What I Love Wednesday: Georgian Bay Fibre Co.

What I Love Wednesday is a new feature I'm trying out on the blog.  This is where I share with  you the tools and toys I love to use.  All the items featured on What I Love Wednesday have been purchased, used and loved by me. 

Georgian Bay Fibre Co. is my new favorite thing.  Now, in the effort of full disclosure part of the reason I love it is because my sister, Carla, is the dyer behind this new company and I've spent many hours helping out as her studio assistant, however this yarn is fantastic.

Also, this is why I've been so quiet the past few months, I've been working with Carla since January to get things ready to go.  I'm terrible at keeping secrets so I had to just go quiet for a while as things were coming together.

But onto the yarn ...

Permanent Collection featured on Hennessy Fingering

Lilac, the colorway of the year (available till December 31) and the Spring Collection (available until June 20th)

Featuring Bluefaced Leceister (BFL) yarn and spinning fiber, GB Fibre Co.'s colorways are inspired by the Georgian Bay/Parry Sound/Muskoka area.  The best thing about the colorways, is that they are designed to work together.  Every time I'm in Carla's studio, I just want to play mix-and-match and knit all the three-color shawls out there.

While the colors are stunning, the yarns themselves are amazing to work with. BFL is great yarn to work with. It is a British Breed categorized as a Longwool. But its particular characteristics makes it a "goldielocks" yarn.  In the Fleece and Fiber Sourcebook, Deborah Robson and Carol Ekarius state that BFL is an "... exceptionally adaptable wool, well suited for garments that need to be soft but also must stand up to wear, such as socks, sweaters, mittens and hats. In weaving, it will drape well without being heavy".

I've had a chance to experience this first hand,  having knit or woven with nearly all the available bases.  The bases have been named in a great system, using the names of different bays within Georgian Bay, each base is named based on it's fiber content/type and then by weight.  

The Hennessy line, 100% untreated (aka. not superwash) BFL, is available in Lace, Fingering, DK and Aran weight.   I've knit with the Fingering and Aran weights.

Lumen Shawl by Sivia Harding in Hennessy Fingering, Aster.

The fingering might be my favorite part of this line.  I prefer knitting lace to most anything else, and the Hennessy Fingering has a great 2-ply structure that blocks like a dream.  While I'm not a color work knitter myself, this yarn would be great.  I'm considering making a stranded hat  just to try it out for that purpose.

North Winds Hat by Felcia Lo in Hennessy Aran, Almost Truffle (aka, the accident skein that inspired the Potter's Truffle Colorway)

I've also knitted out of the Aran and while it was only a hat, I've been wearing it every day since I finished it on February 6th.  And its been a helluva winter and there is no sign of pilling and it has retained it bounce.

The attracting of the untreated BFL is great for me.  It's like eating whole-grain bread, its really, really tasty, but it has a bit of a crunch to it.  It feels rustic and historic and different than anything else I've worked with.  

Over the weekend I was home and snagged 3 skeins of the Hennessy DK in Squall, and I'm itching to cast on a Mara shawl.  I may do that before bed tonight.

Not only is there the Hennessy line, but my heart lies with the Kilcoursie family.  With 80% Superwash BFL and 20% nylon, this is sock yarn through and through.  Right now it is only available in Fingering, but I know Carla is investigating getting a DK and Aran. These heavier weights will be perfect for boot socks, baby blankets and anything you want to be able to machine wash.

Squadron Socks by ME! in Kilcoursie Fingering, Almost Lichen (the skein that inspired the Lichen colorway)

Squadron Socks by ME! in Kilcoursie Fingering, Almost Lichen (the skein that inspired the Lichen colorway)

I love this yarn so much I designed my very first pair of socks in it.  The pattern is just awaiting photography and then I will be releasing it through Georgian Bay Fibre Co.  The pattern will be for sale on Ravelry and I can't wait for you to knit it.

The final line is Pengallie.  This one is really special with 80% super wash BFL and 20% silk, this shiny beauty is perfect for shawls and sweaters.  I haven't knit with this one yet, but I know that Carla has and there will be a great pattern coming out for it soon.  Currently available in a fingering weight, I know Carla hopes to expand this line as well.

So please go and check out her website http://gbfibreco.com and get yourself some of the best yarn out there!

Knittin' with a kitten

... Can sometimes leave things to be desired.

While Jack is a wonderful kitten, who brings me so much joy, he is also a yarn stealer.

I know there is an intrinsic connection between kittens and yarn, but having Jack around has had caused my knitting quantity to nosedive.  Partially because I'm spending much more time playing and snuggling with him, but also because every time I get out a project he tries to steal the working yarn or the project right out of my hands.


He also really like knitting cables, at this stage he has only destroyed one of the clear plastic ChiaoGoo cables but there are bite marks in the cables on every active project. The nice thing about an interchangeable system is all I have to do is get another cable.

He also really likes to sit on my computer, somehow his feet always activate the Caps Lock and he turns on the backlight on my keyboard.

He is an Apple/Mac cat as he found a nice spot on my dad's Mac Mini to perch on when were home a month ago.

Although at other times he can sit right next to computer and keeps me company.

It's not just yarn, he also loves fluff. When Jack first came home he disappeared at one stage and I found him asleep in my spinning basket.  I keep it covered now, but if I take the cover off I will find him there again.


On his first week 

ut in the end I think all the yarn chasing is worth it because he might be the cutest kitten ever!





How to be the second most popular person at a baby shower

Show up with these guys ...


My coworker went off on Maternity leave yesterday so on Friday, her last day, we had a little get together at the office in her honor. So as with most knitters and crocheters I can't pass up the opportunity to make cute things for babies (and their big sisters) and show off my skills in front of an audience.


Ultimately I decided on a two-part gift.  One part for Kristen/the baby and the other for their 2-year-old daughter, T. For Kristen/the baby I made a blanket.  The pattern is an improvised/single Granny Square blanket.  I had four skeins of KnitPicks Biggo in my stash and they worked perfectly together for the blanket.  It's binky/lovey/carseat sized and with its super wash merino and nylon it should have a nice long lifespan and it is incredibly soft.  I've ordered more at the big Knit Picks sale going on this week.  Because of the sale colors I'm not going to be making crocheted blankets but test out a knit pattern I've been working on in Billow (also by Knit Picks).

For T I made the two amigurumi owls. As an older sister myself, it was important for me to give something to this future big sister. Kristen has mentioned that T loves owls so I picked the Stacey Trock Nelson the Owl patterns (full sized and mini). I love the chance to make two sizes of the same critter, because it doubled (or tripled) the cuteness factor. 

So, these gifts have made their way to their new home and I hope they are as loved by their recipients as there were by me as I was making them.

The big takeaway for me is that amigurumi make a great gifts and will get you lots of custom order inquiries (so if that's your thing it's a great way to get interested buyers, I myself am not interested in doing commission knitting or crocheting).

Project Details

Projects: Big Sister and New Baby Owls
Patterns: Amigurumi Nelson the Owl and Nel the Tiny Owl - both by Stacey Trock of FreshStitches
Yarn: KnitPicks Brava Worsted in Cobblestone Heather, Dove Heather, Caution, Peacock and Fairy Tale

Projects: Not So Grannie Baby Blanket
Pattern: Improvised - I'm planning on writing it up in the next couple of months
Yarn: KnitPicks Biggo in Dove Heather, Calypso Heather, Golden Heather and Cobblestone Heather.