October 18, 2014

skiff





Pattern: 'Skiff'' by Jared Flood
Yarn: Custom Woolen Mills Mule Spinner 2-Ply in #8 Sea Green

I realized I have a backlog of recent knits I haven't blogged about, so here's one. When Brooklyn Tweed's Fall patterns came out a few weeks ago I was finishing up a few other things and couldn't start anything big, so I grabbed a skein of yarn I wanted to try out anyway and knocked this off in a few nights. 

I utterly adore this hat. I have a strong compulsion to knit cabled hats in general but this one is really fab.Lots of stuff going on for interest, great fit and lots of warmth. 

One of my goals this winter is to research and try as many Canadian yarns as I can. I have a few new natural bases I'm trying in the DIS dyeing division, and there are some new-to-me mills, like Custom Woolen Mills, that have some great yarns I'm trying on projects. I really enjoyed using the worsted weight, woolen spun yarn shown here. The cables don't have quite the same crispness that a worsted spun yarn would give, but I love the slight fuzziness and softness of this yarn.

The days are getting cooler. Need more hats.

September 9, 2014

fibre fĂȘte




After spending many weeks dyeing and preparing my little DIS roadshow, I was so happy when this past weekend finally arrived. The Manitoba Fibre Festival was a lot of fun to attend as a participant last year, but this year was even more fun as a vendor. We were right next to my favourite farmer's market, and the crowds were fairly intense, especially earlier in the day. I talked to so many great people willing to chat enthusiastically about yarn and projects. Thanks to everyone who came by and said 'hi'. I was nervous about my first show and you made it wonderful.

I only wish I could have seen more of everyone else's stuff, as I was rather confined to my spot (I missed the angora bunnies!). Maybe I can clone myself by this time next year. (That would make several aspects of my life easier, actually).

After the festival I went to bed early so I could get up at 5:30 the next day to run my first 10k race. I had much fun at that, too, and was pretty happy with my time. I'm really hoping to do a half marathon next spring, so I have to figure out how to run consistently through our crazy winter.

August 9, 2014

zion lion

Last week someone from Wool and the Gang asked if I'd like to try one of their kits, so I was very excited to receive this bundle of awesome in the mail. They sent me a kit for the Zion Lion Hat.

There are so many great designs, yarns and kits on their site (like this! and this!), and I'm really glad I know about this company now. First, I love the graphics and layout of their packaging:


Inside is a pile of pure gorgeousness:


I big ball of super bulky yarn (200g), a pattern booklet, tapestry needles, a sticker, a wee pin and some absolutely stunning rosewood knitting needles.

The yarn. How I love this yarn. It's a somewhat loosely-spun single, wool, very lofty and extremely soft.



Being super bulky it knits up very quickly. Like any single, care needs to be taken not to pull too hard and break the strand, but it's easily felted together again if that happens. I really love the ivory colour they sent me, especially on the rich wood of the needles.

This simple pattern is great for beginner knitters and there are lots of explanatory details and drawings for techniques. They also have online video tutorials, so their website is a great resource.



Et voila! A super cozy hat in no time at all. I still have 87g left over, so I'm plotting.



It's 30c today, so the photoshoot was brief, but MAN I LOVE THIS HAT. I really looked forward to wearing it this winter. Then the girl grabbed it when I wasn't looking and has now claimed it for herself. I may need to make another.


July 27, 2014

exploring

 




A few weeks ago I decided to try a different dyeing technique, since many of my favourite dyers are doing gradients and colour block dyeing. I started out thinking I wanted to do a gradient, but trying to get a gradual colour transition without knitting up a blank first seemed tricky, so I decided to try long colour blocks instead. I divided a skein of sock yarn into two and each of those into thirds and then dyed a moss colour, blue-moss and blue on each.

The centre photo shows the resulting cakes. Their difference in diameter is due to forgetting I own a swift (bottom) and then remembering (top ;). The bottom photo shows the top-up socks I'm knitting two at a time on the left. The right has some handspun socks in similar colours. I'm so predictable.



Yesterday I finally snapped with the whole 2 at a time thing. It felt so incredibly slow. I think I'm just unusually slow at this technique.To cheer myself up I split them onto dpns to finish the rest. Here's their current state. Finally at the light blue! They'll be knee highs to use up as much yarn as possible.

This week Teresa from Canary Knits did a really lovely post on my designs here. She is such a talented designer herself  (check out her huge collection here!)I was humbled to be featured by her (and a bit guilty I've been so lazy about publishing stuff lately). I love reading her blog and learning about people I might not have known about otherwise.

Hope your weekend was good. Happy knitting!


July 22, 2014

busy summer


I hope your summer is going well and you're having lots of fun outside. I design parks, so construction season is in full swing and work is a bit nuts right now. Nuts in a good way, though.

Just wanted to let you know that I'm also super busy dyeing stock for an upcoming fibre festival, where I'll have a booth - the Manitoba Fibre Festival on Sept. 6th. There are lots of amazing vendors and workshops, so if you're in the area, check it out! It's my first time selling like this, so I'm not sure what to expect, but I'm really looking forward to meeting and chatting with fellow fibre lovers.

So the Etsy shop will only be stocked for a little while longer and then I'll be getting ready for the fest, so if there's anything you want, grab it now.

Enjoy the sun!

July 5, 2014

nyc











We decided to take advantage of a good flight deal and take the kids to New York this week. The last time I was there was 20 years ago. I shouldn`t have waited so long to go back. I love the intensity, the smells, the personalities, the parks, the art and architecture, the street food, the constant exhausting stimulation. A great start to summer.

June 3, 2014

my happy place


I've been  a bit obsessed with dyeing lately.


I also dyed some sparkly yarn the other day, which was pretty fun.


I didn't think I was a sparkle person but I, apparently, am. I can't wait to see how this yarn knits up.


And I've been seeing so many dyers doing beautiful gradient yarns lately I decided to try it out. I'll show you the result of this once these little mini skeins are dry.

What are your favourite kinds of hand dyed yarns and fibre?