December 23, 2012

December 14, 2012

bonne fete


Today's my birthday, so in my tradition of doing something here on this day...everything in my shop is 40% off with the coupon code BIRTHDAY2012! Yay for treating yourself to new yarn and fibre now that you're totally done all your other holiday shopping, the house is organized, the baking done, etc. haha.

Well, you deserve it anyway.

Happy Friday!

December 4, 2012

whirlpool thinking process

The idea for my Whirlpool vest started almost a year ago as a collection of  vaguely related sketches in my notebook




Then I charted and knit this swatch with a certain idea...


...but decided I wanted something that was less linear, more interlocking, but still vaguely circular. Which led to this:


and this:


because I thought, at first, I would make a dk-weight stranded cardigan:



and got this far. It has quite a thick fabric and might work well as an outdoor (or hockey-watching in cold arenas) jacket, but I began to think a smaller, lighter-weight sweater would be something I would wear most often, so it morphed into a vest.


When Twist released their gorgeous mood board for the Winter issue it included several images of naturally-occurring repetitive elements that reminded me of this project so I decided to try my luck and submit it. I'm so happy they liked it, too.




photo by Carrie Bostick Hoge  for Twist Collective

November 21, 2012

book review: twelve knits of christmas







A little while ago I was asked to review The Twelve Knits of Christmas  by Fiona Goble (disclosure: I received the book for free, but was not paid to review it. I'm not otherwise affiliated with it). I have to say I'm completely charmed by it. It gives directions for knitting each of the animals and characters in the Twelve Days of Christmas song, such as the calling birds, maids a-milking, geese a-laying, etc. and of course, the partridge. Keeners may choose to knit appropriate multiple quantities of each. Having the whole set would be fantastic, actually. I should get on that.

Although I've tended to sew dolls and toys more than knitting them, these are all small enough they are quick projects. The book begins with basic knitting techniques and sewing stitches like French knots and chain stitch. The directions for each character are followed by its verse in the song, which my daughter has taken delight in singing frequently. The back cover contains a card pear tree you put together for your partridge to nest in. I couldn't resist making him immediately, as I have a thing for birds, trees, nests and eggs. As you can, perhaps, tell.






Overall, it's a lovely book and I look forward to knitting more from it. Ms. Goble has written many other books of knitted toys in various themes, including farmyard animals and royal wedding characters (knitting zombies intrigues me as well). This one's the perfect book for getting into holiday mode.

November 15, 2012

whirlpool





All photos by Carrie Bostick Hoge  for Twist Collective 

I am very honoured and excited to have a design in the latest Twist Collective.

Whirlpool is a stranded fair-isle style colourwork vest worked in the round from the bottom up. Once you reach the underarms you have the choice to work the rest back and forth or include steeks to continue in the round. I wanted to make this project as accessible as possible, which is also why the charted pattern is simple and easily memorized.

It's worked in Miss Babs Northumbria BFL fingering weight and the colours in the sample above are 'Blackbird Shadows' (main colour) and 'Coventry Monochrome' (contrast colour).

There are so many wonderful patterns in this issue by people I greatly admire. My queue keeps expanding. I have loved every edition of Twist since it started, so this pattern is especially meaningful to me. Now I need to make one I can wear this winter.


November 10, 2012

rossbeg



Pattern: 'Rossbeg' by Carol Feller from Contemporary Irish Knits
Yarn: 'Wool of the Andes Tweed' from Knitpicks in North Pole Heather

I've had this book for awhile so I'm happy to finally knit something from it. This pattern was pretty fast and fun. I just added a few inches to the length of the body and sleeves. I made the buttonbands a wee bit wider as well. Should probably rip and re-knit the buttonhole band to tweak it a bit, but otherwise happy. This yarn is great for Irish cabley sweaters. In fact, I have more to make another Carol Feller pattern for myself. Also, love these toggle buttons.

I don't know why, but the girl decided leaning would make the photos more interesting.

Snow is here, so knitting is kicking into high gear. Happy weekend, peeps.

