Monday, 28 September 2009

Crazy socks

I've been wanting to knit the super popular Leyburn sock pattern for a while now. I have a couple skeins of multicoloured sock yarn that needed to be matched up to the perfect project, and I think that this is definitely it.

This is BFMA Socks that Rock lightweight in the Seastone colourway (not available at the moment). To tell you the truth, it's a little nuts. Somehow in the photo the sock looks calm, very colourful, but reasonable. In real life they are screaming bright! I think it's the yellow that's a tad overwhelming in this colourway. The blue, green and purple all play together nicely, but the yellow really stands out. It's all good, I think my sister likes to make a statement with her socks, so these may get gifted to her. I've got a couple slightly more subdued skeins of STR in the stash that will make great Leyburns. I think that this is a perfect pattern to yarn pairing. It's so hard to find a good pattern for variegated yarns, this one definitely fits the bill.

Before I could cast on for socks, I had to finish my Flower Girl Cardigan.

And I did! It's lovely and adorable and sparkly and all the things I thought a Flower Girl needed for her big day. My cousin's wedding is this coming weekend, hopefully I'll get some good shots of Abby wearing it.

Happy knitting!

Wednesday, 23 September 2009


I don't remember when exactly it happened, but sometime, a little while back I made a couple blog-friends. That's definitely one of the coolest things about blogs, you get to know people by reading their blogs, they get to know you by reading yours, or even if you don't have a blog, they get to know you through your comments. Back when I was still new to the blogging scene I came across Glenna's blog and quickly became a big fan. She's always knitting interesting things and is just so clever and witty that her posts are always fun to read. She also has a leaning towards blue, which I can't fault her for! When I discovered that she was knitting with my yarns I was thrilled!

Again, I don't know when it happened but somewhere along the line we started talking about patterns. She had some great ideas and offered to design something specifically for my yarn! I was so excited. She picked a colour and off she went. Not too long after she presented me with the Rendezvous jacket:

I really liked it when I saw the work in progress shots, the textures moss stitch panels, the cables, the attention to detail, it was all looking great. When I saw the finished product in person at the K-W Fair, I was floored. Glenna is such a great knitter, you should see the inside of this jacket, the finishing is perfect!

I have a couple favorite things about this design. Like the details I already mentioned, I also love how the back of the collar is plain knitting but the front is textured. I love the 3/4 length sleeves with the moss stitch "hem". It's hard to see in the photo's, but there is a row of garter stitch that defines the bust line that I find particularly clever.

I have high hopes for my own Rendezvous Jacket. It's definitely on my Fall knitting list, I think I'm going to knit mine in Shadow.

This is the first of (hopefully) several designs by Glenna for Tanis Fiber Arts, she's cooking up a couple other ideas now and I can't wait to see what comes of them. This could be the beginning of a beautiful friendship.

To purchase your own copy of Rendezvous, visit Glenna's Ravelry store.

Monday, 21 September 2009

Baby Shane Blanket Kits!

This morning I got up and checked my e-mail while I drank my morning coffee like any other day. But what a surprise I had waiting for me in my inbox! Loads of positive comments on my Baby Shane Blanket! I wondered why all of a sudden people were looking at it, and soon discovered that a huge honour had been bestowed upon me... Kay over at mason-Dixon knitting had not only seen the blanket, she liked the blanket AND she gave me a shout out on her awesome blog! What a thrill!

I had always intended on putting kits together in several different colourways for sale in my shop but hadn't yet gotten around to it. This was just the motivation I needed to spend some quality time with my yarn and sort out 8 different colourway options:

Pastel Rainbow

Pinks & Purples


Red & Orange


Jewel Tones

Yellow to Blue

and of course: the Original colourway

I know my colourway names aren't particularly inventive, but I prefer to keep them simple and clear. Thanks to all those who visited my blog and left such lovely comments. If you'd like to make your very own Baby Shane Blanket, now you can!

Friday, 18 September 2009

Happy Birthday Vince!

Today is my little brother Vincent's birthday. He's 24 years old today and I'm hoping that his day is very happy! He wrote a really great post about my family on his blog this week, check it out to see what the rest of my clan was up to last weekend.

I wrapped up a couple lingering projects on the drive to and from Kitchener last weekend. The first finished project had been sitting unfinished in my knitting basket for, oh only about 2 1/2 years! I had one sock and most of the leg of the second sock done. I tried the finished sock on before I left and noticed that it was super comfortable and vowed to finish it's twin. And I did!

