4 in 4 weeks!

Well sort of. I knit 4 sweaters in 4 weeks, and not baby sweaters either. This statement is mostly true. I did knit 2 sweaters in about 5 days each, my Carbeth, which I showed in a previous post and this one: Tegna, from Caitlin Hunter.

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I almost got rid of this yarn. I had 3 skeins of Americo Cotton/Alpaca which I had bought ages ago. It was a rather dull grey/beige. I overdyed it with navy and now it is greyish-beigish-blue, much better! My gauge was looser than the pattern so it went quickly. Since this isn’t exactly a summer sweater (alpaca), I added 3/4 sleeves and made it longer. I think I had about 2 gm of yarn left! It is a bit itchy (alpaca) but I have a high threshold.

Now to the truthy section of my 4 in 4 weeks. I also finished this sweater, Shadow by Olga Buraya-Kefelian, from Brooklyn Tweed Vol. 1.

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Yes, Volume 1. That was quite a while ago. 6 years and change, ago. I would have guessed that I started this 3-4 years ago? So I now I really feel like I’m hurtling to the abyss since 6 years flew by like 3. But enough existential angst. As you can see, the sleeve bottom is a bit wonky. The sleeve turned out looser and longer than planned (hey, did you know that your gauge on a project might change AFTER 6 YEARS???) I will probably chop off the ribbing and tighten it up, leaving the length at just above my wrists. I think. I have extra yarn and loads of time apparently.

And then the 4th sweater that I finished is this beauty, Helsinki, by Janine Bajus (who taught at the Needlers’ retreat last year):

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I cannot even begin to express how much I love this yoke (she has a hat pattern with the same motifs which I plan on making too). Of course I should have finished this sweater last year, in time for the retreat, but of course I didn’t. Better late than never. I added length to the sleeves and knit it a bit looser and longer and with ribbing than the original pattern. This is a bottom-up pattern, but my modus operandi for these is bottom-up and then top-down. I use a provisional cast-on for the body and both sleeves, knit about an 1″ and then join them up and knit the yoke as per the pattern. Then I knit down, adjusting width and length and trying it on as I go. This method works fine if the colourwork is limited to the yoke above where you join the armhole because when you pick up the stitches and knit downwards you are 1/2 a stitch off from when you are knitting upwards.

So now I feel very selfish and guilty (but secretly a little bit self-satisfied – guess it’s not a secret anymore). Which means I have to knit for others a bit before indulging myself to knit for myself again. I will be heading off to see the grandkids soon, so am whipping up some crustacean kitsch for them.

This is going to be a pullover with a crab and I will knit a lobster for my other little guy. I am back to using invisible floats which makes knitting intarsia tolerable. It is working out quite well with the Berroco Comfort, even though the yarn is acrylic/nylon. I can’t get enough of sea-creature themed knitwear! I will, at some point, knit myself a cardigan with crabs on it. A simpler version of the Chesapeake Jacket. With stripes and a few crabs thrown in so that I will actually finish it in this decade. Hopefully before Cape Cod is washed away into the ocean.

I will leave you with Frankie striking a rather regal pose in a completely superfluous shawl for such a hairy dog.

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Free Patterns!

I’ve knit a few samples these past few weeks. One with our new colourway Corrosion and the other with a Quintet set. So here they are for your knitting pleasure.

Quint

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This took one Quintet kit, 5 x 30 gm skeins. It is an easy pattern, exact amounts are not crucial. A kitchen scale would be handy since it is based on knitting at mostly 10 gm per section per ball.  Blocked size: 58″ wide and 29″ deep

Materials:

1 Quintet set (I used 3 ply sock but any base will do)

4 mm needles. I am a loose knitter so you could always go up to 4.5 mm if you are a tight knitter.

Kitchen scale

Gauge:  unblocked gauge 16 stitches x 32 rows, blocked gauge 18 stitches by 22 rows – I just pinned it to a clothesline and let it dry hanging rather than pinning out.

Pattern:

Cast on 3 stitches with colour A.

Set up row: slip 1 purlwise with yarn in front (s1pwyf), knit to end. Repeat for one more row.

