Friday, August 24, 2012

Stitches Midwest 2012

The hotel service was "platinum," the classes were excellent everything was above what I expected. The market place was very exciting. As a registered attendee we had first peek on Thursday evening. When the doors opened it was like a "cattle drive," as my husband described it, as we poured through the doors.
That's me in the green jacket.
Friday was the session on designing skirts and the meet the teacher's luncheon.
omg there I am again!

Nicky Epstein at our table.
The Student Banquet was delicious and it was a treat to have Antje Gillingham at our table her ruffled skirt design was gorgeous.
Contrary to what many believe, as I talk a good fight, I find getting up in front of hundreds of people is very intimidating. The ladies at my table talked me into entering the Student Fashion show based on the number of knitter's who had commented on my shawl in the hall when we were waiting to enter the banquet room. My heart was pounding and my knees were shaking but I did it!! ... and loved it.. lol
MMario Knits, Queen Anne Lace, Misti alpaca lace weight yarn.

I went to the PJ party Sat evening but I was so pooped and there was no where to sit I gave up and went to bed.
Franklin Habit and bear.
merino and silk laceweight, couldn't resist the mug
You should have seen me trying to be nonchalant as I lugged my carry-on to the plane. "What, this bag? it is as light as a feather?" Did you know that yarn is duty free? Need I say more?
some linen + more linen ... ooooo

recycled blue jeans yarn ... ahhhhh
yarn bowl for stranded projects or for two on the go at once @.@
I waited 15 years to go to Stitches and it was everything I hoped it would be. To all the lovely knitters I met, thank you, it was wonderful spending time with all of you.
Four days surrounded by like minded fiber enthusiasts and praise given and received by ones peers was very gratifying. Strike that off my bucket list!

Monday, August 6, 2012

Next Up On The Needles

Lycaena Helloides

Primo Lace 1,000 yd skein

Butterfly Wings Shawl by Ray Whiting (Ruth Park for Knitivity) I want to use some beads just trying to decide where to incorporate them into the pattern.
detail of shawl knit by Linda Jo Park (mother of the designer)

Stitches Midwest countdown

♪ The Hills are alive with the Sound of Music!  ♪

Holiday Monday here in Canada. Not really a stat holiday but fortunately my employer has a family reunion this weekend so he gives us a paid day off. Lucky me.
The Maple Shawl is finished. The yarn "Muse," from Twisted Fiber Art, is a dream to knit. They call this an evolution dye. very clever. Not crazy about the original name of the pattern, however, I did add a scatter of beads to represent the spots that appear on the leaves at the end of summer.
"Blight" by Deborah Frank.
Stitches Midwest:
I have my class tools package ready. E ticket printed, insurance info printed, patterns printed and copied to my tablet. Still have some "homework" to do. Haven't packed my suitcase yet, but I do know what I am taking. My old tote bag is kitted out with all things "sheep." One hopes the airlines will not give me grief over my accoutrements.
Almost ruined Sandy's washing machine felting this puppy!

Plans have changed and I will be flying out on United Airlines this Wednesday and coming back on Sunday. I have been waiting 15 years to go to "Stitches." I first heard about these conventions when I had the Wool Shop. It has been on my "Bucket List" ever since.
I am pressing on with my "Games" challenge piece for Ravelry. This is the closest I will ever get to competing in anything athletic. Today I expect to pass 50%. There is no way I will finish before I leave for Stitches so, I will have to take it with me.
Not looking like too much yet but we do have an eye. More pictures to follow.
I have 21 hours of classes booked at Stitches Midwest. Talk about sensory overload! Every one, from the Estonian Cowl to Franklin Habit's Edging class to reading a Japanese Crochet pattern, is going to be very exciting for me.
Stay tuned, if you are so inclined.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Knitting Bucket List

Well, we survived the move to the apartment, barely.
It was enough to make you weep. Under all that clutter is the furniture.
Would eventually be a dining room.
Still digging out from under the unpacked boxes, which have been confined to the "spare room."
The last frontier, bravely go.......

 I went on a seek and rescue last night for my set of  rosewood double points. The elusive things are just that ... elusive. They will turn up sooner or later. One must remain pragmatic when one moves or one runs the risk of complete melt down. Humour there.
Birthday flowers were much appreciated what with moving AND achieving Senior Status! I look a trifle exhausted!

