Friday, May 29, 2009

Living in Paradise

How many people get to go to a work meeting that starts this way?

And then in the meeting one person is spinning while you sit surrounded by yarn? 

The store looks fabulous, if you haven't had a chance to see the new look you really should get over and check it out. It looks twice as big!

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Cotton Knitting

On the website this month we have been featuring cotton yarns and talking about knitting with cotton.

This week we have a cute pattern to share using cotton sock yarn, so be sure to check it out!

Monday, May 18, 2009

Fun Knits would like to introduce Sharron Hatelt's W.A.R.P.

W.A.R.P. (Weavers' Action Revival Project) involves reviving the tradition of weaving, rejuvenating old looms, and reducing the stash of yarns into items that will benefit the community. 

Some aspects of the project will be:
free handwoven scarves and blankets based on self-assessed need;
blankets and shawls for auction at community fundraisers;
as well as public weaving to encourage and enlighten folks about this wonderful craft.

The 2009 Quadra Island W.A.R.P. summer project will also include hand-spinning and knitted articles. We will set ourselves up at the Farmer's Market in Quathiaski Cove where items will either be given away, or if sold, all monies will be donated to charities on Quadra or Vancouver Island.

Pictured below is Sharron Hatelt of Adalia Fibre Arts Studio (standing happily beside her new Saori loom), the visionary founder of W.A.R.P.  
Sharron is one of the spinning teachers at the Fun Knits Tuesday morning spinning group.
Carol (below with her hands clasped joyfully together) and I joined Sharron soon after she began W.A.R.P.  Carol says, "Sharron is the kite, and we are the ribbons."  The three of us (with help from supportive others including Barry, Sharron's husband, who bought this awesome red tent for the endeavor) brought equipment and fibre to the market and set ourselves up for the first time this past Saturday.
Carol brought her traveling wheel and spun in rhythmic beauty for pretty much the full four hours while I wove donated rainbow acrylic on the handloom, and Sharron wove an exquisite art piece on her Saori loom. 

Shelley came by to visit us and donated several beautiful hand knitted hats.

Pictured below, Carol holds open the label we attach to the scarves and knitted items. On left, the label states that all monies collected will go to charities on Quadra or Vancouver Island. The right says, "Pay a little, pay a lot, pay what you want, pay what you got."

Sharron's inspiration to start this project comes from Travis Meinolf.
Here are two of Carol's adorable, hand-knitted Baby Surprise Jackets. She knit them with sock yarn.
The first sweater went to this sweet little heart of a boy, and the second went to one of our local doctors who spends many months of the year donating her time and medical skills to people in India.

The Farmer's Market happens every Saturday morning 10:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m. from May 16th until sometime in early October.
Come and join us at the red tent.
We hope to see you there!

Monday, May 11, 2009

Sock Yarn Left Overs

A friend asked me to put together some baby items for someone the other week. No time to make a blanket (my usual choice) so I did some bibs and a hat and socks. Then as I still had time, and some left over Opal 6ply, I made a baby cardigan.

This was put together from a couple of patterns, and then played with until I made it work. I had enough yarn left over to make this even after making a pair of women's size 10 socks! I love the big Opal 6ply skeins (this is the Flamingo colourway).

Shelley also has a cute design for some baby socks and a baby hat using left over sock yarn, check it out here (link is to a pdf file) or over on the side in the free patterns link.

Using up sock yarn left overs is just as fun as making the socks, I find. What do you like to do with yours?

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Summer hours.....

The store looks fabulous!!!!  
Lots of re-opening energy at the Tues. morning spinning group. Folks walking by on the sidewalk kept peering through the windows to see what was going on. It was great.

Linda and Sharon at the back of the store.

As you can see, the storage room has not been organized yet.....

but the rest of the yarn shop looks awesome.
Relaxing on the couch with different forms of fibre - Sharon is knitting an accordian-style tea cozy in brown and blue (very cool), and Eloise is working on her beautiful needle point design.

Rachel and Roz 
This little boy was looking at the spinners through the window, watching in fascination for about 5 minutes before venturing inside.  Rachel and Roger gave a brief lesson on how to spin.  The boy was 100% focused - it was wonderful.
The quiet after everyone left.

New summer hours are Tuesday through Saturday 10:00 a.m. till 5:00 p.m.

A wonderful day to you all.

Sunday, May 03, 2009

Fashion Show photos.....

Heads up ~ this is a picture heavy post.
(In store news ~ we've been working diligently all week remodeling, reconfiguring, reinvigorating and renewing the look of the shop and its treasure of colour and texture. Change is so cool. We'll be open on Tuesday morning.)
Back to the fashion show~
Jennifer was knitting Memories of the Ukraine, a beautiful design by Barbara Albright. Lots of ease and elasticity.

