Tuesday, 13 June 2017

WWKiP Day Recap, and sneak peeks for Canada 150!

Well, I'm back from Leslie Grove Park, folks, and I had a blast!

Sadly, I didn't do a lot of (ok, any) photo taking. I was too busy chattering and knitting.

I was a bit late getting there, since part of the Subway was down for maintenance over the weekend.  But, I made it in the long run, which is the important part.   Originally the weather looked like we might get rained out, but, nope, it was actually perfect weather. Underneath the trees in the shade, we were quite comfortable!

Since it was about knitting in public, I brought with me a new WIP I've started up recently.  Though I didn't get photos while there, I've taken some now so you folks can see!

This is a prototype of my Zig Zag Lace Tank Top (as usual, working title)!  This particular photograph is the beginning of the back panel.

Flat Knitted lace on two wooden needles, with a bottom edge of ribbing. The yarn is a fingering weight, and varigated blue-green-brown.

The yarn is Fleece Artists' Canada 150 Yarn, in the New Brunswick Colourway, and the needles are Maple needles from Turn of the Century.

And oh my goodness, this yarn is gorgeous!  I picked up a few different colours while I was The Purple Purl last time, and I'm -so- glad I did, it's selling out all over the place!  I have plans to make my second sample of this tank in the Northwest Territories colourway; and I've also got a skein of the Yukon colourway as well that I have different ideas for.

But that wasn't the only excitement.  The wonderful staff of The Purple Purl were doing giveaways, and I ended up with this wonderful bag!

A bag striped in Purple, Turquoise, and Black.  It has two handles and a zippered top.
I managed to remember the various KAL's that the store's done over time (after stammering for a moment, because I forgot the names of the patterns) so I that's how I won this bag. It's got a zippered top and an interior zippered pocket that defied photography, and it's actually quite sturdy. So, a huge thank you to The Purple Purl for the awesome new project bag!

Anyway, that's my update from WWKiP 2017.  It was a lot of fun, and I'm already looking forward to next year's KiP!

Thursday, 8 June 2017

World Wide Knit In Public Day!

Yep, you read that right!

WWKiP Logo: Two knitting needles crossed over an image of the globe. Text Around the Globe Reads: World Wide Knit in Public Day
For those who are unfamiliar, please let me explain.  Every year, on World Wide Knit in Public Day, people gather together in public places to knit.  There's lots of reasons, which the website enumerates better then I ever could.  But, at it's most basic level, it's all about community.

So, I'll be out for WWKiP day this year.  I'm heading to Leslie Grove Park this Saturday, as The Purple Purl is running an event!  For the Toronto locals, the landmark for the park is Queen Street East and Jones Ave (which is 1 block west of Queen and Leslie). It's 1 to 4 pm, and it's going to be a sort of picnic, so bring blankets!   They'll have prizes, and a trunk show from The Blue Brick Yarns (who I have to confess I know very little about, but I'm suspecting that will change on Saturday)!

And, they'll also have some of the folks from Knitted Knockers there too!

It's going to be a busy weekend, but I'm looking forward to it.

Monday, 5 June 2017

2017 Toronto Knitter's Frolic Haul!

It's taken me longer then I'd like to write this, considering the Frolic was over a month ago.  My apologies.

To those who aren't familiar with the Toronto Knitter Frolic, I promise, my delay is solely because of the sheer amount of awesomeness there is to write about!

The big questions are always: "what did you get!?"  "Who did you visit?"

And well, here is my answer to that question!  Those of you on Facebook may have already seen these photos (I'm more active on Facebook then other social media, I think it's because it's the most familiar to me!), so if you've already seen these, then you're ahead of everyone else, and I ask for your patience once again!

My first find was from the wonderful folks at The Woodlot, who've been coming to the Frolic for a number of years now.  The buttons are all reclaimed wood, which is awesome.  I'm not entirely sure what exactly these will be used for, but they've been tucked away safely in my button jar for now!
A small plastic package containing wooden buttons. At the top, there is a cardboard foldover with an image of trees and the text: Wood Buttons.

