Sunday, October 20, 2013

Mashed potatoes

Today is Sunday and a day after Bowmanville's Apple festival and craft sale.  Despite the weather, yes it rained most of the day, we had a very busy day.  At the end of the day I was exhausted and was looking forward to a quiet weekend at home.    The problem I had was that I really wanted to knit, knit something easy, something new something that was like comfort food when you are not feeling well.  My body was exhausted but my brain was still busy with all the day's events.  

I needed to make something that was like a bowl of mashed potatoes when you are in need of some comfort food.

What did I choose? Socks, plain old 4 needle, top down socks! Not magic loop, not two at a time and not certainly not toe up! Something I have made many times! I chose pretty sock yarn that for some reason reminds me of my Maternal Grandmother.  

The pattern is my favourite written by the 'Yarn Harlot', I have made more than a dozen pairs using her well written recipe.

I also had a rather large helping of mashed potatoes for supper last night!

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Appe Festival

This is one of my favourite Downtown events.

Bowmanville's Apple Festival and Craft Sale has been a popular event attracting people from all over the area;  not just visitors but vendors who scramble to get tables to show off their handmade merchandise.  The Downtown merchants use this event to either promote new lines or perhaps discount some of the previous years inventory.  We do a little of both!
An exciting addition to the event is a Food drive where we will fill James Printing and Signs huge trailer.  Let's see if we can fill it so full, that they will have trouble driving the trailer to the Food Bank!

We are accepting food and cash donations at the shop this week, if you bring in something or make a small donation you can fill in a ballot and enter a draw for a Namaste Messenger Bag.
The draw takes place on Saturday at 3 pm!

Visit us this week at we are marking down the clearance yarn and have new Classes posted for November!

See you Soon!

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Days Off!

As many of you know my better half is a full time Farmer, known here as 'The Farmer'.  Days for him are early and long.  He leaves the house in the morning about 5:30, milks 50 something cows and spend the next 6 or 7 hours working on crops or repairing machinery  then goes back and milks the 50 cows again, coming home at about 7 pm these days.  He does this for 20 days and then has a day to himself,  or for the jobs at home.

Sunday was his day off, we had planned to sneak in another camping overnight, but the forecast of rain just didn't seem to make a one night stay feasible.
What to do?  We went to see how they did his job 75 years ago at Lang Pioneer Village, just outside Keene.
 There was some Threshing.
 There were a few guys doing blacksmith work.
The highlight for me was the Jacquard Loom.  They have built a new exhibit that when done will demonstrate how this amazing loom would have worked 100 years ago.  (The first computer card system was inspired by the technology used in this loom, as the threads are either up or down, 1's or 0's)

We spent the day wandering the grounds meeting  many lovely volunteers and had apple pie for lunch!

I brought home a souvenir:

I am not sure what I will do with this lovely yarn,  someone in Ontario raised the sheep, someone else sheared the sheep, then the fiber was sorted, cleaned, carded, spun and they dyed it (with natural dyes) and I bought it for $7!

Thank-you to those who work hard to provide us with all that we take for granted.

Happy Thanksgiving Weekend.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

When queues collide!

Sometimes projects just come out of nowhere .  This shawl began much like the 'Accidental sweater' I made this past winter.  I was perusing Ravelry and came upon a photo of a 'Daybreak' Shawl by Steven West it inspired me to do this sample!

Knitters  have 2 'queues', 2 lists for knitting; one is for the patterns they want to make and another for yarn or fibre that they want to use.   There are some Ravelry members that list the items they would like to knit in their 'queues', when you lurk on someone's page you may be surprised how many items are in their profile!  I will never totally divulge my list, it changes almost daily.

Sometimes the queues collide!  The perfect yarn, or combination of yarns with the right pattern.  Just like the Accidental Sweater this shawl gave me another excuse to knit with a favourite yarn.  

I found the design on a Friday and assembled all the ingredients  Saturday. Going through my needles I found that every 3.5 mm needle was currently occupied. I spied the Knitter's Pride Dreamz circular that came in a needle tasting kit I received during the summer, but it was only 60 cm  long.  I decided to start with the short needle anyway and figure out something else when I ran out of room on the needle.  

When I make a shop sample I try to stay as close to the pattern as I can, that way I don't have to bore you with the details on how I changed the design.  My main concern was that I would run out of the Noro Silk Garden before I completed the project.  I knit faster, it really helps.  The shawl increased, the yarn decreased and the 60 cm needle was absolutely filled with stitches!  

Not only did the needle hold the 400 plus stitches I was impressed at the way it performed.  For a wooden needle the point was very sharp, the stitches moved easily over the join and it was very lightweight.  I am not sure it would work for a very lacey pattern, but in this case it was perfect.

I did actually run out of yarn during the bind off, I had to pick back most of the stretchy bind off I like to use and do a modified version.  If you choose the same yarn you may want to adjust the pattern slightly to avoid this.  After the second attempt casting off stitches 30 cm of yarn remained!

If you read this before Wednesday October 2nd and would like to join us for a Yarn Tasting, contact the shop for more information.  ( 7 pm - 9pm, but you must reserve a spot $15.)

We have some exciting news about new knitting events coming, check the website pages for more information.

See You Soon.