Monday, April 30, 2012

Fun At The Frolic

Saturday was Toronto's  annual Knitters Frolic hosted by the Downtown Knit Collective. Again, I worked the Cabin Fever booth.  This year, with Lynda
-one half of the Gemmell sister duo. 

What a day!  So much busier than last year.  Mr Finance Minister, if knitters are any indication,  the recession is over!

Supposedly, I was there to work.  But there were so many knitter friends to visit with.    No-longer-new Nan was there.  As was Sandy B and her sister, bag-lady Sue.  Marie of Sel&Poivre, Sandra of Curlerchick knits, Sharon and Patrick both   ex-co-workers from London and the biggest surprise of all, also from London, my good friend Patti-Ann.  Neither of us had thought to ask the other if we were going to the show so our meet up in the hall was a big surprise for both of us.   

Patti-Ann is very perfectly tuned into my knitterly self.  She knows what colours I wear - and more importantly -  what colours I should wear.  She knows the limits of my knitting skills.  Having a friend with this knowledge makes her a very big  enabler.  A could-be dangerous situation at times.  Luckily, my guilt at being away from the booth for too long at a stretch,  kept me from doing too much damage on the  shopping circuit.  Otherwise  I'd be seeking debt counselling this morning. 
I did purchase some skeins of what I call, standard show yarns. Standard show yarns come in two kinds.  One kind makes me say "I love this, have no idea what I'll do with it, but gotta' have it.  
In this case, three skeins of yarn labelled One Of A Kind.  Read - prepared for the show.  Lace weight, in a Polyester, Flax and Silk combo.   

Then it's direct opposite. 


The  kind of yarn with  an accompanying pattern 

which catches my attention because it has been knitted up and is on display for show-goers to  gush over. (I'm not sure I really needed two of them, Patti-Ann.  I might need to enforce  mandatory limits on enabling)

All in all, a wonderful day.  The booth looked lovely with new patterns knit up. 
This green sweater is from Deb's soon-to-hit-the-shelves book of large size knits. 

The new, lace-on- all-edges shawl pattern, designed by Robin Hunter is a beauty. 
Especially in CF's yarn  that contains  sterling silver.

There was lots of visiting, lots of shopping - oh and some  'boothing'.  Sorry about my short attention span, Lynda. 

Friday, April 27, 2012

Where Did Thursday Go?

Many of you, I know, look forward to my Thursday posts.  It is fun to see the knitting antics of Doreen, Nicki, Sharon, Ingrid and all the other knit-group knitters.  So, I apologize for this week's s no-post  Thursday.  Instead of knit group, I was at my routine appointment for the squishing of certain female body parts.  No knit group for me.  Too bad too,  as Sandy B, home from Florida, taught the knitters how to do mitred squares, generously printing out and sharing all the tips she has learned  from her many mitred-square projects.

Knitting was accomplished chez Brenda though, as the lace work on Cinne is motoring along.
The four-row lace repeat, with rows 2 & 4 being identical in that they work the stitches as they appear, is  just within my lace-knitting reach.  Combining that with interesting construction makes it a  fun knit.

The top starts with a 35 stitch centre back panel.  Once that is finished, stitches are picked up along the sides of that panel and knit outwards to the end of the sleeve.  That gives a vertical lace pattern in the centre back, sandwiched between  horizontal lace panels on the side edges.

  Same pattern, turned at right angles.  Quite unique.

When the back side stitches are picked up along the  centre-back panel, in the same row, you carry on, to cast on an equal number of stitches   for the front side panels.  You can see those cast on stitches with  a few rows of lace in my work here.

The piece looks scarily small, so a try-on seemed a good idea.
My finished piece will be longer than it appears now.   The pattern includes a short, shrug-like version which has the  ribbing worked at the bottom of the lace.  My piece, as you see it here, with ribbing would be the short version. I am knitting the long version, which means I will pick up stitches at the bottom of the lace and knit down until desired length.   

That covers the length issue.  But is is big enough around?  Hopefully being lace, it will block out bigger giving me a bit more ease.   It is not meant to meet in the middle, but still - will I be forced to knit a  very wide ribbed trim?

Lightweight, lacey, and very 'du jour'.  So far, so good.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Divorce?? So Soon??

Some relationships are just not meant to be.  Some couples contain fantastic individuals, but together, neither are shown at their best.

Not my niece and her hubby of 10 days.  As far as I know they are still in the bliss period.  I am speaking of Debbie and Sally.

My When Debbie Met Sally sweater, knit using Deb Gemmell's famous, top-down, neckline method and a modification of Sally Melville's Where's The Opaque  pattern just didn't have longevity in it's marital genes.  The sweater, knit especially to wear with my Aunt Of The Bride Dress, didn't compliment the dress at all.  Following that disappointment, I thought I could 'make do' by keeping the sweater as part of my summer, cardi  stash.  But the more I looked at it, the more I realized - it lacked a certain fashion flair.  Actually it had no fashion flair.

