A little bit of catching up

So, I've been AWOL from this blog for a couple of months now as I got Lone/Maple Studio up and running, so I have lots of fun things to catch you up on.

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First, the semi-secret project I was knitting for most of the summer was a beautiful pi shawl I knit for my sister's wedding which happened on October 5th.  Originally we thought it would work as a veil in her hair but it was too heavy (and the hair dresser though too delicate, although with 100% silk it is quite hearty) so she wore it as a shawl. 

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She looked absolutely beautiful and my new brother-in-law looked suitably handsome. While we didn't have one of those bright autumn days, the weather was beautifully overcast and made for excellent photographs.

 

Blocking the shawl on my Queen-size bed.

Blocking the shawl on my Queen-size bed.

I must say, knitting a 1000+ yd laceweight shawl was far less of a chore than I imagined.  While I have not (and will not) calculate the time it took me to make it, the quality of the yarn and the needles were such that even when a plain/resting round took me 45 minutes I was never really all that annoyed.  I will be certainly be making another in my future, although I'm not sure of the yarn or the occasion.

Taken immediately after binding off.

Taken immediately after binding off.

 

I'm really happy for my sister and brother-in-law, now I just needle to buckle down and start really knitting the Christmas stockings I promised them, guess I should get back to it.

Project Details - 

Project: Crossroads Wedding Pie 
Pattern: Heliotaxis Pi Shawl by Renata Brenner
Yarn: Handmaiden Lace Silk in Natural  (Which Carla picked up while she and Jim were on vacation in Eastern Canada in the summer of 2012.  I had to order a second skein to do the full project, but I'm saving the second portion for something special for her in the future)

 

Summer Slump

For the past couple of years I've found myself slowing down with my fiber habits and this year is no exception.  In the past I've associated it with different things, like a new job, always being on the trail, or just starting up with new hobbies, but I think after a third year of this I think I just don't have mojo in the summer. Work has been crazy and the last two weeks particularly so and while the heat from last week has broken, I've been totally listless in my fiber doings.

The one bright spot, is that I'm making some serious headway on Carla's shawl.  I was hoping to have it done by August 1st, but that's unlikely considering the week I have ahead of me, however I do expect it to be done in the next couple of weeks.

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Also, my Dropcloth samplers have arrived, and I've been playing around with embroidery, which has been lots of fun.

Four new samplers

Just starting out

Getting the hang of the stitches

Doodling on my own

 

I've been sorta spinning.  I got a new coffee table (and a television) two weeks ago and I haven't figured out the best spot to spin with the new furniture. But I'm making some headway on spinning Angel.  I want to have it done before our first guild meeting in September so I can show it off to Heather (the shepherd).  I don't think I'm going to make it back to the Rosseau Market this year, so I may have to email her to see if she has fluff for any other of her sheep because they are an AMAZING spin.  Also, there are little bits of VM (vegetable matter, mostly grass) in the fluff which reminds me of where yarn come from and makes me smile.

 

Angel on the wheelI also tried to distract myself with a bit of crochet and for some reason I wanted to make the African Flower hexagons.  They are fun to make but my heart just wasn't in it, so now I have some motifs with nothing to do, I might make a couple more and sew them together and give them to my friend Kristen's two-year old daughter Taylor who can use them for a doll/stuffed animal blanket.

Crocheted Hexagons

I'm hoping to get Carla's shawl/veil done soon because I still need to knit myself a shawl as well as I haven't made a pair of socks in ages.  I've put most of my other knitting on hold to get this shawl done and I have a few things that have been taunting me for ages and stash that is just dying to be knit up.  However, my stash acquisition hasn't been too bad this year (and I've been destashing slowly) so I'm not feeling the relentless push to keep up with my stash this year, which is probably good for my mental health.

Previously on ...

So I've been having a wild and crazy month, and after enjoying/squandering my day watching the new Arrested Development I feel the need to do a bit of a recap on my life for you folks. IMG_0911

So after learning about Nancy passing away I went on a bit of a yarn binge and bought a whole bunch of the Arrested Development themed sock yarn from Cakewalk Yarns.  She was having a sale and I was having a rough day and I ended up placing an order.

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I also placed an order with Tanis (of Tanis Fiber Arts) and got more yarn. And the May club shipment showed up as well, but Carla and I did a swap so that each of us could make a large shawl out of the club skeins.

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But I did finish a pair of socks, this pair is from the TFA Year in Colour Club shipment.  The color and the pattern were named Patina.  The color is exclusive to the club but the pattern will go on sale sometime next year.

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I also have a new addition to the family.  I had a Monday off a couple of weeks ago and I made the drive to Gemini Fibres to try out different wheels and figure out which one I wanted.  Instead of waiting, I decided to take home my new wheel, a Schacht Ladybug.  I strongly considered the Lendrum Double Treadle wheel, but the Ladybug really was the best fit.

