Wednesday 30 April 2008

On the road again ....

Seems like we just finish one show and onto the next. Yes, we're off to Sturbridge, MA, on Friday for the NENA show. This show is for New England stores and is primarily, although not exclusively, for knitting or yarn. One of the big perks of Sturbridge MA is the food! A very pretty town with lots of great restaurants and amazing food. I'm looking forward to that.

It's a nice show and I have to control myself as it's a "cash & carry" trade show which means I can shop inbetween selling. Last year I bought a set of the Denise Needles and was very pleased. I love them for travelling as I invariably start a new project and never have the right needles with me (and yes, that also means I have bought more yarn somewhere along the way). Just as a side note, I have found that, in a pinch, the detachable points do work as double-pointed needles!

I generally do this show on my own but this year Deb is coming (yeah! nice to have company :) and she will be teaching at the Fiber Loft in Harvard, MA, while I'm at the show. The picture is of the Fiber Loft. Deb & I did a trunk show at Reba's store several years ago, on the way to yet another show, and she has an interesting and friendly group of customers. I'm sure they, and Deb, will enjoy the day of classes. Deb won't have time for sight-seeing but Harvard sure is a pretty place.

Tuesday 29 April 2008

Button, button, who has the button?

Which one of you said that doing a book must be fun? Come on which one. If you send me your address I will send out all these sweaters which have all the ends to finish and buttons to sew on. They have to be done for tomorrow so you'll have to sew very, very fast. Anyone? I guess no one can step up to the plate unless they live down the street from me. Oh well, I should look for my T-shirt that says 'I'm in a bad mood anyway, might as well sew on buttons'. Yeah that shirt. Might explain why my husband is giving me a wide berth today.
I mean really, it's only 43 buttons after all. Who's idea was it to do a cardigan booklet anyway? Oh yeah, it was my idea. I always seem to forget about this part. It's like childbirth, you just forget until next time. Next time might be a while down the road after this - wait that has a familiar ring to it, I'm sure I've said this before.

Friday 25 April 2008

Hand-painted or not

I love hand-painted sock wool. It's beautiful. The play of the colours is always so interesting while you knit. But I am finding that it is not always the best for showing certain patterns.

Lynda has dyed some sock wool and I'm using the cornflower blue which is gorgeous.

And as you can see the check pattern is showing up much better on the solid colour. So the other one is going to be ripped out and I'll try another type of pattern for it. Hmmm, something swirling would be nice, or how about a chevron type pattern, where are my stitch dictionaries, I think I left them by my chair...
Gotta go,

Thursday 24 April 2008

Quiet but busy

I have been working.
All the sizes of the Baby V, plus one extra, in different colours and yarns. Now I have approximately 40 buttons to sew on. I'll have to work up to that one. Next week maybe.

In my class, Diane is working ahead to next winter and finished a lace cowl for her daughter. It's to go with a matching hat and mittens which she's already completed. This is based on the Lace Cowl from the Kid's Knitted Hats book ( , knit in chunky yarn over 50 sts. We worked out an excellent modification: 2" before the end she increased stitches (1 stitch in each pattern repeat) which created a flare. It worked really well and sits perfectly on her shoulders. Doesn't it look cozy?

Now it's time to get ready for the Spring Frolic put on by the DKC guild in Toronto ( . I'm teaching on Saturday afternoon and have to get some samples together. I'm going to teach attached I-cording and a wonderful double knitted edging which does away with picking up armbands on tank tops forever. You can work this edge on a vest or tank top or shell where you need a finished armhole and it won't interfer with the stitch pattern in garment. You can even cast off with it. I used it on the circular tank ( and the Lacy Vee shell ( I love it, as you can tell, because it works so well.

I might even see what classes I can get into myself. There is always something else to learn.


Tuesday 22 April 2008

Spring Fling!

I've changed the font and colour of my posting as a couple of people mentioned that they thought it was Deb ... so Deb's in black and I'm (Lynda) blue. Mmmm, wonder if that suggests anything? It's not meant to!

I'm busy getting our stuff ready to show/sell at the Spring Fling on Saturday. It's an annual guild show (Downtown Knit Collective) and we always enjoy having a booth there. We know lots of people which makes it a lot of fun. It's weird but a one day show is almost as much work as a three or four day show. All the preparation that I have to do is pretty much the same, except in this case I don't have to worry about shipping stuff (and customs), just trying to squeeze it into my van.

You can see all the information for the show at . This is a growing show so new stuff and new people to see and meet, and is primarily for knitting. Our kind of show!

Our "little" sister Heather often comes to help out at the show while Deb is off teaching classes and I look forward to spending the day with her. She is not a knitter (we've tried and tried) but she really likes the stuff and is remarkably knowledgeable about it for a non-knitter (she suggests that we kind of go on about it ... us??). I put the "little" in quotes because she is easily the tallest of the three of us. We're kind of in reverse order, oldest = shortest.

