Monday, 31 December 2012

Happy New Year everyone. I hope you and your family are healthy and happy in 2013. See you in 2013.
Deb & Lyn

Tuesday, 18 December 2012

It's beginning, the new book. This year's project will be Accessories. I'm starting with a crescent shawl just because they have such an intriguing construction. This one is done with Saucon Fingering, a cotton/acrylic blend. I'm just blocking it out now.
Can't wait to see if it has worked out.

Thursday, 13 December 2012

Birthday Socks : )

Yes, it's that time of year again. Today is my birthday. And one of the best parts of my birthday is getting my Birthday Socks from Deb. I got them yesterday, just before our guild Christmas pot luck dinner. Quite (seriously, it was not planned) by accident I had on last year's Birthday Socks. Betty took the pictures on the bear skin rug, see below (we were laughing pretty hard about the (not) sexy sock postering:

Last year's well worn Birthday Socks
And ... ta da! ... pretty no? And in my favourite colour!
This year's Birthday Socks : )
I think I've probably mentioned this every year since we started this blog, but Deb used to knit me socks every year for my birthday. Then one year she said "no more, till you learn how to knit your own socks". I didn't believe her, and the next year ... *gasp* ... no socks!!! Pretty upsetting. I whinged a LOT. But I did break down and learn how to knit socks, and to be a good sister and business partner, I also wrote some sock patterns. Peace was restored. I got Birthday Socks on my next birthday. Yea!


Wednesday, 12 December 2012

I had a lovely time in Meaford, ON doing a talk at the library. The talk was "What can you do with a basic pattern?" and lots of fun. Everyone participated with lots of ideas. Don't you love libraries? I love being in them and seeing people using them. They are one the last 'public places' we have available to us. And when they are part of the community, like this library is, they are fantastic.
I also had a meet-up with Isobel at Purrsonally Yours wool shop, a lovely little shop sharing space with a fabric store. What could be better?

We also had lunch with Brenda Harris who wrote the Need A Sock? book with me. And speaking of socks, it's snowing again and definitely sock knitting time.
These have the Chevron stitch pattern from the Need A Sock book but with my favourite short row heel instead of the traditional heel. Can't wait to be wearing them.

Thursday, 6 December 2012

We've Moved!

We've been off the grid here for a bit but busy in the background. Cabin Fever & Shelridge Yarns have relocated. There has been much packing and unpacking of boxes but we're up and running again at:

Dye studio is the barn on the left & the
office is the room over the garage.
Cabin Fever & Shelridge Yarns
8 Windmere Road,
Woodville, ON
K0M 2T0

1 800 671-9112  705 439-0000

We have moved to the country (seems to be primarily horses, cows and corn). Woodville is between Beaverton and Lindsay. If you're familiar with southeastern Ontario you might know this area.

We don't have a retail showroom anymore but are happy to see you if you want to come and visit us in our working space. Our first visit was from Anna yesterday. She had to step over a couple of packing boxes (or unpacked boxes to be accurate!) but she was on a mission with Christmas knitting to get done!

Give us a call or email first to make sure we'll be there.

Deb & Lyn

Thursday, 22 November 2012

We have a new pattern up on Patternfish - Side Panel Vest . It's a Top Down with short rows to shape the V-neck. You have lots of choices to make this your own creation.
  • Choose either worsted weight yarn or heavy worsted weight yarn (aran).
  • Choose 4 buttons or buttons all the way down the front.
  • Choose which pattern you want to work down the sides (or put in one of your own favourites): Lace Pattern or 2 x 2 Rib.
  • And because it's Top Down you decide how long you want it to be.
I can't wait to see how these choices result in different looking vests.

Sunday, 11 November 2012

A couple more neck cozies, one adult and one childs. They're really easy and fast to do and trying out different lace patterns has been fun.
Certainly gives me a chance to try them out and see how I like how they look and knit up. My Retreat Notes are ready to go. Just a few more days 'til we get together to have fun with this project.