  1. s1pwyf, knit front & back (kfb), knit to end.
  2. s1pwyf, knit to end.

Repeat these two rows until you have used 20 gm of yarn.

*Note: when switching colours, you will be slipping the first stitch of the previous colour then bringing the next colour up to your needle from the front, not the back, to kfb in the next stitch.

Add colour B, knit rows 1 and 2. Change to colour A, knit rows 1 and 2. Continue alternating until you have used 10 gm of colour B and almost all of colour A so that you don’t run out of colour A until you have completed row 2. Knit 10 gms of rows 1 and 2 with colour B.

Add colour C, knit rows 1 and 2. Change to colour B, knit rows 1 and 2. Continue alternating until you have used 10 gm of colour C and almost all of colour B so that you don’t run out of colour B until you have completed row 2. Knit 10 gms of rows 1 and 2 with colour C.

Add colour D, knit rows 1 and 2. Change to colour C, knit rows 1 and 2. Continue alternating until you have used 10 gm of colour D and almost all of colour C so that you don’t run out of colour C until you have completed row 2. Knit 10 gms of rows 1 and 2 with colour D.

Add colour E, knit rows 1 and 2. Change to colour D, knit rows 1 and 2. Continue alternating until you have used 10 gm of colour E and almost all of colour D so that you don’t run out of colour D until you have completed row 2. Knit approximately 18 gms of rows 1 and 2 with colour E (or more – just make sure you have enough to bind off).

Bind off using your preferred stretchy bind-off. I used Jenny’s Surprising bind-off, but the standard lace bind off is fine too. (Knit the first two stitches, slip them back onto left-hand needle, knit 2 together through the back loop [k2tbl], one stitch on right-hand needle, *knit next stitch, slip them back onto left-hand needle, k2tbl*, repeat until all stitches are bound off.)

Number of garter ridges:

  • 55 garter ridges (so 110 rows) in A, 11 garter ridges each when alternating A+B.
  • 10 garter ridges in B and 7 ridges each B+C.
  • 7 ridges in C, 6 each C+D.
  • 6 ridges in D, 5 D+E.
  • 9 ridges in E. This is a rough guide since numbers could be different for you depending on your gauge.

Corrosion Cowl

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Materials:

1 skein of sock yarn (Riverside studio MCN Twist in Corrosion) and two mini skeins (15 gm x 2 of Copper & Zinc)

3.75 mm needle (3.5 or 4 will do, the size might change a bit).

Gauge: 19 stitches x 39 rows after light blocking. Final size: 23″ long (46″ round) and 8.5″ wide.

Pattern:

Cast on 224 stitches with main colour (MC). Join in the round, place marker for beginning of round.

Knit 1 through the back loop (k1tbl), purl 1 for 5 rounds.

Knit 2 rounds. Join contrast colour (CC) for Broken seed stitch:

  1. CC: k1, p1 to end of round.
  2. MC: Knit to end of round
  3. CC: p1, k1 to end of round.
  4. MC: knit to end of round.

Repeat these 4 round once more (8 rounds total)

Knit 4 rounds with MC.

*K1tbl, P1* for 5 rounds.

Knit 2 rows.

Knit 2 repeats of Broken seed stitch (8 rounds total).

Knit 6 rounds in MC.

Knit one set of Broken seed stitch (4 rows)

Knit 5 rounds in MC.

Knit 2 repeats of Broken seed stitch (8 rounds total).

*K1tbl, P1* for 5 rounds.

Knit 5 rounds in MC.

Knit 2 repeats of Broken seed stitch (8 rounds total).

*K1tbl, P1* for 5 rounds.

Loosely bind off.

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Frankie would look better in the Corrosion Cowl but he took off on me after this picture. He is an unreliable model!

 

 

 

It’s been a while…

Are we still friends? As I’ve mentioned in the past, I am both busy and lazy, and I guess blogging fell into the lazy category. I will try to do better. We are well into 2018 and I have a lot of ground to cover!

First of all, I did finish my What the Fade! It’s a great size, large enough to replace a sweater. I think I might add the tassels after all. My love affair with chartreuse will NEVER end.

