December 12, 2010
Les laines sont toutes des laines Shibui Knits (ce sont des pelotes orphelines que j'ai trouvées dans le Swap lounge lors de la Knitter's Review Retreat l'année dernière et cette année)
- merino kid, merino alpaca, baby alpaca DK en "wasabi" laissés par la généreuse Clara
- silk cloud en "wasabi"
- merino worsted en "seaweed"
Pas mal pour un projet utilisant vos restes de laines, n'est-ce pas?
Il est temps d'aller réviser votre géométrie avec la galerie de décembre!
November 29, 2010
November 13, 2010
Ce mois-ci ma création est un cowl qui arrive pile-poil car il commence à faire froid ici! Le modèle est tiré du nouveau livre de Joelle Hoverson, "More Last-Minute Gifts". La laine est Kashmir (80% merino, 20% cachemire, 180 metres), teinte à la main par Ball and Skein dans un beau violet sombre. La photo a été prise dans le Shakespeare Garden dans Central Park.
La galerie de novembre est par ici!
October 12, 2010
Le modèle est “Transition Gloves” de Shibui Knits et j’ai utilisé l’une de mes laines préférées (Sundara sock yarn, un écheveau chacun d’Arabian nights et Winter skies -- il me reste assez de laine pour pouvoir utiliser ces couleurs pour ma Barn Raising Quilt). Au lieu de tricoter des gants jumeaux, j’ai tricoté des gants complémentaires. Je ne risque pas de me tromper entre ma main gauche et ma main droite!
Les créations des copines sont ici!
October 09, 2010
September 26, 2010
September 15, 2010
September 07, 2010
August 31, 2010
August 22, 2010
August 08, 2010
July 12, 2010
Pour ce mois de juillet, je vous propose d'aller au bal avec un bandeau/serre-tête et .... un béret à moitié fini.
Ben pourquoi? Tout a commencé avec une idée fixe: je voulais absolument que ma création de juillet soit un modèle de Veronik Avery, tricoté avec sa nouvelle gamme de laine, St-Denis Nordique. Pas de problème, j'ai une pelote en blanc, parfaite pour le Ropes and Ladders Headband, et une autre pelote en gris, destinée à devenir un béret à torsades. Les deux modèles sont tirés du nouveau livre de Veronik Avery, Knitting 24/7.
Le bandeau est facile à réaliser: il requiert moins d'une moitié de pelote et j'ai utilisé deux jolis boutons nacrés de La Droguerie. La prochaine fois, je monterai mes mailles de manière provisoire pour que le joint soit parfaitement invisible.
Pour le béret, ce n'est pas si simple. Il y a une petite erreur dans le livre et il faut deux pelotes pour ce projet donc je manque de laine à court de route et il me faut commander une deuxieme pelote. Voici où j'en suis pour l'instant (je vous montrerai une photo lorsqu'il sera fini)... Joyeux 14 juillet à tout le monde!
July 01, 2010
As a member of Team Superfleece, I will try to spin every day between July 3rd and July 25th. I just need to spin Spirit Trail Fiber, Briar Rose Fiber, or a breed from the Knitter's Book of Wool or KBOW Woolalong. I set aside more fiber than I will be able to spin in that period of time but who says that variety is bad?
- Briar Rose Fibers Cormo
- Hello Yarn Targhee
- Winterwind Farm CVM
- Hatchtown Farm Coopworth
- Spirit Trail Teeswater/Cotswold/Corriedale
- Spirit Trail Merino/Silk
- Spirit Trail Cashmere/Silk
I'm off to Quebec this weekend so I'm packing my two Bosworth spindles but I'll be spinning on my Louet Victoria when I get back.
June 29, 2010
There were cormo sheep, border leicester sheep, angora goats (Butch and the tiny Gypsy), and llamas (Caitlyn and the freshly shorn Crackerjack). But the highlight of the day were Mistral and Georgia -- these bottle-lambs behave more like puppies than lambs! Mistral was especially curious and looked through our knitting bags.
