Her Saffron Lair

*Thank you to all who entered into the Journey giveaway. I enjoyed reading all of your journey memories! The winner is Amy J. Can you please email or contact me on Rav. The email I sent bounced right back.*

While you were all writing about your journey’s my little family was travelling across the U.S.A. to San Diego for a much needed break. On the way I was able to hand deliver a special gift to someone I met at Knit East.

I arrived at the Portland Knitting Group’s get together rather frazzled. I only had written directions with me and managed to get myself lost in the dark by myself….. I only stayed long enough to give Lucia her gift and get directions on how to get back to my hotel from the lovely Portland ladies. Let it be known I got lost again on the way home… the next day we bought a GPS!

Pattern: His Golden Lair by Kourtney Robinson

Yarn: Madelinetosh DK Twist in Saffron

Needles: 5mm

Rav Project Page

Lucia, for reasons I won’t get into, deserved a fabulous knit shawl. I asked her to choose a couple of patterns that she liked that I could choose from and to tell me her favourite colours. Out of the three that she chose His Golden Lair stood out to me right away. It is a pattern I had been eyeing for quite some time but hadn’t had the chance to knit yet.

 With the pattern down I only had a yarn and colour to choose…. usually the most difficult part of the process for me. When she told me she liked Fall colours a burnt orange came to mind, I toyed with the idea of red but I just couldn’t get the burnt orange out of my head. Now I only had to track down a yarn in the right weight and brand that I wanted. That proved to be a little more difficult but in the end I found just what I was looking for.

 This was my first time working with Madelinetosh DK Twist and won’t be my last. The base is nice and springy and provides wonderful stitch definition it make those cables pop.

I ended up knitting this shawl twice! The first time I started out with the suggested 4.5mm needles. I thought the cable portion was coming out very small but continued on because it looked to be only about 1/3 of the pattern. By the time I got to the last few lace rows I knew there was no way it was going to block out to the size I was hoping for so I ripped and reknit on 5mm’s. The second time was a charm and blocked out a couple of inches larger than called for in the design, perfect!

Hopefully through all the kerfuffle on getting it there it was still well received. Next time I will be more prepared with my gps and maybe be able to stay a while and knit.

I think I may just have enough left over to make myself a hat but I have a few things to finish before I cast on.

Acquisition

 A yarny package in the mail is the perfect pick me up after everything that went on last week.

Last year, and it has almost been a year now, I received the most wonderful birthday gift from Monika. A gift certificate for the Wandering Cat Yarn’s etsy shop. *Thank you Monika* I didn’t want to make a spontaneous purchase with no project in mind so I held onto the gift certificate and kept my eye on the Wandering Cat’s shop updates waiting for THE yarn to pop up.

If you read Monika’s blog you know she uses Wandering Cat Yarns in a lot of her projects so there are always tons of colourways been thrown at me.

A few weeks ago she flashed a new acquisition and I knew immediately it needed to be mine.

I contacted Rhonda and in a matter of days she custom dyed me a skein of Alley Cat BFL in the English Toffee colourway and had it on route. Now that’s customer service!

Here is my lovely just waiting to be knit!

Monika has already made her skein into a pair of beautiful Hex socks.

I have just the pattern in mind for mine and once the Business Casual KAL is over I’ll be casting on!

Do you have an acquisition’s just waiting to be knit up?

Business Casual KAL

Well that was pretty much unanimous and I am very excited with the choice.

We will be casting on for Business Casual by Tanis Lavallee. I’ve been wanting to knit these since Tanis posted this as a free pattern.

© Tanis Lavallee

This is a great unisex pattern so if you don’t want to knit these for yourself I’m sure there is someone who will love them. Early christmas or birthday gift perhaps?

We’ll be casting on 4th February 2013 and casting off 25th March 2013 so you will have 8 weeks to complete the socks if you want to be entered in for the prize.

What is the prize you may ask??

