September 19, 2017

Work In Progress: Hitchhiker by Martina Behm

Sometimes when I look at a skein of yarn I know immediately what I want to knit with it.  Check out this gorgeous skein of Gauge Dye Works Merino Twist Fingering  (80% merino 20% nylon) in the colourway All Together Now.

Gauge Dye Works Merino Twist Fingering
When I set eyes on Gauge Dye Works newest colourway I loved it.  I knew that I wanted to knit a pair of vanilla socks to showcase the yarn. 

Colourway:  All Together Now
I cast on 56 stitches and started knitting the socks top down.  However, once I got a few inches into the sock pattern, I realized that the stripes were rather larger than I had anticipated, and I was not happy with how they were turning out. I decided that I was going to do something else with this yarn, as it was too pretty not to choose a pattern that I loved. 

After searching through Ravelry I decided on the most basic of patterns, a Hitchhiker by Martina Behm, which an astounding 27 960 people have knit. This shawl is so popular for a number of reasons.  The pattern is an easy to knit garter stitch shawl, works beautifully with any yarn, and creates the perfect shaped shawl.  The pattern allows you to use every last bit of yarn so none is wasted.  This is my mindless knit that I can't wait to finish. I am so happy with how it is turning out.

Loving my Lykke needles

The dyeing in this yarn is fantastic.  How the dyer goes back and forth from colour to colour so seamlessly fascinates me.

If you are interested in ordering your own skein of this beautiful yarn you will find it at Knit City in Vancouver next week.  Otherwise sign up for Gauge Dye Work's newsletter so you can find out when their next Etsy sale is.  Now back to my knitting : )

Happy knitting everyone!

September 13, 2017

F.O. Hyak Socks by Kim Swingle

Pattern:  Hyak

Designer: Kim Swingle

Yarn:  Cestari Traditional Collection, 2 Ply (aran weight) 100% Targhee-Columbia

Cestari Traditional Collection, 2 ply

Colourway:  Natural White &  Light Grey Medium Grey Tweed
Needles:   3.5mm and 3.75mm

Ravelry:  notes here

Hyak socks

Added Notes:  

1.  Last summer I visited Tolt Yarn and Wool, fulfilling one of my yarn dreams. Read all about it here and here. I bought the Hyak sock pattern and the Cestari yarn there.  Everytime I wear these socks I will think of my trip.

2.  Tolt Yarn and Wool sells some wonderful yarn and their website is definitely worth a visit.  I really love the variety of yarn they sell and many of the brands they carry are hard to find elsewhere. Recently I had to order an additional skein of yarn for a project I was working on.  Tolt Yarn and Wool was the only place I could find it. I thought the shipping cost to Canada was quite reasonable compared to other U.S. online stores I have ordered from.  If you order yarn costing under $100 the shipping is a flat rate of $15.  The order arrived at my doorstep very quickly too, which was a bonus.

3.  I loved knitting with this yarn and I would highly recommend it.  I am someone that often has cold feet.  I was wearing these socks around the house and even though they are knit with aran weight yarn they kept my feet the perfect temperature.  Although this yarn is quite rustic after a good soak and blocking it softened up quite nicely.  I found the socks did not itch my feet at all.

4.  Just as an aside note I love blogging and I am trying very hard to blog twice a week.  But I have a father with Alzheimers and at times, his health needs take up a lot of my time so finding the time to blog can be quite challenging.  So please bear with me.  Thank you for continuing to visit my blog...I really appreciate it. 

September 1, 2017

Woolercoaster's Wonderful World of Knitting August 26-September 1

As we head into the Labor Day long weekend, I hope you are able to set aside some time to put your feet up and knit. I intend to spend time knitting my Burr Cardigan by Veronik Avery.  My daughter is heading back to university this weekend for her final year, so I am sure to get some knitting time in the car as we drive her back.
Burr by Veronik Avery

Green Mountain Spinnery Mewesic

Back complete, ready to block

This week there were some great free patterns being offered on Ravelry as well as patterns by Stephen West and Ysolda Teague.

Pattern Deals:

Here are four free patterns that you won't want to miss:

1.  Designer Laura Aylor is offering a free pattern on Ravelry called Touchstone,  a DK weight shawl, combining garter stitch and eyelet.  But hurry it won't be free indefinitely.

2.  Love this free fingering weight shawl by Rita Taylor called Balvraid.  

3.  If you like super bulky shawls then you might enjoy this new one called Medhel an Gwyns by Kalurah Hudson.  Using only 340 yards you could knit this shawl up in no time.

4.  If you enjoy lace shawls how about this pretty one called Bowerbird by Cath Ward.

Hot Patterns:

If you are a Stephen West fan then his announcement about his Speckle & Pop! Westknits Mystery Shawl KAL 2017 must have made you very happy.  The first clue goes out Friday, September 29th.

