Thursday, December 11, 2014

VOGUEknitting Winter2014/15

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The most recent issue of VOGUEknitting has just arrived and to my delight, it features one of my knitting inspirations, the legendary Barbara Walker. Barbara Walker's stitch dictionaries have inspired many knitters. Even if you are not familiar with Barbara Walker, if you spend much time on Ravelry, you will often see where designers credit a particular stitch they have used to one of her incredible stitch dictionaries.

My favourite of her dictionaries is her book on Mosaic Knitting.
Below, Barbara in one of her fabulous Mosaic creations.
Vogue's Winter 2104/15 has 9 fabulous designs inspired by Barbara Walker stitch motifs. A couple below.
#1 Mosaic Cowl desinged by Kristina McGowan in <em>Alpaca Sox</em> and <em>Pirouette</em> by Classic Elite Yarns.
#8 Mosaic Sampler Pullover designed by Pat Olski
in in <em>Alpakka</em> by Dale Garn/Mango Moon Yarns.
#5 Long Fringed Scarf designed by John Brinegar in <em>Sport Weight</em> by Blue Sky Alpacas.
These designs are much easier than they look, especially when knit using the super easy to understand chart system created by Barbara. Unlike Fair Isle knitting, this is not stranded knitting. You are only knitting with one strand or colour at a time and the patterns are created by slipped stitches.
If you are interested and not sure your skills are up to it, I am offering a class this winter on slip stitch and mosaic knitting.

Slipped Stitch Knitting   (Beth) Three 2 hour Classes $60 plus supplies
Date & Time
Thursday, February 5, 12 & 19    9:30am – 11:30am
Slipped stitch, and a subgroup of this category of knitting stitches mosaic, appear quite similar to fair Isle knitting, but you are only knitting with one colour strand at a time. Stitches are slipped or knit to create the design. Once you understand a few simple basics about slipped mosaic, you will be able to use these designs in a variety of projects. In this class we will practice the techniques by swatching a few patterns you are sure to want to use later. Then really get to it with either the Frieze Cowl or Shawl.
Intermediate. Good basic knitting skills.

Do yourself a favour and explore this unique and versatile knitting technique.


Snow Days

Well, it is official. It may not be the 21st of December, but winter is here.

I know someone who is probably happy.

I have no idea how many pairs of mittens I have knit but this morning, I could not find a single pair of matching mitts. I usually like to blame the cats for events surrounding missing knitting but I don't think it will work this time. One can never have enough mitts.


Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Jabez Blanket Ministry International

We want to give you an update on a blog we posted last year. Many of our generous customers, drop of their unwanted yarn stash at our shop and we pass it on to a couple of local groups - public school knitting clubs and a local church.
Victory Baptist Church in Newmarket, participates in a charitable organization  - Jabez Blanket Ministry International. Your yarn donations have been used by the church's knitters  and crocheters to create blankets for orphans around the world.  In November we received news from Victory Baptist Church that their completed blanket count stood at 1,198!!!!
First, the previous blog on Jabez Blanket Ministry International.

The Jabez Blanket Ministry is an organization reaching out to help needy Orphans around the world - Orphans living in unimaginable poverty, bearing the marks of loneliness and desperation. To a child who has nothing, these hand-made blankets are a wonderful expression of love, saying to them ....."Someone cares for me." Not only is the recipient touched, but the giver as well. It is the goal of the Jabez Blanket Ministry, to bring comfort, hope and joy to some of the world's most desperately-needy Orphans, showing them that someone cares for them - through:
* lovingly-made woolen Blankets for warmth
* soft, endearing Teddy Bears for comforting hugs
* and needed School Supplies for Learning

Over the last seven years that Serenity Knits has been open, Karen and many of our customers have donated yarn to the wonderful knitters at Victory Baptist Church in Newmarket to knit and crochet blankets for the Jabez Blanket Ministry. Last month, they celebrated the remarkable milestone of BLANKET 1000.
The program coordinator, Faith Crosby, has asked us to Thank All Our Wonderful Customers who have donated yarn.
"Thank you to each one who has helped reach this wonderful milestone - from those who have knitted and crocheted, to those who have helped financially, to those who have purchased backpacks, teddy bears and school supplies - we could never have done this without you.. May God Himself, bless you in HIS own special way. Rejoicing with a grateful heart. Faith Crosby"

So, next time you might be tempted to do a little de-stashing, please remember the Victory Baptist Church Knitters and  Crocheters. We are happy to receive donations on their behalf.
Beth & Karen

In October, the church received an urgent request for blankets and backpacks to be sent to 901 orphans in the Ukraine. In November, the church was able to contribute 40 backpacks, 36 teddy bears , several blankets  and $200 to help with the postage. It is hoped this shipment will arrive in time for Christmas.

So again, program organizer Faith Crosby, asked we pass on their appreciation for your donations. Please keep this worthwhile organization in mind if you have unused yarns you wold be happy to donate. Just drop them off at Serenity Knits and Karen will deliver them to her church.


Wednesday, December 3, 2014


I have a couple of days off to try to get a bit more organized for Christmas. Do you remember when you were a kid and Christmas seemed to take forever to arrive? And you had no idea how much work was involved in getting ready? As I head off to the mall today, I remember with great delight  Stephanie Pearl-McPhee describing her experience getting ready for Christmas. The following is part of a post  from a couple of years ago.

From June 2011:
Do you follow the Yarn Harlot? I think Stephanie Pearl-McPhee, a.k.a. the Yarn Harlot, is one of the funniest people I have ever known. ( I use the word "know" rather loosely here. I have never met Stephanie, but have read all her books multiple times and regularly read her blog, so I feel like I know her.) I heard her speak once. By the end of the evening, my cheeks were aching from laughing so much. My favourite of her books is "Yarn Harlot, the secret life of a knitter" (A great gift for any knitter if you need a gift idea)

I am particularly amused by a chapter titled simply "IT". Let me quote part of the opening paragraph:
"Once again, it's Christmastime. How can I be completely blindsided by a holiday that happens on the same day each year is absolutely beyond me. You'd swear they only announce the date for Christmas in November and I have maybe three weeks to cope with the news. Once again I am nowhere near ready....."

The first time I read that, I laughed out loud, that is so me. So when I read it again the other night, I said to myself : "Not this year. You are going to start early!!!!"

Before I move on, if you are a knitter and do no not know the Yarn Harlot, do yourself a favour. This is her blog address; .
Visit it and see what she is up to. She also has seven best selling books.

Back to avoiding "IT" (not to ruin the story, but "IT" is the crazy state of mind and circumstances the overambitious knitter finds them self in, when it is almost Christmas, and all those hand knit gifts you had carefully planned and depended upon having to give away by December 25th are not finished). .

Any way, for a change, I am in pretty good shape this year, just 2 hats, a cowl and one pair of socks to finish. I think I will make it. How are you doing??


PS I will let you know if I see any great bargains at the mall.