Puppy Kerchief

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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Alpaca throw: Southern Hemisphere edition

Blue Moon Alpacas
Blue Moon Alpacas
I think his name is Biscuit, a Blue Moon alpaca
I think his name is Biscuit

You may remember these guys from a post way back, on Blue Moon Alpacas in Stawell, Victoria. Just over three years ago we were in Australia on one of my favourite trips ever, and I picked up a bag of beautiful, natural grey DK-weight alpaca from Glenda as we passed through the Grampians.

Hansel hap shawl

Hansel hap shawl

The good news is I finally put it to use in Gudrun Johnston’s Hansel hap shawl pattern. The pattern calls for contrasting colours in the hap shell lace portion, which I initially tried with some stash alpaca in teal, mustard and white. I ended up ripping it out and sticking with a solid colour, mostly because the Blue Moon Alpacas yarn is so special and I wanted to really highlight it.

The yarn is glossy, soft and springy, and I left the tiniest bits of vegetable matter in the throw, so we can have more bits of Australia in our Toronto apartment.

Hansel hap shawl

Hansel hap shawl

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Qiviut Dimple Hat

Qiviut Dimple Hat

Two of my most-worn knits of the winter – that’s a glimpse of my Fiddlehead Mitts in the background – and a new hat! I like to think it’s the qiviut (muskox fleece) that makes this lightweight hat so warm. The yarn is from Belfast Mini Mills on Prince Edward Island, which my cousin researched and gave me for my birthday last year. It’s a blend of qiviut, Merino wool, silk and bamboo, and has quite a nice sheen to it.

The pattern is a great free one – the Dimple Hat from the Purl Bee. The only change I would make is to knit a longer brim – probably two inches instead of the 1 1/4 inches written. I still have one skein left so I’m on the lookout for another great dk-weight hat pattern…

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[Photos courtesy of Christopher]

Livingston

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!

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Hemp Market Bag: Giveaway

Hemp Market Bag

Hemp Market Bag

Hemp Market Bag

Hemp Market Bag

It’s been just over three years since I started this blog and I wanted to do something for you to acknowledge the occasion. It’s been great to meet so many of you through your comments and blogs! So, if you’d like to leave a comment between today and next Saturday, June 4 at midnight EST, I’ll pick a number at random and mail this hemp market bag to wherever the winner happens to be in the world!

The pattern I used is the No Plastic Please Mesh Tote by Elisa Contolini and The Purl Bee from Debbie Stoller’s Stitch ‘n Bitch Superstar Knitting. I thought Hemp for Knitting Allhemp6 would be perfect for this type of bag — it’s durable, sturdy and only gets better with wear and washing. It’s my all-time favourite yarn for washcloths for these very reasons. I made one minor modification to the pattern — in addition to crocheting the side seams I also widened the straps slightly by crocheting around the inside of the I-cord handles.

Hemp Market Bag

Thank you very much for reading these past years! I’ll let you know who will be giving the bag a home next Sunday and will contact the winner directly for their mailing address.

[Photos courtesy of Christopher, taken at St. Lawrence Market]

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Fiddlehead Mittens

Fiddlehead Mittens

Fiddlehead Mittens

Colourwork! A first for me (other than simple stripes) and I am definitely hooked. Adrian Bizilia’s Fiddlehead Mittens pattern is a great introduction to colourwork and Kate Atherley’s class at The Purple Purl helped to conquer my fear with helpful tips and guidance.

I picked up the Tanis Fiber Arts Fiddlehead Mitten Kit in jewel tones at Needles in the Hay in Peterborough. What a lovely little shop! We just happened to walk by while in Peterborough for a funeral and I spotted a sample Fiddlehead in the window.

Fiddlehead Mittens

Fiddlehead Mittens

The only modification to the pattern was to knit a slightly smaller liner, using smaller needles, since the liner yarn in the kits is the same weight as the yarn used for the outer mitten.

I’m very happy with how these turned out and am inspired to get going on more colourwork mitten patterns. Such as:

Dala Horse Mittens by Wenche Roald (check out erica knits’ version – lovely!)

Frank and Macro Mitts by Lauren Osborne (Frank has been in my queue for a very, very long time…!)

Herringbone Mittens with Poms and Squirrelly Mittens by Elli Stubenrauch

Magpie Mittens by Jungle Jane

Camilla by SpillyJane

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Jasper Hoodie

Jasper Hoodie

Jasper Hoodie

This is the second in a pair of hoodies for Sarah’s twin boys. I love the vintage diamond texture of this hoodie! The pattern is from Kristen Rengren’s Vintage Baby Knits book and I used my go-to yarn for baby knits — Mission Falls 136 Merino Superwash.

Jasper Hoodie

This is one of those knits that seems to have taken forever to finish. I started it in July and then picked it back up again a few weeks ago. I’m really pleased with the results though so I’m glad I finally finished it!

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Cable and Rib Hoodie

Cable and Rib Hoodie

Cable and Rib Hoodie

Another in what will likely be several baby/ child knits in a row! This hooded sweater is going to one of my friend Sarah’s soon-to-be-born twin boys. The pattern is from Debbie Bliss’ The Baby Knits Book and the yarn is Diamond Yarn’s Fine Merino Superwash.

Learning how to pick up stitches properly has made projects like these a lot more fun. I have The Knitter’s Bible to thank for that particular skill. The hoodie is knit flat and once you’ve seamed the front, back and sleeves, you pick up stitches for the hood and placket band.

Cable and Rib Hoodie

Cable and Rib Hoodie

The final photo looks a bit ghostly. Apologies for not thinking of a less creepy way to display the hood!

[Photos courtesy of Chris]

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Coraline

Coraline

Coraline

Coraline

I started this cardigan way back in September. During the many months between then and now, I came full circle on bottom-up seamless construction.  It was my Moch Cardi, another bottom-up sweater, that turned it all around. I loved the neatness of the underarm seams and how effortless the yoke felt after finishing row upon row of the body. So I picked it back up and finished the sleeves and yoke, and I’m happy I did. I love it – the smocking, the I-cord edging and cuffs, and the Rowan Felted Tweed that I used. The pattern is Ysolda Teague’s Coraline – highly recommended!

Coraline

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