Hi everyone! This post is going to be heavy with finished items, as it has been quite a while since my last blog entry. I have been having computer issues. One issue has been that I’ve been setting up a new computer, and I’m not,…shall we say,…in-tune with technology? Some would say technotard. Whatever. I do my best. So, suffice it to say that my computer, and my digital photos, are not speaking to one another. I have retrieved some photos for this post, but somehow I will have to retrieve the rest. Somehow, and some other time. How long can I procrastinate? Also, I managed to download a virus onto my brand new computer, which was, by the way, *protected* by Norton 360 anti-virus! Arg! I did manage to clean up that particular mess, $139.99 later. So, for these reasons, blogging has not been happening. However, I have been knitting!

Valentine Socks

Valentine Socks

  • Pattern: The chart for the heart pattern is from True Love Socks, by Thayer Preece, however the rest is ad lib. I did them toe-up, with “Sailor’s Ribbing” (page 88 of More Sensational Knitted Socks, by Charlene Schurch), and eye of the partridge heel.
  • Materials: Cables and Lace sock club yarn.
  • Colourway: Valentine’s Day Massacre
  • Needles: Two circulars, 2.5mm.

This yarn is the first installment of the Cables and Lace sock club. I really like how it knitted up! This is also the first sock club that I’ve ever joined. So far, so great!

Let me show you the other sock, because I have the picture and I might as well use it.

Valentine socks

I’ve already been wearing these as bed socks, because they go with my pj’s. See?

Valentine Socks

To continue with the sock blogging, I finished these ones quite some time ago. I’ve worn them a lot, because they’re so comfy and warm.

Nanner Socks

Nanner Socks

This pattern was released for people on Plurk only. Yes, I have been using Plurk…but not very well. I’m not on it very regularly. My “karma” plummets frequently. The banana, “nanner”, pattern relates to the dancing bananas on Plurk. I chose the yarn, specifically, because it looked like the colour of bananas. However, it turns out that I love this yarn! It has a bit of mohair in it, but it’s not scratchy at all. Maybe it’s the bit of silk in it that makes it softer. I don’t know, but I love it.

Finally, I have these happy socks.

Stripy Socks

Happy Stripy Socks

I loved knitting these, just because of the happy colours. Wearing them is almost as much fun!

I hope you all had a happy Valentine’s Day!

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?

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