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I was down visiting the grandkids again in November. There were actually some sunny days and beach visiting (but no swimming!) I made my little guys some Canada sweaters since they have recently acquired Canadian citizenship! I used Berroco Comfort DK, soft, washes and dries nicely. I’m stockpiling for future sweaters.

The maple leaf was a free chart on Ravelry and I winged the rest, loosely basing my numbers on oversized kid sweaters from various Rowan books I have. I also made flip top mittens for the oldest little guy, with magnet snaps (like you use on purses). He wore them for a week straight, inside and out, explained the magic of the flip tops to anyone who would listen.

I also made him a skull & bones sweater for his birthday:

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I’m always trying to get around the whole intarsia thing. Hate it. The problem is most of the intarsia (well all of the intarsia) I do is with acrylic blends because it’s for the grandkids (although I’m sure I could find an adult who wants a skull & bones sweater). This time, instead of the invisible floats like I used on their robot sweaters, I tried carrying the yarns through the whole design. This way it’s like stranded knitting. However, it turned out quite textured with the acrylic. Wool is more forgiving, bouncier, better to manipulate. I think it looks fine but I won’t do it again. I think if it had been wool, it might have turned out better (well until it got thrown into the washer and dryer!).

Anyway, he also saw his mom putting on some socks I had knit for her. He asked if they were knitted socks (technically all socks are knitted, but we know what he means), and said he wanted some too! A 5 year old wants hand-knit socks! I can do that in, like, a day! So I sent these off for his birthday.

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Those are spiders, by the way. Thought I’d do something fun instead of plain old socks. He will be getting more. The pirate sweater and socks were sent off in two different packages and when he got the sweater, but no socks, he was heartbroken. Until a few days later when they arrived. This kid has many knit socks in his future. I will send them to him randomly in the mail.

Remember my disastrous two-different-weights sweater? I finished it and delivered it.

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Nice and long and roomy. By the way, my daughter got a really nice haircut the day after this pic, so will probably want to kill me now.

While in Cape Cod, I started knit up a secret Xmas present for hubby.

IMG-6325 The hat is North Road Hat. I used odds and ends of Jamieson & Smith, Rowan, Palette etc. AND I lined it with qiviut/angora yarn, the whole enchilada! from top to bottom. It’s like wearing a baby’s bottom on your head, if you could do such a thing. And of course, whenever I am knitting something for someone else, something for me creeps in (my normal ratio is 1 for you, 3 for me, but I’m flexible). This time it was Sunset Highway, a very popular pattern on Ravelry.

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I used a mix of 3 ply sock, and supersock in Sailor, Mineral, Graphite and Blue Note. I changed the sleeves – not so baggy, and I didn’t like the big stripe midway across the sleeves in the original so added some patterning at the end.

While in Cape Cod, I also signed up for Kate Davies’ latest club of patterns and new yarn Milarrochy Tweed (like half an hour before we lost the internet connection, so it was truly meant to be). The yarn is a gorgeous mohair/wool blend with flecks of colour. I am about to start a project in this yarn but started one of the first patterns in a mixture of Knitpicks Palette.

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This will be an oversized sweater, not unlike a swancho, but NOT a swancho. It is called Strathendrick and can be found here. All the patterns so far have been absolutely fantastic (there are 12, coming once a week on Wednesdays), 4 from the new yarn, 4 using her other sport weight yarn and 4 from a lace yarn. Totally worth it. However, I got sidetracked from my swancho-which-is-not-a-swancho because I joined the Comfort Fade Cardi bandwagon to knit one for my sis. (Photo is me and not my sis since she hasn’t received it, hopefully she will look less pained than me – maybe it was the weather).

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It really has a lovely large collar. My beef with most cardigans with collars is that the collar is never large enough, this one is! After this cardigan, I managed to bang out a pullover for myself in 5 days! Ha, yes, 5 days! The gauge was 14 stitches to 4″ so it was a fast knit. I actually used my own handspun yarn, from years ago, which was meant for another sweater that never happened. z7

This is another Kate Davies pattern (my Year of Living Daviesly!) called Carbeth. The yarn is 50% merino/50% tencel (fake silk?) and actually has a sheen that makes it look oddly oily. It is super soft and surprisingly light. The original pattern is a crop top, but at this point most of my pants are on the lowish side (not exactly hip-huggers, which also means high-wasted pants must be in fashion, right?) so I decided to make it a tunic and to use almost every last drop of my handspun yarn.

