December 8, 2017

F.O. Deep Woods Toque by Kiyomi Burgin

Pattern:  Deep Woods Toque
Designer: Kiyomi Burgin

Yarn: Sweet Fiber Yarns Super Sweet Sock:  80% merino 20% nylon
Colourway: Vintage Lace

Tanis Fiber Arts Purple Label Cashmere Sock:  70% Merino 20% Nylon and 10% Cashmere
Colourway: Maize

Tanis Fiber Arts Purple Label Cashmere Sock

Needles:   2.75mm and 3.25mm

Ravelry: my notes

Added Notes:  
1. This was a fun pattern to knit.  Once I got through the 5-1/4 inch of fingering weight ribbing the tree pattern knit up quickly.  I like the way the brim folds up offering that extra warmth on your ears.
2. Tanis Fiber Arts and I go way back.  She was the first indie dyer I bought yarn from in 2011 when I got back into knitting. Since that time I have knit 38 projects with her yarn!  When I saw the colourway Tanis dyed for Knit City this year I knew I wanted to do something special with it.  I decided to knit Deep Woods Toque which had been in my queue for some time.  I love how good this colourway looks when paired with Antique Lace.  The bonus is I still have enough of the Tanis Fiber Arts skein left to knit another small project.

3.  The only modification I made was to knit the first row in the same colour as the trees and not in a contrasting colour as the pattern suggests.

I hope you are enjoying your knitting and are not too frantic during this holiday season.  Happy weekend!
p.s. Thank you to my daughter for modelling this hat.  I had her in mind when I knit it.

December 2, 2017

F.O. Waterbirch by Sylvia McFadden

Are you looking for a lovely pattern to quickly knit for someone special this holiday season?  I have a suggestion for you...Waterbirch by Canadian designer Sylvia McFadden.  The pattern was published earlier this year in a book entitled A Stillness of Trees, and includes three gorgeous, bulky weight shawls.  It is available in paperback and as a download.  

The first pattern I chose to knit from this book was Waterbirch and I have to say that I am extremely pleased with how it turned out.
Pattern:  Waterbirch
Designer: Sylvia McFadden

Yarn: Fyberspates Scrumptious Chunky Solid (55% Merino 45% Silk) Chunky weight 4 skeins

Fyberspates Scrumptious Chunky
Colourway:  Lavender (a lovely combination of lilac and blue)
Needles:   8.0 mm

Ravelry: notes from my project page

Added Notes:
1.  This is the kind of pattern that would work well with any bulky/chunky weight yarn.  The pattern only calls for 265-274m (290-300 yards) of yarn.
2.  The gauge on Fyberspates Scrumptious Chunky Solid was smaller than the yarn used in the pattern.  As a result I ended up using 8mm needles instead of the suggested 10mm.  The great thing about Waterbirch is you can keep repeating the pattern to make the shawl as big or as small as you like, therefore, utilizing every bit of yarn you have.  I ended up knitting four repeats of the pattern using up all of my four skeins (total of 488m).  With blocking my shawl grew quite a bit making it a great size to wrap around your shoulders.  I loved the combination of silk and merino as the silk in the yarn gives the shawl a bit of a sheen which is hard to capture in a photo.

2.  Blocking:  I love how a good soak opens up a lace pattern.  You can see below the difference between the two photos.

Preblocking Size:  76 x 30"

Post blocking 78" x 38"
I enjoyed every minute of knitting this shawl.  It was done before I knew it.  I am a huge fan of Sylvia McFadden and have knit two of her patterns which I absolutely love (Lanterns and The Elder Tree Shawl).  I will be definitely knitting more in the future.

Have a great week everyone!  Happy knitting!

