Monday, April 6, 2015

Welcome, Spring

I can't believe it's almost 4 months (give or take a day) since my last blog post.  I so intended to be a good blogger this year! But, I'm finally chiming in with this entry:

I was driving around the countryside the other day (actually, I was on my way home from a visit to my parents) when I saw this FABulous sign.  It does my heart good to see young people doing something as constructive as knitting.  Go, SBPS knitters!  I'm very certain that your  knitting club does rock!

There are knitting clubs in many schools.  I've spoken at several schools over the years about knitting and spinning.  These "little chats" help plant seeds of interest that may one day germinate into an interest in our craft.  Whether the interest is passing or it becomes passionate, that's up to the student, but I find that often, if the teacher is passionate, that passion can be shared and ignited in the knitting newcomer.

We older (okay, experienced) knitters have a responsibility to teach our young.  I learned to knit (and crochet) with the hands of my paternal grandmother guiding mine as I stumbled with foreign objects like needles and yarn.

Next week, I will begin a class with several young knitters in it, and I hope I am able to guide them as Grandma guided me.  And I hope I create several knitting "grasshoppahs" who go on to knitting greatness.

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

2015 - The Year of the Hat?

Happy New Year, Knitters!  I hope your Christmas/ Holiday Season was as blissful as mine was.  There was lots of time to rest and relax and still sufficient time to enjoy the people who mean much to me.

Two weeks of vacation left me with the required time to finish several projects. First, I finished a weaving project -- the first one in about ten years.  The loom was warped in July, on my summer vacation, and I cut the warp off in time to wash and finish the table runners and placemats I'd made for Christmas presents.  Setting up the loom takes a lot of time, but it's really rewarding to see that strip of fabric, months later!

I also got an inherited knitting project finished.  Last summer, my mother handed me a bag containing a nearly-finished cardigan that her sister didn't get done before she passed away.  It just needed the pockets and bands, and there was LOTS of yarn, so I got this finished in December, and now my Dad has a sweater made by my Aunt Linda and me.

Designing continues in my world.  You won't see any of my designs in A Needle Pulling Thread in 2015 -- I'm taking the year off to work up new designs.  In December, I finished the first prototype for a vest.  The first draft of the pattern is done, and I'm checking the numbers.  This vest is made in an acrylic yarn, which makes it a most affordable project.

Stash busting took the form of two pair of fingerless mitts.  One pair was done before Christmas, and another pair materialized the day after Boxing Day.

Since then?  Well, I've started a large project, but it's hard to argue with the instant gratification of hats.  Three have come off the needles since December 27, and there's a fourth one that just needs cap shaping.  What's your "go to" project to knit when you can't think of anything else to do, or when you need a quick little "in between" project?

While I'll probably go on to other projects in another hat or two, so far, 2015 is "The Year of the Hat."

Here are two toques.  Both are made of wool superwash yarn, and both are destined for charities.

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Time Marches On

It's late, we've just changed our clocks, and I've spent the whole day in the office on paperwork.

So much has happened since I last posted to this blog.  I had to say goodbye to one of my favourite knitting designers, Bernice Vollick, aka Mamabearknits.  Bernice has passed away, but her patterns are still available through Ravelry, I understand.

I'm still a website neophyte, but I discovered tonight that the interface that's come into play since the last time I did a website update is much more user-friendly!  I think I only spent 3 hours trying to do an update of several pages.  But, every time I go into "website land", I learn something.

I also acquired a full-size keyboard for my laptop computer, and am learning to fly over the keys once more.

Knitting wise, there's been a lot of progress... In the last couple years I've made several pair of socks, two or three shawls, about 6 pair of knee-high baby bootees (see Bendy Bootees in the Spring, 2014 issue of A Needle Pulling Thread), two jackets also for the magazine, and a blanket for the magazine.

This blog is being revived because we're looking for a following for a new initiative I'm helping A Needle Pulling thread with.  So, come along, and keep your ear to the ground -- good things are coming!

Sunday, February 5, 2012

At long last, a Website Update!

OK, it's not perfect, but there is finally new information on the website! I'm so excited!

Unfortunately one of the things that precipated my having to delve back into the realm of html code was a rate increase. Yes, after five long years (and they were long, now that I think about it), we've had to increase our rates. Effective March 1, 2012, a one-year Canadian Membership will be $35.00 (in CDN $). For information about other rate increases, visit the Join Today page of the website,

A member from Calgary Alberta had asked me to post information on the website about the tool kits. We found these nifty little items back in 2007. They have lots of pockets to hold everything from change to stitch markers. They are available exclusively to renewing members of Canadian Guild of Knitters at a cost of $11.00 plus $4.00 postage and handling (after March 1 - currently the P&H is $3.50).

The one challenge I could not overcome today was the retailer page. No matter how many times I uploaded the new file, it wouldn't show on the website... there must be two of them out there somewhere... maybe I'll go take another look.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

A New Year - Let's Roll!

Welcome, 2012! This year promises to be a year of calmness and productivity, and I'm looking forward to it.

