Knitspiration has returned

Over the last week, I’be been keeping busy by alternating between knitting, cross stitch, and reading when the weather is nice enough to enjoy my back yard. 

One of the projects I’ve been working on is a Mount Pleasant crop top. I LOVE this pattern and the simple lace detail it features along the bottom, but I’ve chosen to make it with two skeins of hand dyed yarn. The yarn is a local dyer called Lake Knit Yarns. Because my yarn is hand dyed, it means alternating the skeins, and knitting this project has become a bit of a slog. Nevertheless, I’ve already separated the front from the back, and it’s now a lot of stockinette until it’s finished.

I’ve also started a pair of socks for my sister – I’m glad she liked this yarn, another skein from Lake Knit, the colour way aptly named After the Storm. 

While this pandemic is helping me with my 2020 goal to knit down my stash, I took advantage of a promotion one of my LYSs is offering called ‘Quarenskein.’ You pick a price ($45, $65, or $95), and the shop picks out a package of yarn and notions for you. It was a lot of fun picking it up and being very happily surprised with two skies of Sweetgeorgia, two stitch markers, and a project bag from the shop. I THINK they yarn will be destined for a Waiting for Rain shawl, but I very well might change my mind by the time I’m ready to cast on.

As for cross stitch, my Fourth Doctor Scarf is coming along nicely, as is a small project I’ve started for my mum – more attention has been devoted to that pattern so to have it finished in tie for Mother’s Day. If I meet my goal, I’ll share a picture next week.

Stay well!

Soper Creek’s 2019 Yarn Challenge

Yarn challenge complete. This year was fun! In case you missed what I’m talking about, one of my Local Yarn Stores hosts a yarn challenge every late-winter. The owner chooses a yarn and colour palette, and she makes kits for participants to purchase. From there, each person makes a piece, and upon return to the LYS, she puts the pieces in her front window and people can vote for their favourites.  This year’s yarn was Briggs and Little Sport, and with it, I made this:

 

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The pattern is Raspberry Field by Jana Markova. The overall structure was easy to follow. The confusion started with the lace. I really wanted to include the lace because it added a certain something to the project, but the designer didn’t design the lace chart to account for the increases at the beginning (RS) and end (WS) of each row, and it didn’t account for the decreases happening along the spine. I had to think really hard about how to proceed with this section.  Basically, for the first row, I went for it, started the lace where it should have started as per the chart, and I figured where to start each subsequent lace repeat by counting.

Despite the challenges in making the lace, I’m very happy with the final product. It’s woolly and warm, admittedly a little scratchy (because it is VERY woolly), but so cozy.

The Great Toronto Yarn Hop

Let me tell you about my Saturday.

For the last 12 years, there has been a giant yarn crawl in the City of Toronto, a fundraiser for an organization called Sistering: A Woman’s Place, “a multi-service centre for homeless, at-risk and socially isolated women in Toronto.” Recently rebranded as The Great Toronto Yarn Hop, I bought my ticket back in June and eagerly awaited this event!

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Here’s how it worked, in a nutshell.  There were several ‘teams’ you could join (and buy your ticket for), and each team followed a particular route visiting a number of yarn shops; in Toronto, there is quite a large number!  At the end of the day, all teams met at a pub where you could compare purchases, and raffle tickets, sold throughout the day, were drawn and prizes awarded.

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I joined Team Linen, largely chosen because I liked the first stop of the day, easy to get to from Transit, located in historic Kensington Market.  Although I’ve been to Yarns Untangled before, I was looking forward to seeing what they had in the shop. After time spent at Yarns Untangled, and a skein of Robosheep Yarns Sock purchased, we jumped on the TTC and headed to Stop #2, EweKnit.

EweKnit was the largest shop we visited, located at Bloor and Ossington, with a large main floor selling yarns as well as fabric and needlepoint kits, and basement set up with looms where they offer weaving classes.  I was good to my budget, only buying a single ball of Classic Elite Yarns Liberty Wool, and it’s already earmarked for a project.

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Stop #3 was Knit-O-Matic, a bright shop on Bathurst, just south of St. Clair, complete with store bird to welcome groups.  This stop was particularly busy as there was another team in the shop at the same time, but I somehow managed to do perhaps the worst damage to my budget here.  I bought two skeins of Cascade Yarns® Avalon, adding to my stash of two and a half skeins. What I had wasn’t enough to really make something with, but adding these extra metres could mean I have enough to make a nice light summer shirt.  I also bought a skein of Manos del Uruguay Alegría:

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With colours like that, how could I not?

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Our final stop was another shop I’ve visited before but was happy to return to Passionknit, on Yonge, north of Lawrence. At this last stop, my allotted budget had significantly dwindled, and my backpack was bursting with yarny-wonderfulness, so my sole purchase was a skein of Koigu Painter’s Palette Premium Merino (KPPPM), in their special colourway released for Local Yarn Store day.

I had so much fun during the Yarn Hop.  Six skeins of yarn, four shops (two new), and I met people from all over Ontario at this event. A cowl in progress was easily accessible during our travels, and I was able to get in a few stitches on transit.

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This was me, on Line 2 (Bloor) line travelling from Stop 1 to 2; stitches in progress, wide stance to prevent falling over.  As I said, so much fun.

Local Yarn Store Day

Saturday April 21 marked the first (hopefully annual) Local Yarn Store Day, where fibre people were encouraged to go support their brick and mortar Local Yarn Stores.  I have four in my immediate area, four that I love dearly, and I would have loved to visit them all, but Saturday ended up being a perfect storm of errands, budget constraints, and the beginnings of a cold.  My errand running did put Soper Creek Yarn in Bowmanville right in my path, so of course I stopped in.

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I was there fairly early in the morning, sometime between 10am and 11am, and the store was buzzing with activity! Tina, the owner, had various sales on for LYS Day, and the big sign for LYS day was inviting.

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I was good to my bank account (the Toronto Knitter’s Frolic is April 28, after all, and one should budget accordingly), and I bought a skein of Cascade Heritage Sock in a lovely forest green colour.  A few weeks previous from Soper Creek, I bought a beautiful speckled skein from Mineville Wool Project, and the green was purposefully purchased to compliment the speckles.

In the past, I’ve written about why I love LYSs and why, I think, all knitters should support the LYS in their community.  Local Yarn Shop Day was another opportunity to bring attention to the small businesses in our community, to encourage people to shop local, and to discover for themselves what’s to love about a LYS.

2018 Yarn Challenge

It’s started. Every year, one of my LYSs hosts a yarn challenge; she picks the yarn, the colours, prepares kits, and knitters do their thing and make something using the yarn. In 2016, I made this:

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And last year, I made this:

 

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I’ve already cast on my project and won’t post pictures until the challenge is over, but here is the yarn for the challenge:


I’ll be honest, I did find it hard to find a project that nicely incorporates five colours, but I cast on and I’m really happy with what I have so far. And I’m sure you were wondering, the yarn is Borgo de Pazzi’s Amore 160, a DK weight yarn. I’ll share my FO in a few weeks. Another reason why I love my local yarn shops!