Look what was in my mailbox today!! I’m doing a dance!! I had to post about it right away…

La Digitessa

It’s the La Digitessa Kit, from Yarnissima, complete with the exclusive Wollmeise colourway…all the way from the Netherlands! Woo hoo! I was expecting the yarn and the pattern, but there were so many additional little treats and trinkets. You can see the Toblerone bar in the above photo, then there were these:

La Digitessa Kit - Treats!

That was a Belgian “Coc’O’box”‘ chocolate, which I knew I had to photograph right away, because it was gone as soon as I opened the cellophane. There was a little lady bug sticker, and a photographed gift card….so many details.

La Digitessa Kit - Bonus!

There was this lovely stitch marker attached to the hand written “Thank you”. I have been wanting to knit this pattern, ever since I saw it in the development stages on Flickr. Of course, toe-up patterns, especially, appeal to me. You may have heard that there was a lottery to join a Wollmeise sock club recently?? Well, I considered joining, but I’ve never even seen a skein of Wollmeise sock yarn in person before. Although the yarn was probably worth every penny, I couldn’t justify spending my whole yearly yarn budget on sock yarn, and one kind of sock yarn at that. So , I decided to stalk Yarnissima’s online shop instead. It felt like the right time to splurge on a kit. Finally, the La Digitessa kit became available, and I pounced on it. Just look at the yarn!

La Digitessa

I can’t wait to get started! Happy Socktoberfest to me!!

In other news, Kate and Tammy mentioned a couple of my projects on their Knit Together Podcast, Episode 16. I was just listening, as usual, when I heard “Loopy Knitter”, and almost swallowed a peanut M&M! They were so complimentary, and well, it was very nice of them.

Did you all read Yarn Harlot’s blog, where someone convinced Greg Kinnear to hold a sock-in-progress? The look on his face was priceless! So funny.

The FOs are piling up here, and remain unblogged. More to come.

Before I write anything else, I want to thank everyone who commented on the stole, in my last blog post. I was honestly very moved, and……astounded really. After being away from the blog for so long, I was out of practice, self-conscious, and I was doubtful that anyone would be reading anymore anyway. You’re still with me! You were all so kind, way out there wonderful, and I became a tearful mess. Ask my husband; he’ll tell you.

You may wonder what I was self-conscious about. Well, for one thing, WordPress.com changed my whole dashboard around (again), since I last logged on. I couldn’t find anything anymore, and it didn’t feel like home. I think I’ve figured out everything now though. The other problem was posting pictures of myself. Can it be possible that I’m the only one who can tell that one of my eyes is starting to close, that my nose looks crooked, from where a baseball hit me as a teenager (I can’t catch), and I look more wrinkled than I do in person (hopefully)…in the last picture? Possibly so! ….and thank you for not mentioning that the pictures were very “Little House on the Prairie” -ish, because that was on my mind too. I may, or may not, have been wearing crinoline under that dress. I’m just going to chalk-up all of that nervousness, to being away from the blog for so long. I really do thank you for all of the compliments. I am very happy with the stole. I think it’s one of the prettiest things I’ve made…and most of all…I finished it!! Woohoo!!

So, with that blog entry finished, maybe it will get easier from here on. Let’s test that theory shall we? I should post another summer project, because it was finished quite some time ago:

Wispy Wisp

  • Pattern: Wisp
  • Materials: Rowan Kidsilk Haze, Colour: 582 Trance, 1 skein plus a bit of another.
  • Needles: 5mm

I have been wanting to knit the Wisp, since I saw this one by Kate, and then this one by Terra. My version does not have buttons yet. I just haven’t found the right ones. Someday, maybe I’ll find some that are light enough.

Wispy Wisp

Wispy Wisp

I took these photos at the beach, on the Labour Day holiday. It was breezy, but warm. The kids had one last hurrah on the beach, before the beginning of school.

Wispy Wisp

If you look closely, you can see my son in that picture. He’s the little orange dot. The next picture was taken at a party. Please excuse the glass. It was just water unfortunately. 😉

Wispy Wisp

The Wisp is a Knitty pattern, and one thing that has bothered me about Knitty patterns is that they do not print out properly. You end up loosing vital pieces of information, and sometimes half of the chart. However, have you noticed that Knitty has a new printer friendly feature? I was very happy to find out about that. However, I don’t think the new feature works for the older patterns, like the Wisp, or the Lizard Ridge blanket. Instead, I learned a trick from Turtlegirl. There is an add-on in Firefox, called “Loop”, which enables you to make PDF documents from any webpage. Make a PDF of the pattern page, and print out that document. It works out much better.

