Archive for June, 2012

Summer Sunsets

Saturday, June 30th, 2012

There is something incredibly hypnotic about watching a sunset, as that golden globe spreads its rays in every direction before gently slipping below the horizon.  Add to that image, a vast stretch of water, a lengthy strip of sandy beach, the right amount of cloud cover, not too heavy, just wispy enough to add spectacular colour effects, and it becomes even more magical.  Each summer, thousands of sunset gazers flock to the shores of Lake Huron in Ontario to experience the mesmerizing glow at the day’s end.  So……. which town has the best sunsets?  This is a bone of contention and has sparked playful debates up and down the eastern side of the lake for years.  Grand Bend maintains that they have been dubbed one of the top ten most beautiful sunsets in the world by National Geographic, but then Kincardine echoes the same title.  Supposedly, Grand Bend’s sunsets are enhanced by particulate matter floating over from coal-based plants in the Ohio Valley.

Follow along on a virtual pairing of Lake Huron’s magnificent sunsets and the beauty of Jane Ellison’s newest knitwear collection-

Noro Vintage

 

Sauble Beach

The first stop along the lake is Sauble Beach, a well-known resort community with a seven mile stretch of sandy shoreline, holding the record as the second largest fresh water beach in the world.  The warm shallow waters are due to an abundance of sandbars.

 

Nora

Make waves this summer……….with this chunky knit cardigan in Karuta, a posh blend of silk, wool and cotton for optimal comfort from warm weather to cooler days ahead.  Col #3 (shown above).

 

Port Elgin

The next tourist mecca heading south is Port Elgin, part of Saugeen Shores, where several white sandy beaches attract throngs of sun worshippers from May to October, when this town plays host to Pumpkinfest.

 

Ingrid

Red sky at night is a sailor’s delight……………this closely ribbed style is knit in lightweight Taiyo Sock, a blend of cotton, silk, and wool with eighteen alluring colourways available.  Col #23 (shown above).

 

Kincardine

Kincardine attracts carloads of sunset watchers positioning themselves for the big event on a mile long boardwalk, part of a nightly ritual.  Scottish tradition kicks up its heels every Saturday evening during the summer months when the local Pipe Band marches down the main street.

 

Rose

From dusk to dawn………A lovely contrast between vertical and horizontal bands is played out in this simple one-button cardigan.  Knit in Silk Garden Lite, a sportweight mix of silk, mohair, and softened with lambswool.  Col #2037 (shown above). 

 

Bayfield

Bayfield is a heritage village with an enclave of quaint boutiques and inns.  Home also to the largest marina on the Canadian side of Lake Huron.

 

Clara

A palette as inspiring as Monet’s…………..A sawtooth-edged shawl in effortless garter stitch is knit in Silk Garden, lush and colourful, spun from only the finest in natural fibres, silk, mohair and lambswool.  Col #357 (shown above).  

 

Grand Bend

The last stop on the lake tour is Grand Bend, a hot spot on long weekends, swelling in population from two thousand to more than fifty thousand sunseekers looking for the perfect getaway.  The Pinery Provincial Park is a big draw for campers with incredible sand dunes.

 

Clementine

She wore swirls of sky blue and sunset hues………..A scoop neck tunic top knit in a breezy lace pattern in Taiyo, an aran weight yarn combining cotton, silk and wool.  Col #34 (shown above). 

 

Popsicle Brights

Saturday, June 23rd, 2012

Some of the best inventions happen quite by accident.  In 1905, an eleven year old named Frank Epperson mixed together powdered soda and water in a small cup, and promptly forgot about it, leaving it on his front step overnight.  In the morning, Frank discovered the liquid had frozen with the stir stick wedged in the middle of the cup.  He nicknamed it an ‘epsicle’ and delighted his classmates with his newly created ‘ice pop’ treat.  Later on, his own kids renamed it, Pop’s ‘sicle’.  In 1924, Frank Epperson applied for a patent and a couple of years later sold the rights to a company in New York.  Popsicles were marketed as a ‘frozen drink on a stick’ with seven original flavours, and produced in an unique double mold for splitting in half and sharing with a friend.  More than two billion Popsicles are currently sold across North America each year.

 

Nothing announces the arrival of summer quite like a brightly coloured frozen treat straight from the freezer, shrouded in a swirling vapor of frosty goodness.

This season children’s knits from Sirdar, Sublime, and Katia are infused with a juicy burst of colour-      

 

Katia Children's Book #61

A Crush on Orange……..one of the most popular Popsicle flavours goes hand in hand this summer with cherry.  The crocheted suntop on the left has an airy mesh peplum and ric rac straps.  The colour-blocked T shirt dress on the right crowns the fashion trend list, staying cool and comfortable in lightweight cotton.  Both designs are available in sizes two to ten.  Katia Book #61.

