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!

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.

What the Heart Wants – Lete’s Knit Giveaway

It’s the weekend and I’m ready to celebrate with another giveaway!

Are you in?

The lovely Justyna from Lete’s Knits recently released a beautiful collection called What the Heart Wants part of the Malabrigo Freelance Project.

I have watched Justyna grow so much as a designer in such a short period of time. I can still remember her first hat and cowl pattern that caught my eye and led me to her blog. I have test knit for her several times and every time I see her latest pattern I’m blown away once again at the beautiful things she comes up with.

It is both a pleasure and honour to be able to share her newest project with you today!

Let’s look at this stunning book shall we?

The ebook contains 4 patterns, 3 garments and a shawl.

Fickle Heart

A beautiful cabled seamless top down hoodie.

This definitely appeals to me. It calls out comfort! Add cables to that and you just had me at hello.

There are so many gorgeous versions of this one already on Ravelry.

They will have you wanting to cast on at once!

Behind My Back

Another top down construction (can you tell top down is Justyna’s thing?) with a beautiful lace back panel.

If you check out the many projects on Ravelry on this one you will see more fitted versions as well as the version with more ease. Each is a different look yet both so pretty. Makes we want to knit one of each!

Breaking The Waves

An airy wrap cardigan that you could dress up or down.

I find this to be true with so many of Justyna’s designs.

I can imagine this one over my favourite little black dress but also with trousers or jeans. We think you will all agree that versatile pieces are the best kinds to add to our wardrobe.

Old Loves, New Flames

A short row shaped shawl with a little bit of everything.

Texture, colour blocking, stripes and a fun edging.

What’s not to love?

You definitely get to play with colour combo’s on this one.

There are so many choices you know you’ll just have to knit this one more than once.

Justyna has kindly offered an ebook for me to giveaway to one of my lucky readers.

To enter please leave a comment telling me which one of these designs you would love to knit. Contest closes Friday October 31st at 12pm EST.

If you don’t win this time you can still purchase the ebook as well as each pattern separately on Ravelry and the What the Heart Wants site.

Good Luck!

** All photography is  © Marcin Duda **

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!