Monday, August 29, 2016

If I Only Had a Brain!

I took one of those silly online tests and my results actually sound just about right to me, close anyway!

Here's an inspiring story about a weaver in the UK that you might enjoy:  link

Hairst cardigan update:  Back and two front pieces completed.  Now, onto the sleeves.

Sunday, August 28, 2016

Shetland TV Show

I was watching the first season of the TV Show 'Shetland' and captured this screen shot. you see a place for good shopping on the left of the screen?  This is in downtown Lerwick.

Click to enlarge.
I'm continuing to knit my Hairst cardigan.  The back and left front are finished.  Update pictures will be coming soon.

I've been home for two weeks, recuperating from surgery.  The silver lining was having more time to knit, blog and read.  However, it's back to work tomorrow.  I'll still knit, blog and read, but won't be as prolific as I've been in the past two weeks.  

Friday, August 26, 2016

Flashback Friday

I had so looked forward to teaching at Stirling, but it wasn't to be for a multiple of reasons.  Who knew that five years later I would finally visit Scotland and like it so much that I'd go back again, this time to Shetland, a year later?

One day I'd love to go to the Inverness Loch Ness Knitting Festival.  This year's festival starts on Monday.  I've been to (and on) Loch Ness and it's a beautiful area.  No monsters were spotted!

I'd also like to go to the Edinburgh Yarn Festival one day.  I'm often amazed at how many great knitting events there are throughout the world these days.

As I look forward, and think about my love of teaching and knitting, I'm hoping to do more of both.  Teaching in Dallas a few months ago was so much fun.

 Click to enlarge

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Crofthoose Hat #2

And here is the second Crofthoose Hat.  For the wool, this time, I moved over to Jamieson's, the other wool company in the Shetlands.  Even though the names are close, Jamieson & Smith and Jamieson's are not the same company.  It's a coincidence that they are so similar, and I'm sure that it confusing to some.  I was for me for quite a while.  I'm just thrilled that there are two companies with wool that is interchangeable - so many color choices.

The hat is being modelled, this time, by my daughter, Jessica, and my 10-month-old granddaughter, Alyssa.


Pattern:  Crofthoose Hat
By Ella Gordon
Free pattern for Shetland Wool Week 2016
The pattern is free.  

Yarn:  All Jamieson's Shetland Spindrift.  Someone on Ravelry knit the hat in a colorway that appealed to me, so I copied her choices, except for one.  She had a very bright Fuschia in the mix and I changed to a slightly more subtle Ginger.  I stuck to using five colors as in the pattern.

Sky #130 - light blue
Atlantic #150 - blue
Sand #183 - beige
Cardinal #323 - red
Ginger #462 - red/orange

Needles:  US #2-1/2/3.0 mm and US#4/3.5mm - double points

Crofthoose Hat #1

In just under 4 weeks I'll be heading to the Shetland Islands for Wool Week and I'm sure it's going to be fabulous.  Little by little I'm preparing for the trip.  Lists are being made, items for the suitcase are being put aside in a staging area, tickets are printed and, the hat is knitted.

Each year there is an official hat of Wool Week.  Last year it was the very popular Baa-ble Hat designed by Donna Smith. It's been spotted everywhere, even on the streets of New York and someone saw it on a TV show in the UK.

This year's hat was designed by the 2016 Wool Week patron, Ella Gordon, the Crofthoose Hat.  I liked it immediately.  It puts me in mind of the houses you see dotting the Shetland landscape.  I knew I was going to have to make it and take it to Wool Week.  What I didn't realize was that I would want to make a second one.  As I was knitting, my mind went to other color combinations.  I can still think of other colorways that I'd like to see, but I doubt I'll make a third one.  I .. don't .. think .. I .. will, but then.....   :-)  No, I have other project that need attention.

Here's the first one, modelled by my daughter, Jessica:


Pattern:  Crofthoose Hat
By Ella Gordon
For Shetland Wool Week 2016
The pattern is free.  You only have to fill in a short form and it's yours.

Yarn: I used more colors than the pattern called for.  Some were a gift from the yarn shop, A Knitted Peace, that recently closed in Littleton, CO, some were purchased at Jamieson & Smith last year in Lerwick, Shetland and I picked up a few colors at Fancy Tiger in Denver, CO.  For this hat, I used only Jamieson & Smith 2-ply Jumper Weight Wool.

Brown #FC58H - A Knitted Peace
Brown #78MIX - Jamieson & Smith
Brown #3H - A Knitted Peace
Natural/Undyed #202 - Fancy Tiger
Blue #142 - Fancy Tiger
Red-orange #FC38MIX - Jamieson & Smith
Gray #54 - Jamieson & Smith
Blue #FC15MIX - Fancy Tiger
Green #65 - Jamieson & Smith
Green #FC62 - Jamieson & Smith

Needles:  US #2-1/2/3.0 mm and US#4/3.5mm - double points

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Advent Mini-Mitten #18

I've got 20 mini-mittens finished out of 24 - getting caught up on reporting my Finished Objects!


Pattern:  Advent Mini-Mitten Garland
by Kat Lewinski

Yarn:  All Jamieson & Smith:
Red #1403, White #1, Light gray #203

Needles:  US #1/2.25 mm - double points

Monday, August 22, 2016

The Secret History of Knitting

I hope that this video remains on YouTube for a good long while.  It's educational and entertaining.  I just may have to watch it a second time.  Knitters, and those interested in knitting....enjoy!

