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Flax Light

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I finished my Flax Light pullover, just in time to get a bit of wear in before it gets too warm to wear wool sweaters. I used a single ply 100% merino yarn from Romni Wools, it’s not branded but they seem to have it consistently in lots of pretty colours. I’m a bit worried about how the yarn will wear, because it already seems to be pilling and fuzzing quite a bit after three wears, but I’ll give it some time and see if the pilling slows down. This yarn is very affordable too (the last time I saw it, I think it was $12.50 per 100g), so if it does wear well, I’ll definitely be buying it again.

I did make some minor modifications to the pattern, lengthening the sleeves and the body a bit, and lengthening the ribbing at the bottom of the sleeves and body. It fits well so I’d probably make these changes again. I’d also probably lower the front neckline a touch and add a bit of waist shaping to make the fit less boxy next time, but overall I’m still very pleased. The most drastic change I made was to remove the garter panels from the sides of the sleeves (I just did them in plain stockinette), and add garter panels along the raglan increases. I saw a similar sweater on a character in a TV show once, and loved the subtle detail it added. I did 4 stitches in the centre (thus moving the increases 2 stitches either side of the marker), and I’m very happy with this modification as well. Even without mods, this is a skillfully written, free pullover pattern that would be an excellent first sweater. I’ve made the kids sizes before too, and they turn out adorable.

More details on Ravelry.

The weather here is finally turning warm (it’s about 18C here this afternoon). I hope it is equally beautiful where you are, and that you’re having a relaxing Sunday!

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KnitCrate and Soft Serve Socks

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A few months ago, the folks over at KnitCrate got in touch and kindly asked if I’d like to try one of their knitting subscription boxes. Although I’ve had my reservations about subscription boxes in general, I was curious to see what the boxes were like.

The yarn in the boxes has, in the three I’ve received so far, been high quality and something new to me. The patterns are usually well-matched and the extras are cute. I was hesitant about the subscription box model because I’m fairly picky about yarn type and colour, which has thus far not been an issue. That being said, the yarn in the boxes is high enough quality that if there was a colour I didn’t like, I would have no qualms about passing a skein along to a friend as a gift. The only other negative consideration I’ve encountered so far is that the boxes take awhile to ship from the United States to Canada, so if you’re outside of the US, plan for your box to arrive towards the middle or end of the month. I would also love if there were a natural fibres box, or a box for yarns made in North America.

My first KnitCrate sock box was February, and I’ve just finished the socks from it. I did use the pattern included, which turned out nicely, although it did contain some errors (I believe the designer may have released corrections recently). The yarn in this box was Mrs. Crosby Plays, a sock blend. This was my first speckled yarn, which I loved, and I really liked the colours in the yarn. I probably wouldn’t purchase this yarn again because of it’s high synthetic content, but I was pleased to get to try a new-to-me indie dyer. All of the project details are on my Ravelry page.

Although the kind people at KnitCrate sent me my box, I was under no obligation to blog about it, and wouldn’t recommend it to you all if I didn’t truly love it. If you’d like to give it a try, the code SAS20 will get you 20% off your first crate.

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Color Affection

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I finished my Color Affection shawl a few weeks ago and I have already been wearing it a ton! The drape and the size make it really wearable, and I chose colours that go with lots of clothes I own, so the stripes aren’t too busy. I spent a long time collecting the three colours needed for this project, and ended up with beautiful yarns from different Canadian indie dyers. I started with the pale blue skein from Fleece Artist, which was in my stash for awhile, and then picked out the dark blue (from Sweet Paprika) and the grey (from Sweet Fiber) at the Knitter’s Frolic last year. I loved working with all of these yarns so much and I’m really looking forward to trying more yarns from each of these dyers.

Although the shawl did take several months (you may remember me casting it on during the drive to Rhinebeck back in October), but I did work on it on and off. Because of the way the colours are added, each time I started to get tired of a section, a new yarn was added, which kept the knitting enjoyable. That being said, it’s a lot of garter stitch, so it’s perfect for car / subway knitting. I knit it as written, even the edging, which others had warned might be too tight. I was careful not to pull too much when wrapping the yarns at the edge, but the tightness really is needed to shape the final shawl, and I’m really pleased with the finished crescent shape of mine.