It's not just wooden buttons, either, but bigger tools, as well!  Courtesy of AB Originals, I finally got myself a nostepinne.  (And yes, I had to look up how to pronounce that!) 
I've already put it to use winding up tag-ends and half skeins for a scrap blanket.   It did take some exploring on Youtube to make it work, (you can find the video tutorial I used on my Fiber Arts Resource Page, scroll down to Nostepinne to find it!)

Wooden Nosterpinne. A wooden dowl with a carved handle, and a notch around the other end.

Next find is from Stix and Stones.  I first got introduced to these wonderful folks when they came into Toronto as vendors for a Toronto Knitter's Guild Meeting, and I was excited to see them as vendors at the Frolic, as well.   I picked up two skeins of Dragon Strings Siren Hair.  The colour is "Froggie in the Pond" which was another hard one to photograph.  Despite my best attempts, I'm not sure the colour is completely true-to-life, but it should still give an idea of the awesomeness that is this yarn.

Two twisted skeins of turquoise variegated yarn

My random lucky find at the Frolic was two skeins of Truffula, which is a limited-edition base from Red Sock Blue Sock.  I stopped at their booth on a whim (I was distracted by the pretty colours!) and ended up with this.  It's called "Blue Jay", and it's gorgeous.  It feels a bit rough in hand, so I'm curious to see how it behaves when I wash it.
Two skeins of varigated blue-white yarn on a wooden surface.

Every time I go to the Frolic, I hit up Dye-Version. Jane is a total sweetheart, and I always end up chattering to her at the booth. Plus, I really do love their yarns, especially their BFL Sock!  This is possibly the hardest-wearing sock yarn I've found; and the colours are amazing.  This particular batch is called "Neptune".

A skein of deep turquoise yarn laying flat.

Sadly, this isn't their BFL Sock, but it is another favorite, of their 100% Bamboo! They do a Fingering Weight and a Sport Weight Bamboo, and this is the Sport Weight.  The colour is "Nymph", and I have plans for it to be a shawl, I think.

A skein of deep turquoise yarn laying flat.

And it's only now in typing this that I realize I missed photographing one of my finds!  Arg!  The yarn in question is now nicely stored away in my big plastic bin of lace-weight yarn, so I don't want to go digging to fish it out. That said, here goes: 
I got two skeins of the special Frolic Blend from Cottage Craft Angora. It's a gorgeous yarn, a blend of a number of fibers, including 10% Qiviut.  I've never worked with Qiviut before, so that's going to be exciting for me!

Another exciting find for me this year was the Upper Canada FiberShed. I'd seen their booth in previous years, but not really checked it out (which, I admit, was foolish)!   I got 4 skeins of 100% Alpaca from Nuevo Norte Alpacas at their booth, and the pictures don't do the yarn justice.   I'm planning for this to become a cabled tunic.
4 skeins of marled yarn

Last but not least was the awesome yarn that was tucked into the Gift Baskets from the Spring Social! It was hard to get a picture that photographed true-to-colour, so this was the best one I could find. The yarn is a sport-weight cotton from Universal Yarns, who were one of the sponsors for the Spring Social.

Two cakes of green/turquoise yarn

And for those of you who are wondering what this Spring Social was, you can check out the description here (scroll down), and you can see pictures on the Toronto Knitter's Guild Flickr Stream. I originally was on the fence about going, but I'm really glad I did! It was wonderful, and I very much hope they do it again next year!

Thursday, 1 June 2017

If This, Then That. (IFTTT)

Sounds like a logic puzzle, doesn't it?  Or maybe something out of your high-school programming class?

Yep, you're not far off.

IFTTT is a website.  It's a website where you can go in and automate just about anything.

For example, on their home page right now, I see little applets that will do things like "Get an e-mail if there will be rain in your area tomorrow".  And "E-mail me when there are new books on the best-seller list."   There are also more specific ones, like "Get an E-mail when X Store puts new products for sale."  The list is almost endless.  I'm incredibly thankful it's searchable.

I know I've only scratched the surface of what it can do, But in doing so, I really thought I should share.

The biggest (and currently) the only applet I'm using is RSS to E-mail.  So that takes an RSS feed, and e-mails me each time that feed has an update.  Why is that useful?


