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Christmas in July

Do you celebrate Christmas in July?  As a teenager we had some terrific neighbors that surprised us with a truck load of snow, a decorated tree and gifts on a warm summer evening.  It was shorts, flip flops, snowballs, and wonderful memories.  I can still recall what my gift was, it was a little wind up toy mouse.  There is a story behind that too but that is best saved for another day!

For me now Christmas in July means “let the planning begin!”  I am starting my list and checking it twice, well more than twice but you get the idea.  Who is on my list this year, what would I like to make for them, what colour, what size ……?  Hhmmmm  

Thank goodness it is only July, but then again I’d better get cracking … Christmas in December is right around the corner!

So it begins.  Season’s Greetings!

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May, how time flies!

May is flying by!  Dianne and I have a booth at the Prince Edward County Fibre Festival on May 27th.  I suspect that having this on our calendar is part of the reason it is going by in a blink, yes my dear friends it is coming fast.  There are lots of awesome vendors attending so if you are looking for a lovely drive and tons of fibre wonderfulness all under one roof you might enjoy taking it in. www.fibrefest.ca can provide more information.   Please stop by and say hi if you can make it as we would love to see you.

 

Today Dianne and I attended a social hosted by Christopher Walker www.cabinboyknits.com in Stirling, Ontario.  Cabinboyknits is presenting “Knitters in Residence” from May to October, 2017.  On specific weekends there are a variety of scheduled workshops taught by 4 different teachers.  Today we were given the opportunity to meet the faculty and see the location; I walked away wanting to take each class!!!  The host, Christopher, and the instructors were very kind,  inspiring and generous with their knowledge and time.  The location is a beautiful wooded property with an authentic log cabin on it.  What a combination, great people and stunning surroundings, … sign this girl up!

 

As you can imagine the dye pots have been busy and will be busy for the next few weeks getting ready for the festival.  Dianne has been exceptionally hard at it,  she is the “have been busy” part of the previous sentence, I , on the other hand am the “and will be busy for the next few weeks” part.   New for All Dyed Up! for the festival is our DK and worsted weight yarn and Dianne has produced lots of scrumptious colours!  

   

Just imagine all of the lovely things that could be made from these!

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#1 Fan

Well dear friends, my trusty double pointed knitting needles are still my sock needles of choice.  I tried the 9” circulars, I gave them a whirl and nope, as much as the idea of them appeals to me they were zapping the fun out of my knitting.  So tiny needles … ta ta for now!  But a guess what, Dianne has given the 9”ers a try and she likes them! She is zipping right along with her sock, yahoo!  Dianne has said that she thinks they work so well for her because of how she holds her knitting needles and she has small hands, perfect hands for those little needles!  I think the experiment turned out pretty cool.

Speaking of pretty cool, just wait until you hear this!  If you watch the podcast you will know that Dianne and I went to a Needle Arts Group recently.   We met some really nice, talented women.  The whole group was great, I loved seeing all of the different types of needle art projects.  Upon arriving Dianne and I met another set of sisters that watch our podcast and came to the group to meet us!! Can you imagine, they came to meet us!  What a joy!  I couldn’t help it, I hugged them!  We chatted and laughed, and chatted and laughed!  I missed part of a conversation between them and Dianne but this is the result!

           

Dianne howled!  Isn’t this fun!!!  Corry and Gail, you rock!  Now Dianne, I did get enough of the conversation that generated this tee shirt to wonder if you aren’t suppose to return these pictures with one of your own, …  something about a super star pose??  Tee hee!  I also understand that Corry and Gail are opening their own shop shortly, I will certainly keep you posted when I learn more about it dear bloggers.

So here is to trying new things and meeting new people, they are pretty cool huh.

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What’s your style?

How do you hold your knitting needles when you knit?  There are many different knitting styles as I understand it.  Some styles have us hold the yarn in our left hand, others in our right, some have us throw the yarn over the needle, others have us “pick it”.  I have read that we as knitters typically continue to knit in the style in which we are first taught.  That sounds reasonable to me but having at least one other style under our belts can be quite handy.  It can gain us some speed, help to alleviate hand strain, perhaps relieve a little boredom if we can jump back and forth between styles, and if we are knitting with two strands of yarn we can hold one in each hand instead of having to put one down and pick up the other with the same hand for each colour change.  There are lots of resources online to help us learn a new style.  This, dear friends, is where I find myself these days.  As with knitting styles there are lots of different needle choices and methods when knitting socks, double points, magic loop, 9” circulars, etc.  I am typically a double pointed sock knitter but recently I dug a 9” circular out of my needle stash and thought I would give it a try again and lo and behold there it was, the reason the 9” was in the bottom of the needle stash, I hold my right hand needle like a pen and there is no room for that with a 9” circ.  I would have to change what my right hand is doing as well as how I put my yarn around the left hand needle.  I think the process of knitting with the little circular could be faster, one essentially knits around and around therefore here is no switching of needles as with the double pointed sets.  So it looks like I have a choice, struggle thru learning something new with my knitting or drop the little circular back into the dark hole!  I say struggle because it will be a struggle not to flip back to my old tried and true method. Usually learning something new is a joy but aren’t they so much easier to learn if we don’t have an alternative method in our knowledge base that we like and are so comfortable with!  How many days does it take to break a habit?  Only time will tell which will prevail dear friends, will this old chick learn a new trick!

