Sunday, December 26, 2010

Year End Wrapup

January - ongoing magic loop socks.

February - finished my first ever complete pair of socks! I also joined the Knitting Olympics, and made a Victorian Shawl, finished early!

March - The Easy Peasy Tee in progress, and an update on the kilt hose. I did quite a bit of organization in two gorgeous yellow boxes, of which Frodo approved.

April - finished the Easy Peasy Tee and gave it away to a colleague. And the kilt hose got feet!

May - put together a gift set for a new baby. I also optimistically said "And now, for the first time in a long time, I only have two projects on the go - the kilt hose and the scallop-edged blanket. After that, I've got two socks and two sweaters I've promised to others. And then we'll see..."

But since when does a knitter ever have "only" a few projects on the go?

June - took the kilt hose on holiday but got only a row or two done due to the heat. Visited an alpaca farm! I came home with a bag of unspinnable fibre; the plan is to sew it into a pillow for Sam, who loves alpaca wool (see the bottom of this page), but I haven't done that yet.

July - discovered a lovely pattern for a summer dress for babies. Made one that turned out to be too small for all three of the babies I was knitting for.

August - made a larger dress for my niece and a medium sized one for my Goddaughter. Well, made is the optimum word. Started, is more accurate.

September - all the writing I was doing put the knitting further behind.

October - completed the large dress, and here's the beautiful girl wearing her dress! I was still working on my second pair of magic loop socks.

November - alternately working on the stripey socks and the kilt hose.

December - finished the socks! Here's my friend Agnieszka's beagle Zippy, wondering if they might fit him:

Every once in a while I find a knitting related image on The Orientalist Gallery. This time, there's one called The Wool Spinner.

And oh yes, I'm still working on the kilt hose. But distracted once again - I've gotten a request for a holiday scarf, and found just the right wool to duplicate the Christmas scarf I made two years ago.

I'm also on my own now that Helen's gone to England - the ninnies have gone international!

We'll see what we plan for and accomplish in the year ahead...

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Stripey Socks!

Freezing cold outside, and snowy and icy:

Just the right conditions for some bright happy socks:

Thank you to Helen for the wool!

And now, back to our regularly scheduled kilt hose.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Pints and Purls

I see a light at the end of the tunnel - I'm only a Kitchener stitch away from completing the socks and then...

Well, ideally I'd get around to finishing those kilt hose I started. On the other hand, Helen got me an amazing birthday present; a copy of Pints and Purls.

There's a top-down knit shirt that looks too easy to pass up. Any excuse to buy new wool will do, I guess!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Summer in the Fall


She posts on the blog! I've almost finished the magic loop socks, I swear, but over on the writing side of my life National Novel Writing Month has me cracking out at least 15,000 words per week to finish the S*&^$%y First Draft by the end of the month.

Caught my niece in her dress this weekend though!

Can't get cuter than that!

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Illustrations and Progress

Just when I thought I had no concrete news to create a blog update, I came across a new source of inspiration.

It's always exciting when you stumble upon a new word or author or illustration that warms your insides and incites your own creativity. I attended a meeting of the Canadian Society of Children's Authors Illustrators and Performers last week that featured "A Harvest of New Books": local children’s book authors Nancy Gow, Jennifer Lloyd, P.J. Bracegirdle, Jill Murray, Alan Silberberg and local children’s book illustrators Susan Mitchell and Yayo (Diego Herrera).

Susan Mitchell's work might be familiar to some of you, whether through the children's books and cookbooks she's illustrated, or from the lines of greeting cards, giftware and other articles she's provided paintings and creations for. Her Etsy shop is here.

I say creations, because I'm in love with her needle felted characters! I mean, just look at this fellow!

So that's what Mole of The Wind in the Willows looked like come winter time!

I also love Camouflage and Little Red.

But my favourite at the moment are the creatures on her calendar, available from Lulu or Red Bubble. I'm very partial to November, but as this is a knitting blog, here, for your viewing pleasure, is March:

Oh yes, progress - I've almost finished the socks! Photos coming soon.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Summer Dress for Summer

Finally able to report that I've completed the summer dress for my niece, Summer!

No photos of her wearing it yet, unfortunately - though she did try it on - as it's autumn and she's already begun wearing layers.

Here's the dress on the flat:

And here it is hanging:

 I've got to get back to the kilt hose, but first - more socks on the Magic Loop! Here are the ankles started:

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Blog Awards!

Thanks so much to Nicki Elson for the One Lovely Blog Award!

Don't forget to head over to Nicki's page to watch her book trailer!

I hereby bestow this lovely award on...

Zia, who creates lovely patterns

Anne at Wool-tyme Kingston, cos it's one lovely store

Susan, because she recently featured a lovely piece of crochet

Stephanie, for Enrique


Helen! Knitting buddy extrordinaire!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Vintage Patterns

A raft of vintage patterns, all found here!

Saturday, October 2, 2010

As If I Needed New Patterns...

Zipping through to tell you about...

