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Musings

Finally Fall

I’m so glad it’s finally Fall! Through August my knitting mojo was seriously suffering, and my motivation for pretty much anything was also suffering. I was stuck in a loop of work, plopping on the couch, going to sleep, and more work. My guess is that this is the typical COVID-19 lockdown cycle for most people! 

Doing nothing certainly can be draining. 

But the cool weather has brought me a dose of extra energy and excitement. I love Fall and if you ready my post from last week you know this and all of the reasons why!

One of the reasons I love this season is sweater weather and really just weather for knitwear in general. It’s time to pull out the shawls, hats and sweaters that have been packed up all summer long. 

As I’m getting all my knitwear ready for the season I thought it would be fun to give you a round-up of some of my favourite knit patterns for Fall. 

Hacked Hat 

A young white woman wearing glasses and a grey knit hat smiles at the camera
Put on your new hat! And don’t forget to share a photo on social media

This is one of mine, hope you don’t mind a little self-promotion (this is not the only one in the list LOL) but this had is great for Fall when you just want a simple light hat to cover up your ears on chilly days, without overheating. 

Find the free pattern here

Coffee Shop Wrap

This cozy shawl by Two of Wands is perfect for cuddling up in on a cool day. I knit mine with a Caron Big Cake and let the yarn do all the striping for me!

I keep mine at work, which means I haven’t seen it in a while and don’t have any recent pictures. Oh well!

You can find this pattern for free (amazing!) here or you can buy a downloadable version from Two of Wands. 

Halloween Heart Sweater

This sweater is designed by Meghan Regan of Bad Wolf Girl Studios.

Full disclosure – I haven’t knit this, but it’s been on my “want to knit” list for forever! I really thought 2020 would be the year I knit this for Halloween, but sadly I don’t think it’s going to happen. 

This sweater is so perfect for Fall because it’s got all things Halloween in the colourwork yoke, and Halloween is one of the reasons that Fall is so great. 

You can see the pattern here on Ravelry.

Twister Mitts

Fingerless mitts are so versatile, you can wear them when you’re out and about or even inside if your hands get chilly like mine. They’re perfect for chilly offices or other workplaces because you can still have full use of your fingers for typing or other tasks. 

A white woman holds her hand on her chest showing knit fingerless mitts
These mitts have been my favourite accessory for the transition from Winter to Spring.

This is another Knits of Steele original. I’ve already worn these a few times, without even leaving home. My home office while I’m working from home is in our our bedroom and it’s been a bit chilly. I’ve kept my Twister Mitts in my desk drawer and pull them out if my hands ever get cold. 

Find the pattern here on Ravelry.

Trickster Hat

It’s another one of my designs, but I couldn’t resist including it here because it’s one of my favourites.

Young white woman wearing an orange knit hat poses in front of trees with yellow leaves
Let’s be friends!

This is one of my first knit designs and I still love it so much. The squishy faux cables are great for Fall and who can resist a giant pom pom?!

It hasn’t been quite cold enough here in Toronto yet to need a hat this heavy, but the time is coming to take this knit out of the closet. 

I think this hat is especially great for Fall because of the colour I knit my sample in, Lion Brand Wool Ease Thick & Quick in Spice

This is just a quick look at some of my fave knitting patterns for Fall. There are so many more than would fit in one post! What are your favourites?

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FO Spotlight

FO Spotlight: Campside Cardi

Today I want to share some more information about my Campside Cardi.

Warning, please read: Some of the links in this post are to Ravelry. If you have experienced negative effects from their new webdesign or you are at risk of negative effects from the new webdesign, please exercise caution following these links.

I had this pattern in my queue for a long time when I saw that Purl Together was hosting a Campside Cardi Knit-a-long! I had some Cotlin DK from KnitPicks left in my stash from my Daybreak tee, but I was a bit short on yardage.

I decided that I would go ahead and make the Campside Cardi out of this yarn and figured I’d just do short sleeves. But as it turns out I didn’t have to because I managed a full length sleeve and I still have about 300 yds left.

