Category Archives: FOs

Triumphant Return

My friends, there has been KNITTING.

Most of the summer and fall (and spring too? I don’t even remember) has been spent on tiny bites of knitting here and there — a few rows in the car, or during before-bed-tv, or any time the baby-turning-toddler (!) and toddler-no-wait-preschooler (!!) would allow. And, because knitting is magical like that, even these tiny bits add up and eventually there is this complete object. Kind of like life.

Nikolai shawl, knit in IndigoDragonfly Merino/Cashmere “Neither Bloody Nor Bowed”
Nikolai shawl

I really love having a smallish scarf-shawl with me, something to wear under my coat but also around an over-cooled office. This scarf-shawl fits the bill perfectly, and the cashmere content makes it warmer than you’d expect (and luxurious too!).

And what goes better with a fall shawl than some quick fingerless mitts?

These Short and Sweet Fingerless Mitts were exactly what they claimed to be — short and sweet. I knit these up in just a few days, and the pattern was perfect for making a lovely little pair that “goes with” but does not “match” the scarf-shawl, sharing a leaf motif. I should have remembered I always knit loose and gone down a needle size, and maybe I should block them someday, but whatever, I have a pretty and toasty-warm (thank you cashmere) pair of mitts to wear until it’s full on mitten weather.

Which will be really soon, I’m guessing… Glenna’s just reworked her Podster Mitts pattern, maybe I’ll try to make some of those for the next phase in the fall-to-winter transition. Until then, these actually finished objects are serving me quite well!

What about you? Anyone else experiencing a triumphant return into the world of knitting?



Filed under FOs, knitting, lace, mitts, shawls, Uncategorized

Things Finished

Finished: Work for 1 year.

Maternity leave has begun as of Monday. Most people consider this “early” (by which I mean I’m not due this week or anything), but I’m thinking about it as “on time” (by which I mean I think this is exactly the right time for me). Recognizing that I am an incredibly privileged woman with a strong job/union, an understanding work environment (which recognizes it’s stress levels), and a supportive partner, I am very grateful and glad that I can take this time in these last weeks before birth. While I have only got uncomfortable symptoms and no complications in this pregnancy, I still want to be both as strong as I can (mentally and physically) for the birth, and to have the healthiest baby I can grow. I plan on doing a lot of resting, a little bit of frivolity (High Tea, anyone?), and a huge amount of organizing/cleaning/prep work.

Finished: Tilted Duster

That’s right folks. I have been KNITTING. And now it is done!!!

Tiled Duster - collar

Pattern:Tilted Duster, by Norah Gaughn, from Interweave Knits Fall 2007 (cover project!)
Yarn: Fibranatura Mermaid (42% cotton, 35% superwash merino wool, 12% silk & 11% seacell)
Needles: 5.5mm Addi Turbos
Notions: 4 Yew Wood buttons; 1 hook-and-eye closure
Started: Early August, 2008
Finished: October 1, 2008
Both yarn and buttons were purchased at the Purple Purl

This sweater is a huge accomplishment for me! First off, you should know that this really is the first sweater I’ve ever knit for myself that has turned out at all. One has been utter crap, the other, gorgeous as it was, once washed was destined to never go on my body (oh Gatsby Girl, how I miss you!). I knit a sweater for my sister that was an atrocity. I knit an aran sweater for my father that turned out quite well (about a year late, though). Really, Dru’s Cobblestone is about the only sweater that’s been knit in a timely fashion and has turned out well — until now!

I think that, pregnant or not, 2 months is a respectable time-frame for a larger project. I definitely think that the Addis helped speed things along, too :) Mostly because this was the first time I tried knitting both sleeves at once along the circs, which ensured that the sleeves were both symmetrical and both finished at the same time. I also knit the sleeves before I started the ‘skirt’ portion, so once that was done all I had to do was the collar and the sewing. It might be a mental trick, but it worked: the project seemed to go at a good pace.

There are a few issues with this sweater, don’t get me wrong: the armscye is way strange (something I could ‘fix’ if it were sewing, but will just have to keep in mind for further knitted garments), the fronts are a bit small and the back a bit large, and the sleeves came out a bit long. But it fits pretty well overall, and I like having sleeves that can cover my wrists well! The only modification I’ve made has been to add a small hook-and-eye closure where the two angles of the front come together, to keep things neat.