(All of the details are on Ravelry. Thanks to the lovely Jasmyn who helped me out with these photos!)

Hope you are having a wonderful start to your week!

Linking up with KCCO and Yarn Along.

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Socks and Mittens

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I’m finally uploading these pictures, which I took just after Christmas! I finished both these socks and fingerless mittens earlier in December, but I couldn’t share photos without risking the surprise. The socks were a gift for my dad, using one of my favourite sock patterns. The stitch pattern on the leg and top of the foot is simple enough to knit, but is quite striking when many repeats of the pattern are done in a row. The yarn I used was more of the cone yarn from Romni, in a green this time. I like this yarn but it’s quite thin for a fingering weight, so I will likely hold it double next time (I’ve still got some blue and green left).
(Rav link)

The gloves were a last-minute knit for my little brother, using Leslie‘s great pattern. I used some leftovers of Briggs and Little Regal from other projects, and wound up a new skein of the grey to do the contrast tops. I’m hoping these will be good for him to wear while waiting for the bus in the winter, so he can still use his phone. To size the gloves up a bit, I just used 5mm needles instead of 4.5mm, and heavier aran weight yarn instead of worsted, then knit as written.
(Rav link)

I hope you are all having a lovely weekend! If you have or will be marching for women’s rights, please enjoy and be safe! The Toronto march this afternoon was exciting and inspiring.

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Friendsmas

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It’s been awhile since I’ve updated the blog, so I hope you have all had a lovely and festive December, and are enjoying a relaxing holiday in the last few days of 2016! I’ll post some pictures of all of our Christmas celebrations soon, but in the meantime, I wanted to share pictures from our ‘friendsmas’. We had our annual Christmas party the weekend before Christmas, then a Christmas morning (complete with stockings, gifts, cinnamon rolls, and coffee), and a Christmas walk through the freshly fallen snow.

In preparation for Christmas morning, I’ve been doing a lot of knitting, and I can now share pictures! I’m including all of the projects in this post, so use the Ravelry links if you’d like yarn or pattern details for any of these.

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Felted Slippers for L
Rav link

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Socks for S
Rav link

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Scarf for J
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Wilson Wrap for H
Rav link

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Flax Light

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I finished this cute little baby sweater a few weeks ago, but I’ve just gotten around to uploading the photos of it now. The pattern is a free one from Tin Can Knits, and it is as wonderful as their other patterns – thoughtfully designed, well-written, and available in such a wide range of sizes. I’m already planning other versions of this sweater in other sizes (including my own!), but I do think the baby sizes must be the cutest. I love the detailing of the garter panels on the sleeves, they add a bit of interest and really pop against the stockinette background. I got this yarn at the Kingston Sheepdog Trials from a fellow vendor and was so pleased with how it knit up, the variegation was just perfect for the simplicity of the sweater pattern. Now this sweater has been mailed off to some friends expecting their first little one – hopefully it will fit her throughout the upcoming winter!
(Rav link)

Linking up with KCCO and Yarn-Along.

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Rhinbeck 2016 (part 2, the sweater and the yarn)

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Aidez was my Rhinebeck sweater this year, and I am so pleased with how it turned out! I started this cardigan several years ago, and had finished the back when I set it aside. Since it’s such a perfect fall colour, I pulled it back out when we were first planning our Rhinebeck trip. Once I was working on it solidly, it was a pretty quick knit – the cable patterns are pretty easy to memorize, and similar ones are used on the fronts and sleeves. The yarn is Cascade Eco + in Cinnamon. I’m a bit worried about pilling since it’s a pretty softly spun yarn, but it is very soft and warm. I’m happy with the fit as well – I made the medium as written, and it’s nice and long, with sleeves that are just the right length.
(Rav link)

As for my Rhinebeck purchases, I think I did a reasonably good job of not buying everything (and even stayed under budget!). I got a few skeins of sock yarn (from Neighborhood Fiber Company, Into The Whirled, and O-Wool) – the first two were impulse purchases, and the O-Wool is for a shawl for which I already have a contrast colour. The Into The Whirled yarn is in their “Rhinebeck” colourway which is really pretty and I thought made for a nice souvenir – they did a really great job of reproducing the fall colours. I also got a sweater quantity of DK weight 60% merino, 40% romney in a natural grey from Battenkill Fibers, which I think I’ll be using to make the Shore Cardigan from Swoon Maine. I am really excited to work with this yarn – it’s really soft and squishy, and this booth is already on my list to return to next year!

