Thursday, June 7, 2007

Ottawa-Toronto-Ottawa-Montreal-Ottawa (pause) Winchester

So I've been a bad blogger! I'll leave you to fill in the blanks with all the usual excuses and get to the fun stuff!

Photo-free travel with stash enhancement

Two weeks ago I trekked to Toronto and then Montreal for some focus groups. I was in Toronto on Wednesday morning and decided that rather than sit in my drab airport hotel room and knit a sock while enjoying the fine view (oil refinery to the left, highways to the right -- Canada is supposed to be beautiful, but we still need gas and roads to visit it!) I would take the oh. my. god. expensive taxi into downtown and visit me some wool!

First stop was Romni...of course. I always tell me myself not to go to Romni without a PLAN. A plan for a specific pattern or wool purchase. Unfortunately, any plans I have going in are wiped from my mind by the sheer amount of yarn in there...floor to ceiling sock yarn...its overwhelming.

In a corner near the Fleece Artist I found Romni's own brand and bought five skeins of this:

Its kid mohair-silk-nylon boucle - 400metres per skein for $12.99. Serious bargain compared to the Fleece Artist Goldilocks (which is likely better quality - but WAYYYY more expensive). It is dyeable and the PLAN (now I have one!) is to spin up enough corriedale for a carrying yarn, dye it all and make my sister the shawl I will reluctantly turn into a poncho - cause she's my sister and I love her even though ponchos are just SO 2003. This is for the girl who wears dresses over jeans and for whom hair colour is...optional.

I also picked up some back issues of Knitters and some other stuff I've already forgotten about...oh yeah - two balls of Noro Kureyon for Lizard Ridge. I was quite disappointed that they didn't have any fleece artist merino rovings on hand.

I took a long walk down Queen street and ended up at Americo Original (OMG...who, I ask you, who!!! has a belly button like that???) where I oohed and aahhed and marveled at how a yarn store can look more like Pier 1 than I ever thought possible. I purchased some pretty 5.5 mm dpns for the mittens I will knit up from the fantastic kit my coffee swap partner sent.

Finally - I found my way up to Kensington Market (this is not a short stroll by the way - at this point the balls of feet were burning fiercely and I was regretting a number of things about my clothes) to Lettuce Knit. I got to meet Meghan (actually I introduced myself and forced some handshaking...she was very nice about it though) who sadly pointed out that I would be missing their Wednesday knit night because of my meetings. Meghan did, however, have a nice stash of Fleece artist roving and I scored four matching "skeins". Because of the way that Fleece artists dyes they do not offer consistent roving - its kind of in batches of whatever, whenever. Here it is in all its glory. I loved the fact that Meghan decorated outside the store with roving...definitely my kind of place.

While I was there I eyed this fabulous baby sweater kits and now, because of THIS, I am seriously regretting not throwing my credit card at Meghan and buying twelve of them.

St. Distaff's day and more roving

The next Saturday the Ottawa Valley Weavers and Spinners Guild (OVWSG) hosted the annual St. Distaff's Day at the Community Centre in Winchester Ontario - which is about 30 minutes down the road from me. I brought Madeline who immediately absconded with the two batteries out of my camera to use in the GameBoy and any chance of pictures was lost!

I had a wonderful time at the morning session learning to card colours together - both hand carding and on a drum carder. I did some carding and so did Madeline (it was so nice of all those grown ups to welcome her - there was another child there with one of the vendors that she raced around with a bit in the afternoon).

Now I want a drum carder. I also had a wonderful time chatting with other knitters and spinners around me including the delightful Christine of Daisychains and Buttercups. Please go say hello and wish her luck - she is up to her elbows washing the Shetland fleece she bought at St. Distaff's.

I managed to score a pound of Corriedale roving imported from South America...that is a LOT of roving for me. Might have to commit to a large something or other.

Stash management

I love you Home Depot!!

Home Depot had these fantastic Safari storage boxes - with windows! - and I bought eight of them to manage the stash - the knitting stash mind you. Here is the fabulous stash all organized - one box for sock yarn, one for current projects on the needles, another for orphaned skeins and one for large amounts meant for a single project.

Finished objects

Last of all...I was pretty embarrased by the sheer number of project on the go and the stash management exercise only served to drive home the point that I had a lot going on at once. So I put away a bunch of projects and took out three that I promised to finish before looking at anything else. Oh and to commit to a single pair of socks for bus knitting - I've finished the first sock now and am onto the second one. So - OFF the needles now:

One worry bear for Madeline (named May Beth I am told) -

Pattern: one of the bears from Sandra Polley's Knitted Teddy bears (I owe the library last months mortgage payment I had this one out so long) and the dress I made up as I went along (flower from Nicky Epstein's Knitted flowers)
Needles: 4 mm straights
Yarn: Estelle Watercolours in white, sky blue and navy

One set of felted clogs (just in time for summer!!) I am very pleased with these - they are soft and cozy looking and felted up really quickly.

Needles: 9 mm circs

One My So-called Scarf (for the gift drawer - recipient to be determined)

Pattern: From Sheep in the City
Needles: 9 1/2 mm straights
Yarn: Berrocco Foliage in the Carnations colourway


I also enhanced the bookshelf with Lace Style which I have been admiring for ages. I also bought One Skein Wonders. I looked at a bunch of one skein books and this one really had a lot of patterns I though I would knit I found there wasn't a preponderence of shrugs...which are cute if you are young but nearing forty...not so pretty!

Final prerequisite cuteness...

I took the kids to Parc Omega on Sunday - and I just want you to know that when I grow up I want an Arctic wolf cub for a pet. I have never seen anything so cute in my entire life. The cub was chasing butterflies around...I'd put up the picture but I don't have a telephoto lens and he or she is barely visible against the ground.

Here is some homegrown cuteness for you though --

Next week I have an order coming from KnitPicks...I can hardly wait!!


Chriss said...

Thanks so much for the wonderful introduction!

I'm envious of that Fleece Artist Roving...nice colours.

No sympathy over the Corriedale as I just found myself the proud owner of several times that amount.

Jeanne said...

Wow - your morning in Toronto sounds fun! Americo Original sounds like an interesting store. Great stash enhancement! And congrats on finishing so many projects...

Renee said...

I love the storage boxes from Home Depot and your trip to TO sounds like fun.

I may be bombarding you with spinning questions soon as my Dad is restoring an antique wheel for me as we speak. I thought I might just keep it as furniture till he got me on the phone last night and told me that I needed to learn to spin to make him feel good about all the work.