I'm off again!

'Headed back northwards - house all set for the "soldiers of fortune" that must stay and work in the city through the week - car loaded with clean laundry and fresh groceries to see us through to week's end at the cottage.

I haven't had any time to leisurely visit blogs or really check out the fall previews - I've used my few minutes available at the computer to post and that's been about it.

I have packed a basic sock to work on while in the car. (My Beloved is coming with us this time so I don't have to drive - I say its a savings on gas to only take one vehicle but seriously as valuable if not more than a tank of gas - even these days - is that the round trip as a passenger yields 5 hours of knitting time in his company - double bonus!)
Otherwise I've had no time to consider what to undertake next on the knitting front so I've just shoved some stuff in a bag...and we'll see what strikes my fancy once I'm sitting still again either here...
or here...
It isn't fancy,but for us, its heavenly indeed!
Happy knitting everyone!


Olympic Sweater (But which Olympics?)

In order to post about this sweater I hope you'll bear with me through a wee bit of background...

At one time, not so long ago I had a very nasty, very protracted, almost scarring experience with a certain cotton cabled pram cover. It almost killed my interest in knitting. I set that pram cover out of view for months and months at a time but I was also determined not to invest in knitting yarn of any kind for myself until it was properly finished.
In the end the infant for whom the pram cover was started when he was still in the womb was in grade two by the time that 7 year war between myself and the pattern was over!

One winter evening shortly after it was finished I went on line looking for inspiration to at last start a new knitting project just for me! It would be the first sweater I would knit for myself in many many years.
I found a site called a "knitting blog". (I had to ask someone the next day what "blog" meant!) The thing had stories about the author's knitting projects. I bookmarked it certain that this was a rare find that might prove worthy of visiting again for additional inspiration at a later date. (Its hard to believe reading this now but that was my thinking at the time!)

The next day I visited a yarn store with a plan to make a sweater out the current Vogue Knitting. I went home with a bag of Sirdar yarn and cast on.
Since the Pram Cover Wars had been so hard won I felt I deserved to really dive right into this new project so I set my usual activities aside for the next few hours and knit while I watched Men's Curling from the Olympics. Over the next couple of weeks I watched Olympic coverage in the snowy afternoons while I knitting my sweater.
I didn't realize it but I was having my own personal knitting Olympics utterly unaware so many others were doing the same. Even once I discovered other knit blogs and saw Knitting Olympics buttons I still erroneously imagined they referred to a travelling speed knitting contest held at shopping malls or something.

So its funny now this week to read of people planning their projects for this next Olympics or announce they won't do Olympic Knitting for whatever reason that I'm finally posting my FO report on my last Olympic Knit.

Pattern: "Artful Sweater" by Kirsten Cowan
Source: Vogue Knitting Winter 05/06
Yarn: Sirdar Denim Chunky
Needles: Aero 5.5mm
Started: Winter 2006 Finished: July 7, 2008
Pattern Mods: Changed Neckline from Zippered Turtleneck to wide crew neck
Like its predecessor the Pram Cover, "issues" with this knit lead to long periods of neglect following a fun and fast beginning and it took a ridiculous amount of time before the last bit was finished. I think there are errata in the pattern at the neck line although I have never been able to find corrections. I emailed VK about it but never heard back. In the end two weeks ago at the cottage I sat down and changed the neck and upper yoke construction completely, omitting the zipper. I'm happy enough with it as it is. I now know I should have used a two stranded cast on of some kind for better stretch at the bottom edges of all pieces. It could also have been longer to better suit my body type.
Nonetheless it will be a great ski sweater and its classic style will mean I'll always get wear out of it. Up until the neck it was great fun to knit. The braided cables were new to me and I really like how they differ from the usual cables you would expect to see.

As for the next Olympics, my travelling back and forth to the cottage where there is no television or Internet means I'll be watching little if any Olympic coverage. What will I be knitting by then though? I'm looking very forward to figuring that out soon!



