New Colours

We’ve had a bit of fun with our shipment of Rockshelter Sock. Someone wasn’t paying attention when they filled out the brokerage documents at Meadowcroft Dyeworks and they valued the shipment at over $2,000,000. Yes, you are reading that correctly. Two million dollars. That is either a lot of yarn or very expensive yarn. Things were straightened out today and hopefully the yarn will be here late tomorrow afternoon. The website will be updated tomorrow evening.

My Find Your Fade so far. I’m supremely jealous tonight. Beth has a new iPhone 7. We did picture comparisons and her phone takes better pictures than mine. Whenever I can, I’ll be borrowing her phone for photos from now on.

We unpacked some new colours from Sirdar this afternoon.

Sirdar Snuggly Baby Crofter Dk is a gorgeously soft yarn with an incredible Fair Isle colour effect that appears as you knit. Inspired by the gentlest colours of the Scotland Highlands, Snuggly Baby Crofter Dk is the same wonderfully soft blend of 55% nylon and 45% acrylic as Snuggly Dk, and is machine washable and easy care. This yarn will also knit to all Sirdar double knitting baby patterns.

Baby Bamboo has been a favourite for baby and adult knitting since it’s release.

Specially developed to be incredibly soft, gentle and smooth for Baby, this yarn is a new blend with natural bamboo and wool fibres. It will keep its quality through gentle machine washing.

If you’re ready to start thinking about your summer knitting, two new colours of Sirdar Cotton DK were in the box.

We have created this fabulous cotton double knitting yarn for hand knit and crochet projects – it can be used to create designs for all the family from babies to adults and looks equally gorgeous in projects for the home. The yarn is made using mercerized cotton to create a subtle sheen and incredible stitch definition so it’s the perfect yarn for lace knitting, cables and crochet work. This Cotton DK is a classic double knitting yarn that will knit to all Sirdar’s DK designs and is machine washable.

Now it’s time for tea, Love it or List it and Find Your Fade.
Source: Looms

Time to Just Get Over It

Face Reality

Someone on Facebook asked her readership,

“There are still trump supporters out there…. how? How is that even possible?”

One of the commenters left the following response,

There are many of us around who support President Trump, but choose to not discuss politics in a social media setting. I will not discuss my views here, but will say we do not have Stockholm Syndrome, are not delusional, stupid, ignorant or unintelligent. We also do not feel we have made a mistake or are ashamed. We are not sheeple. We have differing opinions. I am silent because it is better to have rational discussions about topics with people who do not hate and do not call me names rather than have an argument or debate with adults who feel name calling and disrespect is socially acceptable. I would rather keep good friends, regardless of what our opinions are, and agree we do not see eye-to-eye than call them horrible things and think that is okay. We are many. My husband and I raise our children to have a mind of their own and to know it is okay to not always agree, but to be respectful and kind. The hatred throughout the political spectrum is not going to do anything but continue to put distance between Americans. It is a sad situation for our country. If you are a “friend” of mine, you are of course more than welcome to unfriend, unfollow, block or ban. Honestly, it makes no difference to me in the grand scheme of life. I am on Facebook as a decent human being and enjoy my social media friends regardless of their political positions, because that is not all that makes us who we are.”

 Those of you who know me, know that I hate this president (yes, I know “hate” is a strong word…I hate him).  There is not one aspect of him that I can even say I admire…not one.  When I say we need to “get over it” I don’t mean to say that we should in any way stop working against all that he’s trying to do to my country and I will fight him at every opportunity.

What I do think we have to “get over” is that there are people who think very differently in this country than we do…enough of them in key States that they elected someone I find utterly detestable.  But the fact that these people exist, is something I need to recognize.  People who were terrified of the thought of Hillary running our country, and found great comfort in the alternative that was presented to them…people that weren’t as afraid of radical change to the status quo…or even more so, yearned for it.

I don’t agree with these people, but I do recognize they do exist and they have as much right to their opinion as I do mine.  I will work as hard as I can to win over their hearts and minds and find alternatives that they find better suited to their ideals than the man who currently inhabits the White House.

Current Knitting

I have been a bit obsessed lately with a pattern for a coffee cup sleeve I found recently on Pinterest called “I’d Love Some Coffee” by Thaddeus Nelson.

