The Knit Knack's Blog

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A Handspun Juneberry Triangle

My only FO of the season made from my hand-spun yarn is Jared Flood’s beautiful Juneberry Triangle design.  I’ll sum up my post for you now:  I loved this project from start to finish!

It all started with 8 oz of Blue Faced Leicester (BFL) top dyed by Turtle Purl in Quebec.  I split the 2 braids of fibre to keep the colour progression through the 2-ply yarn, attenuated (i.e. pulled), and spun to my heart’s content on my Watson Martha spinning wheel.  At the end of this adventure I had 523.6 yards of hand-spun goodness.  As I put it in my spinning notebook the largest skein was “mostly DK-weight with fingering”.  The other 2?  “Mostly sport-weight.”

This was my 1st Jared Flood design.  I figured that going with a pattern sub-titled, “Textural lace shawl” by a star of the knitting world was the best I could do by this sweet teal yarn.  The pattern is totally clearly written.  His lack of spoon-feeding was a boost for my lace knitting self-esteem as I pieced it together in just 12 days.

I am calling it my Tealberry Triangle.  The centre triangle was lovely to work.  It doesn’t follow the convention coughfadcough of symmetry, and had some lace knitting on both sides of the work.  Not too much & not too little but just right.

I did a few repeats with the bobbles-as-written, and quit.  It seemed like an awful waste of hand-spun yarn.  With much shoving and hauling I managed to add beads for a bit.  It was a lost cause, so I knit the rest of the centre triangle plain.  The border has popcorns, which are bobbles-lite, and worked over 2 rows.

Any of my knitter friends can tell you I did have a big issue though – yardage.  I used a 5.0mm needle because that worked with the varying yarn grist, and dove in.  If there is a way to reliably gauge swatch for a non-standard yarn, I wouldn’t know.  My approach was to use the metrics of his suggested yarns & squeeze in between.  This resulted in an epic nail-biter with 2 border edge attempts frogged.  And wailing at knitting groups.

In spite of it all, I still love that edging pattern to bits.

The final stretch of border got knit on with double joins.  Which is far better than not getting finished if you ask me.  This is where I drew on my experience from the Spider Net shawl in Victorian Lace Today.  Sometimes we make things happen, cast-off and block out the difference with vigor.

 


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I told you!

The Yarn Harlot blogged her Toronto book launch here.  I told you I had front row appearance – that’s me 2nd from the left in Stephanie’s Hello Toronto photo!  I love her pic of Megan & the charming Miles (aka Monkey).

I have a ton more knitting & spinning to blog but am dashing to rake leaves.  A storm is forecast for this afternoon.  Why I need to hustle:  this is my backyard with only ½ of the leaves dropped.

Those got raked.  Here’s what’s currently on the ground:

The firebush was beautiful this year.  Yes, past tense.

And so, I kid you not when I say there is raking that needs doing.  Before rainfall would be ideal.


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All Wound Up, Toronto Launch

Last night, Stephanie Pearl-McPhee‘s All Wound Up book tour finally reached Toronto!  In a very uncharacteristic move I was Knitter No. 1 on the scene at the Chapters.  And I saw that their powers that be are still in the dark about how much of a crowd the one & only Yarn Harlot is going to draw in her hometown.  Yes, dudes – even on a cold Thursday night more than 40 chairs are required.

Teresa, Meg & the hugely popular Monkey (8 weeks old) soon arrived, and we nabbed front row seats.  No zoom required, see:


Meg took our picture – very much knitting & happy.

I do have another knitting friend also called Teresa.  This confused DH to no end, so I thought I should point out that the Teresa pictured here is not the same person who is getting my spindle-spun laceweight yarn.  This Teresa is knitting a gorgeous Helix Scarf.  I was knitting a new sock.

Monkey is a superbly happy baby!  Meg chalked up his good behaviour to the sheer cushyness of his blanket but I think he’s just a good little fella.

Mom and baby will be totally featured in the Harlot’s next blog post… she took a pic of them after signing!

I was thrilled that Stephanie read from her book!  It was hilarious to hear the stories in her own voice.  Thanks to her earlier tweet, I can also tell you that she was wearing sparkly handknit socks.

Proof of the lovely meeting that happened afterwards:

Now, I was way too shy to speak in entire sentences.  I tried gathering my thoughts but it was no use.  If I had my wits about me I would have told Stephanie a huge Thank You.  Her books and her blog got me out of my head knitting, and into the wild world of meeting other knitters.  I was brand-new to Canada back then.  Finding Knitting Rules changed everything, and then I had the good sense to get out to her Casts Off book launch to hear what she really thought.

Just for the record, Chapters:  this is what the turnout for a Yarn Harlot event in Toronto is going to look like.  Always.  Even if it rains.  Got it?