I remember an interview with the editor of Vogue Knitting last year where she explained that VK appealed to an older, sophisticated knitter with significant resources to devote to luxury yarns. The subtext of the question, I thought, was how is VK faring given the soaring success of Interweave Knits since blogger Eunny took the helm? (As a long time VK devotee and new supporter of IK I was keen to read her response.) The subtext of the answer was essentially, VK isn't trying to appeal to the knitters that IK is attracting (ie. the younger knit blogging and blog reading community.)

How interesting then yesterday to see VK feature on its Fall '08 cover, the design work of blogger extraordinaire Brooklyn Tweed and its cover story be that of knitting mittens. (Mittens typically don't spring to mind as the stuff of the uber sophisticate do they?)

If I'm not mistaken and I could well be but I think VK has also moved its newsstand date up into the first week of August, beating IK into the market by 10 days or so.

Then yesterday, a few days? after the release of the Fall VK previews on line I receive a e-notice from IK offering a free pattern on line for fingerless mitts (what a coincidence!) as well as featuring already published patterns for two other fingerless designs.

I see VK acting via its traditional print medium. IK is reacting on line.

If VK is squaring off against IK for readership, its nothing but good news for knitters, our favoured designers and their featured yarns.

If you're in the market to knit anything for your hands this fall and winter you already see what I mean!


Dreaming in Colour

Its been a rainy summer around here and the consistent moisture is prompting everything to grow and bloom at break neck speed. In my absence the gardens get a bit rangy. Between hanging loads of laundry I madly dash in and out and around the beds trying to tidy up but my eye is constantly drawn to the rose growing over the arbor in the centre of the yard. Its the climbing variety of "New Dawn". Its such a good sport about the sun greedy maple tree that shades it because despite its rather dark location it blooms with blossoms that begin to fade in the most graceful manner imaginable almost immediately after they open.

This trait yields a bush constantly covered with a gorgeous array of rosy tones, soft pinks and creams that just scream out to become yarn.

In my mind's eye this yarn would be soft and with a bit of a halo but still good stitch definition. It would need to be dyed by an artist with an eye for somehow capturing in dye and fibre the beauty that sun, soil and rain produces in plants. Once I had this yarn it would become a cardigan that was at once modern and current and yet with a nod towards vintage style. I would wear and love this sweater for years and years, never growing tired of it.

I imagine the yarn could only come from Knitting on Impulse , the pattern, most probably from Ysolda.

(The obvious beauty of only imagining all this I that I can also dream I could actually manage the knitting skill necessary to produce a lacy cardigan and that once made it would suit me but anything's possible in the land of imagination!)

It may still be the early part of mid summer and I may be scrambling around sorting out the house and yard the city dwelling members of my family have neglected over the last week so I may not have time to knit but I certainly can dream and with three sweaters jumping to the FO list in the past couple of weeks and the fall pattern previews coming out all over the place what better for a knitter to do?


BO all sts.

Ah that magical moment in a knitting project when the post it note moves to just beneath the little line that reads "BO all sts".

Ask a non knitter what that collection of letters means and they won't have a clue of the power in what they're reading.

At the singular moment when I read that line I can experience a variety of emotions.

Sometimes its "oh I wish this project wouldn't end", perhaps more often its "thank goodness that's done". Sometimes it just a plain and simple "phew!"

With Bonbon and its stranded colour work it was actually a fleeting sensation of satisfaction because immediately after that line came another...

"Weave in ends"

So I set up everything on the screened porch. Its "outside" in the fresh air and breeze with three sides of screening but safely protected from the raging mosquitos this summer's wet weather is helping to sustain. A pot of hot coffee and the birds for intermittent entertainment through the binoculars were all I needed to crawl through that uninspiring bit of business.So Bonbon is done at last but the FO post will have to wait. We're just back in the city and the week's laundry from two locations - city and lakeside - must be attended to before I can spend time Soaking and blocking. I must admit I'm eager to see what the process does to the colour work as well as the large sections of plain stockinette.

