Tuesday, June 30, 2015


Grand Daughter Abi has been vacationing here with us  for a week or so and yesterday helped me scour my knitting room for yarn and patterns to take to the trailer.  We came across a couple of knitted items in my bag of give-aways that had not yet found homes.

Abi tried them on - and now - homeless they are no longer.  

First claimed was the multi-coloured H20 Hat

One of several  knit but unclaimed from my Great  Christmas Give-Away of 2014.  Also in the bag were the Kitimat hat and mittens, knit a couple of winters ago, still waiting for a home.

Abi like them all. 

No mean feat in a 13 year old.  Previous  address - my give-away bag in my yarn room. Current address - Abi's suitcase.  Future home - Hearst.  They will arrive this weekend.

Friday, June 26, 2015

Not Even Semi-Precious

Having knit for more than 30 years, this piece is, nonetheless,   my first attempt at knitting jewellery.

Knowing that my very, white-white Cotton Concerto  was so not my colour, I thought it a good idea to put some flattering colour up close to my face.  Not wanting a scarf - too hot in the summer- I decided to try to knit a piece of jewellery.  There are many necklace patterns on ravelry (just search I Cord Necklace) and I reviewed all the free ones.

In the end I decided to take the basic concept learned by reading the ravelry patterns,  then do it my way.

I knit 5 lengths of I Cord, each in a different colour.  I knit the first cord, then made the other 4 either just a bit longer or a bit shorter. I joined their ends  together  with a separate length of one of the  yarns used in the I Cord.  I then passed  that same piece of yarn through 4 beads and finished by tying  it to a little heart that would act as a stopper and not pass through the beads.

Having done that from both ends of  the I Cords,   those lengths of yarn  can now be tightened or loosened simply by pulling on the  hearts.  This allows me to wear the necklace tight to the neck or not so tight.  Whatever suits my mood. 

It is not diamonds or rubies.  It is not even semi precious.  But it adds just the right colour touch  to the neckline of my white-white   top.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Thursdays Are For Knit Group

Summer is here.  Knitters are travelling or planning to travel. But that doesn't stop the knitting.

Ingrid was at knit group to day.  She has been otherwise occupied these last few weeks so it was great to see her today. She was working on another interesting piece,

but I was more intrigued by what she was wearing. Here she shows me how the only shaping is done with the two side strips.

 Being wider at the bottom than the top, those two strips provide sufficient room for the hips.  Knit entirely in Koigu  each strip combines many different skeins.  Tons of ends to sew in, Ingrid said.  She especially likes the front neckline which she shows off below.

Carol finished her interesting piece.   
This she hopes to wear often next winter in Florida.  I imagine you will, Carol.

Sandy B brought her friend, Christina,  with her today.   Christina said she was taught to knit at the age of 8 and between then and now, had only knit one item.  Until sandy convinced her to pick up the  needles again.  

Who but Sandy would have her end a multi-decade knitting hiatus with mitered squares?

Wilma, today,  had one of the most unique pieces I've ever seen.   The Mermaid Blanket. The first of the two crocheted blankets - one for each of her two grand daughters - is finished.

A bit too complicated for me to envision, Wilma had to crawl into it.

Then show off the tail.
The grand daughters will  love this.  

Sharon, home from Newfoundland, showed what yarn/pattern her hubby asked her to buy.

Good ole' Briggs & Little for a pair of warm slippers.  Can't get much more Canadian than that.

Today may have been my last knit group for a few weeks.   By this time next week, I expect to be deep in prep mode for an early Friday departure for the trek to the trailer in  Hearst.  I will try to
sneak over to knit group, but if I don't make it, have a great summer, Meaford knitters.

Friday, June 19, 2015

Cotton Concerto Completed

Thanks to Sigrun and her chart, Cotton Concerto is completed.  I might even have an occasion to wear it this weekend, and as I always say - the proof is in the wearing.