Thursday, 1 November 2012

I have polished up an old skill and now it's a shining new skill. We had Monika Stramaglia come to our knitting guild and do a "crocheting for knitters" class. I love being a student.
I can now do the crab stitch. Even with a finer weight of yarn.
And I worked both these stitch patterns using the crochet schematics only. Woohoo. Those little diagrams do make sense. A whole new stitching world is waiting out there, now that I can wield a crochet hook.

Have you learned any new skills lately?

Monday, 29 October 2012

November is a busy month. I'll be on the road teaching and speaking around my area of the country. Here's the schedule:
November 1: Port Hope, ON. I'm doing a talk about adding stitch patterns to your top down at the  Northumberland Hooks and Needles Guild .

November 16 to 18:  At the Cabin Fever Retreat we're going to concentrate on learning to adjust the necklines of top down garments. I'm writing up small projects so you can try this out. You can knit a neck cozy or capelet over the weekend. You can, of course, start a full sweater to take home and finish up. It's coming up soon, can't wait.

November 24 & 25: I'll be teaching Top Down classes at the Downtown Knit Collective Winter Workshops in Toronto. They include a Plus-Size class, a V-Neck class and a favourite of mine, the Scatter class, where we throw out the rules for the top down raglan and play with the increase placement to see what could happen. It's fun and opens up lots of discussion of ideas for top down yoke construction.

November 28: I'm giving a talk at the Meaford Library, Adult programing with ideas for making your top down sweaters your own creation. What can you add in and what can you change to make them special. Bring your ideas.

It all begins in a couple of days. I'm ready to go.

Saturday, 20 October 2012

I thought I would extend the retreat project into a pullover capelet. Are they becoming popular? I seem to see more of them on ravelry. I started with a cast on for a wave pattern. Nice and easy to work. Then I did some short rows to lower the front.
Next the regular, relaxing, raglan shaping to the outside of my shoulder.
Now I'm working on getting the wave going again for the trim on the bottom edge.
I think I'll do the wave for about 4". Just need to adjust the stitch number so I can get the stitch pattern going again. Nice to be working in worsted weight wool, so quick.

Monday, 15 October 2012

I hope today is sunny because I need some good photos of the vests I finished and the 2-colour shawl.
The patterns have gone to my tech editor and should be back by the end of the week and up on patternfish next week. Yay. Time to move on to something new.

Lyn's going off to the Rheinbeck Sheep and Wool show this week. She'll be in the Shelridge Farm booth. Any other lucky people making the trip?

Wednesday, 10 October 2012

For the Cabin Fever Retreat I'm working on a top down project that you could get done over the weekend. Here are my ideas for a top down neck cozy. It still has scoop neck shaping and raglan increases. But I think you could make it like this, jazz it up with some lace and wear it under your coat. A small adult top down project in Aran weight wool. Quick, fun and interesting!
You could button up the collar and have a turtleneck for extra warmth. I do love the Corona lace pattern on the bottom. The collar is in feather and fan lace.
This one has the beginning of a shawl collar but I ran out of wool. I think the body could be longer still (if I have a second ball) for a caplet. I know I have 2 balls of something around here I could use to try that out!  What do you think?

Sunday, 7 October 2012

The retreat project is solidifying even though I don't have much to show for it yet.
I won't show you the 3 other little bits of knitting that got ripped out and the several yards of wool that got tossed because it was looking so sad from being reknit too often. They were the first drafts, sort of. But, the good news is the scoop neck, using short rows, is almost there.

Tuesday, 2 October 2012

This is the beginning. You'll have to use your imagination to see the project that's hidden in this wool But we, as knitters, are really good at this aren't we. We can see finished garments when all there is is a ball of yarn.
This is the beginning of the Cabin Fever Retreat project for this year. I have been experimenting with furthering my system of short row shaping for top downs to include the scoop neck. That's my challenge this year. It was the favoured neckline shaping last year and so I am taking that preference into my favoured way of working the shaping. I'm going to start today. I'm very excited.

