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In a very short while I will have completed 1176 rows of lace border on a shawl sample for my cousin’s shop. For anyone who knows me, knows that while I appreciate lace, and can ooh and aah over it, I am not particularly a lace knitter. Lace barely makes sense to me; I can barely find the flow of it and can never guess the next step or understand where I made mistakes to be able to fix it easily other than a complete rip-back. So truly, this is a pretty big accomplishment for me.

But in all honesty, aside from the tediousness of 1176 rows of lace, I really enjoyed knitting the pattern: Kaldbakur from Ístex Lopi No. 37 (a book I pretty much want to knit half the patterns in) in their lace weight yarn Einband. I thoroughly enjoyed working with the Einband; it didn’t really feel like a lace weight yarn and had the signature Lopi roughness without actually being rough.

Aside from the Einband becoming a new delight to my senses, I think I’ve found a new favourite yarn: Blue Sky Fibers’s Woolstok Worsted. Oh my goodness. Not only is it a cushy wool, but it’s delightfully soft and wonderful with a ton of colours to pick from. I pretty much just want to knit everything in it. And so far I’ve knit 1.5 hats with it.

Pattern is Yukon Campfire Hat by Liz Sutton

And one of the great things about it is that the are bigger 100gr skeins sold, mostly in neutral colours, with smaller 50gr skeins of contrast colours that makes colour work projects super convenient. Like I said I’ve knit 1.5 Yukon Campfire Hats out of three skeins of yarn (1 100gr. skein in Midnight Sea and 1 50 gr. skein each of Cranberry Compote and Red Rock) and I’m pretty sure I could still squeeze out another one. Or even manage a cardigan for Miles. THE POSSIBILITIES ARE ENDLESS! I’ll definitely be buying more regardless my next time at the shop; I’m completely enamoured.

Now if you’ll excuse me I’ve got 58 rows of lace to complete during someone’s nap time.

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Wool Season

I feel like, like most knitters, I have a fondness for the winter season, if only to see how many knitted things I can wear at one time.

(Three: mittens not pictured)

Because of the whole new-baby-struggle-to-even-keep-myself-alive-let-alone-a-baby thing I’ve been going through, I decided for this holiday season to calm my knitted gift knits and limit my number of recipients and to only knit hats.

Somehow I managed to finish all of them plus a last minute surprise for Husband – shush! I know he reads this blog!

One Cafe au Lait Tam, two Fuck It Hats and a Pennyroyal with a furry pom pom for extra joy.

I loved doing all of them. Pennyroyal is a simple and easy pattern with a little kick. I’m actually tempted to knit one for myself since recently I’ve been craving a new toque.

This Cafe au Lait tam has been in my head for months now since I bought the skein of BaaRamEwe’s Dovestone DK at my cousin’s shop when she was getting rid of it. I knew the colour was perfect for my mum, and I’ve been loving knitting with Dovestone on other projects that we won’t talk about because they’re currently being neglected.

I had knit the Fuck It hat before for my dad, who promptly let his ex-wife borrow it then lose it, which is why he asked for another one (and this’ll be the last one for him ever). I luckily still had some Cascade 200 leftover from the first time, but for the other one I went a bit more…feminine.

There is something incredibly pleasing about knitting naughty words in a beautiful pink. And what luscious pinks they were! The words are knit in West Yorkshire Spinner’s The Croft Shetland Tweed in Heylor, and the MC is The Fibre Co.’s Cumbria in Cowberry. I am grateful that this pattern doesn’t use up a full ball of either because that means leftovers for me! Merry Christmas, everyone, and Happy Holidays!

Wool Season

A Love Affair With Arbor

Sorry for the accidental hiatus there. I promise that I didn’t mean to but, well, c’est la vie avec le bebe. And then, well, we went to Hawaii for a week.

The thing I regret not doing most in Hawaii is actually not remembering to take a picture of my knitting in paradise. Sigh. But! The good news is I finished one sleeve of my totally last minute, selfish cast on of Divide by Emily Greene, knit in BT’s Arbor in the colourway Klimt.

 

Miles loves it as much as I do. I hadn’t knit with Arbor before but had snagged 2 skeins of it from Needles in the Hay when it first came into stock; so when my cousin offered me the Divide pattern, I immediately claimed dibs on most of the remaining Klimt to make it. True knitter that I am, I at first reasoned with myself that I would wait until all my Christmas knitting was done, and I had at least started the second sleeve of my Netherton cardigan…but then realized what a perfect travel project sleeves make, and Bob’s your uncle. Now I have a sleeve.

But I really couldn’t help it! I have fallen absolutely head over heels in love with Arbor. When I started knitting with it, all I could think was, “what is this magic?!” It’s light and bouncy with all the goodness of pure wool that I adore. The colour isgorgeous and the stitch definition is ridiculous; I would willingly knit inches upon inches of twisted rib just for this definition. Oh, Arbor, you seductress.

It is really taking all my will power now that we’re home to refocus on Christmas knitting rather than the second sleeve. My goal this week is to finish the Fuck It Hat I started in The Fibre Co. Cumbria and West Yorkshire Spinners The Croft, both in lovely shades of femininity, which takes the hat to a whole new level of awesome.

My second goal this week is to also start a tam of sorts for my mum in baa ram ewe Dovestone Aran in Bantam, aka red. Once these two hats are completed, the only other Christmas knitting is a possible cardigan for Miles – but at least if I’m a little late, he really won’t notice. I hope.

A Love Affair With Arbor

Knitting for Two

With Christmas coming, it’s been a bit hard to tame my baby knitting urges until all my Christmas knitting is done, and I’ve been pretty resistant to the urge…well, mostly.