By the way it was so nice to come home to comments on Imprint. Thank you!


Imprint is Done

I'm a happy girl.

Pattern: Imprint Tank - Interweave Knits Summer 2008

Yarn: Mission Falls 1824 Cotton - White (101), Light Blue (#403), Dark Blue (#404)

Needles: 4.5mm

Start: June 28 Finish: July 15, 2008

Pattern Modifications - None

It even fits! (Of course I'd like to it to look slightly different than it does but as my son pointed out, its a hand knit, not plastic surgery.)

I love the fact the graphic runs up the back! This is a great pattern. I'm kind of curvy and many patterns don't work for me but this one is definitely designed with a woman's body in mind.

As my first attempt at intarsia I'm just guessing but it seemed that the 1824 Cotton's nubby texture aided in making the colour changes look nice and even as the bumps in the yarn kind of grabbed and held each other - I imagine this wouldn't be the case for a smooth cotton yarn.

The way the neckline is installed to continue the graphic up the collar is easy and effective. I was afraid it wouldn't sit properly on the shoulder and/or neck but it's fine.

Similarly the arm holes don't gape and they provide enough coverage that I don't feel like I need to keep adjusting anything while wearing it.

I am a tight English style knitter - the cotton is hard on my hands and I hurt my wrist close to the end of the knitting. While I was working on this my knitting opportunities were fairly limited. Despite this it was just 2 1/2 weeks from store to blocking. It was a fun knit - the circles being quite entertaining all the while it was on the needles. Fortunately my wrist brace didn't interfere with all the sewing in of ends. More care with loading the bobbins would have avoided a lot of the ends I had to deal with. I'll anticipate that aspect better next time I work with intarsia.

I was reading somewhere on line that weaving in cotton ends doesn't work because they quickly work their way out again. As I worked the back I did as that article recommended and tied square knots and closely trimmed the ends whenever I joined a newly loaded bobbin. They stayed tight throughout the knitting of that side and the collar so I adopted the system for the front as well. I may add a touch of fray check at the end of each trimmed piece. I am quite paranoid this knotting and trimming approach won't work. I'll have to just wait and see (and keep a close eye on those joins) I guess.

The numerous ends at collar and bottom edges though were carefully woven in and away from the slightly rolled edge (after tying square knots) so if the inside is ever visible due to rolling there aren't stubby ends sticking out on view.

So it was fun, it fits and it was quick. I'm even wearing it today en route back to the cottage. Hopefully today's trip will be shorter and sweeter than the epic journey last weekend!

Bonbon is on deck for completion over the next couple of days. We will have a house load of friends visiting the kids but that should actually free up some time for me.

Thanks for dropping by - FO's are exciting but more fun to have other knitters with whom to share them! Happy knitting everyone!


Oops my weekend ran a bit long...

I just returned from the cottage - it seems my little weekend trip ran on until until its butting right up against the next weekend coming up!

There's a lot of work to get us fully installed at the cottage for the summer - last Friday it took me a full 11 hours to get our crew from here to there - from packing and gassing up to groceries through rush hour out of the city on a Friday to dinner en route then unload into the boat (by this time in the dark) to crossing the lake (we have no road to our cottage we must always boat in) to carrying everything up from the boat then unpacking clothes, food, wool. Phew!

Then the next morning I began the huge task of slashing at the waist high stuff threatening to all but block access to the building. This should have been done weeks ago but we weren't up there to do it on time this year.

Thank goodness for baseball broadcasts on the radio (its our only "media"). I actually sat down to listen and of course at last sat down to knit. Between the Jays beating the Yankees (TWICE!) and the Home Run Derby and the All Star Game I did manage to get quite a bit done...
And here I'm not just talking about knitting - there were more than a few ends to deal with as well - especially with Imprint. Now you see them...

Now you don't...

If only they disappeared that easily in real life!

