Saturday, October 23, 2010

Two Festivals in Two Days!

22nd October, 2010

I was invited by my friend Glen to accompany her on a bus trip to CreativFestival.  This event is held twice a year at the Metro Toronto Convention Center.

It was obviously the place to be on Friday.  I've never seen so many frenzied crafters under one roof in my life!  The place was totally packed.  Buggies, trollies and people everywhere.  The heat was stifling, and the shuffle was at snail's pace.  Heaven forbid if you stopped - I didn't see any road kill, but I'm sure there was some [LOL].  But none of that prevented the the cash from freely flying out of my hands and into another's!

My interest in the festival was mostly knitting related.  I didn't have a shopping list, but I had a short wish list - knitting books, an addi circular needle and perhaps a lovely new bag.

The heavens smiled down on me, and granted my three wishes.  I found some great books at a great price - 40% off!  I found a suitable addi turbo needle, and then.....there it was!  The most beautiful bag I've ever seen! 

Exterior pockets?  Check.
Interior pockets?  Check.
Zippered interior divider and detachable shoulder strap?  Check.  Check.
Strong magnetic closures and metal feet on the bottom?  Check.  Check.

Soooo beautiful!  I had to have it.  I'm now the proud owner of a RED Namaste Laguna Bag.  Soft as a baby's bottom,  PVC-free, animal-friendly faux leather, adjustable strap length of 30" to 53", and a whopping 17 1/2" W x 16" H x 7 1/2" D.

My Laguna

23rd October, 2010
Another early morning start, and this time off to Woodstock to the annual Fleece Festival held at the Woodstock Fair Grounds.
Although it began a little slowly, it really got busy from about 11am onwards.  So many fabulous vendors.  Yarn and fiber galore!  Alpaca, angora, mohair, merino, cashmere...oh boy!  I was looking for and found some alpaca roving and yarn to knit Thrummed Mittens.  Thrummed mittens (or fleece-lined mittens) originated from Newfoundland and Labrador.  Twisted bits of unspun, carded fleece are knitted into the mitten to create a cozy lining.  With wear and use, the fleece inside felts into an insulating layer.
I also wanted another couple of fairisle mitten kits.  These kits contain a 50/50 yarn blend of mohair and wool.  Super soft and warm.  These will be Christmas gifts.
And finally I saw some lovely yarn in darkest brown and heathered brown that would be perfect for a fairisle hat.  The yarn is 60% Black Welsh Mountain Sheep and 40% Cotswold/Dorset cross.  It's a wonderful 3-ply yarn in natural colours.


Thursday, October 21, 2010

In One Hand and Out the Other

Money, that is!  And lots of it [grumble, grumble].

The last two weeks have been crazy!  Savings have taken flight - gobbled up as quickly as I consume chocolate!

First there was the electric hot water heater, then there was the pressure tank for the well.  On the heels of those two followed the plumbing for the greenhouse and the fuse block and wiring harness for the van [ouch!].  Towards the end of the week, the cats went to the vet for their annual wellness check-ups and vaccinations.  I swear it'd be cheaper to tuck 'em under my jumper and go to my regular doctor!  And the salt in the wound was a leak in the ceilings of the bathroom and hallway that required drywall repairs and re-painting.

Bathroom (before)

Bathroom (after)

Hallway (before)

Hallway (after)

Now I need a bank error in my favour [LOL].

I did manage some knitting in amongst all the household drama.  I knit socks for Mum for Christmas.  I modified the Easygoing pattern by Linda Fisher to include and extra cable repeat down the front of the sock.  I also alternated two different cables throughout the sock.  This sock was knit from Tanis Fiber Arts Purple Label Cashmere Sock.  What an absolute delight to knit with this yarn!

Easygoing with a Twist

I am halfway through socks for Dad's birthday.  The pattern is Alpaca Sox Socks by Joan from the Little Red Mitten.  I'm knitting these socks using Classic Elite Yarns Alpaca Sox in the blue gray colorway.  Another lovely yarn to knit with.

And finally, I am about a third of the way through Seneca, a Jared Flood Pullover.  I'm using Cascade Yarns 220 Heathers.  Like some other knitters, I found that the gauge for this pullover was not accurate.  I knit a swatch and measured it, and was right on with gauge (as usual).  I knit the usual size 38, but it was massive!  I dropped down to a size 36 AND I dropped down a needle size!

Bring on the weekend!

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Another Fair Bites the Dust

As I've done in years gone by, so I did this year. I entered 13 items in the 2010 Ilderton Fall Fair. There was one minor difference this year - ten items were knitted and only three were baked! A sign of the times - just a little too busy with the business to bake for two days.

There is always so much to see and do at an old fashioned country fair....but only when the weather co-operates. And this year it was cold, wet and muddy. Barb and I, like many others, braved the wet and cold with winter coats and umbrellas. Attendance was understandably below average, and many rides were not running, but the Arena was buzzing with activity. All kinds of arts and crafts, baking, flowers and handwork.

I was really pleased with my efforts this year - a whole bunch of ribbons to add to my collection!

Here are the knitted items:

Rogue Hoodie
Cell Phone Cozy
Geometer's Sketchpad Felted Bag

Newfie Mittens and Hat

Andean Hat and Mittens
Preemie Blanket and Hat
Caramello Hilja Vest
Hunter's Hoodie

Here are the baked items:

Blackforest Cherry Cake
Egg and Vegie Casserole
Blackforest Cherry Trifle
Not a bad haul huh?

Only one item didn't get a placing - that was a baby set.

Now I'm gonna go cut myself a HUGE slice of that winning Blackforest Cherry Cake!  Mmmm......