Making Madewell Progress

Since March last year, I’ve been slowly but surely working on a cardigan: Madewell by Joji Locatelli.  It’s a fingering weight project, and because I like, ahem, challenges, I decided to make it with black yarn.  When I’m working on it around others, like at a LYS, people often share their own black sock yarn horror stories (“Never again” is often exclaimed), and on a few occasions I’ve been asked why am I punishing myself. Black sock weight yarn can be a wee bit hard on the eyes. Challenges aside, I love it, and with my wardrobe, a black cardigan will be worn time and time again, hence my colour choice.

This has been a great project to pick up after having put it down for weeks at a time. It’s largely stockinette, lots of knits and purls. Because I no longer feel the urgency of holiday knitting, I’ve been able to dedicate more time towards this project. I was nearing the end of the body, no more shaping increases or decreases, so the knits and purls proved to be great mindless knitting, working on a row or two while watching TV or reading on my e-reader.

I feel like I’ve actually made some progress with it this weekend, finishing the bottom ribbing and starting working on the sleeve.  This is my first experience with raglan sleeves, and I must say I love it. You don’t need to worry about setting in and seeming. The stitches came off the holder, onto a 16″ circular needle and away I knit in the round. Once again, being all stockinette, it’s proving to be fantastic for mindless knitting.

One whimsical feature of this sweater are the elbow patches, a great way to use up a few metres of that extra sock yarn everyone has in their stash.  I had three colours of Manos Del Uruguay that worked well together, so after binding off the main body, I took a break and knit up one elbow patch. They add a great pop of colour to this staple sweater.

Can’t wait to get back to knitting and hopefully in the coming weeks, I’ll be able to show off the finished cardigan!

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A 2017 Blog Lookback

As 2017 has drawn to its inevitable close and we’ve welcomed the new year, I thought I would use this first post of 2018 to look back at the past year. These are my top viewed posts from the year.

2017 Yarn Challenge

Every year, one of my LYS hosts a yarn challenge: they choose the yarn, participants choose their design. This is my post introducing the challenge.

‘How Many Pairs of Socks Do You Need’

My co-worker asked this question one day at lunch; I thought about my answer and wrote about it here.

Hagrid Was A  Knitter

I loved this post. I love Harry Potter and adore patterns inspired by this series.

A Sontag by Any Other Name

In perusing a 100+ year old knitting publication, they had a pattern looking like a sontag. I looked at their pattern and compared it to Godey’s classic pattern from the 1860s.

Taking Your Knitting for a Walk

Inspired by a post by This Knitted Life, I tried something outside of my comfort zone and tried knitting and walking. I loved it and wrote about my experience.

Story Behind the Sontag

While this wasn’t written in 2017, it was my most viewed post for the year.

Thank you for reading my humble blog, and I truly hope you’ll continue to follow my adventures into 2018.

Once Upon a Knitted Hat

In mid-November, I was recovering from a minor surgery – this meant lots of time on bed rest, turning off the brain, and watching countless hours of Netflix. On the suggestion of my BFF, I started watching Once Upon a Time. I know, I’ve very late to the party, as the show is now in its 7th season, and they’ve recently had a big cast change.   What really captured my interested while watching the show, besides the likable characters and interesting plot twists, were the knits. Shocker, huh.

In the first season, a few of the main characters wear stunning hats, and a simple google search found many a links to these patterns on Ravelry.

A few of my favourites:

Pathways

 

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Pathways hat, © Disneyette on Ravelry

Emma wears this hat in the episode ‘Dreamy,’ a worsted weight hat that looks like it would knit up quick!

Inspired Dreamy Beret

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Once Upon a Time Inspired Dreamy Beret, © 2012 Bret Dalton Photography on Ravelry

Another hat from the Dreamy Episode, this one worn by Mary Margaret, another worsted project.

Mary Margaret’s Lace Tam

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Mary Margaret’s Lace Tam, © Mary Craver on Ravelry

This time, a fingering hat shines in an episode from the first season.

Finally, I don’t think you can talk about Once Upon A Time without talking about the blanket from the pilot episode, the one baby Emma gets sent to the ‘Land without Magic’ all wrapped up in.  That blanket was designed by Cailtin ffrench and the pattern can be found here.

Sometimes, it’s hard to look beyond the knitwear when you’re watching different movies or TV shows, often times those knit pieces attain iconic status.  I’m looking at you Jayne’s Hat and Tom Baker’s Scarf. What other shows or movies have amazing knitwear?

 

It’s a PineHatpple

The name my sister gave to this project. We’re both uber dorks.

A friend from the Museum Studies days was having a baby. This friend and I started working in the same city within a few months of each other, at different cultural organizations, and even after she moved on to a different opportunity in Toronto, we would still get together a few times a year for dinner, drinks, and to catch up.  She is notorious for her pineapple collection.  When I found out she was having a baby, how could I NOT knit her something pineapple related.

Here is the PineHatpple

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Finding the right pineapple hat on Ravelry wasn’t easy, and I ended up combining elements from two different patterns, following the lead of others who did the same thing.