I also finished my second Vespergyle mitten, the pair will make a great gift for one of the guys in my life this Christmas.

My Kureyon Sock yarn cardigan is still hanging out in the basket... I will finish it soon, it's just missing sleeves and some finishing, but I've got a more pressing project on the needles right now.

I'm making a cardigan for my goddaughter Abby. Abby's godfather is my cousin Sean. Sean is getting married this October, and then I'm getting married next June, and of course Abby will be the flower girl at both occasions, and she needs a pretty little cream cardigan to wear in case it gets chilly. I'm knitting the Playful Stripes Cardigan, ironically without the playful stripes part... I'm knitting it in Sirdar Snuggly Baby Bamboo. It's a really lovely, soft, slightly shiny yarn. And because I can't get enough of the sparkles these days I'm jazzing it up with some sparkles over the garter stitch portions. The picot edge is a really nice detail too. Simple and classy. Abby will look great!

Wednesday, 16 September 2009

Sparkle Fresh Beret

Just a couple of happy hours of easy knitting and I'm finished my sparkle fresh beret. Last night was chilly and I wore it while I walked my dog. I'm pretty sure everyone I walked by was quite taken by it, I noticed a lot of heads turning, but that may just have been because the light reflecting off of my sparkles was blinding them... either way, I felt special.

I'm usually a pure wool type of knitter, but I'm growing very fond of new-to-me fibers like silk and bamboo (and apparently sequins!) The pattern was really simple, it's really the yarns that make this hat interesting.

I think it's just the thing to brighten up a dull Fall day.

Last weekend when I asked my goddaughter what her favorite colour was she answered "pink, purple and multicoloured!" I think my answer is "blue and sparkles!"

Tuesday, 15 September 2009

New goods

Last April when I came home from the Frolic I was depressed because I had purposefully not purchased yarn before going, assuming that I was going to have so much to look at and pick up while I was there, but in the end I came home with nothing because I had no time to shop! I was determined not to make the same mistake twice and made sure that I came home with a lovely selection of purchases.

Some purchases were planned, I knew I wanted to pick up the Fall issue of Knitscene and the new Brooklyn Tweed book. I knew I wanted to find some Koigu and add it to my stash because I thought that it was about time that I knit with such a famous and popular yarn. I bought 3 mill ends in 3 different but beautifully coordinating colourways adding up to 118g, enough to make a really great shawl. Cookie A's Sock Innovation book is one that I've been eyeing for a while, and it was right by the cash when I was buying my Koigu yarn so I decided that it must be a sign that I had to have it.

I picked up 2 kits from Pick Up Sticks, the one on the left in the photo above that includes a pattern for the Ulmus Shawl and 2 skeins of Malabrigo sock, and the one on the bottom which has a pattern for the Tongues of Fire stole and 2 gorgeous skeins of Hand maiden Sea Silk in rich coppery tones. Directly above the Sea Silk are 3 skeins of Classic Elite Fresco to knit the Beaumont Beanie from the Made in Brooklyn book (this yarn is so soft and lovely, this hat is going to be amazingly comfy!) Next to the Koigu on the right of the photo is a really cool skein of Lace merino by Ella rae, I don't have a project in mind for it yet, but think that it's just such a great colourway that I'll be able to make something really neat with it. I also came away with a bonus kit given to me by my booth neighbour Passioknit, a fingerless gloves kit containing two of the softest, lushest skeins of Miski baby llama yarn. I'm not sure that I'll make the gloves, because I don't really find them that practical, but I love the yarn!

I bought one more kit that isn't in the above photo because I've already cast on with it!

It's a kit for the coolest sparkly beret you've ever seen. I'll have it finished by tonight and will hopefully get some shots of it tomorrow. It's not the sort of thing that I usually knit, but I really love it.

And as if all that wasn't enough I came home to a really amazing treat waiting for me!

I wanted to join some sort of yarn of the month club, but I really don't need more yarn so it didn't seem like a very sensible thing to do. Then I thought that maybe I'd join a roving of the month club, but I dye my own roving too, so maybe that wasn't the best option. In the end I came up with the perfect club: Grafton Fibers Colourways Club, a batt of the month club! Since I don't make batts, it's perfectly reasonable. Since I joined in August I got the entire year up until now in one shipment, it's almost too much for my brain to process, so lovely and soft and fluffy, and such colours! It's so nice it's really running the risk of never being spun because I'm too afraid that I'll mess it up. I am so excited about the next 4 months of shipments!

