Why is it that sometimes it seems like everything in life is all happening at once, and you just can’t seem to catch up with it all? The past couple months have been a bit like that.
Work brought me to Labrador, Canada in late February, then serious family matters unexpectedly brought us to Peru in March and then it’s just been a blur of private and professional meetings, trips and hotels, important decisions and a whirlwind of emotions. While we are still somewhat in the thick of things, I am trying my best to get back into a slower and more predictable routine to gain a bit of a better ground.
It may not be much, but I think taking the time to sit down and share the last few projects I’ve completed (even though they’ve been finished for months now) is a step in the right direction.
Both sweaters I’m sharing today have been made for my daughter earlier this winter, based on knits I’ve made for myself in the past. They are both large enough that they should fit for a year or two, so hopefully I’ll get a lot of wear out of them both.
The first one is like to share is this adorable midi snowflake sweater based on my own made in 2018. While the yarn used is different, I used the same striping sequence in similar colours. The light coloured yarn is my ever so favourite Berroco Modern cotton DK in colour Piper and the purple yarn was a new discovery for my (though I think it’s now discontinued) Pima Cotton DK from Cloudborn fibers. I ended up knitting the cuff on the last sleeve using leftovers from a different yarn as I miscalculated and ran out of yarn before completing the second sleeve. I did not want to break out a new skein for just the cuff so I hunted down something similar in my remnants and rolled with it. Overall I think it’s barely noticeable and someone who didn’t know who probably never notice. As usual, the snowflake pattern was a pleasure to knit. It’s my thing snowflake now (first child version) and I just find is so elegant. I always mess up the setup somehow though, but I guess that’s a minor inconvenience.
The second sweater I’d like to share is this adorable coral mini Raindrop. I guess saying it’s “based on” my own version would be a bit of a stretch as the colour, yarn, sleeves, edge and cuffs are different but I guess one could argue it’s been inspired by. The yarn I used for this one is a lucky find – earlier this winter I went to my local dollar store and found this coral Truboo yarn from Lion Brand. Let’s just say that at that price it was just a real steal and couldn’t pass this golden opportunity. And let me tell you – this yarn is just so incredible soft! A real dream. Though it does tend to pill fairly easy, but I really can’t complain.
I was lucky enough to put my hands on a few skeins of the same yarn in a cotton candy pink colour as well, and I may be working on a pair of matching summer tees with it. If you’d like to see, make sure to keep an eye out for the next post 🙂
Until then, cheers folks 🙂
It seems like everybody and their mother all have knitted a Bluesand Cardigan before. And with over 2700 projects on Ravelry, it’s one of the most popular cardigan patterns on Ravelry. And anyone who has seen this design before knows why – it’s so cleverly designed with distinctive small touches and details that really make this piece stand out. And now I finally have one, too! Though the journey to get there was not so simple. But first, let’s admire this wonderful thing in all its glory.
Now let me tell you a tale of times long past. Years ago, I had decided to cast-on this cardigan for the first time, hoping to use this design to feature one of my first handspun yarn. I had paired it with one of my favorite yarns at the time, Cascade Heritage Sock in two shades of gray. Guys, it was a thing of beauty. To this day, I still bitterly remember this project (you can in fact still see it over here, as I kept the Ravelry project page with all my pictures). But one of the downsides of such an elegant design with careful attention to details is that its construction is very intricate and require significant focus every small step of the way. And unfortunately for me, I was not prepared for this the first time around. A series of mistakes back to back caused frustration, anger and disappointment, and I ended up frogging the entire thing. Not to worry, although it took a few years, I ended up using the yarn for another wonderful sweater from the same designer (remember my Stormy Seas?), but I was still left with a bitter taste.
Since then, time has smoothed things over and I now felt ready to tackle this pattern again, stronger from past experiences. Tedious work folks, but I made it. and in less than two months, to boot. I worked it exactly as per pattern, except for 3 small details – I did not use a provisional cast-on and picked up stitches for the neckband instead, I picked up the neckband stitches in the main colour instead of CC1 and lastly I changed the decrease rows on the sleeves for a tighter fit. As always, you can find all the details on my project page so please feel free to head over that way. Now, that we’ve gotten that out of the way, let’s talk about the yarn.
