Struggling with Monogamous Knitting

Are you a monogamous knitter? Do you stick to your plan of starting and finishing each project as it comes up the queue? If you do, I could use some tips.

I know some people are programmed to finish what they start. They buy yarn for a particular project, get started and FINISH. Wow. I’m in awe. I usually have several projects on the go at one time. Now that I am trying to work on one at a time, I am having some problems. I’m a newby. How do you do this?

Last weekend was our Cabin Fever Retreat. Imagine lots of knitters in class all day learning all things I-Cord. We knit a back and front of a small purse (all sides worked in I-Cord), joined it all together with more I-Cord. They knit with 100% wool  Northern Lights so when they get home, they can felt their purse.

In the evenings, knitters are knitting on their class project or one of the projects they brought with them. I am knitting on my monogamous wrap project. All good. I can knit my wrap while talking and laughing. No problem there. What I can’t do its bring it with me to meals and knit at the table. First of all the wrap is getting big, too big to carry around. Also I am at that stage of wanting to protect it from spills or anything that could damage all the work I’ve done. So knitting at the dinner table is out. Trying to be monogamous, I didn’t bring another project with me. A mistake. Imagine me fiddling with my silverware while everyone else is knitting, waiting for our meals to arrive.

What is your strategy? Stick to one project, no matter what? Work on two projects at one time? Say, what the hell and work on many, many projects?

My wrap is now a stay-at-home project. It’s almost too big for my knitting bag. That’s a good sign, I’m making progress. It may be time to dig out one of my UFO (unfinished objects) or come on, let’s be honest, start a new project to carry around.

Thanks for reading,


Cabin Fever patterns on ravelry



Knitting Guild workshops

Do you belong to a Knitting Guild? I had the pleasure of doing workshops at two different knitting guilds this week. I am also looking forward to my own knitting guild meeting later this week.

Our Couchiching Knitters Guild has been running (under various names and several different locations) for more than 20 years. We were getting so chatty at our meetings that we couldn’t seem to get anything else done so now we go for dinner first and then meet at the Purl3 knitting shop for our meeting. We do a short technical lesson or discussion (this month it’s bring your favourite Christmas gift pattern) and then, the highlight, our show and tell. There is always lots to inspire us: stories of problems, offers of solutions, new books, new patterns, yarn galore and lots of encouragement. It’s always terrific to be with people who love knitting as much as I do.

In Port Hope I lead the Make It Fit workshop. I was impressed by the number of sweater knitters in this group. We explored small additions to a pattern that can make a sweater fit each of our unique figures. Yes, the person who has to make a sweater fit really well is you.

Female-Body-Shapes Workshop (2)

We discussed why you need to make accommodations and where you would incorporate each technique. They knit a little sample to try out several techniques:  Easy Bust Shaping, Bust Shaping with Twin Stitches, Where is your Waist. Knitting the sample seemed to make it all more real and open up the possibility that they could actually add the shaping they needed on their next sweater. Because they are a guild they now have the support to make this happen.

At the Knotty Knitters guild meeting in Peterborough we explored taking a raglan pattern and seeing if we could make changes to the yoke and come up with something different.


I truly believe that every knitter has a designer inside them who wants to get out and try something. This is the class for that knitter. There are so many possibilities and places to go using a raglan pattern. This workshop has produced these two patterns so far:  Kid’s Diamond Pullover

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and Kid’s Summer Topper.

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There will be more coming down the pipe.

That was my exciting week. Next weekend is the Cabin Fever Retreat where we are doing all things I-Cord. The fun never stops!

Thanks for reading,


Cabin Fever patterns and Books on Ravelry

A “thing” about Reversibility

Do you have a “thing”? Let me put that another way. Do you have “strong opinions” about certain aspects of knitting?

My friend, Gayle of Knits From the Woodlot, has decided opinions about reversibility. If there is any chance that you will see the other side of your knitting, it also needs to look beautiful.

From her blog 5 Things I Love and Hate About Knit Designs, this quote was first on the list:

  • For me, reversibility is essential for shawls, scarves, cowls, and shawl collars, anywhere the wrong side will show. Knitters are not on the fence about this issue. We fall into, “I love shawls, therefore I’m OK with the wrong side showing sometimes” or “No way, I don’t want to be fiddling with what I’m wearing or what’s on the sofa.”

I agree. I’m also not on the fence. So when my daughter asked me to knit her a wrap for her winter wedding, first I was thrilled and second, I thought immediately that it needed to be reversible.

