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Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Candle Stubs as Knitting Wax

I've been joining in the debate on the Machine Knitting e-list about waxing your yarn while (or before) knitting.

Here is my two cents worth.

I've been doing this for over 20 years when someone showed me how to attache candle stubs to my tension arm for my knitting yarn to run over.

These two pics show how I attach the candle stubs with a rubber band. Eventually the candle stub wears lots of grooves and wears through, the rubber band gives up the ghost too, but they are so easy to replace! I've loved this method for so long I forgot there were commercial waxers.

I've noticed that when I don't have wax in place or the yarn has slipped off my knitting is a bit rougher, you can just feel it in the carriage, so I pop the yarn back onto the wax.

Knitting as I do for a living I have to save where I can, this is small but significant..... more money to spend on yarn!

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Storefronts as Art















On my recent forays downtown with my new little camera ever at the ready, I've snapped a couple of store windows which I found delightful and interesting.

The silver jewelry shop next to my bank put in a 'Winter' theme using knitted scarves (purchased and one in progress) all in pink, blue and ecru, and some big balls of wool.

In keeping with the Valentine's theme that storefronts are now adopting for next month (I'm never ready this early!!) they did this cute heart out of yarn spread on their rough concrete floor.

The silver is displayed on and around this yarn. Had to snap that one.




Further up the main drag is Kingston Frameworks where my colleague artist Sally Chupick works and they had a wonderful evening gown made I think of printed fabric put all the segments were of newspaper and magazine print. I must ask Sally what it's about.... I just walked by and snapped the pic.

The artist is local Rebecca Soudant. The large picture behind it is of the dress being worn to a masquerade function which I think has something to do with December's Art Auction which I missed. (can't do everything!)

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Knit Cafe Cardi Done!


Well, one of the batches of wool I picked up on our way back from the Chicago show is now a cardi and I'm in love! It's the jacket I picked up at the Knit Cafe on Queen in Toronto.... buy the wool get the pattern sort of thing.

I had tried on the jacket last fall thinking I'd wait until I had funds and time to hand knit and treat myself. They had one on a form in the shop which I tried on and it was a Large, so I decided to make a medium. It had very stylish 1950's 3/4 length sleeves that were knit straight from cuff to underarm, I did a full length tapered sleeve as I am wearing this to keep warm as well as to look 'fabulous'!

I wanted to wear it on a trip to Ottawa to see the 30 Years of Craft at the Museum of Civilization last week when the weather was minus 24 or something so as I worked in the studio I'd work on my projects then take a break and sew on the collar. Then work again until another break to sew on a sleeve... and so on (sew on?!) until it was done and I could try it on. It fit!! Next...Hmmmm buttons. I was going to make some to go with it but looked through my cache of my own hand made buttons and found some that, though not what I want eventually, were perfect.

It's dynamite as the collar is very flatteringly face framing and you can scrunch it up around your face if you want. It knit up very quickly... if you like to knit in bed, over dinner, over breakfast, on any car ride where you're not driving. Heck, I was winding the skeins into balls all the way home up the 401!!!

Now I'm knitting a sweater for my dear patient other half, something out of KnitScene mag (I think it's called). He's waited so long, and done the driving while I knit for me.

Why am I not knitting my own patterns you ask? I do that aaaaaallllll day, knitting from someone else's when doing hand knitting gives me a break and relaxation, someone else has done the work.

30 Years of Craft is a wonderful exhibition by the way!

Monday, January 15, 2007

Sticktoitiveness in Kingston.



Out for breakfast after a week of 'cleansing' (you know... no chocolate, booze, coffee, preservatives etc and for two days, no solids) we went to our fave place in downtown Kingston: Morrison's. We got a window seat across from the back of City Hall where the new outdoor skating rink is and there is always the apple guy who has cider as well as hot cider for the skaters. I noticed that next to him was Muse Handknitting. The youg woman is in the market (the oldest outdoor market in Canada at 204 years old) most market days and sells quite an assortment of handknits: socks, baby items, fashionable tops, bags... you name it, all knit in a heavyish wool. They are all wonderful

Her Mum and she were sitting huddled between the back of her tent and her van. It was a sunny day but by no means warm.

