it’s my waterloo . . .

Posted on Posted in book reviews/events, projects

there really is a waterloo for each of us and this one, despite being quite wet and rainy this weekend, is especially nice (it really is very wet; i almost called this post “watery-loo”, but then realized that name came with its own unique baggage . . .).

anyway, i just love university towns—so full of variety and good coffee.

i arrived in canada very early on friday morning without a hitch; no airline difficulties for now and everyone in customs was friendly, but smilingly disinterested in my knitting adventure here.

i was met by the lovely janelle, who quickly got us back to waterloo so i could drop my bags before we headed to lunch at a yummy vegetarian cafe close by. we did a few turns around town so i could see where things were and then off we went to shall we knit? in new hamburg

friday evening is for knit and chat there. karen has the most eclectic and wonderful knit shop—if you live anywhere nearby, you should make it a destination sometime soon (or at least get on the mailing list).

zena will make sure your visit is completely worthwhile.

and if she’s not taking visitors, the wall of koigu will be sure to captivate you (the staff makes regular visits to the koigu studios to stock up on all sorts of goodies . . .)

right now they’ve got briar rose in the house, too (probably not for long, from what i saw going out the door)

in fact, they have a gorgeous caricia knit up in BR sea pearl that i was beside myself over.

spinning and knitting supplies are lying virtually everywhere among the charming displays

along with a few non-knitting essentials, such as these beautiful maruca bags.

i brought along my little golden shawlette to knit, having gotten quite far along with it on the plane trip in. during the evening’s conversation, i managed to get it finished, which meant we could block it the next day in class.

saturday morning, we all met for a blocking class in a dining room at the beautiful victorian puddicombe house B&B.

my shawlette went into a cool, soapy bath while we talked a bit about washing, blocking, and caring for woolens. the nice thing about this class was that everyone got to take part and they also got to knit a lot while we talked about blocking—a great mix for a saturday morning (especially with the yummy coffee and muffins provided)

after a bit, we rinsed it and began threading it on blocking wires.

everyone took turns to learn how it’s done and once all the sides were threaded, we stretched and pinned it out.

we put a wire through one long hem edge and used pins on the other to demonstrate that you can do it either way

and then i put a few fussy finishing touches on the whole thing

and voilá—it was time to watch it dry.
just kidding . . . karen made the day a lot of fun by pulling names for door prizes every so often and even had a gift for me (totally unnecessarily, since they were treating me so special already).

inside was a cute project bag, with some stitch markers (the kind i’ve been wanting, yay), a foldable pen, and some soft, soft, shelridge farms lace yarn in the SWK house colorway. nice.

we actually went on to block a few other items that participants brought along. josephine had a silk and wool scarf that she’d already blocked, but was unhappy with.

she found she was able to get a much better result with more stretching; here she used the wires, but could have used a thread through the edges as well, to get them nice and straight.

by the end of the session, we’d also revitalized a pair of cloverleaf mitts and steam-blocked a finished sweater to observe the amazing effects of applying steam to rumpled knitted fabric (sorry, no photos of that one).

after lunch, i opened my suitcase and unpacked the trunk show to get ready for the afternoon session. we displayed all the things i brought along—about thirty pieces total, i think—and i gave a talk about how i work and how my designs evolve.

this is one of the shawl samples karolyn sent me a couple of weeks ago—a brand new irfa’a in blue moon fiber arts laci, coloway, valkyrie. karolyn, i wish you could have been in the room to hear the oohs and ahhhs over it . . . i’ll show more of this piece when i return home.

our friends lorraine and patJ

they brought me a beautiful gift of posh yarn in the “fudge” colorway, along with some delish chocolate bars. and in the bottom of the bag, what did i see, but an even more delish lipstick—i know that’s a prezzie hand-picked by lorraine; she’s a bit fixated on my lipstick (in a good way!), but i love that about her. and she picked a good one; i know i’ll use it a lot.

speaking of irtfa’a, today we met again at shall we knit? for an all-day shawl project class, focusing on the irtfa’a faroese shawl (well at least most of us did; someone whose initials are SUE had to knit something different. but i have to say, she was so happy with her choice, we couldn’t help but enjoy it with her).

