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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)

Monday, June 13, 2016

Yarn Crawling

World wide knit in public day and a yarn crawl, what a combination!
The yarns all over Durham are ready to party
We have our usual spectacular collection of yarns and some great specials!
Looking forward to your excellent company!

Joining the Shetland Wool Week festivities

In honour of the Shetland Wool Week festival I have made the time to complete this shetland wool vest I began in 2002.
It is from my much loved volume "Classic British Knits" by Madeline Weston. Not sure though if the folks in Shetland think of themselves as British. My Scottish Aunt Joan used to tell me Britain was not part of Europe, an opinion I never pressed her on, because it is certainly a truth.
I have always loved shetland wool, to dream about, to knit with and to wear, it tops my list. Sometimes I get distracted by Icelandic Alafoss Lopi and Norwegian Peer Gynt. It is the way yarns with that right amount of stickiness produce fabric with integrity, working so perfectly with the techniques of stranded colour work and cut and sew.
All knitters world wide are invited to participate in the Shetland Wool Week with a free pattern written by Ella Gordon.
The fairisle pattern is Crofthoose after the traditional small homes that dot the Shetland islands.
Kim's version is in the coned shetland we have in stock. She wound off one ounce of each of her chosen colours. When completed, the hat used: A-10g, B-5.5g, C-7g, D-9.5g and E-6g for a total of 38g or a little under 3 ounces.
She did her increases a bit differently than those suggested in the pattern, and I see lots of advice on Ravelry for this step in the process. Here are the wee hooses in the purple twilight
and a striped decrease variation
My version also uses our coned shetland yarn. It is oiled on the cone, and functions similar to authentic aran yarn in terms of the knitting experience and water resistance when wearing.
Here it is before washing.
Here it is after, still wooly but nice, soft, and fluffy.
Kim has picked and organized many different combinations to explore
Alpaca, both of brands we carry, are very soft and light.
Lots of shades to choose from.
Einband is similar to Shetland Jumper weight.
Kim has superb talent for colour selection, and we are lucky to have her here in Myrtle Station.

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Agaraderra

My new spanish word is agaraderra. I love to really roll the r's in the word. It means potholder! Here is my vintage Spinoff magazine with a recipe for crochet potholders.
Spring 1996 was dedicated to using small and well loved amounts of handspun. My 2015 new years resolution is to make new potholders for the in house chef, aka her majesty's loyal opposition. The previous ones had very exciting thin spots when in use, it was time!
The technique allows you to use many and any small scraps. You needn't even tuck the ends in, because they are all enclosed in the finished potholder. Just remember to tie a sturdy knot on the inside with each new join. I use the surgeons knot for complete confidence.
Start with a chain as usual, I prefer to use a hook one size larger for the cast on.
Single crochet the next row, don't turn the work at the end, single crochet at the end and along the other side of the chain. Some people crochet 3 stitches into the end stitch on the foundation row, I didn't find it made much of a difference. I swtiched to the new Clover hook for the main work, the one in orchid purple, and found it just delightful to use. The grip material is just a bit sticky, so no slippage. The other hook is a Clover ergonomic hook, which is also good for me because of the robust handle.
Add the new colours as you will, I tried many variations on the stripes, each one had it's own charm. I like the way the work looks like a little canoe at the beginning. Make me think of summer and camping. 
Keep going around and around in a spiral, until you have a pencil case sized bag.
Then fold it diagonally and sew up the seam. Double thickness works for me. I also sew a ring to one corner, using Coats button and craft thread for strength. Finished! and on to the mate agaraderra. In the magazine article they also suggest this technique for chair pads and cushions.
I used Tove for the agaraderra's. The previous ones had been made with Lopi, which was quite lovely, but having used Tove for other projects I know it is a stronger yarn for cooking purposes. Tove is special for felting, has a pretty colour range and attractive price. I have seen versions of this agaraderra on Ravelry made in cotton, though I prefer the heat resistence and felting of wool which happens as the agaraderra's get laundered.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Cuddle me or the mohair?

Mohair is one of my most favourite fibres, I have a colour exactly right for Drops pattern 122-16.
Puddle from Garnstudio is my choice for the border. We have other brands of boucle, and they are lovely, but this particular one has large, luxuirious loops that require intentional focus to cast on and knit with. Great candidate for practicing mindful knitting.
There is a dove grey Puddle as well, quite suitable for this french navy mohair
It took only a few pleasant evenings to make this item, once my friend and super star kniter Geri helped me decode the pattern. To quote Geri:

Cast on 96 stitches.
Knit garter stitch for 4 rounds. Then insert markers every 24 sts.
at 4" of length, decrease 1 st on the right side of each marker (92 sts).
Then every 2 inches, decrease one stitch at the marker alternating decreases on the left of the marker with decreases on the right of the marker for a total of 6 decreases. (88, 84, 80, 76, 72 sts). 

With the decreases alternating on the right or left of the markers, it will prevent a vertical line of decreases. 
Then knit another inch to 15" of length before binding off.

In summary:
Cast on 96 sts, Knit 4"
Decrease on right side of sm to 92 sts. Knit 2" (6" length total)
Decrease on left side of sm to 88 sts. Knit 2" to 8" of length. Decrease on right side of sm to 84 sts.
Knit 2" to length of 10". Decrease on left side of sm to 80 sts.
Knit 2" to length of 12". Decrease on right side of sm to 76 sts. 
Knit 2" to length of 14".  Decrease on left side of sm to 72 sts.

Knit 1" to total length of 15". Bind off.

I think the purpose is to decrease in a more random way, as opposed to creating vertical decrease lines down the garment, which would have distracted from the texture and shape.
After the casting off and tidying up the ends, time for that finishing touch.
Brushing the stocking stitch to improve the nap makes for super cuddly, especially when there is a lovely, toasty young woman inside.