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Monday, October 31, 2005

Felted Christmas Stocking is Done

My life has been crazy busy. This really means that the store has been busy and I haven't had time to write. The weather has turned cold which gets everyone thinking about knitting again. I was going to sit at the computer on Thursday night after class but instead I had to sit down with a drink. They are great ladies but they keep me on my toes. The language in class and topics of conversation can become X-rated. I have to interview anyone new who wants to join to make sure that they won't be offended.

I did get the Christmas stocking felted and in my opinion it looks great. The pattern is completely written except for the heel shaping. A smart person would keep track of what they did-not me. I have to get out some scrap yarn and cast on the number of heel stitches and try to recreate. STUPID!!

I've been knitting a shawl using Ann Norling's pattern #63. You start at the bottom of the back, work up to the neck and then down the fronts. I have the back finished and almost done one front. The yarn is called Overture from SR Kertzer. It is a mohair with metallic thread. The new colour in my wardrobe is chocolate brown which doesn't photograph very well so I will wait until finished to show a picture.

Tonight is my beginner/intermediate class. They actually get out their needles right away and start knitting-no gossiping, no movie previews-just knitting. New knitters can be so keen!! Tomorrow night is guild night. I will be starting the group on the Felted Entrelac Knapsack. Many of these woman have never taken a knitting class so they are sponges for new techniques. We are starting with a provisional cast on and working the base on circular needles.

Fantasy football went great this weekend. Our score will more than double our opponents!

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

16 Inning Christmas Stocking

Last night was spent watching the baseball game. 14 innnings and the outcome did not go my way.

A customer came in the store on Saturday and told me that she was making felted Christmas stockings out of Noro Kureyon. What a thought!! I sat down last night, worked out a pattern and started knitting. After 14 innings the stocking was almost done. 2 more innings was all I needed to get it finished. I completed the stocking today in the store and will felt tomorrow. Here are pictures of the pre-felted work.

I used less that 3 balls on 7mm needles.

Tonight was my crazy knitting class that has been with me forever. At 8 (the class starts at 7) they finally got out their needles. We discussed Las Vegas (one of my favourite places in the world), grandchildren, doctors, knitting blogs and At Knit's End by Stephanie Pearl-McPhee (The Yarn Harlot). At 8:45 I have to suggest that they start packing up so that they are out by 9-translates into 9:15.

Monday, October 24, 2005

Sunday afternoon knitting and watching sports-life is great

Sunday was spent knitting while watching football, Nascar and baseball. Beth and I are in a fantasy football league. This means we draft a team (pick position players from every NFL team) and play each week against another team. Our league has 8 teams-7 run by men and then ours. We are known as the 'bitches' because we do really well and it pisses off the guys. We spend the afternoon flipping between games to see how our players are doing. Many of you are probably groaning-this sounds just like your husband. We won again-our record so far is 6-1 (tied for first).

Between watching sports and playing Party Poker I knit 2 scarves out of Trendsetter Sorbet. 2 balls of Sorbet, 10mm needles, 15 stitches and knit every row. It doesn't take long.

I also worked on my Tapestry shawl from Trendsetter. This is a new ribbon yarn. One edge is finished and the other isn't and there are long metallic threads hanging from the yarn. I was on my way to being finished when I ran out of one colour. I am in the process of ripping back the row and a half and leaving that colour out. I hate to rip so it has been set aside until later tonight. The shawl is knit on 12mm needles with 94 stitches using one ball each of five colours.
Here is another picture of my Pandora scarf which shows the changes in the yarn better.

Saturday, October 22, 2005

Fall is definitely here


It is another cold and rainy day. I would give anything to have a fireplace-it is the perfect day to sit in front of it and knit.

Not much knitting to report. The scarf knit out of Trendsetter Pandora is done. This is Sarah who works for me. She decided to act up when I was taking her picture-who's laughing now Sarah? I knit the scarf lengthwise. 2 balls, 150 stitches on 9mm needles-knit every row. If I was to knit it again I would cast on 160 stitches to make it a bit longer.

I have yarn everywhere in my apartment (I live above my store). The building is 200 years old and all the ceilings have slopes in them. The couch in the living room can't go all the way to the wall so there is great storage behind it. Every once in a while I start pulling out bags just to see what is there. The greatest thing arrived yesterday-a Yarn Catcher. It is a canvas cube that stands open to hold your yarn and collapses flat for easy storage. It works great for keeping the yarn from rolling all over the floor (and out of Melo's reach). It is filled with Tahki Donegal Tweed-a dark purple colour with flecks of brighter purples and green. I keep dreaming of this yarn in a cabled sweater.

Thursday, October 20, 2005

Shoes

Every year my sister (Beth) and I go on a vacation for the first week of December. Usually we go to Vegas but occaisionally a cruise is taken. Unfortunately it isn't going to happen this year. But I really, really need to get away so we are flying to Minneapolis for a weekend in December to go shopping at the Mall of America. What an amazing place. SHOES!!! Lots and lots of shoes stores. The shoe department in Norstroms is huge and beside that is DSW (Discount Shoe Warehouse). The store is the size of a grocery store-aisles and aisles of shoes at great prices. Luckily Beth will be along to carry all the boxes. My best friend Bev will be coming along as well. There is a competition between us to see who can buy the most pairs while away (Bev always wins but I do try hard). Bev and I travel together often to yarn trade shows and an extra day is always planned so we can go shopping. Now you understand why I need to work so much-it is so I can fulfil my shoe obsession.

