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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

I Haven’t Actually Knit Since When!?

Yup. I’m ashamed to admit that I’ve just realized that even though I’ve dragged project bags around with me to various places and rooms around the house, I haven’t actually done any work on them since, oh, Thursday.

I think this is one of the longest times I’ve gone without knitting. Except I’m pretty sure I know why I’m kicking my feet a wee bit when it comes to finishing up a couple projects.

One is sleeves.

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The body of a Playdate cardigan knit in Neighborhood Fiber Co. Studio Sock in Thomas Circle with the edgings knit with Hedgehog Fibres’ Sock in Pollen

I’ve noticed that I notoriously dislike knitting sleeves. I don’t do too badly when they are knit separately, but for some reason when they are knit from the body, I always stall. Which is weird to me because I highly dislike seaming shoulder caps to bodies. ‘Tis a mystery, which will probably never be explained.

The other reason is lace.

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What lace, you may be asking. It’s there, I promise.

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This muddled pile of lace is the start of Heartfelt  from Interpretations Vol. 3 by Veera Välimäki (& Joji Locatelli) and is being knit from the freshly frogged madelinetosh 80/10/10 fingering I had been using for a Be Kind shawl from the same book. Now, don’t get me this wrong, this lace has actually been pretty pleasant to knit, the real problem is that the pattern is digital, which means every time I want to work on it I have to drag my laptop around because it’s my only electronic thing that I can also zoom in and properly keep track of what row I’m on. I’ve just printed off a legit paper copy and will be using my handy dandy row tracker to help me keep track from now on. Oh, the knitting location possibilities now!

In non-knitting exciting news, which have also probably been contributing to my lack of knitting is that a) I’ve hit the third trimester mark! Whaaaaaat!

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And then on top of this exhausting milestone is that we’ve finally bought a house! Woo! We are very excited and I’ve been obsessed with pinning home decor and paint ideas (I’ve almost got Husband convinced to let me use the spare bedroom closet as a yarn closet!), and I’m just so happy this little one will actually have a real nursery to be brought home to rather than a dark basement, no matter how many cozy knits surround him in said basement.

 

I Haven’t Actually Knit Since When!?

Wishlist Wednesday

As a knitter, I love love looooove knitting sweaters and cardigans. They are usually my favourite thing to knit, and there is nothing I love better than cozening up in a hand knit when I’m cold. But now that summer is upon us, I came to the stark realisation that while I have many sweaters that do wonders in the winter time, I really don’t have many lightweight sweaters/cardigans that I can wear in the summer when the sun is hot but the AC is freezing. Gah!

On a knitting sidenote, on Sunday I finished my Lake Diamond tank top, and it is blocked and ready to go….if only the weather would permit a tank top. Le sigh.

And so, a wishlist of light cardigans perfect for layering and the spring/summertime:

Grace by Jane Richmond

Grace is on the top of my list for cardigans. I recently bought this pattern and think it would be a perfect project to shop for when I go on my “last yarn trip in Calgary” to get some yarns that I just can’t in Ontario.

Heartfelt by Veera Välimäki

Heartfelt is part of the Interpretations Vol. 3 collection by Veera and Joji Locatelli. My cousin recently shared this book with me and I pretty much want to knit everything in it, including this beauty.

Lineal Cardigan by Hannah Fettig

This would be a really cute cardigan to pair with a sundress, and the linen yarn would be bliss in the summertime.

Whippet by ANKESTRiCK

I love the subtle texture of the eyelets on the body AND the sleeves. There is something about good detailing on a sleeve that I just can’t resist.

Summer Festival by Georgie Nicolson

This pattern was literally designed with summer in mind! Need I say more?

Sunnyside by Tanis Lavallee

Ok, so not really a cardigan that would fit YOU (well, unless you love it so much you’re willing to do some intense math…) but I can’t help it, this pattern is on my mind right now as a good friend just had a baby and Baby M. needs a cardigan too!

Do you have a favourite summertime cardigan or sweater you love?

Wishlist Wednesday

The Longest Week of the Year

This week has been….long…to say the least. Half of it was spent thinking it was the next day followed by utter desolation that, no, it’s not Wednesday, it’s only Tuesday. Dear lord, why. And so now that it is finally Friday, I’m extra, incredibly happy and excited, and impatient for the work day to come to an end.

The heat wave has also finally broken (hallelujah!) and this morning was positively chilly, and making me wish I had worn more than a lacy shrug. (This is why you always keep spare knits in the car!)

