lundi 30 novembre 2015

The Doodler - A Mystery KAL

I have knit a few shawls from Stephen West, but this was my first time going through the challenge of doing so in a Mystery KAL. We received four clues, spread on four weeks and knew we needed three skeins of fingering weight yarn.
The process kept me on edge... especially after Clue 2, when all stitches were bound off in i-cord. We were all "clueless" as to  what would happen next. Where would he have us pick up stitches?
I used two yarn from stash that were purchases from the last Twist Festival. To be honest, I had Stephen West in mind when I bought the speckles yarn from Violette Yarns! The third one is a Hedgehog Fibers Sock yarn in Coral. They were all very thin for sock yarn, making them good candidates for a shawl knitted on 3.5 mm. I'm pretty happy with my colour choices, even though they are a little candy-ish for me.
One thing I really like about this shawl is the cable on top. It's such a nice discovery for me, since it holds the shawl in place. This part works like a collar and keeps some weight up there, preventing it from sliding off my shoulders. Who would have thought? This fabulous designer did!

I'm also a fan of anything scalloped, so I blocked it in that shape, using the increases to pull the fabric. I pinned it a little sloppily, so the edge is not very neat... maybe next time I wash it. I tried using my blocking cables, but it was a mess.

I still have to weight the leftover yarn in Turquoise and Coral, but I'd say about a third of a skein. More details to come on my Ravelry page.

lundi 16 novembre 2015

Slow vs Quick

One of the many things I like about knitting, is the fact that you can vary your projects in endless ways. You can knit from cobweb to superbulky weight, changing needles accordingly (or not). You can go super speedy and produce a rewarding one-evening-FO or carry a project for weeks if not months! Different fiber types and textures also bring novelty to the craft. Playing with techniques and construction will then change the experience of knitting all over again. 

All these variables, and many more, I'm sure, make me enjoy the process and allow me to stay tuned! 

The two FOs that I'll be sharing today are very different in length, but are both a pleasure to knit and wear!

I did this wrap within a very reasonable window of time, but it was still a slow process in the sense that I had to repeat the same section 10 times. 
If it had been a solid one colour project, it would probably be still sitting onto a pile of WIPs, but since it featured two sets of gradients, the ever-changing colours kept me going. That and the fact that the design combined lace and garter. It's a very relaxing knit.
The pattern is called Inara Wrap and is designed to use two sets of gradients of either four, five or six colours. Mine used five greys and five pinks and I had to modify it slightly to make sure I didn't run out of yarn. You can see my mods in my project page, along with many more photos.

Then there are those super fast rewarding projects that you knit in one sitting, watching a few episodes of your new favourite TV series! Arika Cowl by Jane Richmond is one of them. To be fair, I admit that I cast on for this yesterday pm. I did some more ribbing after diner and all of the lace while watching two episodes of Gotham (not a favourite, but good enough for knitting). I blocked it before 11 pm, leaving the sewing and fringes for breakfast. And voilà! 
This cowl is genius! It's basically a ribbed scarf that grows into lace and is then attached. You add fringes to the piece and it becomes this awesome shawl/cowl that is just so fashionable and comfy.
My yarn is a very orange tweedy mix of Merino, Alpaca and Rayon and is so soft. Too bad it's discontinued. Next time, I want to knit Arika in Cascade Ecological Wool. I saw Jane Richmond did one and it looks perfect!

lundi 9 novembre 2015

It's Hat Season, People!

I've done a fair amount of knitting since I last blogged about my Laurie Sweater, but weeks flew by and I wasn't able to make time to chat about my craft. 

But I had this subject in mind : hats. 

They are such rewarding projects. You can pretty much cast on, cast off within a day or two, depending on the complexity of the pattern or yarn weight. Plus, it's the perfect size to feature that one special skein that you hold dear. Which is probably why I made not one, but five hats in the past month and a half! 

My Odd Clayoquot
I knitted a sample of this tincanknits pattern for the shop, made out of Zara Yarn. It's a really nice superfine merino, very springy and soft... perfect for colourwork. My first pick of colours were way more conservative, but for the second version, I went with almost kinky colours. 
Taken seperately, they are kind of hard to look at, but combined together, I think they work really well. For me anyway.

Lantern Lights
This yarn is the same I used for my Laurie. It's called Sylvan Spirit and comes from Green Mountain Spinnery. I used the yellow Citrine colour for this pattern by Joji Locatelli. I wanted to knit something more lacey with the yarn and see how it looks. I love it! This skein was a little on the thick and thin side, but it didn't bother me. 
Because it's not springy, the brim loosened with wear to the point where I thought it would help to add an i-cord. I'm happy I did. It works really well and adds a little feminine touch that I like.

Syncopation 2
I knitted this typical Westy brioche hat last year and had an awesome time! I like how Stephen West provides pattern for leftovers. I used lots of soft yarn for this one. Mainly Cascade Eco Duo (almost all the way through).  Slouchy, comfy and warm. What else can one ask for?