Monday, 1 October 2012

Buttons are on!!! I hope I can hear the applause. Ha, ha. I sewed these on so that I could avoid another job. Oh sorry but I HAVE to sew these buttons on, right now! Now it's a pleasure.
This is in a Heavy Worsted/Aran yarn,  Belfast by Kraemer Yarns in the U.S. and distributed by Cabin Fever in Canada. This vest has a ribbed panel down each side.
This one is in worsted weight yarn, W4 by Shelridge Farm, kettle-dyed superwash in the Wedgewood colour. Lovely to knit.
The lace pattern down the side was fun to do.
Now I'm checking the patttern and I need a better photo too. Next week it should be up.

Friday, 28 September 2012

If I put it in writing then it's a promise, right? I'm sewing buttons this weekend. You read it here so it must be true.
These two vests will be finished on Monday.

Meanwhile on the knitting front, I'm further along on my Twist Panel from the Need A Plus Cardigan? book.
I'm starting the waist shaping now. The pattern is memorized and I'm trying to decide how long to make it.

Sunday, 23 September 2012

Just home from the Sticks, String and Stewardship retreat in Sudbury, ON where we spent a weekend celebrating charity knitting.
Some hand-knitted goodness will be going to people who need it. This group also provides knitting kits (yarn, pattern, needles, measuring tape, scissors) to the House of Kin, a residence for families of patients in the regional Sudbury Hospital. Someone being flown in to the hospital with a loved one doesn't always have time to grap everything that they might need for the long waiting times ahead. What a special gift to a knitter in a time of stress.

It was a wondeful retreat.

Thursday, 20 September 2012

Knitting another cardigan for myself. It's from the Need A Plus Cardigan? book . I'm really happy with the Twist Panel. It's coming out very well.
I'm almost to the great Divide. Yay. I'm almost sure I'm going to make cap sleeves since I don't think I have quite enough wool. But vests are great aren't they?

I'm doing the final check on the un-named vest. It's going to be finished soon. Again I'm looking at the buttons and working myself up to sewing them on. I don't know why that's such a big deal for me. Do you have one operation (that's sounds scary) in every garment that gets you every time?

Tuesday, 18 September 2012

Phew, a busy, busy week. The weekend before this we were at the K-W Knitters Fair. We had a good time and talked to lots of knitters, which is always fun. Did any of you go to it? Did you get to hear Stephanie Pearl-McPhee talk?

Last weekend we ran a show for the knitting industry called KnitTrade Store owners come to this show to buy for their store. I hope, if you're in Ontario, that you notice some new product in your local yarn store this week.
Vendors are getting ready. And yes we hold it in a curling rink . . . before the ice goes in, of course. It was a good day.

Sunday, 9 September 2012

Happy New Year everyone. It's a new knitting season. Holidays are over and the calendar is filling up. I have been knitting away on my many projects and not making a huge amount of head-way on any one but a little on each is progress, right?! At lease I keep telling myself that.
The new project is always the most fun. This is the shawl I am working on with the 2 different fingering yarns dyed in the same dye bath.
 Each yarn takes up the dye differently. I'd like to try 3 different yarns and see what would happen then. Maybe 4, 5 or 6 different yarns? Too much? Must not get carried away!

Sunday, 26 August 2012

Once again, too many projects on the go.
The sun is coming through the leaves of my maple tree onto the vest I'm just finishing. Now I have to go over the pattern a couple more times, oh and get some buttons.
The lace pattern down the side came out very nicely. This is knit in Shelridge Farm W4 .

This one is almost done. It's the Lace Frock with cap sleeves from the Need A Plus Cardigan? book . We've started a Debs Need A Plus Cardigan KAL if you want to join us and knit a cardigan with lots of help along the way. Oh, and this is also in Shelridge Farm W4. I love it.

This is next in line. I'm going to make a shawl in two yarns which Lyn dyed in the same dye bath.
As you can see they took the dye differently. I'm going to try garter stitch stripes and see how that looks. Could be interesting or a disaster, fun, fun, fun.

