WIP: Audrey in Unst, and a terrarium sneak peek.

After finishing my Kirigami, I almost immediately began casting on for the Audrey in Unst by Gudron Johnston. (Yet another pattern from Twist Collective.)

I’ve just finished several rows of 1×1 rib.

1×1 rib is not my favourite thing to do, but it looks so good! I love the colour too – it’s Chickadee in the Peaks Ferry colourway from Quince & Co. It’s so soft and sproingy.

I have to confess something, though. Let’s pull back a bit so I can show it to you.

I was so excited to start knitting with my Quince & Co. wool for the first time, and to finally start this cardigan, that I didn’t even wind up my first ball of yarn. That’s right, I started knitting straight from the hank. Not to worry, I’ll be winding the rest so I can actually bring my project to knit night. Another confession: I knit most of this 1×1 rib while marathoning the show Breakout Kings on Netflix. It’s not my usual style of tv that I enjoy, but I’m hooked.

One other thing I did earlier this week is make a few terrariums. After seeing so many beautiful terrariums on Pinterest, I wanted to make my own. Here’s a little preview.

Ninja is excited about having a place to call home.

Find more wips at Tami’s Amis.

FO Friday: Kirigami

I’ve finished the Kirigami sweater! I used just over 2 skeins each of Cascade 220 in light brown and mustard yellow. (I love their mustard yellow colourway and can imagine myself knitting many sweaters with it!)

My bestest knitting friend, and my maid of honour come August, knit one as well. Since we now live in separate provinces (she in B.C., me in Ontario), we came up with a project called “k2tog” where we knit the same items at the same time so that we can at least feel that we’re knitting together, as I miss our knit nights together very much! Her kirigami is lovely.

That’s my puppy photobombing the pictures. She was just spayed a week ago and is recovering marvelously. She is thrilled to no longer be wearing her cone.

Here’s a closer look at the wool and buttons. I’m afraid the buttons are too small, so if the buttons pop often I will have to replace them. So far they’ve been okay.

This sweater construction is the most interesting I’ve worked with so far. It’s knit in a flat rectangle, then stitches are placed aside for your sleeves. You pick up all the stitches on the side of the rectangle, and that becomes your body. I love the stripes too, made more subtle by being one-row stripes (made only possible in knitting flat by working on a circular needle and pushing your stitches back to the beginning to work your next colour before turning).

Picking up the stitches was difficult for the body. Mine doesn’t look nearly as smooth as the sample in the pattern photo. I should have slipped those stitches so they’d be easier to see and count.

Find other finished objects at Tami’s Amis!

Finished Minoru.

For the past month or so I’ve been following along with Tasia at Sewaholic.net and sewing her fantastic Minoru jacket. The actual pattern was easy to follow without any really difficult steps. Of course, having the sewalong helped as Tasia walked us through everything.

Here’s my completed version.

And here’s a side view with a peek at the lining inside the side pockets.

One of my favourite parts about the jacket is the hidden hood. When you don’t need it, you can fold or roll the hood up, tuck it into the collar, and zip it away! Or, if it’s a bit chilly or you need some protection from the rain, unzip the collar and voila – a hood.

My absolutely favourite feature, however, is the wide collar. I wore my Minoru to go fabric shopping this morning (next up, the Renfrew top, also by Tasia!). It was a bit chilly while filling up the car with gas and walking to and from the store, so I kept my collar up and was good to go.

I made my Minoru out of a red polyester fabric, with a black and white polka dot lining. I didn’t attach the velcro to the inner pockets because I prefer to slip things in and out of the pocket without it. I added side pockets but otherwise didn’t make any adjustments to the jacket.

I really love it. It’s probably one of the most versatile items of clothing I’ve made. It’s now my go-to jacket as the weather is hovering between cold and warm. (The snow is almost gone here in Ottawa!) It’s light enough that I can wear it over a t-shirt on days when the sun is shining, but roomy enough with the elastic that I can put a sweater on underneath for chillier days. Who knows, maybe I’ll make another one for the fall in a heavier fabric. I’m very happy with it.

You can find lots of other fantastic Minoru jackets here!

WIP: Scooter Test and Darling Darlington

Two works-in-progress to show off this Wednesday. First off, I’m doing a test knit for Ashley Knits (Wonk on Ravelry). She’s designed a cute little turtle stuffie so I volunteered to be a test knitter. You can see her original Scooter here. Mine is coming along really well so far! Here’s Scooter lying on the operating table waiting for fin attachment surgery:

And here he is with one front fin. He’s looking forward to having three more fins so he can go for a swim. Some eyes would be useful as well.

