Monday, November 28, 2005

One of a Kind Craft Show

Today was a day out with Mom in Toronto at the One of a Kind Craft Show. Arrived at 11am just as the doors were opening. There had to be 300 people in line to buy tickets. Luckily I bought them on line before we went. The next line was at least 200 people who already had their tickets. Because Mom needs her walker I begged them to let us in instead of walking to the end of the long line and then walking all the way back. I was very good about spending today. Many of the vendors were the same as last year with the same things. Did get a leather carpet bag for carrying on the airplane. Great teal colour with brown accents. I do have a leather problem. Bought sheepskin slippers for Beth, Mom and me. Also bought Mom some hand painted wine glasses for the house in Myrtle Beach. There were some neat knit items - great ideas. One booth had chunky mittens with lots of long fringes on the cuffs. If anyone saw the coupon for this year they were on the front. A young woman made great scarves from yarn but they weren't knit. She took heavy plastic wire and tied fringes along it making a great boa. The yarn was Fleece Artist Wool Slub but Colinette Point 5 would work as well.

Knitting report-I have finished the body of my Swing Coat in Equinox Stripe. Just need to sew the shoulder seams and then the sleeves are knit from the top down. Small pickup around the neck and then done. I hope to be wearing it by the weekend.

Thursday, November 24, 2005

Which knitting needles to buy?

I started a new project today-just had to. The yarn is called Equinox Stripe from Nashua. It is 73% wool and 27% acrylic. The pattern is called Swing Coat from the Play magazine. 12mm needles so it should go quickly.

Samantha asked me about Denise Interchangeable needles. I have only knit a few stitches on
them and didn't like them. I am not a fan of bendable needles and these are a softer plastic. There are many advantages to them. You have all sizes readily available and can make them any length. One disadvantage is that they are in US sizing which doesn't always translate correctly into metric sizing.

Here are the needles that I have knit on and really like.

Addi Turbos-amazing to use. The only sizes I don't like are 12mm and larger-the tubing doesn't allow the stitches to slide easily.

Pony Pearls-I use the short straights when knitting scarves. Don't need to have long needles and these work just fine.

Brittany Birch-great double points. I also use larger sizes of the pairs for scarves.

Lakewood Birch-very sharp points. These are relatively new to the market so many of you probably haven't heard of them. Currently they are available in double points and straights. I interchange these with my Brittanys.

Clover Circular-I have only knit with the 8mm circular. No complaints but would rather use Addis.

Crystal Palace Circular-I starting using these for the first time today-12mm circular. I love them. The yarn just slides along, no catching on the joins.

Off to teach knitting class. Not sure how many are going to show up. It is cold and windy with snow mixed in. A night for staying inside.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Update and a scarf pattern

Here is a quick run down of my last few days. Melo is doing very well. The incision is healing and he doesn't have to wear his cone. Makes for a very happy puppy.

Friday night was dinner and drinks with friends. We met playing baseball when we were 12 and have been friends ever since. There was lots of laughter-we went to a very upscale restaurant and were getting dirty looks from all around. Luckily another friend owns the restaurant so we got to stay.

Saturday was busy in the store-thank goodness Sarah is back. Saturday night was spent relaxing watching tv, playing poker and working on the mist scarf. Do you have any idea how long it takes to cast off 675 stitches?

Sunday was Nascar and football. Worked on my Vision Coat-1/2 way through the second sleeve. My dad was being picked up at 2:30 am on Monday for his trip to Honduras. Beth decided that we should call him at 2 to say goodbye. Instead of going to sleep her bright idea was to watch a movie-The Posiedon Adventure (a remake of the original). This could possibly be the worst movie ever made. What a waste of 3 hours. It was so unbelievable!! We did get to talk with dad before he left so I guess it was worth it.

Monday was spent running around to the post office and banks. A nap was necessary in the afternoon before teaching. Class was relatively well behaved-no bad words. There wasn't nearly as much ripping out as there usually is which could have helped. Two ladies are working on complex cabled patterns so some nights are knit 2 rows and then rip out 3. Another lady is working on a sleeveless top in ribbon that is a k2tog, yo pattern. Everything was going fine until we got to the armhole shaping. I think she finally understands the pattern which makes it much easier. If she makes a mistake and has to rip out she gets anxious because the ribbon is so slippery that stitches drop down a number of rows.

