Thursday, August 3, 2017

girl crush...

When I was in Munroe Michigan last week, I met Julie. At first she was just an attractive, attentive lady in the back row of my first class. I found myself talking to her and she was nodding appropriately like she agreed with everything I was saying. I had to keep reminding myself to look away and talk to the rest of the room! At the end of the first class, she came and told me she would be staying in my class because she had seen the other instructors several times and I was totally new to her. As the day progressed, we had little interaction – she wasn’t a question-asker, at least in a group, though she continued to be attentive. At the end of the day she came up to tell me she did a knitting podcast and would I allow her to interview me for it. I said yes, and the next day at the end of two long days of teaching we found a quiet spot and began talking. Oh my, I think I said, ‘you’ll probably want to edit this out but…’ several times. Anyway, we had fun – she is very calm, has a lovely speaking voice and seems quite thoughtful before she says stuff which I like. I have no idea what this will sound like when it finally airs but, fingers crossed! I hate the sound of my own voice and I kind of cringe when ever I hear a recording of myself so I hope it isn't as bad as I think!
When I got home, after the dust settled with unpacking and getting caught up I decided to check out her podcast and have a listen. She’s a vegetarian – I’m not but I do have some really good recipes – I can’t wait to tell her about what I can do with quinoa and kale! She comes from a large family (mine’s larger but not by much) and, OMG, her mom’s name is Ruthie! My mom was Ruth too!
She refers to her husband as ‘the spouse’ which I think is hilarious – maybe it’s a Canadian thing but I’ve always thought of 'spouse' as a generic term to avoid having to be specific as to gender and anyone I’ve ever heard use it is doing so in a slightly derogatory way. But he does sound like a real prize – I’m kind of jealous! She’s not afraid to admit she loves Judge Judy and tells us why and I look forward to her ‘likes and dislikes’. We have a lot in common!
I have listened to several episodes – I started at the beginning with episode 1 - and although there is sock machine and hand knitting stuff there that I don’t really care about,  as well as some machine knitting, the perspective she offers on life in general is what I’m hooked on – I love it!
I did listen to her last episode  from July 10, 2017 and she mentioned she would be going to the Monroe seminar and that I would be there…she pronounced my name wrong – ow! It’s Oh!Grrrr! just like Shrek. Hope she gets it right in the interview so I can still like her!
Give it a listen ;-), Bing (or google) ‘Julie Boylan podcast’ or ‘Hand Y Machine Knitting
Oh, and I've been invited to Charlene Shafer's Knit Knack Shop Spring Fling in Peru, Indiana next April! I'm so excited!!! More later!

Friday, July 28, 2017

home alone...

I know it wasn’t you on the road but do you know what a two-lane divided highway is for? It means you drive on the right and move into the left lane to pass and then get back in the right hand lane! It does not mean that you get to ride in the left lane because you are too lazy to switch back and forth!
Now I got that off my chest, what a fun time! And it’s been a long time since I’ve seen almost 100 machine knitters in one place! What a turnout! Many thanks to Cathy and Larry and Chris for putting on such a great venue for us – good food, good friends and great knitting! What more could anyone want?
It was great to see so many Canadians, eh? And have a nice little catch-up with Eileen and Pat and their Burlington guild gang!
I got things put away and all my zippers properly sewn in. Here are the pictures I promised – everyone loved ‘Canada, eh?’ and I’m really happy with finishing up the blue-grey 1RT Hoodie – summer arrived while I was away but I’m sure there will be a cool night or two  so it will still be of use as summer wear, but overall, a great indoor coverup!

Monday, July 17, 2017

road trip...

I’m ready for Monroe! Got all my knitting done and my bags are packed.
The ‘Canada, Eh?’ lace pullover turned out great – can’t wait to wear it! and I promise to post a real, live photo of me in it!
And I did make another IRT Hoodie,  [ ] using Yeoman Yarns Sari – it’s a 50 cotton, 25 linen, 25 acrylic blend of a very lightweight slub yarn – I’m calling it ‘Whisper’ because it is so thin and lightweight! To give you an idea of how fine it is, I had used it in the past for a tuck stitch on the fine gauge machine at T5 with a gauge of 36 sts and 72 rows and for this, I knit the one-row-tuck at T9 and got the same gauge as my brown linen one, 25 sts and 38 rows to 10 cm/4 inches.
One of my classes in Monroe is on seaming on the machine and using the sewing machine to sew in the zipper, so this one is ready for that. I have a white zipper with silver metal teeth that I have pinned in place. The colour of this hoodie is sort of blue, kind of greyish and I did order a couple of greyish zippers but they aren’t here yet and for the demo, it will show up better with the white zipper tape and I’ll do the sewing in hot pink, again so it shows up for the demo and then I’ll pick it out when I get home and install the appropriate one.
I do have another Girlfriend Hoodie in the red Bonita cotton, all knit, still in pieces, all set to seam for the class too! Hope to see you there!

Friday, June 30, 2017

rainy weather...

