Wednesday What I Got

Post title has immediately precipitated singing Sublime’s “What I Got” 🙂

I got me some FO’s and some WIP’s and a whole lotta love for this Friday when Bestie and me are off to Needler’s Retreat 2016!

I am beyond grateful to have been sponsored to go on a scholarship this year – it’s been a difficult one and Retreat is one of those soul and sanity resets that I look forward to even at the end of a good year. I’ll have my camera handy as always to record slip slip knits and shenanigans.

So… what fell off my hooks and needles since the last post?

A slouchy hat with a whole lotta Vikkel going on. I winged this one to use up some gorgeous Malabrigo Rios – matches my Black Locust mitts – and to earn another achievement badge in Eat.Sleep.Knit’s Yarnathon 2016. Go Starsheep!

Next up was another stashbuster. Coppelia is a shawl / cowl hybrid and I finally knit up some of my Schaefer Marjaana. I fell in love with this 50/50 Silk Merino blend and bought a sweater or two’s worth sometime in the early 2000’s. Moving and organizing my guest room unearthed a lot of treasures. I love how the combination of yarn and pattern came together and this one will be coming with me to Retreat.

Yes. Yes, we do plan our outfits for the weekend!

On the needles I have an interesting bulky knit cowl. This is a bit of a challenge but it is for another achievement badge so worth powering through my dislike of 10.00mm needles that feel like telephone poles! I never buy “fat” yarn but this is another of Malabrigo’s – the Rasta base – in the same colourway as my BL mitts and the Vikkel Slouch hat and so, is a little less irritating to juggle knit.

Two stitches to 2.5cm!

Two stitches to 2.5cm!

The other WIP’s in waiting are all progressing very well. Atelier is almost finished, Ruisseaux still needs sleeves, Dulce de Leche is coming along slowly but… it’s cashmere and silk! I’m making this last as long as I can… like any luscious, sexy, sensual, tactile… err… knitting!

I’ll be casting on some socks – gasp! – to take as my personal knitting for when we have “free time”. I decide on the Haleakala socks from one of Cookie A’s sock clubs – the first year I think – I was a member for the first and second rounds and have yet to make one sock from all the patterns we received! I guess that’s the hazard of having started off designing socks almost exclusively myself. I got “socked out”. These will be cast on once we’re at Retreat so in the meantime here’s a little bit of yarn porn from Claudia Hand Painted Yarns – Addiction base in teal colourway:

esks-claudia-teal

This is ESK’s photo and my skeins from them are identical.

Still can’t believe that I went from knitting one full pair of adult socks in less than 24 hours (Twice! My team competed and won twice) to not having finished a single pair in several years! Not a problem if a third of my stash wasn’t single skeins of Indie sock yarn…

I have a tiny bit of homework to prepare in addition to figuring out what Cons go with what cowls and what mukluks go with what shawls so better get cracking here. Hope you all have a productive week with lots of time for crafting and I hope to have some photos to share of the beautiful spot I’ll be at and some of my favourite ladies.

Cheers!

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The Wrap Up

Tired and stoked all at once…

I can’t believe how fast these weekends fly by! The structure does keep us hopping, it’s three classes, ‘show and tell’ for about 65 people one night and Vendor’s Night the next. Classes this year were really interesting and we had some terrific teachers. MASTERING SOCK HEELS with Amanda Schwabe of Aknitica, DOUBLE KNITTING TECHNIQUES with Julie Nandorfy of Riverside Studios and SHAPING AND DESIGN IN KNITTED FABRIC with Nancy Halliday. I can’t say enough good things about these gals. They were fun, engaging and had some really good information and review to share with us.

Debbie Marshall Wilson, owner of Sheep’s Ahoy and our Retreat convener, organizer and cat herder extraordinaire does a great job and the staff at The Glen House are always wonderful and tolerant of this bunch of crazy knitters.

I couldn’t be happier about the new friendships and professional connections I made this year. There were many new faces and like all established groups, an infusion of new vitality and ideas is always a great thing.

My own vending went well. I didn’t faint, stutter, blush beyond sunburn level or spill anything. It was a pleasant surprise to learn that one or two people know PSPRP and I think generally, folks like knowing the face behind a brand in the small world of crafting. Sales were good and I was grateful for the opportunity to ‘talk up’ my design philosophy, future path and the Berroco interview. I think that really helped lend me some credibility among this hugely talented pool of designers.

