Chéticamp Style and a Book Review

Last night we went to the Coal Town Celidh and I learned there are different styles of traditional music even in Cape Breton. The first act was a trio of two fiddlers and a keyboard player. The fiddlers were local to Sydney Mines, but they learned to play in the Chéticamp (French Acadian) Style. You can hear the influence it had on Cajun Zydeco. Here’s the only video I could find of our fiddlers, and I’m sorry the French Acadian keyboardist is not included here.

Today is our last concert. I’m a little sad. I’ve learned so much about Celtic music.

I finished “A Dark and Stormy Knit” by Anne Canadeo. Mildlygranola asked me for a book review, so here goes.

Maggie owns a yarn shop in a small seaport Massachusetts town, where, as it turns out, all kinds of mysterious and untoward things happen: knit graffiti, university art department politics, and murder!

While Maggie and her group of knitting friends – which includes a young student who works at the yarn shop – try to suss out who is responsible for what, they knit fun projects and eat delicious food. Props to the author for including links to knitting patterns and recipes at the end of the book.

This was a light and fun read for a holiday. The mystery was enough to keep me interested but it was also easy to put down. I give it a 3 out of 5.

Now I am reading “The Mermaid and the Bear” by Ailish Sinclair, which I preordered on Amazon. It just came out. I started reading it and it is quite good, so I made myself finish the knitting mystery first. Now I can freely enjoy my historical fiction selection.

We’re going to walk down to the harbor this morning to see the Newfoundland Ferry before our concert at 2 PM. We wanted to take the ferry but it’s 9 hours to Newfoundland so it would have to be an overnight stay. Maybe next time.

On the knitting front, I’ve decided I want to make a Halvis. I called Baadeck Yarns to see if they had anymore Celtic Colours specialty dyed in fingering, because I thought that would be amazing with the charcoal fingering Forbidden Fibers I received in the last Fibre Share. No luck, though. They are sold out, of course. I still want to make it. I need to find a substitute for the Celtic Colours yarn. It’s more difficult than it sounds. Here is the photo they shared on their Facebook page of the Celtic Colours yarn.

(Sigh) They do have three more skeins left of the bulky. Hmm… what could I do with four skeins of bulky merino in this colorway?

Intrepid Saturday

It’s a rough and rainy day here today. We ventured out to the Iona Port Farmer’s Market but after that the rain and wind started in earnest.

Still a beautiful day on the island.

I’m pretty excited about my new book, and pleased I’ll be able to use up my Scout yarn on some of these projects.

In the meantime I’m knitting away on my Weekender.

Woe is Meee Tra La La

I wore my Cumulus Blouse yesterday and it is pilling a little. I’m going to use my sweater shaver on it. Maybe once I wash it a few times it will settle down.

On a happier note…

My last orchid flower is hanging on for dear life. Let go, beautiful blossom! Fall is here and it’s time to rest!

Summer lasted so long this tomato thinks it’s a pumpkin. I helped it along with a sharpie. You do you, little pumpkin tomato!

My older children think it’s funny to close their eyes in photos. I might have taught them that. This was from family movie night when we watched Great Pumpkin and Hocus Pocus. Snuggly.

Selfie of the week. My hair is growing and I went back to my old skin care regimen. My skin won’t tolerate anything else.

Today I’m going to cast on my Weekender! I had planned to do it last night but I didn’t realize I was going to need three different needle sizes and scrap yarn. I went to the studio twice to collect things yesterday and still didn’t have everything I needed, and finally gave up. Today is the day!

Sock It To Me Monday

In the spirit of blogaraderie, I started knitting a sock just so I could blog about it today. “Sock It To Me Monday” was started by mildlygranola, and picked up by quiteayarnblog. Of course I wanted to join in! (I also wanted to start on a sock, since I’ve been talking about it for such a long time.)

This is Purl Soho’s toe up sock pattern in Moondrake Yarn Co‘s Silky Fingering in Autumn Jewel. I picked up this yarn when I was in Oklahoma City. It has a lovely sheen, and the silk gives the merino some hardiness the way nylon does in other sock yarns. After I took these photos, I had to rip the whole thing out because I overlooked the part of the pattern where you are supposed to knit the yarn over increases through the back loop to close the hole. I don’t want socks with a bunch of holes at the toes!

I will restart them tonight, the correct way, and I’ll share more later (next Monday of course) once I have it really going.

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Here’s me in my Marauder’s Map York. It’s not as comfortable as I want it to be, which has less to do with the pattern and more to do with the fabric I chose. I have noticed my sewing tends toward costume. I think the Seamwork collection planner will be good for me. It will help me think about what I really like to wear versus concepts that aren’t super wearable. I like the idea of this shirt. I think this pattern is better suited to a fabric with more drape. I also don’t like the neckline. I don’t see why you should use bias tape when you could make a facing. The sleeves are cool. I turned the cuff fabric around so I could read that part when I’m wearing it.

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This is a photo from an advertisement that showed up in one of my social media feeds. I don’t remember the company. I saved it because I liked the look of it. I like the soft palette and three different patterns in similar colors. I’m going to print it out and put it in my collection planner for inspiration.

Mistake, or Design Element?

You probably can’t tell from this photo, but on the edges of this border, I’ve been making a mistake: purling when I was supposed to be knitting and vice versa.

But since I’ve been making the mistake consistently, I’ve decided I like the way it looks and I’m calling it a “design element”.

