Thick n' Thermal
I knit this hat a few years ago for my sister. I usually knit her a new hat every year. This one I made with bulky yarn using Paton's Classic Roving in one of my favourite colours. I wrote up the pattern and had some test knitters check it out. Last week my friend Nicole knit one in Cog Yarns Bulky 2 ply which I intend to do as well so I sent the pattern off to my Tech Editor Mandyz and it has now been released on Ravelry
Not only is this toque stylish, the stitch pattern combined with bulky wool makes this hat super thick and virtually
impenetrable. Wool is a great insulator in itself, but the design of this hat will trap warm air between the layers and keep you toasty all season. The brim can be knit longer and folded over for even more warmth in sub zero temperatures.
o Small: 18” (45.7 cm) circumfrence
o Medium: 22” (55.9 cm) circumfrence
o Large: 25” (63.5 cm) circumfrence
Using size 10 US (6.0mm) needles; 15 stitches and 20 rows in stockinette = 4” (10cm)
- Bulky yarn (samples knit in yarns below)
Cog Yarns Bulky 2-Ply (purple/white hat size medium)
80% SW Merino/20% Nylon (1, 1, 2 skeins)
“Sweet Dreams” 185 yards (170 m) 200 g
Patons Classic Roving (yellow hat size small)
100% Wool (1.5, 2, 2 balls)
“Yellow” 120 yards (109 m) 100 g
o k – knit
o k2tog – knit 2 stitches together as if they were one
o k2sltog – knit the sl2tog stitches as if they were one
o p – purl
o sl – slip stitch
o sl2tog – slip 2 stitches knitwise as if they were one
Check out this year' Collection of designs for the Manitoba Fibre Festival! From now until June 7th the patterns are 20% off on Ravelry using the code Challenge20. I have a pair of socks in the collection called Straw into Gold that are knit with a beautiful hand dyed yarn by Colleen of Cog Yarns. We have kits available at The Naked Sheep Yarn and Fibre Emporium and I will also have them with me at Blue Hills Fibre Festival on June 9th. Why not pick one or two of your favourites and cast on during this MAL (make-a-long) until the festival Sept 14-15th. There are lots of great prizes available :)
Wheat is one of the world’s most important and oldest cereal grains. Saskatchewan is often referred to as the “Bread Basket of Canada” and for good reason. Much of the prairies is covered in farm land and wheat is a common sight in the province as Saskatchewan is the main producer of wheat in Canada and one of the largest in the world.
I really wanted to represent not only Saskatchewan with this design but the prairies as a whole. Agriculture is important here including both the flora and fauna. The leg of these socks proudly display wheat as it sways in the wind. The foot has a simple knit/purl textured pattern which I wanted to represent the soil and how I have been a born and raised prairie girl and my roots are planted here.
Straw into Gold is part of the Makers Challenge in support of the 2018 Manitoba Fibre Festival. I partnered with Colleen of Cog Yarns who dyed up a special colourway for this challenge. This pattern uses toe up construction and features the Fleegle heel.
Pattern includes written instructions followed by their corresponding charts
• 1 skein of sock yarn approximately 425 yards
I used: Cog Yarns – SW Sock – “Peaceful Haze” 425 yards (389 m) 115g
Cog Yarns – SW Sock Mini Skeins (2) – “Squash” 60 yards (55 m) 15 g
Cog Yarns – SW Sock – “City Blizzard” 425 yards (389 m) 115g
• 9” Circular needle size US 1.5 (2.5 mm)
• You may also use Magic Loop or 2 circulars
• 4 Double pointed needles size US 1.5 (2.5 mm)
• 3 Stitch markers (2 regular, 1 removable)
• Tapestry Needle
• 12” (30 cm) length of waste yarn for provisional cast on
10 X 10 cm / 4” X 4”=36 stitches X 48 rows in stockinette stitch (stitches unblocked) using size US 1.5 (2.5 mm) needles
Abbreviations and stitches used:
cc – contrasting colour
k – knit
k2tog – knit 2 together
k3tog – knit 3 together
m1l – make 1 left
m1r – make 1 right
mc – main colour
p – purl
p2tog – purl 2 together
sk2p – slip, knit 2 together, pass slipped stitch over
sl1 – slip 1
ssk – slip, slip, knit
sm – slip marker
My last couple of projects in the past little while have been socks. I really enjoy knitting socks and wearing handknit socks but sometimes I am not a fan of knitting items where I need 2 of something. As many of you know, sock knitting is addictive!!
