Thursday, June 21, 2012

Knit-in-Public Day

What fun!  At World-Wide Knit-in-Public Day, we spent so much time with activities that there was barely time to knit!  The weather co-operated and many knitters spent much of the day in the great outdoors.
6.5 hours of straight knitting would be a bit hard on the hands, so we tried to break up all of that hard work with in-store scavenger hunts, door prizes, a beer and cheese tasting, all kinds of nutritious food (well, it did seem to have lots of calories, at least), hourly sales, a how-to session on continental knitting and another on knitting backwards, and the piece de resistance, the yarn bombing at the Jumbo Monument. 

Check out Jumbo's tres chic ankle bracelet - apologies for the photo orientation! 

 ...and the St. Thomas Communities in Bloom sign is now in full bloom!

Saturday, June 9, 2012

History ...or Fantasy?

You never know where your mind will go when you glance at Ravelry. This time, it was Tir Chonaill by Kate Davies that caught my eye.  I love beautiful Fair Isle work and found myself daydreaming about a few of Kate's gorgeous designs. 

But the thing that really grabbed me was the name of the design.  A few miles west of St. Thomas lies the village of Tyrconnell with the cemetery of Colonel Thomas Talbot.  Talbot, who was granted much of the land in Southwestern Ontario in the early 1800's, was Irish.  According to Kate, "Tir Chonaill is the name of the last independent Gaelic sovereignty in Ireland: a kingdom which, until the flight of the Earls in 1607, covered most of what later became County Donegal". 

Doesn't it just fit that a man who was handed all of this virgin wilderness in Southwestern Ontario might fancy himself head of his own little Canadian "kingdom" ...and name his village after an historic one?  It seems perfectly plausible to me, considering his reputation as a despot and land baron.  Actually, I have no idea if Talbot even named Tyrconnell ...but it certainly was fun imagining this scenario. 

And maybe my bit of daydreaming was even more fun because of personal history.  Tyrconnell was the stomping grounds of my maternal grandparents in the early 1900's, and one or two generations before them, while Kate's home of Edinburgh was the birthplace of my father and generations before him.  I love connections, degrees of separation and all that ...
...hmmm ....I'd better take another look at that rams and yowes blanket ...and peerie flooers ...and sheep heid ...and dollheid ...and blaithin ...and ....

Friday, June 1, 2012

May is for Einsteins

My Einstein is done ...well, except for adding buttons and weaving in ends :) 
Less than 2 weeks ago, I worked up a swatch, cast on for the lower section of Sally Melville's Einstein Coat, stuffed a ball of Lamb's Pride Bulky in my knitting bag, and went to the movies.  Thick wool and addi turbos made for an easy knit-in-the-dark project.  No split stitches and no ripping back when I got home - woohoo.  I was inspired.  I set a goal of one ball per day for 12 days.  It took 13 days, but I don't feel like a failure.  Instead, I feel like a genius, an Einstein, if you will!!! 

So now I've made a Baby Albert ...

and an Einstein Coat. 

Several people have remarked on having to do "all that garter stitch", but I've honestly loved every minute of it.  What's better than garter stitch to allow you to relax, and yet still focus on other important things in your life?  And bulky yarn works up sooooo quickly - it's practically instant gratification - not too common in the world of knitting! 
Sally Melville's book, The Knit Stitch, is a masterpiece of well-written patterns, wonderful technical photos and instructions, friendly advice and thoughtful insights on life and knitting.  I look forward to having her visit us at Little Red Mitten September 28-30.  She'll be teaching 4 classes and talking to us (on the Friday evening) on "Why Do We Do What We Do".  More information and registration for classes will be available soon.  Hope you can "make it".