Going back in time a bit, to Xmas, Kathryn gave me some Finnish yarn, Tuku. This a more rustic yarn and I absolutely loved it. So while I was supposed to be knitting this for hubby (in Naturally Pride – merino):   z5

(which I obviously did finish) I also knit these for myself:

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well the mittens… (the hat and cowl came a bit later because I HAVE to have matching accessories). The mittens are actually a free pattern! The cowl is Dragoste by Ysolda in some squishy Sincere Sheep Cormo I bought a few years ago and the hat is Kate Davies’ Neep Heid in the leftover Tuku and Drops Alpaca.

We are back at work now in the studio, and if you follow us on instagram, you can see what we are up too. We have a new colour, Corrosion and we also made a Quintet set based on it, called Foundry. In the picture below on the left, Corrosion is on a backdrop of Copper & Zinc.

I’ve knit up a cowl with Corrosion and two Copper & Zinc minis and will post the pattern soon.

We are working on some other new colours, so stayed tuned!

I actually have more projects to show so will blog again soon. Really. I’m serious this time. Plus I have to post the pattern. So I’ll leave you with Frankie. He will never need a sweater.                                  unnamed (2)

 

 

Rookie mistake

I knit a lot. I’m pretty confident in my knitting abilities, but knitting has a way of keeping you humble. Especially when you are an ADHD knitter like I am, jumping from project to project only to realize that you have partial projects that you started 2, 3, 5 years ago. And when you go back to them, you have to figure out what the hell you were doing in the first place. I recently had to rip back 10″ on Water and Stone for my daughter. I had split for the sleeves and knit 7″ down the body and now I’m at the shoulders again. I think I started it 2 years ago (?!) I am using Berroco Weekend DK (well I know that now). (And I am not using our own yarn because I know this will end up in the dryer, ask me how I know that).  I picked it up the other day and knit away. When I added a new ball, the weight of the yarn seemed different. I checked my bag of yarn. Oh no! I had a mix of Berroco Weekend (worsted) and Weekend DK. I was knitting with the worsted and didn’t have enough. I must of have mixed them when I bought them, I thought. I did not want to rip back the whole sweater and knit in the DK (of which I have more) so ordered more worsted online. Next morning I look at the sweater. ARGH! I started in DK, at some point switched to worsted without realizing what I had done. Picked it up 2 years later and merrily knit on in worsted. There is enough DK for the sweater (the worsted, turns out was for something else I had in mind in exactly the same FREAKING COLOUR). So I have 5 skeins of worsted on its way which I don’t need (more sweaters for the grandkids) and I had to rip back to where I switched to the worsted. I must say, Berroco sure has consistent dye colours! Not only was it a different dye lot but a different weight and you couldn’t even tell. Dk on the left, worsted in the hank on the right. The knitting gods have punished me for leaving this WIP so long. The other lesson in this, don’t order yarn in a panic. Sleep on it. The next morning might show you something different, especially when your foggy brain starts remembering back to 2 years ago…33873552_UnknownOtherwise it has been a full summer. Grandkids visiting, fibrefests, lots of knitting samples – which I also mostly wear 😉 and a new mystery brioche shawl KAL from Andrea Mowry.

First up, I finished this cardigan/shrug in our DK, colour Tomato, 4 skeins. The pattern is Callas, from Bristol Ivy.

It was a quick knit and will be a great transition piece. Perfect right now over a t-shirt or tank and in cooler weather over a long sleeve t-shirt.

Then this beauty from Natalie Volyanyuk called Arrows DownbluesweaterI used a new yarn we have, MCN Twist. It is a merino/cashmere/nylon blend with a high twist that makes it quite bouncy and helps keep it from growing too much once washed. It is super squishy and quite soft. One of my favourites! The pattern is stunning (and knit top-down). I highly recommend it.

