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I had to cast on

Here’s a great new pattern by Tabetha Hendrick for SweetGeorgia yarns.

Pattern: Cumberland (purchased on Ravelry)
Yarn: A Party of Five kit from SweetGeorgia Yarns

With lace that is decadently simple and a construction that flows, this crescent-shaped shawl is the epitome of delight and comfort. Knitters of every level will savor stitches that ease through the beautiful colour gradients.

A favourite cowl in the store is the Coors Cowl. Today’s Web-Letter from Classic Elite featured the cowl knit in new colours. This is a free pattern that you can download on Ravelry.

The Coors Cowl by Annissa George (owner of Stitch House Dorchester, an LYS in Boston), has been a favorite CEY project since we first published it in our Web-Letter in early 2013 Issue 273. One hank each of five colors makes this generously sized squishy cowl worked in simple seed stitch.

The original version was worked in undyed Chalet. We now have colorful Chateau and tweedy Palace to mix and match with Chalet for endless color combinations. Our new version is knit in: Palace 5509 Teal, Palace 5504 Lichen, Chalet 7438 Chestnut, Palace 5567 Mermaid and Palace 5578 Sienna. Pictured below are a few more possible combinations.

Orchid Field: Chalet 7477 Charcoal, Chateau 1497 Moss, Chateau 1419 Dusty Rose, Palace 5554 Orchid and Chalet 7443 Adobe

Sunrise: Chateau 1431 Periwinkle, Palace 5554 Orchid, Palace 5557 Powder Blue, Chateau 1419 Dusty Rose and Chateau1447 Stormy Sky

Here’s a sneak peek at the new colours coming from Hedgehog at the end of February/beginning of March.




The Invisible Project Bag will also be in the shipment.

The perfect project bag to show off your colourful skeins! Lightweight yet sturdy. Roomy enough for a larger project, it’ll hold multiple balls of yarn easily. We think this is the best, most versatile project bag and it’s a favourite of all of our staff. This bag is designed to stand up on it’s own. Material: Transparent PVC. Easily cleaned with mild detergent. Not machine washable. Height: 37cm, Width: 28cm, Gusset: 10cm. Pointed gold coloured studs. Comes with a detachable laser etched perspex Hedgehog Fibres tag.

I can’t wait to see them in person.

A newsletter went out this afternoon. If you didn’t receive it (we’re still trying to figure this out) then you can see it here. 

I couldn’t help myself. I cast on another Find Your Fade this afternoon. This time I’m using LITLG. The yarn is very nice to knit with. I really needed to try the yarn to make sure it was of the highest quality if I’m going to sell it :)  LOL! I can justify anything.

Source: Looms

Garter Stitch – The Perfect Learning Tool

Having said for years that the most important characteristic to be a successful knitter is perseverance, I think garter stitch is the perfect tool to assess if someone will be a lifelong knitter or not.

Knitting Assessment

Garter stitch can also be incredibly boring and seemingly takes FOREVER to grow.  
Seems like it would be the perfect test of perseverance for a potential new knitter.  If I’m teaching someone to knit and they don’t have endless persistence with it comes to knitting endless rows of garter stitch (and ripping out and starting again when they make mistakes), I typically think the learner won’t ever become an earnest knitter.  I know there are exceptions to this generalization, but it seems to be a good indicator.
On a more positive side, garter stitch is simple enough to help a new knitter understand how to create rows of loops that eventually form a fabric.  Garter stitch doesn’t roll or curl up.  Garter stitch fabric makes it easy to count rows.  Garter stitch has approximately the same row and stitch gauge, making it easy to pick up stitches and perform things like mitered or modular knitting.  Garter stitch creates furrows that can easily be used for illusion or shadow knitting.
Finally, when my life is a bit full, garter stitch can be an incredibly soothing and rhythmic way for me to continue knitting.

Current Knitting

A while ago, I was watching television and didn’t have my knitting project(s) with me, so I picked up some handspun yarn and some needles and just started knitting a garter/biased scarf.

With all the medical tests and procedures lately, I’ve found this easy and rich-colored garter stitch project has been a joy to work on.   And even with this much length on the scarf, it seems to be an endless task.  I will, however, persevere.

