May 12, 2015

goals

I haven't blogged a lot in the last year or so and I've noticed a general downturn in the frequency of the knitting blogposts I read, too. It might be my natural introvert tendencies creeping in, but I also just haven't been doing as many fibre-related things to talk about. My goals over this past winter actually had nothing to do with knitting and everything to do with achieving things I've wanted to do for a long time - learning to play the violin and running a half marathon.


So I've spent a lot of time training for both lately. The violin-playing skill is ongoing (note: having played piano as a child I can attest that learning an instrument as an adult is much, much harder, despite already knowing how to read music)...but I did complete my first half marathon last weekend. I currently have zero desire to ever run a full marathon, but getting faster at the half and shorter distances is my new goal. So these pursuits are competing with knitting for my free time, but I did manage to finish a project this week.




Pattern: Ravello by Isabell Kraemer
Yarn: Manos del Uruguay 'Alegria' in 402 A (navy-purple) and Tanis Fibre Arts Blue Label Fingering Weight in 'Plum' (lighter purple)

This was a pretty quick knit - lots of stockinette in the round. Knit in fingering weight at an extra loose gauge (24 sts/4") it's really drapey and lovely. It used two full skeins of the Alegria and a full skein of the Tanis. I was happy I didn't need to break into any extra skeins, but I love that I got a decently sized sweater using only 3.

I switched up the pattern by doing a contrast colour at the neck and then eliminating the third colur striping in the pattern. My Alegria skeins were quite different, so I just striped between them instead for a more subtle effect. I wasn't paying attention when I blocked it and it's bigger than it should be, but it's super comfy.

Our spring weather has been warmish-to-chillyish, so it's been a great sweater to have on hand. Hoping it gets warm enough to plant my garden soon.



April 3, 2015

shawls-r-us

I've been a bit obsessed with shawls. Three finished in the past month. When I bound off the third I immediately cast on 3 new sweaters, so I seem to be working in trilogies.

The first:


Pattern: 'Nefertem' by Kirstin Kapur
Yarn: Bare Naked Wools Better Breakfast Fingering in 'Americano'

I've been wanting to try this yarn for a long time, and it was really nice to work with. Minimally processed with a nice tooth. Not the sort of yarn I usually prefer for lace, but I loved how it worked up on this great pattern. I may make this again some time and make it a bit bigger, though this shawlette size is sweet.

The 2nd:


Pattern: 'Stones and Tides' by yellowcosmo
Yarn: Skein Merino Cashmere Fingering in 'Static' (blue) and Doodles in String MCN Fingering in 'Sandbox' (yellow)

I've gushed about Connie's patterns here before and I'm sure I will again, but I truly loved making this shawl. It has brilliant short rows and pebbly yarnovers and stripey colour changes and I love the linearity and width of it. And I was so happy she used my yarn.

The 3rd:


Pattern: 'Sick Day Shawl' by Kate Atherley
Yarn: Berroco Ultra Alpaca in Charcoal #6289

This one I actually started last fall when I came down with a tremendous flu-turned sinus infection that stayed around for 6 weeks. It got put down for a few months but a few weeks ago I decided I really wanted to wear it so I finished it off. I can finally check (half) Pi shawl off my to-do list. Great pattern and this yarn was absolutely perfect.

I might have shawls out of my system for a while. (Probably not).

January 7, 2015

catch up

Here is a quick overview of all the stuff I've been knitting the past few weeks, then failed to blog about and only managed to keep a mediocre record of. It was a whirlwind.

I went into accessories overdrive and sought out fun projects I could work up fast.



Pattern: Let's Go for a Walk by yellowcosmo
Yarn: Mission Falls 1824 Wool (discontinued)

(I think I've mentioned my weakness for cabled hats. Or anything designed by Connie).

 

Pattern: Branchy by Odessa Reichel
Yarn: various worsted wts, held double

Made 4 of these for my friends at work. I have now made this pattern a total of 6 times. Yup. Might even make it again.



