Monday 30 March 2009

New and Old

A new project. Yes. It's been a while since I have had the chance to play around with something new. This one has been peculating in my brain for months and has finally broken the queue and stomped to the front of the line saying "what about me!". So yesterday I cast on and had no trouble at all getting through 1 ball just to see what it was going to look like. Not much. I guess you can't see the rest of the sweater but it's all there every time I look at it. I have it on, I have lost those 20 lbs, and it looks great. Does this help? - big collar with the pattern across the Fronts which will cross, no buttonholes, attached with a stick. I haven't decided whether it will be a full sweater or a shrug. I'll see when I get there. But I can't get carried away with this. I am also knitting the second Pine Cone sock.You're right I did get carried away just for a moment there but I will do some work on this sock. I will.

P.S. Commenters:
Samm, cables are so much fun and this one works out really well. Cables give you 'a big bang for your buck' - I had to explain this expression to a french canadian friend, so for anyone who is confused, a buck is a dollar.
Jed, I don't know if I'm going to knit the second mittlets or not. My queue of projects is getting very restless and all those project ideas have been so patient through all the hat knitting that I don't think I can put them off any longer.
I still have little piles of very hard snow in the yard but grass is trying to turn green around them. Hoorah. Today it snowed and looks lovely. It's covered up all the grayness and looks pristine again.

Saturday 28 March 2009

Little knits

Precious little knitting going on around here or should I say precious 'little knits'. It's time for small projects which can be done quickly.These are all in the same pattern. The Aran weight, on the left, was super fast to knit and is really comfy.So here we are with our three hands. The fingering (sock yarn) mittlet is being worn by my son. The longer Aran and the regular worsted mittlets are adorning my hands. They all fit both of us very nicely. Isn't ribbing great stuff?

Now I can let myself start something new. Hmm, a new sock, a sweater, maybe a shrug? And I did have one more hat idea I wanted to try. I'll have something cast on by Monday. I have all weekend to contemplate all the possibilities.


P.S. Commenters:

I hope you enjoy the Swing Coat, Samm. Sounds like you had a fun road trip. I haven't been to the Needle Emporium yet but I try to visit a couple different stores every spring.

Monday 23 March 2009


Last evening I phoned Mary, my pattern checker, for the latest set of corrections and suggestions for the hat booklet. We had a wonderful time discussing different aspects of the patterns and comparing how we would word different sections of the text. I hung up the phone to discover that we had been talking knitting text for 2 HOURS! Phew. That's a lot of "I said it this way, could I say it any clearer?" and "I need a comma where?" and "we said this here, should we say it the same way over there, or something slightly different?". This morning I went over the changes I had made and the changes Mary suggested and it's looking pretty good. Consistency is always a big issue through a booklet when you have patterns from many different people but we're that much closer now. After that I went for a long walk to clear my head.So I haven't really done any knitting today. But yesterday I ripped out the last row of this mittlet about 4 times. Argh. But now I'm finally happy with the decrease round and have cast off. So thrilled was I that I cast on another mittlet in Shelridge Farm sock wool. And it's working out well too. I'm working it with 2 circular needles which I am not particularly thrilled with. I've been knitting quite a long time and am perfectly happy knitting with double pointed needles so I find the 2 circular needle system a little, uhm, well, . . . messy. What do you do with that other needle, it just flaps around. I do see that this is a great system for newish knitters who may find knitting with 5 double pointed needles much like wrestling with a porcupine. I gave it a good shot but I'm going back to my dpn's. It's great to have a choice isn't it?

This pattern comes in 4 weights, Aran (heavy worsted), Worsted, DK and Fingering (sock) yarn. I'm going to try one more in Aran (my favourite weight, if you were wondering) with my double points and then it will be time for a photo or two. Just in time for spring.


P.S. Commenters:

Hi Jed, I love my mug. You're right, it would be so cool to have dishes with cables on them.

Thanks for your vote for the mittlet, Samm and Priscilla. I'm liking all the wool weights I have done so far. I'm going to end up with 3 single mittlets in 3 different colours and wool weights. Should make interesting wearing.

Friday 20 March 2009


Look what came to roost in my house. Is that the coolest mug ever? A friend of mine was in Florida and it jumped right off the shelf into her hand. We had just been talking about a knitting book which would be all white and how different that would be. It is now my official tea mug.
It's almost spring here, at least the snow banks are dimishing somewhat, so it seems appropriate weather to be test knitting a mittlet. Although mitts are still required outside most days we have had a couple of above freezing days which means I should have a pair of these in my coat pocket. I, of course, knit the right hand first which makes it pretty difficult to photograph with that other hand that doesn't know how to do anything at all. I have one more to knit to finalize this pattern. The weather should be perfect for them by then.

P.S. to Commenters:
The Huggy Bear cross over sweater starts with the collar. The edges of the cross over are worked with the body as you work down. Nothing is picked up afterwards. After you cast off all you have to do is sew the 4 buttons on and you are done. Terrific eh?

