5.11.2017

Kelly Cardigan by Erika Knight FO


Pattern: Kelly Cardigan by Erika Knight
Source: Classic Knits: 15 Timeless Designs to Knit and Keep Forever
Yarn: Rowan Kidsilk Haze
Colour:Anthracite
Source: Romni Wools
Needles: 4mm
Start: November 24, 2016 Finish: February 11, 2017

'Had this on in a #memademay IG post and realized I never put up an FO blog post about it. Better late than never...

This one was super quick and easy knitting. No shaping, hitting just above the hip. "Classic and Timeless" just like the book promises. I bet I wear this one forever.

All over stockinette with 1x1 ribbing collar, cuffs and waistband...



Knit in button bands with all but invisible snap closures...


Rowan Kidsilk Haze is, of course, amazing and being the named yarn for the pattern brings a lot to the finished knit. Still It seems like a pattern that could be very forgiving of different approaches to it so I'm thinking of trying the pattern in something more substantial and seeing what happens.


This colour way ..."anthracite"... kind of grey, sort of blue, darkish but not black, beautiful with grey flannel wool or denim, of course.


Its a great travel piece. A nice light layer on the plane but also folds up into almost nothing weighing just 225 grams. In NYC in February it was great as an extra layer under my coat and over my shoulders relaxing in our hotel room.

Mohair of course feels like its gives off soft warmth from the moment you slip it on. I bet I'll want to wear this one on cool August evenings with white jeans.

So, really, really happy with this one. The only weakness of it is photos can't convey the magic of it!



4.13.2017

"Daelyn" by Isabel Kraemer FO


Pattern: Daelyn by Isabel Kraemer
Source: Ravelry Download
Size: M1
Yarn: 9 balls Noro Solo
Colour: 1 Lot: A
Source: Knitomatic
Needle: 5.5 mm
Start: July 28 Finish: August 15, 2016
Modifications: Shortened/Omitted short rows at lower back/Knit one size down


('Going to try to catch up on posting recent makes starting with this one as I've been loving it the most in these early weeks of spring.)

The success of this make was about being patient with pattern and yarn selection and realistic about fit and style.

I first saw it as a test knit on Ravelry, months from its release. I was eager to start on it though so I worked up an improvised pattern of my own and started looking for yarn.

A top down pullover, with a garter stitch back flowing forward along the shoulder increase line over a stocking stitch front, seemed simple enough to work out. 'Trick is though, to successfully manage the differing row gauges of those front and back sections.

Fortunately, as I worked at the math for my version, Isabel's pattern came out and I bought a copy right away. What a great decision. The pattern is simple and fun to work where my own would have needed constant thinking and attention.

Of course I still wanted to cast on ASAP but I kept my eyes open to find just the right yarn.

Then at the DKC Knitter's Frolic, it was standing right in front of me. I was chatting with Emily Foden (phenom indie dyer violaemily of viola yarns) I couldn't take my eyes off the pullover she was wearing. She'd knit it up in Noro Solo in a colourway I'd admired at Romni weeks earlier but never thought of for Daelyn.

Well I bought that Noro at Knit-O-Matic the next week (no one had it for sale that day at the Frolic.) I was warned to expect stretching and a lot of drape with it. Since I also wanted a tidier, less slouchy fit than the pattern I took that advice, then went one step further and cast on a size smaller than what I'd normally make.


It was great advice about the yarn. Great drape and a it does grow as you wear it. It needs a bath to bring it back into shape often but it is totally worth it. This yarn in this colourway is magical.



Shiny silk and fuzzy mohair somehow carry a rainbow of crazy bright and florescent and natural earthy colours. They pop out of the background as they come into view, while knitting and seem pretty perfect for a clown costume of some sort...



 From a distance though the look morphs into more of a  springtime-soft-go-with-anything...



The pattern's short rows accommodate the varying row gauges perfectly. (Did I mention there is little chance mine would have done so?) Most wonderfully, the line of paired increases between front and back sweep forward to perfectly connect with the 2x2 ribbing around the bottom.


Very satisfying!

