Sunday, 21 July 2013

Beach Knitting

I've been searching relentlessly for a good beach knitting project. You know, something small enough to fit easily in a beach-bag, simple enough that I'm not constantly watching a chart, and yet interesting enough that I don't fall asleep while knitting. Not an easy task.

 After several mis-starts I finally hit the jackpot with Trillian by Martina Behm.   It's a lovely mostly garter stitch shawl (simple & soothing) with an unusual construction and a pretty lace border that is knit at the same time as the body of the shawl (interesting). The yarn is a new base that I'm considering carrying, it's about 400 yards of superwash merino, in a fingering weight single ply yarn. I don't think it would be a durable choice for socks or a sweater, but the softness and subtle sheen of this yarn would be amazing in next-to-your-skin accessories. The colour way I'm using is called "Technicolour Dragonfly Dreams" and will be available mid to late August. 

Saturday, 5 January 2013


The Random Number Generator has spoken once more, and five is the magic number this time!  Vampirefan you are the winner of the awesome Hobbit Knits by the talented Josie Mercier.
Thanks to Josie for donating the eBook, and to everyone who read and/or played along. 

Sunday, 30 December 2012

Hobbit Knits - A Review

A few months back I did a little review of  the Elvish Singing Shawlette by Josie Mercier.  Well, Josie has recently released an an awesome eBook titled "Hobbit Knits" containing the pattern for this shawl as well as four additional hobbit-themed knits. 

This gorgeous collection includes a mix of garments and accessories, all with clever details and a good range of sizes.  I love that Josie has included a variety of knitting techniques ranging from complex looking cables in the Beorn cardigan (I adore the cabled waistband in that one - it adds great interest and is flattering on many figures), to the intricate lace in the Elvish Singing Shawlette.  The Pocketses vest appears to be simple at first glance, but includes thoughtful waist shaping, handy little pockets, and provides a perfect canvas for  those beautiful buttons so many of us have been hoarding collecting.  The Mirkwood Satchel is a versatile and sturdy linen stitch shoulder-bag with a practical zipper and beautiful cable detailing on the strap and pocket.

I think that the Pony Rides in May Sunshine fingerless mitts are my very, very favourite this time around.  The cabled cuff is so gorgeous, and knitting the cuff flat and picking up stitches for the body of the mitt is a technique that I haven't tried before on mitts.  I think my Smooshy DK would be a perfect fit for these, and I happen to have a skein (or two!) stashed. 

Josie has generously donated an additional copy of this gorgeous eBook.  For a chance to win your own copy, please leave a comment telling me which item in the collection is your favourite.  The winner will be drawn (by Random Number Generator) on Sunday, January 6, 2013.  The eBook is also available in Josie's Ravelry shop.

I'm off now to dig up some yarn and start knitting.....

Wednesday, 26 December 2012


The Random Number Generator has spoken!  Comment Number 7 was drawn for the "Nice" Batt - Metasynthesia, it's you!  And Comment Number 17 was drawn for the "Naughty" Batt - that would be Karen aka Ravelry's purplepenguin!  Congratulations Ladies and many thanks to all of you for playing.

Monday, 17 December 2012

Naughty or Nice...

The time for Santa Claus's annual visit draws near, which leads to the perennial question "Have you been naughty or nice this year?" 

My daughter and I were playing around with the drum carder on a weekend afternoon a few weeks back, and she had the brain-wave of Naughty or Nice Batts.  The "Nice" Batt is full of happy, bouncy colours and sparkles; while the "Naughty" Batt is full of darker, somewhat more sinister colours and lots of sheen. 

The "Nice" Batt

"Nice" weighs in at 2.9 ounces and contains such wonderful fibres as: stellina, alpaca, firestar, and assorted hand-dyed wools.

The "Naughty" Batt

"Naughty" weighs in at 3.2 ounces and contains tussah silk, stellina, alpaca, sari silk, carbonised bamboo, and assorted hand-dyed wools.
Both of these one of a kind beauties are only up for grabs here on the blog. (Don't worry, there are lots of other amazing batts here.)  For a chance to win, leave a comment saying which batt you like the best [please don't tell me if you're naughty or nice - TMI! ;) ]. I will choose two winners with the random number generator on Boxing Day.  Good Luck Everyone - and feel free to spread the word!  Happy Holidays!  

Sunday, 16 December 2012

Goin' Batty

  I've been spending (lots of) time lately dyeing up smallish amounts of wool and silk and alpaca roving into a delightful variety of intense semi-solid colours. Then, I've been playing. There is something super fun and addictive about combining wonderful wools and alpaca with SPARKLES and silk and shimmers and locks and whatever comes to hand. I swear that there is a time warp that opens up when my carder and I feels like only minutes have passed, and yet somehow it is actually like three hours later and the kids are hungry and the dog really needs to pee. Here is a small taste of some of my concocting......

Group Photo!

Monday, 5 November 2012

Just Winging It

In a dramatic change of events from my last post,  this is what my backyard looks like today...

Most of the snow is gone, the leaves are falling fast, and it is well above freezing.  Yay!  It seemed like a good time to snap a few photos of my most recent finished project. 

My friend dkzach recently knitted a super fun scrappy-stripey cowl using mini-skeins and odds and ends of hand-dyed fingering weight yarn. After trying in vain to come up with a plan to "acquire" her cowl for myself, I decided it would be easier to simply knit my own using my (growing) scrappy mini collection. 


I cast on a whole bunch of stitches using the stretchy Cable Cast On (I have no clue how many) and 5.0 mm circular needles, and joined to knit in the round. I noticed after more than a dozen rows that I had committed the biggest Knitting-in-the-Round-Sin.....I had twisted my stitches! At that point, I was too lazy to rip it out and start over, we're talking about a lot of stitches here! I figured I'd just call it a "Design Feature" and work with it. I was also looking for a way to add some textural interest to the stripes as simply as possible. I worked garter ridges randomly on some of the first rows after joining a new colour. I (cleverly, shamelessly copying dkzach) wove in ends as I went. After I cast off, I decided to make my cowl reversible by stitching the cast of and bound off edges together with scrap yarn and a blanket stitch.

I am thrilled with the result, and it just figures. It's now too warm to wear a wool cowl.