Friday, July 03, 2015

Bricks & Mortar Mitts

I was inspired by the A Playful Day Podcast to design a simple pattern that would pay homage to our Local Yarn Shops and encourage others to support them. I have a groaning stash, but still I am tempted when I visit 88 Stitches Yarn Shop, just 45 minutes down the Number 1 Highway in Langley, or my niece's shop, Electrictree Yarns, 3 hours away in Kamloops.
If we were to each pick up a skein or two of worsted weight yarn, we could help keep the light on. They do so much to bring a creative environment, with delicious enticements, and great events, that they deserve our patronage.
I am just uploading it as a free pattern on ravelry. It should show up in better format (with pictures).
Here is my first pattern:

Bricks & Mortar Mitts
By LoriAngela McDermid
To show support for our Local Yarn Shops, LYS, we can buy a skein or two of worsted weight yarn to knit these simple Fair Isle colour work mitts and maybe wear them on our next yarn crawl.
50 g worsted weight colour A (100 m/110 ft)
10 g worsted weight colour B: bricks (20 m/22 ft)
(Test knit in Cascade 220 and Berroco Ultra Alpaca)
4.0 mm dpn or circular needles 
(or size to reach gauge)
3 stitch markers, tapestry needle.

Gauge: 22 stitches  and 26 rows over 4 inches 
(in stocking stitch in the round)

Colour Pattern: (Repeat these 6 rounds)
Round1: Knit colour A
Round 2: (K 1 A; K 3 B) repeat to end of round. (Colour A can be gently drawn behind the 3 Colour B stitches as a small float.)
Round 3: as round 2
Round 4: K A
Round 5: K2 B; (K1 A; K 3 B) repeat to last 2 sts, K 2 B
Round 6: as round 5


Cast On: 36 stitches in Colour A and distribute on 4 dpns (or use circular needle)

Bottom Rib: Rib K1 P1 for 16 rounds

Increase Round:  *K8, Kfb*  repeat x 4

Hand: Knit one complete colour pattern

Thumb Gusset:
Increases will happen on a single colour (A) row, every 3 rounds.

Thumb gusset is knit in colour A. Carry colour B behind with short floats, to prevent snagging when slipping mitts on your hands.

Round 1: with A, K4, pm, m1, K 1, m1, pm, K to end of round.
Round 2: K round two of colour work pattern, slipping markers and knitting   colour  A between markers.
Round 3: K row three of colour work pattern, slipping markers and knitting colour   A between markers.
Round 4: with A, K to marker, sm, m1, K to marker, m1, sm, K to end.

Continue colour work pattern,  increasing every third round ( with single colour A) until 15 stitches between markers.

Knit Round 2 of Colour Pattern.
Place thumb stitches on waste yarn. Knit across Round 3 of Colour Pattern to space made by thumb gusset stitches. Using backwards loop, cast on three stitches and finish knitting row.
(I use these extra stitches to minimize the gaps at the thumb join.)
Knit round 4 until one stitch before new stitches. Knit first new stitch together with stitch before it. Knit next new stitch . Knit last new stitch together with the stitch after it and finish knitting round.
Knit around in colour pattern until mitten measures 7 1/2 inches (19cm) from cast on.
Decrease Round: *K 8, K2tog* repeat x 4

Top Rib in colour A: Rib K1P1 for 12 rounds or until desired length. Cast off. ( I don’t like the       top too loose)

Thumb: Remove the thumb gusset stitches from the waste yarn while threading your dpns into the stitches. I put 6 stitches on each of 2 needles and 3 on a third. 
In colour A, pick up 3 stitches from the hand margin of the mitten. 
K 4 rounds.
Rib K1P1 ribbing for 5 rounds. 
Cast off.

Weave in ends. Now is a good time to close those holes near the thumb.
Colour work always benefits from a good soak and gentle blocking.

Wear your
Bricks & Mortar Mitts
to your next 
Local Yarn Store visit.

Abbreviations: (in order of appearance)
K: knit
P: purl
Kfb: knit into front and then back of your stitch, increasing one.
pm: place marker
m1: (make one) lift bar between next two needles from front to back with left needle. Knit into the back of this loop, increasing one.
sm: slip marker
K2tog: insert right needle into the next two stitches and knit them together.

This pattern is made free to support the lovely people of our local yarn shops and their hard work at providing an inspiring and nurturing space for our community of crafters.

With special thanks to 88 Stitches Yarn Shop and Electrictree Yarn Shop.
LoriAngela McDermid (LoriAngela on Ravelry)

Let me know what you think of it!


Saturday, June 27, 2015

Wooly Fun

 World Wide Knit in Public was celebrated at my local Sardis library. They served us lemonade and cookies and put up a table in the main entrance. The librarians were very excited when we started yarn bombing.

