Friday the 13th, and beyond.

On Friday, Nov. 13th about 25 people came to the store in the evening to enjoy some treats and apple cider, and some knitting time. It was a meeting of escapees from the home front. We had a great time and got to know quite a few new people.
I wish I could say that we had such a great time that it has taken me over a week to fully recover and that's why I haven't managed to get anything written here, but that would be a more than slight exaggeration. But we did have a lot of fun.
In fact we had so much fun that we are offering an opportunity to do it again, on Tuesday, Dec. 15th, everyone is welcome to join us at the store from 7-9pm for our annual Christmas get-together. Please feel free to bring some goodies and your knitting. We will supply the drinks.

I have written before about the afghan that my Grandmother-in-law gave us which is now at least 75 years old. It's knit in pure wool, probably fingering weight as the gauge is about 26 sts over 4 inches in garter stitch. I've always been intrigued about the quality of the fabric that still looks pretty darn good even after all these decades of continual use, and about the tedium involved in knitting that much garter stitch. How much devotion would it take to complete such a project.

I kept saying that some day I was going to figure out how many stitches there actually are in the darn thing. Well Fri. Nov. 13th, 2009 was the day to do the calculations. Then everyone was invited to make a guess and the closest "guess", mathematically guided or not, would get to bring home a skein of any yarn in the store.
Kathy Broughton and her engineering brain took the prize with a bid of 210 000 stitches. There are (approximately) 232, 128 stitches according to my calculations. Now that's a whole lot of loving for a sister to make such an afghan for her sibling. I never heard if Granny Carpenter really understood or appreciated the work involved. I hope so, and I'm so glad to be the keeper of it now.

Another example of under appreciated knitting came to me the other day when I had the opportunity to put on my favourite mittens for the first time this season. I realized that they were probably celebrating their 20th birthday some time this month. The story behind these beautiful mittens and why I consider them to be under appreciated is that I bought them at a crafters cooperative in Morrisburg ON, near Upper Canada Village, as I say, about 20 years ago, for $6.
They're probably made of pure wool as they really are warm, even when wet. The pattern is flawless and because of the 2 colours, is particularly warm with the double thickness...for $6!!!
I felt like I was rescuing them from some boorish shopper who would just buy up a cheap pair of mitts and lose them, or wear them to wipe the snow off the windshield of their car. They've been my main mitts for the past 20 years, and although other hand warming accessories have filled in for shoveling duty, etc. these will always be my favourite mitts for the bond they've forged between me and the ardent knitter who was churning them out for just a fraction of that $6 price.

P.S. I never thought about it until now, but I don't imagine that it's an accident that every light winter coat that I've bought in the past 20 years has been navy, so it would go with my mitts.


Winter Class Schedule Jan./Feb. 2010

Design and Make FIMO Buttons with Carolyn Barnett
Renound knitwear designer, Carolyn Barnett will join us to let us in on her secrets of creating the perfect buttons and accent pieces for your knitted creations.
WHEN: Sat. Jan 23rd 1-4pm
COST: $45 Material Kit: $20.
Sign up early as this is bound to be a sell-out class.
Check out some other designs by Carolyn at her website:
Make these wonderful heart mittens just in time for Valentines Day. Slippers and hats too.
WHEN: Sat. Feb 6th 1-4pm
COST: $35
TEACHER: Anne Woodall

Learn the techniques of this honoured crafting tradition from one of the finest teachers in the area.
This beginners kit includes cut fabric, spun and unspun wool yarn to give you a taste of all of the different media available to rug hookers today.
WHEN: Sat. Feb 20th 1-4pm
COST $45 Material Kit: $35
TEACHER: Rhonda Kellett


Thinking BIG

Although I've always appreciated style and that which I find beautiful, I would never have presumed to be ahead of the fashion curve. I do believe that this is the first time that we, at WOOL-TYME Kingston have actually come out with a featured style in our newsletter that later was to be found in VOGUE KNITTING Magazine. But here we have it...the BIG COLLAR which can be found on our pattern site as of last month and the incredibly popular Shoulder Warmer which has been up at the store in 2 variations for a few months, but whose pattern will be available on our site within the next couple of weeks. Both are examples of the Big Neck style that looks so luxurious in the Holiday edition of VKM and is as cozy as can be.

One of the best things about each of these designs is that they are wonderful for beginner knitters and those who need the cozy wrap NOW! Quick and easy to knit in so many gorgeous yarns. There are some trends that come along that you just gotta love.
But speaking of knitting in the fashion world. I had to laugh when I was going through the latest edition of Canadian House and Home magazine and they were showing the beautiful Victorian Toronto house of a designer of high end hand crafted adornments for the home. The main colour used in this house's decor was white (do people actually live in these places???) and in the rich and cozy living room, one of the display pieces was a basket of pouffy white yarn with 2 bamboo needles strategically arranged on a covered ottoman in the middle of the living room floor. It looked lovely but I couldn't imagine any knitter visiting this family being able to leave the yarn in its decorative setting; I for one would have set myself down and ignored everyone else while I cast on a few stitches and set to making one of the big neck warmers as described above.