Thursday, December 13, 2007

update ... what's on my needles

i'm sorry i've been neglecting you, work has been busier and now i have to update ravelry as well as my blog. i have discovered a great new vitamin combo: Ester-C and Grape Seed Extract taken together. gse is a powerful antioxidant and it's rocking my world! i also like my new book-lite, it helps my waning energy levels on grey days (especially on days like today when the sun sets at 4:30 in the afternoon). I'm using it right now!

It is quiet here today and i'm working and listening to an
audio book download from the toronto public library. i'm working on "The Uncommon Reader". It's kinda funny, it's about the Queen. if you listen to it you'll relate to you knitting habit. My brother also told me about the Teaching Company's downloads , which i'd like to listen to at the gym.

my old friend Rachel came to tow a few weeks ago! i gave her her cashmere hat. she love it! she took it back with her to montreal, where everyone, including the street people, ask her for it.

rachel needed an elephant to leave for her beau. i found one in the basement and proceeded to outfit him for the cold weather.

i finally made John his birthday Kippah. all i heard every time i saw him was "where's my yarmulke?! where's my yarmulke?!" i used handmaiden sea silk, just a smidge needed. the pattern is free.

john wanted his initials in his kippah. my embroidery skills are limited and it took 2 tries to make it look ok. still, i think i did a good job.

now i am back to knitting hats. i did not finish my Hannukah hats in time, so they will be surprise christmas gifts. or maybe just surprise gifts. i just need a couple more after this one and i'm done.

I also finished the gefelt-a-gelt, but it needs to be a gold, sparkly, lame yarn for the coins. still, i see truth in my naturopath's suggestion that i have to go back to making art. i've never been so satisfied with my knitting then when i was making art. i still love designing clothes, but it's a fun distraction, the art is the flow.

Friday, November 16, 2007


to show off the the new misti alpaca handpainted chunky i wound up a skein and cast on a 18 seconds to sunrise hat. unfortunately my gague was off and it was pulling tight even on my little head. i just ripped it out and i'll give it another go with a 6.5mm needle, 5.5mm for 5 rows of ribbing to start. .... i'm thinking of adding a few sts in the body to make it wider, more beret like. please help me, i have a very serious problem!

the parisian beret is fersnikety knitting (aka i have to pay attention to the pattern & where i am in it) so i left it at home today. the jo sharp silk road aran is REALLY nice to work with, lurvly!

Thursday, November 15, 2007


check out the twinkle knock-off on anthropologie

gretel hat. making it again less 16 sts and an extra 6 rows. it's blocking right now, let you know how it fits as soon as it dries.

house socks from mission falls wool scraps. one down.

babette blanket. the big pieces didn't fit with the sml & med ones, so it's 2 blankets now.

cashmere beret ... still not right.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

mmm, i could really use a trip up to the drug store for some halloween candy .... i want mars bars!

i was sick in bed all weekend! sucks. i think it was a new virus, i was all queasy in the grocery store last night.

when i bought this gretel pattern a friend said that the designer, ysolde, was the next up & coming designer. i didn't think so, and now that i've made one of her patterns i'd like to reaffirm my correctness. the pattern worked fine but the hat does not fit!

  • the 1x1 tubular cast on does NOT look good. it also makes the ribbing unnecessarily stretchy. i e-mailed the designer to ask her if she used a 2x2 tubular cast on and if so where i could find it on the net because it isn't in any of my books, but i didn't heard a peep from her.
  • i made size small for my very small head, but it was short. i would add an extra 6 rows throughout to get an adequate length.
  • so i washed it block in some length and it grew beyond belief! see all the extra fabric?! it's gotta be an extra pattern repeat! i hate silk, i always hate the way silk behaves (or misbehaves). i tried steaming the hat afterwards but it didn't do anything.
  • you really need short cable needles for this. i have to get some brittany if i'm going to try it again. she refers to a needleless technique but it was a pain, not an asset.
  • the cabling was a little niggly but i knew what i was getting into. still, not for novices.

