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.
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.
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.
I knit my bit and made my first contribution to 1000 Stitches for Syria this weekend. Erica-Knits’ Karusellen toque (from Pom Pom Quarterly, Issue 14) will be going to one of the new permanent residents of Canada. I wish them success and happiness in this country of ours.
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!
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.
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!
Lightweight and oh, so soft, 100 per cent qiviut is wonderful to knit with. Not to mention warm; it’s eight times warmer than sheep’s wool. I have knit with qiviut before, blended with Merino wool and silk, but this was a new experience. What you see here is undyed qiviut, so 100 per cent natural colour as well.
Qiviut is musk oxen fleece, and it feels more like cashmere than anything else. Most musk oxen live in the Canadian Arctic and Greenland but they were recently reintroduced to Alaska, where they’re farmed. I came across this video from the University of Alaska Fairbanks, showing how qiviut is harvested in a farming environment. Shedding takes place naturally on the tundra but here the qiviut is combed out in a synchronous shed that looks like a blanket.
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.