Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Dividing by Zero

Ever seen one of those demotivational posters about dividing by zero?

Yeah, that's what my knitting world is like right now. Like I said in the last blog post, I am knitting the Hitchiker. Don't get me wrong, I am still enjoying this scarf, even if it is 400yds of garter stitch on 3mm needles (Wait! Maybe THAT'S why it's called the hitchiker scarf, it's like the trilogy that never ends...). I was merrily knitting along thinking that I must be past halfway through this lovely ball of knitting when I committed a major knitting faux pas. I pulled out the scale, weighed the yarn and just about flipped my lid when I saw I had 62 grams left. Which meant I was nowhere near the halfway point. Now, I think weighing yarn is a useful tool. It's great when you are knitting a project that requires 2 of something and you are trying to figure out if you have enough-like socks, mittens, or sweater (weighing the yarn to make sure you have enough for 2 sleeves...). But weighing the yarn just because you can't handle not knowing how much more knitting you have? That is a horrible abyss that no knitter should fall into.

That's not even the worst part. I continued knitting my little project for a while-it's hard to tell how long because people come into the store and I have to stop knitting sometimes, but I figured I had maybe another hour of knitting.

I weighed the ball again.

Seriously, either I am in a time paradox or I have the yarn ball of infinity matter.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Do you know where your towel is?

Christmas is a comin' and the egg nog is in the nog!

Right now (along with a thousand other projects) I am knitting Hitchhiker.

The name of this pattern is referencing the fantastic Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy Trilogy (in Five parts). This alone is enough to make me want to knit that pattern-the fact that I really like it is a small bonus.
This fantastic little shawl is so simple! I love how hand dyed variegated yarns translate so beautifully into the garter stitch construction. The silly little nubs on the edge of the shawl keep me going-I am a fickle knitter so if there is a mini-goal (like one more nub) than I find I am a much more successful knitter (which is why I like self striping yarns).
I am knitting this in Malabrigo Sock which is a lovely 100% Merino yarn. All the colours in Malabrigo are incredible. I am extremely happy with how the colour is turning out, I noticed on the Rav page that some of the variegated yarn pooled or flashed in a way that I didn't like, I wanted something that knit up the way the sample in orange/red/yellow turned out-so far that is what is happening and I am ecstatic!

See? See how pretty it's turning out! It took me two tiny little repeats to memorize the pattern! The great thing is that if I lose count of where I am, it doesn't really matter if a few of the nubs are farther apart or closer together because it's such an organic looking design!

As usual I am knitting this for myself. I am a selfish knitter. I knit for myself all the time, I love wearing handknits. I do knit for others occasionally, but I find many people don't really have a n appreciation for hand knit items or don't want to take the time to care for them. I often get funny looks from people when they ask me who I am knitting for and I usually say "Me". Apparently the expectation from the general non-knitting public (or muggles as the Yarn Harlot calls them), is that all knitters should be knitting gifts, at all times. Who do you usually knit for?

I'd also like to take a moment to introduce you to Audrey II

Audrey II is the store's amaryllis. He is only 4 weeks old. Crazy, non? 4 weeks old and already has EIGHT flowers! That's why I called him Audrey II, because I would leave work in the evening and come back and he would have grown a centimetre and a half overnight! (Audrey II is the giant plant in Little Shop of Horrors) I really hope he divides and takes over the world!

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Curse you infernal machine!!!

