Friday, June 24, 2016

Mitred knitting, better late then never!

This is just a general mitred square knitting tutorial. I have not listed yarn or needles used as this can apply to any weight or any size of square. Use a lovely yarn and the needles that you use to get the recommended gauge on the ball band. A little looser is okay, but it's better knit with a good even texture. I also slipped the first stitch knit ways at the begining of every row, this gives a nice even edge.

First begin with a mitred square. For this project I cast on 60 stitches. Placing a marker in the center. You may want to mark the right side with a pin as it's easy to get sides confused.

Row 1
Knit to the 2 stitches before the marker, SSK, slip the marker, K2tog, knit to end. 
Row2 knit.

Continue working the decrease row on right side and knitting back on the wrong side. When only 4 stitches remain, work an SSK, remove marker, K2tog. Then knit the 2 remaining stitches together, break yarn and pull tail to finish.

Adding the second square:

With right side facing insert the tip of your needle into the stitch just bound off and pick up a stitch with a new colour of yarn. Continue to pick up stitches along the edge, I like to pick up in the garter stitch bumps, some pick up in the 'ditches' but as long as you are consistent it works. You should easily pick up 30 stitches. ( this may take a couple of tries the first few times but it's worth the effort to do this evenly) After picking up the 30 place a marker. Then using either a backwards loop or cable cast on, cast on another 30 stitches. 

Knit one row. 
With right side facing work a decrease row and alternating with a knit row make another square.

You can continue adding more squares until the strip is long enough. 

The next blog post will show you how to add more squares in other directions, but you might be able to figure it out from this?

See you soon!

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Odora KAL

I am learning to play with others!  I am a solitary knitter, I chose projects that appeal to me and sometimes they are obscure and few like them and others are some of the most popular on Ravelry.

The Doodler by Stephen West was the most popular pattern in 2016 followed closely by Baable hat. I made both, not realizing I was part of the big trend.  

In February I joined the Mystery knit a long by Alana Dakos. It was a big project and had I seen the final result I think I would have not attempted it, but I am glad I did. It was the first time I invited others to join me in the challenge, we had a small group working on the project. It was fun to see the finished projects.

During the month of May I joined the Berroco KAL, mostly because we have the yarn in stock and the project was a big garter stitch wrap!  It would make a good shop sample!  

I finished on schedule and was quite happy with the results.

The Berroco company is known for its unique designs and quality yarn. I would love to fill the shop with it but the price point is higher than most and I am faced with the ever changing Canadian dollar.  I choose the gems and Folio is by far my favourite in their current selection!

Some of you are working on the little buttons cardigan as a way to learn top down knitting. We hope to be able to show you how everyone enterprets the pattern differently.

What else could we knit together?

See you soon!

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Yarn Crawl 2016,

The yarn shops of Durham have organized a yarn crawl event and it just happens to fall on the same weekend as World Wide Knit in Public day! The crawl means that each shop will feature special events and sale for their individual shop! Each shop is independently owned and operated.  Each shop is as varied as the personalities of the proprietor! 

This year we have selected some pretty nice clearance yarn!

You can get your very own mug a few different ways this weekend! 

1. Mugs are for sale for $12.00
2. If you spend $30.00 during the yarn crawl you can purchase the mug for $6.00
3. If you spend $60.00 you get a mug for free! 

Join us Saturday as we plan to take over the sidewalk and Knit in Public! Bring your Project, a beverage and perhaps a comfy chair?  The event runs from 10 am - 3 pm! The Birch Bistro next door is prepared to serve you a lunch if needed.  There are some great shops to visit in town as well!

See you soon!

Sunday, June 12, 2016

Wrap around scarf

The Farmer had a bit of surgery. I needed a mindless project to work on while I waited.  Long rows of garter stitch was the answer.  

I chose 3 skiens of Koigu KPPPM and cast on a lot of stitches. Every few rows I wrapped the yarn around the needle and then dropped the wraps on the way back!  The results were this simple scarf.

We created kits with the three colours in the scarf, the pattern is free with the purchase of the yarn!
A nice summery scarf to add a bit of colour to a plain top.  Make it a bit wider and it makes a great squishy wrap!

