Friday, October 31, 2014

In With The New

I was away at the Annual Maritime Spinner's Retreat last weekend which took place in the beautiful Cape Breton Highlands.  They really couldn't pick a more picture perfect area for a bunch of fibre enthusiasts.  I wish I had pictures to show you of the grounds and the event itself, but...I didn't take any.  I can tell you though that this year's retreat was all about dying.  There were workshops and dye stations and cool stuff in our goody bags to take home and try our hand at it.  The kits contained mordant, turmeric and drink crystals which worked rather well.

As you can see here, I took the loose fibre they gave us and stuck it in a pot with an alum and cream of tartar mordant to fix the colour.

Then I plunked the bags of fibre into the turmeric dye mix.

It's hard to believe that from just a teaspoon of a common spice, I could get such an incredible shade of screaming yellow!

I laid it out to dry on the bedroom floor and was concerned that the colour would actually keep me up all night:)

The retreat was fun and of course, I always seem to take away more knowledge with me....more confidence at the dye pot is what I took away this year and now I can't wait to play with more colour.

In other news, I've been working away since coming back from retreat to tidy up and improve the corner of my store that is now dedicated to textiles.

This beautiful nuts and bolts bin is now emptied of both all the shiny little metal bits and lots and lots of dust, and is now slowly being filled by my lovely little accessories.

It's going to look sharp when all of those little cubes are filled with colour.  I also had Mr. bring over a beautiful old mantel from the house that we are currently not using.  I'm just borrowing it for now, but I thought it would make a fabulous holiday display with festive accessories.  I just love it.

My "shop within a shop" is shaping up just the way I want it.  What do you think?

Friday, October 17, 2014


I finished the beautiful Snowdrift Cardigan pattern by Michele Rose Orne, just in time to wear it to my annual retreat!  I made it with a lovely, silky batch of natural, 3-ply MacAusland's, Wool-Mohair blend yarn.  It's very heavy and warm and the cables!!!!

Look at those Cables!!!!  Super-soft, open, bulky cables with dropped stitches no less.  Michele Rose Orne, this pattern is fabulous!

For now, I have left the front closure without a closure.  The pattern calls for a zipper, but I'm not convinced that it's the best choice for me.  I may add an I-Chord button band and wooden, toggle buttons.  Time will tell.  For now, I'm happy to wear it as is and it fits me perfectly.

Friday, September 19, 2014

It's That Time Again

It is that time of the year again when Summer is truly waning.  Here we are almost on the eve of the Autumnal Equinox....again, marking the beginning of my favourite time of year.  The air this morning is...dare I say it....cold.  Comfort came in the form of socks and a sweater before heading out the door for work.  I love it.  It also marks the beginning of this season too......

Beautiful multi-coloured carrots right out of the garden.  Nothing tastes fresher than having the produce department in your own back yard.

Delicious, locally grown, Clapps pears...lovingly bottled in ultra-light syrup for Mr., who absolutely loves them.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Etsy Store!!!

My brand new Etsy store is now open under the name Chantelleknits!  That's awesome and I'm pleased as punch but there should be a lovely Etsy button to the left of the screen and I just can't get it to work.  So hang in there....I'm working on it.  For now....if you'd like to check it out, just click on the the link above:)

Wednesday, August 13, 2014


What experience has taught me is that you can learn off of someone else, and not always have to figure it out on your own.  I recently started making some simple shawls using the help of a knitting machine.  They are great and I love them and of  course because they are in stockinette stitch, they are in desperate need of a good blocking when finished to remove the curl.  I had been laboriously pinning them onto a bed and that worked fairly well but still left uneven edges and a very sore back.  So I listened to the knitters that came before me (and seem to know what they're talking about) and bought a set of foam mats and some wire for blocking.  Wow, what a difference!  It didn't take as long to block, the edges are beautifully even and it was easy to adjust one side to match the other as there were way fewer pins involved.  Since I was pinning the piece directly onto clean foam, I was able to use a large work table out in the studio making my back much happier also.

I ended up with a warm, 2ply weight, 100% wool shawl which I will embellish with something pretty and colourful along the spine.

I love how much easier it was to pin with the wires, foam and higher table.

The wires worked so well.

The shawls, both the kind shown here and the corset style, have been well received, so off I go, back to my desk to work on a few more pieces.  What are you working on?

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Wandering and Wonderings

We are having such a wonderful Summer here on the homestead.  Mr. and I have had a little leisure time both out on the water and in our wee camper, fun!  My stitching has taken a bit of a back seat, as it does this time of year.  It's been hot and humid which is not really nice weather for working on anything, but thankfully, that doesn't usually last long in the the North East.  With the heat and laziness it seems that the mind has more time to wander and wonder....coming up with new ideas for knits and things.  Some will work, some will need more tweaking and some will be discarded, but what a wonderful time of year to let your mind create.  In my wanderings and wonderings my mind became completely full with carpets, yup little ones, like bedside carpets.  Armed with my 7mm hook and some scrummy 3-ply MacAusland's Chunky yarn, I let my hand be guided by my day dreams and this is what happened......

The granny squares have made yet another appearance, this time in thick, deliciousness.  Can't you just imagine your toes touching down on these on a January morning?

The finished piece before washing and blocking, measured 19.25 inches by 31.5 inches and weighed 1 lb exactly.  I am going to give it a try and see if it needs a backing or not.  I'm thinking I need to repeat this piece in browns, fall colours and maybe in some Christmas colours too!  For now I'm playing with a round crocheted rug...we'll see how that one goes, hope it's as yummy as the squares.