My first pair I made with Wisdom Prose Sock yarn I got from Wolseley Wool in the colourway Vegitate. Normally I don't mind if my socks don't match exactly but these ones made it just so easy. I stated these just after the Manitoba Fibre Festival and finished them at the beginning of Nov. Can't go wrong with plain ol vanilla socks. I worked these cuff down and used my regular heel flap and toe.
Talking about mis-matched socks.... I was gifted this sock kit from my friend Nicole. At first I was a bit confused about what they would become, but it seems I am the only one on the planet who hadn't seen these amazing socks from the Yarn Enabler (and I even follow her on Instagram!) You can knit these either cuff down or toe up. These Paper and Pencil socks have been my most fun knit this year by far! I use my new ChiaoGoo 9" circular (2.5 US 3.00mm) and whipped through these in 2 weeks.
This kit is called Stationery and includes both paper and a pencil :P in the words of the Yarn Enabler "What good is a pencil without paper?" The larger white skein is the loose leaf which I knit as a plain vanilla sock. The other 3 skeins make up the pencil starting with the lead and wood portion, moving onto the yellow body and finishing with the metal cap and eraser. I used the No. 2 pattern for the pencil because - come on, you gotta give the pencil its true form. I used up pretty much every inch of yarn for these socks.
I used a few different techniques for this pair. I knit these toe up and since I am a fairly tight knitter, I have a hard time doing Judy's Magic cast on so I use the toe from Charlene Schurch's book "More Sensational Knitted Socks". This toe starts out using a provisional cast on and then you knit a little rectangle which you then pick up stitches on the side and increase for the toe until you are up to 64 stitches. I then used the heel and gusset increases from Kelie Oreb's Straight Up Socks pattern. Super easy, it didn't upset the stripes and I didn't have to switch to double pointed needles.
For the cuff, I did k1, p1 ribbing until I had enough yarn left over to do Jeny's Surprisingly Stretchy bind off. 100% fun the whole way. I haven't worn the socks yet but I did hear somewhere that people who wear mis-matched socks are geniuses haha.
I finished my Liplatus Shawl on the drive home for the Saskatoon Etsy Made in Canada sale last month and just got around to blocking it this weekend.
I knit it in Dye for Ewe's Snug sock yarn in the colourway Growing Pansies. Isn't it such a pretty colour scheme? I started this shawl on the way to the Manitoba Fibre Festival and really enjoyed it as it was quite a relaxing project. I really wanted a simple looking shawl to show off the yarn as best as I could. If I had a lime green yarn I might crochet a fancy border along the bottom one day.
Bandana by Joanne Seiff
Have you been knitting one of the beautiful 13 designs from the Flatlands Collection is support of the Manitoba Fibre Festival? There is a KAL (knit-a-long) happening now until the festival Sept 15 & 16th. If you knit one of the designs you will be entered to win some great prizes like Festival swag and a luscious skein of the limited edition colourway by Cloud 9 Fibreworks. If you wear one of the designs to the festival you can get in for free! Not only that you are supporting both prairie designers, dyers and artisans who have all been part of this years' inaugural collection.
I knit up Bandana by Joanne Seiff. It was a very fun, relaxing and fast project and I am SO happy with it. A beautiful soft pink, not normally one of my go-to colours but I can hear my grandma saying "it will brighten up your face" haha. There is a paisley design in the stitches and the texture it creates is super cool. This design can be worn in so many ways; as a bandana cowl, shawl, hood and even to keep your hair out of your face. I can't get enough of multi-use projects. They are a must in my wardrobe. I attached a bright, butterfly button to the end of the tie. This was the choice of many of my Instagram friends.
Kits for all the designs will be available at the festival from both designers and dyers. Be sure to stop by the Flatlands booth to see the complete collection. I will have kits for Aura at my table and Ally of Dye For Ewe will have some as well.
