April 15, 2017

F.O. Goldfinch and Some Works in Progress

Until recently I was probably the only knitter who hadn't knit one of Andrea Mowry's patterns. Happily I can say that I just finished a pattern of hers called the Goldfinch Shawl.  This well written pattern was so much fun to knit. The shawl was knit in three colours of sport weight yarn, and I enjoyed every second of it.  I definitely see another Andrea Mowry pattern in my future.  Do you have any favourites?

Pattern:  Goldfinch
Designer:  Andrea Mowry
Yarn O-Wool O-Wash Sport (100% certified organic merino)
Colourway: Coral Reef, Porcupine, Wood Dove
O-Wool O-Wash Sport yarn
Needles: 4.0 m
Ravelry: my notes
Notes:  This was my first time working with O-Wool and I have to say that I was impressed.  I saw this yarn for the first time at Rhinebeck last year and loved it immediately. This yarn is so squishy, it comes in some gorgeous colours, and after being blocked is super soft.  A sweater knit in this yarn would be heavenly.  
I am one of those knitters who absolutely loves blocking my F.Os.  Here is the before and after of my Goldfinch Shawl.  Can you see how the lace just opened up after blocking?  It's like magic.  The shawl grew a bit and is now the perfect size, about 70 inches across.
Before blocking

After blocking

Now that I am done the shawl I am focusing on completing two spring cardigans.  The first one is the Goode Sweater by Julie Hoover knit in Purl Soho's Linen Quill, in the Oatmeal Grey colourway.  This yarn has such an interesting combination of fibers... 50% wool, 35% alpaca and 15%  linen/flax. I am so excited to see how this knits up and blocks.

Linen Quill by Purl Soho

The second cardigan I started is from Hannah Fettig's new book called Texture.  There are so many delicious sweaters in this book.  I predict that I will be knitting more than one pattern from this collection.  I chose the Eventide Cardi, a simple cardigan with a seed stitch stripe.  I thought that this subtle pattern would be the perfect choice for yarn I have had in my stash for some time.  The yarn I chose was String Theory's Caper Sock.  This yarn line was one of the first yarns I bought years ago when I got back to knitting.  The colourways are so pretty and it was hard to choose just one colour.  The colour I picked was Kiwi, the most gorgeous tonal green.  Knitting with it brings me joy.  This yarn is 80% merino, 10% cashmere and 10% nylon, a supersoft combination.

So I am going to try to focus on these two fingering weight cardigans for the next while and not get distracted by the many beautiful patterns that get published each week on Ravelry.  Wish me luck!  Happy knitting everyone!  Thanks for stopping by.

March 26, 2017

FIbres West 2017

What a happy surprise for me to find out that my trip recently to Vancouver coincided with the Fibres West Yarn show.  I have a supportive yarn husband who didn't mind making a slight detour in our plans to check this festival out. This annual fibre show held in Surrey turned out to be a forty minute subway ride, followed by a fifteen minute taxi drive from downtown Vancouver.  It is a two day event that focuses on fiber and yarn and is held at the Cloverdale Rodeo and Exhibition Grounds.

There was a good combination of fibre, yarn and spinning supplies and equipment from different artisans.  Here are just a few of my pictures to give you an idea of what was available.
Twisted Fae Fibreworks
West Coast Colour

Chaotic Fibres

Fleece Artist Halo Bundles from Wool Is Not Enough

Big Blue Moma baskets a fair trade company working with artisans in Ghana

Shibui Yarn from Valley Yarn

Sweet Georgia display

Sweet Georgia Silk Mist

Penelope Fibre Arts

nan.c fibre art studio
I thought that this event was held in the perfect venue allowing vendors and shoppers plenty of space to shop.  I love going to yarn shows and I am glad I had the chance to go to this one.  If you have ever have the chance to visit this event I would highly recommend it.  Here are a couple of my purchases that I couldn't resist:

Handmaiden Halo bundle:  one skein of a mohair blend and another skein of fingering single ply yarn

Flock Fibre Studio:  Take a Hike Sock

And as for knitting, I finally got through second sock syndrome and finished my Hermiones's Everyday Socks.  
Designer:  Erica Lueder

Yarn:  Gale's Art Wonder Sock (75% bluefaced leicester 25% nylon)
Colourway:  Skittles

I love the result and only wish I had finished them much more quickly.  I am slowly trying to get some works in progress off the needles before I cast on any new sweaters.  Happy spring knitting everyone!

