FO: Antipodes and a giveaway

The weekend seems to have turned into giveaway time!

I don’t mind a bit and I’m sure you won’t either ;)

I recently finished a test knit for Libby of Truly Myrtle.

I told myself I wasn’t going to test much anymore and when Libby asked me I said that I didn’t really have the time to test right now. She sent me back a picture of said test in return……. just in case…..geez she really knows how to twist my arm!!

To be honest I have been wanting to knit a couple of cowl/shawls to wear at work. Something a little more neutral that could go with just about anything….

I had a skein of Softrope bfl sock in my stash that I bought from a friends destash. It wasn’t something I would normally choose, *grey, pink and beige combo* but it turned out to be the perfect skein this time around. *note: it always pays to go out of your comfort zone sometimes*

Pattern: Antipodes by Libby Jonson

Yarn: SofTrope BFL sock in Rapture

Needles: 4mm circs *straights would be fine for this too*

My Rav Project page

The shawl is knit from end to end in one piece.

A simple garter stitch body with the perfect amount of lace to keep things interesting.

The pattern gives instructions on how to make your shawl longer or shorter depending on the amount of yarn you start with. This would be the perfect project if you want to give shawl knitting a go.

SofTrope was lovely to work with, Jessica does soft subtle colours perfectly! I look forward to working with more of her yarns again in the future.

Libby has kindly offered up a copy of the pattern to giveaway to one of my fabulous readers! You must pop over to her blog and read about the dress she is wearing in her Anitpodes pictures.

So the question is where would you wear your Antipodes?

Leave your answer in the comments below to be entered to win a copy. Comments will remain open until wednesday the 19th at midnight est

Good Luck!

What the Heart Wants – Lete’s Knit Giveaway

It’s the weekend and I’m ready to celebrate with another giveaway!

Are you in?

The lovely Justyna from Lete’s Knits recently released a beautiful collection called What the Heart Wants part of the Malabrigo Freelance Project.

I have watched Justyna grow so much as a designer in such a short period of time. I can still remember her first hat and cowl pattern that caught my eye and led me to her blog. I have test knit for her several times and every time I see her latest pattern I’m blown away once again at the beautiful things she comes up with.

It is both a pleasure and honour to be able to share her newest project with you today!

Let’s look at this stunning book shall we?

The ebook contains 4 patterns, 3 garments and a shawl.

Fickle Heart

A beautiful cabled seamless top down hoodie.

This definitely appeals to me. It calls out comfort! Add cables to that and you just had me at hello.

There are so many gorgeous versions of this one already on Ravelry.

They will have you wanting to cast on at once!

Behind My Back

Another top down construction (can you tell top down is Justyna’s thing?) with a beautiful lace back panel.

If you check out the many projects on Ravelry on this one you will see more fitted versions as well as the version with more ease. Each is a different look yet both so pretty. Makes we want to knit one of each!

Breaking The Waves

An airy wrap cardigan that you could dress up or down.

I find this to be true with so many of Justyna’s designs.

I can imagine this one over my favourite little black dress but also with trousers or jeans. We think you will all agree that versatile pieces are the best kinds to add to our wardrobe.

Old Loves, New Flames

A short row shaped shawl with a little bit of everything.

Texture, colour blocking, stripes and a fun edging.

What’s not to love?

You definitely get to play with colour combo’s on this one.

There are so many choices you know you’ll just have to knit this one more than once.

Justyna has kindly offered an ebook for me to giveaway to one of my lucky readers.

To enter please leave a comment telling me which one of these designs you would love to knit. Contest closes Friday October 31st at 12pm EST.

If you don’t win this time you can still purchase the ebook as well as each pattern separately on Ravelry and the What the Heart Wants site.

Good Luck!

** All photography is  © Marcin Duda **

Miss Dashwood

At the end of last year my mum asked me if I could make her a shawl. Mum NEVER asks me to knit her anything so of course I immediately said yes.

She wanted a shawl to wear with a new dress for a special occasion *last week* one that she could pin around her shoulders but also one that she could use as a layering piece over her jacket too.

I knew just what I wanted to knit her but I showed her pictures of a few different options so she could decide. She ended up picking the shawl I wanted to knit her in the first place, SCORE!

Pattern: Miss Dashwood by Paulina Popiolek

Yarn: Madelinetosh Tosh Merino DK in Vermillion

Mods: My only mod was to go up a needle size on the body because it was coming out too dense for my liking. I also used a dk weight instead of sport so this might explain why it was dense. I wanted this shawl to be big!