Valerie, I'll pass on your comment to Bernice. This would certainly look lovely on a little girl.

Thursday 19 March 2009

Huggy Bear

Bernice Vollick has designed for Cabin Fever for several years. And now, ta da drum roll please, she has released a new pattern to under her own name. Congratulations Bernice.
This little Huggy Bear cardigan is knit from the top down in one piece and is terrific to knit. Wouldn't it look smashing on your special little one? She will have more patterns coming out soon. Retirement has really unleashed a knitting dynamo! If you like knits for babies and toddlers check her out her blog and see what's coming next - .

Tuesday 17 March 2009

Last Hat

It's starting to come together. I have finished all the hats. This is the last one.We are going to photograph the hats on their own so you can see the hats clearly. Our thinking is that the sizes go from Newborn to Large Adult so putting a person in them might lead someone to think a particular hat is only for a child or only for an adult. Then we are going to show families with hats on so you can see the range possible.

I went to a friend's house yesterday to try to ease some of my overused muscles in her hot tub. It was dark and the stars were out, it was beautiful. Still rather sore today though. Did I mention I knit 7 hats over the weekend? No photos, too busy stitchin'. Now the fun begins because it actually starts to look like a booklet. Yes!


Friday 13 March 2009


I'm trying to mix it up here. This is a traditional Nordic style hat in red, burgundy and black.
Which I have redone with a variegated.This is Naturally Aspire, another singles in a great colourway.
As you can see I am in the coloured hat section. Here is another in Cabin Fever Northern Lights chunky . It went up very quickly indeed.
And this is the original teal/green colourway. I've hung this hat up for the moment since it is a beautifully sunny day outside, even though it's -8 degrees, and I think I need a short walk down to the library and possibly a nice cup of tea.-Deb

Wednesday 11 March 2009

brown sheep

I don't have much today. Just a couple more hats and I'm sure you don't need to see any more. I can answer the question posed by Samm and Valerie (from the comments). The wool used in the top right hat from the last post is Brown Sheep's Lanaloft wool in the colour Calamara Seas. The colours are gorgeous and it's lovely to knit with. It's a heavy worsted singles and has lots of body (meaning it holds it shape well). And the link is . All these hats were knit with the Lanaloft wool.

Back to the hats.

Monday 9 March 2009

Here they come

I finished 2 more hats over the weekend. I haven't counted them but that makes quite a few now.Just counted - 21 hats. One large pile ready to hand over to Lynda. This is what I have been waiting for, the pass off in this relay we do to publish a booklet. I get to give all these hats to Lynda and she works with the photographer and sets up the layout of the booklet. Then it all comes back to me for editing but I get a couple of weeks rest. It's best to come back to it with new eyes. I still have about 5 hats to finish up but I feel like the back is broken on this project. One more week I think. I was a little off on my scheduling as usual (I never actually counted how many hats I had to finish, too daunting). But I can knit about one and a half hats a day if I really go for it. Where are those video tapes and audio books I borrowed from the library? Time to settle in.
P.S. The shawl from the last post was for my mom and she was very pleased with it. Did I tell you that I made it as a Christmas present (ah, last year)? A little late for the party as usual. I have to admit I was a little scared of the blocking but it went magnificently and it made the shawl hang beautifully.

Saturday 7 March 2009

Back from Stitches West!

I realise I've not posted for ages. It's been so busy in the shop/warehouse (this is our busy season for getting our stuff out to the stores so Sophy and I have been working away taking and filling orders while Deb's been working on the new hats). Plus I've been working up some new little patterns and kits to sell at the Stitches show and the actual organisation for the show ... well, I've been going home, doing some more knitting then falling into bed.

So, anyway, Karen (SheepStrings Yarn Studio) and I finally went to Stitches in California! It was an amazingly long trip this time. Our original flight was booked many months ago and they cancelled our original flight then changed us to another couple of flights then changed it again, and again, and we finally ended up taking THREE flights to get there and another THREE flights to get home. Mind you, the price was right, but ho boy! they were long travel days.
When Karen and I arrived around midnight we went to check up on my boxes. I wasn't too worried about them as I had checked the tracking numbers before I left and they had all been posted as arrived. Imagine my shock to discover that ONLY ONE BOX WAS THERE (I had shipped 10 boxes, plus 2 boxes from the mill and a couple of other boxes from suppliers). One box from Canada was there plus the boxes from the mill and half a box from another supplier. I was not a happy camper. Not too much could be done about it at 1:00am in the morning so we went to bed. A phone call at 2:00am informed me that "we have found some of your boxes" ... a restless night and then up at 5:00am to hunt down the boxes. Yea! They were all there. Such a relief. Karen and I set out then to get the booth organised and visit and catch up with all the other vendors that we know.

Here's a photo of me and Karen showing off our new T-Shirts. We thought they'd be fun to have printed up for the show. Not sure if you can see clearly but they have "K2, P2" across the body with the writing in the middle saying "RIBBED FOR YOUR PLEASURE". They were a big hit!

