Friday, August 29, 2008

Up Next

Up next, is this luscious sweater, Loden Mist, from Knitters

This sweater has been on my list for quite some time. The magazine is from Spring 2007 and the yarn - exactly the yarn called for, by the way -
was purchased at the KW Knitters Fair, September /07. Since we are only a couple of weeks from this year's fair, I think it' time I got started.

But whatever attracted me to this sweater? Certainly not the lace-weight yarn. Lace-weight and I don't get along well. ( And by the way, I would like to know why it is called lace-weight, when it should be called cobweb-thin weight). Certainly not the lace pattern. I don't get along well with lace patterns either.

I cast on for the sleeve gauge swatch the other night and after three hours, four re-starts and two needle changes - not for sizing, but just to find a needle that would keep the slippery lace-weight stitches from dropping off - I have an inch of knitting.

At this rate, it will be - oh heck! - I can't even imagine what year it will be when I finish. This will be one time, I have to have multiple projects on the go.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Thursdays Are For Knit Group

And good it is to be back.

Sandy paid me a big compliment in my absence. She knit - not one, but two - of my Easy Peasy Wraps.

Well, the pink one isn't quite finished yet, but well on it's way.The wraps mark a crossing of a threshold for Sandy. Sandy told the group today, that she has been knitting since she was seven and she is now - well, old enough to be retired - and the wraps are the first items EVER! that she has knit for herself.

Crossing one threshold often enables one to cross another. This winter, Sandy says she intends to buy her first computer and take lessons so she can read the blog. Because, without the blog, she had no pattern for the Easy Peasy Wrap. She did it all from memory. With a memory like that, Sandy, computers will be a breeze.

And the other Sandy - our summer host - the 'Don't post my picture' Sandy - had this lovely bag.
Sorry for the blurry shot, Sandy. I think I was overwhelmed by the bag.

I worked on my mystery hat. All will be revealed in time.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

I Found It!

The knitting bag has been found.
You can't imagine - or maybe you can - how much junk equipment you need for a summer at the trailer.

Bringing it all home plus three kids, their clothes and toys for a week - well, it's surprising the knitting bag surfaced at all.

Now, what shall be the next project?

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

No Dent Was Made

My knitting bag hasn't surfaced yet, but I did find the bag of summer knitting. I knit virtually every day at the trailer; rainy days are great for knitting. Riding in the boat while Fred fishes is great for knitting. Sitting in the outdoor chair keeping an eye on Grand Kids who are swimming, running, biking, playing is great for knitting.

The summer finished with quite a few FOs. Remember the hats? The Flapper Hat is missing. My Hearst friend Jan claimed it.
Remember the mittens?
The slippers?
The tea cozy?
And then there were a couple of dishcloths, the completion of the Easy Peasy Summer Wrap #2
- which my DIL, Kim, claimed - and another hat, which I can't show you at the moment, as it is a surprise for someone who reads the blog. Lots of fun little projects - some of which had been on my 'to-do' list for quite some time.

But despite the daily knitting ritual and all the finished objects, there was hardly a dent made in my trailer trunk of stash stuff. Like knitting - you knit and knit but at the end of the night, the ruler doesn't show much more knitting than when you started. The knitters' mystery; you do so much, yet still have so much to do.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Oh Where, Oh Where, Can My Knitting Bag Be?

The Grand Kids have been delivered to the transfer point and we are now on our own again. The house already seems too quiet.

We had tons of fun doing things like this
and this

and this.

I introduced them to Anne Of Green Gables, the movie version and they jumped - a 'K-Zillion' times - off Thornbury's pier into Georgian Bay. They waded into the Beaver River to gather the non-winning ducks from the annual summer-fest duck race and bounced themselves silly on a friend's trampoline.

But not one speck of knitting was accomplished. In fact, at the moment, I don't even know where my knitting bag might be. I am sure it will start to call my name soon.

Friday, August 22, 2008

No Knitting

We left Hearst on Monday for the drive home. This time we took two days to come as we had all three Grand Kids in the car and were pulling the boat.

I had thought that after a few hours we might be ready to put the kids in the boat. But with DS games and DVDs to watch, we barely knew they were with us.