My Rav Project page

Paulina P is an epic shawl designer in my opinion! I have long admired her designs and vowed to one day knit one of them. She currently has 53 patterns on Ravelry, a must see really! I was really glad when mum chose Miss Dashwood, my favourite of all her designs so far.

I must admit when I first read through the pattern I was completely intimidated and started to question whether I had the skills to knit this shawl at all. The border was knit first and then the body of the shawl is added after the fact and worked up. An interesting technique and one that I actually enjoyed once I got through the miles of border.

When you broke down the sections and knit bit by bit it was really actually rather simple yet creates a stunning shawl that looks very intricate.

The yarn was a hard decision. My mum’s dress had lots of colours in it so when she chose the redish pink for the shawl the hunt was on. I asked a couple of indie dyers if they could dye something for me and scoured LYS’s. It wasn’t until I actually took the dress to the store that I realised I had something in my stash that would work perfectly I just needed any extra skein. I bought the yarn in my stash at  Knit East back in September not knowing what I wanted to make with it and thankfully finding one more skein at my LYS  completed  the shawl.The colour of the shawl has a bit more of a pinkish tinge than red. It is shown more accurately in the outdoor shots when I am wearing it.

Since working with so much of this yarn on one project I have come to terms with the fact that although I love Madtosh’s colours I do not enjoy working with the single ply. I find it splits easily and doesn’t necessarily suck up the dye through the entire skein. Lesson learned! I will use dk twist in the future like I did for this shawl.

One Popiolek shawl under my belt with many more to choose from.

I wonder what will be next!

Her Saffron Lair

*Thank you to all who entered into the Journey giveaway. I enjoyed reading all of your journey memories! The winner is Amy J. Can you please email or contact me on Rav. The email I sent bounced right back.*

While you were all writing about your journey’s my little family was travelling across the U.S.A. to San Diego for a much needed break. On the way I was able to hand deliver a special gift to someone I met at Knit East.

I arrived at the Portland Knitting Group’s get together rather frazzled. I only had written directions with me and managed to get myself lost in the dark by myself….. I only stayed long enough to give Lucia her gift and get directions on how to get back to my hotel from the lovely Portland ladies. Let it be known I got lost again on the way home… the next day we bought a GPS!

Pattern: His Golden Lair by Kourtney Robinson

Yarn: Madelinetosh DK Twist in Saffron

Needles: 5mm

Rav Project Page

Lucia, for reasons I won’t get into, deserved a fabulous knit shawl. I asked her to choose a couple of patterns that she liked that I could choose from and to tell me her favourite colours. Out of the three that she chose His Golden Lair stood out to me right away. It is a pattern I had been eyeing for quite some time but hadn’t had the chance to knit yet.

 With the pattern down I only had a yarn and colour to choose…. usually the most difficult part of the process for me. When she told me she liked Fall colours a burnt orange came to mind, I toyed with the idea of red but I just couldn’t get the burnt orange out of my head. Now I only had to track down a yarn in the right weight and brand that I wanted. That proved to be a little more difficult but in the end I found just what I was looking for.

 This was my first time working with Madelinetosh DK Twist and won’t be my last. The base is nice and springy and provides wonderful stitch definition it make those cables pop.

I ended up knitting this shawl twice! The first time I started out with the suggested 4.5mm needles. I thought the cable portion was coming out very small but continued on because it looked to be only about 1/3 of the pattern. By the time I got to the last few lace rows I knew there was no way it was going to block out to the size I was hoping for so I ripped and reknit on 5mm’s. The second time was a charm and blocked out a couple of inches larger than called for in the design, perfect!

Hopefully through all the kerfuffle on getting it there it was still well received. Next time I will be more prepared with my gps and maybe be able to stay a while and knit.

I think I may just have enough left over to make myself a hat but I have a few things to finish before I cast on.


This is the shawl I knit for my Knit East Shawl Swap partner.

Pattern: Marin by Ysolda Teague

Yarn: Colour Adventures Dia Twist DK in Sour Cherry

I must admit when I first saw this pattern among my swap partners favourites list I didn’t really pay much attention to it. I started off knitting a French Cancan in a different yarn but didn’t like the pairing. I decided to mull it over for a while and kept coming back to one picture of Marin that really showed off the shape.

