This is often the case when not using the specific yarn used in a specific pattern--- note to self: add Julia to my stash.
I thought I was safe. I measured often at the start--- right up to the beginning of the thumb gusset. After that I became complacent (not quite cocky) and... the birdseed hit the ventilator. You can even see in the photo how much tighter my gauge became.
I've come to believe that once a project becomes "grieful", it is important to reassess--- and quickly before any negative mojo works it's way through the yarn. With this in mind.... here sits the mitten... off the needles... not even a scrap of yarn holding the live stitches... waiting for reassessment.
I then quickly cast on what I thought would be a no-brainer--- a simple pair of broadly striped foot cozies (read as thick, warm socks). Gauge issues, again! This time I am stocking stitching a tad too loosely. Darn those knitting gremlins....... I will persevere!
14 new GAP friends
Countless scarves and Sapa bags....
Tomorrow, I start my 22 hour journey towards a snowy home. I have many stories to share... but until then, here is how the sunset looked on Halong Bay.
I apologize for the large gap between posts!
I have been distracted by one of those once in a lifetime adventures.... Indochina!!!
Over the past 12 days I have:
*Traveled half way around the world.
*Flip flopped about Bangkok.
*Tuk-tukked most of Siem Reap.
*Amassed an embarrassingly large collection of scarves--- cotton and silk.
*Played the role of "Mags Kandis--- Tomb Raider".
*Survived crossing the streets of Phnom Penh.
*Ate something very disagreeable.
*Floated down the Mekong.
Now, I begin my 12 day journey through Vietnam --from south to north.
Above is how I saw the sunrise at Angkor Wat. This experience was on my life "To Do List"..... it was beautiful!
Years ago a friend dubbed our home, "The Vole and Piddle". We knew immediately where the "vole" came from.... think hot summer and a tenacious, killer of a cat named Ditto. The "piddle" remains a mystery to this day....
Tips for the best pizza a la Vole and Piddle:
- King Arthur Flour-- a combination of 2/3 unbleached white and 1/3 whole wheat.
- A tablespoon of honey for the sweetness.
- A very hot pizza stone-- preheat while the dough is rising.
- Spicy, garlicky tomato sauce base.
- Cheese of choice? A light sprinkling of a medium aged Gouda (I picked up this trick in Havana, Cuba of all places).
- Top with whatever makes your heart sing.
Pictured is chorizo, rapini, potato, and roasted red pepper.
I have considered this event to be my "creative mental health break". I really do love my day job! I love working with yarn, playing with colours, swatching new stitch patterns, applying new techniques and coming up with design ideas. Often I do not care for drafting patterns, doing the math for grading (multi- sizing) a garment and explaining in words how to do things... the stuff I consider non-creative.
I spent my holiday Monday (it was Thanksgiving in Canada) and most of last Tuesday picking grapes.... Pinot Gris, to be exact! Our neighbours down the road are wine growers. Our county has become a flourishing wine region and Pauline and Gilbert are a lovely part of it. Redtail Vineyard has had a fabulous year and the harvest of the Gris is banner. On Monday, ten of us picked from 9 until 5. 500 kgs (1100 lbs) of grapes were picked. Tuesday, with just four of us and a late start due to rain, another 200 kgs (450 lbs) were harvested. I am told we will not get our "pay" for the labour until at least May..... a bottle-- or maybe two-- of a wine with the taste of a knitter's hands!
Well, a fabulous elf at Interweave Press has been busily organizing a wee bit of a party to celebrate the success of Folk Style.
AlterKnit Cafe is one of the newest knit hot spots in Toronto and Terri Quinn-- the proprietor-- has kindly offered to open her doors to the maddening throng of crazed Folk Style knitters. OK... maybe not maddening and probably not a throng... but certainly crazed if I know them. If you are in the neighbourhood, please drop by! If you can be persuaded with sweets, I understand there will be a "Cookie Cake" with an edible Folk Style cover gracing the top!!! How cool is that? I'll be able to eat my own words!!!
It makes me smile knowing that the simple garter stitch pleasure of the MQW is creating-- what I think of as-- "happy knitting noises".
Those of you who have visited the Folk Style Knitalong should have come across a link I supplied addressing all of those friggen loose ends. Click here and you will--- as I like to say with a wink-- "see God.... and She knits!". The source of this "end hiding" tutorial is Aija Goto. The latest issue of Knitty has a fabulous pair of knee socks designed by Aija! Kudos!
BTW- If you are working on your own variation of the MQW send me a picture. I'll add it to the slide show.
The end of October I will be offering up two morning workshops at the CreativFestival in Toronto.
For years this mammoth weekend of a creative inhale and exhale was called The Sewing and Needlework Festival--- the name change happened this year, I think--- I still lovingly call it the "Needlework Nightmare". 40,000 fantastically hyper-enthused crafters show up over the three day event for classes, demos, fashion shows, inspiration and-- above all else-- retail therapy. It really is a must-do event if you are within driving distance of Toronto.
I will also be holding a brief needle felting demo and a Folk Style book signing in the afternoons. I am partnered with a LYS who has a booth at the show. Part of the deal is that I will have a 10'x10' area to display most-- if not all-- of the projects from Folk Style. Imagine, you can be upfront and personal with Gayle's Felt Appliqued Skirt, Kate's Paisley Shawl, Robin's Bunad Mukluks, and Gina's Appalachian Gathering Basket.....
I know, some of you might be swooning right now. It is a good thing that you are-- most likely-- already sitting down.
I hope you are able to make the show.... and please... stop by to see the Folk Style projects and say hello!
As much as the thought of another Ontario winter without a "real" source of heat could compel me to skip off--- laptop and maple syrup in hand--- for a new found south of the equator existence.... I'm still here.... I hate packing.
If it's September....... I can be found finalizing patterns, joining seams, knitting collars and fastening buttons to what will become the Mission Falls spring collection of designs. In the highly organized chaos of my studio are stacks of boxes. Each box contains a project. Each project is in it's own unique state of "donedness". Of course, it is all very top secret--- there is always the concern of industrial espionage, don't ya know. But I'll share a smidgen... a hint... a tease...
New colours of 1824 Cotton?.... maybe ;-). Twelve new designs for the next warm season... definitely. I'll share more later..... when it's safe.... I promise.
Until it really is spring... you can check out Mission Falls' new twist on an old favourite available this autumn... 1824 tricolors
Rewind to 2005....
It appeared to be the average non-event of a train trip from Belleville to Toronto.... but apparently it was not. In the seat pocket in front of me was the latest copy of the complimentary VIArail publication, Destinations. Amid the pages of hot boutique hotel ads, restaurant raves, must have travel toys and how the pretty folk spend 24 hours in "whatever" city--- there was one page almost lost amongst the clutter. The short, simple article introduced me-- and other dulled-eyed train commuters-- to a wonderfully humbling Japanese aesthetic.... Wabi sabi.
- Wabi sabi is the beauty of things imperfect, impermanent, and incomplete.
- It is the beauty of things modest and humble.
- It is the beauty of things unconventional.
- It is the joy found in the art of impermanence.
So what does the dirty dog picture have to do with wabi sabi? Everything! This is my marvelous mutt Ms Skeeter. She is absolutely perfect in her imperfection!