I’m not sure how that magic happened, but I’m happy that I was able to complete the full cardigan. A short sleeve version would have been nice, but the long sleeves make this a great layering piece for chilly summer nights.

This pomegranate colour is a bit out of character for me, I don’t really gravitate towards red. I was gifted a sweater’s quantity of this yarn from a friend who was de-stashing. And I’ve managed to get two garments out of it!

I’m not sure what I’ll do with the remaining yardage, maybe it’s enough for a My Little Secret Crop (that would be my third one!).

The Campside Cardi is part of a whole pattern line by Alicia Plummer. Each of the patterns includes this stunning eyelet lace pattern.

Sometimes I struggle with lace, but I found this project was a joy to knit and I love how the different lace sections come together to form the finished piece.

I tried out a new bind off technique for this project. The pattern recommends using a stretchy bind off, I wanted to make sure my collar and bottom edge weren’t scrunching up so I looked up the instructions for a stretchy bind off.

I ended up following this tutorial from Very Pink. It was so simple and I’ll definitely use this technique again when I need a stretchy bind off, especially for 2×2 ribbing.

I even used this bind off on the sleeves, I would typically do a tubular bind off on my sleeves, but I didn’t feel like doing the set up for 2×2 ribbing. I do feel that on the sleeves it’s a bit too loose and they flare out a bit. If I were to make this again I would do a regular bind off on the sleeves.

The Campside Cardi is a raglan construction, and I think I’m beginning to learn that I don’t love a raglan construction for a cardigan…this is my second raglan cardigan, I knit Harvest by Tin Can Knits about a year ago. I always had issues with my Harvest slipping down off of my shoulders and I just figured it was because it was heavy cotton and also it’s a bit too big. But I’m finding the Campside Cardi does the same, especially if I wear a tank top underneath.

But at least the slipping is not so bad with a t-shirt because of the friction, it’s actually much much better with a t-shirt. It’s a bit of a shame because I like to layer with tank tops, but that’s okay. I still love this sweater.

Cardigans are one of my favourite wardrobe pieces, they’re so cost and versatile. And I’m definitely putting a cardigan with set-in sleeves on my queue! Any suggestions?

Categories
Musings

My Great Toronto Yarn Hop 2020 (virtual) Haul

The Great Toronto Yarn Hop is an annual event that takes fibre artists on a tour of Toronto’s yarn stores. In a usual year, you buy a ticket to be part of a certain tour group and take the TTC around the city to a handful of stores – each group is a different tour route. And at the end everyone congregates at a restaurant to socialize.

I always want to attend, but I never have because I feel a little shy about not knowing anyone. This year The Great Toronto Yarn Hop went virtual, which was the perfect opportunity to dip my toes in!

I bought my “passport” ticket and some extra raffle tickets and eagerly awaiting the event. This year passport had one week to shop from the participating stores and take advantage of the discounts they were offering.

This event was so great because I’ve only ever visited one local yarn store before even though we have so many here in Toronto. It was a great opportunity to get to know them, at least through their online sites.

Now that you know all about the event, we’ll get to the reason we’re here. My Yarn Hop Haul. It’s pretty modest I didn’t want to go overboard, especially because I’m supposed to be stashing down this year. So, I made just three purchases.

Warning, please read: Some of the links in this post are to Ravelry. If you have experienced negative effects from their new webdesign or you are at risk of negative effects from the new webdesign, please exercise caution following these links.

#1

I have had my eye on this Cocoknits stitch marker set for ages! I knew that The Purple Purl carried them so I fully intended to order them for my birthday. But The Great Toronto Yarn Hop came along and so I got my birthday gift early!

I put these to use right away on my current WIP the Simone Pullover I’ve been using one for my beginning of round and I LOVE the little spiral ones for progress keepers and to track measurements.

#2

A sweater’s quantity of Berroco Vintage DK from Knit-o-matic. This yarn is for the For Fox Sake sweater by Maxim Cyr. It’s been on my queue since it came out!