Screen Capture from IFTTT, showing a number of RSS subsciptions to KAL threads.
Screen Grab from my own Applets on IFTTT
 This is a screenshot from my own IFTTT account.  I've got a bunch of the RSS to E-mail applets.  And they're incredibly useful.  They consolidate all of my feeds across a bunch of different threads places right into my e-mail account.  The biggest purpose?  To keep up-to-date on Ravelry KAL threads, chat threads, blog posts, and more!  While Ravelry's 'watch thread'  function is useful, no question, for me and my admittedly distractable mind, getting an e-mail for each new post is even better!  It insures that I don't miss a post that I actually might care about.

This also means that following blogs, no matter the host, is easy!  If there's not an easy 'follow by e-mail' option on the blog I'm looking at, I've yet to find a blog that doesn't have an RSS feed.
I also am looking at getting IFTTT to e-mail me when specific people I follow on Facebook/Google+ post new content.  On Facebook, it's rare to see all of someone's content unless you go right to their page, and for me, having everything one place makes sure I don't miss something! Right now I can't find an applet for that, but maybe I can make one?

Anyway, I've been wanting to share this cool piece of tech for a bit, so, here you folks go!

Have any of you used IFTTT?  How did you find it?  Did it work for you (or not)?   Please, let me know in the comments!

Monday, 29 May 2017

I'm teaching Knitting Classes!

. . . wait what?

Yep, you read the title right, I'm now officially teaching Knitting Classes!

Learn to Knit with Sarah Dawn.  In Person Knitting Class: Materials Included.  Toronto, Ontario, Canada Area

Learn to Knit with Sarah Dawn.  Knitting Class: Virtual or In-Person.  Toronto, Ontario, Canada Area.

The classes are available via my Etsy Shop (see the image links above for direct links to the listings), or you can contact me directly at sarahdawnsdesigns@gmail.com, as always, for more info.

The classes are are one-on-one, and either 2 or 3 hours long.  For those in the Toronto, Ontario, Canada area, it's an in-person class with materials included; and the meeting place will be decided on mutually.  It'll likely be an accessible public space like a coffee shop or library.  For those outside the GTA, it's a virtual/correspondence class, and materials are not included.  If you need more extensive guidance on materials, there's a class on How to Choose Yarn, which also covers choosing needles, hooks, and other tools.

In both cases, I'm customizing the class to the student. Perhaps one person works better over e-mail, while another person works via Skype or Google Hangouts; so I'll work with the student to figure out the best method for communication and teaching.

So, if you're interested, check it out and let me know.  Feedback is most definitely welcome!

Tuesday, 23 May 2017

2nd Place in the Designer's Challenge Voting! Thank you!

Wow.  Thank you all so much! 

Artistic, multi-coloured text: Thank You!

Thanks to your support, interest, and votes, I took second place in the March/April Designer's Challenge Voting!

I'll admit it -- I was wondering if I'd get a single vote.  But you folks did take a moment to go check out the entries and vote, which is super-exciting!

If you're looking for the end results of the designer's challenge, I'm hoping to have the pattern for my Lace Leaf Market Bag (working title!) up for testing in mid-to-late June.  So stay tuned here for the test-knit call!

You folks are awesome.  No, seriously.
That is all. :)

Thursday, 18 May 2017

Designed in Canada KAL on Ravelry!


So I just found the Designed in Canada Ravelry KAL.  It runs from May 27th to the Beginning of September.

An image of the Canadian Flag

I saw it briefly last year, but didn't give it much thought. This year, I actually have some patterns available, so, I'm jumping into offer prizes, and to also offer all my self-published patterns at a 25% discount to KAL participants!  All of my patterns are eligible in the KAL (including my free pattern), so feel free to jump in.   Also, anything I self-publish between now and the beginning of September (or whenever the KAL ends), will also be eligible, so long as you finish it before the KAL deadline.

You do have to be a Ravelry member to participate in this KAL, but if you're not on Ravelry, I do strongly suggest it as a really good fiber resource!

For the KAL rules and sign up, go here; for the 25% off on my patterns for KAL participants, go here. (Also, I'm not the only designer giving discounts, so you can check out that thread for other Canadian designers who are giving pattern discounts for the KAL).

So, after all that's said, I'd love to see you there, and I look forward to seeing your wonderful FO's!