching it to the shawl at the same time.

A terrific way to do the border. It's really going to dress it up. Step by step, row by row, I will get this finished.

Monday, 18 May 2009

a little brag

Samm (from the comments) and I are bragging about finishing socks. Yay! Congratulations on finishing not one but two pairs Samm. We all know how the second sock syndrome can sneak in and steal some of our knitting self esteem. Always a triumph to beat it. So here is my pair.
Now that I finished those I can cast on for a new project, a sample of the Jane Austen Shawls which Lynda designed (it will be coming out very soon). It's fun and has lots of possibilites because it can be made by combining yarns to make up the chunky weight required by the pattern. I am using 2 DK weight mohair/wool blends, one variegated and one in a solid. The combination is lovely.

Knit on size 10mm/US15 so bound to be quick. Not much to see yet but stay tuned. Psst, is that a boo, boo there on the left? Yes I think so. To the frog pond for a dip.


Tuesday, 12 May 2009


The weather is cooperating, it's very cool. I have been wearing wool socks for the past 3 days which has helped me beat the dreaded second sock sydrome. Here it is, ta da . . .
A second sock past the ribbing and into the swirl. Ah, feels good. And you won't believe this but I have even WRITTEN IT ALL DOWN. Yes, I know, hard to believe but it's true. I am now checking it twice. One whole pattern done in a couple of, I don't know, weeks?! It wasn't all smooth sailing. I'm trying to forget about this part.
Yes, that was a low point. But now we have one sock done.

Soon to be joined by it's mate. They mate for life you know, like swans.


Saturday, 9 May 2009

A Sock

There is now a sock. And it really swirls now doesn't it? I'm happy.
Raining and dull here though, so I spent the morning organizing some of my knitting magazines. Which of course required that I look at one or two of them and before I knew it the morning was gone.

Don't they look neat and tidy? One more tiny corner cleaned up. A little bit at a time, I tell myself and great things can be accomplished. Cleaning up, clearing out and tidying up is sort of like knitting that way. A couple of rounds in odd moments and eventually a sock is finished.

Friday, 8 May 2009

Progress - 0

I've made negative progress on the swirl sock. I realized that I had a YO in it that went between a knit and purl stitch. I think that for a knitter of the 'throwing, English' persuasion (those knitters who run the yarn through the right hand) that this is a pain in the arse stitch. I'm afraid it's no problem for a continental knitter, of which I am one and I didn't think to try using the other method of knitting until I had quite a bit done on the sock. I decided not to burden anyone with this kind of stitch because there has got to be a way of accomplishing more or less the same thing without that 'round and round' the needle YO. I tried a bunch of other ways to work the knits and purls between the increase and decrease of the swirl pattern and after many, many, many tries last night and this morning I think I have one I am happy with. But this is all I have accomplished on it.I know you're so impressed! I'm sure you can tell it's going to be wonderful, ha, ha. I did write it down on a scrap piece of paper which I think I stuck in my pocket. Nope not in the pocket. I will not panic, I'll just go and check to see that I still have it somewhere. Hold on a second. . . . . OK, phew, it was in the bottom of my purse where all good things migrate to. This is all that's left of the sock from yesterday. A worn out little pile of wool. But it was valiant in it's service to the sock and will be lovingly put aside.

Thursday, 7 May 2009

I'm Back

Sort of. Physically I'm here and glad to be back home, but mentally I am still trying to catch up to myself. It actually helped today that there were 4 questions about patterns which I could easily answer. Kinda gets me back in there. I was also a bad blogger because I didn't think to take my camera out once, not once. But I have put photos of the shows on here before and they all mostly look the same: 10' booth, samples up on the walls, books piled up on a table, binder of all our patterns in the centre for store owners to flip through. That part doesn't change much, except they should be newer samples of course.

The good news is that the store owners thought our new Need A Hat? booklet was great. Hoorah! One store owner thought she would start a hat club at her store in September and get those Christmas gift hats going, along with the cold weather hats, we were in New England after all.

I did get some knitting done
but not as much as I would have liked because this is not car knitting for the motion-sick prone person. And I was given some fine fingering to try so of course I wound up the skein immediately and started the only shawl pattern I have memorized.

I think it will bloom slightly when washed so I will be working on this for a bit. I have knit 3 of these already and have no idea where it came from but it's likely it's an Evelyn Clark design because I really like her stuff and find them really easy to store in my brain.

Short and sweet today but awfully glad to be home.