Finished Knit: R & R Hoodie

I’m sorry, guys. There were just so many amazing photos from this shoot, I couldn’t hold myself back.

Finished Knit: R & R Hoodie |

Finished Knit: R & R Hoodie |

Pattern: R & R Hoodie

Yarn: Biscotte Yarns Worsted Weight Griffon in Farfadet, Gris-Gris, and a custom self striping between the two.

Mods: Eliminated the pocket from the pattern, and added ears. Details on the ears can be found on my Ravelry project page, here.

Finished Knit: R & R Hoodie |

What can I say? I am crazy in love with this sweater. It turned out exactly how I was hoping. Well, almost exactly.

Finished Knit: R & R Hoodie |

This was my first time sewing a zipper into a knit, and I have to say that the sewing of it was pretty easy (thanks so much for the great tips on the previous post, everyone!). I laid it flat, pinned it into place, then hand sewed it in. And I was so proud,  so excited! I was at the cottage with my in-laws, the kids were sleeping, and I waved the sweater around in the air like a flag and cheered and marveled at how cute the ears were and then I tried to unzip the zipper….. and it was locked at the end. It zips all the way down, but I can’t separate the fronts.

Finished Knit: R & R Hoodie |

Friends, why didn’t anyone tell me that there are different types of zippers? I bet you all thought I’d know this, that I’d be somewhat smart about it. But as someone who never sews, I bought 3 different zippers, at different places, with different attributes (thank goodness zippers are cheap), and I never – not once! – checked to see if I could unzip them all the way. I am a zipper idiot. I don’t know how to buy a zipper. So naturally, none of the zippers I bought unzipped all the way. Maybe the zippers were such a good price because you can only use them for… I don’t know, skirts? What else would you do with a 9 inch zipper that doesn’t open into two halves?

Finished Knit: R & R Hoodie |

Oh well. I can still get it on and off easily. It wasn’t hard to put it on him ‘unzipped’ to the hem. And even though it was a beautiful summer morning, James seems pretty chipper in his supercute baby bear hoodie, don’t you think? I think he knows how good he looks in it.

Finished Knit: R & R Hoodie |

There is still room for James to do some growing, so I’m feeling pretty confident about it fitting him through the fall and hopefully well into winter.

Finished Knit: R & R Hoodie |

I enjoyed knitting this sweater so much. The yarn was a joy to work with and the pattern was awesome and so straightforward. It recently got revamped to include adult sizes, and now I’m itching to knit the grown up one for myself. But first- I need to learn how to buy a zipper.  All zipper purchasing tips would be most welcome.

Finished Knit: R & R Hoodie |

I feel like Oprah Winfrey when she gives huge prizes away on her show- Look under your chairs! YOU get a picture of James, and YOU get a picture of James and YOU get a picture of James!  So, you know… here’s another picture of James:

Finished Knit: R & R Hoodie |

Review: Pom Pom Quarterly Autumn 2016

Review: Pom Pom Quarterly Autumn 2016 |

The Autumn 2016 Issue of Pom Pom Quarterly  has just launched with 11 patterns and focuses on naturally dyed yarns.  This is a really solid fall collection, with a lot of highly wearable pieces (4 pullovers, 2 shawl/wraps, 1 scarf, 1 hat, 1 cardigan, 1 pair of fingerless mitts and 1 pair of full mittens).  The colours of the knits are not typically fall, but much of this has to do with the natural dyes used and does provide a brighter approach to the typical fall offerings. As with all Pom Pom Quarterly issues, they are available in print with a digital download, or by digital download only (the digital download only sometimes takes a bit longer to arrive on the site).

Also in this issue is an interview with natural dyer Kristine Vejar, author of The Modern Natural Dyer: A Comprehensive Guide ot Dying Silk, Wool, Linen and Cotton at Home. The interview is interesting, and focuses on the craft and expectations of working with natural dyes, colourfastness, etc. There is also a history of eco dyeing and instructions on how to do one of the earliest methods- steaming/cooking a bundle of fabric that has all sorts of natural things rolled up tightly inside of it.

Out of the eleven patterns, I will review my four favourites below. But if you have any questions about the others, I’ll answer them in the comments s that everyone can see additional details about them. And if you would like to check out the patterns on Ravelry, you can find them here.

Review: Pom Pom Quarterly Autumn 2016 |

Tevara, by Paula Pereira

Tevara is a worsted weight pullover that features yarn dyed by A Verb for Keeping Warm using logwood and fustic. It features a hi-low hem which is achieved with short rows, and it’s knit from the bottom up. The back design is fully charted, and there is a thin band of i-cord edging for a polished look. This sweater has a mullet complex– business in the front, party in the back. But is the most stylish mullet I’ve ever seen.

