Thursday, December 20, 2007

Happy Christmas Knitting....

Christmas is fast approaching. Our group of dedicated stitchers has long been creating wonderfull and warm woolies for gift giving this holiday season. We are crocheters and knitters who enjoy the process of making hand crafted gifts from the heart. We all agree that the process of creation is a joy in itself, but when we see the smiles that the gifts give, our hearts nearly burst with pride. The creations area always received with many thanks and gratitude.

Traditionally, I usually make up some sort of Christmassy type ornament. This year I found (on the Stitchbook portion of Facebook) a pattern for a beautiful hand crafted angel. She is stitched with a 1.5mm hook with crochet thread/cotton. She can be made to match any decor as this cotton usually comes in a variety of colours. I've been thinking of developing a larger (suitable for a tree topper) angel out of worsted or sport weight yarn. I'm sure she'd be a welcome addition to any Christmas decor.

How many of you have hard to buy for teenagers? I certainly do. My 17 year old usually has everything she needs and when she wants something tends to go out and get it on her own. This cycle doesn't leave many ideas left in the giving basket. However, I hit pay dirt this year. I've noticed that fetchers (fingerless gloves) are all the rage amongst the younger set this year. They are quite a nifty little creation that add a fashionable accent along with a splash of practicality. By keeping the hands warm and letting the fingers be free to do their business, these lovely adornments add a touch of class to any young gals ensemble. I stitched them up in a mere weekend. They work up very quickly and the pattern can be adapted to suit any yarn weight. The matching hat is an aran inspired knit from "Charmed Knits." Hermione wore it in Prisoner of Azkaban on her trip to Hogsmeade. I've made a number of them for holiday gifts this year and even found some time to make one for myself as well. The pattern is now forever burned into my brain.

Our regular members have been busy stitching away as well. Kristin decided to give a camouflage bag a try. She's making wonderful progress and has become an accomplished crocheter. The pattern, according to Kristin, is very easy and the stitching is uncomplicated. However, she soon tired of the monotony and decided to set to work on a very cute and Japanese inspired toy. Kristin has been working on amigurumi (which means knitted or crocheted doll in Japanese) toys. Her current project is a lovely bunny loaded with character and love in each stitch. She has promised to bring the completed bunny to the next SnB. We can't wait to see it, Kristin!

Alison brought a beautiful eyelash sweater for show and tell. She spent hours of stitching and frogging, while working a night shift, designing this sweater for her daughter. Her daughter begged for this piece. As is the case quite often, she decided that she no longer liked the sweater (as it made all 92 lbs of her look fat!) and Alison inherited her own handiwork. She is beautiful in this caterpillar"ish" feat of stitching expertise!!! Way to go Alison!!!! Jeanette will surely covet this beauty as she has taken to enjoying the eyelash yarn and even created a beautiful scarf from the stuff for her own sister (who, by all accounts, loved every stitch of it).

NEWS FLASH! Gale finally completed the purse sock! (please stand for a round of applause). This sock has been in regular attendance at each SnB since the summer of 2007. It has been frogged many times, caused issues with heel turned, suffered a chronic case of dropped stitches and has been Gale's faithful companion for many months. The set is now complete! Gale expertly turned the heel, cured the dropped stitches, and flawlessly grafted toes each week. This past Sunday saw success!!! (Picture to come :) )

Jan, our most regular and faithful attendee, has been busy stitching up socks for her grandchildren. She's bound and determined to adorn each set of busy feet with pairs of love inspired warm woolies this holiday season. We were amazed that in a mere few hours she was able to complete a foot and a heel without any issue. Gale may have to forfeit her Sock Diva title and pass it onto Jan as she's a sock making machine.

The holiday season has kept many of our members from joining in the fun. We would all like to take a moment to wish them happiness for the coming season and into the New Year. I'm sure many thoughts are already turning to stockpiling gifts for next year! In fact, Melissa has noted that she plans on giving hand stitched socks. She's becoming another accomplished sock knitter!

