Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Change of venue...

As many of you know, our little log home on the web was "reported" enough times that it was frozen in virtual world. Since then (about the middle of July 2008) we've moved. Our new home to Live Journal. Check us out, we are still known as The Saskatoon Knitting Circle.

I hope to see you over there. We may, one day, resurrect this blog...who knows...anything is indeed possible.

Don't miss out on the knitterly fun. Check out our new home and sit a spell.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

The Frog Queen in Action!!!

Frogging. What can we say about it. It can be therapeutic to some knitters. It can be frightful to others. But it is part of knitting. We are only human and sometimes our knitterly pursuits go terribly wrong. This week we are highlighting the Frog Queen herself...in action.

This past Sunday was extra special. Although our numbers were small, we did observe an extra special treat... The Frog Queen (aka Melissa H. or the Yarn Girl) showed us her stuff. Gale had experienced an egregious gauge error. After much debate, coaxing, and convincing Gale finally handed over the "sock" (or shoe bag, as we dubbed it - this thing was truly enourmous and big foot himself would have had trouble wearing it - even if it was shrunk!) to Melissa who happily frogged along.

Extra special thanks to Jan, the Frog Hand Maiden, who graciously offered her assistance. enjoy the video and feel free to send your condolences to Gale at rai dot cara at gmail dot com.

Although Gale's mystery sock mysteriously turned into a shoe bag and ultimately met the fate of the Frog Pond, we had other successes!

The mystery sock before meeting its fate...

Leanne made a day trip to Regina and haunted the local shops (The Golden Willow and Hip2Knit). She came with treasures in tow and showed them off. Lots of ooooh's and aaaaah's were had as we all joined in the petting rituals of the nifty finds she found. She also finished another sock. She is embracing the sock addiction like a seasoned knitter...

Mellissa finally won the battle of the BSJ and completed the jacket, a tiny berry hat and one bootie. What a lucky baby the recipient will be!

Marion completed knitting and felting this adorable hand bag (which carried her supplies and projects to group).

Finally, I decided to take a dip in the designer pool and built my favourite technique into a sock (yes, I too am quite addicted to both cables and socks). One is done and the second is currently in progress...

The "Crack Lady" cast on (or, Judy Becker's Cast on Method as demonstrated by sock guru"ess", Cat Bordhi). This has quickly become a favourite method within our group...can be found at...


Sunday, July 06, 2008

To Frog or not to Frog...

Frogging. Yes I've moved onto the darker side of knitting. Instead of fighting a losing battle with Cat Borhdi patterns I, with much encouragement from the Frog Queen herself (Melissa), I frogged not one but two UFOs this week. I consider myself to be somewhat accomplished in knitterly pursuits. I like to think that the needles and yarn will do what I tell them. I've fearlessly taken on cables, tackled simple lace and numerous sock patterns. However, I have met a match in Cat Bordhi.

First, let us discuss the Flow Motion socks found in The Ultimate Sock Book by Vogue. I'm sure you will agree they are beautiful and look simplistic. Don't let the picture fool or the flowing seemingly simple lace pattern lull you...

They are nasty little critters intent on reaching the frog pond. The author has purposely created these beauties to lull us unsuspecting sock knitters into believing that we too can end up with a pair of toe warmers with ease and perfection. It is NOT true, I tell you...

I had the right size needle, the right yarn and even got gauge! Whatever was the problem, then, you might ask? The lace was too tight, the foot was too long (even though I measured every few rows and followed the directions to the T. I didn't take it personally until...

I decided to give Leaves and Tendrils in Socks Soar on 2 Circs (a book by Cat Bordhi). Even though the pattern explicitly states, and I quote,

"This is the most challenging of the socks in this book, and will teach you the most new skills."

I naively cast on, thinking, this isn't too bad, since the pattern summary also noted the following:

However, it may be knitted by anyone who can follow directions.

I can do this, I thought, and it is so very pretty...

Others have done it, said I (a search on Ravelry produces many a successfully completed FO). So off I go... I completed the Turned Toe (no frogging yet) and even understood and executed the close curve (tendril), the embossed motifs (leaf). All was going well until I came to the "upside down heel." This pattern is indeed "an education in itself..." - and education in expanding one's vocabulary, an education in how far needles do indeed fly across the room, an education in the RELAXING concept of knitting, and an education in how to avoid all things Bordhi.

