March 27, 2018

WIPs: Hamble, Stronachlachar, and Old Romance

Every now and then I go through my large Ravelry queue, and try to reduce the number of patterns in it.  I find this quite challenging as there are so many amazing patterns which have stood the test of time.  Of course, I am also tempted by new designs that crop up daily, and so my queue just grows and grows.  Does anyone else have this problem?  Recently I seem to be obsessed with knitting sweaters.  Instead of casting on just one sweater, I have cast on three!  Two are newly published, and the third has been in my queue for a long time.  And the best thing...all are knit from stash yarn.

1.  Hamble:  I am a long time fan of Isabell Kraemer and have found that her patterns fit me well, and tend to get worn quite a bit (see Aibrean, Mailin, and Seashore).  I could not resist Hamble, Isabell Kraemer's newest pattern knit in Rosy Green Wool Cheeky Merino Joy, a sport weight yarn.  I had the perfect yarn in my stash.  On my trip to Nashville in the fall, I picked up three different coloured skeins of Rosy Green Wool from Haus of Yarn, to knit a shawl.  Only one skein was needed for the top of the Hamble body so I used one of the colourways I had called Edelweiss. In my stash I also had some O-Wool O-Wash Sport yarn.  These two yarns work perfectly together.  Although I love both yarns, I found that Rosy Wool is one of those yarns that I kept squishing as I knit.  Rosy Green Wool definitely lives up to the hype.   (I found out that O-Wool carries Rosy Green Wool if you are interested in trying a skein).  Here's my progress so far: 
Rosy Green Wool Cheeky Merino Joy in Edelweiss
O-Wash O-Wool Sport in Cuckoo Flower

Pigeonroof Yarns Silky High Twist Sock in Railroad Stake

2.  Another new pattern that I cast on as soon as it was published is Stronachlar,
 part of the West Highland Way collectionby Kate Davies.    If you haven't had the chance to look at this collection of patterns I highly recommend it.  I had the perfect yarn in my stash for this pattern, about 900m of a DK weight wool called West Yorkshire Spinners Blue Faced Leicester DK.  I love the look of the simple cables and, if I can finish Stronachlachar soon, it will be the perfect spring sweater to throw on top of a blouse.  

West Yorkshire Spinners Bue Faced Leicester DK

3.  Since the beginning of the year I have been slowly working on Old Romance, a fingering weight cardigan, by Joji Locatelli that was published four years ago.  The pattern starts with two identical lace strips that become part of the sleeves.  I decided to knit both lace inserts at the same time.  Each day I slowly added a few rows until I knit the 27.5" required and then the fun began. This cardigan has a similar construction to Joji's Japan Sleeves, as the lace panels are knit first, and once done provide the foundation for the sleeves.  The interesting construction keeps me entertained, but as it is a fingering weight sweater it will take me some time to complete.  See my Ravelry notes here.

The pattern begins by knitting two lace panels
knit in Madelinetosh Light in the colourway Cathedral

The next step is to join the pieces and create the two arms and neck
Sweet Fiber Yarns Cashmerino 20 in colourway Verve

If only there were more hours in a day!  The trouble with knitting three sweaters at the same time is that it never looks like I have made much progress.  However I will remain hopeful that I will have three new sweaters to wear this spring.  Wish me luck!

March 23, 2018

Woolercoaster's Wonderful World of Wool: March 17-23

It was another busy week in the knitting world.   Here's a few highlights that caught my attention this week:

Hot Patterns:
Andrea Mowry does it again with this gorgeous cowl called The Shift, knit in Spincycle Yarns Dyed in the Wool, a lovely sport weight yarn.

A stand-out pattern for me this week is Line of Shapes by Suvi Simola, a gorgeous lace sweater knit in 100% merino sport weight.

©Suvi Simola

Free Patterns:
Don't forget to get your free copy of the newly released pattern from Shetland Wool Week called Merrie Dancers Toorie, a pattern by Elizabeth Johnston.  Check out the Instagram feed for this hat at #merriedancerstoorie to see the many colour combinations knit already.
Merrie Dancers Toorie

Knitty Spring + Summer 2018 has just been released with 12 free patterns just in time for your spring knitting.  One beautiful lace shawl from this publication is Arashi by Ema Marinescu.
 ©Ema Marinescu

How about these Thriambus socks by Rich Ensor?

© Rich Ensor

Knit Along:
Helen Stewart has a new mystery knitalong called the  Impressionishts MKAL on sale starting March 23. You will need three colours of fingering weight yarn to create a mystery wrap.

YouTube Videos:
Edinburgh Festival:
I was so envious of all those people that attended the Edinburgh Yarn Festival last weekend.  The next best thing to going is to watch some podcasts of fellow knitters who had the good fortune of going.
Haul videos: Periscoping SistersThe Corner of Craft, Yarngasm, and Fiber Tales.
Inside the FestivalGrace O'Neill has one video for each day of the festival,
and Skeindeer Knits also shares some of the sights and sounds of the festival.
Also check out Kristyglassknits YouTube channel for several videos about the Festival.

Tutorial of the Week:
If you go to 25:57 in the Fruity Knitting Podcast Episode 45 you will see an excellent tutorial on Weaving in Ends as you knit.  I found this video very helpful for knitting projects that have a lot of colour changes (e.g. stripes).  I wish I had watched it much sooner!

Travel Ideas:
I absolutely love travelling and I am always on the look-out for new places to visit, especially when knitting can be involved.   A Knitter's Weekend:  Northampton, Massachusetts by Gale Zucker on the Mason-Dixon blog reveals all the knit and fabric worthy places to visit in Northampton (let's not forget the pie shop that's mentioned).

