January 29, 2017

F.O. Contour Lines by Laura Aylor

Contour Lines is a pattern that I knit, as part of a MKAL (Mystery knit-along) called Just For You, that designer Laura Aylor was hosting before Christmas.  For those knitters who had bought one of Laura's patterns in the past it was free, a thoughtful way of thanking her customers.  For the remaining participants who paid for the pattern, she donated the earnings to a charity of her choice.  Each day, starting December 13th, she gave the participants a part of the pattern until the final clue on December 24th.  I was able to keep up with the KAL until the last two clues where my life was too crazy to find time to sit down and knit. I am happy to say I finished this beautiful cowl in January and can't be more pleased with the result.  Here's my version:

Pattern:  Contour Lines
Designer:  Laura Aylor
Yarn:  Madelinetosh 80/10/10 Worsted MCN
300 yards
Colourway:  Sand Dune
Needles:  4.5 mm

1)  The side I am photographing with the buttons is in actual fact, the back of the cowl.  The front of of the cowl dips down into a perfect "V", making this perfect for wearing under your coat, and keeping you cozy on those cold days.
Back of cowl
Right after ripping out my sweater before the yarn got a good soa
2)  This yarn was previously knit up in a sweater I never liked.  It was way too nice of a yarn to be wasted, so I ripped out my sweater, soaked the yarn and reskeined it all.  I still have enough yarn left to make a hat and mittens to go with this cowl.  Even the buttons are from an old sweater I had many years ago.

3)  And just as a side note, I recently bought a new lens that I am using for this blog.  I visited New York City over the holidays and my husband bought a new lens for my camera at B & H Photo for my birthday/Christmas present.  If you love photography then this is the store for you. The variety of cameras and products available was incredible, I have never seen anything like it.  The sales staff were extremely knowledgeable.  I absolutely love taking pictures and wanted to bring my photography skills to the next level.  I wasn't sure if I needed a better camera.  The extremely knowledgeable employee I spoke to really spent time with me, asking a lot of questions, before giving me advice.  He recommended spending my money on a good lens instead, and to practice with that for a while.  My new lens can still be used on an upgraded camera.  A lot of the pictures I have been putting on Instagram and on my blog recently are taken with my new Sony Macro FE 50mm lens.  I still need a lot of practice, but I am really liking the odd picture that I take.  I am looking forward to practicing and improving my skills.

The knitting world is amazing isn't it?  There are always so many KALs going on at any given time.  However, the Mystery Knit-a-longs are always a bit of a risk, as you have no idea what the finished product looks like.  In my experience I find that if I stick to MKALs hosted by designers whose work I love, then I usually am happy with the finished product.

Linking up with KCCO.

January 15, 2017

F.O. Louise

I am delighted to show you my first finished object for 2017.  

Louise Top Down

Pattern:  Louise Top Down (my Ravelry page) from Madder Anthology 2:  Simple Pleasures
Designer:  Carrie Bostick Hoge
Yarn: Berroco Peruvia (aran weight)
100% Wool 
Colourway: 7104 Taupe (5 skeins)
Yarn:  Quince & Co. Osprey (aran weight)
Colourway: Shell (1.5 skeins)

Needles:  5.5mm and 6mm 
Buttons:  M & J TrimmingNYC

Modifications:  None

This knit made me so happy for several reasons.  First, it only took me ten days to knit.  The beauty of an aran weight cardigan is it is done before you know it. As it was knit top down it was an easy pattern to follow and I was able to keep trying it on as I knit.

Secondly, the Berroco yarn was deep in my stash and there is something satisfying about finally using it.  Berroco Peruvia, being a twisted roving yarn, split easily while I was knitting, but the knitted fabric is very lofty and warm.

Another thing I love about this cardigan is the Quince & Co. Osprey Yarn I used for the ribbing and button band.  I love it.  It is just so squishy and the stitch definition is perfection.   I definitely see more of this yarn in my future. 

I am so happy that I will get to wear it this winter.  This sweater is light weight yet very warm, perfect for those sub zero days that we can have here in Canada.

If you haven't knit a heavier weight sweater in some time, and you live in a climate where you can wear one, I highly recommend this pattern.  The pattern is also written as bottom up if you prefer that method. (see Louise)

Now back to my fingering weight projects!

January 8, 2017

F.O. Entwine Scarf & The World's Simplest Mittens

My final two projects of 2016 were quick and cozy ones.  First up is Jane Richmond's Entwine Scarf from the newly published Within:  Knitting Patterns to Warm the Soul, by Jane and Shannon Cook.

Pattern:  Entwine Scarf:  my Ravelry project page

Designer:  Jane Richmond
Yarn:  Purl Soho Super Soft Merino
100% merino
Colourway:  Heirloom White 2 skeins
Needles: 10mm 

Notes:  I had been saving this yarn for a while.  It is incredibly squishy and soft, the perfect yarn for Jane Richmond' s scarf pattern. I used two skeins and I started a third one for the fringe.  (The scarf would still be long enough if you included the fringe in the two skeins).  The only thing I wished was that the scarf was wider.  With a width of 6.5 inches this is a skinny scarf.  I played around with the stitches, adding a few additional ones, but I really liked the look of the original pattern so I stuck with that.  The scarf is also long enough to wrap around your neck twice so the width is not really a problem. Jane recommends that the scarf not be blocked so I didn't.  The pattern was very simple to follow and being knit with super bulky yarn was a quick knit. I will definitely knit with this yarn again.

My final project of 2016 was:

Pattern: The World's Simplest Mittens:  my Ravelry project page
Designer:  Tin Can Knits
Yarn:  Tanis Fiber Arts Amber Label DK
75/15/10 blend merino/cashmere/silk
Colourway:  Jean Jacket
Yarn: Rowan Kidsilk Haze
70/30 blend mohair/silk
Colourway:  667
Needles:  3.75mm and 4.5mm

Tanis Fiber Arts Amber Label & Rowan Kidsilk Haze
Notes:  I had a lot of fun combining this two yarns together.  The yarns created the most luxurious pair of mittens with the prettiest halo.  Now I want to pair everything with Rowan Kidsilk Haze.  This is the first time I knit with Tanis Fiber Arts Amber Label and the combination of silk and cashmere was absolutely beautiful.  This pair of mittens was gifted to a young woman who is going through a hard time and I hope she enjoys them.
The World's Simplest Mittens

It's great when you can make something that knits up so quickly like these two projects.  I have quite a few longer term projects on the needles so this was a great break for me.