A completely, 100%, garter stitch cardi could  accurately be described as appearing 'homemade'.  My knitting goal is always that confirming the garment as homemade should come as a surprise.  A shock.  Total disbelief to be exact.  Instead, When Debbie Met Sally let that secret out at first glance.

Looking at the photos of the sweater, I realized  the attraction, for me,  was colour.  I liked the green and I particularly liked the contrast and summery look of the white buttons against the green.

  Colour and contrast I could keep but with a different pattern.

Then, in that  'it was meant to be'  category, Chic Knits published it's latest pattern.  Cinne.
 A lacey short-sleeved cardi calling for the exact weight of yarn  used in When Debbie Met Sally.
 Relationships unravel.
Partnerships shift.

Couples meet and mesh.  The heat of that first-blush passion is upon me and look what I've accomplished so far.  
I sense a golden anniversary in this couple's future.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Was There Any Knitting?

With the recent high points  of my life being my ' Aunt Of The Bride' sewing project and the New Orleans wedding, the blog has boasted few, recent  knitting posts.  But there was some knitting.

On the drive to the airport, I finished a very long-overdue, second sock.  Sock number one was knit in the spring  of 2010 for the Need A Sock? book.  Creating the book meant a marathon of sock knitting.  When it finally went to the printers, the sock yarn and needles took to hibernation.  But there are more than a few single socks waiting for mates.

This pair I  kept in the  glove compartment of the car knitting on them when I was a passenger on  long drives.  Heading to the Detroit airport for the flight to New Orleans was a long enough drive to get the pair finished. Yahoo!

This  pair of   mottled purple and green
are knit with  Patons Kroy Stretch yarn.

The pattern is  a variation of the  basic pattern from the Need A Sock? book.   Sporting   2 x 2 ribbing for the entire  five inch cuff,   they become 'Bobby Socks' when the cuff is turned over.
 Before I get   emails galore from the under 50 crowd wondering what the heck is  a Bobby Sock,   google   'the sixties'.  Look for fashion items such as poodle skirts and Bobby Socks.

These socks, meant for me,  are my de-rigeur size.   64 stitches on  2.25 mm needles with, when measured from the completion  of the gusset decreases to the beginning of the toe  decreases,  a  six inch foot.   

Nice summer socks.  Now that the bottle-neck has been broken, I am certain there will be more second socks to come.  Soon.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Swamp Boat Wedding

My head is finally un-fogged and my body  acclimatized  to cool, non-New Orleans  weather.  The pictures are  sorted, cropped and red-eyed.  So, I give you my niece's swamp boat wedding.

First, you should know - there were shoes!

My grandfather ran a shoe store when I was a child and would take us, Sundays, after Church, to the privacy of the closed  store to buy our shoes.  That's where it started.

For those of you who have never attended a swamp boat wedding and wonder 'what the heck is a swamp boat' - here it is.  A flat-bottomed boat which seats 20 or so, with a flat metal roof.  Perfect for navigating the shallow, gator-infest waters of the Bayou.

Guests included 92 year old Grandpa of the bride and his friend Dorothy.  

The groom waited at the back?? front?? end! of the boat,
as Mom and Dad walked the bride down the 'aisle'.

Reverend Tony officiated

then we all watched the first, married kiss
and a new family was formed.
What food is served at a Louisiana swamp boat wedding?  Good question.  Beyond the traditional Champagne for toasts and the  heart-shaped cake, there were
Muffelattas, and Po-Boys.  Blackened chicken, fish and shrimp Po-Boys to be exact.

Who all attended this special wedding?  Beyond the 13 family members, there were more than a few unexpected,  but apparently welcome,  guests.

Dinner back in town took place at Arnauds.  A charming restaurant in a 300 hundred year-old building right in the heart of the French Quarter.  We enjoyed the quiet of a private, second-floor room with a balcony that overlooked the mayhem of Bourbon Street at Festival time. 

The wedding was beyond special.  The weather perfect, the bride beautiful and the setting unique. Not soon to be forgotten, that is for sure.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Thursdays Are for Knit Group

Perhaps not as  exciting as a Thursday in New Orleans, but running a close second, is a  Thursday at knit group.   

Ingrid is knitting a sleeve.  Knitting it flat and in Lilac!  Imagine.  It needs to be 60 centimetres wide she says.   24 inches if my math is right that's a wide sleeve, Ingrid.  

Gloria has another 'justa' project.

 A baby hat this time.  Since Gloria's  daughter got married last winter, I expect, any day soon,  that these baby projects will be for a grand baby.  But not yet.  This one is for the hospital.

Wilma has her needles in a very trendy project. 
 Boot toppers. 
An 'ever-so-cute' piece of knitting to cover the top of a rubber boot. Other than  beautification,  I am not sure if they serve a purpose.  This pair is headed to Wilma's daughter-in-law in B.C. With B.C.'s rainy weather, I am sure any rubber boot beautification will be appreciated.
Nell showed off another lap blanket headed to a mission in Toronto. 