I did come across my lace weight cardi, a WIP, which I gladly knit on last night. Beautiful hand dyed Primo Lace from Knitivity, which just happens to be the same colour as my car... Once it is knit and blocked I think it will become a staple in my wardrobe. I am loving the little pearls I am kniting into an otherwise perfectly plain little cardi. Have not done a stitch on my Dad's picture the CBN I started at the house. My concentration just hasn't been to that point. Crazy busy at work. The most I have been able to manage is knitting on my second Phydlbits sock.
I came across an article about bucket lists and knitting. Ever since the movie Bucket List; which by the way if you haven't seen it you should; there have been bucket lists for everything.  The knitting thing of course appealed to me. So here are some of the things I want to Knit before I kick the said bucket:
The Princess Shawl from Heirloom Knitting, I have the yarn and the needles, just no time at present.
Spanish Armada

The Spanish Armada Shawl by MMarioKKnits, I want it in black. I mean if you are going to do it lets make it as hard as possible.
That's two things give me time I am sure I will come up with more. ;0)

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

10,918 stitches later

 Captain Jack Sparrow is finished.
 I have packed my yarn scale or I could have calculated how much yarn I actually used. I went into the second ball of black and almost finished the ball of dark blue. There is quite a lot left on the other balls. He will be a pillow cover after we move. I just packed him away in his project box for the time being.
I have already started the second project using the crochet by numbers technique with a slight modification because I can't leave any good idea alone. This one is a special pattern generated by Todd Paschall for me from a photograph. I am going through embroidery floss like water. It only has 22,436 stitches! Holy crap.
This just the beginning, I do like the way the floss shines. More will be revealed later unless your on Ravelry and then you can see it on my projects page. If this turns out as well as I hope I will have it framed professionally. All this and working and packing to move.

Monday, April 30, 2012

"Captain" Jack Sparrow

Hold onto your crochet hook! I have just discovered a new obsession. (as if I needed another one) Take a moment and go visit this site Crochet by Numbers and click on Gallery. Then come back, I will still be here.
Now, pop over to Lee's website . Impressed??? Well, I am.

10% April 12th
Knit Picks Palette wool with a 3.5mm hook
25% complete April 15th

40% complete, April 23rd
50% complete, half way there, April 25th

60% complete, April 28th
70% complete, April 30th
Free pattern from  Lee Mac, "totallee" on Ravelry, she is a fantastic fiber artist. Very talented lady with a great sense of humour; love her "vlogs."  I am totally addicted ( pun fully intended, Lee).
 Todd, "toddapaschall" on Ravelry, has made me two patterns from personal photographs and I am learning how to make my own patterns.
Just because I have nothing to do except finish pack a whole house and move in four weeks. Cue hysterical laughter.
I will add updated pictures to this post so you can see the progress.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Remember Logan's bear?

Logan: " Can you keep a secret?"              Bear: "Forever."

You have a fuzzy.

Playing Peek-a-Boo

You can tell they are related, they have the same smile.

The bear was a success. Mom and Dad were happy and appreciated his heirloom status. Here's hoping "Bear" gives many years of quiet confidence to my young Grandson.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Happy Easter Everyone.

Looks a little like bunny ears, doesn't it? Having a bit of a sock fest going on here. This is a good basic mindless sock pattern and I will make them again and again. I used the Zebra pattern from Cat Bordhi's latest E book, "Sweet Tomato Heel Socks," available through Ravelry. Great "hand job" (to quote Colin), He dyed this colourway up for me by special request. This post is going to be full of links today. Colin is the Knitman's Kitchen, beautiful yarn, excellent service.

The dragon fire socks (another Knitman's yarn) I started in Mexico are progressing a lot slower than they were when I had nothing but the sun and surf around me. The pattern is a little too complex for TV watching. I shall persevere. Progress has been made.

Another of Cat's patterns, Sweet Coriolis Socks.The diagonal rib just about sent me around the bend. Kept loosing my place. Don't look too closely I am sure there are errors in there. I used Judy's Magic cast one, as usual, this one has a spiral toe. Now the second sock "spins" the other way. So there will be a new challenge. No boredom here. (Colin's yarn again, we are all enamoured of the colour pooling in this one)

I made a request for a peacock feather inspired colourway from Ray at Knitivity and he came through. I am so pleased with the colours. Head on over to facebook and "like" him. There will be some new hand dyed yarns comong up for sale today. Just tell him Susan sent you, lol.
 I am using the Wyvern Socks Pattern, a Marnie Maclean Design . It is similar to the dragon fire pattern but a little more basic, hugs the foot, not to lacy, I do not like "holes" in my socks and it is TV watching friendly.