As some of you may know, I teach knitting at Red Fox Creative Studio which is a great place for combining well-being, art, creativity and support. Today I was featured on their blog as the Maker Monday post. I am also going to be teaching another Learn to Knit Class this fall starting in October. It is a 4 week class where you will learn all the basics of knitting including casting on, binding off, knit and purl stitches, simple decreases and increases as well as reading a pattern and using stitch markers. I hope you will join me :)
Alex Richards of October Evening made a beautiful Lookbook featuring all the artisans involved in this collection, click on the cover photo above to check it out
The Flatlands Collection has officially launched! This inaugural collection includes 13 designers from my local fibershed in and around the Canadian Prairies supporting the Manitoba Fibre Festival. All of these designs have been made using yarn/fibre from vendors at this years Manitoba Fibre Festival.
Join us on Ravelry, Facebook and instagram (using the hashtag #flatlandscollection) for a KAL. Official FO posts can be made on the Manitoba Fibre Festival Forum to qualify for a prize. Join us and purchase your patterns between August 1st and 6th to receive a 30% discount (automatic at checkout)
Thank you to U&i / perspective for modelling. photos by Hilori Thompson, Ash Alberg, and Mandy Furney.
Aura Pattern Launched
The Flatlands Collection has officially launched! This collection includes 13 designers from my local fibershed in and around the Canadian Prairies. All of these designs have been made using yarn/fibre from vendors at this years Manitoba Fibre Festival. I have been waiting to show you my design and here it is! I love versatile patterns that can be worn in a variety of ways. I wanted a meditative pattern that is also very functional yet still stunning with a nice drape.
Aura is part of the Flatlands Collection featured at the 2017 Manitoba Fibre Festival. Join us on Ravelry, Facebook and instagram (using the hashtag #flatlandscollection) for a KAL. Official FO posts can be made on the Manitoba Fibre Festival Forum to qualify for a prize. Join us and purchase your patterns between August 1st and 6th to receive a 30% discount (automatic at checkout)
This generously sized rectangular shawl will become your new go to accessory. Knit on the bias with 3 different skeins, you can play up colours, maximize yardage and wear it in a number of ways!
Aura: is the ever-changing flow of life energy around one’s body, the essence of an individual, an invisible force surrounding a living creature, a breath of air
The stitch patterns lend themselves well to solid colours, stripes, gradients, speckle dyed, tonal, hand painted yarns and handspun!
I am proud to partner with local prairie artisans with this design, including Ally of Dye for Ewe and Ash of Sunflower Knit, in support of the Manitoba Fibre Festival.
- 3 skeins of fingering weight yarn approximately 465 yards each
Dye for Ewe – Fingerlicious 465 yards (425.2 m) 115g Single Ply 100% Merino
Colour A: Can’t See the Forest for the Trees
Colour B: Fall Shadows
Colour C: Plum Dandy
18 stitches X 24 rows = 4” (10 cm) over stockinette unblocked using size US 9 (5.5mm) needles
Before Blocking: 63” (160 cm) length X 21.5” (55 cm) depth
After Blocking: 69” (175 cm) length X 33” (84 cm) depth
Basic knitting and purling, increases and decreases, slipping stitches
Abbreviations and stitches used:
k – knit
k2tog – knit 2 stitches together
kfb – knit into the front and the back of stitch
p – purl
rs – right side
sl – slipped stitch
ssk – slip, slip, knit
ws – wrong side
yo – yarn over
You can purchase the pattern on Ravelry, as well as in person at the Manitoba Fibre Festival this Sept 15th & 16th in Winnipeg, Manitoba. Kits will be available so you can knit your version in the scrumptious Dye for Ewe Fingerlicious Merino single yarn.
Made It Into Ravelry's Top 5!
I was so excited yesterday as I watched my Cosmic Cozy pattern work its way up the top 20 list on Ravelry's Hot Right Now section in the Patterns tab. I was hoping to make it into the Top 5 and I did!
I wondered why this pattern became popular so suddenly and I saw the front page of Ravelry. In the Community Eye Candy ChristalLittleK's "Nid pour ratous" is featured and what an adorable little rattie peaking out!
This cozy was also featured in an article in Issue 92 (May 2015) of Let’s Knit magazine about knitting for pets (and if you know me you know how much I LOVE animals). The base is crocheted and then you pick up stitches along the sides and decrease quickly to create the shape of the roof which is knit quite densely to hold its shape. Wool yarn is a great choice for this cozy because it has a natural absorbency which will eliminate the smell of urine, wick away moisture and if you use a superwash wool it is easily washable.
