Aidez Cardigan

Aidez Cardigan
Photos: Christopher Lewis

Aidez Cardigan

My sister is rightly concerned that I’ll never pop this cardigan in the mail. I love it! I have some Cascade Ecological Wool in my stash that is now destined to be an Aidez for me. Since the pattern calls for a super bulky yarn, it was indeed a quick knit. I finished the majority of it on the train and plane a few weeks ago. It made for perfect travel knitting; the five different cable charts are easily memorized.

Detail of the trellis cable back panel
Detail of the trellis cable back panel
Detail of seed wishbone pattern on sleeves
Detail of seed wishbone pattern on sleeves

The pattern is a free one from Cirilia Rose via Berroco. I used the 100 per cent wool yarn called for – Berroco Peruvia Quick in Fumar – which is a really lovely, soft yarn that results in a lightweight but warm fabric.

[Photos courtesy of Christopher]

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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!

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]

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Aquarella Scarf

Aquarella Scarf

Aquarella Scarf

Continuing with the seasonally inappropriate gifts…

The two skeins of Malabrigo Aquarella yarn that I used for this infinity scarf were among the first purchases I ever made at The Purple Purl. That’s going back — over three years back! My knitting partner for life (a.k.a. Erin) commented on how much she liked the yarn when I posted a photo of my stash (along with some New Year’s resolutions that never came to pass…) so I made her this modified Purl Ridge Scarf for her birthday.

Aquarella Scarf

Stephen West wrote the Purl Ridge pattern for a worsted weight yarn and Aquarella is super bulky so I cast on 120 stitches with a gauge of 2.25 stitches per inch and just followed the pattern until the two skeins were gone. The pattern is a free download and a very nice way to showcase variegated yarn — I love the texture and colour of the scarf.

Wishing Erin a very happy birthday!

[Photos courtesy of Christopher]

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Dala Horse Mitts

Dala Horse Mitts

Dala Horse Mitts

I fell in love with this pattern when I saw Erica Knits’ version. The pattern is a free download by Wenche Roald and is a Dala Selbu Hybrid — a mitten mashup inspired by Norwegian Selbu mittens with a Swedish dala horse motif. I knew as soon as I saw them that they would make a perfect knit for Jane’s birthday (which is today, yay!). Jane told me how much she liked them as well but I played it cool… hope I didn’t give it away!

I used St-Denis Nordique in Pewter and Silver — my first time using St-Denis and I loved it! It’s 100% American wool from Montrealer Veronik Avery. St-Denis recently launched an e-commerce site and carry Briggs and Little yarn from New Brunswick as well as their Nordique and Boreale.

I have one word of warning when it comes to this pattern. It’s essentially one mitten charted. So, I thought, no problem, I’ll just invert it for the mate. Ha. I neglected to switch the thumb placement so when I cast off, feeling pretty good about myself, I realized I had made two left mittens. Ack!!! Beware the thumb placement!

I tried a new technique with these mitts — turning the work inside out when you start the colourwork. I have to thank Siga for this tip, I’d never heard of it before and it really helped to keep from bunching the stitches. I didn’t have to block as vigorously with this pair compared to my Fiddleheads and Franks.

Do you have any tips or tricks you use with colourwork? Please share!

And a very happy birthday to Jane!

[Photos courtesy of Christopher]

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‘Manly’ Scarf

Mistake Stitch Scarf

Mistake Stitch Scarf

My brother was quite happy with his birthday scarf. His exact words were, “I like it because it’s manly!” That was what I was going for after all, although I think it would be just as suitable for me! It’s the easy and free Mistake Stitch Scarf pattern by Whitney Van Nes of The Purl Bee.

The pattern calls for a super bulky weight yarn and knits up really quickly even with the aran weight that I used. I modified the pattern to accommodate the lighter weight yarn – I cast on 47 stitches for a scarf nine inches wide and knit until it was approximately 52 inches long.

Mistake Stitch Scarf

I used every last inch of four skeins of Blue Sky Alpacas Worsted Hand Dyes in charcoal. I highly recommend this yarn – such a nice weight to it and very smooth to work with. I think it shows the texture of the scarf quite nicely as well. I’ll have to try it with some cables next time!

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Fiddlehead Pullover

Fiddlehead Pullover

Fiddlehead Pullover

I think this may be my new favourite yarn for baby knits – The Fibre Company Canopy Fingering. It’s so soft and has the nicest drape once blocked. This little baby sweater for Arjun (Courtney Kelley’s free Fiddlehead Pullover) took three skeins in Wild Ginger.

I picked up the red leather buttons at Americo on Queen Street West. Have you ever used their yarn? I fell in love with their Suri Alpaca but left it at the buttons and a crochet hook to finish the neck edge and button loops. What restraint!

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Trump

Trump

Trump

This is Trump, my parents’ Wheaten Terrier. I remembered these photos, which were taken in December 2009, since my dad’s 65th birthday is coming up. Trump was such a sweet guy and sadly, he passed away last summer. I think it’s safe to say that he loved my dad the most.

Trump and Dad

There’s a bit of knitting in these photos as well. My dad is wearing the fingerless mitts I gave him last Christmas and Trump is wearing a matching kerchief. The pattern for the mitts is a free Ravelry download from TwinSet Designs and the yarn is Estelle Alpaca Cashmere Tweed.

[Photos courtesy of Chris]

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Waffel Hat

Waffel Hat

Waffel Hat

Continuing on the hat kick, this is Anna & Heidi Pickles’ Waffel Hat. It’s a great free pattern – the stitch pattern is easy to memorize and knit in aran-weight yarn it comes together really quickly. The only modification I made was to cast on 96 stitches instead of 112.

You may recognize the yarn (ahem) – Debbie Bliss Fez. I promise I’ll mix it up a bit for my next post!

Waffel Hat

I knit Katherine and Robert hats for Christmas and Katherine posted some great photos of them over on her blog. Katherine’s hat is Gudrun Johnston’s Norie in Rowan Felted Tweed DK and Robert’s is Jane Ellison’s Griffin in Filtes King Australian Merinos. It makes me so happy to see them in their knits!

[Photos courtesy of Chris]

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