Saturday, March 31, 2007

We have a winner

The draw was done this afternoon for the Jordana Paige bag. The winner is Lesley Roberts.
It was a crazy day in the store-one of our busiest Saturdays ever. I opened at 9am for the Toronto crochet guild that was having a retreat in Ancaster. We talked about new trends in yarn, new fibers, etc and then they shopped. People kept streaming in all day after that. Thank goodness for comfortable shoes.

I only got a few rows of ribbing done on Tempest. I am almost at 3". When will it end? I hope to get more accomplished tonight watching the Leafs lose and the NCAA basketball.

My last post was about the value of my blog. I typed in The Yarn Harlot to see what her blog is worth-over one million!!! Imagine if it was really worth something.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

One down and five to go

When I am sitting in the front room of the store I just can't stop looking at Appledore. Everyone who was in the store today stopped to look at it. The cotton is very firm which makes the cables really stand out.

I knit on Tempest last night and today in the store. Do you know how long it takes to do one row of 580 stitches? It took a whole ball to do 1". Only 5" more to go.

I'm off to knitting class-the last one of this session. When I told my class that I wasn't sure about another session before summer they all complained very loudly. I guess we'll have some more get togethers-I don't really teach them anything.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Finishing projects

Last night while tidying I found some old knitting. I started to knit Tempest from Berroco last year but never finished it. All the pieces are knit and I just need to put it together. The body is worked in two pieces and I thought I would do a 3 needle bind off on the back. The pattern said to graft them so I sat and grafted 120 stitches today. I must say that it looks great. Then I picked up 580 stitches to do the band. One row of rib is done and I am going to sit and try to finish this week. I will try and get a picture tomorrow. The colour is chocolate brown (I am using Merino et Soie from Naturally) so it doesn't photograph well.

A special parcel arrived today-my store sample of Appledore. Make sure you take a look at it when you come in the store-it is amazing. I will get a picture of it tomorrow-the colour turned out great.

Monday, March 26, 2007

Rainy Day

It is just gross here this morning. Thunder, lightening and rain-can I go back to bed?

I finished Kilcar yesterday. The collar is done and the front bands are one. I finished the first front band and it was wavy (too many stitches) so I took it out and did it again. They look great now. I started to sew together but the yarn keeps breaking on me. I will get something in the store today.

I picked up the Kimono Jacket to keep my hands busy last night while watching The Amazing Race, Deal or No Deal and The Apprentice. I am almost finished the second front of it.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Long Message today-lots of pictures too!!

Here are a couple of Lattice Bags from my class. Joy's is felted and Stephanie still needs to felt. Karen wasn't at class on Tuesday night-she used hot pink and orange. My bag is still drying-double stranding the yarn and working cables makes a very thick bag. Bag handles arrived from the US yesterday but the ones that I wanted for my bag weren't in the shipment.

Here is the new Ruffles scarf finished. I used 5 stitches (the last one was 4) so the scarf is much shorter. I used 2 balls for both to show the difference in length but if I was going to knit for myself I would use 3 balls and get a nice long scarf

I have finished the second front of Kilcar. I am working on the collar (102 stitches and 20 rows) and might start sewing on the weekend. I used the 3 needle bind off for the shoulders-makes it so much easier.

I have been busy unpacking more boxes.

From Nashua we received some of their new Ecologie Cotton. They don't have shade cards up yet but here is their description of the yarn. Natural Focus ™ Ecologie Cotton is a 100% cotton dyed with natural plant dyes. This soft matte cotton is perfect for any spring style – lace, cable, texture – creating timeless designs.

Another shipment of Jordana Paige bags arrived. We now have the Messenger Bag in Camel/Brown.

More colours of the Rowan Bamboo arrived. I am having a hard time deciding between the orchid (mauve/pink) and lolly (mint green) for myself. This yarn will knit to an Aran tension. Not everyone likes the patterns that Rowan did so you can use anything Aran-I am looking at a Debbie Bliss design called Keira from her new Pure Cotton magazine. Once Kilcar is done I get to start a new project!!!

New colours of Blue Sky Alpacas Alpaca Silk arrived (129, 130, 131, 120). I am not sure why I didn't order them in the beginning-they are great. There is also a new pattern from them for a hoodie with crocheted trim.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Ruffles Revisited

I decided to knit another Ruffles scarf in one of the new multicolours. This is the first ball knit up. By the time I closed the store this afternoon I was almost done ball two.