Happy Stitching and here's hoping we will see you at the next SnB!!!!

Sunday December 23, 2007
McKenzie Cole's Coffee
Gray Avenue and Central Avenue
Saskatoon, SK

2 pm

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Progess was made...

Sunday December 15 found a group of yarn enthusiasts stitchin', bitchin' and sippin'!
We held a mini sock seminar, cast on cuffs, stitched up mittens and shawls and solved world issues.

Gale and Melissa both fought with thier respective socks. It would appear that Melissa has a tendency to try things backwards. She fought with learning the ins and outs of sock construction and made some progress under the fine tutelage of our very own Diva, Gale. Jeanette, our smiling bit of Sunshine, once again pulled out her mousy mittens. We are almost done these fine examples of knitterly expertise. She completed her eyelash scarf for a Xmas gift and continued on with the completion of the final mitten! All that is left is to embroider the face and stitch up the ears and these beauties will adorn her hands and keep her fingers toasty for the remainder of the winter. I'm very proud of my gal.

It would appear that not all teenagers are as eager to join in the fun. Alison's very own 17 year old would rather stab herself in the eye than be caught with our group. Keep up the recruitment efforts for I'm sure your gal is as eager to discover her inner knitter as mine was :)

Many of you wonder what exactly we do with our free hours during the week. Well we stitch and we dream of interesting, yet somewhat twisted ways, to spend our time. Our resident twisted expert, Alison, is showing off her Shrunken Head purse. What self respecting woman wouldn't love to complete her ensemble with this whimsical yet useful accessory? One can put all their particularly "nasty" thoughts inside :)

Mrs. McCready, Gales Mom, finally completed the bulk of her shawl. She busily learned to pick stitches and continued on - nearly completing one cuff! Even though we were patternless (we all agreed that it surely must have been Gale's fault as the pattern was left behind, we were able to make well-educated "guesstimates" on how many stitches, how many rows and the type of ribbing to complete. In a richly deep blue/navy, Gale's Mom will be warm and toasty all winter long.

Since Mrs. McCready's shawl was stitching up so beautifully, Jan decided to start on her own. The colourway is forming a beautiful pattern in hues of blue. Although she expressed concern over "never being able to complete something for herself," Jan has made great progress and I'm sure will show off her finished project in the weeks to come. It would seem that Jan suffers from a rare form of Startitis: whenever someone sees a bit of her work, she must once again cast on a project for someone else and leave her beloved WIPs to the mercy of the UFO pile. On the up side, though, it would seem they are keeping one another great company. Sweaters and Shawls have become fast friends.

As for myself, I've finally been able to cast on a sweater destined for myself. I plan to deflect and ignore all the cries of "but I need one;" "it is so beautiful, I just must have it!;" and the ever popular "PLEASE oh PLEASE let it live with me." Even when the begging is combined with the puppy dog eyes and the getting down on the knees I shall resist the urge to give up my chocholate brown faire isle pull over for this time it will rest upon my very own shoulders!

The sad part is that I cannot use my knitting machine as it is done in the round and. therefore, I must suffer the madness that miles and miles of stockinette construction induces. So come on and join in my madness. We'll be meeting again at:

Mackenzie Coles Coffee
Gray Avenue and Central Avenue
Saskatoon, SK

2 pm

Sunday December 16, 2007

Happy Stitching!

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Travelling SnB

This past weekend marked another successful SnB for the Saskatoon Knitting Circle. Jan and Gale livened up MacKenzie Coles Coffee with their stitching and laughing while other members (like Jeanette and myself) were there in spirit.

My nephew marked another milestone in his life...he turned 18. So Jeanette and I travelled off to Brooks, Alberta to celebrate his coming of age. Yes, we took our stitching with us. I was busy handing out a number of handmade gifts. Michael loved his Saskatchewan Rough Rider inspired afghan. Michael is now a man, but still needs to keep warm and agreed this is the perfect gift.