 This one was a collaborative work.  Squares knit by a group of ladies from a small community outside of Meaford and given to Nell to put  together.  Nell mentioned that some of the squares -  weren't.  But a good blocking should cure that.

Along with the squares, Nell was gifted another load of yarn.  In Nell's world, another load of yarn means another blanket.  

As Nell says " Some lucky person will be warm."

Sharon has a pair of socks on the go. 
She is  pleased with herself.  These socks are fraternal not identical and - she isn't bothered by that.  At all!    Must be the relaxed state of a retired woman, Sharon.

In New Orleans, not one person spoke to me about fraternal socks, gauge or boot toppers.    Imagine!  How do they spend their time?  Not at Thursday knit group, obviously.


OMG!  What a trip.  Having never been to New Orleans, the noise, the crowds, the 24 hour-ness of it all almost overwhelmed small-town  Fred and I.  

 My niece chose the weekend of the French Quarter Festival for the wedding because she likes the 'vibe' of the city at that time.  But!  There were 574,000 visitors. To say it was crowded doesn't even begin to describe it.

There will be pictures of the swamp boat wedding - and the visiting alligators - but for now, to get an idea of our weekend, enjoy this you-tube .mp
YouTube - Videos from this email

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

A WInner!

A couple of weeks back, I stopped into Meaford's tiny version of Winners -   a privately-owned store with the big W's buying strategies.  There, I spotted a 100% Linen, summer vest.  Very light-weight, knit in a drop-stitch pattern, longish, A-line and  sporting a one-button closure.

A perfect layering piece for summer - or more importantly - New Orleans.
Leaving the store with vest in hand, I did   what I most often do when on the main street of Meaford.  I stopped into the LYS to chat with  the owner.  There, I noticed, on the bottom shelf, some Baby Bamboo in the exact same colour as the vest in my bag.  At least under the fluorescent lights it was the exact same colour.  In natural light, it's close.  "Well now I said,   "wouldn't that  make a great scarf for my new vest?"    Indeed it would.  Three balls came home with me.

A few days later I was back.  Having decided that the best look for the scarf would be one of a combination of neutrals, I had chosen some shiny white from stash,   but came looking for some 'shiny' black.  A thin black ribbon did the trick. 

There were a few false starts trying to  get the colour proportions just right - the vision was mostly taupe with a dash of black and white. 

The addition of the black and white means the scarf will look dashing over  both colours.

 I see tees with  summer skirts or capris. 

Bordered by a few rows of garter stitch, the centre of the scarf uses my favourite scarf stitch - K1, YO K2tog.    I knit it lengthwise, casting on 180 stitches and used the yarn tails for fringe. 

It is a 'Just In Time' scarf.  Finished yesterday and blocked last night.  Ready for the suitcase this morning.  

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

You Win Some - You Lose Some

My vision for  When Debbie Met Sally was a little, summery,  cover-up sweater  for  the dress I planned to wear to my niece's wedding.  I am pleased with the sweater.

I am pleased with the dress.

But I am not pleased with the two of them together.  Take a look.

 The sweater over a white shirt looks great.  The sweater over the collar-less dress - not so much. I had  wanted a cover up for several reasons - but - time to abandon those reasons and adopt 'Plan B'.  Wear  the  dress without a cover up.

Wearing a different, 'no-show' bra means I don't need the cover up for modesty reasons.

 The wedding, being on a swamp boat, not in a Church,  means I don't need the cover up for Church reasons.    Apparently, the boat is covered, so I don't need the cover up for sun protection.  Decision  made.  Save the cardi for another time.

The   dress, sewn to the size indicated by my measurements,  was quite large through the waist.  I took it in several inches.  Now, I've discovered that it slips off the shoulders a bit too often for easy wearing.  Obviously, it is a bit too big there as well.  Cleverly, I think, I have devised a little bit of trim - three narrow strips to be sewn into the back edges and braided in the centre.

With the strips pinned in place, I wore the dress on an around-the-house, test-run   this morning.  The closure worked just fine. 

 Fred cautioned me against buying 'high heels' for the wedding.  Rough water and a rocky boat were his thoughts!   However -how often does a girl get to be Aunt Of The Bride  on a swamp boat in Louisiana?  Not often enough, I tell you.  So high heels it is and - GREEN!! ones at that.
Cover-up or not, I'm ready for a fun time.

Adapting to change, as only a knitter with a failed vision can, I can now say that my first summer cardi  - which   looks great over a white shirt -   is finished.   I can say that after a several year hiatus, I have returned to sewing and with only a few minor glitches, have produced a fun, summer dress.  I have a great pair of  GREEN!!  high- heeled shoes.  Add to that, warm weather and a family wedding to look forward to and 'Plan B' sounds pretty good.    You win some, you don't win some.  I can live with that.