Saturday, July 30, 2011

A shawl in a hurry

On Tuesday I decided that I wanted to knit a small shawl for a good friend. Her birthday was yesterday, but I'm seeing her tomorrow, so I figured there was time. I decided to do another Multnomah, like the one I made from the same yarn (in a different colour) a couple of years ago. The yarn is Swiss Mountain Silk Bamboo by Handmaiden, in the Safari colourway.

I was ready to bind off on Thursday morning. Here it is unblocked:

I blocked yesterday - here is a picture of the shawl pinned out:

And here it is all finished:

Friday, July 29, 2011

Socks, mainly

When we were driving through Qu├ębec's Eastern Townships a couple of weeks ago we stopped at this old wool mill at Ulverton.

Sadly the mill is no longer in operation - it is now a museum. They sell locally produced yarns in the gift shop, though. I bought two skeins of a light worsted weight wool-nylon blend to knit some socks for our friend David in Toronto. He likes heavy socks, and is likely to need them there!

I decided to try going toe-up on these ones, so that I can better gauge yarn consumption on a size-11 foot. I'm kind of making it up as I go along, but I did use Judy's Magic Cast-on, and I haven't quite decided about the heel yet.

Here is a close-up of the yarn:

I also finished the Monkey socks a while back, and they finally got their photo opp because they're being gifted this evening.

Have I mentioned how much I enjoy this pattern?

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Jet-setting blogger?

I thought I would take the opportunity to blog from an airport, just like the cool kids do! We're waiting in the Montreal airport for our flight home. Today is unbelievably hot here - hottest temperature on record for this day, and perhaps the hottest day in years. With the humidex it's 45°C out there! We've mostly managed to escape the heat today, except for the ten-minute shuttle ride to the airport from the train station in a small bus with no AC - phew! The weather for the rest of our trip has been great though, so no complaints, really.

I wanted to share a cool fibre arts-related story from the bed and breakfast we stayed at a few nights ago. Mme. Lauzier has been taking in guests for 36 years at her beautiful farm outside of Ayer's Cliff in the Eastern Townships.

The farm house

Here is the sunset from the bench swing in the back yard.

After breakfast we started talking about knitting. I showed Mme. Lauzier my sock-in-progress and we exchanged notes on heel construction and how to avoid that 'hole in the corner' when you pick up for the gusset, she took out an amazing piece of weaving to show us. It's been in use for 30 years on the kitchen table and can be machine washed and dried. Can you guess what it's woven from?

How about now?

She cut dozens of plastic bread bags into continuous strips and grafted them with something resembling a Russian join so that there would be no knots or ends showing. The really cool thing is that she could point to the different coloured stripes and identify the brand of bread!

And here are Mme. Lauzier and I in front of the piano in the sitting room, because "on peut y prendre une belle photo"!

You can't see them, but on the wall beside the piano are family photos - she had 13 kids, she was from a family of 11, and her husband was one of 18!

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Greetings from....

Can you guess?

So I know I haven't posted in a long time, and all I have to show knitting wise is another sock...

... but in my defense, it was the end of the school year and I worked every day of the last week, and then we had to get ready to go on our trip. Travel preparations get a little complicated with a diabetic cat, but we made it, and we're having a good time visiting our old friends here.

Yesterday we walked around the city and covered more than 10 km! The day before we checked out Lettuce Knit - the Yarn Harlot's LYS. One of our stops yesterday was at Bookhou, which I had read about on Geninne's blog, and where we got to see this exhibit and buy a few goodies. I felt really lucky to be in Toronto at the right time to see some of Geninne's originals - apparently they are rarely available for sale.

We also stumbled on this really cool yarn shop, Americo Original where they carry their own line of yarns. I got the yarn to make this pattern. It's a beautiful cotton and I got it in a lovely sage green.

We spent the late afternoon on Toronto Island, which was really cool. I've been wanting to see it since I read Atwood's Robber Bride. We had a picnic and a good time was had by all!

To be continued...