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.
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.
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.
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!
Two alpaca knits to share with you! This is Gudrun Johnston’sSylkie 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 thesetwo tutorials.
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!
My brother had some good news for me this weekend – he and his wife are expecting a baby and I’m going to be an aunt. I started thinking pretty much immediately about a special knit that I could make them. So here’s where I would appreciate some decision-making help. These are four of my favourite baby blanket patterns: Kate Davies’ rams and yowes, Gudrun Johnston’s Hansel Hap Shawl, and Anne Hanson’s Cradle Me and Honey Baby.
I’m leaning towards either the Hansel Hap Shawl or rams and yowes. I think either would be lovely in undyed shades of Shetland wool. rams and yowes involves steeking, which is a technique used in circular knitting where you knit a tube and then cut the finished piece to allow for openings like the front of a cardigan, armholes or necklines. I’ve never steeked before but would love to try it!
Which one do you like the best? What are some of your favourite knits for special babies?
I can’t think of another time when I’ve cast off a project and immediately started another one of the same design. I wanted to make Simmer Dim as soon as designer Gudrun Johnston posted photos of it on her blog in a colourway called True Blood. The pattern came to mind recently because I’m so darn excited about the new season of True Blood starting next weekend! I had the perfect skein of red in my stash — Dream in Color Smooshy in In Vino Veritas. Done! And I love it.
And here is the second version that immediately followed the first — this time in Malabrigo Yarn Sock in Eggplant.
This pattern has a really interesting construction, and one that makes it suitable for subway/ bus/ streetcar knitting! It begins with the centre triangle and then you pick up stitches on either side to start the semi-circular lace edging. Addictive, obviously!
P.S. I’ve been using Twitter more often lately, @newedist if you’d like to connect
I bought this Malabrigo Sock yarn for Veera’s Plain and Simple pullover. I even went so far as to bring it on the road with us when we travelled to Australia. In fact, I finished the entire body with only the collar left to go and bought some vintage Czech glass buttons to match at a shop in Sydney. All of this is to say that I changed my mind. On their own – perfect – but the yarn and pattern just weren’t working together. I’m very happy with how the yarn worked out with this pattern though – Gudrun Johnston’s Hömin Shawl. I’m keeping this one!
I hope you’re having a wonderful weekend! I had a lot of fun yesterday at a Fiddlehead Mitten class at The Purple Purl. Kate Atherley is a great teacher and I can see now why colourwork can be addictive! I’ve blocked my first mitten and we’re going to work on the lining next Saturday so I’ll be able to share some photos soon.
I loved working with this colour. There’s just something about greens! I’m definitely looking forward to autumn, and this shawl will be perfect for chillier days. The pattern is Gudrun Johnston’s Wast Side Shawl and the yarn is Berroco Ultra Alpaca Fine in Peat Mix. I’m a big fan of Gudrun’s patterns. In fact, this is my second in a row. The shawl is worked from the edging inwards, so once you move to the body you feel like you’re almost done!
Wishing my knitting partner for life a very happy birthday today!