This was one of the sweaters I had in mind when I put doing more colourwork, and more colourful knitting, on my 2020 goals list. I knew I wanted to do a purple body on this sweater, but I was initially thinking a darker plum colour. But this fuchsia caught my eye.

It’s definitely outside of my comfort zone, but I can’t wait to see how it works up.

#3

This purchase is a two-in-one I ordered two skeins of sock yarns from The Knitting Loft!

I knew that I wanted to add some self-striping to my stash so I picked up this Biscotte Yarns skein of Bis-sock in the colourway Lighthouse. I love it!! This is definitely going to be a pair of a socks with a fun contrasting heel.

I also grabbed this hot pink skein of Artfil Belle sock yarn, this colour is called Bubblegum.

If you don’t know I absolutely love pink, especially hot pink. I have been wanted to knit a pair of hot pink Shag Carpet Shorties, so I’m going to hold this double to make them.

That’s it for my purchases, I showed a lot of self-restraint – LOL!

I did look at all of the participating stores, so these three purchases are just the beginning! I took note of all the yarns and notions that I would go back and purchase later. I really loved participating in this event, especially because it was an opportunity to support our local Toronto yarn shops during this challenging time.

Categories
Musings

Knitting Goals 2020 Check-in

I can’t believe that we’re already in July of 2020! I wanted to take this opportunity halfway through the year to post an update on the knitting goals that I posted about earlier in January. I’ve made some good progress, but there are definitely areas where I need to step it up.

Warning, please read: Some of the links in this post are to Ravelry. If you have experienced negative effects from their new webdesign or you are at risk of negative effects from the new webdesign, please exercise caution following these links.

I didn’t include this in my January blog, but I just passed a knitting milestone for 2020!

At the beginning of the year, I set my project goal at 23 projects. In 2019 I completed 22 projects, so 23 was a one project increase. Well, halfway through the year and I’ve completed 25 projects. WOW!

I guess that’s what happens when you don’t have any plans for a few months. I still have quite a few projects in the queue for 2020 so who knows how many I will end up completing. 

Here is an update on the goals I wrote about earlier this year:

Colours

One of the goals I set was around colours, specifically doing more colourwork projects and using more bright colours in my knitting. I love bright pinks and teals, but I have tended to lean towards a lot of navy blue in my knit wardrobe. 

I recently completed my Sonya Tee which is the most complicated colourwork project that I have done so far and I love how it turned out. 

I purchased the blue/purple colour which is Magician from Sweet Georgia back in 2018 and then it took me a while to choose a contrast colour. I have a terrible time choosing contrasting colours and I was going to use a neutral like a grey colour, but I wanted something that was going to be a bit more dramatic. 

So I used a colour wheel and picked orange as a contrast colour and then found this beautiful soft orange called Peachy which is also from Sweet Georgia. I will definitely use a colour wheel next time I’m having trouble picking colours!

I also recently finished my Campside Cardi in this pomegranate red which is a colour that is way outside of my comfort zone, this is one of only two red items in my closet!

And I haven’t just been using bright colours I’ve been reaching into some lighter coloured neutrals as well. I’ve just started swatching for my Simone Pullover and I’m using a taupe-y grey colour which is a colour I have never used before. 

Scrappy Projects

Another one of my goals was to knit more scrappy projects to use up the bits and pieces I have leftover from other projects. 

I have a Coziest Memories Blanket that I started in August of 2019 to use up leftovers from socks. But I wanted something a bit more because I only use about half a 100g skein to make socks so that leaves quite a bit leftover for scrappy knitting. 

Near the beginning of the COVID-19 lockdown Jessie Mae launched a free KAL for the My Little Secret Crop. I finished two of these using leftover fingering weight held double. 

For the first one I did a marled fade starting with two yarns held double, fading into the second colour held double and then fading into a third colour at the top. 

The second one I used some leftover self-striping sock yarn from Nomadic Yarns held double with another fingering weight yarn. I love the way this one turned out and the striping became almost a variegated colour over the full circumference of the top.

