August 16, 2016

On the Needles: Blue Brick Yarn, Camellia Fiber Company, & Sweet Fiber Yarns

After getting Madewell off my needles I was very happy to pick a few smaller projects to work on over the next few weeks.  I focused on three yarns I was excited to get on the needles, and after perusing Ravelry in search of that perfect pattern match, I decided on the following:

The first skein that was calling my name was Blue Brick Killarney Sock , an ombré yarn in the colourway Labradorite, an 80% merino and 20% nylon blend.

Blue Brick Killarney Sock












After seeing Julie Crawford's version of Starshower  I decided that I had to get this pattern out of my queue and onto my needles. This lacey cowl, designed by Hilary Smith Callis, is knit back and forth until it is long enough to be joined in the round.  Here's my progress so far.

Starshower by Alicia Plummer
Another skein I have  been excited to cast on is Camellia Fiber Company CFC Flax DK  in Rose Quartz that I have previously showed you.  I only have one skein of this yarn and I really wanted to pick a pattern to showcase this unique blend of fibers (50% alpaca, 25% flax, 25% silk).  I wish you could feel how soft this yarn is.  I have never knit with anything like it before.  After looking at many patterns I decided on Antiquity by Alicia Plummer, a beautiful set of mitts. I love the eyelets and I am so happy with how it's turning out.

Camellia Fiber Flax DK in Rose Quartz
And finally, the third pattern I started is a shawl that I have seen in person, when I was in Vancouver last month.  As mentioned previously in this blog I was quite taken by the display of softsweater's shawls that I saw on display at the yarn store 88 Stitches.  I really think the photos on Ravelry don't do them justice.  A fingering weight shawl called Lanterns was one I knew I definitely had to knit. However, instead of fingering yarn I decided to go with a DK yarn I had in stash called Sweet Fiber Yarns Cashmere DK in Spiced Pumpkin.  I have 800 m of this gorgeous yarn, and I feel that it is going to create a luxurious shawl, that will show off the beautiful stitches in this pattern very well.

Sweet Fiber Yarns Cashmere DK in Spiced Pumpkin




Lanterns

So there you have it, my friends.  That is my knitting plan for the immediate future.  What's on your needles?










August 9, 2016

F.O. Madewell by Joji Locatelli


Pattern:  Madewell, a cardigan designed by Joji Locatelli
Like all of Joji Locatelli's patterns this one was well written, and easy to follow.

Colour: One of a Kind (OOAK) Painted Jeans just a lovely combination of black, with tuquoise, green, purple, brown

YarnTanis Fiber Arts Blue Label  80% superwash merino 20% nylon, 3.5 skeins used

Needles: 3.5mm and 3.0mm for ribbing
















Added Notes: Every now and again Tanis has an Etsy sale where she sells some unique colourways (OOAK) and Painted Jeans was one I instantly knew I had to buy.  The first pattern I knit with it was Olivia by Amy Miller in the luxurious Orange Label.

Olivia by Amy Miller
Then on the Boxing Day Sale I saw the colourway available again in Blue Label and snatched it up. 


Painted Jeans Blue Label Fingering
When I saw the Madewell pattern, I knew it would look great in this colourway. A fingering weight cardigan is a serious time commitment, but totally worth making. The resulting cardigan is a perfect weight, and I know it will be worn over and over again.  I chose to alternate three skeins throughout the body, two skeins in the arms, and the ribbing used just one skein.  I was very concerned that I would run out of yarn, but it all ended up perfectly with yarn to spare. The only modifications I made were to make my sleeves about an inch shorter, as I knew the yarn would grow with blocking, and I also omitted the elbow patches.



I have been a long time fan of Tanis Fiber Arts yarn.  In fact, when I got back into knitting five years ago Tanis Fiber Arts was the first hand dyed yarn that I was obsessed with. Many of my first projects recorded on Ravelry, as well as many others through the years, are knit with TFA yarn (29 of them in fact!!).  If you have never tried this yarn before I highly recommend it.  It comes in some gorgeous colourways and a variety of bases, and it is always high quality.  I am especially interested in trying out Tanis' newest base called TFA PureWash merino, a washable yarn that is not coated in chemicals.  You can read all about it here.

One of the first patterns I crocheted with TFA yarn was my Granny Square Scarf in 2011 which still is worn today.


Granny Square Scarf using Tanis Fiber Arts Green Label



I am in the midst of picking out my next knitting project.  I think I will try a couple smaller projects that use thicker yarn.  However, I have to admit I am always drawn to fingering weight projects.  I definitely see another fingering weight sweater in my near future.

Happy crafting everyone!  Have a good week.

August 1, 2016

July Favourites

July flew by so quickly and here we are at the beginning of August.  I thought it would be fun to look back and pick out some of my favourites from the month:

Favourite Blog Post:   Karen Templer, author of the Fringe Association Blog is one of my favourite bloggers. If you haven't read her blog before I highly recommend it.  Karen is hosting a Top down Knitalong running from August 15- September 30. She is challenging knitters to knit a sweater without using a pattern.  Of course there will be lots of support from fellow knitters, tutorials, etc.  For example here is one of the blog entries where she guides KAL members.  Although I would love to join in, I know that I unfortunately do not have the time to commit to it.  However, I will enjoy reading up on all the participants' progress.  How fun!

