December 25, 2018

Sweet Georgia Yarns Advent Calendar 2018

I was lucky enough to buy one of the Sweet Georgia Yarns Advent Calendar this year.  It contained 24 boxes, most of which contained mini skeins of yarn such as Sweet Georgia's CashLuxe Spark, Tough Love Sock and Silk Mist.  It also came with a shawl pattern, but instead I decided to knit some Jolly Wee Elves with this gorgeous yarn.  

Advent Box

Pattern: Jolly Wee Elf

Designer:  Churchmouse Yarns and Teas

YarnSweet Georgia Tough Love Sock (80% Merino, 20% Nylon)
Sweet Georgia Silk Mist (60% Mohair, 40% Silk)
Sweet Georgia CashLuxe Spark (80% Merino, 10% Stellina, 10% Cashmere)
Madelinetosh Tosh Merino Light (100% Merino) in Antler for face
Rowan Kidsilk Haze (70% mohair 30% silk) #665 Hibiscus (for one of the scarves)

Clearwater in CashLuxe Spark

Whitewater in Silk Mist

Needles: 2.5mm

Ravelry: see notes here

Added Notes:  
1.  I started a new tradition last year and decided that every Christmas season I would knit a few elves to add to my collection.  I don't know what it is about these tiny elves, but I just love knitting them.  It takes me about two hours for each elf, and to me it is worth the time.  I thought the Advent skeins would be perfect for the Jolly Wee Elf pattern.

I used these elves to decorate my table at Christmas time:

2.  This was the first year I have ordered a yarn Advent Calendar, and I found it a great way to explore different yarn bases and colourways.  It was also fun to open a surprise each day during such a busy month. After working with each skein I know I would love to order a sweater's quantity of the colourway Hudson, and to knit a shawl with the colourway Sapphire in CashLuxe Spark.  

3.  Next year I would like to try and knit some bigger elves using different weight yarn.  This pattern is perfect for using up leftover yarns and the possible colour combinations are endless.  What's next up on my needles?  I have two other patterns that I would like to try.  One is the newly published Gnome pattern by Susan B. Anderson.  It is offered at half price until December 31st if you are interested.  The other is Scintillation by Hunter Hammerson, a beautiful star pattern that looks like a lot of fun.  What are your knitting plans to close up the year?


December 22, 2018

F.O. Winston Pullover by Jane Richmond

I have always been a huge fan of Jane Richmond and her beautiful patterns.  I was so excited to have the opportunity to test knit a sweater for her, and was super happy with the result.  Let me fill you in on the details, and I guarantee that you will want to knit one for yourself!

Pattern:  Winston Pullover
Winston Pullover

Designer:  Jane Richmond

Yarn:  Lion Brand Wool-Ease Thick & Quick Solids (80% Acrylic 20% Wool)

Colourway: Wheat (4.6 skeins)

Needles:  12mm for the body, 8mm for the ribbing

Ravelry:  see notes here

Added Notes:  

1.  This sweater has a top down construction knit in super bulky yarn.   I had never knit a sweater in this weight before, and I finished it in five days.  Five days!!!!  It can take me four to six weeks to complete a fingering weight sweater, so to me this short time frame is astounding.  It is a super simple sweater that any beginner could easily complete. 

2.  Now for the yarn.  It is a combination of 80% Acrylic and 20% Wool.  I bought it from Michaels Craft Store and the whole sweater cost under $50.  I admit that I am a yarn snob and have never knit a sweater with yarn bought from Michaels, or yarn that contains acrylic, so I was so interested to see what my thoughts were after the knit was complete.  And I have to tell you my thoughts are super positive...I was pleasantly surprised.  The yarn was easy to work with on 12mm needles.  I have worn this sweater quite a bit outside on cool days and it kept me warm.  I posed for the photo on a day that was -16 degrees Celcius (3 degrees Fahrenheit) and I was not cold at all.  I have also worn it around the house and it is so cozy that I didn't want to take it off.  The yarn comes in many different colours and for the price I am considering making another one. (Jane is currently knitting this pattern in seed stitch...I might try that).  The sweater doesn't feel too heavy to wear either.  And you can pop it in the washer and drier without a worry.  I think having the 20% wool content is what makes the garment feel so great.

