Thursday, December 17, 2015

Spindle Box

Even with Christmas fast approaching I spent the morning organizing my spinning supplies.

I moved a cabinet upstairs and filled most of it with fleece (knitting needles filled the rest).

A few weeks ago at a Christmas bazaar I found this amazing old wooden box. I didn't know what I'd use it for but today as I was filling up the cabinet with mohair, alpaca and Shetland wool rovings and fleece it came to me. It would make a great box to keep my drop spindle in.

It was a perfect fit.

Saturday, December 12, 2015

Red

With only two weeks until Christmas I'm completely in the Christmas spirit and having so much fun getting the house decorated.

The first stop was poinsettia shopping. I have a favourite greenhouse that I like going to every year. They have so much more than just flowers; the trees and decorations make it impossible not to get excited for Christmas.

It always amazes me the colour combinations they come up with for poinsettias. This is the first time I've seen a purple one and even though it's pretty it is Christmas and to me that means red. I decided on the red and white and it looks very happy to have found a home in my living room for Christmas.

Keeping with the red theme, I did manage to squeeze in some knitting time and finish a man's hat last night. It's been added to the gift box.

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

So far this week

Here is a little look at what I've knit so far this week. Yup, more baby hats. What can I say, they are an easy, fast knit and there is a need for them. There is a program here in our city that distributes the hats to new Moms. I think it's a great program to support and the little hats are perfect for knitting while visiting friends and family over the Christmas holidays.

Monday, December 7, 2015

First round of hand knits delivered

We had our first family Christmas on the weekend.

What a great day. The guys were talking farming and watching football, the kids played and us girls spent time snuggling with a new baby. The newest addition to our family is only a few weeks old; she's so tiny and beautiful!

My nephew played Santa and handed out the hats and scarves that I've been knitting and weaving the last few months. It's nice to see them being worn and enjoyed.

My niece had fun learning to sew with Sarah. They were making monsters cut out of felt, sewn, stuffed and embellished with funky buttons and hand stitching. They were supper cute. They have inspired me to give this a try. I might just have to stop at Fabricland for some felt on my way to knitting tonight :)

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

No more malls for me

On the weekend the kids and I went to the mall. What an experience. I've never been shopping during the Black Friday sales and I don't think I'll be doing it again. It was so crowded and noisy; not at all how I want to Christmas shop. I want small shops with one of a kind items. I want to to hear Christmas songs (and maybe sing along 😉) I want to be able to enjoy picking out gifts for people not just buying what's on sale.

They did have great decorations though.

All the hustle and bustle has reinforced my plans of making most of my gifts this year. I've rented the loom for another month for lots more scarf weaving and just the thought of going back to the mall has me knitting mitts and hats faster!

Monday, November 30, 2015

Traditions

Happy Monday!

I hope everyone had a great weekend. I spent some time with my Mom and we made our outdoor winter arrangements. This is our 4th year making these and we always have so much fun. I think it's officially become a tradition now.

We fill Mom's garage with branches, bows, Christmas balls, pine cones and Christmas music and the arranging begins. Mom has a natural talent for this kind of thing; me not so much!

We will remember this as the year I decided I would use a large Spruce branch as it was and make it a "tree" to sit outside my front door. It was a little crooked and a little sparse and they may have been a Charlie Brown Christmas tree comment mentioned but I think it looks great. It's these silly moments that make the memories, right?

I didn't get a lot of knitting done that day but I did manage to finish weaving another scarf. I really like the colours and how it stripped. My edges on the other hand need some serious work but that will come with more practice.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

A tote full of needles

I did some more sorting today and came across another tote. This one wasn't full of yarn. It was full of needles. Straights, double points, circulars, cable needles and needle sizers.

I have a lot of work ahead of me sorting this out!

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

More Weaving

At our second weaving class we all came back with a scarf we had finished at home. I wove a second scarf using a purple boucle. It weaves the same way as it knits - a bit tricky.

Linda showed us how to make the fringe to finish our scarves and then we moved on to more weaving.

We warped the looms again so we could practice weaving with two colours, weaving a lacy pattern, weaving with fabric and making loops.

It was lots of fun and I'm still hooked!

Saturday, November 14, 2015

I Learned to Weave!

A few weeks ago, myself and three other Knitting Goddesses took a learn to weave class at Little Red Mitten.

I was secretly hoping that I wouldn't like it. I wanted to be able to say that I'd tried it, learned the basics, didn't really care for it and would rather stick with my knitting. Boy was I wrong. I LOVED it!

The wool I used for my very first weaving project was a wool/alpaca blend. Everyone else picked bright, fun colours but not me. I went with brown.

We learned how to determine the width of our scarves by finding out how many wpi (wraps per inch) our yarn was - a lot like knitting a gauge swatch. We determined which heddle size was the best for our yarn - similar to picking your needle size. Then we worked in pairs to warp the loom. This really is a two person job. I'm going to have to find a way to do it by myself. I'm sure some wonderfully smart person has devised a way to make this possible and I'm hoping they posted it on YouTube so I can find it!

Then came the fun part, actually weaving. We got started in class and then went home with our looms to practice for the next week. I think we all went home and stayed up late that night weaving. We had a great week messaging each other with our progress and sharing pictures.

