Category Archives: coveting


While the internet is all a-flutter over the iPad this week (which, seriously, Apple? The iPad? Hire a few women and see if your naming skills improve, there), I am just as a-flutter over a new gadget which cost me a darned sight less and will be no less cool from a knitting perspective.

One of my favourite knitting tools I already own is a digital kitchen scale. It is fantastic. I use it as often as I use my ball-winder and swift. (Seen below, to the left, with wee little leftover Lorna’s Laces balls for comparison/decoration.) It helps me tell how much yarn I have left in a ball, or if I want to split a skein exactly in half, I can do that by weighing it as I wind. I mean, I know I’m supposed to be using things like this in, well, the kitchen, but come ON. Priorities, people.

Competing Digital Scales.

But that’s not the real shining star, here. Last weekend when I was at the Purple Purl, the ladies there were talking about a new discovery that someone had brought in to knit night – and I didn’t even catch the name of the woman who made this discovery in the group, because I would totally love to give her credit here as I am really just jumping on her bandwagon – that revolutionizes the whole “knitting scale” to a whole new level.

Teeny tiny scale

What’s that to the right of the mama-sized scale? It’s a wee little baby-sized one. Yes, that’s right. An object with a footprint just slightly bigger than an Altoids tin that does all the same functions as the big not-at-all-portable scale. I had to have one, and I went right over to the Lee Valley Tools website and got one.

Teeny tiny scale for teeny tiny purposes.

This tiny little thing will measure your yarn or whatever, down to the fraction of a gram or ounce. Sign me up. (Those are my leftovers from the Tibetan Dreams stole, taking the demo in stride.)

Yes, this now lives in my handbag. Yes, I want to be that knitter who can pull a mini digital scale out of their handbag and not just a spare stitch marker or tape measure.

Move on, Apple, no iPad purchasing over here. This is my kind of gadgetry.

PS – I’m loving the comments on yesterday’s post. KIP stories are the best kind!

PPS – One more day until I add up the final tally for pattern sales that will go into a bit fat donation to Doctors Without Borders. Will be sure to report back on Sunday with the final number!


Filed under coveting, knitting addiction

Purple = Awesome

First, just as FYI, I have added a “Pattern Notes” page up there along with the other blog tabs. Pattern errata, miscellaneous notes, whatevs – they now have a home. Hooray for making the patterns better.

But second, and most important, I must report from my day in Toronto yesterday. There was the “work” time in the earlier portion of the day, but what I’m really here to post about is the grand opening of The Purple Purl, Toronto’s newest yarn shop on Queen St. East. I met Jennifer back in May and she has been a great knitting friend and now she and her friend Miko have made all knitters’ fantasy their own reality, and taken the plunge into LYS ownership.

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It was a great evening. I had to skeedaddle around 7pm to get to something else (nothing like being double-booked when fun things are happening), but I bet they partied on for many hours after that. And dangit, I forgot to get a free goodie bag! Oh well. I’ll just have to go back ;)

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Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

The yarn portion is open for business but they are just waiting on a bit of beauraucracy for the cafe part to open. Then it’ll be yarn + lattes and good relaxing times. I chatted with the woman whose company sold them the Espresso machine, and it turns out they also sold Alterknit their espresso machine. I think she was under the impression that all yarn shops are also cafes. If only that were true.

Anyhow, thanks Jennifer and Miko for making me yet more depressed that I no longer live in Toronto The Land Of All Awesome Knitting Places. I want to be just like you when I grow up. And maybe come and live in a corner of your shop after my dissertation is done. Heh. Only partly kidding.

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Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

They are stocking a variety of Canadian yarns (oh hello, Indigo Moon, you beautiful dark mistress), and development-conscious ones as well, like the lovely Mirasol line. Metal and bamboo needles can be yours, nice selection of SWTC stock, and a great bookshelf that I could totally sit in front of for an hour.

There were lots of great people there and I wish I could have stayed longer. I could not, of course, resist getting a picture of wee Clara (great visit with her and mama Emily), even though her cuteness is so great that it seems to defy focus.

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So anyhoo, totally go check out the Purple Purl next time you’re in the T-Dot. And say hi for me!


Filed under coveting, design, knitting in public, yarn stores

Craft expansion

It’s pretty awesome, I have to admit, sharing living space with another knitter. (We sometimes enable each other). My sister has started her Icarus shawl. I’m both envious and enthralled. This morning, she got up, got herself tea, spent about 5 minutes online and then sat down with her shawl again. She’s also made “ooh” noises while looking at this pattern, and I can’t say as I blame her. I’d like a set or three too, please. (None of this is exactly helping me with the stash-busting, but so far I am keeping a steady pace. No extravagant cheating as of this time.)

(Scrapbooking – constituent parts)

On Sunday we went to a friend’s house for a scrapbooking party (it is possible this has a scrapbooky-vocabulary kind of name, but I don’t know what it is). Now, I’ll come right out and say that the paper just plain does not speak to me like the yarn does, so there is no danger of me suddenly taking up a second craft obsession addiction interest, but I do admit there is some skill and design knowledge involved. It’s not quite as easy as I thought.

We were all given the pieces and demonstrated how to make a card, and then left to do our own. M and I couldn’t resist being contrary, so we tried to lay things out a little differently than how we were told.

(Finished objects)

My bold moves were twofold. First (and shamelessly stolen from M, who quickly started a trend by not merely ripping the edges of her patterned card but using those ripped edges as design features laid over top of the rest of the card), I used my ripped edges and laid them in a kind of cross-ways fashion. Then I stuck the ‘thinking of you’ circle over that. Second, I tipped the card to stand on the vertical axis, while we had been demonstrated to do the horizontal axis.
(It’s possible we were too contrary for the scrapbooking world. I’m still trying to gauge the culture.)

One thing really stood out for me, though, as I compared this crafting enterprise with knitting. (Like you do.) Once you’ve cut something, or punched it, or stamped it, or glued it, that sucker has been cut or punched or stamped or glued and there is no going back. You have to either live with your mistakes or start over. I have to respect that, because it does put a whole lot of emphasis on the patience and effort put into each individual step. But hey, with knitting? We can just rip out our mistakes and start over. Even if we cut the wrong thing, there are ways of fixing. Ends can be tied or spliced, crossed-cables can be reversed, dropped stitches can be found again. Knitting lets you be fearless and impatient, heck, it practically dares you. The yarn will still be there. ;)

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Filed under coveting, fearless knitting