Today was spent working on the newsletter. 200 are in the mail. I had to quit because my little gizmo to wet the envelopes to close them broke. There is no way that I am going to start licking 500 envelopes.
Taught the first night of a 2 night class on my felted Christmas stocking. The ladies were very afraid of double pointed needles at the start of the class but after one hour they all decided to work on the double points instead of a circular. Next Tuesday they will learn how to turn the heel-very scary for many until they try it. We should have a whole new group of sock knitters after this.

Here is the pattern for the scarf. Have fun!!!

You need:
3 balls Naturally Mist

8mm circular needles 80cm or longer

Work with 2 strands of yarn. Cast on 150 stitches. Work back and forth on stitches.
Row 1: Knit
Row 2: Purl
Row 3: Knit into front and back of every stitch across the row. 300 stitches
Row 4: Purl
Row 5: Knit
Row 6: Purl
Row 7: (K1, knit into front and back of next stitch) repeat across the row. 450 stitches

Row 8: Purl
Row 9: (K1, knit into front and back of next stitch) repeat across the row. 675 stitches
Row 10: Purl
Row 11: Knit
Row 12: Purl
Row 13: Cast off.
NOTE: You don’t have to count your stitches. If you are out one or two stitches it won’t matter.

Friday, November 18, 2005

Melo is home

Melo made it through his procedure just fine. The only problem is that he wants to lick the incision so he has to wear a cone on his head for the next couple of days. Not a happy dog. Actually Jekyll and Hyde is the best description. With the cone on he cries and cries. Take it off and happy Melo who likes to play. We got snow here today and he loves running and playing in it. He went to the vets with grass in the backyard and came home to snow. A little confusing. Here are pictures of happy Melo and Beth playing in the living room. He won't sit for a picture with the cone on.

Dad is leaving for Honduras on Monday morning. We now have to keep Mom busy for the next 2 weeks. I am going to take her to the One of a Kind Craft Show in Toronto. Always find amazing things and having Mom along means that she pays. For something like this she needs to take her walker. Luckily she has a wheelchair parking pass meaning we get to park right at the front door. Easy to bring parcels out during the day. Last year we could barely get everything in my SUV.

Just finished my newsletter-just a little late. Usually I mail this out in September. Where does the time go? This means that I get to stuff 800 envelopes over the weekend-Wannietta-why do you live so far away? This was a great job for her kids!!

Not much knitting to report. More scarves. I have knit over 20 of the same scarf in different colours-need to find something new. I did pull out an old Rowan sweater to work on-Jack from The Tweed Collection. The chart is wrong but I am working from the picture. It is obvious that the person who knit the sweater did not write the chart. I have been in a cable mood and the sweater has been calling my name. The yarn is amazing-Chunky Tweed. I am on my 5th ball and so far not one knot. Can't believe that Rowan discontinued it. The bright picture is the actual colour of the yarn but the dark picture shows the pattern better.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Dress Vases Warm for Fall

At dinner with my parents the other night my mom brought me a newspaper article-Hamilton Spectator on Saturday November 12. I found the article on the internet (The Montreal Gazette). It was written by a lady named Madeleine Langlois who does decorating ideas for newspapers as well as for Home Depot.

This particular article was called
Dress Vases Warm for Fall

The article tells you how to make a crochet cover to dress up a vase. I am sure that you could also knit this. All you need is some left over novelty yarns and a little imagination. You can use up leftovers from scarves and make gifts for Christmas.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

An Uneventful Tuesday

What a yucky day-cold and rainy. The perfect day for sitting in front of the tv and knitting. Someone said that we might get some snow tomorrow.

Many of you have been coming to my blog to see the Rowan pictures. They aren't here but I do have the posters in the store now. If you live in Southern Ontario, stop by and I can show them to you.

I must apologize to my Thursday night knitting class. I am always talking about them and their behaviour in class. My Monday night class now ranks with you. Last Monday out of the blue someone told a joke and the punch line dropped the 'F' bomb. That started things rolling. I was in such shock. I have tried very hard for 3 years to keep that class clean and now I learn that they all know the word and use it!! I thought that it was a one night thing until last night's class and they started again.

