Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Summer Travels

The grand adventure of 2014 has begun. Grand daughter  Abi,   Fred and I set off this morning  for leg one of the ashes -scattering mission throughout Quebec. The priority knitting of this trip is my Colour Block knit with Shelridge Yarns.
I have given this entire project a re-think and finally can say, It's started.

In fact, I'd say, Miss Shelridge even enjoyed the drive.

 The Gaspe pennisula, our final destination is a long way from home.  My goal is a finished sweater.

Monday, June 23, 2014

You Know You Are A Knitter When

A Grand Seduction is a film I have been wanting to see and yesterday, Fred and I decided to take advantage of a matinee showing to see the movie before we leave on our summer travels.  After all, no sense staying home to watch the Blue Jays lose another game - they can do that without us.

We tarted ourselves up and off we went.  The parking lot and lobby were only moderately full.  We got our tickets and our snacks and headed for   the theatre.  The teen-aged ticket-taker tore our tickets and complimented us on how nicely we were dressed.  I don't remember the exact words but the tone was something along the lines of  "Well, aren't you two all  dressed up for a movie."

As we chose our seats and settled in, I looked down to refresh my memory about  what I was wearing, wondering what had made a teenager  comment on our clothing.  I saw this.

Friday, June 20, 2014

198 Yards Of Heaven

During the Olympics, one of my Knitters With Balls attempted to knit 198 Yards Of Heaven.  It was to be her first lace project. It defeated her.

And me too from the vantage point of looking over her shoulder. Post Olympics, I tried my own 198 Yards Of Heaven and was almost defeated a second time. Like many things though, I have discovered if I re-write the information in my own words it makes more sense to me.  And so - I re-wrote 198 Yards and finished the scarf.

When I blogged about it, I offered my notes to anyone who might want them.  Half a dozen knitters have emailed to ask for the notes.  Last night, one of those knitters, Denise, emailed to say she had finished her 198 Yards and she enclosed this great photo.

It looks lovely, Denise. Glad I was able to help.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Thursdays Are For Knit Group

World Wide Knit In Public Day Meaford style.  Once again we stopped street strollers with our knitting. 

Outside the library today, with knitters, goodies and cold drinks, we had a great time showing off our knitting.

There were those who liked the sun

And those

who liked the shade.

Meghan was out. 
We don't see her often as she has been attending Georgian College this past year studying to be a nurse.  She finishes late August and hopefully, will be gainfully employed soon after.  Well done, Meghan.

Sandy finished the shawl she started just after her April cruise. 

Gorgeous doesn't begin to describe it.

She wanted to see it modelled over a white tee, so lucky me, I got to try it on.

Joanne, another knitter we don't see often anymore, now that she spends winters with her son a bit East of us, thought it should be worn as a scarf.
Looks good like that too, Sandy.

I love these colours that Carol is knitting.
Red trim at the bottom, with the upper portion containing  greens, golds and reds.  Carol is knitting this as a cardigan for herself.   It will be a great, Carol.

On a sad note, we have lost another knitter.  Nell passed away this week.  The Mission will miss your knits, Nell and we will miss you.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Ladies With Dough

My Wednesday knitting group - the ladies I refer to as the Ladies with Balls- today were instead The ladies With Dough. One of the knitters had baked an apple pie for us a few weeks ago and one of the non bakers in the group asked  "Can you teach me how to make a pie like this?"

From there it was decided that we should exchange one of our knitting days for a pie baking day.  Today was the day.

One knitter supplied two bushels of apples from her husband's orchard  or more precisely,  this time of year from the cold storage.  Two ladies peeled all those apples and the rest of us made pies.  11 in all, I counted.  A pan of apple crisp was baked because we needed something to eat after all that hard work.  
A fun day and a freezer full of pies. What could be better?

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

The Prescription Reads

Yesterday I had some minor surgery.  Nothing major, just some work that had to be done in preparation for  a crown on  a tooth that broke this past winter.  The assistant said  - "In case your friends ask, you have just had Crown Lengthening surgery." 

