suddenly it’s Rhinebeck time!

Geez, I knew it had been awhile since I’d blogged, but I didn’t realize just how long it had been! In September I was consumed with very tight deadline projects, but I got 5 projects out the door (2 knit by sample knitters, thank you so much ladies) and now I hardly know what to do with myself! I also missed submitting to some design calls while I was busy, so I don’t have anything currently lined up. I’m sure that’ll change though.

I do have some new patterns out though! Sometimes it’s difficult for me to tell if I’m actually accomplishing anything, but when designs are released I feel a little better about the amount of work I’ve done this year.

Photo by Feel Good Yarn Company

Another sweater pattern with Feel Good Yarn Company, called Claremont! Big thanks to Denny for knitting up this sample. This sweet, shapely V-neck cardigan is worked seamlessly from the bottom up, with integrated bands and seed stitch details. The SilverSpun Sock is a super stretchy, extremely comfortable cotton blend with silver, and Feel Good even has a kit available for 15% off the yarn price.

Fave and queue Claremont on Ravelry.
Purchase Claremont pattern or kit.

Photo by Louet North America

Motley Mitts and Hat are worked in Louet Gems fingering weight, which is a great workhorse superwash merino with a nice twist and crisp hand. I held two strands of fingering weight together to get the marled effect, and a simple twisted rib panel on the hat and armwarmers are framed with ribbing and stockinette. Plus a nice big pompom! The pattern includes instructions for the armwarmers and hat together, in adult sizes S, M, L.

Queue, fave and purchase Motley on Ravelry.

At home, I’ve been working through some new sweater patterns that I’ve had on hold for awhile. I feel like I’ve been working on these sweaters forever – they were mostly done last winter and spring, and I decided to wait to release the patterns until it was a more sweatery season!


Top to bottom, the yarns are: Anzula Haiku, Zen Yarn Garden Worsted, Dirty Water Dyeworks Johanna

I’ve also been swatching for some brand new projects, because I really do need something new to take to Rhinebeck!


I didn’t go to Rhinebeck last year so I’m SUPER EXTRA EXCITED for this year! Please do say hi if you see me!

I’ve Caught It

The sewing bug!

Before I started knitting, I was always into crafty stuff – friendship bracelets, seed beads, painting, clay, some cross stitch. In middle school (grades 6-8), we had “family studies” (aka home ec) which was half cooking and half sewing. There was a big family studies room with tons of sewing machines and kitchens. It was great! We learned how to sew a pincushion, a tote bag, shorts, and a stuffed animal from a kit.

I did some sewing on my own too, at home – mostly elastic waist skirts, a few with zippers, tote bags, and one time in high school I made a bustier kind of thing with plastic boning and laces (it wasn’t very good and didn’t fit very well either). I went through another sewing jag in university too (there’s a bunch of projects in my archives!), so I guess it just comes and goes every few years.

The difference is, now I don’t have a sewing machine so I’m doing it all by hand! My mum says she has an extra machine to give me, but I haven’t picked it up yet. I do enjoy the handsewing, and it makes me feel closer to the project, somehow. I do need some new summer tops!

The other day a bunch of us on Twitter and Instagram did a photo challenge – sharing a day with photos every hour or more. I decided it would be a good day to get started on a Wiksten tank. This pattern is super popular! I cut and sewed a muslin of the dress version in a day, though I didn’t hem it. I used the same fabric as the back of my quilt – a piece of an Ikea duvet cover. It’s definitely wearable, but it turned out to be a bit big on top so I’ll size down the armholes for the next one.

Some photos of the process!

2:50pm. Shiny new shears. #adayinthelifephotochallenge

3:25pm. Seaming. #adayinthelifephotochallenge

3:51pm. French seam. #adayinthelifephotochallenge

4:28pm. Neckline binding. Fit looks good, might add bust darts. #adayinthelifephotochallenge

Wiksten dress muslin

Wiksten dress muslin

Wiksten dress muslin

Although I’ve done it off and on for years, I’ve never really been great at sewing – I’m not very good at cutting and sewing precisely! Hopefully I’ll learn some new things this time around. Now that I really understand garment construction from designing knitting patterns, I feel much more equipped to alter things to fit me. My next Wiksten will be the tank, with the pattern adjusted for a smaller size up top but graded out to a larger one below the armhole. I’m going to use this block printed, super light cotton that I bought in India a few years ago.

block printed cotton

Eventually I’ll work up to cutting this Liberty fabric that I got at the workroom last week. (Ooh, shiny new scissors too.)

new stuff

I also have a handmade dress that I really love that I’d like to duplicate the shape of, now I just need to pick up some big paper to draft a pattern! SEWING!

plane knitting

As every knitter knows, the most difficult packing task is deciding on the knitting – how many projects, how much yarn, and what if you need that tool you hardly ever use? What if you RUN OUT OF YARN?

When packing for TNNA this is compounded by the fact that it’s a needlecraft industry show and nearly everyone you meet is a knitter, or at least knows a lot about yarn! So your knitting projects are on display and everyone is looking and touching. The pressure is on! (Just kidding, fellow TNNA-ers. You’re all awesome and non-judgey.)

I packed cashmere.


A plainish pullover in some silvery grey Handmaiden 4ply 100% cashmere. Canadian representation, easy to knit while chatting and drinking, and oh-so-amazing. I got a good chunk of the sweater done while I was away. My only concern is that I only have 5 skeins of the yarn, and they’re only 50g each! I’ve knit a sweater in this yarn before, and I used 6 last time – but cashmere grows a fair amount with washing and wearing, and I think for this little sweater I should be fine. I’m almost up to the underarm with just 2 skeins, and the 3/4 sleeve I finished this week at home took about 40g. By my calculations, I’ll have about 70g, or more than 25% of the total yarn to use for the yoke. The second sleeve is my toss-in-my-bag knitting now.

Cashmere part 2 was my peacock feathers shawl:

peacock feathers

If you’ve been reading this blog awhile, you miiiight remember that I originally started this shawl on my big trip to Asia in early 2009. Although looking back through my archives, I can’t remember if I actually posted about it. Anyway, I worked on it a bit then, and a bit when I got home, but then I put it down in favour of worky design stuff and because I didn’t really have the knitting energy left over to work on a project that requires a little more concentration and a lot of chart reading.

I’ve decided that I will get this shawl off the needles soon, preferably earlier rather than later, so I took it for the 5 hour plane rides between Toronto and LAX. I figured I might actually put in some time on it, and I managed to get through about 1.5 of the charts. I was even able to watch some movies on the plane and knit the shawl at the same time.

There are 7 charts for the body of the shawl, and then a big edging one. I’m about halfway through chart 6, and while the end might not quite be in sight yet, at least it’s looking like I’ll be able to finish it! I’m knitting it in some laceweight cashmere that I bought a couple of Rhinebecks ago, on 2.25mm needles. The pattern calls for 3.5mm, but I want it to be smaller than 88″ across the top. So far it looks like it isn’t going to be enormous, so I’m pleased.

But it might be difficult to keep working away on this since I came back with so much lovely yarn that is tempting me towards some new projects.

sock yarn

fingering weight

ooooh yarn