Thursday, May 23, 2013

I am Definitely a Copycat (So What?)

I have a friend who makes the most beautiful things. Every time she pulls her latest finished project out of her bag I think to myself "She's done it again! It's perfect!"

One project that stands out in particular is her version of Beth Kling's "Henslowe". Her version was done in a delicately soft shade of pink Swan's Island fingering, and as soon as our latest shipment of this yarn arrived at the shop, I had my skein wound and ready to go.

Life being how it is, I didn't get a chance to cast on until just last week. But let me tell you!!! Once I had my head wrapped around the elegant, yet simple patterning, there was just no turning back.

In only a couple of days I was cast off, blocked and ready to show and tell to you.

Admittedly, I would have liked this shawlette to be just a little bit bigger. But it's manageable.

Lucky for me, this was an absolute pleasure to knit (both the yarn AND the pattern), so the thought of re-knitting this is truly no big deal.

Lilacs and lace

At the risk of making a few enemies here, I must confess that I am not the world's biggest fan of lace knitting. I mean... I love knitting lace, but I just don't wear it all that much. Yeh know?

But THIS, I will wear.

Even if it is a touch too tiny.

Info for those of you interested in also copying my buddy Tara

Pattern- Henslowe by Beth Kling
Yarn- Swan's Island Fingering weight, 1 skein in shade 'Beetroot' (we have this at the shop!)
Needles- 4mm 80cm Addi Turbo

See? Small, but sweet.

And so my friends, I will leave you with a pointer in regards to making this shawl bigger, should you find the urge to do so.

It's a fabulously written pattern, and one that is SUPER easy to adjust the size on.

So if you're anything like me and hate reading ahead in patterns because you're just too keen to get cracking, I assure you that there is no tricky math involved in making this piece larger. So just do it. You can skip all the crazy math equations that are usually required to adjust the size of a project.

If math equations were involved, do you seriously think that I would be interested in making this any bigger!?!?!?


So my friends, life is pretty good. Not only do I now have a little shawl that I enjoyed the heck out of making...

The first peony showed her pretty face in the garden this week.

I'll cheers to that!

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Eventually, We All Turn Into Our Mothers

As difficult as it is for some of us to admit, eventually, we all turn into our mothers.

Hear me out on this one. Back in March, my mom and I hopped on a plane to attend the Yarn Market News Conference in Baltimore. As we were settling into our seats, we each pulled out a ball of sock yarn that was intended to keep our hands busy throughout all of the lectures we had signed up for. Eager to show one another what we had each chosen out of our entire little shop of wonders (I mean... yarn), it turns out that we had both brought along with us the exact same yarn, just different colours.

Opal's new collection 'Sweet and Spicy' is what we had both independently landed on. However not to be completely identical (a relief for both of us- I'm sure), she ended up with something 'sweet' and myself, some 'spicy'. (Note- if you are someone who happens to know us both, I would appreciate if you would refrain from commenting on that point.)

Momma on the left, Lynn on the right

My husband points out regularly that I am just like my mother. Not a completely bad thing, especially when he likes my mom as much as he does. Often my rants, my obsessions and my interests tend to mirror that of my mom's. I spent much of my teenage-hood fighting this, but I have bigger battles to deal with these days. Besides, this is hardly one worth fighting anymore. Now that my teenage angst is far behind me (HALLELUJAH!), I realize that she is actually a pretty great gal.

If anyone could have predicted that we would end up as alike as we are today when I was 15, no one, and I mean NO ONE would have believed them. (Am I right Mom?)

To be fair, I do spend an unusual amount of time with my mother for a girl my age. And I do believe that if I spent that much time with anyone out there, they would eventually rub off of me, and vice versa. 

But the simple fact that we also happen to share the same DNA probably doesn't hurt.

Left- Opal shade 6756 "Plum", Right- Opal shade 6755 "Spice"

So while I am a little late here on this post (what else is new!?!?!) I would like to take this opportunity to thank my mom for rubbing off on me.

And I would also like you to please note that my tardiness is a not a trait inherited from her, but actually her father.

If it weren't for her... heaven only knows what kind of socks I'd be wearing.

At the shop on my wedding day

Happy Belated Mother's Day.

Lilacs outside the shop this week

May the lilacs in your garden continue to bloom year after year after year...

And your feet always have a pair of hand knit socks to keep them warm.

Wednesday, May 08, 2013

November Is Sweet, Indeed

Sometimes a particular knitting pattern sweeps across the shop. The staff are knitting it, the customers are knitting it... and in no time, I'm usually knitting it too.

As was the case with this one.

This pattern is titled 'Sweet November', named after a movie starring Charlize Theron in which she wears a shawl similar to this one throughout the entirety of the movie. While I have never seen said movie, I must confess that I was somewhat drawn to the name of this pattern.

"Oh, but why?" you ask. "It's far too beautiful out there finally to be thinking of disgusting November!"

Well... November is when my birthday falls, and while it's generally a pretty terrible month (weather-wise I mean), I do look forward to it. No matter how old we grow, deep down we all enjoy being in the birthday spot-light juuuuuust a little bit. Come on now- admit it! It's true.

Not only does my birthday fall in November, but so does my husband's as well as my brother in law's. And as it turns out, so does our wedding anniversary AND my parent's wedding anniversary.

It's a busy month in our household in which lots of cake is consumed, making November oh-so-sweet, indeed.

The extra 'sweet' bit about this scarf/shawl is that I happened to hear through the rumor mill that Charlize Theron's mom is the one who made the crocheted version(s) that actually appear in the film. You can even get your hands on one for a pretty $298.00 if you so desire.

Lucky for me, I saved a bit of coin by casting this on myself.

Who doesn't love to feel like they've walked away with a deal!?!?!?

I do love me some fringe!

If you can believe it... I might even have enough cash left over to splurge on the DVD.

I would be most glad to pass it your way when I'm through with it.

Cotton/Acrylic blend- perfect for Spring!

Details For All of You Charlize-Wanna-Be's Out There (Don't you worry- I totally fall under this category too)

Pattern- Sweet November Knit Shawl by Caryl Pierre (available for free!)
Yarn- Four balls of SMC Solavita in shade 2101 (close to one entire ball for the fringe)
Needle- 6mm Addi Lace (but I should have listened to the pattern and used a 6.5mm)

So while I would like to argue that November is indeed a very sweet month...

Cherry Blossoms in High Park last weekend

For now... I think I'll stick with May.