You Should Totally Knit This If: You are looking for a sweater that can be dressy or casual, and has that slight edge to it. Also if you have an interchangeable set of needles, because this requires multiple circular needle lengths. Or if you have a lot of circular knitting needles, in general.

You Should Definitely Not Knit This If: If you are not into cables, charts, or splits at the hem and neckline. Although you could probably omit the splits from the hem and neck. But I think you’d be missing out on one of the coolest features of this sweater.

Review: Pom Pom Quarterly Autumn 2016 |

Thessaly, by Hanna Maciejewska

Thessaly is a beautiful DK weight open cardigan features a lovely yarn dyed by Gregoria Fibers using logwood. This is the sort of cardigan that is easy to wear and forgiving if you slightly missed the mark on sizing, or if your weight tends to fluctuate a bit. It’s a top-down raglan, and each front panel is knit separately and stitches are picked up and the raglan shaping is worked. I don’t recommend this for beginning knitters. You probably won’t make it past the raglan shaping. Pattern is fully written, no charts.

You Should Totally Knit This If: You adore top down everything, aren’t the slightest bit fazed by me warning off newer knitters, and can already see that this would be your go-to cardigan.

You Should Definitely Not Knit This If:  If you were looking for a pattern that was easy to memorize, or something that was good for knitting while watching TV. You need to focus quite a bit (I can’t emphasize that enough) to make it past the raglan section. But once you make it past that, it’s smooth sailing.

Review: Pom Pom Quarterly Autumn 2016 |

Kaali, by Fiona Alice

These DK weight fingerless mitts are knit in Elizabeth Beverley cashmere dyed with red cabbage, and three different shades of accent cotton yarn that provide the subtle gradient at the cuff. One of the easiest knits in the collection, this would be a quick knit and also a great knitted gift, especially in such a divine cashmere as these.

You Should Totally Knit This If: You have some special yarns squirreled away that would be great to try out a DIY gradient effect in your own knitting. And if you agree with me that fingerless mitts make you feel very smart and a little bit chic when the weather turns cool.

You Should Definitely Not Knit This If: You don’t wear fingerless mitts, I suppose. But then why not?! Everyone needs fingerless mitts!

Review: Pom Pom Quarterly Autumn 2016 |

Iara, by Renée Callahan

Iara is a dramatic fingering weight rectangular scarf knit with yarn dyed two different strengths of indigo by Kettle Yarn Co. If you want to hear someone say, “I love your scarf!!!” every single time you wear something, then this is the scarf for you. Pattern is both fully written and fully charted, and the charts are easy to memorize.

You Should Totally Knit This If: You love knitting striped shawls. This is the perfect crossover project that will have you excited to wear scarves when the weather turns cold. And the fact that it’s easy to memorize means that you can definite binge watch all the Netflix you want while knitting this up.

You Should Definitely Not Knit This If: You aren’t into stripes, and/or not into scarves. But I would hope that seeing this scarf might make you reconsider both of those opinions.

What do you guys think of this new collection? Which one is your favourite?

Modification Monday: Triangles

Modification Monday: Triangles |

Original Pattern: Nakahi Shawl

Knitter Extraordinaire: Katy (Ravelry ID, website)

Mods: Adapted the triangle shaped shawl into a rectangular lace top. Details are on her project page, which is found here.

What Makes This Awesome: Katy had knit the Nakahi shawl before, and loved the lace, so she wanted to adapt it into a poncho-style top that would have side closures with buttons This is really fitting for a couple of reasons – it’s so much easier to make changes to a pattern you have already knit once before, and also Katy makes beautiful bamboo buttons, so she wanted to knit something that would speak to that side of her craft, as well! I’m so impressed with how well this turned out- knitted lace in boxier shapes with a lot of drape are perfect for summer, where they can make great layering pieces.

When making a modification, there’s often things that crop up that you didn’t anticipate. For example, Katy cast on for this about 5 different times trying to get the set up right. Also when the neckline came out bigger than she wanted, rather than ripping back she cinched it up in the finishing stage. If your necklines ever come out bigger than you would like, this is always an option, as well. There are different methods, like threading the stitches on yarn and cinching it that way, or by crocheting a chain around the neck and ensuring it is tighter than the original neckline.  Katy’s top is beachy perfect for summer, or even as a fall layering piece over a longer sleeved tee.

Modification Monday: Triangles |

Pin Ups and Link Love: My Favourite Things This Week

My Favourite Articles and Links This Week

What you read matters a lot more than you think.

