Tuesday, 29 October 2013

Crescent Over Lothlorien

I just remembered I hadn't taken any photos of this scarf which I finished a few weeks ago.

You can read more about it at the bottom of this blog post. I don't have time to chat as I'm finishing preparation for heading to the airport for my awesome knitting trip to Ireland.

Gotta go!


Monday, 28 October 2013

Christmas Coasters

I am knitting the Felted Peppermint Coasters from the Holiday 2013 Knit Simple magazine. I'm using red and white Létt-Lopi. I have finished three and have the fourth one on the needles.
There is also a felted container that can be made but I may just wrap these with a ribbon.

I plan to make a few sets for various festive gifts.

I'm leaving for my knitting tour of Ireland, flying to Dublin via Heathrow on Tuesday night. I just began packing and think I have figured out what knitting projects to take. There will be a lot of time spent waiting in airports and riding in planes and on the tour bus so I want to make sure I have enough to keep me busy. However, one of the first things we'll be doing is attending The Knitting and Stitching Show in Dublin so I may be inspired to do some yarn purchasing at that time. Heh heh heh.

I'm taking two sock projects - both simple men's socks with a 2 x 2 ribbed leg and plain foot. I'm also packing a skein of Rowan Kidsilk Haze Stripe yarn to make the Mitred Square Scarf.

Tuesday, 22 October 2013

Downton Abbey Stitchery

Season 4 of Downton Abbey is underway in the UK and the leadup to the airing in North America has started. I happened upon this cross-stitch website that has some Downton Abbey themed mini-pillow charts and kits. Here are two of them. The one on the right measures 6" x 6".
I've had a sneak peak at Season 4 and the drama certainly continues...

Will Mary get over her grief from Matthew's death?
Will Thomas marry again?
Will Edith pursue her relationship with her boss?
Will Downton Abbey be able to pay its taxes?
Will there be any more conniving among the servants?
What new characters will come to the Abbey?

Soon it will all be revealed...

Stinky Malabrigo

I had planned to attend the Woodstock Fleece Festival last weekend with Jennifer but I had to alter my plans when Skip and I learned of the death of the mother of a dear friend. She had been battling cancer for a couple of years and when she entered hospice care a few weeks ago, we knew the end was near and had discussed making the trip to Indiana for her funeral and to support our friend and his family.

Hopefully next year I'll be attending the NY Sheep and Wool Festival again in Rhinebeck but if not, I'll definitely try to attend the WFF which is held the same weekend.

Since we had about 20 hours in the car over the weekend, I drove about half of them so had lots of time to knit when I wasn't driving. I started a SKYP sock to take with me and got about 4 inches done on the leg of the first sock.
The night before we left, while attending the Trillium Embroidery Guild meeting, I admired Margo's Holden Shawlette and the nifty shawl pin she had. I knew that would be an excellent project for the road because the first half of it is stocking stitch - not something I would have to concentrate hard on. I had a skein of Malabrigo Sock yarn in the 138 Ivy colourway that would be perfect for this project. I wanted to make it as big as I could so decided to use 4.5mm needles and, if possible, an extra pattern repeat.

After the stocking stitch and one pattern repeat of the feather and fan pattern, I still had 40g of the 100g skein left so I was pretty confident that I'd be able to comfortably knit one extra pattern repeat than the three and a half called for in the pattern.

I finished the shawl last night with 7g of yarn to spare, and have it blocking. When I took it out of the water, it had a very farm-like smell. More than just a sheepy smell, I believe. Pee-you! Maybe the dye that was used added the extra barnyard smell. What a stink!

Anyway, it pinned out to the size that I wanted without having to pull too hard.
Off the blocking wires.

I'm not sure what projects I'll take with me on the upcoming Irish knitting tour. We leave next Tuesday evening - wheee!!! We won't be doing an inordinate amount of sitting in the bus but I want something that will be interesting to knit as I'll be in that rarefied knitting environment for ten days.

I tracked down the seller of the shawl pin that I had admired on Margo's shawl. Francine (tofino14 on Etsy) has a couple of designs with have the pin attached to the circle. The package will be arriving in the mail in the next week or so.