So...my computer died. This is the 3rd time in twelve months and the fourth time since I bought it 2 and a half years ago. The good news is that I purchased the extended warranty (something I always do for computers since I have yet to buy a computer that doesn't end up needing an extended warranty). The further good news is that this is the 4th time this computer has died and there is a "lemon" clause in my warranty. This means that as soon as it's confirmed that the computer is indeed broken, they will give me a shiny brand new one. I'm switching to Mac. I know there are many people that hate Mac's because of their limits and inability to play awesome games, but I need something stable for the business. Something that is not going to need to go into the shop every 3 months.
While my computer was in the shop, I switched to the backup computer. Yes, we have a backup computer. You don't even want to know how many computers we have... But...the back up computer died. I know! Double You Tee Eff, right? The cord no longer charges the battery. Or the battery no longer charges. Either way, it doesn't work.
So...I switched to the backup backup computer. OK-we don't really have a backup backup computer-it's the Ravelry computer for customers in-store. It's slower than molasses and uglier than sin-but it works! Here's hoping that this computer doesn't die-I'd hate to have to bring the backup backup backup computer into the store because it's REALLY slow. Slower than the slower than molasses computer. Like tectonic plates moving and creating new continents slow. Slow like Austin powers running over that guy with a forklift slow. Slower than the slow food movement. REALLY SLOW!
Yeah, we have a lot of computers...it has to do with my brother being in the computer repair/resale business-so I save them all up and periodically give him a big ole box of computers and accessories.
Out of deference to this archaic device that I am currently utilizing, I am not going to post any photos for this blog post (I don't want to be the one to push the poor thing over the edge, neccesitating the use of the backup backup backup computer).
I am going to share my current project with you. It all started as a Family Knit-a-long. My Aunts and the Mom decided to each knit the Bandana Cowl I decided to give it a whirl and knit one on smaller needles for Patrick using Debbie Bliss Cashmerino Aran and it turned out fantastic! He looks like a little cowboy when he wears it with his plaid shirt.
I knit another one in a navy Diamond Luxury Superwash Aran for my Stepdad's birthday. He can abuse it and throw it in the wash and it should still survive.
I then knit myself one out of Noro Silk Garden.
Today I am knitting another one in Noro for a friend.
I seem to be knitting one a day.
I think I might be obsessed.
I think I'll knit one for my Dad and for my husband since they would be great for wearing while riding a motorcycle (or so my husband tells me, which may have been a rather broad hint).
An important note from knitting this-the author of the pattern claims that it uses approx 100yds. I found it uses way more (probably closer to 120 yds). In order to compensate for this, and because I hate the idea of opening a second ball of yarn for 15-20 yards, I knit each of these from one ball of yarn that was 95-105 yds depending on the yarn. All I did to accomplish this is knit the pattern until I had just enough yarn to do the 6 row garter stitch edge and cast off. I then stopped whatever part of the pattern I was at and started the edge. It's worked really well so far. The knitting police have not showed up to arrest me yet...

Friday, October 28, 2011

Something for everyone

I missed last weeks post and apparently people were missing it! I didn't realize I had so many avid readers, so I will try to be a little more diligent in the future.

This weeks pattern is the Echo Flower Shawl.

This lovely pattern has been in my Ravelry queue for a very long time and I haven't had a chance to cast it on... ("had a chance"? who am I kidding, I've cast on about 30 different projects since I first put this in my queue...) It's a free pattern with lovely little nupps, it comes in 2 sizes-this is something I lov e since I am not keen on large shawls-I prefer shawlette's, I wear them like a scarf.

I thought I would do something a little different this week and explore a variety of different yarns that this could be knit in. Mainly because I haven't decided what I want yet, but also to show a variety of yarns suitable for different economic situations. At our store we really strive to have a variety of products in a variety of prices ranges-within that scope we really work hard at making sure that all of our products meet a certain quality level so that all fibre artists can make something they can be proud of.

My first choice of yarn is Ancient Arts Fibre Crafts 70% Long Staple Cashmere/30% Silk

This yarn is, without a doubt, the softest most decadent yarn in the store. The colours are deep and rich and the texture of the yarn is unbelievable. If you are planning on knitting something extra special for yourself or a loved one, I definitely recommend this yarn. Dyed in Canada! Cost to knit this project: $75.98 (eep! However, the cost is definitely worth the quality.)

Yarn choice #2 is malabrigo sock

If you've never used malabrigo sock, you are in for a real treat! This yarn is soft and delightful. Malabrigo is well known for their dyeing prowess and this yarn does not disappoint! It is machine washable, which is a bonus. Cost for this project: $25.99

My third choice for this project is Fleece Artist BFL Socks

BFL is a favourite of mine. I love how it is nearly as soft as merino but has more of a shine to it. I find the colours more vibrant in BFL than in merino. This yarn is hand dyed in Canada by an incredible dyer, her colours are incomparable. Cost to knit this project $17.99

All of these yarns are high quality and worth knitting. For the extra special or extra decadent there is the cashmere, for the more economical or everyday wear you can use Fleece Artist. You don't need to sacrifice quality to save money, $17.99 is not too much to pay for a beautiful handmade object that you will enjoy for years to come.

Friday, October 14, 2011


So I did miss posting last Friday, but I have a good excuse- we were at the first ever electrictree yarns retreat! It was a fantastic time and Barb Brown, as always, was an amazing instructor!
It was a great group of knitters, some people I have met at other retreats, and some new faces!
The following photos are courtesy of my Aunt, who was a retreat attendee and blogger!

What a lovely group of knitters! My stepdaughter Mackenzie took the class along with us and did a wonderful job!

Nothing but knitting, and talking about knitting, and learning about knitting (and eating and shopping!) for a whole weekend!

The end result: a goofy bag (which isn't goofy at all) a slew of new techniques and skills, and some new friends!

The next retreat is in the planning stages right now!

