Sunday, 29 November 2009


Test knitting again.I think this is a much more appropriate colour for the Valentine sweater, don't you? It's Cranberry and has little pink blips in it. I think it is going to be a new worsted weight superwash wool we are going to carry because I love it already.Here's the back where you can see more of the cable pattern, it's fun. I am coming up to the waist shaping soon. Oh boy, oh boy. I can't wait to see how that looks. And I have finished something, there has not been too much of that going on lately. These socks are for Tom, my carpentry friend, as a thank you for helping us out with our dripping house. The snow is going to fly this week and I'm much more confident that next spring it will not end up inside my house. Next week is finishing week. I need to sew in the ends of these socks and sew some buttons on, get some photos done and then there will be a couple of new patterns ready to go. Stay tuned.


Thursday, 26 November 2009

Ravelry Group

Yesterday I set up a Cabin Fever Group in Ravelry ( While I was still trying to get the group image to stop being totally squished two "threads" (I think that's the term) were already being added!
Bev was totally on top of the whole group thing and started a thread about Your Fav Cabin Fever Pattern and the knitter with the question was right there with her. It was very cool. So, Deb and I sat down yesterday afternoon and Deb answered the question and we tried to figure our way around the group.

I think you can set up rules and post them (need to learn where and how) but right now our initial thing is we'd like people to put their name in with their comments/questions/discussions. Or is this not done? I'm not totally sure of the protocol. However, Deb and I prefer to have names to respond to as it seems more personal. Like a real conversation.

So, please feel free to join in! If anyone has suggestions about set-up or things I need to know or should know to administer or moderate the group please drop me an email, either at our email in Ravelry or - I'd appreciate it. This is a big learning curve for us!

I just finished the test knit for the yet un-named beaded mittlets (which will likely BE the name) from Shirl the Purl. Have made a coupla changes and went over them with Deb yesterday before I sewed in the ends. They came out terrific but I'll pull off the cast-off edges and add a couple of decreases just to keep them snug. After you wear mittlets for a bit, if there's not a decrease there, they tend to stretch a bit around you fingers.
You may, as I did, think that these are a tad large for my hand. They fit but are not "snug". Both Deb and I have relatively small hands (and stubby fingers). I tried these on several other people, including Al, and they fit great. So I am planning to knit these again, in DK weight for smaller hands. The red version(which will be the Medium/Large size) was done in Shelridge Farm's W4 (worsted weight) in Cranberry (lovely red) and I think I'll do the DK version (Small/Medium) in their yarn in one of two green's that I have. Can't quite make up my mind which one.

I am going to finish the editing of the pattern today, then cast on with a pink pair (worsted weight) for the 2nd test knit and the 2nd Christmas present. After I do that, Deb will take a turn and then we'll have them out. Would be nice to get them done soon as they'll make great Christmas presents (the red version is already pegged for one of Al's girls) and they are fast! A really quick knit.


Tuesday, 24 November 2009


I've been taking Sally's advice and was sleeping yesterday. These weekends away are not known for vast quantities of snoozing time. The Nor'Loch lodge was lovely.I bunked in with 3 women from the Aurora Guild, snug in our own little cottage.But the real fun was in the classes. Here's Sally giving some fashion advice.
Karen from Sheepstrings doesn't need any help at all. She's got it all together. That's one of the sweaters out of Sally's new book Mother-Daughter Knits.I learned that the shorter the knitted top you are wearing the wider your bottom should be. Ha, Ha. Got that one covered! OK she means the wider the pants or skirt you can wear, like straight pants or an A-line skirt. And the longer the top the skinnier the pants should be.Not being a naturally stylish person this was very interesting information. I took note of everything you can wear with jeans. It's all in her book and the big sweater is by no means a no-no you just gotta get the leggings out again girls.


Sunday, 22 November 2009

Purls of Wisdom

Deb and I are at the "Purls of Wisdom" Retreat here up at Norloch Resort outside Huntsville. And the instructor is Sally Melville; a smart, smart, stylish and clever Canadian designer/author/teacher. I think the name of this weekend was extremely descriptive. I'm sure Deb will have lots more to say, but I just was struck yesterday, quite forceably, at a key, no, fundamental, critical? no, an epiphany? No, that's still not the right word ... but one CRUCIAL, important, strikingly obviously but completely ignored piece of information in our daily lives .... we need to get sleep. Yes, sleep. LOTS of sleep (yes, I know I'm shouting with the capital letters but that's how it struck me and the 6 of us in our cabin ... it's been quite the discussion this morning).

Sleep is hugely important to our creative ability. Hugely important to life. And the striking piece of information? The vast majority of dreaming doesn't actually occur until the end of the sleep cycle and not until your body had completed its healing etc, and so on, but the key part is the largest amount of dreaming doesn't occur until something around the 7th hour ... of sleep. Yes, you absolutely need 8 hours of sleep a night to function at your best and to be creative. Period.

