Monday, January 19, 2015

The Unsung Hero - The Darning Needle

Since one of my knitting goals today was to get back to blogging, here is a quick post to help me back on track!  

Yesterday my daughter brought down a sock that I had knit her for Christmas. She told me that she loved them, they were super warm and she would love me to knit more for her but would I mind sewing in the ends in this one sock.  I guess in my excitement of having both socks finished well before Christmas Eve I had forgotten to darn in some ends, oops!  

Of course this only took a couple of minutes but it got me to thinking.  I'm always on the lookout for "the best" knitting needles (and lately crochet hooks) so it got me to thinking  what about my darning needles. I have tons to choose from but I always bypass all of them looking for my one and only needle with a bent tip.

I have darning needles in every shape and size; plastic, metal, long, short, some with large eyes, some with small eyes, most with blunt tips but a few with pointy tips that I just use for the Rusian Join but only one with a bent tip.  In the past I haven't been all that particular about what needle I was using.  Since these needles always seem to go missing I would usually count myself lucky to just find one and not worry if it was plastic or metal.  These days though I'm all about having the right tools for the job.

For me its a nice sized metal darning needle with a large eye for easy threading, a blunt tip to keep the stitches from splitting and a bent tip for easily picking up those stitches.

Any thoughts on your favourites?

Friday, December 19, 2014

One day late....but finished!

The sock is finished! I didn't meet my self imposed deadline of Wednesday night; I finished shaping the toe in the wee hours of the morning last night (Thursday) but it's finished and I'm super happy about it!

It would have been finished the night before but I got distracted by this new project.  My daughter asked me to go see a movie with her so I needed a new project suitable for movie theater knitting.  I grabbed a needle and yarn, cast on during the previews and knit away on this broken rib scarf. 

I'm not sure about the fate of this scarf.  Even though it is a rib stitch the edges are still curling.  I have a feeling it will be ripped out. 

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

A finished sock today.....??

These socks are my latest secret Christmas knitting project. Just a plain pair of socks, nothing fancy for two reasons:  1) Christmas is only 7 days, 13 hours and 25 mins away and I still have other gifts to knit and  2)  These are for a man and honestly I don't think he is going to care if they have a fun cable pattern on them or not.  I think he'll be happier unwrapping a finished pair of plain, warm hand knit socks instead of a fancy unfinished pair.

But because men have such big feet I really wanted to find a foot that I could use to try them on.  It took a little talking but I found a somewhat willing foot model (who I must say needs to learn to appreciate the fine art of photography - finding the right pose, lighting and angle takes time!  Any guesses who my model was ?)

The foot is half finished and I'm hoping, really, really hoping that I can finish it tonight.  I have a scarf and a pair of mitts waiting to be cast on.

Sunday, December 7, 2014

A Huge Thank You!

Hi Knitters, I thought it was time to check in with you all after what seems like a long few months away that have been filled with surgery, tests, results and a lot of quiet time spent healing.

I have been SO lucky to have such wonderful friends and family to help me along the way.  There have been so many cards, messages, flowers, phone calls, visits, long talks, hugs, wonderful food, gifts and support during appointments that I wanted to say thank you to you all.  I could not have gotten this far on my own.

Since being a Knitter and have lots of knitting friends, many gifts have been knitting related.  I thought you might want to see some of these thoughtful gifts that made me smile (and cry) realizing what great friends I have.

flowers in the hospital

flowers from my parents
Lots of thoughtful knitting gifts

This is an Elizabeth Zimmermann pi shawl - Hearts knit by Amanda.  It is silk and it is beautiful!!
The yarn on the left is hand spun and hand dyed.  I have the perfect project lined up for it! Sock yarn in my colours.  These socks will be an after Christmas project for me.

These are all great books/magazines.  I've started a pattern from the magazine and I've picked out a few mosaic patterns to knit after Christmas. The novel is really good.  Will be reading more from this author.

More lovely flowers from one of my knitting groups.  The candle smells wonderful and doesn't the mug totally look like Wildflower Wool!