Friday's pattern is Omar's Carpet Socks! I would/am knitting these in Diamond Luxury Superwash Merino DK. I chose this yarn for a couple reasons-it's a good solid yarn and it's economical. 1 pair of knee high socks is going to cost $26 (plus the evil HST!)

I am really loving how much more even my stitches are after taking Barb's class!

The store is going really well. It's been great meeting so many lovely knitterly people! The bad thing is being surrounded by yarn and patterns all day. It has increased my Knitter's ADD exponentially. There's always a reason to start a new project-"Oh, I just need to try out these needles! I can't very well sell needles I've never used!" I am really hoping the novelty will wear off so I can get some focus!

Friday, September 30, 2011

Is it Friday again?

Wow! What a fast week. How strange to be back in the working world.
This week's pattern is the Crevasse socks. I would knit it in Sea Sock...oh wait...I already AM knitting in Sea Sock!!

I am already finished the leg, turned the heel and have started working the foot.

Seriously...this is my most favouritest sock yarn that I have ever knit with. It's not cheap but I am pretty sure that it's going to feel like my feet are wrapped in hand knit love.

This weekend we are looking forward to redoing our window! Hallowe'en is coming and we have some great ideas for the display! I am hoping that by doing some awesome displays it might give some downtown businesses a "keeping up with the Joneses" attitude and step it up for some downtown displays.

Sometime next week (hopefully) we are getting a whole bunch of new products in! Our first Ashford order will be here! Piles of roving, spinning wheels and knitter's looms! Bolga Baskets will be here soon, they are beautiful Fair Trade baskets from Ghana, I managed to find a supplier that is a better price than some others and is certified Fair Trade.

Nest week will be busy with new stuff! Hooray!

Friday, September 23, 2011

I love Fridays!

I am really starting to love Fridays. It's blogoriffic!
The week has been fantastic so far-we had a business mixer on Wednesday night and it went really well, many of our neighbour businesses came out to welcome us. It was great fun and full of great conversations!

I taught Wenda from the Downtown and North Shore Echo magazines how to spin and she took to it like a fish to water! She still claims she doesn't want to knit, but I'm pretty sure I can wear her down. After all, spinning is what prompted me to learn how to knit-I had a pile of handspun yarn and realized that I had to find something to do with it.

Thursday we had the Thompson Treadlers come in for the evening. It was a small but fun group and we had some great conversations. I really enjoyed having the chance to sit down and spin for a couple hours!

Today's pattern is the Bonnie Birds Knee highs by Barb Brown. Barb Brown is the wonderful knitter who is teaching at our retreat in a few weeks (there are a few spaces left!)

Dear Barb: Can you forgive me for copyright infringement?

My Mom is actually going to knit these and she has chosen Pace and Ancient Arts Fibre Crafts as her yarns. Mom is wicked at stranded knitting, so I know they will turn out incredible!

On a final note, I have a funny little story to tell about the word getting around about our little yarn store. The story is a little...personal, so I won't tell you who it was, and if you are at all easily offended I suggest you skip this part (and just by writing that you probably want to read right to the bottom now!)

She was in her doctor's office getting her regular physical, which of course included a pap smear. While she was there in dishabille getting every woman's least favourite, but unfortunately necessary chore over with-the Dr. suddenly asked her "So have you heard of the new yarn store?"

Ladies, word is getting out.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Musical things!

The past two days have been exceptionally musical! Yesterday I was messing around with a miniature harmonica I picked up at the antique store in Barriere. I looked up some videos on youtube and learned a few blues riffs. This morning on my way to work, I stopped in at Lee's Music and picked up a Hohner Marine Band Harmonica, it's a lovely harp with a wood reed. I've been messing around with it all day. Mackenzie and I walked from Riverside Park to the store and I played it the whole way with Mackenzie jamming some made-up blues lyrics. At one point a couple of elderly ladies clapped and insisted I play some more, I laughed and explained I had only been playing for one day and that was all I knew. I know about 5 riffs now and can throw together a credible blues song.
When I got home there was another musical surprise! My husband had bought a piano for me for our anniversary! It's beautiful! I did some research on it, it is a Lenox by Lauter and was made in Newark, NJ. The piano is about 100 years old. Unfortunately, the company no longer exists so it's going to take a little work to get an exact age even with the serial number. It has been refinished on the outside-but they did a nice job. The harp inside is beautiful with hand painted enamel flowers and hand pressed foil. On the inside paneling for the bottom, harp cover (or whatever you call it) and the top, you can still see the maker initials and chalked serial # (the serial is metal stamped on the harp). From the research I have done I would make a guess of slightly Pre-WWI (that's the great thing about sequential serial numbers). It has a beautiful sound and only two of the hammers need to be slightly adjusted. It's been recently refelted. It's fantastic!
I am not much of a piano player, I can read music for it somewhat, but it's a labourious process. I am hoping withe constant access to a piano I can improve my playing.
Include my recent return to guitar playing and I may have a slight decrease in my knitting...however I take lots of time for knitting in the store so I feel no guilt!