Source: fre

Mendia Hat

I struggled with this pattern;  it has a new stitch and the tutorial they provide was a bit obtuse.
The rhythm of the new stitch soon made itself clear after I work a bit and I am so glad I stuck to it!
This is the medium size and it has a lot of stretch since the ribbing continues up the whole hat.
It fits me just fine so I would call the middle size medium.
I used some left over DK weight yarn on # 6 needles.
I liked it so much, I am casting on another one!

Source: FF

Mitts in Twined Knitting

I said last month that I was knitting a pair of fingerless mitts in twined knitting – all inspired originally by somehow volunteering to do a workshop in twined knitting for the Huddersfield Knitting & Crochet Guild.  (I think I might have been hypnotised.)  I finished those mitts, which I intended to be for me, but then someone asked me to write the pattern, and I decided that if I was going to do that, I’d like to change it a bit.  So I gave the first pair to my daughter, and made another pair for me.

The wristlets I designed as the workshop project were knitted in two colours – you switch colours for (almost) every stitch, twisting the yarns each time.  For the mitts, I used two strands of the same colour, again alternating the strands for each stitch.  (That’s the original use of twined knitting, I believe – it’s called two-end knitting in Swedish, and  you can use both ends of one ball of yarn.)    

Here are my second pair of twined knitting mitts:

I’m calling the design Aspen, because the diamonds on the back of the hand and the cuff reminded me of the diamond shapes on the bark of aspen trees at Harlow Carr garden in the autumn – and aspen trees grow in Sweden, where twined knitting also comes from.  

Twined knitting gives a very nice texture.  Apart from the areas of pattern, it looks similar to stocking stitch on the right side, but actually it feels slightly ridged.  (Taking one strand across the back as you knit a stitch with the other strand pulls the fabric in a bit and makes the right side of each stitch tighter than the left.  At least that’s what happens when I do it.)  

And the wrong side looks very different to stocking stitch:

Susie’s mitts are only slightly different to mine:

They have chevrons on the cuff, and the border to the thumb gussets is a bit different.  I’ve taken the elements of the designs from the book by Birgitta Dandanell and Ulla Danielsson, Twined Knitting – A Swedish Folkcraft Technique, which is full of photos of original garments of all kindsThe English translation was published by Interweave Press in 1989, and is out of print, but I’ve been able to borrow a copy from a friend.  

The yarn for both pairs of mitts is Debbie Bliss Rialto Heathers, which is a beautifully soft merino DK. The colour is Pebble – a lovely silver-grey, very like aspen bark. (There’s also a little bit of black for the cast-on, and the plaited braid.)  Twined knitting in DK yarn gives a very thick fabric – these mitts are very warm and cosy.

I’ve now knitted two pairs of mitts and two and a half pairs of wristlets in twined knitting.  (I wrote about the ‘half pair’ here.)   I made one pair of wristlets for the workshop – a refinement of a previous pair, which I haven’t shown.  Here it is:

 I have a cardigan in the same dark teal colour, so I’ve worn these wristlets quite a lot – they really help to keep you warm.  For the workshop pair, I dropped the third colour for the cast-on edge, and the plait – I wanted to keep casting on as simple as possible.  

I think I’ve done enough twined knitting for now.   I like the effect very much, but it’s slow to do (because you have to keep stopping to untwist the yarn) and you don’t always want your knitting to be thick and wind-proof.  I’m doing the workshop for the Birmingham branch in April, so that might inspire me to take it up again, but at least until then, that’s it for twined knitting.  
Source: ggg

February 2017 – Demonstration of no-roll edges

It was a bitterly cold evening, so it was lovely to see a good turn-out, and to catch up after the Christmas break. There was a lively discussion about current works-in-progress and the items brought along for show-and-tell. There was a small charity table, and the usual tea and biscuits. Liz provided a demonstration of a couple of techniques on the knitting machine to produce interesting no-roll edges.

News and Upcoming events

Unravel at The Maltings in Farnham. Running from  Friday 17th to Sunday 19th February.

Make It 2017 at FIVE in Farnborough. Running from Friday 24th to Saturday 25th February. There will be lots of stalls and demonstrations, including the Guild of Machine Knitters stand with demonstrations and advice available all day.