Wednesday, 16 October 2013


Since I enter some of my knitted items in the local spring fair, I'm always interested in the Homecraft entries when I visit other fairs. I was quite impressed with many of the items on display at the Brigden Fair last weekend. Patricia Truesdale entered several small hooked rugs in various classes.
This little hooked piece of hers was attached to a tote bag.

There were some lovely quilted items. I recognized this sampler as a paper-pieced kit that I have in my stash somewhere.
The woodland animals were fussy cut in this quilt.
This had a nautical theme.
This 'Twisted Pumpkin' table topper that measured about 24" x 24". 
I then admired a couple woven scarves. This was twillwoven tencel
and this was twillwoven cottolin.
This is the only handspun I saw on display. It is in the category: 'Skein spun by an experienced spinner'.
These were a couple of the nicer cross-stitched pieces. I recognized this Paula Vaughan pattern. 
I wonder if this John Deere tractor picture was from a kit. They were both done on Aida cloth.
Someone got 2nd place with their Great American Aran Afghan. They also knit the cabled border which would have taken a long time and several balls of yarn.  When I did mine, I did the modified garter stitch border.
I like the way they display the winner's name for all to see. These two items were in the 'Winner's Circle' and displayed separately from the other items. Catherine Huang had a lot of lovely knitted items entered this year. This was a log cabin garter stitch afghan that looked to be knit with yarn held double. It looked to be a very thick fabric.
Here was another big winner - a two-piece knit set for a baby.

I liked the way the items were displayed. The lighting was good in the room and it was easy to get good pictures of the entries.

Now it's got me thinking of what pieces I'll enter next year in the Brooklin Fair.

Thanksgiving 2013

We packed a lot into this holiday weekend. On Friday, I invited Marion for dinner with Skip, Scooter and me. It was a low-key affair and thanks to lining every meal preparation dish with aluminum foil and my decision to use dishwasher-safe dishes, cleanup was easy.

The next morning, Skip and I headed for the Sarnia area to spend the weekend with my sister and her family. Saturday evening, we were 12 for dinner.
While waiting for dinner, several of us played with our iPhones.
My grand-niece, Andrea, and
my sister, Valerie, and I all have the 'nerd' gene.
Darryl (Andrea's dad and my niece, Rosa's husband) worked on grilling the brussels sprouts and bacon.
There was so much stuff cooking in the oven, the dressing had to be cooked at a friend's house a couple of streets over.
My niece, Ana, and her sister and our host, Rosa, posed before laying out the dishes for our buffet service.
 Finally, it was time to start digging in. Everything was done to perfection and heartily consumed.
For dessert, Rosa had prepared a deep-dish Dutch apple pie.  Yum!
I tried to completely conceal my pumpkin pie with whipped cream. What a feast!
The next day Skip and I attended the Brigden Fair - always held on Thanksgiving weekend. This poster intrigued me.
Once inside, I met a woman who was spinning some beautiful fibre
and who had a rigid heddle loom on display - a Kromski Harp 36" loom.
This woman raises sheep for their fleece. She had a picker and carder and fibre in various stages of processing.
I'll outline some of the winning items in the Homecraft competition in my next post.

Tuesday, 15 October 2013


Last week, my knitterly friend, Anne, emailed me:

"I am cleaning out (again) and found a bunch of spinning stuff….I have to admit I will NEVER spin, so I was wondering if you'd like it."

Ever the acquisitive one, I told her I'd be happy to help her destash. So she bundled everything up and mailed it to me. She warned me that she packed the fibre in quite tightly and to expect it to expand significantly once I opened the parcel.

It arrived today. OMG!!!  What a spinner's treasure trove!

There were two drop spindle instruction books and a "Spin In" magazine, 

two drop spindling DVDs,two 4oz. bundles of beautiful hand-painted roving from Gale's Art in my favourite colours, 200g of natural shetland roving, and a Bosworth drop spindle!!! Holy crap! A Bosworth! That blew me away!
Of course I had to try the spindle and the natural fibre out so I spun up a little bit and plied it. 
I'm so thrilled! Thank you, Anne! I will take good care of all this lovely stuff.