We were supposed to go boating today but our lake excursion was canceled. What ever will we do today?

La Chemise

Look at that sleeve happening! I was afraid I might run out of yarn so I ordered another skein from Cestari. Luckily they still have this dye lot.

I’m really enjoying Traditional Danish Sweaters and this Aastrup Sweater is my favorite pattern in the book. Of course I would extend the body. Thanks to quiteayarnblog for mentioning this book on her blog.

Bob’s birthday is tomorrow and I’ve already given him his present, a Pendleton wool flannel shirt in the MacLean Tartan. It’s itchy, though, so we’ll see if he wears it. I found it used on Poshmark so not a big deal if he doesn’t.

Are you glad it’s Friday? I’m glad it’s Friday.

NYC: Yarn Secured

I went to New York City without knitting and came back with new yarn.

I always try to stop into Purl Soho when I’m there.

What am I going to do with my little hank of Cotton Pure in robin’s egg blue?

Socks. Socks I tell you. Little soft blue cotton footie socks. I will probably use the Purl Soho toe up sock pattern I purchased earlier this year.

We also ate New York style gluten free pizza and I scored a gluten free beer. Life was good.

Life right now is a little crazy, though. Not a lot of knitting going on.

I lay down to do some deep breathing and JoJo decided to join me and warm my lap. What a sweetie.

ETA: Oh I forgot to mention my fiber piece sold. Yay! It’s being shipped to a collector in DC!

Down with Bad Stuff

I do not like summer. I have never liked summer. I don’t like the heat. I don’t like the break in routine. Summer makes me grumpy. Summertime is when I like to stay indoors in the AC and read and knit. Down with Summer.

Bob and I walked to the library yesterday and I browsed the knitting books, while also picking up more Tudor books. I can’t seem to get enough of the Tudors — fiction, nonfiction, audiobook, proper book, well written, badly written… it really does not matter. And what’s fascinating is every author has a different take on the subject!

Anyway, I enjoyed browsing the knitting books and bringing a few home, noncommittally. In the past, I would only check out the knitting books if I thought I could learn something from them or if there was a pattern inside that I wanted to knit. I was in my same old rut — looking through knitting books that I thought were pretty but would never knit anything out of — when I realized it was okay. It is totally fine to check out a knitting book, flip through it and enjoy the eye candy, and then return it. It’s even okay to do it intentionally! Down with self-limiting arbitrary rules!

“Protest Knits” has a very enjoyable Trump Pincushion crochet pattern, but I will never make it. Maybe I will make the Down with Bad Stuff water bottle holder!

I have a HUUUGE water bottle (see what I did there?) and I never take it hiking because it’s too darn big! But this would solve that problem and be fun, albeit rather vague.

I started my Blue Ribbon Beanie. It is a beautiful shade of deep cerulean Malabrigo DK. It’s 2X2 rib. I’m not sure how I will decrease at the top yet. Ribbing can be tricky to decrease.

Honestly, I started the beanie because I’ve lost the verve for my FIVE sweaters I have on the needles, and even Celtic Myths feels a little fussy right now. So I’ve fallen back on hat knitting just to try to stick with it.

I had to give up a few things this Summer. I gave up the herb business. It needed more than I could give. I gave up some of my blog subscriptions. I couldn’t keep up. But I only gave up on the ones where I felt there wasn’t a connection. I have had to give up pleasure eating and drinking wine and margaritas. I gained a lot of weight last year and even exercise couldn’t help me keep it off, so I signed up for Noom and am counting every calorie and even steps! I had to give up sewing for a while, until I no longer needed to use my studio as an office.

But I got my office back, which means I also got my studio back. I got to participate in an art show. I got my teeth cleaned today, which included a new toothbrush, floss, and props for excellent hygiene. I’ve lost 2 pounds in 5 days. My garden is producing scrumptious tomatoes. Up with good stuff, amiright?!

Saturdeee WIPs

I’m making a little progress on Staghorn from A Fine Fleece. I decided I want to try to finish it before Celtic Colours so I’m making an effort to work on it more.

Celtic Myths is also coming along. If I stick to my goal of knitting two chart repeats of the border every week, I should be done by October. The mussel shell bug is a handmade treasure from my stepdaughter. As a rule, cockroaches are something I cannot abide, but these are charming. Probably because they don’t move unless I move them.

Lilac Heather Cumulus Blouse is also growing. This is great TV knitting.

I ordered some new cotton yarn. The Nature Cotton is my favorite and I used to design with it, but it’s now discontinued, so I bought up what I could find. The multi is Tolhuaca and worsted, but I think if I knit with two strands it might match the gauge of the bulky. I’m planning to type up one of my old designs and put it on Ravelry. I already have photos and everything, so I’m hoping this is a good baby step for me.

More Goodies from OKC

I stopped by Yarnatopia and was overjoyed by their selection of yarns! Moon Drake is a local dyer and the merino and mulberry silk sock yarn at top left is also hers. She was dropping off a fresh batch of hand dyed when I was there, and “driftwood” which is the sky blue with bits of browns called to me.

I am trying the Malabrigo DK for the Bramen Cowl, and the midnight Moonshine is my all time favorite color: so navy it’s black!

I picked up a few more Lykke Driftwood circular needles. I haven’t bought needles in years and I really prefer wood. I will be able to pass on my metal Addi Turbos now, which I don’t enjoy using.

I am having a wonderful time visiting with family and friends!