3.  I was worried that making a super bulky sweater would make me look bigger than I am.  But here, too, I was pleasantly surprised.  Jane created a design that is super cozy but somehow doesn't look super bulky on.  She worked her magic with the design so that sweater is shaped to compliment the person wearing it.  You can read more about this sweater over on Jane's blog

4.  I would like to add how happy I am to see that Jane is back to designing after her nasty fall, and resulting concussion earlier this year.  I always look forward to seeing and knitting her new designs, and hopefully she will publish more in 2019.  She has such a beautiful library of patterns that you can wear over and over again. Plus many of her patterns are knit in yarn that is budget friendly which is a bonus.  I have personally knit eight of her patterns.  Three of my favourites are the Clarke Pullover (I have knit three versions of this sweater), Grace and the Entwine Scarf.  I wear these sweaters quite a bit.

Clarke Pullover

Entwine Scarf
Have I convinced you yet to knit this pattern?  I am thinking of knitting another version in Rowan Big Wool (100% merino) which I would think would work beautifully with this pattern.  I have three skeins of this yarn in the colourway Pine Needle (077) and I am on the hunt for three more.  I am finding it hard to locate so if anyone knows where I can get this colourway please let me know.  If you are considering this sweater Jane Richmond is offering 20% off this pattern through to December 31st.  So what are you waiting for?

Happy knitting!

December 10, 2018

F.O. Miromesnil by Cléonis

Pattern:  Miromesnil

Designer: Cléonis

Yarn:  Shibui Silk Cloud (ivory) 60% silk 40% mohair 3.25 skeins
Colourway:  Ivory
The perfect combination:
 Shibui Silk Cloud & Debbie Bliss Fine Donegal

Yarn:  Debbie Bliss Fine Donegal (bronze) 
95% wool 5% cashmere 3.5 skeins
Colourway:  Bronze
Debbie Bliss Fine Donegal

4.5mm & 

Ravelry: see notes

Added Notes:

1.  After seeing Melissa, of Espace Tricot, wear her Miromesnil, I knew without a doubt, that I had to knit one of my own. Although the pattern calls for a worsted weight yarn, I followed Melissa's lead and used a lace and fingering weight yarn together and was able to get gauge with 5mm needles.  I had some Shibui Silk Cloud in Ivory stored safely in my stash already, and was able to pick up Debbie Bliss Fine Donegal, when I recently had the opportunity to visit Espace Tricot in Montreal.  As soon as I got home from Montreal I eagerly cast on.  Have you ever knit something that is a joy from the first stitch to the last?  Miromesnil was one of the most relaxing and enjoyable projects I have knit in a long time.  I felt like the pattern and yarn were a perfect match. I enjoyed each stitch and I was sad to see it come to an end.  Shibui Silk Cloud, a silk and mohair mix, is a dream to knit with and definitely worth the splurge.  When combined with Debbie Bliss Fine Donegal it creates the most beautiful fabric with the perfect halo. 
Check out the halo

The sweater is light weight and incredibly soft, and once you put it on you don't want to take off. 

2.  Miromesnil is a simple top down sweater pattern, that when knit with the perfect yarn, creates a gorgeous statement piece.  This is the first pattern I knit by Cléonis and I was impressed.  There are many options to choose from within the pattern which I appreciate.  For example, you can make the sweater long or short, fitted or oversized, pleated at the front/back with fitted or bishop sleeves, which can either be long or 3/4 in length.  The hem can have a flat or tighter finishing rib.  You  really get your money's worth with so many options.  I chose to knit a mid-length sweater with a subtle pleat in the front with a 3/4 bishop sleeve. I knit a flat 1/1 ribbing for the hem and it lays beautifully.  I knit an 11" sleeve and the body was 12" underarm preblocking.  I love the fit of this sweater and I will definitely knit another version. 

