Tag Archives: easy

Fibre Diet, March 2012

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For the first time, ever, in my entire knitting life I have decided to go on a fibre diet for a whole month.  (Insert shocked sounds here.)

Yes, I, Alliston will refrain from purchasing fleece, roving, add-ins, and yarn from March 1 – 31, 2012, except in the event that the items are needed for a custom order.  (Yeah! Loophole!)

As of today, March 12th, 2012, I have not spent any money on these items. I am proud of myself because I am an avid Ravelry user and am never far from anything fibrous.

I decided to stop my purchases of anything squishy and shiny so I can dig down to the bottom of my fibre bins to see all the wonderful stuff I have accumulated in a little over a year of spinning.  And once I’ve emptied those bins, I can go on to my vast and varied yarn collection.

I guess I have been able to keep myself busy planning for the upcoming craft markets I will be attending in Edmonton:

March 24 & 25, 2012, On the Spot Pop-up Craft Fair, 10720 – 124 street, Edmonton, AB.

This will be my first show with On the Spot, and I am looking forward to meeting the organisers and aligning with such a great group!

April 14th, 2012, Handmade Mafia, 10335 – 84 Avenue, Edmonton, AB.

This will also be my first show with the Mafia.  Unfortunately I was ill for the last show and had to cancel my attendance in early March.

Apart from craft shows, I have been very fortunate to share my spinning talents with my Mum-in-law, Noreen Crone-Findlay.  She has used many of my yarns in her weaving projects and I am very happy to share!

Happy crafting!

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The Great Toque Marathon: finale!

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Now that my Xmas and winter weather knitting rush has quieted, I can get back to blogging and building my Etsy store! I was very happy to receive an email from the customer who purchased the 10 toques from my Great Toque Marathon Part 1 & Part 2. The toques were enjoyed by all over Christmas as well as out in Banff and Lake Louise, AB.

I was very pleased that the toques helped the family to bond and keep warm in the cool weather. I can only imagine they bewildered looks wherever they travelled. According to my customer, they were helpful in spotting each other on the busy Banff sidewalks!

I’m very proud and happy that I was able to help welcome French visitors to Canada in style. Bienvenue!

Christmas with warm ears!

Thank you to Jan & her family for sharing their Christmas photos.

Fluffy and spikey Mail, Lots of locks

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The second parcel, which I alluded to in my previous post, was from another Canadian fibre producer.  Val, from Wooly Wool of the West contacted me via Ravelry when she saw my ISO (in search of) postings on various forums.

Merino on Hackle with comb, Diz and Diz Threader.

I spent numerous hours playing with it once I had it secured to a sturdy table.  Firstly, to get the motion down, I combed through  a couple ounces of merino roving that I purchased a while ago that was full of little pieces of hay and grass aka “VM”.

Because Merino does not have a long staple, I found it difficult to use the comb and hackle, but managed to get a small bag of wonderfully soft and nearly vm-free fibre.  I spun a small amount of it and am very happy with the results.

My second attempt, this time with cotswold locks also purchased from Wooly Wool of the West, stashed Firestar & Silk, as well as Lincoln Locks from Neauveau Fiber Arts .  Long, curly locks comb very nicely on my new tools.

Layer 1, Cotswold locks

Cotswold locks, silk & Lincoln locks on Hackle

After two passes, I found that I had made beautifully blended and lofty fibre.

Twice combed locks on Hackle, ready to Diz.

I dizzed off two lengths of wonderful green and sparkly top, which I spun up on a home made top-whorl drop spindle, then plied it together from a centre pull ball.

Combed top, featuring Cotswold, Lincoln, silk & Firestar

Making a wonderful skein of dk weight yarn with lots of halo.

Swamp Yarn

Fluffy Mail, Superwash Club

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In our home, packages are a common occurrence as we all have busy hobbies and crafts that require items that we sometimes can’t get in Edmonton. The best kind of mail that arrives, in my opinion, is the fluffy kind!

