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


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


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.

August 9, 2014

zion lion

Last week someone from Wool and the Gang asked if I'd like to try one of their kits, so I was very excited to receive this bundle of awesome in the mail. They sent me a kit for the Zion Lion Hat.

There are so many great designs, yarns and kits on their site (like this! and this!), and I'm really glad I know about this company now. First, I love the graphics and layout of their packaging:

Inside is a pile of pure gorgeousness:

I big ball of super bulky yarn (200g), a pattern booklet, tapestry needles, a sticker, a wee pin and some absolutely stunning rosewood knitting needles.

The yarn. How I love this yarn. It's a somewhat loosely-spun single, wool, very lofty and extremely soft.

Being super bulky it knits up very quickly. Like any single, care needs to be taken not to pull too hard and break the strand, but it's easily felted together again if that happens. I really love the ivory colour they sent me, especially on the rich wood of the needles.

This simple pattern is great for beginner knitters and there are lots of explanatory details and drawings for techniques. They also have online video tutorials, so their website is a great resource.

Et voila! A super cozy hat in no time at all. I still have 87g left over, so I'm plotting.

It's 30c today, so the photoshoot was brief, but MAN I LOVE THIS HAT. I really looked forward to wearing it this winter. Then the girl grabbed it when I wasn't looking and has now claimed it for herself. I may need to make another.

July 27, 2014



A few weeks ago I decided to try a different dyeing technique, since many of my favourite dyers are doing gradients and colour block dyeing. I started out thinking I wanted to do a gradient, but trying to get a gradual colour transition without knitting up a blank first seemed tricky, so I decided to try long colour blocks instead. I divided a skein of sock yarn into two and each of those into thirds and then dyed a moss colour, blue-moss and blue on each.

The centre photo shows the resulting cakes. Their difference in diameter is due to forgetting I own a swift (bottom) and then remembering (top ;). The bottom photo shows the top-up socks I'm knitting two at a time on the left. The right has some handspun socks in similar colours. I'm so predictable.

Yesterday I finally snapped with the whole 2 at a time thing. It felt so incredibly slow. I think I'm just unusually slow at this technique.To cheer myself up I split them onto dpns to finish the rest. Here's their current state. Finally at the light blue! They'll be knee highs to use up as much yarn as possible.

This week Teresa from Canary Knits did a really lovely post on my designs here. She is such a talented designer herself  (check out her huge collection here!)I was humbled to be featured by her (and a bit guilty I've been so lazy about publishing stuff lately). I love reading her blog and learning about people I might not have known about otherwise.

Hope your weekend was good. Happy knitting!

July 22, 2014

busy summer

I hope your summer is going well and you're having lots of fun outside. I design parks, so construction season is in full swing and work is a bit nuts right now. Nuts in a good way, though.

Just wanted to let you know that I'm also super busy dyeing stock for an upcoming fibre festival, where I'll have a booth - the Manitoba Fibre Festival on Sept. 6th. There are lots of amazing vendors and workshops, so if you're in the area, check it out! It's my first time selling like this, so I'm not sure what to expect, but I'm really looking forward to meeting and chatting with fellow fibre lovers.

So the Etsy shop will only be stocked for a little while longer and then I'll be getting ready for the fest, so if there's anything you want, grab it now.

Enjoy the sun!

July 5, 2014


We decided to take advantage of a good flight deal and take the kids to New York this week. The last time I was there was 20 years ago. I shouldn`t have waited so long to go back. I love the intensity, the smells, the personalities, the parks, the art and architecture, the street food, the constant exhausting stimulation. A great start to summer.

June 3, 2014

my happy place

I've been  a bit obsessed with dyeing lately.

I also dyed some sparkly yarn the other day, which was pretty fun.

I didn't think I was a sparkle person but I, apparently, am. I can't wait to see how this yarn knits up.

And I've been seeing so many dyers doing beautiful gradient yarns lately I decided to try it out. I'll show you the result of this once these little mini skeins are dry.

What are your favourite kinds of hand dyed yarns and fibre?