BFF and I stopped in at the Third World Bazaar in Manotick Station on our way to NR in Gananoque. It was one of those (almost) screeching ‘180s’ as we caught sight of the small, yellow signs that announce this time-limited shopping event. BFF is the shopper half of our duo and it took no arm-twisting to decide to pop in.

O. M. G.

It was a delight! The selection is overwhelming and it would have been easy to spend much more time there than we did. As it was, we came away with some amazing finds from this unique shopping event. Everything in the TWB is fair trade and there are so many countries, crafts and artisan made items, you’d be hard pressed to not find something amazing. The staff were super, they obviously love what they do and were quick to help, knowledgeable, and even offering unsolicited (but welcome) compliments and advice. They are excited about their products and like seeing them go to a good home. This obviously struck a chord with BFF and myself. Fair to say we’ll be making this a regular stop next year.

It was fun and yes, I’m a little starry eyed to have been sharing Vendor’s Night with gals who are incredibly talented and whom I’m glad to call friends. I hope you’ll click through on the links that follow and give them some love, you’ll be glad you did 🙂

Francine Hebert aka BFF of Fancy That: yarn and knitting jewellery

Joanne Myers of Wild Woolly: handcrafted lotion bars, soaps, candles and more

Natalie Servant of Natalie Servant Designs: Beautiful shawl patterns and more

Yvonne of Yvieknits Yarns: beautiful hand-dyed yarns

and (shameless plug) me, Karin of KeiB Designs: unique patterns for accessories and more

A few highlights from the weekend:

Outta Here!

The Needler’s Retreat 2015 begins this afternoon at 5:00pm. We will be having our usual private soirée with the official troublemakers and lovers of non-dairy creamer (Bailey’s) an hour or two ahead of that. I love these gals and it’s a treat to spend time away from all other concerns and be immersed in the craft we all love. BFF and I have the ‘honeymoon suite’ again this year. Yes. We really do call it that. You need a ‘backstitch pass sl st over’ to get in with the punk rock purlers 😀

I’ll be back with stories and photos next week and until then happy knitting and don’t ‘ss any knits or p2togs’ that I wouldn’t do!

Sexy Knitters Club

Not your Grannie's Knittin'!

Not your Grannie’s Knittin’!

Cheers all! ~ kei
6 November 2015

Preparations, Purls and Patterns

Life goes on and this is a very busy week for which I’m grateful. I’ll be spending an afternoon with my Mum and Sisters – the l’il big Bro works shifts 😦 – followed by wrapping up a crocheted crib blanket for my very first grand niece-ling. A visit to the dentist today – chipped a tooth! – as a former CDA, I’m mildly freaked about that. Thursday is official ‘Sit ‘N Knit’ at my LYS but I may forgo as Friday brings our departure for 2015’s Needler’s Retreat!

I can definitely say, this has been an excellent diversion. I’ll be vending in person, as opposed to selling on Etsy, et al and creating and updating my Seller’s ‘tool kit’ has been at the top of my list. My presentation will be very simple as the Vendor’s Night portion of the weekend is small, the bulk of the time being devoted to workshops. I’ll include an info stand with my Berroco interview in print and business cards, a binder with a selection of patterns and samples for those. Hopefully, I’ll create some new connections and broaden my customer base. I’ll be including the first of my professionally tech edited patterns and one or two of my friend Francine’s (of Fancy That) shawl pins. Verra excited 🙂

On the homefront, I did a redux on my bar cart / microwave stand yesterday. It’s not my favourite piece, being from the ‘year of apartment living’ but it’s useful and so I thought I’d make it more presentable. The DK version of Matinée ~ Marbles is done too.

A little gallery of the knits, the Duct Tape Diva stuff and the last of October:

The Countdown Is On

The Needler’s Retreat 2015 is coming up quickly. Taking place at the beautiful Glen House Inn in Gananoque again, this one will be really exciting for me. I’m preparing for my first Vending experience, a little nervous but glad it’ll take happen in a place and with folks I’ve known for a few years.