it might work better with a yarn that doesn't have any silk in it, like a 100% merino like mission falls wool, and adding 6 rows and using the brittany cable needles.

i pinned the hat, at least the picture can look good.

and here is the cashmere metrosexual urban man hat. in the end it was only 2cm too long. steven sized it and got grabbey, so i think it is a success.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

prada coat fall 2007: gorgeous in up close!
i didn't get much accomplished over the weekend, just some seaming of babette. the large squares don't look right, i like the regular and small size alone. i'll make a throw with the large ones. i helped michelle do some styling for an internet advertising movie. i don't actually do the styling, i'm more of an assistant or handler. i help michelle find stuff, i deal with the sales staff 'cause i'm pushy, i keep her moving because time is always tight with these things, i call other locations to find sizes, i return things while she's paying for something better, i scan stores for a particular colour she needs, i remember where we parked and how to get back there the fastest, and most important i strategize our shopping, plan our route, and keep michelle focused and lower her anxiety level.

i had a god shopping weekend:
while i was out with her i scored some socks at H&M: 5 pairs for 12 bucks! prior to that i went to winners and found 2 bras (it's really hard to find good bras that fit at winners, but when i do what a score! only fifteen bucks!)

after i left i did some super shopping. scored a pile of chinese cashmere for myself at romni at cost. it was cheaper than i could get because i don't do business with that company. i'm going to make myself a sweater for this winter.

i had to walk to the Eaton centre because of construction on Queen. when i got to the bay i found out they don't carry prescriptives any more! i went to old navy to return the pants & got a couple of cool t-shirts on sale!

Prada Hat, Fall 2007: looks
like it's made from fiberglass

then i went up to bloor & got my long awaited lip gloss at holts. the women at the counter were really laid back, didn't try to push me to buy stupid face creams & stuff. i'd been waiting since may to get my personalized lip gloss made because it is so expensive (but sooooo good). i figured while i was there that i might as well walk around and visit the sweaters. i love it there, it's like the louvre or the metropolitan museum of clothing. the bags were uninspiring and i skipped the footwear, but oh my, the Prada, the Missoni! the Prada was so beautiful, the green coat is very textured and rigid. those cool prada hats look really itchy, they look like they're made of fiberglass.

then i managed to find a salon in the underground that had the blue nail polish i wanted - an opi colour that doesn't register as black (russian navy). it was sold out everywhere i went, but this place had just got it in stock that day.

on my way home i figured i should stop by winners and pick up more of the knee socks that fit nice. while i was there i found a pretty, dark brown cashmere sweater on sale. after taking in the price of cashmere at romni and how my skin is becoming more sensitive, i thought maybe it was a good idea to get it. i'm wearing it right now, it was a great idea! while waiting in the check-out i spotted some home things, including an all season down duvet for 50 bucks. i have my current duvet, it's qualofill and doesn't keep me warm. i got it, changed my sheets and slept in the new duvet. it's soooo good! i love the crinkly sound it makes! i love not having to wear 3 layers to bed!

on my way back i passed through wholefoods, went home and gorged on rugalah, cantaloupe, chicken wings and shepherds pie.

Saturday, October 13, 2007


another cashmere hat
i can't stand not having a photo for my projects on ravelry. it's like the thing doesn't exist. {that's a very metaphysical comment. kinda shamanistic. i should talk about that with my old art history friends or my supervisor about that .... sorry, thinking while typing. none of you reading will care too much about my ruminations of the meaning of images, and the knitters i know who would should be busy finishing their theses/books.} consequently, i've been taking boring pictures of my projects in progress; skeins of yarn, 6 rounds of knitting, etc.

i'm on my 4th cashmere hat. {by the time i'm done i'll be able to mount an art installation titled 100 hats and a mouse. probably only my mom & brother will get the joke. i grew up with lots of art in the house including a print 100 cats and a mouse. it was the 80s, we had lots better.} i knitted the above last night in under 2 hours while i was at michelle's 39th birthday party. i gave michelle the latest magazines as a gift. they were sitting in front of her all evening, both of our eyes kept drifting over to them again and again. more interesting than people talking about kids & schools & beer.

here's my latest creation in the making. misti alpaca, going to be a sweater. i'm thinking about revising the Gaia silk tank, changing the shape.