Best of all, it really is the perfect maternity sweater to show of the baby-belly!

Tilted Duster - front


Filed under FOs, knitting, sweaters, thoughts


saarje's booties
Saartje’s booties


Filed under FOs, knitting

Gatsby Girl Redux

Remember the Gatsby Girl?

That great pattern published in IK Fall 2006 by my talented knitter/artist friend Jodi Green?

That sweater I had to reknit the sleeves about 75 times (or so)?

That little feminine number that looked oh-so good when I first tried it on?
The Great Gatsby Girl
Appearances can be deceptive…

That sweater, which upon washing, grew in size and broke my little heart? (Curses, gauge and superwash!! That’ll learn me to wash my swatches, won’t it?)

Yeah, that one…

Well, after several months balled up at the back of my wardrobe, the pendulum of it’s fate vacillating between ripping it out or consigning it to an oubliette for eternity, a glimmer of hope emerged. It may not fit me, but perhaps it would fit someone, right? I invested too much good knitting to have it go to nought. So the other night I threw it into my bag as I headed over to the PP.

Turns out that I knit Gatsby Girl in the perfect size, for Jennifer at least!
gatsby girl sweater on jennifer
(Even better, the Purl carries the brand of yarn from which I knit it!)

I still love that sweater. It makes me very happy that now, someone else can too!


Filed under FOs, knitting, lace, rambling, sweaters, Uncategorized

This and that

A sign I just might be a little bit preoccupied with this whole fibre thing:
I was writing an email to my department’s business manager today, and instead of typing “please let me know… ” I wrote “please let me knit…”. Obsessed? Me? Never.

* * * * *

I think I’ve come to a spindlemaking decision. The name I’m going with is….

FolkLore Fiberarts!

Thank you to everyone who helped me out from my wiffle-waffling. I really appreciate it! I know there were a lot of votes for the foxie-names, so don’t worry, I’m already thinking of ways to use them…

The spindle will go out to Mary, because she both succinctly framed good reasons to go with it in her comment, and because she de-lurked! (Got to encourage more comments somehow, right?!) Mary will be getting one of my little ‘signature’ spindles that look like this:

…only not right away, because my whorls are on backorder (grr). Which is super-annoying, because they seem to be in some demand these days! I’ve got to get more in to the Purple Purl, have had a blog-reader place an ‘order’ via email, and am going to do a swap with Ray (of Knitivity yarns!). These are exciting times!

An shop in in the works… Anybody out there happen to he handy with graphic design want to trade your skills for a spindle? Drop me a line!

I have already had to promise Dru that the whole spindleworks thing is under control, that I am not taking on too much and know exactly what I’m up to. I hope I am right…

* * * * *

I made a hat! It’s pretty damn boring, other than I used 1 skein of that great “autumno” merino yarn I just received. I followed in Lady O‘s footsteps and pretty much just riffed off of my tea cozy pattern (I didn’t include the spout hole, of course!)

autmno hat
I think I’ll make a little one just for me next.

I’m hoping it will keep my “little” brother’s head nice and toasty when he’s back in the Yukon. It sure was nice to see him over the weekend, though, and I’m glad I was able to send him home with something I knit — last I saw him, I gave his girlfriend a warm pair of merino-silk socks, and apparently she’s been making inroads teaching herself to knit now!

* * * * *

I’ve been knitting some new Monkey socks, but I’m not sure if I’m liking the way the yarn’s pooling/striping…
monkey socks
Indigo Moon sock yarn, “Moonlight on the Mountains”

I’ve knit a few more repeats, and now instead of doing the little swirl/stripes as it did in the ribbing, it’s pretty much doing large vertical “stripes”. They’re just not doing it for me now. I may just rip it out and try with a slightly looser gauge. What do you think?

I’ve also been spinning on my new Joy wheel (and what a joy it is!), but it’s way to dark to take photos now. So let’s just leave that for next time, shall we?
And stay tuned — I’m hoping to release the Icewine pattern on February 29th!