I'll have to post about each of these when time allows but does it ever feel good to get two sweaters out of the knitting basket and onto the finished list!

In the days after the majority of our number had returned to the city to work for the week I did also get to enjoy a few other knitterly diversions. I had visited the library before heading north last week and picked up a bit of inspirational reading...

The day we headed into town (For even more groceries etc.) I also made my first visit of the season to fabric and home decor store on the main street that doubles as the LYS. Other than cotton for dishcloths and some Briggs and Little and Patons Wool pretty much everything they stock is novelty yarn but they have a fairly good notions department and tons of patterns and pattern books. Again these run towards the traditional Patons type but frankly its hard to find those things in Toronto.

I bought a few little things for my knitting tool kit and picked up this little booklet after reading Ms. Pearl McPhee's recommendation on it this past spring....

Now I don't want to suggest I was the only one who was busy around our cottage over the past week - it would appear one of our "neighbours" was also working hard...

Hopefully some of the forest will still be standing by the weekend!

I'm off to dig into the stash - two projects end, three more begin - isn't that how it goes?


If I just ignore it, it WILL go away!

At a little pool party last evening. I slipped on the steps going down into the water.

I jammed my wrist. I pretended I was fine.

Before bed I took some Advil and donned one of the wrist splints I have from my days of struggling with Carpel Tunnel Syndrome.

It felt better upon waking but after a couple of hours without the splint its starting to pain again.

Mr. Splint and I will now be spending the day together and probably overnight tonight as well. Today will be too filled with weekend prep to fit any knitting in so the fact I won't be knitting will have nothing to do with whatever troubled state my wrist might be in. I have some big finishes planned for the weekend and I don't want a stupid strain or sprain messing with my intended knitting schedule!

I'm stubborn in the extreme - does it show?

Happy Weekend everyone!


Its no use at home with the pattern books...

A couple of weeks ago I was wondering about the yardage of yarn needed to make a women's medium sized vest. The requirements listed in the pattern seemed as high as the stack of yarn itself.

Later I remembered I had this handy little resource (kept safely at home - how useful!) put out by Interweave and produced by Anne Budd.

Sure enough, the amount is in the right ballpark.

For a little laminated tri-fold pamphlet it contains a ton of information...

  • 8 tables giving approximate yardage for Hats, Mitts, Socks, Gloves, Scarves, Tams and of course Sweaters and Vests in a full range of gauges for sizes from 2 years to men's/adults large.

  • A table that gives Standard Yarn Weights, Needles Sizes and Gauges.

  • The lamination to make it sturdy enough to handle frequent trips in the bottom of a purse. (Just have to remember to put it there!)
  • If you don't already have one, I think its a great addition to the knitting tool kit. As I think I've mentioned before the math side of knitting is the one I need to dedicate time and attention to the most. As mind numbing as numbers are for me I'm going to better familiarize myself with the information in it prior to going to the LYS (maybe this afternoon?) so I have some clue of what I'm looking at/for when I pull it out with the shop owner standing there. I swear those women have calculators where their brains are supposed to be! It can be so intimidating. First things first though - I'm going to go put the thing in my purse!


    A Wall of Heat

    Behind that curtain is the most glorious summer morning sun shine you can imagine but its loaded with heat so I block it out in an effort to keep the house as cool with as little AC as possible.

    On the west side of the house I have blinds lined with black out fabric that do a fantastic job of keeping things equally comfortable during the long late afternoon and early evening.

    With school out, the house in summer has a mellow, open minded, spontaneous energy. I try to say "yes" to the majority of the kid's requests as well as the odd inclination to just sit down in the middle of the day and knit. I love having cool drinks and seasonal fruit washed and grab able from the fridge. Give me shady coolness over frigid AC-induced cold any day.