3.  I chose to knit a medium sized sweater with large sleeves.  I can't remember my reasoning for that combination, and if I had to knit the sleeves again I would knit a medium.  I might rip them back a bit as I wanted 3/4 sleeves and after blocking they are slightly too long.  It is my first time knitting bishop sleeves and I really like them.

4.  Hopefully I have convinced you to have a second look at this pattern...I promise you won't be sorry.  If you make one, be sure to tag me on Instagram... you can find me at woolercoaster...I would love to see your version.

September 4, 2018

F.O. Sweet Clover Shawl MKAL by Alicia Plummer

This summer Alicia Plummer hosted a Mystery Knit Along called the Sweet Clover Shawl MKAL.  The pattern was for a worsted weight shawl, and would use two skeins of the main colour, and one skein of two different contrast colours. Beyond that no other information was given.  I dug deep in my stash and found two variegated skeins of Riverside Studio Superwash whose colour I absolutely loved.  The added bonus was they contained 10% cashmere making the skeins super soft.  With Alicia Plummer as the designer I confidently signed up, knowing that I was guaranteed to like the finished product. The KAL clues were given out every two weeks and the slow pace was perfect for summer knitting.  As predicted I loved the finished shawl.

Pattern:  Sweet Clover Shawl MKAL

Designer:  Alicia Plummer

YarnRiverside Studio Superwash (80% merino 10% nylon 10% cashmere) 183m 1.5 skeins
Colourway:  OOAK 

Riverside Studio Superwash
YarnMadelinetosh Tosh Vintage

Colourway: one skein each of Fig & Moss (100% Merino) 183 metres (I used all of the Fig and about 90% of the Moss colourway)


Needles: 4.5mm

Ravelry:  see my notes
Sweet Clover Shawl

Added Notes:
1.  Although it may be hard to see in the photos the lace opened up beautifully after blocking.  The measurements of the finished shawl are 74 x 33 inches, a very generous size that I am super pleased with.

2.  If you are looking for a relaxing knit that works well with any colour of worsted weight yarn, you should definitely check out this pattern.

Now if only the cooler weather would arrive!  I can hardly wait to wear this shawl.  

August 28, 2018

F.O. Scrappy Clarke Pullover

I have been spending some time lately going through my cupboards trying to organize and purge.  I came across the first garment I knit in hand dyed yarn six years ago, called the Honeytree Vest.  Yarn and pattern are both by Tanis Fiber Arts.  When I knit this vest I was very inspired by Tanis' original colour choices, and still to this day love the colour combination.  However, the vest was not something I wore, and I decided that this yarn was too special not to repurpose.

Front of Honeytree Vest
Back of Honeytree Vest
I ripped out the vest and ended up with a lot of very curly yarn. 
I soaked the yarn for a long time and then hung it out to dry.   I ended up with a lot of mini balls in the various colours.
After soaking and hanging the yarn to dry
I decided to knit a short sleeve Clarke Pullover.  I have knit two versions of this pattern previously (see here and here) as it is a foolproof pattern, that is easily adaptable.  

And so today I proudly present my finished sweater:

Clarke Pullover

Pattern:  Clarke Pullover

Designer:  Jane Richmond

YarnTanis Fiber Arts Green Label Aran Weight (100% merino)

Colourway:  Various quantities of Midnight, Mallard, Sand, Lemongrass, Olive, Chestnut, and Buttercup

Needles:  4.5mm

Ravelry: see notes

Added Notes:
1.  My goal was to stick to the original colours, using up as much of the scrappy bits, supplemented by some partial skeins that I had in my stash. I had no specific striping pattern in mind, I just added different coloured stripes as I knit.