Jennifer Kent-Thistle coveted her Hermione inspired winter ensemble and other hand made items came to rest under Shannon's Christmas tree. Jennifer's favourite colour is red, which makes this ensemble perfect for her. She looks just like Hermione in Prisoner of Azkaban!

On our trip home (a 5 1/2 drive) Jeanette decided to give stitching in the car a try. She chose eyelash yarn and created a simple yet beautiful scarf. By the time we arrived back in Saskatoon, she had completed just beyond the 1/2 way mark. Quite the knitter she is becoming. She has already suffered startitis and Second Mitt Syndrome. She's knitting almost everywhere and every chance she gets. My next mission is to get her hooked on socks. I just may need the Knitting Circle's help with this one as she is not all that keen on starting with the DPNs.

This past week saw the completion of one more Xmas item. The list is now shortening, much to my relief. This Hermione hat and Fetcher set worked up well with Red Heart Acrylic. Since the recipient is a teen it needs to be washable, so Red Heart in Burgandy is the perfect medium.

I now have another Hermione hat on the needles for myself! Yes, I do knit the occasional item for myself but tend to do it last. With all the chill and snow around these days it is time for me to update my own winter ensemble. I plan to stitch up a pair of mittens to match the hat and am using the Red Heart Aran Fleck yarn (a creamy natural colour blended with flecks of other yarns to mimick the look of real wool - great for an Aran knit sit like the one above).

That's all the updates for this week. On Sunday December 08, 2007 at 2 pm we will all reconvene our group at MacKenzie Coles Coffee here in Saskatoon. I can't wait to catch up with the girls, meet some new members and enjoy the coffee.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Good Friends Coming Together and New Knitters Formed

This past Sunday saw the coming together of good friends, great coffee and spectacular projects! We stitched and we bitched and we entertained one another and livened up our local coffee shop with laughter and good times.

Our numbers are steadily increasing. Even with the playing of the Grey Cup, several of us braved the flurries and came together at McKenzie Coles Coffee. Jeanette was there dedicating her stitching time to progressing on the second mitt of her Mousy Mitt pair. With each session, her stitches are becoming more uniform and the pattern reading less confusing. She seems to be suffering a minor intrusion of SMS (Second Mitt Syndrome) but is able to overcome it with each sip of her coffee. More and more, this new knitter is becoming expert at knitting and pearling and asks for help less and less.

Kristen has returned with projects in tow. She has taken a break from knitterly pursuits in favour of crochet. Even though us die hard knitters have some issues with crochet, we all agree it has its place. With Kristen's creative flair, she has come up with a beautiful hat pattern that will surely delight and amaze the people they adorn. She assured us all that she hasn't given up on knitting but does find the process of crochet a bit simpler. These hats are stitched with a single crochet and finished with a pretty shell edging. The varigated yarns (by Red Heart) add a touch of interest that will surely add a touch of prettiness to any ensemble. Here's hoping that you come back to the Land of Knitting soon, Kristen!

Show and tell took on a new meaning when Alison brought her recently completed themed hat. Knit in a simple stockinette, this hat brought to the fore a message that has been on many of our minds at one time or another. Alison is an expert at graphing and creating hats with a number of infamous sayings upon and has enough to display her precise mood at any given moment. Alison's playful and slightly twisted sense of humour lends a level of ease to the creation of these themed hats that had our group envying her expertise.

Socks were once again upon the needles. Both Gale and myself brought our current sock projects. I made it to the heel of my second sock. Gale found the heel of hers displaying a bit of an attitude. She threw it aside in favour of a purple seed stitch scarf. She completed the black one fated for her brother-in-law's Christmas gift and has decided to knit up one for herself. The keyhole design makes this the perfect warm wooly for any temperature.

