Monthly Archives: October 2012

New Pattern: Jurisfiction Cardigan

So, for the past month or so I was knitting away on a cabled orange sweater for Rhinebeck. I’m happy to report that it got finished well in time for Rhinebeck, though in a fantastic piece of irony the Saturday of Rhinebeck ended up being far too warm to really get away with wearing sweaters, so finishing well ahead of time was all beside the point. No matter, though, because now we’re settling into the cool months and I fully intend to spend a lot of time wearing this cardigan this season.

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I happily present the Jurisfiction cardigan, available online in my Ravelry pattern store and on Patternfish. Many thanks to Elspeth, who obliged me with some modelling last weekend. Fellow knitters always understand about these things. (As an aside: I do need some photos of myself in it, but since I also finished my Ravine pullover and it wants photos as well, I’m going to have to find some time for a two-for-one photo shoot some time – that is, if it ever ceases raining around here. Between hurricane season and fall weather shifts, I think we may just keep going from rain directly into snow and then eventually spring will show up.)

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This is named for the ‘Jurisfiction’ crime solving agency of the literary world featured in the ‘Eyre Affair’ series of novels written by Jasper Fforde. There’s a fabulous line in the second book when the intrepid heroine Thursday Next visits Jurisfiction for the first time, and the Cheshire Cat greets her by saying, “Welcome to Jurisfiction…everyone here is quite mad.” And you know, that’s pretty much how I feel about knitting world a lot of the time, so I think it fits.

Also Thursday Next pretty much does everything you could possibly do as a literary lead character (solving crimes, finding her kidnapped husband, changing storylines from inside literature itself, counselling co-workers who track down vampires for a living, occasionally time-travelling, you know – the usual), so I figure if anybody needs a nice cabled cardigan it’s her.

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This is a classic style cardigan worked from the bottom up, in pieces, then seamed before working the button-band and collar. It uses Cascade 220 Heathers (or your preferred worsted weight wool), and presumes a stockinette gauge of 18 sts/4 ins on 4.5mm needles. It’s meant to be a comfortable cardigan so positive ease is recommended, between 2-4 ins of positive ease depending on just how slouchy you’d like.

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The ribbing and cables on the sleeves maintain some of the simpler motifs used at the sides of the body, making for a nice fit throughout. The standouts, though, are the paired twining cables featured on the back and fronts. I don’t always say this, but this cardigan was an easy design from start to finish. The cables were a pleasant combination and after having the concept in my head since last winter, it was extremely satisfying to just sit down and knit the darned thing. I’m sort of sad that I don’t get to knit it anymore, actually, which is also partly due to the colour – I could really get into reddish orange, now that I’ve started trying it out!

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Jurisfiction is  available in my Ravelry pattern store and on Patternfish for $7.00, and takes between 6-10 skeins of Cascade 220 (or comparable yardage of your preferred worsted wool) depending on size; it is written for seven sizes, for a finished bust sizes 34(37, 41, 44, 48, 51, 55) ins around when worn closed.

Enjoy, enjoy! And I hope whereever you are this weekend (and coming week) is cozy, dry, and has some knitting in it.

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Filed under cables, design, finished object: sweater, sweaters

A day in pictures

We came, we saw, we bought some yarn and petted some sheep.

Today is my re-entry day post-Rhinebeck, and it’s always a bit of a struggle once you’re rested up again, to discover that you have to start the day without knitters or a cheese plate or a bunch of yarn shopping. (In defiance, I cast on a new shawl this morning just because. It’ll get done whenever it gets done.) So now I have to get on with the things I stopped doing last week before Rhinebeck. Although there’s lots I could report specifically about how nice it is to spend a weekend with knitting friends where the to do list includes knitting, shopping, eating cheese and drinking wine, well…That pretty much sums up the key points. That and getting to visit Knitting World live and in person, when you walk through the fairgrounds and happen upon people you know from the internet and haven’t seen since last year’s Rhinebeck, that’s pretty much why the weekend is great. I’ve been going for about six years now and it hasn’t gotten boring yet – and it turns out I still buy yarn there, even though I don’t need any more. Yarn chatter later, but for now, here is more of the day in pictures.

