Sunday, July 24, 2016

Countdown to SWW

With it being about the midway point of summer the conversations I hear around me most often are about vacations:  Are you going anywhere?  What are you doing?  How long are you taking off work? etc.

My answer is that I'm working all summer, saving my vacation time for a trip back to Shetland in September.  I was there last year and love the place.  It's remote, but has an unique energy and a wonderful culture.  Last year I was there a week before Shetland Wool Week and I'm glad I saw it in its "quieter state" - able to enjoy it without crowds.

This year I'm going to be there for the full of SWW and I'm expecting it to be different, more crowded.  I'm looking forward to this visit just as much.  I expect to meet people from all over the world who just happen to be knitters, as well.  I'm taking classes, will be visiting studios, enjoying Sunday tea, sightseeing and knitting with others every chance I get. 

I hate to wish the summer away (winter comes too quickly and is too long), but I'm looking forward to being in Shetland again. 

Enjoy this video I found about Shetland Wool Week (filmed last year).  I see some familiar faces:  Oliver Henry from Jamieson & Smith, Hazel Tindall - the world's fastest knitter and Di Gilpin, designer.  I was lucky enough to listen to them speak, take a class and visit a studio. 

For more videos and more information about Shetland, here's an excellent link.

Monday, July 4, 2016

Happy 4th of July!

I hope that it's been a good 4th if you're celebrating.  I had planned to wear, what I thought, was a pair of socks in the colors of the US (or Texas) flag.  However, when I opened up the skein it was obvious that the colors were not true.  They were more of a pink/red and a medium baby blue....and not quite as bright as they appear in the picture below.  It didn't look bad when it was all wrapped in a skein, but spreading out the yarn and winding it into a ball proved that the yarn was not the rich red, white and blue that I'd hoped it would be.  The colors are fine, just not the patriotic ones that I was going for.  However, another project is now finished.  I'm working through my fabulous collection of sock yarns.  So much fun, and such variety.


Pattern:  My generic pattern - 2x2 ribbing, stocking stitch leg, short row heel, stocking stitch foot, toe,
Cast on 60 sts.  Size:  Medium

Yarn: Perfect Sock - Self striping from Must Stash Yarns
75% Superwash Merino / 25% Nylon
6 Uneven Stripes
Color: Elevens - 2016 Fiber Fest
This yarn was a Dallas/Fort Worth Fiber Fest exclusive.
Elevens refers to the fact that this year was the 11th Anniversary of the event.

Needles:  US #0 / 2.0 mm

Notes:  This yarn doesn't have the twist that you often find in sock yarns, but the yarn is strong.  I normally break a yarn with my hands but I needed to use scissors for this.  Must Stash had gorgeous colorways in their booth.  I ended up with two skeins.  The other one is speckle dyed.  

Friday, July 1, 2016

Happy Canada Day

I think I saw this video from the National Film Board for the first time about 30+ years ago. To me, it screams "Ottawa Valley"!

Monday, June 27, 2016

Pringle Animation - Still Funny After All These Years

I'd seen this animation a long time ago and came across it again.

The description on YouTube is: "Pringle of Scotland has commissioned artist David Shrigley to create a humorous short animated film about life behind-the-scenes at Pringle to celebrate the brands return to Milan Fashion Week. The animation showcased during Pringle of Scotland's menswear show in Milan on 18th January [2010?], depicts the making of jumpers and cardigans over the past 195 year history of the Scottish brand."

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Good Things

(c) The Loopy Ewe
Last weekend I was in Denver and had a VERY good time.  It's always nice to see my friends and spend time with them.

On Saturday three of us made a road trip north to The Loopy Ewe in Fort Collins.  Their monthly yarn offering for June was "Lake Dillon" by Socks That Rock.  Isn't it pretty?  I was lucky enough to spend some relaxing vacation time at Lake Dillon when I lived in Colorado.  These colors are a good representation.

I haven't decided what to make with the yarn.  I don't know whether to make socks or a scarf or something totally different.  For now, the yarn is just going to be admired.  It's not like I don't have any other knitting projects to work on in the meantime!

We had planned to visit Fancy Tiger in Denver first thing on Saturday morning.  They were celebrating their 10th Anniversary.  However, there was a line down the street and around the corner.  Some people must have lined up very early as they had lawn chairs and were knitting.  Part of the draw to the shop, too, was a visit by Stephen West. We passed on an early morning visit but did drop in later in the afternoon.

On a table inside the door was a sweater that caught my eye immediately.  It is simply constructed and will be great with slacks, jeans or a skirt.  The pattern is the Junegrass Pullover, designed by
Carrie Bostick Hoge.  The yarn, Junegrass DK, is surprisingly soft.  It was a pleasure to meet the people from the company.  I've got the yarn and plan to have the sweater finished to wear this fall.  I only plan to make one small change to the pattern.  I don't mind the slit in the side but will make it shorter than it's shown in this picture.  I also like that the back is longer than the front - very practical when bent over a computer.

