Thursday, October 29, 2009

Spooky Knit Night


Ha-ha-ha-haa [insert blood curdling and ghoul-like laughter]

...before I write about the Spooky Knit Night, let me quickly babble about some of my lovely yarn aquisitions this week.

First off, while surfing my friends' blogs, I noticed that Anne from She Ewe Knits, Milton, Ontario, was having a closing down sale. Although somewhat sad, she assures me she is moving forward and onto bigger and better adventures, so I'm smiling between my frown lines.

Wait a minute...did you hear me mention a SALE? Oh my! Some of my favourite yarn too! My credit card coughed and gurgled at the end of my stash enhancement, but I'm now the happy owner of 19 more skeins of Jamieson's Shetland Spindrift (Fingering, 4 ply, 14 wpi). The colours are all complimentary (earthy tones), and what's more, they even match the load I had in my stash! As a bonus, I got a fabulous hoodie pattern: Rogue, by Jenna Wilson. It was on sale for $1, but Anne tossed it in for free! Thanks bunches Anne :-)

Jamieson's Shetland Spindrift
The day after the Shetland arrived, there was another package! This one was all the way from the UK. It contained a 128g skein of beautiful sock yarn (VG Utopia High-Twist Merino), and a 55g skein of gorgeous hand-dyed 55/45 silk/cashmere. I'm going to knit a cowl from this delicious skein. Despite it being called "aran", it really is what we term as worsted.

VG Utopia Sock Yarn


And lastly, yesterday a package arrived from Atlanta, US. Inside, eight delicious skeins of Cornelia Hamilton's Heaven's Hand Wool Classic (worsted) in the chocolate colourway! This yarn is specifically for my Rogue Hoodie. And I suppose that if I hate the hoodie, I could always eat it! [laughing....]

Heaven's Hand Wool Classic


Last night, a few of us got together for a knit night! It was a lot of fun, and as always we chatted about the good, the bad and the ugly! Our fabulous host, Lynn, arranged the usual yummy snacks, and we knitted and laughed and petted and laughed some more.

Lynn's house was adorned with halloween decorations - from skulls, spiders and rats, to ravens, bloody handprints and jars of eyeballs! It was brilliant! I'll let the pics do the talking:


Sunday, October 18, 2009

Oh, What a Fibre Fix

My fibre senses were definitely tingling this week! Two fibre outtings in two days!

Friday, 16th October - I was invited to go to Creativfestival at the Toronto Convention Center, Queens Quay. The bus arrived right at opening time. We joined a long queue like I've never seen, and entered into a crafter's paradise! The place was packed to the rafters! Vendors displayed a huge range of quilting, scrapbooking, stamping, sewing, beading, stitching and knitting products.

Although a keen sewer, the booths I spent most of my time at were the fibre ones. The booths of particular interest to me were: Romni Wools, The Black Lamb, Knit Cafe, Purple Purl and Rowan Yarns.

Highlight of the festival? A funny story actually. As Glenda and I rounded the corner to the Romni booth, there was a gentleman sitting knitting at a tiny round table. I saw him and said: "good morning, how are you doing?". He didn't acknowledge me at all. Glenda remarked to me (in ear shot of him): "Do you know this man?". I replied equally loundly: "No, not personally". Then I looked at the table and saw his book. I exclaimed excitedly "Kaffe Fassette"! Finally he looked up at us both and announced very cooly: "I am here to sign books [pause]. That is all". And he returned to his knitting!

As we hurriedly shuffled onto Romni, Glenda remarked "What a rude man". I replied rather lamely "I don't like his stuff anyway". [laughing]. I've been snubbed by KF [laughing]. A celeb sighting I will surely remember.

From the festival we went to Romni Wools. What an awesome place. Unfortunately I only had 40mins there, but in that time my arms were loaded up with socks yarns for Christmas knitting and a wonderful book entitled "Arans and Celtics".

Saturday, 17th October - Road trip to Fleece Festival in Woodstock. What a fabulous day! Loads of vendors showcasing everything from raw fibre to knitted garments. The aroma in the fairgrounds was awesome - mmm...raw fibre.

