Knitting at Sweet Indulgence

A warm place to enjoy a cup of coffee, good conversation with a friend, and a little knitting with whatever is on the needles at the moment (Basketweave scarf), while waiting for Pamela to finish teaching her morning hip-hop dance class.

Transient

Vintage and Folk Socks by Nancy Bush

I was first introduced to Nancy Bush  when her book Knitting On The Road caught my eye in the Lunenburg Library  just after my birthday in 2012. The sock patterns intrigued me enough to want to learn how to knit. 

This week I found her books on Vintage and Folk socks at the library and again she has inspired me to challenge myself with some new patterns and techniques. 

The Gentleman's Sock with Railway Stitch and the Gentleman's Plain Winter Sock are interesting places to start.

A cast-on technique that interest me most is the Norwegian Cast-O which gives you a purl stitch as the base, while a Long Tail Cast-on gives you a knit stitch as the base. By alternating the two techniques on the cast-on will make for a cleaner knit / purl ribbing for cuffs.

A Year Ago Today...

IMG_1070.JPG

IMG_1070.JPG

… I turned 55 and started knitting, because I wanted knitted wool socks. I never realized that knitting would be like sitting meditation with a tangible outcome. My knitting education began on the internet and moved to locals willing to share there time and knowledge. KnittingHelp.com became my first resource and their videos explained in detail every stitch and pattern I needed. I started learning Continental style and Mimi Fautley at The Loop Craft Cafe in Halifax taught me Norwegian style Continental knitting.

Above is my knitting stash. It is always small, because I only buy yarn for specific projects.

With a year of knitting behind me I have finished several projects:

My first project was a pair of fingerless gloves that I felted.

IMG_0515.JPG

IMG_0515.JPG

Next was a scarf that I restarted the first three inches over 20 times. By then I had K2 P2 (knit 2, purl 2) ribbing down pat. I finally tired of the boring gray color at about 36”.

IMG_0516.JPG

IMG_0516.JPG

So I turned the scarf into a felted hat, I was encouraged by the success of my gloves, but made one mistake. I used hot water cycle on the washer rather than warm as I had before and in no time I had a hat too small for me to wear so I gave it to a dear friend. 

IMG_0019.JPG

IMG_0019.JPG

It was time for a pair of socks and Heather and Angela from Have a Yarn helped me select a great yarn to start.

IMG_0024.JPG

IMG_0024.JPG

IMG_0026.JPG

IMG_0026.JPG

IMG_0046.JPG

IMG_0046.JPG

IMG_0081.JPG

IMG_0081.JPG

The socks continued on for several months, a little more every time we watched a movie. Meanwhile my head was still cold so I started a new hat and wanted to add some colour (rather than black and gray) into my life.

7039280601_ec8206b9b5_c.jpg

7039280601_ec8206b9b5_c.jpg

Then I was introduced to Sharon Orpin and invited to join her and the ladies at the Friday knit and spin at Sharon’s Studio. I wanted to learn to drop spindle and Sharon got me started immediately.

IMG_0048.JPG

IMG_0048.JPG

Went to the Maritime Fiber Arts Retreat at Oak Island Resort with 250 other fibre people and had a great time spinning.

6893122560_4d8c285137_c.jpg

6893122560_4d8c285137_c.jpg

Even left with a small skein of yarn.

IMG_0090.JPG

IMG_0090.JPG

The IWK asked all knitters in the province to knit some Purple Hats for the neonatal unit. So I participated.

IMG_0626.JPG

IMG_0626.JPG

 The Lunenburg Library sponsored a knitting day and a number of us participated in knitting  over 70 hats to send to the IWK.

IMG_0610.JPG

IMG_0610.JPG

IMG_0672.JPG

IMG_0672.JPG

One hat is never enough, so I knitted a second for myself.

IMG_0829.JPG

IMG_0829.JPG

And then a third.

IMG_0831.JPG

IMG_0831.JPG

I started knitting a new pair of socks for me.

IMG_0833.jpg

IMG_0833.jpg

Pamela wanted socks for Christmas, so I finished her a pair.

IMG_0806.JPG

IMG_0806.JPG

She really likes them. Now wants another pair.

IMG_0896.JPG

IMG_0896.JPG

Then I made a pair of fingerless gloves from the leftover yarn from my red hat.

IMG_0888.JPG

IMG_0888.JPG

Now I finally finished one of my red socks and am finishing the other sock.