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Have a fantabulous Tuesday! Make sure there’s some knitting in it.

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19 Comments

Filed under rhinebeck

Baaaa.

Another year of Rhinebeck (New York Sheep and Wool Festival) has passed, and despite the fact that the amount of travel involved always leaves me feeling slightly run over, it was a great time. I saw knitterly friends, found some great yarn, and ate way too much food. (And I even finished the green cabled Ravine pullover, though it happened in the car on the ride back.) I’ve got lots of pictures on my camera to share with you from the weekend, and will have a nice post with them tomorrow. But first, since this evening is all about putting my feet up (I’ll at least hold my knitting, even if I don’t actually knit very much), I’ll show you some of the sheep.

I was woefully neglectful in noting the breeds of these lovely creatures, but gosh darn it they were nice sheep.

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Have a great Monday evening!

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Monday is for thinking about knitting

(Sub-heading: I am not entirely sure how this differentiates Monday from all the other days.)

Thank you all so much for your comments about cable knitting in my previous post – many of you commented about how beautiful cables make the knitting look and how smart they make knitters look, even though once you get the hang of them they are not so daunting at all. I’m pleased to announce the giveaway winners of the copy of Canadian Living November 2012 (on news-stands now across Canada) are Sarah K, JoAnne, and Carol, and I’ve emailed them to let them know. Once again thank you for your comments, and I’m sure another giveaway day will be just around the corner!

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In the mean time, my Rhinebeck sweater knitting continues and I am aiming to get as much done as I can in the next few days. My originally planned Rhinebeck sweater, aka the orange cabled thing, is just about done – all it needs is for me to cast off the collar and sew on buttons (and first, buy said buttons), and then it will be doneski. The late-added second Rhinebeck sweater, Ravine, still needs a front, half of the back piece, and the finishing, so it’s going to be a snug finish if it happens before the fair on Saturday, but it is still within the realm of possibility. And I will be blessed with about 8 hours of passenger-riding-in-a-car-with-knitting time on Friday, which is pretty much money in the bank for someone with All The Knitting to get done.

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Still, since I’d like to spend some of that time enjoying the scenery and relaxing, I’m not going to lie – I’m still holding out hope this will be done before driving off on Friday. We’ll see what happens, but the awesome thing is I will have the finished orange cabled thing done either way, and whenever the green cabled thing gets done, it’ll be a great fall cabled sweater.

And then I can start planning more cabled sweaters. More cables, more!

Happy Monday, folks! May you have knitting and a refreshing beverage waiting for you this evening.

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20 Comments

Filed under cables, sweaters

A few things on a Friday

1. The sweater knitting continues around here, and I sincerely hope I am not about to jinx myself by saying such a thing out loud, but things might be well on track. I’m a couple of inches away from finishing the final piece of the cabled orange thing (which, yes indeed, I’ll be sure to share with you once the pattern is written up!), and my Ravine pullover now has two full sleeves and likely a good start on the back piece before the evening is over. The cardigan needs finishing and a collar and button-band still, but I’m choosing to believe that this part will be not much to worry about. (Probably.) In any case, they’re still super nice to look at while they’re in progress. Wool and cables are great.

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2. The other day last week when I was in Toronto I had lunch with fellow knitter/teacher/designer Robin Hunter, and she commented on all the sweater chatter I’d been doing and the fact that, based on our bust sizes (which are only 1 inch different), we would be assumed to be choosing the same pattern size if we were making the same sweater. Now, would you guess from this photo of us that this is the case?

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My guess is, probably not – and you’d be right! One or both of us would be modifying the heck out of the pattern to get it to what we want. Our cross-shoulder width measurement and sleeve and body length measurements would all be entirely different. It just goes to show – know your measurements and be groovy with modifying, and you’re more likely to get better results.