The pictures were taken by my sister Nancy and the rats (Isabelle & Grace) in my project pictures belong to a sweet girl named Bryn.
I had been watching my way through The X-Files while making this and its design reminded me of a UFO which was also the inspiration for its name. If you have a small animal why not consider making a Cosmic Cozy for them to snuggle up in. You can find the pattern for FREE in my Patterns section and also on Ravelry.
A Bankhead for my Dad
For the past 2 months I have been knitting like a fiend for designer Dean Renwick's Fall Collection for Sask Fashion Week. I bound off my last item yesterday and now I am eagerly looking forward to Friday May 8th for the big night! Here is a clip that was on the news today with Dean talking about what he will be bringing to the show. He has some wonderful words to say about my work :)
New Pattern - Cosmic Cozy
I have a new pattern up on Ravelry called the Cosmic Cozy. I knit it with super bulky yarn and big needles. I have been binge watching X-Files so that could be my inspiration for the shape of this bed. You can find the pattern here, and here is a link to my project page on Ravelry
The rat's used as my models are named Isabella and Grace and they were very cute little girls. I was very happy that Bryn - their "mom" let me come over for a photoshoot with little notice. My sister Nancy Morrison of Landlocked Design took all the photo's and did a wonderful job!
This cozy was listed as a "Fab Freebie" pattern in Issue 92 of Let's Knit Magazine!!
Casting on... soon
Knit Natural will be on the runway at Sask Fashion Week again this year! I am working with THE Dean Renwick on his Fall 2015 collection. I have chosen the yarn I will use and have started knitting some swatches to get what I am picturing in my mind out and in wool. I have been making my calculations and scraping ideas, making new ones and madly jotting things down. I have less than a month and a half and can't wait for you to see what will be walking down the runway this May.
I love knitting for fashion designers. To go from a sketch to a finished piece, creating at every step is very satisfying and to see all my hard work on the runway feels really amazing! I will be casting on this weekend and if you're looking for me - I will be in my studio, focused on my stitches and working with wool.
If you have ever thought about seeing what Sask Fashion Week is all about, why not check it out this year? Its quite a show!
Seek and Find Giveaway
It's giveaway time, it's giveaway time!
Some of my favourite games are Hidden Object ones, especially from Big Fish Games like the Mystery Case Files series. I was thinking of hosting a giveaway for this season and thought this might be a fun way to earn your prize.
I have 10 questions for you. The answers are in front of your eyes, you just need to seek them out. Some questions will have multiple right answers and you must answer them all correctly to be entered to win. There are also lots of chances for bonus entries as well!
I have 2 prizes available. If not for yourself, they also make great gifts, so you can cross off a special someone from your list just in time for Christmas.
Knitters Prize: 1 skein of Hawthorne Fingering weight yarn in the colourway "Rose City", "Knockout Knits" by Laura Nelkin and a purse size bottle of Handmade Luxury Hand Creme in the Celebration scent.
Spinners Prize: Spinner Starter Kit including 4 oz of Corriedale and a maple drop spindle, "The Complete Guide to Spinning Yarn" by Brenda Gibson and a 4 oz bottle of SOAK wool wash in the Aquae scent.
*Note: I will take pictures in the daylight on the weekend
You can email your answers to firstname.lastname@example.org and I will type your name to the bottom of this post to confirm your entries.
This contest is open to everyone and anyone and I will draw the winners randomly on Monday December 1, 2014 at 6:00pm (Saskatchewan time)
Good luck and thanks for playing!
1) Out of all the spindles I have reviewed, which one has received the highest rating?
2) Most of my handspun skeins are sold at sales I attend but I do have an Etsy shop and one of my favourite skeins was called "Single Malt", how many yards are in this skein?
3) I am working on sheep breed studies, what is the average fleece weight for a Romney sheep?
4) What are the 4 scents I have available in SOAK wool wash?
5) Bankhead is one of my most popular hat patterns. Roughly how many people have made this hat? Bonus entry for those who have knit either Bankhead or Cobblestones themselves.
