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 :)
 

Friday, October 9, 2015

Fisherman's Cap

Just zipped this up on the knitting machine....



...used the Singer 155 and MacAusland's 2 ply yarn.  I am please with the result.

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Monday, September 21, 2015

Something Wonderful

I've been anxiously awaiting a parcel in the post, all the way from bonny Scotland.  After yearning for a special plaid just for me, I ordered a Maple Leaf Tartan Shawl from the good folks at Lochcarron of Scotland.  They have an amazing assortment of pre-made and bespoke accessories made from luxuriously woven wool (and other blends) fabric.  I am absolutely delighted with with the smooth finish of the light weight, 100% pure new wool fabric....and the Tartan!  Oh my goodness, the Tartan....celebrating the seasons of the Maple Leaf, green, gold and red.  As a proud Canadian, I cannot tell you how much this plaid means to me.


My perfect Autumn shawl, with it's perfect Autumn colours, arrived just before the first day of Autumn....it was meant to be.

Thanks again to Locharran of Scotland, I emailed them several times before placing my order and they were prompt and lovely in their replies.



Thursday, September 17, 2015

A Little Bling

The shop has more bling with the addition of my talented Sister's beautiful shawl pins.  They are on sale now, in store, for only $10.00 each!  That's a great price for these useful and quite lovely pins.  The shawls (made by your's truly) are of course available for purchase also.  The grey shawl is made with a 50% wool, 50% Mohair blend (yarn, MacAusland's Woollen Mill) and the blue is made with a a 50% Merino, 50% Alpaca blend (yarn, Belfast Mini Mills).





It is days until the official start of Autumn, but I already feel it in the air, especially in the evenings.  These shawls....with a pin....are the perfect early Autumn accessory for both warmth and beauty.

Monday, August 24, 2015

Nutmeg Revisited

I have been addicted reading Diana Gabaldon's Outlander series, and as a knitter (spinner, crocheter), I have been inspired by the outfits and accessories described in the books and shown on the amazingly performed first season of Outlander on the telly.  Claire...the leading lady has graced the pages and small screen with some breath-taking knits, from wrist warmers to caplets to snuggly cowls.  This inspired me to revisit my Nutmeg hat pattern and create the matching Nutmeg Wrist Warmers...and what better yarn to use for a warm, smooth finish but some Icelandic Lopi yarn.  Here are a couple of pics of the slightly unfinished project, seen here after the stockinette body knitted flat on the knitting machine (with the cable cuff and garter top both hand knitted)...


...and here, sewn together but still in need of buttons.


This warm weather hiatus has been named "my outlandish summer" as I have not been able to put down those amazing books.  I am half way through book 8 and am both excited and sad that book 9, the FINAL book is being written now.  I cannot wait until season 2 airs on the telly, I'm sure I'll be inspired by more of Claire's beautiful clothing.

Friday, May 22, 2015

New Shawl Colours

Here are the other two colours of Belfast Mini Mill yarn that are being used to make my snuggly shawls....


....are you seeing a theme emerge?  These are Belfast Mini Mill's interpretation of PEI colours.  The blue in my earlier shawl post represents the water surrounding our beautiful little island, the green is a perfect match to the green of sea glass found on our beaches....and the purple is the colour of fields of lupins, not our Provincial flower, but since they are so abundant, they really should be.  I am so happy with these colours, each one very rich using a blend of three shades to make a soft tweed.  I must leave you as my coffee break has come to an end and I still have another half of a shawl to make.  If you're heading to the beach and need a warm wrap to enjoy as the sun goes down, these shawls were made just for that. 

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Shawls

Shawls....they start with a lovely cone of alpaca/merino/mohair (so soft)....







...then it starts to knit into a shaped fabric, hand made by me with the help of a manual knitting machine.


That's one large triangle of loveliness on the blocking board.


Such drapey, goodness...I wish you could feel this for yourself...HEY WAIT!  You can, these beauties are available at Belfast Mini Mills and through me.


Visit my Etsy store and leave me message.

There will be 2 more colours available soon.

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

A Great Day At The Market


 The Spring Etsy Popup Market was wonderful.  The day started with the bustling, waxing energy of over 30 talented artisans and went by quickly as we chatted with hundreds of lovely folks who came to see what we were up to.



Chef Pendergast was there, keeping us well fed with a delicious vegetarian chili with fresh corn tortilla.  Thanks Chef, it was very good...and I was very hungry.

I also got to meet the lovely and talented Simone, who's blog I've followed for a while.  She showed the public how we fibre people have fun by spinning at her wheel.  It was nice to meet you Simone.

It was a fun and successful event and I am really looking forward to doing it all again in the Fall...hope to see you there.  Now that the market is behind me, I'm back to the machine to churn out a dozen fabulous shawls for the ladies at Belfast Mini Mills.  TTFN

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Mark Your Calanders

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I've been hard at work, stitching, for the upcoming Etsy Spring Pop Up Market.  This will be my first Etsy Pop Up and I'm really looking forward to it.  This is what The Etsy Artisans of PEI have to say about the event....

Etsy Artisans of PEI are back with our 3rd pop up market taking place May 2nd 10am-4pm at the Charlottetown Fire Hall, 89 Kent Street. This event will feature nearly 40 local Etsy sellers, live music, local food & a beer garden! Admission by donation with proceeds to Easter Seals Society of PEI. Come early >> First 20 shoppers at the door get a FREE Swag Bag!

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Ostara

Hope you folks had a wonderful Ostara/Easter/Spring celebration on the weekend.  Our house was filled with the aromas of ham and chocolate and shrill announcements every time Miss H. found another hidden goody.  She had fun and only missed one, which I think was missed because her Grandfather plopped it in his mouth before she could find it...kids.  It was a fun day and looked a little something like this.....









In other news....I've been getting ready for the upcoming Etsy Spring Pop-Up Market on 2 May 2015!  It will be at the Kent Street Fire Hall in Charlottetown for any of you who wish to stop by.  From what I understand there will be a spot to sit your husbands down for a beer or two while you shop...or a glass of wine for yourself?  I had this nice vinyl banner made for my market stall, along with extra cards and flyers just in case it's super busy.  For those of you who love wool, my stall will be filled with lots of cushions, mitts, scarves, shawls and ponchos.  I will post more pictures and information as the event gets closer.