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Thursday, July 27, 2017

Road Trip ~ Got Yarn, Will Travel.

My sister and I took a road trip to Montreal. Road trips are awesome for knitting! 

 We wandered around Old Montreal and enjoyed the architecture.

First on our list was trying Poutine. For those of you who don't know what this is (I certainly didn't before visiting), it is a dish of French fries topped with cheese curds and gravy. I had mine with caramelized onions on it. While we waited I enjoyed an ice cold local beer and knit.

We ate in a Polish restaurant and made our own sampler of borscht, pierogos, and a Polish version of an eggroll. All delicious!

We took a food tour of the Mile End section of Montreal. It was a wonderful tour packed with local foods, local history, and interesting shops/buildings.

Awesome Florist shop.

Street art!

Hot bagels fresh from St. Viateur's Bagel Shop, what could be better? I could have stopped the tour there and ate bagels all day.

We learned that there are two bagel shops and you are devoted to one or the other, Fairmont. Our tour guide called out to a passerby, "St. Viateur or Fairmont?" She called back, adamantly,  "Fairmont!"

There was an amazing chocolate shop, where we not only had a square of chocolate but a sample of liquid chocolate. Talk about feeling a jolt of energy!

After the (3 hour tour), we punched in the address of a local yarn store, La Maison Tricotée, and began to walk.  The good news is that it didn't rain at all during the tour (it was a hot/humid day), the bad news is that the skies opened as we walked to the yarn store.

It was worth it. What's more, the sun came out as we reached the shop. Isn't that poetic?

It was a charming shop with adorable miniatures knit up and in the window, like this mini yarn store,

 and yummy treats ~ calorie free.

They also served real yummy treats, and tea.


We made a friend, a charming young woman. She practiced English with us, Nancy practiced French with her,

and I helped her with her knitting. A good time was had by all.

I loved wandering the shop, there were many Canadian yarns that I hadn't seen and some that I don't see often.

Of course I found some souvenirs!  😀

Randomly, there were whimsical signs for the bathrooms...

and doors!

For an added bonus, Comicon was in the convention center across the street. It added just one more dimension to the people watching. There were superheroes and Clingons. The  hotel manager said he felt very safe as there were three Batmans (Batmen?) staying at the hotel.  We met Batman and Wonder Woman in the lounge. Who knew they were a thing?


And of course there was a cute dog with speckled socks.

Monday, July 24, 2017

I don't burp without checking in.

So said Calann before continuing on with her Tressage top. It's a lot of responsibility to have this kind of power. 😔

She wanted to confirm that she was interpreting the directions properly where it referred to repeating the last 8 rounds.

Twist it Magazine, August 2015
Calann was inspired by a top that Trammi knit.

Trammi is loving her ZickZack scarf in Koigu Painter's Palette Premium Merino (KPPPM) (Fingering: 100% Merino, 175 yards). It is a perfect traveling project.

Lisa knit up a healthy swatch in Blue Sky Fibers Extra (Aran: 55% Alpaca, 45% Merino, 218 yards) for a customfit sweater.

Then we checked the gauge on the Simple Sprout Sweater she is knitting in the round. Lisa thought the sweater looked small and she was right. She knits tightly and had to go up from a #11 needle to a #15. Yarn: Berroco Catena (Bulky: 94% Merino, 6% Nylon, 120 yards).

Allison worked on the lace trim on her 2 ply Cashmere Cardigan. (I forgot to get a picture 😠)

Eileen finished her Cameo Scarf/Wrap in Berroco Nebula (Fingering: 100% Merino, 415 yards) and Berroco Folio (DK: 65% Alpaca, 35% Rayon, 219 yards).

Then we checked the gauge for Elizabeth Zimmerman's Baby Surprise Jacket.

Cornelia worked on the short row neck for her #23 Cabled Tunic.  The neck is knit separately with two different cables and short rows, as you can imagine this is very complicated. To her credit, Cornelia has persevered; she gets major points for that. However, it reached a point of such frustration that I took it off her hands.

Michelle crochet the Purl Soho Granny stripe blanket. She couldn't find a knit version, she wants her own Blankie.  We are going to play around with stitches and design something.  (And when I say we I mean Michelle),

Nan finished her Anemone Poncho knit with Artyarns Regal Silk  and  Artyarns Beaded Silk & Sequins Light. She felt that the neck came out to tight.  She's going to pull out the bind off and use Jeny's surprisingly stretchy bind off.

She saw the Drinnsbay Irish Tweed Wrap by Maggi Knits on a woman going up the escalator at VKLive in New York City. It's only available as a kit through Maggiknits shop.

