Saturday, December 20, 2008

Christmas Spirit

My Christmas knitting is coming along very well - tomorrow is set aside for some serious knitting on the Einstein jacket - it's hanging over my head and I've got to get it done! A few concentrated hours should do the trick. In the meantime I finished Laura's hat - she doesn't know anything about it so I hope she will like it and be surprised. Her coat is dark brown with baby blue and yellow.
Here's gauntlets for my mother-in-law. They are made from Noro Cash Island, the pattern is out of the Noro Mini Knits. They whipped up in about 2 hours. She wasn't supposed to get any knitting because I bought her a set of Montreal Canadiens DVDs instead but I felt bad - I thought she might be upset with no knitting for her.
Now I'm on to another pair of Thrum mittens for a friend who I am going to see on Monday or Tuesday. They are made from some left over River from Fleece Artist in the Paris colorway with some white thrum that I had in my stash.
And on a totally different note altogether - just to show that Christmas spirit really does exist I have a little story. My daughter, Laura was at Shopper's Drug Mart on Thursday and the clerk who usually takes care of her was standing there crying with an ice pack held to her face. Laura recognized immediately that she had tooth ache - because she's had many which have resulted in her and I waiting in the hospital emergency late at night while she's crying and I feel helpless - and asked her why she didn't go to the dentist. In between sobs, the young girl told her she didn't have the money and didn't have any insurance so my daughter marched her down to her dentist (who happened to be in the same plaza). She told her dentist - this girl needs help and if you can't do it for free then call me and I will pay for it. Now the thing is Laura doesn't have any money either. She's a young mother, with 2 small kids, her husband works two jobs and she is trying to run a business to earn some extra money. There's no way she should be paying for something like this - turns out the dentist did do it for free but I am extremely proud of my daughter. She's kind and generous and gives even when she shouldn't. Some days you just feel like you did a great job raising your kids and Thursday was one of those days! To me, this is what Christmas is all about - helping those in need because even when you don't think you have enough, you always have more than someone else and you almost always have enough to give just a little.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Temptation errrrrrr!

This basket of gorgeousness greets me every time I enter this shop. It's the new yarn from Dream in Color - Starry and it's all the new semi solids. Killed two birds with one stone on this purchase. I bought this to have on display to show what's coming. Little did I know it would drive me to distraction! I am busy on thrum mittens and every once in a while this sparkly stuff catches my eye and I'm tempted to go running to find the perfect pattern for it. Errrrrr!
I'm listening to my iTunes and there is the most appropriate song on now - describes me perfectly!
Miss Almost, Miss Maybe, Miss Halfway!

Friday, December 12, 2008

Watch Cap

Here's the Watch Cap from the 1940s. I knit it using Black Parade Dream in Color Classy - it took less than one skein. Lisa's modelling it and none too happy about it because she says she looks worse in hats than I do - and I say, absolutely not possible.

We had our Pick Up Sticks dinner last night at Gio's here in Bradford - we filled the restaurant with 20 knitters! I don't have any pictures because I was having such a good time I forgot to take them.

This arrived in the mail today - a custom colorway of Sea Silk Poinsettia which is the yarn used in the final instalment of the Garden Variety Collection by Susan Pandorf of Sunflower Designs. If you look really close you will see handpainted beads for the trimming and gold beads for the actual shawl. I have collected all of these patterns so this one was a gift from Susan. I think you can still get the whole collection and if you are the least bit interested in beaded silk designs you should.

Sarah brought me a gift - Three Sheeps to the Wind. Isn't it cute? It's supposed to be for a laundry room but it's hanging happily in our knitting room at the shop! Thank you so much, Mrs. Preston!

I've amended my Christmas knitting list - switched out the Aspenglo Wrap for Thrum mittens for my aunt and Thrum mittens for my mother in law. They knit up quicker and I really think that the wrap has to be a store sample. It soooo lovely! Ok - enough blogging back to knitting!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

I should not be....

blogging, I should be knitting! I have so much left to knit for Christmas it's beginning to look impossible. Here's a really crappy picture of my sister in law's hat - knit from Cascade Superwash in black with baby pink trim. I left my camera lying around at home and the settings are all wacky now which is why the black doesn't look black and the pink looks like bleached white. The pattern is Gotham from Sunflower Designs.

Miss Mary whipped up this beauty in a few hours on Saturday. Her pattern, Noro Silk Garden Chunky! Very nice!

