September 25, 2016

Fall Favourites on Ravelry

As a knitter I love this time of year.  As the air gets cooler, I reacquaint myself with my handknit shawls and sweaters that I haven't been able to wear for some time. Knitting turns to cooler weather projects such as my Clarke Pullover by Jane Richmond, which I am getting closer to finishing.  But as I remain on sleeve island for the next while, I wanted to take this opportunity to focus on a few new things in the knitting world.

Clarke Pullover by Jane Richmond
Have you noticed how many new patterns have been appearing on Ravelry this month? Everytime I look at Ravelry there are new patterns to check out.  Here are just a few that have caught my attention:

Baby Pattern
Mabel:  a free pattern by Fiona Alice for Loop Knit Lounge.  This is a sweet aran weight cardigan sized for children up to four years old.  I love all the details in this cardigan, especially around the neckline.

Copenhagen Callling:  a cowl knit in DK weight using two colours in three different patterns.  This knit is designed by one of my favourite designers, Isabell Kraemer, who is known for her beautiful and wearable patterns.  I like the fact that the cowl uses DK weight, which would knit up quickly and be warm for the cold days ahead.

Brooklyn Tweed has recently published their Fall 2016 pattern book.  The concept for this pattern collection is that each design comes in a male version and a female version.  The stand out for me is Mohr by Norah Gaughan.  This worsted weight cardigan, knit in Brooklyn Tweed Shelter, is knit bottom up, combining lattice cables and ribs. The shorter length of this cardigan really appeals to me too.

If you are looking for a beautiful cabled sweater to knit this fall, look no further than Alina Schneider's (Gift of Knitting) newest pattern released this month, called Journey.  I like everything about this sweater.  The cables Alina chose for her design complement each other well and her attention to detail is wonderful. I think this is one of those sweaters that would look great to wear no matter what the occasion.

photo by Gift of Knitting

photo by Gift of Knitting
Plucky Knitter came out with Field Trip- A 2016 Plucky Knitter Collection containing a variety of patterns.  One that caught my eye is Alpenglow, a lace and cabled bulky shawl.  That would be a fun knit and I think I have the perfect yarn for it, some Super Soft Merino by Purl Soho.

Andrea Hungerford, of Blueberry Hill Craftingis publishing a new Serial called By Hand. I have been a fan of Blueberry Hill Crafting for a long time. Every picture that Andrea publishes on her Instagram or Blog is of the highest quality and I am sure By Hand will be no different. There are three issues planned for the first year. Her goal is to create a virtual travel guide for fiber and fabric enthusiasts describing makers around the country.  The first issue focuses on makers in Portland, Oregon and contains interviews with Jared Flood of Brooklyn Tweed, Woolfolk's Kristin Ford as well as independent yarn dyers such as Bumblebirch and Canon Hand Dyes.  I am very excited to check it out. Order information is here

It really is an incredible time to be a knitter. We have so many options with different yarns and patterns to choose from.  What are some of your favourites this fall?

September 18, 2016

WIP: Clarke Pullover by Jane Richmond

Knitting Challenge: 
Problem #1:  To find a sweater pattern that would suit a variegated yarn.
Yarn:  Malabriogo Rios:  100% merino (worsted weight)
Colourway:  Piedras
Needles: 4.5mm

Problem #2 No skeins are identical and two of the skeins I own are very light coloured
Malabrigo Rios
Note:  I have no idea why how I didn't notice a leaf on my yarn!

Light skein on the left, darker skein on the right

I wasn't sure what to do with this variegated yarn.  I knew I wanted to knit a sweater, but I was worried that a sweater knit in solid Piedras might be too busy for me.  After searching through Ravelry, I thought the Daelyn Pullover by Isabell Kraemer might work.  I really like the back of this sweater as it is knit in garter stitch, which always makes a variegated yarn look great.  But I believed that, in order to get a consistent colour in my sweater, I would have to alternate a lot of skeins. Who wants to do that?

I made the decision not to use the two lighter skeins and to find a pattern that I could use with just my four darker skeins.  This meant that I would not have enough yarn to knit a sweater.  I knew I needed another colour to work with Piedras. 

That's when I found Cocoa in Malabrigo Rios.

Problem #3  Find a pattern that would well with two colours.  

I had another look at the Clarke Pullover by Jane Richmond, which had been in my queue since the pattern first came out.  Most people on Ravelry knit it with two solid colours and I wasn't sure that it would look good with variegated yarn. I just went for it, knitting big stripes in Piedras, alternating with four rows of Cocoa.  I am really pleased with the effect.  This pattern is so well written and easy to follow. It's also a great sweater to knit if you are a beginner, and I am sure it will get a lot of use.

