Category Archives: design

New Design: Jackson Creek Cardigan

Dear knitters, it’s been about a month since I introduced you to the first Urban Collection, Volume 2 patterns, which means it’s about time to add more to the mix! I’ve got a new cardigan pattern to show off to you today (never fear, it will shortly be followed by some accessory-sized companions as well). Presenting the Jackson Creek cardigan! (Ravelry link – pattern is currently available on Ravelry only while the collection builds to completion, then all patterns and collection will be available on Patternfish as well, in May.)

JacksonCreek6b-lighter

The collection patterns are getting gradually lighter as we move towards spring, and nothing is quite as satisfying as a new spring cardi. 3/4 sleeves! Scoop neck! DK-weight yarn instead of worsted or chunky! All signs point to spring comfort. And I am told that spring will indeed arrive eventually around these parts, despite the grey clouds and lingering patches of snow that seem to persist around here.
No matter, for we have yarn and can knit our way into a new season!

JacksonCreek4b

This cardigan takes its name from a public trail in Peterborough, one of my favourite knitterly towns in Ontario. It’s the place to be when the weather gets warmer, and can take you from a park in the downtown right on out towards the marshes and rural routes. All in all a nice spring image to knit by, no?

I’m keeping the cabled love going and showing off some nice fluid, vertical, flattering vertical cable panels on the cardigan front, and keeping the rest simple with stockinette sleeves and back. It’s worked in pieces (always an ideal option when making sweaters with superwash wool) from the bottom up and then seamed together before working the button-band. Although I’ve used 3/4 sleeves here for a spring/transitional season style, this could easily be modified for full sleeves for an even warmer look.

JacksonCreek2b

The Jackson Creek cardigan is written for eight sizes, between 32 and 53 ins at bust circumference (when worn closed), and I recommend this for zero ease or slight negative ease, or to preferred comfort. It’s a comfortable but flattering option for your wardrobe, perhaps for workdays or cafe visits, or whenever you feel like a cardigan-and-jeans kind of day. (I have already road-tested mine as a cafe cardigan. It works.)

Thank you once again to Tanis for the beautiful yarn (shown here in Yellow Label DK in sand), to Austen for modelling (in unfortunately less-than-spring-like temperatures, even), and Maureen Hannon for technical editing.

Enjoy, dear knitters! And have a great weekend. You’ll be hearing from me again soon. ;) Happy knitting!

21 Comments

Filed under cables, design

Volume 2, Part 1

Last winter (yea verily, just slightly more than a year ago now), I launched the first patterns in my Urban Collection set (on Ravelry, on Patternfish), and lo and behold, I’ve decided to come back for another round. This week I’m kicking off the Urban Collection, Volume 2, with two patterns just right for the final months of winter. All patterns are once again featuring beautiful yarns from Tanis Fiber Arts, and are intended as a versatile collection of pieces for the contemporary knitter. All of the patterns will be available for sale individually at any time, but if you’d like to take the plunge and pre-order the entire collection for $5 less than the final collection price, you can do so now on Ravelry any time between now and April 15th. You’ll then receive all the new patterns as they are released, automatically. Updates to the collection will happen about a month apart, so the next patterns will arrive towards the end of March. (The collection will be available in full and individually once it is complete, some time in May.)

DukeSt3

This time around the collection will include 3 sweaters and 4 accessory patterns, with an emphasis on pairing sweaters with lacy accessories (scarves/shawls and cowls). I’ll be starting with the warmest yarns in February and then as we get closer to spring will start to bring in the DK and fingering weight yarns, for variety and versatility. The first two pieces both feature worsted weight yarns, for relatively quick knitting as compared to lighter yarns, and also for comfort and coziness.

First up is the Northside Pullover, in TFA Green Label Aran. This year I’ve been wanting to try out more darker shades for the dressy visual effect they have, and so I wanted this pullover to be something that would work equally well with both pale and darker colours. It’s shown here in Olive, which is not a colour of Tanis’ that I’ve worked with before, but I think it’s safe to say I’ll be doing so again!

Northside6

Northside3

This pullover uses a combination of cables and garter rib for a nice vertical pattern that’s a little rustic but also classic, and I’ve no doubt it would work well with tonal semi-solids as well as solid colours or heathers. The same garter rib combination is shown on the long cuffs to complete the effect, against a field of stockinette on the sleeves and at the side. The sweater has long sleeves and is full-length to the hips, is worked from the bottom up in pieces (seams are helpful when using superwash wools – they like some additional structure!), and then sewn before working the collar to finish. I’ve come to enjoy pullovers because they are so warm so instantly, and the finishing takes up much less time than cardigans. (Rest assured, though, a cardigan will make its appearance in the rest of the collection). This uses a stockinette gauge of 20 sts/4 ins on 4.0mm needles, or your preferred needle size to obtain gauge.

