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.

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.

Lady Sunnyside

What better to way to forget about the stresses of moving for a while?

A test knit of course!

*Note: Planning an outfit for said photoshoot kind of slipped my mind when I packed 99.9% of my clothes in boxes…… Also packing the iron that I NEVER use was not in my best interest because of course I ended up needing it…* Needless to say I think I did well with what I had ;)

It has been a while since I’ve test knit anything and I have been enjoying the free time to knit as I choose but once Tanis comes a calling it doesn’t take much to twist my arm. Her designs are always right up my alley and this design was no exception. In fact Lady Sunnyside is my favourite Tanis pattern that I have knit to date!

A button down cardigan is something I will wear forever and a day or at least until I wear holes in it. I feel like there may be another sunnyside in my future, its too perfect of a design NOT to have two!

Pattern: Lady Sunnyside by Tanis Lavallee

Yarn: Tanis Fiber Arts Green Label Aran weight in Garnet.

 I alternated skeins every two rows.

Mods:   I added one extra buttonhole to accommodate my long torso.  I also added length to the sleeves cause I’m gangly like that.

My Ravelry Project Page

I knit a 34 this time around, I’ll talk more about this in a future post but I have been finding 32′s are too tight across my broad shoulders and I just need things to be less fitted and more relaxed.

 NOTE: I used every bit of 5 skeins to knit my modified version.

The great thing about this pattern, as is with the original Sunnyside, is that it comes with two chart options for the raglan and neck/button bands. A zigzag lace chart, which is what I chose, and a rope cable chart which gives it a different look altogether. Choose your poison or knit one of each!

Lady Sunnyside is the adult version of Sunnyside that has 1890 projects on Ravelry! It is a go to baby pattern for so many and I anticipate I’ll be knitting one very shortly with all the babies popping up around me lately.

Now here is the fun part! Tanis is offering this pattern for free for one week only and there’s talk of a  Lady Sunnyside knit along in the TFA group on Ravelry.

Sooo skip on over to Tanis blog, get yourself that free code and start planning a Sunnyside for your first cardigan of the season!

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??

Happy Patina Socks

I mentioned before that I finished my Patina Socks and I finally got around to getting some pictures of them.

Pattern: Patina Socks by Tanis Lavallee

Yarn: Kona hand dyed by me

I have said it once and I’ve sure I will say it a million times more but Tanis just does socks right. Not too plain, not too futtery *yes that is a word*, just perfectly awesome.The little details that she adds all come together to make one cracking pair of socks!

My Patina’s are definitely my favourite pair of socks to date. Partially because I hand dyed the yarn myself in the most perfect shades of sunshine yellow and I’m so pleased with how it turned out. But also because I paired the yarn with this gorgeous pattern.

It really makes them sing!

 Although it took longer than expected to knit these, there were a lot of interruptions along the way, they never reached a point that I felt like they were dragging on. I’d pick those needles full of sunshine up and knit along my merry way.

It is no surprise that yellow is my favourite colour but it still amazes me how our emotions  can be so strongly tied to certain colours. There is a house in the town closest to us that is painted a similar sunshine yellow. When I cross the bridge and my eye catches sight of that house looking so bright and cheery between all the others it just fills me with happy and I always remark on how much I love it.

I think I will have a similar reaction every time I reach for these socks from my drawer.

I may even break out some dancing to this…

Delight in the small things!!

I don’t think I could top these Happy patina’s if I tried but I just might have to knit this pattern again it was that much fun!

Pavilion Socks

Pattern: Pavilion Mystery KAL by Rachel Coopey

Yarn: Wandering Cat Yarns Alley Cat BFL in English Toffee

I finished my Pavilion socks! I kind of lost momentum on the second sock and the foot seemed to take forever but I pushed through and finished them. It then took a while for me to get pictures…

Mods: I knit these on 2.25mm’s instead of 2.5′s but when up a sock size and knit the medium to compensate for my smaller needles.

I also added two more slipped stitches to the sides of the heel flap because it wasn’t quite long enough as written.

This was my first time knitting with Wandering Cat Yarns and won’t be my last. Valerie and Rhonda really nail their colours, this is english toffee to a T! Alley Cat BFL is one of those thinner sock yarns that are becoming more and more popular. I really enjoyed knitting with it and I’m interested to see how these wear with their nylon content.

Rachel designed these socks as one of the knit alongs for Unwind Brighton, a fiber festival that happened in Brighton, England just over a week ago.

The Royal Pavilion or Brighton Pavilion as it is now called was Rachel’s inspiration. A little research tells me that the Pavilion, built in three stages,was once a royal residence.

During the first world war it was turned into a military hospital for 14,000 wounded and now is a tourist attraction. You can see the picture of the hospital here.

I love learning about buildings with so much history!

 So there you have it!

Another pair of socks complete which means its time to cast on another pair!

I really must get up to date with my picture taking though, things are getting finished before I have even pulled the camera out.

Such is the busyness of summer!

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!