Friday, April 30, 2010

Early Spring!

Spring has arrived early to Southern Ontario, sorry guys in western Canada, we are having a great spring! The only problem is that everything will be early, so instead of a relaxing spring season things are still rushed as it means everything is pushed forward. Planting has to be done when the weather is good, because before we know it the hay will be ready to come off.

Just before closing I got a call that it would be nice if I could come and pick up someone on my way home. The fact that I had to drive 15 minutes in the other direction to get there was not relevant. When I arrived another call to say: "Would you mind waiting until I finished this part?"" Of course not!...I brought my knitting".

Classic Elite Summer Sox, a Cookie A pattern.
Needless to say, supper was very late.
May 1st is tomorrow, the earliest possible date for Bowmanville's Maplefest! Come and enjoy the syrupy goodness that comes from this annual event.
We have some great buys on yarn and my 'spinning' friends are coming to demonstrate how to create your own yarn! (Secretly I think it's their attempt to try to bring me over to their secret society...its tempting!)
(It's a small world, thanks to Kathy's husband, we were able to 'borrow' the tractor as ours was in to be repaired!..It was greatly appreciated!)

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Monday is for...

The Girl is home, we decided a road trip was in order. Since she works part time at a bead shop, I decided to use her expertise and we visited a bead warehouse! We came home with some basic supplies, not too much, just some beads for doing lace weight stuff and a few 'findings'.

On the way I dragged her into one of my suppliers. I wanted to pick up some yarn to make 'Helmet Liners'. The pattern was created using Cascade 220, although the Shepherd Classic Wool works just as well.

Cascade 220 is a very nice yarn, loads of colours and 100% wool. Felts well which is code for 'hand wash, dry flat'. This yarn has been on my wish list for yarn for a while now and I am slowly building up some colours. (So far 12, I was overcome by yarn fumes and couldn't concentrate! do you pick from 100 plus colours!)

To make room I am putting the remaining stock of Tempo worsted on sale for $3.00 for 100 grams. (Regularly $5.49)

This weekend is Maplefest...Saturday the downtown will be a busy place.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Must be Spring!

Signs of spring are everywhere, perennials and weeds are popping up out of the ground. My Husband is spending way too much time behind the wheel of the tractor again. The Girl has finished another year of University. She graduates this year, but has decided to go back and take another course more suited to her interests. She is home for a week and then goes back for another summer at her really interesting job.

The Boy is back to work, doing landscaping; between the 4 of us we are working almost 200 hours a week! (we are tired!)

If we look a bit weary you can understand.

It's time for some Spring Cleaning! I have been wandering around the shop looking for space for some new yarns. The only way to make room quickly is to have a Clean-up! Watch for more details as we decide what needs to go out!

Maplefest is next weekend, but why wait for next Saturday to grab some of the goodies, regular blog readers are the first to know about the specials!

Those on Ravelry will get a heads up later in the week!

Come next week, check out some great yarn at good prices, when it's gone, it's gone!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

A little bit of warmth from loving, caring people

This is a quote from some correspondence between two of the organizers of a charity drive to provide Helmet Liners for the 4000 Canadian Soldiers that will be away from home at Christmas.

Helmet Liners? Why? Some places in the world helmet liners made from wool would be completely out of the question. Yet other areas they would be appreciated. Helmet liners are small, light and every soldier wears a helmet. They can be used by men and women and head sizes are relatively the same.

If you would like to knit one or a few we could use your help. There are specific requirements to meet some of the standards required by the military. They must be made from 100% wool. (wool is naturally flame retardant) They must also be made with colours that would be 'camouflage' friendly. Dull browns, golds, greens, gray and black.

The patten is available at the Estelle Yarn web site, and at the shop. Thanks to James Publishing for printing some copies for us.

Come into the shop for more details. (I have selected some colours suitable to use for helmets and it is priced so that each helmet will cost $5.00 for the yarn.)

This is a good thing, I hope to be able to send 100 by August 20th!

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Two pairs in Two Days!

I finished 2 pairs of socks in 2 days! Amazing isn't it!

