Thursday, May 19, 2016

Retreat Weekend

Last weekend was an amazing weekend.  Thanks to Kathy from the Thread & Eye  for putting together a fun and relaxing weekend of cross stitching (and a little knitting) at the Brentwood Bed and Breakfast.

 As you enter the B&B this sign greets you; enter with a happy heart.  If you didn't entering feeling that way it didn't take long to be transformed.  Between the view overlooking the lake and the friendly Stitchers who made everyone feel welcome you couldn't help but let the stress of the week fade away.

View over looking the lake

The basement was set up with tables, comfy chairs and good lighting.  Just what we needed for all day and late night stitching. (Late as in 2 am!)  It has taken me all week to catch up on my sleep.  But it was so worth it!

Some of the girls set up their work in a sitting room upstairs that had a great view of the lake.

The projects that were being worked on were incredible. Tracey is stitching a Star Wars piece.

And this is Kathy from the Thread & Eye shop working on an incredibly detailed, large project.

And there were Knitters there too!  Meet Robin, a reader of the blog.  Hi, Robin. It was great to meet you in person!

And Adrienne, taking a break from stitching to work on her sock.  She also had the best project bags from Zig Zag Stitches.

Once Adrienne and I realized we were both sock Knitters, we compared hand knit socks each morning at breakfast :)

These are the "Upstairs Girls" that I spent most of the weekend stitching with.  If you thought other knitters were enablers, I can tell you that cross stitchers are just as "encouraging" when it comes to suggesting new patterns to buy, designers to check out and stitch a longs to join!  Thanks for making me a part of the group ladies!

I did venture outside a few times over the weekend when I needed to give my eyes a rest and stretch my legs.  The weather outside was windy and cool - even a few snowflakes - but my knitwear kept me warm.  

Happy knitting (and stitching) everyone!

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Painting with Fibre

In my last post I talked about discovering needle felting at the Knitter's Frolic in Toronto and promised that I would let you know about the fibre artist I met at the show.

Well, meet Wendo, the  fabulous needle felter that got me hooked on this new craft.  Wendo does many types of fibre arts but her booth at the show was just dedicated to her needle felting.  She obviously loves her work and her excitement for it was contagious.  I was addicted as soon as we started talking. She has a background in animation and it shows in the faces and expressions she gives to her creations.

a hippo in a tutu
The show was super busy but I did manage to get a few quick shots of some of her work between crowds of people.

a rhino and a zebra

a pretty laid back tiger

These pigs and sheep are so cute!  I would never have though to use golf tees for the legs.  Take a close look at the sheep's feet!

And then there are my first attempts.  The birds is one of the kits I bought at the Frolic.  I don't think it turned out too bad for my first try.

My second attempt was a card for my Mom for Mother's Day.  I played around layering colours and added some embroidery embellishments as well.

My third attempt is this flower picture.  I'm by no means artistic and I no talent for drawing or painting but that is what this is like; painting with fibre and I'm really liking it.  This needle felting is fun, relaxing (as long as you keep your fingers away from the felting needle!) and fairly simple.  If you are looking for something new to do, my suggestion is to give needle felting a try. 

Wendo mentioned that she will be teaching at the Woodstock Fleece Festival in October.  I'm definitely going to take her class and visit her booth to stock up on more materials.  Until then I'll keep playing around and see where my creativity takes me.

Thanks Wendo for the inspiration!

Sunday, May 1, 2016

Frolicing at the Knitters Frolic

Saturday was an amazing day!  It's hard to beat a day out with knitting friends at a knitting show.  Really.....can you think of anything better?  We always have so much fun together and always seem to end up having some sort of adventure on the way home!

I had to miss the Frolic last year so I was doubly looking forward to it this year.

Orange was definitely my colour of choice.  I love these yarns.  The two larger skeins are a merino wool and silk blend hand dyed by Stitch Please.  The orange and yellow yarn is cotton.  Both of these are going to be knit into lace shawls for this summer.

Besides looking at all the amazing new yarns for knitting I spent some time looking at drop spindles for spinning and looms for weaving.  But, what really, really got my attention was the needle felting.

I met the amazingly talented fibre artist Wendo whose booth was filled with her needle felted creations, kits and fibre.  I came home with 4 kits plus a bag of fibre to make my own designs.  I think I've found a new addiction!

In the next post I'll show you more of Wendo's work and my first attempts at needle felting.  Until then, have an amazing week!

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Drop Spindle Workshop

For the Knitting Goddesses annual Spring workshop, I organized a drop spindle class for our guild members.  Take a look at the amazing day we had.

We were very fortunate to have Janice Watterworth, an amazing teacher and talented spinner from our local spinning and weaving guild come out to teach our workshop.  She has so much knowledge to share!

We started learning right at the beginning - how to attach a leader,

how to prepare the fiber,

how to get the spinning started,

how to check the amount of twist we were putting into our yarn,

techniques for plying,

and before two hours was over we had made yarn!

We have to give a big thank you to our local knitting shop Little Red Mitten for letting us use one of their rooms for our workshop.  They carry a great range of spinning supplies which made it so easy to get the fiber we needed. I might have also found a light weight lace spindle that I needed to add to my spindle collection.  Very convenient shopping :)

I'm hoping to knit a hat with the yarn I spin from this workshop. I know that it will be the most uneven yarn ever but I really want to have something that I have completely made right from the start (no, I'm not going to shear a sheep).  I may have too high of expectations but I'm going to try it anyways!

Monday, March 14, 2016

The Final Moebius....For a While

Last week was filled with more moebius cowl knitting.  I think I'm finally ready to move on to another type of project. I can tell you it will be intarsia knitting :)

This last moebius is knit in seed stitch.  I used a 4.5mm needle, the moebius cast, put on 141 sts and worked rounds of k1, p1 until the ball of wool was finished. Super easy!

Here are the finished pictures!

Sunday, March 6, 2016

Just One More

Tomorrow night is our knitting guild meeting.  It's the meeting we get to take in all the moebius knitting that we've done over the month since our last meeting to show everyone.

I have had so much fun knitting these moebius cowls.  These are the real moebius that are started with the moebius cast on and then knit in the round with one twist and don't require any seaming when the knitting is finished.  Even though I have already knit four cowls I couldn't resist casting on another one tonight.  This one is being knit in seed stitch.  So much fun!  Can you see the twist?

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

The Birthday Visit

My daughter had a birthday this past weekend making it the perfect excuse to visit her while she is away at school.  We had a great day!

we went out for lunch,

and there were cupcakes and gifts.
The blue yarn is for a sweater that she has been asking for.  I remeasured her again (I lost the first set of numbers, oops) and have a plan.  I have been watching Amy Herzog's Craftsy class, Knit to Flatter, which is all about using your measurements to adjust your sweater pattern to get the perfect fit and style for you.  I'm going to combine Anita's measurements and the sweater style that she likes with Amy's advice on fit and tips on style and knit up a birthday sweater.  Having a finished sweater to deliver will be another great reason for a visit :)

and of course there was a little knitting going on during the visit :)

Happy Birthday Anita, love you lots!!