Abi did kick her 'Crocs' off her feet before the van door was closed and lost one in a parking lot. She thought she might have to hop on one foot all week, but we managed to get her a new pair on her first morning here.

As for knitting - none! Next week, back to normal and knitting.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

The Chevalier Mitten

That's right. Mitten. Singular.

I've been lusting for these mittens Chevalier Mittens)ever since I noticed the pattern on the 'net'. With my trailer-trunk of stash-stuff, a quiet summer day seemed the perfect time to tackle them. Besides after 3 hats, I was ready for a change.

The pattern is great and easy to do. Probably really easy for those of you not readily confused about left/right, front/back cables. Me, on the other hand ... well, it takes me a few 'froggins' to get my cable 'mo-jo' fired up.

But I only have one mitten - and a thumb-less one at that. By the time number one was finished, it was time to begin packing up for the trip home.

Time to select some no-thinking knitting for the car. Mitten number two to follow from Thornbury.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Peach Jam

Meet my daughter-in-law, Kim.

Here she is with her very, first-ever-all-by-herself, homemade jam.

Peach jam. By my peach of a daughter-in-law.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Kirsten's Flapper Hat

Another 'wonder' from the "one-Skein Wonder" book. Designed by Kirsten Avent, thus the name.

At the moment, mine looks far less 'flapperish' than Kirstens, as pictured in the book. Hopefully blocking - which will wait until I"m home with pins instead of bottles of V8 juice - will create the 'flapper' look.

Mine is knit with Manos. Another luxury fibre. This girl's feelin g-o-o-d!

Monday, August 18, 2008

The Ganomy Hat For Non Gnomes

Subtitled: The Ear Flap Surprise Hat.

All credit to Elizabeth Zimmermann.

I've written this pattern for DK weight yarn That is 22 stitches to 4 inches. Instructions for Knitting Worsted ( 20 sts t0 4 ") and Chunky (14-16 sts to 4 ") in brackets.

Use needles appropriate to the yarn you are using.

You will also need markers. 4 of one colour (A), two of colour B, two of colour C The colour thing is anal. I day dream when I knit and need the colour 'alarm' to keep on track. If you don't have that problem, any colour will do.


1. Cast on 106 (96, 76) sts.

2. Join in the round and work 4 ridges in garter stitch. That is 8 rounds of knit one round, purl one round.

3. Shaping Set Up - but first a little theory.

The ear flaps are shaped by two decreases at each side of the hat. To prevent the hat from getting smaller and smaller because of these decreases, an equal number of increases are made at the front and back of the hat.

The shaping is a two-round repeat. Round one will be two decreases at the right ear, two increases at the front, two decreases at the left ear, two increases at the back.

Round two will be knit even - no decreases, no increases.


Round One: Mark the beginning of the round with a marker ( colour C)

** Knit one. Place marker (PM) (Colour A).

Increase one by knitting into the front and back of the next stitch ( K f&b)

Knit 15 (13, 10) sts. K 2 tog, PM ( Colour B) SSK

Knit 30 (27, 20) sts. K f&b of next stitch. PM (Colour A) Knit one. You are at the centre front.

Repeat from ** across second half of hat.

Round Two: Knit even.

4. Repeat rounds one and two until hat is about 4 1/2 inches high.

5. Now, change the front and back increase stitches to decrease stitches as follows: Place a marker (Colour C) between the two stitches that are presently between the two front markers. Remove the current front & back markers.

You now have 4 markers. One at each ear, and one at the front and one at the back.

Round One. Beginning at centre back ** slip marker, SSK, Knit to two stitches before the next marker, K 2TOG. Repeat from ** around hat.

Round Two: Work even. No decreases.

Repeat Rounds one and two until hat measures about 7 inches.

6. K2tog. Repeat around.

7. Work one round even.

8. K 2 tog. Repeat around.

9 Repeat step 8 until there are about 8 - 10 stitches remaining.

10. Cut yarn. Thread thru stitches. Pull tight.

For those of you with minds that yearn for a little more design info, there is about 14% of total stitches between centre back and each ear and about 28% between each ear and centre front. There you go. I've given away the secret to my genius. I simply took EZ's pattern numbers and worked out the percentages. I copy well. All credit to Elizabeth Zimmermann.

