Monthly Archives: September 2013

A handknit runway

Last week Twist Collective was the special guest at the Downtown Knit Collective in Toronto, and it was quite the evening of eye candy. And when I say “Twist Collective” was the guest, I do mean about as much of Twist Collective as could be fitted in one evening in one lecture hall. Kate Gilbert herself (the editor of Twist Collective) came down from Montreal (despite travel plans being delayed by a terrible train/bus crash earlier in the day), and co-hosted the evening with Fiona Ellis, who I know put quite a lot of planning into the whole affair. She sweet-talked me into taking some photographs, arranged models for what must have been about five or six dozen different garments for the fashion show, and made sure as many local Twist Collective contributors as possible were there. Many knitters in the audience also wore their own hand-knitted Twist Collective pieces, which was fabulous!

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The main event was the fashion show, and it was quite something. I am willing to bet everyone in the audience went home with their heads full of new ideas about what to knit next, because after seeing so many different garments being modelled right there live and in person, it must be very difficult to resist temptation! One thing that was really neat was seeing the garments being worn by women of different heights and body shapes. Magazine sample sizes do tend to represent a specific size range, but still each sweater looks a bit different on different people. Everyone looked fabulous in everything they wore, and I don’t think any of the models were exactly the same shape and sizes as another.

Here are a few snapshots from the evening – enjoy, and be sure to click the photo to see more details on the Flickr page.

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Twist-AppleCatchers

More knitting eye candy is always good to fuel the inspiration.
I hope you have some great knitting this fine Wednesday evening!

 

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New additions

Last weekend I went with my mom and sister down to the Kitchener-Waterloo Knitter’s Fair (it and the Toronto Knitter’s Frolic in the spring are the two bi-annual yarn purchasing pilgrimage opportunities in the area). It was nice to see a few familiar knitter faces in the crowd. I also had no specific purchasing plans going in, which can often lead to disaster (read: way overspending), but I managed to come away with a small selection of things that were new to me and fit my current knitterly needs.

Sept22-BlackLamb1

This lovely armload of grasshopper-green superwash DK came home with me, from The Black Lamb. I’d bought sock yarn from them before but wanted to branch out a bit further, and have been on the lookout for more DK-weight yarn for sweater projects. This shade of green is one that I started doing more with for knits for myself last year, and I like it enough to keep working with it some more. Some time this year I’d like to make myself another Jackson Creek cardi or Chatelaine cardigan for me (the original Chatelaine sample is out at yarn shops), so I’m looking forward to pondering when and how to deploy it later this season.

Sept22-BlackLamb2

I have also lately started to realize that knitting project bags are things I can always use more of – particularly the kind that zip or tie closed, rather than just simple tote bags – and so I found myself at Zig Zag Stitches‘ booth and came away with a couple of dandy items. I like their combination of fabrics and attention to detail. Even a little inside pocket on the big bag? Heck yes.

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Sept22-ZigZag2

Clearly, I had green on my brain that day. Not too shabby though. Looking forward to playing with these and hatching more fall knitting plans as the days get cooler.

Have a great rest of your knitterly weekend!

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I wonder how non-knitters do this

At the end of July I cast on for a Locke St. cardigan for myself. The original sample still lives at the Purple Purl, which is actually fine with me, and over the summer when I was there looking at the colours of Tanis‘ yarns, and I just really liked the look of her new Sprout green so I grabbed an armload of it and walked right over to the cash register. I’ve been wanting one of these cardis for me (along with a few other patterns of my own design…this may be an ongoing fall project) so I just cast it on hoping I’d be done it by the time it was starting to get cool.

Aug24-LockeSt2

True to plan, now that September is nearing the halfway mark, I’m finishing up the second sleeve of this Locke St. cardi, and if the knitting gods are with me should be onto the collar and finishing this weekend. (Well, that and if I don’t get distracted by other projects. This is also highly probable.) At the same time, I’ve just started a new day job in Toronto, which means about an hour of train commuting time at either end of the day, so the bulk of this project has been accomplished in small chunks of time while commuting.

