Week Condensed

I have started a post each day this week. 'Easy to do really - 'lots of juicy knitterly (k)news!. In shorter supply - time to get any finished and posted. So here - condensed and en masse...

  • Glenna C. posted a little report on the DCK Fashion show from last week on her blog here. (A bigger collection of photos will shortly appear on the Twist Collective Blog.)
  • As a thank you from the Twist Collective for helping with the show they generously gave each model their choice of any pattern from their vast array - for free! We just have to pick one! Harder than it seems - how do you pick just one?!
  • On my way out of the show last week a very kind friend gave me a copy of a book on the history of Gansey sweaters...she had two! How great is that? I've read it now - not only interesting but the booklet also features references to the ancestral home of my father's Scottish Clan!
  • And speaking Ganseys - I finally took the couple of hours I suspected it would take to properly block my Guernsey Wrap. It was worth the effort - I'll have an FO post next week for sure.
  • The Shepherd and Shearer patterns are out and the yarn should be arriving late next week/early the week after right here in my mailbox! I'll be making the pullover - the one called the "Shearer". (Rav link to both here) those who originally purchased a package back at the beginning have the opportunity to download the e-book for free, which I have done. Can't wait to get started!
  • Our monthly craft group gathering was on Monday. I made (Scottish Current Slices) For a variety of reasons the assembled crafters numbered less than half the usual 20 or so - hence I had the biggest show and tell that night and the biggest ever quantity of baked leftovers to bring home.
  • Our trip to DC was last weekend. I'd have fun watching paint harden with My Beloved so no surprise we had a great time. Surprising though was....
"The" Smithsonian is actually many different museums arrayed around the Capital Mall, and admission to all of them is Free!...

DC is a "Foodie" paradise...organic, local, imaginative and most importantly delicious! Without looking we stumbled into 3 Zagat rated restaurants - one, pictured above, was in the Smithsonian's "American Indian Museum". (Hasn't the term "Indian" been dropped for everyone other than people born in India? Might be time to rename that place - just don't change the food!)

While TV news makes it seem the Capital is loaded with old, unimaginative dolts bent on keeping the country stalled or at best in neutral, the streets, shops and homes around the Capital and Georgetown are actually populated with largely young, fit, seemingly bright people....more like what the nation would seem to deserve...what gives there?
The best surprise of all though was that the windows in our hotel room opened! So Sunday afternoon, with our bags packed and waiting to head to the airport I got some knitting time in as a beautiful breeze wafted past the curtains! It was a great way to finish up a great weekend.

And just like that, here comes another one! Enjoy! And thanks for dropping by!


Well That Was Fun!

A few years ago a Twist Collective Trunk Show came to the DKC.  There were a couple of dozen items shown that night. Fiona Ellis did colour commentary on the stage for each garment and Kate Gilbert, the editor of Twist, participated via Skyp from her home in Montreal on the huge screen over the stage. There was a good crowd that enjoyed a good show.

Last night took that premis and shot it out of the proverbial cannon...

To start with, there were 70 garments modelled for a packed room with only the odd seat to spare. All the pieces from the current Fall 2013 collection were shown as well as the entrire Spring 2013 collection as well as groups of garments by Fiona, Nora Gaughan, and Kate Gilbert.

As the models walked they carried printed signs with the garment information - pattern name, yarn, designer as the relevant page from the Twist site was projected above the stage. On top of all that information like juicy stuff about inspirations or design features or little back stories like knitting samples up for photo shoots in Paris while en route to the shoot by train from the French countryside.

Kate Gilbert was on stage in person with Fiona and also on hand to comment on their designs were Toronto designers Laura Chau, Glenna C. and Barbara Gregory.

Members of the audience wearing Twist pieces were invited on stage so everyone could appreciate their work.

Variations on the patterns were also highlighted as varied versions from the audience were showcased.

Being in the show, I was only able to see little moments of it so I asked a knitter from the audience how she had found it. She said it was thought provoking - so many pieces on so many different body types from so many designers but then also seeing several items by single designers and then on top of that how knitters have interpreted designs too.

BTW, back with the models it was a very busy couple of hours but what a fun and entertaining group of knitters!

It was a great kick off to the DKC 2013-2014 season.

Next month is the annual Yarn Company presentation of new and exciting yarns and trends. I had great fun last night but I will enjoy sitting in the audience in October!



When last we "chatted" my mind was crazily racing around considering knitting options and next steps. Sometimes knitting decisions elude me as chase and consider the options to an extreme degree. (aka "dithering") This habit is something I learned at my mother's knee.

