FO: City Cowl

Pattern: My Kind of Town Cowl

Needles: 12mm

Yarn:Belle Valleé Wools 4-Ply 100% Wool (thanks to Canary Sanctuary for the yarn!)

Mods: None

Notes: Such a simple pattern, so much immediate love!! I’ve worn this cowl pretty much every day since I finished it- and it only took me a couple days to knit it. Not everyone would love my yarn choice- it’s not the softest wool in the world, but my sensitive skin still loves wool. Me and wool, we’re tight.

One of the best things the designer did was include lots of photos on the different ways it can be worn. Because when you’re first finished, it just looks like a garter stitch  tube, and that’s not particularly inspiring. The pictures above and the picture below show my two favourite ways of wearing it:

 (This one is the way I wear it with my coat all the time, and then I pull it over my shoulders if I’m indoors and still a bit chilly).

I can’t say enough good things about this- it’s the perfect quick knit, and a fabulous beginner project if you know some new knitters who need a simple and satisfying project to begin with. And if you are looking for quick holiday gifts, I can’t recommend these enough!

Decisions, Decisions….and Boatloads of Knitting

Look at this beautiful pile of Tanis Fiber Arts Aran weight, in the grape colourway:

Of course, now that I have a lovely, cuddly pile of this delicious yarn, I’m not exactly sure what I want with it. Definitely a pullover or a cardigan. Which only leaves me with, oh, a few hundred patterns, according to the Ravelry pattern search. So, I’ve decided to let the yarn tell me what it wants to be, via swatching. Here’s the one long swatch I knitted up to see how the colours responded to different stitches:

I’m considering the Minimalist Cardigan (seed stitch), February Fitted Pullover (gull lace stitch), Garter Yoke Cardigan (garter and stockinette), Francis (seed stitch and stockinette), and Vaila (stockinette & ribbing). Which is more of a long list than a short list, to be fair.

And you know what this swatch tells me? It ALL looks great!! I was really hoping for a clear winner, but the yarn just knits up so well in all stitches, with no strange pooling. Which is great, but also makes the decision process that much more challenging. Any thoughts?

And I’ve been working on a lovely little confection, the Whisper Pullover. I’m modifying it quite a bit, and so far love the results. I’m ashamed to admit that this is my first time working with kidd mohair, and I have to say I love it- the garment is so lightweight and smooshy, it’s like a cloud of pink cotton candy. I’m really looking forward to wearing this when it’s all done.

I’ve also recently completed a new project, but it is a test knit, and I can’t fully reveal it until the pattern goes live. So here is a little teaser shot:

 (why yes, I did think it looked a bit like I knitted with a bag of cheezies, too…)

Modification Mondays: White Cowl Neck

Original Pattern: Rusted Root

Knitter Extraordinaire: Katie (Rav id, blog)

Mods: Oh, where to begin!! Began with the basic stitch count and body fit on Rusted Root, and set out to create a sweater inspired by Cameron Diaz’s sweater in the film The Holiday:

 Katie took the combination of the beautiful dark brown sleeve buttons against the creamy white and set out to make a stunning, I-wish-I-owned-this-too sweater:

She added long sleeves, added buttons and a lovely cowl neck. That cowl neck is gorgeous- makes it even better than the sweater that inspired the knit in the first place! Project page is here.

What Makes this Awesome: If I saw this sweater in a store, I’d buy it. This looks like the kind very wearable, dressy or casual sort of sweater that would like good on practically everyone. If you find a pattern that you love and fits you  perfectly, you can modify it endlessly to produce vastly different, yet very wearable, garments. This beautiful sweater doesn’t look like rusted root at all, yet is based on that pattern.  Which makes me realize something (isn’t it awesome when someone else’s knitting makes you realize something about your own knitting?!): I have yet to find my perfect pattern, like Katie’s Rusted Root.I would love to do this, but haven’t’ quite found my perfect base pattern yet. Let the search for the holy knitting grail continue!!

Modification Monday: Somewhat Different Textured Tunic

Original Pattern: Textured Tunic

Knitter Extraordinaire: Kiyomi (Rav id)

Mods:  Changed the textured bust detail to a vertical diamond pattern that begins at the neckline, added waist shaping, and then continued the diamond pattern on the sleeves. The sleeve are knit straighter, instead of bell shaped, and Kiyomi added a lovely button detail to the cuff. Let’s just get a closer look at the utterly perfect sleeve mod, shall we?

What Makes this Awesome: Well, I’m in love with the sleeves, hands down. But I have to admit I’ve been thinking about knitting the original pattern for about 2 years, and I kept putting it off because I wasn’t sure how I felt about the ‘tube top’ look that the bust section has. If only I had been as inventive as Kiyomi, I could have had this sweater ages ago! I love the diamond detail, it’s so lovely and unexpected. Project page is here.

FO: Leyburn Sock

 (I meant to do a  lovely outdoor photo shoot, complete with leaves that matched the yellow socks, but the daylight just doesn’t wait for me to get out of the office, it seems! So, I give you my blue bathroom.)

Whew, this was a tough one for me!! I frogged this sock at least 4 different times, frustrated that I couldn’t get the stitch to look quite right. In the end, I decided to forge on regardless, and hope that blocking would work miracles.

You may recall that this sock is part of a very fun sock swap with Eliza, who knit the first sock, and then sent it to me with the yarn for the 2nd sock. You can’t have second sock syndrome if you don’t have to knit two identical socks!!  A brilliant idea. Until I started to fight with my sock. 

Pattern: Leyburn Socks 

Needles: 2.75 mm dpns 

Yarn: Koigu Painter’s Palette Premium Merino  

Mods: none

Once the sock was blocked, I realized what was driving me nuts while knitting it- I wasn’t getting row gauge. Usually, I don’t care about row gauge, I’m more concerned with how wide the item turns out to be, and I add length to pretty much everything I knit, using other favourite items as sizing templates (and I swatch!) But I never gave a fig about row gauge. But you know how the knitting gods are- they never forget a slight. And they lie in wait to wreak their vengeance! The sock I knitted is on the left in the photo below:

Although if a lovely sock (albeit a very challenging knit for me) is vengeance, then I admire the knitting gods in all their wisdom. Damn cute, socks, no? Even if they are slightly different.