 

Sirdar Leaflet #1917

Go Bananas this Summer……….for this yummy little number, a lacy edged cardigan featuring long or short sleeves and a size range from newborn to seven years.  Knit in Snuggly Baby Bamboo Dk a modern classic from Sirdar, with over thirty shade choices.  Sirdar Leaflet #1917.

 

Katia Children's Book #61

In the Limelight…….this sundress is an instant heat buster in a tangy shade of lime, with tiny patch pockets and halter straps.  In 100% cotton and ready for speedy knitting in sizes two to ten years.  Katia Book #61. 

 

Sirdar Leaflet #1959

Grape gets the grade…….What little girl doesn’t love purple??  A fleecy soft bolero with pompom cords and optional long or short sleeves is knit in Snuggly Snowflake Chunky, an easy care yarn adored by moms and kids alike.  Sizing includes newborn up to seven years.  Sirdar Leaflet #1959.

 

Katia Children's Book #61

Blueberrylicious……….and twice as cute.  On the left, a flouncy-edged suntop knit in Gemini, a new ruffle yarn that knits smooth and flat for the bodice and instantly unfurls when needed for special trimmings.  On the right, Hydra, in a watery hue wakes up a classic boatneck style and spells b-e-a-c-h-y fun.  Both designs available in sizes two to ten years.  Katia Book #61.

 

Sublime Book #657

Very Cherry…….and hands-down the all-time favorite flavour, so popular it has its own special celebration on August 26th- National Cherry Popsicle Day.  For newborns and toddlers, this dainty puff-sleeved cardigan from Sublime is the cherry on top for dress up occasions.  Knit in Baby Cashmere Merino Silk Dk, in forty luxurious shades.  Sublime Book #657.

Top Ten Knitted Styles For Men 2012

Saturday, June 9th, 2012

Rev up your knitting needles for a turbo-charged weekend on the flat screen as the Circuit Gilles-Villeneuve in Montreal sets the stage for one of the most-watched sporting events, the 2012 Grand Prix.  Since 1961, Canada has played host to this world class racing series, with hairpin curves to maneuver and slick conditions in the forecast, this 4.316 kilometre track takes an average seventy-five seconds to complete and will bring out top performers from an elite list of racers such as Lewis Hamilton, Sebastian Vettel, and Fernando Alonso.  For an added adrenalin boost, this series could see its seventh different winner in seven races, a chance to make history.

Looking for some fresh ideas for men’s knits?  From the latest Sirdar and Noro Collections, here are the Top Ten Knitted Styles For Men- 

 

Sirdar Click Dk #9089

At the Starting Grid! Sirdar sticks to classic design in this laid-back style, a raglan sleeve cardigan knit in Click Dk.  Push the pedal to the metal with a full spectrum of tweeds, heathers, and solids, including ‘loom blue’ (shown above).   

 

Sirdar Click Dk # 9409

Shift into Neutral!  With a gentleman’s Guernsey style pullover and make it a forever favorite for someone special.  Knit in Click Dk from Sirdar, an easy care yarn with middle-of-the-road shades to choose from such as ‘cobble’, ‘dry stone’, and ‘shale’ (shown above).  

 

Sirdar Click Chunky # 9624

Hairpin Curves Ahead! And boy do they stand out front and centre on this stylish seed stitch jersey knit in Click Chunky from Sirdar.  Max out your mileage with this washable wool/acrylic in thirty-six shades including ‘tarn’ (shown above).

 

Sirdar Big Softie # 9445

Jumpstart! Into Fall knitting with Big Softie from Sirdar, and pick up a pair of 10 mm needles for the utmost traction.  This whisper-soft polar yarn has a palette ranging from bright solids to earthy flecks.  If you know a green-eyed gentleman who would race around the track for a handknit jacket be sure to set your sights on ‘sage’, ‘beany’, ‘boho’, and ‘kelly’ (shown above). 

 

Sirdar Simply Recycled Aran # 9580

Raise the Checkered Flag!  And take a victory lap to show off your knitting skills in this casual crew neck pullover knit in Simply Recycled Aran, a seasonal cotton favorite from Sirdar.  Eight eye-catching shades are out on store shelves now.

 

Sirdar Montana Dk # 9643

Shifting Gears!  Slide into a cosy rib-front pullover from Sirdar’s Fall Collection with intriguing bands of roving colour.  Knit in the all-new Montana Dk, a softly spun mix of wool and acrylic for guys on the go, available this summer in ten options including ‘hideaway’, ‘big sky’, and ‘sandstone’ (shown above).

 

Sirdar Big Softie # 9602

Maximum Horsepower!  Set your speed limit at high with Sirdar’s Big Softie, easy breezy knitting on 10 mm needles to get you to the finish line that much quicker.  A comfy cabled crew style that is suitable for beginners with simple to follow directions and highlighted sizing.  For a rustic look, try one of these flecked shades- ‘nubby’, ‘mellow’, or ‘wispy’ (shown above).