6) I have done a few tutorials this past year, which sheep breed did I use as a sample in the most recent tutorial?
7) I am showcasing some of my work in the Sherven-Smith Art Gallery soon. When?
8) Have you "Liked" me on Facebook? Easy entry. If you haven't already, please do.
9) I post Daily Inspirations everyday and link these to my Pinterest page. Which one has inspired you the most?
10) What is Knit Natural's slogan?
Bonus entries for sharing this giveaway with your friends. For every referral you get an extra entry for both you AND your friend(s). Please make sure you tell me who notified you of this awesome giveaway.
Amy Anderson (3 Entries)
Carolynne Gould (3 Entries)
Entirely Crafty Podcast
I was a guest co-host on the Entirely Crafty podcast this week. You can check it out here if you are interested. It was a lot of fun!
If you are on Ravelry, you can join her group and keep up with new episodes :)
Hat Patterns on the Way
I am working on the patterns for Speargrass, Wally and Un-named. They will make wonderful accessories for fall and winter. I am working on handspun versions of the last two as well.
Handspun Vest for Baby Duke
I met Carla in my Learn to Crochet class at Cindy-Rella's. Her fun attitude and genuine interest to learn new skills was very encouraging. She also took a spinning wheel class from me and was very determined to give it her best shot. She did awesome. She bought a wheel from our friend Susan and took off running. She joined the Regina Weavers and Spinners Guild and we have been hanging out at many of the monthly Fibre Nights as well.
Carla is about to have her baby any time now. I wanted to make her something nice for her son and knew the perfect handspun to use. This yarn is a superwash Corriedale so it will be easy to take care of yet will stay durable and last until long after her baby grows out of it. The colours are baby blue, light green, orange, gold and a sage-y green. Great boy colours.
I chose to knit a vest because it is a great layering item, and it will keep her baby warm without being too hot. The pattern is called Pebble by Nikol Lohr. It's wonderful project to showcase handspun because it is a simple looking pattern with a garter stitch border and yoke. The vest buttons up down the side and on one shoulder so it will be easy for him to get in and out of. My friend Hilary made one of these for her son when he was born and it just looked so cute on him! It's an easy pattern and you can adjust the size pretty easily.
It is super nice to give a handspun, handknit item to someone who really appreciates it. Can't wait to see the little cutie wearing his new vest.
For the past several weeks I have been doing a "Daily Inspiration" segment on my Facebook page. These are pictures of projects, patterns, cute animals, or really neat things I come across on a daily basis that have given me inspiration. You should check them out if you haven't yet. I may have included something of yours that has inspired me. I also add them to my Daily Inspiration Pinterest board, which you can follow as well. Keep up the good work people, there are so many cool and creative things all around us!
Olds Fibre Week 2014
Wow, Fibre Week once again was a dream. I attended the whole week and it went without any problems at all. Lots of fun and I met lots of new, cool people and got to see smiling familiar faces too. Where do I start?
I traveled with two amazing women; Deb Behm and Coleen Nimetz. Lucky me, because I got to converse with experts in the fibre field, learn and laugh all the way to Olds. Deb, taught Master Spinners Level 1 this year and had a very full class. She taught me how to spin and has been my mentor ever since. If you are looking to read up on her, you can check her blog and she also has an article on twist published in the most recent Ply magazine. Coleen, who usually teaches Level 6 and is one, if not the one, of the leading experts on silk in North America. She also has lots of recent articles published in several magazines including Ply, Spin-Off and more (check them out).
The first few days were spent getting settled and pouring over my books (and maybe checking the market). The Wool Show was on monday and I was getting very excited anticipating the whole thing. I judged 44 fleeces in several different classes. Since this is the 3rd year I have helped out or have been involved in the Wool Show, I had an idea of the types of breeds I would find there but cross breeds always force me to think just a little bit harder and there was one fleece in particular that made me laugh to myself because it was such a mix; it was a Romanov, Suffolk, Cotswold, Jacob cross. So, that means its a primitive breed, that is double coated, which also has characteristics of down breeds AND long wools. Yeah. It made the cogs in my head turn a little more then they are used to. It was a lovely fleece and it won a first place ribbon in its class. There were beautiful Shetland fleeces, Dorset, Corriedale, Jacob and BFL. Cotswold, Arcott, Suffolf, Tunis, Cheviot and crosses of each and every one in between. My friend Val Fiddler from Wooly Wool of the West and co-coordinator of the sheep show at The Grasslands Sheep Exhibition in Drake won Grand Champion for her BFL fleece! So if you are looking for some really good fleeces you know where to turn. She also has Black Welsh, Corriedale, Cotswold and more in her flock.
