An Uncanny Amount of Knitting

Another post already! Lets be honest, this is happening people. I’ve been listening to knitting podcasts monogamously and that usually gets my knitting mojo up and running. Although now I am slightly depressed because all I want to do is knit, but it’s getting onto to busy season and I’ve got tons of stuff to do.


I’ve actually sewn a couple things. Yes, sue me, sewing. My mom got a new machine so I’ve ‘borrowed’ her old one to work on building some skills. While we were at Quilts at the Creek I bought a couple different fabrics and my mom and I made a bag. It’s a knitting project bag and really quite large, as I intended it to be! I used some of the scraps to make a smaller bag. I think I have enough for one more even. I’ll have to check when I have a spare second.


I’ve been steadily knitting along on my Galaxy Bone Yard. I went to a cottage weekend with friends this past weekend and brought it with me. When I am the ‘host’ of something like a cottage weekend and am sleeping in a strange place I don’t sleep well, so I was up at 6am both days. I just sat out by the lake and knit on this shawl. I think I might have accomplished a lot, but it’s really hard to tell. I’ve been used to knitting things that self-stripe where you can really see the progress. I’ve got over 800 yards of this yarn designated for this shawl and I intend to knit it all.


The Galaxy yarn is a darker colour as well, so it is a bit boring because of that as well. I really like how it is knitting up though. There are little pops of colour here and there.


I’ve also cast on another project. I had an unfortunate happening with the last sweater I made… it was really complicated, the size was off, etc. Whatever could have gone wrong with this thing, did. I was going to make the Rocky Coast Cardigan but thought it was a  bit complicated and the yarn wouldn’t lend itself well to this project. The yarn is a baby alpaca so I am looking for something that will not look bad once it grows a little bit. I found the Breezy Cardigan which is open and lovely so I am knitting up that. I am knitting it on size three needles so it might take a while. I am actually insane.


I did a lot of yarn dying this past weekend as well and got to experiment with a couple things. I’ll have to knit up those samples sometime in the near future. Considering I have five socks to knit up and only two hands… this is going to get interesting. I really really need that sock machine right now. I’ve been looking for one that is on sale, but I might just need to seek out someone who is simply willing to knit me some socks on the one they’re not willing to part with.

It’s getting to be that time of the year again and I will see everyone at our next show, the Kitchener/Waterloo knitter’s fair. It’s always a good time and I’m starting to dye stock for it now so we will have a full truck coming there. I think I picked an auspicious time to re-start blogging, but it will have to do!

KW Knitters' Fair 2016 vendor badge

Hello…. Is It Me You’re Looking For?

Alright guys, I know it had been a long time. I may or may not have failed horribly at my free style posting schedule. There were a few times I went to sit down and write a post, but something got in the way or I was sidetracked over to another project. The fact that I am writing this post right now means I am procrastinating something else in order to get this done. I haven’t posted in a long time though and I miss updating everyone with my progress.

I haven’t knit a lot in the past few months, mostly because I’ve been so insanely busy, but I am going to go over everything I’ve knit up to this point. I am also going to update my Ravelry page as well as the knitting history pages here.


My long overdue fair isle hat from Tanis Fiber arts, turned out nice. I made it a bit too small so I am going to go up a needle size or two for the next one. At work some of my knitting friends kept asking if I was done their hat yet. It is a really nice hat and a very lovely pattern, I do encourage you to go check it out! Here is a link for the pattern and TFA website.


I know, someone who dyes yarn promoting other yarn, what is this witchcraft?! No tricks or ploys, it’s something that I have knit with and is excellent quality. I thoroughly enjoy the yarn over at TFA, but I have a shameless plug for my own yarn now. I needed a project with my Aran weight yarn because it wasn’t selling and I have tons of it. I am going to stop carrying it after I sell it because noooooooooobody wants it, actually I have a clever idea to get rid of this yarn and I am not going to share my marketing genius here yet. I thought if I could get a really good project going with this yarn it would motivate people to buy it, especially since I dropped the price on it just to get it moving. No dice. I started a linen stitch scarf in the Topaz label, which is 100% BFL. I was going to do it in the Amber, which has some baby alpaca mixed in with it, but I figured that yarn would sell itself with the power of my awesome sample behind it.