Friday, September 16, 2011

Friday Again!

I can't believe it's already Friday! The weather is starting to cool down, which bodes well for yarns sales. I am so excited that it's finally cool enough that I can wear all my hand knits!

Todays Pattern is Olympia by Kristin Spurkland. It's wonderfully asymmetrical and unusual. This one has been in my queue on Ravelry for quite some time. I have a few things on the needles that I HAVE to finish or horrible guilt will overcome me, then I can cast on my next knit which will be this or the Opposite Pole Cardigan *subject to change

Isn't it purdy? It's feminine without being lacey or flowery (not that there's anything wrong with that...)

My in-store choice for this project is Debbie Bliss Angel

This yarn is quite a bit finer than what is recommended. However, somebody knit this project in Rown Kidsilk Haze which is the same weight (honestly the yarn is almost exactly the same, as is Kid-Seta) I love how her project turned out, so I am going to follow her lead and do this in a mohair/silk laceweight.

By the way, most of my links to yarns, patterns, etc, are Ravelry links. If you aren't on Ravelry already, and you are a knitter, your life is horribly empty black hole. Ravelry is the greatest resource on the internet for knitter's and crocheters. You have access to tens of thousands of patterns, virtually every yarn on the planet, and every combination thereof. There are groups and forums for learning, socializing, etc. So go there and join! While you're there, join the electrictree yarns group!

As the Co-owner of a yarn store, Ravelry helps me daily to find yarns and projects for people. If someone comes in and knows the name of a pattern, but can't remember what yarn it uses, and how much-I can look it up immediately and help them pick out something that works. We have a Ravelry computer in-store for customer use.

Friday, September 9, 2011

New Things

Here's an idea I had to help me publish more regularly. Every Friday I am going to post my favourite pattern of the week, talk about why I like it, and what in-store yarn I would use to knit it.
Today's pattern is the Opposite Pole Cardigan (rav link). I LOVE THIS SWEATER! Obviously I can't knit every pattern I blog about, but this one jumps out and screams "KNIT ME!!!"Link
Just look at it!

Maybe it doesn't call to you the way it does to me, but I love this sweater!

I love how it has so many interesting elements without being too busy. I love that it's a circle. I love that it has cables. I love the how the short rows look in garter stitch.

I would knit this sweater in Cascade Ecological Wool.

Cascade Ecological Wool is surprisingly soft and springy. It's good for the environment and good for your pocket book. It comes in big 200 gram/478 yard skeins for $19.99 a skein.

This pattern calls for 1400-2000 yards, and one of the great things about it is that it comes in a huge variety of sizes! 30"-60" bust! I absolutely love it when designers try to please as many people as possible.
Another nice thing about the pattern is on the Ravelry page-they have the yarn requirements for the individual sizes available. Often designers just put in a size range and a yardage range so that unless you are the smallest or the largest size, you have no idea what your yardage requirements are going to be unless you buy the pattern. For someone like me, who constantly "shops" for patterns and likes to weigh out a million pros and cons, I love it when I can look at the Rav page, see the yardage for my size, and figure out if the cost of the project is going to be prohibitive before I purchase the pattern.

I love this pattern, I love this yarn!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

What a day, what a day, what a mighty good day!

Our first day as a street level business was a wonderful success! We had 80 delightful people show up and fondle yarn.
After 2 months of intense work and sleepless nights, today has been relaxing and not at all anti-climactic. Business has been steady, but at a rate where we can actually talk to our new customers. My two favourite things that people have been saying to us are "Downtown Kamloops really needed something like this!" and "I was just walking by and saw your store!" Nearly a third of the people that came into the store didn't even know it was our Grand Opening, they just saw a cool yarn store and stopped in!
I was even able to find the time to do a little spinning and knitting on some personal projects during store hours today.
I feel like it's onward and upwards from here!