There was a Cotswold fleece from Manitoba producer Gerry Oliver, that was absolutely stunning. It scored only a one mark less than the BFL pictured above. When I flipped the fleece over to look at its lustre, the people in the audience gasped at its shine! Below is a gallery of pictures from the show and the auction. Sorry about the poor quality of some of them, the fluorescent lighting in the building wasn't ideal for photos.
The auction is always a very stressful time. My hands were shaking by the end of it and I wasn't even bidding on anything! You can see the love for fibre right here and I did enjoy seeing some very excited faces once the time was called.
Once the show was over I got to relax a bit. As some of you know, Kim from The Wacky Windmill and her lovely minion Donna were there. Two of my favourite people <3 I got to spend lots of time with them, especially Donna and I hovered around their booth for the majority of the time the market was open. I came home with a couple items; Alpaca/Merino/Silk in the "Kiss This" colourway, Merino/Cashmere/Silk "Remember That Time..." (luxury!) and a skein of superwash Merino in "The Hollow" colourway which I won in one of Kim's KAL's recently. I also coudn't go home without some Painted Desert yarn from Pam's Wooly Shoppe, a travel niddy noddy and some fabric from"The Quilting Bee" (in the town of Olds) which I have no clue what I will do with it. Every year students receive a fibre week tote, that is different every year. Donna also made me this lovely project bag which had a lavendar sachet and handmade lavendar soap inside! Have I ever mentioned how wonderful Donna is?
I may have also come home with a Suffolk X fleece..... maybe
I read an article about a spinning wheel collection donated to the Olds Museum and had to go check it out while I was there. Donna and I went and saw over 45 wheels that had belonged to a man who's goal was to open a museum with them. Among all the very unique and cool wheels were also over 20 drum carders, distaffs, mirrors, spinning wheel parts and also his anvil collection and other oddities. It is quite amazing all the different styles of wheels he had, in all shapes and sizes. Many of them still work including one that had been charred in a fire. There were a couple wheels on display during Fibre Week at the college. All of these wheels are being restored and photographed by a professional photographer and will be put up for auction in the very near future. Some of them are already being added to the museums website and if you are looking to purchase any of these wheels, you can find out all the information you need here. Click on the pictures in the gallery below to get a sneak peak on what wheels will be available.
As usual there are always social events in the evenings and I attended all of them. There was a pub night on Monday, Spin-in on Tuesday and the Fashion Show on Wednesday followed the Fleece and Silent Auctions. An item of Deb's that was in the show was her handspun/handkint cotton sweater which was featured in one of Kate Larson's articles in Spin-Off. Zach Webster, who is the new Program Co-ordinator even tried his hand at spinning during the Spin-In. Looks like he loved it.
I did get my spinning projects finished while I was there. I spun 5 skeins; Shetland, SW Merino/Nylon, Corriedale, Romney and SW Merino/Cashmere/Nylon. I will be listing these skeins for sale in my shop if you are interested.
And what would a blog post about Olds College be without several beautiful photos of the campus grounds? Enjoy
And while I was in the wetlands, there were other photographers there taking pictures, look at this amazing one!
On the last day of Fibre Week, there was a plant sale. How could we say no? If you've ever thought about attending, I strongly suggest you come next year. Fibre Week 2015 will be June 19 - 26, see everyone again next year!!
Handspun on the Needles
I have a list of goals this year:
1) knit a sweater for myself
2) crochet a sweater for myself
3) learn to sew
4) make a few projects that have been in my queue for a long time like Wurm, Hitchhiker and Sheep Heid, Morning Surf Scarf with handspun
5) challenge myself each month on something crafty
6) spin 4 oz on a supported spindle
7) Finish as many WIP’s as I can
8) Wear more of my hand knits on a regular basis
I've started working on a few items and cast on for the Hitchhiker shawl this past week. I am using a Merino/Tencel blend which is the Jan 2014 club shipment from Spunky Eclectic. I spun the fibre straight from the braid without splitting it up. I wanted to have longer colour runs which of course "make" this shawl. The other nice thing about this pattern is you knit until your run out of yarn so I can use up every last inch of my precious handspun.