IMG_1064.JPG

IMG_1064.JPG

My big project for the spring is the Double Knit Paint Box scarf by Lucy Neatby. I attended a workshop with her at Have a Yarn and decided it would be my next challenge.

IMG_1033.JPG

IMG_1033.JPG

It requires concentration so works best when I have an Audible book to listen to and just sit down and knit.

IMG_1066.JPG

IMG_1066.JPG

Completed it will look something like this…long and colourful.

black_paintbox1_medium2.jpg

black_paintbox1_medium2.jpg

There are so many fine knitters who have helped me throughout the year. Elly showed me how to make double knit needle holders. 

IMG_0063.JPG

IMG_0063.JPG

Michelle and the knitters at the Makery welcomed me into their circle. The Biscuit Eater and Sweet Indulgence were great places to sit and enjoy a cup of tea and knit. 

I wish I could remember all the names of the knitters and spinners I met this year, but I cannot thank them all other than to say, Big Hug to all.

Gloves Changed and Finished

IMG_0891.jpg

IMG_0891.jpg

I changed the gloved from individual finger to a single opening. I did not like all the extra yarn between my fingers and the 16 stitch rounds were driving me crazy. I love my new gloves. Now on to finishing my socks and then to the beautiful Double knit Paintbox scarf designed by Lucy Neatby. See photo below.

paintboxScarf.jpg

paintboxScarf.jpg

Latest Knitting Adventures

IMG_0828.jpg

IMG_0828.jpg

Fingerless Gloves in progress. Made by combining a Worsted gray and finger weight red from stash. 

IMG_0831.jpg

IMG_0831.jpg

Matching new hat from the same two yarns.

IMG_0830.jpg

IMG_0830.jpg

Earlier experiment to change the look of the round top. 

IMG_0806.jpg

IMG_0806.jpg

Socks knit as a gift for Pamela.

IMG_0833.jpg

IMG_0833.jpg

Start of a pair of sock for myself. I love the sport weight yarn. It is not as tedious as the finger weight yarn and I am able to work it faster and with less mistakes. First pair was chunky,  this pair sport weight, maybe next pair will be finger weight…maybe.

Mystery of the Knitted Rock

iphone-20120615132809-1.jpg

We sat on the rocks in front of the house the other night for some wine and cheese as the sun set. The next day a rock with a knitted cap marked the spot. The mystery is we do not who placed it there. We asked several suspects and they were clueless. If you can solve the mystery please let us know. It may be a random act of creativity and kindness. Either way it brightens our day each time we walk, bike, or drive by this colorful reminder. Thanks to whoever.

Knitting in Public

iphone-20120518165428-1.jpg

After lunch Pamela and I found some comfortable chairs by a large window to read, write, and relax. After writing the post on Mykonos, I decided to knit some more on my Purple Baby Hat for the IWK Purple Period Project in Halifax to raise awareness regarding Shaken Baby Syndrome.

A man knitting in public is a curiosity. When home I knit at Sweet Indulgence Cafe and enjoy a cup of tea with friends and neighbors. Today a couple of ladies from Vancouver stopped by to inquire about my knitting and we discussed the Purple Hat Project. They have a similar program with their local hospital that their knitting guild supports. They were very encouraging and happy to see a man learning to knit. A little later two Chinese ladies stopped and asked to see my kniting. The first showed me and her friend all my mistakes and then walked away. I guess since my kniting was flawed there was no need for further discussion. Cultural or gender difference, now I am curious.

Spinning Workshop with Marilyn Rand

IMG_0090.JPG

IMG_0090.JPG

Gaspereau Valley Fibres hosted a spinning workshop today with Marilyn Rand, from Lambs Run Studio. Brenda allowed me to spin all day on a Majacraft Alpaca wheel. 

MajacraftAlpaca.jpg

MajacraftAlpaca.jpg

It was a joy to work such a wonderful wheel. The skein of 70% Merino wool and 30% silk spun well. This is my second day of spinning ever and I truly enjoy the experience. Thank you Brenda and Marilyn.

Socks almost finished

sock01.jpg

sock01.jpg

I finished the first sock last night and will begin the gusset on the other. Now I just have to remember how to pick up the stitches from the heel flap. I wish I could remember what the ladies from Cape Breton showed me. I may have to wait until the Knitting/Spinning Circle at Sharon's on Friday.

I started my IWK Purple Baby Hat last night and the yarn is so soft and the color is a vivid purple. It should not take long even on 3mm DPN's. I will post photos when there is something to show.

