Today’s Advent pocket is brought to you by Devon, the adorable little boy I look after on a regular basis. He found the wee gifty inside the pocket very exciting. What more can a three year old boy ask for than to be able to spend all day watching a tree get cut down?
The neighbour’s fir tree was starting to heave her (and our) foundations, so it was time to cut it down. We got her to let us know when it was so that we could have Devon over to watch it. He was over the moon! It was actually really interesting to watch for many ages, it’s not everyday you get to see how it’s done. The kids spent the whole time running between the windows to see them cut it down at the back of the house, and then to chuck the whole thing through the woodchipper in the front.
I was especially entertained by what one of the treecutters? lumberjacks? arborists? was wearing. Unlike his co-workers who were all wearing boring black, this guy had on a gorgeous fair isle sweater underneath his work overalls. Lets also discuss the epic hair. I went outside to take a picture under the pretense of having Devon say goodbye to the workers. I was going to have the guy hold the pocket for the blog, but his hands were super dirty so I opted for a sweater only shot. He’s seemed a bit bemused, I’m sure it’s not everyday a girl asks to take his picture for a knitting blog. I hope he didn’t think I was making that up, it does sound a bit rediculous.
It is an excellent pattern, no? With the sweater, hair and moustache combo he may just be the hipsterest lumberjack I’ve ever seen!
Today’s Advent pocket comes to you from the One of a Kind Show. I went today with Alexis, who found this little sheepy friend from the Felt Factory.
They make wee little faux-taxidermy animal heads out of wool felt. I was partial to the buck or the goat, but Alexis chose the black sheep. It would be fun to get a few of them to hang on a wall together. After my class on the history of collecting my love of taxidermy culture has expanded exponentially, so I may have to pick one of these little guys up.
The One of a Kind always has a section in the middle that is geared towards small new artisans, and it is almost always my favourite part of the show. We found the Felt Factory there, as well as Freshly Printed, who had these great hand printed bird tea towels and aprons.
Craft shows are really fun ways to find unusual and interesting things, whether they are for gifts or for yourself. The One of a Kind is without a doubt Toronto’s largest, and it can sometime be difficult to find things that fit into your tastes. I love to go to as many little craft shows as I can in December. The smaller shows attract a lot of up and coming artisans and it is a great way to find out about them before everyone else. Also it is often very expensive to rent a booth at a large show compared to a small one, so you may find that prices are a little more accessible at the independent fairs.
Either way it is important to remember that these are people who work hard to create these items and the cost is almost always higher than what you would find in a regular store. As knitters we know what the time output on a seemingly simple thing can be, so factor that into the price when you think about the price of an item. It may not be so expensive after all, and it’s hard to beat knowing exactly where your products are coming from.
I’ll leave you with one last eccentric and unique image. I kinneared this woman who was wearing All. Lime. That is a huge commitment to one very specific colour.
December 1st always to come with a bit of a surprise. I know it’s coming, I mean, it’s always there, just after November. But just like how waking up to find it’s Monday can sometimes be a bit of a shock, the beginning of a new month takes a wee bit of getting used to. Add in the fact that December is always busier and more stressful than other months, and I guess I am just in denial for a few days.
I’m trying not to let that happen this year, and to help me I am going to employ a trusty advent calendar. I started one last year out of wool felt, but didn’t get it finished in time. This year it only requires a little bit more work, so I might as well put it to good use. Since there aren’t really any kids to appreciate the wonder of opening a new pocket every day, I’m okay with just putting up a new one each morning, and I might as well share them with you, my dear blog-readers. At least I’ve got a plan, right?
This morning’s pocket makes it’s appearance on the go, at Lit Espresso Bar. I scheduled a work party with my friends Andrew and Scott, who are both doing their masters. It’s kind of nice to have friends who are in school, since they always have some sort of work that needs doing, whether or not it’s readings, essays or marking. I would call it a homework party, but I don’t have any homework per say. I guess working from home means that it’s all homework, but I digress.
While these wee pockets might not hold anything very exciting in real life, I think that they will deliver a few treats over the month of December for the blog. I think I see a giveaway down the line, as well as a new pattern or two.
You never know what’s going to be inside it until it is opened! Happy Advent 1!
The excellent thing about knitting wee people things is that they are very speedy. I am a little worried about this whole sweater coming out much too large. It’s one of those nagging feelings in the back of my head that says, “I know you think this is okay, but are you really sure this is a good idea?” One reason that that voice has such a hold on my knitting psyche is that I haven’t check my gauge at all. Not one little bit. I have no clue where I am in relation to what the pattern wants, and this far in, I’m not sure I really want to. I mean, if it really is too big then he’ll just grow into it, right? Better too big than too small.
To distract you from my woeful disregard for knitting common sense here is a picture of our neighbourhood cat, Theseus. The reason he is outside looking in is that he is not our cat, he just seems to think he is. And apparently we some times think that too; yesterday I caught my dad letting him into the house for a saucer of cream.
It seems I made a few silly omissions on my post the other day, so I thought I would answer them for everyone. The book is called Kids’ Knits by Leslie Anne Price, and the yarn I am using is Baby Ull. You would think that having blogged for almost 5 years I would remember to tell you all these sort of things, but no. I don’t think that the book is in print any more, but you may be able to find a copy online somewhere. It’s a bit sad that it’s so hard to find, since most of the patterns are super cute and timeless, even if it was published in 1983.
On Tuesday I came home to a very exciting piece of mail. I found an envelope with my copy of A Needle Pulling Thread in it. Now, this may seem all boring and regular, but it is exciting because it includes one of my patterns! It all feels a bit surreal, so see it there, but it’s real!
I knit these legwarmers out of Dream in Colour Starry back in December when we got our shipment into the store. I stripped them with some Koigu to get a bit of fun colour in them. After a few weeks of wearing them Kate asked me if I would like to submit them for the Festive issue later in the year. It seems a bit funny because it happened so long ago, but here it finally is!
Every time I go to England I stay with the same family. My grandparents met them way oh back in the eighties when they were living there for a few months. Back then my gran would go round a few days a week to help out with Robin and Joe, who were but babes then. Fast forward a few decades and now they are having children of their own that I have looked after.
When I was on my exchange in Wales a few years ago the Bennetts were my home base, a place to go visit once a month for a good home cooked meal and break from dorm life. During my Easter break they lost Granny to a stroke. While Mrs. Martin was by no means my actual grandmother, she was Granny to everyone. She was stone deaf, but loved to see her grandchildren play music, and she could often be found in the kitchen watching everyone hustling and bustling around her. I never talked very much with Granny, as it is more difficult to read lips for accents than you would think, but we shared a love of knitting. There is something universal in stitches, a language that requires no translation, or exaggerated Gweneth Paltrow-esque inflections. When she died I was given a few of her knitting things: a needle book of darning needles and a book of children’s knitting patterns. It is a small way to remember a woman who persevered through so much, who was so important to so many people.
In exchange for the book, Deborah asked me to knit a few things from it for her own grandchildren, the great-grandchildren that Granny never had a chance to meet. Before I left I had their mothers pick their favourite patterns from the book in order to set the plan in motion. This weekend they welcomed the second child in this new generation, a little girl. Ack! I better get knitting!
First off though is a wee sweater for Brynmor, who is three. This is the Cornish Kid, a little cabled gansey. A wee sleeve may not take much time, but it is a little way to remember. Not just for me while I knit it, but also for the Bennetts to remember the woman who used to knit all these things for them when they were wee.