The Guelph Vacation

Oh my goodness! I have a lot of things to talk about this week.

*Let’s get this out of the way first, because it’s depressing me: the cable cowl pattern I mentioned working on has gone completely awry and I’ve discarded the project in favor of more pleasant pursuits. If you were holding out for it, I am sorry, but (hopefully) I will have a very cute cable braided headband pattern to share with you soon.*

Now…I have had the most fantastic weekend that I need to tell you about. (It is relevant to knitting, I promise.)

This weekend I traveled to Guelph, Ontario, for a friend’s birthday. Of course, I don’t enjoy going to birthdays empty handed, especially as a knitter, so on Wednesday night, I broke out my circs and dove into the leftover half skeins from the “Christmas Hat Collection” and cast on Jared Flood’s Turn A Square. It was a quick knit; I had it done in the morning on Friday. I didn’t have any “boy” colored self striping yarn, so I just used the ends of three different colored alpaca tweed yarns I had, and I think it turned out fabulously. If you’re looking for a quick, stash busting knit, I highly recommend that one. I’ve posted some photos, as I remembered to take them before I gave it away.

On Friday night we went to the Wellington Brewery for a tour. They had these cute quarter-pint sized glasses to taste all the different drafts. I’m not really a huge beer expert, but I really enjoyed their Arkell Best Bitter. I also have to point out that I was a huge fan of their draft taps, all of the Wellington beers have British “Wellies,” for handles, the bar had cute miniature rain boots along it. (I guess the fact that I was amused by the décor and cuteness factor will tell you about my interest in different types of beer.)

On Saturday morning we went to the Guelph Farmers’ Market. My friends that live in Guelph were a little disappointed with it. It was in a new building, and the layout and lack of amenities made it difficult for people to get around, or for past vendors to sell some of their things because they didn’t have the right cooling or cooking equipment there. I, on the other hand, was in heaven…because…well…I found an Alpaca farm booth, and had a good chat with Kristi who ran both the booth and the Harmony Meadows Alpaca farm. Of course once I get my hands on anything alpaca I’m loath to part from it…so I walked away with 50gm of lovely Natural Dark Fawn Alpaca Roving for my drop spindle, and a skein of 2ply lace weight alpaca yarn dyed the color of “Rust.” I saw the color on the table, and its sort of a dark orangey-red color, and thought to myself, “Self, that would look really nice as some sort of lace shawl,” I’m thinking probably the Echo Flower Shawl if I can manage it.

My Saturday was very “yarnful.” After we visited a cute coffee shop, we made our way to my friend’s LYS, All Strung Out. That’s the name of the store…not our mind frame, for the record. I got to do some “Knit Geeking,” as I like to call it, and talked to one of the instructors. My friend (pictured below in the really cute coffee shop) had asked me to knit her a cabled headband, so I had her pick out the yarn for it. She chose Cascade Yarns Eco Duo; it is nice and super soft, made from baby alpaca and merino wool in different shades of gray. I’m working on the pattern now, and will post it when I’ve finished.

Well that was a long one, hope you made it through…here are some apples for your staying power…I hear they keep the doctor away.

Leigh

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Cables and the Bowl that is not for Soup

I went to the library the other day and found some wonderful books that had cables and techniques for cabling in them and I’ve been trying to come up with a cabled cowl pattern. I’m almost done, but I’m not quite happy with it yet, so it may be a while yet before I post pictures and the pattern. I’ve almost completely ruined the first part of the ball of Malabrigo Worsted Merino because I keep changing my mind and ripping back.

So, tonight’s post is going to be about a fantastic gift that I got for Christmas. I guess that with moving back home to work, my parent’s have now come to realize the scope of my obsession and passion for knitting. My father has often commented on the way that balls of yarn escape me and roll about the room in which I work. So, for Christmas, he and my mother surprised me by getting me a hand crafted yarn bowl. I’m in love with it, and it does stop the problem of balls of yarn escaping around the house. It’s actually quite handy, and it has a neat little spiral cut out to pull the yarn through. But like every good gift, it is really the thought and motivation behind it that counts.