Being away from blogs, I’m not sure how much people have been talking about the Twist Collective. If you haven’t seen it, check it out. It’s a great new idea for an online knitting magazine. You can read the articles for free, and if you want to purchase a pattern, they are sold individually, as a download. The designers are given a larger portion of the profits, than the print magazines offer. Also, have you seen the Addi Click? Kinda nice huh?

Thanks to some help from my sister, and my husband, I have some photos of one of my summer projects. So, as promised, here we go…

I have been wanting to knit the Print O’The Wave Stole, for a long time. The fact that my sister got married this summer (congrats sis!), provided me with a perfect opportunity to wear a stole too! So, when I was in Ontario, I purchased some Fino yarn, at The Needle Emporium. A sweater, which I had already started to knit was set aside, and I don’t know when I’ll ever return to it. Instead, the stole took over as the main project because I was on a deadline.

I used one skein of yarn, and this is how much yarn I had left over:

Finished!

It was soooooo close!! I started to knit tighter and tighter, faster and faster. Somehow I managed to squeak by with the yarn I had.

I finished the stole in time to wear it to the wedding reception, which was actually dubbed “The Meeting of the Clans Part II”. There were two awesome parties, one in June and one in August, because we Maritimers know how to do it right! 😉 I’m kidding, because the groom is actually from Ontario, and “Part II” was hosted there. What a party it was too! Anywho…my sister is a great photographer, so at one point, I hauled her (the bride) over to a nearby Ontario field, to take photos for me. Thank goodness she understands me!

Print O'The Wave Stole

  • Pattern: Print O’The Wave Stole, by Eunny Jang.
  • Source: This free pattern can be found by clicking it, in the sidebar of Eunny’s blog.
  • Materials: Fino, by Alpaca With A Twist.
  • Colour: Twilight 1002
  • Needles: 3.25mm Addi Turbo Circular needles
  • Finished Size: 61” by 20”
  • Errata: Edited to add: Errata for Chart B can be found here.
  • Modification: I knit the stole all in one piece, so there was no grafting in the middle. I did 34 pattern repeats.

Print O'The Wave Stole

Print O'The Wave Stole

As a warning, to those of you who may try this pattern, the edging instructions are not well written. I can’t remember exactly what the problem was (I’ve blocked it from my mind), but it was tricky to get going. In any case, I muddled through, and the edging turned out fine in the end.

Print O'The Wave Stole

Print O'The Wave Stole

It was a perfect day…definitely one for the memory books! I hope we don’t have to wait for their 25th wedding anniversary for “Meeting of the Clans Part III!

I have sooooo much to catch up on. I don’t even know where to begin. I have actually completed some projects, but I still have to photograph them for the blog. So, I’m thinking that I’ll begin with our trip in June, which I have photos of. My husband and I took the kids to Ontario, for two relaxing weeks. We flew to Ontario, but took short drives when we got there. We spent most of our time in London, where my husband’s family lives. My mother-in-law and I even went to a local knit night there, which was so much fun! Did I remember to take a photo of that? No.

We took some time and went to Toronto, where we visited the Ontario Science Centre. They have a special kid’s section that our two really enjoyed! Then, the next day we went to the Toronto Zoo! You may remember that my kids are huge, gignormous animal lovers. Well, we all had a glorious day at that zoo! Here’s a taste for you:

Toronto Zoo Mosaic

1. Lion at the Toronto Zoo, 2. Zebra at the Toronto Zoo, 3. Gifaffes, 4. Toronto Zoo, 5. Elephant at the Toronto Zoo, 6. Gorilla, 7. Toronto Zoo, 8. Touching the Stingrays, 9. Huge Fish Tank, 10. Toronto Zoo, 11. Matschie’s Tree Kangaroo at the Toronto Zoo, 12. Elephants, 13. Giraffe Sticking It’s Tongue Out At Us

That’s my daughter patting the stingray. The stingrays seemed very playful. One actually leaped in the air, and splashed us all. That did not seem to happen often. Our interpretation was that he liked us, but I hope we weren’t irritating him/her. Oh, in one of those photos, I caught a giraffe sticking his tongue out at us. You can click the links to see the individual pictures larger. I particularly like the zebra photo, but the mosaic cuts off it’s head. 😦

Another day, we went to the The Donkey Sanctuary of Canada, in Guelph.