 

Speaking of new, we have a new podcast out, episode three.  Dianne and I introduced Gloria in this episode and as I understand it she will be a regular!  We also mentioned how busy Dianne has been dying some new silk scarves.  I think they are absolutely gorgeous, you might like to pop into the shop and take a peek, I bet you will agree with me.  

We really do smile, honestly we do.  The yarn is very lovely, soft and just delightful!  You tube selects the happiest pictures don’t they!

I am full of smiles these days over a new project I am working on, once I get a few of the wrinkles worked out I will share it with you.  I am a little excited about it!

Until next time dear readers, whatever your style, all the best and thanks so much for stopping by.

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“It All Begins And Ends With Love”

Something extra special hit the dye pots this week, I dyed yarn for a friend to give as a gift for a special lady in her life. There was lots of love ingrained into those skeins, my love of a friend and being thrilled to be part of her gift giving process, her love of the gift receiver and the special care she put into in choosing the colours and pattern meant for the yarn. I would like to give you a sneek peek but it is a gift, I better not!  I can show you this one though, I dyed it on the same day, it isn’t named yet, any suggestions?

While I was enjoying myself at my place Dianne was enjoying herself doing this

She is dyeing silk scarves, aren’t they gorgeous!  They will be added to the shop soon.

Guess what we finished, our knit-along shawls. Here they are.

Mine was the pink and Dianne’s was the gray one. I bet it isn’t a surprise to anyone as to which colours belonged to each of us. We agree the shawls were a fun process and we are game to knit something together again sometime.

Our next podcast is up and running.  Why not take a peek and maybe subscribe!

This week was more relaxed and we did it in one take! We still use some words over and over, we still look at notes we have pinned on either side of the camera and we still have some stage fright but I think we are improving.  What the heck, we are having fun!

Along with the podcast came a new Ravelry account http://www.ravelry.com/groups/all-dyed-up-fibres .  For those that support us by reading the blog but may not be familiar with Ravelry I would describe it as being a sort of “facebook” for fiber enthusiasts.  It is an online community for folks that share patterns, yarn, their projects, and join groups with others with the same interests.  We post information regarding things we mentioned on the podcast there, like where to find patterns for example.  Feel free to join our group.

Dianne and I have some exciting news, we have a booth at the Prince Edward County Fibre Fest 2017.  Stop by and say Hi! It is Saturday, May 27th, 2017 at the Picton Arena & Prince Edward Community Centre. $5.00 at the door, children under 12 free. More information is available at http://www.fibrefest.ca. There will be tons of fibre and yarnie goodness, classes available, sheep shearing demonstrations, and food trucks! Sounds like a road trip!!

I like road trips, I think Dianne does too. We went on one this week to a shop called Pine Ridge Knit and Sew in Trenton, ON. http://www.pineridgeknitsew.com.  It was a blustery day. I picked up some yarn for a vest I would like to knit some day.  There are a few things ahead of it but a girl has to have her dreams … right?  Dianne came home with some new fabrics for knitting bags! You are going to love them!

Well, dear readers, I started this blog with love and seem to have come full circle back around to it so with that I will sign off, all the best until next time. Thanks for stopping by our site, drop by anytime!

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My How Things Change!

I went for a ride on the Via!  It was a great little trip, I have always enjoyed the train.  Of course I took my knitting.  But alas dear friends this shawl just wasn’t meant to be and I ripped it out!  I re-dyed the grey, switched out the colourful skein and started again.  This is before the big rip!

After the switch and re-dip!

I had a lovely time away and I picked up some new dyes!  Just look at that chartreuse colour,  … wowzers!

  

Speaking of wowzers, Dianne and I took a huge leap out of our comfort zone this week and we made a little podcast!  

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC316OiZgXebkgfVGZxgEE-

For a couple of gals that have their children promised not to put their pictures online this was more than a leap, it is actually unbelievable!  It took us all day, well perhaps a day and a half, to make a 28 minute you tube video.  Personally I found it really hard to watch myself, we are our worst critics aren’t we!   It was such a hoot to see how our demeanor changed over the day with each attempt.  Our first recording was very scripted and structured, if we weren’t looking at ourselves on the screen we were constantly looking at our notes.  It got deleted!  By the 4 or 5th try it was late in the day and we were tired, a little punchy, and there was much more chatter rather than note following.  To keep myself from looking at the screen and my notes I simply took my glasses off!  That did the trick.  But, of course, the other side of that scenario is I couldn’t see my notes when I needed to either, hence the chatter!  All and all it was fun and I think we have agreed to try an episode 2 one of these days, stay tuned!