Before you get to that ribbing there are more short rows - a few for row gauge and a few more to give a longer back to the piece. I omitted these latter ones to give me an even hemline all the way around.

The longer back really suits the styling of the pattern which is a longish, loose, super relaxed and looks amazing in the pattern photos but I know would just look a mess on me.

So not only did I omit the longer back but I also stopped short of the recommended length. Mine is a more square, tidy Daelyn that just reaches my hip bones - better styling for me.

In the Noro Solo yarn it's also a light weight knit perfect for early spring, late summer, early autumn. It is great on its own (as I'm wearing it today) or over a t-shirt and feels comfortable against the skin. During the winter, on less bitterly cold days, I like it over a blouse.


However I wear it (and I wear it a lot) I love how it turned out.

Also love that...
  • I bailed on my own efforts to work out the pattern for myself - it wouldn't have ended as well.
  • I waited until I found just the right yarn/recognized it when I saw it then bought it right away.
  • Listened to advice
  • Stayed focused on the styling I need despite loving the way Isabel presented it in the pattern.
Mostly though, I love living in Toronto - with so many great yarn shops, inspired/inspiring knitters and a climate that lets me wear knits for the majority of the year.

1.12.2017

2016?

Lets just say "Phew!"

There was a ton of travelling for us - plus the summer up north at the cottage.

In July, Number One Son, returned from two years in England, in September left for a month in L.A. and then arrived baaaaaaak! Its so great to have him home again!

Carving out studio/storage space for him and his many endeavours meant rethinking/jigging so many things it was like moving house. Plus there's the comings/goings/appetites of he and his friends at all hours while keeping things on the rails for the business-week drill the other two "house mates" (sister and dad) have going.

Entertaining, work-related social committments and even Hudson's calendar were also epic all year long.

We helped out with preparations for the summer wedding of Darling Daughter's closest friends. During that week, we were also robbed, resulting in the loss of my 2 year old all-in-one desktop containing 30,000 photos and I don't even know how many knitting patterns. Retrieving, re-storing and sorting out what to do about all of it going forward is a huge job I'm still working through.

2016 also saw me really lean into cooking/making our diet even more local, seasonal, healthier, ethical and humane. Establishing these new habits has taken so much more effort than I thought it would!

As for purchases other than groceries, its never been more important to me to support businesses and jurisdictions that treat people, animals and the environment carefully, ethically and fairly. Dollars are powerful ballots of a sort and I'm determined to cast ours with a purpose beyond just getting stuff.

Knitting can be a big part of that whole equation and when my Ravelry page tells me many FO's* were practical over inspired, that a few were gifts and there were even donations to our local Syrian refugee support programs I feel like it really was.

I don't remember much about knitting any of it. 'Guess I'm now sufficiently adept at avoiding overly ambitious projects and successfully making those within my capacities that I can knit while avoiding memorable struggles!

So may as well up the ante. I'm going to trying making a (mostly) hand made wardrobe.

Many knitters are doing this of course and there are so many resources on line I've been trying to figure out the best ones for me.

Unlike knitting, I don't enjoy sewing very much. But I have the skills, the time and I'm equipped to do it (currently 4 sewing machines in this house, the most recent addition being a commercial machine on loan to Number One Son!)

I've made a few small efforts but there's really no excuse not to jump right in and see what happens.

So that's the plan going forward. Knit, Sew, Cook (EAT!)and of course hang out with Hudson. I plan to get back to posting too. Last year I drafted many posts about a range of things that weren't essentially about knitting so I never put them up. Now I don't think I'll hold this space to that kind of standard any more. How exactly it might look, I'm not really sure but with this post I've decided not to wait until all the t's are crossed and i's dotted. Instead, like my grand wardrobe plans I'm jumping in and I'll see what happens from here!

2017 Here I come!


*4 sweaters, 3 hats, 2 colour work cowls, 2 headbands, a pair of fingerless mitts, a pair of thrummed mitts and a colour work pair, 2 blankets, 2 embellished felted bowls and 3 trivets, 4 pot scrubbers, 3 dishcloths and a pair of men's 2x2 ribbed socks.