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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.

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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!

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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!

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Musings

How to Style a Cropped Sweater

Hi friends!

You’ve probably noticed that cropped style tops are one of the latest fashion trends. And fashion trends in knitting are no exception, Ravelry and Instagram are full of cropped knit sweaters.

Before we get into it, here’s a bit about the sweater I’ll be showing off. My Ursa sweater is one of my favourite knits, it’s so cozy and the brioche details are stunning. The pattern is by Jacqueline Cieslak and you should definitely check out her work if you’re not already a fan.

A young Caucasian woman wearing a purple knit sweater poses in front of cherry blossom trees
Me rocking my Ursa sweater on its first public outing last spring

Before knitting my Ursa sweater I had never worn a cropped style before. And I was a bit unsure of how to style it. But since then I have found a few great looks that I absolutely love.

Here are four ways I’ve found to wear my Ursa sweater – I hope you find them helpful for rocking your own cropped styles!

Business Casual

This is a favourite outfit for me on a day when I want to look professional, but be super comfy cozy.

For this look, I’ve layered a cropped sweater over a classic white collared shirt, paired with a pair of simple dress pants and black heels. This is a perfect outfit to wear around the office to integrate cropped styles into your workwear.

You could also pair this look with a skirt instead of pants or try a collared shirt in a fun colour, maybe even denim, instead of the white.

Casual Friday

A different take on a workplace outfit, this look sees my Ursa sweater layered with a simple tank top, jeans and a pair of boots. The perfect look for a Fall Friday that you can wear to work and then to drinks after!

Weekend Brunch

This is one of my favourite looks because it’s easy and comfy! That’s why I’ve called it Weekend Brunch because it’s perfect for heading out to brunch or whatever else your weekend has in store. I’ve partnered my cropped sweater with leggings and a pair of sneakers.

Date Night

This look a little more dressed up, I’ve paired my Ursa sweater with a simple black dress and tights and finished the outfit off with a pair of black ankle boots. This look is nice, but still comfortable enough that you can wear it all day and then out to dinner.

There you have it four easy ways you can style a cropped sweater for day to day wear!

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FO Spotlight

The Weekender – FO Spotlight

Today’s FO Spotlight, and the very first FO Spotlight, is on the sweater that I knit my mom for Christmas. My mom knew she was getting a sweater, and she picked the pattern – out of a selection of what I had in my library. I wanted to make sure it was an item she would wear and love, and I needed her measurements of course!  And she chose The Weekender by Andrea Mowry

I gave it to her on Christmas and she was thrilled. She put it on right away!

IMG_20191225_170546-01

I kept the colour a secret from her so that there would be some element of surprise. And I blocked her from Insta to make sure she didn’t get any sneak peeks while I worked on it. I used Cascade 220 superwash in the colour Shire from Yarn Canada.

I chose this yarn because I wanted something that was going to be durable and easy for her to care for. And also something that wouldn’t break the bank, because listen I love my mom but Christmas is expensive already and I really needed a value yarn. 

Now onto the pattern. 

I really enjoyed knitting this pattern, although it did take me a bit of time to get started. Not any fault of the pattern, but I had to start over three times, I read the needle size wrong, the measurements wrong…it took me two weeks, maybe longer to finally get through the ribbing. 

I really was worried that I wouldn’t finish in time. But luckily, this sweater is a joy to knit. The right side texture of reverse stockinette is so beautifully simple, but the sweater is knit inside out so you get all the mindless knit stitches that you want. While the seam up the centres of the front and back keeps you engaged. 

The only modifications that I made were to speed up the last sleeve decrease by a few rows because I was running out of length before the ribbing. And I didn’t do the tubular cast on because after I had to start the sweater over twice, I just couldn’t be bothered with it. So I did a long tail cast on and I don’t think it’s had a negative effect on the garment overall.

IMG_20191224_133642-01
The ribbed texture on the shoulders and the drop shoulder has got to be my favourite feature of this sweater!

Let’s talk about the fit! I thought “wow 10 inches is a lot of positive ease”, but it is so comfy and flowy and the fit is perfect. After a good block the shape of the sweater really came through. 

I tried it on several times and I was so in love, and I don’t know…if my mom didn’t know she was getting it for Christmas I just might have kept it for myself. Lucky for my mom, she’s very knitworthy. 

I am planning to make a Weekender for myself. I’m not sure what yarn I’m going to use, but I know I want a heathered grey colour. As far as modifying the pattern further for my second go, I plan on making the back hem a little bit longer to exaggerate the split hem.

If you’re looking for a really comfy sweater that’s simple, but with nice details, The Weekender is a great choice.