Contrast that with my Aunt - Mom's sister - 'talking with her late last week I mentioned the Yarn Harlot's washcloth project (August 9th, 2013 post from her Archives )in worsted cotton. My Aunt asked for the link to that post. I sent it to her before I hung up the phone. This morning I learned she saw the post, called Eweknit, asked that they put some Blue Sky Alpaca Worsted Cotton in the mail to her and she started working on it yesterday while on standby for Jury Duty.

Decisiveness is right there in my gene pool. I've just got to channel it!

In my defence I did work these up to almost completion on the weekend and was happy with how they showcase the yarn but the elvin-esque point at the top doesn't make me happy.

So I left it for a couple of days then last night decided on mitten two to work the finger tip shaping a bit later and a lot squarer grafting 10 stitches each side rather than drawing the yarn through 4 from each of front and back.

('Given myself the finger tip shaping I wanted in Pinion but lost to adding needed length on that pair.)

Tonight is the September DKC meeting. I'm going to get to wear something(s) from the current Twist Collective Trunk show Fiona Ellis is organizing and of course, like everyone else at the meeting, ogle the whole collection. Maybe I'll also get a chance to fly my alternate yarn ideas for Celtic Icon past her! Maybe I should just resolve to do whatever she says and not fret about it any further.

(I recognize that wouldn't make me any more decisive, just more compliant but it would get a decision made. Baby Steps!)

Also on my list for today is to organize my travel knitting for DC. 'Just pack up whatever it's going to be and stick in in the suitcase.

Yes. Decisive. That's me! (kind of , hopefully, in a short burst today! ;)

Thanks for dropping by!


All Over the Place (Link Madness)

Number One Son finally has a room of his own to sleep in at school after the move in and out debacle of last week and resulting move out and in over the last two days and Hudson is finally groomed again after two months of hairy fun in the woods. So a big space in my brain and timeline has opened up!

Then last night I bound off the Guernsey Wrap. Blocking should be fun but now I'm awash in ideas of what to knit/scheme to knit next.

The thing is the Shepherd and the Shearer yarn should ship within the next week. I want the decks clear, my knitting "pallet" cleansed, nothing but air in the knit basket. I wanted to be starved for knitting as I cast on whatever fabulous thing it is they send me the yarn and pattern for.


1. Darling Daughter is going to London to visit a dear and life long friend there on an internship after completing her masters and before starting her Doctorate. (This detail is important in that it illustrates the friend, a) has a residence that can receive packages and b) is a good enough friend I know she won't mind receiving one so I suddenly realized all that means I could have British Yarn delivered to her place if I got it organized ASAP so Darling Daughter could bring it home, saving me the shipping costs. 'Off to Ravelry and Blacker Yarns trying to decipher British yarn weights for what I might use an amazing yarn to make.

2. My Beloved and I are going to Washington DC for a long weekend within the next month. I need travel knitting!

3. My cousin more like brother in NYC and his wife are expecting identical twin boys before Christmas. I know you understand the ramifications of that to a knitter's brain!

4. The new Brooklyn Tweed Look Book came out yesterday. I want to wear and make soooo many of those things and I have been forcing myself not to even think about the BT Look Book for men that came out last month because the Shepherd and Shearer project will be a man-knit so I need to get that done first. Instead I've been vicariously enjoying Steven's efforts at "Knitting Sweaters & Sitting Still where he's documenting his work on "Redford". Thank you Steven - that at least takes one thing out of my brain!

Anyway I'm thinking of matching #4 with #1 and #3 with #2 but to do 3 with 2 I'd have to squeeze in an emergency trip to Romni and I'd have a Shepherd and the Shearer conflict - which I really didn't want but lets face it, 'could cope with right?

In the meantime, right this second what should I knit? I have this yarn, another gift from Number One Son....

I started to make a cowl with it but the pattern is wrong for the yarn/yarn is wrong for the cowl.

Its only 220 yds. so my options are limited but I think something that's predominantly stockinette (unlike the failed cowl) would show off the colour variations nicely in the hand dyed yarn so I'm thinking of EZ mitered mittens. I do seem to be on a mitten jag!

So maybe I'll try that tonight. Maybe...

...Because there is also this...

...more gift yarn - that boy is good to his mother - for which I've planned an Amerind Cowl. The thing is the yarn, while super wash and hand dyed is identical to the colour of the natural, local wool/mohair with which I've just finished working the Guernsey Wrap so it feels like that might be a bit of a snore just now. Maybe that's what I should plan to take to DC!