I loved this Mario TV talk about being multi-passionate. I think it will resonate with a lot of you.

Why shopping is a bad hobby, and what you should do instead. I don’t think of myself as much of a shopper, but I’m totally #5.

And with all the unbelievably sad things happening around the world these days, this was a great little post about how we are all the same. Although I will note that the two people involved are both white and speak English.

My Favourite Pins This Week

Pin Ups and Link Love: Rainbow Stripe Cookies |

These rainbow sugar cookies are so simple, and they make me happy just looking at them. I don’t know if I could always get my stripe that straight, but I’m going to try one day and find out. Pinterest link is here, and the original recipe post is here.

Pin Ups and Link Love: Zucchini Pizzas|

Mini zucchini pizzas! Tasty and perfect for snacking without getting too full. If you are attending any summer barbecues or parties and wanted to bring something, these would be fantastic as an appetizer or hors d’oeuvres. Because really, I don’t think you are going to get too full off little slices of zucchini. Even with cheese. Pinterest link is here, and the original recipe post is here.

Pin Ups and Link Love: How to Make Frose |

This is the first summer I’ve heard of Frosé, which is a frozen wine slushie made from rosé wine. Oh yes, you read that correctly- wine slushies are now a thing! All you need is your wine, ice, some salt, and a plastic bag. Pinterest link is here, and the original post is here.

Pin Ups and Link Love: Socks for Speckled Yarn |

I loved this little round up of ideas for socks knit with speckled yarn. I love the speckles!! Totally need to get some speckled yarn in my life, these socks are so inspiring. Pinterest link is here, and the original post is here.

Pin Ups and Link Love: Embrodiery Hoop Notions Caddy |

What a pretty idea for  little notions, especially if you like to sew! Also great for using up small bits of fabric that you love and can’t bear to part with. Pinterest link is here, and the original DIY post is here.

It’s a long weekend here in Canada and we are heading to the cottage! I’m not looking forward to the ridiculous long weekend traffic that is sure to occupy the first couple of hours of us being on the road, but hey. Each car will have people just like the ones in my car, trying to go somewhere fun, too. I’m hoping to get all sorts of modeled knit photos this weekend (James can’t wait to wear his toasty warm hoodie in this crazy heat!), and I’m excited to have some proper finished knits to share soon! I wish you all a lovely weekend, friends.

Knitting Update: Fresh Off the Needles

Remember this post? Well, the R & R Hoodie is finished, and so is the Delineate tank! If you follow me on instagram, you probably saw this shot of my Delineate tank having a lovely bath before wet blocking (And yes, I totally wiped down my faucet to make it so shiny just before taking this photo):

Knits in Progress |

That is knit in Sunna from Spirit Trail Fiberworks in the ‘Pink Sands’ colourway. A little bit of dye came out in the water, but it wasn’t enough to cause any problems and hasn’t changed the colour of the top at all.

And here is the R & R Hoodie, all pinned out (still drying):

Knits in Progress |

I’m loving how the Biscotte Yarns in Griffon (talked about here) has knitted up. This is three different colourways blended together (one of them being the self striping middle!), and the pattern was great. I’m going to add some little ears to the top of the hood, but I want to put it on James first and make sure I get the positioning right. I also need to sew in the zipper! This will be my first time sewing a zipper into a knit, but I feel confident about it. While it seems absurd to knit a heavy baby sweater in the crazy heat that has engulfed Toronto,  I know it will get cool again one day, and I deliberately knit this a bit big so that he can get some wear out of it. Tanis reminded me in her recent post that it’s better to err on the side of bigger than smaller, so that you get to see your squishy baby in it more than a few times before they outgrow it!

I’m also working on a shawl, can you believe it? I hardly ever knit shawls.  I’m already thinking of another one, so perhaps the shawl bug has come to bite me at last! I was fortunate to get my hands on the just-launched Berroco Millfiori, in the Viola colourway:

Berroco Millefiori |

And it looked so darn good in the pattern photos for Kveta, that I decided to start knitting one exactly like it:

Berroco Millefiori |

This is the pinnacle of a mindless knit. It’s a two skein project, and you basically knit the first skein while increasing, and when you run out of yarn, you join the second ball and start decreasing. I love how easy it is, and I can pick it up and put it down at a moment’s notice. Which makes it perfect for my current knitting situation, which is often knitting with small children around.  Or in the car:

Berroco Millefiori |

Speaking of which, we will be road tripping this weekend so I foresee some quality car knitting time in my future! And I will hopefully get some finished knit photos of both the tank and the baby hoodie this weekend.