August 24, 2013

A Jaunt to Niagara-on-the-Lake

If you have never had the pleasure of visiting Niagara-on-the-Lake I highly recommend it.  There you will find a number of Ontario wineries where you can sample different wines, buy your favourites and at some locations enjoy a meal.  My favourite is Colaneri Estate Winery.  Part of this winery is still under construction.  When completed they will be able to host a wedding party of 500 people, the only winery in this area that can do so.  If you like Italian style wine then this is the place for you.  At the wine tasting bar the host providing samples was very friendly and shared a lot of information about each wine we sampled.  Most of the wine produced can only be bought at this winery although they do sell to some restaurants as well as ordering online.  (If you decide to go the weekends are apparently very busy visit this winery first).  What makes this wine unique is they use the traditional appassimento style of drying grapes.  It is delicious.

After visiting a few wineries my husband and I went to Inniskillin where we enjoyed a delicious, casual lunch outside overlooking the grape vines.  It was excellent.

Then we sauntered over to the town of Niagara-on-the-Lake, home of the Shaw Festival.  This town has many wonderful shops.  We sat down for a coffee at Balzac's,

 and stocked up on jam at Greaves.

and finished the afternoon off with a delicious gelato.

This lovely day took my mind off my knitting disasters...I have had a few problems in this area but I won't ruin this post by discussing them here...more next time!

August 14, 2013

Off the Needles

I really am in a purple state of mind...if you read my last couple of blogs ( here and here)I had recently purchased some purple yarn.  Well here is a shawl that I just finished that is purple too!  It is a new pattern by Hilary Smith Callis called Shadow and Glow.  I really like the way she wears the shawl in several different ways.  I always find that a bit of a challenge...figuring out how to wear a shawl comfortably.

It is a very relaxing knit using two colours of yarn.  I choose Malabrigo sock in violeta african and Madelinetosh Eyre Light in Jacaranda Bloom.  This was the first time I used Eyre Light, a merino, silk and alpaca blend and it was an absolute delight to work with.  Incredibly soft to touch.  Here are my notes about the pattern.

August 11, 2013

Sweet Georgia Yarns Studio

I am lucky to live in such a beautiful country as Canada.  This summer I had the pleasure of visiting Vancouver for a week.  Everytime I travel I enjoy checking out the yarn stores in the area.  Vancouver has many terrific yarn stores and I was fortunate to visit almost all of them!  One place I really wanted to visit was the Sweet Georgia Yarns Studio (110-408 East Kent Avenue South) as I am a big fan of this line of yarn and I also like to support the Canadian yarn designers.   In this studio they hand-dye yarn and spinning fibres.  Most of the yarn stores I visited carry some of the Sweet Georgia lines but in the studio they carried the different bases.  This studio is located in the middle of an industrial area and was a bit of drive from downtown Vancouver.

When I entered the Studio there was a shopping area with many of the bases.  The colours were amazing to see in person.  I did want to buy a sweater’s worth of one of the yarns I saw but it was explained to me that most of the skeins available were in different dye lots.  I was told that sometimes they have enough in the back to sell of one dye lot but that was not the case on the day I was there.  I am definitely glad I went because there is a difference between seeing the colours and touching the yarn in person.  I did come away with a couple different skeins.  It was definitely worth the visit and I recommend stopping by there if you are ever in Vancouver.

Lots to choose from

Another purple purchase:  Sweet Georgia Merino Silk Fine

August 8, 2013

Decadent Yarn

Isn't it pretty?  This was my purchase at eweKnit in Toronto last week.  The yarn at the bottom is Sweet Georgia Yarns in Merino Silk Fine in the colourway Summer Skin.  This is a 50% merino 50% silk blend that is hand dyed in Canada.  It is in my favourite colour and it is so soft to touch.  Once I decided to buy it my eyes spotted the perfect companion to this yarn:  Filatura Di Crosa Superior yarn.  This is a 70% cashmere, 25% silk and 5% merino wool blend.   I had recently read a blog entry entitled Yarn Cocktails, all about combining yarns together, listing possible patterns to try.  It really caught my interest.  Was this not destiny?  What's a girl to do?  Those of you yarn lovers out there will understand how I could not walk away without purchasing both yarns!

And now the decision...what will I knit from this beautiful yarn?  Some possible choices:
Quaker Ridge Shawlette by Susan Anderson
Driftwood by Veera Valimaki
Diagonal Lace Scarf & Wrap by Churchmouse Yarns and Teas
Kindred Spirit by Boo Knits
I've also had  Geada by Susanna IC  in my queue for some time now but it calls for worsted I am not sure if it would work.

What would you choose?

Next time I will tell you about my visit to the Sweet Georgia Yarns studio in Vancouver this summer.

August 4, 2013

Welcome to my Blog

Welcome to my new blog.  No one I know is a knitter.  I learned from my mom when I was young but she passed away years ago.  So I talk about my passion for knitting with my husband and two teenagers.  My husband is ever patient and my teenagers just roll their eyes.  When travelling I have dragged my husband to more knitting stores than I care to admit.  So  I guess I will use this blog as an outlet to describe the ups and downs of a knitter and hopefully someone out there will read it!

This week I had the pleasure of visiting a favourite yarn store of mine called eweKnit in Toronto.  This is a delightful yarn store that is easily accessible by subway.  I love this store because of the amazing selection of yarns (they have fabric too).  The store carries such lines as Spud & Chloe, Madelinetosh, Zen Garden, The Fibre Company, Turtlepurl, Sweet Georgia just to name a few.

Some women have a weakness for weakness is for yarn.  When I go into a yarn store I must carry a list of what I am looking for otherwise I tend to get sidetracked.  Do I always look at the list?  Aaaah no!  But at least I have it.

Here is a picture of one of my purchases.  This is Aslan Trends Royal Alpaca worsted in berry.  If you have never had the pleasure of holding a skein of this yarn let me tell you it is soft.  I am thinking a cowl maybe?  What do you think?

Next time, I will write about my very decadent purchase at this store.

Thanks for reading.