Saturday, December 13, 2008

Merry Christmas, knitters!

Every once in a while, I enjoy getting into a kitchen. Today was such a day. There's so much left to do to make Christmas happen (there isn't one decoration up around here yet), and we've got dinners and neighbourhood get-togethers planned from here 'til New Year's Eve, but, today was Kitchen day!

Darling made an apple pie for dessert tonight, and I made a pumpkin coffee cake. I do believe I've messed up the baking terribly, and in fact, have made a pumpkin frisbee, but time will tell. I'm sure with the butter rum sauce over it no one will ever know! The recipe made up like a cookie recipe, so maybe it's supposed to be a little flat and crunchy... Regardless, Darling's pie will be a success.

Then there were the pumpkin muffins... once you've opened a can of pumpkin, you might as well make the most of it, eh? I made two dozen, one with raisins and one with craisins. A sample of them indicated success, despite the fact that the batch with the raisins didn't get its 1/2 cup of buttermilk (don't like the stuff, anyway!)

In order to accomplish these feats, no decorating got done, and no writing got done either. Sigh. Tomorrow, though. I also missed the Christmas pot luck luncheon with the spinners' guild, so if any of the guilders are checking in, this is me, giving a wave and wishing you a Merry/Happy!

Progress on the shawl workshops continue, and if I hurry, I'll have enough daylight for a yarn review photo for the magazine that I can plug in while I'm here in this chair tomorrow. There are a few photos waiting my attention, now that I think of it....

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Why I do Knit Together

I'm having a 'love my weekend job' day. I keep saying it: One of the best parts of doing Knit Together is preparing the people stories. Oh, sure, getting to do book reviews and yarn reviews are fun in their own rights and ways, but being able to tell the 'back stories' of knitters is an honour and a blessing.

Yesterday I worked on the designer feature for the next issue, and this morning, I received an e-mail back from this issue's Canadian Knitter with incredible information about herself. I've wanted to get together with this person for years -- I've had an inkling that she's an interesting knitter and what she has told me is gobsmack-ingly cool. I hope I do the piece the justice it deserves!

So, while technology upset my day last weekend, this weekend I'm blessed with wonderful information about two more interesting knitters in this great land.

In the rush of day-to-day doings, we don't often pause to take stock of all that we are. But, if we take some time and just think about all the different things we've done in our lives, we get an opportunity to feel good about who we have become. It's also an opportunity to be grateful for the things, good and bad, that have molded us into who we are today.

Every one of us has done something interesting in his or her life. Every one of us has a story in us. For too long, these stories have gone untold.

In this post I urge every reader to sit down, look back, write it down, and feel good about yourself. Then send it to Canadian Guild of Knitters so we can tell your story. Oh, and while you're at it, send a photo!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Still working

Another happy weekend in the office. Knitting contacts weren't as accessible as desired, but I did get some work on web browsing, the projects, and I got all the book reviews done for this issue! Yayy! This happened between phone calls about my sister's psych homework and dinner with the 'kids' -- Barry's son, DIL and grandson.
Julie already has some pieces to proof, and I've still got to write about my Shetland adventure. Where on earth are those words, and why aren't they spilling out of my head?
Here's a photo tease of the Shetlands. It was SO beautiful! What? You were expecting a landscape? Oh, sorry, next time... wait... this IS a landscape... look at those shades of green!

While I was seeking out knitting journals for Web Browsing today I found a Christmas gift for my nephew... it's a book about how things work, and if genetics are anything, he's going to love it! If you have a curious kid on your list, look for The New Way Things Work by David Macaulay. Hmmm... that could be tipping my hand, but I doubt my 10 year old nephew is reading my blog!

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Mac conversion anyone?

Last weekend I was at Lucy Neatby's Double Knitting Workshop and Lucy advised she is a "Mac Convert." I just about became one today.

There I was, working away on a piece for the November issue (yes, I'm jumping ahead) when a little 'dialogue' box came up to say an error had occurred. Oh, it gave me the option of saving my file, then told me the memory reference or some such thing was 'full'. Bear in mind I had only worked on this piece. One little one page article, no graphics, no cool stuff. And my memory is full. Yeah, right.

I saved the column of material I could and exited the program. Upon re-entry I see this little memory problem was more wide-spread -- the software hadn't been saving the automatic backups as it is prescribed to do. Grrr...

Fortunately I was able to salvage the second half of the article. UNfortuately, I had to reconstruct the first half from the scratch that is my shorterhand. Grrr...

There will be no Vista for me... I'm having enough trouble with Corel applications in a Windows XP environment.

One of these days I might take my "Mac-ness" to the computer level! I am, afterall, a MacDougall!

Saturday, October 18, 2008

An Almost Perfect Life

While Looking at Mommabear Knits' Thanksgiving photographs on her blog today ( I was reminded of the thoughts I had earlier today that I voiced to Darling.

"You know, Sweetheart," I said. "If I could get caught up with the production of Knit Together my life would be just about perfect." And, it's true!

Oh, sure, there are the everyday hassles, many of which belong to my 9-5 world, but when I roll in this driveway, and see the beautiful things -- and I'm talking about the trees and river and wildlife, here, not the yarn stash and the furniture -- around me, I feel very, very fortunate indeed. (The yarn stash gives me a sense of fortunate, too, you understand, but I'm holding out on the furniture...)

As a result of a long morning's chat over two cups of coffee, today got off to a bit of a late start, but more things have been accomplished: I've input a couple more bits into the August issue, plus the editorial and a news story for the November issue. I've got a couple of greeting cards ready to post, and finally taken steps to get my 'charity hats' off to the Warm Hands Network. Puttering. It's a good thing.
Three of the hats on the right were made from the pattern on the Warm Hands Network website. The light green one has a hemmed up brim. The dark green ones would look great on twins -- the one on the left has a moss stitch brim, and the one on the right a seed stitch brim. The other hat? It's just a plain-old stocking stitch hat made from Lion Brand wool yarn.