Friday, October 12, 2007

for reasons unknown to me nobody seems to have time to come in, so i'll update the blog. i'm feel guilty about the time i'm putting into ravelry, i feel like i'm cheating on the blog.

i finished another toque and am about to wind the next skein.

yesterday i dyed some cash iroha a green-blue i've been really into with dylon in the microwave. i'm really happy with it, i'm just waiting for it to dry.

the seaming, but it's turned out to be really nice, not at all like seaming a sweater. it's much easier, mattress stitch works really beautifully, and it's pretty zen. i was itching do you remember my babette blanket that i started last year? well last fall i made all the squares but then i found putting them together daunting (there was a full bankers box of squares) so i put it in hibernation. i made it initially because my cheap duvet doesn't keep me warm and i needed something extra for winter nights. it's getting cold and the blanket is back! i've started laying out the squares on my living room floor. i don't have enough space to do the whole thing at once (the space between the squares takes up a lot of extra room). i was avoidingto bring it in to work today to do some but i really have to keep everything together and as it is laid out and it just wasn't going to travel well. once i've got the pieces together in large blocks maybe i'll bring it to work. i have so many squares, i may have made too many, i may have enough for a throw left over.

Devin's Toque Revisions

Pattern Revision: Devin's Toque
Handmaiden Fine Yarns

i'm making a pile of these toques for hanukah this year. i love them, they are fast, i can do them in my sleep, they feel great, they look great and are well received. but i don't like the crown decreases in the pattern, so here are my revisions.

based on my brother's request i suggest that if the recipient's head is not water melon sized reduce the overall pattern by 4 to 8 sts. the hat is VERY stretchy!

devin's toque decreases

- work in pattern until 12m of yarn are left.
R1 *k2tog, p2, k2, p2; rep to end.
R2 & all even rows: k the k sts & purl the purl sts.
R3 *k1, p2, k2tog, p2; rep from * to end.
R4 *k1, p2tog, k1, p2; rep from * to end.
R5 *k1, p1, k1, p2tog; rep from * to end.
R7 *k2tog, k1, p1; rep from * to end.
R9 *k1, k2tog; rep from * to end.
R11 *k2tog; rep from * to end.
R13 *k2tog; rep from * to end.
- break yarn, pull through remaining sts with darning needle. weave in ends.

Creative Commons License
Devin's Toque Decreases by Haley Waxberg is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 Unported License.
Based on a work at

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

i'm sorry i've been absent lately, i've been feeling so lethargic.! anyway, you know where to find me, just poke me on facebook.

so i finally made it to ravelry and i'm a little obsessed: my screen name is knitomatic, what else?! it's very fun to browse through projects & patterns.

i finished the iro shawl collar jacket last sunday. it's big, more of a shawl collar coat. the arms are way too long. i'm letting them hang for a few days and get a big stretch before i shorten them. the seaming was tedious but relatively simple. i put it on, it's too stripey, too much colour, too granola. it reminds me of the long sweater coats worn by woody allen's cerebral upper west side ex-wives in his movies from the 70s (worn with a turtle neck, really chunky bead necklace and huge glasses. she's always writing a novel deconstructing their failed marriage. you know, the foil to the young free spirited lolita he'll chase and then lose). it will be gifted. i always forget that i like to knit a kaleidiscope but i can't stnd wearing it. it's ok, i have people who are due special gifts.

in my spare time i've been working on my hanukah gifts: cashmere hats this year. i'm on my third.

and i've been working on a new pattern in misti worsted alpaca. i started with the hand painted blues & greens (ez02) but i've been getting sea sick looking at it so i'm switching to a heathered solid dark olive green. no, i'm NOT pregnant! anyway, in light of my recent distaste for uber colour i figure maybe i should go simple.

i've been thinking about making an
ysolda gretel for myself or michelle. maybe in the handmaiden 2 ply cashmere silk (hold strands together)? or a stitch diva parisian beanie beret?

i have to go research baby elf shoes for anita. also, looking at the sea sick yarn on the screen is making me queasy.