Right now I'm working away on a 1940s Watch Cap from WW2 for my father in law. He's going to love it! Still to go is a hat for Laura, a sweater (Einstein jacket - almost only sleeves to do), something for my mother in law, a dickie for Greg's cousin, something for my grandfather's caregiver, my aunt's Aspenglo Wrap and and and.........aaaahhhhhh!

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

I went shopping.....

and here's what I got:
Debbie Bliss Pure Silk in all these colors. I could not help myself - I wanted something special in the shop for Christmas. Yummy!

And Silky Merino - from Malabrigo. Another really yummy yarn!
If you love Sunflower Designs then this yarn is a must because Susan is using it in her new designs!

Monday, December 01, 2008


as my friend Sheri would say. I got an anonymous comment today saying that I lifted the Starry Dream in Color picture directly from another website. In fact, that is true however, I did ask the owner's permission and received a yes before I published it. Normally I don't pay any attention to comments that rub me the wrong way but this one could not be ignored because I wondered if anyone else was thinking the same thing. I would never take a photo without permission and if I've ever done so it was totally by mistake - as in I didn't understand all this website/internet etiquette.

Why is it that people are so willing to say negative things so quickly?

Thursday, November 27, 2008

I'm All Twisted.....

See me and my knitting are all twisted. Isn't this a great scarf? I'm going to be re writing the pattern and it will be free with 3 skeins of Noro Kureyon, Silk Garden or Cashmere Island. This one is done with Cashmere Island #11. I really think the young girls in the family will have lots of with this and am already planning my next colorway.

I'm still working on the Inca Gold hats but have significantly pared down my list because they are getting tiresome - I'm working on my brother in laws and have one to do for my son and then that's it. Here's the one for Lisa's husband - Lisa says it's soooo Dave. Whatever that means?
Sunday is Emma's tenth birthday so tomorrow - being a PA day and all - we are having her party. She and 4 friends are going to Twilight and out for dinner. I managed to finish the Twilight book just in time. There's a problem though, I'm sure I'm coming down with something - sore throat, chills, exhausted....and I have to entertain tomorrow - sounds like I should have a nap, don't you think? Like right now - there are those couches in the back - and they are looking pretty irresistable at the moment.
Happy Thanksgiving to my American friends!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Dreaming of Dream in Color

Look what's new from Dream in Color

This is Starry! A new kind of Smooshy with silver in the fiber! It's just too gorgeous! I've ordered all of it in all colors and I cannot wait! You must enlarge the photo to see this yarn sparkle! How amazing will it be for socks (of course!) but also shawls, scarves - well, just about anything you're little heart desires! It might be in for late December - if not, January for sure!
Also, from Dream in Color - new solids - 11 of them! Yay!
From left to right:
Cinnamon Girl, Gold Experience, Shiny Moss, Bermuda Teal, Romeo Blue, Purple Rain, Absolute Magenta, Tea Party, Grey Tabby, Black Pearl, Crying Dove. These have been ordered in Smooshy and Classy and also in Starry! Speaking of Dream in Color, if you need any, you should probably get it from Pick Up Sticks soon because I've held the prices low for as long as I can - the US dollar is now worth about 25 cents more than ours so when the new yarn arrives I won't have any choice but to raise the prices slightly.

It's snowing here - what's it doing where you are?

Friday, November 21, 2008

New Obsessions

Obsession #1 Ok I could not stand Lisa talking about the Twilight books any longer so now I am about 1/2 way through the first book. And...I really do like it - for the most part, Lisa and I are polar opposites when it comes to reading and a book that's found in the Tween Section of the bookstore would never appeal to me but I've caught the Edward bug. And of course, am fighting with myself to stop by Chapters on the way home to get the rest of the series. Why is it that I have to have whatever it is I plan for the future? Particularly, when it comes to yarn and books. You'll notice no where on my blog list of books is this book entered....never in a million years would I have thought I'd like it. Apparently, it's already surpassed Harry Potter 2007 book sales - now that's something!

