FO times 2!

The shawl is finished and pictures were taken only an hr or two before mum showed up to take it on its merry way across the pond for Nanny’s bday.

Pattern: Miss Bennett by Paulina Popiolek

Yarn: Madelinetosh Pashmina in Esoteric 

Needles: 4.5mm

Mods: I knit 44 repeats on a larger size needle. I also added a few rows of garter to the edge of the shawl before binding off to avoid rolling.

My Rav project page

Another fabulous pattern from Paulina. I enjoyed knitting the lace first and then I was free to coast through the stockinette portion in no time.

The Pashmina was a joy to knit with, the silk and cashmere content really make this shawl that little bit more special.

I had to buy two skeins to complete the shawl but I had tons of leftovers so I made a beret to go with it.

Pattern: Greenery Beret by Melissa Labarre

This was a quick little knit that looks more complicated than it is. The lace work is a simple feather and fan pattern and looks smashing when blocked.

I quite liked wearing this one. It reminded me that it has been a while since I’ve worn a beret.  I may just have knit something new in the New Year.

For now I’m going to relax with no knitting deadlines looming before I decide what to knit next.

Emptying out the basket

It’s that time of year when I start thinking about emptying out the WIP basket and finishing things off.

With Christmas break quickly approaching my mind has begun to wonder about possible new projects to cast on but some things must get finished before that can happen.

I currently have 6 active WIP’s on the go with about a 3 week time frame to finish. I’m NOT go to finish them all lets face it and I’m not turning this into a race, we all know Christmas is stressful enough so I’m going to pick away at my WIP’s and hope to get something accomplished before I pull any new yarns out. (I do have some exciting projects planned though but I’ll save that for another post)

Number one on the list is a new WIP that I just started last weekend. My mum asked if I could knit my Nanny a shawl for her birthday which falls right after christmas. She thought something similar to the Miss Dashwood shawl I knit for her at the beginning of the year would be nice. I am not a huge fan of knitting the same pattern twice, although I definitely would if it came down to it. Mum and I looked at many shawl patterns and she just kept coming back to Paulina P’s designs, mum knows what she likes.

She chose Miss Bennett by Paulina Popiolek another that was on my list to knit.This design calls for fingering but my version will be slightly larger with a sport/dk and a larger needle.

Speaking of mum knowing what she likes…. I took her to my LYS to pick out some yarn for said shawl. She headed straight for the Tosh, Pashmina at that!! Dang mum’s got expensive yarn taste! We walked away with two skeins of Madelinetosh Pashmina in the Escoteric colourway.

A beauty huh?

I was rather intimidated before starting my last Paulina P design but I think I’ve got the hang of her style now and hopefully it will go off without a hitch!

I think by the time I’m finished with the knitting it will be very hard to part with…..

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.

Marin

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!