Knit Stitch

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Saturday 18/07/15

Well there’s no question that summer is here today!  I am not, and have never been, a hot weather kind of person, and this humidity causes my brain to turn off… so I’m glad I’m not operating any heavy equipment today!

Here’s where I’m at with my Lucinda.  It’s actually the perfect thing to knit on days like this, as the pattern is so wonderfully uncomplicated.  I think I have another inch or two before I start the armhole shaping.

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Some quick randoms:

One of my favourite movies of all time is The Princess Bride, so I can’t wait to read this behind the scene account of the filming by Cary Elwes who played Westley.  He narrates the audiobook version which I bet would be huge fun to listen to!

Although I don’t think I’ll be cooking much this weekend, I can’t wait to try this Tomato Cobbler with Blue Cheese Biscuits.

And speaking of not cooking, I discovered Raw Juice Co the other day… I had thought (incorrectly) that it was just a juice bar, but they have some yummy sounding offerings.  I love the vibe and the Pilot coffee is wonderful.  It’s right across from the Landon library on Wortley Rd.

And speaking of Wortley Road, the Square Foot Show is on at the Westland Gallery.  I love my little sheep painting that I got at the show 2 years ago when I had just moved to London.

This article about the resurgence in embroidery  has me excited to try some hand stitching, which I think would be perfect for this hot weather.

Happy Saturday!

S.

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Lovely linen stitch

I don’t know about anyone else but the arrival of summer has definitely shifted my habits a bit.  I seem to wake up earlier and have constant evolving lists of what I want to read and cook and sew and knit and learn… so it was no surprise that yesterday I decided to start another project!

I am a huge fan of Creativebug, which anyone interested in crafting needs to know about.  My monthly subscription fee is $6.30 and the list of instructors is absolutely amazing… Natalie Chanin, Lizzy House, Cal Patch, Amy Butler, the wonderful Fancy Tiger duo… the list goes on and on!

Anyway, yesterday I was looking at the tutorial on Tapestry Weaving , my most recent craft discovery, and then my eye was caught by the Linen Stitch Glasses Case .  I really love linen stitch and it felt the perfect project to try out the new Madelinetosh Twist Light.

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While I was knitting, I watched another fantastic tutorial, Embroidery Sampler with the uber talented Rebecca Ringquist… If you want to be inspired, check out her blog Dropcloth Samplers .  I have a couple of her samplers in a box at home, and I think it might be time to get them out!  The Workroom in Toronto has just started carrying the patterns as well as her new book.  Yay!

Happy Stitching!

S.

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July!

I don’t know about you but having a day off in the middle of the week has kind of thrown me off!  It was a wonderful day of puttering and hanging with Buster and casting on… but now I keep forgetting what day it is!  Which is probably as low level a problem as one could have I suppose…

Anyway, it’s July!  And as I’ve mentioned July 1st was the start of the Lucinda knit along.  You just have to feel how stunningly soft the Acadia is and there’s something calm about the colours.  This sweater is going to be a real joy to make, and wear I’m sure.  It’s a DK weight and for sure I’ll be making some smaller pieces with it in the fall.   If you want a treat do come and give it a squeeze!

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And speaking of treats, the new Madelinetosh Twist Light is as gorgeous as expected.  I’d love to do a side by side comparison, but there doesn’t seem to be any reduction in softness by the addition of nylon, so it really is perfect for socks and sweaters and anything needing a bit of extra strength.  I find choosing colours of Madelinetosh a bit challenging… I mean, really they’re all beautiful aren’t they?!… but I do think I ended up getting a very lovely selection.

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On the random front, I started listening to the audiobook of  “Better than Before” by Gretchen Rubin  during my drives to Toronto the last few weeks.  If you’re interested in how to form positive habits she’s got some good ideas.  I may have to buy the book for a second read.

Here’s a terrific post about yarn substitutions  from Sweet Georgia Yarns.

Here’s a really yummy recipe for Strawberry Lemonade that is absolutely perfect for July.

Happy July everyone.  Have a great weekend!

S.

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Hello Again!

Where have the last few weeks gone?!  I’ve fallen out of my blogging groove, but here we go!

