Something for me

Purpleee can serve a Pur-ple-ose

Purple is a  mysterious colour indeed. Purple is associated with both nobility and spirituality. Purple satisfies the need for reassurance in a complex world, while adding a hint of mystery and excitement. Because purple is derived from the mixing of a strong warm and strong cool color it has both warm and cool properties it’s an irrefutable choice as an accessory, rendering our frenetic metropolis into an agreeable clime.

wha wha… haven’t had time to knit – which makes me sad and blue. Well not up until Friday night.  I resolved to make something for myself to break out of my slump.

I have been busy doing my other job(s). Which do not reap the same rewards as knitting and creating. Shown here a  chowl – a cross between a cowl and a shawl. With a button to hold it all in place. Perfect if you want to keep your coiffeur from frizzing. See also matching hat.

Wool: Debbie Bliss como – 90% Merino / 10% Cashmere, Made in Italy

The liberty to knit and purl

“Royal mail hath arrived”

As the wool stash waxes and intensifies, so too does my creative appetite for knitting. It’s surprising how reasonable shipping costs are when ordering knitting supplies via the internet. I was pleased to finally get my shipment of Freedom Spirit Wool from England. This wool tends to self stripe in the most insouciant manner. The colours are so closely related that the subtlety is markedly organic.

I have plans to try a few the patterns from this Twilleys of Standford booklet # 455.

The luxurious wool seen here in colours: energy and fire.

I foresee this shipment of yarn will auger in sundry fab duds.

How to resist the urge to suppress a chortle when the yarn tag says “Virgin Wool”

Virgin Wool or Wanton Wool

A couple of weeks ago, I was at the Wolseley Wool for my Sock Knitting Class where, 8 women, and 1 man (our instructor) were working on the heel section of our sock project. The conversation shifted and turned in many directions during the course of the evening until the queer topic of virgin wool emerged.

Well if you don’t already know Virgin wool is: “Well, it’s very simple really. Virgin wool is wool which has not been used before by anyone other than the sheep.” To most of us this is not a relevant antecedent, however the handmade revolution is adopting and utilizing this designation afresh when woolen items are up-cycled into new garments or whatchamacallits. The other side of the coin is, that identifying wool as “virgin wool” is old school and therefore well established yarn manufacturers continue (or rather persist) on using the term to identify fiber sheared from say sheep (vs. cashmere or mohair from goats, quiviut from muskoxen, vicuna, alpaca and camel, or angora from rabbits) and twisted into yarn for weaving or knitting.

In many instances I’ve noticed that the idiom “virgin” is dropped entirely, at least this is my experience when foraging through yarn at the wool store and studying yarn tag facts.

A daydream unfurled in my mind, I glimpsed numerous shades of chaste sheep bouncing over a white picket fence. So many that  I was unable to keep count. Then the haze unclouded and I saw a spattering of fleecy virgin sheep grazing serenely in a pasture among an equal quantity of non virgin sheep. Suddenly all the typical nouns earmarking non virgins flew around in my head: floozies, floosies, trollop, slut, strumpet, tart and tramp – to name a few. It presented a humorous apparition and I immediately saw a farcical skit unfolding.

Picture a pastoral scene of a sheep farm, it’s sheep shearing season and the farmer/sheepherder (whatever they’re called) – he or she is attempting to ascertain which of her sheep are the virgins because virgin wool is the big seller at the market. Suddenly the overall notion of virgin wool went  from a mute to a loquacious status in my mind.

Perhaps we have to move into the 21st century with our glosses on tags. In the meantime all we can do is snigger at the antediluvian practices of yarn spinners/manufactures. I hope they’re laughing too as they hunker down on sheep shearing operations this spring. I will say this that if someday I find a tag that says “Licentious Wool” I’m going to give it a try. Discrimination be dammed.

Button Band Hat

Gilded Cap

Recently  went to the bottom of the wool bag and found a hat that needed finishing. Discoveries like these are best dealt with immediately. At least that’s what I’ve decided. Getterdone! = freedom to get going on other projects.

Knitted from Estelle yarn from Peru, Ultra Wool 50% wool/50% superfine alpaca. Colour: golden rod. The bucolic button is made from coconut. Any takers? It might be spring but caps like these are still a staple in the Manitoba climate where winds are always snappy and can still yield a bite.

Golden Rod Story Book

The Queer Rabbit, by Percy K. Fitzhugh; illustrated by H. Iheldfeld, G.A. Davis & C. Kendrick; published by McLoughlin Brothers

Floccus schemes vs. leisure antics

Interludes and knitting

It’s an unvarnished fact that I am known to dither. Before embarking on a project I gauge all my options. There’s decisions aplenty to make in the beginning stages of knitting.  I have no problem getting down to the gist or the nitty-gritty of a project, however the gamut between choices, options and obligations is a complicated path. Time management is at the core of all organized people. Perpetually reinventing myself as über-multitudinous is my long sought grail. The wool and project stash is a constant reminder to keep going with this dream.

It’s a long weekend in Winnipeg and exclamations of Amen and alleluia! bellow far and wide. Monday is Louis Riel Day which translated means: I have a full day to kindle my knitting mojo. Meanwhile I’m looking forward to taking an  interlude at the Festival du Voyaguer which launched this weekend. Last night I went skating on the river trail but nary a fellow voyager could be seen. It was frightfully cold but my assorted sheaths of merino shrouded me from the harsh, churlish winds. Despite the ice having uneven sections, I found myself soothed by the rasping sound of metal on ice, and the steady, lilting motion of skating. It quickly registered that this workout took all the ruffles out of my blustery week.