Thursday, October 2, 2014

The Last of our Fair Knitting Fun

Wow, so much has been going on that I didn't realize just how long it's been since I had blogged last.  I have some catching up to do!  My last few posts had been about the knitting fun at the Western Fair so let me show you what we did on the last day.

My Son's birthday was the next day so we decorated the booth with balloons and brought in gifts,

 the painting ladies at the booth beside us brought him in a coffee, a donut and a gift card,

and we had some Knitters stop by to knit with us so we created a knitting circle in front of the booth.
All week long we had people knit on our community charity project.  On the first day of the fair I cast on this scarf with the goal of knitting the entire ball into a nice size scarf to donate to one of our local charities, Keeping Kids Warm.  This proved easy to do.  Some people learned the knit stitch and knit a stitch or two on this scarf and others pulled up a chair to sit, knit a few rows and chat for a while. 

When the last Sunday of the fair came around I was hopeful that we could get 200 different people to knit on our scarf.

This officer had been at the fair all 10 days with us at a booth on the other side of our building.  A couple of nights during the week we ended up leaving the building at the same time and each time I invited him to try his hand at knitting. I knew he wasn't all that excited about nurturing his inner Knitter but if you know me at all, you know I don't let too many people get away without trying at least one stitch.  I caught up with him on the last night :)

After about 8pm on a Sunday night the building quiets down quite a bit so I decided to take the scarf around to the other vendors in the building so they could be part of our project.
The high school and university students in the robotics club all knit.  Some were hesitant but I assured them that if they could build a robot they could learn the knit stitch!!

The Bee Guy was a lot of fun and knit a few stitches for us.  We made a knitting date for next year at the fair so he can refresh his new found knitting skills.

  This was probably the craziest thing I've ever done to get someone to knit; thank goodness Lady the alligator didn't seem to mind my hand so close to her mouth!

The egg lady knit a row,

 and this was the 200th Knitter!
Robyn is one of the hard working fair employees who always visits the booth for her once a year knitting lesson.  This year we tracked her down in her office for a little knitting time.
Amanda had the honour of casting off the final stitches of the scarf - 1 ball of yarn and 203 knitters later.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Sit and Knit at the Western Fair 2014

The Sit and Knit has become an annual event on the first Sunday afternoon of the Western Fair.  Wildflower Wool hosts this event and each year I pick a fun knitting theme for the afternoon.  This year it was arm knitting.
This was some of the yarn we used for the arm knitting - we had lots to pick from!
Since we were working with mostly worsted weight yarns we held approximately 10 strands of yarn together to make our working yarn.

This was 20 minutes worth of arm knitting - it is super fast!

Everyone had lots of fun making their scarves!
There was some needle knitting happening as well,
and some sock knitting.

 Thanks to everyone who volunteered for the afternoon and to all of the Knitters who stopped by to give arm knitting a try and made themselves a one of a kind scarf.  It was a great afternoon!

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Day 2 at the Fair

Day 2 at the fair was another successful day.  Amanda and Wendy helped me out at the booth so there was lots of knitting going on!  We were able to show people socks knit using magic loop, colour work mitts on dpns, a knitted doily on a circular needle, the Purlshell stitch pattern knit out of alpaca and a double knit blanket.
The Charity Scarf Challenge project had lots of people stop and knit a few rows on it.

This scarf project is teaching a lot of people how to knit the knit stitch!

We met a lot of wonderful people yesterday and heard lots of great stories about their knitting.  One of my favourite Knitters of the day was an eight year old girl that came to the booth with her parents. She wanted to knit.  I showed her how to do the knit stitch and she did some stitches on our charity scarf.  Later in the evening she had her parents bring her back so she could see how much more had been knit on the scarf. They were surprised to see that we had knit through a few more colour changes since they had been here last.  As she did some more knitting we found out that her Dad is the Knitter in her family. Now that she has been bitten by the knitting bug, I hope that she and her Dad  make lots of wonderful memories knitting together.