May 22, 2017

F.O. Eventide Cardi by Hannah Fettig

I am a huge fan of Hannah Fettig and I have knit several of her patterns (Georgetown and Calligraphy Cardigan) with excellent results.  Her patterns are always easy to follow and the cardigans have become classic staples in my wardrobe.  I was delighted to hear that she published another collection in her newest book Texture.  I wanted to participate in Very Shannon's Tops, Tanks & Tees Knit-along, and after one look at the Eventide Cardi, decided I had to knit it for this KAL.

Pattern:  Eventide Cardi from the book Texture


Eventide Cardi:  open cardigan with a simple texture throughout


Designer:  Hannah Fettig
Eventide Cardi:  back piece in progress

Yarn:  String Theory Caper Sock 
80% merino/10%cashmere/10% nylon



String Theory Caper Sock



Skeins:  3.5 skeins



Colourway:  Kiwi

With any hand-dyed yarn it is a good idea to alternate skeins.  As I knit Eventide I alternated skeins for the front, back and sleeves but stuck to one skein for the ribbing around the collar.  I am a big fan of this yarn...it is dyed beautifully and, with the cashmere content, feels extremely soft.  I didn't start the fourth skein until I got to the four inches of ribbing around the collar. Let me tell you how long four inches of ribbing takes...a loooong time!



Swatching

Needles
:  3.00 mm for the ribbing and 3.5mm for the rest with my Signature Needles
Modifications:  I decided to knit this cardigan shorter than the pattern suggests.  This was easy to do, as I knit two less repeats of the back and fronts of the pattern. Hannah's patterns are well written and easy to follow.


Notes:  There is a certain amount of dedication needed to finish a fingering weight sweater.  I continuously put fingering weight cardigan patterns in my queue,  forgetting how much knitting is involved.  However, once they are done I find fingering weight sweaters get the most wear in my wardrobe.  

Pre-seaming
This sweater was knit in pieces.  I got the largest piece, the back, finished first and the sleeves last.  I am not great at seaming, but this pattern made the process that much easier.  All the pieces could be matched up, through the two rows of seed stitch, which made lining up all the pieces a cinch.  If you have been nervous about seaming a sweater, I think this would be the perfect pattern to start with.  

I knit the sleeves according to the pattern, hoping for 3/4 length, however after blocking they turned out a bit too long.  Overall, I am extremely happy with this cardigan.  I can see myself reaching for this cardigan a lot.

When seaming, the seed stitch lines up making seaming easier
If you haven't checked out Hannah Fettig's latest book, Texture, I highly recommend it. I definitely see myself knitting another cardigan from this collection.

April 30, 2017

F.O. Ekua by Kirsten Kapur

Pattern:  Ekua aka TTL Mystery Sock 2017



Designer:  Kirsten Kapur
Yarn: Madelintosh Tosh Sock (100% merino)
Colourway:Button Jar Blue
Yarn: Sweet Georgia Yarns Tough Love Sock (80% merino 20% nylon)
Colourway:  Silver




Needles:  2.5mm


Ekua by Kirsten Kapur
Added Notes:  These socks were part of a mystery knit along where participants received different parts of the pattern weekly for a month.  I signed up for this KAL, not knowing what the sock pattern was going to look like.  I ended up spending many precious knitting hours on a pair of socks that I wasn't really enjoying knitting.  I am not a big fan of knitting cables, especially with fingering weight yarn.  Don't get me wrong, they are beautiful and fit me well, but I learned through this process that I enjoy knitting a simpler (and quicker) pair of socks, and that I don't really enjoy a mystery KAL.  I need to know what I am knitting.   How do you feel about complicated socks and MKALs?  


No sooner had I decided to stay away from MKALs then the amazing designer Joji Locatelli came out with her Mystery Wrap KAL.  Joji is one of my favourite designers so joining is very tempting.  However, the wrap requires five skeins of fingering weight yarn, which means it is a huge project.  Reluctantly, I have decided not to participate as I want to stay focused on knitting sweaters.  I am currently participating in the very popular Tops, Tanks and Tees Knitalong hosted by Very Shannon which runs from April 10 to May 8.  From Hannah Fettig's new book Texture I am knitting the Eventide Cardi. This cardigan is knit in pieces, and I think seaming is going to be easy, as the rows of seed stitch on the separate pieces will line up perfectly. 

