Bursting With Colour!

It seems that every February I become so irritated with the grey weather and cold that I feel the need to create a very colourful new project.

I crave lots of bright colour, a dash of texture and some simple but interesting stitches to keep my brain happy.
rosehaven poncho
The fresh colours seem to bring in spring so much faster since I know that usually by the time I finish the project spring might well be on my doorstep. This also makes me stay on task and knit faster!! Oh the silly games we play with our brain to make the winter end as quickly as possible.

IMG_0947I made the “Summer Breeze” triangular shawl last year and my “Wonder Vest” the year before that so I decided on creating a poncho this year. I knew I wanted it to be a generous size that would cover down to at least my waist and I wanted it to be a rectangle that I would sew up to make the poncho.

This is my Wonder Vest that I used Malabrigo Worsted yarn a bit of Nuna (green) and every 3rd row is Fiesta Yarn’s Boucle in Rainforest.

summer breeze shawlThis is my “Summer Breeze” shawl that I actually did write down as a pattern and we have available in the shop. It’s a free pattern if you buy the yarn to make it. I made it with all cotton and linen yarns. Rowan Handknit Cotton (2 balls @ $7 each), Baby Bamboo by Sirdar (1 ball @ $7), Quince & Co.’s Sparrow (1 skein @ $12) and Katia’s Tahiti Spray (1ball @ $10) , which is a varigated cotton ribbon yarn.

 

 

 

I always start by going through tonnes of free patterns on ravelry to see if I can find something along the lines of what I want to make. I check on what needle size they are using and how many stitches they are casting on. After that I do my own thing.

Then I run around looking for colours that call out to me and textures as well. I try to start looking for yarn in my own stash but as you can imagine owning a yarn shop is sooooo hard! All those yarns calling out, “Take me! Take me!”, “I’m so pretty, you really must use me!”, “Look at me, I’m new and gorgeous and you know you need a sample of ME!”

IMG_0981I grabbed all my balls and piled them on my desk and then look at how well they will work together if I used the same needle size throughout the project. This usually cancels out a few balls. Then I look at colours and which ones look best next to each other. The colours to me are very, very important. They need to compliment each other and in this case I wasn’t looking for any background colours. I wanted all the colours to have equal prominence. Sometimes you want the fancy yarn to stand out and therefore need any other yarn to just be more of a framework or background.

This project I wanted all the colours to equally pop so they all had to have an equal intensity of chroma or brightness and clear colour. Lower chroma colours are usually a bit greyer. As if grey or a dash of black has been mixed into the colour to dull or quiet it’s intensity.

grey bluebright blueThese are two blues that show a good example of what I mean. The bright turquoise has a very high chroma while the more denim blue has a much quieter, more grey tone to it.

 

I found a poncho design that cast on 225 stitches and I was using 6.5 mm needles with a 60″. I started with a heavy cotton boucle yarn so that the bottom edge wouldn’t constantly try to curl on me. I also did few rows of garter stitch to also help it want to lay flat.

After that I just played with rows of K2tog and YO so it would create some eyelets in rows. I also added an occasional row of  K1, YO x 2, K1 repeat then on the next row I dropped all the yarn overs so that the stitches became nice and long and stretched out. This is a great way to make a row wider quicker too!

Every 6 rows or so I would switch yarns to change up the colours and textures. I always try and make any rows of one yarn a different number of rows to the next new yarn colour. Keeping the rows different widths keeps the design interesting to look at and doesn’t bog you down with having to be symmetrical. The human eye will look for symmetry in a design of colour so good design need to stick with good symmetry or go completely away from it or there will be something about the design that will bother you when you look at it. I like to pick asymmetrical since I then don’t have to do so much counting!!

I bound off the rectangle the other night and realized pretty fast it was way longer than I thought it was going to be. Now the question is do I keep it as a rectangular shawl using a pin or buttons to wear it or sew up the front edges like the image below?

front seam poncho wrap with button

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I’m going to play with some buttons and see if anything talks to me otherwise I’ll be sewing up of the edges. Also I’m not sure if one button will be enough to hold the shawl together well. It’s fairly heavy and it might just pull the whole thing a bit wiggy.

Well it turns out the button size I need for the weight of the shawl don’t fit through the fabric well and smaller buttons don’t hold the weight well so a sewing we will go.

IMG_0986Well sewing up the seam was definitely the way to go and it turned out fabulously!! It’s going to be a keeper for myself for a change, to actually wear!