    Imprint has got to be the perfect summer knitting project and its moving along nicely. I'm about to begin the straight section of the front which will go as quickly and easily as the back did if I can fight my usual habit of having my mind wander around once I think I have the hang of something. This is the moment when disaster typically strikes my knitting projects. The shady back porch under our huge maple tree with a view of the garden is my knitting locale of choice and its all the more so as we await new railings to be installed - I'm enjoying the unobstructed view while I can. I'm not sure this really helps with the wandering mind though...I've moved my knitting to a big antique wash basin. Resting the needle holding the work across the top of the bowl keeps the bobbins all hanging straight and minimizes the time I need to take to untangle them every time I pick up the work to knit. The old crackled white ironstone and bright new cotton yarn is uber summery!

    Speaking of "summery" - I'm loving the way this blog evokes the mountains in summer and summer knitting all rolled into one. Quite inspiring while sitting on my little porch in the big city.


    My Knitting Heros

    I like to have heroes in my life - those to whom I can look for inspiration. My knitting life is no exception and fortunately the knitting world has no shortage of candidates.

    As is listed at the side, I currently have a three knitting heroes. Last month, on the occasion of her birthday I went on and on about why Stephanie Pearl-McPhee is one of my knitting heroes. Today I thought I might dedicate the post to the hero at the top of my list... Eunny Jang

    I stumbled onto "See Eunny Knit" from a link on the Brooklyn Tweed blog. The post I found had her lamenting she was lacking enthusiasm for knitting from her cue. (I could relate to that!) Her solution was the design of the Endpaper Mitts (I couldn't relate to being able to design anything - especially anything like that!). About them she wrote that they were "...a spontaneous, light bagatelle of a knit" - just what she needed at the time.

    "Spontaneous"? How about "impossible (for me)to design never mind knit!) If I tried knitting those my family would no doubt be soon asking why I say I enjoy knitting when it is so frustrating for me. But her language was singularly assured and so relaxed she had my optimistic attention. In a few words she was helping me see the project might be possible!

    A glance into the margin revealed her Bayerische socks. These, she said, "really shine on the foot". "Really shine"? Another huge understatement! They're gorgeous! They're flawlessly knit! She was just giving the pattern away as if people wouldn't pay for it!

    I bookmarked the blog and went away haunted that I'd found something special. I would have to return to explore further.

    Eventually I poured through all the archives of "See Eunny Knit". There were design insights, illustrated observations on fit, technique tutorials and notes on the performance of yarns. There was also beautiful, beautiful knitting. She described knitting with musical references and references to art history. She effused about the effect a carefully placed line of stitches might make in a design. She modelled shots of F.O.'s while clarifying and illustrating pattern modifications for better custom fit.

    She demonstrated it all - skill, artistry, passion, and ability to communicate so as to both clarify and inspire. I wondered how long before she would need to turn her energies to something bigger and better than this incredible blog? Soon thereafter the intervals between posts become longer and the posts more brief.

    Then she posted of her appointment as the new Editor of Interweave Knits magazine. Her first issue (Fall '07) hit the stands and sold out. (Its currently the favourite magazine on Ravelry)

    In her inaugural Letter from the Editor she writes "The thing I've always loved most about knitting is the sense of unlimited possibility... there's always something new to try, something new to write about or read about or share, and new ways to do it...there's so much in store."

    Unlimited potential and possibilities - that's how I view knitting and life in general. Eunny Jang demonstrates the notion of spectacular potential in everything we do - knitting being no exception. This why she is my number one knitting hero.

    Flip through a current issue of IK and you see the evidence of that point of view emerging since she took the helm. The changes in format, the number of photos of each design the cross references within the book and to past issues. It all comes together to make the projects so much more accessible and inspiring than in the past. While I may have once seen a sweater or two that I thought about knitting, now, to me, any and all of them seem truly possible. Because of Eunny I may even steek!

    She titled her post announcing her appointment March 17th of just last year "Oh the places we'll go!" - also the title of Dr. Suess's last book - the one he wrote about moving onwards and upwards. That's where I'm headed with my knitting. And my hero Eunny with her brilliantly revamped magazine and of course the archives that are still on line of her blog, is helping me get there.