Two sock patterns - two successful Frogs. They have been ripped and reclaimed yarn is now making a pair of cabled wonders straight from my own brain. I am now left to wonder just what I did to anger the Knitting Goddess for I have indeed received punishment in spare. Even my Cabled sweater received a bit of frogging (when will I learn to READ a pattern and not skim) for the neck line was out a few stitches. So, I frogged...

My disillusionment with knitting came to an end today as I met up with good friends at our Garter & Giggles (thanks Melissa for the influx of new creativity). Speaking of Melissa, the Frog Queen, she has finally made significant progress on her BSJ. It is beautiful, but since I forgot my camera today we'll leave the posting of pictures up to Melissa (check out her Yarn Ramblings at All Yarn All the Time ). She provided much needed encouragement and comfort as I waffled between frogging my two disasters or to continue with the experiment in insanity.

Speaking of insanity...Kate had finished the socks that caused her a minor breakdown last week. She willed the stitches into behaving and achieved success! However, she forgot to bring them to show and tell today (but that is alright as my own forgetfulness wouldn't have allowed us to capture it anyway). Gale worked on some summer time socks with a pattern. Pam stitched away and reached the toe portion of her own sock. Jan continued stitching on her sweater attempted to climb out of the black hole of knitting. Mary was at the retreat, Leanne was missing in action and so was her Aunt Alison. Jeanette completed her Rainbow toes and even boasted about her newest creation...socks for her gal pal's 16 th birthday. Yes, she's been converted to stitching up socks. I think she just might be addicted.

Even though our numbers were small, our voices were boisterous and a good time was certainly had by all. But what is the point of my musings, you inquire? The point is frogging has its place. It is almost cathartic to rip out days, weeks, or months worth of effort. It is scary, tear filled, and even stressful in its own right. But, once you have resigned yourself to the fact that the author of the horrific pattern is truly at fault, you can frog with some comfort. Knowing that we have each other to commiserate with and for encouragement makes it worth while in the end.

(Let us join this knitted Kermit and smile as we frog...)

Sunday, June 29, 2008

We all live for "Sock"undays...