After dinner tonight we're going to Newton Robinson to celebrate the birthday of a friend. Zoey's going to the 'sitter's' so we can admire Patti and Peter's newest brood of yellow lab puppies, the issue of their yellow lab Ninka, who is the issue of their yellow lab Gala.
Something else I got done today was some photography... over 60 pictures' worth, mostly of a technique for the Knitting Accreditation Program. I was hoping to get the accompanying write-up done with that, but it's getting late...

Sunday, October 12, 2008

It's been nice weather, but still, it's not nice to be under it!

One of the problems with air travel is the closed air systems on aircraft. Sure, airport security is a pain, too, but it doesn't usually make you physically ill. I managed to stave off illness while I was in the UK (Darling didn't -- he got a head cold soon after we arrived in Cornwall), but it seems as soon as I got through customs, I began to feel worse and worse.

At first I thought it was just the same minor head cold that Darling had, but I haven't heard him barking, hacking and sniffling like this. Apparently something similar was flying through the office while I was away, but I must have picked it up from somewhere else. Ten days later, I'm breathing like Darth Vader and the voice someone described as a 'sexy radio voice' on Tuesday has gone to a deep-throated chicken squawk, with a cough that barks worse than the average German Shepherd in attack mode.

Still, a cold is temporary (unless it becomes a sinus infection, then some intervention is needed), and I will be right as rain in a few more days, I'm sure.

As a result, I haven't got my 'head' around a few things I had planned to in the past week. However, I did get some memberships processed, and -- and this is the big news -- I got two more Level 1 submissions evaluated and put into the return post.

Additionally, I received samples of the new yarn by Briggs and Little, (haven't had a chance or the inclination to play with it yet), and I've got some more testing done on the mini project for the August issue. Without going into detail, it's one that's got me 'on a roll.'

Once I'm feeling better and have a chance to go through some photos, I'll get some vacation pics loaded up here on the blog. The scenery was too beautiful to keep to myself!

Friday, September 26, 2008

Some raid!!

Penzance is now a distant memory and a fleeting one... The town was 'too busy' for Darling, so we just drove right on through. So, good people at Iriss, I'm sorry, but I won't be stopping by. Sigh. I tried!

I did get to Artycrafts today. It is a small all-around craft shop that had a knitting corner. So, I'm holding out hope for Truro.

In the meantime, I finally started the Orkney Pi, so I'm going to head on over to Ravelry to post a couple of early pics. On Ravelry I'm theloveofknit -- see you there!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

We are the Pirates

The famous Pirates of Penzance! I have no idea why that obscure line from the Gilbert and Sullivan musical has stayed with me the past week, other than there is a local yarn shop in Penzance, and perchance, I feel a raid coming on. Not that I have a lot of luggage room left for yarn: I pretty well maxed out on the first four days of the journey.

Perhaps I'll get a chance to tease with a few pictures on my next post!

Saturday, September 20, 2008

The 'Fab Four' Days

Well. I always said I wanted to go to a place with more sheep than people. Whenever I said that I was referencing New Zealand. I never thought it would happen here. But, here I am. There is still a week and a half to go of vacation, and we must travel on, but I'm so glad to have had the last four days. I've enough information for Knit Together for three issues!

I must sign off as internet here is 'by-the-minute' but when I can get to a full computer, I'll offer a more complete report. Stay tuned to Knit Together for further information of my Fab Four Days.


Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Knit Together update

We're on the presses! The next issue of Knit Together will be in the mail before I go on vacation. Before I go on vacation, Bonnie, Karen and I will make our sixth annual journey to Kitchener-Waterloo Knitter's Fair this coming weekend. This is always a fun event that we simply didn't want to miss. In fact, originally Darling and I had planned a late-Friday departure, but had to re-think it when we discovered it was KW fair weekend. Here's a photo of Karen at our booth in 2006. Projects from that year included the Chapeau Moncton, (the blue hat) and Hey Blondie! (the yellow cardigan). I still get compliments when I wear that sweater!

If you live in Southern Ontario and plan to be at KW, stop by the booth. We're planning to have Knit Together available for members to pick up!

And now, to bed! Darling is advocating that, since we'll have to travel across a few time zones, we adjust our bedtime by 1/2 hour per night... Well, it's working for him, he's been gone nigh on an hour now. Me? Well, I'm going to be hammered next Tuesday. Our destination is a surprise...but I've already arranged a visit to a LYS that will be written up in a future issue.

Monday, September 1, 2008

A Sneak Peek at the latest issue

The next issue of Knit Together is going to the printer's today. Hudson here is giving a preview of two of the features in this issue. The mini project will be Izzy Comfort Dolls, the four little fellows smiling with Hudson. We will also tell the story of how the Izzy Doll Program got started.
The designer in this issue is Lori Law, a musical knitter who created Oceanwind Knits. Our knitter is Katherine Tamminen, a university student in Alberta.
Cynthia's Fibre Week adventure is also relayed in this issue, and our Local Yarn Shop visit is to Gaspereau Valley Fibres in Nova Scotia.
To subscribe to Knit Together, visit our website, . We now have Pay Pal available.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Leaps and Bounds and Baby Steps

There is so much going on right now, but despite it all, pages for the next issue of Knit Together are clicking together nicely. We hope to have it to the printers by the end of the Labour Day weekend, and be on the presses by September 5. It should be in mailboxes sooner than the February issue was, which is a hopeful sign in our 'catching up' goal.

We're also gearing up for the Village of the Arts Display by the Severn-Muskoka Knitting Guild on September 5, a 50th anniversary open house for my parents on September 6, and the Kitchener-Waterloo Fair on September 13.

Following that, Cynthia will be taking a fall vacation (her summer vacation was Fibre Week in Alberta in June, so she's ready) before getting the August issue to click together, hopefully as nicely as May's did. The good news is there are already several pieces of the August issue 'in the can' and ready for typesetting, thanks, in part, to her trip to Calgary.

