Tag Archives: lace

ColourRIOT: Avoiding clown puke

colour RIOT

It’s ColourRIOT time again!

For the next post in the ColourRIOT series, I invited my friend Mandy to write about how to cope with vibrant, variegated yarn. I tend to gravitate to semi-solid, tonal yarns, myself, at least when it comes to knitting — but I have a stash of more highly variegated yarns waiting for me to figure out what to do with them. Mandy, on the other hand, has a way with those multicoloured skeins, and the persistence and curiosity to keep trying new things until she finds a pattern that works with the yarn she loves.

Mandy is an erstwhile member of my local knitting group, the Uptownknitmob, although she moved back to her hometown of Winnipeg last year. She’s also a talented designer of shawls and other accessories — and (in case that wouldn’t keep her hands busy enough) she’s the mama of three little girls, two of whom are twins born just weeks after her return to Winnipeg. I’m delighted that she was able to steal enough time during naps to share this post with us!

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Kiran

My friend Lindsey runs Waterloo Wools, but she’s been on maternity leave for a while. She’s re-opening the shop with a grand relaunch at the Woodstock Fleece Festival next weekend, and she asked me to knit a sample shawlette for her booth. Of course I said yes!

Kiran  1

Kiran shawlette

 Lindsey asked me to use her 100% BFL fingering-weight yarn, Tidewater, which hasn’t been a huge seller in the past — it’s a real treat to work with, but it’s less familiar than the usual yarn bases like merino-nylon sock blends or merino-cashmere-nylon luxury blends. We’re hoping that showing how the yarn looks knit up will help customers get a better sense of its possibilities.

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Such lovely texture!

Tidewater is a 2-ply yarn, woolen-spun, so it’s lofty and springy and a little bit nubbly. It’s scratchier and woolier than, say, a worsted-spun merino-nylon sock yarn, but it has an almost buttery hand to it — not oily or lanolin-y in the least, but surprisingly soft, even with its halo. (And, when you block it, that halo really blooms beautifully.)

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Just look at that halo, and those picots!

The bonus treat, for me, in knitting this sample shawl, is getting to use a pattern by one of my favourite designers, who also happens to be local, and a member of our Guild. Katherine Matthews has designed a number of beautiful shawls (as well as exquisite beaded cuffs, socks, and so on), and Kiran is her newest design. It’s exquisite!

(My favourite detail is almost accidental, but the way the two picots sit on either side of the centre spine reminds me of a swallowtail  butterfly’s ‘tail’.)

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Love that late-afternoon sunlight!

For the record, I knit the smallest size of the pattern (it comes in small and large versions with instructions for resizing to any size you like). I used all but about 13 yards of one skein of Tidewater to make it. Full notes are, of course, over at Ravelry.

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Oh Cecilia, you’re breaking my heart

The Cecilia cardigan I’ve been working on for my friend to wear at her wedding is done and blocked! But, like the song says, she’s shaking my confidence daily… Continue reading

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Summertime pursuits

Lest anyone reading this blog lately fear that I’ve forgotten how to knit, I can offer two pieces of proof to the contrary.

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Knitting and Crochet Blog Week: Day 4

Here is my contribution to Day Four of Knitting and Crochet Blog Week, organized by the adorable Eskimimi. Today’s theme is A Knitter or Crocheter for All Seasons…

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The funny thing about today’s theme for #3kcbw is that I’ve had a half-composed blog week about winter knitting in my head for months. I seem to do that a lot — get an idea for a blog post, and even think up what photos and phrases might belong in it, but then get distracted, or lazy, or otherwise occupied, until the post is no longer relevant.

I was going to post about how I was working on these lovely Norwegian mittens in Classic Elite Fresco, a super-soft angora-alpaca-wool blend.

Slow and steady - progress

Norwegian Mittens by Beth Brown-Reinsel - in progress

I was going to talk about being curled up on the couch, a handknit shawl around my shoulders and a blanket over my lap, with a big steaming cup of milky tea.

I was going to talk about my favourite winter-afternoon watching: Victorian Farm and the other brilliant series in this family of shows. A team of English social historians and archaeologists spend a year on a period farm, using appropriate technologies to better understand life in the Victorian era — or the 17th century, or the Edwardian era, depending on the series. It’s a perfect combination of nerdiness and utter beauty, with a healthy dose of fibre lore thrown in.

Peter Ginn and a lamb from Edwardian Farm

I was going to talk about the quiet that muffles the city when there’s a thick layer of snow.

I was going to talk about warm, folky music that sustains me through the winter, like this Queen (!!) cover by my favourite band, The Once:

But you know what? Now it’s spring (even if it did snow the day before yesterday). We’ve had the barbecue out; I’ve shaved my legs and worn skirts and sandals. I still love The Once, but we’re on to watching the Edwardian Farm team in the summer months, picking cherries and frolicking in bathing costumes at the seaside. And as for the mittens, well, I haven’t knit a stitch on them for at least a couple of months.

Now, I’m much more interested in dreaming up frothy, lacy things to knit for a friend’s wedding this summer:

The stunning Luiza shawl by Jane Araujo... High in my queue!

Funny, that.

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Wedding knits

Oh, right! I’ve been so distracted waiting for Jane Austen Knits to get published that I have somehow neglected to tell you about all the OTHER secret knitting I was doing!

My sister got married in August, and that prompted a total of 3 knits — some secret, some less so. I might as well blog about them all now!

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Either…

These days, it seems I either have a backlog of unbloggable knitting, or I have a backlog of unblogged knitting.

(Actually, right now I kind of have both, but obviously I can’t get into the unbloggable stuff just now.)

More gratuitous shawl pictures

This, however, is eminently bloggable!

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