Next, Reverb. A pattern I bought ages ago, knit up for a friend and only just made one for myself. The yarn is a new worsted/Aran weight we have. Super bouncy and soft. Winter will be made tolerable with this baby on my back. The colourway is a special one we created for La Maison Tricotée‘s 4th anniversary.IMG_5546And finally (although I’m probably forgetting something), a new shawl pattern by Jenny F aka SweaterFreak, which will be released next week, called Carmel Pine. 33610976_UnknownI knit it slightly different since I didn’t have 2 skeins of the grey (Salt&Pepper) so just used one of that one Barn. I mixed my bases, 3 ply sock yarn and singles fingering. You can’t even tell, so don’t be afraid to do that, as long as the weight is the same, a few yards difference in the bases makes no difference at all.

Now that the samples are pretty well done for this season, I’m knitting for the grandkids. IMG_5593This is actually intarsia. If you know me, you know my visceral hatred for intarsia. But I sucked it up and did it. There were going to be 5 maple leaves, but after these two I decided that was enough. Two on the front and two on the back. I think people will get the idea. Five would just be overkill. Believe me. Plus this way I won’t end up poking out my eyes with a knitting needle. Ten maple leaves would be the end of me. I found a free chart on Ravelry (cause I’m too lazy to make one) and the rest is made up. This one is for the the 4 year old. The smaller munchkin will get one leaf on the front and back. That is plenty for a small child, don’t you agree?

Now the mystery KAL. If you are participating in What the Fade and don’t want to see what the end of clue 2 looks like, stop right here. Otherwise, behold!

This was my colour choice (I actually have a ton of things these colours go with, chartreuse is a neutral in my wardrobe!)IMG_5429And here we are so far:IMG_5624I have never done brioche before, and I love it! It is a pain in the %$& if you make a mistake (and I did, a few times) but there is a rhythm and a logic to it, so once you get the hang of it you always know what you are doing. I have a bunch more projects lined up using this technique. It’s also a good stash buster; you use up more yarn with it and get to combine those dozens of skeins of different coloured sock yarn you have. I know you all have dozens, if not hundreds of these, so stop judging me.

Lastly, here is a pic of the newest member of our indoor menagerie (we have an outdoor one too – 4 feral cats – spayed/neutered and living the life of Riley in there insulated cat houses). This is Eddie who was abandoned (?) obviously not feral, was starving and the most affection dog-like cat we have ever had. So we let him in. And he seems to like it and is obviously better at yoga than I am.

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Frankie doesn’t seem too bothered by him.

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If you are in the Ottawa area, we will have another knit-night at the Fluevog store on 19 October and will be at the Ottawa knitting guild on 23 October. And check us out on Instagram, we try to post almost every day, get your daily dose of yarn love.

Ba-a-a-a-d blogger (in your best sheep voice)

I could self-flagellate (preferably with some squishy yarn!) for not blogging often enough, yes, I am a bad blogger, but enough of that and let’s just dive right in instead.

Busy days! I was in Cape Cod for this little guy’s first birthday:

And why yes, I did knit those sweaters for him. The first one is Berroco Comfort sock held double, one red, one blue. I used a free Tin Can Knits pattern called Harvest, but decided to make a wrap front with ties. The other sweater is also Berroco sock (the red) and Berroco Comfort Baby (which I think is discontinued) and some gansey patterns from a Knitting Traditions magazine. I knit it bottom-up. See the little eyelets? those were buttonholes. I did them on both sides because I wasn’t sure which side to put the buttons. Turns out I needed to put the buttons about 1.5 inches further out from the button band, haha. (How can a 1 year old have a beer gut?) Now those buttonholes are a design feature. I always bring extra yarn for adjustments. I also finally got to give him the double-knit blanket:

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It turned out to be a perfect match for his birthday cake decoration:

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I really enjoyed knitting this double-knit blanket. I kind of winged it, not too much planning, used mostly free pot holder charts but charted out the waves myself. I used Berroco Comfort DK (see a theme emerging? – machine wash and dry).