Socks #1 (blue): Pattern: Veil of Rosebuds by Anne Hansen
Yarn: Brooks Farm Yarn Acero
Yarn was given to me by my friend Liz. So beautiful.

Socks #2 (stripey): Pattern: none
Yarn: Tanis Fiber Arts Blue Label Fingering Wt. in 'Lilac' and 'Jewel'
For my daughter's best friend because she asked me so sweetly if I could knit her socks for her birthday.

Socks #3 (purple): Pattern: none
Yarn: Wolseley Wool Secret Stash in 'Raspberry Ribbon' 
Handdyed by Samantha who works there. So pretty! 

I also made a quick pair of socks for my dad but had to send them off before taking a photo


Pattern: Heritage Mittens by Odessa Reichel
Yarn: Briggs & Little Country Roving

Very warm & fun to knit!


Pattern: my own. based on Kurt Cobain's sweater as above, as requested by my sweetie.
Yarn: Rowan Felted Tweed


Pattern: Wandering in the Souk by yellowcosmo
Yarn: Aslan Trends Royal Alpaca in 'Palm'

I testknit this for Connie a few months ago and I love it. I had this alpaca in my stash for forever, so I was happy to finally use it. Very soft.

Hope your holidays were happy!

November 29, 2014

shop sale


There's a sale this weekend in my shop! Just enter coupon code BLACKCYBER14 and receive 25% off your order.

October 28, 2014

Brrrrrr




Pattern: 'It's Brrr Time' by Suvi Simola
Yarn: Doodles in String Merino DK in 'Wormhole' colourway

I have a weakness for cabled garments, especially hats. I also love Suvi's designs, so this was irresistible. I love the overall shaping and the little corners at the top formed when you graft the front and back together. Quick to make and lovely to wear. It's a perfect hat for these cool fall days.


October 18, 2014

skiff





Pattern: 'Skiff'' by Jared Flood
Yarn: Custom Woolen Mills Mule Spinner 2-Ply in #8 Sea Green

I realized I have a backlog of recent knits I haven't blogged about, so here's one. When Brooklyn Tweed's Fall patterns came out a few weeks ago I was finishing up a few other things and couldn't start anything big, so I grabbed a skein of yarn I wanted to try out anyway and knocked this off in a few nights. 

I utterly adore this hat. I have a strong compulsion to knit cabled hats in general but this one is really fab.Lots of stuff going on for interest, great fit and lots of warmth. 

One of my goals this winter is to research and try as many Canadian yarns as I can. I have a few new natural bases I'm trying in the DIS dyeing division, and there are some new-to-me mills, like Custom Woolen Mills, that have some great yarns I'm trying on projects. I really enjoyed using the worsted weight, woolen spun yarn shown here. The cables don't have quite the same crispness that a worsted spun yarn would give, but I love the slight fuzziness and softness of this yarn.

The days are getting cooler. Need more hats.

September 9, 2014

fibre fĂȘte




After spending many weeks dyeing and preparing my little DIS roadshow, I was so happy when this past weekend finally arrived. The Manitoba Fibre Festival was a lot of fun to attend as a participant last year, but this year was even more fun as a vendor. We were right next to my favourite farmer's market, and the crowds were fairly intense, especially earlier in the day. I talked to so many great people willing to chat enthusiastically about yarn and projects. Thanks to everyone who came by and said 'hi'. I was nervous about my first show and you made it wonderful.

I only wish I could have seen more of everyone else's stuff, as I was rather confined to my spot (I missed the angora bunnies!). Maybe I can clone myself by this time next year. (That would make several aspects of my life easier, actually).

After the festival I went to bed early so I could get up at 5:30 the next day to run my first 10k race. I had much fun at that, too, and was pretty happy with my time. I'm really hoping to do a half marathon next spring, so I have to figure out how to run consistently through our crazy winter.