On the home front, Darling has raised the logs for the carport, and is waiting for a larger machine to raise the roof supports and beams. He continues with the work on the storage shed to house the much-neglected weaving loom.

Knitting wise, I've recently completed a quartet of Izzy Comfort Dolls (part of the May issue), the Hummingbird Garden Vest (the project in the May issue), four yarn samples (for the May issue), and I bought the buttons for the Oz Vest from Natural Knits for Babies and Moms. There hasn't been a lot of personal knitting done, but I have achieved a few rounds on the Queen Anne's Lace shawl.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

On the Road to getting Caught Up

This can only feel good. I'm moved in, the office is organized, and I'm finally getting things accomplished!

Today I spent the entire day catching up on paperwork and preparing this lovely stack of mail. So, if you've been waiting to hear from me for the past few weeks, stay tuned... your membership card/knitting bag/Level 1 should be on its way to you soon. I feel like my receipts are in the right place, and I'm ready to spend the next rainy day (which will be tomorrow) writing on Knit Together.
There's a certain amount of guilt that goes along with unfinished paperwork. I suppose that comes from being a secretary for over 30 years. Doing the paperwork before sitting down to write is kind of the grown up equivalent to eating your veggies first.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Oh, We're off to see the Wizard

Not really. The only reason that phrase comes to mind is because this little vest is the Oz Vest from Natural Knits for Babies and Moms. The photo isn't the best. I converted this pic from 300 dpi to 200 dpi. I'm still trying to figure out resolution. I know I don't need even 200 dpi for a website, but whenever I convert a photo, I loose clarity.
I made the vest from Cabin Fever Aran Tweed yarn, 50/50 cotton/acrylic (the leftovers from Darling's Daylight in Hofsos sweater in the Knit Together November, 2007 issue) with a few bits of brilliant orange and neon green Patons Canadiana. It's all done but for sewing in a few ends and locating two green and one orange button for the top right shoulder (as you're viewing it)
This is the first project I have ever knitted entirely in bed. No, I haven't been ill, it's just that my new night table affords me a drawer in which to hide a little project, and the bedroom affords me a nice view, so, while I'm sipping on my morning coffee on weekends, I am also puttering away on this little project.
Darling is getting used to me knitting at all hours of the day, and apart from the finials on my walnut Brittany needles, he doesn't mind a bit.
Once I've cleaned out that drawer, I might just put a UFO in there to putter away at.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Oh, that feels better!

Well I just got to spend a couple hours in my newly organized office digging through some of that mail I mentioned last night. It felt really good to get some memberships processed, some bills paid and some rudimentary paperwork done. I even got to return a call or two.

I used to have a photo of two cute little bichon-frises puppies dressed in little matinee coats. The caption under them said "Now that we're organized, what do we do?" Tonight I got to answer that question and it felt goooooood.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

One Work Weekend, As Promised!

As promised in my last post, the CGK office got two full days of attention this weekend. Truthfully, as this photo will attest, I was a candidate for Clean Sweep, or Neat, or pick another clutter-bunny-with-attitude show. Even Zoey looks disgusted!

With much help from Darling yesterday, shifting filing cabinets and storage units, and getting advice on where to arrange things (this was once HIS office afterall, and it's good of him to share!) we had the 'bones' set out and I was even able to unpack a few boxes.
Today, I tackled the desktop and the filing, and I filled out some paperwork for Olds College for next year. So, after two days, the office now looks like this:

Oh, there's still a stack of mail to go through, and I really just stashed the rolley-cart away, but I got a few things done, and a lot of filing put away. Next weekend is a long weekend, and I'm looking forward to spending it in my new organized space!

"But what's happening with Knit Together?" you ask. Well, there's actually been a lot of knitting going on. Leanne Dyck of Olavia's has another design for us, a vest, this time. Leanne did her piece in a hand-painted yarn by Hummingbird Fibre.

I tried three of the samples in the photo below: First I tried the Malabrigo, pictured top right, then I tried the Sirdar Silky Look (top left) - great for summer! Then I tried the Paton's Astra (bottom left), a considered failure which I attribute to the long spans of colour (the other two yarns have really short spans of colour). But, nothing would have it, I had to try the original yarn. The folks at Spinning Wheel Pro came through with a one-pound skein of Falklands Merino dk: you can see the result in the bottom right of the photo and I'm most happy with it. This flash photo doesn't do it justice: it looks spectacular live.

Sometimes you simply must use the yarn the pattern calls for, although, I think the Sirdar Silky Look was a really close second, and -- if I didn't know any better -- I would have been really tempted to buy the $96.00 worth of Malabrigo, too.

Thanks to all those who bore with me through the move. I'm happy with the new office, and look forward to answering your queries over the coming days.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Getting Ready for the Big Move

Well, my memories of Calgary are already distant, for reality smacked me upside the head as soon as I got home. Sigh.

Since the day after the family 'do' (which was the day after I got home), it's been back-to-back moving stuff. Last Friday Dad and Darling and I tore apart (literally, at times) the garage, and did the "three pile" thing -- keep, sell, and give away/toss. I have to admit this purging thing is getting a little easier as time goes by. I guess it's like knitting, or playing the piano: practice does make perfect.

The garage sale is a bust; I could have better spent that time packing! However, a few customers went away happy, and I sold a bed.

Next step is prepping the appliances for the movers, and we're working on it.

So, if you haven't heard from me as promptly as you would like, this is why. I promise, as soon as this is over, I'm going to have a work weekend in the CGK office!

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Wasn't That a Party!

From the time I stepped off the plane, I learned one thing: Alberta knows how to party. This entire week has been nothing but a great big party. Between Fibre Week and Stampede week, well, all I can say is WHOO HOO!

From the time I met Lisa and Rosemary and we went to our first dinner, we partied -- in a fibrely way, you understand. They enjoyed having a 'newbie' at the merchant's hall, and I enjoyed having somebody showing me the 'ropes' at Fibre Week.