And finally, have you been keeping up with the voting on Mason-Dixon's March Mayhem?  Round 3 opens today with 16 patterns advancing.  Don't miss out on the fun.

Have a great weekend and happy knitting.

March 8, 2018

Woolercoaster's Wonderful World of Wool March 3-9

As we near the end of winter, here are a few knitting related news items that might help you fight those winter blahs:

1.  The patterns nominated in the Mason Dixon March Mayhem 2108 were announced this week. The categories this year are: Neck and Shoulders, Sweaters, Yokes, and Mini Skeins.  Under each category are 16 patterns with links provided. Everyone is welcome to vote on their favourites starting March 15th.  By the end of the month there is a final Champion pattern.  If you did not join in on the fun last year, you should definitely check it out.  It's a great way to discover  patterns that you might have missed in 2017.  I can guarantee that you will add some of these patterns to your queue.

2.  Stephanie Earp, a consultant at the yarn store Espace Tricot, has published a gorgeous new sweater called Galore. This sweater is knit top down and colours are changed every two rows. Isn't it stunning?  I also love the fact that it is knit in DK weight and is a great stashbuster.  The colours Stephanie chose are gorgeous, but this sweater would look wonderful in many different colour combinations.  You can get 30% off Galore until March 23rd with coupon code MADTOSH.  I am looking forward to seeing what Stephanie designs next.

©Stephanie Earp

3. Another beautiful new pattern that caught my attention is Hamble by Isabell Kraemer knit up in Rosy Green Wool Cheeky Merino Joy, a sport weight yarn.  I picked up three skeins of this yarn when I visited Haus of Yarn in Nashville. It is incredibly soft, and I regret not buying a few more skeins to make a sweater. This would have been a lovely one to knit with this yarn.  Isabell's patterns are always easy to follow and look great on.

4.  Have you seen the new Party of Five Mini Skein Sets by Sweet Georgia Yarns including Candy ShopSalt Water Taffy and Fairytale.  So pretty.

Candy Shop Party of Five Mini Skein Set©Sweet Georgia 

5.  Newsletter subscribers received the sad news that Knit Purl in Portland is closing.  This yarn store was high on my list of yarn stores I wanted to visit.  The good news for knitters is that they have a sale for 25% off everything.  Don't miss out.

6.  Hannah Fettig's first Mystery KAL  for a worsted weight, set-in sleeve cardigan has just begun.  There's still plenty of time to join the fun, and if mysteries are not your thing, the full pattern will be released to all at the end of the month.

7.  The last thing I wanted to mention was Karen Templer's Log Cabin Log-along has finished.  She announced the winners on her Fringe Association Blog here and if you haven't checked out her Instagram feed for the Logalong, it's definitely worth a look.  #fringeandfriendslogalong 

It's great to be back sharing what has caught my attention in the knitting world.  Please visit my blog at the end of each week to check out what's new.

Happy knitting everyone!

March 6, 2018

F.O. Burr by Véronik Avery

Pattern:  Burr from Brooklyn Tweed Fall 2012

Designer:  Véronik Avery

YarnGreen Mountain Spinnery Mewesic (100% wool, DK weight)
Colourway:  Purple Haze

Green Mountain Spinnery Mewesic

Purple Haze

Needles:  4.0mm

Ravelry:  my notes

Added Notes:

1.  It feels so good to finish a project that has been a work in progress for some time.  I started Burr in August 2017.  I knit the back and then got distracted by other knitting projects.  Fast forward to February when I decided to join the Ravellenic Games 2018 Knit Along. 

The Ravellenic Games' purpose was to challenge Ravelry members to finish a project during the 2018 Winter Olympics.  I picked the category of WIPs and challenged myself to finish my Burr cardigan by the end of Closing Ceremonies.  It was not easy to reach my goal, but thankfully I finished it on the last day.  I find that setting goals is super motivating for me in all areas of my life, I really should do it more often.

2.  The Burr Cardigan is seamed.  Once all the pieces are knit, the fronts are seamed to the back, and then the ribbing for the collar and the button band is completed.  Although there are many advantages of a seamed cardigan, the hard part is not being able to try it on as you go.  This pattern was written with an intended ease of 4-5 inches which is what I think I achieved.  However, I think I would have preferred less ease if I had to do it all over.  

3.  Veronik Avery's pattern is well written ad easy to follow.  I appreciate how she added a lot of  pretty details.  For example, look at the detail around the collar:

There was only one direction that confused me, and after searching the forums for an answer with no success, I emailed Brooklyn Tweed my question.  I was so impressed when I received a helpful reply so promptly.  In my experience I have found Brooklyn Tweed patterns to be high quality, from the detailed way the pattern is written to the support available through the Brooklyn Tweed website.

4.  Modifications were few.  Many knitters had warned that the sleeves came out rather tight so I spaced my increases closer together (every six rows).  I probably could have done increases eight rows apart and that would have worked too.  I knit the shortest length of sleeves, but after blocking the sleeves were too long on me.  I could have knit them an inch shorter.  What I like about this pattern is how versatile the cardigan is.  You can dress it up or wear it with jeans and it looks great.

5. I really enjoyed knitting with Green Mountain Spinnery Mewesic Yarn, a gorgeous tweedy yarn.  The flecks of colour found in this yarn added an extra depth to the cardigan.  Mewesic is available in many gorgeous colours and I would highly recommend it to you. This pattern originally called for Brooklyn Tweed Loft held double, but I was able to get gauge with the yarn I used and I am pleased with how it knit up.

What does a knitter do once she gets a cardigan off the needles....cast on for two more of course.  More on that later...xo