Sunday, April 30, 2006

Dyeing Heaven

Spent the day slaving over they dye pot yesterday and had a great time mixing colours and watching the blending that makes even more.

Spring is definitely coursing through my veins! Everything I dyed is related to what I am seeing in the garden - pots of orange panises, tiny blue scilla, fresh spring green leaves and the clear blue sky.

Orange Pansies:

Fresh spring greens:

Blue skies:

Lilacs to come:

It was all a lot of fun and I am looking forward to the next dyeing session and have some things in mind to try. I am still experimenting a lot and playing around with techniques (dip dyeing, painting, hot pour...) and wish I had a bigger stove to work with and more pots to dye in. It is amazing how quickly all the availble space is used up when you are having fun!

Have a great week everyone!

Friday, April 28, 2006

Double Triangles

I started knitting Jackie Erickson Schweitzer's Triangles Within Triangles Shawl today - TWICE! Well actually 3 times if you count the time I ripped out everything.

First go was in Cherry Tree Hill Suri Lace in Foxy Lady - a combo of deep pink and charcoal grey. I misinterpreted one of the symbols in the pattern and made a boo boo at first so frogged it and re-started it this time the correct way.

The Suri Lace is soooo fine that it takes my stronger pair of reading glasses for me to see the stitches - particularly the double decrease at the top of each triangle. Frogging is a wee bit of a challenge too!

The result though (I have done about 3 repeats of the main pattern) is gossamer soft and pretty!

The second (third!) time was in Cherry Tree's Supersock Merino in the same colourway . This version is much easier to knit and is growing very quickly. I went up to a 4.5mm needle for this one and am really liking it too. It also makes a nice break from the very fine Suri Lace version. Same pattern - very different feel!

I think I may also do a Zephyr version - in Steel maybe or in a complementary colour. This pattern is a gem!

Back to my knitting!

Monday, April 24, 2006

NOW I can get excited about MARYLAND

The Frolic is done and it was a very good time! Nice to meet everyone and get all of your good feedback. It was an awful horrible cold day - too cold to be outside at all. There was a steady flow of people all day - right up to the last minute. My kids did cash (and all of the lugging) and I got to talk to people - by far the best way to do a show.

I am doing some re-arranging to the shelving downstairs and all of the goodies are spread across the living and dining room until I get done - perhaps tomorrow. I'll be uploading all of the Fleece Artist and Hand Maiden yarns that I didn't have time to get done before the Frolic - so stay tuned for some goodies including Blue Faced Leicester 2/8 and SEA SILK!!!


I leave a week Thursday, pick up my friend Ainslie in Kingston and after a visit to our friend Trish in Ithaca-ish New York, arrive in Westminster, MD - our jumping off point for 2 days of glory, fleece, sheep and fibre crazed crowds.

This will be my 3rd visit to MS & W and I still get just as excited as I did the first time I went. First stop the fleece sale in the big barn then a good long wander through all the barns, a lamburger or 2 and perhaps an ice cream.

My wheel paper for Spinning Level 2 is going to be about travelling wheels. Part of my MSW trip will be to do some research and try out a few so that I can pick 5 to write up.

Must go and do some more organizing

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Lily Chin sighting

The energetic and spritely Lily Chin spoke to our guild this evening about inspiration and translating that into design. She's a very clever woman is Lily - picked up on some architectural details in the room we were in and turned them into knitting design on the spot. From dull concrete walls with regularly spaced holes to chair backs lined up like bricks with stairs for borders.

There is inspiration in everything and the more knitting (and crocheting - she is the world's fastest crocheter after all) techniques we can use mean the more opportunities we have to turn that inspiration into something. Very cool.

Ms Lily is presenting workshops here in T.O. for the next 3 days and will be at the Frolic on Saturday (Downtown Knit Collective) as well.

Started another Meilenweit sock during the meeting - this one is Multiringel in red/bright pink/brown/cream and mustard - a real 60s colour combo but very prettily striped.

Come to the Frolic and see it in person (along with lots of other goodies!)

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Block, Blocker, Blockest!

