Barbara is joining Jimi in a Purple Haze

Something she may not have had time for in the sixties.  I sometimes try to think of how she managed to accomplish amassing the collection of pattern stitches.  It must have been hugely hard work and discipline.  In the sixties and especially the seventies, there were two very distinct types of craft books.  One type, like Barbara Walker and others like her, actually advanced craftsmanship.  The other type was done by and for the hippies and contained a very low level of instruction or workmanship.  I had a bookshelf full of both but have only retained the first kind.  Anyway….the latest entries in the Barbara Walker Project:

This hat uses sitches Striped Check Pattern, pg 59

This one uses Four Color Fancy Pattern, pg 59

This hat uses Slip Stitch Ribbing, page 44 and Long Slip Textured Pattern, page 93.  For this one, I added bands to break up the pattern and also see what happens when you use two colours.  For this pattern stitch, you do a base row, then slip every other stitch in that base row three times.  You then do another base row and slip the stitches you didn’t slip before.  For the light purple, I used the same colour for all eight rows.  In the bands I used one colour for the base row and a different one for the slip rows.  I used white for the base row in the lower band with three row of dark purple.  In the upper band I reversed things and did dark purple for the base row and white for the three slip rows.

The colour in this photo is off, but I am using the same dark and light purple as the other hats.  It uses Triangle Check, pg 60 for the cuff and Harris Tweed Pattern, pg 22 for the body of the mitts.

big week….

I have been meaning to post, but when I am at work, I don’t do much else.  I am paid to be communicative there and have nothing left over for my personal life.  I don’t see or speak to friends unless they initiate it, and I don’t feel like writing much either.  This week a couple of things happened.


Heather is fine. What used to be our car, is not.

Heather is fine. What used to be our car, is not.

Thank goodness Heather is fine, not a scratch or a bump.  Luckily they don’t make cars like they used to.  Now you can roll one three times and the super structure will protect the driver as long as they are wearing a seat belt.  I am looking into one of those skid schools so she can get back behind the wheel with some confidence.  She is not up for it now and we don’t have a car for her to drive anyway.

Finally...the end of candy crush...

Finally…the end of Candy Crush…

On a happier note, I finally managed to get to the final level of Candy Crush.  I have been determined to join the 70% of players who don’t give King Games any money along the way.  This extends the agony since you can buy your way through some of the harder levels with real-world purchased gold bars.  I have an obsessive need to finish things I start, which is why I will finish the Barbara Walker project even though I am the only person on the planet who would possibly care (btw…I will post the latest few items on this set of days off).  Sadly, it appears this victory was to be short lived, as they have already added another 15 levels yesterday.  That is fine, I can pluck away at them as they come.  I had a temporary hole in my life where Candy Crush used to live anyway….

Barbara is having a watered down Christmas in July…

Heather does not like this post’s colours…to her they look like watered down Christmas, hence the name of the post.  I was going to do these mittens with the cuff as is and the main part in the green. I made the mistake of asking her opinion in the car and got her honest answer, so I followed her advice and stayed with two colours.  To do otherwise in front of her would have seemed rude.  The stitches are Windowpane Stripes, pg 58 for the cuff and Little Check, pg 21 for the main part of the mitts.  (The beige is not reading correctly in this photo…see the last two hats below for the actual colours)

… I am not all over the colours either, they are just making the best of a bad job these days, but  I almost always actually prefer doing three colours together.  I usually  find it more visually interesting.   I often have a problem when I try to put in a fourth.  Inevitably the fourth will throw off the balance of the first three, or wash out one of them, or make them seem muddy,..the problems quickly mount insurmountably…
The first hat I did was with a ball of brown that I now have a couple of meters left of (and no longer seems to exist), so I went with a beige for the other two hats. I cast on 100 stitches on 4 1/2mm needles using Patons Classic Wool worsted.  I started with the wine colour and did 12 rows of  Twisted Check, pg 20, then joined back into the cast on edge.  I switched to brown and green and used Honeycomb Tweed, pg. 57 for two inches, then switched back to wine and the first stitch for 4 rows.  The main body of the hat is done in brown using Block Stitch or Dice Pattern, pg 19-20 using the seed block stitch, the garter block stitch, the knit/purl block stitch for one repeat each then using Garter and Rib Check, pg 21 before I switched back to  garter block stitch for the