Knitworthy 4 by Ysolda Teague is now available.  This is a fun collection of eight patterns, perfect for gift giving.  A pattern is published every two weeks and with such a talented designer you can't go wrong.  Check out the first pattern, Elska, released on August 28th, a beautiful colour-worked hat.

I hope you all have a great weekend and if you want to add to my list please write in the Comments section below.

August 29, 2017

F.O. Chevron Baby Blanket by Espace Tricot

Pattern:  Chevron Baby Blanket

Designer: Espace Tricot

YarnBlue Sky Fibers Worsted Cotton
Colourway: White, True Red, Graphite (1.5 skeins), Pink Parfait

Needles:   5.5mm

Ravelry: my notes

Added Notes:

1.  I decided to use up some stash yarn to knit this baby blanket while I was on a recent road trip.  It was an easy, enjoyable pattern to follow and it grew quickly, due to the worsted weight yarn.  I am not a fan of knitting with cotton, but I have to admit that the finished project is perfect for a baby blanket.  I was impressed with the quality of the Blue Sky Fibers Worsted Cotton.

2.   I decided to use the Random Stripe Generator to pick a unique combination of stripes. Following the suggested combination added more fun to the project.

3.  I got four chevron sections from each skein.  I had to go into a second skein of the gray as I added a fifth chevron section for that colour.  

4.  This pattern is found the Espace Tricot Website as a free pattern.  They have quite a collection of free patterns.  I had forgotten how many free patterns they offer.  Definitely worth a check.

There are so many pretty baby blankets published on Ravelry.  The next time I need to make a baby gift I would like to knit Fly Away by Tin Can Knits.  There are so many beautiful versions.  Do you have a favourite baby blanket you would recommend?

August 25, 2017

Woolercoaster's Wonderful World of Knitting: Augst 19-25

Thanks for joining me this week.  I really enjoy researching what's new in the knitting world and I hope you find it interesting too.  Let's get to it:

Pattern Deals:
Is there a baby knit in your future?  Look no further than Little French Knits.   Florence Merlin is the designer behind these sweet patterns.  Check them out here.  If you visit the Knitionary blog, a discount code is provided for 50% off these designs, until the end of August.

On the Yarn Radar:
I am in love with this new Gauge Dyeworks colourway.  Isn't it gorgeous?  You can see it knit up in different patterns here.  I especially like this shawl.  If you like it as much as me, head on over to sign up for the Gauge Dyeworks newsletter so that you will be alerted as to when it is available for purchase.

Hot Patterns:
1.  I have a soft spot for Canadian designers and Sylvia McFadden of Softsweater knits is one of my favourites.  I have knit two of her patterns (Lanterns and The Elder Tree Shawl) and, of course, there is the very popular Waiting For Rain shawl that is in my queue.  Her newest collection, published this week, is called Eclipse consisting of three gorgeous pi shawls.
The Sun
©Sylvia McFadden
The Moon
©Sylvia McFadden
Late August
©Sylvia McFadden

2. Have you seen a very popular pattern called Sunset Highway by Caitlin Hunter?  This fingering weight colourwork sweater is unique because the sample is knit with indie dyed speckled yarn.  Check out some of the completed projects to see the many gorgeous colour combinations that have been completed.

3.  Spice, a  new collection by Quince and Co. has been published this week as well.  I am a big fan of  Quince and Co. yarn and I admire their commitment to publishing new designs.  This newest collection contains two sweaters, two shawls and a cardigan, by such designers as Michele Wang, Leah B. Thibault and Elizabeth Smith.
Dal by Leah B. Thibault
©Quince & Co.

Masala Shawl by Michele Wang
©Quince & Co.

Massaman by Elizabeth Smith
©Quince & Co.

4.  And finally, as soon as I get my current socks off the needles, I am casting on the NoShow Socks stashbusting pattern by La Maison Rililie blogged about here.  These socks are designed to be lower cut, and therefore, perfect for hiding under a pair of shoes. I am really looking forward to knitting this unique design.

Tip of the Week:
If you have the time, a great habit is to check Ravelry daily as often designers offer a new pattern either at a discount, or for free for a window of time.  I have been able to pick up many patterns this way.  There are plenty of patterns that are also offered free for an unlimited time.  For example, check out Island Wildflower, a beautiful crochet blanket.  It would be a great stashbuster.  I also loved Ninni  (a fingering weight lace cardigan) and Tiliana a huge fingering weight shawl by Hannah Maciejewska designer of the popular Moyen Age

That ends my round up for this week.  Did I miss anything that caught your attention?  I encourage you to add your favourites from the week to the comment section below.  Have a great week.

August 22, 2017

F.O. Goode by Julie Hoover

Let me share with you the facts about a sweater I knit over several months that I have a terrible feeling I am going to rip out.