This past weekend was a busy one in our household as we had visitors from Regina. Lisa, Shelby and Morgan Schwager spent the weekend with us. As any good ambassador of the Land of Knitting will tell, we tend to promote our ways on any unsuspected knitter in waiting. This weekend was no different. Mine and Jeanette's enthusiasm bubbled over and infected the Schwagers. I began both Shelby and Morgan on knitting up their own garter stitch scarves. Morgan took to the craft immediately and, I'm sure, will be an expert in no time. Shelby busied herself remembering the process and stitches (as I taught her when she was around 5 years old the basics of the process). Both spent every free moment stitching and even got their Mom involved. Although Lisa attempted to wrap her mind and fingers about the craft of knitting, she decided that crochet might be easier. However, once she got involved in the formation of stitches, the difficulties of chaining evenly and other mishaps she quickly discovered that it is not "easier" but merely different. She plans to work away on a blanket to keep her cozy on the couch while watching television. Join me in wishing all three gals well and a speedy completion of their chosen projects.

Success was had by all this weekend. Our meeting was wonderful. Even Gale's friend Pam has rediscovered a love of stitching and this time worked on a knitted scarf rather than a cross stitch. Alison showed off her shrunken head purse (picture to come in coming weeks). Jeanette progressed on the Mousy Mittens. Bonnie and Gale moved ever closer to completing their latest pairs of socks. Jan began another hat for her grand son. Kristen showed off her quickly developing expertise in crochet. AND...we have even brought into our fold, new stitchers (who would have joined us if not for wanting to beat the flurries back to Regina).

Morgan (10 years) and Shelby Schwager (14 years) on my couch stitching up their scarves! - Notice the hand knits gifts (touques and monkey bag backpack)

Until next week my friends...

McKenzie Coles Coffee Corner of Gray Avenue and Central Avenue Saskatoon, SK 2 pm Sunday December 1, 2007

Sunday, November 18, 2007

SnB - November 18, 2007

Another successful meeting of the needles! We laughed, discussed social issues, drank loads of caffeine (even though one of our members admitted a dislike for coffee...shame on you!) and even got some knitting done!

Gale, our dishcloth diva, had an end pulling session with the latest additions to her cloth collection. She loves the projects due to their ease of construction and portability - they are perfect companions at the movies and if you knit carefully enough no one is disturbed by the clicking heard as she knits them up at marathon speed. In a plethora of colourful creations, these handy little kitchen / bath accessories are sure to please someone. Once the ends were all tucked in nice and tidy-like, Gale turned her attention to this keyhole scarf that she's stitching up for her brother in law. I think we decided that it would benefit from a small fringe to add a bit of interest.

Jan is our regular knitter. She is a whiz at sock knitting, she is expert with hats and she is a joy to our group. Each week Jan has something new and interesting in her knitting bag. This week, Jan excitedly showed off her new yarn aquisition (Patons Decor) and eagerly cast on a shrug to keep herself warm and cozy. Over the past few weeks Jan has not only been to EVERY SnB, she has been creating wonderful creations that are coveting by many a family member.

Some of our regulars opted out of joining us this week (you know who you are!). Many reasons kept them from knitterly pursuits - the weather (yes it snowed and snowed and rained and snowed here in Saskatoon) as winter finally arrived and made the streets a little treacherous; the Grey Cup playoffs - what self respecting Saskatchewanian would miss their home team in the play offs as it only happens every 20 years or so (just kidding...they are a good bunch of young lads who try their best, I'm sure); and other obligations. However, I do have a bit of news to report: Jeanette (my lovely 15 year old) finally completed the first of her "mousy mitten" set (seen here with our family cat Mia). Jeanette was not in attendance today, but she certainly has done a nice job. Her stitches are even and she's already suffering from SMS (Second Mitten Syndrome) and Startitis (she has a number of projects on the go). I'm happy to report that the second mitten is OTN (On The Needles) and the ribbing is nearing completion.

The four of us busily worked on several projects as we laughed and drank coffee. We even had a show and tell. Here you can see both Allison and Jan proudly displaying their handywork. Self striping sock yarn is a god send, as we all agreed.