Monday, September 5, 2011


After months of hard work the store is opening tomorrow. It is full of beautiful skeins and balls of yarn that are beautiful and soft fibres for spinning. There is a comfortable place to sit and knit or spin and enjoy the atmosphere. There are gouramis swimming around in a lovely little fish bowl. We have Sea Monkeys. The room is filled with interesting antiques and vintage items, some for sale and some for show. We have a tea station. We have an interesting variety of local goods. We have chairs with knitted covers and a rug that looks like yarn. We have spinning wheels and vintage sock blockers. There are buttons, shawl pins and stitch markers. There are cable needles, circular needles, and double pointed needles. There is qiviut, mohair, bison and linen. There is Habu, Fleece Artist, Handmaiden, Ancients Arts Fibre Crafts, and Zauberball. You can find silk, merino, cashmere, linen, cotton, soy, bamboo, and alpaca yarns.
In short, it's my favourite yarn store in the whole wide world.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

The Rumours are True!!!

I know I was planning on blogging more, I do remember saying that...but I have this issue with blogging-when something exciting is in the works I stop blogging. I seem to get my brain all wrapped around things and can't think of anything else-so I tend to stop blogging until the timing is appropriate.
Well the time is now!!
electrictree yarns is opening it's retail location on September 6th!!!!! We have a lovely location in Downtown Kamloops at 290 3rd Ave. The rest of July and August will be spent painting and prepping the store, ordering yarn, and setting everything up!
There are no words to describe how incredibly excited we are!

Monday, May 30, 2011

The Socks Talk

The Socks Talk
My first podcast and I am really excited about it! I spent a long time trying to figure out how to link and feedburn and bladiddy blah blah podcasts to my blog. Then I went to podcast and added a new "blog roll" widget to this blog.
I found the easy way!
Check it out and let me know what you think!!


It's been a busy week at Chez electrictree! New colours have been in development. The dye pots have been crazy busy and are about to get busier!

This is my favourite new colour! It is called "fresh fig" and took 2 weeks to develop with many one of a kinds skeins created along the way! I had the colour in my head and just kept messing around until it all came together. I am quite enamoured of this colour.

Much, much more dyeing is in the forefront! The lovely Caroline Sommerfeld of Ancient Arts Fibre Crafts just made a ginormous order for electrictree yarn! And she's taking it to SOCK SUMMIT!!! I can't even describe how incredibly excited I am!!!! Like 4 exclamation points excited!!!!

I have been developing a new pattern that I am really excited about. It's a colourwork pattern and is based on the Frogger video game! The pattern class for 6 different colours, so it will be available as a pattern for purchase as well as a a kit.

Our new sock yarn is particularly conducive to stranded colourwork!

We have been releasing several patterns under the electrictree brand. They are available on Ravelry. Recently a raveler decided to do the eukaryotes pattern and modified it in a rather ingenious way. She attached it to the Nessie Scarf and the effect is fantastic!

I think it's perfectly suited to the project and I love the yarn choice! It's absolutely thrilling, as a designer, to have my pattern not only knit, but done in such a creative manner! If you get a chance check it out and tell her how wonderful you think it is!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Zee colours, my god zee colours!

This week has been busy on the dyeing front! (That's dyeing, not dying!)
I've been spending a lot of time developing colours and have a few that I am very happy with. I'ts funny how at first the fact that I was missing some colours was frustrating, later became and excuse to be creative.
Right now I am dyeing lots of fibre for spinning and a whole bunch of yarn. the yarn is for a new special pattern I am developing. I have it all charted out, I jsut have to get the yarn dyed and test knit it! The knew pattern will be....Froggersox! That's right! I love the classic arcade game, and decided to make some fun socks based on the game. I have altered them enough to prevent copyright infringement but still have them be immediately recognizable. The socks will be available as a kit or as a pattern for sale. I think the kits will be the most economical since there are 6 colours in the sock. I think a 6 colour hand dyed sock kit is a wonderful thing! This is one of those times that having a big foot is a good thing! I'll use my yarn amounts as the max amount of yarn (plus a little extra of course) in the kits!
I have 2 new colours that I think turned out really well, and one more in development! Here's a sneak peak at the new shades. (Imagine with more vibrancy since my camera tends to wash things)

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

I freely admit...