Here is the felted Lattice Bag in day light. I am going to take pictures of the class bags tonight.

Sunday, March 18, 2007

It's Felted

This is my Lattice Bag drying in the bathtub. The lighting near the bathtub is poor because the ceiling over it is sloped and the lights are at the other end of the room. You get the idea though. I threw it in the washing machine while watching the Amazing Race-it could have used a few less minutes in the machine but I think when it is dry with handles it will look great.

I am almost at the armhole on the second front of Kilcar-I might get there during the Apprentice.

Last night we watched The Departed. After sitting for 2.5 hours I would have liked it to end differently-won't say anymore in case you haven't watched it yet.

Friday, March 16, 2007

It has been a long week

Mom and dad got home from Myrtle late Tuesday night. Wednesday afternoon we went to the funeral home for visitation and then served dinner to the family before the evening visitation. They were very grateful to have a family dinner that they didn't have to prepare or clean up after. The funeral was on Thursday. The hardest part of the funeral was seeing my dad cry-I don't remember seeing this happen before. Mom and dad are supposed to be returning to Myrtle tomorrow morning but we are having weather issues again-more snow. YUK. It was all gone and now it's back.

Wannietta and Amanda worked in the store on Wednesday. Amanda loves to straighten the shelves-another neat freak!! She straightened the Noro Kureyon and Silk Garden, sock yarns and then some of the baby yarns. Thanks Amanda-it looks great. Okay, thanks to Wannietta too, I am sure she helped. Wannietta brought in the silk shrug from Blue Sky Alpacas. I don't have a picture of hers but here is the pattern picture. Everyone who has come in the store says Wannietta's looks better.

More shipments arrived this week. Nashua's Creative Focus Cotton DK arrived in over 20 colours. I spent today clearing shelves and moving yarn around to fit it in. We also received a new sock yarn from OnLine. The colours are great-bright but not garish.

I haven't knit much this week. I did start a new ruffles scarf in one of the new colours. Hopefully I can get some knitting done tonight while watching the college basketball. The NCAA tournament is one of my favorite sporting events.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Roko and Melo

Mom-the floor is still ugly!!!

Here are the angels. Okay, they are both sleeping which makes them good. Roko has decided that he needs to sleep touching Melo. It is also imperative to sleep with toys near by.

I finished the first front of Kilcar and attached it to the back-gotta love the 3 needle bind off. I am about 30 rows up the second front.

It was a very sad weekend in our house. My parents very close friend Rick was diagnosed with cancer over 2 years ago. It looked like he beat it and then a year later it resurfaced again. Again, it looked like he beat it. Two weeks ago he was diagnosed with brain cancer and passed away early Sunday morning. The blessing is that he went quickly-brain cancer can be very ugly but that doesn't make it any easier. Mom and dad are coming home tomorrow and then returning back to Myrtle on Saturday.

I have decided to take part in the Knitter's Frolic which is put on by the Downtown Knit Collective. The show is Saturday, April 28. Take a look at their website-they are offering some great workshops.

Friday, March 09, 2007

Line Spacing Issues

I am a bit obsessive about how my blog looks. It didn't start with my blog-had it in school with my notes. I would write the notes in rough and rewrite when I got home so they looked good. I would only write on one side of a page. I would write on the top page of a stack and then would take the next page from the bottom of the pile-didn't like having indents on my page. When I finished high school my teachers asked for my notes because they were so neat.

Back to my blog-sometimes when a picture is added the line spacing changes. I have gone through Blogger help and there is nothing. I just did a google search and found something that helps. I guess there is a formatting problem when you add a picture-read through the posts and you will find the answer on the January 17 post. I tried it in the post I just did and it works!!!

New Bags

The new bags from Offhand Designs arrived today. These are truly impressive in the finishing and details. The two bags at the back are called Eve. The green and brown are called Zelda. The Zhivago Weekender won't be ready until April. Their website is great because it shows all the colours and if they are currently available. We are able to order any bag and it should be in the store within 2 weeks.

Today was the start of March break in our area. The store was busy with moms and their kids-I did have fun playing with them.

