Category Archives: knitting in public

Month’s end

Folks, I say this every month, but this time I honestly do have no real clue as to how the time has managed to pass so quickly. How is it possible that tomorrow it will be June? Many parts of me are in full on rejection mode about this. Especially the parts of me that are recoiling in horror at the 40C+ humidex that is already climbing in. Now really, a knitter needs a bit more time to adjust to this sort of thing. Especially when said knitter happens to be knitting a wool/silk pullover. (One could also argue that said knitter should really have moved on to the lace silk shawl already, instead, and one might be sort of right about that, but one would also have to deal with said knitter’s stubbornness. So.)

I’ve been busy enough behind the scenes here, keeping up with my running (and now with some rest after over-doing my poor hip, WOE is me), getting busy with some new designs for later this summer and the fall, and generally trying to get with a new routine. Speaking of catching up with a few things, though…

1. The TTC Knitalong (Calling Toronto-area knitters!) is happening yet again, with many excited knitters already planning to descend on the city, knit their way through the streets, streetcars, and subways, and converge with lots of happy purchases and chatter. If you’d like to sign up, do so quickly, since spots do sometimes fill up quickly on some of the teams! Have a 2nd or 3rd choice ready! I’m planning on volunteering along with one of the North teams if all goes well, since that’s a route I haven’t sat in on before. But they all promise yarn and good times.

2. In March I promised you that I would donate proceeds from my pattern sales to charity, in light of ongoing relief efforts in Japan and around the world. And although I mentioned the results of this on my Twitter feed, somehow it got away from my blog and I would be remiss not to finally report to you that, thanks to your purchases and a bit of my own top-up, I donated $400 to charity, split evenly between the Red Cross and Doctors Without Borders. Thank you for your generosity, dear knitters!

3. In knitting progress news, I am pleased to report that my Silk Garden Hourglass sweater now has both two sleeves AND a body, and is moving along swiftly on the yoke. I’d hoped that I might have it done this month, but that does seem a bit less likely now given that, at the time of reporting, the month only has about six and a half hours left in it.

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Still, I am enjoying it. I ran into a bit of a fretful moment on the weekend when I realized I was down to my 2nd last ball of the darker colourway, but still had 3 more of the brighter one. Happily, I also happened to be hanging out with Lisa’s kitties on the weekend (cute kitty picture included below, for reference – new wee Athena, and Greedo), and her place is close to Passionknit, and they had a veritable wall of Silk Garden choices. Now that I have procured 2 extra skeins, I am sure this means I will now manage to squeak by to the very last yard of the original set of yarn, and not need them at all, but one does always want to be prepared to meet that eventuality with some reinforcements at the ready. Thankfully, Silk Garden is always useful to hang around the yarn stash.

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4. I’ve been doing a bit of pattern updating, and am happy to announce that my Lamplight Shawl is now available in wide release, both in my Ravelry store and on Patternfish. I did this pattern last year for The Sweet Sheep, and the larger version (very cozy, or so I think) uses one of her Soft Spun Super Skeins, which are wonderful in that you can get an entire big shawl out of one and never have to stop to join skeins or weave in ends.

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5. Sock Summit Registration happened – and I am pleased to have snagged a few classes once again! I’ll be knitting with Cat Bordhi, Cookie A, and Franklin Habit. It will be a great bit of vacation and visiting and knitting and learning (um, and maybe shopping) and general merriment. Will any of you be there as well?

Happy knitting! Catch you next month. (ha!)

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Filed under design, knitting in public, sweaters, Uncategorized

Worlds colliding

I am thinking now with fond thoughts on the weekend – it was a pretty great one, as weekends go. Despite being a bit weary post-move, I got to dash off to the big city again and spend the weekend with various friends – all knitterly, and friendly in many ways. Lisa put me up for the weekend and she had decided we needed kick things off with a visit to the local tea shop that was doing an afternoon tea in celebration of the Royal Wedding. (Was that just Friday? It feels like years ago now. Also: still grappling with the fact that Camilla is one day going to be Queen Camilla. Just seems somehow odd. Thanks Wikipedia reading on the Royals! The more you know…)

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Saturday, though, was the Knitter’s Frolic marketplace day hosted annually by the Downtown Toronto Knit Collective. I made out moderately bandit-like, though only partly via purchases. I spent a bit, as might be expected. A japanese stitch dictionary came home with me, along with these lovely skeins from Van Der Rock Yarns (the bright green ‘gypsum’ sock) and Indigodragonfly Yarns (the other 3 – mix of sparkly, merino/cashmere, and merino). It was a pretty leisurely few hours, and had some down-time waiting for Lisa to finish her class before driving back downtown, so I ended up chatting with a few people for a while. That was a nice change of pace from the rush and crush that often happens at these events. And lucky me, I also came back with a few skeins for designing with, as well as a lovely gift. Knitter and runner friend Kathy (who is also going to be running the Wellington Women’s Half Marathon in June, in Ontario), generously sewed me up a sparkly fun running skirt (mine was purple, hers pink – we will do the girly event in frivolous and possibly sarcastic style). And when I went to hand her back the bag that she’d put it in, she refused and said “no no, all that’s for you, too.” Lo and behold, I now own a lovely new sock project bag and a skein of fun chunky handspun. Thanks, Kathy!

