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Mini sweaties

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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 🙂

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Making Peace

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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.

Cheers 🙂

Holiday jam

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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 🙂

Baby things

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Why hello there. I’ve been meaning to get this post out sooner, but it’s been a very busy few weeks here as I headed back to work from mat leave and been feeling all the feels. And to wallow even further, I am reminded every day how my baby girl is growing so fast and will be turning 1 in just a month now so she will officially be moving into toddlerhood. My baby will be no more!

To keep with the theme, I thought I’d present you a couple baby makes I’ve made earlier this spring. I’m sure you’ve all seen the mini Vinicunca sweater I shared a in April, but I also made a few more projects in the last few months I thought were worth sharing.

First off is this adorable little Lacey Romper from Pippy Eve. I knitted this in Corsica yarn from Berroco, an ultra soft cotton cashmere blend. I made a few small mistakes here and there thanks to my mom brain, but nothing I couldn’t live with. The result is just so cute and soft and dreamy! I installed two buttons on the straps so the length could be adjusted and it could be worn a little longer, but that’s the only (intentional) mod I made on this pattern.

Second is the Marian dress I’ve knitted ages ago, long before I even got pregnant. It was left unfinished as I ran out of yarn, bound it off it in a different colourway, tried to dye it and failed then put it in the pile for a second dye job that took me way too long to get to. Regardless, now it is complete! Ta-da!

While I’m quite happy with the final result and I think the pattern is really cute, I was not very happy about the skirt increases being located in the middle of the reverse stockinette st sections, so if I ever make this again I’ll move the increases to the sides to make them less noticeable. The original yarn used for this project was Cascade Heritage solids in the strawberry cream colourway, which ended up being dyed a deep bluish purple. If you’re wondering what it looked like in pink, here it is – I’m definitely glad I took the time to dye it as I like the deep blue-purple so much more!

Last is this faux cable sweater/dress I made using leftover Modern Cotton DK and s skein of Debbie Bliss Eco Baby Prints cotton yarn in pool blue. There is no pattern, I just kind of winged it on the fly. It’s not perfect but it’s cute!

As always, details and yardage can be found on my Ravelry project pages so feel free to check it out here, here and here.

Thank you to all those who made it this far and hope you all have a great summer!

Twinning

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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!)

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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).

Cheers!

Spirit of “gifting”

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Why hello guys! Fancy seeing you here! Happy 2021, although I can’t reasonably say Happy “New” Year in May. How can it be May already?!? Anyways, I just finished last weekend this wonderfully delicate (and festive!) sweater called Mariposa, from Beatriz Rubio (SambaKnits). Now that I think about it… wasn’t my last post a few months ago ALSO about one of her designs? I gotta say… I just love her work!).

Anyways, I started this little baby up back in September, but you know… Work, life and stuff, so I just put the final stitches on it just a few days ago and wow, I’m so happy I finished it in time to wear it at least a couple times before the weather warms up because it is BEAU-TI-FUL!!

The yarn I used is Juniper Moon Farm’s Findley DK, I used all but a couple yards of 8 skeins. It’s a buttery soft 50% silk / 50% Merino yarn and, I mean, guys… Can we talk about the colour? The pictures really don’t do it justice, but this colourway is just stunning. It’s a deep, intense fuchsia that just makes my heart sing.

The pattern is knitted from the bottom up and is meant to be an oversized sweater with dropped shoulders. As dropped shoulders usually don’t suit me all that well (and also because I was lazy and wanted to skip on all the shoulder increases and short rows) I just worked the body as previously established after separating the front & back, bound off the middle stitches for the neck opening and joined the front and back shoulders with a 3 needle bind-off. As for the oversized portion… It definitely WOULD have been oversized, if I had not been 7 months pregnant when I finished it.

No worries though, it will no doubt go back to being oversized once I’ve given birth to my little potato 🙂

As pregnancy has been a bit difficult on me with extreme exhaustion and nausea, knitting (and blogging!) understandably took a bit of a back seat the past few months, but now that I feel better and more energetic it’s been easier to find a few hours here and there to complete the project, and although I originally meant to finish this sweater by Christmas (don’t you think the texture on it looks like little bows on a carefully wrapped present?), I’m still very happy I’ll still get a few weeks of wear out of it before summer arrives.

It is my gift from me to me, before our new little one arrives into this world.

Cheers 🙂

Colmena Shawl

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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!!)

Cotton cable comfort

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Weather recently has been yo-yoing between fresh spring and scorching hot summer with very little transition, and so it’s been a little difficult lately to just know what to expect or how to dress from day to day. As such, I’m actually very happy to present to you today a new very versatile addition to my wardrobe, this lovely cozy little cardigan that I’ve made as a test-knit for Beatriz Rubio from sambaknits, that should be published in Miss Babs fall 2020 collection.

The pattern calls for DK weight yarn, and I used Zooey Aran , a 60% cotton and 40% linen yarn from Juniper Moon Farm. Although technically a different yarn weight, it actually feels more like a light worsted yarn to me, and it actually knitted up to gauge almost perfectly so it worked out well. I knit the smallest size, and used almost all of the 5 skeins I had, a whopping total of 972 yards. I made no mods whatsoever, except for knitting 12 rows of collar instead of the 8 rows the pattern called for. I also think that if I had had any more yarn to spare, I would have made the collar even puffier as this design I feel would look simply amazing with a large folded collar.

It was a fairly easy knit, straightforward and well explained with a chart. The pattern is simply knitted and blocked as a big rectangle, then folded and seamed before adding the collar.

The finished cardigan is comfy, warm but still breathable and extremely soft! I know for sure that I will be wearing this a lot this summer on windy days or chill nights.

As you can imagine, the pattern is not out yet but I will make sure to link my project to the pattern page once it is.

Hope you guys are all safe and well!

Cobra Socks

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Guys, I finally released this week a new sock pattern, may I present to you my Cobra Socks!

They’re cute and funky, fit like a glove and more important than anything they’re one of those fun summer projects you can carry with you just about anywhere!

The pattern is written for toe-up two-at-a-time, and features a german short-row heel as weel as simple mock cables running along the top of the foot and wrapping around the leg.

The pattern is written in 4 different sizes from 7.5″ to 9″ foot circumference and it is worked with sock weight yarn on size 2.5 mm needle. I first came up with this pattern in April using a couple skeins of Manos del Uruguay’s Serena yarn, and I loved them so much I made a second pair in May using Malabrigo Sock yarn to add to my rotation, because I seriously had those socks on my feet all the time! I thought other people might also like this design as much as I did so I decided to write up the pattern, get it tested and then… Voila! It is now out there for all those interested 🙂