In partnership with the podcast we have started a ravelry group, All Dyed Up! Fibres.  Everyone is more than welcome to join our group and we would love to hear from you even if it is just to say hi.

Another first for Dianne and I is we have joined our first KAL (knit along), we are knitting the same shawl from our dyed yarns.  Since we dye independently we each came up with our own combination, look what we did …

Can you tell whose is whose?  Perhaps you could leave your answer in the comments and Dianne and I will post a picture with us wearing our shawls when they are done.

When Dianne had her dye pots out she tried something new!  She dyed a silk scarf, it is beautiful.  We have more materials on order and will be adding them to our shop soon, just wait until you see them, you are going to love them!

Dianne and I would like to take a moment and thank everyone for their support, best wishes, interest, etc. in All Dyed Up! Fibres.  You are the best and you mean the world to us!  

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On We Go!

The holidays have come and gone and I can now share our Christmas secrets!  Some of the special people in Dianne’s life received hand sewn bags and knitted socks.  She also made a pretty blue shawl and a lot of hats!  Her hats, all 50 of them, were donated to some wonderful folks.

Here are a few of her items. (We are missing hat pictures)

              Don’t these look cozy.

I knit socks and a hat but once again there isn’t a photo of the hat or one pair of socks.

      

And true to form one present was given with an IOU for a matching sock!  I tried to finish before wrapping time, really I did.

We knit both our own yarn and some from other dyers.  This past year Dianne and I visited some fibre festivals and had the joy of picking out some special skeins, we hit the dye pots and created some one of a kind skeins, and we had loved ones paint the yarn for their own socks.  It was so much fun to see how they knit up.

Christmas 2016 is behind us and the New Year has been rung in, I wonder what our Christmas 2017 handmade gifts will be, hhmmm!  In light of my IOU habit perhaps I should get started!

 

 

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Can’t tell you, it’s a secret!

There is so much going on these days and so much I can’t tell you about, it is Christmas time, just about everything Dianne and I are busy with is a secret!

We make gifts.  That translates to delusional estimates of how long all of the fun things we would like to make will take.  I suspect we are not alone in the fact that over the years in attempts to beat the clock, we have knit until our hands are cramped, sewn until our backs are aching and our shoulders are sore. We have even called “uncle” and ran out for a “store bought” gift at the last minute because there was just no way an item was going to be completed on time. Sometimes we just bite off more than we can “do”, sometimes we just can’t say no to a friendly request.  I have to admit my children have opened gifts to find a hand knit item incomplete and still on the needles! We will see how it goes this year but for now I can’t tell how the Christmas projects are progressing, it is a secret!

I can tell you about something that Dianne has been busy with, All Dyed Up has a new facebook page.  She has done a great job creating the page, linking it to our website and sharing it.  Some of you may have already seen it on facebook and we would like say thank you for the likes, the support means so much to us.

With Christmas comes New Year’s and it is our hope that 2017 will bring some fun and exciting things for  All Dyed Up.  We have a few plans  in the works and will keep you posted when they are firmed up, because you know … tis the season for secrets!

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

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A Window of Yarn Goodness

New experiences are the best aren’t they!  Well, I guess it depends on the experience.  Last week Dianne and I had a fun one, we were graciously given the opportunity for All Dyed Up to display our items in a window on the main street of Napanee.

4 Dundas Street West 4 Dundas Street West if you would like to take a peek!

Dianne at start of display                         dscn7158

Dianne had a vision for the space.

Window complete                                               4 Dundas at night

There is some yarn in front with a few of Dianne’s hand sewn bags up behind our sign.  (Please pardon the window glare in all of the photos.)  It was fun putting everything together to create the display, at one point I was crouched down in the window placing some yarn and Dianne said to me, “Edith look up, there are two ladies peering in the window.”  Sure enough there were two ladies with their faces pressed to the glass checking out our display.  Dianne said it was a good thing I was crouched over with my behind facing in rather than out!!! Yikes!

Edith reflection 4 Dundas Here I am (well my reflection) checking out our efforts.  As you can imagine Dianne and I made quite a few trips pretending to casually stroll past the window to see what we thought of things.  One of us would do the casual stroll down the sidewalk then dart into the building, communicate an adjustment to the other then back out to take another look.  The whole time we didn’t put on a coat, (it is Canada in November) and we shared Dianne’s shoes because they are the slip on kind and much faster to put on than mine.  We must have been a sight.

We can’t thank Rennie Hutzler enough for sharing her awesome window with us.  We thank Rennie as well for providing us with a fun afternoon together, the indescribable feeling of seeing our creations in a display window, and the joy we got when we saw people taking a moment to look while going by.  Thank you Rennie.

You never know in this life what new experience is right around the corner, for us and All Dyed Up, this was a great one!