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…..

Snowflake

Pattern: Opal Bunny by Susan B Anderson

Yarn: Opal Surprise in the Rainbow colourway *why is that not a surprise?*

Needles: 2.25mm dpns

Mods: No mods but if I were to knit this again I think I would move her legs a bit closer together so she sits better. I would also add the poly pellets suggested in the pattern that T refused to let me add.

My Rav Project Page

I wanted to blog about the making of this little gal, I really did but such is life sometimes.

While visiting my LYS one day T spied Susan’s Opal Bunny pattern hanging in front of the Opal Yarn shelves. We didn’t buy any yarn or pattern that day but she did ask about it NON STOP once we got home. She worked on her behaviour *first year of school is exhausting for those little minds* and finally earned the yarn for her bunny.

I thought I would be able to whip him up pronto but this mama was exhausted as well and not much knitting time was had. When I did pick it up and knit I kept making the most ridiculous mistakes. The day after I had stayed up late to finish the head *never a good idea for me* I realized I had set aside stitches for 4 ears instead of 2……. DOH!

 I vowed to only work on him when I wasn’t exhausted and if that meant NOT knitting for that day *Gasp! Horror* then that was what needed to happen.

I set myself another goal of getting it done by T’s birthday but that didn’t happen either. So it seems that Snowflake, as T has named her, was finished at just the right time. Our first snow day of the season. I took an hr to relax and finish her off this morning before we went out to the snow.

I think Snowflake fits in perfectly with my Rainbow girl don’t you?

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!

Zig Zag Wings

The winner of the What the heart wants giveaway is

EMMA who wrote “Behind my back is my favourite, I could see me wearing that a lot. It looks a lovely collection. I am just off to add it to my rav favourites!”

I’ll be contacting you shortly Emma to send you your ebook.

Speaking of Justyna and her beautiful designs I recently finished a test knit for her.

Pattern: Zig Zag Wings by Justyna Lorkowska

Yarn: Colour Adventures Sweet Merino DK in Sherwood

Debbie Bliss Wool/Cotton colour 125

Needles: 3.75mm and 4.0mm circs

My Rav Project page

The minute I saw Justyna’s version on Instagram I knew that I wanted to knit it and exactly what I would use. My Hierro mittens sample recently came back and I knew I wanted a hat to go with them. I wasn’t sure how it would look with the green as the main colour but once I had more than one repeat knit I was smitten.

This would be a great first colour work project for someone. The motif is very simple, knits up quickly and makes a beautiful finished project! The pattern comes with two different motif choices so buying the pattern (for $4) is like getting two hat patterns for the price of one.

A big pom pom definitely sets off this hat so I couldn’t resist adding it although I could wear it either way no problem.

My version is definitely more of a beanie style than some other slouchy versions you may come across.

I wore this on a few walks before blocking it and decided that the pre blocking state is best for keeping warmth in and the cold wind out.

Of course there always has to be some goofin around when it comes to pictures and this girl. A girls gotta have some fun :)

 I think another version of Zig zag wings is in my future using the other motif.

I just need to decide on a colour combo.

Stockholm

We had friends stay with us this past week from Arizona. I found out a week before they arrived and thought oh I should whip her up a cowl because she is probably going to freeze.

The days ticked by and I still had yet to cast on….. Oh I’ll just crank it out on the weekend I thought…….. apparently I WASN’T thinking straight that week because the cowl I knit definitely took longer than 2 days to knit.

Pattern: Stockholm Scarf by KnittedblissJC

Yarn: Berroco Vintage Dk in colour 2181

Needles: 6mm circs

Mods: I knit this in the round casting on 252 sts.

My Ravelry Project Page

The Stockholm scarf although fun to knit was definitely NOT a weekend knit with 252 sts per round in a lace and rib pattern. I picked up 2 skeins of Berroco Vintage Dk because I wasn’t sure how she would handle the washing aspect and I think I chose right. She has dark hair so the red was a pretty easy decision.

 I, of course, ran out of time to knit the full two skeins, like I had planned, but was able to get a good sized cowl out of the yardage regardless. I think i had about 16 repeats of the 4 row pattern. In the pictures I have it folded in half before wrapping around my neck and it was perfect.