Oh, also, I have long wanted to knit Fiona Ellis' Celtic Icon Hoodie but have never been able to settle on a colour combination.  Recent Ravelry Ramblings have given me the idea to work it all in white or natural yarn. Then I had a thought to use Berroco Ultra Alpaca Vintage DK from EweKnit but would the Alpaca in that yarn (50%) make it too heavy? The pattern is written for a wool/cotton blend but maybe that's what I should order the British Yarn for - British yarn for a British designer...but it might amount to a bigger package than Darling Daughter could squeeze in her bag...arghhhh, like I said..."All Over the Place!"

Lots of "mulling" to do while walking Hudson and blocking Guernsey this morning and grocery shopping for this place for the first time in a couple of months, this afternoon.  Maybe my real problem is I'm hungry!

All. Over. The. Place.

...did I mention I need to spring bulbs to plant....and then there's a haircut for me - I need a new stylist...how about all those shirts that need ironing...what did they spill in the oven over the summer?.............


Twined `Zen Mittens` FO

Yarn: 1 Skein Cascade 220 Heathers
Colour: 9489
Source: Romni Wools Toronto
Start:June 21 Finish: August 11, 2013

'Just in time for a mini September heat wave here in Toronto I've got another pair of finished mittens to post.`Seems`s to be a year of mittens for me - 6 pairs in the past 12 months, 5 of them "Twined".

As I've said before I don`t enjoy this technique but none of the other twined mitts I've made were for me and the finished product is so superior I had to make another set if I wanted to some to wear myself.

(For the record, I did ask My Beloved if he would like a pair of his own too and I was prepared to work some up for him but he says he doesn't need any at the moment. Phew!)

These "go" with the hat Zen Garden hat made with gifted yarn from Number One Son.
However, the mitts are knit with a skein of Cascade 220 Heathers - more practical for mittens intended for wear during two hours of daily dog walking holding onto a leather leash all winter long - Zen does not make me feel "Zen" when I think of the price of that stuff - 'better to keep it safely on my head!

A braid at the wrist incorporates a hit of the remnant oatmeal coloured worsted used in the hat. 'Love It - especially with the traditional twisted bit that manages the ends remaining after CO 'looking like little barber shop poles.
The cuff above the braid is plain, defined at the top with a hook stitch border.
Then up the back of the mitt - hook stitched diamond shapes of varying design - again nodding to the hat.

Oooo a hat and mitten set. `Hope I don`t look too matchy matchy out there with Hudson in the snow next winter. Even if I do I know he won't mind!

Thanks for dropping by today!


My Pinions FO

Pattern: My Pinions
Source: Brooklyn Tweed Look Book Winter 13
Yarn: Viking of Norway Sportsgarn
Source: Passionknit Toronto
Colours: 102, 113, 115, 117
Needles: 3mm straights and dpn`s
Start: February 9 Finish: August 18, 2013
Modifcations: Used DK instead of Fingering Weight Yarn - necessary for gauge change outlined below

Garter stitch worked flat and seamed down the palm with a three needle bind off worked wrong side out. Graphic. Modern. Love em! I had dk yarn on hand for a while waiting for the right mitten ìdea to come along. But the pattern called for fingering. Oh heck, I`d just use the schematic from the website, the visual from the Brooklyn Tweed Look Book, my swatch and hand measurements and dive right in. Who needs a pattern?
Apparently I do. After quickly whipping up a couple of flat "hands" I stitched one up into a tube to find my tallest finger protruded ever so slightly above the top.

So I did what any mature knitter would do - shoved the whole works in a bag, shoved the bag into a cupboard and moved on to something less irritating more entertaining to knit.

Up north at the cottage a couple of months later, however, that bag emerged from the load of knitting miscellany I took up to work on over the summer. In fresh surroundings the project seemed less "why did I bother" and more "how can I fix this?".
So... I added cuffs to both sewn sections to get an accurate idea of length at the wrist using the darker grey of the stripes that run "cuff-ward".

Then I worked out the thumb details with a rapidly dwindling amount of black yarn. To be safe I conserved yarn on the first thumb, knit the second to best advantage and then, assured I had enough to re make that first thumb to match, re-knit Thumb #1.

