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.

The Mixed Wave Cowl, or the ongoing ramblings of how it was made

February 14, 2017

Made my way to LYS and purchased the Yarn Challenge kit. The yarns are lovely: red, taupe and beige. Now comes the hard part, what to make with it.

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February 15, 2017
4:30pm

Awesome! I’m so glad I found the Mixed Wave Cowl pattern on Ravelry. It’s perfect for this yarn, a fantastic way to truly highlight the three yarns of the Yarn Challenge.  I have the yarn, the needles, the pattern; I’m ready to cast on!

4:45pm

Okay, we’re cast on! Let me just read the pattern… oh… huh. Well, this is… huh. Okay, so it’s not written like other patterns. This designer’s put a lot of thought (and math) in this pattern. I’m impressed. Cool. I can do this… I think…

4:55pm

Gah, so that didn’t go as planned. Here’s a tip, Lisa. Read the whole pattern. Like, all details.  Let the frogging commence.

5:12pm

Frogging complete. Cast on complete. First row knit. Now onto short rows… wait… huh… I still can’t visualize what to do here. I get the general idea – you’re using short rows and alternate colours to create this really interesting and unique striped pattern. That I get. These instructions, though… Maybe it’s just because I’m not comfortable with the wrap and turn method. Yeah that’s it.

5:14pm

I still don’t get it. There are over 100 people who have this in their Ravelry projects. What do their notes say…

5:18pm

So many of these project notes say “Just do it.” “Trust the designer.” “It all makes sense once you get going.” Yeah, I’m not buying it… Maybe this will be clearer after dinner… mmm… food…

6:03pm

Just do it, huh… okay, here goes… Wrap and turn abandoned, going with German Short Row method instead, a tried, tested and understood method. Maybe that will help…

7:54pm

Well whaddya know? Those Ravelers and the designer were right… just do it. I’m doing it, and a few repeats in and it looks like it’s supposed to look! Maybe all that math the designer did actually makes sense… almost foiled by math once again, but not this time!

February 17, 2017

A day off work and four hour car ride = lots of knitting time. Mixed Wave Cowl, let’s do this. I’m actually feeling so confident with this pattern, a pattern that only a few short days ago I had no faith in, that I’m now able to work it without referring to the written directions. Lesson learned: read all instructions. Trust the designer. Trust other Ravelers.

February 20, 2017

Mixed Wave Cowl grows, both in length and in my overall love for it.

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March 6, 2017

And grows…

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March 7, 2017

4:40pm

Couch, knitting, Law and Order. I see you, Mixed Wave Cowl.

6:35pm

Break out the measuring tape. 55cm! I’m at the right place in my pattern to justify casting off. It is 5cm shorter than the recommended length but it’ll stretch.

6:42pm

Stupid provisional cast on. Grumble grumble.

7:55pm

So this happened:

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Why yes, that is the cowl, grafted, ends woven, and blocking!

I’m sorry I ever doubted you, designer. The initial frustrations I felt three weeks ago was worth pushing through to get this as the final result.

March 8, 2017

4:34pm

Just trying it on for good measure. Yup, still in love with the final result. So much cowl love.

Works in Progress

Why hello.  Good to see you all again. Although I last posted mid-February, I feel like I have been absent from the blogisphere.  I’m trying to catch up and read all of your lovely posts (great job, everyone), and I’m trying to get a few posts out of the ‘draft’ phase into the published phase (stay tuned, they’ll be worth the wait).

I’ve also been keeping my hands busy and attention given to my works in progress.  I’ve figured out how to read and knit at the same time (thank you e-reader), and knitting and watching TV goes together just like peanut butter goes with jam, but I haven’t figured out how to write these blog posts while turning a heel on a sock.  If someone does figure that one out, please pass the secret along.

I’ve been feeling the time crunch for the Soper Creek Yarn Challenge, only have 10 days or so to finish my project (eek deadlines!!), and the constant need to start different projects, a need I wrote about earlier this year, hasn’t seemed to subside as I think I have more started projects on the go than ever before!

Just a glimpse at what has been keeping me busy, minus the yarn challenge, because, secrets guys. 

In this picture, there are three shawls, two sleeves, a scarf, a sock, and yes, another Sontag. Busy needles indeed! 

It truly has been good catching up with all of you. Let’s not wait so long between visits, shall we? 

Now if you’ll excuse me, I have some knitting to do. 

