Monthly Archives: July 2010

Happy birthday to me

I’m back from the great California adventure, have unpacked and am trying to remember what it was that I was doing before I left – which I am sure was very very important – and now it’s my birthday. Today I’m going to celebrate by going for a run, finishing making some chocolate cupcakes of death, and going in to knit at the Purple Purl for a bit. After that, who knows. If things get really crazy, maybe I’ll get out my spinning wheel this weekend. (STEP back.)

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As for my knitting, I’m working away on a Royale pullover of my own, since the lovely sample I made up back in the spring is now in the hands of Tanis Fiber Arts! And I must have one of my own. This is Tanis’ aran weight, in ‘teal’, which was one of her new colours this May. It is delicious.

Now I have some birthday-ing to do. Happy Friday!

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Filed under cables, design, sweaters

Southern climes

After a couple of days in southern California I am still not entirely sure what to make of it. However, when one goes strictly for the fannish experience of Comic Con and follows it up with a tour of the WB studios, I am sure this is only one particular slice of the experience. Or is it? It all seems enticing and curious yet placeless at the same time. The people are lovely, though. And fans are a brand of crazy I can (mostly) get behind. Walking through the Comic Con exhibit halls and lineups for panels I extrapolated back to the frenzy of getting into Sock Summit last year and the energy of being there…and yeah. Not entirely unlike each other.

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It is sort of like being inside the internet, but not exactly. It is like interacting with your favourite television shows, but not exactly. In a mostly good way, I think, but at the very least the sunshine and dry air and people are real. Which is great.

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Today is one more day of road tripping, a stop at the famed Hearst castle, and some car music and knitting time. And then it will be back east again, where reality awaits me.

Screw reality.

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We went back for the strawberry shortcake

Yesterday, we went back for the strawberry shortcake.

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I regret nothing.

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Filed under Uncategorized

East Bay

So far, California is going well. Of course, it’s only been about 24 hours or so, and the majority of my waking hours so far have been in a try-to-pretend-I’m-not-jet-lagged sort of state, but still. There has been yarn, and food, and that takes care of two major necessities right there.

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Liz picked me up from the airport and promptly trucked me off towards the East Bay area, with an afternoon itinerary that began with fried chicken sandwiches at Bakesale Betty’s. I don’t think I need to tell you that they were delicious. I do regret to tell you that we did not follow them up with the strawberry shortcake, which might have killed us bit it would have been a tasty death all the same. We then walked down the street for a visit to Article Pract, which is verily a lovely LYS. Their selection leaves very little to be desired, and it is a cosy spot.

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I couldn’t decide on a yarn selection but I did add to my stitch dictionary collection, which is awesome, and then we continued on to a stop at A Verb for Keeping Warm. I’d heard plenty about them from the knitting podcasts and even glimpsed their stall at the Sock Summit market last year, but this was my first up close and personal experience with them. It was not disappointing!

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The yarns are mostly their own beautifully dyed selection, and they are very helpful in suggesting potential ways to use them. They are also soon to be moving to a larger store space which sounds like it will be an amazing opportunity.

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I made my yarn purchases here, and I am glad I did (as it turned out, our third stop on the yarn tour was closed). I got some deep purple fingering weight to nudge me somewhere into the fingering weight sweater kick, and a lovely pale teal shade of cashmere-infused sock yarn which I would like to turn into knee socks. It will be nice for pondering this fall.

Today calls for leisurely hanging out time, tomorrow is driving to San Diego, and Sunday is Comic Con. It’s a tough job, but someone’s got to do it. More later!

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Filed under knitting tourism, yarn stores

Ticking along

(Because several people asked at my last post – if you want to know more about any future Toronto TTC Knitalongs, join the Ravelry group, follow the TTC Knitalong blog, or simply keep a close eye out on my blog or others like Team-leader Michelle, because advance information about signups is/was available in all of these places.)

I am not entirely sure where this last week has gone, so quickly. Actually, scratch that – I do know where it has gone, but I am still at a loss as to how we are already halfway through the month of July. Can’t we just stick a pin in the middle of summer and have it go on for an extra couple of weeks without having to reckon with the ever-approaching August and therefore the ever-approaching end of the sunny pace of life?

