Thursday 28 February 2008

Time flies when you sleep all the time but I'm finally over my jet lag. I wasn't much help to my curling team on Tuesday morning - jet lag, a cold, and stiffness from all the flying time does not help to make you limber and alert. I was standing in the house (the bull's eye rings for the non-curlers) and supposed to tell the sweepers when to sweep and the thought that they should start sweeping came into my head and stayed there because before I knew it the rock was already in the house. Just a wee bit slow on the transfer from thought to verbal output. I started to wake up around 10:30am (which would have been 7:30am for me, still on California time) but that's half way through the game and a little late to be surfacing. We still tied the game but next week, watch out, I have to make up for this poor showing.

And now back to work. We are going to a small show on Saturday, March 1, at the Simcoe County Museum ( called Heritage Crafters Sampler Day where they are featuring several different hand crafts with a display of work, a small market with vendors, and a list of classes that the museum will be holding in April. This is part of their education mandate and it will be fun. They want to introduce more people to hand crafting which is wonderful.

Our Guild was introduced to something completely different at our meeting last night - Cat Bhordi's Moebius cast on. Not an easy thing to get on to but Terry did a great job of keeping us at it and we all got a cast on round and several rounds knit. It is an amazing thing and next month we should see some Moebius scarves finished.

Here's my Moebius beginning. Can you see where the fabric crosses on the second photo? And can you see that the circular needle is winding around twice? At the crossing the needle is moving from the inner circle to the outer circle. You cast on in the centre and knit away from the centre at both edges at the same time. Pretty amazing. I am knitting 3 rounds, then wrapping and turning to the inside and knitting 3 more rounds. That way I get the ridges that are showing. It's fun to try out and most of my fellow guild members picked more exciting wool than I did so I hope I can photograph them next month.
- Deb

Monday 25 February 2008

Stitches West

It was fun, fun, fun. Lots of knitters there. Everyone was excited by all of the bootie to be seen. I think someone mentioned 250 vendors. That's a lot of knitting stuff. I walked around at the end of the set-up day and it went on forever. Here is my mountain of Cotton Tweed for kids. This is a pretty arty display for me, I'm outdoing myself.
Oh, no, an armless sample. For shame, for shame. But it actually turned out to be a good teaching tool, whew. There were lots of new knitters at the show and I was able to show them how you work the sleeves for a top down sweater.
And the Take It From The Top ( pullover won hands down for the most worn Cabin Fever sweater at the show. Aren't these three models just beautiful in their sweaters? Thanks Carol, Barbara and Jane for wearing their sweaters in to show us and all beautifully knit too.

And lastly here are 3 Canadians (Buffy Taylor, Lynda and myself) enjoying real California oranges picked that day from Gwen's backyard ( especially for us. And they were more delicious than I can say.


Sunday 24 February 2008

They Have Oranges Here

We are in California and it's February here too. It's been pouring rain most of the weekend. Who knew. There are lots of songs about lovely CA but are there any songs about rain in California?

But they have oranges here. One of the vendors brings us oranges picked from her backyard when we are here. So imagine the scene, it's 4pm and we vendors are kinda pooped. Gwen brings a box of fresh picked oranges over. We are sooo excited and start peeling immediately. Four of us Canadians hovered over a garbage can in the middle of our booths oohing and aahing over these oranges while California knitters are walking by looking at us with a 'what's the big deal, they're just oranges' expression on their faces. We never see an orange which is not picked early and ripened as it travels across both of our countries. They are not the same oranges at all. They were so delicious.

I forgot my patch cord for my camera so no pics. Back home tonight on the redeye. Yes!


Monday 18 February 2008

Can I do it ?

The Stitches West show starts on Thursday and I have not got the last sample knit. Knitters would understand if I display it with the dpn needles sticking out of the sleeves, right? It's going to be close, real close. It would be a lot less stressful if I had managed to get this done before leaving. Deadline knitting, arghhhh!

This little guy is in Emerald Green, one of our new colours of Cotton Tweed ( and our goal was to have a sample in every colour. This Woven Ridges pullover from the Top Down for Toddlers book ( is interesting to do. I love the over and under woven effect. The simpler parts will now be knit on the plane.

