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.