I'll never again complain about my indoor show booths!

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Quiet Time and Inspiration.


I've needed to post for days, I got this lovely little camera for Christmas (previous post) and I carry it with me all the time and take pictures when the fancy takes me. The pictures here were taken weeks apart but in the same spirit... I was in a place of peace and quiet.


The red hand knitting is the jacket I'm working on from the Knit Cafe on Queen in Toronto. The colour is strong but not orangey as it has reddish rose in it... slightly varigated. I was knitting in bed on a Sunday morning, hence the newspaper and the TV remote. We tend to watch Sunday Morning for their wonderful and interesting stories so I can get a bunch of knitting done with the TV, the Saturay and Sunday papers (I only read the A&E and the Shopping section of the Star!!!) and a cup of tea. If it's sunny the sun streams in through the window.



Then other picture (sorry it came out sideways) was taken today in Chapters where I was taking a break from an order I'm working on that has presented me with some sizing problems. I used my Starbucks card received as part of our package at the Toronto Outdoor show last Summer to get a tall latte into which I sprinkle chocolate to make it a mocha - sorta. I had gone through the magazines and picked up a new Mac mag and looked to see if anyone in Kingston has seen fit to start getting Fibre Arts mag again.... (they decided to not bring it into Kingston anymore and I live for the Wearables issues).



Well, I'll put my little camera away.... until tomorrow!

Friday, January 05, 2007

My Third Shawl Done.



I have started this new year off in the grip of a burning desire to hand knit. I still machine knit every day as I have work piled up to get done for my clients but I love the hand knit look and some of the styles that are out to knit.

I buy hand knitting mags with a view to knit up a couple of the designs in them but for the past couple of years I just couldn't wrap my head, heart hands around it and get started but now it's kicked in!

This has happened before and I just ride it out... it'll come back, I know now. In the interim I knit socks.... they are my 'chewing gum' for my hands.

These two pics I took in my studio (with my new camera that my other half gave me for Christmas). It's great, it's a Samsung Digimax i5 and is small enough to carry in my bag all the time, along with my note/sketch book from my friend Margi Laurin and her 'Altered Books'. I decided that it's OK to carry around a bunch of stuff all the time and now don't feel guilty. If I'm inspired I've got my 'studio in my purse' thing that I can dive into! Anyway I'm still learning all the things this little beasty will do and I played with the white balance when I took these.

Back to the subject, this is the third shawl I've knit from one of the Noro pattern books. I use various Noro yarns... whatever I can find, going for colour first. Then I hunt for a yarn to use for the ruffle, so far I've always found silk/wool combos in some shade of chartreuse. It's a quick knit and such a handy addition to the wardrobe. I wear it indoors and out, day or night, lightly draped with a sweater pin as decoration or wound up around my ears over my coat walking to the car park at the Chicago show last month when it was amazingly cold.

Have a couple of cardigans I want to knit and, of course, something for the camera giver.

Well, I take a page out of my friend Gwendolyn's blog and look on the bright shiny new year with positive intentions and a happy outlook to the future.. it's gonna come whether we want it to or not ..... so why not want it!

Happy New Year!

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Yet Another Yarn Shop

This is a pic of me with the lovely Nancy, proprietor of Woven Art in East Lansing. I always look for knitting shops as we travel and I picked this one out of the phone book as there were a few and I could only visit one if we intended to make the Canadial border by midnight!

Nancy welcomed me into her lair, she was showing a lady the wonders of knittng at the time, and I got to browse and poke about.

For some reason I got the hand knitting bug on the drive home from the Chicago One of a Kind show and have been going hell bent for leather since. I got some lovely Alpaca at Woven art that Nancy had dyed herself, a beautiful lavender/grey.

Behind where we're standing is her large studio full of more work, fibre art and weaving looms. She has a great selection of yarns and pattern books so if you're en route through Michigan or live close go visit Nancy.

The senitment above the studio window says it all.......