More pictures HERE! Thanks again to our hosts for a great visit!
June 20, 2010
June 13, 2010
J'ai choisi le Flower Basket Shawl, un modèle facile à tricoter même sur la route car les parties gauche et droite du châle sont identiques (et non symétriques). A celles et ceux qui veulent se lancer dans la dentelle, je vous conseille fortement ce modèle. Le fil est 'Ixchel' que j'ai recu lors du Spirit Trail Yarn Club l'année dernière. C'est le même alpaga que j'ai utilisé
Il est temps d'admirer les autres créations à trous-trous.
(Et va falloir aussi cogiter pour le défi de juillet car le thème me semble difficile et je me suis inscrite au Tour de Fleece, pendant lequel nous devons filer de la laine tous les jours du Tour de France.)
June 11, 2010
- In Anchorage, I stopped by the Oomingmak co-op and bought a beautiful Herder's cap from their Tundra and Snow collection. I talked to one of the knitters there and observed the meticulous and lightning-fast blocking of items. Tip: they use a cardboard sewing cutting board for blocking, it has everything you need to measure your finished item and the cardboard is fine for lace items.
- In Palmer, we visited the Musk Ox Farm which supplies the Oomingmak with its qiviut. It was great to see these imposing animals in beautiful scenery: some calves were born just a few days before our visit so there was some chasing to give one of them a shot, it was just like a rodeo.
- During the cruise days where we were at sea, I took five knitting classes, three with Lucy Neatby and two with Donna Druchunas.
*I had many epiphanies during Lucy's classes regarding the modified conventional bind-off, the garter stitch short-row heel, the toe chimney,... and the list goes on and on.
*Donna's classes on Japanese Knitting and Lace design opened up a whole new world of possibilities. I look forward to navigating japanese knitting charts and maybe even use some of those stitches in my own designs. Should I join 'Je tricote en japonais'?
- I had the opportunity to enhance my stash with some local finds
* sock yarn handdyed by Fireweed Dyeworks in the colorways "Alaskan Wildflower" and "Lupine"
* local qiviut purchased at the Far North Yarn Co. I was thrilled to see a knitted sample hat that only required a half ounce of qiviut, the Wavy Feathers Qiviut Hat, and a knitted cowl that required one ounce. Not only was it the only yarn store I visited that sold qiviut by the half-ounce, it was also the most affordable one ($38 per half ounce). I was slightly overwhelmed by their awesome yarn selection but regained enough consciousness to also purchase Donna's new book, Successful Lace Knitting.
* silk hankies to spin by Raven Frog Fibers
* SweetGeorgia yarns purchased at Three Bags Full: I know that I have plenty of Felicia's yarn already and that I belong to her monthly fiber club but one can never have too much of her vibrant colors
* yarn by Indigo Moon and Gourmet Crafter purchased at Urban Yarns
I might not get around to knitting or spinning these for a while but when I do, the memories of this trip will bring me comfort.
Oh, and have I mentioned that I have a new weapon in my stash-busting arsenal? At last week's Maine Fiber Frolic, Boy bought me a Cricket loom as a birthday present.
May 12, 2010
Vu que je n'avais pas beaucoup de temps à consacrer à ma création de mai, j'ai décidé de tricoter quelque chose de petit. J'ai commencé avec l'écharpe Flora mais comme la fleur était trop grosse, il y a eu un changement de plan: l'écharpe devient symétrique et la fleur se retrouve sur un petit bonnet. Je n'aime pas trop le rose (je sais, la honte pour une fille!) mais l'une de mes petites cousines adore le rose donc je lui enverrai cet ensemble.
J'ai utilisé le fil Sweater de Spud and Chloe que j'adore pour les tricots pour enfants: 50% laine et 50% cotton donc parfait pour toutes les saisons, lavable en machine et disponible en coloris acidulés.