I cast it on the long way, so there are a total of something like 450 stitches on there. I worked on it pretty steadily at first, but then got onto writing posts for other publications. I actually think that project bag has gone slightly askew; no idea where it is. I am going to have to dig it out and get it rolling again.

The first knitting show of the season was the Creativ Festival and then the Knitters Frolic, which was a last minute cancellation invitation. I know that wasn’t clear, but someone cancelled last minute and we were given a call. We went with less stock than I would have liked, but made lots of new connections. I had a great time there. I also met yarning friends! At the CF I met Sarah who was interested in the process of dying yarn. With the CF and the KF so close together (one week apart) I needed all the help I could get so I just invited her over to pitch in with the process. This way, I get an extra pair of hands, and she gets to learn about dying.

I also met Debi at the KF and mostly because of her Tardis tattoo. I reached across my table at the show, grabbed her by the shoulders and said, “Is that a Tardis tattoo?! We should be friends! Be my friend!!!”. Okay, okay… I might have screamed it at her. Her response was, “alright.” I don’t feel like I have scarred her irreparably. We made a deal to trade yarn for a knitting bag. I was looking for Doctor Who fabric bags but couldn’t find any. Debi actually had some fabric at home and would trade bag for yarn. Done deal. Debi came over and helped me dye the yarn, and I actually tried out a new technique for dying it. It turned out not too bad!


The most recent show has been Quilts at the Creek, which is not a knitting show (obviously) but we went along anyway. My mom is a quilter so she obviously, and enthusiastically, volunteered to help us out. It was sweltering hot the first day and not much traffic came through, but on the second day there was a steady flow of people. One of which is my new friend Colum, who I immediately shanghaied into helping me dye yarn sometime.


Speaking of salves…. Er…. Friends I mean, I met this really neat lady named Renee in a Tim Hortons parking lot. Mostly because she purchased yarn online and lived pretty close to me so we worked out a time for exchange (which I do for anyone local). We clicked right off and started talking yarn and all things fiber. As it turns out, she is a knit-ware designer. We’ve been keeping in touch via email or text and keeping a solid line open for any really excellent ideas that come this way!

What have I been working on lately!? Well I started a boneyard shawl with the yarn I dyed with Debi. It’s all updated on my Ravelry page, so if you want to check out the colour go on over. I’ve also been working on my grandmother’s sweater. Yes…. That thing. It’s been the project that plagues me and has plagued me for years. I need to get this thing on the go and out of my UFO bin. My grandmother hasn’t been well, so I have been sending good vibes and thinking of her while I knit the sweater. I actually steeked out the one back panel to make it a front because there is no way this was going to happen if I had to do that many cables on the front and back. I am going to do the back plain and get this sweater going. Just call me turbo knitter because I am making TRACKS on this bad boy….. that being said I think I have finished one sleeve in the past several weeks…

That is the highlights reel from the past several months, the next show we’ve got coming up is the Kitchener/Waterloo Knitters fair on September 10th, 2016. I hope to see a lot of people there and I will, hopefully, post before then. Please feel free to tweet, email, rav message me to get my butt in gear about posting. I love the challenge and motivation of knowing other people are out there reading.

 

Technical Tuesday: The Nuts and Bolts

This technical Tuesday is not going to be as technical in a knitting sense. As you might have noticed, last week I completely lost track of time and managed not to do any posts. I wasn’t heading into the office on Wednesday, so I definitely forgot to write my posts until Wednesday because I thought it was the weekend. Then I just would have had Thursday’s post up, but at that point it seemed a little pointless as Thursday is my off-topic day.

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The latest self striping sock I dyed for Halloween. Colour name: Witches Britches.

Every January I re-assess the blog, what I am writing, when I am writing etc; I am going to be doing that again this January. I do this to keep up with my needs and what is working for me at that point in time. The past two months have been so crazy busy that I am going to take the rest of November and December to go back and just post when I feel like it.
Schedules are great and I am definitely a fan, but when you’re too dependent on the schedule sometimes content starts to feel too planned. I am going to take some of the time I would be writing and put that time into knitting. Then WRITE ABOUT it! It probably won’t be a whole lot at first, but I do have some fun things still planned. I’ve been sent a product to review, so that will be coming up very soon. I’m currently still testing it out!