So I’ve made a few of them in this fantastic yarn I got at the Rocky Mountain Men’s Knitting Retreat a while ago…they look fantastic and they knit up rather quickly (once you get past the fiddliness of some of the stitch transfers.  I think I’ll be making a lot of these cup cozies.

Source: fre

Stashbust Time

Happy Family Day! My morning has been spent adding to the website. Rockshelter Sock is on the website – you to see all the awesome colours that are coming. Rainbows in the Gorge kits are on the website as well.

Now it’s time to knit for the afternoon.

I finished Clue #2 of my Ambah MKAL yesterday afternoon. I’m ready for the next clue when it comes out on Friday.

Then I moved onto Find Your Fade.

This is going to be fun!!

Stephen West has a new Mystery KAL starting in March. This one is a bit different – it’s about using up your stashed yarn.

Each week starting March 3, you will receive a section of the mystery shawl pattern until the final design is revealed on March 24. Get a group of your knitting friends together and enjoy this brand new Westknits adventure!

Join on Ravelry…

I’m including some pictures from Stephen. This might give you some ideas for yarn groupings when you go through your stash.

Sizes: Medium & Large.
You don’t need to decide a size now. Sizing information and options will be revealed towards the end of the KAL. If you love big shawls that venture into shlanket (shawl + blanket) territory, then there will be a large size for you. If you like a more “standard” shawl size, then there will be an abbreviated Medium option for you. The overall shape and dimensions are part of the mystery.

Yarn: Fingering weight held double. Lace weight mohair yarns are also recommended to add some texture.

Recommended Yarn: Stash bust! Use all kinds of fingering weight & sock yarns from your stash. I recommend using several speckled colors for a fun painterly look.

Yardage: 700-800g & 7-10 colors minimum. These are minimum suggestions for you to work with, but I always encourage you to have more colors and amounts ready to knit. More options = more color/contrast variety!

This shawl is designed to use several colors from your yarn stash. Gather a big pile of yarns to work with for your palette. Gather more yarn from your stash than you think you may need because you can always edit your yarn selection later. It’s best to have a broad range of colors and yardage amounts so you have more options to choose from while you knit each section.

I took this from Stephen’s Instagram. What a great hint to see how the colours play.

There’s a new video. Stephen is very entertaining :)

Source: Looms

Rockshelter Sock

There is a new fingering weight yarn on the way from Meadowcroft Dyeworks (it should be in the store late Wednesday afternoon).

Meet Rockshelter Sock. There are 37 colours coming – 116 skeins in all. They aren’t on the website yet – that is my job for Monday. Speaking of Monday, don’t forget that it’s Family Day in Ontario and we are closed.


Old Lace

Belltower Vespers


Harold’s Crayon



Broiled Lobster

Cranberry Bog

Chris-Craft at Dusk


Chilly and Cold River Jordan

Fingering weight
100% merino (superwash)
100g / 3.5oz
366m / 400 yds

Meadowcroft Dyeworks is run by a father and son team. Dave, the father, knit this Find your Fade with Rockshelter Sock.

I can’t wait to open the boxes and start playing.
Source: Looms

Catch-Up Saturday

 I finished the second hat this morning…after my daughter and grandkids left at dawn, I stayed in bed and knit and caught up with podcasts.  Nice way to ease into my day!
 When I had moved through the chores and ended up in the studio, I put the newly bound quilt and added it to the bedding laundry.
 From the dryer, it has just the right look now!  
Next in the studio, I picked out my next water color.  (in this month’s issue of Birds & Blooms!)
I didn’t take long to get my 5 x 7 area all drawn in.
 Then I set up my new plate for my palette and got everything ready to paint.  Lena watched but didn’t try to sit up there-that shattering plate cured her , I hope! 
 This time I filled in my background color first-much easier for me to do it this way.
 I then went to work on the baby quilt and in just a few more passes, I had the meander panto completed.
 I like the way the pastel thread marries the plain block with the print ones.
I even got the quilt labeled and hand sewn to the back!
It was a full day but always it is good to be busy for me after the house is empty again!

Source: FF


It’s been an exciting week at the Knitting & Crochet Guild collection.  I had accepted two donations of publications and they arrived though the post.  One is a wonderful collection of booklets and leaflets, published around 1920 – most of them I have never seen before.  Here is a selection:

We already have copies of that edition of Woolcraft, but not in such good condition – the other booklets are entirely new.  But this donation deserves a post to itself (later).