J'ai plein d'idées dentelle pour le mois de juin et beaucoup de temps pour tricoter... En attendant, allez voir la galerie de mai!
May 05, 2010
Maine is close enough to us that Boy and I sometimes go there for the weekend during the spring or summer so I get to stop by some wonderful yarn stores. I'll just focus on four stores that I like but Clara outlined a great roadtrip through Maine.
KnitWit in Portland
You will find known brands such as Rowan and Berroco as well as yarns from Maine companies. In particular, they have the most extensive collection of Fibre Company yarns I've seen which makes me succomb every time. The last time I visited, they were selling a house-brand yarn made in Maine that looked great for colorwork and was very affordable (I believe that it was less than $4 for a 200 yard skein).
Portland Fiber Gallery & Weaving Studio
Just a block away from Knit Wit is the Portland Fiber Gallery. They carry yarn (e.g. Imperial Stock Ranch yarn), fiber (e.g. Ashford), and spinning equipment as well as buttons, jewelry, and finished items made locally. They also hand-dye their own yarns and fibers which you can buy at the store and on their etsy store: everything from silk hankies to batts, from silk lace to merino/tencel yarn. The store also carries weaving supplies (you can rent or buy looms) and I was sorely tempted to get a knitter's loom.
Purl Diva in Brunswick
This is the store that I wished was near me as in "I wished I lived in that store". But then I would spend all my money there and be broke so it might be better for me that I am two and a half hours away. Ellen has wonderful taste and carries a wide spectrum of yarns, from Berroco to Handmaiden, via Isager, Madelinetosh, Sweetgeorgia, and Three Irish Girls. She also carries things that are made in Maine, like cute Purlsana pouches or Done Roving yarns.
String Theory in Blue Hill
This is the home of String Theory Yarn, the yarn that is lovingly dyed by Karen and Tanis. The store is a gorgeous house and the last time I visited, Karen was outside setting the freshly dyed skeins to dry: what a lovely sight! Of course you can buy plenty of String Theory yarn in all of their yarn bases but they also offer handspun yarn, buttons, jewelry, and project bags made in Maine.
I'll be travelling for most of May. I'm hoping to visit Purl in its new location in Soho, the Oomingmak coop in Anchorage, Three Bags Full in Vancouver, and go to the Maine Fiber Frolic. See, it all comes back to Maine!
April 12, 2010
Le modèle Bardini est tiré du livre de Kristi Porter, "Knitting in the sun", qui est consacré au tricot pour les régions estivales.
Le lin que j'ai utilisé et le lin de Louet se ressemblent comme deux gouttes d'eau mais celui-ci a été teint par Claudia handpainted yarns. Le coloris "just plum" est un joli violet nuancé.
Contrairement au chanvre, ce lin ne s'est pas assoupli lors du tricot mais je suis sûre qu'un bon lavage aurait fait l'affaire. J'ai préferé ne pas laver mon chapeau pour qu'il garde la forme d'un chapeau de paille.
La galerie d'avril, c'est par ICI!
March 29, 2010
But you want to know who the contest winner is and what was in the mystery box, right? No one guessed correctly, which I attribute to my somewhat misleading clue #2. Yes, I ordered from Spunky Eclectic but it was a special order so the item wasn't listed on Amy's website...
A new lazy kate! After taking a spinning class with Barb Parry, I realized that I was "fighting" with the lazy kate that came with my Victoria. This one has an adjustable brake so the angle is more convenient when plying and it still fits in my carrying bag. Now I can make 3-ply yarn!
I used Random.org to choose one of the 14 comments. The output was 10 and the 10th comment was Kathleen's. Congrats Kathleen! (I'll get your prize preferences via KR)
Thank you everyone for participating! (Anna, I really think you should mention to Louet your idea of a kit for making yarn lollipops for toddlers) Your guesses gave me ideas for future gifts and my birthday is not too far away...