I'm really liking the gradation of colours, looks like a sunset to me. It also makes for great work knitting.
**Warning, this post will keep you up!
I have been yearning for a project that has no deadline. Something where I can pick up a spindle, create any yarn and knit a project that I can wear whenever and wherever. One of my goals this year is to actually get around to knitting a few projects this year that have been in my Ravelry queue for a few years. Specifically the ones "made" for handspun. Like the Morning Surf Scarf, Hitchhiker, Wurm, Simple Yet Effective Shawl, and all the amazing handspun fingerless mitt patterns out there (not to mention the million shawl patterns in my queue) Right now the one I'm thinking about is the Helix Scarf by Stephanie Gaustad. My friend Deb knit one of these a few years ago with her handspun. It's simple, beautiful, and just what I'm looking for. I was looking at the projects on Ravelry and this one really caught my eye.
If you are looking for spinning with shawls in mind, just join this group! Looking for crocheting handspun? Here you go :)
And if that's not enough... look at the projects/stash of Marihana
Now you can see what I'm talking about! Add a few projects to your queue now? YEAH! Now you can understand how I feel haha. Which projects are you thinking of starting this weekend?
Natural Fibre on the Runway
Remember these sweaters from Sask Fashion Week 2013?
Here is how it all started....
A question was asked on Facebook inquiring about someone who could knit a few pieces for Sask Fashion Week and a friend/co-worker of my husband's
recommended me (thanks Kelcey Harasen!). I was contacted in Feb 2013 by Fashion Designer Riley Lawson to knit a couple of her designs for her fall/winter collection. We met and she showed me her drawings that she had made of two sweaters; one pullover and one cardigan, and we discussed details right down to the fibres. I had brought with me a couple swatches I knit in a few different yarns, and she decided that the pullover would be best knit with Baby Alpaca Glimmer from Diamond Yarns Luxury Collection. This amazingly soft yarn has a silver thread in it that really added to the awesomeness this sweater would become. Riley told me her favourite colour is shiny so we had a winner :P For the cardigan she chose Rowan's Creative Focus (Wool/Alpaca blend). This was beautiful yarn to work with and I loved every moment knitting with it. I was happy with both these yarn choices, as it showed that Riley had high standards in the quality of her designs and I was very happy that she wanted to include me in her ensemble. I was also humbled that she included me in her decision making process.
I got started right away as she needed both sweaters done before the photoshoot in early April. I started with the cardigan as I knew it would take me longer. I made all the pieces separately and blocked them with Soak Wash (Lacey scent). I knew I was really going to cut it close on time and I asked my very good friend Sara Yip if she could do the seaming for me. She was one of the only people I trusted, who I knew would do a professional job. I am so thankful for her as she didn't hesitate to help me out and not only did she do a professional job with the seaming she did it absolutely perfect! I don't know if I can thank you enough.
The pullover went much better, with the bulkier yarn and a looming deadline, I pondered which stitch pattern I could use that would give me the crosshatch pattern used in Riley's drawing. I knit up a swatch and sent it to Riley.
The photoshoot was April 13th at Kiriako Iatridis' studio. This was a new experience for me as I've never been to something like this before. It was very emotional to see the sweaters I had worked so hard on worn by professional models and seeing the pictures on the photographer's big screen was really remarkable and I don't have words to describe it.
The days leading up to Sask Fashion Week were very exciting. Riley showcased the pullover on Global News along with one of her eco-dyed blouses. I was itching to see everything come together on the runway and I brought Jeremy, my sister Nancy and Sara with me so we could experience it together. It was put on SO well, inside the tent it felt like we had entered another world, in a fancier city but this was all happening in Regina! Riley's collection was going to be later on in the evening but it was worth the wait! All the designers that night put out great collections and the collaboration of so many talented Saskatchewan people was really mind blowing. I know we have really creative people in this province but so many of them in one place was really cool. Here are a couple shots from that night:
The knee high socks in the centre were also knit by me. They have a really cool dropped stitch pattern with a hem at the top enclosed over an elastic. The yarn I used was Shibui Staccato (Merino/Silk) that was supplied to me by Riley. I used every last inch and finished them in 6 days.
