Guinness for Breakfast


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Guinness Tortoise

Borgo di Pazzi StoutIt”s Birthday Sweater time of year again. Actually, based on past performance, it should have been Birthday Sweater time back in July (hence the tortoise). This year, Carl wants a vest rather than a full-on sweater (bless his heart; time is a-wastin’) so for the last month or so since I saw “Stout” by Borgo di Pazzi, I’ve been planning it. (The name of this project and the name of this post is a slant-ways homage to Andrea over at This Knitted Life. She knits toddler socks in bars over Bloody Marys! I have nothing but respect…) Any way, this morning over my yogurt, I sketched and swatched this year’s Birthday Sweater, the Guinness Vest. More news on that as it becomes available.

Guinness Vest

Yesterday was pretty cool. I had a really wonderful surprise when I awoke and logged on to Ravelry. There was my Diana Hat in the 8th square of Hot Right Now! I re-loaded the page three times before I believed it was true, but sure enough, there it was! Diana is free until Thanksgiving and, if you’re an Instagram person, you can use #CTDianaHat for your photos. Thanks so much, knitters, for the support! It made my day.

Diana Hat

When my charming postman came, I caught him trying to stuff a plastic envelope containing this into my mailbox like some kind of petrol-powered Santa:

Between the Christmas Goodies

It may look, to the naked eye, like I am planning some Christmas knitting but NO! This pile of goodies is destined to be my Don’t-Bother-Me-I’m-Knitting fodder between Christmas and New Years when no one can bug me about anything :P

New Fabbies

For the time being, I’m working very hard on a new needle case design and some new Christmas project bags which I’m hoping to make available next week. I love these new fabbies and I think I’m going to go work on them right now!



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Stitch Marker Necklace

They’re pretty enough to be jewelry and they’re indispensable. Stitch markers are a staple in every knitter’s kit. I remember the first time I felt the need to use stitch markers, way back in the dark ages. I was knitting a fisherman’s sweater with columns of cables running up from the ribbing. I needed to mark off the columns during the set up row; I made a dozen-or-so loops of yarn and tied them at the bottom. Little did I know…

Things have certainly changed. So many clever knitters, crafters, even jewelers are creating a wide range of beautiful markers, static and removable, as well as progress keepers, for our knitting pleasure. Look at these exquisite sterling silver markers. 

To Please the Moon by Lady Danio

I could see myself wearing these as earrings…


KnitPicks Removable MarkersPlain as they are, I just can’t live without these common removable plastic markers; I’m quite sure they appear in almost everyone’s notions kit. For the de-constructivist, Fringe Association offers these which I find very lovely in their simplicity.

Removable Markers from Fringe Assos.

These accomplish so much with so little fuss … dreamy
—Ann Shayne, Mason-Dixon Knitting


ColoRings by EllieLast year at our first annual Wine & Wool in the County retreat, my friend Wendy gave me two of her Atomic markers which she ordered from GB at great expense. I instantly fell in love with them. When I went to Love Knitting to order my own, they were out of the multi-colored ones I really wanted. As a stop-gap, I ordered some similar markers, ColoRings by Ellie, from Etsy. I am so thrilled with these little gems! The price point is perfect and I received them in the blink of an eye. They are truly weightless and truly snag-less and I appreciate that there is nothing dangling from them. (I save the dangly ones for the beginning of rounds because they’re more easily seen and felt).

Given the buffet of options, I grant that emergencies can happen. Should you find yourself in need of a stitch marker, check out these clever ideas from Craftsy; “Make Your Own Knitting Stitch Markers”.

Happy Knitting!

One Fuzzy Bunny!


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Reinhard Angora Rabbits

I’ve loved angora yarn ever since I was a little kid. So fluffy and so soft, so luxurious and so adorable on little girls. When I became a big girl who wears contact lenses, my love for pure angora waned a little. I could never see properly with those 16 micron fibers in my eyes. 

Regia Angora Merino

When I discovered Regia’s Angora/Merino blend a few years ago I thought, “Perfect!”. I bought and stashed several skeins. Since the ethical treatment concerns that came to light in 2013, Regia has discontinued the product and though I’ve nursed my supply (using it only for next-to-the-skin items), I’m nearly tapped. 

