Monday, August 31, 2009

Happy Birthday Carrie

Here we are at the end of the summer. It seems like such a short time ago that Carrie and I were discussing plans for our summer classes and came up with the Knitting vs Quilting sampler afghan challenge and tonight was our last class. Everyone has done such a wonderful job on their blocks and now just need a little bit more time to finish everything up before we see the finished afghans.

We had a special surprise for Carrie tonight. The knitting class surprised her with cake and ice cream and a wonderful gift to celebrate her birthday that is coming up this week. It was nice to do something for Carrie as we all appreciate her making her shop available to us for our knitting guild, our Friday morning knitting group and the Monday evening and Saturday morning knitting lessons where we have not only learned new knitting skills but have met lots of knitters and have made new friends. Thanks Carrie and Happy Birthday!!!

I just need to finish the last of my packing and it is off to the cottage in the morning. I have saved the most important packing for last. You guessed it, my knitting. I am more worried about forgetting a knitting related item than I am about forgetting a piece of clothing. You can always make due with whatever clothes you pack but how can you knit if are missing the proper size needle? Or what if you have the yarn but forget the pattern? I have a feeling my knitting bag is going to be as large as my suitcase! Have a great week!

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Done, Done, Done!

The afghan is finished! I am very happy with it and I really like the cable block. With the boarders around each block it has turned out to be a nice size lap afghan. The finished size is 45 1/2" x 30 1/2".

Today a group of us from the Knitting Goddesses got together for another afternoon of knitting fun. There was knitting, chatting and lots of food. Once again, the weather didn't cooperate for a pool party but we still had a great afternoon. I have learned my lesson about knitting the lace shawl with a group of knitters where I seem to loose my ability to count stitches and keep track of which row I am knitting. I started knitting the front of the purple sweater and got 5" done. This sweater is the priority for this week then it is on to socks!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Knitting at the Beach

Last Sunday was the Knitting Goddesses knitting day at the beach. It certainly wasn't the best beach weather but that didn't stop us from having a fantastic time. We met under the covered picnic area with our lawn chairs, snacks, drinks and our current knitting projects. The newest cataloges from Mary Maxim and Knitpicks were looked at and potential orders discussed. How many knitters does it take to make a tricky increase? In this case (middle picture) Carol gets a helping hand when working on an increase row on her cable block. Good problem solving ladies! I continued to work on my blue shawl. Unfortunately, most of my time was spent fixing mistakes. The last time I worked on it which was at the guild meeting, it seems that I spent too much time talking and not enough time counting and I ended up with the craziest looking leaf pattern you have ever seen. I remember knitting one row and having 1 extra stitch and thinking I would continue on and purl the next row and hope that it wasn't that noticeable. On the next lace row I ended up 1 stitch short. Did that set off any warning bells? Nope, I continued on again. After a couple more rows with the pattern still not working out, I stopped to look at it. The mistakes were noticeable. Without even thinking about it I pulled out my needle and ripped out about 6 rows to were I thought I had gotten off track. I do this all of the time and normally having all of those live stitches just sitting there doesn't bother me and I pick them all up without a problem. Not this time (sigh). For every stitch that I picked up the next one or two would drop. Once I had what was left of the row back on the needle, I unknit a row stitch by stitch to get myself back to a complete row of stitches. Now I am ready to begin again but being more careful this time.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Knitting Road Trip

Yesterday, it was all about knitting. We began the day at Carrie's Quilting and Knitting shop for our every other Friday morning knitting group. It was just what I needed to destress and get into a yarn shopping moood.

After leaving Carrie's our first stop of the afternoon was at the Mary Maxim tent sale. There were lots of great deals on craft items that I had to stop myself from buying. At some point while we were shopping I had this crazy idea that I could find time to do cross stitch projects. Thankfully, I came to my senses before heading to the checkout. I sorted through everything I had picked up and decided to traded the cross stitch kits for sock yarn. Of course this was a much better choice. I found some Kroy sock yarn, On Your Toes sock yarn, and some cotton that will hopefully, turn its self into a tank top in the very near future. From there it was on to Cambridge Fibres. This was my first time at this store and I bought some acrylic yarn because I couldn't resist the amazing colours. The pink will be a sweater for my niece and other colours are yet to be decided. Maybe something for my son. Possibly a hat and mitts or maybe even an afghan if I feel ambitious. Then I found a cone of grey lace weight wool blend that will make a great shawl so of course it came home with me as well.

I am off to look for a pattern to use with the pink yarn and to get ready for the Knitting Goddesses knitting at the beach day tomorrow. I am crossing my fingers for good weather!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Knitting in the park

This past weekend Keeping Kids Warm held their annual Knit Out London in Springbank Park. It was a great day to be outside knitting as long as you were in the shade and could feel that breeze. It was a hot, hot day! It was fun to meet some new knitters that are involved with this very worth while charity that donates needed items to the homeless youth in London. They accept donations of clothing, winter coats, blankets and of course knitted items especially hats, scarves and mitts that are passed on to the hundreds of teens living on the streets.