Pattern: Women's Raglan Henley.  Pattern # 2564 by Pymouth Yarns

Yarn:      Patons Cotton DK.   Ten balls gifted to me by an elderly friend who said she no longer knits projects that take 10 balls of yarn.  I am am not able to find this yarn on the Patons wesite and suspect it is long discontinued.  Too bad.  It is a nice cotton yarn.

Mods:  This pattern calls for the top to be  knit in the round to the armholes then worked back and forth to the top.  I chose to knit it flat all the way.  Most unlike me, but with the acres of stockinet, I had decided, for a quicker finish,  to hang it on my machine once the shaping was done. There is shaping to decrease from the A-Line bottom to a more fitted look from the waist to the bust.  This pattern had both side and centre-front decreases happening simultaneously.  On a machine, decreases are possible  only at the sides.    By knitting the top by hand and  flat, once those centre front decreases were finished, I was able to hang the piece on the machine and in half an hour had finished it to the neckline.

What I learned:  I learned that charts for lace knitting are a good thing.  A necessary thing.  Often I question their importance saying that to be able to knit the lace pattern I need to translate the synbols into words anyway, so why bother with a chart?  Today, I knit before  you,  a woman of changed opinion.  Without the chart for this lace pattern, I couldn't  pinpoint a 'marker' to tell me where I was.  Did that Yarn Over belong a-top a purl?  A knit?  Heck, I had no idea.  Once I saw Sigrun's chart though, it all became clear. 

The yarn called for in this pattern was Linen.  I used cotton.  The drape in my Concerto is probably more stiff and less drapey than it would have been with  Linen yarn. But not enough to discourage me from using my gifted yarn.  I'm hoping that a day or so on a hanger and a couple of wearings will 'soften' the cotton into a more relaxed drape.

The A line shaping is a new-to-me thing to wear.  Concerto is a test. It is perhaps time, I think, to wear garments with some looseness about my tummy and hips.  But not so loose as to look like maternity wear. I'l let you know after a few wearings what I think.

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Thursdays Are For Knit Group

The finished and the nearly finished.  That is what we spent our knit group  time looking at this afternoon.    Let me tell you - the finished were no mean feats.  Lots of knitting in most of them.

Sandy, a very productive knitter,  wore her finished Colour Affection to knit group today while she  showed off   her second finished  shawl.  Two shawls in a very short time. Two big shawls. Two shawls with many, many stitches, knit on very fine yarn.  She has told me the name of this her latest shawl, but I confess, I don't remember.  Lovely colours, Sandy.  

Carol is almost finished her piece.  A shawl with the option to seam up the sides to create sleeves.  Done totally in the Old Shale, otherwise known as Feather and Fan pattern.  Another BIG piece. Another piece knit with fine yarn and many, many stitches.  

Non-stop knitter that she is, Carol has already started her next project.  Another shawl. This time in gorgeous shades of pink.

Jean has a lovely summer 'tee' on the go.  With just enough  lace on the sleeves and up the sides to make it an interesting knit.

Can't wait to see it finished, Jean.

Sharon finished the little sweater that taught her Intarsia.

Sandy, kind lady that she is, brought her  knitting charts for more Intarsia animals. 

  More Intarsia.  Sharon says not anytime soon.

Instead, she is working on a baby blanket  knit in basketweave.  All. One. Colour!

Doreen  didn't have a FO today.

She is working on a sweater  - except she isn't putting sleeves on her version. That makes it a vest, Doreen.  She would be almost finished - if she could find the back. She knit it, put it away, moved last week, and cannot find the piece.  Let's hope it turns up, Doreen.

Hello to Sharon in Newfoundland.  Hope you are finding some great Newfie yarn and knits. 

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

TA DA !!

I did it.  I did it. I did it.  Yea!!!
Well, truth be told, Sigrun did it.  Without her it I would have dropped the Dew Drop and chosen a simpler lace pattern for these sleeves.  Truth be told a second time, I didn't accomplish perfection the first time through -even with Sigrun's chart.