Today is cool, rainy and yucky! I was supposed to be going on a nice, long hike but that isn't going to happen. No better day to spend at the knitting machine!;-)
I got one sleeve done and you know I’m not writing this pattern, but if you want the sleeve schematic, just say – it turned out awesome! But spoiler alert, there is a lot going on here, especially for lace carriage knitting. I started off with waste yarn and the bottom edge has a curve in it which meant reverse shortrowing, ravel cord method. Once that was done, the side edges were decreased quite rapidly. I then shortrowed the underarm decreases to get that nice smooth curve on each side and at the top, there is a slight curve - you guessed it, shortrowed again. The top edge is finished on the machine before you take it off, like my neckline. The bottom edging, another one of my crochet-look trims, knit on the machine, is added after the fact. In the excitement of getting this done, I was tempted to just put it right on to the sleeve without testing it out first but held myself in check and did test it out on my swatch before adding it to the sleeve. On the swatch I did one half using 2 strands of main yarn for the chained picot part and 3 strands for the second half so I could decide which to use. I opted for the 2 strand side and it matched the width of the lace fabric stitch for stitch. I may stay up all night just to finish it off!
And I just remembered one of my classes in September for the seminar at Rocking Horse Farm is ‘making a statement sleeve’ – this will be a great addition!

Thursday, June 29, 2017

sheer mania...

I am currently obsessed with sheer fabrics! And with those ‘bold shoulder’ sleeves! It’s almost Canada Day – not only Canada Day, it's our birthday, 150-year celebration!
I should admit I do remember the centennial - fifty years ago in 1967… there were centennial projects all over the place although I didn't do anything specific, must have been too young! ;-)
Now, we, in Canada have been hearing about the 150-year thing for almost a year and I have been thinking about it a bit - the other day, I had an epiphany! I could make a Canada Day sweater and call it 'Canada, Eh?'! It will be red and I could be finished it by Canada Day, maybe! Not that it really matters because it isn’t the sort of thing I’d be wearing on Canada Day for fireworks out in the boonies – for that I usually need an overlarge hoodie and tons of bug spray! But I can always show it off when I go to Monroe, Michigan for the 29th Monroe Area Knitting Seminar (so excited!) – you know how I always like to have something new especially for such an event!
Mark your calendar! MAO is making a pullover! It doesn't happen often but that's what this is! I'm using my favourite yarn, Wool Crepe Deluxe which I have in passion red. After my  success of using the rayon yarn at a very loose tension with the one-row-tuck pattern ( I wanted to try using WCD with lace at a very loose tension.
 -actually, I don't think I told you but I had made the hoodie again using sage linen and gave it to my friend Cathy who loved it for the thinness and being so lightweight.
Normally, I would stockinette knit WCD at T5-6, getting a gauge of 33-34 sts and 50-54 rows to 10 cm and for lace knitting I would use T4 which results in a gauge of 31 sts and 50 rows (I'm using my Silver Reed of course and the lace carriage knits looser than the main carriage). To get the sheer-look that I want, I am using T7 (gauge is 25 sts and 40 rows!!!) and it's knitting perfectly. I am using the shape of 'Gossamer' -love the lace and the extended A-line which makes those dipped points at the sides (  but making it a pullover instead of the split front of the cardigan – got the back and front knit perfectly, so happy! And look at that front neckline – it's beautiful even if I do say so myself!
Now, I'm going to draft the sleeve same as I did for my sewn dress ( from a few weeks ago…2 days to go!
P.S. Janet got her 'Sydney' and was pretty impressed! ;-)


Monday, June 19, 2017

bouclé blues...

Putting together/seaming with this bouclé/slubby yarn was a real bug! The slubs make little knots and curl back on themselves, making casting off extremely painful! What I did and what I recommend if you’re knitting with a yarn like this is to use a smooth yarn in as close as a colour match as you can find to do the seaming. It also allows for easier darning in of the ends as they mostly occur at the beginning and end of each piece which means there is a chained seam of the smooth yarn that you can use to run the bouclé ends through. Other than this problem, this was a pretty quick knit but I’m not too sure of the final result. It is soft and cuddly and lightweight which is mostly what I was looking for and the yarn has very good yardage – I still have 155g left from the original 545g even though I had to make the front ‘bands’ twice (the second time because it laid/fell nicer with the knit side as the outside and there was no salvaging after they were attached! ;-)) - but I’m afraid that the finished garment biased slightly – when it’s on you don’t really notice it but it’s not a yarn I would go out looking for again which may be an indication of why it was discontinued…but I kind of like ‘Sydney’ – the shape is great - and I may remake it for myself with something else! You’ll be the first to know!

wedding finery...

The day turned out quite nice weatherwise, the setting rustic, rural and fun and the food was great. The bride was lovely, the groom nervous and everything seemed perfect. About 11 pm it did start to cool quite quickly. My black Battenburg/Legacy  cardi [ ]was just right  with my dress and Shannon was exquisite in her wedding shrug. I was so proud and she did tell me she was looking forward to wearing it again many times because it is so versatile – much better than a shawl! ;-)