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Tuesday, August 30, 2011

A Long Weekend...



 { Spanish Banks }

{ Elsie's First Trip on the City Bus} 

 I'm back from my trip to Vancouver. It was a long weekend for me, I left the Island at 11:30 am on Friday and didn't return home until 11:30 pm last night. Although the weekend was full of family stuff I still managed to return home with a few new additions to my yarn collection. 

Felicia of SweetGeorgia Yarns was able to bail me out of my yarn shortage for the current design I am working on. We met in her downtown Vancouver studio to colour match a few skeins of Goldmine for another Tough Love cardigan I'm designing. Her work space is lovely, the view is breathtaking, and being surrounded by all of that passionate, relentless, and unapologetic colour was pretty magical.

{ Tough Love Sock in Goldmine }

 After meeting with Felicia, Aunt Gwen and I stopped in at Three Bags Full. This was a very lovely shop. I had to buy this stunning red yarn by Blue Sky Alpacas

{ Worsted Cotton by Blue Sky Alpacas }


The entire ride home I kept peeking at it in my project bag, it's a true red, isn't it stunning?


Also, my Aunt Gwen gave me two partially used balls of Cascade Yarns Pastaza, a blend I've never used before but everyone knows how much I love Cascade Yarns. B has already decided it will be a winter hat for her.


Well, I guess I should get back to my knitting so that I can move onto some of this gorgeous new yarn!

Happy Tuesday!


Friday, August 26, 2011

Road Work

{ knitting on the ferry }

I'm on the road today, taking the trip on the ferry to spend the weekend on the mainland. First stop is the SweetGeorgia Yarns studio (I'll make this a link when I get home), I'm really looking forward to it!
Happy Knitting!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Winding Swiftly


When I buy yarn I always opt out of having it wound because I never get to use it right away. I end up winding my balls by hand right before I use them. I have a ton of knitting tools, in many cases multiples, but when it comes to winding skeins I use chairs, my husbands hands, my own feet... Just the other day I had a skein of yarn layed out in a circle on the floor and I was cursing all of the tangles I was making while trying to wind my ball, it was really slowing me down and so frustrating.

I told my husband "You know what's funny? They make a tool for this."


All these years of knitting and ball winding, I've finally come to my senses... It helps that Knit Picks was blowing them out at $50 a piece!


I just wound my first ball this morning using my new swift, it went very smoothly, no tangles. I am a very happy knitter :)
 

Monday, August 22, 2011

Fibrations 2011

Yesterday I attended Fibrations, a brand new event held in the orchard at St Anne's Academy, downtown Victoria. When I first got wind of this event I was so happy because the cancellation of the Victoria Fibre Fest was a major blow (what can I say... I'm a fibre fair junky!). There was very little info on vendors or other details when the event was first made public and I wasn't really sure what to expect in terms of scale and appeal in the marketplace ( I was hoping for yummy yarn :)



I was not disappointed. There was so much yarny goodness to be enjoyed.

{ Kattikloo from Salt Spring Island }

 { Hummingbird Fibre Arts }


 { Handspun by Humming Bee Farm }


 { colourful fibre on the Knotty by Nature blanket }


...and lovely designs to be admired. 

 
{ the Stella Cowl by Emma Galati }



And because this wasn't just a knitting/spinning event there was so much variety in the marketplace. 
I love that Rachel is knitting, it just ties it all in for me!

{ Rachel Jo of Salt Spring Island }


Shannon and I were like the paparazzi, running around, snapping away! People must have thought we were nuts!


The vibes were so good at this event. It was really well orchestrated yet it felt so relaxing and informal, my needles and I could have hung out under those apple trees all day long.


 I'm really glad that Shannon and I stuck around until the very end. We had the opportunity to sit and knit with a handful of the days organizers and volunteers. Thank you so much for making this event a HUGE success!

Did you attend this event? Leave me a comment, I'd love to hear your thoughts on the day!


Thursday, August 18, 2011

Classes at the Cloth Castle by Rebecca of Nook!


 

Although I primarily sell my patterns online there are a number of shops that sell hard copies. When I prepare PDF patterns I am always mindful of the end user, I don't include full page photographs, layouts are chosen to conserve paper without sacrificing white space or readability, I try to keep text and headings in grey scale so they are vivid when printed in black and white. 


With hard copies, because the printing is done on my end I like to take advantage by adding additional photographs or charts and adding more white space if the pages permit. Longer patterns are printed as booklets with full page photographs on their covers. These hard copies are printed professionally on sturdy cardstock, they look crisp and modern and I am always so pleased when I pick up a new order from the printers, they really pop.


This leads me to my exciting news of the day... My friend Rebecca of Nook will be teaching a ton of knitting classes at the Cloth Castle using my printed patterns! Rebecca is a speed demon at knitting, it's absolutely incredible, we joke that she has super hero knitting powers. She's also the most passionate knitter I've ever met, her enthusiasm for the craft is contagious. If you are local I encourage you to sign up for one of her classes (she teaches crochet too!) you won't regret it!   