I started one pair over a year ago, actually the second sock has taken me just over a year. The other pair a little quicker just over a month!

Back to the other 5 or 6 things I am working on!

Does this mean I get to start 2 more new things?

Have a great weekend...See You Tuesday.

(Waiting for a Parcel from Namaste...lovely bags and more buddy cases, they have been in Canada customs for the past 5 days! ;(

Thursday, April 15, 2010

You can...

teach this old dog a new trick!

Today, Thursday, is my first drop-in sock class. To prepare I thought it might be nice to learn a new trick or two. My plan was to do the new pattern Skew, but instead of being top down on two circulars it is toe up. That was just way too many changes for this old dog!

I started knitting socks about 3 years ago and I have always done a top down basic sock with a heel flap on 5 needles. (the 5 needles was the most radical for those established knitters that only knit with 4 double pointed needles)

I have knit a few patterned socks, but I find that when I knit socks I like the fact that they just go round and round, very meditative.

Instead of jumping in with a toe up on 2 circular needles I opted to do my basic sock on 2 circulars. You know its not that different from the double points. May be the next pair will be toe up.More meditative knitting. This is a summer scarf/shawl made from a new yarn by Noro. Sekku is cotton, wool, nylon and silk. A typical Noro yarn with a wonderful colour palette and lots of slubs and texture. This will take 2 50 gram balls that's over 800 meters of work done on 3mm needles. I am just over the 1/2 way mark.

Both projects are perfect summer travelling knitting. Today southern Ontario is will reach 21 degrees. We have relatives that live in Southern Alberta.....they are digging out from this. I guess its no time to complain about the seasonal allergies that are bothering me this week!

See you soon!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Way too much fun!

I am still recovering from last Thursday! First my friend Kathy came in a wanted to pick up some yarn for a scarf, that turned into a quick lesson on how to make cables. She was nicely knitting and we were catching up. Then Sue showed up. Well, the two of them were like old friends chatting and laughing for the next couple of hours. We had a lovely afternoon with the impromptu sit and knit!

This is my lesson on learning cables:

Find this pattern: Irish Hiking Scarf , find yarn and needles. Kathy chose some Sirdar Baby Bamboo in bright red.

I handed her the pattern and appropriate needles and say:
"Okay now just do what it says!"

She proceeds to knit, a quick lesson on how to 'read your knitting', a little more knitting. "I am up to row 8 now what?"

Hand her a cable needle and I say: "Do what it says!"

She completes row 8, "That's it, that's all there is to a cable?" she questions.

"Yup, that's it!" I respond, "Aren't I just the best teacher!"

She proceeds to do 2 more cable rows.

We felt is was worth the goofy picture, she is way less animated in real life! (not really)
Kathy left to pick up her child and do mom stuff and Sue decided it was time she went back to the real world.
Later a gentleman came into the shop and wanted a needle and thread to repair his golf bag. I suggested that he go up to the fabric shop and they could help him, as he is leaving he says: "This is the first time I've been in a yarn shop."
My reply: "It's not too scarey?"
"Nope, kinda nice!" and he leaves.

Thursdays have now become a drop in Sock class, 1pm to 3 ish. Right now just a basic top down sock, basic heel flap. (because that's all I do, right now.)

If you would like to join us on Thursday afternoons contact the shop. ($5.00 a session plus materials purchased at Soper Creek Yarn)

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Farm Connections

Last night was a night out for me! I was asked to volunteer as a tour guide for Durham Farm Connections. This event is a way to promote agricultural awareness for Durham Region. (Agriculture is the 2nd largest industry within Durham Region)
I am proud to be associated with this event, even in my very small way. This year The Boy was one of the presenters at one of the morning sessions. What amazed him was the fact that many people do not know where their food comes from or how it is produced. (One grade three student was completely surprised that potatoes and peanuts grew in the get food from the grocery store!) Visit local farmer's markets this summer and speak to the producers of the food you eat, they are wonderful community people.