Sunday, October 07, 2007

more spring

i made it to ravelry and now i'm a little obsessed. you should sign up too, it is very good. you'll never have an excuse to be uninspired again.

i'm finishing the shawl collar jacket/coat in noro iro, i'll have a picture soon. i'm very happy with it but it is way too bulky to wear the way it was shown in the pattern photo (they have pinned it very strategiacally on the model). i have enough yarn to make it again in iro #42

noro iro #42

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Finally! Milan fashion week!

  • You signed up on August 1, 2007
  • You are #22398 on the list.
  • 590 people are ahead of you in line.
  • 16275 people are behind you in line.
  • 56% of the list has been invited so far

Friday, September 07, 2007

the pay it forward contest is already spinning it's web. Carol had a great idea i'm going to put to work and donate good clothes directly to the women's shelter. one caveat: if you have cool clothes and wear a size 8 to 10 please bring them to me first!

Thursday, September 06, 2007

check out the new KnitKnit Book! click on the contributors' names to see what they did.

I like:
  • Rachel Matthews
  • Knitta
  • Teva Durham
  • Dave Cole
  • Isabel Berglund
Pay It Forward

responding to Ramona's Pay It Forward challenge ... well, to be honest, i already live that way. i believe the adage 'we make the world we live in and then we live in the world we've made'. i just don't really talk about the things i do because i don't really need to or believe in feeding my own ego (it's spiritual poison). but for the sake of inspiring others, here goes ....

1. I Refuse to Buy Plastic Bags for My Store!
I hate plastic bags. I know that customers respond to pretty, expensive bags and they make a store seem upscale and precious and would likely raise the profile of my store and help me make more profit. But the planet is dying and i can't stand the idea of facilitating the creation of more chemical waste (who knows what's involved in making them, much less what leaches out when we dispose of them). I won't be the author of my own demise, so i ask all my customers if they want a bag, and when they do i use grocery bags (they're clean, just the ones that carried dry goods). When my friends bring stuff home from the store i give them a cotton tote-bag from my collection of swag-bags and they bring it back the next time i see them. Finally, i went out to a storage store (at Yonge & Eglinton, on the east side of the second block north) and bought a couple of light nylon shopping totes that flatten into nothingness and i carry one with me at all times so if i'm out and buy something i will always have a bag with me.

2. I help people when I see they are stuck
Sometimes in life people get stuck but don't ask for help. When i see this i offer help. For example, a few years ago Chelle needed to raise 12K for a service dog for her austistic daughter. Chelle was raising money on her own but it was in dribs and drabs and it looked to me like it was going to take forever to get the money together. So i started asking around, soliciting donations from wealthy people i'm marginally connected to, my dad's lion's club, etc. dontations came in, but Chelle still needed 6K, so i asked her if I could go down to Speakers Corner and toot her horn (Chell was too shy). I stopped by and did the bit in the middle of an errand day on my day off with her website scribbled on a piece of scrap paper and I guess it worked, because it aired a month later and a few weeks after that Chelle got a call from Arthur's Juice company ... they saw the spot and donated the rest of the money (and make an excellent mango smoothie)! this one was seriously was no skin off my back, there's sincerely no reason to toot my own horn.
another example is getting my doctor to take on a friend when they can't get anyone else to see them; really nothing to talk about but it makes a huge difference to the recipient. I guess Shelna's wedding shrug (sept 6/07 blog entry) is a little more involved (I hope she doesn't feel indebted to me). Shelna was making something to wear to her wedding, but it just wasn't progressing very fast. She just moved and was living in the middle of a pile of boxes and i knew she had a lot to do for the wedding, i knew form experience that the likelihood of it being finished in time was minimal, but she still needed something to wear over her shoulders. So at the wedding shower i asked her if she would like me to make her a lace shrug, a rescue shrug. she grudgingly accepted, saying that when the ski-patrol offers you a lift down the hill you should accept it (a version of don't be too proud to accept help when it's offered). So i happily laboured for a week on a pattern i'd already done and got it done in 7 days flat. I figured it would make her feel good to know that that thing was in place for the wedding and i was burning out on the project anyway. still, it's not a huge deal, i was going to be knitting anyway and i needed to get her a wedding gift. regardless i'm pleased as punch because it's a wedding gift she'll use for the rest of her life and that she can use on a daily basis - a great gift!