The other donation consisted mainly of collections of crochet samples, bound into notebooks.  I will perhaps write more about those in another post as well  (although crochet is not my thing, especially fine cotton crochet of the kind in the notebooks.)  An unexpected bonus with this donation were some very old magazines, including copies of Fancy Needlework Illustrated and Weldon’s Practical Needlework.

Fancy Needlework Illustrated is awkward to scan – the printed area is larger than A4.  So the ilustration below is just part of the front cover.  Evidently it was also an awkward size for readers, too – this copy has been kept folded across the middle for a long time. Issue No. 64 is from the early 1920s, I guess.  (They aren’t dated.)  Knitted or crocheted dresses often featured in the needlecraft magazines of that time – like the one on the left, with the model soulfully examining a rose. The dresses are so shapeless and droopy – not at all attractive to my mind.  It’s amazing that only ten years previously, women were tightly corseted into the very structured Edwardian gowns – now they appear not to be wearing any corsets at all (although I’m sure they must have been).    

Fancy Needlework llustrated No. 64 (detail of cover0

We think of 20s fashion as a very straight slim silhouette – but I think that’s more typical of the later 20s.  At the time of this magazine, dresses seem to have been quite roomy on the hips (it looks as though the models might have been wearing quite bulky petticoats).   I don’t think it works – if you’re going to have no bust and no waist, you have to have slim hips too.

But as well as dresses, there were jumpers, and these are more successful, I think – they often have a belt, for one thing.  Here are two from the same magazine.

The “Clovelly” Jumper in Knitting and Crochet


The “Wingrove” Knitted and Crocheted Jumper

The Clovelly jumper is a T-shape,  in stocking stitch with panels of filet crochet.  The Wingrove jumper also has knitted sections, in stocking stitch with a regular pattern of eyelets.  The crochet pieces are done in a sort of large-scale Irish crochet, in a design of leaves and bunches of grapes.  The drawstring waist was very common in jumpers of that time – and at least it did give you a waist.

In the same parcel was an issue of Weldon’s Practical Crochet – no. 77 in the Practical Needlework series.  Our copy has several ads for knitting comforts for the troops, and so must have been printed during the First World War, but Weldon’s kept these magazines in print for a long time, and I think it may have been originally published earlier than that.  (A note on the first page of the magazine says “Over 360 Numbers now ready, and always in print.”)

Weldon’s Practical Crochet, 15th Series, No. 77 in the Practical Needlework series.

   It is subtitled “How to Crochet Useful Garments and Articles for Ladies and Children.”  It has patterns for babies’ and children’s clothes, including ‘bootikins’  (which made me smile, because that’s Mary Beard’s translation of Caligula).  There are a couple of household items – antimacassars and coverlets – but no women’s clothes except underclothes. And there are patterns for toys, including the very charming elephant on the front cover.

And a toy lamb, too – though I don’t think that’s as successful.  Perhaps better in reality, in white wool, than in the engraving.

Some of the clothes for babies and children seem needlessly complicated.  Here’s a child’s dress in tricot (Tunisian crochet?) and crochet.  Not a garment to encourage active play – more suitable to sitting quietly to read an improving book.  

This dress and other patterns in the magazine make me think it’s much earlier than the First World War.  The Practical Needlework series started in 1888, it was published monthly, and No. 77 is part of Volume 7, so I think it might have been first published in 1895 or thereabouts.  (Which is very inconsiderate to someone like me who is trying to assign a date to a publication and might be seriously misled by the ads.)  

More later on the other publications that arrived this week.  
Source: ggg

Last Day Savor

 Lena enjoyed our slow start to the day and helped with the knitting occasionally.
 I’m ready to begin the crown of Mendia Hat #2;  much easier this time!
 The Dee’s Sock is moving right along and the Top Cat yarn is so luscious to work with!

 Today was the first day Abigail felt like getting up and joining us in socializing-she has spent all week sick with the bug that has permeated our group!  (David and I are the only ones to escape!)

 Even though Bill felt rotten, he took David fishing with Linda’s husband, Chuck .  They took Chuck’s boat and headed out on different waterways then we have explored so it was a double good time.

                  They didn’t catch any Tilapia as they hoped but they did spot these manatees!

                                             We had a wonderful, crazy and precious week.
Source: FF

Rainbows in the Gorge

The pattern is finished. It is called Rainbows in the Gorge and the designer is Sarah Keller. It won’t be available to purchase on Ravelry until next weekend. But I’ve worked out a deal to get advance copies. If you purchase the yarn we can sell you the pattern.

