Monthly Archives: May 2010

Knitter’s Frolic

Well, the Toronto Knitter’s Frolic was this past weekend, and what can I say, it was a good time. I went down on Saturday with my mom and my friend Rebecca who came to visit this weekend from the wilds of NYC. Needless to say, she is going home with a bit of Canadian yarn, and we thank her for single-handedly attempting to support the southern Ontario-and-environs yarn related economy. Someone has to do it.


Not that I didn’t do a bit of damage myself, mind you. These goodies from left to right came from Van Der Rock Yarns, Indigodragonfly, Tanis Fiber Arts, and some Madelinetosh sock which is now happily being carried by the Naked Sheep. I also snagged a couple more skeins of semi-solid sock yarn from the Sweet Sheep, because I’m trying to expand my semi-solid sock yarn stash. For some reason whenever I go to look for some I don’t seem to have as much as I would like.




It was a pretty hopping day, that’s for sure. In previous years I seem to recall having just a titch more elbow room, but I think we may have finally gotten as many knitters as possible into that space. There was a wonderful group of vendors there, and it never fails to impress me that there can be so many people dyeing yarn and nobody’s looks exactly the same as anybody else’s. Pretty cool, man.



Thanks for the Saturday, Toronto! Let’s do it again some time.


Filed under knitting tourism, stash

Azalea mitts

[Note from the future: this pattern is now available for download from the Sweet Sheep: Azalea Mitts]

I tell ya, it’s either feast or famine around here when it comes to designs. I just got done showing off the Royale sweater to you (which, by the way, THANK YOU for all the lovely comments on it, really, I’m completely tickled) and yet I still have another quick post for you today about another design – that will be available at the Toronto Knitter’s Frolic this Saturday, this one for the Sweet Sheep. These are the Azalea mitts, which will be available exclusively in kits from the Sweet Sheep. Wider pattern release will happen in the fall (I’ll be sure to let you know!)


Earlier this spring Michelle emailed me up and said “I’ve got this really obnoxiously cute skein of pink yarn, would you like to design a pair of fingerless mitts to go with it?” And I said “sure, I love obnoxiously cute pink yarn.” And so I mulled over the stitch patterns and decided on a suitably cute combination of cables and bobbles, and lo. The mitts were good. (Side note: I am sort of ridiculously infatuated with the bobbles. I LOVE THEM.)

Now, because I am ambitious like that, I decided a fingerless version only wasn’t quite enough, so I did up a pattern with 2 variations. The second variation has a full convertible mitten flip-top on it, for the slightly chillier times. I’ve arranged the pattern instructions so that the cables flow seamlessly from the hand onto the mitten top, and I really like the way it came out.


Michelle will be selling these in kits at her booth at the Frolic – which is tomorrow! I am looking forward to it. Now if only I could decide on a knitted item to wear…

Have a great weekend!


Filed under design, finished object: accessories


Okay, so usually when I finish a design and then put it out into the world for public consumption, I am immediately filled with a strangling mix of glee and terror, when all my insecurities about things I could have done differently/better/while inhabiting a different personality/with more Zen/whatever immediately jump up and down on my head.

Not this time. Or, at least I can say that the glee part of my brain is winning, for the moment. I love this pattern. I love it to little tiny bits. This is the ‘Royale’ pullover, (available here in my Ravelry store, and here on Patternfish) and my second of two designs for Tanis Fiber Arts this season (just in time for the Knitter’s Frolic on Saturday!)


I’d been wanting to do a pullover pattern of some kind for Tanis, as I’d done a cardigan jacket for her last fall, and I also knew I wanted to do something with cables. Once I got the yarn in my hands – this is a “new and improved”, deeper, richer version of her standard ‘garnet’ colourway – I knew exactly what this needed to be. No wimpy cables here. No no. Regal, royal, decadent cables. And nice and fitted, yes please. Tanis’ superwash Aran is wonderfully comfortable to wear and there’s no reason not to put it into a nice modern fit. I’m a particular fan of the 3/4 sleeves and scoopneck, if I do say so myself.


The front and back each feature a large cable motif framed by a smaller one, and the smaller cable motif is then repeated along the centre of each sleeve. Additionally, I’ve written the pattern so that the tiny cable twists from the motifs grow from the ribbing at the hem and cuffs. The cable patterns are all fully charted, and once again I strongly recommend cabling without a cable needle to speed things along, which I’ve talked about recently as well.


I’ve included instructions for 6 sizes, between 30″ and 49″ (garment bust size) and recommend that this be made for slight negative ease or zero ease if at all possible. Schematics are also included, so feel free to modify at any time if you wish – i.e. change the length, change the height of the neckline, etc, if you feel you would achieve a more comfortable fit this way.

This is certainly a skilled knit, but one that is not too far out of reach of any knitter who has a few sweaters and a few cabled pieces under their belt. Once you establish the cables and get started, everything repeats and you start to get into a rhythm. There is waist shaping, and the body and sleeves are each worked in the round, then once you reach the neckline and armholes the front and back are worked flat, back and forth, as is the sleeve cap once you reach that part of the sleeve.


As usual, please let me know if you find any errors or concerns. This has indeed been through a test-knitting phase by a friend of mine, but naturally there is always the possibility of something slipping through the cracks. Contact me at crazy.knitting.lady[at] and I will do my best to help with any questions.

And now, I am off to put the finishing touches on one last thing that I’ll show you tomorrow. It’s been a busy little while here at Knitting To Stay Sane, and I’m just glad to finally be able to show a few things off.

Happy knitting, as always!


Filed under cables, design, finished object: sweater

Bam, said the lady

It always comes down to this. It is one thing to have a finished knit that you’re ready to show off, it is another to wrangle a photography session for said knit. I can’t resist giving you a sneak peek, though, as this pullover for Tanis Fiber Arts is one of the things that’s been keeping me quite busy over the last month and I’m darned proud of it. I’m hoping to be able to post full details on this tomorrow, then on Friday show you the second pattern of mine that will be available at the Frolic, this one a mitt pattern for the Sweet Sheep.


Speaking of the Toronto Knitter’s Frolic, for anyone who will be stopping by there, I’m happy to report that Michelle at the Sweet Sheep will also have kits for my Wicked/Yellow Brick Road knee high socks, and Tanis will also have patterns available for my Rendezvous cardigan, Nouveau gloves, as well as the Neptune High argyle socks.

Busy times ahead this weekend! I’m looking forward to seeing all the people and yarn.


Filed under design, Uncategorized

So true it’s almost not funny

I went by The Purple Purl on my last expedition to the big city on Friday, and they have some wonderful new signage in their washroom. I don’t know where it is from exactly, though, which is a bummer because if I did, I would tell everyone I know, and probably buy ten copies.


It’s funny because it’s true. I have spent the last few weeks knitting like a fiend trying to finish up a few design projects and finally the finish line is in sight and I’ll be able to show off a couple of them to you this week. As much as I love designing, I’ve never had a time with this many design projects on the go at once before, and I am very much looking forward to knitting something that does not require me to write down instructions for someone else to knit the same thing.

Keep calm and carry yarn.


Filed under Uncategorized