I can’t say for certain, but I’m fairly sure, that my father has never been in a yarn store without me being present, so trying to figure out how he managed to even know about the existence of such a thing had me flabbergasted, but apparently on a weekend when we had gone to see a play in Stratford, he had doubled back to drop things off in our hotel room, and snuck back into the yarn shop to get it! The story just makes the whole thing so much better!

I’ve taken a picture of it so you can see my new favourite toy…

My Morning Crossword Cowl

Well I’ve managed to fix the cabling on my socks and now I love them! I’ve also had the opportunity to work out a new pattern for a cowl. My brother gave me two skeins of a Aslan Trends Royal Alpaca in the colourway Crimson for Christmas which have made the cowl super soft and luxurious and I added some buttons for a little bit of whimsy. This is the pattern for it, I hope you enjoy! My Morning Crossword Cowl

Sickness, Soup and Sock knitting

Happy New Year Everyone!

So, since Christmas I have been a little ill, which means I haven’t had the energy to participate in any sort of festive fun since Christmas day. But it has meant that I have been able to do a little selfish knitting project of my own after all the hats. Months ago, I purchased two skeins of Malabrigo Sock in the colourway Lettuce to make a baby blanket for an expecting friend. I’ve discovered, if I am to be honest…I’m not really a fan of knitting baby blankets. I realize that they are small, not as big as if I were to make an afghan or something, but it was pretty boring going as the pattern I chose was just done in a basket weave type stitch pattern. Anyway, to save my mind, I switched to a worsted weight yarn, and that was that.

So, I had this additional Malabrigo Sock Yarn. The first skein of Malabrigo I used to make Damson by Ysolda Teague. The project is on my Ravelry account projects page as Hoodedfang’s Damson. And now being sick, I’ve decided I would make myself a pair of socks with the remaining skein. I chose Eunice by Cookie A. from her pattern book Sock Innovation. Really the knitting was wonderful, I really like the cables and the colour, and the first one fit perfectly. Actually so does the second one. I think you may be able to sense that there is a ‘but’ coming along.

But…I’ve been knitting, while mostly lying down…and watching BBC Period Drama’s on Netfix…see if you can spot the difference..

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Absolutely right…I forgot to cable on the second to last repeat of the pattern chart on my second sock! What a knob I am…and I didn’t notice til I had finished it. Now I have to undo the Kitchener Stitch, and rip back, carefully. I’m still sick, by the way, so mostly I am inclined just to leave them as they are, since they’re for me…but really! How disappointing?

Hibou

So a while ago I mentioned that I was designing one of the hats for Christmas Dinner myself. It was made for Kate, who loves owls, and also speaks French…hence the name “Hibou”. It was my first attempt at designing any kind of charting, but I think it turned out just fine. I think the owl is ADORABLE…but I might be biased… here is the pattern if you’re interested: HibouHat

This is the photo of it:

So I’m a Day Late…

I hope everyone had some fantastic holiday celebrations the last couple days. I’m happy to say that the hats at Christmas Dinner went over superbly. They well worth the crazy amount of knitting it took! Here are some pictures, sorry about the substandard lighting.

Merry Christmas!

Hi All,

Just a quick message to wish everyone Happy Holidays and a very Merry Christmas. It’s Christmas Eve for me right now, and I’ve had knitting on the brain and the needles all day. But have managed to complete the Christmas Hat Collection, they’re all stuffed with tissue paper and on the already set dinner table. I hope it goes over well. I found this fantastic ribbon at Hallmark that says “Homemade for You” and I’ve attached a bit of it to everyone of them, I think it will be fantastic 🙂 I’ll post pictures and the hat pattern I designed myself on boxing day. (Obviously if I did that now I would ruin the surprise!)

I hope you have a fantastic Holiday celebration wherever you are, and whatever you celebrate 🙂

Leigh