So far this year, the work has begun to get the CGK books ready for the tax man. Membership renewals for the new year are nearly ready to send out. There's going to be a membership increase this year, so we want to give members as much opportunity as possible to beat the increase.

I'd hoped to get to a website update this weekend, but it won't happen today. I've had two inquiries about Level 2 this week, and that's going to be job-one tomorrow, and the next couple weekends.

My knitting mo-jo took a bit of a hike toward the end of last year. After gardening season, I worked on a series of face cloths for the Spring, 2012 issue of A Needle Pulling Thread - here's a sneak peek:

The set is a trio of a round, square, and triangular cloth. This sample was made with cotton DK weight yarn.

Five or six face cloths later, I moved on to hats. Since mid-December I've made six hats, and I think I'm about done with that, too.

Next on the needles is a top-down sweater to replace one I LOVE from a Paton's leaflet. This time, I'm making it in Briggs & Little Regal. The yoke is only about 1/2 done.

May the New Year bring you the best life has to offer!

Saturday, August 20, 2011

It was a Rainy Day...

...perfect for doing paperwork!

I prepared some new and renewing membership cards for mailing, and sent out another Level 1 package today, and took a look at my ad for the magazine, which is past due for an overhaul.

Speaking of overhauls, the website is also past due for one, and while I was working today I had an idea to get the gallery updated: Ask our members for photos! So, here's the request: send me low-resolution photographs of your knitting projects, especially ones you've made from patterns published in Knit Together or A Needle Pulling Thread. Send them to my website e-mail which is on my contact page at with the subject "Photos for CGK".

Photos that have 'models' will need to be accompanied by permission forms -- I'll provide one. I'm very cautious about putting up photos of minor children, so permission forms are necessary.

The gardening (ahem, weeding) continues, but it's worth it! This rose is called Grenada, and it is in its second blooming. I have also photographed my peace rose, but don't have a photo on the hard drive yet. The buttercream daisies I bought at Zehrs are putting on an awesome show, too!

I'm also trying to get some knitting done. My computer is getting old and slow, so I keep a pair of socks (for Dad) on the desk to work on while I'm waiting for uploads, downloads and overloads!

This Faroese shawl is now finished -- the ends have been woven in, and it's actually already doubled as a blanket when I fall asleep in front of the TV.

The other project on the needles is a hemp top with 3/4 length sleeves designed by Lanaknits Designs in British Columbia. I'm still ensuring I support our Canadian Knitting designers.

One day in the office, though, is the tip of the iceberg! There's still much to do, including finish planning for the knitting classes I'll be leading through Parks and Recreation starting in mid-September.

I have to shut down the computer soon, though, because there's a salsa party tonight!

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Where Does the Time Go?

I can't believe it's been almost two months since my last post. The last time I posted was before a rain. We did have a fair bit of rain at the end of May and into June, but July has been drier than February in Arizona! Even the rain that has fallen in the last two days has been south west of us. But the weather channel is promising rain next week (When I'll be back at work).

The gardens have grown up, and nicely. This ground-level photo of the west "curb" bed was glorious. The galardia (centre in front of stump) is still in bloom. The geranium is very happy, and the butter-cream daisy (on right) has a new batch of blooms. I've learned that the wood "sculpture"in the centre this bed is actually a piece of a chestnut tree that was in the back yard. The delphiniums can just be seen peeking out from behind the "stump".

The entryway bed has grown up, too. It's hard to tell from this photo, but the bee balm/ monarda with the red blooms is over 4 feet high. What a show! I found the bench at a garage sale, and have enjoyed many mornings looking out toward a nearby park.

I've taken literally hundreds of photos of the gardens this year, 8 of which have made it into matching frames on the living room wall.

This summer has been all about preventative maintenance on the house: Dad came in and pressure washed the front porch, back deck and garden shed, then I watersealed the decks and stained and painted the garden shed. Yesterday we black-topped the driveway. Next summer, I'll be able to kick back and relax!

Here are before and after shots of the garden shed:

This is after the pressure washing

and this is after the staining and painting:

The only thing left is to add a finishing touch of a happy face on the left wall. :-)

All this has happened during two weeks off over the first three weeks of the month. Once the postal strike was over, the Summer issue of A Needle Pulling Thread was mailed out. Renewal notices for this issue will be following soon.

Another Canadian Guild of Knitters undertaking was to mark yet another Level 1 package. It's heading back out in tomorrow's mail.

The vacation wasn't all work: Zoey spent a couple days in day care so Mummy could shop! When you have a dog with separation anxiety, it's a real luxury to get to spend 3 hours browsing through Wal-mart! The two of us went to an arts and craft show in Bracebridge where we spent a little time in the Greenelf Wild Woolens booth. Today, the last day of vacation, I took Zoey (aka the Ming Princess) to the Barrie waterfront where she got a walk, and I got some knitting done. When we heard the skirl of the bagpipes, I moved us to a better vantage point and enjoyed some celtic music. Today was one of the most temperate days of the vacation, and it felt good to get out and enjoy some of it, now that the painting is over!