Another, more subtle party was found in the grounds at Olds College. My townhouse-shared-with-three was fully across campus from the buildings our workshops were held in, and my lack of transportation gave me leave to stop and smell the roses (which I did, along with the peonies and lilies, too). Blogger isn't letting me upload pictures right now or I'd show you some of the scenery.

The party continued with the supported spindle workshop and the goodies that resulted from payment of our class supplies fees. Do they not know some of us have to fly this stuff home?

The keynote speaker was Nova Scotia's own Lucy Neatby, and next day I was in her various variegations class. My choice of colours for the one swatch qualified me for teacher's pet, and if you know Lucy, that is to say it was colourful with a capital C.

Once Olds was over, and my hands were aching from the diligence put into our double knitting class, I discovered the joys of Stampede Week in Calgary -- with yarn shops. WHOO HOO!

As I am wont to do when on 'vacation', I got lost. Several times. Now, I knew I was in the general vicinity, I just didn't have detailed enough maps. That's my story, and I'm sticking to it.

But, as always, serendipity rocks, and first thing I knew I found myself in the parking lot next the the Calgary CBC centre, listening to a country band, being dished up FREE pancakes and sausage by a dog, and Miss Alberta, (!) watching a group of line dancers. Really. LMAO, still, and it's the God's honest truth! I even got a CBC Kids hat for the grandson-by-proxy.

After that, I visited no less than SIX yarn shops in ONE day, a new personal best. I'm not tellin'what I spent, but Beehive was the winner, closely followed by Knit One Crochet, Too. Now, when you visit six yarn shops in one day, you quickly learn that yarn shops have as much variety of style and content as knitting guilds do. It was a pleasure and honour to get to see them all, and if I missed one, write and tell me and I'll fix that for the next trip. WHOO HOO!

Now, I stayed at the Radisson, which is my hotel of choice for as long as I have a full-time job and can afford such a thing, and wouldn'tcha know there was a free rib buffet complete with yet another country-and-western band. Two, actually. What a good time! I joined four ladies, one of whom was about the same age as me and could relate to such songs as Lady and You May be Right. Ah, the songs of our youth, and music so loud you can sing along and nobody knows but for your lips moving. Eventually I needed something to do, so I drew out my knitting, and again, if Blogger would let me post a picture, you would see me, knitting at a Calgary Stampede Sneak Peek event. WHOO HOO! The only problem was I didn't get a chance to clog a step. (Little known fact: Cynthia knows a few clogging steps.)

So, I tip my girlie cowgirl hat to the hospitality of Albertans. I've had a great week, and while it will be good to get home, there's the reality of moving and the day job ahead. Sigh.

I thought Easterners knew how to party, but it seems this hosptality thing is country-wide. And I love it! Go, Canadians!

Sunday, June 22, 2008

A quick look back

When your last issue was already too far behind schedule, you don't want to take a lot of time for reflection, however, I hope you'll indulge me this one look back at the February issue...

We knitted the pattern for this issue twice. Once in Select10n acrylic and mohair blend, and again in crochet cotton, about size 10. Here is a comparison of how the two looked on the blocking board...

Exact same pattern, just done with different yarn on different needles.

This weekend has been spent preparing the house for a 'family do' a couple weeks from now. I love it when the hardwood shines! I, however, am not beaming, but aching.

The yarns have already been selected to feature in Knit Together's next issue, as have a couple of the books. Now that the website updates have been done, it's time to go and write a couple of notes to include with those long-distance magazines, and make up a yarn swatch and, perhaps, dinner.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

It's in the Mail!

With very few exceptions, the February issue of Knit Together is now in the hands of Canada Post, and not a minute too soon!

In addition to my thanks to Ilga Leja of Halifax, I also want to give a shout-out to Eleanor Anderson, who designed or main project in this issue, and Anthea Benson of BC for her wonder piece about the Fibre Chicks. Also thanks to my work-out buddy and scrapbooking consultant Cheryl for putting magazines into envelopes after an hour's workout, and to Darling, who helped with labelling and postage this issue. I am grateful, indeed!

Serendipity has entered my life again, with some bins to house swatches, books and other items to feature in upcoming issues of Knit Together.

The move continues... some framed pieces, half of my cookbooks (the half I'm keeping), a lamp and yet another box of kitchen bits filled another carload to the new place. It has been a long time since I've moved, and I'm not sure which is worse: doing it all in the span of six weeks, or having the luxury of six months to agonize over what to keep and what to move along.

In the knitting department, I needed a 'quick start' project for the car one day, so I started the Queen Anne's Lace shawl in some light grey alpaca I purchased in Nederland Colorado in April '07. I think the pattern is free on-line from MMario's blog,

I also bought some Malabrigo yarn I bought from a LYS. It's a handpainted 51% silk and 49% wool I'm hoping to use for a project in the next issue of Knit Together. The beat goes on...

Sunday, June 8, 2008

February's almost out there!

I've worked hard all weekend to get the finishing touches on Knit Together, and I'm happy to report that the printer now has all the pieces she needs to get me some proofs!

Retailers have been contacted for Shopping Opportunities, a members' list has been updated so I can set up the labels while the printer does her magic, and we're comin' into the home stretch!

I want to thank Ilga Leja of Halifax NS for coming to my rescue as the designer for this issue. Ilga's a great lady and an amazing designer. You'll be hearing more from her in the coming issues.

Work is also on-going for the May, 2008 issue too (yes, I KNOW what month this is). I cast on a yarn to review this morning on my 'coffee break' (yes, I'm structuring my weekends this way, despite living on a beautiful passage of river). Our knitter feature for that issue is already done, our books are at least lined up for review, Knitting Out Loud has sent us another book to listen to on the morning and afternoon commutes, and life is looking pretty rosy here at Canadian Guild of Knitters!