We are yarn bombing the toy class at the fair this year with sheep. This is my version. Don't tell me he looks like a mouse or a monkey. Already heard it.
 Sheepy tail. The free pattern from Lion Brand was called a sock critter, but was knit flat. No way. I used some of the numbers but just messed around. Hence the monkey/mouse. It's made of my sister's handspun!

 We had the festival of Dan. Hamburgers on Friday night with my mom. Yum!

 Friends over for a big dinner on Saturday. We have never served raspberries at his birthday. They are not usually ripe for several weeks. The weather has been like that one week in late August. Living in the Pacific Coast rainforest usually means walking in the rain and watching the plants grow as God waters them. Not this year. We are featured in the latest Global Warming horror film.
 The basil thinks it is living in the Mediterranean. There are good things about having to water plants every day.

 The black berries promise to be a bumper crop this year. The perfect pink to the perfect fruit.
 They are already selling corn. The earliest to date has been Canada Day, July 1st. I can't eat corn anymore but I love it and I love to watch it magically grow.
 Stated my summer reading. Grabbed me right away. A bit of a brick, but worth it.
 Found some sheep graffiti on a bus bench.
 With the great heat, I hide in the basement and sew. Thank goodness for on line tutorials like Creative Bug.
 Finished Pebble Beach, but she still needs to be properly blocked. It's a very long crescent shawl, not my favourite shape, but I like the sea wool and the colour. It was fun being part of the Knitting Pipeline KAL>
And a wee success. The Golden Pear hat is a free pattern on Ravelry. I am thinking of using it as a colourwork class.
Today I was invited to 88 Stitches with my young friends and Tin Can Knits is having a trunk show!!! So much wooly fun.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Nine Years

 Welcome to my blog. Welcome back if you've been here before. This is the 9th anniversary of its creation. One of my better mistakes, I was just trying to leave a comment on the Math 4 Knitters blog.
Our seasons seem to be moving along more quickly than usual. The baby ducks that join me for breakfast are lucky to find green grass in the back garden because much of the front lawn is already brown.
 I was delighted to be invited to a baby shower for one of the LPNs (Licensed Practical Nurse) I used to work with. The team was there in their exceptional caring and good humour. I really miss that group. We are starting to see each other for coffee and fun. I have been so busy wrapping up volunteer activities and wrapping presents.
 These are flowers the youth group helped make for our Sunday School teachers. Youth Group ended with a wonderful and very silly party. I received gifts from my peeps too.
 With the days so hot, I am hiding in the basement and sewing. I made a thread catcher so I could feel like a real sewer. But the pattern was so bad. I would have made a separate lining and weighted the pin cushion differently. Now I don't feel like such a beginner.
 Piping has been pretty busy. We had D Day ceremonies, a fun BBQ and extra practices. One of the tenor drummers met me at Harrsion Hot Springs Resort where we laid down the plans for a New Years Eve celebration at 4 pm called Hogmany.
 Cultus Lake Days parade from my angle.
 D piped at his partner's retirement and was a wonderful emcee.
 I am now knitting on the edge. Deciding how I want the Fussy Cuts blanket to look is almost as much work as knitting it. Do I make log cabin strips on the outside or mitred? Do I add an icord edge? I have decided to decide as I go.

From the Stash and Burn podcast, I have started a crafting bingo card, and already got one bingo. This is a great motivational tool and a great group on Ravelry. We are trying to motivate our own Chilliwack Common Threads knitting circle and I am so pleased at those who step forward with their skills to help.
Also pleased to join the knitters of the Sardis Library today for World Wide Knit in Public Day (week).
Moving up. Thanks to my physiotherapist, I am taking short hikes and look forward to more in the weeks to come. I am not knitting as much because I'm not sitting as much. But there are other crafts and endeavours to pursue. And I hope that you will come along with me as I explore the new wonders around me.

Friday, June 05, 2015

Almost Finely Finished

 So pleased with the final product. I have loved William Morris since I was introduced to his Arts and Crafts movement in the early 1990's. I saw a special show at the Victoria & Albert Museum in 1996. This is based on his Strawberry Thief. I just couldn't afford the over $200 price tag for the kit, so I drew it on the needlepoint mesh. The fabric has the same motif, Liberty lawn from Purl Soho in New York. The last touch was the "piping"- just icord in the same yarn as the background. If you are doing a large area, it is better to buy a skein of yarn than all those little hanks. This cushion certainly smartens up my reading chair.
Started hiking at the direction of my physiotherapist. My hip problems are secondary to an old knee injury from 1981 when I was in the Medical Corps. Boo. On Promontory Hill I can go for a 40 minute hike with elevation changes and never be too far from my car if the trouble flares up.
 Finished and blocked but no buttons yet. This (ETA) Sunny Side sweater by Tanis Fiber Arts in Opal Van Gough turned out just right. It was a replacement for the Antler that I knit too small for a summer baby.