That's the booth in the background. We had 20 ft x 10 ft of booth and Karen brought some of her hand-dyed yarn and kits to sell as well. This show has got the greatest selection of hand-dyed and hand-painted yarns anywhere I think. Absolutely beautiful.

We had a great show and we had great neighbours too! Lucy Neatby above (designer extraordinaire) was next to us sharing Buffy & Don's booth (Shelridge Farm). Buffy dyes all her own yarn and it's georgeous. We use a lot of her yarn for our socks. You might notice that Lucy is standing next to "The Sarah". Buffy knit it out of our book, "Button Up Your Top Down" in her yarn and the back view of the cardigan is displayed. Cheryl Oberle was across from us and she has terrific designs and hand-dyed yarns. Linda of Oak Grove was another neighbour so we were surrounded by amazing yarn and good people.

People were laughing at Karen and me for running around in our sandals ... but really it was warm! The native Californians were telling us "it's winter!!" but to us ... it was spring. We got a little rain but mainly very nice weather and we enjoyed it very much. Glad to be home! ... Although I guess I better start thinking about the next show (NENA, which is a trade show in Sturbridge, MA first week of May). We were wanting to have the Hat Booklet ready (or at least a prototype) for this show so once Deb finishes with her work on the hats I'll be working away at the photography and layout and printing ...

Friday 6 March 2009


I've decided that I can't knit 2 hats in a day and still have my normal life. What was I thinking?! But I do have 2 more done.
These are both knit from the top down to the bottom brim. This one is really fun and making the cables is very satisfying. With every crossing you can look at it with admiration at a job well done. Cables are so complete.You may have noticed that I have a thing about orange and this one is fabulous. (I took this pic outside in the dark and I'm surprised it turned out. It still gets dark sooo early.) I love this hat. It's also done from the top (which I cut off in the picture). I can't resist the interwoven affect done with knits and purls.

I did take some time out to work on this.I knit it quite a while ago and got the blocking squares for Christmas. So I was able to block it out properly. What a difference it makes to use blocking wires.
It's one of Evelyn Clark's shawls out of Interweave Knits magazine. I can't remember the name of it. But it has nupps (the little things that look like knots but are really P5tog).I read that someone else did this shawl and put beads in instead of the nupps. I thought that was an excellent idea because the nupps are a little tricky to do. But once you start to anticipate them you can set up the stitches to be nice and loose and then it's easier to do them. I do like the way Evelyn Clark sets up her patterns. They really appeal to me.

Another hat beckons. I'm ready to cast on again. Doing a lot of hats at least gives me lots of chances to begin things (my favourite part).


Wednesday 4 March 2009

2 more

Behind schedule already. Finished this green watch cap this morning which was actually the second hat from yesterday. Knit most of it last night in knitting class and finished the crown this morning. Ya gotta love big wool and little heads.
Cast on for this chunky weight hat (which looks a bit lumpy but that's because I stuffed it with another hat - it's a hat in a hat in a hat) and finished it this evening. Paid all the bills at work, had my drop-in knitting class this afternoon, had a birthday dinner for my daughter and talked to a friend in the evening. I think I'm calling it a day. Tomorrow I'm casting on again. I don't think I can recover the hat I didn't knit today. There is not enough caffeine in the world to keep me up long enough. Ha, ha.
Thanks for all the love toward the purple and orange. I have more colourful hats to come.
Good Luck Elizabeth with your book proposal. Let me know how it goes. I have no idea how that process works but I'll keep my fingers crossed for you, at least when I'm not knitting.

Tuesday 3 March 2009

One More

Finished this one last night around 9:30pm and decided to go to bed. This morning I was up bright and early, cast on the next hat, worked on it for an hour, went curling - lost my game, but got this hat done today. It's 4:30pm. Tonight I'm teaching so I need to cast on a simpler style of hat. Hmm. I think I need a cup of tea first. Still trying to stay on track making 2 hats a day. That may mean a big gauge hat for the evening's knitting. Yes, that sounds about right. OK, gotta go.

Monday 2 March 2009

Deadline - Hats

This week is it. The final last gasping stitches before I cross the finish line for this part of the hat booklet. I'm going to get all the hats knit and all the remaining patterns edited and off to the pattern checker this week. That means I have to knit several hats a day. So far today, drank a coffee, read my book for a little bit (can't start the day without that), it's 12 noon and I have knit one hat.DK weight hat in a Toddler size, standard toque. Cast On for a second hat. Jumping right into a longer project while the enthusiasm is high, a Baby hat in sock wool. Oh yes, should probably eat lunch.
About 3:00 I had to go out to do an errand.
It's a beautiful sunny day but freezing cold! Didn't stay out long.
Back at the knitting. Geez, 2.25mm needles are slow going but the colourway is gorgeous in Ultra Touch sock wool. I've watched 3 hours of Hercule Poirot videos and have a couple more in the queue for tonight. I think I'm just under half way there on this hat. Dinners finished and I'm on the home stretch.