Pattern:  Goode

Designer:  Julie Hoover

Yarn: Purl Soho Linen Quill (50% wool, 35% alpaca, 15% linen)  4 skeins

Purl Soho Linen Quill

Colourway: Oatmeal Gray


Needles:   3.25 mm

Ravelry:  Link

Added Notes:

1. The Yarn:  One of the things I absolutely love about knitting is trying new yarn, especially with a combination of fibers that I have never knit with before. I first heard about Purl Soho's Linen Quill through Karen Templer's Fringe Association blog. She knit a gorgeous cardigan using two strands of this yarn. See it here. Her rave review of this yarn interested me enough to pick up a few skeins on a visit to New York. The fabric this yarn creates is lovely. Light and wooly with a slight halo, I would highly recommend it.  It is listed as a fingering weight yarn but I thought it was more of a light fingering.  

2.  The Pattern:  Julie Hoover's pattern, Goode, was well written and easy to follow.  Front and back were knitted separately, bottom up, and then the two pieces were seamed together.  The last step was to knit the ribbing around the sleeves. That's it. Simple. 

3.  The Problem: The modelled sweater has an ease of 7" and I chose the same ease when picking my size.  I don't know if I picked the incorrect size, the wrong style of sweater for my shape, or my swatch lied to me, but this sweater is huge on me, even the sleeves fall below my elbows.  Maybe if I was six feet tall this sweater could work.  But I am not that tall!   Right now it is sitting in my time out bag, awaiting it's fate.  You would think that after years of knitting I would have figured out that this sweater wasn't going to work for me a little earlier on.  At times like these I think that top down sweaters might be the way to can try them on as you knit.  Sadly, I think I will be frogging it.  The yarn is way too nice to waste.

If this was my first sweater I had ever knit I would be devastated at the thought of frogging it.  However, I have made enough sweaters over the years that it does not bother me as much.  What's a knitter to do?  Pick some other yarn and cast on a new sweater of course!

Happy knitting.

August 18, 2017

Woolercoaster's Wonderful World of Wool August 12-18

Things were a little quieter on the knitting front this week.  But there were a few new items that caught my attention.

1.  Birds of a Feather shawl pattern by Andrea Mowry, originally published in Laine Magazine, Issue 2, is now available for individual purchase.  This shawl is a gorgeous knit using two skeins of yarn.  In the sample, Hedgehog Skinny Singles is combined with Hedgehog Fibres Kidsilk Lace, a luscious 70% mohair 30% silk yarn blend.  Check out the finished projects on Ravelry as there are already so many beautiful versions.  This shawl is definitely going into my knitting queue.

An Isabell Kraemer sweater from this same publication is also available for purchase.  Sibeal, a light fingering weight sweater knit from the top down is one of those comfortable sweater patterns we expect from this designer.

2.  I don't know about you, but I watch more podcasts on YouTube these days than I do t.v.  I especially love watching knitting podcasts as there are so many excellent ones to choose from.  One of the newer ones I love is the Yarn Pimp Podcast, hosted by owner Karen Posniak of Do Ewe Knit? a yarn store in New Jersey.  She is joined by the bubbly Danielle Guinta.  Past podcasts include a visit to the Hedgehog Fibres headquarters, and interviews with guests such as Stephen West, kristyglassknits, and Kristen Lehrer of Voolenvine Knits.  The latest episode is here.  Karen Posniak is a big supporter of indie dyers and carries a variety of brands.

Another one of my favourite podcasts is  the Grocery Girls, two Canadian knitters from Edmonton, Alberta. If you haven't had the pleasure of watching them yet check out their latest episode here.

3.  I love a sale and here is a good one:  designer Ambah O'Brien is taking 50% off one her patterns for 24 hours each day this month.  Check out her Instagram feed daily to see the design that is being discounted.  Her patterns are well written and very wearable.  I was so happy to be able to buy the Xandra Wrap, her newest publication at the reduced price. 

Here's another deal:  Hilary Smith Callis has just published Aeque, a very pretty gradient cowl pattern, that blends together five colours of fingering weight yarn. Perfect for those leftovers.   The deal is that if you purchase this pattern you can also buy any of her shawl or cowl patterns for 50% off.  Hurry, this offer ends midnight August 19th (Pacific time).

I am adding another new feature this week to my blog:

Tip of the Week:

Random stripe generator:  I  am currently working on a baby blanket using four different colours of yarn.  I was trying to decide how to effectively place the stripes when I remembered this website which generates a striping pattern for your selected colours.  I decided on this pattern:

My stripe pattern
The neat thing about this website is if you don't like the suggested combination of stripes you can refresh the page until you are happy.  

The pattern I am knitting with this combination of stripes is called the Chevron Baby Blanket, a free pattern by Espace Tricot.  This is my first time knitting with Blue Sky Fibers Worsted Cotton.  I am not a huge fan of knitting with cotton but I have to admit that I am happy with how this blanket is turning out.
Chevron Baby Blanket

I hope you enjoyed this new addition to Woolercoaster's Wonderful World of Wool. (My son thought of that title and I am going with it.  LOL)   Here's hoping you have a happy and relaxing weekend.