Thursday, January 7, 2010


Winter has finally decided to arrive in southern Ontario. We have temperatures below the freezing mark and the snow is staying, rather than melting, today.

The last few days have been creative and inspiring. One was spent sorting, cleaning and carding vintage buttons. In particular, we selected beautiful vintage buttons for knitters-buttons with substance and presence, buttons that would enhance a carefully-crafted sweater or bag.

The next day the buttons were off to my local yarn shop, Spun Fibre Arts, in Burlington, Ontario. It is always a joy to visit Spun because it is a beehive of knitting activity. Knitters dropping in to select yarn for one project inspire each other to think about other projects, or are captured by a particular skein of yarn that calls out to be knit.

That night Monika Nowaczyk from Cambodia Knits came to speak to our knitting guild. Monika is a Canadian living and working in Cambodia who is passionate about helping the Cambodian people achieve self-sufficiency. She has taught nearly 30 local women and men how to knit and how to market their wares. Monika can be found on Ravelry as 'liontamer'. Her website is: and you can follow her blog at The work she is doing is truly amazing.

Yesterday included a visit to the Art Gallery of Ontario and the Grange Museum. . Because knitting and buttons for knitters have consumed a lot of my time lately, I found myself looking at the paintings as little archives of fashion history. A painting by the Dutch master Jan Rotius is going to be the inspiration for my next lace knitting design.

Tonight I am off to make new friends at a knitting night at a local coffee shop. Report to follow!

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Fascinating Crochet

This afternoon was spent at Spun Fibre Arts yarn shop in Burlington, Ontario with a great group of crochet enthusiasts. We were attending a workshop offered by Danielle Kassner on Jacquard Crochet. Danielle is a crocheter extraordinaire who lives in Barcelona, Spain, but travels home to Canada during the holidays. Samples of Danielle's work can be seen on her blog at Her designs can also be seen on Ravelry where her user name is laracroft.
The class was focused on creating a thrummed jacquard crochet cowl in two colours. It was challenging to learn how to crochet in two colours in the round while carrying the unspun five-ply roving along the inside of the cowl, but we all managed it. Here we all are. Danielle is seated in the centre. I'll be posting pictures of the cowl as it progresses.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

A New Year

The new year is always filled with hope and promise.
Hope that it will be the best year yet. Hope that friends and family will be well. Hope that the world will be a better place.
Promise that I will accomplish my goals. Promise to be more creative. Promise to be kinder, neater, thinner....promise, promise, promise.

Here at Sheep Dip Cottage we are busy with knitting, writing and buttons, buttons, buttons. I'm preparing a workshop for my knitting guild called 'Buttons, button holes and button bands for knitters'. Many knitters view making button holes and sewing on buttons as the 'chore' part of knitting and get no pleasure from it. I hope to change that attitude by giving knitters the proper skills and making the process fun. So, check back here regularly as I post tips to improve your knitting.

Splendid 2010 to all.