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Musings

The Final Stretch: 2021 Knitting Projects

I absolutely cannot believe that there are only 4 months left in 2021! So in reaction to this I bring you a list of the knitting projects that I want to finish before the end of the year…or at least cast on.

One of my goals for 2021 was actually to knit less, if you can believe it. I did a ton of knitting in 2020 through the pandemic I was knitting basically all the time I finished 38 projects! But I didn’t enjoy all the knitting that I did, it was more compulsive than anything and it certainly wasn’t mindful. –

So for 2021 I decided that I wanted to knit much less and focus some of my free time on other hobbies like reading, playing video games and my new craft cross stitch. I set a goal of knitting just 12 projects.

I’ve completed 11 projects and with 2 on the needles that I will definitely finish this year, plus some others I plan to cast on which you’ll hear about shortly, I will exceed the 12 project goal. But that’s okay because I have enjoyed everything that I knit this year! And when I didn’t want to knit, I didn’t feel like I had to.

And now to the knitting projects and yarn, which I know is the real reason that you’re here! 😉

Current WIPs

I already wrote about these two WIPs in my July/August Round-up a couple of weeks ago so I’m going to be brief and just share some updates on these projects!

Baby Flax

I’ll definitely be down this one soon because I just cast off the body and I’m planning on doing short sleeves!

Weekender

I’m ready to separate the back and front on my Weekender. I was just waiting to finish the body on the Flax sweater so now that’s done I’ll work on my Weekender for the next few days.

Current progress on my Weekender, Baby Flax before the ribbing

Cast-ons

CL Beanie

I’ve been hunting for a project for this worsted skein of Breaking Yarn in Hazmat Suite – which is my favourite colourway of all time!

When I bought it I knew that I wanted to make a hat it just took me a while to seek out the right pattern and I’ve finally decided on the CL Beanie (Ravelry link).

This is a free pattern and I think this hat is going to be sooooo cute and of course I’m going to add a faux fur pom.

Maize (fingerless)

I’ve been wanting a simple pair of fingerless gloves, but I couldn’t find a pattern that was quite right. Then when I was looking at Tin Can Knits to download the Flax pattern I realized I could make the Maize mitts fingerless!

I definitely want to get these knit soon before the chilly autumn weather comes, and well before it’s too cold and time for real mittens. I don’t have a full skein of worsted in stash, at least not in a colour I want to use, so I’ll probably use a couple of colours together. I just need to look through what I have.

If I have enough Hazmat Suit left from my hat it would be awesome to use it as one of the colours and make a matching set.

Coffee Talk

These socks are going to be my 2021 Christmas Eve cast on so it’s going to be a while until I get them cast on. And I definitely won’t finish them this year.

I’ll be using my Christmas Day advent box from Woolberry Fiber Co which is from way back in 2019! And trust me the skein was pristine when I received it, but it’s a little raggedy now from being in my stash LOL

Part of the reason that I haven’t used this yarn yet is that I have been waiting for the perfect green minis to do heels and toes. These minis were part of a set I got from Nikki Slipp.

I’ll probably also cast on a new sweater soon after finishing my Weekender, but I have a few sweater quantities in my stash to choose from and I haven’t fully decided yet which one is next!

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Uncategorized

July & August 2021 Round-up

Hello friends! I have a knitting double feature for you today. I didn’t post a July knitting blog because we were busy moving, so today I’ll be sharing my FOs and WIPs from July AND August.

It’s hard to believe that it’s already the end of August 2021 and that we’ve been in our new home for a month now. We’ve been settling in, still have some unpacking to do, furniture to acquire and painting to do.

I haven’t fully unpacked my craft and knitting supplies, those are sitting in a box in what will be the guest room/ The box was organized, but as I keep having to dig through it to pull out different yarn and tools it gets messier and messier – LOL. I should have my yarn storage in a couple of weeks.

My new desk 🙂

I’m really excited to finish setting up my office, after working from home for over a year I finally have a dedicated home work space and it has been great! I have my desk all set up, all that’s left is to paint the walls and then hang up my posters and pictures. I’m going to get a cedar chest from my mom that she has in storage so I’ll have a nice place to store my knitwear!

Mr. Garfield likes to come hang out with me ❤

Finished Objects

Twilight Time

Pattern: Twilight Time by The Marvelous Mrs. Maker Designs (Links to Ravelry)

Yarn: MC: Bar à Tricot Blue Skies CC: Dragon Hoard Yarn Valeris

I knit this Twilight Time headscarf with my leftovers from my Ripple Crop Top I had juuuuuust enough of the main colour to make the scarf and have enough for a square in my Coziest Memory blanket.

I really love how this knitting project turned out and it’s a super cute accessory, but oh man did this pattern remind me why I hate to knit lace!! It wasn’t so bad once I got the hang of the repeat, but the first couple were rough.

