Saturday, September 30, 2017

In a Word

Rita and Sara came for a visit this morning and brought some shawls to show off. The shawl that Rita had on was interesting. Everyone in the store wanted to see how it was knit. She commented that because of the shape it sits nicely on her shoulders.
This shawl is light as a feather and has a unique flair. The delicate, yet graphic shawl is easily knitted in garter stitch and shaped with short rows and the outcome is something very special.
Pattern: In a Word (pattern purchased on Ravelry)
Yarn: Fingering weight - 2 colours - 2 skeins each

They brought in their Free Your Fades. The first two colours are the same and then they went in their own direction for the last colour.

I think I've picked my colours for Speckle & Pop! I could still change my mind tomorrow. I wanted something different. (I know that the purple isn't out of the ordinary but adding in the lime makes it new :) ) That resulted in Singles from Long Dog for the main colours and a Party of Five kit from SweetGeorgia for the pop.

Now I'm going back to Find Your Fade. I don't think I want to do 80 some odd rows of I-Cord to start Speckle & Pop! tonight. There's also the issue of winding the yarn. Tomorrow seems like a better option.

Friday, September 29, 2017

Can't Make a Decision

Find Your Fade is growing. The next colour was going to be the grey with turquoise (now the last colour) but I think I've changed my mind. I think I'm going to go into the purples and end with grey.

My dad goes on a mission trip to Honduras every winter. Last night there was a dinner and auction to raise money for Honduras (none of it is used for travel - it all goes towards their work once there). Beth came home with something for our entryway. She sent me pictures earlier in the afternoon and I told her she needed to get it in the auction.
It was donated by Hammertown Industrial. Their work is amazing.

We have a few more warranty items to be taken care of in our house and then we can paint. I can't wait to get rid of the 'builders beige' and have grey walls.

We are starting new store hours in October. The only change will be on Friday.

Monday-Friday 10-5:30
Saturday 10-4
Sunday Closed

For years we opened later on Fridays and then stayed open later in the evening. We had many customers coming early and not many coming late so it was time to change.

If you are going to join Stephen West's MKAL, I would suggest watching his video. He explains some of the steps that might be new to you. I know that I will be watching the video again when I start. Here are the times for each tutorial.

0:01 I-cord cast on 0:42 Using MC1, k3, pick up and k84 sts along I-cord edge. 1:23 Next Row (WS) Pick up and k3 sts from the I-cord cast on edge 2:09 end of Row 3 (RS) 2:22 Row 4 (WS): M1L 3:16 Row 8 (WS) 3:50 Row 9 (RS) 4:28 Row 9: sl1, pick up a stitch from 2 ridges below and knit it together with the slipped stitch. 5:12 Row 9: k2tog, slm, k1 while closing the gap, k1, pass first stitch over. 6:25 end of Row 9 7:00 Row 11: k2tog & ssk 7:31 I-cord bind off 7:45 Graft the remaining 6 stitches together using kitchener stitch Needles: I recommend a 40” US 4 / 3.5mm circular needle

Do you want to see how the first clue is going to knit up? Here is a link to the discussion on Ravelry... I have filtered it to show only comments that have pictures.

No, I haven't picked my colours yet. I'm having one of those weeks where I can't make a decision.

Thursday, September 28, 2017

That's not my dog

Mom and dad had a dinner party last night so we looked after Lucy for a few hours. Beth took her for a walk and this happened. She loves water. I hope our neighbours didn't see it.

I'm fading into my third colour. The first colour is a Skinny Single from Hedgehog - one of our Potluck colours. The next two are from Long Dog Yarn. When I'm finished the third colour I might change the order of the rest of my colours. I'll see how this ball knits up.

October is going to be a busy month - there will be many shipments arriving. At the end of the month we will be receiving a box from Long Dog Yarn. This is the Outlander series of colours. Brandy will by dying this on Bounce Sock and Singles for us.

I ordered from a new dyer today, Fuse Fiber Studio, and that shipment will be arriving at the end of October. Rebecca has a very different colour palette from some of the other dyers. I'm excited to see them in person.

There will be 174 skeins of singles in the shipment. There was a decision - do I mix singles and a sock yarn with nylon? I decided to go with singles for this shipment in a wide range of colours. There will be 29 colours, 6 skeins of each. Why 29? I can't count and thought I had 30 :) The next shipment will be sock.
Follow Fuse Fiber Studio on Instagram...
Now I'm heading back to my knitting. No, I haven't picked my colours for the Stephen West MKAL. I have two combinations lying on the dining room table and can't decide. That is tomorrow's job - the first clue will be coming out.

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Dotted Rays

It's finished and it is beautiful.
I am so happy. Alex did an amazing job.