As a warm layer accompaniment to the pullover, I offer the Duke Street Shawl (Ravelry link), a quick and warm triangular shawl. It might be worn around the house as an extra layer (such as I often find myself doing in the afternoons when I’m at home), or more snugly around your neck when you leave the house. It features Orange Label worsted, which is a luxury blend including some silk and cashmere, and I would happily knit with it any day of the week – but other wool-based worsteds would work just fine in its place.

DukeSt2

DukeSt6

This is a top-down triangle with a lace pattern around the edge, measuring about 50″ across at pattern gauge, for a slightly loose and drapey fit. Whether draped around the shoulders or bundled around your neck, it’s warm and fairly quick to knit, which is exactly the kind of thing I like for this time of year! I also really like being able to bring some lace knitting in to the cooler parts of the year, rather than just leaving it for the summer.

In another month’s time I’ll update the collection with the next couple of patterns, and in the mean time these ones are good for keeping cozy with. Many thanks to Tanis for the yarn support on this collection, and for these patterns I am grateful to Kate for technical editing support and Austen for modelling. Thank you all, ladies!

I hope you’re all having a good Wednesday – catch you next time with more knitting adventures.

*

*

14 Comments

Filed under cables, design, lace

New Pattern(s): Squall Set

So, winter’s coming on, and it’s about this time that I tend to take a little mental inventory of the items in the accessory basket (usually there’s something that went astray last year, never to return), and immediately wish I had about twelve more things to choose from. This is, let’s face it, at least partly due to vanity (who doesn’t want glove options in every possible colour?), but also partly because it’s just plain nice to have something new. And the only issue with that sensibility is that by the time I cast on for a new hat or pair of mittens, I already wish I was wearing them. Accessories are the fastest possible garments a knitter can make, and yet when it’s cold outside and you want that hat right now right now please, almost nothing can be knitted fast enough to satisfy the preening impatient knitter in your head. (Or, maybe it’s just my head. It’s entirely possible this is just me.)

Dec1-SquallHat4

In any event, I decided that this would be the winter that I fully embraced the bulky knits. You just cannot beat the chunky yarn for speed, so all I wanted was something that would be both quick to knit and satisfying to wear. The hat(s) you see here is the result of a few different attempts, where I just kept streamlining further and further and finally took the “just do more with garter stitch” admonishments of fellow knitter friend Jane under advisement, paired it up with a few awesome big cables, and ta-da. This hat is pretty much my new favourite thing ever.

Dec1-SquallHat2

The Squall hat (available on Ravelry and Patternfish) uses a single skein of Sweet Georgia Superwash Chunky, or the equivalent yardage of chunky weight wool (we’re talking in the neighbourhood of 100-120 yds per 100g skein), and is genuinely so fast that by the time you start to maybe possibly think about how long it’s taking you to knit it…you’re already knitting your second one. And the garter stitch panels are just squishy enough to feel not just warm but comforting when you put it on your head, and excuse me I think I might feel a garter stitch jag coming on. There’s nothing quite like it for winter.

Dec2-SquallHat1b

Dec2-Mittens3b

Of course, once I got the hat in order I couldn’t help but want mittens to go with it, so the matching Squall Mittens (on Ravelry, and on Patternfish) were not far behind. These take 2 skeins of Sweet Georgia chunky, or about 150-175 yards of your preferred chunky yarn, and I love them too. They use the same combination of big cable and garter stitch, which makes for a pretty sturdy mitten when worked at a slightly snug needle size (these are on 5.5mm needles for the mitten, while the hat uses 6.5mm).

(Colours: the top purple one is ‘blackberry’, and the other green hat and mitts are in ‘spruce’.)

Dec1-Mitten2

Basically, winter can come now. I’ve got the knits and I’m ready to go.

I hope you enjoy the patterns, and that your own winter knitting is well in hand!

Many thanks to Maeve for tech editing, Austen, Fiona, and Gwen for test-knitting, and Anastasia and Jane for patiently modelling. Thank you ladies!