May 24, 2014

spun socks

Pattern: my own basic top-down socks
Fibre: Malabrigo Nube in 866 'Arco Iris'

I spun this fibre a few months ago and got 532 yds of 2-ply fingering weight, which is a bit more than I usually achieve with 4oz. Then I split it in half and worked each sock from separate balls. They're certainly not twins, but the randomness is what I like about spinning in general and partly why I don't try to control my colour progression with n-plying. I like seeing what mixes and blendings happen when 2 plies are thrown together and the painterly results.

This fibre was lovely to spin and knit up. Very bouncy and soft. If it weren't 30c today I would wear them all day. I totally love spinning for socks. I'm happy there's enough yarn left over from these to make a stripey pair with a solid colour.

May 5, 2014

spring sale


I'm having a sale in the shop until May 25th in celebration of spring and all things green. Yay for free shipping!

April 28, 2014

something springy


Pattern: my own
Yarn: Tanis Fiber Arts Green Label Aran Weight in 'Seabreeze'

I had this idea for a horizontal cabled yoke so I decided to try it out in girl-size first. Luckily I live with a sweet model who is just the right size and who loves bright teal as much as I do.

It's a fairly straightforward construction - the cable is worked first and then stitches are picked up along one edge for the neck and along the other edge for the body and then it's worked in one piece to the bottom. I made 3/4 length sleeves and a 4-button front to give it some lightness and make it a nice transitional weather piece. I added i-cord lines over the stitch increase/decrease areas in the yoke to add interest and mimic the lines of the cables. It's a detail that takes a bit of time, but I'm really pleased with the result. The rest of the sweater is so easy overall, it's not a big deal.

I love Tanis's yarn so much. This colour is a great teal with hints of green and has a good 'sproing' factor. My girl is very fussy about itchy yarns and this one is extremely soft. I think she'll wear it a lot.

April 9, 2014

shop talk

 I love to spin fibre but I tend to spin much more than I actually knit up, so I decided to start listing handspun yarn in the shop if I have some at hand I don't need for a project. I also have some new superwash merino/nylon fibre. Check them out here.

I hope spring is finally coming to you!

March 16, 2014

new stuff

The only upside I can see from having a mercilessly cold and extended winter this year is the excuse to knit lots of warm things. I've never been very interested in knitting summer sweaters in cotton and linen and I have a hard time switching gears from the knits I love to knit to the ones I feel I should knit when the temperature rises. So I have mixed emotions this time of year as I'm so glad to see the end of winter but not sure what I'll do to keep my needles busy/sanity intact.

While it's still -20c I'm trying to finish up a few things I've had going:

I made these simple socks for the girl using Manos del Uruguay Alegria ('Carnival'). I really love this yarn. It's soft, comes in wonderful colourways and I can't seem to stop casting on socks with it.

My niece just had a little baby boy who is utterly adorable. I made these for him before I knew he was a him, but this would have been fine for a her, too. The patterns are Antler Cardigan and Antler Hat by Tincanknits and I needed only two skeins of Cascade Longwood (in '20') to make both. The patterns were fun and since I made size 1-2 they were tiny and fast. I figure babies get lots of newborn-sized clothes given to them but fewer when they're a bit older, so he can use this next fall. The yarn is super soft and great for baby or child knits, though it's a loose ply yarn and it splits like crazy while you're working it, so drink heavily if you do.

I made this a few months ago but forgot to post it here. It's Acorn Trail by Amy Herzog using Briggs and Little Regal. I like some things about this sweater but I'll admit I don't love it. I used her custom fit software out of curiosity and chose a medium ease option, and technically it fits but it's a bit more snug than I like. I'll try it again after I've been running for a few weeks and have lost my extra winter weight, because that might be it. The yarn is gorgeous, and the main reason why I made this was to try it out on a sweater. I'll definitely use it again.

I also just updated my shop with lots of lovely laceweight merino and some sock yarn. I think perhaps a fingering weight sweater is what I need to make spring arrive soon.