Monday, September 30, 2013

Ziraldo Alpacas Open House Weekend

This past weekend was Doors Open Middlesex.  The Doors Open events are great opportunities to get out into the community and check out local business and community buildings all for free!
 

Ziraldo Alpacas invited me to spend the weekend  demonstrating knitting with alpaca yarn.  What a great way to spend a weekend!  Along with knitting demos there was also spinning, crochet, traditional rug hooking and alpaca products for sale - thrummed mitts, hats, socks, stuffed toys, felted soaps, bird nesting materials and of course lots and lots of yarn!!!



I always like to make my demonstrations as hands on as I can. The kids had a ball winding yarn on the swift and everyone had a chance to knit with the beautiful Rainbow Lopi an alpaca/merino/bamboo blend. 


Even though the demonstration tables were set up inside the barn we weren't far from the alpacas.  Farm tours were going on through out the day and every so often one of the girls would come to say hello.


 
 

Florinda was the star attraction.  She spent the weekend letting everyone pet, hug and snuggle with her!

 
On one of my walks I stopped to knit and visit Florinda.  She was grabbing a quick bite to eat before she went back to work greeting all the visitors. 

By the time Sunday afternoon arrived Lacey had decided she was brave enough to get in on some of the attention Florinda was receiving.

 
 
From some of the feedback we heard about the weekend it seems that the alpaca farm was one of the most visited locations.  Debbie and her family did an amazing job organizing a great weekend!!  Thanks for letting me be a part of it.
 


Friday, September 27, 2013

2 Needle Socks

 
Has anyone else ever knit a pair of socks on straight needles?  A few of us from our Knitting Guild decided to give it a try using the patterns in this book by Alice Curtis. 
 

This is the pair of socks from the first pattern in the book using one 100g ball of worsted weight yarn.  My pair is knit from Patons Classic Wool that I hand dyed this summer.

 
 
Using only one ball of yarn and 4mm needles they knit up in no time at all. They are knit cuff down and the above picture was taken after the heel was turned.
 



Once the foot and toe are knit the final step is to crochet the seam together.  The crocheting makes a smooth seam and a nice design feature.

 
These were fun and simple to knit and don't be afraid of the crocheting that is required.  After a little practice on my first sock that I pulled out a couple of times (I am not much of a crocheter!),  I was happy with the final result.
 
This book is filled with great patterns knit with sock yarn and I can't wait to cast on a pair!

Saturday, September 21, 2013

My Secret Knitting

Tonight's job is finishing up a test knit on a new sock pattern for Kate Atherley.  Since I am sworn to secrecy about the pattern details until the pattern is released later this fall all I can tell you is that I am loving this pattern!


I thought Daisy might want to be the main focus of this picture since I can't show you the sock.  Apparently not.  I think this is the "go away, get that sock out of my face, I am trying to sleep look".  Don't worry about Daisy's lack of enthusiasm, I am sure that all you sock Knitter's will love Kate's latest sock pattern.
 

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Technology and the Arts Do Mix!

Here is a recap of some more knitting fun from the Western Fair last week.  The booth that was set up beside me was a great group of high school students from Oakridge and Central's robotics club along with their mentors from the University of Western's engineering program.  They had brought with them the robot that they designed and built in just 6 weeks to throw frisbees.  It was a huge hit!
 
It does seem like a strange pairing; knitting and robotics but it didn't take long to bridge the gap and get these students knitting ;)
 
These are the young men that started what would become a week long project to knit a licence plate for their robot!
 

The plan was for everyone who volunteered in their booth to take a turn knitting a few rows in between their demonstrations on stage and entertaining the people as they walked by.
 

Sometimes a new Knitter would sit with me for a quick how to knit lesson or learned from one of their teammates. 


 

Everyone seemed to have fun adding their rows to this group project.  This Knitter cast off the final row of stitches and we realized just how many extra stitches had been added along the way.  The extra stitches created a bit of a ruffle that we are calling "a design feature"!


Here's the robot decked out with it's new knitted licence plate. 


There were also lots of other knitting opportunities once the licence plate was finished or if it was being knit on by someone else.  This is a scarf we were knitting for charity,


or you could try knitting with these large needles or,


give sock knitting a try using 4 needles!


Thanks to everyone for taking some time to give knitting a try.  You all did amazing!!

Friday, September 13, 2013

Knitting Fun at the Fair

I have spent all this past week at the fair demonstrating different knitting techniques and talking to lots of knitters.  Here's a look at the fun.

 

At the booth beside me is a group of high school and university students who have formed a robotics club. They have their robot with them and when they aren't busy doing demos with the robot I have them knitting!

 
This lady belongs to the Embroidery Guild and was showing me her necklace/scarf that she knit out of silk.  


I had a surprise visit from a friend and we managed to get her knitting too!


Even the staff of the Western Fair has been stopping by to chat and knit.

Monday, September 9, 2013

Sit and Knit at the Fair

I wanted to share with you some of the fun that we had yesterday at the Western Fair's Sit and Knit.  The workshop I put together this year was learning to knit with beads.  As you can see we had lots of fun!

Everyone knit a bracelet our of 100% hemp yarn adding beads 3 different ways.  We had some brand new knitters who learned to knit and also some crocheters who learned to knit!!  Not that I am trying to convert them or anything ;)




 




Tuesday, September 3, 2013

More Hand Dyed Results!

Last night at our Monday night knitting group more yarn was brought in from our solar dyeing afternoon.


The top three grey coloured sock yarn balls were dyed with Kool Aid.  Isn't it amazing what shades you can end up with when those bright colours are mixed together!  The rest of the skeins were dyed with Wilton cake icing dyes. 




This in progress sock was dyed with Wilton cake icing dyes as well.  What I find amazing is that the sock this Knitter decided to knit with this yarn is shown in the pattern book in almost the same colour.  What a coincidence (and great dyeing!)!!

 
 
Last but not least is my new sock in progress using my worsted weight wool dyed with Wiltons cake icing dyes.  This solar dyeing experiment has certainly been lots of fun and has produced some wonderful yarns!