New Year Knits

Happy belated holidays! I hope you got what you needed from the holidays. Me, it was quiet, relaxing, filled with virtual gatherings with family and lots of knitting.

I was down to the wire with my holiday knitting, but I got everything finished before Christmas. Actually, I might have been weaving in the ends of my dad’s socks on Christmas morning, and he got them officially a few days later after washing and blocking. I’ll write about these socks, more specifically, the pattern I used, in another post.

By Boxing Day, I turned my attention to some selfish knitting! One of the many sweaters I made last year was Very V Neck Raglan (RAV LINK) by Jessie Maed Designs, but it needed to be one size smaller for a better fit. I frogged, I re-cast on, and I was able to revisit it after sitting untouched, getting quite a bit of it knit.

Another project I’ve been working on is Blurry Cowl (RAV LINK) by Joji Locatelli. My love of bandana cowls has been well professed in the past, so when she released this pattern as part of her new Interpretations collection, I had to buy it. I had the perfect yarn in mind – a teal and black speckled yarn I bought in Montreal in 2019, and a skein of teal yarn I hand dyed a few years ago. As described by Joji, “Born during a night of boredom, and of the desire to just feel the rhythm of the stitches in my hands, this cowl is both easy to make and easy to wear.” I couldn’t describe it better if I tried. This cowl has been such a relaxing project, with enough variating stitches in the pattern so far to stay interesting but very simple.

Happy New Year and happy knitting!

Finished Object Friday – Berry Skies

Last weekend, I was able to enjoy a four day weekend. Mind, I stayed in my house all by myself, and I didn’t get to visit family at all over the weekend, a first for Easter and it hit kinda hard. I did get a LOVELY front porch visit from my best friend, and thank all things merino for telephones and FaceTime.

Knowing it was four days of uninterrupted nothingness, I bought myself two patterns I had been eyeing on Ravelry, one of which was Berry Skies by Martina Behm. It’s an awesome asymmetrical cowl using a variety of fingering sock yarn.  Could this cowl be ticking any more of my knitting love boxes? (Please have read that with the intended Chandler Bing infliction…)

I had yarn in mind – three variations of orange Log House Cottage yarn.  I realized because I’m terrible at knitting math I needed one more skein to make my life easy, and I was SO grateful that one of my LYSs was doing curb-side pick up on Good Friday.

I cast on last Thursday after signing off from working from home, and yesterday I was wearing the finished cowl. I think this is a reflection of both how quickly this garter project came together and just how much knitting I got done through the weekend.

Everything about this was fun – fun project, fun yarn, fun construction, and the easy garter construction meant it was easy to work on while watching TV or reading.

On my needles

Since finishing my latest cardigan, all my attention has been given to my Samwise Cowl. I get like that with lace patterns, where at first, it takes everything in me to get moving on it, but once I get used to the pattern and the repetitions, I cannot put the projects down, and this is indeed the case with Samwise.  The anticipation of the colour changes in the yarn certainly is helping as well, and I can certainly say that it is well and truly into the blue colour!

The pattern has three different charts to follow, and I’m at the point in the pattern where I have only one chart repetition to complete before edging garter stitches, but I still have quite a bit of this yarn left and am hoping to make it into the purple before I have to bind off.  I figure I have two options: work more repeats of this chart, or make the garter section super long.  I can’t even turn to other project examples on Ravelry because there is only one other person who has added this to their projects! I think my game plan will be to finish the chart repeat, add a lifeline, then repeat one more time.  If I don’t have enough yarn to do that final repeat, I can rip it all out knowing my stitches are held safely on the lifeline.  If all goes to plan, the cowl will be a little longer than the pattern itself calls for, but you should be able to see the beautiful fade this yarn is doing.

Le Pouf is Le Finished, and other adventures

I am so happy with my latest cardigan, the Le Pouf by Beata Jezek. Using fingering yarn held double, it really did knit up quickly, but the stress with this project, oh man! The pattern is free and all in all a good pattern, but, it is a faded pattern and it does not advise exactly when to fade. My kitchen scales and I got very well acquainted while I was working on this sweater, fearful that I would run out of yarn as I was working on it.  Four of the skeins I used for this project I purchased from Knitter’s Frolics in years past, so buying more would be very, very challenging.

I kept my project notes on Ravelry full of detail, because as I was working on my sweater, other’s notes were very helpful for me. Hopefully mine may be of some use to knitters working on this sweater in the future. I will say, this pattern was a great way to use skeins of sock yarn that have been kicking around a stash for some time! Try it out, play with different colour combos!

On Saturday, while my cardigan sat drying, a few friends of mine and I went to Burlington to the latest yarn launch for The Blue Brick. My one friend in particular absolutely adores this dyer, and really, can you blame her? The Blue Brick’s yarns are all dyed inspired by photographs she takes, and they are typically tonal or ombre and simply stunning to see.

I’ve been working on the Samwise Cowl, designed by Shireen Nadir of Blue Brick, using her Luxe DK in Moscovy I bought back in the summer.  The fade is very subtle but it is indeed fading into the blue!

At the yarn launch on Saturday, I was good to my bank account and my stash (which I’ve resolved to be very choosy about adding to) and I bought one of the shawl cuffs she made; I’m in love.


As part of the launch, there were door prizes, four given away in total. A few guests who left early gave my friends and I their tickets, so I had three for the afternoon; I was off by one number for the second draw, and off by two on the third.  The final draw was a sweater’s quantity of yarn, an ombre DK sweater kit. This time, it was my number that was pulled! The day before was pretty low for me, so to have February start with good friends and winning yarn, it was a much needed pick-me-up. I am beyond thankful for this generous prize and cannot wait to start a sweater that will hopefully be worthy of this beautiful yarn.


Travels Through Space, Time, and Along the I90

How far have you travelled to see a concert? A few weeks back, my best friend and I, who love seeing live shows, travelled from the east end of the GTA to Cleveland, Ohio to see the ’90s band Crash Test Dummies. It may not be the ’90s anymore, but CTD are still playing and put on a great show! When the show was announced, it was being opened by another Canadian band, an alt-indy group from the East Coast called Port Cities, but due to some shifts in the band, they had to cancel (another East Coast musician opened and was amazing). Despite half of our reason for the travels not being there, we still had our four days in Cleveland and had a blast.

BFF did the driving, and as I sat in the passenger seat, helping the Maps app with navigating, I kept my hands busy with knitting.  My 4th Doctor Sock Yarn had been sitting in my stash since this year’s frolic, and I wanted something simple to work on while road tripping.

After over 10 hours in the car and extra time at home afterwards, my lovely cowl was finished just last week.

Can you tell I really love these bandanna cowls?

The pattern I used was kind of ‘by the seat of my pants.’  One of my favourite ‘back to basics’ knitting books is Knitting Rules by the Yarn Harlot, because she has a number of ‘recipes’ contained within, the basic steps needed to create a thing.  I followed her Triangular Shawl Recipe #2: Increasing Triangular Shawl until the cowl was 20″ across the top, joined in the round, and continued the increase at the centre spine but ceased the side/now back increases. It was a wonderful plain stockinette project until the bottom rounds, where I switched to the contrasting skein (intended as heel/toe contrasts) and used the brown to work 10 rows of garter.

Before we left Cleveland, BFF and I did some shopping, and naturally, I asked to stop at a yarn shop.  We ended up at Around the Table Yarns, a fairly new shop in Shaker Heights.  My budget was basically blown by this point, so I was good and only bought a skein of worsted for my travel afghan, but I couldn’t resist this branded stitch marker.