I had it blocking the day they arrived before but it still wasn’t dry a couple of days into their stay. I moved the blocking board to my bedroom before they arrived so it would be out of sight until it dried completely.

It was finally dry when I checked it before our trip to Fall Brook Falls. (It’s been a couple of years since we have been there.) It was a brisk day for our grand outdoor adventure but lots of fun when bundled in handknits.

 They are off home now but hopefully she will get some use out of it especially next year when they visit again. I’ll have to get knitting on some more accessories to keep them warm because the next trip might be a snowy one.

All Kinds of Random

The random number generator chose comment #53

Natalie who wrote: Pillar Box is my favourite! I would probably make scarf or a shawl, but it would be for me – I haven’t made anything for myself in over 2 years.

I’ll be contacting you shortly for your choice and address.

How can it be the middle of October already?

The days are slipping away and I feel like nothing is getting accomplished creatively lately.

Two days after we moved I started a new job and it has put a stand still on getting anything done around these parts.

Soooo I’m thinking that until I can get things under control more around here I’d like to do some posts Truly Myrtle style. Libby does Share All The Things Fridays and I do enjoy the randomness of it. My posts will probably won’t be weekly and who knows what they will entail so lets call it All Kinds Of Random.

My computer is wreaking havoc this week. The battery is worn out and won’t stay charged. On top of that the cord that plugs into the computer is wearing out and won’t keep the computer on……… talk about frustrating. Today, I came home to a new battery sitting on the table… hopefully this will keep me sane for a while longer.

 I have been all over the place with knitting projects lately. I can’t seem to find the RIGHT project but I do know that my mind is sorely missing that quiet monotonous time. I have a pair of plain socks on the go to keep me occupied during gymnastics. The yarn is Knit Picks Felici in Foxglove and they seem to be the only thing I can concentrate on at the minute.

T and I made some delicious apple sauce this week using apples we picked during Thanksgiving. Warmed up this is the most delicious little pot of Fall flavours.

I finally broke down and bought the Clover Pom Pom makers in all the sizes. My days of cardboard pom pom making are offically over! These are definitely worth the money and pom pom’s now only take 2-3 mins to complete. BLISS!!  I can finally get back to that little project that required a few pom pom’s to finish it off. Expect a pom pom clad FO soon!

Miss Molly, the dog we always said would happily lay out in the yard all day has now been dubbed Houndini….. Twice she has escaped the fence we put up the day we moved in. I don’t think she thinks of this house as her home yet and is frantically searching for us when she gets out. Thankfully we have amazing neighbours and one managed to get Boss back in and tied up before letting me know Molly took off. The fence has been bolted together so she can’t pull it apart with her teeth anymore….. She is a crafty weasel I tell ya and will do whatever it takes to be with her daddy.

 Off to put my child to bed and find myself something to knit…. who am I kidding I’ll probably fall asleep on the couch….

Fyberspates Cumulus Giveaway

I am delighted to be able to guest post on the Fyberspates Blog this week.

I’m chatting about Colour choices and Fyberspates Cumulus yarn.

Cumulus is a lace weight yarn that is comprised of 74% Alpaca and 26% Silk. Think soft,warm and fluffy clouds.

Colourways bottom to top: Bottle green, Pillar box, Magenta, Plum, Ruby Red, Slate, Rust

Photograph: © Fyberspates, used with permission.

Cumulus is available in 12 gorgeous colours ranging from those grey and blue cloud like colours all the way to the deep red and cranberry. I think you will find a colour perfect for any occasion.

Colourways bottom top: water,silver,sea green ,teal, moonlight

Photograph: © Fyberspates, used with permission.

The lovely folks at Fyberspates have offered up a couple of skeins to giveaway to my lovely readers.

To enter tell me what your favourite Cumulus colour is and what you would do with these lovely skeins in the comments below. Comments will close Tuesday Oct 14th at midnight est and I will choose a winner at random on Wednesday the 15th.

Good luck and I can’t wait to hear what you would make with this cosy yarn.

GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED!

Crushin’

I’ve talked about my designer crushes before, you know those designers that just design ALL the things that you want to knit.

Well I have developed a new crush this season.

