Friday, December 31, 2010

What's Old Is New Again

Does anyone remember this sweater?

I do. And I promise you $100.00 that my sisters do too. This is because I think that I can safely say that I have never lusted after a commercially produced sweater as much as I did this one. I was obsessed.

I had just turned 16 when this sweater hit the shelves at the Gap. I had missed the opportunity to put it on my birthday list, and my sister's best friend owned it already. At 16 this is pretty major of course. Since we all went to the same not-so-densely-populated school, I sure didn't want an article of clothing that makes such a statement when someone already had dibs on it. God forbid I buy a sweater at the Gap and get labelled as a 'copy cat'. 

The second factor that discouraged me ever purchasing this sweater, was that it cost cost over $100.00. I had quit my job at my dad's garden centre (it was an amicable parting of the ways) and when I figured out how many hours of babysitting that added up to, I thought I'd best be bet sticking to my strictly vintage wardrobe. Hrm. I probably should have kept that garden centre job... After some time, the sweater disappeared from the shelves at the local mall, and eventually from my 'Top 10 Things I Desperately Want' list. (Although I never fully got over it).

Fast forward 11 years. The Gap has decided that colour isn't cool this season, and the shelves do not reflect their rainbow past. BUT- the sweater came back from the dead to haunt me recently. In a Casper the Friendly Ghost kind of way. In the form of a... WINE COZY!

I met with a friend last Monday for brunch, and when she gifted me this- I almost had a heart attack right there. That sweater was finally mine. Hallelujah! Angels sing! She could have put an empty bottle of wine in that cozy and I would have been just as happy. I shall never drink the wine that is in there however, so that the sweater always has a body to cozy up to.

It's the New Year, and the theme of this celebration is new beginnings.

Here is to new projects, new friends and fresh starts.


Wednesday, December 29, 2010

And the Talent Goes On

I seem to recall a promise I made to you regarding sharing some more talent before Christmas came and went so darned fast. Well, I apologize. But that's exactly what happened. Where did Christmas go? BOOF! And it was done. Was the knitting done? Not exactly. But it was a perfect Christmas either way.

As for the aforementioned talent- VOILA!

If only I had laid out a measuring tape next to this sweet little creation. It's plus petite! I swear! 

Who made this you ask? Another dear customer! Who just so happens to be written up in the December issue of Canadian Living. For those of you who don't to have a copy of that magazine lingering in your washroom magazine basket, let me summarize for you.

Our customer and her buddy started making ornaments for all of their friends and their kids back in the late 80's. While their list of recipents started out at a rather modest number, it has since grown to 140 people. Yeah no... not kidding.

Now, the ornaments aren't knit each and every year- they switch up the medium each time. (The Canadian Living magazine gives the directions to make their 2007 wire and bead christmas tree ornament). But this year- it was bitsy stockings knit out of Lannett (a 3 ply baby wool that we stock). Not only that... but the stockings were stuffed with a marble, baby clemintine made out of Fimo, 2010 penny, candy cane, present and a reindeer.

Too cute for words.
Too many ornaaments to wrap my head around.

And what's on the agenda for next year you ask?

Tin angels.

That should likely go a wee tad faster than 3 ply wool.


Saturday, December 25, 2010

Felice Navidad!

It's too late now! What's knit has been knit and what hasn't- well... it's just gonna have to wait.

They'll understand.

Wishing you the happiest Christmas of them all!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Warm Greetings

And so- I ended my last blog post with some mutterings regarding all of the talented people I know. Which got me thinking as I floated through the shop today... Ooooooh lala. Am I ever speaking the truth! I couldn't escape the talent, even if I tried!

Case in point.

Back in the summer I had helped a customer out with picking out some yarn to make Christmas cards with. She said that she was going to knit up some swatch-sized fair isle and pop them onto some cardstock. Voila! Fuzzy Christmas greetings! She had told me about their progress each time she came back for a visit/yarn fix but I had yet to see them live in the flesh (er, wool).

Yarn- Sisu. Knitter- Customer Pat who won a squash from us once in a draw at Show and Tell 2009.

Well didn't it just take me by surprise when I strolled into the shop on Tuesday morning to discover a card tucked into the mailbox. The enclosed note said that after making one of these cards, she realized that only knitters would (or could!) really appreciate them- so we were the lucky recipient of one. She asked us to overlook any mistakes that she had made, but really!?!?!? What mistakes? I don't see any mistakes. Do you? Of course not!

May this be a lesson to us all- our mistakes scream at us but the recipient won't find them, even if they look. Good thing too. Because this Christmas, there are going to be a lot of mistakes tucked under my tree.

So, stay tuned- will ya? Because tomorrow there's some more talent that needs to be showcased.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Christmas is Coming...

 The goose is getting fat.

And this girl is going to give herself arthritis before the 25th. (It runs in the family, so I know that this is a major possibility).

I do have some tricks for you should you want to speed up the knitting/gifting process. It's worked for me and I'm pretty much done (minus the boyfriend scarf- who will just have to accept a project on the needles. I'll tell him to finish it himself. I am ready to knit for me now anyway.)

Trick Numer One- Throw on your iPod and crank up the music that you usually run/workout to. If you aren't the type to do that sort of thing (work out that is), I'll send you along my playlist. Nothing like some Black Eyed Peas to get you through those final NEVER ENDING stretches of booooring stocking stitch.
("YES! Tonight IS going to be a good, GOOD night!" I sing along as I stitch away).

Trick Number Two- Throw in a REALLY long movie and don't allow yourself to get up until the credits are rolling (not even to go to the washroom. You'll lose your stride). Last night I popped in The Great Escape and by the time that nice credit music was playing, I was actually casting off (it was also WELL past my bedtime mind you, but I accomplished my mission). Sleeping is SO under-rated this time of year anyway.

Or, if you have friends who are knitters- don't knit for them. Not right now anyway. Pick them up some stitch markers from Mary's made by my sister dearest. Only $10.00 and 100% of the cash goes to adopt as many sheep as we can for a village far away.

I have some connections to some pretty talented people.

I know it.

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

Sometimes, It's Just Easier to Ask

I have a sister, who has spent her life surrounded by knitters (naturally). As a result of spending countless hours around 'people like me', she is well aware of the work and time that goes into making a knitted gift.

The problem is, when she is gifted something knitted, she never flippin' wears it.

We have found beautiful cable knit sweaters smushed into the back of her closet, delicate scarves crunched under her bed and mitts without their mate far too many times to count. It makes me queasy just to think about it...

So this year, much to my surprise she sent me a text that said 'IF YOU WANT TO KNIT FOR ME THIS YEAR, KNIT ME A SNOOD'.


 And done.

While I had wanted to leave an element of surprise to her gift, I gave up rather quickly after considering my hundreds of options and knowing her history. I decided to ask for more details.

The instructions that followed were as such.

I could hide my dinner in that thing!
I delivered.

Pattern- Welted Cowl by John Brinegar from Vogue Knitting Holiday 2010 (on newstands now!)
Yarn- Naturally Harmony 10 ply  5 skeins in shade 802
Needles- 5mm 80cm Chiaogoo Red circulars

Sorry. I have a crappy camera. I can't help it. 

Should she decide that this cowl just isn't neutral enough, or big enough- I have a solution.

But she'll wear it- right?

She'd better.

 Or else.

Thursday, December 02, 2010

How Mary's Yarns Stays Warm

The other day as I was cruising through my emails, I came across this.

Watch it.

You will reconsider how you heat your home.

Yarn shower anyone?