Archive for the ‘gifts’ Category

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Rams and Yowes: FO

Saturday, September 29th, 2012

I’ve finally finished and blocked my Rams and Yowes for my niece Sibella! I loved making this blanket – seeing the colourwork pattern emerge and steeking for the first time definitely kept things interesting.

There were a couple of minor mishaps along the way. As I mentioned in my steeking post, I bought the kit from Jamieson & Smith and ran out of several colours (shaela, mooskit, sholmit and gaulmogot) while working the backside of the border. I didn’t stress it though as I had enough of the other five colours to transition earlier than written, and I don’t think it’s noticeable. I highly recommend working with Jamieson & Smith’s Shetland Supreme; it just gets softer after blocking and I love that it comes in all natural colours of Shetland wool.

If you make a Rams and Yowes for yourself, I would suggest working the garter stitch border on a smaller needle. I used the same size throughout (3 mm) and ended up with a slightly rippled border. Since it’s evenly rippled, I wasn’t too fussed about this either but if I make it again I’ll definitely go down a size to compare the finished result.

So, yay! I’m excited to pop this in the mail. And a big thanks to Jennifer at The Purple Purl for the steeking support!

[Photos courtesy of Christopher]



Tuesday, September 25th, 2012

I decided on two wee sweaters for two new babies in my life. This is the first, for my friend Karen’s daughter, Arhana. The pattern is a quick, lacy knit from Marya Speton of Swallow’s Return – Eulalie. It’s knit seamlessly in reverse stocking stitch with an asymmetrical closure and pretty eyelet and bobbles centre panel. I used a skein and a bit of Malabrigo Merino Worsted in Lettuce and vintage Japanese buttons that I ordered many moons ago from assemblage’s Etsy store.

The one to come is Nadia Crétin-Léchenne’s Livingston pullover. I ordered some Koigu Kersti Merino Crepe in a dusty rose for my new niece, Sibella. She was born on August 26, the day that I arrived in Paris. I’ll be sharing her rams and yowes baby blanket shortly – I’m running out of space to block!

[Photos courtesy of Christopher]


Rams and Yowes: steeked

Saturday, August 18th, 2012

Crocheted steek

Thanks to all of you who weighed in on the pattern choice for my any-day-now niece or nephew’s baby blanket! As you can see, I went with Kate Davies’ Rams and Yowes. I ordered the kit from Jamieson & Smith and ended up a little light on the yardage in several colours. Luckily I ran out on the reverse site of the edging, so I’m not too concerned about it. But more about that later, when I share photos of the finished blanket. The only thing left to do is block and document!

I wanted to share photos of the steek itself, since this was a new technique for me. Jennifer of The Purple Purl gave me some very helpful pointers and options for steeking: unreinforced, crocheted, sewn and needle felted. I landed on the crochet-reinforced steek that also happens to be the type recommended in the pattern. All in all, the process was not scary, contrary to what I had imagined. My face was beet red as I was doing the actual cutting though, so there must have been some real stress there.

Essentially, by single-crocheting through the entirety of the fabric – floats and all – you are securing a line up either side of the steek. This prevents the knitting from unravelling once the steek has been cut, and you can then pick up stitches along the new edges. This pattern uses a doubled edging that acts almost like a hem that hides the steek edges neatly inside. I used scrap pink wool yarn to reinforce the steek, but you can’t see it as it’s hidden inside the two layers of the edging. Neat!

[Photos courtesy of Christopher]


Alpaca Hömin Shawl

Monday, July 2nd, 2012

I revisited both the yarn and the pattern for this project – Gudrun Johnston’s Hömin Shawl in Misti Alpaca Lace. I had a skein and a half left over from my Ishbel and it turns out I’m getting pretty good at using the yarn I have! My first go at this pattern was in a fingering-weight Malabrigo, which I loved and gifted to Sara for Christmas. This one, in lace weight, was a gift for Chris to give his mom for Mother’s Day. I love the pattern construction – the edging is knit first in one long strip and you pick up stitches along one edge and continue with the garter stitch crescent-shaped body. I used needles two sizes larger than those used for the body when casting off. I learned this lesson from my lace weight Wave!

I hope you fellow Canadians out there had a great Canada Day! I have many samples from my dyeing class to share – reds and blues. Until next time!

[Photos courtesy of Christopher]


Sylkie + Norfolk

Tuesday, May 15th, 2012

Two alpaca knits to share with you! This is Gudrun Johnston’s Sylkie knit in Berroco Ultra Alpaca. The slipped stitch pattern is worked without a cable needle, which was quite nice once I got the hang of it and trusted that I wouldn’t drop the stitch! It’s knit lengthwise and grafted together at the end so you could easily knit it as long as you like.

And this is Amy Christoffers’ Norfolk Hat. This was a very exciting project for me – my first using the tubular cast on technique. I’m in love. Seriously. It results in such a neat, flexible edge. I used these two tutorials.

Now for more projects using tubular cast on…

[Second photo courtesy of Christopher]

[Ravelled: Sylkie + Norfolk Hat]

Toast and a Carp

Sunday, April 29th, 2012

This project is another one going way back in terms of the history of my Ravelry queue. All the way back to September 2008! I used the last 3/4 skein of Cascade Yarns Eco Duo from my Estelle Pullover to make a pair of Leslie Friend’s Toast Mitts for my dear friend Lara. I gifted them to her in February when it was still plenty wintry. My favourite thing about these mitts is that the self-striping yarn makes them a mismatched pair.