I cleaned up my yarn and realized that I have quite a bit of Lion Brand Wool-Ease Thick & Quick scraps. So I’ve been brainstorming ways to use these up, you may have seen my Free Scrappy Knit Coasters Pattern. Stay tuned for more patterns and ideas for using up super bulky scraps. 

Stashbusting

This is one of the most challenging goals that I set – not buying yarn!! And I think I did pretty good, but not perfect. 

I’ve used up a lot of scraps in the projects I mentioned above and I stashed down in about 11 projects this year and I have purchased two sweater quantities of yarn and some other single skeins here and there. 

I still have quite a few projects to knit from stash before I go too wild buying more yarn!

Designing and Pattern Releases

I’m doing pretty well on this goal, between paid-for and free patterns I’ve released five patterns in 2020. You can view all my designs here on Ravelry.

I have two sock designs in the works, one of which I’ve been sitting on for about a month trying to build the confidence to send it out for testing! I am hoping to get out these sock patterns this Summer, I’m planning to seek a tech editor to make sure that my sock formatting is up to snuff. 

Here’s a sneak peek at the two designs:

I have quite a few ideas floating around so stay tuned as the colder weather comes because I’ll likely have a couple of patterns out this Fall!

Categories
FO Spotlight

Perrin Cabled Scarf: FO Spotlight

Warning, please read: Some of the links in this post are to Ravelry. If you have experienced negative effects from their new webdesign or you are at risk of negative effects from the new webdesign, please exercise caution following these links.

Today the Finished Object Spotlight is on the Perrin Cabled Scarf, this is a knit gift for dad that I made for his birthday last year! 

Dad is all smiles posing in his Perrin Cabled Scarf!

You may recall that in honour of Mother’s Day I posted an FO round-up of the knitted gifts I’ve knit my mom over the years. And wow there was a lot, everything from socks to a knitted dinosaur. I haven’t knit my dad as many things (although he does have his own dinosaur), but as Father’s Day was last weekend I wanted to showcase his favourite handmade gift from me. 

Dad’s GIANT Ichthyosaurus (used bulky instead of sport…whoops)

The Perrin Cabled Scarf is designed by Leslie Alcock who is a fellow knitter and designer that I’ve had the pleasure to get to know through Instagram. Go give leslieslakelife a follow to keep up with her knitting and design adventures! 

This classic cabled scarf will suit anyone’s style and with the ability to use any colour combination you can dream up it will also suit every personality. It calls for worsted weight yarn and a US 10 needle size, which I found was a great gauge to work at.

Bold stripes, meditative garter and a cable detail make this a timeless scarf design

This would be a great first cable project for a beginner knitter and Leslie has even included tutorial photos in the pattern that show cabling step by step. 

The garter stitch is meditative while the striping pattern and cables keep the project engaging. It was such a joy to knit. And it’s definitely a pattern I will knit again! I’ve been thinking of making myself one out of some leftovers using a different colour for each section, maybe even doing some marling by holding lighter yarns double.  

I chose grey and black for my scarf as those are my dad’s favourite colours (very exciting right?! lol) but there’s nothing wrong with neutrals and the result with this pattern is an elegant scarf with a high contrast stripe that doesn’t feel overwhelming. 

I opted not to add any fringe or tassels, this scarf looks great with or without fringe! When I make one for myself I think I’ll probably add fringe.  

I couldn’t resist trying this scarf on before handing it over

I used Bernat Super Value for this project in the colours True Grey and Black. I chose this yarn because I wanted something that was going to be easy for my dad to take care of and would hold up over time. I wanted to make sure he felt like this was an item he could use every day in Winter, and not something delicate he could only pull out for a special occasion.  I also chose this yarn because it’s the suggested yarn for the pattern.

My dad absolutely loves this scarf and, as I think I’ve mentioned, so do I and I will definitely knit it again. Keep an eye out as the colder weather comes because you’ll probably see some posts from me about a scrappy marled version. 

You can check out the Perrin Cabled Scarf and Leslie’s other designs in her Ravelry store! And don’t forget to follow her on Instagram to keep up with what’s coming next!