While I was there I took in the Sheep Shearing demonstration. Rebecca described the process while Brad wrangled the ewe into position. Canadian Sheep Farmers don't raise sheep for the Wool they create, it's coarse and itchy! The fleece is used by industry to create felt, carpeting and other industrial goods. Some specific sheep are raised by small operations for their fine fleece, but it's not a profitable industry. Part of the reason that I justify this decision to open the shop, is that in a way I am still promoting agriculture. Any fibre that is natural, is grown by a Farmer, most of them are family run operations who support the local community with jobs, food and currency. (I'll get off my Soap Box now!)
Then I spent some time with my Spinning friends who were giving a demonstration. Every time I see them in action I think I should try spinning, and then I come to my senses! I would rather just work with the Yarn.
While watching a spinning demonstration you should always check out the spinner's footwear!
This foot belongs to Gwen, the socks are a new pattern developed by a knitter with 2 Degrees in Mathematics. They are on my to do list!
Okay now to the good stuff, this weekend is the Beginning of my Spring Cleaning Event! Starting Saturday a whole new batch of Yarn is on sale. This is stock that I would like to see gone, great yarn that you will love. Regia Sock yarn (Selected colours), Freedom Spirit, Gorgeous DK, some colours of Shepherd Classic wool! All at least 30% off! More Yarn has been added to the $2.95 each or 10/$25 bin.
See You Soon!

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Here we go again!

It's back, the Durham Yarn Crawl.

5 Great Independent shops all offering specials for one day!

Load up the car, its too early to get into the garden anyway and find some great deals on yarns and meet some lovely women who inspire you to create!

Included are On the Lamb in Uxbridge, Never Enough Wool in Port Perry, Kniterary in Whitby and Myrtle Station Wool in Myrtle.

I haven't figured out what the specials for the shop will be, there are some things that need to be reduced and odds and ends of sock yarn that I would like to see out the door. I am thinking of Spring Cleaning!

More details later this week!

Load up the car and plan a day out with your friends. There are great shops here in Bowmanville stay for lunch at Roses, visit Ellen at the Potting Bench, a couple of Antique places just up the Street, of course the Glass Slipper for shoes, the Quilter's Boutique and Gather (ladies and children's clothing) is a 5 minute walk. Lots to do and see!

Should be fun! Wish I could go, but I am working!

Thursday, April 1, 2010

And Finally the winning entries

The second place winner of the Yarn Challenge were these socks created by the Grand Prize winner from Last year's Competion. She is one of the three sisters who enjoy being rivals in anything they do! Great work!This year's Winning Entry was made by Gwen, a knitter, spinner, graphic artist. The details are extroidinary. Some of the added colours were leftovers from last year's Challenge!

During the time that these were in the Window display at the Shop there was great interest in all the entries. The Winners were choosen by ballots entered by customers and visitors to the shop during the 2 weeks the entries were on display. (I could never have choosen just one winner!)
Thanks to Mission Falls providing some of the yarn for this event!

Thank-you to all who participated. We will do this again next February...wonder what colours I will use then?

Happy Easter everyone!

Bag Ladies

The creator of this bag, used all the Wool that was included in the kit, but added a selection of the 1824 Cotton. She learned a lot through this challenge, checking gauge and the joys of "I cord".
This knitter was intent on making an assortment of Booties. The one on the left is her first attempt, then she added beads to the second and the resulting boot on the right is perfect! She started with a leather sole and knit up, including beads and colours. Life got in the way, so the night before she delivered these to the shop she created the bag below. Again another prototype of a future design. Knitter's are definitely creative!

I am getting to the end of the entries...

Just a few more...

These mitts were made well before the contest entries were to be handed in but the knitter's grandson liked them so much they had to be worn a few times before they were into the shop.
This sweater was going to have some very 'interesting' buttons (not that these aren't) but the knitter opted for the more 'user friendly' ones to keep the recipients mom/dad happy!
The Teapot cosy was created by one of three sisters who had their own mini competition within the Challenge. (Unfortunately for her the other sisters received more votes!) I love the colour, perfect for tea!