Welcome to the Flock

I was surprised to find how easy it is to come by pure angora in various weights. I used some as an accent when I knit “Welcome to the Flock” earlier this year. Plymouth Yarns makes a very popular one in a worsted weight. Pretty colors!

Plymouth Yarn Angora

I found some interesting products at, of all places, Lion Brand. (Lately, I’m intrigued by their LB Collection products.) It seems they’ve got a merino/angora blend. It looks lovely.

LB Collection Angora Blend

While I surfed the KnitPicks BIG SALE email flyer yesterday, I found that they now have a product called “Bare Hare”, an undyed angora blend. It is wool rather than merino that is blended with angora, but I bet it’s softy soft anyways. At the sale price of $3.75US for 219 yards, it’s a steal.

KnitPicks Bare HareOf course, now that I’ve got it, I’ll have to think of some interesting way to use it! Hmmm….

Into the Forest


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Woodland Knits by Stephanie Dosen
I don’t know if it’s the arrival of autumn or our proximity to Christmas, but lately, I’m seeing many a forest creature shape-shifting into whimsical knitted accessories.

A week or so ago, Kelly (of “Kelly’s”, the boutique down the block) walked into the shop with a copy of Woodland Knits by Stephanie Dosen. It’s a dreamy little book filled with enchanting, fairy tale-like knitted accessories for grown ups.Mr Fox Stole My Heart by tiny owl knits 

Usually, this would not be my sort of thing, but I was truly captivated by the ethereal charm of this little book. I was smitten in equal measures by the photography, the styling and the magical little projects. Kelly was undertaking Mr. Fox Stole My Heart, which I find to be a true delight! I may just knit one for myself. It’s clever, cute, practical and, because of it’s diminutive size, the perfect venue for luxurious yarns.

catching butterflies by tiny owl knits

Of course the little creatures are irresistible, but I  think the faun-like accessories are gorgeously understated and possess a naive elegance. Worked in soft earthy neutrals, these lovely pieces are imminently workable and could gently be worked in to a big-girl wardrobe. 

woodland hoodlet by tiny owl knits

The Calm


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Jackson Falls Country Inn

Ah, Jackson Falls…I had a great time, met some lovely people and reconnected with others. It was a pleasure to meet the very talented Laura Chau. I really enjoyed teaching my classes and of course, I loved throwing over my diet for the beautiful food by Lee and Paul. But I am loving this delicious, post-retreat calm before the storm of the holidays. These warm, rainy days are perfect for knitting and for taking stock. I’ve got Papa home for a few days, so I’m trying to do as little work as possible in favor of cooking, eating and knitting.

Minky Baby Sweater

This pretty baby sweater is an absolute delight to knit (despite a little error in the separation row instructions). I am in love with this beautiful mink yarn that I picked up a couple of years ago at Passionknit in Toronto. This is Lotus Yarns, “Miya”, 70% mink, 20% merino, 10% silk. Divine. And I love the color! Grass. It is so enjoyable to knit that it is coming along very quickly.

Orchid Socks

I had quite a lot of time to work on my orchid socks while at the retreat. I’ve finished my Fleegle increases and am about to start working the short rows. Then, I think I’ll just knit until I run out of yarn. This color is just blowing my mind! <Said she of “black, gray and beige” fame.>

Fabric for Project Bags

I bought these two fabulous new Covington fabrics about three weeks ago and I honestly can’t decide which one I like better! They’ll find new life as project bags and needle cases which will be for sale at the shop for Christmas. I’ve got a new design for needle cases that I think will make many a knitter happy at Christmas time :)

Dark & Stormy by Thea ColmanThen, there’s this. As I’ve mentioned before, one of my favorite things about the change in the seasons is finding half-finished projects that I didn’t quite finish last year. They give me such a nice head start! This time, it’s Dark and Stormy from Baby Cocktails. I can’t wait to finish and wear this sweater. Honestly, I’d have finished it long ago but got worried that I’d run out of yarn. I’ve just ordered a little more Wool of the Andes from KnitPicks.

Dark & Stormy 2

Diana Released!


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Diana Hat

Yay! Diana is now available on Ravelry :) This pattern will be free until Thanksgiving; I hope you’ll enjoy it. Hats are great for Christmas giving. If you are attending the Wool & Wine in the County Retreat this weekend, there will be a printed copy in your goodie bag.