With cuffs and thumbs finalized I rechecked the overall length and it remained just a tad short. So I seamed the existing sides of the finger tip sections before picking up and knitting in the round at the tip using the lighter grey from the stripes running towards the top of the mitts. I lost the nice squared off top profile getting the needed additional length - especially after decreasing for a rounded top but form follows function right?
I could consider this to have been a collection unnecessary steps but with hindsight I see if I'd knit to the full nine inch length from the beginning I would have run out of black yarn before finishing the second mitt and honestly that would have been more time consuming to fix than this was.

As for the mitts themselves they will be great  for the fall - not heavy enough for the depth of winter but good enough for the days between warm and cold.

The afterthought thumb is not my favourite...

Its unfortunate the way moving the thumb pulls the handsome mid-palm seam out of alignment. I also prefer the function and comfort of a thumb gusset but its fun to try different approaches.

They still have a modern look and graphic quality - the features that originally drew my attention. I just have to look past the fact the finger tip looks like a contrasting toe cap on a sock.

There were, of course, ends to deal with. I left them hang on the first mitt  - bad idea but wove them in as I went on the second - much better.

I'm happy with them and Darling Daughter proclaimed them "really nice!" High praise indeed!

So that's my o-pinion on my-pinions (groan!) Thanks for dropping by!



Over the past year or so I've become increasingly smitten with Brooklyn Tweed patterns.

I'm drawn to (and in the case of "Ranger" challenged by) the way BT patterns create/incorporate and lend style to garments by taking advantage of ease - in particular the use of positive ease.

BT Look Books are a great source of visual information about this so I've downloaded a number of them onto my tablet and I flip through them and ponder their contents whenever and wherever the mood strikes.

In a recent Look Book there is a "dress" called "Amherst" (really its a jumper but I digress) that I think captures this idea especially when viewed opposite another dress "Ossel" in the recent Twist Collective.

In the past I would have been drawn to "Ossel" but now I'm recognizing the looser fit of"Amherst" is better suited to me. It seems more relaxed, less in your face and in keeping with the wider trends I'm interested in beyond the knitting world.

I was just over at Juicy Knits reading about her latest FO. She makes the same point there today observing a trend away from  the fitted knits many of us have been struggling to achieve over the past several years (Hence the number of books and workshops on the topic.)

I'm starting to see garments need to "fit"- but the way they fit need not be tight. The knitted fabric doesn't have to be the exact size and shape of me. Duh!

Of course I went too far with this when I worked up Ranger for My Beloved last winter. Too much drape. Not enough fit.

So now one of my current projects is Jared's "Guernsey Wrap" - kind of an exercise in working a drapey fabric where, being a shawl, fit is rather irrelevant. To be clear though, its not lace - no YO's or K2tog's. Its all knit and purls but the pattern explicitly states...

"...The key element in the project is...extreme blocking (to) yield the intended dimensions and ideal drape for the finished product..."

Its knit at a bit of a loose gauge and then we'll see what the blocking will do.

And so we come to the first weekend after "back to school"! Hopefully, we'll get Number One Son into a new room with all his things I'll work away at the Guernsey Wrap too. Have a great weekend!

Thanks for dropping by!


Sporty Striped Peds by Purl Soho FO

 Pattern: Sporty Striped Peds
Source Purl Soho Blog
Size: One Size
Yarn: Koigu KPM
Colour: Main1010 Lot: 17 Contrast: Remnant Sheldridge Farm Sock "Cornflower"
Needles: 2.75 dpn's
Start: August Finish: August 2013
Modifications: None

These weren't the first of my summertime FO's but the first and only summer-style knits to come off my needles this year so I thought I'd kick off my "what I knit this summer" posts with them.

This pattern is super fun and super quick with a very satisfying end result.They're are cute and the fit is perfect. Just like the last piece I made using a free Purl pattern. And you certainly can't beat the price!

These work up with 6 rounds of ribbing then three knit rounds and just like that you're on to the heel!

Speaking of the heel, I tried something fun - I put the carry overs on the right side rather than across the back. With the ever so slight variation in the colouration of the Koigu it reminds me of blue and white gingham. Talk about summery!

I knit these as a break after a concerted push to restart Deco and get it back to the shoulders. (I will not be posting about that thing until its finally done!) What a change to go from woolley wool to the round, fuzz-free Koigu! It felt like I was working with cotton string!

Once again, as I've done a few times recently I used the colourway shown in the pattern. I'm not sure why I'm starting to do that more but at least I changed up the colour of the stripes - in this case using just one instead of five colours.

I bet I make more of these in the future. As usual I knit these for myself they'd make a great quick knit gift!

Thanks for dropping by!


