Frolic-ing and a CKAL

Last weekend was the Knitters Frolic in Toronto. Thank you to everyone who came by the booth, it was a pleasure to talk to you and exchange ideas!

Here is the list of patterns I had display items for at the show (and where you can find them):

The Amiga Cardigan in silk from Knitty

The Alcina pattern in lace cotton from Rowan

The Spring Lace top in 3ply/fingering hemp (paper copy purchase) from LanaKnits Designs

The Spring Lace top in 3ply/fingering hemp (PDF copy purchase) from Patternfish

Still to come: 6ply hemp sweater pattern details

CKAL – Cowl Knit A Long

Many people asked me about the cable pattern I have used for my cowls this year, it comes from this book.

I don’t like to use cable needles so much, I mostly drop the needle out of the stitch anyways. I am not going to be using the terms from the book, I just find it better to look at which way my cable stitch is leaning. I will be describing/illustrating how I adapted the pattern to work in the round.

This pattern works in a multiple of six. My project is 90 stitches cast on to 8mm needles. This size works great for taking pictures that you can easily see the stitches in.

Cast on your own project using the yarn and needle size of your choice. A cowl for an adult can be around 24 inches around to easily fit over the head. Bigger can be better, depending on your style. I like the 24 inch around size because it fits easily enough under my jacket, where I prefer to wear my cowl.

Step 1: Cast on your project in a multiple of 6 and mark the end.

Step 2: Join in the round insuring there are no twists.

Step 3: The first row establishes the patterning for the cowl. It is worked Knit 2 (K2), Purl 4 (P4) until the last 2 stitches before the marker.

Step 4: Bring your yarn to the back of your project so you are ready to knit stitches.

Step 5: For the cable row we no longer focus on 2 and 4 stitches. On the cable row we are always dealing with stitches in groups of 3 stitches that we manipulate, either to lean right or to lean left. The cable stitches alternate the entire length of the row and you always end with the opposite lean than the one at the start of the row. The cables rows mirror each other in the flow of the pattern.

I cheat the pattern row in the round, because it is the choice of two outcomes that I prefer. Either you can cheat the stitches, or you make your cable lean after finishing the row. I find the second choice makes the stitches

For the first cable row, the first cable stitch leans to the right. To make the cable, two purl stitches will be crossed by the knit stitch (leaning to the right) so that it is knit into first.

When the stitches are all back to the left needle, knit, purl, purl.

Working on the next 3 stitches, the knit stitch is first and this time we want it to lean to the left. I pull off the knit stitch, transfer the 2 purl stitches to the right needle. drag the knit stitch to the left to sit on the left needle and trhen transfer back the 2 purl stitches. Then I purl, purl, knit.

Repeat the cable row leans for the rest of row in the round.

Stopping here for now. But posting the rest of the pictures. I must get ready for the next show! Eats into my online time…


















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Fibres West 2015

I had such a fun time at Fibres West this year! My booth is very streamlined this year.

I had a fantastic time meeting people again from last year and new folks as well. I sent 6 boxes to BC as well as bringing 10 lbs of hemp yarns and I came back with 2 suit cases, I declare a success! I love it when I don’t have to mail any boxes back home.

In addition to the show I stayed with my girlfriend who has sheep (on a separate property) giving birth in March. We went over there in intervals to check the mamas, feed, and clean. I happily watched and took pictures.

The shepherdess and her flock – evening feeding.

Over in the pen is one mama and her baby. Such a cute lamby mimicking the adults and playing around.

The other ladies are eating their meals out of the pen in the smaller grass area. And Nervous Nelly is just behaving to type.

Lets leave Nelly for a moment and head back to the uber cute lamb.

Mama thinks I have more food for her!

The ladies are back in the pen. Lynne had to hold the little lamb (Daisy) back she would have escaped for adventures if she could!

The only still shot I managed of Nelly!

This trip was too short and I can’t wait to return again.

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Countdowns and Milestones

Countdown to my first show of 2015! T-minus 3 days and counting!

Very excited to be in Fibres West for year two. Looking forward to meeting everyone out west again! And very happy to have my products and ideas on track for this year. 6 boxes got shipped out to BC and sadly one got busted up and there has been some damage to the yarns. Good for the folks out west who will get a surprise SALE!

