Sunday, September 14, 2014

Sit and Knit at the Western Fair 2014

The Sit and Knit has become an annual event on the first Sunday afternoon of the Western Fair.  Wildflower Wool hosts this event and each year I pick a fun knitting theme for the afternoon.  This year it was arm knitting.
This was some of the yarn we used for the arm knitting - we had lots to pick from!
Since we were working with mostly worsted weight yarns we held approximately 10 strands of yarn together to make our working yarn.

This was 20 minutes worth of arm knitting - it is super fast!

Everyone had lots of fun making their scarves!
There was some needle knitting happening as well,
and some sock knitting.

 Thanks to everyone who volunteered for the afternoon and to all of the Knitters who stopped by to give arm knitting a try and made themselves a one of a kind scarf.  It was a great afternoon!

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Day 2 at the Fair

Day 2 at the fair was another successful day.  Amanda and Wendy helped me out at the booth so there was lots of knitting going on!  We were able to show people socks knit using magic loop, colour work mitts on dpns, a knitted doily on a circular needle, the Purlshell stitch pattern knit out of alpaca and a double knit blanket.
The Charity Scarf Challenge project had lots of people stop and knit a few rows on it.

This scarf project is teaching a lot of people how to knit the knit stitch!

We met a lot of wonderful people yesterday and heard lots of great stories about their knitting.  One of my favourite Knitters of the day was an eight year old girl that came to the booth with her parents. She wanted to knit.  I showed her how to do the knit stitch and she did some stitches on our charity scarf.  Later in the evening she had her parents bring her back so she could see how much more had been knit on the scarf. They were surprised to see that we had knit through a few more colour changes since they had been here last.  As she did some more knitting we found out that her Dad is the Knitter in her family. Now that she has been bitten by the knitting bug, I hope that she and her Dad  make lots of wonderful memories knitting together.

Saturday, September 6, 2014

The Fair has Begun!

For the next 10 days I'll be spending my days and evenings at the Western Fair knitting!  It is always a great time; lots of knitting time and great Knitters.
Thursday night was set up night.  Once the Wildflower Wool booth was set up and ready to go I took a wander around the midway.

 It is a totally different feeling walking through all the rides and games without the lights, music and crowds of people.

Crews were still working hard at setting up the rollercoaster and the other rides for opening day the next afternoon.

 Prizes anyone??
I swear there were Knitters waiting at the gates when the fair opened!  Lots of people stopped by to say hi before heading outside to the rides trying to take advantage of the nice weather before the storm rolled in.  A few of the regular fair Knitters stayed for a while to sit and knit with me.

This ball of yarn is the start of our 10 day Charity Challenge.  We are going to knit a scarf for 10 days.  At the end of the fair we will see how long it is and how many people in the community spent a little bit of time to knit a stitch or a row or two.  It will then be donated to Keeping Kids Warm; a wonderful local charity helping the homeless youth.

That storm they were predicting?  It arrived.  My son came back to the booth and demanded that I had to come outside with him.  Everyone else was flocking INTO the buildings and we were heading out, lol!  As we neared the outside doors it looked just like any other sky just before it rains; dark, grey and windy.  Then we took a step outside and looked up. I looked up into this huge, low, black cloud that seemed to cover most of the midway and thought %!*# this isn't going to be good.  I went back inside to knit and they closed the outside part of the fair for the rest of the night.

For anyone who has ever worked at events like this you know that having it rain is not a bad thing.  It brings the people inside the buildings.  One lady stands out for me.  I think that she came over mostly to express her displeasure at having found out there were no refunds or passes for getting in free another day due to the weather.  As I was showing her how to do the knit stitch she mumbled under her breath "Well, I guess I paid $14 to knit for the night".  She wasn't a happy fair goer.  I smiled at her and said that spending the night knitting sounded like my perfect evening.  By the time we finished chatting and she had knit a couple of rows on the charity scarf she seemed much happier.  She even signed up for a learn to knit class.  Knitting had worked its magic on her.  She went away much happier than she arrived :)

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

I Love Orange But....

I'm just not loving this shade right now.
Whenever I look at these balls sitting in my stash, I always think - too dull.  So I decided to change that and overdye them. 
So I started experimenting.  Two skeins soaking in soap and vinegar.