(c) Fancy Tiger Crafts
This is the description of the yarn found on Ravelry:
         This pattern is designed for Junegrass DK, a small batch yarn entirely grown and milled in Colorado. It is a soft, lofty blend of white Merino/Rambouillet cross wool and dark grey Wensleydale wool, blended together for the perfect natural heather grey.

On Sunday evening was the Gladys Knight concert at Hudson Gardens.  It was so pleasant to sit in a lawn chair and listen to beautiful music, even if it was 104F for the first part of the evening.   Don't tell me that it's a dry was hot! It did cool off and there was a slight breeze a little later.  I always knew that Gladys Knight can sing, but she CAN SING!  For almost an hour and a half she sang and talked to the crowd.  There was even an opportunity to stand up and dance and be a Pip!  I wouldn't hesitate to go to one of her concerts again.

Good things are continuing.  After Shetland Wool Week this September, myself and two friends decided to spend a few days in London.  By coincidence, it's at the same time as the Knitting and Stitching Show at Alexandra Palace, also known as "Ally Pally".  Tonight I got my ticket to the Show.  Also planned is a visit to Loop for their knit night.  

Sunday, June 12, 2016

So Much World To Explore

I'm looking forward to some travel next week....back to Denver to see friends, do some knitting, take a road trip and listen to some music.  It doesn't get much better than that.

The road trip will be to a favorite destination:  The Loopy Ewe yarn shop in Fort Collins.  It big, spotlessly clean and well-stocked with all kinds of temptations.  The four of us always claim that we don't "need" anything, but manage to find something that we can't live without anyway!

Before that, however, will be a visit to another favorite shop:  Fancy Tiger in Denver.  It's celebrating it's 10th Anniversary.  How time flies.  I remember when it opened.  It's a unique shop with a bit of everything for the knitter or sewer.  It's got a charm that is irresistible.  I took an excellent dyeing class there a few years ago.

(c) Fancy Tiger Crafts

For music, it doesn't get much better than Gladys Knight.  She'll be performing at Hudson Gardens.  I've looked at the long-range forecast and the weather looks like it'll be good.  Here's hoping that the report is correct.  [Still on my bucket list is a visit to Gladys Knight's restaurant in Atlanta].

(c) Gladys Knight

Sunday, June 5, 2016

Travel Afghan - Hex #11

Another finished project - this time it's a block for my Travel Afghan..  The trip was to Savannah, and Tybee Island, Georgia, favorite destinations.


Pattern:  Persian Dreams, using a single colorway skein, no fair isle knitting

Yarn: Savannah Sock from the Copper Corgi Fiber Studio
Color:  Clifftop
100% Superwash merino

Copper Corgi yarn is from a local Savannah dyer, Sarah DeRoo.

Purchased at The Frayed Knot in Savannah.

Needles:  US #2/2.75 mm

Notes:  A very small amount of dye came off while knitting, but not enough to worry about.  I soaked the hexagon in a vinegar bath and there was no dye came off in the water.  The yarn is very soft and feel good to knit with, and even better after the wash.

Saturday, June 4, 2016

Mitten #10

Another day, another mini-mitten.  This one reminds me of a candy cane.  It only took a few days to complete this one.  My goal is to have all 24 mittens complete by December.


Pattern:  Advent Mini-Mitten Garland
by Kat Lewinski

Yarn: Red - Jamieson & Smith - #1403 
White - Jamieson & Smith - #1A

Needles:  US #1/2.25 mm - double points

Friday, June 3, 2016

It's Catch-up Time

I've been a bit neglectful of my blog of late, especially posting about finished projects.  There will be a number of separate posts about the Advent Mini-Mittens in the next couple of weeks.  I'm counting each mitten as a project because a fair amount of work goes into each one - and I want the tally on the right sidebar to reflect that.

I've just finished mitten #17, but first I need to report on mitten #9.  It was started late in December but didn't get finished until mid-February.  It was a busy time over the holidays.  Later, I'll add mittens #7 and #8 as they were finished in 2015.


Pattern:  Advent Mini-Mitten Garland
by Kat Lewinski

Yarn: Natural (light beige) - Wirsit - purchased at the Shetland Textile Museum 
Note:  "wirsit" is the Shetland word for wool
Wine - Jamieson & Smith - #9113 
Green - Jamieson & Smith - #47

Needles:  US #1/2.25 mm - double points

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Shetland Wool Week Classes

This morning I was up and ready to book classes for Shetland Wool Week as soon as they were available online - 6:00 AM, my time.  All the time spent trying to get concert tickets in past has paid off - great training.  I was ready with my wish list and my credit card was at hand.

I'm so pleased that I got all of my first choices:

Click to enlarge
Of course, there is much more to do.  There are open studio visits, Sunday tea, gatherings with other knitters at The Hub, museums, sightseeing, etc.  It's going to be a full week of knitting.  I'm looking forward to spending time with friends, and making new friends from places far away!