Sunday, August 21, 2016

The Concert

The Tragically Hip concert is now in the history books and I wonder how many people in Canada, and beyond the borders, were watching.  I'll bet that a record was broken.

The announcer said that 6,000 people attended the show at the K-Rock Center in Kingston - and that another 25,000 had gathered at the Market Square to watch on the big screen.  I couldn't help but wonder where everyone parked?  I remember going to the Market on a Saturday morning and that there was nothing close by.  You had to park a block or two away, and that was just for the Farmer's Market.  I'm betting that few were complaining, however.

(c) The Kingston Whig Standard
I haven't followed the band too closely over the years and tonight was the first time I've seen them perform.  Kudos to the CBC for the excellent coverage - and NO commercials.  It was a powerful and moving show and the crowd let the Hip know how much they were loved.  With very few short breaks of only a couple of minutes, the band played for almost 3 hours.  That's stamina!

The main focus of tonight's show was obviously Gord Downie, because, if it wasn't for his devastating diagnosis of terminal brain cancer, tonight wouldn't have happened.  If you didn't know about his health issue, you wouldn't have known it from his performance.  He had moments near the end when you could tell that the finality of performing was upsetting, but if you didn't know the reason, you might have just blamed the heat and humidity.

There were funny moments, too.  One that I liked, as a knitter in particular, was seeing him tying tube socks around his neck to keep his neck warm and to help his voice.  Be careful singers.  The next thing you know, some knitter will start a "knit tube socks for singers" campaign and you could be the recipient!  Gord's are obviously colorful ones from a store.  A new fad in the making, perhaps?

Picture taken from TV coverage w/cell phone.
The line that cracked me up was near the end when Gord said that the band was going to go in the back and pretend not to come out, but will do so when everyone is cheering for them.  As it turned out, there were 3 encores and then the show reluctantly ended.

Even Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was there, looking like just another member of the audience in his Tragically Hip t-shirt.  I wonder how he managed to get tickets?  LOL  Sometimes it's good to be P.M.

Picture taken from TV coverage w/cell phone.
One more thing that impressed me greatly was the band.  What talented musicians each one of them is.  I could listen to any one of them again, gladly.  Loved the slide guitar playing by Rob Baker, in particular, but all of these guys rock.

Okay, off to knit some tube socks.  Just kidding!  By the way... if you're in the Kingston area, the Limestone City Blues Festival starts on Thursday.  I've been a few times and there is wonderful music all over the downtown Kingston area.  I highly recommend it.

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Making the Best of Things

Okay, so let's say that you had surgery on Monday and you'll be staying home from work to recuperate for two weeks.  What would you do?  Me?  Silly question - I'm a knitter.  The question should be 'what project will I work on'?  The first couple of days I slept a lot and generally felt sorry for myself.  Now, it's been 4 post-surgery days and I still feel like crap, but well enough to knit if it's not too difficult a project - something I can pick up and put down and not get lost and doesn't require too much brain power.

What I chose is a project that I've been looking forward to since I was in the Jamieson & Smith shop in Lerwick, Shetland Islands, last year.  I was drawn to the Hairst Yoke Cardigan by Sandra Manson immediately for it's classical design.  (Hairst means Autumn in the Shetland dialect.) The hard part was picking out the main color.  I decided to go with a rich cobalt blue.  I've got a good selection of colors onhand (thank you A Knitted Peace yarn shop, now closed) that I can use for the yoke, so we'll see what I decide when I get there.  I figured that I'd better get this project started before traveling back to Shetland in a few weeks.  I don't want to say, "I can't buy yarn because I haven't used any of last year's wool yet!"  I think I just gave myself permission to shop! 

The cardigan is knitted in pieces and I managed to do about 10 inches of stocking stitch, fingering weight yarn, in 3 days.  Not too bad, if I say so myself - especially since I knit another mini-mitten today too (#20)!!  It really is easy knitting and I can do it while I watch TV.  I haven't got a lot of interest in the Summer Olympics, but I have a DVD that I've been saving, and it fits right in with my knitting.  It's a TV series from the UK called "Shetland".  I've watched, and enjoyed, the third season already.  Now it's time to get caught up on the first two seasons.  Besides liking the mystery stories, it's great to see the beautiful landscape.

There will be more TV watching this weekend.  Tonight,  on CBC, is the live streaming broadcast of Canada's Tragically Hip's last concert.  If you don't know the story, it's a sad one.  This is a group that's been around for 30 years and the lead singer was diagnosed with terminal brain cancer.  They'll be in their (and my) hometown of Kingston, Ontario.  For the past month they've worked their way across Canada.  What a brave thing for singer/lyricist Gord Downie, to do, and what a gift to the fans.

Then, I'll see another concert on Sunday night.  The Denver band, Nathaniel Rateliff and the Night Sweats (every time I type that, it comes out as 'sweater' first!) are playing at my all-time favorite venue, Red Rocks Amphitheater.  They have sold access passes so that you can watch the show even if you're not there. 
I'm doing pretty good, except for feeling yucky:  a new sweater well on its way, another mini-mitten finished, two concerts....and all from the comfort of my living room!

Friday, August 19, 2016


Most of the time those little "fortunes" that you get are just something to give you a chuckle.  But...every once in a while you get something that is 100% correct.  Here is one:

And, another:

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Advent Mini-Mitten #17

And here is the seventeenth mitten...


Pattern:  Advent Mini-Mitten Garland
by Kat Lewinski

Yarn: Gold - unknown - small wool sample
And from Jamieson & Smith:
Light gray #203, Green #47, Red #1403

Needles:  US #1/2.25 mm - double points