I'm so happy to be sitting in my studio/yarn room surrounded by all my new lovely goodies! I haven't put any of it away yet, we're still honeymooning together, I like to leave it all out where I can see it and admire it, occasionally stop to pick it up and hug it if I feel like it...

Monday, 14 September 2009

Back from the Fair

This year was my first time attending the Kitchener-Waterloo Knitters Fair, but I'm sure it won't be my last. It's such a great way to spend a Saturday! Surrounded by knitters and yarn and rovings... what could be better?

I won't include too many photo's of my booth, it looked a lot like my booth from the Frolic in April. I did add 2 new components to my display this time, the awesome Lantern Moon basket shelves on the right of this photo, and the "yarn tree" on the left in the photo that is holding all of my lace weight yarn. Chris, mom and I spent a couple hours on a Sunday a few weeks back and built the tree ourselves, it worked out really well! A Christmas tree stand, a PVC pipe, some dowels and a drill were all it took. It made me feel very clever to have made it myself.

My Fiddlehead Mitten Kits were also new to the booth this year. I was shocked by how well they did, I unfortunately sold out way earlier than planned, sorry to everyone who came by looking for them! You can find them in the shop. Another very exciting addition to my collection is an awesome sweater pattern designed specifically for my yarn by the super talented Glenna! I'll do a more in-depth post about the fabulousness of her design another day (it really deserves it's own post!)

Possibly the best part of doing shows like this is the chance to meet all the people who support me and my yarns. It's so great to hear what people think of my work. I met a bunch of people who did the February Lady Sweater Knit-a-long with the Purple Purl and they even brought their finished sweaters along to show me, they all looked great! They are taking a group shot of everyone who participated modeling their finished sweaters next week, and since I won't be able to be there for it I did a mini shoot with Jennifer and Sherry. With the magic of photoshop I think they're going to paste me into the group shot! Awesome. Don't we look great? (and we coordinate so nicely too!)

At the Frolic I hadn't anticipated how busy it would be, and I didn't plan for back-up to come relieve me so I could do important things like take a bathroom break or more important things like shop! This time around I was smarter, I arranged for my cousin to come in for a couple hours and give a hand at the booth so I could walk around and pick up a few goodies. I think I did well and showed restraint, all of my purchases are in this little brown bag:

Tomorrow I'll fill you in on what exactly this brown bag contains! Before I sign off I want to send out a huge thanks to everyone who stopped by my booth to shop and say hi. And I have to thank my awesome mom who basically ran the show for me. She's the best and without her help I wouldn't know what I was doing.

Thursday, 10 September 2009

Fiddlehead Mitten Kits!

I'm just about ready to pack up the van and head to Kitchener for the K-W knitters fair. I'm spending today just finishing up the final touches, crosses the last couple of things off the list (who am I kidding, I'm crossing the last hundred things that I left until the very last possible minute off the list!) One of todays tasks included packaging up my Fiddlehead Mitten Kits. I've got 4 colourways. I'll let the photo's do the talking:

Jewel Tones


Pinks & Purples


If you've visited this blog before, you can probably guess that the last one is a personal fave of mine. I love blue! For those of you who can't make it to Kitchener this weekend, I've got my Kits for sale on my Etsy site.

Today I also labeled my Thrummed Mitten Kits:

The kits will come with a pattern to knit a lovely fluffy mitten like this one:

This too will make it to my Etsy site soon. But not yet!

In other mitten news, I'm working on a pair of Verspergyle Mittens with my two new colourways, Lemongrass and Deep Sea, both colours will be accompanying me to the show, available in all 4 weights of yarn.

I really like the pattern, I predict I'll be knitting a couple pairs of these before Christmas.

And Lastly, here is the last of my wonderful mom's summer knitting projects. She knit a great pair of socks in my Blueberry colourway, they will be on display in my booth, along with my mother, this weekend at the show.

Wish me luck! I've got a bit more running around to do and then bright and early tomorrow morning we'll be hitting the road. Hopefully I'll see a lot of you there, and if you won't be there, I'll have a full update early next week!

Happy weekend!

