A New Knit City Goal

Later this month, I’m heading to Knit City Montreal with my Knitting BFF, Victoria. We’re both very excited for our long weekend getaway, and on top of attending Knit City, we have a few other touristy things planning, including poutine, bagels, and other yarn shops.

One motivation for getting So Faded finished was wanting it done in time for Knit City. Safe to say, I met that goal easily! That said, depending on the weather, it might not be the best knit garment to bring along. Granted, it’s been on the chilly side here in southern Ontario, but who knows what 10 days time will bring for Montreal. So, I’ve started another project hoping to finish before our great weekend away.

This is another one of my projects I organized earlier this year. I cast on Magna Flora (RAV LINK) by Alisa Hartzel with three skeins of Berroco Weekend I bought for a steal at a LYS. I began this project in mid-April, and it’s coming along quickly. The yoke features the lace detail, providing interest, and once I separated for the sleeves, I went ahead and got that step finished. Now, all yarn I have can be dedicated to the body, and I can either knit until I’m happy with the length or until I run out of yarn.

This sweater might be a better piece to pack for a May weekend as it’s short sleeved and cotton/acrylic, so a little more tolerable than a sweater made from wool blends.

So, that’s the new goal. Hopefully rounds and rounds of stockinette go fast enough to get this done by deadline!

Project Reflections – Boxy

Not long ago, I stumbled across the blog of Kelly at Knitigating Circumstances, and one frequent post highlight is her ‘Wearability Wednesday.’ Here, she takes a piece she’s made and, after time passed since finishing, she evaluates the ‘wearability’ of it. So often, you finish a piece and there’s the excitement that comes from that newly finished thing, that feeling of accomplishment, of happiness that it’s off the needles. I’ll do a ‘Finished Object’ post, filled with the newly finished excitement, and, inevitably, there will be some pieces that get worn and worn again and others that, well, languish at the bottom of the pile.

I hope Kelly won’t mind that I’ve used her series as inspiration (well, flat out copying) for my own projects reflections. Like Kelly does, every so often, I’ll look at a piece in my knitted wardrobe and reflect on it – do I wear it? How does it wear? How does it style? What yarn did I use? How does the yarn hold up after wear?

I’m starting this series with one of my favourite pieces. This is Worsted Boxy by Joji Locatelli. I made this sweater though 2018 and finished it in January 2019, and it’s made with Berroco’s now discontinued Weekend, a 75% Manufactured Fibers (Acrylic) and 25% Cotton blend.

I love this sweater. It’s easily one of my favourite pieces that I wear all the time. It’s a great weight and a very comfy sweater. Being made from the cotton/acrylic blend, it has a nice drape and washes like a dream. It’s a little more casual than some of my other knit sweaters, so if I wear it to work (where the unofficial dress code is business casual) it’s on a Monday or Friday when we can be more casual with our wardrobe.

It’s a perfect outer layer for the warm spring/cool autumn days, and I like that I can pair this sweater with a cowl, if I wanted.

Joji’s Boxy sweaters are well known and well loved by many, and it is understandable. My Worsted Boxy is a wonderful staple piece in my knitted wardrobe.

Finished Object: So Faded

I am honestly a little shocked I was able to finish this sweater in about six weeks time. Inspired by Andrea Mowry’s #DRKMarch2MayKAL23, and bolstered by the fact that I had organized my stash into ready-to-go project bags, I started the So Faded sweater at the beginning of March, and just after the Easter long weekend, it was finished.

There were four different skeins of sock yarn used in this sweater, and I have a quarter to half of each skein left. From top to bottom, the yarn is Skein or Shine Fingering, All Dyed Up! Fibres Fingering SW, North Star Yarn Co. Bellatrix, and Akara Yarns Merino Sock. I’m pretty pleased that all four are Canadian indie dyers, and they really work well together. I suppose that’s a bonus to being partial to a teal colour palette – you’re going to have a lot of yarn that will work together!

Now, please, do not take this statement as a complaint (I’m looking at you, weather gods), but it has been unseasonably hot this past week here in southern Ontario – I’m talking record breaking temperatures for mid-April. I have simply loved the bright, warm, sunny days, but they haven’t been ideal for wearing my new sweater. I’m sure the weather will return to seasonal, and I’ll hopefully be able to wear this sweater at least once before the fall!

Finished Object: Bright Axis

Where has March gone? It’s like I blinked, and the weeks have just slipped away from me! Earlier this month, I was able to finish my Bright Axis tee. Ripping back the black yarn to make the tee a little longer through the body was well worth the effort, as was my decision to change the contrast yarn. I did, indeed, get my hands on a set of TurtlePurl sock yarn, in their Trenchcoat colourway. This Burberry inspired yarn really suited this project, and I am so glad I went with this yarn for the sweater.

To recap, the pattern was Bright Axis by Stephanie Lotven, a pattern which appears in her book, Knit Happy with Self-Striping Yarn: Bright, Fun, and Colorful Sweaters and Accessories Made Easy.

Main colour is Cascade Heritage Sock, and contrast is the aforementioned Turtlepurl Yarns Striped Turtle Toes, colourway Trenchcoat.

Once I settled in and really dedicated time to knitting this project, it came together quickly. Rounds and rounds of mindless stockinette in the round later gave way to short row shaping and the sideways knitting of the contrast across the yoke. Simple, with enough interest by the end to keep you going.

I wore this statement tee to the Hamilton Fibre Forge and received a few kind comments about it, including a few people who were able to clock the Turtlepurl yarn. Safe to say I’m happy with this finished sweater.

Canadian Red Cross Toque

Apparently, Victorians didn’t really wear toques.

At my work, as an outreach event, we participate in a local maple syrup festival, dressed in our Victorian finest. We have warm dresses, bonnets, capes, sontags, and undersleeves a plenty for staying warm, but this is the first year where we’ll have a man representing the museum, and I wanted to make sure his ears were going to stay warm for the three hour shift.

I searched and searched and didn’t really find any Victorian toque patterns. There was one historical text from the turn of the 20th century which remarked on the weather in our area, and the author tried to insist that it was warm enough where we are not to need a toque. I’d love to have a word with him on days that it’s below freezing, but I digress.

So, rather than make our guide a Victorian toque, I made him one from World War II. The pattern was from the Canadian Red Cross Knitting Instructions for War Work, Number 1 For the Services, and this pamphlet was published in November, 1940. It is the Toque Useful for a Sleeping Cap (RAV LINK).

All in all, it’s a basic toque. That said, I really have to question the instructions. You cast on your stitches, work ribbing for 3.5 inches, purl a row, then rib another inch. Then, you turn the work inside out and knit plain for 3 inches before the crown decreases.

Why do you turn it inside out? No idea. It never says to turn it back right-side out. The row of purling creates a brim turn, a nice place for the brim to fold at, but, if it’s meant to be work with the knit stitches out, why purl the row then turn inside out? Why not knit that row, and then knit the main part of the head? Like said, I have questions.

I followed the pattern as written, turning inside out and all. I used Berroco Ultra Wool for the project, a nice, superwash, worsted weight yarn. I got the recommended gauge of 5sts/inch with this yarn while using the recommended ‘No 8 Knitting Needles,’ which I took to mean 4mm (or US6).

It was also a fast knit. I needed to move up the timeline for when the hat was ready, and I was able to dedicate about two evenings to getting it finished.

I’m not going to leave the pattern directly here as I’m sure the status of copyright for the pattern, but I will leave a link for the pamphlet which I accessed via Ravelry. You can find this instruction booklet here: https://meakknits.files.wordpress.com/2015/10/canadian-red-cross-knitting-november-1940.pdf