The cardigan is pictured in a So Fond of Rainbows kit. We are out of this colourway but it will be back in stock on Tuesday or Wednesday. 

We have one of the Enchanted Woodland kit in stock right now. This is the colourway that Lynda is knitting. More of these will be in the shipment as well.

Order the yarn and pattern and we will hold for you to pick up or ship to you later this week when the kits arrive. There will be free shipping on the kit.

You need 20 Cheshire Cat mini skeins for the cardigan. From Sarah

Arrange your 20 rainbow colors in the order of your choosing; sweater is worked from cuff to cuff, from C1 at cuff to C16 at center back, then in reverse from C16 back to C1 at opposite cuff. C17-20 are used in the shawl collar. Cut each yarn after changing color.

I have thought of something different if you aren’t fond of these colours. Use 2 mini skein kits (2 of each colour).

You can fade light grey to dark grey and then dark brown to light brown. This gives you 10 colours. Then you will start again at light grey and work to dark grey and then use the dark brown. That is your 16 colours. Your shawl collar will be 4 shades of brown. This is just one suggestion – I can come up with many more ways to combine these kits.

Or you can do something a bit more daring. Take 4 different kits and combine them. Here are 2 different options I came up with this afternoon. I didn’t open the kits for fear of getting them back in the wrong package. Imagine throwing the skeins on the table and rearranging them. I think both of these combinations would make a great cardigan.

Lynn tried the Linen Stitch Scarf on this morning and never took it off. It looks grey with her Remy Poncho.

Source: Looms

Workshop Scheduling

Each year, participants of the Men’s Spring Knitting Retreat volunteer to lead workshops at the retreat.

Knitting Expertise Shared

We have amazing spinners, weavers, knitters, crocheters and designers who show up to the retreat each year, willing to share what they know with the guys who attend.

Some of the more popular workshops have been Lace Blocking, Weaving on a Rigid Heddle Loom, Designing Knits that Fit, Sock Heel Architecture, Tunisian Crochet,  Choosing Colors That Work Together, Intro to Double-Knitting, Crochet Edging, etc.

It’s amazing what the guys come up with each year…especially since each workshop is 3 hours long and we really don’t have the facilities to delve into the messier workshops, like dyeing.

If you could attend, what workshops would you like to see?

Current Knitting and Spinning

I finished the Biased Garter Scarf using my hand-spun, and I’m quite pleased with how it turned out.

I also finished the spinning the Mohair/Shetland singles from Mindy and started spinning some unknown wool that I will ply it with.

The unknown wool is being spun thicker than the mohair/shetland blend..I think it will create an interesting yarn when it’s all finished.  I’ll certainly have enough of it.

Readers’ Comments/Questions

Regarding my afterthought heel, Leslie suggests, “For an afterthought heel, try doing the same thing as a toe, just decreasing to the final number rather than increasing. K2tog and SSK make a very nice heel, one stitch from the edge.”

That’s exactly what the pattern called for, and I might pull out my heel and re-do it that way.  We’ll see how ambitious I am.

Thank you all for the well-wishes on my kidney stone saga…I’m feeling quite well now and will have my final visit with the Urologist (hopefully) next week.
Source: fre

Colour Me Happy

We have a new Linen Stitch Scarf in the store. Lynda knit this for us and it looks amazing.

You need the pattern from Churchmouse Yarns (available on Ravelry or in the store) and then we did a few modifications.
-cast on 550 stitches
-work one row of each colour – that way you don’t need to cut the yarn

Yarn: Malabrigo Mechita – one skein each of Sheri, English Rose and Musas

We had some left over yarn. You can make the scarf longer or wider if you choose. You can also use the leftovers to make a fringe.

Lynda is working away on the cardigan using the So Fond of Rainbows set. I can’t wait to see it finished.

Ms. UPS brought in an awesome box from Mrs. Crosby today. The new colours are so much better in person!

I mixed some Mrs. Crosby Train Case and Lorna’s Laces Solemate to make up Find Your Fade combinations.

There hasn’t been much knitting this week. I’m going to sit and work on my Ambah MKAL tonight. No paperwork. No phone calls. No Ravelry. Only knitting. I’m almost finished Clue 2 and Clue 3 should be coming out tonight.
Source: Looms