This was a really fun class and I know Wanda, Caitlyn and Danielle enjoyed it as much as I did. Next post I'll show you what we did in our last class, weaving with two colours and lace patterns! And to think I might not have like this??? I have no idea what I was thinking!

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Dabbling with Swedish Weaving

I've been learning how to do Swedish Weaving. I'm using a piece of 11 count Aida cloth to practice on instead of the traditional monks cloth. I'm saving the expensive Monks cloth until I know what I'm doing!

The only person that I know that does Swedish Weaving is my Grandma's cousin. We went to visit her last week and she was kind enough to loan me some pattern books. She has made beautiful afghans using this technique and I'm hoping to be able to make them as well.

The weaving itself is really easy. Reading the patterns on the other hand is what I'm having trouble with. The good news is that my local needlework store is super helpful so I'm sure I can get some help there if I get completely stuck.

I think the back of the work fascinates me almost as much as the front does. I love that the stitches don't show through.

Has anyone else tried this?

Saturday, November 7, 2015

Go To Project

My new go to project when I need something that requires no pattern reading or row counting is a baby hat.

A couple of weeks ago I decided to knit up a few and take them to our local health unit. I meet a nurse who runs a program for new Moms and she was excited to receive the hats. It was great to stumble upon a program that is in need of hand knits.

I see lots more hat knitting in my future!

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Hoping

Yesterday was beautiful! Who would have ever guessed at the beginning of November I'd be knitting outside in a t-shirt still enjoying the garden?

I have my fingers crossed that today is just as nice; or close. Yesterday was a record breaking day so chances of repeating that are pretty slim but here's hoping.

Monday, October 26, 2015

2 Episodes Later

I wanted something quick to knit last night; not a shawl with hundreds of stitches or a sock with a lace pattern. I needed something quick like a baby hat. A quick look through my stash found some purple yarn. I cast on and two episodes of Scandal later I had a hat :)

Saturday, October 24, 2015

Happy Knitter :)

Purple sock yarn + feather and fan lace = a happy Knitter :)

Friday, October 23, 2015

Slip Stitching

It's Friday night!  That means the weekend is starting, it's pizza night, the Blue Jays are playing baseball and I'm knitting my shawl.

There are 5 pattern repeats in this slip stitch section and I have 2 1/2 knit - half way there.  I think I can slip stitch in my sleep!  It is one of those patterns that looks harder to knit than it is.  The only trick is making sure that your working yarn is always on the wrong side of your work when you slip your stitches.


See how the slip stitches just sit on top of the shawl?  They only attach on the dark grey rows.  Doesn't it look fun to knit?  I can't wait to wear it!


Thursday, October 22, 2015

It's A Finishing Day!

It has seemed like ages since I have finished anything.  I guess that's what happens when you get carried away and cast on too many projects at once.  But, I did get two things finished today. 

 First, I finished my cross stitch piece called Wicked Accident. I love how the pumpkin is designed.  Stitching with variegated threads is just as much fun as knitting with variegated wools. Are there any cross stitch experts out there?  I'm not really sure how I should finish it.  Should I give it a little press with the iron or should I dampen the whole piece and basically block it like a piece of knitting?  Any suggestions would be welcomed!!


Second, is another finished dishcloth.  Nothing fancy it's just a small project knit all in garter stitch but it's functional, it lets me knit through the nerve wracking baseball games without fear of messing up a pattern and it is slowly using up my cotton odds and ends.


I'm still knitting away on the shawl.  No end in sight for this project for a while.  Thank goodness I like knitting it or I'm afraid it might have ended up as a UFO stuck in the back of a closet never to be seen again.  

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Sorting, Organizing, Finding

For the last while I have been working on moving my yarn stash from a room in the basement upstairs to a spare bedroom.  It has been a lot of work - moving shelves, totes of yarn and containers of needles.  I'm still not finished but it's getting there.


A box of Briggs and Little has found a home on the newly moved shelves.


I forgot I had this yarn.  I found it in a box in the basement.  Who forgets they have 2 skeins of a Yak Down blend????  Someone with WAY too much yarn, that's who.


I've been working on my shawl and my goal is to get the slip stitch pattern section done by the end of the weekend.  That means at least 20 rows a day of knitting.  So far I'm getting the rows knit.  When I need a break I pick up my embroidery and do some random stitching :) 

(sorry picture is upside down!)

Saturday, October 17, 2015

2015 Woodstock Fleece Festival

Today was the day that I had been counting the sleeps until - the Woodstock Fleece Festival.  Despite the cold and a few snow flakes, it was a great afternoon.

There was lots of fleece to choose from 


there were sheep




This girl is a BFL cross.  She was very friendly and liked her nose rubbed.  Her fiber will be available at next year's festival.  I need to remember that.


There were Angora bunnies


and there were llamas and alpacas


This was all I came home with.  A shawl pin - I couldn't resist a vintage needle made into jewellry, a needle felted sheep just because she was so cute and a skein of 100% Lincoln sheep wool from a farm here in Ontario. I think it will be a pair of mitts or maybe a hat.