Eventide Cardi by Hannah Fettig

I am really trying to stay focused on my sweater knitting goal. 
However, I find it very challenging given the number of new patterns that keep cropping up on Ravelry each week.  So many temptations!  Well I better get back to my Eventide Cardi...I only have about a week left. 

April 15, 2017

F.O. Goldfinch and Some Works in Progress

Until recently I was probably the only knitter who hadn't knit one of Andrea Mowry's patterns. Happily I can say that I just finished a pattern of hers called the Goldfinch Shawl.  This well written pattern was so much fun to knit. The shawl was knit in three colours of sport weight yarn, and I enjoyed every second of it.  I definitely see another Andrea Mowry pattern in my future.  Do you have any favourites?

Pattern:  Goldfinch
Designer:  Andrea Mowry
Yarn O-Wool O-Wash Sport (100% certified organic merino)
Colourway: Coral Reef, Porcupine, Wood Dove
O-Wool O-Wash Sport yarn
Needles: 4.0 m
Ravelry: my notes
Notes:  This was my first time working with O-Wool and I have to say that I was impressed.  I saw this yarn for the first time at Rhinebeck last year and loved it immediately. This yarn is so squishy, it comes in some gorgeous colours, and after being blocked is super soft.  A sweater knit in this yarn would be heavenly.  
I am one of those knitters who absolutely loves blocking my F.Os.  Here is the before and after of my Goldfinch Shawl.  Can you see how the lace just opened up after blocking?  It's like magic.  The shawl grew a bit and is now the perfect size, about 70 inches across.
Before blocking

After blocking

Now that I am done the shawl I am focusing on completing two spring cardigans.  The first one is the Goode Sweater by Julie Hoover knit in Purl Soho's Linen Quill, in the Oatmeal Grey colourway.  This yarn has such an interesting combination of fibers... 50% wool, 35% alpaca and 15%  linen/flax. I am so excited to see how this knits up and blocks.


Linen Quill by Purl Soho



The second cardigan I started is from Hannah Fettig's new book called Texture.  There are so many delicious sweaters in this book.  I predict that I will be knitting more than one pattern from this collection.  I chose the Eventide Cardi, a simple cardigan with a seed stitch stripe.  I thought that this subtle pattern would be the perfect choice for yarn I have had in my stash for some time.  The yarn I chose was String Theory's Caper Sock.  This yarn line was one of the first yarns I bought years ago when I got back to knitting.  The colourways are so pretty and it was hard to choose just one colour.  The colour I picked was Kiwi, the most gorgeous tonal green.  Knitting with it brings me joy.  This yarn is 80% merino, 10% cashmere and 10% nylon, a supersoft combination.




So I am going to try to focus on these two fingering weight cardigans for the next while and not get distracted by the many beautiful patterns that get published each week on Ravelry.  Wish me luck!  Happy knitting everyone!  Thanks for stopping by.


March 26, 2017

FIbres West 2017

What a happy surprise for me to find out that my trip recently to Vancouver coincided with the Fibres West Yarn show.  I have a supportive yarn husband who didn't mind making a slight detour in our plans to check this festival out. This annual fibre show held in Surrey turned out to be a forty minute subway ride, followed by a fifteen minute taxi drive from downtown Vancouver.  It is a two day event that focuses on fiber and yarn and is held at the Cloverdale Rodeo and Exhibition Grounds.