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And speaking of knitters who are also runners, I got to round out the weekend with the Toronto Sportinglife 10k race on Sunday morning. It was pretty darned huge, and a bit jostly-crowded at times, but I’m happy with my time and it was a good run. Fellow knitter-runner (and new racer, despite being several minutes faster than me, darn her) Dr. Steph was there too, and we met up at the beginning and end and then later for post-race burgers and beer. I think that’s the best part, is the finishing and cheering afterwards. Here we are about 15 minutes after finishing, doing our best not to shiver in the cool-down chills under the Toronto grey skies.

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I am now working on Steph to do a half-marathon with me. I will win her over, I am sure of it, especially now that she has felt the glee of race-finishing.

Right now my possessions are in a transitional state, as I rearrange and organize, and my knitting is in a similar phase. I need to get some Finished Object photos in there for my Dusseldorf Aran (thank you for asking about it, friendly readers!) and start some new things. I’m thinking about a pair of sparkly Viper Pilots, since so many other folks have done it sounds like a good plan. And how can sparkly distracting things be bad, I ask you?

Until next time, dear knitters! Keep the yarn close by.

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Filed under knitting in public, real life miscellaney, running

Piecing together

On Saturday I had a blissful escape day into Toronto, to do some big city shopping and knitterly mingling. It was so great I’m planning a repeat this coming weekend, and made even more appealing by the fact that outside temperatures are showing actual warmth. (That whole plan to knit mittens and dare spring to come seems to be working).

Apr7-DusseldorfAran

So, naturally, now that spring is coming, I’m finishing a sweater. I’ve been working on the Dusseldorf Aran (pattern by Fiona Ellis) off and on for about two and a half months now, mixed in with all the other miscellaney of knitting and regular life, and it’s been a lovely colour of Ultra Alpaca and the cables are great. The pieces are finished now, and it’s just the blocking and finishing left to do. I’ve been hemming and hawing a bit over whether or not the pleated sleeve cuffs (in progress, below), will be practical in my wardrobe (I imagine this will not be a sweater conducive to, say, washing dishes in the sink), and I see on Ravelry that other knitters have modified their Dusseldorfs to be simple straight tapering sleeves as is more traditional. But the thing is, the pleats are actually sort of fun. You knit, of course, way more fabric than you think you need on a sleeve cuff, plan in some fold lines (thanks, Fiona, for the awesome instructions), and then the pleating row comes along and you fold it all up with DPNs and do a lot of working 3 sts into one, and then you have a pleated cuff. That’s pretty great, man.

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I’d gotten up to finishing the body and the first sleeve last week, but was dragging my feet on starting the second sleeve, as one does. Still, I took it as an alternate project with me for transiting into the city (sleeves are eminently portable, as Elizabeth Zimmerman always said) last Saturday.

Therefore, if I’d actually been working on the sleeve while I was sitting knitting away at the random Starbucks I chose to start out my Toronto day last Saturday, it would have been much more perfect when I ended up running into Fiona Ellis herself.

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True story. She and her husband (who is just lovely and whose name, I am embarrassed to say, I have now forgotten, I keep wanting to say John but I’m sure that’s not going to be right), were out for Saturday coffee and we ended up chatting for a short while, about knitting and technique and design and all sorts of things. That was pretty darned neat, to say the least. I will, needless to say, now expect to have impromptu coffee chats with notorious knitters on every trip into Toronto, so if the city can get on that for this coming Saturday, that’d be great.

(Oh, and Fiona said blocking makes the pleats even more awesome. Can’t wait.)

Happy knitting!

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Filed under cables, knitting in public, sweaters

Rhine-Ten

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I think, for the first time, I wasn’t overwhelmed by the big-ness of Rhinebeck. I went in planning to have an enjoyable time and hang out with some awesome kntters, and buy some pretty things along the way, and that’s what I did. I rode down with a great van-load of Canadian knitters and stayed with a house-load of American ones. It has been a weekend of yarn-related crazy and gathering, in a good way.

Ann, who bought a fleece at Rhinebeck last year, was wearing the sweater that she had knitted from the yarn she had spun from the fleece she bought at Rhinebeck last year. I think she wins.