Well the lovely Tanis is generously donating a skein of her Blue Label Fingering Weight in the Atlantic colourway as seen in the pictures. *swoon*

© Tanis Lavallee

I’m doing things a bit differently this time as far as sign ups go.

If you want to join the KAL please enter your info in the link below.

LINK TO JOIN KAL

I found it hard to keep track of everyone last time so hopefully this will make my life easier.

Head on over and download your copy of Business Casual. I’d love to hear what yarn you are going to knit yours with!

ISLAND// Review and Giveaway

I am so delighted today to bring you a review and giveaway of Jane Richmond’s first published book, ISLAND.

The book contains 5 designs, a pair of fingerless mitts, a cowl, a hat, a scarf and a cardigan all in Jane’s modern simplistic style.

 Photography in the book is done by Jane’s brother, Nicholas Kupiak. His partner Kylee Shaw modelled all of the pieces. All photographs in this post are © Nicholas Kupiak.

Jane also worked with Shannon of Luvinthemommyhood to create an aesthetically appealing coffee table book. The first half of the book features Kupiak’s stunning pictures of Jane’s designs in the beautiful nature the Island has to offer, while the remainder of the book contains the written patterns.

Lets have a look at the patterns you will find on the pages of Island.

RATHTREVOR

A simple pair of fingerless mitts with detailed cuffs perfect for everyday wear.

ARBUTUS

A uniquely constructed cowl that uses short rows to create what looks like stacked columns.

RENFREW

A reverse stockinette beanie/slouchy toque with a cabled panel running up the side.

A great unisex hat to have in your library.

STRATHCONA

A fingering weight scarf that really appealed to me.

I’m not usually one for scarves but I love the construction of this one and think it would be a perfect Spring accessory.

Any of these accessories are a great way to use those single skeins of yarn that have been in your stash just waiting for the perfect project.

GRACE

My favourite piece in the collection, Grace, is a raglan cardigan featuring a simple lace motif on the front and back that really turns this cardigan into a gem. Jane’s pattern writing style for garments is probably my favourite to work through. She sets the pattern up as a fill in the blank. You simply choose your size from the table and fill in the correct numbers and you have a pattern written for your exact size. Genius!

If you would like to get your hands on a copy of Island , it is available for purchase through Amazon and digitally through Ravlery as an ebook or individual patterns. When you purchase the hard copy of the book a code is attached to the back cover so you can add the digital pdf’s to your Ravelry library as well.
Jane generously sent me 2 copies of Island, one to review and one to giveaway to one lucky reader. If you would like to try your luck at winning a copy of this beautiful book please leave a comment on this post telling me which design you like the best. I’ll draw a name one week from today Jan 24th 2013.
The Pagan Knitter interviewed Jane in December about the book and some of the places where the pictures were taken.
I was completely taken by one of the last pictures in the book of Kinsol Trestle in Shawnigan. Jane talks a bit about it in the interview and it is definitely somewhere I would love to visit if I ever have the chance to visit the Island.
Thank you so much to Jane and Shannon for letting me be part of the blog tour and being able to share this little gem with all of you.
If luck is not on your side this time check out the remaining stops on the blog tour below for another chance to win.
J A N U A R Y
   8th - Vancouver Yarn
 10th - KD Quilts
 14th - Canadian Living
 17th - Celtic Cast On
22nd - Canary Knits
 24th - Hey Jen Renee
 29th - The Yarniad
 31st - Knitted Bliss
F E B R U A R Y
   5th - French Press Knits
   7th - Truly Myrtle
 12th - Noodlehead
 14th - Miso Crafty
 19th - SweetGeorgia
 21st - A Playful Day

Stasia

I’ve had a lot of comments on my new blog look so I think its about high time I tell you about the lovely lady behind it all.

© Luvinthemommyhood

Shannon of Luvinthemommyhood created a wonderful new look/logo for me.

I knew “kind of” what I wanted and left the rest up to Shannon’s creative talent. I was a little nervous leaving it up to Shannon, even though I have seen tons other sites she has created because….. what if I didn’t like it?? That is laughable now! She most definitely captured me in a sense I don’t think I could have even come up with and I really love it!!