3. Finally, I have the pleasure of showing off a picture of the lovely cabled pillow pattern I have in the November 2012 (on newsstands now) issue of Canadian Living magazine. (I think you have to get the cat separately. The instructions are only for the pillow.) It’s a print magazine and they are generously giving copies to three lucky winners! So, if you’d like to win a copy of this issue, please leave a comment on this post, with your favourite thing about knitting cables.

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With that, I bid you a happy weekend and good fall knitting ahead! I’ll catch you next week with, hopefully, more sweater knitting behind me.

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New Pattern: Chatelaine cardigan

I’ve been a bit remiss here on the blog, in that I haven’t formally introduced you to my latest self-published pattern. Allow me to rectify that, and present the Chatelaine cardigan, available in my Ravelry store or on Patternfish.

This is what happened with that delicious pile of ‘sequoia’ coloured Madelinetosh Tosh Merino DK I purchased back in the summer – I decided it needed to be a nice fall cardigan, and am very pleased with the results! Allow me to thank Bridget from Needles in the Hay in Peterborough, for some on-location knitwear modelling a few weeks ago, I think she looks super in the cardigan.

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Chatelaine is a fitted cardigan with waist shaping, mostly stockinette (back and sleeves are all stockinette after the ribbing) with some fine cable details on the front panels. The scoop neck is just modest enough to keep you comfortable, and the button-bands and collar are all worked in twisted ribbing for a touch of elegance. Full sleeves are also just the cozy thing for fall. Everything is worked in pieces from the bottom up and then seamed together in finishing.

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This is suitable for DK-weight wool, at a gauge of 21 sts over 4 ins in stockinette. A relatively quick knit that doesn’t add too much bulk. My goal was to design a relatively simple cardigan that would still be a little bit dressy enough to wear around town. I really like how it turned out and am pleased to share it with you.

I’ve got more orange sweater knitting to do (and others), but I’ll be back tomorrow with a giveaway post for you courtesy of Canadian Living magazine. Have a wonderful Thursday, everyone!

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33 Comments

Filed under design, finished object: sweater

Seasonally appropriate

There is something about fall knitting, you know, there really is. A certain je ne sais quoi that comes from the coziness of warm wool in your hands, and getting to wear knitted things…and that sudden realization that it’s actually cold outside and “wait, WAIT, maybe I need to knit twelve pairs of fingerless mitts right now.” Indeed, this week’s temps are sneaking into the coat-wearing, hat-seeking territory around here, I realized something else about fall knitting.

There is no way to do it wrong.

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Anything goes, man, anything goes. You say you’re knitting two sweaters? Why not start another three? It’s getting cold out, after all, maybe your wardrobe’s looking a little thin. Don’t know where you packed up your mittens and hats last spring? Heck, why bother searching for them when you can just cast on a new set right now. And for that matter, maybe you need a pair of thick socks to wear around the house and another four pairs of wrist warmers to stick in all your jacket pockets, just in case. Anything goes.

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Speaking of my current two sweaters (I make no promises about how many sweaters may join them by this time next week), things are going along well enough that I am almost too nervous about it to say it, but you know, things are going well. My Ravine pullover has gained 1.5 sleeves since Friday, and after some knitting time during class tonight that may well bump up to a full 2 sleeves. The cabled orange cardigan, happily, has just half a front piece and the finishing to go, and I am in good shape yarn-wise and shouldn’t run out at the last minute, so that is all good.

I am, however, running out of interesting ways to photograph a sweater in progress, so I shall leave you with a couple of fall shots from my latest round of photography practice. Also, if you’re so inclined, you can read the Ten Questions blog interview I did with Canadian Living yesterday. Stay tuned for a new giveaway post at the end of the week!

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Happy fall knitting, everyone. Just remember, if you’re knitting, you’re doing it right.