LockeSt train knitting

It is an interesting cultural phenomenon that when I mention this to regular non-knitting people, they respond with commiseration about how awful it must be to have to get up that much earlier and have that much travelling time in the day. When I mention it to knitters, on the other hand, they don’t even blink. They just say “oh wow, so you must get so much knitting time on train then!” It’s completely true. No one’s saying it’s not a bit of an ordeal to be a commuter (I’m pretty sure the bleary-eyed Starbucks lineups are proof of that), but when you have knitting then it pretty much instantly becomes mobile knitting time, and that makes the whole thing just loads easier. And then after a month of train knitting it turns out you can have most of a sweater done.

Aug24-LockeSt1

Onwards with more sweaters! Also looking forward to attending the Kitchener-Waterloo Knitter’s Fair this weekend. As per usual I have no idea what yarn I’ll be getting, or how much (really I have no need of any more, any time soon…not that that ever stops any of us), but it’s always nice to peruse.

I hope you have some good knitterly time this Thursday!

 

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But for a few buttons

Except for wanting a few buttons, folks, this Uji cardigan is a wrap. I gotta say, I welcome the chilly fall weekends if that means I’ll finally get to wear it!

I’ll get some modelled shots of it on a person (me, preferably) once some button shopping gets on the docket, but for now – pretty darned pleased.

Sept8-UjiFinished2b

Sept8-UjiFinished1b

Sept8-UjiFinished3b

Admittedly, I’m also pretty pleased at the prospect of getting to start new sweaters now that there’s a gap in my project pile. Finishing a project I started 7 months ago means I get to start three new ones, right? Let’s go with yes.

Sweater season! Let’s get this party started.

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Pattern: Uji, by Ann-Marie Jackson
Yarn: Knit Picks Cadena, in cranberry

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Piece by piece

Since February I’ve been knitting my Uji cardigan in bits and pieces of time, and knitting friends, it is almost done. I’ve kept needing to put it down in order to give time to other projects, and then of course there was a while towards the end of spring when it was hard to find the mojo to work away on a bulky all-over cabled cardigan (when one is realistically several months away from ever being able to wear it).

Aug24-Uji1

Also, allow me to admit to you nice folks out there in blog land, that I keep having to stop and correct dumb-ass mistakes. The pattern itself is lovely, and actually relatively un-complicated once you’re in the swing of things. But it’s happened that I’ve been knitting this mostly in hour-long stints after dinner when the rest of the day is complete, and it’s entirely possible that not all of my brain cells have been in play at all moments. I finished the second cardigan front only to realize that I’d done the body a totally different length before the armhole than the first front was, and then ripped and re-knitted to fix it.

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Sept2-FrontFinished

Then, as I was starting up on the button-band (which here is knitted vertically, in a separate piece once the hem ribbing has been completed – body and band are worked separately from that point), I realized that the very first button-hole i’d placed at the hem (and therefore well beyond the point of ripping out since it would require ripping out the entire front piece by then) had been placed entirely wrong and was going to end up looking funny. And while I don’t generally tend to button my cardigans all the way to the bottom, I couldn’t really live with myself if I let that go.

So I dropped down several rows from the start of the band, reworked the whole button-hole (this involved a bit of Macguyvering-level reverse-engineering of the row involved, then re-picking up all the dropped down stitches – imagine something like this cable fix, but for a button-hole re-do), and then re-started the band. (I’d like to tell you that I photographed it, but some times a girl just has to get the thing done). Then I finished all the blocking of the final pieces, and thought for a moment that the top neckline scoop was a very different length on each side, except when I went to start the re-do on that, it actually all looked just fine.

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And so I’m now merrily seaming away and starting on the collar, and you know, I just might get this sucker done. I’m tucked in at home for the evening on the last day of a long weekend and I’m going to get finished as much as I can. Then some time later this week I’ll go off in search of buttons. And when it turns chilly in a month or so, this cozy cardigan jacket will be waiting.

Soon. Sooooooon.

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Happy knitting this week!

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Pattern: Uji, by Ann-Marie Jackson
Yarn: Knit Picks Cadena, in cranberry

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