Friday, August 15, 2008

The Genius Of Elizabeth Zimmermann

The other night I reached into the knitting bag for my copy of Charlene Schurch's "Hats On!". I was tired and intended only to look at lovely pictures. But out of the middle of Charlene's book fell EZ's "Knitters Almanac" Ooh! I forgot that I had packed that book.

I turned to the month of June and began to read about the 'Three Hats'. The Ganomy Hat - because it has ear flaps - caught my attention. Most 'ear-flap' hats have the ear flaps knit separately then attached to the hat body.

But EZ, with her bent for mathematical genius, created ear flaps by shaping. Intrigued, I decided to cast on. The hat should be re-named, I think. A better name would be the Ear Flap Surprise Hat. Just like with EZ's Baby Surprise Jacket the Ganomy Hat surprised me with ear flaps created by shaping. What fun.

The top of the hat, though, seemed elongated. When I got to the part that said "insert ping pong ball", I realized no one I knew would be wearing this 'gnome' hat. With my own -albeit limited - knitting genius I re-shaped the top.. Look at this.

I don't think I'll ever knit an ear-flap hat the 'conventional' way again. I'll post the pattern for my version of EZ's Ganomy Hat tomorrow.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

The Knitting Fairy

Yesterday, taking advantage of a rare combination of events - no Grand Kids and warm sunny weather, Fred and I spent the afternoon in the boat. Fred fishing and me knitting.

While we were out, the Knitting Fairy came. Look what she left me.

And I've already removed 'my colours'.
Attached to the yarn pack were instructions for finger knitting using all 4 fingers on the hand. A great Grand Kids project.

Then she left the Yarn Atlas.

I see there are 13 yarn stores in Alaska, 53 in Florida! But in Clinton country, only 3. Guess Hillary doesn't knit. You can buy yarn anywhere from Walla Walla,Washington to Lafayette, Louisiana and all points in between.

But that's not all the Knitting Fairy left. This Knitting Fairy is also a quilter and she brought me this.

This will make a great Grand Kids' gift.

Thank you Knitting Fairy. I bet your name is Ruby. Sorry I missed your visit.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Aunt Alma's Dorm Boots

In the search for a great slipper pattern, I came across a net pattern called Aunt Alma's Dorm Boots.

I am searching for a slipper pattern that will look great felted, is not a clog and has a double thick sole. Fibre Trends, you are shouting to your monitor, I bet.

Except that I find the FT pattern fiddly. And you know by now that I am not the fiddly type. I'm the easy-peasy girl.

Aunt Alma's Dorm B0ots are definitely easy. A fun knit. But I wasn't truly happy with the sole. In fact, it isn't a sole at all.

So I am crossing it off my list. But if you are not so pathetically particular about your slippers, try it. It makes a cute slipper.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Beautiful Mohair Beret

Beautiful Mohair Beret - that's the pattern name, not my opinion.
But it does look pretty good.

And nothing like a luxury fibre to give a girl a lift.

Good self portrait,Eh?

Monday, August 11, 2008

Twice Un-Original Hat

When Stephanie knit this hat, she called it "Unoriginal Hat". Stephanie examined, then 'duplicated' her daughter's friend's 'cool' store-bought hat. Since I am 'duplicating' Stephanie's version, I am calling mine "Twice Unoriginal"Hat".

Stephanie's version is lovely, looks lusciously soft and she said was fun and fast to knit. My version?? well...

In my trailer-trunk, I had no yarn of the right gauge, so I used this.
Holding two strands together got me 'close-to' gauge. A bit thicker than required but close.

Stephanie suggested 7 mm needles. In my trailer-trunk - you guessed it. No 7s. 6 1/2 was the closest I could come. Yarn? a bit thicker than called for. Needles? a bit smaller than called for. Knitting? That combo is not so fun. The hat? a bit stiff and hard.

Three people have tried it on and all three have grimaced. Not the best reaction. Great pattern thought, Steph. I'll try it again when I get some Blue Moon Leticia.

Friday, August 8, 2008

The Re-Knit

Packing my supplies for trailer knitting, I came across 'two balls and a bit' of yarn leftover from a summer bolero I knit a few years back. The bolero was in the sack designated to hit the recycle circuit. Re-discovering the leftover yarn, I decided to re-knit and re-fashion the bolero. Lengthening it with a lace pattern on the lower portion should make it more current, I think.

