TTC Knit-a-long and other antics

Nigh on a month since my last post, oh my. Work gets crazy when school gets out, that’s really my only excuse. That and the beau and I had a vacation. Niagara!

Vineyard inspecting.

On to more on-topic things… July 14 was the annual TTC Knitalong, and my first year attending. It was ridiculously hot for Toronto (42 degrees!) and the Queen streetcar was under construction, which meant more walking, but it was lots of fun regardless.

There are some great photos here. Plus the event made the news!

Behold, my purchases:

The yarns are Berroco Linsey (I have plans for a lace t-shirt) and Jo Sharp DK Wool. Yes, I splurged on a Namaste bag (there was a sale!). The Bette Hochberg books are fantastic and hard to get your hands on, being from the 70s as they are. They can go for a lot online, but I got them for $12 each. I was a very happy girl.

The free swag we got made me even happier. Behold, the final haul:


And that photo doesn’t include the patterns we got in our loot bags as well. Mine included:

Hansel Mittens by Stephannie Roy, the Aberdeen Ave. Hat by Glenna C. and the Signal Hill Scarf by Laura Chau. I believe I will make all of them 😀

I also recently acquired a lot of roving (Craigslist I love you… most of the time).

And naturally this meant I needed a spindle. I found a basic high-whorl for a decent price on eBay. I happened to come from a family in Wyoming who raises their own alpacas, hence I ended up with a kit with more oh-so-soft roving.

I immediately used my birthday gift of a Chapters gift card to order Abby Franquemont’s book Respect the Spindle. If I can’t go to Rhinebeck for her workshop this year (partially since I am now out of funds), it’s the next best thing. I had some credit left over, so I also got Gibson-Roberts’ Spinning in the Old Way 😀 Thanks to magpiecrafter for the great book advice (originally heard of Hochberg through her blog as well).

I somehow managed to find time to make another doll for Heart for Africa. They are now on their way to children affected by AIDS in Swaziland.

Also this past week, I stumbled across this ridiculously cute piece of whimsical online reading, featuring quite a lot of knitting!

And last, but not least, the Ravellenic games starts this week (along with something called the “Olympics,” whatever). Got my projects all picked out. I will be entering the Cable Steeplechase with Tanis Gray’s Cabled Belt from Vogue Knitting Winter 08/09 since I’ve been meaning to make it for a while. I’ll also (am I taking on too much?) be making a TARDIS amigurumi, using Ms. Parke’s lovely design. A) it’s super cute, B) I needed something to enter into the British Cricket event that I actually wanted to make. Team TARDIS will so be besting Team SHERlocked, hands down.

New York trip makes a good yarn

I’m back from NYC!

Mom and I had a great mother-daughter time.

Look! A library! Oh, and the beautiful scenery of Bryant Park too.

Just a couple more gratuitous photos (I actually managed to take some good ones so I have to share) and then there is some yarn news, I promise.

Central Park


Driving through Times Square via pedicab with our awesome cabbie.

Annnnd *drumroll* the Lanesplitter is finally done! I was determined to get the finishing done so I could wear it, so I did. It involved two late nights stitching in my hotel bed while mom complained about the light being on. Sorry mom!

Now for more NYC related yarny goodness! Cause you know I couldn’t come home without a few skeins.

I managed to talk mom into two stores. I really owe her for that.

Voilà Purl Soho.

And the yummy DK weight Merino blend I bought there. Mmm

Some have said Purl Soho can have an elitist feel. I didn’t get that vibe. It has an upscale look to it, but I think this is just due to its location and the fact that it is very well laid-out and the displays are artfully done (apparently the owner used to work for Martha Stewart, so there you go). I found the staff friendly (granted there is a small possibility I may be biased since three of them commented on my Lanesplitter). The prices were usual and not inflated to my mind.

We also popped uptown to hit up Knitty City and The Yarn Company. Unfortunately Knitty City was closed  because it was Memorial Day. (Being two Canadians in NYC for Memorial Day of the bicentennial anniversary year of the War of 1812 was interesting timing on our part. American history classes like to gloss over the fact that we won). I neglected to get a photo of The Yarn Company but here’s my swag, complete with labelled bag that proves I was there.

I wish I had gotten a picture of the inside: they have a huge and wide selection of yarns that is beautifully displayed. The new owners have done a bang-up job.

I’m excited for the Tanis Gray pattern, though funny enough that is not what the yarn I bought is destined for.

This Woolen Rabbit skein (Opulence in colourway Mystic Mountain Pine) I just got because of the deep glorious greens and the fact that I’ve never seen it in Canada. It was the last one left, so I’ll have to think of a small project for it.

I also don’t think I have seen Hedgehog Fibers in Canada, so I picked up some sock yarn (yes, more Merino). In the Fool’s Day colourway unique to The Yarn Company to boot.

I think it will be an Amiga when it grows up. Amazingly, one ball should be enough. Score!