Machine Knitting Live Show at Bournemouth on Saturday 4th March at from 10.00 am to 4.00 pm at Bournemouth School for Girls, Castle Gate Close, Castle Lane West, Bournemouth BH8 9UJ. There will be lots of Machine Knitting designers and suppliers, including the Guild of Machine Knitters stand with demonstrations and advice available all day. This may be the last time Machine Knitting Monthly magazine hosts the show, due to decreasing attendance over the years. You are encouraged to attend, if you would like the event to keep going in the future.

The Guild of Machine Knitters newsletter had changed to a new format, and an external company is being used to mail out the newsletters. For technical reasons, the renewal reminder will no longer be bright yellow, so keep an eye out and please don’t throw away the inserts without reading them first!

The annual Innocent Big Knit knitted hats need to be submitted by July, due to the huge numbers they now receive. Please bring any hats you make along to the club, and Julie has volunteered to collect the hats together and submit them all in one go to save on postage. Liz printed some patterns for machine knitters and hand knitters. Patterns are available from:

Show and Tell

Julie has crocheted two blankets for the Sixty Million Trebles project. The pattern is Mystical Lanterns by Janie Crow.

A jumper knit on a Passap using 2 strands of 2/30 using a double-bed tuck stitch. It felt very stretchy, and there were discussions about the tension.

A purple DK hand-knit jumper was very soft and chunky, with a double-over feature neckline. The pattern looks like vertical wavy lines on the front, and basket weave on the reverse.

Sandra knit a green-based multi-colour V-neck jumper in Denys Brunton Designer Yarns Magicolour. The yarn is no longer produced, and Sandra discussed the creative solutions she used to finish the neckline when the main yarn ran out.

There were 2 yellow baby cardigans, and a pink adult cardigan in sable crepe. This was followed by a plethora of  beautiful crochets blankets that have been made to give to residential care home in Fleet.

Liz hand-knit a white sideways-knit wingspan scarf.

Demonstration Machine Knitted Decorative No-Roll Edge by Diana Sullivan  No Roll Edge by Roberta Rose Kelley

Source: Knit

Food Drive

It’s Food Drive time again. We are accepting non-perishable food items and cash donations for the Ancaster Community Food Drive.


Help us celebrate 25 years of raising funds and food for our local community We have 1,441,000 pounds of food in the 24 years we have been recording totals.

Initiated by the vision of the Ancaster Ministerial Association and with support of all citizens, businesses, schools and community agencies.

All donations to be delivered to Hamilton’s major food agencies.

Ancaster Community Services
Good Shepherd Centre
Greater Hamilton Food Share   
Mission Services
Neighbour to Neighbour   
The Salvation Army
St. Matthew’s House
Wesley Urban Ministries 

Please continue to support and plan to participate in our 25th Ancaster Community Food Drive:

The need is great and together we can make this a successful effort.


We’ve started to make up our prize basket.

 A new kit from Wendy – called Fur.

We are given samples throughout the year and I have a stash of them. I’ve gone through my box and added to the prize basket.

Namaste Buddy Case in pale pink.

A Namaste Skinny Mini in Eggplant.

This skein came from Madelinetosh with no label on it. I can’t sell it but I can give it away. It is tosh sock in the colour moonstone.

This is just the start of the prize basket. I have another huge box to go through at home. There are also donations coming from my suppliers – I’ll post pictures as we receive more.

How can you win the basket? 

Bring non-perishable food items into the store by Friday March 3.

For every non-perishable food item you will get one ballot.

For a $10 donation you will get 10 ballots.
For a $25 donation you will get 30 ballots.

Live out of town? Call us and we can put a cash donation on your credit card. I can also send a paypal request. If you win, we’ll mail the basket to you.

The most needed food items are

  • hot cereals of any kind
  • canned meats and fish
  • peanut butter
  • meat soups
  • canned or powder milk
  • baby food and formula (needs to have at least 8 weeks until expiry left on it)
  • canned fruits and vegetables
  • canned pasta
  • dry pasta
  • pasta sauce
  • toiletries

In an effort to maximize the purchasing power of every dollar donated, the Organizing Committee has reached out to Hamilton Food Share who, through their connections with producers and suppliers and leveraged bulk purchasing power, can convert every dollar donated to the equivalent of 2.5 lbs of non-perishable food products.