This next hat uses Zig Zag Knotted Rib, pg 43 and Van Dyke Check Pattern, pg 222.  I cast on 97 stitches with straight needles to do the ribbing (4 1/2 mm needles and Patons Classic wool, worsted).  I used the straight needles because I wasn’t sure I could recreate the stitch correctly on a round needle.  I switched onto a round needle and decreased one stitch at the beginning/end of the round before starting the main part of the hat.  I. tried to decrease in pattern but the top was not great, so I put the i-cord rose on the top in the wine and green

This is the last hat I am doing in this colourway, at least for now.  It is a bit of a sampler again.  I cast on 100 stitches with same needle and wool as before and did 6 rows of garter stitch before changing to Tricolor Stripe Pattern – woven version first for one repeat, then two rows of garter stitch and one repeat of the stranded version.  After another two rows of garter stitch I did one repeat of Three Color Tweed, pg 61, then two rows of garter stitch and 12 rows of Semi Woven Tweed, pg 60.

I did the top in just garter stitch, changing the colour after each row.  I used 10 points of decrease and decreased with a purl two together at each on the purl rows (p8, p2tog, etc…).     After the row that gave me 10 stitches left, I did the knit row, then did p2tog around and finished off.  I actually quite like the effect, if I do say so myself.



Village life… babies

gillianknits.comMany of the animals are reproducing.. this colt was born a couple of weeks ago.  His name will start with a C.  The foals are named like hurricanes…one letter at a time and this year is a C year.  We have Canadian horses at the village, a breed that recently celebrated 350 years.  They are hard working and efficient animals. They pull the carryalls as well as all the working wagons at the

This little guy is resting up…he will be creating havoc in a few weeks.  They have just started letting the piglets out during visiting hours.  They are always a huge hit with the young visitors.  When my kids were little, it was the highlight of their day to visit the farm and play with the piglets.  They will be allowed free range until they range too far afield and start destroying things… then they will have to stay in the pig pen.  Last year’s piglets tore up the flower beds at Chrysler Hall the day before they were

This is Princess Charlotte (UCV edition).  She was born just after her royal namesake.  Some Brownies watched her birth and were told they could name her if they could come up with an appropriate name.

Today I saw a mother swallow sitting on her second brood nest in the woolen mill…

..and this little girl is being raffled off in the staffroom to raise money for the staff

Even Barbara gets the blues…

I seem to have entered my blue period the last couple of weeks.  I have just moved from one hat to another on the same three balls of wool (Patons Classic Wool worsted, as usual), replacing them as they run out, making sure that if I change balls, I do it where it is unlikely to show any potential dye lot change.  I am becoming increasingly unhappy with the limited colour palatte that I have available at the place I buy this yarn.  I may be in the market for another brand of wool soon if things don’t pick up.  I think I will stick with worsted weight for the hats though..any suggestions?   I hate fashion,.. my kind of  colours are only “in” once in a while and I have to wade through times where I don’t “get”or “feel” the current colours.  Now seems to be one of those times.  Give me back my pure hues, please, these shades are killing me!

Ok, here we go.  Heather, aka my harsh little critic, was pretty scathing about the concept of this first hat.  When I explained what I was going to do I got “don’t worry, this one will stay in the freezer forever because no one will ever want it”.  When I was photographing them today, she actually put it on…something she rarely does any more and actually came close to admitting it wasn’t terrible…it accommodated her high ponytail completely.  She did say she liked the pattern, which is Stripe and Spot pattern, pg 56 above Basket Rib, pg 17.

spot and stripe pattern

spot and stripe pattern

I completely did not understand these next two colour change patterns when I read the instructions.  The 50 year old black and white photography does not do them justice in the book. I charted them out just to make sure before I started knitting, something I rarely do any more.  For the first one, I used Tricolor Fabric Stitch, pg 56, I also used Basket Welt, pg 17 at the bottom of the hat and Double Basket Pattern, pg 18 at the top of the

The next hat, I used 4 garter stitch rows at the bottom of the hat then did the Double Tricolor Fabric Stitch, pg 57.  I put four more rows of garter stitch, then Elongated Rib Check, pg 18. I was unhappy with the way the decreasing looked at the top so I put one of my I-cord roses on the top (for instructions, click here).