Coincidentally, the other project I have is also designed by Ashley. Behold, one finished Darlington sock and enough to warm my toes on the second:

I used Elizabeth Zimmerman’s sewn bindoff for the first time, and it’s really stretchy! I wish I had tried it before on some other projects that required stretchy bindoffs.

This morning I finished sewing my Minoru jacket; photos to come. I just love it and can’t wait to wear it outside. The weather’s finally turned to spring in Ottawa so it’s currently raining outside and washing away the months and months’ worth of snow. It feels so amazing to have above zero degree weather coincide with the time change as well. Everything feels so much warmer and brighter already!

Find more WIPs today on Tami’s Amis!

Quince

Look what arrived in the mail for me today! Some fabulous wool from Quince and Co., which I’ve never knit with before.

There are nine skeins of Lark in the Glacier colourway waiting to be knit up into a Nanook sweater.

There are also six skeins of Chickadee in the Peaks Ferry colourway that will eventually become an Audrey in Unst.

The colours are gorgeous in person and I’m very happy I ordered from them. Unfortunately I got hit with some customs charges. That, combined with shipping fees, made this some very expensive yarn. Luckily I split my order with someone else, but it’s still more than I would have wanted to pay! That means I likely won’t be ordering from them again in the next little while, at least not until I knit from my stash for a bit.

I can’t wait to get started, but I’ve got a few other things to finish first. More photos to come!

National Sweater Day.

I posted this on my Facebook for my friends yesterday. It’s National Sweater Day!

Many of us live in a society where we can go to a store like H&M, Old Navy, Forever 21, etc. and pick up a t-shirt for $10 or less. We can buy machine-knit sweaters (manufactured in Asia) for $20. So why spend more money on wool and then take weeks (or months) to actually knit a sweater? Because you will be learning an ancient craft that you will have for life. Place value in the term “handmade.” Sure, you can spend $20 on a cheap sweater now, but in 10 years it will be saggy and shapeless, whereas a good quality handmade woolly sweater will last a lifetime. When you complete your first sweater, I can guarantee you will proudly wear it no matter what it looks like. You will have an item of clothing that YOU created, that YOU poured sweat and sometimes tears into, that YOU made with your own two hands, not by some machine of mass production or underpaid workers. When someone asks you where you got your sweater and you respond with “I made it,” the sense of pride feels pretty amazing. I have had total strangers come up to me saying that they wished they could knit and I tell them that once upon a time, I didn’t know how to knit either.

That’s why I’d encourage anyone who has ever had the thought “I’d like to learn how to knit” to start learning how to knit! It’s easy. When I first started all I could do was knit a 6″ square that was both lumpy and hole-y, just ask my mum. Now I can knit sweaters top-down, bottom-up, raglan sleeves, yoked, seamed in pieces, in the round, as a pullover, or as a cardigan. I can do cables, intarsia, fair-isle, lace, and textures. Yes, all of these things are important – they’re on all commercially sold sweaters. And men, don’t shy away from knitting because you think it’s feminine. Knitting as a hobby began with fishermen who spent time making socks for themselves. And at the top of the knitting blog chain is designer Jared Flood, who now has his own design and wool line. Many knitters are in love with him, just sayin’.

Embrace wool, not the cheap synthetic yarn from Michael’s. Check out Wovember’s Hall of Shame, where my favourite blogger has compiled images of online shopping sites that advertise clothing as “wool” because they know it is synonymous with “warmth” and “comfort,” when in fact the clothing contains no wool whatsoever. Learn where your clothing comes from. After all, you wear it everyday (I assume).

Start small. Knit a square. Knit a scarf. Knit a hat. Work your way up to that first sweater and treat knitting as what it is: a practical and challenging skill that will result in highly creative output. So if you’ve got some time tomorrow, stop by a yarn shop and ask an employee to help you pick out some wool and needles to get started.

http://www.sweaterday.ca/

Almost ready to start sewing.

Alright, I’ve now got a shiny new iron with a retractable cord, so hopefully the pup doesn’t ruin this one too!

Speaking of the cute devil:

I unfolded my Minoru fabric and let it trail off the ironing board. Within a minute, Sadie had walked over and laid down for a nap right where the fabric gathered. Very cute, although now I’ve got some dog hair to brush off the fabric.

All my pieces are cut out in the main fabric and the lining (including pockets, which are not part of the original pattern), and once Corey gets home with the car, I’ll be driving off to find some red thread and start sewing tonight!