I’m making a silly face LOL but this is the best picture I have of my Twilight Time 🙂

There’s nothing wrong with the way the pattern is written, it’s very clear, I just don’t enjoy knitting lace! This is a really great project for leftover sock yarn.

I had wanted to knit another one that was a solid colour in the middle, but I think it might take me some time to work up the strength.

Streamline Tank

Pattern: Streamline Tank by Two of Wands

Yarn: KnitPicks Comfy Sport (discontinued) in Lilac Mist

I came across 3 skeins of this yarn while I was packing and considered tossing it in the donation pile, but I decided to take a look and see what I might be able to make with it.

I had been eyeing this pattern from Two of Wands for a while and I was pleased to discover I had just enough to make it. This yarn is sooooo soft and I love the details in the pattern.

I finished just in time to wear it to my step dad’s birthday dinner, and good thing because I had packed all my nice clothes at this point!

I have some KnitPicks CotLin DK that I’ve also been looking to use up – leftovers from my Campside Cardi (Ravelry link) – so I think I may make another one for next Summer.

Notched Hem Tank

Pattern: Notched Hem Tank free from Purl Soho

Yarn: KnitPicks Gloss Fingering in Navy

This is another amazing free pattern! Purl Soho is a great resource for free patterns and they have wonderful knitting tutorials as well – I use them all the time for new techniques or when I need a refresher.

This garment is such a wardrobe staple and is something that can be dressed up or down. I definitely know that I will wear this one a lot!

This was another knitting project that came out of packing and finding some leftover yarn and then taking to the internet to find a use for it! I used KnitPicks Gloss fingering, which is a yarn that I live so it was great to use up a couple leftover skeins.

Works in Progress

Baby Flax

Pattern: Flax by Tin Can Knits

Yarn: Stroll Tweed from KnitPicks in Earl Grey Heather

This is my first baby sized sweater and I just want to squeal every time I look at it. It’s going by really fast this is the 1-2 year size and I think I’m going to do short sleeves so it will be done in no time.

I am loving this soft grey with tweed. Stroll is such a soft yarn I love using it for socks.

The Weekender

Pattern: The Weekender by Andrea Mowry (Ravelry link)

Yarn: Provincial Tweed from KnitPicks in Pumpkin Pie

Another tweed project! I’ve been wanting to make myself a Weekender since I knit one for my mom for Christmas. And I’ve been wanting to knit something in a pumpkin orange for Fall.

This tweed yarn went on sale a little while ago and I knew it was meant to be! Finally I was in the mood to cast on thanks to motivation from Knitty Natty’s Fall MAL (Ravelry link).

This post is a bit of a KnitPicks fest! I get most of my yarn from them as it’s really easy for me to order online and the prices are really affordable, including the shipping costs which can be quite high shipping to Canada.

Reads of Steele

Vampire Academy – I’ve been in a bit of a reading slump lately and I remembered a Tiktok I saw that said the best way to get out of a slump is to re-read a book you enjoyed reading when you were younger. So I picked up the Vampire Academy series, inspired by re-watching the not-so-great movie adaptation.

The Witcher – I’ve been working my way through The Witcher books rather slowly, only about halfway through book 2. But I just started up again and I’m really enjoying it.

Better read fast the loan period for my new library system is only 14 days and I’m used to 21!!

Well that’s what I’ve been up to outside of packing and house stuff! Thanks for reading 🙂 and don’t forget you can keep up with my day-to-day knitting adventures on Instagram.

Categories
FO Spotlight

Pure Comfort Knit Cardigan FO Spotlight

I knit this sweater for my mom’s birthday which is at the end of April…and she still doesn’t have it yet. I finished it late, but also I keep forgetting to bring it when I see her. I say it’s partly her fault because she doesn’t remind me!

Please note: this post contains links to Ravelry, links to Ravelry are noted with (Rav link).

You may recall that I knit my mom the Weekender by Andrea Mowry (Rav link) for Christmas in 2019. You can read all about that project here! She loved her sweater so much and kept hinting that she wanted a cozy cardigan, mom is very knit-worthy so I decided to make her one for her birthday this year.

It wasn’t a surprise as she picked the pattern and the colour. I was showing her some sweaters I wanted to make and she said “I want one of THOSE!” very enthusiastically when she saw the Pure Comfort Cardigan pattern. Me too, mom, me too.

About the pattern

The pattern is the Pure Comfort Cardigan (Rav link) by Andrea Yetman for Biscotte Yarns. It is available for free on the Biscotte Yarns website. Biscotte Yarns is a family-owned Canadian yarn company that specializes in hand-dyed yarns.