I freely admit that I have been sucking in the blogging department for the past half year. I take full responsibility. I have a hundred excuses and reasons...but I still take responsibility.
My motto in life seems to be "Bite off more than you can chew!" and while I don't eschew (hyukhyuk) this motto, I sometimes think to myself "Oh crap! I bit off more than I can...chew!" I can't help it, it's just how I roll. Who wouldn't think that being the President of the Kamloops Arts Council, while co-running a business from home, while being in the Sweet Adelines (Barbershop Harmony Chorus and far more work than you might imagine, I assure you!), becoming more involved in the Society for Creative Anachronism , while raising a 16 month old boy and an 11 year girl wouldn't be a big ole slice of cherry pie? To be honest, most of the time I love it. I find that if I crazy overwork myself, I feel a sense of accomplishment. There are 16 million and 52 things I want to learn to do in this life and only a finite amount of time to do them! It might be easier if I was a TV dinner Mom, I could probably save a lot of time if I didn't cook so much. Although I bet my lack of desire for cleaning probably gives me a couple of extra hours a week!
It all came into perspective today when I realized Patrick was sleeping and it was sunny. Which meant I could catch up on my knitting photography for my projects on Ravelry. The joy was palpable, I was prancing around with my kntiting laying it on the ground and snapping pics like a tourist at the Grand Canyon. How life has changed, that a few fleeting moments in the son without my toddlers becomes such an event. I am not complaining, Wee Patrick is the joy of my life, but he has taught me one really, truly important thing - people that put harnesses on their children are not bad people. I used to be so disgusted by it. Now, I truly understand. I have not put a harness on Patrick simply because I am tenacious and I just can't bring myself to making my child into a dog. But I no longer frown upon the people that do, because I know that not everyone is as hellbent stubborn as I am. Thank you Patrick for teaching my tolerance.
Business is zooming along quite prettily. We have confirmation for our first knitting retreat which is going to be an amazing weekend on Saltspring Island with knitting expert Barb Brown. She's one of my favourite people in the knitting world and I could think of no one better for our first retreat! I waslucky enough to share a room with her at the first retreat I ever went to and I find her a joy to be around. Knowledgable, funny, down to earth, and a damn good knitter too! The details will be available soon (as will our website!).
I'm throwing around the idea of podcasting. I am usually a glib individual but am not sure how I will do with out someone to actually talk to, (or mock). I think it would be a lot of fun, but am not sure how I will fit it in since I can't even seem to do regular blog posts. I think I am going to try to commit to weekly blog posts, and if I can do that, then I shall reward myself with podcasting (since apparently I have the attention span of a 5 year old, I figure this strategy might work well.)
Mother is busy right now combing the hell out of bufallo hides and musk ox hides. This means electrictree yarns will soon be carrying bison down and the ever elusive Qiviut. Not only will this help us make money to expand our business, I am reasonably sure that with Qiviut in our inventory I can probably gather a fair number of souls and first borns.
Now it is time to sign off and continue the dinner making. I am trying out my new convection toaster oven. It has a rotisserie so I making a roast and going to cook some taters as well-all in my wee toaster oven-which, by the way, is not overheating my kitchen right now! Yay!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Calorie Free Day!

I declare today to be calorie free! Today is my birthday and for the past 2 months I have been very conscious and careful of what I eat. I have been exercising lots and drnking lots of water. I have lost 16 pounds. (Although I should mention I have lost 70 since Patrick was born since it`s WAY more impressive). I have earned today and feel no guilt!
Today I am going to have French Toast with syrup and sausaged for breakfast from my favourite restaurant. I am going to spin and knit all day and watch all my favourite movies. This evening after going out for dinner with my family I am going to go to a tattoo show and then go to karaoke.
In short, I am going to act like a spoiled teenager and do all the things that I want to do and not feel guilty about it!
Hooray for today!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Busy Busy Like a Spring Bee!

Things have been extremely busy at both Chateau electrictree. Mother electrictree has been busy working on some amazing new displays for fibre shows and fantastic new patterns! Our last electrictree pattern is the most popular yet and to date has a gratifying 73 hearts on Ravelry!!! We are just tickled (the actual motion is probably more like jumping up and down, high-fiving, fist-pumping, and yelling "YEAH!").

A few new patterns are in the works such as a sock version of the electrictree winter gloves.

A new shawlette in our delightful earthly yarn will be out soon!

And the very strange eurkaryotes pattern should be out late this week, early next in our fun new 100% soy tape yarn!

The dye pots have been burbling away. We had a huge shipment come in last week of soy tape, baby camel, sock yarn, and mink (yes like mink coats, it is so soft it is amazing!)

Here is a photo of some camel yarn and mink yarn spooning in the sun.

Soon there will be another shipment of our already popular ephemeral, expansive and entwine to dye.
We are expanding our line to include spinning fibre, Merino and BFL hand dyed top will soon be available!
In addition I have been practicing for this month Burlesque show! My stage name is Lizzie Borden (yes, like the turn of the century crazy-lady aze murderer,) this show I am singing I'm Tired by Madeline Kahn from Blazing Saddles. If you've never heard it, it's a hoot! Check it out on youtube here. I've made a few changes to it, like nixing the soldier singers and I don't sing with a Bavarian accent. I considered hamming it up like Madeline Kahn but figured that anyone who hasn't seen the movie might not get that it's a joke and that I don't really suck at singing-I have my pride too y'know.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

New Pattern!

electrictree fingerless winter gloves!