Clarke Pullover by Jane Richmond

I have to admit that I like a yarn challenge.  It was fun for me to look try and find the perfect pattern for my yarn.  Hopefully I will have enough yarn to complete the sweater and that it will look great when it's done.  Trust me when I say that I do not go through this much thinking everytime I pick out a pattern to knit.

What will my next knitting challenge be?

September 11, 2016

F.O. Vitsippa by Joji Locatelli

Although I came up with a list of what I wanted to knit next, I surprised myself by picking up a hat that I had started way back in February.  When I originally started knitting it, I was very concerned that it was going to be too small, so I had put the hat away and let it hibernate for a few months.  However, I could not resist this pattern and colour combination any further and finally started over, knitting Size 2.  Out it came, and once I started I couldn't put it down.

Pattern:  Vitsippa from Pompom Quarterly Issue 12:  Spring 2015
Designer:  Joji Locatelli

Yarn:  Tanis Fiber Arts Purple Label Cash Sillk Single (75% merino 15% cashmere 10% silk)
Colourway:  Papaya (from the Year in Colour Club 2013)
Yarn:  Madelinetosh Tosh Merino Light (100% merino)
Colourway:  Antler

Size:  2
Needles:  3.25mm & 2.25mm for the brim
Modifications:  I made the brim slightly smaller than the pattern suggested, as I did not want my hat to be too slouchy.

1)  Tanis LavallĂ© of Tanis Fiber Arts creates the most beautiful colourways in my opinion.  TFA Purple Label, a single ply yarn, is lovely to knit with. I think this particular colourway is quite striking, and I had this yarn in my stash for quite a while waiting for the perfect pattern to showcase it. Once I saw Vitsippa I knew it was a great match and I am so happy with the result.

2)  I love knitting any designs by Joji Locatelli.  When you knit one of her designs you are assured of a well written, high quality pattern with great attention to detail.  For example, when I finished closing the crown I was surprised to see a flower right at the top.  I was not expecting that.  I was going to add a pompom to this hat, but I really like this flower too much to hide it.

3)  Have you tried knitting any patterns from Pompom Quarterly?  I am such a fan of this magazine, and have quite a few of the patterns in my queue (Fika, Catchfly, Waterlily, and Campside to name a few). Do you have any favourites?

And finally, thanks to all those that entered my three year blog anniversary contest.   The winner is  Alina from The Gift of Knitting.  I will be sending you the copy of Home and Away by Hannah Fettig.  Congratulations!

September 4, 2016

F.O. Antiquity by Alicia Plummer & A Giveaway!

Pattern:  Antiquity

Designer:  Alicia Plummer

Yarn:  Camellia Fiber Company CFC Flax DK (50% Alpaca 25% Flax 25% Silk

Colour:  Rose Quartz

Needles:  3.5mm KnitPro Karbonz Double Point Needles

1)  I usually knit with merino or wool blends so knitting with such a unique combination of fibers was quite an experience for me.  The yarn has a lovely sheen to it, a smooth texture and the alpaca gives it a lovely bloom.  I can't imagine how amazing a sweater would be in this yarn. Andrea, of Blueberry Hill Crafting, sweater made a Clarke Pullover with this yarn.  It must feel so luxurious to wear.  I would totally recommend this yarn and I am interested to try knitting with other yarn from Camellia Fibre Company.  Their yarn seems very unique.
2)  This pattern was easily memorized and I am so pleased with how the mitts turned out.  Since they are knit in a DK weight this pattern would be perfect for a quick gift.
3) As mentioned in a previous post this yarn was given to me by Blueberry Hill Crafting.  She posted a picture of it on Instagram and offered it to the first person who commented.  It was my lucky day.  Thank you Andrea!

In the spirit of giving, and in celebration of my three year blog anniversary, I would like to hold a giveaway for a copy of this book called Home & Away: Knits for Everyday Adventures by Hannah Fettig.  This book has so many beautiful sweaters, such as the Calligraphy Cardigan, Rosemont Cardigan and Georgetown.  To win this book simply comment below, adding your Ravelry I.D. and I will pick a name using the Random Number Generator on Sunday, September 11th and announce the winner

Home & Away by Hannah Fettig
I would like to thank all the people who take time to read my blog and I really appreciate those who reach out by commenting.  One thing I have learned since I began blogging is that the knitting world is full of the kindest people.  I have not only enjoyed writing my blog these past three years, I also have learned so much and been inspired by other blogs I read weekly.  Although I enjoy the speed at which I can post an Instagram photo, there is still something appealing about slowing down and writing a blog, documenting what I am working on.  So thank you everyone for stopping by!