Speaking of machine wash and dry. Grandson #2 did end up with yet another sweater. Not meant for him.

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This WAS Grandson #1’s sweater. Beige cotton and olive bamboo and cotton. Or so I thought. Until I washed it. And the olive felted. Completely. Olive was bamboo and wool. Not at all washable. So read your labels well. And remember what they say.

This was a Rowan pattern. I really like the look, but it is all knit in pieces and seamed and the button band is seamed and it was a lot of seaming for a little sweater, that shrank. So I will knit another, in 100% cotton, and do it top-down. The sleeves could have been a bit wider and longer anyway. Sigh.

This one turned out great though:

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Enough room to grow. I made up the anchor on the front and it washes and dries up like a dream, in a machine.

As soon as I got back, we had a knit night at the Fluevog store in Ottawa. Great fun! Great turnout. Forgot to take pictures, too busy. We had minis to hand out in our special Vog On colourway, and I knit some socks to wear for the occasion. I am totally in love with afterthought heels. That is where hubby wears out all his socks. This way, I can unravel and knit a new heel (with reinforcing wool/nylon thread). I added some increases before the heel placement and then decreased after for a bit more gusset room (thick feet? high arches?)

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It was mayhem about 10 min after I took that picture and people starting showing up. We had free coffee, tea, and cookies. Knitting happening, yarn shopping happened and shoe buying happened (cough, cough – it was almost my birthday).

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Eventually I finished another Find Your Fade, for Kathryn. Similar to mine but she went with a brighter beginning and slightly different ends. What can I say. We have similar taste. We get along. It’s a good thing.

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I also knit up Dipping Edge from Knit’n Rain Designs.

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I used Spring Fling and Verdigris. I switched back to Spring Fling in the lace sections (not in the pattern) and really like the effect. It is a fun and quick pattern and all the short row counts are bang on!

I am also working on another Natalie Servant design, Cormier Grille Shawl. I love the pattern. It is completely reversible (great when you are knitting for a non-knitter because they always have the wrong side of the shawl showing). I am knitting this in our MCN lace, Ballet colourway (the little rust flecks don’t show very well in this picture), as a sample. I think I will have to knit another one though for myself.

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I also decided to knit up minis that had knots or came up short weight-wise into one loooooong tube, increasing and decreasing, so people can see how the different colourways knit up, as socks anyway. This will be good mindless knitting at shows and fairs, appointments, Netflix subtitled movies, etc.

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AND, because I don’t have enough WIPs and project bags, I have a new WIP and project bag!

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I couldn’t resist this project bag from Mrs. Browns Bags on Etsy (she is one half of the Grocery Girls podcast). The bags go pretty quickly so I was lucky to nab one for myself. And I had dyed up a pile of Chartreuse 8 ply supersock to knit a retro cardi. I chose Escape from Kim Hargreaves. I’m pretty sure there are piles of errors in the ribbing section but I am too exhausted from casting on and frogging and reknitting the back (until I abandoned it for the front  – easier to figure out where the errors are) to list them all. Once you get past that point, it is easy sailing.

I’ll leave you with a shot of Shelma who goes back home this Easter weekend. We had so much snow this winter that even she (who seems to have flippers rather than legs) was able to hop over the fence to raid the cat food for the feral cats (we had them fixed), which made her into a very farty dog indeed.

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You win some, you lose some

Ah, knitting, she can be a fickle mistress, giving you so much hope and happiness, and then snatching it away, but sometimes she lets you hang on to it. Case in point: my son’s sweater (apologies for the blurry pic, I’ve been having issues, as they say, with downloading my camera pictures).

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Looks pretty good, right? WRONG. The sleeves are WAY to wide at the top (I will rip back halfway and cease increasing). Too many buttons, it would take him 20 minutes to button up this beast. But the worst of it, which doesn’t show, is that the front (although in theory and by row-count is the same length as the back) actually measures 34″ from the shoulder while the back measures 30″. Why? WHY, you may ask, as I did, almost sobbing. Well, a number of factors. Back neck shaping. DON’T DO IT, when knitting a v-neck cardi with pockets. Not to mention that the back neck was way to wide. (I was following a pattern and should have listened to my gut – even if that is what George W. Bush recommends).