Pattern: Dotted Rays - Speckled Fade (purchased on Ravelry)

Yarn: Uschitita but any fingering weight yarn will work. There are 4 colours in the shawl and then 2 colours in the border.

I've been asked if we are getting more yarn from Uschitita. An order has been placed but we won't see it until November. I tried to get it sooner but Steffi has exams - she's in medical school.

We have new colours of Mary Ann from Frabjous Fibers in the store.
fingering weight sock base: delightfully soft hand with the smoothness and durability you want in a fabulous sock yarn. 
434 m / 475 yards per 4 oz. skein
85% merino and 15% nylon 

Lynn made a pair of socks with Mary Ann and they are super soft. She raved about the yarn and the yardage. Most sock yarns have around 400m on a skein. I don't think I've shown a picture of the socks - I'll get one tomorrow.

Survivor is taping so it's time to go. My knitting isn't growing so I hope to get in a few hours tonight.

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Speckle & Pop!

The boxes are unpacked from Camp and now we are starting to get things in order for the Woodstock Fleece Festival.

Saturday October 14 at the Woodstock Fairgrounds. This is a fun show. Not just knitting but all fibre arts and you will be inspired.

Check out the Fleece Festival website for more information...

If you live in Toronto, the Toronto Knitters Guild has a bus going to the Festival. Here is more information about times and pricing...

We received good news from Hedgehog Fibres today - our order is in production and should be here in time for the show.
184 skeins of Skinny Singles
76 skeins of Hedgehog Sock

Are you ready for the next Stephen West MKAL? The fun starts on Friday. I need to pick my colours tomorrow and get my skeins wound.
Select 3 colors of fingering weight yarns in a colorful speckled fade. I recommend 3 speckled colors, but you can also use solid colors if you prefer. I recommend a light, medium, and dark color for these 3 main colors. These 3 full skeins will act as the main part of the shawl. If you can find 3 colors that fade nicely together from light to dark, that will be ideal. 
Select 5 contrast colors for your color pops. These contrast pops will show best if they are different from your main colors. For example, choose 3 full skeins of light, medium, and dark neutral colors combined with 5 color pops.
I'm going to sleep on his recommendations. I have something in mind and you won't believe where I might go with mine.
Swatch out! The Mystery KAL cast on date is getting super close. If you would like to play with your yarns and make a gauge swatch, here is the gauge information. 
Needles: I recommend a 40” US 4 / 3.5mm circular needle You may need to adjust your needle size to get gauge. 
Gauge: 22 stitches and 52 rows = 4” / 10 cm with garter stitch 
It’s not necessary to swatch in advance because you can also use the cast on and beginning of Friday’s instructions as your swatch to check your tension. Stitch gauge is more important than row gauge. I recommend trying to get as close to 22 stitches as possible. If you have a looser tension (fewer stitches per inch), you may require a bit more yardage. I have factored in some wiggle room for yardage so if your yarn type or tension is a bit looser, I will address that factor in the last couple weeks of the KAL to accommodate some yardage variations. 
Color To get a sense of how your 3 main colors blend together, you can play with a color fade technique to stripe them all together. 
Knit 10 rows with color A. Knit 10 rows with color A striped with color B for 2 rows each. Knit 10 rows with color B. Knit 10 rows with color B striped with color C for 2 rows each. Knit 10 rows with color C. 
I recommend using your colors from light to dark. 
Don’t worry about incorporating the 5 color pops yet. We will explore the color pops together soon! I can’t wait to share the first section of Speckle & Pop with you all this Friday! 
Tomorrow is a big day. Alex finished my Dotted Rays - Speckled Fade. I can't wait to see it. There will be lots of pictures!

Monday, September 25, 2017


There are new colours on the way from Freia Fibers.
CHAMELEON is a cooler combination of gorgeous earthy greens starting with rich turquoise running through to bright leaf green. With over 202 different species of this lizard, we're sure you'll find over 202 projects to knit with it. 
MIST brings to mind misty mornings spent knitting while the seasons transition and goes from soft turquoise to silver. This lovely, muted ombré is sure to become a favorite.
QUARTZ is the second most abundant mineral on the planet, often found in jewelry and carvings. We thought, "Why not yarn?" This delicate colorway goes from silver to rose and has a wonderfully romantic palette.
VITAMIN C (right) is a vibrant green to dusky orange, perfect for your summer and autumn knits. There's certainly more than one way to get your daily dose of Vitamin C when you have this bright, popping citrus spectrum on your needles! 
All four colours are coming in Shawl Ball.
This is our first single-ply fingering yarn, and our first yarn in a luscious, lovely 100% merino. It has an against-the-skin softness for neckwear and perfectly complements our single-ply worsted and sport offerings.  
Then there’s the feel-good manufacturing: this is a true cruelty-free merino, grown and spun in the United States to our particular specifications. 
Though exceptional stitch-definition has long been a hallmark of our single-ply yarns, the loftiness of this Merino Fingering is particularly versatile, lending itself to be stitched up in a variety of gauges without losing definition or drape. 
Our unique dye process also results in a very slight felting which creates a wonderfully pill-resistant fabric. Voracious Freia fans will be perhaps most excited by the upgraded yardage. These 100 gram “Shawl Balls” measure 430 yards, perfect for single-skein projects. 
There is an amazing new pattern that uses Freia Shawl Ball.
Holli Yeoh designed this shawl called Archer (pattern purchased on Ravelry)
This scarf is knit with Chameleon and Vitamin C - one ball each.