Thank you everyone for your patience with Knit Together while I sorted out this whole house sale thing, and thanks for your understanding as I complete the move. I'm keeping my feet to the fire, and don't mind your help to that end along the way.

If you know of a great knitter or knitting designer or want to write about your very own favourite Local Yarn Shop, do so, and submit it. We pay for published submissions!

Darling has dinner on the barbecue, so, after leaving him alone all day, I'm off to enjoy a lovely Sunday dinner with him.

Saturday, May 31, 2008

'Nother Hat

Time is absolutely flying these days. I'm trying desperately to get Knit Together to bed, and get the May issue rocking, but the fates aren't with me on this one. Currently, I am in need of two designers to interview, so, dear designers out in cyberworld who want to get their work promoted across Canada and into the states, now would be a good time to contact me!

Most of my knitting is currently being done at the 9-5 job on coffee breaks and lunch hours. I finished this variegated hat of Lion Brand Pure Wool this past month. Since then, I've started a Tea Cozy hat, about my sixth, designed by Peggy Holton of Ottawa and featured in Annabelle's Caps, a book of hats that was written to honour the life of Annabelle Dawson, who was a tremendous knitting force and member of the Downtown Knit Collective in Toronto.
At Knitting Guild on Wednesday last, we did tubular cast on. The morning after the meeting, I began a tubular cast on for a circular hat. I did this by working the 'tube' rows back and forth, and just joining after I'd done the row where you pick up the sts from the provisional cast on.
Sleeves in Your Pi is now crawling along. The body is done, and I've got about four repeats of the 16 row edging done. There's much to do at the house-that-soon-won't-be-mine.
To that end, I've got the freezer emptied of its stash: five skeins of B&L Regal, three skeins of aran yarn, and two paper boxes full of spinning fibre. It's defrosting this weekend while I'm up here. My bedroom is now fully empty save for a few bits in the closet -- even the curtains have been stripped in the room. The rec room is almost as barren, with just the computer desk, TV stand, coffee table, credenza and a chair in it. The booth material for CGKnitters got moved this weekend. Bit by bit, it all gets done.
Now. Off to write another piece for Knit Together. Right after I update the website...

Monday, May 19, 2008

SOLD! ow. and a Sleevs in Your Pi Update

SOLD! Already! The listing for my 'Miss Lillian' went live on MLS on May 1 at 4:00 p.m. On the 7th day I had an offer to purchase from the second couple who saw it the previous day! (I knew she was a gem.)

The offer was pretty firm: there was a bit of back-and-forth after the home inspection, but I can say I'm very proud to know that I loved my house so well that an inspector found so little wrong with it. The offer was finalized before the long weekend.

Saturday we had a 'little work day'. Now that the house is sold, the moving can begin in earnest. And it has. The family room and master bedroom furniture were already spoken for, so we drained the waterbed and called the family who wanted the sofa and loveseat. Darling changed the dining room light fixture (for a very pretty, very inexpensive one I bought at Home Hardware) and I began emptying cupboards of all but the barest essentials. Then I scrubbed out four cupboards in the kitchen -- top ones, requiring lots of up-and-down off a chair. ow.

Add to that, numerous trips up and down stairs to set up the drain kit for the waterbed. ow. Then add some rudimentary gardening to tame down one of the perennial gardens. ow. ow.

Yesterday I was too sore to move, so I didn't.

But, there's more 'ow.' Darling and I took a look around the yard today. It all started innocently enough, just popping those leftovers from my old garden into the ground, eh? No biggie. The fresh air got the better of me, however, and, once the pansies and sweet woodruff were in place I decided to move some rocks (rocks!) to border the unsightly bricks that my predecessor 'planted' around the border of a high-profile garden.

Segue: if you ever need a plant for a shady area, sweet woodruff is THE one! It makes a great ground cover, and spreads well once established. The little white flowers are great, and once it matures in the summer time, you can bring cuttings into the house to dry. As the cuttings dry, they smell like freshly mown hay.

Before I moved the rocks, however, I decided that the rock garden outside the office and front door needed a good shake-up. Next thing I knew, the 'mad yard man' that I apparently inherited from my father came out in me: I grabbed the leaf rake and spent a good hour on that bed and the approach to the front door. I filled the wheelbarrow at least seven times with what I raked up and filled the area between the front and back steps 18 inches deep with pine needles and oak leaves. Then I moved the rocks and dug up the bricks. So, now I can't move again. ow. again.

All weekend I've been saying there's a jacuzzi in my future, and tonight had better be the night.

Right now, I want to publicly thank the ancient soul who invented the wheelbarrow! There could have been a lot more 'ow' in this story if that thing hadn't been invented!

Lastly, the Sleeves in your Pi update: I'm rocking along now! By my calculations last night, I shouldn't need the six optional rounds before the edging, which means I've about seven rounds to go before beginning the edging. And I'm still on my second skein of Heritage! Either those sleeves are going to use a lot of yardage, or I've got WAY too much yarn. Cool!

So, now that I can't move (again), I'm going to go give Darling a hand with dinner. For those of you checking in about Knit Together, bear with me. I'm as anxious for it to be in your hands as you are, and it will be along.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Did I mention he can cook, too?

Before I address the titleof this post, I have to mention that I got two more pieces finished for Knit Together today! Goodie! I still have two to do for the February issue, but I got one more done for it, and I got one done for the soon-to-follow (I hope and pray) May issue!

Now, about dinner. Darling is not only quite the naturalist, studying birds and ducks and all, but he's also quite a handyman... he's been working on a carport for his car and my Miss Mac'Ntyre from white pine logs he harvested off a lot he used to own. And he can cook. I must be the luckiest woman on the planet!

On days when I'm glued to the computer trying to make up for lost time due to real estate agents and commuting, he usually makes a nice dinner, and often lunch, too, not to mention those Saturday morning breakfasts. Well, he excelled tonight! He took his mother's recipe for sweet-and-sour spare ribs (which as it happens is the same as my mother's recipe for them) and he tweaked it with some smoky barbecue sauce, a little worcestershire sauce and tabasco. OMG, what a meal! I hope he wrote down what he did so he can do it again!

