Finished Knit: Broderie Shawl

Pattern: Broderie Shawl by Alison Green 

Yarn: Berroco Millefiori Light in Azalea and Dahlia

Ravelry project page can be found here.

I finished my Broderie Shawl in May, but then it got so HOT that it seemed like I wasn’t going to wear it until fall! But sometimes I find the air conditioning a little too voracious, and sometimes, it is a perfect shawl to tote around and throw one if it’s a bit breezy and you feel a bit chilly.

Not that it was even remotely chilly the day we took these photos. In fact, it was so humid  that me holding the shawl in my hands (admittedly not carefully folded) caused some wrinkled to temporarily appear! Until it was worn for a bit in the humidity, then those same wrinkles dropped right out.

 

I loved knitting with Berroco’s Millfiori (worsted weight), so I was pretty excited when I found out that they have a new sportweight version. I loved the Broderier pattern the second I laid eyes on it and wanted to knit one exactly like in the pattern photos, so I used the exact same colours- but when the yarn came, I was surprised at how different the two colourways were, I never would have chosen them to go together!

But they work. Oh man, do they ever work. The contrast enhances the texture of the pattern and the whole effect is like a dreamy oriental carpet, which I adore.  There’s a certain magic to this pattern- I strongly suspect that because on the textured bands, almost any two skeins could probably be knit together and the effect would be stunning. But with the gradient hues in the Millefiori yarn, it really gives it a great impact for very little work.

I should mention it’s an asymmetrical shawl, and starts at the widest edge and then you work the decreases at regular intervals. It’s so interesting to watch the bands and the colours come together, I found knitting it to be really very addictive. And of course, I know only want to knit another one, I want to knit a garment in this yarn, because it’s just so heavenly.

When fall comes (and it’s September in a couple weeks, whoa!) there’s going to be a lot more opportunity to wear this shawl, and I can’t wait!

Modification Monday: English Breakfast

Original Patterns: Paper Dolls and Chawton Mittens

Knitter Extraordinaire: Sydney (Ravelry ID)

Mods: Subbed out the original stranded yoke design for a completely customized and heavily modified version of the Chawton Mitten chart. Details and her notes can be found on Sydney’s project page, here.

What Makes This Awesome: This yoke is spectacular! I love how Sydney used different elements form the Chawton mitten pattern and then further customized and created and tweaked to adjust not only for the stitch count that she needed (no small feat considering how big the repeating cameos are). If you are considering changing a yoke for a big repeating design, consider some of the great details that Sydney used here- the designs in between the cameos are perfect for dealing with long floats, and add a great smaller detail that helps balance out the cameos, as well as provide an anchor for the repeating details at the edge of the yoke, and at the hem of the sweater and cuffs.

Planning out the yoke stitch count in advance and charting with graph paper will likely be a big help in approaching a modified chart like this, but it’s worth experimenting- with results this inspiring, time to bust out the graph paper!

A Week in Prince Edward County (with Kids!)

We recently took a family vacation in Prince Edward County, a gorgeous lakeside region of Ontario that is famous for its many wineries, beaches, and picturesque farms. Although ‘vacation’ is always a bit incorrect when referring to travelling with small children,  with a extra planning and preparation, a week away with the kids- and another family- we found it worked out brilliantly. I mean, we each had to pack our cars with enough gear to move into the house for the rest of our lives, but that’s pretty typical travelling with kids.

We rented a 6 bedroom house in Wellington, which is one of my favourite ‘bases’ for the county. The other family are friends that we met through our daughters- they have known each other through daycare and kindergarten, so they have basically been friends their whole 6-year-old lives. They also have a little one the same age as James, and so all 8 of us- 4 adults, 4 kids – were together for the week.

Posting photos of other people’s kids feels weird, so I’m focusing on our photos, and if you see any stray kids that don’t look like Lila and James,  those are the friends! Case and point – the massive couch was soooooo good for building forts:

The weather was fantastic- it never rained, we went on some great walks, checked out a couple of different beaches, a bunch of restaurants and cafes, and of course a few wineries! There was even a petting zoo at one of the wineries, and it was fantastic- we went twice. Friendliest goats I’ve ever met! And it was all so relaxing, we moms even managed to sneak off to a lakeside pilates class at The Drake Devonshire, too.