We scheduled Melo for surgery on Thursday-he is being fixed. Unfortunately we signed an agreement with the breeder that we would do this. He is such an amazing dog that I think he would make good puppies but no such luck. He even has to stay overnight at the vets. Our first night with out him.

The other dilemma in my life right now is scheduling dinner with a group of friends before Christmas. There is 5 families trying to get together. We have sent at least 15 emails back and forth trying to find one night that works for everyone. What did we do before email? I can't think about the hours that would have been spent on the phone.

Not much knitting to report.
I am working on yet another scarf sample for the store. The colours knit up are the ones that sell (I have been out car shopping so I really need to sell more yarn!!!)
I did get one sleeve finished on my Vision Coat. The back and one sleeve are finished. One front is finished to the neck shaping and the other sleeve is cast on.

Saturday, November 12, 2005

Samantha and Wannietta meet

It was a crazy in the store today. Sarah (who works on Saturdays) was away in Montreal for the weekend so I was by myself. I keep hearing that the scarf craze is over-wrong. We sold yarn today for many, many scarves. The difference between this year and last is the yarn being used. Last year was 'Funny' and 'Fizz' - thick fluffy yarns. This year is totally different. Knitters are choosing finer yarns and knitting 2 or 3 strands together, many adding metallics. The other trend is exotic fibers-alpaca, silk, cashmere and angora.

There were also a few guest appearances today. Samantha was in with a knitting emergency. She is knitting a shawl for her mom and made a big, big mistake-check out her story-if I tried I think I could have had her in tears. The store was so busy that she had to take a seat for a bit. Luckily Wannietta came to the rescue. (The two had never met but have been reading eachothers blogs for the past month.) She arrived to pick up yarn and sat down to help Samantha as well as customers.

Beth and I took my parents out for dinner tonight. They are celebrated their 43rd wedding anniversary this week. It's hard to believe that they have been married this long. We are happy to have grown up in a home with parents who love eachother. Well, we think they do. For many years we have been threatening them that if they think about divorcing we would bankrupt both of them!! There is no way that they could afford a divorce.

My dad is leaving for Honduras next week. Through our church he is going on a 2 week mission to help build a school. Beth went with him last year but couldn't get away from work again. He wanted me to go. NOT A CHANCE. There is no way that I can live for 2 weeks out of a back pack. No running water. No toilets. No washing machine. No curling iron. You even have to bring your own toilet paper. Anyone who knows me will be laughing at the thought of me on that trip. I can't go away for the weekend without a suitcase.

Not much knitting to report. I am going to sit in front of the tv for a bit, watch Hockey Night in Canada and finish the 2 shawls I am working on. Pictures to follow on Monday.

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Spring Rowan

At the request of Rowan yarns I have removed pictures of the spring Rowan until the magazine launch on February 1.

Monday, November 07, 2005

I am a knitting machine!!!

A lot of knitting was accomplished over the weekend. Leaf game Saturday night. Football and Nascar on Sunday. I shouldn't forget Party Poker-not a bad weekend. Lost on Saturday and then won a mini-tournament on Sunday. Ended up almost even.

My blog has been a good motivator for me. I want to get projects done to show off. This means actually completing them and for a notorious starter of things this can be torture.

I knit another Felted Christmas stocking in earth tones. It was an easy way to show another Kureyon colourway. This also let me knit from the pattern that I wrote and I found a few errors. My students will be laughing at this because I profess to never make a mistake!

I mentioned an Ann Norling wrap (Ann Norling pattern #63-7 different ponchos and wraps) that I was knitting-got it finished as well. I am going to show you what the picture looks like on the pattern and then mine finished. The back is a triangle and the front is the triangle split down the middle. I have a hard time wearing wraps like this due to my broad shoulders-the one side that you throw over your shoulder doesn't make it over mine. I adjusted for this by making one side longer. I was smart enough to make the right side longer-being right handed this leaves my hand free for writing, etc. The yarn in the original was Musique from Crystal Palace. I used Overture from SR Kertzer on 6.5mm needles (the ones that I steped on). It is mohair combined with a fine metallic railroad ribbon. The close up of the knitting is closer to the real colour of the garment. I should learn that taking pictures at night don't work.