March 12, 2017

F.O. The Grocery Girl

Pattern:  The Girl from the Grocery Store
Voolenvine Wolke:  Faerie Hair
The Girl in the Grocery Store

Designer:  Joji Locatelli
Yarn Voolenvine Yarns Wolke (80% merino 10% nylon 10% cashmere)
Colourway: Faerie Hair

Yarn Julie Asselin Fino (75% merino 15% cashmere 10% silk)
Colourway:  Meet Me By the River

Julie Asselin Fino:  Meet Me By the River (on top) & Voolenvine Yarn Wolke (bottom)

Ravelry:  Link 

Added Notes:  
1.  Both these yarns are lovely and hard to photograph.  I don't think my photos are doing them justice.  I know very little about yarn dyeing but, I have knit enough with various hand dyed yarn, to realize that some really stand out from the rest.  Julie Asselin and Voolenvine Yarns are dyed to perfection and will knit up beautifully guaranteed.  I have other yarn by both these dyers and each skein is simply gorgeous. 

2.  This shawl is a simple pattern, perfect for beginners.  Although there is a bit of lace, it is easy to follow and the result is the perfect sized shawl.

Simple lace edging
3.  What better way to combine a couple skeins of yarn than in a pattern like this.  The possibilities are endless.

I am swatching away here trying to decide which sweater to knit next. Decisions decisions.  In the meantime I am trying to get some projects off the needles. What's next in your queue?

February 26, 2017

F.O. Shore Cardigan by Carrie Bostick Hoge

After completing Louise by designer Carrie Bostick Hoge I knew I would enjoy knitting her Shore Cardigan pattern just as much.

Pattern:  Shore Cardigan from the book Swoon Maine 
Designer:  Carrie Bostick Hoge
Yarn:  Quince & Co. Owl Worsted Weight 50% Alpaca 50% Wool
Colourway: Bubo  10 skeins
Needles:  4.5mm and 4.0mm

Added Notes:
1. This pattern was easy to follow. The back dips down lower than the front which is a nice added feature of the cardigan.  It would be a great beginner pattern as there is no seaming and it was knit top down so you can totally try it on as you go. 

2.  This is my first time knitting with Quince & Co. Owl yarn and I have to admit that I am impressed. It is one of those rustic yarns that will wear well with little pilling.  It is lightweight yet warm, and somewhat itchy given the alpaca content.  It doesn't bother me, but if you are at all sensitive to scratchy yarns, this is probably not the yarn for you. I bought this yarn on a trip last year to Washington D.C., when I visited Looped Yarn Works, where they had an amazing selection of Quince Yarn.  I love the tonal look of the Bubo colourway, and the price point of this yarn is very reasonable compared to other yarns.
Quince & Co. Owl Yarn:  50% Alpaca 50% Wool
Quince & Co. Owl Yarn:  50% Alpaca 50% Wool
3.  I am quickly becoming a fan of Carrie Bostick Hoge.  Carrie is one of those designers who creates classic patterns that become wardrobe staples.

That was the last winter sweater that I had on the needles.  I am now trying hard to clean up my other works in progress to make way for some new spring projects.  Stay tuned as I have lots of knitting plans and different coloured yarns that I want to share with you.

What pattern are you looking forward to knitting this spring?