I know I’ve been rebloging lately, but I’ve bee loving reading this vivid photographic journey through Peru focusing on it’s rich textile culture, so I had to share. The author’s company, LN|, sells items that are hand-knitted & hand-crocheted, in Belgium as well as in Peru. In her own words, “whereas in Belgium my beloved co-workers are grannies, in Peru they are young mothers who find themselves in difficult familial situations and rough living circumstances. There is a lot of unemployment in Ayacucho, making it difficult to create a good economy. That’s why good-cause organization Solid International, founded in 2000, tries to create employment and better living conditions by combining knowhow and experience from a team of experts. It has no use to just give money to the poor, which is in no means sustainable. Solid tries to find small employees to create employment, and so me, LN|, is one of them.”

Awesome, no?


Finally, back to writing. We have been extremely busy these past few days. The busier, the better, so we like!

Let’s start off with day 16. Last Wednesday was the first day that me and Griet had to work apart from each other. Griet is namely not only here in order to take stunning pictures for LN|Andes and LN|Beanies, but also for Solid International. So in the morning she went to the ‘campo’, and I finally had some time to sit down and work. And so I did, in the sun, on the terrace, it’s not bad working here I must say!

In the afternoon I was hunting delicious pies since I wanted to do and bring something for my beloved young girls and elegant ladies. Armed with which I recon 4kg of Peruvian pie I headed towards DIA to participate in a second workshop and, of course, to…

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Ah, the cold!

Ah the cold, I love you and hate you at the same time. I may be stuck in the house with an epic cough, afraid to go outside lest the -25°C (that’s -13°F for you American folk) gusts worsen it, but then again there is something nice about genuinely having a day with nothing to do but hunker down inside while the snow drifts prettily onto the windowsill with    andand my knitting. I’m even still in my PJs, I’m not gonna lie.

And luckily, there is no housework to do. I somehow had the foresight to do it all yesterday on our first day back after the holiday. In fact, we did more than housework, we also did a much-needed purge of stuff to send to the Sally Ann. One of the things we did? consolidate all of my books onto one bookcase. ONE. Those that know me will have an idea of how monumental an undertaking this was. Tears were shed. But look! it all fits now! (sort of)

I’d like to point out that one half of the entire top shelf (how appropriate, since my collection is ‘top shelf’ indeed, har har) is devoted to crafting (95% knitting). Obviously I have a book problem – which reminds me that you should all go read this

My problem also extends to loose-leaf pattern collecting as well. I have a file folder separated by pattern type. I know, it’s a tad on the crazy side, but don’t worry, I am normal to the extent that here is the yet-to-be-categorized pile –>





Alas, I have not been able to get much knitting or crochet accomplished over the holidays. Though I did manage to whip this off on Dec 23rd to go with my brother’s girlfriend’s gift.

It’s cute, in squishy 3D, and takes no time at all! I’m so happy with it, I’m making two in lace weight to make into necklace pendants. I may go cross-eyed, but it’ll be worth it.  The pattern is free on Ravelry or here.

What I spent most of my holidays doing is driving to various functions. A highlight was our Dec 31st drive to Newmarket to take advantage of the last day of Unwind‘s Boxing Week sale. What a great store! And a very pretty drive, even with (or maybe because of) the fog.

Between Unwind and Michael’s, I got some pretty good yarn sales over boxing week, including Noro for the Lanesplitter KAL the Toronto 20-Somethings are going to be doing soon. Extra surprising because I only had 15 minutes at Unwind before we had to leave for the next stop on our New Years tour :S Definitely have to go back.

Behold, my booty:

Plus of course there are the gifts I got from my family, who know me well enough to know exactly what to get me 😉

Head Over Heels

So, going to be lazy here, and point you all in this direction (click picture for link)

I know it’s not knitting related, but it is library related! I hope you’ll forgive me. And seriously… so pretty. Plus it’s also slightly Gothic in honour of Hallowe’en, so there you go 😉

In Canada, the closest we have if this:

Still nice, but… *sigh*

It (Emmanuel College Library, btw) does have this claim to fame, however.

Knitting in Vegas

It’s been a couple of weeks, I know. I have a good excuse! I was in Las Vegas. The strip was all that it’s chalked-up to be, but the highlight for me was definitely the Grand Canyon.

Didn’t get much knitting in, besides some on the plane (you can bring needles now! though I erred on the side of caution and stayed away from metal) and on the 4 hours bus ride to the canyon. At least I got a start on the scarf though.

I need to have it done by the time the Creativ Festival rolls around at the end of October. I want my free gift! (of course, giving to charity is a great added bonus too 🙂

Aaaannnd I have yet another book I am hankering to buy: Amigurumi Two!: Crocheted Toys for Me and You and Baby Too by Ana Rimoli.

So. much. cute! Just look at this little guy. He fits INTO the pear! And this is by far the cutest mobile I have ever seen.