Thank you so much Shannon!

If you haven’t visited Shannon’s website I highly suggest you do. She has a lovely community involving knitting/ sewing and family life.

She’s currently doing another KAL, this time Downton inspired. We are all knitting a project with a Downton feel while watching Season 3. I may have already watched Season 3 but you bet your boots I’ll be watching it again.

On top of all that Shannon designs her own patterns too.

I recently whipped up her Stasia Cowl pattern.

If you are craving a quick knit with a unique construction then this is the cowl for you.

Stockinette and garter stitch stripes made for a great car project. I finished it up in one day, a perfect instant gratification knit.

I used Berroco Vintage DK that I had left over from my Ravi cardigan.

The pattern calls for worsted and is quite bulky on 8mm needles so I knew that I could get away with a dk weight and still have it be cosy on me. I also went down a needle size with the dk in order to accommodate for the switch in yarn weight.

The construction of this cowl is unique leaving you a double layer around your neck without having to loop it around your neck, sure to keep me warm during the cold snap we are currently experiencing.

I found myself wearing it around the house too a perfect cosy companion!

Are you looking for something cosy to knit this month??

Surefire

I better get this one in before we’re into 2013.

The other gift I knit this year was Surefire Hat by Susan B Anderson.

This was for a friend that is finding it rather chilly when walking her dog *a shepherd I must add* ( totally off topic T can pick a shepherd out anywhere and I often hear “Mummy did you see that shepherd, that was a shepherd mummy!” from the back seat)

I did some secret squirreling to get the style and possible colours right on this one. I found out she was receiving a new winter jacket this christmas with a bright purple zipper so I went with the purple and the other colours just fell into place.

I knit this with 4 different colours of  Cascade 220. I didn’t end up using the striped sequence that was on the pattern and there was definitely ripping and re knitting to get the sequence the way I wanted it but I think it turned out well in the end.

My Rav project page

I originally did the crocheted edging but didn’t like the look on this particular hat in the end so I did an i cord bind off. I always do an i cord bind off with the ws facing, I think it looks nicer that way. I also lined it with black fleece for warmth and because the recipient finds wool itchy.

You should note that this hat is knit on 5mm needles and as a result is quite airy. It definitely needs the lining but if I were to knit this one again I think I’d knit it with the yarn held doubled throughout to hug the head a bit.

I think it was well received. It hopefully will go with her new jacket and keep her warm when she’s out in all the snow we have received this week.

Eastern Winter Shawl

I don’t usually knit christmas gifts, in fact the whole gift giving has been scaled down to just the children in our family.

We do however have two very special people that have been very good to our little family and I wanted to make them something special.

I knew right away I wanted to make the first recipient a shawl. She is the shawl wearing type and she knits too so I knew this knit would be appreciated.

It must be noted that I don’t enjoy knitting shawls… I love how they look when its all said and done but the process is not my fav.

I chose to knit the Northern Summer Shawl by Jo Kelly in Berroco Ultra Alpaca Fine.

I love how this shawl intersperses sections of stockinette throughout giving me a little bit of reprieve between those yo sections.

I wanted this shawl to be geared more for winter than summer so I held the Ultra Alpaca Fine doubled for a thicker and larger shawl and named it the Eastern Winter Shawl.

I think it worked perfectly.

Warm enough to wear around her shoulders while working at the computer but still delicate enough to wear out, pinned with a brooch.

The shawl was gifted on Saturday and I think its safe to say she liked it.

I know it will be treated well in its new home!

THREE!

Someone had a birthday yesterday!!

My goofy girl is offically 3!

We had fun celebrating over the weekend with family.

We thought the party was over until T received a special package in the mail today.

I recently won a giveaway on Victoria’s blog which was perfect timing for T’s birthday.Victoria kindly wrapped it up in pretty paper and addressed it to the birthday girl herself.

She even drew some fun flowers on the package!

T enjoyed unwrapping layer after layer to before finally getting to the surprise.

