Friday, 13 November 2015

Catching Up

This has been a busy month.

Last weekend, Jen1 and I went to a knitting retreat at Jackson's Falls Country Inn in Prince Edward County. It was organized by Lesley Snyder from Rosehaven Yarn Shop in Picton. It was only its second year and registration sold out in 1.5 hours last May.  Jen and I had heard about it last year and I jumped upon the chance to attend.

On our way, we stopped in at Port Hope and had a delicious lunch at Basil's Deli then visited Laurie Goldiuk at The Black Lamb's new location. Then we headed for Picton to shop at Rosehaven before heading to the retreat.

There were 26 participants at the retreat, most of us housed at the inn with a few at a nearby B&B. We all ate together in the 'schoolhouse'. It was fun to have people haul out their knitting between courses.
The inn is licensed and we were permitted to bring our own wine and pay a corking fee. Lesley set up a small yarn shop in the foyer of the inn.

Friday night we shared our favourite knitting books. I took notes and have some searching to do. Saturday morning I took a class on two-colour brioche knitting. It is quite a complex concept but after forging on after a some nasty-looking setup rows, I seemed to have gotten the hang of it. I really do need to review those setup rows.

At lunch, Purlin Js rolling yarn wagon pulled up. It is a large truck jammed with bins of and skeins of yarn and knitting accessories based in Kingston ON.

After lunch I took a class on mosaic knitting. That went a lot better than our morning's class. I'm not sure what I would use it for but evidently it can be used in lieu of stranded knitting in certain circumstances.

After dinner that night we each showed off a favourite knitted item. Again I took notes.

Sunday morning, I took a class on two-at-a-time toe up socks. It was a good refresher of Judy's Magic Caston. It was also an excellent introduction of Magic Loop for some of the participants who, after Cheryl's demo, had no trouble at all with either concept.
We also did the Fleegle Heel which was surprisingly easy to execute. I may not be a devotee of toe-up socks but there is merit to them, especially when wanting to use up all the yarn for nice, long cuffs and avoiding having to graft the toe.

While at the retreat, I cast on the Baa-ble hat which was so popular at Rhinebeck this year. It was designed by Donna Smith for Shetland Wool Week. I used green Berocco Vintage for the ribbing and 'grass', some random worsted black for the legs and faces and white and blue Donegal Aran Tweed yarn left-overs from the classes I took on my Irish knitting tour in 2013.

I started it on Friday night at the knitting retreat and had to rip it out so many times. First I had the wrong stitch count on the ribbing, once corrected I started in on the stranded pattern falling short of stitches. I then realized I needed to increase 24 stitches in the last ribbed row. I then changed needles according to the pattern and knit the rest of the hat finding it to be really slouchy which was not the look I was after at all. I frogged it back to the increase row after the knitting and continued on with the 4mm needle I used for the ribbing. It knit up in no time once I started doing things correctly.
I still need to make and attach a pompom.
On Wednesday at the Shuttlebug guild meeting one of our members did a little workshop on Zentangle, a meditative form of doodling that is all the rage right now along with all those adult colouring books one is seeing in book stores.

She passed around a little clutch bag she had doodled (Zentangled) on with a basic white fabric that had solid black lines.
She also quilted along the black lines and used a very cool, wavy, black and white, checkerboard lining.

She then set us to work on our little 3 1/2" square tiles, having us try some different techniques in each divided portion. I'm not sure how meditative it was as most of the time I was doodling, I was thinking of how I could be using the time to knit.
However, yesterday I went out and bought myself a little sketchbook and have been Zentangling a bit with Googled images as a guide. This technique can be enjoyed by people with no fine art training (like myself) at all. I wish I had known how to do this in my past life sitting through mind-numbing staff meetings every month.

Today I got all inspired to do some sewing. I made a couple more earbud cases using this tutorial. Then I made a thread catcher with an attached, weighted pin cushion using this tutorial.

The thread catcher project was very clearly explained and took me under an hour to make it. I had purchased 18" of 1/2" boning a while back for the project and used red lentils to fill the pincushion. I guess one could use a strip of 2L soda bottle or other large diameter plastic bottle for the boning and any grain for the weighted pincushion. I used half of two coordinating/contrasting fat quarters from my stash.
It was also a really good exercise in making a bag with boxed corners which could be used for gift bags, project bags, etc. etc.

I have a couple of other sewing projects I want to do - a zippered swift bag and a little pillowcase.

I'm still in a bit of a knitting slump but am spinning some yarn to knit some twined mittens. This involves spinning the yarn counter-clockwise with an 's'-twist then I'll ply it clockwise to create the desired 'z'-twist for twined knitting. I found some random roving in my stash and started it at Mo's last night.

I have at least one more pair of socks to knit for Christmas gifts. They're for someone with long feet so will do a pattern on the cuff for about 3" with another yarn so I'll have enough of the main yarn. I guess I could even do them toe-up using half of the main yarn on each sock and other yarn on the cuff to get the length I want.

I have a couple of weaving projects in my queue as well and will be getting at those next week.

That pretty well catches me up. It has been a very crafty fall but now all my special knitting events are over and my Christmas gift-making is getting into full swing.

1 comment:

  1. Your thread catcher is very cute.It makes a great little gift for sewers or knitters
    I use 18 in.nylon cable ties( $ store) & they work very well.
    I really enjoy your Blog. Thank you for sharing your adventures