There has been a small change to my blog. I learned how to add titles to each post. You learn something new every day!!!

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Another finished project...


and at this rate I might have all my started projects finished by the time I am 60. This is a poncho for a 2 year old knit out of Naturally's Colourworks. The yarn is chunky weight, handpainted, machine-washable wool. I knit it on 6mm circular needles-very, very easy. Now I have to sit down and write the pattern. There should be some kind of computer software where we enter the picture and the pattern is spit out. Now that would be amazing.


As a reward for finishing a project I get to start something new. This is a new yarn from Trendsetter called Pandora. (100% polyamide) There are actually three different yarns combined in one ball. As you knit it changes from one to the next-it looks like you keep changing yarns but without the ends to sew in.

The pink is for a scarf. Probably knit on the bias to get diagonal lines. I have chocolate brown arriving at the end of the week for a shawl that I am designing in my head.

With all the sports currently on tv I am not getting much knitting done. It is hard to hold the converter and knitting needles. Saturday night was flipping between NHL, NASCAR and baseball. Sunday was flipping from one football game to the next followed by baseball. Monday night was teaching followed by football and baseball. Tonight is easy tv viewing-The Amazing Race. As you can see, tv is a very big part of my life. After working 10-12 hours a day I need some relaxation time-it is also a good excuse to sit and knit.

Saturday, October 15, 2005

I sold my first pattern


For a workshop at our knitting retreat I designed a felted, entrelac knapsack. Bev Galeskas from Fiber Trends purchased the pattern which will be available in the new year. The model is knit out of Tussock Chunky from Naturally of New Zealand.

This is my five month old Golden Retriever Carmelo Anthony (called Melo for short) using the knapsack as a pillow. Melo doesn't play with yarn unless it is really expensive. Luckily he hasn't discovered my shoes which are worth way more than the yarn.



Small Rant
Sometimes I wonder if yarn and pattern companies read their patterns before publishing them. I had a lady come in the store today with a well known hard cover book. She was at the neck shaping and the instructions did not make the neck look like the picture in the book. She emailed the company and they told her that their customers had no problems with the pattern and maybe she was having problems because she was a new knitter (which she isn't). I spent less than 5 minutes reading the pattern and looking at the picture and she was right. The instructions were totally wrong-not just a little wrong. We got it figured out but I have to ask if the people who wrote the pattern knit it after it was published.

Thursday, October 13, 2005

Brandon Mably

Brandon (from the Kaffe Fassett design studio) taught a workshop today in the store. Amazing!! He was hilarious-even told some off coloured jokes as well as being extremely patient. Both of these surprised me-sorry Brandon. I had visions of this stuffy Brit who yelled at students for not working fast enough and picking terrible colours. The ladies learned about mixing colours and fairisle techniques by working on the Persian Poppy chart from Kaffe Fassett. Everyone came away learning new techniques, with a new appreciation for colour. Brandon will be at the Creative Sewing and Needlework Festival in Toronto this weekend-take a workshop if you get a chance.

Now I am off to teach my Thursday night class. Another group I can't get rid of. We did have to set some ground rules for this class-wine is served only on the last night of each session.

As you can see my life consists of running a knitting shop and teaching knitting. The extra few minutes are spent working on our knitting retreat and keeping the local guild in order.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

I thought I was fairly smart until...

Starting my blog took a little more work than I anticipated. People told me that you just picked a template and started typing. Not if you want it to look different from everyone else's!!! I want to thank Wannietta and Samantha for their help and support. I have learned how to add links, change colours, insert lines and much more. There is still more to learn but time is limited. I really need a few more hours in the day.



Today I finished Skeppstra. I even sewed it together-usually I hand off to one of my knitters to finish for me. The finishing was better than the cleaning I needed to do. Brandon Mably from Rowan will be teaching for me tomorrow and I wanted the store to look amazing. This meant washing windows, sweeping, vaccumming and cleaning the toilet-YUCK.

Off to my advanced knitting class. Not really a class-they've been with me for 15 years and I can't make them leave. It is their night out and nothing gets in the way. We can have the worst snow storm and they all show up. None of them live in town-most drive an hour to get here. Luckily they know everything so I will get 2 hours to knit and get paid for it!

Monday, October 10, 2005

It's a cold, rainy Thanksgiving Monday in Southern Ontario. After much talking about starting a blog, today is the day. So far the hardest part was deciding on a name. The next hardest part will be picking which project to write about. There are way too many to talk about-I am known for having many, many UFOs.

Almost finished Skeppsta-from the new Cornelia Tuttle-Hamilton Naturally Noro magazine. The front and back are knit in strips, using Noro Transitions, on 9mm needles. The whole sweater took 5 days to knit. The sleeves ended up too short so I had to lengthen and tomorrow I can finish sewing together.

For the rest of the afternoon there is CFL football on tv that will be followed by the NFL game tonight. This means lots of time for knitting (Vision Coat from Sally Melville's The Purl Stitch.) I have one sleeve knit and the back almost done. Pictures to follow during the week.