 I made a Twiddle Muff. the blue will be the liner. Next I'll decorate it with flowers, buttons and beads. It is intended for a dimensia patient who is confined to a wheel chair and requires some tactile stimulation. I will probably take it to the extended care facility at the hospital, or maybe to the place I used to work that was attached to Hospice.
 I have to cast off my 11th square and cast on the 12th. Then I can set them up for sashing. I am starting to think a narrower sashing will look better.

These baby pants are done except for embellishments. Almost done. I am torn which project to work on. Just a few hours on each project. 
Another almost done. Just a bit of embroidery in a few random spots. But if I pick this project, the square won't get cast off and the trousers won't be embellished. I just need to pour a G&T and sit in the shade on the deck and get at it.
 In the dugout are the Pebble Beach shawl. It is beautiful and ignored. Thank goodness I had it with me when I had to swing into the Nissan to get my door looked at. They ordered a part and will fix it on Tuesday when I get my oil changed, etc. Until then, I will feel like I'm driving a jalopy because I have to lower the window to open the door, or climb over the console.
 The featherweight is another great travel project. Not getting a lot of love. With my new resurgence in sewing and watching the Great British Sewing Bee season 2, I am stretching myself even further. I may not have a pay cheque, but I have fabric stash!
There will be no break in the planning and dreaming of the making. Perhaps some things will be truly finished by next week.

Friday, May 29, 2015

The Long List

We have been having some pretty busy weekends. Band practices and parades, extra youth group and choir activities. At the end of the weekend, we need a weekend. 
 I am managing to get to some long neglected sewing. This is a bucket bag for my friend's son, an awesome knitter. The tutorial is from So Very Shannon. I thought I had another one for a drawstring bag, but I can't find it and it's off her blog. I love project bags, but, now that I'm not working, I can't afford them. I do have a fabric stash- some bought for that purpose- so I hope to make a few up.
 Frantically, I though I had lost this fabric (Liberty lawn) that I had bought in New York. But it was just under a pile of other good intentions. The pillow is sewn, the needlepoint Strawberry Thief attached and the i-cord knitted to be piping.

 There has been quite a bit of practicing in the front room. I am trying to get back at my flute. Some day I'll bring up the poor bass guitar and try again to find my way.

 Even the cross stitch is seeing some love. If I don't finish this for Christmas, there will be another one, but if I don't get a good chunk done, I will be disappointed.
The quilt is almost ready for the binding now. You see it here in strips from the jelly roll. I made mistakes and one of my corners doesn't match up, but I am so happy to have followed through! I found the squares that I started for a quilt of my own out of scraps from the dresses I sewed Emily. I also found a great apron pattern and a few kits. Thanks to Tolstoy audio books, I am not alone in the basement when I am stirring up my mess.
DH and I had our 26th wedding anniversary. We went to band because he's pipe major and can't miss a practice. But we had a nice weekend with a Pete Seger Tribute concert and piping on the shores of Harrison Lake.
Hopefully this week we can just catch up on yard work and watch 3rd Rock from the Sun.

Thursday, May 21, 2015


 This  Sunday we celebrated Mom's 80th birthday. All the grandkids and great grandkids were there. We are 39 when all counted, just from Mom and her 4 daughters.
 There were new friends and old. Photos were strung to get the stories going.
 Mom loves flowers and butterflies. These were the most amazing cupcakes.
 Sugared johnny jump ups that matched the pansies on the tables.
 Mr. Hockin was one of our first friends when we arrived in BC in October 1966. We grew up with his kids, in and out of his house.
 Paw with his oldest grandchild. We had lots of time to visit and laugh.
 D piped for my godson who can still do the sword dance. He also learned Road to the Isles, Mom's favourite piping tune.
 Did I mention we laughed?  Everyone pitched in to set up the old Riding Club Hall, bring their families and join in the fun.
 The kids table was full of building and colouring. My youth group friends were hired to do a few hours of babysitting the four kids who were 5 and 6 and the 2 toddlers.
 He looks just like his dad.
 We pitched in for a sing along. Favourites songs from our own childhood and my niece Caroline, who owns electrictree yarns, joined me on guitar. My older sisters and daughter joined us for "Que Sera", a song Mom used to sing to us.
 Emily played lyric tunes on her trumpet and actually got her brother to accompany her on piano. He hasn't played for a few years and it warmed my heart.
 And a feast.
 Our niece brought her photo booth, so there was an outlet for silliness.
 There were crayons on the paper covered tables.

And my nephew brought his band, the Basements. Just the best dance band. We danced into the early hours of the evening and had the hall cleaned up by 10. Our kind of party all afternoon. I had dancing blisters on my feet! Mom was satisfied with the event and we can truly call it a celebration.
There was no knitting.