I've decided to showcase some of our baby blankets and afghans that are knit in our cotton blend. Plus our felted purses and bags which are always popular. I just did a "big bag" with two strands of our Cottage Colours and it's amazing. I'm so pleased - it has the look of a big Doctor's bag, well, except it's in blue! I put a magnet on it to close it and pretty buttons and will have a hard time leaving it as a sample.

I've been have a great time playing with shrugs this last week or so, mainly because I need one for myself, and have found that knitting in cotton or a cotton blend, even in this terrific heat, has been fine. I moved into a new (to me) townhouse last fall so this is my first summer with my new (tiny) south-facing backyard and it's HOT out there. So cool knitting is essential.

If you're in Toronto and free on Saturday, come down to the show and say "hi".


Saturday 19 April 2008

They are everywhere

We are having a very musical weekend. It started last night with a Orillia Folk Society Friday Folk ( concert featuring MARIA DUNN from Edmonton, Alberta. She writes and sings songs about the labour struggles of Alberta. Extremely interesting and she writes a terrific song. I have now seen her 4 times and will see her again when I can.

I got there early because my husband is the treasurer and it's so beautiful out that I decide to sit outside on the bench and knit. A lovely young woman comes out, pulls out her knitting and sits beside me and begins to work on a beautiful lace stole. She is none other than the fiddle player accompanying Maria Dunn. FIONA COLL plays regularly with Fig for a Kiss ( and is a terrific fiddle player, and knitter of course. And would you belive it, I took my camera out of my knitting bag and left it at home - drat. I didn't expect a knitting photo op to arise.

But this knitting in public does attract other knitters. They are everywhere !

Tonight we are off to a benefit for ArtsCanCircle ( A terrific group which takes musical instruments to isolated native communities. The BADASS (Barrie And District Assoc of Singer Songwriters) group will be playing, including my husband, and lots of our folkie friends. It's going to be a blast. I will be knitting and keeping a watch for more knitters going public.

It's not over yet. Tomorrow is our good friend Don Bray's CD release at Hugh's Room ( in Toronto. This is going to be a fun filled evening. We have a big table right up front. We will be trying very hard not to heckle him but I fear we will fail miserably. Supportive heckling, of course.

Knitting the music in,

Thursday 17 April 2008

An Audible Click

Did you hear it? There was an audible click last week when one of my students "got it". She's finished her very first project ever, the Tiny Top Down .

Let me introduce you to Alana and her son Alexander in his new sweater.
Alana is now knitting an adult version for herself and I can't wait to see what we can do with it. Definitely doing some waist shaping and maybe some decoration on the sleeve cuffs. I expect to see her starting to fiddle with the patterns very, very soon.

Alana is a jeweller and you can see her resin work at . It's really colourful and the photo pendants are really cool. How would a knitting project look on a necklace? Hmmm. My latest sock?

- Deb

Monday 14 April 2008

Deadline Knitting

It's time to 'fess up. When you have a deadline do you work diligently on your project, little by little working towards completion with a happy heart and pure thoughts of only this one project and how wonderful it is going to be when you finish several days ahead of schedule?

Or do you have a sudden and irresistable case of startitis and envision yourself wearing lovely socks next winter which have to made now because the colours are wonderful and it's only a small project, or two, and working on The Project will be more enjoyable for the diversion.

Project # 1 Checkerboard Socks in Shelridge Farm Ultra
Project # 2 Plain Toe Up socks in On Line Supersocke Cotton
Sock needles are so small (2.25mm) that when I go back to The Project using 3.75mm needles I will feel like I am motoring along on giant needles. That's my theory and I'm sticking to it.
Oh, The Project, yes it's knitting all 5 basic Baby V cardigans in different yarns. 0-3month size done, 18 month size in progress. Only 3 more to do.
- Deb

Friday 11 April 2008

Some More Previews

I did get a photo of Lynda's little sweater. She was working on matching socks last night at the Huntsville Knit Night. (And yes one sleeve is shorter than the other and will be fixed!)

Sophy is working in lime green and it looks great so far. I don't think you can see the pattern running down beside the buttonband but it's lovely.

I'm so pleased that everything is moving along. This weekend will be a brief break and then next week the written patterns should be rolling in and I'll have my head down checking and rechecking.
Just a short hello to show we're all still working hard.

Thursday 10 April 2008

Yay! Done!

Yes! I finished my little sweater for the Baby Booklet last night. Still to finish the matching socks of course ...

Sophy and I had a little mini show and tell this morning. Sophy's little sweater is in Lime and has a neat textured panel across the body with inserts up the back and sleeves. She's currently being cranky about the cast off. I expect to hear much about different ways of casting off over the next day or two!

