Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Two Sisters, One Knitting Technique: Lace Work

This is my Rebel Scarf: an infinity scarf of my own design.
While it is a bit lacey, it is funky rather than precious. 

Last week Shelagh wrote about Fair Isle knitting and how she isn't fond of doing it but appreciates the look of it. So I thought I would share my thoughts about Lace Work.

Funnily enough, my feelings about working on lacey projects are pretty much like Shelagh's about Fair Isle! I love the look of it but I'm not keen on that knitting technique. But I had seen Shelagh working on a lot of different shawl patterns. She enjoyed making them and that joy is infectious. So I tried a few patterns that are considered lacey--you've seen them if you've been following our blog posts. Do you recall my Rebel Scarf--which was my own design? Or how about the Colorflo Shawl I made for myself?

Here's a close up of the lace pattern along the bottom edge of my small Colorflo scarf/shawl.
It's pretty and not as complicated as some lace patterns. 
But I still hadn't fallen in love with lace knitting the way Shelagh had. So when I saw the Sunray Shawl with its much simpler "lace effect" using strategically placed yarn-overs and knit-togethers, I thought I'd give lace knitting one more go. Besides, I had this cake of beautiful green merino yarn from artisan dyer Georgian Bay Fibre Co. and I knew the shawl would show that yarn to perfection.

Want a better view of the "rays" pattern? Check out our earlier post for some great photos!
Better yet, check out our Etsy shop for photos and info. 
I love the simplicity of the Sunray Shawl pattern, both in the work and the finished piece. And, as you can tell, lace patterns can range from delicate to funky. I'm glad Shelagh's passion pushed me to try lace knitting. But I don't think I have her patience to do that work often. I will stick to simpler pieces, I think.

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

The Commuter's Wife

We are really excited to share some news: we have several of our hand-knit hats available for sale at a retail store in Uxbridge!

That's right! We were invited to sell our hats at The Commuter's Wife on Brock Street in Uxbridge. This is a bricks-and-mortar store owned by Kristy Burgess and it's a lovely little shop that reminds us of a small "One of a Kind Show." Kristy has a great eye and has found some amazing items from artisans in Canada, and especially local artists. Shelagh and I are proud to have our hats among the beautiful items available from other artisans.

Shelagh and I work hard to capture the feeling of our knit pieces for our Etsy shop, photographing and describing items to show how they truly are and how they would work in your life. But really, a big part of the experience of knitwear is missing from the online shop: the tactile experience of picking up the piece, trying it on, feeling it against your skin.

So, now that we have a few pieces available in a bricks-and-mortar store, you can get the full experience of our knitted accessories. And better than that, you can find them nestled among some truly lovely pieces in the very welcoming shop called The Coummuter's Wife in Uxbridge.

Kristy has also begun using her shop as an artisan space for her customers. That is, she brings in local artists to teach their craft to customers. Doesn't that sound cool?

I'd say it's definitely worth the drive to check out Kristy's shop and all it has to offer!

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Two Sisters, One Knitting Technique: Fair Isle

Robert's wee pullover and matching toque.

 One of the wonderful pleasures of we two sisters working together is we really balance each other. And this goes for knitting too! I love knitting lace patterns, especially in shawls: it is a challenge that I enjoy. I love seeing how all the yarn overs and knit together's create the lacey design. I enjoy concentrating and focusing just that and blocking out the world to create something beautiful.

But colour work—that's definitely not for me! The most I will do is creating something with stripes. Colour work is knitting with two or more colours to create a pattern. It's called Fair Isle knitting and it's a traditional knitting technique used to create patterns with multiple colours. It is named after Fair Isle, a tiny island in the north of Scotland, that forms part of the Shetland islands. I love the results, but to be honest, I haven't knit with multiple colours because it looks too finicky to me.

However, Margaret enjoys colour work. I remember she made me, my husband, and my son matching Fair Isle sweaters and a hat for my son. This was in the late 1980s from one of those Mary Maxim patterns. I was thrilled even then because I wouldn't ever consider making something like that.

Robert wearing the toque his Auntie Margaret made for him.
I see some Fair Isle work and I am in awe over it! I might try some simple colour work but no more than two colours to create the design or pattern. Maybe a hat. I have seen some great patterns with simple designs.

It's funny, though, Margaret hasn't made anything using the Fair Isle technique in years! I wonder if she has lost interest after making those three sweaters for us all those years ago?! 

I guess it is my own self-confidence holding me back. I am sure I can do it. But sometimes I wonder if I want to do it and put it out there.