September 29, 2013

The Rhinebeck Sweater Book and Other Great Patterns

There are so many new patterns cropping up on Ravelry that I wish I didn't have to work and could just sit and knit all day!

Here is a list you should check out.

First up is Ysolda Teague's The Rhinebeck Sweater book and e-book.  If you go to her website you can look at all the patterns and preorder.  Pumpkin Ale is one of the patterns I am excited about.  This book contains patterns by many of the top knitting designers like Thea Colman, Gundrun Johnston, and Cecily Glowik MacDonald just to name a few.  The book and e-book will come out November 6th.

Another pattern that I quite like is called I Heart Cardigans by Tanis Lavallee (of Tanis Fiber Arts). This lovely worsted pattern has cables and looks like the perfect fall sweater.  Love it!

I am a big fan of Amy Herzog (who by the way has a cardigan pattern in The Rhinebeck Sweater book) and she has come out with a pattern called Dalriada in sport weight yarn.  It looks like a very flattering style of cardigan that will suit many different body shapes.

Gabbro by Carol Feller is another sweater pattern that looks lovely to me.  It is a fingering weight sweater with some pretty lace work.

And then there is CustomFit which is a new venture by Amy Herzog.  Basically you pick your yarn, knit a swatch, take your measurements and through Amy's program a sweater/cardigan will be designed for you to your exact measurements.  I am on waiting list to do that as they are unrolling the program slowly.  You can see what some test knitters have made using Amy's program here.

I find the knitting industry so exciting right now.  There is so many ideas, designs, yarn choices...the possibilities are endless.  It really would be a great industry to work in and I envy those that do.

Pull Me Over in progress
As for my knitting status I have stalled on my Pull Me Over sweater pattern. I decided I really wanted to do long sleeves and I ran out of wool.  A new skein of Madelinetosh 80/10/10 worsted is on its way to me so until then I am working on a fun little pattern called the Inspira Cowl using some Classic Elite Yarn Liberty Wool.  It's a fun pattern and is knitted with two different coloured multicoloured skeins so the yarn colour you are knitting with keeps changing.  Here are my details here.
Inspira Cowl

So happy knitting to all of you.  What patterns are you excited about?

September 22, 2013

My Fitbit Motivator

Although this is not an exercise blog I just had to share with you a little device that has surprisingly changed my exercise habits.  As knitters know it is very easy to get caught up in a knitting project which requires a lot of sitting time.  I knew I wanted to get more active and a friend of mine encouraged me to get a Fitbit.  

This is a user friendly pedometer.  It clips onto your clothing or slips easily into your pocket.  It measures many things, including number of steps taken each day, calories burned, number of active minutes and distance travelled.  It syncs easily to your computer and iphone.  It sends you messages to tell you that you are almost at your goal and you receive a weekly report about your progress in your email.  You can set any goal for number of steps although it starts you off at 10000.  There are also ways to track your weight, how much water you have consumed as well as other things.  It has really motivated me and made me become aware of how much I am actually moving.  The best thing is that I got my husband one as well and if either of us have not met our daily goal by the evening we end up going for an evening walk just to get the mileage in.  I got my Fitbit from Amazon.  It comes in a variety of colours.  Try it out!

September 17, 2013

On the Needles

I am currently working on a sweater called Pull Me Over.  After my last two failed attempts at other patterns this is turning into a delight to knit.  I got gauge right away, the pattern is easy to follow and I really like the way it is turning out.  I've even tried it on and it fits very well.
This is Madelinetosh 80/10/10 Worsted in Sand Dune.  This is the first time I've used this yarn and it won't be the last.

September 14, 2013

Knitter's Fair 2013

This weekend I went to the Knitter's Fair in Waterloo.  This is a one day yarn shopping bonanaza where various vendors bring their yarn to one location so that shoppers like me can spend way too much money and buy more yarn than they need.  I was so excited. Every year I go I bring a list of the kind of yarn I am looking for to keep me focused.  This year I wanted to find some sport weight yarn to make some of the fabulous cardigans I see cropping up on Ravelry.  Do I stick to my list?  You can guess the answer to that.
Well I did buy a sweater's worth of sport weight Madelinetosh Pashmina in baroque violet.
This is the first time I have ever bought Pashmina and I have to say it is incredibly soft and will make a stunning cardigan.

I also bought Madelinetosh DK in copper penny.  Although it is not sport weight it was such a beautiful fall colour I couldn't resist.
I also couldn't resist two skeins of String Theory Caper Sock in Skye and Avalon.  If you have not yet tried this yarn I highly recommend it.  Soft, beautifully is a real treat to work with.

My last purchase were three skeins of Classic Elite Yarns Liberty Wool to make an Inspira Cowl.  It is a free pattern on Ravelry and I thought it would be fun to knit with such colourful yarn.

I was really missing the Tanis Fiber Arts booth as they did not come to this show.  It is one of my favourite Canadian yarn lines but Tanis had a baby in the spring and chose not to come this time. Hopefully she will come back next year.  Next time I will show you what I have been having fun knitting.

September 2, 2013

Knitting Disasters

I named this blog "Woolercoaster" because as many knitters know knitting is full of ups and downs. Well, my friends, I am in a bit of a knitting slump.  Two projects I have recently been working on are ready to be frogged although I have not had the heart to do it.  So they are sitting sadly in a bag waiting to be ripped out.

Disaster #1  I bought this yarn (Rowan Creative Focus Worsted) on a March Break trip to London and in my mind I was thinking I would knit some kind of vest with it.  Instead of listening to my gut I picked a lovely knitted sweater pattern by Glenna C. called Dundurn. After knitting a swatch I was all set to go.  I decided to knit both of the sleeves at the same time.  As I was knitting the sleeves a little voice in my head told me that this was going to be a warmer sweater than I first anticipated and/or desired and I should go back to my vest idea.  However, I ignored that voice and kept on knitting until I was about 3/4 done the sleeves.  By this point I finally listened to that voice and put down the needles.

Disaster #2  My next project I decided to do was the Grace Cardigan by Jane Richmond in a lovely fingering yarn called Caper Sock by String Theory.  After reading other knitter's comments on Ravelry I was warned that the lace section at the beginning of the cardigan was challenging for some.  Well it was challenging for me.  Without going into all the details I will just say that after several attempts I could not get the lace to go perfectly.  I usually do not give up on a pattern but I have spent way too many hours accomplishing basically nothing.  It's time to switch to another project.

Here is one project I did finish between Disaster #1 and Disaster #2.  It is the Chevron Hat by Kate Gagnon Osborn found in the knit.wear Spring 2013 magazine.  It was a very quick knit and I was very pleased with how it turned out.  I used a combination of Madelinetosh Chunky in Fathom and Fyberspates Chunky Scrumptious Solid.  You should try it.

Now I have to pick another pattern to work on. What do you do when a pattern is not working out?