Monday, September 30, 2013

Definitely Distracted

I was just about to start knitting on my Autumn Fair this afternoon when I decided to check out what  is going on in ravelry today.  Bad, bad idea.  Look what they deviously  put in my Pattern Highlights page today. 

It is Anne Of Green Gables, red hair and all.  And now there is a pattern book filled with 'Anne' designs.  And the book is in the  pre-order stage.

Now what Canadian woman was not raised on,  was not infatuated with,  Anne Of Green Gables. 

Now what Canadian knitter could possibly  resist that?  Certainly not this one.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Thursdays Are For Knit Group

Sunshine, warm temperatures, coloured leaves and scarecrows everywhere. 
It must be fall in Meaford.  And what better way to spend a fall afternoon that at knit group.

We have some very clever people in our knit group.  There is Ingrid of course with all her creative self-designed knitting.
Here she tells me about her newest piece.  A top she says.  Although to me it looks like a skirt.  She is putting a type of I cord trim around the bottom.  A very time consuming task she admits.  I spared her feelings and didn't tell her about how, in minutes,  I machine knit  the same thing on my baby blanket.

In the clever-ness category, today we also had Jean.  Take a look at her current project. Being  knit with Paton's Classic, it is a cabled vest.  How about that chart!

More cleverness at the other end of the table where Nan was teaching Lauren to knit socks with two circs.  Pretty serious business, it appears.

Sharon finished the cutest, little pair of baby boy socks.  On to her next project - a hat.

Wima concentrates on the shawl she is knitting with the softest yarn ever.  Shelridge Farm Wool she purchased at the knitters fair.

Wonderful fall weather.  Wonderful things at knit group.  Wonderful afternoon.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Autumn Fair With A Side Of ---??

Autumn Fair is the main thing on my knitting plate at the moment, but there is a little side dish.  This sweater. 

From this book

The sweater has no name - just a number.  I am going to call Ruching.  Ruching, as in rhymes with, wooshing.  A pleating or gathering of the fabric.  In this case along the front edges.

Ruching is primarily a boring knit.  Straight stockinet sleeves. Straight stockinet back.  Straight stockinet fronts each with just a few decorative rows of ruching on the upper bodice.

What's a busy knitter to do when faced with so many stockinet stitches?  Get out the machine of course.  I did the gauge swatch and then the math because natch, my gauge is not the same as the pattern gauge. That would be way too easy.

And I have one sleeve finished and sewn together
and the second sleeve finished but not yet sewn. 

Next up will be the back.  Finally the fronts.   I have yet  to decide if I can manipulate  the stitches effectively enough to do the ruching on the machine.  If not, the fronts will be 'fusion' knitting.  Bottom portions up to the ruching will be on the machine, then ruching to the tops will be by hand. 

Either way, it is nice to have a little something on the side.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Sleeve City

My Autumn Fair  coat is knitting up quickly.  One sleeve is finished

and the other,  off to a good start.


I deviated from the pattern instructions to knit the sleeve in the round.  All the wrong side  rows described in the pattern were simply 'work  stitches as they appear.'   (Well, that is not what   the pattern actually said, but that is what it meant.)

So -  I thought - wouldn't that be easier to see/do  from the right side of the work?  And to see/do it from the right side meant I would have to knit it in the round.  What a great idea. 

I really like the garter bands on the cuff.  They re-appear on the yoke of the coat - a nice tie in of stitch patterns.  Although the stitch count is not reduced at the end of the cuff,  take another look at the finished sleeve to see how much the cable pulls in the knitting.  Severe blocking will be required in that portion of the sleeve.

And just in case you are not impressed with my one-and-a-bit finished sleeves  -   just in case you  think perhaps I slacked off over the weekend  -   here is what I did in my non-knitting moments.  Pears.

Friday, September 20, 2013

What A Rube!

A Rube - an uneducated person who is usually from the country
              - an awkward unsophisticated person

That's me.  
 I mean, I try.  I get out.  I go to knitting events.  I dress nicely.  But when I read Marie's blog this morning about her DKC (Downtown Knit Collective) evening in Toronto with so many of the world's well known knitting stars on stage,  I realized my knitting adventures could possibly  probably do define me as a Rube.

Beaten, but not out, I read Lyn's blog.  Lyn comes from Australia and travels lots.  Take a look at her shoes.  Mine come from Winners.   Rube.
There is no cure for this feeling of Rube-ness, other than to bury myself in my knitting.  I am off to do just that.  Have a good weekend everyone.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Thursdays Are For Knit Group

Today we remembered Pat Green. One of our knitters,  Pat passed away last week.