March 22, 2010
The contest is simple: leave a comment with your guess as to what's in the mystery box by Sunday, March 28 11:59pm EST.
Clue 1 - it is a Louet product
Clue 2 - it was bought from Amy at Spunky Eclectic
I will pick from the correct answers (if there's no correct answer, I will pick randomly) and send the winner a box of goodies based on his/her preferences.
- If you're a beginning spinner, I'll send you a Golding spindle and roving.
- If you're a knitter, I will dive in my stash to find yarn in your preferred color family and preferred weight (lace/fingering/sport/worsted).
Thanks for playing!
March 13, 2010
Hissez haut matelots! J'adore le thème de ce mois-ci parce que je vais partir en croisière au mois de mai. Pas n'importe quelle croisière non plus: une croisière en Alaska avec des cours de tricot! (cinq cours en tout, avec Donna Druchunas et Lucy Neatby)
Ma création est donc une écharpe pour me tenir chaud sur le pont, un merveilleux mélange de douceur (le fil est un mélange d'alpaca, soie, et de laine cormo de Foxfire fiber) et de vagues (modèle "La Novia" d'Anne Hanson). J'adore avoir des écharpes super longues, celle-ci mesure plus de 2m60! Grâce aux motifs de dentelle, elle n'est pas trop chaude.
Larguez les amarres et allez voir la galerie de mars!
I used two skeins of Foxfire Cormo/Silk/Alpaca in "bluebird" and alternated them when knitting -- I bought the skeins from Barb at two different events (silly me!) so they were from different dye lots but luckily, they were quite close in color. The yarn is quite warm so a lace pattern is great for showcasing the color without losing warmth.
This scarf is the sibling of the "Patricia's shawl" (pattern by Lisa Lloyd) I knitted a couple of years ago out of Foxfire Cormo/Silk. I realized that I never posted a picture of it so here it is!
February 28, 2010
Ma création de février est un éloge à Clara Parkes. Les deux modèles sont extraits de son nouveau livre, The Knitter's Book of Wool et ont été tricotés avec la laine mérino organique de Swans Island.
J'ai suivi les conseils de Clara et tricoté les mitaines, "Sweet Fern Mitts", avec des aiguilles de 3.75mm. Pour le bonnet, "Hill Country Hat", j'ai utilisé des aiguilles de 4.5mm.
Verdict? Trente dollars pour une pelote de 230 mètres, ce n'est pas si cher si l'on considère les mailles presque parfaites, la douceur de la laine, et le fait qu'une pelote suffit pour un bonnet et une paire de mitaines.
Mille mercis à Emma, Faustine, Aurélie et Fred d'avoir tout organisé. Vite, je file voir les créations de tout le monde ICI!
Défi means "challenge" in French. The idea is to show a finished project on the 13th of the month (with a different theme every month) in order to ward off bad luck, but really it's about having fun and trying something outside of your comfort zone. Défi 13 is the sequel to Trico'13 which occurred in 2009 and only involved knitting. For Défi 13, you can either knit or sew. The theme for February was "white".
My February finished object is a tribute to Clara Parkes. The two patterns are taken from her new book, The Knitter's Book of Wool, and were knitted with Swans Island Organic Merino. I followed Clara's advice and knitted the Sweet Fern Mitts using US 5 needles. For the Hill Country Hat, I used US 7 needles.
My opinion? Thirty dollars for 250 yards is not so bad once you take into account the stitch definition, the softness of the yarn, and the fact that I was able to get a pair of mitts and a hat out of one skein. Many thanks to Emma, Faustine, Aurélie et Fred for organizing this. I'm off to look at everybody's finished projects HERE!
February 13, 2010
Today, I took the mittens for a little roadtrip. Actually, it wasn't so much a roadtrip as a typical weekend day for Boy and me during winter time. February is the best month for Boy to spot bald eagles and I come along on his birding trips on a simple condition: each birding trip must include a stop at a yarn store.
