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??

The time has come…

The time has finally come to tell you all what has been going on the last few months.

In a few short weeks we will be leaving our home on The Ridge to start a new chapter of life in a new house which will hopefully become home once again.

At first I had mixed feelings about leaving our country home but this move seems to be the right thing to do for our family at this time in our life.

There are definitely things I will miss but also things I’ll be glad to leave behind.

It has been a long couple of months and at times we thought everything with the sale of our house was going to fall apart.

We had 3 failed water tests and no water for a month, that was definitely an interesting time. Just when things were all starting to pile on top of me and  I could take no more things all started to get better and work out THANK GOODNESS!

It has been an interesting summer to say the least but we are hopeful things will only look up from here on out.

I think the transition will be the most difficult for the dogs….. there will no longer be free roam on 44 acres and copious amounts of bushes to explore in. Then again they are getting older and have definitely slowed down in pace, maybe they won’t mind at all….

I did start these plain vanilla socks which is about all my brain can handle right now. I’m using Knit Picks Felici in the Lighthouse colourway. My super cute bag was a prize I won on aplayfulday’s blog. The bag is made by That Clever Clementine and won through Lisa of Indie Untangled. Her site features new Indie dyers and makers and when their store updates will be so you will always stay in the know. The bag I won is actually a notions bag but it fits a sock wip in it so that’s what it is currently being used for. It’s the perfect small bag to throw into something else as you are heading out the door.

I have a few things I would like to show you before we make the move but if I don’t get around to it you will know I’ve just got my head stuck in a box somewhere.

You can keep tabs with me on Instagram if you so wish until I get back.

I’m truly hoping the rest of this move goes smoothly!

And breathe…..

Coming up for air… where has the last month or two gone??

They are clearing trees * read butchering forest, my snowshoe trail and this little Moosey’s home* across the road from us. Yesterday this poor discombobulated Moose was peering over our fence trying to figure out how to get in. I’m sure the poor lad didn’t know what was going on and was just trying to find safety. It was with a sad heart that I watched him climb back up the hill and into the trees. I hope he was smart enough to figure out that he could get to our clearing in just a few more feet to the right and then he would be safe.

I cut the grass for the first time this season on Sunday ,clearly it has been a few weeks since I wrote this post, in my winter coat and hat…… What the deuce??? It has been a coooold Spring, everyone still has the heating on and there is a frost warning. Not cool! I’m so glad that summer is slowly arriving and hopefully things warm up.

Things have been super busy around here, hopefully I can fill you all in on that shortly but until then I have some new projects on the go.

I’ve been doing a lot of purging around the house and and getting rid of things. I had previously purged the stash of things I would never use but there seemed to be a mountain  of leftovers accumulating that needs to be dealt with. My thought is the quickest and easiest way for me to use up these leftovers is definitely to knit a blanket but that lead to a whole other bunny trail of which blanket and do I have colours that go and so on and so forth.

Romi swooped in and saved the day when she offered a coupon for one free pattern. Her Carson Throw jumped out at me and I immediately wanted to cast on.

I grabbed some co ordinating colours and cast on. It is coming along nicely and I’ve just started using a second colour. I can’t wait to add more colours to the mix and see it progress.

More stash diving is on the go because Rachel Coopey is doing a MKAL *mystery kal* for Unwind Brighton.  Solid or semi solid yarn is what Rachel has suggested for these socks so I’m knitting mine with Wandering Cat Yarns BFL in English Toffee.

This is my progress after completing the second clue. The third and final clue was released a week ago and I’m still trying to find the time to get caught up…. soon!

Before I could even start my MKAL socks I need to clean off my sock needles. They were  housing my half finished 2nd Patina sock. Poor Patina’s they got left by the way side while I was involved in a huge project but now its time to finish them up. I’m really enjoyed this Tanis pattern and even though it has been slow going, when I do have the time to knit on them it just makes them last all that much longer. Look for an FO picture soon!

So those are the stash projects I’m working on right now and I’m holding myself back from casting on more…. I need to get something off the needles first me thinks.

What are you working on? Do you have a queue the length of your arm that you need to cast on RIGHT NOW??

Talk to me, I’ve really missed chatting with you all.

FO: Groovy Socks

Pattern: Groovy Socks by Caroline Hegwer

Yarn: Knit Picks Felici in Building Blocks

My Rav project page

My Groovy socks were actually finished in December I could just not get the right lighting to snap some pics of these. Turns out my bro has tons of natural light at his house so I took advantage the last time we visited and got pics of a couple of pairs of socks. My Smokestack pics were taken there too, looove that shaggy rug!

I knit these on 2.25mm’s but the pattern yields a pretty tight sock. I’m sure they will stretch with time but I would definitely knit another pair with 2.5mm’s so they aren’t so hard to get on.

This pattern was one of those addictive patterns. A two row repeat and one of those rows is plain knitting…. can’t get easier than that. Perfect socks for on the go and the self striping makes you never want to stop.

I learned this week that Knit Picks is discontinuing Knit Picks Felici.Here I was excitedly waiting for their new colours to arrive. Insert sad panda face here! This is such a hard wearing yarn and really held up perfectly with my hardwood and tile floors. I wears socks to bed, heck i’ve even walked around on my rock driveway with these. Basically if I can’t do what I would in a pair of store bought socks, they just won’t last in my house. There are still and handful of colourways available before they are gone for good so if you want some I’d suggest you get it now! I may have some on the way.

