Sunday, October 31, 2010

Aran Knitting

I did work on the blog yesterday in the store but not a post.  At the top of this page you will see the heading Pages to Visit and then Classes.  There are going to be a few classes offered in November.  Keep checking back for more.

There is absolutely no food in my house unless you count the Halloween candy and the amazing Candy Apples that Joyce brought me.  Last night we took Lynda and Jessie out for dinner.  I didn't have anything to write and I hoped if I didn't write last night then I would have something great to write about today.

Inspirational blog information still hasn't hit me.  A bit of knitting was done on Dryad while watching football.  It looks like it did in my last picture-just a bit longer.

Wait.  I do remember something.  We received an exciting shipment of books on Friday-Alice Starmore's Aran Knitting: New and Expanded Edition.  This is an amazing book. The original was extremely popular and copies have been on eBay for as high as $400US. What a great gift for a knitting friend.

I have always wanted this sweater!!

It is a busy evening.  Baseball, football and The Amazing Race. Stay warm. I will not put the furnace on yet so it is a bit chilly (okay, very chilly) in our house.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

The holidays are coming

I am very tired today.  It was a long TV night last night.  First up was Grey's Anatomy.  We are totally caught up and watching the episodes as they happen.  What is going on?  The show has really gone down hill.  Either give us the old Christina back or get rid of her.  Then came The Apprentice. There are some really annoying people on this time.  Beth wasn't feeling well yesterday morning so she stayed home from work and napped.  That meant she wasn't ready for bed so we decided to try an episode of the Y&R.  That one episode turned into four.  There was a lot of fast forwarding-Beth wanted to find out what was happening with Abby and Victor.  Seriously good TV. Now Victoria and Abby are suing Victor.  $3 billion.  That is right.  With a B not an M.

Did you know that the Holiday Gifts issue is not available in book stores? Our copies arrived today.
More than 60 projects cover everyone on your knitted gift list: We’ve got knits with bright pops of color (“Many Hued”), knits for cozy spaces (“Handmade Home”), lovely vintage lace (“The Lacemaker”), super-warm accessories (“Cozy 101”), fast knits in big yarns (“The Elements of Knitting”), mix-and-match projects to customize (“Metamorphoknit”), pretty toys (“Child’s Play”), and clever takes on classics (“Free-form Warm,”). Interweave Knits Holiday Gifts is full of inspiration for the most wonderful time of year. 
Ms. Canada Post also brought a box from Jordana Paige.  NICE!!  Here is a picture from Jordana's website.  I wanted to show how big the bag is.  Very deep so that your patterns and needles can fit.  I am torn between Deep Taupe and Teal Blue.

A bit of bad news.  The Katia scarf yarns did not arrive in Toronto today.  They are now expected in Montreal over the weekend and won't be in Toronto until mid week.

I am not sure if you know that a monster lives in the store-Iris the Gourmet Monster.  This amazing kit is from Lorna's Laces and is knit in Revelation on big needles.

Kits arrived this week for bright Iris.  The kits includes felt to make her mouth and eyes.

It is now Saturday morning and I logged in to start todays post when I see that I forgot to hit Publish last night.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Thank you Knitter's

Knitter's Magazine is now available in print and digital format.  I am so happy.  I don't have a lot of time to sit and read knitting magazines but now I can download them and read them while travelling.

After reading this last night I immediately downloaded the magazine onto my iPad.  Oh yeah, the great people at XRX are giving us the first issue for free.

Read a letter from the CEO of XRX

The print is very clear on my iPad and the pictures look great.  I have picked out something that I need and then a few very cool garments. When you get your issue take a look at Silver Plumes. It is knit in Stuff from Prism.  I think it might be something nice to have to wear at TNNA in January.

I started on my Chickadee Cowl yesterday afternoon. I could hear Wannietta yelling to use Freesia so I went with her. The Merino 12 is a dream to knit with. The cowl was sitting on the kitchen counter last night and Beth picked it up. She commented on how soft the yarn was-she thought it would be harsher because the yarn is so thick.

Beth wasn't feeling well today so I offered to go grocery shopping after work. Whatever she wanted for dinner I was willing to get.  Of course she wanted something that isn't available at the grocery store near my house.  It is only available at the grocery store on the other side of town.  Me being a good sister made the drive and now she is a bit happier.