of course, i shouldn’t talk—i didn’t start a new irtfa’a either. i worked on my little lace scarf in enchanted knoll merino/silk lace. i love the way it’s coming along . . .

i got a fair bit done, too, as today’s class was a lot more about knitting than talking. this was a wonderful chance for the participants to take six hours off from their lives to get started a lace project that requires some focused attention in the beginning stages.

we reviewed the construction and architecture of the piece while everyone knit their neck edging. then we moved on to getting the shoulder area of the shawl started. once everyone understood the shaping and sequence of the parts, we practiced a few skills to better understand how to execute the hem edging. it was a full day of thinking exercise, but everyone went home with a new shawl on the needles and they will continue to meet for KAL sessions over the summer. very productive.

oh, and i almost forgot—this morning when i got to the shop, the shawlette was dry and unpinned from its blocking board. just look at that shine—dani’s sunsilk yarn is absolutely glowing.

my only regret is that i had so much yarn left over—i was too cautious about running out and could have probably made it another repeat wider at the hems. it’s still a nice scarf size though—about 42 inches across the top edge and around 15 inches down the center back. perfect scarf proportions, i think.

when i knit my next one, it’ll be a little bigger . . . and i’ll try to get some more pictures when it’s not so rainy. next i need to get the pattern written up properly and off to ronni for proofing.

tomorrow it’s on to adjudicate the guild knitting show and get ready for the fashion show and talk on tuesday night; wish me luck.

39 thoughts on “it’s my waterloo . . .

  1. fun to see the knitted things blocking. Sometimes that’s my favorite part. Can’t wait for the shawlette pattern!

  2. love the shawlette! i just caved yesterday and bought a skein of stricken smitten’s june colorway (midsummer’s twilight) in her “s’marvelous” yarn, and this might be just the thing for it. and i’m casting on campanula as we speak! 🙂

  3. Oh, how I wish I had been there! It looks like such fun and to be surrounded by all that lovely yarn and your gorgeous samples… how could it possibly not be heavenly?? And I’m in love with your new shawlette and can’t wait to make one (or two)!

  4. Even though all your shawl are beautiful, I have to admit that Zena is the one I would be tempted to kidnap. She’s so adorable I’d let her pick out my yarn purchases (though I imagine the choices in her reach would be rather limited).

  5. Oh, it seems you had a wonderful time! I wish I could have been there for the blocking class — sounds perfect and so fun! 🙂 And don’t get me started about the yarns, the wee dog, or your fabulous patterns…!

    Are you ever coming to the UK? I see you’re coming to KnitNation but I have other commitments that weekend 🙁 Do you have any other UK travel plans in the pipeline?

  6. Anne! Welcome to Canada…how we wish we were where you are 🙂
    Love the center detail on the new shawlette – so lovely.

  7. LOVE the shawlette, and the scarf, too! It looks like you all had a wonderful time.

  8. We are going to be in New Hamburg for a car show in August..can’t wait to get into this shop.

  9. I’ve missed not reading your blog for the past few days, but enjoyed this one so much and reading about all of your work and fun. The shawlette is so pretty. I’m looking forward to seeing the pattern as well as for the pretty lace scarf (of course, I love all of your patterns).
    This looks like such a great shop. It’s going on my list of places to visit … of these days.

  10. I just want to say that I have learned a lot from your blocking discussions and pictures. I went back and looked at what you said about Caricia before I blocked it. The pictures help tremendously!

  11. Anne- I feel privileged to have seen the new shawlette, it is a beauty.

    What a great day it was, in New Hamburg. Best of luck with the KW Guild show.

  12. Wow! What a fun trip. I felt a little woozy after seeing the wall of Koigu and the box of Chris’s lovely Briar Rose yummies. 🙂 I love the idea of the lace shawl class followed up by KAL meetings.

  13. I see that I will need to purchase some lace rods to use for better blocking. Beautiful show and tell, Annie. Thank you and safe travels home.

  14. Thanks again for sharing your adventures while on the road – I feeel like I had a mini vacation while enjoying my morning coffee!

  15. I’m jealous of all the knitters who get to take classes with you! I’ll have to keep an eye out to see if you ever land in NC.

    The shawlette looks beautiful – I’m trying to decide on one of your patterns to make into a smaller shawl and now have another to add to my list of choices (which had been between WOTM and Ivy & Pine).

