Archive for the ‘gifts’ Category

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Alpaca throw: Northern Hemisphere edition

Sunday, June 16th, 2013

Cradle Me throw

More alpaca – this time hailing from Beneath the Sun Alpacas in St. Ann’s, Ontario. I have my cousin Paul to thank for hooking me up with this lovely, local yarn. It’s 80 per cent alpaca and 20 per cent Merino wool, and the alpacas’ names are Puff, Smoke and Malbec. Owner Genie told me that the sheep’s name is unknown. Ha.

Cradle Me throw

Cradle Me throw - detail

The pattern is one I was contemplating for my niece – Cradle Me by Anne Hanson. Because of my gauge, the smallest size ended up measuring 48″ x 41.5″ – a nice-sized throw for my sister. The lace pattern is fun to work and easy to memorize. I’m thinking I might make an even larger version with some heavier-weight Ecological Wool that I have in my stash. Super cozy!


Aidez Cardigan

Saturday, April 20th, 2013
Aidez Cardigan

Photos: Christopher Lewis

Aidez Cardigan

My sister is rightly concerned that I’ll never pop this cardigan in the mail. I love it! I have some Cascade Ecological Wool in my stash that is now destined to be an Aidez for me. Since the pattern calls for a super bulky yarn, it was indeed a quick knit. I finished the majority of it on the train and plane a few weeks ago. It made for perfect travel knitting; the five different cable charts are easily memorized.

Detail of the trellis cable back panel

Detail of the trellis cable back panel

Detail of seed wishbone pattern on sleeves

Detail of seed wishbone pattern on sleeves

The pattern is a free one from Cirilia Rose via Berroco. I used the 100 per cent wool yarn called for - Berroco Peruvia Quick in Fumar – which is a really lovely, soft yarn that results in a lightweight but warm fabric.

[Photos courtesy of Christopher]


VIA Rail + spring knits

Friday, March 29th, 2013
VIA Rail panoramic car - Qu'Appelle Valley, Saskatchewan

View from the back of the VIA Rail panoramic car – Qu’Appelle Valley, Saskatchewan

VIA Rail in Hornepayne, Ontario

Stopped in Hornepayne, Ontario

View from VIA Rail No. 1 train en route to Saskatoon from Winnipeg

En route to Saskatoon from Winnipeg

View from VIA Rail No. 1 train en route to Edmonton from Saskatoon

En route to Edmonton from Saskatoon

Chris and I travelled 4,466 km by train last week. It was a fantastic, frozen trip on VIA Rail’s Canadian route from Toronto to Vancouver. This could qualify as the best birthday present ever – thanks, Chris! We spent four nights on the train and saw plenty of wildlife along the way – mostly elk, deer, wild turkeys and foxes as the bears are still hibernating – and made stops in Hornepayne, Ontario, Winnipeg, Manitoba, and Jasper, Alberta. If you’re interested in seeing some more photos, I have a set on Flickr.

Dr. G's Memory Vest by Kirsten Kapur

I did do some train knitting. Mostly finishing up a birthday vest for my dad (Dr. G’s Memory Vest by Kirsten Kapur), and starting a birthday cardigan for my sister. We met our new niece for the first time – she’s pretty darn cute, if I do say so! – and brought her this little bunny (Sophie by Ysolda Teague).

Sophie by Ysolda Teague

Photo by Christopher Lewis

[Ravelled: Cabled Vest and Sophie]

Narwhal Mittens

Wednesday, December 26th, 2012

Narwhal Mittens

Narwhal Mittens

Happy Holidays! I’m taking a break from a Christmas goose-filled haze to share the last of my holiday knits. These mittens were so much fun to make. Not only is Ysolda Teague’s pattern a fantastic one, and Quince & Co. Chickadee really very nice to work stranded knitting with… but they have narwhals on them! Knowing how Jane feels about narwhals, they were a perfect fit!

Enjoy the rest of the year – here’s to a wonderful 2013!

Note: the main colour is Peacock (109) and the contrasting colour is Glacier (105)



Sunday, December 9th, 2012

I’ve long been an admirer of Ontario-based yarn company Koigu but I think this is my first-ever project using their Merino wool. Nadia Crétin-Léchenne’s Livingston pattern took three skeins of the very lovely Kersti Merino Crepe. It’s a sweet little seamless raglan pullover, knit from the bottom-up and finished with a buttoned neckline. It was the perfect opportunity to pull these mismatched wooden Nani Iro buttons from my stash.

Ten Birds written and illustrated by Cybèle Young (Kids Can Press, 2011)

To finish off this Christmas present, Chris asked the very talented illustrator, children’s book author, and artist Cybèle Young to sign her counting fable Ten Birds to our niece. It’s a very beautiful book that won her the 2011 Governor General’s Award for Illustration – highly recommended for any little ones!


Holiday knits

Sunday, December 2nd, 2012

A whole whack of holiday knits ready to be wrapped! I was taking my sweet time documenting them and since December is now here I felt the window closing… Canada Post does need an ample amount of lead time.

The top photo is Veera Välimäki’s Stripe Study Shawl in Tanis Blue Label, which made great travel knitting in France and Spain this fall!

The second is Jane Ellison’s Griffin in Classic Elite MountainTop Vista. Thanks to Jane for helping me pick out the colourway, which is natural and undyed 50/50 wool and alpaca.

Then we have another Veera design – this one Shimmer in Blue in Malabrigo Yarn Rios. I love the fact that the cables are reversible, and the wider opening at the bottom so that you can pull it down over your shoulders.

Finally, another of Michele Wang’s Eternity Scarves - this time in Tanis Green Label. I love this pattern and plan to make one or two more!

Happy December and happy knitting!

[Photos courtesy of Christopher]

[Ravelled: Stripe Study Shawl, Griffin, Shimmer in Blue, and Eternity Scarf]

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]