I’ve spent the morning doing Graphic Design work for my advert sheets and presentation binder and updating the files for my business cards. For now I’m just creating labels to stick on the old ones and bring them into this decade. I’m happy too, to have connected with a tech editor for KeiB Designs. I think it’ll add a professional touch and I know as a knitter, I appreciate that feature.

I’ve been working like a stevedore on the “Knitting / Guest” room and am really happy with the results so far. I’m still inundated with yarn (please visit my stash for sale on Ravelry and adopt some) but as of today, I have almost all of it in the one room. I did get some shelves (bamboo – recyclable and biodegradable – yay!) for my own closet and for the front hall. A little more work to do there as I’m still slowly working my way through old clothing and aiming for one more big donation to Diabetes before the end of the year. I put together coffee tables for the living room and finally replaced my 1960’s folding card table that was curb-dived about 10 years ago and has been serving as my kitchen table. Next up, I’m going to tackle what will be my office / sewing and needle work room. All in good time, I don’t procrastinate so much as to lose my title but I’m finding I have to make a mess in order to clean up a mess. It is so worth it though, as I’m getting better at getting rid of the things that make my life “heavy”.

I’m still working on the BW wrap and the Falling Leaves cowl but did get a wee bit bored and so took a break to whip up Anna Hrachovec’s “Boo Bat“. My daughter is crazy for bats and we kept a bat house at the old home. I love this cute little ami and can see a few more for her (I can’t tease her about being too old for bats. I still will buy anything Hello Kitty!) I am seeing trying my hand at some different techniques to create my own pattern but we’ll see how that goes. I know the weeks between now and Retreat weekend starting November 6th, will fly by.

This is a bigger post as I’m currently participating in a poetry writing challenge called OctPoWriMo and I suspect it’ll take a bite out of my blogging time for the next month. If you’re interested in poetry and other writing, I blog that at my other WordPress home: The Eclectic Poet. I’ll be here whenever I can though – you’ve been warned! 🙂

Here’s a Pictorial of the house and knit happenings: (You can hover over each photo for a quick blurb or click the first one and it opens a larger, slideshow-type of view, where comments, etc. can be made)

TGIF

I’m wrapping up my week with an FO and buried under snow from the storm yesterday and through the night. This does not stop life here, Canadians know snow.

First up, I wrapped the test knit for “Cairo” and will be taking photos and doing the writeup for the pattern today. Here’s my “just for the record” photo, there’ll be better ones! The Cascade Venezia was lovely to work with, I may even try to find an excuse to work with it again soon, no matter the size of my stash. The design prototype is on the left in 100% raw silk and the test knit is on the right in Venezia.

Cairo Scarves ~ Finished

(c)Keib Designs

The printed versions of “Les Cloches Cannelées”, were dropped off to my LYS, Yarn Forward on Tuesday and I’m crossing my fingers. Selling digital copies is wonderful and I had a wee flurry of interest this past week that’s been a huge boost in light of some stress in my life. I do love the idea though, of the patterns being in a place where knitters are, where they can pick up the pattern, hold it up to the yarns on display, make their choices. Knitting and crochet are tactile crafts and that is a huge part of why I enjoy it so much.

I finished the “Sachy Hat & Mitts” and am mixed on the end result. Love the hat, love the finished look of the mitts. I do note that the pattern could have been written more clearly. I’ve been knitting for over half my life and was able to follow but I think the written section could have used clarification and some notes. I you’re tackling the mitts are very large, even the smallest size. I did note this at the outset and these will be given as a gift 🙂

Sachy Hat
Untitled

The next knitting project is the “Stella Luna” shawl. I’ll be using that gorgeous Tosh Merino Light in “Lepidoptera” that I picked up at last year’s Needler’s Retreat. There are large areas of stocking stitch in this pattern that I think will be ideal for showing off the colourway.

How are all of your first project 2015 crafts coming along?

Yarn Pr0n

It’s kind of like a yarn bomb Friday because… I have nowhere to put the darn stuff!
I will spare you a photo of my “Guest Room”, where I try in vain to pretend that my yarn doesn’t live there.

Oh well… All the more reason to knit faster!

Swag From Needler's Retreat 2014

From L to R: Riverside Studio MCN Sport, Riverside Studio MCN Sock, Briar Rose Fibers Wistful, Yvieknits Yarn Sock