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!

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!

Smokestack Socks

Pattern: Smokestack Socks by Tanis Lavallee

Yarn: Tanis Fiber Arts Purple Label Cashmere Sock in the Dove colourway

My Rav Project Page

I recently had the pleasure of testing another pattern for Tanis Fiber Arts.

The Smokestack Socks pattern is another timeless classic, a unisex pattern that will suit absolutely anyone!

Smokestack is the sock version of her Brixter hat, genius and works perfectly in sock form. I love the simple mix of purl stitches and cables.

I got to try out Tanis Purple Label Cashmere Sock for the first time with these socks.            Merino/Cashmere/Nylon…. need I say more??

It was like knitting with fluffy kittens, so soft and scrumptious!.

The Dove colourway is a popular pick when it comes to Tanis yarn and rightfully so. A beautiful mix of light and dark grey paired with the perfect purples. Not only a unisex pattern but a unisex colourway too!

More of the varigations in the colourway show up when a bit more natural light is used. I love seeing those little strips of colour.

My favourite part of these and Tanis’ Patina socks that I’m currently knitting is that she carries the pattern down the heel. While knitting my Smokestack heels I just kept thinking “that is such a pretty heel” while stopping to admire them. In my opinion this little design feature adds so much.

 I don’t know how Tanis always manages to create those “potato chip” sock patterns. Betcha can’t knit just one??

I’ll be knitting another pair of these for sure because I ended up gifting them to my mum yesterday. I just keep thinking “It’s ok that I gave away the cashmere socks, It’s ok that I gave away the cashmere socks”…. hehe

I have been promising her a pair of socks for over a year now so it was time and they will be all that more special in cashmere.

Spates

Pattern: Spate by Jane Richmond

Yarn: Madelinetosh DK Twist in Saffron

My Rav Project Page

*Pics taken by T! My little photographer did well!*

I didn’t think I would have time to knit anything for the Olympics this year but since we had a snowy weekend I managed to start a pair of Spates. I’ve been wanting to knit this pattern since I reviewed Journey but just haven’t had the time. Jane and Shannon are also having a Journey KAL right now so I’m double dipping! The Journey KAL runs until the end of February if you were thinking about joining in.

They worked up quickly and were the perfect instant gratification project. I used leftovers from the His Golden Lair shawl I knit before christmas and I literally used every inch of yarn. I had half a inch of yarn to weave in on each mitt! Cutting it a bit too fine I know but I wanted to make the ribbing at the top as long as possible. If I had had more I would have added half a dozen more rows.

 Madelinetosh DK Twist was a yummy choice for these fingerless mitts.

I really enjoy knitting with this base. It is much superior to the Tosh single ply that they use as a lot of their bases in my opinion. I’ll be keeping this one in my if I use Tosh again.

So that’s my Olympic knitting but I haven’t watched a stitch of the Olympics…..

Hopefully the rest of you are faring better in that department than I am.

Are you almost done your Olympic knits?

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!

Daphne and Delilah

Thank you to all that entered The Scrumptious Collection giveaway!

The random number generator chose #11 Monica of Sweet Purls.

A couple of weeks ago T found this Rebecca Danger pattern I was working on. I kind of forgot about it for some reason or another but all that was left to do was stuff the baby monster, add eyes and seam the bottom. That seemed like a pretty easy task so at T’s prompting I finished him off and it has been a monster party ever since.

She chose to have no mouth’s on Daphne and Delilah because she was going to make them talk. She also had a photo shoot already thought out for them. *Can I just say I looove that she is thinking like this already ;) *

First she held each one up, ducking out of the shot, so cute!

Then they needed to have a picture taken with their suitcase…

and of course there had to be one of the whole monster family!

I’m so glad she asked me to finish this set off because clearly they are getting much love right now and I can check another WIP off the list.