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Sanely overboard

So, here’s the thing. As of today it’s exactly two weeks until Rhinebeck weekend, which is pretty freaking great. The last time I had an actual vacationy weekend trip, or a trip of any kind outside of my own country for that matter, was Rhinebeck last year, so it’s a nice thing to look forward to. It’s also going to be pretty neat to see so many of the knitting friends I normally only “see” via the internet (Twitter and blogs and email are super, but not as super as face to face chatter, sadly). And keen knitters love to knit sweaters to wear new for Rhinebeck, and boy howdy is my Rhinebeck sweater coming along. I am still loving the orange cables and Cascade 220 does zip along nicely as a worsted weight.

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The sweater now has two sleeves, a back, and the start of one front piece, and after that it’s just one more front piece and the finishing. It’s not exactly a negligible amount of work (there will be button-bands to deal with), but it’s an extremely reasonable amount of work for 2 weeks of potential knitting time.

And well, here’s the other thing. This week I find myself, for the first time in about four or five months, without any deadline knitting. I’ve got upcoming projects to work on and no shortage of ideas and knitting plans swirling around, for sure, but this is an oddly refreshing feeling. And then last week my Ravine pullover was out in Skein Theory, and one of my internet knitting friends (hi, Blair! Say hi to London for me!) was saying how she wanted to knit it in some yarn she was just waiting for the right pattern for, and something in me snapped. I wanted one too. I like this sweater, dangit, and after a time there are only so many knits you can send off never to be reunited with ever again. So, in conclusion…

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…I cast on a Ravine pullover for me. I’m not going to lie – in my head this is totally Rhinebeck sweater #2. I joked on Twitter that this really is going insanely overboard, but fellow knitter Megan chimed in that it is, in fact, quite sanely overboard, because even if I don’t make it in time for Rhinebeck, I’ll still make it for some time this season, and who doesn’t need another cabled sweater in their life? Not me, that’s for sure. More cabled sweaters. All of them!

Happy knitting this fine fall weekend! And Happy Thanksgiving to my fellow Canadians.

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21 Comments

Filed under cables, sweaters

A brief hat interlude

I really enjoyed reading everyone’s comments on the previous post about why fall knitting is so awesome. I am pretty much in agreement on all counts, that it’s so great to have cooler weather to draw you towards the warm and wooly knits – both to knit with and to wear!
For the giveaway in that post, I’m pleased to announce that a copy of the full Skein Theory issue will be headed to…

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Commenter number 229, “hknits”, who I have duly been in touch with via email. Thank you all so much for your comments! If you want to feel extra cozy about fall knitting, I recommend having a quick read through some of them. It’s a good season to be a knitter, that’s for sure. Are you stocked up on yarn and needles for the projects you’re thinking about this season?

After the Skein Theory issue went live last week I was ogling my sweaters again and decided in a fit of delusion that I needed to cast on a Ravine pullover once more, for myself (it’s always so hard having to part with the samples!), and why not throw that in the ring for Rhinebeck knitting? I mean, sure, my pile of orange cables that is my current Rhinebeck sweater is still missing 2 fronts and a sleeve before it’s a real sweater. But surely a pullover with no button-band or fancy collar to worry about… that’ll be super quick to add in too, right? Maybe? Sure. I can totally do that in just under 3 weeks. Or at least attempt it. (Glad you’re all coming with me on that one. I knew I could count on you for support.)

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So naturally, though i have no shortage of cabled knits to be getting going on, I got distracted with a bit of colour-work knitting these past few days, working up a little hat pattern to give my Stranded Colour-work 101+ students. (A class i’ll be repeating in Kitchener-Waterloo and Toronto later this season!) And colour-work really is hard to put down once you start.
I decided to do up a second hat and tweak the original chart just a tad, so now here we are. (It’s Ultra Alpaca in beetroot and cream, for those curious.) Just a quick bit of colour-work and then it’s back to the cables.

Or at least until I decide the hat needs mittens.

Happy knitting this October 1st!

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Filed under colour-work