(Thanks to Jasmyn for taking the sweater photos!)

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Bon Echo Socks

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I started these socks on our annual family camping trip this summer, and set them aside to work on some other projects with about half a sock left to go. I finally picked them back up a few weeks ago and finished up the second sock. Now they’re ready to be added to the pile for Christmas (they are for D).

The yarn is Knit Picks Essentials, which I don’t believe is sold anymore (I got it from a Raveller in a destash last year). I just did the striping myself, because I only had one 50g ball of each colour. I used smaller needles than usual for these (US0, as recommended by a friend). I wasn’t sold when knitting them – the fabric seemed so dense! – but they did relax a bit in the wash and I’m pleased with them now. I’m torn about whether the extra time to knit on smaller needles will pay off in extra durability – what size needles do you prefer for socks?

(Rav link – thanks to JP for your help with these photos!)

P.S. The countdown to Rhinebeck is on, and I am so excited! Please let me know if you are going so we can try to meet up!

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Owl Stuffy for L

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I realized just a few days ago that one of my favourite kiddos was going to be in Canada for a couple of days, so I immediately set to work on a handknit present for her. L is big enough now that she really interacts with the world around her, so I thought it was time for her to get a special stuffed toy. She’s absolutely enamoured by owls right now – I was around when H and D were speaking to her on skype a few weeks ago, and D had painted a few owl pictures for her, and she loved them.

I couldn’t find an owl pattern I really liked, so I ended up using one from Ravelry as a base and changing it as I went. This pattern is a very minimalist pattern, so I’d only recommend it if you’re an experienced (or adventurous) knitter and don’t mind fudging with a few things to make it work. I also omitted the legs and added wings, which I just made up as I went along – I posted some rough notes on my Ravelry project page if you’d like to use them too. Overall I think the owl turned out really cute, and it’s super squishy and huggable, which is what I really wanted in a toy for an almost-two year old. The yarn is MacAuslands 2 ply, and the eyes, nose, and wings were leftovers of Knit Picks Wool of the Andes and SMC Northern Worsted.

This project was also my first for the Canadian KAL, which is being hosted by Meredith over at Wool Gathering. The knitalong is for all things Canadian – yarn, designers, theme, etc. There are lots of great prizes (including a skein I donated from Agrestal!). It’s mainly being run through the WG Ravelry group, so check it out and join us! I have a super exciting Canadian project that I’ve been planning for forever that I’m going to be casting on soon.

(Rav link)

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Tea mouse.

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A few months ago, the lovely Sarah asked if I wanted to try out her Tea Mouse pattern… since it’s so cute, I had to agree! I was originally planning to keep this tea mouse but now that she’s finished, I have a few people in mind for whom she would make an excellent gift. All the more reason to make another for myself.

I always find toys a bit challenging as detailed seaming and embroidery is not my forte. I always end up staring at the faces of stuffed toys for far too long, debating moving the nose up a smidge or making the eyes a bit bigger. After a couple of attempts, I think I’m pleased with this mouse’s face. I went quite simple, and I think it allows the ears to really be the feature of the face.

I loved choosing fabric for the mouse – you only need a tiny bit, so it’s a perfect use for fabric scraps. I spent awhile sitting comparing different blue floral fabrics, and I’m pleased with the one I settled on. It compliments the yarn colour well and has a small enough print that it isn’t lost on the tiny shapes.

You can see all of the details about my tea mouse on my Ravelry page, and you can find the pattern on Sarah’s page here.

Sarah has kindly offered to give away a copy of the tea mouse pattern to one of you! If you’d like to be entered, please leave a comment below telling me what colour you’d make your tea mouse, and what kind of tea you’d drink while stitching up this quick project! Entries will close at midnight EST on Sunday – please make sure you leave a way to contact you (e-mail, Ravelry, etc.) so I can get in touch if you are the lucky winner.

Linking up with Yarn Along and KCCO.

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