I’m sharing this completed wooden carp puzzle because it’s almost the same vintage as the Toast pattern! Phil and Aggie sent it to me for my birthday in 2009 if I remember correctly. When we visited them in Melbourne two years ago they took us to the Japanese restaurant where they bought it. We ate delicious octopus balls, among other things, and they asked me if I had finished the puzzle. I hadn’t. So I cracked it out a little while ago and was very pleased with myself when the carp was finally in one piece. It now sits watching over our sprouting seedlings.

I hope you’re enjoying the last of the weekend. I’m off to make some Sunday soup!

[First photo courtesy of Christopher]


Aestlight Shawl

Wednesday, April 18th, 2012

This may very well be the last of my seemingly never-ending supply of Malabrigo Sock in Eggplant. The pattern is Gudrun Johnston’s Aestlight Shawl, and it’s knit using a traditional Shetland construction — increasing from the point outwards. A fair bit of garter stitch goodness here! You knit the garter section first, and then pick up stitches along either edge of the triangle for the lace and edging. The Bird’s Eye Lace seemed to take me forever to complete, as did the triangle edging. I’ve had this pattern in my queue for almost as long as I’ve been a Ravelry member so I’m glad I finally got around to trying it!

Chris took these photos at the Toronto Zoo over Easter weekend. As you can see, spring is not quite here yet… I highly recommend the zoo though – the Canadian Domain was pretty amazing. More like a park than a zoo. The bison had so much room to roam!

[Photos courtesy of Christopher]


Pewter Snood

Tuesday, April 3rd, 2012

This amazing Jade Sapphire Mongolian Cashmere 8-ply was originally intended for Mel Clark’s Diagonal Ribbed Cowl. My mom requested a chunky snood for her birthday and I thought the combination of super soft cashmere and simple design would be just the ticket. After some hemming and hawing over modifications to the cowl pattern I decided to design a new snood especially for my mom. I’m knitting up a version that is chunkier still and will share the pattern once it’s ready to go. I love this yarn but the price is in line with its luxurious qualities! The new version will be less heart attack-inducing in terms of material costs. I had originally thought that the three skeins I picked up from Rose Haven Farm Store would be enough but ended up needing to pick up two more that I found at Lettuce Knit. Lucky or unlucky!

[Photos courtesy of Christopher]


Spring Lace

Saturday, March 17th, 2012

It’s starting to feel a lot like spring here in Toronto. What better way to kick it off than with a couple of light, lace knits. I mistakenly bought a skein of lace-weight Misti Alpaca Hand Paint Lace at Knit-O-Matic a while back, when I was obsessed with Hand Paint Suri & Silk. Since I was expecting a dk-weight and didn’t realize my mistake until I got home, it just sat in the back of my cabinet for the past two years. Then I saw Kristen Finlay’s free pattern for Wave, a shawlette worked in alternating sections of Turkish Lace and garter stitch. So pretty and simple, and I loved her samples knit up in variegated yarns.

My second piece of spring lace is another free pattern, The Age of Brass and Steam Kerchief by Orange Flower. The pattern calls for dk-weight yarn so I went down two needle sizes and did an extra repeat of the alternating stockinette and eyelet sections. I was a bit stressed over the tightness of the loosest bind off I could manage with Wave (decrease bind off), so with this one I went up two needle sizes for a regular bind off. In the end, I didn’t need to fuss over either – they both blocked quite nicely and I didn’t run into any tight-BO issues.

Oh, and you may notice that my bag in the background of the top photo fits with the knits. Alpacas! Jane showed me this alpaca Baggu a while back and while I was at Good Egg in Kensington Market yesterday they just happened to have one! Mika, the owner, pointed out that the pattern looks like houndstooth from a distance but close up… all alpacas.

[Photos courtesy of Christopher]

[Ravelled: Wave and The Age of Brass and Steam Kerchief]

Magic Gnome Mittens

Sunday, February 26th, 2012

Magic gnomes for a gnome impersonator. These colourwork mittens have been specially outfitted with conductive thread at the tips for touch-screen navigation. Jensen, the gnome impersonator below, received an iPad for Christmas this year and so far has no fewer than 10 fart apps installed. This is serious business.

Courtesy of my cousin, Paul

After I had finished and blocked the mitts, Chris shared some of his conductive thread with me. I made the first attempt and duplicate stitched conductive eyes on the gnomes at the tip of each mitten where the index fingers would be. I failed. It sporadically worked when I tested it on an iPad. Chris offered his expertise in functional fabrics and I ripped out my duplicate stitching. The trick turned out to be having enough conductive thread on both the inside and the outside of the mitten. Inside, it’s almost like a small button that you can feel with your index finger and put pressure on for touch-screen use.

Warning: This video contains gnomes, bacon and a high tech whoopee cushion

The pattern is spillyjane’s Gnome Mittens pattern and I used the yarn called for – seven different shades of Knit Picks Palette. Here’s a detail so you can see what the conductive eyes look like.

Courtesy of my cousin, Paul

[Photos #1, 3 and 4, and video courtesy of Christopher]