3. I Don't Take What I don't Need
Presuming I win the pay it forward contest, please give my gift to someone who doesn't have much, maybe someone on social assistance. I don't need any yarn and if I did have my eye on one of the prizes and I did win i'd still replace it with another gift to give to someone in need. The only time i ever won a contest was in a studio art class in university. Someone had left a really nice portfolio behind and the Professor put everyone's names in a hat and drew for it. I already had a portfolio, I'd had it since grade 9. the new one was bigger, so i took it and had the prof draw another name and gave my old one (it was in excellent condition) to that person. everyone was surprised that i chose to do this, and i'll tell you that their response shocked me at the time and still dissapoints me to this day. shouldn't generosity be a given?

4. I Spread the Wealth Around
I give stuff away to friends that I don't use anymore. I guess I could sell it, none of us are rich, but what I would make from the sale would be marginal and what the people in my life save is significant. A zip drive, a scanner, clothes, furniture, store samples, stash yarn to friends living on a tight budget, books, magazines, etc.

5. I Facilitate Charitable Activities (and Not Just When I'm Solicited)
People ask me to help with promoting their craft related charities. They usually ask me to accept donations and post a sign, which are no sweat. Sometimes they ask me to post a button on my blog, which involves HTML which i don't really like doing but I'm happy to do to spread the word for a good cause. I'll disseminate their info on my website and withing my professional networks to help them. I accept donated yarn and get it to seniors groups who knit and crochet blankets for children's hospitals and women making a life after leaving shelters. I organize yarn swaps for people who are financially limited to working from their stashes and to cull yarn donations for the aforementioned seniors knitters. I offer free assistance for knitters who want to make garments for the homeless.

6. I Organize Communities When People Need to Connect
Some people may disagree, but I was born in Toronto and I've lived here most of my life and I feel that I can say with authority that this city has become a very cold place. It wasn't like that in the 70s or the Early 80s, but for at least the last 15 years this city has been CHILLY! it's really hard to meet people here and harder to establish close relationships. Most of the time if you talk to someone you don't know in public they'll treat you like you're psychotic and this attitude did not supersede knitters. In 2004 I stared Knit-O-Matic, an online group for knitters in Toronto to help people meet, connect and hopefully create a sense of collectivity. I promoted it by posting little signs whenever I went to places where knitters might lurk. We started organizing Stitch 'N Bitches all over the city, which is big and spread out. There are currently over 750 and I feel that every knitter in this city can now can find their own place and peeps.

7. i do other things like ...
- volunteer at highschools to teach kids how to knit, etc
- i share my knowedge & information
- i'm always honest with my clients, i never sell them something that is wrong for them unadvised

Addenda: Sept 12, 2007

i've thought of things that i don't already do ...

1. Carol had a great idea i'm going to put to work and donate good clothes directly to the women's shelter. one caveat: if you have cool clothes and wear a size 8 to 10 please bring them to me first!

2. i'll donate all the good art books and journals i have to clear out to make space for more knitting books and journals to my
alumni association. they have a big book sale every year to raise money to grease the gears that make the college run. UC was really good to me and this is the best way i can to give back to them and also make sure the books manage to get back into hands who want & need them. i used to love those books sales, they were great!

Beshert Shrug

i pushed through last saturday night and finished shelna's wedding shrug. it looks great, she looks great in it, it's all good! i got a desperate call from her an hour after she left stitch n bitch last night, she thought she left her bag on the subway with the shrug in it. she was beside herself, but very lucky because she left her bag at the store. i really have to get around to getting her cel number. i think this marriage is beshert (yiddish for soul mates or meant to be, destined).


Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Shelna's Shrug - Day 4

Yesterday was day 4 ... so far i'm 32 rows ahead of schedule. I'm crossing my fingers for the long weekend, but my brother's house still has 3 more rooms to be painted and he goes back to work on wednesday.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

A last minute knitted gift ... shelna's wedding is creeping up. at her shower last weekend i asked if she'd like me to make her a shrug just in case her own efforts don't come together. so i' make the "Good Bias" shrug from spring 2005 interweave knits in nashua natural focus ecologie cotton in color 84. the yarn is finer than called for but i intend to stretch it out in blocking. i think it'll be a really nice wedding gift, she'll be able to wear part of her wedding gear for the rest of her life.

i'm really bad at finishing things in a timely manner, much less to deadline, so i've worked it out and i have to knit 6 pattern repeats or 18 rows every day to get it done 2 days before the wedding. i was helping my bro with his renovations yesterday (the paint colours i chose are right on, really nice) and didn't get my quota done but i did double the day before, so i'm still on track. the stitch marker shows the daily work.

my brother swears that he is not looking to get married, but all of his friends are doing it and the subject keeps popping up in conversation. i think maybe i should start working on their wedding gift.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

now that
stitch 'n pitch is over i finally have some time to update. my favourite new pass-time is checking the Campanula for the Cure KAL to see how much money has been raised. i also like checking to see where i am in line for Ravelry ... 13144 people are ahead of me in line, 3658 people are behind me in line. I know it sounds bad, but that means 1370 people were admitted over the last 2 weeks. that's 685 per week, so it should be about 19 weeks before my invitation comes! that's only like 4 and a half months! now, please don't read this as cynicism or sarcasrm, i'm actually writing from a happy-go-lucky place, kinda like the seemingly retarded people on home made TV commercials on local tv stations, or the 2000 flushes toilet bowl cleaner guy (it lasts up to FOUR months!).

finished the crochet edged jacket from Summer 2006 Vogue Knitting, It's great, I just don't want to wear it. it looks like Prada Bordello on me, too froufy. probably best on someone without boob-age. i like making the froufy, it's just not what i wear. anyway, it was fast, easy & fun, so no complaints. i must remind myself that i don't do frilly.

but much more white lies designs than the photo in the
magazine .. you can really see the authorship when it's
done up (Joan McGowan Michael)


Check it out ... the new
Loop-D-Loop booklet from Teva Durham's yarns. I like this one:

Los Angeles A's during their pre-game warm up and cute
paramedic in foreground.

Stitch 'N Pitch
stitch 'n pitch last night was amazing! i never knew i could have so much fun at a ball game! going with my knitting and my peeps made all the difference! and i met other knitters too! i was coveting a knee sock a few rows north of me and a really cool chick was sitting to my right. the girls from soak were right behind me. my story is a bit different from others, i was working on the organizing committee (henceforth the prom committee) and i was just glad to finally sit down and hand with the girls.

i spent the day rushing to finish the scarves for the announcers and the mascot. i got to the dome at 6pm, was escorted in under the stands (pretty cool), and proceeded to wait for 49 minutes with the camera guys, our intern Katie and a cute paramedic. i didn't realize at first that the players on the field behind us throwing the ball around were the Los Angeles A's warming up. if you like the immediacy of sitting at the front of the balcony, you'll really love being on the field! so i ogled the players for a bit. they are very average sized for athletes. we took promotional pictures for the TNNA (that is Barbara, the TNNA's marketing person, and Rita from the Creative Needlework Festival). i mingled with some of the other people presenting things and met Amy Singer's Father who was there in her place. eventually the players vacated, the field groomers came in and the ball players started coming into the dug-out (did i mention we were right next the jays dug-out?). I smiled and smiled at them, but they were beyond indifferent - we were the tourists of the day. a photographer from reuters showed up but brushed us off. for a split second i saw myself in a tiny picture on the back page of newspapers all over the world, dressing a six foot bird in a scarf.