The hat was made from the Pineapple hat pattern by Becky Veverkar. It was knit in the round with the wrong side facing you. As you knit the hat, the inside has the wonderful bobble-y texture taking form, and before you add the crown, you turn it inside out. The crown was made from pineapple tea cozy pattern, linked here. If it looks a little dodgy, don’t worry. Both the hat and crown patterns have been ‘archived.’  The yarn used was Cascade Yarns 220 Superwash.

Not long after the hat was sent to my friend, I got a lovely text back with her new daughter wearing the pineapple. I couldn’t have been happier with how it turned out and that I was able to make it for a good friend.

An Asymmetrical Adoration

This summer, one of the many projects I worked on included a sock weight shawl. I bought a lovely skein of SweetGeorgia from a LYS and cast on immediately. An easy pattern to memorize, and being completely in love with the colours, it knit up rather quickly:

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This stunning pattern, which is perfect for showing off two different yarns, is Graphic Kerchief by Ce Persiano, a free pattern.  I made my own mods to the pattern as written, noted on my Rav project page, and I love it.  It was also a great way to use those extra little bits of sock yarn still in my stash. The contrast is leftover Madelinetosh, the majority of which went into a pair of socks. The rest of it is an amazing pop against the Sweetgeorgia auburn.

Because shawls are a great go-to fingering weight project, I’m always seeing what interesting projects I can find on Ravelry. I have no idea why, but I’m always captivated by the asymmetrical shawls. I find their construction more appealing that the traditional triangle shawl.  Of course, this isn’t my first asymmetrical shawl, others have included:

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504 King West by The Knit Cafe Toronto

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SMASH by Rebeka Darylin

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And, Braidsmaid by Martina Behm.

I have quite a few skeins of sock weight yarn in my stash (which, as we all know, doesn’t actually count as stash), and I’m always on the search for my next asymmetrical shawl.

Do you have a go-to shawl pattern? Do you prefer triangle shawls, asymmetrical, or no preference either way?

A Scrappy Update

What to do with those leftover bits. We all have them in our stash: those remnants from pairs of socks or shawls that didn’t need the whole skein. I’ll be honest, for my Type A (plus plus) personality, these little balls of yarn, not big enough to make anything with, drive me a little crazy.

One way to use them up is my Sock Yarn Memory Blanket.  I started it in May 2016, and now it’s 25 squares big – not large at all considering how big I’d like for it to eventually be.

As of today, this is what it looks like:

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With the exception of two, every skein of fingering weight yarn from a completed project will be on this blanket. If you were to take a look at my WIPs and stash, I’ll be able to add many more squares. Because I’m a bit crazy detail-oriented, I’ve also started a journal for this project, and in it I’m adding the yarn tag with a snip of the yarn, noting where I bought it and what project I made with it.

Slowly but surely, this blanket is growing, and part of the excitement when finishing a new pair of socks or a shawl is not just the FO, but being able to add to the blanket.

Don’t discount those bits and bobs from skein remnants, because you never know when they might just come in handy. My latest shawl is a perfect example of this.

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The MC is a newly purchased skein of Sweetgeorgia, and the CC is left over Madelinetosh that I first used for a pair of Erica Leuder Socks.  A simple asymmetrical garter stitch shawl, but the contrast makes quite a statement.  For those keeping score at home, the pattern is Graphic Kerchief by Ce Persiano, with some modifications.

Summer always leads to a sporadic posting schedule, but I already know I’ll be offline next week. When I return, I’ll hopefully have completed projects, new WIPs, and new yarn to show off.

Happy knitting!

Finding the Right Pattern

Sometimes, you just want a big, cozy, wooly sweater.


This Briggs and Little Yarn has been in my stash for well over two years, gifted to me by a friend who knows I’m a knitter. It sat in my stash because even though four skeins is a lot of yardage, it isn’t quite enough to make a sweater. A little over a year later, I bought this yarn from a craft fair, the fleece from a local farm.


The natural brown would compliment the natural grey of the Briggs and Little quite well. But still the yarns sat, unsure of how to take these two yarns and make a sweater. I could have alternated the colours of the sleeves and edging, but I wasn’t so keen on that. However, I had a stroke of inspiration.

If you’re in the ‘knitting world,’ you’ve of course heard all about Andrea Mowry’s Find Your Fade, a beautiful shawl made from five different colours of yarn.  It’s stunning for its size, construction, and originality.   Well, why couldn’t I find my fade with these complimentary yarns?  The basic idea is that you knit continuously with one colour, and when you’re ready to introduce the next, you knit a few rows of stripes, helping the colours ‘fade’ into each other. Find the right sweater pattern and fade the colours into each other.  Simple enough in theory.

Enter Fezziwig: a warm, cozy sweater designed by Melissa Schaschwary.  I have the yarn, I have the pattern, I have the general idea for how I’ll fade the two colours into each other.  And if it doesn’t work, I can always rip back, re-wind and it can keep my other stashed yarn company awaiting new inspiration.


Stay tuned.