This little hat was the cause of startitis for many knitters, including the very talented Alana Dakos (of Never Not Knitting). And it's no wonder, would you look at those sheeps! So cute! This hat knits up very quickly. I knit two in the course of three days. But then colourwork is addictive. 

I modified the pattern slighty, by using DK, omitting the double brim and doing a twisted rib instead. I did the rest according to chart. This lovely design is available freely through Shetland Wool Week.

Bray Cap
Can't go wrong with a Jared Flood pattern... This particular combination of lace and cables really does it for me. And the yarn, New Mexico Organic, by Green Mountain Spinnery, is so smooshy!
Again, once blocked, the brim got a little too smooth for my taste, so I hid a thin elastic in the tubular cast on. 

Well, I think I can be assured that my head will stay warm in the months to come. I might even have to part with some of my hats, as I know I'll want new ones again in a near future. But I did frog some old ones that did'nt get a lot of wear of. Phew!

lundi 19 octobre 2015


I already own one sweater designed by Josée Paquin from UandIKnit, it's called Raj-esque and it's fabulous! Knit in Leizu DK by Julie Asselin, you can see it in this picture.
I really love Josée's designs. You can see from browsing through the projects that her garments fit very well and are flattering for a lot of shapes and figures. To me, this is always a good sign.

Looking at our shelves of Sylvan Spirit from Green Moutain Spinnery, I developped a big crush on the Peach Beryl colour. And decided to cast on for a Laurie.
I followed the pattern to a T, even though the fabric of my sweater is way lighter. This yarn is half american wool, half Tencel. So the drape is really nice, but it weights like nothing.
Like I mentioned on my project page, this pattern is quite simple. There is minimal shaping, but a few short rows here and there. A little bit to deepen the front neckline and a lot more to make a longer back.
I really played yarn chicken with this one. I had a few skeins put on the side, but nearing the end, I became very enthusiastic about ending the sweater with only 5 skeins and didn't feel like breaking into a new one for just a few grams. On my second sleeve, I decided to undo half of the cuff on the first one (I had made it a little long in ribbing anyway) and use it for the second.
You would think I used a filter in these pictures, but no. Just some good old autumn light!

dimanche 4 octobre 2015

Perfect Papillon

I finished this sweater two weeks ago. It had been sitting in my pile of UFOs and as I mentionned on my project page, the chilly fall weather gave me a push to complete it.

Even if it was done, I felt a little anxious about putting it on... afraid that it would be a little tight in the body, but very loose around the sleeves. I feel silly now! To me, it's perfect the way it is now : casual, yet feminine and even, dare I say, romantic.
The pattern is Papillon, from  Svetlana Volkova. When I first blogged about the beginning of this sweater, I said I would like to have one in cotton too. Well, I can confirm I still feel the same. It would be awesome! We'll see...
The yarn is a limited edition from Zealana : a DK merino combined with bleached opposum fiber, The result is divine! Soft with a nice halo over the peachy/salmony colour.
Consctruction-wise, I'm very fond of the overlapping collar and the contiguous sleeves. Plus the lace panel is spot on what I was looking for.

I have so much more on  my needles right now. I feel that, somehow, I should take more time to blog during the process of casting on and knitting too. Sigh. Shoulda, woulda, coulda...

dimanche 27 septembre 2015

Opera Tee

I was very monogamous with my knitting this week, as I cast on and cast off my Opera Tee
The pattern is the latest from La Maison Rililie and it's called  DrawingStraws, since you can take your pick between short or 3/4 sleeves. I opted for the tee-shirt kind, because I figured that's what my wardrobe is missing. 
Also, it was a safe bet because I wanted to use a single skein of Julie Asselin Milis in the Opera colour (hence the t-shirt name!).  That colourway is beautiful and looks very good with my other yarn choices : Handmaiden Lino in Crema and a soft pink Baby Alpaca Lace. I held the two strands of lace together to achieve the sport weight gauge and it worked well! I felt a little bad about using the splendid Lino alongside another yarn, since it's such a beauty on its own. But then again it gave me the perfect drape and you can still see the sheen of the silk, combined with the raw feeling of linen. Enough chatter about these yarns, but let's have a look up close...
I love the slightly variegated effect it brings to the piece!
Another winner from Rililie.

dimanche 20 septembre 2015

Spring Lines

Talk about a fast, addictive and comfy sweater! This is Spring Lines, from La Maison Rililie. I already blogged about two of her other designs : Dessine-moi un mouton and BlueSand Cardigan. They're all garments I love to wear. Very polished lines, intricate details and awesome fit. Some people even think I purchased those pieces. What a great compliment!
I'm thrilled with this pullover! I like the wide neck, the fitted yoke and sleeves, balanced by the baggy body. It feels like you can almost have too much for dinner and it won't show! ;)
The yarn I used was ALL from stash. I told my boyfriend there'd be 4 skeins less in the living room.
The light turquoise is particularly soft and nice against the skin. It's leftovers from this previous knit. The blue and orange were initially destined to become colourwork mittens, but then abandoned. And finally, the beigy brown, I still have a lot of, and used it before for this top-down.
Among my favourite details in this pullover, there's this purl stitch on each sides. I've seen it before, many times, but I always forget to use it. So genius when it comes to stripes! Much easier and neater to hide all those ends.
The pockets are a great addition too! And how convenient that I had this soft MCN from when I knitted these super pretty mittens.

