Saturday, August 22, 2015

Growing up!

Sometimes, well most of the time,  I wonder where the time is going.  The summer is flying by and we are having fun watching a puppy turn into a full grown dog in just a matter of weeks. It's forcing me to,be vigilant about my knitting and my shoes!  

Then I remind myself that the shop will be 7 years old this year and  tomorrow 'The Girl' celebrates her birthday! She is now 1/2 my age, yet it seems like just weeks since she was just a little girl.  'The Farmer' and I have loved watching her grow and learn and become a capable human being.  As our first born she taught us about patience, smiling and letting go of the small things!

Happy Birthday dearie!

Friday, August 7, 2015

It's a Small World!

Isn't it interesting how small the world seems to be getting.  Technology lets us interact with anyone on the planet.  'The Girl' is visiting friends in Western Canada, turns out one of the cousins has worked one of with her cousins here in Ontario?

In January I went to the Gift Show, trying to find new products to help round out the selection of the shop.  At the farthest part of the building, there was a booth filled with Felted Products from Nepal.  I was chatting with the owner, who in a way resembled me.  Long dark, slightly graying hair.  She spoke with an accent which didn't fit with the fact the she lives in Australia.  Turns out she is Dutch, born in a village not to far from where most of my relatives live.

Here we were in a building in Toronto, both from the same region in The Netherlands a chance meeting?  The 2 of us were speaking of our love of wool, colour and fair trade products.  If I was Anne Shirley I would have called us kindred spirits.

We built a lovely order, and after a couple of months the products arrived.  Felted fabrics, pom poms, flower shapes and interesting silk yarns and handmade felt birds and bird houses. 

The products are handmade in Nepal.  The tragedy of all this is that although the factory survived the earthquake in May but  40 of the employees have lost their homes, everything really.

The company has set up an account to help raise funds to help their employees re build.  During the summer I would like to provide a space to help these people directly.

Next weekend August 15 th is Bluesfest in Bowmanville.  We will have a bit of a fundraiser for the families that lost there homes.  Sort of a yarn sale, but it will be from personal stash.  If you would like to participate please contact the shop.

More details to follow very soon.

This week we received the first of many shipments to come for fall and winter!

One in particular features Canadian made goods, 100% wool.

I love the thrummed mitts!

I am at the car dealership again, stealing the internet again. The Internet at home is...well you know, so here I sit and wait and catch up.

See you soon!

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Way Back Wednesday 5

There are no words, we have come a long way!

See you Soon

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Way Back Wednesday 4

We are lucky today.  We get to knit because we want to be creative, use great yarn and fibres and colours.  There was a time when knitting was part of your job as a homemaker or a member of the family.  You were required to knit to keep your family warm!

Sometimes they attempted designs that replicated the current fashion, did they succeed in making knitting fashionable?

See you soon!
Create something, beautiful?

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Well, that was fun!

Late on a Saturday, I was heading out of the shop and just happen to glance at the sale buckets! There looking rather shop worn were a few balls of Berroco Quasar.  It is a lovely pure Peruvian Wool, lightly plied and with a long colour run. Instantly I thought of a project.  Just what I needed, a project to take with us on holidays as I was really only working on 3 already!  This would be my just in case I run out of knitting project!

It took most of Sunday to pack up and head out, with all my knitting with in arms reach in the truck we left the Farm! I was so inspired with working with the yarn I pulled out the needles and began right away.  By the time we reached our destination I was well into the project.  

I had only taken 2 balls with me hoping it would finish the project but I needed a full ball and about 20 yards of the fourth! Mostly because I decided to attatch the handles right onto the bag, instead of making an I-cord strand to attatch later.

I threw it into the washing machine, front loader, quick wash, medium speed, hot water.  It went through the cycle twice.  It may have needed a bit more felting but I didn't want to risk over doing it the machine and was not prepared to finish it by hand.  

I think it turned out pretty well. It's a pattern I developed using various elements in other felted bag projects available on line.  
It was so much fun! I am making another with the leftover yarn from the sale bin.  Just to make a few notes and develop the pattern.

See you soon!


Friday, July 3, 2015

BFL Love!

When you own a Yarn Shop it's hard to play favourites! There so many beautiful fibres and yarns.  Then there is the whole colour thing! Companies like Koigu, Madelinetosh, Sweetgeorgia and Fleece Artist do colours so well! It's hard to have a single favourite.

This weeks favourite yarn is BFL 2/8 from Fleece Artist. I have used this before in a shawl I made last summer.  There were a few skeins of a rather dull looking colour way that just needed a sample to show off its true beauty?  Pursuing Ravelry I found a pattern actually designed for the yarn.

Mairi has and interesting construction as you actually begin the shawl by making the border first and then pick up the stitches along the edge and knit the body of the shawl last, decreasing until only 5 stitches remain.  

I have to admit the lace pattern completely stumped me sometimes, it got to the point that I threw a lifeline in at the end of every repeat. It's not that it was difficult. It's just that because the lace is all garter stitch it was hard to read the design, following the written instructions exactly was important.  I am not good at keeping notes, a pencil and paper, a row counter one of those clicky counter things could be a great help. Many times I would begin the pattern determined to remember which row that I just finished only to be distracted and loose my place, but I persevered and once the border was complete the shawl was a pretty quick knit!

It's lovely and squishy and super soft!  I know just who will make good use of this once I decide that it's time in the shop is finished!

It took just about the whole skein of yarn almost 500 meters and at $24 for the skein an affordable luxury!

See you Soon!

Way back Wednesday 3

This weeks post is a bit late, we had a few days away!

Remember the eighties? There were a more than just a few really awful trends!  

These were pretty tame compared to some I found in the stack of old pattern books I have been accumulating.

I remember helping customers with our own variation of the pink vest.  The one we did used 2 balls of a mohair blend and a pair of 000 or 10 mm needles! Turns out my friend Julie, who I met 20 years ago, remembers going into Rickaby's and purchasing the yarn to many of those vests.   I probably helped her at least one of the times, we were both a lot younger then.

What does the Yarn shop owner do on vacation?

I started a new project!  

You know how when you pack your knitting and you take as many projects you think you can finish and then you add 'a just in case' project? What did I do? Started that one instead, leaving the others to be finished when we got home!

See you soon!