Ignore the implications rampant in our society that it's weak to require 8 hours of sleep each and every night. That it is something to be proud of to only get, or need, 6 hours. Science shows that this is not true. And quite dangerous, but for me and the creative force in this little cabin? It's the negative impact on our creative life that's struck us. So, that's our purl of wisdom for you this morning. Get some sleep. Please.

So, signing off from Norloch from Laura, Darlene, Elissa, Karen, Karen (yeah 2 of them!) oh, and me, Lynda. And we all had a great nights' sleep and we're going to go and be creative this morning. : )

Friday, 20 November 2009

Last Minute

I've finished the last test knit of the Last Minute Baby. At least that's what I'm calling it for now. Meant as a last minute gift and the vest option is very quick indeed. I've used 3 different needle sizes to determine 3 different sizes from newborn to 6 months old. I think this works well for a fast project. You may have noticed that finished for me excludes putting the buttons on, those will go on when I get to the official photo stage next week when it has to be really finished, a fine distinction. I've been carrying these around in my purse as a project to knit a round or two as catch can but I wasn't getting anywhere quick. So I sat down the last couple of evenings to catch up. Don't you love denim coloured wool?And for some fun knitting I'm working on this scarf and it is lots of fun. It's the scarf that was talked about a couple of years ago (yes, once again I'm late for the party). If you look for Brooklyn Tweed you'll find the scarf there

Take 2 balls of yarn which change colour throughout, start so that the colours don't match up (or use two different colourways for the best effect). I started with the inside of one ball and the outside of the second ball since they were the same colourway.

Cast On an odd number of stitches.

Row 1: work [K1, P1] to last stitch, K1.

Row 2: with yarn in front slip first stitch, work [K1, P1] to last 2 sts, K1, slip one.

Repeat 2 rows with second ball.

That's it, work 2 rows with yarn from one ball and 2 rows with yarn from second ball and see what happens with the colours. Easy but interesting.

Going on a knitting retreat this weekend, yay, and taking these two unfinished projects with me. Of course I will have no time since I'm taking 3 courses but how can I leave the house without several kinds of knitting in my bag! I'm hoping there's a hot tub.


Saturday, 14 November 2009

I'm in LOVE ...

Oh, oh, oh ... I'm so pleased. I've been working away at this shawl, two steps forward and four steps back ... or at least that's what it felt like at times. I could so easily keep the leaf pattern in my head but the medallion pattern, which I really like, not so much. And when I get more than 300 stitches on my needles ... well that's a long rip out when you notice a mistake that you can't fix.

So here it is off the needles:
And here it is, pinned on the spare bed (I had to stand on
the dresser to take this shot) but ... oh, I am SO pleased, it is sooo beautiful : )
Just for fun, I timed the knitting of the last row of the medallion pattern. Turns out it was an HOUR!! Wow. Mind you, that included working it, counting it twice, grumble, grumble, not the same numbers on each side, figuring out what the mistake was, fixing the mistake, counting 3 more times, each in a different way, just to be sure (can you tell I was getting very fixated by this point of the shawl?).

I decided then that it was time to do the transition row for the edging and a good thing I did. I actually skimped on the edge and skipped 2 rows (which I don't think you can really notice) as I was getting really worried about getting it finished with the yarn I had left. The last few rows really used up a lot of yarn. I ended the edging with 3 beads on each scalloped edge and I had a tiny butterfly worth of yarn left. Whew, that was close. I found myself knitting faster and faster as I was coming to the end. Like if I went faster I could get to the end before I ran out? I really wanted to get it done with 100g of the yarn - mainly because that's what I had. That's serious motivation.

Not sure you can actually see the beads in the photograph. I used clear glass beads as I didn't want them to draw too much attention but still have a subtle effect.
The "off the needle" size was 36" x 18" and the "wet, pinned out" size was 64" x 24". I'll be interested to see what the size is, once I take out the pins.

I feel an amazing sense of achievement as this is my first lace weight, lace shawl. I actually feel quite excited and want to immediately cast on for my next one. Mmmmm, I want to make one in a heavier weight yarn ... Buffy gave me some in DK that is a lovely, creamy, soft green ...

Tomorrow, some more dyeing.

- Lyn

PS - Here's the shawl all nicely blocked and done. The size hasn't changed, so I assume that it would be possible to block it a bit larger but I'm pretty pleased (OK, really, really, pleased) with how it looks now.

Friday, 13 November 2009

I don't have any blog fodder. Test knitting and pattern tweeking don't produce anything you want to see a photo of. Although I did get far enough on the Valentine to take one photo.It's going to be a lovely sweater. I've enjoyed knitting it this far but I'm afraid it's going to the frog pond. Yup, that's the way it goes. I think it needs some tweeking right at the beginning, wouldn't you know! But we are that much closer to the finished product. I'm looking forward to the next knit being 'the one'.

That's it. I don't have another thing to show you. I have plans to finish a couple things over the weekend though. We'll see how that goes.


