Monthly Archives: December 2016

Happy New Year and welcome to the Sesquicentennial, Barbara

Happy New Year 2017!!!

Happy New Year 2017!!!

This is my only New Year’s hat this year. I had plans for another one but they got way too complicated to finish it in time, so I will do it in less garish colours at my leisure. Suffice to say it will have at least 7 stitches in it, so the planning takes time.
Sesquicentennial logoI wonder if I will still love the word Sesquicentennial after living in the nation’s capital this coming year. Maybe. I still remember the national excitement of the Centennial as a child. Expo 67 and all that. All my childhood I collected Centennial coins like some people collect 4 leaf clovers. Now my aqua fitness classes are mostly held in ageing pools built with Centennial grants 50 years ago. Some of them could use a facelift with Sesquicentennial money. Justin??

For the knitters: I cast on 100 stitches for the rainbow band. I actually screwed it up and had to cast off after the purple because my rainbow was upside down. I picked up from the original cast on edge with the blue and increased to 108 for the patterning, so I had 6 repeats each of “Opening” Double Cable and Slipped Chain Cable, both from pg 113. I ended at the top by decreasing by 4 cables three times (every third cable, then every other cable, then the last 3). I used sl 1, k2tog, psso 3 times in the middle of the cable then p3tog and p2 tog above the cable to get rid of the 9 stitches. I topped it with I cord arches, then curlicues of the complementary colours which I threaded back down the arches and finished with a set of standing up i cord spikes. It was really fun. I personally love this hat, and I don’t say that about every hat I make by any stretch.

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Merry Christmas, Barbara

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Heather is working on the minature train for Alight at Night at Upper Canada Village. We took Jacob down on Thursday and hung out. Al and I had gone a week or so ago and Santa Dave was not too busy so we visited him.img_20161211_190640
I have been going to town on Santa hats lately and here is the result:

From left Jake, me, Mum, Alan and Heather

From left Jake, me, Mum, Alan and Heather


Individual hats:

A Canadian Christmas hat, eh Barbara


I have been giving the red and white yarns a run for their money this past couple of weeks. I decided after making the rude/not rude hat for Jake last week that I would make a Canadian Christmas hat. This just says Merry Christmas in our two official languages. I decided not to bother with any negative sayings on this one as I am feeling quite good about Christmas right about now. I have been making a family set of Santa hats which I will show when our little family is finally together next week. Jake is finishing his exams and coming home on Wednesday.
Last year we got in heck from Heather because we had no Christmas tree. This year we made sure we had one when she came home last week. This week, I suggested we should decorate it because it was pretty minimal i.e. just a tree in a stand. She put an angel on top and declared it sufficiently decorated. Fine by me. It smells nice anyway. If I get inspired I may make some decoration sized hats this coming week, but only if I get inspired…
This hat uses two Barbara Walker stitches, Seeded Chevron from page 27 for the reversible red crown and Banded Crescent Pattern, pg 110 for the inside brim.

And the Christmas season starts, Barbara

One hat…four sentiments


When I was thinking about doing this hat, I texted both of my kids and said “do you think f… xmas would be too much on a hat”. Within 15 seconds, Heather had responded with “nothing is too much…go big or go home” and Jacob had responded with “can I have the hat?”. His dad took him the hat on the weekend and was supposed to take a photo for this post. He, of course, forgot. I just asked Jake if he had the hat on him and could he send a selfie for the post. This is what I got:

my baby boy....thanks for the selfie....now where is your hat?

my baby boy….thanks for the selfie….now where is your hat?

For the knitters: This is a reversible hat which uses two stitches, Houndstooth Check, pg 90 and Shadow Check, pg 103. I put positive Christmas phrases on one side and much less positive phrases when you turn it inside out. Barbara Walker illustrated both sides of the shadow check together in the book. It is a lovely, bulky but not stiff stitch that works really well for a reversible hat. I cast on 100 stitches with a long tail cast on (n.b.110 may have been better), and did one row of purl before switching to knit for the lettering. I worked my way through the Bah! Humbug and F… Xmas side, putting Houndstooth Check in between the sets of lettering. I did one row of plain knit in red when I was finished. I then picked up a set of stitches from the cast on edge and worked my way up the nicer sentiments. I wasn’t particularly thrilled with the how the Houndstooth looked, so I just did a checkerboard instead on the second side. I put a knit row in red above this side too before I joined the two sides together. This avoids having the white purl bumps on one side. I continued up the hat in the shadow check. I used 5 points of decrease. I decreased 10 stitches around (slip one, k2tog, psso 5 times around) on every 6 row repeat until I only had 10 stitches left, then did k2tog around and finished off.

I made some shoes…

Made in the Oxford class at Art and Sole Academy, Toronto

Made in the Oxford class at Art and Sole Academy, Toronto

I am quite intrigued by shoes and shoemaking. We have a shoemaker at Upper Canada Village, but I have rarely visited his building. The way our breaks work, there is precious little time to visit other buildings, so you would have to go down on your days off to see anything. I hadn’t been in the woollen mill before I started in there. I had only cleaned and put the tenant farm to bed for the winter, never visited it while it was being interpreted, before I became a cook. The shoemaker before Peter, the current one (who started a decade ago with me), was a woman. She had to dress in drag because it wasn’t really a woman’s thing in the 1860s apparently.

I am a sucker for craft classes and I found one at the Art and Sole Academy in Toronto. The woman who runs it is excellent. She keeps the class size down to 4 people so she can guide everyone through the process of drafting your pattern and creating your shoes. Because I am me, I decided to make a non pair, so they are mirror images of each other. I need to find a grey shoelace for the one shoe, but she didn’t have any and I am not a shopper by any stretch of the imagination, so for now the beige will have to do.

I think they worked out pretty well for a first effort. I am going to take another class in the new year called Classic Flats. I am in the market for shoe lasts right now.

Another backlog, Barbara


I have made a lot of stuff since I posted last, I am more into making than posting right now I guess. I decided to post all these hats now because I am making Christmas related stuff now.