 A knitter of toys and dolls, an English war bride, a reciter of poetry, a lover of the Royal family and a woman with a great zest for life.

We are glad she was part of our group and we will miss her.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

What's Next?

With   Contrarian on my back today,  I am ready to move on.  Closure from that nasty experience, came with the cast off. Bringing an end to my frustration with that summer knit.

So, what's next?  This bag of yarn has been on my shelf since 2010.

 It is Sable Soft,
 a  chunky weight, 50/50 mix of wool and acrylic.  I purchased it soon after I saw this magazine with the lovely tourquoise coat  on the cover.  It has been waiting patiently ever since. 

Some of my delay in knitting this coat has been seasonal.  Despite the pattern being called Spring Fair,  my  coat, with the rust coloured yarn will be Autumn Fair.   Since 2010, I have chosen not to knit this project  in the spring.  Or the summer.  Or the winter.  But Contrarian's delay means in 2013, the  timing is right.

Like all rule-obeying knitters, I have started with a gauge swatch  sleeve.  (Look what the bright lights of my basement rec room has done to that colour!)
 I love the cuffs done in the rib rolls.  The cable pattern, with only two repeats under my belt is not yet memorized but is certainly easily do-able.   Memorizing is close, I feel. 

My goal is a coat for October.  More specific than that I won't say.  That gives me a 31 day opening.  Surely I can make that.

PS - Please excuse all spelling mistakes in today's post.  And blame them on Blogger's  non-functioning spell check.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Contrasts Re-Invented

Finally, finished.  Contrasts, the nifty little number that, in early June, I thought I would machine knit, is finally finished.  In a totally re-invented sweater.  You might remember that I wasn't having any fun knitting Contrasts on the machine.  Since the pattern included both machine and hand knitted instructions,  I switched to the hand knitted version.  For about 10 minutes.   The pattern escaped me. For the second and last time, I gave up on Contrasts.
Following that failure,  I went pattern diving in my extensive collection and came up with a pattern I initially knit probably 25 years ago.

The  pattern called for several different yarns.  Knit side to side, the multiple yarns created a very interesting, vertically striped sweater.  Since Crofter has it's own variety of colours, I didn't need any other yarns to give it that vertical look.  Here is my version.  Instead of Contrasts, I think I should call mine, Contrarian.

Pattern:Sirdar 00903
Yarn:  Sirdar Crofter, DK Weight
Needles:  4.5 for the body and 3.75 for the trim. A bigger than called for needle because - well, can't really remember my thinking there but  that is what I did.
1) I knit the bottom trim at the same time as the sweater by doing a series of 2 rows garter, 2 rows stockinet.

2)I added short rows to give more hip  belly  room.  I did them at Rows 20 and 40 on both the front & back and both left & right pieces.  Eight short rows in all.  Good thing I did.  It  just meets nicely in the middle. Without those short rows, there would have been quite a hip-gap.  I did those short rows by working up 20 stitches, wrapping,  turning and working back to the beginning of the row.

3)The ruffled edging is a result of several other types of edging giving me the frights.  I finally chose this ruffle one,
and worked it  by knitting 2x2 rib for 5 rows, then one rwo of Kf&b in every stitch followed by the cast off row.  This gave a very loose row for the cast off which was good.  And it lies flat.  Another bonus.

4) Knit to pattern, the underarm area had lots of fabric.  Too much for my liking. Once all seams had been sewn, I re-sewed a deeper, second seam under the arm to get rid of some of the excess.

Not a highly technical cardi, but after so many trials and errors with Contrasts, I am completely satisfied to have a wearable piece - finally finished.

Monday, September 16, 2013

The Knitters Fair - A Mixed Review.

Well, my personal jury is still out on the 2013 Kitchener Waterloo Knitters Fair.  The change of location made a BIG difference to the feel of  the fair.

Previous years, the fair was held in a very pretty, park-like setting, with picnic tables for those of us that brown-bag our lunch.  The interior of the  building was also pretty. Nicely decorated with a feeling of elegance.  The showrooms were  in the ballrooms.  That set the bar high for the feel/tone of the fair.

This year, for reasons rumored to be more parking and cheaper rent,  the fair was relocated to a hockey arena. No park-like setting for our lunch - we ate  on the grass beside the parking lot.  Nothing elegant about washrooms, stairways or  eating areas in a hockey arena.  A different tone altogether.