If you can help it’s greatly appreciated!
Source: Looms

What Is The Plural of Lithotripsy?

Yes…during my latest encounter with a kidney stone, it turns out that the 6.5mm stone that was causing me issues had a mate in the other kidney that was even larger.

Is There a Two-Fer Discount?

The smaller, problematic stone had moved down my ureter, blocking the flow of fluid on my right side into the bladder.  It also caused quite a bit of pain.

The first lithotripsy completely pulverized the blocking stone (and I only had one stone on my right…unlike the graphic above).

Since I had met my annual deductible, and the doctor thought it was advisable, I scheduled a second lithotripsy on Friday and had the stone embedded in my left kidney pulverized as well.

So far, so good…no pain or other ill effects from the second lithotripsy.

Current Knitting

With the discomfort and anxiety of another medical procedure, I decided to work only on the afterthought heel sock project…I figured if I messed it up it wouldn’t require much to re-do it.

Suffice it to say, the first heel is now complete after three different attempts which I ripped out.  I finally landed on a standard short-row heel, using the wrap & turn short-row technique.  My first attempt was to use Japanese short-rows, which I hated for a heel.
Source: fre

A Phase!

The  shawl is off the blocking board! 
It has lots of pretty short rows of stockinette and eyelet rows! 
I can’t wait to wear it!
KnitPicks Stroll yarn in Koi Pond yarn-one skein of fingering weight yarn-the whole skein
on number 6 needles. 
After blocking the shawl, Elena and I went and picked up my Mom to go and visit our local antique stores.
I picked up this plate, paperweight and kaleidoscope. 
 The plate is to replace the one Lena shattered so I will use it for my painting palette.
This is the second one to add to the collection I want to begin.
I already love glass and it is amazing to see how intricate they are! 
The kaleidoscope is very similar to the one I already enjoy-now there will be two for the grandkids to enjoy with me!
Slow days are nice, too!

Source: FF


Magazine 61 offers 30 transeasonal designs in our classic summer yarns including Softyak DK and Cotton Glace. Peace is a collection of classic, elegant women’s designs including cable and lace knits. Beachcomber is our family collection which features several designs offering sizes for children through to men.

It’s been a long wait. We haven’t had a shipment of Rowan yarns or magazines since September but that has changed. UPS delivered to us this afternoon. Felted Tweed has been restocked. Rowan Magazine #60 and the new Rowan Magazine #61 are here.

Softyak DK is used for quite a few garments in the magazine. We’ll have new colours in 2 weeks.

Rowan Softyak DK is a blend of yak, cotton, and nylon that has the best of all worlds: the softness of cashmere combined with durability and washability. The darker yak fibre creates a beautiful melange with the dyed cotton.

I worked on Camp today. The brochure should be ready next week. Fiona Ellis and Beth Casey will be joining us this year. They are going to be teaching a class together on Friday that I really, really want to take. You will be dying yarn with Beth and Fiona will help you use your yarn in a fun pattern.

It’s almost time to head home. Then I get to work on Clue #2 of the MKAL. I didn’t get much knitting done last night. Tonight is going to be different.

Source: Looms

Taking a Tour

On the way to St Augustine this morning, I finished the Crescent Phases shawl by Quince and Co.
I made a few mistakes in the short row schwoops but did my own thing until I ran out of yarn.
Blocking will happen tomorrow morning!
 Today we played tourists and went on the Trolley Tour through Old Towne St. Augustine!
We had perfect weather and the company was the best! 
 I took very few pictures but thoroughly enjoyed the view everywhere we went!  
Lunch was a feast at the Cruisers Grill where we were able to sit outside and enjoy the sunshine and brilliant blue sky!
The street with all the Live Oaks was a delight to my eyes!
 After the tour which we enjoyed all day, we visited the ocean for a quick therapy session!
This is the fishing pier at the visitor center.
 The moon was out which made an interesting picture for us!
And on the way home, we had the pleasure of a beautiful sunset for most of the ride!
The day couldn’t have been more perfect!

Source: FF