A Year Ago Today...

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… 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.

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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”.

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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. 

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

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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.

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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.

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

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Even left with a small skein of yarn.

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

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

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

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And then a third.

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I started knitting a new pair of socks for me.

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

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She really likes them. Now wants another pair.

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

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

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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.

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

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

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

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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.

Spinning Workshop with Marilyn Rand

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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. 

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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.

Maritime Fibre Arts Retreat Follow-up

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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

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Spinners and knitters from Cape Breton who adopted me.

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Sandra wove a beautiful scarf over the weekend.

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

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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.

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Another spinning circle

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A lovely quilt

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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.

Maritime Fibre Arts Retreat

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Tomorrow starts the first day of the 4th Annual Maritime Fibre Arts Retreat at the Atlantic Hotel & Marina at Oak Island. Over 200 Spinners, Weavers, Knitters, Felters, Hookers (rug), Quilters, and  Tatters are expected to attend. I hope to continue my spinning and knitting education among the more experienced. With my new iPad 3 maybe I can post from some the event.