Here are the designs she is using in her courses...

{ the Oatmeal Pullover }


{ Marian }



 { the Begbie Cowl }  


 { Autumn & Autumn Leftovers }



{ Aesderina & Jane }


For the full fall and winter class schedule at the Cloth Castle click HERE

Interested in placing a wholesale order? If you are a shop owner and would like to stock my patterns please email me at janerichmonddesigns@gmail.com.

 

Monday, August 15, 2011

Monday Magazine

My sister told me that there was a knitting article in Monday Magazine this week, at Knit Night Arika mentioned it as well. I finally tracked down a copy (it's been out since Thursday)...

...and knitting made the cover!

{ On the Cover: Stephanie Papik and Ryan Davis of Knotty by Nature }


The article is entitled Social Knitworking and includes a long write up about the Bitchy Bees, Victoria's largest knit night group (...on Ravelry they have 266 members!). The social aspect of knitting and the modernization of the craft get me really excited. Because my life revolves around knitting, I sometimes wonder if the excitement I feel about the resurgence of knitting is something that maybe I and a few knitting friends share, but seeing articles like this make it feel very real, like knitters are everywhere and people are noticing!

{ ...our last knit night was over desert and cocktails, I heard a guy from the large party behind us mutter something about knitting nuns, ...do we look like nuns? }

 ~ ~ ~

The article also mentions Fibrations, Victoria's newest fiber event! This is from their site... 
 "...a community-based celebration of fibre artists sharing their knowledge and enthusiasm for their craft."  

When: August 21st, 2011, 10am - 4pm
Where: St. Ann's Academy Orchard, 835 Humboldt St, Victoria, BC

Key events: Marketplace, Demonstrations, hands-on activities, a SAORI Kai and a loonie/toonie auction featuring locally made items.

If you're in the area save the date and come support this fun local fibre event...



Monday, August 8, 2011

In the Garden...


{ Green Bush Beans / Venture Blue Lake from West Coast Seeds }
~ sown outdoors may 23rd ~


{ Corn purchased from Cannor Nurseries }
~ planted outdoors june 8th ~
 
 I planted this corn to border a little brick pathway I made for Elsie. Now the plants are taller than she is. It's definitely the effect I was going for but Elsie doesn't much care for the soft green leaves tickling her arms as she walks through.


 { English Cucumber / Tasty Green from West Coast Seeds }
~ sown outdoors may 23rd ~


This might be my favorite time of year in the vegetable garden. It's a bit magical when the heat loving, slow but steady veggies you carefully planted in May become ready for harvest. 
{ Green Zucchini / Ambassador from West Coast Seeds }
~ sown outdoors may 23rd ~
 

Tomatoes are the reason I bother with a vegetable garden, they are so worthwhile. I am very particular when choosing which varities to grow in the garden. This year I made a tomato wish list which we fulfilled entirely (poor Chris, he was so patient as I sifted through rack upon rack at Cannor's ...I needed at least one of each "type" on the list!)

Here are the types from my list...

  • Yellow
  •  Purple
  • Heirloom
  • Cherry
  • Grape

Now that the tomatoes are finally turning (ours are late due to our cool spring) it is really exciting to see the different varieties show their true colours...

{  Tomato - Tumbling Tom Yellow plant purchased from Cannor Nurseries }
~ planted outdoors may 22 ~
 
I picked up this little guy during our trip to Salt Spring Island for my birthday this year, I love plants that have a story...
 { Tomato - OSU Blue plant purchased from Chorus Frog Farm }
~ planted outdoors june 8th ~

 { Cherry Tomato - Sweet Million plant purchased from Cannor Nurseries }
~ planted outdoors may 22 ~


 ...and can you believe our strawberries have produced fruit all summer long.



:: I hope you are enjoying the dog days of summer and beating the heat as best you can during these hot August days!




Thursday, August 4, 2011

Off the Needles: Hart

My sister Emma was married on July 16th and she chose these amazing coral strapless dresses from Urban Outfitters. I wanted to make a shrug to match the dress so that my shoulders weren't bare during the reception. I gave you a little sneak peek before the wedding and now I can finally share with you...

 { Hart }

I couldn't believe I was able to find an exact match to the vibrant coral of the dress but I practically tripped over this colourway at Boutique De Laine. I mean it just about jumped into my knitting bag as I walked in the door. It was my first visit to the store, it was highly recommended by Shannon and Amy and I can see why, they are so friendly there!


Materials
  • 2(3) x 50g balls of Sublime Baby Cashmere Merino Silk DK (shown in shade 0158) 232(348)m/254(381)yds
  • 4.5 mm/US 7 needles
  • 3.5 mm/E4 Crochet Hook
  • Tapestry Needle

Gauge
20 sts and 26.5 rows = 10cm/4in over st st

Sizes
To fit: 81-91(101.5-112)cm/32-36(40-44)in bust

Finished Measurements
Sleeve Circumference: 33(42)cm/13(16.5)in (blocked)
Length (from end to end): 84(91.5)cm/33(36)in (blocked)