I bought some great stuff - patterns, yarn and rovings! One booth interested me greatly - Auldcroft Angoras from Shelbourne. They had a new yarn they were promoting. Norbouillet yarn. Norbouillet are a new breed of sheep well suited to Ontario. Their coat is soft, long stapled, fine and uniform. Their fleece is blended with mohair to create a wonderful fibre that is lovely to knit with.

From the festival we headed off to Stratford and lunched with our dear friend. The weather, although a little cool, was perfect.

What a great day. Thanks girls!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Dashing through my Stash

October is my December...hopefully minus the snow and ice!

My family lives 20,000 miles and 9 time zones "that way" [pointing south]. Despite a lack of carols, apple spice aroma, hyper shopping, Christmas lights, and everything else that goes along with the silly season, I still have to get myself in gear. My Christmas parcels need to be at the post office by 23rd November to ensure on-time delivery to Australia.

And there-in lies my motivational problem. It doesn't "feel" like Christmas in October - even though it's only 10 weeks away! And I'm soooo not in the mood for gift buying. Although it's true that I don't have to fight my way through massive crowds, or elbow some old lady who's picking up the last Kid Tough Digital Camera, the shelves aren't yet stocked with all the bright and shiny, shiny things not meant for little fingers.

So, instead I knit. And I have much to knit. My Mum and Dad would each like socks, my sister would like a scarf, my brother doesn't really appreciate the hand-knits, my sister-in-law would like socks, and then there's my three adorable little nieces.

Things have slowed down enough with the business that I have been able to sneak a little knitting time in during the day! And so my Christmas knitting is flying off the needles!

I've completed three beach bags for the nieces:

I've completed three sets of mittens for the nieces:

I've completed my sister's scarf:

That just leaves three pairs of socks to be completed in six weeks! Whoot!

Monday, October 5, 2009

Micro Mini Vacation

What an awesome weekend with some awesome peeps! Great food, great chick flicks, great knitting time, great views, and oh so relaxing!

I'll let the pictures do the talking:

Aaaaaah! This is the life I was meant to have!
Goody Bag!

Infamous Door Knob (one wine too many or just normality??) LOL

Yah, one wine too many LOL!

Saturday, October 3, 2009

To be Fair

I love September even though it means the end of summer. My annual hope is for an Indian Summer of course, but I do so love the changing colours on the maple trees, the crisp mornings, the dew covered grass, the dewy bejewelled spider webs and that warm sunny spot found quite by accident.

I also love that September spurs a frenzy of knitting and baking for the Ilderton Fall Fair. This year I entered 8 knitted items and 2 baked items.

The knitting division:

Astoria Sweater [1ST PLACE]

Shibui Reds [2ND PLACE]

Preemie Set (Hat and Blanket 30" square donated to Children's Hospital) [2ND PLACE]

Hat & Mitts Set (Donated to Women's Institute) [1ST PLACE]

The baking division:

Butter Pecan Pie [3RD PLACE]
Blueberry Bread Pudding with Golden Cream Sauce [3RD PLACE]

It was disappointing to see how many baking categories were eliminated this year. But most disappointing was the limited categories for the Country Fair Baking Contest. This year the categories were: bread, canning, two crust pie, jam/jelly, muffins and sticky buns. Not that there's anything wrong with these categories - but to be fair, these categories are all already included in other baking categories!

The Country Fair Baking Contest, IMHO, should be like the women's 100m track event in the Olympics, or the quest for the Holy Grail. Blood should be spilled to win the championship ribbon - bakers should be frothing at the bit! The categories should reflect this, and one would think that there would be a cake baking section at least.

[steps down from her pedestal]

So, the results of my knitting and baking?

Well, I scored three 1sts, three 2nds and two 3rds. Not bad!

Here's the table of all my goodies. The Blueberry Bread Pudding with Golden Cream Sauce won me a baggie of prizes. It was excellent! I scored an insulated coffee mug with a leather milk holder around it, four dessert dishes in black and white (spotted like cows), two cow pencils, a lovely pen, a cow Xmas stocking, four cow sticky pads, a beanie baby cow, and cow oven mitts! Totally cool!

So that's the Fair for another year! Now to chow down on the pecan pie and bread pudding. Mmmm.......