Filed under contest, drop-spindle, FOs, knitting, rambling, Uncategorized

Eye-of-Partridge Shawl

Consider this lace-weight yarn liberated.

eye of partridge shawl

Eye of Partridge Shawl, 100% cashmere.

eye of partridge shawl -- back view

Back view: shoulder shawl.

eye of partridge shawl-- front view
How I’ll wear it most, with the point front-facing, tucked into my coat.

eye of partridge shawl -- stitch texture
Love that stitch texture!

This is a dead-simple triangular shawl that takes full advantage of eye-of-partridge stitch, creating a cozy double-thick fabric with subtle, elegant diagonals. Due to the alternating slipped stitches, this pattern also makes the colours in variegated yarns “pop” dramatically, and helps eliminate pooling.

I used one single skein of Handmaiden 100% cashmere 2-ply (lace-weight) yarn, in the colourway “Mineral” (274m/50g), and 3.75mm Addi Lace needles (80cm circular).

Eye of Partridge Shawl Pattern

Cast on 2 sts.
Set-up rows:
R1: Knit into the front and back of both stitches. (4 total)
R2: K2, yo, k2 (5)
R3: K2, p1, k2
R4: K2, yo, k1, yo, k2 (7)
R5: K2, p3, K2
R6: K2, yo, k1, sl1, k1, yo, k2 (9)
R7: K2, p5, k2

Pattern rows:
Even rows (RS): K2, yo, *k1, sl1* to last 3 sts, k1, yo, k2
Odd rows (WS): K2, purl to last 2 sts, k2

Repeat pattern rows until you get sick of it, or begin to worry about running out of yarn.

How I ended this:
Last even row: K2, yo, *k2og, yo*, end k2
Last odd row: K2, purl to last 2 sts, k2
Cast-off row: Russian bind-off (k2, k2tog with these 2 stitches, *k1, pass previous k2tog st back, k2tog*).
This edge curls. If you don’t like that, then I’d probably just work several rows of garter stitch and bind off loosely.
Fancy-pants among you could also chose to finish with a small knit-on lace border.

* * * * *
I enjoyed knitting this so much that I’m considering casting-on an eye-of-partridge cowl now: the plan would be to cast on a large, even number of stitches, *k1, sl1* for one round, knit all for one round, *sl1, k1* for the next round, then knit all… and repeat until I run out of yarn. (Some of you out there might be pleased to note that this iteration would involve no purling whatsoever.)

Creative Commons License

This work is licensed under a
Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 2.5 Canada License.


Filed under FOs, free patterns, knitting, lace, shawls

Cold season, warm feet

I have been hit with a truly awful cold. Nothing is particularly notable about it — not like that one with the copious snot, or window-rattling coughs, or the many times I’ve lost my voice entirely — yet it is a bad cold, one that has had me take a day and a half off of work, and made wish I’d taken today off as well. In lieu of that, I seem to have taken time off of knitting.

I know that seems rather shocking — I mean, if you were given a free day or two, would you not think you’d spend it relaxing with an audiobook, tea, and your sticks and string? Me too (I thought) but in actuality I’ve spent my time drinking mineral water and reading voraciously. Two novels devoured in as many days! and yet not a stitch on the needles not twirl to the spindle.

My pyjamas-and-books time has not been graced entirely without the favour of knitting, however. I have been made infintely warmer and more cozy as I loaf about, not knitting at all, in my raccoon-print pjs and purple bathrobe, by the fabulous feltedness of my new clogs:

purple felted clogs
Felted Clogs (Ravelry link)

I cannot express how much I like these things, but to say that you absolutely must go out right now and knit yourself a pair, unless you already have some, or are taking time off, like me.


Filed under felting, FOs, knitting

CocoaSwap: Winter Knitting

This week’s “Topic of the Week” for the Hot Cocoa Swap is:
Now that we’re in the thick of ‘Winter’… has your knitting changed to match the season? Are you moving on from dishcloths, and tank tops to afghans, hats and mittens? Has your yarn changed from silk or cotton to wool, superwash or heavier cottons?

