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!

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.

Old Shale

Pattern: Old Shale Shawl by Amanda Clark

Yarn: Berroco Vintage Colour # 51108

Needles: U.S. #10 / 6mm circs

My Rav Project Page

I was asked to knit a prayer shawl for someone in need recently. I was given a pretty plain knit and purl pattern but it seemed a bit boring and monotonous.

I wanted to knit something that would be unique to the recipient. A shawl they probably hadn’t come across before keeping in mind that it had to be big enough to wrap up in and keep them cosy.

This shawl fit the bill exactly. Old Shale is a free pattern on Ravelry and knits up quickly on 6mm’s with worsted weight yarn. I think this would make a wonderful blanket style shawl with a bulky yarn too.

Choosing a colour to knit into a shawl for someone you have never met can me a lengthey process. My LYS said people most often chose purple for prayer shawls so I knew I wanted to skip the purple if I was trying to make this shawl unique. I picked out a few colour options and then let my trusty side kick have the final say. Hopefully the recipient likes pink.

I used Berroco Vintage so the shawl would be easy to take care of. It’s washable and I won’t have to worry about someone throwing it in the wash and shrinking it into something T sized.

I will definitely keep this pattern in mind for future prayer shawls.

Hopefully this shawl will bring much comfort to its new owner.

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?

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

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.

Courtenay Reworked

You may remember a few months ago I test knit Courtenay for my sweet friend Preeti.

Well I ended up gifting Courtenay in a Yankee Swap we had for a christmas party with my knitting group. It’s always so nerve racking when you gift a knit like this hoping that the recipient who ends up with it will like it.

 Michelle liked it so much she traded for it!!  There was of course  one *small* problem…. the hat which fit on my head just wasn’t big enough for Michelle so I told her no problem I’d frog back and add an extra repeat.

Yarn arrived for Sailing and I really needed to hunker down and get it done so the adjustment was put off for a bit. Then I ran out of yarn for Sailing and I had to wait for more to arrive so I pulled the hat out and added some length and volia!

Courtenay Reworked!

I’m hoping this works for her, that extra repeat really made a difference.

Knit East part 1

So as  you know I attended Knit East this past weekend in New Brunswick`s lovely St. Andrew`s by the sea.

The event was held at the Algonquin Hotel

Sarah and I organized a shawl/cowl swap for the event.  We ended up with about 20 knitters taking part and we had a great time exchanging swaps.

Here’s a group shot taken by the lovely Heidi.

I knit the  Amberwell Shawl by Judy Marples for Sarah.

I used Fyberspates Scrumptious 4ply its a merino/silk blend. I wasn’t sure what I thought of the yarn at first. Its kind of squeaky to knit with, I know thats the silk in it but it was different.  The colour is very saturated making the end result beautiful. I think I could handle a little squeak again if the project were to turn out as nicely.

Love those points!

I don’t overly enjoy knitting lace but I wanted to give myself a bit of a challenge. I think  this design had just the right amount of pattern before switching to something totally different. It definitely kept my interest by throwing something new into the mix.

If you noticed Sarah in the group shot wearing her shawl I think you’ll agree that she looks fabulous in this colour. She said she had nothing like it but loved it.  I’m glad it has gone to a good and loving home ;)

One last shot of Sarah with her shawl. *Photo taken by Sarah*

The shawl I received is up next!