Thursday, April 23, 2015

My knitting adventures while travelling (week 60)

___I am back !___

Preparing for my trip

In preparation for my trip to visit with family in England, I did a provisional cast-on of 112 stitches for the poncho I had decided  to work on while visiting.  I was thinking that this is the perfect project to knit while chatting.

The flight over

On the flight over I watched one of the documentaries which were offered for in-flight viewing:   
Cyril Cullen- Master Knitter.  This was very inspirational!  You can read up on him and his designs here:

Arriving in England

With snow still on the ground in Tivoli when we left, it was nice to see that Spring was in full swing in England:
My back garden before leaving

My Mother-In-Law's garden

We even enjoyed some ice cream by the beach.

 While there

As I walked into town every day from my Mother-in-Law's house for some groceries, I checked out the newly opend yarn shop right in the heart of Formby inside Derbyshire'sThe Good Wool Shop  (click on the link and it takes you right to their website).  
Isabel carries wonderful yarns and other odds and ends there.  The prices are very reasonable for the quality of yarns.
I ended up visiting with Isabel almost every day and we found that we have other things in common beyond our love for fiber-crafts.  She lived in Swizerland and in Germany for a number of years.  And not just in Germany but in a city I know well as it is there that I went to university:  Mainz (Johannes Gutenberg University).  Sometimes we talked in German, but kept falling back into English.
"Life is short, knit faster"

Thursday afternoon knit group.  From left to right:  Isabel, Gill and Doris

I ended up buying two books, both with instructions on making toy animals; one in crochet and one in knitting.  I liked the range of animals in the crochet patterns, 40 in total!  Most of the patterns are also available individually on ravelry and I am thinking to offer a class some time in the future.  What I liked about the knitted toys book other than that I favor knitting over crochet, is that some of the patterns have movable limbs as the legs and arms are attached by string and button.

 I also bought some yarn.  One local yarn which will make some very nice fingerless mitts for next winter.

And I also bought several skeins of  Artesano yarn which was 25% off during the month of April.
One skein of cream colored sock yarn as the Main color for the shawl "Leftie" by Martina Behm.  This will help me to use up a bunch of left-over sock yarn.

And on the last day I also bought two skeins of the Alpaca Silk yarn.  I had been drawn to this yarn all along and did not want to leave without some of it.  I found a nice pattern for a lacy summer top, Athena. This is a free pattern download on ravelry!  Isabel printed out the pattern for me so I am ready to go :)

One of the days I took the train down to Liverpool which is just a few stops South from Formby.  First I spent some time in the wonderful library:

View from the roof-top
The Oak Room

While in Liverpool I went to another yarn shop, Abakhan on  Stafford Street where I bought several shawl pins (a steal at £ 4.50 and £ 1.79 respectively).

During our time in England we also celebrated my husband's birthday and I finally could give him his socks.

During the two weeks I was there I almost finished the poncho (as I said: a very quick knit).  I just have to do the lace border now and seam it together and of course block it.

My Mother-in-Law showed me a picture of one of the ponchos she had knitted in the 60's for her daughter. You can see my Sister-In-Law's eight year old self  wearing a blue- and while poncho in the Lake District.  It is interesting how fashion repeats itself with small variations.


Thursday, April 2, 2015

Best wishes for Passover and Easter (week 59)

Lavalette Shawl

The latest store sample for The Knitting Garage at Stickle's is this beautiful "Lavalette Shawl".
It is not only a beautiful shawl done up in just one skein of Madeline Tosh Sock yarn on US# 7 needles, but also a relatively quick and easy knit.  If you have never knitted a triangular shawl before, you may want to consider taking my class on Wednesday May 6th or Saturday May 9th.  You will learn the provisional cast-on, the construction of the shawl and two simple lace stitches.

Madeline Tosh Yarn

If there is a specific Madeline Tosh yarn you would like to order for future projects through The Knitting Garage at Stickle's, you need to let us know by May 10th! Leah can still add a few more skeins into the order before it gets processed. Remember that Madeline Tosh orders take rather long to receive since they hand-dye the yarn to order. It is one of my favorite yarns and sometimes hard to come by in the right color and quantity, so make sure to take advantage of this heads-up. 

Have a great month of April

Last but not least I want to wish everyone a good month of knitting and if the weather holds like today perhaps some gardening. It is presently 64 F in Tivoli, NY!!!  
I will be away for the better part of the month visiting family in England with my husband.  As many of you know, this is going to be a bittersweet visit as we had a recent death in the family, but I am glad to be going.
I am looking forward to catch up with everyone when I get back.