Truly Embracing Labour Day and Higher Education

This past weekend My Beloved and I worked like dogs to prep the room in the house Number One Son arranged to live in with 4 other guys this school year. (The boy himself was busy all day and late into the evenings working as a Frosh leader.)

The room had a couple of features that made him especially excited to move in. It was large, away from the others so he could work there at night and had a full bathroom next to it that none of the others were ever likely to use.

It was a basement room - not a choice his mother would have made - but the other features sold him on it.
The house and the room has had students in it for years so we cleaned and freshened it and the adjacent bathroom. We painted, added a fan, air purifier and another smoke detector, fire extinguisher and re installed the safety bars over the window, ensuring the sliding panes would allow him a safe exit if, as happened to a student his age just this past weekend in Markham north of Toronto, a house fire should break out and he not be able to use the stairs to the side entrance close to his room. With all that work done Saturday and Sunday we laboured on Labour day to move his things in.
Most prominent and exciting among those, the new uplit desk Number One Son designed and My Beloved built for him last week at the cottage...

Fortunately this piece was built to travel and breaks down into a flat pile for ease of moving
We proudly took photos as we left his fresh, clean little "nest" Monday evening. The plan for last night was to install a window blind and some hooks. We were done!
This is only part of this 200 sq ft room!
There were other parents in the house over the weekend also working on various aspects of the house. We all noted issues with the house, told the boy in charge of dealing with the landlord, who passed on the information. Yesterday various professionals visited to check out the needed repairs.

Lets just cut to the chase now, shall we? On the strength of the pending critical repairs and how they will affect life in that house over the coming weeks, with our blessing, Number One Son went to see the Landlord late yesterday afternoon to advise him he would be finding elsewhere to live. Between 5:00 and 6:30 he was back leading his Frosh group in a House Cheer Competition while we moved everything back out of the room.

Last night he stayed with friends. Today - there are options to be explored.

He says its a big life lesson learned. He feels very badly we worked so hard and all for naught. (Although the next resident in the room will no doubt appreciate the improvements.) We have been invited to attend viewings of potential new locations with him this time.

Maybe we should have gone the first time and saved ourselves trouble. But then the only lesson he would have taken away is to always take his parents along. Not the kind of responsible, independent thinking we hope results from the various aspects of his post secondary education experience. Now though, he has learned there could be value to consulting us before making a commitment. We, and other more experienced people might have good observations to lend that could save time, money and trouble. He has also learned what to look for himself. The prospect of living in a dream house with your buddies (or down the road your partner) might be the most exciting feature of a real estate search but it cannot be the most important. He has had to step away from a super fun prospect. It was a difficult and mature thing to do. In future he will no doubt view accommodation or real estate decisions differently.

We are big believers that real estate decisions are expensive so should not be made with the heart alone. They need to make sense first. Over the past four days he has learned a lesson that will no doubt save him many times the amount we will spend this year on his tuition and all before classes even start next week!

(Now I just hope that desk fits into the next room!)



'Back in the city after 2 months in the woods.

"Wow!" a hot shower with water pressure and enough light to shave my legs without relying completely on the braille method! "Wow" a dishwasher. "Wow" my wee computer monitor looks huge and gorgeous! "Wow" a washing machine too?!

As I type garbage/recycling is being picked up from the end of our driveway. "Wow"- no trip via boat then car to the dump transfer station. "Wow"- a driveway not a dock!

"Wow" is that our TV or did someone install an IMAX theatre in our basement?

Last night, "Wow" to Chinese take out. Hot, authentic, healthy and ready for pick up in 20 minutes.

At the cottage its about self reliance - doing it/fixing it/building it/cooking/baking it ourselves - using what's on hand. Being organized to shop infrequently. Living  unplugged from media.

Cottaging can lend itself to that stuff - you can make of it what you want, take from it what you will. (Not unlike knitting your own socks rather than buying them right?)

Speaking of which, yes, for me there was knitting, Naturally more on that later! And for the rest of them there were also sewing lessons and roofing, furniture building and home made surfboard fiberglassing. As ever at a cottage there were maintenance and repair projects a plenty. There was lots of miscellaneous just for fun woodworking too and reading and of course, as ever water skiing et. al..

So it seems, mission accomplished at the cottage this year. After coming back to find the "usual" stuff at home so impressive I must have really embraced living without it by the lake.

One thing I am not impressed to discover back home where the bathroom scales reside..... "Wow" I've gained 7 pounds!?!
(I think in no doubt "fed" by fabulous wine like this one. 'Great Wine but honestly I might drink it even if it wasn't just because I adore the label!)