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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Happy New Year

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Ringo mittens

Snowy owl mittens

Here’s to a New Year filled with adventure and creativity!

Some of my best-loved knits this past year were colourwork accessories for little ones. Barbara Gregory’s Ringo the raccoon and Horatio the snowy owl mittens are two classics – both patterns are available from Twist Collective. Ringo even made an appearance in my #2016bestnine, worked in two of my all-time favourite yarns, Jamieson & Smith 2 Ply Jumper Weight and Shetland Supreme Jumper Weight.

I wish you all happy knitting and woolly goodness in 2017.

Summer knitting

Houlland

Summer is for knitting, just for the fun of it.

This weekend, I cast on for Donna Smith’s Houlland from Kate Davies’ fabulous The Book of Haps. The border is knit in one long strip — the body worked from its picked up stitches.

The yarn is beautiful and fine. Shetland Supreme Lace Weight, 2 ply from an all-time favourite yarn company of mine: Jamieson & Smith from the Shetland Islands.

What are you working on this summer? I’m on Instagram, sharing knits and food (mostly) — join me there!

Flip-top gloves for Jeremy

Flip-Top Gloves

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.

Flip-Top Gloves

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.

Flip-Top Gloves

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1000 Stitches for Syria

Karusellen

25,000 Syrian refugees are arriving in Canada this winter. The first group arrived in Toronto on December 11 and our new Prime Minister did a fantastic job in greeting them. I believe wholeheartedly in a warm welcome and thankfully, groups of knitters have sprung up across the country to help make this happen. There’s 1000 Stitches for Syria, based in Toronto, and 25 000 tuques in Quebec with a great slogan: “Because in Quebec, the only true enemy is the cold.”

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.

For more information
1000 Stitches for Syria: 1000stitches.org
25 000 tuques: jdussot.wix.com/25000tuques
CBC: Quebecer launches online knitting campaign to help Syrian refugees

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Funchal Twisted Wrap

Funchal Fair Isle Twisted Wrap Funchal Fair Isle Twisted Wrap Funchal Fair Isle Twisted Wrap

This was a lot of fun to knit. I love stranded colourwork and I love Jamieson & Smith’s 100 per cent Shetland wool. Couldn’t go wrong with this pattern either: Kate Davies’ Funchal Moebius!

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!

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Ecclefechan Mitts

Ecclefechan Mitts

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.

Ecclefechan Mitts Ecclefechan Mitts

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!

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Pure Qiviut Hat

100 per cent qiviut hat

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.

100 per cent qiviut

100 per cent qiviut hat

Some sources for qiviut yarn:

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Newfoundland Trigger Finger Mittens

Newfoundland Trigger Finger Mittens

Newfoundland Trigger Finger Mittens

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.

For Edgar Glover: The Splitting Table by David Blackwood, 1999 (Emma Butler Gallery)
For Edgar Glover: The Splitting Table by David Blackwood, 1999 (Emma Butler Gallery)

I’ve dug up a couple of patterns in the years since: Mrs. Martin’s Finger Mitts by Harriet Pardy Martin, which was published in Favorite Mittens by Robin Hansen; and the one I ultimately used to make these mitts for Chris, which is from Operation Homespun: Traditional knitting patterns of Newfoundland & Labrador.

Newfoundland Trigger Finger Mittens

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