I sewed the front seam but I didn’t start the seam at the edge but up about 6 inches. This leaves a bit of an opening which works great for your right arm to be able to easily come out from the edge of the poncho.

I love how it turned out, so bright and cheerful. I can’t wait for the weather to actually warm up enough to wear it out!

IMG_0983

Free Knitted Skirt Pattern

This free pattern for a simple knitted skirt is made with Berroco’s Vintage yarn. Berroco has a lot of great free patterns for their yarn that are well tested before released to you and I to knit up.

This pattern uses Vintage which is a pretty standard worsted weight yarn so it offers lots of possibilities to be created to a variety of different yarns.

Click here to download the pattern.

KNit skirt

Pam De Groot’s Felting Workshops

Well our week with Pam De Groot certainly flew by!

We had full classes of enthusiastic women that got to play with colour and fibre and what could make you happier than that!!

dying techniques The first day we made pre-felt using natural white merino and silk. The next day we got to play with all the different ways we could come up with to do resist dying on the fabric.

It was fascinating watching how the colours would change, blend and bleed to different colours from the points were there was pressure clamped onto the fabric.

We had all raided the hardware stores for everything from pvc pipes, clamps, screws and scraps of wood to create our designs. Even a few wine bottles were put to good use.

The results were varied and even the colours were different from fabric to rich coloursfabric. It depended on how long they stayed in the pot to how much dye had been already absorbed by the first fabric pieces to go into the pot. There was no disappointment just lots of ooohs and aaahs as we opened up and laid out the fabric to dry.

We all kept an eye on each other’s discoveries and borrowed ideas and dye pots to try to get similar colours that we liked. Each piece of fabric was like a snowflake and very unique.

The next part of the creation of our garments was the hard part. Now began the planning of where each piece would lay in the design of the tunic. It was like more planningcreating a large puzzle of colours and shapes but without a wasting a scrap!

Cutting into the beautiful fabric was a bit scary since once you cut you were offically commited to what you were doing. At least when it comes to felting you can save every scrap to be used another time in another garment.

There was also a bit of bartering going on between some of the ladies. A few bits of fabric that didn’t work for one person but worked for someone else were happily exchanged.

Most of the ladies didn’t finish fully felting their tunics but we did get a few photos and I’ll add more as I get photos sent to me.

Esther tunic dress Esther tunic back dress back Leah tunic's beginning

 

 

The Sock Diva is in the House!!!

Socks from “THE SOCK DIVA” are in the house!!!!!.

Each pair is lovingly created by our very own SOCK DIVA – Amy.

Come on in and take home yours today!

Sizes and styles may vary.

Sock Diva Socks

The Sock Diva Card

 

Wine & Wool in the County Knitting Retreat was FABULOUS!

DSC_0001 DSC_0009 DSC_0020 DSC_0012We had an amazing 1st Knitting Retreat at Jackson’s Falls Country Inn this past November and all the feedback from the ladies that attended has been fantastic!

The Inn keepers Lee and Jason were so great at making us welcome and keeping us cosy by the fire with tea and excellent food all weekend long.

The classes were enjoyed by all and the surrounding area coaxed a few ladies out exploring and walking to enjoy all the fall colours.

 

Wine & Wool In The County Knitting Retreat Materials List

knitting tool essentialsSo time is flying by and fall is here and we are organizing and getting ready for our big Knitting Retreat at Jackson’s Falls in November.

Our two instructors, Robin Hunter and Elizabeth McCarten have organized their materials list which I am posting here for you perusal.

Double check which class you are signed up for and then you can start organizing for the weekend too!

Seamless Techniques Class Materials

100g chunky weight light-coloured wool
25g of contrasting colour chunky wool for use as waste yarn
Size US #10 / 6 mm 24”/ 60 cm circular needle
Size US #10 / 6 mm set of 4 double-pointed needles
6 ring markers
small scissors and a tapestry needle
a CROCHET HOOK, 5 to 6 mm in size. (No crochet experience is necessary)
pencil and notepaper, or other means to take notes

 

Lace Knitting Perfected

Students should bring worsted weight yarn in a light colour, needles in an appropriate size for the yarn (4 – 5.5mm), a crochet hook in the same or a slightly smaller size, stitch markers in several colours, waste yarn in a lighter weight, paper, pens in several colours, rulers, darning needles and scissors.

 

Steek Class Materials & Homework
(Because you need something to cut!)

