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??

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!

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.

Giveaway: Lucky Penny Baby Collection

 

Today I’m lucky enough to be giving away a copy of the Lucky Penny Baby Collection by Tanis Lavallee of Tanis Fiber Arts to one fabulous reader!

Not only do I get to show off these super cute patterns I also get to share a little Rowan love because clearly we love this wee smiler around these parts. In fact, it might have taken me a longer time than usual to write this post because I couldn’t decide what pictures of Rowan to use. hehehe

The collection includes:

The Schoolboy Vest

I love vests for the simple fact that you don’t have to squeeze chubby baby arms in and out of them. They keep the core of the body warm but still allow lots of movement and a built in air conditioner if you will for those that overheat easily. This vest offers a fun and easy fair isle motif that you be a great first project to try out fair isle.

The Frosted Alpine Hat

A nice complimentary hat for the School boy Vest. Ear flaps and a chin strap are definitely the best way to keep a hat on babies as well as give them an extra shield against the cold. These two would make a fabulous gift set.

The R&R Hoodie

Hoodie’s are just so versatile especially when they feature a zip. Great to use as a jacket on the cooler summer evenings and then carry it right on through the Fall and Winter as a sweater. I love clothing with multiple uses.

 and The Keyfit Blanket.

A perfectly fun and cheery blanket!

A great project to complete a nursery or give as a baby shower gift. I love bright fun colours and this blanket would have definitely fit the bill for T’s room when she was little. I love that it’s not gender oriented like everything seems to be these days. Tanis offers some fun palette’s that are perfect for this knit. It would also be a great way to use up stash and create your own colour scheme.

This collection was a labour of love for Tanis. Knit throughout Rowan’s first year she has truly tested and perfected every knit This is by no means a collection solely for boys. Every pattern is completely unisex and would be a great addition to any babies wardrobe.

It just so happens that I started a girly version of the Schoolboy Vest as soon as the patterns were released. *my battery charger died so you will have to suffer with an instagram shot until the new one arrives* I needed something mindless to knit on that I didn’t have to think about and this fit the bill exactly. These shades of purple have been staring at me from the two boxes of worsted scraps I have been contemplating using for a project. They definitely belong together.

There are so many possibilities with these little knits I can just imagine turning both boxes of scraps into scores of Schoolboy Vests using ALL the colours!

 Tanis also just released a free hat pattern the Trench Hat that features a great scallop chart that she used on other versions of the Schoolboy Vest and R&R hoodie.

There will be scallops in my future for sure!

*How cute is this kid???*

To be entered in the giveaway for the Lucky Penny Baby Collection please leave a comment below telling me which pattern you would knit and what colour combo’s you love. I will randomly draw a winner on April 22nd at 9am Atlantic.

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!

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!