A blocking frenzy at the Red Bird Knits household today!

Done are:

black Kid Seta Kiri
blue green Angel Hair Leaf Lace
Mega Boots sock
Indian Summer Sea Silk Pillared Archways Scarf (Jackie Erickson Schweitzer) - still drying on the ironing board ( not Jackie - the scarf)
washed Triangulation sock - nice and soft now

A price sticker frenzy too - on the new Hand Maiden yarns and kits that arrived today (and will be unveiled at DKC - wow's the word) plus some bargain bin thingys, some cotton ... with a lot more to come.

More blocking tomorrow and more price stickering - my what an exciting life I lead!

A demain

Obvious signs of flower buds on my Eastern Redbud (Cercis canadensis) - a native north american tree that blooms fuchsia on bare wood. You see them more south of here (here being Toronto) and mine is only 3 years old and much nurtured. A tree with a name like that - both its Latin version and common name just had to have a place in my tiny city backyard

Magnolia is about 25% out now - anothere WOW

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Angel Hair Leaf Lace Shawl done

Finished my 3rd Fiber Trends Leaf Lace Shawl last night - a gorgeous wisp on Hand Maiden Angel Hair in a very soft mix of blues and greens. Lots of yarn left over and the shawl when blocked will be a nice big one.

The first Leaf Lace I knit was in Hand Maiden Lace Silk in blues that I wear all the time - a bit smaller that goes well with my teal blue sweaters.

The 2nd was my final project for my spinning course (got it back last week and I PASSED!).

The pattern is so versatile that it works just as well in all 3 yarns and even in the heavier weight hand spun. A perfect pattern I think!

I am up to my eyeballs in accounting and bookeeping to get things ready to send to my accountant (our deadline is, thankfully, May 1st) so my weekend will be rather bereft of knitting. I may get something else finished up and will take some time to block Leafy Angel Hair and my other Kiri in black Madil Kid Seta.

The weather is gorgeosu and one of my (3) magnolias is starting to bloom. Sping has sprung!

Friday, April 07, 2006

Kiri in Silk Floss

Need I say more! Colour is Woodland (which I think are all sold). Gorgeousness, no!

If I have time I will block it again as I see the points are a little distorted. See it in person at DKC

Off to knit some rows on my April sock (which is finally shaping up into something!) and then off to play quartets with my brother and some friends. A very nice way to spend a wet Friday evening methinks.

Have a great weekend. I see orange pansies in my future - how about in yours?

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Spring was here

I guess that was it - last week when the crocuses/croci came up in all of their lovely yellowness and the Dogwood tree ( Cornus mas - not the pretty one of the south) almost bloomed with its soft yellow blossoms that are not very showy but are very welcome as they are so early. That sentence was about as long as the Spring was.

We are now back to winter - woke to snow on the ground this morning and a cold nose when I took Arthur (he is our lovely Golden Retriever) out for his morning sojourn in the garden. I hope spring returns - I want some more!

Each year I do hanging baskets of mixed annuals and pots along the steps of my front porch. I usually pick a theme colour depending on what hits my fancy at the local garden centre (actually not a garden centre at all - the local grocery store (Loblaw's on Redway) sets up a tent in the parking lot and brings in all sorts of well priced trees, shrubs, perennials and annuals - usually last year hot picks at better prices).

Last years was white and yellow - all the regular annuals plus some ivies and coleus and interesting leaf colours.

This pansy smacked me in the eye today:
Wow - what a great colour and I am thinking that maybe this will start my theme colour for this year. My front door is a periwinkle blue and the porch rails are a lighter version of periwinkle so I think it would look great being complementary colours and all - sort of - close enough to violet to be its complement.

Am in a bit of a knitting funk - working on my April Sock of the Month sock and it just isn't there yet. Third or perhaps fourth time lucky! If not - out it comes and I will start over with another idea I have been working on in another yarn. Not much time left though so it (grrr) better (grrr) work (grrr).

Gratuitous sheep picture coming:

Scottish Blackface named Delia who cavorts in Alberta. Cute no?