Then I picked up one of my many UFOs. It is from the new RYC collection-book 6 Classic Winter. The yarn is Soft Tweed (56 wool, 20 viscose, 14 polyamide and 10 silk). Knitting on 8mm needles in garter stitch makes me very happy.

Rowan - Summer 2006

Here is the poster for the spring Rowan magazine #39. This won't be showing up on the Rowan website until the spring. Click on the picture (and then click on it again) to get an enlarged view. The magazine uses Cotton Glace, Denim, Summer Tweed, Kid Silk Haze, Calmer, Handknit Cotton, All Seasons and Cotton Rope. There are new colours in every yarn quality.

I was very critical of Rowan #38-Rowan was sick of hearing from me. In my opinion they took the magazine in a bad direction. The people currently knitting Rowan do not want funky sweaters. They want a garment that is wearable for the next 10 years. Most of the young women who want funky don't have the money to knit with Rowan. The photography was also done in poor judgement. The pictures were beautiful but it was hard to see what the garments looked like. I believe that knitters want the best view of the garment to see what their's will look like. I must say that this magazine is vastly improved.

There are 2 new yarns which are featured in their own magazines.
Holiday (56 cotton, 37 viscose, 7 polyester) has 42m on a ball. It is super thick. I wasn't able to borrow the poster for this magazine.

Glimmer Print (50 cotton, 50 acrylic) has 40m on a ball. It is also a super thick cotton with gold pieces overlaid on the yarn. My description doesn't do the yarn justice. The magazine is called A Midas Touch. There are 13 great designs in the new magazine by Marie Wallin (who I believe is the new in house designer for Rowan taking over for Kim Hargreaves and Louisa Harding)

RYC-a new division of Rowan whose website I just found, is introducing a new yarn called Natural Aran Silk. Here is a sampling of these as well.

Friday, November 04, 2005

Debbie Bliss Pure Silk magazine

Since my last post I played a few games on Party Poker. Very addicting! Our account goes up and down very quickly. I was on a lucky streak at the beginning of the week. (Sigh-it didn't last long) I was adamant that I didn't want it on our computer but I am the one who plays the most. The good thing about playing poker online is that you can knit while doing it. Many of my students comment that I am getting a lot of knitting done-sit in front of the computer for a few hours playing poker and you can get alot accomplished.

While playing I was thinking about how to convert the pictures so that I could download them. Maybe I should have being paying more attention to the game-lost 3 in a row. I have to be positive-I figured out to do it. Here is a few of the designs. The logic behind the pictures I chose was to show the different colours.

Rowan and Debbie Bliss spring preview

Today was like Christmas in the store. My sales rep was in showing new yarns for spring. Hard to think about it when it is so warm out (18 C in Southern Ontario today.)

Rowan looks great for the spring. The fall disappointed me but things are looking up. There will be two new yarns and a magazine for each. There are new colours of the existing yarns that will be featured in Magazine 40. RYC has 2 new yarns and 3 new magazines. I will have yarn details and hopefully pictures early next week.

Debbie Bliss is introducing a new yarn called Pure Silk. The colours were great. No tension was shown on the ball but it looked somewhere between a 4ply and DK. There will be a whole magazine for this yarn - I have pictures but need to figure out how to get onto the blog. Her other yarn for spring will be Cashmerino DK. New colours of Cotton Angora, Cathay and Cotton Cashmere will be a separate magazine.

Not much knitting to report-too busy trying how to download pictures. I hate it when the computer beats me.

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Melo goes to knitting class

The ladies in class haven't met Melo yet so he came to class.
I keep a toy in the store for him-a stuffed sheep. He has the same toy at home that is a pig. Unfortunately the sheep oinks like his pig. (This really confuses the children who play with it.) When he runs into the store he goes directly for it. Nothing upsets him more than a basket of yarn in the way so he can't get to it. He has only touched one ball of yarn since we got him-Debbie Bliss Cotton Angora. Pretty good for a six month old puppy. His name describes him perfectly. We have him on a raw food diet-raw meat, fruits, vegetable and cheese. The only treat he gets are Timbits. If you don't live in Canada with a Tim Horton's, Timbits are the donut holes. Don't show up to our house with a brown cup or brown bag unless there is a Timbit for him.