2.  With this many stripes comes a ton of ends to sew in.  But sewing ends in doesn't bother me.  It took me about two hours to sew them all in.

3.  The only modifications I made to the pattern was to knit shorter sleeves, and of course, to add my random stripes of colour.  

4.  As always I am super impressed with Tanis Fiber Arts yarn.  The colours are beautifully dyed and the quality of the yarn is excellent.  If you haven't knit with this yarn before I highly recommend it.

I have to admit that I am super happy that I decided to knit this sweater.  Since the yarn was aran weight, the sweater knit up very quickly, and now I have a new fall sweater to wear in my cupboard.

This sweater was a break from my many works in progress.  I will report on those items soon.  I am trying very hard not to cast on anything else.  However, there seems to be a tempting number of new patterns that have been published recently.  It's a fun time of year to be a knitter!  Don't you agree?

July 31, 2018

F.O. Timely by Libby Jonson

Primrose Yarn Adelaide
Hello everyone!  I hope you are all enjoying your summer.  I have been quiet here on the blog, but let me assure you, I have been busy knitting away.

My latest finished object is my Timely Cardigan.  At first I started knitting the shawl Assana with these two yarns, but although I loved the colour combination, I lost interest in knitting the pattern.

Primrose Yarns Adelaide & Hazel Knits Entice

First attempt:  Assana
I didn't want to waste this yarn, and so I looked at my very long Ravelry queue, and decided on the Timely cardigan.  It is a well written pattern and I am very happy with the result.

Pattern:  Timely

Designer:  Libby Jonson

Yarn:  Primrose Yarn Co. Adelaide (100% Merino)
Colourway:  In Between the Lines (2 skeins)
First skein of "In Between the Lines
Second skein of "In Between the Lines"

YarnHazel Knits Entice MCN (70% Merino 20% Cashmere 10% Nylon)
Colourway:  White Winged Dove (2 skeins)

Yarn:  Madelinetosh Merino Light (100% Merino)
Colourway: Antler (1 skein)
Needles:  2.75, 3, 3.25, 3.5mm

Ravelry:  See my notes here.

Added Notes:

1.  Have you ever knit a cardigan with a single ply before?  I have learnt over the years that single ply is not the best for cardigan knitting, as it pills a lot quicker than plied yarn.  However, I think pairing the single ply yarn (Primrose Yarn) with the plied yarn (Hazel Knits) will hopefully result in a cardigan that doesn't pill as much.

2.  There was a colour variation between skeins of both the Primrose Yarn, and to a slight extent, the Hazel Knits.  As a result I decided to alternate the four skeins for each row.  I am not going to was a pain.  Often the yarns would get tangled and with a single ply the yarn sticks more and needed to be pulled apart.  However, I kept telling myself that it would be worth it.  

3.  This is the first cardigan that I knit that I did not swatch for.  Since it is a top down cardigan I knew I could try it on as I went, and luckily it worked out well. I modified a few things...I decided I wanted a longer cardigan, so I knit about ten extra striped rows in the body, and I knit one less inch of the ribbing.  Also, I made full length sleeves as that is my preferred sleeve.  I also did the ribbing on the hem with Madelinetosh Merino Light in Antler, as I did not think I had enough of the Hazel Knits to complete the cardigan.  Surprisingly, I used almost the whole skein.  

4.  Knitting a fingering cardigan is a commitment.  It takes way longer to knit than any other weighted cardigan.  However, it is the most wearable of all the yarn weights as far as I am concerned.  I am super pleased it is done and love the result.  But I definitely need a break from fingering weight sweaters for a while.

If you like the look of the Timely Cardigan but don't want to invest the time knitting a fingering weight cardigan I heard that a DK version of the pattern will be released sometime around November.  How exciting!  It is the perfect stashbuster.

Happy knitting!