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But then Stacey (new curly-haired sister-friend) also wins, because she broke her foot last Wednesday and still came. Elspeth made sure she got her scooter. She was pretty slick, zipping around the fairgrounds in style.

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Today I ended up meeting up with Sandi at lunch time. She had the garlic dog, I had the deep fried mushrooms.

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We looked at spindles and fibre, she wore some fibre on her head like a crown, you know, as one does.

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The sheeps (and goats) were sheepy (and goaty?)…

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Emily bought her body weight in Briar Rose yarn…

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We went to the Ravelry meetup and the internet came to life before my very eyes, and Gwen got her first Ravelry button…

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A bunch of us played blogger/Ravelry bingo…

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Jo bought all the spinning fibres…

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There were yarn-related things that weren’t yarn…

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Because I was there for 2 days and not just 1 this time, there was even a bit of time for sitting and knitting…

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And then, it was over. Thanks, Rhinebeck!

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Filed under knitting in public, rhinebeck

TTC Knitalong 2010

This past Saturday I joined in on this year’s TTC Knitalong, as one of the team captains on an unprecedented 5 teams! There were 75+ participants and many dollars raised once again for charity. This time our tote bags were also pre-filled with generous donations from several of the shops on the route, as well as Patons, Bernat, Plymouth yarns, and even a few books donated.

And boy, did we ever fill up the bags throughout the afternoon. I was on Team East Blue, heading from the Naked Sheep to the Purple Purl, then Americo, and finishing up at Romni. Beautiful wares to be had at all the shops. I definitely stocked up on a few more skeins of sock yarn, some spinning fibre, and notions. Thanks to everyone who came out and I hope a good time was had by all!

If you’ve never done a yarn crawl before, it is definitely worth it. If not in your own city then it is certainly a fun way to get to know an unfamiliar one. I know I’m hoping to do one at the end of July when I visit San Francisco. And naturally, every day is Knit in Public day. ;)

Here are a few photos from the day. In my next post I’ll catch up with some of my new projects on the go – and later this week I am indeed hoping to get some more photos of my finished Bridgewater shawl, as it is well worth the extra photography!

In the mean time, stay knitterly, my friends.

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Filed under knitting in public, yarn stores

There and back

I spent this past weekend on a family trip to Edmonton, for the occasion of my grandfather’s 95th birthday. There was much visiting, and of course a party with several relatives – most of my relatives from my father’s side of the family still live in that area. It was a pretty good time, and Grandpa is doing very well as a 95-year-old. Let’s all try to be so lucky, no?

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We managed to sneak in some time to visit some yarn shops – namely, River City Yarns, which has two locations. I’d looked up the Downtown location, and we visited there first, only to discover that the South side location was actually infinitely closer to my aunt’s house, and so we visited that spot too.

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The two locations have some stock in common but differ in others. I think I liked the South location a bit more, purely for yarn selection purposes (I was rather taken by the Lorna’s Laces selection, and the beautiful displays of Louet yarns), but staff in both locations were friendly and helpful.

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While in Edmonton I managed to knit sock #1 of the pair I’m working on for my grandfather (2.5mm needles, 76 sts, for a man’s Size 12 foot – erk), and I’ll carry on with that this week along with the Bridgewater shawl, which happily now has a complete garter stitch section for the middle.

Onwards with the week! Happy knitting as usual.

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Filed under knitting in public, knitting tourism, real life miscellaney

Hear Ye, Toronto Knitters

For knitters in the Toronto area inclined to:
a) knit in public in a group
b) travel to a bunch of yarn shops
c) experience what essentially amounts to day camp for grownups

The TTC Knitalong is back in action this year on Saturday, July 10th, and registration is now open. I’ll be tagging along as a helper/captain once again, though I don’t yet know which team.

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There will be 3 teams this year once again, in the North, Central, and East parts of the city. There is a cost of $10 (plus your own transit costs – i.e. TTC day pass purchase), and all participants receive their own TTC knitalong bag and the chance to win fabulous prizes, generously donated by the participating shops. Many of the shops will also be offering a discount to particpants! All remaining TTC Knitalong funds leftover after cost recovery will be donated to charity. Last year, Sistering was the recipient.

When you sign up, please choose a second preference as well as a first preference for the team you would like to be a part of. (a third choice would not be out of the question either.) There are limits to how many people we can reasonably fit into one yarn shop at once (especially with a few of the shops in particular), and if your first route choice has filled up quickly, you may be placed with your second choice. Keep in mind – there is a LOT of awesome yarn to be found on all of these routes! And lots of awesome company, naturally.

And if you can’t come on July 10th, you can always do your own self-planned TTC knitalong when you’re in the city with some friends. Not that I’d know anything about that, of course. Heh.

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Filed under knitting in public, knitting tourism