After dinner I finished and paid my HST.  The government will be happy with me.

It is so cold in our house (there is no way the heat is going on yet) that we have the fireplace on.  It makes me want to go to sleep.  I think I will go upstairs and snuggle up in front of the TV.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Pretty Yarn

In this afternoons post I mentioned that there was lots to say today. I could save this for tomorrow or later this week but the yarn is so pretty that I wanted to share with you right away.  There are also more surprises for later this week.

I have a love for Prism yarns and especially for one of the new yarns for fall. If you aren't familiar with Prism here is some information from their website
Welcome to Prism! Since 1984 we have endeavored to bring the ultimate knitting experience to discerning knitters. We want you to love every stitch that you make, and we strive to deliver the level of quality, ingenuity and delightful surprises that will keep you knitting. 
Creative Director and founder Laura Militzer Bryant trained as a fine artist in color and textiles and is a life-long knitter. She brings her passion to creating two seasons of new yarns,colors and designs for knitters everywhere, every year.
Laura is definitely one of the top dyers in North America.  Her colour combinations are amazing!!

We've taken our divine fine merino Lace Wool and combined twelve plies to make a fabulous chunky wool with a silky hand and great yardage for the weight. Merino 12 takes dye gloriously, a shade or two lighter in general than other wools as you can see from the samples below. Stitch definition is glorious.
Merino 12
100% Merino Wool
approximately 107m (120yards) on a 100 gram skein
14 stitches = 4" on 8mm needles

Merino 12 Vest
The stitch is a Half Linen Stitch-the right side row is worked in Linen Stitch and then you purl back.  It works great in the hand dyed yarn.






The yarn is packed to ship to Ann so that she can knit the vest for the store. Of course I need to knit with the yarn as well to make sure it is good enough to sell in the store.  :)

While searching on Ravelry I came across the Chickadee Cowl and will be casting that on very soon.  That is once I can decide which colour I want. I am leaning towards Woodland but there is something about Freesia that is calling my name.

Purl Diving

Somedays I struggle to find things to write about and then I have enough for three posts.  Today I am going to talk about some exciting news.  We are going to be carrying Purl Diving patterns from Katherine Matthews.  Last week while in Woodstock Karen from Shall We Knit suggested that I look at them because they sell very well in her store.  My patterns will be arriving sometime on Saturday.

Katherine has given me permission to use her copyrighted photos.  I am also giving you Katherine's descriptions-she can write about the patterns much better than I can.  :)

Calsada knit in fingering weight yarn. I can't wait to see this knit in Prism Saki. Or Tosh Sock. Or Tanis Sock.
Garter stitch rectangles alternate with lace in this feminine shoulder scarf, giving it the look of paving stones, or calsada as they are known in Portuguese. The edging combines with garter stitch short rows to create a graceful arc and give the scarf depth at the back of the neck.
Calsada comes in one size, and the pattern includes both written and charted instructions. For the adventurous intermediate knitter.

Amalia-small version
Again knit in fingering weight yarn on 4mm needles.
A wider edging with the lace worked on both sides combines with garter stitch short rows in a shoulder shawl designed to unleash the inner fadista in any adventurous intermediate knitter.
Amalia can be made in two sizes (large size information given in parentheses), and the pattern includes both written and charted instructions.

 And Amalia in the large version.

I asked Katherine for some information on herself because her name might be new to many of you.

Katherine Matthews has been designing patterns since the late-1990s.  As well as being an independent pattern publisher under the Purl Diving banner, she has had designs published in the Knitter’s Magazine books Kids - Kids - Kids: 40 Winning Patterns from the Knitter's Magazine Contest and Socks - Socks - Socks: 70 Winning Patterns from Knitter's Magazine Contest.
She is currently an active member of the Ravelry online knitting community, where she can be found under the user name “purldiving”.
Her designs are often inspired by images, patterns and colors found in the movies (particularly Bollywood and other Indian cinema genres), paintings, nature and architectural elements she loves – many of which she experienced while living in France and travelling around Europe.

Knit in Noro Sekku.  The scarf takes one ball and three balls are needed for the shawl.
This stitch pattern reminded me of bamboo shoots, hence the name, “Takenoko”, which is the Japanese word for “baby bamboo”. Instructions are given for a scarf and a rectangular wrap/shawl. Note that the yarn amounts do not include enough to swatch – the scarf, which uses all of one ball of Sekku, would work well as a swatch.