 

Noro Magazine Kureyon

Make a Pit Stop For Noro!  Fuel up with high octane colour when you pick up the exciting premiere issue of the Noro Magazine at your LYS.  This rugged pullover is featured in the men’s section and sets the pace for Fall knitting in a two-colour slip stitch rib.  Knit in Kureyon, a sizzling synthesis of artfully dyed wool.

 

Sirdar Click Dk # 9679

In the Driver’s Seat!  This sensational cabled design, reminiscent of a vintage style smoking jacket will keep knitters at the edge of their seats with nimble twists and skillful turns on both front panels.  Knit in Click Dk in a heathery shade of denim blue.

 

Sirdar Crofter Dk # 9596

Its a Podium Finish!  For this self-striping cardigan, which is sure to be in the final three.  Choose between a shawl collar or a V-neck to wrap things up neatly at the finish line.  Knit in Crofter Dk from Sirdar, a lightweight mix of wool, cotton, and acrylic boasting more than thirty colourways, including three new additions coming soon for Fall- ‘baird’ (shown above), ‘burnett’, and ‘mctavish.’    

 

Coming To A Neighbourhood Near You

Saturday, June 2nd, 2012

‘Knitting a community together, one stitch at at time’ is the mission behind International Yarn Bombing Day and World Wide Knit In Public Day, coinciding events which have become two of the largest non-profit organizations run entirely by volunteer knitters.  June 9th is the official kick-off to the events as yarn bombers get their gear together and take to the streets bringing their unique style of graffiti to public spaces, any object that can be wrapped in wool becomes a target, streetlights, statues, trees, railings, and signposts are all popular with ‘taggers.‘  Its a growing phenomenon with roots that stretch back a decade or more, as a group of knitters endeavored to give a softer more artistic edge to their own urban landscape.  Some of these knitted installations are actually commissioned by museums and community centres to bring a sense of fun, and awareness to a neighbourhood.

The week-long festivities continue with hundreds of KIPs (Knit In Public) venues set up throughout the world, to encourage knitters to socialize, and spark that passion in others.  Venues include parks, museums, book stores, coffee shops, and libraries.  Check with your LYS or this website for locations near you, pack up your knitting supplies, a bottle of water, snacks and you are ready to go!!

 

 

TOP TEN REASONS TO YARN BOMB-

1.  To bring knitters together in a social setting

2.  To relax the rigid rules of the art world

3.  To help people unwind and feel at home

4.  To add colour in grey spaces and soften the harsh edges

5.  To draw attention to a worthy cause

6.  To include all ages in the process of art

7.  To encourage a tactile experience

8.  To create a buzz in the newsworld 

9.  To create a sense of wonder, “what’s it all about?”

10.  To make people smile

 

Knitted Steps by Magda Sayek

Magda Sayek, known as the ‘mother’ of yarn bombing, has taken her captivating installations to a grand scale, with bridges, buses, and monuments covered in multicolour strips of knitting and crocheting.  There is rarely a challenge too daunting for this artist, who spends weeks at a time on one piece and has acquired commissioned work from corporate giants such as Mini Cooper, Absolut Vodka, and Smart Car.

 

Cambridge Ontario

Cambridge, Ontario became an instant tourist mecca as the Main Street bridge was transformed with a gigantic knitted ‘cosy’ in 2010, the brainchild of fibre artist- Sue Sturdy.  The project began in April 2009 to enlighten visitors to the long-standing textile heritage of Cambridge.  More than a thousand contributions poured in from knitters as faraway as New Zealand.

 

Saltburn in North Yorkshire

In March 2012, a fifty-metre stretch of knitting mysteriously appeared along the pier in Saltburn-by-the-Sea, a resort town on the north east coast of England, and clearly paid homage to the athletes participating in the London Summer Olympics.  The talented creator of this handknit sculpture wishes to remain anonymous.

 

By FrivolKnitty in the Glebe, Ottawa

An energetic group of bombers identified as FrivolKnitty, took the Glebe in Ottawa by storm last week armed with darning needles and yards of knitting in an effort to boost community spirits.  Their night of installation was documented in this entertaining video.

 

Spider Web Bomb in Victoria, British Columbia

In the most unexpected places, a miniature yarn bomb can create an element of surprise and make a charming contrast to its natural environment.  This crocheted spider web is part of a series designed by two friends who just wanted to add artistic beauty to their neighbourhood in Victoria, BC.

 

Castle Special Place, Pincher Creek, Alberta

During this past February, a dozen artists participated in a visual protest against clear-cut logging, creating a collection of handmade afghans as a ‘symbol of nurturing and warmth’ to cover the trees in Castle Special Place, Alberta.  It was a temporary exhibit set up to show support for preserving the designated wildland park.