the camera in the foreground is the jumbo-tron, the one
behind it is the TV camera. millionaire basball players in
the background.

at 6:49 Rita and i did our thing, we went on the field with the mascot, Ace, and they showed us on the Jumbo Tron presenting him with a big scarf, which the mascot wrangler promptly removed and stowed away. the guy in the mascot suit was very good, clearly this is what actors do when they graduate form mime school. he fixed my hair but a few times i thought he was going to feel me up or grab my ass. anyway, i smiled for the camera, showed off my expensive orthodontics and enjoyed my 20 seconds of fame. even though i believe that feeding one's ego is spiritual poison, 20 seconds every once in a while is very satisfying. i gave the scarves for the announcers to the Jays rep and that was it. we were escorted off the field, returned our passes, and were led up to the distribution of the bags ... from there it gets mostly normal.

i wandered down to the SNP sections with meaghan and alex to join the home girls but my ticket was in a different section. so i mosey on over there to check it out and it turns out we somehow scored stylin' cushy seats in the club section. i don't know how or why, but my ass is thankful!

meaghan and marla after the game (they don't actually
have the chins, i had to shoot from above)

i just got my event recap and the number of tickets sold ..... over 600! we were gunning for 500 and so ran out of freebies (they will send them out to the people who didn't get theirs). still, 600 is pretty good for an event with very little lead time.

Liane, Rosie, Krysten and Ramona outside the 'Club 200'
after the game.

In conclusion, Stitch 'n Pitch Toronto was a lot of fun! It was the opposite of boring (i know you were thinking it, it's baseball!), kinda like a slumber party at the sky dome, except we didtn't wear pyjamas or sleep there or play with a weja board.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Closin' Early

Knit-O-Matic will be closing early at 5pm on Wednesday August 15th for Stitch 'N Pitch. See you at the game!

Thursday, August 02, 2007

before i launch into the 'what i'm knitting right now' spiel (why does spiel sound so good but lose all it's chutzpah when it's spelled? maybe that is why yiddish is written with hebrew characters ... it's semiotic.) i have applied to join ravelry. i'm telling you this so maybe you'll join and there will be someone behind me on the massive waiting list. i am number 22398 on the list, there are 14514 people are ahead of me in line and 188 people are behind me in line (which really isn't bad since there were 146 people behind me this morning).

yesterday i also finally figured out how to insert a button into my blog! now i can join blog rings, i think 4 is a good number to start with. I was motivated by the need to post a
Stitch 'N Pitch button. here is how it is done in blogger:

1. save the above picture to your computer.
2. upload the picture to your web address or a picture hosting service like
PhotoBucket or Flickr
3. go to "Dashboard", then to "Template". Skim through the HTML code and find the place where you see the sidebar content. Choose where you want to put your picture.
4. insert the following code:

<a href=""><IMG src="

5. Find the URL of your photo and put in in the code where it says
6. Save. If you want your button centered then replace
<left> with <center>, if you want it right then replace it with <right>

And that's about the size of where you put your eyes!

By the way, if you want your Stitch 'N Pitch freebies get your ticket now! They can only make freebies for the tickets they know have been sold!

last night i got to work on my henceforth to be known as "kitsch shell stitch jacket" or "memories of fort lauderdale" from Summer 2006 Vogue Knitting. i do not plan on accessorizing with underpants (unless the heat doesn't break).

I'm using the Jo Sharp Desert Graden Aran Cotton (colour 240 Tibet) and the yarn is knitting beautifully! It's going fast and easy and looks great! The only gripe is that the suggested gauge on the ball band is not accurate. they say it is 18 sts & 24 rows on 5mm needles, but my swatch was 16 sts on 5mm needles. Jo must be really tense. Anyway, it's perfect for the project and i'm working on 4.5mm needles.