© Jared Flood / Brooklyn Tweed

Dianna Walla is the designer behind the Sundottir sweater from Wool People 6 *probably my favourite edition so far* that I just HAVE to knit right now!

It seems to be a popular pattern at the moment and I can definitely see why. It is a beautifully timeless sweater and something I need to make for my wardrobe overhaul. I’m going to be frogging an old cardigan, Penny, and repurposing the yarn for what I’m hoping will be one gorgeous Sundottir.

Poor Penny had three runs through my knit and reknit mill but I was just never 100% happy with it. It was the first sweater quantity I ever purchased that wasn’t acrylic and I’m excited at the prospect of having something wearable with it after all this time.

I also recently came across a pair of colour work socks that I added to my queue right away. It was only after the fact that I realised it was another design by Dianna.

© Dianna Walla / Paper Tiger

Nikoline is a beautiful classic pair of socks that are inspired by Norwegian knitting. I’m going to be diving into sock yarn scraps for this one but I think I’m going to keep with the classic look.

I also found a wicked colour work cowl that you guessed it just so happens to be designed by Dianna. So much goodness I can’t stand it!!

© Crillia Rose / Skacel

This is the Pine Bough Cowl and is a free pattern on Skacel Fiber Studio and Dianna’s Ravelry Store. This one is going to take some more contemplation over colours and yarn choice but I hope to knit it up too.

So it looks like it’s going to be a Fair Isle Fall around these parts and I’m looking forward to playing with a bit of colour!

What strikes your fancy during this Autumn Season??

Wardrobe Overhaul

It’s that time of year again when knitters start to dream of cosy sweaters and what they will knit this season to keep them toasty this winter.

While packing up my closet I’ve been pondering what I want to knit and thinking long and hard about my current handknits. I have three favourites that I wear all the time,

 Cattails by Melissa Schaschwary – This is a great three season cardi for me. Worn in Summer, Spring and Early Fall this light weight number is a perfect throw on. The ease on this one is great and the silky wool makes it soo incredibly light it hardly feels like you are wearing a cardi.

Aidez by Cirilia Rose – I wear this constantly! A day doesn’t go by when I don’t throw this on, Summer,Spring, Autumn, and Winter. It could be when I’m heading out, over pajamas at the house, over a dress on a summer evening on the Ridge, this cardigan just works in every way possible for me. The addition of pockets was a must for me and they are getting lots of use as well. I have been contemplating what I will use for a second Aidez because clearly there MUST be another. I used Cascade Eco to knit my current one. It is holding up very well although it is showing some pilling. I haven’t de pilled or anything but I’m thinking that if I had sweater stone or something to that effect this sweater would look good as new.

French Braid by Tanis Lavallee - This cardigan is a perfect Deep Fall and Winter cardigan for me. Knit in Aran weight it is great layered with a t or a long sleeved shirt in the winter. This has been another throw on when I’m freezing or heading out into the cold. I love the openness and ease although I do wish I had used a more neutral or calmer colour. It’s definitely a different colour for me but wearable regardless.

Did you notice a theme??

The three garments that I wear all the time are:

  • Cardigans
  • Have positive ease (They are all a 34)
  • Are open at the front

So clearly I prefer cardigan’s and a certain style of cardigan. That’s not to say that I don’t love any other style of sweater or cardigan its just this type seems to be my go to.

With all this in mind I am on a mission!

To overhaul my wardrobe,figure out what styles I will really get wear out of and frog, reknit or add newly knit sweaters to the clan.

With my digestive issues it has become clear to me that I can no longer wear anything restrictive or tailor fitting in any way. There will definitely be lots of frogging and reusing happening and most of that will be because of the lack of ease in a lot of my past knits.

I’m excited to shake things up a bit, repurpose knits that are just taking up room and add things that really work for me right now. I hope to give you some reviews on yarns I have used and share why patterns may or may not have worked for me.

I must tell you that the new house has a walk in closet….. a huge walk in closet, *note: Moose and I have shared a small closet since we’ve been married so this takes sweater knitting to a new level*  I’m sure Moose is thrilled…. In all honesty though I’m a wear a handful of things until they are dead type of girl so I doubt my closet will be burst at the seams.