As for Floccus schemes… I can’t decide (again options) which project to woo:
1. Silk sleeves from One Skein Wonders by Leigh Radford. Using the recommended Rowan KidSilk yarn 70% Kidsilk Mohair/30% silk.
2. As well I am trying a sock pattern using Austermann Yarn 75% Virgin wool/25% polymid.
The heat is on. These knitting projects need to get polished off. A juggling act to be sure, striking an equilibrium between frolicking and knitting will be a delicate achievement. Blogging compels accountability.

Twisted yarn and aqueous visons

Alpaca blues

Recently finished a new toque. Revisited negotiations with the cable stitch. I’m considering gifting this here toque to a predestined noggin. It will be a surprise. One hint, it’s going to go to a blue eyed lady. I have used an Estelle yarn from Peru, Ultra Wool 50% wool/50% superfine alpaca. In Ocean.

Démodé blazer scores brio with a poodle scarf !

Otiose excuses

Sometimes kismet is pretty simple. Your options, once meager and  distant can turn on a dime once you finally decide to get yourself motivated.  You start by rummaging in your wool stash, by touch alone you discover some plushy yarn from inside the jumbles of yarn you have been hoarding. Then suddenly the  glacial chill  is dispelled and you are magically released from your glomming lethargy. The yarn galvanizes you into action. My discovery was a praiseworthy boucle’ yarn in a shade called ‘Alaska’. It  instantly pleaded its case to be fabricated into something flamboyant. It’s winter here in Winnipeg and February lolls about in its typical passive manner. There seems to be widespread idleness, and it’s endemic. It’s as bottomless as the mountains of snow we have amassed this winter. Humanity’s facade is quiescent here at the 49th latitude. Behind closed doors we’re all stir crazy and in need of  something big or failing this radical  phenomena, we  settle upon pinning  for  lackadaisical solutions,  like: a) better television, b) a better social life, or c) some anecdotal pizazz to release inspirational, creative energy.  The latter  was settled on whilst watching bad television and waiting for my 16 year old daughter to navigate her way home in my car on treacherous, icy roads. As the squiggly yarn grew into the cravat I seemed to climb from my doldrums. At this juncture my heart  seized the joie de vivre! The result of which can be seen here.


Knitted on Size 13 U.S. needles, Nomad Wool: 60% Wool/25% Alpaca/15% Nylon

Look for Nomad Yarn at Sirdar:

FYI various knitting projects are under development. The cacophony of chirping arising from this phenomena is causing outright uproar. Please stand by for more completed projects.

Smitten Kitten

Scintillating and Serene

This photo sparkles and squeals a thousand words of sweetness and cuteness. On this occasion I introduce to you a special munchkin whose name is  Heidi. She is my niece Kirsten’s baby girl. Presently she parades a joyful demeanor. Oftentimes she is timid and shy, nevertheless her eyes bestow incredibly awareness. She is blessed with security and  and has been gifted an impervious sanctuary replete with kith and kin. She thrives on fawning peeps and comfy-soft canoodles.

Shown here in a Fireworks Chapeau, made from a chunky German yarn called Gedifra: 50% Highland Alpaca/50% New Wool, in Lavender Pudding!



Foxy Facsimile

Short of DNA testing which would only produce the same results, I have come to the conclusion that I have discovered the truth. I authenticate that  “It Girl # 2” is indeed Kirsten (and looking foxy I may add).

Signe and Kirsten are reverberating echo’s of one another but make no mistake, their uniqueness is undeniably ubiquitous. At present, they revel in motherhood and parenthood. I recall completely embracing this brimful, matriarchal wellspring.  Veering, but not forsaking the sacred path of motherhood, the Hat seems to be the frosting on the cupcake for these gals. They, as I, adore a pretty chapeau, which is my fortuity. Serendipity presents again. Makin’ lemonade in the shade. Not all fun games though, some knitting is required.

Shown here Kirsten in her “Numero dos” Chapeau

Made from Debbie Bliss Como, 90 % Merino/10% Cashmere, Colour: Talc blue

Sprinting with Noro and Java

I’m in Ictus

Evanescent Manoeuvrings on size 8 needles


Just putting it out there that there’s been a humdinger’ of a K1, YO, K2 happening  over here! Knitters spend a lot of time having love affairs with wool. The options are unremitting when surveying the myriad of kaleidoscopic yarns in the inner sanctum the Wool Shrine (aka your friendly neighborhood Wool  Repository). “Feel me! Buy me! Try me!” So much wool, so little time. Well the day job chomps its way into prime time knitting hours however there’s always nightfall, which in Winter-peg is currently 5:13 p.m. This is when yarn binging  generally occurs. These days I’m in ictus. In a transient state – as I am  memorized by a Noro yarn and can’t stop myself from recklessly knitting up a little sumptin’ sumptin’ .  I recently   discovered the “fagot stitch”. No guff this is what it’s called and frankly, fagoting can  rouse zeal in a knitter. There’s a beautiful rhythm to this stitch, primarily from the point of view of the continental knitter. I’m a speed daemon. I love it and quite frankly I’m hooked. I recommend a cupla’ mugs of Kick Ass Coffee to jolt you into high gear!

Shown here: Noro Yarn, Made in Japan, Chirimen:  60% Cotton/24% Silk /16 % Wool