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I've also cast on for a new pair of socks, but my knitting mojo is totally bleh right now.  Which is very unfortunate because I have some serious knitting to get done.

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I'm looking forward to knitting and wearing these socks, the pattern is Harvest Dew by Rose Hiver and the yarn is Muskoka Sunset from Blueberry Pie Studio.

On top of that knitting I have a wedding shawl to knit for my sister and a shawl for me to wear at her wedding.  I had cast on several weeks ago with the beautiful gold yarn she had ordered from Sweet Georgia Yarns, but I couldn't make myself knit it.  However, my reticence was a good thing, because after some serious wedding planning with Carla and our mom last weekend we realized that it would be better for me to knit a pi shawl out of a cream colored yarn to be used as a veil rather than a shawl. The pattern I'm using is Heliotaxis Pi Shawl by Renata Brenner and the yarn is an undyed silk from Handmaiden Yarns that Carla bought on her trip down east last summer. I ordered a second skein so that it will be a full sized pi that can be used for future big events, like babies.

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Another big thing going on is that I'm now a proud owner of two boat shuttles, because I'm borrowing one of the Trillium Handspinners and Weavers Guild Dorothy table looms for a workshop with Jette Vandermeiden in June.  The guild had the  loom but not shuttles, but now I'm worried I'm going to enjoy multi-shaft weaving a bit too much and want a table or floor loom.  Also, the guild has a brand spanking new website, www.trilliumguild.com, which I created.  It's still a work in progress, but this is a big step forward.

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The biggest thing going on, and a likely cause for my lack of crafting mojo, is that I'm moving on June 1st.  I found an apartment in Downtown Bracebridge, within walking distance of work with a balcony that faces the Muskoka River.  I'm currently in the process of packing all my things and getting ready to go.  But living in the mess I've created is really impacting my mental health.  The new spot is amazing.  It doesn't have nearly as fancy floors but it has closets and cupboards that close and I can store my yarn in a far more useful and attractive way. I can't wait to get moved into my new place and get my life back to normal again.

So, today was a great day of packing, Arrested Development and an impromptu visit from Carla and Jim (which included lunch at the Old Station, a peek at my new office and a trip to the Muskoka Brewery's new location). I'm hoping this week goes quickly because I wanna get moved and get out of the mess I've made for myself in my apartment.

 

 

Six Months From Now

Toshie This little puppy, Toshie, is going to have married parents.  My sister Carla and her ... Jim ...  (I find the word fiancee a bit overwhelming and betrothed is just pretentious) are getting hitched on October 5th, and I'm so excited and happy for them.

So I have a big project ahead of me, I'm knitting her a wedding shawl. It is 100% silk lace custom dyed by Felicia Lo of Sweet Georgia Yarns and it showed up late last week.  I'm not sure of all the logistics from the dyeing, I'm just the knitter, but her shawl is a gorgeous gold color.  As a gift to me as her Knitter of Honor (and also I'm signing for her) she got me some silk lace yarn to make a shawl for myself in the other wedding color, aubergine.

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So I'm still finalizing the pattern I'll be knitting both these yarns into, but there are so many choices and I really want it to suit the dress (which is super pretty but a secret until the big day). So I will be spending a few more hours trolling Ravelry and deciding what I want the gorgeous yarns to become, but I will be casting on soon because I need this to be done by the mid-summer so I can finish up my own shawl and whatever wedding knitting comes my way.

FO: Rockberry Triangle

Juneberry Sometimes it takes me a few tries to find the right pattern for a yarn, this was one of those yarns.  But once they found each other, this yarn a locally raised and spun yarn from Pondering Rock Farms and the Juneberry Triangle pattern by Jared Flood, it was magic.

I've been wearing this shawl pretty well non-stop since I finished it back in January.  It is quite scratchy by modern standards (ie. superwash Wools and super-fine merinos) but it has a delightfully rustic hand. The yarn is all naturally colored, and this yarn is from Valentine, and blended with alpacas from an adjacent farm in Rosseau, Ontario.

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I can't wait for Heather to open up her stand this spring at our local markets to get more of her naturally colored yarns, which she offers in fingering through worsted weights and in different colors based on her flock, and a Lopi-style bulky weight she dyes in small batches in vibrant colors.  I have a few patterns picked out already, including Ashby by Leila Raabe, which is designed to work with Brooklyn Tweed SHELTER.  I find this to be the closest commercially available yarn to the Pondering Rock Farms worsted weight.

I'm looking forward to making more worsted weight shawls because they are fantastic in Muskoka winters, which are really not THAT cold and it is a rustic, fashionable, local yarn kind town.

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Project notes on Ravelry: Rockberry Triangle