Tag Archives: knit

We have a winner!

There were a total of 22 entries as of noon, Eastern time, today (January 1), for the giveaway of the very lovely Green Gables Knits. Continue reading

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Christmas chez Bees

Here’s what Christmas looked like where I was this year:

There was baking:

Merry Christmas

Christmas cookies! Earl grey meltaways, sugar cookies, orange chocolate chip cookies, white chocolate cranberry shortbread, orange gingersnaps, and also wee meringue peppermint drops from a Regency-era recipe.

Christmas baking

Plenty to share — which is a good thing, because our extended family exchanges food (baking, preserves, that sort of thing) for Christmas every year.

There was singing:

The Orange Peel Carollers, in a 2009 video

I sing with a group called the Orange Peel Carollers, an offshoot of my parents’ Morris dancing group, Orange Peel Morris. We sing old carols from the English village tradition, combined with old Canadian carols as well. We sang at the Fort York Frost Festival for the first time, which was a real highlight.

I also got together with other friends and carolled door-to-door, collecting for the food bank:

There’s one more festive, musical event on my Christmas calendar this year, as every year: Twelfth Night revelries in Cambridge (Ontario). There will be food, drink, carols, a mummer’s play, Morris dancing, and also Regency-style English Country Dancing. It’s always a highlight for me!

There was ice and snow:

We all got together despite the most incredible ice storm.

Ice storm

The tree outside our front door, early in the day, before the bulk of the ice had formed.

Our power was out for about 6.5 hours the day the storm hit, but thankfully it came back on before the sun went down or the house got too cold.

Laddie’s preserved rosebud

Ice-laden rosebuds — photo courtesy of my dad

There was incredible food:

Tourtiere

My father-in-law’s tourtière very nearly rivals my grandmother’s!

There was tourtière, there were TWO turkey dinners, there was peach pie and mincemeat pie and blueberry pie. There were, you know, a few cookies. There was baked french toast casserole, and bacon, and sausages. There was coffee cake for breakfast.

Poutine!

Phenomenal pub poutine — photo courtesy of my dad

There was also a wonderful pub lunch with excellent local grub!

And there was drink:

Cheers!

Cheers to family! — photo courtesy of my dad

There were hopeful dogs:

Hopeful dogs

Nike, Laney, and Tux “helping” my mother-in-law in the kitchen

There was crafting with family:

Sharpie tiles

Sharpie tiles!

Gillian suggested that we find a craft to do together one evening, so we collected ideas on Pinterest. This idea, from the Sharpie website, seemed particularly promising. We got some blank white tiles, some permanent markers, and a spray-bottle of rubbing alcohol, and went to town. You just doodle on the tile, and then spritz it or dab it or drizzle it with rubbing alcohol. Because the permanent markers are alcohol-based, the rubbing alcohol re-dissolves the pigment, and lets it redistribute on the surface of the tiles. When it evaporates, you can add more alcohol to continue messing with the design, until you’re happy with it. We also doodled on the ‘finished’ tiles with metallic pens, adding to the patterns created by the drips of alcohol. I experimented with tiles coloured with just one shade (the black and purple ones above) as well as more intricate designs, and it couldn’t be easier to get cool results! Now I just need to find some sealant to protect the final product, and maybe some silicone to make little ‘feet’ to turn these into coasters.

And of course, there was knitting!

Fingerless gloves for Gillian

Fingerless gloves for Gillian

I promised Gillian a while ago that I’d make some fingerless gloves for her, to go with the ‘Bacon cowl‘ (which I still need to blog about). I used the pattern for the awesome Rusalka gloves from Knitting New Mittens and Gloves, but omitted the fancy beaded cuff in favour of some sturdier ribbing. The main thing I like about this pattern is the very clever little chains that go between the wearer’s fingers. They’re basically crochet chains, but formed with knitting needles during the bind-off process. They mean that you can shove your hands into your pockets, or into heavier mittens, without the palm of the glove rolling down and getting all wadded up. Gillian’s actual Christmas present was a cowl, but I somehow neglected to take any photos of it. I reminded myself several times to take pictures but not post them until after the presents were opened… I’m going to have to count on Gillian to snap some photos of it in action!

Meanwhile, this super-bulky fox hood is super-adorable, eh?

Alice's hood

A fox hood for friends’ little girl

It’s meant to be big and droopy, but that does mean it’s large enough to go on an adult head too:

Mr. Bee makes a great hat model, eh?

There was also a little selfish Christmas knitting: I made an ornament for our tree, and I’m awfully pleased with how it turned out. EARTH ORNAMENT The pattern is Pale Blue Dot by Denise Powell. It’s impeccably charted! It was published in the special Festive edition of A Needle Pulling Thread, so it’s only available for purchase as part of the whole magazine. I hope this particular pattern gets wider recognition in time, because it’s absolutely exquisite. (Knitting around a solid object’s not especially fun, but it’s so worth it in this case. Besides, you knit almost 3/4 of the globe before you have to insert the ball and knit around it.)