Materials:
50 g of non-superwash worsted-weight 100% wool in a light colour (MC)
50 g of non-superwash worsted-weight 100% wool in a dark colour (CC) (omit if not working stranded knitting)
25 g or less of a contrasting colour lighter weight non-superwash yarn (sport or
fingering weight
a few yds of waste yarn for holding sts
sewing thread (cotton or polyester)
5.0 mm circular needle, 40 cm long
set of 5mm dpns (for 3-needle BO and borders)
3.25 mm crochet hook
large-eyed blunt tapestry needle
small-eyed sharp sewing needle
small scissors with sharp points
sewing thread (cotton or polyester
6 ring markers
Prerequisite Techniques (these are all available on Youtube):
longtail cast-on,
although it is not necessary to know how to crochet, please take time ahead of class to learn how to make a crochet chain,
3-needle bind-off (this is what the dpns are for).
Homework:
(If you do not know how to do stranded knitting, then simply CO 72 sts, work 4 rnds of k2, p2 ribbing, and then 3” of Stocking stitch.)
With 5 mm circ, CO 72 sts using the longtail method.
Join into a rnd, being careful not to twist and work corrugated ribbing as foll:
Rnd 1: *K2 MC, k2 CC, rep from * to end of rnd, place marker to indicate start of rnd.
Rnd 2: *K2 MC, p2 CC, rep from * to end of rnd.
Rnds 3 and 4: Rep Rnd 2.
Rnd 5: Knit around in MC.
Rnd 6: *K1 CC, k3 MC, rep from * to end of rnd.
Rnd 7: K2 MC, *K1 CC, k3 MC, rep from * to last 2 sts, k1CC, k1 MC.

Rep Rnds 6 and 7 until work meas approx 3”.
In class, we will set up 2 armhole steeks and a neck steek, learn how to secure them, cut them open, and, if there is time, finish the cut edges.

 

What the Pattern Doesn’t Tell You (and the class for the Sunday afternoon about Garments)

Students should bring small amounts of worsted weight yarn in 3 different light colours, needles in an appropriate size for the yarn (4 – 5.5mm), a crochet hook in the same or a slightly smaller size, paper, pens in several colours, rulers, darning needles, scissors.

 

Afterthought Buttonhole Class Materials
50g worsted-weight wool
Size US #8 / 5 mm 24” circular needle
Size US #7 / 4.5 mm double-pointed needles
Size US # 5 / 3.75 mm crochet hook
small scissors and a tapestry needle
pencil and notepaper, or other means to take notes

Freebies! What Could be Better!

imageWhen I came into ownership of Rosehaven I acquired a rather large amount of knitting, crocheting, Piecework, Fibre Focus and other magazines. Plus of course there is also my own stash of magazines to add to that.

They were all a year or so old and not worth really anything much but there were still some good patterns in them and then I thought why don’t we work a trade system?  Originally the idea was that people could bring in their old magazines and trade for some different ones. I quickly discovered that when someone brought me their magazines it usually consisted of large bags of them!

I quickly changed the whole trade idea to just take what you like and if at some point you have a few to donate back, great! If not I wasn’t going to worry because we seem to have an never ending supply of magazines! I think one of the best things that came out of this idea was the day a woman came in to check things out on her way to visit her elderly mother who at one time was an avid knitter, sewer and all around amazing crafter. Her mother was unable to do any of the things she loved due to her arthritis but she still loved to see what others create. I loaded this lovely lady up with lots of magazines of different crafting genres and sent her happily on her way.

She popped back into the shop about a week later with some of the magazines to return and said how it made her mother’s day to have all these magazines to look through. She got very excited about all the creations in the articles and spent the entire week pouring over the magazines. It really made my day hearing that!

It proves that sharing can be fun so come and check out the pile of magazines and get a good laugh over a few of the much older ones and grab a couple with ideas and patterns you would like to create.

Rosehaven on the Road

iStock_000019190021Medium_900_600_c1

Leslie Hits the RoadWe squished, stacked, stashed and dashed down the road last weekend to two separate yarn/craft sales in Toronto. We pillaged the shelves of our little shop and took Rosehaven on the road; Diane and Amy headed to Knitter’s Folic while Lesley and I camped at CreativFestival. Though it was exhausting and the learning curve was steep, I think we arrived home to the County inspired and enlightened by the experience.