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Things are ticking along, at any rate. Last week I taught my as-yet last scheduled class of the summer at Passionknit, in Toronto, and we cut up some steeks darned good (photos above). I am moving along on various design projects for Tanis Fiber Arts, Indigodragonfly, the Sweet Sheep, as well as some ideas for me, and happily have been offered a teaching contract for the year (in central Ontario, which means a temporary move for me also). I am continuing with my running and training for a half-marathon (late September, fingers crossed), and knitting away in bits and pieces.

This past week I had the chance to head up to the Stratford (Ontario) theatre festival, with an online pal who came through town for a visit. We saw plays, did a bit of shopping, and made the fantastic discovery of the Chocolate Trail, which basically amounts to you paying for an up-to-8-stops pass to various chocolate-serving establishments in town. It was awesome. Chocolate, more chocolate, and then we had chocolate martinis. I regret nothing.

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Then on Saturday, just to round off the week, I made my way into the big city to the Toronto Textile Museum, where I participated in a workshop on Orenburg Lace with Galina Khmeleva.

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Um. Consider my mind blown. Or, rather, I feel as though somebody just came along with a key and opened up the door to something that you hadn’t noticed was there. It was great, sort of a technical workshop and history lesson all in one. This is a knitting practice that wraps together fibre craft, practicality, technical fluidity, beauty, and function so completely that for about a split second you sort of wonder if someone is actually kidding. But no, there is no kidding. This is LACE. Lace that means serious business.

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This week the name of the game is all about getting as much done as I can before getting on a plane on Thursday. I am heading off for several days’ vacation to hang with my friend Liz, and we shall knit, see bits and pieces of San Francisco and LA, make a brief stop at San Diego Comic Con (Sunday tickets were all we could manage), and I imagine, do the appropriate amount of lying around and being women of leisure. I mean, isn’t that what one does when one goes to California? I certainly hope so.

Over and out until next time! Possibly from the other side of the continent.

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Filed under design, fearless knitting, knitting knowledge, lace

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

Tra la la, tra laaa la, tra lalalalalaaaaa….

It is DONE.

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I’ll weave in the ends this afternoon when I’m sitting at the Purple Purl.
And then I’ll traipse around in it for a little bit.

And then I get to knit something new. I can’t even tell you how exciting it is to have this finished. This is 1900 yards of finished knitting. Thanks for the nice yarn, Wellington Fibres. And Jared Flood, even though I might have cursed your name once or twice during the miles of garter stitch, it sure is a pretty finished result.

Onwards!

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Filed under finished object: shawl, lace

In case you were wondering

Despite the fact that it is approximately twelve kinds of steaming hot outside (hello, July), I am thinking a lot about starting a bunch of new knitting projects. I am thinking about starting my own Royale (which will be my Rhinebeck sweater this year). I am thinking about designing a fair isle sweater, or perhaps a whole series of gloves. I am thinking about starting a new shawl with that Tanis mulberry silk I got at the beginning of May. I am thinking about starting a new pair of Jaywalkers with more of the Lorna’s Laces sock yarn I have stashed. I am thinking about knitting a cute little cropped summer cardigan to look cute and summery with.

I owe this rich knitting fantasy life to the fact that, instead of starting any of these things, I am trying to finish the things still on the needles before putting any new things on the needles. And this means that instead of fun new socks or awesome new cabled things, I am knitting the edging on the Bridgewater shawl, which is the final step before I block the snot out of it and pray that when it is blocked it really will look shawl-like and not like the pile of greyish string it is starting to resemble in my dulled mind’s eye.

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And just in case you were wondering, knitting an edging on a square laceweight shawl takes a freaking long time. 1 corner down, 3 more to go.

Here’s hoping when next we meet I will have this sucker cast off, because I don’t know how much longer I can resist the lure of my stash. Until then…stay cool, my knitting friends. And knitterly.

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Filed under lace