Obsession #2 - This hat from Son of a Stitch n Bitch. This is the second one completed and I'm on the third now. I made a couple of changes to the pattern for this one and the next one is different again. I love this hat because the basic measurements of it seems to work for any man's head and since I've decided to knit a hat for all the men in the family this Christmas - it's a good one. I'm using Berrocco Inca Gold for all of them - it's
a dream to knit with and 3 skeins will give you two hats with the color changes.
Not an obsession but a very nice gift from my husband. It's a working carousel that plays Christmas music and regular music. It now adorns the window of the shop and looks very charming. It will be especially nice at night because the little lights flash in time to the music. My mother loved carousels and collected all kinds of them. I saw this one a few weeks ago at Costco and it actually took my breath away because I knew that if she were still alive, I definitely would have gotten it for her for Christmas. Instead, Greg surprised me with it last night. He's a keeper!

Friday, November 14, 2008

Rocky's A Big Man Now!

It's been awhile since I posted some pictures of Rocky. He's 6 months old now and about 65 lbs. He's already taller than our four year old Golden and strong as an ox. It's a good thing he's so good natured and responsive or we'd have lots of trouble!
He came to work today because he had an operation yesterday (neutered-I'm whispering because he's sensitive about it :)). I just didn't have the heart to leave him at home with that big plastic collar around his neck. Apparently, he was not well behaved at the vet's yesterday - we were supposed to pick him up between 4pm and 5 pm and there was a message before 3 pm telling me to come and get him because he was singing to them and in fact, had been singing to them the whole time except for when he was under anesthetic. He does not like to be seperated from his people or have a change in his routine. He's fine with the crate in the morning when I go to work because he knows no one is home but he cannot tolerate being in there if he knows we are home. He can't even stand to be on the other side of our french doors while we are having dinner. And he does not have a big manly bark - he has a high pitched, yowl-y bark.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Look What Arrived Today!

Beautiful tapestry knitting bags! I bought one of these bags last year at Southlake Regional Hospital and I've dragged it every where with me. To Florida twice, to Chicago, every day to work and it's still in perfect condition! So voila - I found the supplier and now we have them in the shop. Gorgeous!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Christmas Open House and Sale

Pick Up Sticks
Christmas Open House


Saturday, November 15th
10 am - 5 pm

On Saturday, November 15th from 10 am - 5 pm, we are opening our doors for an early celebration of the upcoming Christmas season. There will be savings all day long - we're going to pay the GST and PST on every single purchase! This will be the last sale before Christmas so now is the time to buy all those Christmas knitting supplies!
BTW - if you come in the shop before Saturday and mention you saw this newsletter - we will honor the NO TAX Sale for this week only!

As a special treat on Saturday for those who stop by for some Christmas Cheer and Savings, I'm doing some personal stash busting - that means there will be
Socks That Rock, Lorna's Laces, Cabin Cove, Be Sweet, Manos del Uruguay, and much more.
This is a one time offer - whatever doesn't sell on Saturday will be coming back home with me!

Friday, November 07, 2008

Lots to blog about.....

I can't believe the last time I blogged was last Wednesday - RogersTV did arrive and the interview is over. It was alot of fun and will be airing from November 17-November 23 at various times throughout the day on York Region Living. See the camera - Mike turned on the lights and everything to make it look all official. I cannot wait to see it!

We had lots of knitters turn up - here's Wannietta, Amanda and Karen - thanks so much for coming!

Joanne had a health worry recently and we all pitched in to knit this shawl for her - it's made out of 4 skeins of Misti Alpaca Handpaint and worked on by all of us Knit Night knitters! The gauge turned out to be very interesting, indeed but a good blocking by Mary set all the stitches straight!

And I'm knitting (not enough though) - with the new Maiden Hair yarn from Handmaiden - have you tried it? You should! You really, really should! Silk yarn wrapped with mohair??? Are you kidding me? This stuff is pure genius! The colorway I'm using is Woodland and the pattern I'm knitting is the Aspenglo Wrap from Sunflower Designs. Part of Susan's Aperatif collection (patterns are on her right sidebar) - it's gorgeous, simple and looks spectacular. It is a gift for my aunt for Christmas.
My Noro sweater got finished (I'll take pictures next time I wear it) and I've started an Einstein Jacket as a gift for someone - using Noro Iro. No pictures of it yet.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Today's The Day!

Today is my son's 19th birthday - meaning he's all legal now. He left some beautiful notes on the counter this morning - thanking all of us for everything. Could it be that's he's grown into a man now? What happened to my curly haired, into everything, drive me crazy baby boy?