October 22, 2012

mad hatter

Hello! I've been a neglectful blogger lately, so I will catch you up on some of the knitting, at least the hats...


Pattern: 'Triple' by Odessa Reichel
Yarn: Cascade 220 #7814 (lime) and Patons Classic Wool (grey)


Pattern: 'Branchy', also by Odessa
Yarn: Cascade 220 #9430, held double

I love test-knitting things, so I was happy when Odessa let me knit these up for her a few weeks ago. This is the season in which I stockpile warm hats, so it was fun to spend a few days making such great ones. They've been in steady circulation. I love Odessa's designs.


Pattern: 'Neep Heid' by Kate Davies
Yarn: Coldharbour Mill 3-ply (red), Knitpicks Palette 'White' and 'Mist' (light grey), and Jamieson and Smith 2-ply Jumper Weight #27 (dark grey)

I just returned home from the fabulous experience that is the Wolseley Wool knitting retreat, and a few weeks ago I remembered that last year the person from whom I had stolen this skein of Coldharbour Mill cherry red yarn (it was a stealing yarn game. it's OK) had included the condition that I make something from it for this year's camp. So I made Kate's tam pattern. I love this hat, too.

I've also completed a pair of socks, am halfway done the stranded pullover, and almost half done another pair of socks and a cute dog's sweater. Photos soon.

September 30, 2012

and a new pattern



My pattern Contours is now up on Ravelry. They're knit in Northbound Knitting Superwash Merino Fingering in 'Nocturne', which is a lovely yarn and colour. These are a great meditative knit, with their sinuous cables. Now that the weather's turning I've been pulling these out a lot.

My testknitters were so fabulous, and I'm grateful for their help. It takes a village.

Happy October!


September 23, 2012

expectation


Just a quick note to let you know that my 'Expectation' cardigan pattern, which originally had been published through the Sanguine Gryphon site, is now re-released and available for download here on Ravelry.

It's knit in 'Eidos' - a wonderful yarn which is still available through The Verdant Gryphon.

Hope your weekend was fabulous.

September 20, 2012

more matchy boys sweaters





Pattern: Gramps Cardigan by Kate Oates
Yarn: Cascade 220 superwash colour #1960 (teal) and Knitpicks Swish worsted in 'Cobblestone Heather' (grey)

My Mom has a wonderful friend she's known for about 43 years, who lives in Tasmania. She's visiting at the moment and she's a knitter. It's been a bit of a tradition the past few years that she and I exchange knitterly sorts of things, so I made these for her two grandsons. It's going into summer in their part of the world, but I hope I made them big enough they can use them on chillier days now and again when it cools down in 6 months.

This pattern was fun and good for the cable fix I was craving. I'm not crazy about knitting patterns twice, especially in such quick succession, but I didn't mind this one at all.

Has anyone read this book? I'm reading it right now (thanks to this thread on Ravelry) and it has a lot of food for thought about how our approach to clothing has shifted dramatically just in the past few decades.

Now that much of my non-work life is filled with family activities again I needed new 'waiting time' reading material. Also very happy for fingerless mitt and sweater weather.

August 26, 2012

the perfect sock yarn


I finally have some skeins of the new sock yarn I've been dyeing in the shop.  I love knitting socks and shawls and I've knit with many many yarns in the last several years and thought a lot about what I like and don't like in a sock yarn. Merino is great for softness, but it's not the most durable breed so it needs some nylon as well as some twist to give it that. These factors require a delicate balance. This yarn has 20% nylon for strength and durability, 80% superwash merino for softness and ease of care, and a fabulous sproingy twist that lends comfort and stitch definition.

I love this yarn. In fact, I keep grabbing skeins of it for my own projects, like this:


which means I've only put a few in the shop. For now. More later.


August 16, 2012

sinuous wristwarmers




Pattern: mine
Yarn: Merino fingering from Northbound Knitting, in 'Nocturne'

I wasn't positive I would like these as I knit them, but I love them now. Lisa's yarn is fabulous, in texture and colour, and I like the subtlety of the cables in it. Happy.

DK love

DK is in the shop!