The pockets add weight, hands in pockets add even more. The v-neck is open and loosey-goosey compared to a crew neck, so that the back shaping slides up to the back of the neck, dropping the centre shoulder seam forward and the whole front slides down. Now I understand why for some sweaters you just cast off across the whole back or even add some shoulder shaping, RAISING the back neck (which is what I have done now). This way the back has no where to slide, because it is already snugly against the neck. In addition, I threw in a couple of short rows on the front to raise it, so when hands go in pockets, or the sweater starts to sag a bit from the weight of the pockets, it will all lie straight.

You have figured out by now that I am reknitting about half this sweater. Yes, I cut off the buttons, unraveled the collar, cut all the seams and ripped back as far as was needed. In addition to the changes mentioned above, I’m moving the v-neck higher, adding depth to the shawl collar and reducing the number of buttons. The knitting muses were conspiring against me this time, but I must say, I learned a lot from my mistakes. Even though it seems easy to just follow a pattern, it’s better to just use it as a suggestion and make the changes you think are necessary. As good ole George says, listen to your gut (except when deciding to wage war). I will take another pic when it is properly finished.

On to happier news, this! THIS!!!

31759904_unknownOMG, I am so happy with this shawl! It is called Find Your Fade, hugely popular on Ravelry (1450 projects so far). I knit it to showcase our yarn, Kathryn is picking her colours and I will knit another one – Kathryn does knit, but my fingers fly faster. Check out our Instagram feed for more colour suggestions.

img_3902I used a combo of yarns, singles, 3 ply sock, 8 ply sock, and MCN sock. It looks fine. Don’t be afraid to mix. The colours are (from right to left) Ghost, Sailor, Poppy Seed Cake, Scarab, Wicked, Twilight and Bewitched. I had a bit of crocking with Wicked and Bewitched (on all my right hand fingers too):

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There is a lot of dye in these colours and a layer of black, but the dye did not bleed at all. The first colour only uses about 20 gm of yarn, so you could use a couple of minis. I did make some changes to the pattern, I only did single yarn overs, instead of doubles; I skipped a few rows (could have skipped more) and I knit tightly so when it was washed it wouldn’t stretch out too much. The shawl as written is HUGE. Mine is a nice size I think. I even threw it in the dryer! I did not want it to stretch out. And it looks fine.

I will include one more pic because I am so freaking pumped about it!

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I also have some totally mindless knitting, also known as knitFlix:

img_3740This is the gorgeous pattern Helsinki (got the kit from Debbie Wilson at Sheeps Ahoy). It is a bottom-up sweater, but I have decided to do all my yoke sweaters, yoke first. I didn’t have the patience to recalculate to do this top-down so I cast on provisionally for the body and knit 3″, did the same for the sleeves, then joined them as per the pattern instructions and knit my yoke. This way I could try it on, make sure the armhole depth was good and now I just have to knit downwards and watch Netflix. I can easily decide how wide and how long I want it by trying it on as I go (I wasn’t sure if wanted to make the 37 or the 40, I knit a 37 yoke but might widen the body, we’ll see). I plan on doing all my Kate Davies sweaters this way too. I just love the colour choices, the yoke positively glows. Of course with all my other projects on the go, I should be finished just in time for summer, yay!

Because after reknitting my favourite son’s cardigan, I have to get going on this:

img_3917I am almost finished the lobster portion of this double-knit blanket, next, more fish, crabs, and sea shells. I have to get this done for March, when I go back down to see my grandkids, and it’s Oscar’s birthday. And I have to squeeze in a sweater for him too somewhere. I am having lots of fun knitting this blanket. I am using free pot holder charts on Ravelry, and Berroco Comfort DK. This yarn holds up very nicely after multiple washings and dryings. Even if wool is superwash, it will felt up after being thrown in the dryer a number of times (which I know will happen, I’m not judging my daughter, haha, so I use washable AND dryable yarn).

Speaking of yarn… we have some new colours, and more in the works. This is Jewel, I’m knitting up a sample shawl in it. A deep gold, with flecks of magenta, purple and blue.