Véronik Avery, who has a new book out, featuring some truly gorgeous designs.

Knitting 24/7: 30 Projects to Knit, Wear, and Enjoy, On the Go and Around the Clock (Stewart Tabori and Chang 2010) is reviewed here, and available here.

I've got to finish these dresses and start on something new!

And, All Beatrix Potter All The Time - here's a recent post on Beatrix Potter, to go along with my photos here and here of knitting in some of her books.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Okay, so I'm a little behind...

I've been forsaking my knitting projects and have been busy wrapping up the first draft of my latest novel. Also, I'm hosting a writers' houseparty on the Compuserve Books and Writers Forum! Invitations are up now, so if you're a writer, come play - everyone's invited!

Helen, however, has been knitting up a storm: here's her cowl neck sweater and a leaf pattern tee.

I'm only a few rows away from finishing the second summer dress; then I've got to make one more, and then start on socks for Christmas gifts...

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Football and Knitting?

Who'd have thought that football season and knitting would go together? Yet Kathleen of Knitting Daily is right, while the men watch game after game, it's a perfect time to get together and knit.

Of course, you don't always need football as an excuse. Any ol' movie or tv show will do for me. Still working on dress #2, which is taking longer not because I've been slacking lately *cough* but because I chose to make the largest size given in the pattern... That's my story and I'm sticking to it!

Meanwhile, a question for you:

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Harem Scene

Courtesy of the wonderful website, The Orientalist Gallery, here is a 19th Century painting by Rudolph Ernst, featuring spinners:

Friday, August 27, 2010

Knitting Funny - Don't Try This Yourself

Major spew alert!

A hilarious post from the Panopticon, courtesy of Pam.

I'm still laughing.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Almost Complete...

Missing only the crochet round the collar! On to the second one, in green...

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

New Pattern and Promised Photos

I have started a new pattern! The only UFO I have at the moment is the kilt hose - I'm halfway up the calf - but it's too hot to be knitting in alpaca, so I've chosen a cotton pattern to make for my niece's and goddaughter's upcoming birthdays.

The pattern is here, but I've reproduced one of the images below:

Also, as promised, here are two beautiful photographs of Hortense, taken by Ani:

Monday, June 28, 2010

Friday, June 25, 2010


Given the photos of Sam at the bottom of this blog, I think it's obvious how much he loves alpaca wool. While travelling through Pennsylvania recently, I saw an advert for an alpaca farm! Turns out there are over a hundred such farms in PA alone.

We visited one near Punxsutawney called Flocks by Knight. Unfortunately, they didn't have any wool, but I came away with some wonderfully soft fibre to try - once again - to spin, courtesy of Lucky Pierre (he's the tall black guy if I remember right), and a bag of short bits (un-spinnable), which I'm planning to sew into a pillow for Sam.

Thanks to Tracy for taking the time to show us around!

Also, being a city person, I was just as impressed by the hay and the tractors and the chickens.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Truckers Who Knit

How awesome is the news in this article from the Wall Street Journal? Truckers who knit! And quilt and sew and... Like shepherds and fishermen of old, a new generation of men are finding ways to keep their fingers busy during their downtime. I've always loved truck stops - someday, I hope to run into one of these guys, like Kevin Abraham-Banks, "a 37-year-old trucker with a shaved head and dragon tattoos, [who] passes time at truck stops with his cocoa and knitting... 'The fact that you can take strands of thread and basically make something out of it, that's awesome I think,' he said."
I agree!

Saturday, June 19, 2010

World-wide Knit in Public Day!

Oh yes, today's the day! Time to take your knitting to the streets!

If you're in Montreal, WWKIPD as hosted by the MontrealKnits Yahoo Group, is taking place at Portugal Park, on St-Laurent, corner Marie-Anne, and there's also one at Effiloche. If you're in London, there's one at the Natural History Museum and one in Parliament Square, among others. Edinburgh, St Andrew's Square. New York, Coney Island. The list is endless - go forth and knit!

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Beatrix Potter's Knitting Animals II

This post and the previous post are in memory of my friend's bunny Hortense, who passed away a little while ago.

Cat knitting:

Buying wool from Mrs Flock:

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Beatrix Potter's Knitting Animals

Such adorable drawings, I had to share.

Here's a knitting mouse, from Appley Dapply's Nursery Rhymes:

And here's a knitting rabbit from the Tale of Benjamin Bunny, with a little description of what she knits.

The Oxford English Dictionary defines muffetee as:

"[Apparently irregularly < MUFF n.1 + -EE suffix2, with insertion of -et- (perhaps compare -ET suffix1). Perhaps compare NECKATEE n.] 1. A kind of mitten. Also: a kind of muff worn on the wrist for warmth or to protect the cuff; a wristlet. Now hist. {quotes cut out} 2. A muffler worn round the neck. Brit. regional.rare. a1890 E. WAUGH Tufts of Heather (1892) I. 25 He'd a thick, red wool muffatee reawnd his neck."