This time around, I decided to stick to the needle size and yarn weight recommendation, and I went for a combination of Berroco Modern Cotton DK in color Piper as the main colour and I opted for a skein of Cloudborn Fibers’ Pima Cotton DK for CC1. And because we can never completely forget our first love, I ended up choosing to feature another handspun this time as CC2. This colour combination gives me beachy vibes with the sandy main colour and the Caribbean blue sea hue of the handspun. The purple adds a touch of warmth to the mix giving it wild sunrise vibes.
While I absolutely adore the colours, I was a little bit anxious at how this was going to wash. You know me, I put almost everything in the washer and dryer because if I don’t, I am likely not going to wear it. And while the two commercial yarns I chose are all cotton, the handspun is a merino-tencel blend. I was expecting a bit of shrinkage in the wash, but I was hoping to avoid a felting mess. And fortunately for me, everything went as expected. The yarn was actually fairly fine, finer than the two cotton yarns I was using it with. And so the fabric was feeling a bit loose and airy. I sent the cardigan in the washer with everything else, and then sent it to the dryer on its own on on air fluff. And while it did shrink, the handpun knitted sections retained some stitch definition albeit a bit tighter and fuller and which showcases the blue tonal shades beautifully.
The finished cardigan is beautiful, soft, warm and so so comfortable, please don’t mind me if I just live in it for a little while.
It’s been a busy few months folks! This fall has just been a blur and it seems like the next few months are going to be the same, but at least the holiday period gives us an opportunity to slow down and spend a bit more time with friends and family.
This is a bit uncharacteristic of me but I actually haven’t knitted (or sewn) any of my Christmas presents this year, partially due to the lack of time and more than likely also lack of planning / foresight. I feel like just yesterday I was enjoying the warm summer weather, then in the blink of an eye the colder season and the holidays have arrived!
While I don’t have any knitted gifts to share, I still do have a completed project which is this green Laurie sweater from Josée Paquin. The colour and the stitch pattern reminded me of a bamboo forest – what do you guys think?
This is actually the second Laurie I’ve knitted, but the only survivor. I had made this once before in 2015 as a NAKNISWEMO (national knit a sweater in a month) project, but the sweater mistakenly ended up in the wash and shrank/felted to the point of being simply unwearable. This is such a shame, because that sweater/dress was just SO beautiful! This time, to save me from the heartbreak, I made it out of a sugar cane viscose yarn that I am sure will survive an unplanned visit to the washer and dryer.
This yarn, Araucania Caña Ruca, is truly the softest most supple yarn I’ve ever worked with, topping even topping Mary Maxim’s Eucalyptus yarn that I loved so much. It is just a dream to knit with, and to wear. The yarn also has this lovely sheen and bright beautiful colours. I actually bought this yarn in Hawaii about 4 or 5 years ago so it’s great to finally put it to good use.
I used all but 20 grams of the 3 skeins I had, and was able to knit the sweater as per pattern albeit a bit cropped. I actually don’t mind it too much because the yarn does tend to grow quite a bit when worn, and slightly cropped sweaters actually work pretty good for me as a toddler-nursing mama. Mods, yardage and other details can as always be found on my project page so feel free to have a look there if you’re interested.
I am so very happy at how this sweater turned out and I’ve already worn it twice in the past week so I’m sure I’ll get a lot of wear out of it in the future.
In this beautiful season, I would like to extend my best wishes to all of you, a Merry Christmas and a very happy New Year 🙂
So… something happened. I made a sweater, and it was just so wonderful and perfect and the colours were so amazing that I decided to make another one. A smaller one. A tiny baby one. And I couldn’t be more happy about the result ❤️
So first let’s get the basics down. This pattern is made (once again) by Beatriz Rubio from Sambaknits and it’s called Vinicunca. It’s a wonderful dropped shoulder cozy oversized sweater with tight sleeves. I made it in Berroco’s Modern Cotton DK in colour Gadwall. The contrasting colours are a bit of a closet clean out, I used a mix of what I had in a similar gauge that would fit the colour scheme I was envisioning. There’s Elsebeth Lavold Hempathy in there, Knit Pick’s lindy chain, Katia rustic silk and a couple basic cotton yarns to complete.