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I gave in to this sweet little cardigan, appropriately called Sweet Bunting by Laura Chau. I knit this one in Malabrigo Arroyo with scraps of Sweet Georgia Superwash Sport and Cascade 220 Superwash Sport, because if there’s anything I know already it’s that anything for a baby should be superwash.

Luckily though I’ve still been able to bust through my Christmas knit list and am one sleeve away from the lot. Woo hoo! I’m so behind from last year but, well, shit happens. I’d show you some of the finished results but, well, they’re all wrapped already. At least that’s SOMETHING I’m on top of!

Knitting for Two

Christmas Knitting At Its Finest

Now, this may or may not surprise you, but I am surprisingly behind on my Christmas knitting. I know, it’s horrible, I feel bad about it, but luckily a lot of people on my list this year are getting some homemade (if not a little bit crooked) pottery. However, there are still a couple people on my list who are still getting hand-knits, and so I’ve started going into frantic mode on what to knit them. Luckily, I started with Jane Richmond’s Arika Cowl and have lulled into a false sense of security that, yes, I can finish all my Christmas knitting between now and December 24th….right?

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I absolutely adored knitting this, and am really quite sad that I can’t keep it for myself. It literally took me an evening and an hour of knitting to complete – not including the tassels. It’s knit with Malabrigo Mecha in Paysandu and is so incredibly soft and squishy. It was so quick and is so lovely that I’m seriously contemplating knitting it for a couple more people! It’s not bad to give people the same gift when it’s hand-made, right?

My cousin at Needles in the Hay has just informed me that she just got in the HiKoo by Kenzington, which is the recommended yarn for the pattern and now I’m super happy I convinced her to let me work on Sunday 🙂

 

Christmas Knitting At Its Finest

Knitting Obsenities

I won’t lie, I have a bit of a potty mouth. Somewhere along the way during university, my mouth became filthier and filthier, and especially once I met my husband, it became downright sailor-like. When I phrase it that way, it sounds like my husband’s behaviour causes me to swear at him, when really I mean he provokes it and thinks it’s hilarious. In certain situations or with certain people, I will definitely tone it down quite a bit, keeping up a posh and polite exterior. So when I decided to knit the Fuck It Hat for someone for Christmas, needless to say, a few people were surprised – and became even more surprised when I said I planned on knitting one for myself as well.

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The Fuck It Hat is an awesome pattern – super easy and simple – and after starting last night, I’m already almost 3/4 of the way through the chart. I highly do suggest though that you follow the pro tip in the pattern and add a marker between chart repeats. I followed the pattern’s advice as well and am using Cascade 220, which is always a favourite of mine.

But you might be thinking, “wait a minute, she said she was already done all her Christmas knitting?? LIAR!” Yeah, I thought I was done too. Don’t you love those last minute project gophers that hop out at you saying, “HEY KNIT FOR ME!!” Yup.

So not only did I have a Fuck It Hat gopher leap at me, I also had one for a Jason’s Cashmere Hat , also in Cascade 220. I had really wanted to do this hat in something shiny like the pattern calls for, but the person I’m knitting this for really isn’t the shiny type. Sad.

I’m only about an inch in on the ribbing for this pattern so far so I can’t say much about it, but I am very excited to see how it goes.

I’m pretty sure that Kyle is jealous of both hat patterns and wishes I was making him at least one of them, especially after he told me if the Fuck It Hat recipient didn’t like it, he’d just take it for himself. And, of course, we all know that the cats are just in it for the yarn.

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Knitting Obsenities

The Happiest Day of the Year

I am a Christmas nut.

Definitely not as much as some people I know, but I’m definitely in the camp that’ll listen to Christmas music in November.

This year has put a particular feather in my cap  because, are you ready for it, I finished all my Christmas knitting before December 1st!!! Huzzah!!!

Patterns starting from top left are: Pressed Flower Mitts, Owl Study Gloves, Gothic Lace Cowl, INSULATE! Mittens, and Norwegian Mitts for Mimi

Those are just a sampling of knits I’ve somehow managed to crank out; the last one (finished on Sunday!) is sitting in the bath as we speak.

On Saturday Husband and I joined two of our friends for a journey to the Spring Bank Christmas Market, where we expected to pick up many a handmade wonders for the people left on our list that

a. Don’t appreciate knitted gifts

b. Cannot be trusted with knitted gifts, or

c. I don’t like enough to knit something for.

Surprisingly though, there were very few booths at the market that were selling genuine handmade items – a lot of booths had imported goods from other countries – or were company representatives selling their wares. We managed to find 1 awesome gift for my step-father (a full leather beer holster. Oh yes.), I bought myself an early birthday present of a lovely handmade necklace, and……yak yarn.

Oh yes, you heard me. Yak yarn.

I’ve never encountered pure yak yarn before. This yarn was made by The Rocking Yak, a company who exports yarn, fibre, and handmade knit goods from communities in Tibet where all of the above are spun, gathered or made by local women. How could I resist? Also, have you ever felt pure yak down? The only thing softer in this world is a duckling. And even then, the yak may give the duckling a run for its money.

So with help from my friend who was there for the yak buying, I’ve decided on the Casu Cowl:

It seems like the perfect thing to knit with yak: it’ll be cozy around my neck, and it’s simple but not terribly simple, but not so detailed that it’ll get washed out by the fuzziness of the yak. Plus I think it’ll be a great airplane project…unless I give in and crank it out before Christmas Eve.

Patience, Toria! Patience!

The Happiest Day of the Year