We arrived early and thank goodness we did.  Within an hour of the show opening, the Fire Marshall had arrived and was limiting the number of people in the showroom.  That meant  l-o-n-g  lineups to get in.  Some  knitters said they had a 45 minute wait before being allowed in.   Yikes!

The number of vendors was way down, it seemed.  Down a bit last year from the historic 75 - 80, but this year, there were only 54.  As one of our group said, it is the first year  she would rate the Knitters Frolic in Toronto a better/bigger show than Kitchener.  Sad.

My spending was down this year too.  Is that related to atmosphere?

First stop was the Knitca booth where  I picked up the  bulky yarn that was waiting for me.
Seeing the colours in 'real life' made me change from my original choice of Lion - shades of brown and orange - to Rainbow.  Vibrant and  multi-coloured it should please  Nicki, my personal, colour critic.

The Knitca Mom & Dad were very clever people I thought. They stationed their two, knitting offspring at this little table with lots of Knitca yarns and needles, giving shoppers, like this lady,  a chance to try out their yarns.  

Beyond that, I found some long cables for my Knit Picks needles at Grand River Yarns.  Thanks, Rochelle.

Beyond that, I went to the Colour Riot workshop
 presented by Anne Blayney and her sister and learned that I really need to spend some time studying colour to know what I am talking about.   Yes, that is the famous Glenna C you see in the purple sweater, kntting and  listening.

And beyond that , the knitterly items that caught my eye were this  great coffee mug  -

and this DVD & pattern by Meg Swansen.


Overall, the day was great.  The weather perfect.  The drive easy and uneventful.  Some, but not too much money spent.  Great, like-minded friends to hang out with.

But that hockey arena.  Really?

Friday, September 13, 2013

I'm Ready

I'm Ready.  Well, as ready as one more big sleep can get me.  Tomorrow is the annual
Kitchener Waterloo Knitters Fair.   Christmas, birthday, anniversary and Mothers Day all rolled into one for most knitters.

My bag is packed.

This lovely bag, made by Julia and gifted to me at last year's fair, 
Julia was intriqued by my blog posts about the  fair and    came  all the way from New Mexico to see it for herself.  I intend to return that favour one day.

This pattern is packed.
 I bought the pattern but no yarn  in the spring while in Nanaimo.

Then, I came across a brochure featurinng the  perfect yarn.
I emailed the folks at Knitca and indeed they will have the colour I want at the fair and have promised to save me a bag of it.   That will be my first purchase of the day.  Any guesses on which colour I chose? 

Beyond that, maybe some new  cables for my Knit Picks  needles.  A girl can never have too many.  Beyond that,  a workshop on colour and beyond that -- well, who knows what great, knitterly items  will catch my eye.   I'll let you see the haul on Monday.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Thursdays Are For Knit Group

Wow. Wow.  And Wow again.  That is all I can think to say about  what I saw at knit group today.

Ingrid arrived wearing her latest design.  A jumper/dress piece that Ingrid was thrilled to model. 

 Wear it with wings out,    (Don't you love the pooling?)

or wings in.

The back & front/top & bottom  are joined by an inch of plain coloured yarn.  Done, Ingrid said,
 to camouflage the difference in  dye lots between the  front and back pieces.   Stunning Ingrid.  I admire your tenacity and your creativity. 

Sandy B has a big smile on her face. 
Due, I'm sure, to the fact that for short periods of time the Doctor has given her permission  to remove her brace.  Perfect for knitting.

We haven't seen Joanne in a l-o-n-g time.  
She lives most of the year now with her son, a few hours to the east.  We see her only when  she comes 'home' to Meaford and her house on the bay.  Here she shows us mittens knit by Sharon.

Nan likes them too.  The yarn is from  Custom Woolen Mills, purchased when Sharon was on an Alberta vacation earlier this summer.


What a glorious afternoon of inspiration.  Thanks, knitters

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Entrelac Day

Today is day one  of a special KAL.  A group of knitters and I meet weekly. They are in various beginner stages and I am the - well I am not sure what they might call me -  but I help them with their knitting issues.

Prior to summer break, they asked to do a KAL and the chosen topic was Entrelac.

Today is day one.  I have the scarf,

some How To Instructions,

 and a few samples.  Base triangles.

Tier one

and Tier two.

 I don't expect we will get this far today but I am prepared.  By the end of this KAL I expect they will  be thanking the knitter who suggested Entrelac  - or cursing her.