Click for Babies

ClickForBabies_600x262.shkl.png

Click for Babies charity knitting is is new to me, but quite appealing. 

Click for Babies is a grassroots initiative to collaborate with knitters and crocheters across North American to make PURPLE caps for babies.  

The initiative is being organized by the National Center on Shaken Baby Syndrome (NCSBS) in partnership with invited organizations in an effort to prevent infant abuse, namely Shaken Baby Syndrome/Abusive Head Trauma and educate caregivers about the Period of PURPLE Crying.

The Period of PURPLE Crying is an evidence-based infant abuse prevention program developed by the NCSBS and Dr. Ronald G. Barr MDCM to educate parents about normal infant crying and its relation as a trigger for abuse.

I want to dedicate a portion of my knitting for the good of others. The IWK in Halifax is calling all knitters to help

provide every newborn whose parents or caregivers receive education about the Period of PURPLE Crying with a purple hat to take home with them to help raise awareness about the PURPLE program

For more information click here. For the IWK’s knitting pattern click here. For more information, please contact the IWK Auxiliary office at 902-470-8918 or auxiliary@iwk.nshealth.ca

New Friends

We enjoyed a visit this morning with Sandy and Ross Morrow and Pippen their Cavalier King Charles Spaniel. They drove over from Kentville and we had tea and fresh banana nut bread. I met Sandy at the Maritime Fibre Arts Retreat last weekend. She works in the film industry and Ross is a silversmith. Ross brought a few of his lovely pieces and we had a show and tell. Check out his website for some extraordinary works of art.

It is always a joy to share in the passion another has for that which they love. Sandy and I knitted a few more rounds on our current projects and we all discussed how we arrived in Nova Scotia and found the place we love.

DPN travel covers

DPNcovers.JPG

DPN coversI wanted some DPN covers since I saw Elly Danica’s that she made like Lucy Neatby’s Stitch-Keepers. I could not find the the colored rubber covers at Gow’s like Elly found, but I did find at the Dollar Store six children’s marker pens for $3.00 that had covers that would work and elastic cord for $1.00. Made three sets for a total cost of $7.00. I have to economize because I have blown my non-existent knitting budget. And Pamela is looking at me funny (not happy funny either).

A little knitting and tea - a sweet indulgence

iphone-20120402115148-1.jpg

Walked into town to pick up the mail, hoping my new wrap around Bluetooth headset had arrived (tired of my ear plug controls failing to work). No luck, it seems to take forever for items to arrive from the States, when they come so quickly from the UK. Stopped as usual for a tea at Sweet Indulgence. After stripping back a row on my socks, because I got carried away and decreased too much for the foot, I am now progressing to the toes.

Maritime Fibre Arts Retreat Follow-up

spin-circle.jpg

I will be spinning in the circle next year…I will definitely be there next year. Thanks to everyone for making my first retreat so much fun. A special thanks to the ladies from Sydney, Cape Breton for adopting me for the weekend. thanks also to Jeff, Sandra, Anne, Janet, and others for letting me try their wheels. The side by side comparisons were valuable. I have narrowed my list to the Maple Matchless and the Majacraft Suzie Pro (Alpaca model). I love how smooth they treadle and appreciate their quality construction and design.

Special thanks to Sharon for starting me spinning on her Journey Wheel and Pia for helping me learn.

Maritime Fibre Arts Retreat - Photos

iphone-20120401203541-1.jpg

Spinners and knitters from Cape Breton who adopted me.

iphone-20120401203541-2.jpg

Sandra wove a beautiful scarf over the weekend.

iphone-20120401203541-3.jpg

I found my dream spinning wheel: Majacraft Suzie Pro (Alpaca edition)

iphone-20120401203541-4.jpg

Sharon Orpin, founder of the Retreat and my drop spindle teacher, started me Saturday morning on her Journey Wheel (see http://www.journeywheel.com). Though it took me most of the day to coordinate my hands and feet, it did manage to spin some usable yarn.

iphone-20120401203541-5.jpg

Another spinning circle

iphone-20120401203541-6.jpg

A lovely quilt

iphone-20120401203541-7.jpg

Finally turned the heel of my first sock, with the help of Donna, Anne, Sharon, and others

The weekend included lots of knitting, good conversation, helpful encouragement, wonder weather and views of the bay, good food, and new friends. Gregory, Jeff, and I were the only male participants among the 200+ attendees. Sharon and her husband Richard put on a wonderful event. Thanks all.