The Aftermath

Well all the shows are now complete, it’s been an absolutely crazy two months. I feel pretty burned out from all the prep-work of getting these shows together so I haven’t been working on too much knitting. There have been a lot of mundane things like cleaning the house, restocking the cabinets, a lot of meal prep for the next couple months. I’ll write about that on a Thursday though, I am way too proud of myself to keep that from you!

I have been working on socks, of course, what else would I be working on? The purple gradient sock I dyed is starting to knit up nicely, the colour-shift near the toe is a bit harsh, but we will see what it looks like on the other one. I would post photos of it but Paul has ABSCONDED with my knitting yet again.

I should be fair, this is the sock that I keep in the car. I always knit on it when we are in transit from one place to another. I don’t know if I have mentioned, but Paul and I work at the same office. The other day, he had some training at another office location. This presented something of a problem because we drive to work together; I would have no way home. Thankfully there was someone there who goes home the same way as me and she was able to give me a lift. The crucial part of this story comes when I went out to the car to grab my knitting, so I could knit on my lunch break. Paul had left a half hour before I thought he was going to, so he went to do this training with my knitting in tow.

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Instead of sitting and knitting on my lunch break I was now sidelined to surf instagram and the like. Which leads to online shopping, which leads to stash enhancement, which leads to needing a larger house. Let’s just say there is no good ending here! When my knitting friend came across me and noticed I was NOT knitting, I had to inform her about Paul ABSCONDING with my knitting bag.

On the Move-4187

As I write this post, Paul has taken the car with the knitting in it. I guess this is the downside of car knitting. There usually isn’t a great time when you’re in the car to take photos, but when you want to show off your work, you have to make sure you’re able to grab it out of the car. I am sure this sock will be completed soon and I’ll be able to show FO photos of at least one sock!

I also wanted to mention a couple of prospective projects I am thinking about. I heard about this one on the Knit1Geek2 podcast. A Little Knit Music by Julia Blake. This is a sweater that you knit the treble clef into the yoke of the sweater and put beads where the notes would be. The best part is, they actually make up a melody. As Maggie and Karen suggested, you could knit your own adventure with a melody that means something to you. Their suggestions fell on the geek side, which I heartily approve of, but you could really do it with just about any song!

I also want to get going on a couple hats I have the yarn for. I’ve had this yarn for two years and have been meaning to knit up fair isle hats, but just haven’t had the time or motivation. I’ve got short hair now and it doesn’t cover my ears. I am thinking hats will be an essential staple of my wardrobe this year. I have a few different patterns that I am going to try out. I am going to do two of the Four Seasons hats by Tanis Fiber Arts and give the Whale Watch hat by Kate Gagnon Osborn a try as well. Those are just a couple that I have picked out of a line up. I have sooooo many saved in my Ravelry library, I feel like this will be a slippery slope.

A Little Bit of Everything

I hope this post is worth the wait! I’ve never been to Vancouver before and there were a lot of touristy things on my list. We’re about to head home and I feel like I’ve seen almost everything I needed to!

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Our flight out was at 6:55am, you’re supposed to be there a couple hours ahead and it is an hour drive to the airport from our house. Instead of waking up at 3 or 4am Paul and I stayed up to do as much re-skeining as we possibly could. When I dye yarn, it gets all tangled up in the dyebath, so I have to re-skein it to make sure there are no serious tangles in the yarn. The self-striping is a little bit more of a process because of the way it is dyed. So Paul and I didn’t go to bed, just stayed up yarning. Paul’s parents are accompanying us on this trip, so they were picking us and to drive to the airport. Luckily, Paul’s mom has a slightly nervous constitution and planned on picking us up around 2:30 or 3am to get to the airport. After we had packed all the bags into the truck and started to set off, there was a strange noise as we were backing out of the parking lot. The truck had a flat tire.

