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Friday, August 25, 2006

Polymer Clay Birthday Box

How wonderful for my friend Georgia to give me this little box which she made for me for my birthday.

It's the little ball of wool of polymer clay 'yarn' on top complete with tiny knitting needles and real cotton which Georgia managed to actually knit that gets me. I was overwhelmed at it's ..... hmmmmmm... beauty, sweetness, perfection? Not sure how to describe it.....

.....just.... that I love it! Thanks G.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Slow, Slow, Knit, Knit, Slow.

Well, I'm knitting as fast as I can, however, things have gone very slowly over the Summer and I feel so behind in my orders for my knit cardigan jackets.

The cardi in the pic is one I designed last Fall and did so well with in Chicago at the One of a Kind Show there in December. I had nine orders and sold one of the two samples I took with me.

I then showed it in Toronto and Ottawa at the Spring shows this year and, of course, someone asked for it in Cotton.... I had only done it in wool... my favourite medium to knit with both hand and machine. If I didn't have to make a living and sell year round and have clients who couldn't wear Wool or just prefer cotton, I'd probably not do much with it.

I did the orders, I sent them out to the clients and as cotton knits up firmer than wool, without the lovely elasticity, some of them came back because of fit. As you cannot alter knitwear as you can sewn items of fabric this means starting from scratch and a redo for each one. This lovely little number has been the bane of my existance trying to work it in cotton and get the fit right. Tweaking the pattern in the Garment Designer software isn't enough, I have to fit and see that what's on paper actually works in the selected material.

Well, I think I'm getting there but I've a raft more orders in holding pattern in my studio... sometimes I think I here them each morning as I open up.....

......'pick me, pick me'!!!

Thursday, August 17, 2006

More Shops and Shopping 1800's Style

I just renewed my loan on this book, I really want to keep it but the library wouldn't be too pleased. I'll have to search for it as it has lots in it about the Wool Movement of the mid 1800's.

The illustration is from a company started in 1846 to sell hand knitted underwear. They did that for many years, moved to London in 1892 and there still was a Mr Bill in 1964 at the time of the prining of this book!

They sold Shetland knit underwear as the Shetland yarn was very soft, smooth and light.

W Bill was written up in Sylvia's Home Journal in 1881 and this helped promote them, no doubt spurring on their big city move and to persue wholesale and also the sale of outer garments in 1910.

I do remember wool being used for baby clothes when I was a kid in England in the '50's. Were kids hardier or was the wool softer? More investigations needed... how exciting, I'd love to get my hands on samples from early in the last century.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Summer Knitting...mmmmm!

Well, I know it looks in these pics like I've been skiving off from the studio but it got so hot I just couldn't function in the studio anymore the last couple of weeks. I've a studio full of windows and a skylight, ceiling fans and a breeze from Lake Ontario a block away but it just went into AC type weather and we don't have that in our house or my it was off to the beach.

The Sandbanks in Prince Edward County is a great place to knit once you find a shady spot and have also stuck a couple of brightly coloured sun unbrellas you've dug up from the basement firmly in the sand. That day was an incredibly hot day but there was an amazing breeze off the lake.

I've been struggling with the lacey intricacies of the Mexican Edging on bag #20 from the book 'Bags - a Knitter's Dozen' and though I'm usually fine with complicated lace patterns this one has me pulling out and going back and back!!!!!!!!!! I'm determined to master it as it'd make a cute cell phone pocket.

A few days later a windsurfing and boating friend of ours took us over to Clayton NY to the Antique Boat Museum for their annual boat show and auction. A beautiful day with an hour across the lake an around some of the 1000 islands looking at amazing 'cottages'.

Well, now it's cooler I'm back in the studio getting ready for the Sheep Dog Trials this weekend at Grass Creek Park between Kingston and Gananoque. As I'll be in an artisan's tent with other fibre people perhaps I'll get this lace pattern down with a little help and the quiet times when every one is watching the sheep!!!!