We all live for "Sock"undays... Sundays have fast become one of the most popular days of the week. You might be asking yourself "Why?" Read on my friends, to discover new thrills to the end of your weekend. As a matter of happenstance, everyone, including our new joiners, was working on a favourite summertime projects... S O C K S! MacKenzie Cole's Coffee is definitely the place to be on Sundays in Saskatoon. Today reached a hot high of 30, but the air was cool in the air conditioned comfort of the back room but the discussion heated up and warmed the hearts and minds of the twelve knitters in attendance (you see, I wasn't joshing when I said that we are growing fast!) How do they find us? We've a listing on Kijiji, a home on Yahoo Groups, a corner of the expanding universe of Ravlery and signage all over Saskatoon. We host it and knitters come from far and wide. Today we welcomed a couple new knitters (thanks to Melissa's tireless PR efforts - she actually recruited them while shopping in a LYS). Most of our regulars showed with knitting and smiles and all had a wonderful good time, even though some started off a little shaky. Kate...what can we say about our new gal pal? She's beautiful, intelligent and a talented and dedicated little knitter. She began the afternoon fighting a loosing battle of lost stitches. She cajoled, she coerced, she cursed and she muttered. Her tenacious spirit held on and she struggled through convincing the little buggers to take their rightful place upon her Harmonies. Well, a bit of a stuggle preceeded the success, but all turned out well enough. The nasty little culprit of her "stress" lies to the left. However, she did a beautiful job on the first sock, didn't she? Question: Kate, how many meters of that dissertation did you accomplish today?
Jan returned to us, feeling much better. She has been busy during her forced rest / sick time this past week. She busy creating anlets suitable for flip flop lovers. I am still amazed at the speed of this knitter!!!
Jeanette remained dedicated to her "Trippy Toes" anklets. After a long debate on the exact definition on what exactly "trippy" means, she finally completed her very first pair of socks complete with a 1/2 wrapped short row heel. Jeanette is coming along as a seasoned knitter. She has even taken knitting to school and this is where the term "trippy" was born. Her best friend Nicole decided to admire Jeanette's knitterly prowess and thus came up with the term "trippy" as its best descriptor. She's already cast on the next pair.
Some of us indulge in a change of scenery on the occasion and step outside to enjoy the *cough* fresh air. This is where the best discussions happen. Our small satellite group decided that upon reaching 50 and 60 years of age we ought to do something special to commemorate and to embarrass of familial survivors. It is certainly good to have goals in life. Welcome back Alison. We missed you in your absence. Alison's niece, Leanne, was working on a beautiful waving lace sock from her "Box of Sox" patterns and provided encouragement and a bright smile. Whereas Alison also worked away on a set of socks that she's not so enamoured with. Our resident "Plant Assasin," Mary continued knitting up a pair of beautiful pink varigated self dyed socks with pink fingers (this is always the tell tale sign of Mary's bursting creativity...she dyes her yarns before group!) And, now onto Melissa...our resident frogger... We were all shocked as she walked in adorned in an uncustomary frock that flowed and showed off her beautiful figure...it was pink AND a dress...yes I took pictures...
Melissa, switched between working upon her Beaudilaire and the BSJ, both of which have seen a few time outs, some frogging and restarts...
(Yes, Melissa, you were sitting right beside Mary and missed the yarn once again!)
Throughout the afternoon laughter and clicking went hand in hand. We certainly bring life to little shop on the corner. Conversations range from endearing to controversial to downright risque. We are a group that knows how to have and how to welcome others into the fold. Opinions change, personalities differ but one things remains constant, as Melissa had recently dubbed the phenomena, "We all live for Sundays!"
NOTE OF INTEREST: Mary is headed off to a Woman's Retreat at St. Michael's in Lumsden this coming weekend where teh focus will be on all things yarn and spreading the disease (oh yes, then there is that spiritual awakening and self discovery stuff mixed in). Have fun Mary and we'll see you upon your return.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Another week has passed and more stitches have been amassed! Well that's all I learned in poetry class...so onto knitterly news and queues. Since our wonderfully successful WWKIP in the park we've all been busy completing our charity projects. I want to show off some of the talents below. First up: Hats and more hats. Various materials, sizes and techniques. There will some very well topped people come fall...
Melissa has been busy enjoying our Sundays, and showed her appreciation by bringing in a grouping of crocheted hats. She successfully completed her first knit hat, dubbed the Helmet of Doom. As she was knitting she thought that the fabric was dense enough to double as a bike helmet (bottom left hand corner)! Great job Melissa.
Next up is Mary's wonder scarf and matching hat. It is as soft as it looks...
Many of you know Leanne (the gal who provided the scrumptious goodies at WWKIP day) and that she's a very new knitter. Leanne has come and along quite nicely knitting up socks like she's been a seasoned knitter of a number of years of experience. Other than socks, Leanne has finished her charity project: the cutest little mittens...
Now for the crown jewel of the charity drive to date: Kristin crocheted up this newborn star blanket that is even more beautiful in person...
Kristin the crocheter has come on over to the dark side and finished her first sock! You rock, Kristin...
One of the most exciting recent events has been Jeanette's inquiry into socks. She cast on some top down anklets and is now working on a short row heel...I'm so proud!
Yes, my friends, that is the Regia rainbow yarn in the background. I have heard that the Yarn Harlot has extolled the virtues of this beautiful (which I picked up at River City Yarns in Edmonton, AB). Now that Yarn Harlot has listed this yarn as a favourite and thus everyone on the planet HAS to have it. As Melissa noted in group, "The Yarn Harlot is the Oprah of the knitting world. Once she mentions something, the world sells out immediately!" Now how cute are these little critters? The big orange dog on the left was created by Kristin. The ice cream cone and little cupcake also belong to Kristin and the evil little cuties were crocheted the Tim Burton Bride, the Grim Reaper and the little devil and his companion Ninja!
To sum it all up: Melissa said it best when she noted that we "live for Sundays!" New members have joined, our charity stash grows each and every week, members are taking on new and exciting techniques. We've come a long way! Catch ya'll next Sunday :)

My apologies the pictures turned out a bit wonky, but if any of you would like to have a copy, please email me at zink dot bonnie at gmail dot com. I'll be happy to share, the only requirement being that you add them to your Ravelry (my ID is saskatoonstitcher).