Pale Blue Dot

Pale Blue Dot ornament

There was Netflix and a comfy couch:

Unfortunately, for the last part of our holiday, there have been fevers, aches, and hacking coughs instead of festive carols and good cheer, but at least we were warm, safe, and  comfortable, and well-supplied with leftovers.

I hope Christmas (or whatever you celebrate) has been wonderful to you and yours this year!

A reminder: you have until Wednesday (New Year’s Day) to enter to win the giveaway for Green Gables Knits! I’m LOVING all the comments that are coming in, though I’ve refrained from commenting myself so as not to cause issues with the random number generator’s comment selection.

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Announcing: Hue and Value!

I’m thrilled to announce a brand new pattern, launching today. Introducing the Hue and Value shawl!

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Filed under ColourRIOT, Design

Fluffing Awesome

My friends in the Uptownknitmob are the most incredible, generous, loving people. Also, they are ninjas. Sneaky, brilliant, awesome ninjas.

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ColourRIOT: Avoiding clown puke

colour RIOT

It’s ColourRIOT time again!

For the next post in the ColourRIOT series, I invited my friend Mandy to write about how to cope with vibrant, variegated yarn. I tend to gravitate to semi-solid, tonal yarns, myself, at least when it comes to knitting — but I have a stash of more highly variegated yarns waiting for me to figure out what to do with them. Mandy, on the other hand, has a way with those multicoloured skeins, and the persistence and curiosity to keep trying new things until she finds a pattern that works with the yarn she loves.

Mandy is an erstwhile member of my local knitting group, the Uptownknitmob, although she moved back to her hometown of Winnipeg last year. She’s also a talented designer of shawls and other accessories — and (in case that wouldn’t keep her hands busy enough) she’s the mama of three little girls, two of whom are twins born just weeks after her return to Winnipeg. I’m delighted that she was able to steal enough time during naps to share this post with us!

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Just a glimpse

I finally decided what to do with my Shalimar Breathless. The winning pattern? Not a cardigan after all (it’s a pullover), and one that hadn’t even been released when I originally planned to get started.

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Actual Knitting Content: PLATYPUS

I have been knitting the most brilliant, ingenious pattern – designed by my friend Selina Siu (Littlesplines on Ravelry). This is the kind of knitting that makes you giddy, because it’s so smart, and so simple, and yet it’s so unheard of.

platypus collage

Platypus mitts!

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Setting Colour Theory In Motion

Last year, Ruth from Rock+Purl very kindly gave me the opportunity to talk about colour on her blog. I told the story of developing cataracts, losing access to the world of colour, and then finally having the eye surgery and re-gaining that whole magical world. Recently, she invited me back to talk about colour again, but this time I wanted to help YOU unlock some of the magic.

I am reposting my entry here in all its glory… This all stemmed from a talk I did with Johanna Botari at the Kitchener-Waterloo Knitters’ Guild last autumn, and I owe thanks to Johanna for giving the talk with me, and to Angela Blackstone, the Guild’s programming coordinator, for asking us to speak! This isn’t a straight copy of that talk by any means, or even of my portion of the talk, but it’s a chance to share some of the cool resources I found while preparing for it. Continue reading

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Kiran

My friend Lindsey runs Waterloo Wools, but she’s been on maternity leave for a while. She’s re-opening the shop with a grand relaunch at the Woodstock Fleece Festival next weekend, and she asked me to knit a sample shawlette for her booth. Of course I said yes!

Kiran  1

Kiran shawlette

 Lindsey asked me to use her 100% BFL fingering-weight yarn, Tidewater, which hasn’t been a huge seller in the past — it’s a real treat to work with, but it’s less familiar than the usual yarn bases like merino-nylon sock blends or merino-cashmere-nylon luxury blends. We’re hoping that showing how the yarn looks knit up will help customers get a better sense of its possibilities.

Kiran  5

Such lovely texture!

Tidewater is a 2-ply yarn, woolen-spun, so it’s lofty and springy and a little bit nubbly. It’s scratchier and woolier than, say, a worsted-spun merino-nylon sock yarn, but it has an almost buttery hand to it — not oily or lanolin-y in the least, but surprisingly soft, even with its halo. (And, when you block it, that halo really blooms beautifully.)

Kiran  3

Just look at that halo, and those picots!

The bonus treat, for me, in knitting this sample shawl, is getting to use a pattern by one of my favourite designers, who also happens to be local, and a member of our Guild. Katherine Matthews has designed a number of beautiful shawls (as well as exquisite beaded cuffs, socks, and so on), and Kiran is her newest design. It’s exquisite!

(My favourite detail is almost accidental, but the way the two picots sit on either side of the centre spine reminds me of a swallowtail  butterfly’s ‘tail’.)

Kiran  2

Love that late-afternoon sunlight!

For the record, I knit the smallest size of the pattern (it comes in small and large versions with instructions for resizing to any size you like). I used all but about 13 yards of one skein of Tidewater to make it. Full notes are, of course, over at Ravelry.

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Oh Cecilia, you’re breaking my heart

The Cecilia cardigan I’ve been working on for my friend to wear at her wedding is done and blocked! But, like the song says, she’s shaking my confidence daily… Continue reading

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Filed under Dyeing, Knitting for Gifts