    Thanks Eunny!


    Happy Birthday!

    Wishing all my American readers a wonderful 4th of July Holiday!

    In our crazy world today our two countries have such a unique relationship.

    We are lucky here in Canada to count you as friend and neighbour.

    (And I feel privileged to host so many of you here in my little corner of the knitblogosphere)

    Have a great holiday!


    Blue, White, Cool Cotton and No Sleeves!

    I started the Imprint Tank from the Summer 08 Interweave Knits. The yarn is Mission Falls 1824 Cotton. My colours are White, Dark Blue (not as purple as it looks here) and Light Blue. The more muted ones in the magazine capture the retro vibe of the Marimmeko pattern better than mine but these are colours I'll wear more happily.

    I started on the weekend (after getting Bonbon back on track). This is my first time using bobbins and I was pleased with how quickly I got the hang of it. The cotton of course slips easily past itself and the other strands which helps keep the bobbins all hanging straight and ready for use. This is handy as there are only a couple of rows in this vest that don't use them all.

    Taking the next colour from beneath to avoid holes at the colour changes is also working well. Why am I always amazed when the prescribed technique is one that really works? The intarsia is too fun. The progress is quick and the cotton, while tough on the hands is cool to work with in the summer heat.
    This week I haven't been able to knit before fairly late in the evening. Fortunately the Blue Jays were playing in Seattle - the games starting at 10:00 here so that kept me up and working for a couple of hours each night rather than just passing out. It never occurred to me that baseball was great for watching on TV while knitting until I read Margeaux' reports on the "tentenknits" blog last year about doing just that. (Ravelry is an amazing tool but the intangible or peripheral things I learn about knitting on blogs never ceases to surprise me.) Things are looking up for the Jays since Cito returned so it was even pleasant being able to cheer for the winning team! (If you've ever followed hockey, the Toronto Maple Leafs have a terrible record but for some reason we love and watch them nonetheless so watching the losing team is often the norm around here - watching the winner, a pleasant change!

    Bottom line on intarsia is the back of the work right?;)

    Tonight's knitting goal ...finish this side - 5 more inches on the armholes (another circle and a half or so of the graphic ) then its onto the stitch holder and cast on, set up the bobbins for side two. There's a softball game that as mom I will be "watching" with knitting in hand so this is doable - I just have to find a spot to sit alone without distraction. I can knit and watch the game, OR knit and chat OR chat and watch. Oh did I mention the prospect of no sleeves to knit is nothing short of thrilling?!



    How much wool does it take to make a Honeycomb? (A fitted, scoop necked vest from Knitty Spring 2008 in a size 34? (I'm not that small - the pattern calls for quite a bit of negative ease.)

    The pile pictured above is 1125 yards of Fibranatura Mermaid - part of my haul from the Purple Purl and 996 yards of which will be needed for the vest. Its a beautiful blend - 42%cotton/35%Superwash Merino/12% Silk/11% Seacell. One of the plies (I'm assuming the one with the silk) has a bit of silvery sheen to it.

    The specified yarn for the pattern is a wool and silk blend with a slight tonal variation between the plies so I thought another blend with similar shading would be a good substitute. On my monitor the colour in the photos is very true. Its called "Red Hot" Col.#40602. but its more of a dark pink than a red. I already own a vest with similar lines and fit so I feel pretty confident about the design suiting me (One of my perennial issues). The colour looks wonderfully rich beside dark denim, chocolate brown, navy and grey so it should go with pretty much everything. I think it'll be a great addition to my fall and winter wardrobe.