IMG_1172I’m so excited about attending the Retreat this weekend and so looking forward to getting to know every one. Jackson Falls Country Inn is such a perfect sanctuary for a retreat, cozy, isolated and antique. And Lee does a magnificent job feeding us all. The menus last year were imaginative local fare, expertly prepared and beautifully served and I loved every bite!

Knit Layette Purl Soho

Lotus MinkThough I’m teaching three classes, 2-Color Brioche Knitting, Mosaic Colorwork and Tandem Toe-Up Socks, I’m hoping for some quality knitting time too. I’m starting this sweet project in a luscious Lotus Yarn mink blend. We’ve had an addition to the family on the other side of the pond, a baby boy who is still unnamed as far as I know :) Can’t wait to meet you, little man!


Set Sail: A Knitter’s Vacation


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Faroe Islands

Well, here we are in November. The days are getting shorter and colder. Christmas is approaching and after that…yikes! Rather than dwell on the length, strength and breadth of our Canadian winters, I’ve been surfing the internet, flipping through virtual travel folders. I was pleasantly shocked to see how many travel agencies exist simply to cater to the “craft traveller” and amazed to find many vacations designed specifically for knitters!

Norwegian Fjords

CraftCruises (tag line: “Cruising with a purpose”) offers knitting cruises to South America, Asia, the Baltic and Canada aboard Holland America line. They offer on-board workshops and classes with instructors such as Ann Budd, Cat Bordhi and the world’s fastest knitter,  Hazel Tindall. Here’s one I’d love: the Fjords and Highlands. And they have ground tours too! On November 22, they’ll be off for a 7-day tour of Peru.

British Highlands

With Craft Tours, a knitter can explore the cradle of the craft with tours to Ireland, England and New Zealand. On the 6th of this month, intrepid knitters will be departing from NYC en route to Dublin where they’ll be met by tour guide and knitter extraordinaire, Carol Feller. A tour of the Emerald Isle ensues. This junket will set a girl back close to $4K US. That’s hefty for 9 days, I think.


Here are my favorites: the Stitchtopia 7-day tour to the Faroe Islands and the Icelandic Knitter with Helene Magnusson. Both focus on the lush green, romantic and little known northern islands where fibre is a way of life. I’m excited by the way the Scandinavian knitted motifs flit about across the water of the North Atlantic.

The Icelandic Knitter

There’s something really lovely about knitting in places where knitted things are necessary, like here in Prince Edward County. Next weekend we’ll be gathering again at Jackson Falls for our annual retreat!

Jackson Falls Inn

Rockin’ Socks


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Sock Cartoon

If you know me, you’ve probably heard me say “Oh, socks! Yeah. I’ve always got a pair on the needles”. I wonder if there’s a limit to how many you can be knitting at a time? There are certain times of year when there just cannot be enough sock knitting and this is apparently one of them. 

Bay of Quinte Socks

  1. Bay of Quinte Socks: I’ve just started these for Carl as I mentioned in my last post. This yarn is crazy! It’s like Lopi sock yarn. I love this cable, though I can only work on these for short periods of time. They are very hard on my hands.
  2. Ultra Alpaca Fine in OrchidBay of Quinte Socks: Because I have an entire tote filled to the brim with sock yarn, I thought I’d better bring another skein home from the shop. (Wha?!?) Ultra Alpaca Fine. In my own defense, I’ve loved this color from afar for quite a long time and this is the last skein. Who knows when we’ll get more? It could have turned into an emergency, but not. Crisis averted. As I said, I love this cable and want a pair for myself in this bright, flat color.
  3. Advent SocksAdvent Socks: Was I thinking this Christmas or next Christmas? Your guess is as good as mine. It’ll come down to inspiration, but I see this as something that gets knitted furiously at the last minute.Kaleidoscope Socks
  4. Kaleidoscope Socks: I really thought these would be the answer to all the self-striping yarn I have laying around for which I’ve become un-fascinated. I really thought that! It could happen. (Sure…like 2 Irishmen walking OUT of a bar.)
  5. Darling Mumsie SocksDarling Mumsie: I started these in the spring using really nice Tilli Thomas merino sock yarn intending to give them to Mumsie for Mother’s Day. I’ve knit them three times. In fact, this design eventually morphed into the Barn Swallow Socks. They are very pretty and I do enjoy knitting them. Just try to act surprised, ‘k Mumsie?
  6. Urban Rustic Socks by Elizabeth McCartenUrban Rustic Socks: If I could have my way with Father Time, I would sit down this very minute, binge-watch episodes of “Foyle’s War” and knit these socks from start to finish! I’ve had them for 1 year, almost to the day and I’ve had a crack at them once before. I started them and then thought I’d like the larger size. I frogged them and haven’t gotten back to them again. I don’t get my way with him, though. Hardly ever.
Four at a Time

I wonder…can she knit 4 at a time??

