Friday, November 10, 2006

all about knitting

Life is certainly fast and furious these days! its been only four days since I updated my journal, but it seems like a week's worth of events have gone by... no wonder I'm so exhausted!

I am designing another pair of socks, using the Esprit yarn from This yarn has a minute amount of elastic in it, and is otherwise cotton. It is half the price of Cascade fixation, which is the same composition, but I think the Esprit colours are nicer! This colour is, I think, called Rose Garden. The photo turned it into a kind of bright red and pink, but it is actually a beautiful rose colour and the what looks pink in the photo is a subtler rose-grey. It really looks like a rose garden in the fall, doesn't it, when the greens are muted to silver and sable?

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Since today was payday, I did splurge a bit on this new knitting book:

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Let me just say, if you're going to buy this book, do it through Amazon - its much less expensive! Its all lace. And much of it is Vintage lace patterns, which as you know is my greatest knitting passion... for my knitting friends who want to see what's inside, here are a couple of shawl patterns that fall in the category of desirable...

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The patterns are very well described and have charts, and there are so many! And there are sections on knitting patterns from the 1800's and Weldon's Practical Knitter (a newspaper type knitting magazine that I've always wanted but never found).

Finally, on the yarn front, a dear friend wanted to give me a cheer-up gift because of the minor surgery I went through recently, and asked what I wanted. I said "Habu!" Habu is a Japanese art fiber company in New York city. You can walk in and view their marvelous silk and exotic yarns and purchase right there, but you can't get it anywhere else. My friend found that two online companies are starting to sell Habu - and I thought this gift would be at most, maybe one or two balls of their silk and mohair, (and it should have been - my friends are way, way too generous! I'm very grateful.) but this is what came in the mail yesterday!!!!

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Its just amazing. Its a couple of sample packs that contain a ball or two of each of the different yarns. Aren't the colours beautiful? The cones are laceweight baby alpaca in a natural camel colour. There is 100% silk in shiny and matt, and silk boucle, and something called Paper, which is actually linen and alpaca, and a wine-coloured cashmere lace-weight. Two of the silk and mohair balls are hand-dyed with brown, tan, and black and the other is green, dark and light... each is enough for a lace scarf in one ball! Good thing I have that new Victorian Lace book, no?

Monday, November 6, 2006

It arrives when you really need it!

Look what showed up on my doorstep today!!!

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The first bundle that looks very much like the bundle of wool it is, is from Headwater Farm in Ontario. Look at this lovely yarn!

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The dark green lace weight is called Ilga, the light green is a DK weight, and of course some self-striping sock yarn. The sock colours are really in autumn colours – I thought they were green and grey and gold from the monitor picture, but they are brown and orange!

But the un-spun batts! OMG! Look at these beautiful yarns of unspun wool for making the true traditional feather and fan shawls. There are some patterns for this traditional yarn in the book Folk Shawls. I tried to make one a year ago, but was using some big cone of some mystery yarn I got at the thrift shop and it didn’t look the way it was supposed to. Now I have the real thing – and in the incredible natural colours, too! That big batt of natural white? $3.50 Canadian for the whole batt! And I got 2 of them!

Canada, O Canada! How I love thee for thy incredible yarns!

Now the next one, is the mysterious much-anticipated package from Nadine, that traveled across the ocean! It is dated August 29 on the customs slip! Well 6 wks isn’t unexpected but when you are waiting for Nadine’s surprises...each week seems like a year!

OOOOOooooo on the customs slip it says something else, too! Schokolade! I think this is chocolate in German!

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What beautiful things… now this is the sock yarn colour that I really love – a lovely soft blue in very gradual colour changes… And this chocolate! I am eating a Sarotti Stille Affel-Vanille feinste vollmilch schokolade right now this very minute. Mmmmm hmmmm mffffh…. (yum) Oh my, this is incredible! The apple is all spicy and melty in the middle of the chocolate. But look at these: tiny, tiny glass apple and pewter teapot! I will make them into stitch markers, which is what Nadine intended, I think.

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But I can’t show the rest of the contents of the box or even what category it is in, because they are intended as Christmas presents for someone who might read it here…

Thank you Nad – this is a very inspiring box!

Sunday, November 5, 2006


A couple of days ago, I finished the scarf I designed to commemorate Sausage.

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The ends are Louisa Harding Kimono Angora, and the lace section is Louisa Harding Impressions. The angora part is a wide hem stitch, so its double-sided, and then there is a lace section of his little paw prints. The main body of the scarf is a lace pattern called "Willow Leaf" and along the edges of the willow leaves, I have little white pearls (these represent my tears). It turned out the way I was hoping, but the Impressions yarn isn't as soft as I would like. I'd like to try this pattern again with a different yarn. I was planning to submit this pattern to one of the online knitting mags, but I think it needs refining, so will hold off on that this season.

Now, I am going to eat cherry pie and read and knit! Sunday. Such a good day of the week!