Monday, 7 September 2009

Tussah Silk Roving

I'm just about all set for the K-W show. All the dyeing is done, almost everything is labeled and I have a pretty good idea of how I'm going to set up the booth once we get there. I'm going to be bringing 3 types of roving with me, Superwash merino, BFL and Tussah silk. I love them all.

The superwash merino is so soft and absorbs the dyes so the colours are intensely vibrant and richly saturated. The BFL is soft and wooly, the colours are a bit more muted and natural, great for felting and the long staples make for easy, pleasant spinning.

Ah, and then there is the tussah silk. I'm in love. It's so rich and silky and shiny and luxurious. I tried to capture some of it's sheen in the following photo's, but it's really something you have to see and touch in person to really appreciate.

You may not be able to tell, but it's actually glowing.

It's almost too nice, because I'm secretly hoping that not of it sells so I can keep them all to myself. Probably not very productive.

Obviously I'd like to spin it all, but even in it's at rest state just waiting to be braided it's a sight to behold.

Sunday, 6 September 2009

My mom is a knitting star part 2

Another project that my mom worked on for me this summer is a lace weight version of Brooklyn Tweed's Girasole.

She knit it on 3.25mm needles using just under one skein of my Pink Label Lace Weight yarn in the Jewel colourway, (there were 15g left.) It was tough to get photo's of because I didn't have a white sheet handy to lay the shawl on, so I used a white board but couldn't fit the entire shawl on it... I'll try to get some better photo's soon, it's lovely and drapey and these photo's do not do it justice.

As you can see, my mom is clearly a very clever knitter. She used to knit a lot, I've even got some of her old sweaters to prove it, but then she had 4 kids and apparently that's enough to really get in the way of ones knitting time. Which makes sense, because I don't recall my mom spending much time sitting around twiddling her thumbs, she was always on the go, doing stuff with us or for us, bringing us places or picking us up. It's really nice now that we're all grown up she's finding a bit more time to spend doing things for herself.

Although knitting samples for me might not exactly qualify as doing something for herself... Although I promise to give this back to her after the show, I may have to borrow it again for the next one! Hopefully her next knitted project will be something she won't have to share!

Friday, 4 September 2009

Everything I know I learnt from my mom.

My mom taught me how to knit years ago. Growing up, she was always more of a sewer than a knitter, she made every important dress I ever wore, from kid party dresses to Christmas dresses to my high school graduation dress. She didn't knit much though, in fact I think that she still has a little cardigan that she started making for my older brother when he was a baby that has yet to be finished (my brother is now 27 years old.)

Luckily, she's taken up knitting again. I like to think my influence had a little something to do with it. This summer, before she left for the cottage she packed a couple skeins of my yarn as well as some patterns and kept busy all summer long. She knit this gorgeous Woodland scarf out of my Blue Label yarn in Stormy.

It looks great, and will be perfect in my booth at the K-W fair to show people just how far one skein of sock yarn will take you. It's not very wide, but it's the perfect long skinny scarf for Fall.

The problem with knitting such lovely samples is that I just know that I'm going to want to wear this scarf come Fall, and then the next time a show comes around I'll have to get my mom to knit me another sample. Its a vicious cycle!

Thursday, 3 September 2009

Full shelves

I love looking at my shelves and seeing them fully stocked with yarn (blue label and pink label pictured below.)

But I have a feeling I'll like it even more if I come home from the K-W show and my shelves are empty because I've sold all my yarn!

Today I dyed a ton of roving, superwash merino and BFL, I'm almost ready!

Tuesday, 1 September 2009

Midnight Porom

With the Kitchener-Waterloo Knitters Fair now less than two weeks away (gulp!) I've had to put my Kureyon sock yarn cardigan on hold in favour of knitting samples for my booth out of my own yarns. Here's a project I've been meaning to knit for a while, Brooklyn Tweed's Porom:

I knit it in my Yellow Label dK weight yarn in the Midnight colourway. I really like how the yarn and pattern work together. They're a good fit. The hat is designed to have quite a bit of slouch, but I think that it's a tad too slouchy for me. Maybe if I had bigger hair, or a bigger head... I think I'll knit this pattern again, but next time I'd go down a needle size (I knit the ribbing on 4mm's and the body on 5mm's.)

I have a friend who loves slouchy hat's, so this may get gifted to her.

And just because Chris and I never get tired of the hilarity that ensues every time we put hats on Stella...