*

*

18 Comments

Filed under accessories, cables, design

The weekend in knitting

This past weekend, I:

1. Did not let the bulky cabled hat idea get the better of me, and got pleasant results on attempt #4. It turned out to be not at all what I was planning when I started with attempt #1, but sort of morphed its way there, as knitting sometimes does. (I’m writing it up. Also, that Sweet Georgia chunky holds up well to ripping-out and re-knitting, I’m here to report.)

Nov19-Hat

2. Visited the Purple Purl for their 5th anniversary festivities on Saturday. May all such fabulous yarn shops thrive for 5 years and well beyond! Happy birthday, Purple Purl.

Nov17-Purl2b

Nov17-Purl10b

Nov17-Purl18b

3. Learned that the “icing sandwich” is a completely valid method of eating a cupcake, especially if they are mini ones.

Nov17-PurlCupcake

4. Taught some fabulous and friendly knitters at Ewe Knit, the newest yarn shop in the Toronto knitting community. They are well stocked and, if the classes I have taught there are anything to go by, have quite a few enthusiastic (nay, fearless) knitters already.

Nov19-EweKnitClass

5. Started some chunky mitts for a class sample at the Purl, and hot damn if these don’t go by fast. I think the cuff took me half an hour. Every winter I ask myself why I don’t knit more with chunky yarn, and every time I fail to come up with a solid answer. This stuff is warm and fast!

Nov19-ChunkyMitts

It was a busy weekend and I’m looking forward to some cozy knitting time this evening.

Happy knitting this Monday! May you have a fun project and a refreshing beverage waiting for you at home.

*

*

16 Comments

Filed under cables, design, teaching, yarn stores

The week in knitting

So, somewhere in there I blinked and the week passed by. I know that I was doing things in there, for sure, but now it’s Friday and somehow it seems like I should have more to show for it, knitwise. But I’ve made progress on a few things, stitches are accumulating, ideas are swirling around, and happily enough, this turned out to be the week that one of my summer projects went live. I’m delighted to say that the Winter 2012 issue of Twist Collective has arrived, and I’m in it! Allow me to present Burrard, a cabled cardigan just right for cozy winter wear. (Photos by Carrie Bostick Hoge for Twist Collective)

The cardigan uses Green Mountain Spinnery New Mexico Organic, which is a DK/light worsted wool and was absolutely a treat to work with. This sweater is just right for something a little bit wooly to let those structured cables stand out. I’m pretty sure I will be casting on one for myself before the season is over, because, well, I want one too. I hope you’ll enjoy perusing the entire Winter issue, though, because the entire selection is really fabulous.

In other news, my current sweater in progress is making its way, and just lacks about a sleeve and a half and some finishing. It’s in my favourite go-to yarn, Cascade 220 Heathers, and I’m enjoying how it’s turning out. (This is, incidentally, the long-awaited sister sweater to Royale, and will be a cardigan – with a few tricks up its sleeve, which I’ll be sure to tell you all about later when it’s done!) Just need that final push to get ‘er done.

Nov16-Duchess

Also in this week in knitting, I’ve been trying to come up with a chunky cabled hat pattern, because of this gorgeous Sweet Georgia chunky merino I’ve had sitting in front of me, and dangit if it’s not the simplest things that can trip you up. What you see here is attempt #3, but you won’t see it for long, because it’s about to get ripped out. The knitting brain wants what it wants, apparently, and I think attempt #4 might be the final one – might. (Further bulletins as events occur, film at 11, etc.)

Nov16-Hat

There has also been some stockinette knitting, some sidelong glances at the ribbed sock in progress that’s been in my handbag for about two months now, a lot of yarn stash pondering, and an invigorating exchange with Fiona yesterday about knitting her Bonnie sweater since I’ve had the pattern and wool sitting idly by, ready, for about two years now. (Except I’ll probably throw in some waist shaping, add a bit of length if my yarn quantities allow, maybe cardiganize it, you know. The usual.) Hey, it’s coming on winter and a knitter’s hope springs eternal, what can I say?

This weekend I look forward to more knitting, and paying a visit to the Purple Purl in Toronto, where they are celebrating five years of business. Hurrah for local yarn shop birthdays!

Have a great weekend knitter friends, I hope you get some good knitting time in.

*

*

20 Comments

Filed under cables, design

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.

Jurisfiction11b

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.)

Jurisfiction12b

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.

Jurisfiction7b

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.

Jurisfiction4b

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!

Jurisfiction1b

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.

36 Comments

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

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.

Sept22-Chatelaine4

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.

Sept22-Chatelaine3

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!

*

*

33 Comments

Filed under design, finished object: sweater