We have a fantastic new pattern available for download via Ravelry. If you aren't already on Ravelry and you indulge in the fibre arts, you really need to join! Over 40,000 patterns are available, of which nearly half are free! You can look at projects and see what kind of yarns other people used with projects and what they have to say about it.
Our new pattern has been up for 3 and a half hours and already has 25 hearts! Hooray!
Check it out here.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Book Review!!!

Ok...maybe it's not a book review...maybe it's more like a book gush, or an "Ode to Book."
I just purchased Knitting Knee Highs: Sock Styles from Classic to Contemporary by Barb Brown. (Rav link here). It's a beautiful book full of amazing patterns that are fully adaptable to a variety of styles.

Here is my copy of the book lovingly nestled in some of my hand dyed yarn destined for Abbotsford.

Here is the inscription from Barb. See? We're practically BFF's!! I shared a room with Barb at a knitting retreat and she has bionic eyes (no joke here, it's totally awesome...I think she might secretly have lasers in them or something). So of course, I think she's a totally rad person.

I love this book. I had to force myself not to toss my current UFO's out the window and cast on socks. They pattterns are beautiful. They come from a variety of ethnic inspirations and a wide variety of styles. You can do knee-highs, you can knit regular socks, ankle socks, or even leg warmers! The possibilities are endless. I am already planning my first pair!
This morning when I went downstairs to the dye pots in preparation for next weekend I had a list of colourways that I wanted to do. The list was tossed off to the side and I started experimenting with colours especially for me, so I can knit the socks in this book in the colours that I want! I just made a colour way that I think I will call "Barb's Browns." (If Barb will let me that is!).

Friday, March 11, 2011

enduring vines

enduring vines mittens

by electrictree

Enduring Vines is a snug fitting gauntlet knit in two colours in the Latvian style.

Knit in fingering weight yarn, it will keep little fingers warm on the coldest day.

Yarn: yardage and weight: electrictree extremity – colourway, natural

electrictree extremity – colourway, elrond

Needles: US 0(2. mm) 4 double pointed needles or size needed to get gauge.

Notions: Stitch holder

Gauge: 36 stitches per 4 inches

Size: 2 ¾ inches wide by 8 inches long to fit small child’s hand.

2 Colour Seed stitch:

Knit in 2 colours, A and B

Row 1: *Knit 1 in A, purl 1 in B* repeat to end of row.

Row 2: *Purl 1 in A, kKnit 1 in B* repeat to end of row.

Repeat rows 1 and 2 to desired length.


Using 2 colour cast-on, cast on 48 stitches loosely, onto 3 needles (12, 12, 24).

Knit cuff in 2 colour seed stitch for 1 inch (2.5 cm).

Follow colour chart to row 40 and make opening for thumb as follows.

Row 40: Knit 1, put next 11 stitches on stitch holder. Knit to end of row.

Row 41: Knit 1, cast on 11 stitches. Knit to end of row.

Continue in pattern to row 58.

Row 58: Slip1, k 1, psso, knit next 20 stitches in pattern, k 2 tog. Repeat.

Row 57: Slip1, k 1, psso, knit next 18 stitches in pattern, k 2 tog. Repeat

Continue in this manner, decreasing 4 stitches on every row until 8 stitches remain.

Weave stitches together.


Pick up 11 stitches from stitch holder. Pick up 1 stitch from the mitten. Put on 2 needles.

Pick up 11 cast off stitches. Pick up 1 stitch from the mitten.

Follow chart to row 16.

Decrease and finish in the same manner as the mitten.

Sew in all ends.

Repeat for other hand making sure to put the 11 stitch thumb opening at the beginning of the third needle.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Holy Crazy Woman Batman!

Normally I save my ranting for my Facebook friends, but I wanted to tell you a little story about a woman I saw this morning. I was driving the stepbrat to school when all of a sudden she said "There is some woman driving and she's using her phone!" For anyone not from this part of the world, last year a law was instituted that makes it illegal to use handheld devices while driving. This makes fantastic sense since you use your hands for driving... I thought it was great that Mackenzie was disugsted by this woman. I'm proud of her for thinking of things like this (although she's 11, so who knows...in 2 years she might think it's "cool!").
I glanced over thinking she's talking on her phone and this woman is texting while driving and her other hand she has a cigarette! Now I am no math whiz, but I am reasonably sure that 2 hands minus one hand for texting, minus one had for smoking equals somewhere in the vicinity of zero.
Man was I mad! She's not only putting her life in danger, she was putting my life in danger and the lives of my kids. About 10 seconds later we were stopped at an intersection side by side. I couldn't resist making sure she knew what I thought. Really, I used to be a lot worse. I used to be much louder and more outspoken (hard to believe, I know.) But I have tried really hard to mellow out with age. However, there are just some things I cannot be quiet about-anything that effects my family's safety is one of those things. I think that if everybody keeps "minding their own business" than we make things like this quasi-socially acceptable. So I honked my horn and when she looked up from her phone, cigarette gracefully grasped between her fingers, her mouth an "O" of surprise-I made a phone to my head gesture while mouthing the word as if she was hard of hearing ("PHO-ONE!"), made an angry face and a full swining hand chopping motion.
I honestly thought she would be angry and rudely gesture back, but apparently I frightened her and she looked completely embarassed and spent the rest of the time very carfeully driving in my blindspot so I couldn't see her.
I only feel slightly guilty that I wonder if I could knit while driving...