At our Philosopher's Wool retreat last October Evelyn bought a sweater kit and she actually completed the sweater within a month!!!! 
Joanne knitted up some gorgeous Wedding Gloves and Norwegian mittens.... well as this wimple or cowl which she claimed was not her colour but looks lovely on her for sure.
Carol is one of our Tuesday spinners.  I'm mesmerized by her spinning ~ her fingers barely touch the fibre, rather they hypnotize the thin fine strands into place, and, she has the coolest scarlet nail polish ever! Carol is holding up the sweater she knitted for her husband ("the short bald guy") which was made from her handspun Northern Lights marmalade. Number 2 is a "sock sweater" made from the equivalent yarn used for 17 pairs of socks.
Mary Tanti crocheted a sweet hat (Linda taught the workshop - if you click on Linda, she is in the third photo holding a philosopher's yarn kit).  Mary models one of Lucy Neatby's designs (Venus Rising) knit with Kauni - she Navajo plied three strands of Kauni yarn, and made the buttons from coloured fimo (sorry I didn't get a pic of them).

Betty shows her first-ever moebius scarf that she learned how to make from Mary on the ferry to Quadra Island.
The blanket below is Freda's absolutely beautiful family reunion gift to her Dad's siblings.  There are 13 siblings, each represented by a cabin knitted with Rowan wool, and the borders are knit with Noro Kureyon. Freda's cabled sweater is gorgeous with its tonne of texture - apologies for not writing down the yarn type and pattern.
Leslie brought several adorable baby garments.  Fabulous colour combinations!

Dragana knits her first cardigan ("Trench") with Rowan Big Wool and size 12mm needles. She won the door prize - photo and description to follow.
Sonia is working on a stunning rose coloured Cable Jacket by Debbie Bliss, and a red Debbie Bliss baby blanket both knitted with cashmerino.

Sara displays two lovely shawls ("Snowdrop Shawl" by the Yarn Harlot) - she presents her knitted shawls as wedding gifts.  Sarah is a teacher and gives many of her knitted items to her school community.

Forgive me, Sarah, if I'm spreading inaccurate information but I think this pretty curling piece of angora pastels is a wrap that you are knitting for yourself.
Judy said she brought only a sock to show but later we discovered a beautiful intricately knit hat, and a vest.  The sock is the Baby Cable sock and the yarn is Opal.
This photo definitely does not show the exquisite beauty of this piece knitted by Vyvyan (spinner, knitter, weaver extraordinaire).  The cowl is made from a luscious blend of handspun mohair plied with silk, and crystal beads.
Vyvyan's handspun Orenburg lace shawl knitted on 2.25mm needles.
Vyvyan's handspun, hand-dyed shawl knit with a 20/80 blend of cashmere and silk - can you imagine the feel.
Below are 2 photos, stunning, yes?!!! And to my complete dismay, I have no info to give you.  Let me share a little aside - it's after midnight and this is the third time I've written this post.  The first time was last night ~ after I had finished uploading the pics and writing 3/4 of the post I went to watch "Milk" with my dearheart and 3/4 of the way through the film the power went out.  No wind, no warning, it just went dark and quiet.  I lost the post.  Today I'd uploaded the pics and written 1/4 of the post when my dearheart sat down at the computer and simply closed the thing down. All the why's in the world didn't change it.  For some reason I just don't have all the information about all these gorgeous items knit up by all these amazing women, so please enjoy the show without the specific details.
Vyvyan's flowing lace!

Marilyn, foundress of Community Knitters, models the Harbour Lights Shawl which is beaded and beautiful.

She is also working on a gorgeous "Falling Water" scarf.  Marilyn works at Knotty By Nature in Victoria and does a tremendous amount of charity knitting.  She's a wonder with a deeply committed heart, and lives with her hubby on a boat. Check out her blog. The sock is hers too.

Dina came all the way from Minnesota to join us ~ she met Marilyn through her blog and decided to come see what retreat knitting was all about.  She knitted these sweet slippers from Noro and then felted them. 
Dina also knitted up this shawl which was very soft and had a beautiful flowing drape.
Socks - to whom do you belong?
Irene is awesome -- she knits the tiniest, weeniest little articles and surprises us with them every time she comes to a retreat.  They are totally adorable and I'm speechless when I see them.
Irene also knits two socks on one circular needle - she taught this technique at our last retreat.  
And, this beautiful twist is Irene's very first handspun!
Penny shows us the beginning of a teddy bear she's knitting for Teddies for Tragedies.
She is another woman who does an immense amount of charity knitting, and she also gifted us with a door prize (you'll see).
Penny's one skien felted purse.
Hat by....?
Eagle Flight sock by Linda who is doing the Fun Knits KAL organized by Kate and Shelley. Linda taught the crocheted hat workshop at the retreat.  She has been working non-stop at Fun Knits this past week and has fantastic organizational ideas!
And here is our visionary Shelley who learned the moebius only to discover a few days later that she'd twisted it twice instead of once -- maybe that makes her two times as brilliant as those who can actually figure out how to twist it once.
Evelyn won the door prize that Penny created and gave to the retreat.  Evelyn models this whimsical felted hat made with FibreTrends buffalo and mohair wool on size 8 mm needles. She loved it!
Dragana won the Fun Knits door prize which included a glorious combination of colourful yarn (burnt orange Malabrigo, turquoise Cherry Tree Hill, and Noro sock yarn), rosewood needles size 2.5mm, and a copy of Sensational Knitted Socks.  
Remember Judy, who showed only a sock?   She knits great hats too.  
This is what we looked at when we looked out the window.
And this is what we listened to till 2 in the morning!!!

'Night all.