 This version is knit with Ice Queen and Mist - two balls each.

The box will also have Merino Lace in Chameleon, Mist and Quartz.
We're thrilled to announce that we've overhauled our lace yarn. Now 100% cruelty free merino, this USA spun yarn is even finer in quality and includes an additional 50+ yards in every ball at no extra cost to the customer. 
This 2-ply yarn plumps up beautifully after blocking, featuring superior stitch definition and a sumptuous drape. Each 75 gram ball measures 650 meters (712 yards), perfect for lacy shawls and scarves.
One ball of lace weight and 4.5mm needles is perfect for the Bias "Before & After' Scarf from Churchmouse Yarns (we have patterns in the store or you can purchase on Ravelry).

Peggy sent me some pictures from Camp.

It was hard going to work today.

Sunday, September 24, 2017

Home Again

We're home from Camp and had an amazing time. Our instructors, Fiona Ellis and Beth Casey did a great job with their classes. It's such a joy to have instructors that are prepared for class and who will do anything to help their students. We ask our instructors to mingle during meals and at the evening events. Fiona and Beth go above and beyond which helps me when I'm running around making sure that things are going smoothly. The Campers are great. Beth kept commenting on the fact that they pay to come to Camp and will jump in to help whenever I asked them to. They always help with clean up after classes (and dying class can take a while to clean up), move tables after class to set up the room for an evening event, get Fiona's suitcase to class (she takes a lot of samples and the suitcase is really heavy) and whatever else needs to be done like running to the front desk to get coffee cups for the class room.

Normally my sister Beth is at Camp for the weekend to help me but she had to come home on Friday afternoon for a family wedding. She was the MC. This morning she drove back up to Camp with my dad to help pack up. It was the first time my dad had been to Bayview-Wildwood. He loved it up there. Beth Casey (the Beth thing can get confusing) showed him how to dye yarn. He met the Campers that we have been talking about for years. There were men fishing on the lake which made him very jealous. I have a feeling he's going to want to come to Camp next year.

It was very hard being home tonight and trying to come up with what to eat for dinner. We were spoiled at Camp. Three meals a day plus lots of snacks. This was our mid morning snack yesterday.

Now it's time to put my feet up and knit. I think I did one and a half rows while I was away.

Saturday, September 23, 2017

Last Night

Beth taught Splattershot yarn dying today. The skeins the students dyed are amazing.
We had fun in my Find Your Fade class.
During the weekend, the ladies had challenges to perform. If their challenge was completed, they earned extra ballots for door prizes. Sarah looks very cute in her bunny ears. She had to wear them during dinner.
Elizabeth Ann and Connie's task was to have their hair tied in 10 different places and come to breakfast.

Other tasks included
-wear your pyjamas to breakfast
-wear your clothes inside out to breakfast
-dance your way to lunch and through the buffet line
-have a meal with Fiona and casually eat some of her dinner and desert
-get the signature of 10 Bayview Wildwood employees
-go for a hike and bring back 5 different leaves
Tonight was our Student Fashion Show. Val, Kathryn and Elaine wore their Memories Sweater. It is a pattern that Sally Melville showed at Camp last year. The pattern can be purchased on Ravelry and is knit in fingering weight yarn. From Sally
When leaving for a trip, I needed something to knit that would take a longtime but not a lot of space. So I made a swatch, gathered leftover sock yarns, made a pile of 8yd butterflies, and proceeded. It did take a long time, but since every square was different, it was constantly and totally engaging. And little did I know it would become my favourite sweater--so much so that I immediately started another! 
I call it my Memories Sweater, because I can recall where I purchased each of the sock yarns used. So, besides being fashionable and comfortable and oft-admired (by knitters from three continents!), this garment has the preciousness of a quilt. It is truly irreplaceable and much treasured. I expect yours will be too! 
PS All of these squares are joined as you work, plus I tell you when to work in tails. There is very little sewing (or tails) in this garment. I also offer lots of photos to help you through this. It is not difficult, and it is great fun!
It's off to bed. Tomorrow morning I'm teaching Tips and Tricks.