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Visit us in the quaint hamlet of Myrtle Station, ON at: 9585 Baldwin St. N. (905)655-4858
(17.8km north of 401 exit 410. Look for the green house with the red roof a few doors north of the Myrtle Station railroad tracks)

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Agaraderra

My new spanish word is agaraderra. I love to really roll the r's in the word. It means potholder! Here is my vintage Spinoff magazine with a recipe for crochet potholders.
Spring 1996 was dedicated to using small and well loved amounts of handspun. My 2015 new years resolution is to make new potholders for the in house chef, aka her majesty's loyal opposition. The previous ones had very exciting thin spots when in use, it was time!
The technique allows you to use many and any small scraps. You needn't even tuck the ends in, because they are all enclosed in the finished potholder. Just remember to tie a sturdy knot on the inside with each new join. I use the surgeons knot for complete confidence.
Start with a chain as usual, I prefer to use a hook one size larger for the cast on.
Single crochet the next row, don't turn the work at the end, single crochet at the end and along the other side of the chain. Some people crochet 3 stitches into the end stitch on the foundation row, I didn't find it made much of a difference. I swtiched to the new Clover hook for the main work, the one in orchid purple, and found it just delightful to use. The grip material is just a bit sticky, so no slippage. The other hook is a Clover ergonomic hook, which is also good for me because of the robust handle.
Add the new colours as you will, I tried many variations on the stripes, each one had it's own charm. I like the way the work looks like a little canoe at the beginning. Make me think of summer and camping. 
Keep going around and around in a spiral, until you have a pencil case sized bag.
Then fold it diagonally and sew up the seam. Double thickness works for me. I also sew a ring to one corner, using Coats button and craft thread for strength. Finished! and on to the mate agaraderra. In the magazine article they also suggest this technique for chair pads and cushions.
I used Tove for the agaraderra's. The previous ones had been made with Lopi, which was quite lovely, but having used Tove for other projects I know it is a stronger yarn for cooking purposes. Tove is special for felting, has a pretty colour range and attractive price. I have seen versions of this agaraderra on Ravelry made in cotton, though I prefer the heat resistence and felting of wool which happens as the agaraderra's get laundered.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Cuddle me or the mohair?

Mohair is one of my most favourite fibres, I have a colour exactly right for Drops pattern 122-16.
Puddle from Garnstudio is my choice for the border. We have other brands of boucle, and they are lovely, but this particular one has large, luxuirious loops that require intentional focus to cast on and knit with. Great candidate for practicing mindful knitting.
There is a dove grey Puddle as well, quite suitable for this french navy mohair
It took only a few pleasant evenings to make this item, once my friend and super star kniter Geri helped me decode the pattern. To quote Geri:

Cast on 96 stitches.
Knit garter stitch for 4 rounds. Then insert markers every 24 sts.
at 4" of length, decrease 1 st on the right side of each marker (92 sts).
Then every 2 inches, decrease one stitch at the marker alternating decreases on the left of the marker with decreases on the right of the marker for a total of 6 decreases. (88, 84, 80, 76, 72 sts). 

With the decreases alternating on the right or left of the markers, it will prevent a vertical line of decreases. 
Then knit another inch to 15" of length before binding off.

In summary:
Cast on 96 sts, Knit 4"
Decrease on right side of sm to 92 sts. Knit 2" (6" length total)
Decrease on left side of sm to 88 sts. Knit 2" to 8" of length. Decrease on right side of sm to 84 sts.
Knit 2" to length of 10". Decrease on left side of sm to 80 sts.
Knit 2" to length of 12". Decrease on right side of sm to 76 sts. 
Knit 2" to length of 14".  Decrease on left side of sm to 72 sts.

Knit 1" to total length of 15". Bind off.

I think the purpose is to decrease in a more random way, as opposed to creating vertical decrease lines down the garment, which would have distracted from the texture and shape.
After the casting off and tidying up the ends, time for that finishing touch.
Brushing the stocking stitch to improve the nap makes for super cuddly, especially when there is a lovely, toasty young woman inside.


Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Hudson's Bay Company Point Blanket Colours

This year, knitters have been coming in looking for Hudson Bay Company Point Blanket colours. We have used different yarns over the years to achieve the right look.
This time we decided on Smart SuperwashDK. Kim knitted up these lovely accessories.
The mittens are from the same 1951 beehive book I used, but using the 2 needle variation. I like the way she carred the stripes into the thumb, just after the gusset. Feels very touchingly Canadian somehow, I guess these colors together run deep in my psyche, in our history.
Kim used much less than half of a 50 gram ball for the colours, so in theory... time permitting... one could make 2 sets using another 100 grams of the cream...before Christmas...2014
Similar colours can be had in regular Cascade 220. Especially the scarlet. A blanket like texture will be improved by brushing this yarn as the genuine blankets are themselves thouroughly washed and brushed to a cosy degree of nappiness.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Retreat 2014

Lovely weekend, knitting, munching on the great food, strolling and cycling in perfect weather.
Sharion had great notes and directions for us. Yarn Pooling this year
Gorgeous flowers for inspiration from her garden, 3 pots in all
Plenty of time for personal projects, especially those that want focus, as in double knitting
I had a go at the river stitch in shetland wool, grows quickly and lots of counting.
Wonder of wonders the shetland hap got started. Hmm the cone of wool isn't getting smaller, though the garter stitch mates well with such excellent company.
Especially this sugar maple tree, with the two tone leaves.
The beach at Fairhaven is sunset friendly, good bye summer, hello sweater weather.