FO: Retro Redux Shrug

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Pattern: Retro Redux Shrug

Yarn: Tanis Fiber Arts Green Label

Needles: 5, 5.5, 6, 6.5 mm (US 8, 9, 10, 10.5)

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Notes: I found the switching needle sizes in order to do the shaping a bit fiddly for my taste- I would have preferred increases and decreases. Don’t get me wrong, I love this shrug, but I found that it wasn’t as portable of a project because I needed 4 sets of needles in order to knit it. Having said that, It was a fast enough knit that just knitting it at home was no trouble at all (I do a lot of subway knitting usually) and the result  is fantastic- this just might be the perfect shrug. Quick, lacy without being over-the-top feminine, and nice back and arm coverage. The yarn was perfect for this project- the colours look lovely in the lace, and goes great with pretty much everything.

I actually knitted this in August, but didn’t have a chance to get FO shots before our trip to Sweden and England. And then I sort of forgot about it…fall is full-on here, so it’s a bit chilly for just a shrug. But spring will come again, and I’ll be ready!

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(in this last picture you can really see my chicken pox scar near my eyebrow- I’ve had since I was three so I forget it’s there, but when the light hits a certain way, it’s super visible!)

Modification Mondays: Open Rib/Cable Pullover

**So sorry!! It’s Canadian Thanksgiving weekend here, and I must’ve slipped into a turkey coma and didn’t time stamp it as a future post. My apologies for the delay on Mod Monday!)**

Original Pattern: Open Rib/Cable Pullover


Knitter Extraordinaire: Natalie (Rav Id, Blog)

Mods: Natalie opened the sleeve cables by decreasing the length of the sleeves, and making them more fitted, so that they would pull open to reveal the hollow sections of the cables. Project details can be found here.

What Makes This Awesome: Sleeve modifications tend to be more about the length or the fit, and I think most of us seldom think about making the sleeves a real show-stopping part of the knit.Opening up the cables is such an amazing idea! Let’s face it, the sleeves (espeically the lower sleeves) are probably the part of a sweater that the wearer will see the most. The result is just amazing- I love Natlaie’s pullover.

Woolcraft: 1940 and 1960

While in England, Guy’s grandmother gave me two very old knitting books that she had tucked away in a craft drawer. One was a 1940 Patons & Baldwins’ Woolcraft that belonged to her mother, and the other was the updated 1960 version, which belong to her. As she can’t knit anymore, she thought she would pass them along.
Woolcraft 1940s
Woolcraft 1960s

They are amazing. Mostly they have patterns for baby things, lots of soakers and such, and they also have mens and women’s patterns. Here are some of the highlights from the 1940s issue:
1940 Woolcraft

There ware several page devoted to techniques in each booklet, and ‘brushing’ is referred to quite a bit in the 1940s one:

Woolcraft 1940s

 Isn’t that neat? I’ve never seen that before. And it’s not that angora yarns weren’t readily available back then. Check out this ad on the back:

Woolcraft 1940s
  I love it. Angora for preserving warmth and ‘health’! I think they must have brushed their angora knits for extra fuzziness.
Here are some highlights from the 1960 issue:

Woolcraft 1960
I especially love some of the baby knits in this one, and there is a ladies ‘vest’ and ‘spencer’ that seems like a very cute sleep set. I’m defnitieyl going to try my hand at some of these patterns in the future, but I also find them really inspiring- it’s interesting to see how the cut of clothing and evolved over the decades.

TFA Club and Nuit Blanche

 I’ve been waiting to share some awesome news:
tanis yarn Tanis Fiber Arts is starting up their first TFA’s Year in Colour yarn club!! Every other month, participants will be sent a custom-dyed skein of finger weight yarn (that’s 420 yards) and an exclusive pattern designed for the single skein. the pattern designers are: Tanis Gray, Glenna C , Julie Crawford, Laura Chau, Patti Waters and Kristen Kapur.

Did you see that, just up there? My name tucked in with all those awesome superstar designers? I mean…. whoa. Somebody call Keanue Reeves, only one of his whoas will convey my awestruck-ness.

I love the yarns Tanis makes. The colours are amazing, and the yarn is brilliant- resists pilling, doesn’t split, wears like a dream. I’ve got a few things knit with Tanis Fiber Arts Yarn, and I love them all (now that I think of it, I have an FO from August that I’ve yet to photograph that is also made from TFA yarn…). The club is really affordable- you’ll get 6 skeins of yarn, 6 exclusive patterns, and the shipping is included in the cost. Once you do the math, it’s a steal. *EDIT: And it’s international- doesn’t matter what country you live in!

So yes… I’m starting to design some of my own patterns. I’ve got lots of ideas, and I’m excited to enter this new phase of my knitting. I’m already working on a free pattern that will come out in a few weeks- stay tuned!!

On Saturday night, Toronto was awash in contemporary art for the 5th anniversary of Nuit Blanche. There is something utterly magical about the city being transformed into amazing, Alice-in-Wonderland-esque pockets of art.

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Nuit Blanche, Toronto 2010

The Knit Cafe always has a magical window display for Nuit Blanche. This year did not disappoint:

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It was an amazing night. I love it when cities encourage the arts and put on free events!!

Modification Monday: Horace

Original Pattern: Bridgewater

Knitter Extraordinaire: Ulrika (Rav Id)

Mods: Increased the size of the garter stitch  square, and did fewer repeats of the horseshoe lace. Also changed the edging of the shawl to a sawtooth edging. Exact details of the modifications can be found on her project page, here.

What Makes This Awesome: This was a project rescued from near disaster- Ulrika’s cat, Horace, got at the shawl while it was in progress and ripped several holes into the body of the shawl. Rather than just scrapping the whole project, she used the opportunity to play around with the project and use the pattern as more of a recipe. She adjusted the size of the shawl for the yardage she had, and changed the edging to something different, just to experiment. And of course, she mended the holes that Horace had made. The result- a completely different, but utterly lovely shawl. Talk about turning lemons into lemonade!