By doing these re-knits, I've learned one thing about my knitting skills: I do an excellent job of sewing in ends. It takes me forever to find the darn things.

But they've been found and here we are today.

I remember reading a statement in one of EZ's books that went something like this - The re-knitting of sweaters is something much more often talked about than done.

There's probably a good reason for that. Wish me luck.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Advertising - Brenda's Style

Have you seen the fall issue of Vogue Knitting? Ruby bought me a copy when she came to visit the other night. It is the best!

Patriotic, Canadian knitters should run, not walk, to the nearest outlet to get this copy.

An entire section, titled "Oh Canada. Knitting Up North" is dedicated to the knitting scene in Canada. Cheryl Krementz writes a great in-depth article about the world of Canadian knitting. There is a Canadian Resource Guide and 8, count'em, 8 'Made In Canada' designs. Canadian Designers that Voque Knitting describes as "gifted knitwear designers".

As icing on the cake, there is a wonderful article about Elizabeth Zimmermann by 'Shirl the Purl' - Canadian, Shirley Scott. Meg Swansen, EZ's daughter has found an unpublished design in one of EZ's photo albums and intends to publish it this fall. My order is already in the mail.

This issue is truly special for Canadian knitters. Ruby couldn't have brought me a better gift.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Wonderful World Of Knitters

A Delightful knitter surprised me with a visit one recent evening. I answered the door to see a lovely ( and I was soon to learn. lively) lady with a big smile. She said " Hi Brenda. I'm' Ruby."

Ruby, the knitting half of the NAPA Auto Parts store duo. Ruby, the woman who commandeered the front corner of the store to provide Hearst knitter with access to quality yarns. I squealed. Ruby's smile grew and we hugged.

Last week, when I was at the store, Ruby was out, busy with the 'Save The Curling Club' committee. I left my card and asked the clerk to tell Ruby to watch for the blog posting about the store. Once she read the blog, Ruby decided we had to meet. Needle to needle in knit-speak.

We had a great visit. Turns out we have lots in common. Both knitters, Grandmas and owners of leaky trailers. Although Ruby's trailer leaked enough to produce a crop of carpet mushrooms so I let her have the title of 'Leak Queen.'

Ruby regaled me with tales of her travels. One of the things she discovered in the U.S.A. was a Yarn Atlas; a directory of yarn stores in the U.S. As far as I know, we have no such directory in Canada. But if we did, under 'N', it would read: NAPA Auto Parts, Hwy 11, Hearst, Ontario. When you go, ask to see Ruby. You will be delighted.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Why Can't They Do This In A House

No one was more surprised than me, to discover I like trailer life.

It's very cramped when the Grand Kids come to visit. And no large dinner parties will ever be readied in my tiny, trailer kitchen.
But as comfortable digs for summer fun, the trailer is great. And what house builders couldn't learn from trailer manufacturers! Look at these features.

Skylights that open with a quick turn of a little handle.
Environmentally- friendly, low-water-use toilets that flush with a foot pedal and use only enough water to do what's required.
(Read many blogs that post pics of their thrones?)

But the best of all, a feature that's common in today's trailers - the 'push-out'. Wouldn't it be neat, if at home, when expectiong guests, you could press a hydraulic button and push out the wall to gain additional space? Now that's design!

It's all summed up nicely in the 'lovely' plate - a garage-sale find - my sister gave me.

Friday, August 1, 2008

Orphaned No Longer

In my stash, there was an orphaned mitten. I threw it into the 'to do at the trailer' bag and now it has a partner.

The yarn used, sadly, has been discontinued. Called Muskoka, 100% Merino Canadian Wool. Made in Canada by Spinrite. Labeled in six! languages. I'd like to know if that was a nod to 'global economy' or immigrant knitters.

The mittens didn't use the entire ball, so a matching- of sorts - hat was in order. The hat pattern was an Internet download. designed to resemble the hat Julia Roberts wore in the movie 'Step Mom'.

No pattern required really. It's simply a rolled brim hat with the occasional use of other colours in either stockinet or garter stitch.

From orphan to complete set. Slowly marching through the stash.