In keeping with the show and tell theme, I brought along a funky little Monkey back pack. The pattern can be found in the Stitch'n'Bitch book and is a breeze to whip up - especially on the knitting machine. Much to the chagrin of Gale, I do quite a bit of knitting on the machine. Miles and miles of stockinette stitch drives me insane with tediousness. Therefore, I invested in an Incredible Sweater machine years and years ago. I can now make it through sweaters, afghans, simple home dec projects and more in an instant. I often will construct the back and arms of swearters on the machine while accomplishing more intricate lace and cable patterns by hand. The machine is a wonderful invention, even though Gale asserts that is is cheating an just plain wrong. What can one do with those process knitters?

As the afternoon wore on, I received a round of applause for the completion of the Xmas Sweater. In a beautiful aubergine Patons Decor wool blend, the sweater knit up quite quickly. I completed the insertion of a zipper today and Allison was kind enough to model it for me. Thanks, Allison! As some of you know, Allison is our "invisible" member. For weeks, she promised to join us and for weeks the real world kept her from us. We welcomed her to our happy group today and enjoyed her style and watched her accomplish a couple more inches on her sweater (another project from the Stitch'n'Bitch book). Of course, the back (done on the knitting machine) is just miles and miles of *yawn* stockinette stitch. Once you see the front, that's where the magic is. A band of variated cables lies on either side of the zipper and hems the hood to add a bit of beauty and interest to this sweater that, I'm sure, a certain 15 yr old is going to love for a long time to come.

Our next meeting will take place at the regular time and regular place. Here's hoping that our missed members will be there to brag about their projects, update us on their progress and enjoy the company of one another. Our group is growing and includes house wives, accountants, youth workers, writers, and a host of other types. Blossoming friendships and a love of knitting are the threads that bind our group together. We are a diverse group who welcomes any and all interest (IN FACT, the hostess of McKenzie Coles expressed an interest in learning our craft and, when she has a Sunday off, has promised to join us!!!! - Yes, Pinky, this is how we will take over the world and dominate all with our sticks and string)!!!

So come on over and knit a round or two and have a blast!!!!!!!

Next Meeting:

McKenzie Coles Coffee
Gray Avenue and Central Avenue
Not so Sunny Saskatoon, SK
2 pm
November 25, 2007

Thursday, November 15, 2007

New place to be...

Silence is golden....

Regretfully, I have been silent for a while in blogland. TAKE (Those Against Knitting Enjoyment) have been infiltrating my inner sanctum as of late. Although, I have found ingenious ways of avoiding the cries for food, the calls for clean laundry and the wants for attention and all that fun stuff that life gives us, they still find ways to eat up my much coveted knitterly moments.

My UFO (UnFinished Object) bin sits in the corner saddened by all the time TAKE members demand. However, once they go to work and school I find prime knitting moments. The need to cry "Just one more round" is lessened as I can fully concentrate upon my knitterly pursuits.

I have finished the Cabled Cardigan, several hats and a few pairs of mittens for the Xmas season. I have begun two more sweaters, a sleeveless cabled turtle neck and a faire isle in the round. I have a few pairs of socks OTN (on the needles) at the moment and lots to keep me happily stitching through the Christmas Season.

Saskatoon stitchers have been coming out in greater numbers to our weekly meetings. Don't forget to join us this Sunday at 2 pm at McKenzie Coles Coffee on the corner of Gray Avenue and Central Avenue here in Sunny Saskatoon!

What's on your needles today?

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Alpaca's R Us!

Exciting news! This past weekend saw the marking of my parents' 40th Anniversary! So to commemorate the occasion my Dad decided to buy an Alpaca for my Mom's anniversary present. We are so very excited! Fibre at our fingertips, literally! Al the Alpaca (no said my parents were very creative with the naming of beasts) is quite happy in his new and, I have it on good authority, that he's eagre to share his warm and wooly coat with the knitter in our family (okay this is mostly me although others have also given it a go).