As many of you know I don't really like Noro (okay, I have a small Noro problem-I can't get enough of it).

The colours look amazing in the shawl.

I'm thinking of trying the new Noro Kirimeki for this.

Knit from one skein of Lorna's Laces Pearl (51% silk, 49% bamboo)
I already have my skein picked out.
Momiji is the Japanese word for their variety of Maple tree, with its delicately lacy red leaves, which the lace in this pattern calls to mind.
Also included is a bonus lace scarf pattern for the same yarn, which may be better suited to some of the busier colourways.
Roman Holiday Scarf
This is the bonus scarf on the Momiji pattern.
Scarborough Dude Scarf
The scarf was knit in 3 balls of Noro Silk Garden Lite.  There have been rumours that this yarn is discontinued.  Technically it is but will be coming back again this spring. We still have lots of stock and new colours will be added.
When my friend Ken, AKA “The Scarborough Dude”, celebrated his 60th birthday, I knew I wanted to do something to mark the milestone, so I decided to create a scarf in his honour.
I knew that what was needed was something that involved a little bit of thinking outside the box, something a little out of the ordinary, something that moved in an unexpected direction, and yet something which left you with a good feeling in the end – much like Ken himself. And, in a nod to his many years spent in Japan and his continuing connection to the country, its people and its culture, I knew the yarn had to be Japanese.
I settled on Noro Silk Garden Lite: a blend of noble materials – wool, silk and mohair – and known for unusual and surprising colourways.
Like Ken, the end result speaks eloquently for itself.

One ball of Superior from Filatura di Crosa.  70% cashmere and 30% silk.  How can this be bad?
While knitting up the original of this lace scarf during a knit 'n chat evening at the local yarn shop, one of the other knitters gave the pattern its name: “It’s just so precious!” she said.
I can't wait for Saturday. Katherine and her husband Rob are going to visit and bring the patterns.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010


Everyday we have knitters coming in the store who need to make a baby gift. The new Churchmouse pattern for Stay On Baby Booties is a great pattern.
The ribbed cuff  and tie help them stay on even the most  active of little feet. The pattern is written  for your choice of three gauges, so you can use just about any yarn you like!
I am currently working on a pair in Magnolia (dk weight) from Classic Elite. You can also knit the booties in fingering weight (sock yarn) or worsted weight.

The pattern is well written and all levels of knitter can make these.

My post was a bit blah today so I decided to go to Rowan's website to see what they are up to.

British Sheep Breeds Homeware Collection... Now Online
We are delighted to launch our first exclusive online collection - British Sheep Breeds Homeware, using our 100% British Wool. This collection celebrates Wool Week, which starts on the 11th October 2010.

The collection comprises of 10 designs of cushions, throws, mats and hot water bottle covers.

This is the Staggered Cabled Throw knit in British Sheep Breeds Chunky.  This looks YUMMY!!

download the pattern

the rest of the patterns

It was a sad day earlier in the store. On Friday I ordered Katia Ondas and yesterday I ordered Katia Triana-both for making ruffles scarves.  My supplier is totally out of the yarn.  None.  Nada.  What am I going to do? Ladies are calling looking for the yarn.  I talked to someone in the know at the distributors and found out that the yarn is being shipped by air from Europe and should be in Toronto on Friday.  If it arrives on time then I will be in my car Monday morning racing to Toronto to pick it up.  Otherwise it will be shipped and I should have it on Wednesday or Thursday.

You might have noticed that Triana Ruffles Scarf is now in the list at the top of this page.  You can see the colours that will be (okay should be) coming next week.  I will work on getting the Ondas colours up tonight.

I am home from work now and it is pouring rain.  I don't feel like doing any more work tonight so I am going to knit.  Stay dry and have a good night.

Monday, October 25, 2010


I was up early again this morning (not something that I want to make a habit of) and got to work on my accounting.  HST is due at the end of the week and not paying the government isn't an option.  Then off to the store to help Jane get boxes unpacked.  By the time I arrived she was almost done.  I was waiting on an order from Rowan to get parcels mailed out.  I waited.  I waited.  Mr. UPS didn't show up so I headed home to get the rest of the parcels mailed.  Don't want to keep everyone waiting.  The phone rang while I was driving home (I have hands free) and Jane was on the line to tell me that Mr. UPS had arrived.  Wouldn't you know it.  I went home and got the rest of the mail done.  Back to the store, pick up the ball of yarn and then off to the post office.  There is still a bit of accounting to be done but I'm not sure that I have the energy to look at it right now.