Happy Stitching.

Friday, June 13, 2008


It is almost upon us, World Wide Knit in Public Day! We've been looking forward to gathering with all knitters across the globe to knit in public for yarn and sharp pointy sticks surely do provide comradery, solidarity and a fun way to pass the time. We truly do have more fun than a room full kittens!

This is just a short post for I must return to my charity projects to give away tomorrow. Our little group of yarn enthusiasts has decided to donate our FOs to local charities in honour of our giving spirits and to spread the love of knitterly pursuits.

Today I have completed a baby set:

A few weeks ago we gave Kudos to Pam, for finishing her very first project and for mastering the art of DPNs. This little strawberry hat is just too cute for words.

Pam is indeed a very lucky gal for Kevin, her friend, has been joining us. We suspect that he has taken up the needles to impress her. Wow...that is way cool :)

Gale worked on, and has since completed, her cotton tank top that combined crochet and knitting. It actually fit and she is, as she should be, proud of her accomplishment. She has come a long way from dishcloths.

Last on the show and tell pile is a nice shot of our door prize for WWKIP in the park on Saturday June 14, 2008. Glenda, of the Wool Emporium, was kind enough to finish this donated shawl and then turn around and donated it to us as our door prize (to be drawn at 4pm - you have to be there to win it). I'm sure everyone will covet the softness of the cotton, the beauty of the colour and wish it to be theirs! But only one can win...

And a close up:

Yes we still have our regular meet up going on Sunday June 15 at 2pm at MacKenzie Coles Coffee...

See you there? Now back to the needles :)

Sunday, June 01, 2008

Saskatoon Knitting Circle - ON THE MOVE!!!!

What a beautiful day it was yesterday, and a bunch of us knitters, packed up our needles, yarn, patterns, smiles, and - yes - senses, and headed off to Outlook, SK for a little road trip. Why? Because Leanne and her family have THE BEST COFFEE SHOP EVER!

Originally I had family plans, but as those fell through and Alison had given me a call the night before, we planned our adventure together to the end of joining the girls at CJ's Javajoint.

As Alison and I google mapped our way there and then went over some directions with Alison's houseboy, we took a deep breath, got in the car, waved good-bye to Saskatoon and jumped drove off into the distance.

About 45 minutes into our 45 minute drive we started to get worried. We pulled out our google map as we followed the human directions instead, and found that the google map did not match the verbal directions we were given. We stopped in Hanley.

And got some fresh air.

Then we frantically called Leanne to see where we had went so drastically wrong, and was it possible to still get to Outlook without having to turn around and go back to Saskatoon. Thankfully, it was, and had we been patient, we would have seen that not too far up the road in Kenaston, there was a turn off to Outlook.

The K-Tel tunes were blasting and we were laughing because our Thelma and Louise road trip turned into one more like Ozzie and Harriet. And let me tell you, there were no Brad Pitt-esque cowboys at that truck stop in Hanley to charm us and steal the $ 2.49 we had between us.

We arrived in Outlook and opened the screen door to the charming little patio to gales of laughter (and, incidentally, Gale's laughter). But, as we discovered, we were not the only lost knitters on our little road trip as Gale and Pam somehow ended up in Asquith?! Learning to drive and knit, indeed. Can you imagine where we all might end up if there was actually a way to do that?

Gale was stitching away and making progress on her tank top and providing us with entertainment that had us in stitches as she instructed Pam, with a gun to her head, to knit on double pointed needles. I think Pam ended up getting the idea and after many dropped stitches and forgotten yarn overs, managed to get a uniform looking project going on her needles.

Kristen was plugging away on her first pair of socks, and Alison was very helpful in taking Kristen through the dreaded turning of the heel. I don't think Kristen will have as much trouble with this now as she has put it in practice. As she picked up the stitches along the gusset a discussion ensued as to which method was easier, using a knitting needle or a crochet hook to pick up the stitches. Originally a crocheter myself, I am of the opinion that crochet hooks make it much more painless, what do you think?

