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!

Monday, April 18, 2016

He said I could take my Knitting

I knit to keep those times when I have to sit and wait productive.  There will be a lot of that this week!

Today I am at the truck dealership! 'The Farmer' booked this appointment last week and we planned a date as it was a Monday, one of my days off.  The weather turned nice! He is out planting oats and I am here knitting and catching up. Fortunately they have a bit of Wifi I can steal!

Unfortunately I did not bring enough!

A reminder that the shop is closed April 19 and 20 as 'The Farmer' has a bit of surgery planned.  We are back 10 am on the 21st!

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

So nice I made it Thrice?

I solved 3 problems with these?

1.  I needed something mindless to do, but also wanted an bit of a challenge.

2. The pot holder, hot mat drawer in my house was filled with the most tattered looking, slightly burnt and over washed remnants of things received as Wedding Gifts! 

3. There  was that one big ball, or at least a part of a big ball of dishcloth cotton in my stash, it was either find a new home or use it soon!

I made the smaller one during. 'Father Brown' and 'Vera'.  The middle one was completed during 'Call the Midwife' and 'Grandchester'. I Finally finished the last one during a repeat of 'Miss Marple'  Needless to say they were an easy project for good tv 'busy work'

The pattern is a free one on Ravelry:

Follow the links to the video and it will give you all you need to know?

Surprised by the change of craft? I do crochet, but without much skill.  They may be a bit wonky, but they will be good replacements for those occupying space in our kitchen.

You will see by the photo there is some Alpaca to process too!  
Tonight Survivor is on, 'The Farmer' enjoys that program, so back to my usual projects!

See you soon!

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Yarn Challenge 2016 ...the entries and winners

The voting is done, the ballots were tabulated and the winners announced!

First the entries, not in any particular order:

First time entry for this knitter! Lovely sweater and wee booties!

Vintage Bear, crochet, again a new entry!

Sometimes the challenge is to use all or most of the kit to complete a single item!

This project went on holiday, bits and pieces were knit while somewhere warm and sunny and put together when she arrived home!
Another project created to use up the yarn given, a table runner ready for Easter!

This knitter had never done a project using 'Intarsia' knitting!  Time to use a new technique!

The beginnings of a larger project, we called it a runner for now! 

This is the first time in 8 challenges that 2 projects were made using the same pattern! 

It's unfortunate that the photo does not show you that there are Birds on a branch in the yoke of the dress.

3 dragons, each could be a separate entry!  Adorable!

This shawl is made as part of a Prayer Shawl Ministry, we wish the recipient comfort!

Fake Isle hat, a free pattern on Ravelry. 

The Winners!

3rd place, a lovely little vest and booties!  There is a new baby Girl born just yesterday who will look adorable in this knit by her Mom!  (Sarah you are a Mom! Congratulations!)

2nd Place, This lovely Pip blanket made by Frances!  A perfect use of the yarn and colours!

1st Place!  The Pattern is the Knitter's version of Little Cotton Rabbits!  We loved the details, there is actual knitting on the knitting needles in her Knitting bag!

Diamond Yarns, who are the makers of the Yarn we used send along a door prize.  Bonnie helped us out by picking a winner from the names of those who participated in the Challenge.  Nancy is the winner of a Knitter's   Pride interchangeable needle set! 

Thanks to everyone who participated!

The entries are tucked away and waiting to be picked up!

We look forward to Yarn Challenge 2017!

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

You be the Judge!

Yarn Challenge Entries have arrived! The window looks amazing filled with these fresh spring colours!

18 kits were purchased and 15 returned in completed projects, it's never too late to be added to the ballots.

In order to select who is deserving of the First, Second and Third place prizes we ask everyone who comes into the shop to pick their favourite projects. A complicated math algorithm is applied and we tally the ballots to choose the most deserving project!

When you vote, only one vote per person you can enter a draw for a lovely BlueQ tote.

Voting ends Saturday at noon!
See you soon!