I highly recommend this pattern for a simple Top-Down with a twist. Now I'm thinking about knitting another one out of merino DK leftovers...

dimanche 13 septembre 2015

Gradient Stripe Study

Today, as I'm taking some time off, I'm treating myself with some bloggin'... Twice this week!

It always feels like a reward. Like I get to chat about my FO as soon as it's off the needles and dried (if blocked, wich is often the case).

The rain was not going to rain on my parade today, as I was intent on taking some decent pictures of my brand new shawl.
The pattern is Stripe Study from Veera Välimäki. We have Zoée's in store, made out of Nanos by Julie Asselin, and it's very popular with the clients. I decided it was time I cast on one for myself, with one of the Julie Asselin Leizu Fingering Gradient Sets pairing it with Piccolo in Parchemin.
I had to redo part of the first few stripes, as I figured I would run out of yarn too soon if I didn't use most of the lighter colours. In the end, I used most of the lighter and darker pinks, and every bit of the others in between.

When I soaked my shawl, I used lots of salt and vinegar to make sure the colours didn't bleed. It worked fine. Phew!

I can't resist it when one of my pets sneak up on one of my pics. Look at those blurry paws in the back!

mercredi 9 septembre 2015


I like to read jaykayknits blog and I recently stumbled on an article where she mentionned the Sidewalk to Seashore collection by Chelsea Berkompas. I instantly fell in love with the Beachcomber shawl : her colours were just gorgeous!

I wanted to cast on right away, so I picked the Katia Linen we had in store in the three colours available. This is an unusual choice of colours for me, almost too classic. I'm more attracted to vibrant colours, but this turned out real nice. 
The process was thoroughly enjoyable. And stripes make for one very addictive knit. You always want to get to that other colour.
The construction of this asymmetrical shawl was really interesting and I have to keep it in mind as future reference. It's so versatile.
I actually messed up the last lace repeat somehow but decided there was no way I would "tink" or pull of my needle at this point. Let's pretend it's an esthetic choice. ;)
And how about this picot bind off?! It takes forever but is so worth it. Every time!

mercredi 19 août 2015

Summer cardigans

I felt couragous enough to wear my cardigans in the heat wave and coax my boyfriend into taking pictures of me in the backyard!

The first one is my Liesl. A pattern by Ysolda Teague that can be adjusted and customized in many ways.
I can't believe I waited so long to finish it. It was missing a sleeve and a half, a short car ride away from being done! I left it in the basement for many months and then got scared of moths. So I put it in the sun to scare out any bugs. Phew!
It's such a practical little piece. And it's super quick to knit with the large gauge and feathers and fans motif. I'd like to own one that is more of a shrug and made out of wool. This yarn is nice compromise... being 50/50 organic cotton and wool. It's perfect to layer over a cute summer dress when the nights get more fresh.

The second is a Miette cardigan by Andi Satterlund. I made mine with the same yarn, same needles, and pretty much followed the pattern, but somehow ended up with more stitches when separating for sleeves. 
Then I made my way to the second size for the body and the fit is awesome, so yay for happy mistakes! Sometimes you just have to trust your instincts and go with the little flaws, especially while camping and knitting with a frontal flashlight! ;)
I'm thrilled with my button choice. Little red dots on light green is so cute!
I highly recommend these two patterns. They are both easy to follow/customize and produce some truly awesome pieces.

lundi 27 juillet 2015

Westy fever : the sequel!

You know I mentionned last week that my Exploration Station was almost done, but for the chevrons?

Well, I figured the smart thing to do was to bring only this project in my bag to work on Friday, so that I would push through and not cheat!

It was a success and I was able to block it during the weekend. I am now the proud owner of this giant shawl (almost blanket big!) : 
Exploration Station by Stephen West
The process was great. A little long at times, but the stitch patterns evolved steadily. I'm happy to say that I used only stash yarn for this one. I'm on a roll baby!

This is the highlight of this FO. I love each and every one of these colours! Let's look at them up close...
 We have some Riverside Studio MCN in this deep semisolid yellow...
A rich grapey purple from Cephalopod Yarns...
 A soft Sand Dune beige with a beautiful halo of alpaca...
And last, but not least, Poivre colour by Julie Asselin.

Can't wait to wear this shawl when the weather cools down!