Although the picture above is not our Al, it is a great one to show the warm and wooly content of their fibre. I am so excited about this new member of our family. However, I shall have to wait patiently until next spring when he will be ready to sheer and then a little while longer while the fibre is cleaned and spun and ready to knit up into some wonderful creation. It is touted as being one of the warmest, softest and silkiest fibres known to knitters. Added bonus: they are just so darn CUTE!

Anyone out there who has any experience with Alpaca fibre, drop me a line. I am eager to learn all I can about the care of Alpacas, processing of their fibre and knitting with the fine yarn produced. I'm looking forward to learning all there is to know about this member of the camelid family and maybe writing it up into an intriguing article some day.

Happy knitting!

Saturday, October 13, 2007


I hope the past couple weeks have seen much success in attaining your knitterly goals. As you know last week was sparse in attendance, due to Thanksgiving celebrations (we can be forgiven for this one digression). However, the needles will be hard at work this Sunday October 14th.

McKenzie Coles Coffee (Gray and Central in Sunny Saskatoon) will be our venue and it is my hope that we fill the joint with the sounds of clicking, laughter and give their regulars something to stare at once again. Grown women finding amusement with 2 pointy sticks and some string! Who would have thought?

Currently on my needles is a sweater for my daughter who has complained about being cold at school (those darn drafty halls of academia!) What better excuse to pick up some new yarn and a new pattern? With the help of my trusty knitting machine (to accomplish the miles of stockinette stitch that makes up the back of the cardigan) I hope to have the beast finished by Xmas. It is accented with cables on either side of the zipper and the hood as well as extra long cuffs to roll up for that added fashionable accent. I've chosen a demure purple wool blend (by Patons).

The hats are done! Whew! The slipper socks are done (double whew! whew!) with the help of the knitting machine. I was able to knit up 3 pairs today. (picture forthcoming and the picture of the hats needs updating as well, but you get the picture!) This means that the Christmas giving list is getting shorter and shorter and I just might avoid the "IT" process this season. (Yeah right! Okay! I chose this denial state as there is still 70+ days until the fateful day).

I missed you guys last week as the non-knitters thought it prudent that I attend family celebrations out of town (go figure!). It still astounds me that many people on this planet still do not fully appreciate the benefits of fibre and refuse to give the soft fluffy "kitties" the proper respect!

So until Sunday October 14 at 2 pm I wish you all happy knitting!!!!

Monday, October 01, 2007

OTN (On the Needles)!

Greetings to all! It would seem our little group is growing as we welcomed a few new stitchers into our ranks. Mothers, Daughters and Friends joined in the fun as the Saskatoon Knitting Circle met once again this past Sunday! OTN (on the needles) were several hats, mittens, scarves and a dishcloth. Progress was made amidst the laughter and copious amounts of coffee were drunk. Most importantly, fun was had by all.

My own knitterly adventures have been been ripe with enjoyment, challenges, unexpected jewels and much clicking as the needles and digits never rest. Amidst cries of "I'm hungry," "Are there any clean clothes," and "What about me's?", the members of TAKE (Those Against Knitting Enjoyment) have been active and well in my home. BUT, I'm smarter than they and trickier too! Through all their efforts, I've still maintained steady progress in working through projects on the ever expanding Christmas list.

Currently OTN:

Another Hermeione inspired toque...(So far a purple and red version have been completed).

My Afghan that incorporates someone special's favourite colours is almost complete but awaits patiently rolled up in my knitting corner for the addition of more rows. Crocheted in a 1/2 double stitch on a size 4mm hook it is growing far faster than I can supply yarn to it. Who was it who noted that crochet uses up 3 x the amount of yarn than knitting? As a saged crocheter / knitter, I must agree. It has already eaten several super saver red heart skeins and now needs more. Although if the recipient was shorter, I probably could bind off now and save myself the efforts by creating a lap throw. Alas, this crocheter is not so lucky. On the upside, Oliver, our resident Knitterly Familiar, enjoys the progress thus far.

