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, July 12, 2014

lovely linen

Our beautiful Punta handpainted linen in on sale and Kim knit this scarf from the summer issue of Vogue Knitting magazine. From the look of this pile, one could never guess much of the fabric structure of the piece, though I find that to be the case with all unblocked knitting.
The thing about linen, more so that any other fiber, is how well it holds a yarn over. The soft green and blue colours look so sophisticated to me.
I set it up the scarf with my blocking wires, though of course you can go the low tech way by basting the work right sides together and using a pin every inch or so. I would use a stiff thread for the basting too, because linen has a much stonger character than soft wool.
Bonus, you can merrily apply a generous amount of steam because linen is not shy about heat. Look at this! an cool butterfly shaped lace pattern emerges and stays open to enjoy!
The work could also be lined with a sheerish sage coloured silk to enhance the patten even more.
Enjoy the summer!

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Yarn tasting flavours

A great time was had by all at the yarn tasting, looking forward to seeing the results at the may meeting.
People only had time to start getting acquainted with the assortment
Very exciting to decide which yarn to try first, many people had a go at domino knitting
Great technique for many colours and textures.  This is an infinity scarf I am trimmin with off white alpaca.

Monday, May 5, 2014

Chevron's at the beach

I took time for a little taste of summer recently at the beach, in the excellent company of a good book, cross stitch embroidery and some cheerful colourful crochet.
There is basically only one stitch, so the focus is relax, enjoy, play with colour and make sculptural shapes. Mandarin Petit Egyptian Cotton and crochet are perfect together. Faster than knitting too! though I do love to knit lace tops for the warmer weather.
This is a chevron baby blanket I took to the beach in Cuba. The sound of the ocean waves in the background and the waves of the crochet pattern are in beautiful harmony. I love the turquoise colour, the water and the yarn.
Too relaxed to finish it on my holiday, I continue here in Canada during our rather cool, moist spring This project definitely produces a sunny frame of mind.

Saturday, May 3, 2014

a grateful nod to the book Modular Crochet

Years ago I took a book out of the St. Catharines library called Modular Crochet by Judith Copeland.
It was a revelation to me. Judth brilliantly illustrated sideways garments using  ridge stitch . the vertical line of the stitching coupled with only using the back loop of the crochet stitch is really flattering. Let me show you with some small samples of the beginning.
You start a garment by making a simple chain and measuring it against your desired length, which in the case of a pullover is from your neckline to the desired bottom edge of your sweater.

The garment builds from the center outwards,  so here is the first side started with the extra chain showing.

you can easiily unpick the excess chain once you are confident your length is correct. I like to wait until after a few rows have been worked.
Here are a few rows of the ridge stitch on one side. The fabric is really very flexible.
More ridge stitch on the other side, in a contrasting colour for clarity. I think this technique would work great for those poncho/blanket like cardigans and vests that are so popular right now. I would love to give it a try as a jacket.

For this scarf I used only the starting principle, which means, rather than counting the number of chains, I make a scarf length of chain, which is my height; 5 feet, 6 inches. I worked a chevron pattern.  Lucy of Attic 24 has a very nice tutorial on chevron crochet, which she calls ripples. This project is so suitable for those dear scraps of yarns I have stashed away. Just a few yards makes a row.

I started with a hand painted  fingering weight cotton yarn I made years ago. The beginning chain is made with a 5mm hook, I switched to a 4.5mm for the rest of the scarf. I often use a hook one size larger for the cast on chain.

The bigger hook helps to allow changing yarns types/thicknesses frequently, and still keep the integrity of the fabric.

Kim uses the same strategy in knitting to great effect with her lovely colour your own throw.