She's working a tube as a transition to the next color, Very unique construction.

Lois is knitting the Bedford Top the way it's written is versus her previous interpretation. She's finding it easier to knit, in a good spot. In her happy place.

Here is Tucker's happy place.  Can you tell which end is up?

Friday, July 21, 2017

Rock the Pompom

There is usually a back story to my designs. In the case of Rock the Pompom, it was kismet. It happened while I was at VKLive in New York City in January.

As I cruised around the marketplace on the first day, I happened upon a skein of Hedgehog Fibres Aran that really caught my eye.  It was completely outside my "color box". I didn't buy it right away because I wasn't sure what I would do with it. (Just to be clear, I don't often show that kind of restraint in a marketplace full of yarny goodness.)

Somewhere along the way I saw an awesome pompom ~ again, completely outside my "color box". Again, I didn't buy it right away.  After all, this was the first day of the marketplace and I needed to pace myself.

Later on I had an epiphany ~ it could have happened in the shower or come to me in a dream. These colors matched a new winter coat I had bought for an upcoming trip to Iceland. I could knit a hat and top it with the pompom.

I've never considered my self a pompom wearing kind of gal, however, this pompom was wicked cool. I set about finding a stitch pattern that would show the lovely variegated yarn in it's best light. 

The hat is designed to be comfortably snug at the brim without squishing your hair so it fits more loosely than the average beanie. I have curly hair and did not want to have severe hat head after wearing the hat. These are the things I considered while designing the hat. One size fits most head circumferences (21 - 23").

Materials: 180 yards of heavy worsted/aran weight yarn (4-4.5 sts/1"). The sample hat was knit with Hedgehog Fibres Merino Aran (100% Merino, 182 yards, Pheasant colorway) and Lana Grossa Fell pompom

This pattern is free through Monday, July 31, then it will be $5.00. In exchange for it being free, please add it to your Ravelry favorites and queue. Click here to find it on Ravelry.

Monday, July 3, 2017

Where to begin?

Lisa joined us for the first time. She wanted to start a new sweater project. After perusing the shop, she settled on knitting my Spring Lake Hi-Lo Pullover in Malibu (Worsted: 100% Cotton, 169 yards). By the end of class she was swatched and ready.


She is nearing the end of her Navy is the New Black in Artisan (Worsted: 80% Merino Wool, 20% Silk, 123 yards). She is running out of yarn and won't make the 23 rows to the end.  She can, for sure, get a few more rounds out of it before binding off.

 Jane B is swatched and ready to go start the Padma Pashmina Wrap in North Light Fibers Water Street (DK: 60% Merino, 40% Cashmere, 165 yards).

Cornelia revisited the back of her Cabled Tunic sweater because she hadn't knit the armhole deep enough.  She also knit one of the sleeves in the interim. Yarn: Plymouth Baby Alpaca Chunky (Chunky: 100% Baby Alpaca, 108 yards).

Jane T. hadn't knit since we last saw each other so she wants to knit up to the length of armhole to match up the front and back.
Malibu (Worsted: 100% Cotton, 169 yards). By the end of class she was swatched and ready.

Calann had some loose stitches/holes on her Angel Christmas Stocking.  I used duplicate stitch to fill out the spaces.

Eileen is enjoying her new Cameo shawl/wrap in the lovely sunset colors.

She's knitting it with Berroco Nebula (Fingering: 100% Merino, 415 yards) and Berroco Folio (DK: 65% Alpaca, 35% Rayon, 219 yards).


She inadvertently put in an extra yarnover in her Anemone Poncho and was off a stitch as a result.

It is going to be stunning in the black Artyarns Regal Silk and Artyarns Beaded Silk & Sequins Light.

For the life of me I cannot remember what Michelle was knitting.  All I can remember is the incredible story of compassion and determination that she shared with us.

Her son is a veterinary technician. While he was driving home one night, he witnessed a car hit a dog and run.  Torn at first between chasing the car or tending the animal, he turned to the dog.

He wrapped the injured dog in towels and gently laid it on the passenger seat of his car.  He drove to the nearest 24 hour Animal Hospital (not his place of employment) while comforting and patting the dog to reassure it.

The doctors at the animal hospital were able to save the dog. The dog will have 97% mobility after physical therapy.

The police were able to track down the driver and arrest him.

I had goosebumps by the end of the story. It's acts of kindness like this that restore my faith in humanity.

P.S. I asked Michelle to refresh my memory of what she was working on. She was knitting identical swatches using the English and Portuguese styles of knitting to compare.