I do have to add if I was only ever to knit with one yarn for the rest of my knitting life it would be Koigu KPPPM, the colours are amazing, the yarn knits beautifully and even though it is a premium yarn the knitting time it gives you is worht every penny!

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

I need a really simple baby sweater?

Sometimes when a customer arrives into the shop their question is: 'I need a really simple baby and quick baby sweater?

My go to pattern is this one:

Most of the time they choose something else.  The problem is that in the picture it looks too ordinary, too simple? They can't seem to get past the plain yarn.  Sweaters are basically only a few basic shapes: boxy pullover, dropped sleeves, raglan sleeves, v-neck cardigan you get my drift? Once you choose the shape then the yarn does most of the work.  Sure there are patterns with cables and lace but we are doing and easy first time sweater!

I like this version as it can be worked completely with one knitting needle.  There is a bit of sewing up for the sleeves but that's not difficult, babies have little arms!  

To prove that this looks great in a really nice yarn I made one over the weekend.  There was one lonely ball of Madelintosh DK left in the sale bin.  One ball with a bit of tweeking of the pattern made the first size.  After making a few you can adjust things a bit.

The collar and yoke are knit first.

Then sleeves are added:

and then all the remaining stitches are joined together and the body is knit until it's long enough or you run out of yarn!

Time for a bit of a bath, choose 3 buttons and in less then a week you could have a sweater to fit that special newborn in your life!

There are some great patterns out there, simple but they have great 'bones'.  Choosing a great yarn makes them shine.

Let's have a bit of a discussion about using good yarn. Using good yarn makes a good sweater. Poor quality yarn will never make an outstanding garment.  Crap in crap out! I spent about 10 hours making this sweater.  10 hours of pure smooth knitting, watching the colours do their thing and after I was done I have this one of a kind gift!   I could have used a cheap acrylic, spent hours knitting with it and I have a cheap acrylic sweater at the end of all my work!

Not everyone can afford to knit with Madelinetosh, but there are many great blends out there that are worth investigating.  

If you would like to join us in a knit a long for this sweater,  it begins June 1st.  I will go slower the next time!  The pattern is available in the shop as a printed copy, but you can download the pattern from Ravelry, but it is in US funds.

See you soon,

Monday, April 25, 2016

Family time!

Our family has had a hectic week! 

'The Farmer' had shoulder surgery. He is at home recovering.  This meant that both 'The Girl' and 'The Boy' came home for the weekend.  It was nice to have everyone all under one roof!  

We also got to celebrate 'The Boy's' birthday.  Today he turns 26! We are proud of the things he has been able to accomplish and because he is a true genetic copy of 'The Farmer' he is helpful, clever and hard working!

If you come to the shop you will see some of his handiwork.  When he has time he ha been creating a variety of metal sheep.  The current version require needle felted fleece! I got a bet behind in the production so he sat down and finished a few himself!

Happy Birthday my Boy!

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

I took some knitting!

Yesterday was surgery day! 'The Farmer's'injury was almost a year ago, by the time he realized that it wasn't going to get better it was July, then the ultra sound was booked. It confirmed there was a tear in the shoulder tendon.  A letter to the surgeon was sent, the appointment booked and then we waited. 

Timing isn't perfect, especially during spring planting for a Farmer.  There have been offers of help and he does have partners so things will get done without him.  

We were pleased when we were told that the surgeon works out of our local hospital.  It meant I could drop him off and head home to wait.  

Today we are home, both kinda tired as sleeping was difficult last night.  So we are both recovering!

Another day for the shop to be closed.  There will be appointments so there may be other days that we may need to close.

Why close, why not just have others fill in? 

1. Closing means there will be no phone calls and questions that only I can answer.
2. There currently isn't enough staff to completely fill in full days.  (Moms with school aged kids need to think about their families first!)
3.When you come to our shop I want staff that can answer every question about yarn, gauge, yardage, needles, washing instructions.  (We are not a big box store, we are a full service shop!)
4. It's a Yarn Shop, you more than likely have something in time out you could be working on until I get back.

See you tomorrow!