I love my local yarn shops. I have four in my city and neighbouring towns that I visit with some frequency (much to the chagrin of my bank account). One such neighbouring LYS is Soper Creek Yarns, and every year around this time, they host a yarn challenge. I talked about this last year when I bought my first kit and participated for the first time. Well it’s back for 2017 and I’m super excited to cast on!
I have a pattern picked out, and I’ll be casting on later today. As the Yarn Challenge is a contest – shop visitors vote on their favourite finished objects – and anonymity is key to its success and a big part of the fun, I won’t share my chosen pattern or the finished object until after the contest is over. For now, check out the pretty yarn and just imagine all the possible things one could knit with it.
Knitters, you know what I’m talking about. I don’t mean the very helpful devise for reaching things too high up:
I have nothing against these ladders.
I’m talking about these bad boys right here:
I consider myself a fairly experienced knitter. Sure, there are things that throw me for a loop sometimes (knitting pun unintentional, just a very happy coincidence), but I’m proud of my skills and what I can do with sticks and string. And then, every so often, a project comes along that keeps me humble – these mittens is one such pattern.
A volunteer at my Museum came to me and asked me to make her a pair of mittens, and in exchange this very talented sewer will make me a few accessories to go with my costume. A very fair trade and I happily accepted. I bought the amazing yarn (Berroco Ultra Alpaca, cream in colour), cast on to my DPNs and started knitting. And then they started. The ladders. Those cursed ladders. Regardless of how I was snugging the yarn before the start of each needle, they just kept coming, and in my mind, getting worse with each round.
I turned to the Ravelry community and their oh-so helpful forums for advise, and ultimately, I dashed out to my LYS and bought circular needles with a very short cable. Frogged, cast on, and away I went.
I met S. in university, our first day. In our residence, our floor had 20 or so girls living on it, and on the first afternoon, we went around the circle and all introduced ourselves, where we’re from and what we were studying. It was an overwhelming day, with move in, saying goodbye to the fam, and meeting all of these new faces.
After a few short weeks, we got to know each other and we became friends. This was almost 13 years ago. After undergrad (where we spent many days studying, drinking coffees, talking about the important things you do in university, and many nights at various pubs, doing as most students do), she went on to graduate school, and I moved home and started working, returning to college a few short years later. Even after all this time, S. is one of those people that I’m able to pick up with right away, as if no time has past, as if we just saw each other hours before in the Concourse. I consider myself truly lucky to have such a great friendship with her, and to have such an easy yet lasting friendship.
S. got married in late 2013, and in early January 2016, a few of us Uni friends got together for brunch and S. shared her wonderful news, that she was expecting a baby! She’s not the first in our group of friends to have a baby, but she’s my closest of those friends, and she’s the first expectant friend since I’ve delved into the knitting addiction hobby. Once she told us the news, I started planning what I could make for her and her little one. Enter, the bunting bag.
I teased at this project a few weeks ago, but here it is, finished and ready for gifting. It is a Berroco pattern, made with Berroco Weekend DK (a wonderful acrylic/cotton blend). When I found the pattern on Ravelry, I fell in love with the intricate cables and textures of it. I must have cable amnesia for I must have forgot how cables and leaning stitches can perhaps become a little tedious after many, many row repeats. Tedious or not, I loved the finish product. The cables and leans are totally worth it for the end result, and S. loved the bunting bag, which more than anything, is the important part.
Happy (belated) Easter! I hope everyone had a lovely long weekend!
Having four (yes FOUR) days off from work meant I had quite a bit of time that I could dedicate towards knitting. The week before, I wasn’t myself. I was fighting some sort of cough/fever combo that left me utterly exhausted and wanting to do nothing but lay on the couch, trying to stave off the chills. I didn’t knit for five days. This is how we know it was serious. Four days off gave me dedicated catch up time.
Once again, I’m gift knitting. I’m ALMOST finished this piece and I am so excited to share it, but until it’s officially gifted, I won’t say too much about it. I will give a little preview though.
From the colour, to the yarn (Berroco Weekend DK, a lovely cotton/acrylic blend) to the gorgeous diamond pattern, I love this project. It has completely monopolized my knitting for the last few weeks, so it’s a good thing I like it so much! More on this later…
If you’re a frequent reader of my little blog (thank you if you are), you might have noticed I add my new posts on Mondays. I’m a creature of habit. I will often pre-write my posts on the weekend, when I have a little more time or if I know I won’t have time on the Monday to get something written. I will not have time this Monday. This Monday is going to be a very hard day. Saying goodbye to someone who left us too early is one of the hardest things to do.
On Monday, I’m going to need smiles. Yarn makes me smile. Pretty colours are happy things.
So here are pictures of my pretty sock yarns, some in progress of becoming something even more beautiful and others with their potential waiting to be realized.
My Midwinter Cardigan is almost complete. It’s in that stage where it’s so close, but there’s still enough knitting left to keep me busy. One sleeve. That’s all. It’s testing my patience because I want more than anything is to set in the sleeves and wear it, but… one sleeve.
Last night, I blocked the body and the one finished sleeve, and I’m working on getting that sleeve finished. My goal is to be wearing this cardigan by the weekend, and with how cold it has been in southern Ontario, having a warm sweater to wear will be delightful.
I have loved everything about this project, from the bulky yarn it called for, making it a quick knit (I used 7 hanks of Berroco Vintage Chunky), to the cabling down the front, which made knitting long rows more interesting. I managed to get gauge with using 7.5mm needles, a somewhat awkward size. To make the sleeves, knit in the round, I tried my hand at the Magic Loop for the first time. It took me a while to get used to this new-to-me technique, and it also was an adjustment to not get ladders where the stitches were divided; ultimately I got used to this method and sleeve number two is knitting up like a dream.
Finally, I love that the yarn I bought for this project was the first yarn I wound on the swift my father made for me. I bought the yarn a) for this project, and b) so that I could use my new knitting toy, hand made by my amazing father. This cardigan will always remind me of that beloved Christmas gift.
Now excuse me while I continue to work on this sleeve…