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We’ll have more popping up on Instagram as we dye them.

That’s all for now, I’ll leave you with Frankie and Shelma hoofing it down our road, well, Frankie is sauntering while Shelma is jogging.img_3755

Happy Holidays!

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Let me start with my “tree”. Here is my cat for perspective. No, my cat is not 5′ tall, the “tree” is 15″ tall, including the pot. I am a minimalist when it comes to decorating although our Xmas lights stay up all year long (yes, we are one of THOSE kinds of people) – albeit inside the house.

I had a lovely 3 weeks in Cape Cod with the grandkids, if you don’t count the bout of norovirus we all had and then a cold that lasted for 3 weeks! The robot sweaters were a hit. And they fit, too well, so I immediately added length everywhere and will no longer trust my daughter’s measurements.

Grandson #1 has room to grow (after I added some to the bottom and the sleeves), grandson #2 does not (even after I added to the bottom and the sleeves).

My daughter’s shrug turned out very nicely (8-ply supersock in Cobalt & Rust). She wears it a lot. Here they are waiting for Santa.

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In between holding this little guy,

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who was very sick with a cold and needed a lot of holding, to the point where I almost lost the use of my arms (who knew I should have been lifting weights in preparation for my Cape Cod stay), I did manage to make these:

a11.jpg The hat is called Deep Woods Toque, an Interweave pattern. I used a new yarn which we might carry, an organic 2 ply merino in Moroccan Spice. The gold is some leftover merino/silk and the green is some leftover sock yarn. I had enough to make a double knit cowl, so cast-on! I wish I had made it bit narrower, so I have since added a fold and sewed a button on it so that the cowl actually stays up on my neck for warmth and not just for fashion.

Here is the inside of the hat, I again used invisible stranding since there are large sections between the trees and I didn’t want the gold poking out. Can’t emphasize enough how much I love this technique. It does work best with wool, I think. I used it on the robot sweaters, but they were acrylic and it still shows to a certain extent. The stitches just don’t bounce back as nicely as they do with wool when you create that extra purl stitch between the knit ones.

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In other news. I am almost finished my son’s sweater. It is for Christmas, but luckily we decided to celebrate with him when he gets back from visiting his sis down in Cape Cod for the holidays. One sleeve to go! and then a shawl collar! and then a backing for the button band and finding buttons! But I will be done before he returns! It probably didn’t help that I wasn’t monogamous in my knitting (although cheating on your main project does help keep you from getting repetitive strain problems in your wrists etc – at least that’s my story).

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I knit up a hat with the new bulky yarn we are carrying. This is in Hell’s Kitchen and the pattern is Fidra. Super quick knit and a lovely soft 2-ply yarn. The pom pom was made from two fingering minis although I think I had enough yarn left from the hat to make one. I will knit a swatch with the rest instead.

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AND, I sneaked this in:

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This fantastic pattern is from Natalie Servant, Cosmic Dust. I took a beading course with Natalie this fall and fell in love with this pattern. I chose colours that would match my rain coat.

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The yarn is Shirley Brian yarns, a cotton gradient. It was really fun pattern to knit and I highly recommend it. You cut the yarn at each colour change and string on the beads, it is not nearly as tedious as it sounds and goes quite quickly. Even weaving in the ends was pretty quick. I saved a bit of the cotton in the various shades and sewed down the ends where I weaved them in so they wouldn’t come out.

After I finish the cardigan-that-never-seems-to-end, I will get back to these socks for the hubby. He does love hand-knit socks and wears them so much that he wears through them. For this pair I am holding some reinforcement yarn with the sock yarn for the heel and when I turn the heel. We’ll see how that holds up.

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I splurged a bit this month and went to an open house at my friend Maureen’s studio, and bought myself some cups. The blue ones are by David, her husband, and have impressions that make your hand fit right around the cup and the ones on the right are Maureen’s. Guess why I just had to buy that brown one, haha.

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I hope you all have happy holidays, whatever you might be celebrating (or not) and will try to blog more often in the new year. I will leave you with Frankie relaxing in my knitting chair (until I kicked him out that is).

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