It's going so fast that I knit the above at Stitch N Bitch last night, and that was including birthday related activities like preparing the fruit and eating (marla made some gorgeous yogurt cheese and now all i'm fantasizing about cheese cloth and low fat yogurt).

snb was great last night! it was ramona's birthday and the store was filled with good birthday energy! by the way, Ramona has a Campanula for the Cure KAL, it is very pink, wink!

we took a peek at the new VK and were appalled to find that 10 patterns in the front of the magazine are not included in the issue, they are for sale as pattern downloads on the VK website. it makes my life so difficult when they don't include the patterns in the magazine! customers are going to come in, say "i want to make this one" and i have to tell them that they are going to have to pay extra to download it. so today, i log in to Vogue to give 'em hell, and low and behold, the patterns are FREE! That's more like it!

They are charging for patterns from back issues ... lucky for me i have a pretty good collection of them!

I like this shawl collar jacket form Holiday 2003 VK. I've socked away some Iro to make it.

oooo, look! i just found some more regular freebies ..............

Tahki Stacy Charles also has a fold out with 4 free patterns but they don't seem to be up on their website yet.

oy vey! i just found more! but this set was a bit of tease, they are advertising and hard to hunt down ... you have to start on the main page, then you click on an image and it takes you to that company page. once you are on the company page i wish you luck because it gets tricky there. Classic Elite seems to be well organized, i found the Twinkle Kangaroo Tunic easily and their patterns are FREE. I cant find the Louet socks though ... they get a complaint e-mail. just as an exercise, lets see which companies pass the consumer happiness test (no affiliated with being a yarn retailer) ...

  • Skacel ... fail, no sign of a pattern
  • String .... fail! Easy to find, but the pattern is NOT free, you have to buy it with a kit that costs $400 to $600 US!
  • Jade Sapphire ... fail, no sign of a pattern and i doubt it will be free.
  • Art Yarns ... fail. no sign of their pattern and i expect it will not be free (they've already done this cruel tease in VK before in an article where they were discussing a shawl but did not publish the pattern)
  • Louet ... fail. nothing, nada, niente. and i expect it will cost you.
  • Yarniverse ... PASS! easy to find and free!
  • Judi & co ... fail. there's no sign of anything there, but the thing is so ugly that i don't really care too much.
  • Koigu ... fail. there isn't anything there, and i'm getting used to being disappointed.
  • Loop .... fail. no sign that there is anything there.
  • Know Knits ... fail! there isn't anything there and they made me look at their little colostomy bags in the process.
  • Fiber Trends .... marginal pass. The pattern was easy to find, but it is not free and you can't get it directly from them.
  • Oat Couture ... fail. there isn't anything there, it'll cost you and you won't be able to get it directly.
  • Be Sweet .. fail, but i liked browsing their web site, it was very pretty.
  • Prism ... pass. Had to search in their free patterns, but the pattern was there!
  • Alpaca with a Twist ... fail. if there's anything there i can't find it.
  • Dream Weaver Yarns ... marginal pass. You have to buy it but it was easy to find and you can get it directly from them on the web.

So, basically, VK and the majority of their advertisers in this section think it's ok to mislead consumers. Kudos go to Classic Elite Yarns for giving away the good stuff for free! Curses go to Louet for taunting us with a smokin' pair of stockings and leaving us high & dry. Now, I don't want you to think that I take issue with the fact that most of these companies want consumers to pay for their product. I just feel that misleading customers by representing the patterns in this section as something that comes with the magazine, either in the body of the publication or published on the internet, is a very poor marketing choice. You always want your customers to have a positive experience. By setting high expectations in a misleading ad, consumers are liable to lose their trust in the company and feel betrayed ... you don't need a business degree to figure that out!

Friday, July 27, 2007

New Yarn on the (Canadian) Block ...

Estelle designs is distributing several shades of Cascade 220 under their house label, Estelle Andes. It's selling for a discount price of $7 per skien for solid colours and $9 for multi-colours (not bad since it retails under the Cascade brand at $9 for solid colours and $11 for multis). I already like this yarn immensely for felting and it makes a very affordable sweater ... now extremely affordable! It's as soft as a non-merino wool gets, milled in Peru, and is the paradigm of a worsted weight wool (knits on 4.5mm needles).