I checked out the book that Gayle recently recommended. Reversible Knitting Stitches, Knits From The Woodlot

I swatched several cables. I am new to reversible cables so it was fun.



My decisions made, I knit a scarf. This is now a New Cabin Fever Pattern called Three Cable Reversible Scarf.  It’s a charted pattern.

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This is the right side when you are knitting (just because it’s easier to follow the pattern if we call one side the right side).
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The wrong side which some of my family love better. No problem because both sides are beautiful.

Then, the saga continues, Gayle sent me her latest design for tech editing. You guessed it, very similar. Great minds and all that. Out of 200 stitch patterns from the Reversible Knitting Stitches book we chose the same central cable. It’s obviously the best looking cable in the book, ha, ha.

The Marksbury Wrap   Check it out.

Gayle's reversible scarf

And how is the winter wedding wrap coming along? So far, so good.


My daugher wanted a very wide wrap so this is approximately the Three Cable Reversible Scarf x 3.  I’m about half way done, OK maybe not quite half but it’s moving along. I might need some cheering from the sidelines for the last couple of feet.

FOLLOW ME for more knitting adventures.   Thanks for reading,


Cabin Fever patterns on ravelry

Purlin’ J’s Roving Yarn Co.

Imagine if your local yarn shop came to you. OK it’s not like the ice cream truck cruising your neighbourhood but if you see this truck, STOP, there is yarn.

purlin j's truck

Purlin’ J’s Joan Sharpe, roves around to various fibre festivals in the Kingston, Ontario area bringing yarn to the masses. That would be us.

purlin j

Joan came to the Sticks, Strings and Stewardship Retreat I was at last weekend. She is very engaging and has a great story of how she got here inside a roving truck: Purlin’ J is me, Joan Sharpe, and I have years of knitting expertise to share with Purlin’ J’s customers. My late mother, Dorothy, taught me to knit when I was eight years old. (It took a few tries for me to get the hang of it!) My mother encouraged me to work at my local yarn shop when I was still a teenager. This part-time job helped pay my way through a two-year Fashion Design Diploma program at Sheridan College, where I majored in knit clothing. I was hired straight out of college to join the hand-knit pattern design team for the Bouquet brand of yarns manufactured by Spinrite Yarns. As part of the design team, I worked on turning design concepts into written patterns and finally into completed garments.

Since 2013 her 1982 fire service rescue truck has been packed with goodies.


I think this is even better than the ice cream truck. Don’t you?

Thanks for reading and Happy Thanksgiving,


Cabin Fever patterns on ravelry

Apres Retreat

I retreated last weekend …


with my favourite people, Knitters! At the Sticks, Strings and Stewardship Retreat in Sudbury, ON, we knit, laughed, learned some new skills, ate, laughed some more and knit. I feel refreshed and the best part is that I feel right in the world about my knitting obsession.

I exposed some knitters to the wonders of I-Cord (much of it “unvented” by the wonderful Elizabeth Zimmermann). It was wonderful to see the light go on as we discussed all the ways I-Cord can be used:

  1. free standing I-cord (here’s an i-cord photo tutorial)
  2. built-in i-cord,
  3. applied aftermarket,
  4. worked as a cast on & cast off,
  5. different styles of buttonholes
  6. decoration (putting i-cord worms on a sweater being my all time favourite).

I’m going to do The Magic of I-Cord again at our next retreat: Cabin Fever Retreat on October 26-28, 2018 at the Fern Resort in Orillia. We’re going to tackle all things I-cord in a little project that you’ll have finished by the end of the weekend. There will be great food, lots of laughs, new skills and lots and lots of knitting. I’m primed now and can’t wait to get started.

I did a little stroll through my Cabin Fever designs where I used the Magic of I-Cord. I was surprised by the number. Here are just a few of my favourites.

YOSO 2016 Mosaic Knitting
Mosaic Tiles hat, I-cord brim and tail at crown.
kimono vest
Kimono Vest, all edges worked as built-in I-cord. No finishing, just sew on the button.
Swing Coat
Swing Coat, I-cord front edge, mock I-cord details (vertical lines) and hidden buttonholes.
Top Down Ridges P1040401 - Copy
Top Down Ridges with the front edge worked in built-in I-cord.

My first retreat of the season convinces me that this is the most wonderful way to spend a weekend. I wonder why it’s called a retreat? I can only think that it is a retreat from our normal lives where people don’t get our devotion to knitting.

Thanks for reading,


Cabin Fever pattern on ravelry


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