I made this sweater in size 2, no swatch, I just eyeballed it. Big mistake. But let’s be real, I just never swatch. I’m not a swatcher, never been, and probably never will be. I don’t care much for gauge, and I like to have variety in my closet so in my hand knit section, I’ve got sweaters of all sizes ranging from dramatically oversized to pretty darn snug, and I kinda like it that way. So back on topic, I didn’t swatch. and I probably should’ve. Because… I’m a tight knitter. And I liked the oversized look of this sweater. So… I ended up blocking the sh*t out of this one until I reached the desired size. NOT RECOMMENDED 😅 but I did. And you know what? It turned out just fine. But I made a slight adjustment for the mini version, and I made a mental note to myself for any other future iterations of this sweater to size up on needle size to 4mm because for this sweater, gauge matters. A lot. Anyways other than needle size I didn’t change much to the pattern. I omitted the sleeve decreases and changed up the number of repeats for the contrasting colours to jazz it up but that’s about it. All the details are on my Ravelry project page as always, including precise yardage, mods, etc.
For the mini version, I did end up making quite a few ajustements, as the pattern isn’t made for kids. It’s not perfect and if I do this again I left plenty of notes on my project page to do a better job next time but overall, I’m still pretty darn happy with the result. And the little lady too, so it’s all good.
So that’s all I got for today folks, I’ll see you again real soon 😉
Yes I’m alive (and well!)
I know… I looked at the date. It’s been 10 months since I last posted on here. Why hello there, if you are still following, it’s been a hot minute. I’ve been spending the last 7 months trying to adjust to my new life as a mother, and it has not been easy, so I’ve been focusing on that and crafting has unsurprisingly been moved to the back burner for a while. But good news is, I’m slowly adjusting. And I’ve tried to pick back up some of my hobbies during my little bits of free time.
I cannot promise I’ll post often (or that I’ll post at all, for what matters) but hey, I’m here now and I can show you one or two goodies right?
So the FO wanted to show you today is the first project I finished since the birth of my Little Lady. It is a this Tunisian crochet chevron blanket, made in worsted weight Bernat’s Handicrafter cotton yarn, one in white and the other in a blue ombré. Now I tested something because I was lazy and wanted to reduce the (already insane) amount of ends I would have to weave in, so instead of working one row of squares, cut the yarn and start again, I tried to turn the work and crochet the other row of the same colour from the back instead. Not sure if that makes any sense to you? Anyways I wasn’t sure how it would turn out, but I’m actually quite fond of the texture it creates, by having some squares right side facing and some squares wrong side facing. I might actually do this again! The blanket is pretty much lap size, and would be perfect for walks in the stroller, once weather permits. I used all but 10-15 grams of both skeins, and as usual you may find a couple more details on my Ravelry project page.
I’ve also completed a second raindrops sweater, a tincanknits pattern. The yarn I’ve used is a beautiful lush green Fino yarn from Manos Del Uruguay. Now I gotta say there’s more than a couple mistakes in this sweater, as I was having trouble keeping my mommy brain focussed enough to complete this knit. Fortunately for me, the pattern is extremely forgiving, and my many slip ups don’t really show too much. I’ve made a couple mods, including adding sone waist shaping, but other than that it’s very “by the book” – you can find all the details including yardage on my project page. I’m quite happy with the result, and will surely get a lot of wear out of it in the next few months as we transition to slightly warmer weather.
That’s all I had to share for now guys, not sure when I’ll be able to pop back again but I surely will one day (just don’t hold your breath).
Gosh, has it already been two months already? I’m sorry…
But I’ve been working diligently on this beauty here, and it’s been taking most of my time as I’m not very efficient working cables. Resulting in me being a whopping 3 weeks late on this test knit. Beatriz, my deepest apologies!
Ok, let’s recap here. I signed up in September for another test test knit for SambaKnits, this beautifully textured Colmena Shawl. This is not my first rodeo, I’ve done test knits many times. What I didn’t realize at first though is that the entire textured section is all cables. That’s a lot of cables. And don’t get me wrong, I’ve done cables before and I know how to work them. But I’m not especially good at it. They seriously slow me down, leading me to greatly underestimate the time it would take me to knit this. But let’s pass for now abs let’s talk specs.