I finished my Tapestry shawl during the day. The picture doesn't do it justice. There are 5 colours used. It is knit lengthwise, leaving tails at the beginning and end of every row to create the fringe. Two rows are knit in each colour. The yarn has long fringes of silver metallic thread hanging from it.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

I've been tagged!!

Samantha tagged me for a knitting meme. I'm going to tag Wannietta-this should be interesting.

What is your all time favourite yarn to knit with?

This is a hard question for me to answer. I have been lucky enough to knit with almost everything from Rowan-there isn't one that I didn't like. I enjoy the Noro yarns. You want to keep knitting to see what the next colour will be. Scarves have let me knit with many of the fancy yarns on the market.

Your favourite needles?
Addi turbo needles hands down.

The worst thing you've ever knit?
A fairisle sweater (and I love fairisle)-the pattern was terrible and I would never recommend the yarn (don't want to mention the company)

Your most favourite knit pattern? (maybe you don't like wearing it...but it was the most fun to knit)
Almost impossible for me to answer. I have knit so many great patterns during my 18 years in the store. I just finished Skeppstra by Cornelia Tuttle-Hamilton in Noro Transitions which I would knit again. The most memorable would be a Kaffe Fassett full length coat-over 150 colours in it.

Most valuable knitting technique?
Mattress stitch for seaming - I hate seeing a finished sweater with ugly seams.

Best knit book or magazine?
The most influential in my knitting career is Glorious Knitting by Kaffe Fassett.

Your favourite knit-a-long?
Haven't joined one yet.

Your favourite knitblogs?
See the list on the right.

Your favourite knitwear designer?
I love Kim Hargreaves, Debbie Bliss and Annabel Fox. Debbie has been a friend of mine for many years and I have her teach in my store whenever possible. I will even take a bit of credit for her starting her own yarn company. Bev and I had pressured her for many years and she finally took the plunge. Annabel and I were friends while she was in the knitting industry-she even stayed at my house for a weekend.

The knit item you wear the most? (how about a picture of it!)
Another tough one. I am in a handknit sweater almost every day. I love my Button Jacket by Annabel Fox. I have an entrelac jacket by Debbie Bliss in Noro Kureyon but I didn't knit it.

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

I flat spotted my Addi

I would like to say that I did it while knitting really, really fast but I actually stepped on the needle. My knitting fell and on the floor and I wasn't paying any attention to where I was walking. (My parents call me a bull in a china shop so this isn't surprising) It might help if I wasn't wearing my 'Shit kickers' or cowboy boots to everyone else. Luckily I am using the needle for a shawl so tenison isn't important but I don't think I want to use the needle for anything else. People suggested that I send it back because they are guaranteed, unfortunately that only works if the joins break or the polish wears off. The picture isn't great-with a flash it is too bright and with no flash it is too dark. Those are my bright red finger nails. Everyone asks 'how do you knit with those?' I have had them for so long that it is second nature. If one breaks my world ends-it is hard to do anything. They have been great for the golf score as well-my handicap has dropped since I have had them.

Tonight our guild starting on their entrelac knapsacks. They started out by learning a provisional cast on. Then they worked the base from the outside in. I think it is easier to decrease in the round than increase. Next meeting we will be picking up the live stitches and starting to work up. Here is a picture of our cute meeting room. Fireplace and free coffee-can't go wrong.

Rhonda is the wearing the pink cabled sweater at the bottom of the first picture.

Samantha didn't make it into the picture-sorry. I learned the Samantha has 'tagged' me. Being new to blogging I had no idea what she was talking about but now I understand. She has a list of questions for me to answer and post. I have to think about these questions and will post the answers tomorrow.

What is your all time favourite yarn to knit with?

Your favourite needles?

The worst thing you've ever knit?

Your most favourite knit pattern? (maybe you don't like wearing it...but it was the most fun to knit)

Most valuable knitting technique?

Best knit book or magazine?

Your favourite knit-a-long?

Your favourite knitblogs?

Your favourite knitwear designer?

The knit item you wear the most? (how about a picture of it!)