After meeting Shaili for brunch, the mittens walked around Harvard Square and visited the Old Burying Ground. We then headed to western MA to go birding at the Quabbin reservoir. We finished the day in Northampton at Webs (yarns and books were purchased, courtesy of a gift certificate from my in-laws).
Among my purchases was Gail Callahan's book Hand-Dyeing Yarn and Fleece. During Melissa's class at the KR retreat, I was able to see some of the gorgeous yarns and fibers that Gail (aka The Kangaroo Dyer) had generously donated. Gail happened to be in the store this afternoon, she was all smiles, and signed my copy of her book!
Unfortunately I'm not able to attend her dyeing class at Webs this spring. My schedule is also in conflict with the spring classes taught by Melissa Morgan-Oakes and Kristin Nicholas but I hope that their classes will be offered again in the fall. I don't know if I will hand-dye much in the future but it is something that I want to try at least once so I signed up for Barb Parry's two-day "Dyeing to Spin" class this summer. It promises to be a lot of fun!
February 04, 2010
You would think that having spent the first 20 years of my life in the Paris area, I would know the Parisian yarn shops like the back of my hand... Unfortunately I only really took to knitting after moving to the US so many of these shops remain unchartered territory. I do go back once a year so I hope to explore more locations. Until then, here are some stores that I am familiar with.
In the "most accessible" category, the winner is ... Phildar
Phildar is a yarn brand with many stores throughout France but it is also distributed in other countries. There are plenty of locations in the Paris area but the location I prefer is the one on the Rue Monge, as it is close to the Rue Mouffetard and the Jardin des Plantes.
They used to mostly carry blends containing acrylic (yet very nice to the touch) but started carrying natural fibres such as silk and cashmere in the last few years. Even though you can flip through the pattern catalogs and pet yarn at the store, I would recommend looking at their website before going to the physical store in order to narrow down choices.
In the "most diverse" category, the winner is ... Le Bon Marche
Le Bon Marche is a department store whose setup is reminiscent of Zola's "Au bonheur des dames": each yarn brand has its own counter, the counter's salesperson writes up a sales slip then you go to the cashier station to pay for your purchases. The advantage is that you get to see many brands in one spot (Anny Blatt, Rowan, Bouton D'Or, Noro, Plassard, Phildar,...). The drawback is that a given counter has a smaller selection than what the corresponding "brand store" would carry.
Warning: the counter of "La Droguerie" does not sell yarn except in a small number of kits. They do sell pattern books, ribbons, buttons, and all the supplies you need to make jewelry. If there's a line, write your name on the list and the salesperson will call your name when they're able to assist you. I've always had a very good experience there, especially when they helped me customize jewelry.
In the "eye-candy" category, the winner is ... Entree des fournisseurs
This gem carries fabric (such as Liberty), awesome haberdashery, and yarn. If you're like me and need time to shop, just send your traveling companions to one of the cafes at the Place des Vosges. The last time I was there, you couldn't pet the yarn to your heart's content unless a salesperson handed you the skein behind the counter. But the people are awfully nice, there's a nice selection of yarns (Fonty, Plassard, Anny Blatt, Debbie Bliss,...), and the store is just lovely.
In the "one-of-a-kind" category, the winner is ... La Droguerie
There are several La Droguerie stores in France and Japan. They sell their own yarns (available in a very wide range of colors) as well as buttons, ribbons, jewelry supplies, and fabric. Yarns are sold by weight, which means that you tell the salesperson which yarn, which colorway, and which quantity you want. Single patterns are only available with yarn purchase, but you can buy their pattern books without the yarn.
Let me explain the shopping process at the Paris store as it can be confusing for novices. If you want to buy yarn, wait in line on the left part of the store. If you want to buy beads, wait in line in the right part of the store. While you wait in line, you can look at the yarns or the knitted samples. This works much better as a two-person operation, provided you find a sympathetic non-knitter who can stand in line while you browse. Once it's your turn, tell the salesperson what you want and he/she will go in the back to wind the yarn for you.