As you may have heard, Riley won the award for Best Emerging New Designer for Sask Fashion Week 2013 for her designs and her wonderful collection. She received a standing ovation and I was so happy for her! She really deserved to win for designing items that can be worn to work as a professional in the city or her items are really adaptable for pairing with other items already in your wardrobe. My favourite piece in her collection were the eco dyed silk blouses. She used berries to naturally dye silk which not only makes these blouses one-of-a-kind but it also she created wonderful splashes of colour and a cool story for people who own the tops. On that note I also wanted to tell you that her collection is available at Stella and Sway downtown on Scarth street! You can see her designs up close and become the proud owner of a Riley Lawson design. You should check out her facebook page and her website, and this article on her award. She will be one to look out for in the city. She does fashion styling for the Cornwall Centre, morning segments on Global News, writes a column for Pink Magazine and so much more. Such a talented woman and I consider myself lucky to have had met/worked with her. Finally check out Sask Fashion week this year, you will love it!
12 Days of Christmas ~ Day 7
Hats are one of my favourite things to make. I have a couple to offer for today's deal; one knit and one crocheted
The horseshoe beret is handknit with a merino/corriedale blend to give you softness and durability. One of my favourite hats, I have made a bunch of these. Nice natural shade of oatmeal/brown.
The sock monkey hat has been crocheted with hand dyed merino which is the softest wool out there. This hat will fit a small child. You can't help but smile when you look at it. This hat is one of a kind.
These hats would make awesome Christmas gifts if you're last minute shopping but don't wait too long because this deal will only last until the end of the weekend.
Today's Deal ~ $15.00 off
Lots to do this weekend as the hours fill up with work that I've got planned in my mind and the need to create takes over. I'm sure you know what I mean ;P
I am teaching my Learn to Knit class which lasts two weeks. I
teach students two common cast on's, the knit and purl stitches, simple lace knitting and two bind off's. Students get to try out different needle types (circular, straight, wooden, metal etc) to see what they prefer. It never hurts to try before you buy and many new-comers to knitting are overwhelmed with the choices. I will also go over important tools/notions, how to read simple patterns, blocking and even laundering advice. I find it to be a very relaxing class, as we have fun chatting while practicing each stitch and isn't that what knitting is all about? Creating while having fun. If you are interested in taking this class, I will be offering more throughout the year. You can check the "Classes & Workshops" tab to see the schedule and if there is something you would like to learn that isn't on the list, please let me know. I am very accommodating and will offer private lessons as well.
I have been working on a lace collar from May's Piecework Magazine. It is based on a great story called "Of Heros, Hooks, and Heirlooms” by Faye Silton, about a girl who learns to crochet to share a portion of her family's history. Children in her class are asked to bring in a family heirloom and discuss it. The girl in the book's family was in WWII and had to leave all their belongings behind. She did have a photo though and decided to make the lace collar her mother was wearing and bring that to class as her heirloom piece. I'm still looking for the book so I can read it in more depth.
I have also been crocheting buttons, they add a unique finishing touch to many projects. I have also been making buttons from polymer clay and find them so much fun!
I have been spinning a Romney sample for June's Sheep Study on my Forrester sheep spindle (how fitting!). I have processed it from its raw, dirty form to this shimmery beautiful form.
Weekend Plans - May Long
The Cathedral Village Arts Festival is coming up next weekend (May 25th) and I have one week to get ready. I plan on spinning as many skeins as I can and working on some odds and ends. I need to finish making some felted soap, market bags, food baskets and mandalas.
I have been knitting the Stripe Study Shawl with some handspun Masham wool and alpaca yarn. I'm loving the contrast.
I have been crocheting some wash cloth gift sets. They are a nice take along project. Great to work on during breaks and when I'm stuck waiting for a train
I have been spinning up club fibres as they arrive. I of course have more fibre than I can spin in a lifetime but it's what makes me happy. I am having a bit of a destash as well, my loss is your gain.
Here is a picture of my sister Nancy of Landlocked Design and I taken by the QC photographer at Sask Fashion Week last weekend. More to come on that later ;)