With that being said I’ve started my first sweater in Operation Wardrobe Overhaul!

 This is the Hitch Pullover by Vanessa Ewing from Interweave Knits Fall 2014

It will be my first sweater in my new wardrobe and hopefully I can get this one right. I love shawl collars and with a little extra length I think it could be perfect. I’m knitting a 36 which is a first for me but also the smallest size in the pattern. I’m hoping this will be an ok amount of ease and not drown me… time will tell.

The yarn I am using is a stash repurpose, Valley Yarns Northampton in Merlot Heather. I started to knit Outlaw with this yarn and just had the hood left to go but clearly this fitted sweater isn’t going to work for me anymore even though I love it.

This sweater is working up quickly on 5mm needles especially when you are a passenger in the Old Ford. *more on that soon*

I’m looking forward to a cosy Autumn in this one!

Are you planning your Autumn knits too? I’d love to hear what you are thinking of knitting!

Organic Cones

So I’m tackling boxes like a champ and getting through things but as you work your mind wanders….that is if you aren’t being asked to read a book, watch a bike show or chase someone.

My thoughts are wandering to my most recent FO.

Pattern: Indigo Cones by Aileen Ryder

Yarn: Sublime Yarns Organic Cotton DK

Mods: I added one extra chart repeat on the body and I didn’t turn up the corners as per pattern.

My Ravelry Project page

Indigo cones is a pattern that caught my eye from the most recent issue, First Fall 2014, of Knitty. It fit the bill for everything I wanted in a summer cardigan, light weight, airy with a more relaxed fit.

I bought a perfect skirt with cute bicycles on it in Primark on one of my trips back home to Ireland but I haven’t had the chance to wear it because I didn’t have a top to go with it. Shopping hasn’t been high on the priority list these days…

Then Little Knits had a sale on some Sublime yarn that I thought might work well with it so I bought a bag and hoped for the best. The yarn arrived, sat for a while and then Jane Richmond released the pattern Gemini. I thought it would be the perfect match for my skirt so I took it with me on a vacation because I was going to cast on and knit the entire thing while travelling…. well you all know how well I travel…. that didn’t happen. It marinated some more in the stash until I saw Indigo Cones and new it was “The One!”

Let me tell you this Organic cotton is so soft and wonderful to work with. I’m still having trouble believing it IS cotton. It has just the right amount of drape and feels wonderful to wear. Of course this is the part where I tell you it has been discontinued…… WHY WHY WHY! Always the way. I did find some for sale on Ravelry though so I may have to snap up some more for a future knit.

So back to Indigo Cones… I started this in June thinking it was going to be a quick knit. Now if you have been around these parts long enough you’ll know that lace and I have a love hate relationship. Everything was going well until I got into the body and it just didn’t seem to be growing, the more I knit the more I had left to knit. Finally one weekend I just decided that this was it, I was just going to plow through and “git r done.” I need a swift kick every now and then.

 Things really took off and I was done in no time. Blocked it took photo’s and …. meehh! I was not happy. The edges were rolling like crazy and I wasn’t satisfied with the placement of the button. It seemed to put on the neckline and make it roll too.

You can see in the pictures below from my first photo shoot.

So much rolling!!!

So not the look I was going for!

Back to the blocking board it went. I thought if I blocked it more aggressively it would sit better. It did sit better for the most of the photo’s at the beginning of this post but you can still see how the button pulls on the neck making it roll and and now that I’ve had it on all day we are back to looking like crepes again.

I definitely love the cardigan but the rolling is pushing me over the “I’m gonna go crazy if I have to pull on this one more time” limit. I need to find a solution and I’m hoping some of you can help. What would you do to fix this?

My mind is telling me, a more stable edging is needed. That I should pick up and knit a neckline then knit two separate button bands and sew them on. Thoughts?

Now just for fun here is an outtake from my first Cones photoshoot. What you don’t see behind the scenes is the little person who wants to be in EVERY picture mama’s in, nutella covered face and all. I don’t know how she ate that piece of toast but it looks like she just slapped the piece of nutella covered toast over her mouth… actually I wouldn’t put that past her either, she is a card. What cracks me up though is that we are standing in the exact same way…. Like mother like daughter much??