On making something cozy for my BFF

Find yourself an Ashley.

Ashley is my best friend. We’ve known each other for a stupid amount of time. The fact that we’ve known each other for more than 20 years is absolutely mind boggling, because that means we’re not in our 20s anymore, and I totally feel like I’m only 23. Wait, what was I saying? Oh, right.

Ashley and I had homeroom together in Grade 9 & 10, but we didn’t talk. I was a little intimidated by her, and, according to her, I would sit there and talk with my friend about the Backstreet Boys (and yeah, that’s 100% accurate). Then grade 11 came around and we had three of four classes together, including drama. That year’s big project was writing and performing a ‘docudrama’ and we were partnered together. I think I have the script somewhere in storage to this day. We’ve been friends ever since.

Last spring, due to unforeseen circumstances, I found myself at my parent’s house for a week, and at first I was there without access to knitting needles or yarn. She didn’t hesitate to run over to my parent’s with a few supplies for me, including balls of yarn and needles.

She truly is the best.

Knowing the yarn was Briggs and Little, I feel it’s safe to assume she bought it from the mill in New Brunswick. Her family lives nearby to the community where Canada’s oldest woolen mill is located, and I’m pretty sure the yarn came from the store at the mill. After I was back home, I asked if she would like the yarn back, and she told me to hold onto it.

So I did.

And I made her something.

A few months back, I professed my love for marled yarn as I made my nephew just the cutest little clothing set using a sock weight marled yarn. I took a look at my stash and realized that the yarn from her was two skeins – one marled and one white. I wanted to knit her something cozy. Warm, perhaps a little scratchy, and cozy. 

The pattern is The Fisherman’s Boot Socks by Maritime Family Fiber. I followed the instructions for the smallest size, but my needles were 4.5mm, not 4mm, so I was ultimately making something a little bigger than the pattern called for. They were worked on and off for about six months. But they were finished while the Canadian winters were still bringing about the cold, like they always do. Because toes get cold, and sometimes a thick wool sock is the coziness you need to help stave off the chill.

So, if you can, find yourself an Ashley. Ashleys are good people. Ashleys know how to hook a friend up, and Ashleys totally deserve warm socks.

I adore this human. From 2018, when concerts were a thing…

Marvelous and Marled

Oh, hi. I have a new yarn obsession. It’s black and white marled yarn. That’s it. It’s not new, it’s not revolutionary. It’s black and white marled yarn. And I cannot get enough.

Months ago, I went in on an online order with my friend Victoria (gotta save on those shipping costs where we can, amirite), and we both ordered marled sock yarn from Leo and Roxy. Their social media posts worked like a charm after posting a picture of a baby set knit with their marled yarn. Well done, strategic social media posting. My brother and sister-in-law are expecting, and I have a little nibling on the way – I have been knitting WAY to much for this little baby already, and I couldn’t resist making a set with that Leo and Roxy yarn. SIL has added lots of buffalo print items to their registry, so making a work-sock inspired set with the marled yarn would complement what she’s asked for nicely.

And now I cannot stop. I ADORE how this is working up. I have no idea what magic this marling is, but I have fallen for it hook, line, and sinker. I mean…

The hat is Barley Light from Tin Can Knits (omitting the garter section), and the mitts, aptly, is Baby Mittens by Malin Nilsson. As an aside, 27″ icords are simply the worst…

Very shortly, I’ll be casting on a Flax Light sweater, and, fingers crossed, I’ll have enough yarn left over for a pair of baby socks as well.

Meanwhile, as if I didn’t have enough projects on the go already, I started a pair of heavy duty socks for my BFF, also out of some marled yarn. A few months back, she passed along two skeins of Briggs and Little: one marled and one white. I thought the best way to return it to her was knit them into something cozy. Warm, perhaps a little scratchy, and cozy. Her family doesn’t live too far from the Briggs and Little mill in New Brunswick, so I have a sneaky suspicion that this yarn came from the mill itself. I cannot keep a secret, so I told her I was making her something, but I can keep enough of a secret NOT to show any pictures of the socks in progress.

Even though I’m knitting all the baby things and working on the coziest socks, all I can think of is wanting a sweater for myself made from marled yarn. I must remind myself that a) I have enough sweaters on the go already, and b) I don’t need anymore yarn. But a girl can dream, right? It’s not a ‘no,’ it’s just a ‘not right yet.’

Another trip to the Sweater Frog Pond

I have a gift, an unfortunate gift, but a gift nonetheless. What is this gift, you might ask? I am able to consistently underestimate how much yarn is needed and get foiled by yardage. It’s happened again.

Last summer, I started a sweater, the Vatsland Jumper (RAV LINK) by Ella Gordon. I had a bunch of super woolly yarn in my stash and a few colours that seemed to work well together for the bottom hem lace. The pattern gave weight estimates for the Main Colour and, like the fool I was, I used that estimate to gauge whether I had enough. Did I pay any attention at all to meterage? No. I am, as I said, a fool.

I made good progress with the sweater, getting to the point where I divide for the sleeves, and that’s when I really started doubting. I checked the pattern and yes, I would be short. About 300 metres short. I know, I know. I’m a fool.

Unfortunately, the brown I was using as the MC was from a small (and I mean small) local mill, having purchased the two skeins in my stash a few years ago at a craft fair. I checked their website and no brown yarn was available. Of course not.

So, I masked up and ventured to a LYS where I hoped they would have Briggs and Little that would match. I was able to buy a heathered brown which works wonderfully with the colours in the lacework. Also, I’m blending the skeins, changing yarns every row, and it’s hard to tell the difference, really, between the two. They are blending beautifully. I bought enough brown to make the sweater, but I’m leaving the skeins unwound until I need them, and anything unused, I’ll return to the store. The point of this sweater was to use up some yarn that’s been lamenting in my stash. I really shouldn’t add MORE if it goes unused!

The yarn on the left is the original brown, and the yarn on the right, the heathered yarn, is the Briggs and Little I bought. As you can see, I have about an inch re-knit, and it is really blending well. You can see the heathering, but it’s simply adding some subtle colour to the sweater.

The question remains – will I ever learn and start paying better attention to meterage? Probably not…

Stuffed with Fluff

I’m sorry, but is there a happier sight than a thrummed mitten, specifically, an inside out thrummed mitten?

I’m using the pattern from Briggs and Little (Family Thrummed Mittens RAV LINK by Catherine Vardy), my third time making this pattern, and I love it each and every time. I think this mitten was finished in only a few evenings.

Now, if only mitten #2 would magically cast itself on.

Soper Creek’s 2019 Yarn Challenge

Yarn challenge complete. This year was fun! In case you missed what I’m talking about, one of my Local Yarn Stores hosts a yarn challenge every late-winter. The owner chooses a yarn and colour palette, and she makes kits for participants to purchase. From there, each person makes a piece, and upon return to the LYS, she puts the pieces in her front window and people can vote for their favourites.  This year’s yarn was Briggs and Little Sport, and with it, I made this:



The pattern is Raspberry Field by Jana Markova. The overall structure was easy to follow. The confusion started with the lace. I really wanted to include the lace because it added a certain something to the project, but the designer didn’t design the lace chart to account for the increases at the beginning (RS) and end (WS) of each row, and it didn’t account for the decreases happening along the spine. I had to think really hard about how to proceed with this section.  Basically, for the first row, I went for it, started the lace where it should have started as per the chart, and I figured where to start each subsequent lace repeat by counting.

Despite the challenges in making the lace, I’m very happy with the final product. It’s woolly and warm, admittedly a little scratchy (because it is VERY woolly), but so cozy.