Tuesday, August 21, 2007


Since I came back from Canada I've been knitting up a storm. It's been too hot to do much else, frankly. So long as the projects are small, knitting is a good thing to work on indoors when it's too hot to breathe outdoors.

I have to show you the yarns I brought back from Canada. I knew I would find yummy stuff, and I was not disappointed. The first shop we went to in Edmonton was Ewe Asked for it.

I was completely overwhelmed when I walked in the shop and I realized that I hadn't the foggiest idea what I wanted to buy and that if I wasn't careful I would just grab one of everything and come home with nothing useful. So I settled on yarn to make a pair of socks. I hadn't made socks in a long time, but all the bloggers and podcasts talk about making socks, so I decided that would make a good small project. Also I love wool socks in the winter, and they're impossible to find here except the kind that
will fit into hunting boots. That's where I bought the Tofutsies, which, as you can see, is making a lovely sock. It's only part wool; the rest is acrylic made from soybeans, a little bit of cotton, and chitin from shrimp and crab shells to give it antibacterial qualities. It's the fiber combination that intrigued me, as well as the fun and funky colors it comes in. And I've successfully navigated my way past one heel turn, so now it's just straight on to the toe.
Yarn shops were a new experience for Mary Jane. She just walked around in a kind of daze patting things and saying "Oooh." Even Randy got into the act, I think just taking in this environment where things exist that he had no knowledge of.

The other store in Edmonton we went to was River City Yarns. They had more of the lace weight yarns that I was hoping to bring home for shawls. The green in the center is the silk yarn that Bart and I played with yesterday; as you can see I've already wound it (twice) and started knitting a simple shawl from it. The yarn is nubbly, and the shawl/scarf drapes beautifully. It was hand painted in Nova Scotia, so it's truly a Canadian souvenir.

In the back is some Sock It To Me, another wool yarn that will make my feet happy come January. And on the left is some merino wool lace weight that will make a shawl for somebody special.
My big knitting accomplishment for the week was to block and put ties on 6 baby sweaters This brings to 15 the total for the year so far, with plenty of year left to make my goal of 20. In fact there is one in the finishing basket right now waiting for blocking and ties, so I only need to make 4 more to have those done. They are a great travel project because the directions are very simple, and there's not a lot of counting and thinking that has to go on. Plus, I really like the n0-seams part. I'm anxious to try the Elizabeth Zimmermann baby sweater, but that does have sewing, so I think this will still be my favorite for charity sweaters.

So right now I have 3 projects on the needles: the socks made from the Tofutsies, the shawl from the hand-painted silk, and the EZ square blanket. I finished the first skein on that this morning and now realize I don't have enough to make the whole blanket in the white Wool-Ease, so will have to decide how I want to introduce the second color. That will be the challenge for this coming week.

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