Emptying out the basket

It’s that time of year when I start thinking about emptying out the WIP basket and finishing things off.

With Christmas break quickly approaching my mind has begun to wonder about possible new projects to cast on but some things must get finished before that can happen.

I currently have 6 active WIP’s on the go with about a 3 week time frame to finish. I’m NOT go to finish them all lets face it and I’m not turning this into a race, we all know Christmas is stressful enough so I’m going to pick away at my WIP’s and hope to get something accomplished before I pull any new yarns out. (I do have some exciting projects planned though but I’ll save that for another post)

Number one on the list is a new WIP that I just started last weekend. My mum asked if I could knit my Nanny a shawl for her birthday which falls right after christmas. She thought something similar to the Miss Dashwood shawl I knit for her at the beginning of the year would be nice. I am not a huge fan of knitting the same pattern twice, although I definitely would if it came down to it. Mum and I looked at many shawl patterns and she just kept coming back to Paulina P’s designs, mum knows what she likes.

She chose Miss Bennett by Paulina Popiolek another that was on my list to knit.This design calls for fingering but my version will be slightly larger with a sport/dk and a larger needle.

Speaking of mum knowing what she likes…. I took her to my LYS to pick out some yarn for said shawl. She headed straight for the Tosh, Pashmina at that!! Dang mum’s got expensive yarn taste! We walked away with two skeins of Madelinetosh Pashmina in the Escoteric colourway.

A beauty huh?

I was rather intimidated before starting my last Paulina P design but I think I’ve got the hang of her style now and hopefully it will go off without a hitch!

I think by the time I’m finished with the knitting it will be very hard to part with…..

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!

The time has come…

The time has finally come to tell you all what has been going on the last few months.

In a few short weeks we will be leaving our home on The Ridge to start a new chapter of life in a new house which will hopefully become home once again.

At first I had mixed feelings about leaving our country home but this move seems to be the right thing to do for our family at this time in our life.

There are definitely things I will miss but also things I’ll be glad to leave behind.

It has been a long couple of months and at times we thought everything with the sale of our house was going to fall apart.

We had 3 failed water tests and no water for a month, that was definitely an interesting time. Just when things were all starting to pile on top of me and  I could take no more things all started to get better and work out THANK GOODNESS!

It has been an interesting summer to say the least but we are hopeful things will only look up from here on out.

I think the transition will be the most difficult for the dogs….. there will no longer be free roam on 44 acres and copious amounts of bushes to explore in. Then again they are getting older and have definitely slowed down in pace, maybe they won’t mind at all….

I did start these plain vanilla socks which is about all my brain can handle right now. I’m using Knit Picks Felici in the Lighthouse colourway. My super cute bag was a prize I won on aplayfulday’s blog. The bag is made by That Clever Clementine and won through Lisa of Indie Untangled. Her site features new Indie dyers and makers and when their store updates will be so you will always stay in the know. The bag I won is actually a notions bag but it fits a sock wip in it so that’s what it is currently being used for. It’s the perfect small bag to throw into something else as you are heading out the door.

I have a few things I would like to show you before we make the move but if I don’t get around to it you will know I’ve just got my head stuck in a box somewhere.

You can keep tabs with me on Instagram if you so wish until I get back.

I’m truly hoping the rest of this move goes smoothly!

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.

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.

Patina Party

I have been oh so patiently waiting for January to come so Tanis could release all her 2013 club patterns into the wild.

Tanis designed this gorgeous sock pattern Patina at the start of the year and I knew right away I wanted to knit them so when it arrived in my inbox upon release I squealed with delight. *Thank you Tanis!*

Of course I couldn’t wait to cast on but I had just cast on for my Carolina socks and needed to get those ones off the needles so I could use them for my Patina’s. *Note I need to get another pair of Karbonz!*

I bound off those socks this weekend and cast on lickety split for Patina.

To say this pattern is addictive would be an understatement, I had to drag my butt to bed before I stayed up insanely late *in my books* working on them. I dug deep into my stash for this yarn. I needed something that wasn’t going to obscure the overall pattern and with the January thaw we’ve been having I thought yellow would be a perfecty warm colour.

This yarn is a Kona base that I dyed myself many years ago. I’m glad that I am finally getting the chance to use it and see what my dyeing efforts produce.

So far I’m really liking it!

Carolina Progress

Well my Rye socks came off the needles pretty quickly *pics to come shortly* and I immediately cast on for another pair of socks…..

The pattern is called Carolina by Monkey Toes. Its a free pattern and another one of those easy repeats. I’m loving it so far.

The yarn is from stash, (I am going to be seriously using up stash like crazy this year) from a company called Three Ewes Twisted in Fiber. The colourway is Wild Thing and the base is Ewe Look Great in Stripes, 75% sw merino 25% nylon. As far as I can tell the company is no longer in business, I purchased this one from a destash.

I may have an extreme case of startitis so you may see some more new projects very soon….

Happy 2014!

Happy New Year to you all.

We survived yet another dumping of snow, receiving 12 more inches and thankfully no more power outages. We are now settling into a deep freeze with temps with the wind chill at -39 C. Brrrr!!!

Pretty soon T will be walking level with the roof of her play house!

During December I worked hard to finish most of my WIPs. I succeed in finishing all but one! All I need to do is get some pictures so you can expect some FO’s coming shortly.

T had the chance to try out her new snow shoes on a family trek.

She did well and made it all the way around the loop with only a little bit of whining…

Since I was good and finished off my old projects I allowed myself to cast on a new project. While my winter boots are still in good condition on the outside, the insides are getting rather worn down and cold on the tootsies. I am going to try out some felt insoles to see if that helps but I also want some thicker socks.

I forgot just how quickly worsted socks work up!

The pattern is Rye by TinCanKnits and I’m using some Patons Classic Wool that I have had in my stash for a long time. The colourway is Bright Red.

My Rav project page

Rye is a free pattern and would be excellent for a first time sock knitter.

I cast on New Years Eve and cast off the first one New Years Day. I’m hoping to have the pair finished in the next day or two. I can just feel those toasty toes!

 Have you started a new project for a new year yet?