The fact that this is a free pattern is amazing. It’s designed to be knit with Biscotte Yarns Pure DK which is not the yarn that I used. However, I have some of their Bis-sock yarn in my stash and it’s beautiful so I bet the Pure DK is the same.

If you download this free pattern from Biscotte Yarns, give them some support by following them on Instagram!

About the yarn

I used Berroco Vintage DK for this project which is becoming my go-to yarn for DK sweaters. It’s an acrylic wool blend and I find it to be so cozy and soft. I used Berroco Vintage DK for the first time for my For Fox Sake (Rav link) and fell in love with it!

The colour I used for mom’s cardigan is Oats which is a nice beige. The original instruction I received was “I want it in the same colour as that dog” – we were out walking in the park LOL, but no surprise “that dog” was not an available colourway. So this is the colour that mom landed on and she’s very happy with it.

Size, gauge and modifications

I knit this in the size large which has a finished bust circumference of 46.5 inches. That gives it 8.5 inches of positive ease on me. It’s recommended to be worn with 8-10 inches of positive ease.

The pattern is written for 3.75mm needles, but I did not get gauge and had to size down to a 3.5mm. I flirted with the idea of knitting a size down with the larger needles, but ultimately decided to just go with the pattern gauge and I think that was the right call as it came out perfectly!

I knit this exactly to pattern and I’m really happy with the finish product. I’m planning to knit one for myself and will make it the same way. I will note that you may want to modify the length based on your height as that will determine how long it is on you and where the pockets fall!

Other notes

This was my first time doing pockets and I was a bit worried about that part as when I read the instructions I thought “oh boy”. But as I was knitting it became really clear how the pockets were done. They’re not perfect my flap seaming definitely leaves something to be desired, but I think they turned out pretty good.

This was also my first time knitting an applied collar. Before I knit this sweater I was reading through the project notes to see if anyone else made modifications or pointed out anything else about the pattern. One thing I saw again and again were comments about how long the collar takes. I thought “how long could it take really?!”

The answer is A LONG-ASS TIME. It took me about two months to finish this sweater and I worked on it fairly monogamously during that time. In April it was the only thing that I worked on.

The collar took me 4 of those 8 weeks.

However, it is totally worth it. The applied fisherman’s rib collar is squishy and adds so much to the cardigan’s style. It’s my favourite aspect of the sweater.

You will definitely see another one of these sweaters here in the future (probably next year because I have my 2021 projects all planned out) because I definitely want to make one for myself. I really want to steal hers and save myself the hassle of that applied rib collar, but I’ll be a good daughter and eventually remember to hand it over.

Thanks for reading! Don’t forget to head over to Instagram and follow me if you haven’t already to see my day-to-day knitting adventures – and some cute kitties ;). You may even get to see some pictures of mom in her sweater.

Categories
FO Spotlight

Mom is Knitworthy: FO Round Up

In honour of Mother’s Day this coming weekend I thought I would do a bit of an FO Roundup of knitted gifts that I’ve made my mom! My mom is really knitworthy and she’s one of the only people I knit gifts for.

If you follow me on Instagram then you’re familiar with her. This is Brenda!

Okay…Here’s a nice one…also an old one, clearly mom and I need to step up our selfie game!

Mother and daughter smile at the camera, wearing Winter jackets and scarves,
A picture of mom and I enjoying a walk from a few years ago

The first gift I ever made for my mom is this cute little dinosaur. I went through a whole dinosaur knitting phase, and I actually have a couple long-abandoned dino WIPS…I should pick those back up!

A purple and green knit Mesosaurus on a white blanket

Mom keeps her on the bed with her decorative pillows. Her name is Debbie the Dino. Debbie is a Mesosaurus knit from Knitted Dinosaurs by Tina Barret.

The second gift was this cowl. I made this many years later when I picked my knitting back up in 2017.

A woman smiles at the camera wearing a winter coat and a red, pink and grey striped knit cowl
Mom wearing her striped ribbed cowl at the mall in 2017

I used Caron Cakes, I think this colour is Red Velvet. It’s just a simple 5×5 rib pattern. This was right at the beginning of my Instagram career so of course, we had to do a photoshoot with this Christmas decor at the mall!

mother and daughter smile at the camera in front of a gold decorative background

I didn’t knit this hat specifically for her, or for anyone. It was just part of my Braided Cable Beanie obsession! But she took a liking to it so I gifted it to her in 2018, complete with a faux fur pom pom.

A knit striped hat in red and purple tones on a white background

Unfortunately, I don’ have any pictures of her actually wearing it!! This is also knit with Caron Cakes, but the Chunky kind.

What else is there…birthday socks!! Okay, I’ve knit way more things for her than I thought I keep remembering more as I go.