There was a good combination of fibre, yarn and spinning supplies and equipment from different artisans.  Here are just a few of my pictures to give you an idea of what was available.
Twisted Fae Fibreworks
West Coast Colour

Chaotic Fibres


Fleece Artist Halo Bundles from Wool Is Not Enough

Big Blue Moma baskets a fair trade company working with artisans in Ghana

Shibui Yarn from Valley Yarn

Sweet Georgia display

Sweet Georgia Silk Mist


Penelope Fibre Arts

nan.c fibre art studio
I thought that this event was held in the perfect venue allowing vendors and shoppers plenty of space to shop.  I love going to yarn shows and I am glad I had the chance to go to this one.  If you have ever have the chance to visit this event I would highly recommend it.  Here are a couple of my purchases that I couldn't resist:

Handmaiden Halo bundle:  one skein of a mohair blend and another skein of fingering single ply yarn

Flock Fibre Studio:  Take a Hike Sock


And as for knitting, I finally got through second sock syndrome and finished my Hermiones's Everyday Socks.  
Designer:  Erica Lueder



Yarn:  Gale's Art Wonder Sock (75% bluefaced leicester 25% nylon)
Colourway:  Skittles


I love the result and only wish I had finished them much more quickly.  I am slowly trying to get some works in progress off the needles before I cast on any new sweaters.  Happy spring knitting everyone!


March 12, 2017

F.O. The Grocery Girl

Pattern:  The Girl from the Grocery Store
Voolenvine Wolke:  Faerie Hair
The Girl in the Grocery Store

Designer:  Joji Locatelli
Yarn Voolenvine Yarns Wolke (80% merino 10% nylon 10% cashmere)
Colourway: Faerie Hair



Yarn Julie Asselin Fino (75% merino 15% cashmere 10% silk)
Colourway:  Meet Me By the River

Julie Asselin Fino:  Meet Me By the River (on top) & Voolenvine Yarn Wolke (bottom)

Needles:
   4.0mm
Ravelry:  Link 



Added Notes:  
1.  Both these yarns are lovely and hard to photograph.  I don't think my photos are doing them justice.  I know very little about yarn dyeing but, I have knit enough with various hand dyed yarn, to realize that some really stand out from the rest.  Julie Asselin and Voolenvine Yarns are dyed to perfection and will knit up beautifully guaranteed.  I have other yarn by both these dyers and each skein is simply gorgeous. 

2.  This shawl is a simple pattern, perfect for beginners.  Although there is a bit of lace, it is easy to follow and the result is the perfect sized shawl.

Simple lace edging
3.  What better way to combine a couple skeins of yarn than in a pattern like this.  The possibilities are endless.

I am swatching away here trying to decide which sweater to knit next. Decisions decisions.  In the meantime I am trying to get some projects off the needles. What's next in your queue?

February 26, 2017

F.O. Shore Cardigan by Carrie Bostick Hoge

After completing Louise by designer Carrie Bostick Hoge I knew I would enjoy knitting her Shore Cardigan pattern just as much.





Pattern:  Shore Cardigan from the book Swoon Maine 
Designer:  Carrie Bostick Hoge
Yarn:  Quince & Co. Owl Worsted Weight 50% Alpaca 50% Wool
Colourway: Bubo  10 skeins
Needles:  4.5mm and 4.0mm



Added Notes:
1. This pattern was easy to follow. The back dips down lower than the front which is a nice added feature of the cardigan.  It would be a great beginner pattern as there is no seaming and it was knit top down so you can totally try it on as you go. 

2.  This is my first time knitting with Quince & Co. Owl yarn and I have to admit that I am impressed. It is one of those rustic yarns that will wear well with little pilling.  It is lightweight yet warm, and somewhat itchy given the alpaca content.  It doesn't bother me, but if you are at all sensitive to scratchy yarns, this is probably not the yarn for you. I bought this yarn on a trip last year to Washington D.C., when I visited Looped Yarn Works, where they had an amazing selection of Quince Yarn.  I love the tonal look of the Bubo colourway, and the price point of this yarn is very reasonable compared to other yarns.
Quince & Co. Owl Yarn:  50% Alpaca 50% Wool
Quince & Co. Owl Yarn:  50% Alpaca 50% Wool
3.  I am quickly becoming a fan of Carrie Bostick Hoge.  Carrie is one of those designers who creates classic patterns that become wardrobe staples.

That was the last winter sweater that I had on the needles.  I am now trying hard to clean up my other works in progress to make way for some new spring projects.  Stay tuned as I have lots of knitting plans and different coloured yarns that I want to share with you.

What pattern are you looking forward to knitting this spring?