I’m kicking myself that I didn’t get some of the older colourways before they were gone too. Maybe someone will decide to destash and I will be able to get them.

This was the last Felici colourway I had in stash and I’m going to have to make the ones coming last all the longer.

At least a have a handful of beautiful felici socks to keep me going for a while.

If you have older Felici colourways in your stash that you’d like to sell lets talk.

If you need me I’ll be groovin’ in my new socks!

FO: Carolina Socks

I finally got pictures of my finished Carolina Socks.

Taking self portraits of socks in ‘just the right light’ is incredibly hard and frustrating! After 3 weeks of trying this and that I finally caved and let Moose take these ones for me.

Pattern: Carolina Socks by Monkey Toes

Yarn: Three Ewes Twisted in Fiber Ewephoric Sock in the Wild Thing colourway. **This company is no longer in business but you can still find their yarn on destashes.

I was a little bit anal with these socks….. ok I was a LOT of anal on these socks. They started out perfectly fine. Each repeat included 2 purl rows and everything was matching but then I got to the heel….at first I just kept knitting the skein but it was breaking up my perfect patterning that I had achieved on the leg.I cut out the next couple of black stripes and used those for the heel and the first repeat, hoping I would have enough to do both heels black. I wasn’t exactly getting the foot to pattern like the leg so I started having to chop out a couple of inches once the new colour started so it would all be even. I pushed my luck even farther by knitting the toe in cut out black stripes as well.

With one sock down I knew it would be smooth sailing from there on out but I was soo wrong. On this sock my stripes weren’t playing nicely at all. At every colour change I was having to chop bits out so that it would match sock #1 and line up the pattern properly. I thankfully had just enough black to complete the heel and toe but ended up weaving a lot of ends in before this pair was complete.

 They turned out perfectly!

Thank goodness this pattern was really addictive because it definitely took a lot of ripping to achieve these beauties!

Patina Party

I have been oh so patiently waiting for January to come so Tanis could release all her 2013 club patterns into the wild.

Tanis designed this gorgeous sock pattern Patina at the start of the year and I knew right away I wanted to knit them so when it arrived in my inbox upon release I squealed with delight. *Thank you Tanis!*

Of course I couldn’t wait to cast on but I had just cast on for my Carolina socks and needed to get those ones off the needles so I could use them for my Patina’s. *Note I need to get another pair of Karbonz!*

I bound off those socks this weekend and cast on lickety split for Patina.

To say this pattern is addictive would be an understatement, I had to drag my butt to bed before I stayed up insanely late *in my books* working on them. I dug deep into my stash for this yarn. I needed something that wasn’t going to obscure the overall pattern and with the January thaw we’ve been having I thought yellow would be a perfecty warm colour.

This yarn is a Kona base that I dyed myself many years ago. I’m glad that I am finally getting the chance to use it and see what my dyeing efforts produce.

So far I’m really liking it!

Rye

Pattern: Rye by Tincanknits

Yarn: Patons Classic Wool in Bright Red

My Rav Project Page

My Rye socks just flew off the needles!

I forgot how quickly worsted weight socks knit up.

Rye is a simple pattern ranging in size from baby to large adult that would be great for a beginner attempting their first or second pair of socks. The pattern guides you through making your first pair of socks with tips and how to’s along the way. I wish I had a pattern like this available when I first started out.

The garter stitch adds that little bit of interest to the top of the foot while keeping all the stitches very simple and easy to execute.

As I talked about before I’m going to be doing some serious stash busting this year. Sock yarn is high on the list to get used up. I want to fill up my sock drawer this year and get more socks into rotation. I’m pretty hard on my socks with hardwood and tile floors in the house and I’d prefer for them to last as long as possible.

These socks were a great stash buster using only 85 grams for the adult small and just think of the scraps you could use up for the baby and child sizes.

I think there will be another pair or two of worsted socks knit in 2014 but there are other socks I’m crushing on right now that I just MUST knit first.

I think I’ll be investing in another pair of my favourite sock needles this year..

Clam Digger

Pattern: Clam Digger by Melissa Schaschwary

Yarn: Elsebeth Lavold Silky Wool in colour 05 and 001

Mods: I did the same number of rows per stripe througout the whole cardigan.

Just before Christmas I was cleaning out my WIP basket trying to get everything finished up when T happened upon her clam digger cardigan in progress.

She asked me if I could finish it up because she loves it and its “beauty full”. Well that was all it took to light a fire under my butt to finish it off. I only had the sleeves to go and once I started they were on and off the needles in no time.

You may recognize Clam Digger as being the child’s version of Cattails that I knit this summer. I lived in that cardigan all summer and well into the Fall and hopefully she will be the same way. T runs on the hot side 99% of the time so I think this cardigan will get a lot of use even this Winter as it is light and airy.

 I love the wide textured trim in a tweedy yarn on this one.

It turns a plain cardigan into something a bit more special.

As you can tell we went from deep freeze temps yesterday to a gorgeous sunny day today that is melting the snow and ice. I took full advantage and did a mini photo shoot. With the winter we have been having it is hard to say when we will get another day like this. There is currently a freezing rain warning for tonight and tomorrow…..

Today we are enjoying the outdoors as much as possible because tomorrow we probably won’t be able to walk on any of it.