    I'm always angst ridden about things that don't look right but which my mathematical calculations say must be right. (My Grade 12 math teacher, asked me to please never "inflict" myself on another math teacher again. At the time I heartily agreed but his words always haunt me whenever I'm struggling to make practical sense out of numbers - I have a hard time believing I can ever be correct.) But one of the things I'm trying to do with my knitting these days is use and trust numbers more. Numbers seem to the be the magical key to success (The whole connection between gauge, size and fit) and I'm keen to get me some of that success with garments for myself after two disastrous failures in a row.
    And why am I so concerned with fall and winter when summer has barely arrived here in southern Ontario? I'm not really, in fact the other vest for which I bought yarn at the Purple Purl last week is 100% cotton and I started that over the weekend (details tomorrow). It only calls for 7 much smaller balls - another reason I'm questioning this quantity but its knit in stockinette so probably doesn't equate at all. And all the calculations were double checked at the store so I'll just have to wait until I swatch to get some early insight into how in the world a "Honeycomb" can hide so much wool!


    The Call of the Wild (froggies)

    Over the weekend, progress was made on Imprint while sitting on the screened porch overlooking the lake and on the dock enjoying the spectacular weather. In both these locations I was able to hear the sound of frogs chirping in the little marshy area across the bay. In the end it left me inspired to take the helix socks for a visit to my own personal frog pond. They were fun to knit and I got the hang of the technique. It is fun to watch the stripes evolve and revolve but generally speaking I didn't like the teeny little stripes. On top of that the Debbie Bliss Baby Cashmerino is soft and squishy and luxurious while the thin stripes seemed miserly and uptight. When I was working on them, the stripes didn't make me look forward to being curled up by the fire next winter or sitting in bed knitting during the evenings of the dark months of the year. Yet that is how I intended to wear these socks. The "mood" I was going for was pure relaxed comfort. That means they needed to look as comfy as they felt.

    That old recurring struggle to find patterns I want to wear and that suit me and that are also entertaining to knit reared its ugly little head again.

    The helix socks were entertaining and nothing more. Not enough. And those little froggies across the way just kept pushing me to do something about it. So I ripped. They're gone from my knitting basket and from my list of works in progress.
    The four balls of Baby Cashmerino of course stay in the stash awaiting their ideal pattern mate. I'll have to think about that....hey what about Log Cabin Socks with the yarn held double... or how about Slippery Socks or....this could take a while...something else to think about as I finish up Imprint.

    Happy Canada Day!

    Happy Birthday to everyone in Canada! Today we turn 141 years old as a country.

    We enjoyed a very long weekend amid the gorgeous trees, water and rocks of the area known as the "Near North". We had rain and sun and mosquitos in their swarms. We swam and sat on the dock. We watched fireflies and lightening, took the kids water skiing and wake boarding and of course I did a bit of knitting too! Now we're back to our incredibly multicultural city and I must admit my patriotism is running high.

    To celebrate this red and white day on the blog I thought I'd present a little red knitting that was a very thoughtful gift from a friend I taught to knit this past winter and spring.

    I adore the colour red above all others in the spectrum. The sight of it literally makes me feel good so when my friend brought this gorgeous box to the final coffee gathering of the school year last week I couldn't take my eyes off it!
    Then I learned it was for me and saw that it contained more red goodness! I can't tell you how thrilled I was. I absolutely do not deserve such a gorgeous gift for sitting with her and talking about knitting!

    It was of course most enjoyable teaching her to cast on, to knit and purl, introduce her to a few helpful spots on line then to the wonderful ladies at my primary LYS. Look at what she made for me! The photo below is in focus - its just the halo on this knitted fabric is so incredible - the whole thing looks blurry even in real life!
    This beautiful scarf is knit in the softest baby alpaca yarn I have ever felt. The ribbing makes it extra squishy. It will be soooo warm!The accent stripes are a blend of alpaca and silk and they contain every fiery colour imaginable from pink through orange to crimson.

    Given the elemental nature of my connection to red, she couldn't have made me anything more thoughtful or fitting or that would thrill me more than this beautiful, beautiful scarf.

    I feel lucky to be a Canadian today and lucky to have such a thoughtful (new to knitting) friend!