Other recently completed projects include a passel of toques to keep the heads of my loved ones warm throughout our long and chilly winters. I've recently rediscovered my love for Faire Isle. My current Fair Ilse hat jag has brought me a newfound love for the building of a pattern based upon stitching two colours together in sequence. Although, the technique is not new to me, it was made much easier by the inclusion of Continental (European or left handed) knitting. I have become quite proficient and comfortable with carrying my secondary colour in my left hand. This ultimately avoids the pitfalls of twisted yarns and the challenges in keeping the colours from mixing up and makes the reading of the chart all that much easier in that each colour resides on a separte side with the pattern cradled comfortably in my lap. Why didn't I ever teach myself to knit left-handed before?

My most recently finished toque incorporates this technique in a traditional motif built with burgandy and orange. What little guy in the midst of a Canadian would not love to show off this piece of art?

His sister will be equally as warm and stylish in this charming pink/peach coloured traditional Mediterranean/Arab motif.

Other completed projects have been discussed and described in earlier blogs. However, you might enjoy viewing my passel of toques completed thus far. As each one receives the final touches, my list seems to grow. Requests for Harry Potter inspired adornations and warm woolies keep coming in. My fingers remain ever vigilant to the quest of someday reaching the end of the list. Each year I start my Christmas creations earlier and earlier and each year the list grows longer and longer. This year, though, I have a secret weapon...I have taught my teenager to knit too and surely she'll help her Mom in completing the quest!

Happy Stitching!

Next Knit & Knatter:
Sunday October 7, 2007
McKenzie Coles Coffee
Saskatoon, SK
2 pm

Monday, September 24, 2007

Meeting of the Needles (Sept. 23, 2007)

The meeting of the needles came together as another success! We knitted and chatted (oh yes and our resident beader...well...beaded). We welcomed another new member of our group and enjoyed the return of several long standing and appreciated regulars.

The needles clicked with renowned purpose as Gale aided Pam with her attempts at beginning a scarf. Pam has been recruited by our beader, Michelle, and brought with her much enthusiasm and dedication as she perilously began to cast on a garter stitch scarf. This may not seem like a feat of enormity to those who have a long knitting career, but to Pam it was a feat of excellence. After a few false starts and an eventual success, Pam's scarf is well on its way to completion. She even noted that she learned more in the 2 hours she spent with us than she did at a $25 class from Michael's and all it cost her was the price of a yummy coffee from McKenzie Coles!

My own new knitter, Jeanette, cast on and made some excellent progress on her project of choice - Mousy Mittens. These have been a regular in her winter world since she was 5 years old and now that she is 15 I'm prepared to pass the torch to her and have her making her own. Since mittens are the forgotten soles of Winterland, she has consistently lost one or two of them per year. I'm sure if we found a way to permeate the black hole of mittens, we'd find enough lost mitts there to supply a third world full of children with the warm woolies. Jeanette's dedication to the craft brought the mitten just past the cast on stage of the thumb gusset and, by next week, she hopes to complete the thumb and be well into the hand construction.

Scarves and mittens are great projects to learn several techniques such as cast on, knit stitch, pearl stitch (and their combination into the stockinette stitch), increasing and basic construction techniques. Good luck to both Jeanette and Pam as they discover the journey through the Land of Knitting. Just one bit of advice...REMEMBER: Knitting is fun and relaxing!!!

Jan returned to our group with socks in tow. She's an expert sock knitter and enjoys each one of the approximate 20,000 stitches that build to create a warm wooly for the tootsies. Gale expertly worked away at creating warmth and love for a friend's impending birth of twins. Bonnie continued constructing a cable and bobble toque and Michelle touted her pleasure at seeing several of her belly dance costumes worn and fashioned.

Although we did not find resolution to the "Gauge versus Tension" debate, we did decide that we would enjoy creating warm woolies for less fortunate children of Saskatoon and intend to begin creating them with the supplies that were so kindly donated by other residents of our fair city. A big thank you to all who donated their unwanted yarns!!!