The Donkey Sanctuary of Canada

I was not really aware that there’s a need for a donkey sanctuary, but apparently there is. These donkeys are from all over North America, and have been abused or neglected in the past. This farm has taken in 45 animals, and runs on donations. My sister sponsored one of the donkeys, in my children’s names, as a gift to them. They were mailed frequent updates on the goings on at the sanctuary, and our donkey in particular….Hershey. This is him on the right.

Hershey (dark brown)

My kids made constant requests to visit Hershey; so, we finally did. I think Hershey knew we were his special people. He really loved us. How do I know?

Hershey

He was downright laughing!

Hershey laughing

This is a knitting blog though, so it seems appropriate that I should add some sheep amongst these animal photos.

Fanshawe Pioneer Village Fanshawe Pioneer Village

We saw these little lambies at Fanshawe Pioneer Village, in London.

Here’s another place I visited, The Needle Emporium, in Ancaster.

The Needle Emporium

I have been wanting to go to this yarn store, and meet the owner, Julie, for a long, long time. I was not disappointed. My eyes seriously bugged out at all of the yarn. I wanted to bury myself in it, and just lie there for a while. It was overwhelming. Here’s my mother-in-law looking through some patterns:

The Needle Emporium

Julie, the owner, was fantastic too! I already knew that, but it was nice to meet her in person. She is very knowledgeable about everything to do with knitting. She goes to trade shows all over the place. She is attuned to the internet knitting communities, and patterns that are available on-line. She knows where it’s at! It’s a pleasure to read her blog too, and get sneak peeks at what’s up and coming. From reading the blog, I felt that I was familiar with the store already, but I was not prepared. I have not seen so much yarn all in one place! My pictures don’t do it justice really, because I didn’t get pictures of every room.

The Needle Emporium The Needle Emporium

The Needle Emporium

I wasn’t the only one who had a great time there. My mother-in-law is planning a return visit A.S.A.P! You may wonder if we made any purchases. Oh, yes….yes we did! I’m still trying to log everything into Ravelry. Some items aren’t going to make it into Ravelry at all. There’s no point now, because it’s gone! I used it. More on that another time.

This is one project that I was working on during the trip. It’s squares for the Lizard Ridge blanket, from Knitty.

Squares For Lizard Ridge Blanket
Colours from left to right: 184, 213, 180

Square for Lizard Ridge Blanket
Colour: 209

My LYS, Greggo Sewing, is going to start a knitalong, for Lizard Ridge, sometime soon. I bought my Noro there, and got a head start. I blog quite a bit about stores I visit on trips, but I can’t leave out my LYS! It’s very welcoming, they will order just about anything for you, and well, it’s home base. The blanket will be a long term project for me. There’s no rush.

So, I’m caught up now for June. sheesh! There’s more to come, whenever I get my photos sorted out.

Where have I been? I can’t believe my last blog post was in *gasp* April!! I’m very out of practice. I had an unintentional blog hiatus. Nothing is wrong at chez Loopy Knits….everything is right. My husband was given the “all clear” by his doctor! So, with his new-found energy and positive outlook, we are doing things. We are doing things that have been on hold for a long, long time. So, we have been very busy…hence the blog hiatus.

What has brought me back to the blog? Well, I have something to share. I want to talk about this place, Belfast Mini-Mills, in Belfast, Prince Edward Island, Canada.

Behind this humble entrance is a treasure trove.

Belfast Mini Mill Store

Belfast Mini Mill Store

I should explain that this is not just a store. This is a mill. They process exotic fibers from around the world, such as yak, camel, alpaca, llama, cashmere, bison, musk-ox and mohair…oh, and sheep wool. I know this is true because I saw it!! Despite the fact that we arrived only an hour before closing, we were given a tour of the mill. I saw bags and bags of cashmere (pictured below)!

Bags of Cashmere!

I also saw bags of qiviut! I’m not kidding!!

The owners invented the “cottage industry” machinery they use. This enables them to process fiber in smaller batches than larger commercial mills. Larger commercial mills will combine fleece. So, you might get your own fiber back, but in combination with others. However, when you send your fleece to the Belfast Mini Mill, you can be sure that you get your own processed fiber back. In fact, Belfast Mini Mills has developed 27 other mini mills world-wide!

The mill process begins with cleaning, carding, and drafting the fibers. As it goes through the machinery, the wool is collected in another small room. They have spinning equipment, which was fascinating. They also produce wool felt, and make up needle felting kits.

Then, there were the animals.

Belfast Mini Mill

As we were given a tour of the mill, my daughter was given a tour of the farm. She was ecstatic! She was responsible for carefully collecting nine eggs, from the nests in the hen house. Apparently there were tiny baby chicks that were white in colour. My daughter fell in love with a very cute, *free*, bunny. We did not come home with it, fortunately. The bunnies really were cute though, and run freely around the barnyard.