These are the Shag Carpet Shorties by Nicole Bracey. It’s one of my absolute favourite sock patterns. I’ve written a whole blog post about the Shag Carpet Shorties, it really reads more like a gushy love letter I love them so much!

Hand knit socks with an intricate cable in beige yarn
Close up of the beige version I knit my mom

When she asked for a sweater for Christmas in 2019 how could I say no?! I let her pick the style out of a few options I already had in my Ravelry library and she picked The Weekender by Andrea Mowry. But I kept the colour a complete surprise!

Read my The Weekender FO Spotlight (you haven’t already) for the project details! This is my favourite project for my mom, and I think it’s probably her favourite too. Just look at that happy face.

A white woman stands against a grey wall wearing a green knit sweater

…and I love it too. It was hard to give it up!! I’m definitely going to knit myself one.

A young white female takes a selfie in the mirror wearing a green knit sweater

Most recently I knit her a pair of Bun Bun Slippers for her birthday which was a couple weeks ago in April. Because of the COVID-19 lockdown, I haven’t been able to give them to her yet, but I know she’s looking forward to cozy feet!

A pair of red knit bunny slippers on a comforter

These slippers are really cute, I have a pair that I made myself and I’m planning to make a few more to use up some of my Thick & Quick stash.

Well, that’s it…I think…al the things I’ve made my mom. As you can see she’s very knitworthy and she appreciates and loves every piece. Mother’s Day is just around the corner and I haven’t picked out my gift…I guess it’s time to hit Ravelry!

Categories
FO Spotlight

FO Spotlight: Flax

A special FO Spotlight today on Flax by Tin Can Knits. An older project made new! This is my new favourite sweater that is getting me through COVID-19 quarantine keeping me looking professional on video calls and cozy all day long. 

I originally knit this Flax sweater for Matt in late 2018. But after realizing a couple of weeks ago that he never ever wears it – I took it back! There are no hard feelings for him not wearing the sweater, it’s not his style and he’s particular about the way things sit on his neck and the neck is a bit high for his liking. 

A young white woman takes a selfie in a mirror, she is posed with her hand on her hip. She is wearing a blue knit Flax sweater and grey leggings
I’ve pretty much been living in this sweater for the past week

The Pattern 

Flax is part of the Tin Can Knits Simple Collection which is a collection of free patterns that are designed with beginners in mind. 

Flax was the first sweater I ever cast on (just not the first one I finished LOL). I find it really easy to follow and I didn’t use any of the video tutorials which I”m sure are amazing and would further help first-time sweater knitters. 

I really enjoyed making this sweater and I plan to knit another one as well as a Flax Light

A picture taken from above of a white woman sitting cross legged, her torso, left arm and legs are visible. She is wearing a blue knit Flax sweater and grey leggings
The garter stitch on the sleeves is one of my favourite details

I didn’t make any modifications to the pattern, however, when I knit it again intend to add short rows at the back of the neck to bring the neck up in the back so it doesn’t sit so high in the front. 

The Fit 

This is a size medium and it should fit me with 1” of negative ease, but as you can see it’s a loose fit. My gauge is too big by half a stitch per inch so that’s why it’s a bit bigger. I like the fabric I’ve achieved and I like the baggy fit. 

It fits like a favourite sweatshirt and is so comfy to wear with leggings, but also looks good dressed up with jeans. I think it would look super cute layered with a white collared shirt underneath!

A blue knit Flax sweater lies spread out on a hardwood floor
The first FO picture of the sweater on the old wood floors of our last apartment!

When I make my next Flax I’m intending to size down to the small/medium size and knit at the same gauge, I’m using the same yarn. I’ll let you know how it turns out!

One of the things that is so great about this pattern is that it looks great with both positive and negative ease!

The Yarn

I used Wool And The Gang Shiny Happy Cotton for this sweater in the colour Cloudy Blue. Matt picked out the colour for this sweater and although it’s not a colour I would normally pick for myself I really like it. 

Shiny Happy Cotton

  • 100% cotton 
  • Aran/worsted weight (it’s on the heavier side)
  • 155 yds to a 100g ball

This yarn is super cozy and soft. I know that some knitters find knitting with cotton unpleasant and that it hurts their hands, I enjoy knitting with cotton in general, but I didn’t have any of those issues with this yarn. 

I used 6 skeins to make this sweater. 

A partially finished knit Flax sweater sits on a white background next to a cactus in a square yellow pot.
I love raglan detail! (RIP to the plan in this photo….I have a brown thumb)

You can check out my Ravelry project page for Matt’s Flax to see some more photos and yardage details. 

I’m in love with this sweater, and I can’t wait to make another and see how it turns out with a bit of negative ease. And I’m really excited for my Flax Light that I’m going to knit with a slub base. I’ll be sure to share those with you when they’re finished!