Visit us in the quaint hamlet of Myrtle Station, ON at: 9585 Baldwin St. N. (905)655-4858
(17.8km north of 401 exit 410. Look for the green house with the red roof a few doors north of the Myrtle Station railroad tracks)

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Yes, It's ombre hombre

If you have ever looked, especially at the early Garnstudio Drops patterns you will notice their designers were the masters of yarn mixing. That is combining fine yarns not only to make the work faster, but also to increase the sophistication of the colour combinations.
These days we have a wonderful assortment of ready - ombre - yarns from Garnstudio.
This is Big Delight, a mix of fibres as well as colours.
and a pleasure to knit on a 5 or 6 mm needle. 
There is also an aran weight airy mohair type with a variation on the colour mix theme.
The Christmas elf in me especially appreciates this material, so convenient, interesting and fun.
Ombre is different than this kind of coloured yarn from Regia, which is what my mum calls instant fairisle. When made into a sock, you achieve a definite pattern. My understanding is that the yarn is printed more like a newspaper. Definite sequence - scientifically engineered to give a crisp graphic effect, and because of the quality of the printing, it is entirely possible to knit a matched pair.
Now if Regia could print a yarn to make traditional kilt hose that would be amazing!
Our Kim has freshly knit this lovely winter set with Garnstudio alpaca.
She used the lovely soft Drops alpaca double and pattern number 171-46 and of course by changing one strand of the fine yarn at a time through the stripe achieved this cool ombre effect. She also added augmenting yarn with the sequins every couple of rows for that special twinkle.
This is a great method for combining fine yarns with style, especially those lace weights lurking in the vault and the lovely economical coned yarns I love so much.

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Back in the Saddle with the 4th doctor

or should I say back in my comfy knitting nest now with Netflix
I started this scarf a couple of years ago for my son, who at 40 is the correct age for the 4th Dr.Who, played by Tom Baker from 1974 to 1981. Now feels like a good time to work at it again
The original version has a name The Acheson Hero Scarf, and was made by Begonia Pope. The Acheson lives the typical life of a star, with numerous modifications and repairs, a stunt double and many "knock off" imitations. has loads of great information about the scarf, including the history, and suitable modern yarns and colours for guidance. I am enjoying the mindfulness aspect of slipping the last stitch in the row, rather than the usual first.
My (vintage) yarn colour choice was made by matching as close as possible, the suggested food and ordinary household items photographs on the site. Very helpful!
I used the weavers stripe preview trick of winding the colours on a strip of matt board.
I also am using a very special and particular online calculator aka "The scarfomatic" , which is just brilliant, except now I know I am a little over 10% of the journey.

Well, sigh, next Christmas for sure...

Monday, November 7, 2016

German Heel Shaping at the Knit Club

As you may know, the Whitby Knit Club meets at the local, downtown library on the first Wednesday of the month from 7 to 9 pm. Usually our president Sharion leads us in a topic, however this month I volunteered to show the German short row sock heel.
It is actually very easy to do and a bit quicker, once you get the hang of it. I suggest for your first try, getting together with a knitting friend for company. My mum and I often used this practice when we tackled a new knitting process.
I made two small sample heels using the chart from one of my favourite Regia books - Flusi and the sock yarn. I like the portable size and especially the story and charming artwork. All Regia patterns use a very comprehensive chart for the different sock sizes.
I used Cascade 220 for sample clarity,  it is the same weight as the Regia 8 ply. I cast on 24 stitches with 4.5mm needles. Here is one of the samples laid over an Erika Knight 4 ply sock sample. I encourage you check out the video from Very Pink Knits for a live tutorial.
The Schachenmayr company has a wonderfully thorough website supporting Regia sock yarn. Here is the link for their interactive sock guide. They have 2ply, 3ply, 4ply (the most popular) 6 ply, and 8 ply. I am very fond of the 6ply, especially for the knitting relay we run towards Christmas because it is thicker and quicker.
It is a lovely robust sized ball, which makes up into a fab Christmas gift of toasty, sturdy winter wellie boot socks.
And speaking of socks, the "go to" side project for many knitters, just arrived in the shop are these cute, super handy lightweight nylon bags from Diamond Yarn.
The bag in the top right hand corner is the dark colour, thinking of my mum's taste. I like the cheery green one, easy to see in these twilight days of November. The orange fabric, makes me think of Hawaii. The striped one of flowers
They are manufactured in Pakistan as a small cottage industry developed to support a local community. The bags close with a cord and toggle.
There are also 2 convenient snap loops for hanging, one on the inside, one on the outside. Perfect for small projects and only $4.99. The nylon fabric makes whipping your work out for a vital although brief knitting mediation that much easier.
A nice addition to my plethora of knitting bags. Here is the pattern for Atkinson bag that goes with me to my daughters karate class every Saturday. It was very enjoyable to make.
The zipper pocket holds my scissors and sock making pattern separate from the yarn and knitting.

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Orange you glad

This month Kim finished her fabulous pumpkin coloured cardigan.
She created her own pattern and used the Shetland Flower motif.
I love the way she put the motifs down the sides of the cardi.
The yarn is lopi light, the right weight for indoor or layering pieces
The cuffs are a hem with textured colourwork on top and stripes underneath
I think the buttons are perfect, leather look, and absolutely washable
As a bonus, she made a lovely pair of mittens
More colour play on the cuffs, lots of fun!
Amazing... it only takes a few yards of each colour (and practice) for this much joy!