Knitting with friends.

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Soooo…  this post was supposed to be up on Saturday! That was the deal I made with my fellow knitters, Andrea and Kristin.  They posted (found here and here) but six days later (I keep having to up that number as more days pass!) and here we are.  My bad! Apologies, Ladies! No excuses! Though honestly, I’m not sure that I have anything worthy to add after their thorough and thought-provoking tales!

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A couple of months ago, in a fit of pique over the crap weather that Toronto kept delivering, Kristin, Andrea and I decided that we might be able to pretend it was Spring if we started knitting for Spring. Bright colours, fun patterns and all that jazz. The Mizutama pattern from Olga Buraya-Kefelian was one that Kristin had been eyeing for some time so after a trip to our favourite LYS EweKnit, we were off!

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I’m not sure that I have much to add about the actual knitting of this pattern that Kristin and Andrea have not already covered in their posts. Suffice it to say that this was not necessarily the most enjoyable knit except that we were in it together so could complain and bitch to each other! Picking the yarn made for an eventful evening! We had trouble settling on a base and picking colours that were bright and flattering but were not already overrepresented in our Ravelry project page. The yarn selection at EweKnit is large so narrowing it down was no small feat! I kind of feel like I failed on all fronts but live and learn! I opted for a yarn that I had not worked with before; Raventwist Torc. This name is no joke, my friends! This yarn has some serious twist to it, which made it interesting to work with. I had high hopes that it would bloom a little when blocked but I didn’t find that to be the case at all. The result is that it feels a bit like I am wearing string around my neck, which is an overall fail in my opinion. The twisty nature of the yarn did endow the shawl with a slightly architectural look to it though, which is rather lovely. And the mix of red-orange, a colour that can be seen time and again on my Ravelry page, is awesome!

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Lined up (Kristin, Andrea and Sara)

Kristin and Andrea both went with Madeline Tosh Merino Light, which I have worked with often and continue to love. You can check out their posts to see what they thought of it but having fondled all three shawls, I much prefer the texture of theirs! So lovely to wear! And is probably obvious, the photoshoot was a blast! All is all, a successful knitalong! We’re currently repeating the fun with the Aisance cardigan but likely won’t have a group post until the Fall as wool sweaters are not high on the priority list as the weather heats up in Toronto.

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So. Now that we have saturated the interwebs with photos of our shawls, are you tempted by the pattern? Or to have a good KAL with friends? What colours most remind you of spring? Do you have a favourite yarn or fibre for shawls, scarves, cowls or anything else worn up around your neck? In the words of Kristin, let’s talk!

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An illuminated Hamilton fivehead for you all to enjoy!

My project notes can be found here.

Sara

 

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Urban Tank – Spring TTT KAL

Just making it in under the wire!  Luvinthemommyhood’s Spring Tops, Tanks and Tees KAL is coming to an end tonight so it’s time to write up my finished sweater!  I opted for Veera’s Urban tank using some Madeline Tosh merino light in Tart (!) that has been languishing in my stash since last spring.  This the very first Tosh yarn that I bought (last year at the knitters frolic) but I had only two skeins, which is a little limiting.  I’m happy I held off using it though as I think it works really well for this pattern!

There is not too much to say on this one.  I did narrow the neckline a bit in an attempt to keep this sweater on my shoulders!  I have narrow shoulders and was worried that the top as written would constantly be sliding around.  The details are described here on my ravelry page (what I can remember!  I didn’t keep track as I usually do!).  I increased the front panels every 8 rows and the back panels every 6 rows.  This left me short a few stitches when I joined everything in the round but I just modified my decreases so that at the end of my waist shaping I had the correct number of stitches.  Or something like that!  I have a sneaking suspicion that I actually did an increase round or two after joining in the round but short of pulling off my sweater and counting stitches, I can’t be sure!  This is what happens when I take bad notes!  I was a little bored knitting this one so I’ll blame my laziness on that!

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urban back front close-up

I’m quite pleased with how this sweater turned out. I’m happy to report that the neckline stays put!  This sweater was a little short as I ran out of yarn but blocking helped immensely.  The buttons I chose might be a bit heavy as they seem to be pulling the neckline back a bit but that’s easy enough to change if it bothers me.  As an aside to anyone considering this sweater…  feel free to skip the buttonholes on the shoulder!  This easily fits over my head and I can’t ever see an occasion where I might bother undoing the buttons.

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Now go forth and knit!  It may not be the most exciting pattern to work on but it is clear and well written (as all of Veera’s patterns are) and the finished sweater is lovely and wearable!

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I was shivering like crazy! Not the warmest Toronto afternoon!

