Foxtrot

Foxtrot

Ekaterina Filippova-Blanchard’s FOX trot scarf is a seriously cute knit. It’s boomerang-shaped, worked from the nose in garter stitch. Short rows make for an interesting construction and the little ears, paws and tail are super sweet features.

I used Gilliatt by De Rerum Natura, which is an absolutely beautiful ecologically produced merino wool yarn from France. It’s soft and bouncy with great stitch definition. There are so many lovely colourways: potimarron (pumpkin) is my main colour and poivre blanc (white pepper) is the first contrasting colour.

Foxtrot

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Happy New Year

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Ringo mittens

Snowy owl mittens

Here’s to a New Year filled with adventure and creativity!

Some of my best-loved knits this past year were colourwork accessories for little ones. Barbara Gregory’s Ringo the raccoon and Horatio the snowy owl mittens are two classics – both patterns are available from Twist Collective. Ringo even made an appearance in my #2016bestnine, worked in two of my all-time favourite yarns, Jamieson & Smith 2 Ply Jumper Weight and Shetland Supreme Jumper Weight.

I wish you all happy knitting and woolly goodness in 2017.

Summer knitting

Houlland

Summer is for knitting, just for the fun of it.

This weekend, I cast on for Donna Smith’s Houlland from Kate Davies’ fabulous The Book of Haps. The border is knit in one long strip — the body worked from its picked up stitches.

The yarn is beautiful and fine. Shetland Supreme Lace Weight, 2 ply from an all-time favourite yarn company of mine: Jamieson & Smith from the Shetland Islands.

What are you working on this summer? I’m on Instagram, sharing knits and food (mostly) — join me there!

Flip-top gloves for Jeremy

Flip-Top Gloves

I had so much fun working on these custom flip-top gloves for Jeremy. I modelled the stranded colourwork after a traditional Newfoundland trigger mitt pattern called diamond check, with a salt and pepper palm and corrugated ribbing on the mitten flap.

Flip-Top Gloves

The buttons were an excellent find, and a perfect match for the navy wool. Nicole Sibonney, owner of Americo Original on Queen Street West in Toronto, helped me pick them out. They were handmade in Italy out of tagua nut, the so-called vegetable ivory because of its resemblance to tusks. Americo is my favourite source for buttons – fine buttons really do make all the difference in the finished product.

Flip-Top Gloves

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Beeline

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

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

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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Ecclefechan Mitts

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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Newfoundland Trigger Finger Mittens

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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