In my normal way of doing things - that is quickly without paying much notice -  I mis-read the chart.  It never occurred to me that the first row on the chart would start from the left hand side and read to the right.  Of course, Sigrun had clearly marked it that way.  Row 1 was noted on the left, Row 2 on the right.  I missed that.

My knitting, as a result, went off at an angle.

 Can you see the groups of knit stitches have jumped aisles?

 I emailed Sigrun again - I do believe our emails back and forth numbered well into the double digits.  She pointed out the error of my ways and Sleeve one was knit in one evening.
Gosh, that was easy!

Monday, June 15, 2015

I've Got Friends In Right Places

With apologies to Garth Brooks and his friends in 'low places', I have friends  in all the right places. 

Friday, I posted about my troubles trying to knit the Dew Drop Lace Pattern for the sleeves on my Cotton Concerto.  Shortly after the post went live, I heard from a commenter.  I think her initials might be TA, but since her comments arrive in the anonymous , no reply, category, I'm not sure.  Anyway, this friend told me of the errata page for my pattern.  (Oh yea, Brenda, remember those?)  There, I found that my copy of the pattern was missing a Yarn Over in Row 8.  Thanks, Anonymous.

Shortly after that comment arrived I received one from Sigrun of To Swatch Or Not To Swatch. Sigrun and I have been mutual blog readers for some time now and I've learned that she is a multi-talented craft person and a prodigious worker.  Sigrun's email said If you could send me the sleeve instructions, I'd be happy to chart it for you.  

Wow, imagine that!  And again  (Oh yea, Brenda, remember charts?) 

Sigrun went on to offer other helpful suggestions.  A link to a previously, unknown-to-me  site  called The Weekly Stitch.    This site offered a weekly posting wherein the author worked a different knit stitch each week and posted a You Tube of her doing the knitting. I watched her do the Dew Drop Lace - and 'gosh it seems really easy.'  The site is sadly discontinued, but still a great one to bookmark as it is a wealth of information. 

Then Sigrun, in her kind way,  asked if I had done a gauge swatch of the lace before starting the pattern.  Which I think was her way of saying - I can tell for sure you didn't practise this week, Brenda.  And she would be right.  Truth be told, if I had done a practise run of this  lace stitch I would have burned the pattern.

With all this friendly advice, I began to wonder if I should wait for Sigrun's chart or try the lace again.  Since she had mentioned that she was in the middle of altering several black! bridesmaids dresses, I figured I  might wait a few days for the chart.  I barely had time to say 'Eeny, meeny, miny mo' when her return email  - with a chart - was in my box.  Holy doodle!  What genius!  I have asked Sigrun and she has given me the OK to give you both her blog address as well as her ravelry site.
I am sure if you contacted her via either of these sites, she would be glad to share her charts with you.

 Yesterday was taken up with non-knitting activities.  Today, I'll test the chart.  If it works, great.  If it doesn't, I'll try Garth's remedy of   "Whiskey drowns and the beer chases"   But whether it works or not doesn't really matter.  Imagine having such a friend.

Friday, June 12, 2015

A Sour Note

My Cotton Concerto has hit a sour note.  The back is finished.  The front is finished.

Sleeve number one is  started. 
The sleeves, however are as confusing as the back and front were straightforward. 

The sleeve have a lace pattern.  The sleeve cap is shaped.  Shaping plus lace.  Often I have noted on ravelry the comments of  knitters who struggled to shape lace.  "What's the big deal" I would ask myself.  Well, I like to think of myself as a kinder, gentler person now.  Concerto has given me insight into those struggles.

For the life of me, I cannot determine where I am in this lace pattern.  Partly, I think,  because the sleeve-cap shaping starts at the same time as the lace, there is no chance to get familiar with the lace pattern.  No chance to learn to 'read' the lace.  No chance to 'see' what stitch I should be knitting.

Turning to my trusted info source, I searched ravelry to see what other knitters had experienced.   Maybe I could learn from their experiencce.  Wow!  Only one  knitter has knit Concerto before me. Or perhaps, only one lived to tell the tale. Surose 312.

