17 Feb 2016

A Winter Sideline

As a Gemini, I tend to fly through life very much like a hummingbird, alighting here and there, willy nilly, resting only until something shiny catches my eye. I have only recently been reminded that, scatter-brained as I can sometimes be, I do not like having my daily routine upset in any way. Imagine my chagrin come December every year when business at the nursery slows until February! I thought long walks in the deliciously cold -30C, snowy weather would help to create a somewhat false sense of routine, my walking the trail as though going to work and all! Not so much. Winter still hasn't set in, and three weeks outside of March 1st, it doesn't look like we'll be seeing much of Jack Frost. What is a guy to do with himself?

Take up knitting of course! I learned how to roll a skein into a ball at about the same time that my Grandmother initiated me into the seductive world of gardening, and gradually I learned what would be considered the very basics. I can knit, purl, decrease and cast off. I never learned the four needle in-the-round, so have been somewhat limited to what I am comfortable with.

The world has come a long way in the last forty odd years when it comes to yarn! I learned on acrylic - that was Grandmother's stand-by for toques and mittens, and lets be honest, she would likely rap my knuckles with her plastic needles if she knew I spent close to $200 for thirteen skeins of yarn and two new pair of needles. But look at the colours!

Of course its been a while since I tried my hand at anything - I knit a scarf for my Mom five years ago, and it was at that time that I discovered the world of Noro yarns. Sweet baby Jesus is all I will say. With blends ranging from silk and cotton to mohair and wool, this ain't your Woolworth $2.99 skein. I am head over heels for their Silk Garden line, and now that I have a nearby enabler, I am sure I will be using my favourite yarn time and again. The top two photos are of a yarn that I found at a yarn outlet in Listowel. Its called Khaki Blues and is part of the Union line by Estelle. I have worn Merino wool socks before, but up until last week had never tried knitting with it. Truth be known I am a cotton guy myself, but I could not resist the colour schematic of this yarn. Oddly enough, it did not knit up as uniformly as these photos might suggest, leaving me on the fence as to whether I want to invest this kind money for a yarn that greatly varies from skein to skein. Live and learn. 

I am hoping to knit throughout the year and have enough product to sell it next Fall. I am doing a line of Faolan [Little Wolf] scarves: The Alpha [10ft], the Beta [7ft] and the Omega [5ft] - largely in response to my own personal frustration in locating a long enough, masculine enough scarf. The scarves will be knit in what is my favourite stitch, the basket weave, as pictured in all of these photographs and you will be able to choose the quality of the yarn. Its still in its infancy at the moment, and what with the garden season [work work work] ramping up, I will have to leave it to simmer for a few months as we get ready to open in April.

How do you deal with the winter months?


CanadianGardenJoy said...

Hello Sweetie !
My god these colours are amazing and I can see why you were so attracted to them .. and the frustration of finding a long enough scarf to prompt you into setting up a little sideline business ! That is fantastic !
I used to do basic knitting so many years ago now I can't remember how to do it but it was like meditation when the flow was good ..
Well done you ! Glad you have something to do that is productive and satisfying : )

Barbarapc said...

OH those colours! So beautiful. It's been a while since I picked up needles seriously. I've still got drawers of UFOs (unfinished objects) - Kevin every now and again reminds me of the sweaters I've yet to finish for him - remember those striped sweaters in the 1980s..... Should almost finish it just to get the photograph and giggles. Are you going to Blooms? Am going to the press meeting on Friday & on Saturday. Please let there be lots of flowers! B. p.s. Now where will be bump into each other without Lost Horizons.......?