At Creativ, I had the pleasure of teaching two knitting demonstrations, one about Judy Becker’s Magic Cast-on and the other on the joys of i-cord. It was great to meet such fearless and  inquisitive participants, some of whom visited in the Rosehaven booth post-lecture. Several people asked about follow-up instructions for Judy’s Magic Cast-on and I’ve decided to post them here.

Back in 2006, Judy wrote a wonderful tutorial for the online knitting magazine, Knitty.com. The photos that follow are from that tutorial (which is worth a look if you find yourself confused). The following instructions assume you’re using a circular needle; this cast-on can be accomplished using double-points, but I don’t recommend it.

Judy's Magic 11) Hold your needle in the right hand with the tips together.

2) Leaving a tail (at least 18″, or long enough for the desired number of stitches), loop the tail over the top of the upper needle. Hold the yarn in place with the index finger of your right hand so it doesn’t slip off.

3) Position the yarn in your left hand as you would for a long-tail cast Judy's Magic 2on. Your index finger will be loading stitches onto the lower needle, your thumb will be loading stitches onto the upper needle.

4) With your index finger, carry the yarn under the lower needle and between the needles. With your thumb, carry the yarn between the needles and over the top of the upper needle.

5) Continue in this manner (under-the-lower-and-between, between-Judy's Magic 3and-over-the-top) until you’ve cast on the desired number of stitches.

Huzzah! Judy’s Magic Cast-On! That’s all there is to it! You’re now ready to proceed with your project, whether it’s the toe of a toe-up sock or the beginning of our Bird’s Nest Bag.

Happy knitting!

The Countdown is On!

Only 20 days left before I get to officially move into Rosehaven Yarn Shop! Linda and I are spending as much time as we can together getting me up to date on all the details of the shop and I am having a blast!!

The official date I get the keys is Sunday, November 17th. I will close that day and Monday to paint and reorganize the new display furnishings I am bringing in and such. If all goes well then I will be back open for business on Tuesday morning at 10 am.

I am rearranging the layout of the store a bit so that we can have a better space for people to come in and sit and knit on the main floor. With that in mind I am going to start a Knit and Natter evening for anyone and everyone to pop in and hang out and knit together. From the feed back that people are offering it looks like it will be Tuesday evenings from 5 pm to 7 pm. Official word will be on the website soon but assume that it will start on Tuesday the 19th.

stitch and bitch imageThere is no cost and anyone can come and all crafting is welcome, it doesn’t have to be just knitting. I will have a pot of tea for us and my handy dandy Kerig machine whipping up coffee as needed or feel free to buy one at the local coffee shops or bring one from home.

This would also be a good opportunity for beginner knitters to come and get started and learn from a group that are all of varying experiences. There are always people happy to help out and answer a question. I will be setting something up for beginner knitters I am trying to sort out a date for that and a project that everyone can work on to hopefully have for the gift giving season ahead.

See you all in the shop soon!!

 

Brilliant Colours!

more scarves 2I love colour. Everyone that knows me knows that about me. Colour is very important to me. I like to wear it and I like to live with it in my home too. Though I have toned the vibrancy down a little bit in my home. Way back in my twenties and thirties I used to paint rooms over and over again. Probably at least once every year. I love how colour changes and enhances a mood or feeling.

So last week I purchased a whole lot of silk from Dharma Trading for nuno felting and whatever else I can think to do with it. I immediately called my Mom who has lots of experience with dying and loves to play as well with colours. She came by a few days ago and we had a full day of dying silks. It is a bit messy and hot since we always steam set the colours but we have a system that seems to work. I doubt we are doing things exactly correct according to an expert dyer but we have a lot of fun and the results are always pretty good. Plus, more importantly, the colours don’t run out of the silk when we are done!

Enjoy the eye candy!

New Yarns from Rowan!

Hi All,

Thick n Thin 963 Shale - CopyJust giving you a heads up that we have two of Rowan’s newest yarns. There is the yummy soft and varigated coloured Thick & Thin wool yarn by Rowan.

Sweater knit with Rowan Thick & Thin yarn.
Sweater knit with Rowan Thick & Thin yarn.

Kidsilk Haze Eclipse 454 AquariusAlso adding to the ever popular Kidsilk Haze Rowan mohair they have created Eclipse, which is the similar to Kidsilk Haze but with the addition of a bit of glimmer. A sparkly thread to plyed with the mohair to add a dash of sparkle to your knitted garment.

A sweater knit with Rowan Kidsilk Haze Eclipse.
A sweater knit with Rowan Kidsilk Haze Eclipse.