But then also this week, I was reminded that very soon is my grandmother’s birthday; this realisation also came while I was wearing a beautifully crocheted vest she gave me for Christmas and so all I could think was I must make her something beautiful. While discussing this with my cousin who also knits, who has decided a sweater is the only way to go, the brat, I unfortunately don’t have the extra time she does. So instead I decided to go with the next best thing: a Forest Park Cowl by Liz Abinanthe. This knit has been on my queue for awhile. I love cowls, and since my grandmother, apparently, doesn’t like shawls because she doesn’t want to be compared to wizened babas (AKA Ukrainian grandmothers) with kerchiefs on their heads, a cowl seemed like the perfect compromise.img_3353_1__medium2

Pair it with Malabrigo Rios in Reflecting Pool and you’ve got a dream. So much so that I’m pretty sure that I’m eventually going to have to make one for myself.

I am also caved and bought some Berroco Modern Cotton for another project…but I won’t get into that now because I already feel like a failure and saying, “NO! NO MORE YARN! NO MORE PROJECTS UNTIL YOU’VE FINISHED AT LEAST ONE.”

Ah, who am I kidding? What knitter has ever been able to follow through on that? No one, that’s who.

The other new project is Lake Diamond by Kristin Jones, and will, surprisingly, be my first summer knit. No wait, that’s a lie. It’ll be my second. But still.

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The pattern calls for bulky weight cotton, but I’m using the worsted Modern Cotton and doubling up. It seems to be working quite well so far – my gauge is a wee bit off, but if my calculations are correct the new gauge will actually work better for me than the recommended.

The only time math is useful: knitting.

The Longest Week of the Year

Just A Real Life Miley Cyrus Song

Do you remember that Miley Cyrus song We Can’t Stop? If you don’t, here’s a memory jogger for you, a la Miley, Jimmy Fallon and the Roots doing an a cappella version of it rather than the whack-a-doodle original music video.

And that’s how I feel right now. I just can’t stop.

Last week I just got tired of everything I was working on. I think it’s because the heat started steadily climbing as the week went on and the idea of sweaters and socks and things that you wear in the winter time just really made me feel really hot. I couldn’t work on them. I couldn’t swaddle myself in them as they grew. I couldn’t proudly prance around in them once they were done – they would be destined for my closet or drawers until the weather plunged again. Plus almost all of them involve looking at patterns a lot. I didn’t want to think. I just wanted to knit coolly. So I did the only thing I thought was reasonable: I wound up a skein of Ancient Arts Fibre BFL sock in Three Valley Gap and cast on a Reyna shawl.

Yup, another new project. I told you: I can’t stop.

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Three Valley Gap – super bright and dreamy, and for some reason makes me think of unicorns.

Sadly, I don’t have a picture of Reyna so far – I just finished the third band of meshing – and had planned on taking a picture of it over the weekend, except, well, things happened. Like Husband breaking his wrist happened and us waiting at urgent care until 3:30am happened. Yeah.

Anyways, so far Reyna is a great pattern: I’m loving the combination of garter and the mesh – and it’s already memorized within two rows. The only time I’ve had to truly look at the pattern is to remember the stitch count for the final rows of each section – and even then I’ve found a short-cut for the mesh parts (it’s that each mesh section doubles, shhhh). I’m excited to see how this turns out in the end.

 

Just A Real Life Miley Cyrus Song

Lace and Things

Last summer I started a pretty big project, at least for me: The Dew Drops Shawl in Darn Good Yarn’s Lace Weight Silk/Silk Cloud. I almost never work projects in lace weight, or lace in general. Little bits of lace in sweaters or mitts, yes. Easy 2-4 line repeats of lace, yes. Like the lace edging on the Burlesque Shawl I’ve been working on (on a side note, last night my friend D. was asking me why I had taken so long in the car, to which I replied my lace count had been off and I wanted to fix it before I came inside. “Lace!?!” he exclaimed, “You can knit LACE?!?! Like LINGERIE LACE?!?!” which then led into a conversation about the making of lace and how it was made. I’ve never seen D. so interested in my knitting before. hehehe). Every line is the same, just positioned in a little zig zag over each other.

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Burlesque in RainCityKnits High Twist DK in Wasabi and unnamed blue 

But big, hundreds of stitches, itty bitty little bits of lace, no. I find lace knitting beautiful and skillful, but tedious and annoying.

I love it, and desperately wish someone would knit me a beautiful lace shawl – I just don’t want to knit it myself.

So when I picked the shawl back up after months, and was able to complete almost a full chart with no errors, I was pretty damn proud of myself.

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And now I’m almost to the last chart and I’m even more proud. I had originally thought of gifting this shawl when it was done (I’m not a huge fan of the play of the colours) except I wouldn’t be surprised if by the time it’s done, I won’t want to be separated from it.

do know, however, that if I do end up gifting it, whoever receives it will be given a full list of instructions how to care for it and what will happen if I find out it isn’t being treated properly.

 

 

 

 

 

Lace and Things