The bubble wrap will be an endless source of entertainment for the next few months I am sure!

Inside was a gorgeous Felt Celebration Crown and matching Felt Heart Wand.

The crown is double sided making it very durable and sturdy.

A wide elastic wraps around the back of the head and  is covered in a co-ordinating fabric that really ties it all together.

Of course once she had the crown on she immediately wanted to put on her skirt from dance class to go with it.

A perfect match for her new dress up accessories!

Thank you so much Victoria for your gorgeous creation!

If you would like to make your own Felt Crown and Wand you should head on over to Victoria’s Craftsy page where you can purchase the pattern to make your own.

Aidez KAL

It’s that one sweater I have loved since the moment it was published.

I knew I must knit it and I even bought the yarn……. but STILL it is yet to knit it.

I fell in love with the gorgeous back panel of cables,

Aidez by Cirillia Rose

The horse shoe cables that flow down the sleeves,

and of course that all over comfy, I want to curl up in you with a good book feel.

A TON of people have knit this cardigan already!

There are 2127 Aidez projects currently on ravelry and I shall be 2128…. or around that number because I’m not the only one about to embark on a cabley journey.

Heidi, Sarah, Michelle and I are having an Aidez KAL!

We are going to cast on and knit our way through Aidez helping each other along the way and having a good old natter while we go.

There is plenty of space for more Aidez lovers!

If you have wanted to knit it but just haven’t got around to it now is the time!

Won’t you join us?

We’ll be casting on September 24th and sharing updates weekly on our blogs until we all finish.

Leave a note in the comments if you’d like to join and I’ll add you to the list!

Men’s Sailing Sweater

It’s finished and doesn’t it look fabulous on my friend Dan!

Pattern : Men’s Sailing Sweater from the Zealana Adventurous Booklet.

Yarn: Zealana Aspire Huron in Cloud Blue

 Things to note:  The pattern has an errata available here. It’s not the easiest process to receive the pattern so if you are having troubles you can message the designer on Ravelry under the username LanamaniaNOTE  There is a mistake in the errata that has yet to be corrected. Row 13 in the errata should be dismissed altogether. There are also several stitches missing from the key that you might need to look up.

The process of knitting this sweater was kind of a weird one for me. I swatched the stitch pattern flat but the sweater is knit in the round   so my swatch ended up being pretty useless. The body is knit from the bottom up in one piece. This caused the stitch pattern to really tighten in a lot. When I finished the body I ended up having to block it  before moving on because it was looking more like a women’s medium instead of a men’s medium/large.  It did block out to measurements beautifully but once I started blocking as I went I had to continue the process so that all my pieces matched up.

I then knit the upper back, blocked then knit the upper front and blocked. It was a long process but the only way that I could make sure it was perfect. To add to all that I ran out of yarn with over half a sleeve and seaming left to complete. *I ended up using 1.37 more balls than what was called for in the pattern so if you are planning to knit this make sure you have extra yardage* The yarn is a merino/possum blend. While it was nice and soft to knit with I’m not so sure I could wear a garment out of it. When I knit with it the possum hairs seemed to shed from the yarn attacking my eyes.  I obviously can’t say what it was like to wear and it might not shed as much once blocked but I don’t think I’ll be knitting myself anything out of possum in the future.

Christina sent me more yarn and it didn’t take long to finish it after that. I gave it one final block * I swear I have never blocked one piece of knitting more while knitting than this* and it was ready to go.

I was a little concerned that I wasn’t going to be able to get modelled shots before I sent it away. It fit Moose in the shoulders but hung off him from the chest down as well as the arms being too big. It may have been a more flattering pattern on Moose in his size but this one just didn’t do a thing for him. I had the exact same problem when I tried it on my dad.

My next step was to ask Dan if he would model if it did indeed fit.

Thankfully it was a perfect fit for him and I love how these pictures came out. Doesn’t the colour of the sweater makes his eyes pop?

Hopefully Yarn Mountain will be happy when they receive their sample!