This shawl pattern is written for worsted weight yarn, and as always Beatriz was a charm letting us do yarn substitutions. I went for a couple skeins of Motley from Sugar Bush Yarns I had in stash. It is marked as a sport weight yarn but it’s a very thick and thin single that feels more like a DK to me. First surprise: it’s actually a self striping, which is not what I was expecting. How come I didn’t realize this?! Anyways, I decided to roll with it and knit the shawl with appropriately downsized 4mm needles.
I had committed to using the full two skeins I had, saving a third one for a matching hat or a pair of mittens. I did just that by adding one more full repeat of section 4, and working section 5 a total of 8 times instead of 4, all in all adding about 18 rows to the original pattern. I think I did great maximizing the yardage I had, though I ended up playing a fans a yarn chicken in the end abs lost – by about 10 stitches. So I had to borrow 12 inches of yarn from the reserved hat/mitten skein to finish binding it off.
All in all, it took me about 2 months to work through this shawl, which literally is FOREVER for me (thanks to the cables) but I regret nothing. I love this shawl, the feel of it, the colour, the texture, and given the choice I would still do it all over again. If you’re interested please do feel free to check out my Ravelry project page for all the details, and now I’ll hopefully be moving on to Christmas makes (Gosh I’m so so late this year!!)
We all have some of those, right? Well, staying home a lot more recently has given me an opportunity to revisit those, and to put the final stitches on a couple projects I (really) should’ve finished long ago.
First off is this luscious green cardigan I’ve started in October 2017 as a test-knit for the lovely Anne, for her French Kiss cardigan pattern. Now I feel particularly terrible about this one because I’m the type who will not sign up for a test knit unless I know for sure I can finish before the deadline. As luck would have it though, many unexpected things happened during that time frame that prevented me from completing the test. I felt horrible and apologized profusely, but after the pattern was published I didn’t feel as much pressure to finish the project so I just left it there and forgot about it. I’m so happy (and relieved) it is finally done, and right on time too – the colour and the yarn are perfect for spring / summer.
I used about 6 and a half skeins of Nettle Grove yarn from Plymouth Yarn in the colour “Mermaid”. This yarn is an interesting cotton, linen, silk and nettle mix, and although I’m not a huge fan, I gotta say that the final washed fabric is actually pretty soft and has very good stitch definition. I pretty much followed pattern instructions exactly, all the details are on my Ravelry project page.
Second project I want to show you guys is my second iteration of the Dessine-Moi Un Mouton sweater by La Maison Rililie that I had started in December 2018. It’s no secret that I love this design, I’ve used it before to make my Spilled Wine sweater (and made quite a fuss about it), and I seem to always gravitate towards this design to showcase something special. First time was a gradient yarn set from Wonderland Yarns, and now this time it’s one of my very first handspun yarn, that I had attempted to use for a BlueSand Cardigan before but ended up frogging (the unsuccessful attempt is still documented here).
Just like the first time I made this sweater, I’m using a staple yarn for me, Cascade’s Heritage Solids yarn, but this time I went for charcoal grey. I also again worked on a modified gauge (since I’m using fingering weight yarn), though this time I made this sweater one size smaller, since I’ve lost a lot of weight since I made the first iteration of this sweater.
Overall, I am just SO happy at how this one turned out, and I really cannot wait to wear it!! It’s fun, it’s playful, it’s comfy and more than anything, it’s not on a needle anymore. As usual the details on yardage and mods are available on my project page so feel free to check it out 🙂
Tour de fleece-ing (ish)
As many spinners do every year in July, last month I bust out my spinning wheel to spin along the cyclists of the Tour de France, which was held July 6-28th. I gotta say that with the move and everything that’s going on in my life right now, I didn’t set any expectations to put out a good production, I was really just looking forward to spending a bit of time on a different activity for a little while, no pressure. And I’m happy to report that I did just that!
I set out the spinning wheel in the living room and putted at it every few days while watching the new season of Queer eye. Bliss!
All in all, I was able to spin about 5-ish oz. I spun (and plied) a Manos del Uruguay pink and purple 100g merino roving into a cute chain plied sport weight yarn, very soft and springy.
I also started spinning a green 4 oz merino-silk roving from Ashland Bay, But since I’m only about a quarter of the way through I decided to keep the spinning wheel out and I’ll keep on working on it here and there throughout the summer, and hopefully have another handspun to show you this fall.