Sara

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JOJI Spring KAL round-up

Hello! I finally got some pictures for a few of my March/April/May projects! I’m finding this the hardest part of blogging. I make lots of “stuff” but it’s really hard to blog about them without the photos! Anyway, as previously mentioned (here and here), I have been participating in a couple of spring wardrobe-related knit alongs (KALs). While the Tops, Tanks, and Tees KAL is ongoing, the JOJI Spring accessory and sweater KAL ended on May 1st.  I did actually finish everything on time but sadly, did not get everything blocked and posted before the 1st so no prizes for me!  But no worries as the real prizes are the Awesome and Amazing shawl/scarf and sweater that have joined my wardrobe.  So with no further ado…

The Way From Brighton! I love this shawl even though I was quickly tired of knitting the bobbles… I made this from some lovely worsted weight silk/wool yarn that has been languishing in my stash since I started knitting (ravelry notes found here). In fact, this is the very first yarn that I ever bought. It was from the sale section at Romni and I had no idea about yarn weights or quantities I might need to make something but I loved the colour and the price was right so home it came!  Unfortunately, 2 skeins of worsted weight yarn are not terribly useful so I wasn’t able to find a project for it until I found this pattern by Joji.  It really was a lovely pairing as the yarn gives the shawl fantastic sheen (silk!) and drape.  I’ve worn it often and after looking at these pictures, I think it looks perfect with my Wispy cardigan (not blogged but ravelry notes can be found here) and my split-back tank!

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And for the sweater component of the KAL, I went with Neon.  Words can hardly describe how thrilled I am with this sweater!  Seriously, how obnoxious is this colour!  This is the Madeline Tosh dk in Tomato…  my new favourite colourway!

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Unfortunately I happen to be wearing the only shirt in my wardrobe that looks ridiculous under a cardigan!  It’s my Sencha (will blog about it soon) and it has a very high neckline.  Oh well.  You’ll just have to imagine how awesome this cardigan usually looks!  This one represents a few firsts for me.  My first all-over lace sweater, my first contiguous shoulder construction, my first Joji sweater (definitely not my last!), and my first stabilized button bands.

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Contiguous sleeve

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Grosgrain ribbon on the button bands.

If you look closely at the picture above you can see that I used some grosgrain ribbon to stabilize both button bands   I just used small whipstitches to attach the ribbon and then used the blanket stitch to stabilize the buttonholes that I cut into the ribbon.  It was a total pain to do but completely worth it!  And because I am a geek…

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So very happy in front of a camera… not at all awkward!

Sara

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Spring Tops, Tanks and Tees KAL update

Hello!  Sorry for the silence but I’m happy to report that my grant is finished and submitted!  It’s always such a relief to get these things off!  Anyway, as mentioned previously (and not so briefly!), I’ve been participating in a few Spring related knitalongs (KALs).  I’ve finished two pieces (an accessory and a sweater) for a KAL that the very amazing knitwear designer JOJI was hosting in March and April.  I’ll post about those in the next day or two as I still need to bribe a friend into taking some pictures!  In the meantime, an update on the Spring Tops, Tanks and Tees KAL that Shannon (of luvinthemommyhood ) is hosting…

I had a late start, in part due to work related deadlines but also because I wanted to double up on this one and take part in the Madeline Tosh MadMay KAL as the yarn I chose is the tosh merino light in Tart.  I cast Urban on on Saturday and it’s coming together quickly (I started the hip increases last night).  I did make quite a few modifications to the front and back bodice pieces to remove some of the ease built into the pattern.  I have narrow shoulders and I thought this one would constantly be slipping off and driving me nuts!  As always, Thao713 came to the rescue and I roughly followed the modifications she outlined on ravelry (my ravelry notes can be found here ).  All in all, this is another straightforward and well written pattern by Veera.  Compared to some of the other finished objects I have seen for this KAL, my version of Urban is pretty unexciting but I do think it will be simple and something I will wear often.

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While I had some very grans plans at the start of this KAL, my late start has pretty much put an end to that.  I should have no problems finishing my Urban on time and since some lovely linen arrived for Hélène, I’m going to try and get this one done as well.  I love, love, LOVE this sweater!  Or at least I love it on everyone else!  I have a sneaking suspicion that I should have chosen something with a little colour but the natural yarn is so lovely that I couldn’t resist!  I’m already excited for this project when I look at my tiny little swatch!

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This sweater has a couple of firsts for me.  My first time knitting with linen.  I’ve been knitting a sleep sack for a friends baby using cotton and I am not a fan but I’m hoping that the lace in this pattern will help alleviate my major issues with plant based fibres (e.g. getting consistent stitches and an elastic fabric when knitting straight stockinette).  Knitting the swatch was not too bad.  The yarn is much stiffer than I am used to with wool but everyone assures me that it will soften up with washing!  It’s also my first time seaming a sweater.  Well, knitting the front and back separately as there is no actual seaming in this pattern (use a 3 needle bind-off instead).  I’m also a little concerned about the width of the neckline (see above comments about narrow shoulders).  I haven’t looked at the pattern closely yet but I may modify this slightly.  Will see…

Well, hopefully when I next blog about this KAL I’ll have some FO to share!

As an aside, the Wool People 5 collection by Brooklyn Tweed is out!  Check it out if you haven’t already!  As always, there some awesome patterns to chose from!

Sara

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