A Windy Day’s Works-in-Progress

Sure is windy out there. I mean, REALLY windy. I’m glad to be inside on a mid-week vacation day, sleeping, Ravelry-surfing, favouriting pics in Instagram. Everything but knitting and weaving.

I do have a few works in progress. I finished the teal was-going-to-be-a-neckwarmer-but-turned-into-a-headband a while back. It’s made from one of my favourite alpaca and wool blends. I bought some beautiful pottery buttons from Nancy Blokland Pottery to finish it off. I’m leaning towards the birds-on-a-wire button. The other one is a polar bear (we’re from Manitoba, home of the polar bears), but the design is a little hard to see in this photo. What do you think?

  

Yep, the more I look at it, the bird button is the one.  Now I can’t get the Bird on a Wire song by Jennifer Warnes out of my head.

I also finished off the Ndebele Hat (Lisa McFetridge) in dramatic black and white superwash wool. I love the pattern and plan to knit it again in other colours. This one will fit a child under 10.

cool, eh?

Next up on the needles is a neckwarmer in a beautiful lofty and lustrous aran wool from West Yorkshire Spinners. It’s an imported British natural ecru wool from Bluefaced Leicester sheep. Yummy. My nana was from Yorkshire so of course I had to buy the wool–it would have been wrong not to.

I am knitting it up in the Cable Neck Gaiter pattern from Christine Vawker. Sadly her blog disappeared right after I copied down the pattern so I hope I have it right.  It’s a delicate cabled pattern with shifting cables. I quite like the effect.

   

   

and from the cat gallery…

  

Here is youngest cat on the hairy cat chair watching me take photos on the Trusty Trunk. If it weren’t so blasted windy, I would have ventured outside into the natural sunlight, but that’s for another day. 

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Magic in the Shadows

I love weaving in shadow-weave. From the simple juxtaposition of threads comes magical 3D effects. It is thrilling to watch it come to life.

I hadn’t woven in several weeks and was feeling the pull of the loom. On Thursday I came home to my latest small shipment of DK weight yarn, earmarked for shadow weave scarves for online and autumn craft sales. ┬áSo how better to spend Valentine’s evening? My husband at his loom creating shadow-weave facecloths in bright purple and pink cotton, and me with my fennel and cream scarf in progress. Classic 70s music in the background, and voila! a peaceful and harmonious evening.

fennel and cream wool blend scarf

fennel and cream wool blend scarf

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Purple and pink face cloth in soft cotton

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shadow weave is always best appreciated from a little distance

Life is good.

What’s with All the Hats and Scarves?

Today, in the frozen land that is Central Canadian prairie, the daytime temperature made it to the
lofty high of -21 C, with a windchill of -29. Just a little frosty, and even that pales in comparison to Northern Manitoba.

I’m not complaining (okay, I am) but this is pretty much standard fare for these parts, where cold descends in November and dissipates in April, give or take a May blizzard.

Hence the preponderance of warm woollies in my Etsy shop. But just because it’s cold doesn’t mean we have to dress in ten layers of clashing woollens–no, we can be fashionable AND warm. And warm doesn’t always mean bulky either. With lightweight options like alpaca and llama, outerwear can be sleek and stylish.

Fibre from the camelid family (alpaca, llama, camel and the like) is not only lighter-weight but is up to seven times as warm as sheep’s wool–and is often better tolerated by those with allergies to the lanolin found in sheep’s wool.

Alpacas…more than just pretty faces.

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