Thanks to all for joining in our numbers as they are growing. Thanks and welcome to the new knitters for their uniqueness, enthusiasm and laughter. Remember to continue to recruit...we are still in need of male representation (I know they are out there, we just have to find them!).

Until next week my knitterly cohorts...

September 30, 2007
2 pm
McKenzie Coles Coffee
Corner of Gray Ave and Central Ave, Saskatoon, SK

Keep those needles clicking!

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Sept 16 Knitterly Meet Up

Today's meet up was a great success! Although our numbers were few, we felt the comradeship that stitching in public affords us. We bonded with a new member, accomplished some much needed progress on our projects and infused our systems with caffeinated fuel that allowed our fingers to fly.

Our group has grown. Jan, a knitterly friend, who is well accomplished in many stitching adventures, met with us for the first time. She has known the joy of knitting socks to keep her families tootsies toasty. She has infused many a sweater with love that wraps her receivers in the warmth and joy from her heart. She has crocheted, beaded and quilted many a miracle. Welcome...Jan and we hope to see you back very soon.

As always, onlookers watched us intently and we suspect that we saw a few knitters in hiding as our row counts grew. We were visited by a friend or two who took away amazement at our accomplishment. By the end of our session, we were proud of ourselves. A Rider themed Afghan, warm and cozy socks and baby ensembles adorned our needles as we filled the coffee house with laughter, fun and clicking.

Some of our group were busy living outside of the land of knitting. Teaching, learning and family obligations kept many of you from joining us today. But, and I have it on good authority, that you plan to return. (We haven't scared any of you off yet!). We missed your senses of humour and creative spirits today.

Those of you who missed today...we look forward to getting together with you next week! Don't forget to tell your friends to join us as well (we are not above kidnapping, as Rai is so fond of reminding us). Help our numbers grow, for as a group we will bond over the love of stitching.

Our next meeting is scheduled for:

Sunday September 23, 2007
McKenzie Coles Coffee
Corner of Gray Ave. and Central Ave.
atoon, SK

See you all there!!!!!

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

A Frustratingly Stitchin' Good time!!!!

Okay, I give up for tonight! I actually had a pretty productive knitting day (in between quashing the dust bunny revolution and minor conflicts between the laundry machines and the vacuum) and finished up most of the housework. Completed a set of ankle socks (albeit there are plain with nothing fancy but a bit of self patterning yarn...I always feel so very talented when looking at the completed product). They are for my one person is done and off the Xmas list!!!! Woo hoo am I good or what?

I've come to discover that non-knitters of the world do not see the finishing of a beautifully hand knitted a priority above that of having clean clothes to wear to work or school, having a meal or two in between, and they have actually had the nerve to expect me to TALK to them in the middle of counting rounds! I believe this is a conspiracy, I tell, the non-knitters of the world are attempting to overturn our addictive tendencies and drag us away from sock knitting.

However, the Knitting Goddess is NOT pleased with me. I not sure what I did but she saw fit to blow on through and totally destroy my attempts at knitting lace for a sock cuff tonight. After hours of searching through pictures of pretty tootsy warmers all over the internet, I finally found one that pleased me and begged me to make it up...the cuff is actually knitted lace in the Baby Fern Pattern. You can find proper credits on the Yarn Harlots web log (where I found these beauties).

Construction is not rocket science, but my attempts were thwarted by husband and kid and yes cats too. After three frogs I finally saw some hope and the pattern repeats were actually working for about 6 rows and then WHAMMO the Goddess got me. Turned out I had 2 too many stitches and that is why my work didn't closely resemble hers. So that's it for this eve! Stupid LACE!!! Can I stab a 2.5mm through my eye now?

At any rate, I shall return to it tomorrow. Trust me this is NOT a Stitch'n'Bitch type of project. It takes real concentration and even involves a bit of MATH (Sorry for using the 4 letter word). I think I need some actual peace, tranquility and many spells cast about me to keep the Goddess's playful tricks away :)