To which I think I can decidedly answer, YES.

Big changes, and smaller projects. I can’t seem to find any concentration, knitting-wise, these days. Many small, warm and fuzzy projects are coming on and off my needles lately!

I’ve knit not one, but two pairs of Fibertrends felted clogs…
felted clogs - purple felted clogs - green

… but haven’t gotten around to felting them yet. I think there is a part of me that really enjoys having these ridiculous floppy things lying around. Also, felting apparently falls under the same category as “weaving in ends”, so I’ve been avoiding it. Also, I am terrified that the felting won’t work.

I knit two pairs of Endpaper Mitts over the holidays — finished the first set on Christmas eve and promptly gave them to my sister, so there’s no photo of that pair (for the curious, they were teal and white). This red and black pair, however, I’m keeping for myself!
endpaper mitts - detail endpaper mitts - red and black

There have also been my Icewine mittens — I’m knitting myself a pair now, with new and improved charts! — and made a delectable cashmere hat…
cashmere hat

…which I really need to rip out the entire top of and reknit to make it just a bit longer. But I don’t want to. I’m going to see if a gentle washing makes it grow first (I know, I know, probably a bad plan; may I refer you to the above statement on having no patience for drawn-out things?)

I’m intrigued by Amy‘s Liberate your Laceweight campaign, as I have now tasted cashmere, it is good, and I have a skein of Fleece Artist 2-ply in my stash in amazing coppers and bronzes, but I’m not sure I can commit to lacework right now.

For the moment, I just want to keep knitting small soft things. What’s your favourite Winter comfort knitting?


Filed under exchanges, FOs, knitting, mitts, UFOs, Uncategorized


The first deep frosts of winter may not always be welcome, but they do bring about a few enjoyable treats. For South-Western Ontario, those frosts lead to one of the rarest harvests in the world, as naturally frozen-on-the-vine grapes are swiftly cut, pressed, and turned into sweet, delicious Icewine. For knitters, cold weather brings about that sweet time of year when we can show off our knitted winterwear!

With these thoughts in mind, then, may I introduce the Icewine Mittens?

Icewine mitts - front
Icewine mittens — front.

Icewine mitts - palm

Icewine mittens — palm side.

Icewine - motif
The grape cluster motif.

palm motif
The palm mini-grapes (with a tip of the hat to the Bird In Hand mittens, of course!)

Icewine - thumb
The “peasant” thumb and palm pattern.

The original pair has been gifted away, but a second pair is in the works — I have to have a pair for myself! I’m trying to get the pattern ironed out, and hope to have it available soon. To that end, I would love to have a couple of pattern-testers. Anybody up for it? Just send me an email (see sidebar for gmail address).


Filed under FOs, free patterns, knitting, mitts

Happy Holidays!

Back again from the Grand Holiday Tour, and hoping everyone had as happy holidays as I! Apart from being internet-free for the better part of a week (and none too active before that) many things have been happening!

I survived my pre-holiday bake-a-thon, including Icing Night (a new tradition of mine), and all my friends and family got cookie trays.

christmas cookies

Thanks to the Pioneer Woman, I had beautifully decorated sugar cookies this year.

I finished all my holiday knitting (mostly). Some things were gifted to other folks than I had originally been knitting for (Koolhaus, Endpaper mitts), but everything worked out just right.

The big one was a Swallowtail Shawl I was knitting for my MIL — finished knitting at 5:30pm Christmas eve, blocked in secret later that night, ready for sneaking under the tree in the morning!
swallowtail shawl
Swallowtail’s lacy tip.

I myself got some fibery gifts: Vogue Stitchionary #1, a 1/2lb Coopworth and 1/2lb merino-silk blend to spin, oh, and just a tiny bit of something else…
qiviuq yarn
My brother in the Yukon loves me!

Also received, not as a Christmas present but coincidentally timed…
wheel whorl

And now I’m back home, looking forward to New Year’s parties, hanging out with friends, spending days in my pyjamas, and knitting things just for me!
knitted clog

FiberTrends felted clog, pre-felting — it’s huge!


Filed under fibre, FOs, knitting, lace, out & about, rambling, spinning, yarn