November 24, 2017

Woolercoaster's Wonderful World of Wool: November 18-November 24

This is such a busy time of year for many people, but it is important to take time for yourself to rejuvenate.  When you have a minute here are some knitting related news items that might interest you:

Yarn Canada is holding a contest to gift yarn to individuals and groups who knit or crochet for good causes.  They’re giving away $2000 worth of yarn and are hoping to get as many applicants as possible, to ensure the prize will have the maximum impact.  Here's the prizes they will be giving away:
1 x $500 of yarn to a Canadian group who knits or crochets for a good cause
1 x $500 of yarn to an American group who knits or crochets for a good cause
10 x $100 of yarn to Canadian or American individuals or groups who knit or crochet for a good cause
 All the information can be located here.

Free Pattern
This is a great time of year to check the Ravelry pattern page daily as many designers will offer free patterns for a short time.  Here are a few that look like fun:

Getting Warmer is a cowl knit from the bottom up in bulky weight Woolfolk Luft yarn.  The pattern is by Espace Tricot and would make a great holiday gift.

Sheepish Little Hat Light  a sweet fingering weight hat by Melissa Kemmerer available in sizes baby to adult.

Diagonal Striped Garter Stitch Loop 
knit in a chunky weight yarn by Churchmouse Yarns & Teas.

New Publications/Patterns

Brooklyn Tweed Holiday Lookbook has been published just in time for the holiday season.

The amazing designer Kate Davies has provided a sign up for the West Highland Way Club which is a club and design collection.  The fun starts in January when club members will receive three months of weekly patterns.  At the conclusion the newly published 120 page book is mailed with all the patterns included.

Deep Woods Toque is a rereleased pattern by Kiyomi Burgin using Madelinetosh Light. I have wanted to make this hat since it was first published in Knitscene 2015 and I am finally knitting my own version.  I have combined the beautiful Tanis Fiber Arts Purple Label in the colourway Maize with Sweet Fiber Yarns Super Sweet Sock in Merino in Vintage Lace.  I am loving these two colourways together, but there are so many other possibilities.  Read more about my version here.
Deep Woods Toque by Kiyomi Burgin

The annual Indie Designer Gift-a-long began on November 21st and runs until December 3.  To help knitters out 311 indie designers are offering their patterns at a discount until November 28th.  Very Shannon and Jane Richmond are two of the designers involved, but this is also a great time to check out newer designers, and to knit with a group of people focused on holiday knitting.  See Very Shannon's 25% off discount code.  Offer is only good to November 28th.  Don't delay.

I am always on the lookout for new YouTubers or podcasters who are entertaining to listen to while I knit. Knit Collage is a new to me podcast.  Check out the latest episode here.

I hope you found this round up helpful and that you make time for some peaceful and relaxing crafty time over the next few weeks.  Happy knitting!

November 19, 2017

F.O. Camira by Carol Feller

I can't tell you how much I enjoy knitting a sweater or cardigan which is constructed in an unique way.  For example patterns such as Hitofude by Hiroko Fukatsu, Japan Sleeves by Joji Locatelli, and Capall Dubh by Carol Feller are examples of beautiful patterns with interesting constructions that I have knit.

Once I saw Carol Feller's gorgeous cardigan for this year's KAL (knitalong) I joined right away. I knew I was in for an entertaining knit.  I was not disappointed.  The directions were broken up into four clues and were very clear.  Additional help, if needed, was available in the discussion boards and that made the project so easy and fun to follow.  Here are the details:

Pattern:  Camira

Camira front view

Camira back view
Designer: Carol Feller
Sweet Fiber Yarns Merino Twisted Worsted

YarnSweet Fiber Yarns Merino Twist Worsted (100% Merino 183m)
5.5 skeins

Colourway:  OOAK 

I have been a long time fan of Sweet Fiber Yarns and was lucky enough to snatch up six skeins of this yarn at the Knit City yarn festival at the end of September. (I used the word snatch as it was an extremely busy booth and these were the only skeins of this particular colourway).  It is very hard to capture the correct colour of this yarn, but the swatch below gives you an idea of the gorgeous mix between purple and  blue. 