A couple of nights ago I was handed 2 parcels. One was a small bag from Ontario, it was my first in a 3-month Superwash Fibre club.  It contained a 4 ounces of beautifully dyed Superwash Merino in a braid.

Wool wash, Braid & Cat shadow

It was immediately squished by the women and was claimed by my fibre-addicted Cat, Bubba.

Bubba claims his prize.

When I started searching for a club to join for a monthly fibre fix, I had two conditions:

1. Superwash fibre, so I could spin the yarn and knit it into an easy-to-wash item for sale in my Etsy store.

2. Canadian supplier/producer.

I was very happy to find both of these criteria in one place, The Sweet Sheep, with their ‘Nothin but Superwash Fibre Club‘. I joined the club, 1 – 4oz braid for 3 months, $80 CAD including shipping.  Needless to say I am happy with the first one, and can’t wait to get the next two!

The Sweet Sheep also has a Ravelry group, so I was able to see the spoilers and get quick updates on when the next shipment will take place.  Note: You will need a Ravelry account to see their group page.

Unfortunately I know I will have to wait to spin this braid as I am still knitting away on the Great Canadian Toques (90% complete, hooray!), and because of package #2, Fluffy and Spikey Mail!

The Great Toque Marathon: Update

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K2, P2, K2, P2 has been my thought train for over a week now. Whenever I am not working, driving, cooking or sleeping, I have been knitting the Great Canadian toques.

I can say with great joy, that I have started on my 9th toque in 16 days! I am also very happy to say that my current speed will, in fact, allow me to complete my Xmas knitting in time for the big family get-togethers.

I have not changed the pattern, but I have had to change how I build the toques:

Firstly, I discovered that the balls of Bernat that I purchased, from different stores and different batches, have been plagued with knots and unusual colour changes.  I would suggest to anyone who is going to take on a colour-sensitive project with a variegated yarn to pull out a ball winder or nostepinne to re-wind and ensure that the ball of yarn is worth using.

Secondly, I have started putting on stitch markers from the beginning so I have an easy view of all my stitches and can make sure that I don’t accidentally drop or knit/purl two stitches together. This was a suggestion from my Mum-in-Law who is a wealth of information and a very talented artist!

Be sure to check back for the final details on the project and the free pattern I will be posting.  Happy knitting!

Easy and quick crochet

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I am a teacher and I love to work with kids who are having trouble. I feel infinite patience with my students and enjoy coming up with new and creative ways to teach a new skill. I can be patient as a teacher but I’m not sure I’m known for my patience in my personal life.

Crafting would definitely fit into my personal life. I have the skills to pull off big projects (I think) but when it comes to following through on a long pattern or project, I tend to move on to instant gratification. That is why this project was so great!

Actually I was just eying up a pretty cowl at Shoppers Drug Mart but can’t be bothered to pay for something that I could just make and customize to whatever yarn I like.

I found this pattern free online here and was eager to give it a try.

So last night, at about 11pm, I began to crochet. I was instantly addicted to the simple-to-master pattern and could not put it down! Eventually, mommy fatigue kicked in and I reluctantly climbed my stairs and went to bed.

I woke up today and it was a little like Christmas! I couldn’t wait to get back to this project. So naturally, I did. I am thrilled with the finished product. In about 2.5 hours, I have a beautiful circular scarf that is both pretty and practical. I am already considering which yarn to try this pattern in next!

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The Great Toque Marathon

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As Christmas approaches, my knitting has gone from leisurely and experimental to feverishly quick. I was hired to knit 3 Canadian style toques to give to foreign visitors on their first trip to the Great White North.

But, as abundance seems to follow me everywhere now, I received an email asking if the order could be changed. To 10 toques.

I am very excited to get to email my client a photo of the first completed toque.  One down, 9 to go. Wish me luck!

Toque 1 of 10

This toque was knit with Bernat Mosaic Yarn in the colour ‘Calypso’.