It wasn’t until I cast on and started knitting Marin that I really became intrigued. Knit side to side the construction is fun to knit and completely reversible.

I decided on Colour Adventures Dia Twisted DK  in the Sour Cherry colourway. My swap partner was a red lover and as I’ve said before Sour Cherry in my opinion is THE perfect red. I couldn’t go wrong.

It was hard to part with this shawl in the end. The sour cherry and those scallops really won me over. I think the shawl was well received and looked fantastic with her dark curly hair but I told her I’d gladly take it back if she didn’t love it.

 I can’t get enough on those scallops and would love to knit this one up again in a worsted weight yarn for a bigger shawl.

Zephyr Cove

I know you are all wondering about the shawl’s from the Knit East Swap.

This is the beauty I received!

The pattern is Zephyr Cove knit with Malabrigo sock in the colourways Lettuce and Impressionist sky. The lovely knitter was Judy from Ohio!

Sarah and I spotted Judy and Sarah in one of the local restaurants when we arrived on friday night. If it hasn’t been for the Knit East group on Rav we wouldn’t have recognized them at all but it wasn’t until the next morning, looking at the swap master list that I realized Judy was knitting for me and Sarah was knitting for Sarah!

Judy said she had a fun an easy time choosing colours for me. I like to think I’m pretty easy to please, I specified that I love all colours expect pastels. She studied my Rav projects page and came up with this beautiful colour pairing. It goes so perfectly with my grey jacket. Everytime I catch the stripes out of the corner of my eye it makes me smile.

I don’t have any striped shawls in my wardrobe although I have favourited oh so many so this really is the perfect addition.

The size was also spot on because I like to wear them as a scarf. I won’t have to worry about this one falling off because there is plenty of fabric to wrap around.

Judy couldn’t have nailed it any better. It is perfect in every way!

I told Judy I just may have to rig the 2015 swap so I can get another Judy creation….. but I think we need to share her talent around.

Old Shale

Pattern: Old Shale Shawl by Amanda Clark

Yarn: Berroco Vintage Colour # 51108

Needles: U.S. #10 / 6mm circs

My Rav Project Page

I was asked to knit a prayer shawl for someone in need recently. I was given a pretty plain knit and purl pattern but it seemed a bit boring and monotonous.

I wanted to knit something that would be unique to the recipient. A shawl they probably hadn’t come across before keeping in mind that it had to be big enough to wrap up in and keep them cosy.

This shawl fit the bill exactly. Old Shale is a free pattern on Ravelry and knits up quickly on 6mm’s with worsted weight yarn. I think this would make a wonderful blanket style shawl with a bulky yarn too.

Choosing a colour to knit into a shawl for someone you have never met can me a lengthey process. My LYS said people most often chose purple for prayer shawls so I knew I wanted to skip the purple if I was trying to make this shawl unique. I picked out a few colour options and then let my trusty side kick have the final say. Hopefully the recipient likes pink.

I used Berroco Vintage so the shawl would be easy to take care of. It’s washable and I won’t have to worry about someone throwing it in the wash and shrinking it into something T sized.

I will definitely keep this pattern in mind for future prayer shawls.

Hopefully this shawl will bring much comfort to its new owner.

Eastern Winter Shawl

I don’t usually knit christmas gifts, in fact the whole gift giving has been scaled down to just the children in our family.

We do however have two very special people that have been very good to our little family and I wanted to make them something special.

I knew right away I wanted to make the first recipient a shawl. She is the shawl wearing type and she knits too so I knew this knit would be appreciated.

It must be noted that I don’t enjoy knitting shawls… I love how they look when its all said and done but the process is not my fav.

I chose to knit the Northern Summer Shawl by Jo Kelly in Berroco Ultra Alpaca Fine.

I love how this shawl intersperses sections of stockinette throughout giving me a little bit of reprieve between those yo sections.

I wanted this shawl to be geared more for winter than summer so I held the Ultra Alpaca Fine doubled for a thicker and larger shawl and named it the Eastern Winter Shawl.

I think it worked perfectly.

Warm enough to wear around her shoulders while working at the computer but still delicate enough to wear out, pinned with a brooch.

The shawl was gifted on Saturday and I think its safe to say she liked it.

I know it will be treated well in its new home!

Adhara and A Giveaway!!!

 This beautiful shawl was a test for Tanis of Tanis Fiber Arts.