And another big deal is that....."drum roll"

York Region Living is coming to the shop tonight to film a segment on Knit Night! I'm so excited I can't stand it - apparently, I'm supposed to show Matt (the reporter) how to knit. Yikes!
And on the knitting front - I'm on my last sleeve of the Noro sweater. I cannot wait for it to be finished so I can wear it. It's so much fun to knit!

Thursday, October 23, 2008


Crap - look what happened two nights ago! Snow! Slippery roads - and it's only October. This makes me grumpy!

This on the other hand makes me extremely happy! I am knitting this cardigan from the new Noro Collection Book 3 by Jenny Watson (Silk Garden 272). There are some fantastic Noro designs this year and it's just all so much fun!

This has the potential to make me both grumpy and happy. Happy because I'm knitting with Tanis Fiber Arts Green Label Aran in Chestnut which is fantastic. Grumpy because I don't have an extra set of arms to knit the Noro sweater and this at the same time.
And it's a pair! I finished BOTH socks of the Slip Stitch Cable Socks in Koigu. Happy, happy! They were supposed to be for Laura for Christmas but I'm thinking I might give them to Jeremy's girlfriend for her birthday which is in 3 days. Sometimes you just have to give what's finished, right?

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Noro mania

Yesterday I went to the wholesalers....yup more yarn! On Sunday when I was at the shop, I had a good look at the new Noro pattern books by Jenny Watson and decided that what Pick Up Sticks needed was more Noro yarn. The new patterns are must knits. So here's what I got:

Silk Garden Chunky!

Cashmere Island...oh my!

Silk Garden Lite

Today's my day off - it actually snowed a bit this morning while Emma and I were waiting for the bus. However, there are a ton of online orders to fill and all that Noro to put away. Can't decide what to do - maybe I'll just wait to see if Lisa calls me!

Saturday, October 18, 2008

A Yarny Secret

I have a yarn-y secret - it's a new weight of yarn from one of my favorite Canadian Indie Dyers - an aran weight - which opens up a world of knitting possibilities. I feel like I've made some grand discovery because this girl is so talented! Her colorways remind me of Dream in Color but much brighter - the colors to the left are what has arrived so far. There's 7 or 8 more on order.

The colorway pictured here is Chestnut and it's all for me. I'm knitting a sweater for the store - well ok - it's actually for me but I'm telling myself that it's for the store which explains why I just had to cast it on despite all the other stuff still on needles.
What am I knitting with it? Basic Chic Hoodie from Chicknits. You can buy one for yourself here.
In other news, all Fleece Artist, Handmaiden and Perl Grey is on sale this week (Oct 18-Oct 29)for 15% off - both online and in the shop. Lisa's busy counting it now to get our inventory right before we do the big announcement!
There's a yarn crawl next Saturday, November 1st - all the participating stores are offering a 15% discount to yarn crawlers!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

The sign to welcome knitters is finished! It certainly brightens up our entrance to the shop. I can't thank Mary enough for all her hard work. I'm just thrilled with it. Not much on the knitting front to report - I'm knitting but everything is looking pretty much the same. I'm happy to report that I did not cast on that Noro Shawl....yet. I've got to finish my Clapotis and two pairs of socks first. We're going to be famous here at Pick Up Sticks....well, at least locally. A film crew is showing up in a couple of weeks to film a segment on our Knit Night. I got the message today when I got in - I didn't even try to get this, it just happened! How great is that!

I hope everyone's Thanksgiving was wonderful - ours was ok - it was difficult without my grandmother. I realized that Grandma coming for dinner really makes these special occasions special. Grandpa is doing well - Suzanne, his caregiver, says he's recharged his batteries and is now getting out of bed. He's a miracle - that's for sure.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving

to my Canadian friends! I'm actually not sure why Canada and the US have different Thanksgiving days - I suppose if I was more historically aware I would know the reason but I've been too busy knitting.....Here's Grandpa's socks - all done and drying - I had about 2 inches of yarn left over. Phew!

I started these socks last night while watching Grey's Anatomy. I think the pattern is fantastic and much simpler than it looks. I'm using Koigu (which I don't sell)that Lisa bought for me. This is the first pair of Laura's Seven. The pattern is Slip Stitch Cable Socks from the Little Box of Socks. I've got these patterns in the shop and it's a very worthwhile purchase - all kinds of fabulous patterns.