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We were very early so the 45 minutes it took the four of us to change it wasn’t a huge amount of time lost. We got to park and take the shuttle into the airport. After shuttle, security and all that jazz, there was only about 20 minutes left before we were to board the plane. I wouldn’t be able to sit and snooze for 20 minutes so I took out my needles and started on a hat that I am making for Paul’s little cousin in Vancouver.

Airport Knitting-4263

Our plan was to sleep on the plane because there is a three-hour time difference between Ontario and Vancouver. Leaving at 7am and a five-hour flight, it would be around noon Ontario-time. We were actually arriving at 9am so there is some weird time-shift seeming witchcraft happening there. Our plan was to sleep on the plane and get a full first day in Vancouver. Nothing huge planned, but possibly a small amount of exploring around the hotel; get to know your surroundings and all that jazz. I think this plane must have been smaller than your average tiny plane because I felt extremely cramped the whole time. I even took a gravol just before we boarded to MAKE SURE I slept. I did end up sleeping fitfully for all but the last half hour, but it was actually difficult and I am sure the nice girl beside me would have liked to kill me for worming around so much. Dear Nice Lady, I’M SORRY!! I am usually well-behaved on flights and can sit and knit for hours on end. I plug in my headphones, listen to audio books and don’t move AT ALL! My headphones were being finicky and would stop playing if I touched the cord or moved around at all, which is almost worse than not having them. An audio book provides a constant stream of talking, like white noise. I fall into the story, which calms my mind, then drop off to sleep. It’s much more difficult when all you can think about is ‘Don’t move, don’t move, don’t move.’

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I also forgot to mention that we are packing all the stock yarn, banners, samples etc. into checked bags. I put all that yarn into the hands of the airline and just attempted to NOT think about all the things that could go wrong. Our flight was direct, so not much of a chance of anything getting lost, but STILL! I made sure to plaster my name, phone number and address all over each case. I also tried to mix each case with an assortment of bases and colours, so if one was lost or a day or two late getting there it wasn’t going to ruin everything. I felt like I had done everything I possibly could to make sure the airline would be able to find/contact me in the event of lost luggage. However when we went to pick everything up, there were no issues. I am not going to lie, I felt like a girl who needed to pack her whole closet to go on a weeklong trip. We picked up our rental van and headed over to the hotel to see if our room was ready. It was very early, but the Atrium Inn had a room ready and we were able to bring our stuff in. After this, I realized I was STARVING and we went to eat. There was a place across the road where everything was under ten dollars so we checked it out before I passed out from starvation. Lunch, well… brunch, was alright and after this I headed straight for bed and slept for several hours.

Grouse Mountain-4305

The next day the four of us trekked up to Grouse Mountain. I did want to see the Capilano Suspension bridge, but someone looked it up and it was quite expensive, so we postponed that to another visit. The day was beautiful and clear so on the ride to the top we could see everything!

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There were a lot of things to do at the top including seeing bears, wolves, watching the lumberjack show, just looking around at the ah-mazing views everywhere. We ended up spending a good portion of the entire day there.

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Friday was show prep day! We needed a lot of things and spent all day running around and setting up at the PNE forum. Set up went really well, by the end of the day I felt like this was the most prepared we had ever been for a show, but I think that is partially due to the fact that we couldn’t go back to our house after set up and continue getting things ready etc.
Saturday morning we woke up, had breakfast at the hotel and headed over to the PNE building.

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This was RIGHT across the street so it was really REALLY convenient. We didn’t have to drive at all, just walked over and managed to not take up any of the parking. As soon as the doors opened there were a lot of people roaming around. The whole first day was an absolute mad house, trying to answer questions and give each customer the attention they deserved. Our self-striping rainbow yarn, Psychedelic Onyx, sold out in 2 hours. There were a lot of people doing the ‘first lap’. I always do this at shows to prevent me from buying EVERYTHING! I tried to warn everyone I could that we only brought limited stock to the show. There is always next time though. Everyone LOVED the pattern markers; they were a really big hit.

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I didn’t really manage to talk to a lot of other vendors or people that were teaching because I was so busy, but I will tell you more about day two of the show next post! There is plenty more to tell!