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!

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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.

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..