Puppy Kerchief


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.


[Photos courtesy of Christopher]


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!


Alpaca throw: Southern Hemisphere edition

Blue Moon Alpacas
Blue Moon Alpacas
I think his name is Biscuit, a Blue Moon alpaca
I think his name is Biscuit

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.

Hansel hap shawl

Hansel hap shawl

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.

Hansel hap shawl

Hansel hap shawl


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


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


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


Stitch marker
Tapestry needle


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


– 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!

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]

[Ravelled: Stripe Study Shawl, Griffin, Shimmer in Blue, and Eternity Scarf]

Alpaca Hömin Shawl

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!

[Photos courtesy of Christopher]


Sylkie + Norfolk

Two alpaca knits to share with you! This is Gudrun Johnston’s Sylkie 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 these two tutorials.

Now for more projects using tubular cast on…

[Second photo courtesy of Christopher]

[Ravelled: Sylkie + Norfolk Hat]

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]


Spring Lace

It’s starting to feel a lot like spring here in Toronto. What better way to kick it off than with a couple of light, lace knits. I mistakenly bought a skein of lace-weight Misti Alpaca Hand Paint Lace at Knit-O-Matic a while back, when I was obsessed with Hand Paint Suri & Silk. Since I was expecting a dk-weight and didn’t realize my mistake until I got home, it just sat in the back of my cabinet for the past two years. Then I saw Kristen Finlay’s free pattern for Wave, a shawlette worked in alternating sections of Turkish Lace and garter stitch. So pretty and simple, and I loved her samples knit up in variegated yarns.

My second piece of spring lace is another free pattern, The Age of Brass and Steam Kerchief by Orange Flower. The pattern calls for dk-weight yarn so I went down two needle sizes and did an extra repeat of the alternating stockinette and eyelet sections. I was a bit stressed over the tightness of the loosest bind off I could manage with Wave (decrease bind off), so with this one I went up two needle sizes for a regular bind off. In the end, I didn’t need to fuss over either – they both blocked quite nicely and I didn’t run into any tight-BO issues.

Oh, and you may notice that my bag in the background of the top photo fits with the knits. Alpacas! Jane showed me this alpaca Baggu a while back and while I was at Good Egg in Kensington Market yesterday they just happened to have one! Mika, the owner, pointed out that the pattern looks like houndstooth from a distance but close up… all alpacas.

[Photos courtesy of Christopher]

[Ravelled: Wave and The Age of Brass and Steam Kerchief]

Estelle Pullover

This pullover is apparently my first sweater since 2010! I looked back at my archive thinking it had been a while… It languished unfinished on top of my yarn cabinet for a full year. Reading one of Rachel’s recent posts struck a chord — I was only a quarter-sleeve short. That’s a lot of time to get around to very little knitting! The yarn was a gift from Chris’ parents — Cascade Yarns Eco Duo — and they picked it up at Needles & Knits in Aurora. The owner, Tove, is fantastic. If you can believe it, she dropped off an extra skein of Eco Duo at my house when I found myself one skein short. I almost felt like I was back living in a small town again. Amazing!

I knit Linden Down’s Estelle Pullover pattern exactly as written. When I tried it on again in February I found myself regretting the waist shaping. I was in the mood for something less fitted with more breathing room. After much hemming and hawing I decided to just finish it already. So here it is! I’ve enjoyed wearing it – I really like the variation in the self-striping on the sleeves and body.

[Photos courtesy of Christopher]