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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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: Northern Hemisphere edition

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!

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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]

Pattern: Saltchuck Scarf

Saltchuck Scarf

Saltchuck Scarf

Happy New Year! I thought I’d kick off 2013 by sharing a cozy infinity scarf pattern – the Saltchuck Scarf. I knit this one up for Chris and managed to finish it on Christmas Eve – just in time to gift it!

I loved the texture of double seed stitch from his Sag(itarrius) Snood and came across the Sailor Rib, which incorporates a similar patterning complemented by twisted stitches. I’m a fan of the vertical and horizontal lines that the stitch pattern gives – with the added benefit of lying nice and flat.

Saltchuck is Chinook Jargon for the ocean. The pidgin trade language evolved in the Pacific Northwest where it was used to bridge the linguistic gaps between inhabitants in the 19th century. The most common word still in use in British Columbia is likely skookum, which means big and powerful. I chose the name because of its connection to seafarers as well as my personal connection as a coastal British Columbian.

Enjoy the pattern – I’m going to knit myself one in charcoal while the snow is still falling in Toronto!

Finished Measurements

140 cm (55″) circumference and 30.5 cm (12″) high

Yarn

4 skeins Worsted Hand Dyes – Blue Sky Alpacas (I used 2014 – olive)

Needles

5.5 mm – US 9 circular needle (61 cm/24″ or 81 cm/32″ long), or size to achieve gauge

Notions

Stitch marker
Scissors
Tapestry needle

Gauge

16.0 sts = 10 cm (4″) in stitch pattern in the round

Stitch Pattern

Rounds 1 & 2: k1tbl, p1, k2, p1
Rounds 3 & 4: k1tbl, p4

Directions

– Cast on 220 stitches using Long Tail Cast-On method
– Place stitch marker and join to work in the round, being careful not to twist the stitches
– Work stitch pattern until you have completed round 3 in the 16th pattern repeat (or desired length)
Bind off in round 4 stitch pattern
– Weave in ends, wet block and lay flat to dry
– Brave the weather!

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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Holiday knits

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]

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Eulalie

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]

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Moonrise Mitts: pattern sampling

Photograph courtesy of Focus Features
Photograph by Niko Tavernise, Focus Features

I loved Wes Anderson’s latest movie, Moonrise Kingdom. It’s witty and innocent with so many incredible details: the soundtrack, the miniature sets and one eye-catching knit. I was hooked by the pair of mitts worn by Bob Balaban’s Narrator and used some screen grabs to draft a chart.

I’ll be experimenting with different yarn weights and sizes before sharing the pattern with you – Chris commissioned this first “pattern sampled” pair, which I knit in worsted weight Dream in Color Classy and Green Mountain Spinnery Mountain Mohair.

I took the photos at Lake on the Mountain – a beautiful provincial park if you’re ever in Prince Edward County. I have it on good authority that The Inn restaurant right beside the park is a tasty spot. We had packed a picnic so we’ll just have to make another trip sometime!

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Toast and a Carp

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]

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