I have always thought it important to keep my own teeth.  I know that when my nursing home time comes, I'll struggle to  find my glasses, my slippers, my hearing aids and likely a myriad of other things.    But I'll be  darned if I'm going to have to hunt for my teeth.  Another incentive to keep my own is  the story told by one of my Ladies With Balls. She  tells of being a brand-new nursing student who was told to put the patient's teeth in a bowl of water for the night.  She did.   Every patient in her charge  -   all their teeth into one bowl.

I intend to keep my own.    But the cost of this fix  almost made me change my mind.  It  will, when finished, be my $3,000 tooth.  I intend to show it off to all who pass by.   Just as I arrived for my appointment yesterday, a patient was handing over his credit card.  He said  "Painless dentristy my foot.  This part hurts a lot."

But the good news is the take home sheet of  'Instructions For Care After Surgery' says No physical activity for 24 hours.  Well now.  I always obey doctors' orders.  Today I will sit and knit. Icould  call it the $3000 sweater.

Monday, June 16, 2014

Where Did Thursday Go

You probably noticed last week that there was no Thursday blog post about knit group.  It wasn't that there was no knitting, but rather that I wasn't there.

As my sisters and I prepare for a family trip to Quebec City and around the Gaspe Peninsula to scatter my parents' ashes, we began the  process by placing some of their ashes in the crematorium in the local, hometown cemetery last Thursday afternoon.

We joked that mom finally came out of the closet.  Eleven  years have gone by since she passed but it was Dad's wish to have their ashes together so Mom has been waiting.  Finally she came out of  the closet.

I stayed overnight in the hometown as the next day there was a reunion.  I can't believe I deserved to receive an invitation to the event -  50th !!! anniversary of our Grade 13 Graduation.  But the organisers were right.  That is my picture in the year book.  In anticipation, I told my sisters that I would go 'for awhile'.  I couldn't imagine staying very long.  But, party animal that I am, as I took my leave, I looked around and realized I was one of the last there.   Guess a good time was had by me.

So was there any knitting time? Not much.  With both Lacey and Fauxnel renovated, I began a serious start on an overdue project.  While in Baltimore helping at the Shelridge Yarns booth, Lyn asked if I would knit and write up the pattern for my Colour Block  sweater, using Shelridge Yarns.  Of course, I said yes.  It  has been awhile since I've written a  pattern and I had forgotten how much work it is.  Colour Block is top down and  Contiguous with multiple colours.
There have been several starts.  At last, though, I  think I truly have started. 

Driving around the Gaspe Pennisula means lots of passenger hours in the car.  My goal is to get the sweater past the point of complication so it will be perfect car knitting.  The second goal is  not to spill  ashes on it. Sorry, couldn't resist.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014


Most people I know hate renovations.  The mess,  the disruption to normal living. Me, I'd rather have it right than not.
And so, I'm renovating a couple of recent knits. First up was Lacey. After 3 trial runs I realized I didn't like the shirt tail hem. On me that is. Some knitters might groan at the thought of that re-work. But I'd rather have it right.
To do the reno  I threaded a contrasting thread through a row of stitches just above the last short row . Then I cut.  Once cut, I picked up the stitches and knit down, finishing off with ribbing versus what was there before - curling garter.

All this was done in the round. 

At the ribbing though, I knit each piece back and forth in order to leave a tunic-like split at the sides. Thinking of those hips again.

Next up for a reno was Fauxnel. Trial runs there told me it needed a bit more length. An easier fix than the shirt tail hem as Fauxnel was top down. I simply undid the cast off and am knitting  down an inch.

Reno soon to be done and summer wardrobe ready.

Monday, June 9, 2014

The Homefront

What a wonderful day some of the Meaford Knitters had on Friday.

First Stop was the sock exhibition called The Homefront, at the Tom Tomson Gallery in Owen Sound.  The curator did a marvellous job of displaying the hand knit socks in a creative, artistic way that paid tribute to the soldiers who wore them.