 In honour of Spring and after months of coaxing, the lavender seeds have finally produced some hardy shoots and we are actually looking forward to some blooms. Lavender repels moths AND scorpions if that is a problem in your neck of the woods.
Maple is having a "stay over" at Grami's while her family is away for a few days. She won't come in. In fact she ignored me just now... she is staring down a squirrel on the fence.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Wisp of a cardigan

 This is merino and silk lace dyed by the KnitterMan, Knitivity. Gorgeous stuff and not one knot in a thousand yards. Very impressed. It just so happens that it is the same colour as my VW beetle. So what's not to love?

 I am knitting the Kid Seta cardigan from Cascade yarns. My apologies to Cascade for not using their lace weight as the pattern was a free download.   Go Here. This exactly what I was looking for, for this yarn. Just to keep it interesting I am adding glass pearls every 10th stitch every 10 row, (stagger them.) It doesn't show up that much in the picture but I think the overall look will work. I plan on some alterations... 3/4 length sleeves and a crochet edge. The perfectionist in me can't handle rolled edges of stocking stitch.
Air conditioning in the summer, can vary greatly when you are in the mall or at work and I think this fine cardi will be ideal for when I feel chilled rather than cooled.
Now for, what is to me, earth shattering news. After years of wishing and hoping ... I am going to Stitches Midwest in August 2012.

Wait till I tell you. I have classes booked with Franklin Habit and Nicky Epstein just to drop 2 names. Only an experienced knitter will appreciate how pleased I am that I have 6 hour class on Estonian Stitches. The list goes on. There will be lots of posts coming during and after the event. this little cardi will be perfect to take with me. Hotel reservations are confirmed as well. (Insert mental picture of me jumping up and down clapping my hands)
 My sweet man will be accompanying me to Illinois and THAT is a testimony of devotion!

Friday, March 16, 2012

Back to the knitting...

 ...still cleaning up UFO's. Started these socks a couple of months ago. Really they are a quick knit. (when you knit) For some strange reason they do not knit themselves... duh
This is from Cat Bordhi's latest book which I downloaded through Ravelry. Sweet Tomato Heel socks. I will link to the exact title in a minute.  Here is the pertinent info:
2.5mm needle
56 sts
toe up
Judy's Magic Cast On
Cat's Sweet Tomato Heel
Jenny's Super Stretchy Cast Off
knit the ribbing (2x2) as long as your foot.
Fits me perfectly. Am turning the heel on the second sock. When I get to the ribbing it becomes mindless TV knitting. I am almost finished the Dragon sock I started in Mexico and I want to get the second one on the needles. Leave it to me to have 2 new pair of socks I probably won't need to wear until fall.
I am crocheting another rope, just to keep my self busy (insert maniacal laugh). This one is made using #11 beads and is finer than the last one. Photo taken on a mirror by my "camera guy."
When the socks are finished I am going to finish the Icarus Shawl! Really. Promise. I have a lot of grafting to do and that is why it has languished in the basket. Must be done before I can start anything else! Stay tuned.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Logan's bear ... finished.

Once upon a time, I had a home based business called "Thimble Enterprises." I designed and hand made stuffed animals. Especially Teddy Bears. This was right at the beginning of the teddy bear craze in the early '80's. I had a white Mini and I used to pack is solidly with animals and props and go off to craft shows around southern Ontario. At one point my animals were carried in specialty stores in Leamington and Windsor.
When Evan, my youngest, was little he would sit by my feet driving his hot wheels cars around the inside ledge of the sewing machine table while I was working. I had two huge utility shelves in my tiny sewing room full of disembodied animal parts. I made dogs, cats, squirrels, deer, bears all sizes and designs, and beautiful bunnies. I still have all the pattern templates.
It seemed fitting that in view of that memory of Evan as a little boy, his son should have a bear for his first birthday.
Partially stuffed
The bear is finished and I pleased with the outcome. I have had this length of fabric in the cedar chest for probably 20 years. When Logan is big enough I hope this bear becomes his trusted companion and he will always have this memory of his Grami and the story about his daddy when he was a little boy.
This particular bear was originally sold with copper rimmed glasses, a pipe and dressed in a buttoned plaid vest with watch chain. This "Grampy Bear" was designed in honour of my father who loved to come to the shows with me and shmooze with the customers. I sold more of these in London as "executive gifts" than anywhere else.
I made the nose too.
He even comes with a letter of authenticity.
 All that remains now is for him to have a name and that I will leave up to Logan.