Beeline

April 27th, 2015

Silver BeelineSilver Beeline

Beeline is a straight-forward, seamless knit from Heidi Kirrmaier. I’ve made it twice so far, so that says something about its knit- and wear-ability. The first was for me(!) in jade Merino wool, and the second for my sister in silver Galway Highland Heathers.

The eyelet details and shaping add interest while knitting the many inches of stockinette for the body. The pullover is worked top-down, with the neckband picked up to finish. Easy peasy!

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Funchal Twisted Wrap

December 22nd, 2014

Funchal Fair Isle Twisted Wrap Funchal Fair Isle Twisted Wrap Funchal Fair Isle Twisted Wrap

This was a lot of fun to knit. I love stranded colourwork and I love Jamieson & Smith’s 100 per cent Shetland wool. Couldn’t go wrong with this pattern either: Kate Davies’ Funchal Moebius!

I did adapt it by adding a full twist rather than forming a Moebius strip as written. I also shortened it so it fits comfortably around the neck rather than shoulders.

The piece is knit in the round, as a tube, and then grafted together after the twist. Fun, fun, fun! I came across The Purl Bee’s video tutorial for Kitchener stitch, which I think is helpful if you haven’t grafted before, or need a refresher before diving in.

I hope you enjoy wearing it, Jane! And a very happy holiday to all!

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Wee Ambrosia

November 23rd, 2014

Wee Ambrosia Wee Ambrosia Hood Wee Ambrosia Body

A tiny Christmas cardigan for my two-year-old niece – the pattern is Gudrun Johnston’s Wee Ambrosia. I didn’t make any modifications, and even used the recommended yarn. I’m a big fan of Quince & Co., and this is their aran-weight Osprey in Apricot. Let’s hear it for 100 per cent wool and Wovember!

I initially ordered some custom ceramic toggles but they ended up being too heavy; they really pulled on the fabric. I came across these cute fabric-covered penguin buttons on Etsy and think they’re perfect. My niece is partial to penguins.

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Osprey Sylkie

November 9th, 2014

Sylkie Osprey

I love the texture of this cowl; Gudrun Johnston’s Sylkie pattern. I’ve made it before and will definitely be making it again. And, in honour of Wovember, this version is 100 per cent wool.

Two skeins of Quince & Co.’s Osprey yarn leave you with a cowl that will wrap twice, snugly. I expect after wearing it will stretch out slightly and be just right.

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Ecclefechan Mitts

May 18th, 2014

Ecclefechan Mitts

The fabric of these mitts almost looks woven. I used a worsted spun, 100 per cent Shetland wool yarn from Jamieson & Smith’s Shetland Heritage line. The result is a soft fabric with a smooth finish.

Ecclefechan Mitts Ecclefechan Mitts

Kate Davies designed the pattern; an interpretation of traditional two-colour gloves made in Dentdale and the Scottish Borders. Ecclefechan, a Borders’ village, is on the map as the birthplace of satirist Thomas Carlyle, as well as for its butter tarts. If you need incentive, the pattern comes with a recipe!

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Pure Qiviut Hat

April 18th, 2014

100 per cent qiviut hat

Lightweight and oh, so soft, 100 per cent qiviut is wonderful to knit with. Not to mention warm; it’s eight times warmer than sheep’s wool. I have knit with qiviut before, blended with Merino wool and silk, but this was a new experience. What you see here is undyed qiviut, so 100 per cent natural colour as well.

Qiviut is musk oxen fleece, and it feels more like cashmere than anything else. Most musk oxen live in the Canadian Arctic and Greenland but they were recently reintroduced to Alaska, where they’re farmed. I came across this video from the University of Alaska Fairbanks, showing how qiviut is harvested in a farming environment. Shedding takes place naturally on the tundra but here the qiviut is combed out in a synchronous shed that looks like a blanket.

100 per cent qiviut

100 per cent qiviut hat

Some sources for qiviut yarn:

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Newfoundland Trigger Finger Mittens

January 11th, 2014

Newfoundland Trigger Finger Mittens

Newfoundland Trigger Finger Mittens

Three fingers are kept together for warmth, while the index or ‘trigger’ finger and thumb are separated in these traditional mittens from Newfoundland and Labrador. I first came across the concept at a 2011 David Blackwood exhibition at the AGO in Toronto. Blackwood is a printmaker, known for his use of the intaglio technique where depressions are cut into a printing plate. He also works in woodcuts, paintings and drawings. I loved this etching, For Edgar Glover: The Splitting Table (Emma Butler Gallery), in particular.

For Edgar Glover: The Splitting Table by David Blackwood, 1999 (Emma Butler Gallery)

For Edgar Glover: The Splitting Table by David Blackwood, 1999 (Emma Butler Gallery)

I’ve dug up a couple of patterns in the years since: Mrs. Martin’s Finger Mitts by Harriet Pardy Martin, which was published in Favorite Mittens by Robin Hansen; and the one I ultimately used to make these mitts for Chris, which is from Operation Homespun: Traditional knitting patterns of Newfoundland & Labrador.

Newfoundland Trigger Finger Mittens

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Tortoise and Hare Gauntlets

October 30th, 2013

Tortoise and Hare Gauntlets

My brother asked me to make these gauntlets for a friend in Japan using Kate Davies’ Tortoise and Hare pattern. I’m a huge fan of Jamieson & Smith’s Shetland wool and had picked up four shades quite a while ago with this pattern in mind.

I initially knit the longer version, on larger needles and ended up with a gauntlet that stretched up to my elbow. So … I ripped it out and started again using smaller needles and fewer pattern repeats.

Tortoise and Hare Gauntlets

I love the look of the braiding after the ribbed cuff, and of course the tortoise and hare motif. After the sizing and gauge issues were figured out this was a very enjoyable knit. There will be more tortoises and hares in my future!

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Miss Marple

October 19th, 2013

Miss Marple

Miss Marple

I think the ceramic buttons are my favourite thing about this little cardi. They’re from karoArt’s Etsy store and were handmade in Ireland.

The pattern is seamless and a quick knit in a worsted weight yarn; I used Cascade Yarns 220 Superwash in royal purple. No problems to speak of – I’m a fan of Nadia Crétin-Léchenne’s sweet patterns for little ones. The sweater fits 12-18 months and only took one and a half balls of yarn.

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Puppy Kerchief

August 4th, 2013

Hayden

Meet Hayden the Vizsla. He’s a new addition to my cousin’s family, and a pretty cute one at that. I knit a little tweed kerchief to welcome him. As I tend to do with babies, I overestimated his size but I’m confident he’ll grow into it!

If you’d like to make one yourself, I used a ball of Rowan Felted Tweed DK and 3.5 mm (US 4) needles. This is more of an improvisation than a pattern, and I didn’t measure my gauge. What I did do was the following:

Cast on three stitches.

Slipping the first stitch, knit to the last stitch and then knit into the front and back of it (you’ve increased one stitch). Repeat this for every row until desired size is reached, then cast off loosely, weave in ends and block.

Hayden

[Photos courtesy of Christopher]

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