Kristin and her mom were in yesterday with Clarabel-another kid that I had fun with. Kristin's mom bought yarn to knit Appledore-I am jealous. I still haven't picked up the yarn for it yet-trying to be good.

Wannietta and Amanda are coming to work on Wednesday. She has finished my Blue Sky Alpacas shrug-can't wait to see it.

Thursday, March 08, 2007


Lise brought these amazing cookies to class tonight. After eating cookies and spending an hour going through the new magazines the ladies got down to knitting. They were productive after this point with no ripping out which makes for a great class!!

Beth loves doing puzzles but they can be a pain on our kitchen table. Bev found a website where you can do puzzles online. It is great-all the pieces are facing up, in the correct direction. You can choose from large pieces or smaller-whatever you like. Check out JigZone. Unfortunately I have started doing puzzles as well which is cutting into the knitting time.

Progress on Asymmetrical Jacket

I am trying something new today. I am going to write the whole post and then add in picture, hoping this will help with the layout and how it changes from double to single spacing on its own. Being a perfectionist, this really bothers me.

It was a weird day in the store today-some of the phone calls were unbelievable. A lady bought yarn somewhere else and they didn't have the needles that she needed-15mm 80cm circular. When I told here that I didn't have them either (not a big seller) she got really mad-I am a yarn shop and should have them in stock. She wanted me to special order them for her. My response

was that she should go back where she bought the yarn and demand that they special order them for her. Another lady called to ask if we carried cross-stitch. When I told her that we didn't she swore at me.

I have finished the first half of the Asymmetrical Jacket. Here are views from the front, back and side. I am already 20 rows into the second half. The first bit goes fast, not as many stitches on the needle.

I am getting ready for knitting class. Lise is supposed to be bringing shortbread cookies tonight. Actually she had them made for last week but the class was cancelled with the bad weather. Her husband was very happy when I called. Hopefully she made a new batch!!! I have to get the class out the door before 9. This way I can watch CSI and then get Survivor at 11 on a west coast channel.
Beth read somewhere that the people on Survivor this year didn't apply for the show-the producers went out and recruited people that they wanted on the show. We have been watching reruns of the old Survivors and it was much better in the beginning when we had people in all shapes and ages. The new people who are all 'pretty' can get boring.
I forgot to add a title to the post so am editing it. Obviously adding the pictures at the end didn't work. Maybe I have to do them first. Any suggestions?

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

New Yarn and Knitting Progress

Two posts in one day. Are you happy now Mom?

I unpacked boxes and put away yarn this morning. In the box were new colours of On Line Solo-the yarn that I used for the Ruffles Scarf. I mentioned a new yarn from Elsebeth Lavold in this morning's post-guess what-it wasn't in the box. Maybe it will arrive next week.
This afternoon I took some time to work on the Asymmetrical Jacket. I have eight rows left until I can cast off the first half. Unfortunately there are close to 400 stitches on the needle so one row takes forever.
I am missing knitting guild tonight. Because of the snow a couple of weeks ago, the first class of my Lattice Bag was cancelled so I am teaching tonight to get them caught back up.

This one is for Mom

My mom called me from Myrtle Beach last night to tell me that she had already read what was on the blog and to post something new.

Friday night I taught my finishing course. The students are totally amazed the first time they do the mattress stitch. They all came away with many tricks for finishing as well as things to do while knitting that makes sewing together so much easier.

Sarah had Saturday off to move so I was in the store by myself. A former student, Rhona, was having some problems with a vest she is knitting and has made a few visits over the past couple of weeks. She came in Saturday afternoon for some more help and brought me a fresh loaf of bread that she had baked. Thanks Rhona-it was great.

I did accomplish some knitting in the last few days. The second sleeve of Kilcar is finished and I am at the neck shaping on the first front. There is no sense adding a picture because it will just look like the last one that I posted.

I did not get my bag felted. This will get done this week. I went to throw it in the washing machine Sunday afternoon and realized that I hadn't sewn in the ends. That would have made a big mess!!!

Yesterday morning I had my hair cut and then met Bev for lunch. On the way home I stopped at a suppliers in Toronto and picked up the new Elsebeth Lavold books and yarn. This is called Brooke and is knit out of the new yarn called Cotton Frappe. More of the Louisa Harding yarn arrived-sorry Cindy, the colours you ordered weren't in the shipment.