I LOVED the tapestry weaving class that I took at The Workroom.   I don’t love my first creation but that’s ok…. mainly it’s my colour choices that bump for me, and it looks a bit busy, but for a first piece I’m thrilled!  The interesting thing about this kind of weaving is that it feels like you can make something very beautiful even as a complete novice.  The techniques aren’t hugely complicated and you don’t need a high level of fine motor skill to get going.  I’ve found myself looking at yarns differently than how I view them when thinking of knitting.  It’s a whole other world to explore which isn’t really what I need, but I might not be able to resist!

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I felt like a very simple knitting project, so I’ve started this Hudson’s Bay inspired blanket.   I’m using Rowan Pure Wool Worsted which has the perfect colours for the job, and the acres of garter stitch are just what I wanted.  I think this would be a lovely, classic, unisex blanket for a baby gift, and I’ll put together some kits for the shop.

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I’m going to keep knitting the blanket until the arrival of a shipment of the gorgeous Acadia from the Fibre Company.  There is an Instagram knit along being organized by Fancy Tiger Crafts, Kelbourne Fibres and Grainline Studio to knit the beautiful Lucinda Sweater by Carrie Bostick Hoge and I’ve decided to get onboard.  Here’s a post from Kelbourne  and one from Fancy Tiger Crafts  which lay out the details.  I love the loose, comfy looking sweater design and it does look like a perfect pattern for a summer knit where you end up picking up and putting down projects more than  usual.  The KAL starts on July 1, so I’ve got my fingers crossed that the yarn shipment will arrive on Tuesday….

On the random front, here’s a terrific article on tapestry weaving from the Toronto Star.

I’ve had this yummy looking tomato vodka pasta recipe bookmarked for ages and it feels like tonight will be perfect for a comforting, rich pasta dinner!  One of my favourite former colleagues was a HUGE fan of all things Ina Garten, so I’ll think of him tonight!

I’ve never made pickles, but I think I’m going to make a batch of these easy bread and butter pickles as a project Wednesday.   I wonder what’s the history of the name “bread and butter pickles”?

A lovely shipment of Madelinetosh Merino Light and Tosh DK arrived last week, and Vintage and the new Twist Light should be here sometime next week… Woo hoo!!!  Come check out the new colours if you share my intense love of all things Madelinetosh!

A quick note, the next brunch at Edgar and Joe’s will be Sunday July 12.  I’ll send out a mention closer to the date, but if you’re so inclined, mark your calendar.  We usually gather at 10am and people start of head out between 11:30 and noon.  It’s turned into a really nice gathering so I’m looking forward to the next one.

And on the holiday front, the shop will be closed on Wednesday for Canada Day.

Take care everyone!

S.

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My first knitted bag

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This will be a quick one… where do the days go?!!

My knitting for the week was focused on this shopping bag… it’s a super straightforward pattern called Ilene that’s free on Ravelry.  It took a good part of two balls of Elsebeth Lavold Hempathy.  I have to admit I cast on mainly with the view to trying the yarn, but I very quickly fell in love with the whole project… which feels a bit weird, as who would love a stringy  shopping tote?… but I really do!  I can’t even really tell you what specifically it is that I love… I love the way it stretched way out when I filled it with dryer balls from Ziraldo Alpacas (if you haven’t tried Debbie’s wonderful dryer balls you really should!)… I love the functionality… I love the airy weight of it… I love the colour… I loved the simple repeat pattern… really it’s just love all around!

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On the sweater front, my next one is going to be Lucinda by Carrie Bostick Hoge  as part of a knit along being organized by Kelbourne Woolens, Fancy Tiger Crafts and Grainline Studios.  Here’s a post from Kelbourne Woolens that gives the details.   I’m placing a special order of the Acadia yarn that the sweater calls for, so if you’re interested in joining let me know by Thursday.  I’m offering a 15% discount on the price of the yarn for those participating.  The knit along runs from July 1 to August 15.  I’ve not worked with the Acadia before but I love the colours, and given my past experience with their Savannah and Road to China, I’m sure it’s going to be absolutely gorgeous.

S.

 

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Small Projects & 11/06/2015

Since I’m late with my post on knitting this week, I thought I’d combine it with the Friday random musings.

On the knitting front, I’m still on a sweater break until I decide what I want to make next… so in the meantime I’m having fun making small projects like the cowl from last week.