Needles:   4.5mm & 4mm

Ravelry:  Camira

Added Notes:
1.  The construction of this cardigan was unique and very entertaining. The directions were broken down into four clues. The first step was to knit the center column of the back. 

Clue 1
Next the sleeves were constructed coming out from the center column. The bonus of this step was having the sleeves done so early in the pattern.

Clue 2
Then stitches were picked up around the front and the back and the rest of the body was completed for Clue Three.  For the final clue the collar and button band were knitted.

 2.  I did not want my cardigan to have too much positive ease and kept that in mind when choosing the size.  Prior to blocking the sleeves were a bit snug and the sweater length was not quite as long as I wanted.  But as with anything knit with superwash yarn, the cardigan grew with blocking, and I am very happy with the resulting fit.

3.  I tried to take some photos of myself to show you the fit.  My son usually helps me out when I need a photo taken of myself but he was not available to help.  Luckily I finally bought myself a tripod and I braved the cold weather to try and get a decent shot of myself. The following was the best one out of the bunch.  All the ones with my face in it consisted of me with either a weird expression on my face or the photo was not in focus.  I definitely need to practice! 

I would highly recommend this pattern as it was a very fun knit, but not difficult at all.  If you are nervous about knitting this cardigan, there are lots of photos and support given in the Discussion Boards, that should answer any questions you may have. Enjoy!

November 10, 2017

F.O. Ghostwood Mittens by Kiyomi Burgin

Pattern:  Ghostwood Mittens

Designer: Kiyomi Burgin

Rowan Kidsilk Haze:  70% Mohair 30% Silk 
Colourway:  665 Hibiscus

Madelinetosh Tosh Merino:  100% Merino
Colourway:  La Vie En Rose

By combining a worsted weight yarn with a mohair/silk blend I ended up with a fluffy, cozy pair of mittens.  I am so happy with them.

Rowan Kidsilk Haze
Madelinetosh Tosh Merino

Needles:   3.25mm and 3.5mm
By using this smaller needle size the fabric produced is quite dense, which is perfect for keeping out the wind, and keeping your hands nice and warm.

Size:  2

Ravelry: My notes
Added Notes:  This is a lovely quick pattern to knit.  The cable design adds a nice touch of visual interest and is perfect for those new to cabling.

I love learning about designers that are new to me.  It wasn't until I was writing this blog post that I realized that a bunch of designs I have admired over the years  were designed by the same person...Kiyomi Bergin, a fellow Canadian.  When I look at her collection I am amazed by her talent. Here are a few of my favourites:  Kiyomi designed the Deep Woods Toque that was originally published in Knitscene Winter 2015 magazine and has been in my queue since then.  The designer has recently re-released it.  Other favourites published in Pom Pom Quarterly are Windlass, Carlu Pullover, Boum, and Fragmentation.  I also really like Fredericton, which is a gorgeous his and hers shawl collared cardigan.
Kiyomi has a twin sister named Sachiko Bergin, who is also a knitwear designer, with a gorgeous collection of designs as well.  Check out their website Needle Leaf Designs for further information.

Time to go cast on the Deep Woods Toque!

October 29, 2017

Woolercoaster's Wonderful World of Wool: October 22-28

As usual it's been a busy time in the knitting world.  Check out a few things that caught my interest below:

Hot Patterns
1.  A very pretty triangular shawl named Wickerwork by Lori Versaci has been published featuring eyelets and a lace pattern.  I love the version knit in Woolfolk Tynd.

2.  If you are a fan of Tin Can Knits you probably are aware of their newest publication called Strange Brew.  This book contains a guideline on how to knit and design your own fair isle sweater.  One of the challenges when knitting in fair isle is to pick effective colours.  To help knitters understand colour the Tin Can knits blog published a series of articles on this topic.  Check them out here:  Monochrome Monday, Tonal Tuesday, Wacky Wednesday, Tricolour Thursday, and Fair Isle Friday

3.  Are you in the holiday mode yet?  Maybe Julgran, a Christmas sweater by Andi Satterlund will inspire you to get in the mood.