This is a Noro Sock shawl from Laura Chau. She has it for sale on her blog and there is also a similiar version for free here. It just takes one skein (I'm going to use Silk Garden Sock - she used Kureyon) - I have a feeling this just might get cast on today too. Clapotis is not further along - maybe I'll work on that to try and avoid casting on yet another project - mmmmm - probably not!

I've been a very good blogger lately - don't ya think?

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Under construction.....

Mary Artymko, a very talented local artist, stopped in yesterday to begin work on the bulkhead as you walk in the store. There's more to be done but this is the start - nice, eh? I'm almost done Grandpa's socks - I should have them ready for a picture tomorrow - I love the Noro Silk Garden Sock yarn! Oh - and guess what arrived today - a big box of Cherry Tree Hill Supersock Select - their premium sock yarn. It's gorgeous!

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Is It That Time?

Is it time to think about Christmas knitting? Probably - I have some ideas - I want to knit my eldest daughter 7 pairs of socks. She used to make fun of me for knitting so much until I gave her socks last year for Christmas - no she hounds me relentlessly for more socks! I want to knit thrum mittens for my sister-in-law, mother-in-law and niece and nephew - plus there's my grandchildren. I guess I really should get started. Let's make a list:

Laura - 7 pairs of socks
Joey - thrum mittens
Joanna - thrum mittens
Owen - thrum mittens
Paige - thrum mittens
Katelyn - sweater
Lindsay & Dan - baby blanket for the new baby arriving in the Spring
Aunt - thrum mittens for walking
Uncle - thrum mittens for walking
Andrew - one pair of socks
Jeremy - one pair of socks
Jordan - thrum mittens
Liam - sweater
Quinn - sweater
Emma - sweater

That's 9 pairs of socks, 4 sweaters, 7 pairs of thrum mittens and a baby blanket. Hmmm! Yup - better get going!

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Grandpa's Socks

My grandfather will be celebrating his 90th birthday on October 19th and these are for him. We went to see him yesterday and he is pitifully weak and wouldn't get out of bed. He would hardly speak to me except for kissing my hand. He's gone down hill very quickly since my grandmother passed away in June and really - looking at him yesterday I cannot figure what it is that's keeping him here - especially when I know how happy he would be to be with my grandmother again. I've learned so many lessons from my grandfather - unfortunately, the grandpa that he was is long gone due to dementia and a weak heart - but as recent as our last visit he remembered to tell me how to fry fresh zucchini with flour and egg. Whenever I had a problem, even as an adult, his answer was - it never gets darker than midnight. I can't tell you how often I've thought those words over and over whenever I'm worried about something. He's always answered how are you doing grandpa? with good, thank God. He is a man of great faith - he always told us whenever God turns the page and your name is there, it's your turn so no sense worrying about what's going to happen. He had a wonderful sense of humor - just two years ago, when he met his great, great grandson for the first time - he told my grandmother not to get any ideas about having another baby. He's led a long and wonderful life - he is a grandfather like no other - as his first grand daughter, I was fortunate to spend many, many of my growing up years with him - he is the reason I love horses, I was a regular at the race track with him. When the first subway opened in Toronto, I was just small but grandpa took me for a ride on it that very first day - in fact, we made several trips up and down the subway over the whole day. He even still has the stone I got stuck in my nose when I was three years old. So...these socks are for him - warm and cosy for his days in bed, each stitch with a little bit of all of the love I have for him. Noro Silk Garden S252
See what came in the mail today - I am a needle pig! I don't need them but had to have them - aren't they pretty?

Friday, October 03, 2008

Got my knitting!

Today I drove myself and therefore ended up arriving with my knitting. Here's the Clapotis under construction. I've made some adjustments to the pattern because Casbah is more of a sock weight than what was originally called for - so I did 14 repeats of Section 1, will do 18 repeats of Section 2, work Section 4 and 5 as written.
Also - instead of using markers which really get in my way and slow down the progress, I purl the stitch which will be dropped. So in between the stitches that are knit in the back there's a purl stitch hiding. Sorry for the blurry photo ;)

And this arrived today - a new dyer that's producing a wonderful, springy, gorgeous Aran weight. I love this yarn just as much as I love her sock yarn! Just ordered 8 colors - 10 skeins of each. Better start looking for a good Aran pattern because I will want to cast on as soon as it arrives. Any suggestions? Have you tried Flat Feet? The arrival of this box caused lots of commotion in here - I ordered 66 sets and every single one was different - that meant 66 photos, 66 resizes and 66 new entries on the website - phew!