If you want to minimize your wait time, don't come in November or December, avoid Saturdays, and come in the morning. Unfortunately, I don't really get to choose when I go there -- the last time I shopped there was on the first day of "les vacances de la Toussaint" and I waited for over an hour. But it's worth it! To make this experience as painless as possible, I recommend:
- looking at the yarns and colors posted on the blog
- browsing French blogs and Ravelry for patterns you might be interested in
- bringing Ann Budd's The Knitter's Handy Guide to Yarn Requirements so that you know how much yarn to buy if you don't have a specific pattern in mind
January 18, 2010
My next project is a secret! I was sitting on the sidelines of Trico' 13 in 2009 but decided to join in the fun for Defi 13 in 2010.
- I'll have a finished object every month
- the monthly theme will force me to think outside the box
- I'll be able to connect with the French-speaking knit-bloggers that I've been admiring from afar and discover some new ones
The first theme is white and I've already chosen the yarn and the pattern. The secret project will be uncovered on February 28!
January 04, 2010
I would like to record my impressions of some of these yarn stores on this blog. Keep in mind that my perspective is that of the travelling knitter who might want to pick up some souvenir yarn, rather than the local knitter who needs sweater quantities of yarn in various weights and fibers.
The first destination in this yarn shop travelogue is Hawaii where I just spent ten days. You might not associate Hawaii with knitting but I was able to stop by four yarn stores on three islands!
The Needlework Shop in Lahaina (Maui)
You will find knitting, cross-stitching, and quilting at this store. The yarn selection emphasizes bamboo and other non-wool fibers and was on the small size *but* there were lots of nice goodies such as project bags that are quilted by the shop staff. The store is located in downtown Lahaina; as a tourist would undoubtedly walk around in that area, it would be a shame not to visit this store.
I picked up a skein of merino wool by Maui Yarns (right skein in picture), one yard of batik fabric (background of picture) that I might ask Amy to use for a custom bag, and some turtle-shaped buttons made out of coconut.
The Yarn Basket in Hilo (Big Island)
Holy moley, this store has an inventory larger than many of the East Coast yarn stores I've been to! I'm pretty sure that you could find there a yarn that is not carried at your LYS (except if your LYS is Webs perhaps). I was especially impressed by the wool section and the sock yarn selection. Once the owner mentioned that some of her customers spend time on the mainland or have grandchildren on the mainland, her wool inventory made sense to me.
Before my trip, I realized that I would not be able to see the Hawaiian Homegrown Wool Company at the farmers' market but lo and behold, there was some of their Romney wool that is raised, handspun, and handdyed on the Big Island at the store (middle skein in picture).
Tink and Ink in Kailua-Kona (Big Island)
This yarn store just opened a few months ago but it already has a nice selection of Aslan Trends, Berroco, Blue Ridge Yarns (from Virginia), Freedom, Noro, etc... When I was there, the ladies were sampling the various Malabrigo yarns (the chunky yarn is so squishy) and talking about which ones to order. I bought some Freedom Sincere organic cotton, Blue Ridge alpaca lace, and a pair of oak DPN needles made in Hawaii.
Hanalei Music's Strings and Things in Hanalei (Kauai)
This is a store that combines musical instruments (ukeleles) and yarn -- how fun! The owner has excellent taste and was able to pack this space with a lot of yarns: Frabjous fibers (from Vermont), Aslan Trends, Artyarns, Berroco, Noro, and many many more. There are many beautiful pins, unique buttons and handles for knitted bags.
What caught my eye was a line of yarns that are handdyed in Kauai using botanical extracts. There was cotton and merino but I bought a skein of baby alpaca with silver thread dyed with hibiscus flowers (left skein in picture). It is sinfully soft and will make a gorgeous buttoned wrap with the matching coconut buttons I got there.
Well, that's it for my knitting adventures in Hawaii. Aloha and Mahalo!