Monday, 9 November 2009

The class on Saturday at the Grey Heron in Collingwood went really well. A lovely clothing store with a really inviting wool room. Nice combination.
We had lunch after the class, thanks Karen that was really terrific. It gave us a chance to have a more casual chat because during the class we have to move along as you know if you've been a knitting student. We had a great time and every student had knit at least one top down before, which opens up lots of discussion on substituting increases and alterations of patterns for a better fit.
Brenda wore her top down to class. Isn't it beautiful? She took one of the solid coloured patterns out of the Button Up Your Top Down and really jazzed it up. It's gorgeous. For more photos check out her blog

Back at the ranch I have made some progress on all fronts. My socks are getting a little longer and I have sketched out a rough pattern. This means I have drawn little squares on a piece of paper which represent the number of stitches on each of the needles at different points of the sock. Nothing in writing yet but it's coming along.Oops, you'll have to cock your head to see that properly. And my quickie baby pattern is almost done. I'm doing the last test knit. I now have 3 little tiny baby sweaters. One will go to some shows with Lynda, one will go to the shop which gave me the yarn and one will be in residence at our warehouse shop.
I'm also really enjoying testknitting the Valentine. Here is the original sample in a more appropriate colour.It's a fun pattern to work. Excuse me while I go and work a couple more inches.


Friday, 6 November 2009

Ready, Set

It's Friday evening and I'm knitting up a small sample for a class I'm giving tomorrow at the Grey Heron store in Collingwood ( We're going to do a top down teddy bear sweater and I've put in 3 different types of increases. They are all interchangeable. If the pattern calls for an increase which makes holes and you don't want them there are several other increases without holes which can be substituted.On the right side, close to the neckband are the holey YO's which are great increases because they are easy to see and easy to 'read'. Next are a set of closed increases (no holes) and close to the circular needle are increases which make small holes (my favourites). I hope the teddy bears that will be wearing these sweaters don't mind the change in the look of the raglan lines. I'm stopping here so that in class tomorrow I can show how the Divide for Body and Sleeve row works. I've packed the car with a couple of samples, printed off my class notes and set the alarm. Wait, a map. OK now . . . Go!


Thursday, 5 November 2009

I love Wednesday's

On Monday, Deb and I drove up to Shelridge Farm to visit with Buffy & Don, to stock up with more yarn for the shop and to have further development talks with Buffy. We're working with Buffy to come up with a dye technique which she'll do just for us. It's great fun, sometimes frustrating and a very, very interesting exercise. While we were working with Buffy, Don was working in the kitchen and sent each of us home with an amazing, home-baked baguette. Al and I had ours with supper and I had the tiny leftover bit as toast the next morning. Wow, can Don bake bread!

I'm just testing knitting Shirl the Purl's new Beaded Mittlet in Shelridge Farm's W4 (worsted weight) in Cranberry. It's lookin' good!
If you're wondering why the title of this post is "I love Wednesday's" is because that's my day for working at home. Deb goes into the office and I get to sit quietly at home and work. It's hard to work (as in testing patterns or developing new patterns) in the office with customers coming in, the phone ringing, discussions with Sophy as she's packing up orders ... it's not really ideal. Naturally some days, like yesterday, I had to do work on the web site and answer emails but I also did get some work done (see above and below).

This is my progress on the lace shawl I'm doing in the Fibre-Isle's Lovit Cashmere (60% fine merino superwash, 30% Lyocell cellulose & 10% premium cashmere). It's lovely to work with.
I started the shawl with a leaf pattern (lower part) which is terrific to knit and easy to keep in your head. I used the first 50g ball doing the leaf, but I wanted to "open up" the pattern for the lower part of the shawl. So when I changed balls (and spliced the yarn so hopefully you won't see the join) I changed to the medallion pattern. Now this was just as I was going to bed, so I did the very clever transition pattern from Evelyn Clark and went to bed. This morning I had to get up at 6:00am just to sit and start the actual pattern. I am VERY pleased at how lovely it looks. Evelyn's transition means that one pattern actually flows into the next quite seamlessly. I am very impressed. I am going to get some of her books "Knitting Lace Triangles" for the shop as I think this is easily the best book I've seen for getting started.

OK, time to actually shower and get to work!


Monday, 2 November 2009

Lace and Cables

Hope you had a happy halloween. We had very few kids show up at the door. Our neighbourhood must be aging or else kids don't come to strangers' houses anymore. Lots of candy left for me, yay.

I have a new project to show you. I am at the testknitting stage on a design by Elizabeth McCarten. She's commented on the blog so you already know her a little. It's a great design and I have the little bit I've knit to show you.
That's the set up of the top down neck shaping. I know you can't see very well but it worked perfectly.Is the pattern on the back terrific or what?! It's fun to knit and I can't wait to get going on the rest. I have been searching for a yarn which would suit this design and show off all the cables. I'm really happy with how this wool worked out and today I'm going to buy enough to get going on it for real.

I decided to try the cardigan as a vest. You can see where I ripped back a couple of times. I decided on the vest idea after I was a good way down the sweater. Note to self: planning ahead might be a good idea, ha, ha. You never know when an idea will pop up. Often it's at an inconvenient time.This is a really quick knit. I should be able to get this finished and up on the website soon.