There is the baby cardigan from the last post too. I can't forget that one. Also I have a pair of socks almost done somewhere around here. And a scarf I started, just to knit on when I have a spare moment, ha, ha. Does this sound familiar? Tell me I'm not going crazy!

Friday, 24 August 2012

I'm trying out our new yarn Saucon Fingering in Canada (Saucon Sock in the U.S.). It's a blend of cotton/acrylic/nylon. It's making a terrific baby sweater from the Need A Baby Cardigan? book.
The Twist pattern shows up really well.
I can think of several more projects I would love to do in this crisp fingering yarn. Have you used  a fingering weight yarn for sweaters?

Friday, 17 August 2012

I had a lovely class at Yarn Forward and Sew-On in Ottawa, ON last Saturday. The knitters still look undaunted after a long day of working top down increases and patterning. They are holding the beginning of their second cardigan of the day. What a terrific group.
A brave group of knitters tackled this challenging class and did Fantastic!
Thanks everyone.

Thursday, 9 August 2012

We're shipping!

The paper version of our new book, Need a PLUS Cardigan?, has arrived and we're just finishing up shipping all the advance orders. A really large shipment went down to the US this week for our US distributors.

The "mobile-friendly" eBook version has also now been posted on the Patternfish and here's a direct link if you were waiting for that to be available: . I've tested it on my iPad, my Kobo reader and my android phone so I'm hopeful it will work on most mobile devices (frankly I was astonished at how readable the book was on my phone).

Saturday, 4 August 2012

Teresa asked a very good question - Can you reproduce stitch patterns when working from the top down?
This is a leaf pattern which is knit from the Bottom Up. The two leaves hang down.

When you follow the exact same written instructions for the stitch pattern, working from the Top Down, the leaves will be pointing up when you wear the garment. To change the leaves so that they point down when your top down is worn would take some engineering and understanding of lace principles.

I would strongly suggest that the easiest way to tackle choosing lace patterns to be inserted into a top down garment is to hold your stitch dictionary upside down.
That way the pattern you are attracted to is oriented in the way it will be seen when your top down garment is worn. Try it. The patterns all look a little different from that perspective. Different patterns will catch your eye. It's fun, especially in a public place where people will look at you oddly!

Thursday, 26 July 2012

Need A PLUS Cardigan? is now available!

Cabin Fever's newest book "Need A PLUS Cardigan?" is at the printer's as we speak. I hope to be picking it up towards the end of next week. If you'd like to pre-order a copy, just drop me (Lyn) an email and you'll get one of the first ones (I'll need to know if you're paying by Paypal or credit card and your mailing address and phone number).

If you'd like a digital download version (as a PDF) I've posted it on the Patternfish site. I'm also working on a "mobile" friendly version to work on mobile devices such as iPads*, phones and tablets and hope it will be available within a few days.
(* the current version does work fine on an iPad.)

If you've not been following Deb's blog entries over the past year (actually she's been hard at work on this for the past 18 months and Robin Hunter has been involved for nearly a year) this is a terrific book for knitting Plus sized cardigans from the Top Down. As one of the first people downloading the book from Patternfish said:

"At last..a much needed book/clear tutorial on raglan cardigans for the Ample Plus size community!
Very clear step by step instructions on how to make modifications for sleeve width/length,hems and ribbings,collars,waist/hip and bust shaping ... all the options are clearly presented.


Thanks Deb for another fine publication.

Cheers & have fun,

PS If you're a store interested in carrying the book - in Canada just email me, Gemini Fibres or Infiknit; in the US Barb from Up North Fiber Art Supply is our US distributor along with Unicorn & Royal Publications.

Monday, 23 July 2012

Liz  pointed out what I consider one of the fun things about looking for lace patterns for top down garments - you have to turn the Stitch Dictionary upside down! When you knit starting at the top, the lace pattern will be upside down when the garment is worn.
As I'm knitting the lace looks like this.

When worn, it will look like this. A subtle change but one you have to take into consideration.

In the top photo I seem to see the pattern the holes make and in the bottom photo the line of the stitches is more prominent. How about you, what do you see?