Then there was the store.

Belfast Mini Mill Store

They had all kinds of exotic yarns. The cashmere almost seemed ordinary!! Those are alpaca/nylon socks in the upper left hand corner. They also had superwash wool socks, and I came home with a pair for my husband. I forgot to take a picture of the wall o’ socks.

Belfast Mini Mill Store

They also sell needle felting kits, as I mentioned, mittens, gorgeous woven hand towels (pictured), which I almost bought, soaps, wool dyes, books, dyed roving, blankets… This is a woven, merino wool blanket that my mother bought:

Woven Blanket

Woven Blanket

They had qiviut socks, if you want to really splurge! So, so, soft…

Qiviut Socks

Too pricey? Here are musk-ox leather pouches containing qiviut samples.

Musk Ox Leather Pouch With Qiviut Sample

Belfast Mini Mill Store

Would you like to see what I bought?

100% Camel Down

I got two skeins of 100% camel down. It is so soft, I had to take it home. It was $20/skein. I also got this:

Chunky Merino Wool

That’s two skeins of chunky merino wool, $8/skein. I also got a wool dyeing starter kit for $20. I can’t wait to give it a try.

Starter Dye Kit

I decided to include prices I paid, because I don’t think they have that kind of information on their website. I have no affiliation to this place whatsoever; however, I had great fun there, and I thought that others might be interested in hearing about it. It’s worth a visit, or a phone call. I have linked to their website, but I also have their business card. Comment here, if you would like me to forward their phone number or email address. Gotta love PEI!

Cavendish, PEI

Thanks everyone, for enduring my brief rant the other day. I wouldn’t normally write of such things, but I have been justifiably upset. It’s not just an education issue. The government here is flouting the law, and disregarding basic constitutional rights. What would you do?

Thank goodness for knitting! I have some finished items to show you.

February Baby Sweater

  • Pattern: Baby Sweater On Two Needles, aka February Baby Sweater, by Elizabeth Zimmermann.
  • Source: Knitter’s Almanac
  • Materials: Baby Bamboo Sirdar Snuggly, 80% bamboo, 20%wool. Machine Washable.
  • Needles: 4mm
  • Modification: I knit the body and the sleeves 1/2 inch longer than specified. Edited to add: Also, I did a slip-stitched edge along the button band.

Herringbone Booties

February Baby Sweater and Booties

I gave these items away, at a baby shower yesterday. I was sitting and chatting with someone, when all of a sudden I heard everyone gasp. I turned to look, and the recipient was holding up this sweater. She had just unwrapped it. I guess they liked it!! You never know how someone will receive a hand made item. I was very happy that it was appreciated.

While I don’t really want to speak of political issues on my knitting blog, I should probably explain why I’ve been missing in action. Here in New Brunswick, Canada, we are are going through some craptastic times. The government here has ripped apart the health care system, has divided the Francophone and Anglophone communities, has revived language debates that had been ancient history in this province, and has absolutely destroyed the education system. When they mess with my children, they’ve gone too far. All of this has happened suddenly, without warning, and without the mandate of the people. The articles that I’ve linked to may lead you to believe that I am upset about the loss of Early French Immersion studies. However, that is not the entire picture. The education system here needs help badly. Instead of adjusting curriculum, or adding resources, the government has scrapped the only successful program we had. I really want to see things fixed! I have been a vocal advocate for my husband throughout his battle with cancer, and I was hoping for a rest. However, now I have to vehemently advocate for my children. I have no experience with political activism, but I’ve been fighting for a long time for the survival of my husband, and I can put up a good fight! Okay, rant over.

As you can plainly see, I am not my usual calm, knitting, self. I haven’t been blogging, and I haven’t been commenting on other blogs. I do have an FO though! It is currently blocking, and I will attempt to get some pictures of it in the near future. Meanwhile, I thought you might like to see these photos instead. It’s maple sugaring season in New Brunswick. The sap is running, and it’s a sure sign of spring. My neighbours, down the street, have tapped their Sugar Maple trees.

The Sap Is Running

The little buckets attached to the trees catch the running sap. This wasn’t a particularly good day, because it didn’t get cold enough at night, to get the sap to run during the day. There’s just a bit of sap at the bottom of this bucket.

The Sap Is Running

The Sap Is Running

Spring is here indeed. The sun is out, the sap is running, and the snow is melting. Now, if only our Premier and Minister of Education would dry up and float away.