Double Tricolor Fabric Stitch

Double Tricolor Fabric Stitch

For the next hat, I actually started thinking the Squared Check Pattern would stand alone at the bottom of the hat, but it just didn’t look right so I picked up on the cast on edge and knitted four rows of garter stitch in dark blue to set it off, this way I had a live round needle at both edges of the hat:

picking up the cast on edge...

picking up the cast on edge…

still unhappy, and in an i-cord kind of mood from the last hat,  I added an i-cord rope at the bottom edge, then I did four garter stitch rows on the other needle to continue up the hat and firnished off with Swedish Check, pg 20.

My last hat is a pretty simple one with Swedish Block Pattern, pg 19 below Ripple Stripes, pg 55.

ripple stripes

ripple stripes

Just to round things out, I did another baby sweater, using Tamerna Stitch, pg 115 for the ribbing, and Mrs Hunters Pattern, pg 150.  I also used Horseshoe Cable, pg 243 on the

I must say, I am still finding this project endlessly fascinating and I think the stuff I am making isn’t terrible.

Village life….special visitors

Last weekend was spring planting weekend at the village, we had 10 extra teams of horses to help prepare and plant the fields.  Some were retired employees, some international ploughing match entrants.  We are having the ploughing match really near here this fall and the teams are getting in practice.  Luckily Alan came down to the village so he could take some pictures for me as he doesn’t wear a costume.

My favourite visiting horse team was the Wensink twin’s Belgians.

Beautiful Belgians

Beautiful Belgians

I was working in the Louck’s kitchen last Saturday with Barb.  Her 5 year old granddaughter, Hadley, got into costume and spent the day with us.  For obvious reasons she was a huge hit with the visitors.

Churning butter

Churning butter

On Sunday we had a visit from Justin Trudeau, the leader of the Federal Liberal Party, and his family.  They spent the day at the village and apparently enjoyed themselves.  Heather had no idea who he was when he purchased his ticket and rode on the train.

from Justin Trudeau's facebook page...

from Justin Trudeau’s facebook page…

Village life…looking out my windows

I have been in a few different buildings in the last couple of weeks.  A couple of weeks ago we had the Queen’s birthday celebrations.  This picture was taken out of an upstairs window at Cooks Tavern where our village sedentary militia was assembled behind some visiting members of the Brockville Infantry and the Brockville Rifles.

Queen's Birthday

Queen’s Birthday

One thing that is GREAT for me this year is that my daughter, Heather got a summer student’s job at the village.  It is an hour drive in each direction and it is wonderful to have company and someone to drive half the time. She is regularly on the miniature train, but about once a week she is being put in my old building, the woollen mill.  She is obviously comfortable in there as she has known the guys for many years.  My best friend at the village, Lynda has also just replaced me for the summer in the mill. Here is Heather dressed for a day in the mill.  Her dad took these pictures as it would have been much too public for me to.

image (43)


image (42)


Last fall I did a temporary placement in the McDiarmid House, which is hand spinning and weaving.  I am now going to be doing a day in there now and then when the regular artisan is on her days off.  I was in there last week and I couldn’t resist going into the bedroom to take a picture of the young Brownies and Girl Guides as they trooped past.  No pun intended.  Really.

IMG_20150523_163119 (1)

I made my first (totally passable) rhubarb pie in the bake kettle with no one else around to help me.  I have used bake kettles before, but never without supervision.  I was surprised how well it went and how straightforward it seems to be.  Hopefully it wasn’t just beginners luck.

My first rhubarb pie

My first rhubarb pie…yeah!!!

The bake kettle

The bake kettle after use