To stay in the spinning spirit, I also started working on a cowl using my Flamboyant Flamingo handspun yarn, made during the tour de fleece a good 5 years ago. I wasn’t sure at first how it was going to turn out since the yarn is a 2-ply barber pole and quite think and thin since I still was pretty new to spinning, but it’s actually turning out pretty well with the structure of this wonderful cowl pattern. I will give a more through review of the Lissome pattern once I’m done, but let’s just say that I am really (REALLY) loving this design from Susan Pandorf.
So many projects, so little time!! Last weekend, I finally finished a sweater that has been on the needles since May 2017 (ahem!..) and I’m so happy it finally came together! Not only is it another project I can check off the WIP list, but it’s also a really pretty and cozy sweater, right on time for the cold season.
The pattern is (of course!) Tin Can Knits’s beautiful Snowflake, and the yarn is some Berroco Folio yarn I had in stash in color “Raspberry coulis” and “tan”. Since I had only a couple skeins of each, I decided on a striped version of the sweater to maximize the use of every yard. I ended up using all but 3 grams of the tan and 13 grams of the purple. As always, all the details on the yardage, striping sequence and mods can be found on my project page so take a look at them there if you’re interested!
Now this is my second snowflake sweater, but I haven’t been able to wear the first one that I made 4 years ago at all recently because I’ve lost a lot of weight and the bottom half of the body has been incredibly loose and shapeless. I’m very happy to have this model on my sweater rotation again, but I’ll definitely have to do something about the older one at some point this winter.
I think it should be an easy fix, since I could probably just pick up stitches around the waist where it still fits, frog the bottom half and re-knit it with less hip increases (or none at all). Whatever I do, I’ll make sure to keep you posted on my sweater surgery, so wish me luck!
Now if you don’t mind I’ll go back to my needles, because I definitely got some catching up to do before the year is over!
Guys, I’m so excited to show you the shawl I’ve been working on for almost 5 months now, it’s finally complete! Although it’s been a bit of a challenge, I’m so happy with the result!
Let me share a bit of a story to go along with this knit, because I think it deserves it. I’ve always been a huge fan of Melanie Berg, I love all of her designs and I’ve been eyeing Rheinlust since it first came out more than 2 years ago. To showcase the beautiful texture going on there, I wanted to use a solid or kettle dyed yarn to avoid any unnecessary visual distractions, so I opted for a couple skeins of the soft and beautiful (single-ply) Airy yarn from The Woolen Rabbit that I got at the Squam Art Fair in New Hampshire some 4 years back. It is a beautiful deep orange color, and mixed with the wavyness of the Rheinlust pattern, this shawl (to me!) looks like yummy gorgeous waves in a sea of orange crush pop! Don’t you guys feel the same?
Anyways, I started this shawl back in May as an airplane knit for my trip to Japan, but I quickly realized it wasn’t the smartest choice, as the pattern turned out to be a bit more challenging than I expected. I love lace patterns, but the way the waves kind of move along the knit got me really confused at first, and it took me a lot longer than usual to memorize the 22 row pattern repeat. Don’t get me wrong, the pattern is very clear and beautifully written, but my drowsy Dramamine brain had a lot of trouble juggling the yarn, the needle and the chart on the tiny plane tray intermittently taken over by food & drinks and a lot of other junk. Bottom line here, I frogged and started over this shawl 2 or 3 times before I got it somewhat right, and I made quite a few mistakes in the the first third of the shawl, but fortunately they seem to blend in quite well in the wavy pattern. The delicate single-ply yarn, however, didn’t appreciate all the frogging, confusion and messiness and broke in quite a few places in the first half.
Together, these two challenges made me realize that I probably should’ve thought things through a bit more, and chosen a more appropriate knit for the plane ride. An easier design with a simpler pattern repeat and a sturdier two or three ply yarn would certainly have been a wiser choice, but regardless of the knitting challenges faced during the trip, I am so happy that I made this shawl!! It is beautiful, soft and drapey, and every bit as amazing as I imagined it would be. I followed the pattern exactly, but repeated the main body 8 times instead of 9 to accommodate the smaller amount yarn I had available, all the details can be found on my project page as usual. And it worked out perfectly! I mean… Would you look at that beauty?
Either way, I shall learn from my mistakes and choose a more appropriate travel project the next time I go on a trip, which may come sooner rather than later.
See you again soon folks!