A Winter Wonderland

sheep_shearing_1_mdContinuing on the topic of using real wool from another recent post, I wanted to point out an exciting trend of going “back to wool” that I’ve noticed in my web travels. And I don’t mean just knitting with it, I mean interest in the whole process, from farm to shearer to spindle to needle.

1) Clara Parkes of Knitter’s Review recently accounced her Great White Bale project.

2) Juniper Moon’s The Shepherd and The Shearer

3) Kate Davies‘ love of Jamieson & Smith Real Shetland Wool.

If I had more disposable income, I’d be all over all of these.

Instead, I’ve made a slightly smaller splurge and bought Parkes’ book The Knitter’s Book of Yarn

It’s a delightful doorstop of a book, with lots of info on fibre types and sources, how it’s made, plying, and what each yarn is best used for. To illustrate the latter over 38 patterns are featured, which includes gorgeousness such as this:

I was also coveting her The Knitter’s Book of Wool:

It is equally as gorgeous, and perhaps even more detailed since it goes into great depth on sheep breeds and their wools. But since I don’t use wool exclusively (and since my budget and bookshelf can only take so many new acquisitions), the more general overview in The Knitter’s Book of Yarn won out.

Speaking of great depths, Penny Walsh’s The Yarn Book, a part of the University of Pennsylvania Press’ Textile Arts series, is brimming with all of the technical information you’ll ever need.

Baaaa

baa

I’m also excited about…

I’m on the organizing committee for Pucks n’ Purls this year. This is our second year and we’re continuing to grow. Over 200 seats sold so far! Hockey (a Canadian tradition), ice skating (likewise), and so many prizes to win, donated by some awesome companies, designers, and local yarn stores. Just look at all of the names on this list:

Knit-O-Matic, Lettuce Knit, Old Mill Knitting, Estelle, Michelle Porter, Creative Yarns, Denise Powell, Indigodragonfly, Tanis Fiber Arts, Wool & Wicker, Linda’s Craftique, Soak, Westminster Fibers, and Fiona Ellis.

One of the prizes is temporarily living in my house until game day. So much temptation…

And now I’m finally going to share what I made for the holidays.

Hat for Dad

TravelWees (such a cute idea) for my neices.

This was the first time I’ve sewn in a while. Luckily, it doesn’t look like I forgot how. I also made my nieces each a necklace, as well as another type of necklace for my stepmom and a brooch for my Grandma.

And a holiday recap isn’t complete without mention of my awesome present:

VoilĂ  my Pandora braclet. I’ve slowly started collecting charms, and was dismayed to find there is no knitting related one. I found this delightful yarn basket charm on eBay. It’s not official Pandora, but it fits, it’s .925 silver and it’s knitting!

I leave you with some snow-filled photos of my New Years spent up north.

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Pucks n’ Purls pt 2

So, it turns out my friends and co-attendees to Pucks n’ Purls, Alia and Ilana, took much more pictures than I did. Check them out for a fun read.

Not much to report this week as I worked most days, including the weekend. However I did manage to get out for a girls’ night and ended up taking home some hand-me-downs from a friend who shares my size. Included was this shirt with a crocheted top edge:

I remember thinking “ooh, pretty crochet” before tossing it in the laundry hamper. It wasn’t until I was folding the laundry that I remembered something that the Yarn Harlot had taught me in her most recent book, All Wound Up (you can read my review here): all crochet is done by hand, ALL of it.

Here’s a close-up. Just LOOK at those stitches. And in sock weight. On a mass-produced t-shirt. Dear god I feel inadequate.

Also, LOOK! more colours are manifesting in the Lanesplitter! I think I can live with this. Albeit I’m not the hugest fan of the lime green that the purple is giving way too… :S

Pucks, purls, cats, and bears, oh my

Saturday was Pucks n’ Purls!
Hockey, beer, poutine, and freezing weather. A very Canadian, and very enjoyable, day!

Lanesplitter has been started! Unfortunately I was several rows in before I realized that my interpretation of “use two balls of variegated yarn that start with different colours” had resulted in something that looks like a Christmas elf barfed it up. I kept knitting, figuring it’s variegate, it’ll change soon. Nope. Here it is JUST starting to change colours. I’m stubbornly keeping my fingers crossed that this will turn out, feeling too invested to frog it. It’s just one small corner in the grand scheme of things… right?Where are all the other colours going to make an appearance?!

At least the wrist warmers are coming along alright.Yay!

A colleague wanted to know if I could knit a lapel pin after this design

Yeah, she’s a big fan.

It just didn’t lend itself to a 2×2 piece – the smaller details would not have shown through. So I ended up with this embroidery/needlepoint-on-canvas-type-thing.

Does it work as a likeness? You be the judge.

I haven’t mentioned Desmond in a while, a whole 2-3 posts even. So here’s an update.

Seeing double? One of our neighbours has a black cat that looks almost identical to Desmond. I’m hoping Desmond doesn’t grow much more, or we truly won’t be able to tell them apart.

It’s a daily routine: they do this sort of staring contest for a while, and then…

they wrestle? Yup, wrestling. I’ve never seen behaviour like it, but they don’t fight – there’s no hissing or scratching, and any biting doesn’t break the skin. They just… wrestle. Maybe it’s a black cat thing?

On the Sunday we went antiquing out in Norfolk county. I found this cute little handknit bear from Ireland:

I didn’t buy it only because I don’t have enough space for all my yarn-related stuff as it is. I did think it was worth taking a picture of though. Is it bad that I also thought “I can do better”?