I'd show you a picture of mine, it's done in Denim, Lime and Lemon, with a combination of garter stitch and slip stitch colour work, but Deb's "borrowed" my camera (which I suspect I may never see again :)

Now, itty, bitty, tiny socks to knit ...


You want us to ship ... where?

We'll ship anywhere ... any time!

I got asked recently, when Deb and I were down doing our talk on self-publishing at the Downtown Knit Collective in Toronto, who our customer's were. Well, you know how they say it's a small world? It's neat actually, how big the knitting world is! In the last two weeks we've gotten orders from Canada, the United States (by far the most), Malaysia, New Zealand and the UK! Not bad for a tiny little company in the "near North" of Ontario.


Tuesday 8 April 2008


Today I saw 3 of the Baby Variations in progress. I think this is the most exciting part. They are almost there but not quite.
If you're new here this is what is happening. I have written a basic pattern (overexposed photo in gold below) which I wrote up and sent to the Cabin Fever crew of designers. They have been busy and silent !! about what they have been up to. But today Bernice and I went up to Sheepstrings Wool Store in Huntsville, ON and I got some preview pics.

The gold above is the Basic Cardigan in the 6-9 month size.

Karen from Sheepstrings Wool Store has done a unisex cardigan (preemie size). She's working a redo in orange for a girl. Can't wait to see the glow from that one.

Bernice's fascination with cables continues. Lovely big collar. See for more pictures.

Dana has the traditionalist covered here. Beautiful lace work.

This is my addition which is now almost finished and written up. Well except for taking the bottom ruffle out one more time and starting the garter stitch before the last buttonhole. This is absolutely the last time for the rip!

And what am I doing now? I'm knitting all 5 sizes of the basic cardigan to check the pattern and show what the basic can look like in different yarns. This is in Cara from Needful, cushy and lovely to knit with. I bought 2 other yarns from Karen so you will be able to see the difference the yarn makes in a plain sweater. I'm starting the largest size tonight and working down, keeping the most colourful one to the end, it's my carrot.
0-3 month size is done, check.
18 month size-better get to it.

I'm watching the Emma DVD tonight and I'll be looking for any knitted shawls. I don't think I saw one last time but I can't quite believe it so I'm watching it again.

P.S. Thanks for the camera recommendation Pat (comments). I've borrowed a Panasonic to try for a week. I have also looked at the Fuji a friend has. On the weekend I can try a Canon for a day. Then it's off to the camera store next week.

Sunday 6 April 2008

Big Weekend

It was my chance to do whatever I wanted without having to be anywhere at any time. My husband was away at a songwriters weekend and I had the house to myself. With the snow finally melting (sending those warm spring thoughts must have worked, thanks) it was the time to go to the new knitting stores which opened over the winter which I was not able to get to until now.

I went to Unwind ( in Newmarker, ON. Lovely store with lots of drop-in knitting going on which is wonderful. This is hand-dyed sock wool by a local dyer from Bradford, On, my new destination.

DK weight wool from Indigo Moon, BC ( I'm going to make some house socks to wear in the mornings and evenings. Mmm, comfy. I love the spring green colourway.

Some nice dark sock wool from Dream in color ( A secret project for my husband. He won't even know they're for him.

Sort of a busman's holiday for me but a good time was had by all, me that is. I have a couple of sock ideas running around my head so this will get me started.

Meanwhile back at the ranch I finished a Basic Baby V cardigan in Freedom Spirit. I love the wool. It feels great when I'm knitting with it. But a little weird on the colouration when it's finished. I like it though, it's rather interesting. But I'm going to have to fix up the sleeves aren't I. Sigh. Note to self - repaint that floor soon, real soon.

- Deb

Thursday 3 April 2008

Send some Spring this way

The view outside my side door. Those snow banks are shrinking for sure.

We could still use some help here. Please send some spring thoughts our way. There are no flowers yet and my grass is somewhere under all that sand at the edge of the road.

Diane at Georgetown Yarns in, yes you got it, Georgetown, Ontario sent some photos in the mail of a workshop I gave at her store in February. I see that everyone is very hard at work. Believe it or not, I think they were having fun. And I'm standing there with my arms crossed because I forgot to bring something easy to knit on myself and I never know what to do with my hands. This crew is working on a V-neck cardigan (teddy bear sized) shaped using short rows.

And this group are working on their first Top Down ever. No wonder they are concentrating.

While they work away I'll give you an update on the Baby V booklet which is coming along. I have one more sleeve done. Is this going as slowly for you as it is for me? It seems to take forever to make progress. One more sleeve to go and I'm done. I've also got it all written up, ah, that's where the time has gone. This weekend I'm knitting up the basic versions in many sizes and sending off the patterns to the pattern checker. We're off and there is not turning back now.