I fell in love with this design when I first saw a sneak peek of it on the banner of Tanis’ website.

Not only did I get the chance to test one of Tanis’ patterns , I also got to try Tanis Fiber Arts  yarn’s for the first time and it didn’t disappoint!

Pink Grapefruit, one of the newest colours in her collection, happens to be one of my favourite colourways.

I paired it with the Sunset colourway and love how they look together.

Although Adhara uses two colourways, it looks best when the 2 shades are similar and don’t have a stark contrast,  colours that will just flow into each other.

Pink Grapefruit and Sunset do that perfectly!

Adhara is a triangular shawl worked from the top down. It starts with a beautiful star stitch pattern knit in alternating colours, a lacey leaf border is added followed by a dainty little crochet border that really sets this whole design off.

I don’t know what’s NOT to love about this design.

There is just the right amount of each section to keep you interested, anticipating what comes next.

Blocking of course is when the real magic happens. The star stitch pattern really opens up showing off those beauitfully subtle stripes and you really get to see how pretty that little crochet border is.

As is the case with all Tanis’ designs, this was a purl delight to knit and I’m thankful for the opportunity to try Tanis wonderful fingering weight base in such beautiful colours!

It wasn’t until I had finished testing Adhara that I learned it was to be part of a collection.

The Stella Collection!

4 lacey summer patterns designed by Tanis Lavallee  and Julie Crawford.

Together they have taken different TFA yarns  and designed some beautiful pieces that really show off the yarn and amazing colours that Tanis Fiber Arts is known for.

You already saw the first design Adhara but I must show you Tanis’ original version in a completely different colour pairing.

Tanis chose Shadow and Atlantic for her version which made me fall in love with the shawl in the first place.

It will be interesting to see what colour combo’s ohters come up with when they knit Adhara.

Suncrest is Tanis‘ second design in the collection.

The simplicity of garter stitch paired with a beautiful Fan Shell border really makes this one pop. The arc shape is very appealling and modern, this shawl that would be perfect to wear anytime.

Knit Suncrest with that skein of variegated yarn you’ve been stashing and just didn’t know what you would use it for or that super special luxury skein you have been hoarding.

Solaria, Julie‘s first design  is a gorgeous lacey cowl/capelet.

 If you read Julie’s blog or have come across some of her projects on Ravelry you know she loves capelet’s and wears them a lot so it was no surprise to me we I saw that she had designed her own.

The capelet however is quite different to the bulky cabled ones I have seen on Ravelry. Delicate and lacey sets the stage for this beautiful knit. A small project with just the right amount of lace to hold your interesting and keep you on your toes.

As a cowl it would be the perfect way to add a pop of colour to a plain jacket or wear it over a t shirt but wouldn’t it also be adorable keeping your  shoulders warm over your favourite sundress on a summer evening?

Nashira is the final design in the collection and also designed by Julie.

This design screams elegance to me.  Long lines, a drapey silk fabric and just enough lace to keep it simple yet modern.

Nashira would look perfect paired with a simple evening dress that shows off the beautiful lace work and yet not too dressy that you couldn’t wear it every day as a scarf or shoulder wrap.

How is that for a beautiful collection??

Tanis and Julie have generously offered up the entire Stella Collection to giveaway to one lucky commenter.

In order to be entered into the draw you’ll need to do two things.

1) Tell me which Stella Design you love the best


2) Head on over to Tanis site  and tell me which colourway you love or would like to knit your favourite design with.

You’ll have until Friday July 6th to enter the drawing.

 The winner will be annouced the following Monday, July 9th.

Good luck to you all!


I couldn’t be more excited to test knit a first design for Amanda of Joli House.

You all know Lily, Amanda’s daughter and how much I love her designs so it shouldn’t come as a surprise that Amanda’s first design is nothing less than amazing!

 Bowland features a beautifully delicate lace panel up the middle off set by garter stitch and purl rows.

I used Malabrigo Lace for my version, it made the shawl a bit smaller than Amanda’s version in light fingering but really wanted to keep the delicate feel of this pattern and the lace really showcases that.

It is beautiful as a shawl and will be equally as stunning when I wear it as a scarf to spice up my trench!

Congratulations Amanda on your first design.

As if that isn’t enough, Amanda is already working on her second design, Broughton.

 I’m sure there will be many more and can’t wait to see the designs flying out of Joli House!