February 12, 2017

Simple Woolfolk Hats

Sometime simple is better.  If you take a basic pattern and combine it with some luxurious yarn, such as Woolfolk, you can create something very special. Take for example the last two hats I knit.  I am so happy with how they turned out. They were an easy knit and  are wonderfully soft, warm and I can guarantee you, will get a tremendous amount of wear. 

For extra notes on these hats check out my Ravelry page.

Pattern:   On the C Train:  my Ravelry page
Designer:  Espace Tricot
Yarn:  Woolfolk Får 
100% ovis 21 Ultimate Merino
Colourway:  02
paired with 
Yarn:  Shibui Knits Silk Cloud
60% Mohair 40% Silk
Colourway:  Ash
Needles: 4.5 mm and 5 mm

Notes:  This is a free pattern by Espace Tricot, a yarn store I have on my bucket list to visit.  Thanks to Espace Tricot I am now hooked on knitting patterns combining mohair and merino yarn.  I tried this technique with a pair of mittens designed by Tin Can Knits and I was thrilled with the result.

Next I knit a hat for my husband:
Pattern:  Saku Hat:  my Ravelry project page
Designer:  Olga Buraya-Kefelian
Yarn:  Woolfolk Får 
100% ovis 21 Ultimate Merino
Colourway: 11
Needles: 4.5 mm 

Notes:  I knit this hat longer than written in the pattern so that my husband could fold the brim.  

And, then, since my husband loves his Saku Hat so much I started one more as a gift for my brother-in-law:

Woolkfolk Får:  Colourway 4

Pattern:  Saku Hat:  my Ravelry project page
Designer:  Olga Buraya-Kefelian
Yarn:  Woolfolk Får 
100% ovis 21 Ultimate Merino
Colourway: 04
Needles: 4.5 mm

I am such a big fan of Woolfolk Yarn.  If you haven't had the chance to try it I highly recommend it.  Trust me when I say you will love every minute of knitting with it, and your finished project will be so incredible you won't want to take it off. If only I could invest in a sweater's quantity.  I need to start buying lottery tickets! But for now these small projects bring me a lot of joy.

February 5, 2017

Knitting Bags

When I first started knitting all I needed was a skein of yarn and a set of knitting needles.  It was simple.  However, as my knitting expertise grew, so did my desire for other products.  From knitting needles to notions, to yarn, the options available for knitters are endless.

One accessory I don't mind investing in is a good knitting bag, and there are so many gorgeous ones to choose from.  I love the bags I have collected over the years, and I enjoy using each one.  Here are a few of my favourites:

1.  This Della Q bag is great for carrying socks or other small projects in.  The handles are the perfect size to put over your arm and knit as you go.  

Currently it's holding my Saku Hat by Olga Buraya-Kefelian that I am knitting in Woolfolk Far.

Saku Hat in Woolfolk Far

2.  Every knitter needs a waterproof bag (don't they?) and I bought this one (made by Decodelire) because I loved the size and the fun print. This came from the Needle Emporium and can hold a sweater quantity of yarn.  

3.  Then there is my collection of linen bags by a Canadian printmaker named Jenna Rose. They are well made, can be used for many purposes, and come in a variety of sizes.

Fits one skein of yarn
Fits 2-3 skeins of yarn

Fits 2-3 skeins
Fits 2-3 skeins

This is a big bag that can hold  around 15 skeins of yarn.  I store all my yarn for projects in my queue.

4.  Who doesn't love a Fringe Supply Bag?  My husband was sweet enough to give me one for Christmas from Purl Soho.  I just love how vibrant the colour is. It is so well made and contains lots of interior pockets that are so useful.

5.  Finally my latest purchase...a Hedgehog Fibres Invisible Project Bag available from Espace Tricot.  It's amazing how many skeins of yarn it can hold, and I will never forget what I put in it.  
This bag fits at least 7 skeins!

I am constantly impressed with the variety and quality of bags available.  Do you have any favourite sources or brands?