Sunday, March 6, 2011


Fibres West is coming up soon! On March 18th and 19th electrictree yarns is going to be there slogging our wares! the house is redolent with acrid scent of fresh dye and dead bugs (what can I say, that's what silk smells like...). I love the masses of yarn that are drying all over the house.

Sorry about the picture quality, I no longer have a good camera and now have to take stills from my camcorder until I can find a replacement.

We have expanded our line. We have merino/nylon sock (extremity), merino/silk fingering (ephemeral), superwash worsted (expansive), silk noil light fingering (earthly), and silk laceweight (exquisite.) We will also have a variety of fantastic accessories, bamboo lazy kates, raw fibre (shetland, mohair, angora, and hopefully quiviut!).

We are really excited about this event, it's our 3rd fibre fest, but it's our first major one. We are one of over 30 booths. This will be the largest one I have ever been too! The hardest part will be not splurging on ridiculous amounts of yarn and fibre!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

electrictree bobble shawlette

This delightful little pattern is a fun way to use up one of those small skeins of laceweight, but still have a fantastic finished product. This shawlette is made with 1 skein of electrictree entwine (100% merino laceweight). The delightful little bobble add a little pizzazz to a simple and easy design!

electrictree bobble shawlette

1 skein electrictree entwine (440 yds/merino laceweight)

Colourway: quoth the raven

4.5 mm. needles. I used 24” circulars

cable needle


C4F: slip 2 stitches onto cable needle. Hold in front. Knit 2 stitches from main needle. K2 stitches from cable needle.

Cable pattern:

Row 1: *K4, P5, repeat. to center stitch, yo, k1, yo. K4, P4 to end of row.

Row 2: *P 4, K5 repeat to end.

Row 3: *C4F. P5*,repeat to center stitch, yo, k1, yo. *C4F. P5* repeat to end.

Cast on 3 sts.

Rows 1 – 6: Knit

Row 7: Pick up and knit 3 sts from side edge and 3 sts from

cast on edge. 9 sts.

Row 8 (WS): K3, p3, k3.

Row 9 (RS): K3, yo, k1, yo, k1 yo, k1, yo, k3. 13 sts.

Row 10 and all alternate rows: K3, p to last 3 sts, k3.

Row 11: K3, yo, k3, yo, k1 (center stitch), yo, k3, yo, k3. 17 sts.

Row 12 and all alternate rows: K3, yo, knit to center stitch, yo, k1, yo, k to last three sts, yo, k3.

Repeat rows 9 and 11 until there are .

Set up Cable: Maintain garter stitch edge and increases.

Row 1: K3, yo, *K4, increase 1 purlwise in next stitch by picking up stitch from previous row. P4* repeat to center stitch, yo, K1, yo, *K4, increase 1 purlwise in next stitch, P4* repeat to end of row, yo, k3.

Continue in cable pattern until 3 complete patterns have been completed.

To begin the bobbles, make a bobble of the first 4 stitches on your needle. Cast off stitches until you get to the first cable stitches.

At the center: cast off stitches that are not cable stitches.

Bobbles Pattern:

Row 1: K4.

Row 2: P4.

Row 3: C4F.

Row 4: P4.

Rows 5-8: Repeat rows 1-4.

Row 9: *Inc 1 by knitting in the front and back of stitch, K1* 4 times

Row 10: P

Row 11: Inc 1 in next stitch, K8, Inc 1 in last stitch. (10 stitches.

Rows 12-18: Stocking stitch- K1 row, P1 row.

Break yarn, Thread through the 10 stitches. Pull tight and secure with a knot. Sew the bobble together halfway. Roll some fibre into a ball and stuff the bobble. Finish sewing the bobble sides together.

Attach yarn to stitches on needle. Cast off 5 purl stitches. Make another bobble with the next 4 cable stitches. Continue until the entire bottom of the shawlette is bobbled.

Weave in ends.