Back at the carport, he was telling my dad yesterday about squaring off the logs with a chainsaw, and buying a hand adze to smooth them down. Dad says, "I've got an adze up in the garage," and within minutes he pulled down a bona-fide family heirloom adze, sans handle. While Darling and I were out, Dad cleaned and sharpened the old artifact, and we brought it home. By noon today, Darling had carved a handle for it and was practicing.

"pung, pung, pung" I heard from the back stoop. Instantly I recognized this as an ancient noise. I have a theory about ancient noises and modern noises. Our ears can tolerate ancient noises far more easily than modern ones. The low moos of cows, the soft pung, pung, of an adze striking wood and the 'ffp' of the ensuing chips hitting dry leaves, or the quiet squeak of a spinning wheel are each more tolerable, and for longer lengths of time, than the sound of a neighbour's stereo, a far-off chainsaw, or sea-doos out on the bay. Anyway, that's the theory that I have.

At 'coffee break' this morning we sat out in the back yard. It was too cool to sit out front by the water, so we parked a pair of lawn chairs out back in the shelter of the house. I've concluded that there is no bad view around here...currently the trilliums are in full bloom, and even when you're sitting just west of the septic field, you've still got a view.

That wasn't so bad, was it?

In the last post I advised I was a little beyond the armholes of my Sleeves in your Pi sweater...well, after I wrote that, I discovered I had two extra stitches in one of the repeats. Being an experienced knitter, I thought, "No problem, I'll just pull back the section." Well, kids, that doesn't always work.

After two nights and much muttering under my breath, and after several posts on the related knitting lists doing the equivalent of crying in my beer, I decided to resign myself to the 'frog pond.' So, one night after work, when the light was still bright in the living room, I sat down on the floor and started pulling.

It turned out extremely well. I only had to tear back to the waste yarn for the sleeves. There was still a problem before that, but it was just a couple of rounds down, so the experience kicked in and I was able to fix it. The problem was less 'fixable' because of the slanting arrowhead design of that point of the piece.

The recent blocking helped the stitches to keep their shape well: I was able to get all of the stitches picked up before dinner was ready. (at 48 sts per repeat, that's just under 300 sts).

So, now I'm only one row beyond the armholes again, but I still have hair left in my head.

The moral of the story is sometimes ripping back can be more efficient than a 'sectional fix.'

In other news: I've been e-mailing back and forth with our featured designer for the next issue of Knit Together, and after two showings, I got an offer on my house!

Friday, May 2, 2008

In the beginning...

This is it. This is the sweater that started it all. It is my first serious contribution to the knitting world. In one way it is the first sweater I ever completed, and in another way, it is a 30 year old UFO. Allow me to digress...

In 1978 I was a freshly-engaged young woman who was staring down a ten-day stay in hospital. "I'm going to need something to do," I thought. So I decided to take up knitting again. I went to the LYS and bought a nice red case containing every size of Aero needles and enough yarn to make matching sweaters for me and the man I was engaged to. As you can see, I chose a rather complex Norwegian pattern from a current Paton's leaflet of the day.

Seven years and several other projects later I finished his sweater, which he wore on occasion, even though the sleeves were a little short. Then I began the sweater for myself, and that's when this became a, technically this is part of the second sweater I ever attempted, but it is an exact replica of the first one. Oh, and the yarn? It was Paton's, too. Astra, of all things! The yarn for the other pieces of this sweater eventually became a Christmas tree sweater and matching leggings for a baby. It has worked out well for all of us, I think. That colour of red looks awful on me, anyway!

Last post I promised to include a shot of the Sleeves in your Pi sweater I'm working on. Here's how it looked when I blocked the back to measure for the sleeve placement. I'm about 4 cm beyond that point now. Isn't it pretty?
Yesterday was another big day on the old home front. The listing was finalized, and the sign will be up by the time I post this. The end of a 22.5 year era!

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Another Week, A Little Closer to Moving

So much has happened this week! So much happened today!

On the home front, my sister came over on Thursday night and helped me sort through more STUFF in preparation for listing. I'm hoping to have the house on the market by this time next week. Every day I get a bit closer with help from sis, Darling, and my friend, Julie, who has been doing a bit of yard work and working some magic indoors, too.

One of the clutter-busting techniques I learned recently is to take photographs of those things that clutter your home (you know, like the 150 sheep that have found their way to your home as if your name is Mary!). Then you can still enjoy the memory of the things, without having them take up cubic feet in your house (or your new house, as is the case for me.) Here are a few special friends I'm prepared to part with. Can you tell I'm a child of the 70s? Extra points if you can name all five!

It was a busy week at work by and large, and there's a meeting on Monday and three agendas to do Monday and Tuesday, so it will be busy there, too.

Today I took Mom and Darling's DIL to the Knitter's Frolic at the Japanese Cultural Centre in Toronto. The members of the Downtown Knit Collective put this show on annually, and at this point I want to give a big WAVE to all the people I saw walking around with Volunteer tags on. It's really a nice day for me: I get to talk to a lot of vendors and knitters, and I get to expose some of my family and friends to some of the great new things on the market for knitters.

I only got to take two pictures at the Frolic, and the one I wanted to post here didn't turn out they way I wanted. I only made one note, but I collected a lot of information on brochures and business cards, and, as always, I met a lot of great new knitting vendors including two from the United States! Oh, and the shopping?

Hmmmm... well, I recently saw the Orkney Pi shawl on the EZ as Pi yahoo group, and I've decided it's a MUST DO, so I bought some deep green laceweight for that. Then there was this young vendor from Keswick just starting out, so I bought a skein of blue laceweight (but could just have easily bought the yellow or the turquoise -- pretty stuff!) from her. In upcoming issues of Gizmos, look for beaded shawl pins, wool wash, knitting bags and a couple other goodies!
While uploading the photos of the Frolic, I came across another 'stash' photo: This one is the ocean-coloured yarn I bought at Wool Trends in St. John's NL the summer before last. It's Briggs & Little Heritage, which I'd never worked with before (unlike their Regal, which I've worked with a LOT). I was going to make's pinwheel sweater in the adult size for me because I took the baby version of that pattern to make up on that trip!

