June 26, 2016

The Elder Tree Shawl & Cinecittà

Every now and then I get a skein of yarn that feels more special than the rest. Then, I challenge myself to pick the perfect pattern to showcase that yarn.  The skein I am referring to today is a skein of yarn produced by the one and only Clara Parkes. (Remember the first skein I ever knit of hers?)  It is called CVM/Romeldale 2.0, a two-ply fingering weight yarn in the colourway Aborio.  It hardly weighs anything, but it will be quite warm because it's so wooly.  I only have one skein of this lovely yarn measuring 370m.  

Clara Yarn:  CVM/Romeldale 2.0

After much searching the pattern I ended up finally choosing was The Elder Tree Shawl by Sylvia Bo Bilvia (also known as softsweater), a Canadian from Vancouver.  This designer is quite hot right now on Ravelry.  She is the designer behind such beautiful patterns as Waiting for Rain, The Lonely Tree Shawl and her newest pattern The Rain Outside, just to name a few.  The Elder Tree Shawl is a simple lace pattern, which is easy to follow and I am very happy with the result so far.  Hopefully, with blocking one skein will be enough to make a small sized shawl.  Oh, how I wish I bought two skeins because this pattern is written so that you can keep knitting for as long as you have yarn.  It would have been great to knit this to be a bigger shawl.  This yarn is so different than anything I have ever had the opportunity to knit with.  It is a woolen spun yarn and according to Clara Parkes CVM is the most critically rare sheep breed in the United States.  Here is what I have knit so far:

The Elder Tree Shawl by Sylvia Bo Bilvia
If you are interested in being alerted whenever Clara Parkes comes out with a new yarn you can sign up for  her newsletter.  But you have to be fast...it sells out very quickly.

As for finished objects I participated in the Very Shannon Tops, Tanks and Tees Knit a Long  through April and May and ended up knitting a La Maison Rililie pattern called Cinecittà.  It is knit top down, and right from the start you work the lace pattern that will be on the sleeve.  Although the pattern is well written my mind was not as focused as I should have been when starting this pattern and I ended up ripping out the beginning a few times.  Once I was focused though, I knit it in eleven days which I think is a record for me. 

 I knit the first sleeve as directed in the pattern which in place of the ribbing on the sleeves had a lovely cable sweater.  I knit the first sleeve as directed, but once trying it on decided to rip out the cables and reknit it as plain ribbing.  I was much happier with the result. 

First attempt

Second Attempt with ribbing

 The yarn I used was the luxurious Madelinetosh Pashmina in the Baroque Violet colourway.  It was deep in my stash and it feels very good to finally use it.

Madelinetosh Pashmina:  Baroque Violet

Now I am looking forward to picking a few patterns to knit this summer.  I am on vacation in a week and I have so many patterns in my queue that I want to knit next.  I am so excited...stay tuned to my Instagram account as I will try and post some of my trip photos and knitting progress.  Happy summer everyone!  I hope you are all taking some time for yourself.

June 19, 2016

Spectrum: Joji Locatelli

I am funny about spending money.  I don't hesitate to buy a skein of yarn that catches my eye, but I have had the same raincoat for over 20 years. I never liked wearing it.  It is a well built raincoat, timeless in its design and did an excellent job of keeping the rain off.  But the colour was not one I enjoyed wearing. Everytime I put it on, I groaned inwardly. But the practical side of me just couldn't see spending money on a new one.  

Well I am glad to say I finally bought myself a new raincoat that I love.  Once I bought it I knew, as any knitter would, that I just had to knit an accessory to go with it.  I chose Joji Locatelli's Spectrum, a two coloured garter stitch scarf that was perfect for my raincoat.  It is knit in Indigodragonfly Merino Nylon Sock in a beautiful navy called Tardis, combined with Malabrigo Yarn Sock in Light of Love I happily knit away and tah-dah here is the finished product:

In progress

Once I got the shawl off my needles I was worried about the size of it.  The pattern states that the finished shawl should by 72 x 23".  I expected mine to be smaller, as I had chosen to go down a needle size.   I used 3.75mm instead of the 4mm suggested.  I was worried when prior to blocking it only measured 44 x 17"...but thankfully it grew to 60 x 20".   I didn't expect it to grow quite as much as it did as I was not aggressive at all when pinning it out. But the size is perfect and the beauty of the shape of this shawl is that you can wear it several ways.

Now I had visions of modelling it for you in the rain, with an umbrella over my head but I don't know about where you live but we have had very little rain lately and there is none in the forecast.  So here it is pictured on a beautiful sunny day.  Bring on the rain!