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!

Advertisements

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:

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)

Meh… Monday

Workday Mondays are a letdown after such a wonderful weekend.

Another Needler’s has closed successfully until next year. It was great to see the women I don’t have the opportunity to as often and nice to see a few new faces. I can’t believe how quickly the time flies when we’re there. The schedule was the same format as usual and though not rushed, it’s busy enough that I didn’t take as many photos as I would have liked. The weather this year was a little colder, we did see some scattered snow flurries falling on our way to Gananoque. Just enough to leave a small trace on the windshield and to remind that, yes winter’s coming.

I loved all the classes and our teachers this year were engaging and I took away something useful from all of them. The Continental Combined knitting method is one I know I’ll be using and I’m intending to practise by working dishcloths that way. Ten minutes a day builds muscle memory!

Below is a link to the Flickr album:

https://www.flickr.com/photos/63208434@N00/sets/72157648806549028/

I tried to capture some of the sere but still beautiful scenery along the Trans Canada Highway but there was a lot of laughing and catching up happening between this Navigator and our Driver, my BFF Frankie. Random snaps of classes, our teaching projects, our room (which has now become a home-away-from-home), the lovely cake from The Glen to celebrated the Retreats’s 25th year and some photos of the wine and cheese held the first night.

And now… off to the cubicle I go. I’ll update with projects and the (mostly) finished Oliver Twist Shawl later.

Have a good week everyone!

Counting Down

… To Needler’s Retreat 2014 🙂

This year marks the 25th anniversary of the Needler’s Retreat and I’m so glad to be able to be a part of it.

I'm ready 😊

More yarn or more cider? 😉

Once again, we’ll be meeting at The Glen House in Gananoque; a beautiful venue and so welcoming. Our classes this year are another good mix and I’m especially excited to be taking a class that my BFF, Francine Hebert of Fancy That will be teaching on the knitting with silk hankies technique. Our class materials will include hankies that have been dyed by my friend Yvie of YvieKnits, so this promises to be a real treat.

A trip back in time: Needler’s Retreat 2011 photos.

Our other workshops will include: JAZZ UP YOUR RAGLAN by adding Stitch Patterns with Deb Gemmell and KNITTING CONTINENTAL COMBINED with Anja Krebber. No homework required this year so I’m a very happy girl!

I’m hoping to be taking the “Tipsy Lizzy” (Elizabeth) shawl and my finished “Oliver Twist” shawl, provided I can get them blocked and dry before we head out Friday morning but I’m not going to drive myself crazy trying. I’ve learned this last year to take things a little easier.

I’ll post if able, the days are very full and there are some beautiful venues for walks and photo ops. If not, there’ll be an update next week.

Wishing you all a great week and weekend. Cheers!

Family, Fibre and Furnaces

Once again, an entire week has flown away from me!

With all the lead up to my nephew’s wedding, I thought I’d have a little more by the way of knitting and such to show but somehow, I’ve not managed a lot other than to keep up with the Oliver Twist MKAL. I did complete Clue 4 and it’s official… I love nupps!

Here’s the detail photo of Clue 4:

Clue 4 Completed ~ Detail

KarinB’s “Oliver” Clue 4

I’m still working away on “Blob”, which is beginning to look cuddly and wearable. I’ve a second skein to work with that’ll give a unique “dip dye” effect to the prototype, one that I hope will catch the interest of some knitters once it’s published. The Manos “Fino” is a gorgeous yarn, I’m already plotting ways to buy more.

A little excitement with my furnace this week, though it’s been so warm, there’s hardly a need. I did have a broken igniter but an efficient repair man and a service contract so all worked out beautifully and winter can begin whenever it chooses to get here.

The itinerary for this year’s version of The Needler’s Retreat was emailed out early this week and I am thrilled!

My BFF, the very talented Francine Hebert of “Fancy That” yarn jewellery, will be teaching a class in knitting with silk hankies. I fully expect that my efforts at class clown will be appreciated by all our teachers this year. Once again, the venue is the gorgeous Glen House in Gananoque on the St. Lawrence and we have our favourite room as per usual (party is at Frankie and Kar’s! 😉 ) I was really happy that we don’t have any homework to do before this year’s classes; I’m already doubting I’ll have much finished (ie: blocked) for Show ‘N Tell.

Back To Reality

Just in the door from Needler’s 2013. What an amazing good time. Our weather was great, hospitality at the Glen House was perfect, good teachers, good fun.

Reality is going to bite hard tomorrow but for the moment, I am revelling in reliving the moments and playing with my new stuff.

Pictures to follow when I get myself unpacked and unboggled but I will say… Hedgehog Fibres!

Cheers for now and hoping everyone had a lovely weekend.