Instead, I bought some Heritage in Briggs & Little's Anniversary Twist last November at Mabel Corlett's event in Gananoque. Currently I'm using it to make the "Sleeves in your Pi" shawl/ sweater/ cardigan from the XRX Ponchos book. Hopefully I can get an in-progress shot of this in the coming days. Part of the beauty of blogging is being able to track the progress of your work. Work. That's on tomorrow's agenda, but it's all Guild work, so it will be a lot of fun.
Yes, I know, I wrote this as if it was Saturday, but the post is dated Sunday. Just remember Bell is a four letter word. Our modem is dying and they refuse to acknowledge the fact.
So, stay tuned for today's post. It was going to be much more upbeat until I spent a half hour crawling around under a desk trying to get an internet connection earlier today!

Friday, April 18, 2008

Calling Lace Knitters!

In an earlier post I mentioned some yarn samples I've been doing. One of those samples was Misti Alpaca. It's a laceweight, so check this out:

The pattern is from page 150 of Victorian Lace Today. I mis-read the pattern in two places. One of them is the dark ridge across the middle... it's supposed to be lacy fagotting. The other mistake is one of those classic lace ones... You'll have to find it, 'cause I'm not tellin'.
Close up pics of this lace will appear in the February 2008 issue of Knit Together, along with a black-and-white version of this funky yarn sample. It's San Jose by Needful yarn. Our sample came in the Stitch 'n Pitch bags last summer. It's a cool yarn, and I'm hoping to get a child's hat knitted for the cover of the February issue.
In other news, the swans have flown off to nesting sites, the common mergansers are fighting over the nest box, the bufflehead ducks are all paired up. I've taken a vacation day to get some writing done, so I'd better go!

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Strong Women Dance

It seems hats are about all I'm getting accomplished these days. This one is destined for my good friend Julie, who is having a 'bout' of ovarian cancer. She's the second woman I know who has been afflicted with this disease in the last six months.

Strong Women Dance is the name of this hat. I got the pattern from the Knitting Pattern A Day calendar. It is also posted on the Charitable Crafters blog, .

Julie has a great sense of humour and she'll love this hat and what it stands for. This isn't a chemo cap, as Julie has 'only' required two round of radiation therapy so far (as if that's not enough). It will be a winter hat which will look great with her red hair! I hope by then she can wear it in good health!

Sunday, April 6, 2008

No, really, I'm trying to get some work done!

It is Sunday. This week my sister's assignments are done. There are no dinners to cook for 8, and Cheryl couldn't make my mercy run to Aurora for drawer handles. So why is Wolfie in this chair, and not me?

Because the phone rang. Twice. So, when Wolfie curled up on my chair during call #2, I snapped this pick of him keeping my seat warm.

Saturday I was too ill to even knit, so today was my window. After taking care of a letter writing issue I had to wrap up, I did get to spend some quality time in that chair on the right. It felt good, even if I was a little jealous that Darling was playing Starries in the next chair.

At 6:30 this morning, I was up feeding this fine fellow and his mate. I'm still trying to get used to the thought that the largest bird in North America is hanging out in my front yard!

So, after a long day, I'm about to sign off for the night... after a quick game of Starries!

For the Love of Knit!


Monday, March 31, 2008

A week? Already?

I can't believe it's been a week since my last post. It's been a flurry of real estate agents (I'm moving house), my sister's homework (she's in university, or rather WE are), trying to get tax information ready for the accounting 'guy', workouts (where is that T4?), and I even squeezed in a spinning meeting/pot luck on Saturday (mmmmm..... pot luck!). It was good to see the girls again. Apparently, and I say apparently because it doesn't seem as if I've been away for so long, I've been away for a few months.

I'm knitting too. At knitting guild last Wednesday (Severn-Muskoka) we did short-row heels, but of course I wasn't doing short-row heels, I was doing short row knees. Last fall I hurt a knee playing tennis, and it's been a bother ever since. Turns out it's 'mild' osteo-arthritis.

On the Knit Together front, apart from getting the books ready for the revenue guys, I'm knitting up a beautiful pale pink sample of Misti Alpaca.

Monday, March 24, 2008

More Project Information

A year or so ago, I took to doing some pretty involved yarn samples for Knit Together. I'm sure they helped contribute to my lateness! For example, this piece, was made out of Lace, by Shelridge Farm. The pattern is the Frances Scarf from Stahman's Shawls and Scarves. The neck ribbing (which is barely visible at the top of the photo) was made with 2mm needles. Never thought I'd see the day, but there it is, and I enjoyed doing it!

The tabs of the scarf look different, but it's because I intentionally left the one on the left unblocked, to show at workshops how blocking can truly enhance a piece of lace.

The scarf at the right was the featured project in our May, 2006 issue. It was designed by Johanna Bischopping, a talented lace designer who passed away before I had the opportunity to meet and interview her. Her family kindly gave us permission to print this pattern they found in her collection. It was the first charted design to be featured in Knit Together. The yarn used to make the sample was Fleece Artist Blue Faced Leicester. The slight variegation didn't take away from the lace too much at all.

Easter was lovely: I got some yarn reviews "plugged in" for the next issue, and we had my Mom and Dad, Darling's son, DIL, and GS, and my sister and her boyfriend for dinner.

We enjoyed turkey with all the trimmings, except for the relish and cranberry sauce, which we forgot to set out. GS enjoyed an egg hunt, which his mom videoed. The trumpeter swans, Canada geese and beaver all gave us a swim-past. The pileated woodpecker flew in for a nibble on his white pine tree stump, and a mink toodled across the shoreline.