I’ve finished my toe up sock and I LOVE the Cascade Heritage sock yarn.  I’ve said it elsewhere, but it’s super soft yet strong and the colours are lovely.  So I’m doing well with my goal of a pair each of toe up and top down socks over the summer… how’s everyone else doing?

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I wanted to try the Hempathy from Elsebeth Lavold  and I’m well into an Ilene Bag which seems the perfect pattern for it.  I’ve never knit with hemp or linen before and I was expecting it to feel stiff, but this has actually been a really nice experience.  This has been another fun, small project which won’t take a huge chunk of time to finish.

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On the random side, I had a truly wonderful day last Saturday in Toronto.  Firstly, the bar mitzvah was a lovely event and I got to see several friends from my old tv days.  The bar mitzvah boy was beaming, and one of his friends told a story about Elliott making all his teammates say thank you to their waitress when they were on a road trip, which just sums up the kind of person Elliott is.  Mazel Tov!

I also got to spend some wonderful sewing and hanging time with a bunch of talented sewing friends.  I think I’ve mentioned before, but I LOVE The Great British Bake Off and The Great British Sewing Bee, both of which you can find on YouTube…. and on top of the baking and sewing what I really love is the sense of camaraderie among the participants… there is something so indescribably special about spending time with people who share your passion, be it knitting or baking or sewing or whatever gets you excited!

And speaking of creative community, I’m thrilled to be taking Intro to Tapestry Weaving at the Workroom starting next Friday.  I’ve been seeing these gorgeous wall hangings on my Instagram and Pinterest feeds so I can’t wait to give it a try!

I was sent a flyer for the Alzheimer Society’s Purls of Wisdom program.  It’s the 4th Wednesday of the month from 2 to 3:00pm at the Salvation Army at 1340 Dundas Street.  It’s meant for anyone in early to middle stages of dementia and is an opportunity for them and their caregivers to experience the therapeutic benefits of knitting.  If you’re interested and need more information send me an email and I can send you the flyer on the program.

I have a pretty great family and one of the most impressive members is my cousin Meg who works for Unicef and is working on their High Five to Save Kid’s Lives program.  Check out the video and send in your $5 donation if you can.

If you haven’t seen Borgen, the Danish drama series about their parliament and the first woman Prime Minister you’re in for a treat!  TVO is showing the series on Sunday nights at 9pm and again on Tuesdays at 10pm.  We’re all so cynical about politics these days but apparently the series caused a resurgence in voter engagement in Denmark.  I know I’m biased but I LOVE seeing Copenhagen which is one of the most beautiful cities in the world.   My Mom says there’s lots of swearing in the series but I’ll have to take her word for it…

This Sunday is the next Knit/Crochet brunch at Edgar and Joe’s., 10am at 255 Horton Street (south side of Horton, just west of Wellington), parking at the back.  Hope to see you there!

Suzanne

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Friday 05/06/2015

Very quick post as I try to get organized to close up for the week.  Hopefully I’ve spread the word, but a reminder that the shop will be closed for the day tomorrow, Saturday June 6, as I go to Toronto to attend the bar mitzvah of the son of some dear friends.  I’ve only been to one other bar mitzvah and that was when I was in high school, so I’m looking forward to it.  Elliot is a lovely kid all around, sweet and kind, and a great athlete as well, so he deserves a big celebration.

After the bar mitzvah I’m going to hang out for a few hours at the beloved Workroom  with some of my sewing/quilting friends at the first ever Sewing Date.  I’ve cut out a Scout Tee from Grainline Studio to work on… it’s very straightforward so I should be able to finish in the time I’ll have.  It should be an absolutely perfect day!

I saw this tutorial for Helix knitting on YouTube the other day…  it looks brilliant for creating stripes.  I can’t wait to give it a try.

This tutorial on picking up stitches is one to keep bookmarked… I’ve never seen stitch calculations laid out like this before.

Last week I was obsessed with broccoli, but this week it’s cauliflower!  Doesn’t this look amazing?!

Have a wonderful weekend everyone,

S.