4.  Caitlin Hunter's Birkin sweater publihsed in Laine Magazine Volume 2 is gaining popularity. Mason Dixon wrote an interesting article about this beautiful sweater entitled The It Sweater:  Birkin.  Definitely worth a read.  I love this version knit in only two colours by dreamsbythesea (Clare) on Ravelry.

5. If you are looking for a gorgeous three coloured wrap then have a look at Electra by Libby Jonson (Truly Myrtle).  This fingering weight pattern uses a variety of stitches including honeycomb and lace. It looks like a fun knit.

Free Patterns
1.  Purl Soho is a great resource for free patterns.  Their newest publication is called the Mini Herringbone Scarf.  The pattern includes a video tutorial on how to do the herringbone stitch.  
©Purl Soho

2. How about a cozy, oversized bulky sweater?  Rug, a pattern by the Japanese Designer named Junko Okamoto, looks like the perfect thing to wear during those cold weather months.

Knit Alongs

1.  Karen Templer of Fringe Association is hosting a new knitalong, starting January, based on the log cabin technique which is a method of knitting.  She is encouraging knitters to join her and make anything they dream up using this technique.  Mason Dixon is joining along and wrote about the KAL here.  Karen's knitalongs are thoughtfully done and educational.  She invites other designers/knitters to join her knitalong and explain their thought process.  Leading up to the start of the KAL she will provide lots of information to help you select your log cabin project.  For example, have a look at this article called New Favorites:  Striped cabin based on a gorgeous blanket that could be modified to a log cabin style.  

2.  Pom Pom Quarterly is hosting a year long KAL for the new publication Knitting Outside the Box by Bristol Ivy.  Check out a great YouTube interview with Bristol discussing the book here.  The knit along starts November 30th.  Prizes include yarn from Julie Asselin, Sweet Fiber Yarns and Baa Ram Ewe.

YouTube Videos
There are so many videos about Rhinebeck for those of us who could not attend.
Check out these two:  Grocery Girls and Kristyglassknits interviewing the Grocery Girls and the Espace Tricot ladies.   Looks like they had fun!

Have a happy knitting week and please add anything that caught your interest below in the comments section.

October 22, 2017

Knit City 2017 Vancouver

I finally found time to look at my photos from my visit to Vancouver and Knit City a few weeks ago.  Sorry for the delay!  I had an incredible time and I highly recommend going next year if you have the chance.  If you asked me to describe Knit City with just one word I would choose fun.  Everything about this well run event was terrific. The booths in the venue were roomy and never felt overcrowded. The attendees of the yarn show were enthusiastic and everyone seemed to be having a great time.  The designers and dyers were very friendly, and the quality of Canadian talent was evident.  I heard Stephen West speak and he was so funny, and at the same time inspiring.  Although I did not take a class, there were a variety of talented instructors and classes scheduled, which were well received.

Here are just a few photos of the event to give you an idea of what was available.  I will let the photos speak for themselves.  I have included links to each of these companies.

Yarn Ink

Sweet Fiber Yarns

Ancient Arts Yarn

Gauge Dyeworks
Colourway:  All Together Now

Fibre Art Studio

Jane Richmond and Shannon Cook
West Coast Cardigan by Jane Richmond

Beacon Hill Cardigan by Jane Richmond
Shannon Cook's shawls on display

Tin Can Knits
Clayoquot cardigan
Triptych mittens and Prism Hat

Sylvia McFadden
Gentle Armour by Sylvia McFadden

Shawls by Sylvia McFadden

Lanterns knit in fingering
see my version of Lanterns knit in Sweet Fiber DK cashmere

Of course I did not go away empty handed!  I have been posting some of my purchases on my Instagram feed.  If you want to have a look check it out here.  Stephen West said in his talk on the Friday night that instead of the word "stash" he prefers to think of it as, "We are curators of collections." That works for me.  And after that weekend my collection is growing.   : )