I passed an amazing milestone recently – I finished a 4 year old scarf. It was the piece I made between weaving 1 and weaving 2. It was also the first weaving I have ever (mistakes & all) created completely by myself. At first I was very unhappy about all the stuff I done wrong to the scarf. Its a heavy yarn and I threaded way too many ends per inch. I made amusing errors warping, like accidentally putting the yarns under the bar, and had to rethread one time over. I also busted a warp thread while I was weaving – something I understand how to deal with now….!

All in all it may have taken 4 years, but I LOVE my scarf now, and I’m glad I went through the process, that made me a better weaver today.

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Life of a Yarny Update

I have almost finished year three of this grand experiment, also known as my show season. Life as a yarny is both really awesome and kind of terrifying!

I finished tallying my inventory and now I know I sold around 280 lbs of silk, 100 lbs of cotton and 80 lbs of Romanian hemp this year. It was interesting to see what sold and did not sell this year in my categories.

I have a huge backlog of pictures to post and many new ideas bursting outta my head now for the upcoming year. I bought acid and indigo dyes to experiment with. I have some yarn design ideas I really want to follow up on in the new year. I also plan to put together an email newsletter, but since I personally hate spam, its a slow process trying to balance relevancy and self advertising.

I finished this hand dyed silk scarf in Sept in time for the fashion show of the KW Knitter’s Guild Fair.

In Nov & Dec I am weaving up xmas gifts of tea towels and finishing up a knitted scarf.

Its snowing today and I kinda wish I did not have to leave the house!

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Yarn Dyeing Segue

Five shows in three months, oh my! I have many pictures now backing up in my camera. And instead of posting things in order, I’m going to jump around and show off my latest yarn!

I’ve tried out a number of mercerized cotton cone yarns, and then I found skeins of lace weight yarns in a bin at my suppliers. A happy occurrence at the Twist Festival, allowed me to provide indigo blanks to a girlfriend who gave me back reference colour samples for both the cotton and hemp. I really liked the way the mercerized cotton resisted taking in the dye. These are pictures from my first batch.

I started the first batch primarily dyeing in colours in thirds on the skeins.

I liken this dyeing very much to developing film. In some ways it completely reminds me of some really great times I had inĀ  the school film club, always wondering what the end product would be like!

The ombre worked so well, at the end of the first batch I made a few fully dyed skeins.

I have been dyeing up full colour skeins with as many of the dye colours I have on hand now. I want to see how they all look! To see the pooling interval, in the multicoloured skeins, I have begun knitting up a washcloth on 3.5 mm needles. There are a few intrepid knitters out there trying out patterns they are interested in with this lace yarn as well! I’m hoping to entice some crocheters to try out my new lace as well. I know interest in cotton lace will subside a bit through the winter, but I plan on making some kind of sweater for next summer now.


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Full up on yarn & fibres!

I made it to NJ and picked up Romanian hemp yarns. We discussed a few weaving sizes of natural 2 ply linen yarns this time around. I am looking forward to seeing the samples in the fall!

I am show ready with undyed natural hemp yarns from Romania and Lana Knits hemp yarns colours and overdyed colours. I have hemp and linen fibres for spinning and bamboo and ingeo rovings. On the environmental side, I have silk and cotton remnant (repurposed from various industrial manufacturing) yarns. I have a few pounds of merino pencil roving remnants, that were a fun find this year. In the last few years I have also tried out a lot of different yarns, those that have not worked out are in the clearance bucket.

My next show is the Twist Festival in St Andre Avellin, QC in August.

Can’t wait to see everyone that I travel to meet!

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Jaffo Port, Israel – June 8 – Part 1

On Sunday we headed to Tel Aviv to be tourists. We started our day touring the ancient port of Jaffo.

The view started in the parking lot with murals.

We are right by the water, and there were no seagulls! Not many birds at all, it was a bit odd. This raucous fellow was one of the only birds I got on camera.

It was interesting to walk along the docks.

At least there was this magnificent specimen!

One of the highly visible structures of this Port is the lighthouse.

Its like the Life of Brian come to life here. I keep thinking some old man or woman will throw open the shutters and say something incomprehensible!

Now it is time to climb.

On the way up there were a lot of interesting sites and doorways to see.

Its a lot of walking up very uneven stairs.

The walk to the top was totally worth the effort!

Church clock tower.

Next we explored the area around the top of Port Jaffo….

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