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Summer Cowl

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Here’s the finished Wicker Cowl, done in Savannah from The Fibre Company.  I was a bit worried that the yarn was going to feel a bit too rustic, but as I was knitting I started to fall in love with it.  The irregularity of the yarn was a constant reminder that this wasn’t produced in a big factory on the other side of the world.  The real deciding factor though as how soft and lovely it became after blocking.  I’d love feedback on the yarn so give it a squeeze and let me know what you think the next time you’re in.

I’ve decided on my next sweater, but I’ll save that for later… in an attempt at some discipline and focus I’m going to finish my toe up sock this week.  But, I will say that my sweater will be in Hempathy from Elsebeth Lavold which just arrived.  I’m very excited to try another new yarn, and I think this is going to be lovely for spring and summer.  This After the Rain sweater from Heidi Kirrmaier looks absolutely gorgeous, and I want to try this carrying bag.  This morning the lovely Sheila brought in her finished Buttercup that she’d made in the Hempathy and it was truly beautiful.

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S.

 

 

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Friday 29/05/2015

Happy Friday!

I’m happily taking a little break before I decide on Sweater #4… I don’t feel like I’ve been pushing myself, but somehow I’m a bit ahead of schedule on my sweater challenge.  This focused knitting seems to be working for me which is interesting.  I think there’s also so much variety possible in sweaters that it’s kept me going from one to the next… although I do have a particular love for very simple, open cardigans in plain stocking stitch, which can be beautiful in their understated simplicity, right?

I’ve cast on a Wicker Cowl in Savannah which was sent to me from the distributors of The Fibre Company yarns.  It’s a blend of wool, cotton, linen and soya and to be honest I’m a bit on the fence about it… on the one hand I really love the rustic quality of the blend and that it’s organic and made in North America, but it also has a bit of irregularity to it and I’m not sure it’s quite soft enough.  So we’ll see what blocking does when I’m finished the cowl.  I made a really lovely wrap with Fibre Company’s Road to China Light years ago for a friend’s birthday and it was sheer bliss to work with.  I really like their subtle, calm colours.

 

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The company that distributes the Fibre Company yarns is Kelbourne Woolens, and as it happens I was looking at this tutorial on mattress stitch the other day… and I just noticed that it features a sweater knit in the Savannah…

Here’s a great list of projects for babies.  I love the magazine Mollie Makes from the UK which always has great ideas and inspiration.  Isn’t the Miffy doll adorable?

Not sure why, but I’ve been obsessed with broccoli lately, and have made these Broccoli Parmesan Fritters  twice in the last week… and they might even be on the menu tonight again!

How great is this knit rag rug from Crazy Mom Quilts?  I am definitely going to start organizing my scraps to turn into a new mat.    If you’re the least bit interested in quilting have a look through her blog and I guarantee you’ll have your sewing machine out of the closet in very quick time!

I really like the little lending libraries on various front yards in my neighbourhood (including one on my friend Katie’s which was my featured picture a few weeks ago) and I thought this looked like a great project to make with kids.  I love the idea of scavenging the material.

Have a great weekend everyone,

S.

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Sweater Number 3 Finish

Am LOVING my modified Vitamin D.  I finished it yesterday and it’s now at home lying on the spare bed being blocked.  I don’t think I’ve ever changed a pattern before I’ve knit it at least once, but this time I fell completely in love with what Felicia Semple of The Craft Sessions did with her version that I decided to go for it.  And I can’t express how happy I am with my finished version.  The picture below is before it was blocked but I think you can at least see the basic shape.

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This one definitely made me think I absolutely need to get my act together and get a timer for my camera so I can show the sweater on…  One of the things that I especially love is how this fits across my shoulders, and to be fair this detail would be the same in the original pattern.  It really is ingenious how the yarn overs that create the eyelet detail also serve as the increases.  I also can’t express how lovely and soft the Blue Sky Alpaca Silk is…. this is definitely one of those sweaters that feels like a cozy hug!

I had the lovely Nicole in yesterday to learn how to make toe up socks, and so I decided to cast on a pair as well.  I’ve never used the Cascade Heritage Sock that I got in last week, and boy is it lovely and soft.  I decided to do the toe/heel/ribbing in Butter and the body of the sock in China Blue.  A little sock knitting is what I need while I decide on Sweater Number 4!

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Have a great week… how is it already Wednesday?!

S.