Diana, Finally


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Diana Hat

Last year, just in time for our Wine & Wool in the County knitting retreat, I finished a little hat I was working on. I figured it would be perfect for spending most of the weekend in an old drafty building. You know…just a touch of extra warmth when you don’t want to add another sweater. To my surprise, many of the participants really liked it! I thought at the time that I’d write it up and make a pattern available. I had a test knit made, but one thing and another came along and somehow I didn’t manage to finish writing it.

Diana Hat 2The “Diana” hat got much the same reaction at CreativFestival a couple of weeks ago, so I thought I’d really better get at it. Since it has been a while, I figured I ought to knit one up to remind myself of a few things…

Actually, I ‘pretended’ to myself that I legitimately needed to knit another (third!) Diana hat, but really, I was in love with this new colorway, “Sedum”, that arrived recently in the shop. I got enough to knit the matching gloves also. (Pattern for those coming soon too, I promise!). I’ll make this hat pattern available on Ravelry on the opening day of the retreat, November 6.

Diana Hat 3Somehow, I just love knitting cables in the fall :) It brings to memory the long walk home from piano lessons in the big fisherman’s sweater knit for me by my Mom. And how I hoped to be able to let the sweater pass for a coat as long as possible, mother nature permitting. So, despite all the other things I should be doing this week <mild pang of guilt> I cast these on for Carl.

Bay of Quinte SocksI swear, I am SO good at rationalizing…I told myself I needed to practice my toe-up skills before teaching at the retreat next weekend. What I really wanted to do was make my hubby the warmest, prettiest socks possible :) I utterly love this color. I got this yarn from Needle in a Haystack right here in Picton. This is the jaggediest-ass yarn ever; hand to heart, it’s taking my skin off! Boy is it pretty though and oh, so Canadian…Briggs & Little Durasport. I’ve worked them very tightly and a size too large so he’ll be able to wear a cotton sock underneath. It’s hard to keep toes warm in steel-toed boots, but I bet these will help!

ThundershirtIn other news, Teddy is trying out his new Thundershirt today. The weather is really wild (as only island weather can be) and so far, he seems to be fine! No panting or pacing, no hiding behind the piano and he’s been mooching apple slices, which is just as it ought to be :)

Done & Dusted! (just about)


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Barn Swallow Fingerless Gloves

I think I’ve finally finished all of the samples for this year’s classes…all but one, any way. (I love putting checks in boxes! :D) I’m so very happy with these little fingerless gloves! I started them in the booth at CreativFestival last weekend. There were so many pretty, inspiring knits roaming about, I was desperate to cast on something new. As a result, I didn’t over-think or over-design as I sometimes have a tendency to do. I think this contributes to a certain freshness and simplicity. I really enjoyed knitting them, and I know they’ll be a very handy thing to have once the cold weather sets in. I think I’ll knit up another pair in the Beach Grass colorway.

Quince & Co Tern

I am not in love with the Sugar Cube socks, but they’re done too. I don’t hate them, I’m just ambivalent. Meh. They’re doing what I hoped they would: illustrating toe-up construction, particularly the Fleegle heel. At least this way, I won’t be tempted to wear them ;)

Sugar Cube Socks

This morning over coffee, I finished the body of the winter version of Maizie, also in Quince & Co Tern, this time in the Mist colorway. I hear quite a number of knitters say that they don’t like knitting the sleeves in top-down sweaters. I’m just the opposite! I’m so happy when those big, long rounds are finished!

Maizie in Tern

It’s cool, cloudy and damp in Prince Edward County today and I have a sore throat :( This and some lemon-ginger tea will make for a perfect (and rare!) Saturday afternoon of knitting. Hope yours is happy, too!

(Teddy just woke himself by barking in his sleep!)



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