    I was wondering, with all the time that you spend knitting (which I realize is your job), whether you had any special physical regimen to avoid repetitive stress injury or over-fatigued muscles?

  16. Love your blog. In the “Its my Waterloo” blog there is a cardigan in the picture showing the Maruca bag and link. I love that cardigan and would like to get the pattern. Can you tell what it is and where to find it?

  17. As others have said, watching the evolution of the shawlette has been great fun! Another winner for sure. I love Maruca bags! And lipstick swag, how lucky! That Zena is a cutie, too. You have too much fun!

  18. Do you post your trips online? I’d love to take a class like this from you and would be willing to travel! Unless of course, we could get you here to our beautiful Black Hills of South Dakota 🙂

    Could you also let me know where to get those blocking wires?


  19. Anne ~ You are in my hometown. I’ve been transplanted to the “left coast” and live near Seattle. It was wonderful to see your photos and can’t wait for that shawlette pattern.

  20. Sounds like an amazing time Anne! And, of course, I am in awe at your work once again — seeing the Sunsilk turn into such an amazing piece of beauty and artwork is what it’s all about 🙂

  21. I LOVE Maruca bags. I travel to the home of Maruca Bags, Boulder, Co. every year in Oct.-Nov. and I buy a new bag every year. They are so wonderful. I’ve never had so many comments or compliments about anything else (other than my knitting). That was a great sales pitch for a really awesome USA-made product.

  22. How I would love to have taken that shawl project workshop! And gotten some tips on really professional blocking (mine is always a bit hit and miss, even with wires). Thank you for the link to the Puddicombe Inn, Anne – after looking at their web site, my husband and I have booked a room there for the KW Knitters’ Fair weekend in September. Someday I hope to be able to take one of your classes, but have you ever considered writing a book on lace? (In your “spare” time, dontcha know!) Have just finished Campanula in Kami (awaiting blocking) and the next project is Twinings in laceweight silk – wish me luck!

  23. Could you come to Columbus and do a class like this? 🙂 What fun!!! Love all the projects, but Josephine’s scarf really grabbed me. Lipstick rules! 🙂

  24. I too enjoyed the blocking photos. I’m almost at the end of my Maplewing and am looking forward to blocking that. My question is about the yellow cardigan shown with the Maruca bag. It’s darling! Do you happen to know the name of the pattern?

  25. Anne, awesome post. It was so much fun to see the class and your samples. I know I’m into fiber way too much when I had a brief period of hyperventilating over your shop pictures of the braided fiber.

    Enjoy your visit. I wish I was in your class : )

  26. Thank you for the blocking pictures. I love the look of your scarf. Hope everything went well on Tuesday.

  27. Ooh, what a wonderful bunch of classes! I wish I could have taken the shawl one; I’ve been craving a faroese shawl — it’s been too long since I knitted lacewing…

  28. I hope one day to have the opportunity to take a class from you. I already learned much from the blocking photos. I am still in love with the Mermaid colorway Enchanted Knoll, and love the golden scarf as well.
    One side affect of the post, I have the Abba song ‘Waterloo’ running through my head now. My husband (a big tough viking-looking guy) is a fan. sigh.

  29. What is the name of the pattern you used for that lovely yellow sunsilk yarn shawl??

  30. I was in the audience at the adjudicated show and just wanted to say how much I really enjoyed your talk – it was really interesting to see where you get all of your inspiration! I look forward to when you come back 🙂

  31. That new little shawlette is lovely! I am back from my trip to Belgium (FAB-U-LOUS) and ready for a test knit if you need someone for the shawl sized version. I even have a lovely anniversary gift of some anny blatt in a cashmere/soy/camel blend that would work if my yardage is right. Hope all your travels are going smoothly!

  32. Thanks so much for all of your sharing – it is fun to live vicariously through your adventures! I am curious about the blocking board – the chenille covering – where did you get it? I have been looking for a chenille bedspread for my bed and cannot find what I have in mind – but that one sure is beautiful. Thanks again –
    PS I got to meet Debbie New about 6 years ago at the LYS I used to work at & had no idea of the genius whose company I was in. Since then I was able to get her book & appreciate her skill – how fun for you to meet her & see her art!

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