I had better get moving and get ready to open the store. It is unbelievably cold here today-thank goodness I have lots of sweaters to choose from.

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Message from "Sam"

My friend "Sam" sent me this email to clarify a few things. I decided that you all needed to read it because it is priceless.

Julie darling-- "Sam" here. A few more details on the thong story-- first, "the only yarn I had in the house"-- did I laugh! Just about the only yarn I DON'T have in the house (yet) is yak. Chose the Nashua Creative Focus Worsted because it matched gauge and (most importantly) was handy; "Thumper" (computer genius) wanted to get going right away. It's the soft medium heather grey and the resulting item would look splendid on an Inuit woman. And strangely, wasn't really uncomfortable in the dainty place, at least for the five seconds I wore it. Perhaps we will send it to a Goodwill in Yellowknife.
The Super 10 (Imperial Teal colour for enquiring minds) thong came out a little bigger: Thumper's new knitterly confidence caused him to relax a bit. I'm going to throw it in the dryer to smallen it. Neither have been properly blocked but I'll send along photos when they have been. Would recommend a slightly finer gauge cotton for anyone contemplating doing this, knit on a needle big enough to bring it up to 5 st./in.
While he was working on Thong #2, Thumper found a cotton knitted water bottle holder about 9" long (with shoulder strap) that someone had given me years ago. "You made me one too!" he exclaimed. The resulting mental picture was too Borat to dwell on for long.
Important: Thumper discovered a small error in the IK lace pattern. He corrected it for the Super 10 version. If the errata has not already appeared on the IK site, he can email you a correction.
He has since moved on to Karen Baumer's Multidirectional Knitted Scarf in Handmaiden's Ottawa, and after that plans to explore the Barbara Walker mosaic patterns. Our two children now think that fathers knitting underwear for their mothers is just a natural part of life, like pizza Thursdays and snow in winter. Cool.
Love, "Sam"

Visiting an old friend

I pulled out Kilcar over the weekend and started the second sleeve. A customer just finished it and told me that it is amazing. She said I needed it done and hanging in the store. I am going to work on this as my upstairs knitting and work on the Asymmetrical jacket in the store. One half of the jacket is almost done-should be finished tomorrow. Maybe I can get them both done before summer gets here. LOL!!!

I mentioned all the yarns and books that came in on Monday. After going through them all it is really tough deciding which to make. You will all be proud of me-I haven't started anything yet. I am going to finish what is on the needles-okay not everything because that will never happen.

I am sending my knitter Ann the yarn to knit Appledore. I want to knit this for myself but she can get a sample done for the store much quicker. I chose the colour Sail Cloth because it will look good on Bev when she wears this at the Gone Stitchin' Weekend. I know that you have seen this picture before but I love it so much that I like to keep looking at it. If Wannietta would hurry up with her Blue Sky Alpacas shrug then she could have some fun new yarn as well!!!

I have a funny story for you. My friend, Sam (not her real name but I promised not to embarrass her) has a husband who is a computer genius and wanted to learn how to knit. Sam taught him and occasionally he likes to have a go at something. When he saw the lingerie in the new Interweave he decided to knit her a thong. The only yarn she had in the house was Nashua's Creative Focus Worsted-a blend of wool and alpaca. Can you imagine how comfortable that would be? When he got it done he made her 'drop trou' and try it on. Because he was so impressed with himself he wanted to do another so this one is in Super 10 cotton.

This week is busy with classes. Last night was the second week of the Lattice Bag. I did not get mine felted on the weekend-I promise to do it this weekend. My class has finished the bottom of their bags and got the stitches picked up to work the body last night. Now they are on their way with the cables.

Tonight was my 'advanced' class. It should really be called the class I can't get rid of. Some of them have been with me for 15 years. They spent the first hour going through the new books. I think a few of them got some knitting accomplished-mostly just talking.

Tomorrow's class has been with me for about 3 years. Again, the first hour will be spent going through books and gossiping. Kelley brought cookies and milk last week and Lise has promised to make short breads this week. Can't beat a class like this.

Friday night I am teaching a finishing class. My biggest pet peeve is someone who knits a beautiful sweater and then they do a terrible job sewing it together.

I just looked at the clock and it is 1:20-time for bed!!!