Now, it's Monday afternoon, and I want to get a book review or two done.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Easter Ramblings

In my last post I mentioned the Warm Hands Network. The mittens on the right have been sent off to them. These were made from Briggs & Little Regal. There were a few other things that went in that shipment... this cheery jacket and hat went their way, too but *not* the cute face that joined the 'photo op'! That's Zoey, my 'shih-tzu on stilts'. Well, officially, she's mine... unofficially, she adopted Darling a couple years ago!

In looking up this photo from the external hard drive, I came across another one that's been getting a lot of attention on Ravelry... not my version, but the pattern in general. It's the Pinwheel Sweater from It's a free pattern, designed by Shelley Mackie. is one of Canadian Guild of Knitters' Retail Members. I made this pattern in sayelle from my grandmother's stash. (You know you don't knit enough when....) Gram's been gone for 21 years now. It's nice to finally get some of these things done for her...

The sleeves look 'wrong' because they're done in a 2 x 2 ribbing, which draws them in to a rediculously skinny width. I picked it, though, because I figured they would keep little arms warm, grow with the baby, and fit more comfortably under a coat. (We are, after all, living in Canada.) This sweater was a gift to Darling's grand-niece, and it got a lot of 'chatter' at the shower. If I ever figure out how to get pictures loaded on to Flickr again, this shot might get uploaded on my Ravelry page.

I've spent Friday working on the next issue of Knit Together, and I'll likely do that on Monday as well. Sunday, we're having family over for turkey. We've got an Easter egg hunt planned for Darling's grandson, who is 2 1/2. Should be fun.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Hugs and Kisses Hats

Recently I've taken to knitting on coffee breaks and lunch hours again. For short spans of knitting such as these, I like to make little projects -- it makes me feel like I'm getting something accomplished. These hats have gotten a lot of attention around the lunch table. The pattern is one I obtained from the Warm Hands Network's site.

The first hat I knitted (left) I forgot to switch to p1 k1 on the second row, so I carried on, and made the brim in moss stitch, instead of the called-for seed stitch. Because the moss stitch worked up longer than expected, I left out the 'checkerboard' that should have been below the bottom stripe. The top of the hat has a flat shaping, or so I assume, but the way the pattern is written, it pulled into gathers. For the second hat (right) I started the shaping with k5, k2tog around. This gave a little better effect, but it still puckered some. Worked in worsted weight on 4.5mm needles, these hats fit a 2 1/2 year old very well.

Next, I made an adult version out of Shetland Style Chunky. This hat has a 1 1/4 inch 1 x 1 ribbed band, but it made it so tall, the laughter over the resulting stovepipe caused me to turn it to the inside and hem it down. Bonus: it made a super warm hat!

For the top of this one, I put two rounds of plain knitting between the decrease rounds for the first 4 decreases. It made a near-perfectly flat top.
The next 'at work' project will be some yarn swatches for the next issue of Knit Together. I love my part-time job!

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Hey, everybody, meet Darling!

There's a story behind that title, and the sweater he's wearing, too!

First the sweater. Darling is wearing my test-knit of the Byron's Daylight in Hofsos sweater designed by Leanne Dyck of Olavia's ( The pattern appears in the November, 2007 issue of Knit Together. The walnut coloured yarn doesn't show the pattern up well, so I'll describe it a bit: it's a stocking stitch design with a very cool rib on the cuffs, a seed stitch panel up the left side of the front, and a seed stitch yoke and collar.

As for the title, it's kind of a cute story: When we first met, Darling had just become a grandfather for the first time. I wrote (we were e-mailing at the time): "What do you want to be called? (meaning Granddad, poppa, you know.) He wrote back, "You can call me Darling!" And I've been doing it ever since!

More bits!

No knitting got done last night. My sister dropped by for some help with her social sciences homework which includes information about natural dyes. Between that and a fitness commitment, I only had time left to toss a few things into boxes.

For anyone new to Canadian Guild of Knitters, we've been publishing Knit Together since 2002. Last year we celebrated our fifth anniversary with a new logo and a new website. If I ever get truly skilled at this HTML thing, I might even get my blog to look more like the website.

Oh yes, the webstite... it's

The reason I'm tossing things into boxes is because I'm in the process (long, drawn out process, I might add) of moving out of a home I've lived in for 22 years. So, if I'm a day or so getting back to you, please understand!

Monday, March 10, 2008

A quick look back

The problem with wanting to start a blog for some time means that there are things you have wanted on a blog for some time. Being in 'real time' blogging doesn't lend itself to playing catch up. Nonetheless, I'm going to try.

Here are a couple of photos I've wanted 'out there' of projects from recent issues of Knit Together...

This is the gold version, medium width, of the beaded bracelets in the August 2007 issue. Some projects are just plain fun, and this was one of them. The beads in this case, came from a big box store that sells everything from soup to nuts, and the gold rayon cord was left over from a beaded scarf project.
The red and black cowl is the mini project from the November, 2007 issue of Knit Together. This is the Coziest thing! I have worn it all winter, and when I had to replace my coat I opted for one without a hood. It's made from Patons Divine and Bernat Boa. I also knitted the full-size man's sweater, Byron's Daylight in Hofsos, but haven't got any photos of it quite yet.

A Long Time Coming!

For a long time I have wanted to create a blog for Canadian Guild of Knitters. Today was the day! Look for updates over the coming days.

There were several reasons for wanting a blog: 1. I publish in black and white and have these lovely colour photos of the projects we put in the magazine. I really want to share! 2. I wanted a bit of a chronicle of the day-to-day events with Canadian Guild of Knitters. 3. I wanted a chronicle of my personal knitting adventures! Knit Together consumes a lot of knitting time, and a lot of writing time, but I do get to do an odd project for personal satisfaction, and want to share them, too. 4. You know, I figured it couldn't hurt to have another hobby (just kidding).


Yours in knitting,