Did you know that it isn't easy to knit while watching football?  I would get wrapped up in a play and then forget to pick up the needles again.

Here is Dryad with 9 pattern repeats done.  Just 12 more to go.

Taking pictures on my phone isn't always the best thing to do but of course I forgot my camera.  Here is a close up and the colour is much better.

I was supposed to do grocery shopping today but it didn't fit into the schedule so now I am taking Beth to Earl's in Burlington for dinner.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

We'll be back next year

We had a great time in Woodstock yesterday.  It is always a nice day when you get to see old friends and meet new people.  Jane, Beth and I were there at 6am to unload and set up the booth.  The show had volunteers to help bring our goods in which helped in a huge way.  We had one major glitch while setting up.  In order to get hydro to all the booths they needed electrical boards throughout the show floor and I ended up with one in my booth.  It was sitting on a table the size of a card table which doesn't sound big but when the booth was planned to the inch it threw the plans out the window and we had to start again.  The booth was set up by opening at 8:30 (there was no time to spare) and the people started shopping.

I love the new ruffles yarn so my scarf and Jane's scarf hung in the front of the booth. Jane demonstrated how to knit the yarn and before 11 all the yarn was gone.  I wish someone would have told me that it was going to sell so well-I would have had more with me.  :)

We quickly rearranged the booth and brought something else to the front.  Lynda knit me another linen stitch scarf last week in Prism Saki.  Instead of using three different colours we did the scarf in just one colour of hand dyed yarn.

I really like the finished effect.

Of course I didn't think to take the camera out and get pictures before we were open so the next best thing was to use my phone during the day.

Here are a few more pictures of the booth.

The really cool thing at the show as outside. Local farmers brought llamas, alpacas and a sheep to display.

The baby alpaca was so cute-Beth wanted to bring him home.  Can you see the dogs running in our yard with a baby alpaca?

The show closed about half an hour early so we were on the road home by 5:30. When we got home I had a bath and then an hour nap before Beth ordered pizza. The baseball game was on so after my pizza I laid in bed to watch. Of course I fell asleep and didn't know the outcome until this morning. Do you know what happens when you go to bed early? You wake up early. I was wide awake at 4am again this morning. Seriously. Why?? I slept on and off until 9 and then gave up. Now the decision is if we should unload the van today or wait until tomorrow.

It is a couple hours later and I forgot to hit post.  We decided to unload the van and now it is time to watch football and knit.  I am working on Dryad.  It really is time to get this done!!

Friday, October 22, 2010

Early to bed

It is almost bed time.  4am is going to come very soon. Beth was a big help today-loading the van, getting my dry cleaning and going to the grocery store.

You've seen the blue van full of yarn before so I really don't have any pictures for you.  As you know I can't do a post without some prettiness so here are some nice pictures for you to look at.

I went back through the blog until the beginning of August to see what I haven't talked about.

Sarsparilla in Portland Tweed from Classic Elite.  I think the yarn might be going to Ann soon so that she can knit this for me.  The pattern is in the magazine Prairie.

The Nina Clutch from Offhand Designs.

Indie is a new yarn from Sirdar for fall.  I showed some garments in a previous post but not this one.  Notice the batwing sleeves?  We are going to see a lot more of this.

The clock has struck 9 and my bed is calling.  If you are in Woodstock tomorrow please make sure you stop by the booth to say HI.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

More Ruffles

My store is a mess again.  There are boxes and garbage bags everywhere of yarn, books and kits for Woodstock.  Normally when we do a show we get to set up on Friday night.  Then I come home and can get together anything that I forgot.  Not this show, we are setting up on Saturday morning.  This makes me very anxious.  I can't forget anything!!

I got home from work about half an hour ago and was in a very good mood. Not so much now. My post was started in the store and I just finished it. Blogger didn't want to cooperate and everything written since I got home is lost. Let's start again.

I was late leaving the store (got home around 7:15) because I wanted to get everything in order to pack the van tomorrow.  Since getting home I have started dinner, put in a load of laundry, tidied my room and packed a box for the post office.  When I am done writing my work day will officially be done and I can move to the couch.