Like learning to knit, all over again

Best friend sent me a message last week, asking if I could knit something for her daughter. The project request:

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Azul Pullover – photo © Heidi May

If you’ve spent any time on Ravelry recently, I’m sure the Azel Pullover by Velvet Acorn Designs is familiar as it spends a lot of time high up on the Hot Right Now pages.  Of course I would make this stylish sweater for one of my favourite mini-humans!

Demonstrating the popularity of this pattern, when I stopped in at one of my favourite LYSs, the owner said she couldn’t keep the recommended yarn on the shelves long enough!  I bought six lovely squishy balls of Bernat Softee Chunky, and knowing that I already had the required 9mm needle, I happily headed home to start this new project.

I cast on the required stitches and started with the pattern, and right away, it became painfully evident that I’m out of practice knitting with super bulky yarn! I was unsure of how I was holding the needles, the yarn feeling foreign wrapped around my index finger for tension.  Recently, the heaviest yarn I’m using is the worsted weight Cascade 220, and my usual travel projects are two pairs of socks.  Going from 2.5mm to 9mm, it’s no wonder why everything was feeling so unfamiliar!

One thing I will say about this project is that it is a very fast knit!  After a few dedicated evenings, my pullover is taking great shape:

The quarter gives you an idea of how big these stitches are! I’ll be sure to share pictures of this lovely pullover once it’s finished, and if I keep at the rate I’ve been going, it’ll be finished in less than a week’s time.

If I Could Knit Anything…

Last week, my friend and I took a trip to Toronto and visited the Purple Purl. She had never been before and is taking a sock class with Kate Atherley; before starting the class, she wanted to buy yarn from the story so she could complete the ‘homework,’ so I used a few lieu hours on a Tuesday, we grabbed a coffee and made our way into the City.

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Inside the Purple Purl. So much lovely yarn!

After my friend shopped, and after we spent a lovely hour or so knitting along with others in the shop, we grabbed dinner at a pub. While waiting for our food, my friend asked, “If I could knit anything, money and time not being a concern, what would it be?” What an interesting question, one to which I had never given any thought. After a few moments, I had the answer: I would knit a dress.  I love long tunics and sweater dresses. Money and time aside, I would knit myself a dress.

A number of years ago, Ravelry featured on their blog ‘geeky’ knits, to tie into Comicon which was happening at the same time. They shared a photo of SixCraftsUnder‘s Tom Baker Dress, this stunning maxi dress knit in the same style as the Fourth Doctor’s scarf. My goodness it was a beautiful dress! Looking at her other projects, that wasn’t her first dress inspired by the geekdom world, and she had knit Vogue Knitting’s A-Line dress in the style of Jayne Cobb’s Hat from Firefly, right down to having a pompom fascinator. Her creativity with these two pieces just floored me, and I was so enamoured with the ‘Cunning Dress’ that I found that issue of Vogue knitting. It’s available through my local library, and once I have the time and money, I’ll be creating my own A-Line Tunic dress.

And so, dear readers, I am now turning this question over to you. If I could knit anything, money and time not being a concern, what would it be and why?

SMASH It Up!

A few weeks ago, I finished completed a lovely asymetrical shawl, Smash by Rebeka Darylin, a FREE pattern available on Ravelry.  Head over, check it out, rummage through your stash for the perfect fingering yarn, and make this shawl.  I was able to knit it over two weeks or so, and the pattern itself was simple to memorize.  The asymmetry truly grabbed my attention to begin with, and the fact that Ms. Darylin made hers with a bright purple and green yarn cemented my love for this project.  Her description of the pattern is fun to read, and it’s clear her inspiration was drawn from comic books and superheroes!

Smash in progress, mid-September.
Smash in progress, mid-September.

I made my Smash shawl with the lovely SweetGeorgia Yarns Tough Love Sock in the Rockwater colourway.  Bright colours make me happy; I am not one to shy away from colour, and with its bright whites, tans, purples, and teals, this colourway was oh-so-me.  I bought the yarn a number of months ago at the Toronto Knitter’s Frolic and it has been tempting me in my stash! I finally settled on this pattern and it was a great knit!

The Completed SMASH
The Completed SMASH – many thanks a lovely co-worker for taking these pictures!

I’m deep into gift knitting.  Two projects are WIPs, and one is a zipper away from being finished (is it just me, or is installing zippers just the WORST part of a project?!). As the days fly by and the days start turning cold, I’m starting to feel the holiday season crunch!  My needles are consumed by knits, purls and cables.  Here’s hoping I can keep them moving fast enough to get the gifts complete!

Happy knitting!