The results..... they definitely have a little more zing to them!
dyed with red

dyed with Violet
I love them.  They're fun colours now and they are ready to be knit into fingerless mitts!

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Another Fiber Weekend!

Wildflower Wool was invited to the Canadian Plowing Championship last weekend to demonstrate knitting; of course I said yes! The weather wasn't the best for an outdoor show - unseasonably cold along with wind and some rain but still, any time spent knitting and talking about knitting is always fun.
We had a tent filled with local crafters and artisans offering goods for sale - jams, honey and maple syrup and a chance to have hands on experience with tatting, spinning, rug braiding and knitting.
I continued on with my demonstration projects from the previous show - lace, entrelac and moebius knitting.  The entrelac knitting was again the most asked about technique.  It's wonderful to be able to share new techniques with other Knitters.

There were alpacas,

demo of spinning with a drop spindle,

hands on rug braiding,

shuttle tatting,

needle tatting (my favourite),

and a husband and wife team spinning and knitting socks with a sock knitting machine.

Outside of our tent there were lots of displays and demos going on as well.  My favourite was watching the Canadian Cowgirls ride.  Super talented ladies and amazingly well trained horses!

Thursday, August 14, 2014

New Finds

I love glassware.  Not quite as much as knitting but close.

It has occurred to me that there are people out there who would look at these glass and pottery type items and think about using them as things such as flower pots, vases, food related serving pieces and such.

Not me.  I can only see how it can be repurposed into a knitting accessory.

When I found these flower pots I really and truly bought them with the purpose of repotting some small houseplants into them.  Somehow once I got them home and out of the shopping bag the ball of yarn I am knitting the lace doily with ended up in the blue pot.  Perfect fit.  These  may just come with me to this weekends show as my yarn bowls.

This one I will admit that as soon as I saw this vase at a flea market tent last weekend I thought it would be a perfect needle holder.

This little dish was sitting beside the blue vase.  What can I say, it was pretty :)

Monday, August 11, 2014

Another Fun Summer Weekend!

This past weekend was spent just outside of London at the Elgin County Heritage show.  This heritage show, or steam show like my Grandparents used to call them, has been an annual event for 38 years. I remember coming to this same show years ago with my Grandparents to spend the day wondering through farm machinery exhibits and demonstrations but my favourite part of the show was the seeing all the handwork in the ladies tent.  Now quite a few years later, I'm able to take part in the ladies program by demonstrating knitting.  Hopefully I'll be able be spark interest in today's children about the love of knitting.
On my way into the show each morning I took some pictures before the crowds arrived.  Of course there were lots of tractors.  This orange Allis-Chalmers reminds me of my Grandpa's tractors that he farmed his entire life with once switching from using workhorses.
There was also a car show

One vendor had this amazing display of Tea Spoons.  I had never seen or heard of these before.  Apparently they were used to spoon loose tea.  The designs were amazing.
Laundry anyone??
Lemonade was being sold from the reconstructed water tower.  There was also pony rides for the kids and live music on the outdoor stage.  From where we were set up we were able to enjoy the live music all weekend.

The ladies area of the show was set up inside of this 1834 log cabin. Lets take a look at the amazing work that was going on in here all weekend long.

There was quilting,

chair caning,

lace making - tatting, bobbin and needle lace

here is a close up of the bobbin lacing making in progress

This quilt is a sampler of various lace techniques which included knitting, crochet, tatting, netting and battenburg lace.  It was beautiful!

 This lace piece is made by netting and has a crochet border

 there was traditional rug hooking,

and of course knitting.  I spent the weekend knitting lace and a moebius shawl. There was lots of interest in both projects.  There is always amazement at the tiny yarn and needles used for the lace and surprise at how a moebius is knit!  The best part of the weekend is always the chats I have with other knitters and the men and ladies who don't knit but have stories to share about their Grandmothers, Moms or wives who knit.
As if this doesn't sound like a perfect weekend already, with 3 days of dedicated knitting time you get a lot of knitting done.  I started my second ball on this moebius shawl and the lace knitting is well on its way.  I did a lot of "demonstrating" how to start a shawl in the round until I found a pattern that I was happy with.
I hope everyone else had a fun filled knitting weekend!