Surose 312 has a pretty impressive line up of projects on ravelry.  Yet she struggled with Concerto's sleeves, too.  Her comments  - I can definitely say i will not make this pattern again! 
Or   Since the sleeve part of the pattern is impossible to follow...   and  sadly  I’ll just make it a tank top.

Hmmm. It is certainly nice to know that I am not the only knitter confused by these instructions.  But - I think I have a way to solve the problem.  I know two things.  The pattern has a 6 + 1 stitch repeat.  The decreases happen on every other row.  So - if I were to leave enough stitches for one pattern repeat  in plain stockinet at each row end,  I will be many rows into  the lace pattern before the shaping interferes with the lace.  Those end-of-row stitches will be under the arm and seamed anyway.  Who will look there?  Or as my philosophy on washing ceilings states, 'those who stare there  deserve to see the dirt'.   By the time those  stitches are eaten up with the shaping, I should be able to 'read' the lace.   

And everything should work out fine.  In theory.  It is worth a try.

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Thursdays Are For Knit Group

 World Wide Knit In Public Day, in Meaford.  On the sidewalk outside the library, goodies to eat, passersby to chat with and  knitting in our hands.  This was our version of WWKIP Day.


The weather was perfect. The treats tasty.  A fun way to celebrate knitters and knitting.

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

New Muscles

I have new muscles.  At least some I haven't been aware of for quite some time.  The kind of muscles needed to dig holes and plant shrubs.  Different muscles than knitting requires, for sure.

We've been in this house almost 9 years now, and thought out landscaping days were long over.  But last spring, the result of frozen weeping tile, our basement flooded.    Which meant last summer, we had this done.


Before the contractor with the back hoe arrived, we  transplanted  many of the shrubs - and managed to save quite  a few. This year it was time to move them   back to the front of the house and to buy additional ones  to replace those we couldn't salvage. 

Silly me, I thought it would be a one day job.  Buy in the morning. Plant in the afternoon. But I forgot  our bodies are 9 years older than the last time we did this kind of work.  Quitting time comes way earlier than it used to.    My  landscaping muscles, rarely used these last few years,  complained so loudly last evening that  Cotton Concerto lay untouched. Today, being the third day of this one day job was a lighter day.  Tonight, maybe there will be knitting.

Monday, June 8, 2015

Machine Perfect

I like machines.  All kinds of machines.  ATM machines.  Dishwashers.  Automatic washing machines.  Sewing machines, lawn mowers - you name it, I like it.  Machines make our life easier and often do things better than we can.

 My response to those that wait in line inside the bank to see a teller whilst I whisk through my banking at the ATM, is that the machine never has a bad day.  The machine never comes to work tired from partying too late  or caring for a sick child  during the night.  The machine is never  in a bad mood due to a  a fight with the spouse/boyfriend/girlfriend or never sulky having been passed over for a promotion.

And machines never make a mistake.  They simply do the job they are programmed to do.  Like my knitting machine.  And its work is perfection itself.  Machine perfect.  Here you can see the back of my Cotton Concerto.

 Knit to past the decreases by hand, with all its hand-knit imperfections.  A beautiful thing in itself.  But look at the top half of the work - the half knit on the machine (in 30 minutes I might add).  See the perfection there?  A beautiful thing too.  But different than my work, for sure.

Blocking, I hope, will diminish the difference. Work out the imperfections in my hand work. Make the differences between the two styles  less visible to the passing eye.     If not?  Well, it's the back.  Out of sight,   out of mind.

Friday, June 5, 2015


Maybe if a certain knitter put her mind to it, she could finish off Cotton Concerto in a  timely fashion. 
And maybe if that happened, that same knitter could find time to knit this little neck piece
 (or this one or this one)in various summer colours to wear as decoration at the neck line  of Concerto. And for sure that would be a great idea as really, really,  white white is  so not this knitter's colour.

Do you think maybe that is a good idea?