I know, I have weird toes. They are short and chubby, like little kid feet.

The days go by so fast- especially when you are trying to get 4 kids ready and out he door. We would typically go to the beach for half a day, then maybe a winery, a cidery, flower fields, a cafe, get some ice cream…. it was relaxing. Which is really saying something, when there are a lot of small kids. But I found a new-to-me winery that I adore that was family-friendly, and all the grown ups tried some excellent wines and cider, and I even got some knitting time in!

The grey is my knitting. My dress and the couch are apparently the same colour…. that’s my Mama Vertebrae cardigan first mentioned in this post, and now it’s finished! Can’t wait to get photos. Everyone had a great time, I’m sure this won’t be the last family vacation in PEC!

Modification Monday: Shalom Cardigan

Original Pattern: Shalom Cardigan

Knitter Extraordinaire: Christellie (Ravelry ID)

Mods:  Changed the yoke to use a gradient yarn for a striping effect, adjusted the sweater gauge from bulky to aran, added long sleeves. Details and more photos can be found on her project page, here.

What Makes This Awesome:  There have been some great modifications to the original free pattern, but I love this for the simple cleverness of using a gradient yarn for the colour on the yoke! Who says you need several colours to add colour to a knit?! Using gradient yarn like this gives a knit a more complex detail but doesn’t take really much effort to do at all. Adding longer sleeves makes this far more wearable, too.  Even if you have never modified a knit before, this is a great way to start. If you are knitting a sweater soon and thinking of adding a little detail but not knitting a round yoke, what about adding in a contrasting gradient at the hem instead?

Link Love: My Favourite Things This Week

Some of you commented on my motorcycle class last weekend, and I just wanted to let you know…. it went terribly. It was a two day intensive, meaning 8 hours on a bike each day, which was probably a bit much for me – if I had stopped at lunch time on the first day I would have told you it was great and I was really positive about it. But… I’m covered in bruises, dropped the bike three times (twice I was still on it), and I was the only woman in the class, which was not fun (since when is being the token anything fun, really?). So…. I’m all done licking my wounds over it (I felt pretty devastated about it until Thursday) and am going to find a new class.

My Favourite Articles and Links This Week

I wrote a satirical essay for The Globe & Mail about how to put sunscreen on a child… have you read it yet? If not, please do! Case and point – this kid.

If you stop buying crap, companies will stop making crap. It really is that simple.

How to ask for a favor– step 3 is the crucial bit.

The heatwave in the United Kingdom is revealing hidden landscapes from previous eras/centuries… and it is beautiful.

Deep sea diving – in a wheelchair.

My Favourite Pins This Week

I hate it when a recipe has a hugely complicated name to it, especially when it’s easy to pull together and basically tasty things on bread. Case and point: this Grilled Avocado Caprese Crostini. This is super easy, and basically involves all the best flavours of summer together on a toast. Healthy, good for breakfast, lunch or dinner… I kind of wonder why I’m not eating it right this very second, since it really would be good ALL THE TIME. Pinterest link is here, and full recipe can be found here.

If you are looking for a dessert that really makes the most of summer produce and looks pretty show stopping when it hits the table, consider this peach rose tart. The peaches are sliced and then rolled into ‘roses’, and the effect, while gorgeous, also means the entire top of your tart is covered in caramelized peaches. Which sounds pretty incredible, don’t you think? Pinterest link is here, and the recipe is right over here.

How cute is this pretty crocheted summer bag? I love how simple it is, but could really look completely different in alternating colours, marled yarn, or a cool cotton? So lovely. Pinterest link is here, and the free pattern can be found on the original site.

Lousy days happen to all of us sometimes. But you don’t have to write the whole day off! here is a great list of 30 ways to combat having a sh*tty day. Do you have a favourite? I find #17 is my surefire mood lifter every time. Pinterest link is here, and the full list is here.

 

So true, isn’t it?! Made me smile. Pinterest is here, and I found it first over here.

Have a gorgeous weekend! xo