Three different ladies called me today looking for a Katia yarn called Ondas.  This is another yarn for making ruffled scarves.  If that many people call in one day then I had better get it into the store.  An order has been placed and I hope to have the yarn on Tuesday.

The order was done over an hour ago and now I forget the exact colours I requested.  I think that this was one of them.

Of course I ordered purple.

If I can remember correctly there were seven colours in the order.

There hasn't been much knitting for me the last few days.  None of my projects were calling to me but when tidying my room I found Dryad. My knitting world is all good again and I am going to knit some cables.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010


A parcel arrived from Lynda this morning with some goodies for The Fleece Festival this Saturday.  The finished products look great-thank you Lynda for rushing them to me.

Another amazing pattern from Churchmouse Yarns called Baby Wrap Sweater.  We used tosh merino light from madelinetosh.
Bloomsbury and La Vie en Rose

Very cute I-Cord tie.

When you look at the tosh merino light the colours don't always look hand dyed but when you see them knit up you can definitely see the colour variations.

Beth and I have started planning the itinerary for our road trip.  Not too far from the casino is a small town called Mystic. Mystic has an aquarium that we will definitely be visiting.  The aquarium houses New England's only Beluga Whales.  We will also be eating pizza in Mystic.

I did not start a new project last night but did finish a scarf for Beth so that means three projects done and none started.  What am I going to work on tonight?  I know that I should really finish more but something new always looks appealing.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Ruffles times two

Jane and I both took yarn home last night to knit scarves.

I finished mine while watching the baseball game.  The scarf is very easy to knit.  The first few rows can be awkward because we aren't used to knitting this way but after that it is smooth sailing.

Jane just dropped by the store and she finished her scarf during the ball game as well.

I made some notes while knitting and have printed them to give out with the yarn.
I sewed all the ends in (there were 8 ends in total) and sewed the button on myself!!

Shrug Bug almost (Mom-I said almost) makes me want a little girl.  :)

Two projects done means that I get to cast on two more.  Now I have to decide what yarn I want/need to knit with.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Going to start a cool scarf

Jane worked in the store today so that I could get errands done.  It was a good thought but it didn't happen. Beth received a huge shipment from New Zealand on Friday so I spent today helping her getting yarn shipped out.

While I was packing boxes Jane was unpacking a few boxes in the store.

The scarf yarn that I showed on Saturday (called Triana-I think I forgot to put that in the post) arrived.  I was going to knit colour 50 but it didn't arrive so I am going to use 42.

Jane is going to try and get a scarf done for Saturday as well in colour 45.

The rest of the bags from Offhand Designs arrived today as well.

This is the new Gatsby in Tuppence.

Practically Perfect has been a hot fabric this fall and Offhand is sold out of it already.  We have one Scottie bag left and three Gatsbys.

If you have a set of Interchangeable Needles then you will love Switch.  It is a very compact case to hold the tips and cords.  I have my addi Clicks in one.  From the Offhand website
Our new luxury tri-fold clutch for interchangeable knitting needles and notions. Features 12 slots labeled with US and metric sizes, two pockets for cables and a zippered pocket. Accommodates full Addi Click and Denise sets. These slots are tight to ensure nothing will fall out and will ease with use.
We have the switch clutches in
Practically Perfect
Jolly Holiday

I made an executive decision on Saturday that I needed to get away for a few days. Fall has been crazy busy so far. Many people have asked about classes but I haven't been able to sit down and make a schedule. The past two months have been busy between the store and the shows (Tent Sale, Knitters' Fair, Knitting Camp and Fleece Festival). Now that I know there will be a small break I have started planning a few classes for the middle of November. These will be one or two night classes and I will post them later this week. Back to getting away. Beth starting yelling Vegas so I checked plane tickets. They want all my miles and some money to fly in coach so I looked at buying tickets. Huge dollars. Okay, what about a few days in Orlando? Beth and I had a great time on our last trip. When I looked up plane tickets it was all my miles and even more money for the tickets. Wasn't going to happen. Where are we going to go? Then we both said Foxwoods. This is a huge casino complex in Connecticut.  We can drive there in about nine hours which isn't much longer than the time it takes to get to Vegas if you take into account getting to the airport and sitting there for a few hours before we fly.  I have been doing some research online and have found some great things for us to do.  Now I would like to go tomorrow.