She made papier mache forms to insert in each sock - and given that we counted 93 pairs that was had one heck of a lot of papier mache.  Then she hung every pair from a rod that she had carved and painted to look like double pointed needles.
 The socks were placed in platoons - just as the soldiers who wore them would have been.
In addition to the socks there were many letters written by soldiers during the first world war thanking knitters for sending them a pair of socks.  Some cited wet, cold feet.  Some told of how quickly their socks wore out.  All expressed gratitude that a knitter would knit and send them a new pair.  Given that we saw the display on the 70th anniversary of D Day, it was quite an experience.
The curator had  labelled each pair with the knitters name and  we were all able to find 'our socks'. 
There was a 'thank you ' list and Meaford Knitters Group was on the list.

After seeing The Homefront, there was a great lunch, some yarn shopping and the first ever experience of attending the 'store' at the Handspinners Association of Ontario's weekend seminar.

Fibre, fibre everywhere,  all day long.  Knitters to hang out with.
   What a great day. 

Saturday, June 7, 2014

Blown Away,

Finally I have joined the realm of the truly connected. This morning I purchased a tablet.

Despite only an hour of use under my belt I am nonetheless blown away. Much more so than when I purchased my first cell phone. I wanted a device that was good for travelling, so one of my main priorities was that it fit in my purse. And of course that I be to
able  to blog easily with it. So far so good. In a couple of days time I will see son#2 and get him to show me the finer points.

This summer we have lots of away from home time and I wanted a light weight very portable device that would let me blog, email  and surf the net without needing a magnifying  glass or ruin my eyesight. I think I found it in this little non-apple tablet. Time will tell.

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Thursdays Are For Knit Group

There were  lots to plans to finalize today at knit group.  Tomorrow we are having a day in Owen Sound.  We will head to the Tom Tomson Gallery to see our socks,  hung artistically I hear,  at the Homefront Exhibition.  Some lunch, some yarn shopping at Riverside Yarns, then off to the Ontario Handspinners Association Seminar being held for the first time ever in Owen Sound.  Should be a great day and I'll post pictures of our fun.

Multi-taskers that we are, we knit while we talked.  I know I sound like a broken record but take a look at what Ingrid has created this time.
Two rectangles, a short side seam, a twist and voila.
A truly Ingrid piece.

Sharon and Nan talked socks.

Nan knit these with Opal but
 did some cutting and pasting to remove the colours she didn't favour.

Doreen showed off her certificate. 
She came to knitting from a lunch held to thank the hospital volunteers and received the certificate for her many efforts. 

Sandy's baby blanket, the blanket of many colours is finished.
 It is another gorgeous display of your mitered-square knitting, Sandy. I admire your capacity for fiddly work.

 Bonnie has knit a vest.

She says I threw the yarn at her the day of our yarn swap saying "Bonnie take this.  It's your colour." Sounds like something I might do.  And good thing I did too, as look at the great vest.

Carol has some beautiful Cascade silk and wool.
 It is destined to be a jacket with some contrasting red for pizazz.  My colours Carol  Do you know my size?

Lots of knititng and lots of excited anticipation about our day tomorrow.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Summer Cowl

I am sure you all noticed the bright, cheerful, green cowl worn with the Miss Lacey Tee in yesterday's post. 
Of course you did.

White is not the best colour for me.  I knew that when I started Lacey but  had intentions of buying some great, chunky, colourful jewellery  to accent the tee in a colour that suits me better.  Then Wilma made her great summery cowl and I thought

 "Now that's a good idea."

At Riverside Yarns on Saturday when St. Mary's did Thornbury, I spotted some bright and cheerful dishcloth cotton by Estelle in shades of green - my favourite colour.  I bought 3 balls for a grand total of $6.

Sunday evening, knowing that my white Lacey was having her debut on Monday, I cast on for  the cowl.  Making up the pattern as I went along, I cast on 112 stitches with a 5 mm needle.  Joining in the round, next came  5 rounds knit in  garter st.  The body of the scarf was a three round repeat  -one   round of YO K2tog, one round of knit, one of purl.  Repeat the three rounds until cowl width suits.  Work 5 rows of garter, then cast off.  Mine took one ball and a bit of the cheap and cheerful yarn.

I know the cowl was effective in distracting viewers from the not so complimentary white because  of the comments received during Lacey's debut.  I was told how summery the cowl was, what a lovely touch it added and was asked if I had knit it.  Not once was I asked if I knit Lacey.

That either says something very good or very 'bleh' about Lacey.

