Thursday, December 31, 2015

2015

2015 has been a busy and productive year both in the studio and at home.  On the home front Mr. and I did a few much needed renovations to our 94 year old house, allowing us to make better use of space and having the opportunity to bring in our own style.

I moved my work space around and although I lost natural light, I gained more elbow room for both myself and all of my knitting machines.  The machines didn't seem to rest much in 2015 with the creation of new patterns and finished pieces like hats, mittens, slippers, cushions and of course the amazing shawl project I worked on with Belfast Mini Mills.

For 2016, I'd like to make a pledge to finally master the Legare 400 Circular Sock Knitting Machine.  This little beast has so far, whopped my arse, called me dim-witted and left me for scraps....







It might not seem like much of goal for a whole year, but for any of you who have learned to use these or who are currently trying and not winning.....you understand that this is a large enough goal.  One that could easily fill a year with more frustration or, as I'm hoping will be the case....a whole lot of really nice socks.

From us to you....we hope your 2016 is without burden and full of all things good.  Happy New Year.

Thursday, December 24, 2015

We Wish You A Sheepy Christmas, And A Wooly New Year!

I've finished my very sheepy Baa-ble Hat, just in time for Christmas! 

Yarn:  MacAusland's 2-ply in Rust, Black and Blue Tweed.  The little white sheep were knitted using my own handspun from my own wee flock which are all gone now.  A very special hat indeed.




Pattern:  Baa-ble Hat by Donna Smith.

Being not very experienced (or talented) at colour work, I am quite pleased with how my hat turned out.  I ended up knitting it inside out to make my floats looser and that certainly paid off.  Thanks Donna for creating this wonderful pattern, which is available on Ravelry.  I apologize for not having a link directly to the pattern but for some reason my computer is not cooperating.

Mr. Homesteader, the cats and I wish you and yours a Merry Christmas.  I hope all of you knitters out there have all your gift knitting finished and wrapped and are able to put your feet up with some knitting, just for you.   I will be home on Holiday for the next few days, doing just that.

All the best,
Chantelle

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Grout, Paint And Flour

After 2 years of looking at the stacks of tile boxes in the garage, we decided it was time to rip up the kitchen/dining room/porch floors and install the new tiles.  We knew it was going to be a lot of work, after all our house is 94 years old and that always seems to add to it.  No straight lines.  But the floor turned out great and we did manage to finish all but the laundry room just in time for the holidays.  With the new floor, we spruced up the walls, changed the entrance way and treated ourselves to the church pew we've always wanted.  All told, I think it looks marvelous....



As I said, finished just in time for the Holidays, which for us have already begun.  Last weekend we welcomed my aunt and uncle for a Christmas lunch.  After discovering that I still had both a pound of mouse (well now, after my sister telling me about my little typo I think I'll cross out mouse and type moose instead....but I can only manage to type now after 10 minutes of hysterical laughter on both our parts) MOOSE and a pound of free range pork in the freezer, I decided to make my very first Tortiere.   For any one who hasn't had the pleasure, it is a French Canadian tradition this time of year, usually made with beef and pork and is both filling and delicious.


 
The tortiere turned out well and I was happy with my cranberry-fake holly decoration.  Mr. and I are looking forward to Yule next week as we celebrate the Winter Solstice together, quietly at home.  Fireplace on, hot coco in hand, candles lit and a warm feeling in our hearts.

In other news, I have moved and added to my studio work space at the store.  That means I have space for knitters to pop by and join me this winter.  I will be working most Sundays from 12 to 4 and anyone who wishes to drop in with their knitting, or spindling or crocheting, etc, is more than welcome to do so. 

  Happy Stitching

Sunday, December 6, 2015

More Machine Work

Still stitching away and always looking for ways to translate traditional, hand stitched accessories into machine knits, all the while attempting to keep the original "feel".  I've been experimenting with cushions, hats, scarves, slippers and most recently mitts.

Here's a look at my first attempt at mittens, knit on my Singer 155, flat bed knitting machine. 


 I've always preferred knitting in the round as opposed to flat, to avoid having to sew seems, but I thought I'd try a pair knit "flat and sewn" for these mittens.  I started with a mock rib for the cuff and then went into straight knitting, shaping two halves of the top independently, then adding an afterthought thumb.  Not bad for a first try, I just needed to adjust the size a little.


Now that I've sorted out the measurements and gauge, I think I'll move on and try a true ribbed cuff with the use of the ribber attachment.  The ribber and I don't always get along very well, so wish me luck on that one.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Ooooooo Lopi

I love Lopi wool.  Pure Iceland Lopi Wool.  And what better as an accessory for your home, than a Lopi Wool Cushion.



Yum.

Monday, October 19, 2015

Mors Du Cheval

Every year, there is a magical event called the Maritime Spinner's retreat that is held in Atlantic Canada. It's a special event for folks like me that are addicted to fibre arts. My first love is knitting but oh I do love to sit at my spinning wheel and feel the soft fibres running through my fingers on their way to becoming something resembling yarn. Every year has a theme and this year's theme was "back to basics". With that theme in mind, we were encouraged to make mittens out of our handspun yarns. I chose a beautiful Merino, Cashmere, Alpaca, Mohair and silk blend from Belfast Mini Mills, to spin for my project. For those who wish to know, the colour way is Deep Blue Sea. The spinning went well but I am neither an experienced spinner nor a fast one so it took me about 12 hours to spin and ply my yarn.






I chose the Mors Du Cheval pattern by Lanja Samsdottir for my finished mitts and I am thrilled with them.  My fellow retreat participants were also and voted them as their favourite finished project.  I was so proud to have had my project chosen as the winner among dozens of very beautiful pairs of mittens.

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

From The Post

Since I could not go to Shetland to be a part of Shetland Wool Week....



....I had a little Shetland sent to me :)