Friday, October 31, 2008

Trick or Treat?

I’d like to give you a preview of our new issue - I don’t have my copy of it yet - it won’t be here till Monday, but I’m going to go ahead and scoop Rick again. Here’s the cover. This little jacket/cardigan, ‘Groovy’, has been my fall travelling staple - I’ve worn it steady for the past 2 months. I still love it and have had many compliments from knitters and non-knitters! I’m re-making it right now for my daughter Laura who saw it back in September - she wants a few modifications, of course and maybe I’ll tell you about that tomorrow. Shown also are Ev McNabb’s ‘Fisti-cuffs’ - they went so well with the style and colour of ‘Groovy’!
I hooked up with Susan Guagliumi at the Cleveland seminar and she very graciously gave us the pattern for ‘Knotty But Nice’, the top that she wore on the Friday. It looked great on her and when I received it in the post the next week, I was amazed at the versatility of her design - she did tell me to be sure to get a model with ‘no boobs’. I tried it on and I loved it on me, even though her and I are about exact opposite in figure type - I will be making one of my own!!! It is a sideways knit top, with unique construction and very little seaming, shaped through the body with shortrows to create the A-line shape. Susan has also promised future patterns for the next couple of issues.
My grandbabies Nathan and Rhiana, are such a big part of my life, I just have to show them off too - Nate is wearing a button front hoodie jacket done on the mid gauge and Rhiana’s Christmas dress turned out so perfect! She’s a bit of a tomboy, so I wanted to keep it simple, but had to add some ruffles - lots of learning tips and techniques in both these patterns to help beginners improve their skills.
Of course, there is a ton of other stuff too that I’m sure you’ll love... stay tuned!!
Happy Hallowe’en!

Friday, October 24, 2008

Middle Of Nowhere??

Sorry to be silent for so long but I've been sorta busy. I’ve just returned from a knitting road trip. Sometimes I wonder what makes me do what I do... Here’s what I did this past week. Last Thursday, the 16th, I got up at 3 am and set off to drive to the Middle Of Nowhere, Indiana, 800 miles away. I set off that early because I wanted to get through Chicago before rush hour but I would still have a couple of hours to my final destination. You might wonder why was I going to the M.O.N.? Well, Lea-Ann at ‘Knitting Today’ in Wolcottville, IN and I go way back. I did my first workshop for her in 1995 -1996 - or somewhere around there and I’ve been back several times since. We always have a great time. Anyway, back in June this year, she asked me to do a ‘hands-on beginner ribber class’ and I said sure. I drove instead of flying because, coming from the middle of nowhere and going to another middle of nowhere, it’s easier to drive than fly - at least when you talk about it - and I wouldn’t have to rely on airline schedules - had to make sure I got No 47 off to the printers before I left - and I could come and go whenever, take whatever I wanted, not have to worry about load/size restrictions - my own table, extra yarn, 2 full suitcases of samples and get the picture. Also, this road trip would give me the opportunity to get in a visit with my favourite Hoosier, Donna, in Goshen, IN., (30 miles from Lea-Ann’s shop) whom I met when on a wool tour of Scotland back in 1990 and the real reason I do so much at ‘Knitting Today’.
So, after a day’s visit with Donna, I get to the hotel for the workshop. While setting up and meeting the ‘students’, it suddenly dawned on me, I’m the oldest person in the room!!! *&%#!!! first time that’s ever happened!!! Usually at these machine knitting events if I see one person whom I think may be younger than me, I get pretty excited!! My next thought was, wow!! this is great!!! There is hope in the world - we do have new, younger, machine knitters. And I’ll be honest here, those 12 gals were great. Talk about enthusiastic and willing to learn, many of them being less than 1 year machine knitters - some from almost as far away as me (New York state)- I had a great time, watching them absorb and try new things - after I got over the shock of starting at 8 am!!! We ended the second day with most everyone completing at least one circular sock - it was the most successful hands-on class I’ve ever participated in and though I never had to pick up one dropped stitch or fix someone’s mistake, I was exhausted, answering questions and supervising!
The next day I was on the road again to another MON, Elliot Lake in Northern Ontario, another 550 miles/9 hours of driving. Driving up to Canada through Michigan gave me a different outlook on coming home. After being out of MY country - a foreigner, really - away from home cooking and all that - there is the trepidation of crossing the border, back through customs, trying to recall what I need to declare and what to hope they don’t find if they did decide to search - though nowhere near the gut-wrenching experience going down...
So, coming into Sault Ste Marie, Canada, the border crossing is virtually right in town. After the relief of getting through customs with no problem, the welcome sight of the familiar ‘Canadian Tire’ store sign, with ‘Tim Horton’s’ almost beside it, homecoming felt really good!! I could stop for duct tape AND coffee and donuts!!! On to Elliot Lake, 2 days of lecturing and demos; back on the road for the 900km/550 mile/9 hour drive to Thunder Bay over the toughest stretch of the TransCanada Highway in the entire country, arriving home at midnight Wednesday - who ever thought this was a glamourous job???