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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Cleo Kitty Slippers

Cleo Kitty Slippers

I’m a big fan of Kristen Rengren’s Vintage Baby Knits.  These slippers are my second project from the book, and I loved making them just as much as the first.  The pattern is also available as a free download from Melanie Falick Books, along with others from STC Craft books that would make great holiday projects.

I’m particularly aware of my unwieldy stash at the moment, so I resolved not to buy any new yarn for this project. I decided on Mirasol’s Cotanani – the one ball I had ended up being just enough. It’s a nice yarn to work with – the merino blended in makes for a much softer cotton yarn!

I made a couple of modifications to the pattern: I made I-cords for the ankle straps, instead of garter stitch bands; and I made the ears a little bit smaller (CO 5 sts rather than 9), since I used a heavier weight yarn than called for.

How about you, any stash-busting projects to recommend?

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Stella Pixie Hat

Photo courtesy of Melissa Hames Duarte
Photo courtesy of Melissa Hames Duarte

First off, how cute is Petra? Here she is, at six weeks old, modelling Cisco.  You may not recognize the hat – it was originally modelled by a ball of yarn and a vase!

Seeing how much cuter the hat looked on a real little person made me think about a more appropriate model for my latest baby knit, the Stella Pixie Hat by Kristen Rengren (available in Vintage Baby Knits and as a free download from STC Craft). I don’t have any baby-sized softies around – my knit animals are too small and Huggy Jesus’ head is too flat.

Chris suggested a small-scale sculpture by Florence Wyle – The Harvester. The perfect size, it turns out. It’s one of the four sculptures in the Loring/Wyle Parkette in Toronto.

You can see the Young Girl, also by Wyle, in the background of this photo. There are busts of Loring and Wyle, each sculpted by the other, at the far end of the parkette. I would have liked to get some photos of them as well but a man was recovering from a hard night on a nearby bench. I thought it best to keep the visit short.

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Bamboo Baby Hat

This hat makes a really sweet baby gift, with the added bonus of being a quick, one-piece knit. It took just shy of one ball of Diamond Bamboo Cotton yarn. I used the pattern Cisco by the Berroco Design Team, with some modifications. I knit the whole hat in garter stitch (rather than stockinette in parts), worked I-cords for the ties and used one solid colour rather than the stripe pattern given.

The ears are a playful feature of this little hat. I used to think dressing children up as animals was cruel. I’ve changed my mind. It’s ridiculously cute.

Sweetheart Dress

Another sweet, seamless pattern by Tora Frøseth! My first Tora knit was the Magda Tunic and I fell in love with the top-down construction. I used the same yarn in this Sweetheart Dress for Anaya – Cadenza by Estelle. Merino and tussah silk! Not too warm for an L.A. baby I hope.

The heart detail around the yoke is too cute. The body of the dress is worked in stockinette stitch, with rows of garter stitch at the bottom to stop it from curling. This project had me thinking about a me-sized knit dress, and then I remembered this lace dress from Védis Jónsdottir’s book Einband. Hmmm.

You can just make out this handsome Pottageville horse in the background of the top photo. As you can see, we were more interested in him than he was in us!

Quilt Squares: Barn Raising Quilt

My quilt squares are ready to be shipped off to Portland where they will meet hundreds of other quilt squares. These two are my contribution to Larissa Brown’s Barn Raising Quilts to benefit Doctors Without Borders. If you’re interested in getting involved there’s still time! The squares are due in Portland by June 9, 2009. The pattern and full details are on Knitalong.net.

I’m looking forward to seeing the finished products! And this knitalong has encouraged me to get involved in another one. I signed up for The Purple Purl’s February Lady Sweater knitalong. Any excuse to order some Tanis Fiber Arts merino!

Knitalong: Barn Raising Quilt

Knitalong by Larissa Brown and Martin John Brown, opened to Barn Raising Quilt
Knitalong by Larissa Brown and Martin John Brown, opened to Barn Raising Quilt

Larissa of Stitch Marker has put a call out for volunteers to contribute to several Barn Raising Quilts. The finished pieces will be raffled off at the Sock Summit in Portland with proceeds going to Doctors Without Borders. The pattern is available for download on the Knitalong website and more details on how to get involved are on Larissa’s blog. If you haven’t picked up the Knitalong book yet I would highly recommend it. The pattern can also be found there, along with many other great designs. The Blessingway Blanket is one I’m slowly making my way through…

This will be my first knitalong and I’m pretty excited about it! I’m going to contribute two squares to the project. The yarn I’m planning to use (Estelle Cadenza) was actually bought for a Barn Raising Quilt. My knitting partner for life and I were thinking about doing some sort of Boise-Toronto knitalong project for her new niece. So this will be my Barn Raising warm up!

Big Teddy Bear

My first attempt at amigurumi is finished, well almost. I still have to pick up some ribbon for around his neck. I used some mystery yarn for his head and paws and Fibra Natura‘s Mermaid from The Purple Purl for his body. Mermaid is an interesting yarn – a mix of cotton, superwash merino wool, silk and seacell. Seacell is a cellulose fibre made with seaweed – I’ve never worked with it before but definitely will again. It’s really fine and not too slippery.

I have to say this project has me thinking a lot more about crochet. After a 10-year break from it I think I may be back on. It’s definitely fun and faster than knitting for projects like this. Oh, and I have to recommend the Etsy seller I bought the eyes from. They’re hand-painted, non-toxic and all that good stuff.

Magda Tunic for Allie

Magda is finished! I love this pattern by Tora Frøseth and am really happy with the finished product. It’s hard for me to imagine that this will fit a three-year-old – I have no concept of children’s sizes! And in the end I think it’s more dress and less tunic (due to my creative increases, yeah). But look how cute the little sleeves are!

This is pre-blocking, pre-puffy sleeves, pre-finishing but shows the shape nicely. I used Cadenza by Estelle. 80% Superwash Merino, 20% Tussah Silk. I’ve never knit with Tussah Silk before – a silk produced from wild cocoons where the worm is allowed to leave the cocoon and complete its life cycle. It’s beautiful and impractical for a child, which I like. Why shouldn’t a child wear wild silk and get it all mucky? Spoken like a non-mother, I know. Children deserve precious things too though. Even if they only wear it once, it’s still worth it.