We were also graced by yet another male knitter. Leanne's friend Conrad showed up close to the end of our day and proudly showed off what he had been knitting.

We would love to see Conrad and his fantastic smile again.

You can see a bit of Leanne's sock that she is making from a beautifully colorful yarn. Her sister looked quite put out as Leanne joked that they must be for her as her feet are two sizes bigger than Leanne's. They are going to be lovely socks, no matter the recipient, nor the size of their feet.

Me? I started the baudelaire socks and frogged them (because that is what I do), and then began the second of the bamboo socks I have been making for my daughter. I finished them today whilst sunburning myself beyond recognition outside with my kids, so I am able to share a picture of them.

At the end of the adventure, we were all treated to a bit of relief from the sunshine and the rain started to come down. We moved into the more cozy quarters of the coffee shop, and shortly bade each other a safe journey home.

Alison and I were off with the sounds of K-Tel providing us with the belief that we would indeed make it home.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Our new poster!

Thank you to Jeannie for doing such a fantastic job!

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Birthday wishes, travels and fun...

It has been a while since I've had the chance to post. Lots has happened since Melissa's guest blog (which was fabulous...music and all). Lets get right to the meat of it.

Yes, I turned 40 this past week. My husband whisked me off to Edmonton where I had the pleasure of perusing River City Yarns. Cynthia, co-owner of the fabulous little shop in the heart of Edmonton, was kind enough to tour me around her wares, allow me to pet the softest cashmere and silk and even wind my purchases. I had to commemorate the event in pictures...

Here we see the entrance to the wonderful world of wool...

Next, after a few hours of perusing and petting, Cynthia is winding my hanks of Trekking Handart and Alpaca sock weight...

This is the ultimate corner of downtown Edmonton for any yarn enthusiast.

Today was back to business with the gals at knitting group. A bit of a surprise was brought to me. I must send much thanks, love and gratitude to the caring nature of the many new freinds I have become to depend upon each and every Sunday. Jan, Gale, Melissa, Mary, Jordan, Leanne, Alison (who was absent today, but will be back soon we hope), Pam and Kristen. I was surprised by a DQ icecream cake (an inspiration of Gale's caring heart), with a knitting sheep on its face, a new stitch dictionary (many thanks to a dear friend Jan) as well as a hank of "ornamental" yarn that, as I was told, just SCREAMED Bonnie on the shelf and begged to be gifted (so Melissa noted...:) ).

New sock knitters are being born each and ever time we meet. Here are samples of Leanne's expert stitching. She is becoming quite a sock maker...

Although these were being worked upon a few weeks, they still deserve mention. Kristin is back to the stuffed animal jag and is stitching up little kritters like crazy.

Jan was kind enough to bring in her electric contraption that she's adapted to splitting cotton. She demonstrated how regular weight handicrafter cotton becomes sock wieght in no time flat. This is pure genius!

We all know that the joy of knitting must be spread (for who can resist the urge to share the disease?) Certainly not Pam, who brought along her gentlemanly friend and began to teach him the tricks and arts of knit and purl. I do hope we see Kevin back again...

Melissa has been hard at it once again. She constructed the child's version of the Mother's Day Sock Pattern with Regia Bamboo sock yarn It is beautiful and Acadia will even wear them as the yarn is softer than the pot scrubber type Patons Kroy.

Just a note of business to finish off for this week:

Our next Knit and Knatter is Saskatoon Knitting Circle on the Move, where we endeavour to spread our love of all things yarn to the more remote areas of Saskatchewan. First up is Outlook, SK at CJs Java Joint (located just behind the BMO). Please let us know, via the yahoo group email listing, if you are interested in coming or need a ride with one of the others. Gale would like to meet any one that is going in her car at the Confederation mall at about noon. You can email her at rai dot cara at gmail dot com to make further arrangements.

Jan is stopping my house at around 1 pm and we shall meet the rest of the gang in outlook around 2pm. I have room for one more body. If you are interested please email me (zink dot bonnie at gmail dot com)

Don't forget to join us next Sunday as well...same time; same place as always.