I did get my adult top down pullover done and I think I have all the wrinkles out of it. We, Bernice Vollick & Dana Gibbons (my Cabin Fever design team), had a good discussion on sizing up a pattern through 6 sizes, the tricky part of writing a pattern believe me. This pullover is a basic crew neck top down, sized from 38" - 53" finished measurement, and will have the ribbed neck you see here and an option for a rolled neck, cuffs and bottom edge. After I write up the pattern it will go off to the test knitter who will knit another sweater, a second copy of the pattern will go to the pattern checker who will read it with her calculator handy, after the photographer has her way with the sweaters there is one more final edit and it's ready to go up for sale in about a month, 6 weeks, 8 weeks ?? It sort of depends on everyone's schedule but it's on its way. Yes !

California, here we come.


Sunday 17 February 2008


I was at a party on Friday night and between the playing of music and the discussing of instruments I learned that a guitar needs to kept in an environmnet with 45% humidity and that this is difficult to do in our homes in the middle of winter so one must have a humidifier in your guitar case. I figured that what was good for a guitar must be good for me so I washed some socks. Here is my humidifier working very well thank you very much.

That is not a mirage you are seeing behind the stool, my walls are really that orange. And my green floor is shortly to be morphed into that red colour (see experimental painted strip along bottom of wall). Not too shortly though, I am waiting until spring when I can open a door and window. I slogged through painting the walls and the ceiling but I'm really excited about painting the floor. I might make potato stencils and put a second shade of red on top of that colour. It will be conversation piece even if it doesn't quite come off.

- Deb

Friday 15 February 2008


I have about 3" of ribbing to do and then I'm done this sweater. It turned out a little bit big but I'm a loose knitter and that is not unusual for me. I have checked everything and I am going to make some adjustments to the collar but otherwise it seems pretty good. The pattern sizing will go from 38" to 53" finished measurements and it will also include an option for a rolled collar, cuffs and bottom edge. I really like the ribbed mock turtle though.

Thursday 14 February 2008

Georgetown, ON

I did a workshop in the Georgetown Yarn store with 14 knitters plus Diane (owner) and Linda (shop assistant). It was great fun and they went home with part of a tiny teddy bear sized top down sweater.

Diane had just finished her shop sample of the Baby J ( in two colours. It's fabulous.

She also had a sample of the Zippy cardigan ( .

And here is the Fairisle Tote ( done in a lovely colourway and the first fairisle project that Linda, Diane's new shop assistant, had every done. It's gorgeous and beautifully knit.

Happy Valentine's Day. Put a little extra love in your knitting today.


Sunday 10 February 2008

Short Row fun

Ahem, class we are ready to begin: Here is the collar and a couple of short rows worked on my baby cardigan. About 4 short rows across the shoulders and back of neck have been worked. In the next photo you can see a close-up of the turning point, there is a gap on the needle where I turned and worked back leaving a bunch of stitches unworked on the needle. This is what defines the short row, you turn in the middle of the row and go back. On the next short row I will knit 2 sts past that gap. That's how you move down the collar sts and eventually get to the end of the row.

I'm much further along and there are many more rows across the shoulders and the back of the neck. I have crept along the collar stitches and the gap is closer to the buttonbands on the fronts which are designated by the red ring markers. I also have a very nice V forming on the Fronts along the raglan shapeline (where the increasing is done - white markers) which will result in a lovely V neck.
In the close-up of the turning gap, I can see that between the gap and the red marker I have 9 sts which means I have 5 more right side short rows to go since each short row ending there takes up 2 sts each time, and the last time I knit right to the end of the row.

I know, techy stuff. I love it. I love how short rows can do all this terrific stuff. They are what makes the V neck and I can now make them shallow or deep depending on how I work the short rows. Isn't this great fun?

I'm happy with my little baby sweaters and will proceed with the rest of the caridgan now that I have this all sorted.

Don't hold your breath, that means I will add this to the UFO pile and work on it over the next week. I can't believe I just added 3 more sweaters to the pile. They are only small but still.

I did finished one sleeve of my adult top down pullover> I'm giving myself a pat on the back for that one. Still one sleeve to go but there is progress.


Saturday 9 February 2008

V is for

V-necks have taken over my brain. I have this idea and I can't get it out of my head so I'm knitting it out. I want to be able to do a variety of different depths of V-necks.