Everyone spent the afternoon working on their projects. There were afghans, scarves and shawls being knit and crocheted and Kathryn even had necklaces made out of really cool yarn. It is always fun to see the different yarns and patterns everyone is using. I spent the afternoon working on my blue shawl trying to get it past the half way point. I seem to be back at that point where you knit and knit and it doesn't seem to get any longer.

It was a fun afternoon spent with fellow knitters knitting and snacking on the yummy treats while raising the community's awareness for this charity. Thanks to Donna and the rest of the volunteers of Keeping Kids Warm for organizing this fun knitting day!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Today's Find

Today's knitting consisted of knitting a few rows on the purple sweater. This is such a simple knit, just stocking stitch and there is no shaping done on the back. It is great TV watching knitting, no row counting, chart following or fancy stitches such plain old stocking stitch. Some days it is nice to just be able to sit and knit without having to think too much about it.

I also started the first draft of the pattern for the cable afghan square. This is going to be a fun block to knit.

My great find of the day was in a discount book store where I came across a new copy of Kristen Knits. This book has lots of really colourful patterns for scarves, mitts, hats and sweaters. I had seen this book before, and as hard as it may be to believe, I didn't buy it but when I saw it today for under $10 I couldn't pass it up.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Another Monday night class has come and gone. Tonight was, as always, a fun knitting night. It was great to see the flying geese blocks that were in progress and the finished ones. Everyone's colour choices were so different. It is fun to see what everyone will come up with. Good luck with the butterfly. I can't wait to see how they all will look.

It sounds like most of us had great knitting weekends. Two of us were knitting at the movies. Chris was knitting at the drive in on her water bottle cover that she is knitting out of Noro that is going to be felted. It of course looks great. I knitted through the new GI Joe movie at the theatre and the back of the purple sweater is now 15" long which is more that half way! Carol took her knitting out on the boat but the weather didn't cooperate and it was too rough to knit but it is the thought that counts!

Remember that this Saturday is the Knit Out day in London at Springbank park as well as the rain date for Aplaca Acres breast cancer fundraiser near Stratford. Check them out at Then on August 23 the Knitting Goddesses are having our beach knitting day at Port Bruce starting at 3:00. We will meet at the park across from Shutters restaurant. Everyone is welcome to join us!

Happy knitting!

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

New Books

I had a nice surprise yesterday, new books waiting for me in my mailbox when I got home. I couldn't resist ordering the knitted teddy bears book. I have been wanting to knit teddy bears for the last couple of years as Christmas gifts but could never find the pattern I wanted to use. Now I have no excuse. This book has patterns for different bears and the accessories. I am thinking that the princess and the cowboy would make great gifts for my niece and nephew.

The other book is on Tunisian Crochet. Some of us from the Knitting Goddesses guild took a short lesson on how to do this at the Creativ festival in Toronto in the spring. I couldn't resist this book either. It has some really nice patterns in it as well. This will be something I work on in my spare time, lol

The knitting in the picture is the start of the purple Kimono style sweater that I started on Monday. I have some concerns about the size so it is on hold until I decide if I am frogging it to make the smaller size.

Tonight is dedicated to writing out the butterfly pattern and chart. If there is time, tonight's knitting with be the blue shawl.

For anyone interested, Alpaca Acres near Stratford is having their breast cancer fundraiser this Saturday, Aug 8 from 1-4. The cost is only $15, bring your lawn chair and your knitting to be able to sit and knit in the field with the Alpacas! Of course she also has wonderful alpaca yarn for sale.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Dyeing Wool

Today is my last day of holidays for a few weeks. So I am going to make the most of it. As I am writing this, I have 2 skeins of wool in the dye pots and 2 more soaking. They are all being over dyed. The first one had been dyed with koolaid and was lime green and a pinky/coral colour. It wasn't too bad but not exactly what I was looking for. So I added it to an emerald green dye. I love how it turned out with shades of dark greens (skein on the left). The other skein had been dyed with Marigolds. When I originally dyed it I had playing around trying to get it to be a darker gold colour. It turned out light yellow. I added it to a bright blue dye bath with a jar of bright yellow dye sitting in the large dye pot to get a varigated colour. It turned out a green colour (no surprise there, yellow mixed with blue = green) but it is the shade of green with the yellow that I'm not liking. At the top of the skein there is still a small amount of the marigold colour (third skein). Maybe it will grow on me. The next two skeins were added to the dye pots to exhaust the dye and both turned out an odd shade of green. They are outside drying for the afternoon. When I get home tonight I will wind them into balls and maybe knit a sample to see how they knit up. Maybe they will surprise me.

Happy knitting, I'm off to go hiking and enjoy the great weather!

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Lots and Lots of Yarn Kits

So, this is how I spent a good part of my day, sorting and bagging yarn into kits. I hope that the knitters at the Itch To Stitch knitting group in London are ready to start some new projects because this yarn is coming to you guys. Once this yarn is distributed, my dining room will be free and clear of yarn. Just in time to have a family get together next weekend. My husband has some crazy idea that we may be using that room to eat in. That probably won't happen. I'm thinking that we will all squeeze in the kitchen or eat outside. I'm planning on setting up my blocking board on the dining room table as soon as the last bag of yarn is gone:)

Tomorrow's job is matching patterns to the yarn and dyeing some wool. Oh, by the way, the blue shawl is now 21" long.

Happy knitting!