Modification Monday: Coppertop

 
Original Pattern: Safire

Knitter Extraordinaire: Alicia (Rav Id)

Mods: Stopped front increases early to shorten the waist, adjusted the collar with additonal short rows to flatter her shoulders and bring in the neckline, and adjusted the button band. 

What Makes This Awesome: We all have different body types, and not every garment is going to suit your figure. But that’s what’s really awesome about knitting- you’re in control. Alicia took a gorgeous pattern that wasn’t quite right for her body type originally, but she tweaked it and made modifications to turn it into the perfect fit.  Shortening the waist kept the cropped cardi appeal, and narrowing the neckline meant a cardigan that would stay on her shoulders. And just look at the result- utterly gorgeous. And Alicia looks perfect in it. Details on exactly how she did her modifications can be found on her project page here.

England 2010

England 2010

We had an amazing time in England, mostly visiting friends and family. As G is from Bristol, that was our base, and we spent time in Bath and went up north to York, as well. It was my first trip to anywhere in the North of England, and York is stunning- I was so surprised I hadn’t heard of it being a major tourist destination fro those visiting England, since it is so picturesque and interesting.

When in Bristol, I had a certain something on my hit list. I had recently heard of Pieminister,  a Bristol-based savoury pie company that makes ridiculously delicious pies…. of the deep-dish, personal-sized kind. I have never met a pastry I didn’t love, so I was very interested in trying it….

I Love Pieminister

and I was hooked. Guy and I loved the Mr. Porky, which is a lovely pork, apple and potato pie in a delicious gravy. I also love the Heidi Pie, which is a sweet potato, spinach and feta pie. So. Damn. Good! But above the tasty pies, I really support the mandate of the company, which focuses on free range, sustainably farmed and local animals and ingredients. Oh Pieminister, do you franchise? Because G and I talked quite seriously about opening one up here in Toronto. Except I’d eat the profits. I ate so many, I even got a frequent pie-buy card- I’m only 2 pies away from my free pie! When we’re back in the spring, I’ll finish it off.

I know I’m going on and on about pies here, but when we got a bit lost looking for G’s friend’s house, we needed to turn around, and guess what we found?

pieminister factory 
The Pieminister factory, of course!!! Look how elated I am in that picture. That’s pure pie joy right there.
 
I have to share this hilarious (albeit blurry) photo of G’s young self that he found at his parent’s house: 
very young Guy

Doesn’t he look like a extra from one of the Harry Potter films?! Fortunately he grew into his looks:

Guy now

I bought yarn in England, I swear. Yarn post coming soon.

FO: Gold Headband

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Pattern: Fiana

Needles: 3.25 mm (US 3)

Yarn: Berroco Lumina in ‘sand’

Mods: None.

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Notes: I knit this headband specifically to take with me on the Stockholm/England trip, and I wore it a lot. It was so easy and fast, and I love the button closure. The pattern is better suited to a yarn with more elasticity to it (like a fabulous merino sock yarn), but I loved the idea of a little bit of sparkle, and had a small golden ball of the Berroco Lumina just taunting me with it’s prettiness.

And all right, I knit it so that I could do FO photos in Stockholm. And it seems I wore that grey sweater pretty much any day we took pictures… I swear I packed more than one outfit. 

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Modification Monday: February Lady Dress

Original Pattern: February Lady Sweater

Knitter Extraordinaire: Milja (Rav Id)

Mods:  Created a top-down short sleeved dress using the lace pattern from the February Lady Sweater for the main detail of the dress. She has fabulously detailed notes on how she created it here.

What Makes This Awesome: I love how Milja recommends on her pattern notes to use an existing pattern or construction that you know works for your body, and then add the lace. This is such great advice- if you know a pattern that suits your body perfectly, it can be the perfect jumping-off point for a world of gorgeous knits. And this dress is incredible!! I love the shape, the lines, the colour – it’s the perfect garment for the fall weather when you need some transitional pieces. And it looks amazing belted, don’t you think? Just beautiful.

Stockholm Redux

Stockholm, Sweden 2010

The city. The food. The unnervingly attractive and effortlessly chic Swedes and their unswerving ability to speak perfect English. Seriously- I only met one swedish person who didn’t speak English immediately upon seeing the unnecessary  Swedish phrasebook I brought everywhere.

Now, let’s get down to it, shall we? I planned on visiting 4 yarn shops while in Stockholm, but only got to three. I didn’t have a lot of luck finding a variety of Swedish made yarn. The few kinds I found were single ply, rough spun, and a rough-and-tough working yarn that is not particularly soft. I have a high tolerance for wool, though. I will say this- the yarns have a lovely sheen to them, and you can feel the lanolin. Another point- Stockholm is expensive. As in, really expensive. I strongly suspect much of it’s gorgeousness and cleanliness is due to the 25% tax that is on absolutely everything. Just warning you now.

As a side note, I also noticed a lot of yarn seemed to come from Denmark, so I wonder if Sweden doesn’t focus on yarn production when there are neighbouring countries that produce a large range of gorgeous yarns. Just a thought. 

Litet Nystan
St. Paulsgatan 20, Sodermalm

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 This was the first one I went into, and just loved it. Amazing sample sweaters, some interesting independent patterns, and lots of beautiful yarn. I mean, see for yourself:

Litet Nystan, Stockholm

Sticka
Österlånggatan 20

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This was a really beautiful shop, and the biggest one I visited. They have a lovely and large slection of patterns, mostly Drops and Rowan, but some more international magazines as well. The yarns are beautifully arranged, and there are many gorgeous samples all over the store. I could have spent hours in here, there were really so many things to look at (and yarn to pet!). Sticka in Stockholm

 

Anntorps vav
Österlånggatan, Gamla Stan

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The address on Knit Map listed only the street, but it’s easy enough to find if you wander down. This was the smallest shop of the three, but very lovely- they had much of the same Swedish yarns, but they did do their own hand dying of a lace weight mohair in the shop. My only warning is that the shop keeper doesn’t speak any English- the only person that I encountered there who didn’t. At least I got to use my phrasebook!

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Below are my modest Swedish yarn purchases:

swedish yarn

 The turquoise and terracotta red skeins are a lovely light fingering weight, with about 420 yards in each skein. The grey is a DK weight with about 90 yards per skein. They are all single ply, and rough spun- there are subtle thick and thin portions of the light fingering weight ones. Now- if only I could figure out what these skeins want to be! shawls? scarves? mitts? hats? Hmmm.