My system of knitting from the Top Down is to work the collar first and then work the short rows for shaping up against the collar. In order to make the V different depths I am playing with the YO (yarn over) increases at the edge of the front.
The white one has increases every other row (every right side row) which is the normal progress of a top down raglan. The yellow one has YO increases on the Front only which are every 4th row 4 times, and then every other row as normal for the rest of the yoke, making the V deeper because now it's not a 45 degree angle any longer.
This is a bit of nerdy knitting I admit but I find changing the shapes to be endlessly facinating. I'm going to knit one more tomorrow and I'll photograph it as I go so you can see the short rows. They are really easy to work. I wouldn't lie to you.

Friday 8 February 2008

Still a pile of UFOs

Sascha commented that a UFO pile is normal and that her own pile rivals mine. It's certainly normal around here but I hate to see it become too large. No patterns get written that way plus the amount of yarn coming into my home is larger than the amount going back to the shop as samples. I live in a tiny house and this becomes a major problem mostly because I share it with two men, my husband and my son, who, unfortunately, have stuff too. I keep trying to convince them to throw some of their stuff out but I'm not getting very far. This is forcing me to finish something.

I'm not finished but I have made some progress on my top down pullover. I know it's plain but I have to start here to get all the bugs out and make sure it fits. I have most of one sleeve done and have started on the bottom ribbing. I have the weekend ahead to work on it but baby sweaters are calling to me.
I couldn't help myself. This baby sweater just started itself. But I am stopping here with only the yoke done because I'm not sure about the sizing. The neck looks big for a 6 month size. I have to show it to Dana, our baby expert. She has a grandbaby in residence so I can check a live model and her wardrobe for sizing. This may be the 12 month size and I just didn't know it. I'm plan to do some more wee yokes with different V-necks over the weekend.
If I don't surface over the weekend I am under the UFO pile which grows ever larger.

Wednesday 6 February 2008

Sally Melville speaks

Last evening I attended the Aurora Knitting Guild. Marlene wore her Button Up Your Top Down cardigan called A Hint of Lace. She choose electric blue with lime and light blue and it looks great. A lovely colour combination which my camera does not to justice. It was great to see it and I remember Marlene picking the colours a the K-W Knitting show in Sept. so a quick knit too.

The guest speaker at the guild was Sally Melville and it's a treat to hear speak. Her topic was Using Your Stash which was the main theme in her Styles book. She had some wonderful samples to pass around and the knitted samples which were overdyed were terrific.

Here she is talking to the woman who were wearing garments from her various books. Great to see them being worn and loved by the knitters who made them. I love to see that.

A fun evening and some new ideas to think about.

Sunday 3 February 2008

No Finishing Here

There is no excuse for any of this. The startistis bug has got me firmly in it's grip and I can't stop. Someone help me!

This blue Top Down is an adult version of the Tweeny pattern ( . I really liked the neckline on this so after finishing the Tweeny pattern for teenagers and small adults I immediately started one for myself. I did work out the sizes from 39" to 53" and the writing of the pattern should be following but ... it is not at present.

No, I started another pair of socks. I incorporated a pattern from a hat I knit over the Christmas holidays. It swirls but I'm not convinced this is a great pattern for a sock yet since it is not well defined enough. But I love the swirl. So I may look for a better swirling pattern but does anyone want to finish a couple of socks? I'm soooo close to being done. But there they sit in the pile of UFOs.

And another lonely sock. Yes, there are more. This is another Lacey Leg sock ( using Shelridge Farm's wool since I thought the orange I used previously, a gorgeous lace sock, did not photograph well. All that colour was distracting. But this sock is lonely and wants a mate, it's starting to moon around something dreadful. Sock romance is so pitiful. I will have to knit another one soon. I can't stand the sighing from this ever growing pile beside my chair.

This sweater you may remember from before Christmas. It's been side tracked by so many other beginnings and I'm really starting to feel guilty. I missed photographing the second sleeve which has dpns in it and is knit to the elbow. It would take no time at all to finish and strike one more project off of my guilty UFO list. And I'm going to do that, really I am, soon, really soon.
Right after I wind up this green wool which reminds me that spring is coming and that the days are getting longer and ... I really need a green sweater, with navy trim and a large collar and huge buttons and ribbing down the centre front and back. It's all right there in my head. How can I resist that.
I know, I am weak, so weak. And I didn't even show the photograph of the baby sweater I started yesterday. But it's tiny, hardly worth a mention. And I intend to finish it soon.
- Deb