Favourite Yarn Store Visit:  If you are a regular reader of my blog you know what I am going to write:  Tolt Yarn & Wool.  I think about this store often as it was such a lovely place to visit. The store had such a great variety of yarn, many of which I had never seen in person.  It was extremely well stocked and everything was so thoughtfully displayed.  Can you imagine having Tolt Yarn & Wool as your local yarn store?





Favourite Yarn:  To be honest there is too many to pick from!  However, Andrea Hungerer of Blueberry Hill Crafting, another favourite blogger of mine, gifted me a skein of Camellia Fiber Co. CFC Flax DK which was incredibly kind!  This yarn is a unique blend of 50% alpaca , 25% linen and 25% silk.  One skein is 270 yards (247m) so I am trying to decide which pattern I could use to help show off its beauty.  I love this kind of challenge : )


Camellia Fiber Co.

Favourite Unfinished Object
I started Joji Locatelli's Madewell cardigan at the beginning of July.  It was the perfect travel knitting project as it is a very basic cardigan. The yarn I chose to use is my long coveted Tanis Fiber Arts Blue Label fingering yarn in the colourway Painted Jeans.  This colourway is an incredible mix of colours, from browns, greys, purples, blues...very challenging for me to photograph correctly. I think this pattern is a good match for variegated yarn as it's simplicity really lets the yarn colour be the focus. However, I forgot how long a fingering weight cardigan takes to knit!   I am almost finished the second sleeve and I hope to finish the whole cardigan this week and hopefully can show you it soon.




Favourite Finished Object
My favourite F.O. would have to be my Elder Tree Shawl by softsweater in the yarn by Clara Parkes called Clara Yarn CVM/Romeldale 2.0.  This was the first pattern I knit by softsweater (a fellow Canadian) and I thought the pattern was well written.   After knitting with this yarn I am really interested in trying more natural yarns.


The Elder Tree Shawl by softsweater



Patterns that I want to knit
There are so many gorgeous patterns out there that I want to knit immediately. I find it really difficult to narrow it down.  But after visiting 88 Stitches and seeing softsweater's collection of shawls I know that Lanterns is definitely high in my queue.  I think this pattern suits a  natural yarn and I want to make sure I pick the perfect one.


Lanterns by softsweater
But in the meantime, after knitting a fingering weight sweater for the last few weeks, I am in the mood to knit something with somewhat thicker yarn. Digging deep in my stash I found these beauties.  I am trying to figure out a perfect pattern that uses several colourways.  Although it is great that there are so many patterns to choose from on Ravelry sometimes it is overwhelming, isn't it?
Shalimar Yarns, Madelinetosh, Sweet Fiber Yarns, & Cephalopod Yarns

Favourite Video Blog:  Have you checked out Michele Wang's podcast?  As you all know she is a wonderful designer, creating patterns for Brooklyn Tweed, Woolfolk, and Manos del Uruguay to name a few.  Her blog is informative and offers good insight into the knitting world.

Favourite Yarn Related Instagram Photo:
Tolt Yarn and Wool
This is a display of Elemental Affects Shelter Fingering that I took at Tolt Yarn & Wool. What a perfect way to display the yarn.  Sigh.

Favourite Non-Yarn Related Instagram Post

I know, I know...who posts a picture of carrots?  Well I do!  I was so impressed with the way the fruit and vegetable stands at the Granville Market displayed their food.  It is one of my favourite places to visit in Vancouver.  I also find that now that I post on Instagram I am being more observant about what would make an interesting photo...and carrots won that day.  


Granville Market, Vancouver

That about sums it up for my top picks.  Happy August everyone!!

July 27, 2016

Churchmouse Yarns and Teas

Tolt Yarn and Wool was not the only knitting store I visited on my trip to the west coast.  My husband and I took the 35 minute ferry from Seattle to Bainbridge Island and I had the pleasure of visiting Churchmouse Yarn and Teas, another knitting store on my bucket list.




This store has a wonderful variety of yarn such as Brooklyn Tweed, Shibui, Koigu and Rowan.

Brooklyn Tweed


Koigu


Brooklyn Tweed Plains
Embroidery thread 
What really impressed me was the number of knitted samples they had in the store.  It's one thing to see and touch a skein of yarn, another to see that skein knit up, to see if it is what you imagined.  Here are some of the samples I saw:



Beret (Brooklyn Tweed Loft + Rowan Kidsilk Haze)


So many sweaters!


Box Stitch Baby Blanket


Bias Before and After Scarf (Shibui Rain)
Rowan Kidsilk Haze:
 Bright orange scarf is Birch and the purple one is the Colorplay Mohair Scarf


Spectrum:  Shibui Rain plus Silk Cloud
The  trip was definitely worth it.  Churchmouse Yarn and Teas had a great variety of beautiful yarn, tea, patterns and notions. There were many other interesting shops and restaurants to explore on the island. We also enjoyed a great view of Seattle from the ferry too.

While in Seattle we also had the opportunity to visit the Chihuly Garden and Glass Exhibition.  Pieces by this artist were displayed both inside and outside in a garden.  I must have taken a hundred pictures.  Here are a few of my favourites.














This exhibit was my favourite thing to do in Seattle.  If you ever have the opportunity to visit Seattle I would encourage you to check the Chihuly Garden and Glass Exhibit out.  My pictures do not do the pieces justice.

Pike Place Market:  another fun place to check out

I hope you are having some great summer adventures too!