Sunday, September 26, 2010
Last Friday I took the day off, and MiL and I drove out to Carstairs to check out Custom Woolen Mills. It was a lovely way to spend a day off and a really interesting little trip, so I thought I'd share it with you.
Firstly, I have to admit that the trip did not start off on the right foot. Carstairs is about an hour outside of Calgary, and as we turned off on to a lovely paved highway, we passed a semi, which left us this souvenir of our trip...
We did not let this set back deter our interst in seeing the wool, so we forged ahead- I suppose if something is going to happen to your BMW, the best witness to your innocence in the situation is your Mother in Law!
Driving up on the property we stopped in the shop, where we were told to check out the washing/spinning first. And so, we stepped into the barn with a very SHEEPY smell and checked out the raw wool being washed.
We also stopped into to check out the sock knitting process. Custom Woolen Mills makes a bunch of machine knit, wool socks for customers. The gentleman demonstrating this showed us the sock knitting machine.
After inhaling sheep fumes and getting a really good understanding of what goes into producing yarn, we enjoyed the RARE sunshine outside to check out the barn area and all the fleeces that are waiting to be processed.
alpaca mittens for my father in law and how very soft the yarn was!
lanolin in it, it immediately makes your fingers feel so soft to touch. We learned about the different "crimps" in wool and got to feel the difference between a "good fleece" and a "bad fleece".
Rounding out our visist, we also got to step into the store, to be tempted by the various wools they had spun.
We had a great time at Custom, despite the "rocky" start. (Bad pun alert!) I think we both found the operation fascinating, and it kind of personalizes the yarn you are buying a little more.
I did end up buying the yarn for my sister's mittens at an impromtu stop at Pudding last Friday. But we can discuss that another day. There has also been knitting progress here at Chateau Nennie.
Progress and the opportunity to cast on new projects will be on hold this week, as I prepare to write the CHRP exam. All knitting time will be devoted to studying (SOBS UNCONTROLLABLY). I will not allow myself swatches or ANYTHING for projects I want to cast on for the fall, until after the morning of Oct 2. If you think about it.... send me a little luck that day okay?
*Husband must be credited for handling the news as well as he did. Was he happy? No. But he did not get angry with me, understanding it was not my fault and also choosing to look on the bright side that no one was hurt and that no other part of the car suffered injury. On the downside- the windshield is not repairable- and will need to be replaced.
Thursday, September 16, 2010
Truthfully, I've been trying to show you these since Sept 10th, when they were actually finished but the weather, which can only be described as utterly DISMAL, has been so overcast, and so DARK, that I couldn't get home in time to take a picture in natural light. THERE HAS BEEN NO LIGHT, for so many days.
Thankfully- I have the relief of a finished item distracting me from all the gloomy skies outside!
Pattern: Ellington Socks by Cookie A
Yarn: Estelle Arequipa in colorway 213 Pale Pink
Needles: US 2
Listening To: These have been on the needles since April 11th (!!!), mostly living in my purse. So these socks have listened to a lot of lunch banter between Anne, Mel and myself. But for the final knitting push to finish these, I listened to my latest audio book: One Day by David Nicholls. (PS- I'm Loving It!)
Notes: I knit the "Medium" size for this pattern. They fit well in the leg, but go high up the calves and fit fairly tight. Were I to do it all again- I'd go up a needle size for the cuff, just for extra stretchy room. Also, this pattern is not for the faint of heart. I had more than one "frogging" sessions of "rip it rip it" when it came to this pattern. Cookie's patterns are GREAT, there is nothing wrong with what you purchase, but she sure isn't afraid to challenge you with a big chart or several decreases.
The fronts of these socks are stunners!
And it seems almost criminal to cover up the toes! And well, I have to admit, almost makes me think "I think I'm ok at this knitting thing!"
Lest you should think that the rain delay has delayed any other knitting, Goodale is seeing some healthy progress and maybe, just maybe, starting to inch toward the finished line also!
Hopefully I won't have to wait EIGHT days for a flicker of sunshine to poke through to show you it when it's finished.
Must get back to knitting away furiously to finish up my projects. MiL and I are heading out to Custom Woolen Mills tomorrow for a little field trip and I worry that I could fall off the yarn buying wagon again!
PS- Sarahdobbs, who left me a comment on my blog regarding my leaf blanket, I don't have a way (email, or a blog link) to respond to you! Anyways, on the off chance that you're reading this- I cast on 161 stitches for the blanket in order to do an extra row of leaf repeats. Hope that helps!
Wednesday, September 8, 2010
Princess Squares Blanket by Pam Allen
Yarn: Navy (Sirdar Snuggly DK 0224)
Red (Sirdar Snuggly DK 0242)
Orange (S.R. Kertzer Northern Sport 950109)
Yellow (Schachenmayr Nomatta Bravo Baby 122)
Green (Sirdar Snuggly DK 414)
Blue (Sirdar Snuggly DK 415)
Purple (unknown something I picked up at Pudding)
Needles: US 7
Listened To: Craftlit’s Persuasion by Jane Austen and The Age of Innocence by Edith Wharton
Notes: Knit 2 extra panels of this blanket to make it more the standard size I like. This yarn was fine to knit with- but it’s not my favorite acrylic in the world, I’m not sure I would use it again.
Made For: The Adorable Owen.
I was amazed how quick this project knit and the fact that not once was I bored by the endless garter stitching. I’ll say that again- I didn’t tire of knitting every stitch. I think that says something about how I needed a brain break from all the blankets I knit for Stampede!! If I do this again, I’d think harder and longer about how I could do this with less ends to weave in because…
And, since I’m the kind of person who always wonders when I see other photos of these kinds of projects- here’s a pic of what the blanket looks like on the other side.
One more shot of this lovely project, with it’s bright and cheerful colors and I’m ready to move on!
What are you “finishing” this September?