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Lacey Tee

Finally, my month-long knit is finished.  A tiny, lacey tee - one month to knit!!! 

But it is finished and had its first trial run yesterday. 
Pattern: Scoop Neck Pullover from the Summer 2014 issue of Vogue.
Yarn:  Mission Falls Cotton for the stockinet portions and a crochet cotton called Helena for the lace portions.  Mission Falls has been discontinued for quite some time but a year ago I picked up 5 balls at $1. per ball at Spinrite in  Listowel.  The Helena I picked up a few years ago for $1 per ball from a sale bin at London Yarns.
Needles:  4mm. I started with 5mm as per the ball band on Mission Falls but the lace portions - already more stretchy than the stockinet portions were almost out of control  I tried a 4.5mm but finally settled on a 4mm.
Mods:  Many.  
     The yarn called for in the pattern was fine and required the stockinet portions to be knit with yarn doubled.  MF is thicker than the suggested yarn so I knit with one stand throughout.
     I didn't knit the sleeves. Why?? A yarn shortage and more summery look.
     The neck trim - I did my own thing.  A few rows of ribbing and then two rows of stockinet before cast off.
      Two rows of stockinet inserted in the centre of the lace portion to prevent lace looseness.

*I did not like the pattern at all.  It was vague and confusing.  For example, you can see that the tee has a shirt tail hem - longer in the centre front/back than at the sides. This is done by working a series of short rows soon after the cast on.  At one point  the  pattern  said to knit for xx inches from cast on.  Would that be xx inches from the cast on as it presents itself at the sides or at the centre? There is about two inches difference.  No help from Vogue on that point.  Figure it out.
*The shoulder shaping was done by casting off rather than short rowing.   I should have known better.  Even though this casting off was accomplished in a new-to-me method of shaped casting off, it did  not, IMO,  produce the nicest shoulder..
*The bottom edge curls - despite being knit in garter stitch.
*The worse problem for me though was the contrast in loosy-goosy-nees between the  stockinet and lace.  Without the two rows of stockinet, centre-lace, the lace flared so much as to appear gathered when reined in by the   stockinet portions  above and below. 
*I am also not pleased with the 'wings' at the side bottoms,  I see a renovation happening there.

The knitting of this pattern reminded me once again that I do my best knitting when I use the pattern as inspiration only.  The design details  should come from my own brain.



Monday, June 2, 2014

Knitting and Friends

Years ago - in the old days one might say - I met a knitter online.  It was so long ago that facebook was not yet invented and the common online way of interacting with others was through newgroups. I was new to my personal computer and loved my newsgroup for knitters and crocheters.  One day while wasting  investing time with my online activities I read a posting by a lady looking for knitting frends. She gave her age - same as mine, and where she lived - within an hour of my  home.  I thought 'how wrong can I go by contacting a female knitter of my own age?'  And so a knitterly friendship was born and has flourished over these last 15 +years.  The bonus was that my new friend already had a long- time knitting friend,  so right away we became the knitting trio.

We see each other less frequently now that Fred and I live three hours away, but we still get together a few times each year.  Saturday  was our day.   We met for lunch at Harrison Park Inn in Owen Sound.  A most picturesque setting for any outdoor activity you can imagine with the bonus of  a lovely restaurant right in the middle of the park.  After lunch of course, we headed to Riverside Yarns where the ladies dropped some cash.

Then back to my house for show & tell,


pattern browsing
and general fibre-related discussions.

One of the ladies is widowed and there are always some hilarious stories about her latest, dating-as-a-senior  experiences.  Then too, as we age we each seem to have had some very funny doctors' appointments.  My contribution to those stories was about a stress test I had last fall.  During the test, as I hopefully hoofed my way to healthy, on the treamill the doctor said to me "You remind me of my horse."  I hooted with laughter, as did the nurse and technician. I was about to ask him if he was referring to my rear flank but he quickly modified his comment saying he was referring to me being a good pacer.  It's been my hilarious story of the last few months.

We had a great day as only knitters who are friends or friends who are knitters can.  Any time I have to take off my glasses because they are steaming up from laughter is a good day.  Thanks guys.  See you in a few months.